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Friday, January 27, 2017

Abolition Whig? Politics in the Family Tree

Looking through old brown envelopes with xerox pages of really old journals has caught me by storm today.  I pulled out an envelope with the journal of Harvey N REED that a kind cousin sent to me years ago--  like maybe 12 or so?

Cousin Harvey kept this journal from about 1895 to 1898 while he was living at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Ohio.  He was from the Pittsburgh area and most certainly a cousin of mine by marriage, if not by blood.

In this awesome journal of old are his musings, his thoughts, and most importantly, memories of his family members.  Also found in this journal are many mentions of his family that are also my blood kin.  What a treat to just sit and read again!

What caught my eye today are the descriptions he provided of many of the family.  Many entries have their approximate height, weight, hair and eye color, complexion,  dates of birth, death, how long they were ill, occupation, religious beliefs and their political leanings.

How many times does one find a mention of an Abolition Whig?  So what was that?  From my reading, the Whig party was started around 1834 as an opposition to Andrew Jackson.  I found it amusing to learn the Whig party won the popular vote in the mid 1800s in presidential elections, while the Democrat VAN BUREN won the electoral majority.  Sounds like a page out of our recent election--  just change the party, and well, you know......

It appears the family was rather equally divided between the political parties of the times they lived.  Robert appears to have been the only Abolition Whig.

In the journal is also a mention of a marriage that took place in November 1840.  What I found of interest is the added note that the marriage took place on the day W H HARRISON was elected.  HARRISON is remembered for his two hour inaugural address in cold, damp weather.  He caught a cold, and then developed pneumonia and passed away on month later.

Ahh, genealogy. Let me sit and count my family members who have been in office--  from City Council, Mayor, Senator, to, oh yes, a President.

©2017  AS Eldredge


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