Meeting Jefferson Davis – Old West Point

Born near the shores of Lake Ontario, in the small town of Hounsfield New York, noteworthy not only for its strategic naval position of Sackett’s Harbor in the War of 1812; it’s also the birthplace of Frances Roe’s patriotism. And what she called “Americanism.” It ran deep in her blood. For Roe, the fourth of July flag-waving, apple pie eating,…

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The Open Question Once More

The compelling undertow of Roe’s narrative is the unasked question, is she or is she not a feminist? Until now, the question hadn’t been asked nor contemplated by contemporary scholars even though newspapers and magazines were openly debating women’s rights at the time of Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871-1888 release.  Readers and writers fervently…

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Dear Family,

 Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871 – 1888 simply states this a book of letters. Yet, I’ve wondered, is it really a compilation of letters or not? In the late 19th and early 20th century, many military wives published their personal journals with book entries similarly formatted like Army Letters… Today I came across very interesting news about Army Letters that gives credence…

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Life is either a daring Adventure or nothing

         Let Us Have Faith Security is mostly a superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change…

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“Where’s Frances?” Arlington National Cemetery Update

“It is the feeling of loneliness I mind here—of being lost and no one to search for me.”    Frances M.A. Roe.  Army Letters from an Officer’s Wife, 1871-1888. Soon after returning from Arlington National Cemetery, I couldn’t help but wonder “where’s Frances?” I dug out the Roe file which includes both Frances and Fayette’s…

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In search of Frances Roe at Arlington

The Constance Fenimore Woolson Society biennial conference in Washington D.C. was coming up and Joan- a colleague asked if I’d be interested (Woolson was a prolific 19th century writer. And yes, her great uncle was James Fenimore Cooper, author of the Leatherstocking Tales). Of course I jumped on board since Frances is buried at Arlington in…

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Mrs. Rae’s Indians

Camp Supply, Indian Territory, May 1872 – January 1873 This place is quite dreadful as it has been represented to us. There are more troops here than at Fort Lyon, and of course the post is very much larger. There are two troops of colored cavalry, one of white cavalry, and three companies of infantry[…]…

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We are in the Heart of Indian Country

Cimarron Redoubt, Kansas, January 1873. Two or three days ago Powder-Face came to make a formal call upon the “White Chief.” […] He is an Indian of striking personality—is rather tall, with square, broad shoulders, and the poise of his head tells one at once that he is not an ordinary savage.   We must…

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Sandbag Castle on the Plains

Cimarron Redoubt, Kansas, January 1873. As soon as I heard of the order I announced that I was coming, but it was necessary to obtain the commanding officer’s permission first. This seemed rather hopeless for a time, the general declaring I would “die in such a hole,” where I could have no comforts, but he did…

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Book review; It is the Feminine Quality…

Too often, we overlook the marketing and advertisement of books while excavating authors and pondering the literary significance of their words. While digging away in the archives, I uncovered  the Army Letters… book review in “Literary Digest”:   Book Review 1909; $2.00.  Camp life from the point of view of an army officer is a not…

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