KYR-0001-004-0787 Glossary

Be sure to read the Transcription of this document as well as Part One and Part Two of the analysis.

Atchison, Samuel Ayers. (1810 – 1869) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney and real estate agent. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 22; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Sixth Ward, p. 13.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0023, KYR-0001-004-0024, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-2939, KYR-0001-004-2944, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-033-0011.


Bacon, Byron. (1835 – 1900) New York native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Martin Bijur after 1864. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 24; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Sixth Ward, p. 32.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0454, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-2270, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-020-0828, KYR-0001-031-0160.


Baker, Charles Samuel. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, saddler. J. D. Campbell’s Louisville Business Directory, For 1864 (Louisville: L. A. Civill, nd.), 103.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Barbour, Catherine. (c. 1805 – ?) Native of France and Louisville, Kentucky, resident. Resided in 1860 with her husband, Constance Barbour, and son, Joseph. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, District 1, p. 36.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Barbon, John G. (c. 1830 – ?) Native of Spain and Louisville, Kentucky, resident. A laborer by trade. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, District 1, p. 63.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Beattie, James A. (1832 – 1893) Missouri native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with William S. Bodley and Alexander Casseday. Judge Advocate of the Kentucky State Guard. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 30, 344; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Fifth Ward, p. 62; Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1953 [database on-line via Ancestry.com], Jefferson County, 1893, p. 113.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-007-0476, KYR-0001-017-0314, KYR-0001-017-0337.


Bender, F. (? – ?) Signatory to Louisville, Kentucky, petition on behalf of William Brockman.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Bijur, Martin. (1833 – 1882) Native of Prussia, Louisville, Kentucky, attorney and politician. Practiced law in partnership with Lewis N. Dembitz until 1864. Practiced law in partnership with Byron Bacon afterwards. Elected as a Republican to the 1865-1867 Kentucky General Assembly. “Death of Hon. Martin Bijur,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 1, 1882, p. 2; Report of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association, Held at Saratoga Springs, New York, August 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, 1882 (Philadelphia: George S. Harris & Sons, 1883), 143-4.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-0865, KYR-0001-004-1375, KYR-0001-004-1379, KYR-0001-004-1388, KYR-0001-004-1409, KYR-0001-004-1566, KYR-0001-004-1987, KYR-0001-004-1988, KYR-0001-004-2030, KYR-0001-004-2839, KYR-0001-005-0051, KYR-0001-005-0142, KYR-0001-020-0323, KYR-0002-156-0004.


Bramlette, Thomas Elliott. (1817 – 1875) Twenty-third governor of Kentucky. Clinton County, Kentucky, native. Represented Clinton County in the state legislature in the 1840s. Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit at outset of the war. Resigned office to become colonel of Third Kentucky Volunteer Infantry U.S.A. Resigned commission in 1862 to become U.S. District Attorney for Kentucky. Elected governor in November 1863 over Charles A. Wickliffe and served until 1867. Ross A. Webb, “Thomas E. Bramlette (1863-1867)” in Lowell H. Harrison, ed., Kentucky’s Governors (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004), 93-97.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-001-0001, … [2,258 more at present].


Brockman, William. (c. 1824 – ?) Native of Germany and Louisville, Kentucky, resident. Laborer by trade. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, District No. 1, p. 60.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0418, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0004-004-0823, KYR-0001-004-3258.


Brown, Jeff. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, and New Albany, Indiana, attorney. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 43.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-0004-0016, KYR-0001-004-0018, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0159, KYR-0001-004-0425, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1418, KYR-0001-004-1712, KYR-0001-004-2939, KYR-0001-004-2944, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-007-0591, KYR-0001-017-0332, KYR-0001-020-0333, KYR-0001-020-0712, KYR-0001-020-1422, KYR-0001-020-1499, KYR-0001-020-1575, KYR-0001-020-1617, KYR-0001-020-1618, KYR-0001-020-1812, KYR-0001-020-1823, KYR-0001-020-2056, KYR-0001-020-2113, KYR-0001-029-0063.


Burkhardt, Henry S. (? – ?) Louisville businessman. Worked in the wholesale grocery and commission merchant business at W. & H. Burkhardt, with William Burkhardt. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 47; J. D. Campbell’s Louisville Business Directory, For 1864 (Louisville: L. A. Civill, nd.),119.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Bush, Samuel S. (1830 – 1877) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Partner in the firm of Bush & Shivell, along with Henry C. Shivell. Kentucky Marriages, 1797-1865, U. S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database online, Ancestry.com; Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 234.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1601, KYR-0001-004-2133, KYR-0001-020-0637.


Chrisler, Rudolph. (? – ?) Gave testimony in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Clement, Joseph. (c. 1819 – 1882) New Hampshire native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney and magistrate. History of the Ohio Falls Cities and Their Counties, Vol. 1 (Cleveland: L. A. Williams, 1882), 356; Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1953 [database on-line via Ancestry.com], Jefferson County, 1882, p. 7.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0047, KYR-0001-004-0180, KYR-0001-004-0364, KYR-0001-004-0418, KYR-0001-004-0454, KYR-0001-004-0551, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-0920, KYR-0001-004-1193, KYR-0001-004-1418, KYR-0001-004-1957, KYR-0001-004-1968, KYR-0001-004-2270, KYR-0001-0004-2293, KYR-0001-004-2358, KYR-0001-004-2399, KYR-0001-004-2416, KYR-0001-004-2510, KYR-0001-004-2540, KYR-0001-004-2789, KYR-0001-004-2898, KYR-0001-004-3184, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-005-0057, KYR-0001-005-0058, KYR-0001-005-0117, KYR-0001-006-0005, KYR-0001-020-0174, KYR-0001-020-0351, KYR-0001-020-1133, KYR-0001-020-1437, KYR-0001-020-1649, KYR-0001-020-1944, KYR-0001-020-2113, KYR-0001-029-0087, KYR-0001-029-0156, KYR-0001-029-0164, KYR-0001-031-0009, KYR-0001-033-0004, KYR-0001-033-0005, KYR-0001-033-0030.


Conn, T. Jackson. (c. 1826 – ?) Kentucky native and Jefferson County Court Clerk. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 60; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Sixth Ward, p. 120.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0018, KYR-0001-004-0133, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0660, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1055, KYR-0001-004-1283, KYR-0001-004-2337, KYR-0001-004-2789, KYR-0001-006-0084, KYR-0001-007-0489, KYR-0001-020-1527, KYR-0001-029-0156, KYR-0001-029-0307.


Craig, Edwin S. (c. 1820 – 1882) Commonwealth’s Attorney for the Seventh Judicial District until 1861. Practiced law in partnership with Robert J. Elliott. “Death of Judge E.S. Craig,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 27, 1882, p. 4; Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 64; Seventh Manuscript Census of the United States (1850), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, District Three, p. 94.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0364, KYR-0001-004-0454, KYR-0001-004-0479, KYR-0001-004-0660, KYR-0001-004-0732, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-0843, KYR-0001-004-0957, KYR-0001-004-1957, KYR-0001-004-2192, KYR-0001-004-2404, KYR-0001-020-0134, KYR-0001-020-0552, KYR-0001-020-0554, KYR-0001-020-0869, KYR-0001-029-0239.


Dannecker, Frederick G. (1828 – ?) German native and New Albany, Indiana, attorney. John M. Scott, The Bench and Bar of Chicago (Chicago: American Biographical Publishing Company, 1883), 496-97; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Indiana, Floyd County, New Albany, Third Ward, p. 8.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0685, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1379, KYR-0001-004-1644, KYR-0001-004-1718, KYR-0001-004-2270, KYR-0001-004-2294, KYR-0001-004-2416, KYR-0001-004-3084, KYR-0001-004-3114, KYR-0001-004-3407.


DeFlour, [unknown]. (? – ?) Gave testimony in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Dembitz, Lewis Naphtali. (1833 – 1907) Native of Prussia and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Delegate to the 1860 Republican national convention. Practiced law in partnership with Martin Bijur until 1864. Uncle of future Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. “Dembitz, Lewis Naphtali” in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), 241-42.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-007-0109.


Donheimer, [unknown]. (? – ?) Gave testimony in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


von Donhoff, Albert. (1806 – 1882) Native of Berlin, Germany, and Louisville, Kentucky, physician. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 75; “Dr. Albert Von Donhoff: The Unusual Life and Career of a Prussian Nobleman’s Son, and a Brilliant Physician” Louisville Courier-Journal, Nov. 7, 1882, p. 2.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Fields, Moses S. (c. 1828 – ?) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Sixth Ward, p. 119.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-023-0117.


Frend, [unknown]. (? – ?) Gave testimony in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Fry, Jack. (1839 – 1870) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Franklin Gorin in 1865. Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 310; “Jack Fry – Find A Grave Memorial” http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=86941179&ref=acom.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1957, KYR-0001-004-2944, KYR-0001-020-0333, KYR-0001-020-1579, KYR-0001-023-0117.


Fry, William W. (c. 1798 – 1865) Virginia native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, District 2, p. 18; “W.W. Fry – Find A Grave Memorial” http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=96183143&ref=acom.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0108, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0180, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-020-0129, KYR-0001-020-0167, KYR-0001-020-1618, KYR-0001-029-0278.


Gailbreath, Joseph P. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 97.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0024, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1418, KYR-0001-004-1983, KYR-0001-004-2416, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-017-0352, KYR-0001-017-0355, KYR-0001-017-0356, KYR-0001-020-0828.


Gazlay, Addison M. (1818 – 1881) New York native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Franklin Gorin. History of the Ohio Falls Cities and Their Counties, Vol. 1 (Cleveland: L. A. Williams, 1882), 509-10; Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 98.
Associated Documents: KYR-001-004-0115, KYR-0001-004-0364, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1791, KYR-0001-004-1803, KYR-0001-004-1805, KYR-0001-004-1806, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-017-0001, KYR-0001-017-0062, KYR-0001-020-0129, KYR-0001-020-1527.


Gibson, Thomas Ware. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 99.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0267, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1509, KYR-0001-004-1528, KYR-0001-004-1553, KYR-0001-004-1554, KYR-0001-007-0109, KYR-0001-007-0229.


Gorin, Franklin. (1798 – 1877) Barren County, Kentucky, native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Addison M. Gazlay and with Jack Fry in 1865. E. Polk Johnson, A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians: The Leaders and Representative Men in Commerce, Industry and Modern Activities, Vol. III (Chicago and New York: Lewis Publishing, 1912), 1673-74; Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 102; Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 323.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0108, KYR-0001-004-0109, KYR-0001-004-0110, KYR-0001-004-0111, KYR-0001-004-0112, KYR-0001-004-0113, KYR-0001-004-0114, KYR-0001-004-0115, KYR-0001-004-0116, KYR-0001-004-0117, KYR-0001-004-0118, KYR-0001-004-0119, KYR-0001-004-0120, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0122, KYR-0001-004-0123, KYR-0001-004-0124, KYR-0001-004-0139, KYR-0001-004-0364, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1803, KYR-0001-023-0117, KYR-0002-204-0076, KYR-0002-204-0082.


Griffiths, Thomas J. (c. 1826 – 1884) Native of Wales and Louisville, Kentucky, physician. Practiced in partnership with Benjamin F. Grant. Accompanied an 1861 movement south of Louisville by General William T. Sherman, and provided medical services to the military barracks in Louisville through the end of the war. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 105; “Dr. Thomas J. Griffiths” The Louisville Medical News XVII no. 23 (June 7, 1884): 360-61; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Eighth Ward, p. 320.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Hanna, John. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, businessman. Partner in Hanna & Co., printers, with Alexander Hanna. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 111.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Harris, James. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 339.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0083, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1418, KYR-0001-004-1644, KYR-0001-004-1957, KYR-0001-004-2270, KYR-0001-004-2510, KYR-0001-017-0352, KYR-0001-017-0355, KYR-0001-020-1579.


Hoke, William B. (1838 – 1904) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Samuel S. English. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 82, 123; Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Kentucky State Bar Association Held at Covington, Kentucky, June 22-23, 1905 (Louisville: George G. Fetter, 1905), 56; John J. McAffee, Kentucky Politicians: Sketches of Representative Corn-Crackers and Other Miscellany (Louisville: Courier-Journal Job Printing Co., 1886), 92-94.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0682, KYR-0001-004-0683, KYR-0001-004-0684, KYR-0001-004-0685, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1377, KYR-0001-004-2161, KYR-0001-020-1598, KYR-0001-031-0125.


Hornsby, Isham H. (c. 1822 – ?) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 125; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Sixth Ward, p. 20.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Huber, [unknown]. (? – ?) Gave testimony in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Jefferson Circuit Court. Part of the Seventh Judicial Circuit, which also included Bullitt, Oldham, Shelby, and Spencer Counties. Peter B. Muir (1861) and George W. Johnston (1862-1865) were the judges. Edwin S. Craig (1861) and J. R. Dupuy (1862-65) were the Commonwealth’s Attorneys. James P. Chambers was the Circuit Court Clerk.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0003, … [390 more at present].


Kahnt, Charles. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, furniture maker. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 135.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Kramur, Franz. A. (? – ?) Signatory to Louisville, Kentucky, petition on behalf of William Brockman.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Logel, Adolph. (? – 1864) Killed in altercation with William Brockman in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Louisville, Kentucky. Seat of Jefferson County on the Ohio River. Largest city in Kentucky during the Civil War. “Louisville” in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, ed. John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992), 574-8. The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001).
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-001-0001, … [1,102 more at present].


Mattingly, John N. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Isaac R. Greene. Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 434, 327.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0180, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-0827, KYR-0001-004-0828, KYR-0001-004-2250, KYR-0001-004-2416, KYR-0001-004-3407, KYR-0001-005-0042.


McDowell, William Preston. (c. 1838 – ?) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, law clerk. Assisted in raising the Fifteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was appointed its adjutant. After August 1862, served as aide-de-camp and assistant adjutant general to Major General Lovell H. Rousseau. Wounded in action at the battle of Stones River. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Fourth Ward, p. 74. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Kentucky, National Archives and Records Administration, RG94, M397, Roll 284, Fifteenth Infantry, Hu-McE; J.H. Battle, W.H. Perrin, and G.C. Kniffin, The History of Kentucky, Eighth Edition, Part I (Louisville and Chicago: F.A. Battey, 1888), 839-40.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Meriwether, William A. (1825 – ?) Deputy U.S. Marshal from 1861 to 1864 and appointed U.S. Marshal for Kentucky in 1864. J.H. Battle, W.H. Perrin, and G.C. Kniffin, The History of Kentucky, Eighth Edition, Part I (Louisville and Chicago: F.A. Battey, 1888), 847.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-020-0927, KYR-0001-031-0109.


Miller, Isaac Price. (c. 1818 – ?) Kentucky native and Jefferson County, Kentucky, farmer. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, District 1, p. 195; Miller-Thum Family Collection, 990PC47, Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-023-0116, KYR-0001-004-0787.


Miller, John K. (? – ?) Signatory to Louisville, Kentucky, petition on behalf of William Brockman.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.

Oakland House and Race Course. Louisville, Kentucky, horse racing track established in 1832. Saw its heyday in the 1830s and 1840s, and closed in the 1850s. “Oakland Race Course” in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), 665.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0309, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0002-036-0045, KYR-0002-036-0046.


Ormsby, Collis. (1817 – 1891) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, merchant. Owner of the hardware and cutlery business of Collis Ormsby. Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, Louisville, Fifth Ward, p. 208; Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 189; Louisville Daily Journal, Jun. 22, 1861, p. 1.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0002-058-0006, KYR-0002-220-0147, KYR-0002-220-0149, KYR-0002-220-150.


Ormsby, Robert J. (1822 – 1879) Louisville, Kentucky, businessman. Bookkeeper in the hardware and cutlery business of Collis Ormsby. A founding director and stockholder of Cedar Hill and Oakland Railway Company in 1868. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 189; Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (Frankfort, Ky.: Kentucky Yeoman Office, John H. Harney, Public Printer: 1868), 553-554.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Pope, Alfred Thurston. (1842 – 1891) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Kentucky Death Records, 1852 – 1953 [database online, Ancestry.com], Jefferson County, 1891; J.H. Battle, W.H. Perrin, and G.C. Kniffin, The History of Kentucky, Eighth Edition, Part I (Louisville and Chicago: F.A. Battey, 1888), 877-78.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-031-0215.


Pope, Hamilton. (1815 – 1894) Louisville, Kentucky native and attorney. Practiced in partnership with John G. Barrett. Commanded Louisville Home Guards that accompanied William T. Sherman on an expedition towards Muldraugh’s Hill in 1861. Thomas Speed, The Union Regiments of Kentucky (Louisville: Courier-Journal Job Printing Company, 1897), 24, 28, 427. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 196.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0139, KYR-0001-004-0364, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0448, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-2416, KYR-0001-004-3055, KYR-0001-007-0109, KYR-0001-007-0229, KYR-0001-007-0309, KYR-0001-009-0024, KYR-0001-017-0265, KYR-0001-020-0351, KYR-0001-020-0637, KYR-0001-020-1575, KYR-0001-031-0215, KYR-0001-033-0039, KYR-0002-060-0029, KYR-0002-060-0030, KYR-0002-067-0053, KYR-0002-204-0037, KYR-0002-218-0014, KYR-0002-218-0056, KYR-0002-218-0098, KYR-0003-158-0103.


Ronald, William A. (? – ?) Sheriff of Jefferson County in 1864-65. Stock agent for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. J. D. Campbell’s Louisville Business Directory, For 1864 (Louisville: L. A. Civill, nd.),70; Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 502; Genealogical and Historical Notes on Culpeper County, Virginia (Culpeper, Va.: Raleigh Travers Green, 1900), 90; Louisville Daily Democrat, July 19, 1867, p. 1.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0180, KYR-0001-004-0233, KYR-0001-004-0234, KYR-0001-004-0235, KYR-0001-004-0748, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1070, KYR-0001-004-1332, KYR-0001-004-1379, KYR-0001-004-1600, KYR-0001-004-1966, KYR-0001-004-2030, KYR-0001-004-2399, KYR-0001-004-2511, KYR-0001-004-2878, KYR-0001-005-0051.


Rousseau, Richard Hilaire. (1815 – 1872) Lincoln County, Kentucky, native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with his brother, Lovell H. Rousseau. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. XII (New York: James T. White, 1904), 185; Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 210.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0018, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0180, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-0841, KYR-0001-007-0109, KYR-0001-020-0712, KYR-0001-023-0117, KYR-0001-034-0050.


Semms, [unknown]. (? – ?) Gave testimony in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Sherley, Zachariah Madison. (1811 – 1879) Virginia native and Louisville, Kentucky, businessman. Owned and operated steamboats along the Ohio River, contracting many of them to the United States army during the war. Partner in the ship chandler firm of Sherley, Bell & Co. with Jesse K. Bell and Richard H. Woolfolk. “Sherley, Zachariah Madison ‘Zachary’” in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), 814; Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 224.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-007-0552, KYR-0001-020-1812, KYR-0002-205-0045, KYR-0002-207-0095, KYR-0002-207-0147, KYR-0002-209-0130, KYR-0002-220-0130, KYR-0002-221-0999, KYR-0002-221-1000, KYR-0002-221-1001, KYR-0002-221-1009, KYR-0003-158-0595, KYR-0003-158-0714.


Shivell, Henry C. (1841-1869) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Samuel S. Bush. President of a lead mine along the Kentucky River in Owen County, Kentucky in 1865. Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 529; New Albany Daily Ledger, February 27, 1866, 2; New Albany Daily Ledger, August 5, 1865, 2; The Louisville Daily Journal, April 12, 1867; Daily Courier, July 26, 1866.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-2155, KYR-0001-007-0381, KYR-0001-007-0432.


Shrader, Augusta. (? – ?) Gave affidavit in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Shrader, John. (? – ?) Gave affidavit in The Commonwealth v. William Brockman, tried in the Jefferson Circuit Court in 1864.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Smith, Samuel B. (c. 1800 – 1866) Virginia native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with Joshua F. Bullitt. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 46, 230; Eighth Manuscript Census of the United States (1860), Population Schedules, Kentucky, Jefferson County, District One, p. 32; “Death of Samuel B. Smith, esq.—Bar Meeting,” Louisville Courier, Dec. 15, 1866, p. 1.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-007-0476, KYR-0001-020-0327.


Tennessee. Sixteenth state to join the Union in 1796. Shares Kentucky’s southern border. Capital at Nashville.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-002-0001, … [162 more at present].


Wolfe, Nathaniel. (1808 – 1865) Virginia native and Louisville, Kentucky, attorney and politician. Practiced in partnership with Silas N. Hodges. Former Commonwealth’s Attorney and State Senator. Served in the House of Representative of the Kentucky General Assembly from 1859-1863. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 267. “Wolfe, Nathaniel” in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, ed. John E. Kleber (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1992), 962.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0351, KYR-0001-004-0439, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-0811, KYR-0001-017-0194, KYR-0001-017-0358, KYR-0001-017-0375, KYR-0001-017-0384, KYR-0001-020-0323, KYR-0001-020-0863, KYR-0001-020-1244, KYR-0001-020-1437, KYR-0001-023-0109, KYR-0001-029-0097, KYR-0001-031-0202, KYR-0001-033-0010, KYR-0002-050-0008, KYR-0002-207-0142, KYR-0002-218-0044, KYR-0002-218-0349, KYR-0003-158-0241.


Wood, Logan A. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Practiced in partnership with L. A. Civill. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 267; “Lawyer L.A. Wood,” Louisville Courier-Journal, Dec. 3, 1886, p. 2.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-006-0049, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0234, KYR-0001-004-0264, KYR-0001-004-0310, KYR-0001-004-0384, KYR-0001-004-0483, KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-004-1057, KYR-0001-004-1260, KYR-0001-004-1458, KYR-0001-004-1644, KYR-0001-004-1957, KYR-0001-004-2161, KYR-0001-004-2293, KYR-0001-004-2294, KYR-0001-004-2416, KYR-0001-004-2867, KYR-0001-004-2927, KYR-0001-004-3168.


Wood, William C. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, attorney. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 267.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0113, KYR-0001-004-0114, KYR-0001-004-0117, KYR-0001-004-0121, KYR-0001-004-0122, KYR-0001-004-0123, KYR-0001-004-0124, KYR-0001-004-0787.


Wood, William F. (? – ?) Louisville, Kentucky, businessman. Partner in the wall paper and window shade business of Wood & Bros. with Charles A. and John B. Wood. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 267; Edwards’ Annual Directory to the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, Manufacturing Establishments, Business Firms, Etc., Etc., in the City of Louisville for 1865-6 (Louisville: Maxwell & Co., 1866), 602.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787.


Woolfolk, Richard Henry. (1823 – 1885) Kentucky native and Louisville, Kentucky, businessman. Owned and operated steamboats along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Partner in the ship chandler firm of Sherley, Bell & Co. (later Sherley, Woolfolk, & Co.) with Zachariah M. Sherley and Jesse K. Bell. Tanner’s Louisville Directory, and Business Advertiser for 1861 (Louisville: Henry Tanner, 1861), 224, 268; “Capt. Woolfolk Dead,” Louisville Courier-Journal, Jun. 13, 1885, p. 3.
Associated Documents: KYR-0001-004-0787, KYR-0001-007-0552, KYR-0002-207-0095, KYR-0002-207-0147, KYR-0002-209-0026, KYR-0002-220-0130, KYR-0002-221-0999, KYR-0002-221-1000, KYR-0002-221-1001, KYR-0002-221-1009, KYR-0003-158-0595, KYR-0003-158-0714.

Who are “We the undersigned”?

We recently featured the case of William Brockman, a German man appealing his murder conviction to Governor Bramlette (read the full transcription here). Our previous post pointed out the fascinating diversity of topical subjects CWG-K will bring to the attention of scholars — the immigrant experience, violence and public arms bearing, micro-economies of military posts, and the environmental and urban history of the Ohio River.

KYR-0001-004-0787But who signed the petition to pardon William Brockman? Why did they do so? What can we learn about a war-torn and refugee-swelled Ohio River city from analyzing the actors in William Brockman’s world?

Each of the document’s 65 glossary entries contains a list of associated documents (Read the full glossary here). In those 65 entries, this document makes 4,353 connections across the CWG-K corpus. Excluding the four best-connected entries (Thomas E. Bramlette, Louisville, Jefferson Circuit Court, and Tennessee), the remaining 61 entries yield 441 connections to a web of 248 unique documents spread across 25 unique collections in 3 separate archival repositories. The glossed people, places, and institutions in this document link to a median of 5 other records.

Though these appear to be no more than numbers on the page, this is the raw data of a complex series of geographic, economic, social, personal, and political networks that bound 1860s Kentuckians to one another, to the nation, to the war, and to the world. The patterns in these accession numbers suggest fascinating research questions which the user can further explore through documents themselves. What shared interest led twenty of the signers of this petition to appear in another document KYR-0001-004-0121? What political or personal factors inclined the individuals named in this document to appear more frequently in collections associated with Bramlette (145 documents) than Magoffin (50 documents)? What does the appearance of Zachariah Sherley and his business partner Richard Woolfolk in documents from all three repositories suggest about the breadth of their interaction with state institutions? Might this suggest ways in which their steamboat-supplying firm benefited from military mobilization?

The entries from this document also highlight what CWG-K can do with even the most fragmentary information. A man named Donheimer, for example, testified in the case related to Brockman’s petition, but we know nothing further of him—not even his given name. CWG-K will, nevertheless, create a glossary entry for him and include what information can be gleaned from the document. Even though what we know of Donheimer is limited now, the open-ended nature of a born-digital project allows CWG-K to expand the entry as new documents are identified and transcribed and as the CWG-K universe becomes populated with more interconnected historical actors. The point is not that we know very little about Donheimer now. Rather, it is that we may learn more about him in the future, and, even if not, scholars will use the networks of which he forms a part.

This document reveals how researchers will be able to visualize and study the interactions Kentuckians had with their neighbors, their governments, and their enemies, linking an untold number of individuals—enslaved and free, men and women, Union and Confederate—together in an interconnected web of relationships. CWG-K will be an unimaginably powerful tool for studying the whole of a society under the strains of civil war.

Patrick A. Lewis is Project Director of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.

KYR-0001-004-0787

Be sure to read the glossary for this document as well as Part One and Part Two of the analysis.

KYR-0001-004-0787-001

To His Excellency Thomas E. Bramlette

Your Petitioner William Brockman says that at the present term of the Jefferson Circuit Court he was tried on an Indictment for the murder of one Adolph Logel. found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to serve ten years in the penitentiary of this commonwealth. He did not deny on the trial and does not deny now that he struck Logel a blow which unfortunately proved fatal but he asserted then and still asserts that he struck said blow in self=defense and under circumstances that justified it He says that he lives in the suburbs of Louisville not far from the old Oakland Race Course at which point the general government Keeps stabled a large number of horses and mules &c the chief part of which have been worn out in the military service of the government, considerable numbers of these animals die daily and the persons having them in charge were in the habit of hauling them to a strip of woods near petitioner’s House and there leaving them to rot. Your Petitioner had obtained leave to take the skins off of these carcasses on the condition he would remove or burn sathe carcasses to avoid having a nusance to the detriment of the health of the neighborhood The deceased Logel without having obtained leave as petitioner did, to take the skins, was in the habit of taking the skins and leaving the carcasses on the ground neither removing or burning them This created a nusance for which petitioner was indicted and fined Petitioner apprised Logel of the facts and told him he must not skin any more of the animals without burning the or removing the carcasses but Logel insisted that he would skin them without removing the carcasses and continued and persisted in so doing. At the time the difficulty occurred Logel had just skinned ^one^ of said animals ^a cow^ when your petitioner approached him and requested him to remove the carcass Harsh language and a quarrel ensued, Logel had a Butcher Knife with which he had just skinned the animal, in one hand and a stick in the other Your petitioner had only a stick in hand but it was pretty heavy one. Logel struck your petitioner twice with the stick and cut him on the hand with the Knife before petitioner struck at all whereupon your petition struck Logel with the stick which was in your petitioner’s hand a blow which knocked him down and unfortunately proved fatal Your petitioner had no idea that the blow would prove fatal and had no intention of killing Logel and struck him only in self=defense. Your petitioner insisted that he did not have a fair trial in the circuit court and that the verdict was obtained only by a conspiricy on the part of somethe principal witnesses for the commonwealth He states that the prinicpal witness for the state Donheimer not only testified differently in very material points from what he did in the examining court butand far more unfavorably to the [unclear]accused than he there testified but also as is showen by the accompanying affidavits of John Shrader Augusta Shrader and Charles Samuel Baker, procurred the witness for the commonwealth Huber, by bribery, to swear falsely on the trial of the case in the circuit court and thereby to make statements corroberating his said Donheimers, false testimony, all of which your petitioner was not made aware until after said trial.

Joseph Clements one of the justices who composed the examining court testified ion the trial in the circuit court that the witness Donheimer stated in the examining court that the deceased had a stick with which he was punching accused at the time accused struck him, whereas Donheimer testified on the trial in the circuit court that accused approached and ordered Logel to put down the skin and thereupon without anything further struck deceased upon the back of the neck a blow which produced his death. The witness for the accused Frend also testified that Donheimer attempted to procure him by bribe to swear against accused and that said Donheimer had said in his, Frend’s hearing that he wanted to have accused hung or sent to the penitentiary, Cathrine Barbarer testified that Donheimer sayed he would have accused hung The witness Semms who with the witnesses Huber and Donheimer was the only witness for the commonwealth who pretended to have seen the difficulty contradicted Donheimer by stating that the accused and the deceased “quarrelled” and fussed and contended over the skins for some time, and although he Semms then testified that he did not see but heard only one blow struck and thereafter looked and saw deceased lying on the ground, he is there in contra^dicted^ by Mr L A Wood an atty at law who testified on the trial in the circuit court that he was present as a spectator at the examining trial and that Semms there stated that deceased had a knife in his hand with which he struck at accused and L. A. Wood further testified that accused in the examining trial had a cut on the back of his hand.

The court refused a continuance applied for by accused at this present term on the ground of the absence in Tennessee of accused’s principal witness whose name is Rudolph Chrisler and who is a soldier in the Federal army and was so at the time of the difficulty and by whom accused could have proved on the trial in the circuit court as he did prove by said witness in the examining court that he Rudolph Chrisler saw deceased strike at and strike accused with a stick before accused struck deceased and that deceased had a Knife in his hand during the difficulty with which he cut accused on the hand Your petitioner had a subpoena for this witness and it was returned by, the sheriff “not found” and petitioners counsel asked leave of the court to introduce evidence of what the witness Chrisler had testified in the examining court which the court refused to do Your petitioner says that if he could have obtained the testimony of Chrisler it would have fully corroborated, and supported the testimony of DeFlour in the trial in the circuit Court and established the innocence of the accused of the charge Your petitioner states that he has a large family depended on his exertions for support

KYR-0001-004-0787-007All of which your petitioner would respectfully submit and implore the exercise in his behalf of your Excellency’s clemency

[unclear] [unclear]
translation William Brockman

We the undersigned citizens of Louisville join in the prayer of the foregoing petition and aske that William Brockman be pardoned

Nat. Wolfe
R. H. Rousseau
I H Hornsby
Chas Kahnt
Dr. V. Donhoff
F. Bender
Byron Bacon
F Gorin
A M Gazlay,
Jack Fry
S. A. Atchison
Jeff. Brown.
W. W. Fry
James A. Beattie
Thos W. Gibson
W A Meriwether
Jno. Hanna

Jos. Clement
W. C. Wood
W. P. McDowell
Lewis N Dembitz
Martin Bijur
S. S. Bush
H. C. Shivell
L. A. Wood
Isaac P Miller
Franz, A, Kramur
E S Craig
W, B. Hoke
Sam B. Smith
C. Ormsby
R. J. Ormsby

Wm. F. Wood
Hamilton Pope
Alfred T. Pope.
M S Fields
James Harris
J. P. Gailbreath
John N. Mattingly
Jno. K. Miller
John G. Barbon

F G Dannecker
H. S. Burkhard
T. Jack Conn
R H Woolfolk
Z, M, Sherley
Thos. J. Griffiths

Jefferson Cir Ct
vs
Wm Brockman

This is a case which demands Executive clemency and a pardon is ordered

Tho E Bramlette
Govr
Apl 29th 1864

10 years
Manslaughter

William Brockman to Thomas E. Bramlette, n.d., Office of the Governor, Thomas E. Bramlette: Governor’s Official Correspondence File, Petitions for Pardons, Remissions, and Respites 1863-1867, Box 10, BR10-213 to BR10-213A, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort.

Translation: William Brockman

“William Brockman says that at the present term of the Jefferson Circuit Court he was tried on an Indictment for the murder of one Adolph Logel”

Two German immigrants got into a deadly fight over a pile of animal carcasses in the suburbs of Louisville. Read the full transcription of Brockman’s pardon petition here, or browse the highlights to see why this is one of the most fascinating documents in the Civil War Governors of Kentucky collection.

“[Brockman] lives in the suburbs of Louisville not far from the old Oakland Race Course at which point the general government Keeps stabled a large number of horses and mules &c the chief part of which have been worn out in the military service of the government”

Though Oakland, one of thoroughbred racing’s popular early venues, had ceased to hold meets by the beginning of the war, its old stable facilities were perfect for the U.S. Army’s program to refit broken down cavalry, artillery, and draft animals. As the map of the southern suburbs of Louisville shows, the course sat astride the Louisville & Nashville Railroad line, affording military transport trains easy access to the large complex of stables and corrals around the old track. LouisvilleDefenses1865Brockman zoom

“considerable numbers of these animals die daily and the persons having them in charge were in the habit of hauling them to a strip of woods near petitioner’s House and there leaving them to rot”

Using the 1860 census and city directories, we can determine that Brockman lived in the circled suburb near South Gate Street, just barely inside the expanded Louisville city limits. The carcass pile (understandably not marked on the map) was nearby, perhaps in the lot behind Fort St. Clair Morton or the stretch where the military road runs next to the creek near the Salt River Turnpike.

“Your Petitioner had obtained leave to take the skins off of these carcasses on the condition he would remove or burn the carcasses to avoid having a nusance to the detriment of the health of the neighborhood The deceased Logel without having obtained leave as petitioner did, to take the skins, was in the habit of taking the skins and leaving the carcasses on the ground neither removing or burning them This created a nusance for which petitioner was indicted and fined”

This tells us some important things about Civil War Louisville, specifically how it was a city spatially, demographically, and economically dominated by the war. Waves of German and Irish immigrants — presumably including  Brockman and Logel — had settled in suburban rings outside the core of the old river town in the decade before the war. So when the war brought U.S. soldiers posted to garrison duty and, later, African American refugees fleeing slavery, the human geography of the city pushed out to and beyond the ring of forts on the map.

Sanitary conditions, we might well expect, were horrible as tens of thousands of soldiers and freedpeople crowded together into hastily built barracks, tents, and improvised shelters on poorly drained stretches of Jefferson County farmland. As with laws concerning fugitive slaves, the Louisville civil authorities applied existing public health laws to a human crisis far beyond the reach of local and state legislation to manage. Brockman had been fined for Logel leaving the carcasses to rot, but could Brockman really be blamed for a pile of dead animals the army dumped on near a creek? Bringing charges shows that the city was aware and concerned about the water supply but had no way to do much about the situation.

But what about Brockman’s agreement with the army itself? Other documents in the CWG-K collection suggest that Brockman may have been related to a family of German tanners in the city, which explains his job skinning the dead animals. His “contract” was one of the smallest interactions between the army and merchants, railroad corporations, and river men in the boom-town military micro-economy that sprung up in wartime Louisville. Brockman got horse carcasses, while the L&N — which shipped the poor animals to their final stop — raked in millions in wartime profit and limitless infrastructure work on bridges and tunnels paid for at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

KYR-0001-004-0787 WB sig“All of which your petitioner would respectfully submit and implore the exercise in his behalf of your Excellency’s clemency
[signed]
translation William Brockman”

Even Brockman’s name needed to be translated and anglicized from its German fraktur script. Only at the end are we clued into the fact that while the petition is written in Brockman’s voice, these are far from his own words.

Moreover, while he is fascinating for scholars today, Brockman’s was probably one of the least important signatures on this petition to Governor Bramlette. William Brockman’s petition carried the weight of some of the leading former Whigs — and, therefore, former anti-immigrant Know Nothings — in Louisville politics and society. Stay tuned for a later post which will explore some of these men and why they would write on behalf of a German tanner’s assistant.

Patrick A. Lewis is Project Director of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.

CWG-K’s “Best of” – 2015 Edition

2015 was an eventful year for the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition. Numerous fellows utilized the power of the ever-growing database (you can apply to be one here), we are steadily approaching the launch of an Early Access edition of 10,000 documents and transcriptions and a Beta prototype. Governor’s Day — an interactive open house introducing the project to other departments at the Kentucky Historical Society — was a major success.

To recap the year, we’ve organized a series of “Best of” lists that chronicle everything from our individual takes on the most powerful people of Civil War Kentucky to the most memorable deaths to time travel (more on this anon). We hope you’ll enjoy reading these lists these as much as we enjoyed creating them.

POWER RANKINGS: Based on their own criteria, each member of the CWG-K editorial staff was asked to rank a “Power 5” group of figures found in the database.

Tony

  1. George W. Johnston – Powerful Judge of the Louisville City Court, a Louisville/Jefferson County pardon application was never complete and rarely received a positive reply without his signature.
  2. John B. Huston – Besides competing for the worst handwriting award for Civil War Kentucky—stiff competition from James F. Robinson and James Guthrie—Huston was a power broker, attorney and state legislator from central Kentucky, whose endorsement of a pardon application carried a lot of weight with multiple Kentucky governors.
  3. John B. Temple – Attorney, banker, and president of the Kentucky Military Board—Temple exerted a lot of power in all Kentucky military matters. He and the Military Board of Kentucky were de facto Commander-in-chief of Kentucky, slowly whittling away Beriah Magoffin’s military authority with the aid of the Kentucky General Assembly.
  4. George W. Norton – President of the Southern Bank of Kentucky, he was a Magoffin ally, made sizable loans the Commonwealth of Kentucky to support Magoffin in his efforts to purchase arms early in the war. Other banks made similar investments, yet Norton appeared to have the ear of the governor.
  5. C. D. Pennebaker – Lawyer, politician, Colonel of the 27th Kentucky Infantry, and Kentucky Military Agent in Washington, DC. He served in the legislature, commanded troops in battle, and served in a civilian military post for Kentucky in DC. In addition to this he wrote the more thorough letters and reports. Kudos Mr. Pennebaker!

Matt

  1. W. T. Samuels – Not unlike Matt Damon’s character in The Good Shepherd, Samuels had the dirt on everyone following his stint as state auditory. Given his knowledge of everyone’s finances and his legal prowess, he was a potential kingmaker in the Blue Grass. (In other words, there’s a reason he’s one of the few through-and-through Unionists to remain powerful in state government post-1865.)
  2. D. W. Lindsay – He commanded a crew of paid guerrilla hunters under the heading of “secret police”; these men, like Edwin “Bad Ed’ Terrell, were paid to track down and kill Kentucky’s most notorious bushwhackers.
  3. Stephen Burbridge – Though he technically fell under the authority of Thomas Bramlette in Kentucky, Burbridge more or less did as he pleased, which included deeming other powerful Union officers (like Gen. John B. Huston) disloyal and having them arrested on behalf of President Lincoln.
  4. Thomas Bramlette – As governor he oversaw nearly all of the state’s wartime activities—and was still expected to keep civil government afloat.
  5. E. H. Taylor, Sr. – Taylor was a member of the influential Military Board (which oversaw military purchases for the state) at the same time he helped run one of the state’s major money-lenders. If you needed a loan—and Kentucky always needed a loan—this was the man to see.

Whitney

  1. Thomas Bramlette – He takes first place by virtue of holding the highest office for the longest amount of time, evidenced by almost 3,000 documents.
  2. John W. Finnell – As Adjutant General, principal military advisor to Gov. Bramlette while a war was raging, he was in a very influential role.
  3. Samuel Suddarth – Serving as Quarter Master General, Suddarth was tasked with keeping the troops supplied by managing the ordering & distributing of supplies essential to the war effort.
  4. James F. Robinson – Though he served as Governor for a short time, he was part of a compromise wherein the Confederate-leaning Magoffin agreed to step down and let Robinson, a moderate, take over. Interestingly, since he never resigned his Senate seat, he technically filled both rolls simultaneously.
  5. James Garrard – He served as State Treasurer throughout the war, and as Mayer Amschel Rothschild allegedly said, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.”

Patrick

  1. James F. Robinson – Don’t let his one-year term as Governor fool you, Robinson played state politics as adeptly as Frank Underwood could have done. While we can’t know if he pushed anyone in front of a train, Robinson adeptly turned down the senate speakership before having a cabal of Lexington friends arrange Magoffin’s resignation and his convoluted ascension to the Executive Mansion. As George Washington showed, the best way to accrue power is to look like you don’t want it. More astonishingly, Robinson refused to vacate his senate seat, leaving him free to return to harassing the Lincoln administration via the Committee on Federal Relations after Bramlette took office.
  2. Hamilton Pope – Louisville politics ran through Hamilton Pope. An old-Whig and former Know-Nothing, Pope was undoubtedly part of the closed-door decision that cut Louisville German and Irish immigrants out of independent regiments and elevated his brother, Curran Pope, to a Colonelcy. In addition to being an invaluable petition signature for anyone hoping for a pardon out of the Jefferson Circuit Court, Pope also runs point on using city government and the police department to enforce (increasingly irrelevant) fugitive slave laws.
  3. Rufus K. Williams – A fiercely Unionist circuit judge from the overwhelmingly Confederate Jackson Purchase, Williams raised a military unit and used his recruits to broker a deal for himself. When the time came to muster his troops into federal service, Williams traded a permanent military commission for a seat on the Kentucky Court of Appeals (the forerunner of the state supreme court) vacated by rebel sympathizer Alvin Duvall—ditching a hostile local electorate for a secure post backed by the statewide Unionist majority.
  4. Madison C. Johnson – His brother, rebel governor George W. Johnson, gets all the headlines in the family, but Madison Johnson controlled most of the available credit in the Bluegrass via the Northern Bank of Kentucky in Lexington. Johnson arranged hundreds of thousands of dollars in military loans to the Commonwealth in 1861-62—and was never hesitant to hold up the next installment to ease along a friend’s military commission. His loans to the state, backed by eventual federal repayment, helped his bank weather the collapse of many borrowers’ fortunes after slavery ended in 1865.
  5. Sherley & Woolfolk – This Louisville corporate duo of Zachariah M. Sherley and Richard H. Woolfolk often appear together in documents. Their firm ran a number of steamboats along the Ohio River and operated an outfitting business that sold supplies to others. Consequently, whether the state needed to move a battalion from Maysville to Paducah or buy a few barrels of ships biscuit to feed a hungry regiment, Sherley & Woolfolk were ready and willing to profit. That they signed insider political petitions under their corporate name shows an awareness of the importance of their business to the management of the war and, perhaps, some intuition for hammering home a branding message.

MOST MEMORABLE NAMES: Our editors have compiled a list of the most memorable names encountered in the CWG-K database in 2015.

  • Greenberry Tingle
  • Swift Raper
  • Wam Timbar (involved in a hatchet-throwing case, if you can believe it)
  • Green Forrest
  • August Worms

MOST MEMORABLE DEMISE: If you’ve followed the CWG-K blog over the past few months, it’s readily apparent that the database has no paucity of unusual and/or gruesome deaths. Each editor has selected the most memorable demise.

Tony

  • Jane Doe Murder Victim – In October 1865, evidence was presented concerning the corpse of a woman, approximately twenty-five years old, found on the outskirts of Louisville. The following is a description of her condition: “Her wounds are as follows a cut over each Eye one on forehand Forehead one just in front of Right Ear. Several Bruises on inside of right thigh and a wound which looked as though the flesh was twisted out her intestines was puled from her body through the Fundament Showing an act of the moste Diabolical rufianian the intestines cut or pulled loose from her body. Her cloths were all torn off of her not a Partickel remaining on her except one garter. Her right arm had been amputated just below the shoulder. the Evidences was plain of a sever strugle with some one from all I can learn I think a Negro did it.”

Matt

  • Ewing Litterell – An uninvited Litterell drunkenly barged into the home of James Savage, proclaimed himself “a stud horse” and boasted that he’d had sexual relations with all of the women in the house (and that he would do it again whenever he pleased). Savage let a full load of buckshot — which he fired into Litterell’s chest — serve as a “no you won’t.”

Whitney

  • Philip Medard – In January 1864, Philip Medard of Jefferson County died of cold and starvation after his son, Jacob Medard, “did confine & Starve his said father in an out house & kitchen & did starve and freeze him the said Philip by refusing to provide meat & food & clothing for him, & by thus exposing him to the weather.” There are definitely more violent deaths in the CWG-K database, but to date, only one happened in the out house.

Patrick

  • Colonel Francis M. Alexander – In what seems to have been an un-diagnosed case of post-traumatic stress disorder, Alexander drew a pistol on and killed a good friend without any motive or memory of the incident. His pardon petition is a moving account of a man coming to grips with his actions and his state of mind. “The exciting circumstances of the rebellion and its fearful consequences…which in rapid and mournful succession swept over his native, and beloved State, have Come upon his anxious and troubled mind with such force, that many events have transpired in his history during the last four years of his country’s trial, which appear to him almost as a dream.”

MOST OUTRAGEOUS PARDON: A major component of the CWG-K archive is requests for executive clemency. Each member of the editorial staff was tasked with identifying the most memorable pardon of 2015.

Tony

  • Otha Reynolds – In May 1862, Peter Gastell jumped bail and caused his bondholder, Reynolds, to forfeit $1000 to the court. That is, until Reynolds petitioned Governor Thomas Bramlette for clemency. Bramlette gave no legal justification for issuing Reynolds a remission, but said this: “Being in a merciful mood Ordered that this forfeiture except costs & fees be remitted.”

Matt

  • Michael Foley – An Irish rail worker and former Union vet, Foley believed that Merritt and Vardiman Dicken were pro-Confederate guerrillas on the run. In reality, the Dicken brothers were themselves fleeing from an attack by pro-Confederate bushwhackers. Foley attempted to detain the brothers and killed Merritt in the process. Governor Thomas E. Bramlette granted Foley a full pardon on the logic that it was better to accidentally kill men who might not have been guerrillas than to let any potential guerrillas escape unharmed.

Whitney

  • Garrett Whitson – Supporters of Garrett Whitson successfully requested his pardon for murdering violent melon thief, John Spikard. In the petition, they do not claim his innocence, but rather report that Whitson was convicted on the flimsy evidence of two notorious prostitutes, relatives of the deceased. That, combined with his ill health and large family, was enough to procure his release.

Patrick

  • Lawrence County Lynch Mob – In KYR-0001-004-3193, the members of a lynch mob on the Kentucky-West Virginia border preemptively write to Governor Bramlette late in 1865 after they have caught and summarily executed members of a pro-Confederate guerrilla band which had murdered many men in their community. “In getting Rid of them People Did not think that the act was unlawful & might get those Engaged in it in Trouble They only felt that Each man woman and child in our Valley was safer than before.”

TIME TRAVEL MEETING: Finally, we’ve asked each editor to select one character from the CWG-K archive that they would most like to spend an hour with when the Flux Capacitor becomes a reality.

Tony

  • Richard Hawes – Mostly to ask, where were you? What did you do for three years after you were installed as Provisional Governor of Kentucky?

Matt

  • Joseph Swigert – In a word: bourbon. The Swigert family owned the Leestown Distillery (which would later become E. H. Taylor’s O. F. C. Plant, then the George T. Stagg Distillery, and today Buffalo Trace).

Whitney

  • Sarah Bingham – It’s safe to say that upon moving to Grant County in 1866, Ms. Bingham did not receive a warm welcome from the neighbors. The women of the area “were of the opinion that the morals of the neighborhood would not be improved by having in their midst a common prostitute.”  When her cabin burned down, nine local men indicted for arson. The petitioners claim these men were honorable, respectable citizens who would never commit such a common crime and accuse Sarah Bingham of burning her own house down with the intent to disgrace these men. Their petition was refused by Bramlette, who, like myself, must have realized there was more to this story.

Patrick

 

 

The Moral of a “Christmas Frolic” in the Commonwealth

By Matthew C. Hulbert

(Thomas Nast, 1864)

Lincoln inviting Confederate soldiers to dinner on Christmas. (Thomas Nast, 1864)

Popular narratives of the Civil War—and of World War I and World War II, for that matter—are replete with stories of soldiers putting aside their martial differences to celebrate Christmas. We hear of men setting down their arms and leaving their breastworks to be “normal,” if only for a single, special day. Then, once the holy day has passed, they return to the business of killing each other with gruesome efficiency. A precious few of these tales are actually true, while many more still are wishful thinking at best and entirely apocryphal at worst. In either case, though, they illustrate how our most basic inclination is to understand wartime holidays in romantic fashion; that is, through the hearts and minds of gallant, civilized soldiers from the regular rank and file—men serving far from home and hearth, but still managing to muster a little holiday spirit.

How did we develop this inclination? In part, it was to forget episodes of Yuletide degeneracy like this one from the Civil War Governors of Kentucky DDE database:

On Christmas Eve, 1863, John Cole approached his friend R. E. Finch and, for reasons unexplained, “pulled Finches whiskers.” Seeing as both men were “considerably under the influence of Liquor,” this affront to Finch’s mustache quickly escalated and—not surprisingly in Civil War Kentucky—would end with an attempted homicide. After having his whiskers pulled, a stunned Finch attempted to retreat, but Cole followed him outside and threatened to cut his throat. Cole then allegedly reached into his pocket in a menacing fashion. Now fearing for his life, Finch remarked that “if Shoot is your game here goes” before drawing a concealed pistol of his own and shooting Cole in the groin. As Cole fell to the ground, he theatrically announced the obvious to onlookers: he’d been shot!

At first glance, the sad saga of Cole and Finch doesn’t make for a very festive or heartwarming vignette. But then again, is the mistake all ours to expect the homefront of a war-torn border state to have been festive or heartwarming in the first place? After all, Kentucky wasn’t just at the center of a broader struggle between civilizations—as a microcosm of that conflict, it was also a place seemingly at war with itself. Citizens on the homefront, men like Cole and Finch, were well armed. (Parents in the 1860s weren’t nearly as worried about children shooting an eye out…) They had easy access to copious amounts of alcohol. (Art Carney would approve...) Moreover, they seemed to have absorbed something of the explosive, violent temperament inherent to the guerrilla conflict that raged all around them. (If only guerrillas bounced like Bumbles…)

Despite all of these negative factors working against the passing of a Merry Christmas in Civil War Kentucky—and just when you thought all hope was lost and a visit from the Krampus imminent—Cole and Finch actually became the exception that helps prove the rule. When the pair had a chance to sober up and think about how they’d embarrassed themselves on one of the holiest days of the year, Cole apologized for pulling Finch’s whiskers, Finch apologized for shooting Cole in the crotch and agreed to pay his medical bills, and the two wrote their dispute off as nothing more than a “Chistmas Frolic.” In light of their return to friendly terms, Governor Thomas E. Bramlette remitted all fines associated with the case.

 (Gods and Generals, Turner Pictures, 2003)

Christmas pals? You betcha. (“Gods and Generals,” Turner Pictures, 2003)

So no, we shouldn’t have expected a happy holiday in a place where life was generally filled with bloodshed and terror. And yes, lives having been filled with bloodshed and terror is one of the major reasons we collectively choose to re-remember the war and focus on bright spots—like soldiers temporarily coming together to celebrate Christmas (whether it really happened or not). But Cole and Finch both survived their fight, they both learned a moral lesson, and both were rewarded with a remission of fines. In the archive of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition, this is about as close to a Christmas Miracle as it gets.

 

Matthew C. Hulbert is an Assistant Editor of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.


SOURCES: R. S. Crumpton to Thomas E. Bramlette, 29 October 1864, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky (hereafter KDLA); W. M. Fisher et al. to Thomas E. Bramlette, n. d., KDLA; C. D. Reeds et al. to Thomas E. Bramlette, 24 May 1865, KDLA; S. T. Crowdus to Thomas E. Bramlette, 13 July 1865, KDLA; B. R. Walker, Affidavit, n. d., KDLA; W. H. Roper et al. to Thomas E. Bramlette, n. d., KDLA.

It’s a Hard Knock Life for… Everyone: The Laws of “Universal Adulthood” in Civil War Kentucky

By Matthew C. Hulbert

spencer1In 1865, a jury of Covington (KY) residents slapped William Spencer with a 3 ½ year sentence for stealing a pair of pants from a fellow boarder. Now, if you’re at all familiar with previous CWG-K bloggings, you know that convicted murderers, rapists, and rampaging guerrillas frequently found themselves on the business end of far lighter sentences than Spencer (and sometimes without any sentences at all). What makes this case all the more compelling, however, is that by modern standards—that is, by contemporary, western ones—William Spencer was still a child at the time of his trial. According to affidavits, he was “left an orphan at two years of age and was tenderly reared by his Grandparents who were worthy members of the Methodist Church.” His grandparents died soon after and, while living with an uncle, young William fell in with “bad associations.” At roughly fifteen years of age, he quit “Sabbath School,” ran away from home, found a job, lost it, and was induced by poverty to steal the aforementioned pair of trousers.

At first take, sending a fifteen year old boy to the state penitentiary—a facility brimming with much older, more violent inmates—for stealing a pair of pants seems unthinkable. Even more so when we recall that the pants weren’t even new and couldn’t have been worth more than a few dollars. In reality, though, this wasn’t all that unusual of an occurrence in Civil War Kentucky. To put things mildly, perceptions of adolescence and understandings of how the law should be applied to children was a combined mess.

turman1Take for example the legal woes of James L. Turman, a tavern owner in Boyd County, who was fined $50 for “selling liquor to an infant.” The legal drinking age in Kentucky was twenty-one, then as now, and Turman fully confessed to having sold spirits to Sobble Burgess in spring 1863. The barkeeper defended himself, however, owing to the facts that at the time of the sale, Burgess was twenty years old and representing himself as twenty-one, but was also “well grown,” “doing business for himself,” and had permission from his father to drink. Perhaps most strikingly of all, in May 1863 when he bought the drink, Burgess was a candidate in Catlettsburg’s mayoral election, which Turman assumed could only be so if Burgess was “in his majority.”

Then we have the case of John Watson, a fourteen year old boy who enlisted in the Provost Guard as a drummer in 1861. A couple of years later, when part of his battalion was mustered out of service, Watson “reenlisted in Capt Flares Mounted company 34th Ky Vols.” This move prompted Colonel W. Y. Dillard of the 34th Kentucky Infantry to write Governor Thomas E. Bramlette with a request to have John transferred to his command; apparently the Colonel had “promised his [Watson’s] widowed mother to take care of him So long as I remain in the service.” In other words, with the Union not facing troop shortages like the Confederacy, Dillard understood that Watson was still a child and believed that he didn’t belong in combat service. (Once under his purview, Dillard could have Watson put back into his role as a drummer boy.)

Around the same time Dillard was trying to secure a transfer for Watson, a “free man of color” named Peter Yager was being convicted of larceny. According to petitioners on his behalf, Peter “was charged with stealing Tobacco, which was tied up in large hands & handled indifferently, and upon the trial, the proof introduced established beyond a doubt, that said Boy Peter, raised & cured just such Tobacco.” They also argued that “the Boy Peter proved a good character from his youth up to said trial, for industry and honesty his age was also proven to be from 15 to 17 years.” Translation: Peter’s (white) defenders believed that a farmer had carelessly lost his own tobacco and then blamed Peter for stealing it to cover the loss, despite proof that the young man had raised his own crop. Even the town marshal who’d originally arrested Peter and the prosecutor who’d convicted him signed the plea for executive clemency.

akin1Finally, we come to the October 1863 saga of Graham Akin, a fourteen year old boy from Danville. Described as “very delicate & slender,” Akin was swinging in the gymnasium of the Frankfort-based Waterman School when Thomas Davenport, three or four years Akin’s senior and billed as “heavy & stout,” stood in front of the swing and refused to move. Akin tried to ignore the bully; “he continued his exercises and slightly brushed against Davenport, where-upon Davenport Choaked and otherwise maltreated Akin.” In response, Akin snapped: he “rushed into the house of Mr Waterman, sized his gun and shot Davenport with small shot.” A grand jury in Frankfort indicted Akin on a charge of “shooting, in sudden heat and passion … with intent to kill.” Despite being held on $6000 bond, when Akin pled guilty to the charges, he was found guilty and fined just $50.

So what happened to all of these “child criminals?” And more importantly, what sense can we make of their stories?

  1. In September 1863, John Turman had his fine remitted for selling liquor to a minor and, while it appears Sobble Burgess lost his bid for the mayor’s office, he was never legally disciplined for misleading Turman.
  2. In December 1863, William Spencer was pardoned after serving only about a month of his prison sentence; he went to live in New York with relatives and, as far as we can tell, stayed out of trouble.
  3. Unfortunately, we aren’t sure if John Watson was transferred to the care of Colonel Dillard—or if he survived the war.
  4. We do know, however, that freeman Peter Yager had served half of his prison term by the time his petition was rejected by Governor Thomas Bramlette and that he spent another six months in the state penitentiary. (This isn’t a major surprise: by 1863–64, Governor Bramlette did little to hide contempt for his African American constituents.)
  5. And, lastly, there’s Graham Akin, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was fined a whopping $50. Upon appeal to Governor Bramlette, his fine was remitted. Davenport, now sporting a nasty scar, presumably stopped picking on Akin.

As their cases collectively illustrate, from regulations on drinking and firearms to military service and everyday criminal offences, the law in Kentucky generally failed to take a consistent stance on children. On one hand, the state enforced a mandatory drinking age, which clearly transmitted the idea that some citizens (those under twenty one) were not yet considered “legal adults” by the law’s reckoning. But the state also allowed boys technically under the legal enlistment age to serve in the military, which immediately weakens the notion that mandatory age limits were strictly enforced across the board and calls into question how the state could justify not allowing a twenty year old citizen to drink whiskey on account of his age but saw no issue with handing him a rifle and sending him into Napoleonic combat. (A question many still ask of current drinking and enlistment laws in the United States.)

On the other hand, though, we see numerous instances of children either being punished as adults for petty crimes, such as stealing worthless pants, or being pardoned due to their youth and inexperience for very serious crimes, such as attempted murder. This indicates that to some extent, the legal code in Kentucky blanketed all of the state’s residents, regardless of age, with a “universal adulthood”—while at the very same time the people who supposedly made and maintained that legal code (the governor, judges, lawyers, town marshals, etc.) understood more often than not that children ought to have been afforded unique treatment by the justice system.

Why they didn’t take the time to update the books and infuse stability into the juvenile sector of the justice system is anyone’s guess, though being trapped in the middle of the bloodiest military conflict in American history probably had something to do with it. Regardless, Kentucky was the epitome of contradiction when it came to legally dealing with children in the 1860s. Then again, given the state’s penchant for Conservative Unionism, its self-injuring methods for combating irregular violence, and the peculiar, even counter-intuitive legal hoops it jumped through to protect slavery, when wasn’t Kentucky a contradiction during the Civil War?

Matthew C. Hulbert is an Assistant Editor of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.


SOURCES: Richard Areson, Affidavit, n. d., Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky (hereafter KDLA); Richard Areson to Thomas E. Bramlette, 24 Nov 1865, KDLA; James L. Furman to James F. Robinson, 4 May 1863, KDLA; Charles B. Cotton to Thomas E. Bramlette, 6 Jan 1864, KDLA; P. U. Major, W. H. Sneed, and John M. Hewitt, Jr. to Thomas E. Bramlette, 23 Oct 1863, KDLA; S. D. Delaney et al. to Thomas E. Bramlette, n. d., KDLA; H. M. Pierce to Beriah Magoffin, 28 May 1861, KDLA; W. Y. Dillard to Thomas E. Bramlette, 9 March 1864, KDLA; W. L. Jermane to Thomas E. Bramlette, 28 Nov 1865; KDLA.

The Everly Brothers and Kentucky’s “malishia”

By Patrick A. Lewis

Ceralvo Ohio County Ky
April 22 1864
Govenear Bramlet

Sir we have a compney of 300 hundaret men and we have no armes,, and we have the malishia formed in a compney and I want to know what to do in the case Pleas give me Instructins in the undertaking,, soon

Yours truly
J. M. Everly
actin as Captin

KYR-0002-044-0040-001Jesse M. Everly, the author of this letter now housed at the Kentucky Military History Museum on the KHS campus, was a Union veteran, farmer, and father of five in his late thirties. His great-grandsons, the Everly Brothers, would make the family name famous in the mid-twentieth century with hits such as “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Suzie,” and “All I Have to do is Dream.” The “most important vocal duo in rock” blended regional sounds from folk, country, and early rock in ways that typify Kentucky as a crossroads of national culture.

Don and Phil Everly’s grandfather, Isaac, wasn’t born born until 1869. Could the Civil War, spilling off of the battlefield into rural Kentucky communities in 1864 and 1865, have silenced the Everlys generations before they shaped modern music?

Jesse Everly’s famous descendants aside, this is a rich document for one so short. The small touches tell so much of the story here. Notice, for example, how Everly is “actin as Captin,” with the traditional leadership of the county off in the officer corps of units such as the 26th Kentucky Infantry—Everly’s unit until he was wounded and discharged after a skirmish at a Logan County railroad bridge in December 1861—Everly has taken it upon himself to organize a group for self defense from their rebel neighbors. What revealing sentence structure and punctuation, too, in “Pleas give me Instructins in the undertaking,, soon”. The double commas impatiently emphasize the vital urgency that Everly felt.

KYR-0002-044-0040-002On the reverse of Everly’s note is the clerk’s annotation when this letter was received and filed in Frankfort—in the very arsenal building where this document is housed today. By this time in the war, military filing procedures were standardized and predictable. The clerk (in order, down the page) noted the date and place of the letter, recorded the author and a brief summary, listed the date of response and the book where the outgoing letter was copied, and logged the date of reception at the office.

Fortunately, the Inspector General’s Letter book B from April 1864 survives and has been accessioned into the CWG-K collection. With just a few mouse clicks, future users of the CWG-K web interfaces will be able to move seamlessly from Everly’s initial inquiry to the Inspector General’s response, just one of the thousands of new connections between disparate collections and archives that this unique collection and research platform will help draw.

So, did Jesse Everly get his weapons to arm his militiamen? Stay tuned to the Civil War Governors news feed to find out!

Patrick A. Lewis is the project director of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.

Protecting Slavery in a Union State: The Letter vs. the Spirit of the Law

By Matthew C. Hulbert

In October 1863, the Mason Circuit Court (based in Mason County, Kentucky) hit Peter Miller, a legally licensed tavern owner, with maximum fine of $50 for tippling. If this strikes you as odd, it’s because by its very definition in 1863, tippling meant selling alcohol or operating a tavern in which said spirits were sold without a license. Miller balked at the ruling. “I have kept a Bar in Maysville for a number of years,” he noted confidently, “and have always endeavored to comply with the strict letter and spirit of the law.” The fundamental hang-up in the Commonwealth v. Peter Miller, however, was that in this case the letter and spirit of the law actually veered in wildly different directions at the crossroads of slavery.

Chapter 212 of the Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, Volume I, published in 1856, dealt specifically with the sale of spirituous, malt, or vinous liquors to both slaves and “free negroes.” (Note: the law more or less assumed that all slaves would be African American and thus did not label them “enslaved negroes.”) The statute read as follows:

It shall not be lawful for any person or persons in this commonwealth, either with or without a license, to sell, give, or loan to any slave or slaves, not under his or her control, any spirituous, malt, or vinous liquors, unless it is done upon the written order of the owner or person having the legal control of the service, for the time being, of such slave or slaves; and the written order here meant shall clearly specify the quantity to be sold, given, or loaned, and name the slave or slaves, and shall be dated and signed; and such order shall only be good for the one sale, loan, or gift; and the persons violating the provisions of this act shall be liable to pay the owner not less than twenty nor more than fifty dollars, or to be confined in the jail of the county, where such conviction is had, not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or may be both fined and imprisoned, at the discretion of a jury, for each offense, and also be liable for any actual damage sustained, to be recovered by suit in any court having jurisdiction.

The circumstances of Miller’s case aren’t all that complicated. In fall 1863, a “free negro barber,” Nathaniel Oldham, rented “the negro boy Ed” from a local slave-owner named Samuel W. Wood. And, according to undisputed court testimony, “while thus hired to Oldham, the boy and Oldham his master for the time, drank at Peter Millers bar and purchased from him at the County of Mason upon one occasion, the whiskey & beer drank having been furnished for & paid for by him in the presence of and at the instance of Oldham the free negro to whom he was hired.” So Miller was charged with tippling not for selling without a license, but for selling to someone who wasn’t allowed to be drinking alcohol, licensed or not. The bartender had a sturdy defense: Oldham temporarily owned Ed by virtue of the labor deal with Wood and that as Ed’s temporary master, Oldham held final authority over his chattel’s ability to consume alcoholic beverages. Miller further contended that Ed’s permanent owner, Samuel Wood, “cared nothing about the matter” and that the conviction had only been delivered because “political excitement was bitter at the time.”

Peter Miller on his Indictment

“Political excitement was bitter at the time and I was indicted…”

The law clearly favored Miller, especially on two points. First, As Ed’s temporary master, Oldham had legal control of Ed’s services and was in a position to legally purchase him liquor (re: “unless it is done upon the written order of the owner or person having the legal control of the service”); and, second, Miller clearly stated that the drinking only occurred once and it doesn’t appear that anyone disputed the assertion in court (re: “and such order shall only be good for the one sale, loan, or gift”).

The elephant in the room, then, is how Peter Miller was ever convicted of anything in the first place?

Our answer here lies not with the letter of the law—but with its spirit. The “political excitement” Miller referenced revolved around the increasingly-tenuous position of slavery in Kentucky. Lincoln’s war aims were changing; the demise of the Peculiar Institution had become a real possibility if the Confederacy faltered now and Conservative Unionists in Kentucky weren’t particularly pleased about it. (If slavery in the Confederacy went, what chance did it have in the nominally-loyal Border States?) So while he’d technically broken no laws in the Commonwealth, by serving two black men in his tavern—one free and openly exhibiting mastery over a slave, just like his white counterparts might do—Miller had violated the social and cultural mores that governed his own local, white community. In turn, the offended members of that community chose to ignore (that is, completely misappropriate) the particulars of the statute and punished Miller for his breeching of racial protocol.

Upon receiving Miller’s petition for executive clemency, Governor Thomas E. Bramlette quickly reversed the decision and remitted the $50 fine. In the process of interpreting the law, Bramlette exposed an ironic weakness within the institution’s white supremacist foundation: the spirit of slavery in Kentucky was unquestionably based on race (white > black) and constituted a pillar of the state’s social hierarchy (white slaveholders > white non-slaveholders > any African Americans).

But to protect the integrity of the legal codes which were intended to govern the behavior of slaves and how white Kentuckians interacted with them, Bramlette was forced to concede that, according to the letter of the law, a black master (albeit a temporary one in Nathaniel Oldham) could exert the same authority and claim the same legal rights as a white master. In short, Bramlette was forced to reckon with an unanswerable question: which was a higher priority, maintaining the racial hierarchy, or maintaining the institution (slavery) that enforced the racial hierarchy? Luckily, for thousands of men and women like Ed, before Governor Bramlette left office, President Lincoln and the Union army made his decision a moot point.

Matthew C. Hulbert is an Assistant Editor of the Civil War Governors of Kentucky Digital Documentary Edition.


SOURCES: Peter Miller to Thomas E. Bramlette, 12 Nov 1863, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky (hereafter KDLA); Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Peter Miller, Judgment, n.d., KDLA; Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, Volume I (Frankfort, KY: A. G. Hodges, State Printer, 1856), 42-44.

Kentucky Thanksgiving, 1863

The CWG-K collection contains Thanksgiving proclamations from Kentucky governors Beriah Magoffin, James F. Robinson, and Thomas E. Bramlette as well as proclamations from the governors of Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Reflecting on Bramlette’s 1863 proclamation, we can be thankful that the devastation of civil war is no longer found in Kentucky, even as we remember that the same horrors are all too familiar to people across the world.KYR-0001-001-0007-001

PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY.


In accordance with the proclamation of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and in conformity with established precedent, and in obedience to the promptings of duty, I, THOS. E. BRAMLETTE, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, do hereby appoint the LAST THURSDAY OF NOVEMBER NEXT, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to ALMIGHTY GOD for his abounding mercies to us during the year that is past.

He has blessed us with abundant harvests, and multiplied our flocks and herds

He has withheld “the pestilence that walketh in darkness,” and “the destruction that wasteth at noon-day,” and given health to cheer the homes and make thankful the hearts of our people.

He has overwhelmed our enemies and enabled us to drive back from our borders the hordes who would waste and destroy our heritage of free government.

Then let us thank Him in fullness of heart for all His manifold blessings and “loving kindness to usward,” and, especially for the crowning victories He has given our arms over the enemies of our free government, assuring our hopes of a preserved nationality.

Let us thank Him that our Christian civilization has been preserved, and the hope of free government confirmed to our children for coming generations, despite foreign envy and domestic treachery.

And, whilst our thanksgiving and praises go up for victories won, and for the strengthened hope of unity and peace being again restored over our bleeding country, let us not forget the widow and the orphan who mourn the husband and father—sleeping with our honored and heroic dead

Let us, AS A PEOPLE, confess our sinfulness, which has brought on us this great chastisement, and invoke his blessing, that the visitation of His anger may be removed, and that restored peace and unity, as the sunlight of His countenance, may again smile upon us.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto caused the seal of the Commonwealth to be affixed. Done at Frankfort, this the 17th day of October, 1863, and in the 72d year of the Commonwealth.

By the Governor: THOS. E. BRAMLETTE.
E. L. VANWINKLE, Secretary of State.