Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sample Chapter - Short History of the Post Office - Genghis Khan and the Mail

Sample Chapter
Short History of the Post Office 
Genghis Khan and the Mail
Genghis Khan relied heavily upon the messenger service he developed to govern his huge empire.
Genghis Khan (c.1162 – August 18, 1227)
The son of Yesugei Baghatur and Hoelun, Genghis was probably native to Delüün Boldog, Mongolia and given the name Temüjin. His father, a tribal leader of the important Kiyad tribe. Historical lore relates that at birth Temüjin clutched a blood clot in his hand, considered an omen of future greatness. When Temüjin was about 10 years old a rival Tatars tribe's leader had his father poisoned. Temüjin attempted to claim the leadership position of the tribe, however they did not accept him and abandoned the family. Left to die, the family managed to survive the brutal environment of the Asian Steppe region. Their food consisted mainly of ox carcasses, wild fruit and small game Temüjin and his brothers managed to kill.
Kidnapped
Temüjin and his brother Khasar killed their older stepbrother Begter after he began to make claims to the family's leadership. This would have meant that he could claim Temüjin's mother Hoelun as his wife. An angry Temüjin and Khasar murdered him. Sometime after this a tribe that had been his father's ally kidnapped and enslaved him. With the help of two of his father's loyal followers and a sympathetic guard, Temüjin escaped during the night.
Marriage and Rise to Power
Temüjin married a girl to which he had been previously betrothed, Borte. In addition to the men that had helped him escape, Temüjin was able to gather more of his father's former allies and then joined Toghril, chief of the Kerait.  Temüjin's father had once helped the Kerait and thus gained their friendship. Temüjin proved to be a formidible leader and military strategist. His followers began a campaign of subjection over neighboring tribes, a task at which they had tremendous success.
The Great Khan
At this time the Central Asian plateau north of China consisted of dozens of tribes, including Naimans, Merkits, Tatars, Khamag Mongols, and Keraites.  Temüjin and his allies subdued these tribes one by one in a series of brutal, bloody campaigns. At length at a conference of these tribes in 1206 AD on the shores of the Kerulen river the leaders of these tribes awarded Temüjin with the title Great Khan.
Further Conquests
The Khan's warriors were hardy men that could survive for days riding their tough horses with few provisions and rest. Each rider equipped themselves with up to 16 spare horses, which allowed them extreme mobility and the ability to move quickly over long distances. The Mongols utilized enemy tactics and technology, if it benefited them. Under the Khan's leadership, this army expanded quickly, as conquered foes were frequently given the choice to either join the Khan or face total annihilation. The area governed by the Khan grew quickly as he attacked the Jin Emperor of China Emperor Xuanzong, eventually causing the fall of the empire by 1234. The conquest was completed by his sons, as Ghengis had died earlier. In addition to these conquests, Khan conquered the Khwarazmian Empire, Georgia, Crimea, Kievan Rus and Volga Bulgaria, adding each of these to his Mongol Empire that at his death in 1227 had become the largest contiguous empire on earth. The empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Europe. 
The Örtöö
Khan developed his messenger service, called the Örtöö, sometime around 1200 AD. The word Örtöö translates as the term checkpoint, which was a relay station on the route. At some point the service became known as the Yam, which is a Tatar word for road, related in turn to the Mongolian name for road, which is Zam. The Örtöö consisted of a series of relay stations located from 20 to 40 miles apart. Each station was equipped with horses, food and shelter. A messenger would arrive at the station, hand his message to the next rider in line, then eat and rest. The system grew to include thousands of relay stations. There were 1400 just in China. The Örtöö at one time had 50,000 horses, 6,700 mules, 1,400 oxen, more than 200 dogs, and 1,150 sheep. The service also owned over 6,000 boats and 400 carts. The system provided a means for the Khan and his officials to send messages, mail and intelligence reports. The Khan allowed merchants to use the service free. Abuse of the privilege led the Khan eventually to charge a fee.
The Messengers
The messengers were trustworthy individuals whose duties to the service superseded everything else. The members of the service enjoyed special privileges and carried a tablet called a  paiza that identified them as members of the service and designated their authority to obtain goods and services from the populace when they needed them. The service evolved into the largest and most efficient ever developed until modern times.

Short History of the Post Office


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Publishing Date to Be Announced
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Other Books in the Series:
Short History of Libraries, Printing and Language
Short History of Fire Fighting
Short History of Roads and Highways
Short History of Railroads
Short History of the Discoverers
Short History of Gardening and Agriculture
Short History of Public Parks
Short History of Political Parties
A Short History of Traditional Crafts



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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


Buy Direct from Author
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Sample Chapter 1
Sample Chapter 2
Sample Chapter 3
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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