Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Little Thanksgiving History

The First Thanksgiving 1621 by Jean Leon Jerome Ferris.
Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November, 1863 to be a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” It established Thanksgiving as an annual holiday in the United States.

From the days of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress or Congress or a president would declare “national days of prayer, humiliation, and thanksgiving” at various times through the years.

Governors of the various states, too, thought it appropriate to give thanks. Governor Robert P. Letcher proclaimed the First Thanksgiving Day in Kentucky back on September 26, 1844.

Of course, Thanksgiving is traditionally recognized as having been a harmonious celebration between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in the Massachusetts Colony. In reality, the Pilgrims celebrated a successful harvest. That “thanksgiving” lasted three days.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jack Jouett: Portrait of An American Hero

No portrait of Captain Jack Jouett was ever painted; his profile is known only through a silhouette. His story, like his face, have been by and large forgotten by history at-large. But for those who recall the tale of Captain Jouett, he has been remembered as the "Paul Revere of the South."

Silhouette of Capt. Jack Jouett
Jouett, a Virginian by birth, heard that the British were coming one night while sleeping at the Cuckoo Tavern in Louisa County, Virginia. He hurried on a 40-mile ride to Charlottesville on the back of his bay mare, Sally. His rush to was to warn the members of the Virginia legislature and Thomas Jefferson that the British were headed in their direction with the intent of capturing the Patriots. All but seven legislators successfully escaped thanks to Jouett's heroics. (Jefferson leisurely stayed at Monticello and escaped himself by horseback with only second to spare, but Jouett definitely warned him!)

A new children's book published this year, Jack Jouett: Portrait of An American Hero tells the story of this brave man, his devoted horse and the daring midnight ride of June 3, 1781. Recommended for readers ages 8-12, the story is told from the perspective of Matthew Jouett (the Captain's son).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fighting to Save a Kentucky Landmark: Ridgeway

On Veterans Day, the Harrison County Fiscal Court chose to ‘honor’ the memory of one of Kentucky’s most prominent Veterans by voting to demolish his residence, Ridgeway (aka The Handy House), just 3 years shy of its 200th birthday. This former home of U.S. Congressman and War of 1812 Veteran, Colonel William Brown, sits at the top of a hill in the 'new' Flat Run Veterans Park off Oddville Pike, heading out of Cynthiana. The park has existed for nearly ten years, but it remains unfinished, and the local population has been divided on what to do with this structurally sound, but cosmetically challenged historic treasure.

The history of the house is quite remarkable. As mentioned above, the original owner was U.S. Congressman and War of 1812 Veteran, Colonel William Brown. He was an attorney and close friend of Henry Clay. Both served in the 16th Congress, which established the Missouri Compromise. Colonel Brown's wife, Harriet Warfield, was the sister of Lexington's Dr. Elisha Warfield. He is well known as the owner of the famed racehorse Lexington and as the physician who delivered Mary Todd Lincoln.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Lost Lexington Interview

On Sunday, November 9, 2014, the iHeartRadio networks in Kentucky aired this radio interview about Lost Lexington. Interviewing Peter Brackney was Suzanne Duval. I wanted to share the audio with you all, so I created a video to make it a little more interested. This is my first stab at any sort of video editing, but it was fun so it may be worth utilizing more on the Kaintuckeean. 

As for the book, the next event is on Saturday at Costco. Check out more details over on Lost Lexington's Facebook page. You can read about other coverage of Lost Lexington by clicking here.


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