Library Additions: September 2015 (1)

One of the regular features I will be including here are listings of books that I have added to my personal library. These may be purchases, gifts, or copies generously provided by a publisher for review and/or promotion. This type of post will run on an as needed basis and will be marked by month, year, and post number for the month.

Thank you to my good friends at Southern Illinois University Press for sending complimentary review copies of two of their new releases. SIU Press has been a long time supporter and I appreciate their partnership.

lincoln immigrant

Silverman, Jason H. Lincoln and the Immigrant (Concise Lincoln Library). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. 159 pages, index, notes, b/w photos. ISBN 9780809334346, $24.95.

Between 1840 and 1860, America received more than four and a half million people from foreign countries as permanent residents, including a huge influx of newcomers from northern and western Europe, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans who became U.S. citizens with the annexation of Texas and the Mexican Cession, and a smaller number of Chinese immigrants. While some Americans sought to make immigration more difficult and to curtail the rights afforded to immigrants, Abraham Lincoln advocated for the rights of all classes of citizens. In this succinct study, Jason H. Silverman investigates Lincoln’s evolving personal, professional, and political relationship with the wide variety of immigrant groups he encountered throughout his life, revealing that Lincoln related to the immigrant in a manner few of his contemporaries would or could emulate.

From an early age, Silverman shows, Lincoln developed an awareness of and a tolerance for different peoples and their cultures, and he displayed an affinity for immigrants throughout his legal and political career. Silverman reveals how immigrants affected not only Lincoln’s day-to-day life but also his presidential policies and details Lincoln’s opposition to the Know Nothing Party and the antiforeign attitudes in his own Republican Party, his reliance on German support for his 1860 presidential victory, his appointment of political generals of varying ethnicities, and his reliance on an immigrant for the literal rules of war.

Examining Lincoln’s views on the place of the immigrant in America’s society and economy, Silverman’s pioneering work offers a rare new perspective on the renowned sixteenth president.

 villianous compounds
Hasegawa, Guy R. Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 2015. 182 pages, index, notes, glossary, b/w photos. ISBN 9780809334308, $29.50.
Most studies of modern chemical warfare begin with World War I and the widespread use of poison gas by both sides in the conflict. However, as Guy R. Hasegawa reveals in this fascinating study, numerous chemical agents were proposed during the Civil War era. As combat commenced, Hasegawa shows, a few forward-thinking chemists recognized the advantages of weaponizing the noxious, sometimes deadly aspects of certain chemical concoctions. They and numerous ordinary citizens proposed a host of chemical weapons, from liquid chlorine in artillery shells to cayenne pepper solution sprayed from fire engines. In chilling detail, Hasegawa describes the potential weapons, the people behind the concepts, and the evolution of some chemical weapon concepts into armaments employed in future wars. As he explains, bureaucrats in the war departments of both armies either delayed or rejected outright most of these unusual weapons, viewing them as unneeded or unworkable. Nevertheless, many of the proposed armaments presaged the widespread use of chemical weapons in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Especially timely with today’s increased chemical threats from terrorists and the alleged use of chemical agents in the Syrian Civil War, Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War expands the history of chemical warfare and exposes a disturbing new facet of the Civil War.

Confederate Cannons Raised from the Pee Dee River

Underwater archaeologists from the University of South Carolina raise one of three cannons recovered today. Courtesy:

A team of underwater archaeologists from the University of South Carolina were successful in raising three Confederate cannons from the Pee Dee River outside of Florence, South Carolina. These cannons were disposed of ahead of the arrival of William T. Sherman and his troops.

Read the full article here.

Upcoming Events October 1-4, 2015

Here are a few events coming up in the next week, (approximately October 1-4, 2015) that might be of interest to readers. If you know of other events, or if you are the promoter of an event, please feel free to get in touch with more information. I will be glad to pass it along. Make your plans and get out and enjoy some local history. For a better future, study the past!

Night at the Museum Friday, October 2 6p-9pm  at the New Smyrna Museum of History. Your $30 ticket includes food, drinks, entertainment, and a live auction. Click the link or call the museum, 386-478-0052 for further information.

Datil Pepper Festival and Cook Off Saturday and Sunday October 3 & 4 St. Augustine. Click here for more information

Cherokee Demonstrations and Lecture October 3, 11am-4pm, Ponce de Leon Archaeological Park, St. Augustine. Click here for more information.

Museums on Us Free admission for Bank of America customers to selected museums on the first Saturday (October 3) of the month. Click here for details on the program and participating museums.

Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery Tours coordinated by the Ormond Beach Historical Society, tickets are $12. For more information click here.

New Smyrna Beach Book Festival October 3-4. This festival will feature only fiction authors but I thought it should be included anyhow. I will not be participating since I write non-fiction. For more information click here.

53rd Florida Rail Fair Show and Sale October 3, 9a-4p, Volusia County Fairgrounds in Deland. $7 admission. For more information, and a $1 coupon off the price of admission, click here.

Alachua County, FL to Move Confederate Monument

"Old Joe" located at the Alachua County Administration Building. Courtesy
“Old Joe” located at the Alachua County Administration Building. Courtesy

In the seemingly unending assault on anything Confederate, the Alachua County Commission has agreed to move the Confederate monument located at in downtown Gainesville to the Matheson History Museum.

As it always seems this issue has brought out all kinds of people from both sides wishing to voice their opinion. The funny thing, a year ago how many of them even knew the monument was there and if they knew, did they care.

Read about the move in the local paper here.

Florida Historical Quarterly Volume 94, Number 1

Florida Historical Quarterly Volume 94, Number 1 Summer 2015

Religion and Women’s Rights in Florida: An Examination of the Equal Rights Amendment Legislative Debates, 1972-1982–Laura E. Brock

The Rise of Jim Crow in Fort Myers, 1885-1930–Jonathan Harrison

‘Gators Making Merry in Cuba: The University of Florida Football Team in Havana, December, 1912–Michael T. Wood

Throwing the Explorer out with the Fountain: American History Textbooks and Juan Ponce de Leon–Roger Chapman

Book Reviews


For further information about this journal see their website here.

Welcome Aboard!

Welcome everybody. I have decided to take the next step in my writing and have a website. I want to thank my friend Victoria Perkins at Cut Above Designs for helping bring this to life.

So what will you find here? First off, I am a writer and museum executive director. You will find out about my writing; what I am working on, ideas, magazine pieces, etc. As a heads up, my second book Historic Sites and Landmarks of New Smyrna Beach will be published by The History Press in December. It will make a great Christmas gift!

In addition, I will also be posting book notices, book reviews, travel related pieces (both ideas and places that I have recently visited), press releases, interviews, and more. All will deal with history in some respect. These will be almost exclusively American history. Sure, I may throw an oddball piece in every now and then but it’s my site; I am allowed to.

I invite you to also follow me on social media. You can find my accounts by clicking on the icons near the bottom of the page.

As you can imagine, this page will be a work in progress. I am not a web designer so I’ll be going back to Victoria for help I am sure. I hope to add widgets that will enhance the site and be of interest to those who visit the site. Please be sure to check the tabs for further information such as contact info, more information about me, and updates on my books.

If you are a publisher rep, an author, or have a historically related product you would like me to take a look at, review, or post information on please click the “contact” link. If you would like me to promote your book/dvd/game/whatever by offering a give-away that can be arranged as well.

If you recognize me from my prior blogging life please realize this is where you will find me from now on. I will leave my earlier blog available but it is unlikely I will be updating much.

Well, I guess that is enough about me and what this website will be. For now, I am reading Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day: The Classic Epic of D-Day and I hear it calling me. Again, I say welcome and I hope you enjoy what I have to share!