Friday, September 30, 2016


It was during the 19th century that Thanksgiving became a nationalized holiday. President Lincoln made a proclamation (Oct. 3, 1863) to that effect. Prior to 1863 states decided when or if they would celebrate thanksgiving. Setting the date as the last Thursday in Nov for all states to abide by.

Below is a link to the proclamation Lincoln wrote. Proclamation

This came up as I was researching the original thanksgiving with the Mayflower Pilgrims and thought some of you might enjoy this tidbit when writing your stories. You should research and see what some of the Southern states thought about Thanksgiving, very interesting.

Deed Box

Today we generally have safe deposit boxes or fireproof filing cabinets or safes in our homes where we put our deeds and titles. In the 19th century deed boxes ranged in sizes but most were slightly larger than a tri-fold paper. There were simple wooden boxes, tin boxes some had latches others didn't. I remember as a child finding one of these old boxes in the attic of my grandparents home. It was larger than most and contained a few treasures, that I cherished for many years growing up.

I've found on the internet auctions for Deed Boxes and some where quite large and filled with family letters, correspondence and receipts of all kinds. For a writer or a historian these are gems of history.

I mention them because today we generally don't even think in terms of deed boxes.

How to Measure Corn in a Crib, Hay in a Mow, etc.

This excerpt is taken from Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1889

This rule will apply to a crib of any size or kind. Two cubic feet of good sound, dry corn in the ear will make a bushel of shelled corn. To get, then, the quantity of shelled corn in a crib of corn in the ear measure the length, breadth and height of the crib, inside of the rail; multiply by the length, by the breadth and the product by the height; then divide te product by two, and you have the number of bushels of shelled corn in the crib.

To find the number of bushels of apples, potatoes, etc., in a bin, multiply the length, breadth and thickness together, and this product by 8, and point off one figure in the product for decimals.

To find the amount of Hay in a Mow, allow 512 cubic feet for a ton, and it will come out very generally correct.

Blue Laws

Quite a while back I encouraged people to take a look at Blue laws and how they might affect your historical articles or novels. In google books I found a history of blue laws from 1861 titled "The Blue Laws of Connecticut"

It appears that the blue laws of Connecticut seemed to be the standard. Rev. John Cotton of New Haven, Ct. in 1655 and Gov. Eaton at the time found the need to write these laws. They were printed in England and distributed in New Haven in 1656.

Wikipedia has an interesting article about the blue laws and lists several. Wikipedia link.

With regard to the 19th century Blue laws were still in effect. However, they mostly pertained to the buying and selling on the Sabbath/Sunday.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Martha's Vineyard 1875 History thru a Diary

I grew up on Martha's Vineyard and this past friday I had a great visit with two gals and their spouses who graduated high school with me. While in high school I took an Island History course offered by Mr. Sherman Hoar. This class is one of those pivotal classes one takes when they are younger. A girlfriend and I decided to work on a project together. Martha Sprague and I went to the Historical society and decided on the project of transcribing an unknown diary and trying to identify the owner. In the end we selected Henry Manter and it was his younger brother Ellis who actually wrote the diary. Thankfully, Martha and I received an A for the project and thus an A for the course. It was a long process but it also ignited in me the desire to do research and even historical research.

Below are a list of some of the things I learned from this high school project.

Vineyard Haven harbor on Feb. 10, 1875 completely frozen in with ice.
As a result several vessels were frozen in.

The ice was so thick that year they could walk from Vineyard Haven to Cape Cod. It's a 7 mile ferry ride to the Vineyard, 3 mile walk the way the crow flies.

Ellis at one time wrote that 'He went walking with Ellis tonight." This is the phrase that stumped Martha and I. It turns out it was an expression often used in the 19th century to say they were alone.

On June 25th 1875 Ellis wrote "The cars are running three trips daily between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs." This refers to the railroad that was once on the Vineyard. When I was in grade school you could see the remains of the tracks of the train or trolley that went around the circle of the Methodist Camp Grounds in Oak Bluffs. They've been removed now.

August 21 1875 Illumination Night at the Methodist Camp Grounds. Residents hung Chinese lanterns on their cottages. When I was younger the Tabernacle at the center of the Campground had lots of wires strung out from it to the trees and other posts. At the beginning of Illumination Night each child would stand at a lantern on the ground. When the signal rang we were allowed to light the lanterns and our parents would hang them on the strings above. This went on for years and I have no idea how many years prior to my knowledge that this event happened. Today, it is not practiced. Today many of the lanterns are electric. They are still delightful to see but something is missing.

Ellis's last post was on Dec. 31, 1875 "Went to "Watch meeting" in Methodist Church, watched the old year out and the new year in.

Martha and I did this project in the fall of 1971. In May of 1972 the Duke's County Historical Society published excerpts of the diary and told of our school project. Six years ago when I was able to return to Martha's Vineyard and attend my 30th high school reunion, I returned to the Historical Society to do some research on the Island's railroad and the sinking of the Port Hunter, our project is still their filed away for anyone who would like to read the diary. The Historical Society is much larger now. And I'd love to spend more time in the Society researching some of the Island's past. Perhaps, one day I'll get the chance.

The most important thing I learned from this class project was that I loved history and I love the detective work in researching the past. Today I do that while researching a novel, working on genealogy and just for the fun of learning something new. I hope you've enjoyed my stroll down memory lane.

Building Cold Storage aka Ice Houses

A week or so back I had a few posts on Ice. I came across this article about building an Ice house in "Ice and Refrigeration, Vol. 4" ©1893 by Southern Ice Exchange and thought this might interest some of you.

The building fitted up for this purpose was a part of an unused factory. After examining various cold storage houses in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we decided upon a plan which is a modified form of some of the smaller refrigerators of Armour & Co., or of Swift & Co., and is as follows:

The room when torn out and ready for fitting up was about thirty feet square and nineteen feet high. The outside covering roof and upper floor was all that we left of the building. The walls upon the four sides of the room, both for the ice chamber and storage room, were made as follows: First, the building was sheathed up on all sides, then a 2-inch air space, carefully lined on both sides with suitable building paper; next a space of six inches was filled with dry sawdust, then another air space, finishing off the inside with clear matched spruce. This gave us a wall sixteen inches in thickness with four courses of sheathings besides the outer or old one, and four linings of paper.

The foundation for the floor was made of broken stone, upon which was laid a first or lower floor, then a lining of paper, next a foot of sawdust, in which were placed the sleepers; upon these was laid the second or upper floor of narrow yellow pine. This left us a clear room of twenty-seven feet square and nineteen feet high. Next we placed a suitable number of io-inch posts resting upon stone piers, then io-inch timbers upon which rested the joists, three inches thick, twelve inches deep and fifteen inches apart. All of this timber was of white oak.

Upon these joists was laid a floor of wood with an incline of four inches and covered with galvanized iron carefully soldered. At the lower side of the incline was a galvanized iron trough running the entire length of the room to catch and carry off the drip from the ice to a trapped pipe, which conveyed it outside of the building.

This floor is capable of sustaining a weight of several hundred tons.

Upon the east and west sides the floor joins the walls, but upon the north and south sides open spaces were left the entire length of the room, the one upon the north side being ten inches wide, and the one upon the south side being sixteen inches wide, giving a free circulation of air between the ice chamber and the storage room. A sheathing three feet high is made inside the wider opening, but none at the narrower one.

This gives the circulation as follows: The warmer air from below passes up the wide opening over the ice, and being cooled falls through the narrow opening to the room below and thus equalizes the temperature in the two rooms when any change of temperature occurs.

We had now two rooms twenty-seven feet square, the upper or ice chamber being nine and one-half feet high and the lower or storage room seven feet, or high enough to admit three tiers of barrels on end. The ice chamber holds 180 tons of ice which is not sufficient to carry us through all seasons. The capacity of the lower room is 5,000 cubic feet or 650 pounds. There is one door in each apartment, but no window in either.

The cost of storing the ice is from fifteen to twenty cents per ton. There is no covering on the ice, but a foot of sawdust on the floor above.

With a full supply of ice we are able to keep the temperature at about 360, which is as low as natural ice will cool it without the use of salt, although there are records of 350 for a limited time, which is only two degrees above the melting point. We have never been able to discover any serious fault in the construction of the house except that the ice chamber would be better if twelve feet in height, holding 200 to 250 tons of ice, but under the circumstances that was impracticable.

More than 20,000 feet of lumber was used in fitting it up. The entire cost was $1,165. There was considerable excavation and wall building, which added considerable to the expense.

The Nations that Eat the Most

I came across this short excerpt in Houghtalings Handbook ©1889 and got a chuckle out of it. Okay, please note, I'm not responsible for the comments in the passage below.

The Nations that Eat Most
Among modern nations, the greatest eaters are the English, Germans, French and the Americans--the rulling people of our civilization. The diet of the Spaniards and the Italians is notably less substantial than that of the English and Germans, just as their brains are less active and original.
The Americans are, on the average, the greatest eaters in the world. Said Carlyle to Emerson: "The best thing I know of the country is, that in it a man can have meat for his labor."

California Gold Rush Effects on Hawaii

The California Gold Rush was a boom for the agriculture of Hawaii. With the influx of so many people the West Coast needed a lot more provisions. The shipping route from Hawaii to California was a nice straight shot. Among these early exportations were Irish and sweet potatoes, onions, pumpkins, oranges, molasses, and coffee. Flour sold out quickly.

Below is an excerpt from "Natural History of Hawaii Being an Account of the Hawaiian People, the Geology and Geography
of the Islands, and the Native and Introduced Plants and Animals of the Group " by WILLIAM ALANSON BRYAN, B. Sc. ©1915

Sweet And Irish Potatoes.

Formerly potato21 growing was an important island industry. In 1849 potatoes stood at the head of the list of exports. The lands best adapted to their growth are in the Kula district of Maui, where they were introduced and planted as early as 1820. Of late years the industry has diminished, owing to unskilled methods of culture and the appearance of various enemies. There are several species and almost innumerable cultural varieties adapted to various soils and conditions that, if introduced, would doubtless extend and revive the industry.

Sweet potatoes were at one time an important field crop. Like the "Irish" potatoes, they were extensively exported during the period of the gold-rush to California. The natives recognized as many as twenty varieties of uala (sweet potato), and several important varieties have been introduced from time to time by Europeans and others. It belongs to the morning-glory family and is easily grown, thriving in loose soils where the rainfall is not too abundant. The sweet potato is usually propagated by cutting off the tops and planting them in a hill of dirt which often is only a pile of loose ash-like soil scraped together.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pineapples & Coffee

Personally, I love this fruit. But did you know that it originated from Brazil and Paraquay? Or did you know that Hawaii didn't have pineapples until 1813? That is the year the plant was introduced to the Islands of Hawaii. Many today would think it was a native fruit of Hawaii and it surprised me to find out that it wasn't. Hawaii kept this fruit to itself however, until 1892 when it was exported as a canned product.

James Dole did set up a plantation there that changed the growth rate of the fruit's exportation, unfortunately that wasn't until 1900-1901(I've found conflicting dates of when Dole actually started his plantation). Alfred W. Eame's (one of the California Homesteaders) arrives in Hawaii in 1898 and starts to experiment with the cultivation of the pineapple. His company eventually became Del Monte.

Don Francisco de Paula y Marin, Spanish advisor to King Kamehameha I, is the man noted for bringing the pineapple and coffee to Hawaii in 1813.

Unlike the Pineapple, Coffee became a commercial product in the 1830's.

Cape Hatteras Civil War

Below is an excerpt that I thought some of you might find interesting. I was researching New Hampshire's 6th Regiment from the Civil War and stumbled across this passage about a storm rounding Cape Hatteras.

This comes from "History of the Sixth New Hampshire Regiment in the war for the Union." The excerpt picks up after telling the reader of the 6th boarding vessels to take them to an unknown location of the war. They are leaving Annapolis and heading south in Jan. 1862.

That part of the Sixth which came down on the Martha Green-wood was transferred to the steamer Louisiana, which became so crowded that it was almost impossible for one to move about. It seems strange that the commanding officers of the fleet should have allowed so many men to be crowded upon such a slim craft.

Towards evening, the flag-ships, with other vessels, got up steam, and started out to sea. Soon a dispatch boat came alongside, and gave orders for ours to follow. During the day we had a good chance to see General Burnside, as he steamed around the bay on his little propeller,1 giving orders to this boat and that, and we all liked his looks very much. We followed the other .boats, as ordered, and by 9 P. M. were well out from the bay, and, looking back, could just see the lights at Fortress Monroe. As the darkness came on, hundreds of lights shone out from the vessels, as far as the eye could reach, in front and rear, and on the left toward the sea. The writer sat upon the hurricane deck till a late hojur, thinking of home and speculating on our destination, while the soft south breezes swept over the water. It was late when the men lay down to sleepr though many did not sleep at all, the noise of the machinery and the novelty of the situation keeping them awake all night.

At the first streak of dawn the writer was again on deck, to get the earliest glimpse of the sun as it came up out of the briny deep. That sunrise was a grand sight, as was also the ocean, dotted as far as the eye could reach with all kinds of sailing craft. The waves, however, began to show their white caps, and some of the boys who had been reared on the coast said it looked as if we were going to have a stiff breeze before night. A few of "Mother Carey's chickens," together with seagulls, passed us, giving indication of a storm. The signs did not fail, for by noon the storm was stiffening, and we could see that many of the smaller boats—some of which were only pilot-boats from New York harbor, —were laboring hard through the big waves. About 2 P. M. (January 12), while we were off Hatteras Light, the storm struck us in all its fury, and the landlubbers began to look white. In a few minutes one half of the men seemed vying with one another to see who would empty his stomach the quickest of the pies and things he had taken in from Annapolis down. They were sick fellows indeed ! The boat was pitching and ploughing through the waves as fast as she could. The captain and pilot were alarmed, and said that if we did not reach Hatteras Inlet before dark, they feared we should never get in ; so they put on all the steam they could, and made for the inlet.

1 The propeller Picket, the smallest vessel in the fleet.—Editor.

As we went down into those awful troughs and our bow struck the incoming wave, the boat was flooded even to the hurricane deck. Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin was in the wheel-house with the captain and pilot, who had all they could do to keep the boat on her course and prevent the waves from striking her on the broadside, and thus swamping her in a moment. The strain on the big braces that passed from stem to stern of the boat, up past the wheel-house, was fearful. The braces, with joints open half an inch or more, creaked and groaned as the boat rode the huge waves, and it was the opinion of the officers that if we had been out half an hour longer we should all have gone to the bottom together in the old river craft not intended for use out of smooth water. The boys were so sick that they kept quiet, and the captain said it was a fortunate thing, for if, being so many, they had been up and running around, it would have been hard to manage the boat at all.

We entered Hatteras Inlet, and dropped anchor at 5 p. M. It was quite dark, and if any men ever felt thankful to get into harbor, it was those on the old Louisiana that night. The vessels kept coming in until a late hour, that is, those that were not outside, or did not run upon the bar. We could hear guns and see signal lights thrown up outside, in the direction whence we had come, and knew that some had not been so fortunate as we. Several vessels were wrecked, four in sight of us. One of these was the fine large store-ship City of New Tbrk, which, laden with ammunition and other stores, ran upon the bar; another was the steamer Pocahontas, carrying horses, hay, and grain, which went ashore at Cape Hatteras, becoming a total wreck within twenty-four hours, with lading all lost save a few horses that swam to land.

The next morning was clear, and the inlet was full of all kinds of floating de'bris, showing how fearful the storm had been. The sea was yet so rough that it was not practicable to land, and the wind began to blow again. As the tide went out, we found our boat tipping over as it rested on the sandy bottom. One of the boys remarked that he " felt safe so long as the old boat rested on the sand." When the tide came in, the boat would float again, bumping on sand fortunately, not rocks, since in the latter case we should soon have been compelled to swim ashore.

The night after our arrival the storm was still so severe that there was great danger of collision with other vessels, and of the wrecking of the weaker ones by the violence of the waves. It was feared that the Louisiana, in particular, being only a river boat, would not be able to outride the storm. Accordingly Colonel Converse sent Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin to General Burnside's head-quarters to ask that some strong vessel might be ordered to lie near the Louisiana during the night, to render aid, if possible, in case of disaster. LieutenantColonel Griffin, having been given a boat with two sailors and a coxswain, made the trip, delivered the message, and returned safely ; but it was a hazardous undertaking. Two officers of the Ninth New Jersey Regiment, in attempting to perform a similar duty, lost their lives by the swamping of the boat.1

1 These two men were the only ones lost from the whole military force during the " entire voyage and entrance into the inlet," though the storm was one of the worst ever known on that perilous coast.—En.

Blue Jeans

Yup you guessed it, blue jeans came from the 19th century. The first pair to roll off the tailor's patent came in 1873. Jacob Davis, a Nevada tailor, partnered with Levi Strauss. Levi was trained in Germany and in 1853 left New York for San Francisco. He sold dry goods, tents, linens, etc. to the 49ers who had come for the California Gold Rush.

The original jeans were called "waist overalls" and were made from duck canvas (brown) and heavy blue denim fabric. The duck fabric never caught on but the blue jeans did. The company is still going strong.

Louis & Clark

Hi all,

So many things can be said about Louis & Clark and what that purchased did for America but today I ran across and interesting date. After they made their trek westward they started back home on Mar. 23, 1806. It's the beginning of our century of interest but their exploration led to the western expansion of our country and many of the historical events we like to pay tribute to in our historical novels.

Also, Mar. 23 is a special date for myself, which is probably why this date caught my eye.

To read more on Louis & Clark check out this resource in Google Books. LINK

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Signs of the Tongue

From Houghtalings Handbook of Useful Information ©1889

The tongue is the indicator of the system. A white coated tongue indicates febrile distuurbance; a brown, moist tongue indicates disordered digestion or overloaded passages; a brown dry tongue indicates depressed vitality, as in typhoid conditions and blood poisoning; a red, moist tongue indicates debility, as from exhausting discharges; a red, dry tongue indicates pyrexia, or any inflammatory fever; a "strawberry" tongue, with prominent papillae, indicates scarlet fever, or rotheln; a red glazed tongue indicates debility, with want of assimilative power of digestion; a tremulous, flabby tongue indicates delirium tremens; hesitancy in protruding the tongue indicates concussion of the brain.

Gypsum, Plaster of Paris

Below is an account of Gypsum & Plaster of Paris from the Kansas Cyclopedia 1912 giving a history of the product with regard to Kansas. Plaster was used long before this period but it is important to the history and development of the product here in the United States. In fact, history tells us that it came into use in Paris, France in the 1700's, which is where the term Plaster of Paris comes from.

Gypsum was first discovered in Kansas by Thomas C. Palmer, who settled in Marshall county in 1857. Noticing that some rocks he had used about his camp fire had burned to lime, he used the product to "chink" his cabin. Subsequent investigation disclosed the fact that the rocks were gypsum. The following year Gen. F. J. Marshall burned some of the same kind of lime and plastered a house at Marysville. In 1872 Judge Coon and his brother began the manufacture of plaster-of-paris with a five barrel kettle at Blue Rapids, and three years later a stone mill was erected, which was conducted for about twelve years. In 1887 two companies were organized at Blue Rapids for the manufacture of cement plaster, and one was organized at Hope, Dickinson county. A mill established at Salina in 1889 furnished the plaster for the buildings of the Columbian exposition at Chicago in 1893. This brought Kansas gypsum to the notice of builders, and in 1898 the American Cement Plaster company was organized at Lawrence. Factories have since been established at Burns, Marion county; Kansas City, Mo.; and Wymore, Neb., all of which use large quantities of gypsum from the Kansas deposits. The United States Gypsum company, with offices in Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis, Minn., and San Francisco, manufacture a gypsum hollow tile for fireproofing, which has found favor with the architects of the country, and it is certain that the next few years will witness a great development of the Kansas gypsum fields.

Pages 799-800 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

1885-1886 Kansas Winter

I came across this tidbit from the Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 5, 1885.

The latest guess of the weather prophet is on the rounds. Here it is. Old chicken hunters say the coming winter is going to be an unusually hard one. The thick coating of feathers on the bird indicates cold weather, and the short tails indicate much snow.

So I checked the weather of Kansas in the winter of 1885-1886.

In an excerpt from Holding Down a Kansas Claim put out by the Kansas Historical Society in their quarterlies collection there is a quote from a Catherine Wiggins Porter, who lived in Northwest Kansas during this time.
In the blizzard [of January, 1886] thousands of cattle were lost and died. There were no large herds of cattle in our particular part of the country, but farther north the cattle wintering on the range "drifted" southward with the storm into the draws which were level-full with snow, couldn't get out, and froze to death.

If you would like to read more of this account here's a link the the web page. Link

Another account in Meade County Kansas spoke of the loss of the cattle from that winter as well as the year before.
But 1884 and 1885 were two very cold winters. So severe that many were frozen before the drift fence. So the second year, when the weather became too severe and stormy so that they began to stand along the drift fences and freeze, the cattlemen saw their folly and cut the fence and let them go south where it was warmer. They decided it was better to let them go altogether even if it cost more. The cattle of different brands were mixed together. So the cattlemen had a meeting and planned to send men according to the number of cattle. The ranchers sent out one mess wagon each, then cowboys, one horse rustler, and seven ponies so that each cowboy had one for each day of the week, making 70 in all. Then Yeepee o-o-o-o! and away we go for the round-up. Follow this link for the rest of the post Link

And in the KS cyclopedia 1912 this excerpt says:
While there was more or less loss of life during the early settlement of Kansas from these causes, the blizzard of Dec., 1885, and Jan., 1886, was probably the most destructive to life and property of any storm that ever swept over the state. This storm was general from the mountains to the Missouri river. It started in the latter part of Dec., 1885, and an unbroken blanket of snow extended from Williams, N. Mex., to Kansas City. Railroad traffic on the plains was practically suspended. The weather moderating, railroad traffic was resumed, when another storm, more serious than the first, again tied up traffic, this time completely. Temperature during the month of January ranged from 12° below zero at Atchison to 25° below at Junction City, and 18° below at Dodge City. A 44-mile wind a part of the time helped make things lively at the last named place. All over the southwestern part of the state the precipitation was chiefly sleet, which left the ground covered with ice. A big cut on the Union Pacific near Salina was completely covered with snow, and it required the combined efforts of all section men on the road between Lawrence and Brookville for nearly 16 hours with picks and shovels to open it for traffic. This cut was about 20 feet deep and a quarter of a mile long, and eleven locomotives were employed in "bucking" the snow, but they all became stalled and had to be dug out. Many points on the railroads were a week without mail from the outside world, and cattle losses from some sections were reported from three to twenty-five per cent.

Basically this all proves that animals can and do forecast the weather.

The Winfield Currier 1885 Kansas

Below is a brief article under Miscellaneous from the Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 5, 1885.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 5, 1885.
A very happy little party of ladies dropped in on Mrs. John Keck last evening in celebration of her birthday. It was strictly a female party--no measly men around. Men are very much out of place around where women are anyway--they can't talk enough. The occasion in question was one of the liveliest. The merry chatter was sandwiched at the proper hour by delicious oysters and nice delicacies. Among the ladies present were Mrs. F. M. Friend, Mrs. G. L. Rinker, Mrs. W. H. Albro, Mrs. Capt. Whiting, Mrs. Fred Whiting, Mrs. Ed. Nelson, Mrs. Copeland, Mrs. J. A. Cooper, Mrs. Walters, and Miss Lydia Holmes.

Henry Peebles, who was in the employ of J. E. Conklin last summer, and was arrested last April and taken to Urbana, Illinois, on a four years incendiary charge, returned to Winfield Friday. He had to await the convening of the court, in October, when the case was dismissed for want of evidence. The charge was the firing of buildings to get a "run" while Peebles was a member of the Danville fire company. Not a witness appeared against him. The case was proven without foundation from the start.

A county superintendent in one of our neighboring counties was asked the following, and his reply was about right.
"How does it happen that there are so many old maids among the teachers?"
He replied, "Because school teachers are, as a rule, women of sense, and no sensible woman will give up a $60 position for a $40 man."

End of quotes:
I particularly like the humor of the writer.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Business Laws in Brief

I thought this additional post from Houghtalings Handbook of Useful Information ©1889 would be in keeping.

Business Laws in Brief.
Ignorance of law excuses none.
It is a fraud to conceal a fraud.
The law compels no one to do impossibilities.
An agreement without consideration is void.
Signatures made with lead-pencil are good in law.
A receipt for money paid is not legally conclusive.
The acts of one partner bind all the others.
Contracts made on Sunday cannot be enforced.
A contract made with a minor is invalid.
A contract made with a lunatic is void.
Contracts for advertising in Sunday newspapers are invalid.
Each individual in a partnership is responsible for the whole amount of the debts of the firm.
Principals are responsible for the acts of their agents.
Agents are responsible to their principals for errors.
A not given by a minor is void.
It is not legally necessary to say on a note "for value rec'd."
A note drawn on Sunday is void.
A note obtained by fraud, or from a person in a state of intoxication, cannot be collected.
If a note be lost or stolen, it does not release the maker; he must pay.
The indorser of a note is exempt from liability if not served with notice of its dishonor within twenty-four hours of its non-payment.

The Way For Business Men to Get Rich

Hi all,
This excerpt comes from Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1889 but some of the truths are useful for today as well.

The Way for Business Men to Get Rich

The way to get credit is to be punctual in paying your bills. The way to preserve it is not to use it much. Settle often; have short accounts.
Trust no man's appearances–they are deceptive–perhaps assumed, for the purpose of obtaining credit. Beware of gaudy exterior. Rogues usually dress well. The rich are plain men. Trust him, if any, who carries but little on his back. Never trust him who flies into a passion on being dunned; make him pay quickly, if there be any virtue in the law.
Be well satisfied before you give a credit that those to whom you give it, are safe men to be trusted.
Sell your goods at a small advance, and never misrepresent them, for, those whom you once deceive will be aware of you the second time.
Deal uprightly with all men, and they will repose confidence in you, and soon become your permanent customers.
Beware of him who is an office seeker. men do not usually want an office when they have anything to do. A man's affairs are rather low when he seeks office for support.
Trust no stranger. Your goods are better than doubtful charges. What is character worth, if you make it cheap by crediting everybody.
Agree beforehand with every man about to do a job, and, if large, put it into writing. If any decline this, quit, or be cheated. Though you want a job ever so much, make all sure at the onset, and in a case at all doubtful, make sure of a guarantee. Be not afraid to ask it; the best test of responsibility; for, if offence be taken, you have escaped a loss.


I thought with all the talk of H1N1 Virus and just the plain old flu, this tidbit might be interesting to some.

The Dictionary of Domestic Medicine and Household Surgery by Spencer Thomson ©1852

INFLUENZA.—This disease was cited under the article Epidemic, as the best specimen of an epidemic disease. It is a peculiar feverish attack, accompanied with catarrhal affection of the air-tubes of the lungs, and great prostration of strength. It is not uncommon to call various forms of cold and catarrh, influenza; but the true influenza is a very distinct disease, and seldom occurs but as an epidemic, attacking large numbers at once.

The symptoms of influenza are those of general fever ; coming on suddenly, there is shivering, loss of appetite, perhaps vomiting, heat and thirst, with cough, frontal headache, and generally great depression and languor. The feverish symptoms may last from one day to ten, but their general duration is from three to five, or seven days, the coui^h usually remaining a variable time, after the acute symptoms are gone, according to exposure and circumstances, such as a predisposition to cough, &c.

To the strong and healthy, influenza is but a trifling disease ; it certainly prostrates even them for a few days, and leaves them weak, but it is in almost all cases perfectly devoid of danger—with ordinary care—and requires little or no medicine. A few days in bed, according to the severity of the case, with low diet, a gentle aperient, and diluents, the feet in hot water, being all that is required. If the catarrhal symptoms are severe, treatment similar to what is recommended for catarrh or cold may be had recourse to.

To the weakly and the aged, influenza is, on the other hand, a comparatively fatal disease, and from the almost universal nature of its attack, carries off more, perhaps, of these classes, than many more apparently severe and more dreaded disoiders. The attack of influenza in the description of persons above mentioned, should be the signal for medical attendance. Lowering means especially, must not be resorted to; confinement to bed, and the use of diaphoretic remedies, as recommended under articles Cold and Catarrh, will be required; broth, strong or weak, must be allowed, according to circumstances, if the strength is deficient, wine may be requisite, and stimulant expectorant medicines, especially in the a^ed, if the expectoration is abundant, viscid, and difficult to be got up. In such cases, the following will be found useful: Take of carbonate of ammonia thirty to forty grains ; tincture of squill one drachm; wine of ipecacuanha forty drops ; water or camphor julep, sufficient to make an eight-ounce mixture, of which two table-spoonfuls, or one-eighth, may be given every few hours. If the cough is very irritating and troublesome, two drachms of paregoric may be added to the above, but the opium rather tends to check the free expectoration, which is so desirable. Demulcent drinks, such as barley-water, should not be neglected, and a mustard-plaster, or blister, to the chest will do good. In severe forms of the disease, with difficult breathing, if the strength is much reduced and the appetite bad, two doses of decoction of bark may be given during the day.

Persons who generally suffer from delicacy of chest, should beware of allowing the effects of influenza to hang about them; the debility and cough are very apt, if predisposition exists, to lay the foundation of consumption. The strong and healthy may trust to the domestic management of influenza, the weak and aged ought to have proper medical advice, if it is within reach.

The history of the various epidemics of influenza which have visited Europe, and, indeed, the world, at intervals, is a subject of much interest. It has been remarked, that the invasion of the epidemic has been preceded by dense, dark, and in some places it is said, offensive fogs.

During the last epidemic of influenza, it was remarked that the barometer was much and unusually affected.

End of quote
I've tried to find a listing of the influenza outbreaks in the 19th century but haven't yet found one. I've found various places dealt with this disease a number of times and that it was a common problem during the 19th century.

Peach Pie

This is from Godey's Lady's Book Receipts and Household Hints ©1870

Superior Peach Pies
Take good ripe peaches, halve and stone them; make a good short crust, and lay it in your pie-plates. Lay your peaches evenly to cover it; then add to each moderate-sized pie about three spoonfuls of white sugar, and a few drops of essence of lemon, or rose, and half a teacupful of water; cover, and bake like other pies.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blessed Assurance

Enjoy the Lord's Day with this classic hymn from Fanny Crosby written in 1873.

1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long;
this is my story, this is my song,
praising my Savior all the day long.

2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

3. Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Speed of a Trotting Horse

This question is asked a lot by writers of historical fiction.

From Hougtalings Handbook of Useful Information ©1889

The following table shows the distance a Horse goes each second at various rates of speed, from 2.20 to 4 minutes:
At a 2.20 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 37 5-7 feet per second
At a 2.25 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 36 1/2 feet per second
At a 2.30 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 35 1-5 feet per second
At a 2.35 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 34 1-16 ft. per second
At a 2.40 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 33 feet per second
At a 2.45 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 32 feet per second
At a 2.50 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 31 1-17 feet per second
At a 2.55 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 30 1-6 feet per second
At a 3.00 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 29 1/3 feet per second
At a 3.10 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 327 3/4 feet per second
At a 3.20 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 26 2-5 feet per second
At a 3.30 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 25 1-7 feet per second
At a 3.40 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 24 feet per second
At a 3.50 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 23 feet per second
At a 4.00 gait a horse travels. . . . . . . . . 22 feet per second

German's Mining in Colorado

There were three boom period representing Pikes Peak, gold fever 1859, the silver discoveries in Leadville in the late 70's and in 1890 the gold discoveries in Cripple Creek. In Colorado with the influx of immigrants because of the lore of gold, the German's being a rather thrifty sort would find their gold, make their pile and invest in other enterprises. Of course, not all German's stopped mining but they tended to help settle the area after the gold rushes had run their course.

Some would find nothing and turn to farming. Colorado didn't have much rainfall and the need for irrigation farming took route. Soon irrigation companies started to spring up and this increased production of the farms. Then other businesses of irrigation systems and constructing canals and water supply and storage started to spring up.

Eventually the territory moved forward enough to become a state. Now, Germans were not the only folks who came to Colorado but they were the focus of an article that I read and thought I'd share these tidbits with you.

Immigration in the 19th Century

Immigration in America started with the landing of Jamestown, it's been a part of our country since day one. However, after the Revolutionary War we've had a migration of immigrants to the United States. I mention this because there seem to be pockets of time and place where several from one country would settle here in the states.

On a website for Laiden University there's an interesting article about who came when and why. Here's the link

I bring this up because I've used several ethnic groups while writing my historical fiction novels, Corduroy Road to Love is one such example. When researching an area to set a novel in, research the emigration into that community. You might just stumble across some interesting information.

Currently I'm researching the Dutch and German migration to a section of New York where my husband's family find some of their roots. Most of them came as farmers when the opportunity to have their own farm, approximately 100 acres of land, to build their home and futures on.

Below is a short list of some of the Emigrations to America it is not exhaustive but just to give you a quick overview.
British throughout most of the century
European Immigrants to Antebellum US 1840-1860
Irish (Potatoe Famine) 1845-1851
Chinese (Gold Rush California) 1850-1882
Italian 1876 thru 1976
Germans 1830 largest years 1854-1894

Spinning Wheel

Basically there are two kinds of spinning wheels, the wool wheel (great wheel or walking wheel) and a flax wheel. The wool wheel would spin other fibers besides wool such as cotton, animal hair, etc. Whereas the flax wheel (smaller than the wool wheel) spun flax to make linen. The flax wheel would also double as the distaff.

The spinning wheel was not invented in the 19th century in fact it dates back to 13th century but they were still commonly used during the 19th century.

Today they hold a romantic interest but amazingly they did during the 19th century as well, you can find novels, songs, poems and stories from that time period where the spinning wheel was central to the story. Here's a link to Louise May Alcott's "Spinning-wheel stories," as a sample of some of the work of the period. Even Longfellow wrote a poem "The Spinning-Wheel."

As factories sprang up across the United States, fewer and fewer people were spinning their own threads to make their own cloth. The markets were bringing in cloth, pre-made, pre-patterned and the trend from making your own shifted to buying more pre-made cloth. By the end of the century there were still women weaving but it was quickly becoming a dying art.

In the past 30 years there's been a renewed interest in spinning but more as a hobby not on a need to provide cloth and clothing for the family.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Gatling Gun

From what I can see, the Gatling Gun was created and patented in 1861 by Dr. Richard Gatling during the Civil war. It was the first machine gun since it was crank-perated and multi-barreled. In 1862 the gun used steel chambers and percussion caps. In 1866 or 67 (I've seen both dates) Gatling redesigned the gun and this version was purchased by the U.S. army. The Gatling gun was obsolete in 1911 after 45 years of service with the army.

Below is a copy of the patent Gatling presented in 1865

Dr. Gatlin describes the gun:
The gun consists of a series of barrels in combination with a grooved carrier and lock cylinder. All these several parts are rigidly secured upon a main shaft. There are as many grooves in the carrier, and as many holes in the lock cylinder, as there are barrels. Each barrel is furnished with one lock, so that a gun with ten barrels has ten locks. The locks work in the holes formed in the lock cylinder on a line with the axis of the barrels. The lock cylinder, which contains the lock, is surrounded by a casing, which is fastened to a frame, to which trimmers are attached. There is a partition in the casing, through which there is an opening, and into which the main shaft, which carries the lock cylinder, carrier, and barrels, is journaled. The main shaft is also at its front end journaled in the front part of the frame. In front of the partition in the casing is placed a cam, provided with spiral surfaces or inclined planes.

" This cam is rigidly fastened to the casing, and is used to impart a reciprocating motion to the locks when the gun is rotated. There is also in the front part of the casing a cocking ring which surrounds the lock cylinder, is attached to the casing, and has on its rear surface an inclined plane with an abrupt shoulder. This ring and its projection are used for cocking and firing the gun. This ring, the spiral cam, and the locks make up the loading and firing mechanism.

" On the rear end of the main shaft, in rear of the partition in the casing, is located a gear-wheel, which works to a Kinion on the crank-shaft. The rear of the casing is closed by the cascable plate. There is hinged to the frame in front of the breech-casing a curved plate, covering partially the grooved carrier, into which is formed a hopper or opening, through which the cartridges are fed to the gun from feed-cases. The frame which supports the gun is mounted upon the carriage used for the transportation of the gun.

" The operation of the gun is very simple. One man places a feed-case filled with cartridges into the hopper; another man turns the crank, which, by the agency of the gearing, revolves the main shaft, carrying with it the lock cylinder, carrier, barrels, and locks. As the gun is rotated, the cartridges, one by one, drop into the grooves of the carrier from the feedcases, and instantly the lock, by its impingement on the spiral cam surfaces, moves forward to load the cartridge, and when the butt-end of the lock gets on the highest projection of the cam, the charge is fired, through the agency of the cocking device, which at this point liberates the lock, spring, and hammer, and explodes the cartridge. As soon as the charge is fired, the lock, as the gun is revolved, is drawn back by the agency of the spiral surface in the cam acting on a lug of the lock, bringing with it the shell of the cartridge after it has been fired, which is dropped on the ground. Thus, it will be seen, when the gun is rotated, the locks in rapid succession move forward to load and fire, and return to extract the cartridge-shells. In other words, the whole operation of loading, closing the breech, discharging, and expelling the empty cartridge-shells is conducted while the barrels are kept in continuous revolving movement. It must be borne in mind that while the locks revolve with the barrels, they have also, in their line of travel, a spiral reciprocating movement ; that is, each lock revolves once and moves forward and back at each revolution of the gun.

"The gun is so novel in its construction and operation that it is almost impossible to describe it minutely without the aid of drawings. Its main features may be summed up thus : ist.—Each barrel in the gun is provided with its own independent lock or firing mechanism. 2nd.—All the locks revolve simultaneously with the barrels, carrier, and inner breech, when thel,Tin is in operation. The locks also have, as stated, a reciprocating motion when the gun is rotated. The gun cannot be fired when either the barrels or locks are at rest.

There is a beautiful mechanical principle developed in the gun, viz., that while the gun itself is under uniform constant rotary motion, the locks rotate with the barrels and breech, and at the same time have a longitudinal reciprocating motion, performing the consecutive operations of loading, cocking, and firing without any pause whatever in the several and continuous operations.

The small Gatling is supplied with another improvement called the "drum feed." This case is divided into sixteen sections, each of which contains twenty-five cartridges, and is placed on a vertical axis on the top of the gun. As fast as one section is discharged, it rotates, and brings another section over the feed aperture, until the whole 400 charges are expended.

History of the Gatlin Gun Detachment at Santiago

Below is the Preface of a book about the use of the Gatling Gun Detachment written the Teddy Roosevelt. The book is the story about an event in history of July 1, 1898. It's an account of the use of the Gatling Gun Detachment at Santiago, how the unit prepared, their travel from Florida to Calf. and how the battle was fought once they arrived there. You might want to check out the book at Google Books, it has pictures as well as a detailed account of the training and pictures taken in 1898. Enjoy!

History of the Gatling Gun Detachment Fifth Army Corps at Santiago, With a Few Unvarnished Truths Concerning that Expedition by John H. Parker, 1st Lieunt. 13th Inf. ©1898


On the morning of July 1st, the dismounted cavalry, including my regiment, stormed Kettle Hill, driving the Spaniards from their trenches. After taking the crest, I made the men under me turn and begin volley-firing at the San Juan Blockhouse and intrenchments against which Hawkins' and Kent's Infantry were advancing. While thus firing, there suddenly smote on our ears a peculiar drumming sound. One or two of the men cried out, "The Spanish machine guns!" but, after listening a moment, I leaped to my feet and called, "It's the Gatlings, men! It's our Gatlings!" Immediately the troopers began to cheer lustily, for the sound was most inspiring. Whenever the drumming stopped, it was only to open again a little nearer the front. Our artillery, using black powder, had not been able to stand within range of the Spanish rifles, but it was perfectly evident that the Gatlings were troubled by no such consideration, for they were advancing all the while.

Soon the infantry took San Juan Hill, and, after one false start, we in turn rushed the next line of block-houses and intrenchments, and then swung to the left and took the chain of hills immediately fronting Santiago. Here I found myself on the extreme front, in command of the fragments of all six regiments of the cavalry division. I received orders to halt where I was, but to hold the hill at all hazards. The Spaniards were heavily reinforced and they opened a tremendous fire upon us from their batteries and trenches. We laid down just behind the gentle crest of the hill, firing as we got the chance, but, for the most part, taking the fire without responding. As the afternoon wore on, however, the Spaniards became bolder, and made an attack upon the position. They did not push it home, but they did advance, their firing being redoubled. We at once ran forward to the crest and opened on them, and, as we did so, the unmistakable drumming of the Gatlings opened abreast of us, to our right, and the men cheered again. As soon as the attack was definitely repulsed, I strolled over to find out about the Gatlings, and there I found Lieut. Parker with two of his guns right on our left, abreast of our men, who at that time were closer to the Spaniards than any others.

From thence on, Parker's Gatlings were our inseparable companions throughout the siege. They were right up at the front. When we dug our trenches, he took off the wheels of his guns and put them in the trenches. His men and ours slept in the same bomb-proofs and shared with one another whenever either side got a supply of beans or coffee and sugar. At no hour of the day or night was Parker anywhere but where we wished him to be, in the event of an attack. If a troop of my regiment was sent off to guard some road or some break in the lines, we were almost certain to get Parker to send a Gatling along, and, whether the change was made by day or by night, the Gatling went. Sometimes we took the initiative and started to quell the fire of the Spanish trenches; sometimes they opened upon us; but, at whatever hour of the twenty-four the fighting began, the drumming of the Gatlings was soon heard through the cracking of our own carbines.

I have had too little experience to make my judgment final; but certainly, if I were to command either a regiment or a brigade, whether of cavalry or infantry, I would try to get a Gatling battery—under a good man—with me. I feel sure that the greatest possible assistance would be rendered, under almost all circumstances, by such a Gatling battery, if well handled; for I believe that it could be pushed fairly to the front of the firing-line. At any rate, this is the way that Lieut. Parker used his battery when he went into action at San Juan, and when he kept it in the trenches beside the Rough Riders before Santiago.

Theodore Roosevelt.

Bees & Honey

Below is an excerpt from "The Centennial Cook Book and General Guide ©1876


But few persons are aware how early in the season bees eat honey faster than they produce it. By not attending to this in due time, learning from experience, observation, or the experiments of others, much is lost. When the weather is dry, bees usually consume honey faster than they collect it after the middle or 20th of July, unless they have access to buckwheat or other suitable flowers cultivated for their use; in this case they may gain honey in September

This subject is important to bee-masters who follow the old system, and destroy the bees when they take the honey. Some let them remain till the latter part of September, eating honey two months after they have ceased to collect any of consequence. In our short seasons for collecting honey, and long ones for consuming it, the habits of the bees must be stud.ied very attentively, and there must be the most careful and economical management in order to make them profitable.


Pour two teaspoonsful of chloroform into a piece of rag, double it twice, and place it on the floor-board of the hive, which must be lifted for the purpose, the entrance-hole being carefully secured: In about two minutes and a half there will be a loud humming, which will soon cease. Let the hive remain in this state for six or seven minutes, making about ten minutes in all. Remove the hive, and the greater number of the bees will be found lying senseless on the board; there will still be a few clinging between the combs, some of which may be brushed out with a feather. They return to animation in from half an hour to one hour after the operation. This plan possesses a great superiority over the usual mode of brimston- ing, the bees being preserved alive; and over the more modern plan of fumigation by puff-ball; it is fax less trouble, and the honey does not become tainted with the fumes.


To a pint of water, sweetened with honey or sugar, add half a gill of vinegar, and set it in an open vessel on the top or by. the side of the hive. When the miller comes in the night, he will fly into the mixture and be drowned.


Expose the honey to frost for three weeks, in a place where neither sun nor snow can reach it, and in a vessel of wood, or other substance which is not a good conductor of heat. The honey is not congealed, but becomes clear.

Rules for Selecting a Good Milk Cow

Below is an excerpt from "The Centennial Cook Book and General Guide ©1876


Her head should be rather long and small; cheeks thin; muzzle fine; nostrils large and flexible ; eyes mild, clear, aud large; neck rather long, and slim near the head ; horns long and small, and of an orange color; small ear, inside of a yellowish tinge; small breast; back level and broad, and straight to the rump; well ribbed ; wide in the loin ; flank low ; thighs thin and deep ; hind legs small, standing well apart; forelegs rather small below the knee, above the knee large; large teats, of a dark orange-color ; bag, when empty, lean, soft, and long ; large milking veins; hair short and thick ; large hind-quarters ; color la-indie, bright red, dun, or a light brown.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Civil War Confederate Soldiers Surrendered

From Houghtalings Handbook of Useful Information ©1889 (Editorial change. In the original publication the information below was in a paragraph, I'm putting it in a list for easier viewing.

Confederate Soldiers Surrendered at end of War.
Army of Northern Virginia, 27,805;
army of Tennessee, 31,243;
army of Missouri, 7,978;
army of Alabama, 42,293;
army of Trans-Mississippi, 17,686;
at Nashville and Chattanooga, 5,029;
paroled in Departments of Virginia, Cumberland, Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, etc., 42,189;
Confederate prisoners in Northern prisons at the close of the war, 98,802;
total Confederate army at close, 273, 025.
A large and unknown number of Confederate soldiers were not present at surrender.

Civil War Colored Troops

From Houghtalings Handbook of Useful Information ©1889 Please note: I'm using the language of the original publication.

Colored Troops in U.S. Army during the War
Arkansas . . . . . . . . . . . 5,526
Alabama . . . . . . . . . . . .4,969
Connecticut . . . . . . . . ..1,764
Colorado Territory . . . . . . . 95
Delaware . . . . . . . . . . . . . 954
District of Columbia . . . .3,269
Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,044
Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . .3,486
Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .440
Indiana . . . . . . . . . . . . .1,597
Illinois . . . . . . . . . . . . ..1,811
Kansas . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,080
Kentucky . . . . . . . . . . .23,703
Louisiana . . . . . . . . . . .24,052
Maryland . . . . . . . . . . . .8,718
Massachusetts . . . . . . . . 3,966
Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . ..1,387
Mississippi . . . . . . . . . . 17,869
Missiouri . . . . . . . . . . . . .8,344
Minnesota . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Maine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
New Hampshire . . . . . . . . . .125
New York . . . . . . . . . . . . .4,125
New Jersey . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,185
North Carolina . . . . . . . . . 5,035
Ohio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5,092
Pennsylvania . . . . . . . . . . 8,612
Rhode Island . . . . . . . . . . .1,837
South Carolina . . . . . . . . . 5,462
Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Tennessee . . . . . . . . . . . .20,133
Vermont . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .5,723
West Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
Wisconsin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..155
At large . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 733
Not Accounted for . . . . . . . 5,083
Officers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,122

Soldiers in Civil War

From Hougtalings Handbook ©1889

United States Soldiers in the late Civil War
Connecticut.. . . . . . . . 52,270
Delaware . . . . . . . . . .13,651
District of Columbia . .16,872
Illinois . . . . . . . . . . . 258,217
Indiana . . . . . . . . . . .195,147
Iowa . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75,860
Kansas . . . . . . . . . . . .20,097
Kentucky . . . . . . . . . . 78,540
Maine . . . . . . . . . . . . .71,745
Maryland . . . . . . . . . . 49,730
Massachusetts . . . . . .151,785
Michigan . . . . . . . . . . .90,119
Minnesota . . . . . . . . . . .25,034
Missouri . . . . . . . . . . . 108,773
New Hampshire . . . . . . .34,605
New Jersey . . . . . . . . . . .79,511
New York . . . . . . . . . . .455,568
Ohio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317,133
Pennsylvania . . . . . . . . .366,326
Rhode Island . . . . . . . . . 23,711
Vermont . . . . . . . . . . . . .35,256
West Virginia . . . . . . . . . .30,003
Wisconsin . . . . . . . . . . . .96,118

Civil War Called for Service

Houghtalings Handbook of Useful Information ©1889

Men called for by President during late War.
The total quotas called for and charged against the several States of the Union, under all calls made by the President of the United States, from the 15th day of April, 1861, to the 14th day of April, 1865, at which time the recruiting was stopped, was 2,759,049.
The terms of service under the various calls varied from three months to three years.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Clara Barton



She lightened the burden of life to others.

George Eliot.

CLARA BARTON is a slender little woman with soft brown eyes, thin gray hair, 'a large but firm mouth, and small, delicate hands which ac- company her rapid, earnest speech with frequent gestures and add greatly to the charm and liveliness of her conversation. She is rather below the medium height, but carries something queenly in her manner. Her dress is always simple, her favorite color being green. One of her sisters is credited with once having said: '' When Clara goes to town to bu* - brown dress, a brown dress I know she will get, for Clara alwayi does as she says. But one way or another, that dress always manages to turn green before she can get home."

Says a writer who has known her well, '' I believe I have never looked upon a happier face than that of Clara Barton." Yet it is certain she has never sought her own happiness.


She was born in 1830 in North Oxford, Massachusetts, the youngest of five children. She came of good old Puritan stock, her ancestor, Marmaduke Barton, having come over to New England a few years after the settlement of Plymouth. The name Barton meant '' defender of the town."

Her father's name was Stephen Barton. He was a man of strong character and great influence in his town and had been in his youth a soldier under " Mad Anthony " Wayne in the Indian wars in the West.

As a child, Clara was full of spirits and bubbling over with girlish fun and frolic. She seems to have liked boyish sports and was a fine horse-back rider. She can not remember that she ever had a doll. She preferred cats and dogs for pets, especially if they were sick or otherwise unfortunate.

She did, however, have one kind of inanimate playmates—a set of wooden soldiers, made for her by one of her brothers. With these she and her father would often fight over again the Indian wars of his young days. None of the biographers whom I have consulted "have mentioned that the real purpose of these battles was to provide wounded soldiers for nursing. But when I state that some of the wooden men were put to bed after each engagement and rolled up in bandages and fed on peppermint and gruel, I am certain no one will be so discourteous as to ask for my authority. Surely, one should have wit enough to find out a few things without a book.

The precocious little maiden began to go to school at the age of three years, riding to the school-house on the shoulder of her brother Stephen, the teacher of the school. At nine years old she was sent away from home to school. She lived for two years in the family of her teacher, a man so kind and noble that she can not speak of him to this day with dry eyes.

When she was eleven years old a great care fell upon her and her studies were interrupted for some time. This was caused by a mo t unhappy accident to one of her brothers. He fell from the roof of a building on which he was at work and was so badly hurt that he was unable to leave his bed for two years. During all that time, Clara was his tender nurse and devoted companion. He wanted her always by his side and she would give up the care of him to no one else.

I have called this event an unhappy accident, and so it certainly seemed to be. But it is more than probable that the experience it brought to Clara Barton was one great cause of her becoming a nurse in later years and saving the lives of so many soldiers in our Civil War. Perhaps, after all, there are no unhappy accidents, or any accidents at all if we understood.

The Bartons were poor, and it was not long before the helpful youngest daughter went out into the world to help lighten the family burdens and provide means to continue her education. At fifteen she began teaching in the schools near her home and we are told that the committeemen were always glad to secure her as a teacher. After a little she studied for some time in Clinton, New York, and then resumed her teacher's tasks. When she was about twenty- three she opened a free school for girls in Bordentown, New Jersey, beginning with six pupils. She received very little encouragement at first. The prominent men of the town laughed at her plans and hopes. Several men had tried to carry on a school in the town and had been driven out by unruly pupils. What could a young girl do? Miss Barton soon proved what a girl could do. She taught her six pupils just as faithfully as she would have taught a large school. Other children began to be attracted. The school committee were convinced of her ability. They followed her advice and built a large school-house, and before the year was gone she had organized a graded school of six hundred interested pupils. Her success was complete.

Her work in Bordentown was very trying and she at length went to Washington to seek rest and visit relatives. There a friend obtained for her a position as clerk in the Patent Office. She was the first woman employed in the office, and the men resented her presence and tried to make the place so disagreeable for her that she would have to leave. The gentlemanly clerks stood up in rows along the long corridor through which she had to pass, and amused themselves by staring and whistling as she went by. But Miss Barton did not appear to see them. She walked past as calmly as if they v sre decorations on the wall. They tried other ways to push her out, but the superintendent of the office dismissed some of the men and appointed women in their places. She had scored another success in the interest of right and justice.

When Mr. Buchanan became President, Miss Barton was dismissed from her office for no reason except that she belonged to the wrong political party, but she was soon needed to straighten out some tangled records and was recalled by the same administration.

She was in Washington when the Civil War broke out. When the Sixth Massachusetts regiment arrived after being fired upon in Baltimore, bringing with them forty sick and wounded soldiers, Miss Barton met them at the station and set about seeing what could be done for them. It was Saturday night and they had no supplies. She went to the markets and bought food, hiring five strong negroes to carry the baskets of provisions to the starving men. She went herself and saw it properly distributed, attending to the comfort of the men in ways that no one else thought of.

Soon after this the soldiers began to arrive in large numbers and the hospitals were filled to overflowing. Miss Barton resigned her position in the Patent Office and gave her entire time to looking after the soldiers, especially the sick ones. She had been having a good salary and it was a great pleasure to her that she had a little money of her own to spend on articles v/hich were not otherwise provided. When people began to send clothing, fruits, jellies and medicines for the soldiers, many sent them directly to Miss Barton, feeling sure that in her care they would be wisely and honestly used. She would often have tons of such supplies on hand and had to engage warehouses for their reception.

In 1861 she was called home to the deathbed of her father. She told him how she was pained by the sufferings of the soldiers and how she wanted to go with the army to the front where the fighting was going on and the misery was greatest. His reply was, "Go, if you feel it your duty to go ! I know what soldiers are, and I know that every true soldier will respect you and your errand."

There seemed to be no place in war for a woman. But she went to the Assistant Quartermaster General and he made a place for her, issuing an order that she should be allowed to go where she pleased. She ordered a wagon to be loaded with such comforts as the sick and wounded would need, and followed General McClellan, reaching the army the day before a battle. When the battle opened she had her mules harnessed and followed the line of artillery with her wagon of supplies. She stopped in a cornfield where the wounded men were brought. Shot and shell flew thick around them. She found a few men and set them to help the wounded. She seemed to have in her wagon everything that every one else had forgotten. When her bread was all gone she found that her medicines were packed in meal and she made gruel of the meal. This was sent in bucketfuls for miles along the lines. When night came on despair came with it, for there were a thousand dying men' on the field of battle and the army supplies included no lights. But Miss Barton had thought of candles and lanterns, and the work of aiding the suffering went on through the night.

She was always at the front. At Fredericksburg she slept in her tent, like the others, though it was in the dead of winter. At one time fifty soldiers were brought to her. who had been wounded several days and had had no care. They were nearly starved and their clothes were frozen stiff. She ordered fires to be built, the snow to be cleared off and the soldiers to be laid on blankets around the fire. Then she ordered the men to pull down the chimney of an old house and heat its bricks to lay around the men. She could make comfort where there was nothing to make it of, for she had a head as well as a heart.

An incident related by General Elwell of Cleveland, Ohio, I will repeat in his own words. It occurred during the retreat of General Pope after the second battle of Bull Run:

"Miss Barton was about stepping on the last car conveying the wounded from the field with the enemy's cavalry in sight, and shot and shell from their guns falling on our disordered ranks, when a soldier told her that there was left behind in the pine bushes, where he had fallen, a wounded young soldier; that he could not live, and that he was calling for his mother.

"She followed her guide to where the boy lay. It was growing dark and raining. She raised him up and quietly soothed him. When he heard her voice he said in his delirium, ' Oh ! my mother has come. Don't leave me to die in these dark woods alone—do stay with me—don't leave me.'

"At that moment an officer cried out to her: 'Come immediately, or you will fall into the hands of the rebels—they are on us.' " 'Well, take this boy.

" 'No,'said the officer, 'there is no transportation for dying men. We have hardly room for the living. Come quick.'

'' ' Then I will stay with this poor boy. We both go, or both stay.'"

Both went. The boy was taken to a hospital in Washington and his mother came before he died. It would be useless to try to speak of her gratitude to Clara Barton.

The story of the weeks she spent in the malarial swamps of Morris Island, off Charleston, under almost constant fire of shot and shell, herself the only woman, is almost too terrible to be told. When some one asked her how she came to go, she answered in a surprised tone, "Why, somebody had to go and take care of the soldiers, so I went."

Thousands of soldiers were buried in unknown graves. After the war was over, mothers and wives all over the country began to write to Clara Barton, asking her to help them find where their soldier boys were buried. Acting under the advice of President Lincoln, she went to Annapolis to look after the matter; when she arrived there she found four bushels of letters waiting for her. She soon returned to Washington, hired some clerks, and established a Bureau of Records of missing men.

In Andersonville, Georgia, where there had been a Confederate prison for Union soldiers, about thirteen thousand men were buried in unmarked graves. Dorrance Atwater, a Union prisoner who had been employed to keep the records, had copied them secretly, sometimes on old scraps of paper, sometimes on rags, and had carefully hidden his copy away. He assisted Miss Barton to identify the graves of all but about four hundred of the soldiers buried there, and she had simple headboards placed at all the graves. She used her own money for all this work, but Congress afterwards restored it to her by making an appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars.

In 1869 Miss Barton went for rest to Geneva in Switzerland. But her rest was always to be found in action. The Red Cross Society had already been formed in Geneva, and all the civilized nations in the world except ours had joined it.

The basis of the society was a treaty among the nations of the earth providing for the protection of nurses, surgeons, and all persons engaged in caring for the wounded in battle. The white flag with a red cross was made the sign which should ensure protection. This was the Swiss national flag with the colors reversed. The leaders of the society urged Miss Barton to undertake the work of interesting the United States in this treaty.

But the Franco-Prussian war was just beginning and the Red Cross asked for Miss Barton's help on the battlefields of Europe. She forgot her illness and went to the front to help the sick, the starving and the wounded everywhere, on the one side as much as the other, for it is a principle of the Red Cross Society, as it has always been of Clara Barton's, to aid the enemy's wounded as readily as one's own.

She went to Paris just as the siege was over. On one occasion a starving mob had routed the police, when Miss Barton appeared and spoke to them in her calm, reasonable way. " God! " they said, "it is an angel." And they too became calm and reasonable.

She became an intimate friend of the daughter of the old Emperor William, the Grand Duchess of Baden, an earnest worker in the cause of the Red Cross. It must have been beautiful to see these two women together, the German princess gladly giving up the luxury and leisure of her palatial home for the painful, toilful life in the hospitals, and the gentle American, with her poor, tortured, pain- racked body, forgetting her own suffering in the deeper miseries of others.

After the war Miss Barton returned to America and after a long series of disappointments succeeded in 1882 in establishing an American branch of the Red Cross with an "American amendment" which provides that the society shall act not only in time of war but also in the case of great national calamities, like floods, fires, and earthquakes. This amendment has since been adopted by several European countries.

Miss Barton was made the first President and has fulfilled the duties of the office ever since. It was not long before work was found for the new society. Fires in Michigan and Wisconsin, floods along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and the terrible Charleston earthquake, all caused untold suffering and all moved the sympathy and the kind offices of the Society of the Red Cross.

Excerpt from Leaders of the 19th Century by Evelyn Harriet Walker ©1900 The article continues if you want to read more you can go to Google Books and download the book.

Leland Stanford

Today's excerpt comes from "Leaders of the 19th Century" By Evelyn Harriet Walker © 1900




"We do not believe there can be superfluous education. As a man cannot have too much wealth and intelligence, so he cannot be too highly educated."

—Leland Stanford.

'"*YT HAS been of late years a mat- *J ter of complaint, not always well grounded, that the United States Senate is being filled up with the possessors or representatives of great wealth. It is true that there are many millionaires in that body. It may be true that some of them have attained their positions merely because of their wealth. But there are some who began in the humblest walks of life and who attained their fortunes by hard work and unremitting labors for the development of the resources of the country. Reaching mature years, and becoming the Leland Stanford. possessors of vast wealth and the

controllers of enormous industrial interests, they are not the representatives of moneybags merely; they are types of that American pluck and enterprise and those traits of industry that have built up the greatness of the nation. As such, he would indeed be bold who would challenge their right to sit in the highest assembly of the country as representatives of the American people.

Leland Stanford, whose best known memorial is the Pacific Railroad, was born March 9, 1824, near Albany, N. Y. He was the son of a well-to-do farmer of good old Puritan ancestry, and led the life of a farmer's boy. He grew up sturdy, industrious and intelligent. After a few winters at the village school he went, at the age of seventeen, to Cazenovia Seminary, where Senator Hawley, Charles Dudley Warner, Bishop Andrews, Philip D. Armour, and other men prominent in American business and literature, received their early education. Here he was known as a careful, industrious student, with a faculty of taking pains, which has been said to be a mark of genius. Next he went to Albany and studied law, but after three years there went to the West. He stopped for a time in Chicago and might have settled there for good, but one day he was assailed by a perfect cloud of bloodthirsty mosquitoes, for which he had a special aversion, and that trifling circumstance impelled him to pack his trunk and leave the place at once. He next stopped at Fort Washington near Milwaukee, where he practiced law for three years and managed to save some $2,000, nearly all of which he invested in a library of law books. One night his office took fire, and with its contents was entirely destroyed, leaving him almost penniless. He sold out a little timber land which he had purchased, and managed to raise nearly $1,000. With that, in 1852, he set out for the Pacific coast.

His first settlement there was at Sacramento, where he opened a general store. Those were flush times in California, and within three years he had made more than $10,000. He kept on at the same business a while longer, steadily increasing his fortune, and in ten years was worth about $100,000. In 1861 he was chosen Governor of California, and then struck out for a wider field of activity. In his earlier years he had heard an Albany engineer talking about the feasibility of constructing a railroad in Oregon. Indeed, he had even hinted at the construction of a railroad line clear across the continent. Of course such schemes were then considered chimerical, but now that young Stanford was actually on the ground and appreciated the needs and the possibilities of the Pacific coast, he recalled these hints with interest.

His idea was to build a railroad from Sacramento over the Coast Range and Sierra Nevada mountains to the mining camps on the borders of Nevada. At that time the rates of freightage on all supplies for the camps were enormously high, and it was evident that if such a railroad could be built it would be exceedingly profitable. One engineer looked over the proposed route and said he thought the road could be built. Thereupon Mr. Stanford organized a company under the California State law, and with Messrs. Hunt- ington and Crocker went on horseback over the route. When they reached the top of the mountains they stopped, dismounted, and sat down to discuss the situation. At their feet was a precipice dropping perpendicularly down a quarter of a mile. The idea of building a railroad through such a region was startling; such a thing had never been attempted in the world. One of the little company said that they would have to build a derrick by which to lift the cars up to the top of the mountain, but Mr. Stanford was confident that although the difficulties were enormous the road could be built and operated successfully.

They returned to Sacramento and arranged for the construction of the road. As projected, the line was about 150 miles long. To build it, took the labor of 3,000 white men and 10,000 Chinamen for four years. Indeed, without "Chinese cheap labor" the road probably could not have been built at all. But it was finished, competed successfully with the mule teams and oxen that had formerly carried supplies to the camps, and soon became enormously profitable. With this done, the government was encouraged to go forward with its trans-continental railroad schemes. With these Mr. Stanford was conspicuously connected, and it was largely due to his energy, enterprise and enthusiasm that the stupendous task was carried to successful completion. He has also identified himself very largely with other railroad enterprises on the Pacific coast; he is an enormous land owner, and his wheat farms and vineyards are the pride of the State.

A few years ago Mr. Stanford's only child, Leland, a promising young man of eighteen years, died with Roman fever at Florence. This was a great shock to Mr. and Mrs. Stanford, and they determined to erect an unequaled memorial to their boy. With this purpose in view, Mr. Stanford called to his aid the best educators, and with characteristic energy completed plans for the "Leland Stanford, Jr., University," with an endowment of more than $20,000,000, in lands and other property, which has increased greatly in value within the last five years. This endowment includes the Vina ranch of 55,000 acres in Tehama county, on which is the largest vineyard in the world; the Girdly wheat ranch in Butte county, comprising 21,000 acres; and the Palo Alto ranch and stock farm of 7,200 acres. The total value of these three ranches is $5,300,000. He has made at Palo Alto, California, an institution for boys and girls which for literary and scientific learning is second to none in the world. It affords to its students every opportunity for learning the useful professions, businesses and trades of American life. Young men and women are there able to learn agriculture, mining, engineering, carpentry and building, the construction of machinery, or any other vocation for which nature has fitted him and to which his or her tastes attract them. To the development of this magnificent scheme of practical philanthropy Mr. Stanford dedicated the remainder of his life.

Another enterprise with which Mr. Stanford's name is inseparably connected is the invention and development of instantaneous photography, especially as applied to the picturing of men and animals in motion. The conventional pictures of horses galloping and trotting did not satisfy him: he was convinced that their attitudes as represented were unnatural and impossible. He therefore sent for a skilled practical photographer, gave him unlimited means with which to prosecute his experiments, and himself indicated the lines on which those experiments should be conducted. The results were astonishing and highly successful; not only were perfect photographic pictures secured of horses galloping and trotting at their utmost speed, but equally satisfactory pictures were produced of birds flying, of men running, leaping and wrestling, and even of a cannon ball in full flight, just as it was discharged from the mouth' of the cannon. These achievements have been of the highest value to painters and sculptors, and have almost revolutionized the art of illustration.

Mr. Stanford had little taste for public life. He was essentially a business man and developer of industrial resources. But he was persuaded, in 1861, to accept election as Governor of California, and served in that office with ability and distinction. In 1887 he w:as chosen a Senator of the United States, and in that office made his mark, not as an orator or debater, but as a careful, painstaking and accomplished committee-man; and it is in the committees that the most important work of Congress is accomplished.

He was a notable and much-observed figure on the floor of the Senate; a tall, well-proportioned man, with gray moustache and whiskers; a full round head, thickly thatched with gray hair; a strong nose; a large and finely developed forehead, and an expressive and masterful mouth. His whole air was that of a man of resolute action, able to undertake and execute great deeds and to impress his potent individuality upon all his associates. Despite his great wealth, his life was always a simple and unostentatious one. He was one of the most plainly dressed men in public life at Washington. His clothes were of plain black material, and jewelry was conspicuous by its absence from his person.

When in California the Senator spent nearly all his leisure at his country estate. His wife, who was Miss Lathrop, of Albany, is eminent for her practical charities. Senator Stanford's wealth at his death, June 2Oth, 1893, was estimated at $50.000.000, the most of which will go to the University at Mrs. Stanford's death. His wife, who was ever in sympathy with him, was made his executor.

Harriet Beecher Stowe



"Ah, dearer than the praise that stirs
The air to-day, our love is hers!
She needs no guaranty of fame
Whose own is linked with freedom's name."

THERE are few women in American history who have been so highly praised and so severely censured as Harriet Beecher Stowe. Mrs. Stowe was born in the year 1812, at Litchfield, Conn., just at a time when her father, Rev. Lyman Beecher, was rising into fame as a pulpit orator. As a girl she was active, conscientious and helpful. When grown she spent more or less of her time in teaching school. Later on in life she married the Rev. Calvin E. Stowe and entered upon her domestic duties with the same energy with which she took up all other duties of life, busying herself with her pen at odd moments.

She was never called beautiful, yet her large, dark eyes, and almost sad expression of countenance, show that the woman was no ordinary type. After- her marriage she moved near Boston. Here she had an opportunity to study the negro character. Here she also studied the system of slavery and its influence upon master and slave. Her heart was stirred with the tales of wrong and sorrow which she heard from those who had escaped from the land of bondage. The pent-up feelings of her heart at last found an outlet. She resolved to write and tell what she knew of the crimes and horrors of the slave system, in a book. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" took the public by storm. It first appeared in detached parts through the medium of a weekly newspaper. In April, 1852, it was issued in two volumes, and in May was republished in London. By the close of 1852 more than one million copies had been sold in America and England. The book has now been translated and published in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Flemish, Polish, Russian and other languages. These versions are to be found in the British Museum, in London. It has been dramatized in twenty different forms, and to-day, not only in America, but in every capital in Europe, its influence in stamping out the dark system of slavery, is beyond^all question. Mrs. Stowe uttered a voice for humanity and for God that will not soon die away, and in strength of description has never been surpassed.

Take for instance that part where Eliza, the slave mother, concealed in a closet, overhears a conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Shelby, and learns that her little son has been sold to a trader. "When the voices died in silence, she rose and crept stealthily away. Pale, shivering, with rigid features and compressed lips, she looked an entirely altered being from the soft and timid creature she had been hitherto. She moved cautiously along the entry, paused one moment at her mistress' door, raised her hands in mute appeal to heaven, and then turned and glided into her own room. It was a quiet, neat apartment on the same floor with her mistress. There was the pleasant sunny window, where she had often sat singing at her sewing; there a little case of books, and various little fancy articles arranged by them, the gifts of Christmas holidays; there was her simple wardrobe in the closet and in the drawers; here was, in short, her home; and, on the whole, a happy one it had been to'her. But there, on the bed, lay her slumbering boy, his long curls falling negligently around his unconscious face, his rosy mouth half open, his little fat hands thrown out over the bed clothes, and a smile spread like a sunbeam over his whole face. 'Poor boy, poor fellow,' said Eliza; 'they have sold you; but your mother will save you yet.' No tear dropped over that pillow; in such straits as these the heart has no tears to give—it drops only blood, bleeding itself away in silence."

Somewhat in advance of her pursuers, Eliza reached a village on the bank of the Ohio. Here, to her dismay, she found the river swollen to a flood, and filled with floating ice. She had been but a short time in the village tavern when "the whole train of her pursuers swept by the window, around to the front door. A thousand lives seemed to be concentrated in that one moment to Eliza. Her room opened by a side door to the river. She caught her child, and sprang down the steps toward it. The trader caught a full glimpse of her just as she was disappearing down the bank; and throwing himself from his horse, and calling loudly on Sam and Andy, he was after her like a hound after a deer. In that dizzy moment, her feet to her scarce seemed to touch the ground, and a moment brought her to the water's edge. Right on behind they came; and, nerved with strength such as God gives only to the desperate, with one wild cry and flying leap, she vaulted sheer over the turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice beyond. It was a desperate leap, impossible to anything but madness and despair. The huge, green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it; but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake, stumbling, leaping, slipping, springing upward again. Her shoes are gone, her stockings cut from her feet, while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank."

Besides "Uncle Tom's Cabin" Mrs. Stowe wrote many other works, the most notable being "The Minister's Wooing," "Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands." and "Oldtown Folks." Mrs. Stowe passed away on the first of July, 1896, surrounded by friends in her pretty home at Hartford, Conn.

Excerpt from Leaders of the 19th Century by Evelyn Harriet Walker ©1900

The General Store

Hi all,

Over time I hope to put more information in the blog about General Stores, they were a fixture of the 19th century, today we have large box stores but back then they had what were commonly known as General Stores.

Today I'd like to start with a postcard of Tuttle & Spice 1880 General Store. It's at Exit 68 Interstate 81 in Shenandoah Caverns, Virginia. The back of the postcard reads "Welcome to Yesterday! Step inside the old General Store amidst the scales, barrels, cracker boxes and pickle jars and experience part of our heritage. This General Store display is open to the public free of charge.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bullet Speeds with Black Powder

Below is a chart of the Bullet Speeds with Black Powder. First Column is the Lead, 2nd Powder and third the speed.

In order to calculate bullet speed you'll need to know this formula.
With black powder and ogival head bullet, length between 2 and 3 diameters, a powder charge of one third the weight of the bullet gives a first second speed of about 1,600 ft. To find the velocity of any other charge, multiply the powder weight by 3, divide by weight of bullet, and multiply the sq. root of the quotient by 1600. The product will be the space covered by the bullet in the first second.

Lead . . . Powder . . . Speed, f.s.
1 . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .2570
1.5 . . . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . 2325
2 . . . . . . . . . 1 . . . . . . . . .2135
2.5 . . . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . 1975
3 . . . . . . . . ..1. . . . . . . . . 1850
5 . . . . . . . . ..1. . . . . . . . . 1535
10. . . . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . 1035

19th Century Specialized Medicine

Below you will find an excerpt from "The Medical And Surgical Reporter" ©1896 specifically talking about Antiseptics, Electricity & SpecialIzed medicine during the later half of the 19th century.

Antiseptics, the introduction of Lister, and its legitimate outgrowth, asepsis, have so lessened the former disastrous results of surgery that the surgeon has been made bold in his operative work. Because of these gains untold suffering has been relieved, and, in innumerable instances, life has been prolonged. The greatest progress that surgery has ever known has been made in the last half of the 19th century, and the two factors that have had the most to do with this progress are anesthesia and asepsis. A closer study of pathology and symptomatology have aided greatly in the march of surgery.

Electricity has been tamed to serve the well and heal the diseased. When Franklin tapped the clouds with his kites and brought the fiery fluid in a gentle stream down the slender cord to the key in his hand, he dreamed not that, in the 19th century, it would be made to light our streets and drive our cars. When Galvani saw the muscles of the dead frog contract and relax under the influence of this subtle agent, he had no thought to what uses it would be put by medicine and surgery ere the dawn of the 20th century. When Crookes invented his tube only a few years ago, he did not foresee that, by means of it, Röntgen would be able to make shadowgraphs of things hidden from the light of day. Electricity is today one of the invincible forces giving speed and effectiveness to the progress of medicine.

Specialism had its birth in modern times, and has been a most important factor in the advances that our science and art have made. Neurology became a possibility with Wilson's study of the brain in the 17th century ; but did not grow to its present beautiful proportions until men of the 19th century devoted their time and talents to perfecting the work begun so long ago. McDowell's boldness in opening the abdomen of his Kentucky patient, led men to a more careful study of the pelvic and abdominal organs, and made gynecology and abdominal surgery a possibility. Helm- holtz's invention of the ophthalmoscope, in 1851, created modern ophthalmology, and gave to medicine one of its most useful branches. It bears to-day the proud distinction of being more nearly founded on a purely scientific basis than any other department of medicine. Proud of her progress and position, she is humiliated only by the fact that gynecology, her younger sister, has far surpassed her in adding long and high- sounding names to the medical vocabulary. Other specialties might be mentioned that have done much in advancing medicine.