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DON'T TREAD ON ME: Photographs and Life Stories of American Revolutionaries [NOOK Book]


Most Americans have never seen a photograph of a Revolutionary War soldier. Probably most wouldn’t believe any such photos exist. This book proves they do – with images that are clear, telling portraits of men who fought for freedom more than 225 years ago. And their stories are riveting.

Joseph M. Bauman, a retired newspaper reporter, collected original daguerreotype images...
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DON'T TREAD ON ME: Photographs and Life Stories of American Revolutionaries

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Most Americans have never seen a photograph of a Revolutionary War soldier. Probably most wouldn’t believe any such photos exist. This book proves they do – with images that are clear, telling portraits of men who fought for freedom more than 225 years ago. And their stories are riveting.

Joseph M. Bauman, a retired newspaper reporter, collected original daguerreotype images of Revolutionary War veterans for more than three decades and spent even more years researching them. He found eight, all of them fully identified and documented.

The images are exceptionally rare because few of the Patriots of 1775-'83 lived until the dawn of practical photography in the early 1840s; far fewer were daguerreotyped; many, probably most, of such daguerreotypes never carried identification; and finally, the ravages of time have claimed the vast majority of portraits from the 1840s and ‘50s. These eight are the world’s largest collection of camera-original, fully-identified photographs of veterans of the War for Independence – the war that established the United States.

Digging through myriad sources -- 18th and 19th century battle accounts, muster rolls, genealogical records, pension files, letters, period newspapers, town and county histories -- the author was able to flesh out the stories of these veterans. Once forgotten, now they are brought back, lively and engaging, virtues and flaws intact. They include a shoemaker, two ministers, a doctor who later managed a vast mercantile empire, a tavern-keeper, a settler of the Ohio frontier, a blacksmith and the captain of a coastal vessel.

They suffered, starved and fought through the Revolution, and their experiences are thrilling -- from watching the beginning of the Boston Tea Party, to undergoing capture as a prisoner of war, to fighting in the Monmouth, Quaker Hill, Charleston, Bennington and Yorktown battles, to witnessing the final British surrender. As amazing as their stories are, the daguerreotype portraits are even more transfixing.

Look at the strong, intelligent face of Dr. Eneas Munson, stare into his clear eyes: here is a man who risked his life in battle as a teenaged medic, and who saw and heard, up close, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and the heavyset genius General Henry Knox. This is a thoroughly-researched, superbly-written and well-illustrated book. The stories and illustrations make a distant era become immediate and vital.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014040648
  • Publisher: Joseph Bauman
  • Publication date: 2/12/2012
  • Series: Writings of Joseph M. Bauman , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Joseph M. Bauman went through high school on Kwajalein, a U.S. missile base in the Marshall Islands, 1961-65, then attended the universities of Utah and Maryland. He worked as a reporter for WBOC TV in Salisbury, MD, The Beachcomber of Ocean City, MD, and the Delmarva News of Selbyville, DE. In 1971 he returned to Salt Lake City and began a job as a reporter for the Deseret News. He won state-wide and regional journalism contests, covering the environment, the military, federal courts and other beats. He has interviewed veterans of every American war from the Spanish American to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has traveled to Bosnia twice on assignment. For much of his career he wrote a weekly column. His book Stone House Lands: The San Rafael Reef was published by the University of Utah Press in 1987. He retired from the newspaper in 2008, after 36 1/2 years, and began an astronomy blog for the Deseret News. His main focus today is writing.
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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    Fascinating tales - and faces - from America's Revolution

    A little over a century and a half ago, daguerreotype photography was THE latest innovative fad – an equivalent of today’s newest iPad iteration, or smartphone “app,” or viral YouTube video. One wonderful result is that we of the 21st century can examine intriguing images capturing the craggy faces of aged, white-haired men who, when they were very young, in the now-remote 18th century, fought in the American War of Independence – the Revolutionary War. Such daguerreotypes are rare. Portraits of people whose names and involvement in the Revolution are known are still more rare. That is the wonder and pleasure of Joseph M. Bauman’s e-book, “Don’t Tread On Me: Photographs and Life Stories of American Revolutionaries.” A life-long journalist and history buff, Mr. Bauman’s work presents beautiful “dags” of eight Revolutionary War veterans – all from among his own antique photos, collected over more than 30 years. He then goes a step farther. As a result of research and dogged sleuthing, he succeeds in telling us not just who these men were (often with the parlance, and erratic spelling, of the time), but which battles they fought in, and where and how they lived, as best as can be ascertained from government pension documents, newspaper accounts, contemporary memoirs, court papers, and history books. These eight were, for the most part, average men – farmers, tradesmen, pioneers – some quite successful, a few having lived lives on the brink. However, they played roles in one of the great turning points of history. And all lived exceptionally long lives for the era – one attaining 99 years – that brought them into the age of photography as “venerable” men, as newspaper accounts regularly described them. More often than not, the daguerreotypes preserving their visages were taken very shortly before they died of old age and infirmities, making each of these small portraits a miracle – a miracle multiplied by what the author has discovered about the men. And the things they saw! By researching these lives, Mr. Bauman reveals glimpses and insights into many of the Revolution’s key events. Not all was battle and bloodshed: There were marches to be made, fortifications to build, captures to be endured. But Peter Mackintosh, a blacksmith, witnessed the Boston Tea Party as a lad. Simeon Hicks, a young Lexington Minuteman, also was at the Battle of Bunker Hill (actually, Breed’s Hill) overlooking Boston. Dr. Eneas Munson, a teenaged Yale graduate, was a surgeon’s mate, treating wounds and infections, helping in early mass smallpox inoculations – and participating in the decisive American and French victory over the British at Yorktown. The Marquis de Lafayette, Benedict Arnold and Nathan Hale all have parts in this collective story. “Don’t Tread On Me” is not a full-on history of the Revolution, nor is it a roundup of every known image of a onetime warrior of that momentous struggle. The stories of these eight Americans, of varying lengths and in varying detail, are merely a dip of the toe into a sea of possibilities. The result, though – even for a dabbler in history – is a revelation in pictures and prose, a peek into everyday but important lives lived long, long ago.

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