Thursday, July 20, 2017

Governor Rutherford B. Hayes and the Lincoln and Soldiers Monument at the Ohio Statehouse

Guest Post by
David Boling, Ohio Statehouse Tour Guide

In early January,1872  Rutherford B. Hayes was completing his term as Ohio's governor. He wrote in his diary a list of what he believed were his most important acts of legislation and accomplishments since coming into office in 1868. Nestled between the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and creation of an ''Asylum for the Inebriate"  in Mansfield, he lists item number 12,   The Lincoln Memorial - T. D. Jones (See Diary entry, January 9, 1872)


What memorial to Lincoln? Where is it? Does it still exist? What role did Governor Hayes have in its creation? Perhaps most important why was this so important to Governor Hayes?

I am a tour guide at the Ohio Statehouse. On our daily tours of the Ohio Statehouse, one of our stops in the Rotunda is a large marble tableau (pictured below) that honors Abraham Lincoln and the soldiers who fought at the battle of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863.





Standing 14 feet tall, from floor to the top of the bust of Abraham Lincoln, the Lincoln and Soldiers Monument stands in the same spot as it did when it was dedicated on the evening of January 19, 1871. The dedication itself was quite the event, Here is how it was described in the Cincinnati Enquirer the next day. 
                                                                            

'An immense crowd attended the unveiling, music by the Quintet Choir of First Presbyterian Church was magnificent. Governor Hayes presided. Mr. Galloway, representing the Association spoke first, followed by General William H. Enochs of the House and General Durbin Ward of the Senate. When Mr. Jones unveiled the monument, the crowd gave unequivocal demonstrations of applause.'

'
Governor Hayes presided. As chairman of the Ohio Monument Association, the contracting agent for the memorial. As governor and as a veteran he would have been within his rights to give his own speech, but as Hayes writes the next day in his diary, he chose 'a meritorious thing'.


January 20, 1871, -- I did an unusual, and, I think, a meritorious, thing last night, Tom Jones' memorial to Lincoln and the Ohio Soldiers was to be inaugurated in the rotunda of the Capitol. I presided, I had a fairish little opening speech, which with my good lungs I could make go off well.  But there were three speakers to give addresses. I knew that the little, pretty, pet things to be said were not numerous, and that my speech would more or less interfere with the success of theirs. I accordingly swallowed my speech and introduced the various actors without an extra word. Who has beaten this? 


The Speech I Didn't Make 
Fellow Citizens: -- We have assembled this evening to witness the inauguration, the unveiling of the Memorial -- the work of an Ohio sculptor, Thomas D. Jones, of Cincinnati -- placed here in the rotunda of the State House,  to remain, we trust, as long as the building itself shall stand in honor of the brave sons of Ohio who in more than a thousand conflicts on land and water poured out their lives for Liberty and Union; and in honor also of him who "strove for the fight as God gave him to see the right," and who "with charity for all and malice towards none," "Ascended Fame's ladder so high from the round at the top he stepped in the sky.  


The Lincoln and Soldiers Monument stands in the southeast niche of the Statehouse  Rotunda where it was originally placed, although it was moved to other locations, and the monument and bust were displayed removed and stored for some time. Starting at the top of the 14-foot monument, there stands a bust of Lincoln, done by T.D. Jones in Springfield, Illinois, during the winter months of 1861 after Lincoln's election, but before his inauguration in March. It is one of five known to be in existence for which Lincoln sat. .
 
The surrender of the Confederate army at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 fills the center tableau (shown below) of the monument.  On the left, General John S. Bowen, Colonel M. C. Montgomery and General John C. Pemberton, who is seen handing over a list of his troops to General Ulysses S. Grant. Standing next to Grant on the right, is General James B. McPherson and General William T. Sherman. All three of the Union generals were from Ohio. On each side there is an orderly holding the reins of a horse to honor all those on both sides who had served.



Just below this scene is a quote from Lincoln's second inaugural address, "Care for him who shall borne the battle and for his widow and his orphans." Use of the words appear to have been a compromise as Governor Hayes had written to his Uncle Sardis Birchard on February 3,1868 that not enough money had been collected to include the 'uprising of the people when Fort Sumter was taken.'



Personally, I think the words are a better choice for they cause us to pause and remember the more than 620,000 Americans, from the North and the South, who lost their lives in the Civil War, and especially the 35,475 who were from Ohio.

The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus offers free tours of the capitol building and of the grounds during the summer. Open seven days a week, I hope you will come and view the monument yourself and learn more about 'the people's house.'



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Captain Charles L. Hudson, 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and 4th U. S. Cavalry


Charles L. Hudson
72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry
4th U. S. Cavalry



Army and Navy Journal
March 7, 1874

Lieutenant Charles L. Hudson was born in Brantford, Canada West, January 17, 1843.  In 1859 his parents moved to Ohio,  first settling in Huron County, but two years later making their permanent residence near the beautiful village of Clyde. In 1861, Colonel Eaton, recruiting a company for the Seventy-second Ohio, found young Hudson, yet but a boy, at work in a corn field and without any difficulty secured him for his command. "He proved at once a worthy and brave soldier.  His intelligent performance of duty and faultless conduct in camp and in the field made him a favorite with officers and men and step by step he ascended in rank from his original position as private.  In 1864, he was made adjutant of the regiment which position with the rank of first lieutenant, he held till the end of the war, when he was commissioned a captain.  

.                                                                              
Inscribed Sword Presented to Charles L. Hudson by his 72nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Comrades
(privately owned)
                                                                           


He was in nearly every engagement with his corps, and wounded at Shiloh in the hip, and a second time very seriously at Tupelo, Mississippi, a musket ball entering below the waist in the abdomen, and after passing half round the body, lodging near the backbone.  

After the war Hudson’s original idea was to study medicine, but in 1866 he was persuaded to adventure as a cotton planter in Louisiana. This enterprise proving disastrous, he returned to Clyde, when the summer of 1867 found him a law student. 
                                                                            

                   
     National Cemetery San Antonio. Texas

In December of that year, through the influence of appreciative friends, he was commissioned second lieutenant in the U. S. Army and assigned to the Fifteenth Infantry, joining his regiment at Mobile in January, 1868. He was shortly assigned to the Fourth Cavalry, promoted to first lieutenant and breveted captain. For three years, the headquarters of the command was at Fort Clark, and it is hardly necessary to suggest that a company thus located, which accompanied Colonel McKinzie [ Randall McKenzie] in his famous raid ‘over the border’ and was in the successful expedition of December last, against the Indians has seen pretty trying and constant service.

On the morning the 4th of January, just returned from a fight with the Comanches and resting from his fatigue, Lieutenant Hudson received his death wound from the accidental discharge of a Winchester carbine, dropping from the hands of Lieutenant Tyler. The ball entered the body a little below the third rib in the back of the left side, and passed through the cavity of the abdomen ranging downward and passing out on the right side of the stomach.  He lived till the 5th, at dark, conscious and suffering very little. He received every attention from his comrades, officers and men hoping almost against hope that the wound might not prove fatal, but about noon, it becoming evident that death must be the result, he was able to give an hour  to such partial arrangements of his affairs as one almost in extremis but retaining his mental faculties, is capable of.  

A friend writes, with true “soldierly pathos” he full realized that he was dying and went down to the brink of the dark river with the same calm composure that he had so often shown when death shots were falling thick and fast. The message which reached his widowed mother in far off Ohio, at noon, of ‘Charley’s’ successful skirmish with the Indians, was followed the same afternoon by a telegram announcing his death.

The friend to whom we are indebted for the foregoing details adds: “No words of encomium could ever rate the many excellent qualities of Captain Hudson. I knew him long and well, and do not believe he had an enemy. He was brave, generous, and just. As a soldier few equaled him. It is not too much to say, that in the Army and at home, he was universally respected and beloved. As an Indian fighter and leader of cavalry, Hudson was the  Bayard of the Border, not more popular with his command than idolized by the frontiersmen.  

General Sherman had recommended him for promotion shortly previous to his sad taking off. The body of Hudson was embalmed and laid in the National Cemetery at San Antonio,Texas.  Economy and retrenchment just now do not recognize the value of a soldier’s life, and it is hardly strange that they refuse to pay the usual respect to his remains. Thus the department was forced to respond to the request of one of Captain Hudson’s friends, to have his body forwarded to the little Ohio hamlet, whence some of the States’ best soldiers went to the war, and where McPherson’s remains were buried, ‘I am compelled to return a negative answer to your request.’






Thursday, June 15, 2017

General Ralph P. Buckland at Vicksburg

The 4th of July 1863, marked the culmination  of the long land and naval campaign by the Union forces to capture the key strategic position of the Civil War - Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. President Abraham Lincoln stated that "Vicksburg is the key, the war can never come to a close until the key is in our pocket." Capturing Vicksburg severed the Confederacy and opened the river to Union traffic along its entire length. Brigadier General Ralph Buckland commanded Tuttle's First Brigade made up of the 114th Illinois, 93rd Indiana, 72nd Ohio, and 95th Ohio. 
Ohio decided that instead of a single monument devoted to all of the Ohio veterans who fought at Vicksburg, it would erect a monument to each of its 39 generals. This brochure, created in 1912, was used to solicit funds from veterans for a monument for General Buckland at Vicksburg Military Park's Union Avenue . 


General Ralph P. Buckland Monument at Vicksburg as it appears today


Vicksburg Battlefield as it appears today

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Huntington Family Members Research Their Ancestor's Collection


Mr. and Mrs. William Huntington, Jr. of Maryland joined their cousin Sally Sparhawk of Colorado for a day's research of the papers of their  mutual ancestor Dwight Huntington, lawyer, artist, editor, and wildlife conservationist. Some of Dwight's correspondence, photographs, and watercolor landscapes are a part of the George Buckland Collection. (George Buckland, originally of Fremont, Ohio married Huntington's sister.) 

In 1898, the Cincinnati Sportsman’s Society published In Brush, Sedge, and Stubble: A Picture Book of the Shooting Fields and Feathered Game of North America. It was to be the first of many books Huntington would write and illustrate on wildlife conservation.





Huntington gave up the legal profession in 1900. Passionate about nature and wildlife conservation, he moved to New York and became editor of the Amateur Sportsman and the Game Breeder Magazine. .

Huntington wrote the nation’s first game breeding bill. With the assistance of Franklin D. Roosevelt, then head of New York’s Forest, Fish, and Game Commission, his bill became law in 1912. 


Sally and Bill were so pleased to learn that much of Dwight's material is preserved at the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums that they decided to donate two additional watercolors by Huntington and the galleys to In Brush, Sedge, and Stubble.  


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Fremont, Ohio High School Graduating Class of 1869

Fremont, Ohio High School Graduating Class of 1869

Charlotte Fenimore, Julia E. Ashley, Sophia E. Culbert, Lillie Everett, Irene Newcomer, Lucy Rumbaugh

Charlotte Fenimore, the young girl seated on the far left,  is the only individual identified.   


Friday, April 7, 2017

S/Sgt Arthur Claypool's World War II Service

S/Sgt. Arthur E. Claypool




S/Sgt. Arthur E Claypool was born in Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He was drafted into the US Army 23 December 1942. He went to Fort George G Meade Jan 1 to Jan 4, Miami Beach Jan 6 to Feb 6, Lincoln Air base Nebraska Feb 7 to July 2, Chanute Field Illinois July 3 to Aug 24, then to Boeing
Aircraft Factory Seattle, Washington Aug 27 to Nov 1, 1943. In February 1944 he was transferred to Clovis Army Airforce Base in New Mexico. There he began training on the B-17F bomber. He later trained on the B-29 bomber in June 1944. In August 1944 he was assigned to Army Airforce base in Herrington, Kansas and then transferred to Morrison Field for more training on the B-29 bomber. On September 1944 he was assigned to Left Machine Gunner on the B-29 bomber. October 1944 he was transferred to Twentieth Air Force, 58 Bomber Command, 40 Bomb Group, 45 Bomb Squadron APO 631 CBI Theater of War (China-Burma-India).
Combat Operations began in October 1944 from a B-29 Air Base in Hsinching, China. Combat Operations ran from September 1944 till March 1945. On November 21, 1944, during S.Sgt Claypool's third mission, he and nine other crew members bailed out when their aircraft suffered mechanical malfunctions due to battle damage. The crew's bombardier was killed in action. Notifying by radio to a nearby base, the crew was soon rescued. The Chinese, living in the area, were helpful in the rescue. On April 1945, the 45 Bomb Squadron was transferred to Tinian Island APO 247 in the Marianna Islands. Combat Operations continued until August 14, 1945. Tinian Island is historically important because the 2 Atomic Bombs were dropped on Japan from this Island. On 25 October 1945 S/Sgt Arthur E Claypool was separated from the US Army Airforce at Wright-Patterson Field in Dayton, Ohio.
S/Sgt Arthur Claypool married his wife Doris Schwartz in Clovis, New Mexico 4 April, 1944. They met by reading an interesting letter an Army buddy was reading. Letters back and forth between Clovis, New Mexico and Detroit, Michigan resulted in their marriage. Following his service, S/Sgt. Claypool and wife Doris moved to Helena, Ohio where he raised a family of three sons. He worked at the National Carbon Company in Fremont, Ohio from which he retired in 1980. Biographical information and service record were provided by S/Sgt. Claypool’s eldest son Ron Claypool of Helena.




THE CREW OF THE SNAFUPER BOMBER
 1/Lt JAMES COWDEN; Leland Jones; Floyd Steiner; Ira B. Redmon; Leonard Koenig; E.L. Austin;
William Salmon; Ray Adamson; Michael Shebak; Edward Bronson; Glen Voris; Sgt Arthur Claypool  lCC-
#275 B-29 Bomber Bailed out after bombing OMURA, JAPAN


S/Sgt. Arthur Claypool, performing maintenance on Snafuper Bomber #275, the aircraft which suffered mechanical malfunction due to battle damage on November 21, 1944.
S/Sgt Arthur Claypool and wife Doris Schwartz Claypool

S.Sgt Claypool served as left machine gunner on this plane for 22 his bombing missions. 
 S/Sgt Arthur E Claypool SN 33416992 list of B-29 bombing raids against           Japan WW II; 40th Bombardment Group (VH), 45th Bombardment Squad

S/Sgt Arthur E. Claypool left the USA on Aug. 17, 1944 and arrived in India Sept. 23, 1944 for assignment to B-29 base (A-1) Hsingching, China. Listed with the bombing raids are the planes he flew in by number. The first B-29 was Snafuper Bomber # 275 which crashed in China after being damaged over Omura, Japan. The crew bailed out with one man killed in action. In April 1945 S/Sgt Claypool's Unit was transferred to TINIAN island.
                         (1944)
1. Mission-Formosa Oct 14 B-29 # 275 1100 hours
2. Mission-Formosa Oct 17 B-29 # 275 1040 hours
3. Mission-Omura Japan Nov 21 B-29 # 275 1625 hours (Plane crashed in China from battle damage)
4. Mission-Omura Japan Dec 19 B-29 # 739 1400 hours
5. Mission-Mudken Manchuria Dec 21 B-29 # 739 1200 hours
                         (1945)
6. Mission-Omura Japan Jan 6 B-29 # 739 1400 hours
7. Mission-Singapore Malaya Jan 11 B-29 # 407 1730 hours
8. Mission-Formosa Jan 14 B-29 # 739 1130 hours
9. Mission-Formosa Jan 17 B-29 # 739 1030 hours
10. Mission-Singapore Malaya Feb 24 B-29 # 739 1645 hours
11. Mission-Rangoon Burma March 22 B-29 # 739 1225 hours
12. Mission-Singapore Malaya (night raid) March 30 B-29 # 579 1850 hours
13. Mission-Kure Japan May 5 B-29 # 739 1625 hours
14. Mission-Tokoyama Japan May 10 B-29 # 739
15. Mission-Nagoya Japan May 14 B-29 # 085
16. Mission-Tokyo Japan (night raid) May 24 B-29 # 555
17. Mission-Kasumiguara Seaplane Station (Japan) June 10 B-29 # 739
18. Mission-Osaka Japan June 15 B-29 # 739
19. Mission-Toyahashi Japan (night raid) June 20 B-29 # 739
20. Mission-Kagamigahara Japan (Mitsubishi Aircraft Plant) June 26 B-29 # 739
21. Mission-Yokohama Japan (night raid) June 29 B-29 # 739
22. Mission-Kure Japan (night raid) July 2 B-29 # 739
23. Mission-Takamatsu Japan (night raid) July 4 B-29 # 739
24. Mission-Sendai Japan (night raid) July10 B-29 # 739
25. Mission-Osaka Japan July 24 B-29 # 739
26. Mission-Tsu Japan (night raid) July 29 B-29 # 739
27. Mission-Hachieji Japan (night raid) Aug 2 B-29 # 739
28. Mission-Tokoyawa Japan Aug 7 B-29 # 739
29. Mission-Hikari Naval Arsenal (Honshu Island) Japan Aug 14 B-29 # 739

Honorable Discharge Papers of S/Sgt Arthur Claypool
S'Sgt Claypool's squadron flew over the battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945 during the signing of the Japanese surrender 
S/Sgt. Claypool's last bombing mission on August 14, 1945 on the Hikari Naval Arsenal. This was the day the Japanese surrendered. 

Chinese puppy lying on a 500 pound bomb

S/Sgt. Claypool bailed out of this Snafuper bomber (#275) due to malfunction caused by battle damage. Captain Coden piloted this bomber. 

Crew members saying farewell to Captain Cowden as he was being re-assigned. (Cowden stands second from left.)

Aerial View of B-29 Air Base located in Hsinching, China






Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Alys McKey-Bryant: Female Aviator, Deep Sea Diver, and Barrier Breaker

Alys McKey Bryant and Ottomer Savanack: Taken at Battery Park in Sandusky as the two  work on Tom Benoist's Flying Boat 106
Charles E. Frohman Collection
A woman once called a "Jack of all trades and master of none" by her mother, Alys McKey-Bryant wound up trailblazing her way into the history books thanks to her passion for aviation and her reckless abandon for the gender norms of her time. Her response to her mother, "Well perhaps it is good... to be able to do several things, for then one is never out of a job." It was a testament to the life she lived and the legacy she left behind. 

In 1912, Bryant was living in California and spending her time rebuilding a Curtiss-type pusher aircraft and teaching herself to fly. By the summer of the following year, she made history as the first female to fly in Canada when she took off at Minoru Park, Vancouver, on July 31, 1913. That year, she also barnstormed in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  

John Milton Bryant came into Alys' life early in her flying career. It was he who signed Alys as a barnstormer pilot. But within ten short weeks of their marriage, Alys became a widow. Days after Alys' historic Canadian flight, John lost his life while flying an exhibition at Victoria on August 6, 1913.  

Within three years of rebuilding her plane and learning to fly, Alys McKey-Bryant found work as an aircraft mechanic in 1915. This is also the year she met Tom Benoist, who would soon become both her employer and close friend. Benoist had opened The Benoist Airplane Company in Sandusky, Ohio. Alys became Benoist's factory supervisor, mechanic, and flight instructor. Two of her responsibilities were building aircraft and training students for military service as airmen. Their friendship was short-lived, however, as Benoist lost his life in a freak accident as he stepped off the local street car in June of 1917.  After his death, classes were suspended and the factory shut down, leaving Bryant to sort through all of the drawings, patent records, and office files for the now defunct company. 
Alys McKey Bryant and Elmer Straub stand before Benoist Flying Boat 106. and Benoist Aviation  students: Reinhardt Ausmus, George Thompson, Marian Baily, Horace Leper, George Lites, Otis Kline, Brubaker, Ottomer Savanack, Verne Carter at Battery Park, Sandusky, Ohio
Charles E. Frohman Collection
Bryant penned an unpublished manuscript, Born With Wings, which provided insight into her personal life, as well as her time at what had come to be affectionately referred to as "the Benoistery." The stories she shared about her work, the students, and their leader painted a picture of a man who was idolized by those fortunate enough to learn from him and who left a hole the size of a crater in his wake. 

She also spoke of a plane she spent time designing and building during the winters when Lake Erie was frozen and flying was not possible. Although this "pursuit style" aircraft made it as far as partial fabrication. it was ultimately never finished. 

Charles E. Frohman Collection
Staying true to her "jack of all trades" philosophy, she had interests in fields involving land, air, and sea. A business card advertises her services as both an aviator and a deep sea diver, but her love for the air ran the deepest, and it also garnered the majority of her recognition. 

During the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of her historic flight in Canada, Bryant stated that, "Although WINGS have given me everything--and have taken from me-- everything but my own life--my love for them has never diminished and now my one thought--one prayer-- is that WINGS may be used--NOT for destruction, but for making more friendly and understanding relations between the nations of the earth."

Guest Post by Amber Lewis, Archival Intern Hayes Presidential Library and Museums




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Teddy and Taft Campaigning in Ohio

This photograph  was taken in Fremont, Ohio in May 1912 while William Howard Taft was standing on the Sandusky County Courthouse steps campaigning for President.


Known as a bellwether state, Ohio has been the scene of numerous political showdowns in the race for the presidency. Perhaps none excited residents more than the primary campaign of 1912. Fighting for his political life, President William Howard Taft set out on a week long campaign tour through his native state to battle his one-time friend and mentor ex-president Teddy Roosevelt. It was the first time a sitting president had campaigned during the primaries. Both men needed Ohio’s delegates to win the Republican Party’s nomination at the upcoming convention.
\This photograph is of Teddy Roosevelt campaigning in Fremont, Ohio, for Vice President twelve years earlier. The date was October, 18, 1900. Beside him is T. P. Dewey of Clyde, Ohio, who was a candidate for Congress. This photograph was donated by Thomas F. Dewey, Jr. in 1991. 

As Taft’s train steamed into Ohio on the 13th of May, Roosevelt was only hours behind. Thrilled at the prospect of so much attention, Ohioans along the campaign route quickly constructed makeshift speaker platforms, flew flags, decorated their homes and businesses, and organized bands and parades. With factories and schools closed, excitement reigned as thousands waited for the chance to see President Taft and the dynamic Teddy Roosevelt.

Roosevelt was on the attack from the moment the "Teddy Special" rolled across the state line, but he resisted calling the Ohio-born president a "fathead" as he had earlier in the campaign. When the platform collapsed just before his arrival in Marion, Ohio, Roosevelt climbed atop a freight car to speak to cheering crowds. In Sandusky, Ackley’s Band greeted Roosevelt’s train at the foot of the Columbus Avenue dock. Women and children, who made up more than half of the crowd, scrambled to catch "Teddy buttons" and candy tossed from the train.

At several stops, Taft’s train pulled away while he was in mid-sentence. At the State Theater in Sandusky, the president literally begged his fellow Ohioans for their votes. After 15 more speeches, the president grew so hoarse that he could barely utter a word. But Taft struggled on, traveling more than 3,000 miles before ending his campaign a day before the election.

As the returns rolled in, it quickly became apparent that Taft had lost the battle. Ohioans had turned their backs on their native son, presenting a grateful Roosevelt with a landslide victory. But in the end, Taft controlled Ohio’s state convention and that of nearly every other state, giving him enough delegates to win the Republican nomination. Furious at Republican Party bosses, Roosevelt bolted the party and made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency as an independent on the Bull Moose ticket.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Dr. John W. Jones and the American Colonization Society


Home of Dr. John W. Jones, Shelby County, Ohio


The letters below were written to the American Colonization Society by Dr. John W. Jones, ancestor of  Charles Weiker, who provided the photograph of Dr. Jones' home in Shelby County.  According to Dr. Jones' letters, written in the early 1850s, he wanted to learn more about the organization and Liberia through its publication "The African Repository."

He states that he moved from Tennessee to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1834. He moved to Mercer County and then to Shelby County around 1838. He correctly believed that "the two races could not dell [sp] together much longer, apon [sp] one soil." Only eight years later the United States would be at war. 


The American Colonization Society existed until after the Civil War. The organization worked with the United States government to transport approximately 12,000 African Americans to Liberia. 



May 24, 1853

Dear Sir. I will now give you some information, abought my self and family. I am a colered man with one fourth of African blood, and my wife is about the same. I move from the state of Tenessee, in the year 1824 to the city of Cincinnati and live there ten years and move one hundred miles north in mercer county fuour years, sence then I move to Shelby county wher I now reside at present. We have six children four sons and two daughters my childen lives most of them in Cincinnati and are apose to going to Liberia and I am sorry for it. I have ben in the notion of going to Liberia for a few years past but, I have ben in debt So I could not go. If I could sell my little farm and pay my debts, my children wil come and see me this sommer if they can, and we will try to come on soam understanding, abought it. Please send me, the pamphlet containing abought going to Liberia and a few of the Liberia newspapers if you can. If I can sell my land and git some of my children to go with with me I want to go some time next year or the year, after. If the Lord is willen. Please to answer this letter, as soon as you can. I am a doing a great deale of good and have done, with the pamphlets.

Please excuse my orthographey.                                                                                 Dr. J.W. Jones


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May 24th – 1853. Shelby County Ohio

John. W. Jones, to the Rev. W. Mclain.

Dear Sir. Some good friend a few years past sent me the African repository but it discontinued, in the year, 1851. I rote to Mr. D. Crista to have it sent to me and write to me and I would send him the money I got no anser from him. Last winter I herd that ther was some pamphlets in the post office for me, and I went and got two numbers befour January 1853. And they have come monthly sence. I wated for a letter from, Mr. D. Crista to know if he had paid for the year, I got no letter from him, so I thought he had not paid for them. I now sir send you two dollars, on the State bank of Ohio. I wanted for the post master to put it in and back this letter to you. And you can rite to me when to send you some more money. I wish for you to write my name, Dr. J.W. Jones, it is the name I am known by. I am indian doctor or botinast.
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Dear Sir I have ben taking some notice of the American Colonization Society ever sence its formation, and think it riseing and importence, and one of the greatest blessings for the colored people in the united states of America, if they did, but think so but the most of them have and are blinded to their best intrust to the present day. By listing to a socitey of people, that is not their true frinds, but is dying away very fast. Our people is very ignert abougt Liberia and the goodness of the county, So I make a great allowance for them. For a very few of them can read or take news papers or the repository, to inform them selves. Very few of them are aware that the government is a making, any priperation to send them to Liberia, for they are astonuous, to hear that the different states are pasing sick streous laws as to prohibit them from going into any of the free states and settle. I do believe that the two races of people cannot dell to geather much longer, apon one soil, a greable to the bible. For the gospel must be prached to all, the nations of the earth be four the end of time. And who is better calculated to bear the glad tidings of the gosple to Africa then the colered people of the united states of America, with their own concent. All they want I think is information on the subject and let each state tell them planly to make a priperation for moving some where, out of this country.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Winter of 1912 in Fremont, Ohio



These photos were taken in Fremont, Ohio during the winter of 1912. Handling heavy snowfalls was much more difficult for residents who lacked the heavy equipment we have today. Below is what must have been one of the earliest snowmobiles! Sadly, we don't know the name of the creative individual who invented this early machine. Note that it even featured a lantern for lighting the way after dark!



Friday, January 13, 2017

Letitia Frazer's Plea for Parole for Her Husband, C. W. Frazer, Prisoner on Johnson's Island




The Hayes Presidential Library and Museums Manuscripts Division holds one of the largest collections of the Civil War's Confederate Officers' Prison located on Lake Erie's Johnson's Island. The most important of these collections is that donated by the late Charles E. Frohman, who wrote "Rebels on Lake Erie."

During a recent visit, Andrews Martin of Sandusky, Ohio donated this 2-cent "Black Jack" orange cover (above) addressed to Mrs. L. S. Frazer  Sandusky O. and postmarked Mar. 8 '65 with a double circle postmark beside it. It also contains  a partial strike of the examiner's oval (initials G. F. M.)  in the corner.

As we discussed the rare cover, we believed that it was probably addressed to a relative of Confederate "Brigadier General" John W. Frazer. Frazer was the commanding officer who surrendered Cumberland Gap to General Burnside without firing a single shot. Frazer acted as a brigadier general, but after his surrender of the Cumberland Gap, his nomination was rejected by the Senate of the Confederate States. He did spend time at Johnson's Island, but was also imprisoned at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor.  

A quick check online turned up a letter in the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. It was written by Letitia Frazer who traveled to Washington, D. C. to present her letter to President Abraham Lincoln asking for a parole for her husband, Captain C. W. Frazer, who was imprisoned on Johnson's Island. The letter is not dated, but ironically it was delivered to President Lincoln in an envelope marked "From Jay Cooke and Co., Washington, D. C."

 A transcription of this letter follows. 

To His Excellency Abraham Lincoln

President of the United States

Mr. President:


My husband Capt. C. W. Frazer has been a Prisoner of War on Johnson's Island since Sept. 1863. I have followed him all through the war and when he was captured I went to Sandusky, Ohio and remained there still to be near him though I could not see him felt comforted to know that he was safe. Now the Exchange has commenced and I am almost crazy to get him out of that Army, I know of but one way I earnestly entreat the President to allow me to try it. His interests are all in the Union, his family are all loyal citizens of Memphis. They need him sorely and desire him to come home. I pray the President to give him a limited time to report at his place of exchange on his parole of honor so that I may have the opportunity to convince him that his duty is at home and to leave the Rebel Army. I know he must be exchanged when his time comes then he will be lost to me so this is my last opportunity to convert him and save my husband. I do not ask this great favor for him, but on behalf of his suffering family. 


Respectfully

Letitia Frazer

http://lincolnpapers2.dataformat.com/images/1865/02/228004.pdf





From this letter, it appears that Mrs. L. S. Frazer, was the wife of Capt. C. W. Frazer and, as she writes, followed him to Sandusky, where she was living to be near her husband, who was imprisoned on Johnson's Island.

President Lincoln gave his permission immediately. Below is a scan of a photocopy of a document found in the Roger Long Papers. Letitia Frazer was allowed an "interview" with her husband after taking the oath of allegiance. Letitia was allowed to visit once every ten days until her husband was released.




The Roger Long Papers contain much more about Frazer's service and post-war life, including this photograph of Frazer's military coat.. Frazer served as adjutant in the 5th Confederate Infantry.




Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sailor George Earl Swank of Sandusky, Ohio

This photograph of George Earl Swank in his baseball uniform is from the Joyce Zeigler Collection. George Earl Swank was the son of Mr. and  Mrs. George Swank, who were one-time residents of Fremont, Ohio, but later moved to Sandusky, Ohio.

Swank served as a midshipman for two years in the fleet that took part in 1914 in the "Tampico Affair" in Mexico. His ship was sent to protect the large number of American citizens who resided there.  When Swank returned, he signed on as a deckhand on the sand sucker Recor, one of the vessels that made up the fleet of the Kelleys Island Lime and Transport Company. On April 17, 1915, Swank lost his footing on the dock while tying up the boat. He fell into the bay, probably striking his head on the dock.  Captain Omar Myers and a a group of men pulled Swank from the water within five minutes. Sadly, despite every attempt to resuscitate him, the 25 year-old Swank passed away a short time later at Good Samaritan Hospital.