Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth, President Joseph Robinette Biden

The Origins Of “Juneteenth”

Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19th, the day that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to issue General Order Number 3, since that is the order that emancipated all slaves in the state of Texas; which was the last Confederate state to surrender to the Union.

Photograph of Union General Gordon Granger.

On June 17th, 2019, U.S. President Joseph Robinette Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday, which was the first new federal holiday established since 1985.

Author’s Note:

The Union General Gordon Grander’s General Order Number 3 is stored within the National Archieves in Washington, D.C.

Charlottesville City Council

June 7th, 2021 – The Charlottesville City Council Voted Unanimously To Remove The General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson And The General Robert Edward Lee Monuments

On Monday June 7th, 2021, the Charlottesville City Council held a meeting to determine whether to keep or to remove the General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson and the General Robert Edward Lee monuments from two parks within city property. After about 55 individuals spoke, the Charlottesville City Council voted 5 to 0, a unanimous vote, to remove both monuments. The vote triggered a state law, passed by the Virginia legislature in 2020, which mandates 30 days of bidding for parties interested in obtaining the monuments.

Author’s Note:

To date, no bids have been entered for either monument.

Author Philip Andrew Hamilton at studio of the “I Love C’Ville” show.
Battle of New Market

The New Market Battlefield – Where The Thomas “Stonewall” Monument From The Virginia Military Institute Was Relocated To In December 2020

The New Market Battlefield is the site where the Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson Monument, that was originally installed at the entrance of the main barracks within the grounds of the Virginia Military Institute, was relocated to on December 7th, 2020. The Stonewall Monument is currently under restoration, and will be placed by the wooden benches, by the plaques honoring six Virginia Military Institute cadets, in the fall of 2021. Once installed, the Stonewall Monument will be facing the valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Charlottesville, Virginia, Henry Merwin Shrady

The General Robert Edward Lee Monument Commissioned By Paul Goodloe McIntire

The General Robert Edward Lee Monument was the last of four monuments dedicated by McIntire in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. New York Sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady, whom also created the General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, which is currently in front of the United States Capital, designed and began the initial work on the General Robert Edward Lee Monument. In 1922, Henry Merwin Shrady died two weeks before the General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial was unveiled to the public.

Photograph of artist Henry Merwin Shrady.

After Henry Merwin Shrady’s death, the General Lee monument was completed by the Italian-American artist Leo Lentelli and transported from New York to Charlottesville, Virginia.

Alexandria, Virginia, George Mason IV

The Huntley Historic Site – The Former Residence Of George Mason IV’s Grandson Thomson Francis Mason

The Huntley Historic Site contains the former home of Thomson Francis Mason, a grandson of George Mason IV, and various other buildings associated with the former plantation. On December 21st, 1838, Thomson Francis Mason passed away and was buried at Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery in Alexandria City, Virginia.

After Thomas Francis Mason’s death, his widowed wife Elizabeth “Betsy” C. wife carried on an effort to preserve President George Washington’s home Mount Vernon.

Natural Bridge, Virginia

Natural Bridge, Virginia – A Natural Wonder Surveyed By George Washington And Owned By Thomas Jefferson

Phinehas V. Stephens, grandson of the former Vice-President of the Confederate State of America Alexander Stephens, and engineer of the American Industries Engineering Company worked with Samuel G. Hibben, an employee of the Westinghouse Electric Company, to create a, “Drama of Creation” light show at Natural Bridge. On May 22nd, 1927, President Calving Coolidge turned on the light for the first, “Drama of Creation” light show.

Mill Mountain

1949 – “The Roanoke Star” Was Installed On Mill Mountain

In 1949, three large metal stars built into one structure, which were originally intended to be only a temporary Christmas season decoration, were installed on the top of Mill Mountian by Roy C. Kinsey and this three sons Roy Kinsey, Junior, Bob Kinsey and Warren Kinsey. On November 23, 1949, the three stars were illuminated for the first time. It was later decided that the large decoration would be a permanent instillation that would be lighted on a nightly basis. The locals eventually deemed the Kinsey family’s work of art as, “The Roanoke Star”.

Booker Taliaferro Washington, Booker Taliaferro Washington Birthplace and National Monument, Franklin County, Virginia

The Birthplace Of Booker Taliaferro Washington

Author’s Note:

Earlier today, I had the oppurtunity to visit the Booker Taliaferro Washington Birthplace and National Monument in Franklin County, Virginia.

One of my relatives from my mother’s side of my family, which is directly related to Founding Father George Mason IV, married into the Roosevelt family before Theodore Roosevelt was born.

My relative Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker Taliaferro Washington for dinner, and was the first ever United States President to entertain a Black person in the White House.

It was indeed an honor to visit the birthplace of an American author, educator, orator, and advisor to multiple United States Presidents!

Leland-Madison Memorial Park

The Leland-Madison Memorial Park

The Leland-Madison Memorial Park is the location with founding father James Madison met with Pastor John Leland for an interview regarding religious freedom.

The first draft of the First Amendment read as follows, “The Civil Rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, nor on any pretext infringed.”

Brentmoor, Spilman-Mosby House

Brentwoor: The Spilman-Mosby House

The Spilman-Mosby House was once owned by John Mosby, whom served as a Confederate General in the United States Civil War. Years after the Civil War, the home became the Mosby Musuem. However, the Mosby Musuem was closed for years and the town of Warrenton decided to sell the property to a private owner. In September 2020, a new owner moved into the home.

During Easter 2021, the owner of the Spilman-Mosby House gave author Philip Andrew Hamilton a tour of the home.

Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

The Leigh Street Armory – The First Armory Built By Black Americans In The United States

The Leigh Street Armory, in Richmond, Virginia, is the first armory ever built by Black Americans within the United States. Currently the former armory is the site of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

Faithe Norrell, the History Services Associate of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, is related to civil rights activists Maggie Walker.

Fort Bridger, Jim Bridger, Oregon Trail

1843 – Jim Bridger Established A Fort That Become Part Of The Oregon Trail In Wyoming

Sketch of pioneer Jim Bridger.

In 1843, pioneer and mountain man Jim Bridger established a fur trading post, and a fort to protect him from Native American attacks, within present day southern Wyoming. Fort Bridger eventually became one of the stops for emigrants embarking on the Oregon Trail.

On July 7, 1847, the Mormon Pioneer Company, one of many private pioneer companies at that time, stopped by Fort Bridger. However, the employees of the company considered the prices at the trading post to be too high, and moved on to another part of the Oregon Trail.

In modern times, Jim Bridger’s former trading post is owned by the statue of Wyoming and has been established as the Fort Bridger State Historic Site.