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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Tag Archives: Detroit
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
Although his time during the Civil War was marked by controversy, in the years after the war things seemed to settle down. About 1866, my great-grandfather Colonel Freeman Norvell and his brother-in-law, Henry Nelson Walker assumed the ownership of the … 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
Yellow fever was a major killer in the 19th Century. It was often called the American plague. New Englander Cotton Mather described it as “turning yellow then vomiting and bleeding every way.” It was spread by a species of the … 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 in the summer of 1862 with the … 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 after Bull Run. Sep 1, 1861 Brigade … 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 entered the service of his county as a 2nd Lt in the 2nd Michigan … Continue reading
From 1857-1860 Alexander Hamilton Redfield, my great great grandfather served as the Indian agent for the Sioux nation at a time of great change. Yancton Agency, Dacotah Territory Redfield, commenting on violations of the treaty, noted in his report … Continue reading