Annual Celebratory Burn at Greenbank’s

Dave Houston and Hollis Prior are good company at the annual picnic.

Dave Hous­ton and Hol­lis Prior are good com­pany at the annual picnic.

Come join Hol­lis Prior and Dave Hous­ton on Sun­day, Jan­u­ary 12 at 1:00, to help cel­e­brate and honor the work that has been done at the his­toric park in Greenbank’s Hollow.

There will be the tra­di­tional bon­fire, burn­ing brush that has been gath­ered through­out the year (not to men­tion the extra­or­di­nary hot dogs, baked beans, mulled cider and s’mores–all free!) Hope to see you there.

Hosted by the Greenbank’s Hol­low his­toric park com­mit­tee and the Danville VT His­tor­i­cal Society.

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Celebrating a Pioneer Journey

Hertel with Jennifer (Balivet) Roper and Rob Balivet.

Her­tel with Jen­nifer (Balivet) Roper and Rob Balivet.

By Patty Conly, Danville His­tor­i­cal Society

A large and enthu­si­as­tic crowd enjoyed Autumn On (tem­porar­ily off) the Green, held on Sun­day, Octo­ber 6, despite the threat­en­ing gray skies and cool tem­per­a­tures of early Octo­ber. The weather, how­ever, was not a deter­rent for the array of craft and food ven­dors who par­tic­i­pated. Shop­pers enjoyed brows­ing and vis­it­ing with friends and neigh­bors from far and near while lis­ten­ing to an assort­ment of musi­cal groups as they per­formed for the festivities.

The Danville His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety acted as host for Mr. Her­tel Boisvert along with his grand­daugh­ter Heidi Hop­per, her hus­band and young son from Danville, Que­bec. Mr. Boisvert pro­moted his new book based on a daily travel jour­nal kept by his wife, Mar­garet, dur­ing their four­teen day jour­ney in a chuck wagon. The trip began on Danville Fair day, 1960, and the cou­ple, along with a bor­rowed dog, made the trip from Danville, Ver­mont, to Danville, Que­bec. It was planned to coin­cide with Danville, Quebec’s cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion and to com­mem­o­rate the twin­ning of the two towns and the pio­neers who once made a sim­i­lar journey.

Carmen (Calkins) Bigelow enjoyed visiting with Hertel. Howard and Alice Calkins, Carmen's parents, hosted the Boisvert's before their historic trip.

Car­men (Calkins) Bigelow enjoyed vis­it­ing with Her­tel. Howard and Alice Calkins, Carmen’s par­ents, hosted the Boisverts before their his­toric trip. Heidi, Hertel’s grand­daugh­ter, is pic­tured in the background.

Mr. Boisvert was greeted dur­ing the day by sev­eral fam­ily mem­bers of peo­ple he met dur­ing his jour­ney; he enjoyed shar­ing mem­o­ries and sto­ries with them. As he auto­graphed copies of his book, he expressed a great sense of pride and accom­plish­ment in this attempt to keep mem­o­ries alive for gen­er­a­tions to come to help strengthen the con­nec­tion between the sis­ter towns. The Danville His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety exhibit fea­tured a time­line map of the chuck wagon trip with pho­tographs, busi­ness adver­tise­ments and news­pa­per arti­cles of the time. Vis­i­tors at the booth were able to enjoy rem­i­nisc­ing about famil­iar peo­ple and places at stops where the chuck wagon made along the way. The map and sto­ries allowed a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the mag­ni­tude and dif­fi­culty of such a journey.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Danville, Que­bec, His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety was also on hand at the event and stated that plans are cur­rently being made to insure that future cel­e­bra­tions and events will keep com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­nec­tions between the two towns.

The book is beautiful and has photos taken during the trip, American and Canadian. Both paperback ($10) and hardbound ($20) are available for purchase at the Choate-Sias house in Danville, VT.

The book is beau­ti­ful and has pho­tos taken dur­ing the trip, Amer­i­can and Cana­dian. Both paper­back ($10) and hard­bound ($20) are avail­able for purchase.

Mr. Boisvert’s book is avail­able at the Danville His­tor­i­cal Society’s Choate-Sias House in both hard­cover and paper­back for­mat for those inter­ested in pur­chas­ing a copy.


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Dec 1863–Fugitive Slave Law Schizophrenia in the North, King Cotton Implodes in the South and the Civil War is not Over

By Gary Far­row, Danville His­tor­i­cal Society

Runaway Slave advertisement

Run­away Slave advertisement

The oblig­a­tion of states to return run­away slaves was writ­ten into the Con­sti­tu­tion; how­ever, the issue became a bar­gain­ing chip in the great Com­pro­mise of 1850 and con­tin­ued to be a light­ning rod between North and South in the run up to the war. Once the war did begin, the Con­fed­er­ate gov­ern­ment in the South devel­oped the strat­egy of King Cot­ton diplo­macy to lever­age their might and get their way with Great Britain. The deci­sion in 1861 would prove to be dis­as­trous. Although the war offi­cially ended four years later with Lee’s sur­ren­der of Grant at Appo­mat­tox, for some today–it still isn’t over!

Decem­ber 5, 1863 Danville North Star

The fugi­tive slave law is now and then enforced in Wash­ing­ton. A case occurred on Sat­ur­day in which a negro boy was claimed by a cit­i­zen of Mary­land. The owner on tak­ing the oath of loy­alty and prov­ing own­er­ship had his slave returned to him.


The Fugi­tive Slave Act of 1850 that was on the books at the time had its roots in a clause writ­ten by our found­ing fathers into the Con­sti­tu­tion: “No Per­son held to Ser­vice or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escap­ing into another, shall, in Con­se­quence of any Law or Reg­u­la­tion therein, be dis­charged from such Ser­vice or Labour, but shall be deliv­ered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Ser­vice or Labour may be due.” The pro­vi­sion was also more right­eously called the “Fugi­tives from Labor Clause.”

A Slave Catcher Warning

A Slave Catcher Warning

In essence, the law required com­plic­ity and assis­tance of North­ern states in enforc­ing slave labor laws in the South. How­ever, by 1850 the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal land­scape had changed dra­mat­i­cally. Over time many North­ern states enacted legal means to sub­vert the Con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion and the law that sup­ported it. “Per­sonal lib­erty laws” in North­ern states made jury tri­als a pre­req­ui­site to the return of any slave and for­bade local or state offi­cials from effec­tively imple­ment­ing the Fugi­tive Slave law.

The influ­ence of the stri­dent abo­li­tion­ist move­ment, which hated both the sin of slav­ery and the slave­holder alike, drove much of the resis­tance. South­ern elites coun­tered with their own the­o­log­i­cal con­struct; by mak­ing the Chris­t­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist argu­ment that slav­ery was “divinely inspired” and cit­ing the fact that there are numer­ous bib­li­cal ref­er­ences to slav­ery, they argued the prac­tice is not explic­itly cited as a sin.

But the heat upon the South con­tin­ued to increase with some reli­gious groups, such as the Quak­ers, work­ing to help slaves escape from the South through the Under­ground Rail­road which spir­ited blacks north and on to as far as Canada. The con­flict between the two regions had esca­lated beyond the reli­gious and philo­soph­i­cal to the eco­nomic with pas­sions ris­ing accordingly.

Racist sen­ti­ment in the North remained strong with many peo­ple who did not want blacks in their midst. Despite these feel­ings among many whites, there were pock­ets in the North where run­away slaves and their fam­i­lies could live, farm and pros­per. One such place was Cass County in Michi­gan. This cap­tured the atten­tion of slave hold­ers in Ken­tucky, who in 1847 and 1849 con­ducted raids upon the county to take back their property.

By 1850, the coun­try was com­ing apart, and South­ern states threat­ened to secede. How­ever, a Civil War was averted for 11 years because Sen­a­tors Henry Clay of Ken­tucky and Stephen Dou­glas of Illi­nois bro­kered a deal. One of the most con­tentious issues was whether new states would come into the Union slave or free. So as part of the great com­pro­mise of 1850, US ter­ri­to­ries were split in half by a nego­ti­ated line that pro­vided the geog­ra­phy above it would come in as free states, and all new states below as slave. The new states of Maine and Mis­souri, the for­mer free and the lat­ter slave, were admit­ted to the Union as part of the deal that main­tained the Con­gres­sional bal­ance of power between slave inter­ests and those who opposed it.

In addi­tion, the South demanded in the 1850 Com­pro­mise a new and more robust Fugi­tive Slaves Act. The law effec­tively imposed a $28,000 (in today’s pur­chas­ing power) fine on any US mar­shal or any other law-enforcement offi­cial who did not arrest a run­away slave. His owner merely had to present a sworn tes­ti­mony of own­er­ship. Those who aided and abet­ted those slaves were sub­ject to the same fine and impris­on­ment for six months.

But the Com­pro­mise would prove to be a band-aid; it was a cat­a­lyst for even more North­ern resis­tance against slav­ery and led to the proxy war in Kansas between Free-Soilers and slave inter­ests. Kansas would see its own guer­rilla war orga­nized and funded by com­pet­ing inter­ests in the North and the South. Two sep­a­rate governments–one free, one slave—were in con­test for power within its bor­ders. And the his­toric 1858 debate between two Illi­nois can­di­dates for the Sen­ate, Lin­coln and Dou­glas, occurred. Lin­coln argued that Kansas be admit­ted to the Union as a free state, because slav­ery was immoral; Stephen Dou­glas thought that “pop­u­lar sov­er­eignty” should be main­tained and that the peo­ple of the state should decide the slave ques­tion for them­selves. This ques­tion would be one of the issues that caused the coun­try to come apart at the seams three years later.

The expe­ri­ence of that black boy in the nation’s cap­i­tal on a Sat­ur­day after­noon in Decem­ber of 1863, in the midst of a civil war, was reflec­tive of our country’s tor­tured his­tory. By virtue of the great Com­pro­mise of 1850, slave trade had been banned in Wash­ing­ton DC ‚and yet the young man, who escaped the Union state of Mary­land, where slav­ery was a Con­sti­tu­tional right and pro­tected by the fugi­tive slave pro­vi­sion of an eleven-year-old law, was given back to his owner and sent back into human bondage.

War and Gen­eral New Items

It is said that the cot­ton which will be thrown into the mar­ket by our occu­pa­tion of Texas will amount to 250,000 bales.


King CottonAt the end of his life, US Grant wrote in his mem­oirs that the Civil War would not have hap­pened with­out the cot­ton gin. Eli Whitney’s inven­tion of this machine, back in 1794, enabled the cul­ti­va­tion of cot­ton in many areas of the coun­try, includ­ing the Deep South. The gin breathed new life into the prac­tice of slav­ery by mak­ing cot­ton farm­ing more pro­duc­tive and eco­nom­i­cally sustainable.

By 1861 cot­ton had become as impor­tant to the global econ­omy as oil is today. The entire South was depen­dent on this cash crop that was America’s num­ber one export. For the Con­fed­er­acy, cot­ton was the rev­enue spigot to fund the gov­ern­ment and buy arms. It also pro­vided the South con­sid­er­able lever­age in nego­ti­a­tions with pow­er­ful coun­tries in Europe, espe­cially Britain.

In fact, the rebel gov­ern­ment crafted much of its diplo­matic strat­egy on a crop that could become fod­der for the boll wee­vil. The locust did not come to pass; how­ever, the South did much to shoot itself in the foot. The weapon that was the tool of this self-inflicted strat­egy was called King Cot­ton diplo­macy. The goal was to force Britain to for­mally rec­og­nize the Con­fed­er­ate States of Amer­ica as an inde­pen­dent nation, sup­ply arma­ments for the war and per­haps enter the con­flict on the South’s behalf. In a move that in hind­sight seems to be a case of “cut­ting your nose off to spite your face,” the Con­fed­er­acy decided to cut off cot­ton sup­plies to Eng­land, its biggest trad­ing part­ner and a dom­i­nant player in the global tex­tile industry.

Before the Civil War, the South was send­ing about 678 mil­lion bales of cot­ton to Great Britain, rep­re­sent­ing about three-quarters of the island’s man­u­fac­tur­ing con­sump­tion. In order to kick-off the King Cot­ton pro­gram, the South set 2.5 mil­lion bales afire to cre­ate a cot­ton short­age. The Con­fed­er­acy could then export less than half of the commodity’s orig­i­nal amount. To make mat­ters worse, Jef­fer­son Davis for­got to take into account that the bumper crops through­out the 1850’s had been shipped to Britain. Over the three or four years lead­ing up to the Civil War, its trad­ing part­ner had built up a stock­pile of one-million bales before the war began.

Britain was able to wait out the “cot­ton famine” well into 1862. When cot­ton drought did come, the price per bale shot through the roof, going from ten-cents a pound in 1860 to $1.89 a pound in ’63 –’64. But nar­cis­sism had caused the South to unknow­ingly give up their place in the catbird’s seat. After the Con­fed­er­acy had lit the match in ‘61 to mil­lions of bales in the name of King Cot­ton, Great Britain had turned to other export­ing nations like Egypt, Brazil and India.

From ’63 on, the South was able to use cot­ton to barter with British man­u­fac­tur­ers to sup­ply them with weaponry, ammu­ni­tion, and ships. The Union block­ade of South­ern coast­lines also depressed the avail­abil­ity of cot­ton and helped cre­ate a black mar­ket for the crop, allow­ing block­ade run­ners to real­ize prof­its of 300 to 500 per­cent and chalk the loss of some ships to Union cap­ture as a mere busi­ness expense. This black mar­ket also pre­sented oppor­tu­ni­ties for graft and cor­rup­tion in the Union Army. Mil­i­tary offi­cers con­spired with “oper­a­tors” in the North who would then “move prod­uct” to nearby tex­tile man­u­fac­tur­ers. So where did the 250,000 bales of Texas cot­ton go? What money ended up in whose pocket is anybody’s guess.

Mean­while, the Union was still dither­ing in the East­ern The­atre, but US Grant would soon take over.

Decem­ber 12, 1863 Danville North Star

Late Rich­mond (Va.) Papers give mea­ger accounts of the recent oper­a­tions in Ten­nessee and Geor­gia, but what a “ter­ri­ble dis­as­ter” is frankly admit­ted … there is a strong tone of gloom, dis­ap­point­ment and depres­sion per­vad­ing the South­ern com­mu­nity in con­se­quence of this rebel defeat. Bragg is denounced in unspar­ing lan­guage and his removal is demanded with­out delay. Longstreet’s posi­tion in East Ten­nessee, after many pos­i­tive asser­tions of great suc­cess, is finally admit­ted to be pre­car­i­ous, and there is hardly a gleam of hope or con­fi­dence to be extracted from any point of the rebel mil­i­tary sit­u­a­tion by even the hope­ful and defi­ant rebel jour­nals themselves.

Wash­ing­ton News

Wash­ing­ton, Dec 4 – The Star, under the head of “The Army of the Potomac and Its Hes­i­tat­ing Gen­er­als,” says: -

So long as our army in this quar­ter con­tin­ues to be guided by its present coun­cils in the field, it is now clear that it will fail to com­mand pub­lic confidence…So if Lee, rely­ing upon a con­tin­u­ance of the chronic hes­i­tancy that has afflicted the coun­cils of Gen Meade, ven­tures to rein­force Longstreet con­sid­er­ably from his own army, which he has yet time at least to attempt, the Gov­ern­ment will promptly seek to make him pay dear for his temer­ity, as our, Army of Potomac is ready at this moment to move again as it was when under­tak­ing to do so in a few days since.”

Decem­ber 26, 1863 Danville North Star

War and Gen­eral New Items

John Hunt Morgan

John Hunt Morgan

John Mor­gan, the escaped guerilla chief, has reached Rich­mond and Davis has given him the com­mand in the Army of Georgia.


John Hunt Mor­gan was a Con­fed­er­ate cav­alry com­man­der. His cav­alry trav­elled light and lived off the land. He made raids into the North, includ­ing one where he ram­paged and raised havoc in Indi­ana and Ohio for two-and-a-half weeks, over­run­ning local mili­tias. How­ever, the Union cav­alry inter­vened and chased him all the way into Penn­syl­va­nia. Mor­gan and his offi­cers were thrown into the Ohio State Pen­i­ten­tiary, but he tun­neled out the facil­ity and found his way back to Geor­gia to fight again. A year later he man­aged to get him­self killed, which no doubt helped him earn a spot in the pan­theon of “Lost Cause” mythology.

The South’s post-war revi­sion­ism, called “The Lost Cause,” is still going strong today. Among other things, Lost Causers believe that seces­sion was legal, slav­ery is not a moral abom­i­na­tion, and the North started the Civil War because they opposed the spread of slav­ery into new US territory.

They rally around the Con­fed­er­ate flag and peti­tion local gov­ern­ments to name schools and town squares after peo­ple like Gen­eral Nathan Bed­ford For­rest. For­rest was a slave-trader extra­or­di­naire. He orches­trated the mas­sacre of USCT (US Col­ored Troops) after their sur­ren­der at Fort Pil­low and was the orig­i­na­tor and first Grand Wiz­ard of the Ku Klux Klan, a para­mil­i­tary group that ter­ror­ized and killed blacks and those sym­pa­thetic to their cause after the Civil War and well into the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. There is a KKK group in exis­tence today whose require­ments are that you be white, Chris­t­ian and not have been con­victed of being a pedophile. All other white Chris­t­ian crim­i­nals are eli­gi­ble for membership.


Posted in Historical events, Historical people, Historical sites, NSM articles | 1 Comment

Nov 1863–Confederate Spies Caught in a Sting, the Illinois Legislature Suspended, and the Women of Richmond Go Hungr

By Gary Far­row, Danville His­tor­i­cal Society

Although part of the alliance of North­ern states, Illi­nois, espe­cially the south­ern por­tion of Lincoln’s home state, was a hotbed of rebel sen­ti­ment. Not only was it a place where plots against its sis­ter state Ohio orig­i­nated, the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment became so dys­func­tional that the Gov­er­nor sus­pended the leg­is­la­ture. While Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans were feud­ing with one another in the North, the wives and fam­i­lies of sol­diers in the South scratched to survive.

Cre­ated by George Wash­ing­ton, the US Mar­shal Ser­vice is the old­est Fed­eral law enforce­ment agency. Prior to the Civil War, their main duties encom­passed exe­cut­ing those con­demned by Fed­eral Courts and fer­ret­ing out coun­ter­feit­ers. Dur­ing the 1850s, under the Fugi­tive Slave Act, they were char­tered to hunt fugi­tive slaves and return them to their masters.

Dur­ing the Civil War, the duties of US Mar­shals expanded yet again to include seiz­ing prop­erty used to sup­port the Con­fed­er­acy and track­ing down rebel spies. The fol­low­ing recounts a suc­cess­ful sting oper­a­tion which uncov­ered a plot to take down the gov­ern­ment of one of the North­ern states.

Novem­ber 7 1863, Danville North Star

Extra­or­di­nary Case of Treason

Cincin­nati, Novem­ber 1

An extra­or­di­nary case of trea­son has recently come to light, impli­cat­ing sev­eral per­sons in this city, Colum­bus, Cov­ing­ton and New­port, in con­spir­ing to release the rebel pris­on­ers at Camp Chase, and over­throw the State Gov­ern­ment. The con­spir­acy was brought to light by United States detec­tives, who were sup­posed by the par­ties, impli­cated to be spies from the rebel army, and were treated with full confidence.

The plot, as dis­cov­ered by the detec­tives, was that an attack was made on Camp Chase to release the rebel pris­on­ers con­fined there; num­ber­ing 3500, to seize the arse­nal at Colum­bus, take pos­ses­sion of the pen­i­ten­tiary, release John Mor­gan and other rebel offi­cers con­fined there and then com­mence a rebel cam­paign in Ohio.

US Mar­shall Sands and Provost Mar­shal M.J. Reamy have arrested the fol­low­ing per­sons impli­cated in the plot: Charles W.H. Cath­heart, of Colum­bus, for­merly School Com­mis­sioner of Ohio; and J.D. Cren­sop of Colum­bia, for­merly sut­ler [a civil­ian mer­chant who pro­vi­sions sol­diers at head­quar­ters or in the field] in the 18th Reg­u­lars, who were to lead the attack on Camp Chase; James D. Pat­ton, of Cov­ing­ton, a reg­u­lar agent of the rebel gov­ern­ment, who fur­nished money to the detec­tives under the impres­sion that they were spies and accord­ing to agree­ment, were to meet Cat­heart and the oth­ers at Camp Chase and assist in mak­ing the plan of attack; Ruth McDon­ald, of Cov­ing­ton, who acted as mail car­rier through the rebel lines, and whose house was the head­quar­ters of the rebels; Samuel P. Thomas, mer­chant tai­lor, of Cincin­nati and wife Cather­ine Par­menter, of Cincin­nati. Infor­ma­tion has been obtained that the orga­ni­za­tion exists in Illi­nois, wait­ing for the out­break in Ohio. Other par­tic­u­lars are known to the author­i­ties, but have not yet been made public.


Novem­ber 14, 1863 Danville North Star

More trou­ble is expected in Illi­nois. The Gov­er­nor, it will be remem­bered, sud­denly broke up the leg­isla­tive ses­sion last June. The Supreme Court, it is thought, will now decide that act to be con­sti­tu­tional. In this event, a ses­sion will be held this com­ing win­ter. The Rad­i­cals will oppose it. The Con­ser­v­a­tives will favor it.

The Illi­nois state leg­is­la­ture was a very con­tentious place. Thanks to Demo­c­rat ger­ry­man­der­ing the south­ern part of the state sym­pa­thetic to the South had strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion. The gov­ern­men­tal body became the venue for a polit­i­cal proxy war between Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans. Due to war fatigue and south­ern sen­ti­ment, the Democ­rats wrested con­trol of the House in Novem­ber 1862, chastis­ing the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment for its con­duct of the war, call­ing for an armistice between North and South, and a peace con­ven­tion to be held among the state house of rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Repub­li­cans stormed out of the state sen­ate in protest and an exas­per­ated Gov­er­nor Yates sus­pended the legislature.

In response, the Demo­c­ra­tic con­trolled body labeled Lincoln’s Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion a “great usurpa­tion,” which turned the Union’s war against the South into “a cru­sade for the sud­den, vio­lent and uncon­di­tional lib­er­a­tion of three mil­lion slaves.” The Party’s fury was also fueled by the sup­pres­sion of rebel sen­ti­ment within the state; Con­fed­er­ate sup­port­ers, includ­ing gov­ern­ment offi­cials, were thrown in jail and pro-South news­pa­pers were shut down by the military.


In some of the min­ing dis­tricts of Penn­syl­va­nia, there have been seri­ous and bloody riots on account of the draft. The enrolling offi­cers have found it impos­si­ble to serve the notices and the rule of civil author­i­ties has been entirely set at naught. Mr. G. K. Smith’s house was entered by a party of riot­ers, who shot Mr. S. and he was instantly killed. At the lat­est date, the riot had some­what subsided.

War and Gen­eral News Items

Ely S. ParkerAmong the offi­cers on Gen Grant’s staff is Capt Ely S. Parker, a full blooded red Indian, being chief of the tribe known as the Six Nations.


The Seneca Chief from New York met and over­came many obsta­cles in his sto­ried career. He was denied admis­sion to Har­vard because of his race. At the out­break of the Civil War, his offer to raise a reg­i­ment of Iro­quois vol­un­teers went for naught, as did his attempt to join the Army’s Chief of Engi­neers. Gen­eral Grant finally took him under his wing and installed him as Cap­tain of the Engineers.

Dur­ing the war’s later years, Parker achieved the rank of lieu­tenant colonel and assisted Grant as his mil­i­tary sec­re­tary. After the war, he served Pres­i­dent Grant, facil­i­tat­ing the nego­ti­a­tion of treaties with Tribes in the West and becom­ing the government’s first Com­mis­sioner of Indian Affairs. His attempts to root out cor­rup­tion within the agency earned him many ene­mies in a Con­gress who hauled him before an inves­ti­ga­tory com­mit­tee which could find no wrong doing. Parker resigned in dis­gust. He would later meet finan­cial ruin in the mar­ket crash of 1870 and was forced to use his polit­i­cal friends in order to secure a job with the New York City Police Depart­ment. Parker died in 1895.


The car­tel of exchange of pris­on­ers has been sus­pended because the rebels will not admit the offi­cers and sol­diers of col­ored reg­i­ments to be included in it.


This stale­mate was prompted by Con­fed­er­ate Pres­i­dent Jef­fer­son Davis’ threat to exe­cute any black POW or white offi­cer who com­manded them. How­ever Davis did not fol­low through and pris­oner exchanges between North and South even­tu­ally resumed.

Novem­ber 27, 1863 Danville North Star

Scarcity of Food at the South

All accounts received from the South show that the most press­ing exi­gency which the rebels will have to meet is the want of food…The rebel armies are quite large, and this with­draws a large num­ber of men from the cul­ti­va­tion of the land: then the num­ber of the rebel army is quite out of pro­por­tion to the num­ber from which it is drawn for so few peo­ple to sup­ply such a large num­ber: but in addi­tion to this, it is alleged that very nearly two mil­lion slaves from Ken­tucky, Louisiana, Ten­nessee, and Mis­sis­sippi have been thrown into Alabama, Geor­gia and South and North Car­olina, which has griev­ous increased the con­sump­tion of food, and no doubt embar­rassed rebel oper­a­tions in that quar­ter to an extent beyond what is known. That this is the case in the vicin­ity of Rich­mond, there can be no doubt. We learned this from the Rich­mond papers, which report the unsuc­cess­ful results of a com­mit­tee of cit­i­zens appointed to obtain food for the sup­ply of the city, and we infer that it will be dif­fi­cult for the cit­i­zens of Rich­mond to obtain food for the com­ing win­ter. It is now quite appar­ent that this great dif­fi­culty can­not be eas­ily over­come and will con­tribute more than the suc­cess of our arms to the sub­mis­sion of the rebels. It will be impos­si­ble for them to keep their armies with­out a sup­ply of food, although every energy will be bent to do this, how­ever heav­ily it may press upon the non-fighting por­tion of the community.


Richmond Forgotten FightersRam­pant infla­tion and food scarcity fell most heav­ily on the women of Rich­mond, who were left behind to fend for their fam­i­lies and them­selves. Many were forced to steal food in order to sur­vive. How­ever, tragedy was averted when women massed in protest were con­fronted in the city by Jef­fer­son Davis him­self and his sol­diers. Davis threat­ened to shoot them if they didn’t dis­burse. Faced with the President’s count­down to fire, the women peace­fully retired.

The Union Suf­fer­ers in Richmond

Philadel­phia Nov 19

United States Christian CommissionEvery assur­ance has been given to the Chris­t­ian Com­mis­sion that stores sent to our Union suf­fer­ers in Rich­mond pris­ons reach them. Gov Mered­ith, US Com­mis­sioner for the exchange of pris­on­ers at Fortress Mon­roe, engages to receive all sup­plies sent to his care by express pre­paid, and send them under flag of truce to City Point. Com­mis­sioner Ould gives writ­ten assur­ances that they would be received at City Point and deliv­ered to the pris­on­ers to whom they are addressed. Gen Noel Dow and other reli­able men among the pris­on­ers will receive and dis­trib­ute what­ever is sent. The pris­on­ers write that they receive the stores sent to them.

The Chris­t­ian Com­mis­sion is mak­ing arrange­ments, which leads us to a hope that they will soon have their own del­e­gates there to attend to, receive and dis­trib­ute the stores, and do what­ever they can to relieve and ben­e­fit our suf­fer­ing men.


In 1861, the Chris­t­ian Com­mis­sion was char­tered by the Young Men’s Chris­t­ian Asso­ci­a­tion (YMCA) to pro­vide sup­plies, med­ical sup­port and reli­gious lit­er­a­ture to Union troops.


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October, 1863–Lincoln Pleads for Volunteers; Vermont Sends Blacks Back to Africa

By Gary Far­row, Danville His­tor­i­cal Society

Danville’s son, rad­i­cal abo­li­tion­ist con­gress­man Thad­deus Stevens, con­tin­ued his litany of fiery rhetoric exco­ri­at­ing the South and the exas­per­ated Union­ist paper responded.

Octo­ber 3, 1863 Danville North Star

Thad­deus Stevens, of Penn­syl­va­nia, recently made a speech which is reported in the Philadel­phia Press, in which he says, “we must con­quer the South and hold them as con­quered provinces…The Union as it was, and the Con­sti­tu­tion as it is – God for­bid it.

Octo­ber 24, 1863 Danville North Star

Call of the Pres­i­dent for Volunteers

It will be seen that the Pres­i­dent has made another appeal to the coun­try for vol­un­teers, call­ing for an addi­tional force of three hun­dred thou­sand to be enlisted by the 5th of Jan­u­ary; and what­ever vol­un­teers are not obtained by that time, the defi­ciency to be made up by draft­ing. This call for vol­un­teers, says that able Demo­c­ra­tic jour­nal, the Boston Post, “addresses itself to the patri­o­tism and intel­li­gence of the people.”


Ear­lier in the year, the Pres­i­dent had called for the draft of thou­sands of sol­diers to replen­ish the Union Army how­ever the ini­tia­tive had spotty results in Ver­mont and many other loyal states. So the call went out in Octo­ber for more vol­un­teers. It’s also impor­tant to note the con­tri­bu­tion black troops made to the over­all war effort.

A recruiting poster for the USCT (United States Colored Troops).

A recruit­ing poster for the USCT (United States Col­ored Troops).

Back in May, Con­gress autho­rized the cre­ation of the “Bureau of Col­ored Troops” enable the recruit­ment of African-American sol­diers for the Union cause. They became known as the United States Col­ored Troops who fought as seg­re­gated units led by white offi­cers. Faced with North­ern racism in its most pejo­ra­tive and con­de­scend­ing form, while con­sid­ered mere live­stock in the South, 178,000 free blacks and ex-slaves would serve in the armed forces over the last two years of the war. They laid their lives on the line by serv­ing in com­bat units to earn their free­dom. By the end of the war, every tenth man was a USCT soldier.

Ver­mont Col­o­niza­tion Society

The American Colonization Society membership certificate.

The Amer­i­can Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety mem­ber­ship certificate.


The Forty-Fourth Anniver­sary of the Soci­ety was held at Brick Church, Mont­pe­lier, Thurs­day evening, Oct 15th , the Pres­i­dent Hon. Daniel Bald­win, in the chair.

Scrip­tures were read and prayers offered by Rev. Piny H. White of Coventry….

Pres­i­dent Larabee of Mid­dle­bury Col­lege then intro­duced Prof. Free­man, of Liberia Col­lege, giv­ing a suc­cinct state­ment of his life in the Col­lege of Mid­dle­bury and labors since…..


We shall not attempt to give our read­ers even a syn­op­sis of the excel­lent address which Prof. Free­man then deliv­ered …partly because one must hear him in order to best appre­ci­ate him.

His sub­ject was, sub­stan­tially, “The best way to ele­vate the African race.”…

His premises were all facts, plain and prin­ci­pled and his con­clu­sions sound and valu­able. In the ques­tion, “What shall be done with the negro?” is involved the wel­fare of two races, our own as well as his. He advo­cated col­o­niza­tion even as the best things for both races. His address, so earnest, sin­cere, pro­found and schol­arly, was lis­tened to with marked atten­tion by the large audience.

Dr. Larabee moved that a con­tri­bu­tion be taken up to aid Prof. Free­man in estab­lish­ing and main­tain­ing his fam­ily in his far off home…

A col­lec­tion was taken up, which yielded the sum of one hun­dred and eight dol­lars and seventy-eight cents, besides some jew­els that were cast into the box … [The Soci­ety] passed a res­o­lu­tion and chose a com­mit­tee under it to peti­tion the Leg­is­la­ture to donate to Liberia Col­lege the Statutes of Ver­mont and var­i­ous annual reports of state offi­cers and of the Supreme Court.

They returned a vote of thanks to Prof. Free­man for his able, inter­est­ing and forcible address. The con­gre­ga­tion was dis­missed with a bene­dic­tion by Dr Larabee.


The Ver­mont Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety was an affil­i­ate of the Amer­i­can Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety (ACS) that favored free­ing slaves and reset­tling them in Africa under demo­c­ra­tic rule. Mem­bers of the Soci­ety also saw them­selves as mis­sion­ar­ies of sorts, who would spread civ­i­liza­tion, “sound morals” and “true reli­gion” through­out the “dark con­ti­nent.” The goal of the Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety was also to put a stop to the slave trade and bring about its extinc­tion. In addi­tion, the group worked with slave own­ers to pro­vide an asy­lum to har­bor slaves after they had been released from bondage.

Rev­erend Robert Fin­ley of New Jer­sey con­ceived of the national orga­ni­za­tion in 1816 and, with the help of New Eng­land ship­ping mag­nate and social activist Paul Cuf­fee, an early pro­po­nent of reset­tling freed blacks in Africa, got the orga­ni­za­tion off the ground. The moti­va­tion for its estab­lish­ment was one-part abhor­rence of slavery’s deprav­ity and one-part racism. This man­i­fested itself in the belief that blacks were truly infe­rior to whites, and the sen­ti­ments of many ACS mem­bers who found the prospect of being around Negroes dis­taste­ful. In fact, part of the moti­va­tion for found­ing the ACS was white alarm over the increas­ing num­ber of free blacks in the North as well as Vir­ginia. Prior to the Civil War, some blacks were granted their free­dom by law and oth­ers by “man­u­mis­sion” (blacks released from bondage by their slave owners).

Blacks were per­ceived by mem­bers as: morally lax, who could cor­rupt vul­ner­a­ble whites; prone to crim­i­nal­ity; men­tally infe­rior, which made them unsuited to the respon­si­bil­i­ties of cit­i­zen­ship and inca­pable of self improve­ment; a threat to the jobs of work­ing class whites in the North; and who could erupt into slave rebel­lion in the South.

The peo­ple hold­ing these sen­ti­ments of con­cern and dis­gust were mostly abo­li­tion­ists and Quak­ers, who saw them­selves as benign by help­ing to “repa­tri­ate” blacks back to Africa where they would be able to ful­fill what­ever god-given gifts that they may have. In some cases, attempts to pro­vide African Amer­i­cans safe haven in Liberia were met with armed resis­tance by natives on the coast.

By 1822, the Amer­i­can Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety founded a colony on the west coast of Africa. This colony even­tu­ally became the nation of Liberia in 1847. As of 1858, a total of 11,172 had been given trans­port back to Africa. This reli­gious based orga­ni­za­tion also sent mis­sion­ar­ies to con­vert the natives. The Ver­mont Col­o­niza­tion Society’s 1858 Annual Report proudly trum­pets that “the tone of morals is believed to be higher and the Sab­bath there bet­ter observed than in Ver­mont.” Church-based col­o­niza­tion groups pro­lif­er­ated all over the state. In sum, the Ver­mont Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety had three objec­tives: remove all negroes, free and enslaved, from the United States to Liberia; bring civ­i­liza­tion to Africa; and put an end to the slave trade. In addi­tion to the Con­gre­ga­tional Soci­ety in Mont­pe­lier, East Bethel and Pitts­ford also had their own soci­eties, Bap­tist and Methodist respectively.

Col­o­niza­tion Soci­eties are not to be con­fused with the Anti-Slavery Soci­eties that shared the polit­i­cal stage dur­ing the same period. They had an entirely dif­fer­ent and con­flict­ing agenda. For exam­ple, anti-slavery pro­po­nents wanted grad­ual or imme­di­ate eman­ci­pa­tion of slaves while advo­cates of col­o­niza­tion sought to remove blacks from Amer­ica and have them emi­grate to Africa. Both saw them­selves as com­ing to the aid of an abused and infe­rior race.

As for Col­o­niza­tion Soci­eties them­selves, the pre­em­i­nent black leader of his time, Fred­er­ick Dou­glass, was not amused. “That Soci­ety is an old enemy of col­ored peo­ple in this coun­try. Almost every respectable man belongs to it, either by direct mem­ber­ship or by affinity…It is because the Amer­i­can Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety cher­ishes and fos­ters this hatred towards the black man that I am opposed to it. [The Soci­ety] goes about …solic­it­ing funds for an expa­tri­a­tion from this coun­try. .. Is this not mean and impu­dent in the extreme, for one class of Amer­i­cans to ask for the removal of another class? …I have as much right in this coun­try as any other man.”

Through­out his Pres­i­dency, Lin­coln also flirted with the idea of col­o­niza­tion and his admin­is­tra­tion tried to ini­ti­ate colonies for blacks in South Amer­ica. Ulti­mately, Lincoln’s fan­cies died under their own weight, unlike the efforts of the Amer­i­can Col­o­niza­tion Soci­ety that remained active until 1919.

Octo­ber 31, 1863 Danville North Star

Gen Meade’s Retreat

General George G. Meade

Gen­eral George G. Meade

It is appar­ent …that Lee accom­plished in advanc­ing upon our army but too well, which was to drive it back and destroy the roads so it could not fol­low Lee in his ret­ro­grade move­ments for many weeks, and thus secure his army and Rich­mond from men­ace until next Spring. …

How­ever it is pos­si­ble Meade may find a way to dis­turb him, if the sea­son proves favor­able, before Lee eats his Christ­mas din­ner, and the pris­on­ers in Libby prison [in Rich­mond] hear shouts which will open the doors of their dun­geons. Now is the moment for home aid at any rate. The posi­tions of our armies in the South and West are advan­ta­geous, though some­what crit­i­cal yet, if promptly rein­forced splen­did vic­to­ries are within their grasp.


Gen­eral Meade is most renowned for lead­ing his Army of the Potomac to a vic­tory at Get­tys­burg and, to the President’s great dis­may, squan­der­ing an oppor­tu­nity to pur­sue and destroy Gen­eral Robert E Lee’s troops as they retreated to Vir­ginia. The bat­tle of Get­tys­burg took place in early July over three days under a tor­tu­ously hot sun with heavy casu­al­ties sus­tained. These facts need to be taken into account when deter­min­ing whether or not Union troops actu­ally had the capac­ity to follow-up and pur­sue Lee into Vir­ginia. As the Octo­ber account in the North Star sug­gests, Meade finally did catch up with Lee and threaten Rich­mond; how­ever, like other Army of the Potomac com­man­ders before him, the Union efforts were totally ineffectual.

Although a devout Chris­t­ian, Meade had a quick-trigger tem­per that could some­times turn vio­lent. One object of his scorn was the press who hated him right back. A cabal of writ­ers actu­ally froze the Gen­eral out of the news, break­ing their rule only when the oppor­tu­nity to speak ill of him pre­sented itself. The gid­di­ness about future oppor­tu­ni­ties to press Lee and Rich­mond is prob­a­bly more a com­bi­na­tion of strate­gic Union vic­to­ries at Get­tys­burg and Vicks­burg back in July and cur­rent reports that the Fed­er­als were tak­ing the fight to the rebels in East Ten­nessee and North­ern Geor­gia than it was a reflec­tion of the fourth estate’s high regard for the Gen­eral who orches­trated that vic­tory over Lee in the hot days of early July. Meade’s motto was “More deeds than words.” It doesn’t sound like this Union offi­cer was a very good interview.


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September 1863–New Depths of Inhumanity Attained, Southern Noose Tightens and Wiggles

By Gary Far­row, Danville His­tor­i­cal Society

The atrocities of war--This drawing of the Sack of Lawrence Kansas was just one of the many.

The atroc­i­ties of war–This draw­ing of the sack of Lawrence, Kansas, was just one of many.

Sep­tem­ber brought news about how the Union dealt with its desert­ers. Two men on oppo­site sides, whose twisted souls were fired ear­lier in the caul­dron that was the Kansas-Missouri Bor­der War, led their “troops” on a mis­sion of mur­der­ing, ran­sack­ing and plun­der­ing non-combatants. The bat­tle for East­ern Ten­nessee — North­ern Geor­gia con­tin­ued to heave to and fro.

Sep­tem­ber 5, 1863 Danville North Star

Mil­i­tary Expectations

Head­quar­ters Army of the Potomac Aug 29 – The exe­cu­tion of sub­sti­tute desert­ers sen­tenced to death in Gen­eral Orders No. 84 took place today. More than ordi­nary inter­est was exhib­ited on the exe­cu­tion of mil­i­tary law, and it is esti­mated that not less than 25,000 per­sons were present…The ground was selected, and every arrange­ment so com­plete that no acci­dents occurred to mar the solem­nity of the proceedings….

The crim­i­nals were sit­ting upon their respec­tive coffins with yawn­ing graves in their rear…. At the order to fire, 86 mus­kets were dis­charged, and instant death was announced by the Sur­geons in atten­dance as a result. The bod­ies were then placed in their respec­tive graves, and the clergy per­formed the last reli­gious rites over the deceased. Con­tinue read­ing

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August 1863–The North Celebrates Two Iconic Victories. Meanwhile the Draft is Running on Fumes

By Gary Far­row, Danville His­tor­i­cal Society

Even a turn in the Union’s mil­i­tary for­tunes could not reignite the will of men, in the likes of Danville and Cabot, to fight. Their sen­ti­ments were shared by many across the North and were man­i­fested by abysmal ful­fill­ment of draft quo­tas, not so sub­tle push­back by states against the first Fed­eral con­scrip­tion law, and out­right riot in one of the nation’s biggest cities.

August 1, 1863 North Star

Our Vic­to­ries and Peace

The dead at Gettysburg. A grim photo of the cost of the war.

The dead at Get­tys­burg. A grim photo of the cost of the war.

All honor to the heroes of Get­tys­burg and Vicksburg…The result of oper­a­tions of Meade [at Get­tys­burg] is deliv­er­ance of the North from the last inva­sion; for, though the enemy may with his splen­did cav­alry, ven­ture upon a sud­den dash and raid into some loyal States, he can­not hope to begin another inva­sion with any­thing like the chances which he had at the com­mence­ment of the late one. His retreat, how­ever, can only be the begin­ning of the end of the last inva­sion; for every con­sid­er­a­tion points to a pur­suit and a scat­ter­ing of the rebel armies which are the cen­tre of the rebellion.

The result of the oper­a­tions of Vicks­burg…. reopens the Mis­sis­sippi, divides the Con­fed­er­acy, and deliv­ers the states of Mis­sis­sippi and Alabama into the hands of the Union…there is no power in this region capa­ble of resist­ing our armies.

…But heavy and tri­umphant as is the hand of our national power, let us reflect that rebel­lion is by no means crushed. Now would seem to be the time to rise above mere par­ti­san schemes on a plane of honor, mag­na­nim­ity and states­man­ship wor­thy of repub­li­can insti­tu­tions… now would seem to strengthen the Union ele­ment in the South­ern States by reas­sur­ing it of a recog­ni­tion of pro­tec­tion under the Constitution….

Indeed has it not become all impor­tant to the North that the Admin­is­tra­tion should purge itself of all con­nec­tion with rad­i­cal vagaries? There is not the first sign that the North will ever unite on these schemes, for they are death and destruction…The strange, wild, crazy spir­i­tual set who have the con­ceit to think they can impro­vise a bet­ter Union than Wash­ing­ton and the fathers grew into, must have the non­sense shaken out of them.

Lin­coln did not exactly share the public’s cel­e­bra­tory mood over the vic­tory of Get­tys­burg. He penned this bit­ter let­ter to Gen­eral Meade. “Again, my dear gen­eral, I do not believe you appre­ci­ate the mag­ni­tude of the mis­for­tune involved in Lee’s escape—He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in con­nec­tion with our other late suc­cesses, have ended the war—As it is, the war will be pro­longed indef­i­nitely. …Your golden oppor­tu­nity is gone and I am dis­tressed immea­sur­ably because of it. -” Unlike per­haps most of us, Lin­coln regained his bal­ance, filed the let­ter in his desk drawer and never sent it.

The Draft

The draft for this coun­try, and in fact for this Dis­trict still remains suspended…It is pre­sumed to take place some­time. We learn that nearly every drafted man in Cabot paid in $300 com­mu­ta­tion money… In Marsh­field, (if we are cor­rectly informed) quite a num­ber con­cluded to serve rather than pay the exemp­tion money.

War and Gen­eral News Items

The State of Michi­gan has ordered that no more new reg­i­ments be raised within the state… that all recruit­ing in the State shall until fur­ther orders, be for the men for reg­i­ments and bat­ter­ies now in the field, and all men enlist­ing there­fore will have choice of reg­i­ments and will be enti­tled to the usual gov­ern­ment and State bounties.

August 8, 1863 North Star

No Draft in New Jersey

It seems that the War Depart­ment has assented to the propo­si­tion to raise the quota of troops in New Jer­sey by vol­un­teer­ing, pro­vided it can be done in thirty days. The quota is 8783 men; and Gov­er­nor Parker has issued a stir­ring and patri­otic procla­ma­tion to the peo­ple to come for­ward and vol­un­teer, and aid vol­un­teer­ing by pay­ments of addi­tional boun­ties … This action of the demo­c­ra­tic Gov­er­nor of New Jer­sey is cred­itable to him as a pub­lic ser­vant, and we should think would silence the croak­ings of polit­i­cal oppo­nents, who accuse him of disloyalty.

Mean­while, the 54th Mass­a­chu­setts Reg­i­ment, one of the first black Afro-American units in the Union, made a dra­matic assault in South Carolina.

The Assault at Fort Wagner

…Soon after four o’clock the fir­ing from Fort Wag­ner ceased… [This] led to the sup­po­si­tion that the enemy had evac­u­ated the work, and it was deter­mined to attempt its occupation…

This was at dusk…the col­ored reg­i­ment which for some rea­son was given the post of extreme honor and dan­ger in advance, and was drawn up in line of bat­tle expos­ing its full front to the enemy…

It was now quite dark… the 54th Mass­a­chu­setts led by Col Shaw was within 200 yards of the works, when the men gave a fierce yell and pushed up to the glacia [ditch]…

The enemy hith­erto silent as the grave, while our men were swarm­ing over the glacia, opened up on them… The gal­lant negroes, how­ever plunged on regard­less of this mur­der­ous recep­tion and many of them crossed the ditch, although it con­tained four feet of water, gain­ing the para­pet. They were dis­lodged, how­ever, in a few min­utes with hand grenades, leav­ing more than one-half their num­ber, includ­ing their brave colonel, dead upon the field.

Colonel Shaw would be buried in a mass grave with his men. The exploits of the 54th would later be dra­ma­tized in the acad­emy award win­ning film, Glory.

August 15, 1863 North Star

The Draft

We seldom read of the racial riots in New York City during the Civil War.

We sel­dom read of the racial riots in New York City dur­ing the Civil War.

…We trust the good name of Ver­mont will not suf­fer, when the num­ber of sol­diers pro­cured by the draft comes to be counted, but we con­fess, thus far, to a severe dis­ap­point­ment in this respect. We fear that one fourth of our quota will be raised by this con­scrip­tion. Many of the nine months men will reen­list in the vet­er­ans reg­i­ments which are soon to be raised, but unless the draft brings into the field more Ver­mon­ters than it promises to now, the three vet­eran reg­i­ments will not fill the defi­ciency in the draft.

Curi­ously, the anti-abolitionist North Star had not pre­vi­ously reported on the draft riots that occurred in New York City July 13 through 16, which was by some accounts the most vio­lent act of civil dis­obe­di­ence the coun­try had ever seen. The riots were pro­voked by the Fed­eral Provost Marshall’s attempt to enforce the Fed­eral con­scrip­tion act. The city’s Irish Catholic immi­grants were enraged at the idea of being forced into mil­i­tary ser­vice to free blacks that Lin­coln, cit­ing his war pow­ers, had ordered by exec­u­tive fiat [Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion] back in Jan­u­ary. Baited by New York’s busi­ness elites, who hated Abo­li­tion­ism because it com­pro­mised the busi­ness loans they had made to the South, and their inabil­ity to come up with the $300 com­mu­ta­tion to buy their way out of the draft, the Irish poor’s three-day ram­page resulted in the destruc­tion of pub­lic build­ings and the loss of 100 black lives. The US mil­i­tary could not get into the city until the end of the first day of riot­ing. Vol­un­teer and mili­tia reg­i­ments had to be diverted from fol­low­ing up on the suc­cess of Get­tys­burg and sent in to restore order. What fol­lows is some of the polit­i­cal after­math to those events.

The Draft in New York City

Wash­ing­ton Aug 8 – Gov­er­nor Sey­mour under the date of Aug 2d writes to the Pres­i­dent with respect to the draft in New York and Brook­lyn con­demn­ing the course of the [Fed­eral] Provost Mar­shal in com­menc­ing the draft with­out con­sul­ta­tion with the City or State offi­cers at the time….while there were not even sol­diers enough in New York to man the for­ti­fi­ca­tions in the har­bor. The Gov­er­nor com­plains of unfair­ness in the enroll­ment, and thinks that this lot­tery in human life, as he terms it, there should be strict impar­tial­ity. In the rural dis­tricts the draft has been exe­cuted with jus­tice, and con­scripts have accepted their fate. In the dis­trict of New York, how­ever, with a pop­u­la­tion less, the num­ber is in some cases dou­ble that of the for­mer [rural dis­tricts]. The attack upon the enrolling offi­cers, which sub­se­quently grew into the most destruc­tive riot known in the his­tory of the coun­try, he pro­nounces unjustifiable. …

The Pres­i­dent in reply, under date of Aug 7, says he can­not sus­pend the draft in New York because time is too important…[In the future] he would direct the draft to pro­ceed only on the aver­age quota of all the districts….The Pres­i­dent would not object to abide the deci­sion of the Supreme courts; he would be will­ing to facil­i­tate it, but could not con­sent to lose time.

War and Gen­eral News Items

…Of the drafted men in this state, not one in ten will be avail­able to the gov­ern­ment. The Rut­land Courier says every one drafted that can beg, bor­row or steal $300, is get­ting exempt, and the bal­ance that do not get off some other way are sked­dling to parts unknown.

The com­mu­ta­tion money paid by drafted men will amount, it is sup­posed, to some forty or fifty mil­lions of dol­lars through­out the country.

The Provost Mar­shal of Pitts­burg had a deserter flogged at the whip­ping post, the other day, and was imme­di­ately in dan­ger of being lynched.

August 22, 1863 North Star


…His­tory fur­nishes no case in which a national evil which has taken a cen­tury to strengthen and locate itself… the work of ten gen­er­a­tions is not to be undone in a day, with­out a shock to inno­cent inter­ests and unwhole­some con­vul­sions to society.

War and Gen­eral News Items

The Canada papers notice the arrivals of large num­bers of young men from the United States who have fled to the Province to avoid the conscription.

The Drafted

The Danville drafted men have most of them been to Wood­stock, for exam­i­na­tion. Quite a num­ber, though not quite half, were exempted, and those inspected in most of them paid the com­mu­ta­tion money. We know of none who fur­nished substitutes.


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News from the North Danville Community Club

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Thaddeus Stevens Focus of Peacham Historical Association Annual Meeting

thaddeus 1The Peacham His­tor­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion will hold its annual meet­ing on Wednes­day, August 14 start­ing at 7 p.m. at the Peacham Con­gre­ga­tional Church. Fol­low­ing the Association’s busi­ness meet­ing, the evening pro­gram will begin at 7:30 and is enti­tled: “Thad­deus Stevens: His­tory ver­sus Hol­ly­wood.” The fea­tured speaker, Bev­erly Wil­son Palmer, well-known edi­tor of the Thad­deus Stevens Papers, will share her exten­sive knowl­edge of Peacham Academy’s famous alumnus.

Thanks to Tommy Lee Jones’s bril­liant por­trayal in the pop­u­lar movie Lin­coln, many Ver­mon­ters have only recently become aware of the promi­nence of their native son, Thad­deus Stevens. Born in Danville in 1792, he moved to Peacham around 1807 where he attended Peacham Acad­emy and where he started his law stud­ies. Although Stevens left Peacham when he was 23, his pas­sion for equal jus­tice was formed dur­ing his early years in Danville and Peacham. These qual­i­ties appear in Lin­coln along with Stevens’ ora­tor­i­cal skills and his iras­ci­ble per­son­al­ity. How­ever, Hol­ly­wood has taken lib­er­ties with some aspects of this statesman’s’ life and his role in the pas­sage of the Thir­teenth Amend­ment abol­ish­ing slav­ery. Her talk will focus on these discrepancies.

The pro­gram is open to the pub­lic and admis­sion is FREE! The evening will end with dessert and con­ver­sa­tion down­stairs in the church.


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Arnold Langmaid — July 5, 1919 — 93 and Counting

By Dwayne Langmaid

Arnold and Shirley Langmaid at the award ceremony for oldest man in Danville.

Arnold and Shirley Lang­maid at the award cer­e­mony for old­est man in Danville.

First of my remem­ber­ing much of Arnie, and of course Shirl, they were liv­ing in half of the lit­tle house across from the old North Danville store. Rather tight quar­ters by today’s stan­dards, but cer­tainly a step-up from the tin-can tiny trailer that had been home. Before that, I’m told Arnie went to the St. Johns­bury Trade School, worked at C. H. Goss, mar­ried Shirl in ’42, and then did three years with the Army in Europe until the end of the Big One.

After get­ting out, Arnie and Shirl bought the tin-can and lived in Spring­field where Arnie was a machin­ist in one of the big shops. A cou­ple years later, we–Hom, Boo, Joe and Snug–started com­ing along. This prompted the move to Arthur Sanborn’s lit­tle house. Arnie mechan­iced out back in the garage that still stands there and helped his dad, Burl, in the woods. Wrench­ing and log­ging didn’t seem to be mak­ing ends meet, so he went to work for Fair­banks Scales, rapidly going through the foundry–drilling to plan­ning to milling and lathe work.

In 1950, Arnie and Shirl bought the farm where Snug and Smitty (Don and Dianne) are now. The place was pretty rough. They, with the help of our grand­par­ents, aunts and uncles, hoed and dug, ripped and tore until in the sum­mer of ’51, we moved in. The old house was plenty big enough, but we didn’t dally run­ning down to the cook stove on nippy morn­ings. Con­tinue read­ing

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