American History in Real LifeMovies in the past have often shown characters that were touched by historical events. Yet sometimes, the truth is often more fantastic than anything Hollywood can devise. These stories of real people show how the events of the past touched their lives. Some times the stories are dramatic, sometimes simple, but all in all they weave a tapesty of the richness of the American experience.
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© John Norvell
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Category Archives: Michigan History
Stevens Thompson Norvell (1835 -1911) enlisted in the army on January 23, 1858 as a private in Company A 5th U.S. Infantry. One of his first assignments was as an infantryman in the West; later he would fight with Teddy … Continue reading
In 1834, my great-great grandfather John Norvell found himself embroiled in a controversy that involved Michigan with her neighbors. Ohio and Michigan had long claimed a disputed section of land which included the Toledo area. The dispute over this area … Continue reading
When John Norvell was elected one of the first U.S. Senators from Michigan, he was faced with a serious problem. Although he was a lawyer, his income came mainly from his position as postmaster of Detroit in the early 1830s. … Continue reading
We often see politicians as living exciting lives today filled with much media attention. It wasn’t always so. In a letter dated December 18, 1835 John Norvell, soon to be a US Senator, wrote to Kate Mason commenting on his … Continue reading
Detroit in 1833 was only a small village of about 1,800 residents; indeed, the census of 1830 showed only 30,000 in the entire territory of Michigan, but John Norvell quickly became involved in the political life of the area … Continue reading
John Mason Norvell, the son of Michigan U.S. Senator John Norvell (1789-1850) and his third wife, Isabella H. Norvell (1804-1873), was a career soldier. He prepared this memoir in 1866 His story continues to the climax of the war at … Continue reading
John Mason Norvell, the son of Michigan U.S. Senator John Norvell (1789-1850) and his third wife, Isabella H. Norvell (1804-1873), was a career soldier. He prepared this memoir in 1866 His story continues: August 2, 1863 Assigned to duty, Third … Continue reading