A Nation Divided: Confederate States of America War Bonds

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

The Confederate States of America was a group of eleven Southern states who seceded the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 because of his anti-slavery platform (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.).

Secession started in 1860 until mid-1861 as the following (University of Georgia, 2016):

  • South Carolina: December 20, 1860
  • Mississippi: January 9, 1861
  • Florida: January 10, 1861
  • Alabama: January 11, 1861
  • Georgia: January 19, 1861
  • Louisiana: January 26, 1861
  • Texas: February 1, 1861
  • Virginia: April 17, 1861
  • Arkansas: May 6, 1861
  • North Carolina: May 20, 1861
  • Tennessee: June 8, 1861

The creation of government of the Confederacy began in February 1861 until the Confederate Army’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865 (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.). Rick Winters, an Evansville-native who served in the Vietnam War, donated this piece, donated this rare piece of American history.

One thousand dollars. No. 28123 Eight per cent, July 1, 1868. The Confederate States of America Loan. Authorized act of Congress. C.S.A. February 20, 1863 On the 1st day of July 1868, the Confederate States of America will pay to the Bearer of the Bond, at the seat of government or at such place of deposit as may be appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, the sum of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS with interest there on from date, at the rate of eight per cent per annum payable sum annually on the surrender of the annexed Coupons. This contract is authorized by an act of Congress approved February 20, 1863 entitled [and set to] authorize the issue of BONDS for funding Treasury notes and is upon the [express] conditions that said Confederate States may from time to time extend the time of payment for any period not exceeding thirty years from this date at the rate of interest, upon the surrender of the Bond. In Witness whereat the Register of the Treasury in pursuance of said act of Congress hath here unto ser his hand and affixed the seal of the Treasury at Richmond, this 2nd day of March 1863.

Confederate States of America bond, March 

Numerous novels such as North and South trilogy by John Jakes, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, Gone with the Wind by Margeret Mitchell, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, and so many more have used the American Civil War as a background for their stories. If you are interested in viewing this artifact, you may schedule an appointment or come in during normal operating hours.



Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Confederate States of America. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Confederate-States-of-America

University of Georgia. (2016, April 6). Dates of secession. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/selections/confed/dates.html

A Stroke of Genius: B. Stoker & Dracula

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

As summer approaches, there is temporal euphoria of no homework, no assigned readings, and no papers; however, for some, there is no fun in the sun, especially for vampires. The best-known vampire in modern literature is Count Dracula, sorry Twilight fans.

Dracula by Bram Stoker: Nelson Doublesday, Inc. Garden City, New York. The Library at Indiana State University Evansville Campus.

Inside Cover of Dracula (Photograph Credit: James Wethington)

Bram Stoker wrote Dracula in 1897. Before writing his international smash-hit and classic, Stoker was involved in British theatre. He worked for Sir Henry Irving from 1878 until 1905 (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010). Dracula is a combination of “… central European folktales of the nosferatu, or undead, with historical accounts of 15th-century prince Vlad the Impaler, who allegedly impaled 100,000 victims and was given the epithet Dracula (a derivative of Romanian drac, or “devil”)” (Cregan-Reid, 2017).

Dracula has an everlasting legacy on horror literature. It created a new genre for authors like Anne Rice (author of The Vampire Chronicles) and Stephanie Meyers (author of the Twilight series) to write in another world. As George R.R. Martin stated, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”


Cregan-Reid, V. (2017, February 28). Dracula. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Dracula-novel

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2010, August 10). Bram Stoker. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bram-Stoker

#ThrowbackThursday: USI’s First Graduating Class

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

For some, graduation is a symbol of the end of the semester and a much-needed break; however, for others, it is the beginning of the rest of their lives. All of their hard work accumulates to this moment: walking across a stage facing in front of your fellow graduates and receiving recognition of your monumental achievement.

UP 01424: Grand Marshall Frank Stanonis and students at graduation ceremony, 1972. (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections)

Grand Marshall Frank Stanonis and students at graduation ceremony, 1972. (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections)

At the University of Southern Indiana, our first graduating class occurred in 1971. Beginning as a satellite campus for Indiana State University in 1965, USI started at the Centennial School House, near the Mead Johnson company. After five years at the Centennial School, ISUE relocated to the university’s current location on the far-west side of Evansville; however, the first graduating class at ISUE walked in 1971 with a one hundred fifty-one candidates (University of Southern Indiana, 2017). The graduates created the Alumni Association and “… has gone to over 38,000 members” (USI Web Services, 2017).

To all of the 2017 graduates, Rice Library congratulates you and wishes you well on your future endeavors.

The video of the 1971 Commencement at Indiana State University-Evansville is available through the University of Southern Indiana’s YouTube channel.


University of Southern Indiana. (2017). USI 1965 Timeline. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.usi.edu/1965/timeline.asp

USI Web Services. (2017). Graduate Student Information. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from http://www.usi.edu/commencement/2017-fall-commencement/graduate-student-information/

The New England Connection: Isaac Lyon & John Quincy Adams

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Isaac S. Lyon, Esqr. Parsippany, Morris County, New Jersey Washington 21, March 1831 Sir, In compliance with the request contained in your letter of the 15th inst. I take pleasure in enclosing herewith a pamphlet copy of the Address, delivered by me in this City on the 4th of July 1821, and of which I request your acceptance. I am respectfully your fellow Citizen and Servant, J.Q. AdamsLocated in the Isaac Lyon collection (MSS 068) holds a correspondence written by a prominent American politician in 1831. Who? It was John Quincy Adams, son of former President John Adams. He served as a U.S. Senator (1803-1808), Secretary of State (1817-1825), President of the United States (1825-1829), and House Representative (1831-1848) (Bemis, 2012).

There is little information over the receiver of Adams’ letter, Isaac Lyon. According to the New Jersey Historical Society (2005), Isaac Lyon was a blacksmith in Morris County, New Jersey. Lyon requested a copy of Adams’ address during his tenure as Secretary of State in July 4, 1821 in Parsippany, located in northern New Jersey. Letter correspondence has improved immensely along with the ability to “speak” with others through social media.

J.Q. Adams: from the original painting by Chappel in the possession of the publishers. Johnson, Fry, and Company. Publishers, New York.


Bemis, S. F. (2012, October 22). John Quincy Adams. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Quincy-Adams

New Jersey Historical Society. (2005). Guide to the Phineas Horton (fl. 1809-1835), Merchant Record Books 1802-1852. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from http://www.jerseyhistory.org/findingaiddirnb.php?dir=EAD%2Ffaid0500&aid=mg0112

Sir Richard Owen: Going to the Dinosaurs

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Caricature of Sir Richard Owen. The illustrator and date are unknown.

Caricature of Sir Richard Owen, n.d. (Illustrator: Unknown)

Born on July 20, 1804, Owen became a world-renowned English paleontologist and anatomist. He became the first individual to classifying dinosaurs as “Dinosauria” in 1842 and strongly opposed Charles Darwin’s the theory of evolution. Later in his career, Owen acknowledged Darwin’s theory but still rejected the theory (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010). Owen received the Copley Award in 1851 because “On account of his important discoveries in comparative anatomy and paleontology, contained in the Philosophical Transactions and numerous other works” (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2016). He wrote several books over fossils and he served as the superintendent of the National History Museum in London (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010). Under his leadership, he moved to the National History Museum to its current location because of the lack of space for their growing collections in 1881 (“History and Architecture,” n.d.). Owen died on December 18, 1892 in London, England (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010).

This caricature of Sir Richard Owen is located in the “Miscellaneous MSS Materials”.


The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2010, January 27). Sir Richard Owen. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-Owen
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2016, June 21). Copley Medal. Retrieved April 21, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Copley-Medal

History and architecture. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2017, from http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/history-and-architecture.html

Rudyard Kipling: The Power of Words

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Collected Verse of Rudyard Kipling with Illustrations by W. Heath Robinson. The book was published in 1910.

Front Cover of “Collected Verse of Rudyard Kipling”, 1910.

Collected Verse was published in 1910 by British author and poet, Rudyard Kipling. This book is a collection of his poetry. He was born in Bombay, British Raj, present-day Mumbai, India, on December 30, 1865 (Stewart, 2017). He became one of the world’s most beloved author and poet.

Portrait of Rudyard Kipling in 1915 by John Palmer.

Rudyard Kipling, 1915.

In 1907, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first English author to receive the award (The Nobel Foundation, n.d.). This book is a collection of his poetry. Kipling’s best-known novels are The Jungle Book (1894) and Kim (1901); meanwhile, some of his famous poems were Mandalay (1898), If – (1910) and many more (“Rudyard Kipling,” n.d.). Kipling passed away on January 18, 1936 in London, England (Stewart, 2017).


Page 148. Collected Verse “Ha’ done! Ha’ done!” said the Colonel’s son. “Put up the steel at your sides! Last night ye had struck at a Border thief – tonight ‘t is a man of the Guides!” Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgement Seat; but there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, when two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth! The Last Suttee 1889 Not many years ago, a King died in one of the Rajpoot States. His wives, disregarding the orders of the English against Suttee, would have broken out of the palace and burned themselves with the corpse had not the gates been barred. But one of them, disguised as the King’s favorite dancing-girl, passed through the line of guards and reached the pyre. There, her courage failing, she prayed her cousin, a baron of the court, to kill her. This he did not knowing who she was. Udai Chand lay sick to death in his hold by Gungra hill. All night we heard the death-gongs ring for the soul of the dying Rajpoot King. All night beat up from the women’s wing a cry that we could not still. Rudyard Kipling. Page 149 All night the barons came and went, the Lords of the Outer Guard: all night the cressets glimmered pale on Ulwar sabre and Tonk jezial, Mewar headstall and Marwar mail that clinked in the palace yeard. In the Golden Room on the palace roof all night he fought for air: and there were sobbings behing the screen, rustly and whisper of women unseen, and the hungry eyes of the Boondi Queen on the death she might not share. He passed at dawn – the death0fire leaped from right to river-head, from the Malwa plains to the Abu scars: and wail upon wail went up to the stars behind the grim zenana-bars, when they knew that the King was dead. The dumb priest knelt to tie his mouth and robe him for the pyre. The Boondi Queen beneath us cried: “See, now, that we die as our mothers died in the bridal-bed by our master’s side! Out, women! – to the fire!” We drove the great gates home apace: white hands were on the sill: but ere the rush of the unseen feet had reached the turn to the open street, the bars shot down, the guard-drum beat – we held the dovecot still.

The book is available for viewing and is located in the University Archives & Special Collections during normal business hours.





Nobel Foundation. (n.d.). Rudyard Kipling – Biographical. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1907/kipling-bio.html

Rudyard Kipling. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/rudyard-kipling

Stewart, J. I. (2017, January 30). Rudyard Kipling. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Rudyard-Kipling

Oh, Baby! Evansville Connection to a Children’s Nursing Bottle

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Right hand side view of a purple Bristol nursing bottle.

Left hand side view of Bristol nursing bottle, circa 1790’s. (Credit: James Wethington)

This is a rare Bristol bird-shaped nursing bottle donated by the Mead Johnson Company. It is purple glass with gold decorations on the outside. The glass is Venetian-styled glass, circa 1790. According to the information from Mead Johnson, Levin August Gottlieb (Theophil) von Benningsen, or Count Benningsen, purchased this piece in England. There is no information on how Mead Johnson acquired the nursing bottle.


Portrait of Lord Benningsen by George Dawe. The portrait is located in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The date is unknown.

Portrait of Lord Benningsen. This is located in the Military Gallery of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Credit: George Dawe, n.d.)

Benningsen was born in the Duchy of Brunswick, modern-day Germany, on February 10, 1745. Benningsen served in the Hanoverian Army, until 1764, and aligned himself with the Russian Army from 1773 to 1818. In the Russian Army, he started as a field officer from 1773 to 1787 until his promotion to colonel in 1787 and general in 1802. His crowning achievement was fighting in numerous wars against Napoleonic France in the War of the Third Coalition (1805-1806) and Sixth Coalition (1812-1814). He fought two battles against Napoleon: Battle of Eylau (1807) and Battle of Friedland (1807); however, Benningsen was not able to defeat Napoleon. He garnered a few victories in the War of the Sixth Coalition at the Battle of Borodino (1812) and Battle of Leizpig (1813). Benningsen retired in 1818 until his death on December 3rd, 1826 (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 1998a).

Venetian glass has endured the test of time. Beginning in Venice, Italy in the 13th Century, it was an extremely popular glassware style. How? It was because of the technique used and addition to color and enamel. By the 19th Century, production declined and they reproduced past glassware designs (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, 1998b).


The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Leonty Leontyevich, count von Bennigsen. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Leonty-Leontyevich-Graf-von-Bennigsen

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (1998, July 20). Venetian glass. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/art/Venetian-glass