Sarah Emma Edmonds


sarah_edmonds

Sarah Emma Edmonds (December 1841 – September 5, 1898), was a Canadian-born woman who is known for serving as a man with the Union Army during the American Civil War. A master of disguise, Edmonds exploits were described in the bestselling Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. In 1992, she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.

Civil War Service

Sarah Emma Edmonds had always been adventurous; her interest in adventure was sparked by a book she read in her youth called Fanny Campbell, the Female Pirate Captain, telling the story of Fanny Campbell and her adventures on a pirate ship while dressed as a man. Fanny remained dressed as a man in order to pursue other adventures, to which Edmonds attributes her desire to cross dress. During the Civil War, she enlisted in the 2nd Michigan Infantry on her second try, disguising herself as a man named “Franklin Flint Thompson,” the middle name possibly after the city she volunteered in, Flint, Michigan. She felt that it was her duty to serve her country and it was truly patriotic. Extensive physical examinations were not required for enlistment at the time, and she was not discovered. She at first served as a male field nurse, participating in several campaigns under General McClellan, including the First and Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, the Peninsula Campaign, Vicksburg, and others. However, some historians today say she could not have been at all these different places at the same time.

Frank Thompson’s career took a turn during the war when a Union spy in Richmond, Virginia was discovered and went before a firing squad, and a friend, James Vesey, was killed in an ambush. She took advantage of the open spot and the opportunity to avenge her friend’s death. She applied for, and won, the position as Franklin Thompson. Although there is no proof in her military records that she actually served as a spy, she wrote extensively about her experiences disguised as a spy during the war.

Traveling into enemy territory in order to gather information required Emma to come up with many disguises. One disguise required Edmonds to use silver nitrate to dye her skin black, wear a black wig, and walk into the Confederacy disguised as a black man by the name of Cuff. Another time she entered as an Irish peddler woman by the name of Bridget O’Shea, claiming that she was selling apples and soap to the soldiers. Yet another time she was “working for the Confederates” as a black laundress when a packet of official papers fell out of an officer’s jacket. When Thompson returned to the Union with the papers, the generals were delighted. Another time, she worked as a detective in Maryland as Charles Mayberry, finding an agent for the Confederacy.

Edmonds’ career as Frank Thompson came to an end when she contracted malaria. She abandoned her duty in the military, fearing that if she went to a military hospital she would be discovered. She checked herself into a private hospital, intending to return to military life once she had recuperated. Once she recovered, however, she saw posters listing Frank Thompson as a deserter. Rather than return to the army under another alias or as Frank Thompson, risking execution for desertion, she decided to serve as a female nurse at a Washington, D.C. hospital for wounded soldiers run by the United States Christian Commission. There was speculation that Edmonds may have deserted because of John Reid having been discharged months earlier. There is evidence in his diary that she had mentioned leaving before she had contracted malaria. Her fellow soldiers spoke highly of her military service, and even after her disguise was discovered, considered her a good soldier. She was referred to as a fearless soldier and was active in every battle her regiment faced.

Edmonds’ Memoir

In 1864, Boston publisher DeWolfe, Fiske, & Co. published Edmonds’ account of her military experiences as The Female Spy of the Union Army. One year later, her story was picked up by a Hartford, CT publisher who issued it with a new title, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army. It was a huge success, selling in excess of 175,000 copies.

Personal Life

In 1867, she married L. H. Seelye, a Canadian mechanic, with whom she had three children.

Later Life

In 1886, she received a government pension of $12 a month for her military service, and after some campaigning, was able to have the charge of desertion dropped, and receive an honorable discharge. In 1897, she became the only woman admitted to the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War Union Army veterans’ organization. Edmonds died in La Porte, Texas, and is buried in the GAR section of Washington Cemetery in Houston.

Legacy

A number of fictional accounts of her life having been written for young adults in the 20th century, including Ann Rinaldi’s Girl in Blue.

She was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 1992.

Edmonds’ book was reprinted again in 1999 with a new title, Memoirs of a Soldier, Nurse and Spy.

 

Narcissa Prentiss Whitman


NarcissaWhitman

Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (March 14, 1808 – November 29, 1847) was an American missionary in the Oregon Country of what would become the state of Washington. Along with Eliza Hart Spalding (wife of Henry Spalding), she was the first European-American woman to cross the Rocky Mountains in 1836 on her way to found the Protestant Whitman Mission with husband Dr. Marcus Whitman near modern day Walla Walla, Washington.

Early life

Narcissa Prentiss was born in Prattsburgh, New York, on March 14, 1808. She was the third of nine children of Judge Stephen and Clarissa Prentiss. She was the oldest of the five girls, followed by Clarissa, Mary Ann, Jane, and Harriet. She also had four brothers. Like many young women of the era, she became caught up in the Second Great Awakening. She decided that her true calling was to become a missionary, and was accepted for missionary service in March 1835. Narcissa was educated at the Franklin Academy in Prattsburgh before her marriage to Dr. Marcus Whitman on February 18, 1836 in Angelica, New York. Her birthplace in Prattsburgh is open to the public as the Narcissa Prentiss House.

Journey west

Shortly after their wedding, Narcissa and Marcus, along with the also recently married Henry and Eliza Spalding, headed west for the Oregon Country in March 1836 to begin their missionary activities amongst the natives. The journey was by sleigh, canal barge, wagon, river sternwheeler, horseback, and foot. The founder of Ogden, Utah, Miles Goodyear, traveled with them until Fort Hall. On September 1, 1836, they arrived at Fort Walla Walla, a Hudson’s Bay Company outpost near present day Walla Walla, Washington. They then traveled on to Fort Vancouver where they were hosted by Dr. John McLoughlin before returning to the Walla Walla area to build their mission. Narcissa was one of the first white women to cross the Rocky Mountains and live in the area. She was something of a novel addition to the community for the local Native Americans, the Cayuse.

Whitman Mission

The Whitman Mission began to take shape in 1837, eventually growing into a major stopping point along the Oregon Trail. Methodist missionary Jason Lee would stop off in 1838 at the mission on his way east to gather reinforcements in the United States for his mission in the Willamette Valley. Then, in 1840, mountain man Joseph Meek, whom the Whitmans met on their journey to the area, stopped off on his way to the Willamette Valley.

Built at Waiilatpu, the settlement was about six miles (10 km) from Fort Walla Walla and along the Walla Walla River. At the mission, Narcissa gave Bible classes to the native population, as well as teaching them Western domestic chores that were unknown to the Native Americans. Besides the missionary goals of converting the natives, she also ran the household. Her daily activities included cooking, washing and ironing clothes, churning butter, making candles and soap, and baking.

On March 14, 1837, on her twenty-ninth birthday, Narcissa gave birth to the first white American born in Oregon Country. She named her Alice Clarissa after her two grandmothers, and she would be their only natural child. Unfortunately, she drowned in the Walla Walla River on June 23, 1839. Unattended for only a few moments, she had gone down to the river bank to fill her cup with water and fell in. Though her body was found shortly after, all attempts to revive her failed. However, other children came to the mission, including the seven Sager orphans, to whom Narcissa became a second mother.

Just before winter, in late 1842, Marcus traveled back east to recruit more missionaries for the mission. During the time he was away, Narcissa traveled west and visited other outposts in the territory including Fort Vancouver, Jason Lee’s Methodist Mission near present day Salem, Oregon, and another mission near Astoria, Oregon. Marcus returned with his nephew Perrin from his trip East in 1843.

Whitman Massacre

Throughout their time in Oregon Country, Narcissa and Marcus encountered trouble with the native tribes. The Cayuse and the Nez Percé tribes were suspicious of the activities and the encouragement of the Americans. As early as 1841, Tiloukaikt had tried to force them to leave Waiilatpu and the ancestral homeland.

In 1847, a measles epidemic broke out among the native population. Spread to the natives by contact with whites, the native population lacked immunity to the disease and it spread quickly. The American populations had some limited immunity to measles which meant a lower mortality rate than the natives. This discrepancy stirred discontent among the natives who felt Marcus was only curing the white people while letting Indian children die. The resentment concerning all the different issues boiled over on November 29, 1847 when Tiloukaikt and others attacked the mission killing both Marcus and Narcissa. This event would be remembered as the Whitman Massacre, in which eleven others were killed and many more taken hostage.

 

Joséphine de Beauharnais


Josephine_de_Beauharnais,_Keizerin_der_Fransen

Joséphine de Beauharnais ( 23 June 1763 – 29 May 1814) was the first wife of Napoleon I, and thus the first Empress of the French.

Her first husband Alexandre de Beauharnais was guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she was imprisoned in the Carmes prison until her release five days after Alexandre’s execution. Through her daughter, Hortense, she was the maternal grandmother of Napoléon III. Through her son, Eugène, she was the great-grandmother of later Swedish and Danish kings and queens. The reigning houses of Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg also descend from her. She did not bear Napoleon any children; as a result, he divorced her in 1810 to marry Marie Louise of Austria.

Joséphine was the recipient of numerous love letters written by Napoleon, many of which still exist. Her Château de Malmaison was noted for its magnificent rose garden, which she supervised closely, owing to her passionate interest in roses, collected from all over the world.

Early life and first marriage

Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie was born in Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique to a wealthy white Creole family that owned a sugar plantation. She was a daughter of Joseph-Gaspard Tascher (1735–1790), chevalier, Seigneur de la Pagerie, lieutenant of Troupes de Marine, and his wife, the former Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sannois (1736–1807), whose maternal grandfather, Anthony Brown, may have been Irish, albeit with an Anglo-Saxon name.

The family struggled financially after hurricanes destroyed their estate in 1766. Edmée (Desirée for the French), Joséphine’s paternal aunt, had been the mistress of François, Vicomte de Beauharnais, a French aristocrat. When François’s health began to fail, Edmée arranged the advantageous marriage of her niece, Catherine-Désirée, to François’s son Alexandre. This marriage would be highly beneficial for the Tascher family, because it would keep the Beauharnais money in their hands; however, twelve-year-old Catherine died on 16 October 1777, before leaving Martinique for France. In service to their aunt Edmée’s goals, Catherine was replaced by her older sister, Joséphine.

In October 1779, Joséphine went to France with her father. She married Alexandre on 13 December 1779, in Noisy-le-Grand. Although their marriage was not happy, they had two children: a son, Eugène de Beauharnais (1781–1824), and a daughter, Hortense de Beauharnais (1783–1837), who married Napoléon’s brother Louis Bonaparte in 1802. On 2 March 1794, during the Reign of Terror, the Comité de Salut public ordered the arrest of her husband. He was jailed in the Carmes prison in Paris. Considering Joséphine as too close to the counter-revolutionary financial circles, the Committee ordered her arrest on April 18, 1794. A warrant of arrest was issued against her on 2 Floréal, year II (April 21, 1794), and she was imprisoned in the Carmes prison until 10 Thermidor, year II (28 July 1794).

Her husband was accused of having poorly defended Mainz in July 1793, and considered an aristocratic “suspect”, was sentenced to death and guillotined, with his cousin Augustin, on 23 July 1794, on the Place de la Révolution (today’s Place de la Concorde) in Paris. Joséphine was freed five days later, thanks to the fall and execution of Robespierre, which ended the Reign of Terror. On 27 July 1794 (9 Thermidor), Tallien arranged the liberation of Thérèse Cabarrus, and soon after that of Joséphine. In June 1795, a new law allowed her to recover the possessions of Alexandre.

Marriage to Napoléon

Joséphine de Beauharnais, now a widow, had affairs with several leading political figures, including Paul François Jean Nicolas Barras. In 1795, she met Napoléon Bonaparte, six years her junior, and became his mistress. In a letter to her in December, he wrote, “I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses.” In January 1796, Napoléon Bonaparte proposed to her and they married on 9 March. Until meeting Bonaparte, she was known as Rose, but Bonaparte preferred to call her Joséphine, the name she adopted from then on.

The marriage was not well received by Napoléon’s family, who were shocked that he had married an older widow with two children. His mother and sisters were especially resentful of Joséphine as they felt clumsy and unsophisticated in her presence. Two days after the wedding, Bonaparte left to lead the French army in Italy. During their separation, he sent her many love letters. In February 1797, he wrote: “You to whom nature has given spirit, sweetness, and beauty, you who alone can move and rule my heart, you who know all too well the absolute empire you exercise over it!”

Joséphine, left behind in Paris, began an affair in 1796 with a handsome Hussar lieutenant, Hippolyte Charles. Rumors of the affair reached Napoléon; he was infuriated, and his love for her changed entirely.

In 1798, Napoléon led a French army to Egypt. During this campaign, Napoléon started an affair of his own with Pauline Fourès, the wife of a junior officer, who became known as “Napoléon’s Cleopatra.” The relationship between Joséphine and Napoléon was never the same after this. His letters became less loving. No subsequent lovers of Joséphine are recorded, but Napoléon had sexual affairs with several other women. In 1804, he said, “Power is my mistress.”

In December 1800, Joséphine was nearly killed in the Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, an attempt on Napoléon’s life with a bomb planted in a parked cart. On December 24, she and Napoleon went to see a performance of Joseph Haydn’s Creation at the Opéra, accompanied by several friends and family. The party travelled in two carriages. Joséphine was in the second, with her daughter Hortense, her pregnant sister-in-law, Caroline Murat, and General Jean Rapp. Joséphine had delayed the party while getting a new silk shawl draped correctly, and Napoléon went ahead in the first carriage. The bomb exploded as her carriage was passing. The bomb killed several bystanders and one of the carriage horses, and blew out the carriage’s windows; Hortense was struck in the hand by flying glass. There were no other injuries and the party proceeded to the Opéra.

Empress of the French

The coronation ceremony, officiated by Pope Pius VII, took place at Notre Dame de Paris, on December 2, 1804. Following a pre-arranged protocol, Napoléon first crowned himself, then put the crown on Joséphine’s head, proclaiming her empress. Shortly before their coronation, there was an incident at the Château de Saint-Cloud that nearly sundered the marriage between the two. Joséphine caught Napoléon in the bedroom of her lady-in-waiting, Élisabeth de Vaudey, and Napoléon threatened to divorce her as she had not produced an heir. Eventually, however, through the efforts of her daughter Hortense, the two were reconciled.

When, after a few years, it became clear she could not have a child, Napoléon while he still loved Joséphine, began to think very seriously about the possibility of divorce. The final die was cast when Joséphine’s grandson Napoléon Charles Bonaparte who had been declared Napoléon’s heir, died of croup in 1807. Napoleon began to create lists of eligible princesses. At dinner on November 30, 1809, he let Joséphine know that — in the interest of France — he must find a wife who could produce an heir. From the next room, Napoléon’s secretary heard the screams.

Joséphine agreed to the divorce so the Emperor could remarry in the hope of having an heir. The divorce ceremony took place on January 10, 1810 and was a grand but solemn social occasion, and each read a statement of devotion to the other.

On March 11, Napoléon married Marie-Louise of Austria by proxy; the formal ceremony took place at the Louvre in April. Napoléon once remarked after marrying Marie-Louise that “he had married a womb”. Even after their separation, Napoleon insisted Josephine retain the title of empress. “It is my will that she retain the rank and title of empress, and especially that she never doubt my sentiments, and that she ever hold me as her best and dearest friend.”

Later life and death

After the divorce, Joséphine lived at the Château de Malmaison, near Paris. She remained on good terms with Napoléon, who once said that the only thing to come between them was her debts.

In March 1811 Marie Louise delivered a long-awaited heir, to whom Napoleon gave the title “King of Rome”. Two years later Napoleon arranged for Joséphine to meet the young prince “who had cost her so many tears”.

Joséphine died of pneumonia in Rueil-Malmaison on May 29, 1814, four days after catching cold during a walk with Tsar Alexander in the gardens of Malmaison. She was buried in the nearby church of Saint Pierre-Saint Paul in Rueil. Her daughter Hortense is interred near her.

Napoleon learned of her death via a French journal while in exile on Elba, and stayed locked in his room for two days, refusing to see anyone. He claimed to a friend, while in exile on Saint Helena, that “I truly loved my Joséphine, but I did not respect her.” Despite his numerous affairs, eventual divorce, and remarriage, the Emperor’s last words on his death bed at St. Helena were: “France, the Army, the Head of the Army, Joséphine.”(“France, l’armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine”).

Descendants

Hortense’s son became Napoléon III, Emperor of the French. Eugène’s son Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg married into the Russian Imperial family, was granted the style of Imperial Highness and founded the Russian line of the Beauharnais family, while Eugene’s daughter Joséphine, married King Oscar I of Sweden, the son of Napoléon’s one-time fiancée, Désirée Clary. Through her, Joséphine is a direct ancestor of the present heads of the royal houses of Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden and of the grandducal house of Baden.

Through the Leuchtenberg inheritance, the Norwegian royal family holds Joséphine’s emerald and diamond tiara while the Swedish royal family holds her sapphire parure, amethyst tiara and the Cameo tiara, worn by Sweden’s royal brides.

Another of Eugène’s daughters, Amélie de Beauharnais von Leuchtenberg, married Emperor Pedro I of Brazil (also former king Pedro IV of Portugal) in Rio de Janeiro, and became Empress of Brazil, and they had one surviving daughter.

Time journalist Nathalie Alexandria Kotchoubey de Beauharnais, was a direct descendant of Joséphine through her son Eugène and the Russian line founded by Josephine’s grandson Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg. She married André Laguerre, longtime managing editor of Sports Illustrated in 1955 and had two daughters, Michèle and Claudine.

Nature and appearance

Biographer Carolly Erickson wrote, “In choosing her lovers Rose [Josephine] followed her head first, then her heart”, meaning that she was adept in terms of identifying the men who were most capable of fulfilling her financial and social needs. She was not unaware of Napoleon’s potential. Joséphine was a renowned spendthrift and Barras may have encouraged the relationship with Général Bonaparte in order to get her off his hands. Josephine was naturally full of kindness, generosity and charm, and was praised as an engaging hostess.

Joséphine was described as being of average height, svelte, shapely, with silky, chestnut-brown hair, hazel eyes, and a rather sallow complexion. Her nose was small and straight, and her mouth was well-formed; however she kept it closed most of the time so as not to reveal her bad teeth. She was praised for her elegance, style, and low, “silvery”, beautifully modulated voice.

Patroness of roses

In 1799 while Napoleon was in Egypt, Josephine purchased the Chateau de Malmaison. She had it landscaped in an “English” style, hiring landscapers and horticulturalists from the United Kingdom. These included: Thomas Blaikie, a Scottish horticultural expert, another Scottish gardener, Alexander Howatson, the botanist, Ventenat, and the horticulturist, Andre Dupont. The rose garden was begun soon after purchase; inspired by Dupont’s love of roses. Josephine took a personal interest in the gardens and the roses, and learned a great deal about botany and horticulture from her staff. Josephine wanted to collect all known roses so Napoleon ordered his warship commanders to search all seized vessels for plants to be forwarded to Malmaison. Pierre-Joseph Redouté was commissioned by her to paint the flowers from her gardens. Les Roses was published 1817-20 with 168 plates of roses; 75-80 of the roses grew at Malmaison. The English nurseryman Kennedy was a major supplier, despite England and France being at war, his shipments were allowed to cross blockades. Specifically, when Hume’s Blush Tea-Scented China was imported to England from China, the British and French Admiralties made arrangements in 1810 for specimens to cross naval blockades for Josephine’s garden. Sir Joseph Banks, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, also sent her roses. The general assumption is that she had about 250 roses in her garden when she died in 1814. Unfortunately the roses were not catalogued during her tenure. There may have been only 197 rose varieties in existence in 1814, according to calculations by Jules Gravereaux of Roseraie de l’Haye. There were 12 species, about 40 centifolias, mosses and damasks, 20 Bengals, and about 100 gallicas. The botanist Claude Antoine Thory, who wrote the descriptions for Redouté’s paintings in Les Roses, noted that Josephine’s Bengal rose R. indica had black spots on it. She produced the first written history of the cultivation of roses, and is believed to have hosted the first rose exhibition, in 1810.

Modern hybridization of roses through artificial, controlled pollination began with Josephine’s horticulturalist Andre Dupont. Prior to this, most new rose cultivars were spontaneous mutations or accidental, bee-induced hybrids, and appeared rarely. With controlled pollination, the appearance of new cultivars grew exponentially. Of the roughly 200 types of roses known to Josephine, Dupont had created 25 while in her employ. Subsequent French hybridizers created over 1000 new rose cultivars in the 30 years following Josephine’s death. In 1910, less than 100 years after her death, there were about 8000 rose types in Gravereaux’s garden. Bechtel also feels that the popularity of roses as garden plants was boosted by Josephine’s patronage. She was a popular ruler and fashionable people copied her.

Brenner and Scanniello call her the “Godmother of modern rosomaniacs” and attribute her with our modern style of vernacular cultivar names as opposed to Latinized, pseudo-scientific cultivar names. For instance, R. alba incarnata became “Cuisse de Nymphe Emue” in her garden. After Josephine’s death in 1814 the house was vacant at times, the garden and house ransacked and vandalised, and the garden’s remains were destroyed in a battle in 1870. The rose Souvenir de la Malmaison appeared in 1844, 30 years after her death, named in her honor by a Russian Grand Duke planting one of the first specimens in the Imperial Garden in St. Petersburg.

 

Ruth Miriam Goldbloom


316160-ruth-schwartz-goldbloom

Ruth Miriam Goldbloom, ( December 5, 1923 – August 29, 2012) was a Canadian philanthropist who co-founded the Pier 21 museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was born and raised in New Waterford, Nova Scotia, to immigrant parents. Their immigrant experience influenced her throughout her life and was a major factor in her helping to found Pier 21. She became the first Jew to Chair Mount Saint Vincent University’s board, which was a Catholic women’s university at the time. She was the chancellor of the Technical University of Nova Scotia in the 1990s and fundraising chair for the Halifax area United Way. She was inducted into the Order of Canada for her work with charities in the 1980s and 1990s.

Early life

Goldbloom was born and raised as Ruth Miriam Schwartz, in New Waterford, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Her grandparents and parents immigrated to Canada from the Pale of Settlement, Russian Empire, with their immigrant experience influencing her throughout her life. She attended both Mount Allison University and McGill University. She met Richard Goldbloom at McGill, and married him in 1946. They moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Montreal in 1967 with their family.

Community work

When Goldbloom moved to Halifax in 1967 with her husband and family, she began to get involved in the community. She was a fundraising chair for the Izaak Walton Killam Children’s Hospital, where her husband was the Physician-in-Chief. She became a fundraiser for Mount Saint Vincent University, at the time a women only Catholic institution. In the 1980s, she became the first Jew to chair the University’s board. In 1989, she became the first chairwoman of the Halifax United Way’s annual fundraising drive. She served as the Chancellor for the Technical University of Nova Scotia before it merged with Dalhousie University. She became a fundraiser for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in 2009. She and her husband were also involved with the Arts community, and they helped support Symphony Nova Scotia and its precursor the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra.

Pier 21

Goldbloom co-founded the Pier 21 Society in 1990, which eventually established the Pier 21 Museum. She spearheaded the fundraising efforts to raise $16 million to build a new museum at the pier, which opened in 1999. In 2009, the year that Pier 21 was designated a National Museum of Immigration, Goldbloom noted that she always wanted it “to become the second museum outside of Ottawa to be a national museum of immigration.” Pier 21 operated as an ocean liner terminal and immigration entry point from 1928 to 1971. It was converted to the Pier 21 museum in 1999 and became Canada’s National Museum of Immigration in 2009, with Goldbloom present as the Prime Minister announced the museum’s new status.

Awards

She was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1992 for her fundraising work at the Halifax United Way and at Mount Saint Vincent University. She was later promoted to an Officer of the Order of Canada in April 2000 for her work at Pier 21 and as Chancellor of the Technical University of Nova Scotia. Goldbloom was awarded the Order of Nova Scotia in 2008 for her volunteer work in social, religious and heritage organizations in that province. She was awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees from Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia Community College, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Mount Allison University, University of King’s College, and Acadia University. As well, she was awarded numerous awards from Jewish organizations, and community groups.

Goldbloom died from cancer on August 29, 2012, aged 88. She was survived by her husband, Dr. Richard Goldbloom, three children, seven grandchildren and four great grand children. A large public funeral was held next to Pier 21 at the Cunard Centre, with the premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter; Lt. Governor John James Grant; other government officials and prominent people in attendance.

 

Klara Hitler


Hitler's Mother

Klara Hitler ( 12 August 1860 – 21 December 1907) was an Austrian woman, and the mother of Führer Adolf Hitler.

Family background and marriage

Born in the Austrian village of Spital, Weitra, Waldviertel, her father was Johann Baptist Pölzl and her mother was Johanna Hiedler. Either Johanna Hiedler’s father Johann Nepomuk Hiedler or his brother Johann Georg Hiedler (who is presumed and accepted as the father) was the biological father of Klara Heidler’s husband, Alois Hitler, Sr.. Therefore, Klara and Alois were most likely first cousins once removed.

Klara came from old peasant stock, was hard-working, energetic, pious, and conscientious. According to Dr. Bloch, who treated her, she was a very quiet, sweet, and affectionate woman.

In 1876, three years after Alois Hitler’s first marriage to Anna Glasl-Hörer, Alois hired 16-year-old Klara as a household servant. After the death of his second wife — Franziska Matzelsberger — in 1884, Alois and Klara were married on 7 January 1885 in a brief wedding held early that morning at Hitler’s rented rooms on the top floor of the Pommer Inn in Braunau. Klara found the wedding to be a short ceremony. Alois then went to work for the day at his job as a customs official. Their first son — Gustav — was born four months later, on 15 May 1885. Ida followed on 23 September 1886. Both infants died of diphtheria during the winter of 1886-1887. A third child, Otto, was born and died in 1887.

Adolf was born 20 April 1889, followed by Edmund on 24 March 1894 and Paula on 21 January 1896. Edmund died of measles on 28 February 1900, at the age of five. Klara’s adult life was spent keeping house and raising children, for which, according to Smith, Alois had little understanding or interest.

Klara was very devoted to her children and, according to William Patrick Hitler, was a typical stepmother to her stepchildren, Alois Jr. and Angela.

Klara was a devout Roman Catholic and attended church regularly with her children. Of her six children with Alois, only Adolf and Paula survived to adulthood.

Alois and Klara’s children were:

  • Gustav Hitler (born 10 May 1885, died of diphtheria on 8 December 1887 in Braunau am Inn)
  • Ida Hitler (born 23 September 1886, died of diphtheria 2 January 1888 in Braunau am Inn)
  • Otto Hitler (born and died 1887 in Vienna, lived three days)
  • Adolf Hitler (born 20 April 1889, committed suicide 30 April 1945), German dictator
  • Edmund Hitler (born 24 March 1894, Passau, died of measles, 28 February 1900, Leonding)
  • Paula Hitler (born 21 January 1896, died 1 June 1960), the last surviving member of Hitler’s immediate family.

Later life and death

When Alois died in 1903, he left her a government pension. She sold the house in Leonding and moved with young Adolf and Paula to an apartment in Linz, where they lived frugally.

Klara Hitler first discovered a lump in her breast in 1905 but initially ignored it. After experiencing chest pains that were keeping her awake at night, Klara finally consulted the family doctor, Eduard Bloch, in January 1907. Dr. Bloch chose not to inform Klara that she had breast cancer and left it to her son Adolf to inform her. Dr. Bloch told Adolf that Klara had a small chance of surviving and recommended that she undergo a radical mastectomy. The Hitlers were devastated by the news. According to Dr. Bloch, Klara “accepted the verdict as I was sure she would – with fortitude. Deeply religious, she assumed that her fate was God’s will. It would never occur to her to complain.” Klara underwent the mastectomy at Sisters of St. Mercy in Linz whereupon the surgeon, Dr. Karl Urban, discovered that the cancer had already metastasized to the pleural tissue in her chest. Dr. Bloch informed Klara’s children that her condition was terminal. Adolf, who had been in Vienna ostensibly to study art, moved back home to tend to his mother as did his siblings. By October, Klara’s condition had rapidly declined and Adolf begged Dr. Bloch to try a new treatment. For the next 46 days (from November to early December), Dr. Bloch performed daily treatments of iodoform, a then experimental form of chemotherapy. Klara’s mastectomy incisions were reopened and massive doses of iodoform soaked gauze was applied directly to the tissue to “burn” the cancer cells. The treatments were incredibly painful and caused Klara’s throat to paralyze leaving her unable to swallow. The treatments proved to be futile and Klara died at home in Linz from the toxic medical side-effects on 21 December 1907. Owing to their mother’s pension and money from her modest estate, the two siblings were left with some financial support. Klara was buried in Leonding near Linz.

Adolf Hitler, who had a close relationship with his mother, was devastated by her death and carried the grief for the rest of his life. Dr. Bloch later recalled that “In all my career, I have never seen anyone so prostrate with grief as Adolf Hitler.” In his autobiography Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote that he had “…honored my father, but loved my mother” and said that his mother’s death was a “dreadful blow….” Decades later, in 1940, Hitler showed gratitude to Dr. Bloch (who was Jewish) by allowing him to emigrate with his wife from Austria to the United States.

Removal of tombstone

On 28 March 2012, the tombstone marking Alois Hitler’s grave (and that of his wife, Klara) in Town Cemetery in Leonding was removed, without ceremony, by a descendant, according to Kurt Pittertschatscher, the pastor of the parish. The descendant is said to be an elderly female relative of Alois Hitler’s first wife, Anna, who has also given up any rights to the rented burial plot. The plot was covered in white gravel and left with its distinguishing single tree which has since been removed, but the grave is very easy to locate. The remains of Hitler’s parents are still interred in the grave.

 

Lucille Teasdale-Corti


safe_image.php

Lucille Teasdale-Corti, (January 30, 1929 – August 1, 1996) was a Canadian physician, surgeon and international aid worker, who worked in Uganda and contributed to the development of medical services in the country.

Early life in Canada

Born in Montreal East, Quebec on 30 January 1929, Lucille Teasdale was the fourth of seven children. Her father René ran a grocery store in Avenue Guybourg, Saint-Léonard, Montreal.

She was educated as a boarder at Collège Jésus-Marie d’Outrement, a select Catholic college by nuns whose methods she thought to be very strict. A visit to the college by some nuns who had worked as missionaries in China acted as a catalyst for her, then aged 12, to consider becoming a doctor, this coming on top of voluntary work which she had done in a clinic serving the disadvantaged people of the Plateau Mont-Royal from which she had gained a conviction that the worst injustic was disease and that she could do something about it.

She won a scholarship to attend medical school at the University of Montreal, starting in 1950. Females were not common in the medical profession at that time and her class of 110 students included only eight women. She graduated in 1955, becoming one of the first female surgeons in Quebec, and took work at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montreal.

It was at this time, while working in the pediatric department, that she first met the Italian doctor, Piero Corti. He was working at the hospital to obtain a specialist qualification in pediatrics, to add to those in radiology and neuropsychiatry which he already had. Corti showed an interest in her but Teasdale was concentrating on her job, working up to 16 hours a day and sometimes fainting in the operating theater as a consequence.

A condition of completing her postgraduate training was that she must agree to work for a period of time in a hospital abroad. Teasdale tried to obtain work in the USA but was turned down by 20 hospitals. She later said that this was “probably because I was a woman”.

France and Uganda

In September 1960 Lucille traveled to France to work at l’Hôpital de la Conception in Marseille, and, although she lacked confidence in her own abilities she was nonetheless highly regarded by staff members there. She had been unhappy with the Canadian health-care system which, to her, appeared to be an immoral one because it had both private and public sectors, and patients in the private sector obtained better treatment. She thought indeed that medicine was so interesting that doctors should pay for the honor of practicing it.

It was while working in Marseilles that Corti approached her: he needed a surgeon at a small clinic which had been established in Uganda and to which he had recently been invited and had hopes of turning into a hospital. The clinic was located in a small village of the Acoli tribe, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Gulu. It was run by a staff of six Combonian nuns and consisted of an outpatient unit and around 40 maternity beds. She agreed to go with Corti, initially for a period of two months, and arrived in May 1961. On 10 June 1961 she performed her first operation, on a makeshift table, and thereafter spent mornings treating outpatients and afternoons in theater.

Facilities improved as Corti spent his time soliciting donations from abroad. The clinic was renamed Lacor Hospital, after the nearby town, and Teasdale returned to France after extending her stay from two months to four.

She returned in December 1961, finding herself unable to be separated from Corti. They were married in the hospital chapel on 5 December and on 17 November 1962 she gave birth to their daughter Dominique. At this time Teasdale was seeing around 300 outpatients each morning and then performing operations in the afternoon, in conditions which were poor due to, amongst other things, a fluctuating supply of electricity, shortage of suitable medication and the poor quality of the water supplied.

She also spent time educating Acoli mothers who were uninformed about medical science and were utilising the traditional practice of ebino, the extraction of infants’ canine tooth buds, which supposedly cures disease, but in fact often causes bacterial infections.

Uganda, a British protectorate, gained independence on 9 October 1962. Years of civil unrest and then outright civil war followed, involving the supporters of the dictators Amin Dada (1971–1978), Milton Obote (1979–1985) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (1986–2006), as well as an invasion by Tanzanian troops. By the end of Amin’s period in power there had been an estimated 300,000 victims. The hospital received its share of the wounded and the dying, causing Teasdale-Corti to become a war surgeon and increasing her workload further. The hospital not merely dealt with the casualties but also suffered from looting and the kidnap of staff members. During this time Teasdale continued to expand her abilities and expertise and, in 1979, performed her first bone graft, this being on a wounded soldier in an attempt to avoid the alternative of amputation.

In 1972 she and her husband established a school of nursing at the hospital to train local people; from 1982 she ran a program at Makerere University, Kampala for the training of surgical residents and also arranged the work preparation of Italian doctors intending to work in Africa.

Illness

Teasdale-Corti had prided herself on her stamina, working extremely long hours in difficult circumstances. When her health began to deteriorate and her ability to sustain a heavy workload was consequently reduced, she sought medical advice for herself. The diagnosis, which is variously said to have been made in Italy and by Anthony Pinching (an immunologist) in London, was that she was suffering from AIDS, probably as a consequence of operating on a victim of the civil war.

She suffered the consequences of the illness for a further eleven years, with trips to San Raffaele Hospital in Milan in order to receive treatment for herself. She died on 1 August 1996, weighing 33 kg, in Besana in Brianza, Italy, to which she had recently moved in search of treatment for herself. A copy of what is believed to be her last letter exists and describes the situation of both the hospital and herself at the time. Her body was returned to Uganda and interred in the grounds of the hospital. A few months after her death Corti had his fourth heart attack; and he eventually died seven years later, of pancreatic cancer. He had continued working at the hospital, had conducted research into AIDS with Dr J W Carswell, and was buried next to his wife.

In 1993, three years before her death she and her husband had established the Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti Foundation in Montreal, followed two years later by a similar body based in Milan. These were intended to ensure the continued existence of the hospital. By that time she had performed more than 13,000 operations and the hospital had grown to have 465 beds and departments covering numerous specialities. As at 2011 Dominique, the couple’s daughter and herself a doctor of medicine, continues to run the Foundations.

A TV movie of the story was made in 2000.

 

The Black Dahlia


elizabeth-short

“The Black Dahlia” was a nickname given to Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – c. January 15, 1947), an American woman who was the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. Short acquired the moniker posthumously by newspapers in the habit of nicknaming crimes they found particularly lurid. Short was found mutilated, her body sliced in half at the waist, on January 15, 1947, in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short’s unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story. Short’s murder is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.

Early life

Elizabeth Short was born in Boston; she grew up and lived in the suburb of Medford, Massachusetts. She was the third of five daughters of Cleo Short and Phoebe Mae Sawyer. Her father built miniature golf courses until the 1929 stock market crash, in which he lost much of the family’s assets. In 1930, he parked his car on a bridge and vanished, leading some to believe he had committed suicide. Short’s mother moved the family to a small apartment in Medford and found work as a bookkeeper. It was not until later that Short would discover her father was alive and living in California.

Troubled by asthma and bronchitis, Short was sent to live for the winter in Miami at the age of 16. She spent the next three years living there during the cold months and in Medford the remainder of the year. At age 19, Short travelled to Vallejo, California, to live with her father, who was working nearby at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on San Francisco Bay. They moved to Los Angeles in early 1943, but an altercation resulted in her leaving there and finding work in the post exchange at Camp Cooke (now Vandenberg Air Force Base), near Lompoc, California. Short next moved to Santa Barbara, where she was arrested on September 23, 1943, for underage drinking. Following her arrest, she was sent back to Medford by the juvenile authorities in Santa Barbara. Short then returned to Florida to live, with occasional visits to Massachusetts.

In Florida, Short met Major Matthew Michael Gordon, Jr., a decorated United States Army Air Force officer who was assigned to the 2nd Air Commando Group and in training for deployment to China Burma India Theater of Operations. Short told friends that Gordon wrote her a letter from India proposing marriage while he was recovering from injuries sustained from an airplane crash. She accepted his proposal, but Gordon died in a second airplane crash on August 10, 1945, before he could return to the United States.

Elizabeth Short returned to Los Angeles in July 1946 to visit Army Air Force Lieutenant Joseph Gordon Fickling, an old boyfriend she had met in Florida during the war. At the time Short returned to Los Angeles, Fickling was stationed at NARB, Long Beach. For the six months prior to her death, Short remained in southern California, mainly in the Los Angeles area.

Murder and aftermath

The nude body of Short was found in two pieces on a vacant lot on the west side of South Norton Avenue midway between Coliseum Street and West 39th in Leimert Park, Los Angeles on January 15, 1947. It was discovered by local resident Betty Bersinger, who was walking with her three-year-old daughter around 10 a.m.; Bersinger initially mistook the body for a discarded store mannequin. Upon realizing it was a corpse, she rushed to a nearby house, where she phoned the police.

Short’s severely mutilated body was severed at the waist and completely drained of blood. Not only was the body bloodless, but her body had been obviously washed by the killer as well. Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears, creating an effect called the Glasgow smile. Short also had multiple cuts on her thigh and breasts, where entire portions of flesh had been removed. Her lower half was positioned a foot away from her torso, and the intestines were tucked neatly under the buttocks. The body had been “posed” with her hands over her head, her elbows bent at right angles, and her legs spread. Near the body, detectives found a cement sack which contained droplets of watery blood, as well as a heel print on the ground amidst tire tracks.

The autopsy stated that Short was 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m) tall, weighed 115 pounds (52 kg), and had light blue eyes, brown hair, and badly decayed teeth. There were ligature marks on her ankles, wrists, and neck. Although the skull was not fractured, Short had bruising on the front and right side of her scalp with a small amount of bleeding in the subarachnoid space on the right side, consistent with blows to the head. The cause of death was hemorrhage from the lacerations to the face and shock due to blows on the head and face.

Following Short’s identification, reporters from the Los Angeles Examiner contacted her mother, Phoebe Short, and told her that her daughter had won a beauty contest. After prying as much personal information as possible from Mrs. Short, only then did they inform her that that her daughter was actually dead. The newspaper then offered to pay her air fare and accommodation if she would travel to Los Angeles to help with the police investigation. It was however a ploy, the newspaper used the trip to keep her away from police and other reporters to protect their scoop. William Randolph Hearst’s papers, the Los Angeles Herald-Express and the Los Angeles Examiner, later sensationalized the case: The black tailored suit Short was last seen wearing became “a tight skirt and a sheer blouse” and Elizabeth Short became the “Black Dahlia”, an “adventuress” who “prowled Hollywood Boulevard”. As time passed, the media coverage became more outrageous, with claims that her lifestyle had “made her victim material”.

On January 23, 1947, someone claiming to be the killer called the editor of the Los Angeles Examiner, expressing concern that news of the murder was tailing off in the newspapers and offering to mail items belonging to Short to the editor. The following day, a packet arrived at the Los Angeles newspaper containing Short’s birth certificate, business cards, photographs, names written on pieces of paper, and an address book with the name Mark Hansen embossed on the cover. Hansen, an acquaintance at whose home she had stayed with friends, became a suspect. One or more persons would later write more letters to the newspaper, calling himself “the Black Dahlia Avenger”, after the name given to Short by the newspapers. On January 25, Short’s handbag and one shoe were reported seen on top of a garbage can in an alley a short distance from Norton Avenue, and then finally located at the dump.

Due to the notoriety of the case, more than 50 men and women have confessed to the murder, and police are swamped with tips every time a newspaper mentions the case or a book or movie about it is released. Sergeant John P. St. John, a detective who worked the case until his retirement, stated, “It is amazing how many people offer up a relative as the killer.”

Short was buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. After Short’s sisters had grown up and married, Short’s mother moved to Oakland to be near her daughter’s grave. Phoebe Short finally returned to the east coast in the 1970s and lived into her nineties.

Rumors and popular misconceptions

According to newspaper reports shortly after the murder, Elizabeth Short received the nickname “Black Dahlia” at a Long Beach, California drugstore in mid 1946 as wordplay on the film The Blue Dahlia. Los Angeles County district attorney investigators’ reports state that the nickname was invented by newspaper reporters covering the murder. Los Angeles Herald-Express reporter Bevo Means, who interviewed Short’s acquaintances at the drug store, is credited with first using the “Black Dahlia” name.

A number of people, none of whom knew Short, contacted police and the newspapers, claiming to have seen her during her so-called “missing week”—a period between the time of her January 9 disappearance and the time her body was found on January 15. Police and district attorney investigators ruled out each of these alleged sightings; in some cases, those interviewed were identifying other women they had mistaken.

Many true-crime books claim that Short lived in or visited Los Angeles at various times in the mid-1940s; these claims have never been substantiated and are refuted by the findings of law enforcement officers who investigated the case. A document in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s files titled “Movements of Elizabeth Short Prior to June 1, 1946″ states that Short was in Florida and Massachusetts from September 1943 through the early months of 1946 and gives a detailed account of her living and working arrangements during this period. Although a popular portrayal amongst her acquaintances and many true-crime authors was of Short as a call girl, the Los Angeles district attorney’s grand jury proved there was no existing evidence that she was ever a prostitute, and the district attorney’s office attributes the claim to confusion with a prostitute of the same name. Another widely circulated rumor holds that Short was unable to have sexual intercourse because of a congenital defect that left her with “infantile genitalia”. Los Angeles County district attorney’s files state that the investigators had questioned three men with whom Short had engaged in sex, including a Chicago police officer who was a suspect in the case. The FBI files on the case also contain a statement from one of Short’s alleged lovers. Found in the Los Angeles district attorney’s files and in the Los Angeles Police Department’s summary of the case, Short’s autopsy describes her reproductive organs as anatomically normal, although the report notes evidence of what it called “female trouble”. The autopsy also states that Short was not and had never been pregnant, contrary to what had been claimed prior to and following her death.

Suspects

The Black Dahlia murder investigation was conducted by the LAPD. The Department also enlisted the help of hundreds of officers borrowed from other law enforcement agencies. Owing to the nature of the crime, sensational and sometimes inaccurate press coverage focused intense public attention on the case.

About 60 people confessed to the murder, mostly men. Of those, 25 were considered viable suspects by the Los Angeles District Attorney. In the course of the investigation, some of the original 25 were eliminated, and several new suspects were proposed. Suspects remaining under discussion by various authors and experts include Walter Bayley, Norman Chandler, Leslie Dillon, Joseph A. Dumais, Mark Hansen, George Hill Hodel, George Knowlton, Robert M. “Red” Manley, Patrick S. O’Reilly, Woody Guthrie, Orson Welles, and Jack Anderson Wilson.

Theories and possibly related murders

Some crime authors have speculated on a link between the Short murder and the Cleveland Torso Murders, which took place in Cleveland between 1934 and 1938. As with a large number of killings that took place before and after the Short murder, the original LAPD investigators looked into the Cleveland murders in 1947 and later discounted any relationship between the two cases. Nevertheless, new evidence implicating a former Cleveland torso murder suspect, Jack Anderson Wilson (a.k.a. Arnold Smith), with Short’s death was investigated by Detective John P. St. John in 1980. St. John claimed he was close to arresting Wilson for the death of Short, but Wilson died in a fire on February 4, 1982.

Crime authors such as Steve Hodel (son of George Hill Hodel) and William Rasmussen have suggested a link between the Short murder and the 1946 murder and dismemberment of six-year-old Suzanne Degnan in Chicago. Captain Donahoe of the Los Angeles police also stated publicly that he believed the Black Dahlia and Lipstick murders were “likely connected”. Among the evidence cited is the fact that Elizabeth Short’s body was found on Norton Avenue three blocks west of Degnan Boulevard, Degnan being the last name of the girl from Chicago, and there were striking similarities between the writing of the Degnan ransom note and that of “the Black Dahlia Avenger”. For example, both used a combination of capitals and small letters (the Degnan note read in part “BuRN This FoR heR SAfTY”), and both notes contain a similar misshapen letter P and have one word matching exactly. Convicted serial killer William Heirens served life in prison for Degnan’s murder. Initially arrested at age 17 for breaking into a residence close to that of Suzanne Degnan, Heirens claimed he was tortured by police, forced to confess, and made a scapegoat in the Degnan murder.

Media portrayals

A television dramatization, “Who Is the Black Dahlia?” (1975), featured Lucie Arnaz in the role of Elizabeth Short. The case has inspired numerous works of fiction, among them True Confessions, a 1981 film starring Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall. It was adapted from a 1977 novel of the same name by John Gregory Dunne. James Ellroy’s 1987 novel The Black Dahlia is a fictionalized account that, like Dunne’s, uses the case as an occasion for “an exploration of the larger fields of politics, crime, corruption, and paranoia in post-war Los Angeles”, according to cultural critic David M. Fine. Brian De Palma’s 2006 film The Black Dahlia, based on Ellroy’s novel, bears little relation to the facts of the case.

 

Lavinia Ellen Ream Hoxie


8413200321_836fb4f1b3_z

Lavinia Ellen Ream Hoxie (September 25, 1847 – January 12, 1914) was an American sculptor. Her most famous work was the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

Early life

Ream was born 25 September 1847 in a log cabin in Madison, Wisconsin as Lavinia Ellen Ream. She was the youngest daughter of Lavinia and Robert Ream. Robert Ream was a surveyor and a Wisconsin Territory civil servant. Her mother was a McDonald of Scottish ancestry. The Reams also operated a stage coach stop, one of the first hotels in Madison, from their home. Guests slept on the floor.

Her brother Robert Ream enlisted in the Confederate army, in Arkansas, serving in Woodruff’s battery.

Vinnie Ream attended Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, now known as Columbia College. A portrait of Martha Washington by Ream hangs in St. Clair Hall.

Career

In 1861, her family moved to Washington, D.C.. Vinnie Ream was one of the first women to be employed by the federal government, as a clerk in the dead letter office of the United States Post Office from 1862–66 during the American Civil War. She sang at the E Street Baptist Church, and for the wounded at Washington, D.C. hospitals. She collected materials for the Grand Sanitary Commission.

In 1863, James S. Rollins introduced her to Clark Mills. In 1864, President Lincoln agreed to model for her in the morning for five months.

Vinnie Ream was the first and youngest woman to receive a commission as an artist from the United States government for a statue. She was awarded the commission for the full-size Carrara marble statue of Lincoln by a vote of Congress on July 28, 1866, when she was 18 years old. She worked in a studio in Room A of the basement of the Capitol. In 1868, she traveled to Wisconsin to gain a commission, unsuccessfully. Senator Edmund G. Ross boarded with her family during the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson. She traveled to Paris, Munich, Florence, then Rome to produce a finished marble figure from the plaster model. She studied with Leon Bonnat in Paris. She made busts of Gustave Dore, Pere Hyacynthe, Franz Liszt, and Giacomo Antonelli. Her studio was a 45 Via de San Basile. She met Georg Brandes at that time.

When the statue was complete, she returned to Washington. On January 25, 1871, her white marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln was unveiled in the United States Capitol rotunda. She was only 23 years old. She opened a studio at 704 Broadway. In 1871, she exhibited at the American Institution Fair.

She returned to Washington and opened a studio and salon at 235 Pennsylvania Avenue. She was unsuccessful in her entry in the Thomas statue competition. In 1875, George Armstrong Custer sat for a portrait bust. In 1876, she exhibited at the Centennial Exposition. In November 1877, she produced a model for a Lee statue in Richmond. After lobbying William Tecumseh Sherman and Mrs. Farragut, she won a competition to sculpt Admiral David G. Farragut located at Farragut Square, Washington, D.C., which was unveiled on May 28, 1878. It was cast in the Washington Navy Yard.

Ream married Richard L. Hoxie, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on May 28, 1878. They had one son. Her husband was reassigned to Montgomery, Alabama, and St. Paul Minnesota. Finally, the Hoxies lived at 1632 K Street near Farragut Square, and Vinnie played the harp for entertainment; they had a summer home at 310 South Lucas Street, Iowa City, Iowa.

Her marbles, America, The West, and Miriam, were exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Ream designed the first free-standing statue of a Native American, Sequoyah, to be placed in Statuary Hall at the Capitol.

She died on January 12, 1914. Vinnie Ream Hoxie and her husband are buried in section three of Arlington National Cemetery, marked by her statue Sappho.

 

Toni Stone


Toni Stone

Toni Stone (July 17, 1921 – November 2, 1996), also known by her married name Marcenia Lyle Alberga, was the first of three women to play Negro league baseball.

Toni Stone graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She married Aurelious Alberga, a man forty years her elder and one of the many people who did not want her playing baseball. She had always been referred to as a “tomboy” growing up and consequently received the nickname “Toni” because it sounded like “tomboy”. She enjoyed the name and eventually adopted it as her own. ”I loved my trousers. I love cars. Most of all I loved to ride horses with no saddles. I wasn’t classified. People weren’t ready for me,” she said.

Career

Toni Stone’s playing career began when she was only ten years old when she participated in a Catholic Midget League, which is similar to today’s Little League. She moved on to play for the Girl’s Highlex Softball Club in Saint Paul, Minnesota. By the age of fifteen, Toni Stone played for the St. Paul Giants, a men’s semi-professional team. Stone soon began playing on Al Love’s American Legion championship team.

She began her professional career with the San Francisco Sea Lions (1949), where she batted in two runs in her first time up. Toni soon became discontented with the owner of the Sea Lions after she did not receive the pay she had been promised. She quit the team and joined the Black Pelicans of New Orleans. After a short stint with the Black Pelicans, Stone joined the New Orleans Creoles (1949–1952). She was signed by Syd Pollack, owner of the Indianapolis Clowns, in 1953 to play second base, the position Hank Aaron played for the team one year earlier. She did this as part of a publicity stunt. The Clowns were compared to the Harlem Globetrotters of the basketball world, so having a woman on the team attracted more fans. During the fifty games that Stone played for the Clowns, she maintained a .243 batting average, and one of her hits was off the legendary Satchel Paige. All of these accomplishments may make her “one of the best players you have never heard of”, according to the NLBPA website. Stone’s contract was sold to the Kansas City Monarchs prior to the 1954 season, and she retired following the season because of lack of playing time.

After the 1954 season, Stone moved to Oakland, California to work as a nurse and care for her sick husband, who later died in 1987 at age 103. Toni died on November 2, 1996 at a nursing home in Alameda, California. She was 75 years old.

Struggles

Stone was the first female player in the Negro Leagues, and she was not met with open arms. Most of the men shunned her and gave her a hard time because she was a woman. Stone was quite proud of the fact that the male players were out to get her. She would show off the scars on her left wrist and remember the time she had been spiked by a runner trying to take out the woman standing on second base. “He was out,” she recalled.

Even though she was part of the team, she was not allowed in the locker room. If she was lucky, she would be allowed to change in the umpire’s locker room. Once, Stone was asked to wear a skirt while playing for sex appeal, but she would not do it. Even though she felt like she was “one of the guys”, the people around her did not. While playing for the Kansas City Monarchs, she spent most the game on the bench, next to the men who hated her. “It was hell,” she said.

Awards

Toni Stone became one of the first women to play as a regular on a big-league professional team in 1953. In 1985 Stone was inducted into the Women’s Sports Foundation’s International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 1990 she was included in two exhibits at the Baseball Hall of Fame, one on “Women in Baseball” and another on “Negro League Baseball”. In 1993 Stone was inducted into the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Sudafed International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. In 1990, Stone’s hometown of Saint Paul, Minnesota declared March 6 “Toni Stone Day”. Saint Paul also has a field named after Toni Stone located at the Dunning Baseball Complex.