September 15, 2013
Captain Draper on the Mississippi
Hopedale in September (Several of the photos taken this month have bits of Hopedale history in their
A photo trip along Dutcher Street with scenes from long ago.
Finished at last! I now have all of the ezines on my Hopedale site. Here's a link to the menu.
The Howarth sisters were the subject of No. 230. I came across more on them at the library, so I've
done a page on them with articles from the 1939 season added to what I sent in June. Here it is. The
1939 article mentions that about 800 people lined the banks of Hopedale Pond to watch the event.
Article by Dick Grady on the history of the Mendon town well and the Joy fount. The fount was donated
by Mrs. Charlotte Joy, mother-in-law of General Draper.
Since No. 235, I've made additions to Caboose Houses (Photos from enlargement and renovation of
the Overdale Parkway caboose house.) Aerosmith again. "We'd like to be rich and famous," said
Joe in 1971. "Actually we're a pretty conservative group..." said Tom in the same Worcester Gazette
article. Click here to read it. It's near the bottom of the page.
org/index.html They are looking for class pictures and other info. If you've got any, consider sending
then in. There's an email address on the web site.
On a tract of land covering the easterly side of Darling Hill, paths and trails are in the process of
construction. The roadway extending from Freedom Street, the highest point of land in town (525 ft.
above sea level) is well underway, more than 1800 ft. having been completed. From points adjoining
this road may be seen The Great Blue Hills, Dean Academy, Sharon Heights, Cumberland Hill,
Peppercorn Hill, Wachusett Mountain, Wigwam and Miscoe Hills, as well as a large stretch of
surrounding country. Report of the Park Commissioners, 1917.
Miss Lillian M. Sinclair, the school nurse, began work on September 15th, 1919. 339 pupils were
examined with Dr. Knight, the school physician. 319 notices were sent home; 250 had defective teeth,
15 adenoids, 41 abnormal tonsils, 4 impetego, 1 St. Vitus Dance, 1 acne, 1 coryza. Examinations for
pediculosis were made and some cases found. These were kept at home for a few days for scalp
treatment. Report of the School Superintendent, Carroll Drown, 1919.
Captain Draper on the Mississippi
For the sake of a little variety, and because he has some good tales to tell, I thought I'd send
something from General Draper's autobiography this time. The incidents related below took place
150 years ago. He was a captain at the time. Shortly later, he was promoted to major.
One more anecdote and I leave Kentucky. One day on picket I got some broiled chicken at the house
of a very good looking woman, who was much interested in seeing Yankee soldiers. I had in my
haversack a copy of Harper's Weekly, with the usual number of illustrations, which surprised her, as
she had never seen a "picture paper" before. I presented it to her, and in the course of the
conversation asked if she had ever been to Lexington, the nearest town of any size, perhaps fifty miles
away. "No," she had never been beyond the nearest village, and did not care to visit, "Greenland, or
South America, or any of those cold counties." She evidently thought that all the countries in the world
were "counties" of the state of Kentucky.
We left Louisville the morning after arrival, and went by freight, as usual, to Cairo, Ill., where we
embarked on the steamer Meteor, and commenced our trip down the Mississippi. We were stopped
to show our papers at Columbus and Island No. 10, and passed Belmont, New Madrid, and Fort
Pillow - historic ground. I wrote, "The fortifications of Island No. 10 are not as formidable as those at
Roanoke." I was impressed with the loneliness of the Mississippi, where it seemed at times as
though we were its first explorers. The banks of the river were lined with dense forests interspersed
with cane brakes, and hours went by without a sign of human habitation.
Two days brought us to Memphis, where we went ashore and found a lively city, - made especially so
by being the base of supplies for our army at Vicksburg. Here with my company I was detached
temporarily to guard the steamer Express on its way down. This steamer was loaded with stores, and
had on board also Colonel Comstock of General Grant's staff, and two ladies, wives of high officers,
en route to visit their husbands, and about two hundred teamsters, a most unruly and undisciplined
lot of men. Vessels were fired on from the banks daily, and our pilot house and other parts of the boat
were protected by bales of hay. We, however, got through to Sherman's Landing, in plain sight of
Vicksburg, in three days, without being disturbed from the outside, though I had a mutiny among the
teamsters, who refused to be bound by regulations confining them to a certain part of the boat. They
invaded the cabin, where I was with my officers, and threatened to throw us overboard. Lieutenant
Holmes and I drew pistols and backed up against the wall, while Lieutenant Tucker escaped by a
rear door and alarmed the company. There was shouting and calling of bad names but no overt act,
as they knew such a move meant death to two or more of them. The time seemed an age, but was
very brief, before Lieutenant Tucker arrived with twenty men with loaded guns and fixed bayonets. I
then ordered the teamsters to leave the cabin and enforced the order by a bayonet charge, no one
being seriously hurt, but the cabin was cleared in short notice. I then went about with a squad of men,
arrested the ringleaders, and put them in irons, and the incident terminated. My men told me that
some of the mutineers threatened to kill me later, but such threats in the army are not usually
dangerous. William F. Draper, Recollections of a Varied Career, pp. 106 - 108.
More on General Draper Ezine Menu HOME
My feeble excuse for using this is that he mentioned passing
the area later, and it seemed like a good picture to use.