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A FACE-family-centric (heavily centered around the North America twins) retelling of the American Civil War, told in 28 parts through anecdotes, letters, and telegraphs. Rated for language, themes of and depiction of death, other dark historical themes.  |  Ao3

Tumblr:  Part 1,  Part 2,  Part 3,  Part 4,  Part 5,  Part 6,  Part 7


July 5, 1862

? in Washington, D.C. to Arthur Kirkland in London


Dear Sir Arthur Kirkland,

One of the greatest regrets I have in this past year is that in all the turmoil of the present age, (which has, I understand, spread even so far to your side of the Atlantic) I have not, since the revelatory new beginnings of my person, had the chance to meet with you in person. It is therefore quite presumptuous and even rude of me to be sending you this missive now, and I have agonized over the matter for some weeks. For this breach in etiquette, I implore you to accept my sincerest apologies and regrets. Should I have the opportunity, I should love nothing more than to travel to London and make a proper introduction, but as I’m sure you’re aware, current circumstances make this impossible.

In my absence, I have every confidence that Messrs. Mason and Slidell have made a proper representation of me and my people, and of our vision for the future. You and your people are, of course, at the forefront of that vision, as our preeminent trading partner. The British Empire has been our chief partner for decades, and even as the world shifts in wonderful new ways, I see no reason for this to end. On the contrary, it is my hope that our bond may grow stronger with time. Every day, shipping time from Charleston to Southampton grows shorter. Perhaps one day, cotton and tobacco may reach across the Atlantic in less than a week: what a world it would be! I look forward to such a future with desperation, for at the present hour, we are both shackled to the dark reality that is the United States and their disastrous blockade.

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Found a collection of letters that Sherman wrote right before the Civil War broke out, when he was the superintendent of an academy in Louisiana and for a short time thought his family might join him. He started writing to his 9 year old daughter about how he had tried planning a new life for them:

I know you would all like the house so much — but dear little Minnie, man proposes and God disposes — what I have been planning so long and patiently, and thought that we were all on the point of realizing, the dream and hope of my life, that we could all be together once more in a home of our own, with peace and quiet and plenty around us. All, I fear, is about to vanish…

Which is a depressing topic itself but then he slips into politics and talk of war and about halfway through realizes his daughter will have no idea wtf he’s ranting about so includes this little disclaimer:

You cannot understand this but Mama will explain it to you.

And then he eventually realizes perhaps Ellen should read the letter first, so he writes just for his wife and states:

… I started to write a letter to Minnie but got drawn into this political strain that is not for her but you. Read her so much of the letter as you please and the rest to yourself. 

The idea of him getting so worked up that he forgot who he was writing to is pretty much 100% Sherman. And I’m laughing at how he basically went: “Ellen I’m dumb, censor my letter for me. Thanks.”

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“I shall never forget my first interview with this great man. I was accompanied to the executive mansion and introduced to President Lincoln by Senator Pomeroy. The room in which he received visitors was the one now used by the President’s secretaries. I entered it with a moderate estimate of my own consequence, and yet there I was to talk with, and even to advise, the head man of a great nation. Happily for me, there was no vain pomp and ceremony about him. I was never more quickly or more completely put at ease in the presence of a great man than in that of Abraham Lincoln.

The room bore the marks of business, and the persons in it, the President included, appeared to be much over-worked and tired. Long lines of care were already deeply written on Mr. Lincoln’s brow, and his strong face, full of earnestness, lighted up as soon as my name was mentioned. As I approached and was introduced to him he arose and extended his hand, and bade me welcome. I at once felt myself in the presence of an honest man–one whom I could love, honor, and trust without reserve or doubt.

Proceeding to tell him who I was and what I was doing, he promptly, but kindly, stopped me, saying: “I know who you are, Mr. Douglass; Mr. Seward has told me all about you. Sit down. I am glad to see you.”

-Frederick Douglass, “Life and Times”-”The Black man at the White House”-Rochester, NY, August 1, 1863

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Aida Overton Walker-African-American Vaudeville performer

Aida Overton Walker was an African-American singer, actress, dancer and Vaudeville performer.  Overton was born on February 18, 1880 in Richmond, Virginia.

At the age of 15, she joined a black touring group called the “Octoroons”, and it was there that she met her husband, George Walker, who was a Vaudeville comedian. She frequently appeared with him onstage and was billed as “The Queen of the Cakewalk”.  She also choreographed many vaudeville shows like “The Red Moon” and S. H. Dudley’s “His Honor the Barber”.  In 1912, she became famous for her well known dance performance as “Salome” at the Hammerstein’s Victoria Theatre.

In 1914, Overton died suddenly of kidney disease at the age of 34, in New York City. She continued to perform until two weeks before her death.

In the October 1905 issue of “The Colored American Magazine”, an article was written about her contribution to performing arts as an African-American woman, and spoke about her belief that the performing arts could affect race relations in a positive way.  She said, “I venture to think and dare to state that our profession does more toward the alleviation of color prejudice than any other profession among colored people.”

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A FACE-family-centric (heavily centered around the North America twins) retelling of the American Civil War, told in 28 parts through anecdotes, letters, and telegraphs. Rated for language, themes of and depiction of death, other dark historical themes.  |  Ao3

Tumblr:  Part 1,  Part 2,  Part 3,  Part 4,  Part 5,  Part 6


February 3, 1862

Alfred Jones in Washington D.C. to Matthew Williams in Quebec


Dear Mattie,

If I had an entire ream of paper and a barrel of ink with which to write, I could never write enough letters to make up for the worry I’ve caused you. I’m so very sorry, and hope you can forgive me for burdening your thoughts. Unfortunately, I have very little paper to my name now, so I apologize in advance for what I’m sure is a very poorly-written letter. I shall blame Arthur’s Trent for eating up all the drafting paper I had to compose such a “pristine” apology. In case he has asked, please inform him that no, no one helped me to write it. I knew he would assume so as soon as I pasted the stamps on.

I was quite surprised to have received so many letters from you, some dating back months. They’ve not given me- that is, the Post Office has been under considerable strain here in Washington for about a year now. Davis—the so-styled President of the Confederates—seduced nearly all of D.C.’s postmen into defecting to the South, and they took all their damn records with them. It’s been a nightmare getting things up and running again, and Lincoln’s Postmaster is a real piece of work, from what they’ve told me. The fact that my letter to Arthur even made it off the coast is news to me. I’m grateful he received it. I hope he chokes on it.

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