Bringing history home

Published 12:05 am Saturday, January 14, 2012

Until now, it was thought that there were only two letters in existence written by Washington schoolteacher Annie E. Bogart, born in 1830, died 1906. Now there are five. Five letters in which an educated woman, a “pure Victorian,” writes with a candor that affords a deeper view into our town during the Civil War. “My dear aunt,” she writes at the heart of the conflict, “You wish to know if your Southern friends are rebels;” “I hope we shall all live to see peace restored, but the prospect of that seems sorry.”

Washington is a town steeped in history. Everywhere we look there are reminders of a long past, a sometimes troubled past, a past rich with the history of not just our people, but the history of a young country.

Voices like Annie E. Bogart’s, eyewitness to events by which our town identifies itself, should be treasured and protected, to preserve the history we hold so dear.

An auction on Jan. 31 will once more silence Annie Bogart’s voice. Her letters, written in Washington during the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history, about our ancestors, our town, our streets will be sold to the highest bidder.

What if we were the highest bidder?

Could it be possible that a community could come together to bring a little bit of our history back to its rightful place?