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What did Americans sound like during the Civil War?

Until the Civil War the average American spent their entire lives within a 15 mile radius of where they were born. Also, the entire federal government ran on the taxes from the sale of liquor, tobacco and firearms. Except for a brief period when their was an income tax. My have things changed.

The church was also the first media outlet. And it is only because William R. Rathvon worked for the Christian Science Church and the church’s recording equipment that we can hear his recollection of hearing the Gettysburg Address as a 9 year old. Lest I forget William R. Rathvon travelled. Raised in PA, he lived in Colorado, followed his wife into Christian Science. And its only because of his being there and traveling and being exposed to new technology are we, many generations later, able to hear what Americans sounded like during the Civil War.

the entire recording is here.

William V Rathvon led an interesting life.

Before she died I interviewed my grandmother on tape. My grandmother left with her sister, aunt and uncle on a picnic and kept traveling west. She left “the pale’ in Russia and kept traveling to America. In the year 1899 or 1900. She never saw her parents or her other 9 other brothers and sisters again. My grandmother was the toughest person I have ever met. She was fearless. In the 1960’s in Miami Beach she is walking in the lobby of the Fountainbleu Hotel. A large black man stops in front of her. She looks up, he looks down and says, “Do you know who I am?” She replies No. He replies. “I am champion of the world”, My grandmother says, “That’s nice now get out of my way”. All 4′ 10″ of her, totally fearless. My grandmother left a farm on ahorse and buggy and traveled by ship, to grow up and experience electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, air conditioning, automobiles, air travel, radio, television, and a lot more. She went from an agrarian life with no technology to an urban life with all the modern conveniences of recent days.

History has shown America works better when we have more immigration. Immigrants are more fearless then native born Americans. America has always had more prosperity when immigrants like my grandmother arrived and prospered. Immigrants are fearless. We should welcome them.

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