Saturday, May 26, 2012

General Lewis Cass


Eight counties, ten small cities, thirty townships, and numerous streets, schools, parks, and lakes are named after Lewis Cass. Born in New Hampshire in 1782, Cass had a long and distinguished political career at a time when many places in the country needed names. After serving as a brigadier general in the War of 1812, the rugged-looking statesman was appointed governor of the Michigan Territory. In 1831, he became the Secretary of War and was later sent to France as the American Minister, a post he retained for six years. Shortly before returning to the United States in November 1842, Cass was honored by the American expatriate community at a farewell dinner at Les Trois Frères Provençaux in Paris. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here They Come!

New York City, 

The scene is still funny. Appearing in the Sunday comic section of the New York World in March 1899, the first cartoon in a series, it shows a prosperous miner from Montana named “Slagg Diggins” stepping off the ferry with his wife and daughter, ready to enter high society.1 The headline warns the city’s well-established aristocrats, popularly known as The 400,” of the arrival of this newly-minted millionaire, much to the amusement of the city’s masses who were well aware of the societal shift then taking place.