Red Ink and Rewrites Too

Duplicates online comments, to keep track.

Archive for the ‘Library of Congress’ Category

Soapy Smith

with one comment

Histarch Subject: New Book by Cathy Spude

The University of Oklahoma Press has just published my new book, “That Fiend in Hell”: Soapy Smith in Legend. Soapy Smith’s story is well-known to people who like popular culture, and those who are familiar with Alaskan history. As an anthropologist, I show how his legend grew out of the myth of the American West to make him a character the likes of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and Wyatt Earp. That Fiend in Hell is an expose of how historic events are interpreted even at the time of their occurance within the social mileau of a culture’s understanding of their own value system. See  for more information, or go to
Catherine H. Spude, PhD

Congratulations! What a lot of work that must have been. I thought I heard of Soapy Smith perhaps in the stories of Colorado, of which “Myers Avenue: A Quick History of Cripple Creek’s Red Light District” by c) 1967 by Leland Feitz Library of Congress Catalog Card No 68-405 is one he might have been part of before leaving for Skagway, Alaska.

I enjoyed that summer 1980 out West through the ash of Mt. St. Helens on a Greyhound, a jet and then a small plane from Juneau to Skagway to work on Alaska’s first RR station and the Captain Moore Cabin. The airport there is better as seen in the recent Microsoft “Flight” a virtual Skagway geography along with the rest of Alaska and Hawaii.

I found this on Amazon and sent it to my Kindle, a scanned article from “Cassier’s Magazine” titled “Across the Chilkoot Pass by wire cable” from the Dyea tide and river side, found on microform in the Provincial Archives of British Columbia circa 1981 c) Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. The funicular, “powered by rope or cable” was planned to go from Sheep Camp to Crater Lake, in contract, then “since” extended to a point known as Canyon Camp connecting with a surface road “running through the Dyea Canyon, and along the Dyea river, to the head of the tidewater thus making an uninterrupted transportation between Dyea and Crater Lake” “Later on” its author states “the cable system will, undoubtedly, be extended to Lake Linderman, the head of lake navigation”. (William Hewitt b. 1853

It has many diagrams and pictures of its construction and how it developed. It shows a similar funicular system was used in New York state on “a wire rope tramway used by the Solvay Process Company at Syracuse, N.Y shows both wooden and iron supports”. I had the opportunity to ponder the Solvay location before they took the plant down. Interestingly the Solvay process of soda ash is named after a French sociologist! It’s reported a large amount of dynamite used in WWI was made there in the Split Rock quarries, and if the chemical fire, which ran out of water to control it, had jumped the creek, it would have leveled Syracuse with the disputed force of a small “atomic bomb” if the dynamite stored in small wooden barrels had caught fire. Albert Einstein disputed that in a letter, a researcher of the Solvay Plant had. The line had been “used for carrying lime rock from the Split Rock quarries to the soda ash works, at Geddes.” There are some problems with the scan however in getting some of the distances and numbers.


Blue, Gray and Everything in Between – NY Times

leave a comment »

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.

Civil War Uniforms: Blue, Gray and Everything in Between –

Written by georgejmyersjr

06/17/2011 at 11:23 am

S.S. City of Atlanta

with one comment















A difference maker

February 17, 2011 By Peter Dizikes –

In January 1942, a month after the United States entered World War II, Japan launched a new series of attacks in the Pacific, while German submarines started a new wave of strikes in the Atlantic. Against this grim backdrop, Collier’s magazine ran a story for its 2.5 million readers about one vital person who, it claimed, could turn the tide: “Meet the man who may win the war,” the publication said.

That man was Vannevar Bush…

Written by georgejmyersjr

02/14/2011 at 12:16 am

West Point Military Academy Published Twain’s “1601”

leave a comment »

I was just checking my Spacejock software “yRead3” from Australia, which hooks up to Project Gutenberg, providing free world famous books and texts read by “Microsoft Anna” if you have Windows 7 (or others in earlier Windows OS) and having read the Wikipedia entry on Chaucer, “the Miller told his tale” not the mirror, and other forms of satire, came across this “[Date: 1601.] Conversation, as it was the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors“ or just 1601” (1601 (Mark Twain)Wikipedia) and thought to hear and read it in yRead3. Not available in the yRead3 catalogue generated, the Wikipedia entry supplies a hyperlink to it, and I downloaded it in plain text and loaded it into yRead3. Well, I was quite surprised given the history of censorship cited in the Wikipedia reference, to find that it was first printed by a Lieutenant Wood at the West Point Military Academy and distributed to many kings and queens and became quite popular. The introduction to “1601” is very interesting, provided by Project Gutenberg here in different formats.

Written by georgejmyersjr

08/31/2010 at 5:20 pm

io9: Global warming started 15,000 years ago with uncontrolled mammoth hunting

leave a comment »

Image of IvrinielIvriniel 07/02/10

I thought Mammoths ate grasses and Mastodons ate foliage from trees?
Comment: The first science expedition in the new United States, sponsored by President Thomas Jefferson (Thomas Nelson replaced him as governor of Virginia) was to a “mammoth” archaeology site near Newburgh, New York, discovered by an artist. He also asked explorers Lewis and Clark to look out for them in the West (last “most recent” sites on the Channel Islands off California) on their expedition to the Pacific Ocean. Many in Europe thought horses would all grow smaller in the New World, and Jefferson wanted them to consider that a myth and pointed to the evidence of these “mammoth” creatures having lived here. While doing survey near Harriman, NY, I read in the local paper that the local middle school wanted the site placed on the US National Register of Historic Places, it was not and arguably, should be. Note: placed on the National Register in October, 2009. A description and actual pdf document.
Ivriniel promoted this comment

Image of IvrinielIvriniel 07/03/10

@JojiMyers: Interesting, but I don’t see what it has to do with my original post…

George J Myers Jr
George J Myers Jr 07/04/10

@Ivriniel: I just meant, near Lake Washington, at first, the “mammoth” was used as an adjective. Then the separation between “mammoth” and “mastodon” (which died out earlier) later became apparent. So as Wikipedia states in “Mastodon” (“nipple teeth”) they browsed and Mammoths grazed (flat teeth). Less grazing of grasses and shoots of birches, more birches, leading to other environmental changes, the article states.
io9 link to “…uncontrolled mammoth hunting” with link to original Geophysical Research Letters

Written by georgejmyersjr

07/10/2010 at 1:48 pm

One of the last Liberty ships…

leave a comment »

I recall working on a “predictive model” of archaeology resources on the Passaic River in New Jersey back in the early 1980s. Near the mouth of the river was a large scrap yard. We happened on one gentleman who showed us onto the property with proper ID from the US Army Corps of Engineers. He mentioned that the ship at dockside, was one of the last Liberty ships, over 2000 constructed in World War II, (“The 250,000 parts were pre-fabricated throughout the country in 250-ton sections…”)  and it was being scrapped. I consulted Wikipedia and narrowed down the search to these three, the only reported among the last scrapped Liberty ships:

  • SS Henry L. Pittock  24 June 1943 Russia 1943 as Askold, later Dalryba, scrapped 1982

Named for the famous 19th century American newspaper publisher in Portland, Oregon.

  • SS Samlamu 14 June 1944 Sold private 1947, scrapped 1982

“Loan Great Britain” Later traveled in the South Pacific, i.e., New Zealand, etc.  “ex- Samlamu, 1947 purchased from MOWT renamed Kingsbury, 1960 sold to Poland renamed Huta Bedzin.”

  • SS Thomas Nelson 4 April 1942 Kamikazied off Leyte 1944, repaired, converted to diesel 1956, scrapped 1981

Army Transportation Service. Named for the famous American patriot who replaced Thomas Jefferson as Governor of Virginia.

So I think, from the date when I visited the scrap yard in New Jersey and this info, it appears that one of the last Liberty ships scrapped, and in New Jersey, may have been used by the Russians at first in war and then for fishing before scrapped, the SS Henry L. Pittock, as the Russian Dalryba or perhaps was scrapped by Poland as the Huta Bedzin (“Bedzin Ironworks”). Many ships and boats (PT boats JFK served on) were built in New Jersey some reportedly lengthened like the “P2” my grandfather Lawrence G. Urquhart served on, the USS Admiral E. W. Eberle  which was renamed U.S. Army Transport General Simon B. Buckner and then USNS General Simon B. Buckner. One of the few, perhaps, US Navy ships, named after an Army general. My grandfather used to joke they built so many ships, they ran out of admirals and had to start naming them after generals! I’m inclined to think it was the Huta Bedzin as it seems to stir some part of the little grey cells as Hercule Poirot used to say.

Interestingly, the Liberty ship SS George B. Cortelyou, the only ship in US history to ever been named “Cetus” (after the whale constellation, and when renamed) was as, the keel was laid down, named after the native New Yorker, who held three Cabinet posts under Presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, VP when President McKinley died from an assassin’s bullet, eight days after an attempt on his life in Buffalo, New York at the Pan-American Exposition, also attended by Mr. Cortelyou. He is sometimes credited as our “first White House Press Secretary” (US National Archives journal article) inviting the press in to inform them about the wounded President McKinley, then expected to recover. He started as a short-hand teacher in NYC and later was Chairman of the Republican Party and after serving as Postmaster General, lived at “Harbor Lights” in Huntington, NY, recently up for sale. The first known New York historically recorded, “Cortelyou” was a Jacques Cortelyou hired by the Dutch to survey Brooklyn, NY and a “downtown” street there bears that surname. So, the only official US ship ever named after “whales” once also had a French-American name.

Written by georgejmyersjr

06/23/2010 at 5:14 pm

Washington Post: E.J. Dionne Jr. – David Souter vs. the Antonin Scalias

leave a comment »


From a collection about Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, a photo of a practice when the dead are found along a lonely road in Ireland. (The Unnamable)

Not at Harvard University’s commencement speech by former Supreme Court Justice David Souter from New Hampshire (not there either, sometimes I am on Memorial Day) I thought to say something from the new “fountain of justice” New York City:

Washington Post:

E.J. Dionne Jr. – David Souter vs. the Antonin Scalias

georgejmyers wrote: The Constitition states that in the amount of $20 and over a citizen has a right to a trial by a jury of his peers. I don’t see that happening in the Bronx, NY. All undercover “buy and busts” involve often that or less, at least in my Grand Jury experience of over 240 cases in one four week session. Where’s the rights of jurists? I had to swear them in!

I’m afraid the spelling of “Constitution” was not on purpose, though someone might see it that way.

Written by georgejmyersjr

06/03/2010 at 7:15 pm

%d bloggers like this: