Volume 26, No. 3 – March 2013
Volume 26, No. 3
I have exciting news for all Round Table members. Starting on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Round Table meetings will be held at the Scottish Rite Masonic Hall, 2000 North "D" Street, Lake Worth 33460. The facilities are spacious and there is ample parking. The management of the Masonic Hall
has been very cooperative and extremely helpful. We are very fortunate to have this new meeting place.
Members should allow enough driving time so they can arrive promptly at 7:00 PM.
East or West on Forest Hill Boulevard, turn South onto Dixie Highway, turn West onto 22nd Avenue North, turn South onto North "D" Street. Masonic Hall will be a few feet South of 22nd Street North on the East side of the street. The "homing beacon" is the water tower on the Masonic Hall grounds.
East or West on 10th Avenue North, turn North onto North "A" Street, turn East onto 20th Avenue North, turn North onto North "D" Street. Masonic Hall will be on the a few feet South of 22nd Street North on the East side of the street. The "homing beacon" is the water tower on the Masonic Hall grounds.
If you still need directions, call 582-6794.
DO NOT GO TO THE AMERICAN POLISH CLUB ON LAKE WORTH
If you have not paid your dues, please pay them as soon as possible.
March 13, 2013 Assembly
Christian Davenport, the official archaeologist for Palm Beach County, is a staff of one. And although he might not have a budget, he's a master at getting volunteers to donate time and talent to uncover some great facts about the history of Palm Beach County. At press time, we don’t know the title of his talk, but we can expect to be entertained and enlightened.
February 13, 2013
Sherry Cooper Sanders, "My Brother, My Son"
Sherry Cooper Sanders (Mrs. William Bruce) is a talented song writer and singer. As Sherry Bryce, between 1971 and 1977, she charted 15 times on the Billboard country singles charts, including seven duets with Mel Tillis; their highest-charting duet was 1971's "Take My Hand" at No. 8. They were also nominated in 1974 at the Country Music Association awards for Duo of the Year. She also put out four albums (two with Tillis) and numerous singles. She is also businesswoman, author of poems and a prize-winning baker (first prize in a national Pillsbury pie crust contest). Her latest achievement is her book. Sherry became interested in the military actions of her Cooper ancestors in the Civil War, culminating in her first book, My Brother, My Son, which is the theme of her talk.
Sherry began by saying that many in her audience knew more about the Civil War than she did, since the entire focus of her research was the 7th Georgia Infantry, under the flag of which her great great grandfather, James N. Cooper, and her great grandfather, John Cooper, both fought. She said she was just a little country gal from Paulding County, Georgia, but her record belies her humility: in addition to the achievements listed above, her music is currently a best seller in Estonia. She said she might just have to there to see why. Musical ability runs in her blood: her grandfather would tell here stories about the family, especially his father. In virtually every picture, he appears with a musical instrument in his hands.
The thing that Sherry wishes us to know is that her book, "My Brother, My Son," is as factually accurate as is humanly possible. The back of the book contains a summary of each person mentioned in the book. She has read every book in which the 7th Georgia Infantry is named. She has walked the battlefields, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor and others. She warns us that some of the language and her ancestors’ views on slavery set forth in her book may strike the reader as offensive today, but it was in common usage then. This reflects a profound evolution (almost a revolution) in mores since then.
The first Cooper were Quakers who emigrated from England in 1699, settling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. An ancestral Cooper moved to Union County, South Carolina and fought the British in the American Revolution. The Cooper family then moved to Pumpkin Creek in Paulding County, Georgia, North West of Atlanta. Siding with the Confederacy came naturally to the clan.
Sherry referred to a few eerie incidents: John was assigned to burial detail after Second Manassas. When he picked up a body, it groaned. The man said there was another man lying underneath him and asked John to bury them together. He than said his name was Thomas Cooper and he came from Pennsylvania! John yelled for James to come over and help him.
Sherry next turned to the story of Jane Cooper, a widow of another Cooper ancestor. Jane came from Ireland and always felt herself to be an "outsider." She inherited 12 slaves, wouldn’t sell them and allowed them to marry. She and a slave named "Tessie" ran the farm. It was raided by both armies and by deserters.
Tessie taught Jane how to live off the land. They ate bugs we would spray Roundup on! These two women bonded and make an important element in the book. When the North occupied Georgia, she met and fell in love with a Yankee doctor, Thaddeus Conrad. He finally convinced her that he had never killed anyone. They planned to marry but Thaddeus died of natural causes before they could do so.
James was a Captain in the Confederate Army. The war affected him terribly. He developed a drinking problem and deserted, was court-martialed and returned to his regiment. He was captured by the Federals on April 3, 1865 and put in "Castle Wallace" in New York Harbor. One of the guards, an escaped slave named "Little Jack," helped him escape after two months in prison. They formed a bond and at the end of the book, James says to Little Jack, "Let’s go home, bother."
After the war ended, John was offered to have his citizenship rights restored if he signed the oath of allegiance to the United States. After holding out for a while, he signed it with an "X" even though he knew how to sign his own name. He became a preacher.
Sherry said that ending the book felt like a funeral to her, she had become so attached to her characters.
Sherry received a nice round of applause and sold several books.
WHO WAS ROBERT TODD LINCOLN?
[The following is an excerpt from material e.mailed to Howie Krizer by a friend and forwarded to me.]
Robert Todd Lincoln (August 1, 1843 - July 21, 1926) was the only child of Abraham and Mary Lincoln to survive into adulthood. His three brothers died from illness at young ages. He lived to be 83. Along the way, he lived a remarkable life. Leaving Harvard College, he begged his father for a commission. His father refused, saying the loss of two sons (to that point) made risking the loss of a third out of the question. But Robert insisted, saying that if his father didn't help him, he would join on his own and fight with the front line troops; a threat that drove Abe to give in, in a way. Clever Abe wired General Grant to assign "Captain Lincoln" to his staff, and to keep him well away from danger. The assignment did, however, result in Robert's being present at Appomattox Court House, during the historic moment of Lee's surrender. Then, a week later, Robert awakened at midnight to be told of his father's shooting, and was present at The Peterson House when his father died.
Below are Robert's three brothers; Eddie, Willie, and Tad.
Little Eddie died at age 4 in 1850 - probably from thyroid cancer. Willie (middle picture), the most beloved of all the boys, died in the White House at age 11 in 1862, most likely from typhoid fever. Abe grieved the hardest over Willie's death. It took him four days to pull himself together enough to function as President again. Lincoln had a temporary tomb built for Willie, until they could return to Springfield, Illinois, with his body. Abe often spent long periods of time at the tomb. Tad was a real hellion. None of his tutors could control him, which may be why he was never able to read or write competently. He was a momma's boy, he had a lisp and was probably mildly retarded. He died at age 18 in 1871, most likely from the same thyroid cancer Eddie had died from, suggesting a genetic flaw.
Robert, shown at age 22 at left, following his father's assassination, moved to Chicago with his unstable mother, and brother Tad, who was then 12. Robert finished law school and practiced in Chicago, while struggling to keep Mary in check. As she had done as First Lady, Mary went on shopping binges far exceeding common sense, threatening to drive the family fortune into bankruptcy, and leading to violent disputes with Robert. As a President's widow, Mary received $3,000 a year, a sizable sum back then (but she had to petition for it!).
Robert also had prevent Mary from destroying Lincoln's private papers, not just for their financial worth, but for their historic value. Mary was forever trying to tear them up and burn them in fireplaces. In fact, her irrational behavior (she was probably schizophrenic) grew so destructive that Robert had her committed to a psychiatric hospital, where she stayed locked up for three months. Mary never forgave him and they remained estranged until Mary died at age 63 in 1882.
In his own right, Robert made quite a life for himself. He got into politics and was highly regarded in those circles. He served as Secretary of War under President Garfield. Incredibly, he was with him when Garfield was shot at the Washington train station! And then, some years later, Robert would also be present when President McKinley was gunned down in Buffalo! He would serve in other political appointments and ambassadorships, and later became president of the Pullman train car company, a booming enterprise back then, and a position he would hold for the rest of his life. Robert was several times offered the chance to run as President or Vice-President, with his every time refusing the offer. In later years, Robert would grow a beard, as shown at left.
Last changed: 03/11/13