Author Archive

On Lincoln and giving thanks

Giving thanks — to God, to some higher power, to nature, to others in society for their beneficial actions — has been a practice of people around the world for centuries. Early French and Spanish settlers in the 16th century in North America expressed gratitude for nature’s bounty, notably during the harvest season in early fall. By 1607, colonists in Jamestown, ...

 
 

Living History: The end of WWI

“The human heart is the starting point of all matters pertaining to war." -Marechal de Saxe, 1732- In “The Guns of August” (1962), Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara Tuchman quotes Bismarck’s prediction that “…some damned foolish thing in the Balkans…” would start the next war. Bismarck was right, but he likely had limited understanding of how gargantuan the ...

 

Living History: The du Ponts, Part II

When he wrote a letter to Alexander Hamilton in 1801 asking about an investment in property along the Brandywine for the site of a mill, E.I. du Pont was building a relationship with the man considered by many historians as the architect of the American financial system. Hamilton had long been a proponent of diversifying the colonial economy away from a strong ...

 

Living History: The du Ponts, founding fathers of the American economy

No single family had as much influence on America and the development of its economic system as the du Ponts. The patriarch of what became known as the du Pont dynasty was Pierre Samuel du Pont. Serving in the French government as Inspector General of Commerce, he assisted in crafting the Treaty of Paris which ended the American Revolution. Du Pont’s son Eleuthere ...

 

New Book: Hemingway, Cuba and the Great Blue River

Q: What made you interested in Ernest Hemingway? A: Hemingway was the author who inspired me to start my writing career. I first read Hemingway’s novella “The Old Man and the Sea” in High School, then later got “hooked” when I read “For Whom the Bell Tolls” many years later. Q: Are you familiar with most of his works? A: Yes, I’ve read nearly all of his works and ...

 

Living History: Hemingway, part 3

Fidel Castro died on Nov. 25, 2016, at the age of 90 after ruling Cuba for almost five decades. During his reign, Castro turned Cuba into a Marxist-Communist dictatorship, with a centrally planned economy and nationalization of virtually every industry and small business. After relations with the United States soured in 1961 and the embargo ensued, Castro’s alliance ...

 

Living History: Hemingway, part 2

The Finca Vigia Meaning “Lookout Farm” in Spanish, the Finca Vigia on the outskirts of Havana is where Ernest Hemingway lived longer and was more productive than any other setting in the world. The house is in the village of San Francisco de Paula, roughly 12 miles southeast of downtown. His home is now a tourist attraction- the Museo Ernest Hemingway- which receives ...

 

Living History: Ernest Hemingway

“Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.”  --Ernest Hemingway Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois. He gained early experience as a reporter for the Kansas City Star newspaper. Yearning to serve in World War I, Hemingway became an ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy in 1918, ...

 

The 240th Anniversary of the Battle of the Brandywine

Most of the horse trails are now overgrown with trees and brush or converted into paved macadam roadways. Many of the fields where men lay wounded have been replaced with houses, businesses and small farms. Yet the story of America’s struggle for independence endures around Chester County and some of its silent witnesses remain today. In the Fall of 1777, George ...

 

CFHS carves out coveted fall tradition

Anyone over the age of 40 likely knows the television special “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” which first aired on Oct. 27, 1966, and became a smash hit, with whimsical scenes of kids carving jack o’lanterns accompanied by the inspired jazz piano of Vince Guaraldi. It’s hard to believe that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the special, which has now ...

 

Living History: An event that tested a nation

It seems hard to believe that 15 years have passed since that fateful day that dawned with a beautiful sunrise and lovely weather for all to enjoy. I was in a meeting at Wilmington Trust with other financial analysts discussing the markets and investment strategies. Suddenly, the door to our meeting room swung open. One of our secretaries came in and said, “I just ...