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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A few weeks back I noted that I was reading Samuel Eliot Morison’s biography of Christopher Columbus.  In that post, I remarked that Morison’s style reminded me somewhat of the great Francis Parkman.

Ol’ Robbo reads Parkman’s outstanding history of the French and British colonization of North America every couple of years or so with keen relish.  I suppose it was mention of him in the Morison post that got me hankering for another go round, because this week I’ve taken him up again.  So far, the French Huguenot  ventures of the mid 1560’s at what are now Jacksonville, Florida and Parris Island, South Carolina have been wiped out by the implacable Spanish under Mendoza (founder of St. Augustine, Florida) and we are about to turn our attention northward to the doings of the great Champlain.

I bring this up simply to relate a fact that either I did not know before or had forgotten – that Parkman was cousins with Robert Gould Shaw, the hero of the 54th Massachusetts at Battery Wagner.  (Parkman dedicated  his France and England in North America to Shaw and two other kinsmen killed in the Civil War.)   A little googling shows that this is hardly surprising, as they both came out of the same Boston Brahmin set, all of whom were linked by blood or marriage to each other one way or another.

I throw this out because, well, because this is my blog.


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January 2014