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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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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 March 2020

John Codman Ropes

John Codman Ropes

A Lawyer’s Historian

(p.87) John Codman Ropes
So Conceived and So Dedicated

Richard F. Miller

Fordham University Press

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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