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, December 26, 2014

The 5 O'Clock Tea. December 28, 1889 - The Evening Star Washington DC

The 5 O'Clock Tea.
The Philadelphia Press.

            From the cup of tea and slice of bread and butter obtained from nurse, the "5 o'clock tea", has grown into a miniature feast, at which sandwiches of all kinds are as popular as the traditional muffin or buttered toast, and the cakes and bonbons to be met with are a perfect revelation in the matter of confectionery.  Perhaps, therefore, a few hints where to obtain some novel, or, at any rate, extremely dainty addenda for this repast may not be unwelcome.

            To begin with sandwiches, these are of all kinds, the great requisite being extreme daintiness both to sight and taste, though this is so well understood that it is almost needless to insist on it.  The usual sandwiches are nice little slices of brown or white bread and butter, spread with carefully potted game or fish: fillets of anchovy, washed and boned; sardines filleted and carefully wiped free of any oil; ham, lobster, anchovy, groen or watercress butters, or, last, but not least, caviare [sic] (especially the large grain sort), imported direct and fresh from Astrakhan), delicately seasoned with lemon juice, and to conclude, pate de foie gras.  The slices are covered with corresponding slices, carefully buttered, then pressed firmly together, cut into shapes with pastry cutters (round, oval, &c.), dished en couronne, and garnished with watercress round, or each sandwich brushed lightly with a little butter and sprinkled with very finely chopped parsley, truffle, lobster coral or hard-boiled yoke of egg pressed through a sieve.  Another way of serving them is when the slices are spread to curl them round as you would roll a cigarette, giving a light press just at the last to keep them in shape.

            Another delicious little savory treat we owe to Russia, where it is called Blini au caviar, it is made as follows: Toast some perfectly fresh crumpets on both sides, and when lightly colored butter one side profusely (as buttered toast is treated) and spread this again with caviare [sic], adding a squeeze of lemon juice, and serve very hot.[1]

[1] The Evening Star. 12-28-1889. Page: 7. Washington (DC), District of Columbia.

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson. 26 December 2014.e: 7. Washington (DC), District of Columbia

Sunday, November 30, 2014

"LYNCHING OF A FIREBUG" The Evening Star, December 3, 1889

Atlas of Fifteen Miles Around Washington Including the County of Prince George Maryland. (Hopkins,1878)

Joe Vermillion Strung Up at upper Marlboro'.
Special Dispatch to THE EVENING STAR.
                                    UPPER MARLBORO', Dec. 3.

            This morning, at half-past 2 o'clock, Judge Lynch visited our town, and although the party he was after (Jos Vermillion) was in the hands of the law, the old-time punishment was meted out without the intervention of the jury[.]  Joe Vermillion, a white man, was arrested about ten days ago in the upper part of the county for setting fire to houses and barns, and to others of the same family were also arrested but were subsequently released.   Immediately after the arrest threats were heard that Judge Lynch intended to save the state the expense of a trial, but the talk dying out it was thought that the law would be allowed to take its course and the extra precautions taken by the Sheriff were somewhat relaxed.  This morning about 2 o'clock there was some commotion in the town when some 40 horsemen, well last, appeared in our streets and surrounded the jail.  They were very quiet and orderly and calling to the jailer, Mr. Ridgway, that they had a prisoner, Mr. Ridgway came down from his bed room and opened the gate.  The two hiding men at once grabbed the jailer and others covered him with pistols. Mr. Ridgway resisted as best he could, but the iron grip of the men holding him prevented him from getting away, and some of the party sees the keys from him.  Some of the party went to Vermillion's cell, where they found him with his leg shackles welded to the floor.

            These were cut by some while others were holding the prisoner, and some were preparing the rope which they placed on his neck, although Vermillion fought them desperately.  They then dragged him from the cell and building, but he fought hard for his life, and having secured a piece of glass some of the literatures were cut and scratched by him with it. They took him toward the railroad and reaching the iron bridge on the east of town about 500 yards from the jail threw the rope over a beam, Drew him up and tying the other end left him hanging. 

            Preparations are being made for an inquest this morning.

            Vermillion was a desperate character was a desperate character and died cursing the mob. Justice would have taken its course, but the due man had threatened the life of many in Queen Anne district. He was one who would have kept his word and this may be assigned as the primal cause.   

            On the night of November 22 John Vermillion, who lived near Halls station, Baltimore and Potomac [Rail] road, and was well known to the court officials of Prince George's county, was forcibly taken from his home and tied to a tree.  The unknown visitors then removed his furniture and set fire to his log cabin.  Fearing bodily harm the man promised to leave the vicinity immediately, whereupon he was released and left for parts unknown.  He had several sons. A number of young men living near Hall's and Covington were arrested on November 23 and tried before Justice Ryan, who ordered them released.  On Monday, November 25, considerable excitement prevailed near Mulliken's station, on the Baltimore and Potomac road, because of the burning of two large barns and a tenement house, which were fired by incendiaries.  These Saturday night before, almost at the same hour, buildings were seen burning in different parts of Queen Anne's district. Thomas Black, who live near Mulliken's station, suffered the greatest loss. In his barn were stored 10,000 pounds of tobacco, and his entire crop of hay and fodder. About 9 o'clock this building lay in ashes.  At 925 a barn on the farm of General [John W.} Horn, tenanted by Walter Ryan, the magistrate who acquitted the young men brought before him for assaulting Vermillion, which contained this year's crop, together with farming implements, was seen to be on fire.[1] Though every assistance was rendered, it soon succumbed to the flames.  A small unoccupied house belonging to James Hamilton was also burned.

             On the theory that the buildings were set on fire out of revenge for his decisions and for the treatment of John Vermillion it was determined to arrest the whole family of Vermillions. A tramp, giving his name as William Wright, was also arrested as an accomplice. When arrested he had in his possession a seven-shooter and threatened anyone approaching him.  He denied any knowledge of the burning and said he was at the residence of ex-Gov. Bowie when the affair happened. The Vermillion family have taken up their residence near Bennings station and constables have been sent there to arrest the father and a third brother.  Much indignation is expressed here, both as to the burning of the Vermillion property and the supposed incendiarism of Saturday night.

            Accordingly constables from upper Marlboro' went to the home of the Vermillion's and arrested Edward, John, jr., George, Lloyd and Joseph Vermillion, all grown men and the fathers of large families.  Charles Bell, a brother-in-law of the Vermillion's, was also taken into custody.  The constables took the six prisoners at the point of revolvers after they had been order to throw up their hands.  Joe Vermillion was particularly ugly in his behavior.  Before he could consent to accompany the officers he had to be roughly handled.  He was an escaped prisoner from the house of correction, who was wanted by the superintendent of that institution to serve the remaining eighteen months' sentence.  

            John Vermillion, jr., told the officers that his brother Joe was the cause of the trouble.  John said that on Saturday night, November 23, about 830 o'clock, Joseph, who had been living in the woods, came to his house and threatened to get even with those who would not give his father justice in the affair of the night before (Friday) when the older Vermillion's house was burned by a band of men, who tied him to a tree and only released them on his promise to leave the neighborhood.  Both the father, who was in John's house, and John himself tried to persuade Joe from carrying out the threat, whereupon he left.  About 1130 Joe returned to the house and asked to be admitted, carrying in his hand a cold oil can. He told John that he had a little fire of his own . He immediately left and nothing was known of his whereabouts until he was arrested. Bell, the son-in-law, was charged with burning his own house, which he rented from James Hamilton. He denied the charge and said Joe did it after leaving the Barnes. Many thought that Joe would never reach the jail alive, as the excitement prevailing at and about Lincoln's was so great that fears of violence were entertained. John Vermillion, sr.,aged sevebty-three years, the father of the man arrested, was not arrested.    

             At a preliminary hearing before Justice Harris, Mr. R. E. Bandt, states attorney, being present, John Vermillion, jr., testified as to the burning of his father's house near Hall's station.  Lloyd Vermillion testified that he saw his brother Joe on Saturday afternoon about 4 o'clock with a coal-oil can.  Joe stated he was going to burn out Mr. J. T. Clark that night as he had burned one of his houses some two years ago.  Mwssrs. J. T. Clark and Walter Ryan testified that they were aroused by the cry of fire and dated the amount of their lost by the burning of their barns Saturday night.  Joe Vermillion pleaded not guilty and said he was not in the county at the time.  He was sent to jail to await the action of the grand jury and immediately placed in irons after resisting the officers.

            As there was no evidence to implicate anyone else the charge of arson against the other Vermillions was dismissed, but 13 citizens of Mulliken's neighborhood swore out peace warrants against each of the other Vermillion boys, and they were placed in jail in default of [??]00 bail.[2]     

[1] Col. John W. Horn, Warden, Baltimore Penitentiary.
" In 1872 Mr. Enoch Pratt, a philanthropist of Baltimore City purchased a twelve-hundred (1200) acres of land here as a place to which delinquent colored boys of Baltimore could be sent for rehabilitation. The name given the institution was "The House of Reformation for Colored Boys." It was to be under the control of a Board of Managers and to be conducted by a Superintendent and whatever other personnel as was needed. Among the earliest superintendents was a certain Gen. John W. Horn who had been connected with the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore. The first boys, thirteen in number, were brought down in January 1873. As no buildings had yet been erected, they were housed in what had been a residence of a few preceding years. With the exception of a garden plot and an apple orchard this tract too was woodland or scrub land. Through the years more and more land was cleared and an administration and other brick buildings erected. Some of the personnel were drawn from Baltimore but much employment in the many different lines was given to people of the community both then and throughout the following years. Some of the girls of the neighborhood secured husbands too from this and the Railroad project." website: Selby Family Tree.  
[2] The Evening Star. 12-03-1889; P[1];  Washington (DC), District of Columbia.

Transcribed by John  Peter Thompson, November 30th, 2014.

PG 74B-030 MIHP Duvall-Hopkins Store at Hall Road

Transcribed by John  Peter Thompson, November 30th, 2014.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Roman punch (Ponche a la romaine) - Recipe from November 1889

How a Drink Made Exclusively for the Pope Became General.

             The history of ponche a la romaine is curious. It has been the summer refreshment of successive popes for over 80 years, and their chefs were threatened with all kinds of cars and punishments if they ever divulged secrets of its preparation. When Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796 this terrible interdict was broken through. A son of Pius VI's chief confectioner, by name Molas, as soon as he found the French were conquerors, ran away from his father and united his fortunes with them. The young man became the favorite servant of the Empress Josephine, and after her death became cook to the Russian Prince Lieven [Prince Christoph Heinrich von Lieven (1774–1838)], whom he accompanied to London when that Prince was appointed ambassador to the Court of St. James. This Russian first made this papal beverage in London by introducing it at the Prince's table. The Prince Regent asked for the recipe and permitted copies to be given to a select few of his friends, and by degrees it became better known, and is now well known all over the world.

            The original Vatican recipe is:
"Prepare a very rich pineapple or sherbet; have it a little part with lemon juice, taking the greatest care that none of the zest or oil from the yellow rind, with the bitterness from the white underlying pith, be allowed to enter into the composition of this sherbet. In order to be certain of this it is better, first, to grate off the yellow rind from the lemons, then to carefully remove all the white pith and to make assurance doubly sure, washed the skin that fruit in clear water; after which press out the juice free from the rind of the fruit; strain the juice so as to remove all the seeds or pips from it; then add to it the pineapple mixture. It must be then very well frozen. This sherbet, being very rich, will not freeze hard, but will be a semi-ice. Just before the punch is to be served add and work into it for every quart of the ice one gill of Jamaica [rum]; and for every two quarts one pint of the best champagne. Never use the wine from damaged bottles or leaky corks, as it will be sure to deprave and perhaps entirely spoil your punch. After you have well incorporated these liquors add cream or meringue mixtures." —  Anerucab Analyst.[1]

[1] The New Haven Evening Register.  11-22-1889.  page 1. New Haven, Connecticut.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson 23rd November 2014.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Seasonable Recipes from Emma Paddock Telford - November 8, 1914, The Sunday Star, Washington, DC

Sunday Menu
November 8th, 2014
The Sunday Star
Washington, DC


Roast Forequarter of Lamb or Mutton

            Take out the shoulder blade, leg and backbones, and any bits of membrane, white with a damp cloth and rub lightly with salt and pepper.  Fold into shape and tie securely. Put into a kettle of boiling salted water to cover and skim carefully, as the scum arises. Simmer gently, turning over occasionally until the meat is nearly tender. Drain and place in a baking pan. Dredge with flour, salt and pepper, and bake until brown and crisp, basting frequently with some of the water from the capital and a little tomato.

            When the meat is real Brown, remove it to a hot platter and keep hot while the gravy is made.  Stir into the fat in the pan two tablespoonfuls of flour, and stir and scrape the glaze from the sides of the pan. When browned add two cups of water from the kettle in which the meat was cooked, or half water and half tomato, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve in the sauce boat with the meat.  When baked or mashed potatoes or macaroni with cheese are served with it, one need not ask a better dinner.

Macaroni Milanese.

            The macaroni as usual, or cold water through it and return to the kettle. Pour over it a cup of milk and reheat. Butter a pudding dish and put into it, in alternate layers, the macaroni and grated cheese, seasoning with a little more salt and a few grains of cayenne. Put plenty of bits of butter on top, cover with fresh, rich milk, cover and bake 15 or 20 minutes.  Uncover and brown.

Preserved Quinces.

            Do not try to preserve quinces until they begin to turn yellow. When ready to "put up," rub off the firm with a coarse towel, pare, core and quarter, dropping the pieces in cold water to prevent discoloration. Save cores and parings in a separate vessel to use in making jelly. Put two layers of the quince quarters in the preserving kettle, cover with cold water and cook over a slow fire until the fruit is tender. When done, skim out and lay on a platter to cool. Put in more quinces and repeat this process until all are cooked. Strain the water in which they were boiled, and to every point of juice allow three-quarters of a pound of sugar. Boil gently for 10 minutes, skim and add his many quinces as the sirup [sic]  will cover. Boil about 30 minutes, or until the quinces turned a dark, rich red. Lift out with a silver spoon, and drop, piece by piece, into wide-mouthed glass jars that have been set in a basin of hot water to prevent breaking. When filled, that the sirup[sic] boil a little longer, then pour over the fruit until the juice runs down the side of the can. Seal. Sweet apples may be used with the quinces, using one-third quartered apples to two-thirds quince. Do not make the mistake of boiling quinces in the sirup[sic] before cooking or steaming them tender. Sugar hardens uncooked quinces. If you have any sirup[sic] left after the cans are filled, let it cook a little longer, then pour into small classes. This makes a delicious jelly.

Quinces With Cider and Molasses, Colonial Style.

             Pare and halve the quinces, removing the cords. Boil them in sweet cider in till tender, then strained through a sieve. For five pounds of quinces take a quart of molasses, a pound of brown sugar and the water in which the quinces were cooked. And the whites of two eggs, bring to a boil, remove from the fire and skim. Continue to boil and skim until perfectly clear, then take off the fire, cool, put in the quinces and cook until tender. If there is not sirup[sic] to cover them full and plenty, add more cider . Orange peel or a few slits of green ginger boiled in the sirup[sic] is a pleasant flavor.
Pumpkin Chips, a Colonial Sweetmeat.
            Select a good, sweet pumpkin (the old Connecticut field pumpkin is best), halve it, take out the scene constrained and cut as large a portion as you wish to preserve in chips about the size of a dollar [coin]. To each pound of the pumpkin allow a pound of fine white sugar and two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice. The chips in a deep dish and sprinkle each layer with sugar. Stir in the lemon juice over the whole. Let this remain for a day, then boil the whole together with a cup of water allowed to teach three pounds of pumpkin, a tablespoonful of ground ginger tied in bags and the shredded yellow peel of the lemons. As soon as the pumpkin is tender turned the whole into a stone crock and said it in a cool place for a week. At the end of that time for the sirup[sic] off the chips, boiled down to a six sirup[sic], then pour back and seal.
Boiled Cider Time.

            This is an old New England dessert the love of many. Allow to five tablespoonfuls of rich sirupy[sic], boiled down cider five tablespoonfuls of moist maple sugar and let it come to a boil. Beat two si eggs and pour the hot sirup[sic] over them, returning to the fire for two or three minutes but stirring all the time. And a half cup of seeded raisins and a half teaspoonful of grated nutmeg. Line a pie plate with a good crust, pour in the mixture, got the top with a few bits of butter, then cover with a top crust or not as preferred. If not top crust is used, meringue may be substituted. Beat the whites of two eggs in a stiff froth with two tablespoonfuls of sugar. As soon as the pie is baked and cool for about five minutes, spread the meringue over the top, then return to the oven, which should be cooled down to puff slowly and turn a golden brown. If the oven is still too hot when the high is ready to go in, leave the door open.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup.

            Slice a ripe, small pumpkin into pieces enough to fill a quart measure. Put into a saucepan with a kind of cold water, and season with a teaspoonful each of salt and sugar, a half teaspoonful of pepper and a few springs of parsley and sweet marjoram. Cover the pan and simmer gently for an hour and a half, stirring frequently. Strain through a colander to exclude the skin, and then through a finer since. Put the purrce back into the pan, sprinkle over it a heaping teaspoonful of flour and mix thoroughly. Pour over it, stirring all the time, a quart of hot milk. Add a tablespoonful of butter, and simmer 15 minutes. Then add a cup of rich cream and a teaspoonful of minced parsley. Heat, but do not allow it to boil. Serve hot with toasted crackers.


[1] The Sunday Star. 11-08-1914. page( 79).  Washington (DC), District of Columbia.
Transcribed by John Peter Thompson, 2nd November 2014.

[2] Born 1851, Emma Paddock knew Harriett Tubman well enough to write a tribute to her. Emma Paddock Telford was the author of Good Housekeeper's Cook Book (1908 rev. 1914) 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving 100 years ago - Shortcuts for Housekeepers, The Sunday Star, 1914, Washington, DC

How to get ready for Thanksgiving -
Choosing a Turkey and Making Pumpkin pie
November 8, 1914, The Sunday Star, Washington, DC

Short Cuts for Housekeepers

Preparing for Thanksgiving.
    A LITTLE thought and proper distribution of tasks will enable a woman single-handed to give the Thanksgiving dinner successfully. Washday should be omitted this week and Monday devoted to putting the pantry to rights, making a list of needed supplies, seeing that utensils, silver, salts, peppers and other equipment are polished and in order. The upstairs cleaning can be done for the week.

            Tuesday, the dining room and living room may receive a thorough cleaning. In the afternoon some of the cooking can be begun. Mince meat can be prepared, as it should stand to ripen before being made up into pies. Chopped prunes may be used in place of so many raisins. The beef should be cooked until perfectly tender and the stock in which it is cooked reduced to a jellylike consistency. Let the beef cool in the stock in which it has been cooked. When ready to use the mince meat add a little cider to moisten.

            Tuesday afternoon bread should be made, candies and other confections prepared, mayonnaise made if it is to be used, and soup stock boiled, to be cleared the next day.
            Wednesday should define nearly three-quarters of the dinner finished, leaving for Thursday only matters that cannot stand and wait. Pies and cranberry jelly should be made first. Vegetable dishes that allow for reheating can be prepared and disposed of in advance. These are just a few hints for getting through the work of preparation early.

            When selecting a turkey look at the skin to see if it is moist and delicate, without bruises and discolorations. See if the feet are smooth and yellow, for an old fowl has coarse skin and hairs, while the feet and legs are dark, with hard scales. He'll of the turkey to be sure that it is having in proportion to its size; otherwise there will be a large proportion of bone. In a young turkey breastbone is pliable. Although the turkey may have been [cleaned] by the butcher, carefully wipe it inside and out with a cloth wrung from hot water. Lay it in water, as that will draw out the juices. Cut off the links below the joint, trimmed the next, leaving an inch or so of it to turn and fastened with a skewer. Wash the giblets in soda and water. Cut the outer skin of the gizzard with a sharp knife and peel off without breaking the inner sack. Throw away the inner part and lay the outer part in salted or soda water. There are many different kinds of dressings used in turkey, among which are sausage, chestnut, oyster, cracker, veal or breadcrumbs. Whatever kind you use, do not stuff turkey too full, as this will cause dressing to be soggy.

            A pumpkin for pies should not be too large, as the fiber is not always fine in the largest ones. First, cut the pumpkin into pieces with a large mest or carving knife. The work will be easier if you have a board on which to cut the pumpkin, and drive the knife with the aid of a hatchet. Pare the pieces and cut into inch squares. If you have never tried steaming pumpkin for pies, do so. It quickly cooks the pumpkin and leaves it perfectly dry, smooth and easy to mash. If boiled, it must be boiled down, then drained. A watery pumpkin, or a stringy one will not make a good pie.
          When making pumpkin pies, use plenty of eggs, fresh milk and enough cinnamon or spices to destroy the pumpkin flavor. A tiny tasting too strongly of pumpkin is not good. The following is a good recipe: One quart of, one cup of sugar, two eggs, two tablespoons of cornstarch, half a teaspoon each of cinnamon and allspice, one-fourth teaspoonful of cloves and one-fourth nutmeg. Stir altogether. Pick the seed end of the cloves off if you do not want your pies dark. Let two cups of sweet milk gets boiling hot, then pour it in the pumpkin, stirring well. This is enough for four pies. Line the pans with a good pie paste, filled with the pumpkin and bake with one crust. Pumpkin pie without crust is delicious. Prepare the pumpkin in the usual way, then butter the pie tins, and sprinkle granulated corn meal thinly over the tins, leaving no bare spots. Pour in the mixture and bake.

            Cranberries should be washed, and covered with water and boiled until tender. Strain through a fine sieve, bring again to the boiling point and add a pound of sugar to each pint of juice. When this has dissolved, pour it into molds.

            To make a crust for a cranberry pie, stir one–half cup of butter with three tablespoonfuls of sugar to a cream, and one whole egg and stir well: then stir in one and one-half cups of flour with one teaspoonful of baking powder. Press with the fingers on the tin until all covered and bake in a hot oven. When cold, put in your cranberry sauce, then whipped cream on top.[1]

[1] The Sunday Star.; Date: 11-08-1914; Page: 79;  Washington (DC), District of Columbia

Transcribed by John Peter Thompson 1 November 2014.

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