CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 50
By Damon Veach
ACADIANA VIGNETTES: Morris Raphael is one of Louisiana’s most prolific writers, and now comes his 14th book which he claims will be his last. His most famous and important and memorable book in my opinion is The Battle in the Bayou Country, an account of Civil War activities in South Louisiana, published back in 1975. That doesn’t mean the others weren’t outstanding too. His talent of going from non-fiction to fiction makes him one of the best writers, and he is also noted for his illustrations.
Civil War Vignettes of Acadiana, A Sesquicentennial Commemorative (1861-2011) is a compilation of human-interest stories and historical accounts of the Civil War as it was fought in the bayou country of Louisiana, a part of Acadians where Yankees and Rebels roamed the countryside and fought it out in bloody encounters. These stories were extracted from the Official Records of the U.S. Government, regimental stories, works of several authors, diaries and letters of soldiers, and reminiscences of others. What is rather nice to note here is the fact that the publication of this book coincides with the Sesquicentennial – the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, which was declared on April 12, 1861. These are all rare accounts and should bring you a new understanding of this period of our country’s history. The book is also illustrated by the author.
Raphael is a resident of New Iberia and writers a column called “Bayou Browsing” in the Daily Iberian. He has lived here for many years and is a native of Natchez, Mississippi. He is a retired project engineer with a flair for creating beautiful words when describing historical accounts and documenting parts of his life story.
In recognition for his historical works, the United Daughters of the Confederacy honored him with the Jefferson Davis Award in 1979, and in 1985, he was inducted into the Iberia Parish Second Wind Hall of Fame. For his efforts in advancing Cajun culture, Raphael received the Cajun Culture Award in 1991. In addition to all these honors, he has been a member of the Louisiana Writers Guild, the Louisiana Historical Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. His other organizational participations and works are just too numerous to mention here, but rest assured, this is one author who has loved being in the literary field and his accomplishments stand as a permanent memorial to a lifetime of work to both entertain the reader and to help everyone understand how important historical preservation can mean for future generations.
For me, he will always be a personal friend, and I can assure you he will long be remembered along with other outstanding Louisiana writers such as Lyle Saxon, Harnett T. Kane, Robert Tallant, Kenneth Holditch, and others. If you haven’t read any of his books, this would be a good time to start. Civil War Vignettes of Acadiana is just a wonderful addition to any library, personal and public. His works are definitely collectibles.
You can obtain copies of this book by ordering directly from his New Iberia location. The price is $19.95 per book, with $2.50 extra for postage and handling. Send orders to Raphael at 1404 Bayou Side Drive, New Iberia, LA 70563. This book was published by Border Press of Sewanee, Tennessee.
PREROGATIVE COURT: The work at hand marks the twenty-eighth volume in this continuing series by V.L. Skinner Jr.
The Prerogative Court was the focal point for probate in colonial Maryland. All matters of probate went directly to the Prerogative Court, which was located in Maryland’s colonial capital, Annapolis. The Prerogative Court was also the colony’s court for equity cases - resolution of disputes over the settlement and distribution of an estate.
Volume XXVIII is derived from this important source for Maryland genealogists. In compiling the series, Skinner has worked primarily from microfilm copies of the Prerogative Court records. However, when necessary to resolve problems of paleography, he has consulted the original manuscripts, located at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis.
The series is arranged, with a few exceptions, chronologically by court session. Volume XXVIII consists of testamentary abstracts for the balance of 1751-52 and part of 1755. (Researchers will find the years 1750-53 covered in Volumes XXVI and XXVII.) In all, this book refers to an additional 7,000 colonial inhabitants of the Province of Maryland. For the most part, the transcriptions state the names of the principals (testators, heirs, guardians, witnesses, administrators, and so forth), as well as details of bequests, names of slaves, appraisers, and more.
This volume is priced at $35.00 postpaid and can be ordered from the Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211. These records are invaluable when researching ancestral ties to this part of the country. The complete series needs to be a part of any major genealogical library collection. Check with your local library to see if these are part of the research section.
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is email@example.com. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service. They have a wide selection of reference books and are constantly adding to their listing.
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