A brief look at a great visionary whom back in the day immigrated to America and would shape its history. The African American history during this time is quite unique also. Elihu died of his wounds a few days later, but Ellis was sent to the infamous Andersonville Prison where he survived 4 months and would have been present when the picture shown below was taken before being part of a prisoner exchange in the fall of 1864. Suffering from scurvy and so thin “he could push on his stomach and touch his backbone”.
He received 30 days leave which he used to return home to Iowa to marry before re-joining his regiment for the final days of the war culminating in the Grand Parade through Washington, D.C. in April 1865 He also found his life handicapped by injuries received during the war, but lived to a ripe old age, passing away in 1912.Other of our ancestors emigrated to America as a result of the persecution that followed Shay’s Rebellion in Ireland at the turn of the 18th Century. One of their descendants – another great-great-grandfather, Robert Cross was a member of the Illinois State Legislature from the 1840s to the 1860s, a contemporary of Lincoln in that legislative body and a member of the Illinois State Constitutional Conventions. Our ancestors farmed, ran businesses and worked the railroads in New York State, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, California, Arizona, and the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Many other family and friends have served in the defence of America and Canada during the past 200 years. Equally important are those who’ve served their countries by helping to build their countries. Farmers who’ve fed their nations and the world. Railroaders who transported the people and the products of a free and powerful continent. In our own generation we’ve worked in the arts, music, finance, technology and historical research. In keeping with this, we try to touch on all aspects of American and African American Life. We’ve spent long hours carefully sorting through the thousands of photographs, films, books, documents, maps and posters that in their piecemeal way tell the tale of the history of America. While no single CD-ROM can begin to tell the entire story of a place or time, it can give you an amazing glimpse into that world. As we’ve immersed ourselves in the research and construction of this blog.
Like a journey through a time machine allowing insights into an era unlike any other. To truly understand a moment in history you must see the world as the people of that time saw it, through their eyes, not through the distortion of a hundred years or the prejudices of modern historians or filmmakers, but to see it in the way that they did. If in some small way we can provide that view, then we’ve provided a unique portal into American History unlike any other. The African community also had a huge role to play in the construction activities and they were evidently the backbone of whatever America was and is today.