Al Spalding

Today I did some research on the America’s Historical Newspaper on Al Spalding and found some interesting facts about him and the Chicago White Stockings. Spalding had many good games and I even found out some rare times when he did not do so well. One article I found reported that when Chicago beat the Cincinnati Reds 15-9 on May 2nd, that day was was a normal day for the White Stockings and Al Spalding had a normal day also. Another article, dated April 27, described a game where Chicago obliterated the Louisville Browns 10 to 0. That article also states how Spalding was the only one from the Chicago White Stocking to Push Jim Devlin to his limits hitting 3 of the 8 base hits. Spalding and McVey had exceptional playing that day at pitching and first base.

These articles are helping me learn about the individual aspects of the teams and how people perceived how they played.

Cayetano Mariotini: Short time, Big Impact (Part 1)

Cayetano’s time in the United States was relatively short.  From what I have gathered thus far, he arrived in the US via Cuba in 1809.  Upon arrival, Cayetano promptly joined a circus troupe with Victor Adolphus Pépin and Jean Baptiste Casmiere Breschard.  Their’s was an equestrian circus company of known as The Circus of Pépin and Breschard The Circus of Pepin and Breschard is considered the first American circus, and is mentioned in the United States Congresional Record of 1810.  Cayetano was made an apprentice and began touring with the company.  In the following years Pépin and Breschard’s company built circus theatres in cities across the United States, including New York City, New Orleans, Charlestown (Mass.), Baltimore, Richmond, Alexandria, Charleston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.  In addition to the US theaters, they also built a theatre in Montreal, Canada. The oldest continuously operating theatre in the English-speaking world and the oldest theatre in the United States, the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, was built by Pépin and Breschard in 1809.  Eventually, Pepin and Breschard made Cayetano a partner and the company became know as The Circus of  Pépin, Breschard and Mariotini.  Circus troupes associated with The Circus of  Pépin, Breschard and Mariotini  were the first to bring a circus west of the Appalachian Mountains to such frontier cities as Pittsburgh, PA, where Benjamin Latrobe, a designer of the United States Capitol, was the architect for a circus he built for them in 1814.  In 1815, Cayetano branched out on his own with New Orleans in his sights.  

File:Breschard the circus rider full.jpg

Portrait of John Bill Ricketts or Breschard, the Circus Rider, circa 1808

National Portrait Gallery, Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828)

The Battle of Liberty Place

I had a very fruitful day at the library today, thanks to the spectacular efforts of Connie Phelps and Sonnet Ireland. I was able to find an article in an issue of the Louisiana Historical Quarterly about the history of the events leading up to the battle, and the after effects of the conflict. What’s really exciting about the article is it contains a report from the leader of the White League forces and also the State Supreme Court’s take on the events. I’ve also checked out Jacob A. Wagner’s dissertation, The Myth of Liberty Place: Race and Public Memory in New Orleans, in hopes that I will come across some useful works in his bibliography. With America’s Historical Newspaper database, I found that the New-Orleans Times covered the incident quite extensively. I was surprised to find that the Times even had a report on the battle the day after it happened.

Little Big Horn

While researching Major Marcus Albert Reno, I came across a document on the Library of Congress on the trial of Marcus Albert Reno after the Battle of Little Big horn. The trial was the military vs. Albert Reno from special orders from the headquarters of the Army General’s Office in Washington, DC. The original court date was scheduled for January 13, 1879 for his conduct during the Battle of Little Big Horn. Nineteen people were summoned to testify during the trial. The trial was to take place in Chicago, IL. On the 13th of January, Reno was waiting for his lawyer Lyman D. Gilbert, so the court was suspended until the two days later. On the 15th, Reno’s attorney arrived in Chicago and the court convened. The first matter of business was a letter sent from Reno to man named Whitaker. Reno did not want this letter to be evidence for the trial. His lawyer tried to get it dismissed, but the court ruled it would be evidence. The first person to take the stand was a lieutenant named Edward McGuire. McGuire was an engineer officer that arrived after the battle was over. The court had asked him questions about positioning on maps, location of the dead, condition of the grounds, and proximity of locations. The lieutenant responded to the mapping questions and the map was allocated as exhibit 2. The positions of each battalion (American and Indian) were placed on a map for the court to have a visual illustration. McGuire also explained to the court the morale of the troops upon his arrival. He claimed Reno’s men had mixed emotions, from crying to insanity. The court documents are long and lengthy. I am looking forward to see what is in the letter that Reno wrote to Whitaker and why he did not want the courts to have it in the trial. I made it through the first 40 pages and I have about 600 to go.

Louisiana Woman – New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic

 

In reading about Caroline’s daughter, Laura, having died of Yellow Fever she would have been one of thousands to have succumbed to this dreaded disease in New Orleans although it affected many other states as well.

The outbreaks occurred off and on starting in 1796.  In the summer of 1853, 29,120 people contracted the disease and 8,647 died from it.  Newspapers and citizens began to call it the “Black Day.”  In the 100-year period between 1800 and 1900, yellow fever assaulted New Orleans for sixty-seven summers.

Before the source of the disease was discovered, people tried many things for a “cure.”  Physicians relied upon bloodletting, blistering, purging, leeching, vomiting, and mercury.  Note the advertising for leeches.

It was also common in the antebellum era to shoot cannons and burn barrels of tar during epidemics hoping the disrupting the dangerous “miasma” in the air, which was believed to be a cause of the disease.

The Yellow Fever attacks in Louisiana occurred less after the Civil War.  At mosquito.JPGthe time, physicians believed that the disease was bacterial and was transmitted through human waste.  However, in 1881 a Cuban physician, Dr. Charles Finlay, had developed a theory that the disease was transmitted through the common mosquito but his findings were dismissed.  Dr. Walter Reed proved Finlay’s theory in 1900.  The epidemics ended in New Orleans in October 1905.

Source:  Kelley, Laura D. “Yellow Fever.” In KnowLA Encyclopedia of Louisiana, edited by David Johnson.  Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, 2010-. Article published January 16, 2011.  http://www.knowla.org/entry/766/.

Photo Source:  Swedish Leeches – Newspaper Advertisement, January 9, 1852, From the Daily Delta. Photo Source:  Mosquito, http://historyofcollierville.wikispaces.com/Yellow+Fever.

Photo Source:  Yellow Fever –  http://www.louisianahistory.org/education/quiz4.html, Courtesy of Harper’s Weekly.

Photo Source:  The female Aegi aegepti mosquito,” The Secret of the Yellow Death, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, New York, New York, 2009, p. 28

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The Battle of Liberty Place

After reading more of Joe Gray Taylor’s Louisiana Reconstructed, I learned that there was quite an audience watching the battle: “thousands of spectators watched from windows, rooftops, and boats on the Mississippi” (Taylor 294). I suppose it must have been a spectacular sight to see such a large fight break out in downtown New Orleans. I also learned that Longstreet and Badger’s forces faced a much larger regiment of troops with the White League commanding around 8,400 men while Longstreet and Badger had about 3,600 men. As Taylor notes, the casualties on both sides were relatively light considering the number of men involved and the rather close quarters fighting in downtown New Orleans. The Republican side lost eleven men with sixty others wounded, while the White League lost twenty-one men with nineteen wounded.

Joe Gray Taylor. Louisiana Reconstructed 1863-1877. Louisiana State University Press, 1974.

Al Spalding Father of Baseball

A major person in Al Spalding baseball career was William Hulbert. William Hulbert was the founder of the National League of baseball. He determined that the League should be founded on square dealings, recognition of contracts, and business integrity along with a more orderly game on the field through prohibitions on drinking, gambling, and Sunday baseball. He was also the owner of the Chicago White Stockings. Hulbert was able to get Al Spalding away from the Boston Red Caps with a huge contract and with him he gained few other players from Boston. William Hulbert’s Chicago White Stockings one the first National League championship.

William A. Hulbert, president of National League

William A. Hulbert, president of NationalLeague,The A. G. Spalding Baseball Collection at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=137670&imageID=56505&total=10&num=0&word=national%20league%20of%20baseball&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&imgs=20&pos=2&e=r&cdonum=0