Tag Archives: American County Histories
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A Southern Address for Veterans Day

This was the beginning of An Address of Welcome on Veterans’ Day at the Florida Chautauqua on March the 13th, 1909. The context is important here. This was mostly an address to the still living Confederate veterans of the Civil War and should be read in that context.

The speaker, John L. McKinnon of Walton County, Florida, was no academic historian, nor did he write in a scholarly manner. Much of his book, History of Walton County, reads as someone giving you oral history as you sit with the story teller in rockers on a front porch.

Fellow Comrades:

Our commander, General Pasco, in having me speak the welcoming words today, gave me to understand, that it did not require the commanding voice of oratory, nor the persuasive speech of eloquent words, neither was it necessary to dip one’s tongue in the fountain of the Muses, to welcome a confederate soldier.  But, says he, “it needs only the simple language of the heart, just true heart words.”

It was only then, I felt I might be able to make you feel at home with us, on this occasion, as my heart is always in tune with, and in sympathy for the Confederate soldier. For I know well of his motives, his grievances, his sacrifices. To some here, your bent forms, your empty sleeves, your halted steps coming down these aisles, may be suggestive of uncouthness. But to us, who remember the cause through which these came, they are grace, beauty and love. Your persecuted cause, that the world now calls “The Lost Cause,” made resistless appeals to your manhood.

To be sure, it sifted out the insincere and cowardly, but it left you a force of men the stronger for the winnowing. And brought out all that is noble and most daring in you. It struck open the deeps in your souls. No men could have been more sincere in the righteousness and justice of a cause, than you were in the one you espoused. Then shall we say of a truth, ours is a “Lost Cause?” “Nothing is settled until it is settled right.”

We know our grievances were settled by the power of the sword, and time has shown us how very unjust and unsatisfactory the arbitrament of the sword has been in the past. Now, near half a century has passed, and the problems of those days are the unsolved problems of today. “Courage yet,” writes James Renwick, the soul of the Cameronian Societies in the days of the Covenant and Killing Times. “Courage yet, for all that has come and gone. The loss of men is not the loss of the cause. What is the matter tho’ we all fall? The cause shall not fall.”

We see a rock in mid ocean, with its modest form high above the dashing waves, as a beacon light to those who would navigate treacherous seas; inviting the storm tossed ones to take rest on its firm foundations. We see the waves of every sea leaping upon and lashing it. And in the course of time, we find this beacon rock wasting itself away, beating back the angry waves. This rock is not lost, it is resting there on its granite bed, while the waves roll on; and maybe some day when the waters recede from the earth, or in some cosmic disturbances it may be the first to lift its broader form to bring light and give protection around.

So, too, in a political or governmental sense, we see a little Republic, born out of contentions and disturbances, modestly lifting itself up and taking its place among the Nations of the world. It, too, has a firm foundation on which to build–a constitution that eliminated the evils and interjected the good found in other governments. With a splendid code of laws enacted, guaranteeing self government. Yet this little Republic had hardly taken its place on the roll of Republics, before the Nations about began to leap upon and continued to pound upon it, until it wore itself out driving them back.

And my fellow comrades, you are here today as the representatives, the exponents of that little Republic–as the resultant–the residuum, if you please, of all that pounding. And your ardent support, all these years to the overpowering government, speaks in noble terms of your patriotism–your loyalty to the same. We feel that we voice the heart sentiments of every one here, when we say, in defending this little Republic, we did nothing that we are ashamed of, one that needs an apology for. None but the coward or degenerate sons would dare say less.

We know that we deserve as much respect from the world at large, for standing by our convictions, as those do who opposed us and will be satisfied with nothing less. We acknowledged that we were overpowered, or whipped if you please, but not debauched. The agonies that we know of–the blood that we saw flow, must stand for something. As the years roll on, in the course of human, events, there may come a time in our governmental affairs, when “Mercy and truth are met together: righteousness and peace have kissed each other”–when “truth crushed to the ground shall rise again.”

When the principles of State Sovereignty of Liberty (and not chattel slavery as some would have believe) that were so dear to us, and for which we fought and gave the best blood in our land, shall come to the front, assert themselves, and make this old Republic–so long as God will have it stand–by far the best government on the globe. Fellow Comrades–we do welcome you here with all our hearts, and to all the good things in our town; and hope through all the years that are going to be yours in this world, we may find you able to come up here annually, that we may have sweet fellowship one with another.

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.

Source: History of Walton County  – Pages 384-389
Top Photo: Confederate veteran reunion, 1917 — Title from unverified data provided by the National Photo Company on the negative or negative sleeve.

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A Look Inside: The Indians of the Pike’s Peak Region

Irving Howbert’s book, The Indians of the Pike’s Peak Region was reissued long after his death with a very special addition. That is the wonderful foldout print of the Indians seen, in part, above. This picture was taken by Clarence Coil, of Colorado Springs. The original print hangs over the door in the office of Mr. Floyd Brunson, operator of Stewarts Commercial Photographers, Inc.

When the picture was taken, circa 1913, most of the people in the lineup were well known to the citizens of the Pike’s Peak region. While this photograph is not particularly germane to the text of this book, it is very germane to the time the book was written. Scenes like the one pictured do not occur any more except around a movie studio. This picture is completely authentic, and hence, we think, of interest to any student of American history. A high resolution version of the image can be seen here. The end of this post contains a key to identifying the known individuals in the photograph.

This volume can be found in our American County Histories: Colorado.

Introduction

For the most part this book is intentionally local in its character. As its title implies, it relates principally to the Indian tribes that have occupied the region around Pike’s Peak during historic times.

The history, habits, and customs of the American Indian have always been interesting subjects to me. From early childhood, I read everything within my reach dealing with the various tribes of the United States and Mexico. In 1860, when I was fourteen years of age, I crossed the plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains twice, and again in 1861, 1865, and 1866; each time by ox- or horse-team, there being no other means of conveyance. At that time there were few railroads west of the Mississippi River and none west of the Missouri. On each of these trips I came more or less into contact with the Indians, and during my residence in Colorado from 1860 to the present time, by observation and by study, I have become more or less familiar with all the tribes of this Western country.

From 1864 to 1868, the Indians of the plains were hostile to the whites; this resulted in many tragic happenings in that part of the Pike’s Peak region embracing El Paso and its adjoining counties, as well as elsewhere in the Territory of Colorado. I then lived in Colorado City, in El Paso County, and took an active part in the defense of the settlements during all the Indian troubles in that section. I mention these facts merely to show that I am not unfamiliar with the subject about which I am writing. My main object in publishing this book is to make a permanent record of the principal events of that time.

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The Latest Full Text Books Online

As part of the ongoing expansion of our American County History Collection into the Western and Southwestern United States we are working quickly to add new titles in Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

This process involves books coming online initially in image only form with each page scanned and readable as a high resolution JPG.  These books then undergo a double key entry process to provide a full text version that can be read or searched.  The five most recent books to “graduate” to full text searchability are listed here:

  • California: Memorial and Biographical History Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties California — 1892 — Containing a History of this Important Section of the Pacific Coast from the Earliest Period of its Occupancy to the Present Time, together with Glimpses of its Prospective Future; with full-page Portraits of some of its most Eminent Men, and Biographical Mention of many of its Pioneers, and also of Prominent Citizens of Today.
  • Colorado: History of Colorado – Volume I — 1918 — The facts relating thereto are stated not as opinions or mere conclusions of the writers or individual informants, but, in order to avoid personal bias and prejudice, all that is set forth pertaining to important events of public interest in the departments of state history—the military, industrial, educational, religious and social organizations and their progress and results—has been taken from the records, reports and archives, national and state, of the government and administrative bodies relating to the several topics.
  • Oregon: Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties — 1898 — Orvil Dodge quite properly referred to himself as “the compiler” throughout the book. When commissioned by the Pioneer and Historical Association to prepare a volume of “heroic deeds and thrilling adventures,” he readily turned to the old citizens of Coos and Curry counties for their assistance. Their memories, some of them indistinct, their letters and personal narratives all became sources for this volume.
  • Oregon: An Illustrated History of Central Oregon Embracing Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, Crook, Lake and Klamath Counties — 1905 — Histories of the state of Oregon have been written before and the field ably covered in a general way. But this, the latest work of the kind, goes more deeply into county detail and contains some features that have never before been presented to the public. For instance the two portraits of the Indian pilgrims to St. Louis in search of the ‘White Man’s Book,’ were procured by us from the Smithsonian Institute, and we believe they have never before been reproduced in any history. Their arduous journey, from a historical viewpoint, forms one of the most romantic episodes in the story of the old and famous Territory of Oregon.
  • Utah: History of Utah — 1890 — In the history of Utah we come upon a new series of social phenomena, whose multiformity and unconventionality awaken the liveliest interest. We find ourselves at once outside the beaten track of conquest for gold and glory; of wholesale robberies and human slaughters for the love of Christ; of encomiendas, repartimientos, serfdoms, or other species of civilized imposition; of missionary invasion resulting in certain death to the aborigines, but in broad acres and well filled storehouses for the men of practical piety; of emigration for rich and cheap lands, or for colonization and empire alone; nor have we here a hurried scramble for wealth, or a corporation for the management of a game preserve. There is the charm of novelty about the present subject, if no other; for in our analyses of human progress we never tire of watching the behavior of various elements under various conditions.

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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Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties

The Pioneer History of Coos and Curry Counties (Oregon) by Orvil Dodge is now searchable within Accessible Archives. This volume can be found in American County Histories: The West. The West includes local histories from Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. This collection is under active development and is growing quickly.

About the Author

This pioneer historian (Orvil Dodge) had an interesting and colorful life. He was born January 5, 1839, at Gerard, Pennsylvania. His mother, Deborah, died when he was two years old; his father, Norman, soon remarried. When he was five, Orvil moved to the home of his uncle, David Dodge, only to return to his father’s new home in Portage County, Ohio, a year later. In 1850, William Press, his grandfather, visited the family and took Orvil with him to Point Peter, New York. At age sixteen, Dodge journeyed to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he became a stage driver. After a severe bout with malaria, he located in Sycamore, Illinois, where he married Alice Walrod.

Orvil and his wife crossed the continent to California by mule and horse team in 1860. They settled on the upper Sacramento River where Dodge operated a sawmill. Within three months the Indians in that region swept through the country, burning Dodge’s mill and his lumber piles. Discouraged but undaunted, Orvil moved on to Oregon, locating in Jackson County where he planned to become a gold miner.

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Ann Bailey

Mad Anne Bailey

Ann Bailey, one of the most picturesque characters in American border history, was known as “Mad Ann,” because of her waspish temper. Her maiden name was Dennis, and she was a native of Liverpool, England. Like many other persons of her time, she came to Virginia as an indentured servant, and paid the cost of her passage across the Atlantic by being bound into servitude for several years. During this period in her life she was at Staunton.

At the age of twenty-three she married James Trotter, who was killed nine years later in the battle of Point Pleasant. William Trotter, her only child, was born near the present village of Barber in 1767.

After Trotter was killed the widow resolved to avenge his death. She left her boy with Mrs. Moses Mann, put on masculine apparel, and became a hunter and scout. She rode a black horse that she called “Pool,” an abbreviation of Liverpool. Her other horse she named “Jennie Mann.”

It is said of Ann Bailey that she put more than one Indian out of the way. On one occasion her lead horse was stolen from her.

Source: A Centennial History of Alleghany County Virginia.

This chapter would not be complete without some mention of that eccentric and masculine woman, known to American border history as Mad Ann Bailey. She was given this name because of her irascible Welsh temper. Her maiden name was Dennis, and she was a native of Liverpool. She came to Staunton at the age of 13, and ten years later wedded James Trotter, who was killed at Point Pleasant. The pair had a son named William, who was born in 1767.

Ann Bailey left her child with Mrs. Moses Mann, a near neighbor, put on masculine apparel, and for several years was a hunter and scout. One of her reasons for adopting such an unfeminine career was to avenge the death of her husband. According to tradition she took more than one scalp.

Her most famous exploit was her relief of Fort Lee, which stood where the city of Charleston, West Virginia, afterward arose. The stockade was besieged by Indians, the powder gave out, and it was very dangerous for a courier to get past the assailants. But Mad Ann volunteered, rode swiftly on her horse “Liverpool” to Fort Union–now Lewisburg,–and came back with an extra horse with a fresh supply of powder. This was in 1791, when she was 49 years of age.

For a year or so, she lived in a hut on Mad Ann’s Ridge, on the south side of Falling Spring Run. On one occasion her black horse went on to Mann’s without his rider. A party from the stockade went out to follow the trail, and located Mad Ann by airholes in the snow. She had failed asleep, either from liquor or drowsiness.

According to Ann Royall, who knew her in her old age, she could both drink and swear.

Source: Annals of Bath County Virginia

More recent references spell her name as Anne instead of Ann. The Anne Bailey Elementary School in St. Albans, West Virginia, is named for “Mad Anne” Bailey as is the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Charleston, West Virginia and a lookout tower in Watoga State Park.

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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