The Spirit Of ’54

More than two decades before the Revolution broke out, a group of Americans voted on a scheme to unite the colonies. For the rest of his life, Benjamin Franklin thought it could have prevented the war. It didn’t—but it did give us our Constitution.

 

 

Improbable it may seem, but an industrious, aquatic, fur-bearing rodent deserves a share of the credit for the first real effort at unifying Britain’s American colonies. Just as we tend to forget that the Americas were discovered as a byproduct of the search for pepper, the reason the beaver’s contribution has gone unsung all these years is, in the words of the journalist Henry Hobhouse, “Men have always liked to believe in their own influence.” Read more »

Larcenous Mrs. Cody Vs. Pious Miss Gould

Throughout the summer and fall of 1898 a lady named Margaret E. Cody, aged seventy-five or there-about, was a reluctant guest of the county jail in Albany, New York. Mrs. Cody’s preferred residence was in Denver, Colorado, where she and her long-deceased husband had once been leading citizens.

“I am one of the pioneers of Denver,” she said proudly. “I helped to make that city what it is.” Read more »

The Lordly Hudson

Over 350 years a mighty pageant of history has moved through the myth-haunted valley of the “Great River of the Mountains”

Orientals were first upon the river. They came by land, and their journey eastward across the continent from its northwest coast to the banks where, their soothsayers had said, they might rest beside a water that-flows-two-ways, had lasted many generations. There is no knowing who first saw the ocean bound current turn about and run toward the mountains whence it came, but the realization of: a prophecy fulfilled must have come upon him with a stunning impact.