Monday, August 15, 2011

American Growth and Progress: 1820-1860

What follows is Dudeboy's first term paper. He has written many other shorter papers, but this is his first expanded work on a subject area of study. While Dr. J and I prodded him with questions and helped him expound in revisions, these are his words and ideas (however, Dr. J did type out most of it for him from his hand written pages). While some might argue some of his points, I think he should be very proud of his effort.

American Growth and Progress: 1820-1860

by Dudeboy

The changes that took place between the years 1820 and 1860 in the United States included acquiring and settling new lands, transportation, technology and social reforms. During this period the United States acquired new land through wars and treaties. As the United States territory grew, the population also expanded through immigration from Europe and Asia which contributed to western expansion into these recently acquired lands. New technologies helped shrink the time needed to communicate and travel between east and west. The time of this expansion was also the time of numerous social reforms. All these changes contributed to making the United States a world power.

In the early nineteenth century, the United States of America acquired land through the Texas Annexation, the Mexican-American War, the Gadsden Purchase, and the Oregon Treaty. The annexation of Texas was in 1846 which was ten years after the Texas war for independence. Between the years 1836 and 1846 Texas was a separate country from the United States and was called the Republic of Texas. After the Annexation of Texas there was still a border dispute between the United States and Mexico which brought about the Mexican-American War. Some people at the time thought the war was a tactic for expansion. One of these people was Frederick Douglass who said: “In our judgment, those who have all along been loudly in favor of the war, and heralding its bloody triumphs with apparent rapture, have succeeded in robbing Mexico of her territory. We are not the people to rejoice; we ought rather to blush and hang our heads for shame.” 1 The Gadsden Purchase expanded the United States after the Mexican War by buying from Mexico what is now part of Arizona and New Mexico. The Oregon Treaty was a deal between the United States of America and England that decided the northern border of the United States of America. This treaty gave land to the United States because the new border was on the 49th parallel which was higher than the original border. Acquiring all of this land greatly increased the size of the country allowing immigrants and settlers to fill it.

Difficult times led immigrants and settlers from Europe and Asia to the American west to mine for gold and work on the railroad. A potato famine in Ireland caused starvation. New factories in Germany and wars in China produced unemployment. These factors led people to seek a better life elsewhere. Tales of gold like this one published in a Norwegian newspaper drew people to the United States: “The gold we find is almost completely pure. The size of the nugget varies. In some places pieces have been found that weighed up to seven pounds.”2 Not everyone mined for gold. Some people did other jobs like working on the railroad.

Advances in communication and transportation including the Pony Express, telegraphs, clipper ships, and trains helped convey messages and people more quickly and more cheaply. The Pony Express was a fast way to transport news from east to west. But 18 months after the Pony Express started the telegraph put it out of business. The telegraph was an even faster way of communication; started in 1844, it sent news instantaneously. Clipper ships could take people and letters from Boston to San Francisco in about 89 days. The transcontinental railroad was even faster at moving news and people than the clipper ships. It took about two weeks to travel cross country by train. The painting American Progress (1872)3 depicts the importance of trains, telegraphs, stage coaches, wagon trains, and the Pony Express in the expansion of the United States of America.

During this time of expansion and technological advances there were also many great social changes including abolition, temperance, women's rights, and educational reforms. Many of these movements were intertwined. The abolitionist movement sought to end slavery through newspapers like William Lloyd Garrison's The Liberator and speeches by Fredrick Douglass and others. The temperance movement tried to end the drinking of alcohol. One key figure was Lyman Beecher (the father of Harriet Beecher Stowe) who founded the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance in 1826. Women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan Brownell Anthony worked towards the rights of women, like the vote. The Seneca Falls Declaration (1848) said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.”4 Educators like Horace Mann improved education by starting schools to train teachers, raising teachers' wages, improving the curriculum, and extending the school year.

The acquisition of this land greatly increased the size of the United States. The diversity of this country was also greatly increased due to immigration. Technological advances made travel and communication faster, easier, and cheaper. Educational improvements made it possible for more people to go to school. However, controversial issues like abolition, temperance, and women's rights were left unanswered at the end of this period. One of these conflicts led to the largest war in American history: the Civil War.

1Joy Hakim, A History of US, vol. 5, Liberty for All?, rev. 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 64.

2Hakim, 74.

3Hakim, 49.

4Hakim, 131.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Moving on up . . .

Congratulations to Dudeboy for achieving the rank of Senior Brown Belt . . .

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kingdom of Fife Film School . . . July

Here is the twelfth installment of the Kingdom of Fife Film School. These are the films Dudeboy watched during July with his ratings.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Morgan's Great Raid . . . part 4, Side Excursions

I know you are getting tired of reading about Morgan's Raid, and I am getting tired of writing about it. However, I beg your patience for one last entry. What follows are the extra-curricular activities that were needed to keep Dr. J and Dudeboy sane.

John Hunt Morgan in the Ohio State Penitentiary . . . actually, Dudeboy at Jailhouse Pizza in Brandenburg, Ky. It is located in the former jail for Meade County. Many years ago, Adonis Gorr and I wandered through the structure when it sat abandoned. It is nice to see that it has been saved. And the pizza was pretty darn good.

The grist mill at Squire Boone Caverns, which has been rebuilt on top of the original foundations laid by Squire Boone. Interesting, Morgan destroyed two other mills nearby, but this one somehow escaped detection during the raid.

One of the many formations in this very scenic cave.

Here lies what is left of Squire Boone . . . he was the brother to Dudeboy's great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother Hannah Boone.

The mill at Metamora, Indiana. Unfortunately, it was not running the day we visited.

Aboard the horse-drawn canal boat at Metamora. At one time, the canal was around 100 miles long. However, today the trip only lasts about 30 minutes or so.

This is the Duck Creek Aqueduct . . . a covered bridge that allows the canal to pass over the creek below.

We spotted this ? not far from Hanoverton, Ohio. We had to pull over and get some pictures (which do it no justice).

This thing is rigged to shoot flames out of one appendage!

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park has recreated Dupont, Indiana at the time of Morgan's Raid. Walk through the covered bridge, and you are transported back to 1863. It was a perfect way for us to end our "great raid" of Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.

From the historical marker at the real town of Dupont . . . "Confederate forces under Gen. John Hunt Morgan camped near Dupont the night of July 11. They destroyed railroad track, burned bridges, freight cars and a warehouse, and stole 2,000 hams from Mayfield's pork house."

Supposedly, when one brave (crazy), young Dupont lady cursed at the ruffians, one of them replied that "when this war is over, I will come back and marry you." Of course, the story goes that he did return to marry her.

Dudeboy at one of the interactive exhibits.

Dudeboy doing his best imitation of George "Lightning" Ellsworth.

It took awhile, but the Federals finally caught up with us . . . unlike Morgan, we were paroled and quickly returned home.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Morgan's Great Raid . . . part 3, Ohio

And rich Ohio sat startled, through all those summer days,
For strange wild men were galloping over her broad highways
Now here, now there, now seen, now gone, now north, now east, now west.
Through river valleys and corn lands, sweeping away her best.

A bold ride, and a long ride! But they were taken at last;
They almost reached the river, by riding hard and fast.
But the boys in blue were upon them, ere ever gained the ford.
And Morgan, Morgan the Raider, laid down his terrible sword!

Excerpt from the poem Kentucky Belle by Constance Fenimore Woolson

In 1860, Ohio was the third most populous state in the US (after N.Y. and Pa.) with 2,339,511 people. Cincinnati was the seventh largest city in the country with 161,044 residents (Louisville was ranked 12th with a population of 68,033). When Morgan and men crossed that street in Harrison separating Indiana and Ohio, the numbers of the opposition the raiders would encounter would be far greater than anything previously experienced. And, they were still being pursued by Hobson, Wolford, etc.

At the time of the raid, Camp Dennison was the largest military hospital in Ohio. Noted on an information plaque at the site is this admission, "In July of 1863, Morgan's Raiders passed embarrassingly close to the garrison at Camp Dennison and without any challenge burnt a locomotive and 3 coaches of the Little Miami Railroad."

Once past Cincinnati, Morgan and his men were able to relax a little bit. In Boston (now Owensville) Basil Duke encountered some of his men standing about a table covered with pies. Inquiring as to why they were not eating them, they quipped that they thought the pies might be poisoned. Duke exclaimed, "Here, hand me one." And with that, he devoured the whole thing. The rest of the pies did not last much longer. At Williamsburg, Morgan carved into this doorstep (above photo), "John Morgan, July 14, 1863, 3000 men." Unfortunately, the writing is now indistinguishable.

While in Wilkesville, Morgan stayed in this house belonging to Dr. William Cline (one of the richest men in Vinton County). Morgan hoped this was to be his last night in Ohio.

This swinging bridge is built upon the abutments of a covered bridge destroyed by Morgan's raiders in the small town of Vinton in Gallia County.

As the pressure was closing in on Morgan and his men, they had to pass through this area dubbed "the gauntlet" as they desperately tried to get to the Ohio River crossing at Buffington Island.

Just a few miles from the river crossing in Chester, Morgan propped his feet up on the railing of this house and told Stovepipe Johnson, "All our troubles are over. The river is only twenty-five miles away. Tomorrow we will be on Southern soil."

Just out of Bashan is a small cemetery where the raiders once again interfered with a funeral procession . . . except this time they took the horses and the hearse, which they filled up with the wounded. Bashan is also near the birthplace of the great Ambrose Bierce.

All roads lead to . . . Portland, Ohio and Buffington Island. At least for Morgan, his raiders, and all of those who pursued him, including the US Navy! A costly delay back at Chester caused Morgan to arrive at the river too late in the evening to cross. Another bit of unlucky timing pertained to the river itself: only two weeks earlier the water level at this point was only two feet, which would have been too shallow for the Union gunboats to aid in the conflict.

Early on the morning of July 19th, fresh Union troops under the command of Henry Judah somewhat unexpectedly found themselves attacking a part of Duke's command. Shortly thereafter Hobson and his men attacked parts of Johnson's command from the north. All the while, the Union gunboat the USS Moose arrived (later joined by the Allegheny Belle) and began harassing the few Morgan men who had begun to ford the river. Less than 50 raiders made it across before the ford was blocked by the gunboats. Morgan's only option was to escape and try to ford elsewhere. The remainder of his command of about 1,100 men (Morgan's casualties at the battle were 57 killed, 150-200 wounded, and about 750 captured) attempted another crossing about 6 miles upstream at Reedsville. About 330 raiders made it across to West Virginia (which was only admitted to the Union the month before) before the Moose forced Morgan inland once again. John Hunt Morgan himself was actually half way across the river, but he returned so as not to abandon the majority of his command who would be stranded on the Ohio side.

The prettiest photo from the trip, and it was taken by Dudeboy . . . from a moving car! The location is near Triadelphia.

This is the Helmick Mill (Island Run) Covered Bridge. One source states that "as a small band of the raiders approached Island Run, they were captured by Morgan County Militiamen." However, for us, it was a nice respite from the heat and long day of driving.

A nearby historical marker states that "Morgan's forces halted in Old Washington on the morning of July 24 for rest and provisions [read looting]. Three pursuing Union cavalry units . . . assembled on Cemetery Hill . . . and began firing on the Confederates in town. The raiders returned fire. In the exchange three Confederates were killed and several wounded." This is the grave marker for those three soldiers. Boldly stated on the marker is that Morgan "was overtaken and defeated by Federal cavalrymen." I doubt Morgan saw it that way, still he was prompted to move on in a timely fashion. His movements from Old Washington was back in the direction towards the river.

But that river crossing was not to happen. The pursuers continually checked any movement towards to the river. Under constant pursuit, Morgan's emotionally and physically exhausted men encountered Shackelford and his cavalry command here at Monroeville.

Morgan's men were pushed towards this cemetery (West Grove). Here are the graves of two of the raiders . . . John Miller and an unknown . . . "a mere boy."

Amazingly Morgan escaped yet again, but his command had now dwindled down to under 400 men. This monument outside of Salineville marks the last shots of the raid. From here, Morgan continued to flee, but the end came near West Point where his command was surrounded (by other Kentuckians, including those under the command of Wolford).

It was another Kentuckian, Major George Rue of the 9th Kentucky Calvary, who finally met up with Morgan exclaiming "General Morgan, I'm glad to see you." To which Morgan replied, "You have beat me this time. If I had to be caught, I'm glad it was by another Kentuckian." A bit of serendipity . . . unplanned, we arrived only three hours late on the actual surrender date, which was 148 years before. I didn't realize this could happen until a day or two before we left for the trip.