Hopedale History
    September 15, 2013
    No. 236
    Captain Draper on the Mississippi

    Hopedale in September  (Several of the photos taken this month have bits of Hopedale history in their

    A photo trip along Dutcher Street with scenes from long ago.   

    Finished at last! I now have all of the ezines on my Hopedale site. Here's a link to the menu.

    The Howarth sisters were the subject of No. 230.  I came across more on them at the library, so I've
    done a page on them with articles from the 1939 season added to what I sent in June. Here it is. The
    1939 article mentions that about 800 people lined the banks of Hopedale Pond to watch the event.

    Article by Dick Grady on the history of the Mendon town well and the Joy fount. The fount was donated
    by Mrs. Charlotte Joy, mother-in-law of General Draper.

    Since No. 235, I've made additions to Caboose Houses (Photos from enlargement and renovation of
    the Overdale Parkway caboose house.)     Aerosmith again. "We'd like to be rich and famous," said
    Joe in 1971. "Actually we're a pretty conservative group..." said Tom in the same Worcester Gazette
    article. Click here to read it. It's near the bottom of the page.

    From Charlie Dennett -  Tthe HHS alumni has an updated web site at http://www.hopedale-alumni.
    org/index.html  They are looking for class pictures and other info. If you've got any, consider sending
    then in. There's an email address on the web site.


    On a tract of land covering the easterly side of Darling Hill, paths and trails are in the process of
    construction. The roadway extending from Freedom Street, the highest point of land in town (525 ft.
    above sea level) is well underway, more than 1800 ft. having been completed. From points adjoining
    this road may be seen The Great Blue Hills, Dean Academy, Sharon Heights, Cumberland Hill,
    Peppercorn Hill, Wachusett Mountain, Wigwam and Miscoe Hills, as well as a large stretch of
    surrounding country. Report of the Park Commissioners, 1917.

    Miss Lillian M. Sinclair, the school nurse, began work on September 15th, 1919. 339 pupils were
    examined with Dr. Knight, the school physician. 319 notices were sent home; 250 had defective teeth,
    15 adenoids, 41 abnormal tonsils, 4 impetego, 1 St. Vitus Dance, 1 acne, 1 coryza. Examinations for
    pediculosis were made and some cases found. These were kept at home for a few days for scalp
    treatment. Report of the School Superintendent, Carroll Drown, 1919.


                                       Captain Draper on the Mississippi   

    For the sake of a little variety, and because he has some good tales to tell, I thought I'd send
    something from General Draper's autobiography this time. The incidents related below took place
    150 years ago. He was a captain at the time. Shortly later, he was promoted to major.

    One more anecdote and I leave Kentucky. One day on picket I got some broiled chicken at the house
    of a very good looking woman, who was much interested in seeing Yankee soldiers. I had in my
    haversack a copy of Harper's Weekly, with the usual number of illustrations, which surprised her, as
    she had never seen a "picture paper" before. I presented it to her, and in the course of the
    conversation asked if she had ever been to Lexington, the nearest town of any size, perhaps fifty miles
    away. "No," she had never been beyond the nearest village, and did not care to visit, "Greenland, or
    South America, or any of those cold counties." She evidently thought that all the countries in the world
    were "counties" of the state of Kentucky.

    We left Louisville the morning after arrival, and went by freight, as usual, to Cairo, Ill., where we
    embarked on the steamer Meteor, and commenced our trip down the Mississippi. We were stopped
    to show our papers at Columbus and Island No. 10, and passed Belmont, New Madrid, and Fort
    Pillow - historic ground. I wrote, "The fortifications of  Island No. 10 are not as formidable as those at
    Roanoke." I was impressed with the loneliness of the Mississippi, where it seemed at times as
    though we were its first explorers. The banks of the river were lined with dense forests interspersed
    with cane brakes, and hours went by without a sign of human habitation.

    Two days brought us to Memphis, where we went ashore and found a lively city, - made especially so
    by being the base of supplies for our army at Vicksburg. Here with my company I was detached
    temporarily to guard the steamer Express on its way down. This steamer was loaded with stores, and
    had on board also Colonel Comstock of General Grant's staff, and two ladies, wives of high officers,
    en route to visit their husbands, and about two hundred teamsters, a most unruly and undisciplined
    lot of men. Vessels were fired on from the banks daily, and our pilot house and other parts of the boat
    were protected by bales of hay. We, however, got through to Sherman's Landing, in plain sight of
    Vicksburg, in three days, without being disturbed from the outside, though I had a mutiny among the
    teamsters, who refused to be bound by regulations confining them to a certain part of the boat. They
    invaded the cabin, where I was with my officers, and threatened to throw us overboard. Lieutenant
    Holmes and I drew pistols and backed up against the wall, while Lieutenant Tucker escaped by a
    rear door and alarmed the company. There was shouting and calling of bad names but no overt act,
    as they knew such a move meant death to two or more of them. The time seemed an age, but was
    very brief, before Lieutenant Tucker arrived with twenty men with loaded guns and fixed bayonets. I
    then ordered the teamsters to leave the cabin and enforced the order by a bayonet charge, no one
    being seriously hurt, but the cabin was cleared in short notice. I then went about with a squad of men,
    arrested the ringleaders, and put them in irons, and the incident terminated. My men told me that
    some of the mutineers threatened to kill me later, but such threats in the army are not usually
    dangerous. William F. Draper, Recollections of a Varied Career, pp. 106 - 108.

   More on General Draper               Ezine Menu                    HOME   

    The Battle of Island No. 10  No, Draper wasn't in that battle.
    My feeble excuse for using this is that he mentioned passing
    the area later, and it seemed like a good picture to use.