Mrs. Smith's Best Ginger Snap Recipe (from 1880)

Earlier this year Special Collections received a donation that included a really cool item: a recipe book from 1880 kept by a Mrs. G.C. Smith of Columbia, S.C.

Mrs. G.C. Smith recipe book, 1880, Columbia, S.C.

We share with you today this first recipe in the book: ginger snaps!

Ginger Snaps, best.

3 pounds flour
1 pound sugar
1 pound butter
1pt. molasses
½ cup spices.
And that's it!

Yield? Not so sure. Oven temperature? Wing it. Preparation? Good luck!

Stay tuned for more epic Southern recipes from Mrs. Smith.

Mrs. G.C. Smith recipe book, 1880, Columbia, S.C.

Ms. Manami Matsuoka, Wofford's expert on Japan

All of Wofford's incoming freshmen know that this year's Novel Experience book is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. What they may not know is that the Wofford community has a rich resource on campus for the next two years in Japan Outreach Coordinator Manami Matsuoka.

Manami Matsuoka, Japan Outreach Coordinator

Ms. Matsuoka, who holds a bachelors degree in Contemporary English from Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, has come to Spartanburg as an ambassador of Japanese culture. She visited the library last week to speak with us about geisha culture and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Manami Matsuoka describes geisha makeup and costume to Hannah Jarrett ‘12.

Ms. Matsuoka explained to us that geisha are highly-trained entertainers hired for party entertainment at a tea house or traditional Japanese restaurant. The geisha will sing, dance, and play the shamisen (a traditonal Japanese instrument). As festivities become more boisterous, geisha may lead games among the revelers.

Ms. Matsuoka is not only knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Japanese culture, but also curious about Western culture.

She asked us: "What is geisha for people here?"

What do you think?

If you're interested in Japan or Japanese culture, seek Ms. Matsuoka's counsel. Her office is in the Campus Life Building and her contact information is here. And if you see her on campus, please welcome her to the Wofford community.


A Private's Wilderness

Germanna Ford Rappahannock River Virginia. Grants troops crossing Germannia Ford Date: c. 1864
Germanna Ford Rappahannock River Virginia. Grant's troops crossing Germanna Ford Date: c. 1864 on Flickr

Today at 4 pm we received orders to be ready to march at 4 in the morning[.] we met in our chapel tonight for the last time and many were the sincere and fervent prayers that accended [sic] to heaven for the wellfare [sic] of those we love and for our safety[.]
-Private Jesse Easton Bump, May 3, 1864

The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College is home to the journal of Private Jesse Easton Bump, a Union soldier during the American Civil War. Bump was a soldier in the 119th Regiment, or the Pennsylvania “Gray Reserves.” He wrote a short entry almost everyday between September 1863 and August 1864. The entries below describe Bump’s experience during the Battle of the Wilderness which took place near Orange County, Virginia from May 5 to May 7.

The Battle of the Wilderness was the beginning of Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant’s Overland Campaign. The objective of the battle was to gain possession of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The Union and Confederate armies had spent the winter in close proximity; the Confederates were camped on one side of the Rapidan River at Mine Run and the Union army on the other side of the river near Culpeper.1
Private Bump and the rest of the VI Corps left their winter camp and crossed the Rapidan River on May 4, 1864. He wrote in his journal,

We were awakened by the drum this morning before daylight but did not start until 6 o clock[.] Our line of march was the same as that last fall when we went to Mine Run[.] We have now halted for the night in what is called the Wilderness[.]

In order to avoid the strongly fortified Confederate camp at Mine Run, Grant decided the Army of the Potomac would have to fight in the wilderness surrounding the Rapidan River. The Wilderness was riddled with gullies and tangled underbrush. An individual would find the terrain difficult to move through, yet Grant ordered an entire army to march through it. Because of the wild landscape heavy artillery and cavalry (which were among Grant’s main advantages against the Confederates) could not be used effectively.2

Page from journal of Union Private Jesse E. Bump, 3 May - 8 May 1864

Page from journal of Union Private Jesse E. Bump, 3 May - 8 May 1864 on Flickr

Union General John Sedgwick’s VI Corps crossed at Germanna Ford, about eight miles below the Confederate camp at Mine Run. The Confederate army did not oppose the crossing for lack of food and fit soldiers, as well as a clear plan of action.3 After determining what Grant’s strategy of attack might be, General Lee sent Lieutenant General Richard S. Ewell and his soldiers to confront the Union army in the Wilderness.4 On May 5 Private Bump wrote in his journal

By the way we were moveing [sic] around this morning it was apparent to any old Soldier that our enimy [sic] were somewhere concealed in the thick underbrush[.] at 11,30 Am we suddenly came upon them[.] heavy skirmishing was kept up for some time when the whole line became engaged which lasted until dark[.] an occasional shot was fired during the night[.]

By late morning on May 5, Grant sent VI Corps to hold the strategic Orange Plank and Brock crossroads at any cost until reinforcements could arrive.5 The battle was unlike any the soldiers had seen so far. The wild landscape made fighting more chaotic than usual; lines between divisions blurred among the tall trees and the dry forest caught fire on many occasions. Bump’s journal entry on May 6 details the number of men lost in the Wilderness:

Early this morning we received orders to advance our line first[.] as we fell in one of our best men (in the Co) was killed by a ball supposed to be that of a sharp shooter[.] The loss in my Camp to this time is 8 wounded one killed[.] that of the Regt is said to be 120[.] The sharp shooters are annoying our Pioneers who are building brestworks [sic]

By the end of the battle, about 15,000 Union soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing. The Confederates lost about 11,400.6

Neither side was able to gain a permanent advantage by the second day of fighting because everyone had trouble maneuvering and maintaining order.7 In a last attempt, Ewell ordered a surprise attack on VI Corps on May 6, but the Confederates quickly became disorganized and struggled to gain their objective. Bump recounted these events the next morning in his journal:

Last night the Rebels charged in front of us three times but were handsomely repulsed each time[.] They finally turned our left flank held by our 2d Division & we were compelled to fall back we fell back to within six mile of Chancelersville [sic] with orders to march at nine o clock to night[.]

As Bump states in his journal, Grant ordered the soldiers to prepare for a night march on May 7. The Army of the Potomac was to move to Spotsylvania,Virginia in order to gain an advantage: the open fields surrounding Spotsylvania would be better for fighting and, if held, would be important in securing Richmond, the Confederate capitol. Already exhausted from two days of hard fighting, the army marched all night to Spotsylvania where fighting continued.

- Hannah Jarrett '12

1 Joseph P. Cullen, “Battle of the Wilderness,” Wilderness and Spotsylvania, Harrisburg: Eastern Acorn Press, 1985, p. 4.
2 ibid.
3Cullen, p. 5.
4 Noah Andre Trudeau, “Battle of the Wilderness.”
5 Cullen, p. 9.
6 Cullen, p. 15.
7 ibid.


Google Doodle Honors Argentine Author Jorge Luis Borges | PCWorld

The latest mysterious Google doodle honors what would have been Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges' 112th birthday. Aside from being a pioneer in the genre of magical realism, Borges also imagined some of the foundational concepts of the Internet, such as "hypertext," long before the dawning of the digital age.

Full story: Google Doodle Honors Argentine Author Jorge Luis Borges | PCWorld


Old Bailey Trials Are Tabulated for Scholars Online - NYTimes.com

A digital humanities project -Datamining with Criminal Intent - is highlighted in this short piece in the New York Times (17 Aug 2011), but a methodological disagreement between scholars is revealed:

“The Old Bailey Online project has done a great service in making those sources widely (and costlessly) available,” Mr. Langbein [of Yale University] wrote in an e-mail. But he complained that the claims about data mining have “a breathless quality: ‘you can expect big things from us,’ but as yet it’s all method and no results.” He said that the new findings belittle the work of a generation of scholars who focused on the 18th century as the turning point in the evolution of the criminal justice system.

Mr. Turkel, who developed some of the digital tools, said that data mining reveals unexpected trends and connections that no one would have thought to look for before. Previous scholars “tended to cherry-pick anecdotes without having a sense that it was possible to measure all of that text and treat the whole archive as a single unit,” he said.
As articles about history go this is a juicy one, but I wonder if it creates a false polemic. Surely scholarly historical discourse will continue to accommodate both quantitative and qualitative analyses, as it has done in the past. I imagine (and hope) there is little chance of the new digital methodologies eclipsing the traditional ones. In fact, the advent of digital humanities creates excellent opportunities for the synthesis of methodologies and a deeper understanding of history (and humanity).

Old Bailey Trials Are Tabulated for Scholars Online - NYTimes.com


The Trial and Acquittal of Frank James

Frank James letter to Anna James, 1884  (1 of 5)



Huntsville Jail Ala.
March 26th/84
My Darling Wife.
Yours of the 21st rec’d I anticipated your movements and addressed my letter of yesterday to Independence. Do you know I consider this last letter of yours decidedly the best effort of your life. It was to the point and remember, I will certainly treasure it up as I would some rare gem, I was very much impressed with the idea that you and Rob were delighted with the idea of coming to see me. Time will drag until your arrival, what do you think William H. Wallace is in Nashville there acting in conjunction with one Bradshaw, a detective from Kansas City who has been there several days. Well, all he finds out I think he will be able to note on his thumbnail, I had expected as much and posted Glover to be on the lookout, I suppose
Frank James letter to Anna James, 1884  (2 of 5)


he will follow me to the end. Let him he will meet fervor worthy of his still. We will be fully prepared never fear about that. By the time you get this you will be ready to start, if trains are not running through to Memphis. You can come the other route. I would suggest that you buy your ticket at Kansas City through to Nashville in the event you have to come that way, I expect you can get it cheaper than from Independence, you can go into Mr. Wrights and telephone to the agent in Kansas City and find out. I want you to get here as soon as you come no matter which route you come. Be sure to remember me to all my friends, so good bye darling, I am
Your loving husband
Frank James
Tell Mr. Glover that Wallace
is on deck and is still crying
for my blood, The contemptible dog,
and that he is, I hope to live to see the day to tell what I think.

On March 26, 1884, Alexander Franklin “Frank” James wrote his wife from Huntsville, Alabama jail. He was awaiting trial for the Muscle Shoals, AL robbery of March 11, 1881. James was accused of robbing paymaster general Alexander Smith of $5,200. In his letter he expresses longing to see his wife, Annie Ralston James, and encourages her not to worry about the threats coming from the prosecution, which was led by William H. Wallace.
A notorious outlaw and member of the James-Younger gang, Frank James had been in prison since October 4, 1882, when he voluntarily surrendered to Missouri Governor Thomas T. Crittenden. James handed Crittenden his holster and said “Governor Crittenden, I want to hand over to you that which no living man except myself has been permitted to touch since 1861, and to say that I am your prisoner.”1 His surrender occurred six months after his brother and partner in crime, Jesse James, was assassinated by Robert Ford.
After his arrest, Frank James was moved to a jail cell in Independence, MO. His reception and treatment was hardly that of a dangerous criminal. He was allowed to wave at crowds from the back of the train that transported him. A reception dinner was held for him once he arrived in Independence. Supposedly, bankers offered to post a $100,000 bail for his release. In jail, Frank was allowed books, a comfortable chair, visitors, and whatever else he requested. He felt confident that he would not be convicted since the crimes he was accused of were committed years before. In the event that he was convicted, James was certain he would pardoned by the Governor. And in a bizarre turn of events, Frank James managed to be acquitted or pardoned for every crime he was accused of committing.2
While James was being held in Independence, he was charged with the the murder of Chicago detective Whicher (1874), the Independence bank robbery and murder of John Sheets (1869), the Blue Cut train robbery (1881), and the Winston train robbery and the murder of conductor William Westfall and passenger Frank McMillan (1881). James was acquitted on all accounts because the jury was not persuaded by the testimony of the prosecution’s primary witness Dick Liddell (also spelled “Liddil”), a former member of the James-Younger gang. The eloquent closing statements of John F. Phillips and Charles P. Johnson succeeded in convincing the jury that there was not enough evidence linking James to the crimes. By this point, James had won the sympathy of most Missourians due to his Confederate loyalties and his Robin Hood-like desire to avenge his family and former members of the Quantrill guerrillas for the crimes committed against them during and after the Civil War.3
During the war, James was a member of the Quantrill guerrillas, a group of pro-Confederate bushwhackers in Missouri. James’s involvement in the group had a significant impact on his criminal career. Many of James’s later crimes were in response to the way his friends and family were treated during the war. On one particular occasion, Unionists questioned Zerelda Samuel, James’ mother, about her son’s whereabouts and the location of the Quantrill guerrillas. They pushed her around, despite the fact that she was pregnant at the time. When she refused to give up any information, they tortured Dr. Reuben Samuel (James’s step-father) by hoisting him four times from the branch of a tree. He also refused to give away any information about his step-son’s whereabouts. Desperate for information, the Unionists chased and beat Jesse, Frank’s younger brother. In the end, Zerelda and Reuben were put in jail and Jesse’s hatred for Unionists increased, leading him to join his brother as a member of the Quantrill guerrillas.4
After the war, Frank and Jesse were harassed by members of the community because they were members of the Quantrill guerrillas. The Pinkerton Detective Agency was known to be involved in hunting the brothers throughout their criminal career. Allegedly, the Pinkertons were involved in bombing the James-Samuel house one night. The family heard a noise and went to the kitchen to discover that the west side of the house was on fire. Reuben saw a bomb and tried to shovel it into the fireplace. He was too late. The bomb went off, killing Archie James and injuring Zerelda (she lost her right arm). The continuous harassment of their family and friends can be seen as one of the leading motivations behind Frank and Jesse’s criminal behavior.5
The James brothers’ motivation for the Independence Bank robbery and murder of John Sheets was to avenge the murder of their friend Bloody Bill Anderson. Supposedly, the brothers had mistaken Sheets for Major S. P. Cox, whose troops had ended Bloody Bill Anderson’s career in 1864. Others believed that the robbers thought Sheets had somehow been involved in killing Anderson.6 As for the Winston train robbery and murder of William Westfall, Jesse James believed Westfall had been aboard the train that carried the Pinkertons to the bombing of the James-Samuel house. Similarly, the criminals announced that their attack on the train at Blue Cut was in response to Chicago and Alton Railroad’s participation in the reward offer for their capture.
After James was acquitted and released in Independence, he was immediately arrested again; this time for the Muscle Shoals robbery in Alabama. He was moved to a jail in Huntsville, AL, and on April 17, 1884, Frank was tried. Like the trail in Independence, Liddell failed to convince the jury that his testimony was reliable. Furthermore, the defense called to witness several people who claimed to have seen James in Nashville at the time of the robbery, which supported James’s alibi that he had been staying in Nashville under the name B.J. Woodson when the crime took place in Alabama. He was again found not guilty.
Upon his release, James was immediately arrested for the Rocky Cut robbery of July 7, 1876, but Governor Crittenden pardoned him. For good.
James spent the next thirty years doing various jobs; he was a shoe salesman, a ticket-taker at a theater, and a telegraph operator. Right before his death, he supported himself and his family by giving tours of the James farm in Missouri for 25 cents. He died at age 71, leaving behind his wife and son.

** The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College has two other manuscripts pertaining to Frank James. They can be found here and here.

--Hannah Jarrett '12 and Becky Heiser '11

1 qtd. in Marley Brant, Jesse James: The Man and the Myth, New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1998, p. 239.
2 Michael J. Cronan, “Trial of the Century!: The Acquittal of Frank James,” Missouri Historical Review Vol. 1, Issue 2, January 1997, p. 134.
3 Cronan, p. 133-153.
4 Brant, p. 26-33.
5 Brant, p. 133-136.
6 William A. Settle, Jesse James was His Name: or, Fact and Fiction Concerning the Careers of the Notorious James Brothers of Missouri, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1977, p. 40.


A new app about a King's book; A book about a King, his book

According to its website, this app is "the first in a series of mobile apps from the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford." It features a selection of items from the current exhibition 'Manifold Greatness: Oxford and the Making of the King James Bible' (from 22 April to 4 September). (Field trip, anyone? Though if you can't make it to England by next month, you'll be able to see it U.S. through 2013.)

This app is available for both iPad and iPhone at $1.99 and $.99 respectively. It features audio commentary, images of the base text, and the original rules of translation.

And it might go well with this item that I just glimpsed on the "new books" shelf over here at the Teszler:

Majestie : the king behind the King James Bible, by David Teems. 2010.

From the publisher:
Written with a touch of the irreverent, Majestie is a shared biography: that of the first Stuart King of England (James I) and the Bible that goes by his name. It is part tabloid, part history lesson, part speculation; but it’s all James.