St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Crossing the Political Line in History

The mailman delivered more fun to my mailbox today. I was thrilled to see the pages arrive from the History of Harrison County Missouri which was published in 1921. I was surprised to see a cousin had crossed the line.

In all my research to date, I have yet to find even a hint of anyone leaving the Republican party. All history books I've seen seem to indicate my ancestors were all dyed in the wool Republicans. I wasn't sure anyone alive today disagreed with the family of old. Today, I stand corrected.

Let me backup and fill you in on some of my recent quests. Recently, I was looking more indepth at Barnet VANDERVORT and his wife Elizabeth HENRY, daughter of John HENRY (1750-1838) of Allegheny Co, PA. One of their sons, Dr. Robert Henry VANDIVERT (1817-1887) left Muskingum County, Ohio, sometime around 1856. End of trail.

I had to know more. So, online I went and checked the census records. The spelling of the name seems to change quite often during this time frame. I contacted the library in St Louis, Missouri, to see if they could help me out. They located information on the family and popped in the snail box.

Here we are now:

The information in the book tells us he was the presiding officer at the first Republican Convention held in Harrison County, Missouri. He was quite respected and served two terms in the Missouri State Senate. From family notes, he also served in the Missouri Militia as a surgeon and organized a company for the Mexican War.

His brother, Samuel Smith VANDIVERT, also left Ohio at or about the same time as Robert. Samuel appears to have "crossed the line" as he is mentioned in the book as a Douglas Democrat and the presiding officer at the Democratic Convention in Harrison County held the same year.

I bet those dinner conversations were exciting. I have to wonder how much they debated or if they put aside their personal politics for dinner.

I wonder what each of them would have to say about the election this year. I wonder if they could have comprehended a time with the ticket of Obama-Biden or McCain-Palin. I wonder....

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