Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Still Looking

Well, it's been a while since I posted here.  I haven't had much luck finding anyone serious about trading for the prints.  I've had a couple offers but they really haven't panned out.  One was for a popcorn machine that, while antique, was broken.  I've had a few other people reach out but they wanted to know what I was looking for in trade.  I really don't have any idea  of what I'd like so I just keep saying that they can make an offer for anything cool and/or unique that will tell a fun story and can be added to the trade chain.

Not sure if anyone is even reading this, but I find it entertaining and a challenge to find the next item.  If anyone sees this and is interested in a trade, please let me know.  Additionally, if you see this and can help spread the word in any way, that would be appreciated too so I can keep this story moving.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Found out more information about these prints.  I spoke with Jan Hinshaw, a relation of the two men discussed in the letter.  Jan emailed me this information:

"The letter revolves around a poignant and harrowing event that occurred to Thomas & Jacob.  There's been much written about their unfortunate experience during the Civil War [I think it could be worthy of a movie].  Thomas & Jacob, being good Quakers, but living in North Carolina in the midst of a war, refused to bear arms and stayed at home tending their farms.  But the Confederate Army forcibly conscripted them, even threatening them with execution if they did not take up arms.  They refused, even with a threat of execution, but the Confederates dragged them along to Gettysburg.  During the "fog of war" and confusion at Gettysburg, they managed to escape the Confederates, only to find themselves arrested by the Union army as spies or deserters, and taken as prisoners to Fort Delaware.  It was only through the intervention of local Pennsylvania Quakers, and their petitioning to Abraham Lincoln, and his executive order, that they were finally released.  It was unsafe for them to return to North Carolina, so the Pennsylvania Friends gave them provisions and money and helped them escape to Indiana.
They managed to get to Indiana by the fall of 1863.  When Mary Barker Hinshaw and her cousin Elizabeth Barker Hinshaw learned that their husbands were alive and in Indiana, they loaded some provisions and their four children into a covered wagon and headed westward six hundred miles across the mountains in the early fall of 1864, during the darkest days of the war.  They arrived in Indiana in the spring of 1865.

The story of Thomas & Jacob Hinshaw has been published in "Retreat from Gettysburg: Lee, Logistics, and the Pennsylvania Campaign" by Kent Masterson Brown (UNC Press, 2005), and in "Mary Barker Hinshaw, Quaker", by Seth Bennett Hinshaw (Whittier College library).  There's a briefer version of their story that I included on Thomas Hinshaw's page (above)."

In regards to the photo, I was fairly certain that these men were not the ones discussed in the letter.  Jan informed me that Quakers tended not to wear military uniforms but acknowledged that since they were conscripted they may have had to.

I took to the internet and discovered the Civil War Talk website and forum.  I joined and posted a short summary of my finding.  Relatively quickly, I was informed that the photo was probably one of the most famous Civil War photos and is knows as "The Three Prisoners at Gettysburg."  According to the author of the post and verified through multiple online resources, the photo was "taken near the Lutheran seminary and across the street from Robert E. Lee's headquarters around July 5/6 1863."

If you do a search online for "The Three Prisoners at Gettysburg," you will find plenty of information about the photo.  That appears to confirm that the photo has nothing to do with the letter, even though they are both from the Battle of Gettysburg period of the Civil War.

At this point, I have multiple inquiries to different people, including the Hinshaws about whether or not they have any interest in obtaining the framed prints.  Even though they are copies, they both tell awesome stories...perhaps worth of a movie.  Two brothers torn from their home forced into military service, dealing with issues of faith and war, present at Gettysburg, escaping only to be arrested and sent to jail, excused by the President of the United States, moving across country to be with their family! Exciting stuff.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tonight, I traded a nice woman named Missy the corkscrew for a very nice pair of framed prints from the civil war era. We met at a local pizza place to make the swap.  We talked for a few minutes and from what i understand, Missy is a collector of civil war items.  This piece was not particularly to her taste but had been given it as a gift.  She indicated that the corkscrew would be of greater value to her and will find it very handy while out camping with friends as they are often at a loss on how to open their bottles :).

Once i got home, I did a little bit of preliminary research into these prints.  I read over the letter and discovered that it was from 1863 and concerns two brothers, Thomas and Jacob Hinshaw. I am shocked at the amount of information I have been able to find online concerning these brothers as well as the author of the letter, Asenath Hill Reece.

Apparently, the name Hinshaw/Henshaw is one that goes back centuries.  There is actually a Hinshaw Family Association that exists that has collected extensive histories of family members on their website.  Here is an excerpt from the biography of Thomas Hinshaw on the HFA website:

"During the Civil War, Thomas and his brother Jacob and their brothers-in-law Cyrus and Nathan Barker, had all decided that the right thing for them to do, given the war going on around them, was to simply stay at home, quietly carrying on their everyday work until forcibly conscripted into the confederate army.  That day was not long in coming, as confederate soldiers came and tied them to gun carts and took them to the "militia camp" near Buffalo Ford [North Carolina]. The confederate enlistment rolls show Thomas, age 31, and brother Jacob, age 28, were "enlisted" (forcibly) on Nov 3 1862 as Privates in Company G 52nd North Carolina Infantry."

Both men were Quakers and had a pacifistic nature.  Both men were present at the Battle of Gettysburg.  I am not sure what exactly happened after the battle, but both men found themselves working for other Quakers in the PA area and were soon arrested by US Marshals and taken as prisoners to Fort Delaware for desertion.

Again, according to the HFA website: "concerned Quakers of Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia learned of their presence, and asked President Lincoln to set them free.  This he ordered done immediately.  Upon being released they were assisted by Baltimore and Philadelphia Quakers to make their way to relatives in Indiana."

This seems to be in line with this letter.  Asenath H. Reece, the author of the letter, appears to have been a Quaker living in the West Chester, PA area.  The letter seems to be addressed to the wives of Jacob & Thomas in Indiana.  Also referenced in the letter are the "Barkers," presumably Cyrus & Nathan.

There is a lot more information than this available online.  I find this all very interesting.  I have no idea where this print came from exactly or if the story of these brother is well known.  I also do not know if the photo included with the letter is even one of the Hinshaws/Barkers.  I have reached out to representatives of the Hinshaw family via their HFA website and eagerly will wait to hear back.  If this is an item that is of interest to them, I would like to see it get back into their hands.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Have had a few offers now for the corkscrew.  The first one was a bag of wooden golf tees.  I couldn't really get any more info other than they were wood and that they were golf tees. The person making the offer wasn't sure of the brand or any other information about them.  I decided to pass on this offer but thanked the person.

The next offer was for a print of a civil war photograph that was framed next to a letter.  It looks very nice and would probably be valuable to a civil war collector, but I am still waiting for more information about the item as well as better pictures.

The latest offer is for a Great American Popcorn Machine by Sunbeam.  I did some looking online and have made inquiries to the owner about the item.  It looks pretty cool and might be a collectable item.  From what I could tell, the item was produced about 30 years ago.  There are many of them for sale online.  I am, again, waiting for more information from the gentleman who proposed the trade and will post again shortly...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Alright well the first trade was a successful one, I think.  I decided to not only post on Craigslist, but also on some local Facebook Yard Sale type groups.  A nice guy named Steven reached out to me, was familiar with the idea behind this experiment, and suggested trading a nice corkscrew for my 1912 wheat cent penny.  We made plans to meet up and made the exchange.

Steven was an interesting guy with an interesting background.  It was a fun time meeting up briefly to make the swap.  When I got home I did some investigating on the mighty Wikipedia and discovered that the corkscrew that I traded for is also know as a Sommelier Knife.  The design was patented in 1882 by Karl Wienke, a German. It is similar to pocket knife but used more by those working in bars and restaurant, hence its nickname, the "waiter's friend."

This particular corkscrew has the french script "Les Amis du Vin," printed on it.  I did some checking online and this appears to be the name of an international wine club, now seemingly defunct.  If you would like to participate in the next trade, please make an offer for something you would be willing to barter for this fine corkscrew and let's keep this experiment rolling! Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 13, 2016

I was recently inspired to try something like this after reading about one red paperclip and the straw millionaire.  The idea is to make a trade for an item and keep progressively trading up for a bigger and better item.  You end up with a item of greater value than what you started with.  I suppose the idea of "value" is subjective.  People place different values on different items.  In my case, I don't necessarily know what my ending "item" will be, but I want to explore where this goes and see where this adventure takes me.

The first item I will be trading is a single penny.  This isn't any regular penny. It is a 1912 "Wheat Cent" penny minted in Philadelphia.  You may not be familiar with the backside design, but it was featured on all pennies prior to 1959 and was designed by famous sculptor and engraver, Victor Brenner.

Please follow this blog to keep an eye on what is being traded and what it is being traded for.  I will be using the barter section of Craigslist to list items.  Alternatively, if you follow this blog and want to make a trade offer, please don't hesitate to email me.  I hope it will be exciting and entertaining for all watching!  If you have any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions, please contact me!