Monday, March 24, 2008

Week #3 - Actual Oath in Liberty, Missouri Museum

Above is an actual oath used in Clay County in 1862 given to those thought to be guerrillas aiding the southern effort. This is an earlier version than the one quoted in the novel Guerrilla Season but is very similar to what Matt was forced to sign in the field. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

This artifact is currently on display in Liberty, Missouri at the Clay County Historical Society Museum located downtown on the historic square. Check it out if you live in Liberty. It is an incredible artifact!

Check out the name of the county on the oath - HOWARD! Very odd considering that Howard was the name Pat used for the last name of Matt's family and she had never seen a copy of this artifact until today!

Here are some comments from Pat:

Eric and everybody - What an awesome post! To be able to see the real thing -- it just chills me. Oh that I were in Liberty and could see it in person. But the wonders of the Web are once again brought to bear. ...

Especially interesting to me is the use of the term "provisional government" - i.e. the oath-taker is promising to bear true allegiance to the "provisional government of the state of Missouri," meaning the Union government that took over Missouri after running elected Gov. Claiborne Jackson & his government out of the state.

I also wanted to point out that this oath, dated 1862, pre-dates the oath that Matt takes in "Guerrilla Season." I found Matt's oath in Michael Fellman's "Inside War: The Guerrilla Conflict in Missouri During the American Civil War." Fellman writes that in 1863, Union officials "codified a system of oaths and bonds which had been developed in various forms in the field. When a suspected guerrilla sympathizer was arrested he would take the following oath:" Fellman then gives the oath that I used in "Guerrilla Season."

Thanks Eric for showing us this amazing piece of history! - Pat


Anonymous said...

Since Matt was forced to sign the oath was he forced to join the gureillas?


Anonymous said...

That is truly chilling. People were actually forced to take such an oath? Man, that's scary!


Pat said...

To Amazz -

Actually, it was the other way around. He was taking the oath to pledge loyalty to the Union (North), not the guerrillas (South)

- Pat

Anonymous said...

Wow when I read that part it gave me chills. Since Matt's mom doesn't want to take sides, forcing him to take this oath made me feel real scared from Matt.


Anonymous said...

During lunch my friends and i always dont have enough seats at lunch and i give up my seat so that my other friend can sit down and then i go and sit at the table next to them so that it doesnt start something.

-Babe Ruth

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this oath that the Gurrilas have to take is unconstitutional. The Constitution prohibits rebbilions and this is a "rebbilion" as said in the oath. This is also showing sectionalism.


Anonymous said...

What types of things does this oath contain? After you pledged this oath were you forced to join the guerrillas. Maybe Pat knew that Howard was the name of a county before she wrote her book.


Anonymous said...

It would be really hard to actually take that oath i think.

G8 stealth2

Anonymous said...

I hate it when you invite friends over for a birthday party and then when you unwrap the gift they give you, and sometimes its not always what you would pick for yourself. You always appreciate the gift and the fact that they thought of you, but like I said, you wouldn't buy it if you saw it in a store. -Mizzou08

Anonymous said...

There have been many times when i have had to just say something so the situation wouldn't turn into a big problem. For me, thats sometimes the best result in a hard situation.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I have had to say many things that I truly did not believe was true, just like Matt. What I said reduced problems for me. When Matt said the oath it reduced problems for him because he got to go back home. Although, this later caused problems for him because he admits to breaking this oath. Maybe what I said will result in future problems.

G2Pwn Daddy

Anonymous said...

I have said something that I truly didn't feel so it wouldn't hurt or start a fight with someone. I don't like being in a arugument with anyone. Of course they happen though. So I sometimes say what I think would be best. Not what would make them mad. Most of the time I speak my mind so it's hard to bite my tounge. I wouldn't be able to do what Matt did.

G3 MrsNickJonas

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the oath the guerrillas took illegal? It was a reblellion or almost like a protest for slavery.


Anonymous said...

This is really cool. I love the book and to be able to see some of the things talked about in the book in real life is just breathtaking. I am really enjoying this book.


Anonymous said...

I think that if he didnt sign the Oath then he would have to stay longer and/or get put in jail for admitting that he was a guerrilla because that is basicly what you are doing because you dont believe in it.

G8 Skittles

Anonymous said...

That's really cool that there is a picture of the original oath. Way to go.