Browsing All Posts filed under »slavery«

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 […]

“Poor deluded African, he leaves his kind Master…”

January 29, 2014 by

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Note: The post got ahead of me, just a bit. Prior to posting this I planned to add one more comment… which I’ve since added at the end of this post. From page 1, column 2 of Staunton’s Republican Vindicator, January 29, 1864: We have been informed by a gentleman who has lately returned from Winchester […]

Grain, whiskey and a question of sovereignty – Shenandoah, January 1864

January 25, 2014 by

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Note: Conscious of the typical in-and-out Web surfer, I figured I better give a heads-up that there’s a long line of quotes that follow below, extracted from the Staunton Spectator… and as regular readers know, this isn’t typically my style. I was just fascinated by the series of whiskey articles that appeared in the paper, […]

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 […]

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 Civil War, “Puritan influence” and Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”

December 30, 2013 by

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First, I sincerely hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas and holiday season. I meant to post prior to Christmas, but time got away from me. So, back at it, then… This is a different sort of post, but… I’m in a discussion elsewhere, and this is the result. I’ve heard, on more than one occasion, where […]

Does the South have more ties to New England-focused Thanksgiving than realized?

November 26, 2013 by

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Plimoth (Plymouth)… or Jamestown… or Berkeley Hundred? A few years ago, I covered the complexities behind “who had the first Thanksgiving”, but there’s something else worth noting. Despite a mindset among some that seems to distance both the Massachusetts Bay colonists from the Virginia Colony colonists, the lines that seem to have only been blurred over time, […]

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 […]

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 […]

The battle for and against Southern Heritage

August 21, 2013 by

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There is a struggle that exists (and thrives) that continues to feed misconceptions, and I can’t help but cringe when I hear either argument. There are those who say that they defend Southern Heritage… but that is usually limited to a fraction of the heritage that did, in fact, make up the South. Usually, it’s […]

Legacy lost – Valley men of the 54th Massachusetts at Wagner

July 17, 2013 by

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Tomorrow marks the day made famous by the movie Glory. It might be that we are only truly aware of it, on a larger scale, because of the movie (update: Craig’s got an excellent piece on the fight… and a word to the wise, just in case the movie made you think otherwise… the 54th wasn’t the […]

Do the little things matter?

June 8, 2013 by

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It My concern in bringing this up might seem trivial to some, but it’s not. I assure you. Just stop for a minute and consider a couple of things… keeping in mind, of course, the Civil War era. When someone is identified as an abolitionist… what do you envision? When someone is identified as being […]

Who was free black Isaac Dunn?

May 8, 2013 by

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There are certain things that sit there… in my mind… unanswered in my quest to understand better my ancestors and the people around them… and this is one of them. He appears but once, as far as I can tell, in the census records. Isaac Dunn was listed, on September 6, 1860, as residing with […]

He gave them victories

May 1, 2013 by

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May 1, 2013… so begins the Sesqui of the Battle of Chancellorsville. As such, I’ve been thinking… What if Stonewall Jackson lived to command beyond Chancellorsville? Frankly, any forward speculation of his possible performances in battles after Chancellorsville is subject to so many factors that it’s not even funny. As such, forward speculation is a […]

Interpreting USCTs in places where they were not…

March 10, 2013 by

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Recently, there’s been a flurry of posts about USCTs (see Craig Swain’s, here; Emmanuel Dabney’s, here; Kevin Levin’s, here; and Jimmy Price’s, here), and, as I’m in the process of compiling a list of USCTs born in Shenandoah Valley counties, I find it timely. Should the interpretation of USCTs be incorporated into places in which they were not… […]

Christian F. Laise’s ties to Berkeley County’s freedmen and Unionists

February 17, 2013 by

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A couple of years ago there was a good article in The Journal (Martinsburg, W.V.), in which postwar (1880s, actually) efforts by Christian Frederick Laise were part of the focus. Berkeley County has an African-American area listed in the National Register. After their freedom at the end of the Civil War, many former slaves had […]

Another perspective on Emancipation Day

January 1, 2013 by

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It didn’t dawn on me until I read a post on Facebook… Yes, I know it’s the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and I’ve been keenly aware of that since midnight. Some see the document and its reach as meaningless, but those who do so seem to look at it more from the surface… […]

A Confederate general’s daughter embraces New England

November 21, 2012 by

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Not a story about a Southern Unionist… well, actually… there are connections, but… Civil War-related… check… On the eve of Thanksgiving… works even better. Would it seem odd that a daughter of a Confederate general would write about… the children of the Mayflower? If you think so,well… that particular work was only near the end […]

Not ready for prime time Rev War history… here in the Valley?

October 27, 2012 by

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When folks think about Rev War stuff in the Winchester area they might think of Washington’s Office (though it’s French & Indian War), Daniel Morgan, Lord Fairfax (as one might expect… a Loyalist during the Rev War) and so on. Just to the east, in Clarke County… between Boyce and Berryville… folks get another dose of […]

A larger project in the works

October 25, 2012 by

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Obviously, I’ve not been writing a great deal over the past few weeks. For one, I’ve been struggling with a bout of writer’s block. On top of that I’m battling with content… what I want to put in a blog, and what I want to put in a book. Yup, a book is in the […]

Schmucker’s ties to the Shenandoah Valley Lutheran community, and his abolitionist interests

September 28, 2012 by

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This past weekend, reader/blogger Vince (of Lancaster at War) suggested something that sounded worth further investigation… and I was soon on the hunt, looking to see how Samuel Simon Schmucker may have impacted Lutheran ministers in the Shenandoah Valley. Since Schmucker was head of the Gettysburg Seminary during the decades (to be specific, 1826-1864) leading-up […]

German influence in the Shenandoah Valley… even into the Civil War

September 23, 2012 by

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I posed a question yesterday… But, how far back, before the 1850s, is it necessary to take such a study? Of course, I meant, specifically… how the varying sentiments during the Civil War era South came to be… and how they might be traceable  to earlier points in time. Again, as one who concentrates heavily […]

Catching-up: day 3 of the Harpers Ferry-Antietam Sesqui weekend

September 15, 2012 by

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Finding myself adequately worn-out after the hike up Maryland Heights, on Thursday… and then the “breakout” tour in Harpers Ferry, last night, I haven’t been able to keep pace with blog posts. So, drafting a hasty one before heading out this morning. It’s been great so far. The hike up Maryland Heights… with a friend/co-worker […]

The alarm goes out in Clear Spring, 150 years ago today

September 10, 2012 by

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Following-up on my post from Saturday, I look back again at the village of Clear Spring. I have nothing to show how my ancestors felt… there and in nearby Four Locks. Instead, I rely on what is available… not so much as a reflection of what they also felt, but to add another dimension to the […]