Children of the Civil War

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Izawwlgood
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Children of the Civil War

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:27 pm UTC

Not a new article, but this topic came up at our new years celebration, and I didn't believe it. Pretty cool.

tl;dr - older veterans of the Civil War in their 80s given younger brides in their teens had kids late in their lives who are today in their 90's.

Goes to show how time and generational gaps are somewhat fluid in surprising ways, and how young modern humans are in a lot of ways.
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Alexius
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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby Alexius » Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:41 pm UTC

There's been a long chain of letters like that in the London Review of Books, starting with:

A friend who teaches in New York told me that the historian Peter Lake told him that J.G.A. Pocock told him that Conrad Russell told him that Bertrand Russell told him that Lord John Russell told him that his father the sixth Duke of Bedford told him that he had heard William Pitt the Younger speak in Parliament during the Napoleonic Wars, and that Pitt had this curious way of talking, a particular mannerism that the sixth Duke of Bedford had imitated to Lord John Russell who imitated it to Bertrand Russell who imitated it to Conrad Russell who imitated it to J.G.A. Pocock, who could not imitate it to Peter Lake and so my friend never heard it.


My favourite, though, was:

Maurice Bowra, an Oxford academic, wrote in his 1966 memoirs that he had met a 92-year-old man named Frederic Harrison who could remember Queen Victoria's coronation. Harrison had himself met a Dr. Routh, who lived to be 100 and was the last man in Oxford to wear a wig. And Dr. Routh, as a boy, had met an old woman who had seen King Charles II exercising his dogs.

I also think I've heard that Woodrow Wilson shook hands with someone who had shaken hands with John Adams...

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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby firechicago » Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:00 pm UTC

Alexius wrote:I also think I've heard that Woodrow Wilson shook hands with someone who had shaken hands with John Adams...

That's not that remarkable, given that Wilson was born only 30 years after Adams died. I've met someone who worked with Enrico Fermi, who died roughly a similar amount of time (+/- a few months) before I was born.

My personal story is that my father remembers meeting an elderly family member when he was a child (late 1950's) who was old enough to remember the men coming home from the Civil War in 1865.

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:50 pm UTC

firechicago wrote:My personal story is that my father remembers meeting an elderly family member when he was a child (late 1950's) who was old enough to remember the men coming home from the Civil War in 1865.
Hot damn.
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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby natraj » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:07 am UTC

yeah, i have known people who were grandkids of slaves; there were people alive who were CHILDREN of slaves who voted for obama. it is easy to forget how super-recent that era was.
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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:34 am UTC

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saeculum

Originally it meant the period of time from the moment that something happened (for example the founding of a city) until the point in time that all people who had lived at the first moment had died.


What is that line? The civil war is an old lady's old lady away? Except, going by what natraj posted, it isn't even that far in the past.

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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:16 pm UTC

It happens rather a lot. I'm in my early thirties, and my grandpa grew up in the great depression. I've transcribed notes for WW2 pilots. So, I got to hear some firsthand accounts of some rather old events. I'm sure that the same has, at some point, happened to them, so with two degrees of separation, you can get a fair way back in history. Probably going to become more common as average lifespan ticks upward, too.

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Re: Children of the Civil War

Postby ijuin » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:08 pm UTC

Two degrees of separation--i.e. somebody still living knew an eyewitness in the past--is a good dividing line between "memory" and "recorded history". Within the former, you still have people who heard it "from the horse's mouth", whereas with the latter, you have only writings.


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