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Archive for January, 2009

Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Photo Company Collection
More information at Opening History

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F. Salty Hart

F. "Salty" Hart

F. “Salty” Hart
Courtesy of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
More info at Opening History

F. “Salty” Hart was an assistant roller for Lyon, Shorb & Company, also known as the Sligo Iron Works of Pittsburgh. He is seen here posing in his work clothes. The assistant roller was involved in the production of “muck bars,” or iron that has already been rolled but is still in an unfinished state. He was most likely part of a rolling crew with the “roller” as the boss positioned at the front of the rolls. The “roller” would occasionally help out his workers, as these jobs were extremely demanding and performed in intense heat. In addition, he must be able to manage his crew effectively; a mistake of only one-sixteenth of an inch in his draught may mean a broken roll. The assistant roller supported the roller in performing these duties. Rollers were often most in demand and among the best paid workers in the mill. The Sligo Iron Works was located on the south side of the Monongahela River opposite Pittsburgh’s Market Street. In 1826 the Sligo mill employed 30 men and produced bar, boiler, nail and sheet iron valued at $99,000 per year. In 1879 the company employed 250 men and possessed 25 puddling furnaces, 10 heating furnaces, eight steam engines with 14 boilers in four separate batteries, and three steam hammers. The mill at this time was known for manufacturing flanged boiler heads and flue holes using specially designed machinery.

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In addition to images, Opening History also includes collections of textual materials, such as the collection of materials from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Documenting the American South.   The following excerpt documents  Mary Jeffreys Bethell’s hopes and concerns for the new year of 1861, on the eve of the Civil War:

January 1st 1861

Ground white with snow. This is new years day, the old year is gone forever with all its sorrows and joys. When I look back to the events of last year, I am led to say that the Lord has been good to me. I had more of joy last year than sorrow, my family were blessed with health, and I had no serious trouble (except when my husband went to Memphis, and Emeline and Dick died last year, and Cinda’s twin babies).

I went to Raleigh in the month of March with my Step Mother. I stayed ten days, and had quite a pleasant time in visiting our relations. I would like to go again.

The 3rd Sunday in August there was a camp meeting at Carmel, I had a tent, we had a delightful time, ’twas a Heaven here on Earth. After my daughter gave birth to her child and came through safe, and done well, I felt so thankful and happy. The goodness of God is enough to lead us to repentance. I will now renew my covenant with my Heavenly Father, that if he will bless me and my family, that I will give myself to him, soul and body, time and talents, and live for his glory, who loved me and died for me. I pray that he will lead me and direct me in every thing that concerns my souls salvation.

I am entering upon another new year, I am determined and resolved to live nearer to God, to deny myself, take up my cross and follow the Saviour. I hope that I may be built up this year in the most holy faith that I may advance in the divine life.

We have some fears that this Union will be dissolved. South Carolina has seceded, the states are making every preparation for War Next Friday is the day set apart for prayer and fasting by the President Buchanan, that God would save us from Civil War and blood guiltiness.

© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

The remainder of Mary’s diaary tells of the struggles that she and her family faced as the Civil War raged around them, including the departure of her sons for service in the Confederate army.

Mary’s diary is also a good example of some of the experiments we’re conducting to connect this kind of content to other sources.   While there are no images of Mary or her family in the other collections available at Opening History, we’ve included a link to Google Books that provides access to numerous books and journals that have used Mary’s diary as a primary resource.

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