By Nick Belardes, Caroline Leavitt
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Extra resources for A People's History of the Peculiar: A Freak Show of Facts, Random Obsessions and Astounding Truths
Some government officials and citizens said that the capital should be set inland—as Paris was situated away from the French coastline—yet not too far west, toward the American wilderness. Others argued that the capital should be built next to an existing, large urban center as well as near a port or on the coast. That way, more people and more newspapers could observe the government and keep the young republic in check. A FOUNDING FATHER’S FEUD By 1790, according to Bowling, Vice President John Adams believed that only a great city would be appropriate as the location of the capital, which had to be close to information sources, commerce, and strong media outlets.
Maybe A People’s History of the Peculiar is a book of maps after all. Unfolded, it becomes a doorway. Walk through into a book of knowledge, places, and journeys, like all those great little Aragones drawings from my childhood that were so telling about history, ideas, people, and mysterious places. G. Collingwood once wrote, or just whatever the written record illuminates. Dr. Oliver Rink, a professor of early Dutch America, once explained history as a drunk man searching for his lost keys under a lamppost.
HARPER’S WEEKLY: On September 26, 1863, Harper’s Weekly wrote that Civil War deserters were forced to march to their own funeral behind their coffins. All died instantly except for one man who sat upright nearly a minute after the firings. SOLDIER’S SPELL There are mysteries in what makes a soldier and how soldiers cope with what they do. ” If they have to make sense of it, why do they do it? ” MYSTERIOUS CONVICTIONS OF SACCO AND VANZETTI Did a belief in an anarchist strain of humanism doom two men to death?