Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Bethel Church and Graveyard Tour with Sue Bennett

What a treat this past semester to meet Bethel United Methodist Church administrator Sue Bennett, who is also a longtime Charleston tour guide.

We had the pleasure of receiving a tour of Bethel and its older church across the street. I put together this Kizoa slideshow to highlight what she showed us. Thank you Sue Bennett!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Dolphin "864" Sighting in Charleston's Harbor!

Look closely at this photo, which I took in March while visiting Fort Johnson, which is on James Island along the Charleston Harbor.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Semester Ends in Jail!

On our last day of class, Monday, April 23, we ended with a bang (or better yet a scream!) with a tour of Charleston's notorious Old City (or District) Jail. 

See the full post I wrote on my BirdsEyeViews blog

I hope this won't be the last time I'm able to take students there. Read my post linked above for the dubious news that the old jail may be turned into an office building. No! 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Monday, April 16, 2018

Bittersweet- Magnolia Cemetery

Check out my Magnolia Cemetery blogpost here!!

Kizoa Slideshow Demo: Bethel UMC Tour

Tonight I briefly introduced the class to Kizoa, a fun and easy to use platform for producing slideshows.  I have asked the students to create a semester-in-review video and suggested Kizoa as a free and pretty easy way to make a high-quality visual project.

For this sample, I used photos I took in February when we visited nearby Bethel United Methodist Church where staff member Sue Bennett gave us a very interesting tour.  

Migrating to Magnolia

Check out my Magnolia post!

Magnificent Magnolia

Wanna hear about my experience at Magnolia Cemetery? Click Here! 

Edward Henry Strobel found at Unitarian Cemetery!

Have you ever been to Unitarian Church? If not, I advise you to go! Unitarian Church has been BY FAR my favorite church and cemetery I have ever visited. A few weekends ago I went to Unitarian Church which took my breath away (see picture to the below). 
Unitarian Church
It was a big, beautiful, yellow church and had an even more beautiful cemetery (see picture below). The cemetery is overgrown with wild flowers, bushes, and weeds growing over many tombstones, which made this cemetery unique from others I have visited. 
Unitarian Cemetery

Edward Henry Strobel's Obelisk Tombstone
Front of Strobel's Obelisk 

After looking around for a little while, one obelisk tombstone really stood out, which was Edward Henry Strobel.  On the front it said, “Sacred to the memory of Edward Henry Strobel, A.B. LL.B. LL.D. of Harvard University. Born in Charleston, S.C. December 7, 1855. Died in Bangkok Siam. January 15, 1908" (see picture above). Then, on the side of the obelisk it said, “He served his country as charge O’Affairs in Spain and as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Ecuador and Chile. His college as Bemis professor of international law” (see picture below). After seeing the size of the obelisk and reading the messages on the base, I decided to research Edward Henry Strobel.
Side of Strobel's Obelisk 

After visiting this grave, I googled Edward Henry Strobel and learned that he was the Secretary of Legation of the United States to Spain until 1890 and wrote a book on the Spanish revolution. This caught my attention because my great grandparents left Spain and moved to Chile because of the Spanish inquisitions.  Strobel was also the Third Assistant Secretary of State, Secretary of Legation, Minister Plenipotentiary (as said above), head of a special mission, sole arbitrator between two powers, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and the trusted adviser of a progressive oriental government. Wow!!! Strobel only lived until fifty-two years and accomplished so many admirable tasks!!

Other than Strobel’s accomplishments, he was born in Charleston from a family whose fortunes the civil war bore heavily.  Strobel grew up in Charleston, went to preliminary school in Charleston, then went to Harvard, and graduated in 1877.  In 1882 he took the bar exam to become a lawyer and passed.  Then in 1884, Strobel participated in the presidential campaign where he wrote a pamphlet on Mr. Blaine  (the Republican candidate in the 1884 election) and his foreign policy.  The pamphlet seemed to have helped Cleveland win the election, considering he became president.  After Cleveland won the election, he offered Strobel the post of Secretary of Legation at Madrid.  Strobel accepted this position and worked in Spain for 5 years, where he worked as Charge d’Affaires for part of the time.

After working in Spain, in 1888 Strobel was sent on a special mission to Morocco. He spent two years in Morocco, moved back to the United States, and then in 1893 he was appointed the Third Assistant Secretary of State. In 1894 he became Minister to Ecuador and then also the Minister to Chile. From 1894-1905 Strobel traveled around the world working for the American Gorvment.  In 1905 Strobel returned to the US after being poisoned in Egypt. Strobel suffered for fifteen months to fight off the poison. After he survived the poison, he returned to his work in Siam, Thailand, but Strobel never really fully recovered. He died three years later in Siam where he was greatly respected.  Strobel entered relations with the Siamese Government knowing it was dangerous work, but took on the role as the General Adviser to the Siamese Government because he was a brave, highly respected man. I hope that one day I can accomplish a tenth of what Edward Henry Strobel had accomplished in his lifetime. 

Sources Used:

It's Ya Boi!

The former governor of South Carolina!

The One and Only, General Francis Withers Capers

Come read about my Old Charlestonian here!

A Lawyer, A Judge, and A Governor

Check out this old Charlestonian, Andrew Gordon Magrath!!

Learn about CofC alum, Major Francis W. Capers!

For my old Charlestonian I have chosen Francis W. Capers. He is buried at Bethel United Methodist Church. Capers was born in 1819 to a Methodist Bishop and became a very prominent man along with his younger brother Ellison Capers. He was a Methodist just like his father and had six other siblings not including Ellison Capers. Records show he also had a half brother named Theodosus William Capers who died young. Francis Capers died in 1892 after leading a very full life and living to the age of 72.
Major Francis W. Capers

Ellison Capers.jpg
General Ellison Capers

As a young adult
Capers studied at the College of Charleston and became a mathematics
professor there once he got his degree. Later on he served as the superintendent of the Citadel from 1843 to 1848 until he left to accept a job as the head of the Georgia Military Academy. It was during this time that the Civil War broke out and he became Brigadier General of the Georgia division of troops. He supervised the engineering efforts to protect the coast and fought in several battles before the war ended.
Following the war Capers once again taught at the College of Charleston and went on to become the President from 1880 to 1882 when he retired.
Capers' younger brother Ellison Capers led a very similar life. He graduated from the Citadel, became a professor at his alma mater, and became a Brigadier General in the Civil War. After the war he went back to South Carolina and held a government position along with being rector of Christ Church in Greenville.
Both of the Capers brothers had a passion for education and remained committed to the schools where they earned their degrees. In their honor a hall at the Citadel was christened Capers Hall.
Image result for capers hall the citadel
Capers Hall at the Citadel
After working for many years Capers retired and remained active in his church, Bethel United Methodist, until he died in 1892. His brother Ellison Capers ended up as a reverend at a different church in Columbia SC and died in 1908. Both men lived long successful lives and contributed many things to the city of Charleston.
Major Francis W. Capers' Grave 

I chose Capers because he lead a very full life and I admire his dedication to academics. To me he seems like a good person and I wish I could have met him.
Thanks for reading!

Old Charlestonian Bateman Family

Check out my most recent post on the Bateman family!

Old Charlestonian

old Charlestonian post

Beneath the Holy City

Check out my blog.

John C. Calhoun

Check out my post here!

Who's in the Pyramid??

A Man that had it all

Check out my blog!

Cathedral Church's Hidden Genius

Check out my new blog post!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Final Exam Study Guide- Test is Friday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.

There will be several elements to this test: terms/definitions, multiple choice, matching, lists, short answer and an essay. There will not be anything on this exam that is not included in this study guide.

10 Point Video Project: This is due at the start of the exam and should be posted on your blog and the class blog. If using Kizoa, slideshow must be properly embedded on your blog with appropriate set up writing, two/more links and label words.  With iMovie and other platforms, be aware that if your project exceeds 100 MB, you cannot put directly onto Blogger- you’ll need to upload to YouTube first.

Ninety Point Final Exam Material To Study and Know:

Course Textbooks: 
“In the Arms of Angels: Magnolia Cemetery- Charleston’s Treasure of History, Mystery and Artistry”
  • Chapter 3, “Confederacy Legacy”- read about the six Confederate generals at Magnolia Cemetery on pages 98-109- be able to match their names with their significant contributions or distinctions in the war/battles (students did in-class handout on this)
  • Chapter 4, “The Children of Magnolia Cemetery”- review the array of illnesses and diseases that claimed the lives of infants and children in the 19th century, and be familiar with some of the statistical data given in the beginning of this chapter indicating the high child death rates back then
  • Chapter 6, “Epic Epitaphs”- know the origin of the word “epitaph” and the most common sources of epitaph wording (bible verses, poetry, songs, etc.)
  • Chapter 9, “The Way It Was” (pages 192-200)- be able to list some buildings and other structures that Magnolia Cemetery once had that are no longer there

 “Stories Told in Stone: Cemetery Iconology- A Manual for Genealogy Research”

  • Pages 13-21, “Glossary of Historic Diseases”- know the name and description of the following 20 illnesses and diseases: atrophy, cholera, consumption, diphtheria, encephalitis, falling sickness, French pox, Grocer’s itch, horrors, infantile paralysis, meningitis, myelitis, palsy, paroxysm, scarletina, ship fever, smallpox, St. Vitus’s dance, stranger’s fever, thrombosis. Be able to match the disease with the description from this book.
  • Pages 22-23, “Glossary of Major Epidemics/Pandemics”- South Carolina is mentioned only once on this list. Know the year and the disease. 
Other Course Material: 
Also, expect a question at the end asking your thoughts about “what old cemeteries tell and teach the living”- the idea behind this course.

Test Summary:
1.      Semester in Review Video/Slideshow (remember to put on class blog):     10 points
2.      Multiple Choice- 16 questions                                                                       32 points
3.      Short Answer- 6 questions                                                                             12 points
4.      Matching Diseases- 12                                                                                  24 points
5.      Matching Magnolia Cemetery Confederate Generals- 6                               12 points
6.      Short Essay- 1                                                                                                10 points
                                                                                                                      100 points
Extra Credit Blog Posts: Will be accepted until Friday, May 4. After the exam date, you need to let me know if you do extra credit work so that I will look for it.
Final grades:  Must be posted by noon on Monday, May 7.

Thank you for an excellent semester!  Keep on bloggin’!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Victorian Splendor/Victorian Tragedy (Prezi)

This presentation looks at the high death rate in the mid-to-late 19th century, which is well represented in the old cemeteries and graveyards in Charleston. Click here if you cannot access this Prezi.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mysteries of Magnolia

check out my latest blog post about our visit to the beautiful Magnolia Cemetery!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Euphemistically Speaking: The American Way of "Kicking the Bucket"

We may laugh, giggle or cringe when hearing that someone "kicked the bucket," "is pushing up daisies," "bit the dust," or "gave up the ghost."
Dr. Dickinson has taught courses on death and dying since 1975

Each is a way to say someone died; each is a euphemism. Euphemisms, in simpler language, are ways to soften, to avoid harsher wording. There can even be humorous ways to refer to the finality of death and funerals. This site lists dozens of dozens of death-related euphemisms, including my personal favorites: "buy a pine condo,""go to a necktie party," and "he's past his sell-by date."

Monday, April 2, 2018

Confederacy Legacy: Charleston and Magnolia Cemetery (Prezi)

We will go through this presentation in advance of our visit to Magnolia Cemetery.

Speaking of Magnolia Cemetery....a few years ago I produced this video that highlights my favorite Magnolia Cemetery grave marker and monuments.

Monday, March 26, 2018

My Ancestor Project

Hey come read my ancestor blog!

Robert H. Lovett- My Great-Great-Grandfather!

Click here to read about my great-great-grandfather!

Ancestor Project!

Check out my ancestor project here!

“Old Charlestonian” Research Project/Blog Post
“Beyond the Grave” FYE Course
Spring 2018

Due Date: Monday, April 16

"Old Charlestonian" Research Project Guidelines 

Due April 2:  Write and turn in a typed proposal on the Charlestonian you will research and write about for your blog and class blog: who is this person, why this person, when did he/she live and where is he/she buried (needs to be in a Charleston graveyard or cemetery).
       In this proposal you do not have to answer all of these questions yet, but in your research try to find out when did he/she live and die (and how).  Include other details you know so far about life, occupation, family, achievements (and failures), legacy and any other interesting facts and tidbits. Describe the gravesite. What is unique, interesting or magnificent or artistic about it? Also, include research sources you have and will use to write a detailed article. Style and length should be similar to the stories I have in “In the Arms of Angels.”

Hidden Secrets of the Titanic

Hey check out my post!

Charles Henry Chappell makes an impact on Nebraska

Click here to learn about my interesting ancestor!

Ancestor research

Check out my new post!

Knight of the Ancestors

Check out the post on my ancestor here


Check out my post about my great grandfather here

Ancestor Post

Here is my ancestor post about my great grandmother

Trapani travels to Triumph

Read about my ancestor Luigi Trapani!

The Life of Dorothy Dunham Peck

Click here to learn about my globetrotting great grandmother!

A Look at the Life of Edward Campbell

Check it out here!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Bethel graveyard visit!

Hey guys! Go check out my blog post on symbolism and our visit to Bethel United Methodist Church here!

Bethel's B&B

Check out my blog post on the Bethel Cemetery!

The Historic Beauty at Bethel United Methodist

Check out my blog!

Beyond Bethel: New and the Old

Click here to read my post!

Believe it or Not Bethel

Check out our class trip to Bethel United Methodist Church on my blog! You can see the exciting in different symbols on each gravestone!

Beyond the Grave at Bethel UMC

Check out my post about our visit to Bethel UMC here!

Our class trip to Old Bethel Methodist Church!

Look at our class trip to Old Bethel Church on my blog! 

Bring it on Bethel

Check out my blog on our visit to Bethel United Methodist Church!

Midterm Exam Study Guide

"Beyond the Grave: What Old Cemeteries Tell and Teach the Living"

Midterm Exam Study Guide

Test is Monday, March 5, 6 p.m.  

Note: This guide is posted on the class blog ( in the top right corner “gadget” spot. This online version will have links to the material you need to study for the test.
There will be several elements to this test: terms/definitions, multiple choice, short answer and matching. There will not be anything on the exam that is not included in this study guide. Your score on this test (number and letter grade) combined with a critique of your blog will determine your midterm grade. CofC uses the plus/minus grade scale: A, A-, B+, B, B-, etc. for midterm and final grades. There may be one or two extra credit questions.

Test material will come from the following sources:
  • Two course textbooks: “In the Arms of Angels” and “Stories Told in Stone” (specific page numbers to review will be given below)
  •  Five Prezi presentations posted on the class website and linked below
  • Various other links indicated below
  • Homework handouts (4)- review all questions

Textbook Material to Study and Review:
“In the Arms of Angels: Magnolia Cemetery- Charleston’s Treasure of History, Mystery and Artistry” 
  • Pages 5-6, “Rural and Victorian Cemetery Movements”- Origins, influences, era (span in years)
  • Pages 10-15, “Other U.S. Victorian Cemeteries” – Review common traits and design elements of these cemeteries
  • Chapter 7, “A Modern Monument Maker’s Perspective” (pages 180-182)- review the things Richard Crites says are different today about how people handle the deaths and burials of family.
  • Review pages 41-42 on the Parker’s rare grave monument style and the unusual accident that lead to the death of James Henry Parker

“Stories Told in Stone: Cemetery Iconology- A Manual for Genealogy Research”
  • Pages 9-12,  “The History of Cemeteries & Gravestones” – study terminology for this type of research; European and Victorian influences on churchyard customs and the new, larger cemeteries
  • Pages 56-57, “Types of Cemeteries”- nine are listed with distinguishing characteristics/purposes
  • Pages 90-91, “Visual Guide to Cemetery Monument Types”- there will be a match the marker/monument name with the correct image shown on the other side of the page

Prezi Presentations and Other Links
  • Course Overview Prezi-
    • Examine the map and know approximately how many gravesites are or have been on Charleston’s Peninsula
    • Know the difference between “graveyards” and “cemeteries”
  • Funeral and Cemetery Evolution Prezi
    • Carefully review “The History of Funerals" link (three common threads for death and disposition of the dead; “Funeral Rites Through Time” timeline
    • Review the Wikipedia entry on the Victorian Era- who was Queen Victoria, when was this era (begin year/end year)? 
    • The Catacombs beneath Paris- what is that all about?  
    • Be able to describe a few of the unique rituals described in the article, “Slaves Brought Burial Customs from Africa to the United States”
    • Be able to match the country with the custom after reviewing “Fascinating Funeral Traditions Around the Globe” article
    • Know the different types of cemeteries- see pages 56-57 in “Stories Told in Stone"
    • Review factors that have changed U.S. funeral and burial views and customs
  • Researching Grave Sites (St. Patrick Church) Prezi
    • Review and be able to list various ways to research gravesites in person (observations, note taking, talking to people connected with the graveyard/cemetery); library resources; and online resources
  •  Cemetery Expert Ruth Miller’s Class Visit (Harwood blog post)
  • Bethel United Methodist Church Sue Bennett Tour (Harwood blog post)
    • Review this post and the unique distinctions mentioned about this church and its graveyard
  • Types of Grave Markers Prezi and Name These Grave Markers Prezi
    • These will be matching: photos of the different markers on one side, the names on the other side, so be able to correctly identify 10 or more (see also pages 90-91 in “Stories Told in Stone”)
  • Also review this “Quick Field Guide to Monument Types”

Test Breakdown:
  •  Blog Quality                                                                            10 points
    • 6 Posts: About Me (expand on gadget version), St. Luke and St. Patrick Graveyards (10 marker types), Library Resources (with Jared Seay), Ruth Miller Talk, Bethel UMC (10 symbol types/Sue Bennett Tour), Elizabeth Jackson CofC Headstone Mystery
    • Proofread everything and fix errors; have good headlines and leads, short paragraphs, two/more embedded links and label words
    • Blog Basics: “About Me” gadget with photo of yourself and short write up about you and your blog, three columns, these gadgets: page views, follow by email, search this blog, blog stats
  •  Multiple Choice (15 questions)                                       30 points
  • Short Answer (5 questions)                                                      10 points
  • Matching (3 parts)

o   Marker/Monument Types (15)                                     30 points
o   Funeral/Cemetery Traditions around World (5)           10 points
o   Charleston Religious Heritage (5)                                10 points
100 points