Author Archive

An Eccentric Railroad Promoter’s Vision of Mexico

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Those led by dreams shall be misled, O King.–William Sharp, The Immortal HourA century ago, the railroad was the cutting edge of practical technology, moving freight and people as the Internet now moves information and thought. One of the last and most spectacular railroad promoters was Arthur Stilwell. Some called him a visionary. Only toward [&hellip
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Buffalo, 1901: Bad Stamps and a Dead President

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

This Thursday, March 29, 2001, at the New York Postage Stamp Mega Event on Pier 92, Manhattan, the Postal Service will hold first day of issue ceremonies for stamps commemorating the centennial of the Pan-American Inverts: bicolored stamps, issued in 1901, with upside-down centers. The Postal Service now even celebrates its foul-ups. In 1895, Buffalo, [&hellip
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The College of Cardinals

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

The Code of Canon Law defines the College of Cardinals–a college in that its members are each other’s colleagues–as "the senate of the Roman Pontiff…his chief counselors and collaborators in the government of the Church." If, as Jerrold Packard wrote, the U.S. Senate is the world’s most exclusive club, the Sacred College is a close [&hellip
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The Rights of Man: Tom Paine, Pt. 2

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

In 1789, two years after Thomas Paine’s return to Europe with a prospectus for a 500-foot long single span bridge (like all his business schemes, it was a nonstarter), the King of France called the Estates-General into session for the first time in nearly 200 years to increase taxes. Despite their limited agenda, the members [&hellip
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Tom Paine, Radical

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

He started as a 14-year-old corset-maker, and would be a sailor, tax collector, schoolteacher and Fleet Street hack. His parents’ generosity gave him eight years’ schooling; he made himself a strong, hard-hitting political writer of force and eloquence comparable to Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, and wrote three of his century’s bestselling books, [&hellip
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Albert Jay Nock, Superfluous Man

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

In 1910, Albert Jay Nock, then 40, joined the American Magazine. His writings, unusually good, were his best credential. Otherwise, no one knew much about him. Nock described himself when he wrote of Thomas Jefferson as "the most approachable and the most impenetrable of men, easy and delightful of acquaintance, impossible of knowledge." His secrecy [&hellip
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Mr. Woodâeuro;”Rascal, Defrauder, Thugâeuro;”is Mayor

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

On Jan. 6, 1861, as other Southern states followed suit, Fernando Wood, mayor of the City of New York, issued an official message to the Common Council, a body sometimes called "The Forty Thieves." Calling secession "a fixed and certain fact," the Mayor proposed the City secede too, becoming an independent city-state. This, as Abraham [&hellip
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Mayor William J. Gaynor, Primitive American

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Gaynor was born in Whitesboro, NY, on Feb. 2, 1848. He spent four years in the Christian Brothers as Brother Adrian Denys. The experience left him with a taste for the Stoics, particularly Epictetus; Don Quixote, which he ranked second only to the Bible; and the autobiographies of Benjamin Franklin and Benvenuto Cellini. He read [&hellip
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The Hayes-Tilden Mess

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Tilden grew up among the Regency’s leaders. Having inherited his father’s knack for analysis and deduction, Tilden simply listened to their conversations on great issues and low politics. By 18, he was publishing political articles in the Albany Argus; by 19, essays and pamphlets on taxes and banking. He often advanced his agenda with the [&hellip
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