Tag Archives: John Norvell

The Norvell Boys Write to the President

In the 19th century, Americans often wrote to the chief executive asking for jobs or advice on how to conduct their lives. Two such letters were sent to Thomas Jefferson by members of the same family. The first one was … Continue reading

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The Real “Postmaster” of 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

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The Bladensburg Races

As the British marched on Washington during the War of 1812, John Norvell and his brother-in-law Spencer Cone joined the fight to defend the nation’s Capital.  At the time, Norvell, who with the outbreak of the War of 1812 had enlisted … Continue reading

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Freeman Norvell and The Detroit Free Press

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

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Washington in the 1830s

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

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Forgotten Gettysburg

There is a somewhat forlorn battlefield to the east of Gettysburg that few visit. It is located near a shopping area off the route 30 corridor. It is the East Cavalry battlefield. The East Cavalry Field fighting was an attempt … Continue reading

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In Old Detroit

  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

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