28 December 1863 - Washington, D.C.

Today I visited the Capitol Building to see the new nearly-completed dome. I understand they are still working on the inside.

Original U.S. Capitol Dome in 1846
This isn’t the original dome. That one was completed in 1823 and was made of copper. The country soon outgrew it’s capitol building, and needed to expand. Unfortunately the old dome would be dwarfed by the new additions.

Construction on a taller more elegant dome began in 1855. The Civil War halted the construction in 1861, but President Abraham Lincoln insisted it continue, if only for the moral of this nation.

I had my camera glasses on to record the gleaming bronze statue on top. It had just been placed on the 2nd of this month. I zoomed in to get a better look.

“She is a beauty, isn’t she, sir?” a voice beside me said. “Nearly twenty feet tall.”

I turned to find a man about sixty of African descent. “Yes, she is. Do you know something about the statue?”

“Her name is ‘Freedom,’ and I made her.”

I wasn’t sure if the man was mad, or if he was practicing that infamous American art of “pulling my leg.” “Really? I was told Thomas Crawford sculpted the statue.”

“He did indeed, sir, may he rest in peace. Mr. Crawford was the artist who designed her and made the plaster model in Rome. Someone had to create the mold and pour the bronze here.”

“Ah! So, you were the craftsman who created the finished product.”

“Took more than one man, but I was the foreman in charge.”

“Foundry men are the unsung heroes of the art world. Well, I must say, I am most pleased to meet you, sir.” I stuck out my hand. “May I ask your name?”

“Phillip Reid, sir. I was bought as a slave by Mr. Ferraro, a foreman with the Clark Mill Foundry. They were awarded the contract. I wasn’t the only slave working on the capitol building.”

“The capitol was built by slave labor?”

“Mostly. The fellow in charge of the renovations didn’t seem to mind, being a slave owner himself. Last I heard he was down in Richmond, being President to this here Confederacy.”

“Jefferson Davis!” I found it all too ironic. “I had heard the Confederacy originally wanted to make Washington, D.C. their capital.”

Capitol earlier this year (1863)
“Reckon old Mr. Davis didn’t want to give up all his hard work. Heard he changed the design on the statue, though. Mr. Crawford wanted to put something called a Liberty Cap on Freedom’s head.”

“Ah, yes. Like the freed slaves in the ancient Roman Empire wore?”

Reid nodded. “Mr. Davis had a tizzy fit. Made him change it to a helmet.”

“Did your master allow you to watch the statue being set?”

“What master?” Reid grinned at me. “President Lincoln signed an act outlawing slavery in the District of Columbia back in April of last year. When my old master striked for more money, Mill turned the project over to me.”

“Congratulations on your freedom, sir. I can see why this statue has special meaning for you.”

Reid shaded his eyes to look up at the statue. “Yup, ‘Freedom’ might have been molded by slaves, but she was raised onto her pedestal by freemen.”

I wish I could have told Phillip Reid that one day an African-American would take the Oath of Office in the shadow of his statue. I’m sure he would never have believed me. But then I suppose he would not have believed me if I told him thirty years ago that one day he would be free and his handiwork would crown the U.S. Capitol Building.

You never know what the future might bring.


Merry Christmas from 1863

Merry Christmas to one and all.

This is a Thomas Nast illustration from the current (1863) Harper's Magazine. It shows a soldier on furlough in the center. I'm assuming that is his wife.

The chap in the picture to the left is Santa Claus. Many credit Nast with creating the image we most associate with the gentleman.


Denmark's Answer to the Final Solution

Modern 27th century Copenhagen has managed to save some of 19th century, but like many modern cities, it is now very different. The Danes however have managed to hang onto their love of freedom and equality as I witnessed with the signing of the Constitution back in 1849.

Another reminder of that spirit is a statue now outside Amalienborg Palace. It is a bronze statue of King Christian X, upon his horse Jubilee, erected in the 23rd century. Upon his arm is a Star of David band.

In World War II Germany invaded the tiny country of Denmark, because of its strategic location. Holland had tried to resist before with disastrous results, Germany severely punishing the Dutch for their audacity. Denmark knew it had no more chance of confronting the military super power than Holland. So the Danes surrendered.

King Christian X on Jubilee
Denmark at first was treated benignly, then increasingly more oppressive. The elderly King Christian of Denmark went along as much as necessary, but didn’t hide his disdain for the invaders. Every morning he would ride his horse, Jubilee, through the streets, waving to the cheering Danes, and pointedly ignoring the German soldiers who saluted him. He rode alone without any guards. It’s said one day a soldier asked why the King had no guards, and a cocky teenager replied “We are all his guards.”

Then, the story goes, the Germans ordered all Jews in Denmark to wear a Star of David on their arms, like Jews in the other German occupied lands. The next morning Kin g Christian came out wearing a Star of David band himself. Everyone started wearing one. The bands were made useless.

I hate to tell you this, but this lovely story is a myth. Never happened. We think of the word “myth” as being synonymous with “lie,” but that is not true. A myth is a symbol of a larger truth.

Yes, Christian did ride Jubilee every morning, but he never wore a band, because no one in Denmark ever wore a band. Perhaps this story persists because it is exactly what the King would have done. From the very beginning of the occupation, he let it be known that he did not approve of anti-Semitism. A Dane was a Dane, whatever their religion or ethnic background. When a synagogue was targeted by arsonists, Christian issued a statement condemning this action. The vandals and the newspaper instigators were severely punished. The Germans left the Danish Jews alone, if only to secure Danish cooperation.

Then in 1942, Hitler sent King Christian a long glowing telegram, congratulating him on his 72nd birthday. King Christian answered with a curt “My best thanks, King Chr.” This insulted Hitler. He recalled the German ambassador from Denmark and kicked the Danish one out of Germany.

George Duckwitz
On the 28th of September, 1943, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, a German diplomat, Nazi party member and Gestapo insider, warned Hans Hedtoft, chairman of the Danish Social Democratic Party, that the Gestapo planned to round up the Danish Jews on 1 October. This date was chosen because it was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, a very holy day when Jews would most likely be home celebrating. Bit like rounding up Christians on Christmas. Hans Hedtoft warned the Jewish leaders and the Resistance. News spread like wildfire by word of mouth to all the Danes.

There is one story that an ambulance driver was told by a passing acquaintance to go warn all his Jewish friends about the arrests. He didn’t know any Jews. So he procured a telephone book and looked up Jewish sounding names. He would drive to their house and warn them. If they said they had nowhere to run, he put them in the back of his ambulance and drove them to Bispebjerg Hospital.

He was not the only one bringing them in. Dr. Karl Koster, the Chief Surgeon, put his organizational skills to work. Beds were quickly filled up with healthy Jews “rechristened” with non-Jewish names on their charts. Out buildings were quickly filled up. Nurses and doctors began hiding them in homes. The hospital was just one impromptu rescue operation of many.

The Gestapo came to round up the Jews. They only found 5% of the nearly 8,000. The other 95% were hiding in attics, basements and churches of friends, associates and total strangers. Everyone knew this was a temporary measure at best. Soon the Germans would be looking beyond Jewish homes.

Fishing boat arrives in
 Sweden with Jews
Nobel Prize winner, and Danish physicist, Niels Bohr and that German chap, Duckwitz, who had given the warning, worked to get Sweden to accept the Jewish refugees. The Jews were then secreted across the short strait to the neutral country, hidden inside fishing boats. Sweden did its best to help the homeless, often penny-less, escapees.

Meanwhile, the about 450 Danes arrested were taken to Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. They were not given up by Denmark. They received packages from the Danish Red Cross with life saving food and hope. Enclosed in each package was a letter from their King telling them they had not been forgotten. I wonder how many Jews died in the concentration camps from sheer hopelessness, feeling no one cared? Over 85% of the Danish Jews survived the concentration camp. Considering that most of the Danish captives were those too old or too sick to run, that is truly remarkable!

Swedish Red Cross buses saving Danish Jews
 As the allies closed in, the Nazis often killed those left alive in the concentration camps. Not at Theresienstadt. The Swedish Red Cross negotiated for the release of the Danish Jews. No doubt fearing repercussions from Denmark, the Germans loaded the captives onto Red Cross buses and took them to Copenhagen, put them on boats and shipped them to Sweden. It must have been bittersweet for the refugees, driving through, but not stopping in their beloved Denmark.

Along the roads, Danes lined up and cheered their escaping countrymen. The passengers waved back, sobbing. It’s said one old man, jumped to his feet and began singing the Danish national anthem. Everyone else on the bus joined him. Well, everyone but the German guards, who told them, at gunpoint, to shut-up and sit down.

Weeks later the Nazis were history and Denmark was once again free. The Jews returned to a big welcome. Most found their homes had been watched over by neighbors. Those less lucky were given compensation from the Danish government to get them back on their feet.

One chap found one of his books missing and became angry. Then he recalled all the other Jews in Europe who had lost everything--their homes, their families, their lives. All he lost was a book. He sat down and wept as it all hit him.

Kirkat Denya (Denmark Square)
Sculpture representing fishing boat
At the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem there is a row of tree planted, one for each of the righteous who saved Jews during World War II. I don’t believe there are any to the Danes. That would take a whole forest. Instead Israel has parks, memorials, streets and even postage stamps dedicated to Denmark’s rescue.

It’s said one question that was repeatedly asked at the Nuremberg Trials was “Why did you help to kill the Jews?” The answer was always the same: “What else could we do?” Later many writers asked the Danes why they had risked their lives to help save the Jews. Their answer was the same: “What else could we do?”

Some will point out that the Jewish population of Denmark was not huge, that some of the German soldiers in Denmark were not that gung-ho about rounding up Jews, that Sweden was just next door and that a few Danes were anti-Semitic and actually helped in the round-up. However it is estimated that perhaps as much as 99%, of the Jewish Danes were saved. That would not have happened if most Danes had turned a blind eye to their fellow countrymen.

All right, so the statue King Christian with the mythical arm band is a bit of a fib. The truth is far grander.

The Danish Solution: The Rescue of the Jews in Denmark
The website
the documentary on Youtube

The Story of Ellen Nielsen Just one of the countless Danish heroes.

Number the Stars at Amazon by Lois Lowry. The fictional account of how one Danish girl saves her friend. This won the 1990 Newberry Award in Children’s Literature.

A Conspiracy Of Decency: The Rescue Of The Danish Jews During World War II by Emmy Werner at Amazon


The Fairy Tale King

Wednesday, 13 June 1849 - Copenhagen, Denmark

Today I visited the home of one of the most beloved story tellers of all time--Hans Christian Andersen. Since 1845, he has been living at 67 Nyhavn in Copenhagen. It is a quaint neighborhood, despite the fact that these are the city docks, where ships unload.

Andersen is a shy but charming fellow. He appears to live by himself. He graciously took the time to grant me a short interview.

Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark, 2nd of April, 1805. He was apprenticed to a tailor, but decided that wasn’t for him. So he left when he was 14 and came to Copenhagen to become an actor.

However his real talent has always been writing. He published his first story when only 17. It was a ghost story. He wrote more short stories as well novels, poems, plays and travelogues. Then in 1835 he wrote a book of Fairy Tales. It bombed. So he wrote more short stories, novels, poems, plays and travelogues.

He never gave up on Fairy Tales, though. Since 1838 he has published four more volumes. He is currently working on another collection to be printed in five booklets this year, starting in August, and published together in one volume next year.

Andersen told me he had visited England two years ago. He got to meet his childhood hero, Charles Dickens at a party. Dickens made quite an impression on Andersen, but then Andersen made an impression on Dickens. It’s believed Dickens modeled his character, Uriah Heap, on the Dane--well, the physical description, anyway. Andersen didn’t strike me as a back-stabbing yes-man.

I also noticed a photo on a table of a young lady and asked if she was a relative. Andersen picked it up and said it was his friend, Jenny Lind, the Swedish opera singer. The way he looked at the photo, I think he wished they were more than friends.

Then I remembered, Andersen never married. It’s hard to believe a successful writer couldn’t snag a wife. But Andersen is shy and has a habit of falling in love with the unobtainable. It’s believed many of his fairy tales reflect his unrequited love “affairs.” I couldn’t help but feel for the poor chap.

On the brighter side, Andersen’s rising star as a writer will only shine brighter. He will become internationally famous and receive a stipend from the king of Denmark in his old age. Even before he dies in 1875, the city will be already be designing and planning a statue for him at the Town Hall Square.

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales will never go out of print and he will be loved by generation of children. There will one day even a statue of him in New York City’s Central Park. It will have to be replaced over the centuries because children have worn it down, hugging it and crawling on its lap. I think Andersen would have liked that.

Danny Kaye as Hans Christian Andersen tells the story of
The Ugly Duckling

Hans Christian Andersen the artist? He used to make paper cutouts to entertain children. You can find his collection at The Hans Christian Andersen Museum at his birthplace in Odense.


The Danish Golden Age

 As you know, I came back to 1849 to record the signing of the Danish Constitution on 5 June. I also came to record the end of the Danish Golden Age in the arts and sciences. This age lasted from 1800 to 1850 and was centered here in Copenhagen. Not that everyone threw down there paint brushes and pens on 1 January 1850, of course. They still continued to work. The term “Golden Age” was only coined in hindsight in 1890.

1807 Bombardment (I do appologize)
The Denmark’s Golden Age had less than an idyllic start. In 1794 and 1795, Copenhagen suffered horrific fires that destroyed both the Christianborg Palace and large areas of the inner city. Then in 1801 and 1807 Copenhagen was further devastated by enemy bombardment over a political disagreement with the...ahem...British. (Perhaps I should try to fake an American accent?) By 1813 Denmark was forced to declare bankruptcy. Add to this, they lost a huge portion of their realm when Norway was succeeded to Sweden in 1814.

Henrik Steffens
Perhaps after this low point, Denmark felt it had nowhere to go but up. Architects had a field day rebuilding Copenhagen, giving the city a neo-classical look. Henrik Steffens, philosopher, scientist and poet, gave nine lectures on German Romanticism, inspiring countless artists, composers and thinkers and getting in trouble with Danish authorities, which probably made it all that more romantic.

Perhaps I should explain what Romanticism is. It was a revolt against stuffy aristocratic social and political norms, the dehumanizing Industrial Revolution and the rational ideas of the Age of Enlightenment. It emphasized individuality, inspiration, intuition and strong emotions. The music, art and literature tried too make you feel awe, horror or passion. It brought us everything from Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” to pre-Raphaelite artists to Gothic horror novels. Victorian culture seemed like a tug-of-war between the progress of cold Industrialism and the sentimentality of emotional Romanticism.

Then there was the political aspects of the movement. The Industrial Revolution was making the world smaller with trains and telephones. Romanticism lauded Nationalism, which focused on local folklore, language and customs. That lead to ethnic groups demanding self-determination and revolting against the empires ruling them. Now you see why the authorities were none to happy with Steffens.

If the Danish Golden Age started on a low note, it ended on a high note. A few days ago, Denmark became a Constitutional Monarchy making it far more democratic. The Danes are currently fighting the First Schleswig War but they will beat Prussia. (The Second Schleswig War won’t go as well.) The ramparts around the city will finally be opened up in the 1850s, allowing the city to expand beyond the crowded inner city. Industrialism will really take off in the 1860s, creating new jobs and wealth.

For now, it’s still 1849 and I plan to find as many of the leaders of Danish Golden age as I can. I will tell you about them in my tweets.

Guide to the Danish Golden Age

A company of Danish artists in Rome
painted by Constantin Hansen, 1837
From left to right: Constantin Hansen, Martinus Rørbye, Wilhelm Marstrand, Albert Kuchler, Ditlev Blunck and Jørgen Sonne.
 Lying on the floor is architect Bindesboll.

Hankehøj by Johan Thomas Lundbye (1847)


I Dig Up the Dirt

18 July 1858

Hallstatt is a quaint little town, squeezed between a lake and a mountain. The only reason anyone ever built a village in such a ludicrous location is because of what is in that mountain--salt.

Salt is called “white gold.” It is more than just a seasoning. In the days before refrigeration, it is one of the few ways to preserve meat, fish, butter and cheese. These mines have lured men here since ancient times, making Hallstatt one of the oldest communities in Europe.

I came here with two missions. One was to record the Hallstatt of the nineteenth century, which I believe I have done well. The other was to meet Johann Georg Ramsauer. This task proved more difficult.

Herr Ramsauer is a very busy man, being the current Bergermister of the salt mines. While an important position, it is not what history will remember him for. Ramsauer is a legendary pioneer in the field of archaeology.

Ramsauer had been intrigued by strange items occasionally found deep in the mines. These were primitive looking chisels of bronze and iron, leather rucksacks, wooden scoops, and other tools, all preserved by the salt. He also stories of the “Salt Man” found in the last century. The workers had found the mummified remains of a miner, apparently killed in a cave in. There had been a huge debate in town over whether to give the poor blighter a church burial, since he obviously was not Christian. That would have made the remains very old indeed!

In 1846 Ramsauer found an ancient cemetery high in the mountains. A superstitious man would have left it alone. A greedy man would have dug it up for possible treasure. Ramsauer knew the real value of this place was what it could teach us of these ancient people. He decided to carefully excavate each grave.

I was interested in meeting this man and seeing his work. I had sent a message telling him I was an “antiquarian.” I had yet to receive an answer. I didn’t know if it was because the message had not been delivered, Ramsauer was too busy to respond, or was simply ignoring me. I had mentioned I was from Cambridge, hoping to impress him. Afterwards it dawned on me that may not have been the wisest move. Germany and Britain are currently not on the best of terms.

Last Friday, while reading a book at a café, a gentleman approached me. He asked in English if I spoke German, for he noticed the book I read was in English. I told him I spoke German like a tourist. He found that funny and introduced himself as Wolfgang Gruber, a history professor from the University of Vienna.

He noticed I the book I read was on ancient history. I told him I had a degree in classical history from the University of Cambridge. Of course, I did not tell him I would receive my degree twenty years in the future, and that I got it while studying 19th century college life for 27th century Cambridge.

Gruber was quite delighted to run into another historian, even if my German is as imperfect as his English. He told me he had come to Hallstatt to meet Johann Ramsauer. The two had corresponded and Ramsauer had invited him to join him at a dig. The two had arranged for a meeting Saturday. He asked if I would like to come along. I could not believe my luck!

This morning we met Johann Ramsauer at his home. He apologized for not meeting Gruber earlier, but he was a very busy man. Noticing all the youngsters running about, I could easily believe that. History reports he raised twenty-four children!

Gruber introduced me, and asked if I could come along, vouching for my character. Ramsauer looked a little embarrassed. “So, you are this Howe fellow who sent me that note? When you said you were an antiquarian, I thought you were a treasure hunter.”

I assured him my curiosity is merely academic and I am not here to disturb his excavations or interfere in anyway. He smiled, and told me I would be more than welcome.

Ramsauer took us up into the mountains to his latest excavation. He asked us not to reveal the exact location, least grave robbers come looking for plunder. I was already wearing my glasses/camera, so was recording everything, but I told him truthfully I would not tell anyone alive where I had been or what I had seen. (After all, the people I was recording this for would not be born for several centuries.)

I’m an temporal anthropologist, not an archaeologist, but I have taken a couple of courses on the science. Like anthropology, archaeology is a new science in the 1800s, so Ramsauer’s operation would be considered primitive by today standards. His procedures, however, are most professional. Rather than ransacking the grave, he carefully and methodically uncovers it. Each grave is numbered and the contents and their location recorded as best he can. I must say, I am very impressed with his methods. Although an amateur, he richly deserves the title “archaeologist.”

Ramsauer said he has uncovered hundreds of graves. I didn’t tell him that he would eventually find exactly 993 by the year 1863. And there will still be hundreds more for future archaeologists. He said all the burials seemed to have funerary goods in them, mostly pottery and tools. Occasionally he ran across a final resting place of wealthy individual with gold or silver jewelry. However, the burials pointed to a fairly equal society, rather than one where a few powerful men grabbed everything.

Gruber and I spent the day helping Ramsauer excavate. I have had a few archaeologists tell me temporal anthropologists are brave for wanting to go back into the past, but let me tell you, archaeologists are no skackers! It’s back-breaking, tedious work, and while I enjoyed being able to work next to Ramsauer, it is not something I would want to do for a living. Temporal anthropologists have it easy!

We stopped before it got dark, so we could make it down the mountain without injuring ourselves. Once back at the village, Ramsauer showed us some of the relics he has collected, not only from the graves, but from the salt mines.

Ramsauer said the workers are very good about turning things they found in the tunnels over to him. He also said, that while he tries to keep the excavation site a secret, he know full well the natives would have no problem finding and ruining it. The townsfolk treat his project with respect, perhaps as a bit a civic pride. These are after all their ancestors and family history.

I think one of the most amazing things in his collection is a scrap of clothe found in the salt mine. It is a herringbone twill in green and brown plaid. Thousands of years old, it looked like it had come from an Victorian Englishman’s trousers. I almost had to laugh.

How fitting it should be plaid. The Hallstatt excavation will give it’s name to the Hallstatt culture, the first culture that can truly be called Celtic. The Celts would eventually spread all the way from Ireland to Turkey. There is some controversial evidence they may have gone as far as China and America!

How much information and evidence would have been lost if another man other than Ramsauer had first found these graves and ransacked them? How much would have been lost if the good people of Hallstatt had not left the site alone. Historians all owe them a big debt of gratitude.

I was invited to join Ramsauer and Gruber Sunday after church for more excavating. While my muscles are sore, I can hardly say no. Who knows, maybe I’ll find something exciting.


The Case of the Mislaid Lord

I have again tried my hand at writing a Victorian Ripping Tale (also known as Penny Dreadfuls.) Here is my latest installation in the Sterling Chronicles and the astounding adventures of Professor Horatio Sterling and his stalwart companion, Dr. Obadiah Dullard. I bring you The Case of the Mislaid Lord.


A Few Facts About Orchids

Since orchids have taken over my life right now, I've done some reading about them. Here are some surprising facts I found.

- Orchids are believed to be the oldest flower in the world. To verify it we would have to risk getting stepped on by dinosaurs--yes, they are that old.

- Orchids are the second largest family of plants. There are four times as many varieties of orchids as there are of mammals--and there are a lot of mammals.

- Most orchids are found in the tropics, but they can be found north of the Arctic Circle or in the mountains above tree line.

- Orchids can be as big as the Giant Orchid with a bulb 10 feet wide or can be so tiny it takes a magnifying glass to see the blooms. -->

- Orchids can grow in soil, in swamps or even in the air. Many varieties attach themselves to trees and collect water with their exposed spongy roots.

- The world’s most popular flavor comes from the pods of the Vanilla Orchid of Mexico

- The Victorians started the modern orchid trade, exploring the world to bring back orchids for greenhouses.

- Some orchids attract pollinators with sweet smells but some use bad smells. After all, flies work as well as bees for pollinating.

- Some orchids are far more devious. They will disguise themselves as female insects, complete with pheromones to attract males. The duped Romeo will then visit another orchid, taking the pollen to it that the first bloom smeared on him. All the lovesick insect gets from his assistance is a nasty surprise. It’s believed one third of all orchids use this trick. (Bit underhanded if you ask me.)

- Florida has over a hundred varieties of orchids still in existence. Heaven knows how many disappeared when man began destroying their habitat.


I Discover Lily's Problem

30 April 1860 - Florida Everglades

Temporal Biologists are a bit too obsessed with their job to be very good company. Dr. Lily Pinehurst, however, is the worst I have ever worked with.

She doesn’t like me to get too close, which in our cramped quarters is very difficult. I must be three feet away from her at all times. If I get any closer, she starts hissing at me not to touch her. So I back up and try to stay as far away as possible.

I’ve tried to start conversations with her, but she either ignores me or shushes me. She won’t speak to me unless she has to and then it sounds like an order. She talks to her orchids, but not to me. I get the distinct feeling she does not want me around at all, except as a slave to punt her about the swamp.

Today Pinehurst found a patch of ground with trees she wanted to explore. We have found quite a few orchids growing on trees. They attach themselves and then dangle their spongy roots to collect dew and rain water. I stayed with the punt, knowing I wasn’t wanted.

I was reading some files in my pocket computer when I heard a blood curdling scream. I sprang up and hurried to the source, climbing over logs and roots. I found Lily standing there looking terrified.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I can’t move my feet. Make the ground let go!”

I looked down at her feet, ankle deep in the mud. Quicksand! If I went to her, I would probably be trapped, too. I had to think fast.

“Wait here!” I yelled. As I rushed off I realized that was a stupid thing to say to someone who couldn’t move.

I got back to the punt and grabbed it up. It’s light enough I can move it but with some difficulty. Now it seemed half its normal weight. Thank heavens for adrenaline.

I got back, laid the punt down and pushed it toward her. “Climb on!”

She grabbed the edge of the punt, and looked like she was trying to pull herself out. “I can’t. I’m stuck.”

I crawled onto the punt and out to her. “I’ll pull you out, Dr. Pinehurst.”

“Don’t touch me!”

“Dr. Pinehurst, I have to touch you to pull you out. I don’t have a choice. We have to get you out or you will get sucked in and suffocate, or at the very least, you’ll be trapped until you starve to death or something comes along and eats you.”

She looked at me big-eyed, like she was trying decide if that was worse than being touched.

I grabbed her under the arms and pulled. She pulled on the side of the punt, too. The whole time she kept whimpering, “No. No. No.” Despite her protests she didn’t try fighting me off.

I got her into the punt and automatically reached out to pat her arm. “There, there. You are safe now.”

“Don’t touch me!” Her voice sounded more scared than angry.

“I do beg your pardon, Dr. Pinehurst. I did not mean to seem too forward.” I looked around, deciding our next move. “Come on. Crawl out the back of the punt, away from the quicksand. We’ll take the boat back to the water and get back to camp. I’m sure you want to get cleaned up.”

Dr. Pinehurst nodded and meekly followed my instructions.

Back at camp I waited outside of the time machine that also served as our shelter. There are no hotels out here after all. Dr. Pinehurst came out looking shaken by her ordeal. She sat down on one of the campstools made of canvas and wood. They were period, so we could have them outside. I don’t know how old the design is, but I do know George Washington used them.

“Would you like some tea?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Don‘t like tea. Tastes nasty.”

I sat down in the other campstool. “Dr. Pinehurst, I am getting the feeling something more is going on here than you just not liking me. I was trying to pull you to safety and you didn’t want me to touch you? That makes no sense at all. Under those circumstances I would let my worse enemy touch me.”

She hung her head. “I can’t tell.”

“Tell me what?”

“Mother said if I told people I would never get a job anywhere.”

“You can tell me. Besides, I doubt Kew Gardens would want to get rid of you. Director Sherwood was going on and on about what an excellent botanist you are.”

“I’m not normal.”

“My dear, I run around the 27th century in a frockcoat with a Victorian accent. I’m not exactly normal myself.”

She snorted. It took me a moment to realize that was a laugh.

I searched my memory for what might be wrong. Then it hit me. “Do you have Bartley’s Syndrome?”

She hung her head. “Yes.”

Now everything made sense. It seems as soon as you cure one disease, more pop up. We aren’t sure if Bartley’s Syndrome is new, or it was just misdiagnosed as Autism or something else. It is something you are born with. Treatment as a child can lessen the symptoms, but it can’t be cured.

People with Bartley’s Syndrome can’t stand to be touched. They have a hard time connecting with people. They are insensitive, because they lack the ability to sense the feelings of others or to read body language. There social skills are hopelessly inadequate. On the plus side, they are seldom violent, except in self defense, and are often brilliant.

“Bartley’s Syndrome is nothing to be ashamed of. I wished you could have told me. I thought you hated me.”

She looked up confused. “Why did you think I hated you?”

I didn’t know how to answer that. She honestly did not see her behavior toward me as unfriendly. “Because normal people don’t talk to someone or want them near them if they don’t like them. However, I see now it wasn’t personal.”

“If I didn’t like you I would say I didn’t like you. You’ve been very nice. You haven’t yelled at me or told me off because I did something you didn’t like. I hate that, because I never know what I did wrong. I like you.”

It’s said people with Bartley’s Syndrome can never truly love or hate. Tolerating someone is the best they can aspire to. I had been given high praise indeed.

“And now that I understand what is going on, I like you, too, Dr. Pinehurst.”

“You can call me Lily, if you want. Friends call each other by their first names, don’t they?”

“Yes, and you can call me Wendell.”

“Okay, Wendell. Get up, I need more orchids. Hurry up before it gets dark.” She got up and headed toward the boat.

Politeness was a concept she could never understand. Now that I knew what her problem was, I found it more amusing than irritating.

“I’m right behind you, Lily.”

Now I saw why she had become a botanist. Plants can’t get offended.


My Tea Party with Queen Victoria

4 October, 2657 - London, UK

I think I’ve been had.

Yesterday I received an email from Her Majesty, Queen Victoria the Fifth granting me an audience on Monday morning, 4 October, 10 a.m. This was quite a surprise, since I hadn’t asked for an audience. I decided this was regal-speak for demanding my presence.

I was only too happy to oblige. What is it about royalty that turns Brits into doting idiots? After seventeen centuries has it been bred into our genes? Or has charisma been bred into the Royal Family? “Vickie the 5th,” as we like to call her, has absolutely no real power except the ability to charm you into doing almost anything. The Royals are careful not to abuse this power, if only so we subjects don’t become immune to it.

I showed up at Buckingham Palace, fifteen minutes early, least I be late. At exactly ten I was escorted into a parlor where her Majesty sat. Victoria the 5th bears no resemblance to her name sack. She does bear a remarkable resemblance to another ancestor--Grace Kelly. She asked me to sit and offered me tea. Here I was, Wendell Howe, the offspring of humble professors, sitting in Buckingham Palace, sipping tea with the Queen of Britain herself!

Her Majesty was telling me how much she loved orchids and would love to see more at the Royal Botanical Gardens. She asked if I would like to help? I was nodding profusely, only half comprehending what she was saying. She is so regal and captivating that you find yourself promising her anything.

At 10:15 a stubby fellow was brought in. He introduced himself to me as Dr. Arthur Sherwood, the curator of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew here in London. Victoria suggested Sherwood take me to the gardens and explain my mission.

I found myself whisked away in a hover-limo to Kew Gardens. Sherwood gave me a short history of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Founded in 1759, Kew started out as a royal garden, but in 1840 were adopted as a national botanical garden. The Royal Botanical Gardens quickly outgrew the 300 acres at Kew, and now have gardens all over. They also have a Temporal Botanist on staff.

Uh oh. Now I knew why they needed me. Temporal Biologists, such as Temporal Botanists and Temporal Zoologists, are a thorn in the side of Temporal Anthropologists. I know we should not be that way. We have good reason, though. Things have been strained since the Temporal Botanist, Dr. Dennis Kiley, let Temporal Anthropologist, Dr. Jose Cervantes, fall off a cliff. When Kiley was asked why he didn’t try to help Cervantes, he replied “What? And drop my extinct Amazon Lily? Are you mad?”

I don’t think it was anything personal, it’s just Temporal Biologists are--well, very focused. The Institute of Time Travel gave up long ago trying to teach them to blend into a particular era like they do with Temporal Anthropologists. They are far more concerned with plants and animals, than with people. Besides, they specialize in a genome rather than a time period.

The Institute instead makes them take a Temporal Anthropologist with them to run interference with the natives in the Field. Since animals and plants are best found in remote areas, we don’t tend to run into too many people.

Still these assignments can be taxing. Temporal Botanists are so focused on finding and preserving specimens that they tend to ignore you. They talk more to their plants than they do to you. They often don’t do as you tell them, not understanding why angry natives should want to harm them, and why they are only making said natives angrier.

I suppose we should be more tolerant of Temporal Biologists. After all, they are collecting plants and animals that are extinct and no longer in the 27th century. However, they will treat the dodo they have just captured as the last dodo on earth, even when they are surrounded by the creatures. What mere Temporal Anthropologist can compete with a specimen that is “the last of its kind?”

After a brief tour of the orchid greenhouse, Dr. Sherwood introduced me to their Temporal Botanist, Dr. Lily Pinehurst. I recalled the name. I remember Dr. Karl Hornberg complaining about her. She sees Temporal Anthropologists as a pain in the nether regions who just get in her way. She apparently became a botanist because she gets along better with plants, than with people.

I stuck out my hand to shake hands with her. She just looked at it, then looked up at me. “Can you punt?” she asked.

“Erm, yes, of course,” I said, feeling confused. “They would run me out of Cambridge if I couldn’t punt.”

“Good! I need a punter. You’ll be useful.”

“Why do you need a punter?”

“Florida Everglades. It’s a swamp. Shallow water. Got lots of orchids, many now lost. We are going to bring them back.”

“The Everglades?” My heart sank. “You know, there’s a reason the Seminoles ran away into the Everglades. No one in their right mind would follow them into it. It’s full of man-eating alligators.”



“The alligators are man-eaters; they won’t eat my orchids.”

I then saw why Her Majesty had asked me to tea. Kew Gardens wanted Queen Victoria to ask me personally to go on this ordeal, knowing I couldn’t say “no” to her.

Like I said--I have been had.

For those who don’t know what punting is:
Punting at the University of Cambridge

For more on the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew:
(They really are very lovely.)
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew official website
A short film showing Kew Gardens
Follow Kew Gardens on Twitter @Kewgardens


Baum's Bazaar

16 October 1888 - Aberdeen, Dakota Territory

Next year this will be South Dakota, but for now it is still Dakota Territory. In 1879, Aberdeen’s population was four. Now it has over 3,000. The town is at the hub of three railroads, which is what is turning Aberdeen into a boomtown. People are coming here in hopes of getting rich--or at least making a good life.

One of those dreamers is a failed actor and theatre owner, Lyman Frank Baum. At 32 and married with little mouths to feed, this is his last chance to make good. On the first of October, he opened “Baum’s Bazaar,” which features items like china, toys and linen--the fancier items the General Store doesn’t carry. Now that Aberdeen is a growing town, the inhabitants are hungry for the finer things beyond the mere necessities. There is no reason why this venture shouldn’t be a huge success.

I have come here to record Baum's Bazaar for the University of South Dakota so they can construct a virtual replica of it. This store has a historic significance, or more accurately, it's owner will.

Frank (he hates the name Lyman) is originally from Chittenango, New York, the son of oil magnate, Benjamin Baum. Unfortunately Frank has had a bad heart since childhood. Unable to play strenuous games, he read a lot. While a teenager he wrote and published a newspaper with a small press his father had bought him. Frank’s first job was as newspaper reporter for the New York World at 17. He even tried his hand at breeding fancy poultry.

Then Frank got the acting bug. His father owned a chain of theatres through New York and Pennsylvania, so he let Frank manage the one in Richburg, New York. Frank even wrote plays that did well. He began touring with his productions.

Frank fell in love and got married in 1882. His wife Maud became pregnant and no longer wanted to follow Frank around from theatre to theatre. Frank let his uncle take over the management of the theatre and settled down in Syracuse. He became head salesman in his family’s business, Baum's Ever-Ready Castorine axle grease.

Then troubles started. His Uncle Doc became quite ill. Frank’s father died. Frank’s health was bad (he had suffered a heart attack before his marriage.) The theatre burnt down taking all of the known copies of Baum’s plays. The family business suffered and had to be sold.

Several members of Maud’s family had migrated to Aberdeen in the Dakota Territory and wrote to her telling her of the great opportunities. Frank has moved his family out here and has sunk what money they have left into this store. It’s a sure bet.

I haven’t the heart to tell Frank his idea is good, but his timing bad. Wheat is the major business here, and it will suffer due to a severe drought. As much as people want what Frank is selling, no one can afford it. Baum’s Bazaar will go under in less than two years.

Frank will later try his hand at publishing a local newspaper. That will fail even faster. Moving to Chicago, he’ll try being a newspaper reporter, but that won’t pay enough to support his family. He will be forced to hit the road as a traveling salesman, but will have to quit eventually because of his health. He’ll start a trade magazine for window designers, which won’t do too badly.

Frank’s one real talent is making up stories to tell children. In Aberdeen they come to the store begging for a story, and will later stop him on his newspaper rounds. He will stop and make up one for them. He later will start writing them down and submitting them. He will collect his rejection letters in a “Book of Failures.”

Frank will eventually get a couple of books based on Mother Goose published. They will have a modest success. In 1898 he will write a book he knows will make him rich. Everyone will reject it. So he will publish it himself in 1900.

The publishers may reject The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but children won’t. It will become a runaway bestseller. Frank will spend the rest of his life writing books for children.

His health never does improve. In 1910 the family will move to a little village in California called Hollywood. They hope the sunshine will improve his health. It won’t. He will keep writing when his health leaves him bedridden.

In 1919, nine days short of his 63rd birthday, L. Frank Baum, the “Royal Historian of Oz,” will take one last trip to his beloved Emerald City. His dieing words will be "Now we can cross the Shifting Sands." (This is the name of the eastern desert that separates Oz from the rest of the world.)

Books you can download free:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The original edition featuring D.W. Denslow’s illustrations

Mother Goose in Prose
L. Frank Baum’s first book. These are stories based on nursery rhymes. Check out the last story “Little Bun Rabbit.” It features a farm girl named Dorothy

Also on Youtube
The Dreamer of Oz
A movie on the life of L. Frank Baum starring John Ritter - mostly true

Here is a believe or not story told by Ray Bolger, who played the Scarecrow in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. (That’s him in the lower right hand corner with Judy Garland.

At the beginning of the movie in Kansas, Dorothy runs away from home and runs into a “Professor Marvel”, a Medicine Show charlatan played by Frank Morgan (who also plays the Wizard.) The costume department just couldn’t find the right coat for the character of Professor Marvel. So they sent someone to a thrift shop to buy a bunch of old coats. Morgan picked out an old frockcoat that fit beautifully and looked perfect.

One day while filming, Morgan noticed a label inside the coat. It read “L. Frank Baum.” Surely this couldn’t be the L. Frank Baum, could it? Someone remembered that his widow, Maud Baum still lived in Hollywood. They went to her and she verified it was the coat she had donated that belonged to her late husband. So next time you watch the movie and see that coat (yes, that’s the one in the photo,) remember L. Frank Baum was there in spirit.


The Red Stag

The University of Cardiff had asked me to track down the famous 19th century Welsh poet and cultural leader, William Williams (born 6 March 1808.) He is better known by his bardic name of Y Carw Coch (The Red Stag).

Williams was suppose to be living in the area of Aberdare. Unfortunately, Williams is a man on the go. I finally tracked him down to his establishment on Harriet Street in Trecynon. He built the Stag Inn himself in 1837. The pub serves not only as a means of income, but as a meeting place for the Cymreigyddion y Carw Coch, a society he founded in 1841 that dedicates itself to promoting Welsh literature and music. The society held it’s first eisteddfod (arts festival) at the Stag Inn that same year. The tradition continues and has helped establish Aberdare as a cultural centre in Wales.

Williams is also one of the founders of the local Welsh newspaper Y Gwladgarwr (1857-83.) He is involved in local politics and can get into heated arguments on the subject, although he does not condone violent solutions. He is a leading member of his Unitarian Church who share his peaceful views. His life seems to revolve around making a better community in Aberdare. It is men like this who are turning Aberdare from a typical dirty industrial city into a pleasant community.

I let him talk about his life. He wasn’t so much bragging as trying to get others to follow his example and get involved in the cultural and political life of Aberdare.

Fortunately for the community, William Williams has another eleven years in this world. He will live to be 64. Aberdare will sorely miss him. Some of Williams articles, prose and verse, will be collected in a volume, Carw Coch, to be published in 1908.

It was a privilege to meet the fellow, even if I did have a time running him down.


Who Are the Gorsedd?

Thursday, 22 August 1861
First National Eistedfodd - Aberdare, Wales

The Celtic organization, known as the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain, appeared in the opening as well as the closing ceremonies of the First National Eisteddfod despite misgivings of some of the organizers. The Gorsedd had been involved since the beginning of this festival of Welsh (Cymric) arts so they were allowed to participate. The Gorsedd have been praised as the saviours of Welsh culture. They have also been called a bunch of humbugs running around in silly costumes.

I could write a book (and many have) trying to explain the Gorsedd. I will try to condense it all down into a short blog. I also know I will probably get a lot of angry comments, no matter which side I take. Keep in mind this is the personal view of a confused Englishman from the twenty-seventh century and does not reflect the opinions of the University of Cambridge or the Association of Temporal Anthropologists. I accept full responsibility.

The Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain (Throne of the Bards of the Isle of Britain) was founded in 1792 by Iolo Morganwg, the bard (also known as Edward Williams, the stone mason.) Iolo was also an antiquarian who collected ancient manuscript. He had published the lost writings of the druids who had been wiped out by the Romans. Since, the druids had been adverse to recording their teachings and their lore really was lost, Iolo was forced to fabricate his own ancient manuscripts.

Iolo saving grace was he was a great poet and a patriot who wanted to revive the heritage of the Welsh, which had been chewed away by centuries of English domination. Indeed he was instrumental in the Celtic Revival of the 19th century. For that he is considered a hero. The literary forgery I shall mark down to an act of desperation rather than an outright scam.

Iolo did get one thing right. After the Romans destroyed the Druid Headquarters at Anglesey (Isle of Mona) and outlawed druidism, it was the bards who continued what traditions survived. The original Gorsedd didn’t have druids, just bards. The rank of “druid” will not be added until 1876. By then the Gorsedd will become more of a club, and people want ranks they can aspire to.

Poetry and druid mysteries may seem like the main focus of the Gorsedd, but it’s true mission is to promote Welsh nationalism, language and culture with ceremonies and festivals rather than violence. The various Eisteddfods before this one were often their projects. It is because of this aim that other Gorsedds have been formed around the world. Even the Bretons have one to promote their Celtic heritage.

So, even those Welsh that think the Gorsedd are silly have to approve of anyone holding ceremonies in Welsh and backing cultural events. The “druids” will eventually earn the admiration of the English, and count people like Winston Churchill and Elizabeth II among their members. It’s a way to show pride in their Welsh ancestors--and they get to wear those stunning costumes.

Princess Elizabeth - the future Queen Elizabeth II - being made a member of the Gorsedd of Bards in 1946.

Here are a couple of videos showing Gorsedd Ceremonies:

Welsh National Eisteddfod (1916)
Procession of the Gorsedd

Wales: The National Eisteddfod - Early 21st cetury
The Gorsedd Prayer (in Welsh, of course)


The Angel of the Delta

New Orleans - 6 March 1885

Today I came across a little square at the junction of Camp, Prytania and Clio Streets. It was a charming oasis of walks, fountains and grass in the busy city of New Orleans.

In the very center was a marble statue of a woman. Usually in the Victorian Age when you see a statue of a woman, it’s a beautiful young woman portraying “Victory” or “Justice” or some other lofty idea. Instead this was an old woman, short and squat, with a square face. I took out my camera-spectacles to get a picture of this unusual image.

By the looks of this woman, her figure had been destroyed not by too much food, but too much work. Dressed like a washerwoman in a shawl and plain dress, she sat in a chair with her arm protectively around a child. She gazed at the child with tenderness and bulldog determination.

I looked down at the pedestal beneath her, expecting to find a plaque dedicated to a poor widow who had worked herself to death so her child could survive and become wealthy enough to afford this memorial to his mum. Instead a found only one word chiseled in the stone--“Margaret.”

“Margaret?” I said aloud. “Who in heavens is Margaret?”

“You got that right, mister.”

I turned to see a plucky Irish woman. She smiled at the statue. “That is St. Margaret.”

An elderly gentleman stopped and rubbed his aquiline nose. “If there are saints, she is certainly one. Angel of the Delta, we call her. She kept the Jewish Asylum for Widows and Orphans open.”

“Why that be Mother Margaret,” a young African-American spoke-up.

“Who’s mother was she?” I asked.

“My mother.” He grinned at me. “She was mother to all the orphans.”

“That’s Our Margaret, the Heroine of New Orleans,” said a grizzly-looking man leaning on a crutch to compensate for a missing leg. “That little lady took on the entire Union Army. Went toe to toe with General ‘Beast’ Butler himself.”

A man in a nice suit joined in. “That, sir, is Margaret Haughery, the Bread Lady, most successful business woman in New Orleans. Truth is, few businessmen did better.”

“Then why is she dressed so shabbily?” I looked up at the statue.

“Because that’s the way she always dressed. She lived like a pauper so she could feed all the beggars in this town. Crazy woman.” The businessman shook his head, but his voice sounded more admiring than derisive.

“She sounds like a remarkable woman,” I said. “But why does it only say ‘Margaret?’”

“Tourist, you be, eh?” The Irish woman grinned at me. “It doesn’t have to say anything else. Everyone in New Orleans knows who Margaret was.”

The small crowd I had attracted seemed most eager to tell me Margaret’s history, each of them adding this story or that recollection. I was able to piece together her biography.

Margaret’s family had left Ireland for America to escape hardship, but it just hunted them down. Margaret was left a homeless orphan at the age of nine. As was the custom of the day, she was taken in by a family as a servant “to earn her board and keep.” Margaret never learned to read and write, but she did learn to work.

At twenty-one she married Charles Haughery. He was a sickly man, so they moved from Baltimore to the warmer climate of New Orleans. It didn’t help. At twenty-three Margaret became a widow and single mother. A few months later she lost her baby, too.

Her world in shambles, Margaret took all that well-deserved self-pity and turned it outward. She decided to dedicate her life to feeding all the other widows and orphans of New Orleans. She did not take into account she could hardly feed herself. Worse yet, yellow fever had produced thousands of widows and orphans in this city, but that didn’t stop her.

Margaret worked hard, somehow managing two save enough to buy two cows. She started delivering milk. Soon she had a dairy with forty cows. She gave the orphan asylums a generous discount. When even that was too much, she just gave them the milk.

She became a baker, starting the first “steam and mechanical” bakery in the south. It wasn’t so much a bakery as a bread factory. Selling millions of loaves, she gave bread away to anyone who couldn’t pay. She even gave bread to winos, although she did break the loves in half so they couldn’t sell them to buy more alcohol.

During the Civil War, New Orleans was occupied by the Union Army, and under the thumb of General Benjamin Butler. He censored the local newspapers, closed churches and arrested ministers who refused to pray for Lincoln, and hung a man for tearing down an American flag. Most controversial was his law that any lady who showed any contempt for a Union soldier would be treated as a prostitute. This horrified the genteel Southerners and earned him the nickname “the Beast.”

Butler also put in a strict curfews and barriers. When Margaret broke them to deliver bread and milk to the poor, she was arrested and brought before Butler. He told her to obey the law or she would be shot or hung. Margaret looked him in the eye and said, “So, does Lincoln want the poor to starve?” Butler replied "You are not to go through the picket lines without my permission, is that clear?" Then looking into that fearless face he added, “All right, you have my permission.”

Margaret’s businesses did not suffer after the war like so many, but continued to grow. She started four orphanages. Other orphanages and poor asylums she gave generously to, regardless of color, nationality or religion. It’s estimated she gave over $600,000 to charity, back when that was a huge fortune.

Even the rich owed her, for many came to her for business advice, that helped them to get richer.

Three years ago, Margaret died at the age of sixty-nine. She was given a state funeral and local businesses closed for a day of mourning. Among her pall-bearers was the mayor and governor. The crowd could not fit into the church, but spilled out of it for a block.

The grieving city decided to build her a memorial. Rather than something grandiose, a lifelike statue of Margaret was decided upon. No large sums of money were accepted, so everyone could have a part in contributing. $6,000 was raised in nickels and dimes. The statue was unveiled July of last year by the orphans.

Several people assured me this was the first statue erected for a woman in the United States. I did some research and found it’s really the second. It is certainly the first for a female philanthropist and the first for a woman in the south.

My history teachers drifted off, going about their business. I continued to study the statue. No, it wasn’t a beautiful young woman personifying a lofty idea. Instead it was an beautiful old lady personifying several lofty ideas.

Pity I am too late to meet Margaret Haughery. Perhaps another time. If I ever return to New Orleans in an earlier year, I will certainly have to look her up. Maybe I can get her to take a break for a few minutes, while I brew her a cup of well deserved tea.

A video on the life of Margaret - Secrets of New Orleans


The Man Who Saved the French Quarter

Today I visited Tulane University which has an interesting history. It was started in 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. It added a law college in 1847 and the state made it the University of Louisiana. Academic departments were added and the University kept growing.

Then the Civil War came. The University was shut down in 1861. When it was reopened in 1865, Louisiana was on hard times and was having a difficult time keeping the university open. That was when Paul Tulane, a local businessman stepped in with a generous donation...so generous they renamed the school Tulane University of Louisiana. Last year it became the only American university to convert from state public to private.

Tulane University will recover and grow--so much so that they will move the campus uptown. That’s why I’m here, to record the current campus.

Well, that’s only part of why I’m here. 27th century Tulane asked me to find their most famous professor, William Woodward. Although only twenty-five, and a Yankee from Massachusetts, he was hired last year to teach fine art, as well as mechanical and architectural drawing.

Woodward is already taking a keen interest in the unique architecture of the French Quarter. He will preserve old New Orleans in his hundreds of paintings, drawings and etchings, capturing the buildings before they are torn down.

However, he will also save the French Quarter in a more concrete sense. In 1895, his campaign will stop the Cabildo from being demolished. He will spearhead a movement to eventually save all of the remaining French Quarter, when laws are passed in the 1920s to make destruction of these historic buildings illegal.

In 1894 William Woodward will found the architecture school of Tulane University and expand its art programs. He will be retire after a tumor removal will leave him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He will move to Biloxi, Mississippi and continue to paint and etch, this time of the Gulf Coast, until his death in 1939.

Here are a few of Williams Woodward’s paintings of the French Quarter of New Orleans. No one captured it like he did.

Poydras Market

Old Absinthe House on Bourbon Street

Newcomb College Chapel

Jackson Square

The French Market