Hancock County, West Virginia, in the Civil War

Virginia, the home state of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, was notably divided during the Civil War. The growing factions were evident in the state’s most northern reaches. In May 1861, pro-Unionists in Hancock County, VA(now West Virginia), decided to organize a company of men to help fulfill President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers….

The Humble Origins of Horse Racing in Northeastern Ohio

Recently, while researching letters from the Sutliff Collection, I discovered a letter from a man named Lyman Potter to Calvin G. Sutliff in Vernon, Ohio. In the letter, Potter asked Sutliff to train one of his horses just as he “would a race horse.” From my research, I have concluded the letter was written around 1826…

John Forsyth and La Amistad

  John Forsyth was born in 1780 and graduated from the College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) in 1799. From 1813 to 1834, Forsyth served as a U.S. congressman, senator, and governor from Georgia. On July 1, 1834, Andrew Jackson appointed him as Secretary of State. He remained in that position during the Martin…

Congressman Joshua R. Giddings: The Measure of a Man

On December 3, 1838, Joshua Reed Giddings, a lawyer and an abolitionist from Ohio’s 16th congressional district, was sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives. That day, he met his future mentor and former president, John Quincy Adams. In his diary, Giddings went into great detail about his first encounter with…