Browsing All Posts filed under »Antebellum Virginia«

Passion for history is good, but…

March 1, 2017 by

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While I haven’t taken my foundations in rhetoric course yet (it’s on the horizon… Fall 2017), I think I’ve got a good handle on how the three modes of persuasion in rhetoric play out in the writings of some people (and I’m especially interested in how some contemporary historians use rhetoric… letting their passions get […]

Premature Burials mentioned in Richmond newspapers (1849- July, 1854)

October 12, 2016 by

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In continuing to recognize Poe on the 167th anniversary of his death… and recognizing what may have been one of his greatest fears… I’ve combed through some of the antebellum newspapers of Richmond, Virginia, using the online source, Chronicling America, (I’ll be using my other online resources for some additional newspapers of interest) and, using the phrases “premature burial” and “buried alive”, I […]

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

October 4, 2016 by

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

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

September 6, 2016 by

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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

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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 […]

A recent acquisition with ties to a Virginia Unionist

November 1, 2015 by

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Though I usually limit myself to collecting titles written by residents of the Shenandoah Valley during the antebellum period, or those focused on the antebellum Shenandoah written after the fact by those who lived it, I do stray from that path from time to time. In one such instance, not too terribly long ago, I […]

Marion Harland reflects on “fear” of slave insurrection

October 17, 2015 by

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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

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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

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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

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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. […]

History in context(?): the ACS, “National racism” in the early 19th century, and our path forward

August 4, 2015 by

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While I continue to hash out details about the ACS, I’m certainly not blind to what we consider (under our modern lenses) “racist” views held in the actions of people in the past. The difference is, however, that I think I’m able to realize the difference in views between today and yesterday, as more properly evaluated within […]

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

August 3, 2015 by

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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 […]

More than just an ad: Mary Pegram’s School, Richmond

August 2, 2015 by

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Two blog posts in one day? Sure, why not… Spending some leisure time looking over my copies of Southern Literary Messenger this afternoon, I ran across a couple advertisements; and noting the names of people associated with the ads, I looked those names up on the Web. Some of the stuff I found was rather […]

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

August 1, 2015 by

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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

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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 […]