Wikipedia:Peer review/Joseph Desha/archive1

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Joseph Desha[edit]

(more info)

This peer review discussion has been closed.
Another of my Kentucky governor articles. Significant expansion was made possible by the availabilty of new sources, including articles from the Filson Club Historical Quarterly that were recently placed online, publication of a relevant book by Matthew Schoenbachler, and my securing a copy of The Critical Court Struggle in Kentucky (1929) as a Father's Day gift. All that adds up to an expanded article which is hopefully ready to make the leap from GA to FA. Please review as though this were an FAC, which is its next stop. Thanks. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 16:29, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


  • This is an excellent article.
  • I would advise a brief in-text description of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (in the body, not the lead), something like: "the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which reinstated state-sanctioned persecution of Huguenots." That's not the best phrasing, but something of this nature may worth including.
  • "Between the ages of fifteen and twenty-two": should this be "15 and 22"? What's the article's numbering style? It seems usually one through nine are spelled out, and the rest are numeralized.
    • My reading of WP:MOSNUM suggest that it can go either way in this case, but I have no problem changing it, which I have done. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • It's probably fine either way as long as it's internally consistent.--Batard0 (talk) 04:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • " The couple had thirteen children" seems somewhat out of place in the Early life and career section, given that they clearly didn't have all these children in his early life.
    • Yes, but unfortunately, I don't have birth dates for any of them (although I'm sure I could locate one for the infamous son Isaac), and sprinkling "In such-and-such year, another child was born" thirteen different times throughout the narrative doesn't strike me as prudent. Although it may not be entirely congruent with the "Early life" section title, it has usually been my practice to mention the births of all children there unless the birth (or death) of a child affected something specifically for the subject. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Makes sense. You might consider moving this to the later life and death section, given the circumstances. Ideally you would be able to say something like, "The couple had the first of 13 children in XXX year," but that doesn't seem possible here. It's all right as is, but I'd suggest it's slightly awkward to go from him marrying in 1789 --> the couple had 13 children --> they moved to Mason County in 1792. I at first interpreted this sequence to mean they had 13 children between 1789 and 1792 before realizing of course that was impossible. It might be somewhat clearer if it were phrased as "The couple had 13 children in their XXX-year marriage" or an alternative that would set it in the logical context.--Batard0 (talk) 04:35, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In the Early life and career section, it isn't entirely clear to me what made him decide to enter politics or what got him into the military. What role did he serve in the military (outside his formal positions)?
    • I, too, was disappointed with the scanty available details about his military service. I've asked another editor familiar with the time period to see if he could locate anything else. Generally, life on the frontier included skirmishes with the natives almost by default, and one source mentioned that, after Desha's two brothers were killed, he was especially zealous in participating in combat against them. As for his decision to enter politics, I don't really know about that, other than to say that an honorable military career was frequently a prelude to a successful political career in early Kentucky. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • In this case, perhaps we could build some brief additional context around his military service without directly ascribing motives to him (assuming the sources don't contain this). Maybe something like: "several military campaigns against the Indians, with whom settlers of the area had long been in conflict over territorial rights" if in fact this is the case.--Batard0 (talk) 04:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Did Desha's old friend William Whitley die in the Battle of the Thames?
    • Yes. I had hoped that calling it a premonition would be sufficient to convey that. Calling it an "accurate premonition" seems a little awkward. How would you suggest conveying that the premonition was indeed accurate? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • The easiest way, I think, would be simply to write a sentence after this saying, "Whitley died in the battle."--Batard0 (talk) 04:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "He was disappointed to at the decision" Excise "to"
  • It might be worth describing the Panic of 1819 as "the first major financial crisis in the United States" or something like that within the text, obviating the need to follow the wikilink.
  • "Despite the fact that Desha" -> "Despite that Desha"
    • See if my alternative works. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • Looks good. My logic is that there are usually more economical ways to say "despite the fact that".--Batard0 (talk) 04:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I'd consider elaborating on the debt relief issue a little more when it is introduced. Who were the winners and losers in this debate? Was debt relief aimed primarily at farmers who took on large amounts of debt to finance their land and equipment? Was the merchant class generally opposed? It would be nice to get some of the social context of the debate in there.
    • Sometimes I get lazy about this both because it is a very complex issue and because you cannot write about any Kentucky politician from this era without talking about them viz a viz the Old Court-New Court controversy, so I've written about it in a lot of different articles. How is it now? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • This is much clearer. One quibble: I'd suggest replacing "large tracts of land" with "large parcels" or some such, since it's shorter.--Batard0 (talk) 04:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "Kentucky historian Thomas D. Clark recorded that "Desha made..." -> "Kentucky historian Thomas D. Clark wrote that Desha "made..."
  • Can we have a very brief description of the Green v. Biddle case here: "recent decision in the case of Green v. Biddle, which XYZ"
    • It's a little awkward to express succinctly. See how I did. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
      • It's indeed a bit complex. It seems the point was that the decision invalidated land claims granted to some Kentuckians. It'd be nice if it could be simplified, but I thought about it and I'm not yet sure exactly how you'd do it.--Batard0 (talk) 04:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure how this flows from what comes before it: "Relief partisans set about removing the offending judges on the Court of Appeals". It think it'd be good to have a little more preamble and context before introducing this (I know we've discussed the appeals court's actions two sections before, but it would be good to set this more firmly in context by saying Relief partisans set about removing Court of Appeals judges who struck down earlier legislation, etc.).
  • Avoid starting sentences with "Despite the fact that": there are almost always more concise alternatives.
    • Like, "Although", which I've adopted here? Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
  • That's about it. Overall, it's a very good article. I think it should pass FA without much fuss. The references are very good, the writing is clear and engaging and it covers the subject in an adequately comprehensive way.--Batard0 (talk) 12:26, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
  • By the way, I'll be happy to support this once it's an FA nomination; let me know when the time comes.--Batard0 (talk) 15:00, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
    • I'm always glad to have this offer from a reviewer. My FACs move through the process "like molasses in December", as they say where I'm from. Apparently, Kentucky governors aren't all that interesting in the grand scheme of things. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 18:09, 17 July 2012 (UTC)