Update on the research: The re-collection of lost images week has begun. I’ve reordered the film to rescan those images, and I’m almost finished going over my entire database. It has been a painstaking, image-by-image process. I’m double-checking every fact I have on Emmett that I intend to use in the biography.
The good news is that I never completely lost the information; I just lost images of the text I transcribed verbatim.
A colleague here at U of MD told that with my complete citations, what I have is sufficient without the image, but I am more comfortable with image and transcription together. If I have to prove the scholarship behind the research, I will be able to submit data without delay.
Switching gears, I’m also reading microfilm of The Chipley Banner for 1905 and finding a lot of good articles related to Emmett. There are interesting non-Emmett articles, which I send to the Washington County Historical Society in Chipley. They, in turn, make the information available to local researchers. Some of these articles include arrest and court records, with plenty of colorful details. The editor, W.W. Jones, was an old-school journalist who wasn’t afraid of printing uncomfortable news. In fact, on one editorial page, he tells readers that if they don’t want to see their names printed in affiliation with crimes or misdeeds, then perhaps they should not commit the crimes or misdeeds in the first place.
Sometimes, I find articles that are interesting from a historic and genealogical perspective, but would be embarrassing to descendants.
For example, last week, I found an article where a fellow was run out of Chipley for ‘wenching.’ That’s how W.W. Jones wrote it in his paper, and I immediately thought of knights on horseback, things Elizabethan, and the like. But the wenching fellow was no Sir Galahad. The editor pulled no punches and included many details about wencher, wench, and the expulsion itself.
Some of the names mentioned in the article seemed familiar, and probably, descendants of some involved are alive and well in Chipley.
I contacted one of the directors of the historical society, told him what I found and explained my concern.
While he agreed that the information was public record, it would likely be too uncomfortable for some descendants. “Some things (people) need to discover for themselves,” he said. I agreed.
In closing, I have to share one thing I found interesting from the Circuit Court Proceedings, from the June 8, 1905 issue of The Chipley Banner.
It seems like it was tough to live in Washington County, Florida back in the day: No wenching allowed, and people were not allowed to behave like bastards.
Good times, eh?