Sunday, July 30, 2017

CLARENCE KING – INDIANA JONES OF THE AMERICAN WEST & THE TALE OF TWO LIVES

By: Ashley Kath-Bilsky

Every now and then, while doing research, this writer comes across an interesting life story. Such is the case with the subject of this month’s post at Sweethearts of the West. What started as an intriguing bit of information about a 19th century scholarly explorer of the Sierra Nevada who wore lilac gloves, took me on a roundabout journey about a man who made great discoveries and had dual identities.

CLARENCE KING has been called the “Indiana Jones of the geological world”.

He attended Yale where he studied applied chemistry, physics, and geology; a young man whose privileged, prestigious academic background did not quite fit the Alpha male image most people have about rugged adventurers who ventured West.

In truth, using today’s vernacular, King was considered a geek. Yet he also had the heart of an explorer. And just as it is not good to judge a book by its cover, the same applies to people and, in particular, this man.

King was the first person to scale some of the mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevada. His work as a geologist led him to parts of the country where white men were a rarity, especially one who wore rather unusual attire. Now, we might not bat an eye today seeing a man wearing violet gloves and deerskin trousers that are exceptionally ‘tight-fitting’, but back in the mid-1800s one can only imagine the raised eyebrows. However, regardless of how he dressed, King made some extraordinary contributions to geological research of the American West.

Born in Newport, Rhode Island on 06 Jan 1842, his father and only two siblings died by the time he was six years old. Raised by his mother, King attended the Christ Church Hall School in Connecticut, where his interest in natural history and exploration were kindled. At 13 years of age, King was accepted into the prestigious Hartford High School. In 1860, his mother married George S. Howland, who then assumed the costs for furthering King’s education at the Sheffield Scientific School, the science and engineering school of Yale College.

King graduated from Yale in July 1862 with a Ph.B. In October of that year while visiting one of his former professors, King heard how botanist William Henry Brewer had climbed Mount Shasta in California. At this time, Mount Shasta was believed to be the tallest mountain in the United States. Within a year King would embark upon his dream of also exploring mountains out West and performing geological studies.

In May 1863, King traveled by train to Missouri. Accompanied by childhood and college friend, James Terry Gardiner, he joined a wagon train destined for Carson City, Nevada. From Nevada, they continued further west to California.

After joining the California Geological Society, King worked “without pay” alongside Brewer (the man who climbed Mount Shasta) and Josiah D. Whitney (a geologist and professor of geology at Harvard). Soon, other eminent scientists joined their work and an extensive survey commenced involving geology, geography, zoology, botany, and even paleontology.

[Pictured: California Geological Survey, December 1863: Chester Averill, assistant, William M. Gabb, paleontologist, William Ashburner, field assistant, Josiah D. Whitney, State Geologist, Charles F. Hoffmann, topographer, Clarence King, geologist and William H. Brewer, botanist Courtesy: Bancroft Library]

During his time with the California Geological Society, King accomplished his first ascent at an elevation of 14,025 feet on 06 Jul 1864. King named it Mount Tyndall after one of his heroes, Irish mountaineer and scientist, John Tyndall. He was also present when other higher peaks were discovered, including Mount Whitney, named after Josiah Whitney.

[Pictured: James Gardiner and Clarence King]

In September 1864, after President Lincoln designated the Yosemite Valley a public reserve, King and Gardiner were appointed to prepare a boundary survey about the rim. After completion of this project, King and Gardiner traveled back to the East Coast.

During the spring and summer of 1865, King suffered attacks of malaria. Meanwhile, Josiah Whitney (who had also returned to the East Coast) focused on securing additional funding for their research.

In the fall of 1865, King, Gardiner and Whitney returned to California. A survey project (with the US Army) was assigned to King and Gardiner in the Mojave Desert and Arizona. After a brief return to San Francisco during the spring of 1866, they resumed work in Yosemite that summer, focusing on compiling field notes for Whitney.

However, when King learned his stepfather had died, he resigned from the Whitney survey, and returned home. Gardiner also accompanied his friend and colleague. Both King and Gardiner had been working on a plan to survey the Great Basin region and in 1866, King traveled to Washington, D.C. to request funding from Congress.

In 1867, federal funding was granted and King was named United States Geologist of the Fortieth Parallel Survey. With good friend Gardiner as his “second in command”, they created a team. From 1867 to 1872, they explored terrain from eastern California to Wyoming. King also published his book, Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada.

[Pictured: Illustration of the 44th Parallel Survey by Clarence King.]

As their work on the Forteith Parallel Survey was winding down, King heard rumors of a great diamond deposit discovery in northwest Colorado. After tracking down the secret location, King investigated and exposed the claim as fraud.

The Diamond Hoax of 1872 involved prospectors Philip Arnold and John Slack who boasted of discovering a rich diamond mind to swindle unsuspecting investors. Several prominent investors including Charles Tiffany of Tiffany & Company and Baron von Rothschild purchased Arnold and Slack’s interest in the mine for $660,000. However, as a geologist for the US Government, King discovered Arnold and Slack had salted the site with diamonds they purchased elsewhere, and he notified investors. By exposing this deception, King became an international celebrity.

[Pictured: Investigation of Diamond Hoax of 1872; Clarence King on far right.]

In 1878, King published a book considered “one of the great scientific works of the late 19th century", titled Systematic Geology, Volume 1 of the Report of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel.

In 1879, Congress opted to combine the various geological surveys in the American West and established the United States Geological Survey with Clarence King as director. His acceptance of this position, however, was contingent on it being temporary. After 20 months of organizing the new agency, he selected his successor – John Wesley Powell.

King decided at this time to use his expertise in mining geology for profit. Unfortunately, the success of these ventures did not cover the expensive tastes and lifestyle of King. Although respected by friends and colleagues, King found himself heavily in debt, depressed, and physically unwell.

And here is where the life of Clarence King takes a curious turn of events.

In 1887, King met and promptly fell in love with an African American nursemaid named Ada Copeland. A former slave from Georgia, she had moved to New York City a few years earlier. Since interracial relationships were discouraged and illegal in many states, King hid his true identity from Copeland. Regardless of his fair complexion and light eyes, he convinced the woman he loved that he was not only an African American from Baltimore, Maryland but a Pullman porter named James Todd.

In September 1888, the couple wed. For the next 13 years his wife (and the mother of their five children) innocently believed his lengthy absences were due to his job as a railroad porter. In truth, when not at home, King lived as a white man and had resumed his career as a field geologist working in copper fields in Montana, and hot springs in Arkansas. Still, he sent loving letters to his wife on a regular basis, along with financial support from his earnings.

So, when did Ada Copeland Todd learn the truth?

While working in Arizona, Clarence King realized he was dying of tuberculosis. Only then did he confess the truth to his wife of 13 years…in a letter.

Clarence King (aka James Todd) died at the age of 59 in Phoenix, Arizona on 24 Dec 1901. His body was returned to Newport, Rhode Island for burial.

As a respected geologist and explorer, King’s accomplishments are extraordinary and leave behind a legacy that includes the following places named in his honor:

Kings Peak in Utah (the highest peak in Utah)

Mount Clarence King (located in Kings Canyon National Park in California pictured left)

Clarence King Lake at Shastina, California

King’s Peak in Antartica.

As for the wife and children he left behind. Four of the five children born to Clarence King and Ida Copeland survived to adulthood. However, for 30 years following the death of her husband, his wife sued to gain control of a trust fund for her children that her “husband” had promised in his deathbed letter. Although represented by notable attorneys, the Court determined in 1933 that Clarence King had died penniless.

Fortunately, during his widow's lengthy legal battle, one of King’s friends showed great compassion toward Ada Copeland Todd and her young children. John Hay once private secretary to Abraham Lincoln, former Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, and a close friend to Clarence King, not only purchased a home for Copeland, he sent a monthly stipend to her. After his death in 1905, his daughter, Helen Hay Whitney, continued the monthly support. Ada Copeland Todd, who after the truth of her husband's identity adopted the King surname, lived in the house John Hay had purchased for her until her death on 14 Apr 1964.

Although it is hard to reconcile the 13-year deception King kept from the woman he married, as well as his white friends and colleagues, it is evident by letters written to his wife during his absences that he loved her and their children dearly. When considering the time in which they lived, this double life was the only way he felt he could marry the woman he loved and also earn a living to support her. And certainly, without question, he contributed greatly to the geological exploration and understanding of the American West.

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you found this information about Clarence King interesting. ~ AKB

Sources:

Wild West Pioneers of Discovery (History Revealed Magazine, Issue 44, July 2017)

Driven by Love or Ambition: Slipping Across the Colored Line Through The Ages (Rachel L. Swarns, NY Times, June 28, 2015)

Passing Strange: A Gilded Tale of Love and Deception Across Colored Lines (Martha A. Sandweiss, Penguin Press, 2009)

Friday, July 28, 2017

FAMILY HISTORY--DO YOU USE IT IN YOUR WRITING? by CHERYL PIERSON


My mother was the oldest of eleven children. In her younger days when I was growing up, and on into my early adulthood, she reminded me of Aunt Pittypat in Gone With the Wind—not in looks or mannerisms, but in the way that she knew the relationships between people--and not just in our family! Growing up in a small Oklahoma town, Mom knew the ins and outs of most every other family in that small community—but so did everyone else. That old saying about everyone knowing your business in a small town was so true…but what a legacy of stories she provided me with to write about!

MY MOM, EL WANDA STALLINGS MOSS, AND MY DAD, FREDERIC MOSS (NEWLYWEDS--1944)

A relative who hung his pocket watch up on the wall to “give it a rest” overnight. Another relative who, shunned by his prominent businessman father, (we don’t know why) rode a bicycle all over town selling condoms. What better way to embarrass him?
Then there were the sadder tales…the little boy who crawled under the porch and drank tree poison and died. All those many years later, my mother would get teary remembering how she and her 12-year-old best friend, Mary, attended the funeral.

The family who lost five of their six children—they’d gone out to pick berries and taken shelter under a big tree when a storm hit. Lightning struck the tree and killed many of them, but the oldest brother crawled to a farmhouse for help. In the end, he was the only survivor.

Another story that, in this time would be almost unbelievable is that of a little girl, six years old, who had appendicitis. The doctor would not operate unless the money was paid before the surgery. The girl’s father stood on the corner and begged for money – this would have been in the mid -1930’s, in Dustbowl Oklahoma…during the Depression. No one had any money to spare. I have a picture of that little girl with my aunt who was the same age—they were second cousins. It was the last picture made of her before she died.

So many stories my mom told about—with such description of the people, the places, the events…maybe that’s why I’m a writer now. But I know the happenings she told me about were a true-life depiction of actual events, and she had a great memory for detail most of her life.

Being the eldest of eleven siblings, she was all ears when the adults talked, of course. And she was old enough to remember many of the happenings herself. She told of watching them rush her grandfather into the house and put him on the kitchen table when he collapsed in the field—she and Mary were watching through a nearby window—they saw it all.

Going to Blue River was sometimes a Sunday social event in the summers—the men cooled off in the water while the women set out the food for a picnic. The children—none of whom could swim—were the older kids’ charges. Mom told of a time when one of her young cousins, Warren, went missing as they were all playing in the shallow water of a nearby clear creek running into the river. She felt something brush her leg and looked down—it was Warren, drifting by, his eyes open sightlessly as he stared up. She automatically reached down and grabbed him up out of the swift-moving current and yelled for help—and remembered nothing else about the rest of that day. Yes, he lived. But…why would so many parents think it was okay for their kids to play in water when none of them could swim?

It hit me after listening to her talk about her life and growing up in that small town that the older siblings seemed to have had no childhood of their own. Her earliest memory was of standing on a stool, washing dishes in a pan of water. She said she was about 3 or 4. By then, there were two younger sisters and another on the way.

A DRAWING MY MOTHER DID WHEN SHE WAS 17--SELF TAUGHT

I wasn’t old enough to appreciate it at the time, but Mom and Dad, having grown up together, knew all of the same people. They’d talk about who was related to whom, and who this one or that one had married, and what had become of them. I remember once in a great while, my dad would sit back and look at her with an odd look of appreciation on his face and a little half-smile and say, “Doris Lynn had an illegitimate baby? I never knew that!” Or some other “morsel” he’d somehow never heard.

Mom knew all the stories of the past, too. The tales of the relatives who had gone before and what they’d done—her great grandfather who had been “stolen” from his Indian village and given to a white Presbyterian minister to raise as part of the “assimilation efforts”…and how that had forever affected our family.


MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER, JOSIE WALLS MCLAIN MARTIN. SHE IS THE DAUGHTER OF MY GREAT GREAT GRANDFATHER WHO WAS STOLEN FROM HIS HOME
SHE MARRIED AT 13.


Even the stories of my dad’s family—of his grandmother and grandfather coming “up from Texas” and stopping under the shade of a tree by a creek in Indian Territory long enough for her to give birth, then moving on after one day’s time.

MY DAD'S MOTHER, MARY, ON THE LEFT, WITH OLDER SISTERS MAUDE, GRACE AND BYRD

Mom knew so much—untimely deaths of family members, “early” births, family dreams and goals that came to fruition, changed, or never happened at all. Games played, meals cooked, weddings held…so much that I would have given anything to have written down—but was too young to realize how much it meant, at the time.

But to whom? Those things are important to the families and friends of the principal players, but now…there are few left who would remember or care. The small-town cemetery is filled with those who lived together, worshipped together and worked together. Friends and family who lived, laughed, loved, and made their way through life—leaning on one another in a way that is rare in today’s world.

So…I use those memories in the best way I can. In my writing. There is a piece of my mom’s remembrances in my own stories—probably every single one of them, in some way or another.

Authors, do you use long-ago memories from relatives in your tales? Readers, do these books and short stories we weave jog your own memories of things you’ve heard in the past from older relatives? What are some of the stories you recall?

Here's an excerpt from an "oldie but goodie", ONE MAGIC NIGHT. After learning the story of my gr gr grandfather and how he was kidnapped, I just had to give him a happy ending. In real life, his adoptive parents changed his name to David Walls. They sent him to medical school in Missouri--I don't know if he ever finished or not, but he came back to Indian Territory to practice medicine. Of course, he never fit in, either in the white world or the Indian. But in my make believe world, he did find happiness...


EXCERPT: FROM ONE MAGIC NIGHT:
As Whitworth’s hand started its descent, Katrina turned away. But Shay’s arm shot out, grasping Whitworth’s hand and holding it immobile.

“You will not.”

Three words, quietly spoken, but with a heat that could have melted iron, a force that could have toppled mountains.
Katrina’s father’s face contorted, his teeth bared, finally, as he tried to jerk away. He didn’t utter a word. He stared up into Shay Logan’s eyes that promised retribution, as the seconds ticked by. Finally, he lunged once more, trying to pull free, but Shay still held him locked in a grip of steel. Only when he released that grip was Whitworth freed.

“You presume too much, Doctor Logan, unless you are assuming the care and responsibility of my daughter.”

“Papa! Oh, please!” Katrina felt herself dissolving into a puddle of less than nothing beneath stares of the townspeople of Talihina. What had started as an exciting, beautiful evening had become an embarrassing nightmare. It was torture to think that she was the cause of it all. How she wished she had stayed home with Jeremy as she’d first planned, before Mrs. Howard had volunteered to keep him company.

Now, Papa was saying these things that she knew he would regret later. It was always this way when he drank too much. These accusations had gone beyond the pale of anything he’d ever said before. But Shay Logan wouldn’t realize that. He wouldn’t know that Papa would be sorry tomorrow.

Evidently, there was one thing Shay did recognize, though. She saw the very slight flare of his nostrils as he drew in the scent of alcohol on her father’s breath, and in that instant, there was a flash of understanding in his eyes.

“You’ve had too much to drink, Mr. Whitworth,” he said in an even tone. “I will overlook your behavior toward me because of that, but not toward your daughter. She has done nothing, yet you would strike her, and cause her shame.”

“She’s my daughter,” Whitworth replied sullenly.

“But not your property, Whitworth. Never that. You owe her an apology.”

“No, Shay, really—” Katrina began, then as her father whirled to look at her, she broke off, realizing her mistake. ‘Shay,’ she had called him. As if she had known him forever. As if she was entitled to use his given name freely. As if she were his betrothed.

“‘Shay’ is it, daughter? Not, ‘Dr. Logan’? Shay.” He spit the words out bitterly. He drew himself up, looking Shay in the face. “I’ll not be apologizing to her—or to you. And I’ll expect nothing less than a wedding before this week’s end. Do you understand me, Doctor?”

Shay had lost any patience he might have harbored. “You understand me, Whitworth. You will not dictate to me, or to your daughter on such matters of the heart. As I say, the alcohol has got you saying things you’re going to regret, and—”

“Threatening me, are you? Threatening me?”

“Truman.” Jack Thompson stepped out of the crowd and smoothly came to stand beside Katrina. “Let’s put this…unfortunate incident…behind us, shall we?” He confidently tucked Katrina’s hand around his arm. “I can see that the church auxiliary ladies have almost got everything set up for this wonderful Independence Day meal—” he frowned at Mrs. Beal, nodding at the picnic tables behind her. She jumped, motioning the other ladies to resume the preparation.

He gave a sweeping glance around the group of onlookers. “I, for one, am ready to eat! How about you all?”
Katrina was swept along at his side as he walked toward the tables, speaking to acquaintances and friends, laughing and…and seething with tense anger the entire time. She could feel it in his body, with every step he took and the tightness of his grip as he covered her hand with his. Katrina glanced back over her shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of Shay, but the crowd blocked her view.

“Smile, my dear,” Jack gritted into her ear. “I’m hoping we can still salvage your virtue, no matter what happened, really, between you and the good doctor. If I see him near you again, I’ll kill him.”

GET IT HERE:
https://www.amazon.com/One-Magic-Night-Cheryl-Pierson-ebook/dp/B00I1MINT4/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1501215944&sr=8-8&keywords=one+magic+night

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

ONE OF THE LAST AMERICAN INDIAN RAIDS



Until four years ago, I had lived in Parker County, Texas for a number of years. As someone who loves history, I searched out facts about the area’s past. One of the stories that fascinated me was the story of three children captured in the county’s last Indian raid in 1872.

Comanche Warriors

Sam Savage and his family farmed on Sanchez Creek. His aunt and uncle farmed across the creek.  A group of raiding Comanche rode through and Sam’s father and oldest brother were killed in the field where they were working. Mrs. Savage got the girls inside. One girl who was fifteen was shot with an arrow as she scooped up her sister. They barely reached the house in time to bar the door. 

I might have feared the house would have been set on fire, but the Comanche were after horses—and small children. Battles with the Army had decimated their numbers of young men as well as their horses. Comanche needed young people to continue their way of life. 

Sam was six and his brother John was eight when the two boys were captured. The Comanche then crossed the creek and killed the boys’ aunt and uncle and captured four-year-old Mary, their cousin. Their captors did not kidnap other children on this raid.

Parker County and Palo Pinto Mountains

When they camped for the night, the children were given raw liver and forced to eat. They gagged and vomited but were shown no patience. During the night, John escaped and started home. He was recaptured and the soles of his feet slit so he would be unable to walk or run and no longer be able to sneak out of camp.

The three children lived with the Comanche in Oklahoma Territory for eighteen months. A trader spotted three white children in the camp. He traded everything he had with him, including his saddle and saddlebags, to rescue the three youngsters. The trader took them to Fort Worth in an attempt to identify the kids and reunite them with their families. (I wish I knew the name of the trader, but I've been unable to find out more about him.)

Comanche Family by George Catlin

By this time, Mary spoke only Comanche and could not even communicate in English. Sam and John were able to give their names. Eventually, they were reunited with Mrs. Savage and what was left of their family.

I don’t remember (if I ever knew) what happened to Mary or John, but Sam remained in the area. He married a Pawnee woman and lived near Mineral Wells for the rest of his life. When the foliage is down in winter, the site of Sam’s cabin is barely visible from Highway 180 between Weatherford and Mineral Wells—if you know where to look. There’s also a historical marker in Mineral Wells about these children.

I found this story fascinating and hope you will also.




Caroline Clemmons is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author. Her latest release is SNARE HIS HEART for Debra Holland's Montana Sky Series at Kindle World. In the story, Addie Ryan is the mail-order bride for Forrest Clanahan. He was badly burned trying in vain to rescue his wife from the fire in which she died. He's vowed never to love again but he needs a wife to help with his three children. Addie is determined to snare his heart for lasting happiness.

Caroline and her husband and their menagerie of rescued pets live in cowboy country of North Central Texas. Find her complete list of releases at her Amazon AuthorPage. Subscribe to her newsletter to learn about new releases and contests.  New subscribers receive a FREE copy of HAPPY IS THE BRIDE, a wedding disaster book with a very happy ending.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Few Old West Tidbits





  • ·         The Santa Fe Trail came close, but never actually made it to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  • ·         An estimated 350,000 people traveled the Oregon Trail. One in seventeen did not make it to Oregon. The most common cause of death was cholera.


  • ·         As partial compensation for his lost territory, in 1905 the United States Government gave Geronimo a Cadillac.

  • ·         The first gold rush wasn’t to California in 1849, but to New Mexico in 1832.

  • ·         After committing a robbery, Charles E. Bolton would leave a note signed “Black Bart”. He was almost sixty when he started robbing stages. 

  • ·         Wyatt Earp was arrested for horse theft in Arkansas, and he and his brother Morgan were arrested for running ‘bordellos’ in Chicago before they made their way west. Though proclaimed to be a Buffalo Hunter, Earp never shot a buffalo, he did drive a wagon on a hunt once.

  • ·         Clay Allen pulled out a dentist’s teeth after that dentist had pulled one of Clay’s—the wrong one.

  • ·         The Dalton Gang met their fate in Kansas in 1892 when they attempted to rob two banks at the same time.

  • ·         Billy the Kid was also known a Billy Bonney, Henry McCarty, and Henry Antrim.

  • ·         Jesse James’s nickname to his close friends was Dingus.

  • ·         Cole Younger, who rode with Jesse James, after serving over 20 years in prison, got a job selling tombstones when he got out.

  • ·         Ben Kilpatrick, one of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch known as the “Tall Texan”, loved riding bikes and only ever ordered ham and beans to eat because he couldn’t read.

  • ·         It’s said Mail Order Brides did more in taming the west than any law or lawman.


On that note…My next book is another mail order bride story in the Mail Order Brides of Oak Grove series. Winning the Mail Order Bride will be released in print on August 24th and ebook on September 1st

She was promised to another… 
When widow Fiona Goldberg and her two adorable sons arrive in Oak Grove, Kansas, proclaimed bachelor Brett Blackwell is instantly captivated. But when he learns she is promised to the mayor, he tries his best to keep his distance…

Out of desperation, Fiona had agreed to become a mail-order bride to the disagreeable, self-important mayor. But something about her neighbor Brett makes her feel safe. She knows she must fight her growing feelings for the forbidden blacksmith, even while longing for him to rescue her and take her as his bride himself!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A TALE OF TWO BOOKS

By: Celia Yeary
"Her name was Katherine."

I am fortunate enough to have a group of long-time friends—girlfriends, if you want to call them that. But we’re not girls anymore. Our relationship goes all the way back to the early seventies, when most of us began teaching at a wonderful Christian/Military boarding school in Central Texas. Since then, we’ve added one friend here, one there, none of us ever knowing how this person became "one of us." Once every six weeks or so, we have A Gathering, as we call our meetings.

The conglomeration of women constitutes as many different personalities as the number of members. We're all different; yet, all have and hold one firm purpose in common—to love and support each other with undying friendship. An odd thing, though—none of us becomes angry with any other. Oh, yes, we discuss, argue, and laugh with great emotion and passion, but even so, our love always comes through. We share a thousand stories, maybe more, memories from years past that cause us to laugh, and sometimes, cry.

We lost one of our friends years ago, but we all remember her as if she sat right there with us, laughing in her robust way, until tears ran down her cheeks.
Her name was Katherine.

This woman acted as counselor and best friend to each of us, but as far as I know, she never asked for nor needed counsel from any of us—not even from other faculty members. I’ve often wondered about that. She had the blessed ability and God-given talent to make each person believe, “I am her best friend.” She was a listener, and when you talked, she gave her complete undivided attention.

A few years ago, our group held a gathering at a member’s home. We brought our covered dishes, presents for the two who had birthdays that month, recent photos of our grandchildren or latest trip, and stories to tell.

One member brought a box. At the end of the evening, she stood and placed it in the middle of the dining table. She told us it held some of Katherine’s knick-knacks that no family member wanted. Previously, they had selected treasured items and had taken them home. But here was a small cardboard box filled with a few assorted useless items. She invited us to choose something as a remembrance.

An item caught my eye. A small book, 4 by 6 inches, a green hardback covered in a linen-like material, the edges outlined in gold, an ivory cameo outlined in gold centered on the cover. The title:

Kathrina
Published by Scribner's
A Cameo Edition-1900
(1st Printing-1850)
(Inside, the presenter had written, to Katherine, with love-1989)

Goosebumps skittered over my arms. You see, I own an identical book, differing only in the title and text. I bought mine several years ago in an antique bookshop somewhere in Kentucky for two dollars.

My title: Reveries of a Bachelor
Published by Scribner's
A Cameo Edition-1893
(1st Printing-1863)

To a skeptic, this probably means nothing. But there’s more to the story. Katherine owned this book long before I bought mine, but she did not buy it. A mutual friend, a lovely lady who once owned an antique shop herself, gave it to her in 1989. I had never seen this book.

So, the three of us share the odd connection of the twin books and a wonderful, longtime friendship. Now, both books are in my care, holding a prominent place on a shelf, as if they symbolize the unbreakable bond of friendship.    

How odd, how mysterious that I walked into an antique book shop six states away, in a small town off the interstate where we pulled off to explore, and among the many antique stores, I chose the one which had this book for sale, among thousands of others, stuck in a dark corner, on a lower shelf where I barely saw it.

You tell me the meaning of this coincidence. And don’t burst my little bubble of happiness.

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/celiayeary
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lucius Beebe & The American West


Before introducing the topic of my post, I'm excited to tell you my new book, BEGUILING DELILAH, is now available on Amazon. At last! 
US Amazon     UK Amazon    CA: Amazon    AU: Amazon
FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Now, about Lucius Morris Beebe: (December 9, 1902 – February 4, 1966) Beebe was an American author, gourmet, photographer, railroad historian, journalist, and syndicated columnist.

Lucius Beebe (R) and partner Charles Clegg; back jacket photo - Steamcars To The Comstock

Born in Wakefield, Massachusetts to a prominent Boston family, Beebe attended both Harvard and Yale, where he contributed to the humorous magazine The Yale Record. He was known for pulling pranks, including an attempt to decorate J. P. Morgan’s yacht with toilet paper dropped from a chartered airplane. Consequently, he proudly had the sole distinction of being expelled from both Harvard and Yale. Eventually, he did earn his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1926, only to be expelled during graduate school.
As a young man, Beebe published several books of poetry, but soon turned to journalism. He worked as a journalist for well-known newspapers in New York, Boston and San Francisco, and was a contributing writer to many magazines.
Beebe wrote a syndicated column for the New York Herald Tribune from the 1930s through 1944 called This New York. The column chronicled the doings of fashionable society, of which he was a notable part, at famous restaurants and nightclubs. He came up with the term “café society” to describe the people in his column.
Beebe in the West
In 1950, Beebe and his long-time life partner, photographer Charles Clegg, moved to Virginia City, Nevada, somewhat of a mecca at that time for writers. Beebe and Clegg purchased and restored the Piper family home.
Piper-Beebe House; Creative Commons; Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Later, the pair purchased the dormant Territorial Enterprise newspaper, relaunching it in 1952. By 1954 the paper had the highest circulation in the West for a weekly newspaper. Beebe and Clegg co-wrote the "That Was the West" series of historical essays for the newspaper.
In 1960, Beebe began writing a syndicated column titled This Wild West for the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition to being a journalist, Beebe wrote over 35 books. His books dealt primarily with railroading and café society. Charles Clegg helped write many of his railroad books.

The pair also authored The American West: The Pictorial Epic of a Continent, first published in 1955 by Dutton Publishing. I own a 1989 hardcover edition published by Bonanza Books. I love it mainly for the plethora of wonderful illustrations. I wish I could share a few of them with you but don’t want to infringe on copyrights. The book is available used on Amazon. I highly recommend it.


Amazon description:
This truly magnificent book recreates with a wealth of rare pictures and vivid authoritative text the tremendous epic of the American West. As sweeping, spirited and many-sided as its subject, the book portrays the Old West in all its variety, from the days of the first pioneers to the final passing of the frontier. Includes more than 1000 illustrations.”

Reviews: There are only 2, but one is by our own Caroline Clemmons. Both give 5 stars.

By Bob G. on January 27, 2011

“. . .This is an absolute essential piece for your bookshelf if you are an aficionado of US History, particularly the classic era of the Western Frontier. What's most notable about this large volume, with over 500 pages, is the numerous illustrations (over 1000!) that will guarantee hours of your enjoyment. . .

“Worth the visual enjoyment alone, The American West: The Pictorial Epic of a Continent is written in an engaging style of colorful narration not seen in today's academic tomes. Much like the newspapers of the day, the authors Beebe & Clegg make fine use of the English language and deliver humor and excitement in their accounts.

“From the mountain men to the closing of the frontier, the whole story is presented as an illustrated summary that is always fun to pick up and refer to over and over again. A definite keeper!”

By Caroline Clemmons on November 11, 2014

“I bought this book after a friend mentioned it. It's a large book filled with illustrations and old photos to illustrate the text. Very useful for research.”


 Lyn Horner is a multi-published, award-winning author of western historical romance and romantic suspense novels, all spiced with paranormal elements. She is a former fashion illustrator and art instructor who resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” - with her husband and a gaggle of very spoiled cats. As well as crafting passionate love stories, Lyn enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.

Find Lyn’s books on her Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/Y3aotC

Sign up for Lyn’s Romance Gazette: http://eepurl.com/bMYkeX

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

FRANK FOOLS CROW: LAKOTA MEDICINE MAN




FRANK FOOLS CROW 


While digging into research for my WIP (tentatively titled ONLY IN MY DREAMS), a friend of mine who is part Cherokee and practices Native American traditions recommended that I read about Fools Crow, a Lakota Shaman. She loaned me her book FOOLS CROW, WISDOM AND POWER written by Thomas E. Mails. I am so impressed by this Lakota Shaman, his philosophy, thoughts, and deeds, I decided to write my Sweethearts of the West blog about him.


Frank Fools Crow, a Lakota Medicine Man, was born in 1891 in Kyle, South Dakota near Porcupine Creek on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on either June 24 or 27 between 1890 and 1892. Just a note here: I named my lead character Kyle (who is working to become a shaman) in my WIP before I read Frank Fools Crow was born in Kyle, South Dakota. An amazing coincidence. Just sayin’…

His father, also named Fools Crow, but often called Eagle Bear, was the Porcupine District leader. Spoon Hunter, Fools Crow’s mother, died four days after giving birth to him. She was the daughter of Porcupine Tail, for whom the community was named. Knife Chief, his paternal grandfather,  fought with warriors who defeated Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn, and his great–grandfather, Holds the Eagle, was a medicine man and holy man, or Wičháša Wakȟáŋ. His father, aunt, and stepmother, Emily Big Road, raised him in the traditional ways. Fools Crow did not attend "the white man's school" because his father did not approve, and, therefore, he did not speak fluent English.

Fools Crow Speaks of the spiritual Cleansing in the book FOOLS CROW Wisdom And Power by Thomas E. Mails

In his younger years, Fools Crow traveled around the United States with the Buffalo Bill Cody's Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. But for most of his life, he served his people as a medicine man, healer, and teacher. It surprises me when I see the Native Americans who participated in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. I just thought they wouldn’t want to be a part of a show that may not be a true portrayal of them.

I was surprised to find he had married. Maybe I just didn't consider marriage for a Medicine Man, sort of like being a Catholic priest. Fools Crow’s first wife, Fannie Afraid of Hawk, died in 1954. His second wife, Kate, died in October 1988.

He was a greatly respected Oglala Lakota civic and religious leader often called 'Grandfather' or 'Grandpa Frank' and was a nephew of Black Elk, also a famous Shaman. Fools Crow worked to preserve Lakota traditions, including the Sun Dance and yuwipi ceremonies. I particularly liked that he supported Lakota sovereignty and treaty rights, and was a leader of the traditional faction during the armed standoff at Wounded Knee in February 1973.

Fools Crow leading his people at Wounded Knee 

The standoff at Wounded Knee lasted 71 days until an agreement was reached between federal officials and a Lakota delegation, which included Fools Crow. Hank Adams, the personal representative of the President, arrived with an agreement to the proposal that the chiefs had sent to the White House on May 3. Adams handed a letter through a barbed–wire fence to Fools Crow. The letter asked for the occupation of the village to come to an end. Fools Crow and the other leaders accepted the proposal, which stated that the White House would send representatives to Pine Ridge to discuss a treaty in the third week of May and would “get tough” on Dick Wilson, the unscrupulous chairman of the reservation, a heavy drinker who encouraged harassment of traditional ceremonies and selling Lakota lands for which he profited. Fools Crow and the other chiefs delivered the letter to the AIM leaders and told them that he believed that it was time to end it.

Fools Crow spoke at a congressional hearing on June 16 and 17, 1973, following the conclusion of the Wounded Knee occupation. As was his way, he only spoke in Lakota and used an interpreter, Matthew King, to translate for him. He gave his reasons for the occupation, the main reason being the removal of Dick Wilson. Senator George McGovern said that he would try to remove Wilson, but was not sure if he had the power to do so. Fools Crow asserted that McGovern had promised earlier to remove Dick Wilson, yet the violence continued. Lakota people were killed in gunfire including children. The fatalities saddened everyone and convinced Grandpa Fools Crow and the other elders that there had been enough death. “Since we were too few to fight and too many to die”, Fools Crow asked the Wounded Knee leaders to try to find a peaceful resolution.

Promises were made by the government to the Lakota, but history has repeated itself because, once again, the government of the United States of America lied and those promises were not kept.

Though his courageous fight for his people show his character, this is not the reason why I have come to admire Fools Crow; it is his spirit and noble quest to do what is right as well as keep the traditions of the Lakota alive that make me think so highly of him.

Here is an example of his spiritual devotion when he spoke (in Lakota) the opening prayer to the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. on September 5, 1975 to discuss the 1868 Treaty, sovereignty, and the continuing violence and civil rights violations.
Fools Crow’s translated Prayer:

“In the presence of this house, Grandfather, Wakan-Tanka, and from the direction where the sun sets, and from the direction of cleansing power, and from the direction of the rising, and from the direction of the middle of the day. Grandfather, Wakan-Tanka, Grandmother, the Earth who hears everything, Grandmother, because you are woman, for this reason you are kind, I come to you this day to tell you to love the red men, and watch over them, and give these young men the understanding because, Grandmother, from you comes the good things, good things that are beyond our eyes to see have been blessed in our midst, for this reason I make my supplication known to you again.

Give us a blessing so that our words and actions be one in unity, and that we be able to listen to each other, in so doing, we shall with good heart walk hand in hand to face the future.

In the presence of the outside, we are thankful for many blessings. I make my prayer for all people, the children, the women and the men. I pray that no harm will come to them, and that on the great island, there be no war, that there be no ill feelings among us. From this day on may we walk hand in hand. So be it.”

Unfortunately, during the same morning as this prayer, the FBI staged a massive paramilitary raid on the property of Leonard Crow Dog, who said "We shall never sell our sacred Black Hills."

On September 10, 1976, Fools Crow delivered a lengthy speech to the Congressional Subcommittee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The speech, entitled the Joint Statement of Chief Frank Fools Crow and Frank Kills Enemy on Behalf of the Traditional Lakota Treaty Council Before Honorable Lloyd Meads Sub–Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, was a plea for the return of the Black Hills to his people. Later, the speech was printed up in poster form and widely disseminated over the reservations.

Even in recent events the government has attempted to betray the Lakota by trying to permit an fracked oil pipeline to run through the sovereign lands of the Lakota in South Dakota.

For all the betrayal, the lies, and the violence visited upon Fools Crow and his people, Frank Fools Crow has kept his kind and loving spirit.

Here is a short quote from Fools Crow’s speech at the end of Wounded Knee:

“Survival of the world depends on our sharing what we have, and working together. If we do not, the whole world will die, first the planet, and next the people.”

Fools Crow died on November 27, 1989 near Kyle, SD. He is believed to have been 99 years old. He spent his entire life in the service of his people and as an advocate for the traditional ways and wisdom of the Lakota.

    

With the help of writer Thomas E. Mails, he produced two books about his life and work titled: Fools Crow in 1979, and Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power in 1990.





The Wise Words of Frank Fools Crow



Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media:













References, books, and quotes for this article:


Fools Crow, University of Nebraska Press, 1979, 1990  ISBN 978-0-8032-8174-5

Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power, Council Oak Books, 1990, 2002;  ISBN 978-1-57178-104-8

Anderson et al., Voices from Wounded Knee 1973 (Akwesasne Notes, 1974) ISBN 978-0-914-83801-2

Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, Agents of Repression (South End Press, 1988,'02) ISBN 0-89608-646-1

Thomas E. Mails, Fools Crow (University of Nebraska Press, 1979,'90) ISBN 978-0-8032-8174-5

Peter Matthiessen, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (Viking Penguin, 1983,'92) ISBN 978-014014456-7

Russell Means, Where White Men Fear to Tread (St. Martin's Press, 1995) ISBN 978-031214761-7

New York Times Obituary, "Frank Fools Crow, a Sioux Tribal Leader", printed 29 November 1989  *

Paul Chaat Smith and Robert Allen Warrior, Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (The New Press, 1997) ISBN 978-1-56584-402-5

Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1933) ISBN 978-0-8032-9333-5

Steve Talbot, Roots of Oppression: The American Indian Question (International Publishers, 1981) ISBN 978-071780591-4