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The Apple-Headed Young Man

Mrs. Stanton tells a capital story of a spruce, conceited-looking young man, with head the size of an apple, who approached her in the cars the morning after she had given one of her strong lectures. “I do not agree with your views, Madam,” said this small-headed youth, evidently thinking that his opposition would stop the wheels of progress, and change the whole current of reform.

We everywhere meet apple-headed young men—persons attempting to block advancement, whether material or spiritual. “I do not agree with you” murdered Lovejoy at Alton, imprisoned Garrison in Baltimore, burned Hess and Servetius at the stake, persecuted Luther, crucified our Lord. But, despite it all, reform goes on.

When Stephenson invented the locomotive it was bitterly opposed; scientific men declared it impracticable; men of wealth opposed it on the ground of its frightening the deer and other game; landlords objected on the ground of its taking away their custom. Amid the multitude of opponents; one man gravely saul, “And what, Mr. Stephenson, would be the consequences if your engine met a cow?” “It would be varry bod for the coo,” responded Mr. Stephenson in his broad Scotch dialect. And so it ever is.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.



Building of a Log Cabin in Ohio County, WV

This description of building a log cabin appears in chapter three, Life Among the Early Settlers, in The Story of Wheeling City and Ohio County, West Virginia and Representative Citizens published in our American County Histories: West Virginia collection.

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

Building of the Log Cabin

In the early history of Ohio County, an important and interesting event was the building of the log cabin. A certain day was set apart for the accomplishment of the undertaking, and the settlers for miles around were notified of the time and place at which they were to assemble and assist in its construction, which invitation was always responded to by them with alacrity. Upon arriving at the scene of the cabin’s intended location, they chose an experienced individual who was styled the “captain,” and who assigned to each his respective duties. Four of the most active and expert men in the use of the axe were chosen as corner men, who were required to clear the site, square it and place a large rock at each corner to build upon, after being properly leveled, then saddle and notch with precision the logs in finished and complete order.

The “captain” would then assign a number of men to select from the trees, near the site as possible, the largest growth, straight grained white oak for clapboards, which they were to fell and to crosscut into proper lengths. Then to split the cuts into square bolts and then to rive or split them.

Another set of men was required to provide puncheons for floors, doors, windows and chimney-corner jambs, out of such timber as was best suited for that purpose, such as oak, chestnut or ash, which made good floors when spotted on the underside at the ends out of the wind, and rested on sleepers placed at regular distances apart, with the upper straight and well dressed. These, when top-dressed by a competent adzman, made an excellent substitute for plank, which at that early day could not be obtained for the reason that there were no sawmills.

The “captain” would then send out a detail to cull out near the site suitable standing trees and fell them and chop them off at proper lengths for the proposed building, with teamsters to haul them in as they were logged off by dragging them on the ground by a chain with a hook at one end of the log. Other teamsters provided with rough wooden sleds hauled in the clapboards, puncheons and such other materials as would be required in the completion of the structure.


A top hat, cane and old bible in the arm of a vintage sofa. Nineteenth (XIX) century (1800s) living room with victorian details .Auckland, New Zealand

Dialogue Between a Slaveholder and the Bible

This imagined dialogue between an American slave owner and the Bible appeared in the Frederick Douglass Paper on July 9, 1852.

For Frederick Douglass’ Paper

SLAVEHOLDER: I have taken you up, my friend, to find out what you really decide on the subject, so much controverted, and of so much importance to myself. Is there anything you can honestly find fault with in this institution, as exhibited on my plantation, for instance. I take care of my slaves, as tho’ they were my own children. I feed and clothe them well: I look after their welfare in every respect, up to the best of my ability: see that their houses are dry, clean and comfortable: work them much less than any of my neighbors, so much so that they threaten to harass me with compliance with existing customs, and even talk of legislative interference: their health is carefully attended to: they hear the gospel every Sabbath, and have meetings among themselves, as often as they please out of working hours. I do not say these things to praise myself, for I know it is my duty to look after their well-being to the utmost of my ability. In short, I seek to carry out towards them, or to all men, the golden rule. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” For you, my friend, have taught me to consider them as such. – Now answer my question, put in other words, thus: Do you condemn Slavery absolutely, and without reason?

BIBLE: “Thou shalt not steal.”

SLAVEHOLDER: Steal! I abhor the thought! Steal! what do you mean? Ah, I know; you refer to the abolitionist doctrine, that a slaveholder as such, is a thief, a man -stealer. But let me tell you, my good friend, that I have nothing to do with the slave-trader. Twenty of my slaves were left me by my father’s will. My land needed more hands, and I paid handsomely (my neighbors said I gave too much for all but one) for the fifteen I have added to them during the last five years. This money is generally considered a fair equivalent for their labor, and what dishonesty is there in such a transaction as this?

BIBLE: “Be not partaker of other men’ s sins.” – 1. Tim. v, 22.

SLAVEHOLDER: Why, I thought that belonged to ministers. I see, however, that it is a principle binding on all Christians. But how does it apply to me, and such as me? You seem to mean me to consider for myself. Ah, you point back to the trade, and say I sanction it, by receiving, as the abolitionists would say, stolen men . I confess, that if the trade were as bad as they represented it, the charge would be just. but they are benefitted by the exchange of countries. They were, to sum up all their miseries in one, ignorant of the gospel in their own land. Here they hear of the Savior, and many are saved by faith in Him.

BIBLE: “As some affirm that we say, Let us do evil, that good may come, whose damnation is just.” – Rom. iii. 8.

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s African American Newspapers Collection. This enormous collection of African American newspapers contains a wealth of information about cultural life and history during the 1800s and is rich with first-hand reports of the major events and issues of the day.


Top Ten Accessible Archives Blog Posts for 2016

These were the top ten blog posts in terms of popularity for 2016 on the Accessible Archives blog.

Accessible Archive’s diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading American books, newspapers and periodicals.

The Political Power of Slave Masters (1848)

A Pro-Slavery Catechism


Christmas 2012. Pudding supplied by photographer's grandmother.

Christmas Puddings from Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1870

Few cooks are agreed about this good old English dish, each one considering her way the best. We have carefully selected several recipes relating to these old-time puddings, from which our readers can make a selection. We know that they will have good reason to be satisfied with any of them.

Plum Pudding — Beat up four eggs well; add to them, firs, half a pint of new milk and a teaspoonful of salt. Then mix in half a pound of beef suet, chopped very fine, a pound of raisins stoned and chopped, a quarter of a pound of brown sugar, one nutmeg grated, one ounce of candied peel cut into thin small strips; stir all well together, and add another half pint of new milk; then beat in sufficient flour to make it a stiff paste, add a glass of brandy and a glass of white wine. Tie it up close, and boil it, if in a mold or basin, five hours; if in a cloth, four; but the pudding is better, as well as shapelier, when boiled in a shape or mold. For Sauce, make some good melted butter, put in some loaf-sugar, a glass of white wine, and a glass of brandy; make it boil up, pour half of it over the pudding, and serve the rest in a lot sauce-boat. This pudding may be made with the grated crumb of household bread as well as with four; it is better so if to be eaten cold. Plum puddings may be made a fortnight or longer before they are wanted, and will be all the mellower for the keeping, if hung up in a dry place where they will not mold. Christmas plum pudding is often served with a sprig of holly stuck in the middle; this makes a pretty garnish.

A Good Christmas Plum Pudding — The pride of English cookery is the plum pudding, which continental nations despise, because they can never succeed in making it eatable; we may therefore be excused in giving several receipts, all tried and approved, though of various degrees of excellence. With one pound of clean dry currants and half a pound of good raisins stoned mix one pound of bread-crumbs, half a pound of fine flour, and one pound and a half of finely-shred suet; add a quarter of a pound of sifted sugar, a grated nutmeg, a drachm of cinnamon, two cloves, and half a dozen almonds pounded, and an ounce each of candied orange and lemon sliced thin; mix all the materials thoroughly together in a bowl with a glass of brandy and one of sherry; then beat very well six eggs, and slowly stir in till all be well blended; cover the bowl, and let the mixture stand for twelve hours; then pour it in a pudding cloth, and tie it, not very tight; put it into boiling water, and keep up the boiling for six hours. Serve with sugar sifted over, and wine or punch sauce. Brandy is usually sent in with a Christmas pudding to be poured over the whole pudding, or over each slice, then lighted, and served in flames.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.