Wednesday, May 25, 2011

52 Photos Project: Water

This week's 52 PHOTOS PROJECT theme is

Water's a magician. . . .

it can be transparent

or don a coat of many colors,

taking on the hues of

things around it.

It's rarely still enough

to be a perfect mirror.

Sometimes it's just itself,
flowing from source to destination

soaking up the sun.

lapping quietly against the shore.

Sometimes though, it likes to roar. 

and splash

and make its mark
upon the land.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

52 Photos Project: Light Rays

Light --

the magic ingredient in photos.

Illuminating light rays.
Magic circles of light.

Making everything we see visible.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mosaic Monday: Spring Openings

Though today is damp and rainy,
I can see the lilac in bloom outside
the guest room window.
Some of the camellias are still in bloom
and the peonies planted up against
the south side of the house are in bud.
Aquilegias and violets are naturalizing
in the side yard garden
and make a pretty sight --
a nice contrast to the hostas
that are shaded by my neighbor's laurel hedge.
I love the opening energy of spring!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sepia Saturday: Major General Hugh Brady

Hugh Brady, born July 29, 1768 in Pennsylvania to John and Mary (Quigley) Brady. He was a twin to Jane Brady and one of ten children who survived infancy and early childhood - six boys and four girls. His father, Captain John Brady was killed during the Revolutionary War in a skirmish with Native Americans. After John's death, Mary Brady moved with her children to her father's home in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.

When Hugh was 16, his mother died. HIs older siblings had begun to marry, so Hugh moved with his brother Samuel to Washington County, Pennsylvania. Though Samuel married, Hugh continued to live with his brother until 1792, when Hug embarked on a military career.
Library of Congress Photo Collection (Daguerrotypes) - LC-USZ62-110036 portrait of General Hugh Brady by Mathew Brady between 1845 and 1851.

He was inducted with a commission from George Washington as an ensign in the army of General Anthony Wayne and joined a rifle company. Within two years, Hugh was promoted to lieutenant and fought with "Mad Anthony" in the Northwest Indian Wars. Following that war, he temporarily left the military in 1796. After spending time with family and friends in Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, he obtained a plot of land around 1800 and married Sarah Wallace.

In 1807, Hugh and Sarah moved to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania and in 1812, Hugh received a commission from President Thomas Jefferson. Hugh commanded the 22nd Infantry Regiment and saw action at the Battle of Chippewa and Battle of Lundy's Lane. Severe injuries in the latter battle ended his wartime service in the War of 1812, but he remained in the military.

His military duties including postings at Sackett's Harbor, New York and at the newly established Fort Brady near Lake Superior in Michigan territory. In 1822, he was promoted to brigadier general and given command of the garrison at Detroit by 1828.

He was peripherally involved in the Black Hawk War in Michigan and Illinois territories in 1832. Five years later, Hugh Brady was appointed commander of Military Department 7, headquartered in Detroit and during his seven years in the position, was responsible for the removal of several Native American tribes.

By the time of the Mexican-American War, he was too old for combat, but helped raise troops and equipment. He was promoted to Major General in 1848.
Library of Congress Photo Collection (Daguerrotypes) - LC-USZ62-110176 portrait of General Hugh Brady by Mathew Brady between 1845 and 1851. 

He died accidentally on April 15, 1851. He was driving a horse-drawn carriage in Detroit. Telegraph wires had been lowered for repairs and got tangled with the wagon. The horses panicked, throwing Brady from the carriage. His injuries were fatal. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Escape: Wandering, Dreaming


Sit beneath an awning and eat a leisurely lunch 
beside the sparkling waters of the canal.

Watch the seagull posing prettily.

Watch people settle in to gondola seats
and be propelled along the waterways
by a striped-shirted gondolier.

Enjoy the view from the bridge.

Wander in the marketplace and imagine 
what a feast you could prepare, 
if only you had access to a kitchen.

Okay - I'll admit that I don't have a clue
how to cook these or whether I'd like their taste,
but they're so pretty!

Stop to look in shop windows

examine possibilities

imagine yourself in costume,
pretending to be someone else,
escaping who you are if only in play.

Watch evening fall and
dream of staying in this magical place
just a while longer.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ruby Tuesday: I Like to Do Bad Things

Telling tales on a teen. . . .
or self-fulfilling prophecy?
Who knows?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sepia Saturday: Mary Surratt

There's a Robert Redford film out now about the trial of Mary Surratt before a military tribunal for conspiracy in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.. That film inspired today's SEPIA SATURDAY post. (Click on the link to visit Alan and the other Sepia Saturday participants).

Mary Surratt (nee Mary Elizabeth Jenkins) was born in Waterloo, Maryland in 1823. She was educated in Alexandria, Virginia by the Sisters of Charity at the school for girls run by St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Mary Surratt photo from the website

In 1840, at 17, she married John Harrison Surratt of the District of Columbia. They lived on a small farm in Oxon Hill where they reared three children : Isaac, Anna, and John Jr.

John H. Surratt bought 287 acres of farmland in Prince Georges County, Maryland (near present-day Andrews Air Force Base) in 1852. On the land, he built a two-story frame building that became not only the family's living quarters, but the Surrattsville tavern, polling place, and post office.

In the decade leading up to the Civil War, the tavern was a community gathering place and likely housed lively discussions about the country's political direction (and divisions).
From the website - Reproduction of Harper's Weekly cover 1867 showing Surrattsville

Though Maryland did not secede during the Civil War, the Surratts' sympathized with the Confederacy during the war and there is much evidence that their tavern served as a safehouse in the Confederate underground network in southern Maryland.

And it was to the Surratt Tavern that John Wilkes Booth fled after the assassination of the President at Ford's Theater on the night of April 14, 1865.

Currier and Ives print - in Library of Congress Collection LC-USZ62-2073 (b&w film copy negative)

By then, Mary Surratt was widowed and no longer the proprietress of the tavern.. Her husband had left her deeply in debt and of necessity, she rented the tavern and farm to an ex-policeman named John Lloyd. In 1864, she moved to northwest D.C. where she owned a townhouse. 

Mary Surratt House, 604 H Street N.W. St. in Washington, D.C.
taken about 1908 - photo in Library of Congress Collection LC-USZ62-92592  

There, she opened her dwelling to boarders and visitors - including John Wilkes Booth.

Carte de Visite by Alexander Gardner showing John Wilkes Booth
Library of Congress Photo Collection
(digital file from original recto) ppmsca 19233

In the post-assassination search for Booth and his accomplice David Herold, the net was widened to include any who rendered assistance to the plot. (For info on Booth's death, click HERE.)

David Herold, convicted co-conspirator in the Lincoln Assassination
Library of Congress Photo Collection - LC-USZ62-121530.

Mary Surratt was arrested as a conspirator almost immediately and taken to the Old Capitol Prison

Library of Congress Photo Collection - LC -DIG - ppmsca -12611 (digital file) 
where she was held pending trial before a military tribunal at the Washington Arsenal Penitentiary.

J. Orville Johnson photograph of Surratt jury -- apparently the jury for John Surratt's trial, Mary's son

Trial began May 9, 1865 and lasted throughout June. Despite vigorous defense by attorney Frederick Aiken, Mary Surratt was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, along with convicted co-conspirators Lewis Payne (a/k/a Powell, Hall and Wood), David Herold, and George Atzerodt.

George Azerodt, Lincoln Assassination Conspirator - photo by Alexander Gardner
in Library of Congress Collection - LC-USZ62-22995 b&w print negative

Lewis Payne, Lincoln Assassination co-conspirator
Library of Congress photo collection LC-USZ62-134024 (b&w film copy neg.)

Five of the nine military tribunal members recommended to President Andrew Johnson that "because of her age and her sex" that her death sentence be reduced to life in prison. Johnson refused, saying Mary Surratt "kept the nest that hatched the egg."

President Andrew Johnson - photo reproduction from Library of Congress Collection

Surratt, Powell, Herold and Atzerodt were hanged on July 7, 1865. She was the first woman executed by the U.S. government.  

Execution of Lincoln's Assassins 1865 - Library of Congress photo collection

At the time of her death, a case questioning the jursidiction of military courts in cases involving civilians was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than a year after Surratt's execution, the court ruled that -- so long as civil courts were available -- military courts have no jurisdiction in civilian cases. Some legal experts think that, had this case been decided before the execution, that Mary Surratt's conviction would have been overturned, though the court did not specifically address the application of the laws of war and the respective jurisdictions of military tribunals and civil courts. Lincoln was assassinated, of course, during time of war.

Several other co-conspirators were also found guilty but were sentenced to life in prison. At the time of Mary Surratt's trial, her son John was in hiding and thus wasn't tried with her and the other principal accused. After the Supreme Court decision, he was arrested and tried in regular criminal court and judged by a jury of his peers. They could not reach a guilty verdict.

For more information, see the Surratt website.

Here's a trailer for the Redford-produced film.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

52 Photos Project: Color

Color. . . .

Do you have a favorite?

A preferred palette?

What draws you in
 and makes your heart sing?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mosaic Monday: Spring Has Sprung

Reminding myself that spring is out there,
waiting for me to recover
from this wicked bronchitis.