Archive for June 2011
A mockup of a Confederate coin reveals hidden truths.
Comment: When I came across the art and music works of American genre created by William Sydney Mount and “Setauketeers” as partly preserved at the Museums at Stony Brook I was informed that Mount had illustrated many “States paper money” as part of his repertoire (see Frankenstein’s scholarly study, a large book). This reminds one that there was no “Federal” currency and no standards even in the width of railroad tracks, from “state” to “state” as the Union would find when it moved materiel in the ensuing Civil War. The underlying lack of standard currency problem stretches back to the American Revolution. As a reminder, so-called “abolitionist” currency was coined and found its way into the daily commerce of American citizens, as a reminder to abolish slavery. Some were excavated in Civil War era water control feature in “Alphabet City” where the film “Batteries Not Included” was filmed in NYC.The Opinion Pages: Opinionator Exclusive Online Commentary From The Times
Comment: Both sides, seem to be using their history to symbolize their commitments. I found two “Steuben’s Rifles” in the north and the south. The NYC based one, had one of its officers in courts martial, after the so-called “Draft riots” where incidentally it’s reported a new type of weapon, a “machine gun” was used in the defense of the then “NY Times” building when the $300 draft exemption story was published. This National Guard unit, it seems was created to defend the young Nation’s NYC capital. From the roll, they were mostly from Upstate, and were called out of the Bowery to defend Washington, D.C., after the riot, to which they marched. They were later “mustered out” or dissolved, on Brother Island, presumably “Big Brother Island” where dormitories were reported after WWII. Not sure what their uniform looked like.
An ambitious project to identify, explain and provide citations for the words written in cuneiform on clay tablets and carved in stone by Babylonians, Assyrians and others in Mesopotamia between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100 has been completed after 90 years of labor, the University of Chicago announced June 5.
Comment: Maybe we’ll someday discover the capital of Mitanni, Washshukkanni, which in the 15th century BCE, “emerged as a world power and the equal of Egypt and Babylonia” (“Nuzi and the Hurrians” Semitic Museum, Harvard University online) I studied for a short time one of its city excavations, ancient Nuzi (modern Yorghan Tepe) excavated by Starr of Harvard University, with Elizabeth Stone, PhD of Stony Brook University, who was trying to help train the Iraqis get artifacts back and who want their museum, sacked in a coalition “oversight”, in Baghdad, restored. She had specialized in ancient women’s rights and organizations in ancient times. I read sadly since 2003, they may have even less today, local Iraqi militias now in charge with their own laws.
How did American writers respond to the outbreak of the Civil War?
Some of the literature prior to the Civil War by James Fenimore Cooper and Herman Melville about life on the sea were important. Cooper’s “Ned Myers; or, a Life Before the Mast” (1843) who later wrote the important history of the US Navy was countered by Herman Melville’s “White Jacket”, a copy of which was placed on every Congress members desk in protest of corporal punishment at sea by the US Navy, to promote reform. Melville, who later “rewrote” a poem, “Swamp Angel” which was written in response to the Union bombardment in 1863 of Charleston, SC with incendiaries. The patented Parrott cannon was cast in the West Point Foundry, and transported to the swamp and fired a number of times in 1863 before exploding itself (National Archives). A wooden “gun platform” used was recovered in the Foundry Cove, next to Constitution Island in Cold Spring, NY in an EPA heavy metal remediation in 1992. (production of NIKE missile batteries). There is also a body of literature which seems to reflect the US Civil War, in that most of the works of Jules Verne, the futurist who wrote and published during it, and therein, perhaps, other “causes”.