19th Century, Pens/Pencils, Antebellum


The Quill Pen and The Goose

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and other internet sources

This article is about the quill pen. For other uses, see Quill (disambiguation).

Line art representation of a quill pen

A quill pen is a writing implement made from a flight feather (preferably a primary wing-feather) of a large bird. The word pen comes from the Latin word “Penna” which means feather. Quills were used for writing with ink before the invention of the dip pen, metal-nibbed pens, the fountain pen, and, eventually, the ballpoint pen. The hand-cut goose quill is rarely still used as a calligraphy tool, mainly because many papers are derived from wood pulp and wear down the quill very quickly, but it is still the tool of choice for a few select professionals and does provide a sharp stroke, and more flexibility than a steel pen. The hollow shaft of the feather (calamus) acts as an ink reservoir and ink flows to the tip by capillary action.

The strongest quills come from the primary flight feathers discarded by birds during their annual moult. Generally the left wing is favored by the right-handed majority of writers because the feathers curve out to the right, away from the hand holding the pen, but because of the current scarcity of substantial quills this is usually overlooked as the curvature is not actually so pronounced as to cause any difficulty to the professional.

Goose feathers are most commonly used; scarcer, more expensive swan feathers are considered premium. Depending on availability and strength of the feather, as well as quality/characteristic of the line wanted by the writer, other feathers used for quill-pen making include feathers from the swan, goose, crow, eagle, owl, hawk, and turkey. The barbs are always stripped off partially or completely as they are an impractical distraction. The fancy, fully plumed quill is a Hollywood invention and has no basis in reality. Most, if not all, manuscript illustrations of scribes show a quill devoid of decorative barbs. The best writing pens were not made from the swan or some beautiful bird with brilliant plumes, but rather, the flight feathers of a goose.  After plucking the wing feathers, the barrel or shaft needed to be carved.  To cut the quill a sharp knife was needed, hence the word “penknife”.  Scribes and Stationers carved, sharpened and slit the point (nib) for writing, hence the word “stationery”.

Fountain Pens.—In 1848 N. A. Prince, of New York, brought out the first fountain pen. This consisted of a metal barrel tapering to a point at the upper end ; the lower end was round, the under side of the barrel being cut away, exposing to view and tor use a small curved bit of rubber which was the writing point A valve located just above the pen controlled the ink, and was opened or closed at pleasure. As soon as Goodyear produced his vulcanized rubber, Mr. Prince and his partner, John S. Purdy, secured the exclusive right to use that rubber for pen barrels. Since that time inventors innumerable have taken out patents on fountain pens, the result being that the market is now supplied with a great variety of styles. The general characteristics of all the pens are about the same, the variations being mainly in the methods employed to feed the ink to the pen.

The origin of the stylographic pen is obscure. It seems to have been developed by some one who was working to produce a fountain pen, and it is hard to distinguish between early specimens of the two instruments. The earliest record of a stylographic pen is the granting of a patent for one to Charles W. Krebes, of Baltimore, Ma., in 1850. The pen was a crude affair. Six years later Nelson B. Slayton, of Madison, Ind., invented and patented a stylographic pen, but in 1869 one Kenyon invented a pen which was about the first bearing a resemblance in mechanical construction to those which followed and became popular. Inventors in this branch appear to be its numerous as in fountain pens, but the pens brought out of late years have a general similarity.

The history of Pen Antebellum timeline


metal pen point patented


steal nibs are in use


metal nibs are in use.  Quill pens are becoming extinct.

Pencils (The Encylopaedia Britannica, 1889, edited by Thomas Spencer)

In 1849 Eberhard Faber came to New York as the agent of A. W. Faber, of Stein, Germany, and in 1861, the centennial of the house, it was determined to found the industry in America. This was done, the plant being located in New York city, but in 1872 the factory was burned down and a new one was built at Green point, L. I. This move of Faber was really the start of the pencil industry in this country. In 1865 the Eagle Pencil Co. began the manufacture of pencils in America, all their goods before that time having been imported. In 1805 the American Lead Pencil Co. entered the field, and was followed in 1872 by the Dixon Crucible Co., and to-day these are the only makers in the United States.

With the exception of the American graphite used by the last-named company all of the pencil lead used in this country comes from abroad, trie chief mines being in Bohemia, although one maker has the output of the Alibcrt mine, Siberia, which Is used in certain grades of artists’ pencils. The clay which is mixed with the lead to give it a proper texture comes from Bavaria and Bohemia, the finer grade being from the former place. The clay is of a brownish color and possesses fatty qualities, being oily or greasy when rolled in the fingers. The wood used in the great majority of grades is cedar and the supply of that wood used by all pencil-makers the world over comes from Florida.

‘Other woods are used to a slight extent, but none of them work so well under the knife when sharpening the pencil as the cedar. The American inventive genius has been shown in this industry as in others, and while the laborer in Europe produces one pencil at a time the American machine produces six, and in the subsequent finishing of the pencil hand-labor is reduced to a minimum. The lead pencil of to-day is practically.

Froms http://www.kamakurapens.com (a website that sells fountain pens)

While it is a mistake to call these the first fountain pens, afterall there were dozens of earlier patents, the stylographic pens were the first successful selling fountain pens. Shipman, Caws, and several other early pen makers sold Stylographic pens, but the druggist from Stratford Canada, Duncan Mackinnon, is credited with being the inventor.

Mackinnon’s story is somewhat sad. After he patented this pen he started looking for someone to manufacture it for him. He made the mistake of showing the pen and leaving a sample with A.T. Cross. Cross studied the design and saw where a spring would improve the pen. He quickly patented this change and started manufacturing his own Stylographic pens. In disgust, Mackinnon contracted John Holland out of Cincinatti to manufacture these stylos for him. Mackinnon added the spring to his own design and was promptly sued by Cross for copyright infringement. Mackinnon died a few years afterwards of a heart attack.

Holland had a lot of problems with supplying the iridium for the MacKinnon contract. He first tried welding a tiny bead to the ink tube and then drilling through it. This worked but it was murder on the drill bits that broke at an alarming frequency. Then he hit on the idea of welding even smaller bits of iridium around the ring of the ink tube. The workers had to use microscopes to do this, but it saved a lot of drill bits and Holland patented the idea. But still finding enough iridium to fill this contract seemed impossible. It was then that Holland discovered a way to melt and fuse the commonly available iridium powder, something that earlier was considered due to iridiums ultra high melting point. (See my article “Iridium Kiss” in the Spring issue of the Pennant Magazine or write me for a copy)

Probably more interesting is Mark Twain’s connection with this pen. While Samuel Langhorne Clemens is widely known by pen collectors for his endorsing Wirt and Conklin pens, few people know that he loved his Mackinnon long before the other pens were ever invented. From my research I have found that a friend of Twain’s in Elmira NY(sorry I can not read the name in the letter from Mackinnon to Twain) was having a pen sent for repair to the Mackinnon Office in Brooklyn, NY, and in his letter he asked to include another Stylographic pen for Mark Twain who was presently staying at Quarry Farm in Elmira, NY. The Mackinnon Office quickly seized the opportunity to mail a stylo to Twain directly. I have letters in my possession written by Twain and to him from the Mackinnon Office, and I will publish an in depth article about Twain’s pens in the near future.

Twain was one of the very earliest authors to own one of the pre 1865 fountain pens, probably a Prince Protean fountain pen, but I have not been able to doccument this. For a while it seemed that the world had known no greater boon since the invention of printing; but these early pens were dismal failures and when it clogged and balked, or suddenly deluged his paper and spilled in his pocket, he flung it out his window. After which, Twain received his Mackinnon Stylographic pen. He wrote to his friends Dr. Brown, to William Dean Howells, and to Rev. Joseph Twichell, urging its adoption. Even in a letter to Mrs. Howells he could not forget his new possession:

“…And speaking of Howells, he ought to use the Stylographic pen, the best fountain-pen yet invented; he ought to, but of course he won’t — a blamed old sodden-headed conservative — but you see yourself what a nice, clean, uniform MS. it makes. “

And at the same time to Twichell:

” I am writing with a Stylographic pen. It takes a royal amount of cussing to make the thing go the first few days or a week, but by that time the dullest ass gets the hang of the thing, and after that no enrichments of expression are required, and said ass finds the stylographic a genuine God’s blessing. I carry one in each breeches pocket, and both loaded. I’d give you one of them if I had you where I could teach you how to use it — not otherwise. For the average ass flings the thing out of the window in disgust the second day, believing it hath no virtue, no merit of any sort; whereas the lack lieth in himself.”

It was not easy to withstand Mark Twain’s enthusiasm. Howells, Twichell, and Dr.John Brown were all presently struggling and swearing (figuratively) over their stylographic pens, trying to believe that salvation lay in their conquest. But in the midst of one letter, at last, Howells broke down, seized his old steel dip pen, and wrote savagely:

“No white man ought to use a stylographic pen, anyhow!”

Then, with the more ancient implement, continued in a calmer spirit. It was only a little later that Clemens himself wrote:

” You see I am trying a new pen. I stood the stylograph as long as I could, and then retired to the pencil. The thing I am trying now is the Wirt fountain-pen which is advertised to employ and accommodate itself to any kind of pen. So I selected an ordinary gold pen — a limber one — and had it cut and fitted to this thing. It goes very well indeed — thus far; but doubtless the devil will be in it by tomorrow. ”

Nevertheless, Twain used his Stylo well. He made revisions and additions to Tramp Abroad , and much of the original manuscript for Huck Finn was written with this pen.

A page from Chapter 2 of the “Tramp Abroad” manuscript, the start of “Baker’s Blue-Jay Yarn.” The chapter was penned with a MacKinnon Stylograph. The manuscript is part of the Bancroft collection.

Mark Twain signed Huck’s signature on the last page with his stylo

Dr. John Brown
In mid-July 1873 the Clemenses left London for Edinburgh, “fleeing thither for rest and refuge,” as Clemens later expressed it. There they met Dr. John Brown (the author of “Rab and His Friends,” a popular dog story), with whom they developed a warm friendship. Here they are pictured with Dr. Brown, who, according to Clemens, had “the face of a saint at peace with all the world.” Susy is in Clara’s lap. Twain felt a special kinship with Dr. Brown and they used each other to develop ideas for each other’s work.

19th century, Antebellum, Famous Slaves/Free Blacks, Native American slave owners



Henry Bibb, former slave, author, activist, was born on May 10, 1815 in the state of Kentucky.  He was a mulatto, the illegitimate son of a white state senator and accomplished attorney named James Bibb and a mixed race slave woman, Mildred Jackson, who was owned by Willard Gatewood.  His mother had six other children.  Like many slaves of the times, Bibb was separated from his family, his siblings were sold off and he was hired out to different slave owners, spending years away from his mother.

Having no rights as a slave, Bibb was powerless when he married in his teens, only to have the wife he loved hired out as a prostitute by her owner. Bibb decided to do the only thing he could: run away.  He made several unsuccessful attempts at escape, finally obtaining success in in 1837 at the age of 22.  He returned six months later to help his family escape, however, he was caught and the family was sold to a master in Vicksburg.


While in captivity in Vicksburg Bibb attempted to escape again, but was thwarted by a pack of wild wolves, the animals cornered the family and they were eventually captured.  The slave owners sold Bibb to Native Americans, which Bibb escaped from.  He was never able to rescue his family from bondage.

HIS FATHER, U. S. Senator,

Henry never knew Senator James Bibb.  It was the way of the South and the white plantation owner never acknowledged his existence.


Bibb toured the country lecturing with the famous Frederick Douglas and William Wells Brown.  He met his second wife while lecturing in Boston – Mary Miles and they married in 1848.


He wrote Narratives of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, where he describes in vivid detail the harsh experiences he underwent in bondage.


In the 1850s, Bibb crossed the border into Canada and made the nation his home.  He founded the Voice of the Fugitive, and he encouraged slaves and other blacks to relocate to Canada.

From the Myrtle Hart Society, Myrtlehart.org:

Francis Johnson’s ensemble – (from Wikipedia and other internet sources)


Johnson was born in Martinique in the West Indies in 1792. He moved to Philadelphia around 1809. Johnson directed military bands and society dance orchestras, taught music, and performed on the violin and keyed bugle. His early career consisted of performing for balls, parades, and dancing schools. He first became widely known in 1818 when George Willig published Johnson’s Collection of New Cotillions. His career flourished in the 1820s, as he performed arrangements of “fashionable” music for most of the major dance functions in Philadelphia. In 1837 Johnson and a small ensemble of his best African American musicians sailed to England to take part in the celebrations surrounding the ascent of Queen Victoria to the British throne, according to author Charles Kelley Jones in his book, Francis Johnson (1794-1844); chronicles of a black musician in early 19th Century Philadelphia.Francis not only met the Queen, but was also interviewed by her.  While there, he was exposed to the promenade concert style. When Johnson returned from England in 1838 he introduced this new style of concert in Philadelphia during the Christmas season.


In 1853, President Jackson visited Philadelphia and Johnson’s band was hired to perform. President Jackson reportedly stumbled while walking to “Hail to The Chief,” and in recovering he made eye contact with each of Johnson’s band members, impressed by the discipline of the corps, and as a result, they were honored and made him an honorary member.  In his diary, Johnson wrote about meeting with Andrew Jackson for breakfast and bringing him wine.  He called the President, “clever.”

Johnson’s Voice Quadrilles, a musical work performed in London and in major U.S. cities, was well-received and successful. His work New Cotillions and March was performed for General LaFayette, as America celebrated LaFayette’s visit in 1824. A townsman in Philadelphia noted that nothing would be more natural than for a master such as Johnson to perform at the grand LaFayette Ball.[citation needed] This notoriety is a hint as to why Johnson’s music was included in compilations alongside Beethoven, Bellini, Brahms, Burgmüller, Czerny, Donizetti and Weber.[citation needed]

Johnson successfully rivaled white musical organizations, receiving patronage from the public in spite of the considerable racial discrimination of the time. Available accounts show that his composition and playing must have had qualities which cannot be reconstructed from the surviving manuscripts. Historical accounts suggest that his performances infused stylistic rhythmic changes, differing from the written versions, which were either inferred by performers or instructed verbally.[citation needed] This is presumed to be similar to the improvisations made by jazz musicians today, although the current practices and idioms are probably vastly different from the ones used by Johnson. He was able to create interesting music, harmonies, and effects that differed from the diatonic harmonies and triadic melodies that were popular at that time. (Southern 112–113)

Johnson also performed sacred music at African American churches in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. He staged a performance of Haydn’s Creation in March 1841 at the First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and later repeated the performance at a white church.

Johnson served as a teacher to wealthy white students, one of whom wrote that the teacher’s studio walls were covered with images of instruments, various instruments could be found around the room, and shelves were laden with thousands of musical collections. The student noted that Johnson’s spot for composing contained unfinished manuscripts, with pen and ink ready for use.[citation needed]


Musical Innovations

The Philadelphia Public Ledger newspaper reported that Johnson introduced the extended technique of singing while playing,[citation needed] which has become more common today as a way of providing wind instrumentalists a means of producing harmonies. The use of flute obbligato to imitate the chirping of canaries in his “Bird Waltz” was “so natural that the keenest perception cannot discover the difference.”[citation needed] Composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel may have been influenced by Johnson’s techniques.[citation needed] The orchestral version of Ravel’s “Ma Mère l’Oye” (Mother Goose) features a similar effect in the “Tom Thumb” movement, where flutes depict the chirping birds that steal the breadcrumb trail.

The work Philadelphia Fireman’s Quadrille astounded audiences as Johnson’s bugle was heard to “distinctly cry, ‘Fire!’ ‘Fire!'” Johnson became associated with such dramatic effects, and imitations by his contemporaries were said to be far less effective. Program music became popular during this period, particularly works that depicted battle. Johnson arranged Frantisek Kotzwara‘s The Battle of Prague, impressing the audience with realistic effects. Johnson’s New Railroad Gallop began with the sound of steam, continued with the sound of passengers entering the cars, then concluded with the sound of the train reaching full speed. (Southern 112)

The Negro Philharmonic Society

Walter F. Craig’s orchestra

Sojourner Truth

Harriet Tubman

Frederick Douglas

Thomas Bethune – Blind autistic slave, the first African-American to play in the White House.









Blind Boone


Arthur La Brew’s (1977) Black musicians of the colonial period, 1700-1800

19th Century, Antebellum, South Carolina

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Confederate States
in the
American Civil War
South Carolina
North Carolina
Dual governments
Border states
West Virginia

South Carolina had long before the American Civil War been a region that heavily supported individual states’ rights and the institution of slavery. Political leaders such as John C. Calhoun and Preston Brooks had inflamed regional (and national) passions, and for years before the eventual start of the Civil War in 1861, voices cried for secession. South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union, saw the first shots of the Civil War when Citadel cadets fired on a civilian merchant ship Star of the West bringing supplies to the beleaguered Federal garrison at Fort Sumter January 9, 1861. The April 1861 Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter ignited what became a four-year struggle that divided the nation.

South Carolina was a source of troops for the Confederate army, and as the war progressed, also for the Union as thousands of ex-slaves flocked to join the Union forces. The state also provided uniforms, textiles, food, and war material, as well as trained soldiers and leaders from The Citadel and other military schools. Relatively free from Union occupation until the very end of the war, South Carolina hosted a number of prisoner of war camps.

Among the leading generals from the Palmetto State were Wade Hampton III, one of the Confederacy’s leading cavalrymen, and Joseph B. Kershaw, whose South Carolina infantry brigade saw some of the hardest fighting of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Prewar tensions

Very few South Carolina whites saw emancipation as an option. Whites feared that if blacks– the vast majority in most parts of the state– were freed, they would try to “Africanize” their cherished society and culture as they had seen happen after slave revolutions in some areas of the West Indies. Carolinian leaders were divided between devoted Unionists that opposed any sort of secession, and those who believed secession was a state’s right. John C. Calhoun noted that the dry and barren West could not support a plantation system and would remain slaveless. Thus, Calhoun proposed that Congress should not exclude slavery from territories but let each state choose for itself whether it would allow slaves within its borders. After Calhoun’s death in 1850, however, South Carolina was left without a leader great enough in national standing and character to prevent more militant Carolinian factions’ desire to secede immediately. Andrew Pickens Butler argued against Charleston publisher Robert Barnwell Rhett, who advocated immediate and, if necessary, independence. Butler won the battle, but Rhett outlived him.

When it was seen that President Abraham Lincoln would be elected, a number of conventions organized around the Deep South to discuss the options. States with strong pro-secession movements such as Alabama and Mississippi sent delegates to the convention where they advised the Carolinians to “take the lead and secede at once”. On December 20, 1860, South Carolinians in Charleston voted to secede from the Union. President James Buchanan declared the secession illegal but did not act to stop it for he also declared going to war to stop it was also illegal.

[edit] Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter, 1861, flying the Confederate Flag.

Six days later, on the day after Christmas, Major Robert Anderson, commander of the U.S. troops in Charleston, withdrew his men against orders into the island fortress of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. South Carolina militia swarmed over the abandoned mainland batteries and trained their guns on the island. Sumter was the key position to preventing a naval invasion of Charleston, so Carolina could not afford to allow federal forces to remain there indefinitely. More important, having a foreign country (the USA) control its largest harbor meant that the Confederacy was not really independent—which was Lincoln’s point.

Mississippi seceded several weeks after South Carolina, and the rest of the lower South followed. On February 4, a congress of Southern states met in Montgomery, Alabama, and approved a new constitution for the Confederate States of America. Lincoln argued that the United States were “one nation, indivisible” and denied the Southern states’ right to secede. Upper Southern states such as Virginia and North Carolina, which had not yet seceded, called a peace conference, to little effect.

On January 9, 1861, the U.S. ship Star of the West approached to resupply the soldiers in the fort. South Carolina entered the Confederacy on February 8, 1861 thus ending fewer than six weeks of being an independent State of South Carolina. Then, Virginian orator Roger Pryor barreled into Charleston and proclaimed that the only way to get Old Dominion to join the Confederacy was for South Carolina to instigate war with the United States. The obvious place to start was right in the midst of Charleston Harbor.

On April 10, the Mercury reprinted stories from New York papers that told of a naval expedition that had been sent southward toward Charleston. The Carolinians could no longer wait if they hoped to take the fort without fighting the North’s Navy at the same time. About 6,000 men were stationed around the rim of the harbor, ready to take on the 60 men in Fort Sumter. At 4:30 a.m. on April 12, after two days of intense negotiations, and with Union ships just outside the harbor, the firing began. Students from The Citadel were among those firing the first shots of the war, though Edmund Ruffin is usually credited with firing the first shot. Thirty-four hours later, Anderson’s men raised the white flag and were allowed to leave the fort with colors flying and drums beating, saluting the U.S. flag with a 50-gun salute before taking it down. During this salute, one of the guns exploded, killing a young soldier—the only casualty of the bombardment and the first casualty of the war.

19th Century, Mail, Antebellum

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During Antebellum times, before mailboxes arrived circa 1850, Americans received mail by traveling into town to the local post office or if there was no such facility, they went to the local courthouse and asked for their mail from the County Clerk.  If mail wasn’t retrieved, then the name of the recipient was printed in the local newspaper with the hopes the intended recipients would see the notice and make their way into town to retrieve the letter.  Often times neighbors, relatives, or friends would see a notice in the newspaper and relay the information to the proper individual.

Before the civil war, if you wanted to send a letter, you would make a trip to the post office or County Clerk and purchase a stamp for the properly addressed missive and leave the letter there.  Early mail at the dawn of the country would be delivered to the post office or county clerk 19by horse, in later years by carriage, and still later in the antebellum period by the new rail systems.


Running pony logo used by the U.S. Post Office Department before the creation of the USPS

The first postal service in America arose in February of 1692 when a grant from King William & Queen Mary empowered Thomas Neale “to erect, settle and establish within the chief parts of their majesties’ colonies and plantations in America, an office or offices for the receiving and dispatching letters and pacquets, and to receive, send and deliver the same under such rates and sums of money as the planters shall agree to give, and to hold and enjoy the same for the term of twenty-one years.”[citation needed]

The United States Post Office (U.S.P.O.) was created in Philadelphia under Benjamin Franklin on July 26, 1775 by decree of the Second Continental Congress. Based on the Postal Clause in Article One of the United States Constitution, empowering Congress “To establish post offices and post roads,” it became the Post Office Department (U.S.P.O.D.) in 1792. It was part of the Presidential cabinet and the Postmaster General was the last person in the United States presidential line of succession. In 1971, the department was reorganized as a quasi-independent corporation of the federal government and acquired its present name. The Postmaster General is no longer in the presidential line of succession.[4]

The Post Office Department was enlarged during the tenure of President Andrew Jackson. As the Post Office expanded, difficulties were experienced due to a lack of employees and transportation. The Post Office’s employees at that time were still subject to the so-called ‘spoils’ system, where faithful political supporters of the executive branch were appointed to positions in the post office and other government corporations as a reward for their patronage. These appointees rarely had prior experience in postal service and mail delivery. This system of political patronage was replaced in 1883 after passage of the Pendleton Act (Civil Service Reform Act).[5]

Ten years before waterways were declared post roads in 1823, the Post Office used steamboats to carry mail between post towns where no roads existed.[6] Once it became clear that the postal system in the United States needed to expand across the entire country, the use of the railroad to transport the mail was instituted in 1832 on one line in Pennsylvania.[7] All railroads in the United States were designated as post routes, after passage of the Act of July 7, 1838. Mail service by railroad increased rapidly thereafter.[8]

In 1847, the U.S. Mail Steamship Company acquired the contract to carry the U. S. mails from New York, with stops in New Orleans and Havana, to the Isthmus of Panama for delivery in California. The same year, Pacific Mail Steamship Company had acquired the right to transport mail under contract from the United States Government from the Isthmus of Panama to California. In 1855, William Henry Aspinwall completed the Panama Railway, the first transcontinental railroad, providing service from the east coast across the Istumus to California in three weeks for the mails, passengers and goods and remained an important route until the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. Railroad companies greatly expanded mail transport service after 1862, and the Railway Mail Service was inaugurated in 1869.[7] Rail cars designed from the start to sort and distribute mail while rolling were soon introduced.[7] RMS employees sorted mail ‘on the fly’ during the journey, and became some of the most skilled workers in the postal service. An RMS sorter had to be able to separate the mail quickly into compartments based on its final destination, before the first destination arrived, and work at the rate of 600 pieces of mail an hour. They were tested regularly for speed and accuracy.[9] The advent of rural free delivery in the U.S. in 1896 and the inauguration of parcel post service in 1913 greatly increased the volume of mail shipped nationwide, and motivated the development of more efficient postal transportation systems.[10]

On August 12, 1918, the Post Office Department took over air mail service from the U.S. Army Air Service (USAAS). Assistant Postmaster General Otto Praeger appointed Benjamin B. Lipsner to head the civilian-operated Air Mail Service. One of Lipsner’s first acts was to hire four pilots, each with at least 1,000 hours flying experience, paying them an average of $4,000 per year. The Post Office Department used mostly World War I military surplus de Havilland DH-4 aircraft. During 1918, the Post Office hired an additional 36 pilots. In its first year of operation, the Post Office completed 1,208 airmail flights with 90 forced landings. Of those, 53 were due to weather and 37 to engine failure. By 1920, the Air Mail service had delivered 49 million letters.[11] Domestic air mail became obsolete in 1975, and international air mail in 1995, when the USPS began transporting First Class mail by air on a routine basis.

The Post Office was one of the first government departments to regulate obscene materials on a national basis. When the U.S. Congress passed the Comstock laws of 1873, it became illegal to send through the U.S. mail any material considered obscene, indecent or which promoted abortion issues, contraception, or alcohol consumption.[12]


Pony Express

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For other uses, see Pony Express (disambiguation).

Frank E. Webner, Pony Express rider c. 1861

U.S. Postal Service trademarked Pony Express logo

The Pony Express was a fast mail service crossing the North American continent from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, from April 1860 to October 1861. It became the west’s most direct means of east-west communication before the telegraph and was vital for tying California closely with the Union just before the American Civil War.

The Pony Express was a mail delivery system of the Leavenworth & Pike’s Peak Express Company of 1849 which in 1850 became the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company. This firm was founded by William H. Russell, Alexander Majors, and William B. Waddell.[1]

The original fast mail services had messages carried by horseback riders in relay across the prairies, plains, deserts, and mountains of the Western United States. For its 18 months of operation, it briefly reduced the time for mail to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to about ten days.[2]

By having a shorter route and using mounted riders rather than stagecoaches, the founders of the Pony Express hoped to establish their service as a faster and more reliable conduit for the mail and win an exclusive government mail contract. Pony Express demonstrated that a unified transcontinental system could be built and operated continuously year round. Since its replacement by the telegraph, the Pony Express has become part of the lore of the American West. Its reliance on the ability and endurance of individual riders and horses over technological innovation was part of “American rugged individualism.”

Its route has been designated the Pony Express National Historic Trail. Approximately 120 historic sites along the trail may eventually be open to the public, including 50 stations or station ruins.[3]

From 1866 until 1890, the Pony Express logo was used by Wells Fargo, which provided secure mail and freight services. The United States Postal Service (USPS) uses “Pony Express” as a trademark for postal services in the US. Freight Link international courier services, based in Russia, adopted the Pony Express trademark and a logo similar to that of the USPS.

April 1, 2010 will be the Pony Express’ 150th anniversary. Located in St. Joseph, Missouri, the Patee House Museum, which was the Pony Express’ headquarters, will be hosting events celebrating the anniversary.[4]




Pony Express Stables in St. Joseph, Missouri [5]

A total of about 190 Pony Express stations were placed at intervals of about 10 miles (16 km) along the approximately 2,000 miles (3,200 km) route.[6] This was roughly the maximum distance a horse could travel at full gallop. The rider changed to a fresh horse at each station, taking only the mail pouch called a mochila (from the Spanish for pouch) with him. The employers stressed the importance of the pouch. They often said that, if it came to be, the horse and rider should perish before the mochila did. The mochila was thrown over the saddle and held in place by the weight of the rider sitting on it. Each corner had a cantina, or pocket. Bundles of mail were placed in these cantinas, which were padlocked for safety. The mochila could hold 20 pounds (10 kg) of mail along with the 20 pounds of material carried on the horse. Included in that 20 pounds were a water sack, a Bible, a horn for alerting the relay station master to prepare the next horse, a revolver, and a choice of a rifle or another revolver.[citation needed] Eventually, everything except one revolver and a water sack was removed, allowing for a total of 165 pounds (75 kg) on the horse’s back. Riders, who could not weigh over 125 pounds, changed about every 75–100 miles (120–160 km), and rode day and night. In emergencies, a given rider might ride two stages back to back, over 20 hours on a galloping horse.

It is unknown if riders tried crossing the Sierra Nevadas in winter, but they certainly crossed central Nevada. By 1860 there was a telegraph station in Carson City, Nevada. The riders received $25 per week as pay. A comparable wage for unskilled labor at the time was about $1 per week.

Alexander Majors, one of the founders of the Pony Express, had acquired more than 400 horses for the project. These averaged about 14½ hands (1.47 m) high and averaged 900 pounds (410 kg)[7] each; thus, the name pony was appropriate, even if not strictly correct in all cases.

Route of the Pony Express

Pony Express map from National Park Service.

The roughly 1900 mile route[8] roughly followed the Oregon Trail, and California Trail to Fort Bridger in Wyoming and then the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City, Utah. From there it roughly followed the Central Nevada Route to Carson City, Nevada before passing over the Sierras into Sacramento, California.

The route started at St. Joseph, Missouri on the Missouri River, it then followed what is modern day US 36—the Pony Express Highway—to Marysville, Kansas, where it turned northwest following Little Blue River to Fort Kearny in Nebraska. Through Nebraska it followed the Great Platte River Road, cutting through Gothenburg, Nebraska and passing Courthouse Rock, Chimney Rock, and Scotts Bluff, clipping the edge of Colorado at Julesburg, Colorado, before arriving at Fort Laramie in Wyoming. From there it followed the Sweetwater River, passing Independence Rock, Devil’s Gate, and Split Rock, to Fort Caspar, through South Pass to Fort Bridger and then down to Salt Lake City. From Salt Lake City it generally followed the Central Nevada Route blazed by Captain James H. Simpson of the Corps of Topographical Engineers in 1859. This route roughly follows today’s U.S. Highway 50 across Nevada and Utah. It crossed the Great Basin, the Utah-Nevada Desert, and the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe before arriving in Sacramento. Mail was then sent via steamer down the Sacramento River to San Francisco. On a few instances when the steamer was missed, riders took the mail via horseback to Oakland, California.

First Westbound Journey

The messenger delivering the mochila from New York and Washington missed a connection in Detroit and arrived in Hannibal, Missouri, two hours late [date??]. The railroad cleared the track and dispatched a special locomotive called the “Missouri” with a one-car train to make the 206-mile (332 km) trek across the state in a record 4 hours, 51 minutes — an average of 40 miles per hour (64 km/h).[9] It arrived at Olive and 8th Street — a few blocks from the company’s new headquarters in a hotel at Patee House at 12th Street and Pennsylvania and the company’s nearby stables on Pennsylvania. The first pouch contained 49 letters, five private telegrams, and some papers for San Francisco and intermediate points.[10]

St. Joseph Mayor M. Jeff Thompson, William H. Russell and Alexander Majors gave speeches before the mochila was handed off. The ride began at about 7:15 p.m. The St. Joseph Gazette was the only newspaper included in the bag.

The identity of the first rider has long been in dispute. The Weekly West (April 4, 1860) reported Johnson William Richardson was the first rider (see Footnote 358 [1]).

This 25-cent stamp printed by Wells Fargo was cancelled in Virginia City, Nevada, and used on a revived Pony Express run between there and Sacramento beginning in 1862.

Pony Express statue in St. Joseph, Missouri

The postal service running pony logo used before 1970 was not inspired by the Pony Express as many believe.

Wells Fargo security patch

The first horse-ridden leg of the Express was only about a half mile (800 m) from the Express stables/railroad area to the Missouri River ferry at the foot of Jules Street. Johnny Fry is credited as the first westbound rider who carried the pouch across the Missouri River ferry to Elwood, Kansas. Reports indicated that horse and rider crossed the river. In later rides, the courier crossed the river without a horse and picked up his mount at a stable on the other side.

The first westbound mochila reached its destination, San Francisco, on April 14, at 1:00 a.m. [11]


James Randall is credited as the first rider from the San Francisco Alta telegraph office, since he was on the steamship Antelope to go to Sacramento. At 2:45 a.m., William (Sam) Hamilton was the first rider to begin the journey from Sacramento.


Although the Pony Express proved that the central/northern mail route was viable, Russell, Majors and Waddell did not get the contract to deliver mail over the route. The contract was instead awarded to Jeremy Dehut in March 1861, who had taken over the southern Congressionally favored Butterfield Overland Mail Stage Line. Holladay took over the Russell, Majors and Waddell stations for his stagecoaches.

Shortly after the contract was awarded, the start of the American Civil War caused the stage line to cease operation. From March 1861, the Pony Express ran mail only between Salt Lake City and Sacramento. The Pony Express announced its closure on October 26, 1861, two days after the transcontinental telegraph reached Salt Lake City and connected Omaha, Nebraska and Sacramento, California.[12] Other telegraph lines connected points along the line and other cities on the east and west coasts.

The Pony Express had grossed $90,000 and lost $200,000.[13] In 1866, after the American Civil War was over, Holladay sold the Pony Express assets along with the remnants of the Butterfield Stage to Wells Fargo for $1.5 million.

The introduction of postage stamps in the UK in May 1840 was received with great interest in the United States (and around the world). A private carrier, Alexander M. Greig of New York City, established a “City Despatch Post” on February 1, 1842 which covered New York City as far north as 23rd St. He issued stamps, bearing a portrait of Washington, printed from line engraved plates. [2]

A few months after founding the City Despatch Post, Greig sold it to the U.S. Government and the post became known as the “United States City Despatch Post.” The government began operation of this local post on August 16, 1842 under an Act of Congress of some years earlier which had authorized such local delivery.

The Act of Congress of March 3, 1845, (effective July 1, 1845), established uniform (and reduced) postal rates throughout the nation, with a uniform rate of five cents for distances under 300 miles (500 km). However, Congress did not authorize the production of stamps until 1847, so postmasters made provisional issues. These included both prepaid envelopes and stamps, mostly of crude design, the New York Postmaster’s Provisional being the only one of quality comparable to later stamps. The provisionals of Baltimore were notable for the reproduced signature of the city’s postmaster—James Buchanan. All of the provisionals are rare, and several command prices above US$100,000. These cities issued provisionals in 1845 and 1846:

Provisional stamp from Providence, Rhode Island.

[edit] First stamps

1847 5¢; the first US stamp, Scott #1

1847 10¢, Scott #2

Congress finally provided for the issuance of stamps by passing an act on March 3, 1847, and the Postmaster-General immediately let a contract to the New York City engraving firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch, and Edson. The first stamp issue of the U.S. was offered for sale on July 1, 1847, in NYC, with Boston receiving stamps the following day and other cities thereafter. They consisted of an engraved 5-cent red brown stamp depicting Benjamin Franklin (the first postmaster of the US), and a 10-cent value in black with George Washington. As for all U.S. stamps until 1857, they were imperforate.

The 5 cent stamp paid for a letter weighing less than 1 oz and travelling less than 300 miles, the 10 cent stamp for deliveries to locations greater than 300 miles, or, twice the weight deliverable for the 5 cent stamp. Each stamp was hand engraved in what is believed to be steel, and laid out in sheets of 200 stamps. The 5 cent stamp is often found today with very poor impressions because the type of ink used contained small pieces of quartz, and wore down the steel plates to which the stamp was printed. On the other hand, most 10 cent stamps are of strong impressions. A fresh and brilliantly printed 5 cent stamp is prized by collectors.

3 cents, 1851

1 cent, 1851, type II

The stamps were an immediate success; about 3,700,000 of the 5¢ and about 865,000 of the 10¢ were sold, and enough of those have survived to ensure a ready supply for collectors, although the demand is such that a very fine 5¢ sells for around US$500 as of 2003, and the 10¢ in very fine condition sells for around $1,400 in used form. Unused stamps are much scarcer, fetching around $6,000 and $28,000 respectively, if in very fine condition. One can pay as little as 5 to 10% of these figures if the stamps are in poor condition.

The post office had become so efficient by 1851 that Congress was able to reduce the common rate to three cents (which remained unchanged for over thirty years), necessitating a new issue of stamps. Values included a 1¢ profile of Franklin in blue, a 3¢ profile of Washington in red brown, a 5¢ portrait of Thomas Jefferson, and portraits of Washington for 10¢ green and 12¢ black values. The 1c stamp achieved notoriety, at least among philatelists, because production problems led to substantial plate modifications, and there are no less than seven major varieties, ranging in price from $100 to $200,000, and sharp-eyed collectors periodically find the rare types going unrecognized.

1857 saw the introduction of perforation, and in 1860 24¢, 30¢, and 90¢ values (with still more images of Washington and Franklin) were issued for the first time.

[edit] Civil War

~ Generals Lee and Jackson ~ Issue of 1937

~ Generals Sherman, Grant and Sheridan ~ Issue of 1965

The outbreak of the American Civil War threw the postal system into turmoil. On April 13, 1861 (the day after the firing on Fort Sumter) John H. Reagan, postmaster-general of the Confederate States of America, ordered local postmasters to return their US stamps to Washington DC (although it is unlikely that many did so), while in May the Union decided to withdraw and invalidate all existing US stamps, and to issue new stamps. Confederate post offices were left without legitimate stamps for several months, and while many reverted to the old system of cash payment at the post office, over one hundred post offices across the South came up with their own provisional issues. Many of these are quite rare, with only single examples surviving of some types. Eventually the Confederate government issued its own stamps; see stamps and postal history of the Confederate States.

In the North, the new stamp designs became available in August, and old stamps were accepted in exchange until the end of the year. The whole process was very confusing to the public, and there are number of covers from 1862 and later with 1857 stamps and bearing the marking “OLD STAMPS NOT RECOGNIZED”.

The “Black Jack”, 1863

19th Century, Madame Vestris, London Theater (Antebellum)

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Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and other internet sources

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris

c. 1835 Engraving: Eliza Vestris in The Alcaid
Born Lucia Bartolozzi
January 1797
London, England
Died 8 August 1856
London, England
Years active 1815—1854
Spouse(s) Auguste Armand Vestris
Charles James Mathews

Lucia Elizabeth Vestris (January 1797 – 8 August 1856) was an English actress.

She was born Lucia Bartolozzi in London, the daughter of Theresa Jansen Bartolozzi and Gaetano Stefano Bartolozzi (1757-1821) and granddaughter of Francesco Bartolozzi, the engraver. In 1813 she married Auguste Armand Vestris, who deserted her four years later. Her contralto voice and attractive appearance had gained Madame Vestris her first leading role in Italian opera in the title-role of Peter Winter’s II ratio di Proserpina at the King’s Theatre in 1815.  At 16 she married the dancer Armand Vestris (1787–1825), the son of Auguste Vestris. Armand was working at the King’s Theater and in production for a “Gonsalves di Cordova,” a grand ballet that he was arranging, an expected extraordinary event, but the opening date was announced and pushed back, announced and postponed.and Armand’s stormy disposition was the suspected cause.  The ballet was eventually produced and a great success.    Armand performed in Vincent Martin y Solar’s Cosa Rara, where Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold were in attendance.  Vestris and the other performers sang “God Save the King” adding an additional verse in honor of the prince and princess who appreciated it so much, they requested it be sang again at the end of the opera.


Armand and Madame Vestris separated two years after marriage, and she later went on the stage in Paris.  Part of the reason for their divorce may be attributed to Armand’s bad fortune.  When the King’s Theater closed, Armand was broke.  He was arrested for debts, filed for bankruptcy, and according to gossip at the time went to Paris with his wife and a suspected mistress, the dancer Mademoiselle Mori.  Once settled in Paris, Armand abandoned Madame Vestris for a dance appointment in Naples with Mori.   Madame Vestris continued to work on stage and secured appointment to Italian Opera and social circles where she met an Englishman, Windham Anstruther, who became smitten with her and she with him.   He was appalled that she would stay married to man who had abandoned her.

She had immediate success in both London and Paris, where she played Camille to Talma’s Horace in Horace. Her first hit in English was at Drury Lane in James Cobb‘s (1756-1818) Siege of Belgrade (1820). She was particularly a favourite in “breeches parts,” like Cherubino in the Marriage of Figaro, and in Don Giovanni, and with such introduced songs as “Cherry Ripe,” “Meet me by moonlight alone,” “I’ve been roaming,” etc.

In 1831, having accumulated a fortune, she became lessee of the Olympic Theatre, and began the presentation of a series of burlesques and extravaganzas—for which she made this house famous. She married Charles James Mathews in 1838, accompanying him to America and aiding him in his subsequent managerial ventures, including the management of the Lyceum Theatre and the theatre in Covent Garden. They inaugurated their management of Covent Garden with the first known production of Love’s Labour’s Lost since 1605; Vestris played Rosaline. In 1840 she staged one of the first relatively uncut productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which she played Oberon, beginning a tradition of female Oberons that lasted for seventy years.

Her last appearance (1854) was for Charles’s benefit, in an adaptation of Madame de Girardin’s La Joie fait pour, called Sunshine through Clouds, and she died in London. Her musical accomplishments and education were not sufficient to distinguish her in grand opera, and in high comedy she was only moderately successful. But in plays like Loan of a Lover, Paul Pry, Naval Engagements, etc., she was delightfully arch and bewitching.

19th Century, Theater, (England/US) Adelaide Neilson

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19th Century

Early life

Neilson, born in 1848, was the child of a strolling actress, named Brown, and was born, out of wedlock, at 35 St.Peters Square Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In childhood she bore the name of Elizabeth Anne Bland, her mother having subsequently become the wife of a mechanic and house decorator named Samuel Bland. Her girlhood was passed in the town of Guiseley (near Leeds), where she worked in a factory and as a nursery maid.When she had become well known as an actress it was said that she was the child of a Spanish father and an English mother; born at Zaragoza, reared in affluence; educated in France and Italy; taught seven languages; and, finally, embarked in a theatrical career, because of impoverished fortune combined with irrepressible genius. Such stories were completely untrue. The Boston Evening News, January 1914, reported excerpts from actor J.H. Barnes “An Intimate View and a Frank Estimate of Adelaide Neilson – The Mighty Phelps and His Influence – Tales of Mathew retold,” in which Barnes wrote of Adelaide: “She became such a tremendous fact in theatricals on both sides of the Atlantic, especially in the United States, she was almost a religion.”

Adelaide Neilson as Viola


When she was about 15 years old Neilson left her home and made her way to London. Soon after she reached London, she obtained employment, because of her beauty, as a member of the ballet at one of the theatres, and in that way she began her professional career. Various romantic tales were printed concerning her way of life and her ethnicity at that time.

According to the actor/author Barnes, Adelaide’s real name was Elizabeth Ann Brown: “Undoubtedly she had great beauty, wonderful eyes and an expressive mouth,” he wrote in his aforementioned novel. “fine coloring of complexion and hair, and a rather spare figure.  Her appearance suggested a woman of Spanish or Italian type.  When she became famous all kinds of romantic stories were told of her Spanish origin.  Indeed, I have heard her allude to her mother of Saragossa.”

She married Philip Henry Lee, the son of a clergyman resident at Stoke Bruerne, Northamptonshire, in December 1864.

In Spring 1865, after having received some instruction from the veteran actor, John Ryder, she appeared at Sarah Thorne’s Theatre Royal (Margate), long a training-school for novices, where she made a favorable impression. In 1865, at Theatre Royal (Margate), she appeared as Julia in The Hunchback, a character with which her name was long to be associated.

For the next few years, she played at London and provincial theatres in various roles, including Rosalind, Amy Robsart and Rebecca (in Ivanhoe), Beatrice, Viola and Isabella (in Measure for Measure). In July 1865 she was brought out at the New Royalty Theatre, London, in the character of Juliet. Her achievement was not considered extraordinary, but it attracted some favorable attention, and she was thus enabled to proceed in practice of the art to which she had determined to devote her life.

She was a part of a production of The Hugenot Captain by Watts Phillips given by the Princess Theatre on 2 July 2, 1866. Neilson played the role of Gabrielle de Savigny, the heroine of the story. In November 1866 she received favorable reviews for her portrayal of Victorine, another character in The Hugenot Captain. This time the play was performed at the Adelphi Theatre. She also played Nelly Armroyd, in Lost in London. Phillips was pleased with her acting; so was the critic Joseph Knight and the dramatist, Dr Westland Marston; and all of them exerted a friendly influence to promote her professional advancement. Dr Marston, in particular, was able to offer her much practical advice and guidance.

Image of Neilson created by Napoleon Sarony

In 1868 she had become an experimental travelling star, acting Rosalind, Bulwer’s Pauline, and Knowles’ Julia; but she was not at first successful in her ambitious endeavor, and during the next three or four years she strove with circumstance as best she might, sometimes acting in metropolitan stock companies, and sometimes taking a position of more prominence. One of the expedients that she early adopted was that of a dramatic recital, given at St. James’ Hall, London. Long afterward she repeated that recital in America, with brilliant effect. Some of the parts that she played, at various London theatres, were: Lillian, in Dr Marston’s Life for Life; Madame Vidal, in A Life Chase, by John Oxenford and Horace Wigan; and Mary Belton, in Uncle Dick’s Darling. In 1870 she gained a conspicuous success as Amy Robsart, a part that admirably suited her, in a play based on Sir Walter Scott‘s novel Kenilworth; and in 1871 she obtained critical admiration as Rebecca, in a play based on Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.

American stage

By 1872 she had gained great popularity and, after making a successful tour of British cities and giving a series of farewell performances in London, she came to America, making her first appearance in that country on 18 November 1872, at Booth’s Theatre, New York, as Juliet. She was praised by American critics who echoed the acclaim she had received from London theatrical audiences.

She made subsequent American tours through the 1870s. She played Amy Robsart, heroine of Sir Walter Scott, in May 1873. She is noted for a fine engagement staged in Brooklyn, New York the same year. Her farewell at Booth’s Theatre came on May 2, 1874. Neilson accepted an engagement at the Lyceum in the autumn of the same year. She performed in Cymbeline by William Shakespeare at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York on May 14, 1877. She not only achieved distinction on the American stage, but accumulated a considerable fortune. The parts that she acted in America included Juliet, Rosalind, Viola, Beatrice, Imogen and Isabella, from Shakespeare and Amy Robsart, Julia, Pauline and Lady Teazle, from other authors.

In 1877 she obtained a divorce from her husband and did not marry again. The story told some time later of her marriage to Edward Compton, an English actor, proved to be untrue.

Gravestone, Brompton Cemetery, London


Neilson was on the stage for about fifteen years. She died suddenly whilst riding in in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, France on 15 August 1880, aged 32. A subsequent post-mortem stated death was caused by blood loss due to a rupture in the broad ligament near the left fallopian tube. She is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London, where a sculptured cross of white marble bearing the inscription “Gifted and Beautiful—Resting.” marks her grave.

19th century, freemasons, antebellum

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A poem known as the “Regius Manuscript” has been dated to approximately 1390 and is the oldest known Masonic text.[6] There is evidence to suggest that there were Masonic lodges in existence in Scotland as early as the late sixteenth century[7] (for example the Lodge at Kilwinning, Scotland, has records that date to the late 1500s, and is mentioned in the Second Schaw Statutes (1599) which specified that “ye warden of ye lug of Kilwynning […] tak tryall of ye airt of memorie and science yrof, of everie fellowe of craft and everie prenteiss according to ayr of yr vocations”).[8] There are clear references to the existence of lodges in England by the mid-seventeenth century.[9]

Goose and Gridiron, where the Grand Lodge of England was founded

The first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of England (GLE), was founded on 24 June 1717, when four existing London Lodges met for a joint dinner. This rapidly expanded into a regulatory body, which most English Lodges joined. However, a few lodges resented some of the modernisations that GLE endorsed, such as the creation of the Third Degree, and formed a rival Grand Lodge on 17 July 1751, which they called the “Antient Grand Lodge of England“. The two competing Grand Lodges vied for supremacy – the “Moderns” (GLE) and the “Antients” (or “Ancients”) – until they united on 25 November 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).

The Grand Lodge of Ireland and The Grand Lodge of Scotland were formed in 1725 and 1736 respectively. Freemasonry was exported to the British Colonies in North America by the 1730s – with both the “Antients” and the “Moderns” (as well as the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland) chartering offspring, or “daughter”, Lodges, and organising various Provincial Grand Lodges. After the American Revolution, independent U.S. Grand Lodges formed themselves within each State. Some thought was briefly given to organising an over-arching “Grand Lodge of the United States“, with George Washington (who was a member of a Virginian lodge) as the first Grand Master, but the idea was short-lived. The various State Grand Lodges did not wish to diminish their own authority by agreeing to such a body.[10]

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