Personalities from “Rough Enough” : David Ferinbaugh Clow (1779 – 1861)

David Ferinbaugh Clow was a paymaster or purser for the Royal Navy. He was the father of John Stevenet Clow, the father of Richard Headley Clow, the center of the book “Rough Enough,” a Civil and Indian War non-fiction book.

David F. Clow entered the British Navy when he was ten years old as a “ship’s boy.” He worked his way up through the ranks to the Regular Navy Officer post of Purser and spent his entire life in the Royal Navy.

David F. Clow had a long and illustrious life with the British Royal Navy in that he was at the battle of Trafalgar, fought off the S.W. coast of Spain on October 5, 1805. This was the battle in which Admiral Horatio Nelson lost his life. David Clow was also at the battle of Copenhagen, the main harbor and capitol of Denmark which was bombarded by the British Navy from September 2 – 5 of 1807. During this battle he was aboard the ship “Collossus”.

During his time in service, David F. Clow also served aboard the ships “Venus”, Swiftshure”, “Tyne”, Perseus” and finally aboard the “Impregnable” while he was stationed in the Mediterranean.

He married Ann Moore (1777 – 1855) and they lived in Haverfordwest, in Pembrokshire, Wales. Ann and David had a total of seven offspring. He died of dropsy.
After his death the family home went to his son, David Ferinbaugh Clow II, who was also a Naval Officer.

Personalities from “Rough Enough” #2 – Mary Bingham Clow

Mary Bingham Clow -1870 Wedding Picture:
Mary Bingham daughter of Lucius and Rebecca Bingham was born in 1853, just a few months after her father had dies in late 1852. The family home was in the Little Sioux, Iowa area and Rebecca Bingham fell in love with the middle aged fur trader and frontier sutler of Fort Union and later Fort Buford, Charles Larpenteur. Rebecca married Larpenteur in 1855 and he went back to Fort Union on the boarder between what is now Montana and North Dakota to work, leaving the family in his residence of Fontainbleau near Little Sioux.   Rebecca grew up in that area and when she was about 17 in early 1870, Charles Larpenteur, who was now living in the large Sutler’s post at Fort Buford, decided to bring the family to Fort Buford to live. The fort had grown and it was safer to bring women into the area, so Mary, her mother, step sister Elizabeth, and her step brother, young Louis, all took the steamboat up the Missouri to the fort.  Fort Buford was on the banks of the Missouri very near its confluence with the Yellowstone River coming out of Southern Montana. Just across the river was a big Sioux camp of nearly a thousand Indians, many of whom traded hides and skins at the fort.

Working at the Sutler’s post was the young ex-soldier, Richard Clow, now acting as the clerk for Charles Larpenteur.  Within less than six months, Mary and Richard Clow had courted and were married. Perhaps this was at the same time that Mary’s step sister Elizabeth married another ex-soldier, Alf Knott. The picture on this page is a blow-up of the face of Mary, showing how much detail can be retained by old photographs.  Truly a beautiful young woman.

By 1871 Charles Larpenteur was losing his trading post due to the political battles for that plum position.  In the spring of 1871, Mary and Richard Clow accompanied Charles Larpenteur and wife on the steamboat Andrew Ackley downriver to Little Sioux Iowa. Mary was newly pregnant and the journey to Iowa was the easy part of the next nine months as the family bought land, lived with relatives, built a home and plowed up fields for late garden planting.  By winter they were snug in new homes and ready to overwinter when tragedy struck the Clow/Larpenteur clan.

Young Louis Larpenteur died suddenly, Richard Clow was taken ill and recovered and then the new baby, Bertha, was born in mid winter.  At this point again things seemed to ease up on the family until baby Bertie was taken ill and died suddenly, March 4, 1872.  A month later Mary Bingham Clow also died, April 6, 1872.  Both are buried on a hillside with white tombstones, outside of Little Sioux, Iowa.  In November of 1872, Mary’s stepfather, Charles Larpenteur also died, changing the paths of life for both Richard Clow and his mother-in-law, Rebecca Bingham Larpenteur.

You can follow this story more fully in the full book, “Rough Enough: Including Richard Clow’s Letters and Diary from the Civil and Indian Wars, 1865 – 1875.

Rough Enough by Richard H. McBee Jr.

Rough Enough by Richard H. McBee Jr..

Ionia Martin has done another wonderful review. Her sensitive understanding of the lives of our 19th century ancestors leaves the reader with the desire to pursue their own heritage after following Richard Clow through a number of years which can be described as “Rough Enough.”

John Stevenet Clow (Aug. 12, 1810 – Mar. 13, 1892: Father of Richard Headley Clow

John Stevenet Clow (Aug. 12, 1810 - Mar. 13, 1892: Father of Richard Headley Clow

Born in Haverford West, Wales in 1810, John Stevenet Clow studied art and then left Wales to emigrate to Nova Scotia. There he married Agnes Louise Redman in 1831 and lived with her at her farm for a number of years. The farm, in Schubenackedy (Shubenacadia) was sold and the family moved to Dartmouth across the harbor from Halifax. The family had a total of 8 live children, with Richard Headley Clow being the last of these, being born May 25, 1847. Two years later in 1849, Agnes died while giving birth to a 9th child.

Following Agnes’ death in 1849, the family moved to Boston. The passenger list for the Brig Belle in 1853 shows a portion of the family’s move including that of Richard Clow.

John Stevenet Clow worked for three years in a patent office copying documents and then worked in a photograph gallery coloring photographs. (An enlargement of this attending photo shows his reddened cheeks). While in Boston, John Clow married for a second time to a woman named
Sarah Ellis Leighton. There do not appear to be any children from this union.

In 1855, he left Boston with his wife and at least one daughter, Bertha, stopping in Erie, PA to see two older sons, Thomas and John Sherwin (Sher). Young Richard was left in Boston with his older sister (nearly 20 years his senior), Agnes Louise and her husband, Alexander Cruikshank.

John Stevenet Clow settled in Madison, Wis. where he had a small art gallery while his wife and daughter worked in a small shirt factory which they had started. He was naturalized in 1856 to be a US citizen and at the close of the Civil War was living in Milwaukee, Wis. with a short sojourn in McGregor, Iowa.

In the summer of 1870 he moved to Minnesota and lived with his son John Sherwin and other son Thomas for a period of time on the farms and then bought his own farm near Lyle in Mower Country. He paid 600$ for the farm. The next year he sold the farm for $1000 and moved for a short time to Austin, Minn.

In 1872 he picked up again and moved to San Francisco where he worked a coloring photographs for McMillan Bros. but was actually supported by his wife who had a dress making shop. Near the end of his life he was in a home for the aged and was supported by his children. He died in the San Francisco area in 1892.

Rain, Sleet, Snow or Shine – Tidy up your mess! That’s the writer’s lot.

Oregon can have a lot of varied weather and today in Hood River was one of those. Ice pebbles in the early morning rain almost forming an opaque screen on the windshield followed by a warm front with fifty degree rain interspersed with sunshine to brighten the usually dreary Hood River day.  How I love to sit out on the porch for a few minutes with my eyes shut and just soak up the rays!

Today was clean-up day in the writing lab. I don’t know why most days my mind can be so organized on writing, editing, learning Civil War trivia, and methodically working on seashell classification yet leave behind a trail of chaotic note cards, open reference books, half read Scientific articles and open maps of Civil War Petersburg, VA.  It seemed like today was when it all hit me at to what a pig-sty I had created.  I guess in part it was also pointed out to me by my artist wife that she no longer had a place to put her oil paints and watercolors or to lay her picture mats because I had strewed the entire 400 square feet of room with my “stuff” to put it politely.  

Three hours later, the room looked a lot better, I felt better about getting back to my writing and my spouse was humming away as she framed yet another of her massive collection of botanical watercolors. My gosh, if we sold a few she could keep me in the style of life I’ve become accustomed to living.

Seriously, at least now I can find my calendar to start planning the book events for the summer and get on with making plans to visit St. Louis in July or late August for a book talk about Richard Clow’s life.  With any luck I can get up to the three events per week that my PR supervisor says will push the book up into the next category of sales.  So, get your copy of “Rough Enough” now off Kindle, Nook, Google Books, Ibooks and in Paperback to suit your own proclivities. E-Books are the wave o the future but you will still need to do some marketing to get out of the riffraff  and into the real market place where books sell like hotcakes.  So warm up the blogs, get your Amazon Author and LinkedIn sites up and go for it!

Moving to the next level of WordPress Activity for Book Marketing

Today as I was thinking about having a web site with a shopping cart on it to market books, I happened to thumb open the Columbia Gorge Community College Catalog and there, lo and behold, was a class teaching how to do it!  No I don’t mean …, I mean how to build a web site on WordPress with a shopping cart on it.  So Wow!  Now I’m going to spend a multitude of hours this next seven days getting myself up and running to be able to sell some of my own books, (the signed copies) right off of my home computer!  You know the internet and the things it allows us to do today that we couldn’t do back in 1962 when I graduated from High School are just phenomenal!  How I’d like to be able to push the Benjamin Buttons knob and spend another 50 years reversing my age and then click it into forward again to follow the next fifty there are going to be some exciting things happening in the next 100 years with computers and who knows what else.   so I’m going to become a dedicated blogger and web site manager and self managing book seller, all of course which means I will probably have to dump my ten year old laptop and get something new.

When you get done reading this don’t forget to go to your search engine on Kindle, Google, Barnes and Noble, Ibooks or Kindle and put in “Rough Enough”: Richard Clow so that you can see my new Civil War book at your favorite store and get with the reading.  There are some really good reviews on Amazon already and at most sites you can look inside the book.  Be sure to go to Chapter 3 and read the letter written by Richard Clow while he is waiting to be transported to his new posting in Petersburg, VA. Kind of an eyeopener about how things were for the newly enlisted men in 1865. Read the book, then email me to say what you liked and disliked about the book.  I’d love to hear from you.

Sometimes I could Joint the “Tea Party”

Whoa! A day that started off with a bang, exercise on the machines at the club and with the Senior Circuit semi exercise- semi gab group afterwards to get in over an hour and a half of muscle workout.  Then into the computer and answered a bunch of great emails from people connecting on LinkedIn and others sending me their snail mail addresses to get review copies of the new Civil War book, “Rough Enough” before it hits the stands all over the country in 15 days! 

Then the dog (Elliott) got into the ducks!  Boy what a quacking mess!  Jill had to catch Crazy Duck who didn’t seem to be able to find his way back through hole in the fence (I wish I’d had the video camera on for that one!). The whole troop packed off to the neighbors pond in disgust but they’ll be home tonight for food and nest boxes to lay their eggs. 

Then the real fun began!  TAXES! UGH!

I found that the IRS has now gotten the instructions and the forms so hard find, run off and print, let alone fill out, that we have reached the point of needing an all-out HUMAN rebellion against the Corporate Personhood of tax crap we have created. 

I believe in one of our founding countries, Great Britain, where they seem to govern fairly well without a constitution, there is a rule about  the laws needing to be understandable to THE MAN or WOMAN ON THE STREET!

After finding that Schedule D now requires several other forms to even complete it on the basic level (Like all I have is a bunch of losses to carry over from the Bush era stock crash and a total of 7 stock transactions and I need five forms to tell Uncle Sam that I still have a loss that will take me 20 years to deduct at $3000 per year?) Who are we kidding?

We need to get a flat tax rate for HUMANS and save all this other “crap” for the Corporate Personifications of humanity devised by lawyerhood and ratified by a Supreme Court that must have had it’s head somewhere else than on the bench when companies became people.  

Time to throw the Tea back into Boston Harbor and make it easy for Cesar to get the last Sou from my pocket without me having to take antidepressants and blood pressure medicine in order to do what the man or woman on the street should be able to do easily – Pay my taxes!

Holy-Cow! What a rant! Buy the book – See how it was truly “Rough Enough” for most people back in the 1860’s!

Reader Questions for “Rough Enough: My Ideas When Desiging the Cover

What are the ideas that come to mind when you look at the cover of “Rough Enough?”

Jot them down before you go on to read what I was thinking when I gave the artist the original design.

Now look down below the picture of the book cover and check out what I was thinking as the author.


The young man carrying the Union Flag represents Richard Clow. The road ahead and the setting sun to the west represents his future in the military on the frontier, his family and mining in Deadwood, SD. The ruffled pages at the borders represent the letters he wrote to his sisters and his diary; all are transcribed within the book.

A few Advance Reading copies are still available for reviewers on Amazon, in blogs and other publications. Send me your snail mail address and I’ll return copies until the last 12 copies run out. Enjoy!

Another Great Day in the PR of Civil War Book “Rough Enough”

Wow! There I was, pulling up my Author site on Amazon and there for the first time, they have let someone post a Review!  James R. Holland gets the kudos for fast action and superb verbiage in writing a review that really takes your breath away.

Here is a man who initially thinks he’s going to jump to the last part of the book and read about Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876, during a time when his own ancestor was setting himself up to be shot dead and enter the realm of fable. Instead, he happens to read one of Richard Clow’s (rhymes with flow) first letters home from the Civil War and takes the hook! By the time he gets to the mining at the end and the period of Wild Bill’s demise, he has filled in a lot of details about enlisted men during the Civil War, where those men came from, and where they ended up after the war if they migrated to the frontier.

Follow the link – Read the book – You’ll love it! (Also soon (March 1, 2013) to be available at Barnes and Noble and on all e-formats!)


Heron Pond: First Glass of my Viento Red

Heron Pond: First Glass of my Viento Red

Here’s the beautiful ruby red color of my just siphoned first glass of the wine made from the old Viento Grape stock which was taken from the current site of Viento State Park, Oregon back in the 1980’s. The grapes were probably planted there in the 1940’s or thereabouts when my Grandfather, Gordon G. Brown owned a truck farm on the land that was later covered by waters as the Bonneville Dam filled that section of the Columbia River Gorge. He was going broke at the truck farming and so thanked his lucky stars that the government bought him out and he was able to start a pear orchard up in Dee, just south of Hood River, Oregon. Note the Airedale dog in the background, Elliott. Very Posh! as my wife would call this big wooly of a dog.


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