Historic Gardening: Civil War Gardens

Gardens grow food or flowers. For this blog post – instead of getting into the agriculture of the crops and posies – I thought it might be more fun to share some stories about gardens during the Civil War.

First, though, let’s clarify a few things and then we’ll get to the stories. Most country homes had gardens. That garden would supply the food for a family and sometimes extra which could be preserved or sold in market. In the large cities, some large homes had little garden plots or formal gardens, but “farmers’ marketplaces” were common, and city slickers could buy their fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers from the country folk who brought their produce to the city.

Fresh fruits and vegetables prevent scurvy (and taste much better than hardtack and salt pork). Both armies – Union and Confederate – tried to find ways to get fresh produce from American gardens to the military camps or trenches…or the soldiers simply went foraging to steal from the local farmer’s garden. (More on that later in the article.)

Now – without further ado – here are a few wartime accounts in the garden setting: Continue reading

Edith Roosevelt: Creating An Early 20th Century Image For The First Lady

american-first-ladiesDid you know there were two Mrs. Roosevelts who served as first ladies? And both their first names started with “E”? (The better-known of the two is Eleanor Roosevelt – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wife.)

However, today’s featured First Lady on Gazette665 is Edith Roosevelt. Theodore Roosevelt brought many innovative ideas and new energy to the executive mansion as the twenty-sixth president, and Edith Roosevelt was by his side to temper his exuberance and – in some ways – redefine the First Lady’s role for the beginning of the 20th Century. Continue reading

Abigail Powers Fillmore: Promoting Literature & Education As First Lady

american-first-ladiesMany First Ladies – especially in the 19th and early 20th Centuries – have hidden in the shadows of history. Many made positive contributions to society, the image of the executive branch, or the White House itself, but these women tend to be overlooked because they didn’t take a spotlight role.

Today, we introduce one of the these ladies from the 19th Century: Abigail Powers Fillmore, wife of Millard Fillmore who served as the thirteenth U.S. President from 1850 to 1853. Continue reading

Dolley Madison: Creating The Role Of First Lady

american-first-ladiesTheme of the month on Gazette665 in February 2017 is “American First Ladies,” and we’ve picked history and biographies of four presidents’ wives to share with you.

Today, we introduce Dolley Madison, wife of the James Madison who was the fourth president of the United States. Her life, sparkling personality, and precedent setting make Mrs. Madison an exceptional example of an American lady from the founding era of our country’s history. Continue reading