First, lynchings were a country-wide phenomenon. There’s a only a handful of states in the northeast that didn’t have any. That also makes me wonder about whether they were reported properly there. Stuff like 8 lynchings in Montana (!!!) is really shocking. When you see that you wonder if it was a message to blacks to just not even go to that state?
Second, lynchings definitely follow state borders, indicating that this was a self-enforcement issue. In particular, Alabama, in the heart of the old South has fewer lynchings than Georgia or Mississippi. To me this suggests that the state authorities in Alabama were more likely to prosecute those involved.
Third, there are also county-level effects. Many counties are clusters of lynchings, while their neighboring counties show few or no lynchings. The “black belt” still exists, and was much denser then, but it isn’t immediately obvious on this map.
If you’re like me you’’ve been fascinated by the discovery of the remains of King Richard III. But … you probably don’t have my advantages … 2 hours of exam proctoring this morning, giving me plenty of relaxed time to read the backstory and write this up.
Usually we know where famous people are buried. In this case, they did too … but no one followed up on it.
After the battle, Richard’s body was taken to a friary (like a monastery, but more open to the public). This was in the big town down the road, Leicester (pronounced “Lester”, it’s a city north of London, about the size of Spokane).
Reports indicate that he was buried under the choir of the friary’s church – a fairly common place to bury someone who’s grave might be robbed if it was buried outside. This was confirmed because the new King Henry VII paid to have it spiffed up a bit.
But then his son, Henry VIII, had the friars’ orders dissolved, and this particular order’s home torn down around 50 years later. And this is where the rumor started that kept the body from being found: they started to say the bones had been dug up and thrown in the river. Probably some other schleps bones were …
But, the lot was left vacant (some things never change). Eventually it was bought, and a large house was built on one side of the property. Walled gardens were grown over the site of the friary (you know … big, Downton Abbey style gardens covering several acres). And about 125 years after the burial it was reported that there was a 3 foot tall stone marking the grave.
About a hundred years after that, the city was mapped. And the map shows the paths in the gardens … intersecting.
If you had the grave of a king, even a disgraced one, marked with a big stone in your backyard, just maybe you’d have the paths intersect there. You know … X marks the spot?
Here’s the map from 1741. The former Grey Friars property is the large trapezoid just below center. The words “Grey Friars” are written at a 90 degree angle. The garden paths intersect just to the right of the “y” in Grey.
It’s more like + marks the spot … but it’s there.
In the above image, a screen capture from the Google map linked below, the trapezoidal property that was Grey Friars is composed of the three blocks starting at the top right, and getting progressively larger going to the left. The “Google A” is misplaced … I’d put the + from the 1741 map just to the left of the 3 white trucks parked just to the right of center near the top (you can’t miss them — they’re bigger than the cars).
But over the last 300 years, the house has been torn down, and other buildings have been built on the site. But, the roads are still in the same spots, and there’s still a Grey Friars Road along one side of the site.
Here’s the thing: the new buildings were built on the sites of the old ones … and the gardens stayed undeveloped. No doubt, every round of builders decided to keep the nice looking lawns and trees instead of replanting. Here’s the same area in 1828:
In the above image, the original large trapezoid is now divided by a small road, right in the center of the map. The garden and its paths are now split between the two blocks, but the + is one of the intersections in the block to the right of the new road (which is still called New Street).
By 1904, another road had been put through the smaller block on the right, and more buildings were added. The + of garden paths is gone now, but it’s still in the white spaces in the interior of the middle block:
But, several decades ago, what was left of the gardens were paved to make what the British call a car park (almost, but not quite, paving paradise to put up a parking lot). If you compare the map directly above to the Google screen capture even further up, you can see that the empty white lots from 1904 roughly match the parking lot of 2013.
And a devotee of Richard III puts all this together and realizes that the spot where the choir of the friary stood might be under the (easy to excavate) parking lot. You can see the parking lot in the middle of this satellite image, in the block to the left of Grey Friars Road. In the image below, the body was found in front of the building way back on the left:
If you’re interested in more details, I suggest you go straight to The Search for Richard III site at the University of Leicester. It’s really cool, and very informative … just make sure that you figure out how to follow all the links (I had a little trouble at first). But, if you like my summary so far, I’ll finish.
What the archaeologists do is pretty interesting. They dig a trench and see what’s in it. Then they dig a parallel trench several yards to the side. But, they offset its starting point so that it just overlaps the the ending point of the first trench. That way they’re checking a lot of ground, but can also catch features that run across both trenches. In the video above they suggest that they had an 80/20 chance of finding the friary, but astronomical odds of finding Richard’s body.
In this case, they dug three trenches. But they started the first one where they thought the choir would be, and they found bones on the first day. But, they carried on, and from the three trenches were able to figure out the outlines of the friary, and confirm that the bones they’d found on the first day were probably in the choir.
They exhumed the bones, and confirmed that they are 500 years old, and from a relative of two people who are still living, and who are in turn distant descendants of Richard’s mother. The bones show fatal wounds consistent with descriptions of Richard’s death in battle. And they show a physical deformity — scoliosis — that is consistent with contemporary descriptions of Richard’s physique.
Here’s a facial reconstruction:
Here is a link to this part of the site showing the multiple, potentially fatal head injuries suffered by Richard in the battle. This is one part of the site where I didn’t realize right away that there were links I was supposed to follow.
Here’s Richard’s spine, showing the curvature that contributed to his undeserved reputation as a cripple, but which certainly did lead him to be shorter and slighter, perhaps a bit lopsided looking, and possibly chronically short of breath:
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
… Tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.
… As Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."
We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" …
… I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. … who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; … Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
… Right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.
I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. … As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."
In 1902, European nations responded to a Venezuelan government debt default with military force. German, Italian and British gunboats blockaded ports, seized customs houses and bombarded a Venezuelan fort. Venezuela caved, agreeing to restructure and pay its debts.
These days, when European leaders see Greece and Ireland on the brink of default, they don't send gunboats--they send money.
And that behavior encourages …
I hate to sound unenlightened, and it certainly isn’t nuanced in the 21st century way, but if defaulting countries could be invaded, and have their government officials put in jail where they can’t spend their Swiss banked money, a lot of this would go away.
It’s an anecdote, but one researcher told his toddler all about colors including blue. But he didn’t tell his toddler the sky is blue. When she was a little older, and she was asked what color the sky was, she had no concept that it was a color. Odd.
Another thought: blue is the rarest of the major colors in nature. As George Carlin noted, there is no blue food. There aren’t many blue flowers either. Or animals. Or stones. There aren’t many body parts either, besides blue eyes, and those were geographically rare until the Germans invaded western Europe.
Another idea: blue is the hardest color to create artificially. Prussian blue was invented early in the 18th century. There are natural dies, but not many of them. Recall how important the production of indigo was to the Carolinas in the colonial period. You could also use woad. Both are almost purple when fresh but fade through blue to green with time. And, the plants actually produce the same chemical, so it isn’t like you’re getting a different color. You could also crush the semi-precious lapis lazuli into a powder called ultramarine. Again, remember how important lapis was in ancient history, and yet today few of us would know the stone if we saw it.
And here’s one more bit of trivia. The ancient Egyptians knew how to make a blue dye from minerals almost 5K years ago. And they had a word for the color blue. Today, we know the chemical composition of that blue, but not how they actually did it.
P.S. There is an old but related post on vX that I could not find. This was about the colors we have in common.
FWIW: I get complaints about the color scheme of this blog. I get few compliments. Back in the 90’s there was actually a push for yellow on blue as a standard. Black on white is harder on the eyes when coming through a screen (gee, you’ve probably noticed that at the end of the day). The reason for yellow on blue was that these are colors that color-blind people can most easily distinguish. And no … I’m not color blind.
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