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So Conceived and So DedicatedIntellectual Life in the Civil War Era North$
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Lorien Foote and Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264476

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264476.001.0001

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John Codman Ropes

John Codman Ropes

A Lawyer’s Historian

Chapter:
(p.87) John Codman Ropes
Source:
So Conceived and So Dedicated
Author(s):

Richard F. Miller

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823264476.003.0005

This essay connects the life of John Codman Ropes, lawyer, historian, and founder of the Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, with the society's purposes and the type of Civil War histories it created between 1876 and 1918. Ropes, although unable to enlist because of physical disability, was nevertheless shaken by a war that killed his brother and many Harvard classmates. Ropes honored the dead through his devotion to “true History.” Applying the methodology of the law, guided the society in crafting narratives of the war that would be stripped of partisanship, sectionalism, or apology. Ropes’s postwar life and that of the society he founded are best understood not as abstractions of the war’s transformation of a social class but rather how individuals confronted loss and its aftermath.

Keywords:   Richard F. Miller, John Codman Ropes, Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, Memory, Intellectual History, Legal History, Military History

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