Thursday, January 31, 2013

Construction of Main House

Description of the construction of the Main House.  A number to fix in memory is the square footage, which is 7,588 (I am often asked this question and often transpose the numbers incorrectly--hopefully now I will get it correct!)
It is clear that little expense was spared in the construction and furnishing of the structure.  At fifty-five-foot square footprint with brick superstructure, the exterior of the building was finished in stucco and scored with lines to emulate stone block construction.  Internally, the floors were constructed using heart pine planks, each hand-trimmed to assure stability and fit.  The ceilings on the first floor were fifteen feet high and the two parlors (north and south) displayed elaborately frescoed designs; the south room's designs were based on stories from Aesop's fables.  Sixteen sets of floor-to-ceiling French doors flooded the first floor with light and undoubtedly allowed cool breezes to permeate the house.  Each of the rooms on the first two floors had a fireplace and family history recounts that the marble used in all the fireplaces was imported from Italy.  The structure also had a small basement, apparently used as a warming kitchen, with a small staircase which accessed the dining room directly above.  Following its completion, the 7,588-square-foot home certainly reflected Bryan Croom's, and Goodwood's, stature as a major fixture in Leon County.
Goodwood Plantation:  A Study in Southern Plantation Life
produced for Margaret E. Wilson Foundation
Matthew A. Sterner
Glen H. Doran

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Maiden's Prayer

From Susan Hopkins' sheet music collection:  "The Maiden's Prayer" by Tekla Badarzewska, who was born in Warsaw and died there in 1861.  Of her 35 pieces, this was the most well known.

By Eric Tong in 2007.  He provides some background information:

And for a Florida version before 1996, with Chubby Wise on fiddle:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bryan Croom & Arvah Hopkins Request for Legislation, 1846

The encouragement of the General Government in the cultivation of tropical plants
March 9, 1846
Referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and ordered to be printed.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled:

The memorial of the undersigned, citizens of Florida, would respectfully bring to the attention of your honorable bodies the subject of encouraging the introduction and cultivation in Florida of such plants, tress, &c., of tropical climates, as conduce to the health and comfort of the inhabitants, or have become valuable as articles of commerce.

Your memorialists believe that a large part of this State, although not within the tropics, enjoys so nearly tropical as to justify the opinion that many, if not all, of the valuable products of warm latitudes may be successfully cultivated in Florida.  Experience has proven that vegetable, like the animal kingdom, will gradually adapt itself to very material changes of climate, under persevering, judicious management, Cotton, rice, tobacco, indigo, sugar-cane,  so extensively cultivated at the present day in our southern and southwestern States, are all believed to have been indigenous to the torrid zone;  and we may hope that, in like manner, many other of its valuable products, once successfully introduced, even into the south of Florida, will be gradually extended over many of the adjoining States.

This adaptation of plants to change of climate usually proves to be a slow process, and only succeeds after many failures and much expense.  The result of first experiments rarely remunerates those who embark in them, and therefore they are properly entitled to the fostering aid of government.  The forms in which this aid may be best extended, your memorialists will not assume themselves to decide.

The subject has been forcibly presented in the report of a committee of our Territorial legislature, made March 3, 1845, a copy of which accompanies this memorial; and the undersigned most respectfully reiterate the language of the resolution at the close of that report, which urges "that the United States consuls in the tropical countries, and the officers of the navy visiting such countries, be requested to procure and transmit to Florida such seeds, roots, plants, and products, as may be introduced and cultivated here, with such information about their cultivation as may be useful."

The encouragement of the General Government in the cultivation of tropical plants
March 9, 1846
Referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and ordered to be printed.
To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled:
The memorial of the undersigned, citizens of Florida, would respectfully

To those who will settle in the southern part of Florida and devote themselves, for a series of years, to the culture of such new and valuable products, it would seem highly proper for Congress to continue to offer inducements by donations of public lands, upon terms similar to the offer made to the late Dr. Henry Perrine.  At the same time, the undersigned believe that there are many intelligent and enterprising citizens in the settlements of Florida now willing to devote a portion of their time and labor in making trial of the articles proposed, without further inducement or expense by the general government than the procuring and distribution amongst us of the seeds, roots, plants, &c., which can be so readily in the manner above pointed out.  They therefore earnestly ask that Congress will give the matter due consideration, and will adopt such means as will secure the objects of their memorial; and as in the duty bound, will ever pray.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA, February 19, 1846.

List of 72 names, including:
Bryan Croom
Arvah Hopkins
R. A. Shine (was the builder of Goodwood)
Surnames of old Tallahassee on the list include:  Anderson, Gamble, McDougall, Bellamy, Chaires, Westcott, Betton, Long, Duval, Branch, Byrd, Eppes, &c.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bryan & Eveline Skit for Blended Lives

Blended Lives, one of Goodwood's educational programs, runs from January 29 to February 1 this year.  Every 4th grader in Leon County public schools (over 2,300 children) is given the opportunity to attend this program both at Goodwood and Riley House.  Our focus this year is the Spanish Territorial period of Florida through to the United States Territorial period.  Mike and I will be on the front porch of the Main House dressed in period clothing (of sorts) and acting out the part of the first family of Goodwood, Bryan and Eveline Croom:

Eveline:  Hello there.  We would like to welcome you to our beautiful home, Goodwood.  I reckon we should tell you about ourselves.  My name is Eveline Croom. 

Bryan:  And I am Bryan Croom.  We were both born in North Carolina.  We moved to Florida in 1826 and here to Goodwood in 1837.

Eveline:  Perhaps you should tell the children why we would move to such a faraway place.

Bryan:  Well, we first moved to Gadsden County, Florida, in 1826.  This was just five years after the territory of FL was transferred from Spanish control to United States control.  We moved to Florida because the good soil was perfect for growing cotton.  Cotton was a cash crop, meaning that we could make good money by selling it.  We named that plantation Rocky Comfort and we thought we'd stay there forever, but then tragedy struck...

Eveline:  Oh, dear.  How sad!  Bryan's dear brother, Hardy Croom, had purchased this land here near Tallahassee.  He was going to move all of his planting operations here.  He called it Lake Lafayette plantation and it only had a small cabin on the lake then (show picture).  But he had planned on building a big house and moving his wife and three children here.  One day in 1837, Hardy, his wife Frances, and the children were on a ship called "The Home" when a hurricane struck.  They were all killed.  We were simply devastated.  Hardy was such a brilliant man.  He was not just a planter, he was also a great naturalist and discovered several plants that no one else ever had. 
1839 lithograph of plantation on Lake Lafayette
Bryan:  Since I was my brother's business partner, I decided that we should move here to take over the operation of the new plantation.  We changed the name to Goodwood and decided to grow mainly cotton and corn.  And we did a very good job of it.  We became one of the largest, most successful plantations in the area. 

Eveline:  But we needed a home, not just the little cabin by the lake.  Hardy had drawn up plans for the big house, but he hadn't had time to build it.  So we had it done just as he had wanted it to be done. 

Bryan:  I was so happy that Eveline had agreed to move out here to this wild place, so far from the town of Tallahassee that I made the house very beautiful for her.  I spared no expense.  Italian marble fireplaces.  French frescoes on the parlor ceilings.  Mirrors and chandeliers from New York City, Mahogany staircase from England, made just for our home. 

Eveline:  We really were out in the middle of nowhere.  There was not even a railroad to Tallahassee.  The closest was at St. Marks and that was only three years old when we moved here.  And the downtown was just a few wooden buildings and dirt roads (show picture).  But, the soil was very good and Bryan was such a hard worker that I knew we'd be just fine.  And, even if we didn't have any children of our own, I had my mother and brother here to keep me company.   We did have nieces and nephews stay with us quite often. 
1839 lithograph.  Looking east on Jefferson from Adams.
Bryan:  This is what the home looked like when we built it.  (show picture of house).  It had ironwork columns instead of the white wooden ones you see here.  And the cupola (the tower on the roof) was square instead of octagonal like you see now.  I used to walk up to the cupola to get a look around the property.  The trees were not quite so tall then, so I could see a ways.
Eveline:  And since I wanted our home to be very fashionable, I had it painted rose colored with red shutters.  The parlors were originally a deep rose color as well. 

Bryan:  We lit everything with candles and had a well out back where we got our water. 

Eveline:  Since you are such nice children, we would like to take you around to show you our home.  We are going to walk through the downstairs.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Capital Solons Awarded Posts

From Hodges' Scrapbook, an article from 1933:
Senator W. C. Hodges
Leon's delegation, Curtis Waller and George Martin, drew choice positions in the list of house committee assignments, announced Tuesday by Speaker Thomasello.   
Waller was made chairman of the committee of constitutional amendments and a member of the rules committee, conceded to be one of the most powerful committees in the house, uniform laws, judiciary A, finance and taxation, banking and loans, and the new committee, canal and drainage.
Martin is on the aviation committee, appropriations, education "B", insurance, primary laws, state pensions, veterans affairs, and was made chairman of the committee on public health.
State Senator William C. Hodges of Tallahassee, representing the eight district, was assigned to four of the most important committees in the Upper House.  Hodges was made chairman of the appropriations committee, resuming the powerful position he once or twice before has held in this respect.  He also was assigned to the committees on constitutional amendments, building and loans, insurance and state institutions.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bryant & Susan Croom

While Bryan and Eveline Croom never had any children of their own, they did care for their nieces and nephews.  Two were listed in the 1850 census:  Bryant, age 11, and Susan, age 8.  Both children were born in Alabama.  Their mother Winnefred Bryan Whitfield died in 1848.  Bryant and Susan were the youngest surviving children.  When Bryan and Eveline moved to Alabama in 1858, the children went with them.  
40th Alabama Infantry Flag
Susan Matilda Croom married James "Jimmie" George Whitfield in Sumter, Alabama, in 1861 (they were distantly related).  She died in 1920.  

Susan Croom Whitfield had four children:
  1. Mary Croom Whitfield (born 1868, died that year)
  2. Susan Evelina Whitfield (born 1870)
  3. Leonie Sauvalle Whitfield (born 1872)
  4. James Richard Whitfield (born 1877) 
Bryant Croom married August F. Marshall in Sumter, Alabama, in 1861.  He enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 and was killed on November 12, 1863.  He survived the battle of Chikamauga.  It will take more research, but he may have been a casuality of the battle of Chatanooga which took place from September to November of 1863.  The battle of Chatanooga was a success for the Confederates; they pushed the Union troops away from Chatanooga.  However, this battle set the stage for General Sherman's Atlanta campaign.  (

About the company Bryant enlisted with (source
40th Infantry Regiment, organized at Mobile, Alabama, in May, 1862, recruited its companies in Perry, Sumter, Morgan, Covington, Pickens, Colbert, Mobile, and Choctaw counties. It served at Mobile until December, then moved to Mississippi where under the command of J.C. Moore it was active in the operations on Deer Creek. Later four companies were transferred to General Extor's Brigade, which fought at Chickamauga. The other companies were part of the garrison at Vicksburg and were captured when that city fell. After being exchanged, the regiment was united and sustained 135 casualties at Chattanooga. Attached to A.Baker's, Gibson's, and Brantley's Brigade, it participated in the Atlanta Campaign, moved to Mobile, then returned to the Army of Tennessee in North Carolina. This unit had 332 fit for duty in January, 1863, and totalled 429 men and 338 arms in December. During the Atlanta Campaign, May 7-31, it lost twenty percent of the 416 engaged. Only a handful surrendered on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Colonels Augustus A. Coleman and John H. Higley, Lieutenant Colonels E.S. Gulley and Thomas O. Stone, and Major Elbert D. Willett.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bryan & Eveline Croom's 1846 Passport

This is not part of our collection, but very interesting nevertheless.  This is a passport issued to Bryan and Eveline Croom in New York on June 17, 1846.
The document reads:
Description No. 1133.
Age: 43 years
Stature:  5 feet 7 in.
Forehead:  high and broad
Eyes:  gray
Nose:  small (medium)
Mouth:  medium
Hair:  dark
Complexion:  fair
Face:  round
Signature of the Bearer:  B. Croom

Description No. 1134
Age: 35 years
Stature:  5 feet 2 in.
Forehead:  high
Eyes:  gray
Nose:  medium
Mouth:  medium
Chin:  medium
Hair:  dark
Complexion:  fair
Face:  oval
Signature of the Bearer:  Eveline Croom

Above are the copies of the description of Bryan Croom & Eveline Croom his wife, corresponders to numbers 1133 & 1134 as (???) from the Department of State at the City of Washington at 11th day of June 1846.
Very (???)
B. Croom

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Early Goodwood

ca. 1911,  before the Tiers renovation.
Detail of the porch ironwork
Side view of home before 1911 renovation.  This is the side which now has
the glassed in porch.  Where the Butler's Pantry is today appears to be a
closed in veranda.  Note the original square cupola.
Excerpts from Susan Hopkins' niece, Susan Bradford Eppes' diary, Through Some Eventful Years, published in 1926.

1860:  Mr. Hopkins was par excellence, the merchant prince of Tallahassee; his income was large and his heart was ever open to the call of any who wished assistance. He carried a stock of goods which in richness and elegance surpassed anything ever seen in Tallahassee before or since.His home "Goodwood" was a model of beauty and comfort and was the centre of all social activities.  Mrs. Hopkins was the youngest daughter of Governor John Branch and had been a belle in Washington society. She had a delightful voice and was an accomplished performer on the piano, the harp and the guitar. Her husband had a splendid baritone voice and the music they made was worth going far to hear.

1865:  Aunt Sue is giving a large party; "the gem of the season," we say, for everybody knows the entertainments at Goodwood are not quite equalled anywhere else. There is one thing about this particular party that I dread; uncle Arvah has invited General Foster and his family and the officers in his command. I see Uncle Arvah's side and he is right, but it will be painful to meet our conquerors. So far I have met only one and I cannot hope they will all be like him. To meet these blue-coats socially! Will I have the strength of mind to do it? Not much time for you my diary. It is not difficult to get a dress now, but there are a thousand and one things to get through before tonight. Aunt Sue likes to have help in arranging flowers in the different rooms and the table in the dining room, which she has already dressed, is a dream of beauty

I866:  Again I am at Goodwood. Uncle Arvah is having a card party and I was sent for; you see, he taught me to play whist and he says he is proud of his pupil. I have not played at a regular card party before but often Judge Love comes to Goodwood and we play, Aunt Sue and the Judge against Uncle Arvah and myself. This, however, is a large party. General and Mrs. Foster are coming and many others; we have put three tables in the library and in the double parlors several more are placed. We have dressed the whole of the first floor, and the dining room is a dream. The chandelier is an immense shell of bronze, in it are waterlilies of mother-of-pearl. Six arms of bronze curve upward from this shell with its fluted edges, lighting the room beautifully and bringing out the pearly, pink tints of the lilies. The chandelier is supported by a figure of Neptune holding his tripod. It is the handsomest I ever saw and Mr. Croom, the former owner, brought it from Italy. He also brought over an artist from Rome who frescoed the ceilings of this lovely home. The mantel-pieces are of Italian marble, and all this is not in the downstairs rooms, for show, but each room is fitted up in the same way. Uncle Arvah and Aunt Sue are the very ones to have this spacious mansion for they love to entertain and indulge in a princely hospitality, which all enjoy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Ohioan

A steamboat on fire from
The year before Hardy Croom was killed in a shipwreck, Bryan and Eveline Croom were in danger aboard the steamboat Ohioan.  

From The Croom Family and Goodwood Plantation:  Land Litigation & Southern Lives, by William Warren Rogers and Erica Clark:
(Bryan and Eveline Croom) and Harriet, their house servant, were among the fifteen passengers on board the paddle-wheel steamboat Ohioan, which left Apalachicola for Columbus, Georgia, on April 22, 1836.  Bound upstream with a load of freight, the Ohioan made good time.  The next morning around eleven o'clock the steamboat was about six or eight miles below Ocheesee Landing when a fire  broke out at midships.  Flames, driven by a heavy wind, engulfed the vessel within fifteen minutes, but that was time enough for the women passengers to be placed in the vessel's yawl and rowed to safety.  The crew and male passengers jumped overboard and swam ashore.  Tragically, Harriet was so frightened that she refused to get into the yawl.  She panicked, leaped from the deck, and despite all efforts to save her, was drowned.  That the Ohioan was uninsured and only a small portion of the cargo had any coverage meant the estimated loss of $25,000 was practically total.  The cause of the fire was never discovered.
The passengers' personal effects and clothes, except those they were wearing, were lost.  Like the others, Bryan and Eveline were fortunate to escape with their lives.  Eveline, who already had a fear of steamboats, was adamantly opposed to any further travel, causing Bryan to ask Hardy to buy a cloak and black suit for him in New York.  He also wanted him to purchase a gold waist buckle for Eveline and, while he was at it, one for his niece Henrietta Mary as well.  Hardy responded to the news with sympathy, declaring "[The] loss of your valuable servant Harriet is much to be regretted."  He added, "The spectacle and the danger must have greatly affected Sister Eveline, and I fear she will not soon recover from her dread and dislike of Steam Boats.
The accident, compounded by an unnamed but extreme illness, caused the usually stoical Bryan to become despondent... 
From the Alabama Review, 1968, article, "Sail and Steam Vessels Serving the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee Valley" by Harry P. Owens:
Fires were more common than explosions.  The Ohioan caught fire in 1836 a few miles above Apalachicola, and the crew was able to save very little because of high winds...
From Columbus, Geo., from it Selection as a "Trading Town" in 1827, to its Partial Destruction by Wilson's Raid in 1865, compiled by John H. Martin and published in 1874:
The steamer Ohioan was burned on the Chattahoochee, eight miles below Ocheesee, early in May.  She was freighted with merchandise for Columbus.  One servant girl was lost.  The boat had fifteen passengers, who escaped.  Boat and cargo were valued at $25,000.  She was owned principally in Mobile.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Announcement of the Death of Sen. Hodges

From the Flagler Tribune, January 18, 1940:
William C. Hodges, dean of the Florida State Senate, died at his home in Tallahassee Wednesday morning fol­lowing a heart attack. He was 64 years of age.

Senator Hodges had planned to be a candidate for Governor in the coming elections, but his doctors had advised against it, and he had prepared an announcement which was to have been published today, that he would not be in the race.

His announcement included this paragraph:
"Acting on the mature, careful and earnest advice of my physicians, I cannot now enter the race for governor. It goes without saying that this conclusion is reached by me with regret, because naturally one who has long been in the public service and interested in the state's welfare has an ambition to round out a long career as the state's chief executive."
He represented Leon County in the state senate for 18 years. He was the senate's president in 1935.

Hodges was familiarly known as "Homestead Bill" for his work in behalf of the homestead tax exemption amendment to the constitution which voters ratified in 1934. The amendment provided governmental operating tax exemption for homesteads up to $5,000 valuation.

In the senate, Hodges was a master of wit and sarcasm. His stooped shoulders and flowing gray hair made him a colorful figure in debate. When he filibustered against legislation he opposed, galleries filled to capacity because Hodges made a show of the occasion:

Funeral services will be conducted at eleven o'clock Friday morning in Tallahassee and burial will be in the Oakland Cemetery there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Land where the Wild Orange Blooms

Hardy Croom wrote this poem in 1836, the year before his death.  He enclosed it in a letter to the famed botanist Dr. John Torrey.  Earlier, as evidence of their friendship, Hardy had named the Torreya tree in his honor.

Knowest thou the land where the wild orange booms
And famed magnolia sheds its rich perfumes.
Mid crystal springs where St. Johns flows
And many a flower in wild profusion blows
Where the soft breeze from Cuba's spicy land
Woos Tampa's beauteous bay and Santa Rosa strand.
The land which first romantic Leon sought
The bootless quest of youth's renewing draught.
No lingering winter here in long delay
Chills with her icy breath the lap of May
Nor spread her bleak and desolating frost
Over Appalachia's wild and palmy coast.

Hardy Croom, 1836
Dr. John Torrey

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bonny Jean

From the sheet music collection of Susan Hopkins:  "Bonny Jean."  Interestingly, Susan's sheet music credits Charles Osborne, whereas others credit John Roberts Thomas.  After some digging, I have found that Charles Osborne was an alias for John Roberts Thomas.  It was published in 1856.  To listen to the tune...
George Linley (1798-1865)
Bonny Jean
O! the summer morn is brightly glowing,
The wild birds wake their song;
And the streamlet, as it softly murmurs,
So gently glides along.
Where the sweet hedge rose is blowing;
In the woodlands green;
There I love to wander,
With my heart's true Queen,
My bonny, bonny, Jean!

Yet, 'tis not the rosy tint of summer,
Nor the song birds joyous lay
Nor the streamlet's soft and murm'ring music,
That makes my heart feel gay;
'Tis her smile that  beams upon me,
'Mid each flow'ry scene;
While I fondly wander
With my heart's true Queen,
My bonny, bonny, Jean!

Monday, January 14, 2013

To the Reflecting Mind

From a Hodges' scrapbook, along with this handwritten note, "Cut out by me many years ago but put in scrap book 1924."  The author is not credited, but search revealed him to be Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864), English writer and poet.
Death itself to the reflecting mind is less serious than marriage.  The older plant is cut down that the younger may have room to flourish; a few tears may drop into the loosened soil, and buds and blossoms spring over it.  Death is not even a blow; is not even a pulsation, but a pause.  But marriage unrolls the awful scroll of numberless generations.  Health, genius, honor, are the words inscribed on some; on others are disease, fatuity and infamy.
From Walter Savage Landor, A Biography by John Forster

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Helen Keller in Tallahassee, 1929

1929 clipping from one of Hodges' scrapbooks

In 1929, Dr. Helen Keller appeared before the Florida legislature to speak on behalf of a bill increasing the appropriation for work among the blind in Florida.  She explained to a reporter, "Almost nothing has been done for the adult blind in Florida so far.  Some little attention has been paid to blind children, but even that has not been very great.  The delightful thing is that all over the country the work of the blind is increasing and an appreciation of their problems is becoming more widespread.  There are now twenty-five States in which there is some department that has to do with aiding of the blind... I told the legislature that the blind have the same ambitions as those who see.  They want the same things.  They do not want charity, but want some useful occupations and also some of the sweet satisfactions of life." She was received well but the bill did not pass.  She visited again in 1941.  This time the bill passed.  As a souvenir of her first Florida trip, Dr. Keller brought back a 10-inch alligator, which she named Jack.  Dr. Keller was a guest of Goodwood during both trips.  Her 1929 thank you note to Margaret Hodges read in part, "The thought of our visit to your beautiful home is following me to New York like the fragrance of your magnolias and carnations.  I wish I could make half as sweet my thank you for your hospitality and loving kindness."

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mary Eliza Hopkins

The surviving children of Arvah and Susan Hopkins:
standing left to right: William, John B., Edwin, Arvah
Seated: Charles, Teresa, Richard, George
Little Mary Eliza Hopkins was born to Arvah and Susan Hopkins at Goodwood on January 6th, 1859. She died on January 5th, 1863.  Susan Branch Eppes, Susan Hopkins' niece, referenced Mary Eliza several times in her journal, published in 1926 (Through Some Eventful Years)--
January 8th, I86o.-This is Aunt Sue's birthday; and she is spending the day with us. She brought the boys and Teresa and little Mary Eliza, who is a darling. Cousin Henry Whitaker is here, Aunt Sue and Mother love him dearly; but he hurt Aunt Sue's feelings today. He is a great tease and sometimes he is not as careful as he should be not to give offense. Since all this trouble between the North and South, there is a tendency to say disagreeable things and you often hear of "Yankees'" and always in derision. Everybody does not do this but you do hear it sometimes. Cousin Henry lives in North Carolina and we do not see him often, Aunt Sue called her children to speak to him and as he shook hands with the dear little boys he said: "Well, Sue, what are you going to make of these little Yankees?'"
December 25th, 1862.—We reached home on the 24th but it is not like Christmas. No frolicking for anybody as Cousin Martha died yesterday morning and will be buried here tomorrow. Everybody loved her and grieves that she has gone. Aunt Sue is in trouble, for little Mary Eliza is sick unto death and Father and Mother are with her today. She has typhoid pneumonia and she has always been delicate. Father has seven sick soldiers but none of them in danger at present, although he thought two of them would surely die the first part of the week. He has been fortunate so far, for he has not lost a single patient. Brother Amos stood the trip very well and can handle his crutches better than at first. He can walk about in the house but has to have help to go down the steps. There are so many poor crippled soldiers. Oh, if this terrible war was over!

December 27th, 1862.—Mother has a letter in the mail, which has just come telling of dear Grandpa’s illness. He went out on the ice to direct the man who was using the ice plow and took a violent cold. We feel very anxious. Mary Eliza is no better. The papers say the armies have gone into winter quarters and we will have no more fighting until spring. 

January 3rd, I863.-My dear, dear Grandpa is dead. I loved him so well and now I will never see him again. Mother was all ready to start to North Carolina today but a telegram came telling the sad news. Mary Eliza died in the night and she will be buried here tomorrow. There is trouble and sorrow on every side. It proved to be whooping cough poor little Mary Eliza had and Mattie and I have taken it. I thought it was a baby disease but it seems grown people can have it. Our men in camp are suffering for blankets. Mother has sent all of hers and she has several of the women on the place at work washing and carding wool, to make comforts to take the place of the covering she has sent to the army. She has already sent all the linen sheets to the Reid Hospital in Richmond; not as sheets but rolled in bandages for dressing wounds. We have used most of the table cloths to scrape lint, for this blockade cuts us off from any supplies for the sick or the wounded. Father has taught Nan to make salve and we ship it every week. She keeps the pot of salve going all the time for our poor soldiers. They need so much and we can do so little. 

March 15th, I864.-This is the first entry for more than two weeks but we have been so busy and now I am going to write something that sounds heartless. Goodwood is to open its doors to society. The first time Aunt Sue and Uncle Arvah have entertained since dear little Mary Eliza's death. This party is given in honor of General T. R. R. Cobb and his staff. He is now in command of The Division of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida and he is an old friend of the family as well. I felt at first as if I could not possibly enjoy a frolic of any kind but Aunt Sue is so dear and if she wants us we must go. Again the question of dress comes up. To realize just how much of vanity and love of dress one possesses it is needful to be obliged to plan and contrive as we war girls have to do. The big trunk yielded up its treasure and a dress of crepe lisse, very much tumbled came to light. It has a lining of satin and a sash of the same. Lulu is a wonder at pressing and making over and my part is suggesting and trying on. Let me tell you a secret, little Diary; "I have my second grown-up beau." I think I like the boys best, in fact, I know I like the boys best. That is because all my life I have had boy play-mates and now, that these boys look like men and are in the army, they still seem like comrades to me. They like me too; whenever one gets foolish and says silly things to me I laugh at him, and so, I do not lose my friends as I should if they were allowed to deteriorate into lovers.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hodges and Futch

c1933 article from one of W.C. Hodges' scrapbooks
Truman Gaskins Futch (1891-1958) of Leesburg, District 23, was Florida Senate President 1933-1934. He served as state senator from 1929-1935 and was chairman of the senate educational committee.
T. G. Futch

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cora Dean

From the sheet music collection of Susan Hopkins:  "Cora Dean" by Stephen Foster.  The song was published in 1860.

To listen to Cora Dean...

Cora Dean
Near the broad Atlantic waters
Roaming the woodlands green
'Mid Long Island's lovely daughters
Fairest of all was Cora Dean
Soft her voice as liquid measure
Heard when the streamlets move
While her eyes of tender azure
Glowed with the winning beams of love.

Cora Dean has left the summer roses
Blooming o'er the lea
While her fair and gentle form reposes
Down by the calm blue sea.

Cora Dean was formed for loving
Cheering the hearts of all
None could sigh where she was moving
Birds tuned their carols to her call
Fields grew fairer at her coming
Flowers a more joyful throng
Skies were bright where she was roaming
Streams danced the lighter to her song.

Eyes bedimmed with tears are streaming
Round her deserted home
Silent stars are nightly beaming
Lending a sadness to the gloom
While the winds of summer dying
Borne from the deep dark wave
O'er the land in dirges sighing
Murmur with sorrow round her grave.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Plain Jane Food

The mailing address for Home Gardening Magazine reads:
And yet it reached Margaret every time!

From the January, 1951, issue:
In A... Southern Kitchen
by Erna Harris

Plain Jane Food is just what the "budget doctor" ordered... after the too-rich feasting of the holidays!  Have you ever noticed how good plain food tastes in January?  Why, it's just like a breath of fresh air after a stuffy room!  So let's serve something simple... something tasty... something like corned beef and cabbage... a real "Plain Jane" food in culinary circles.


Quite a change from stuffed turkey... but what a welcome change!

Corned Beef and Cabbage Balls
1 medium sized head of cabbage
3 medium sized onions, minced
3 tablespoons margarine
1 (1 lb.) can corned beef minced
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
   dash of pepper

Steam whole head of cabbage in a small amount of water until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving pot liquor, reserve core and remove 12 of the larger leaves intact. Saute onions in margarine until golden, combine with corned beef and mix well. Now divide mixture evenly among the 12 cabbage leaves, which have been spread with mustard. Roll and fasten securely with toothpicks. Arrange in greased casserole, sprinkle with pepper and add 1/2 cup of cabbage "pot liquor." Cover and bake in a moderate oven about 1 hour. Makes 6 servings.

Cheesey-Corn Muffins are just what the name implies.  Deliciously toothsome, and chock full of snappy cheese!

Cheesey-Corn Muffins
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup grated snappy cheese
1 cup milk
1 well beaten egg
2 tablespoons melted shortening

Sift flour with salt, baking powder, and sugar; add cornmeal and grated cheese; mix.  Combine remaining ingredients; add all at once; stir until dry ingredients are moistened but not smooth.  The batter will be lumpy.  Fill greased muffin pans two-thirds full.  Bake in hot oven for 25 minutes.  Recipe will make 1 dozen muffins... the "plain Jane" kind that go well with corned beef and cabbage!

You make this Plain Jane dessert just like a 7-minute frosting.  Simple, and very good!

7-Minute "Plain Jane" Prune Whip
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons prune juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
   few grains salt
1/2 cup chopped, cooked prunes

Combine all ingredients except prunes in top of double boiler.  Cook, beating constantly with rotary or electric beater, until mixture forms peaks, about 7 minutes.  Fold in the chopped prunes.  Chill.  Serve with this saucey topping:

Saucey Custard Topping
Combine 3 slightly beaten egg yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar, few grains salt.  Gradually stir in 1 1/2 cups milk, scalded.  Cook in double boiler over hot, not boiling, water until mixture coats spoon, stirring constantly.  Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Chill rapidly.  6 servings.

Au Revoir
'Til February
When "A Hearts and Flower Dinner" is our Valentine to the new bride!  Until then, remember, "Plain Jane" is quite a dish!

Monday, January 7, 2013

I See Her Still in My Dreams

From the sheet music collection of Susan Hopkins:  "I See Her Still in My Dreams" by Stephen Foster.  The song was published in 1857.  To listen to the tune, click here.  The American composer Stephen Foster (1826-1864) was well known for his minstrel songs and sentimental ballads.  PBS's American Experience featured Foster in one of their programs.  Their website has some very good information about his life and work.
Stephen Foster
I See Her Still in My Dreams
While the flowr's bloom in gladness and spring birds rejoice
There's void in our household of one gentle voice.
The form of a loved one hath passed from the light,
But the sound of her footfall returns with the night;
For I see her still in my dreams,
I see her still in my dreams,
Though her smiles have departed from the meadows and streams.
I see her still in my dreams,
I see her still in my dreams.

Though her voice once familiar hath gone from the day
And her smiles from the sunlight hath gone from the day
Though I wake to a scene now deserted and bleak,
In my visions I find the lost form that I seek;
In my visions I find the lost form that I seek;
For I see her still in my dreams,
Though her smiles have departed from the meadows and streams.
I see her still in my dreams.
I see her still in my dreams.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winsome Winnie of the Mill

From the collection of Susan Hopkins: "Winsome Winnie of the Mill", words by C.O. Clayton, music by John Rogers Thomas. This song was published in 1858, which seems to have been a prolific year for John Rogers Thomas. To listen to this song, and just about every other song by Thomas, check out While this may not be one of his most popular works, the chorus is fun to sing and may be stuck in my head all day.
John Rogers Thomas
Winsome Winnie of the Mill
Where the sun, when daylight's closing,
Throws a mellow golden light,
O'er you snowy cottage, peeping
Thro' the vine and blossoms bright;
There, amid its quiet beauty,
By the ever flowing rill:
Dwells our gentle village darling,

Winsome Winnie, Winsome Winnie of the mill.
Winsome Winnie,
Winsome Winnie,
Winsome Winnie, Winsome Winnie of the mill.

Joyous as the Queen of Music,
Warbling some enchanting lay;
Fairer than the rosy dawning,
Of a glorious summer day;
Graceful as the welcome Flora,
Decking forest, vale and hill,
Is our gentle village darling,

Always making others happy
By some kindly word or deed:
Cheering those that bow in sorrow,
Helping those that strive in need;
And the pray'rs her deeds awaken,
May the e'er with hope's fond thrill,
Guide aright from ill and sorrow,

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Beautiful Venice

From the music collection of Susan Hopkins: "Beautiful Venice, An Admired Ballad", poetry by Joseph Edwards Carpenter and music by Joseph Philip Knight and published in 1841.  To listen to the melody... 

Joseph Edwards Carpenter (1813-1885) was an English composer and playwright. He wrote the lyrics to over 2500 tunes. Joseph Philip Knight (1812-1887) was an English organist and composer. He is mentioned in Sabine Baring-Gould's eight volume 1895 work, English Minstrelsie:  A National Monument of English Song:
Joseph Philip Knight, youngest son of the Rev. Francis Knight, D.D., was born at Bradford-on-Avon in 1812.  From an early age he manifested a great love of music, and a remarkable melodious faculty. When aged about twenty, he composed his first set of songs. After this, in company with Haynes Bayly, he produced a number of highly popular songs, of which that now gives ("Go, Forget Me", 1845) was the most famous and lasting in favour.  We have already given his grand song of "Rocked in the Cradle of the Deep," which was sung with immense success by Braham. Mr. Knight was ordained by the Bishop of Exeter to the charge of St. Agnes, in the Scilly Isles, where he resided two years, and then went abroad.  
This is a different arrangement from Susan's
sheet music, but simpler to post!
From The Songs and Ballads of J.E. Carpenter, published 1854

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Little White Cottage or Gentle Nettie Moore

From the music collection of Susan Hopkins:  "The Little White Cottage or Gentle Nettie Moore", poetry by Marshall S. Pike Esq, melody by G.S.P., chorus & piano accompaniment by James Pierpont (the guy who wrote Jingle Bells).  It was published in 1857.

Bob Dylan based his song "Nettie Moore" on this.  Here he is live in Berlin in 2011:


In a little white cottage where the trees are ever green, 
And the climbing roses blossom by the door, 
I've often sat and listened to the music of the birds, 
And the gentle voice of pretty Nettie Moore.


Oh, I miss you, Nettie Moore, and my happiness is o'er 
While a spirit sad around my heart has come, 
And the busy days are long, and the nights are lonely now, 
For you're gone from our little cottage home.

Below us in the valley, on the Santee's dancing tide, 
Of a Summer eve, I'd launch my open boat; 
And when the moon was rising, and the stars began to shine, 
Down the river we so merrily would float! 

One sunny morn in Autumn, ere the dew had left the lawn, 
Came a trader up from Louisiana bay, 
Who gave to master money, and then shackl'd her with chains! 
And then he took her off to work her life away 

Since that time the world is dreary, and I long from earth to rise, 
And join the happy angels gone before; 
I never can be merry, for my heart is full of woe, 
And I'm pining for my pretty Nettie Moore. 

You are gone, lovely Nettie, and my heart must surely break, 
When the tears come no more into my eyes; 
But when weary life is past, I shall meet you once again 
In Heaven, darling, up above the skies!