Browsing All Posts filed under »Antebellum Period«

One narrow vision… followed by a more remarkable set of 19th century observations by Brantz Mayer

July 11, 2014 by

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I read, somewhere recently, about how someone holds such low regard for Harper’s Ferry… because… as this person sees things… the site interprets John Brown as a hero. It’s actually odd, but John Brown only crosses my mind a couple of times when I visit (which, as regular readers know, is often) Harper’s Ferry, and when he […]

A follow-up on Faulkner and his thoughts on slavery

June 22, 2014 by

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I happened to be passing through Hagerstown yesterday, and had the chance to slip in to the public library for about 2 hours, to browse through older editions of the newspapers. One of my objectives… to look-up articles about Faulkner. What I found didn’t disappoint, including one particular piece that gave a hint as to […]

What might we learn from C.J. Faulkner’s speech of Jan. 1832?

June 19, 2014 by

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For years, I’ve thought an argument was extremely weak. Descendants defending Confederate ancestors…. that they did not fight for slavery. A lot of folks base it simply on the fact that an ancestor did not own slaves. It’s a poor foundation for an argument, and I don’t recommend it. On the other hand, we have […]

“Porte Crayon” in Harrisonburg, June 2, 1864

June 2, 2014 by

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It’s been an extraordinarily busy past few months, and postings here have suffered mightily for it. That said, last night I happened to “catch-up” with David Hunter Strother, as the Federal army advanced up the Shenandoah Valley toward Staunton. As of June 2, Strother awoke (near New Market) to find his “fine bay horse” gone… […]

Confederate History Month – a disservice to Antebellum Southern history?

April 2, 2014 by

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I know… I’ve been incredibly quiet for well over a month, but I’ve been considering various things regarding directions in which to go with writing history. Another topic for another day, perhaps. For now, however, since “Confederate History Month” (as I was reminded by a post I saw on Facebook this morning) is now underway, it […]

Tracking down those whose eyes glimpsed the pages of my SLMs

January 21, 2014 by

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It’s a good, casual, snowy day topic… and actually, I’ve been giving it some thought for a couple of days. Since late last summer, I’ve been collecting (among other literary journals from the early 19th century) copies of the Southern Literary Messenger. I’m not one of those “no price is too high” kinda guys, but […]

A day after [the official] Lee-Jackson Day… reflections on Jackson

January 18, 2014 by

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There are, obviously, varying opinions of Lee-Jackson Day. It’s not my intent to field all of those opinions, here, in this post. Rather, for me, I found yesterday’s awareness of the observation, a chance to reflect. It wasn’t Lee, however, who held my attention, but Jackson. For that matter, it wasn’t the time in Jackson’s […]

A different Sesqui reflection – the fall of the Southern Literary Messenger

January 3, 2014 by

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Recently, I purchased a copy of Volume 8 (1842), of the Southern Literary Messenger. I’ll have another post to discuss this, as well as other individual monthly copies I’ve purchased over the last few months. Anyway, last night, while a steady snow fell outside, I sat next to a lamp and took time to finally […]

Did de Tocqueville not spend enough time assessing the South?

January 2, 2014 by

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Getting back to the post from the other day… Not meaning to seem flip regarding de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, but one of the first things I did when researching his work, the other day, was to take a closer look at his travel intinerary. He spent nine months in the United States, and yet, […]

When do we fail our history? – a perspective on an event, from Long Branch

December 31, 2013 by

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This isn’t the way I planned on introducing my thoughts on Long Branch. I think the place is amazing, and under the new director, Nicholas Redding, has shown growth and incredible potential as a historic site… perhaps even reaching the status as the premier historic site of Clarke County, Virginia. As I’m only about fifteen […]

“the most damnable, vraisemblable, horrible, hair-lifting, shocking…”

October 31, 2013 by

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… ingenious chapter of fiction that any brain ever conceived, or hands traced. So wrote Philip Pendleton Cooke (you remember… John Esten Cooke’s older brother), in August 1846, when sharing his thoughts with Edgar Allan Poe regarding Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar The quote seems amazing to me… to think, not just that […]

To be buried alive…

October 30, 2013 by

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… was, of course, a very real fear in the 19th century. In fact, in “The Premature Burial” (published first in the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper, in 1844), Edgar Allan Poe tapped into those very real fears. You can read it here… or, if you prefer… listen to it, here… I highly recommend the audio. I […]

Mark the day… June 4, 1812… as the end of the world.

October 29, 2013 by

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I restrained myself from titling this “Party like it’s 1812″, so, for that you can be thankful… but since it’s Halloween week… It should come as no surprise that I came upon this little piece of history about Nimrod Hughes… the man who offered a prediction of the end of the world… well, sorta… he […]

What does this have to do with the Civil War?

October 19, 2013 by

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For one… I offer a friendly reminder to consider, again, the title of the blog. It’s not just about the Civil War… it’s more about the area, and, because who I am and because of my interests… yes, it usually comes back to the Civil War, in some way or the other. Nonetheless, I’ve actually […]

The Dixon-Maddux shooting(s), and ties (maybe not so much) to Southern Unionism

October 12, 2013 by

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Not Shenandoah Valley-related (but with ties to the valley), but something I happened upon a while back… On p. 202 of Lincoln’s Loyalists, there is mention of a man by the name of Henry T. Dixon. Loyalists author, Richard Nelson Current, uses Ulysses S. Grant’s words in referring to Dixon, as “a loyal Virginian who was driven […]

Immersing oneself in the early 19th century… Middleway, Jefferson Co., WV

September 29, 2013 by

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There’s this little village, off the beaten path, back in Jefferson County. To reach this place, I prefer taking Rt. 51 from Inwood, toward Charles Town… the old Middleway Pike. Now, there are a lot of places in the Shenandoah Valley where one can see buildings that predate the Civil War… lots. Yet, I don’t […]

More on literacy in antebellum Shenandoah – libraries, taxes and public schools

September 26, 2013 by

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Having spent more time tallying stats, it’s time to share a bit more regarding my thoughts on the antebellum literacy levels in the Shenandoah Valley… According to the 1850 census, at that time, the Shenandoah Valley had a total of four public libraries, with a total of 5,510 volumes. Those libraries could be found in only four out […]

The reach of religion in the Shenandoah Valley in 1860

September 15, 2013 by

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In part, my interest in looking into churches in the Shenandoah Valley is to see if there is any connection to the literacy rate. I’m also curious how the denominations reflect anything that may help me further in my understanding of Southern Unionism in the Valley. Though I don’t think I have anything that gives […]

A manifestation of Scott’s reflections, in the Valley

September 4, 2013 by

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I need to jump off this line of discussion about Sir Walter Scott in order to get to other topics pertaining to life in the early to mid 19th century Shenandoah Valley, but, I need to offer this post, and perhaps one other piece first. There’s a good deal about Scott’s influence on the 19th […]

The socially elite, Southern writers of the 19th century, and their legacy

September 3, 2013 by

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I just responded to a comment on my post from yesterday, and thought that I should raise my thoughts to the level of a post. Who can we point to (among Southern writers/authors of the 19th century), for having had the most influence on defining the ideology of the 19th century South as it existed […]

Mark Twain challenges the South’s love of Romantacism

September 2, 2013 by

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In reading early 19th century works which Southerners read… and wrote, I’m also fascinated by the influence that some say Sir Walter Scott had on the South. As we see in Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain abhorred the Romantic movement, and put the blame square on Scott… Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his […]

The Shenandoah’s navigation and commerce… and forward thinking

August 30, 2013 by

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While the literary world (readers and authors) of the Shenandoah Valley dominates my thinking recently, it’s necessary not to lose touch with the agriculture of the area. So, as part of my readings, I came across a really interesting (and lengthy) article that appears in the August 26, 1847 edition of the Virginia Free Press, titled “RIVER IMPROVEMENT”. […]

A reading and authoring (early 19th century) Shenandoah

August 28, 2013 by

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Back around the beginning of spring, I finally purchased a copy of Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860, by Michael O’Brien. The University of North Carolina Press makes the following pitch for the book: Looking over the period, O’Brien identifies a movement from Enlightenment ideas of order to a Romanticism concerned with the ambivalences […]

What’s the objective?

August 27, 2013 by

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For the (over) five years in which I’ve been blogging, I’ve focused mostly on the American Civil War. As the title of the blog suggests, however, I have room to roam whenever I get the whim. I don’t like to keep myself too “hemmed-in”. The title has given me enough flexibility that I feel comfortable moving in just […]