It was an eventful weekend. Congress—acting with a speed and unanimity1 unusual these days—declared a new federal holiday to celebrate June 19th as Juneteenth National Independence Day, formerly known and variously celebrated as Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, or Black Independence Day. It has roots in the issues and events of the Civil War years that I’m currently blogging about, and I’ll have more to share about the history of our newest federal holiday in a future post.
Sunday June 20 heralded the arrival of summer, and the observance of Fathers’ Day. In honor of both, I took the day off from writing and spent some time with my family. Wishing you all the best for summer, 2021, here’s an evocative seasonal print from Jonathan and Mary Clark’s era…
Bennett, W. J. , Engraver, and George Harvey. Summer. No. 3. A road accident, a glimpse thro’ an opening of the Primitive Forest, Thornville, Ohio. [No Date Recorded on Shelflist Card 2] Photograph of original print. Library of Congress. Image slightly cropped, omitting top margin with “Summer, No. 3” title. Click to open larger image in new window.
It looks like one Thornville, Ohio, farmer may have overloaded his wagon, broken an axle or two, and lost his load of hay. The pair of horses have already been unhitched from the wagon shaft, which also seems to have come off.
This type of four-wheeled wagon was common on farms of this period. It could haul hay and other farm products, and could also carry people, furniture, and household goods when needed. The Clarks and their neighbors may have owned and used wagons such as these in the early years of Mequon settlement.
Back soon with additional posts about Henry Clark, the Civil War draft, his possible military service, and more.
- The bill passed the Senate without amendment by unanimous consent on June 15, and passed the House by a vote of 415 “Yea” to 14 “Nay” on June 16. It was signed by the President and became public law No. 117-17 on June 17.
- The Library of Congress online cataloging info indicates “No Date Recorded on Shelflist Card,” but engraver Bennett died in 1844, and the print is from the Library’s collections of Letterpress Prints — 1840-1850, and Aquatint Works — 1840-1850, so a date of circa 1840-45 for the image seems likely.