Monday, October 3, 2022

Calaveras County Sheriff's Office -- Undersheriff Jim Macedo Retires

Calaveras County Undersheriff Jim Macedo

Story by Capt. Rachelle Whiting
Calaveras County Sheriff's Office

Undersheriff Jim Macedo has either worked in, supervised, or managed every division, unit, and team in the Sheriff’s Office during his career. It would be impossible to list all of his accomplishments and highlights throughout this time, however, here is some information to memorialize Jim:

Undersheriff Macedo holds degrees in both Biology and Criminal Justice Management. He is married to a prosecutor and they raised two sons during his time working for the Sheriff’s Office. He is second-generation law enforcement.

Macedo started working for the Sheriff’s Office on November 14, 1994. He carried his father’s service 357 Revolver as his first duty weapon. He was hired by Sheriff Bill Nuttall and worked through FIVE Sheriffs (including himself, but we’ll get to that later) throughout his 28-year career with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriffs Nuttall, Downum, Kuntz, Macedo and DiBasilio.

Macedo worked as a patrol Deputy during the days when you had to check out a portable radio as well as your vehicle and check them both back in at the end of shift because there were not enough radios or cars for everyone. At this time, the department had a total of two computers, both of which were located in Dispatch. Deputies hand-wrote their reports. I’m not making this up as a joke, this is fact.

Macedo was the Sheriff’s Office Employee of the Year in 1998. He worked on the Special Enforcement Team including monitoring 290 registrants. One highlight that Macedo remembers from working SET was when he identified a convicted sex offender from San Jose who was hiding out in the Forest Meadows area. Jim did surveillance for days and figured out where the suspect was located in order to take him into custody. We do not know who was more surprised about the arrest, the suspect, or the parents of the kids that the suspect was giving piano lessons to.

Macedo worked in Narcotics for years and held a position on the Narcotics Entry Team. For the newer Deputies, an assignment to work narcotics during those times is nothing like the current MET Team now. While working in an undercover capacity in Calaveras, Alpine, and Amador counties; Macedo made no less than a hundred undercover buys of all kinds of drugs including marijuana, meth, mushrooms, and MDMA, to name a few. During this time working Narcotics, Macedo and his team investigated and dismantled numerous clandestine drug labs. He once took down 2 labs in one day. During one notable case, Macedo and his Narcotics Unit co-workers investigated a Mexican National drug cartel that was producing 150 pounds of methamphetamine per cook. They coordinated seven search warrants served simultaneously to take down the drug ring. During his time working in Narcotics, Macedo also assisted detectives with numerous investigations including high-profile cases.

As a Field Training Officer, Macedo trained around 24 to 26 deputy sheriff trainees. That is quite a number of brand new deputies who cycled through Jim’s patrol car. Yes car, because according to Jim real cops drove the cars, not the SUVs. Some of those trainees are now Lieutenants with our Department. If you see the ones with a nervous tick, now you know where it started. Not to mention those of us that had to fight Jim during defensive tactics training when he wore the red man suit.

Macedo is a former Treasurer for the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and later spent time as President of the Sheriff’s Management Union.

He testified during the trial and death penalty for the Speed Freak Killers (Shermantine and Hertzog) serial killer case. He is a court-certified expert for testimony in narcotics and gangs in both state and federal courts.

Macedo was promoted to Sergeant and supervised shifts on patrol. For those of us that worked under then Sergeant Macedo, we got used to not knowing where Jim would pop up next to keep us on our toes and learning quickly how to write reports for the stuff that Jim would initiate.

Macedo spent about 3 years as a Lieutenant working as the Jail Commander and the Patrol Division Commander. He was involved for many years on SARB, the School Attendance Review Board.

12 years as a Captain, Macedo has helped lead the department’s upper management Sheriff’s Administration. This included through the Butte Fire in 2015 that devastated our county. With the unfortunate death of Sheriff Gary Kuntz, Macedo was our acting Sheriff from October 2015 to June 2016 until the appointment of our current Sheriff Rick DiBasilio, who would later appoint Macedo to the Undersheriff position.

Macedo has spent many years managing the Sheriff’s Volunteer Unit and is not only a leader amongst that group, but also a friend to many.

Macedo worked to create the new CSI position at our agency. He was also integral in getting our Budget Analyst position and the structure of our current Financial Division.

Macedo has provided testimony for state committees on various topics. He has lobbied and worked with other leaders in law enforcement in Sacramento and Washington D.C. for funding for our department.

Undersheriff Macedo participated in and completed Calaveras Leadership. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He received recognition by the California State Assembly and the California State Senate for his efforts in combating crime and serving victims. Undersheriff Macedo authored several articles about behavioral health interactions, which are published in the California State Sheriff’s Association and FBI National Academy magazines.

Macedo was awarded the Sheriff’s Office Medal of Valor for his bravery and heroic actions during a hostage situation whereas the suspect had doused people with gasoline and was about to set the room on fire that included the suspect, hostages, and deputies.

Undersheriff Macedo is a long-time member of the California State Sheriff’s Association (CSSA) Seconds in Command. With this, he is a coordinator for the group and is seen by his peers as a leader. In 2017, Macedo won the CSSA “John Sully Second in Command of the Year Award.

Undersheriff Macedo is a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy and is currently the Sacramento Area representative and soon-to-be Vice President. With this, comes his involvement and participation in FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminars. He is a member of ATAP – Association of Threat Professionals. He is currently an instructor for the POST Management Course through the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium.

About the Author:

Captain Rachelle Whiting

Captain Rachelle Whiting is the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office Operations Bureau Commander. Over her 22 years with the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office, Captain Whiting has proven herself to be a fine leader who has received several awards and commendations from the Sheriff’s Office. They include Deputy Sheriff of the Year, Campaign Ribbons, Unit Citations, and Medals of Merit commendations. She will be promoted to the position of Calaveras County Undersheriff on October 8th, 2022. 

Editor's Note:

First, I want to congratulate Captain Whiting on her promotion. She's a fine officer and has worked hard to earn it. I really believe she deserves it.  

As for Undersheriff Jim Macedo, his actual date of retirement is October 7th, 2022. As a Volunteer at the Sheriff's Office, I have to say that I feel very privileged to have been there when the Sheriff’s Office wished him a very fond farewell at a small going away party. Congratulating him on his retirement, and then being part of those escorting him home, hearing him radio in 10-10 for the last time after a 28-year career, all was a real honor.

During his party, I enjoyed meeting some of the people who have known him for so many years. The fact is, that unlike most there, I've only known Undersheriff Macedo for a very short time. But, even though that's the case, during the short time that I've known him, he has always impressed me. And frankly, that's really saying a lot -- especially since most people stopped impressing me long ago. 

From what I know of him, he is a good man. He treasures his family and he's a man of good character in a world starving for such men. Since he's an old fashion, honest, brave, no-nonsense sort of lawman, I see him as a great American with true Cowboy values of courage, optimism, and hard work. Frankly, as for being one of the most well-rounded people I've ever met, I really believe he sets a great example of being a good role model for others.

As for him being very professional and still personable, he garners the respect and cooperation of others through his excellent leadership style.  This also extends to his understanding of people. I believe he is one of those rare individuals who is both street-smart and extremely intelligent while also having a wonderful ability to read people correctly. While those are all great attributes for anyone to have, they are especially important for a career law enforcement officer. 

So yes my friends, that's why I have so much admiration for Undersheriff Macedo. That's why I asked Captain Whiting if she would give me permission to print her story about him here on my blog. That's why I'm glad she did. And that's why I wish Undersheriff Macedo all the best.  

Tom Correa

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Terror That Was The Bremen School Shooting

The Bremen School Shooting took place at approximately 11:00 a.m., when a shooter entered St. Mary's Catholic School, carrying a briefcase packed with ten handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The killer's name was Heinz Schmidt. He was 29 years old. 

Reports of what took place say that after entering the school, he met up with teacher Marie Pohl in the hallway on the first floor. Pohl had just stepped out of her class when she encountered Schmidt. Pohl questioned Schmidt about what he was doing there. She knew Schmidt because he was also a teacher at that school before being recently fired. Schmidt shot at her. He barely missed shooting her in the head.

In a panic, Pohl runs into a nearby classroom. At the same time, Schmidt entered the classroom that Pohl initially came out of. In that classroom, he came into contact with 65 students, all girls between 6 and 7 years old. He immediately began opening fire at the children. 

The frightened children didn't know where to run so they hid under their tables. That didn't stop Schmidt from instantly killing two of them and wounding another. And when the children tried to run out of the classroom, Schmidt followed them. 

Shooting at them as pursued them, one girl is said to have fallen down some stairs and actually broke her neck and died. He then tried to enter another classroom but found the door locked. Inside, a quick-thinking teacher realized what was taking place and locked herself and her class in. 

At some point, a janitor appeared and tried to subdue Schmidt. He shot at the school janitor, hitting him in the face. Schmidt then tried going up some stairs but was tackled by a teacher. Sadly, Schmidt broke free and shot that teacher in his stomach and shoulder. After that, Schmidt started shooting out a window at children in a schoolyard. He shot five boys. Right after that, teachers, school employees, and the janitor, all rushed and finally subdued Schmidt.
When Schmidt was led away by police, an angry group of parents met the police outside. The police were outnumbered as they beat up Schmidt. The crowd of angry citizens then attempted to lynch Schmidt. It was only because the police managed to hold back the mob that Schmidt wasn't lynched on the spot. 

The 29-year-old killer indiscriminately shot at students and teachers alike, actually killing five girls and wounding more than 20 others children and staff. Heinz Jakob Friedrich Ernst Schmidt was in fact a recently fired teacher at the school. The unemployed teacher was never tried for the crime and was instead sent directly to an insane asylum where he died almost 20 years later of tuberculosis.

The Bremen School Shooting took place on June 20th, 1913, at St Mary's Catholic School in Bremen, Germany. Which of course proves such heinous acts are also nothing new to Europe.

Tom Correa

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Letters between Wyatt and Josephine Earp, and William S. Hart

Below are some interesting letters between Wyatt and Josephine Earp, and silent-film actor William S. Hart.

On Nov. 13, 1928, Wyatt Earp wrote:

“Here is something that will make you laugh. I picked [Al] Smith for the winner of the election; just in my mind, you know, so it didn't cost me anything — no new hat to buy nor any peanuts to roll along the thoroughfare with a tooth-pick nor anything else to make me wish I hadn't. It just furnishes my friends a lot of fun by guying me. Hoover will make an excellent president, and the nation will have no regrets at having chosen him."
On Nov. 16, 1924, Earp wrote to his friend Bill:

“Even the paragraph about Doc Holliday shooting a man in Los Angeles was without foundation. Holliday to my positive knowledge never had been in Los Angeles."
Oct. 21, 1920:

My Dear Hart:

I am sending you the quirt that I promised you some time ago and I am also adding a word of apology for the delay. My time has been so occupied with business affairs during recent weeks requiring my absence. I just did not get the opportunity to mail the quirt to you. Although I have though of you. I believed I explained to you the quirt was made a number of years back in 1885 by a Mexican woman who was serving time in the penitentiary at Yuma, Arizona for the murder of her husband so you can see that a good quirt was made by a bad woman. It ought to stand hard usage and last a lifetime and I am sure it will. In your leisure moments may you occasionally remember that this is just a token of appreciation from me who hold you in deepest regards and esteem.
Your friend,
Wyatt S. Earp
4021 Pasadena Ave.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Oct. 16, 1922
Mr. William S. Hart
8341 De Longpre Drive
Hollywood, Calif.

Dear Mr. Hart,

After a long absence I have now returned to the city for a short stay. It must all come to you with mixed joy. I wish to make no comment because I am your friend and I know you have nothing to regret. You have hosts of friends Mr. Hart and the world thinks of you with a spirit of great loyalty [more] now than it ever has.
But I can rejoice with you in the great happiness that comes to you as a father. In this you are especially blessed. Your son is likewise because he has a good father. I say this modestly and if his purposes in life are as noble, he will be a success. It is the earnest [wish] of Mrs. Earp and myself that he shall live to be all of that.
I trust your recent illness is just of the passing sort and that you will be yourself again within a few days. Mrs. Earp joins me in best wishes.

Sincerely yours,
Wyatt Earp
In the next letter Mrs. Earp tells Hart that her husband wishes to dedicate a book to him — a book about which few Western buffs will ever reach total agreement.

2703 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, Calif.
Mr. William S. Hart
Newhall, Calif.

My dear Mr. Hart:

Am inclosing a letter from Mr. Lake which is self explanatory. I was rather surprised Mr. Leussler told him he had spoken with me. If you will recall it was agreed that he was not to tell ... we had met. I cannot understand that and so presuming your good nature for your valuable advice in this matter, will you kindly return the inclosed [sic] letter to me.

I tried to get in touch with Mr. Leussler three times, but was informed he was south and would not be back until the end of the week. I would like to get in touch with him as I cannot get any information from Mr. Lake.

I want to thank you Mr. Hart for all of your wonderful kindness to Mr. Earp and myself. And it shall be my great pleasure to follow Mr. Earp's wishes in having his book dedicated to you — a real friend.
Trusting you and your dear sister are in good health. I am with kindest regards.

Most sincerely yours,
Josephine Earp
Another letter from Mrs. Earp would come under the heading of "fan mail.”

Dec. 18, 1923
My dear Mr. Hart:

Just a line to congratulate you upon your new picture "Wild Bill Hickok." I saw it twice with several friends and each time the house was packed. When you appeared upon the screen the applause was wonderful. Am happy to say that you have staged a remarkable "come back."
Trusting your future pictures will be as successful as your first.
With kindest regards

I am sincerely yours,
Mrs. Wyatt Earp
William S. Hart often contacted his friend during Wyatt's stay at the mines.

Oct. 21, 1925
Mr. Wyatt Earp
Vidal, Calif.

My dear friend Wyatt Earp:

I am mighty glad to hear from you. I am returning Mr. Sutton's letter which I presume you want to keep. Sutton has been a great admirer of my pictures for many years. I have many letters from him. His account of the opening of the Strip from the Oklahoma side is most interesting. The picture which I have just finished, "Tumbleweeds," shows the action which takes place on the other side starting at Caldwell, Kansas.
Mr. Wilstach the man who is writing the Hickok articles wrote to me a couple of weeks ago for some information which, fortunately, I was able to give him. One of the things he wanted to know was the whereabouts of Bat Masterson when Hickok was killed. I was able to tell him Masterson told me personally he was in Denver at the time.
When you return please let me know and I sure would be glad to see you and Mrs. Earp.

Always your friend,
William S. Hart

Saturday, September 3, 2022

The Death Knell of the Confederacy -- The Surrender of Fort Fisher

On January 15, 1865, the Confederacy surrendered Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
During the early days of the Civil War, the Confederacy built the "L" shaped earthen Fort Fisher in a strategic location near the mouth of North Carolina's Cape Fear River. The fort was there to make sure that the port of Wilmington remained open. The earthen stronghold mounted 39 large-caliber guns that were augmented by several mortars. The fort's nine feet high and 25 feet thick walls were thought to be formidable and able to repel any invader.

The fort was the primary defense for the Wilmington supply line which was in fact the central supply artery that brought food and munitions to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. By January of 1865, that fort safeguarded the Confederacy's last operational Atlantic port.

On December 14, 1864, the morning saw a fleet of 75 Union warships and transports commanded by Admiral David Dixon Porter steamed south from Hampton Roads, Virginia, toward Fort Fisher. Aboard the troopships were 6,500 Union Army soldiers under the command of Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler.

Because of a storm, the Union Armada didn't start its bombardment of Fort Fisher until Christmas Eve, December 24. During that bombardment, the Union Navy fired over 20,000 shells of all calibers at the fort.

Believe it or not, even after such a barrage, the Union landing party of 2,500 troops came to within only 75 yards of the fort when their assault started on Christmas Day. Seeing his men chopped to ribbons and driven back, General Butler called off the attack. By that night, Admiral Porter realizing that his ships were in danger withdrew the fleet out of range of Fort Fisher's artillery pieces. No, I could not find out how many Union Soldiers died during that first attempted landing. Butler's action there resulted in him being replaced by Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry.

In early January of 1865, Gen. Terry and Adm. Porter decided to launch a second landing. What would take place would be the largest amphibious attack during the Civil War. An attack that combined land and naval forces. And here's something else, that amphibious assault would remain the largest U.S. amphibious attack until D-Day in World War II. 

There were nearly 10,000 Union troops and 58 Union naval ships involved in the attack. Of those, it is said that an 8,000-man landing force of Union troops went ashore after two days of naval bombardment. Among those making that landing would be a detachment of 400 Marines and 1,600 Sailors.

Let's keep in mind that at the opening of the Civil War in 1861, the U.S. Marine Corps' total strength numbered at 63 officers and 1,712 enlisted personnel. While U.S. Navy ships had Marines stationed aboard them, many located around the world and far from the chaos that was the Civil War, there were Marines at the landing of Fort Fisher for that amphibious assault.

Of the 8,000 Union troops there that day, were 1,600 sailors and 400 Marines divided into four companies under the command of Marine Captain Lucien L. Dawson. All were armed with rifles, revolvers, and cutlasses. Union Navy Commander Randolph Breeze led the Sailors during the attack.

For some unknown reason, Union Army Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry held back his Army troops in reserve on the Confederate left. So instead of simultaneous attack, Marines and Sailors fought hand-to-hand with Confederate defenders at Fort Fisher in what was a completely uncoordinated assault. That hand-to-hand fighting lasted for six hours.

Captain Dawson reported later that during the fighting he "received two or three orders from Captain Breeze to ‘bring up the Marines at once. That we would be late if not." Dawson went on to say, "I took the Marines up and filed across the peninsula in front of the Sailors with skirmishers thrown out."

Dawson rallied two companies of Marines to provide cover fire. After Gen. Terry committed the Army's troops, it was reported that several of the Marines aided the Army's attack on the main parapet and helped overrun Fort Fisher. It is interesting to note that on the last day of fighting as Union forces began to make their way through the defenses of the Fort, Confederate Col. William Lamb began to roust the injured and sick Confederate soldiers from the fort's hospital in a desperate last attempt to get the upper hand.

As a result of the surrender of Fort Fisher, 400 Confederate troops were killed or wounded, and more than 2,000 were taken prisoner of war.

The Union Army lost 900 men. The joint Navy-Marine force lost 200 men with 46 wounded or missing. Of those killed, 14 were Marines. Of the 54 Medals of Honor that were awarded for their actions at Fort Fisher, six were Marines. By the way, among the reinforcements were the Union Army's USCT (United States Colored Troops). One of those USCT Soldiers was awarded the Medal of Honor.

With its surrender of Fort Fisher, Union troops took control of Wilmington and severed the supply lines leading to Robert E. Lee's Army. Wilmington's fall eliminated any sort of protection for Confederate blockade runners bringing in needed supplies. This little know battle was in fact one of the defining battles of the Civil War.

The fall of Fort Fisher meant the Confederacy was even more vulnerable to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's advancing troops. But it meant more than just that. For months, Condferate supply lines were already in trouble. It is said that starving Confederate soldiers had already been deserting Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. And even though Confederal President Jefferson Davis approved the arming of African slaves as a means of augmenting those deserting the shrinking Confederate Army, they were losing manpower because of the lack of food and supplies.

So, while there are those who will say that it was Sherman's march or their loss at Gettysburg that toll the end of the Confederacy, I believe that the surrender of Fort Fisher was truly the death knell of the Confederacy. Nothing at that stage of the war had such an impact on the Confederacy's ability to wage war than the fall of Fort Fisher and those severed supply lines. 

With its great importance to keep Gen. Lee's Army fed and supplied, losing Fort Fisher meant the war for the Confederacy was lost. In fact, with the Confederacy and General Robert E. Lee struggling to keep the war going with their limited supplies running out, they would ultimately surrender within 90 days of losing Fort Fisher.

Tom Correa

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Alferd Packer -- The Beloved Hatchet-Murdering Cannibal Of Colorado

Many years ago while driving through Colorado, I was sort of surprised to hear about a local celebrity of sorts. I say, "of sorts," because that man who seems to be quite the Colorado celebrity was a mass murderer and cannibal. His name was Alferd Packer and his horrid acts of crime have not stopped people in Colorado from celebrating his name in some very interesting ways.

For example, folks knowing that Alferd Parker killed five men and ate them hasn't stopped someone from creating the Alferd E. Packer Memorial Grill at the University of Colorado in Boulder. And if that's not enough to make you wonder what's wrong with some folks out there, there was once a writer who actually published a book titled, "Alferd Packer's Wilderness Cookbook." In Littleton, Colorado, the folks there hold the "Alferd Packer Cannibal Fast Food 5K/10K Run/Walk." And not to miss a chance at 15 minutes of fame, believe it or not, a sculpture once created a bust of Alferd Packer that somehow ended up sitting in the Colorado State Capitol right next to Colorado's more prestigious citizens.

So why would anyone make a mass murderer and cannibal famous, and in fact, do it so much so that a whole town celebrates "Al Packer Days" as is the case in one Colorado town? Frankly, there's no rhyme or reason why the macabre and gruesome interests people like it does. It's true. Just as there is no telling why anyone would start a restaurant and name it the "Packer Saloon & Cannibal Grill." No, there is no telling why anyone would make a mass murderer and a cannibal famous -- especially a man who is said to have killed and eaten five of his traveling companions,

As in any story, whether it's a story in the newspapers or found in a good book, our learning the who, what, when, where, how, and why of a story is the key to our understanding of all that took place. When writing, the who, what, when, where, how, and why of a story ensures that we examine all aspects of a story.

As for the who, what, when, where, how, and why of the story dealing with Alfred Packer, we know who he was. Alferd Packer was born sometime in 1842. Different sources give different months and days of his birth that year. While that's true, there's no confusion about him being raised in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.

We also know that he was in Minnesota by the time he was 19 years of age. We know that because he was 19 when he enlisted in the Union Army with the 16th US Infantry in Wynona, Minnesota at the outbreak of the Civil War. Sources say that he received an Honorable Discharge in late 1862. His short time in the Union Army was supposedly due to him having epilepsy. If true, that didn't stop him from trying to enlist again in June of 1863. It's believed that he was able to join the Union Army's 8th Regiment of the Iowa Cavalry until he was again mustered out due to epilepsy.

From there, it is sort of a mystery what he did for about 10 years. Some say he traveled West to California. Some say he turned into a drunk while taking whatever job he could find. Some say he went from mining camp to mining camp looking to strike it rich like so many others.

We do know that by late 1873, Alferd Packer and about two dozen other prospectors left Utah and headed to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Traveling late in the year to the mountains is not the smartest thing anyone can do -- even today. The Winter of 1873 and 1874 was one of the worst on record. To find shelter, the men stayed at the Ute Indian village of Chief Ouray. It is said that they got there in January of 1874, hungry and desperate.

The Ute Indian hospitality was what kept Packer and the others alive. It's too bad they didn't heed the Ute Chief's warning about continuing on and waiting until Spring to travel. The snow was deep and the mountains were treacherous. The Ute Chief tried to warn them, but the lust for gold was too much for a few. Soon, five of the men made plans to go on. For some reason, they believed that Packer was their man to hire as their guide. That being the case, on February 9, 1874, Alferd Packer, Wilson Bell, James Humphrey, Frank Miller, George Noon, and Israel Swan, left the Ute Indian village and headed into the San Juan Mountains. The lure of gold and riches waiting for them had blinded their senses.

Soon, they found themselves with 10-days of food trapped in the mountains with snow up to their shoulders. It wouldn't be long before they would be buried in snow and out of food. Packer was their guide, and now they were lost and on what has been described as a gravel terrace just up from what is present-day Lake City, Colorado.

What happened next had everyone there trying to piece the story together in an effort to find the truth of what really took place. Most things simply didn't add up at first. Then the stories started to make less and less sense. Soon, no one believed a work Alferd Packer had to say pertaining to the deaths of Packer's traveling companions.

That all started in April of 1874 when only one of the six men made it out of the mountains. That was Alferd Packer who walked out looking too well for someone who said he had been living on rabbits and shrubs. Of course, Packer would tell many versions of what took place before coming out of the mountains that April. All of his stories were different.

When I went driving through the small town of Saguache, Colorado. I was told about Alferd Packer who served time in the Saguache Jail as a suspected "cannibal." I was told that Alferd Packer, Wilson Bell, James Humphrey, Frank Miller, George Noon, and Israel Swan, became stranded in the mountains and that Packer killed them -- and ate them while stuck there for a couple of months. That's what I was told.

I was told that most from around those parts at the time believed that the six died in the blizzard high in the mountains. It surely wasn't that unusual for those hunting gold to get so involved in their search for gold, that they put off eating, sleeping, or even seeking shelter when they should. There are stories of travelers finding prospectors frozen, just dead where they lay or sat. I know of one story about two travelers who found a prospector dead near his sluice box. There was no foul play involved. The prospector simply decided to work his claim in the harsh weather instead of finding shelter and warmth. It's believed he may have simply tired and died from the cold. So no, there was no reason to believe that Packer and the other men were still alive.

In mid-April, to everyone's surprise, Alferd Packer surfaced. He had come out of the mountains. And yes, he was alone. Things started going downhill for Packer almost as soon as he walked out of the mountains. Whether he was ready for it or not, folks wanted to know what happened to the other five men that he was last seen with in February. And sadly for Packer, his stories of what took place in the mountains didn't add up. In fact, as I said before, he gave several conflicting stories about the fate of the other men.

Packer initially said that he had been abandoned by his party. Then he said that he had hurt his leg and that they had dropped and left without him. He then admitted that those were lies. After a few more tales that didn't add up, he said that the whole party had resorted to cannibalism of a dead member. He said they did it to stay alive when they became lost. But really, even that was a lie.

He changed his story a number of times and even confessed to him being the only one who lived off of the flesh of his companions. He said that one of the others in his party, Shannon Bell, had killed the others. Packer said he had to kill Bell in self-defense. He also confessed to eating Bell and the others while stranded in the mountains -- and while he was walking out of the mountains. Yes, almost two and a half months later. That's probably why everyone commented on how good he looked for someone who said he'd been struggling through heavy snow for ten weeks.

I found it interesting that the authorities forced Packer to lead a search party into the mountains in an effort to try to locate the bodies of his companions. Packer is said to have led them to the wrong place where nothing was found. Since no one believed Packer's stories, it didn't take long before this all landed him in jail in Saguache. Actually, I was told that he was held somewhere just outside of Saguache and not in jail. He was held while people there were trying to piece together what really happened.

But then in August, with the help of someone there, he escaped. The day of his escape is important because it was the same day that the authorities found the remains of his missing companions. Evidence pointed to foul play and worst -- cannibalism. As the word spread of what took place, the area where the bodies were found soon became known as the "Cannibal Plateau."

For the next nine years, the authorities tracked him down. He was believed to have been living in Washington, Montana, Wyoming, and as far South as Arizona. After those long nine years, he was found living under the name John Schwartze in Fort Fetterman, Wyoming. The story of how he was found is sort of interesting. It is said that a member of Packer's original 20-man party that had started out with him from Utah, a man by the name of Frenchy Cabizon, was in a saloon when he heard Packer laughing in that same saloon. When Cabizon realized who it was, he turned him in to the authorities in Wyoming. Packer was then returned to Lake City, Colorado, where he was tried for the hatchet-murders of his five companions. Surprisingly, Packer was never charged with cannibalism.

On April 6, 1883, Alferd Packer's trial began at the Hinsdale County Courthouse in Lake City, Colorado. During the trial, among other information, witnesses said that Packer walked out of the mountains with several items in his possession that belonged to the men that he killed. He also walked out with what was described as "rolls of money" on him.

Packer took the stand in his own defense and went on for more than two hours. The whole while telling new lies about what supposedly took place. It is interesting that Packer is said to have supposedly lied about his age, what he did while in the Union Army, and even the cause of his epilepsy. I was told that no one could confirm anything he said.

On the stand, Packer also claimed that he had a struggle with Bell and had shot him in self-defense. But Swan's remains showed evidence of a hand-to-hand struggle, not Bell. That inconsistency was in itself enough evidence that there was much more violence than what Packer said there was. While he denied killing anyone except Wilson Bell in self-defense, he did in fact admit to eating portions of Bell and Miller.

While I'm not going to go into the facts of the case regarding who he killed first, about how most of his victims were half-frozen and asleep when he took a hatchet to them, I'm sure there are writers out there who will furnish everyone with their suspicions of how the crimes were committed. Since no one was there, most of what's known about how he killed his five companions, and how he was still eating parts of them on his way out of the mountain, was pieced together in court. It was pieced together enough for the evidence to be clear to the jury for a guilty verdict. On Friday, April 13, 1883, Alferd Packer was found guilty. He was convicted of five counts of premeditated murder, and ordered to hang for what he did. 

In the next two years, he used whatever legal avenue he had available. He and his lawyers are known to have used the question of court jurisdiction because the murders may have been perpetrated on Indian Reservation lands, and they tried to say that because there was no murder statute in the Colorado Territorial law -- that he technically had committed no crime.

Using these sorts of legal ploys, Packer avoided hanging and actually won the right to a new trial with a change in venue to Gunnison which is 30 miles away. The Colorado Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction, just because he had committed the crimes in the Colorado Territory and the laws had changed when Colorado became a state. During the retrial, that trial in Gunnison went no different for Packer and he was convicted of five counts of voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

In August of 1897, Packer wrote letters to The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. One particular newspaper columnist who took a definite interest in Packer was with The Denver Post. She wrote under the name of Polly Pry. She is said to have started an effort to get Packer's conviction overturned on the grounds that she was convinced of his innocence -- even though Packer confessed to committing the crimes. In fact, she believed that so much, that she published a series of heartfelt articles to get him paroled. And, while this might answer why folks in Colorado fell in love with their self-confessed hatchet-murdering cannibal, Polly Pry is the reason that public opinion turned in Packer's favor.

She did such a good job at making that killer look like the victim, that it wasn't long before other newspaper reporters and Colorado politicians got involved. Soon, there was such an outcry for Packer's release that Colorado Governor Charles S. Thomas is said to have looked forward to receiving Packer's request for parole. And yes indeed, Governor Thomas approved it as soon as he got it.

Packer, serving less than half of his 40-year sentence, was released from prison in 1901. So while many of us have this notion that murdering criminals didn't get off so easily in the Old West, it is interesting to note that he was paroled after only serving 17 years of his 40-year sentence in the Wyoming Territorial Penitentiary.

After his release from prison, he took a job as a guard at The Denver Post. It's said he took that job instead of taking a job as a side-show freak with the Sells-Floto Circus. Of course, it is remarkable to think that he is said to have talked about his exploits and even told stories to children about his adventures in the Colorado Territory before he died at age 60 on April 24, 1907. It's also hard to believe that he was buried with full military honors all paid for at the government's expense since he was a veteran of the Civil War.

Over the years, it's said that grave robbers wanted to steal his body. Others say the concrete over his grave is to stop vandals. Whatever the reason, concrete was poured over his grave to keep him securely in place.

That is, minus his head. Yes, without his head. Believe it or not, a representative from Ripley’s! Believe It or Not confirmed that the company has Packer's mummified head in its collection. Imagine that. While we know that his head is not buried with him, we don't know who removed it from his body, when they did it, and where it went before the Ripley’s! Believe It or Not folks got it. We also don't know how they come into possession of his head, or why Packer's head was taken in the first place. It all remains a mystery.

Of course, even though the whole story of Alferd Packer and what he did is one of the most horrible crimes against nature in Old West history, some folks don't care about that. And really, I'm thinking that Packer not being buried with his head is a mystery that I'm almost certain will help the folks in Colorado celebrate their beloved hatchet-murdering cannibal just that much more.

Tom Correa

Friday, August 12, 2022

Democrats Danced When Lincoln Was Shot

Witnessing an event that has never happened before in our entire history is extremely rare. Most of what happens has happened before to some degree. To be a witness to an important event that has absolutely no precedent, an actual true first in American history, does not happen very often.

This week, an American first has been witnessed by all who keep up with the news. Sadly, this event demonstrates what sort of tyranny occurs when the politically powerful, those in control of the federal government, decide to use government agencies against private citizens. In this case, it is about using the weaponized power of the FBI and DOJ to raid a former president's private residence. And to no one's real surprise these days, it's an American first that has some filled with glee.

On Tuesday, August 9th, 2022, dozens of heavily armed FBI agents and DOJ personnel, along with someone described as a "safe cracker," raided the home of a former president with the pretense of recovering documents from that former president. The documents were supposedly being recovered so that they can be stored in the National Archive. 

Please understand that we are not talking about raiding a home suspected of being a Meth Lab or conducting a Child Sex Trafficking operation. We are not talking about former First Lady Hillary Clinton, who deleted over 30,000 classified emails and used a bleaching program and hammer to ensure her records were destroyed. We also not talking about President Obama, who still has not turned over his classified documents as the law requires. And he left office in 2017.  

We are, in fact, talking about classified and presidential papers relating to the Presidency of Donald Trump while he was in office. We're talking about some of the papers that should end up in his Presidential Library one day. 

So what was so important about those papers? What made the National Archives ask the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct an unannounced raid on a former president's private residence? Why did the agents go through his private safe, search through the former First Lady's closets and clothing, confiscate Trump's private tax papers, and confiscate other personal items that have nothing to do with what is supposed to go into the National Archives? 

Most believe it was a "hunting expedition" of government agents looking to confiscate anything that can be considered incriminating evidence -- all to stop former President Trump from running again for the presidency in 2024. 

That's huge! That is a gigantic first in our nation's history because it has to do with the federal government using its law enforcement muscle as a political weapon against the political opponents of those in control of the White House and Congress. That's the sort of use of political power that should frighten Americans. 

This event is something that should make every American, no matter what their political leanings, question how such a heinous act could take place here. This event is something that every American should understand is a real threat to our Republic simply because it shows that our government has no restraints and is completely out of control. This act points to the reason why many in America today fear our government and believe its power needs to be reined in. 

Please understand that the actions of armed men and women storming a home of a former president over papers that will one day end up either in Trump's presidential library or the National Archives show that the government can use any excuse to raid and illegally search someone's home. This event demonstrates that no one is safe when the government consciously violates its oath to abide by the Constitution. 

My friends, dictatorships are known to use the power of their government's police to attack and intimidate their political rivals. In some cases, in Third World countries, those in power have even gone so far as to use their police to assassinate their political rivals. In dictatorships, acts such as what was done to former President Trump are commonplace. It happens when those in power fear that a political opponent is a threat to their power and position. 

Because others, including former President Obama, have not had their homes searched in the dark of the night under the threat of armed agents for their not turning over documents to the Nation Archives, this first in American History is a step that no one ever expected the Biden White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress to take in their efforts to stop former President Trump from running again for office.

HEADLINE: FBI raid on former president Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence is the First in Presidential History.

The FBI execution of a sealed search warrant at Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago home in Florida. The raid on Trump's home is unprecedented. The dozens of armed federal agents who carried out the raid, in fact unannounced, used a sealed search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. The agents did not give anyone at the residence any information as to what they were looking for. The agents told the folks there to turn off the security cameras, which they refused to do -- and most believe this was an effort by officials in the Biden Administration to find criminal evidence to use against the former president. The former president has faced a number of direct or indirect probes since leaving office, including the House January 6 Committee, which is still attempting to connect the former president with January 6, 2022, protesters who breached Capitol security that day.

According to reports, as for his presidential paper is concerned, Trump's lawyers notified the National Archives and Records Administration in February of 2022 that there were 15 boxes of documents stored at the former president's Florida residence. Trump's lawyers were instructed by the National Archives and Records Administration to ensure they were secure out of concern that some classified materials were "possibly" included with that material. According to some news outlets, the DOJ and FBI were instructed to use the "possibility" that more classified materials remained at the location as an excuse for the raid and storming of former president Trump's home.

Now for the rest of the story ...

A couple of days later, I was contacted by a reporter asking if this has ever happened before. She said that she worked for a newspaper and wanted to fact-check the story that this sort of event has never ever occurred before in American History. As we spoke, I told her that such a thing has never taken place in the United States. But, I did mention how the gleeful reactions from Democrats and other Trump haters witnessing the raid are very comparable to the reaction that Democrats had when they learned that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. Most back in 1865 were euphoric by the news.
We then talked about one staunch supporter of the Democratic Party who has a late-night television show. That show is "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." We talked about how the ecstatic host of that show expressed what has been described as "unbridled glee" over the news that former President Donald Trump's Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, was raided by the FBI.

During his show, Colbert giggled excitedly about the raid on former President Trump's home and then went on to say that the headline "FBI Agents raided…Mar-a-Lago" is the "most beautiful sentence America has ever produced." Believe it or not, the hate-filled host compared the raid on Trump's home to feeling like "It's Christmas."

The extremely animated Colbert, who is usually as dry as toast, was one of the most visible Democrats who were outright gleeful over the raid on the former president's home. Colbert, in fact, said on television that Trump had so many crimes to answer for. Yes, as stupid as it sounds, Colbert said, "I wonder which of his crimes they're investigating? Cause he's done so many." While Colbert used his television show to attack the former president, other Trump haters took to social media and other outlets to share their glee.

The reporter called and then asked me how Colbert and the reaction of Democrats, those who are extremely violent Trump haters, compared to President Lincoln being assassinated. I explained to her that the myth that "everyone in our nation was in mourning" after President Lincoln was murdered -- is just a myth. 

Let's remember, in 1854, Americans witnessed a historical first when they saw the creation of the anti-slavery Republican Party. What made the Republican Party different from other anti-slavery political organizations which were around for many years is that no one could have imagined that a president could have been elected on an ant-slavery platform. That was huge at the time. 

Democrats in the South broke away from the Union after Lincoln was elected. Those in the North, especially the Copperhead Democrats who ran many of the Northern newspapers, wanted to keep African slavery intact. They even fought to split the nation in two and allow slavery to remain in the South. During the Civil War, the Northern newspapers ran by Copperhead Democrats of the time were really no different than what CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and other Democrat-controlled media disseminate what they call the truth today. They hated Lincoln back in the day in the very same way that Democrats hate Trump today. And yes, they ruthlessly attacked and vilified Lincoln at every opportunity. 

That is not a myth, nor is it an exaggeration. Copperhead Democrat editors conducted smear campaigns against Lincoln, spread horrible rumors and straight-out lies about the president, incited violence against Lincoln's policies, called for Lincoln's impeachment, and even called for Lincoln's assassination. Yes, it wasn't really much different than what took place while President Donald Trump was in office.

President Abraham Lincoln was the first president to ever run and hold that office as a member of the Republican Party. He was also the first president to be assassinated. His killer was a Southern Democrat, an actor, a man who is said to have been influenced to carry out his deadly plot to kill the president by Copperhead Democrats who ran many of the Northern newspapers during the Civil War. 

While I've talked about firsts in American history and how Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865, was a first in American history, another first in our history has to do with the vile reaction of Democrats after President Lincoln's assassination. The fact is that Democrats actually praised John Wilkes Booth for shooting President Lincoln. So yes, while some did mourn after the assassination of the president -- others who hated Lincoln actually lauded his assassin. 

In fact, it was reported at the time that some supporters of John Wilkes Booth "publicly danced in the streets and rejoiced at the assassination of President Lincoln."

Political hatred is nothing new in American History. There have always been haters. And yes, my friends, on April 15th, 1865, a lot of them were Democrats who danced when they found out President Lincoln was shot to death. 

While most in the North conveyed what can only be considered "profound grief" at the news that Lincoln was killed by an assassin, it might be a surprise to many that President Abraham Lincoln was considered a "tyrant." One newspaper wrote at the time that he was "a tyrant who needed to be killed."

Instead of being seen as he would later as "the great emancipator" and the man who worked tirelessly to preserve the Union, Copperhead Democrats in the North echoed the sentiment of their brothers in the South, who wrote about how Lincoln "deserved a tyrant's death." In Texas, The Galveston News printed, "In the plentitude of his power and arrogance he was struck down, and is so ushered into eternity, with innumerable crimes and sins to answer for."

While it's understandable to expect such things coming out of Southern Democrats, one Copperhead Democrat in Massachusetts was reportedly so gleeful to hear of Lincoln being murdered that he horrified his neighbors by shouting, "They've shot Abe Lincoln! He's dead, and I'm glad he's dead." 

If you think it was only Democrats who universally enjoyed the news of Lincoln's assassination, George W. Julian, who was a Republican congressman from Indiana at the time, what we today would call a RINO, a "Republican In Name Only," is known to have said, "Lincoln's death is a God-send."
And yes, if you're wondering, there were even those in the Union Army who celebrated that Lincoln was shot. Probably one of the most noteworthy was a soldier by the name of James Walker, who was a member of the 8th California Infantry. The 8th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry was an infantry regiment in the Union Army during the Civil War. It was a unit that was raised late in the war, actually in the last year of the war. The 8th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry had its headquarters located initially at Alcatraz Island and spent almost all of its existence serving in posts around San Francisco Bay, the California Gold Country, and later in Washington Territory and Oregon. 

Upon hearing the news, James Walker allowed his hidden sentiments to rise to the occasion. In front of his Union Army comrades, he declared that Lincoln was a "Yankee son of a bitch who ought to have been killed long ago." Believe it or not, Walked was arrested, given an immediate court-martial, and sentenced to death by firing squad. He was very fortunate that an appeals court later commuted his sentence. 

Of course, he wasn't the only person in the Union Army to voice his glee that his Commander-In-Cheif was shot. Believe it or not, it's recorded that military officials dishonorably discharged dozens of enlisted men right after Lincoln's assassination for voicing their joy at hearing the sad news. One was a Michigan soldier stationed in Lincoln’s hometown. He was heard shouting, "The man who killed Lincoln did a good thing."

But really, let's be frank here, it shouldn't be surprising that some people celebrated Lincoln's death just as they celebrate that Trump's home was raided. President Lincoln became a martyr to freedom and nationalism alike. Yes, like Trump, Lincoln was a champion of nationalism. He held the nation together through the worst years that our nation has ever faced. While many issues caused the Civil War, and it was not just the issue of slavery, President Lincoln's opponents were Democrats who would have rather the United States dissolve itself than lose their precious Antebellum life.

As Democrats praise the attack on former President Trump's private residence, believe it or not, there are partisan politicians like the former head of the CIA who actually suggested that Trump should be executed if the FBI finds enough evidence to do so.

To such vile individuals, President Trump is a tyrant and an enemy. But really, what did President Trump do to deserve such hatred? Trump understands that Americans believe that we should address our problems and care about America first before we cater to the needs of other nations. He started a movement to refrigerate the American spirit, rebuild our nation's economic strength, and reestablish our manufacturing base. He sought to invigorate the belief that our founding principles are still valid and that our Capitalist system, a system that the rest of the world is embracing, is worth fighting for right here at home. To the Left, Trump and his supporters merely think that way is criminal.

President Trump's opponents are Democrats and other Leftist Anarchists who are against Americans looking after the needs and cares of America first before we worry about others. They are against American nationalism and those of us who identify and support our interests. Trump believes that our young people should be taught to love our country, honor our National Anthem, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, learn our Constitution, understand the Bill of Rights, and always remember that the government works for us -- and not the other way around. Democrats are against these things.

As in Lincoln's day, Trump's enemies are America's enemies from within. Today, their goal is to see the destruction of the United States while creating a Socialist America. As with those who would have been okay with destroying the United States under Lincoln, there are those today who would destroy America rather than lose their political power and see their dreams of a Socialist America end. 

I find it ironic that Democrats, and those Republicans In Name Only, fear former President Trump and the Republican Party today. Trump and the Republican Party are what are stopping the Democrats from creating a Socialist America. Democrats in the 1860s fought to keep slavery intact. Copperhead Democrats in the North during the Civil War tried to ensure that slavery would remain in place if the South rejoined the Union. 

Of course, the issue of slavery is extremely ironic when we consider the basic truth about Socialism. Socialism is slavery. What is the difference between the sort of slavery that Lincoln ended and the slavery which is Socialism? In a Socialist nation, the government would be our slave master. And of course, as we all know, historically, the Democratic Party 

So yes, when a reporter contacted me in regards to the reaction of Democrats today over events that happened with President Trump compared to their reaction to the assassination of President Lincoln, I explained to her that such an act excites those who vehemently hate someone for no rational reason. Their hate for Trump and his supporters is visceral. 

But then again, as I told the reporter, we should keep in mind that Democrats belong to a political party that has a history of being the political party of slave masters and hate for America and Capitalism. I explained to her why we should never forget that the Democratic Party has always been an oppressor of our individual rights and freedoms. After all, our history is replete with examples of their centuries-long fight against Women's Rights -- as well as their war against Civil Rights for Blacks. 

The point is that the euphoric reaction of Democrats to what happened to Trump recently or Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre should not surprise anyone. Actually, the reaction of Democrats is very predictable.

Tom Correa

Friday, July 29, 2022

Aboard a Whaling Ship, 1850

A story by Henry T. Cheever, Rev., 
Written in 1853.
"Thar She Blows!"

"The boat spun after him with almost the swiftness of a top..."

"For the first time in our now ten weeks' passage from the Hawaiian Islands, on this New Zealand Cruising Ground, we heard, day before yesterday, that life-kindling sound to a weary whaleman, THERE SHE BLOWS! The usual questions and orders from the deck quickly followed.

'Where away?'

'Two points on the weather bow!'

'How far off?'

'A mile and a half!'

'Keep your eye on her!'

'Sing out when we head right!'

It turned out that three whales were descried from aloft in different parts, and in a short time, when we were deemed near enough, the captain gave orders to 'Stand by and lower' for one a little more than half a mile to windward.

Three boats' crews pulled merrily away, glad of something to stir their blood, and with eager hope to obtain the oily material wherewith to fill their ship and make good their 'lay.' The whale was going leisurely to windward, blowing every now and again two or three times, then 'turning tail,' 'up flukes,' and sinking. The boats 'headed' after him, keeping a distance of nearly one-quarter of a mile from each other, to scatter (as it is called) their chances.

Fortunately, as the oarsmen were 'hove up,' that is, had their oars a-peak, about the place where they expected the whale would next appear, the huge creature rose hard by the captain's boat, and all the harpooner in the bow had to do was to plunge his two keen cold irons, which are always secured to one tow-line, into the monster's blubber-sides. This he did so well as to hit the 'fish's life' at once, and make him spout blood forthwith. It was the first notice the poor fellow had of the proximity of his powerful captors, and the sudden piercing of the barbed harpoons to his very vitals made him caper and run most furiously.

The boat spun after him with almost the swiftness of a top, now diving through the seas and tossing the spray, and then lying still while the whale sounded; anon in swift motion again when the game rose, for the space of an hour. During this time another boat 'got fast' to him with its harpoons, and the captain's cruel lance had several times struck his vitals. He was killed, as whalemen call it, that is, mortally wounded, an hour before he went into 'his flurry,' and was really dead or turned up on his back.

The loose boat then came to the ship for a hawser to fasten round his flukes; which being done, the captain left his irons in the carcass and pulled for the ship, in order to beat to windward, and, after getting alongside, to 'cut him in.' This done, and the mammoth carcass secured to the ship by a chain round the bitts, they proceeded to reeve the huge blocks that are always made fast for the purpose to the fore and main mast head, and to fasten the cutting-in tackle. 

he captain and two mates then went over the sides on steps well secured, and having each a breast-rope to steady them and lean upon. The cooper then passed them the long-handled spades, which he was all the time grinding and whetting, and they fell lustily to work chopping off the blubber.

Soon after we had finished cutting in, about eight o'clock in the evening, the wind increased almost to a gale, making it impossible to try out that night. But to-day, while the ship is lying to, the business has begun in good earnest; the blubber-men cutting up in the blubberroom; others pitching it on deck; others forking it over to the side of the 'try-works;' two men standing by a 'horse' with a mincing knife to cleave the pieces into many parts for the more easy trying out, as the rind of a joint of pork is cut by the cook for roasting: the boatsteerers and one of the mates are pitching it into the kettles, feeding the fires with the scraps, and bailing the boiling fluid into copper tanks, from which it is the duty of another to dip into casks.

The whale now taken proves to be a cow whale, forty-five feet long and twenty-five round, and it will yield between seventy and eighty barrels of right whale oil. This is about the ordinary size of the New Zealand whale, a mere dwarf in comparison with that of the northwest, which sometimes yields, it is said, three hundred barrels, ordinarily one hundred and fifty, or one hundred and eighty."

-- end of the article.

According to Eyewitness to History: In the days before the discovery of petroleum, whale oil supplied the fuel for the lamps that illuminated the nights in American homes. In addition, the whale was the source of a boney substance called baleen used in women's corsets, hairbrushes, buggy whips, collar stays, and various other products.

During the 19th century, whaling was a lucrative business and it made many East Coast seaports rich. Ports such as New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Nantucket thrived as their whaling ships roamed the seas of the world on voyages lasting up to four years. These special-purpose vessels were fast, rugged and versatile. Not only did they carry the equipment necessary for hunting and killing their prey, but the technology for processing, storing and preserving their catch until their return to port. They were the forerunners of today's factory ships

For the whaleman, it was a rough and dangerous life. Once a whale was sighted, the crew took to their whaleboats in pursuit with the immediate objective of harpooning their prey. If the harpooner successfully speared a victim, the whaleboat and its crew were treated to what was called a "Nantucket Sleigh Ride" as the whale dragged its hunters through the sea in an attempt to escape. After two to three hours of this rollercoaster ride, the whale would tire, be finished off and hauled to the mother ship. Here it was cut up and its blubber boiled down to yield its precious oil.

The author, Reverend Henry T. Cheever, was a missionary who, in 1850, was a passenger aboard the Commodore Preble, a whaling ship out of Boston, and recorded the experience of a whale hunt. 

Reverend Cheever's account appeared in Cheever, Henry T., The Whale and His Captors (1853); Stackpole, Edouard, A., The Sea-Hunters, The New England Whalemen During Two Centuries 1635-1835 (1953).

"Aboard a Whaling Ship, 1850," is from EyeWitness to History, (2004).

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Charles Eugene "Chip" Roy is a Great American

This is very good. 

Charles Eugene "Chip" Roy is an American attorney and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Texas's 21st congressional district. A member of the Republican Party, Roy took office on January 3, 2019. 

He does very well at handling those who want to neuter our 2nd Amendment and defund our police. 

Tom Correa


Sunday, July 24, 2022

America's Greatest Presidential Cover-Up 1919

President Woodrow Wilson

Since some of you have written to ask if it is possible that President Joe Biden could be a lot more ill than we are being led to believe, let's talk about America's greatest presidential cover-up and President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. Wilson suffered a couple of severe strokes while in office. And no, instead of turning over control of the presidency to the Vice President, his handlers and his second wife refused to do that. In fact, President Wilson remained in office, even though he was at one point considered completely incapacitated.

How long did he remain in the White House after his strokes? His first stroke was not that long after taking office. His last stroke, the one that put him out of commission, took place in 1919. He was kept in the Oval Office, even though he was incapacitated for over a year. Yes, all the way up until the end of his presidency in 1921.

Historians note that Wilson had a history of cerebrovascular disorders before entering the White House.
In fact, unknown to the public at the time, Wilson was a professor at Princeton when he suffered his first stroke in 1896. Wilson's first stroke created lasting medical problems, which included ongoing numbness in his fingers, a great deal of weakness and loss of dexterity in his right hand, and off-and-on pain down his right arm. That was 16 years before entering the White House.

When Wilson had his strokes while president, he was still relatively functional for a while. Of course, because of his problems with his right hand from his previous stroke, and then his left arm, Wilson was limited as far as writing was concerned. 

In 1910, Wilson was elected Governor of New Jersey. Then in 1912, Wilson was elected President of the United States. The president's physician was Dr. Cary Grayson. He was recommended for the position by President William Taft since Grayson served as a part of Taft's White House medical staff.

Researchers report that Woodrow Wilson had his first stroke in 1896, another stroke in 1902, again in 1906, again in 1913, in 1915, and two in 1919. In fact, Wilson was only in office less than a year before he had his first stroke while in office. Woodrow Wilson's first wife Ellen reportedly took charge of his care. She reportedly consulted with several experts at the time. 

In August of 1914, Ellen Wilson died of Bright's Disease, which is a kidney ailment. While President Wilson is said to have become depressed and despondent over his first wife's death, I find it interesting that just five months later, he remarried his second wife Edith. Some say she was his mistress before Ellen died.

During the summer of 1915, Wilson became ill and was found to have the "warning signs of an impending stroke." Most believe that he had a stroke at that time. Some say Wilson was in a state of denial, while others say he was covering up his condition. 

Then right after World War I, Wilson was on a public speaking tour when he collapsed. That was at 10pm on September 25, 1919. He had earlier that night given a speech pushing for the creation of the League of Nations in Pueblo, Colorado. We know that his staff rushed him to Washington D.C. the next day. The day they were traveling back to Washington, his private secretary Joseph Tumulty put out a statement cancelling the remainder of the President's speaking tour because the President was "suffering from a nervous reaction in his digestive organs."

As the president's train sped back to Washington, all aboard knew that Presiden Wilson had suffered another stroke. While he could still walk and was even seen tipping his hat while making his way through Washington's Union Station, it was at this point that Wilson's true condition was covered-up.

Now enters America's First Woman President and the Great Cover-Up of 1919

According to the White House website on First Families, "Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was the second wife of the 28th President, Woodrow Wilson. She served as First Lady from 1915 to 1921. After the President suffered a severe stroke, she pre-screened all matters of state, functionally running the Executive branch of government for the remainder of Wilson's second term."

So how did that take place? Well, with the help of the President's private physician, Dr. Grayson, who by then was elevated to the post of Surgeon General, First Lady Edith Wilson took control of the White House. That was the case from September 28th when they returned to Washington after that speaking engagement in Colorado. Then, on the morning of October 2nd, 1919, Edith woke to find her husband, the President, unconscious.

During the night, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke that left him blind in his left eye and his left side completely paralyzed. After being examined by Dr. Grayson, the doctor is said to have emerged from the president's bedroom with a horrible diagnosis. An extremely shocked Grayson reported, "My God, the president is paralyzed."

The First Lady and Dr. Grayson actually briefed the entire Cabinet and the president's political advisors together. During their discussion, it is said that the question of succession came up. Some say Edith had instructed Grayson not to sign an official notice of what took place. According to that story, when asked later to sign an official notice of disability, Grayson refused to sign anything that would effectively end the Wilson administration.

So, while there is disagreement about whose idea it was to withhold that information from the public, some say it was the First Lady, and others say it was Dr. Grayson and the president's senior political advisors, we do know that both they and the rest of the Wilson Cabinet worked in concert to deceive the American public regarding the extent of the President's actual medical incapacitation.

As for President Wilson, he finished his term in office through the actions of a cabal of actors all united with the intent of deceiving the public. Edith Wilson published her memoirs in 1939, and she called her actions after her husband became completely incapacitated "her stewardship." In her memoir, she stated emphatically that her husband's doctors, senior political advisors, and his entire Cabinet supported the cover-up. She supposedly just went along with the deception.

In 1921, both the President and First Lady left the White House and retired to a comfortable home in Washington. President Woodrow Wilson died there three years later. His second wife Edith died in 1961.

When asked my opinion about this by readers who want to know if this could ever happen again? My answer is simply this, probably. But really, I think it all depends on the amount of cooperation that the culprits get from the news media and inside the administration. I really believe that that's the only way such a cover-up would be perpetrated today. 

That's just how I see it.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The U.S. Constitution Is Always Under Attack

We must all beware of a Federal Government that has zero respect for the Constitution of the United States. We live in an age when we are being bombarded with outright lies and misleading information.

Sadly though, there are hidden threats found among those lies. For example, we are lied to by our government to such an extent that they have lost almost all credibility. Part and parcel of their lies is to vilify our Constitution by making it the cause of our problems -- as well as making it the item that's presenting us with limitations to finding working solutions to some of our problems today. 

That has taken place when politicians attack the Constitution itself, attack and demean its framers, and accuse the Bill of Rights of being antiquated and useless today. By making claims that are not true, some in Congress hope to fuel a desire of some on the Left to repeal the 2nd Amendment altogether. Those enemies of America repeat their claim that we would all have a safer America if we would only repeal the 2nd Amendment. They shout their hatred for gun rights and our need for self-protection while pushing the lie that there would be no school shootings or any other mass killings if the 2nd Amendment was repealed. 

Let's remember that attacks on our Constitution began even before it was ratified. Read some of "The Federalist Papers," and you'll see how much opposition there was to the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

While I'd like to say that the attacks on our Constitution have been solely political by power-hungry politicians, they haven't been. The federal government and the fights between the three branches of our government have sometimes acted out in ways that can only be called assaults on our Constitution.

The concept of our Constitution goes beyond a written formula for a fledgling nation to use while attempting to form a government. For most of us, those of us who are proud to be Americans, we believe that the Constitution of the United States encompasses our fundamental principles. It contains instructions to the government, warnings to the government, and of course, it contains limitations to the federal government. But, it also tells the government, that we, the citizens of the United States of America, have a right to live life as we please. Our Constitution tells the government how Americans see our freedoms. As for its "spirit," the Supreme Court has upheld several statutes stating that the Constitution enables laws to be "in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution."

Friends, we have a Constitution that has been attacked at tested many times over our history as a nation. For example, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 provided our nation with our first real tests of the limits of freedom of speech and the press. The Sedition Act was a set of four laws that made it a crime for American citizens to "print, utter, or publish...any false, scandalous, and malicious writing" about the federal government. Thankfully, it was repealed. It was not in the spirit of our Constitution. 

As for presidents testing their ability to violate our Constitution? It is still believed by some Constitutional scholars that President Thomas Jefferson violated the Constitution when he authorized the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. And during the Civil War, President Abe Lincoln was accused of violating our Constitution when he took it upon himself to call for enlistments without seeking Congressional authority. And no, that wasn't the only time that he was accused of infringing on the rights of Americans. 

Joe Biden has said, "The Constitution is not absolute" and "the 2nd Amendment has always limited what Americans can own in the way of guns." We should be concerned when politicians, especially a president, fail to see the importance of our Constitution as an "absolute." Yes, especially since politicians have tried attacking our Constitution for their own gains over the years. 

Take into consideration, for example, President Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War. Called the "Great Writ" in law, habeas corpus is a fundamental right in the Constitution that protects all of us against unlawful and indefinite imprisonment. Habeas corpus has historically been vital to safeguarding American and preserving our individual freedom against arbitrary executive power.

President Lincoln suspended the "writ of habeas corpus" to give military authorities the necessary power to silence dissenters and rebels. His action was declared "un-Constitutional." He did so without the authority to do so. That was seen as a clear-cut case of violating the Constitution to fit his needs. And no, he wasn't the last president to violate the Constitution to meet his own agenda.

Of course, sometimes we, the citizens of the United States of America, forget the basic reason for creating our Constitution. We also forget the fact that the same reason why our Constitution exists is also the very same reason why politicians have relentlessly attacked it from its creation. That reason is simply that our Constitution is an operating manual for the federal government that limits government powers to stop the abuse of power of those in office. The Constitution is all about limiting government overreach. 

So no, no one should be surprised if Joe Biden sees the Constitution as an impediment to his governing. Frankly, no one should be surprised that a career politician like Joe Biden would say something totally un-American as "The Constitution is not absolute." After all, the Constitution limits what he can get away with.

And as for his statement, "the Second Amendment was never absolute." Biden should remember the words of the Second Amendment, as it states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This is important since the 2nd Amendment is the only Amendment that uses such language as "shall not be infringed." 

And by the way, what we, the citizens of the United States of America, sometimes forget is that the language in the 2nd Amendment is not directed at us. It is directed directly at the federal government as a warning. It tells Joe Biden and politicians like him who want to infringe on our right to bear arms, don't. 

Americans don't have to justify why we need whatever firearm we want to own. That's our private business. The government has no right according to the Constitution to ask why we want to own a gun, or what we are going to use it for. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, which means "shall not be violated by the government." 

Beware of a federal government that has zero respect for the Constitution. If for some reason, out of some ill-advised notion, those in power feel they can violate and possibly repeal the 2nd Amendment of our Bill of Rights, then they will try it. And if they are actually successful, then they will not see anything stopping them from violating and possibly repealing any of our other rights as spelled out in our Bill of Rights. 

This is why citizens must be vigilant of what those in power are doing. 

Tom Correa

Saturday, July 16, 2022

1895 -- 8th Grade Final Exam & Answers -- Subject Biology

A Completed 8th Grade Final Exam 
Salina, Kansas, 1895

Here is a completed 8th Grade Final Exam -- Subject: Biology 

Biology (Time, 45 minutes) 

1. Where are the saliva, gastric juice, and bile secreted? What is the use of each in digestion? 
a.) Saliva is secreted in the mouth by the salivary glands. Saliva is a somewhat alkaline fluid that moistens the mouth, softens food, and aids in digestion. The submaxillary glands are located around the mouth under the lower jaw, the sublingual glands are located beneath the tongue, and the parotid glands are found in front of each ear. The buccal glands, in the cheeks near the front of the mouth, also secrete saliva. 
b.) Gastric juice is a thin, strongly acidic (pH varying from 1 to 3), almost colorless liquid secreted by the glands in the lining of the stomach. Its essential constituents are the digestive enzymes pepsin and rennin, hydrochloric acid, and mucus. Pepsin converts proteins into simpler, more easily absorbed substances; it is aided in this by hydrochloric acid, which provides the acid environment in which pepsin is most effective. Rennin aids the digestion of milk proteins. Mucus secreted by the gastric glands helps protect the stomach lining from the action of gastric juice. Gastric secretion is stimulated by a number of hormones and chemical substances, by the presence of food in the stomach, and by a number of psychological factors, such as the smell of a favorite food. 
c.) Bile is a yellowish-brown or green fluid secreted by the liver in the bile duct. This liquid carries away waste from the processes of the liver and helps in the digestive process. 

2. How does nutrition reach the circulation? 

Nutrients reach the circulation by absorbtion thru the intestinal walls. The main purpose of the intestines it to take the partially digested food from the stomach and convert it into energy. The small intestine is about 20 feet long. The small intestine is divided into three sections, the duodenum, the jejunum and ileum. The small intestinal glands secrete intestinal juices that helps with the digestive process. The liver dumps bile into the small intestine through the bile duct. The pancreas secretes pancreatic enzymes into the small intestine. Bile and the pancreatic enzymes break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates. This partially digested mixture empties into the large intestine through an opening the ileocecal valve. The large intestine is about 4 1/2 feet long. The large intestine is divided into six parts. They are the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and the rectum. The large intestines main purpose is to further digest the food, releasing nutrients into the blood and to absorb fluids. 

3. What is the function of the liver? Of the kidneys? 
a.) The liver is the center for the storage of vitamins and nutrients which were disolved and digested in the intestines. The nutrients are carried to the liver by two large veins. Blood passes through the liver at a rate of about 1 1/2 quarts per minute. At any given time the liver contains about 10% of all the blood in your body. The liver is divided into two main parts called lobes. The liver is protected by the bottom part of the ribs on the right side of your chest and the liver weighs between 3 and 4 pounds.The liver also works to make bile. Bile is used to break down fats in the small intestine. The bile is stored in the gall bladder until it is needed to help digest the food you eat. If you eat a real fatty food your body will need more bile to help digest those fats than it would need in comparison to a salad or some fruit. 
b.) The kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the lower back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys are sophisticated trash collectors. Every day, the kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine, which flows to the bladder through tubes called ureters. The bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom. The wastes in the blood come from the normal breakdown of active muscle and from the food we eat. Our body uses the food for energy and self-repair. After our body has taken what it needs from the food, waste is sent to the blood. If our kidneys did not remove these wastes, the wastes would build up in the blood and damage our body.

4. How would you stop the flow of blood from an artery in the case of laceration? 
If the laceration is in an arm or a leg, I would apply a tourniquet around the limb between the laceration and the heart, tightening it until the flow was stopped, loosening the tourniquet every 10 minutes to let blood pass to nourish the cells beyond the tourniquet, at the same time applying pressure over the laceration with a cloth pad to staunch the loss of blood. 
A laceration of the arteries of the neck obviously cannot be tourniqueted, so the only thing that can be done is to apply pressure with a cloth pad. Loss of blood and oxygen to the brain can quickly lead to death.

5. Give some general directions that you think would be beneficial to preserve the human body in a state of health.
a.) Regular meals of a variety of foods, both animal and vegetable. I like a lot of vegetables and fruits. b.) Regular Exercise, which I get a lot of on the farm every day. Regular exercise keeps the muscles, heart and lungs in good tone. 
c.) Regular Rest of from 7 to 8 hours sleep a night 
d.) Regular personal hygiene, brushing teeth, washing skin and hair with good soap, etc. everyday. We usually get one good bath a week at home, heating well water on the stove, but in summer we swim in the river every day, and wash there. 
e.) Regular times of ease, prayer and meditation each day also help me to think about and solve the problems of the day. God sometimes gives me answers to problems that I can't solve by myself, and teaches me to ask for help with things I don't know, from my parents and my teacher, and others that do know. It is great fun learning things that I don't know!

--- end of 1895 8th Grade Final Exam and Answers 

Time to take this exam: 45 Minutes

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Democrats, $6 Gas & $25 Alfalfa In 2022

It is getting harder and harder to put up with the stupidity of Democrats in an era when we have President Biden who can only read a teleprompter, not think for himself, and not see the harm that he is doing to our nation. 

We live in an era when Democrats want to eliminate the word "Mother" and substitute it with the phrase "Birthing Person." This is a time when Democrats see nothing wrong with allowing Drag Queens in elementary schools, allowing doctors to kill babies at birth, and allowing teachers to indoctrinate very young children in ways that are directly against the wishes of parents. It is an era when lunatic Democrats have found a way to get the President of the United States to halt domestic drilling for oil. 

To Democrats, those are all positives that our nation should embrace. And as ludicrous as it sounds, Democrats cannot fathom why Americans see them as out of touch, perverted and dangerous to our society.

Democrats don't see America as a land of good people. They see America as a land of slavery, racism, and lack of opportunity. They see America as a nation that needs a totalitarian Centralized Government in the form of an all-powerful federal government. They see Americans as children who need to be regulated and cared for. They refuse to see the goodness of individual liberty, the need for our assurances to safeguard us against government tyranny as stipulated in the Bill of Rights, or the greatness of our founding principles.

Democrats want to destroy America. That is not a secret as more and more Democrat politicians and their supporters have come forward to say that we need to dissolve our Constitution and deny basic freedoms to those who oppose them. In the same way that the Nazis destroyed the independence of the press in Germany with a series of draconian laws, Democrats are using draconian Environmental protection policies to limit our output of domestic oil. They understand that oil is the life-blood of our nation, and that's why they are attacking America's oil industry.  

It does not matter to Democrats that our oil industry provides 2.5 million high-paying American jobs, that the oil industry supports 11.3 million other American jobs, or that our oil industry accounts for about 8% of the American economy. In fact, on February 8th, 2020, Biden told a rally that he wanted to "get rid of fossil fuels." Before that, in 2020 during a Democrat debate, Biden emphatically promised his supporters that he would wage war on American energy dominance. In fact, he said, "No more subsidies for fossil fuel energy, no more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period." To give his Democrat supporters what they want, during Biden's first few days in office, he signed executive orders to shut down our oil industry. 

Because we are under attack, America has gone from a self-reliant oil producer with energy independence to now being forced to rely on other nations for our energy needs. And more so, by stopping the production of American oil, we are now facing shortages in raw materials that enable American manufacturing to produce the thousands of petroleum products that we use every day.

What have Democrats accomplished? Nothing good for America! 

Their domestic policies are responsible for Americans paying an average of $6 a gallon of gasoline and almost $7 a gallon of diesel fuel. This has increased the price of goods and food, and placed a hardship on blue-collar Americans. No, wealthy celebrities don't feel the pain that we do. They don't see anything wrong with the Democrat policies that have us paying so much at the pump. Wealthy Democrats can afford to pay more. 

Of course, Democrats can't see the big picture. They mostly live in cities and mainly see Americans as being urban people. Democrats don't understand what it takes for a farmer to grow food. In fact, I believe most Democrats have no idea of the hardship that they are placing on our agriculture producers because of their Environmental policies. I really believe they don't care what hardship others face. 

Democrat policies are the reason that people are having to plant their own gardens and work harder than before. Their policies are the reason that people are now having to sacrifice and go with less. Democrat policies are the reason that I paid $25 for a bale of alfalfa today. And while the Rescue Horses that I have are not even the slightest concern of wealthy Democrats who are always professing to be so caring, I blame Democrats for my having to look at the possibility of getting rid of the few Rescue Horses that I care for. Because of Democrats, I can't afford to feed the few Rescue Horses that I have. No, not at $25 a bale because fuel prices are so high. 

Am I angry about this? You damn right I am. I am very angry about that. I'm angry because this does not need to happen to us. We are a nation that sits on some of the world's largest oil reserves. And now, because of Biden and his Democrat friends, because of their insane Environmental policies, American agriculture can't afford to produce our food. 

Biden and his Democrat friends think this is not serious. Some of them even laugh about it while lying about who is responsible for this disaster. Well, I hope they pay in November. As for me, I will vote for any Republican who is against their policies. 

Tom Correa