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Powell, George May (1835-1905) to Emma C. Small

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00687.011 Author/Creator: Powell, George May (1835-1905) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 9 August 1864 Pagination: 6 p. ; 25.8 x 20.1 cm.

Summary of Content: re: He writes of the power of submitting to the will of God. He describes his month-long furlough spent writing and publishing a speech for the campaign about taxation, "Facts and Figures for the Hour." He refers to the "Iron Brigade," Wisconsin troops organized by McClelland who voted for Lincoln, the Indiana conspiracy, visiting the Army of Potomac and of the James, as well as a new religious interest among army troops.

Background Information: Powell was a Lincoln supporter and served as a statistician in the Treasury Department during the Civil War. He was an inventer, social reformer, evangelical, entrepreneur, pacifist, and archaeologist. His ...philosophy and life combined social Christianity and capitalist enterprise. The Republican Party in the 1864 election used Powell's 1863 article, favorably comparing American wartime excise taxes with those of other countries at peace. His photographic montage of supporters of the Thirteenth Amendment (included in this collection) was very popular. Active in religious work as a young man, he was the secretary and manager of the Evangelistic Press Association and led a topographical corps through Egypt and North Africa to create Sunday School maps of Palestine and the Holy Land. He invented many devices both during and after the Civil War, and pursued economic ventures in enterprises such as the Cordell Life Limb company, providing prosthetics for Civil War veterans. After the war he founded the Evangelical Press Association in 1868, led the Oriental Topographical Corps in an archaeological expedition to Egypt and Palestine in 1873 (publishing colored maps and lecturing widely after his return), and ran unsuccessfully for Congress on the Prohibition Ticket. He worked to promote fireproof structures and participated in the American Forestry Commission, the Grange and Patrons of Husbandry, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the National Geographic Society. He was active in Sabbath reform work.
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People: Powell, George May

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Reform MovementReligionWomen's HistoryMilitary HistoryTaxes or TaxationCivil WarSoldiers and CiviliansGovernment and CivicsUnion ForcesUnion GeneralElection

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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