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Archive for April, 2013

Lake Calhoun acrobats

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Lake Calhoun acrobats

A man and woman execute an acrobatic pose near the beach at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Captured by a Minneapolis newspaper photographer on June 14, 1947.

For details, view the photograph in our online collections database.

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“Latest News, By Telegraph,” “Debts to the Soldiers all Paid,” and “Suicide of a Woman in Soldiers Uniform,” St. Paul Daily Press – April 30, 1863

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

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Letter from Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota to his mother about sending money and requesting a tie – April 29, 1863

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Camp near Falmouth
April 29th, 1[8]63
Dear Mother I recd your kind letters, one that had a pocket hand kerchif and the other apirantly wrote shortly after. I am very thankful to get the things you send me but I can not let you send me without something to get with.  We have been paid off and I here inclose $30.00 Thirty Dollars for you[.] I have gave up the idea of going to Pa for there are two men ahead of me and it will be 30 days before I can go and maby not then [to] I think as you must need the money I will jest send it to you. I want two little things I wish you would send me, a silk neck tie[,] not a very larg one and one of those kind that I yousto ware, to use my own expression “a Sailors tie” and a fine (good) [fine] come one that will not brake, these are all the things I want under the sun and I dont want you to keep sending things all the time. I have kept money aneugh to buy all the little necessary articles I want and if I cant get them I can go without them. You will have some news from the Army of the Potomac before long. I was on picket yesterday and before I went I gave [Brink] instructions to send off Harpers to you if we moved befor I got back and we had orders so he sent them to you[.] I guess you will get them[.]
Good bye Mother.
& Brother
Tell Brother Orren that I am sorry that I have not time to answer his little letter[.]
I am in a hurry
Chas. E Goddard

See whole letter here: 1863-04-29_Smith_combined

Citation: April 29, 1863, Letter from Charles Goddard to his mother, Correspondence 1853-1862. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1434 box 1]

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Birchbark makak

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Birchbark makak

Birchbark makak with a braided basswood handle made by Margaret Hill of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians no later than 2009. The makak’s rim is woven into a vertical zig-zag pattern with blue fibers. Directly beneath the blue fibers is a zig-zag border cut out of a darker color birchbark. The makak’s lid has the same vertical woven pattern around its edge. A circular piece of birchbark with a zig-zag edge decorates the center; a birchbark handle attaches to the top.

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Letter from G. Merrill Dwelle, at Fort Snelling to sister Carrie Dwelle in Lake City, MN, describing recent matters at Fort Snelling – April 28, 1863

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Fort Snelling Apr 28th 1863.
Sister Carrie
No, I did not know I was to leave so soon when I went away out to Alberts but feared by the tone of the letter I received from Cap Jones that such would be the case.  Was somewhat disappointed when the order came, but our accommodating Postmaster E. Porter he having retained the order in the Office for a day to enjoy the pleasure of handing it to me himself that he might know the contents thereof.  Strange being that Porter!  I might just as well stayed at home another week as not and had I known just how things were I would have been tempted to done it.  When I arrived here there was only seventeen men and two of us to drill them and Lieut Whipple being the ranking officer the duty devolved upon him. He has a slight advantage of me[,] he having been in the regular service for seven years and most of that time in the artillery and so you see I will have some studying to do to keep pace with him but am bound to do it.  One day he went to Saint Paul and I had to take charge of the detachment. I came well nigh despairing the night he told me he was going and half felt as if I was sorry that I had a commission but sat up that night and poured over the tactics and after he went away took charge of the men and did a good thing at drilling them[.] After that I took courage and I verily believe that his going away that day was the making of me for had I waited until the Captain returned knowing as I did he was a well drilled man I should have been so embarrassed that I fear I should have failed but now as far as I know I do very well allowing me to tell it[.] The Battery is filling up very fast now, there being about a hundred men at the present time.  We muster tomorrow. the[n] I shall be a soldier again for three year or during the war.  It will hardly be possible for me to return home again before leaving here as the men are coming in so fast[,] we must necessarily stay here and give them the little instructions we can as the time is so short before the expedition will start out.  Whipple and I put them (the men) through about seven hours a day and we are both so hoarse at night we can hardly speak from talking so much.  When I left home I did not bring my discharge papers with me and it may be necessary for me to have them[,] will you send them to me. You will find them in my trunk in the end nearest to the stairs in a bundle of other papers[.] I think it is in the middle of the package.  Henry will know what it is.  By the way will you see that my trunk is locked[,] all my papers secured before you go away – take the key with you or give it to father.  I wrote to Thomas the other day for a Rubber blanket and also sent word to Henry if he wished to sell his Revolver to send it along.  If they have not send them if they conclude to do so perhaps they had best send by Express as it would be much safer.  I would like to go down to St. Paul but can hardly spare the time[.] Sargeant Underwood whom you have heard me speak of is there and I would like to see him very much feel that I cannot leave long enough.  A man by the name of Cutter from Wabashaw called to see me to day.  He belongs to the Sharpshooters and is nearly blind when I saw him last at Antietam[.]  he was well today[,] I hardly knew him[,] in fact did not until he told me his name[.]  He is trying to get his discharge and is worthy of it if I am any judge of his case[.]
Write me soon and send the paper I require[.] I left a few stamps and some paper in my or your Portfolio[.] use them, as I have plenty here.  If you want it tale it with you to keep your paper in but I would like to keep it as it seems like an old familiar friend having accompanied me through the Peninsula campaign[,] but would not bring it with me on this trip for fear of loosing it. I heard that Mr Ottman was in St. Paul[.]  Remember me to Mrs. O
Regards to all
Truly your Brother
Merrill

PS  If you do not have time to write immediately send the description list without writing[.]


See whole letter here: 1863-04-28_Dwelle_combined

Citation:  April 28, 1863, Letter from G. Merrill Dwelle to Carrie, Correspondence, 1863. G. Merrill Dwelle papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [A/ .D989]

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Letter from Charles Ely of the 1st Minnesota to an unnamed friend – April 27, 1863

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Ely was a friend of Charles Goddard’s from Winona (and Company K) and this letter was found with Goddard’s letters to his mother.

Camp before Fredricksburg           April 27th 1863.
Dear Friend
Your kind letter of the 13th was received yesterday, containing a pocket hankerchief[.] For this I thank you, it is not only a usefull article but evry time I see it it puts me in mind of the kind friend who sent it.  Such a gift is one of the greatest encouragements to a soldier. he knows then that he is not forgotten by his former friends.  The papers tonight are full of encouraging news, and I hope soon that they will have the opertunity to chronicle some from the army of the Potomac.  The weather is favorable for ar move and if it continues so, I think the army will not lay idle long. We are all in good spirits[;] one great reason is we have just received our pay.  Charlie is well and will write shortly. I remain as ever,
you freind
Chas. E. Ely


Citation: April 27, 1863, Letter from Charles Ely to a “friend”, Correspondence 1853-1862. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1434 box 1]

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Recent Acquisitions Show at the James J. Hill House

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Our mission at the Minnesota Historical Society is straightforward—to preserve, share, and connect our history with Minnesotans and others both today and into the future. The organization does that in many ways: through our exhibitions, Library, historic sites, publications, and educational activities. Our permanent collection is at the core of everything we do at MHS.

With the goal of documenting the history of Minnesota and to tell the story of the people who call it home, each year the Collections department acquires thousands of items for its permanent collection.

We put together this current exhibit at the James J. Hill House to demonstrate the range of our collections.  Selected by Collection curators and staff, nearly all of the items in this exhibition were acquired in the last two years. Together, they demonstrate the depth and breadth of our collecting activities. From a 4,000 year-old prehistoric tool found in a northern suburban city park to campaign buttons for the latest Minnesotans to run for president, we aim to provide insight into the cultural, political, and social history of the state.

To see the exhibit, please visit the James J. Hill House. The show will be up until June 17, 2013.

To learn more about our collections, visit us at www.mnhs.org/collectionsupclose.

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Northwest Airlines employee badge

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Northwest Airlines employee badge

Northwest Airlines employee badge used by Minneapolis architect and watercolorist Francis R. Meisch. Meisch was employed as an airport engineer and architect for NWA from 1942 to 1950. The badge is undated but includes a photograph of Meisch and his signature.

For details, view the badge in our online collections database.

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“Latest News, By Telegraph,” including “The Campaign Growing Active in Missouri,” and “Rebel Telegraph in Our Lines,” St. Paul Daily Press, and diary entries by Matthew Marvin – April 26, 1863

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Diary entry by Matthew Marvin of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, written from the 1st Minnesota’s camp at Stafford Hills near Falmouth, Virginia.  During the past week Marvin decides to quit chewing tobacco, writing on April 23rd: “Just for a change if I dont want Tobacco to bad I shall stop useing it in the morning[.] Therefore it is resolved (that circumstances not preventing) that as the commodity Tobacco is very scarce & that it is becomeing very scarce & Resolved that [it] commands a very high [price] Resolved that I quit in acordance with the if above stated[.]”.

In the days following, Marvin describes his struggles to quit.  On the 24th he writes:  “I smoked 3 cigars my upper teeth feel Sorter numb & would not wonder if they would ache some to nite[.]  In compliance with foregoing resolution I did abstain from chewing this day & think it is very unpleasant to do so”.  And on the 25th:  “That big if is good so far[.] I have thought that the marrow was leaking out of some of the bones for want of Tobacco[;] The teeth I guess wont drop out”.

On Sunday April 26, Marvin writes of a welcome distraction from tobacco:  “Went to church to day[.]  I have forgot the text but it was about rebellion in times of Old & their cause & affects[.]  In conclusion he earnestly recommended we should keep the Preasidants appointed day of fasting [.]   Weather pleasant[.]  Wrote to Charley Parks[.]”

Marvin uses two unfilled pages this week to record exciting developments on May 5th, during the Battle of Chancellorsville.  Look for the full transcription in the first week of May.

Citation:  April 22-27, 1863 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary notes and memos. Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 1]

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Birdella Ross and sister

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Birdella Ross and sister

Studio photograph taken circa 1858 of Birdella M. Ross and her (probably twin) sister.

For details, view the photograph in our online collections database.

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An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs