Tag Archives: American County Histories
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A Local View on America in the World War I Era

World War I greatly impacted all levels of American society. Industrial production increased, employment rose dramatically along with incomes, and cities and counties flourished. The Great Migration of African-Americans from the south to northern manufacturing cities reached its peak and when the U.S. entered the war, factories turned to women as a labor source. During this time as industry boomed, so did the economy. Under the President’s call for mobilization in 1916, State National Guard units were activated for service and state and local civilian organizations were created to carry out the activities of Federal agencies and committees.

11th District of the 14th Region, War Industries Board Resource and Conversion Section

11th District of the 14th Region, War Industries Board Resource and Conversion Section

As the war ended, and soldiers returned home, industrial production began to slow, and there was less need for workers in factories.  Many women stopped working, but even so, there were not enough jobs for soldiers returning home from Europe.  This rising unemployment after a time of industrial and economic prosperity planted the seeds of economic and social strife in urban and rural areas.

You will find military histories of Tulsa units, their military operations in Europe and Mexico, and lists of officers and those that died in the service. Maybe more interesting, you can find detailed information on the home front –civilian activities in support of military units raised locally, Federal, state and local governmental agencies and organizations, roles of women in the mobilization and war effort, maintenance of the economy, and efforts to protect the local population from radical and enemy propaganda .

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.
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Family Car Camping, Harris & Ewing, photographer between 1915 and 1923

Auto Camping in the American West

August is the traditional car vacation month and this year is no different. With millions of drivers and families checking out national parks, monuments, American backroads, and various types of amusements, many towns, cities, and toll roads will see an increase in revenue (as well as population).

As America became more mobile during the 1910s and 1920s, Americans ventured out on America’s roads.. Many heeded Horace Greeley’s advice to “Go west…” and like the pioneers of old, they explored the back roads and towns of western America.  On the way, travelers with limited budgets or who wanted to experience the fresh air of the countryside, outfitted their cars with camping equipment. Others, realized that towns were few and far between and so needed an alternative to a hotel.

Family Car Camping, Harris & Ewing, photographer between 1915 and 1923

Family Car Camping, Harris & Ewing, photographer between 1915 and 1923

Early on towns were skeptical of these “auto gypsies” and farmers and ranchers were concerned with these short-time squatters on their lands. Some folks camped on roadsides, but this proved dangerous in an era when speed limits and paved roads were almost non-existent.

By the early 1920s, towns realized the commercial opportunities in providing dedicated “auto camps,” where campers could patronize local stores for food and gas. Many towns in the West opened auto camps that provided a variety of free amenities, including fireplaces and showers.

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.
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Talbot County

The Indians in Talbot County

Although prior to 1652, there were many Indian settlements, as still indicated by their banks of oyster shells, on points along the shores of the Choptank, Chester and Tred Avon rivers, it was in this year, being eight years prior to the founding of Talbot county, that a treaty was made with them, which is the first of which any record has been preserved and by which all of their lands on the Eastern Shore, north of the Choptank river, were ceded to the English.

This treaty was made at the river Severn, where the city of Annapolis was later located, and, tradition says, it was held under the old tulip-popular tree, still standing on the campus of St. John’s College. This treaty may be found, at length, in the appendix to Bozman’s History of Maryland, in which it is stated a blank occurs in the first article. A critical examination of the old council book will, however, convince any person familiar with the peculiar chirography of that time, that there is no blank in it, and that the word that Bozman says, in another place, is illegible, is in reality the word trees. The first article is as follows:

Article of peace and friendship treated and agreed upon the 5th day of July, 1652, between the English nation in the province of Maryland, on the one part, and the Indian nation of Susquesahanough on the other part, as followeth:

First, that the English nation shall have, hold and enjoy to them, their heirs and assigns, forever, all the land lying from the Patuxent river unto Palmer’s Island, on the Western side of the Bay of Chesepiake, and from Choptank river to the north east branch which lyes to the northward of Elks river, on the Eastern side of the said baye, with all the islands, rivers, creeks, tres, fish, fowle, deer, elke, and whatsoever else to the same belonging, excepting the Isle of Kent and Palmer’s Island, which belong to Capt. Clayborne. But, never the less it shall be lawful for the aforesaid English or Indians to build a house or forte for trade or any such like use or occasion at any tyme upon Palmers’ Island.

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Lewis and Clark Map

Lewis and Clark in South Dakota

One of our newest additions to our American County Histories collection includes A History of South Dakota: From Earliest Times compiled and revised by Doane Robinson includes this description of the Lewis and Clark expedition’s activities in what is now South Dakota.

Lewis and Clark Expedition

In the month of January, 1803, anticipating the cession of Louisiana to the United States, President Thomas Jefferson secured authority from Congress to dispatch a small detachment of regular soldiers on an exploring expedition by way of the Missouri river to the Pacific coast. This expedition President Jefferson placed in charge of Captain Merryweather Lewis, his private secretary, with Wm. Clark, as first assistant. The explorers were charged with the duty of examining the country along the route, becoming acquainted with the various Indian tribes and winning their friendship and good will. Before the expedition started, the cession of Louisiana to the United States had been consummated, and Captains Lewis and Clark were further instructed to secure an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the United States over the several Indian tribes.

A map of Lewis and Clark's track across the western portion of North America, from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean by order of the executive of the United States in 1804, 1805 & 1806.

A map of Lewis and Clark’s track across the western portion of North America, from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean by order of the executive of the United States in 1804, 1805 & 1806.

On May 14, 1804, the party, consisting of forty-three men, including soldiers, boatmen, guides, interpreters, etc., embarked in two pirogues and one bateau, entered the Missouri river and started upon their long journey.

This expedition excited the liveliest interest throughout the country, in which President Jefferson fully shared. He watched it with the greatest solicitude and when information from it came back at the end of the first year, he promptly transmitted it to Congress.

The expedition slowly moved up the river but did not reach the mouth of the Big Sioux and consequently the territory now embraced within South Dakota, until August 21, 1804. Their first night passed on the Dakota side was the night of August 22d and 23d, which was spent on the site of the present city of Elkpoint. Here Patrick Gass was elected as successor to Sergeant Charles Floyd who died two days before, near the site of Sioux City. On the morning of August 23d, on the meadow three or four miles west of Elkpoint, they came upon their first herd of buffalo, and Captain Lewis killed one of them from which they salted two barrels of meat.

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Sketch of the Fourth Missouri Infantry’s Departure from Jefferson Barracks

Missouri’s Participation in Various Military Conflicts during the 19th Century

Missouri has a storied 19th Century military history — from the War of 1812 to the American Civil War to the Spanish American War, Missourians answered the call for volunteers.  Outside of these major conflicts, Missourians also participated in a variety of territorial and regional conflicts during the 19th century — Native American conflicts, safeguarding expeditions westward, border wars, and conflicts over religious and temperance beliefs.

The Missouri county histories in Accessible Archives’ American County Histories digital collection provide vivid portraits of people, places and events, putting Missouri’s state and local history into current context with the examination of military, political,  demographic, social, economic, and cultural transformations.

State and local history are an essential part of the American history curricula in high schools, community colleges, and universities. Accessible Archives’ American County Histories provide an everyday connection to history for students and researchers.

American County Histories are among the most comprehensive sources of local and regional history available. Their emphasis on ordinary people and the commonplace event make them important in the study of American history and culture.

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