Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The President has a pachyderm's feet!

In a recent orgy of historical research in the Portland Room at the library, I uncovered volumes of bound manuscripts of Sketches Written for the Daily Eastern Argus 1912 - 1913 by one Nathan Goold. There was a very curious anecdote related by the author about the poet J.G. Whittier:
The poet Whittier is said to have related the story that when President Monroe visited the town, in 1817, where he [Whittier] then lived, a caravan exhibited there the same day. He said he saw the tracks of the elephant in the sand, and being but a small boy at the time thought they must be those of the President.
I need to do a little more biographical research on Whittier to see how likely this story is, but either way, it is an intriguing local legend that I've never heard of before. Whittier was born in 1807, so he would have been ten years old at the time of this story.

Illustration by Michelle Souliere.

No comments: