Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial

Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery Memorial

A presentation by Fran Bromberg about the creation, forgetting, and rededication of the cemetery on South Washington Street

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Steamboats Across the Potomac

Steamboats Across the Potomac

Fortunately, a much calmer boat ride to Nats Park from the Alexandria waterfront last week than in October 1862.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

New York City: Work, Play, and Inspiration

New York City: Work, Play, and Inspiration

A trip to New York to learn about biography-writing and work on my next project!

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

The Black Military Experience in the Civil War

The Black Military Experience in the Civil War

A fascinating talk by Leslie Rowland, director of the Freedmen & Southern Society Project, on the Black Military Experience during the Civil War—drawn from National Archives documents.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Talking about Writing with Pamela Toler, Author of Women Warriors

Talking about Writing with Pamela Toler, Author of Women Warriors

Pamela Toler, author of Women Warriors, explains how she organized research that spanned epochs, continents, and personalities.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Soldiers' Graffiti (and Julia Wilbur) at Historic Blenheim

Soldiers' Graffiti (and Julia Wilbur) at Historic Blenheim

Stories behind Civil War graffiti at Historic Blenheim in Fairfax, VA.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Slave Inventory Database in Fairfax County: Crossing the 1870 Gap

Slave Inventory Database in Fairfax County: Crossing the 1870 Gap

What Maddy McCoy and others learned when they went page by page through more than a century of Fairfax County paperwork.

Read More
2 Comments
Print Friendly and PDF

Civil War Photography and Beyond

Civil War Photography and Beyond

Learning about Civil War photography from Dean DeRosa and Bob Zeller.

Read More

Friends of Alexandria Archaeology

Friends of Alexandria Archaeology

Alexandria Archaeology held a reception and model unveiling on Saturday night.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Moving Day in the 19th Century

Moving Day in the 19th Century

My son’s recent move (his 4th in 4 years) made me think about moving in the 1800s.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Esther Bubley's Tomball Photos

Esther Bubley's Tomball Photos

Esther Bubley took photographs of Tomball, Texas, in 1945. I visited a different Tomball last week.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

DC Writers' Homes: Who Slept (and Wrote) Here?

DC Writers' Homes: Who Slept (and Wrote) Here?

What do Langston Hughes, Myrna Loy, and Blanca Verala have in common? They all lived in D.C., as did hundreds more writers you do and do not already know.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Gordon Parks: Exhibit at the National Gallery

Gordon Parks: Exhibit at the National Gallery

A National Gallery exhibit shows the early career of photographer Gordon Parks.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Mid-term Elections...of 1862

As we prepare to vote in the 2018 mid-terms, I looked back to 1862’s election.

The House of Representatives had about 245 members after secession. The Republicans maintained their majority, but lost 22 seats. The speaker of the House—Galusha Grow, from Pennsylvania—was one of the men who lost re-election.

State legislatures elected Senators until 1917. The Senate after secession had 49 members; the Republicans gained three seats.

What did this mean for Lincoln and his policies? Dissatisfaction with the war loomed large. The Battle of Antietam had happened in September 1862; many people had read about or seen the photographs that made the deaths all too real. The President had released his Emancipation Proclamation to go into effect on January 1, 1863.

According to an article by Catherine Whittenberg in Civil War Magazine:

Much like the Battle of Antietam, the midterm elections offered no one a clear-cut victory. On the one hand, Democrats won the governorships of New York and New Jersey, legislative majorities in New Jersey, Indiana and Illinois, and gained 28 seats in the U.S. House. “That the election was a serious Administration reverse nobody ever doubted,” historian Allan Nevins wrote, calling the results “a vote of no confidence.” Under a parliamentary system, he noted, Lincoln’s administration would have been compelled to resign.

But historian James McPherson has argued that while the 1862 elections may have been something of a rebuke, they were hardly an overwhelming censure. The party of Lincoln had managed to hold on to all but two of 18 governorships, and to legislative majorities in all but three states. The Republicans gained seats in the Senate and kept a majority in the House “after experiencing the smallest net loss of House seats in twenty years—indeed the only time in those two decades that the party in power retained control of the House.”

“Peace Democrats”—also known more disparagingly as Copperheads—made gains, which would cause problems for Lincoln. In New York, Indiana, and New Jersey, Democrats won races for governor.

Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Lincoln's Generals' Wives: A Conversation with Candice Shy Hooper

Lincoln's Generals' Wives: A Conversation with Candice Shy Hooper

One great benefit in writing about Julia Wilbur has been talking with other authors about their biographies. Such as—Candice Shy Hooper, author of Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives.

Read More

A Feisty Civil War Nurse at the Lyceum

A Feisty Civil War Nurse at the Lyceum

Researcher John Lustrea shared tales of Clarissa (“Clara”) Jones, whose Civil War nursing service included time at the Lyceum in Alexandria, Va.

Read More

Turning Your Idea into a Book...or Something Else

Turning Your Idea into a Book...or Something Else

Here’s a short hand-out that I used at a writing-for-publication workshop last week.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

Caregiving in the 1800s

Caregiving in the 1800s

Julia Wilbur and other “dutiful daughters” (and nieces, aunts, et al.) often had their hands full.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

The First Independence Day after the End of the Civil War

The First Independence Day after the End of the Civil War

Here’s how Julia Wilbur—and finally liberated African Americans—celebrated July 4, 1865, in Washington, DC.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF

"What an Immense City": Julia Wilbur Visits New York in July 1863

"What an Immense City": Julia Wilbur Visits New York in July 1863

Julia Wilbur does New York City--July 1863, right before the Draft Riots. I follow her footsteps in 2018.

Read More
Comment
Print Friendly and PDF