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Archive for January, 2014

Letter from Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota to his mother about a photograph he sent home, the weather, and turnover among the regiment’s officers – January 31, 1864

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Camp 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry
Jan 31st /64
Dear Mother
Your letter of the 10th of this month duly arrived, but I did not answer it for I had been sending you memorials of the Company and also a letter with the Photograph of Rev. Chaplain Conwell, which I hope has got through safe for he was very kind to the wounded at Gettysburg – and he has always done his duty in evry engagement that I have had a chance to notice, which I can tell you that cannot be said of evrey Chaplain in the Army[.] this and a good many other things makes me have the desire to keep the Chaplain’s photograph. […]
The weather has been so warm here for the last few days that we have been obliged to get in the shade of our tents to keep cold anough to feel comfertable. I should not have been much surprised if we had received orders to strike tents and be on the move, only that after the Burnside scrape last winter[*] it would have been foolish to move when every day it might set in and rain for a week; today it had been raining some and I am glad for the Generals are so ambitious they will attemp any thing sooner than have the people at home [hear] enemies and very often get sadly defeated. Colonel Colvill has been dismissed the service because he was unable to join his Regiment on account of wounds received at Gettysburg – we have one of the meanest Lieut Colonels[**] that ever set foot onVirginia soil and by [releasing]colvill as incompitant he has accomplished what will promote him and injure Colonel Colvill’s reputation. Evrey man in the Regiment dispise this Lieut Colonel, but Colonel Colvill they respect for his many good qualities.

*“the Burnside scrape last winter” Goddard refers to is the “Mud March,” a failed attempt at a winter offensive led by Major General Ambrose Burnside in January 1863. See the January 25, 1863 entry from Matthew Marvin’s diary, where he mentions Burnside, the anticipated movement of the army, and the unending rain.

**Goddard is likely referring to Lieutenant Colonel Charles P Adams, second in command of the Regiment. Adams was wounded multiple times at Gettysburg but returned to the regiment on December 12, 1863. He was reportedly not well liked by some of the men.

Citation: January 31, 1864, Letter from Charles Goddard to his mother, Correspondence 1863-1929. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society. [P1434 box 1]

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Artist and her pig

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Artist and her pig

The Minneapolis Artist/Printmaker Eunice Spicer Latham and her pet pig Susie in 1950.

Photographed by a Minneapolis newspaper photographer on January 15, 1950.

For details, view this photograph in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Remembering Matthew Little

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

The Collections Department is proud to highlight two notable manuscripts collections that document the work of civil rights activist and long-time Minneapolis NAACP president, Matthew “Matt” Little (1921-2014).

Matthew Little, circa 1981.
From Little’s papers related to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Matthew Little was born in North Carolina in 1921 and found himself living in the Twin Cities by the end of the ‘40s. He would spend the next 70 years in Minnesota, building on a reputation as a leader in the civil rights and social justice movements.  Little’s chairmanship of the Minnesota March on Washington Committee in the early 60’s and his long tenure as president of the Minneapolis NAACP are documented in two separate manuscripts collections in the Minnesota Historical Society’s Library.

The Society’s collection of papers related to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom includes materials compiled and created by Matthew Little while Chair of the Minnesota March on Washington Committee. These manuscripts document the efforts of the Committee to organize, enlist support for, and fund a Minnesota delegation to the March on Washington held August 28, 1963. In addition to agendas and minutes, organizing manuals, press releases, publicity fliers, event programs and itineraries, and petitions (July-August 1963), there are circular letters, such as this request for contributions to the Committee.

Circular letter, undated
From Little’s papers related to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Little’s March on Washington papers also include a variety of outgoing and incoming correspondence, such as this congratulatory letter from then Senator Hubert H. Humphrey.

Correspondence from Humphrey, September 11, 1963, featuring this quote: “Leadership in Washington depends on leadership by people in Minnesota like you.”
From Little’s papers related to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Little’s long tenure as President of the Minnesota NAACP and continuing Civil rights advocacy work is reflected in the Society’s collection of files relating to the Minneapolis NAACP. Little continued work with the NAACP on behalf of Black Minnesotans long after his presidency ended in 1993. These files include correspondence, reports, and legal briefs pertaining to Minneapolis school desegregation lawsuits (1970-2007); the Hollman public housing planning process case, which involved the Sumner Field Homes in north Minneapolis (1993-2000); the purchase of WCCO-TV and WCCO and WLTE radio by CBS Inc. and a minority internship program at the stations (1991-1993); and papers relating to the Roy Wilkins Memorial in St. Paul (1991-1997). These issue files contain a variety of materials including speeches, court documents and legal briefs, as well as statements made by Little.

Statement of Matthew Little, President of the NAACP, October 12, 1992
From Little’s files relating to the Minneapolis NAACP.

While Little’s work related to both the Minnesota March on Washington Committee and the Minneapolis NAACP are represented in the Society’s collections, he holds a much larger place in Minnesota’s social justice and civil rights historical narrative. I will end this brief introduction to Matthew Little’s papers here at the Society with the following quote by Little, made after the March on Washington in 1963. He writes:

“I think, then, that the true meaning of the march on Washington was to say this: America, we have waited 100 years with patience. We can wait no longer—we must have total freedom now in all phases of our American Society.”

Shelby Edwards, Manuscripts Collections Assistant

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Cree Beaded Holster

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Cree Beaded Holster

A Cree beaded leather gun holster made as a tourist item in the early 1900s.

For details, view this holster in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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“The News,” and “Death of Capt. Saunders,” Rochester City Post – Januray 30, 1864

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

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“From the South: Morgan’s Visit to Libby Prison,” and “What a North Carolina Paper Says,” Saint Paul Pioneer and Democrat – January 29, 1864

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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Herz Iron

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Herz Iron

Help Mate gas hand iron made of cast iron with a chromed finish and black painted wood handle grip. Made by the HERZ Manufacturing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota in the early 1900s.

For details, view this iron in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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Intersection

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Intersection

A wood-block print showing the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood, made by Gary Egger in 1980.

For details, view this print in our collections database.

(Note: The comments section has been temporarily disabled while we upgrade the website. You can always leave comments on our Flickr Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/minnesotahistoricalsociety/)

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“The News,” “McClellan as a Statesman,” and “Return of the Second Minnesota Regiment,” St. Cloud Democrat – January 28, 1864

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

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“Abraham Lincoln,” “The Third Regiment Re-enlisting,” and “Arrival of the Second Minnesota Infantry,” Goodhue Volunteer – January 27, 1864

Monday, January 27th, 2014

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