Tag: wisconsin

Historical Imaging 2



This follow-up post presents the historical imaging I’ve done focused on maps and location. Actually, I’d say that it’s most correct to say that this is imagery driven not by simply the “location”, but by the agenda of attempting to locate a thing; to impart a sense of how and where the thing in question is located–oriented–to the viewer.

To locate a thing so that it fits with the audience’s world.

Obviously this can’t always work.

It turns out (of course) that usually at least some sort of context is necessary. For images of a place (whether from a map, an aerial photograph or other rendering, crude diagram in the sand…whatever!), for it to mean a ding dang thing, your intended audience much of the time needs to have at least some basic geographical knowledge.

But that said, it’s a very interesting and multi-faceted challenge to try and make an image conveying a sense of place if you consider your audience consisting of people who don’t know…don’t really care. lol

When & Where… & when, again?

  1.  Basic “when & where” map for an individual or familyMD2MA-1
  2. Tighter focus on the “where” (central Massachusetts in this case; a father and son located)
  3. Placing the very specific in the macro
    1. Farmstead of 4x-great-grandad that served as homebase for 3 generationswashcozoom1
    2. City unfamiliar to coast-dwelling typesLOUISVILLE 1 copy2
    3. When the exact part of a foreign place is important (for some reason)Jura copy
    4. Using cool maps cooly. For this one, the only context necessary is that this is the east coast of Ireland, just south of Dublin and that north is to the right.
      Wicklow 3D2 copy
    5. Tighter focus–after you’ve given some context
      1. Tober Townland was directly referenced on the map above, so now  you can zoom in there to see detail. The inset maintains the tether to the broad knowledge base you’re attempting to access.TUBBER1 copy 2
      2. southwestern Wisconsin, a couple miles off the Mississippi River & 5 or 7 miles from Illinois, showcasing an original land grantee whose descendants carried on in the location; 4x-great-grandkids remain in 2017.T DUSTIN LAND copy
      3. Various specific spots within a larger, but still relatively small (and not commonly  nown) location, the Dordogne in southwestern France. In the upper right of this one is Jumilhac, the castle seen in the last post.
      4. one place, Haverhill, Massachusetts and vicinity…

        image2212 copy

        … variations on perspective

        HAVERHILL SALEM copy

      5.  One place in detail: Foley, Minnesota

        FOLEY copy

Foley sits nearly smack dab in the middle of the state, among the flat, flat fields 15 miles east-northeast of the mini urban hub of St. Cloud and the bend over which it presides of the still quite wide Mississippi River. The tiny hamlet FLC LHC FOLEY copyof Foley has given the world doctors, lawyers, Indy 500 participants, lumber, all-night jazz dances in barns once upon a time, and been home to retired farmers, aspiring capitalist fashionistas, former religious zealots & their kids, descendants of royalty and lots and lots of regular people who very well might’ve been born in other countries or been the kids of those who were.

Rockefeller had a gas station here (like 10s of thousands of of other places in these United States); women turned out nearly to a 100% here in 1924 the first occasion they GnG OGG FOLEY copywere permitted to help choose the President. Foley is a stand-in for whatever your little town is, or was. Our Town is the most performed play (or close to it) in America because 100s of millions of us came from our towns like this. “I didn’t, but my mom did”,–we’re all from it together.

These small towns, whose children and grandchildren have flocked and flown out to the gothams and metropolitanias  were in their way, factories of the ever-new, ever-renewing people, of us all–factories of Americans.

The sprawling and ever interconnected suburbs and ex-urbs where so many millions of us now reside and have for some time–they are built by the developers and they are inhabited by the dwellers on the model of the myriad iterations of “Small Town America” like Foley, Minnesota. It was in these places that generations of people learned and were taught how to be Americans. Despite the regional differences that might inculcate one attitude or another toward or about other people, the style of day-to-day interaction and pacing and level of attentiveness to the people around you, it’s all very similar in this small town substrate of our collective sense of ourselves and how and who we are.

It is from this America that in many critical ways we came. And it seems to me worth knowing in order to figure out into what America we are, might, or can decide to be going.


Jefferson and Hemings, The Shadow Part 2

     George_Wythe_Randolph_1      john wayles jefferson2
OR: More on America’s Shadow, The Civil War

Monticello, 1818-1826

The fellows pictured were both grandsons of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd President of the USA (among other things).

The elder, sporting the full beard was George Wythe Randolph, born in 1818 at Monticello (Jefferson’s well-known home and plantation near Charlottesville, Virginia; the Great Man himself died there July 4, 1826). He was the last of 12 kids had by Jefferson’s daughter Martha and her husband, the Governor of Virginia Thomas M. Randolph, Jr. They were among the aknowledged elite of Virginia.

At the time George was born, his half-uncle Eston Hemings–Jefferson’s son by his slave Sally Hemings and father to the one to the right wearing the long goatee–was just 10 years old. He lived at Monticello and would surely have known and probably taken care of his baby nephew. After Jefferson’s death in 1826 Sally and her sons were freed and moved to Charlottesville. Eston’s first-born son whom you see in the painting to the right, John Wayles Hemings was born there in 1835. He was the first of two direct male-line grandsons of Jefferson, and later his father and family took the last name Jefferson.

It’s possible, even likely, that George (above left) and his uncle Eston (father of the one on the right) shared some pleasant enough times playing as children at Monticello in the early 1820s. Four decades later the score would be rather different as they embodied like many other families in America the opposing sides of the Civil War.mountain

George Randolph’s life was in Virginia as a lawyer. He served in the U.S. Navy briefly and later founded a militia unit which guarded John Brown during his trial. During the war he served the Confederacy–as artillery chief of the Confederate Army of the Peninsula, and also as Secretary of War.

John W. Jefferson’s father moved the family first to Ohio, then to Madison, Wisconsin, and there in 1861 when the war broke out, John joined the 8th Wisconsin Infanty, fighting as a Lt. Colonel for the Army of the United States of America.

Virginia was of course home to Thomas Jefferson, and he famously loved it dearly. It’s also known to breed fierce loyalty. But c’mon, ya gotta admit, it’s a little odd that his grandson decided to break away from the country he helped found and help lead a rebellion against it.

From Campbell to Kidder to Donnersberger

Here’s a link to the pdf. Right click and “Save as…”


Here’s her descent from our shared Campbells:


Ella (1910-2006) compiled and wrote the book (linked above), comprised mostly of letters from and to her mother Lulu (1882-1965), chronicling her life from leaving her mother, also known as Ella (1856-1898), eldest child of Thomas B. (1830-1907), himself the eldest child of his parents, and several letters from whom are included in the book, letters to his granddaughters, Lulu (primary subject of the book) and her sisters Florence and Nettie. (FYI, Florence married but had no kids, Nettie had a few whose descendants today live between Iowa and Florida.)