The world changes in the blink of an eye. In the 21st century, we have the luxury of visiting scenes from history in books, film, and documents, with the safety and conveniences of modern life. Join me to examine the lives of our ancestors, imagine their experiences, and connect with their struggles and triumphs.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Paris Bombing & Learning from History

The Bomb-Thrower to Die.
Paris, Jan. 19.
Auguste Vaillant, the Anarchist, who threw a bomb in the Chamber of Deputies on December 9, by the explosion of which eighty persons were injured, was convicted and sentenced to death to-day. When the sentence was pronounced Vaillant shouted: “Vive l’Anarchie!”
New-York Weekly Tribune
January 17, 1894

"The government's reaction to this attack was the passing of the infamous repressive Lois scélérates.... He threw the home-made device from the public gallery and was immediately arrested. The weakness of the device meant that the explosion only caused slight injuries to twenty deputies.... Valliant claimed that his aim was not to kill but to wound as many deputies as possible in revenge for the execution of Ravachol [a fellow anarchist.]"

***Note the discrepancy between damage/injury reports. The media is no closer to the truth than it was 120 years ago.

The Execution of Vaillant.
Image courtesy of

History offers lessons, but so rarely do we learn.

Sadly, there have always been those who deem violence an appropriate tool to prompt change, demand vengeance, and strike terror into enemies. They take aim at their oppressors--real or imagined--and pay little heed to any collateral damage (or worse, relish it.)

Just as unfortunate, if more understandable, are the knee-jerk reactions that usher in fear and hatred, legislation and discrimination. Instead of measured precautions, we bypass common sense and compassion in favor of judgment and refusal of succor. We respond to pain, our grief still raw, just as the attackers hope, with prejudicial slash-and-burn anger that lands on all but those who earned it. We congratulate ourselves for swift justice while giving lip service to charity, but the price of the latter is always too steep. The veneer of security trumps humanity.

The persecution of innocents doesn't throttle danger; it feeds it. We let the terrorists win by meeting their expectations.

While we give thanks this year, remember those who have no home, no family, and no hope.  Compassion costs little for those fortunate enough to spend a day feasting with family before running out to pile gluttony into shopping carts in a race to beat the Joneses. Sharing our bounty won't make us poor, nor will it make us less safe. It will simply show that we've learned from history.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Celebrating Women Writers: Hannah Moore

In an effort to bring more attention to oft-neglected women authors, I will include some excerpts of the few books from them I have in my collection. Most can be found on online in their entirety or purchased as reprints/ebooks.

Today's is from The Golden Legacy: A Story of Life’s Phases by Mrs. H. J. Moore (aka More)
Sheldon and Company, New-York

This excerpt speaks in wonderful imagery and evokes great emotion. While Mrs. Moore was a bit verbose, as was the style of the time, she crafted a beautiful scene with a lyrical quality I find enjoyable.


Chapter I.

“Who solves the deep, dark mysteries that shroud

The low abodes of wretchedness and want,

Unlocks the portals of the human heart,

Bringing light to gems that lie deep buried

In immeasurable woe.”

Warm and loving was the sun’s bright glance, as it beamed through the aperture which served for a window, in the miserable hovel old Paul Brown called his home. In strange contrast with those glad, joyous beams, dancing so merrily in through every crevice, was this wretched abode of penury and want. Hunger, cold, and consuming disease, held undisputed sway within the comfortless walls. Nought was there to stay the hand of the destroyer, as he stealthily crept toward the old man’s couch. Couch, did I say? If a wisp of straw, scattered sparingly over a few rough boards, and covered with such rags as had been gleaned from the streets and by-ways, with only a larger bunch of them for a pillow, could be dignified by such a name, then was Paul Brown’s resting-place a couch; for thus had his aged limbs, feeble and worn with care and sorrow, found their only repose. None knew how long he had been an occupant of the hitherto deserted hut, nor whence he came. His very existence would have been unnoticed, save that each morning a ragged, dirty, half-famished looking boy knocked gently at many of the doors in the village near by, and in plaintive tones asked “somethin’ for gran’ther to eat.” Thus had they lived for many a weary month—the old man and boy; and thus, perhaps, they might have lived on still as many more, had not the feeble flickering of life’s lamp given warning, that soon all sorrow and want would find an eternal rest.

Still, the bright sun, unmindful of all save its own life-giving mission, bathed those palsied limbs in its radiant warmth, as lovingly as a few moments later it kissed the rosy mouth, and sparkled in the golden curls of the rich squire’s youngest treasure.

The old man roused from his deep sleep at the genial touch, and, half awaking, thought some angel’s wing had fanned his brow, so sweet had been his sleeping fancies. But, alas! in dreams only can suffering want like his find forgetfulness. One glance at the uncovered rafters above, the bare walls around, untouched save by the hand of time, and his illusion vanished. Feebly raising his head, supported by a skeleton hand, he looked anxiously toward the opposite corner, and in tones of piteous weakness cried,

“Lonny, Lonny boy, why don’t you wake up? I’m a’most froze, and starved too.”

What had before seemed but a bundle of rags, stowed carelessly into the corner, began to exhibit signs of animation, and gradually, as though loth to leave even such a bed, the small form of a boy emerged from the loathsome place. He had scarce numbered ten summers, and yet his face wore a look of care and anxiety, befitting one of mature years. Covered with rags and filth, his long, uncombed hair of reddish hue falling unheeded about his face and neck, he was a pitiably revolting object. And yet, none who knew how his young shoulders had borne their heavy burden, or how the springs of love and hope, ever gushing through childhood’s heart, had been dried within him, could have looked upon him without interest. One Eye alone had seen his utter misery, and though he knew it not, an unseen hand was even now guiding him through bitter trials, to a bright hereafter. All that poor Lonny knew, or felt on this cold, frosty morning, as he so reluctantly roused himself from his blessed oblivion to care, was that, somehow or other, he must make a fire to warm “poor gran’ther,” and then go forth, faint with hunger as he was, to his daily morning task of begging. The gleam of sunshine, which still rested so kindly on the old man’s form, seemed to infuse some of its cheerfulness into the boy, for he quickly slipped his feet into a pair of cast-off shoes he had picked up the day before, and tying them on with a strip of coarse cloth, thus completed his toilet.


Friday, October 23, 2015

A Fix for Female Diseases

Scammers, con artists, and quacks never perish; they only find new victims to prey upon and new cloaks of deception. Beware that which is too good to be true.
New England Farmer
Boston, Mass.
Saturday, June 12, 1896
Woman to Woman.
Women are being taught by bitter experience that many physicians cannot successfully handle their peculiar ailments known as female diseases.
Doctors are willing and anxious to help them, but they are the wrong sex to work understandingly.
When the woman of to-day experiences such symptoms as backache, nervousness, lassitude, whites, irregularity or painful menstruation, pain groins, bearing-down sensation, palpitation, “all gone” feeling and blues, she at once takes Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, feeling sure of obtaining immediate relief.
Should her symptoms be new to her, she writes to a woman, Mrs. Pinkham, Lynn, Mass., who promptly explains her case, and tells her free how to get well.
Indeed, so many women are now appealing to Mrs. Pinkham for advice, that a score of lady secretaries are kept constantly at work answering the great volume of correspondence which comes in every day. Each letter is answered carefully and accurately, as Mrs. Pinkham fully realizes that a life may depend upon her reply, and into many and many a home has she shed the rays of happiness.
Page from advertising recipe booklet

advertisements and recipe from recipe booklet

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Coal Creek, Colorado in 1901

Coal Creek

The town of Coal Creek is situated in the county of Fremont, thirty-five miles west of Pueblo, and has long figured in the history of Colorado. It is one of the oldest mining towns in the state, and today it is one of the foremost in the production of coal. The population numbers 650 prosperous and contented people. There are two churches and one school. A manufactory for the making of macaroni is doing a thriving business and is at present unable to supply the demand. The town has its water supply from the mountains, which is a guarantee as to its purity; it has its organized fire department, livery stables that are up to date and two stores that furnish the necessities of life to the citizens, as well as hardware stores and a novelty shop. Although Coal Creek is not a temperance town, yet the general atmosphere in the town would be a credit to some of the so-called temperance towns of this state. The people are of the kind that can be counted the friends of the state and nation in time of trouble. The town did indeed have its period of depression that was prevalent over the entire state, but it is now enjoying the greatest prosperity.

Camp and Plant
Vol 1 No 2 December 20 1901

 Image courtesy of

Visit for more info

Monday, June 8, 2015

Neil Halloran on WWII

This video will blow your mind. Mr. Halloran uses a series of data-based representations to illustrate the horror of World War II and how it relates to other events. We all know the numbers were staggering, but this visual puts it in a whole new light. I simply had to share it.




Friday, May 29, 2015

Swift Prairie Justice

A Triple Lynching in Kansas

Three murderers swung from the stringers of a Union Pacific Bridge—Two of them were father and son.

Russell, Kan., Jan. 14. [1894]—

At 1 o’clock this morning there was a terrible exhibition of prairie justice here, and three men met death at the hands of Judge Lynch. No such outbreak of the old-time, swift, frontier justice has been witnessed in Kansas for years. The mob was one of the quietest and most determined that ever came together. It was a fiercely earnest and wholly heartless mob, also, for the victims did not get even time to pray before they were dropped into eternity.

The men hanged were J. G. Burton, William Gay and the latter’s son, John Gay, who had lived together on Burton’s farm. The men were confessedly guilty of the murder of “Fred” Dinniny last July. Dinniny lived with T. W. Burton on a farm eleven miles north of here. On July 9 he disappeared. Burton had the dead man’s team and even wore some of his clothes, but said he had gone to Oklahoma with young Gay. Gay returned a short time ago, and on close questioning, confessed that Burton had poisoned Dinniny. The elder Gay attempted to point out the place of burial, but failed. Burton then made a confession that the Gays killed Dinniny, and on Thursday he took the Sheriff to a cornfield in a ravine, where the body, decomposed and mutilated, was found. Indignation ran high, and it was with difficulty the three men could be taken to the jail.

Last night a number of men living in the vicinity of the Burton farm came into town and were reinforced by farmers from all parts of the county. The party appeared to have been picked, for there were only about 130 in all when, at midnight, they surrounded the little jail and demanded the prisoners. They easily forced their way into the jail and dragged out the terrified trio from their cells.

The mob was cool and well organized, and made no attempt at concealment, though there were many on-lookers. They took the men out through the streets and guarded them with jealous care, leading them along the Union Pacific track, a short distance from town, where a little prairie stream is crossed by the railroad and wagon road about 100 rods east of the Russell depot.

Image from my collection

To the bridge over this [stream] the mob went and placed the trembling wretches near the edge. Ropes were ready, and one was put around the neck of each of the men and tied to the stringers. There was no time given for prayers or pleadings, but at a signal all three were pushed off the edge and dropped eight or ten feet with the precision of a regular hanging. To make sure of carrying out their purpose the mob fired two shots into each body, although death came quickly by the rope. Then the lynchers rode away quietly, and the bodies swung cold and stiff.

There is little sympathy for the victims. The murder was a cruel and heartless one, and the murdered man had many friends. Ever since his disappearance suspicions have gorwn more pointed, and the three men lynched this morning were considered guilty. Their mutual recriminations and cross-confessions convinced the people that all of them were guilty, and during the last week, and while the inquest over Dinniny’s body was being held, public attention was given almost exclusively to the matter. The trivial booty secured, and the evidence of mutilation on the body, robbed the murderers of all sympathy. It is not likely that any attempt will be made to identify the lynchers.

*** Justice has always been an elusive concept.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mining Town News of 1901

Brookside [Colorado]:

G. B. Hooker, paymaster, made the camp happy by visiting us on the 8th inst.

Our library arrived on the 7th and is now installed in O. B. Sanborn’s office. Some books have been drawn and it will undoubtedly be well patronized when it becomes better known.

E. B. Peltchre and daughter expect to leave for California soon. Mr. Peltchre owns a large tract of land in the oil district of that state, and expects to be numbered among the millionaires before long. He thinks that beats being a mine carpenter.

William Fritz, one of our drivers, tried to “sprag” a car with his finger the other day, and is now taking a vacation.

Miss Ashton, who has so satisfactorily taught our primary department in the public school, has secured a like position in the South Canon schools. We are sorry to lose her, but both she and South Canon are to be congratulated.

Contractors are busy making much needed repairs on the company houses. When the painters and decorators are through with them the former tenants will hardly recognize them.

Local and long-distance telephones have recently been installed in the Colorado Supply Company’s store and in Dr. Sanborn’s office.

The lectures on anatomy and physiology, which the doctor has given to the pupils of the public schools have been well received.

The production of the mines will be a little below the usual average last month on account of a scarcity of cars.

A circulating library, which will be at home at the doctor’s office, is to be installed in a short time.
Camp and Plant
Vol 1 No 2 December 20 1901
*** Camp and Plant was a weekly published by the "Sociological Department" of the Colorado Fuel & Iron company, who operated many coal mines and steel mills in the Southwest. Brookside was one of several mines in southwest Colorado, near Canon City. The Camp and Plant provided news about the mines and their communities, but generally put a positive spin on things and served as mild propaganda for the company. The Colorado Supply Company was the chain of company stores operated by CF&I, which served the miners and their families.
Good article on company stores:


Saturday, April 4, 2015

1921 Easter Postcard


Happy Be Your Easter

Just a thought for you to-day, Happy be your Easter.

Boo -Hoo. I should worry - I should fret - for I'll get to - see you yet. - From your cousin, Velda XO
Miss Blanche Brown, Rombauer, Mo.-  March 25, 1921

Easter Goodies:

Postcard History:


Monday, March 30, 2015

Discrimination Against Women

Trouble in Chatham Street

Quite a commotion was produced yesterday morning among the traffickers in new clothes, old clothes, and “matters and things in general.” located in Chatham street, who have for years past been in the habit of throwing open their shops for trade, and exposing their wares at their doors and windows. The common Council have recently passed a resolution for the enforcement of the long neglected ordinance for the prevention of Sunday trafficking, the police under the direction of the Mayor, have commenced enforcing a strict and general observance of that ordinance, heretofore enforced only against the poor women and boys who eked out a few pence profit by selling apples and pea nuts. Almost with the rising of the sun, yesterday, the Chatham street retailers who have heretofore been in that practice, opened their shops and stalls, and hung out their articles of trade, as usual, but before ten o’clock they received a visit from officer Merritt, who warned them to take in their “traps,” and close their shops, and that in case of their refusal or neglect to comply in stanter, or their reopening on any future Sabbath for the purposes of trade, they would be proceeded against according to law. Most, if not all of them, had the discretion to comply with the requirement, and henceforth a strict watch will be kept upon them which will render it both unsafe and disagreeable for them to continue desecrating the Sabbath in the manner which has been too long tolerated. N. Y. Sun.
Hartford Watchman
Hartford, Connecticut
June 2, 1838

Image courtesy of Library of Congress -
"Magisterial vigilance, or the picket guard civilly clearing Cornhill of a few old apple women"

*Note the article states the ordinance banning commerce on Sundays had always been enforced against women and children eking out a few pennies selling food. This illustrates yet another way women were controlled and kept powerless. Both women and children were deemed a nuisance, but even more telling, women were relegated to the same status level as children. Many of the women resorting to such business were likely widows or may have been deserted. Few jobs were open to them. Poor Laws often worked against them (as they did against most); the laws discriminated against those not native to a town or region, and if they had relocated for marriage, they were shunned if they lost their ties to the community through death or abandonment. They were often home-bound, caring for young children or disabled. Without a means for income on their own, they were often forced into extreme poverty or marriage and rarely had the opportunity to change their station.

I also can't help but see a subtext of religious punishment. Women not allowed to sell apples....


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mercenary Marriages

Mercenary Marriages

I have heard of a case where a girl, earning $60 a month, resigned her position in order to marry a man whose salary was $40 a month, but such instances of devotion are rare, writes Francis M. Abbott in the Century. It is not college women alone, but women throughout the country, who are yearly looking less and less upon marriage as a means of support. I do not say that the majority of marriages in the past have been mercenary, but as women increase in financial independence the time may come when contracts of that sort may be eliminated altogether.

New England Farmer
Boston, Mass.
Saturday, June 12, 1896

*Gender ratios were skewed after the Civil War, as they were after most major conflicts until the late 1900s when military technology advanced and fewer men died in combat. Women often had to choose between a poor marriage prospect or remaining single. As the industrial revolution advanced and gender ratios recovered at the close of the 19th century, and as the feminist movement grew, women had more options, could support themselves, and could be more selective in courtship and marriage. This contributed to the introduction of the concept of dating and made courtship and marriage more competitive for men--until World War II.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

1955 Colorado Parochial State Championship Football Game

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In 1955, Pueblo Catholic High School hosted the Parochial State Championship football game against Denver's Regis High School. Pueblo, Colorado has always had a large Catholic population, in large part due to the large Italian and Hispanic populations.

Programs for such events were quite elaborate and illustrate one of the main advertising markets for local businesses before television commercials became the norm.

The program cost 25 cents, compared to:

Cost of a gallon of gas:            23 cents
Black and white TV:                $99.95
Average price of a new car:     $1,900
Average rent:                         $87
Minimum wage:                       $1
Average annual income:           $4,130

Also in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested, Ray Kroc founded McDonald's, James Dean was killed in a car accident, and "The Mickey Mouse Club" debuted on the ABC network.

Pueblo Catholic High School vs. Regis - Parochial State Championship - Pueblo Public School Stadium - December 4, 1955

Pueblo Catholic High School Football Team Photo
First Row: Head Coach Jack Parsons, Joe Trujillo, Lew Carricato, Sam Chigro, Dave Socier, Charles Gettler, Dale Bensko, Lane Faricy, Charles Greco
Second Row: Dennis Cesar, Stanley Mena, John Williams, Joe Papish, Steve Bravdica, Robert Valentine, Anthony Horvat, Bob Cardinal
Third Row: Ass't. Coach Frank Flood, Jack Drury, Al Bresson, Louis Pulco, Ted Vidmar, Edward Spelich, James Siegle
Fourth Row: James Drury, John Lane, Dan Maroney, Ray DeLuca, James Spinuzzi, Manuel Ortega

Message from Monsignor Elwood C. Voss, Superintendent of Pueblo Catholic High School - Advertisements for Mauro Insurance Agency, Minnequa Inn, The Summit Pressed Brick and Tile Company, and Royal Crown Cola

Photo of Rev. James Eatough, S. J., Principal of Regis High School - Advertisements for Joe Anzick's Restaurant & Lounge and Frozen Food Center and Appliances, and Ollie Samples Used Cars

Advertisements for White Horse Inn, Dincler's Fabrics, Christen Auto Supply, Newton's, Furr Food Stores, Alamo Drug Co., and Joe Mulay's Gold Rail Tavern and Café

Photos from my collection

Friday, March 13, 2015

Live On Even If You Had Rather Die

Letter from a woman to her friend about family illness and the death of her child

Friendville, Nebraska
April 29th, 1880

Dear Friend Hattie

I have thought about writing you a number of times, but have neglected it for some unknown reason until the present time. Now as Emma is visiting will ins___ the opportunity of sending a note in her letter. She has been visiting me this afternoon and we enjoyed the visit as well as could be expected under the circumstances. She just rec’d your letter informing her of Chas(?) illness, and of course she feels very very bad, has cried all the afternoon. And to say I am very sorry is but half expressing the sentiments of my mind. And Hattie [and I abbreviated] suppose you have herd [sic] that my little darling Bertha is gone. I can never tell you what I have suffered the two short months she has been gone. It was so very sudden only sick four days. Hattie only thinks what if your darling should be tourn [sic] from you, what would you do? You would have to bear it just as I do, and live on even if you had rather die. She was such a dear little one. It seems as though part of my life has gone out. You do not know anything about it and God grant you never may. Hattie [and I] hope you will return to this place again in time. Do you not think of coming back some time. Write me please, and kiss your mother & Lett__ for me also the children, not forgetting to remember me to your husband. I received your card, enclosed also find mine. I shall expect to hear from you soon.

Ever Your true friend

Julia Thompson
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Business of Woman

The Business of Woman.

The business woman must take time to keep well. If social pleasures encroach on her resting time, she must give them up. On the other hand, her anxiety to keep up with the fashions or to keep up to date in other matters ought not to induce her to make twins of herself. It is much better to do one woman’s work well than to make a failure in two lines. Only in exceedingly rare instances can a woman be at the same time a successful business woman and her own dressmaker, milliner and housekeeper. Business women ought to take a few leaves from the experience of men, who have been longer in business and therefore know more about it. They take innumerable little recreations, and do not attempt to crowd all of life into one day. They get more pay, largely because they have a higher standard of comfort. – Lippincott’s.
New England Farmer
Boston, Mass.
Saturday, June 12, 1896

Cartoon commentary on women entering the offices of Milwaukee Journal, 1895.
Courtesy of LOC -


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Women's Interests

New England Farmer
Boston, Mass.
Saturday, June 12, 1896

The third biennial session of the general federation of women’s clubs just closed at Louisville may not be as important an affair as the coming national republican convention at St. Louis. It is, however, significant of the progress of women and of their strength when organized. One thousand delegates representing thousands more of intelligent women who have stayed at home, form a body not to be set aside lightly when it has a fixed purpose in view. Just now a majority of club women are greatly interested in those minor reforms that affect health and morals and go so much towards making the world a better place to live in, and for this they should be commended and encouraged.
Mrs. A. E. Whitaker, Editor

Delegation to White House, 1914. Courtesy of Library of Congress.


Women's History Month

For Women's History Month, I'll be focusing on items relating to women as much as possible. As a historian, the lack of resources which mention women outside the context of household management, "frivolous pursuits," or celebrity is frustrating, but we do find bits here and there. Their voices can be heard; we just have to listen closer.

Courtesty Library of Congress.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reasons for not going to church; or, Excuses given to Minister

Hartford Watchman
Hartford, Connecticut
June 9, 1838

From the Southern Churchman.

Reasons for not going to church

Overslept myself

Rural Church, unknown location, c. 1900s

Could not dress in time

Too cold

Too hot

Too windy

Too dusty

Too wet

Too damp

Too sunny

Too cloudy

Don’t feel disposed

No other time to myself

Look over my drawers

Put my papers to rights

Letters to write to my friends

Mean to take a walk

Going to take a ride

Tied to business six days in the week

No fresh air but on Sundays

Can’t breath in church, always so full

Feel a little feverish

Feel a little chilly

Feel very lazy

Expect company to dinner

Got a headache

Intend nursing myself to day

New bonnet not come home

Tore my muslin dress coming down stairs

Got a new novel, must be returned on Monday morning

Wasn’t shaved in time

Don’t like a liturgy, always praying for the same thing

Don’t like extempore prayer, don’t know what is coming

Don’t like an organ ‘tis too noisy

Don’t like singing without music, makes me nervous

Can’t sit in a draft of air, windows or doors open in summer

Stove so hot in winter always get a head-ache

Can’t hear an extempore sermon, too frothy

Dislike a written sermon, too prosing

Nobody to day but our minister can’t always listen to the same preacher

Don’t like strangers

Can’t keep awake when at church

Fell asleep last time I was there, shan’t risk it again

Mean to enquire of some sensible person about the propriety of going to so public a place as church
*Editorial note: I restructured the format of the original text for readability.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

First Settlement of Ohio

From the Hartford Watchman – June 6, 1838

First Settlement of Ohio

It was fifty years on the 7th of April last, as recently stated by one of the party, since 64 persons landed at the junction of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers; under the command of Gen. Rufus Putnam, and commenced the settlement of the State of Ohio, in the presence of nearly three hundred Indians who had assembled on the opposite side of the Muskingum. The landing took place at 10 o’clock of a bright and beautiful spring morning, Says a Western paper—

What a change have these fifty years produced in Ohio; its dark forests have been swept away before the axe of the settler; farms, towns and cities now occupy the site of the wigwam; the steamboat has taken the place of the canoe; and a population of a million and upwards exists on the same territory that supplied but a scanty subsistence to a few hundreds of roving savages. Such a rapid and entire change is without a precedent in the history of the world.

Dark forests swept away....(later photo, unknown date/location)

Barbados Slavery Emancipation

Hartford Watchman
June 2, 1838, Hartford, Connecticut

Extract of a letter from Barbadoes to a commercial house in this city; dated April 30, 1838.

“In my last I alluded to the prospect that slaves, apprentices on this Island, would all be made free on the approaching 1st of August. It is now reduced to a certainty that such will be the case. The Governor, in a special communication to the House of Assembly; some time since, recommended the measure in the most explicit terms. The executive council, on the 17 instant, came to an unanimous vote in favor of it and set forth their reasons, as published in a paper which I send you herewith. Last of all the House of Assembly, on the 24th inst. after having laboriously canvassed the whole Island to obtain possession of the views and feelings of their constituents, appointed a committee, with “instructions to bring in a bill for the entire emancipation of all classes of slavery apprentices, on the first of August 1838.” I doubt whether any measure ever passed in this Island has given such general satisfaction as this. I speak not of the apprentices themselves, of whom there upwards of 80,000 to be restored to their ‘unalienable rights,’ but of merchants, planters, proprietors; from all classes there is a general expression of joy and congratulation.”—New Haven Herald.
Scene on a West Indian Plantation - Slaves receiving the news of their Emancipation
Cassell's Illustrated History of England, . . . 1820-1861 (London: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, 1863), vol. 3, p. 234


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

War Necessitates Change

Tower Tribune
Fordson High School, Dearborn, Michigan, June 11, 1943
Ten weeks passed after you got your second report card at the High school and then you came back as an eleventh grader. You were a “Junior” and proud of the title. But something happened during that semester that changed you, the school, and your future. You came to school on December 8th, 1941, and heard the war talk. Boys were going into the air corps; they knew how to get in and they’d be fightin’ “those dirty Japs” in less than six months.
War was officially declared, the talk calmed down, and most of the boys stayed in school… For a while at least.
That semester slowly reached its end and you got into the 11-A.
Halfway through Fordson, halfway left to go. It was an uneventful year.
Ten more weeks of vacation and back again—this time as a senior.
You walked up to the senior fountain and took your first legal drink. Twenty weeks of waiting followed and finally you reached the 12-A. Now almost all of this semester is gone and you set to turn another page in your life.
What’s ahead? You, as a high school graduate, are stepping into a world that’s more unsettled than ever before.
Some boys will enter the armed forces soon—they’re about the only ones who are settled.
We’re all going in different directions from Fordson High after next week…. In less than a year the same boys and girls who walk up on the platform with you for their diplomas next week will be scattered to the four corners of this round world.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, keep the thought in mind of making the most of every opportunity that presents itself and when you have a job ahead of you do it so that someday the friends that you never will meet again will be able to open their yearbooks and say, “That person’s a member of the June, 1943 class of the Fordson High School, that’s my class.”
That’s for the past and future but the coming week is yours. Today, “Skip Day”, is yours and next week is your week for parading around school with the cap and gown on. Make the most of this week…
Where did they end up?

 [Please see the Editorial Note at the bottom of the page]


Monday, February 23, 2015

The Talk of the Day

New-York Weekly Tribune
January 17, 1894

Persons who believe in luck and signs will doubtless agree that it is unlucky to be struck by lightning on Monday, or take hold of a circular saw in motion on Tuesday, or tumble downstairs with a coal scuttle on Wednesday, or be hit by a cable car on Thursday, or fall overboard on Friday, or marry on Saturday a girl who swings ten-pound dumb-bells, or be one of thirteen at dinner on Sunday, when there is food for only ten.
Unlucky Landslide on Traintracks