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Founded November 20, 1956


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Wednesday, March 9, 2016 @ 6:30 p.m.

Salmon P. Chase and Reconstruction

Presented by: Hon. C. Ellen Connally

The demise of the Confederacy left a legacy of legal arrangements that raised fundamental and vexing questions regarding the legal rights and status of former slaves and the status of former Confederate states. Few individuals had greater impact on resolving these difficult questions than Salmon P. Chase, chief justice of the United States Supreme Court from 1865 to 1873.

In his rulings on cases brought before the court Chase combined his abolitionist philosophy with an activist jurisprudence to help dismantle once and for all the deposed machineries of slavery and the Confederacy. Chase sought to consolidate the gains of the Civil War era, while demonstrating that the war had both preserved the precious core characteristics of the federal union of states and fundamentally improved the nature of both private and public law. (From the publisher's description of The Reconstruction Justice of Salmon P. Chase: In Re Turner and Texas v. White.)

Our speaker: Judge C. Ellen Connally is a Cleveland native and a long time member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.  She received her B.S. degree in social studies from Bowling Green State University in 1967, and her J.D. degree from Cleveland State University in 1970. In 1998, Judge Connally received her M.A. in American history from Cleveland State University and went on to complete all coursework towards a Ph.D. degree in American history at Akron University.

After serving in multiple roles at Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals and the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Ms. Connally was elected judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court in 1980 where she served until retiring in 2004.  Following retirement, Judge Connally worked as an adjunct professor of history at Ursuline College and of law at the University of Akron College of Law. She was appointed special prosecutor for the City of Cleveland in 2009 and in 2010 was elected to the Cuyahoga County Council where she served as president.

Judge Connally has served as president of the Board of Trustees of Bowling Green State University, president of the Board of Trustees of the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio, vice president of the Board of Community Action Against Addiction, vice president for Traffic Safety - Greater Cleveland Safety Council, and president of the Northern Ohio Municipal Judges Association. She has also been a member of numerous boards, including the Cleveland Bar Foundation, the Cleveland Society for the Blind, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, the Cleveland Public Theater, the Girls and Boys Club of Cleveland, the Ohio Judicial College, the Ohio Historical Society and the Cleveland State University Foundation Board.

Judge Connally is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the 1997 Achievement Award from Cleveland State University’s History Department; a 1999 Certificate of Special Appreciation from Mothers Against Drunk Driving; the 2001 Alumni of the Year Award from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law; the Cuyahoga County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association’s John J. McMahon Outstanding Jurist Award; and 2004’s National Legacy Award, presented by Cleveland Councilman Zachary Reed. (from History Makers)


Meeting Time: Meetings begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30, and the program at 7:30.  Meetings typically end by 9.

Meeting Location: Our meetings are held at Judson Manor (the former Wade Park Manor residential hotel), 1890 E 107th St, Cleveland, OH, at the corner of East 107th Street and Chester, just off University Circle.
Map to Judson Manor | History of Wade Park Manor

Reservations: You must make a dinner reservation for any meeting you plan to attend no later than the day prior to that meeting (so we can give a headcount to the caterer).  Make your reservation one of three ways:

  • Send an email to .
  • Submit a dinner reservation form from this website.
  • Call 440-449-9311 and leave a message on the voice mail.

History Briefs

A small glimpse into the Civil War era

Whose Maryland?
By David A. Carrino
Roundtable Historian

The opening lines of the official state song of what was once one of the 13 original colonies are as follows:

The despot's heel is on thy shore,
Maryland, my Maryland.
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland, my Maryland.

In light of the uncomplimentary things that were written in the Declaration of Independence about King George III, it is not surprising that the state song of one of the 13 original colonies refers to a despot. But what may be surprising to many people is that the despot referred to in the state song of Maryland is not George III, but Abraham Lincoln. In other lines Lincoln is referred to as a tyrant and a vandal, and near the end of the song there is a line that calls opponents of secession "Northern scum." These sentiments are expressed in this song because this song, which is titled Maryland, My Maryland, was not written at the time of the Revolutionary War, but was written in late April of 1861 as a poem urging Maryland to secede from the Union. In spite of the fact that the song advocates secession, Maryland, My Maryland remains the state song of Maryland.

James Ryder Randall

Maryland, My Maryland was written by James Ryder Randall, who was born in Baltimore. By 1861 Randall had been living in the South for several years, and he came to consider himself a Southerner. He was an ardent secessionist, and he wrote Maryland, My Maryland as a reaction to what happened in Baltimore on April 19, 1861. On that day a Massachusetts regiment was moving on foot through the streets of Baltimore on its way to Washington when a mob of secessionists began throwing stones and bricks at the troops and even shot at them. Eventually the Massachusetts troops fired back at the mob. By the end of the riot 15 people were dead, 4 soldiers and 11 civilians, and many more were wounded. After James Ryder Randall heard news of the riot in the city of his birth, he wrote a poem as a plea to Maryland to join the Confederacy, and those words became the lyrics of the song Maryland, My Maryland. Randall's poem was published in newspapers throughout the South, and by May 1861 the poem had made its way to Maryland, where Jennie Cary, a daughter in a prominent secessionist family in Baltimore, set the poem to the tune of O Tannenbaum after tweaking the words slightly to better fit the melody. The song became very popular in the South during the Civil War, and according to some accounts Robert E. Lee had the men in the Army of Northern Virginia sing that song as they marched into Frederick, Maryland during Lee's first northern invasion. Maryland, My Maryland has been called the Marseillaise of the South, although other songs also lay claim to that nickname.


From the Charger

Newsletter of the Cleveland CWRT

Jefferson Davis Monuments:
Being Removed?
By Dennis Keating

Confederate President Jefferson Davis is memorialized in monuments at various locations in the South. They have now come under fire, with demands that some be removed from public grounds.

The Jefferson Davis birthplace monument in Pembroke, KY

In New Orleans, the Remove Racist Images coalition and others, have called for the removal of statues from city properties honoring Davis, as well as well as Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard. The city’s Monuments Commission has voted to remove them from public grounds and has been supported Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

In March, 2015, the student government of the University of Texas at Austin voted to have the university remove the status of Davis from the South Mall of the campus. There are also statues on the campus honoring Confederate heroes Robert E. Lee and Albert Sydney Johnston.

None of these monuments have yet been removed. In Frankfurt, Kentucky, a group of 72 Kentucky historians called for the removal of the Davis statue from the rotunda of the state’s capitol building. Davis was born in Kentucky (as was Abraham Lincoln). In August, 2015, the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted 7-2 against removal of the Davis statue.


New On the Bookshelf

Recent Additions to the Civil War Literature

A Review of Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Civil War by James M. McPherson
By Patrick Bray

James McPherson has done it yet again: published an insightful, fair, and very readable book on the Civil War. This time his subject is the wartime presidency of Jefferson Davis, a man whose reputation over the years has had more ups and downs then a stretch along the Appalachian Trial. In his introduction McPherson acknowledges the challenges of writing about a person who has occasionally been portrayed as a tragic hero, but more often has been a target for scathing criticism.

It is reassuring when an author discloses early on his potential biases which he seeks to overcome. Perhaps unnecessarily McPherson tells us that “My sympathies lie with the Union side in the Civil War”, not that we would expect any Neo-Confederate nonsense from a serious scholar like him. McPherson is also careful not to be unduly influenced by some of Davis’s disagreeable personal characteristics, a temptation which many Davis contemporaries and subsequent biographers have been unable to resist. Another pitfall which McPherson detours around is a comparison between Lincoln’s and Davis’s leadership to which the “apples to oranges” cliché was never more true.


A Review of The West Point History of the Civil War, edited by Clifford J. Rogers, Ty Seidule and Samuel J. Watsone
By William F.B. Vodrey

Who better to write a book about the Civil War than the faculty of the U.S. Military Academy? Well… yes and no.

The West Point History of the Civil War, edited by Clifford J. Rogers, Ty Seidule and Samuel J. Watson (Simon & Schuster 2014), is a big, handsomely-illustrated book. Intended to be the first in a series of authoritative, West Point-approved books on our country’s major wars, it is an impressive – but far from flawless – volume.

The book was excerpted from a 71-chapter text used to teach the Civil War to cadets, and then tested and improved by feedback from faculty and cadets. It embodies a longstanding West Point boast, “Much of the history we teach was made by the people we taught.”

The early days of the Civil War were not easy ones for West Point. Although Cadet J.E.B. Stuart (Class of 1854) had praised the nationalizing influence of the school and said there was “no North and no South” among the cadets while he studied there, by 1859 the sectional divide had become stark. One observer said the Corps of Cadets had split “into two parties, hostile in sentiment and even divided in barracks.” Southern cadets burned President-elect Abraham Lincoln in effigy in late 1860. The first cadet left to serve the Confederacy on November 19, 1860, just weeks after Election Day. When high-profile graduates and faculty such as Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard went south, critics in Congress blasted West Point as a breeding ground of traitors. Sen. “Bluff Ben” Wade of Ohio declared that “you can hardly find a graduate of West Point who is not heartily now the supporter of southern independence… the whole batch were imbued with… secession doctrine.” Bills were actually twice brought to the floor of Congress to cut off all funding and close the school. The Academy survived, but Congress imposed a new loyalty oath that is still used to this day.



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Featured Articles

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’The Rebels are Upon Us’ The 1864 Confederate Invasion of Maryland, The Battle of Monocacy, and Jubal Early’s Move on Washington, D.C.
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A National Park Service Report prepared
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Making a Covenant with Death:
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Blood, Tears and Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War
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Jefferson Davis's Imprisonment
at Fortress Monroe

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The Madness of Mary Lincoln
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History Under Siege
The Annual Report of the Civil War Preservation Trust


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