Archive | June 2014

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The Constitution provides for every accidental contingency in the executive – except a vacancy in the mind of the president… Senator John Sherman (1823-1900)

An unusual, three-part wood engraving attributing John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Abraham Lincoln to the influence of the proslavery secret society, the Knights of the Golden Circle. Lincoln was shot by Booth on April 14, 1865, while attending Ford’s Theatre in Washington. In the first panel (left) is a three-quarter length portrait of George W. […]

I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger… Harriet Tubman

Bound for Canaan : the underground railroad and the war for the soul of America¬† Fergus M. Bordewich¬† New York : Amistad, c 2005¬† Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xv, 540 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [508]-519). Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust […]

I trust that I have the courage to lead a forlorn hope… John C. Breckinridge

A crude nonpartisan satire, parodying all four candidates in the 1860 presidential election. A map of the United States hung on a wall is being torn apart by three of the candidates. Lincoln (far left) and Douglas tear at the western part of the country, as Breckinridge (center) attacks the South. The fourth, John Bell […]

The past rises before me like a dream. Again we are in the great struggle for national life.We hear the sounds of preparation–the music of boisterous drums–the silver voices of heroic bugles. We see the pale cheeks of women and the flushed faces of men; and in those assemblages we see all the dead whose dust we have covered with flowers…

Voices in the storm : Confederate rhetoric, 1861-1865 Karen E. Fritz Denton, Tex. : University of North Texas Press, 1999 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xv, 173 p. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-164) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG […]

The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence… H. L. Mencken

Wanted : historic county jails of Texas Edward A. Blackburn, Jr. College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c 2006 Hardcover. 1st ed. xii, 412 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm. Includes bibliographical references p. ( [377]-396) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in […]

This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it is, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance… Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form… Victor Hugo

Tomorrow is Juneteenth another of the host of misunderstood facts of American history. On January 1, 1863 Lincoln had issued his Emancipation Proclamation – a few hours before signing an order deporting another 5,000 blacks from the north – declaring all black slaves in the states that had seceded to be free. By April 1865 […]

America had no use for [John Quincy] Adams because he was eighteenth-century, and yet it worshipped Grant because he was archaic and should have lived in a cave and worn skins… Henry Adams

An overweight rheumy eyed drunk who, after eight years of scandal and mismanagement, had been run out of Washington, D.C. did what every president since has done – when they can no longer stand the heat of the kitchen they travel rooting for foreign plaudits to shore up their reputations at home. Listening to the […]