Browsing All Posts filed under »Antebellum Period«

Key phrase… “buried alive”, in 19th century newspapers

October 4, 2016 by


This week marks the 167th anniversary of the strange events leading up to the death of Edgar Allan Poe, and as Poe focused so often on people being buried alive, it seems fitting that I take a little time to examine what the newspapers reveal. Poe’s “The Premature Burial”, by the way, was published in […]

The Haunted House that wasn’t – Richmond Dispatch staff and their own “In Search Of” (1852)

October 4, 2016 by


Why not? It’s October, after all… I’m not quite sure if both James A. Corwardin (Proprietor of the Daily Dispatch) and Hugh R. Pleasants (Editor) took part, but, in September 1852, some of the staff (apparently) of the Daily Dispatch decided to visit a haunted house in Richmond, and report their findings (in the issue […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

“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 […]

In defense of Maryland Christianity… and other things. OTD, 1823

September 9, 2016 by


Update: I had to educate myself a little regarding early Maryland laws and a “Religious Test” I read about somewhere along the way, in finding the article below. It seems, at about this time, there was an argument being made in the state regarding non-Christians holding political office in Maryland. As early as 1819, there […]

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 […]

Marion Harland reflects on “fear” of slave insurrection

October 17, 2015 by


On this night 156 years ago, John Brown and several of his men held the small engine house in Harper’s Ferry. The contingent of Marines that successfully put an end to the “raid” would not arrive until the next day. Between this story and that of Gabriel’s Rebellion, and then later, Nat Turner’s Rebellion, I […]

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 […]

American Colonization Society: Growth of Auxiliaries, 1823-1828

August 7, 2015 by


Though I’m still gathering data, I figured I would go ahead and give something to consider, at least up to a point. As readers may recall, I presented some raw numbers on life members (as of 1847), and the places that these people represented doesn’t even begin to show how many places had active auxiliaries. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Recap: What I’m looking for with my examination of The American Colonization Society

July 25, 2015 by


Since my last blog post, I’ve been looking through my notes, starting to compile a couple lists… but, along the way, I’ve been distracted by a few findings that might be of interest to readers. Of course, my thinking, in going through records of the American Colonization Society (ACS), is that I might find something that […]

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 […]

“…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 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 […]

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 […]

James Kirke Paulding provides a window to the early nineteenth century Shenandoah

January 26, 2015 by


In digging backwards from the Civil War, through the literature that mentions the Shenandoah Valley, I came upon a great work written by James Kirke Paulding. In 1816, Paulding ventured into the Valley and apparently stuck around a bit, providing some details as to what he encountered. So, what is the value of reading experiences […]

An Antebellum snapshot of “The Tuleyries”

January 3, 2015 by


Note to the reader: Please, if visiting the Virginia Arboretum, remember… “The Tuleyries” is private property and the grounds are not open for visits. All of the photos you see in this post were taken from a distance. Thanks. Following up from my walk this past Sunday… For starters… let’s get the name issue cleared […]

A walk at “Tuleyries”

December 28, 2014 by


Earlier today, circumstances were such that I had an opportunity to catch a glimpse at a sunrise. Granted, it was overcast, but watching the dawning of a new day can still be pleasant enough. My destination… the Virginia Arboretum (aka, Blandy Experimental Farm). Why? For one, it’s free… and open, literally, from dawn to dusk. […]

One account of Christmas, as described in a piece from 1857

December 15, 2014 by


One of the things that I find fascinating is “reading between the lines” of novels and poetry of the 19th century, and finding tidbits regarding life (whether real or exaggerated) at that time. For example, consider this extract from John Esten Cooke’s “Our Christmas at The Pines”, which appeared in the December, 1857 issue of […]