Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dear Editor:

Please pass along my congratulations to your reporter, Bryna Zumer, on her wonderful article in Wednesday's paper entitled I-95 HISTORIC ART GOES INTO STORAGE. Photo Editor Nicole Munchel also deserves kudos for an excellent job producing her intriguing images of what were once some of Harford County's most valuable works of art.

Now that these paintings that "rank high among the notable historical murals of the past 50 years" are long gone from Aberdeen, maybe somebody will try to do something to get the murals out of moth balls & back to where the national treasures were conceived and executed: HARFORD COUNTY. Bryna's article shows us all how, for 44 years, something so priceless can be taken for granted until it's taken away.

It is my wish that someone with clout will have Harford County in mind & work something out with the Maryland Transportation Authority to have these magnificent works of art returned to Harford County where they belong.

I look forward to reading more about the odyssey of William A. Smith's Maryland House Murals in future issues of the Aegis. Until then, I plan to chronicle their journey on my blog ZERO, NORTHWEST FLORIDA. You can find it by googling my screen name, robertoreg.

Robert "ROBERTOREG" Register
2609 University Boulevard
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401

September 16, 1796, I took leave of my family about ten o’clock in the morning, and proceeded to Chester and dined; then rode to Wilmington and staid all night – Thermometer was 78° in the afternoon.

17th, Left Wilmington at half past five in the morning, breakfasted at Christiana, dined at Elkton, proceeded to the Susquehanna, crossed the ferry and lodged at Havre de Grace.  Thermometer 60°in the morning, rose to 70°, fell to 62° in the evening.  Autumnal squalls and showers in the afternoon.  The water in the Susquehanna was 73°.

18th Left Havre de Grace at five in the morning, breakfasted at Hartford, dined at Baltimore, and lodged at my mother’s on Potapsco.  Thermometer 57° in the morning, rose to 68°

The country from the Susquehanna to Potapsco, does not appear to be in a better state of cultivation, than it was twenty-six years ago.  This disagreeable circumstance, is no doubt principally owing to the system of domestic slavery, which yet continues to prevail in the southern states.  Early impressions made upon the mind, and habits acquired in youth, are rarely obliterated, though condemned by daily experience.

That domestic slavery is wrong in a moral point of view is evident from the ordinary principles of justice.  And that it is politically wrong may be deduced from the following facts.  First, that a tract of country cultivated by slaves, is neither so well improved, rich, or populous, as it would be if cultivated by the owners of the soil, and by freemen.  Secondly, slaves cannot be calculated upon as adding to the strength of the community, but frequently the contrary, for reasons too obvious to detail.  Notwithstanding those facts are constantly in view, they rarely produce the necessary effects upon minds early habituated to the custom of domestic slavery.

19th, Remained at my mother’s – Thermometer 55°in the morning, rose to 70° in the afternoon – water in the river 57°.

20th , About 11 o’clock in the forenoon took leave of my mother, brothers and sisters, and rode to Reister’s town and got some refreshment, then proceeded about seven miles further and stayed all night.  Thermometer 51° in the morning, rose to 71°    

Ellicott's Stone North of Mobile, Alabama

image courtesy of 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I found this looking for links to Ellicott's descriptions of Harford County slavery in 1796. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dear Editor:

I talked to Bryna this morning over the phone at the Aegis about the valuable William A. Smith murals at Maryland House on I-95 in Aberdeen. 

This afternoon I talked to George Fish at the Maryland Department of Transportation about the status of the two murals. I was so glad to hear that the first order of business after Maryland House closes Saturday is to go to work on Sunday to preserve and store the murals.  These two murals are probably two of the most valuable works of art in Harford County seeing as how, according to the following link from the Maryland State Treasurer's office, the two in Aberdeen were appraised for $400,000 25 years ago and the building that houses them is slated for immediate demolition and has already leaked water all over one of them.

I found this excellent biographical information about painter William A. Smith from the James A. Michener Art Museum website

I like many others would love to read the story of how the murals came to be back in 1968 & I look forward to reading a series of articles and viewing images of the preservation, storage and restoration of WILLIAM A. SMITH'S MARYLAND HOUSE MURALS.

Robert Register