extracts

EXTRACTS

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
—Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

Disaffected elements, roughs, hoodlums, rioters, mob, suspicious-looking individuals, bad characters, thieves, blacklegs, looters, communists, rabble, labor-reform agitators, dangerous class of people, gangs, tramps, drunken section-men, law breakers, threatening crowd, bummers, ruffians, loafers, bullies, vagabonds, cowardly mob, bands of worthless fellows, incendiaries, enemies of society, reckless crowd, malcontents, wretched people, loud-mouthed orators, rapscallions, brigands, robbers, riffraff, terrible felons, idiots.
—The New York Times, July 1877

Chicago asked in 1893 for the first time the question whether the American people knew where they were driving.
—Henry Adams, at the Fair

Blind, automatic, untaught.
—William James

Everything is buzz and clatter and confusion, an unending, everlasting labyrinth of grandeur. I am dazzled, captivated and bewildered, and return to my room, tired in mind, eyes, ears and body, so much to think about, so much to entice you on from place to place, until your knees clatter and you fall into a chair completely exhausted.
—Horace G. Benson, from Denver

America is just now, as never before, posing before the world as a highly liberal and civilized nation, and in many important respects she has a right to this reputation. She has brought to her shores and gives welcome to a greater variety of mankind than were ever assembled in one place since the day of Pentecost. Japanese, Javanese, Soudanese, Chinese, Senegalese, Syrians, Persians, Tunisians, Algerians, Egyptians, East Indians, Laplanders, Esquimaux, and as if to shame the Negro, the Dahomians are also here to exhibit the Negro as a repulsive savage.
—Frederick Douglass, “Introduction to the Reason Why the Colored American Is Not in the World’s Columbian Exposition,” 1892

The damage wrought by the World’s Fair will last for half a century from its date, if not longer. It has penetrated deep into the constitution of the American mind, effecting there lesions significant of dementia.
—Louis Sullivan, Architect

We Never Sleep.
—Pinkerton logo

There was one strange thing that troubled me; amid the occupations or amusements of the fair, nothing was more common than for a person— whether at a feast, or church, or trafficking for wealth and honors, or whatever he might be doing, and however unseasonable the interruption—suddenly to vanish like a soap bubble, and be never more seen of his fellows.
—Hawthorne, the Elder, in “The Celestial Railroad”

White is the new black.
—From the Annals of Fashion Circa 2000

Chicago (pron. Shekáhgo; 590 ft. above the sea, 15-75 ft. above the lake), the second city and largest railway-centre of the United States, is situated on the W. shore of Lake Michigan (p. 276), at the mouths of the rivers Chicago and Calumet. It is 850 M. from Baltimore, the nearest point on the Atlantic, and 2415 M. from San Francisco. It covers an area of 181 sq. M. (more than any other city in the country), and in 1890 contained 1,099,850 inhab., an increase of 118 per cent. in ten years, and actually as well as relatively greater than that of London proper in the same period. The city has a waterfront on the lake of 22 M. and is divided by the Chicago River and its branches into three portions, known as the North, South, and West Sides. The site of the city is remarkably level, rising very slightly from the lake; and its streets are usually wide and straight. Among the chief business-thoroughfares are State, Clark, Madison, Dearborn, and La Salle Streets, and Wabash Avenue. Perhaps the finest residence-streets are Michigan Avenue and Drexel and Grand Boulevards, on the S. side, and Lake Shore Drive, on the N. side. It is estimated that not more than 300,000 of the inhabitants are native Americans; nearly 400,000 are Germans, 220,000 are Irish, 90,000 Scandinavians, 50,000 Poles, 50,000 Bohemians, and 45,000 English and Scottish.
—The United States with an Excursion into Mexico Handbook for Travellers, Leipsic: Karl Baedeker, Publisher, 1893