Virtute et Labore

(the seventh chapter of Shell Games)   The new vagabond’s mind rippled outward like a vast, quickly growing web of consciousness catching flies of transcendence, as she flitted in the direction of Albany.  Molly Connors was a living, breathing paradox, she realized: alone yet with all things.  Another earlier paradox had zapped into her brain…

Incidentals

written June 4, 2016   Cornelius Cochran, besides having a rocking name, was known by my mother’s side of the family as the brightest known fruit on their limb, the polished family relation you set out for guests.  Cornelius, you see, was a 19 year-old farm boy on his family’s homestead near Blandford, Massachusetts on…

Thomas Jefferson, New Virginian

written March 2009 The history of Virginia, from the first Tidewater settlements to the advent of the Civil War, is built upon the struggle for land and the substantial labor required to make the Commonwealth agriculturally productive. The question was inescapable, and throughout this era was tied to what it meant to be a Virginian….

Yellow Journalism on the Prairie: Illinois Ablaze Amid the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in a Political Fire Flamed by the Ink of Partisan Newsprint

written June 2009 The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 are generally perceived and beheld as a series of seven oratory contests between two Illinois men of renown, the prize being a United States Senate seat. The historical record of the events, however, in the form divisive newspaper reports and editorials, theoretically expanded the field to that…

Lincoln In Edwardsville: The Moral Idea is Boldly Suggested

written February 2012 Edwardsville had a history of “pseudo-slavery,” embracing Illinois’ Black Laws, and an antagonism towards abolitionists long before Abraham Lincoln spoke in the town in September of 1858.[1]  Gov. Edward Coles’ attempt to free slaves and end Black Codes in 1822 also included a ban on the future “emigration of free negroes to…