Tag Archives: American County Histories
OG-Walks in DC

Walks About Washington (1915)

Francis E. Leupp’s Walks About Washington is a new title in the Washington D.C. segment of our American County Histories collection.  The full text has recently come online.

Forward

This is not a history. It is not a guidebook. It is not an encyclopedia. It is nothing more ambitious than the title would indicate: a stroll about Washington with my arm through my reader’s, and a bit of friendly chat by the way. Mr. Hornby, sketchbook in hand, will accompany us, to give permanence to our impressions here and there.

Walks About Washington

Walks About Washington

First, we will take a general look at the city and recall some of the more interesting incidents connected with its century and a quarter of growth. Next, we will walk at our leisure through its public places and [try to people them in imagination with the figures which once were so much in evidence there.

For the stories woven into our talk, I make no further claim than that they have come to me from a variety of sources—personal observation, dinner-table gossip, old letters and diaries, and local tradition. A few, which seemed rather too vague in detail, I have tried to verify.

My ardor for research, however, was dampened by the discovery of from two to a dozen versions of every occurrence, so that I have been driven to accepting those which appeared most probable or most picturesque, falling back upon the plea of the Last Minstrel:

“I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as ’twas said to me.”

And now, let us be off!

F. E. L.

WASHINGTON, D.C.,
August 1, 1915.

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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Inland Sea

Utah History: The Shores of the Inland Sea

It was no Garden of the Hesperides upon which the Pioneers gazed that memorable July morning. Aside from its scenic splendor, which was indeed glorious, magnificent, there was little to invite, and much to repel, in the prospect presented to their view. A barren plain, hemmed in by mountains, burning beneath the rays of the mid-summer sun. No waving fields or forests, no verdant meadows to rest and refresh the weary eye, but on all sides a seemingly interminable waste of sagebrush, bespangled with sunflowers, the paradise of the lizard, the cricket, and the rattlesnake.

Less than half way across the baked and burning valley, dividing it in twain, as if the vast bowl, in the intense heat of the Master Potter’s fires, in process of formation had cracked asunder, a narrow river, turbid and shallow, from south to north, in many a serpentine curve, sweeps on its sinuous way. Beyond, a broad lake, the river’s goal, dotted with towering islands, its briny waters shimmering in the sunbeams.

From mountains snow-capped, seamed and craggy, lifting their kingly heads to be crowned by the golden sun, flow limpid, laughing streams, cold and crystal clear, leaping, dashing, foaming, flashing from rock to glen, from peak to plain. But the fresh canyon brooks are far and few, and the arid waste they water, glistening with beds of salt and soda and pools of deadly alkali, scarcely allows them to reach the river, but midway well nigh swallows and absorbs them in its thirsty sands.

Utah History: The Shores of the Inland Sea

Utah History: The Shores of the Inland Sea

Above the line of gray and gold, of sage and sunflower, the sloping hillsides and precipitous steeps are clothed with purple and dark green patches; these, the oak-bush, the squaw-berry, and other scant growths, with here and there a solitary tree, a few acres of withered bunch grass, and the lazily waving willows and wild-rose bushes fringing the distant streams, the only green things visible.

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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The Execution of a Spy

The Execution of Stephen Edwards, Spy

One affair which caused the most intense excitement throughout old Monmouth, and elsewhere during the war of the Revolution, was the arrest, trial and execution of a young man named Stephen Edwards, on the charge of being a spy for the British. Though reference to it is rarely met with in our histories, yet there were but few events in the county during the Revolution, that created a greater sensation than did this.

One of the officers who tried Edwards, and assisted at his execution, was Captain Joshua Ruddy, and this furnished one of the excuses the refugees gave for his inhuman murder near the Highlands some three years after. On the trial of the refugee leader, Captain Richard Lippencott, by a British Court Martial at New York, in the Summer of 1782, for his participation in the hanging of Huddy, refugee witnesses testified that even while Huddy was a prisoner in their hands, and but a few days before his death, he boldly acknowledged his participation, and justified it on the ground that he was found with treasonable papers in his possession, which conclusively proved him to be a spy.

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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Log-Cabin

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.

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mitchells

New American County Histories – Fall 2016

Most of these large volumes were published between 1870 and 1920 and have long formed the cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research. They are encyclopedic in scope and virtually limitless in their research possibilities.

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.

We are in the midst of expanding this collection to cover all parts of the United States.  New full-text searchable titles are coming online all the time.  These are some the new additions from the last part of 2016.

Alabama

  • CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION IN ALABAMA.
  • HISTORY OF ALABAMA: AND INCIDENTALLY OF GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI, FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD – VOL. 1.

Colorado

  • HISTORY OF CLEAR CREEK AND BOULDER VALLEYS, COLORADO: CONTAINING A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE STATE OF COLORADO FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME, EMBRACING ITS GEOLOGICAL, PHYSICAL AND CLIMATIC FEATURES; ITS AGRICULTURAL, STOCKGROWING, RAILROAD AND MINING INTERESTS; AN ACCOUNT OF THE UTE TROUBLE; A HISTORY OF GILPIN, CLEAR CREEK, BOULDER AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES, AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

Florida

  • ALACHUA, THE GARDEN COUNTY OF FLORIDA, ITS RESOURCES AND ADVANTAGES.
  • HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF COLONIAL FLORIDA.
  • THE HISTORY OF SAINT AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA: WITH AN INTRODUCTORY ACCOUNT OF THE EARLY SPANISH AND FRENCH ATTEMPTS AT EXPLORATION AND SETTLEMENT IN THE TERRITORY OF FLORIDA; TOGETHER WITH SKETCHES OF EVENTS AND OBJECTS OF INTEREST CONNECTED WITH THE OLDEST TOWN IN THE UNITED STATES; TO WHICH IS ADDED A SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE CLIMATE AND ADVANTAGES OF SAINT AUGUSTINE AS A HEALTH RESORT.

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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