Transcription: A Letter Home-Abia Minor

Abia Minor was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania in about 1815, the son of stock drover John Pierson Minor and his first wife, Hannah McClelland. As a young man Abia (a-bye-ya) followed his family's tradition, bought and farmed land near the town of Bridgeville in what was then western Virginia. But he had aspirations that … Continue reading Transcription: A Letter Home-Abia Minor

Examining the Language of Slavery

During the mid-nineteenth century North Carolina was the global supplier of naval stores. The "Turpentine State" lay in the long-leaf pine belt--a region of dry sandy clay subsoil that ran from North Carolina, south to Florida, and as far west as southern Alabama and Mississippi. The sap of turpentine orchards was harvested and distilled into … Continue reading Examining the Language of Slavery

Fences Are For White Folks

I am currently enrolled in a MOOC, HIST1.1x The Civil War and Reconstruction - 1850-1861, taught by respected historian, Eric Foner.  Each week our online student body analyzes a primary resource, an activity I enjoy immensely. This week's challenge was the above envelope.  Who was the audience for this 1860s product?  What message was it trying … Continue reading Fences Are For White Folks

Unknown Woman In Day Cap: The Minor Family Album

This middle-aged woman sat for her portrait, held motionless by a photographer’s head rest for the minutes-long exposure. The discomfort of such stillness couldn’t keep an impish grin from her face.  Woman in a Day Cap’s identity and relationship to my family has been lost. Her photograph, however, can serve now as a mid-nineteenth century fashion … Continue reading Unknown Woman In Day Cap: The Minor Family Album

The Minor Family Album: Mr. Chin Whiskers

  When I first became curator of the Minor Family Album, I moved swiftly to identify this man, the first face to appear in the album. I was soooo certain of my clues and my analysis. This whiskered gent is the first photograph displayed in a Minor Family album created in the latter part of the 19th … Continue reading The Minor Family Album: Mr. Chin Whiskers