current info

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween in Washington,DC 1890 - The Evening Star


How it is Celebrated by the Boys and Young Girls.


                 Tomorrow is All Saints' day and tonight being All Halloween the young folks will no doubt do their celebrating as usual.

                 All Halloween is the evening preceding All Hallow day – – properly called All Saints' day. Hallow–tide is a comprehensive name for both days. There is scarcely any time more distinguished than this by the common people throughout the British Files. This is probably owing to the fact of November 1 having been one of the four great festivals of their pagan ancestors. It was formally celebrated by the immense bonfires in Wales, Ireland, the Scotch Highlands and even in England; in the latter place up to a very recent. And occasionally at the present time. The custom also prevails at present among the Welsh people who still practice superstitious rites for defining the future.

                 In Ireland particularly st1 November is regarded as the proper time to offer thanks for the realize fruits of the earth. The Irish in this regard call it La Mas Ubhal - that is, the day of the Apple fruit, and celebrated with seat of roasted apples mixed in – AL or milk. Chas. Graydon, the Irish poet, very aptly describes one favorite practice thus:
These glowing nuts are emblems true
Of what in human life review:
The mismatched couple fret and fume,
And thus in strife themselves costume.
Or see the happy, happy pair.
Of generous love and truth sincere.
With mutual fondness whole they burn,
Still to each other totally turn:
Till life fears or deal being passed,
Their mingled ashes rest at last.
                 Halloween has always been the occasion of an enjoyable time in Christian countries. The performance of spells by young people to discover their future partners for life has been one of the most popular usages, as well as fireside reveries, such as cracking nuts, dunking for apples and other enjoyments. It is the night when witches, evil spirits and other mischief making been our abroad on their midnight journeys, and when the fairies are supposed to hold their grand anniversary. The custom of celebrating Halloween's night is still kept up and the evil-spirited boys, as well as the fair maidens, take part in the celebration.   


                 Whether witches, devils in other evil spirits go about on their baneful errands or not is probably a question of belief for those who study such things; but certainly if they do not the small boys take their place on earth, while the maidens take the places of the fairies and give parties and social gatherings for their friends. The mischievous boys were among the foremost of the merrymakers, but as boys will they generally carried [sic] their amusement so far as to make them objectionable. Bonfires was [six] the general order of the occasion when the city streets were not concreted and when large vacant lots were more numerous than they are now. When their material became exhausted and the fires could no longer be kept up the little demons turned their attention to their favorite pastime of the occasion, which was to annoy their neighbors in various ways, such as to tie the dead bodies of small animals on front doors, or ring doorbells and help persons answering the Bell with cabbages or some other objectionable article. Sometimes live animals were used, when dead ones were scarce, and it was not an unusual happening to be awakened after midnight by the helping dog that the boys had tied to the door bell.


                 In these days the boys consider themselves as boys no longer, and they turned their attention to the social gatherings, while some of the older young men have gone back to some of the pranks that were formerly played by young America. Particularly does this apply to the throwing of flour about the street. During the past few years in the city this form of amusement has them lighted many parties of young men and cause merriment to persons on the street other than those who happen to fall victims [sic].

                 In the first place some preparation is made as a security against the police, and that is often done by turning the coat inside out and wearing a slouch hat turned in the same manner. There are some who do not care to risk this, and they used burnt cork on their faces. When once disguised in this manner each of the party takes a bag of flour and they start out to turn black into white, and before the night is over they generally succeed, even if they also succeed in getting in the lock-up. Colored persons are generally the victims selected, because the flower shows more plainly and with better affect on their faces, while a well-dressed white man would not get slighted should he in his travels meet the crowd that is out for a night's enjoyment.


                 Some of the smaller boys seem to find enjoyment in serenading pedestrians with dead animals or soft vegetable matter, such as decayed apples, tomatoes and potatoes. The changing of signs from one place of business to another was also indulged in to a great extent, and on the morning of All Saints' day many persons, from outward appearances were unable to tell whether they were keeping a drugstore, a barbershop or a liquor saloon.

                 Another, and one of the most annoying, pranks of the boys was to take a shutter from a house and put it against the front door of the same house, or of one of the neighboring dwellings, and then ring the bell, so that the person who opened the door would either get the weight of that section of the house upon them or would be put to the trouble of removing the obstacles in order to close the door.


                 is probably one of the oldest customs in connection with the celebration and it still plays a part in the day festivities attending and All Halloween party. The apples, placed in a time of water, must all have stems, as it is by the stem alone that the apple is permitted to be taken from the water,

                 A trick, amusing to all except one of the party, is played with two plates and the peculiar in doing requires it to be performed in a dark room. A basin of water, a piece of soap and a towel are also required at the ending. Two rooms are also needed. In one there must be no light, while in the other a dim light is all that is required. The fortuneteller takes his or her position in the room where the light is dimmed and the person who is anxious to learn something of their future partner goes into the other room. A plate is on a table in either room, the one in the dark room being black and over a gas jet or smeared with such from the stove pipe. The maneuvering of the fortuneteller has to be followed by the one who is endeavoring to peer into the future. The result is shown by a glance in the looking glass.


                 chestnuts are named and roasted, and the one that "pops" first is the name of the lucky or unlucky one, as the case may be.

                 At such gatherings it is customary for the host to bake a cake and have a gold ring placed in it. When refreshments are served the person doing the honors cup the cake and passes and about the table. The ring has to be in one of the slices, and the one who gets it, tradition has it, be the first in the party to wed.


                 There are many other interesting method of telling Fortune on such occasions and the final scene is done when the male members of the party have gone to their homes and the and the maidens prepare to their rooms. When the light is extinguished they are supposed to fold one of their garments and repeat the following:

"Hallee'n night I go to bed,
I put my petticoat under my head,
To dream of the living and not of the dead,
And dream of the one who I am to wed."

                 Sunday is All Souls' day, which, is a day set aside to commemorate all the faithful departed. It is a holiday that is observed in the Roman Catholic churches in this country, while in some other countries it is observed by other denominations, who remember the dead by strewing flowers on their grades. This service follows All Saints day, when festivities are held in honor of the saints and angels in heaven.[1]


[1] The Evening Star.; Date: 10-31-1890Washington (DC), District of Columbia

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, October 31, 2014.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Go ahead — and do not tarry" - Poetry from The Planters' Advocate, Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County Oct 26, 1853

Go ahead — and do not tarry,
Nought [sic] is gained by standing still;
When though you at times miscarry,
Let not fears your bosom fill.
Search the causes of your errors,
Gather wisdom from the past,
To the win give the terrorists,
And you'll get ahead at last.

Go ahead — it useful doings
Let your motto be "I'll try;"
He who ever is despairing,
Bankrupt hearts and hopes are nigh.
What know you and wealth be strangers —
Onward, upward be your aim,
And that those real or fancied dangers,
Soon you'll put to flight or shame.

 Go ahead — the world reforming,
In civil, moral, freedom's name,
All those forts and outposts storming,
Which your enemies they claim.
You know bulwarks, take no quarter,
Compromise no cherished right,
Freedoms treasure never barter,
Stand for them with all your might.

Go ahead, then Go ahead — don't defer it,
Lifes short span soon flips away;
If you to finish aught of merit,
You must supply your task to-day.
Sent the ball in instant motion,
To keep it going, strains each nerve,
Nor doubt that ultimate promotion
Will yield the laurels you deserve.[1]

[1] Planters' Advocate, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, October 26, 1853.
Maryland State Archives. Planters' Advocate Collection. MSA SC 3415.

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, October 25, 2014.

Elections in Prince George's County Can be Contentious and Deadly in September 1820

Daily National Intelligencer; Date: 09-26-1820

            The Electioneering contest is very warm in some of the counties in the state of Maryland; and the public meetings for discussing the merits of the candidates, and the political questions on which the election hinges, are frequent, and numerous Lee attended. Sometimes, as will happen when people are excited by the occasion, and a little heated by what they have drank [sic], quarrels ensue. One of these took place at a muster of Col. Crauford's regiment in Prince George's county {sic], last Thursday; when a person of the name of Richardson was killed by a kick or a blow from another man.[1]

[1] Colonel David Crauford, III  Kingston in Upper Marlboro, Maryland

Kingston, or Sasscer's House, is a 1 1⁄2-story historic home located in Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, Marylands. It is believed to be the oldest building remaining in the town of Upper Marlboro and may have been built, at least in part, before 1730. Many alterations and additions made to it in the Victorian era, including "gingerbread" details typical of this era. The Craufurd family cemetery is located in the woods northwest of the house. Kingston was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Article transcribed from: Daily National Intelligencer; Date: 09-26-1820; Volume: 8; Issue: 2404; Page: [3]; Location: Washington (DC), District of Columbia by John Peter Thompson, October 25, 2014

6. GENERAL VIEW PERSPECTIVE, FROM NORTH - Sasscer's House,Old Crain Highway Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, MD

  • Digital ID: (None) hhh
  • Reproduction Number: HABS MD,17-MARBU,7--6
  • Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Prince George's Philharmonic Interview with soloist Mariam Adam - Concert follows Beyond the Battle Symposium Oct 11 2014

In partnership with the Beyond the Battle Symposium (see more below the interview with the evening's clarinet soloist from the Philharmonic's newsletter) our very own Prince George's Philharmonic will be offering the following program;

 Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 8:00 p.m.

Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Bowie, MD 

Charles Ellis, conductor - Mariam Adam, clarinet

Rossini                   Overture to Tancredi
Mozart                   Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622
Wagner                  Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung
Rodgers                 Victory at Sea: Symphonic Scenario for Orchestra
Beethoven             Wellington’s Victory

A concert commemorating the War of 1812. Sponsored in part by the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, Inc.

Single Ticket General Admission: $20, Seniors: $18, Age 18 and under free (ticket required). Single Tickets go on sale the night of the concert beginning at 7 pm, cash or check only. Tickets can be purchased in advance

MARIAM ADAM, clarinet

Mariam Adam, a native of Monterey, California is an internationally distinguished soloist and chamber musician. As one of the last students of legendary clarinetist, Rosario Mazzeo, she developed a colorful career on the west coast soloing with the Sacramento Symphony, Monterey County Symphony amongst others while still an undergraduate. Ms. Adam appeared as soloist with the Eastman Music Summer Festival, toured with Monterey Jazz Festival jazz ensembles (sometimes as the drummer) in Japan and North America, and received such awards such as the Hans Wildau Young Musicians Award, Sacramento Concerto Competition Winner, AFS Scholar, and Bank of America Artists Scholar before moving to the east coast for graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music. She has since performed with Chamber Music Lincoln Center, Prussia Cove Festival in England, 92nd St. Y, Rockport Music Festival, Chenango Music Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, La Jolla Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival, Chamber Music Northwest as well as collaborations with such artists as Paquito D'Rivera and David Shifrin. 
As a founding member of the internationally acclaimed, TransAtlantic Ensemble (Clar, Vn, Pno) she has performed in Europe and the U.S., performing a wide range of music including that of Imani Winds' Jeff Scott and Valerie Coleman. As a soloist she has been invited to give recitals in Spain, Switzerland, and London, and she continues to collaborate with several international pianists celebrating music from different regions of the world. []

Interview from Quarter Notes 

Quarter Notes:  Thanks so much, Ms. Adam, for taking the time to talk to us today.  We can hardly wait to play the wonderful Mozart Clarinet Concerto with you!  Can you start out by telling us a little about your training and your current career?

Mariam Adam:  I grew up in the Monterey area in California, an area very rich in cultural events and potentials.  I did my undergraduate work at University of the Pacific, and then entered the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  I was very fortunate to be one of the last students of Rosario Mazzeo, who was then retired from the Boston Symphony and living in California.  After spending some time at the Aspen Music Festival, I headed for the East Coast and enrolled in the Manhattan School of Music.  That was about the time that Imani Winds was forming and I’ve been part of that quintet ever since.   It was also at that time that I knew that I would make my career as soloist and chamber musician rather than in a full orchestra.

QN:  And how did you make the connection with the Prince George’s Philharmonic?
MA:  The Imani Winds were playing in the Washington area a year or so ago, and Maestro Charles Ellis was in the audience.  I think he liked what he heard, and he contacted me afterwards, and asked me to consider playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Prince George’s Philharmonic.  I was delighted to accept the invitation!   I enjoy coming to Washington – we’ve played at the Library of Congress, Wolf Trap, and other places, and we’ll be playing at the Kennedy Center next spring. 

QN: And the Mozart Concerto?
MA: I love this concerto!  I hadn’t played it for a few years, so I was happy to get reacquainted with it.  I think that every true clarinetist has this concerto deep in his/her blood and bones, and it means more and more as one matures on the clarinet.  The first and third movements are like Mozart’s operatic conversations, and the second movement is just too beautiful to be described.

QN: And we can hardly wait to play it with you!  Do you have any other comments that might specially interest our audience and supporters?
MA: Well, I have to admit one rather amusing experience I had with the Mozart concerto.  I played it when I was in high school, and entered a competition, at which I was to play it with piano rather than orchestra.  I was then playing a B-flat clarinet, and had not yet performed on an A-clarinet.  The concerto was written in A, and that was what the pianist was playing.  For a moment before I realized what was happening, I was surprised by the dissonance, and marveled at Mozart’s modernity – but I was happily introduced to the A-clarinet, which I have fallen in love with.  Now I play both the B-flat and the A clarinet.

QN: A wonderful story!  Thank you so much – we very much look forward to playing this marvelous concerto with you on October 11th!

Bladensburg was more than a battlefield in the War of 1812.  What kind of place was Bladensburg during this era?  What was life like for its townspeople?  How did Bladensburg's residents, white and black, native born and foreign, interact in a time of dramatic political, social and economic change?  Find answers to these questions and more at the "Beyond the Battle: Bladensburg’s History in Context” symposium Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8:30am - 4:30pm at R. Lee Hornbake Library, University of Maryland, College Park.  Registration is $15 per person and includes lunch.
Register at
For more information please contact, or
Scholars, community researchers and artists will share their work on Bladensburg in the era of the War of 1812.  Panel topics and speakers include: 
African Americans: Maya Davis, Mark Leone, Dennis Pogue
Archaeology: Richard Ervin, Donald Creveling, Noel Broadbent
Art and Interpretation: Peter Brice, Joanna Blake, Mark Hildebrand
Bladensburg in Detail: John Peter Thompson, Susan Pearl, Doug McElrath
Keynote Speaker: Alan Virta
A reception   will immediately follow the symposium at the new exhibit, Beyond the Batttle: Bladensburg Rediscovered, in the Hornbake Library Gallery.
This event is sponsored by Prince George's Heritage, Inc. with support from the Anacostia Trails Heritage Area.   Please visit our blog at
Prince George's Heritage, Inc. is located at the Magruder House, 4703 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, Md.  20710
Following the symposium, the Prince George's Philharmonic will perform music of the War of 1812 era on Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 8:00pm at the 
Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, Bowie, MD. at 8pm. Single price tickets are $20.  For more information 

please visit their website at

Monday, October 06, 2014

Planters' Advocate - Upper Marlboro, Maryland October 4, 1854

Selections from 
The Planters' Advocate 
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 
October 4, 1854[1]
The Platform Announced!
            There was a grand No Nothing demonstration in front of the City Hall, in Washington on Wednesday last, whereat, among others, this VESPASIAN ELLIS, Esq., made a speech, defining the doctrines of his party, which of course are authoritative, in view of the position he is shortly to fill.
            "Judge Ellis, as the selected editor of the contemplated 'American Organ,' explained the principles which he intends to advocate, including opposition to the election of any man of foreign birth, or of an American Roman Catholic, to office. He was, he said, in favor of forever excluding men not born in this country from exercising the elective franchise, but, in deference to his friend, he would agree to fix the naturalization probation at 21 years. The meeting heartily endorsed his sentiments."
Tab Mr. Ellis formally represented Accomack County in the Virginia Legislature; subsequently he was appointed Judge of a Circuit Court in that State, and during Pres. Tyler's administration was sent aS cHARGE [SIC] to Nicaragua. He has always been considered a Democrat.
Shooting Case Near Bladensburg. —
            We are informed that on Saturday morning last two German from Washington, Christian and Henry Gantz, went on a gunning excursion near Bladensburg, where they trespassed upon the land of EDWARD W. DUVALL, Esq., by whom they were politely requested to leave; that they refused to do so, when he said something to the effect "that he would see if they could not be made to go," and turning towards his house, was deliberately shot in the left side by one of the intruders. They then marched off to Washington, where, in the afternoon, they were tracked to a larger[sic]-beer shop and arrested by officer GEO. W. NEWMAN, a blatant morgue, an officer TIMS, of the city. The wound was considered exceedingly dangerous, and Mr. Duvall was considered hopeless. He was still alive on Monday. Washington rowdies are beginning to be great test to the contiguous portions of this and other counties.          
$300 Reward
            RANAWAY from the subscriber, living near Upper Marlboro', Prince George's County, Maryland, on Monday, 28 August, 1854, Negro boy Alan who calls himself
he is about 19 or 20 years of age; a bright mulatto: freckled face; straight hair; as a large scar on one of his wrists, caused by a cut; about 5 feet five or 6 inches in heighth.
            He has relations living in the Washington City. He has also a brother belonging to Richard B. B. Chew, Esq., a sister belonging to Thomas Talbertt, Esq., and his father belongs to Col. William D. Bowie, and stays at his "Bellfield Farm." I have reason to believe he is endeavoring to pass himself off as a white boy.
I will give the above reward for his apprehension, if taken out of Prince George's County —   or 180 Dollars, if taken in the said County — in either case he must be brought home, secured in jail, so that I get possession of him again.
                                                            CHARLES CLAGETT.
September 13, 1854 - tf 
"Gen. Cass Overheard."
            It is said that GEN. CASS[2], and a late gathering in Michigan, made a speech, wherein he affirmed his delight at his residence was in a free state, and "he did not, and never had, like consisting of Southern slavery," and made other declarations indicating sympathy with ultra northern in them and not much in keeping with his former profession. This has given rise to much comment, and the Richmond Enquirer, the leading Democratic Journal of Virginia, and thus lets into the veteran general:
            GEN. CASS might have moderated his language to suit the temper of his constituents, but it was scarcely allowable in him to sacrifice his principles even to the necessities of his position. At any rate he cannot expect the South to recollect only the brave words which he uttered in Washington, and to take for not the treacherous we can Tatian at Detroit. If his language be correctly given in the report of his speech, he has severed the last chord that bound him to the democracy of the South. Henceforth he must rank with Benton and Van Buren; as one who has insulted our feelings and betrayed our confidence. The weak attempt to serve two masters, to reconcile devotion to the Constitution with submission to abolitionism — an attempt to which he has persuaded by the suggestion of an undying ambition — has placed in with these illustrious apostates, in the limbo of lost and dishonored politicians.  
            Duration of the War. — A letter in the National Intelligencer speaking of the European War says, that "the policy of the Emperor Nicholas will be to protract this war; for the expense of carrying it on by the Allies is enormous. The English journals say that the British Government have already paid £4,000,000,($20,000,000) for transportation alone, and everything for both armies has to be sent to them. One item that they are shipping from France, is ten thousand head of cattle. If the czar will only draw himself within his shell like a terrapin, and let them bang their bootless blows upon him, they will soon get tired of the unprofitable and inglorious contest."[3]

[1] Maryland State Archives. Planter's Advocate Collection. MSA SC 3415. msa_sc3415_scm3597-0170

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson. [October 6, 2014].
[2] General, Governor, Senator, Secretary of State: 
[3] The Crimean War (October 1853–February 1856