Brawley Gilmore—John Good’s Gumption

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 22, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site

Say you’re a blacksmith and some of your customers just might be members of the Ku Klux Klan. It takes some guts to mark their horseshoes so you can look at the tracks after a raid and finger the riders. The way Brawley Gilmore tells it—or told it in 1937—John Good had the guts.   Read More

Henry Flipper—Clearing His Name

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 10, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Content

Sometimes the scales of justice balance slowly. Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point, was charged with embezzlement while serving as a buffalo soldier. The image is from the monthly return that notes his arrest in 1881.     He was found not guilty but was still dismissed from the Army for Read More

John Glover—Holy Rolling

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 8, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site

To hear John Glover tell it, there’s nothing like a good earthquake to improve public morals. He explained in his interview with Federal Writers Project members how the earth thundered and rolled until folks thought the Judgment had come. People were praying, and the cows and chickens were making a racket. He said the world Read More

Jack Peterson—Patriot

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 8, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site

You’ve heard of Benedict Arnold, but what about Jack Peterson?     According to the October 9, 1859, Weekly Anglo-African, if Jack Peterson and Moses Sherwood hadn’t decided to take on a landing party from the British sloop of war Vulture by themselves, thereby frustrating Major Andre’s escape, Arnold might have given away West Point Read More

William Christy—First Casualty

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 8, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Content

In June 1867, William Christy, a farmer from Pennsylvania, enlisted in the 10th Cavalry. The 10th was a black regiment whose men would soon be referred to as “buffalo soldiers” after they were sent to take part in the Indian Wars of the latter 19th century. Christy’s tenure with the unit was short. The 10th Read More

Ernest Borgnine: Do They Make ’em Like That Anymore?

Posted by Paul Rawlins on July 9, 2012 in Stories

Do they make ’em like that anymore? That’s what I found myself asking as I read Ernest Borgnine’s biography last year while digging into a batch of U.S. Navy muster rolls. Ernest Borgnine—still Ermes Effron Borgnino—wasn’t famous when he came to the United States from Italy with his mother in 1923 aboard the Dante Alighieri. Read More

Ray Bradbury: A Legacy Remembered

Posted by Paul Rawlins on June 7, 2012 in Stories

While I was glancing at headlines yesterday, I saw that Ray Bradbury passed away. I read “All of Summer in a Day” back in elementary school and have never forgotten it. I re-read Fahrenheit 451 a year or so ago and was startled by some of the details Bradbury included in his future world that Read More