Past Postings

Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.


I'll never forget the time I first saw that shiny metallic album cover visiting a friend's seedy house in the city one day, and how it took me on some sort of journey just thinking about it afterward, not sure if I should be frightened or not by what it meant.

["The Cream, White Room" - En un Cuarto Blanco....... Mas que excelente esta cancion de "The Cream", con Erick Clapton;)]


And now a word from their sponsors (folly and madness that's beyond belief!)...

["Munsters Cheerios Commercial"]


"Should the American War be continued?" The debate in the House of Commons on this topic, held in November 1780, as found in the Annual Register for 1781 pp. 150-155; for which see

Among other very interesting observations of note recorded herein is the view, reported of some British "military men," that the war had been already lost after the defeat at the battle of Trenton.

Later Note. While I am going through them mostly for purposes of researching and updating my Calendar & Record: 1780-81, the British Annual Registers (available as downloads at Google books) are rich treasure troves and general knowledge encyclopedias (albeit unalphabetized)on a diverse and expansive variety of subjects, including (then) present and ancient history, working of government, foreign affairs, economics, records of the courts and legal tribunals, literature, theater, medicine, science, and more. On page 66, for instance, of the register for 1780 is an account of one gentleman's stay and residence in the "Empire of Japan." And here also is a sample of some of the Register's poetry, again from 1780, page 217.

"RONDEAU, Sung by Mrs. Barthelemon, at Ranelagh.

"NIGHT and day the anxious lover
Is attentive to the fair,
Till the doubtful courtship's over:
Is she then so much his care?

"Warm as Summer his addresses,
Hope and ardour's in his eyes,
Cool as Winter his caresses,
When she yields his captive prize,

"Now the owner of her beauty,
Sees no more an Angel face;
Half is love, the rest is duty:
Pleasure sure is in the chace."


We'd made mention previously of Dr. Henry A. Smith (1830-1915), one of Seattle's early white settlers, and who is best known for his transcription of Chief Sealth's (i.e. Seattle's) oft reproduced speech exhorting peace and harmony between man and nature. In addition to this, Smith penned reminiscences of the pioneer days of Puget Sound, and, as well, some poetry. Although I had some acquaintance of his historical anecdotes by way of reading Archie Binns' Northwest Gateway: the Story of the Port of Seattle, I knew nothing of his verse. Consequently, I went on the search for some, and with the kind aid of some staff at the downtown Seattle Public Library, we came up with following.
The first is a short article with poem contained in the publication Magazine of Western History, Vol. 12, No. 3, July 1890; while the second is an extract from a chapter devoted to Smith in Emily Inez Denny's Blazing the Way (1899). (This last volume, by the way, includes a personally intimate and informative chapter on Chief Sealth himself also, p. 358.)
It should be noted here that the kind of religious and celestial imagery Smith invokes in the two proceeding poems is not unlike the kind of notions and scenes spirit people can visually project and impart to entice and make fools of people with; for which reason I would humbly suggest these be read as visionary, yet heartfelt, poetry; rather than in the way of a literal travel or real estate brochure approach as some shyster spirit people will use to dupe and mislead. While I certainly don't dispute that there are or might be such blessed abodes or ethereal realms as Smith appeals to, I would at least only caution you as to who you hear about them from.


~ from Magazine of Western History, Vol. XII, No. 3, July 1890, page 244:
"It would be highly interesting to explain why so many of the children of clergymen are eminently successful in life. This fact is noticeable in Congress as it is in the legislatures of the States, and it is equally noticeable among successful business men and lawyers. Henry A. Smith, of Seattle, Washington, is a bright example of this. His father was a German, a Baptist minister by profession, and his mother was a Virginian lady, of the family of Teaff. He was born in 1830, near Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio, and received there a common school education. The influence of a refined mother and an educated father was, however, in those days, of infinitely greater service than the common schools of a backwoods town, as nearly all the towns in Ohio then were, and it was to that influence that Henry Smith owed the stamp of character that made him a man. He imbibed a taste for learning and science, and was sent to Allegheny College, Pennsylvania, where he studied medicine also. He prosecuted his studies still further at Cincinnati. In 1852 he joined the stream of youth that was journeying west. California, with her gold fields, was the objective point, but when the Nevada mountains were reached, some happy chance turned the footsteps of the young physician towards the Willamette Valley, and he arrived at Portland, Oregon, in 1852.
"Portland was not the city of wharfs and warehouses and luxurious villas that it is to-day, but a logging camp of some hundred of people, and young Smith hied himself elsewhere. He reached Olympia at the close of the year 1852, and then took ship down Puget Sound. The poetical element in him was ripe, and he realized to the full the enchanting loveliness of the wooded shores and distant mountains whose beauty was reflected in the dark blue waters of Puget Sound. There he resolved to dwell, there he resolved to build him a home, and he chose a claim on one of the Sound's tiny bays whereon to settle. The bay naturally took his name, and is known as 'Smith's Cove.' To the south of Smith's Cove there was a large bay, beside which there was a thriving saw-mill and a few log cabins. Dr. Smith became physician to the little settlement, which has since grown to be the wonderful city of Seattle. He was an able medical man and a poet of no ordinary talent, a rare scholar and a good writer, and his varied talents were utilized to the full to build up the country and the people where he had cast his lot. He was the first person to call attention to the value of tide lands, which he did by a series of articles contributed to the territorial press. He was the first superintendent of schools of the county, and he ably represented it in the Territorial Legislature. He served three terms in the House and two terms in the Senate, of which he was president for one term. His old colleagues still speak of the tact and courtesy of Dr. Smith as the presiding officer of the council, and preserve for him the warmest friendship. He never sought office, never asked for a vote and was never defeated at the polls.
"Meanwhile, he had married Miss Phelan, a Wisconsin lady, in Portland, to whom were born one son and seven daughters.
"Dr. Smith has long since retired from professional practice, and devotes all his time to literature, his family and the handling of his extensive property.
"He is proud of the people and the city which he has done so much to build up, and when he passes from the scene of his long career to the silence and oblivion of the tomb, there will go with him the prayers and love of a multitude that revere him for his kindness and his simplicity.


"Sublime is the sunset with banners and bars,
And radiant morn's rosy portal.
And rare are truth's treasures that time never
But rarer love's memories that shimmer like
Deep down in the spirit immortal.

"How lovely this world and its wonders, ah,
But worlds still more lovely surround it.
And mighty and wide rolls the musical sea
That sings to Earth's tempests in wild
But wider the oceans that bound it.

"Men sail out of sight of Earth's cities in ships,
Though hearts from the shore seldom
But the ocean of ether that dimples and dips
And kisses Earth's seas with its silvery lips
Conveys them away and forever.

"Conveys them away on its musical tide
From time's pleasures, fickle and fleeting,
Through star vistas distant and dusky and
To the beautiful isles where the absent ones
And long for love's rapturous greeting."


~ from Blazing the Way (1899), p. 344, by Emily Inez Denny:
"...In transcribing Indian myths and religious beliefs, Dr. Smith displays much ability. After having had considerable acquaintance with the native races, he concludes that 'Many persons are honestly of the opinion that Indians have no ideas above catching and eating salmon, but if they will lay aside prejudice and converse freely with the more intelligent natives, they will soon find that they reason just as well on all subjects that attract their attention as we do, and being free from pre-conceived opinions, they go directly to the heart of theories and reason both inductively and deductively with surprising clearness and force.'
"Dr. Smith exhibits in his writings a broadly charitable mind which sees even in the worst, still some lingering or smothered good.
"Dr. Smith is one of a family of patriots; his great-grandfather, Copelton Smith, who came from Germany to America in 1760 and settled in or near Philadelphia, Pa., fought for liberty in the war of the Revolution under General Washington. His father, Nicholas Smith, a native of Pennsylvania, fought for the Stars and Stripes in 1812. Two brothers fought for Old Glory in the war of the Rebellion, and he himself was one of the volunteers who fought for their firesides in the State, then Territory of Washington.
"'A family of fighters,' as he says, 'famous for their peaceful proclivities when let alone.'
"The varied experiences of life in the Northwest have developed in him a sane and sweet philosophy, perhaps nowhere better set forth in his writings than in his poem 'Pacific's Pioneers,' read at a reunion of the founders of the state a few years ago, and with which I close this brief and inadequate sketch:


"A greeting to Pacific's Pioneers,
Whose peaceful lives are drawing to a close,
Whose patient toil, for lo these many years,
Has made the forests blossom as the rose.

"And bright faced women, bonny, brave and true,
And laughing lassies, sound of heart and head,
Who home and kindred bade a last adieu
To follow love where fortune led.

"I do not dedicate these lines alone
To men who live to bless the world today,
But I include the nameless and unknown
The pioneers who perished by the way.

"Not for the recreant do my numbers ring,
The men who spent their lives in sport and spree,
Nor for the barnacles that always cling
To every craft that cruises Freedom's sea.

"But nearly all were noble, brave and kind,
And little cared for fame or fashion's gyves;
And though they left their Sunday suits behind
The practiced pure religion all their lives.

"Their love of peace no people could excel,
Their dash in war the poet's pen awaits;
Their sterling loyalty made possible
Pacific's golden galaxy of states.

"They had no time to bother much about
Contending creeds that vex the nation's Hub,
But then they left their leather latches out
To every wandering Arab short of grub.

"Cut off from all courts, man's earthly shield from harm,
They looked for help to Him whose court's above,
And learned to lean on labor's honest arm,
And live the higher law, the law of love.

"Not one but ought to wear a crown of gold,
If crowns were made for men who do their best
Amid privations vast and manifold
That unborn generations may be blest.

"Among these rugged pioneers the rule
Was equal rights, and all took special pride
In 'tending Mother Nature's matchless school,
And on her lessons lovingly relied.

"And this is doubtless why they are in touch
With Nature's noblemen 'neath other skies;
And though of books they may not know as much
Their wisdom lasts, as Nature never lies.

"And trusting God and His unerring plan
As only altruistic natures could
Their faith extended to their fellow man,
The image of the Author of all good.

"Since Nature here has done her best to please
By making everything in beauty's mold,
Loads down with balm of flowers every breeze,
And runs her rivers over reefs of gold.

"It seems but natural that men who yearn
For native skies, and visit scenes of yore,
Are seldom satisfied till they return
To roam the Gardens of the Gods once more!

"And since they fell in love with nature here
How fitting they should wish to fall asleep
Where sparkling mountain spires soar and spear
The stainless azure of the upper deep.

"And yet we're saddened when the papers say
Another pioneer has passed away!
And memory recalls when first, forsooth,
We saw him in the glorious flush of youth.

"How plain the simple truth when seen appears,
No wonder that faded leaves we fall!
This is the winter of the pioneers
That blows a wreath of wrinkles to us all!

"A few more mounds for faltering feet to seek,
When, somewhere in this lovely sunset-land
Like some weird, wintry, weather-beaten peak
Some rare old Roman all alone will sand.

"But not for long, for ere the rosy dawn
Of many golden days has come and gone,
Our pine-embowered bells will shout to every shore
'Pacific's Pioneers are now no more!'

"But lovely still the glorious stars will glow
And glitter in God's upper deep like pearls
And mountains will wear their robes of snow
Just as they did when we were boys and girls.

"Ah well, it may be best, and is no doubt,
As death is quite as natural as birth
And since no storms can blow the bright stars out,
Why should one wish to always stay on earth?

"Especially as God can never change,
And man's the object of His care
And though beyond the Pleiades we range
His boundless love and mercy must be there."