#OnThisDay: Martin Luther and the Reformation

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Front paper of the German Bible belonging to Gertrude Rapp, from the Talley-Nix Family collection (MSS 173), 1805. Source: University Archives and Special Collection.

Front paper of the German Bible belonging to Gertrude Rapp, from the Talley-Nix Family collection (MSS 173), 1805. Source: University Archives and Special Collection.

On this day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed Ninety-Five Theses at Schlosskirche in Wittenberg in the Holy Roman Empire, in present-day Germany (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninety-five theses). Today, this is the start of the Reformation. Luther did not believe his theses would cause a call; however, it caused a major schism in Christianity between Catholics and newly created “Protestants”. Luther posted his theses because of his disagreement with the concept of indulgences friars sold them to the masses because they were used for “… the forgiveness of sins” (Hillerbrand, Martin Luther). This was Luther’s protest and it caught on throughout the Holy Roman Empire and eventually Switzerland and England (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Reformation). The focus between Catholics and Protestants’ disagreement was over the concept of “… the perversion of the church’s doctrine of redemption and grace” (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Reformation).

Because of the Reformation, numerous sects came out of the movement such as the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Calvinists, Anglicans, Mennonites, just to name a few (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Reformation).

Inside of the German Bible from the Talley-Nix Family collection (MSS 173), 1805. Source: University Archives and Special Collection.

Inside of the German Bible from the Talley-Nix Family collection (MSS 173), 1805. Source: University Archives and Special Collection.

This particular Bible is located in the Talley-Nix Family collection. It was published in 1805. Martin Luther, the influential figure in the Protestant Reformation, translated and published the first German Bible with the New Testament in 1522; however, the publication of Old and New Testament did not occur until 1534 (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, Biblical translation).

References

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (2017, January 20). Biblical translation. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/biblical-translation

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (2016, May 13). Ninety-five theses. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/event/Ninety-five-Theses

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (2017, February 15). Reformation. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/event/Reformation

Hillerbrand, H. J. (2017, August 3). Martin Luther. Martin Luther. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Martin-Luther#toc351950main

Posted in #OnThisDay, New Harmony, Religion | Leave a comment

Love at War

*Post written by Brady Bolinger, student assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Miss Mary,

I take the pleasure of writing you a few times, though I fear the liberty I have taken will not meet with your approbation, if not, I hope you will be kind enough to inform me of the fact. I think we are sufficiently acquainted with each other to consider ourselves friends at least, and as such it would be a great pleasure to me to correspond with you for I delight to correspond with those I love and respect. But if you think to grant this request would be doing injustice to your feelings, and would afford no pleasure for you, please forgive me for asking.

Miss Mary, should you grant this request it will be a source of engagement to me. Since our first acquaintance, I have constantly longed for. Though should the decision of your better judgement forbid your granting it, it will be my place to peaceably submit when informed of the fact which I hope you will do at the first opportunity.

Please write soon, so that I may not be kept in suspense. Will you do me the kind favor of keeping this a secret? Please excuse all imperfections.

Yours truly,

Henry Peckinpaugh

Family photograph of the Peckinpaugh family: Henry Peckinpaugh, Mollie Peckinpaugh, Harry Peckinpaugh, Flora Peckinpaugh, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections (MSS 069-009)

Family photograph of the Peckinpaugh family: Henry, Mollie, Harry, and Flora Peckinpaugh, n.d. Source: University Archives and Special Collections (MSS 062-009)

Amongst my generation, a common sentiment looms over long-distance relationships. Even with the access to instant communication, most think that distance between partners is inevitably going to bring the relationship to a grinding halt. However, a collection of letters between a Miss Mary “Mollie” Emmick and Mr. Henry Peckinpaugh, found in the University of Southern Indiana Archives and Special Collections, follows the journey of a friendship separated by the American Civil War and fueled by desire.

Henry Peckinpaugh is an Indiana University Law graduate who spent most of his life in Albany, IN. In the early years of the American Civil War, Henry joined the Union, traveling all across the southern United States defending his country’s honor. Miss Emmick was a young woman that Henry knew prior to the war who he asked to be his personal correspondent.

Henry, in his first letter to Mollie, pleads to her asking that she would be willing to write letters back and forth. Throughout their time of correspondence, their relationship was not an easy one. One letter in particular from the collection reads that Henry had not heard from Mollie in quite some time, while he had written several times, which caused him to lose patience with her.

You can probably think of a time or two where this has happened to you and that is because communication is still a major factor in every relationship. It is this reason that I find this collection so inspiring. Despite being separated by huge distances, and an extremely small line of communication, Henry and Mollie were dedicated to each other, and were able to surpass their issues by focusing on what it would mean to finally close the distance that separated them for so long.

Posted in American history, Civil War, Evansville, Indiana, Indiana history, Student Assistants | Leave a comment

#OnThisDay: Ray Ryan Murder

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Officials/investigators inspect the mangled remains of a car behind the electric substation on Bellemeade Ave., near the Hale & Sons Auto Parts store, Lawndale Branch, at 5009 Bellemeade Ave. Given the location, date, and shape of the car, this is most probably the murder of Ray Ryan, a man in the oil business and a gambler. He went to his health club (Olympia Health and Beauty Resorts, Inc. at 4920 Bellemeade Ave.) the morning of Oct. 18, 1977, and when he came out and started his car, it exploded. The murder was not solved, but is widely believed to have been a mob hit., 1977. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, MSS 038-1732.

Mangled remains of a Ray Ryan’s car behind the electric substation on Bellemeade Avenue, 1977. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, MSS 038-1732.

On this day in 1977, Evansville and the Mob had a violent encounter because one person: Ray Ryan. Ryan was a local oilman and had his wealth in oil. On this day, a bomb exploded inside of Ryan’s car, killing him instantly. His murder occurred outside of a health club near 4920 Bellemeade Avenue: as of March 21, 1997, the Ray Ryan murder was never been solved (Browning Genealogy Database, n.d.).

Ryan was originally from Watertown, Wisconsin until coming to Evansville, Indiana in the 1930’s; however, he was a local celebrity in Evansville but he had celebrity friends such as William Holden and John Wayne (Davis, 1977a). Ryan is best known as “Mr. Palm Springs” because “… in the early 1960s and was the largest single developer” (Heiman, 1977). He had numerous investments in various places throughout the world such as Mount Kenya Safari Club in East Africa (Davis, 1977a), Lake Malone, Kentucky, Jamaica, and many more (Heiman, 1977).

Man sweeping and shoveling debris from an automobile and putting it into a box for investigation purposes. Next to him is an Evansville Fire Department employee, and other law enforcement officials are nearby, some inspecting the mangled remains of the car. Given the location, date, and shape of the car, this is most probably the murder of Ray Ryan, a man in the oil business and a gambler. He went to his health club (Olympia Health and Beauty Resorts, Inc. at 4920 Bellemeade Ave.) the morning of Oct. 18, 1977, and when he came out and started his car, it exploded. The murder was not solved, but is widely believed to have been a mob hit, 1977. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, MSS 038-1729.

Murder scene of Ray Ryan on 4920 Bellemeade Avenue, 1977. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, MSS 038-1729.

He had been involved in a two major court cases 1964 and 1970 because of his “… involving contact with the alleged underworld” and served time in prison (Davis, 1977b). He testified for the U.S. Justice Department against Las Vegas gamblers in 1971 (“Car blast kills Ray Ryan”, 1977) and Johnny Rosselli, a fellow mobster (Bagbey and Marynell, 2012).

If you are curious and want to read more about this case, check out Mob Murder of America’s Greatest Gambler by Herb Marynell and Steve Bagbey. A copy is available at Rice Library.

Man gathering debris from a mangled automobile and putting it into a box for investigation purposes. Given the location, date, and shape of the car, this is most probably the murder of Ray Ryan, a man in the oil business and a gambler. He went to his health club (Olympia Health and Beauty Resorts, Inc. at 4920 Bellemeade Ave.) the morning of Oct. 18, 1977, and when he came out and started his car, it exploded. The murder was not solved, but is widely believed to have been a mob hit., October 8, 1977. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, MSS 034-1728.

Murder scene of Ray Ryan, 1977. Source: University Archives and Special Collections, MSS 038-1728.

References

Bagbey, S. and Marynell, H. (March/April 2012). His cheating heart. Evansville Living. Retrieved from http://www.evansvilleliving.com/articles/his-cheating-heart

Browning Genealogy Database (n.d.) Ryan, Ray. Retrieved from http://browning.evpl.org/

Car blast kills Ray Ryan (1977, October 18). The Evansville Press. Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/image/v2:1425EEB9C7F2D85F@EANX-NB-1463547B233D43A2@2443435-14634B17AF31AC03@0-14634B17AF31AC03@?p=WORLDNEW

Davis, R. (1977, October 19). Holden shocked by Ryan’s slaying. The Evansville Courier. Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/image/v2:1425EEA2CB57B634@EANX-NB-154D5EA649C65CB5@2443436-1549C3250254C124@19-1549C3250254C124@?p=WORLDNEWS

Davis, R. (1977, October 19). Stars, mobsters knew him. The Evansville Courier. Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/image/page/v2:1425EEA2CB57B634@EANX-NB-154D5EA649C65CB5@2443436-1549C30571CE7011@0?p=WORLDNEWS

Heiman, R. (1977, October 19). Ray Ryan had business interests in many parts of world. The Evansville Press. Retrieved from http://infoweb.newsbank.com/resources/doc/nb/image/v2:1425EEB9C7F2D85F@EANX-NB-1463547C17C1AB6D@2443436-14634B9013945694@4-14634B9013945694@?p=WORLDNEWS

Posted in #OnThisDay, Crime, Evansville, Indiana, history | Leave a comment

#ArchivesFest Sneak Peek: Historical Artifacts

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

*PowerPoint created by Maggie Scully, student assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

On the final day of ArchivesFest, we are going to show off some of the artifacts that have been donated to UASC over the decades. Come and check out an old spittoon from the L&N Train Depot, an ISUE megaphone signed by legendary basketball coach, John Wooden, a World War 1 helmet, and much more!

Throughout the day, there will be a Mario Kart 64 tournament. Show us your skills and how it is done. We will see you there!

Posted in #ArchivesFest, history, library events | Leave a comment

#ArchivesFest Sneak Peek: Historical Documents

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

*PowerPoint created by Maggie Scully, student assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

Colored in illuminated manuscript, 2017.

Example of a colored bookmark.

Do you enjoy learning about local, national, and international history? We are showing off various documents from our collections on October 19. relating to various topics such as the sinking of the Titanic, land grants signed by Patrick Henry, a booklet from the Ku Klux Klan in Kentucky, a letter from Martin Luther King, Jr., and many more! Throughout the day, you can create your own “illuminated manuscript” bookmark.

Check the David L. Rice Library Facebook and Twitter pages or continue to check for update through amUSIngArtifacts for more information. Below, there is a daily schedule of events. If you have questions or comments about ArchivesFest, email archives.rice@usi.edu. We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in #ArchivesFest, book illustration | Leave a comment