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Tag: beard

Facial Hair Friday: “Howe” do they do it?

We may be a litttle short-staffed on this quasi-holiday, but I couldn’t let Facial Hair Friday go by without a nod to some historic beards. Today’s honoree is Gen. Albion P. Howe, veteran of the Mexican War and the Civil War.

Gen. Albion P. Howe (111-B-4713; ARC 528831

Gen. Albion P. Howe (111-B-4713; ARC 528831)

When a captain in the U.S. Army,  Howe served under Col. Robert E. Lee at Harper’s Ferry in the action against John Brown. During the Civil War, he served in the Army of the  Potomac and led his division in the Battle of Fredericksburg. After the war he was a member of the honor guard that watched over Abraham Lincoln’s body and was appointed to the military commission that tried the Lincoln conspirators.







Elias Howe, Jr. (208-PU-86a-2)

Elias Howe, Jr. (208-PU-86A-2)

I came upon the general serendipitously. I was actually looking for information about sewing machine inventor Elias Howe, Jr.,  when I chanced upon the general’s flowing mustachios. Further research into Howe brought me back to Facial Hair Friday for June 25, 2010, when Hilary presented Col. Marshall Howe’s amazing neck beard.

What is it about Howes and facial hair? One even sees a progression of hair upward, moving from Marshall’s neck to Elias’s lower chin to Albion’s extravagent mustache and full beard. Keep your eyes peeled. If you come across any more Howes with noteworthy facial hair, let us … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Boldly going where no beard has gone before

Norton P. Chipman (111-B-1521)

Norton P. Chipman (111-B-1521)

In the Facial Hair Friday spotlight today is a man with a truly impressive set of whiskers. Norton P. Chipman also has a fascinating story to go behind that beard. Chipman was born in 1834 in Ohio, later lived in Iowa, and joined the Union Army after finishing law school. He didn’t spend the entire war behind a desk, however. He was severely wounded during the Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee in 1862. After the war, he settled in Washington, DC, and was appointed secretary of the district in 1871 and then served in the House of Representatives as a Delegate from the District of Columbia from 1871 to 1875.

Chipman’s most conspicuous role in history came just after the Confederate surrender. In May 1865, Federal forces arrested Capt. Henry Wirz, the commander of the infamous Confederate prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, GA. Judge Advocate Chipman was the Army prosecutor during the trial. Wirz was convicted and hanged. In 1911, Chipman wrote his own account of the trial, The Tragedy of Andersonville.

In 1970, Chipman came to the small screen when The Andersonville Trial aired on television. Chipman was portrayed by none other than William Shatner. While Shatner got generally favorable reviews for this role, the makeup artist missed an opportunity to go wild with whiskers. While the … [ Read all ]

Edwin Stanton: Facial Hair Rock Icon

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (111-B-4559)

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (111-B-4559)

Attorney General, Secretary of War, Supreme Court Justice, inspiration for ZZ-Top?

Whether the bearded rock band drew their inspiration from Stanton is unclear, but one thing is certain: Edwin Stanton would have made a fine rock star, playing by his own rules and shaking things up in Washington. In fact, perhaps the most fascinating thing about Edwin Stanton’s beard is that it’s the least fascinating thing about a man who defined three US presidencies.

  • As a lawyer, he once remarked “Why did you bring that damned long armed ape here?” about an attorney on his law team. The man was future President (and boss) Abraham Lincoln.*
  • In 1859, he was the first American lawyer to successfully use the plea of temporary insanity to protect his client, future Union General Daniel Sickles, from the charge that he killed the son of Francis Scott Key.
  • In 1860, President James Buchanan appointed Stanton as Attorney General, and it was Stanton who is largely credited with keeping the Buchanan administration in check during its final months in office.
  • Following Lincoln’s assassination, then-Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was ultimately responsible for the fate of John Wilkes Booth and his conspirators as they were tried in military, not civilian courts.
  • When Andrew Johnson assumed office, Stanton stayed on as Secretary of War much longer
[ Read all ]