Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Lately I finished reading a historical novel about the settlement of Northwest Territory from the 1770's through the period of the War of 1812. It's an older book, published in the 1960's called "The Frontiersman-A Narrative by Allan W. Eckert". This author made a regular career of telling the detailed story of the westward migration of European and American settlers to the areas east of the Mississippi River including Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. By selecting two real-life main characters of the era, the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh and the Frontiersman, Simon Kenton, then tracing their true life adventures, he tells the story. The book is long, nearly 700 pages, with a rich supporting cast of characters from Kenton's friend, Daniel Boone; the renegade Blue-Jacket, William Henry Harrison, governor, frontier general and eventual President of the US. Even Chicago's Very Own Billy Caldwell makes a cameo appearance at the end of the book. The author took pains to stick to the historic facts, while creating dialog to make the story flow. The book portrays "the Indians" in a sympathetic light; a note, it was written before the era of political correctness, so no one is called "native American" or "Afro-American. In the photo below, looking east along Wacker Drive in Chicago, at the end of the sidewalk where the buildings now stand to the right of the bridge was the site of Fort Dearborn. It was destroyed and most of the inhabitants killed in August of 1812; this incident is one of many detailed in the book.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Who was Nellie MClung and why did she write this book? That was the question that drew me into this memoir. Turns out, she was a Canadian writer and politician of the late 19th and early 20th century: one of their suffragettes. Born in 1873, she and her family left there around 1880 to pioneer a new wheat farm in the area of Brandon near Winnipeg. If you loved "Little House on the Prairie" or "Little Women" or "Caddie Woodlawn", you might enjoy this book. The lady was in her 60's when she wrote the book in the early 1930's, yet it seems crisp and young and sprightly with good humor. She explains some of the circumstances that caused many women to support temperance organizations. Somehow it feels as if written by a younger women, closer to our own time. Along with political and social rights for women, Mrs. McClung also supported the idea of Eugenics, which was popular at the time but not so much any more, especially after the actions of the despots of the WWII era. I learned the inspiration for "The Phantom of the Opera" and that men who harvested wheat in late summer preferred raisin pie over all other desserts.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Lately, instead of eclectic patterns of selecting (usually fiction) books, I focused on works of American-centered history. "Wilde...
The venerable gentleman on the left, a life long resident of the Lexington area, has passed away. The senior family member, he was...
Halloween photo is not mine; borrowed from Facebook post of neighbor's daughter! Starting to read more non-fiction, I happened on a...
The Pacific waves were strong that day, the sound of water smashing and crashing, mixed with the fizzy noise of a trillion tiny bubbles bu...