14 February 2015

Valentine’s Day

If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do;
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.

Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.

Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged!
Give me my sin again.

You kiss by the book.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Learn More

Valentine’s Day on History.com

Valentine’s Day on Wikipedia.com

13 February 2015

Letter Sent To W. T. Thompson 1891-What's This All About?

Fraud letter sent to Letter sent to W.T.Thompson 1891. Document has been put on new paper and retyped at a later period circa 1950's. No sign of original document this was taken from. What do you think about the letter. Spam? Fraud? What about the cypher?

Black History Month

Carter G. Woodson
Black History Month traces its roots back to Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, who hoped to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), and conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The first celebration occurred during a week in February of 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming and widely endorsed by people everywhere. Black history clubs sprang up and teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils.
By the time Woodson died in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and more Americans appreciated the celebration. The Black Awakening of the 1960s again expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.
The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976. President Ford urged Americans to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area throughout our history.” That year the association held the first African American History Month. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

Learn More

Black History @ History.com on the Web

Black History Month @ Wikipedia

African American History Month @ Library of Congress

07 February 2015

February 14th-Help Us Celebrate Vice President Henry Wilson's 203rd Birthday

The Birthday Party will be held on Saturday, February 14th, at noon in the Henry Wilson Museum. The Museum will be open on February 14th from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM, as part of our new museum hours of operation. The Historical Society will open the Henry Wilson Museum for visitors on the second Saturday of each month, from 10:30 - 1:00 PM. Come on down and have some cake! And join in on the fun by taking a selfie with Henry. Show him some love!

Henry Wilson 203rd Birthday Celebration
in the Henry Wilson Museum 
Goodwin Library lower level
February 14th 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Learn More

Farmington Historical Society on Facebook   www.facebook.com/FarmingtonNHHistory
Henry Wilson on Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wilson

06 February 2015

Learn About Henry Wilson's Life

The 1872 campaign poster for Ulysses S Grant and Henry Wilson
Henry Wilson was born Jeremiah Jones Colbath in our Town of Farmington, on February 16, 1812. His impoverished father named him after a wealthy neighbor who was a childless bachelor in the vain hope of receiving an inheritance. The boy hated the name, and when he came of age he had it legally changed to Henry Wilson. He chose the name because he was either inspired by a biography of a Philadelphia teacher or a portrait of a minister named Henry Wilson from a book on English clergymen. Another tie to the Town of Farmington was Henry Wilson's original profession. He left Farmington for Natick, Massachusetts in 1833 and became a shoemaker. As a politician, he would often be refferred to as the "Natick Cobbler". He attended several local academies, and also taught school in Natick before becoming a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He served between 1841 and 1852, and was also the owner and editor of the Boston Republican newspaper from 1848 to 1851.

In 1852, Wilson was an unsuccessful candidate for US Representative. He was a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1853 and also ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Massachusetts in 1853. However, in 1855 he was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Edward Everett. He was reelected as a Republican in 1859, 1865 and 1871, and served as a Senator from January 31, 1855 to March 4, 1873, when he resigned to become our Vice President under President Ulysses S. Grant.
As a Senator, Wilson was Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia and the Committee on Military Affairs. In that capacity, Wilson passed on over 15,000 nominations that Lincoln submitted during the course of the War, and worked closely with him on legislation affecting the Army and Navy. During the Civil war, he raised and briefly commanded the 22nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. After the war he became an early member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
A controversy that swirled around Wilson's name since 1861 was that he (while Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs) may have revealed plans for the invasion of Virginia culminating in the First Battle of Bull Run to southern spy (and Washington society figure) Rose O'Neal Greenhow. Wilson (although married) had seen a great deal of Mrs. Greenhow, and while with her may have told her about the plans followed by Major General Irvin McDowell, which may have been part of the intelligence Mrs. Greenhow got to Confederate forces under Major General Pierre Beauregard. If so this information may have led to the Northern rout in that battle. However, in his most recent biography, an alternative (a Northern clerk named Horace White) was suggested as the real leak.

An abolitionist and fierce supporter of equal rights in the United States Senate, Henry Wilson advocated for equal pay for African-American soldiers. In a speech in the U. S. Senate, he said that our treatment of black soldiers was almost as bad as that of the rebels soldiers.
Wilson suffered a serious stroke in 1873. Although partly paralyzed, he fought to actively perform his duties as presiding officer over the United States Senate. He suffered what was believed to be a minor attack on November 10, 1875, and was taken to the Vice President's Room to recover. Over the next several days, his health appeared to improve and his friends thought he was nearly recovered. However, on November 22 at 7:20 am, Wilson died from a second stroke while working in the United States Capitol Building. He was interred in Old Dell Park Cemetery in Natick, Massachusetts.  
Photos from Wikimedia Commons

The Henry Wilson Shop

Photo by Jean Higgins 2014

 From the Natick Historical Society page:

"The Henry Wilson Shoe Shop is located on the corner of West Central and Mill Streets and is an example of a 'ten-footer'. Many homes had these small shops or ells where piecework on shoes was done. Runners delivered the pieces and picked up the finished work. This continued into the 1900's notwithstanding the concentration of shoemaking in the large factories of the late 1800's."

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on the Web