Friday, September 30, 2005

October 1, 1863

President Abraham Lincoln wrote to General John M Schofield:

Under your recent order, which I have approved, you will only arrest individuals, and suppress assemblies or newspapers, when they may be working palpable injury to the military in your charge; and in no other case will you interfere with the expression of opinion in any form, or allow it to be interfered with violently by others....

October 1, 1862

Virginian Joseph Addison Waddell wrote in his diary:

Lincoln has issued a proclamation declaring slaves in the 'rebel' states free after the 1st of January next. In consequence of this proceeding, it has been proposed in our Congress to wage a war of extermination of the Yankee invaders, to take no prisoners, and ask and give no quarter. The war must come to this. There is no prospect of an end. Civil liberty is nearly gone in this faction, as well as among the Yankee states, and a military despotism will finally prevail...

October 1, 1832

During removal of a group of Seneca and Shawnee from Ohio to Missouri, Daniel R Dunihue wrote in his diary:

At half past eleven left the encampment in company with our red brethren and commenced marching toward Centreville... encamped at two miles west at four o'clock... At eight had considerable trouble in keeping the visitors from disturbing our folks, which they did do not withstanding, some of the tawny fellows threw clubs and stones to drive them away because they kept such an uproar...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

September 30, 1946

Mrs Cecil J Henry of DeSoto, MO, wrote to the draft board:

I am writing to you about my husband... He is so mean to me and the children. He is always cursing us around about something... He makes fun of the poor soldier boys because they are sick or crippled says they are just lazy that they didn't do nothing. God knows what I have to put up with he is so mean. Even the children are afraid of him they are so nervous from beating and cursing them around... I pray from the bottom of my heart that you will help me by taking him to the Army and please send him across if you don't he will beat me around if he is in camp over here and can get home. Please protect me and my children, he is killing me I am so nervous please don't tell him I wrote this...

September 30, 1920

From an article in Iowa's Nashua Reporter:

Des Moines is the drug supplying center of the middle western states. This was the opinion of Inspector Carroll of Minneapolis, who is in Des Moines investigating illegal opiate traffic out of that city. He was sent there by the internal revenue department after word was received in Washington of the seizure of nearly $40,000 worth of drugs there several days ago. James Andrews, alias 'Dopie Jim' was arrested following the raid...

September 30, 1865

An item published in Tennessee's Maury County Herald:

William Vestal -- citizen of Knoxville, was drunk and swearing he had fought three years against the d____d yankees, and was ready to fight that much longer in the same cause. A loyal citizen who heard this, brought the oration to a close by knocking Vestal down with a rock.

September 30, 1859

Rancher Juan Cortina issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of the State of Texas:

There is no need of fear. Orderly people and honest citizens are inviolable to us in their persons and interests. Our object, as you have seen, has been to chastise the villainy of our enemies, which heretofore has gone unpunished. These have connived with each other, and form, so to speak, a perfidious inquisitorial lodge to persecute and rob us, without any cause, and for no other crime on our part than that of being of Mexican origin...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September 29, 1871

In Kansas, the Emporia News reported:

Col. Downing, Chief of the Cherokee Nation, was married some two weeks since to Miss Ayers, a wealthy and cultivated maiden lady of Philadelphia. The affair has a spicing of romance. The lady met the handsome Chief (then, and until recently, a married man) some years since in the Quaker city, and became deeply interested in him and his distant people. With the resolution of devoting her life and wealth to the advancement of the Cherokees, she removed to Tahlequah, where she has since lived...

September 29, 1870

An item published in California's Russian River Flag:

Officer Adell arrested Ed Scanlin yesterday for assault and battery on HH Cooper's China boy. Scanlin received a lecture upon the heinousness of 'putting a head on' Chinamen and was discharged. If the China boy had 'put a head' on Scanlin, the lecture would probably have read; 'Fifty dollars or twenty-five days in jail.'

September 29, 1864

Union soldier John Milton Bancroft wrote in his journal:

Night brings news of the taking of Richmond by Butler. The cheers come down the lines from the camps above and from far away in the distance. We doubt the news but we cheer -- cheer as loud as any and the sound rolls along the camps way to the North. Tonight we have built houses or shelter of boughs, as we have no tents. So we have a village of 1000 men, where yesterday at this time was the stillness of the woodland, or rather we are a city of thousands stretching over hill and valley for miles and cheers roll along among the ghostly shadows of the trees from the camp fires like the cry of fire from street to street...

September 29, 1855

From an article in Tennessee's Democratic Herald:

The Coroner of Williamson County, John Nichol, Esq,was called upon on Wednesday morning last to hold an inquest over the body of a negro woman, the property of Mr James Bolton... We understand that the negro was terribly mutilated besides having her neck dislocated. Mrs Bolton, We understand, confesses to the commission of the murder, but said it was done in self-defense...

September 29, 1824

Samuel Alsop wrote to Dr James Carmichael of Fredericksburg, VA:

I have a woman who has been in labour ever since Monday and can not bring forth. Be so good as to go down and see her this evening with the Boy to the Glebe plantation. If you can not possibly go yourself send any other physician you think best as The nature of the case will not admit of any further delay...

September 29, 1780

Shortly before his execution, John André wrote to British commander Sir Henry Clinton:

Your Excellency is doubtless already apprized of the manner in which I was taken and possibly of the serious light in which my Conduct is Considered and the rigorous determination that is impending...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

September 28, 1863

On behalf of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, Corporal James Gooding wrote to President Abraham Lincoln:

We have done a Soldiers Duty. Why cant we have a Soldiers pay? You caution the Rebel Chieftain, that the United States, knows no distinction, in her Soldiers: She insists on having all her Soldiers, of whatever, creed or Color, to be treated, according to the usages of War. Now if the United States exacts uniformity of treatment of her Soldiers, from the Insurgents, would it not be well, and consistent, to set the example herself, by paying all her Soldiers alike?... We appeal to You, Sir: as the Executive of the Nation, to have us Justly Dealt with. The Regt, do pray, that they be assured their service will be fairly appreciated, by paying them as american SOLDIERS, not as menial hierlings...

September 28, 1855

Charles M Barton, a cadet at the Virginia Military Academy, wrote to his cousin:

I can assure you that I am heartily sick of the military, studies & everything else connected with the VMI & I don't think I will touch a gun, book, or anything that bears any resemblance to them for some time after I leave here... I find the studies this year a great deal more interesting than they have been heretofore, with the exception of one single one, which so counterbalances the rest as to throw all the good part into the shade... The study I referred to just now was Optics, which from being so very difficult, & taught by such a hell of a fool, whose name is Jackson...

September 28, 1847

Recent immigrant Jannicke Sæhle wrote to her brother in Norway:

I have worked at a hotel for five weeks, doing washing and ironing and I enjoy the best treatment, though I cannot speak with the people... I have received a dollar a week for the first five weeks, and hereafter shall have $1.25, and if I can stand it through the whole winter I shall get a dollar and a half a week, and I shall not have to do the washing... I am well and so far I have not regretted my journey to this country...

September 28, 1836

Cherokee Chief John Ross wrote to Congress, protesting the fraudulent Treaty of New Echota:

By the stipulations of this instrument, we are despoiled of our private possessions, the indefeasible property of individuals. We are stripped of every attribute of freedom and eligibility for legal self-defence. Our property may be plundered before our eyes; violence may be committed on our persons; even our lives may be taken away, and there is none to regard our complaints. We are denationalized; we are disfranchised. We are deprived of membership in the human family! We have neither land nor home, nor resting place that can be called our own. And this is effected by the provisions of a compact which assumes the venerated, the sacred appellation of treaty. We are overwhelmed! Our hearts are sickened...

Monday, September 26, 2005

September 27, 1916

Robert Goddard wrote to the Smithsonian Institution:

For a number of years I have been at work upon a method of raising recording apparatus to altitudes exceeding the limit for sounding balloons... I have reached the limit of the work I can do single-handed; both because of expense, and also because further work will require more than one man's time. My reason for writing just now is the following: My device will be capable of propelling masses, such as explosives, for very great distances, and hence would very likely be useful in warfare...

September 27, 1873

From an article in the Dallas Herald:

We have met with the greatest ignorance in this favored State, and have wondered that a people enjoying so many advantages should mar them by a lack of self-culture. Eastern Texas, perhaps, is worse off than in any other portion of the State... Here it might almost be said that they have not enough sense to pound sand. In many cases we found large families of whom not one was able to read or write. Neither are the farms in this locality in so good and flourishing condition as they are in neighborhoods where the blessings of an education are appreciated. The reason of this is, that uneducated people live a kind of animal life, with nothing calculated to elevate their minds, and dead to all the nobler instinct of human nature...

September 27, 1793

Quaker undertaker Joseph Price of Lower Merion, PA, wrote in his diary:

[A] great Mortallity in town 13 Buried in freinds yard by 12 OClock to Day, most Serious time, the Doctors Confus'd wrighting & prescribeing Differ[ent] treatment... It's allowed they Buri about 100 & upperds a Day and it's thought there is two thirds, movd out... what is very remarkable the Negros do not take it & are the only people, or nearly so that are imployd in Bureing dead & nursing the Sick...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

September 26, 1864

Confederate soldier Tomlinson Fort wrote to his mother:

The pickets seem by mutual understanding to cease firing for a while and show white handkerchiefs on each side, when they come out of their pits and 'stop fighting to begin cursing,' as an old fellow told me. They then begin a conservation about in this wise: Yankee: 'Got any whiskey over your way?' Southerner: 'No. Have you got any?' Yankee: 'Yes. Don't you want some?' Southerner: 'Yes. Come and meet me half way and bring your canteen!' "They then meet in the center of the field, each without arms, and no one fires on them. They often talk for fifteen minutes, take drinks, swap canteens and drink toast to 'Sweetheart they've left behind us'... This is all done in the best humor imaginable...

September 26, 1861

Confederate soldier James E Hall wrote in his diary:

It appears to me, that all a man would wish for, or for which he could desire, are concentrated in the pleasure of a quiet home. Surely, if during the revolutions of human affairs we may successfully unite ourselves in the old halls of home, I will never leave again. Could I ever again desire the exciting scenes of war? I have had enough now...

September 26, 1845

Visiting the Assiniboine, Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet wrote:

A good old woman...presented me a wooden platter filled with soup; the horn spoon destined for my use was dirty and covered with grease; she had the complaisance to apply it to the broad side of her tongue, before putting it into my unsavory broth... they fill the kettle with fat and hashed meat. But - HASHED WITH THE TEETH! Often half a dozen old women are occupied in this mincing operation during hours; mouthful after mouthful is masticated, and thus passes from the mouth into the cauldron, to compose the choice ragout of the Rocky mountains...

September 26, 1776

John Adams wrote to Colonel William Tudor:

The late Events at New York have almost overcome my Utmost Patience. I can bear the Conflagration of Towns, nay almost any thing else, public or private, better than disgrace. The Cowardice of New England men is an unexpected discovery to me, and I confess has put my Philosophy to the Tryal... I hope that God will forgive the guilty in the next World: but, should any question concerning this transaction, come into any place where I have a Vote, I should think it my duty to be inexorable, in this...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

September 25, 1957

From an article in the Arkansas Democrat:

This is a story about what happened today at a place called Roadblock Alpha. In any other year on any other day, this particular place is known as the intersection of 14th and Schiller. Today, however, an angry mob and a tall and tan major with a German luger in his holster turned it into the scene of one of the many little skirmishes that make up any military engagement. It was 8:40 am. Small knots of people had gathered on the north and south corners of the intersection and were standing under the trees looking down 14th toward the high school, one block away. There were about 100 of them -- men, women, and several teen-agers...

September 25, 1830

Fur trader John Work wrote in his journal:

At 8 pm, about an hour and a half after we encamped, one of the men, Thomas Taanateau, came running to the camp afoot almost out of his senses with fear and related that as he, P L'Etang, Baptiste Tyagnainto & L Kanote's slave were going to their traps on the upper part of the stream in the mountain, they were set upon by a war party of Blackfeet and his three companions killed on the spot, that he barely escaped... Three Cayuse Indians with us found poor L'Etang and the slave murdered, stripped and the latter scalped. Baptiste was still alive...

September 25, 1778

General George Washington wrote to Major Benjamin Tallmadge:

[T]he deficiency of remounts is an evil which does not admit of immediate remedy – as I cannot at present authorise the completing your number by purchase... it gives me pain, but I cannot forbear attributing the ill-state of the Cavalry in a great measure to the unrestrained licence of the Dragoons in the use of their horses – their speed is equally immoderate on all occasions, when they are detached; and I fear their horses are too freely employed on their own private concerns...

September 25, 1492

Christopher Columbus wrote in his journal:

At sunset Martin Alonzo called out with great joy from his vessel that he saw land, and demanded of the Admiral a reward for his intelligence. The Admiral says, when he heard him declare this, he fell on his knees and returned thanks to God, and Martin Alonzo with his crew repeated Gloria in excelsis Deo, as did the crew of the Admiral. Those on board the Nina ascended the rigging, and all declared they saw land. The Admiral also thought it was land...

Friday, September 23, 2005

September 24, 1881

Anthropologist Alice Cunningham Fletcher wrote in her diary:

Wajapa rides ahead, when the road is good he will sometimes make short cuts. When a distance off he will sing in the expressive Indian fashion. At every high hill he gallops to the top and then stands, he and his horse silhouetted against the clear blue sky... The trails lie over the boundless, billowy prairie, like the marks of two fingers a little apart, drawn side by side... It is a desolate wilderness, yet it is not without charm. On some of the high lands, for we are up and down all the time, we could see nearly one hundred miles, off into Dakota...

September 24, 1862

Virginian Joseph Addison Waddell wrote in his diary:

News from Europe not favorable for intervention... Unless European powers do interfere in some way...war must go on interminably. We cannot go on as at present many months longer -- exhaustion must soon come, and a slate of guerilla warfare will ensue. All the wounded men who can walk have been creeping up from Winchester, trying to get to their respective homes. The town is full of them. Many look very forlorn, hands and arms hurt, faces bound up, badly clad, bare-footed and dirty. We are afraid to offer them shelter lest they fill the houses with vermin...

September 24, 1772

From an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:

Run away from the Subscriber in King William, Caesar and Kate, very likely Virginia born Negroes. Caesar is about forty Years old, of middle Stature, well made, strong and active, has a remarkable Scar on one of his Heels, which was nearly cut off when a Youth, some Scars, or Indian Marks, on one of his Arms near the Shoulders, and an R on each of his Cheeks, with which he was branded by the Sheriff of Dinwiddie...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

September 23, 1968

Soldier Bob Hersey wrote from Tan Son Nhut:

We have had a problem with guys coming down with VD. Since we have been here at this location, more guys have come down with it than any other location. Things got so bad at I Troop that the CO had to bring some girls up from Saigon who had been medically checked out. I Troop put a a GP (general purpose) tent for the girls and business is booming. They thought that we would have the same setup here but our CO decided against it...

September 23, 1886

An item published in Washington's Blaine Journal:

Mrs Murdock was arrested on the Victoria steamer the other day for wearing underskirts trimmed with opium cans. She was informed by the customs officials that while sumptuary laws was[n't?] exactly within their jurisdiction, yet that style of traveling dress did not suit the government, and the fashion would not be tolerated, and she was turned over to the tender mercies of the district court at Seattle. She has been a frequent traveler over the route for some time past.

September 23, 1800

President Thomas Jefferson wrote to Dr Benjamin Rush:

[The clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion...

September 23, 1623

William Bradford wrote from the Plymouth colony:

Mr Weston's colony is dissolved... They had by their evil and deboist carriage so exasperated the Indians among them as they plotted there overthrow; and because they knew not how to effect it for fear we would revenge it upon them, they secretly instigated other peoples to conspire against us also...but their conspiracy and treachery was discovered unto us by Massasoit... We went to rescue the lives of our countrymen...also to take vengeance of them for their villainy intended and determined against us... the head of one of them stands still on our fort for a terror unto others...

September 22, 1856

Kansas pioneer Julia Lovejoy wrote to the editor of a New Hampshire newspaper:

If we recollect rightly, our last thread for the Democrat was broken off abruptly, at the shooting of Mr Buffum, who lingered a short time in excruciating agony, and expired, having received the whole contents of the ruffian's rifle into his bowels, for no crime, but endeavoring to secure his hard-earned property from being taken before his eyes by murderous thieves...

September 22, 1841

Frederick W. Thomas wrote to Edgar Allan Poe:

I do not wonder that you have been annoyed by cryptographic connoisseurs. Your astonishing power of decyphering secret writing is to me a puzzle which I can’t solve. That's a curious head-piece of yours, and I should like to know what phrenologists say about it. Did you ever have your head examined?...

September 22, 1792

An item published in Connecticut's Windham Herald:

Died at Paris, the 18th of July last, the celebrated John Paul Jones. The Assembly sent a deputation to attend his funeral. It was objected, that he was a Calvinist, but the objection was over-ruled.

September 22, 1756

Elizabeth Sprigs, an indentured servant in Maryland, wrote to her father:

What we unfortunate English People suffer here is beyond the probability of you in England to Conceive, let it suffice that I one of the unhappy Number, am toiling almost Day and Night, and very often in the Horses drudgery, with only this comfort that you Bitch you do not halfe enough, and then tied up and whipp'd to that Degree that you'd not serve an Animal, scarce any thing but Indian Corn and Salt to eat and that even begrudged nay many Negroes are better used, almost naked no shoes nor stockings to wear, and the comfort after slaving during Masters pleasure, what rest we can get is to rap ourselves up in a Blanket and ly upon the Ground, this is the deplorable Condition your poor Betty endures, and now I beg if you have any Bowels of Compassion left show it by sending me some Relief...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

September 21, 1950

During the Korean War, fighter pilot Lt Joseph Lloyd Wosser wrote to his wife:

Caught a whole bunch of troops out in the open getting ready to cross the Han River into Seoul. It was awful! They had no place to go -- couldn't hide; and we just made run after run on them. Napalm, bombs, rockets and 20mm. When we finished, there were so many dead lying on the beach we couldn't count them. It really makes you feel funny...

September 21, 1846

Edgar Allan Poe wrote to John Allan from the University of Virginia:

We have had a great many fights up here lately - The faculty expelled Wickliffe last night for general bad conduct - but more especially for biting one of the student's arms with whom he was fighting - I saw the whole affair... Wickliffe was much the strongest - but not content with that - after getting the other completely in his power, he began to bite - I saw the arm afterwards - and it was really a serious matter - It was bitten from the shoulder to the elbow - and it is likely that pieces of flesh as large as my hand will be obliged to be cut out...

September 21, 1809

Thomas Jefferson wrote to Dr Benjamin Smith Barton:

I have now been thirty years availing myself of every possible opportunity of procuring Indian vocabularies to the same set of words: my opportunities were probably better than will ever occur again to any person having the same desire. I had collected about fifty...and meant to have printed them the last year of my stay in Washington... The whole, as well digest as originals, were packed in a trunk of stationary, and sent round by water with about thirty other packages of my effects, from Washington, and while ascending James river, this package, on account of its weight and presumed precious contents, was singled out and stolen. The thief being disappointed on opening it, threw into the river all its contents...

September 21, 1774

Colonel William Fleming wrote in his journal:

[W]e fell in with New River or the Big Kanhaway a little below Kellys Place, and marching down the River Eight or Nine miles passed two curious Springs, the Vapour of which kindles quick as Gunpowder & burns with a surprizing force...

Monday, September 19, 2005

September 20, 1911

From an article in the Sacramento Union:

Eight members of the 'Holy Love Society' were escorted to the city limits of Zion City [IL] today by a vigilance committee and placed aboard an electric car for Chicago. Marshall John Huefer led the party, which forced the members of the alleged 'free love' cult to leave the precincts of Zion, a city founded by John Alexander Dowie...

September 20, 1868

During an outbreak of racial violence at Camilla, GA, Major OH Howard wrote to the assistant inspector general for the Georgia Freedman's Bureau:

Unless vigorous measures are instituted, and troops are stationed here for the protection of all parties, there will be much bloodshed. I cannot restrain the people. It will be useless for me to attempt to block the way of thousands, for any length of time, I must protect my family and let the contending parties fight it out...

September 20, 1855

Bostonian Hannah Anderson Ropes, newly arrived in Kansas, wrote to her mother:

Verily, no fertile imaginings of your daughter could have conjured up the torture to be applied to her on this initiatory night in the new territory. Mother, in the first place, did you ever see a FLEA?... Settle down and close your eyes, for you are so tired. Hark! now they play 'hop scotch' along the extremities. You give a sudden brush with your hand; but you hit nothing. Now they commence a tramp up, up, up! it is no longer endurable. Out of bed, off comes the nightdress, turned wrong-side-out. In the greatest apparent rage at the harmless piece of cotton, you thrash it most vigorously against imaginary chairs, get into it again... You lay yourself away wearily...hoping to get asleep before you are again taken possession of. What a futile hope....

September 20, 1832

During his first expedition to the Oregon country, Nathaniel Wyeth wrote in his journal:

[H]aving lost so much time we concluded to run until the moon went down altho we were before informed that it was not safe... went over a snagg with limbs above which taking our mast and the boat swinging broadside she was taking in water at a jolly rate... I immediately had the mast cut away just in time to save her escaped from this I determined to try more we ran a little and were driven head foremost on a large tree lying across the river We...lay swinging like a pendulum with much danger and difficulty we extricated her... we ran on but soon were driven into a large drift we narrowly escaped being carried under and half full of water and our oar broke we made the shore as soon as possible resolved to run no more nights...

September 20, 1739

Georgia colonist Patrick Mackay wrote in his journal:

[A] Negro came to the General and told him that was said of the Negroes rising in Carolina was true and that they had marched to Stono Bridge, where they had murdered two storekeepers, but their heads off and set them on the stairs, robbed the stores of what they wanted and went on killing what men, women and children they met, burning of houses and committing other outrages and that one hundred planters who had assembled themselves together pursued them and found them... About fifty of these villains attempted to go home but were taken by the planters who cut off their heads and set them up at every mile post they came to.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

September 19, 1862

Dr Clayton Coleman wrote to his sister, after the Battle of Antietam:

Our Army is now between Martinsburg and Williamsport and along the river. Our brigade lost eight out of ten in the last fight, and my company lost 22 out of 23 men. I don't suppose you have heard of any of the killed in the different fights; well they are so many that I could not begin... Every one of your acquaintances in the 4th Alabama and 11th Mississippi were either killed or wounded and indeed I reckon it is almost the case in every Regiment...

***
Union soldier Stephen H Bogardus, Jr, wrote to the Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle:

About 7 AM our brigade was ordered forward as the first reserve... We were ordered to take the cornfield... That cornfield was a horrible sight. A live rebel soldier is a disgusting sight, but a dead one surpasses description. And that field was full of them, lying in all positions. Here, one shot through the heart; there, one with his leg torn off; and still farther on, a trunk without a head. At noon we were sent to a piece of woods on the advance of the right...till about 2 PM, at which time I was wounded and carried to the rear. I was hit by a musket ball coming from a party of rebels carrying our flag. This was the second time I saw the same treachery during the battle... I was shot off my horse, and lost him. But we whipped them - and I would give another horse for such a victory...

September 19, 1848

William Henry Tappan, a civilian artist who traveled with the Missouri Mounted Volunteers to Fort Kearney, wrote in his diary:

[A] soldier came to head quarters in a state of intoxication enough so to be sassy & insulted the Quarter master & shamefully abused Capt Sublett to whose company he belonged. the Capt ordered him to his quarters & was answered that he would not go. the Capt struck him with a chair... the soldier caught the Capt by the cholar when Doct Snail who was at that moment with me looking at my tomahawk, observing rushed up & most vigorously applied it to the neck & shoulders of the drunken fool. Knowing the temperament of Kentuckyians I lost no time in taking so dangerous an instrument from his hands...

September 19, 1796

From President George Washington's Farewell Address:

Let me now...warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally... The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention...is itself a frightful despotism... The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty... the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise People to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the Public Councils and enfeeble the Public administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another...

September 19, 1755

From an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:

Ran away from the Subscriber, on Sunday the 7th Instant, an Irish Convict Servant Woman, named Margaret Connel, alias Sullivane, between Forty and Fifty Years of Age, has a down Look, and speaks much on the Brogue; had on when she went away, a check'd Stuff Gown, and carried with her a white and check'd Apron, with sundry other Cloaths. Whoever takes her up is desired to put her into a Constable's Hands, that she may be dealt with as the Law directs...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

September 18, 1865

Lewis Byram Hull, a soldier stationed at Fort Laramie, wrote in his diary:

The two Co. E boys and the two Pawnees met us on the march, having found Col. Cole's command and brought a squad of fourteen back... Had been out of rations two weeks. Lived on mule meat. Had been skirmishing with Indians for seven days... the horses were almost starved from crossing the Bad Lands, where they had no grass for two weeks. Then the cold rain killed them, leaving about 500 men on foot. The men that came in were almost starved; said they would give $25 for one hardtack...

September 18, 1861

Rebel soldier Jedediah Hotchkiss wrote to his brother:

We have just gotten back from a 7 days trip towards the enemy. We went to their very presence but the result was a failure and the exposure used up a good many, myself among the rest. I came back completely exhausted and have been lying on my back for two days. Added to my previous state of weakness I tell you I felt badly, and all alone as I was yesterday, twenty times did I cry like a child at the thoughts of home and the thousand attentions I should have. Oh brother I never want to spend such a weary day again...

September 18, 1858

During his fourth debate with Stephen A Douglas, Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said:

I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races... I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race...

September 18, 1851

After crossing the Deschutes River en route to Oregon, Americus Savage wrote:

Although I was thoroughly wet with the cold water...yet there I stood with the sweat pouring from my body. Who can...describe the feelings of a man in such a place in the middle of a stream with the water dashing against the wagon bed in which are cooped up wife and children. All he lives for or loves, within a few feet of inevitable destruction, expecting the first move I made that the wheels would go over the sliding rock...beyond the hope of rescue. No tongue can tell or pen describe my feelings for a few moments there...

September 18, 1780

John Hanson wrote to Thomas Sim Lee:

Our Army Continues much distressed for want of Meat. They get one meal only in three days, and how long that Scanty Allowance will Continue, is uncertain. The Jersey Inhabitants, in whose State the Army is, are plundered daily by partys from the Army... may it not be expected that even the people of the Jerseys, who have upon all Occasions exerted themselves in Support of the Common Cause, will at length have their affections Alienated from the Army, & look upon them as plunderers, and Enemies, rather than the protectors of their Rights. Is it not most Shameful that our Army Should be Starving, while the Country abounds with provisions? To what Can it be imputed?...

Friday, September 16, 2005

September 17, 1896

From an article in an Anamosa, IA, newspaper:

On August 26, there was brought to the Penitentiary at Anamosa from the Fort Madison prison a man around whom lingers only the tale of a depraved life and the memory of years of crime and outlawry. This man was Charles Knox Polk Wells, whose career was ended last Friday by the life sapping enemy of humanity, consumption. Early in life Polk Wells chose for his companions the James and Younger brothers, thereby choosing also a life which was sure to be checkered with crimes of nearly every nature... Contrary to his early expressed wishes he did not die with his boots on...

September 17, 1884

Mark Twain wrote to William Dean Howells:

Somehow I can't seem to rest quiet under the idea of your voting for Blaine. I believe you said something about the country and the party. Certainly allegiance to these is well; but as certainly a man's first duty is to his own conscience and honor -- the party or the country come second to that, and never first... It is not parties that make or save countries or that build them to greatness -- it is clean men, clean ordinary citizens, rank and file, the masses...

September 17, 1864

Georgia plantation mistress Gertrude Thomas wrote in her journal:

I have sometimes doubted on the subject of slavery. I have seen so many of its evils chief among which is the terribly demoralising influence upon our men and boys but of late I have become convinced the Negro as a race is better off with us as he has been than if he were made free, but I am by no means so sure that we would not gain by his having his freedom given him. I grant that I am not so philanthropic as to be willing voluntarily to give all we own for the sake of the principle, but I do think that if we had the same invested in something else as a means of support I would willingly, nay gladly, have the responsibility of them taken off my shoulders...

September 17, 1860

From a petition published in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

We, the undersigned residents and assistant tax-payers of this most beautiful city, respectfully petition and entreat your honorable body to so amend, alter, and repair the foundations on which we tread when exposing ourselves to the piercing gaze of corner loungers, lager bier loafers, and general street gabblers, that we shall not be cruelly compelled to elevate the lower part of our garments. Now there is but one alternative with us, either to raise our skirts full ankle high (which we dislike to do and which is very unladylike) or submit to have them torn from our persons by the protruding nails, and spikes, splinters and broken corners of the slabs, you permit to be used and called pavements...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

September 16, 1863

From an article in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Refugees lately arrived within our lines bring exciting reports of the terrible condition of affairs in the Southwest. One man, who left Mobile on the 5th, states there was a terrible riot of soldiers' wives in Mobile on the 4th. About six hundred women and children collected at Spring Hill, armed with clubs and hatchets, and marched through the principal streets, carrying banners inscribed, 'Bread or Blood,' 'Bread or Peace,' and other like inscriptions. Being soldiers' wives, the proceedings were winked at by the soldiers, who made but a feeble resistance. Several stores were broken open. One merchant, a Jew, struck one of the women. Some policemen present arrested the Jew and beat him severely...

September 16, 1861

Eugenia Levy Phillips, imprisoned as a Confederate spy at Rose O'Neal Greenhow's house, wrote in her diary:

Our new visitors proved to be Col Thos S Key, the Judge Advocate attached to Gen'l McLelland's staff, and our noble friend Edwin M Stanton. I at once read on their saddened countenances the indignation they felt on beholding four women in this miserable garret... I was surprised by his statement that he had heretofore been ignorant of our position, but they both left us with the promise that we should have 'fair play'... Miss M[ackall], a young lady held as a voluntary prisoner...says the officers are moving about as if panic-stricken, and the whole discipline of the prison seems to be demoralized...

September 16, 1831

Gustave de Beaumont, touring America with Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote from Boston:

I don't know why this people, which appears so content, is generally of such feeble and delicate health. The women in particular are extremely thin and appear all of them affected in the chest... Here it is an unknown thing to see a woman working on the soil, or busying herself in any way with the labors in the field; whence it results that her labors are...limited to the cares of the household. Perhaps this shut-in life is unhealthy...

September 16, 1800

Midwife Martha Ballard wrote in her diary:

I was Calld at 6h morn to go and assist to Put Nabby Andrus in her grave Cloaths. Doct Cony Dissected her, found her Complaint was in the Uterus, it Contained 1 galn water together with other Substance. the wt of it after the water was taken out was 7 lb. the Liver wd 3 lb. the trunk of her Boddy Contained a larg quantity of water...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

September 15, 1944

From the diary of the 381st Bomb Group Medical Detachment:

Additional evidence of personnel failure in this group came to light with the capture of the personnel records of the German Stalag Luft where American prisoners are interrogated. From these records it was found that captured members of every one of the squadrons had given extensive information to the enemy regarding the formations, personnel and lectures, secret radio information and allied subjects. It is interesting the records revealed that flying personnel from practically every squadron in the ETO and one flyer from the aircraft carrier 'Ranger' has divulged significant information to the Germans...

September 15, 1942

From an article in the Los Angeles Times:

Evidence that a Japanese seaplane, possibly operating from a submarine, may have attempted to set Southern Oregon forests afire in the first air bombing of continental United States was reported by the Western Defense Command... A forest fire was started near Mt Emily and that markings on what appeared to be fragments of an incendiary bomb were Japanese. Forest patrols, which extinguished the blaze, discovered a foot-deep crater, the communique added, and about 40 pounds of metal fragments and small pellets...

September 15, 1871

From an article in the Emporia News:

It is stated that a large number of squatters have gone over into the Indian Territory and staked off and settled upon claims. Under what authority they went, we cannot ascertain. We are of the opinion that this territory will soon have to be opened for improvement. It cannot lay idle many years. But until it is fairly and honorably treated for, or the consent of the Indians obtained, no white man ought to be allowed to go upon the land...

***
From another article in the Emporia News:

Much has been said against President Grant's Indian policy. It is not the custom of our Western people to look with any degree of favor on anything that does not tend to the extermination of the Indians, or at least, to the driving of them to the confines of the Western wilds. That the country must be given up by them to the advancing army of progress, no one doubts. They must die out or become civilized...

September 15, 1860

From a letter published in the Texas Republican:

A large proportion of those who have come in recent years from Illinois and Indiana are natives of the South, and have come here on account of their preference for southern men and southern institutions... Most particularly is it to be regretted that such statements as were copied into your columns from the Gilmer Tribune should gain currency. I allude to the statements that the country between Grayson county and Upshur...was 'settled by a majority of abolitionists in some places.' I think this must be a mistake. During the past few years the people there have been very prompt in getting rid of such characters. In no part of Texas have they been more roughly handled...

September 15, 1843

At Nauvoo, IL, Mormon William Clayton wrote in his diary:

Pres[iden]t J[oseph] told me he had lately had a new item of law revealed to him in relation to myself. He said the Lord had revealed to him that a man could only take 2 of a family except by express revelation and as I had said I intended to take Lydia he made this known for my benefit. to have more than two in a family was apt to cause wrangles and trouble. He finally asked if I would not give L to him...

September 15, 1776

After the British attack on Manhattan at Kip's Bay, General George Washington wrote to Congress:

[A]s soon as I heard the firing, I road with all possible dispatch towards the place of landing, when to my great surprize and mortification, I found the Troops that had been posted in the Lines, retreating with the utmost precipitation, and those ordered to support them, Parsons's and Fellows's Brigades, flying in every direction and in the greatest confusion, notwithstanding the exertions of their Generals to form them. I used every means in my power, to rally and get them into some order, but my attempts were fruitless and ineffectual and on the appearance of a small party of the Enemy, not more than Sixty or Seventy in Number, their disorder increased and they ran away in the greatest confusion without firing a single Shot...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

September 14, 1896

Experimenting with flying machines at the Indiana Dunes, Octave Chanute wrote in his diary:

Was called on at the house at 1 PM by Mr Herring who said that he disbelieved Paul's story of having flown with his machine, that he considered it highly dangerous, and sooner than be a party to its testing, he preferred to withdraw. OC let him go. Went to camp and took reporter into his confidence, who thought Mr Herrings action prompted by egotism and jealousy. OC however gave orders for further tests of Paul machine as a kite and in ballast before permitting its launching with Paul in it. Paul demurred on the ground that the machine might be broken in such tests but acquiesced in them in view of the new situation created by Mr Herring's action...

September 14, 1855

Hannah Anderson Ropes, traveling from Boston to Kansas, wrote to her mother:

[T]he Captain...invites us up to pass an hour with him, after the sun is down. The view is really beautiful at times. The shores are thickly wooded, with the general appearance of an uninhabited country... It is just a week since we left home, and we are three hundred and fifty miles up this river. It seems endless, and the immensity just begins to dawn upon me, as well as the distance from home. No place have I seen yet where I could make a home. Everything seems a world too wide for the home emotion to root in...

September 14, 1755

During the French & Indian War, Baron de Dieskau wrote from Lake George:

As I was near the enemy's camp, and in front of the cannon, I marched forward with 200 Regulars to capture it... The Regulars received the whole of the enemy's fire and perished there almost to a man. I was knocked down by three shots, none of which were mortal, but I received a 4th that passed from one hip to the other, perforating the bladder. I know not at present what will be my fate; from Monsieur Johnson, the General of the English army, I am receiving all the attention possible to be expected from a brave man, full of honor and feeling. Sieur de Bernier, my Aide de Camp, is a prisoner with me...

Monday, September 12, 2005

September 13, 1876

During the Horsemeat March, Pvt William W Jordan wrote in his diary:

We went into camp on the opposite side of the stream, where we had our first supplies - some flour, bacon, and potatoes, which were brought out from Deadwood City. I paid 50 cents a pound to a sutler for some potatoes, and ate them raw at first, my hunger was so intense.... Men went so far as to pay $5 for a single loaf of bread. Some of the men who...had no money with which to buy grub, were standing around a wagon where the two sutlers were quarreling over the price which they should charge for bread... While the row was in progress these money less soldiers overturned the wagon, drove the sutlers off with stones, and made short work of the bread and provisions it contained. The sutlers complained to the commanding officer, who told them it served them right for acting the hog...

September 13, 1863

Phoebe Pember, a Jewish woman, wrote to her sister from Richmond, VA:

The feelings here against the Yankees exceeds anything I could imagine, particularly among the good Christians. I spent an evening among a particularly pious sett. One lady said she had a pile of Yankee bones lying around her pump so that the first glance on evening her eyes would rest upon them. Another begged me to get her a Yankee Skull to keep her toilet trinkets in... at last I lifted my voice and congratulated myself at being born of a...religion that did not enjoin forgiveness on its enemies, that enjoyed the blessed privilege of praying for an eye for an eye, and a life for a life, and was not one of those for whom Christ died in vain, considering the Present state of feeling. I proposed that till the war was over they should all join the Jewish Church, let forgiveness and peace and good will alone and put their trust in the sword of the Lord and Gideon. It was a very agreeable evening, and all was taken in good part. I certainly had the best of the argument, and the gentlemen seconded me ably...

September 13, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln wrote to a committee of religious denominations from Chicago:

I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and that by religious men, who are equally certain that they represent the Divine will. I am sure that either the one or the other class is mistaken in that belief, and perhaps in some respects both... Why, the rebel soldiers are praying with a great deal more earnestness, I fear, than our own troops, and expecting God to favor their side...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

September 12, 1861

Union soldier Knute Nelson wrote to his parents in Wisconsin:

I learn from your letter that a few of the young men at home have enlisted. That is as it should be. But it surprises me very much that so few of the ones who paraded every night last fall in black coats, carrying torches high in the air on long sticks and yelling like crazy, were willing... They boasted that they could lick those Southern fire-eaters, all right. Easy. No trouble at all. But now the poor folk do not even dare come out and look the enemy in the eyes...

September 12, 1839

Author James Ewell Heath wrote to Edgar Allan Poe:

I have read your article 'The Fall of the House of Usher' with attention, and I think it among the best of your compositions of that class which I have seen...but I am sure you will appreciate my candor when I say that I never could feel much interest in that class of compositions. I mean that I never could experience pleasure in reading tales of horror and mystery however much the narrative should be dignified by genius... I doubt very much whether tales of the wild, improbable and terrible class, can ever be permanently popular in this country. Charles Dickens it appears to me has given the final death blow to writings of that description...

September 12, 1806

John Ordway, a member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, wrote in his journal:

[M]et Mr McLanen with a large keel Boat which [was] roed with 12 oars he was rejoiced to see us... Mr McLanen informed us that the people in general in the united States were concerned about us as they had heard that we were all killed then again they heard that the Spanyards had us in the mines...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 11, 1906

From an article in the Los Angeles Examiner:

Jim Morley’s personally conducted railroad wreck was a great artistic success, but the manager of the Morley amusement enterprises says that from the financial standpoint the show was more or less of a lemon... Engine 23 was first under way; [Engine] 13 lingered an instant and then lurched forward, whistle wide open... Then both engines reared and the crownshears came together with a dull crash, a few black specks flew into the air, and the whole scene was blotted out in a cloud of steam. Neither engine left the track, but sturdy old 13 plowed her way half through No. 23, and when the steam thinned, the engines were seen to be total wrecks, welded together by the force of their meeting...

September 11, 1875

From an article in the Idaho Weekly Statesman:

The people of Silver City and vicinity are alarmed at the sickness and frequent deaths which occur in their midst...especially among children. A public meeting was held on the evening of the 8th inst. to adopt sanitary measures for the health of the city, but...there was a slim attendance and no physicians were present. Those who discussed the cause...of the prevailing diseases ascribed them to the filth and uncleanliness of the city... The policy of holding such meetings and discussing the causes of sickness and removing the danger is certainly creditable. But it is not creditable to the doctors to absent themselves from such a meeting...

September 11, 1862

Following the second battle at Bull Run, Union soldier James M Pettit wrote to his sister:

As late as Saturday, one week after the battle, over one thousand of our dead still lay on the field wholly uncared for black and swollen and putrid from exposure and in their midst, mostly in open air occasionally in bough huts or booths were 1500 of our wounded with so scanty attendance that many were obliged to be 24 hours at a time without even water and hundreds had received no surgical attendance whatever. And in addition, the country for miles was strewn with dead horses with the bodies of our dead so filling the air with an intolerable stench that life itself was a burden. Great numbers of wounded died from absolute starvation...

Friday, September 09, 2005

September 10, 1922

From an article in Iowa's Davenport Democrat and Leader:

A huge quantity of beer, wine, whisky, gin and alcohol was seized by a squad of seven federal prohibition agents, together with Sheriff William Brehmer, his two deputies, and Deputy US Marshal TF Kenney, in four raids, involving two roadhouses and two local soft drink bars, Saturday afternoon and evening... 'We should have waited until later in the evening to raid the two roadhouses,' two of the general prohibitive agents said last night. 'It would have been more fun to raid them when they were full of people. However, we were in a hurry and could not wait'...

September 10, 1913

From an article in Virginia's Winchester Evening Star:

[T]his article gives Miss Elizabeth Van Lew the highest praise for efficiency as a spy, and wonders at the stupidity of the Confederate officials who never even suspected her of the deadly damage she was doing to their cause... It was not until the war had closed that it was known that there had been an active traitor in the camp during the whole four years of the war. Then Miss Van Lew met the usual fate of the person who betrays her own people, no matter what the cause may be -- she was shunned as a leper by the people of Richmond... She secured a government position in Washington, but was bitterly disappointed by her reception there... there seems to be in all countries, in all ages, and among all people, an inborn disgust against the man or woman who is disloyal to home people and home principles.

September 10, 1886

An item published in the Atlanta Constitution:

A negro woman, named Mary Parker, living on WC Parker's plantation, in Wilkinson county, died on Thursday last, from fright caused by the earthquake.

September 10, 1861

From an article in the Richmond Whig:

From time immemorial the boys in Adams Valley (popularly known as 'Butchertown') and those residing on the north side of Shockoe Hill, have engaged, every successive summer, in 'rock battles,' rallying under the distinctive titles of 'Butcher Cats' and 'Hill Cats.' Within the last few years, the majority of the respectable white boys, among the former, have so far been convinced of the discreditable character of these conflicts as to leave them chiefly to negro lads on their side; though a goodly number, influenced by the excitement of the mimic warfare, have participated in the 'battles' which have taken place within the past few weeks. Last Sunday afternoon the contending parties waged a fierce contest on Navy Hill, about one hundred boys being engaged on each side. Stones and other missiles flew as thick, almost, as the Minie balls at the battle of Manassas...

September 10, 1835

In the Yellowstone country, trapper Russell Osborne wrote in his journal:

The trappers remained with us during the night telling Mountain 'Yarns' and the news from the States. Early next morning 8 of them started down the stream to set Traps on the main Fork but returned in about an hour closely pursued by about 80 Blackfeet...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

September 9, 1876

During the Horsemeat March, Lt Frank Taylor of the 14th Infantry wrote in his diary:

[W]e met a small party returning from Capt Mills & reporting capture by Mills party of 25 Indian lodges. Marched in all about 16 miles in Mills’ trail & arrived at Slim Buttes, scene of fight... Some Indians who had not been able to get away with the rest were in a ravine hidden from view... After a great deal of trouble, these Indians were induced to come out of their hole when it was found that one Indian man, 2 women and one child had been killed during the attempt to dislodge them. Another Indian, 'American Horse,' fatally wounded in the bowels died the same night...

September 9, 1847

From an article in the St Joseph Gazette:

From this it will be seen that near one hundred persons have been murdered by the Indians, or have perished for want of food, and all owing to the false representations of a few heartless speculators, who may wish to benefit themselves at the expense of several valuable lives. The emigrants inform us that these men have property in certain portions of Oregon, and by forcing the emigration to a particular point, they are benefitted thereby. Emigrants cannot be too careful in taking new roads, unless experience has proven them to be practicable.

September 9, 1845

Poet Thomas Holley Chivers wrote to Edgar Allan Poe:

You say you have not touched a drop of the ashes of Hell since I left New York. That's a man. For God's sake, but more for your own, never touch another drop. Why should a Man whom God, by nature, has endowed with such transcendent abilities, so degrade himself into the veriest automaton as to be moved only by the poisonous steam of Hell-fire?...

September 9, 1776

John Adams wrote in his autobiography:

At [New] Brunswick, [NJ,] but one bed could be procured for Dr Franklin and me, in a Chamber little larger than the bed, without a Chimney and with only one small Window. The Window was open, and I, who was an invalid and afraid of the Air in the night, shut it close. Oh! says Franklin dont shut the Window. We shall be suffocated... open the Window and come to bed, and I will convince you: I believe you are not acquainted with my Theory of Colds... I had read his Letters to Dr Cooper in which he had advanced, that Nobody ever got cold by going into a cold Church, or any other cold Air: but the Theory was so little consistent with my experience, that I thought it a Paradox: However I had so much curiosity to hear his reasons, that I would run the risque of a cold. The Doctor then began an harrangue, upon Air and cold and Respiration and Perspiration, with which I was so much amused that I soon fell asleep, and left him and his Philosophy together...

September 9, 1742

From the records of the Moravian community at Bethlehem, PA:

Regarding our neighbors in the district, Bro Ludwig proposed that they could be invited to come here to Bethlehem, be given a lovefeast, and be notified...that as a community we did not wish to be bound by the duty commonly resting on neighbors in this locality. And in conversing with them, we could politely inform them that we do not recognize them to be any neighbors of ours...

September 9, 1492

Christopher Columbus wrote in his journal:

Sailed this day nineteen leagues, and determined to count less than the true number, that the crew might not be dismayed if the voyage should prove long. In the night sailed one hundred and twenty miles, at the rate of ten miles an hour, which make thirty leagues. The sailors steered badly, causing the vessels to fall to leeward toward the northeast, for which the Admiral reprimanded them repeatedly...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

September 8, 1909

An item published in the Iowa Recorder:

Mrs Brown and her daughter, Maggie Brown, driven out of Keokuk in a recent crusade against the red light district, were tarred and feathered at Alexandria, Mo, five miles south of here. They returned to Alexandria Saturday and at midnight forty men went to their home and gave them a horse whipping, after which they were escorted to the Mississippi River, placed in a skiff with out oars, turned adrift and warned not to return under penalty of death. They landed below Alexandria.

September 8, 1899

From an article in Utah's Davis County Clipper:

The unknown woman who registered at the Lindell hotel as Mrs WL Lee, and who died of poison in the hotel at this place on August 9, has been identified as Miss Laura Lee French, of Burlington, Iowa, and it is almost an assured fact that the girl did not commit suicide, but was murdered... It is now claimed that her death was caused by an attempt at abortion performed by a prominent business man of Burlington, Iowa.

September 8, 1883

The last spike was driven on the Northern Pacific transcontinental railroad at Gold Creek, MT; a smiling Sitting Bull received a standing ovation after addressing the assembled spectators in his native tongue:

I hate you. I hate all the white people. You are thieves and liars. You have taken away our land and made us outcasts.

September 8, 1862

Kansas pioneer Julia Louisa Lovejoy wrote to the editor of a Boston newspaper:

This Quantrell, who is a second Nero, or fiend rather, in point of cruelty, was Charles Hart, formerly of Lawrence, Kansas, with whom Mr Lovejoy was acquainted during our troubles in 1856 and '57... A woman, who bears the sobriquet of Nancy Slaughter, seated on one of the fleetest horses, accompanies this wretch on his bloody perigrinations. She is a 'grass widow,' and strange as it may seem, is the daughter of a respectable man now living in Kansas...

September 8, 1860

From a letter by James L Craig, published in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Things have come to pretty pass in Texas. I reckon you have heard of the terrible insurrection; the burning of towns; the hanging of thieves, abolitionists, &c... Every man that travels through this country is taken up and examined, and if he does not give a good account of himself, he is strung up to the nearest tree. I have to get a passport from here to Red River, and even then, I expect to have a hard time getting through, for a man's word is nothing in these critical times...

September 8, 1783

James Madison wrote to his father:

On a view of all circumstances I have judged it most prudent not to force Billey back to Va. even if it could be done; and have accordingly taken measures for his final separation from me. I am persuaded his mind is too thoroughly tainted to be a fit companion for fellow slave in Virga... I...cannot think of punishing him by transportation merely for coveting that liberty for which we have paid the price of so much blood, and have proclaimed so often to be the right, and worthy the pursuit, of every human being.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

September 7, 1900

From an article in Georgia's Augusta Chronicle:

Twenty-one of the representative business and professional men of Wilkinson county came into Macon today to see that a negro, Napoleon Anderson, did not lack friends if the United States commissioner should bind him over on a charge of interfering with United States officers. Anderson had taken a warrant out for larceny against two revenue officers...charging them with stealing his sugar cane. The officers gave bond, and then arrested the negro, saying he had sought to interfere with the discharge of their duties. The white men of the county rose up in arms and refused to allow due process of law...as the negro had lived an exemplary life in their midst...

September 7, 1888

Rutherford B Hayes wrote in his diary:

I dined with Warden Coffin of the Ohio Penitentiary... We saw the machinery where murderers are now executed. Seven have been executed. The plan is better than the old one. It is quietly done. Only a few, at the most about thirty or forty, can witness [an execution]. It excites nobody outside of the list permitted to attend. I think the time for capital punishment has passed. I would abolish it...

September 7, 1870

In Indiana, Abbie Bright wrote in her diary:

Katura told us when they came west fifteen years ago, the woman nearly all wore sunbonnets. Her wedding bonnet was very pretty, and much admired. A neighbor girl was going to be married and wanted her bonnet. After some dickering, they made a trade -- the girl got the bonnet, and Katura got a pig. 'That Pig' said she -- 'was the source of the hundreds of pigs we have raised since'...

September 7, 1831

Touring America with Alexis de Tocqueville, Gustave de Beaumont wrote to his brother:

We were struck by the appearance of riches and prosperity reigning in Massachusetts... it is no longer that wild nature that one meets with everywhere in the states of the west; the virgin forest has long since disappeared... Two centuries are a veritable antiquity in this country, where the majority of the towns boast hardly 10 or 20 years of existence. One sees in Massachusetts neither tree trunks in the fields, nor log houses serving as habitations... the ranks are already crowded there...

September 7, 1727

Virginia planter Robert "King" Carter wrote to Captain James Christian:

I had two Letters Concerning you from Mr Pemberton...in which he tells me of you and your ship being gon to Guinea and bound for Virginia and if you fixt at Rappahannock I am to have the preference of selling the Slaves if I will take the trouble upon me... you have [heard] by this Time what abundance of Negroes have bin imported this year into this river wee have had above Six hundred and into York I beleive more then three Times as many...

Monday, September 05, 2005

September 6, 1917

An item published in Iowa's Hinton Gazette:

Mr Dell Nash returned from his trip to Texas the latter part of last week. Mr Nash was in Houston just after the Negro soldiers shot up the town. He states that the city was under martial law and that an adventurer in search of exciting conditions could have found all he wanted of it in Houston at that time.

September 6, 1890

From an article in Louisiana's Lafayette Advertiser:

The editor of the Hammond Leader has just returned from a visit to Iowa. He says that at Independence, in that State, there has just been built one of the largest race tracks in the United States; where thousands of dollars will be squandered in betting on favorite horses, and yet the high moralists have not risen up to put it down by law, nor does the sport pay any considerable revenue into the public treasury. The Leader wants to know what is the moral difference between betting on horse races and buying tickets in a lottery, and pauses for a reply...

September 6, 1862

From an item published in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Robert Small[s], the negro pilot, who brought the rebel steamer Planter out of Charleston and delivered her to our naval forces, publishes the following letter in the Washington Republican... 'After waiting apparently in vain, for many years for our deliverance, a party consisting of nine men, myself included, of the city of Charleston, conferred freedom on ourselves, five women and three children; and to the Government of the United States we gave the Planter, a gunboat which cost nearly $30,000, together with six large guns, from a 24-pounder howitzer to a 100-pound Parrott rifle. We are all now in the service of the navy, under the command of our true friend, Rear Admiral Dupont, where we wish to serve till the rebellion and slavery are alike crushed out forever...'

September 6, 1841

Rutherford B Hayes wrote in his diary:

The grogshop politicians of this goodly city have been in constant ferment for a few weeks past because of the veto of the Bank Bill by President Tyler. The Van Buren men who opposed him so strenuously last fall, now laud him to the skies for his integrity and firmness in disregarding his party relations for the sake of the Constitution. On the other hand, his former friends, the old Whigs, stigmatize him as a traitor to his principles for disregarding the wishes of a majority of his supporters...

September 6, 1636

According to Boston court records:

Robert Shorthouse for swearinge by the bloud of God was sentenced to have his tongue put into a cleft stick, and soe stand for halfe an houre & Elizabeth wife of Thomas Applegate was censured to stand with her tongue in a cleft stick for half an houre for swearinge, railinge and revilinge.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

September 5, 1992

Shortly before he was murdered, gay sailor Allen Schindler wrote in his diary:

Here I am again on a ship I don't want to be on going to a place I don't want to go... For now I don't know what my destiny is if I have one.

September 5, 1861

Eugenia Levy Phillips, arrested with her family as Confederate spies, wrote in her diary:

We are warned to be very careful as spies surround us in every guise. Having nothing to conceal, we are puzzled to know how to shape our conduct. Every little playfulness on the part of the girls is tortured into an offense so that we have sunk down into a quiet gloom, suspecting everybody and enjoying nothing...

September 5, 1856

Kansas pioneer Julia Lovejoy wrote from Lawrence:

Altogether, in these 'dark days' of crime, we have had a sorry time of it, as every hour almost...some startling intelligence of new murders and depredations saluted our acutely nervous senses... Our hearts sicken at the atrocities perpetrated daily upon the innocent and unoffending. Ossawattamie has been laid in ashes, every house burned, and four of our men killed... The ruffians have burnt every Free State man's house in Leavenworth, pressed the men into their service, at the peril of their lives, driven the women and children, with just the clothes on their backs, into the boats and sent them down the River...

September 5, 1755

From an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:

Ran away from the Subscriber, living in Winchester Town, Frederick County, on Tuesday the 12th of August, a Servant Woman, named Hannah Wilson, about 50 Years of Age...born in Denmark, but speaks Low Dutch, and pretty good English; and it is supposed, she went away with some Sailors that were in the Battle on the Monongahela... it is suppos'd that she has dress'd herself in a Sailor's Apparel, in Order to go to London with the said Sailors. Whoever will apprehend and secure the said Runaway, so that she may be had again, shall have Three Pistoles Reward...