www.mybaycity.com February 14, 2012
Rotary Article 6754

Dave Rogers Talks to Rotary About Book Publishing and Birney in Michigan

February 14, 2012
By: Stephen Kent

February 21, 2012
Bay Area Family Y

Rogers with old book
Rotarian Dave Rogers spoke to Rotary about his recently published book "Apostles of Equality", the story of James G. Birney and his family. The story recounts the Birney's influence in the formation of the Republican Party, his activities the Civil War, and the freeing of the slaves.

Birney was one of the early residents of Bay City, then Lower Saginaw, yet the story of Birney and Bay City was almost lost to history. Rogers knew the name from Birney Park in bay City and some other references, but he knew little more.

Rogers came across a reference to Birney some years ago when he talked to an old book seller at a party. He was taken to the garage where the small book, the 1955 doctoral dissertation by Betty Fladeland, at Southern Illinois University, was located in piles of other books. That started something of a crusade to unearth the story of a man who some would say was the most famous citizen of Bay City.

Rogers illustrated his talk with a number of old volumes he has collected over the past twenty years. Those books frame the anatomy of his work to document Birney's life. Since starting, Rogers has traveled widely to interview relatives of Birney and collect what information he could.

Birney moved to Bay City in 1842 and was something of a political character. His organizing work, it can be said, was the genesis of the Republican Party. It certainly had an important influence.

The 250 page book, from the Michigan State University Press, almost didn't get published. The manuscript was first sent to the University of Kentucky, which "sat on it for a year". Rogers later met the editor from the MSU press at a state historical conference.. She expressed an interest, which eventually lead to the book coming back to MSU for publication.

The Birney story has the opportunity to gain wider circulation through Rogers' book, but also with a project by a local Central High sophomore who placed in last year's Michigan State History Day and now plans to take her documentary, featuring Rogers, to the national competition. The book is available from Rogers, the Bookstore at the Bay County Historical Museum, and on Amazon.


On April 10 the Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley will speak to the club. Mark your calendars and invite guests to attend.

This year's Rotary Concert will be on April 12 at the State Theater as a music only program. Performers and musicians will include a Bob Segar tribute. Program Ads are being sold at this time. Sign up at the next meeting.

The club is looking for new members. A committee headed by Lee Newton has a list of individuals and businesses to be approached. See Lee if you'd like to help.

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Members are encouraged to visit the club's Face Book web page. Click on the Blue Facebook to visit us there.
The club will hold an off-site meeting on February 21 at the new Family Y.

Rotary Concert at the State Theater on April 12, 2012.

International Night is scheduled for October 11, 2012.

Upcoming Programs

(See the official schedule at RotaryBayCity.org )

February 21, 2011: OFF SITE MEETING at the new Bay Area Family Y. See and learn about the new facility.

February 28, 2011: Andrew Kornecky Speaks about caregiver support, forms of dementia including Alzheimer's Disease and how to deal with the emotions of being a caregiver..

March 6, 2011: Mark Pankner talks about Junior Achievement.

March 13, 2011: First Vocational Day .

April 10, 2011: Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley.

Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.

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RotaryBayCity.org BayCityMorningRotary.com
District 6310 Web Site District Dispatch Archive
Rotary International Make-up On-Line at RotaryEclubOne.org
The Rotary Global History Fellowship rotaryfirst100.org
Rotary Global History.

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