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Posts by Homer_J_Simpson

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  • August 1856

    08/23/2016 4:41:49 AM PDT · 92 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Book report!

     photo nathan bedford forrest bio_zpshw7lgpzq.jpg

    This biography has a different character than the others I have begun due to the fact that the historical record of Forrest’s life is skimpier than the rest. The biographer had to rely on the public record, mostly composed of legal notices, to trace the future general’s early life. That record is augmented by personal recollections of people who knew Forrest and had their memories recorded much later. Of course, there is also plenty of unverifiable legend surrounding this famous man. Jack Hurst has done a good job of sifting the available information and piecing together a picture of the origins of Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    Forrest’s early life resembles Abraham Lincoln’s in the respect that both were born into harsh and primitive circumstances with families reliant upon subsistence farming for survival. Forrest, like Lincoln, received about 6 months of formal education. Unlike Lincoln, Forrest was fully satisfied with that and never yearned for more schooling. One result of that lack is that Forrest had no written correspondence with friends, relatives or business associates. That type of correspondence is a great source of material for biographers of more literary personalities.

    Forrest was born July 13, 1821 and named for his paternal grandfather (Nathan) and the Tennessee county in which he was born (Bedford). A twin sister was also born, but she died young of typhoid fever, as did two other sisters and two of his eight younger brothers.

    When he was a teen the family moved to Hernando, Mississippi. Like other people I have read about Forrest travelled south to take part in the Mexican War. In his case the effort came to naught because he did it in 1841, years before the war started. In order to earn return passage home he split rails. Around this time he began independent life by going into business selling agricultural products, such as seed and farm implements. This entailed becoming a slave trader in a small way. In 1852, seeing where the real money was to be made, he moved north to Memphis and went into the slave trading business full time.

    The book then provides a good description of the sordid business of trafficking in human beings as it existed in the south in the first half of the nineteenth century. According to Forrest mythology he was especially humane to the slaves who passed through his hands, but Hurst shows that he probably was no better or worse than others in the trade. Forrest was a careful and thrifty businessman where his inventory was concerned. In connection with the slave business Forrest began to acquire farm lands as well as commercial property in Memphis. During slow times in the slave trading business he kept his stock productively occupied by raising cotton on his own property.

    One way my knowledge is being enhanced during my reading – and this applies to all the books I have started – is that I am forced to refer to maps to understand the geography from the eastern mountains to the Mississippi Valley. The Mississippi River and other waterways play a vital role in the history we are covering and I find I don’t know as much about their courses as I thought. This deficiency is slowly being corrected.

    Other vital events in Forrest’s pre-Civil War life were his marriage to Mary Ann Montgomery in 1845 and the death of a 6-year-old daughter, Fanny, in 1854. As Forrest becomes an increasingly prominent citizen of Memphis he will enter city politics, but that comes post-1856 and we will cover it later.

    One part of the character of Nathan Bedford Forrest that became apparent even as a child is that he is not a person to be trifled with. Whether it is the panther that attacked and injured his mother when he was a boy or someone impugning his courage as a city councilman, he does not take injury sitting down.

    I am only to page 67 of “Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography,” but based on the quality of what I have read so far I would recommend it to other readers.

  • August 1856

    08/19/2016 2:58:08 PM PDT · 89 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to colorado tanker
    For Sumner to take three years to recover he must have been beaten to a bloody pulp.

    From "Bleeding Kansas," (Etcheson):

    Brooks approached the Massachusetts senator and struck him over the head and shoulders with a cane. As Sumner struggled under the rain of blows, he wrenched his desk from its bolts. Several minutes elapsed before astonished congressmen restrained Brooks. Having sustained severe head injuries, Sumner did not return to the Senate for two and a half years. . . . In fact, as he had broken his cane over Sumner's head Southerners sent him replacements, including one engraved, "Hit Him Again."

  • August 1856

    08/19/2016 4:38:55 AM PDT · 84 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from August 3 (reply #5)

     photo 0819-wts_zpsgd5blcem.jpg

    James Lee McDonough, William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country, A Life

  • August 1856

    08/18/2016 3:32:03 PM PDT · 83 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to colorado tanker

    Soon to be two of the worst presidents of the 19th century. The competition is getting stiff.

  • August 1856

    08/18/2016 4:41:46 AM PDT · 80 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from August 16 (reply #78) .

    1

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    2

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    Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era

  • August 1856

    08/16/2016 6:00:34 AM PDT · 78 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from August 7 (reply #33)

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    Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era

  • August 1856

    08/15/2016 8:18:15 AM PDT · 77 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to rdl6989

    I have a post from “Bleeding Kansas” for tomorrow, which includes a paragraph on the attack on Titus’s “fort.” It includes a drawing of men fighting in front of a cabin, but doesn’t mention that the cabin is the fort.

  • August 1856

    08/14/2016 6:05:07 PM PDT · 74 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to henkster

    I understand we were close to have exterminated the mosquitoes responsible for malaria before the DDT ban allowed them to return. Millions of lives have been lost as a result.

  • August 1856

    08/14/2016 4:03:03 PM PDT · 72 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick; PeterPrinciple
    It sounds as if the author did not need to worry about yellow fever transmission in his particular situation, then.

    Was it known in 1856 how yellow fever was transmitted? I recall something about that being discovered when the Panama Canal was dug much later. (Found this at wikipedia)

    "Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor and scientist, first proposed in 1881 that yellow fever might be transmitted by mosquitoes rather than direct human contact.[74][75] Since the losses from yellow fever in the Spanish–American War in the 1890s were extremely high, Army doctors began research experiments with a team led by Walter Reed, composed of doctors James Carroll, Aristides Agramonte, and Jesse William Lazear. They successfully proved Finlay's ″mosquito hypothesis″. Yellow fever was the first virus shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes. The physician William Gorgas applied these insights and eradicated yellow fever from Havana. He also campaigned against yellow fever during the construction of the Panama Canal, after a previous effort on the part of the French failed (in part due to mortality from the high incidence of yellow fever and malaria, which killed many workers)."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_fever#History

  • August 1856

    08/14/2016 7:13:15 AM PDT · 66 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from August 13 (reply #35) .

    August 14. Nothing new today but my own virtuous simplicity of manners. Yellow fever stock is falling like Nicaragua or Lucifer, son of the morning. None of it in town, and fewer cases at Quarantine. Per contra, the most astounding and terrific legends of its prevalence at Bath, New Utrecht, and Fort Hamilton; how everybody is running away, and no one lives there any more but people in the black vomit stage who are too much prostrated to run; how you can nose the poisoned air of those villages a mile before you reach them; how all the dogs and cats are saffron colored, and so forth. But men are very susceptible of panic when the word epidemic is whispered to them. On the Battery tonight, the sudden recollection that the cool sea-breeze I was enjoying came from somewhere near the Quarantine over nine miles of moonlit saltwater, quickened my walk for a moment.

    The Diary of George Templeton Strong, Edited by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, Abridged by Thomas J. Pressly

  • August 1856

    08/13/2016 5:21:04 PM PDT · 52 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick
    Mr. Strong has a very fine turn of phrase in his descriptions.

    I have really enjoyed preparing his entries for posting. I have gotten through September. He has more than once had me cracking up in the midst of a transcription or scan prep. I have decided to acquire the complete 4 volume set of his diaries as soon as there is room on my Visa card. I don't have much going on in 1857-58 and my abridged version of the Strong diaries doesn't include those years. Okay, the Lincoln-Douglas debates are in '58, but not until August.

  • August 1856

    08/13/2016 5:07:23 AM PDT · 35 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    I’ve decided that George T. Strong was something of a New York hipster lawyer. The current issue of Harper’s magazine mentions the water cure hotels of Brattleboro in the lead article (see page 9 of the post above), and now here is our man, making the scene. We will see further evidence supporting my assessment.

    The introduction to this diary entry mentions Ellie, who is Ellen Ruggles Strong, wife of the diarist. Mr. Ruggles is Samuel B. Ruggles, Strong’s father-in-law and a prominent New Yorker. I don’t know who Miss Rosalie is yet. G.T. Strong was born in 1820, so he is now 36. The couple had a child that died in 1849, when Ellie Strong nearly died herself from some illness. A son was born in 1851 and another boy came along just last May, so the Strongs had a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old baby on their vacation in Vermont - HJS.

    Continued from August 5 (reply #27).

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    The Diary of George Templeton Strong, Edited by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, Abridged by Thomas J. Pressly

  • August 1856

    08/07/2016 7:15:07 AM PDT · 33 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
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    Continued from July 28 (reply #62)

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    Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era

  • August 1856

    08/05/2016 7:35:46 PM PDT · 31 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to Tax-chick

    I’m going to enjoy following Mr. Strong’s diary.

  • August 1856

    08/05/2016 5:03:28 AM PDT · 27 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from August 4 (reply #20).

     photo 0805-gts_zpsouc1xxow.jpg

    The Diary of George Templeton Strong, Edited by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, Abridged by Thomas J. Pressly

  • August 1856

    08/04/2016 4:33:53 AM PDT · 20 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from August 1 (reply #4)

    August 4, MONDAY. Our brethren of the South are surely mad. Think of the Virginian Wise telling Mrs. Ritchie (Mowatt)* who told Mr. Ruggles, who told me, that “if Fremont were elected, he would never be permitted to reach Washington.” Their brag and bluster can’t well be paralleled, unless by a Chinese edict meant to intimidate the foreign barbarians. One thing is very clear and very important, that in Kentucky and Missouri and possibly in Virginia itself, there are germs of insurrection among the “poor trash,” the plebeians who don’t own niggers. Such a movement once formed and recognized must triumph sooner or later, and nigger emancipation and the downfall of the nigger-breeding (and mulatto-breeding) aristocracy of those states must follow.

    Poor Edward Curtis is dead, after two years and a half of seclusion in the Flushing Asylum, during which there has never been any hope of his restoration or material improvement.

    *Henry A. Wise, governor of Virginia 1856-1860, and a man of fire-eating propensities; Anna Cora [Ogden] Mowatt, the noted actress, who in 1854 married William F. Ritchie, editor of the Richmond Enquirer.

    The Diary of George Templeton Strong, Edited by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, Abridged by Thomas J. Pressly

  • August 1856

    08/03/2016 8:23:42 AM PDT · 14 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to henkster
    I’d like to continue with the excerpts of Sherman’s biography.

    That is the plan, but they will be few and far between for a few years.

  • August 1856

    08/03/2016 8:13:34 AM PDT · 11 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to henkster

    I don’t think that is an ad. They seem to end each issue with the fashion feature. In fact, they must have subsisted on subscription and news stand sales because I haven’t seen any advertising at all.

  • August 1856

    08/03/2016 8:08:47 AM PDT · 9 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to FreedomPoster; major-pelham

    Do’h. Vermont, not NH. One of those little tall skinny states.

  • August 1856

    08/03/2016 8:06:58 AM PDT · 8 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to FreedomPoster; major-pelham

    If they are photos of places along the Connecticut River as described in the Harper’s article they are in Massachusetts or, more likely, New Hampshire.

  • August 1856

    08/03/2016 5:26:18 AM PDT · 5 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Book report!

     photo william tecumseh sherman_zpsgorodat9.jpg

    Of the few biographies I have now begun, I rank James L. McDonough’s of William Tecumseh Sherman below David Herbert Donald’s ‘Lincoln,’ Jean Edward Smith’s ‘Grant,’ and William J. Cooper Jr.’s ‘Jefferson Davis, American.’ I won’t compare it to the Douglas Southall Freeman bio of Lee because that one is an abridgement. I don’t give ‘William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country’ low marks because of the scholarship. That seems to me perfectly adequate. It is because the author presents his information in a way that doesn’t flow as well as it does in the other. I suppose I could sum up my opinion by saying that McDonough is not as talented a writer as the other authors. I might not have arrived at that conclusion except that McDonough occasionally injects his opinions on matters not related to the subject as a way of explaining some point or other. I was relieved to learn that this tendency is mostly restricted to the early chapters.

    That does not include the prologue. McDonough first introduces us to Sherman at the conclusion of the first day of the battle at Shiloh in April 1862. He describes briefly how Sherman made a serious mistake in allowing himself to be surprised by the confederate attack, but then rallied and took the steps necessary to prevent a union defeat that day. McDonough repeats the celebrated exchange between Sherman and Grant that night:

    “Well Grant,” said Sherman, “we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?” “Yes,” replied Grant; “lick ‘em tomorrow, though.”

    The author explains that Grant was not just exhibiting bravado or attempting to shore up his subordinate’s morale, but was giving a cool estimate of the situation based on the facts.

    This may have been the first time I have read a detailed historical account of a civil war battle, and the way McDonough does it had me hooked from the beginning. I may yet find myself tramping around an old battlefield or two looking for familiar landmarks and retracing the action. That gives me some confidence that McDonough will stick to business when we get to the war years and he can focus on his true area of expertise.

    Sherman was born February 8, 1820 in Lancaster, Ohio to Charles Robert and Mary Sherman. His father named him Tecumseh – without the William – because he was an admirer of the Shawnee warrior. The William was added at either one of his two baptisms; the first Presbyterian and then as a Roman Catholic. (As far as RC doctrine goes, the second one was redundant.) Sherman’s young siblings pronounced Tecumseh as “Cump,” and that became his enduring family nickname. Sherman’s father died when he was 9 and the boy was raised by Charles Sherman’s close friend Thomas Ewing. Ewing was influential in national Whig politics and would become Treasury Secretary in the administration of William Henry Harrison. 20-year-old William T. Sherman found the election of 1840 so unsavory that he was permanently turned against politics as a career and politicians in general. He harbored similar opinions about lawyers and bankers. Ironically, he would eventually work as a banker and in a law firm.

    Ewing helped Sherman get an appointment to West Point, where he graduated high in the class of 1840. His pre-Civil War military career did not proceed like those of the other West Point Grads I have read about. He spent no time on the north or northwestern frontier centered around the Mississippi River Valley. Instead he stayed in the southeast for an extended period. His first assignments were to Florida bases, where he took part in a sluggish guerrilla war against aimed at displacing the Seminole Indians from their homeland in the Florida peninsula and moving them to the west. He then served in coastal defenses at Mobile Bay and in June 1842 at Ft. Moultrie in Charleston Harbor. In the latter he was attached to Co. G, 3rd Artillery, commanded by Capt. Robert Anderson. Sherman considered that type of duty tedious and was relieved when hostilities with Mexico commenced and he was ordered to California.

    Sherman sailed from New York in July 1846 and after a grueling 6-month journey arrived at Monterey, California in January 1847. He was devastated to learn that there was no fighting going on in California. At this point the biography developed into local news for me. Sherman spent over a year in Monterey and did a lot of exploring in the region. He kept horses for hunting expeditions in the hills around the Carmel Valley and once rode with an army friend to San Juan Bautista to view the mission there. (Mrs. Homer will be dining with friends in San Juan Bautista this [July 31] evening.) When gold was discovered in 1848 Sherman was sent to Sutter’s Fort near Sacramento to appraise the situation in the gold fields. In January 1850 left on a mission to report to General Winfield Scott in New York. The return trip only took a month because he crossed the isthmus of Panama rather than going around Cape Horn.

    All during Sherman’s time at West Point and throughout his army career he kept up an intense correspondence with his foster sister, Ellen Ewing. Even though he greatly enjoyed the company of ladies and was a keen observer of feminine charm he never (that we know of) became involved in romantic affairs. He and Ellen developed an understanding that they would wed at some point. That finally happened on May 1, 1850. It was quite a notable Washington affair. Guests included Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and President Zachary Taylor. Nevertheless, if Sherman had asked me I would have advised against it. He and Ellen had little by way of common interests. She was devoted to her family in Ohio. She was obedient to her highly influential and wealthy father. She shared her mother’s intense Roman Catholic faith. She disliked Sherman’s choice of a military career and loathed California, preferring to remain at the Lancaster, Ohio homestead. Sherman, on the other hand was determined to stay out of his father-in-law’s shadow and make his own way. He was irreligious. He loved the army and came to feel much at home in California. Another consideration was the fact that the couple, while not actually brother and sister, had something of that same kind of family relationship. So her parents never lost a proprietary feeling towards their daughter or their grandchildren, when those began to arrive. Finally, Ellen was never persuaded that she shouldn’t have her own way on any point of disagreement. So William T. Sherman suffered a great deal of anxiety over his marriage.

    In September 1850 Sherman received a long-awaited promotion to Captain and was sent to Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis, where he reported to Captain Braxton Bragg. Shortly thereafter he went to New Orleans in order to clean up corruption in the commissary department there. It was there he was offered a job with a banking concern that wanted him to open a branch in San Francisco. He accepted the offer and on September 3, 1853 he resigned from the army. He moved with his family (except for a daughter who remained with the Ewings in Ohio) to San Francisco and became a banker. According to this account he was good at it and his operation prospered. He became a well-known and respected citizen of San Francisco, even becoming Vice President of the company that built the first railroad in the state of California, east from Sacramento to the Sierras, eventually to become part of the Central Pacific Railroad. His major problem during these years was severe asthma, which got so bad he thought it would cause his death. The author speculates that it was at least partly due to stress related to his tense marriage.

    That is where the first excerpt from the biography takes up. Things are going fairly well for the future general but trouble is looming.

    1

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    2

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    James Lee McDonough, William Tecumseh Sherman: In the Service of My Country, A Life

  • August 1856

    08/01/2016 5:27:03 AM PDT · 4 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    New feature!

     photo george templeton strong_zpsnhzxvu8e.jpg

    I first heard of George Templeton Strong on the Ken Burns Civil War series. His diary entries are featured throughout. It turns out he added to his diary “most days from 1835 to 1875.” I got a copy of the abridged diary from amazon and found that it is so abridged that it leaves out entire years, two of which are 1857 and 1858. That leaves me hankering to get the unabridged 4 volume set. That is kind of pricey ($200+) so it will have to wait a while as I ponder the situation. Meanwhile, I will present the surviving entries for 1856.

    From the back cover:

    Strong was an attorney by profession, and his diary reveals much about the practice of law in New York City, but he was also a trustee of Columbia University, a vestryman of Trinity Episcopal Church, a close follower of local, state, and national politics, and a lover of music who seems to have attended virtually every concert held in New York. His diary reflects all those interests and more. He comments on the accession of the young Queen Victoria to the British throne in 1837, just as he records the sufferings caused by the economic recessions, or his reaction upon reading Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1860, and his impressions when he meets Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Strong’s diary is of particular interest and value for his comments on the relations between North and South, and blacks and whites, since his changing opinions reflect closely the changing opinions of the majority of white Northern voters as registered in the elections of the era of Civil War and Reconstruction.

    From the preface to the original edition (1952):

    Fidelity to the text has, of course, involved the retention of many outspoken passages. Strong had a way of indulging, sometimes semi-humorously, sometimes quite seriously, in heated attacks on individuals, groups, and societies; he used the diary now and then to blow off steam. His violent assaults upon Yankees, Negroes, Southern rebels, Britons, Irishmen, Frenchmen; his scathing remarks about conservative Columbia trustees, Roman Catholics, Low-Church Episcopalians, Jews, Unitarians, Presbyterians, and other sects; his contemptuous excoriation of many of the cruder manifestations of social and political democracy – all this gives salt to the great document he left. Sometimes the salt may seem a little stinging. But if hasty and unfair judgments are included, it is not because the editors approve them, but because they have historical value. . .

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    After all that our first entry may seem tame and anticlimactic. Strong describes how he provided negative assurance a (as I used to call it in the CPA business) after a bank examination.

    August 1. Spent most of a day in the Trust Company with Ludlow and Moses Taylor, as a Committee of Examination. All correct and prosperous as far as we could discover, but such an investigation is little more than a formality. Six months’ hard work over ledgers and vouchers might enable us to report positively that Kearny and David Thompson had not cheated the company out of $100,000 or so but no less amount of labor is of any real use.

    The Diary of George Templeton Strong, Edited by Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, Abridged by Thomas J. Pressly

  • August 1856

    08/01/2016 5:23:43 AM PDT · 2 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    We have three Burning Kansas excerpts set up and a larger allotment of Harper’s Magazine posts. I have book report this month as we catch up with William Tecumseh Sherman out in California. We also have an exciting new feature that will keep readers coming back for years to come. Let’s start it off with the August Harper’s Magazine.

    During this period Harper’s issues were fairly long. This month’s is over 140 pages. I have prepared less than a quarter of that for posting. Keeping with the policy I used during the WWII series I will post the lead article in its entirety. I will also print the current events section, which seems to run about 3-5 pages. It seems like the next to last piece in each issue is a humorous pictorial sequence. God knows we need more humor, so that is in. I might as well finish with the concluding fashion pages, although the dresses I have seen so far all resemble giant elaborate lamp shades.

    Beyond these standard items I will scour the rest of the magazine looking for items that might interest a few twenty-first century readers. The magazine contains a big selection of travel articles, literary reviews, fiction, poetry, science, and so on. In the middle of the magazine is a series sections named Editor’s table, Editor’s easy chair, and Editor’s drawer. Don’t ask me. Anyway, in the August Editor’s table I found a section about mechanical inventions of recent years that seemed interesting.

    The cover of our August edition is a picture of Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts, which leads into a 14-page account of a pleasure trip beside the Connecticut River, beginning at Springfield, MA and proceeding straight north along the present day path of Interstate 91 to Windsor, VT. Along the way, as well as marveling at the wondrous scenery, we vicariously visit a musket factory and armory, a button factory, a school for ladies, and the Vermont Lunatic Asylum. I found it of interest that, during the visit to the armory, the tourists discovered that security for the 150,000 new muskets was practically nonexistent. The armory is in the middle of Massachusetts – hotbed of abolitionist activism – when arms are being smuggled into Bleeding Kansas by the crate load. I think I know where some of them come from.

    The writing style took a little getting used as the language seems impossibly flowery, if that’s the word. I tried mentally translating it from 1856 English to 2016 English to better understand the literal meaning. That worked, but made me realize we may have lost something by going putting such a high value on economy of words and foregoing more creative use of the language. I guess we don’t have time for that now, what with the internet and being the most important generation ever to walk the earth and all. All the same, I suggest it is important to gain familiarity with the journalistic style of the period to better understand our American ancestors.

    Current Events begins with a report on the results of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia on June 17. The platform is summarized and the vote that resulted in the nomination of John C. Fremont of California and William L. Dayton of New Jersey as the presidential ticket is described. The American and Democratic Party nominees, Millard Fillmore and James Buchanan, respectively, think the Republican position on the extension of slavery in the territories is a bad idea.

    Then follows a report from the House Kansas Investigation Committee and an update on events in that territory. It’s a mess. A Vigilance Committee is working to get rid of the riff-raff in San Francisco. (More on that in a couple days.) Mexico is working on a new constitution and may have a war with Spain. Costa Rica suffered greater than reported losses in its invasion of Nicaragua.

    England has a new government and something going on with Central America. A peace treaty was concluded on Queen Victoria’s birthday. Palmer the poisoner was convicted and executed. France is suffering from severe flooding and their new Imperial Infant was baptized.

    The Editor’s Table discusses American inventions in the context of a nation’s obligation to do its fair share of contributing to the global good. ET leads off with the lightning rod and the steamboat as two of the earliest. It goes on in detail, but let me just quote the penultimate paragraph:

    To sum up, therefore, the United States, during the last eighty years, have endowed the world with the lighting-rod, the steamboat, the photograph, the electric telegraph, the discovery of the use of inhaled ether, the sewing machine; the best and cheapest farm implements, the best carpenters’ tools, the best locks fire-engines, nails, spikes, screws, and axes; the best fire-arms, the cheapest clocks, the fastest steamers and sailing vessels, the cheapest railroads, the lightest wagons, and many of the most useful labor-saving machines in almost every department of industry. If any nation, during the same eighty years, has done more, or as much the fact is not generally known.

    The Harper’s post ends with the humor feature, Experiments in Photography, and the fashion pages.

  • August 1856

    08/01/2016 5:21:21 AM PDT · 1 of 94
    Homer_J_Simpson
     photo kansas-nebraska-act-1854_zpshdg5kp4s.jpg

    Free Republic University, Department of History presents U.S. History, 1855-1860: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: November 21, 2015. Last date to add: Sometime in the future.
    Reading: Self-assigned. Recommendations made and welcomed. To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by reply or freepmail.

  • July 1856

    07/28/2016 6:30:38 AM PDT · 63 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to Homer_J_Simpson

    The John Sherman mentioned in the second sentence above is the younger brother of William Tecumseh Sherman.

  • July 1856

    07/28/2016 6:19:26 AM PDT · 62 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from July 4 (reply #40)

     photo BK 0728_zpsx7ziinol.jpg

     photo BK 07282_zpskqavnqvk.jpg

    Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era

  • July 1856

    07/23/2016 12:23:46 PM PDT · 61 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to rdl6989

    So - Jackson is touring Europe. While Lincoln is campaigning for John C. Fremont’s presidential bid, U.S. Grant is trying to eke out a living in St. Louis, Robert E. Lee is scouting Comanche territory in Texas and Jefferson Davis is running the War Department in Washington. I think William T. Sherman is in the banking business in San Francisco, but that is just from skimming some pages. I should have details and a book report to share next month.

  • July 1856

    07/23/2016 11:00:14 AM PDT · 58 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to rdl6989

    Not going to click. Wouldn’t be prudent. I am now working on a William T. Sherman bio and I want to get one for Nathan B. Forrest before I move on to general Civil War histories (thinking of Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote). I hope if you come across any news of General Jackson from whatever month we happen to be working on you can share it.

  • July 1856

    07/23/2016 10:55:47 AM PDT · 56 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to Squantos

    Upon further review I believe I was right the first time. Cooper is marked on the fort map I linked above north of Ft. Mason and there is a fork in the Brazos up there. I was looking at the wrong fork near the present day Ft. Hood.

  • July 1856

    07/23/2016 9:12:29 AM PDT · 53 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to Squantos

    On closer look the two could be the same. The text describes Camp Cooper as being 170 mi, north of Ft. Mason. It also says it was on the clear fork of the Brazos River, 35 miles from the point of its junction with the main stream. According to the Texas fort map I found that would make Camp Cooper almost due east of Ft. Mason. Comparing the modern day map of Texas that could be about mid-way between Austin and Waco.

    http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historical/tex_fedforts_1848.jpg

    http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=map+of+texas&view=detailv2&&id=704CCC3A08840CFACBBE1A5D0F158D76FDBD1B9C&selectedIndex=0&ccid=w1VZPm0b&simid=608042305047957219&thid=OIP.Mc355593e6d1b90ea6118c4345a11607aH0&ajaxhist=0

    Note that the fort map doesn’t show any forts in the area described above. Maybe Lt. Hood and Lt. Col. Lee scouted a site for a fort that wouldn’t be built until the 20th century.

  • July 1856

    07/23/2016 7:56:25 AM PDT · 50 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to Squantos
    Same location ?

    Not quite. Camp Cooper was near Abilene while Fort Hood is between Austin and Waco. Still, another of those fascinating details. Like the one I ran across in the Grant biography where the best man and ushers as his wedding in Missouri would later surrender to him at Appomattox.

  • July 1856

    07/23/2016 6:01:05 AM PDT · 48 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Book report!

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    This book is a one-volume abridgement of the 4-volume original biography of Robert Edward Lee by Douglas Southall Freeman. The abridgement was done by Richard Harwell. According to a preface by James M. McPherson the original Freeman multi-volume set is the gold standard of Lee biographies.

    I considered acquiring the Lee bio by Michael Korda. I liked his “Ike” and “With Wings Like Eagles,” on the Battle of Britain. But I recalled that his style, while informative and entertaining, does not lend itself well to the day-by-day excerpting helpful in a project like this. The Freeman-Harwell book meets that requirement just fine. My problems with it are of a different sort, and I don’t know if my criticism should be aimed at the original or the abridgement, or a combination of the two. The narrative focuses so closely on Lee that it tends to miss what is going on around him. This is less a “life and times” account than a “life of” account. An example of this is the story of Lee’s time at West Point. We learn that Lee made it through all four years without a demerit but little more than that except who were his main competitors in class standing from one semester to the next. By contrast, I am now reading a bio of Jefferson Davis, who was one class ahead of Lee. The Davis biography (by William J. Cooper Jr.) gives the reader a lot of good background information on the West Point of the early 19th century and its most influential superintendent – Col. Sylvanus Thayer. There are some funny and revealing stories about Jefferson Davis during his West Point years included in Coopers book. Can the same be said of Lee’s time there? Freeman/Harwell doesn’t say.

    The Freeman/Harwell account of the Mexican War is similarly limited. Lee had a highly distinguished record in that war. He behaved courageously, exhibiting good leadership skills, fortitude under adverse conditions and used his engineering skills to achieve decisive results. (In doing so, incidentally, he became a personal favorite officer of the U.S. Army commander, Gen. Winfield Scott.) But it is all seen in close up. The big picture of what happened around him is missing. Again, I compare “Lee” to a similar book – “Grant,” by Jean Edward Smith (introduced by me March 17, reply #93 ) U.S. Grant played a much less exalted role in the Mexican War than Lee – not surprising, as Grant had 14 fewer years of seniority than his future nemesis – but I learned a great deal more about the Mexican war from reading “Grant” than I did from “Lee.” It seems to me that learning about the world the subject lives in is crucial to understanding the person. Maybe that background information was included in the 75% of the original 4 volume set and was cut for the abridged version. Too bad, if so.

    McPherson explained in his preface that Freeman eschewed the omniscient narrator method of writing for the majority of the book that deals with the Civil War in favor of a “fog of war” style. That is, the reader learns only what Lee knew at any particular point during a battle or campaign. The idea is to help the reader understand Lee’s thought process as he made decisions and exercised command. That could work well for us when we get to 1861 and beyond, since we will be getting “the rest of the story” from any number of other sources.

    Here are some facts about Lee’s life before 1856: Born January 19, 1807 in Virginia to Ann Carter Lee and Henry Lee. Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee had been a hero of the American Revolution and a friend of George Washington, but didn’t fare well in peacetime. Business setbacks cost him most of his property and left his family in a precarious position. Ann Lee admonished her son Robert to practice discipline and self-denial to avoid similar pitfalls. He took the lessons to heart. Lee won an appointment to West Point and attended 1825-29, graduating with honors. He worked in the Corps of Engineers until the Mexican War. On June 30, 1831 he married Mary Custis. For his distinguished service in the war he was breveted colonel. After two more years with the Corps of Engineers he was made Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In that capacity he initially had trouble with discipline because well-connected cadets could get Lee’s decisions countermanded by friends in the War Department. That ended when fellow Mexican War veteran Franklin Pierce became President and appointed Mexican War veteran Jefferson Davis Secretary of War.

    In March 1855 he was assigned to the cavalry and became second in command, as a Lt. Col., of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, under Col. Albert Sydney Johnston.

    With that, here is the first excerpt from “Lee.”

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    Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee, an abridgement by Richard Harwell

  • July 1856

    07/19/2016 5:46:39 AM PDT · 47 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Book report!

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    Jefferson Davis, American, by William J. Cooper Jr. (2000)

    In my opinion this is a satisfying biography of the U.S. Representative and Senator, regimental commander in the U.S. Army, Secretary of War under President Pierce, and finally, President of the Confederate States of America. It presents a good combination of details of the life of the subject and the times in which he lived. (I have read through the first 11 chapters, which cover the period through the end of 1861.) Now that I have delved into a number of biographies of important characters from the Civil War era I can see that the life/times balance is a crucial factor for me since otherwise my knowledge of the period is limited. In a few days I will be posting a book report on a biography of Robert E. Lee I started just before this one. That book focused much more closely on the life than on the events he was living through than this book does and it is less enlightening as a result. Part of the difference may be due to the fact that Davis had a more interesting life than Lee, in some respects.

    Jefferson Davis was born on June 3, 1808 in Christian County Kentucky. He was the 10th and last child of Samuel Emory and Jane Cook Davis. He was named after his father’s hero, Thomas Jefferson. None of his older siblings received much formal education but his father wanted it to be different for Jefferson. When he was 8 he went to St. Thomas College, the first Roman Catholic school west of the Alleghenys. He spent 3 years there. From ages 14-16 he attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. At the time that now extinct institution was considered the equal of Harvard. During this period his father died and the paternal duties were taken up by Jefferson’s oldest brother, Joseph Davis. Joseph would become a surrogate father to and major influence on the much younger Jefferson. One of big bro’s first efforts was to land Jefferson an appointment to West Point.

    The book steps back to describe the U.S.M.A. that Davis entered in 1824. The academy was “literally the creation of the superintendent . . ., Lieutenant Colonel Sylvanus Thayer . . .” Thayer was assigned to the post in 1817 and redesigned the academy virtually from the ground up. His influence is still felt at West Point. One of his innovations was the system of demerits handed out to cadets for a wide array of misdeeds. That was to be an important consideration to Cadet Davis, who seems to have had a problem with authority. Two miles from West Point was an establishment called Benny Havens’s Tavern. Cadets willing to risk their careers went there to obtain alcoholic beverages. Davis was caught there by an officer on one occasion and almost got kicked out of the academy as a result. He was also involved as a planner in the infamous episode known as the Christmas eggnog riot of 1826. He managed to escape punishment for that one, even though many cadets were dismissed from the corps. Between those scrapes and indifferent performance in the hard sciences Davis finished toward the bottom of his class and so was assigned to the infantry upon graduation. He served at various locations in the Mississippi River valley, including briefly in Illinois during the Black Hawk War. After about 7 years on active duty Davis resigned his commission to pursue a civilian career as a cotton planter. Before that, however, he met and became romantically involved with the daughter of his superior officer, Col. Zachary Taylor. Jefferson and Sarah Knox Taylor were married June 17, 1835. Sadly the young couple became ill with a particularly virulent strain of malaria in Louisiana three months after the wedding and Knox, as she was known, died on September 15. The date struck a chord for me so I checked the David Donald bio of Lincoln and confirmed it: Ann Rutledge, Lincoln’s fiancé and one true love – died of typhoid fever on August 25, 1835, three weeks exactly before Davis’ wife died.

    Jefferson’s brother Joseph owned a large plantation on the Mississippi between Vicksburg and Natchez, MS. The land formed a big peninsula filling a sharp bend in the river. It carried the name Davis Bend. He gave Jefferson use of enough land to start a plantation of his own. The land was undeveloped so he (his slaves, actually) had to clear out the briers. The plantation which emerged he named Brierfield. Over several years Davis built up his plantation while sticking his toe into Democratic politics in Mississippi. That culminated with his election to congress in 1845, the same year he married his second wife, Varina Howell Davis. Before his first term ended he resigned his seat to take command of a Mississippi regiment bound for the Mexican War. He was given the rank of Colonel, higher than he had been during his earlier service. The Mississippi Rifles under his command went to northern Mexico to join Davis’ former father in law General Zachary Taylor’s campaign. Jefferson Davis served with distinction in the battles for Monterrey in October 1846 and then the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847. In the latter battle he was wounded in the foot. During the war most of Zachary Taylor’s troops were sent south to join Gen. Winfield Scott’s campaign to take Mexico City. This left Taylor vulnerable to attack, which the Mexicans did. Only a heroic defense by the American forces – including the Mississippi Rifles – staved off complete destruction of Taylor’s command. Bad blood resulted between Taylor and Scott that made for a feud between Scott and Davis when Davis became Secretary of War while Scott was the army’s commanding general.

    After Buena Vista Davis turned down a promotion to Brigadier General and further war service to return to civilian life and a seat in the U.S. Senate, his for the asking as a newly minted war hero. He remained in the senate until 1852, when he resigned his seat to run for Governor as a Unionist against the secessionist Henry Foote. He lost. He campaigned for Democratic presidential nominee Franklin Pierce in the campaign of 1852 and when that was successful Davis was rewarded with a cabinet seat as Secretary of War in the Pierce administration. Other than bickering with General Scott Davis did a good job in the position. The War Department was almost paralyzed by its bureaucracy and seniority system, and Davis worked hard to improve it. He sent a team to Europe to study the latest in military operations. He tried to expand the army so it would have a better chance of success with its primary task of protecting settlers on the frontiers of American expansion. He tried to get the transcontinental railroad completed (or started). Since there was no railroad to provide army transport to the west coast he ordered experimentation with camels to fill the gap. He also kept an eye on technological developments that might provide new tools for the army. In many cases the tight-fisted congress thwarted his effort by withholding funds, but he did what he could.

    That is where we find Jefferson Davis in July 1856 – Secretary of War during the final year of the Pierce administration. I have no excerpts from Jefferson Davis, American to post until next year.

  • July 1856

    07/14/2016 6:45:19 AM PDT · 45 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Now to help fill the time between excerpts in this slow month, here are some selections from this month’s Harper’s Magazine. Due to no new printer we are still limited to current events and the all-important fashion news. I also included a series of images of folks celebrating the Fourth of July. The big news is from Kansas, with accounts of the sack of Lawrence and other troubles in that state. The results of the DNC in Cincinnati are also covered. The fellow on the cover is a poet named Joel Barlow. The July issue leads with his poem “The Hasty Pudding” (1793). It was too long for my defective printer to handle so his cover picture is all we get.

    1

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    2

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    3

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    4

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    5

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    6

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    7

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    8

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    9

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  • July 1856

    07/12/2016 2:25:07 PM PDT · 43 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to henkster
    Legislature dissolved by the Federal military. Things are bad in our country, but we haven’t gone that far...

    I just read in a biography of Jefferson Davis that, as Secretary of War, he reprimanded Sumner for the action. As a cabinet official Davis seems to have done a fairly decent job. Not counting his really juvenile feud with Winfield Scott.

  • July 1856

    07/04/2016 9:48:34 AM PDT · 42 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to henkster

    They picked quite a day for the action - the 80th anniversary of July Fourth, 1776. The rationale for it was that the free-state legislature was “extra-legal,” there being a pro-slavery legislature in place when the Topeka legislature was formed.

  • July 1856

    07/04/2016 7:33:47 AM PDT · 40 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
     photo bleeding kansas_zpsghjtvtkg.jpg

    Continued from June 30 (reply #45)

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    Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 9:16:45 AM PDT · 34 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to Lonesome in Massachussets; DiogenesLamp
    Here is part of an earlier discussion of Dred Scott from the January 1856 thread, reply #37

    On April 6, 1846, Dred and Harriet Scott filed petitions in the Missouri circuit court at St. Louis seeking to establish their right to freedom based on their residence on free soil. Under Missouri law they had a strong case. As Fehrenbacher says, "again and again, the highest curt of the state had ruled that a master who took his slave to reside in a state or territory where slavery was prohibited thereby emancipated him." Unfortunately for the Scotts, their lawyer allowed a technical weakness in his case to sabotage the verdict. He didn't provide a witness that could establish that Mrs. Emerson owned the Scotts, even though all concerned knew that to be the case. Because of that defect the verdict went against the Scotts. They filed a motion for a retrial, but the defendant filed something called a bill of exceptions and the case was sent to the supreme court of Missouri. It was not until March 22, 1852 that the state supreme court handed down a decision. The Scotts still had the facts on their side and probably would have prevailed except that the issue of slavery had become so heated in the nation by 1852 that the proslavery justices of Missouri were not disposed to give the anti-slavery side their way. The court ruled against the Scotts.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 7:12:00 AM PDT · 16 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to DiogenesLamp
    How do you stop slave owners from going into the territories or free states with their slaves?

    I see that as the question that drove the debate on slavery from our founding until the Civil War.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 7:06:49 AM PDT · 14 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to DiogenesLamp
    So pretty much we need to restrict our discussion to the 1856 and earlier time period?

    No hard and fast rules, but that is the general idea. It is okay to relate events of the "current" time to resulting outcomes in the "future." When we had the World War II series going discussion about a few events - I'm thinking of Pearl Harbor and Barbarossa - began years before their 70th anniversaries. Also, as we move along new characters enter the picture who will become more important as time goes on. In 1856 Robert E. Lee was a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Cavalry. I have an excerpt from his biography scheduled for this month. It could be instructive and entertaining to compare the early Lee with the later one.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 6:55:19 AM PDT · 10 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to HiTech RedNeck
    What we now call Oklahoma was for Indians, huh. Would that have worked? All American Indians would be given Oklahoma?

    That might have been the plan, but my knowledge is deficient in that part of our history. No doubt some smart passing stranger can fill us in. If the idea was to move all Indians in U.S. territory to that one central location I think the folks in Washington didn't think it through very well.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 6:50:30 AM PDT · 8 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to DiogenesLamp
    What is it that we are intended to discuss regarding 1856? Is this to be another Civil War thread?

    This series covering the events of 160 years ago began at the end of last year (1855). The purpose is to learn about U.S. history leading up to and including the Civil War. I didn't put that in the monthly description appearing in reply #1 of every thread because the war won't start for another five years and I don't want to jinx the plan by promising something that far off. But if all goes well we will be here in April of 1861/2021 when Fort Sumter is bombarded.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 6:44:14 AM PDT · 6 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to OttawaFreeper
    Happy Canada Day!

    Yes there was slavery-related violence going on in Kansas from 1855 on. The Missouri Compromise was 1820 and was a major element in the story. The direct cause of the current troubles was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise and made Kansas the focal point in the argument of whether slavery could be extended from where it existed in the southern states (including Missouri) to newly created federal territories.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 6:28:27 AM PDT · 3 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...

    New Month, new thread. I have three excerpts scheduled for July, including one from a new addition to our series. We will also see samples from the July Harper’s Magazine. As usual, timely posts from other sources are appreciated.

  • July 1856

    07/01/2016 6:24:15 AM PDT · 1 of 63
    Homer_J_Simpson
    Free Republic University, Department of History presents U.S. History, 1855-1860: Seminar and Discussion Forum
    First session: November 21, 2015. Last date to add: Sometime in the future.
    Reading: Self-assigned. Recommendations made and welcomed. To add this class to or drop it from your schedule notify Admissions and Records (Attn: Homer_J_Simpson) by reply or freepmail.
  • June 1856

    06/30/2016 5:17:01 AM PDT · 45 of 46
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    Continued from June 4 (reply #12).

     photo BK0630_zpsd2u1dnhv.jpg

    Nicole Etcheson, Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era

  • June 1856

    06/24/2016 7:37:10 AM PDT · 43 of 46
    Homer_J_Simpson to drop 50 and fire for effect
    So your printer is the last casualty of that war?

    It was a member of the Last Peripheral club. My modum gets to drink the bottle of brandy they have been saving all these years.

  • June 1856

    06/24/2016 6:11:34 AM PDT · 41 of 46
    Homer_J_Simpson to chajin; henkster; CougarGA7; BroJoeK; central_va; Larry Lucido; wagglebee; Colonel_Flagg; Amagi; ...
    I splurged and subscribed to Harper’s Magazine to gain access to their archive going all the way back to the mid-19th century. This could be fun. I need to get a new printer before I can do major posting since it is necessary to print out the pages in pdf format. World War II just about did in my old Dell printer so I need to replace it. Here is just a taste of what we will have to look forward to. Notice that the Current Events section includes some of the events we have been reading about in Bleeding Kansas

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    2

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    3

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    4

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    5

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    6

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  • June 1856

    06/21/2016 2:13:48 PM PDT · 40 of 46
    Homer_J_Simpson to rustbucket
    If she sticks to actual history in the book you chose and doesn’t slant the book, it might be worth a read.

    I invite everyone to read the excerpts I post and judge for themselves. Of course, the next one isn't scheduled until nine months from now.

  • June 1856

    06/21/2016 12:32:03 PM PDT · 38 of 46
    Homer_J_Simpson to rustbucket; StoneWall Brigade

    Thanks for the link. The article is dated 2002 and ‘Team of Rivals’ was published in 2005, so hopefully she got her “mechanical processes” straightened out in time for that book.