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
Yellowed from one hundred eighty-four years, the paper unfolds with a pungent, almost yeasty smell. Ink, now walnut brown, spreads line after line across the long, creased sheet. When pen touched this page, the roads west of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains were detestable. Neither railroad nor canal connected Greene County stock and crops to eastern metropolitan markets. Small farms dotted … Continue reading The House that Jacob Built
My great-grandfather, Robert Minor (1869-1943), was brought up on the family farm just outside the village of Garards Fort, Pennsylvania. Just down the red-dog Ceylon Lane stood the sturdy brick home of his Uncle Samuel (1825-1909) and Aunt Louisa (1832-1917) Minor. Sam and Robert's dad, Marion Minor, were two of John P. and Isabella Minor's … Continue reading Friday’s Faces: Samuel P. and Louisa Long Minor
Historical documents hold evidence of family stories, and this deed indicates where my great-great-great-grandfather learned to herd cattle.
Page fifteen of the Minor Family Album holds this photograph of a middle-aged man. Shot sometime between 1888 and 1890, this portrait is yet one more mystery. An 1874 family photograph, however, has a person that is eerily similar to this guy, and on that bit of evidence I advance the likely identification … Continue reading Brother John P. Minor