It’s all history

img_0789Busty friends of the Mercantile Library and its odd holdings will have noticed that poor old Wm. H. Harrison had absolutely nothing to say in the debate noted in Ed’s posting immediately below. Perhaps the hero of Tippecanoe, whose marble portrait (left) is as far as we’re concerned the best of the lot here, said it all at that two hour inaugural speech, running out of words for eternity. Of course he’s to be found on neither currency nor coin, and nor is any other Ohio president, aside from U. S. Grant, who, one assumes, got his mug on the $50 more for winning the Civil War than for his decidedly unspectacular presidency Such a sorry lot. Non-president Salmon P. (What shall we call the baby, Mother?) Chase does turn up on the no-longer-printed $10,000 bill. His unlovely bust sits next to that of John McLean, the Republican grandee who failed to invite Lincoln to dinner when Abraham was in town. So depressing.

But historic. And speaking of history, if you were going to mark a spot having literary connections with a nice marker like the one at our front door, what would it be? Our number one candidate is the spot across the street where Sam’l Clemens set type. Start thinking, and start suggesting. Your suggestion may bear fruit.

-Nemo Wolfe

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Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 11:37 am  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How about a George Rogers Clark commemorative spittoon?

    Oh, and be sure to stand up to the man…make them pry children’s books from your cold dead fingers.

  2. Poor Ed had to don hazmat gear to work on our attractive but deadly children’s bookshelf today.

  3. You might think I’m nominating these two because it’s Black History Month, but in all honesty I’ve wondered about these two regional literary locations for a long time. i’ve always wanted to determine (and mark) both the geographic location where Sethe and her family lived in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and the spot on the northern bank of the Ohio River where Eliza alights after leaping across ice floes in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

    ‘Course, they’re both fictional, so perhaps the plaques would have to be imaginary as well.

  4. If Steven Weisenberger’s description of the location in Modern Medea is correct, then we know within a few hundred yards where the real life incident on which Toni Morrison based her story took place. And it’s on our short list.

    We’ll dig into the other, but I suspect it’s out of range, upriver at Ripley.

  5. Where did the Literary Club meet in the 1850’s when men like Emerson and later Dickens and Wilde came to speak or attend?

    And while I’ve never read anything by them, what about at Clovernook, the childhood home of Alice & Phoebe Cary?

  6. In the 1850s the Literary club was somewhere around 7th and Elm, I think. Hard to say whether to mark the present club, where it’s been longer than any other site, or where Dickens visited.

    Are you telling me the Cary cottage isn’t already Ohio-marked? That’s a crime.

  7. Cary Cottage: You know, I didn’t think it was marked but it got me thinking so I was going to check over the weekend. And then I forgot. I’m going to still try and get there this week.

  8. Ok, the “Cary Cottage” is marked as such. Alice and Phoebe are mentioned on the marker along with the history of the Cary family and how Clovernook was formed.


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