Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Certain Game Of Ball

"True philosophy," according to an elegant writer, "consists in doing all the good we can, in learning all the good we can, in teaching to others all the good we can, in bearing, to the best of our abilities, the various ills of life, and in enjoying with gratitude every honest pleasure that comes in our way."  But to decide what are honest pleasures sometimes "pussies the will," particularly when those which our young and innocent hearts once joyed in are deemed sinful by church bigots.  As in the case of a sectarian paper way down in the State of Georgia, which publishes a long string of resolutions against "popular amusements," including social games...However, a little reflection will convince anyone that this is all right.  Does not the skipping rope end in the hangman's?  Will not children who engage in blind man's bluff inevitably grow up "bluffers"...?  And will not those who, on winter evenings, "grind the bottle," have the bottle to grind them into the gutter some day?  Say, do not they who play "thimble" become "thimble riggers?"  Is not a certain game of ball "base?"
-Daily Missouri Republican, December 28, 1858

That was a long way to go to get to a scant baseball reference but I think this is the earliest reference we now have to the game in a St. Louis paper.  The Alton references come about six or seven months earlier but that's the Alton papers.  One implication of this reference is that, just as the game was called base ball in Alton, it was also commonly referred to by that name in St. Louis.  While there is plenty of evidence showing that a variant of the game was being played in St. Louis under the town ball moniker, there is now equal evidence showing that either the game was also known as base ball or that there was a second variant being played under that name.   

One interesting thing here is how the game is grouped with other children's game such as jump rope and blind man's bluff.   One of my assumptions is that a sporting culture existed in St. Louis in the 1850's that paved the way for the acceptance of the New York game.  Adults were playing cricket, town ball and football (come back tomorrow for that information) and forming social clubs around the playing of those games.  However, this reference casts some doubt as to the general acceptance of adults playing baseball.  I'm not necessarily rethinking my assumptions but I do think this should be noted.  

Another interesting thought regarding town ball/base ball in St. Louis:  the context of the 1860 St. Louis Daily Bulletin reference to base ball is that the author stated that he had played the game as a student.   Is it possible that, in St. Louis, the baseball variant played by children was referred to as base ball while the variant played by adults was called town ball?       

Saturday, May 30, 2009

John Turner

Born in Saratoga County, New York on July 19, 1833, John Wesley Turner was an honorary member of the Union Club.  He graduated from West Point in 1855 and, during the Civil War, served as a staff officer under General David Hunter and, later, General Benjamin Butler.  Promoted to general in 1865, Turner commanded a division at Petersburg and was involved in the pursuit of Confederate forces during the Appomattox campaign.  After the war, he was the military administrator of Richmond, Virginia and was transferred to St. Louis in October of 1866, serving as purchasing and depot commissary.  He resigned from the army in 1871 and returned to St. Louis where he was involved in numerous business interests and served as street commissioner from 1877 to 1888. 

Turner died in St. Louis on April 8, 1899. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've been hitting the antebellum/Civil War stuff pretty hard lately.  That's not an apology as I love the subject matter and plan on going back to it tomorrow.  But I thought I'd go in the complete opposite direction today.  Consider this a palate cleanser.

Above is a picture of the 1899 St. Louis Perfectos that I found over at Baseball Fever in BSmile's fantastic Vintage Panoramic Pictures thread.  The players were identified by bmarlowe and include:

1. Cy Young
2. Cupid Childs
3. Jake Stenzel
4. Harry Blake
5. Albert Cowboy Jones
6. Emmet Heidrick
7. Ossee Schreckengost 
8. Patsy Tebeau
9. Jesse Burkett
10. Bobby Wallace
11. Ed McKean
12. Jack "Red" Powell
13. George Cuppy
14. Frank Bates
15. Jack O'Connor
16. Lou Criger
17. Zeke Wilson
18. Chief Zimmer

Here's the same pic without the numbers (if you want to steal a pristine copy for your files):

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Old Crow

I found these ads for Old Crow Whiskey featuring Basil Duke and really didn't get the connection between the two but stashed them away for future use.  Today, however, I was skimming through Duke's memoirs and found a description of barbeques that were held in Kentucky when Duke was a boy.

Much drinking was neither encouraged nor tolerated; but a reasonable quantity of "Old Crow," the most famous whiskey ever made in Kentucky, was supplied and used in moderation.
-Reminiscences of General Basil W. Duke

Can you imagine an ad campaign today featuring Duke, John Morgan and Nathan Bedford Forrest?  This campaign seems to have run in the 1950's and early 1960's, playing up the history of Old Crow which dated back to the 1830's.  Other people portrayed in the ad campaign included Buffalo Bill Cody, Walt Whitman, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Mark Twain.  

While I now understand the connection between Duke, Kentucky and Old Crow, it's still rather amusing to see him, Morgan and Forrest in a piece of modern advertising.  And the jokes just write themselves: Old Crow Whiskey-the drink of choice of traitors, slave-owners and klansmen.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And The Cyclones Became A Thing Of The Past

In the article about the history of the Cyclone Club in the St. Louis Republic on April 21, 1895, it says that the Cyclone grounds at Lafayette Park "were occupied as a camp by General A.J. Smith with a troop of United States soldiers, and the 'Cyclones' became a thing of the past."  Based upon the recollections of Leonard Matthews, Ferdinand Garesche and Maurice Alexander, something like that should be easy enough to run down.  If it were true then Smith (pictured above) would have seized the grounds sometime in the spring or early summer of 1861.  Well...

I can't place Smith in St. Louis until 1869, when he moved to the city and served for a time as postmaster.  At the outbreak of the war, it appears that he was out west although he was named chief of cavalry in the Department of Missouri in 1862.  That's as close as I can get him in time and place to St. Louis.  It's possible that Smith may have moved his command through St. Louis before the Battle of Pilot Knob in 1864 but that's not exactly clear.  But there's no way that Smith could have seized Lafayette Park if he was commanding a unit of cavalry in California in 1861.  

Tobias has a similar story.  The Cyclones "enjoyed the benefit of the grounds for only a brief period as the war of the Rebellion had broken out, soldiers were being recruited and the military powers seized upon it as a fitting spot for an encampment."  I think I had kind of merged these two versions in my head and accepted that Tobias' "military powers" was Smith.  But that doesn't appear to be the fact.    

Louis Gerteis mentions the encampment at Lafayette Park in Civil War St. Louis:

By summer 1861, St. Louis had become the staging ground for federal military operations in the lower Mississippi Valley...The husband of Sarah Hill, a builder by trade, had joined the federal army and served throughout the war as an engineer.  She visited him at his camp in Lafayette Park..."Beautiful Lafayette Park," recalled Hill, "with its brilliant flower beds and stretches of green sward, looking like emerald velvet, was turned into a great military camp."

As I mentioned earlier, Smith moved to St. Louis after the war and he lived out the rest of his life in the city.  It's likely that Matthews, Alexander and/or Garesche knew him and confused the situation thirty five years after the fact.  That's certainly understandable.

The bottom line appears to be that the baseball grounds at Lafayette Park were seized by the military by the summer of 1861.  However, it was not done by the order of General A.J. Smith.

In the end, the seizing of the grounds is not as significant to the breakup of the Cyclone Club as is the outbreak of the war itself.  By May of 1861 and the Camp Jackson affair, you already have Merritt Griswold and Willie Walker serving with the Union forces in the city, Orville Matthews and Alex Crosman in the United States Navy, Basil Duke undertaking secret missions to arm the pro-Southern Missouri militia, Ed Bredell about to join the Confederate Army and Ferdinand Garesche in a Union military prison.  In my mind, Camp Jackson marks the end of the Cyclone Club and it appears that the Union army didn't begin to use Lafayette Park until after that.     

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Commodore McDonough

Okay, it took me all of two minutes to find a couple of pictures of the Commodore McDonough, which I believe was Alex Crosman's first command.  

The real interesting thing here (besides Crosman being a member of the Cyclone Club and all that baseball stuff) is that the second picture shows the Commodore McDonough shelling James Island, South Carolina.  James Island is seperated from Charleston, South Carolina by the Ashley River and Wappoo Creek and just happens to be where I moved after getting out of college.  It was a nice place to live and work and the weather was great.  As an added bonus, I lived exactly four miles from Folly Beach and, as an employee of Charleston County, I got to play golf at the Municiple Golf Course for free.  

So not only was Alex Crosman eaten by sharks but during the Civil War he shelled the place that I would call home 126 years later.  

Monday, May 25, 2009

The USS Kansas

The first Kansas was named for the Kansas River, which is formed by the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill Rivers at Junction City and northeastern Kansas, and flows some 200 miles before emptying into the Missouri River at Kansas City...

The first Kansas was built at Philadelphia Navy Yard with machinery taken from prize steamer Princess Royal; launced 29 September 1863; sponsered by Miss Annie McClellan; and commissioned at Philadelphia 21 December 1863...

She departed New York Harbor 29 November (1871) for Cuba and arrived Havana in December. The gunboat left that port 25 February 1872 to obtain supplies and await Comdr. A. F. Grossman who headed another Nicaragua-surveying expedition. She was employed gathering data on potential interoceanic canal routes until returning to Key West 13 July...

 Her final year of active service was devoted to cruising in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, at the time a region of considerable unrest. She sailed from Pensacola 8 July 1875, and arrived Portsmouth, N.H., on the 21st. She decommissioned there 10 August and laid up until sold at Rockland, Maine, to Captain Israel L. Snow 27 September 1883.
-Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

I won't pretend that I know anything about the Civil War era navy but that is one rickety looking boat.  I had a hard time imagining how Alex Crosman either fell off his ship and drowned or (according to the better story) got eaten by sharks while trying to save two of his sailors who had gone overboard.  But looking at the above picture of the Kansas, I can see how it happened.

Sadly, there was no picture of the Commodore McDonough, Crosman's other known command, at the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships but there was a nice entry on the ship: 

Commodore McDonough, an armed side wheel ferry, was purchased 5 August 1862 in New York; fitted out at New York Navy Yard; and commissioned 24 November 1862, Lieutenant Commander G. Bacon in command.

Commodore McDonough joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Port Royal, S.C., 11 December 1862. Throughout her service, she operated in South Carolina waters, primarily off Charleston, but often cruising up the many rivers of that coast to bombard shore installations, cover the landing of troops, engage Confederate batteries, and perform reconnaissance. In the continuing operations in Charleston Harbor, she frequently bombarded the forts protecting the city.

At the close of the war, she assisted in harbor clearance at Port Royal, and on 23 August 1865, while under tow for New York, she foundered. 

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but now's as good a time as any.  Alexander F. Crosman's last name is variously spelled Crossman or Grossman and his middle initial is sometimes given as "T."  So sometimes, in a given source, you might come across an Alexander T. Grossman who is actually Alex Crosman, former Cyclone Club member.  Trust me when I tell you that it took me awhile to figure that out and that it took me a longer while to run everything down to make sure I wasn't dealing with multiple people.   

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Basil Duke's Obituary

New York, Sept. 10-Brig. Gen. Basil Wilson Duke, confederate veteran, died here today.  He was 76 years old.  He was born in Kentucky and was well known as a lawyer in Louisville.  Gen. Duke was the author of many books on the civil war.

Gen. Duke suffered an infection of the foot while visiting his daughter here recently.  It became necessary to remove his leg at the knee.  The shock of the operation was too severe for him to withstand.

Gen. Duke was second in command of the famous Morgan cavalry of Kentucky.  President Roosevelt appointed him as one of the trustees of Chickamauga National park, a position he held at the time of his death.
-Chicago Daily Tribune, September 17, 1916 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Griff Prather's Obituary

St. Louis, December 27.-Colonel John G. Prather, jury commissioner of St. Louis, aged 69, died tonight at his home from pneumonia.  In past years he was a well known river man.  His title was earned during service in the union army.  Colonel Prather was formerly democratic national committeman from Missouri.
-The Atlanta Constitution, December 28, 1903  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Charles Kearny

Charles Kearny, a son of the celebrated Gen. Stephen W. Kearny, an old settler of St. Joseph (Missouri) and has been for many years a clerk in the Pacific Hotel.  He is well known to commercial travelers and has been a witness of the great changes, not only in this city but in the surrounding country.  In 1878, he assumed the position of clerk in the Pacific House...During all these years our subject has been day clerk, hardly missing a day.

Our subject was born in Jefferson Barracks, Mo., March 7, 1834, and is son of Gen. Stephen and Mary (Radford) Kearny...

In 1855 Mr. Kearny came to St. Joseph, where he entered into a retail grocery business, and built the second brick house in the place.  On account of the wildcat money and the corresponding depression in financial circles, he left the business at the end of two years, and then went to Texas where he engaged in running a ranch, raising horses and sheep until the war broke out.  For the following two years he was in St. Louis and other cities.  Going to Leavenworth, Kans., he engaged in the grain and commission business, contracting to furnish the Government with supplies.

In 1866 Mr. Kearny returned to St. Joseph as agent for the St. Louis Steamboat line, continuing with them for about two years.  His next step was to operate a farm of one hundred and sixty acres near Wathena, Doniphan county, Kan., and he continued as a farmer for some fifteen years.  While there, he was one of the County Commissioners for two years.

In Jersey City, in September, 1855, our subject married Miss Annie Stewart, who was born in New Jersey.  Her father, Thomas G. Stewart, was for some years a business man in St. Louis...Mr. and Mrs. Kearny have seven children: Mary, the wife of W.W. Bloss, formerly editor of the Gazette; Harriet, Mrs. H.A. Owen; Annie, wife of W.C. Bragg; Radford, who is engaged in the cigar business in this city; Robert, a clerk in the Micholet Hotel; Jennie and Phillip, who live at home.

Under John Corby Mr. Kearny was a City Councilman...He is a Democrat in politics, and religiously belongs to Christ Episcopal Church.
-Portrait and biographical record of Buchanan and Clinton counties, Missouri

According to this, Kearny did not return to St. Louis until, at the earliest, April of 1861.  Based on that, it's difficult to see how he could have been a member of the Cyclone Club, as Merritt Griswold stated in his letter to Al Spink.  We have a decent amount of knowledge about the activities of the club in 1859 and 1860 but know nothing about what happened in the spring of 1861 except for the fact that the club broke up.  It's possible that the club, despite deep political divisions, was still active right up until the Camp Jackson affair in May of 1861.  It's possible that Kearny arrived in St. Louis just prior to the break up of the club, joined and was able to get in a few games.  It's also possible that the book, which was written in 1893 and most likely based on Kearny's recollections, is wrong.  It's also possible that Griswold was wrong and Kearny was never a member of the Cyclone Club.  

At this point, without further evidence, it's difficult to say.  However, I'm inclined to believe that the timeline is off by a year of so and Griswold was correct to state that Kearny was a member of the Cyclones.   

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Couple Of Links Between Crossman and Matthews

The annual examination at the National Naval Academy has closed.  On the last day, Commodore Perry presented to the Institution the first American flag unfurled in Japan...

The following gentlemen were presented with Diplomas, entitling them to the grade of Midshipman...Alexander F. Crossman...
-Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, June 22 1855

The following Passed Midshipmen have been promoted to Masters from the 4th of November, 1858...Edmund O. Matthews...Alex F. Crossman...
-The Charleston (SC) Mercury, November 13, 1858

We know that Matthews was scheduled to enter the Naval Academy in the fall of 1851 and that Crossman graduated in 1855 so I think it's safe to say that they were there at the same time.  Also, the fact that they were both promoted at the same time lends some support to the idea that they were commissioned around the same time.  

It's possible that the two men knew each other before they were stationed together in St. Louis.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No Mention Of Sharks

A dispatch received from the U.S. Consul at Jamaica confirms the report of the drowning of Captain Alexander T. Crossman, commanding steamer Kansas, but gives no details.
-Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, April 29, 1872

The details that I have (and the information is second hand at best) is that Crossman was eaten by sharks off the coast of Panama while trying to save two sailors.  I'll take this as partial confirmation of that story while freely admitting that I really want the story to be true.     

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Orville Matthews Is Accepted To The Naval Academy

We find in the Washington Republic the following list of candidates who have received permission to present themselves at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on the 1st of October next, for the purpose of being examined as to their qualifications for admission into the Navy as Acting Midshipmen...Edmund O. Matthews...
-North American and United States Gazette, June 5, 1851

I was at work in my store one day during 1851 when a boy of fourteen came in waving an official looking document.  The boy was my brother, Edmund Orville.  The document he was exhibiting with so much pride and elation was his commission from President Millard Fillmore to enter the Naval Academy as a cadet.  My father had applied for the appointment a year before but for some strange reason no acknowledgement of the letter was received and it was thought that the application had been pigeonholed for good and all.  Without any warning, or preparation for the news, the commission was brought one morning from the postoffice, connecting the name Matthews forever with the Naval annals of the United States.
-Leonard Matthews, A Long Life in Review

Monday, May 18, 2009

Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis

Killed, on the 16th of November, in a skirmish between Mosby's cavalry and the enemy, Lieutenant Edward Bredell, of Saint Louis, Missouri, in the twenty-sixth year of his age.

This gallant young man left a luxurious home, where he was the idol of his parents, and surrounded by every comfort and enjoyment that wealth could supply, to enter the Southern army.  He bravely unsheathed his sword in the cause of the oppressed, and laid down his life a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom, never faltering or turning aside from the path of honor he had chosen, though it led him to the grave.  He has found his last resting place far from home and kindred, but still among friends, and his best record will be written in the hearts of those in whose defence he fought and died.  For his stricken parents, who have lost in him their one great object in life, let them be assured of earnest, unfeigned sympathy.  Their bereavement is great, yet they have much to comfort them and might say with the Spartan father:

"I am too proud by far to weep
Though earth had naught so dear;
As was that soldier youth to me,
Now sleeping on his bier.
It were a stain upon his fame,
Would do his laurel crown a shame
To shed a single tear;
It was a glorious lot to die
in battle and for liberty."
-Daily Richmond Examiner, December 28, 1864  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rev. Rufus E. Gamble (And Some Notes On The Relationship Between Members Of The Cyclone Club)

Rev. Rufus E. Gamble, formerly of this county, now pastor of a Southern Methodist Church of St. Joe, is visiting relatives here.  Mr. Gamble's bad health may compel him to cease preaching regularly, in which event he thinks of going into business in this city.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 1, 1876

The will of Mrs. Louisa R. Gamble, widow of Archibald Gamble, was probated yesterday.  The estate is divided into seven equal parts for the benefit of her children and grandchildren...(Including) one part to her son, Rev. Joseph Gamble...(and) one part to her son, Rev. Rufus E. Gamble...The will is dated July 5, 1878, and is witnessed by Edward Bredell and Charles B. Cox.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 9, 1879

This is good stuff.  The Gamble brothers were members of the Cyclone Club but I've had problems finding any information about Rufus Gamble.  I have biographical information on Joseph Gamble and knew that he was a Presbyterian minister and it's interesting that his brother also became a minister.  

Also of interest is the relationship between the Gamble family and the Bredell family.  Archibald Gamble and Edward Bredell, Sr. were business associates who where involved in copper mining in the 1840s and, based on the fact that Bredell was one of the witnesses to Gamble's will, it appears that they maintained a relationship after that.  Their sons, Rufus and Joseph Gamble and Edward Bredell, Jr., all happened to be members of the Cyclones.  The younger Bredell, along with Merritt Griswold, was one of the founders of the club and it appears that he may have brought in a few of his close friends.  

The members of the Cyclone Club were a rather diverse group of gentlemen and there is no common link between them.  However, within the club, most of the member have at least one relationship with one other member.  Griswold and Bredell worked together.  Rufus and Joseph Gamble were brothers.  Bredell and the Gambles were family friends.  Leonard, William, and Orville Matthews were brothers.  Orville Matthews and Alex Crossman were members of the United States Navy.  Leonard and William Matthews were druggists as was Maurice Alexander.  Ferdinand Garesche and Edward Farrish were in-laws.  Bredell, Basil Duke, Gratz Moses and Garesche had similar political sympathies.  John Collier and John Davis were close friends.  While I haven't established a relationship between each club member and another member, I believe that the relationships exist and I'm getting closer to finding them.        

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Man Of Parts

Basil Duke, who has appropriately been called the head and brains of John Morgan, is from Georgetown, Scott county, Kentucky, a few miles North of Lexington.  He entered Yale College in 1841, and graduated in 1845.  He is represented as having been a man of parts and of large heart.
-The Daily Cleveland Herald, July 24, 1863

I had to look up "man of parts" because I had never heard the phrase before.  It appears that a man of parts is one who is talented in multiple areas of life, including the seduction of women.  In general, I think it means a man of general talent or abilities.  

Friday, May 15, 2009

B. Wilson Duke

Duke lived in (St. Louis) at the outbreak of the war, and was called B. Wilson Duke to distinguish him from Basil Duke, a lawyer, who still resides here.  When Claib Jackson was planning his treason and had a Legislature which went hand in hand with him, a law was passed reorganizing the police force of this city, and putting it under the control of five Commissioners of his appointing.  He appointed of course five strong secessionists, and Duke was one of them.  After the Camp Jackson emeule he was released from the arsenal along with the other prisoners captured there and went to Kentucky and joined Morgan, who I think is his cousin.  During the Kirby Smith invasion of Kentucky, he married a young lady of Bourbon or Woodford counties.  He was an active Douglas politician at the last Presidential election, and made frequent speeches during the canvass.
-Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco), January 27, 1863

I'm well aware of the duel Basil Dukes in St. Louis during this era and to make matters even more confusing, they were both lawyers.  They were also cousins and our Basil Duke, ballplayer and soldier, came to St. Louis to practice law with his relative.  

The young lady who Duke married was Morgan's sister and the two men were in-laws rather then cousins.   

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All Of This Needs Confirmation

The Louisville Journal of yesterday has a special dispatch from Frankfort saying that Kirby Smith and his command have been captured between Lexington and Harrodsburg.  Headquarters at Louisville are unadvised of this, and discredit the statement.  The same paper says that Basil Duke, brother-in-law of John Morgan, has been killed...All of this needs confirmation.
 -Lowell Daily Citizen and News, October 16, 1862

Col. Basil Duke, of Gen. Morgan's command, is not dead, as announced by Cincinnati papers.  He was badly wounded in the fight at Muldrough's Hill, Ky.  He is now safe within the lines of our army.
-Daily Morning News (Savannah, GA), January 31, 1863

Duke, of course, survived the war and lived to the ripe old age of 88.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Basil Duke's Short Stint As Police Commissioner

Major McKinstry, the Provost Marshal, has arrested John A. Brownlee, the President of the Board of Police Commissioners, and has appointed Basil Duke in his stead.  The laws of the city and State will be executed without change.
-Daily National Intelligencer, August 16, 1861

Charles Mclaren, Basil W. Duke and James H. Carlisle, secession Police Commissioners, have been removed by Governor Gamble.
-Boston Daily Advertiser, September 2, 1861

Duke's appointment as Police Commissioner is an example of the difficulties that pro-Union forces had in gaining control of St. Louis and Missouri.  Duke, a former member of the Cyclone Club, had secessionist sympathies and, in April of 1861, had undertaken a mission to the South in an attempt to purchase arms for the pro-Confederate Missouri militia.     

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Death Of Joseph Fullerton

An eastbound passenger train on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad...met with an accident two miles west of Oakland (Maryland) to-day, in which one passenger, General J.S. Fullerton, a St. Louis capitalist, is thought to have been killed, and a dozen others more or less badly injured.

The wrecked train, which left St. Louis yesterday morning and Cincinnati last night, was running at the rate of forty-five miles an hour when, just as the engine reached the bridge across the Youghiogheny river, two miles from Oakland, the baggage car, express car, one passenger coach and sleeper jumped the track and rolled down the embankment and into the river.  The pullman car broke in two, but it is thought that all the passengers save General Fullerton were rescued.

A thorough search has been made for his body, but nothing has been found except his clothing, which remained in the wrecked car, and it is almost certain that his corpse is in the shallow water under the debris and cannot be recovered until the car is removed.  The wounded were brought to (Cumberland)...

Personal telegrams from the scene of the wreck place the death of General Fullerton beyond a doubt.  Joseph Fullerton left (Washington, D.C.) a week ago in connection with the work of the Chickamauga National Military park commission, joined General Henry V. Boynton, at Chattanooga, Sunday.  He left there Tuesday for St. Louis, whee he remained until yesterday, when he took the ill-fated train.
-The Daily Picayune, March 21, 1897

Gen. Joseph S. Fullerton, who lost his life in the Baltimore & Ohio train wreck in Maryland to-day, was born about sixty years ago at Chillicothe, O.  He had distinguished family connections, and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison and Mrs. Rutherford B. Hayes were his first cousins.  He was educated at Oxford, O., and practiced law at St. Louis.  Shortly after the war broke out, he entered the service as a captain on the staff of Capt. Gordon Granger and served several years with conspicuous gallantry, participating at Chickamauga and other notable engagements.  During the regime of President Andrew Johnson he was postmaster at St. Louis.  President Harrison appointed him president of the Chickamauga Park commission and since then he has spent practically all of his time (in Washington, D.C.) engaged in that work.  He was prominent in the social and club life of both St. Louis and Washington, and was secretary of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland...
-The Milwaukee Sentinel, March 21, 1897

The search for the body of Gen. Joseph Fullerton of St. Louis, who was killed in the railway accident on Saturday, was resumed this morning at daybreak.  About 150 men are engaged in the work.  The Pullman car in which Gen. Fullerton met his death and under which his body is thought to be lying was removed from the river but up to mid-day no trace of the remains have been found.
-The Milwaukee Journal, March 22, 1897 

The body of General Joseph S. Fullerton of St. Louis, who was killed in the railway accident on the Baltimore and Ohio road near Oakland some weeks ago, was found in the Yiougheny river this morning, eight miles below the bridge where the accident occurred.  The body was found by a farmer who was duck hunting.
-The Galveston Daily News, April 10, 1897

This morning the body of the late Gen. Joseph Fullerton of St. Louis arrived (in Chillicothe, Ohio) accompanied by his brother, Humphrey Fullerton of St. Louis; Miss Madge Fullerton of Washington and the only daughter of deceased, a child 9 years old.

Gen. Stanley of Washington and Gen. H.V. Boynton, W.P. Hucksford, secretary of the senate Military committee, came on the same train.  After funeral services, conducted by the Rev. W.C. Stinson in the First Presbyterian church, the body was buried in the cemetery here.
-The Milwaukee Sentinel, April 12, 1897

Monday, May 11, 2009

Charles F. Gauss

Text not available

Gauss, Charles Frederick, wholesale hats, caps, etc; born in St. Charles Co., Mo., May 30, 1838; son of Charles W. and Louisa A. (Fallenstein) Gauss; educated in public schools; married, St. Louis, 1861, Mary Lamoureux (now deceased); 2d, St. Louis, 1879, Ida H. Smith; children: Adele (Mrs. C.W. Bullen), Emma (Mrs. Samuel H. Young), Louisa (Mrs J.P. Annan), Sadie (Mrs. George S. Tenney).  Began business career as a clerk for Crow, McCreery & Co., wholesale dry goods, St. Louis, in 1855, and in fall of 1856 became clerk for Fallenstein & Gauss, wholesale boots and shoes.  In 1860 started wholesale hat business in a small way; associated with partners as Krausse, Hunecke & Gauss, later becoming Gauss, Hunecke & Co.; the firm subsequently incorporated as the Gauss-Shelton Hat Co., afterwards changing to present style of Gauss-Langenberg Hat Co., wholesale hats, caps, gloves, umbrellas, etc., of which is president.  Director Merchants-Laclede National Bank, American Central Insurance Co.  Was a member of Co. A, First Regiment, Missouri National Guard.  Mason (Blue Lodge).  Clubs: St. Louis Country, Noonday.  Recreation: golf.
 -The Book of St. Louisans

Gauss, according to the article in the St. Louis Daily Republic of February 9, 1896, was a member of the Commercial Club.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Thing Of No Tangible Value

The National League has discussed and decided to apply a method to improve the base-ball situation in St. Louis.  This determination, it is stated, will result in the elimination of Chris Von der Ahe and all the interests allied with him in the present organization and will give the St. Louis franchise to Frank DeH. Robison, of Cleveland, who will transfer the Cleveland Club to this city bodily next year.

The League holds that a franchise consists merely of the consent of the different clubs to play with one another, and if 11 of the clubs agree to withdraw this consent to play either at home or abroad with a twelfth club, the twelfth club has no redress.  Under this ruling a franchise is considered to be a thing of no tangible value, and each so-called franchise or agreement to play games is the property of the whole League and not of any individual base-ball club.
-The North American, October 3, 1898

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Browns In San Francisco

California League Base Ball Grounds
End of Haight street Cable Road
Saturday, January 7th, at 2:30 P.M.
St. Louis Browns vs. Haverlys!
Sunday, January 8th, at 11 A.M.
Hardies vs. Keane Bros.
at 2 P.M.
St. Louis Browns vs. New Yorks!
-Daily Evening Bulletin, January 6, 1888

To-morrow at the Haight street Grounds will be played the game of the winter season, being the opening contest between the St. Louis Browns and the New Yorks, and an immense attendance is expected.  Notwithstanding this fact the management has decided not to increase the price of admission.
-Daily Evening Bulletin, January 7, 1888

Making the trip and playing for the Browns was King, Bushong, Comiskey, McPhee, Latham, Robinson, O'Neill, Welch and Foutz.  Keefe, Brown, Ewing, Richardson, Denny, Ward, Tiernan, Van Haltren and Fogarty were scheduled to play for New York.  

The base ball game at the Haight street grounds Saturday afternoon was not an exciting one.  Only about one thousand people were on the grounds.  The St. Louis Club won the game by a score of 14 to 4, the playing of the Haverlys being very poor.  Twelve base hits were made off Incell and ten off Foutz.  The Haverlys made 9 errors and the St. Louis club 3.

A large crowd witnessed the first game of the series of three between the New York Giants and the St. Louis Browns which took place at the Haight street Grounds yesterday.  It was considered the best game ever played in this State, and few better games have ever been played anywhere.  The game resulted in a victory for the Browns by a score of 1 to 0.
-Daily Evening Bulletin, January 9, 1888

Notwithstanding the intense cold several thousand people assembled at the Haight street Grounds yesterday afternoon to witness the second of the series of base-ball games between the St. Louis Brownd and the New York Giants.  The game was an excellent one, each club doing its best to win.  Van Haltren's pitching proved too much for the Browns, and not one hit was made off his deliverys, while the New Yorkers secured nine hits off King's pitching.
  -Daily Evening Bulletin, January 16, 1888

New York won the second game by a score of 5-0.  The Browns were scheduled to play a local club, the G. & M.'s, on January 21st and the third and final game of their series against New York on the 22nd but I didn't find any reports of those games.

Nearly all the Eastern ball-players have returned to their homes, the contingent now in this city being Foutz of the Browns, Williamson and Carroll of the Chicagoes, Brown and Denny of the New Yorks and Irwin, Wood and Fogarty of the Philadelphias, and these players will remain until the opening of the Eastern season.  The winter season on this coast has been a financial failure, owing chiefly to the bad weather; but the lack of public interest in exhibition games was another prominent factor.
-Daily Evening Bulletin, January 25, 1888

These were the final games of the Browns' "Big Trip" which took them to Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans and, finally, San Francisco.  It seems that their opponent for most of the trip was the Chicago White Stockings.  Interestingly, it was during this trip, which began on October 30, 1887, that Von der Ahe sold off Caruthers, Foutz, Gleason, Welch and Bushong.  Jon David Cash, in Before They Were Cardinals, writes that "Foutz, Bushong, and Welch had a chance to complete their careers with the Browns in one last blaze of glory.  For Welch, the games seemed so important that he disregarded an urgent message to return home to his wife, who had just given birth to twin boys, and instead stayed in San Francisco through the Christmas holidays."

Friday, May 8, 2009

An Established Fact

The St. Louis Base Ball Association is an established fact, and the new club is now prepared to engage first-class players who can show a clear record for honest, faithful services, such as Joe Start and players like "old honesty" can display.  Al Wright, the scorer and secretary of the Athletic club, has been engaged as manager, and players should address him.
-Forest and Stream, October 15, 1874

Al Wright will not manage the St. Louis Base Ball Club next season, he preferring to stay with the old Athletic nine.  The St. Louis nine, he says, will be as follows: Catcher, Mullen, of Easton; pitcher, Bradley, of Easton; first base, Dehlman, of Atlantic; second base, Battin, of Athletic; third base, Fleet of Atlantic; short-stop, Battin, of Athletic; left field, Cuthbert of Chicago; centre field, Pike, of Hartford; right field, Waitt, of Easton.  All of the above have signed except Pearch and Fleet, Mullen having been paid $100 bonus.
-Forest and Stream, November 19, 1874

While Chadwick was at work building up the game in New York and Meacham, Spink and others were employed in introducing it to the people of the West, Alfred H. Wright was at work with pen and pencil fostering and introducing the game to the people of Philadelphia.

I have mentioned him as one of the few who knew how to score the game in the sixties, according to the tabulated record in use by all well posted baseball reporters of today.

Like Chadwick, Spink, Caylor and the rest of the early baseball scribes, Wright's work as a baseball writer was wholly a labor of love.

He was born at Cedar Grove, New Jersey, but received his early education at the Central High School in Philadelphia.

Wright's father was a prominent publisher and book seller, and the boy found time to play at "Old Cat" or town ball, and is said to have been the first to introduce that sort of thing to Philadelphia.  That was in 1858, and that the game caught on rapidly was proven when two years later the Athletic Club of Philadelphia was organized.  

In 1858 Mr. Wright was so enamored of baseball that he went to New York and for ten years he played with the leading teams representing that city on the diamond.

Ten years later, in 1868, he returned to Philadelphia and went to work there writing baseball for the Sunday Mercury.  He made that newspaper in the ten years following the leading baseball paper of Philadelphia and secured such a fine reputation as a baseball writer that he was employed by Mr. Frank Queen to take the place of Mr. Chadwick on the New York Clipper, a position he held until illness drove him from active service.  

Mr. Wright was the first reporter of his day to compile the National League averages in the initial year of that organization.  He was also the first to suggest that the championship go to the club which won the largest percentage of games.

For eleven years Mr. Wright was the official scorer of the Athletic Club of Philadelphia, accompanying them on all their trips and even going with them to England in 1874.  

He was also the manager of the Athletics in 1876 and also the manager of the co-operative team known as the Athletics in 1878.

From the opening to the close of his career, Al. Wright was early and late employed in the furthering and building up of the game he had loved and followed from his early boyhood days.
-The National Game

While I can't speak intelligently about the accuracy of the facts which Al Spink presents regarding Wright (and don't feel the need right now to check them), I will say that I'm pretty sure that "that sort of thing" was being played in Philadelphia prior to 1858.  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A New Picture Of Joseph Fullerton's new to me. The picture itself is about 150 years old. Fullerton was a member of the Cyclone Club.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Picture Of John Riggin

I was very excited to find this photo of John Riggin, a member of the Cyclone Club, at the American Civil War Research Database.  Pictures of antebellum St. Louis baseball players are pretty rare so I was happy to find this one.  And on top of all that, I had struggled to find the basic biographical information about Riggin and the database had the stuff I was looking for.      

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some 1876 Gate Receipt Information

Philadelphia, it is claimed by friends of the Athletics, is a good base-ball town.  The St. Louis Reds don't think so.  They gave the Fillies $171 as their share of the gate receipts in one game here, while the Ponies only received $46 as their share at Philadelphia on the Fourth of July.  The Reds had their revenge, however, defeating their opponents 11 to 0.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 8, 1876

So it's not a lot of information about gate receipts but at least it's something.    

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Perversion Of County Fairs

The Chicago Journal is speaking of this subject says "Judging from the extent and character of the published reports of various County Fairs, in this and other States, games of base ball and horse racing are evidently considered first-class 'agricultural' improvements and accomplishments.  Less of both would be more creditable to all concerned."

We hear the same complaint from nearly all the Fairs in this part of the State.  It is evident from all we can learn, that these organizations are very fast deteriorating from the high and beneficial objects had in view by their originators, into gatherings for the purpose of horse racing, gambling and debauchery, and unless something is done very soon to remedy these evils, our fairs will be avoided and shunned by all well-disposed persons, as they would the pestilence.
-The Alton Telegraph, September 20, 1867

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Base Ball Fever Is Widely Spread

The base ball fever is widely spread.  A little six-year-old was sitting in repose upon the parlor steps, with a base ball in his hand, gazing intently at the moon.  "Pa," he suddenly spoke, "is there only one man in the moon?"  "That's the tradition, my son; the man in the moon is the only inhabitant of that bright world we have ever heard of."  After a moment's pause, he remarked with a sigh-"He must be lonesome, pa, and no one to play base ball with.
-The Alton Telegraph, September 27, 1867

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Base Ball Was All The Rage In 1865

Nearly all young people of both sexes, who can spare the time, have taken to skating as a diversion.  The passion for it prevails now as extensively in the winter as the rage for base ball does in all other seasons.
-The Alton Telegraph, January 5, 1866 

So taking this thought to its logical conclusion, baseball was all the rage in Alton and, one must assume, St. Louis in 1865.  That certainly meshes with what Tobias wrote and what we generally know about the popularity of the game in the immediate postbellum era.   

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Grand Base Ball Tournament?

The arrangements for the grand base ball tournament to come off in (Decatur, Illinois) are progressing very favorably.  The fair grounds have been secured and the exhibition ring will be leveled off for the grand trial of skill.  

The prospects are favorable for an immense gathering of ball players from all parts of the west, and the McPherson Club, under whose auspices the tournament is gotten up, are making every effort to insure success.  The money necessary is not all subscribed, and we hope our citizens will not be backward in pledging the requisite amount.  The time chosen, the middle of September, is one of the most delightful seasons of the year, and a better opportunity for an enjoyable time is not often afforded.
-The Decatur Republican, August 22, 1867

The Excelsior Base Ball Club of Chicago, which is probably the finest organization of the kind in the West, will positively be present at the tournament in this city next week.  Is is expected that they will play the Union Base Ball Club, of St. Louis, on Thursday for the first grand prize, though the programme may be differently arranged to suit the exegencies of the occasion.  The playing of these two crack clubs will doubtless attract an immense crowd of spectators.
-The Decatur Republican,  September 12, 1867

The opening game of the Base Ball Tournament will be played to-morrow morning between the McPhersons, of Decatur, and the Excelsiors, of Pana, to be followed by the Bloomington Juniors vs. the Athletics, of Springfield.  

The Excelsiors, of Chicago, play the Bloomington Seniors on Thursday.
-Chicago Tribune, September 18, 1867

I can't find any evidence that the Union Club played in the Decatur tournament.  The Chicago Tribune covered the event rather well and doesn't mention them.  Interestingly, there seems to have been some controversy about which clubs were eligible to play in the tournament.  Ten clubs were in Decatur on Wednesday and several others didn't show up until Wednesday night or Thursday morning (including the Excelsiors of Chicago).  There had been a rule passed that a club had to be in Decatur by Wednesday evening to be eligible for the tournament but the rule was bent for the Excelsiors and this caused several clubs to withdraw in protest.  It's possible that the Union Club didn't arrive in Decatur on time and was barred from the tournament or that they withdrew in protest over the favorable treatment received by the Excelsiors.   

The Decatur tournament is, in and of itself, rather fascinating but I can't find any connection with the Union Club.