Browsing All Posts filed under »Shenandoah Valley history«

Huckleberries, mountain fires, and meaning

May 14, 2016 by

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Perhaps it’s the mountain fires we’ve had in the Shenandoah Valley recently, but I’ve found myself thinking about something more commonly associated with summer… that incredible wild fruit known as the humble huckleberry. What do mountain fires have to do with huckleberries? Well, ultimately fires help huckleberry crops, of course. Yet, these raging mountain fires […]

Special “representation” at the Carlisle Blue-Gray Reunion of 1881

May 10, 2016 by

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Yesterday, an article (“South Dakota tribe seeks children’s century-old remains from War College site“)* popped up in my news feed which, ironically, followed some information I came across just last week regarding “Indian School” attendees at the Blue-Gray reunion at Carlisle, in September 1881. That reunion was actually the second in two months, the first […]

Bartlett’s Harper’s Ferry art… in the style of the Hudson River School?

May 9, 2016 by

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Among the earliest (and perhaps my favorite) pieces portraying Harper’s Ferry is by William Henry Bartlett, looking toward the Shenandoah River from Jefferson’s Rock. I’ve mentioned the piece once before in a post from 2012, and having used the image several times in my personal Facebook background, commenters twice remarked on how the print is remarkably reminiscent of the “Hudson River School“. But… was Bartlett […]

Faulkner explains his Confederate service

April 30, 2016 by

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150 years ago this past week, a letter (though dated April 13) from Charles J. Faulkner (he appears in a few of my blog posts from the past) appeared in the Charles Town, West Virginia newspaper, detailing his “connexion” with the Confederate army. At first I thought, perhaps, he was replying to those who doubted any […]

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 […]

The SPLC’s report… more “purposed” opinion than history?

April 22, 2016 by

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I saw, today, that the Southern Poverty Law Center issued their “Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy” report, yesterday. Anyone who has watched the SPLC over the years knows how they are inspired and, to be clear, they simply don’t recognize complexities in the story of anyone associated with the Southern Confederacy. Of course, it’s […]

150 years ago this week – properties listed for sale in the Rockingham Register

March 5, 2016 by

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Does a listing of properties for sale, as of March 1866, tell us something about the Shenandoah Valley and the inability of some to recover from war? From the March 2, 1866 issue of the Rockingham Register (Harrisonburg):      

Northern aid to the Shenandoah Valley (1865)

March 2, 2016 by

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  Scanning through some (relatively) local postwar newspapers, I ran across the mention of a relief society for the Shenandoah Valley… that’s right, Northern aid for civilians of the Shenandoah Valley in the wake of “The Burning”. The only article (in Hagerstown’s Herald and Torch) available to me via newspaper.com, about this society, dated to […]

The “battle” for the eastern panhandle of West Virginia

February 29, 2016 by

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I posed a question yesterday, via Facebook, asking if it was only historians who wondered what Berkeley and Jefferson counties would be like if they were returned to Virginia in the years immediately after the Civil War. Of course, I have my doubts that it is only historians that wonder about such things, but I suspect, […]

Looking forward in the Shenandoah (Jan. 1866)

February 19, 2016 by

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Perusing some Valley newspapers recently, I ran across an interesting article in the Spirit of Jefferson (Charles Town) which did not reflect on the devastation left by war, but on the future of the Valley and its residents. There is no portion of the whole agricultural district of the Union richer than the Valley of […]

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

October 26, 2015 by

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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 […]

Just having missed a “Nathaniel Parker Willis, of the Shenandoah”

October 4, 2015 by

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In my pursuit of the “Shenandoah Literari” of the nineteenth century, I encounter some unusual twists and turns in the history of the Valley. One family’s “brush” with the area’s history, for example, presents an interesting “what if”. Now, I’m not really a fan of “what ifs” in regard to history, but I do find […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Sunday morning in the Shenandoah: The “Natty B”

August 2, 2015 by

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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

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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 […]

Numbers of American Colonization Society Life Members, as of 1849

July 29, 2015 by

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While I’ve got a good deal of work ahead of me in creating meaningful lists and tables, the list below provides the numbers of life members of the American Colonization Society as of 1849. Regretfully, I think, as it stands alone, this list is of limited value… though I think it gives us a little […]

To redress wrongs or become “accomplices to the crime”

July 15, 2015 by

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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 […]

The Confederate Flag… what some people seem to fail to realize

July 13, 2015 by

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I’m going to go off topic for just a bit… Still sitting back, watching all that’s taking place… Anyway, I drove down a long country back road in the Shenandoah Valley yesterday. It’s not unusual to see an occasional Confederate flag… not at all. Before mid-June, you’d zip past it in a car and might not […]

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

July 11, 2015 by

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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

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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

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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

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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, pt. 2.

June 17, 2015 by

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Continuing with Porte Crayon’s “Home”… but first, as mentioned in the blog post on Tuesday, keep in mind that Crayon (David Hunter Strother) lays out a story that differs from his actual experiences of returning home to Martinsburg and then later, Berkeley Springs. Still, one has to wonder where reality might intersect with fiction. We […]

A Southern Unionist goes home.

June 16, 2015 by

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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 […]

With the end of the Sesqui, a return to meatier content?

June 11, 2015 by

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It’s been nearly two months since my last blog posts, and one might think, with the end of the Sesquicentennial (don’t split hairs with me… I know there’s more that can be considered “on the calendar”, this year… and one event of interest to me is on the horizon), so too came the end to this blog. Not […]

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

April 1, 2015 by

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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

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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 […]

Connecting a signed book with an actor, the Alamo, the Shenandoah… and Lincoln

March 5, 2015 by

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With what has become an unintentional series of “every other year” posts (see here from 2011, and here, from 2013) about the Alamo, since 2011… the timing seemed right for this post… Just this past year, I was looking to add a book to my collection… one written by John Pendleton Kennedy (1795-1870) that might also […]

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