To Purge This Land With Beer

7 11 2006

I’m working on a number of things for posts here.  In fact, I have taken to yhst-67605305109593_1886_30797.jpgkeeping a notebook with me so that I can write down these ideas as they pop into my head.  This bit is not earth shattering, but cool nonetheless.  Last year I took part in an online book discussion of Stephen Oates’ “To Purge This Land With Blood”, and have to say that Brown is a fascinating character –  I’m envious of the man’s clarity.  There must be great contentment and freedom that goes along with being able to see everything as either black or white.  At left is a version of the Kansas Statehouse mural that I had never seen before.  Thanks to e-quaintance (that’s someone I’ve never met and know only via the internet) and Kansan extraordinaire Pat Jones for supplying the link to Free State Brewing Co.   I asked the wife for one of the long sleeve T-shirts as a birthday present.

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6 responses

9 11 2006
Teej Smith

I realize this doesn’t really belong here but I thought Harry and some others might find it interesting. Somewhere along the line I thought I had read that one of the reasons Jeb Stuart was along as a volunteer aide to R.E. Lee was because he could pick out John Brown for Lee. Not so. It wasn’t until Brown came to the door that Stuart realized the man calling himself “John Smith” was actually ol’ “Osawatomie Brown” with whom Stuart had had some dealings while he (Stuart) was stationed in Kansas.
The first information coming into Washington from Harpers Ferry was that there was a slave rebellion underway with possibly 3000 slaves involved. A letter from Jeb to his mother indicated his shock at how ill-prepared the federal government was to deal with this sort of “emergency.” In essence his letter said the best the government could do was send a small contigent of Marines to deal with 3000 armed slaves and not a single infantryman available. Jeb decided to do something about this himself by telling his brother who lived in Virginia to begin raising a cavalry militia company which he (Jeb) would train.

Regards, Teej

9 11 2006
Harry Smeltzer


If it doesn’t belong here, where does it belong?

You have to wonder just where the Bold Dragoon expected to find the time to train a regiment of cavalry militia, he being a loyal officer of the United States Army at the time.

Makes you think…

9 11 2006
Teej Smith

Tsk, tsk, Harry, nothing nefarious going on with Jeb at this point. In addition to offering advice to the governor of Virginia in ways to raise and equip an effective militia,he planned to do the training during his leaves. Just guessing here, but I think his plan was to train other officers who would continue the training and drilling once Stuart’s leaves were up. He had also applied for a permanent transfer east; specifically, when he heard rumors that there were plans afoot to increase the size of the army, he asked for a transfer to Virginia to recruit. Needless to say, he didn’t get the transfer. Once the other Southern states began seceding, Stuart did write that should Virginia NOT secede he would resign his commission and move to Memphis to practice law.


10 11 2006

Very cool to see the John Brown T on your page, Harry! Historic setting there at the Free State Brewing Company where you’re across the street and down a building or so from the Eldridge Hotel.

Now if you really want to get some odd looks, wear the long-sleeved JB T-shirt to Harpers Ferry. Been there, done that.

Best regards from the Kansan.


10 11 2006
Harry Smeltzer

This is what I think Brian Downey’s term “thread pulling” means: a sort of free form research that takes on a life of its own. If it’s not what Brian means when he uses it, it is what I mean. Anyway, I found a link to some historical info on the Eldridge Hotel. I tried to post it here in the comments, but I think there is some security issue with that and WordPress won’t let me do it, so I guess I have another post topic.

15 11 2006
The Eldridge Hotel « Bull Runnings

[…] A few days ago on the To Purge This Land With Beer post reader Pat Jones mentioned that the Free State Brewing Co. is located nearby the historic Eldridge Hotel.  I thought I’d flesh that out for everyone who may not be up on their Kansas history and did a little surfing.  I knew the hotel played a prominent role in “Bleeding Kansas” and in the Civil War, but I wanted to get a little more info so I went to the horse’s mouth, in this case the website of The Eldridge and that of the Kansas Historical Society. Like so many other historic hotels (Chattanooga’s Read House and Willard’s of Washington, DC), the present day Eldridge, while situated on the original site, is not the same structure which was present when the historic events with which it is associated occurred.  The first building, The Free State Hotel, was constructed in 1855 and was to serve as temporary living quarters for members of the Boston based New England Emigrant Aid Society.  This organization was funneling settlers and money to Kansas in order to assure its admission to the Unionas a free (non-slaveholding) state.  […]

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