Tag Archives: American County Histories
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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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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Historical Reporting on the Climate of the Hawaiian or Sandwich Islands

Students and researchers will find the American County Histories a treasure trove of detailed information and recollections on weather and climate of a particular region.  Disasters that a region has suffered, especially violent storms, extended weather patterns and other natural disasters are well documented in these histories.

Explorers, missionaries, sea captains, and settlers maintained climate and weather records – to determine favorable winds, for agricultural reasons, to know when inland waterways were usable, to prepare for settlement, and more.

The excerpt below highlights observations on the climate in the Hawaiian Islands by a New England missionary and member of the American Oriental Society. His first-hand observations provide a unique look at Hawaiian weather, including temperature changes, rainfall, climatic changes in terms of elevation, Hawaiian folklore names for winds, and more.

The climate is salubrious, and possesses a remarkable evenness of temperature, so much so that the language has no word to express the general idea of weather. Remarkable changes, such as a severe storm, or long periods of rain, which on the more populous portions are of rare occurrence, only attract notice. Situated in the midst of the Pacific, the heat produced by a tropical sun is mitigated by the breezes which blow over the wide expanses of ocean, and the shores on either side show but little difference in the results of the thermometer. Physiologists give a certain point of temperature as most conducive to health and longevity. The mean heat of these islands approaches near to it, and is highly favorable to the full development and perfection of animal economy.

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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History of Adair County

A Look Inside the History of Adair County, Missouri

County histories have long formed the cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research. Encyclopedic in scope and virtually limitless in their research possibilities, they provide a wealth of information for researchers of all types as well as for general interest readers.  Our American County Histories Collection is rapidly expanding to cover the early history of all fifty states.

Take a look inside this new volume added in October 2016. This is History of Adair County: Together with Reminiscences and Biographical Sketches by E. M. Violette, Professor of History, State Normal School, Kirksville, Mo.

Preface

As the title of this work suggests, the responsibility for its contents is divided. For Part First I alone am responsible; for the other parts, I am in no wise responsible, as they were composed and edited by other hands.

When asked by the Denslow History Company a year and a half ago to write an historical sketch of Adair County, I thought I appreciated somewhat the nature of the task, and consented to do it only after giving the matter some consideration. But I did not think it would entail as much labor as it actually has. I undertook it with the avowed intention of doing my best to make the History of Adair County somewhat different from the ordinary county histories. To do that meant a great deal of investigation which may never appear to the general reader as having ever been made. While carrying on some of my investigations I was frequently advised by different ones not to spend so much time upon them, and I was frequently told that the only readers of the book would be those whose biographical sketches constitute the last part and that they would be interested only in their own biographies. It may be that the historical part will attract very few, but whether that be the case or not, I have the personal satisfaction of having endeavored to do the work thoroughly all the way through.

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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