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“The Latest Official News: Surrender of Lee and his whole Army to General Grant”

Surrender of Lee National Defender, v. IX, no. 36, Tuesday, April 11, 1865National Defender, v. IX, no. 36, Tuesday, April 11, 1865, Whole Number: 448, p. [3], col. 5.

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


The Latest Official News !
______

A Great and Bloodless Victory
______

Surrender of Lee and his whole Army to General Grant.
______

The not unexpected but not the less welcome news of the surrender of Lee and his whole army to General Grant was telegraphed to Philadelphia on Sunday evening shortly after 9 o’clock. The joyful news reached Norristown yesterday morning at an early hour. The fall of Petersburg and Richmond did not afford as much joy as the news of the surrender of Lee and his Army. The news being confirmed by official dispatches, with the wings of the wind the good tidings aroused the whole population, bells commenced ringing, cannon were fired every demonstration of joy was made. We have the more reason to rejoice at this last, great bloodless victory, because it is regarded at the harbinger of peace to our bleeding country. May it bring true peace and Union, a union of hearts and a union of hands, a union of brotherly love. We have not the space to give the details of the movements of our armies which resulted so gloriously. Below we give the terms proposed by Grant and accepted by Lee by which the lives of thousands of brave men were saved from a useless sacrifice :

Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865.–Gen. R. E. Lee, Commanding Confederate States : In accordance with the substance of my letter to you of the 8th inst., I propose to receive the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia on the following terms, to wit: Rolls of all the officers and men to be made in duplicate : one copy to be given to an officer designated by me, the other to be retained by such officer or officers as you may designate : the officers to give their individual paroles not to take up arms against the Government of the United States, until properly exchanged; and each company or regiment commander, sign a like parole for the men of their commands. The arms’ artillery and public property to be packed and stacked and turned over to the officers appointed by me to receive them. This will not embrace the side arms of the officers, nor their private horses or baggage. This done, by each officer and man will be allowed to return to their homes, not be disturbed by United States authority, so long as they observe their parole and the laws in force where they may reside.

Very respectfully,
U. S. Grant
Lieutenant General.

Headquarters, Army, Northern Virginia. April 9th 1865.–Lieut. Gen. U. S., Commanding U. S. A.: General–I have received your letter of this, date, containing terms of surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, as proposed by you. As they are substantially the same as those expressed in your letter of the 8th inst., they are accepted. I will proceed to designate the proper officers to carry the stipulations into effect.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,  R.E. Lee, General.


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The Female Federal Scout: Pauline Cushman

Female Federal Scout National Defender, v. VIII, no. 42, Tuesday, May 31, 1864, Whole Number 404, p.[3], col. 5.National Defender, v. VIII, no. 42, Tuesday, May 31, 1864, Whole Number: 404, p. [3], col. 5.

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


The Female Federal Scout

Tarilling [1] Adventure of Miss Major Pauline Cushman–Her Performance As A Spy–A Narrow Escape from a Disagreeable Death.

[From Detroit Tribune.]

Among the women of America who have made themselves famous since the opening of the rebellion, few have suffered more, or rendered more service to the Federal cause than Miss Major Pauline Cushman, the female scout and spy.

At the commencement of hostilities she resided in Cleveland, Ohio, and quite well-known as a clever actress. From Cleveland she went to Louisville, where she had an engagement in Wood’s Theatre. Here, by her intimacy with certain rebel officers, she incured [2] the suspicion of being a rebel, and was arrested by the Federal authorities. She indignantly denied that she was a rebel, although born at the South, and having a brother in a rebel Mississippi regiment. . . . .

________________________

[1] Probable printer’s error. “Thrilling”
[2] incurred

Further Readings on Pauline Cushman:

“The Perils of Pauline.” Winkler, H. Donald. Stealing Secrets: How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War. Naperville, Ill.: Cumberland House, 2010: 111-134.  Falvey Main. E628 .W57 2010

Sarmiento, Ferdinand L. Life of Pauline Cushman, the Celebrated Union Spy and Scout… Philadelphia : J. E. Potter, 1865. Internet Archive. 25 March 2017. <https://archive.org/stream/lifeofpaulinecus00sarm#page/n7/mode/2up>

“Pauline Cushman: The Spy of Cumberland.” Blog. Posted by: Rebecca Beatrice Brooks. Posted Date: January 3, 2013. Civil Wag Saga. Copyright 2016. 25 March 2017. <http://civilwarsaga.com/pauline-cushman-the-spy-of-cumberland/>

“Pauline Cushman Biography.” The Biography.com. Biography.com Editors. Last Updated: April 20, 2016. © 2017 A&E Television Networks. 25 March 2017. <http://www.biography.com/people/pauline-cushman>

“Pauline Cushman.” Presidio of San Francisco National Park. National Park Service. U. S. Department of the Interior. 25 March 2017. <https://www.nps.gov/people/pauline-cushman.htm>

“Pauline Cushman (1833–1893): Mathew Brady Studio.” Collections: Leaders. CivilWar@Smithsonian. Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. 25 March 2017. <http://www.civilwar.si.edu/leaders_cushman.html>

Betts, Vicki, “Women Soldiers, Spies, and Vivandieres: Articles from Civil War Newspapers” (2016). Special Topics. Paper 28. 25 March 2017. <http://scholarworks.uttyler.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=cw_newstopics>

Suggested Subjects for books in Falvey:
Women spies — Confederate States of America — Biography.
United States — History — Civil War, 1861-1865 — Participation, Female.

 


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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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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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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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Cap. John Brown

Posted for: Susan Ottignon, Special Collections

National Defende_11_01_1859

National Defender, v. IV, no. 12, Tuesday, November 1, 1859, Whole Number: 169: p. [2].

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

CAP. JOHN BROWN

A correspondent of the New York Tribune(1) furnished the following history of the life and character of the leader in the late Insurrenctionary movements at Harper’s Ferry(2) Virginia:

John Brown(3) is an extraordinary man, and although all right minded men must condemn his last mad exploit, there is no reason why justice should not be done him. He was born in New England, which he left at an early age, and has lived most of his life in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He emigrated from Pennsylvania to Kansas, and settled in the Osage country. He was a decided Anti-Slavery mon [sic]– a religious enthusiast, a rigid Presbyterian – correct and conscientious in all his relations and conduct, and modest and unassuming in all his manners. At the same time he was a man of iron will, of untiring energy and of unbounded nerve. All who know him are impressed with the belief that he never knew fear, and that no man ever lived wo [sic] excelled in cool and daring intrepidity. In all his affrays in Kansas he embarked in all the most dangerous and apparently desperate enterprise, and encountered the greatest odds with a cool self-possession and an unbounded confidence in his own success. He was made the object of the most cruel persecutions of the Missourians, and all the bitterness and steep determination of his nature were stirred up from the very depths in retaliation. One of his sons was met alone on the road by a large party of invading Missourians, and cruelly, brutally murdered without a cause. Another son was for no cause but his political opinions, loaded with chains and driven on foot before the horses of his captors from Osawotamie to Tecumseh, under circumstances of cruelty as to destroy, first his reason and next his life. His own house and the house of his son were both fired and destroyed. The women of his family were grossly insulted, and a committee appointed at a public meeting (following the example of the Pro-Slavery men under Emory,(4) who killed and drove out the Free State men of Leavenworth) notified Brown and other Free State men on Potawatamie Creek(5) that if they did not leave the Territory in three days they would be hung. His friends and neighbors were murdered around him ; he was forced into a war of self-defense, and finally a price was publicly set on his head. The effect of these things, in connection with all the other outrage, oppression and murder perpetrated around him, upon a man of Brown’s temperament, may be conceived. He became a fighting man, and developed qualities that excited the admiration and surprise of his friends and made him the terror of his enemies. Though remorseless and relentless as death itself, he did everything under a sense of duty and high religious excitement. The more fervent his prayers, the harder fell his blows, and the more signal and bloody his victories, the more heartily did he return thanks to the Lord after the fight was over.
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1 “Horace Greeley founded the New York Tribune in 1841. Greeley took a strong moral tone in his newspaper and campaigned against alcohol, tobacco, gambling, prostitution and capital punishment. However, his main concern was the abolition of slavery and the introduction of universal suffrage.” Simkin, John “New York Tribune.” Spartacus-Educational.com © 1997-2016 Spartacus Educational Publishers Ltd. 4 Feb. 2017. <http://spartacus-educational.com/USAnytribune.htm>
2 For more information on the raid, see: “The raid on Harpers Ferry.” Resource Bank. Africans in America — Judgment Day, 1831-1865: Part 4. WGBH — PBS Online. © 1998, 1999 WGBH Educational Foundation. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2940.html>
3 For more information on John Brown, see: “John Brown.” Resource Bank. Africans in America — Judgment Day, 1831-1865: Part 4. WGBH — PBS Online. © 1998, 1999 WGBH Educational Foundation. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p1550.html>
4 Information on Fred. Emory and activities in Leavenworth, see: Napier, Rita G. “Origin Stories and Bleeding Kansas.” Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, 34 Spring 2011: 28–39. 5 Feb. 2017. <https://www.kshs.org/publicat/history/2011spring_napier.pdf>
5 Rein, Chris. “Pottawatomie Massacre.” Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865. The Kansas City Public Library. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/encyclopedia/pottawatomie-massacre> ; Etcheson, Nicole. “Bleeding Kansas: From the Kansas-Nebraska Act to Harpers Ferry” Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865. The Kansas City Public Library. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/essay/bleeding-kansas-kansas-nebraska-act-harpers-ferry>

Further Reading:

Malin, James C. “Judge Lecompte and the Sack of Lawrence.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 20(7) 1953, p. 465-494. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.kancoll.org/khq/1953/53_7_malin.htm>

Malin, James C. “Judge Lecompte and the “Sack of Lawrence,” May 21, 1856.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 20(8) 1953, p. 553-597. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.kancoll.org/khq/1953/53_8_malin.htm>

“Territorial Kansas: An Introduction.” Kansas State Historical Society and University of Kansas, Territorial Kansas Online. 5 Feb. 2017. <http://www.territorialkansasonline.org/~imlskto/cgi-bin/index.php?SCREEN=historical_overview>


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Killed in a Duel

Posted for: Susan Ottignon, Special Collections

National Defender, v. IV, no. 10, Tuesday, October 18, 1859

duel

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

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Sen. Broderick Killed In a Duel. (1)

By the last advices from California, we learn that David Broderick,(2) United States Senator from California, was killed in a duel with Chief Justice Terry,(3) of that State. The duel took place on the 13th ult., (4) and Broderick fell at the first fire, having been shot through the lung. He lingered until the morning of the 16th, when he died from the injuries received. Terry escaped unhurt, but was immediately arrested to await an examination. The affair has created a great excitement in San Francisco, the community having been profoundly agitated by the melancholy event. The affair grew out of some remarks made by Broderick, against Terry, in the recent political content in that State. It is said that Judge Terry resigned his seat on the Supreme Bench before he sent the chalange. (5)

An account of the duel will be found on another page. (6)
—————————————————————————————————————-

1 The National Defender 4(10), Oct. 18, 1859, p. [3].
2 A Democratic Senator from the state of California, elected to the Senate from March, 1857 to his death September, 1859. “Broderick, David, Colbreth, (1820-1859).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present.” Office of Art and Archives. Office of the Historian. Washington, D.C. 3 Feb. 2017. <http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=B000857>
3 Terry, David S. (David Smith), 1823-1889. “. . . he achieved fame in California, Terry considered himself a Texan and a southerner . . . Broderick represented the northern or antislavery faction of the California Democratic party, and Terry was a leader in the southern faction.” Hobbs, Kenneth W. “Terry, David Smith.” Handbook of Texas Online. Web. 3 Feb. 2017. <https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fte29>
4 “of or occurring in the month preceding the present” Ultimo adj. Merriam-Webster Online. © 2017 Merriam-Webster, Inc. 3 Feb. 2017. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultimo>
5 challenge
6 The account appears on same page, column 3. “Senator Broderick Killed In a Duel.” The National Defender 4(10), Oct. 18, 1859, p. [3].


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American Civil War: Letter Home from Atlanta, Georgia in 1864

Posted for: Sue Ottigon.

The Digital Library has digitized Robert M. O’Reilly’s collection which includes letters written home to his mother, Ellen Maitland O’Reilly, in Philadelphia, during his career in the U. S. Army which lasted over 40 years, from 1867-1909.

In the collection is a series of letters by O’Reilly to his mother soon after he received an appointment as a Medical Cadet in January, 1864. O’Reilly’s first duty station, from April to July, 1864, was the Field Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In the spring of that year, he wrote home of camp life and his hospital duties. His arrival at the hospital coincided with the onset of General William T. Sherman’s campaign across Georgia, which is commonly referred to as “Sherman’s March to the Sea.” [1]

Sherman letter

O’Reilly wrote 9 letters that related events from the Atlanta campaign. In his letter home, dated September 22, 1864, O’Reilly mentioned that Confederate General John Hood was “fortifying” position in West Point, Georgia, and remarked about his anticipation of when the “drafted men get down here, and Sherman will astonish the natives.”

It is interesting to note that O’Reilly wrote his mother on printed letterhead from the Head-Quarters Department of the Cumberland, Medical Director’s Office. There is a total of 3 letters O’Reilly sent from the Headquarters.

Check out an earlier blog post on the Robert M. O’Reilly collection.

Want to download the transcription? Go to this page and click on the “Download” button found at the bottom left of the screen. Select the format desired: word document or pdf format.

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[1] A timeline of battles fought from May, 1864-September, 1864 see “Atlanta Campaign: Summary”. Wikipedia. Accessed 10 October 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Campaign#Summary>


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Newspaper Poetry: “Raising the Devil”

Contemporary newspapers rarely contain poetry, but this was not always so. Both well known as well as original verse were often published in local as well as national newspapers. Indeed these may have been some of the more well loved and – read aloud – parts of any issue.

An example of a reprint of better known poem at the time occurs in the recently digitized “National Defender” – published Tuesday, February 17, 1857 provides an example. Written by “Thomas Ingoldsby” – pen-name for Richard Barham, this poems, Raising the Devil was republished from the December 27th, 1841 issue of Bentley’s Miscellany:

Raising the Devil: A Legend of Albertus Magnus

“And hast thou never enough?” he said,
That gray Old Man, above whose head
Unnumbered years have rolled —
“And host thou nerve to view,” he cried,
“The incarnate Fiend that Heaven defied?
Art thou indeed so bold?

“Say, can’st thou, with unshrinking gaze,
Sustain, rash youth, the withering blaze
Of that unearthly eye,
That blasts where’er it lights — the breath
Thank, like the simon, scatters death
On all that yet can die!

“Darest thou confront that fearful form,
That rides the whirlwind and the storm
In wild unholy revel?
The terrors of that blasted brow,
Archangel’s once, though ruined now —
Ay — dar’st thou face THE DEVIL?”

“I dare!” the desperate youth replied,
And placed him by the Old Man’s side,
In fierce and frantic glee,
Unblanched his check and firm his limb;
— “No paltry juggling fiend, but HIM!
THE DEVIL! I fain would see!
In all his Gorgon terrors clad,
His worst, his fellest shape!” the Lad
Rejoined in reckless tone
“Have then thy wish!” Albertus said,
And sighed, and shook his hoary head,
With many a bitter groan.

He drew the mystic circle’s bound,
With skull and cross bones fences around!
He traced full many a sig’l there;
He muttered many a backward prayer,
That sounded like a curse —
“He comes!” he cried, with wild grimace,
The fellest of Apollyon’s race!”
Then in his startled pupil’s face
He dashed — an EMPTY PURSE?

— Thomas Ingoldsby, Esq.


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Letters from the Past

Posted for Marjorie L. Haines, Digital Library Intern, Spring 2015

Transcribing historical letters has been one of the most fascinating and enjoyable tasks required in my work with special collections. It generally requires reading personal correspondences from the past and diving into the history of the authors. Imagine a librarian, 100 years from now, reading your descriptive emails home to your parents, your embarrassing facebook messages to your friends, or even those angry texts sent to an ex-lover. What sort of telling anecdotes could be gleaned from your supposedly private conversations?

My first assigned letters to read at Villanova University were those sent from Eleanor M.S. Thackara (“Ellie”) to her father, William T. Sherman [http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:35563; http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:35568; http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:35578]. In her correspondence, Ellie updates her Papa on such events as her recent visit to her mother and the welfare of her own baby. Most prominently seen in this trio of letters, however, are Eleanor and her husband’s plans to move to a new house. It is a costly venture….for which Ellie requests her father’s funding. The manipulation incorporated into these letters strongly reminisces of a child’s request for money from their parents in the modern age. Ellie begins her letters with expressions of adoration for the new residence, which she claims to be both aesthetic and practical in location; she convinces her father that this place is the best option, and what father would not want the best for his daughter? Next, she laments the costs involved with the move and references an offer of financial aid previously made by her father. She does not merely suggest he uphold his promise, but very considerately acknowledges that he may not have the funds or desire to assist in the manner which she proposes. Of course this thoughtfulness would inspire likewise kindness. After receiving confirmation of her father’s agreement to send funds, Ellie requests further finances, by describing her concern that she will have to sell some of her Government Bonds in order to furnish the new home. William must have felt compelled to take care of his darling daughter, based on her response. When it comes to heartfelt thanks, Eleanor excels in expressing herself.

“You will just fix us nicely by sending the surplus check each month. Many thanks. What would we do without our father & friends especially the former.” (Letter, To: “My dear Papa” (William T. Sherman) From: Ellie, October 3, 1881, Back.)

It seems some interactions transcend time.

Letter, To: “My dear Papa” (William T. Sherman) From: Ellie, October 3, 1881, Back

Letter, To: “My dear Papa” (William T. Sherman) From: Ellie, October 3, 1881, Back


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Last Modified: February 11, 2015