Books on Polish-American History
and American Labor

Pills, Pen & Politics - The Story of General Leon Jastremski

[pix here] [blank ] This book is a fascinating account of an orphaned immigrant who rose without the advantages of wealth, education, or family influence, to one of the most influential places in American politics through the force of his own ability, character, and efforts.

A printer's devil at the age of fourteen, a Confederate officer at eighteen, three term mayor of Baton Rouge, a brigadier general in the Louisiana National Guard, official voice of the state government for six years, head of Grover Cleveland's presidential campaign in Louisiana in 1884, United States Consul at Callao, Peru, and Democratic candidate for governor of Louisiana in 1904 and 1907, Leon Jastremski was one of the best known southerners of his time.

Yet today his name evokes hardly a flicker of recognition. Historians have failed to study his career until now. Pills, Pen & Politics is the first book devoted to him. It is replete with facts derived from a careful, extensive search of many published and unpublished materials, including letters written in the days of the conflict between the North and the South. It adds an important chapter to the story of American Poles.

A work of great importance and permanent value, Pills Pen & Politics should be placed in every library in the United States.

172 pages, photographs, appendices

Washington's Officers Slept Here - Includes a Chapter on Casimir Pulaski

[pix here] [blank ] The houses about which this book was written round out an important phase of the American Revolution. The camp at Valley Forge holds its preeminent position in history because here, better than in the councils of war, and better ever than on the field of battle, were shown those qualities of persistence and steadfastness, under the greatest of trials and difficulties, which were essential to the final triumph.

Never before has the story of Valley Forge been so warmly told. This book gives you the story as it was lived both by the officers and men in the houses which still stand on the site of the encampment and its neighborhood. To see many men in battle reveals little of their characters, shows them forcing themselves as best as they can in the mold of the fighting machine, or altered by tense emotions and unnatural environment.

Washington's Officers Slept Here is not another story of the American Revolution. With the talent of a born reporter, Edward Pinkowski draws in the background of each officer, portrays the family with whom he lived, and describes the house that held them together. Lively glimpses of the officers in good times, the changes and modernization of the houses, vivid bits of historical by-play, camp scenes, officers' meetings, celebrations - all are here.

House by house, officer by officer, the author presents a striking portrait of the revolutionary encampment during the winter of 1777-1778. The photographs and text give abundant proof that Valley Forge is not a remote place. More than thirty photographs show the officers' quarters as they look today.

The officers who lived in them at a crucial time in our history enrich the book. There was Steuben's near-sighted aide-de-camp, Duponceau riding over the hills to tell his German drillmaster of seeing British redcoats. Instead of the enemy, Steuben found some red petticoats hanging on a fence to dry. Then we meet Varnum and Huntington with the healthiest but hungriest men in the camp. Next to the quarters of Baron De Kalb, Lafayette's tutor, and Sullivan, New Hampshire lawyer who erected a bridge across the Schuylkill.

Here's a remarkable roll call of thirty-four houses and the officers who played a major role in holding together weak and often irresolute soldiers for the cause of the thirteen colonies. Washington's Officers Slept Here opens unexpected doors and casts fresh light on an imperishable ideal.

278 pages, photographs, bibliography

John Siney - The Miners' Martyr

[pix here] [blank ] John Siney was an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1863 at the age of thirty-two, settled in Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, and rapidly became he leader of coal miners from the hard coal fields of Pennsylvania to the border mines of Missouri.

Nowhere else has the story of Siney's life been so well told. Edward Pinkowski has dug carefully into the past. There can be no doubt that a great deal of research and hard work went into the making of this book.

Scholarly, yet extremely readable, it is obviously written out of a wide knowledge of American coal miners and the forces that created their first able and constructive leader. The background against which Siney worked is most beautifully portrayed.

An amazing portrait, Edward Pinkowski has given it to us as if he had carved it, like masterpiece, from a hunk of coal. It has the smell of the wild country where John Siney fought and bargained and died.

Nobody who is interested in coal can afford to be without JOHN SINEY - The Miners' Martyr. It has not only an excellent bibliography but many source notes.

As a critical biography, the book is a useful and informative work on the life of a man in an intensely dramatic phase of American history.

With the Workingmen's Benevolent Association, Siney introduced the first general strike, the first written agreement, the first closed shop, the first board of arbitration, the first system of sick and death benefits, the first official miners' newspaper, and the first effective industrial union in the American coal industry.

With the Miners' National Association, he speeded up the organization of coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and other parts of the United States.

Siney has been fortunate in his biographer, Edward Pinkowski, who began his literary career in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania. Himself familiar with working the coal beds, he is descended from a coal mining family. His father and grandfather were coal miners before him. Of the six books he has written, two of them deal, in whole or in part, with men and coal.

335 pages, illustrated

Forgotten Fathers

[pix here] [blank ] This book is unique. It deals with men who started something new in American life and are little known by the people who enjoy their contributions to our way of life.

Who first taught first aid? Who started the first correspondence school? Who drew the first comic cartoon in U.S. newspaper history?

From the rough and ready days when Conestoga wagons hauled patent medicines across the land to the present era of permanent waves, parking meters and skyscrapers, Forgotten Fathers traces the rich history of important developments in American life and the dynamic, colorful individuals who had a major role in their making.

And to make the book all the more appealing, Tec Kunda had delineated each father with a uniform series of pen-and-ink portraits. It is our belief that Forgotten Fathers will take its place on the same shelf with Stewart Holbrook's Lost Men of American History.

390 pages, illustrated, includes a listing of sources

Lattimer Massacre

[pix here] [blank ] Where did the Lattimer Massacre occur? A towering tree, a remnant of the blood and dagger days, still stands on the spot, like a memorial to the historic event. About 400 strikers were massed on that public highway on September 10, 1897, when scores of deputy sheriffs, standing in front of the house shown in the background above the man's hat (see cover photograph), opened fire. Andrew Meyer, who lost his right leg there, is pointing to the location of the streetcar route that once ran to the mine patch. One of the last survivors of the 1897 carnage, he lived in Beaver Meadows, six miles away and was a guide for the author in preparation of the story.

40 pages, illustrations

Additional Books by Edward Pinkowski

History of Bridgeport, PA

Chester County Place Names

Anthony Sadowski - Polish Pioneer

Also available from the Pinkowski Institute

Deaf Walls, the poetry of Edmond Kowalewski
with dedicatory preface by Leoplold Stokowski

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