Billy the Kid playing croquet?; freed people seek their families; reclaiming a slave cemetery; more on Tut’s tomb; Lincoln on “Black Confederates”; TCM & trailblazing women; more Williamsburg ghost fun

Tin Type Full 9Kx12K b, 12/20/13, 12:37 PM, 8C, 9000x12000 (0+0), 150%, Custom, 1/40 s, R106.2, G84.2, B103.2

So, the other day we got a story about a newly surfaced picture that may or may not (probably not) be of Jesse James with his killer. Today, we learn of a picture that may or may not (probably so) be of Billy the Kid playing croquet. Check it out

Excellent stuff here: Slate has a piece today on the “desperate, hopeful, and occasionally biting ads freed people published in search of their lost loved ones after the Civil War.”

We’ve seen a couple of stories lately about the reclaiming and cleaning up of long forgotten cemeteries, and here is another one. This one is a photo essay, however, and includes some beautiful and haunting photographs of East End Cemetery, an abandoned and overgrown African-American burial ground of slaves and their descendants at the edge of Richmond. It is a shame that Virginia has public funds earmarked to care for Confederate graves (including more than 2,000 at neighboring Oakwood Cemetery), but none for sites like this.

Speaking of graves, you may recall that a few months ago there was much speculation that King Tut’s tomb might also include a chamber with Queen Nefertiti, which would have been a huge find. Now it seems that there is reason to doubt that hypothesis, but yet it might contain the elusive pharaoh Smenkhkare, or queen Meritaton, the full or half sister of Tutankhamen. Stay tuned.

Over on Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin has recently been posting about his current research into so-called “black confederates,” and today he shares with us Lincoln’s thoughts on the Confederacy’s last gasp attempt to save themselves by enlisting blacks. It is Lincoln at his sardonic best.

I should have mentioned this before now, but all this month the wonderful Turner Classics Movie channel (TCM) has been using Tuesday and Thursday nights to showcase the contributions that female directors have made to the film industry. In doing so, they have shown a lot of really interesting films, some well known, many less so. I bring this up now, because tonight they will be showing documentaries which have become great historical pieces, such as Harlan County, USA (an Oscar winner about a 1973 coal mine strike), and The Decline of Western Civilization (which is about the punk rock scene in 1980 Los Angeles).

And for my just-for-fun Halloween-season posting for today, let’s go back to Colonial Williamsburg, where employee Amanda Doggett claims that she has frequent encounters with one particular ghost.


2 thoughts on “Billy the Kid playing croquet?; freed people seek their families; reclaiming a slave cemetery; more on Tut’s tomb; Lincoln on “Black Confederates”; TCM & trailblazing women; more Williamsburg ghost fun

  1. We had a discussion about that alleged Billy the Kid photo over on Civil War Talk. There is more of a resemblance there than is often the case with “newly-discovered” images of famous people. So I’m going to lean slightly in favor of it being real.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Andy, yeah I think it is too, especially with all the other circumstantial evidence they have (especially finding the building so close to Tunstall’s). The Jesse James picture seems to have nothing going for it except the work of the forensics artist. I’m looking forward to the show about it this Sunday on National Geographic.


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