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Ruby’s “Easter Hat” – April 1883

For much of the 19th century Godey’s Lady’s Book’s editors used the magazine to showcase the literary work of American authors. This short story,  Ruby’s “Easter Hat”, appeared in the April 1883 issue.

Ruby’s “Easter Hat”

“I wish I was dead, so there;” and Ruby Brown stood the picture of lovely despair, gazing down at a yellow mass at her feet, consisting of six dozen crushed eggs. Poor Ruby had been a whole month saving and hoarding these treasures which were to play an important part in the purchase of a lovely “Easter bonnit,” Aunt Rushy had contemptuously called it, when Ruby had said in a pleading tone:

“But auntie, all the girls are going to have pretty new hats to wear Easter Sunday.”

“Easter bonnits, indeed,” snapped Aunt Rushy, “better be thinkin’ of the good Lord, and how he riz on that day, then hey their minds on bonnits.”

“But auntie—”

“Now, no buts, Ruby Brown; girls in my time wusn’t thinkin’ eternally ’bout bonnits and gimcracks; and Easter Sunday wasn’t made a show day for bonnits, either.”

“If I could have the eggs, auntie,” pleaded Ruby, ignoring her last remarks.

“Well, take ‘em; I don’t, know as I care, if you can save enuff ‘tween this and then. You’ll hey to hey a bonnit eny how shortly after Easter.”

Ruby ran joyfully out into the coop to gather the first installment, after giving Aunt Rushy an affectionate little hug.

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Isaac H. Christian’s Political Platform

CHARLES CITY COUNTY, APRIL 1st, 1861.

To the People of New Kent, Charles City, James City, York, Warwick, Elizabeth City and the City of Williamsburg:

I published, during the month of October last, in the Richmond Whig, a card, indicating that I would be a candidate, at the ensuing election, to represent you in the Senate of Virginia.

Since that time, the whole political aspect of the country has changed, and it becomes me to announce to you my position as to the course that Virginia should have taken in the crisis which is upon her. I conceive that there is but one practical question in all this matter, to-wit: Where will she go? There are two Confederacies. One is her natural ally – with equal sympathies, similar institutions, and interests alike – the other is the avowed enemy of her domestic peace. One invites her with open arms and a full heart; the other repulses her overtures of conciliation and compromise with insult added to injury. She must decide – not which she will serve – but which she will encourage, protect end defend. For myself, I do not hesitate. I would have her unite her destiny, for weal or woe, with that of her Southern sisters and briefly, for these, among many reasons:

  1. The prosperity and progress of the Southern States depend upon the permanency of the Institution of African slavery.
  2. The permanency of this institution depends upon a present and final settlement of the question by placing it entirely under the control of the South.
  3. That control can never be acquired in a government, a large majority of whose people have been tutored to believe that slavery is a curse, and that they are responsible for its existence.
  4. The whole moral power of the State will be thrown into the scale of the institution. Her people will be united in its defence, and the question of Virginia emancipation left to be discussed when many generations have passed away.
  5. The commercial depression that afflicts a country will continue and culminate in rule if an adjustment is not speedily effected. Can Virginia hope for this by temporizing with those of whom she seeks redress?
  6. Many of the advantages of the old Government will be secured by treaty, etc…, whilst the cause of strife will be removed.
  7. The honor of Virginia, her past fame, her present high character, and promise of future power demand that she shall take this step.

She will by so doing preserve the peace of the country. A united South will not be warred upon by the Republican horde at Washington. Virginia will carry with her the border States, and when they, with her, shall have added eight more stars to the flag at Montgomery then will the question of peace or war, of prosperity or depression have been settled.

I hope to be able to discuss this question throughout the District. Allow me to add, in yielding to the wishes of my friends by thus announcing myself as candidate for this important post, that, if elected, I shall strive to reward your confidence by an earnest devotion to your interests and Virginia.

Very respectfully, etc…,

Isaac H. Christian
April 16, 1861

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

According to the 1860 census, Isaac H. Christian owned three slaves.  After the war he was nominated as and appointed judge of the county courts of New Kent and Charles City counties in Virginia.

Source

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: Richmond Enquirer
Date: April 18 , 1861
Title: Charles City County, APRIL 1st, 1861.

Top image: View in Virginia Senate Chamber, looking from the north – Virginia State Capitol, Bank and 10th Streets, Capitol Square, Richmond

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The Doctrine of the Irrepressible Conflict

Irrepressible Conflict, as a term, originated with William H. Seward in an 1858 speech predicting the collision of the socioeconomic institutions of the North and the South.

Seward maintained this collision would determine whether the nation would be dominated by a system of free labor or slave labor. In 1858 Abraham Lincoln proposed the same idea in his “House Divided” speech. At the time, the use of the phrase did not include the assumption that the “irrepressible conflict” would necessarily find expression in violence or armed conflict.

While the term “Irrepressible Conflict” is most connected to Seward, the actual ideas behind it can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson in 1821. The Vincennes Gazette included this article in the December 17, 1859 issue.

The Freeman’ s Catechism Concerning the Irrepressible Conflict

Question: Who first promulgated the doctrine of the irrepressible conflict?
Answer: Thomas Jefferson.

Q: When and how did he promulgate it?
A: In a letter written to a friend in 1821.

Q: What did he say?
A:Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people (negro slaves) are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two forms of society cannot be perpetuated under the same government.

Q: Who next promulgated it?
A: Henry Clay.

Q: When and how did he promulgate it?
A: In a speech delivered before the American Colonization Society in 1827.

Q: What did he say?
A:Until universal darkness and despair shall prevail it will be impossible to repress the sympathies and the efforts of the freemen in behalf of the unhappy portion of our race who are doomed to bondage.

Q: Who endorsed Mr. Clays remarks?
A: Daniel Webster.

Q: Who says so?
A: Edward Everett.

Q: Who next promulgated it?
A: The Richmond Enquirer, a Democratic newspaper.

Q: When did it promulgate it?
A: In the Presidential campaign of 1856.

Q: What did it say?
A:Two opposite and conflicting forms of society cannot, among civilized men, coexist and endure. The one must give way and cease to exist – the other become universal. If free society be unnatural immoral and unchristian, it must fall and give way to slave society—a social system as old as the world, as universal as man.

Q: Who next re-stated the fact?
A: William H. Seward.

Q: When, where, and how?
A: In a speech delivered in Rochester in 1858.

Q: What did he say?
A: Whilst referring to the collision which had occurred between the two systems of labor in the United States, he said: “It (the collision) is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces; and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a slaveholding nation or entirely a free labor nation.

Q: Did he intimate the process by which they will ultimately become so?
A: He did; he said: “Whilst I confidently believe and hope my country will yet become a land of universal Freedom, I do not expect that it will be made so otherwise than through the action of the several States co-operating with the Federal Government, and all acting in strict conformity with their respective Constitutions.

Q: Is there any treason in this?
A: Not unless Thomas Jefferson, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and the editor of the Richmond Enquirer were traitors.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

Source

Collection: The Civil War
Publication: Vincennes Gazette
Date: December 17, 1859
Title: The Freeman’ s Catechism Concerning the Irrepressible Conflict.
Location: Vincennes, Ind.

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The Story of William Houston

This article from the London Times in 1852 was reprinted in America in Frederick Douglass Paper on April 15, 1852.  It relates the long and complicated path from freedom – through slavery – and back to freedom for William Houston.  Houston was a British seaman who was sold into slavery by his employer when the ship was in New Orleans.  There are references to the case in footnotes of some later editions of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave.

The Horrible Adventures of a British Subject Sold into American Slavery

At the Thames police office one day last week, William Houston complained to the magistrate that he, a free born British subject, had been sold into slavery by a sea captain, with whom he had engaged as a steward for wages. He exhibited his register ticket as a “seaman,” No. 548,818, and stated that he was born in Gibraltar in the year 1810, his father a native of San Domingo, and his mother a London woman. About thirteen years ago, when settled in Liverpool, as steward, for $25 per month. The captain’s name was Joseph M’Coy.

On the arrival of the ship at New Orleans, the vessel was sold, and the captain took him on shore and sold him to an American, by whom he was taken to a place called Tricupo, in St. Matthew county, where he remained in bondage for five years.

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The Drunkard’s Alphabet

This little list appeared in Progress of Life and Thought, or “Papa’s Scrap Book” in The Civil War: Iowa’s Perspective.

  • A is the young man’s first glass of ale.
  • B is the beer which next will prevail.
  • C is the cider, so simple at first, causing in future unquenchable thirst.
  • D is the dram taken morn, noon and eve.
  • E is the extra one – eleven I believe.
  • F is the flip, thought so good for a cold.
  • G is the gin, not so pure as of old.
  • H is the hotel where often he goes.
  • I is the inner room he so well knows.
  • J is the jug he there fills to the brim.
  • K is the knocking of conscience within.
  • L is the landlord who smiles when you drink.
  • M is your money he’s getting, I think.
  • N is the nightmare which visits your brain.
  • O is the orgies of the midnight rain.
  • P is the poor, penniless pauper you become.
  • Q is the quarrel, the product of rum.
  • R is the ruin rum brings to your door.
  • S is the suffering ne’er known before.
  • T is the tremors that make few calls ere death ensue.
  • U is the undertaker who comes to your aid.
  • V is the valley where your body is laid.
  • W is the wretched wail and woe
  • X execrable drunkards alone can know.
  • Y is the yearning for misspent time.
  • Z is the zenith of the drunkard’s climb.

Part V of our Civil War collection, Iowa’s Perspective, consists of memoirs, pamphlets, and regimental histories from the Civil War holdings at the University of Iowa. Iowa provided more troops per capita than any other Union state, and these writings reflect the experiences of Iowa soldiers as they fought in nearly all the campaigns and major battles throughout the war years.
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