Archive for the ‘Daily Log’ Category

LHA paper done

February 16, 2011

Finished my conference paper for the Louisiana Historical Association meeting this March. This is a relief, since my conference papers are always a chore, it seems; a chore because they always involve distilling and condensing my detailed, verbose dissertation prose. Tucking all the fun stuff away in the footnotes is one way to get it done. Anyway, nice to have done that; now I can finish this book review, and get on to Chapter 4.

Presenting … Ch. 3?!?!

January 26, 2011

I think I’m finished Chapter 3. It took almost two months longer than I wanted it to, and is much, much longer than I expected: 41 pages (with 11 point Times and 1.5 line spacing), almost 16,000 words. And, although it’s hard to say right now, I think it’s pretty good. Definitely more of an accomplishment than my first two chapters.

I may have permitted myself just a bit too much in the way of rhetorical flourishes and dramatic devices as the chapter wound to a close, in summing up Laussat’s 1803 and especially in describing his emotions and personality. It does verge into melodrama and away from scholarly history in quite pronounced fashion. I think I will live with this for a day, and see tomorrow whether anything really needs to be toned down before I send this to my readers.

But in any case, it’s a good feeling to have finally wound my way through this long, twisting tunnel.

Day Log 9-2-09

September 3, 2009
  • Wrote my abstract for a paper proposal for the Omohundro conference next June in Oxford. The proposed paper title is THE DREAMERS: ELITE NEWCOMERS AND AMERICAN IDENTITY IN NEW ORLEANS, 1800-1820, and I will post the abstract here as a blog entry. The other papers on the proposed panel are Wayne Bodle’s paper on Charles Wollstonecraft–Wayne actually discovered me through this very blog–and John O’Keefe (a George Washington U grad student) writing on “non-European migrants in the early American republic.”
  • Did Livingston database transcriptions for the John B. Prevost correspondence, about 4 pages worth, and
  • Did a bit of extra background research and note taking re: Prevost, an obscure but very key figure who looks to figure prominently in both my HNOC and Omohundro papers.

Day Log 9-1-09

September 1, 2009
  • Another massive session of Livingston database entry. The database is up to about 1,370 entries now. Tomorrow I start on John B. Prevost.
  • Late last night I stayed up and discovered how to use Lexis Nexis Academic’s legal case search for Louisiana case material during my period. (Cue angelic music here.) Eureka! Why didn’t I know about this before? Read over dozens of cases, some in detail, some only skimmingly, and finally well after midnight got into the very long and very fascinating Gravier et al vs. Livingston et al, decided February 1819, which was sort of the legal climax of the Batture epic. Exciting stuff! Of course, just what I needed — another massive lode of primary source documents crucial to the subject of my dissertation, and one I can read without leaving my laptop…

Day Log 8-31-09

September 1, 2009
  • A Massive binge of Livingston database entry. Aiming to finish this whole task in the next week or two.
  • Had a Genovese kick over the weekend and today, reading and re-reading large parts of The Political Economy of Slavery and The World The Slaveholders Made. Also read a number of review essays and reviews, especially James D. Anderson’s great Journal of Negro History critique of Roll, Jordan, Roll. And for good measure, Herbert Gutman’s long assault on Time on the Cross, the snarkily-titled “The World Two Cliometricians Made.”
  • Should also mention that I finished most of the parts of Emily’s Clark’s Masterless Mistresses that I was most interested in over the weekend.
  • Corresponded with a couple colleagues re: a possible Omohundro panel next June … have to put together a paper proposal in the next few days.

Day Log 8-26-09

August 27, 2009
  • Transcribed Livingston notes, did the Arsène Latour stuff today; 1100+ entries and counting…
  • Did housekeeping and emails, especially relating to my “visiting scholar” status at Tulane.

Day Log 8-25-09

August 26, 2009

My first real work day after the two month interruption of moving to New Orleans.

  • Wrote the preceding blog entries (and read the last batch of entries I wrote back in June).
  • Transcribed Livingston notes for about 2.5 hours. There are now 1100 database entries and I estimate that about 40 more hours of work remain on this task.
  • Read a little of Emily Clark’s Masterless Mistresses.
  • Read Thomas Paine’s To The French Inhabitants of Louisiana–an 1804 letter in which Paine rather rudely castigates the Louisianians for their presumption in demanding their rights as US citizens under the Louisiana Purchase treaty, and also for demanding the continuation of the slave trade. I had just read a long response to Paine’s piece in my Livingston notes; it makes for a fascinating back-and-forth.

Day Log 6-11-09

June 11, 2009
  • 4 more hours transcribing Livingston notes. In the C’s dominated by Daniel Clark and Daniel W. Coxe. Now 822 items in my database.

Day Log 6-10-09

June 10, 2009

No work yesterday because of 1) Millie’s graduation from the 2nd grade and 2) a funeral service and gathering afterwards Lisa had to go to, leaving me w/ kids, and 3) a softball game. Also was slowed this morning by 4) dentist visits for Lisa & Millie leaving little guy with me.

  • Transcribed Livingston notes, about 3 hours. There are now 766 entries in the Correspondence database. Most of my transcribing today covered the letters from Daniel Clark including his very long quasi-autobiographical ones.
  • Also started the project of creating a spreadsheet with all the various court cases from all the various courts in Louisiana and New Orleans in the period of my dissertation. Today I compiled from the NO Public Library’s website a file including all the cases for the Orleans Parish Court which was instituted in 1813 and the records exist through 1835.
  • AND, update: composed the above summary of Louisiana Courts.

Day Log 6-8-09

June 8, 2009
  • Got serious about the Livingston notes transcribing project. Transcribed about 50 letter from the B’s, the highlight of which was the series from James Brown, Louisiana Territorial Secretary, lawyer, Senator, and later US Minister to France.
  • Read up a little on Brown, and this led me to compile a Word document with some key ANB entries and other capsul biographies of some of my key characters.