Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can you add to this ...

In the June 1882 Watch Tower Russell announced that “Bros. Leigh and Spears have started on a trip down the Ohio river in a small boat belonging to the latter. They purpose (D.V.) to visit all the river towns between here and Cincinnati or St. Louis, spending about a week at each. This will require all summer or longer.” The purpose of this trip was to circulate Food for Thinking Christians.
Identifying Leigh and Spears is difficult. The primary identifier is that they sailed from “here” or Pittsburgh. This suggests that they were residents of either Allegheny or Pittsburgh. The only Leighs in the city directories include an S. M. Leigh, a teacher at The House of Refuge, a home for juvenile offenders. Unfortunately, this is a “Miss S. M. Leigh,” thus not qualifying as “brother” Leigh.[1] A later directory lists a William Leigh, a waiter.[2] The 1880 Directory lists a Valentine Leigh, a laborer. Other directories list a Samuel Leigh, a glass molder, and an E. C. Leigh, a student living on Federal Street. It is impossible to point to any one of these as the “Brother Leigh” of Russell’s article.
We fare no better with “Brother Spears.” The 1880/81 Directory lists a number of people with the last name “Spear” but only one with the name “Spears,” and thereby we might make the connection. James Spears was a glass cutter, living on Carson Street. It may be no more than coincidence that Samuel Leigh and James Spears worked in the same industry, but I am inclined to believe these are the two we seek. There isn’t enough evidence to say with surety. James Spears drops out of the directories no long after, either moving away of dieing. As much as one wishes for more detail, it seems not to exist.
[1] 1873 Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City, G. H. Thurston, page 323; 1873/4 Directory, page 43.
[2] 1878 Directory, page 373.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sigh ...

A shill for a book keeps trying to post on this blog. They do not read this blog, only an earlier post revewing a book by Fredrick Zydek entitled Charles Taze Russell – His Life and Times – The Man, the Millennium and the Message. I've already posted my reply where he will see it, and I'm posting it here for all to see:

Time for a restatement of the rules:

IF you want me to review a book, you must send me a copy at your expense. I will decline all posts advertising a book that I have not seen. You want to shill for a book, that's your business. You want me to review it, mail me a copy.

Also, insulting me over a review someone else wrote will get all of your future comments deleted.

1. I did not write the review, but I fully agreed with the review as written.

2. I cannot take your word for anything sight unseen.

3. Questioning my 'integrity' will not make me accept your post.

4. Post under your own name, and not an assumed one, if you wish to advertise your book.

5. The review stands as written. I will not delete it.

6. You want me to review a book, mail it to me at your expense.

And finally ... I'm tolerant of many views and opinions. I'm not tolerant of rank stupidity.

Additional note:

I write young adult fiction using a pen name. Good reviews are always nice, and I get my share. Bad reviews are a fact of life. If you can't live with a bad review, you shouldn't be writing.

The publishing industry is a small world. Word gets around. Authors talk to their friends, publishers talk to their friends, agents talk to their friends. And they all talk to readers. Being self-published doesn't make you immune to the consequences of your stupidity.

Any experienced agent or author will tell you it's a bad idea to insult someone you wish to read and review your book.

The real question of integrity rests in your insulting remarks. A man of integrity would not engage in ad hominem attacks to get his way.

You may think using AOL gives you web anonymity, but it does not. You used the same "name" to shill for this book elsewhere. It won't work here.

Want to play detective ...

Starting at Rochester, New York, and ending a Louisville, Kentucky, what would have been the probable train rout in 1877? What would have been the stops? Anyone?

also ... Russell and Barbour were in Louisville in February, March or April 1877. Certainly it was no later than that. Any really ambitious person in the Louisville KY area willing to consult microfilms of old newspapers?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dispatch Building - 1876


After Food for Thinking Christians was published a Church of God clergyman challenged Russell to debate throught he pages of the Dispatch.

Sixth Street Bridge


Omnibus Leaving 6th Street Bridge on the Allegheny Side - 1876.

Friday, July 23, 2010

C. T. Russell


Russell in his study. Originally in Overland Monthly.
Courtesy of a friend of this blog.

John H. Paton - Later in Life

Photo courtesy a friend of this blog.

John H. Paton and Family

Photo courtesy of a friend of this blog.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Seiss's Miracle in Stone

I have an extra copy. It's clean looking outside, but the hinges are cracked. The cover is still attached and a bit of glue would fix the problem. The text block is nice and clean. It needs a good home.

Make me an offer. Expect $3.50 media rate shipping and tracking.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

D. W. Whittle


Major Daniel Webster Whittle blocked the Plan of the Ages from the Revel bookstore and wholesale lists.

A thought ...

It occurs to me that some of my blog readers don't understand that the real history of Zion's Watch Tower has never really been told. I don't mean to diminish the work of others. I benefit from previous research. Some of them are certainly better, more readable writers than I am. The Proclaimers book comes to mind.

But most histories of the era are brief. They're dependant on one Watch Tower article and very little else. So histories that limit themselves to that source and a few other incidentals do not really tell the story. Personalities are left out. You never read about Tavender, Moffitt, or others whose names appear. You never hear what they did to further the work or why they did it. Rachael and I want to tell as much of the complete story as possible.

If you omit significant details, you change the story. What you tell becomes a kind of mythos and not history at all. Oh, it can be historically accurate. But it is incomplete, and it changes one's focus as a result. It's like describing the back side of a retreating horse without ever telling what the front side looked like or was doing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

J. H. Brown

We need a really clear digital scan of the photo of John H. Brown found in the 1908 Convention Report. Anyone?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blog Policy

While there may be exceptions, especially if the review comes from a regular contributor or a regular blog reader, I will not review books, announce their publication, revision or otherwise publicize them unless you provide me with a copy.

If you want me to mention your book or a friend's book or a book you simply want to recomend, you must send me a copy at your expense.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Asking for the moon ...

Joseph Moffitt of Newcastle on Tyne republished his 1884 Watch Tower article as a pamphlet. Does any one have, or can you find:

Ransom and Testimony will they become co extensive By Joseph Moffitt, 29 Close Newcastle on Tyne, 1885