German Explorer Gustav Radde & the Two Heinzs

Searching for the surname Radde at Wikipedia I discovered a German naturalist and explorer named Gustav Radde (1831- 1903). I am a descendant of some of the Radde clan on my mother’s side. It is, or was, a relatively common name in the Stolp area of Pomerania (Pommern). It’s now known as Słupsk. I started a Radde family mailing list in 2006.

A man named Heinz Radde has worked to document the history of the region, including the expulsion of Germans from Gross Tuchen following World War II. He currently lives in Switzerland. His site is very useful for anyone researching Pomerania. I particularly like his ‘Milestones in Pomeranian History’ section. Heinz Chinnow, who recently passed away, discussed Heinz Radde in his book Pomerania 1945 Echoes of the Past.

Regarding Gustav Radde, an obituary was published in the May 1903 issue of The Geographical Journal, a publication of The Royal Geographical Society in the UK.

Although Gustav was born in Danzig (Gdańsk), he worked and lived in Caucasia for most of his life. In 1864 he settled in Tbilisi, the current capital of the Republic of Georgia, and explored the region around Mount Elbrus. While studying and documenting plants, he recorded the languages, ballads and customs of the local tribes. He established a ‘Caucasus Museum and Library’ in Tbilisi for his exhibits.

Prior to his time in Tbilisi, he spent two years in the Crimea with botanist Christian von Steven, collecting specimens. With Johann Friedrich von Brandt and Karl Ernst von Baer, Radde made trips to southern Russia and in 1855 was on the East Siberian Expedition, led by Ludwig Schwarz.

In 1895 he sailed to India and Japan with the Grand Duke Michael, and was official naturalist on a visit by members of the Russian Imperial Family to North Africa.

Animals named after him include birds such as Radde’s Warbler and Radde’s Accentor, and the Radde’s Toad, or Siberian (Sand) Toad (Bufo raddei).

Radde was an avid entomologist. His insect and other collections are divided: among various institutions: some in the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences and some in the Georgian National Museum Zoological Section.


The 42nd as Part of the French Fourth Army

On July 15, 1918, 23 German divisions of the First and Third armies, led by Bruno von Mudra and Karl von Einem, launched an attack on the French Fourth Army, beginning the Second Battle of the Marne. The 42nd Division was temporarily attached to the Fourth Army at the time.

Precisely where Leslie Darling was when the assault began is not known. However, as the 168th Infantry was in the 42nd Division, the Guardsmen from Iowa were arm-to-arm with the French soldiers under Gouraud. They were assigned to an area just to the east of Reims.

The next day, July 16, General Gouraud sent out the following to those under his command. It is from volume six (VI) of Source Records of the Great War, edited by Charles F. Horne.

To the French and American Soldiers of the Army:

We may be attacked from one moment to another.  You all feel that a defensive battle was never engaged in under more favourable conditions.

We are warned, and we are on our guard.  We have received strong reinforcements of infantry and artillery.  You will fight on ground which by your assiduous labour you have transformed into a formidable fortress, into a fortress which is invincible if the passages are well guarded.

The bombardment will be terrible.  You will endure it without weakness.  The attack in a cloud of dust and gas will be fierce, but your positions and your armament are formidable.

The strong and brave hearts of free men beat in your breasts.  None will look behind, none will give way.  Every man will have but one thought – “Kill them, kill them in abundance, until they have had enough.”

And therefore your General tells you it will be a glorious day.


The 42nd Division Arrives in France

I didn’t realize how precarious the situation was in November of 1917. The very existence of the 42nd Division, the Rainbow, was in question. There were so many competing interests, both within the American military establishment, as shown here, and among the Allies. Pershing and Wilson were under almost constant pressure to place American soldiers in foreign units, under foreign command.

On arriving in France, however, it was other American units that wanted the men of the 42nd Division to fill the ranks. Author Donald Smythe in Pershing: General of the Armies explains (pgs. 61-62):

By November the AEF had four divisions in France: the 1st, 2d, 26th, and 42d. The first three were short 20,000 men. Since it was imperative to bring them up to full strength, it seemed logical to take the recently arrived 42d Division and break it up as replacements. General Mann, its commander, was unfit and scheduled soon to retire. It had not yet begun its training as a division, its artillery had not yet been assigned its material, and it was the only division of the four with complete personnel ready to feed into needy units. Accordingly, Fox Conner, Acting Chief of Operations, supported by Harbord, recommended classifying the 42d as a replacement division.

The only trouble was, the 42d Division was Secretary Baker’s personal creation. The previous summer he had remarked to Douglas MacArthur, who was on the War Department General Staff, that he “wished we had a division in which there were components from every State so that each State could take pride in the fact that some of its own boys were among the first to go.” MacArthur suggested that many National Guard divisions had surplus units which might be joined together to form such a unit. … Thus was born the famous Rainbow Division. Maj. Gen. William A. Mann, Chief of the Militia Bureau, was enthusiastic about the project and became the division’s first commander. MacArthur became its Chief of Staff.

Arriving in France, however, the Rainbow found itself being cannibalized. Equipment, supplies, and clothing were taken from it to supply deficiencies in the 1st and 26th Divisions. Thirty-three of its finest officers, including the incomparable Summerall, destined to become a postwar Army Chief of Staff, were reassigned either to Chaumont or to other divisions. Mann and MacArthur protested vigorously, the latter going so far as to leak to newsman Herbert Corey as story which Chaumont subsequently killed.

While far from a vigorous general, Mann was a very active politician with many influential friends in Washington because of his years there as a Chief of the Militia Bureau. MacArthur had the respect of Secretary Baker and the ear of the press. The division itself, representing units from twenty-six different states and the District of Columbia, had received extensive publicity and acquired a widespread constituency concerned about its survival…

To Chaumont, however, the 42d Division was a test case. By all the rules of logic, it should be the replacement division. If it was not, it would establish the precedent of allowing National Guard units special consideration, a policy fraught with danger. If National Guard units could not be used for replacements, then National Army units (those formed by the draft) must be. Since these were not expected in Europe for some time (the first did not arrive until April), AEF divisions would continue to be understaffed and underequipped. Fox Conner told Harbord that if they allowed the Rainbow to get away with their political maneuverings, it would become increasingly difficult to control National Guard divisions. There would not be one U.S. Army in Europe, but two.

The Rainbow was indeed maneuvering. Mann, MacArthur, and others alerted influential friends back home, and before long the War Department received a barrage of letters and telegrams demanding that the division be saved. In Europe MacArthur collared Harbord, an old friend from Philippine days, and asked him personally to inspect the division and judge “whether such a splendid unit should be relegated to a replacement status.”

Harbord did and was impressed. He then drew up a list of reasons for Pershing, pro and con, about making the 42d a replacement unit. They were mostly con. Perhaps his most cogent reason was the last: “I much fear that if you used it for replacement without notice to the War Department that you will not be permitted on the other hand if you ask the War Department that you will not be permitted to do it.” That settled the matter. Pershing designated the next division to arrive, the 41st (also National Guard troops) as the replacement unit. The Rainbow Division was saved. It became one of the best divisions in the AEF.

Note that Chaumont, a community in France, was the site of the General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Force, in World War I. Unfortunately Smythe makes it sound as if Chaumont is a person, an actual general. The National Guard comprised 40 percent of the U.S. combat divisions in France during the war.


Psalm 78: ‘I Will Use Stories’

On the J. Raymond Ton Education Center at Peoples Church is written:

What we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done.

The building expansion was dedicated on January 1, 1984. A plaque adorns the north-facing exterior wall. Inscribed on it, which I quoted above, are the words from Psalm 78, verses three and four. This was the inspiration for me to search for Bible passages with the word generations. This led to my discovery of Deuteronomy 32:7.

Christ used Psalm 78 as part of the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven.

All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon.”

Listen, dear friends, bend your ears to what I tell you
Hear and heed the words
What we have heard and learned
I will open my mouth in a parable
I will utter dark sayings of old
I will speak of mysteries from the past
Things that have been hidden since the foundation of the world
And that which we have heard and known, things from of old—
Stories we have heard
that which our ancestors have told us
What we learned at our mother’s knee
Some our fathers have told us
Remember, do not keep these to yourself
Instead reveal these
So that your descendants might
make insightful observations about the past
Do not conceal them
But tell to the generations to come
So that the generations to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
Then they will rise up and tell their descendants about them

I will use stories.”


Good Fridays

I wrote this a few days ago, on Good Friday, but have neglected posting it until now.

Ever since 1992 or 1993, Good Friday has been a personal tradition for me. It was March 25 and I had decided to skip out on school. I am not sure why, but it may have been because of a lousy haircut I’d given myself.

After wandering about in the nice weather, I found myself downtown. I made my way into the new mall, Salem Center. I was just killing time and relaxing. As I descended an escalator, a girl about my age, in all likelihood skipping school just like me, was sitting on a bench just below, watching. She smiled widely at me. But, introverted and nervous, I tried to ignore her and just kept walking. She didn’t like that and said something I can’t remember. She was clearly offended.

Who knew what she wanted though? I wasn’t ready to do much of anything with a pretty girl. I could barely even talk to one. I was afraid she wanted to sequester me somewhere and fool around, perhaps going all the way. So I kept walking, down the hallway and out the doors onto the relative safety of the sidewalk.

I was walking past the old brick First United Methodist Church, with its towering wood steeple painted a gleaming white, when I realized I was just in time for the special mid-day service. So I joined some others in a pew on the right side.

It was a normal, somewhat dull service, with nothing really of note. When I finally got home there was no one waiting to punish me for missing an entire day of classes. Somehow the call that usually came never did. At that time, the system was a bit easier to circumvent, although I wasn’t really hip to this at the time. When a student missed first period, an automated call was supposed to be made to the house. It had come before, but not this time.

I was in for a surprise, though. Little did I know that a photographer from the local paper, the Statesman Journal, was there to capture something for the next day’s edition. He was an old man, a pro. I would run into him on occasion years later, including Senator Hatfield’s day at the State Capitol in 2005. Talking with him for awhile that day I learned that he was an immigrant, from what country I can’t recall, but it was somewhere in Europe.

Since that day I’ve always made it an important tradition: attend Good Friday services somewhere. I always like checking out new stuff, so it’s usually in a place I’ve never been before, especially on a Good Friday. Last year was a Seder dinner at Solid Rock. Prior to that, it was at First Presbyterian. This year I was mulling over my options, including a noon chapel service at Willamette University. Ultimately, I decided on the Salvation Army services at the Kroc Center.


What Do Northern Ireland, Pennsylvania, Iowa & Australia Have in Common?

Some distant Boal cousins from Australia responded after finding some of my posts on John S. Boal. We then began communicating via email. They tracked down connections, which I had never successfully made before. The family came to Iowa from Pennsylvania. Some of them then left the United States for Australia. Prior to this they were in Northern Ireland.

John’s father, William, lived and died not far from John, near Iowa City. John died before him and is buried in the Wassonville Cemetery in Washington County. William is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Johnson County.

The Boal Museum is located in the heart of Pennsylvania, where most of the Boals lived after coming from northern Ireland. Life was centered on the town of Boalsburg. It’s not far from the main campus of Penn State, known to me because of Joe Paterno, a great coach and, what’s better, a great man. He and his wife have literally given millions to support the libraries at the university, culminating in the Paterno Library. For a few terms I was a student at the other PSU, Portland State. But I digress.

Now returning to the Boals, John’s mother was Anne or Anna Marie Shannon, taking his middle name from her maiden name, a common practice among some Irish families. John served in the Union Army during the Civil War, but I am still trying to determine the precise unit.


Deuteronomy 32:7

A kind of personal motto for me regarding this project – my ‘Notes on History’ – is Deuteronomy 32:7. I consulted all sorts of translations online and combined what I thought was the best of them. I first wrote a version years ago and created a graphic, using a blue color scheme, in Freehand. What happened to that file I don’t know. It is probably lurking somewhere on a CD and even possibly online.

I first recall reading this Bible passage probably more than a decade ago. It’s on a plaque on a building extension at Peoples Church, which our family attended for many years when I was growing up. I’d been to that church so many times, but had never really noticed this dedication plaque. It’s on the expansion building for the children’s program and library.

Most of the translations are very similar, but occasionally a new word or phrase crops up and stands out. Perhaps the weakest and strangest version is from The Message. The New Living Translation has the word inquire, which I really like. I decided to use the more provocative word question.

Some translations have cross-references, including the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible. The New Century Version, which I don’t know anything about, uses the word inform, but this seems a little dry. Teach and show are much better words. Young’s Literal Translation starts out well: “Understand the years of many generations.”

I like the phrases generation to generation, which is used in the Darby Translation, and years long past from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. “Think about what the Lord did through those many years” comes from the New International Reader’s Version.

The only line I really dislike from my version is “Dig into the past, understand your roots.” I am not sure what to do with it. I may just end up deleting it, but I’d like to somehow rewrite it. As it is now, the line just doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of what’s written.

Remember the days of old
Consider the generations long past
Ask your father
He will show you
Question the elders
They will tell you

They will teach you and explain
The years of many generations
Dig into the past, understand your roots
Think about what has happened through those many years
So that you may pass understanding from generation to generation

— Deuteronomy 32:7*

* (Note: This is my own compilation from a variety of translations.)


Before HTML, there was….

Using Google Fast Flip I found an article on how some folks are preserving the early days of the Internets. Its title is ‘Five Ways To Reminisce About Your Online Past’. Actually this is more of a subtitle, but because the beginning has so much nerd-speak and the fact that I have no idea what BBSes were or are, I decided to cut it out. It’s amazing how non-literary most technical guys are.

At any rate, one of my favorite tools for finding what used to be out there is the Wayback Machine by the people at the Internet Archive, where I first discovered an online set of the Pennsylvania Archives series. It’s officially a non-profit, and they happen to be working on all sorts of stuff, some free and some by subscription. There are several titles available via the American Libraries (‘Americana’) section.

Most websites go through so many changes that it can be frustrating to try and find the same thing again. I’ll write more about this when I discuss a great book I picked up at the library, Going Beyond Google. The book began as a presentation. For example, I used the Wayback Machine to find images of the BYU Molecular Genealogy site, which I used on my ‘Genetic Genealogy on the web’ site.  One site mentioned in the article that I want to explore further is TEXTFILESDOTCOM.


Chemeketa’s Library

For awhile now I have been wondering why there is no community-based group to support the Chemeketa Library. Before a bond for Building 9 was passed by the voters, the library was crammed into a very small space in Building 2, where the Financial Aid Office is now located. It was called the Learning Resource Center.
I remember years ago checking out Das Kapital by Marx and Engels and some others on communism. It’s a long story why, but my American Government teacher was a radical—a Communist, perhaps a Stalinist. The first day of class she had a handout on very bright yellow paper on how to listen. Of course, she didn’t listen herself, but she did like to talk and especially lecture, in every sense of the word. Whatever happened to her, Molly Doneka? Who knows.
Egon Bodtker, husband of my botany teacher, Diane or Diana. I really enjoyed her class, especially the field trips, including one to Baskett Slough.
I think he may have passed on, because I have one of his old books, Nearby History. It has his name written inside. Not sure where I picked it up, but it was likely at the Senior Center or Friends Bookstore in the downtown library.

The Great Conflict

Tecumseh is a man who’d I like to know more about. It’s not that I have any great appreciation of him or of his culture. He is certainly a captivating figure. However, my interest is personal. You see my ancestors, the Hills and the Tidds, were wrapped up into this narrative when Tecumseh was alive and well. Everyone on the Ohio frontier, the newcomers and the natives, was competing for land and life.

In 1810, James Hill, Samuel Tidd, and their families set out for the wilds of what was to become Logan County. They settled, first, somewhere near the Mad River. In 1811, Tecumseh began to wage what was to be his final military campaign. It was named for him, simply Tecumseh’s War. When war with Britain came again in 1812, Tecumseh’s maneuverings merged into the much greater conflict. Still living near the Mad River, that same year the Hills witnessed the birth of Samuel, son of James and veteran of the Mexican War.

According to the endpaper maps in A Sorrow In Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh, there were Indian villages all around what was to become Indian Lake, near Roundhead Township in Hardin County, where the Hills have lived since the 1800s:

Wapakoneta was named after a Shawnee chief and was the birthplace of astronaut Neil Armstong. A treaty was signed there in 1831, resulting in the remaining natives being relocated to Kansas. Blue Jacket’s Town is now the site of Bellefontaine, the county seat of Logan County. It was named for Blue Jacket and destroyed in 1786 during Logan’s Raid at the outset of the Northwest Indian War. Wapatomica, the second village with this name, met the same fate as Blue Jacket’s Town. It was obliterated during Logan’s Raid.

I couldn’t locate the current name of Leatherlips’ Town, but did find information on Leatherlips, a Wyandot chief known for “the strength of his word.” He was much more accommodating of the settlers, particularly as he grew older. Sadly, he was sentenced to death by Tenskwatawa, brother of Tecumseh, for ceding away Indian lands and executed by tomahawk in 1810 near Dublin, Ohio. Today it’s known as the headquarters of Wendy’s.

Other placenames I couldn’t match yet are: Tawa (Could this be Ottawa, Ohio?), Upper and Lower Piqua, Girty’s Town, Stiahta’s Town, Stony Creek Village, Sekunk (apparently now Columbus), Mackachack, Deer Creek Village, Pigeon Town, and Piqua Town.

Fort Greenville is now just plain Greenville and where a critical treaty was signed. Fort Jefferson was nearby, but I haven’t been able to find anything about it at the moment.

Years ago I bought a biography, Tecumseh: A Life, by John Sugden. Right now, it’s sitting in storage, buried among other books in boxes. But I did sit down years ago, right after receiving it in the mail from one of those book clubs, and read most of it, if not all. From what I can remember it was a good read.

While at the downtown library, I found a copy of The Lance and the Shield: The Life and Times of Sitting Bull for sale in the Friends’ bookstore, and this is what set me on this little adventure. Immediately upon opening it, I noticed the endpapers, maps of the delicate situation in the Dakotas in 1890, three years after the immigration of my Fromke relatives to northeastern South Dakota.

I am almost always tempted by books for sale, especially when I can find some sort of justification, usually a ‘personal’ connection to me, something I can use in my family research. Yet, I have made a sort of personal pledge to declutter my life, and to accomplish this I simply have to stop buying so many things, including books, at least until I build my own library or something. So instead, I decided to check the library catalog, and sure enough, there were actually two copies sitting on the shelves, a hard cover and a paperback.

The Black Hills and the area’s history has always been of interest to me. I’ve been to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial many times. And these visits were all family-related, perhaps a death, but more likely a reunion.

What did settlers think about these Natives being so close and perhaps ready to pounce? In 1890 was Sitting Bull a serious threat? Watertown is only a little more than 200 miles from the western reservations (map) while the Lake Traverse Reservation of the Sisseton–Wahpeton Oyate lay just to the north.

Supposedly Frank Hay wanted to head from Lake Preston west to the Black Hills and raise cattle. For some reason, he never made it, instead remaining a farmer in Kingsbury County until his death from cancer in 1903.

So, clearly, studying and understanding the Native mindset and their history is crucial, as they are intertwined in the lives of so many of my ancestors.