Monday, December 26, 2011

Cotton Croppers

I’ve continued my research on Alabama in the 1930’s.  One study from 1935 is called The Collapse of Cotton Tenancy.  It was the result of studies and surveys conducted by the University of North Carolina from 1933-1935 to assess the state of cotton cultivation in the Deep South during that time.

In the ten chief cotton states, more than 60% of cotton producers were tenants on operations of various sizes.  Most of these tenants were sharecroppers who received seed, fertilizer, tools and work animals from the land owner in exchange for half of the crop they produced.  The cropper was also provided housing and “furnishing”, advances of food and other necessities from the landlord until the cotton crop came in, often at usurious rates of interest.  This was the “most dependent and vulnerable” population.  There were approximately 1.1 million white cropper families in the mid-1930’s in the South and 700,000 black cropper families.

The report decried the poor quality of housing, diet and education of the sharecropper class.  The social system that existed in landlord-tenant cotton culture was (at its most benign) a paternalistic one that replicated the culture of slavery days.  “Every kind of exploitation and abuse is permitted because of the old caste prejudice.  The poor white connives in this abuse of the Negro; in fact, he is the most violent protagonist of it.”  And later:  “Because of their insistence upon the degrading of three million Negro tenants, five and a half million white workers continue to keep themselves in virtual peonage.”

It is a harsh indictment that certainly merits qualification, but remains representative of the complex currents of power and race that still echoed in Southern society 70 years after the end of the Civil War.

Here are some pictures of the world of the cotton farmer in Depression-era Alabama from the Library of Congress (captions are taken from the LOC).

Martha Mosely coming from the store.  She manages and runs her own farm and made three bales
of cotton last year. Gee's Bend, Alabama.  May 1939.  Marion Post Wolcott.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Plowboy in Alabama earns seventy-five cents daily.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Alabama Negro working in the field near Eutaw, Alabama.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Alabama plow girl near Eutaw, Alabama.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

A Negro tenant farmer and several members of his family hoeing cotton on their
farm in Alabama.  July 1936.  Dorothea Lange.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Hill country cotton farm in southwestern Alabama.  August 1938.  Dorothea Lange.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Church and cotton field near Greensboro, Alabama.  Jack Delano.  May 1941.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Cotton field.  Hale County, Alabama.  1935 or 1936.  Walker Evans.
Library of Congress (U.S. Farm Security Administration)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Local Curiosities III

I went down to Wickford, Rhode Island with some friends the other day.  Who knew it was so beautiful?  An amazing collection of 18th and 19th century homes in a beautiful waterfront setting.  This gorgeous Baptist church was there, built in 1816.

And here's something I've never seen before.  A Chia bear.  The sign tells you in case there is any confusion.

Also, some exciting local news.  Here's the old Poirier diner, originally in the Eagle Square area of Atwells Avenue, about to be lowered onto its new resting place at 1380 Westminster Street.  It will be a diner and I am so excited because it is just across the park from me!

And here, a few steps away, you can buy human hair.

Here are some pics of young Clovis sleeping in the winter sun.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Iron Age

I've been snooping around documents from Alabama in the Great Depression and came across these amazing photographs of Birmingham in the 1930's.  Life among the steelworkers and miners, black and white, must have been difficult.  Fortunately, New Deal programs sent photographers down south, like Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, to record life in the South at this time.

As Robin G. Kelley describes in her fascinating book Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists in the Great Depression:
...the "valley of the furnaces" was another world in the making.  Thousands of landless farmers from the surrounding counties, particularly blacks, were rapidly drawn into the orbit of industrial production.  By 1900, 55 percent of Alabama's coal miners and 65 percent of its iron and steel workers were black.  Overall, African-Americans made up more than 90 percent of Birmingham's unskilled labor force by 1910, thus constituting one of the largest black urban communities in the New South.
And later:
By 1920 over 17,000 workers lived in homes maintained by various industrial concerns and ranging in quality from well-constructed wood-frame hosues to shoddy dwellings of board and batten construction.
Here are some photographs from that world, all with most grateful thanks to the Library of Congress.

Steelmill workers' company houses and outhouses, Republic Steel Company,
Birmingham, Alabama, March 1936, Walker Evans.
Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company, Birmingham, Alabama,
June 1936, Dorothea Lange.
Steel plant and workers' houses, Birmingham, Alabama, May 1939,
Marion Post Wolcott.
Steel mill and workers' houses near Birmingham, Alabama, February 1937,
Arthur Rothstein.
Steelmill workers' houses, Birmingham, Alabama.  Owned by
Republic Steel Company, March 1936, Walker Evans. 
Yardman on mine railroad, Jefferson County, Alabama,
February 1937, Arthur Rothstein.
Company store for steel workers, Ensley, Alabama, February 1937,
Arthur Rothstein.
Alabama Coal Miners, Birmingham, February 1937, Arthur Rothstein.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I am just finishing up reading Julia Peterkin's Scarlet Sister Mary, published by the Bobbs-Merrill Company in Indianapolis in 1928 and winner of the 1929 Pulitzer Prize.  Mary, a young woman in a small black farming community in low country South Carolina, is an orphan raised by her aunt, Maum Hannah.  At a young age, she marries for her passion to a man who ends up abandoning her for another woman.  But Mary is undaunted, like the earth that turns and the seasons that come and go.  She learns to live for love of herself and the beauty around her, in spite of her fallen status in the conservative community.

Peterkin was a white woman who grew up on an isolated plantation and spent most of her time with the African-Americans who worked the land.  In his review of her book Green Thursday, W.E.B. DuBois said, "she is a Southern white woman, but she has the eye and the ear to see beauty and know truth."
Julia Peterkin in 1933, LOC
The book is worth checking out, and here's another item I really wanted to show off.  The copy I have is a 1928 edition with these fantastic endpapers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Sack of Athens

On the road to Sherman's Total War, an incident occurred in Athens, Alabama.

Major General Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, c.1862, Wikimedia Commons
As the smoke cleared from the Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862), the Union army held the field.  Major General Ormsby M. Mitchel had held his troops in Middle Tennessee in check until it was clear the Confederate army had retreated to Corinth, Mississippi.  He then made a rapid push south into North Alabama to the Tennessee River, arriving in Huntsville, Alabama early on the morning of April 11th.  He had under his command three brigades and several unattached units.  He checked the railroads, telegraph lines and river crossings and through that spring occupied Tuscumbia, Florence, Decatur and up the Tennessee to Stevenson and Bridgeport.  He complained frequently of a lack of cavalry along his very stretched lines and his need for more men.  He was constantly plagued by bushwhackers, snipers and guerrillas who destroyed rail and telegraph lines that his units had repaired.
Detail of G.W. Colton's Alabama, 1859, NY, Johnson & Browning,
Alabama Department of Archives and History
As part of his occupation of North Alabama, with Huntsville as his headquarters, Mitchel sent portions of Colonel John Basil Turchin's Eighth Brigade, including the 19th Illinois, as well as Edgarton's Ohio Battery, into Athens, due west of Huntsville.
Colonel John Basil Turchin, Wikimedia Commons
Turchin, a native of Russia and veteran of the Russian service in the Crimean War, allowed his men to pillage, plunder and rape in the small town.  The event leaked to the North slowly, but ultimately became a scandal, staining General Mitchel's career as well as Turchin's.  A court-martial of Turchin was held on August 6th in Athens where Turchin was accused of neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and disobedience of orders.

The list of charges from The Official Record of the War of the Rebellion include fascinating detail of what precisely his soldiers were accused:
A party entered the dwelling of Milly Ann Clayton and opened all the trunks, drawers, and boxes of every description, and taking out the contents thereof, consisting of wearing apparel and bed-clothes, destroyed, spoiled, or carried away the same.  They also insulted the said Milly Ann Clayton and threatened to shoot her, and then proceeding to the kitchen they there attempted an indecent outrage on the person of her servant girl. 
A squad of soldiers went to the office of R.C. David and plundered it of about $1,000 in money and of much wearing apparel, and destroyed a stock of books, among which was a lot of fine Bibles and Testaments, which were torn, defaced, and kicked about the floor and trampled under foot. 
A party of this command entered a house occupied by two females, M.E. Malone and S.B. Malone, and ransacked it throughout, carrying off the money which they found, and also the jewelry, plate, and female ornaments of value and interest to the owners, and destroying and spoiling the furniture of said house without cause. 
For six or eight hours that day squads of soliders visited the dwelling house of Thomas S. Malone, breaking open his desk and carrying off or destroying valuable papers, notes of hand, and other property, to the value of about $4,500, more or less, acting rudely and violently toward the females of the family.  This last was done chiefly by the men of Edgarton’s battery. The plundering of saddles, bridles, blankets, etc., was by the Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteers. 
The same parties plundered the drug store of William D. Allen, destroying completely a set of surgical, obstetrical, and dental instruments or carrying them away. 
The store of Madison Thompson was broken open and plundered of a stock of goods worth about $3,000, and his stable was entered, and corn, oats, and fodder taken by different parties, who on his application for receipts replied “that they gave receipts at other places, but intended that this place should support them,” or words to that effect. 
The office of J.F. Lowell was broken open and a fine microscope and many geological specimens, together with many surgical instruments and books, carried off or destroyed. 
Squads of soldiers, with force of arms, entered the private residence of John F. Malone, and foced open all the locks of the doors, broke open all the drawers to the bureaus, the secretary, sideboard, wardrobes, and trunks in the house, and rifled them of their contents, consisting of valuable clothing, silver-ware, silver-plate, jewelry, a gold watch and chain, etc., and in the performing of these outrages they used coarse, vulgar, and profane language to the females of the family. These squads came in large numbers and plundered the house thoroughly.  They also broke open the law office of said Malone and destroyed his safe and damaged his books.  A part of this brigade went to the plantation of the above-named Malone and quartered in the negro huts for weeks, debauching the females and roaming with the males over the surrounding country to plunder and pillage. 
A mob of soldiers burst open the doors and windows of the business houses of Samuel Tanner, Jr., and plundered them of their contents, consisting of sugar, coffee, boots and shoes, leather, and other merchandise. 
Very soon after the command entered the town a party of soldiers broke into the silversmith shop and jewelry store owned by D.B. Friend and plundered it of its contents and valuables to the amount of about $3,000. 
A party of this command entered the house of R.S. Irwin and ordered his wife to cook dinner for them, and while she and her servant were so engaged they made the most indecent and beastly propositions to the latter in the presence of the whole family, and when the girl went away they followed her in the same manner, notwithstanding her efforts to avoid them. 
Mrs. Hollinsworth’s house was entered and plundered of clothing and other property by several parties, and some of the men fired into the house and threatened to burn it, and used violent and insulting language toward the said Mrs. Hollinsworth.  The alarm and excitement occasioned miscarriage and subsequently her death. 
Several soldiers came to the house of Mrs. Charlotte Hine and committed rape on the person of a colored girl and then entered the house and plundered it of all the sugar, coffee, preservers, and the like which they could find.  Before leaving they destroyed or carried off all the pictures and ornaments they could lay their hands on. 
A mob of soldiers filled the house of J.A. Cox, broke open his iron safe, destroyed and carried off papers of value, plundering the house thoroughly, carrying off the clothes of his wife and children. 
Some soldiers broke into the brick store of P. Tanner & Sons, and destroyed or carried off nearly the entire stock of goods contained there, and broke open the safe and took about $2,000 in money and many valuable papers. 
A party of soldiers, at the order of Captain Edgarton, broke into an office through the windows and doors and plundered it of its contents, consisting of bedding, furniture and wearing apparel.  Lieutenant Berwick was also with the party.  This officer was on the ground. 
The law office of William Richardson, which was in another part of the town, was rifled completely and many valuable papers, consisting of bonds, bills, and notes of hand, lost or destroyed. 
The house of J.H. Jones was entered by Colonel Mihalotzy, of the Twenty-fourth Illinois Volunteers, who behaved rudely and coarsely to the ladies of the family.  He then quartered two companies of infantry in the house.  About one hour after Captian Edgarton quartered his artillery company in the parlors, and these companies plundered the house of all provisions and clothing they could lay their hands on, and spoiled the furniture and carpets maliciously and without a shadow of reason, spoiling the parlor carpets by cutting bacon on them, and the piano by chopping joints on it with an axe, the beds by sleeping in them with their muddy boots on.  The library of the house was destroyed, and the locks of the bureaus, secretaries, wardrobes, and trunks were all forced and their contents pillaged.  The family plate was carried off, but some of the pieces have been recovered. 
The store of George R. Peck was entered by a large crowd of soldiers and stripped of its contents, and the iron safe broken open and its contents plundered, consisting of $940.90 and $4,000 worth of notes. 
John Turrentine’s store was broken into by a party of soldiers on that day, and an iron safe cut open belonging to the same and about $5,000 worth of notes of hand taken or destroyed.  These men destroyed about $200 worth of books found in said store, consisting of law books, religious books, and reading books generally.

Beaty-Mason House, orig. construction c. 1826, Athens, Alabama, LOC

Turchin was found guilty on most charges and lost his command, but was never formally dismissed from the Army.  This event helped propel the discussion of what level of consideration should be given to citizens who supported the rebellion (although the great irony was that Athens had been one of the most vocal pro-Union areas of North Alabama).  Colonel Beatty, a member of the court-martial board, gave this colorful expression to the debate:
The Old Masonic Hall, orig. construction c. 1826, Athens, Alabama, LOC
[Buell's policy of conciliation] is inaugurating the dancing-master policy: "By your leave, my dear sir, we will have a fight, that is, if you are sufficiently fortified; no hurry; take your time."  To the bushwhacker: "Am sorry you gentlemen fire at our trains from behind stumps, logs, and ditches.  Had you not better cease this sort of warfare?  Now do, my good fellows, stop, I beg of you."  To the citizen rebel:  "You are a chivalrous people; you have been aggravated by the abolitionists into suscribing cotton to the Southern Confederacy; you had, of course, a right to dispose of your own property to suit yourselves, but we prefer that you would, in future, make no more subscriptions of that kind, and in the meantime we propose to protect your property and guard your negroes."
Sherman's rapacious March to the Sea after the fall of Atlanta was the ultimate realization of the policy of Total War.  Turchin was promoted to Brigadier General and given a new command by September 1862.


Grimsley, Mark.  The Hard Hand of War:  Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Bradley, George C., Dahlen, Richard L.  From Conciliation to Conquest: The Sack of Athens and the Court-Martial of Colonel John B. Turchin.  Tuscaloosa: Alabama University Press, 2006.

The War of the Rebellion:  a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

Karamanski, Theodore J. Civilians, Soldiers and the Sack of Athens, Alabama.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Strong Women

My forthcoming novel features the much-touted strong female lead, and in my travels so far I have had the pleasure of meeting equally strong women, both in person and in fiction.  Two such great individuals and great writers (and not coincidentally New York Times bestselling authors!) are Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe, and their books, which I've just finished reading, feature women on journeys of self-discovery.  They are both beautiful books and well worth spending time with.

Henry's book, Coming Up for Air, focuses on Ellie Calvin, a woman of Atlanta society, whose dominant mother passes away, leaving Ellie wondering who her mother, Lillian, was and if she knows who she is herself.  Ellie knew Lillian as a stern mother who insisted on solid prospects for her daughter rather than romance.  After her death, she discovers her mother's diary, written on New Year's Day every year.  The woman in the diary was once a passionate participant in the Civil Rights movements and would have given everything up for an unnamed lover.  This spurs Ellie on a quest where she learns of her mother's hidden past and determines to change her own future.

Henry writes beautifully and handles the deep emotions of her heroine with delicacy and subtlety.  She uses images to convey emotions in ways that words never could, developing themes of the natural world that will stay with you.  Birds, flowers, and an ecstatic Jubilee time, where the sea life of Mobile Bay come to the surface as a sort of offering to local residents, give the story fragility and depth.

Monroe, like Henry, is a wonderful writer who uses the natural world as a counterpoint to her human story.  The Butterfly's Daughter follows Luz Avila, a Mexican-American born and raised in Milwaukee, as she discovers her past and her family's culture.  The grandmother who raised Luz dies before she and Luz are able to make an important trip to Texas to visit family.  Confused, Luz decides to make the journey herself in a bright orange VW Bug.  Luz follows the same path that the monarch butterflies follow on their mysterious and arduous journey back to their homeland in Michoacán, Mexico, to the Valley of the Butterflies.

Monroe's story moves briskly through Luz's adventures as she makes her way to Mexico.  The people she meets are reflective of herself and her family history, the loss of her mother, her isolation from her family except for her grandmother, her struggle to survive and get ahead, and her search for strength within herself.  Like the fragile butterfly, Luz finds that she has an enormous amount of inner strength.

Both of these great women writers have produced wonderful books about finding your inner strength, knowing yourself and being active in determining your future.  Please check them out!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Undertaker Undertakes

Well, it's the Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, and what better topic than undertakers?

A while back, I posted about the development of embalming practices during the Civil War.  The primary practitioners of embalming ultimately were undertakers, although the science itself was developed by chemists and doctors in the mid-19th century.  The profession of undertaking, however, goes back much further and was often associated with a variety of other trades.

The Company of Undertakers by William Hogarth, c. 1736 (Wikimedia Commons)
Individuals known as "Undertakers" began to appear in England in the late 17th century.  These professional men competed with the aristocrats of the College of Arms who previously dominated "both the form and management of funeral ceremonial for the English elite during the sixteenth and most of the seventeenth centuries."  The political upheavels in England during this time, as well as the Crown's desperate need for cash, helped to open up the trade.  These early undertakers offered a variety of funereal services, like Thomas Salter in 1737, who kept his business "at the Four Coffins in the Old Bailey."  He advertized that he "Makes and Sells all Sorts of Coffins and Shrouds at moderate Prices, he likewise furnishes Funerals, viz., Palls, Cloaks, Scarves and Hoods, Silk Hatbands, Crape Hatbands, Favours, Gloves, Feathers, Velvets, Hangings, Escutcheons, Sconces, Candlesticks, Stands, Wax Tapers, Branch Lights, Flambeaux, Tickets, With Hearses and Mourning-Coaches to any Part of England."  Very often, undertakers were in a variety of businesses, like upholsterers and furniture makers.  This tradition would continue well into the 19th century.

John Hislop, Undertaker, Brisbane, c. 1902 (State Library of Queensland)
In 1811, Thomas Lamb described in full the established view of the undertaker, a description that was as appropriate in the United States as in England:
He is master of ceremonies at burials and mourning assemblies, grandmarshal at funeral processions, the only true yeoman of the body, over which he exercises dictatorial authority from the moment that breath has taken leave to that of its final commitment to the earth.  His ministry begins where the physician's, lawyer's, and diviner's end...He is bed maker to the dead.  The pillows which he lays never rumple.  The day of interment is the theatre in which he displays the mysteries of this art.
John Peak & Son, Funeral Undertaker, Boston, c. 1868 (Wikimedia Commons)
Across the pond, the rise of professional funeral managers who supplied the growing variety of mourning necessities was also allied to furniture making trades.  Michael Jenkins in Baltimore offered coffinmaking in addition to his cabinet-making business as early as 1799.  Many businesses that began offering funeral services as a sideline soon assumed it as their primary offering.  W.D. Diguid was established in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1817.  J.J. Shepherd and Son was in business in 1827 in Pembroke, Massachusetts.  J.S. Waterman, a cabinet-maker, also began undertaking in 1832.

Livery stables also began to get into the game.  As people demanded more elaborate funeral displays along with hearses and the horses that pull them, livery keepers offered these items for rental and began taking on the management of the funeral in its entirety.  An entry in the 1824 city directory of Baltimore shows a livery stable with undertaking services.  In 1856, the city directory of Providence, Rhode Island, states:  Gardner T. Swartz, Livery Stable Keeper, Undertaker, Tomb Proprietor and Dealer in ready-made coffins, of all kinds and at all prices, near the corner of Pine and Dorrance Street, Providence.

John M. Foll, Undertaker, c. 1859 (
Soon, firms that specialized in supplying funeral accessories became known as "furnishing undertakers". By the time of the Civil War, the varied business that provided undertaking services also began providing embalming services as well.  The case of William R. Cornelius is an interesting one.

Cornelius was born in 1824 in Union County, Pennsylvania.  He apprenticed as a carpenter and made furniture as well as coffins.  At some point, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and by 1849 was the foreman of the undertaking and cabinet-making business of McComb and Carson.  By 1861, he was sole proprietor of the firm and focused exclusively on undertaking.  He won the contract to bury the Confederate dead and when the Union army arrived in 1862, he got the contract to bury the Union dead at the same terms.  He opened branch establishments in Murfreesboro and Chattanooga, Tennessee, as well as Stevenson, Huntsville, and Bridgeport, Alabama, and Rome, Georgia.  He claimed to have buried or shipped to their homes over 33,000 war dead.

C. Bohnefeld, Agent, Undertaker and Cabinet Maker, Atlanta Constitution March 1877
In 1862, a Dr. E.C. Lewis approached Mr. Cornelius with a new embalming system he had acquired the right to use from Dr. Thomas Holmes in Washington, D.C.  Cornelius states, "It was new to me, but I at once put him to work with the Holmes fluid and Holmes injector.  He was quite an expert, but like a great many men, he could not stand prosperity, and soon wanted to get into some other kind of business, which he did."

Cornelius continues,
I suppose I embalmed and had embalmed some 3,000-3,500 soldiers and employees of the U.S. Army. Embalming was not introduced until after the Confederate Army left, so I did not embalm any Confederates.  I embalmed and shipped General McPherson, General Scott and General Garesche.  The latter had his head shot clear off.  I shipped nearly all of the Anderson cavalry to Philadelphia at one time.  After the fight at Stones River, I shipped colonels, majors, captains and privates by carloads some days.
The work was obviously overwhelming and after the departure of Dr. Lewis, Cornelius trained Prince Greer to perform the embalming work, one of the first African-American embalmers.  Greer was a slave and his owner, a cavalry officer, was killed in battle.  Greer contacted Cornelius to have the body embalmed so that it could be delivered back home to Texas, and himself ended up training and remaining with Cornelius.  Cornelius recollected:
When Lewis, the embalmer, quit, I then undertook the embalming myself with a colored assistant named Prince Greer who appeared to enjoy embalming so much that he became himself an expert, kept on at work embalming during the balance of the war, and was very successful.  It was but a short time before he could raise an artery as quickly as anyone, and was always careful, of course coming to me in a critical case.  He remained with me until I quit the business in 1871.
Horses and carriages before C.W. Franklin, Undertaker,
an African-American businessman in Chattanooga, Tennessee c. 1899 (LOC)
What happened to Greer?  Did he continue in the business for himself?  Cornelius tired of retirement and by 1879 was back in the undertaking business.  The Nashville city directory of 1901 still showed the firm of W.R. Cornelius, undertaker, now run with his sons, B.F. and William, Jr.

My great-grandfather, Henry P. Schwarz in his uniform with the O'Fallon Fire Department, c. 1910
My own family has its association with undertaking and embalming.  According to family history, my great-grandfather was the youngest licensed embalmer in the state of Illinois.  Henry P. Schwarz was born on September 19, 1887 in Kansas City, Missouri.  His father had died before his birth and his mother died shortly after, perhaps in a typhoid epidemic.  He was adopted by Matthias and Caroline Schwarz of O'Fallon, Illinois.  The Schwarz family owned a furniture business that had a sideline in funeral undertaking and at the age of 13, Henry became licensed as an embalmer.  He practiced his profession for 45 years at the Schwarz Furniture and Undertaking Company.  From his obituary:  "He once operated the old Taylor Opera House where early motion pictures such as "The Birth of a Nation" were shown during World War I.  Mr. Schwarz retired from the O'Fallon Fire Department after 40 years service in May 1946."


Fritz, Paul S., “The Undertaking Trade in England: Its Origins and Early Development, 1660-1830”, Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 28, no. 2, (1994-1995).

Habenstein, Robert W. and Lamers, William M.,  The History of American Funeral Directing,  National Funeral Directors Association, 1981.

Walker, Juliet E.K., “Racism, Slavery, and Free Enterprise:  Black Entrepreneurship in the United States before the Civil War”, The Business History Review, Vol. 60, No. 3, Autumn, 1986.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I left poor Clovis alone for most of the day.  Terrible.  I was at the Poetry and Politics Conference in New Hampshire where I met an amazing list of poets laureate of states from Texas to Maine.  It was wonderful (aside from being apart from Clovis)!  Interesting discussions and lots of great poetry.  State arts organizations are under siege all across the country, and no one knows it better than these poets.  We should all do more to support our state and local arts organizations and tell our government officials how much we value them.

But in the meantime, we can appreciate a few pictures of Clovis I took the other very sunny day just before our nap.  If Clovis could talk, he would definitely be a vocal supporter of poetry and the other arts!  :)