Wednesday, November 30, 2005

December 1, 1944

Unaware that he'd already died of his wounds in France, Dorothy Johnson wrote to her husband, Private Melvin W Johnson:

The message came last night... I can't realize it. I feel stunned altho I've been living in fear of such a thing. My great hope is that you aren't suffering. I know you have been through hell. I told you before that no matter what might happen, I want you back... No matter what the nature of your wounds, I will endeavor to adjust my life to your needs, and give you all the happiness I can. We have so much to go on with... This morning as I was leaving our bedroom, I glanced at our daughter. She had her fingers over her eyes and was playing 'Possum.' Finally one little mischeivous eye popped out, and she gave me the sweetest smile...

December 1, 1864

Union Major Fredrick C Winkler wrote to his wife:

Some of the most outrageous depredations and excesses are daily committed by our soldiers here. Citizens are robbed daily of everything. It is really heart-rending to enter some of these houses and see how like demons our soldiers have behaved. There is a Judge Asa Holt and wife, temporarily sojourning on his plantation; he is over seventy years old. Day before yesterday some of the ruffians actually went so far as to put a rope around his neck and raise him up by it to make him disclose money, which they insisted he had concealed... It is only this last week that I have learned to appreciate the horrors which accompany an invading and victorious army...

December 1, 1860

An item published in the Fayetteville Arkansian:

A short well built youth was brought to the bar of Recorder Emerson's Court yesterday, when to our surprise the name of Linnie Brown was called, and the Recd'r addressing the lad who was smiling, blushing, and spitting tobacco juice, fined her ten dollars. The woman -- for such was the lad -- was taken temporarily to a cell below, and he questioned her the reason that led her to adopt the masculine garb. She said she could not get along as a woman, making but small wages and not getting paid half the time, and being strong and healthy she had shipped as a deck hand on board a steamboat, and had been following the profession for the last six months and liked it well. She was a 'good fellow' and had rather remain a man anyhow.

December 1, 1859

En route to Fort Riley in Kansas, Captain Lambert Bowman Wolf wrote in his diary:

Zounds, boys; we've got it this morning... for a blizzard had come upon us about midnight and I thought it a howling success... shot 7 horses that were so chilled could not get up... The captain had his left cheek and ear, hands and feet badly frozen, Rogers his hands and feet, 'Pickles' Houston's hands frozen and the sight of his left eye ruined...

December 1, 1789

William Barksdale wrote to William Fontain regarding a reprieve for a slave who was sentenced to be hanged for robbing and stabbing a white man at Brunswick County, VA:

[I]ts impossible the fellow can survive untill the time in which he is suspended for... the fellow is Iron'd up against a wall, standing, bear of clothes, exposed to the cold, without fire, in a mancholy situation, as well as in very greate pain... He is almost reduced to a skelleton from the cruel treatment he gets from the gard... Mr Traylor...says unless a reprieve can be Immediately got, the fellow had better be hanged at once, as it will be easing him of a very tedious & lingering pain, which is more terrible than death...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

November 30, 1941

Earl Mayan, a member of the 84th Combat Engineer Battalion, wrote from North Carolina:

Thank God the war games are finally in their final phase... I don't suppose there would be an 'appropriate' time for maneuvers, as it is a toss-up between the dry and rainy seasons. It is a land with a threat about it. Its insect inhabitants are voracious, and the temperatures play a devastating role in making you uncomfortable. In the end the land takes over; it dominates all aspects of your existence; it becomes a monstrous thing...

November 30, 1933

From an article in the National Tribune:

Tough timbers went into old Libby Prison, itself no chamber of ease, according to stories of Union Civil War prisoners. Today, more than 40 years after the demolition of the one-time ship chandlery at Richmond, Va, execrated thruout the North during the Civil War as a chamber of horrors, its timbers are still on active duty. Carved with the initials of many a Northern war prisoners of the Confederacy, they form the beams and rafters of a peaceful Indiana barn...

November 30, 1900

From an article in the Sacramento Record-Union:

Thirteen people were killed and nearly 100 injured more or less seriously to-day through the collapse of the roof of the Pacific Glass Works on Fifteenth street, near Folsom. A large crowd had gathered on the roof in order to get a free view of the Berkeley-Stanford football game. Underneath the roof in the factory were red hot furnaces and glass vats. Several of the killed fell on these, and were badly burned. Most of the killed and injured were boys between 9 and 16 years of age...

November 30, 1857

Kansas pioneer George H Hildt wrote in his diary:

[W]e put up sod around two sides of our house making it much more comfortable to live in though it presents a very novel appearance to the beholder...

Monday, November 28, 2005

November 29, 1944

HK Brown of the 103rd Infantry wrote in his diary:

[A] tremendous explosion -- very close... I lay there perhaps another 30 of 40 seconds before lifting my head up. There, before me, within arms reach, lay a helmet with several holes in it, and closer, slightly to my front-right lay a woolen knit cap -- bloody -- and full of holes... I called to Hudson -- 3 times. I crawled close enough to see that he had been sitting up in his hole and that the mortar round had landed practically in his lap... I grabbed my equipment and crawled over the top of the ridge and called down to Carroll -- I could see him doubled up in his hole. He didn't answer. What was going on? Was everybody dead? I went down a little further and came to Grusecki's hole. He was digging. I told him that Hudson and Carroll were dead. About that time Carroll crawled up and asked, 'What's wrong?' I looked at him and said, 'Hudson's gone.' 'Gone where?' he asked. 'He's dead, God damn it,' I replied...

November 29, 1943

Training at Rattlesden, England, Sgt Harley Tuck of the 708th Bomber Squadron wrote in his diary:

Afternoon we had a talk by a couple fighter pilots that would escort us in P-47's as soon as we start our missions. They were a couple of quiet guys, they told us how they came up + where they would fly to protect us. They also asked us not to shoot at them; some B-17 crews had shot at them in the past...

November 29, 1862

Phoebe Pember of Charleston wrote to her sister:

Mrs McLane, Gen. Sumner's daughter, is the chere ami of Mrs Jeff Davis. Mrs McL was suspected of being a spy and sent on to Richmond under surveillance, but very private, as her husband stands high in the army, and when around there Mrs Greenhow was paid to watch her. They make a very amusing story of it, however, for the report says that Lincoln pays Mrs McLane for her information and Jeff Davis pays Mrs Greenhow for watching her, and Mrs G is also paid by the Federals for not seeing too much and lastly that the two ladies are in collusion and divide the spoils...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

November 28, 1863

Mary Boykin Chesnut of South Carolina wrote in her diary:

Mr Davis visited Charleston and had an enthusiastic reception... Governor Aiken's perfect old Carolina style of living delighted him. Those old gray-haired darkies and their noiseless, automatic service, the result of finished training -- one does miss that sort of thing when away from home, where your own servants think for you; they know your ways and your wants; they save you all responsibility even in matters of your own ease and well doing. The butler at Mulberry would be miserable and feel himself a ridiculous failure were I ever forced to ask him for anything...

November 28, 1844

Louisiana slaveowner Bennet H Barrow wrote in his diary:

Whipped all my grown cotton pickers today.

November 28, 1775

General George Washington wrote to the President of Congress from Cambridge, MA:

The number inlisted since my last are 2540 men. I am very sorry to be necessitated to mention to you the egregious want of Public Spirit which reigns here; instead of pressing to be engaged in the cause of their Country, which I vainly flattered myself would be the case, I find we are likely to be deserted at a most critical time... The Connecticut Troops upon whom I reckoned are as backward, indeed if possible more so than the people of this colony, our situation is truly Alarming...

November 28, 1758

Colonel George Washington wrote to Governor Francis Fauquier of Virginia:

I have the pleasure to inform you, that Fort Duquesne, or the ground rather on which it stood, was possessed by his Majesty's troops on the 25th instant. The enemy, after letting us get within a day's march of the place, burned the fort, and ran away... The possession of this fort has been matter of great surprise to the whole army, and we cannot attribute it to more probable causes, than those of weakness, want of provisions, and desertion of their Indians...

November 28, 1734

At Ebenezer, GA, Salzburger pastor John Martin Boltzius wrote in his journal:

Because the cold weather remained, we were again forced to hold school in the house of a Salzburger where we could have a fire. There was much smoke and other inconvenience, but one much choose the lesser of two evils... The cold is so severe that we can hardly find protection either by day or by night. This is the case because we were not prepared for a rough winter. Nothing was said about it, quite the contrary...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

November 27, 1944

Aboard the USS Montpelier in the Leyte Gulf, Seaman James J Fahey wrote in his diary:

Some of our ships were being hit by suicide planes, bombs and machine gun fire. It was a fight to the finish... we also got hit by 3 suicide planes, but lucky for us they dropped their bombs before they crashed into us. In the meantime exploding planes overhead were showering us with their parts... The Jap planes were cutting up the water with machine gun fire. All the guns on the ships were blazing away, talk about action, never a dull moment. The fellows were passing ammunition like lightning as the guns were turning in all directions spitting out hot steel... The deck near my mount was covered with blood, guts, brains, tongues, scalps, hearts, arms etc from the Jap pilots...

November 27, 1864

Union soldier Samuel McClain made his final diary entry, shortly before he died at Salisbury Prison in North Carolina:

I dreampt that I was at home talking with my wife & got something good to eat...

General William Sherman's military secretary, Major Henry Hitchcock, wrote in his diary:

Headquarters in a field, Tennille Station, Georgia... Accidentally got to talking with brunette lady of the house today about the war, etc. I pity these women sincerely, but curse the miserable 'State pride' which blinds them. I believe there is no such contemptible provincialism in this world as these people have...

November 27, 1863

Reverend Samuel Andrew Agnew of Mississippi wrote in his diary:

[T]onight Pa got back about 2 o'clock bare-headed and afoot and his face bloody from severe scratches. He had gone unsuspectingly to within sight of the X roads when the Yankees spied he and Brice and pursued them yelling 'halt God damn you' firing at them many times. They turned and fled and took the bushes. Pa heard two bullets whistle near, then one struck his horse which caused him to jump so that he was thrown. The horse then ran off towards the Church. The Yankees caught him and killed him as his wound disabled him for service... Pa lay in the bushes 1 1/2 hours during which time troops were constantly passing the X roads...

November 27, 1855

Samuel J Jones, sheriff of Douglas County, wrote to Kansas governor Wilson Shannon:

Last night I, with a posse of ten men, arrested one Jacob Branson, by virtue of a peace-warrant regularly issued, who, on our return, was rescued by a party of forty armed men, who rushed upon us suddenly from behind a house upon the road-side, all armed to the teeth with Sharpe's rifles. You may consider an open rebellion as having already commenced...

November 27, 1775

Abigail Adams wrote to her husband:

Tis a fortnight to Night since I wrote you a line during which, I have been confined with the jaundice, Rhumatism and a most violent cold; I yesterday took a puke which has releived me, and I feel much better to day. Many, very many people who have had the dysentery, are now afflicted both with the jaundice and Rhumatisim, some it has left in Hecticks, some in dropsies...

Friday, November 25, 2005

November 26, 1895

Following a disastrous fire at the University of Virginia, alumnus Robert Morton Hughes wrote to Armistead Gordon:

It surprises me that they did not have there the slightest semblance of a fire organization. The people present at the fire told me that the greatest trouble was the lack of a head. I understand that everybody was boss; that what one professor ordered another countermanded; and that this is really accountable for the failure to save the books... The superintendent during the fire, I understand, instead of taking charge and managing things according to some system, was chiefly engrossed in throwing dynamite at a structure that any engineer ought to have known would not be affected by it. The lack of such an organization among the authorities there, faculty and others, is so surprising that it almost looks like imbecility...

November 26, 1797

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

Set off with hears[e] to Loyd Jones, his Little perntice Boy Dead... Accationed by a thorn Runing in his foot, which Broght on a Lock Jaw or Lock all over him Loyd said he Coud put his hand under his head & Rais him up Like a stick, his Joints all stiff, the Doctor Call in at Late hour tried Blisters &c but to no Effect...

November 26, 1769

Charles Thomson wrote to Benjamin Franklin:

The army, which was left in America after the late war under the pretence of securing and defending it, is now publicly declared to be for the purpose of enforcing obedience to the authority of Parliament. The remonstrances and Petitions of the Assemblies in favour of their rights, and against these claims of Parliament, are treated as sedition and the attempts of the people to procure a redress of grievances are deemed rebellion and treason...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

November 25, 1886

Benson J Lossing wrote to Cornelia Griswold Goodrich:

I thank you very much for your extremely interesting letter with its enclosures. The circumstantial evidence that your GG Grandfather wrote 'The Visit of St Nicholas' seems as conclusive as that which has taken innocent men to the gallows... I am greatly interested in this matter. I should be highly gratified by finding positive proof that the Poem was the product of a son of my native county of Duchess...

November 25, 1862

From an article in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Dr JE Bennett...removed from the face of Mr Samuel Hearn, on Shawnee street, about two-thirds of the lower jaw bone on the left side, extending from the angle to near the symphasis of the jaw. The patient was thoroughly chloroformed at the time, thus rendering the operation painless. He has been up and attending to his business as usual, and declares that he neither knew of the operation or felt pain at the time... The use of chloroform is fast gaining ground, despite the many objections at first urged against it. It is now used in nearly all painful surgical operations, by all intelligent accouchers, and even for the extraction of teeth...

November 25, 1859

Frances Ellen Watkins, a free black from Indiana, wrote to John Brown:

Although the hands of Slavery throw a barrier between you and me, and it may not be my privilege to see you in the prison house, Virginia has no bolts or bars through which I dread to send you my sympathy... I thank you that you have been brave enough to reach out your hands to the crushed and blighted of my race. You have rocked the bloody Bastille; and I hope from your sad fate great good may arise to the cause of freedom...

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

November 24, 1918

American soldier Paul B Hendrickson wrote to his father from Europe:

I have been hearing much of the Sp. Influ. over there. Have you and mother been coming thru alright so far... when a man goes thru this war as I have and has the unexpected pleasure of being alive & well at the finish it would be an awfully hard thing to bear to have some kind of an epidemic to take off some of your relatives back home that have been so safe from these projectiles of all sizes & descriptions and gas of every known kind that could be handled in a shell or other wise, of a destructive nature...

November 24, 1862

Following the Dakota Uprising, Reverend Thomas Williamson wrote to Reverend Stephen Riggs:

[I] am satisfied in my own mind from the slight evidence on which these are condemned that there are many others in that prison house who ought not to be there, and that the honor of our Government and the welfare of the people of Minnesota as well as that of the Indians requires a new trial before unprejudiced judges. I doubt whether the whole state of Minnesota can furnish 12 men competent to sit as jurors in their trial... From our Governor down to the lowest rabble there is a general belief that all the prisoners are guilty, and demand that whether guilty or not they be put to death as a sacrifice to the souls of our murdered fellow citizens.

November 24, 1801

Thomas Jefferson wrote to Governor James Monroe of Virginia:

Could we procure lands beyond the limits of the US to form a receptacle for [black] people?... The West Indies offer a more probable & practicable retreat for them. Inhabited already by a people of their own race & color; climates congenial with their natural constitution; insulated from the other descriptions of men; nature seems to have formed these islands to become the receptacle of the blacks transplanted into this hemisphere... Africa would offer a last & undoubted resort, if all others more desirable should fail us...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November 23, 1862

Sailing toward Beaufort, SC, Union Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson wrote in his journal:

As I approach the mysterious land I am more & more impressed with my good fortune in having this novel & uncertain career open before me when I thought everything definitely arranged. My dear mother was wrong in regretting that I exchanged the certain for the uncertain... Here is, on the contrary, a position of great importance; as many persons have said, the first man who organizes & commands a successful black regiment will perform the most important service in the history of the War...

November 23, 1861

From an article in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

A fight occurred in Beauregard's army between Borden's Guard and the Wise Artillery... The fracus arose in consequence of a woman, named Belle Boyd, refusing to sell a bottle of whisky to a soldier. She demanded two dollars for a pint bottle; soldier offered one; Mrs Boyd refused to sell; soldier seized the bottle, woman drew a knife; soldier did the same; the Wise Artillery interfered in behalf of woman, and Borden's Guard Artillery for soldier. It was a fierce conflict, and was only ended by the interference of the general officers. Twenty-five or thirty were badly wounded.

November 23, 1859

Juan Cortina issued a proclamation to Mexican inhabitants of Texas:

When the State of Texas began to receive the new organization which its sovereignty required as an integrate part of the Union, flocks of vampires, in the guise of men came and scattered themselves in the settlements, without any capital except the corrupt heart and the most perverse intentions... Many of you have been robbed of your property, incarcerated, chased, murdered, and hunted like wild beasts, because your labor was fruitful, and because your industry excited the vile avarice which led them... It would appear that justice had fled from this world, leaving you to the caprice of your oppressors... I am ready to offer myself as a sacrifice for your happiness; and counting upon the means necessary for the discharge of my ministry, you may count upon my cooperation, should no cowardly attempt put an end to my days...

November 23, 1858

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

I see by the Easter papers that you are already apprised of the 'Pike's Peak' excitement here... Dr S Whitehorn, our son-in-law...came from there last week, and more than half a dozen men, direct from the mines (and two, who had spent the last summer there, were loaded with gold dust), came in there recently...bringing thousands with them. He says he thinks two-thirds of the settlers around Manhattan will go there in the Spring. Already large companies from Leavenworth, Lawrence, Topeka, Oskaloosa, and other places, have started for the El Dorado...

November 23, 1835

Reverend Elijah Parish Lovejoy wrote a letter to his mother from St Louis:

We are getting quiet -- again. The Lynchites are getting ashamed of their doings. The Papish, the Irish, and the pro-slavery Christians finding that I am not to be driven nor frightened away are beginning to feel and act a little more reasonably. A large majority of the Protestants in the city are decidedly with me...

Monday, November 21, 2005

November 22, 1866

An item published in the Sacramento Daily Bee:

Dooney Harris, the English pugilist, who was telegraphed to at New York by sporting men here, is on the steamer next due here, with the avowed intention of getting a fight with Tom Chandler, the champion of California, for from $1,000 to $2,000 a side.

November 22, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln wrote to General Nathaniel P Banks:

Early last week you left me in high hope with your assurance that you would be off with your expedition at the end of that week, or early in this. It is now the end of this, and I have just been overwhelmed and confounded with the sight of a requisition made by you which, I am assured, cannot be filled and got off within an hour short of two months. I enclose you a copy of the requisition, in some hope that it is not genuine -- that you have never seen it. My dear General, this expanding and piling up of impedimenta has been, so far, almost our ruin, and will be our final ruin if it is not abandoned...

November 22, 1860

From an article in the Memphis Daily Appeal:

The once despised 'mink' taking rank only one step higher than the muskrat, has got into such high favor from its close resemblance to the Hudson bay sable, that importations of the genuine article have been displaced to a large extent...

November 22, 1755

During the French & Indian War, Colonel George Washington wrote to Dennis McCarty:

I am very sorry you have given me occasion to complain of your conduct in Recruiting; and to tell you, that the methods and unjustifiable means you have practised, are very unacceptable, and have been of infinitely prejudice to the Service: of this I am informed by many Gentlemen, as well as by all the Officers who were ordered to recruit in these parts: and am further assured, that it is next to an impossibility to get a man where you have been; such terror have you occasioned by forcibly taking, confining and torturing those, who would not voluntarily enlist...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

November 21, 1944

From the diary of the 381st Bomb Group's medical detachment:

Capt John Fenton has been sweating out his missions to a marked degree having battle dreams, talking in his sleep and having considerable mental disturbances. The boys in his barracks say he flies his ship from the time his sleeping begins until he awakens. The other night the men went into the barracks and found Capt Fenton flying an apparently tough mission. Apparently his ship was hit and he exclaimed 'Co-pilot, feather number four.' 'Co-pilot, what is your name?' Lt Pettitt also sleeping, answered him in his sleep. Both of them, sound asleep, piloted the severely damaged Fort back to the base safely.

November 21, 1943

British Major Robert Peaty kept a diary while imprisoned in Mukden, Manchuria, recording Unit 731's use of Allied POWs, including Americans, as guinea pigs:

[T]here are now over 230 dead.

November 21, 1891

Aboard the steamship Mandingo off the coast of Africa, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner wrote:

Several white American missionaries called upon me before I left Sierra Leone... men and women from Wisconsin, Nebraska, one was from Ohio -- a young, beautiful white lady... From Nebraska there are five missionaries here; twenty-seven more coming. From Kansas there are nine here, and fifteen coming. From Minnesota there are ten here, and eighteen coming. From Ohio there are twelve here. From Illinois there are four here. A majority of these missionaries are white ladies... Almost every steamer is bringing more... The singularity of this movement is, that all these missionaries should come from the West. Outside of middle New York state, I find no Eastern, Northern or Southern whites out here as missionaries...

November 21, 1863

Reverend Samuel Andrew Agnew of Mississippi wrote in his diary:

In Buncombe the cavalry are scouring the country gathering up all the men they find of conscript age and they have taken some that are beyond the age, as G Haynie. They arrested Osborne Roberts, who although 25 years old is a dwarf and also JM Caldwell whose eyes are very defective... Charles Caldwell is home from the Macon, Ga, Hospital on furlough, Capt Sloan is also home. He has lost his lower jaw and is said to be a melancholy spectacle...

November 21, 1800

Abigail Adams wrote to her sister from Washington, DC:

I arrived in this city on Sunday the 16th... You find nothing but a forest & woods on the way, for 16 and 18 miles not a village. Here and there a thatched cottage without a single pane of glass, inhabited by Blacks... As I expected to find it a new country, with houses scattered over a space of ten miles, and trees & stumps in I found it - The President's House is in a beautiful situation in front of which is the Potomac with a view of Alexandria. The country around is romantic but a wild, a wilderness at present. I have been to George Town and felt all that Mrs Cranch described when she was a resident there. It is the very dirtiest hole I ever saw for a place of any trade, or respectability of inhabitants...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

November 20, 1863

In a hospital in Newnan, GA, Confederate soldier Van Buren Oldham wrote in his diary:

There is a man here with his leg cut off and from gangrene or other causes. The [primary] artery can not be closed. He is kept alive by having a man hold the artery with his fingers until the leg is well. The light duty men do this [with] reliefs who stand guard.

November 20, 1862

Aboard the steamship Atlantic off Fort Monroe, Union soldier Galutia York wrote to his family:

I tell you now it is quite a sight to see a thousand men drew up in a line of battle along the seashore all stripped off bearassed fighting lice... there is one man in Co D that is so lowsy he is in danger of his life... I have not found but one on me yet but I expect to be covered with them before I get out of this...

November 20, 1861

From an article in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Encouraged by the war, one Sergeant JW Ambler has been teaching broadsword and bayonet exercise to the young men of Biddeford, Me., and on a recent evening gave a public exhibition, at which it was announced there should be a 'sham fight' between the Federalists and the rebels, the latter to fall at the proper moment. But the 'rebels' had determined not to die so easy, but instead thereof to drive the 'Union men' from the stage, and they had nearly done it, when the gallant Sergeant grasped his trusty sword and the work became no joke. He slashed right and left, regardless of heads or points, and turned the scale of battle. As a result, there were seven men who needed surgical attendance...

November 20 1852

CT Wills of the Lynchburg Hose & Fire Insurance Company wrote to John H McCue:

Where two neighbours (citizens) have difficulties, our Company ordinarily feel no fear in taking a risk for either, but where the difficulty is with a citizen and one of the class of Irishmen such as you have about Staunton on the Rail Road, they always refuse the Risk when the fact of the existence of such a difficulty is made known, for in temper and disposition, that class of Irishmen are regarded as neither fish, flesh or fowl, and the fear always is that in order to vent their spleen or gratify their animosity they would, as is believed, injure the whole world to effect an enemy, in feeling or in property...

November 20, 1769

An item published in the Boston Chronicle:

We learn from Worcester that on the eighth instant one Lindsay stood in the Pillory there one hour, after which he received 30 stripes at the public whipping-post, and was then branded in the hand his crime was Forgery.

November 20, 1738

General James Oglethorpe wrote to Georgia trustee George Heathcote from Fort Frederica:

I am here in one of the most delightful situations as any man could wish to be: a great number of debts, empty magazines, no money to supply them, numbers of people to be fed, mutinous soldiers to command, a Spanish claim and a large body of their troops not far from us...

Friday, November 18, 2005

November 19, 1877

Donner Party survivor John Breen wrote to historian Hubert Howe Bancroft:

About the first of November 1846 we arrived at what proved to be the first of the main ridge, and camped at the foot of what is now called Donner Lake. It was raining when we stopped, but before morning their was some snow on the ground, we started at daylight, but soon found that the snow increased in depth as we advanced, and after traveling about two miles, it was so deep that the cattle could not go no further and to make matters worse another storm began, so we retraced our steps to the camp of the night before...

November 19, 1864

Near Covington, GA, Dolly Lunt Burge wrote in her journal:

I saw some blue-coats coming down the hill... I hastened back to my frightened servants and told them that they had better hide, and then went back to the gate to claim protection and a guard. But like demons they rush in! My yards are full. To my smoke-house, my dairy, pantry, kitchen, and cellar, like famished wolves they come, breaking locks and whatever is in their way... Utterly powerless I ran out and appealed to the guard. 'I cannot help you, Madam; it is orders'... Alas! little did I think while trying to save my house from plunder and fire that they were forcing my boys from home at the point of the bayonet...

November 19, 1812

John C Luttig, a clerk with the Missouri Fur Company, wrote in his journal:

[H]ung the great Door of the Entrance of the fort, which ceremony was saluted by 7 Guns and 3 rounds of Musketry, made the Tour -- around the Fort and Baptized the same Fort Manuel. In the Evening a good Supper and a cheerful glass of Whiskey was given to the Men, and a Dance at which all the Ladies then in the fort attended...

November 19, 1754

From the records of the Moravian colony at Bethabara, North Carolina:

We began to build a bake-oven, so that we might again have bread, of which we have had little lately. Our food has been largely pumpkin broth and mush, which has agreed with us very well...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

November 18, 1989

Vietnam vet Richard Luttrell left a letter and a photo at The Wall in Washington, DC:

Dear Sir, For twenty two years I have carried your picture in my wallet. I was only eighteen years old that day that we faced one another on that trail in Chu Lai, Vietnam. Why you did not take my life I'll never know... Forgive me for taking your life, I was reacting just the way I was trained...

November 18, 1863

An item published in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Captain James Madison Cutts, who was convicted by a court Martial of spying through the keyhole of a lady's bed room when she was undressing, and sentenced to dismissal from the service, has been pardoned and restored to his place. The Captain's peculiar talent might be profitably employed in spying out the vulnerable points of our wayward sisters at the South.

November 18, 1859

From an editorial in the Richmond Whig, as quoted in the Liberator:

Though it convert the whole Northern people, without an exception, into furious, armed abolition invaders, yet old Brown will be hung! That is the stern and irreversible decree, not only of the authorities of Virginia, but of the people of Virginia, without a dissenting voice. And, therefore, Virginia, and the people of Virginia, will treat with the contempt they deserve, all the craven appeals of Northern men in behalf of old Brown's pardon. The miserable old traitor and murderer belongs to the gallows, and the gallows will have its own.

November 18, 1775

From an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:

Ran away last Night, from the Subscriber, a Negro Man named Charles, who is a very shrewd sensible Fellow, and can both read and write; and as he always waited upon me, he must be well known through most of Virginia and Maryland... His Elopement was from no Cause of Complaint, or Dread of a Whipping (for he has always been remarkably indulged, indeed too much so) but from a determined Resolution to get Liberty, as he conceived, by flying to Lord Dunmore...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

November 17, 1863

An item published in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

Some twenty temples of venus have been suppressed in Washington lately by the police. Large numbers of similar establishments are still in full blast, and it is estimated that there are a grand army of 'social evils,' fifteen thousand strong, on active duty at the National Capital. As Uncle Abe has an eye to utility, he ought to organize this force into Bloomer Brigades, and send them down South to operate amongst the rebels. The amount of injury they would be sure to inflict would render them valuable auxiliaries to the army.

November 17, 1861

Confederate spy Rose O'Neal Greenhow wrote, in a letter to William Seward:

You have held me, sir, to man's accountability, and I thereore claim the right to speak on subjects usually considered beyound a woman's ken, and which you may class as 'errors of opinion.' I offer no excuse for this long digression, as a three months' imprisonment, without formula of law, gives me authority for occupying even the precious moments of a Secretary of State...

November 17, 1860

From an article in the Memphis Daily Appeal:

We need scarcely tell our lady readers that the 'scoop' or 'coal scuttle' hat has entirely vanished, and the style of the new fashions is a neat, small bonnet, suitable to almost any feature, adding beauty to the beautiful, dignity to the queenlike, and improving the appearance of all... A new style of air-inflated bustle has recently been introduced, and hoops will be larger than ever. If they only lifted the dress out of the mud, we should be well content, but, alas! the skirts will be made longer...and the cloaks of this year nearly trail upon the ground...

November 17, 1836

Jonathan Cilley wrote, in a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne:

I have this day received a letter from our classmate, Horace Bridge, containing copies of a matrimonial wager made by us and left with him twelve years ago last Monday... Now to the question. Have I won or lost? Are you single or double?...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 16, 1862

In camp near Winchester, VA, Confederate Captain Jedediah Hotchkiss wrote a letter to his wife:

We have prisoners constantly brought in, four different squads in 24 hours -- The last batch was taken at Leesburg... I was much struck by the words of an Irishman of the 20th Conn -- who was brought here today, he having deserted from the Harper's Ferry army. He said he was forced to enlist, and his heart was not in the war, he would not shoot at the Southern people -- he had received more kind treatment in the few days he had been with our troops than in all the time he had been in the Northern army and he wanted to get home and stay there -- Dr McGuire asked him why he did not join the Southern army -- he pointed Northward and said 'I have a wife and children there' and said no more... It was a volume of argument in a single sentence...

November 16, 1849

Edgar Allan Poe wrote to Annie Locke Richmond:

Ah, Annie Annie! my Annie! what cruel thoughts about your Eddy must have been torturing your heart during the last terrible fortnight, in which you have heard nothing from me... I procured two ounces of laudnum &...took the cars back to Boston. When I arrived, I wrote you a letter, in which I opened my whole heart to you... I swallowed about half the laudnum & hurried to the Post-Office... But I had not calculated on the strength of the laudanum, for, before I reached the Post Office my reason was entirely gone, & the letter was never put in. Let me pass over, my darling Sister, the awful horrors which succeeded...

November 16, 1833

Fur trader Robert Campbell wrote a letter to his brother from Fort William:

You have never built a fort? Then pray Heaven you never may; for of all the trouble and annoyance I have ever experienced, that gives the most. A few days more will enable me to complete the outside of our accommodations, with the exception of an ice house and provision store... The trade has scarcely commenced; but we, and our rivals, are electioneering hard for it; -- a business that would puzzle one of your most noisy politicians. Intrigue, bribery and corruption are the order of the day. The Indians feel their importance and maintain it...

November 16, 1739

General James Oglethorpe wrote to the Georgia trustees:

We have not so much as given the least provocation to the Spaniards as yet, but most manfully they surprised two poor sick men, cut off their heads, mangled their bodies most barbarously, and as soon as a party and boat appeared, which together did not make their number, they retired with the utmost precipitation...

November 16, 1620

From a journal of the settlers at Plymouth:

In the morning so soon as we could see the trace, we proceeded on our journey, and had the track until we had compassed the head of a long creek, and there [the Indians] took into another wood, and we after them, supposing to find some of their dwellings, but we marched through boughs and bushes, and under hills and valleys, which tore our very armor in pieces, and yet could meet with none of them, nor their houses, nor find any fresh water, which we greatly desired, and stood in need of, for we brought neither beer nor water with us...

Monday, November 14, 2005

November 15, 1903

From an article in the Los Angeles Herald:

The red men came down from the Sherman Institute to try out against the University of Southern California, and it was a hot, hard game, the best team winning out in the second half. The white boys found out a few things about Indian football... an Indian is never down until there are eight or nine men standing on his head, and sometimes not then. Finding that they were up against better players, the local men took to dirty work and earned the hisses and hoots of the large crowd...

November 15, 1871

From an item published in the Sacramento Daily Bee:

Last night some hoodlums went to the Chinese quarter, where idols and strange gods are being worshiped, and during the ceremonies cut the ques from the heads of several Chinamen in the crowd. This is an outrage that must not again be attempted; in fact, hereafter during the religious festival of the Chinese, none but respectable persons -- those who know how to behave themselves -- will be permitted to enter the Chinese house of worship...

November 15, 1864

As Atlanta burned, Union Major Henry Hitchcock wrote in his diary:

Today the destruction fairly commenced... This PM the torch applied... Clouds of heavy smoke rise and hang like pall over doomed city. At night, the grandest and most awful scene... horizon shows immense and raging fires, lighting up whole heavens... the skeletons of great warehouses stand out in relief against and amidst sheets of roaring, blazing, furious flames... as one fire sinks another rises, further along the horizon... it is a line of fire and smoke, lurid, angry, dreadful to look upon.

November 15, 1862

A soldier's wife wrote to CSA President Jefferson Davis:

We have a farm in Choctaw County, Alabama with over forty negroes thereon, now entirely without a superintendent, negroes running at large, with the usual confusion and destruction in such cases, and your Excellency must be aware of the fact, that through the agency of the Conscript law, the male population of the country has been taken away, hence the utter impossibility of procuring an overseer or superintendent at all reliable. I have been compelled to leave my home in Choctaw County and come here to reside temporarily with my Father untill some one could be had to control our slaves...

November 15 1860

EB Whitman of Lawrence, KS, wrote to Franklin B Sanborn:

The last year has been one of most serious trial to us all. 'What shall we eat and drink and wherewithal shall we be clothed' has come home to many of us with a most practical and terrible significance. You well know that the reserved resources of most of our settlers have had a hard drain upon them for the last four or five years... When therefore it came to an entire failure of their crop for a whole year, both for man and beast you can well imagine their condition... as winter approaches and the stock of old corn is exhausted and the grass fails, the prospect is dreary enough and without aid from abroad in some form to supply bread stuffs many of our people must suffer severely for want of food...

November 15, 1855

Hannah Anderson Ropes wrote a letter to her mother from Kansas:

My little Alice is not so well... I watch by her, feeling as though I had brought her into this strange country to wither and die!... The kind physician comes in often and sits awhile; but gives no medicine. She has taken nothing but the drops of water for nine days; and all her requests are, 'Please take me home; please take me home'...

November 15, 1728

During an expedition to survey the boundary between North Carolina and Virginia, Colonel William Byrd wrote in his journal:

There are generally some Carolina traders that constantly live among the Catawbas, and pretend to exercise a dictatorial authority over them. These petty rulers do not only teach the honester savages all sorts of debauchery, but are unfair in their dealings, and use them with all kinds of oppression. Nor has their behaviour been at all better to the rest of the Indian nations, among whom they reside, by abusing their women and evil-entreating their men; and, by the way, this was the true reason of the fatal war which the nations round-about made upon Carolina in the year 1713. Then it was that all the neighbouring Indians, grown weary of the tyranny and injustice with which they had been abused for many years...opened the war by knocking most of those little tyrants on the head that dwelt amongst them, under pretence of regulating their commerce, and from thence carried their resentment so far as to endanger both North and South Carolina...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

November 14, 1851

From an article in Missouri's Liberty Weekly Tribune:

A sad affair took place in Iowa, near Ottumwa, on Friday evening last. Mr Robert Ralston, on the previous evening, had married the daughter of Mr Jos Woods; next evening a party visited Mr Woods' house, to cheravari the newly married couple... one of the party, either by accident or design fired a gun, and shot Mr Ralston in the left side, near the heart... Seven persons were examined, but no evidence was found to implicate them and they were discharged. It was a sad affair; and is another evidence of the folly of carrying fire arms on all occasions.

November 14, 1825

Thomas Jefferson wrote to his granddaughter:

In my letter of Oct 13 to Mr Coolidge, I gave an account of the riot we had at the University, and of it's termination. You will both of course be under anxiety till you know how it has gone off? With the best effects in the world. Having let it be understood, from the beginning, that we wished to trust very much to the discretion of the Students themselves for their own government. With about four fifths of them, this did well, but there were about 15 or 20 bad subjects who were disposed to try whether our indulgence was without limit...

November 14, 1777

General George Washington wrote to British General William Howe:

You call upon me to redress the Grievances of several of your Officers and Men, who you are pleased to say 'you are well informed are most injuriously and unjustifiably loaded with Irons.' If there is a single instance of a Prisoner of War being in Irons, I am ignorant of it, nor can I find, on the most minute inquiry, that there is the least foundation for the charge... Now we are upon the subject of Grievances, I am constrained to observe, that I have a variety of Accounts...that our Private Soldiers in your hands, are treated in a manner shocking to humanity, and that many of them must have perished thro' hunger, had it not been for the charitable contributions of the Inhabitants...

November 14, 1750

From an article in the Maryland Gazette:

[W]e have the following account that was Hamilton Montgomery, belonging to the ship King David of Bristol, bound from the coast of Guinea, viz. That on the 8th day of May last, the slaves on board the said ship flew into the cabbin, and secured the arms in a few minutes, kill'd the captain and five of the people, thereby putting it out of the power of the remainder of the ship's crew to make any resistance... they threw overboard nine of the white men alive, with their irons on...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

November 13, 1899

From West Virginia's Charleston Gazette:

It is a dull week when some young student is not murdered at the Eastern colleges while undergoing hazing, or the initiatory forms of a Greek letter society. In every instance the faculty of the college comes out in a statement exonerating the murderers of all blame in the matter. The colleges of today seem to run largely to foot ball and murder, anyway.

November 13, 1885

Sister Elizabeth Fedde, deaconess of the Norwegian Relief Society in New York, wrote in her diary:

Today I have seen a mother who is fifteen years old and a father who is ten. Terrible to hear, but true.

November 13, 1862

Mississippi attorney Jason Niles wrote in his diary:

Bob Luckett...Said he had belonged to --th Miss Reg't -- had seen a Fed & Confed soldier lying dead at a battery, each bayonetted by the other, and clenching each other, with features distorted by rage. Had seen Gen. Magruder so drunk that he had to be held on his horse by two aids... Said he had slept with his head on a dead Yankee for a pillow -- another soldier had his head on the dead man's feet, cursed him and told him not to kick him. Said when a rapid discharge of small arms took place, fellows would exclaim -- 'By G-d they're making widows for Mississippi now'...

November 13, 1858

Just arrived from the West Coast, Oregon pioneer Abel Helman wrote in his diary:

[I]n my rounds saw a good many women going to church and till now I thought that Cal[ifornia] was the greatest place in the world for ugly women but I think Pittsburgh beats it bad...

November 13, 1847

Pvt William Ingraham wrote to his brother from Fort Kearny, Nebraska:

We had a grand time hunting buffaloe. I had the [luck?] of killing several. I should have killed more but I did not wish to injure my horse. More than a hundred shot and left untouched in the field...

November 13, 1787

Thomas Jefferson wrote to William S Smith:

We have had 13 states independent 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure...

Friday, November 11, 2005

November 12, 1899

Robert Hunter Fitzhugh wrote from Hoosier Creek, Alaska:

The boys on the next claim, '400,' from us have been picking up good prospects every day... They showed me this morning about a dozen pieces $2.00 to $12.00 apiece, so our chance is very good. But there is absolutely no counting on it. GOLD IS WHERE YOU FIND IT, and nowhere else. I was out with a fellow about a week ago and I staked a claim on a new creek. But we stake in this country the way we dynamite fish in the States; throw in the dynamite and if any fish are in range you get them. If not, you lose your dynamite.

November 12, 1861

Union officer John Milton Bancroft wrote in his journal:

Balloon makes four ascensions. Gen. Sickles goes up twice. About 4 o'clock, we go ashore and the General and staff share our coffee, hard tack and salt pork. Mr Bentley of the Philadelphia Enquirer is with us, also one of Frank Leslie's artists.

November 12, 1860

From an article in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

[A] young man, or rather boy, named Frank Bates...engaged in the service of a river captain as a cabin boy, and by his promptness and ingenuousness...was elevated to an assistant clerkship... He remained on the boat in this capacity for about two years, when he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and engaged as a clerk in a dry goods store... It would be useless, however, to trace his history during the two years he remained at Council Bluffs, nor to chronicle the oft raised hopes and repeated disappointments by his female admirers -- they will readily suggest themselves to the reader... About three weeks ago, at a masquerade, 'Frank' was be a female, much to the chagrin of all the fair sex, and to the scandal of the neighborhood...

November 12, 1841

From an article in the Farmer's Cabinet:

By the return of Mr Crawford and other gentlemen, from the agency of the Sioux and Foxes, on the Iowa line, we learn that the attempt of Governor's Chambers and Doty to treat with them for their lands within Iowa was unsuccessful. The Indians positively refused to even entertain the propositions for a sale... A good deal of feeling prevailed among the citizens in the vicinity, as this refusal excludes all present hopes of enlarging the territory of Iowa, and leaves the frontier exposed to annoyance from the Indians, and the Indians in their turn are exposed to all the corruptions and impositions of a frontier settlement...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

November 11, 1865

At Fort Goodwin in Arizona, California Volunteer William Addison Bushnell wrote:

An alarm was occasioned in camp last night by the discharge of fire-arms and the remains of an Apache Chief lying in front of the guard house this morning proved to have been the cause... One report is that he was shot endeavoring to escape... the one most generally believed is that he was shot by order of the Commanding Officer. It was rather clandestinely done and it is not very satisfactory to the soldiers. They vastly preferred seeing him executed publicly, black criminal that he was, to his being assassinated thus...

November 11, 1862

From a letter published in the Leavenworth Daily Times:

There seems to be a strange insanity governing the actions of the Generals of both armies in this brainless war. Hardly a single instance has occurred where a General National or Rebel, has followed up an obvious victory to its legitimate fruits. Our battles, particularly the heavy ones, seem to be intended as a sort of sanguinary drill -- a certain amount of gunnery, a certain number of bayonet charges, an uncertain number of dead and wounded -- then each army falls back, and each General claims a victory; and the worst is that each can substantiate his claims. The President should issue a general order dismissing from the service commander of troops who does not at least show a disposition to follow and cut to pieces a defeated and flying enemy. We have had quite enough of this colossal duelling...

November 11, 1742

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

It was further proposed to get rid of our white hired hands, because to the present they have behaved so arrogantly and insolently. And should we be compelled to keep hired hands, it would be preferable to buy Negroes from St Thomas and employ them as regular servants who would receive wages, to show Pennsylvania and a conscientious author, who in his writing has opposed slavekeeping, how one could treat even Negroes...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

November 10, 1944

From the diary of the 535th Bomb Squadron, following a mission to Cologne, Germany:

Lt Floyd Metts and his crew are in the hospital tonight after undergoing a nerve-racking and tragic ordeal... three 110-pound bombs which had jammed in a Fort flying above Metts' 'Hell's Angels' fell clear and struck the latter bomber. Two tore off the plexi-glass nose and fell clear, but the third, entering the nose compartment...hit Lt Drummond on the head, killing him instantly. This bomb remained jammed in the floor of the nose compartment for about 45 minutes before it could be dislodged and dropped out the forward escape hatch...

November 10, 1883

During the Greely Expedition in the Arctic, Sgt David C Ralston wrote in his diary:

Sad news - Rice in alone at 12 AM reporting his party about 18 miles from here with Elison dying, freezing to death - Brainard and Esk Fred started at 4:30 AM to their relief - Elison freezing ever since they left Isabella...

November 10, 1877

Edward E Robbins, a student at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, wrote to his father:

I am opposed to the Labor movement as it is based upon communistic principles and I think any many who openly advocates communism should be tried for treason, convicted & hung if necessary. Their principles are contrary to the knowledge of the age for they are contrary to the truthful sayings of Goldsmith - 'For just experience tells in every soil that those that think must govern those that toil'...

November 10, 1873

Edmund C Hill of Trenton, NJ, wrote in his diary:

The country is passing through a panic. Workmen are discharged prices are lowered and the future has a very gloomy look.

November 10, 1862

Following the Dakota Uprising, President Abraham Lincoln sent a telegram to General John Pope at St Paul, MN:

Your despatch giving the names of 300 Indians condemned to death is received. Please forward as soon as possible the full and complete record of their convictions; and if the record does not fully indicate the more guilty and influential of the culprits, please have a careful statement made on these points and forwarded to me...

November 10, 1861

Confederate soldier Edward H Ross wrote to his wife from Bowling Green, KY:

I went up in town yesterday and went in to the prison where they had about 20 linkonits... I talked with the Capt he said...that he had a brother in the sothern arma he stated in referance to his case that there was only one step between right and rong and he had fell on the rong side it seems strange to me to see men taken prisoners who are flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone I expected to see somthing great when I saw a linkonite I ran to see the first one that was brough in to our regement... when I got to the gard hous I had to ask which he was and they pointed him out to me and to my stonishment he looked like anybody els...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

November 9, 1906

An item published in the Sacramento Evening Bee:

The egg famine is a stern reality in the intermountain country. Ranchmen of Indian Valley have been selling off their poultry to the construction camps of the Western Pacific and what few here are left have pretty much gone on a strike. Eggs are not to be had in Greenville for love or money. It is now feared that unless poultry is brought in from the outside that there will be no turkey or rooster for Thanksgiving.

November 9, 1899

From West Virginia's Charleston Gazette:

The Workman and Adkins clans of Joe's Creek have united since the killing of Jessie Workman and severe wounding of Frank Adkins by Garland Chambers. Dick Workman has sworn that it will take the lives of four of the members of the family of his son's slayer to make sufficient atonement for the tragedy. The two clans are heavily armed and a family feud may occur at any time.

November 9, 1864

Union soldier Eugene Parkhill, a prisoner at Salisbury Prison in North Carolina, wrote in his diary:

40 died last night. We drew bread and soup.

November 9, 1797

Colonel Thomas Butler wrote to Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins:

The Indians are unquestionably the rightful possessors of their lands; they have ever been so, and there is but two ways of ousting them, conquest or compact... I remember your and my being together at Colonel Craig's when he urged the right of intrusion; he said he had lived their ten years, knowing himself to be an intruder, and five years of that time lived in an intrusion castle. I remember that the bare mention of intrusion as a right was new to you and me...

November 9, 1756

During the French & Indian War, Colonel George Washington wrote to Robert Dinwiddie:

This jaunt afforded me an opportunity of seeing the bad regulation of the militia, the disorderly proceedings of the garrisons, and the unhappy circumstances of the inhabitants... Allowance for each man, as other soldiers do, they look upon as the highest indignity, and would sooner starve, than carry a few days' provision on their backs for conveniency. But upon their march, when breakfast is wanted, knock down the first beef, &c, they meet with, and, after regaling themselves, march on until dinner, when they take the same method, and so for supper likewise, to the great oppression of the people... Of the ammunition they are as careless as of the provisions, firing it away frequently at targets for wagers...

November 9, 1737

At Ebenezer in the Georgia Colony, Salzburger minister John Martin Boltzius wrote in his journal:

An Indian borrowed a lancet from us to bleed a sick old Indian, who has been here for several days. Because this Indian knew some English, I asked him about his age; but...he could only say that he had lived for a long time and that he was already living when this or that happened in the country... In the old man I found such a great natural honesty and a patient and quiet resignation in his sickness and poverty that I had to marvel. Without a doubt such a heathen would put to shame many Christians, who, despite the light of the gospel, have not come so far as this old man and probably others like him have come by natural strength. The other, who bled him, admitted he had learned to curse and swear as long as he was among white people, otherwise he had never found such improper things among the Indians...

Monday, November 07, 2005

November 8, 1907

From an article in the Los Angeles Record:

Chief Kern says: 'I advocate jail sentences for the speed maniacs who come up time after time for driving at express speed through the streets. These fellows are for the most part rich, and they charge up the $25 fine to the cost of running the machine... But they would sit up and take notice if they got themselves on the chain gang.' More than 20 cases are awaiting sentence... they were arrested by the auto squad at nighttime for driving over 35 miles per hour, which is 15 miles over the limit. Judge Austin, who was struck by an auto once, says that he almost afraid to cross the streets in daytime, and never at night, until he takes a survey of the streets for several blocks each way.

November 8, 1794

Connecticut's Windham Herald reprinted an article from an Irish newspaper:

The emigrations from every part of this country to the United States of America are become general. The Factor Capt Bowen, sailed for New-York on Thursday last, with eighty four passengers, and the Mohawk Capt Allen, which sailed a short time since, carried forty-seven families from the county of Sussex. All the American vessels which have sailed from Liverpool and Bristol, for these twelve months past, have been crowded with families, who have sought an asylum in that hospitable clime... There is scarce a town in the North of England, from which one or more families have not emigrated...

November 8, 1770

From an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:

Run away from the subscriber, some time in July last, two Negroes, who are husband and wife, the fellow named Tony, about 50 years of age, the wench named Phillis, and is about 40... They have had several children, who are sold and dispersed through Culpeper, Frederick, and Augusta counties...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

November 7, 1864

From an article in the Richmond Sentinel:

Emmett Ruffin and Thos S Dodge were yesterday evening arrested... with a good many other boys, they were engaged in a rock battle with some 'basin cats'... This practice of throwing stones in the streets has become an intolerable public grievance. - Every evening a crowd of boys collect on Navy Hill, and, with slings, stone every negro that passes within two hundred yards of them. We expect to hear of some of the negroes being killed, as even a very small boy can throw a stone from a sling with sufficient force to break the adamantine skull of a negro.

November 7, 1857

Colonel Daniel Read Anthony wrote a letter to his father from Leavenworth, KS:

You have no experience in the west -- you look upon most everything as moonshine. You don't believe half of what I write. You think everybody here is crazy and while you think so, everybody here is getting rich. Now is the time to dip in -- money won't be made at this rate five years hence...

November 7, 1834

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

[T]raded 18 Horses and 600 lbs dried Salmon which I have reserved for provisions after we leave the river when I know we shall get none... we have lived chiefly on trash and dogs fearing to commence our stock of provisions expecting to get little or nothing all winter and I do not mean to starve except when I cant help it...

November 7, 1751

Peter Jefferson placed an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette:

Ran away from the Subscriber's Plantation, near Albemarle Court-House, some Time in May last, a Negroe Man named Robin; he is a small Fellow, about 30 Years of Age, speaks pretty good English, his Legs are crooked; had on his Neck when he went away an Iron Collar, and took with him a Gun. Whoever brings him to me shall be rewarded according to Law...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

November 6, 1890

MF Moran of Wheeling, WV, wrote to labor commisioner Edward Robertson:

You ask what are my views in regard to the running of company stores by mine operators... It has been my misfortune to see its impoverishing and enslaving work, all over the mining regions of America, and the system is regarded by all classes of workmen as the greatest curse that afflicts the mining craft... Wherever it exists the system calls for the severest condemnation. There is no system connected with the industrial question pertaining to wages that is so degrading in its methods as is the coal operators company store, commonly known as the 'Pluck-Me.' A system by which employes are in many instances robbed of from 25 to 40 per cent of their hard earned wages...

November 6, 1864

After a new state constitution abolished slavery in Maryland, lighthouse keeper Thomas B Davis wrote to Judge Hugh Lennox Bond:

Since we the people have Proclaimed that Maryland Should Be free the Most Bitter Hatred has bein Manifested againest the poor Devils that Have Just Escaped from beneath there Lash there actions Since Tusday Last Indicates to me that there is all Ready Orginized Bands Prowling apon Horse Back around the Country armed with Revolvers and Horse Whips threatning to Shoot every Negroe that gives Back the first word after they Lacerate his flesh with the Whip... In the Name of Humanity is there no Redress for those poor ignorant down troden Wreches...

November 6, 1860

From an editorial in the Memphis Daily Appeal:

We suspect that gentlemen would be considerably surprised, could they learn how little of the 'genuine' there is about a woman's hair. We risk nothing in asserting that nine ladies out of ten, now-a-days, wear false hair. Don't be horrified, Mr Public -- we don't mean wigs, nor fronts, but long masses of hair...twisted skillfully into the 'back hair,' and skewered up so scientifically with deceptive combs and hair-pins, that it requires a sharp eye to detect the differences between false and real...

November 6, 1831

Alexis de Tocqueville, during his American tour, wrote in his journal:

What is certain is that my impression is not the same in the two parts of the Union. The North presents me, externally at least, with the picture of a strong, regular, durable government, perfectly suited to the physical and moral state of things. In the South there is in the way things are run something feverish, disordered, revolutionary and passionate, which does not give the same sense of strength and durability...

November 6, 1776

General George Washington wrote to his brother:

We have, I think, by one Manouvre and another, and with a parcel of -- but it is best to say nothing more about them. Mixed, and ungovernable Troops, spun the Campaign out to this time without coming to any decisive Action... Our numbers from the Beginning have been disjointed and confused, and much less than were apprehended; had we ever hazarded a general action with them therefore, unless it had been in our Works at New York, or Harlem heights, we undoubtedly should have risked a good cause upon a very unfavourable Issue...

November 6, 1727

Jabez Delano of Dartmouth, MA, wrote to his brother:

Of an earthquake, which was a week yesterday, about ten att night, which shook both ye Land & water, the Islands & seas, at that degree that several doors were shook of ye Latch in our village, & tis said that at Nantuket ye harth stones grated one against another, and that Car, ye boat builder, Run out of his house got in to a boat for fear ye Island should sink...