Archive for June, 2012

Georgetown Cemetery

Friday, June 15th, 2012

It’s half past Halloween or so, and the Georgetown Cemetery has had an unusual high number of visitors in Jun 2012.  I know not why?!? 


The Ghost Box video is a fun view.  My bio of the cemetery is a more revered read.  Undoubtedly, video trumps paper.


The Georgetown Cemetery List was a found-by-chance document included in the inherited boxes of documents and photos.  I do not know the author of the list nor its date.  However, it appears to be accurate.


Of greater interest to me is the new threat to the cemetery.  That threat is the potential harm to the cemetery, and Georgetown, from the blasting associated with fracking.  A drilling platform will soon be built near the cemetery.




Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

History is a Story

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Ms Barbara Macleish has introduced me to the reference “Chronicling America”. 


About Chronicling America


Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.


So far 737 newspapers from 1836 to 1922 have been digitized.  Unfortunately, western PA is not well represented.  Fortunately OH, MO, and MT along the inland rivers are well represented during the steamboat era.  No doubt I will be spending much time searching these references.


A good example of the findings from “Chronicling America” is the little known str Glaucus.  The str Glaucus information provided by the original Certificate of Enrollment appears below followed by Capt Way’s entry in his Packet Directory.  :


Str Glaucus


Owners and Partners Share Vol: 6633
T Harvey Miller   Enroll No : 89
Thom S Clarke   Cert Date: 6 Jul 1849
Wm Thaw   Cert Type:: Enrollment
Geo Black   Build Locn: W Elizabeth, PA
Robert S Hays   Build Date: 1849
Wm Bingham   Master GW Ebbert
Wilson Miller      
GW Ebbert      




Glaucus.  The sidewheel wooden hull packet named the Glaucus was built in West Elizabeth, PA in 1849 for the St Louis to Keokuk Packet Line.  Its capacity was 154 tons.  George Washington Ebert was partner and its master.  The Glaucus met a fiery end on 30 Mar 1852 in Montrose, IA.  [1]



In addition to this original source info and Capt Way’s history, Ms Macleish has directed me to newspaper articles found in Chronicling America, as well as other more direct routes.



Gallipolis Journal 7 Aug 1851


By the tremendous hail storm
Saturday night, the steamer Glaucus
had her chimneys blown over, and
cabins badly shattered.



Hannibal Journal  25 Mar 1852 (Fri)


You may have heard of the loss of
the steamer Glaucus – if not, I will
tell you that she was burned at
Montrose on Friday last, while lying
there ice-bound.  She belonged to the
Keokuk Packet Company, and was
insured for $5,000.


Democratic Banner (Davenport, Iowa)
1852  March  26

BURNING OF THE GLAUCUS.—On Saturday last, the Steamer Glaucus, on her upward trip from Keokuk, while lying ice-bound at Montrose, was entirely destroyed by fire.  The fire originated in the steerage, and spread so rapidly as to prevent the recovery of anything, excepting the books and papers of the boat—even the passengers’ baggage was all destroyed.  The Glaucus, we understand, was not intended to be run as one of the regular mail boats, between this point and Keokuk, but was to have been kept as a reserve, to run in case of need.


Day in history for March 28, 2002 – Quad-Cities Online

150 years ago: Passengers from the Lamartine, just arrived, informed us that the packet Glaucus burned about 11 a.m. yesterday while it was lying ice- bound at Montrose, Iowa. Not even the baggage of the passengers was saved


Notice the differences in the date the str Glaucus burned.  The Hannibal Journal indicated 18 Mar, the Democratic Banner – 20 Mar, the Quad Cities Online – 27 Mar,  and Capt Way – 30 Mar.  Capt Way is my go to guy.  If he writes something, then it is true, even if it was not.


This confusion of time, and sometimes identity in other cases, makes an accurate presentation of history difficult.  Early American history is a story.  How much is fact and how much is legend does not really matter, for it did certainly happen. 




[1]   Frederick Way, Jr.,Way’s Packet Directory, 1848-1994, (Ohio University Press, Athens 1994), p. 188.




Copyright © 2012 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved

National Archives 31 May Trip 3

Monday, June 4th, 2012

If you have never visited the National Archives, do not use your cell phone.  Trust me!   The hours on Thursday extend till 7:00 PM. which is perfect for me.  I have time to review four Certificate of Enrollment books each visit.  On my drive south last Thu, I missed the serious morning rush hour traffic in DC; reviewed four volumes of Enrollment data, and missed the evening rush hour.  Dinner at Jaleo’s completes my day. 


Last Thu (31 May 2012), I requested the first five volumes of the Certificate of Enrollment from the port of Pittsburgh (Volumes 6624-6628) covering the years 5 Jan 1831 through 16 Mar 1846.  Volume 6624 (26 Oct 1839 to 30 Jun 1841) could not be located.  Whether the volume had been misplaced, lent, or was truly missing was unclear to me.  I will ask for the volume on my next visit to determine whether it is permanently unavailable.  Other volumes of those early years are missing pages and damaged to the degree that groups of pages are unreadable.


The good news is that I discovered three new steamboats that Georgetown men had an interest in.  I did not see entries for keel boats or other types of vessels in this group of books. 


On my next visit I will examine the volumes for the period 16 Mar 1846 to 24 Dec 1949.  Anyway, I will review all the port of Pittsburgh volumes over time, 4 volumes per visit, till all 45 are reviewed. 



Copyright 2012 © Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved