A Remarkable Curiosity: Dispatches from a New York City Journalists 1873 Railroad Trip across the American West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/remarkable-curiosity-dispatches-new-york-city-journalists-1873-railroad-trip-across[12/8/2015 1:16:01 PM] Home A Remarkable Curiosity: Dispatches from a New York City Journalists 1873 Railroad Trip across the American WestA Remarkable Curiosity: Dispatches from a New York City Journalists 1873 Railroad Trip across the American WestSubmitted by cowestadmin on 9-26-2009 07:18 PMAuthor: Amos Jay Cummings Publishing: Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2008. Drawings, index, notes. 371 pages. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2. $26.95 hardcopy. Reviewer: Duane A. Smith Reviewer Affiliation: Fort Lewis College-Durango, Colorado Amos Jay Cummings, a decorated Civil War veteran and New York Sun newspaper journalist, made a railroad trip to the West in 1873. It proved not to be a rapid journey. A leisurely six months passed as he went from Kansas to California. Along the way, he sent back newsy reports of what he saw, whom he interviewed, and his opinions of a fascinating land and time. He proved to be a skilled observer and writer on a variety of topics that he thought would interest his readers. That must be true, because even the twenty-first century reader will find them both entertaining and insightful about an age now long gone. Jerald T. Milanich, curator of archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History and professor of anthropology and Latin American studies at the University of Florida, edited the book. He did a masterful job of providing notes about people, events, and explanations to enhance the books overall appeal and significance. Milanich also introduces each section with a short essay to give the reader a better understanding of the life and times. Roughly a third of the book discusses Colorado, its scenery, towns, mining, and agriculture. Cummings realized that the easterner was not too familiar with the Territory and spends time explaining its landscape and development, since the 1859 Pikes Peak rush. He gives pithy insights into people and events that must have entertained his eastern readers. His section on Greeley is particularly interesting and, with the editors footnotes, provides a classic glimpse of the town and colony in its early years. Along the way, Cummings visited Denver, Colorado Springs, and other eastern slope sites, but did not venture far into the mountains. He has a great sense of humor once the reader becomes used to the nineteenth-century version of this art. Continuing on into Utah, Cummings described the pitfalls of mining for eastern investors by recounting the depressing story of the Little Emma Mine. Indeed, as P. T. Barnum may have said, Theres a sucker born every minute. Of course, he stopped in Salt Lake City to interview Brigham Young. He also interviews Ann Eliza Young (wife number nineteen, or thereabouts), who was at the moment in the process of divorcing Brigham. Readers were probably titillated. This is a book for a cold winters night of reading. It moves along rapidly and keeps the readers attention. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanNow, thats wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States. Colorado Gov. Ralph Carrs response to Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese into internment camps during WWII.
A Remarkable Curiosity: Dispatches from a New York City Journalists 1873 Railroad Trip across the American West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/remarkable-curiosity-dispatches-new-york-city-journalists-1873-railroad-trip-across[12/8/2015 1:16:01 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us The University Press of Colorado is to be congratulated for a job well done. And, so too, as was said in the nineteenth century, Three Cheers and a Tiger. Reviewer Info: Duane A. Smith is a professor of history at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where he has taught Colorado history since 1964. Known as The Sage of the San Juan and The Homer of the Hills, Smith has authored more than fifty books and innumerable articles. Smith received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Colorado. Add new comment