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Not Your Typical River Crossing

Wire-Rope Walker

National Defender, v. VI, no. 2, Tuesday, August 27, 1861, Whole Number: 262, p.[2], col. 4.

Annotated and transcribed text from the digitized copy in the Historical Society of Montgomery County Collection.


The Wire-Rope Performance At Fairmount.

The thousand of curious citizens who visited Fairmount [1] on the last Wednesday afternoon, for the purposes of witnessing the feat of walking a rope stretched across the river Schuylkill, [2] at an elevation of one hundred feet from the surface of the water, were doomed to disappointment. Every preparation appeared to have been made for the performance, but it was finally discovered that the riggers had not fulfilled their part of the contract, and the crowd returned home without having their curiosity gratified. Yesterday afternoon a large number of people again visited the spot and waited patiently until nearly six o’clock, when Mr. John Deiner the performer was enthusiastically cheered.

He was dressed in a flesh-colored suit, fitting him closely, and carried a balancing pole, about twenty feet in length. He started off slowly, and after proceeding a few steps sat down while the side ropes were being properly adjusted. — After some little delay he again took his position, and walked half way across [3] . . . our rope dancers celebrated. He then passed on to the western side of the river and, after reaching a point about one hundred feet from the derrick, [4] retreated backwards to the centre. He here again went through sundry evolutions, and then continued his journey to the eastern side. The performance was highly successful, and seemed to afford great pleasure to the numerous spectators.

__________________

[1] “The park grew out of the Lemon Hill estate of Henry Pratt, whose land was originally owned by Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Purchased by the city in 1844, the estate was dedicated to the public by city council’s ordinance on September 15, 1855.” Fairmount Park. Wikipedia. 10 March 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairmount_Park#Growth>
[2] “The Schuylkill River got its name, meaning “hidden river,” from Dutch settlers who discovered its mouth sequestered behind the Delaware River’s League Island. ” “Along the Schuylkill River” Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area. Pottstown, PA. 10 March 2017. <https://www.schuylkillriver.org/Along_the_Schuylkill.aspx>
[3] A crease in the newspaper page obscured the text.
[4] “a type of crane (= machine with a part like a long arm) used for moving heavy things esp. on ships” derrick n. Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press. 10 March 2017. <http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/derrick>

 

 


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Content Roundup – First and Second Weeks – March 2017

Bethlehem Steel, v. 1, no. 1, May 1, 1918

Bethlehem Steel, v. 1, no. 1, May 1, 1918

It may be spring break and the snow may be falling outside but these newly digitized reads will fill you with warmth! Notable new additions include: a host of new rare Dime Novels and Story Paper issues, new issues of the National Defender dating to the American Civil War from the Historical Society of Montgomery County, the first issue of the Bethlehem Steel Company newsletter from the Independence Seaport Museum, and a number of research articles on Philadelphia history from the Celeste A. Morello Collection! So pull your armchair closer to the fireplace and start reading!

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

The trapper’s bride : or, Love and war : a tale of the Texan revolution / by W. J. Hamilton
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:473505]

Iron hand, chief of the Tory league / by Frederick Forest
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:473367]

Non-Fiction

Book of picture puzzles
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471242]

Spanish-American War stories
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471224]

Periodicals

p. 485, "The Story of Steam",  Beadle's monthly, June, 1867

p. 485, “The Story of Steam”, Beadle’s monthly, June, 1867

Beadle’s Monthly (index + 6 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470986]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470998]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471096]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471712]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471810]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471908]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:472006]

The People's Home Journal, v. V, no. 12, December 1890

The People’s Home Journal, v. V, no. 12, December 1890

People’s Home Journal (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:476002]

Chicago Ledger (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471324]

Saturday Night, v. XIII, no. 5, Saturday October 16, 1875, [abridged promotional copy]

Saturday Night, v. XIII, no. 5, Saturday October 16, 1875, [abridged promotional copy]

Saturday Night (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:469069]

The New World (6 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Collection/vudl:295256]

Historical Society of Montgomery County

National Defender, v. V, no. 9, Tuesday, October 10, 1860

National Defender, v. V, no. 9, Tuesday, October 10, 1860

National Defender (53 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:465299]

Independence Seaport Museum

Bethlehem Steel Company newsletter (collection created, 1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:474830]

Pennsylvaniana

Celeste A. Morello Collection

Frank Rizzo: Historical Marker application documents, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:472593]

rp

Residential Patterns of Western Sicilian Sub-Colonies in Philadelphia’s “Little Italy” Based on The Earliest Mafiosi
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:474123]

Stemma Della Città Di Sciacca: My Great-Uncle, a Mafioso from Sciacca, Sicily, Rosario Montalbano, His Life, as told to me
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471506]

They Knew Joseph Bruno: Boss of the Philadelphia-South Jersey La Cosa Nostra, 1936-1946
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471538]

Challenging a Story: That Nicodemo Scarfo had been “exiled” or “banished” to Atlantic City, New Jersey by boss Angelo Bruno in 1964
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:474195]

Villanova Digital Collection

Daily Doodles (2017: 3 images added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:469294]


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Statistics on Steamboat Disasters in 1860

Western Steamboat Disasters_7_10_1860

National Defender, v. IV, no. 49, Tuesday, July 10, 1860, Whole Number: 214, p. [2] col. 5.

Transcribed text from the digitized copy in the Historical Society of Montgomery County Collection.


WESTERN STEAMBOAT DISASTERS.

The disasters upon our Western waters during the first six months of 1860 are summed up by the Louisville Courier, under date on July 2, 1860:
Steamboats sank and damaged by ice 5
Steamboats snagged and sunk, 47
Steamboats run into bank, 6
Steamboat collisions, 7
Steamboats burned, 20
Steamboats sunk on Falls, 2
Steamboats sunk by storms, 20
Steamboat explosions, 6
Machinery broken, 10
Collisions with bridges, 2
    Total Steamboats, 125
Coalboats lost, 127
Flatboats and barges, 23
Number of lives lost, 136
Estimated aggregate loss, $2,732,500
     The above recapitulation includes several minor accidents, chiefly by snags.

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Content Roundup – Last Week – February 2017

This week, we offer for your enjoyment and reading pleasure, a number of new story- and newspaper issues as well as a rare American song book!

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

The boy guide / by Col. Prentiss Ingraham
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:473264]

Non-Fiction

American song book
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470026]

Periodicals

p. 193, "I never accused you", Beadle's monthly, September, 1866

p. 193, “I never accused you”, Beadle’s monthly, September, 1866

Beadle’s Monthly (index + 8 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470139]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470151]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470249]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470331]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470429]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470794]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470892]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:469840]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:470045]

[1], Chicago Ledger, v. XXVIII, no. 16, Saturday, April 21, 1900

[1], Chicago Ledger, v. XXVIII, no. 16, Saturday, April 21, 1900

Chicago Ledger (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471306]

[1], The New York Ledger, v. XIV, no. 14, June 12, 1858

[1], The New York Ledger, v. XIV, no. 14, June 12, 1858

New York Ledger (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:471278]

[1], Saturday Night, v. XXII, no. 51, Saturday August 22, 1885

[1], Saturday Night, v. XXII, no. 51, Saturday August 22, 1885

Saturday Night (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:469059]

Historical Society of Montgomery County

[1], National Defender, v. IV, no. 45, Tuesday, June 12, 1860

[1], National Defender, v. IV, no. 45, Tuesday, June 12, 1860

National Defender (8 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:465299]

p 3, "The Star Spangled Banner", American song book

p 3, “The Star Spangled Banner”, American song book


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Beauty is in the eye of the ten cent handbook

Posted by Amanda McCollom, Digital Library Intern

How to become beautiful; or, Secrets of the toilet and health, published in 1882 by Frank Tousey, is a part of the Ten Cent Handbook series, which provides “how-to” guides on an assortment of topics ranging from card tricks to taxidermy to engineering. How to become beautiful offers a look into late 19th century beauty standards for women and how moderation and temperance were upheld as the key to beauty and good health. The introduction stresses the importance of avoiding extremes in food, temperature and emotion with mandates such as “Let your food be plain and not too highly seasoned,” (8). The guide urges women to resist any expression of emotion as it, “is just as sure to leave a wrinkle either in the mind or body, which can never be eradicated,” (6). As developments in industry enabled families to purchase more goods, men started working outside of the home while women were expected to live up to the ideals of the “cult of domesticity.” Women’s roles revolved around maintaining the home and acting as the moral center for the family; advices guides like How to become beautiful were common during this time as they offered women instructions for being the ideal wife and mother.

The remainder of the handbook offers a collection of “toilet recipes,” to be used to improve and enhance one’s skin, eyes, teeth, hair, breath, hands and feet. The handbook claims these “toilet recipes” are “carefully tested by experienced chemists, and are guaranteed not to produce other than beneficial results,” yet the precise sources of the formulas are unknown (11). While DIY beauty recipes are still popular today, you won’t find many of the ingredients for these 1882 recipes at your local store. For instance, the recipe for preventing baldness calls for 1 drachm of Powdered Spanish flies and 1 ounce of alcohol, which once macerated and filtered, should be combined with lard at a 1:9 ratio (22). The final thirty pages contain perfume recipes, many with romantic names such as “Dreamer’s Extract,” “Enchanted Drops,” and “Kiss of Cupid,” (40, 44, 48). This language reinforced the importance of femininity and attractiveness as key components to a women’s health and identity. While beauty standards and gender roles have certainly changed today, advice for women still proliferates today through magazines and blogs. How to become beautiful provides a way to examine how expectations for women have both changed and remained the same.


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Available for proofreading: The Senator’s Favorite

The Senator's FavoriteAs mentioned in our recent post about The Senator’s Bride, that novel was Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller’s only work to spawn a direct sequel. We are now ready to bring the sequel, The Senator’s Favorite, to wider availability in eBook form. By volunteering at the Distributed Proofreaders project, you can help expedite this process and perhaps have some fun in the process. Please read our earlier Proofreading the Digital Library post to learn how it works, then join in the work at the project page.


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eBook available: Leonie, the Typewriter

leonie-212x300Our latest Project Gutenberg / Distributed Proofreaders eBook release is Leonie, the Typewriter, a self-described “thrilling romance of actual life” about the startling adventures of a young woman who operates a typewriter. First serialized in the New York Family Story Paper in 1890, and later reprinted as a stand-alone pamphlet, this is a good example of the period’s story paper melodrama, mashing together romance, crime drama and tragedy in an effort to appeal to a broad range of readers.

It is often commented that disguise was a significant trope of this period, and that these stories may have helped to break down traditional cultural barriers. Leonie nicely exemplifies this trend, with its female protagonist disguised as a boy for a good portion of the story, and students of gender studies will likely find the portrayal and some of the plot consequences quite interesting. The story is also remarkably fast-paced, wasting no time in getting to the melodramatic twists and turns, and featuring a few memorably horrific moments before reaching its inevitable happy conclusion.

The entire text of the novel may be read online or downloaded through Project Gutenberg.


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eBook available: The Senator’s Bride

The Senator's BrideOur latest Project Gutenberg release, produced with the help of Distributed Proofreaders, is an early novel by Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller, The Senator’s Bride.

Written before she achieved widespread popularity with The Bride of the Tomb, but published later, this shows what sort of novels she might have written if financial needs had not led her to pursue a career writing sensational melodramas. It is also one of her most personal works — a story about losing a spouse and child, written not too long after illness had claimed the lives of her first husband and baby.

That historical context should not lead the reader to believe that this novel is completely without sensation or melodrama, or that it gives a particular deep insight into its author’s psyche; Mrs. Miller was clearly stronger at creating convoluted and surprising plots than she was at conveying emotional depth. However, there are obvious echoes of her life to be observed if you are familiar with her biography, like an interesting tribute to another popular story paper novelist, Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth, who Mrs. Miller visited early in her career, and whose home is pointed out as a significant landmark by a character in the novel. The book also shows — through an overtly racist subplot involving an unfailingly loyal ex-slave, and through its portrayals of former Confederate soldiers — some of the ways in which Mrs. Miller, and presumably many other Southerners of the time, tried to conceptualize the aftermath of the Civil War.

The Senator’s Bride is also noteworthy as Mrs. Miller’s only novel to have a direct sequel — The Senator’s Favorite — written many years later, and likely to be presented here in a few months. Stay tuned! In the meantime, the first novel can be read in its entirety or downloaded through Project Gutenberg.


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#ColorOurCollections 2017 Gallery

Here is a round-up of colored images from last week’s #ColorOurCollections extravaganza!

The Bosun and the Comet, colored by Laura B.

The Bosun and the Comet, colored by Laura B.

The Camelopard, colored by Laura B.

The Camelopard, colored by Laura B.

Cover of Comfort, August 1907, colored by Liz A.

Cover of Comfort, August 1907, colored by Liz A.

Cover of Comfort, February 1904, colored by Sue O.

Cover of Comfort, February 1904, colored by Sue O.

Dragons, colored by Sue O.

Dragons, colored by Sue O.

Even though #ColorOurCollections 2017 is over, you can keep coloring all year! Find all of our coloring pages here in the Digital Library.


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News of the Day: National Defender Tuesday, April 10, 1860

Posted for: Susan Ottignon, Special Collections.

When I catalog each digital issue of any newspaper, and in this case, the April 10, 1860 digital issue of the National Defender, for the Digital Library, I browse the issue for noteworthy subjects to highlight, or in other words, I assigned subject headings to assist a future researcher in locating the subject. The newspaper’s column, “Personal and Political,” found on page 2, in this issue, caught my eye; I recognized the names Charles Francis Adams and General Jefferson Davis. The remainder of the column’s news impressed me with the wide range of news to report; the reports presented both serious and humorous news to the reader.

The selection conveys what was considered current national news, by the publisher, as well as, I believe, the annotations provide anecdotal information about the news.

The below annotated and transcribed text is from the digitized copy in the Montgomery Historical Society of Montgomery County Collection.

National Defender, v. IV, no. 36, Tuesday, April 10, 1860, Whole Number: 192, p. [2].

PERSONAL AND POLITICAL

— The Hon. Charles Francis Adams [1] and the Hon. Josiah Quincy, [2] son, are the largest tax payers in Quincy, Mass. [3] The former pays $1,440, and the latter $485. As trustee, Mr. Adams pays $150 additional to the above named sum.

— Gen. Jefferson Davis [4] is again suffering from inflamation [sic] of the eyes. The surgical operation performed on one, last Saturday a week. It is apprehended, will result in the loss of both.

— The Hon. George N. Briggs [5] of Massachusetts, has been cordially and unanimously elected Chancellor of Madison University. [6] If he accepts the appointment, Dr. Eaton [7] will retire from the Presidency, that he may devote his whole time to the more congenial duties of his Theological Professorship.

— Mr. J. H. Brown, [8] who supports fifty-two young Baptist theological students at Howard College, [9] in Alabama, at an annual cost of $13.000, has recently endowed a theological chair in that college by a contribution of $25,000.

— The widow of the late Rev. Robert Hall, [10] died at her residence near Bristol, England, on the 15th ult., [11] at the advanced age of 74.

— Something out to be done to prevent people from giving vent to their grief in verse when they are bereaved. What fate too hard for the man who appended the following lines to the announcement of a young lady’s death in a neighboring city?
“A few weeks ago she was to be a bride,
But now the grave her lovely form doth hide.”

— On Tuesday night, in Albany, Mr. John Niblock was bitten on the cheek by a man named Meegan, who threw him down and for several minutes gnawed his face. It is feared that mortification or erysipelas will set in.

— The town of Dutch Acera is fixed upon the birth place of a monster. The being is said to have been all covered with hair, to have had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot. It had three heads and a tail, eyes at the back of each head, and three pairs of horns. The account adds that the child was, according to custom, buried alive, and that the mother died eight days afterward.

— Miss Effie Carstang, [12] of St. Louis, who some months ago recovered a verdict of $100,000 against Mr. Shaw for alleged breach of promise, has had a second trial and comes out minus the hundred thousand dollars, and has a round bill of cost to pay. We fear that Effie’s reputation suffered by the investigations.

— In one of the towns of Connecticut, on the line of the New Haven Railroad, the Republicans took charge of a town pauper, from Friday, paying his board, expenses, &c. They felt so sure of his vote that they gave themselves no further trouble about the vote till Monday, when the voter turned up missing. Upon inquiring in to the absence, they found the pauper in bed ; some of the Democrats had stolen his pantaloons and the vote was lost! On both sides there were many such tricks practiced.

[1] “ADAMS, Charles Francis, (1807 – 1886).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 – Present. U.S. House of Representatives. Office of Art & Archives, Office of the Clerk. 9 Feb. 2017. <http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=A000032>
[2] “COL John Quincy Adams, II” Find A Grave. 9 Feb. 2017.
[3] “. Quincy is the birthplace of the second and sixth U.S. Presidents, John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams …” City of Quincy: About Quincy. Quincy, MA 02169. 9 Feb. 2017.
[4] “… He was offered a promotion to brigadier general in 1847 but refused it when he was elected to the U.S. Senate….” “Jefferson Davis.” Civil War Trust. Copyright © 2014 Civil War Trust. 9 Feb. 2017. <http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/jefferson-davis.html>; * “In 2006, Dr. R. W. Hertle, a prominent opthamologist at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburg concluded that Davis suffered from “herpes simplex keratouveitis,” (herpes simplex of the eye) a condition that remains a major cause of injury to the eye.” Forum: Jeff Davis was blind in his left eye. CivilWarTalk.com. 10 Feb. 2017. <http://civilwartalk.com/threads/jeff-davis-was-blind-in-his-left-eye.71361/>
[5] “BRIGGS, George Nixon, (1796 – 1861).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774 – Present. U.S. House of Representatives. Office of Art & Archives, Office of the Clerk. 10 Feb. 2017. ; “George N. Briggs.” Wikipedia. 10 Feb. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_N._Briggs#Later_years>
[6] “In 1890, Madison University changed its name to Colgate University in recognition of the family and its gifts to the school.” Colgate University. Wikipedia. 20 Feb. 2017. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgate_University#History>
[7] Eaton, George W. (George Washington), 1804-1872.; “prof. at Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute, Hamilton, N.Y., also called Hamilton Theological Seminary, and pres. when it became Madison Univ.;” Eaton, George W. (George Washington), 1804-1872. Library of Congress Authorities. The Library of Congress. Washington, DC. 10 Feb. 2017. <https://lccn.loc.gov/nr94030643>; Colgate University. An historical sketch of Madison University, Hamilton, N.Y. Utica: D Bennett, Printers, 1852, p. 11. Internet Archives. 10 Feb. 2017. <https://archive.org/stream/historicalsketch00colg#page/10/mode/2up/search/eaton>>
[8] “In 1859, Mr. Jere H. Brown, a wealthy planter of Sumter county, who had already been sustaining a dozen or more beneficiaries in the college, made the munificent pledge of $25,000 for the endowment of a second chair of Theology, on condition that the Rev. W. S. Barton raise the remainder of the $100,000 by March 1, 1860.” Garrett, Mitchell B. “Sixty Years of Howard College, 1842 – 1902.” Howard College Bulletin, 85(4), October, 1927, p. 69. Internet Archives. 10 Feb. 2017. <https://archive.org/stream/sixtyyearsofhowa00garr#page/68/mode/2up>
[9] “1841 Incorporation. The Alabama Baptist State Convention established a college for men, naming it Howard College in honor of John Howard, an 18th-century English social reformer. ” “History of Samford University. ” Samford University. 11 Feb. 2017. ; Garrett, Mitchell B. “Sixty Years of Howard College, 1842 – 1902.” Howard College Bulletin, 85(4), October, 1927, p. 69. Internet Archives. 11 Feb. 2017. <https://archive.org/stream/sixtyyearsofhowa00garr#page/22/mode/2up/search/%22howard+college%22>; For more information on the residents in Marion, Alabama, specifically at Howard College, see: “1850 Federal Census Perry County, Alabama (Transcriber’s Notes).” Comp. by J. Hugh LeBaron. 2001. The USGenWeb Archives: Perry County, Alabama. Copyright © 1997 – 2017 The USGenWeb Archives Project. 11 Feb 2017.
[10] “Hall proposed marriage on a later visit, having never spoken to this woman before. He was forty-­three years old and possessed an incomparable mind, while she was a servant girl and completely . . . The woman’s name was Elizabeth Smith . . . marriage on March 25, 1808 …” McNutt, Cody Heath. “The Ministry of Robert Hall, Jr.: The Preacher as Theological Exemplar and Cultural Celebrity.” p 49. Dissertation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2012. 10 Feb. 2017.
[11] “of or occurring in the month preceding the present” “Ultimo.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2017
[12] The story was also reported in The New York Times named the defendant, Henry Shaw, Esq., who was described as “a well-preserved and rather comely Englishman of three-score” as well as the plaintiff, Effie Carstang, described as “the plaintiff, and the great protagonist in this drama of real life, is a slim, stately and intelligent-looking lady, on the shady side of thirty” “… Carstang vs. Shaw–Sketch of Parties.” The New York Times. March 10, 1860. © 2017 The New York Times Company. 11 Feb. 2017. <http://www.nytimes.com/1860/03/10/news/affairs-missouri-bates-movement-missouri-opposition-convention-seward-s-speech.html>


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Last Modified: February 13, 2017