Items that don’t warrant separate posts on their own, but are of interest and worth mentioning:
- The saga of the Texas SCV license plates continues. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the lead advocate for the effort, published editorials in newspapers around the state (like this one) making an analogy between the proposed SCV plate and one previously approved honoring the Buffalo Soldiers. It’s now become a talking point, even popping up in the comment threads here. (It’s funny how the heritage-not-hate crowd always insists it’s never about race, but invariably and immediately falls back on the but-you-did-it-for-the-black-folks argument, instead of being considered on its own merit.) Sure enough, pounding that particular analogy has made a convoluted and unpleasant argument even more convoluted and unpleasant. Mission accomplished!
- Kevin reminds us that the bromide that slavery was on its way out, and would have died a natural, peaceful death without bloodshed within a generation or two, is an assumption that only came later. It was not something the secessionists believed in 1860. It’s certainly not something believed at the time by Confederate officials and various secession conventions, much less folks like the Knights of the Golden Circle.
- Jimmy Price, who blogs about the USCT at The Sable Arm, has a profile up of Milton M. Holland, the mixed-race son of a white slaveholder from Texas. Freed by his father before the war and sent to Ohio, he eventually enlisted in the 5th USCT and earned the Medal of Honor at New Market. For those keeping score at home, First Sergeant Holland was first cousin to James Kemp Holland, a Confederate military aide during the war to Governor Murrah of Texas. It’s a small damn world.
- The Texas State Library and Archives Commission recently changed its policy on ordering copies of Texas Confederate pensions, and now requires payment up-front before the order is filled. You can still request up to ten records by e-mail, but they’ll now e-mail back with the fee required, before making and mailing the copies. (Previously they had send an invoice with the requested copies, and relied on users to follow up with payment.) They also announced that their Confederate pension holdings are in the process of being digitized by Ancestry, which will make all those documents available online to subscribers. The materials are expected to be online by February 2012.
Image: Captain Paul J. Matthews, Founder of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum in Houston, appeared in Austin on Thursday, Nov. 10, as the board discussed the Confederate plates. Photo: Associated Press, Ralph Barrera/Austin American-Statesman.