Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sample Chapter - November 28, 1799 - John Rice Jones Appointed to Carry Mail

Northwest Territory Seal
Sample Chapter
A Timeline of Indiana History - 1795 - 1800
November 28, 1799 - John Rice Jones Appointed to Carry Mail 
The Buffalo Trace, which stretched from the Falls of the Ohio to the frontier town of Kaskaskia, Illinois, served as a highway for pioneers to enter the Northwest Territory and as a mail route. On November 28, 1799 the United State Postmaster General Joseph Habersham appointed John Rice
Jones to carry mail along the Trace.
John Rice Jones (February 11, 1759 – February 1, 1824)
the son of John and Ann Jones, John was native to Mallwyd, Wales. in Great Britain. Jones gained admittance to the bar and practiced law in London, He married Eliza Powell in 1781. In 1784 Jones traveled to Philadelphia. The next year he returned to England and brought his wife and one son to America. He also had a daughter, Maria, who was in frail health. He left her in the care of relatives. He would move to Louisville, Kentucky in 1784. That same year he joined the force raised by General George Rogers Clark to quell native unrest. Clark established a fort at Vincennes and appointed Jones as Commissary General. His family joined him in Vincennes, however Eliza died in childbirth in 1787. Jones remained in Vincennes until 1807, when he would move to Kaskaskia, Illinois. During his years in Vincennes, in addition to his postal duties, Governor Harrison appointed him to serve as the first Attorney General in the Indiana Territory, and to the Territorial Legislature in 1805.
The Buffalo Trace
The Buffalo Trace began in the prairies of Illinois as the herds of buffalo headed east toward the licks. It crossed the Wabash River near the site of Vincennes, Indiana, providing the French with an ideal spot to establish the trading post that became the city. It crossed southern Indiana, nearing the Ohio River at its shallowest point, the Falls of the Ohio. After crossing the river, the bison traveled across northern Kentucky until they reached the area of the licks. In places, the Trace was up to twenty feet wide. Amerindians used the trace to both hunt the bison and travel cross-country. Since it connected the Ohio, Wabash and Mississippi Rivers the trace provided a highway for the white settlers that wished to go west. Today portions of U. S. 150 follow the Trace, which is now part of the National Scenic Byways Program.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways/byways/76130
The Mail Route
Jones received a salary of $600 per year to deliver the mail every four weeks and to maintain the Trace. Jones improved the Trace and Habersham designated the Trace as a post road on March 22, 1800. Many believe the 130-mile route was the first "western" mail route. Two men carried the mail on foot over the Trace, by now a weekly route.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Sample Chapter - The Discoverers - Bartholomew Gosnold

Sample Chapter
The Discoverers
Bartholomew Gosnold
May 15, 1602 - Cape Cod Discovered By English Navigator Bartholomew Gosnold 
Gosnold launched an expedition to attempt permanent settlement in the New World in 1602. Sassafras was one of the major products they wanted. After reaching the southern coast of modern day Maine on May 14, 1602, he sailed south and encountered Cape Cod. John Brereton, who accompanied the expedition as navigator, recorded the voyage in his journal. The publishing of that journal later that year helped publicize the possibilities of the new land.
Bartholomew Gosnold (1571 – 22 August 1607)
Anthony Gosnold and Dorothy Bacon birthed their son, Bartholomew, near Suffolk, England. He attended the University of Cambridge and studied law at Middle Temple. In 1602 he sought, and gained, backing to mount an expedition to the New World to found a permanent settlement. The trading posts up to this time were of short duration. Because of the desirable products they obtained merchants wanted permanent settlements.
John Brereton (ca. 1571/1572 - ca. 1632)
Brereton came from a prosperous Norwich, England merchant family. He attended Cambridge University, receiving his master's degree in 1593 and his bachelor’s degree in 1596. He entered the ministry by ordination into the Church of England later in 1596. He took a curacy at Lawshall, Suffolk. The parish there included Bartholomew Gosnold's cousins and it is probably through them that he became acquainted with Bartholomew Gosnold. He served as navigator during Gosnold's voyage and kept a journal of their experiences. Upon his return he organized and published them as Briefe and True Relation of the Discoverie of the North Part of Virginia in 1602. This account of their experiences helped publicize the New World and aided later colonization efforts.
Sassafras
The Sassafras tree can grow to sixty feet tall, with straight trunks. Virginia and the eastern part of this New World had bountiful stands of this much desired tree. Sassafras produces two things that the English wanted. Its strong, beautiful wood was a durable building material. The fragrant tree produces rich safrole, oil that is useful for many things. All parts of the tree contain this oil, but the root has the biggest concentration. The oil, distilled from the roots, finds use as an ingredient in perfumes and soaps. A tea made from the roots many believed cured the ague and flavored root beer. Sassafras was banned in 1960 because of a link to liver cancer. Safrol free oils are now permitted for flavoring and use as a tonic.
The 1602 Voyage and Settlement
English efforts to colonize North America had so far failed, but many still desired to establish colonies there to trade with the Amerindians for the furs, tobacco, sassafras and other desirable products. Gosnold, Brereton and thirty-one others set sail from Falmouth, England on March 26, 1602. They arrived on May 14 and discovered Cape Cod the next day. On May 16 they discovered, and named, Martha's Vineyard and Elizabeth Islands. On Elizabeth Island they built a stockade. Brereton planted some experimental crops that included wheat, barley, and peas. These did quite well in the rich soil. The explorers established trading relations with the local tribes and traded with them for the furs, skins, sassafras and other highly desirable items. They considered creating a permanent settlement on that spot, but decided that their numbers were too few and that they had inadequate provisions. They departed for England on July 23, 1602.
Aftermath
Brereton's account, which is still available to read, describes the explorer's experiences in what would become Virginia. He detailed the plants, abundant supplies of fish and wildlife present there. He also wrote about the rich soil and how fast his experimental plantings went. He wrote it to promote the bounty of the new land. Gosnold went on to become an influential member of the later successful Jamestown settlement in 1607.

The Discoverers

Description:
The Discovers will include short biographies of all the early European explorers of the New World. They include Christopher Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, Humphrey Gilbert, Bartholomew Gosnold and many more.
Summer 2020
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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Sample Chapter - A History of Batesville - Bischoff Reservoir

Sample Chapter 
A History of Batesville 
 Bischoff Reservoir
Elevation - 957.43 Feet Above Sea Level
Brief History
Constructed in 1960 on Bob's Creek, the city owned lake provides about 1200 acre feet of water to serve Batesville's need. Since this is about 79% of the lakes capacity, managing for fishing is difficult. Workers drained the lake in 1966 to improve the quality of the water and remove undesirable fish. A fish survey at the time of draining revealed that the lake held about 300 pounds of fish per acre. The city restocked the lake after it refilled with large mouth bass, red ear sunfish, channel catfish, and white catfish.
Location
Bounded by Indiana State Road 46 on the north, Indiana State Road 129 on the west, County Road 1300 N to the south and County Road 450 E, the 200 acre lake serves as a major water supply for the City of Batesville. The thirty-eight foot tall, 640 foot long earthen dam may be seen from County Road 1400 N, accessed from Indiana State Road 129. Residential housing developments, forest and agricultural lands surround the lake. Bischoff's has an average depth of  8.1 feet, with the deepest point about 27 feet. Bischoff's has a watershed of about five square miles.
Water Capacity and Lake Access
With a capacity of 624 million gallons and 1920 acre feet capacity, the lake also affords area anglers with ample catches of channel catfish, large mouth bass, smallmouth bass and white crappie. Anglers will find a concrete ramp public access site on County Road 1400 N, accessed from Church Street in nearby Morris, Indiana east of Batesville on Indiana State Road 46. Boats with gasoline motors of up to six horsepower and electric trolling motors are permitted to use the lake. Anglers must possess an Indiana Fishing License. Bischoff's is also locally known as the Morris Reservoir or the Batesville Reservoir.

A History of Batesville, Indiana


A History of Batesville, Indiana
Description:
A history of Batesville, its organizations, churches, highways, waterways and more.
Publishing Date - TBA
Sometime in 2020


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Sample Chapter 1
Ripley County History Series
Historic Travel Guide to Ripley County
A History of Indiana Libraries - Ripley County Edition
A History of Napoleon, Indiana
Indiana Fire Departments History - Ripley County Edition  - Published Spring 2020
A History of Batesville, Indiana


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Thursday, January 30, 2020

Sample Chapter - Gardener's Guide to the Raised Garden Bed -Garden Soil Types - A Quick Soil Primer

Sample Chapter
Gardener's Guide to the Raised Garden Bed
Garden Soil Types - A Quick Soil Primer
Soil is the top several inches of the earth's crust. Soil is necessary for civilization to exist, as it supports the plant life that sustains forests, plains, agriculture and other habitats. Five basic factors influence the formation of soil, the bedrock, climate, local fauna and flora, topography and the passage of time. The gardener will find three layers of soils underlying their garden, the topsoil, and subsoil and parent material. The parent material is the minerals that originally formed the soil. The subsoil is the intermediate level between topsoil and the parent material and will have some qualities of both. The topsoil is the part that concerns most gardeners.
In the Dirt
On average a soil will contain about twenty-five percent air, forty-five percent mineral matter, twenty-five percent water and about five percent organic matter. These levels can vary according to soil type, location, rainfall and other factors. The average soil will include a number of organisms that live in it. These include earthworms, grubs, fungus, bacteria and plant roots.
Topsoil
Topsoil is the first layer of soil, and is the major concern of the gardener. Topsoil can range from a thin layer over the underlying subsoil, or several inches. Good garden topsoil can contain between two and ten percent organic matter. A good garden soil must have the following qualities:
Good aeration, to allow root penetration and allow oxygen to penetrate the soil
Porous enough to allow drainage, but not so porous as to allow soils to dry quickly
Moisture retentive
Soil Composition
Improving Topsoil
The major effort of the gardener should be to work constantly to improve the topsoil quality and fertility. Fertile, loose topsoil will produce healthy, fast growing plants. Healthy plants will suffer less insect damage, have fewer diseases and produce top quality vegetables with maximum nutrition. Poor management of topsoil can cause them to erode away quickly, exposing the less desirable subsoil.
The gardener will encounter six basic types of soils:
Loam
Clay
Silt
Chalk
Sand
Saline
Note, there are other soil types, but these are the most common.

Loam
Loam is the ideal type of soil for most types of agriculture. This soil will have about equal quantities of sand, silt and clay. It will also boast a high organic content. A good loam has all the qualities listed above, will warm quickly in the spring, be easy to cultivate and is ideal for the greatest number of plant types. The gardener constantly replenishes the organic, humus content of the soil. The gardener can use his fingers to test loam soil. The soil should be dark in color that is smooth to the feel and have a slightly gritty feel. A ball formed by pressing the soil together should crumble easily.
Clay
Clay particles are quite fine and create a tightly packed soil. Clay is high in nutrients and retains water well. It will take clay soils longer to warm in the spring and since these soils have good water retention, they tend to dry out slow. A clay soil will form a ball that does not crumble easily. Damp or wet clay soil is sticky to the touch. It is harder to cultivate, especially when wet as it has a tendency to stick to garden tools. Clay soils will grow good plants, as it is fertile. Improve using mulches, compost or green manure crops to add organic matter. Adding organic matter will also improve drainage.
Silt
Silty soils are silky to the touch and will leave a soil stain on the fingers. These soils heat up slowly in the spring. These soils are quite fertile and have excellent water retention. However, because of this trait, they compact easily and sometimes plants have a hard time extracting nutrients from the dense soil structure. Some plant roots will rot in these soils. If better drainage can be achieved, possibly by using raised beds, silt soils can make an excellent garden site. As with other soils, use compost, mulches and green manures to add organic content.
Sand
Made up of quartz, silica and other minerals, sandy soils feel gritty to the touch. Sandy soils allow water to drain away quickly and escape by evaporation. They tend to be low in fertility. It will not form a ball when rolled between the hands. Plants have difficulty using any nutrients in the soil, as they drain away quickly. These soils do warm up in the spring quickly and are easy to cultivate. Adding compost, using green manures and mulches can increase the quality of a sandy soil.
Peaty Soils
Peaty soils are dark and have a spongy, damp feel when compressed. Its high acidic content leads to slower decomposition of plant matter, leading to lower soil fertility. These soils also heat up quickly in the spring and have excellent water retention. Because they tend to stay wet, the gardener should supply some drainage like tiling it or use raised beds. Using lime or wood ashes can raise the ph level. Add compost or manure to increase soil fertility. These soils make excellent garden soils.
Quick Soil Type Test
Pour a trowel full of soil into a glass jar. Fill with water and shake well. Allow this to settle for several hours. In clay and silt soils, the water will remain cloudy. A layer of soil particles will form on the bottom of the jar. In peaty soils, several particles will float on the surface, some will sink to the bottom and the water will remain cloudy. In sandy soils, the water will be clear and a layer of sand will form at the bottom of the jar. A loam soil will leave the water mostly clear. The bottom should have several layers of soil particles on the bottom of the jar.
Soil PH
The ph scale indicates whether a soil is acid, neutral or alkaline. The ph range scale runs from 0 - 14, with soils below 7 classified as acidic and over 7 as alkaline. Most vegetable crops prefer a range between 5.5 and 7.0. The gardener can use a test kit from a garden supply store to test the ph. Use lime, or wood ashes to correct soil that is too acidic. Use aluminum sulfate to correct alkaline soils. Use care using these materials, as it is easy to overcorrect.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Sample Chapter - Short History of Political Parties - James Madison on Political Parties

Sample Chapter
Short History of Political Parties
James Madison on Political Parties
Like Washington and many other of the Founding Fathers, Madison distrusted political parties during the time the men labored at crafting the document. Unlike Washington, Madison came to embrace political parties as a means of controlling differing political factions.
To understand Madison's view, we must first understand the two fundamental fears of the Founding Fathers. These were consolidation of power and fear of the majority. The Framers designed the Constitution to inhibit any faction from gaining supremacy and that majority rule would be difficult for any faction to achieve. Madison's view evolved to a point that he believed that the key to controlling factions was to create a large number of them, ensuring that none could achieve a majority. Madison defined a faction as:
“a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” 
Many readers will see the modern special interest groups as the embodiment of Madison's definition.
Madison came to believe that the best way to avoid the tyranny of the majority was to expand the political sphere of the United States as much as possible, fragmenting political factions and preventing any one faction from gaining a majority. This would force factions to compromise and encourage consensus government rather than the tyranny of majority rule. The construction of the Constitution thus discourages rapid change of policy. Instead, it encourages gradual change over a long period of time, allowing society to gauge the success of certain policies and allow for change along the way. Madison came to understand that political parties were necessary for the proper functioning of the Constitution.
Madison called the form of government that he had helped creat an "Extended Republic."
Note that he did not call it a democracy.
A democracy is a governmental form in  which the people participate directly.
A republic is a form of government in which people elect representatives to represent their views.
In explanation, Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers:
“The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended. The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens…”
Madison believed that an extended republic diluted the power of factions. He believed that a democratic form of government would lead to tyranny.