A Remarkable Curiosity: Dispatches from a New York City by Amos Jay Cummings

By Amos Jay Cummings

In 1873, Amos Jay Cummings, a adorned Civil conflict veteran and journalist for the recent York sunlight newspaper, set out on a westward trip aboard the newly accomplished transcontinental railroad. For a while, miners, settlers, and marketers had already been heading west to make their fortunes, and Cummings made the journey partially to determine what all of the fuss used to be approximately. in the course of his six-month excursion from Kansas to California, Cummings despatched impressive and fascinating money owed of the yank West again to his readers in big apple. ;Collected during this quantity for the 1st time are Cummings's graphics of a land and its collection of characters in contrast to whatever again East. Characters like Pedro Armijo, the hot Mexican sheep rich person who took Denver by way of hurricane, and extra prominently the Mormon prophet Brigham younger and his nineteenth spouse, Ann Eliza younger, who was once submitting for divorce on the time of Cummings's arrival. ;Although at the present time he's nearly unknown, in the course of his lifetime Cummings was once the most recognized newspapermen within the usa, partially due to tales like those. entire with a biographical comic strip and historic advent, A notable interest is an stress-free learn for anyone attracted to the yank West within the latter half the 19th century.

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Newspapers and copies of speeches he gave, especially ones published in the Congressional Record. He had a reputation as an orator and was in demand in both Washington and New York City. By 1891, he was frequently described as one of the “prominent leaders” of the New York Democratic Club, giving speeches at the clubhouse on Fifth Avenue near Fiftieth Street in Manhattan in support of Tammany Hall and other Democratic candidates and causes. He also was often cited in the newspapers as a major Tammany Hall politico, although he sometimes was at odds with some of the Tammany Hall leadership.

The stories describe a frontier land of extraordinary natural bounty that was being settled by a cross section of people who were not always gentle in their attempts to wrest a living from the land. Cummings pulled no punches in reporting what he saw and heard, whether it was a man trading his daughter for another man’s wife and twenty cows or a farmer feeding thousands of sea turtle eggs to his mule. Cummings returned to New York from Florida and almost immediately set out on the western odyssey that is the focus of 22 Amos Jay Cummings and His Journey across America this book (the route of which is explored in more detail below).

In reality, the New Orleans Exposition had already closed and the journey actually was to its stepchild, the American Expo­ sition. The latter turned out to be less than a financial success, although the press corps must have enjoyed their opulent visit. For much of Amos’s career, he and Frances resided in New York City in Greenwich Village at 32 Charlton Street, east of Varick Street and west of Sixth Avenue (now also named Avenue of the Americas; today Charlton runs only three blocks, from Sixth Avenue to Greenwich Street; in the nineteenth century, it went east all the way to the Hudson River).

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