Genealogical and Historical Reference<br>From Willow Bend Books.
By Michael Stillman
We recently received the Spring 2004 catalogue from Willow Bend Books. There are several thousand titles in this catalogue, so we imagine, even if this is a bit late for spring, that there are still a few left.
This is not a catalogue of old and rare books. Some undoubtedly meet those requirements, particularly "rare," but this is a catalogue for those interested in genealogy and local history, especially on the people who were a part. You won't find a lot about Abraham Lincoln in these books, but you just might find out something about your grandparents.
Willow Bend is located in Westminster, Maryland, so there is a particularly heavy concentration from the Mid-Atlantic region. However, there is no limitation, and you will find detailed and obscure material from all over the U.S. For example, were your ancestors ethnic Germans who emigrated from Russia and settled in Odessa, North Dakota? Where would you ever find out anything about their experiences? How about Steppes to Neu Odessa: Germans from Russia who Settled in Odessa Township, Dakota Territory 1872-1876. Item A2894HB. Priced at $17.
Everyone knows about the Titanic, but how many remember the U.S.S. Sultana? The sinking of the Sultana was the largest maritime disaster in U.S. history, with more lives being lost than were lost on the Titanic. The ship was already in poor condition when it was sent to pick up Union prisoners from Andersonville at the end of the Civil War. However, the soldiers, many in very poor health, were in a hurry to get home, so over 2,000 people were packed on a ship designed for 376 for the journey from Mississippi to Illinois. Most did not make it. An explosion ripped apart one of the boilers, which started a fire that quickly spread through the ship, causing the upper deck to collapse upon the lower. Many of those who did not die in the fire drowned in the water, as their poor physical condition made it difficult for them to swim. Despite the enormity of this tragedy, it has almost been forgotten. Perhaps some of this had to do with the nation’s mind being on other things. President Lincoln had been assassinated just twelve days earlier. The book is The Sultan Saga: The Titanic of the Mississippi by Rex T. Jackson. Item A4070HB. $18.
For those interested in the Salem Witch Trials, and who isn't fascinated by this little gruesome episode from our past, there's Witch Hunt: The Layman’s Guide to the Salem Witchcraft Trials by George Malcolm York. This is an account of the witch hunts from start to conclusion, and is based on contemporary reports and the personal records of descendants on both sides of this conflict. Item Y0565HB. $18.