Dodson Sayles Strickland

Chase the Man. Chase the City.

Today’s NY Times Opinionator piece discusses the history between Abe Lincoln and Salmon P. Chase, an earnest, no nonsense man who was both a fabulous Secretary of the Treasury and Lincoln’s arch rival.

Why care about this troublemaker?

Because the dude had a fan club among the founders of a little town in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Christiansville was a backwater village when George Endley and John Boyd rode in, buying up land on the cheap in 1868-1874. They held big plans for this area, recruiting northern colonists and railroad lines (that never quite materialized) to build a grand town–and in 1873 they approached fellow Ohioan, great banker, former US Senator and Ohio Governor, Secretary of the Treasury and US Supreme Court Justice. Your Honor, may we use your name for our grand Southside town?

Thus was born little ol’ Chase City, home of my beloved father, Norman S. Strickland.

This article details Salmon Chase’s political aspirations and his personal idiosyncracies. Thankfully, the nation was able to profit from his zealous anti-slavery and radical reconstruction ideas–a federal banking system was created, including the greenback demand note which was the first federal currency. His system also made it possible to fund the war effort with government bonds.

Salmon Chase, though an excellent financial administrator, was a pugnacious political fighter, with no sense of humor or understanding of human nature.  He aspired to the presidency himself and used his cabinet post to his own advantage, accumulating favors, names and cash–a fact overlooked by Lincoln because Chase was so good at his job. Salmon Chase overplayed his hand, however. Posturing for a particular political outcome, the Secretary offered his resignation.  Lincoln, weary of the man, accepted the letter. A surprised and humbled Chase did not seek the presidency. That year.

Lincoln, however crazy Chase made him feel, recognized the man’s intellect and within a few months of the resignation appointed Salmon Chase to the Supreme Court.

During 1872-1873 George Endley and John Boyd led the Southside Board of Settlers’ effort to incorporate their growing town as “Chase City”.  In April 1873 a delegation met with the Chief Justice in Richmond, Virginia to formally advise him of the town’s name, and to invite him to be an honorary member of their board.  By all accounts, Salmon Chase cordially received this news.

Date: Friday, April 11, 1873   Paper: Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA)   Volume: LXXIV   Issue: 81   Page: 2; accessed from Genealogy Bank,, ( on July 3, 2014.
Date: Friday, April 11, 1873 Paper: Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA) Volume: LXXIV Issue: 81 Page: 2; accessed from,July 3, 2014.

I have always wondered whether Endley and Boyd knew Salmon Chase personally, or if they had ever contributed to one of his political campaigns, or been the recipient of his patronage.  No matter.  Their admiration for their Buckeye buddy lives on, in the little town of Chase City.


Update:  The original post of July 3, 2014 stated that Salmon Chase never sought political office after Lincoln accepted his June 1864 resignation as Secretary of the Treasury.  That setback only affected the ’64 election.   Chase attempted to win the nomination in 1868 and 1872, unsuccessful in both attempts.


Minor Strickland

I Miss My Mother

Today is the anniversary of my mother’s birth, the first March 27th I haven’t made a call, or sent a card, or prepared a surprise.  Motherless.  No matter how complicated or difficult the relationship, the mother-daughter bond is irreplaceable.  Irreducible.

We are all just bits of love.”  ~~ Marilyn Minor Strickland


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Strickland Surnames

A Positive Negative

Norman Strickland circa 1947

I love technology.

I love scanners, and computers, and on-line software, and blogs, and pack rat ancestors.

Oh, they are not technology. BUT I get to peek into their lives BECAUSE they were pack rats and I have technology.

Within a brown envelope of the Roanoke Photo Finishing Company, Roanoke, Virginia (just opposite the Post Office), saved by my father, were negative images of my dad, his brothers, his parents, and a little girl, just able to stand at her daddy’s knee.  That dates the group portrait with my eldest cousin to 66 years ago.  Now, IF all the other negatives belong to that same roll, the above image of Norman Scott Strickland was taken by a friend in 1947, presumably one of these folks:

Norman S. Strickland (19), second from left.
Norman S. Strickland (19), second from left.
Norman S. Strickland (19), with friend
Norman S. Strickland (19), with friend

Anyone have any clues about the photographers’ identity, please leave me a comment!  And anyone knowing about 1940s cars, what make and model do I have here??


Strickland Surnames

Eugene Adams Strickland: Military Monday

Eugene Adams Strickland was born on a farm in Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina, on November 12, 1893.  Baby boy Strickland was the seventh child of Elizabeth Ann Coppedge and Sidney Nicholas Strickland.  For three years, the large family met challenges together, then tragedy struck.

In February of 1897, the children lost first their father, then their mother to complications of influenza.  Elizabeth’s mother, Laura Coppedge, struggled to keep the children together or at least with family.  But within a short while, the large brood found themselves torn apart.  Sixteen year old Cleo took five year old George (my grandfather) and three year old Eugene, and joined her grandma in the household of William Coppedge, Laura’s son.  The four middle kids, Luther (15), Norman (11), Polly (9), and Laura (7), were admitted to the Mason’s Orphanage in Oxford, North Carolina.  George also went to the orphanage when he was old enough; but Cleo and Eugene remained in their Uncle’s home at least until 1900.

When Eugene was old enough, he hired himself out to local farmers, living with these families as he learned the machinist trade, and eventually found his way to Washington, DC, where he worked for Cragg Manufacturing.  In 1917, the handy mechanic found himself drafted into the United States Navy.  During his service Eugene was gassed.

No record exists of what the veteran did between his discharge and his enlistment in the United States Coast Guard in 1924, but once there, Eugene served as Chief Machinist Mate until his discharge in September of 1926.  In 1930,  the single man was working as a machinist in a garage in Manhattan, living at 3155 Broadway.

My father (1928-2006) remembered Uncle Eugene visiting the Strickland farm outside Chase City, Virginia in the early 1930s.  It seems that this visit was the last chance Eugene had to see his family before being admitted to the Veteran’s Field hospital in Castle Point, Dutchess County, New York, with tuberculosis, around 1934.  By 1940, Eugene had been transferred to the Veteran’s Administration Facility, in Millington, Somerset County, New Jersey.

Eugene Adams Strickland remained in one of these two Veteran’s Hospitals, until his death from tuberculosis February 25, 1953.  His brother, George, was notified of the loss, by the Quartermaster General, who requested permission to conduct an autopsy before having the body interred in a national cemetery.  Having consulted with Cleo, Luther, Norman, Polly, and Laura, George gave the family’s consent to this request, and on March 3, 1953, Eugene Adams Strickland was buried in plot 24, lot 147 in the Raleigh North Carolina National Cemetery.  A marble headstone from Vermont Marble Company was put in place by July of that same year.

Sources for this story available upon request.


Photographs and Memories Strickland

When Negatives Are A Positive

People may call me a hoarder, a sentimentalist, a pack rat. But I prefer to think of myself as a Keeper of the Lore, continuing the work of my brilliant ancestors who kept receipts, photographs, letters, cards, documents, books, and negatives.  


Today, I felt like fossicking through my closet  family archives, and was rewarded with the discovery of 1950s negatives, treasured by father.  Let me demonstrate why a negative is worth a thousand words.

Original Negative, scannedScan the negative, like it was a photo (jpeg) file, and then use your scanner to modify the file before saving it to your computer.

Adjust color for a negative, scanned.Find the tab for adjusting the color of the photo/negative, and INVERT the color.

Inverted Color NegativeLike magic, an image has appeared without chemicals or dark room!!  Save this jpeg file to your computer, and you can spiff it up with a bit of photo editing.  I prefer to use the online service,  Ultimately, I end my morning with this great shot:

Mystery Man from negativeSure, I don’t know this particular dude, but I do know that he was important to my father.  Even the tiniest peek into his past gives me a shiver of connection.

Anyone else have some negatives to share???