Tag Archives: History

The Five Civilized Tribes

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Good Afternoon, everyone.  I thought today I would share a little bit of history research concerning one of my books, Dobyns Chronicles. The time period was around the time of the Indian resettlement in the United States. If you like history, take a look at my book. http://amzn.to/1yL4hKC

I’m going to put my second ad in for myself.  I have a book that will be published in a couple of weeks, (I hope). It is called Thomas Gomel Learns About Bullying. If you would like to read it before it becomes public let me know and I will send you a PDF copy. Also as a writer who always needs reviews, please consider leaving one on Amazon.  

                                                       FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES

Oklahoma Indian map2

The term “Five Civilized Tribes” came into use during the mid-nineteenth century to refer to the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole nations. Although these Indian tribes had various cultural, political, and economic connections before removal in the 1820s and 1830s, the phrase was most widely used in Indian Territory and Oklahoma.
Americans, and sometimes American Indians, called the five Southeastern nations “civilized” because they seemed to be assimilating to Anglo-American norms. The term indicated the adoption of horticulture and other European cultural patterns and institutions, including widespread Christianity, written constitutions, centralized governments, and intermarriage with white Americans, market participation, literacy, animal husbandry, patrilineal descent, and even slaveholding. None of these attributes characterized all of the nations of all of the citizens that they encompassed. The term was also used to distinguish these five nations from other so-called “wild” Indians who continued to rely on hunting for survival.

Elements of “civilization” within Southeastern Indian society predated removal. The Cherokee, for example, established a written language in 1821, a national supreme court in 1822, and a written constitution in 1827. The other four nations had similar if less noted, developments.

In the first four decades of the nineteenth century, the United States cajoled, bribed, arrested, and ultimately removed approximately seventy thousand American Indians out of their ancestral lands in the American South. Although Pres. Andrew Jackson is often deemed the architect of this program, the removal of the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole began years before the 1830 Indian Removal Act and Jackson’s subsequent use of the military to relocate the Indians.

In 1802 the state of Georgia agreed to cede its westernmost lands to the federal government, and in return, the government vowed to extinguish the Indian title to lands within Georgia as soon as possible. In the following years, the United States made only a few serious efforts to live up to that promise. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase Pres. Thomas Jefferson pressured the Cherokee and other Indian nations to exchange their eastern domains voluntarily for regions in the newly acquired western territory. Only a few tribes accepted the offer. After the War of 1812, the United States obtained thousands of acres of Creek lands in Georgia and Alabama, but the acquisition did not accompany a larger plan for Creek removal.

Finally, in the 1820s Georgians began to demand that the United States extinguish the Indian title to lands within their state. Pres. James Monroe determined that arranging the exchange of acreage in the East for areas in the West was the best means to accomplish this goal. While the federal government tried to create inducements to convince the Southeastern Indians to leave their homes, the discovery of gold in Georgia led to more aggressive demands for immediate removal.

The election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency in 1828 encouraged Georgia and its land-hungry settlers. Jackson made his position clear in his first message to Congress. He told the Cherokees that they had no constitutional means to resist and that it was in their best interest voluntarily to move west. Staying would lead to their destruction. As Congress debated the issues, several Cherokees negotiated a removal agreement with the United States. Major Ridge, a Cherokee planter and soldier,
his son John Ridge, and his nephew Elias Boudinot conducted these negotiations with the United States despite the expressed wishes of the majority of their nation. Most Cherokees, including Principal Chief John Ross, protested and tried to stop Ridge and his so-called Treaty Party.
On May 28, 1830, while Ridge and his supporters negotiated terms of removal with the United States, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. This law provided the president with $500,000 to establish districts west of the Mississippi River, to trade eastern tribal lands for those districts, to compensate the Indians for the cost of their removal and the improvements on their homesteads, and to pay one years’ worth subsistence to those who went west. Armed with this authority, President Jackson authorized agents to negotiate and enforce treaties.

Chief John Ross hired former attorney general William Wirt to represent the Cherokee in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) and then in Worcester v. Georgia (1832). In each case, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the sovereignty of the Cherokee tribe. The latter determined that Georgia could not make laws for the Cherokee people. The Supreme Court’s rulings, however, could not prevent forced removal. Georgia and the United States ignored the ruling and refused to recognize Cherokee sovereignty.
One of my grandmothers was Cherokee Indian and owned land in Georgia with a business of her own ferrying customers across the river. When the government came in they had a lottery for the Indian land and it was taken from her. They did pay her a small sum of money to make it legal.

President Jackson embraced Ridge and the Cherokee minority, and together they signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835. Ridge ceded all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi in return for territory in present northeastern Oklahoma, five million dollars, transportation west, and one year of subsistence. Amid a chorus of protests by Cherokees and their American supporters, the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty. Nearly two thousand Cherokees moved west in accordance with the agreement, but most of the nation remained. They still hoped that their constitutional victories and the illegalities of the treaty might be recognized. In 1838 the United States sent armed soldiers to enforce the law. The federal troops confined the Cherokees in disease-ridden camps for several months before forcing them to proceed west. Death and hardship were common, and nearly one in four Cherokees died.
The other Southeastern Indian nations experienced similar stories of upheaval and dislocation. Although each resisted, the Choctaw (1831-32), the Chickasaw (1837-38), the Creek, and the Seminole too found their ways westward on Trails of Tears. Divisions within the Creek Nation led to the execution of William McIntosh, one of its prominent chiefs, for signing the 1825 Treaty of Indian Springs. Ironically, McIntosh was killed in accordance with a law that he had created only years earlier. Despite their continued opposition, most of the Creek Indians trekked west in 1836. Hundreds of Seminoles moved to Indian Territory in 1832, but many more refused to leave the swamps of Florida. Instead, they fought the Second Seminole War (1835-42), and some moved further into the Everglades.
The Trail of Tears was the forced march of the Indians to the Indian Territory in what was to be Oklahoma. Each tribe was given land to settle on. It encompassed the entire area of what is now Oklahoma, except for the strip of land across the northwest section which was to be opened to settlement by the white man. The state received it’s nickname “Sooners” because some people crossed early and claimed their stake of land.
Eventually, the white man resided in the entire area. The Indians and whites lived together without any visible problems. The Indians were swindled out of their land by whites through the allotment plan. A lot of it was done by white men marrying Indian women who had allotments that were the husbands after the marriage. As with every other time the Indian came out the loser in any deal.

President Kennedy Assassination (graphic picture)

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I found this video from a former FBI man who investigated President John F. Kennedy’s assination very interesting. For me there has always been to many questions left unanswered. Maybe now the truth is beginning to be told.  Take a look and let me know what you think about it.  Shirley

 

Kennedy2

Football Can Be Harmfull

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This is a repost from DNews on Football and one of my blogs on just how unhealthy football is. The season has started again and I cringe. I’m married to a college football fanatic plus anything else that has to do with a ball of any kind.

I hate football just because of the damage that it does to it’s players and now it seems to the audience also. Why do we humans participate in things that cause others pain for our enjoyment? Remember Rome and the Gladiators. Even after 100’s or thousands of years nothing hasn’t changed. I can visualize the cave man playing dodge ball with rocks and people cheering as the rock bounced off his head. I don’t see the attraction at all.

I’m sure there will be people who can’t understand my side either. They think I just don’t know how great the game is. My son and my husband can talk on the phone for an hour about who’s playing and where they playing,along with spouting numbers who has done this or that. I don’t get the attraction.

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Football has an intellectual attraction that keeps fans interested, according to Almond.

The game requires understanding a vast, complex series of rules (that are amended each year), and players can move in many different and unexpected directions (unlike baseball, for example). There are big swings in momentum, and it’s satisfying to watch.

“What’s happening in football for a fan is that you are combining this primal aggressive buzz (with) this unbelievably strategically dense game. Baseball players are static. Football is carefully controlled chaos.”

Despite the pull football exerted on Almond, a lifelong Oakland Raiders fan, he decided that he couldn’t watch it anymore because of its seamier side: its violence, misogyny and the corrupting influence of big money.

“It’s complicated,” Almond said. “But for me, the darkness was enough to realize that I didn’t want to be a sponsor anymore.”

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for ...

Image via Wikipedia

According to an article I read today in “The Week“, a losing football team can kill you.  The University of California did a study of the death rate following the Rams Superbowl trips in 1980 and 1984.  The record review revealed some very scary numbers.  After the team lost their bid for the Superbowl, heart attacks deaths went up fifteen percent in men, twenty-seven percent in women, and twenty-two percent in senior citizens.  Four years later when the Rams won the Superbowl the numbers didn’t change at all.

This study shows how much emotion is put into your favorite football team.  The lead researcher felt people reacted due to making the team “a family member.”  A die-hard becomes very emotional, causing stress.  This stress increases the pulse rate, raises blood pressure and can trigger a cardiac event.  Is ranting and raving because your team lost the game worth the possibility of having a heart attack and possibly dying?

Take a look at this video and you can see what it is feels like to experience a heart attack.  This video was made in England and says to call 999, but here we call 911.  Please pay attention, it could save your life.  That’s my two-cents for today.

http://youtu.be/LUt1xXASm_s

Your Childs Education

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History2I have to tell you, right up front that this post is strictly a commentary on my part. I belong to a Historical Fiction group on LinkedIn and yesterday during a history discussion the direction of the conversation turned and my mouth hit the floor (so to speak). It seems that during my absence from the educational system for myself and my children the system has taken a giant leap backwards.History3

I was not aware that history is no longer taught in the schools as it once was. I could not get my mind wrapped around that thought. How could our future not be taught about the past of our country and of the world? And if they are taught it is skewed.
History
I am going to be posting the statements made by the people of the group. That way you can read and make up your own mind about how HISTORY should be in our educational system.

Carole Schutter
Owner, Carole Whang Schutter
I was talking to my neighbor and her daughter, a 14 year old honor roll student. She told me something shocking. They never discuss or learn about 9/11, they are not allowed to bring up the subject of terrorists or discuss terrorism, and they learn almost no history. I’m shocked. History was one of my favorite subjects. As I watched “Waters World” on Fox, something I’ve only done a few times, he went around asking a bunch of 20-something-year olds easy questions like, “Do you know who George Washington is? Who did we fight in the Revolution and the Civil War? (most people said France) Who bombed Pearl Harbor? (Most people said China, one even said Russia) He asked most of them if they went to college (yes for some)-the older people fared better. When my ex-husband dated 20 something year olds (he was in his 50’s) after our divorce and admitted he he was getting tired of dating girls who had no idea who the Kennedy’s were. As lovers of history, this is shocking to me. Is this what is happening? I have 30-something year old kids & no grandchildren & I made my sons read history books-which, btw, they liked. They weren’t taught as much history as I was taught but according to my neighbor’s daughter they are taught practically nothing. Just interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools.

Christine Gibbs commented on a discussion in Historical Fiction.

I was talking to my neighbor and her daughter, a 14 year old honor roll student. She told me something shocking. They never discuss or learn about 9/11, they are not allowed to bring up the subject of terrorists or discuss terrorism, and they learn almost no history. I’m shocked. History was one of my favorite subjects. As I watched “Waters World” on Fox, something I’ve only done a few times, he went around asking a bunch of 20-something-year olds easy questions like, “Do you know who George Washington is? Who did we fight in the Revolution and the Civil War? (most people said France) Who bombed Pearl Harbor? (Most people said China, one even said Russia) He asked most of them if they went to college (yes for some)-the older people fared better. When my ex-husband dated 20 something year olds (he was in his 50’s) after our divorce and admitted he he was getting tired of dating girls who had no idea who the Kennedy’s were. As lovers of history, this is shocking to me. Is this what is happening? I have 30-something year old kids & no grandchildren & I made my sons read history books-which, btw, they liked. They weren’t taught as much history as I was taught but according to my neighbor’s daughter they are taught practically nothing. Just interested in knowing what’s going on in our schools.

Lu Ann Worley
Book Review and Marketing

I know a wonderful History teacher who took an early retirement because there is no real history in the new history books…He refused to teach this farce of a history curriculum. These books were presented during the Clinton administration. Tax dollars were withheld from any school not agreeing to the new History & English books (In the English books the students only have to look up the answers to two out of seven questions at the end of a chapter. Basically, the students do not have to search for answers and learn to think for themselves- many students did not even look up the two questions…many didn’t even read the chapters!)
We are definitely in a “Dumb down America” that most parents are not even aware of because of the way it is presented to them. history4

ART HENDRICKSON
WRITER OF FICTION AND COMEDY

On the morning of 9/11, I was teaching in a Bakersfield, Ca school. When news of the first tower invasion was relayed to me by another teacher, I immediately switched on the TV and found a channel covering the event. What a great learning experience for my kids. The TV was on for about five minutes when the principal entered the room and demanded that the set be turned off and kept off and for us to get back on curriculum. Seriously? I was dumbfounded. How could she (later I found that it was a district ultimatum) deny observing history in the making. She did and I made formal protest as did some students in other classes. The district backtracked in the coming days and even blamed the teachers. It was their choice to watch or not watch or so they said. I wrote a editorial letter of response to the district whitewash and was promptly admonished…with no union backing. I retired the following year when even more restrictions were placed on the teaching of history in the Bakersfield Middle schools.

M.N. Stroh
Freelance Writer with Her View from Home

Sadly, these facts are all too common. History was barely taught in my school. My last high school class covering American history was a joke. The teacher didn’t even teach from the books. Lessons were totally on his lectures of HIS perception of history. The downgrading of history and education in general is one of the prime reasons that I homeschool my children.

Now that you have read a few of the statements made, how do you feel about it? I think a big disservice is being done to the children of this country and that is very sad. How can are children really understand what and why things have happened the way it has if they are not taught in our educational system.

Yellow Fever

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people-infected-with-yellow-fever Hello because of the research I did on Yellow fever epidemics for my book “Dobyns Chronicles.” Buy Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/BOOKNMM468 I thought I would share it with you.

Yellow fever epidemics struck the United States repeatedly in the 18th and 19th centuries. The disease was not indigenous; epidemics were imported by ship from the Caribbean. Prior to 1822, yellow fever attacked cities as far north as Boston, but after 1822 it was restricted to the south. Port cities were the primary targets, but the disease occasionally spread up the Mississippi River system in the 1800s. New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, and Charleston were major targets; Memphis suffered terribly in 1878. Yellow fever epidemics caused terror, economic disruption, and some 100,000-150,000 deaths. Recent white immigrants to southern port cities were the most vulnerable; local whites and blacks enjoyed considerable resistance. As you read it killed thousands so we have been blessed as a country to not have it now. It had to be scarey times back then. Did you have relatives who died from Yellow Fever.

This information is from Wikipedia

mosquitoYellow fever, known historically as yellow jack or yellow plague[1] is an acute viral disease.[2] In most cases symptoms include fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle pains particularly in the back, and headaches.[2] Symptoms typically improve within five days.[2] In some people within a day of improving the fever comes back, there is abdominal pain, and liver damage begins causing yellow skin.[2] If this occurs there is also an increased risk of bleeding and kidney problems.[2]

The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of the female mosquito.[2] It only infects humans, other primates and several species of mosquito.[2] In cities it is primarily spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species.[2] The virus is an RNA virus of the genus Flavivirus.[3] The disease may be difficult to tell apart from other illnesses, especially in the early stages.[2] To confirm a suspected case blood sample testing with PCR is required.[4]

A safe and effective vaccine against yellow fever exists and some countries require vaccinations for travelers.[2] Other efforts to prevent infection include reducing the population of the transmitting mosquito.[2] In areas where yellow fever is common and vaccination is uncommon, early diagnosis of cases and immunization of large parts of the population is important to prevent outbreaks.[2] Once infected, management is symptomatic with no specific measures effective against the virus.[2] In those with severe disease death occurs in about half of people without treatment.[2]

Yellow fever causes 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths every year,[2] with nearly 90% of these occurring in Africa.[4] Nearly a billion people live in an area of the world where the disease is common.[2] It is common in tropical areas of South America and Africa, but not in Asia.[5][2] Since the 1980s, the number of cases of yellow fever has been increasing.[6][2] This is believed to be due to fewer people being immune, more people living in cities, people moving frequently, and changing climate.[2] The disease originated in Africa, where it spread to South America through the slave trade in the 17th century.[1] Since the 17th century, several major outbreaks of the disease have occurred in the Americas, Africa, and Europe.[1] In the 18th and 19th century, yellow fever was seen as one of the most dangerous infectious diseases.[1] The yellow fever virus was the first human virus discovered.[3]

Signs and symptoms
Yellow fever begins after an incubation period of three to six days.[7] Most cases only cause a mild, infection with fever, headache, chills, back pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.[8] In these cases the infection lasts only three to four days.

In fifteen percent of cases, however, sufferers enter a second, toxic phase of the disease with recurring fever, this time accompanied by jaundice due to liver damage, as well as abdominal pain. Bleeding in the mouth, the eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract will cause vomit containing blood, hence the Spanish name for yellow fever, vomito negro (“black vomit”).[9] The toxic phase is fatal in approximately 20% of cases, making the overall fatality rate for the disease 3% (15% * 20%).[10] In severe epidemics, the mortality may exceed 50%.[11]

Surviving the infection provides lifelong immunity,[12] and normally there is no permanent organ damage.

Cause
Yellow fever virus
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Order: Unassigned
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Flavivirus
Species: Yellow fever virus
Yellow fever is caused by the yellow fever virus, a 40 to 50 nm wide enveloped RNA virus, the type species and namesake of the family Flaviviridae.[3] It was the first illness shown to be transmissible via filtered human serum and transmitted by mosquitoes, by Walter Reed around 1900.[14] The positive sense single-stranded RNA is approximately 11,000 nucleotides long and has a single open reading frame encoding a polyprotein. Host proteases cut this polyprotein into three structural (C, prM, E) and seven non-structural proteins (NS1, NS2A, NS2B, NS3, NS4A, NS4B, NS5); the enumeration corresponds to the arrangement of the protein coding genes in the genome.[15] Yellow fever belongs to the group of hemorrhagic fevers.

The viruses infect, amongst others, monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. They attach to the cell surface via specific receptors and are taken up by an endosomal vesicle. Inside the endosome, the decreased pH induces the fusion of the endosomal membrane with the virus envelope. The capsid enters the cytosol, decays, and releases the genome. Receptor binding as well as membrane fusion are catalyzed by the protein E, which changes its conformation at low pH, causing a rearrangement of the 90 homodimers to 60 homotrimers.[15]

After entering the host cell, the viral genome is replicated in the rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and in the so-called vesicle packets. At first, an immature form of the virus particle is produced inside the ER, whose M-protein is not yet cleaved to its mature form and is therefore denoted as prM (precursor M) and forms a complex with protein E. The immature particles are processed in the Golgi apparatus by the host protein furin, which cleaves prM to M. This releases E from the complex which can now take its place in the mature, infectious virion.[15]

Transmission

Aedes aegypti feeding

Adults of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. The male is on the left, females are on the right. Only the female mosquito bites can transmit the disease.
Yellow fever virus is mainly transmitted through the bite of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, but other mosquitoes such as the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can also serve as a vector for this virus. Like other Arboviruses which are transmitted via mosquitoes, the yellow fever virus is taken up by a female mosquito when it ingests the blood of an infected human or other primate. Viruses reach the stomach of the mosquito, and if the virus concentration is high enough, the virions can infect epithelial cells and replicate there. From there they reach the haemocoel (the blood system of mosquitoes) and from there the salivary glands. When the mosquito next sucks blood, it injects its saliva into the wound, and the virus reaches the bloodstream of the bitten person. There are also indications for transovarial and transstadial transmission of the yellow fever virus within A. aegypti, that is, the transmission from a female mosquito to her eggs and then larvae. This infection of vectors without a previous blood meal seems to play a role in single, sudden breakouts of the disease.[16]

There are three epidemiologically different infectious cycles,[6] in which the virus is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans or other primates. In the “urban cycle,” only the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is involved. It is well adapted to urban centres and can also transmit other diseases, including dengue fever and chikungunya. The urban cycle is responsible for the major outbreaks of yellow fever that occur in Africa. Except in an outbreak in 1999 in Bolivia, this urban cycle no longer exists in South America.

Besides the urban cycle there is, both in Africa and South America, a sylvatic cycle (forest cycle or jungle cycle), where Aedes africanus (in Africa) or mosquitoes of the genus Haemagogus and Sabethes (in South America) serve as vectors. In the jungle, the mosquitoes infect mainly non-human primates; the disease is mostly asymptomatic in African primates. In South America, the sylvatic cycle is currently the only way humans can infect each other, which explains the low incidence of yellow fever cases on the continent. People who become infected in the jungle can carry the virus to urban centres, where Aedes aegypti acts as a vector. It is because of this sylvatic cycle that yellow fever cannot be eradicated.[6]
epidemic 1820
In Africa there is a third infectious cycle, also known as “savannah cycle” or intermediate cycle, which occurs between the jungle and urban cycle. Different mosquitoes of the genus Aedes are involved. In recent years, this has been the most common form of transmission of yellow fever in Africa.[17]

Pathogenesis[edit]
After transmission of the virus from a mosquito, the viruses replicate in the lymph nodes and infect dendritic cells in particular. From there they reach the liver and infect hepatocytes (probably indirectly via Kupffer cells), which leads to eosinophilic degradation of these cells and to the release of cytokines. Necrotic masses known as Councilman bodies appear in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes.[18][19]

Fatality may occur when cytokine storm, shock, and multiple organ failure follow.[10]

Diagnosis[edit]
Yellow fever is a clinical diagnosis, which often relies on the whereabouts of the diseased person during the incubation time. Mild courses of the disease can only be confirmed virologically. Since mild courses of yellow fever can also contribute significantly to regional outbreaks, every suspected case of yellow fever (involving symptoms of fever, pain, nausea and vomiting six to ten days after leaving the affected area) is treated seriously.

If yellow fever is suspected, the virus cannot be confirmed until six to ten days after the illness. A direct confirmation can be obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction where the genome of the virus is amplified.[4] Another direct approach is the isolation of the virus and its growth in cell culture using blood plasma; this can take one to four weeks.

Serologically, an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay during the acute phase of the disease using specific IgM against yellow fever or an increase in specific IgG-titer (compared to an earlier sample) can confirm yellow fever. Together with clinical symptoms, the detection of IgM or a fourfold increase in IgG-titer is considered sufficient indication for yellow fever. Since these tests can cross-react with other flaviviruses, like Dengue virus, these indirect methods cannot conclusively prove yellow fever infection.

Liver biopsy can verify inflammation and necrosis of hepatocytes and detect viral antigens. Because of the bleeding tendency of yellow fever patients, a biopsy is only advisable post mortem to confirm the cause of death.

In a differential diagnosis, infections with yellow fever have to be distinguished from other feverish illnesses like malaria. Other viral hemorrhagic fevers, such as Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Marburg virus and Junin virus, have to be excluded as cause.

Prevention[edit]
Personal prevention of yellow fever includes vaccination as well as avoidance of mosquito bites in areas where yellow fever is endemic. Institutional measures for prevention of yellow fever include vaccination programs and measures of controlling mosquitoes. Programs for distribution of mosquito nets for use in homes are providing reductions in cases of both malaria and yellow fever.

Vaccination

The cover of a certificate that confirms that the holder has been vaccinated against yellow fever
Main article: Yellow fever vaccine
Vaccination is recommended for those traveling to affected areas, because non-native people tend to suffer more severe illness when infected. Protection begins by the tenth day after vaccine administration in 95% of people,[20] and lasts for at least 10 years. About 81% of people are still immune after 30 years. The attenuated live vaccine stem 17D was developed in 1937 by Max Theiler.[20] The WHO recommends routine vaccinations for people living in affected areas between the 9th and 12th month after birth.[4] Up to one in four people experience fever, aches, and local soreness and redness at the site of injection.[21]

In rare cases (less than one in 200,000 to 300,000[20]), the vaccination can cause yellow fever vaccine-associated viscerotropic disease (YEL-AVD), which is fatal in 60% of cases. It is probably due to the genetic morphology of the immune system. Another possible side effect is an infection of the nervous system, which occurs in one in 200,000 to 300,000 cases, causing yellow fever vaccine-associated neurotropic disease (YEL-AND), which can lead to meningoencephalitis and is fatal in less than 5%[20] of cases.[4][10]

In 2009, the largest mass vaccination against yellow fever began in West Africa, specifically Benin, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.[22][23] When it is completed in 2015, more than 12 million people will have been vaccinated against the disease.[22] According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the mass vaccination cannot eliminate yellow fever because of the vast number of infected mosquitoes in urban areas of the target countries, but it will significantly reduce the number of people infected.[22] The WHO plans to continue the vaccination campaign in another five African countries—Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria—and stated that approximately 160 million people in the continent could be at risk unless the organization acquires additional funding to support widespread vaccinations.[24]

In 2013, the World Health Organization stated “a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease.”[25]

Compulsory vaccination[edit]
Some countries in Asia are theoretically in danger of yellow fever epidemics (mosquitoes with the capability to transmit yellow fever and susceptible monkeys are present), although the disease does not yet occur there. To prevent introduction of the virus, some countries demand previous vaccination of foreign visitors if they have passed through yellow fever areas. Vaccination has to be proven in a vaccination certificate which is valid 10 days after the vaccination and lasts for 10 years. A list of the countries that require yellow fever vaccination is published by the WHO.[26] If the vaccination cannot be conducted for some reasons, dispensation may be possible. In this case, an exemption certificate issued by a WHO approved vaccination center is required.

Although 32 of 44 countries where yellow fever occurs endemically do have vaccination programmes, in many of these countries, less than 50% of their population is vaccinated.[4]

Vector control

Information campaign for prevention of dengue and yellow fever in Paraguay
Control of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is of major importance, especially because the same mosquito can also transmit dengue fever and chikungunya disease. A. aegypti breeds preferentially in water, for example in installations by inhabitants of areas with precarious drinking water supply, or in domestic waste; especially tires, cans and plastic bottles. These conditions are common in urban areas in developing countries.

Two main strategies are employed to reduce mosquito populations. One approach is to kill the developing larvae. Measures are taken to reduce the water accumulations in which the larva develops. Larvicides are used, as well as larva-eating fish and copepods, which reduce the number of larvae. For many years, copepods of the genus Mesocyclops have been used in Vietnam for preventing dengue fever. It eradicated the mosquito vector in several areas. Similar efforts may be effective against yellow fever. Pyriproxyfen is recommended as a chemical larvicide, mainly because it is safe for humans and effective even in small doses.[4]

The second strategy is to reduce populations of the adult yellow fever mosquito. Lethal ovitraps can reduce Aedes populations, but with a decreased amount of pesticide because it targets the mosquitoes directly. Curtains and lids of water tanks can be sprayed with insecticides, but application inside houses is not recommended by the WHO. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets are effective, just as they are against the Anopheles mosquito that carries malaria.[4]

Treatment[edit]
As for other flavivirus infections, there is no cure for yellow fever. Hospitalization is advisable and intensive care may be necessary because of rapid deterioration in some cases. Different methods for acute treatment of the disease have been shown to not be very successful; passive immunisation after emergence of symptoms is probably without effect. Ribavirin and other antiviral drugs as well as treatment with interferons do not have a positive effect in patients.[10] A symptomatic treatment includes rehydration and pain relief with drugs like paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the United States). Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) should not be given because of its anticoagulant effect, which can be devastating in the case of internal bleeding that can occur with yellow fever.

Epidemiology

Endemic range of yellow fever in South America (2009)

Endemic range of yellow fever in Africa (2009)
Yellow fever is endemic in tropical and subtropical areas of South America and Africa. Even though the main vector (Aedes aegypti) also occurs in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, the Pacific and Australia, yellow fever does not occur in these parts of the globe. Proposed explanations include the idea that the strains of the mosquito in the East are less able to transmit the yellow fever virus, that immunity is present in the populations because of other diseases caused by related viruses (for example, dengue), and that the disease was never introduced because the shipping trade was insufficient, but none are considered satisfactory. [27] [28] Another recent proposal is the absence of a slave trade to Asia on the scale of that to the Americas. [29] The trans-Atlantic slave trade was probably the means of introduction into the Western hemisphere from Africa. [30] Worldwide there are about 600 million people living in endemic areas. WHO officially estimates that there are 200,000 cases of disease and 30,000 deaths a year; the number of officially reported cases is far lower. An estimated 90% of the infections occur on the African continent.[4] In 2008, the largest number of recorded cases were in Togo.

Phylogenetic analysis identified seven genotypes of yellow fever viruses, and it is assumed that they are differently adapted to humans and to the vector Aedes aegypti. Five genotypes (Angola, Central/East Africa, East Africa, West Africa I, and West Africa II) occur only in Africa. West Africa genotype I is found in Nigeria and the surrounding areas.[31] This appears to be especially virulent or infectious as this type is often associated with major outbreaks. The three genotypes in East and Central Africa occur in areas where outbreaks are rare. Two recent outbreaks in Kenya (1992–1993) and Sudan (2003 and 2005) involved the East African genotype, which had remained unknown until these outbreaks occurred.

In South America, two genotypes have been identified (South American genotype I and II).[6] Based on phylogenetic analysis these two genotypes appear to have originated in West Africa[33] and were first introduced into Brazil.[34] The date of introduction into South America appears to be 1822 (95% confidence interval 1701 to 1911).[34] The historical record shows that there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Recife, Brazil, between 1685 and 1690. The disease seems to have disappeared, with the next outbreak occurring in 1849. It seems likely that it was introduced with the importation of slaves through the slave trade from Africa. Genotype I has been divided into five subclades, A through E.[35]

The evolutionary origins of yellow fever most likely lie in Africa, with transmission of the disease from primates to human beings.[36] It is thought that the virus originated in East or Central Africa and spread from there to West Africa. As it was endemic in Africa, the natives had developed some immunity to it. When an outbreak of yellow fever would occur in an African village where colonists resided, most Europeans died, while the native population usually suffered nonlethal symptoms resembling influenza.[37] This phenomenon, in which certain populations develop immunity to yellow fever due to prolonged exposure in their childhood, is known as acquired immunity.[38] The virus, as well as the vector A. aegypti, were probably transferred to North and South America with the importation of slaves from Africa, part of the Columbian Exchange following European exploration and colonization.

The first definitive outbreak of yellow fever in the New World was in 1647 on the island of Barbados.[39] An outbreak was recorded by Spanish colonists in 1648 in Yucatán, Mexico, where the indigenous Mayan people called the illness xekik (“blood vomit”). In 1685, Brazil suffered its first epidemic, in Recife. The first mention of the disease by the name “yellow fever” occurred in 1744.[40]

Although yellow fever is most prevalent in tropical-like climates, the Northern United States was not exempted from the fever. The first outbreak in English-speaking North America occurred in New York in 1668, and a serious one afflicted Philadelphia in 1793.[41] English colonists in Philadelphia and the French in the Mississippi River Valley recorded major outbreaks in 1669, as well as those occurring later in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The southern city of New Orleans was plagued with major epidemics during the nineteenth century, most notably in 1833 and 1853. At least 25 major outbreaks took place in the Americas during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including particularly serious ones in Cartagena in 1741, Cuba in 1762 and 1900, Santo Domingo in 1803, and Memphis in 1878. Major outbreaks have also occurred in southern Europe. Gibraltar lost many to an outbreak in 1804, in 1814, and again in 1828.[42] Barcelona suffered the loss of several thousand citizens during an outbreak in 1821. Urban epidemics continued in the United States until 1905, with the last outbreak affecting New Orleans.[43]

Due to yellow fever, in Colonial times and during the Napoleonic Wars the West Indies were known as a particularly dangerous posting for soldiers. Both English and French forces posted there were decimated by the “Yellow Jack.” Wanting to regain control of the lucrative sugar trade in Saint-Domingue, and with an eye on regaining France’s New World empire, Napoleon sent an army under the command of his brother-in-law to Saint-Domingue to seize control after a slave revolt. The historian J. R. McNeill asserts that yellow fever accounted for approximately 35,000 to 45,000 casualties of these forces during the fighting.[44] Only one-third of the French troops survived for withdrawal and return to France. Napoleon gave up on the island, and in 1804 Haiti proclaimed its independence as the second republic in the western hemisphere.

Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878 can still be found in New Orleans’ cemeteries.
The yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia, which was then the capital of the United States, resulted in the deaths of several thousand people, more than nine percent of the population. The national government fled the city, including President George Washington.[45] Additional yellow fever epidemics struck Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and traveled along steamboat routes from New Orleans. They caused some 100,000–150,000 deaths in total.[46]

In 1858 St. Matthew’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, South Carolina, suffered 308 yellow fever deaths, reducing the congregation by half.[47] In 1873, Shreveport, Louisiana lost almost a quarter of its population to yellow fever. In 1878, about 20,000 people died in a widespread epidemic in the Mississippi River Valley.[48] That year, Memphis had an unusually large amount of rain, which led to an increase in the mosquito population. The result was a huge epidemic of yellow fever.[49] The steamship John D. Porter took people fleeing Memphis northward in hopes of escaping the disease, but passengers were not allowed to disembark due to concerns of spreading yellow fever. The ship roamed the Mississippi River for the next two months before unloading her passengers.[50] The last major U.S. outbreak was in 1905 in New Orleans.[6][51]

Ezekiel Stone Wiggins, known as the Ottawa Prophet, proposed that the cause of a Yellow fever epidemic in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1888 was astronomical.

The planets were in the same line as the sun and earth and this produced, besides Cyclones, Earthquakes, etc., a denser atmosphere holding more carbon and creating microbes. Mars had an uncommonly dense atmosphere, but its inhabitants were probably protected from the fever by their newly discovered canals, which were perhaps made to absorb carbon and prevent the disease.[52]

Yellow fever in Buenos Aires, 1871
Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor and scientist, first proposed in 1881 that yellow fever might be transmitted by mosquitoes rather than direct human contact.[53][54] Since the losses from yellow fever in the Spanish–American War in the 1890s were extremely high, Army doctors began research experiments with a team led by Walter Reed, composed of doctors James Carroll, Aristides Agramonte and Jesse William Lazear. They successfully proved Finlay’s ″Mosquito Hypothesis.″ Yellow fever was the first virus shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes. The physician William Gorgas applied these insights and eradicated yellow fever from Havana. He also campaigned against yellow fever during the construction of the Panama Canal, after a previous effort on the part of the French failed (in part due to mortality from the high incidence of yellow fever and malaria, which decimated the workers).[6]

Although Dr. Reed has received much of the credit in United States history books for “beating” yellow fever, he had fully credited Dr. Finlay with the discovery of the yellow fever vector, and how it might be controlled. Dr. Reed often cited Finlay’s papers in his own articles, and also gave him credit for the discovery in his personal correspondence.[55] The acceptance of Finlay’s work was one of the most important and far-reaching effects of the Walter Reed Commission of 1900.[56] Applying methods first suggested by Finlay, the United States government and Army eradicated yellow fever in Cuba and later in Panama, allowing completion of the Panama Canal. While Dr. Reed built on the research of Carlos Finlay, historian François Delaporte notes that yellow fever research was a contentious issue. Scientists, including Finlay and Reed, became successful by building on the work of less prominent scientists, without always giving them the credit they were due.[57] Dr. Reed’s research was essential in the fight against yellow fever. He should also receive full credit for his use of the first type of medical consent form during his experiments in Cuba, an attempt to ensure that participants knew they were taking a risk by being part of testing.[58]

Max Theiler
During 1920–1923, the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Board (IHB) undertook an expensive and successful yellow fever eradication campaign in Mexico. The IHB gained the respect of Mexico’s federal government because of the success. The eradication of yellow fever strengthened the relationship between the US and Mexico, which had not been very good in the past. The eradication of yellow fever was also a major step toward better global health.[59]

In 1927, scientists isolated the yellow fever virus in West Africa. Following this, two vaccines were developed in the 1930s. The vaccine 17D was developed by the South African microbiologist Max Theiler at the Rockefeller Institute in New York City. This vaccine was widely used by the U.S. Army during World War II.[39] Following the work of Ernest Goodpasture, Theiler used chicken eggs to culture the virus and won a Nobel Prize in 1951 for this achievement. A French team developed the French neurotropic vaccine (FNV), which was extracted from mouse brain tissue. Since this vaccine was associated with a higher incidence of encephalitis, FNV was not recommended after 1961. 17D is still in use and more than 400 million doses have been distributed. Little research has been done to develop new vaccines. Some researchers worry that the 60-year-old technology for vaccine production may be too slow to stop a major new yellow fever epidemic. Newer vaccines, based on vero cells, are in development and should replace 17D at some point.[4]

Using vector control and strict vaccination programs, the urban cycle of yellow fever was nearly eradicated from South America. Since 1943 only a single urban outbreak in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, has occurred. But, since the 1980s, the number of yellow fever cases have been increasing again, and A. aegypti has returned to the urban centers of South America. This is partly due to limitations on available insecticides, as well as habitat dislocations caused by climate change. It is also because the vector control program was abandoned. Although no new urban cycle has yet been established, scientists believe that this could happen again at any point. An outbreak in Paraguay in 2008 was thought to be urban in nature, but this ultimately proved not to be the case.[4]

In Africa, virus eradication programs have mostly relied upon vaccination. These programs have largely been unsuccessful because they were unable to break the sylvatic cycle involving wild primates. With few countries establishing regular vaccination programs, measures to fight yellow fever have been neglected, making the future spread of the virus more likely.[4]

Is It a Government Conspiracy?

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Meriwether Lewis

I watched a television program last night that totally fascinated me. It was about Meriwether Lewis. Those of you who are not familiar with him, I will tell you a little about his background. He was born on August 18, 1774 in Charlottesville, Virginia. He became a soldier, served under William Clark who he later picked to be co-charge for the great exploration of the west, authorized by Thomas Jefferson.  Meriwether started out as the personal secretary to President Jefferson, but Jefferson gave him another job to explore the Louisana Purchase and  westward.

President Jefferson also gave them a mandate to see if there were signs of Welch occupancy in the west. Since Lewis had served under William Clark, they knew each other well. The two gathered their supplies and other men and left for the unknown in May 1804.

Meriwether Lewis kept journals of everything he saw during his mission. He retured in May 1806.  Documentation along with drawings showed President Jefferson what was seen on the journey.

Three years after returning home, Meriwether was going back to Washington DC with his Journals  He was staying at an Inn on the Natchez Trace. The Trace was a well used 440 mile trail from Mississippi to Tennessee.  At the Inn on October 12, 1809, a couple of gun shots were heard and Meriwether Lewis was found dead. He had one shot in the abdomen and one through the head, with blew part of the skull off exposing the brain. It was ruled as a suicide.

Since that time there has been a theory that the United States Government had him killed because he had found something during the expedition that would threaten the United States right to the lands west of the Mississippi. Such as the Welch having been there before which would give England the right to the land.

Pages had been torn from his journal and were never seen again. Lewis was a Mason and had his apron in his pocket. When they removed it, it was blood spattered. The apron is on display in Montana. Blood samples were taken and it has been shown that it came from two different men and not Meriwether Lewis.

I think it’s fascinating to know that even back when the country was new that a National Hero could have been killed because of knowledge he had that could harm the government. It’s something we will never know for sure but does make for a good story.

Flash Fiction Contest Winner and More

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English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...

English: fireworks seen across the at Washington, D.C., USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello everyone. Today is the day that I announce the winner of the 4th of July contest winner. I received wonderful entries which made the decision hard. I can fully understand that line all the judges say, “I wish they can all be winners.”  What I’ve decided to do is have a runner-up, who will receive one e-book of his/her choice. Today I will be posting the winner and the runner-up plus an Abecdarian poem I wrote called The 4th of July.  For those of you who don’t know what an Abecdarianpoem is, I’m here to help 🙂  The poem is comprised of  every letter of the alphabet to start you line. It is fun to do and can be a real challenge. I hope you enjoy all the post and please have a safe and happy holiday.

Shirley

!st Place Winner: John Granger

An Understanding

Nathan was having trouble standing still.  It wasn’t just the normal nervous energy of a 14 year old; Nathan wanted to get away from this place.  He looked at his mother, standing to his right, and wondered how she could just stand there looking so calm.  He surveyed the other families in the cemetery, all with fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands or wives just like his Dad.  He couldn’t understand why they all just stood there passively listening to this Major or Colonel or whatever his title was blather on and on about the meaning of their loved ones’ deaths.  And yet, he stood here passively, too – not screaming out and running to get away from the thought of it, like he wanted to.  He was just standing and pretending to listen. “The Fourth of July is a time to reflect on what our country means and what the sacrifice of the men and women who lay here means…” the man at the podium was saying. Nathan couldn’t see any sense in any of it.  He didn’t understand why his Father had been sent half a world away, why someone who never knew his Dad would walk up to him in a crowded market and blow himself up, or why his Mother insisted on bringing him to this stupid memorial service.  All it meant to Nathan is that he would never talk to his Dad again, never play catch with his Dad in the backyard again, and that his morning was being wasted listening to this garbage. “These are our American heroes.  They chose to put themselves in harm’s way in order to defend a way of life, to defend what they held most dear…” Nathan had an involuntary reaction to the word ‘heroes.’  He hadn’t even realized that he was listening and suddenly a lump formed in his throat.  His Dad washis hero.  He suddenly was listening intently to what the man had to say.  The man was explaining exactly why his Father had done the things he had done and although Nathan had heard the patriotic rhetoric before, it suddenly rang true in a way he hadn’t experienced previously.  His anger and resentment melted into pride.  He looked at his mother again and finally understood everything. Runner-up:  ES

The Fourth Cycle 49SE lumbered over and sat down by one of the great windows of The Distant Searcher explorer vessel.  It stared out into the vast emptiness of space, as it had done so every cycle for several revolutions.  In the darkness, a doorway slid open.  Another terraforming unit walked in, and stood near 49SE. “I extracted more information in the object that we found floating in space.  You know, the one near the burnt out planets,” 82NS said, “It is in a strange dialect, but I believe that it reveals ancient culture.” 49SE turned to face it’s worker counterpart. “What does it say?” it asked. 82NS lumbered closer, and placed broken remains of an ancient satellite near it’s counterpart. “Well,” 82NS started, “This one contains activities that ancient ones seemingly practiced.  They apparently celebrated something on a fourth day of a July.” 49SE stared at it’s counterpart with it’s work-worn iron face. “What is a July? What is a day? Was it a celebration for an achievement?” “Apparently, it was to celebrate the ancient’s independence from another group of ancients.  I believe that it was celebrated to commemorate that.  Not much else remains on the cylinders, other than a few practices observed by these ancients.” 82NS said. “What practices?” 49SE asked. “One of the symbol data cylinders mentions the eating of ‘hotdogs’ and ‘parades’.  Other than that, I do not understand how the various surviving images coincide with each other,” it’s counterpart replied, as it displayed images on itself for 49SE to visualize. “What is a hotdog? What does it have to do with commemoration?” 49SE asked, “What is a parade?” “As far as can be deciphered, a hotdog is a cheerful display of colorful vehicles and music commemorating victorious soldiers and independence from ancient beings.  A parade is an edible, protein based material that the ancients consumed.” 82NS replied. 82NS began lumbering towards the door, then turned back. “Oh, another cylinder mentioned the celebratory exploding of pyrotechnic compounds in colorful displays.” 49SE looked up at 82NS, and stood. “There is an asteroid belt between The Distant Searcher, and our next assigned mission.  It would be agreeable if we may continue this ancient practice of exploding objects in a celebratory manner.” 82NS nodded in agreement. “Happy fourth cycle to you, my friend.” it stated. “Happy fourth cycle to you!” 49SE replied as the two terraforming units left the room.
 

 

A celebration recognized in 1872

Between memorial and Labor Day

Celebrating American freedom

Declaration of Independence signed July 2, 1776

Event that went around the world

Fighting for rights from Great Britain

Government of the people, by the people

Home to all

Initially only thirteen colonies

Justifying our right to be free

King no longer has a say

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Making our country favored by all

National Anthem is the song of the day.

On the fourth the nation was born

Parties, fun, and games rule the day

Quality of life is our goal

Rain sometimes spoils the parade

Squealing children run and play

Time of remembrances

Uniting the country

Voices of politicians heard

Wonderful fireworks displayed

Xenophobia isn’t our norm

Yesteryear was great but tomorrow is greater

Zillions have and will celebrate the 4th of July

 abecdarian poem, using the 26 letters of the alphabet chronologically. An abecedarian poem is a special form of an acrostic poem, in which the initial letters of the words beginning each line or stanza spell out the alphabet in order.
Recognized

 

Author Notes Xenophobia is a fear of anything foreign.
© Copyright 2012 Okiegal930 All rights reserved. 

Daddy of the Heart

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There is a man who has been in my life for as long as I can remember. I’m now sixty-two years old and I can’t imagine him not in my world, even though I know the time is getting ever closer for him to leave the world and me.

Jim has been my father’s best friend since they were boys together in Oklahoma. They survived the hard times growing up, and survived World War II.  They have stuck together like glue.

How do you tell someone they mean more to you than you can really put into words?  There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t heard the words I love you coming out of his mouth. Growing up I always knew he was there, he was my rock, and it hasn’t changed.

I got the best of Jim.  I never lived with him, so I didn’t have the trials and tribulations of everyday life that his own son experienced.  When my life was a wreck he was there for support.  He held my hand while I went to sleep, or rubbed my neck when I had a headache.

To this day, love and encouragement is what I receive from Jim.  I have been so blessed to have another daddy who loves me unconditionally and never fails to show it.

I wish everyone could have a Daddy of the Heart as I did.  Jim is one of God’s blessings in my world that I’m ever grateful for.  Let me know if you have been blessed in your life by someone in your  world.

I Don’t Know Why!

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Paper Whites No. 2

Image by frank3.0 via Flickr

Since last Friday, I’ve had a bad case of “I just can’t write on my blog.”  I don’t even know where it came from.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to write, because I finished book one of “The Dobyns Chronicles.” Now I start the heavy editing, before I have it professionally edited.  I also did my homework for my Gotham Fiction Writing class.  I also read two books.

Why is it I couldn’t sit at this computer and type my blog, when I was doing everything else?  Well, today is a new beginning, and I’m going to post three times a week instead of trying daily.  I opted for the daily blog challenge at the beginning of the year and fell off the wagon fairly quickly.  I want to blog because I have information to share, not because it was a New Year’s resolution.  Tune in on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and see what I come up with.  Blessings to all, espically those poor people in Japan.  Oh yes, Happy Saint Patrick‘s Day.  May your home be filled with laughter, May your pockets be filled with gold, and may you have all the happiness your heart can hold.

Irish Blessing unknow author……

Ever Lasting Love (Short Story)

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I have always been blessed or cursed with being drawn to the supernatural things of this world.  I can’t put a name to it, but I know it is always with me.  The telephone will ring and I know who is calling, or I know something is going to happen before it
does.  This preference of the unknown forces of this world has caused me to experience things that have caused me great pain as well as joy.

April 1, 1992 is a day I will never forget. It starts as any other day, except it is my day off which makes it special
for me.  After I work twelve hour shifts, three or four days in a row I am more than ready for my time off.  My name is Janice Smith, and I work as a labor and delivery nurse in Greenwood Mississippi.

Today I am driving and sightseeing to just have a relaxing day.  I am going to visit the national park in Vicksburg.  I have lived in this state all my life, and I have never visited the battlefield.  I always have this unsettled feeling whenever the battlefield is mentioned around me.

I am the fourth generation from Mississippi. My great-great-grandparents owned a plantation, right in the middle of
what is now Vicksburg National Park. Back in the early 1800’s it was known as Magnolia Springs, because of the magnolia trees and fresh water from the numerous springs scattered over the land.  After the National Park Service took over the property, it became known as the Shirley House.

I visit the Park Information Center gathering information and looking at astounding pictures of men and action during the Civil War.  I leave the center starting my driving tour.  The closer I get to the Shirley House the heavier the feeling of gloom surrounds me.  I feel like someone is talking to me, but I can’t understand what is being said.

I am the only one on the road, which is a good thing because I just do not feel right.  I pull up in front of the Shirley property, get out of my car and start walking towards the house.  I can see the dugout areas in the side of the hill where the Confederate Soldiers camped and tried to defend the property.

I suddenly find myself in a ball gown on the front porch of the house.  My head is spinning and I feel very unstable on my feet.  Something is happening to me.  The world around me has changed.  I am in the same place but a different person.

“Amanda, where are you?  Amanda, there you are, what are you doing on the porch?  You should be inside dancing with your young man.  He is going to be leaving soon.  Amanda, are you all right?”

I see this woman walking towards me, and I have to assume she is speaking to me.  I actually know what is going on and who she is.  “I am not feeling well, so I stepped out on the porch for some fresh air.  All the cigar smoke in the house is making me feel faint.  This blasted corset is killing me.”

Amanda Shirley, watch your mouth.  You are a lady, and ladies do not swear.  Get your fresh air and come back inside.  You
have guests to attend to.  This is your engagement party, you know.”

“Yes mama, I will be come inside in a couple of minutes.  I want to stay on the porch with the cool breeze, and the smell of magnolia trees in the air.  This is such a wonderful time of the year.”

Mama goes into the house and leaves me alone.  I can’t imagine what our world is coming to, especially if this war happens,
as everyone says it will.  I don’t want my world to change. It is just too wonderful as it is.

I leave the front porch, and go back into the ballroom. I am immediately met by Lieutenant Patrick Allan Coker.  He looks
so dashing in his uniform.  I am fond of the bright red sash around his waist.  It makes him stand out from everyone else in the room.

He sweeps me out onto the dance floor, and we waltz, just floating in each other’s arms.  We will be man and wife in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait.  He has been my love for as long as I can remember. He grew upon the Coker plantation, which is just up the road from where I live. We spent many hours together playing, and then later,  planning our future.

We dance until the party is over and everyone has left.  Mama and Papa have gone upstairs for the night.  A couple of the servants of cleaning things up so the furniture can be brought back out in the morning.

“Amanda, you are the love of my life, and I will love you for all eternity, I swear.  I can’t wait for you to become my
wife.  We will have such a long happy life and many children.  No one will be as happy as you and I.”

Patrick, I love you also.  Kiss me and go home, it is getting late.  I do want to get a little sleep before the sun comes up, and the air starts getting hot.  Besides I want to get out of this dress.”

Patrick kisses me good-bye, and I close the door as he mounts his horse.  I turn to start up the stairs, and the next thing I
know, I am standing at the top of the stairs in my wedding gown.  What has happened?  Am I losing my mind?

My father is at the bottom of the stairs, and has his arm out for me.  The wedding march is starting as I go down the stairs.  I walk into the parlor holding on to Papa’s arm, and he takes me to Patrick.   I am going to be his wife now.  Whatever is going on is a blessing.

Patrick and I are finally man and wife.  The pastor tells him to kiss his bride and as his lips touch mine, I find myself back in my car in my modern clothes.

Oh my God, I have to get back to Greenwood.  I am losing my mind.  I remember everything about the house and the wedding.
What am I supposed to do?  I start the car and begin driving.  I end at the Vicksburg National Confederate Cemetery.
I don’t want to go inside, but something keeps pulling me in that direction.

I drive down a couple of the gravel roads they have built between the graves. The dread gets heavier, the longer I drive.  I have to stop.  I get out of my car, and walk to my left, to the second row of stones.  I hear a scream, and I am back at the Shirley House.

I am standing on the front porch screaming as Mama and Papa comes rushing out.  I can’t even catch my breath.

“What child, what is wrong?”

“Excuse me Ma’am, but I am Corporal John Jones from the 1st Mississippi.  I just gave Mrs. Coker some bad news.  Her husband, Lieutenant Coker died last week. One of those damn Yankees shot him.  I am so sorry to have given you this news.  Please accept my condolences Mrs. Coker.  I must rejoin my regiment as we are heading north today.”

“Blessing to all of you Corporal Jones, we will keep you in our prayers,” Mama said.  “Amanda honey, come in the
house.  I will watch Junior for you, while you go upstairs and lie down.”

The tombstone reads: Lieutenant Patrick A Coker, CSA, born July 3, 1840, Died April 22, 1862.

I know I was his wife, and the war left me a widow with a child.  My ancestor wanted me to know about her life and the love she had for her husband. May they rest in each other’s arms forever.