Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Sample Chapter - Clifty Falls Indiana State Park - General Geology Clifty Falls State Park

Sample Chapter
General Geology Clifty Falls State Park
The area of Clifty Falls State Park lies on an area geologists call the Cincinnati Arch. This geological formation stretches between the Illinois Basin, in south central Illinois, and the Appalachian Basin, which slants southwest through eastern Virginia. The rock layers in the area of the park slant towards the west with the younger rock faces to the west and the older to the east. The exposed rock is mostly composed of a substance geologists call Laurel Dolomite. This rock is more resistant to erosion that the rocks on either side of the park, thus it formed a ridge through the park and nearby Madison. This ridge created a drainage divide. Precipitation falling east of this divide flows eastward and that falling west of the divide fell west. Rains that fell in the Madison area cascaded over the harder Dolomite, forming waterfalls and cascades that tumbled into the deeper Ohio River. The falls at Clifty Falls originally fell directly into the river, however over the centuries the running water carved the current canyon that runs from the falls to the Ohio River, about 2 miles to the south. The falls is at an elevation of 658 feet above sea level and the Ohio River is at 432 feet above sea level, so the stream bed is about 226 feet below the canyon rim near the river.  Since the rock on both sides of the canyon slants west, rainwater on the east percolates down through the rock on the eastern canyon wall, forming springs that freeze into the beautiful frozen waterfalls on the east face of the canyon. This percolating water creates openings in the rock that over many years break it apart, causing the large boulders seen at the canyons base. The water on the western rim falls to the west, thus the western face is more stable as the water does not percolate through it.
© 2020 Paul Wonning
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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Sample Chapter - Short Histories of Traditional Crafts - Spinning and Weaving History

Sample Chapter 
Spinning and Weaving History

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Spinning tufts of fiber into thread, or yarn, is a craft that dates back to prehistoric times. The earliest form of spinning fiber into yarn was to roll tufts of fibers down the thigh with the hands. The rolling action twisted the fiber into yarn. The spinner kept adding tufts until they had the desired length. The next step up in spinning technology was to wind the fibers in a loose wad around a long stick called a distaff. The spinner attached a few strands of fiber to a tool called a spindle, which is a short, round, weighted stick. The spinner spins the loose fibers, twisting them, while pulling more fibers from the distaff. As the resulting yarn gains length, the spinner stops to wind the yarn around the spindle, and continues the process until they have a roll of yarn, ready for weaving into cloth. This was a daily chore that women performed, spinning wool, flax fibers, cotton or animal hair into thread. Historians are unsure of when the first spinning wheels appeared, however many think the originated sometime around 1030 in the Arabian world. From there, it spread to China and then to Europe. The spinning wheel was the first step in mechanizing the spinning process. Using the spinning wheel, the spinner starts twisting the wool with the fingers to form a thread by hand. When the spinner has a sufficient length, they thread the yarn through an orifice in the end of the spool, through hooks on a part of the spinning wheel called a flyer. The yarn is then tied securely onto the spool. The spinning wheel has groves that run to another groove on the end of the spool. An arm of the wheel attaches to a foot pedal by means of a crank. When the wool is secured to the spool, the spinner holds the bundle of fiber in the hand and gives the wheel a gentle push, starting it. The spinner can then work the fibers into thread, called carding, which the flyer twists before it wraps around the spool. The spinner keeps the wheel spinning by pumping with the foot while performing this operation. The spinning wheel made the spinning process go much faster than using the distaff and spindle.

Mechanizing the Process

This was the process used to spin cotton, wool, flax and other fibers into yarn for centuries. Lewis Paul and John Wyatt devised the first type of mechanized spinning in 1738. Over time water wheels and then steam engines provided power for the spinning apparatus. Today the process has been fully mechanized, however many crafters still practice the age old art of using the spinning wheel and the spindle and distaff methods.
Weaving threads into cloth is an ancient art that dates back into prehistory. Archeological evidence indicates that it appeared independently in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas at different times. The simplest form of weaving was the band weaving method. In this process, the weaver simply tied thread to two sticks an equal distance apart. Then she would weave the cords, or thread, between the tied threads, creating narrow bands of cloth. They could wrap these narrow bands around them to form skirts, kilts or other apparel. Or they could sew the bands together to make something larger. Sometime around 6000 BC weavers started building looms. The first ones were simply a wooden frame on which they could tie the thread, or cord, and then weave other threads between them. This was a slow process and the cloth produced this way was quite expensive. Over time they developed the shed rod, which is a stick you could run between the threads fastened on the loom, separating every other thread. They next used a tool called a sword to raise half the cords at the same time. The invention of a device called a heddle road, sometime around 500 BC, allowed the weaving process to go much faster, lowering the price of the finished cloth. People living in different areas of the world used different types of cloth. In South America the natives used cotton and the fur of alpacas and llamas. In Medieval Europe it was mostly wool, linen, nettle cloth and cotton. Asia developed the silk industry, but also wove using various types of plant fiber like abaca and banana. Other improvements to the loom and the weaving process in the Eighteenth Century during the Industrial Revolution led to the construction of large mills in which thread was spun and then woven into cloth.
© 2020 Paul Wonning

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Indiana State Park Travel Guide Series Box Set

Indiana State Park Travel Guide Series Box Set
McCormick's Creek State Park
Turkey Run Indiana State Park
Clifty Falls Indiana State Park
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Clifty Falls Indiana State Park

Clifty Falls Indiana State Park
Clifty Falls State Park offers visitors a premier hiking experience as well as wonderful camping opportunities. This guide includes the history of the park as well as historical and tourism information for Madison and Jefferson County, Indiana. 
Sample Chapter

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Other Books in the Series
McCormick's Creek State Park
Turkey Run Indiana State Park
Clifty Falls Indiana State Park
Available In Multiple Formats - Ebook And Softbound:

Monday, July 20, 2020

Timeline of United States History Box Set

Timeline of United States History Box Set
Colonial American History Stories - 1215 - 1664
Colonial American History Stories - 1665 - 1753
Colonial American History Stories - 1753 - 1763
Colonial American History Stories - 1763 - 1769
Colonial American History Stories - 1770 - 1774
An American Revolution Time Line - 1775
Discover some of the famous and almost forgotten historic stories of America. The story beginns with the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the beginnings of the concept of limited government and ends, for now, with the beginning of the American Revolution in 1775.
Six Volume Set
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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Sample Chapter - Short History of Roads and Highways - Indiana Edition - Forks of the Wabash

Sample Chapter 
Short History of Roads and Highways - Indiana Edition 
Forks of Wabash
This historical marker in Huntington, County notes the location of an important portage road that linked the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River.
Title of Marker:
Forks of Wabash
Business US 24/ W. Park Drive, east of SR 9 junction, Huntington. (Huntington County, Indiana)
Installed by:
Society of Indiana Pioneers
Marker ID #: 
Marker Text: 
The junction of the Wabash and Little rivers, 100 yards south, was the western terminus of the Maumee-Wabash long portage and, in 1835, of the first section of the Wabash and Erie Canal. During the 18th century French and English traders passed this way and, in 1778, Henry Hamilton brought 171 British troops and 350 Indians with 40 boats through the portage en-route to retake Fort Sackville at Vincennes. Three Miami villages were located here and Chiefs Richardville and LaFontaine once lived here. The Forks was the scene of many Indian councils and the Miami Treaties of 1834, 1838 and 1840.
Brief History by the Author
During the late Seventeenth Century the Miami tribe controlled one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the Ohio River Valley. The area between the St. Mary's River and Wabash River proved the shortest portage point between two great waterways, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The portage, or "carrying place" in French, allowed travelers moving by water access to the Mississippi River from the St. Lawrence River and beyond. The French utilized the portage, at the pleasure of the Miami, during their early explorations into the North American interior. The Miami realized the importance of the portage, as it had been used by Amerindian tribes for centuries. The tribe allowed their friends, the French, to use it, after paying a toll.
The Importance of the Portage
Traveling by canoe, a traveler could voyage from Lake Erie up the Maumee River to the junction of three rivers, the Maumee, St. Joseph and St. Mary's. From the junction, the route turned southeast on the St. Mary's to the portage point. Canoeists needed only carry their canoes a short distance, which varied by the season of the year, only a few miles from the portage point on the St. Mary's River to the Wabash. Once in the Wabash a traveler could journey down the Wabash to the Ohio and on to the Mississippi. The French used to portage point to move goods from their colonies in New France to New Orleans. The Amerindians used it to move the furs they collected to their trading partners further east. All these travelers had to pass through the lands of the Miami Indians, who collected a toll from everyone.
Fort Wayne
Realizing the importance of the spot where the three rivers joined, the French established a trading post near the junction in 1715, followed in 1722 by a fort. The English also occupied the site after driving the French from North America at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. General Anthony Wayne built another fort on the junction during the Indian Wars. Many of the treaty negotiations between the Amerindians and the United States took place there. The portage maintained importance until the 1830's, when the Wabash-Erie Canal made it unnecessary.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sample Chapter - Short History of Political Parties - 1844 Election

Sample Chapter - Short History of Political Parties 
1844 Election
The Issues
The issues of the 1844 election revolved around the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the proposed annexation of Texas and slavery.
Manifest Destiny
The concept of manifest destiny has existed since the beginning of the Republic. Never a set political doctrine, the philosophy of manifest destiny embodied the idea that the United States should pursue a course of continuous expansion and that it was the destiny of the United States to occupy the entire North American continent from "sea to shining sea." The concept did not receive a name until James L. O'Sullivan, a Democratic party head, proclaimed in 1845:
".... the right of our manifest destiny to over spread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federaltive development of self government entrusted to us. It is right such as that of the tree to the space of air and the earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and destiny of growth."
Continued Expansion
The concept now had a name for the force that had thus far driven American expansion. The Northwest Indian Wars of the late 18th Century, the Florida Crises of 1818 and the movement to subjugate the Amerindian tribes had all been manifestations of this unspoken creed. The pressures between slave and free state expansion would ultimately become one of the many reasons the Civil War broke out 20 years later.
Manifest Destiny and the 1844 Election
James Polk campaigned on the theme of continued expansion by supporting the acquisition of the territory that would become the Oregon Territory and the annexation of Texas. Henry Clay waffled on the issue, confusing voters as to his stance.
Texas Annexation 
Republic of Texas declares independence from Mexico.
At Washington-On-The-Brazos a convention of Texans declared independence from Mexico on March 3, 1836. Also at this convention David Burnet was appointed interim president of the Republic until elections could be held. A constitution was adopted at this convention also on March 17. The Republic existed from 1836 until 1845, when it was admitted to the United States as a State.
A gentleman named Richard Ellis presided over this convention. He was originally from Virginia, had moved to Alabama and then to Texas Bowie County in 1834. His unanimous election to president of the constitutional convention helped hold that body together until the drafting of the constitution was complete.
Washington-On-The-Brazos is located on the Brazos River in south-central Texas at a ferry crossing. It had been settled in 1821. A small settlement, it became the birthplace of the Texan Republic and in 1842 it served as the capitol. The delegates which labored to form the Republic had been elected and represented every municipality in Texas. The building the delegates worked in was unheated and the delegates endured near freezing weather inside as they worked at forming a government. An advancing Mexican army commanded by Santa Ana forced the citizens of the town and the delegates to the convention to flee. This was the same army which days before had decisively beaten the Texans at the Alamo.
The Texans defeated this superior Mexican Army at San Jacinto on April 21, capturing Mexican General Santa Ana, which ensured Texan Independence.
Political Issue
Texas petitioned the United States for annexation soon after declaring independence. Both the Whigs and Democrats opposed the annexation because Texas wanted to enter as a slave state, which would upset the delicate balance between slave and free states. The issue continued to fester until 1843, when President John Tyler began to support annexation. He began secret talks with the Texans and came to an agreement. He submitted the treaty to the Senate, after which the document became public. The campaign for President revolved around the issue, however after the election lame duck President John Tyler and Congress worked together to pass, and sign, the legislation and sending it to the Texas legislature before the new Congress and President took office.
Oregon Territory
British explorer  Alexander Mackenzie had explored the area that would become the Canadian province of British Columbia in 1792, establishing a British claim to the region. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, which had explored the area that would become Oregon in 1803 - 06, establishing an American claim to the region. The two nations agreed to joint custody of the region as part of the Treaty of 1818. Initially, most of the business conducted by Canadians in the region was the fur trade, mostly conducted by the Hudson Bay Company. In 1841 the Oregon Trail was established, which began in Independence, Missouri and terminated at Oregon City. Local citizens of the region, left largely on their own by Britain and the United States, held a series of meetings in the now ghost town of Champoeg, Oregon, resulting in the formation of the Provisional Government of Oregon in 1843. The ongoing dispute with Great Britain over the boundary between the Canadian and United States portions of the region played a role in the 1844 when Polk linked the Texas situation with the Oregon country, proposing that Texas be admitted as a slave state and the Oregon Territory be organized as a free region. He thus gained both pro-slavery and abolitionist votes.
The slavery issue revolved mainly about the power struggle between the northern free state and the southern slave states. The debate in this election was mainly about admitting Texas as a slave state and balancing their admission with admitting the Oregon country as a territory as a free territory. The Liberty Party's abolitionist stance played a minor role. That debate would be left to the Republican Party which would rise in the mid-1850's.

© 2020 Paul Wonning
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Sample Chapter - Short History of the Post Office - Street Address History

Sample Chapter 
Short History of the Post Office
Street Address History
The practice of governments assigning street addresses arose not from the need to provide accurate mail delivery as much as the need to create a system to collect taxes, take censuses and record males eligible for conscription into the military. The practice has its European roots in the first known system devised in Augsburg, Germany in the 16th Century. A similar system arose in France during this same period. House numbering systems emerged in sporadic bursts in France, England and Germany over the next couple of centuries, however it did not become common practice until about the middle of the 18th Century. There is evidence that the people resisted the assignment of house numbers during this era. Numerous accounts exist of residents smearing freshly painted house numbers with mud and filth in an attempt to  thwart the new system.
In the United States
One of the earliest systems in the United States was in New York when apparently the British attempted to impose a system sometime after they captured the city in 1776. Philadelphia apparently led the effort after the revolution when they devised the system of odd numbers on one side of the street and even numbers on the others. They came up with this system in order to conduct the first census in 1790. One problem city planners had was that construction of new buildings after addresses for a city street had been assigned. This often necessitated the need to renumber an entire street Philadelphia also devised the decimal system in 1856, a system that assigned 100 numbers to each city block and made street numbering and renumbering much easier. Cities across the United States quickly adopted these systems. The need for accurate mail delivery sped the process of address assignment after the Post Office adopted free city delivery policies during the Civil War. In the United States there is no national system of assigning street numbers, though most use the even/odd system and decimal system. Address assignment systems can vary considerably across the nation. The development of the 911 emergency system in 1968 led to the elimination of the use of the rural route system of addressing houses and the assignation of individual house numbers for rural residences as a means to allow emergency personnel to find houses quickly.
© 2020 Paul Wonning

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Wizards of the Golden Star Series Box Set

Wizards of the Golden Star Series Box Set
This set includes all six novels in the exciting Wizard of the Golden Star Series.
Quest of the Wizard
Kingdoms in Chaos
Wizard's Tales
Legend of the Wizard Tarque
The Rise of the Pirate King
The Wizard King
$87.00 Value
All six books
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