Archive for the ‘Historical’ category

Florence Green

February 8, 2012

I’ve blogged about World War I veterans before, but apparently, not on this blog. After some searching, I discovered that the last time I wrote about veterans of the Great War was in March of 2007, when the last American Navy and female veterans passed away in the same week. Frank Buckles, the last living American WWI veteran, passed away in February of 2011. Claude Choules died in May of 2011. He was the last surviving combat veteran of World War I.

Today I found out that Florence Green passed away on Saturday in King’s Lynn, England. She served in the WRAF (Women’s Royal Air Force) during the last year of the war. She was a mess steward at RAF bases in Marham and Narborough, England. The WRAF had women serving as mechanics, drivers, cooks, and office clerks in order to free men to serve in combat roles, according to the British National Archives. Florence Green was 110 years old. She was the last veteran of World War I. A generation has now passed on. It’s up to us now to continue the legacy of those who served in the Great War. Soon, the same will be said of World War II. Take some time to talk to a veteran about their service. One day, they won’t have the ability to share their experiences, and it will be up to us to keep their stories alive.

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A Letter from Jourdan Anderson to Col. PH Anderson

January 31, 2012

I just read the most amazing letter! Okay. It’s probably not the most amazing letter ever written. There have been some truly incredible letters written in the past, but this one does deserve mention. This is one of those things that I would love to print out and share with so many people, but it would probably get me shot and/or stabbed. Fortunately, kind readers, I don’t have to worry about that from you!

The letter is from Jourdan Anderson to Col. PH Anderson. Here’s a little background. The date is 1865. The Civil War has just ended a few months before. Col. PH Anderson served in the Confederate army. He lived in Big Spring, Tennessee, where he had owned slaves. One of those slaves was Jourdan Anderson. Since the Emancipation Proclamation was declared in 1862 and stated that all slaves from places of rebellion would be freed upon presenting themselves to the Union army beginning January 1, 1863. Jourdan Anderson was declared officially free in 1864, and he had paperwork from the army’s Department of Nashville stating as much.

It seems that Col. Anderson kindly requested Jourdan and his family to return to Big Spring to work on his farm. Jourdan responded by stating that he and his family were quite happy in Ohio. His children were receiving an education. He was earning good wages (more than the army paid white enlisted men at any time during the war). He responded that he would be happy to return to the man who had held his family in slavery and tried to shoot him twice on a few conditions. He wanted to make sure that he would be paid at least as well as he was in Ohio. He wanted to be sure his children could attend a school in Big Spring. He also said that he expected back pay for the time he and his wife had spent working as slaves in return for considering Col. Anderson’s offer of employment. His calculations for his thirty-two years and his wife’s twenty years of labor would amount to $11,680 plus interest. He asked that this be forwarded to him through an attorney in Dayton, OH.

In case you’re wondering, that’s $172,026.09 plus interest adjusted for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index estimates I was able to find for 1865. I’m pretty sure that told Col. Anderson where he could stick his offer! If only I could show this letter to some of my die-hard pro-southern friends, who for some reason find a need to try to cast a positive light on slavery!