December 26, 2012
The American Civil War has been very good for a Charles Town author who, in the last six years, has been researching the area's history for material for historical novels based on real people and real situations connected with that conflict. Bob O'Connor has just finished his fifth novel, “The Return of Catesby,” the story of a slave who was born in Jefferson County. The latest is a sequel to “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War,” which O'Connor published in 2008. The new book comes out in January.
October 26, 2012
Special to The Herald-Mail For a change of pace from extolling the accomplishments of the Washington County Historical Society over its 100-year history, this month's column focuses on a current effort to enhance the offerings in the society's research library. A significant collection of slave documents from Washington County has been indexed and catalogued. That collection is now available for serious researchers in the Simms Jamieson Memorial Library, which is in the lower level of the Miller House at 135 W. Washington St., downtown Hagerstown.
June 13, 2012
Some will find this to be borderline sacrilege, but the song “Dixie” was most likely composed by a couple of Ohio Yankees. The federals had their own popular version of the song during the Civil War, and it was a favorite tune of none other than Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, of course, would be the “despot” and/or “tyrant” who was head of the “Northern scum” referred to in the Maryland state song “Maryland My Maryland” - originally a poem that was written by one twisted cat living in New Orleans with no real claim to fame other than his screed was picked up by a secessionist Glee Club in Baltimore and put to music.
May 8, 2012
1. Celebration of heritage Martinsburg Heritage Day will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in downtown Martinsburg, W.Va. Events will include dedication of the new town square, tours of historic buildings and museums, live entertainment, demonstrations and food and craft vendors. Go to www.orgsites.com/wv/adam-stephen . 2. On pointe Western Maryland City Ballet Company will present "Le Corsaire," at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown.
February 11, 2012
The following is an excerpt from Thomas Henry Barnes' autobiographical manuscript. This section is about his father, Henry Barnes, who was a slave in Hagerstown and later became a free man. “Henry Barnes was born of slave parents in or near Richmond Va. about the year 1818. Have no definite record of his parents. When but a boy he was bought by a wealthy resident of Hagerstown Md. whoes name was Barnes. an English man by birth - this man a slave holder would own only young black men, - Each one he would cause to learn a trade, - (Mechanical)
July 15, 2011
“Astonishing” is how Christopher L. Webber characterizes James W.C. Pennington, a slave at the Rockland Estate south of Hagerstown in the 1800s who escaped and went on to become a Presbyterian minister and delegate to international abolitionist conventions. Webber, a Princeton University graduate who has written a book about Pennington, spoke about the book and the life of Pennington Thursday night at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. Proceeds from the event were to benefit the Washington County Free Library's Western Maryland Room and the museum's children's educational programs.
January 5, 2011
Word is just in that, of all things, our brains are shrinking — and this has nothing to do with the new Congress. No, scientists instead are saying the size of the human brain peaked during the Cro-Magnon period and has been shrinking ever since. The reason, scientists contend, is that we do not need as many wits about us today as we did back then, seeing as how there is far less chance of being attacked by a sabertooth tiger. (Although far more chance of being attacked by Brett Favre.
September 19, 2010
Mark P. Brugh's original play "Antietam Anthologies: 1862" examines the messy work - and messy politics - of identifying, relocating and re-interring the bodies of Confederate soldiers six years after the Battle of Antietam. "I wanted people to know the names of the people from Sharpsburg who did heroic acts of bravery and exhibited valor in the wake of adversity," said Brugh, as actors arrived for a recent Wednesday night rehearsal. "Antietam Anthologies" premieres Friday night and continues through Sunday, Sept.
September 12, 2009
The organizers of the proposed Doleman Black Heritage Museum in Hagerstown will hold a fundraiser Sunday, Oct. 25. The event will feature jazz saxophonist Brian Lenair and be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown. The Doleman collection contains thousands of artifacts from the mid-19th to late-20th centuries. Some of the items include autographs, birth records, more than 450 books, deeds of slave sales, dolls, figurines, furniture, magazines, obituaries, paintings, photographs, poetry and sculptures.
August 26, 2009
The organizers of the proposed Doleman Black Heritage Museum in Hagerstown will hold a fundraiser Oct. 25. The event will feature jazz saxophonist Brian Lenair and be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University System of Maryland-Hagerstown. The Doleman collection contains thousands of artifacts from the mid-19th to late-20th centuries. Some of the items include autographs, birth records, more than 450 books, deeds of slave sales, dolls, figurines, furniture, magazines, obituaries, paintings, photographs, poetry and sculptures.