American Civil War

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

For Women’s History Month, here’s a short piece I posted on Facebook about dress reformer, army surgeon, author, and eccentric Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919). (She doesn’t appear in The Queen of the Platform, as I have no evidence that she and Ernestine Rose ever met, but it would have been fun to overhear a […]

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker Read More »

Stanton and Anthony Caught Up in the Draft Riots

In July 1863, the infamous “draft riots” roiled New York. Among those caught up in the violence were the two people most associated with the nineteenth-century women’s rights movement: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s husband, Henry Stanton, had been appointed Deputy Collector of the New York Custom House in 1861.

Stanton and Anthony Caught Up in the Draft Riots Read More »

The Other Henry and Clara

(Originally published in The Surratt Courier, a publication of the Surratt Society) Among its other consequences, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination would upend the lives of not one, but two young couples named Henry and Clara. The first—Henry Rathbone and his stepsister/fiancée, Clara Harris—are well known; the second, Henry Ritter and his new bride, Clara Pix, are

The Other Henry and Clara Read More »

Benjamin Hardin Helm’s Last Will and Testament

As long-term readers of this blog will know, I’m fond of wills, and I was pleased to find that one major character in The First Lady and the Rebel, Emily Todd Helm’s husband Benjamin Hardin Helm, left one behind. (Abraham Lincoln, married to Emily’s sister Mary, died intestate.) A graduate of West Point, Hardin, as

Benjamin Hardin Helm’s Last Will and Testament Read More »

A Memorial Day Tribute to Charles P. Tidd and Carrie Cutter

This Memorial Day, I’m remembering, Sgt. Charles P. Tidd, and his friend and nurse, Carrie Cutter, both of whom died in service to their country. Tidd, one of John Brown’s raiders, evaded capture after the raid. After the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in the 21st Massachusetts Infantry under the assumed name of Charles

A Memorial Day Tribute to Charles P. Tidd and Carrie Cutter Read More »

Mr. Helm Goes to Washington–And Then to Montgomery

In March 1861, one of many job-seekers arrived at the White House, looking for patronage at the hands of the new President, Abraham Lincoln. Unlike many, this one was successful. Ultimately, though, he turned down the offer–and ended up fighting, and dying, for the Confederacy. The job-seeker was Benjamin Hardin Helm, who was married to

Mr. Helm Goes to Washington–And Then to Montgomery Read More »

The Great Couch Dust-Up: A Letter from Phoebe Yates Pember to Emily Todd Helm

While doing research for The First Lady and the Rebel, my forthcoming novel about Mary Lincoln and her Confederate half-sister, Emily Todd Helm, I visited the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort to look through Emily’s papers. Among the many wartime letters addressed to Emily is this one from a famous correspondent: Phoebe Yates Pember, who

The Great Couch Dust-Up: A Letter from Phoebe Yates Pember to Emily Todd Helm Read More »

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top