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Bill Thayer

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A Selection of Articles
from Various American History Journals

This section of my site collects a few articles that either captured my fancy, or, sometimes, were referred to elsewhere onsite — so that it finally seemed a bit unfair not to provide the text of them onsite as well. I'll be adding to the collection from time to time.

At the time I input these articles, some of them were not online anywhere; others were available in partial, garbled, or otherwise inferior versions, or only as raw scans; many were online, yet not available to the general public, but only to authorized staff and students at participating universities.

You may be coming here from my site on American Catholic History; articles more particularly relevant to that field are marked on this page with a  (that's a searchable character, by the way, that you can copy and paste in your browser window's "find on page" box).

Similarly, articles relevant to American Railroad History are marked ; those relevant to American Naval and Maritime History are marked ; and those relevant to camels are marked 🐪; (all of these are also searchable characters).

Some of these characters may show up as a plain box in some browsers, even if you have a supporting font: you can still select it, copy it, and paste in your find box, where it may magically appear, or not: but at any rate you will be able to search for it and find it on the page.


All journal articles onsite are in the public domain, of course.

In the case of articles originally published in the United States, the copyright of those of 1923 and earlier has lapsed; of those from 1924 to 1963 inclusive, they are in the public domain if both the publisher and the author of the journal submission failed to renew at the appropriate time (27 or 28 years after the original copyright), which I have verified in each instance: details here on the copyright law involved.

The copyright status of articles originally published outside the United States follows different rules; generally entering the public domain a certain number of years after the death of their authors: usually 70, but depends on the country. I've checked the dates in each case, and where that information governs the copyright status of the article, you will find it in the public domain notice in the page's header bar.

Academy of American Franciscan History: The Americas

Jan. 1963

American Antiquity

Bruce W. Merwin: Rock Carvings in Southern Illinois

A few examples, near Vienna and Murphysboro. (2 photos.)

Oct. 1937

Harvey H. Nininger: Meteorite Collecting among Ancient Americans

Meteorites have been found in such locations or conditions as to make it clear that they had been collected or specially set apart by native Americans. (5 photos.)

Jul. 1938

David S. Gebhard & Harold A. Cahn: The Petroglyphs of Dinwoody, Wyoming

A quick statistical overview of nearly five hundred petroglyphs, with a first attempt at a relative chronology. (10 illustrations.)

Jan. 1950

American Historical Magazine

P. T. Glass: Sketch of Henry Rutherford

The 18c Tennessee surveyor and pioneer.

Jul. 1900

B. F. Allen: Governor William Trousdale

A slight article, abridging a far better one, although with some added genealogical information. Includes a link to the better article, also onsite.

Oct. 1902

American Historical Review

Frederick J. Turner: The Origin of Genet's Projected Attack on Louisiana and the Floridas

The notorious French ambassador to the United States in 1793 was not a loose cannon acting on his own account, but working on the express instructions of his government.

Jul. 1898

Carl Evans Boyd: The County of Illinois

Qui trop embrasse, mal étreint: Virginia, having conquered what there was to conquer in the Northwest, sets up a government, but there are just too few people to make it work — Frenchmen, at that, who are sheep rather than citizens — and Virginia gives up.

Jul. 1899

Albert E. McKinley: The English and Dutch Towns of New Netherland

The 17c settlements of New Netherland included Dutch towns, less interested in political rights, and English towns, who demanded them and actually were favored over the Dutch.

Oct. 1900

Walter L. Fleming: The Buford Expedition to Kansas

In 1855‑1856, Major Jefferson Buford of Alabama financed and organized a group of emigrants to Kansas to bolster the pro-slavery vote when time came for Kansas to achieve statehood.

Oct. 1900

George Henry Alden: The State of Franklin

An account, clearer than most, of the short-lived, not-quite-State by that name (1785‑1787), in what is now East Tennessee.

Jan. 1903

J. Franklin Jameson: St. Eustatius in the American Revolution

This Dutch Caribbean island served as a base of supply in the Revolutionary War, mostly of arms and ammunition.

Jul. 1903

William R. Shepherd: Wilkinson and the Beginnings of the Spanish Conspiracy

The author shows that the Kentucky conspiracy was set in motion by Wilkinson, not by the Spaniards.

Apr. 1904
Jan. 1905
Apr. 1905

W. H. Isely: The Sharps Rifle Episode in Kansas History

The Boston-based "New England Emigrants Aid Company" was in fact running weapons and ammunition into Kansas; the author of the paper views this as a good, even laudable thing.

Jul. 1907

Eugene C. Barker: President Jackson and the Texas Revolution

In which the author maintains that Jackson did not scheme to effect the separation of Texas from Mexico, although his agents did, against his will.

Jul. 1907

Ephraim D. Adams: English Interest in the Annexation of California

When California looked like it would secede from Mexico, Great Britain did not attempt either to encourage its independence nor to possess themselves of it, merely seeking to keep it out of other nations' hands once it had achieved independence.

Jul. 1909

Carl Russell Fish: The Northern Railroads, April, 1861

The state of the railroads in the northern part of the United States at the outbreak of the War between the States, and how the Union government would build on it during that war.

Jul. 1917

Charles W. Ramsdell: The Confederate Government and the Railroads, April, 1861

The state of the railroads in the southern part of the United States at the outbreak of the War between the States, and during the war.

Jul. 1917

Herbert Bolton: The Mission as a Frontier Institution in the Spanish-American Colonies

An overall view of how the Spanish Catholic missions functioned in America, from a practical, organizational, and political standpoint.

Oct. 1917

George E. Hastings: Notes on the Beginnings of Aeronautics in America

A rather slight paper on the interest taken in balloons by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Francis Hopkinson.

Oct. 1919

Oliver L. Spaulding, Jr.: The Military Studies of George Washington

George Washington is often said to have had no military training. This article, by a top U. S. Army historical researcher, details Gen. Washington's technical reading.

July 1924

R. S. Cotterill: The Louisville and Nashville Railroad

This railroad played a crucial rôle during the War between the States, providing an important pathway for the North to invade the South. Its coöperation with the Northern government was largely due to its president James Guthrie, who managed to keep it in private hands and very profitable.

July 1924

Orlando W. Stephenson: The Supply of Gunpowder in 1776

At the beginning of the American Revolution especially, gunpowder and its key ingredient, saltpeter, were in short supply. The paper tallies up the total amounts available, and discusses expedients and importation.

Jan. 1925
Apr. 1926

Charles W. Ramsdell: General Robert E. Lee's Horse Supply, 1862‑1865

Wars are often decided by logistics; the War between the States was partly decided by the availability and foraging of horses and mules.

July 1930

American Medicine

Charles E. Woodruff: The Nervous Exhaustion due to West Point Training

A graduate of the Naval Academy, the writer has given us a very peculiar and anecdotal approach to the rigors of cadet life at West Point and their consequences. Rambling, unsubstantiated, it contains a few good points amid the rest.

June 22, 1901

Annals of the American Association of Geographers

Jun. 1926

Arkansas Historical Quarterly

S. H. Logan: Mysterious Footprints in a Rock near Clarksville

Rock formation? actual footprints? Whatever it is, a purported Indian legend to explain it.

Dec. 1942

John E. Sands: My Year in Europe as a Prisoner of War

First-hand account of an Army Air Force officer shot down over Nazi Germany in 1944: his rescue in Belgium, near-escape in France, capture by the Germans, imprisonments and interrogations, prison camps in Estonia and Germany; forced marches, and final liberation [source document].

Winter 1948

Jonathan P. Morrow: Confederate Generals from Arkansas

A survey article: sixteen undoubtedly were Confederate generals and from Arkansas; another dozen either not exactly from Arkansas or maybe not actually generals.

Autumn 1962

California Historical Society Quarterly

Milton H. Shutes: "Fighting Joe" Hooker

This biographical and character sketch covers not only Gen. Hooker's record in the War between the States, but his civilian life as well, both before and after the war, stressing his connection with California.

Dec. 1937

The Catholic Historical Review

Camillus Maes: Flemish Franciscan Missionaries in North America

The first of what was to be a series of biographical sketches of missionary priests. Fr. Hennepin, usually thought of as French, was in fact Flemish.

Apr. 1915

Rt. Rev. Camillus P. Maes, D. D.

Biographical sketch (obituary).

Jul. 1915

H. C. Schuyler: The Apostle of the Abnakis: Father Sebastian Rale, S. J. (1657‑1724)

Biographical sketch of a French priest and pioneer evangelist of what is now Maine, killed by the British.

Jul. 1915

M. A. Shine: The Lost Province of Quivira

An attempt to locate Coronado's vexed "kingdom of Quivira" (in Nebraska).

Apr. 1916

Herbert F. Wright: Origin of American Aborigines: A Famous Controversy

17c Dutch scholars Johannes De Laet and Hugo Grotius battle it out: the paper is mostly about the controversy rather than the underlying subject of it, but does refer to the many theories as to where native Americans might ultimately have come from.

Oct. 1917

Victor F. O'Daniel: Archbishop John Hughes, American Envoy to France (1861)

The Catholic prelate was sent to Europe by Secretary of State William Seward to investigate and promote European support for the Union in its war against the Confederacy.

Oct. 1917

Gabriel Oussani: The Earliest Known Mesopotamian Traveller in America

A Chaldean priest from Mosul (now in Iraq) roams the Americas in the 17c; a summary, alas.

Jan. 1918

Victor F. O'Daniel: Fathers Badin and Nerinckx and the Dominicans in Kentucky

A sharp rebuttal by a Dominican Father to the view of the pioneer Dominicans in Kentucky presented in Maes's biography of Fr. Charles Nerinckx. The supporting documents (annotated by the same author) are presented on a separate webpage:

Some Letters of Fathers Badin and Nerinckx to Bishop Carroll

and 6:66‑88
Apr. 1920
Apr. 1922

Leo Francis Stock: The United States at the Court of Pius IX

Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Papal States in the mid‑19c, as seen from Rome.

Apr. 1923

Raphael N. Hamilton: The Significance of the Frontier to the Historian of the Catholic Church in the United States

A stiff response to Turner's theory of the frontier: the frontier was largely pre-civilized and formed by the conscious organized efforts of the Catholic church, and the Anglo-Saxon pioneers often came well afterwards.

Jul. 1939

Celtic Review

Dominick Daly: The Legend of St. Brendan

A summary of the medieval tale of the 6c Irish navigator saint who is reported to have crossed the Atlantic; concluding tentatively that there might be a kernel of truth to it, and in particular that underlying it may be the actual experience of someone who sailed from Europe to the West Indies.


Century Magazine

E. S. Dudley: Was "Secession" Taught at West Point?

Officially, yes, but only in 1826: after that, claims that the official text-book used at the Academy was Rawle's View of the Constitution, which maintains the right of States to secede, are (very likely) not warranted.


Chronicles of Oklahoma

Fort Arbuckle

Why and how this U. S. Army fort was established, what the place was like, and the main events and personalities there during its 15‑year existence.

Mar. 1928

The Site of Old Camp Arbuckle

The story of a temporary U. S. Army camp in use for less than half a year.

Sep. 1949

Classical Journal

E Pluribus Unum

The origins of the first national motto of the United States.

Apr. 1923

Field Artillery Journal

Doniphan's Artillery

How the First Missouri Mounted Volunteers marched and fought in the Mexican War.

Mar.‑Apr. 1950

Florida Historical [Society] Quarterly

James W. Covington: The Establishment of Fort Brooke

Three letters by James Gadsden and Col. George M. Brooke, edited and provided with context.

Apr. 1953

Franklin A. Doty: Florida, Iowa, and the National "Balance of Power," 1845

The precedent set by the Missouri Compromise, in which States were admitted to the Union in North-South pairs in order to preserve the balance of power between free and slave States, affected the admission of both Florida and Iowa in unexpected ways.

Jul. 1956

Edwin C. Bearss: Civil War Operations in and around Pensacola

At the beginning of the War between the States, the Confederacy tries to take Ft. Pickens by persuasion. That doesn't work, nor does fighting. A close look at the negotiations, skirmishes, and bombardments; I found this article particularly interesting.

Oct. 1957

The Journals of Lieutenant John Pickell, 1836‑1837

An Army officer in the Second Seminole War: his explorations of Florida, the politics of parleys with the Indians, and his observations of wildlife and Seminole life [source document].

Oct. 1959

F. W. Wallace: The Story of Captain John C. Casey

An officer does his duty honestly by both the U. S. government and the Seminoles, despite varied opposition; and dies of tuberculosis to an unknown grave.

Oct. 1962

Florida Historical Society Quarterly

St. Joseph, Florida

Brief and informal account of one of the most important places in Florida in the early 19c, now reduced to mere traces.

Jul. 1909

T. Frederick Davis: Florida's Great Seal — Its Historical Inaccuracies

Brief paper points out outright absurdities in the State seal as it then stood; some of them have been fixed.

Oct. 1924

F. Cubberly: Florida against Georgia

A boundary dispute with its roots in the 18c boundary between Spain and the United States; arising fully in 1819 and amicably ended in 1872 by the U. S. Supreme Court.

Oct. 1924

A. H. Roberts: The Dade Massacre

A clear, comprehensive and amply annotated account of the first engagement of the Second Seminole War in 1835.

Jan. 1927

Samuel H. Ray, S. J.: Jesuit Martyrs in Florida

A short and not very substantial account of three massacres of Jesuits in the 16c, with a bit of background material.

Jan. 1928

Gentleman's Magazine

The Crown of England's Title to America prior to that of Spain

A third-hand, and suspect, report of American Indians speaking Welsh in 1660, with the conjecture, still occasionally seen today, that a 12c Welsh prince named Madoc discovered North America and brought settlers there.

Mar. 1740

Geographical Review

St. Brendan's Explorations and Islands

A brief survey of the traces of the Brendan Legend in medieval maps; the author suggests that the saint might have visited the Canaries or Madeira.

Jul. 1919

White Settlement in Saba Island, Dutch West Indies

A geographical and anthropological description, with some history, of Saba; in which the author's approach in itself has now become history as well.

Jan. 1934

Georgia Historical Quarterly

The Yamassee Revolt of 1597 and the Destruction of the Georgia Missions

Straightforward narrative of the Indian revolt against the Spanish, focusing on the killing of the Spanish Franciscans.

Mar. 1923

A Spanish Settlement in Carolina, 1526

A brief account of a somewhat accidental settlement on the Carolina shore, quickly and unhappily abandoned.

Dec. 1923

The Civil War Career of General Joseph Wheeler

The war record of the Confederate cavalry­man "Fightin' Joe" Wheeler and his contributions to the art of war.

Mar. 1935

Harper's Magazine

Nov. 1892


Nov. 1926

Hispanic American Historical Review

Percy Alvin Martin: The Influence of the United States on the Opening of the Amazon to the World's Commerce

The Herndon and Gibbon expedition to South America, but mostly Matthew Fontaine Maury's reading of it, result in a popular and diplomatic furore in Brazil but finally lead to the opening of the Amazon.

May 1918

Herbert E. Bolton: James Wilkinson as Advisor to Emperor Iturbide

Two documents found by Bolton in the Mexican State Archives, transcribed [source documents]. (In Spanish)

May 1918

Osgood Hardy: The Itata Incident

In the Chilean revolution of 1891, one side tried to buy weapons in the United States. They got them on a ship, and actually got them to Chile — but were made to return them. Blow-by-blow account of the chase by U. S. authorities, which nearly embroiled the two countries in a war.

May 1922

A. P. Whitaker: James Wilkinson's First Descent to New Orleans in 1787

If Americans were forbidden to descend the Mississippi past the confluence of the Ohio, a fortiori to trade with Louisiana, just how did Wilkinson manage to travel down the river with a load of cargo?

Feb. 1928

J. Lloyd Mecham: The Papacy and Spanish-American Independence

In the 1820's, the Spanish American republics were transitioning to independence, posing problems of political recognition and the national patronage of ecclesiastical appointments. This paper describes the careful process by which the Vatican, the South American countries and Spain adjusted to the new reality until formal diplomatic recognition.

May 1929

A. P. Whitaker: Antonio de Ulloa

A detailed biographical sketch, focusing not on Ulloa's well-covered governor­ship of Louisiana, but on his South American experiences and his publications.

May 1935

Hutchings' California Magazine

A. S. Taylor: Memorials of Juan de Fuca

An attempt to substantiate the existence of the mythical Pacific Coast explorer Juan de Fuca.

39:116‑122 40:161‑167
Sep.‑Oct. 1859

Illinois Catholic Historical Review

G. J. Garraghan: The Trappists of Monks Mound

The periple thru several American states of a group of Cistercian monks led by Dom Urban Guillet in 1809‑1814; most of it spent in the Cahokia Mounds area of Illinois.

Oct. 1925

Indiana Magazine of History

J. Hospers: Louisville and Portland Canal

Though the rapids of the Ohio near today's Louisville were a serious impediment to navigation, financing a canal around them took several tries spanning a quarter of a century.

Mar. 1932

Iowa Journal of History & Politics

J. Hospers: Diary of a Journey from The Netherlands to Pella Iowa in 1849

Three months, much of it at sea, in which three of the writer's children die; with glimpses of New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Chicago, and La Salle, IL [source document].

Jul. 1912

John E. Briggs: The Removal of the Capital from Iowa City to Des Moines

The first capital was seen as too far east of the shifting center of the State's population; the paper traces the legislative and other maneuvering by several towns in the 1840s and 1850s, and the final selection of Des Moines and move there in 1857.

Jan. 1916

Pierre Boucher de Boucherville: Captivity of a Party of Frenchmen among Indians in the Iowa Country, 1728‑1729

A handful of French explorers, intending to return to home base in Canada, are captured and held hostage by the Kickapoos: this account by one of the captives throws interesting light on the dynamics of French and Indians on the frontier. [source document].

Jan. 1916

Hiram F. White: The Career of Samuel R. Thurston in Iowa and Oregon

A young ambitious go-getter does a lot of good for his adoptive State of Oregon, but one very bad thing.

Apr. 1916

Jacob Van der Zee: Episodes in the Early History of the Des Moines Valley

From the first French explorers, maybe as early as 1659, to the United States government's first title in Iowa, in 1833: Sac and Fox and other Indian tribes, French, Spanish, British, and Americans, all contest the land in various ways.

Jul. 1916

Jacob Van der Zee: The Opening of the Des Moines Valley to Settlement

In 1832, the Des Moines River valley belonged to its First Peoples; by 1846, it was entirely in the possession of European-Americans. The paper traces the dispossession of the Sac and Fox and other Indian nations and the failed attempts of the U. S. government to ensure their well-being in the face of predatory traders and land-hungry immigrants.

Oct. 1916
Jan. 1919

Cardinal Goodwin: The Movement of American Settlers into Wisconsin and Minnesota

Wisconsin and Minnesota were also settled fast; lead mining around Dubuque was the initial impetus.

Jul. 1919

Jewish Quarterly

Bertram W. Korn: A Reappraisal of Judah Touro

Although Touro was one of the greatest of American Jewish philanthropists, it wasn't until very late in life, and thanks to the persuasion of others.

Apr. 1955

Journal of the American Military History Foundation

Thomas D. Roberts: Resaca de la Palma

A one-stop retelling, with map, of the Mexican War battle.

Autumn 1937

[journal staff note]: Mule Ear Currency

Mules' ears, pickled in salt, supposedly used as currency in the Old West: believe this at your own peril — but se non è vero, è ben trovato.

Spring 1938

E. G. Campbell: The United States Military Railroads, 1862‑1865

The operation and maintenance of a military railroad system was critical to the Union victory in the War between the States: how to repair (and destroy) railroads, but also details on the ambulance trains and other facets of the system. Four contemporaneous photographs.

Summer 1938

Journal of Higher Education

Leroy T. Patton: Military Education in the United States

The author's careful critique of the academic environment at West Point leads him to a proposal to improve military education on the lines of medical education: pre-military general education to be given in civilian colleges, and USMA to serve as a specialized higher-level military university.


Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

Old Fort Belle Fontaine

The fort was founded by the Spanish, then taken over by the French and the Americans, who decommissioned it by 1836; the article includes the report of a recent site visit.

Oct. 1911

J. F. Snyder: An Illinois Burnt Offering

The devotional rites of Kentuckians: a musical evening gone sour.

Jan. 1910

Nathaniel Pope

An overview of his life from the standpoint of Illinois history. (Sketchy but linked to fuller resources)

Jan. 1911

The Northern Boundary Line of Illinois Surveyed by Hiram Rountree

As often, the man who did the work wasn't credited for it at the time.

Jul. 1920

Milo Quaife: The Northwestern Career of Jefferson Davis

As a young officer fresh out of West Point, Davis was posted to forts in the Old Northwest. His life there, and a few mostly malignant tales dispelled.

Apr.‑Jul. 1923

F. G. Bale: When the Gratiots came to Galena

Galena, Illinois, as seen by the Gratiot family in the early nineteenth century.

Jan. 1932

Lorene Martin: An Old Adobe House

The Andrew Cunningham house in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

Jul. 1935

Rock Island and the Rock Island Arsenal

From Indian times up to just before World War II, with six photos.

Sep. 1940

George T. Ness, Jr.: Illinois at West Point: her Graduates in the Civil War

A very slight survey of all West Point graduates born in Illinois who served in the Civil War.

Dec. 1942

Elizabeth Ellis: Dutch Reformed Beginnings in Illinois

The founding of the first Dutch Reformed Churches, in Fairview, IL and the nearby area, in 1837 thru the 1850's.

Summer 1943
Summer 1950
Winter 1950
Spring 1951

J. L. Eisendrath, Jr.: Illinois' Oldest Memorial — The Stephen A. Douglas Monument

A careful chronology of the building of Douglas's tomb, from the first germ of its conception thru the fundraising, legislative battles and completion.

Summer 1958

J. L. Eisendrath, Jr.: Chicago's Camp Douglas, 1861‑1865

A description and chronology of the military base and prison camp operated by the Union Army in Chicago, where up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners were held; its commanders did what they could to make the place comfortable.

Spring 1960

Journal of Negro History

Walter L. Fleming: The Defeat of the Secessionists in Kentucky in 1861

Secessionism was stronger than Union sentiment at the outbreak of the Civil War; but thru a policy of neutrality Kentucky bought time in which eventually to consolidate its pro-Union position.

Oct. 1916

Notes on Connecticut as a Slave State

Peaking in the late 18c, slavery in Connecticut is abolished in 1848.

Jan. 1917

Journal of Southern History

Journal of the First Kentucky Convention (edited by Thomas P. Abernethy)

The very first time men from Kentucky met to ponder whether they might become a state separate from Virginia: the manuscript journal of their Convention.

Feb. 1935

George Fort Milton: Stephen A. Douglas' Efforts For Peace

Douglas was a moderate, who worked very hard to preserve the Union with peace; the Civil War was largely brought about by Buchanan and Lincoln.

Aug. 1935

Richard E. Yates: Zebulon B. Vance as War Governor of North Carolina

An unlikely young man becomes governor during the War between the States, and manages to be fairly effective in protecting and clothing his State, and assuring its citizens' rights and liberties.

Feb. 1937

William D. Hoyt, Jr., ed.: Some Personal Letters of Robert E. Lee, 1850‑1858

Lee's correspondence with the younger Jerome Bonaparte on a variety of subjects, including the military career of the latter's son, the West Point graduate Jerome N. Bonaparte, and the Crimean War.

Nov. 1946

Robert C. Black III: The Railroads of Georgia in the Confederate War Effort

The railroads of Georgia, and especially the Western & Atlantic, were key to both the Confederacy's survival and its eventual collapse.

Nov. 1947

Journal of the United States Artillery

Charles A. Bennett: From Harbor Defense to Coast Defense

Thoughts on the then current evolution of American coastal defenses.


The Kiva

Emil W. Haury: Tree‑Rings Continue to Tell Their Story

A summary survey of the progress and results of dendrochronology, especially in the American Southwest.


The Lotus Magazine

Gustav Kobbé: The Willet Chancel Window in the West Point Chapel

A description of the famous monumental window, and an account of the competitive procedure by which the designer was chosen.

July 1911

Louisiana Historical Quarterly

See separate index page:

20 articles, about 300 printed pages.

Louisiana History

Edwin C. Bearss: The Seizure of the Forts and Public Property in Louisiana

A straightforward narrative of the forcible transfer of property from Federal to State hands in January 1861.

Autumn 1961

Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Samuel Williams: An Account of a Very Uncommon Darkness in the States of New-England, May 19, 1780

The so‑called "Day of Darkness" terrified some people, and much fuss has been made of it in folklore, but the author was an eyewitness, conducted experiments on it while it was happening, and concluded it was due to widespread fires in the woods. [source document].


Military Affairs

Rockets in Early American Wars

The use of incendiary and war rockets in the first part of the 19c, and principally in the Mexican War.

Winter 1946

An Indian Reservation under General George Crook

San Carlos Indian Agency in 1884‑1886, by its then Provost: the fort, its subduing and civilizing of the Apaches, and recollections of some vivid incidents.

Summer 1948

River Navies in the Civil War

A compact, clear, very useful overview of the rôle that the Union and Confederate navies played in the war. The Mississippi River basin conditioned much of the land war. "The naval factor was a decisive one in some of the largest military campaigns."

Spring 1954

The Forgotten "Founder" of West Point

The Frenchman Louis de Tousard, serving in the American Army, wrote a proposal for an American national military school and submitted it to the government; stationed at West Point in 1801 he nearly became the Academy's first Superintendent.

Winter 1960

M. O. L. L. U. S. War Papers

The Acting Signal Corps

Samuel T. Cushing: An intimate anecdotal account of the founding days of the U. S. Army Signal Corps, during the War between the States, by its second officer.

Jan. 1892

Minnesota Historical Bulletin / Minnesota History

Removal of the Sioux Indians from Minnesota

Francis H. Relf, ed.: A letter of John P. Williamson who accompanied a group of deportees in 1863.

May 1918

With Laperrière to Minnesota in 1727

A 1728 letter of Father Guignas, S. J. [source document]

Dec. 1925

Mississippi Valley Historical Review

I. J. Cox: The Pan-American Policy of Jefferson and Wilkinson

Four-cornered diplomatic intrigue conducted by them in which the prize would be the acquisition of Florida or the good will of France, or both.

Sep. 1914

A Ku Klux Document (presented by Walter L. Fleming)

A brief official document of a local Louisiana KKK group in the 1870's: the ceremony for swearing in a new member [source document].

Mar. 1915

Milo M. Quaife: The Fort Dearborn Massacre

Various findings, new at the time, in connection with the 1812 massacre at Chicago [source documents].

Mar. 1915

Work on the Cumberland Road (edited by Earl G. Swem)

Brief, but the very first record of the building of that important artery.

Jun. 1915

Claude S. Larzelere: The Iowa-Missouri Disputed Boundary

A surveying error in 1816 caused decades of problems, finally set right by the U. S. Supreme Court.

Jun. 1916

J. Fred Rippy: Diplomacy of the United States and Mexico regarding the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, 1848‑1860

American private interests seeking to build a railroad across Mexican territory, are obstructed by the Mexican government who feel it is an encroachment on the sovereignty of Mexico: they'd learned the lesson of Texas.

Mar. 1920

R. E. Riegel: Federal Operation of Southern Railroads during the Civil War

The paper traces the evolution of the Union administration of Southern railroads, from improvisation to a highly organized system, which it credits to its director, Daniel W. McCallum.

Sep. 1922

E. Merton Coulter: The Efforts of the Democratic Societies of the West to open the Navigation of the Mississippi

In 1793‑1795, frontier Americans, mostly Kentuckians, organize grass-roots lobbying groups to get what they want, whether by pressuring the federal government or otherwise.

Dec. 1924

[Review:] Two 1924 biographies of Woodrow Wilson:

David Lawrence, The True Story of Woodrow Wilson

Josephus Daniels, The Life of Woodrow Wilson, 1856‑1924

Dec. 1924

Verner W. Crane: Projects for Colonization in the South, 1684‑1732

Although they didn't come to anything directly, there were a few British schemes for colonizing what would soon become Georgia under Oglethorpe.

Jun. 1925

Spanish Intrigue in the Old Southwest: An Episode, 1788‑89

Not treason, but an exercise in getting government to do what the people want rather than vice-versa; and not serious, so much as calling up the Spanish bogey to achieve that end within the framework of the United States.

Sep. 1925

A. P. Whitaker: The Muscle Shoals Speculation, 1783‑1789

A bit of private enterprise that fed into the Spanish intrigue, that intersected the founding of the State of Franklin, and that eventually failed.

Dec. 1926

General James Wilkinson's Narrative of the Fallen Timbers Campaign

A letter to James Brown of Kentucky, presenting an alternative view, much of it negative, of General Wayne's handling of the campaign. (Milo Quaife, ed.)

Jun. 1929

The Founding of New Madrid, Missouri

How and why George Morgan launched the town of New Madrid, in coöperation with the Spanish authorities of Louisiana, of which province it was for a while an important outpost; with a close look at the geopolitics, especially the attempt to detach Kentucky from the United States.

Jun. 1932

[Review:] A pair of books by Dwight Lowell Dumond:

Southern Editorials on Secession

The Secession Movement

Dec. 1932

Harry Williams: The Attack upon West Point during the Civil War

An overview of popular perceptions and of maneuvers by the radical branch of the Republican party in Congress to abolish the Academy or decrease its influence.

Mar. 1939

Missouri Historical Society Collections

A. B. Lambert & W. B. Robertson: Early History of Aeronautics in St. Louis

Developments from 1904 to 1928 included international balloon races, airplane meets, and the creation of local airports and air mail service.

June 1928

New Englander [and Yale Review]

Robert P. Keep: The System of Instruction at West Point: Can It Be Employed in Our Colleges?

A careful description of the method of instruction practiced at the U. S. Military Academy, with an assessment and suggestions as to its possible extension to civilian colleges.

Jan. 1869

New Englander [and Yale Review]

🐪 Fred S. Perrine: Uncle Sam's Camel Corps

The well-known story of the Army's mid‑19c experiments with camels as a means of transportation in the West; a few details not found in Walter Fleming's paper (which is also onsite, below).

Oct. 1926

New England Quarterly

F. H. Eckstorm: The Attack on Norridgewock, 1724

A reconstruction of what happened when the British overran this strategic French outpost; Father Sebastian Rasles was not a passive and purely religious martyr as often represented.

Sep. 1934

Voyage of the Ophelia from Boston to Canton

Captain Samuel Hill's sea journal of his circumnavigation of the globe in the merchant ship Ophelia, 1815‑1817: much abridged but still interesting.

Jun. 1937

North American Review

F. A. Mitchel: How to Make West Point More Useful

The author suggests several categories of West Pointers, having spent one, two, three, and the full four years at the Academy: those with the fewer years to officer the National Guard.

Jul. 1894

L. H. Alexander: James Wilson, Patriot, and the Wilson Doctrine

James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence, one of the more important framers of the United States Constitution, and Supreme Court Justice, is even now almost unknown among the Founding Fathers, despite his signal contributions to American polity: the author collects much laudatory testimony and outlines those contributions in the lead‑up to Wilson's honored reburial in Philadelphia.

Nov. 1906

The North Carolina Booklet

See separate index page:

22 articles, about 430 printed pages.

Pacific Historical Review

Thomas A. Bailey: The World Cruise of the American Battleship Fleet, 1907‑1909

A detailed look at the effects of President Theodore Roosevelt's naval venture — "The Great White Fleet" — on diplomacy and public opinion.

Dec. 1932

Lewis B. Lesley: A Southern Transcontinental Railroad into California: Texas and Pacific versus Southern Pacific, 1865‑1885

The struggle of two railroad companies, mostly waged by lobbying the United States Congress.

Mar. 1936

Lewis B. Lesley: The Entrance of the Santa Fé Railroad into California

How the Santa Fé Railroad finally broke thru to the Pacific coast despite the opposition of the Central Pacific Railroad and its allies.

Mar. 1939
Sep. 1941

The Palimpsest

The Trial and Execution of Patrick O'Conner at the Dubuque Mines in the Summer of 1834

A sober, detailed, interesting eye-witness account of Iowa frontier justice.


Father Mazzuchelli

A quick sketch of the life of Charles Samuel Mazzuchelli, O. P., and his missionary labors in the Old Northwest, especially in the Upper Mississippi Valley.


Icaria and the Icarians

The history of a French utopian movement's colonies in Illinois and Iowa.


Michael Aco — Squaw-Man

The 17c French explorer and fur trader, a shadowy yet important figure, less famous than some of his comrades because he was not the one writing the history.


Old Fort Atkinson

A U. S. Army fort established in 1840 to control the native American population and the European settlers, it was abandoned in 1849 when Iowa was no longer the frontier, making moot the fort's raison d'être.


An Indian Ceremony

The Fox Indians celebrate the life of pioneer Col. George Davenport at his grave in 1845.


New Melleray

Life at the Trappist monastery near Dubuque, and a summary history of it since its foundation in 1849.


Lieutenant Jefferson Davis

Anecdotes from his early army career in Wisconsin Territory, and his relations with Chief Black Hawk and his own future father-in‑law Zachary Taylor.


Over the Rapids

The Des Moines Rapids of the Mississippi River, a critical knot in the transportation network of the frontier until 1877.


Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

Hampton L. Carson: Dutch and Swedish Settlements on the Delaware

A clear summary of the three colonial periods on the Delaware before Penn and British rule: Dutch foundation, Swedish rule, and Dutch reconquest; with some focus on the legal system.


Polish American Studies

Rev. L. J. Siekaniec: The Polish Colony of Sioux City, Iowa

A sketch, "brief and far from complete", of the history of the Polish community in that city from its beginnings in the late 19c.

Jan.‑Jun. 1952

Polish Review

Eugene Kusielewicz: Wilson and the Polish Cause at Paris

The negotiations relative to the Polish Question at Paris Peace Conference show that Wilson's support of the restoration of Poland was not a result of his "predilections and weaknesses", but measured and rational.

Winter 1956

Political Science Quarterly

Frederic Bancroft: The French in Mexico and the Monroe Doctrine

The perfidious French wormed their way into Mexico on a pretext, but for altogether different motives. As soon the War between the States was over and the United States could deal with things, they warned France to back down — and didn't need to invoke the Monroe Doctrine to do it.

Mar. 1896
Jun. 1905

Popular Science Monthly

Feb. 1909

Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Three Dutch Medals

18c medals issued by The Netherlands to commemorate the Independence of the United States and commercial diplomatic relations with them.


Bliss Perry: Morris Schaff • A Memoir

A sympathetic biographical sketch of the West Point writer.

Oct. 1930-Jun. 1932

Proceedings of the New York State Historical Association

Samuel Tillman: A Review of West Point's History

A survey, if only thru the end of Revolutionary War, of the Academy's history. Of some importance, since within two years the author would become the Academy's Superintendent.


Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society

Clyde B. Aitchison: The Mormon Settlements in the Missouri Valley

In 1846 the Latter-Day Saints were forced to leave Illinois; choosing to settle at the Great Salt Lake, they migrated across much of the West, and in so doing, established temporary way stations in the Missouri Valley, some of which became permanent cities.

Sep. 1907

J. F. Santee: Edward R. S. Canby, Modoc War, 1873

Gen. Canby was killed in the Pacific Northwest by Modoc Indians at a parley: after a summary of his career, the context of the event and what led up to it.

Mar. 1932

Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society

G. C. Downing: Governor Robert Letcher

A slight article of local reminiscences of him, his wife, his house in Frankfort.

Jan. 1905

B. E. Hardin: The Kentucky Boundary

The complicated, and sometimes curious and amusing, history of the Commonwealth's boundaries, from the earliest pioneer days thru 20c court decisions. Even the rivers are not the obvious boundaries they seem to be.

Jan. 1946

Revue Historique

George-Nestler Tricoche: La guerre franco-américaine (1798‑1801)

The Quasi-War as seen by a Frenchman, although one generally favorable to the American point of view: the author lived for many years in the United States, even serving in the 11th Cavalry. (In French)


Rosary Magazine

Scannell O'Neill: Convert Sons of West Point

Early converts to Roman Catholicism among the graduates of West Point.

Jan. 1908

South Atlantic Quarterly

William E. Dodd: North Carolina in the Revolution

Not so patriotic as all that — even Hooper who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Apr. 1902


Edward S. Holden: The Beginnings of American Astronomy

A sketch of the progress of astronomy in the United States in the first half of the 19c.

June 1897

Scientific Monthly

Leo Otis Colbert: Hitching Our Country to the Stars

A capsule history of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and an overview, written for the layperson, of its most important duties and the technical means used to perform them.

Nov. 1947

Smithsonian Reports

Frederick L. Lewton: Historical Notes on the Cotton Gin

The original patent documents were destroyed in the Patent Office fire of 1836: the author reconstructs their content. He also puts to rest certain myths as to the location of Eli Whitney's first cotton gin.


South Carolina Historical & Genealogical Magazine

Robert Lebby: The First Shot on Fort Sumter

An eyewitness to the event pieces together what he saw, and concludes that the man who first fired was Henry S. Farley.

Jul. 1911

Tennessee Historical Magazine

See separate index page:

11 articles, about 250 printed pages.

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

William R. Manning: Texas and the Boundary Issue, 1822‑1829

The paper traces the course of American diplomatic maneuvering to try to acquire Texas from Mexico by legal means: negotiation or sale.

Jan. 1914

🐪 F. B. Lammons: Operation Camel — An Experiment in Animal Transportation in Texas, 1857‑1860

A rather detailed account of the testing of the United States Army's camels on the western frontier.

Jul. 1957

Texas Historical Association Quarterly

Leopold Morris: The Mexican Raid of 1875 on Corpus Christi

The Nuecestown cross-border raid, Mar. 26, 1875, in which maybe a hundred Mexican robbers terrorized Americans living in the border marches — of topical interest still today.

Oct. 1900

Transactions of the American Philosophical Society


Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society

Ferdinand Ernst: Travels in Illinois in 1819

Long excerpts from the letters of a German traveler in the Midwest, translated: a good observer visits the Mississippi bottoms and St. Louis [source document].


 United States Naval Institute Proceedings

C. C. Gill: The New Far East Doctrine

In the interest of reducing Pacific tensions, the United States gave up certain strategic advantages in the Washington Conference, but let's not go any farther until we see that the Japanese are in good faith.

Sep. 1922

October 1935 issue, Vol. LXI No. 10, commemorating the 90th anniversary of the U. S. Naval Academy; see separate index page:

11/13/21: 18 articles, 125 photographs, 18 other images, 203 pages of print.

In progress; the articles are all onsite, but a few minor items still tending to.

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Funeral of Mrs. G. W. P. Custis and Death of General R. E. Lee

A letter of Mrs. William H. Fitzhugh on the funeral of Mrs. Custis (1853), and a letter of Mrs. Robert E. Lee on the very day of her husband's death (Oct. 12, 1870) [source documents].

Jan. 1927

Washington Historical Quarterly

🐪 William S. Lewis: The Camel Pack Trains in the Mining Camps of the West

Preceded by a brief history of the United States Army's Camel Corps of the late 1850's, a somewhat anecdotal account of what happened to its animals once it was disbanded. Some of them wound up in use in the mining camps of Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

Oct. 1928

William & Mary Quarterly

Ralph M. Brown: A Sketch of the Early History of Southwestern Virginia

Misleadingly titled, the paper details some of the most important explorations and events in the westward expansion from Virginia in the 17‑18c. Maps.

2d ser.
Oct. 1937

Sidney Forman: The United States Military Philosophical Society, 1802‑1813

An early approach to the promotion and funding of military research and technology.

3d ser.
Jul. 1945

Wisconsin Magazine of History

Mitchell Oshkenaniew: The Services of the Menominee in Black Hawk War

Three hundred Menominees, constituted as a U. S. Army unit, fought the Sauk Indians in 1832.

Sep. 1917

Sipko F. Rederus: The Dutch Settlements of Sheboygan County

The 19c settlement of Oostburg, Cedar Grove and other towns.

Mar. 1918

Charles King: Rufus King: Soldier, Editor, and Statesman

A biographical sketch of the West Point-educated Milwaukee newspaper editor and civic leader, with a defense of his conduct in the War between the States.

June 1921

Henry S. Lucas, ed.: The Journey of an Immigrant Family from The Netherlands to Milwaukee in 1854

The first-hand account of John Remeeus, a mid‑19c Dutch pioneer immigrant: his Atlantic crossing and his travel by rail and boat from Boston to Milwaukee [source document].

Dec. 1945

Henry S. Lucas, ed.: Reminiscences of Arend Jan Brusse on Early Dutch Settlement in Milwaukee

The first-hand account, if written much later than the events, of a mid‑19c Dutch pioneer immigrant.

Sep. 1946

Henry S. Lucas: The First Dutch Settlers in Milwaukee

A brief account of mid‑19c Dutch settlement in and around Milwaukee.

Dec. 1946

Henry S. Lucas: The Founding of New Amsterdam in La Crosse County

An 1853 sea voyage, a shipwreck, and settlement in Wisconsin.

Sep. 1947

Yale Review

Emerson D. Fite: The Canal and the Railroad from 1861 to 1865

Northern transportation lines enjoyed remarkable growth and prosperity during the War between the States.

Aug. 1906
[decorative delimiter]

Technical Details

Printed Sources

I am transcribing my selection from original exemplars of the journals, and only of course those now in the public domain (see above). Unless otherwise stated, any illustrations are those accompanying the original article in the journal.


As almost always, I retype texts by hand rather than scanning them — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with them, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

These transcriptions have been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the articles are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; red backgrounds would indicate they had not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

Very occasionally the proofreaders of the original articles nodded off, and I've therefore had the opportunity to make a few corrections, marking the correction each time with a bullet like this:º as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

Most of these typos were of a minor and obvious kind; but I've marked them nonetheless, as a reminder that there must surely be quite a few other errors that I could not catch: numbers, proper nouns.

Where an error is manifest, but for some reason I couldn't fix it, or where it is uncertain whether it is poor proofreading of the translated text or it might just have been made in the original documents (which I usually have not seen), or again where there might otherwise be some latitude, I marked it º. Inconsistencies in punctuation have been corrected to the text's usual style, in a slightly different color — barely noticeable on the page, but it shows up in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">. Finally, a number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any over­looked mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed item in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

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