Browsing All Posts filed under »Antebellum culture of the Shenandoah Valley«

“a runaway… a negro man who calls himself PHIL”, OTD, 1814

September 28, 2016 by


From the front page of the Sept. 28, 1814 edition of the Maryland Herald and Hagers-town Weekly Advertiser, we have a listing announcing the runaway of a slave (out of the lower Shenandoah Valley) owned by Ferdinand (aka Ferdinando) Fairfax: While this may just appear to be yet another listing for another runaway slave, give it […]

Discussing secession, OTD, 1851

September 23, 2016 by


The following clip comes from the Spirit of Jefferson (Charles Town, VA), from 165 years ago, today. Of course, reading through this, there are some lines that seem to see a decade ahead. I was particularly interested in the remarks near the end… Our blood ran cold as he described an army devastating this Valley… […]

“Spirit Rappings” in Port Republic

September 20, 2016 by


Not an OTD piece, today, but rather one which just caught my eye when looking for an OTD piece. While some might think it’s just a little early for ghost stories, this piece from the Jan. 21, 1854 issue of the Richmond Dispatch is still entertaining. Clearly, the author had a little fun, tying what was […]

A decade of Southern Unionist studies

September 19, 2016 by


After receiving a comment last night on a recent post, and while driving into work this morning, I realized that, for over a decade, I’ve been involved in the study of Southern Unionists in the Shenandoah Valley. It was ten years ago this fall when I started writing my thesis on Southern Unionism and disaffected […]

“Perfidious Wretch!” – The developing story of Mr. Dorsey horsewhipping Dr. Gordon, OTD, 1840

September 10, 2016 by


I came across a number of articles in the Virginia Free Press pertaining to an altercation between one A.G. Gordon and Dr. H. Dorsey, both… I think… were from Charles Town, (West) Va. There’s a lot going on in the exchanges I’ve found in the various clippings (spanning about four issues, so far), so, I’ll […]

Following the drinkin’ gourd? OTD, 1831

September 8, 2016 by


The clip below is taken from the Torch Light and Advertiser (Hagerstown, Maryland), from September 8, 1831, but the subject of the clipping is a slave named Paul Taylor, who escaped from Frederick County, in the Shenandoah Valley. As he made his escape on August 13, by the time this appeared in the newspaper, he […]

Poke Root poultice for snake bite, OTD, 1826

September 7, 2016 by


News had an interesting way in making it up and down the Valley… and even into the next Valley over. Take, for example this clipping which notes how an article about a Poke Root poultice, originally published in the Staunton Spectator and later republished in the Torch Light and Public Advertiser (Hagerstown, Md.), saved a […]

All was not innocence and harmony (OTD, Augusta County, 1852)

September 7, 2016 by


I’m thinking that… in between blog posts which take time to construct, I’m going to start posting brief “On This Day” (OTD) material, shedding some light on news within the Shenandoah Valley (and, perhaps, the Cumberland Valley, to offer a chance for comparative analysis), during the antebellum. The hope is to provide a look at what life was really like […]

If you like an interpretation of history, why not also find the flaws in it?

September 6, 2016 by


Lately, in the midst of the arguments being made about standing for the National Anthem, I’ve seen a fair number of folks attach themselves to an interpretation of some aspect of history and then attempt to defend that position (actually, it’s more a matter of them going on the offensive, using that interpretation as if […]

Selling Col. R.K. Meade’s livestock (1833)

April 26, 2016 by


The title of this post might lack the hook that would draw in a crowd, but that shouldn’t detract. For those who are truly curious about what antebellum life was like in the Valley (and might be well-acquainted with the area of the Valley in which this piece discusses), this piece offers an opportunity to […]

Which has greater value – Literary Product or Revealed Intellectual Process?

October 26, 2015 by


Not long ago, I ran across an article (2011) from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, in which the author (Kirk Richardson) seems to have minimized the significance of an early Virginia author. Alone [the first published book (1854) by Marion Harland, aka Mary Virginia Terhune] is a lot like other sentimental novels of the mid nineteenth-century; it’s […]

A placemarker in my considerations of the American Colonization Society

August 12, 2015 by


For those who have continued to follow my ramblings through old annual reports of the American Colonization Society, I’ve got a little more to follow. I’ve skipped around a bit between the 1820s and the 1850s, and looking at a few other resources at my disposal, I found something worthwhile from the 1850s regarding the […]

Opposing another form of ignorance? Finding value in the antebellum South

August 8, 2015 by


When glancing over my bookshelves last night, I pulled a book which I ordered about a year ago, yet had not yet taken time to read. The reason I purchased it was because the author spent time in the book, providing an argument about Southern antebellum authors who went against the grain of many other […]

John Pendleton Kennedy and Washington Irving on slavery encountered in the Shenandoah

August 3, 2015 by


While I continue to work on that list of auxiliaries within the American Colonization Society… some observations from another item of interest. It might come as a surprise to some that the author of some of America’s original classics journeyed to the Shenandoah Valley (on more than one occasion, in fact) in the 1850s. While […]

Sunday morning in the Shenandoah: The “Natty B”

August 2, 2015 by


There are pieces of art from the antebellum era that capture a romance that is impossible to find today. While Hermann Meyer’s work was just one from that time period, it offers a portrayal of the Natural Bridge that I appreciate most. Of course, what it portrays is a time before European arrival in the […]

In the wake of Nat Turner – further encouragement to the American Colonization Society?

August 1, 2015 by


I find what follows to be worthy of introduction into the discussion about the American Colonization Society. How did the Nat Turner Rebellion impact the efforts of the ACS? Perhaps more importantly, what did the discussions of 1831/32 mean to Virginians by 1861? You’ll note that I link freely to Encyclopedia Virginia… a rich resource […]

Marion Harland recalls some election tunes from 1844

July 31, 2015 by


While I spend considerable time sifting through early literature produced about the antebellum Shenandoah Valley (produced both from within and without the Valley) I’ve also found a favorite author outside the Valley who doesn’t provide perspective on Valley life… but on antebellum life in Virginia. Marion Harland (Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune), in fact, tells more […]

Projecting the financial costs and gains of colonizing emancipated slaves

July 21, 2015 by


This is the one instance in this series, where I’ll allow the pamphlet’s authors to speak for themselves. What did they see as both the financial costs and gains in colonizing emancipated slaves? Captain Paul Cuffee, from actual experiment, estimated the expense of transporting free person of colour to Africa, at 60 dollars each. The […]

Encouraged discussion about Confederate monument removal… expedites monument removal?

July 20, 2015 by


One of the arguments I’ve read over the last week or two, is about the fight over monuments. Wait, now… let me be clear. It’s this part of that discussion… Does encouraging discussion of monument removal open a forum that encourages monument removal. Does it, perhaps, even increase the probability that monuments WILL BE removed? […]

“…our obligation to repair the injuries inflicted on Africa”

July 18, 2015 by


Picking-up from the post of July 15… today’s transcription covers 1) the willingness of colonists to be removed to the proposed colony, 2) the argument against the mindset of those who considered Africans as a lower race, and 3) various features of the new colony, demonstrating its suitability in climate and resources. But it is […]

The Confederate war effort: “…moved to a common end, but by different… and inconsistent reasons”

July 16, 2015 by


Another break from the transcriptions, just for a little while… but still related. I recently came across (again) a quote I thought rather telling. It actually came from another transcription I completed for this blog, with a newspaper article focused on a discussion Lincoln had with representatives from the border states… and, as it so […]

To redress wrongs or become “accomplices to the crime”

July 15, 2015 by


And, continuing from the post from a couple of days ago… Oh, and please feel free to take advantage of the hyperlinks I’ve provided below… you might be interested in additional information. What follows is not necessarily original to the American Colonization Society. In fact, I recall an episode of American Experience in which Thomas […]

“To prepare the way of the gradual emancipation and colonization of our slaves.”

July 11, 2015 by


Carrying over from the last post… this next run of text from the pamphlet continues to provide a history of the American Colonization Society. As I mentioned before, I feel as if the Auxiliary of Frederick County was trying to explain itself, and perhaps gather more financial support (if not simply support in general). We […]

Background of the new colony for “free persons of colour”

July 10, 2015 by


Continuing from yesterday’s post… While I’m still in a period of “gaining a better understanding” when it comes to the proposed colonization of “free persons of colour” (see the grouping of books I’ve acquired in the last month or so, to the right… and you can also see that this study involves the study of […]

“we deprecate the horrors of slavery”

July 9, 2015 by


An Update: Please see an added comment at the bottom of this post. Thanks.   Now… as to where those quotes originated (those I used in yesterday’s post)… They came from The Annual Report of the Auxiliary Society of Frederick County, VA. For Colonizing the Free People of Colour in the United States (1820). I […]

“That slavery is an evil no one can deny”

July 8, 2015 by


As we look to the past, we might be familiar with wording similar to what follows: Africa, the pride of antiquity, and the original seat of the arts and sciences, has for three hundred years been visited with every act of oppression which could be devised by the tyranny or injustice of mankind. After improving […]

A Southern Unionist goes home.

June 16, 2015 by


By far, one of my favorite blogging experiences of the Sesqui was posting David Hunter Strother’s accounts of the early war (before he joined the Union army), in real time. It should be no surprise, therefore, that I often find myself returning to Strother for the rich content he left behind. Interestingly, in addition to […]

Present for the last gasps… on the 150th of Five Forks

April 1, 2015 by


I thought about how this post might come together, and I think my reflections are on both the meaning of the day, and on the manner in which I’ve taken-in a lot of the Sesqui. So… … it was on this day, 150 years ago that the Army of Northern Virginia suffered a critical defeat […]

A different contribution to the “Sesqui landscape”, on the last days of the war

March 26, 2015 by


It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine… I subscribe to a number of different Civil War-related blogs, sites, Facebook pages, etc., and over the last week or so, I’ve watched as many have focused on the closing fights… at places like Bentonville and Fort Stedman. While even I noted the anniversary of the attack on Stedman (not in […]

“Be Kind”

February 11, 2015 by


I really need to get back to J.K. Paulding, and hope to do so soon, but in the meantime… Lacking in my knowledge of the Crusades (apart from the romantic efforts of antebellum Virginians to recapture a little of that), I spent some time recently (thanks to a recent event that made news), looking at a […]