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21, August 2013

Civil War Love Letters: August 21, 1863

Based on the text of this letter, it appears that James traveled to Washington, Illinois, to see Molly, and that he convinced her to resume their engagement. He mentions his friends William and Jane, most likely a reference to Molly’s brother and sister. By the time he wrote this letter, he had returned to St. Louis, and was ready to leave again to return to his regiment.

Office of the

August 21st 1863

Dearest Read more »

16, August 2013

A Piece of St. Louis Shopping History is Gone

For almost 90 years, downtown St. Louis was home to one of the area’s favorite shopping destinations. Beginning in 1924, people traveled to Sixth and Olive streets to shop at the grand department store housed in the Railway Exchange Building. Famous-Barr occupied the building until 2006, when it was bought out by Macy’s.

That shopping tradition ended last week when Macy’s shut down operations at this location. As a result they closed the department store and moved their corporate offices to a location in St. Louis County. Read more »

14, August 2013

Recognition for History Museum Authors

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released its first annual “Go! Magazine List” recently. Critics chose the best of St. Louis in such fields as concert venues, art, restaurants, etc. The Missouri History Museum is honored to have made the list three times. First, the award for “Best Book by a Local Author” went to King of the Hill in the Museum’s publication The Boyhood Memoirs of A. E. Hotchner: King of the Hill and Looking for Miracles by A. E. Hotchner. Read more »

10, August 2013

Civil War Love Letters: August 10, 1863

After writing his last letter on July 25, when he received the news that Molly was ending their engagement, James requested a leave of absence so he could return to St. Louis and change her mind. His letter of request, which he wrote to Brigadier General James A. Garfield, General William S. Rosecrans’s chief of staff and future president of the United States, on July 27, 1863, is in James’s Compiled Service Record at the National Archives. In his request, James states that he received two letters that required his immediate return to St. Louis. Read more »

8, August 2013

Hunting for History in an Ever-Changing City

My fellow label writers and I came up with the idea of actually visiting the St. Louis “places” featured in the upcoming 250 in 250 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. It sounded good, but we soon discovered a difficulty: Some of our places have transformed radically or just don’t exist anymore. Read more »

7, August 2013

Teaching About Slavery: Cohort for K–12 Educators

One of our missions at the Museum is to create meaningful professional development opportunities for teachers. As we learned more how to talk with children about the history of enslavement in America, we realized that these conversations were almost everyday occurrences at the Museum, but might occur only once or twice a year in the school curriculum. This meant that we had ample opportunities to refine our approaches, and would have something to offer our school community. Read more »

31, July 2013

Teaching About Slavery: Spotswood Rice Letters

In a museum context, school groups are like the tide: They wash in, stay with us, and then wash back out into the community. We have to trust that we are planting a seed that we will never have the joy of seeing grow. But we can do everything in our power to make sure the seed will eventually flower. We only have one hour to plant this seed, but the good news is that, sometimes that it all it takes. Read more »

30, July 2013

Progress Report: 250 in 250 Exhibit

Summer is heating up and so is the work on our 250 in 250 exhibit. I thought now might be a good time to catch you up on our progress.

We’ve written a lot in the last few months about how we’ve decided who and what to include in our list of 50 People, 50 Places, 50 Moments, 50 Images, and 50 Objects. For the most part, those selections are now set. Read more »

25, July 2013

Civil War Love Letters: July 25–26, 1863

This letter focuses entirely on James and Molly’s relationship. At the beginning of the letter, James wonders why he has not heard from Molly. Was it because she was traveling with her brother, R.B.M. Wilson, some other mishap, or was it because Molly’s family and friends had learned about James and Molly’s secret engagement? Halfway through writing the letter, James received sad news from Molly.

Hd. Qts. 8th Ks. Vols.
Camp at Winchester Tenn
July 25th 1863

Dearest Molly Read more »

22, July 2013

Homeschool Days Enrich the Experience for a Museum Intern

As we settle into the heat of summer, children flock to parks, pools, and ice cream shops relishing in their few months of freedom. Yet as I see children enjoying their summer adventures I am reminded of another group of kids who do not follow quite the same academic schedule—homeschool students. These are also the students I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with over the past year as an intern at the Missouri History Museum.  Read more »