Posts Tagged ‘History’

Civil War Burlington

January 21, 2009

Today, I’m working on a Civil War walking tour of Burlington.  It’s something I actually intended to do last summer, when things were a little more walkable, but last Sunday I finally did the walking part of it, with the help of a very trusty and companionable sidekick.  The great portion of the research was done in advance by Civil War historian Howard Coffin for his book on Vermont’s Civil War places.  Anyway, I’ll be posting up some sites on the blog here, and I’ll let you know where you can find the whole tour when it is finished!  Here we go:


Here’s the Oliver Otis Howard house at 26 Summit St (just south of Main St up by UVM).

Major General Oliver Otis Howard moved to Burlington in 1892 to be close to his eldest son, Colonel Guy Howard, who was overseeing the construction of nearby Fort Ethan Allen (in Burlington’s New North End).  Originally from Maine, O. O. Howard commanded the brigade at First Bull Run in which the 2nd Vermont served, and lost an arm at Seven Pines.  He commanded the Army of the Potomac’s 11th Corps, which was smashed by Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville.  On the first day at Gettysburg, Howard was briefly in command of all Union forces and selected the high ground of Cemetery Hill at the army’s fallback position.  After the war, he was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to supervise the Freedmen’s Bureau, after which he founded two historic black colleges: Howard University in Washington, and Lincoln Memorial University in eastern Tennessee.  He died in this house in 1909, and is buried in Lakeview Cemetery on North Avenue.

HISTORY, IT’S ALL AROUND US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Achsa Sprague – and a book I want to own!

December 11, 2008

I read about this book this summer, and remembered it again today when I was at the Vermont Historical Society in Barre.

Vermont History Center in Barre

Vermont History Center in Barre

There, they have the paper of Achsa Sprague, a spiritualist, poet, medium and trance lecturer (whatever that means), and activist for abolition and women’s rights in 1850s Vermont.  I don’t know a ton about her — but it seems like she was kind of big deal among Spiritualists of the time, and she did the whole miraculous recovery from a paralyzing illness (rheumatoid arthritis) and then speaking in spirit voices thing.

Annie Murphy wrote and drew an incredible-looking graphic novel about Achsa Sprague!

By Annie Murphy

Copyright Annie Murphy

I can’t give a review, because I haven’t read it yet, but I am trying to order it — it’s self-published.  It looks AMAZING!  In part because of the beauty, and in part because it’s also about her learning about Achsa Sprague and her own relationship to this woman.  And I’m always interested in modern relationships to history.  I could spend the rest of my life trying to puzzle out my own kinship to the past.

Anyway, you can read a bit here on Annie’s blog, Comics and Synchronicity, and it seems like if you want a copy, you can get her email here.  That’s what I’m going to do!

And of course, Annie Murphy is a graduate (I think) of the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT, which – holy shit – is amazing!

I don't know the artist here, but for sure, copyright CCS

I don't know the artist here, but for sure, copyright CCS

The CCS surely warrants its own post, probably after I visit down there in February for a workshop.  White River Junction, the town, deserves a big old post too.

The library at CCS, again, copyright CCS

The library at CCS, again, copyright CCS

Now I’m off to a nap, and waiting for this supposedly big snowstorm to hurry up and get here!