My grandmother, Dudley Casteel Thompson Stahr, 1902-1986, was married twice, first in 1922 to Clarence Thompson, 1900-1925, and then in 1930 to my grandfather, Roland Stahr, 1901-1969. I knew vaguely that my grandmother had been “married before her marriage” but did not know much about Clarence Thompson until the past few days. My father and…

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My family is donating its family papers to Chapman University. These are not just papers of my mother, my father and myself. They are papers of my grandparents: Burgess Dempster, Nell McBroom Dempster, Roland Stahr, and Dudley Casteel Stahr. And they are in some cases papers of my great-grandparents, including my namesake Walter Casteel and…

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I am getting ready to teach, next semester at Chapman, a course on the Civil War, and thinking about how I first got fascinated by that war.  It goes back, I think, to Augustus Long. It was about 1991 or 1992, when I started looking into my genealogy, that I learned that my great-great grandfather,…

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In a few days, on September 2, I will start teaching my first course at the college level.  The course will cover American history from 1760 through 1815, a busy period.  Indeed, as I prepare my first lecture, on Benjamin Franklin, I realize that one could teach an entire semester-long course just on that one…

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Next school year, 2014-15, I will be teaching history at Chapman University in Orange County, California.  I hasten to add, for those eager for the Edwin Stanton book, that I will only be teaching one class each term, that I should have time for my research and writing.  In the fall I will be teaching…

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