The Son of Two Cultures who Changed The World

Family histories take many strange turns. Indeed, the words “E Purlibus Unum” seem to be most appropriate when we apply them to our own lives. In 1786, a Scottish lawyer by the name of John Jameson married Margaret Haig, whose brothers owned the Haig distilleries. John and Margaret had a son– who they named John of course. By and by, father and son took over the Haig venture and the John Jameson & Son company was formed. John senior also had a younger son, Andrew Jameson, who set up his own distillery using the family name, and with his help the entire family business grew ever larger. In 1823, Andrew and his second wife, Margaret, acquired a new home in a place known as Daphne Castle in Wexford, Ireland. There the couple had five children, all daughters: Elizabeth, Helen, Janet, Isabella, and the youngest, Annie, who was born in 1840.
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Meet America’s Immigrant Founding Father

“No Person except a natural born Citizen …  shall be eligible to the Office of President . . .” Article II, Section 1, Constitution of the United States Many amateur historians claim those words were added to the Constitution for the specific purpose of cutting out Alexander Hamilton who was not only born in a “foreign” country, but was not well liked by his peers because he was considered too much of a “monarchist.”  We’ll straighten them out in a minute, but first let’s look at Hamilton the man. Alexander Hamilton was born out-of-wedlock on the Island of Nevis in either 1755 or 1757, and he lived there until about the age nine.  The latest research shows that he also lived with his brother and both their parents on the nearby island of St Eustatius, which had a close relationship with the early United States and was the first to
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A Honeymoon to Remember–Unfortunately

Among the many yachting adventures of the twentieth century is that of Albert Younglove Gowen and his wife, Jeanne Bouchet Gowen, who left New York on August 21, 1921, and motored their yacht, Speejacks, around the world. Here is their story: A.Y.Gowen graduated from Harvard in 1907 and began his career in a stone quarry. After three years he went to work for Lehigh Cement Company, where he eventually became Vice President, and Commodore of the Cleveland Yacht Club. Along the way he amassed a considerable fortune including a large portfolio of stock in the Standard Oil Company. In 1919, Gowen’s doctor advised him that he had “worked himself to death” and had less than three years to live. “Your only hope is to take a year off from business and learn to relax,” the physician warned. It was all the temptation A.Y. needed to fulfill his lifelong dream of cruising around the
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A Blessing in Disguise

Some of life’s greatest blessings come to us disguised as horrific challenges. In 1609, George Somers, Admiral of the Virginia Company’s Third Supply Relief Fleet, set sail from Plymouth, England, aboard his newly-built flagship, the Sea Venture. He commanded a fleet of seven ships which carried supplies and 500 to 600 new colonists, and his mission was to provide relief support to the colony which had been settled two years earlier in North America. On July 25, 1609, the fleet ran into a vicious storm–most probably a hurricane–and the fleet was separated, with each ship having to fight for its life.  The Sea Venture battled the storm for three days and nights.  She would have survived but for one fatal flaw: she was so new that her timbers had not “set.”  The caulking was forced out of the seams and she began to take on water–lots of it.  The crew and
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Christmas on a Canalboat

It’s snug and warm in the cabin of her canalboat; and as for housekeeping, the woman is a genius. There are about twenty of these boats wintering on the canal at the foot of Erie Street. They lie side by side, adjacent to one wall.  Constant passage of the fireboat through the winter means the waterway must be left open, so a rule forbids jamming the canal with boats from side to side as in former days. I knocked on the door of the stormshed, which is raised above the hatchway going down into the cabin.  The canal people are hospitable to visitors from town, although they sometimes lie alongside one another a whole winter without ever becoming neighborly.  But another thing is noticeable–a whole family may have to walk over the deck (which would be over the roof of a house) of another’s boat all season, and they keep it up
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Advice for Leaders at the Year’s End: Exit Gracefully

Another year comes to a close. The nominating committee having reported, and the members having voted (Please, God, in response to a motion from the floor for the Secretary to “cast one ballot for each of the nominees”), the new officers will be installed. Now comes that fateful day when those who have led in the past will themselves be led in the new year. To those happy or perhaps, unhappy souls, we boldly give this modicum of advice: One of the most important things for any leader to know is when to gracefully leave the spotlight and trust in the leadership of those who follow through the chairs. The leader Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BCE) set an example for everyone who accepts a leadership role.  The Roman Senate begged Cincinnatus to become temporary dictator of Rome and lead the army against the invading Germanic tribes.  He accepted the position, and as
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Change Happens!

In a pamphlet called “The American Crisis” Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try our souls,” and although his words are more that 200 years old, they ring true today. Paine’s crisis was the impending War for Independence, which would forever change American society as well as the world at large. Our crisis is a pandemic, which, whether we like it or not, has the power to forever change American society. In 1924, two men, W.M. Davidson and Carl Ray, perfected the idea of glass-bottom boats. They acquired the rights to an area around Silver Springs, Florida, and began developing one of the first tourist attractions. Hollywood discovered the crystal-clear water if the Springs in the 1930’s, and the cameras moved in. Six Tarzan movies were filmed there, along with such classics as “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Television brought more members of the entertainment industry, with television
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Saints Alive!

People who have been in dicey situations especially when they are out of sight of land know that prayer never hurts, so it’s not surprising that a number of saints are connected with seafaring and seafarers. Here’s one of the most obscure.   Saint Calogero (pronounced Ka-loge-eh-ro) is a protector of the seaside town of Sciacca in the region of Agrigento, on the southern shore of Sicily. The Tringali family hails from the nearby town of Augusta, on east coast. The area has been engaged in trade and fishing since at least the time of the Greeks who conquered the area and colonized it beginning in 800 BCE. Some beautiful Grecian temples still stand in Agrigento, even though the original builders and believers are long gone. But Saint Calogero is still there. Just ask any sailor who had the misfortune of being becalmed on a hot Sicilian day when the
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Accepting the Responsibility of Leadership

What could have been the most important message of World War II is one that was never sent. It was hand-written by Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower late on June 5, 1944–the night before the D-Day invasion of Normandy–and he kept it in his pocket, he said, “in case it was needed.” Fortunately, it wasn’t. We’ll get to that story in a minute, but first let’s examine “Ike” Eisenhower, the man. Dwight David Eisenhower was only two years old when his family moved to Abilene, Kansas, and for the rest of his life he considered it to be his home town. His nickname, “Ike” was a takeoff on his last name, and, with his older brother, they were known as “Big Ike” and “Little Ike.” As a young boy, he was fascinated with military history, and became an insatiable reader on subject, much to the displeasure of his mother
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Gone Fishin’

Regardless of their political party or philosophical persuasion, all Americans agree that the job of President of the United States is a killer. The decisions are constant and the stress is unrelenting. And, as President Ronald Regan observed, when you live upstairs from “the store,” there’s no such thing as sneaking out early. All of that is especially true in times of war, and, in 1943, the War was worldwide. The President at the time was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and, physically, he should have been the one least capable of handling it. A wealthy New York patrician, he had been stricken with polio myelitis when he was 39 years old; it left him partially paralyzed and unable to walk. As we wrote in The Log of October 31, 2019, “he could have stayed home covered with a shawl, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of the family’s home
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