Saturday, May 31, 2014

Continuing Thursday's Post with regard to newspaper indexes.

Here is a link to "History and Present Condition of the Newspaper and Periodical Press" ©1884 In these pages you'll find lists by states of the various states. Below is an example from Iowa:
Area, 55,475 square miles; population, 1,624,615; 99 counties— newspapers published in all. The total number of newspapers and periodicals published in 1840 was 4; in 1850, 29; 1860, 130; 1870, 233; 1880, .">69. The publications during 1880 were divided, according to periods of issue, as follows: Dailies, 30; weeklies, 500; semi-weeklies, 3; tri-weeklies, 1; bi-weeklies, 2; monthlies, 31; semi-monthlies, 1; quarterlies, 1. In each of 140 towns one paper was published; in 61, two; in 33, three; in 10 four; and in 21, five or more.
1836, May 11.—Printing was introduced at Dubuque. The publications prior to 1842 were as follows: (a)
1836, May 11.—The Dubuque Visitor, established at Dubuque Lead Mines, Wisconsin territory, by John King. Now published as the Dubuque Herald.
1837, June 3.—The Iowa News, at Dubuque, by RusseU & Coriell. 1837, July 8.—The Western Adventurer, at Montrose, by Thomas
1837, July 8.—The Wisconsin Territorial Gazette, at Burlington, by Clark & Jacobs. Now published as the Burlington Gazette.
1837, September.—The Western Emigrant and Historian, at Montrose, by Thomas Gregg; monthly, 16 pages. But three numbers were issued.
1838, March 24.—The Fort Madison Patriot, at Fort Madison, by James E. Edwards. Removed to Burlington, November 27, 1833, and called the Burlington Patriot. Now published as the Burlington Hawlrye.
1838, August 4.—The Iowa Sun, at Davenport, by Andrew Log:in. Now published as the Davenport Democrat.
1840, October 23.—The Iowa Standard, at Bloomington (now Muscatine), by William Cram.
1840, October 27.—The Bloomington Herald, at Bloomington (now Muscatine), by Thomas Hughes.
1841, May 23.— The Fort Madison Courier, at Fort Madison, by R. W. Albright.
1841, June 10.—The Iowa City Standard, at Iowa City, by William Cram. Now published as the Ioxea City Republican.
1841, July.—The Miner's Express, at Dubuque, by Avery Thomas.
1841, July 30.— The Iowa City Argus, at Iowa City, by Nathan Jackson.
1841, August 26.—The Davenport Gazette, at Davenport, by Alfred Saunders. The first steam press in Iowa was used in this office in 1855. The daily (first in the state) was established October 16, 1854. Still published.
1841, December 3.—The Iowa Capital Reporter, at Iowa City, byHughes & Van Antwerp. Now published as the Iowa State Press.
a Compiled by John Springer, of Iowa City.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sorry no post today

Hi all,

I'm sorry there isn't a post today. I had a morning filled with doctor appointments and allergy tests. Since I didn't react to the 79 pricks and needles they're doing more tests, ugh.

Anyway, I'm hoping to put another post together for tomorrow to make up for the missing one today.

Have a great weekend.

In His grip,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Newspaper Indexes

Every now and again I stumble on something I think will be quite helpful for others while researching their projects. Today I'd like to share about a source that is sometimes overlooked and not always that easy to find, "A Newspaper Index" I make use of this while I'm visiting historical societies and trying to find other interesting tidbits that were going on in the year I'm setting my story. Google books now has some of these indexes online, I've found two but there are probably more.

Here is a link to Index to the Newspapers Published in Geneva, NY
And another to Palmer's Index to the Times

The largest free site that I'm aware of for access to Newspapers is Chronicling America hosted by the Library of Congress. It's a bit slow at times but the quality of the news papers are really very good.

There are paid sites available that have historical newspapers but this blog primarily speaks to free online sources.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

1875 Historical Fashions

Today's Historical Fashions are from 1875:

Ladies Everyday or Common Dress

Mantle & Winter Hat
Jacket & Hat


Carriage Dress

Walking Dress


Here's a link to an index of all my Historical Fashions Posts

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Horses in Florida

While working on my St. Augustine Series (The first in the series Winning the Captain's Heart releases in July) I found this little tidbit about horses, that might be helpful to some of you as well.

Horses, when kept properly stabled out of the sun and dews, and fed and groomed as any good horse should be, thrive as well in Florida as in any other portion of the South. The principal drawback in keeping a horse in good condition, especially in the towns and cities of Middle and South Florida, is the sandy roads. Out in the little-traveled country and in the woods, the roads are well enough, and a horse can trot along as well as anywhere; but in the towns, where the roads are deeply cut up, it is very hard upon all draught-animals, and great care should be taken not to overload or overwork them. In particular, a good horse should not be intrusted to the care of a colored hostler or driver, if you care much for the horse. A mule is best adapted to a negro teamster; it being among the predestinate things of nature that negroes and mules should come together.
Sandy roads are the worst feature of life in Florida, and will be for many years, for there is no method of effectually improving them except at great expense. The roads in Northern Florida are free of sand, except in a very few localities, and are as good as any country roads in the whole country, and in some localities in the southern counties there are also good stretches of roads; but in the latter section generally they are sandy to a degree that it is more easy to resent than to describe. This prevents much carriage-riding or walking on the roads, and is the principal cause of the very little visiting among neighbors in the scattered settlements, where it is quite noticeable that the women seldom exchange visits, or indulge in " calls," as is the very popular custom among their Northern sisters.
But in those counties where the roads are sandiest are found the most numerous lakes; indeed, the whole region is a network of lakes, and the settlers' homes are generally bordering on or adjacent to a lake. These lake-side dwellers are sure to have a row-boat, and in such cases visits are more frequently interchanged among the accessible neighbors. Saddles, row-boats, steamers, and railroads will always be the principal methods of travel and intercommunication. Carriages for pleasure, or wagons for labor, will never be so common, or so necessary, as elsewhere.
In the case of horses, as in that of cows, the Northernraised animals, especially the fancy breeds, do not do well in Florida, particularly if any work is required of them. The Western horses would probably be found better adapted to the climate and other conditions, but they have not yet been introduced in any considerable numbers. The native horse is a small, bony, pot-bellied animal, very shabby-looking and destitute of "style," but capable of more work on a scantier supply of provender than any other creature with which I am acquainted, except a mule. The demand for horses in Florida at present much exceeds the supply, and the prices are consequently disproportionately high, and this is another department of stock-raising to which farmers should give more attention. Specimens that I have seen show that under proper care and treatment the native variety is capable of being made a very presentable as well as serviceable animal.
Source: Florida for Tourists, Invalids, and Settlers ©1884

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

In 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War, Union Veterans declared a day for Memorial of those who fought. It wasn't until after WWI that Memorial Day began the recognition of all soldiers who fought.

There's an online book in Google books The National Memorial Day Which dates to 1870.

You can find other addresses given on Memorial Day during different years. Perhaps your characters are sitting in the audience during one of these addresses. Or perhaps they are crowd control, or could they be there because of a threat to one of the speakers?

Anyway, just a few thoughts, tidbits about how you might use this National Holiday correctly in your historical setting. Enjoy!

And if you're a veteran reading this post, thanks for your service. It means a lot to me.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Here is a sample of some of the ointments made and used during the 19th Century. I took out the technical name of each of these ointments but I've included the list of ingredients.

Ointment of Gallic Acid." for a preparation made rom ten parts of gallic acid and ninety parts of benzoinated lard. Rub the gallic acid with the benzoinated lard, gradually added, until they are thoroughly mixed, avoiding the use of an iron spatula. It may be found useful as an astringent, but it is inferior to the ointment of tannic acid.

Ointment of Tannic Acid.” for a preparation made thus: Take of tannic acid, ten parts; of benzoinated lard, ninety parts. Rub the tannic acid with the benzoinated lard, gradually added, until they are thoroughly mixed, avoiding the use of an iron spatula. This ointment is an excellent application in many cases of piles and prolapsus ani. it may be used also in flabby ulcers. According to the Pharmacopoeia of 1870, it was prepared as follows: Take of tannic acid, thirty grains; lard, a troyounce. Rub the tannic acid with the lard, gradually added, until they are thoroughly mixed, avoiding the use of an iron spatula.

Ointment of Rose-Water," or Cold Cream. for a preparation made from fifty parts of expressed oil of almond, ten parts of spermaceti, ten parts of white wax, and thirty parts of rose-water, to make one hundred parts. Melt together at a moderate heat the oil, spermaceti, and wax; then gradually add the rose~ water, stirring the mixture briskly and constantly until it is cool, and continue the stirring until it has become uniformly soft and creamy. This is a pleasant cooling application to irritated and excoriatcd surfaces, and may be used with great advantage for chapped lips and hands.

Iodine Ointment. for an Ointment made from four parts of iodine, one part of iodide of potassium, two parts of water, and tiinety-three parts of benzoinated lard. Rub the iodine and iodide of potassium first with the water, and then with the benzoinated lard, gradually added, until they are thoroughly mixed, avoiding the use of an iron spatula. This is useful as a local application in goitre,scrofulous swellings of the glands, and other chronic tumefactions, internal or external.
Source: A Complete Pronouncing Medical Dictionary ©1893

Friday, May 23, 2014

Portland Cement

When I hear the term of Portland Cement I always thought that the stuff came from a manufacturer in Portland...NOT! Okay below are some basic tidbits on Portland Cement from 19th Century sources:

The term ''Portland Cement" as here used means an artificial cement made by mixing in certain known proportions, clay and chalk containing silica, alumina, iron, and carbonate of lime, and burning this mixture to the point of incipient vitrifaction and then reducing this burned product to an impalpable powder.
The term "Portland Cement" primarily means an artificial mixture. The term "Natural Portland" has very much the same meaning as natural artificial would have.
In the making of Portland cement. The selection of the raw materials, their proper treatment by the different methods in general use. The burning of this material with the types of kilns used. The reduction of the clinker to cement powder and its proper storage.
Source: Portland Cement it's Manufacture ©1895

PORTLAND cement is generally made from two material (chalk and clay), which are mechanically combined previous to calcination, the proportions of which are therefore always liable to variation; and as the results obtained will have different properties, the necessity of testing at once becomes apparent, not solely to detect a bad or imperfect cement, but also to determine the peculiar properties which the particular cement under consideration may posess, and as a guide to the means to be employed in order that it may be used to the best advantage.
Source: Portland Cement for Users ©1890

And lastly this tidbit from The Encyclopaedia Britannica ©1833 to help understand how the word 'cement' was used.
CEMENTS, substances employed to nnjte together by their solidification from a soft or liquid state, and without mechanical rivets, things of the same or of different kinds. Stony cements may be natural, as the lime employed for mortar, and the so-called Roman cements; or they may be artificial, as Portland cement, made by calcining mixtures of chalk with clay or river-mud (see Building, Vol iv. p. 459) Roman contains more clay than Portland cement, and seta more rapidly. A good artificial water cement is obtained by heating for some hours to redness a mixture of 3 parts of clay and 1 part of slaked lime by measure. Another hydraulic cement may be made by mixing powdered clay and oxide of iron with water. A very hard stone cement is prepared from 20 parts of clean river sand, 2 of litharge, I of quicklime, worked into a paste with linseedoil. Paper-pulp, mixed with size and plaster of Paris is used for moulded ornaments. Keene't marble cement is plaster of Paris which has been steeped in strong solution of alum or sulphate of potash, and calcined and ground. It is slaked with alum solution when used. In Martin's cement, pearl-ash is employed as well as alum. Parian cement contains borax. Selenitic cement is a mixture of calcined gypsum, sand, and hydraulic lime. A cement used for cracks in boilers is a mixture of clay 6 parts and iron filings 1 part with linseed-oil. For steam-joints, ox-blood thickened with quicklime is employed. The iron-rust cement consists of 100 parts of iron turnings, with 1 part of sal-ammoniac; this is an excellent cement for ironwork. For water-tight joints, equal parts of white and red lead are worked into a paste with linseed-oiL A serviceable packing for connecting pipes, making joints, filling cracks in retorts,

Thursday, May 22, 2014


In searching google books I found only a handful of references to "land-sharks' but the one below I thought a good insight to a person who might engage in such behavior. Perhaps, you might find a land-shark in one of your books. Enjoy!

One class of persons against whom the new-comer must be on his guard is the "land-shark." There are land agents in Florida who are as trustworthy as the same class anywhere, and whose advice and assistance may be of great service to the settler; but, on the other hand, almost every locality is infested by one or more "sharks," who prey upon new-comers by offering them "the greatest bargain to be had in the State," the prices asked being usually about twice as much as the property could actually be bought for. Usually very plausible in manners and talk, these men are well calculated to impose upon the inexperienced, but a little inquiry among other parties will usually suffice to expose their true character. One rule should be inflexibly adhered to by the settler, and that is, never to be persuaded into "closing" hastily with a "bargain," and never to buy a piece of land until he has consulted two or three different parties as to its quality and price.
Source: Florida for Tourists, Invalids and Settlers ©1884

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1835 Fashions

This is the only image I have so far for 1835 fashions and the sketch is a bit simple but I'm including in today's tidbit the text with the image from the 1835 fashion sheet. I love some of the wording in this text.

RIDING COATS for this month are made single-breasted, faced in the fronts with silk; velvet collars, and gilt buttons. The colors are a rich red brown, light green, and gold mixtures.
The new BROWN SURTOUT (for the Spring) will most probably take the lead this month; made single-breasted, to turn back to the second button in the waist; the collar (which is of velvet) is very broad in front, but rather narrow behind; the breasts faced with silk, and rather large fancy twist buttons.
faced with satin, continues to be the favorite; a few Evening Coats, of a light-green color, will be worn: these have a very lively appearance, but the former are decidedly the most dressy.
The newest materials for MORNING TROUSERS are the checked single-milled cashmeres, and striped merino doeskins, which, in contrast with their almost-numberless rivals, will obtain the decided preference with all who study neatness and gentlemanly taste. Broad linen cords, diagonal draped cantons, gambroons, &c., of various colors, of which there is an infinite variety, will also be much worn.
Black, lavender, and white for Dress.
Trousers are still made full in the legs.
The Buff Waist-coat, richly braided with white, still continues to be much worn by Gentlemen of fast; they are now made with broad rolling collars, and silver buttons. A very neat variety of striped and checked Challis Waistcoats are introducing, which, with a few new silks, will be the fashion for this month. Some Waistcoats are made with plain upright collars, but the general mode is with a broad rolling collar--single-breast.
as last month.
In full Dress an under Waistcoat, of scarlet, blue, or white.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Florida and Cattle

When I first moved to Florida, 20 years ago, I learned the Florida produced more cattle than Texas, this is no longer the case but back then it was. So, I thought it might be fun to give a brief tidbit about Cattle from the 19th century perspective.

Cattle-raising has long been one of the principal and most profitable of all the many resources of Florida, and strange as it may appear, it is most extensively carried on in the extreme southern portion of the State. There is no doubt that Northern Florida is unexcelled for cattle-raising, although at present, and for many years past, it has been most extensive in the southern part, on the Gulf. Punta Rassa, at the extreme southern end of Charlotte Harbor, is the third port in the United States for cattle-shipments; and the vast savannas, or prairies, in that region, are grazed by thousands of heads. Cattle-herding is about the easiest occupation in the State, but it takes capital to start in it, and it requires time to develop it. As to the grade of cattle, it is the same as with the hogs—the native breeds are small and extremely unpromising in appearance; but, as in the case of hogs, this is all for lack of care and breeding, and where high-grade, blooded cattle are introduced, and are attended to with anything like the attention given by Northern stockmen, they do just as well as anywhere, and involve far less expense and labor.
It is often remarked as strange by the visitor to Florida, and is undoubtedly true, that in a State where cattle abound and may be kept almost for nothing, such a thing as fresh milk is almost unprocurable. In the remotest districts, canned milk brought from the North is constantly used; and in a herd of cattle numbering hundreds there is not a single milch-cow. This, however, is due to the "custom of the country," and not to any difficulty that is encountered in keeping good milch-cows in Florida. There as elsewhere, of course, they require attention, and can not be left to gather all their food in the woods and swamps, as is done with ordinary stock-cattle; but it has been proved in innumerable instances that cows properly fed and properly looked after will give milk as good in quality and as abundant in quantity as similar cows will give anywhere. This, however, is true only of cows that have become acclimated, and those of the choicer Northern and foreign breeds are not easily acclimated. The best and surest milch-cow is what is known as the Georgia cow—one brought from the neighboring State of Georgia; and next to these are the native cows that have been separated from the ordinary cattle while heifers, and treated as animals from whom milk is desired should be treated everywhere. I am inclined to think that there is nothing to which Florida farmers could more profitably give their attention than to the production of a good breed of milk-giving cows adapted to the peculiar local conditions.
Course: Florida for Tourists, Invalids, and Settlers ©1884

Monday, May 19, 2014

1857 Observations of Fashion

From time to time I like to put in a tidbit that is a bit longer but is delightful to read. It helps us understand the language and terms being spoken during our time periods. Below is an excerpt from "The American Gentlemen's Guid to Politeness and Fashion" ©1857

Sketches And Anecdotes.
My Dear Nephews:
In accordance with the promise with which I concluded my last letter, I will give you, in this, narrated in my homely way, some anecdotes, illustrative of the opinions I have expressed upon the subject of dress.
Liking, sometimes, to amuse myself by a study of the masses, in holyday attire and holyday humor, —to see the bone and sinew of our great country, the people who make our laws, and for whose good they are administered by their servants, enjoying a jubilee, and wishing also to meet some old friends who were to be there (among others, Gen. Wool, who, though politicians accused him of going to lay pipe for the presidency, is a right good fellow, and the very soul of old-fashioned hospitality), I went on one occasion to a little city in western New York, to attend a State Fair.
On the night of the fete that concluded the affair, your cousins, Grace and Gert6, to whom you all say I can refuse nothing, however unreasonable, insisted that I should be their escort, and protested warmly against my remonstrances upon the absurdity of an old fellow like me being kept up until after midnight to watch, like a griffin guarding his treasures, while two silly girls danced with some " whiskered Pandoor," or some "fierce huzzar," who would be as much puzzled to tell where he won his epaulettes as was our (militia) Gen. , of whom, when he was presented to that sovereign, on the occasion of a court levee, Louis Philippe asked,"where he had served /"
It would not become me to repeat half the flattering things by which their elegant chaperon, Mrs. B. seconded the coaxing declarations of your cousins, that they would be "enough more proud to go with Uncle Hal than with all the half-dozen beaux together," whose services had been formally tendered and accepted for the occasion.
"Yes, indeed," cried Gerte, "for Uncle Hal is a real soldier!" And I believe the wheedling jade actually pressed her velvety lips to the ugly sabre scar that helps to mar my time-worn visage.
"Col. Lunettes is too gallant not to lay down his arms when ladies are his assailants!" said Mrs. B. with one of her conquering smiles. "Well, ladies," said I, "I cry you mercy—"
' Was ever colonel by such sirens wooed,
Was ever colonel by such sirens won !'"

I have no intention to inflict upon you a long description of the festivities of the evening. Suffice it to say upon that point, that the "beauty and fashion," as the newspapers phrase it, not only of the Empire State, but of the Old Dominion, and others of the fair sisterhood of our Union, were brilliantly represented.
When our little party entered the dancing-room, which we did at rather a late hour, for we had been listening to some good speaking in another apartment —the ladies declared that they preferred to do so, as they could dance at any time, but rarely had an opportunity of hearing distinguished men speak in public—the "observed of all observers," among the fairer part of the assembly, and the envy, of course, of all the male candidates for admiration, was young "General ," one of the aids-de-camp of the governor of the state. In attendance upon his superior officer, who was present with the rest of his staff, our juvenile Mars was in full military dress, and made up, as the ladies say, in the most elaborate and accepted style of love-locks (I have no idea what their modern name may be), whiskers and moustaches. The glow that mantled the cheeks of the triumphant Boenerges could not have been deeper dyed had his "modesty" like that of Washington, when overpowered by the first public tribute rendered to him by Congress, " been equalled only by his bravery!"
"He above the rest in shape and gesture, Proudly eminent," but apparently, wholly unconscious of the attention of which he was the subject, was smilingly engrossed by his devotion to the changes of the dance, and to his fair partner; and the last object that attracted my eye, as we retired from the field of his glory, were the well-padded military coat, the curling moustaches and sparkling eyes of "Adjutant-Gen.!"
True to my old-fashioned notions of propriety, I went the next morning to pay my respects to Mrs. B., and to look after your cousins,—especially that witch Gorte, whom her father had requested me to "keep an eye upon," when placing her under my care for the journey to the fair.
I found the whole fair bevy assembled in the drawing-room, and in high spirits.
After the usual inquiries put and answered, Grace cried out, " Oh! Uncle Hal, I must tell you! Gen. has been here this morning! He was wearing such a beautiful coat!—his dress last night was nothing to it!—it fairly took all our hearts by storm!"
At these words, a merry twinkle, as bright and harmless as sheet lightning, darted round the circle.
The master of the house entered at that moment, and before the conversation he had interrupted was fairly renewed, invited me into the adjoining diningroom to " take a mouthful of lunch."...

If you would like to read the rest of this article Click Here for Letter II in "The American Gentlemen's Guid to Politeness and Fashion"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

St. Augustine, FL Interesting tidbits from 1890

While I was working on the 4th proposal in my St. Augustine Series, (the first novel "Winning the Captain's Heart" release date is July, 2014) I stumbled about these interesting tidbits and thought I'd share them for those working in the year of 1890

RAILWAYS. Jacksonville, St. Augustine Si. Halifax River Railway, to Jacksonville; St. John.> Division, in Tocoi and river steamboats; Palatka Division, to Palatka. Union Depot on Malaga street; see map. Conveyance from depot to any part of town, 25 cents; baggage, 25 cents per piece. St. Augustine is. South Beach Railway, ferry from Central Wharf; hourly trains to South Beach.

HOTELS Alcazar, on the A lame la. Cordova, on the Alameda. Fiorida House, Treasury and St. Georgo streets. Magnolia. ?t. George street. Ponce de Leon, on the Alameda. San Marco, Shell Road, Plaza Hotel, f icin^ Plaza. Hcrnandex Hotel, Charlotte street. Boarding house — The Ingleside,

MAILS. Post office on St. George street, facing Plaza. Hours: Lock boxes, 6:30 A. M. to 8 P. M.; general delivery,
8 A. M. to 5:30 P. M. Money orders and registered letters, 8:30 to 12:33 and 1:30 to 3:30, J. D. Lopez, postmaster. Mail for guests delivered by hotel carriers. Mail time betwe-u St. Augustine and New York, 36 hours; Boston, 36 hours; Chicago, 75 hours. For arrival and departure of mails see schedule posted in office.

TELEGRAPH OFFICES. Bank building north side of Plaza, Hotel Ponce de Leon and Hotel San Marco. Rates for 10 words, Jacksonville, 25 cents, New York or Chicago, 85 cents.

EXPRESS. Southern Express Co.; office. Njs. 34 and 36 Alcazar, Cordova street, open 7 A. M. to 8 P. M.

BANKS. First National Bank, north side of Plaza. Hours, 9:30 A. M. to 2 P. M. St. John's County Savings Bank, Hotel Cordova. Hours, 9 A. M, to 3 P. M.

CHURCHES. Baptist—Ancient City Baptist, Masonic Hall, Opera House Block. Services: Sabbath, 10:30 A. M. and 7:30 P. M., Sunday school at 9 A. M. Prayer meeting, Thursday at 7:30 P. M. Rev. H. M. King.
Episcopalian—Trinity Church, facing Plaza on the south. Services: Sabbath, 10:30 A. M., 7 P. M. Sabbath school, 3:30 P. M. For other services sse bulletin on front of church. Rev. W. L. Githens.
Methodist—Grace Church, Cordova and Carrere streets. Services: Sabbath, 10:30 A. M., 7 P. M. Sunday school,
9 A. M. Class meeting, 11:45 A. M. Young people's prayer meeting, 6:15 P. M. Wednesday, prayer meeting, 7 P. M. Rev. C. C. McLean; parsonage adjoining church.
Presbyterian-St. George street, near Bridge street. Services: Sabbath, 10:36 A. M., 7 P. M. Sunday school, 3 P. M. Wednesday, prayer meeting, 7 P. M. Rev. Edwin K. Mitchell; residence, St. George street, north of Magnolia Hotel. (A new church is now building).
Roman Catholic—Church facing Plaza on the north. Services: Sabbath, 6, 3 and 10 A. M . 4 P. M. Kt Rev. Bishop Moore, Rev. Father J. Lucke; residence, St. George street and Plaza.
Y. M. C. A.—Ward G. Foster, Pres.; G. M. Caldwell, Sccty. Rooms in Lyon I Hock, corner St. George street and Alameda. Sabbath, praise meeting, 4 to 5 P. M. Bible class, 7:30 P. M. Saturday. Rooms open daily 8 A. M. 10 9 P. M.

PHYSICIANS. Drs. K. M. Alba (Lyon Block), L. Alexander (St. George street), A. Anderson and F. F. Smith (Alcazar!, J. K. Rainey (St. George street!, Dc Witt Webb (St. George street), S. Mills Fowler (Granada street), C. A. Dunham (St George streel), Horace Lindslry (St. George street).

FORT MARION is open to the public from 9 to ia A. M., and 1 to 4 P. M. The hours have been changed since the chapter on Fort Marion was put in type.

BOATS. Small steam craft ply between wharves and beaches (trip 25 cents) and other points; and may be chartered for excursions. Sailing boats with skipper, 50 cents to $i per hour, $2 to $5 per day. Rowboats for hire by the hour or day.

OPERA HOUSE (Genovar's)—St. George street, between Treasury and Hypolita streets.

LIVERIES. Saddle horses and vehicle., with or without driver, are for hire.

PUBLIC LIBRARY. St. George street, in post office building. Hours, 10 A. M. to t P. M. (daily except Sunday and Thursday), and 3 to 5 P. M. Non-residents borrow books free of charge, on deposit of $2.

STUDIOS. Valencia street. Hotel Ponce dc Leon. No. 1, George W. Seavcy. No. 2, F. H. Shapleigh. No, 3. W. Staples Drown. No. 4, Rob:. S. Germain. No 7, M. J. Heade.

MUSEUMS. Vedder's (Bay street), living specimens of Florida natural history. Chapin's (near the fort), curiosities. The collections of the St. Augustine Institute of Natural Science, No. 33 Alcazar court, are open to the public daily from a to 5 P. M., admission free.

YACHT CLUB. St. Augustine Yacht Club; Com., E. A. Douglass, of New York. Clubhouse, S a-wall and Central Wharf.

DATES. Ponce de Leon discovers Florida. 151a. Mcnendez founds St. Augustine, t565. Drake, 1586 Boucauicrs, 1665. Moore of Carolina, 1700. Oglethorpe of Georgia, 1740. Florida becomes a British possession, 1763. Retroceded to Spain, 1783. Acquired by the United States, 1821, Seminole war, 1815-43.
Source: The Standard Guide for St. Augustine ©1890

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fort Pulaski, Savannah, GA.

The reason for this tidbit has to do with Savannah, Gray Bricks. They were unique and are not able to be replicated today. Fort Pulaski was constructed with this very hard brick and it has a unique history during the American Revolution and Civil Wars.

Fort Pulaski.—This fort is erected on Cockspar Island, at the mouth of the Savannah River in Georgia. It was named in honor of Count Pulaski, the distinguished Polish general who espoused the cause of American freedom in the Revolution. It effectually guards the main entrance to the river. All vessels of any size have to pass under its guns. Cockspur Island B separated from Tybee Island by a narrow carve of the sea. It is an irregular pentagon, with the base line or curtain face inland, and the other faces casemated and bearing upon the approaches. The curtain, which is simply crenellated, is covered by a redan, surrounded by a deep ditch, inside the parapet of which are granite platforms ready for the reception of guns. The parapet is thick, and the counterscarp is faced with solid masonry. Sandbag traverses guard the magazine door, and every thing is in as good trim. The walls are exceedingly solid, and well-built of hard gray brick, upwards of six feet in thickness, the casemates and bombproofs being lofty and capacious. A full garrison of the fort is 650 men. The work is intended for 128 guns. They are long 82's, with a few 42's and colnmbiads. The 10-inch columbiads are en barhette. There are three furnaces for heating red-hot shot.
This fort was seized by order of Governor Brown on the 3d of January. At the time, this was stated to have been done to prevent its seizure by a spontaneous uprising of the people. Subsequently, however, the apprehensions which led to this seizure proved to be groundless. They were excited by fabulous telegraphic despatches sent from the city of Washington. At the time of its seizure there wero sixty guns moan ted. It cost the Government $988,859.
Previously it had been in the care of two men, who were employed in keeping the grassed surfaces free from weeds and in taking care of the property.
Source: Appleton's Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Information ©1867

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cuban Dishes

Here's a tidbit about 19th Century Cuban meals. For ten years I lived in South Florida where my family and I were exposed to Cuban cooking, among other ethnic dishes. So, I thought it might be fun to share this tidbit about Cuban food.

As the service of the table, in most of the cities, at all the hotels, and many of the best private houses partakes of the nature of French cooking, it is only in the rural parts one can see the bona fide Cuban dishes.
The daily meals of the more humble farmers consist of fried pork and boiled rice in the morning, and, in lieu of bread, the roasted plantain. At dinner, they make use of cow-beef, jerked beef, birds, and roasted pig; but usually this meal consists of roasted plantains, and the national dish of ajiaco, or what we should call an Irish stew. This dish is to the island what olla podrida is to Spain. It is composed of fresh meat, either beef or pork, — dried meat of either,—all sorts of vegetables, young corn, and green plantains. It is made with plenty of broth, thickened with a farinaceous root known as malanga, and has also some lemon-juice squeezed into it. It is, I assure the reader, toothsome, cheap, and nutritious,— quite equal to the French pot an feu. Boiled rice is never dispensed with at any meal, and the cooking of it is understood to perfection. It is used mixed in all their stews, or with a simple sauce of tomatoes. El aporreado is made of half raw meat, dressed with water, vineger, salt, etc., which operation is known as perdigar (or stewing in an earthen pan); then mashed and stirred together, it is fried slightly in a sauce {mojo) of lard, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and peppers. Picadillos, or hashes, are always good upon the island,— town or country,— even if one does not know who made them. The tasajo brujo, or jerked beef bewitched, so called from the fact that it grows so much larger in cooking, is the dish found almost everywhere, and cooked in many ways. It is almost always a savory dish the traveler need not be afraid of, particularly if he has had army experience. There are some other dishes, but with the knowledge of the above, the stranger will be safe to accept an invitation toO dine with any of the haciendados, and it will also be seen that Cuban cookery is not such a fearful thing as we have been led to believe; for little or no oil is used, and the small quantity of garlic used is so disguised in other things that few people could tell it.
Source: Cuba with Pen and Pencil ©1871

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

1860 Fashions Part 2

Below are ten images of Ladies clothing from original sources of 1860 Fashions.

Various Dresses

Ladies Cloak

Ladies Shoe

Here's a link to the Historical Fashions Link Page for additional years of Historic Fashions.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New York Sheriff 1845

Below you'll find some excerpts from "The Duties and Liabilities of Sheriffs" ©1845. These tidbits might help you in deciding who your character might be in the role of a sheriff. Please note these are the duties as spelled out for New York, other states or territories might have other qualifications or job descriptions. The excerpts below will give you a place to start.

The Sheriff.
We purpose in this chapter on the Sheriff to consider the nature of his office, the qualifications necessary for it, the mode of his election, and the general duties required of him.
In most, if not in all of the United States, the Sheriff is merely an executive officer, having, individually, no judicial authority. He presides over a jury in assessing damages upon judgments by default, but, as will be seen hereafter, he has no voice in the inquest.
Any free white male citizen of the state of New-York, who has never been convicted of any infamous crime, is eligible to the office of Sheriff. By the constitution and statutes (Const. Art. 4, § 8; 1 Rev. Stat., 2d edit., 103, § 53, 54,) of the state, the Sheriffs of the several counties are chosen by the electors in the respective counties, once in every three years, and as often as vacancies occur; and can hold no other office, and are ineligible to the same office, for the next three years after the termination of their office.
The Sheriff must be a resident of the county for which he is elected, and in which the duties of his office are required to be performed. (1 Rev. Stat., 2d edit., 93, § 17.)
"When any new Sheriff shall be elected or appointed in the place of any other, or upon the expiration of the term of any Sheriff's office, and shall have qualified and given the security required by law, the clerk of the county shall grant a certificate under his official seal that the person so appointed or elected has qualified and given such security. Upon the service of such certificate on the former Sheriff, his powers, except when otherwise expressly provided hy law shall cease. Within ten days after the service of such certificate upon such former Sheriff he shall deliver to his successor:
1 The jail, or jails if there be more than one, ef the county, with all their appurtenances, and the property of the county therein.
2. All the prisoners then confined in such jail.
3. All process, orders, rules, commitments, and all other papers or documents, authorizing, or relating to the confinement of such prisoners; and if any such process shall have been returned, a statement, in writing, of the contents thereof, and when returned.
4. All writs of capias ad respondendum and other mesne process, and all precepts and other documents for the summoning of a grand or petit jury then in his hands, or which shall not have been fully executed by him.
5. All executions, attachments, and final process, then in his hands, except such as the said former Sheriff shall have executed, or shall have begun to execute by the collection of money thereon, or by a levy on property, in pursuance thereof. At the time of such delivery the said former Sheriff shall execute an instrument reciting the property, process, documents, and prisoners delivered, specifying particularly the process or other authority by which each prisoner was committed, and is detained, and whether the same be returned or delivered to such new Sheriff; which instrument shall be delivered to such new Sheriff, who shall acknowledge in writing, upon a duplicate thereof, the receipt of the property, process, documents, and prisoners therein specified, and shall deliver such duplicate and acknowledgement to the said former Sheriff. Notwithstanding the election or appointment of a new Sheriff, the former Sheriff shall return in his own name all writs of capias ad respondendum, all other mesne process, all attachments, and all executions which he shall have fully executed, and shall proceed and complete the execution of all final process tod attachments which he shall have hegan to execute, hy a collection of money thereon, or by a levy on property in pursuance thereof. And when a Sheriff shall have arrested any person upon a capias ad respondendum, by virtue of which such person shall be confined either in jail, or on the liberties thereof, at the time of assigning and delivering such jail to the new Sheriff, if such capias be not then returned, the same shall be delivered to the new Sheriff, and shall be returned by him, at the return day thereof, with the proceedings of the former, and of the new Sheriff thereon. And if any former Sheriff shall neglect or refuse to deliver to his successor, the jail, process, documents and prisoners in his charge, as herein required, such successor may, notwithstanding, take possession of such jail, and take the custody of the prisoners therein confmed, and may compel the delivery of such process and documents in the manner prescribed (in 1 R. S., 2ded., 114,233,) for compelling delivery of papers by officers to their successors. (2RS., 2d ed., 356, § 70—76.)
Here's a link to the book for further research.

Monday, May 12, 2014


I was wondering how far north lemons made it and how early in the 19th century could you find them when I came across these fun recipes for or using lemonade. Note the dates of some of the sources. I did find an article written in 1801 comparing the use of crystalized lemon vs. real lemon juice.

In my research I did come across a note regarding the import of lemons from Spain and Madrid. Lemons and importing them had been going on before the 19th century.

white sugar 1lb.
tartaric acid 1/4 oz.
essence of lemon 30 drops
water 3 quarts
Source: The Cyclopedia of Practical Receipts ©1841

LEMONADE. To prepare lemonade a day before it is wanted for use, pare two dozen lemons as thin as possible. Put eight of the rinds into three quarts of hot water, not boiling, and cover it over for three or four hours. Rub some fine loaf sugar on the lemons to attract the essence, and put it into a china bowl, into which the juice of the lemons is to be squeezed. Add a pound and a half of fine sugar, then put the water to the above, and three quarts of boiling milk. Pour the mixture through a jelly bag, till it is perfectly clear.—Another way. Pare a quantity of lemons, and pour some hot water on the peels. While infusing, boil some sugar and water to a good syrup, with the white of an egg whipt up. When it boils, pour a little cold water into it. Set it on again, and when it boils take off the pan, and let it stand by to settle. If there be any scum, take it off, and pour it clear from the sediment, to the water in which the peels were infused, and the lemon juice. Stir and taste it, and add as much more water as shall be necessary to make a very rich lemonade. Wet a jelly bag, and squeeze it dry; then strain the liquor, and it will be very fine.—To make a lemonade which has the appearance of jelly, pare two Seville oranges and six lemons very thin, and steep them four hours in a quart of hot water. Boil a pound and a quarter of loaf sugar in three pints of water, aud skim it clean. Add the two liquors to the juice of six China oranges, and twelve lemons; stir the whole well, and run it through a jelly bag till it is ouite clear. Then add a little orange water, if approved, and more sugar if necessary. Let it be well corked, and it will keep.--Lemonade may be prepared in a minute, by pounding a quarter of an ounce of citric or crystalised lemon acid, with a few drops of quintessence of lemon peel, and mixing it by degrees with a pint of clarified syrup or capillaries.
Source: The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary ©1822

Three lemons to a pint of water, makes strong lemonade ; sweeten to your taste.
This is the best beverage for parties, cool, refreshing, pleasant and salubrious.
Source: Good Housekeeper ©1839

LEMONADE ICED. Make a quart of rich lemonade, whip the whites of six fresh eggs to a strong froth—mix them well with the lemonade, and freeze it. The juice of morello cherries, or of currants mixed with water and sugar, and prepared in the same way, make very delicate ices.
Source: The Virginia Housewife ©1838

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spirits of Turpentine

This is a repeat post but the subject matter is one of the most often viewed posts. This post was first published on May 21, 2009. Since then I've put a couple other tidbits about the turpentine industry.

Taken from Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1889

This is one of the most valuable articles in a family, and when it has once obtained a foothold in a house, it is really a necessity, and could ill be dispensed with. It's medicinal qualities are very numerous; for burns it is a quick application and give immediate relief; for blisters on the hands it is of priceless value, searing down the skin and preventing soreness; for corns on the toes it is useful, and good for rheumatism and sore throats, and it is the quickest remedy for convulsions or fits. Then it is a sure preventive against moths; by just dropping a trifle in the bottom of drawers, chests and cupboards, it will render the garments secure from injury during the summer. It will keep ants and bugs from closets and storerooms by putting a few drops in the corners and upon the shelves; it is sure destruction to bedbugs, and will effectually drive them away from their haunts if thoroughly applied to the joints of the bedstead in the spring cleaning time, and injures neither furniture nor clothing. Its pungent odor is retained for a long time, and no family ought to be entirely out of a supply at any time of the year.

The most viewed post related to turpentine is "Turpentine Making." With 4270 hits.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Daytona Beach

So, I've been on a Leadership Retreat with my husband in Daytona Beach and I thought I'd share with you a historical description of Daytona Beach that is quite different from how the area looks today. This article was posted in the Atlantic Monthly 1894 and you can read the rest of it here.

Tun first eight days of my stay in Daytona were so delightful that I felt as if I had never before seen fine weather, even in my dreams. My east window looked across the Halifax River to the peninsula woods. Beyond them was the ocean. Immediately after breakfast, therefore, I made toward the north bridge, and in half an hour or less was on the beach. Beaches are much the same the world over, and there is no need to describe this one — Silver Beach, I think I heard it called—except to say that it is broad, hard, and, for a pleasure-seeker’s purpose, endless. It is backed by low sand-hills covered with impenetrable scrub, — oak and palmetto, —beyond which is a dense growth of short-leaved pines. Perfect weather, a perfect beach, and no throng of people: here were the conditions of happiness; and here for eight days I found it. The ocean itself was a solitude. Day after day not a sail was in sight. Looking up and down the beach, I could usually see somewhere in the distance a carriage or two, and as many foot passengers; but I
often walked a mile, or sat for half an hour, without being within hail of any one. Never were airs more gentle or colors more exquisite.
As for birds, they were surprisingly scarce, but never wanting altogether. If everything else failed, a few fish-hawks were sure to be in sight. I watched them at first with eager interest. Up and down the beach they went, each by himself, with heads pointed downward, scanning the shallow water. Often they stopped in their course, and by means of laborious flappings held themselves poised over a certain spot. Then, perhaps, they set their wings and shot downward clean under water. If the plunge was unsuccessful, they shook their feathers dry and were ready to begin again. They had the fisherman’s gift. The second, and even the third attempt might fail, but no matter ; it was simply a question of time and patience. If the fish was caught, their first concern seemed to be to shift their hold upon it, till its head pointed to the front. That done, they shook themselves vigorously and started landward, the shining white victim wriggling vainly in the clutch of the talons. Itook it for granted that they retired with their quarry to some secluded spot on the peninsula, till one day I happened to be standing upon a sand-hill as one passed overhead. Then I perceived that he kept on straight across the peninsula and the river. More than once, however, I saw one of them in no haste to go inland. On my second visit, a hawk came circling about my head, carrying a fish. I was surprised at the action, but gave it no second thought, nor once imagined that he was making me his protector, till suddenly a large bird dropped rather awkwardly upon the sand, not far before me. He stood for an instant on his long, ungainly legs, and then, showing a white head and a white tail, rose with a fish in his talons, and swept away landward out of sight. Here was the osprey’s parasite, the bald eagle, for which [had been on the watch. Meantime, the hawk too had disappeared. Whether it was his fish which the eagle had picked up (having missed it in the air) I cannot say. I did not see it fall, and knew nothing of the eagle’s presence until he fluttered to the beach.
Some days later, I saw the big thief - emblem of American liberty — play his sharp game to the finish. I was crossing the bridge, and by accident turned and looked upward. (By accident, I say, but I was always doing it.) High in the air were two birds, one chasing the other, —a fish-hawk and a young eagle with dark head and tail. The hawk meant to save his dinner if he could. Round and round he went, ascending at every turn, his pursuer after him hotly. For nnght I could see, he stood a good chance of escape, till all at once another pair of wings swept into the field of my glass. “A third is in the race! I‘Vho is the third,
Speeding away swift as the eagle bird ? ”
It was an eagle, an adult, with head and tail white. Only once more the osprey circled. The odds were against him, and
he let go the fish. As it fell, the old eagle swooped after it, missed it, swooped again, and this time, long before it could reach the water, had it fast in his claws. Then off he went, the younger one after him. They passed out of sight behind the trees of an island, one close upon the other, and I do not know how the controversy ended; but I would have wagered a trifle on the old white-head, the bird of Washington.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1860 Fashions Part 1

Today we're looking at 1860 Historical Fashions from printed sources in 1860.




Head Dress


Here's a link to the Historical Fashions Link Page for additional years of Historic Fashions.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Bogus Butter

This is a reprint from one of my first posts in May of 2009. It's an interesting tidbit I thought worth reposting.

Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1889

What Bogus Butter is Made of.

There are 17 patents on imitation butter. The Letters-patent state that the following ingredients are used in making imitation dairy products: Sugar or lead, bisulphate of lime, salt-petre, borax, boracic acid, salieylic acid, orris root, cottonseed oil, vegetable oils, bitaric acid, bicarbonate of soda, nitrate of potassa, glycerine, capsylic acid, cuparic acid, alum. capsic acid, sulphite of soda, cows' udder, commercial sulphuric acid, castor oil, either caustic potash, carbonic acid, sulphuric acid, castor oil, chalk, clippery elm bark. caul, oil of sesame, oil of sunflower seeds, olive oil, curcumine, turnip seed oil, broma chloralum, chlorate of potash, nitre, oil of sweet almonds, oil of peanuts, peroxide of manganese, stomach of pigs, sheep or calf, nitrate of soda, bennie oil, gastric juice, mustard seed oil, nitre acid, dry blood albumen, sugar, bulyric acid, bicarbonate of potash, chloride of sodium, canstic soda, corn starch, coloring matter.
No, thank you, we don't want any in ours.
End of quote.

I'm with the author, I prefer the real thing.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Lobsterville, Gay Head, MA.

Today Gay Head has been renamed to Aquinnah but for hundreds of years the name was Gay Head. Situated on the Menemsha Pond was a spit of land that during the 19th century looked very different from what it is today. When I was a kid growing up on Martha's Vineyard there were no homes on Lobsterville. However, there were lots of boats buoyed off it's shore. When I was 8 my dad and I would go scalloping in Memensha Pond and we were in the Lobsterville area, many times.

Below are some pictures of Lobsterville when it was a fisherman's shanty area. The article from The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States ©1887 gives a good understanding of the area, and it's history.
Edgartown district includes Martha’s Vineyard, No Man’s Land, and the Elizabeth Islands. Lobster fishing is carried on mainly from Cuttyhunk, No Man’s Land, Lobsterville (Menemsha Bight), and Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. This fishery was begun at the Elizabeth Islands as early as 1807. “The fishes are the same as those of the vicinity, but lobsters, which are scarce at Martha’s Vineyard, are caught in great abundance at all the Elizabeth Islands.” ' At present the lobster fishery of the Elizabeth Islands is confined almost exclusively to Outtyhunk, where it is engaged in by the majority of all the fishermen, about thirty in number. The season lasts about four months. The thirty fishermen run six small smacks and twelve open boats, setting from forty to one hundred and twenty traps each, or a total of 2,000 traps. The Outtyhunk Club, a New York association of sportsmen, also handles about one hundred and twenty pots, selling the larger lobsters obtained and using the smaller ones for bait. During the season of 1880 the lobster traps at Outtyhunk averaged about one marketable lobster each per day, or a total of about 230,000 lobsters, by count, for the season. The regular tautog fishermen of Cuttyhunk use about 1,000 pounds of lobsters each for bait during the season.
At No .Man’s Land, in 1880, the lobster fishery was conducted by fifteen men who make that island their headquarters during the fishing season. The catch in that year was small, averaging about 1,000 pounds to each man, and amounting altogether to about 15,000 pounds. From the town of Edgartown only about two hundred traps were set in 1880, yielding a total catch for the season of about 16,600 lobsters. The greater part of the lobster fishery of this district is carried on in the vicinity of Menemsha Bight and Gay Head, at the southwestern extremity of Martha’s Vineyard, and off No Man’s Land, by fishermen hailing from Ohilmark and Tisbury. Lobsterville consists of about fourteen temporary shanties, situated near the western end of Menemsha Bight. Along Menemsha Bight, including this settlement, about sixty lobster fishermen were located in 1880, using forty boats, of which one-half carried two men each and the remainder one man each. An average of forty traps was set by each boat in 1880, making a total of sixteen hundred traps for the region. They were worked in trawls of ten to fifteen traps each. The common form of lath trap is universally employed. The catch for 1880 amounted to about 200,000 lobsters. In ‘ 1879 this fishery was carried on from this locality by a much smaller number of men, with fourteen boats and 560 traps.
The fishing grounds range from the shallow water near shore, in depths of 1 fathom, to depths of 15 to 20 fathoms. The season usually continues four or five months, from May to October, but a few men sometimes begin fishing as early as the middle of March. Flounders, menhaden, dogfisb, and other common fish are used as bait. The average number of marketable lobsters caught to a trap per day varies from one to two. Fifteen lobsters of all sizes to a trap is considered a large catch. Nearly all the lobsters taken in this region are sold to smacks running principally to New York, but also, to some extent, to other smaller markets. About twelve well-smacks of different sizes making weekly trips visit this region during the season, and pay on an average about six cents each for all lobsters above 10% inches long.
After the smacks stop running, which sometimes happens about the 1st of August, the catch is sold mainly at Wood’s Holl at 3% cents per pound. During good seasons the monthly earnings for each man are said to range as high as $50 to $100. In 1880 the average earnings per man for the entire district were about $250 for the season. The following note from Mr. Frank M. Cottle, of West Tisbury, is of interest, as illustrating the rapid growth of the lobster industry in this region: “ Twenty years ago there was but one vessel in the lobster fishery on this coast, or rather in this vicinity; now there are a dozen. Then the business was not considered to be of any value, and but few men entered it at all. Within the past fifteen years, however, it has improved rapidly, and now there are some 60 men or more in this vicinity who depend upon it almost wholly during the season.” That the destruction of lobsters by fish in this district is very great is indicated by the observations of Mr. V. N. Edwards, of Wood's Holl, who, during October and November, 1877, examined the stomachs of hundreds of cod caught about No Man’s Land. Nearly all the fish he examined contained one or more young lobsters, and in many cases the stomachs were almost entirely filled with them.
THE FISHERY IN 1882.—During the summer of 1882, the author made many inquiries of the fishermen regarding the lobster fishery of the Martha’s Vineyard region, including No Man’s Land and the Elizabeth Islands, with the following results:
Lobsters have, from year to year, steadily decreased in size and abundance, in the upper part of Vineyard Sound, while at the same time there has been a proportionate increase in numbers, and the size has remained constant, about Gay Head, No Man’s Land, and Outtyhunk. About one-third of the catch only is under size or less than 10.} inches in length. According to some of the older fishermen of No Man’s Land, 1882 was one of the best lobster years ever ex perienced there. From fifteen to twenty men lobstered during the summer season, setting, on an average, sixty traps each, the greater part of which were arranged in trawls of eight to twenty traps. The catch during this season, from the middle of May to the latter part of September, amounted to about 100,000 marketable lobsters, weighing, on an average, 2Q pounds each. The price paid by the smacks was 8 cents each, making a total season’s stock for the twenty men of $8,000.
In addition to the twenty fishermen living on the island, there were six smacks, owned in New London County, Connecticut, with a combined crew of twenty-four men, which fished in the same region. Their catch, though large, was proportionately less than for the regular fishermen. As fast as they obtained fares. they proceeded to market, generally New York. One market smack, called the Boston Smack, made weekly trips to the island, and carried the catch of the fishermen to New York, at the rate of about 6,000 lobsters each trip. Another smack, the Daboll of New York, made occasional trips, carrying about the same amount of lobsters each time.
In the above reckoning no account has been taken of the fisheries of Menemsha Bight, near Gay Head, and of Cuttyhunk, at both of which places the catch for 1882 was much larger than for 1880. In the upper part of Vineyard Sound, on both the Martha’s Vineyard and Naushon sides, the fishery for 1882 was poor. The Wood’s Holl lobstermen set their traps during only a very short part of the summer, and the greater portion of their catch was under size.
The lobster season at No Man’s Land generally begins about the middle of May and continues until about the 20th of September. About October 1, the fishermen begin to turn their attention to the cod fishery, which lasts until bad weather sets in, and is again taken up in the spring, from April 1 to the middle of May. The lobster pots are set on all sides of the island, but mainly off the north and west sides, where there are numerous rocky patches, at distances of 1% to 2 miles from land, and with depths of 10 to 13 fathoms. Each of the fishermen owns one or two floating cars for the storage of his catch, awaiting shipment. Thirty such cars were in use during 1882, the larger ones having a capacity of 500 to 1,000 lobsters each, but there are others of smaller size. They are tied to stakes just off the shore, in front of the fishing village, and swing with the tide. They are made of two shapes; the smaller ones are generally rectangular, but the larger ones taper at one or both ends, but from the bottom and top, so as to present a rather narrow edge to the tidal currents, or to the waves, in stormy weather. This construction is rendered necessary from the fact that the area in which they are moored is exposed to a heavy sea, during strong easterly winds, and a plain rectangular car would soon be torn to piece& The bait used consists of menhaden, bluefish, flounders, and cod heads. Menhaden are preferred, and, in 1882, cost $8 per thousand.
The fishermen of this region recognize the two varieties of lobsters, called “school” lobsters and “ledge” or “rock” lobsters. The latter, apparently, remain about the island during the entire year, and live only upon the rocks or rocky grounds. The school lobsters appear about July 1, and are gone by the last of September. They are most abundant on smooth bottoms, but also occur among the rocks. Lobsters can, therefore, be caught upon smooth bottoms only during the season for school lobsters.
The boats used are the so-called “Vineyard fishing boats,” having one or two masts. These are moored just off the town, and are reached by means of dories. In case of an approaching storm, or when it is desirable to clean them, these small smacks are hauled upon the beach, which consists of large gravel stones, by means of a team of oxen, kept on the island for that purpose. Ladder-like frames, made in sections, and with the cross-pieces broad and flat, are placed under the boats, or, rather, the latter are hauled over the frames, to keep them from being worn by grinding against the gravel. The boat being brought in as near the shore as possible, one section of the frame, with the cross-pieces downward, is set in front of it, leading up the beach. The boat is then hauled upon it, and another section added, this operation being repeated until the boat has reached the proper height upon the beach, when it is braced from both sides. '
The N o Man’s Land fishermen all belong to Martha’s Vineyard, and live on the former island only during the fishing seasons. There are only two permanent residents on the island.
Summation of the lobster fisheries in Edgartown district in 1880.
Number of fishermen . . . .110
Number of boats . . . . . . 58
Value of same . . . . . $13,800
Number of lobster pots ...4,520
Value of same ............$4,520
Total amount of capital invested in the fishery .........$18,320
Number of barrels of bait used . . . .1,540
Value of same ............$770
Total quantity of lobsters caught and sold, in pounds....773, 100
Value of same to the fishermen .........$28, 347

This first picture was put on Facebook by Lori Robinson Fisher. Her picture dates to 1880's

Friday, May 2, 2014

Raisin Bread

I don't know about all of you but Raisin Bread is a fine way to start your morning. I found several different recipes from the 19th century of this breakfast bread. Please note that the recipes come from the later part of the 19th century. However, I found several source mentioning raisin bread but I didn't find a recipe. And of course, most of you know that most recipes in the earlier part of the century didn't have a cook book but rather a tried and true method from the cooks and bakers themselves. And this included the home-maker as well.

Raisin Bread.
Pick, wash and seed the raisins, a full pint for an ordinary loaf; put them in a small, covered vessel, and set the latter into a larger one containing boiling water; cover this also, and place over the fire. Let the raisins steam half or three-quarters of an hour; the water that adheres from washing, is sufficient to steam them. Mix and knead the bread, as in either of the preceding recipes; when ready to mould work the raisins in evenly, and set it to rise in single loaf tins. Bake an hour, or till well done, and eat the next day.
Source: Health in the Household ©1883

A RAISIN LOAF—Take a loaf of bread in the dough, add I tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 large egg or 2 small ones, and 1 cup of stoned raisins. Mix well together, let rise an hour, and bake in a well heated oven.
Source: Mrs. Owen's New Cook Book ©1897

Raisin Bread.
1 pint milk.
1/2 cup sugar.
1/4 yeast cake.
1 cup seeded raisins.
Make a sponge and set it to rise adding the chopped raisins after the sponge has risen. Add flour enough to knead, shape into a loaf, rise again and bake.
Source: The Dewey Cook Book ©1899

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day

Below is a fairly long excerpt from "Holidays: Christmas, Easter, and other Whitsuntide" ©1876 about May Day. When I was the third grade I had the unique experience to attend a two room school house. In my room was 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. My very first experience with May Day happened at this wonderful place. Don't get me wrong there were trying moments as there are with any school grade but I still cherish that year of my schooling. Now our May Day celebration wasn't as elaborate as the one mentioned below but it was a wonderful day and an incredible experience. My youngest son, Tim, had the advantage of going to a pre-school when he was three years old and he learned how to use the May Pole. I have several photos of him working the ribbons around the maypole with the other students. Today, we hardly hear of May Day, perhaps this tidbit will challenge you to have a unique experience for your characters.

THE Mayday customs are supposed by some antiquarians to have been derived from the Roman F1 o r a 1 i a, which began on the twenty-eighth of April, and continued through several days in May. This festival appears to have been instituted about 242 B. c. in honor of a celebrated courtezan named Flora, who bequeathed her fortune to the people of Rome on condition that at this season, they should yearly celebrate her memory. Soon after, the Senate of Rome exalted Flora to be the goddess of flowers, and from that time her festival was observed with various ceremonies, rejoicings, and offering of spring flowers and branches of trees in bloom.
But Mr. Soane and others maintain that the Mayday festival has come down to us from the Druids, and that this is proved by many striking facts and coincidences, and by none more so than by the vestiges of the worship of the god Bel, the Apollo or Orus of other nations. The Druids celebrated his worship on the first of May, by lighting in honor of him, immense fires upon the various cairns.
Whether the May-day festival be of Druidical or of Roman origin, or as Toilet imagines, derived from our Gothic ancestors, who also welcomed the First of May with songs and dances, and many rustic sports, appears to be yet undetermined. Indeed, it has been maintained that its origin is to be sought in far more remote periods. Maurice says that it is identical with the Phallic festivals of India and Egypt, which in those countries took place upon the sun entering Taurus, to celebrate Nature's renewed fertility.
At any rate, whatever may have been the heathenish origin of these May-games, the May-pole had become so firmly rooted in the soil of Merry England long before the time of Charles I., and had been, as was believed, so thoroughly divested of all its ancient idolatrous associations as to be thought worthy even of royal and episcopal commendation; its harmless observances being enjoined by the highest ecclesiastical authorities: —
"Our express pleasure therefore is," says King Charles I. (in the "Book of Sports "), " that after the end of Divine Service, our good people be not disturbed, letted, or discouraged from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, either men or women, archery for men, leaping, vaulting, or any other such harmless recreation; nor from having of May Games, Whitsun Ales, and Morris-dances, and the setting up of May-poles, and other sports therewith used, so as the same be had in due and convenient time, without impediment or neglect of Divine Service."
But whatever may have been the relish with which high church divines read forth to their people from the sacred desk these royal injunctions; and however much their observance may have been associated with the sentiments of religion and loyalty; still their celeT bration, it is well known, gave great offense to that part of their congregations who felt scruples of " conscience" in regard to the use of these games. For in the eyes of our Puritan forefathers, they were simply " heathen abominations." Thus, in response to the King's declaration in the "Book of Sports," we find the defiant puritanical Parliament of 1643 enacting as follows : —
"And because the profanation of the Lord's Day hath been heretofore greatly occasioned by May-poles (a heathenish vanity, generally abused to superstition and wickedness), the Lords and Commons do further order and ordain, that all and singular Maypoles, that are or shall be erected, shall be taken down and removed by the constables, borsholders, tythingmen, petty-constables, and church-wardens of the parishes where the same be; and that no May-pole shall be hereafter set up, erected or suffered to be, within this Kingdom of England, or Dominion of Wales."
In 1661, Thomas Hall, the celebrated non-conformist divine, in his "Funebria Florae, or Downfall of May-Games," in a solemn arraignment, brings in twenty arguments in the form of theses against poor Flora, with a brief dissertation upon each, and ends by trying her before a packed jury of his own Puritans, who, as a matter of course, bring her in guilty, when the parson, as judge, thus pronounces sentence : —
"Flora, thou hast been indicted, by the name of Flora, for bringing in abundance of misrule and disorder into Church and State; thou hast been found guilty, and art condemned both by God and man, by Scriptures, fathers, councils, by learned and pious divines, both old and new, and therefore I adjudge thee to perpetual banishment."
Old Stubbs, also, as usual, is extremely eloquent on this subject: —
"Against Maie Whitsondaie, or some other tyme of the yeare, every parishe, toune or village, assemble themselves together, bothe men women and children, olde and young, even all indifferently; and either goyng alltogether, or devyding themselves into companies, they goe some to the woods and groves, &c, some to the hilles and mountaines, some to one place, some to an other, where they spende all the night in pleasant pastymes; and in the mornyng they returne, bringing with them birch boughs and braunches of trees to deck their assemblies withall. And no marvaile; for there is a great lord present amongst them as superintendent and lorde over their pastymes and sportes; namely, Sathan, prince of Hell. But their chiefest jewell they bring from thence is their Maie-pole, which they bring home with great veneration, as thus: they have twentie or fourtie yoke of oxen, every oxe havying a swete nosegaie of flowers tyed on the tippe of his hornes, and these oxen drawe home this Maie-pole — this stinking idoll rather — which is covered all over with flowers and herbes bounde rounde aboute with stringes, from the top to the bottome, and sometyme painted with variable colours (black and yellow), with twoo or three hundred men women and children followyng it with great devotion. And this beyng reared up, with handkerchiefes and flagges streamyng on the toppe, they strawe the grounde aboute, beside green boughes aboute it; set up summer haulles, bowers and arbours hard by it, and then fall they to banquet and feast, to leap and daunce about it, as the heathen people did at the dedication of their idolles, whereof this is a proper patterne, or rayther the thynge itself."
It is curious enough to contrast the effusions of this rabid fanatic, with the pleasing picture of the same custom left to us by Stowe : —
"In the moneth of May," says the cheerful old man, "namely on May-day in the morning, every man, except impediment, would walk into the sweete meadows and green woods, there to rejoyce their spirites, with the beauty and savour of sweete flowers, and with the harmony of birds praysing God in their kind; and for example hereof Edward Hall hath noted that K. Henry the Eight, as in the 3 of his reigne and divers other years, so namely on the seventh of his reigne on May-day in the morning with Queene Katheren his wife, accompanied with many Lords and Ladies, rode a Maying from Greenwitch to the high ground of Shooter's hill, where as they passed by the way, they espied a company of tall yeomen clothed all in Greene, with greene whoodes and with bowes and arrowes to the number of 200. One being their chieftaine was called Robin Hoode, who required the king and his companie to stay and see his men shoote, whereunto the king graunting, Robin Hoode whistled, and all the 200 archers shot off, losing all at once; and when he whistled againe, they likewise shot againe; their arrowes whistled by craft of the head, so that the noyse was strange and loude, which greatly delighted the king, queene and their companie. Moreover, this Robin Hoode desired the king and queene, with their retinue, to enter the greene wood, where, in harbours made of boughes and decked with flowers, they were set and served plentifully with venison and wine by Robin Hoode and his meynie, to their great contentment, and had other pageants and pastimes."
"I find also, that in the moneth of May, the citizens of London, of all estates, lightly in every parish, or sometimes two or three parishes joyning togither, had their several Mayings, and did fetch in May-poles, with divers warlike shewes, with good archers, moricedauncers, and other devices, for pastime all the day long, and towards the evening they had stage playes and bonefires in the streetes. Of these Mayings we reade, in the raigne of Henry the Sixt, that the aldermen and shiriffes of London being, on May-day, at the Bishop of London's wood, in the parish of Stebunheath, and having there a worshipfull dinner for themselves and other commers, Lydgate the poet, that was a monk of Bury, sent to them by a pursivant a joyful 1 commendation of that season, containing sixteen staves in meter royall, beginning thus: —
"Mightie Flora, goddesse of fresh bowers,
Which clothed hath the soyle in lustie greene,
Made buds spring, with her sweete showers,
By influence of the sunny-shien."

The custom of gathering May-dew survived until the end of the seventeenth century: — "young ladies and even grave matrons, repaired to the fields to gather May-dew with which to beautify their complexions; milkmaids also danced in the streets with their pails wreathed with garlands, and a fiddler going before them."
A hundred years ago " the milk-maids' garland was a pyramidal frame, covered with damask, glittering on each side with [borrowed] polished silver plate, and adorned with knots of gay-coloured ribbons and posies of fresh flowers, surmounted with a silver urn or tankard. It .was placed on a wooden horse, and carried by two men, preceded by a pipe and tabor or a fiddle."
A good idea of the hilarity of the occasion may be gathered from a curious old ballad in the " Westminster Drollery," called the " Rural Dance about the Maypole :" —
"Come lasses and lads, take leave of yoyr dads,
And away to the May-pole hie;
For every he has got him a she,

And the minstrel is standing by;
For Willy has gotten his Jill, and Johnny has got his Joan,
To jig it, jig it, jig it, jig it up and down.

"'Strike up,' says Wat. 'Agreed,' says Kate,
And, 'I prithee, fiddler, play ;'
'Content,' says Hodge, and so says Madge,
'For this is a holiday!'
Then every man did put his hat off to his lass,
And every girl did curchy, curchy, curchy on the grass.

"' Begin,' says Hall. 'Aye, aye,' says Mall,
'We'll lead up Packington's Pound:
'No, no,' says Noll; and so says Doll,

'We'll first have Sellenger's Round.'
Then every man began to foot it round about,
And every girl did jet it, jet it, jet it in and out.

"' You're out,' says Dick. 'Tis a lie,' says Nick j
'The fiddler played it false ;'
''Tis true,' says Hugh; and so says Sue,

And so says nimble Alse.
The fiddler then began to play the tune again,
And every girl did trip it, trip it, trip it to the men."

The morris-dance, the peculiar sport and pastime of May-day and Whitsuntide, is generally supposed to be of Moorish origin, derived from Spain. Hence its name. In confirmation of this opinion, we are told by Junius, that at one time the dancers blackened their faces to resemble Moors. Strutt, indeed, thinks differently; but his arguments, which are not very strong in themselves, seem to be altogether set aside by the fact of the word morris being applied in the same way by other nations to express a dance, that both English and foreign glossaries alike ascribe to the Moors. That the dance is not exactly the same as the fandango, the real Morisco, can by no means be considered as invalidating this argument, for similar deviations from originals have taken place in other borrowed amusements.
From whatever source the morris-dance may have been derived, it would seem to have been first brought into England about the time of Edward III., when John of Gaunt returned from Spain. It was certainly popular in France, as early as the fifteenth century, under the name of Morisque, which is an intermediate step between the Spanish Morisco and the English morris. There does not appear to be any mention of this dance by English writers or records before the sixteenth century; but then, and especially in the writers of the Shakespearean age, the allusions to it become very numerous. It was probably introduced into England by dancers both from Spain and France; for in the earlier allusions to it in English, it is sometimes called the Morisco and sometimes the Morisce or Morisk.
Tabourot, the oldest and most curious writer on the art of dancing, says, that in his youthful days, about the beginning of the sixteenth century, it was the custom in good society for a boy to come into the hall when supper was finished, with his face blackened, his forehead bound with white or yellow taffeta, and bells tied to his legs. He then proceeded to dance the Morisco, the whole length of the hall backward and forward, to the great amusement of the company. This was the ancient and uncorrupted morris-dance.
In England, however, it seems to have been very soon united with an older pageant-dance, performed at certain periods in honor of Robin Hood and his outlaws; and thus a morris-dance consisted of a certain number of characters limited at one time to five, but varying considerably at different periods.
There was preserved in an ancient mansion at Betley, in Staffordshire, some years ago, and it may exist there still, a painted glass window of apparently the reign of Henry VIII., representing in its different compartments the several characters of the morrisdance. George Tollett, Esq., who possessed the mansion at the beginning of this century, and who was a friend of the Shakespearean critic Malone, gave a lengthy dissertation on this window, with an engraving. Maid Marian, the Queen of May, is there dressed in a rich costume of the period referred to, with a golden crown on her head, and a red pink in her left hand, supposed to be intended as the emblem of Summer : —
"This Queen of May is supposed to represent the goddess Flora of the Roman festival; Robin Hood appears as the lover of the Maid Marian. An ecclesiastic also appears among the characters in the window, in the full clerical tonsure, with a chaplet of red and white beads in his right hand; his corded girdle and his russet habit denoting him to be of the Franciscan order, or one of the Gray Friars; his stockings are red; his red girdle is ornamented with a golden twist and with a golden tassel."
This is supposed to be Friar Tuck, a well-known character of the Robin Hood ballads. The Fool, with his cock's comb and bauble, also takes his place in the figures in the window; neither is the taborer wanting with his tabor and pipe, "nor has the hobbyhorse been forgot."1
1 At Banbury there is annually exhibited a pageant, in which a fine lady on a white horse, preceded by Robin Hood and Little John, Friar Tuck, a company of archers, bands of music, flags and banners, passes through the principal street to
We may infer from the extraordinary longevity of those skilled in the morris-dances, that the exercise was conducive to the health of the body at least, if not equally so to that of the soul; the believers in "muscular Christianity," however, may reasonably doubt whether what was so good for the body, could be after all, as the Puritans maintained it was, so very bad for the soul.
Sir William Temple thus mentions a morris-dance which took place in Herefordshire, in King James' time : —
"There went about the country a sett of Morrice dancers, composed of ten men, who danced a Maid Marrian, and a tabor and pipe ; these ten, one with one another made up twelve hundred years. Tis not so much that so many in one country should live to that age, as that they should be in vigor and humour to travel and dance."
About a century ago, also, a famous May-game or morris-dance, was performed by eight men in the same county, whose ages computed together amounted to eight hundred years.
Brady, in his •' Clavis Calendaria," published in London in 1812, says of "the May Pole, that it is still retained in most of our villages," and that, "the May
the Cross, where the lady (Maid Marian) scatters Banbury cakes among the people. This Cross, so celebrated in the nursery hymn, "Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross," pulled down by the Puritans in the reign of Elizabeth, has recently been rebuilt by the Banburians, to commemorate the marriage of the Princess Royal with the Crown Prince of Prussia.
games were also once so general in England, that even the priests,1 joining with the people, used to go in procession to some adjoining wood on the May morning, and return in triumph with the much prized pole, adorned with boughs, flowers, and other tokens of the Spring season."
"Happy the age, and harmless were the days
(For then true love and amity was found),
When every village did a May-pole raise,
And Whitsun Ales and May-games did abound;
And all the lusty yonkers, in a rout,
With merry lasses daunc'd the rod about;
Then Friendship to their banquets bid the guests,
And poore men far'd the better for their feasts.

"The lords of castles, mannors, towns, and towers,
Rejoic'd when they beheld the farmers flourish,
And would come downe unto the summer bowers,
To see the country gallants daunce the morrice."

The May-pole, once fixed, remained until the end of the year, and was resorted to at all other seasons of festivity, as well as during May. Hence the general term of " May-games," to which reference is made in the " Book of Sports " and other contemporaneous writings. Some of these poles, made of wood of a more durable nature, remained for years, being merely
1 Dr. Parr was a great patron of May-day festivities. Opposite his parsonage house at Watton near Warwick, stood the parish May-pole, which was annually dressed with garlands, and the doctor himself danced with his parishioners around the shaft.
freshly ornamented instead of being removed, as was the common practice. The last of such permanent May-poles in London was taken down in 1717, and conveyed to Wanstead, in Essex, where it was fixed in the park for the support of an immensely large telescope. Its original height was upward of one hundred feet above the surface of the ground, and its station on the east side of Somerset House has been thus commemorated by Pope: —
"Amidst the area wide they took their stand,
Where the tall May-pole once o'erlook'd the Strand."

The May-pole in later times in this country, appears to have been transformed into the Liberty-pole.
The third canto of Trumbull's "McFingal" is called the "Liberty-Pole." When the hero caught sight of it and the crowd around it, he exclaimed : —
"What mad-brained rebel gave commission
To raise this May-pole of sedition."

We may infer from the above that Trumbull thought that the May-pole, around which in England young people had joyful gatherings, suggested our Liberty-pole first raised in New York, in 1766, and which has been erected in all parts of this country as a rallying point for public meetings and Fourth of July celebrations.
Another May-day custom worthy of notice, is still kept up at Oxford. On the top of the magnificent tower of Magdalen College, an anthem is sung at sunrise every May morning. The choristers and singing men of the College Chapel in their surplices, assemble there a little before five o'clock, and as soon as the clock has struck, commence singing their matins.
The college, it appears, holds certain land on condition of the annual performance of this ceremony, which, by the way, is said to be a substitute for a mass or requiem, which before the Reformation used to be annually sung in the same exalted position, for the rest ► of the soul of Henry VII. the founder of the college.
The beautiful bridge, and all around the college, is covered with spectators, the inhabitants of the city as well as the neighboring villages collecting together, some on foot, and some in carriages, to hear the choir, and welcome in the happy day. The effect of the singing is said to be sweet and solemn, and almost supernatural, and during its celebration the most profound stillness reigns over the assembled numbers; all seem impressed with the angelic softness of the floating sounds, as they are gently wafted down by each breath of air. All is hushed and calm and quiet — even breathing is almost forgotten, and all seem lost even to themselves, until with the first peal of the bells (of which there are ten) the spell is broken, and noise and confusion usurp the place of silence and quiet.