This Day in History… September 16, 1823

Birth of Francis Parkman 

US #1281 was issued on Parkman’s 144th birthday.  Click image to order.

American historian Francis Parkman was born on September 16, 1823, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Born into a distinguished Boston family, Parkman was in poor health as a child and was sent to live with his grandmother in the wilderness in nearby Medford.  During his time there he learned how to hunt and live like a pioneer.  Living there for four years, Parkman developed a love of nature that would later inspire his career as a historian.  Parkman would later say that his books covered “the history of the American forest.”

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This Day in History… September 15, 1852

Birth of Jan Matzeliger

US #2567 pictures Matzeliger’s patent drawing in the background. Click image to order.

Inventor Jan Matzeliger was born on September 15, 1852, in Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana (present-day Surinam).  

As a boy, Matzeliger worked in his father’s machine shop, the Colonial Ship Works.  Early on, he showed a natural talent for working with machinery and mechanics.  When he was 19, Matzeliger took a job on a Dutch East Indies merchant ship working as a mechanic.  He did that for a few years before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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This Day in History… September 14, 1321

Death of Dante Alighieri

US #1268 was issued for Dante’s 700th birthday. Click image to order.

The “Supreme Poet” Dante Alighieri is believed to have died on September 14, 1321.

The author was born Durante di Alighiero Degli Alighieri around the year 1265 in Florence, present-day Italy.  Not much is know about his early education, but it’s believed he received some formal education in grammar, language, and philosophy at one of the schools in Florence. 

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This Day in History… September 13, 1851

Happy Birthday, Walter Reed

US #877 from the Famous American Scientists issue. Click image to order.

Major Walter Reed, M.D., was born on September 13, 1851, in Belroi, Gloucester County, Virginia. 

Reed spent his childhood in Murfreesboro, North Carolina with his mother and her family while his father, a traveling Methodist minister, went on speaking tours.  Reed went on to attend the University of Virginia and received his M.D. degree.  He did this two months before his 18th birthday, making him the youngest-ever recipient of that degree from that university.

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This Day in History… September 12, 1862

Civil War Battle for Harpers Ferry

US #4790 was issued for the 150th anniversary of West Virginia’s statehood, which occurred during the Civil War. Click image to order. 

On September 12, 1862, the Civil War Battle for Harpers Ferry began. 

Nestled between the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers in eastern West Virginia, Harpers Ferry was named after one of its earliest settlers, Robert Harper.  He built a ferry to cross the Potomac, opening a passage to the Shenandoah Valley and travels further west. 

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This Day in History… September 11, 1814

The Battle of Plattsburgh

US #791 pictures Macdonough and honors his ship, the Saratoga.

On September 11, 1814, American forces won an important victory at the Battle of Plattsburgh (also known as the Battle of Lake Champlain).

By September 1814, peace talks were being held in the Netherlands in the hopes of bringing an end to the War of 1812.  Yet at the same time, the British were forging plans to push into American territory.

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