Tonight I’m in Montgomery, Alabama, one of the first stops on the Emmett Wilson research trip.
Montgomery is an important stop, not just because it breaks up a really long drive down from D.C. to Pensacola, but because Emmett did visit the city from time to time. Also, Emmett’s twin brother, Julian, lived in Montgomery.
Julian, like Emmett, worked as a telegrapher for the railroad as teenagers. They started out as apprentices with the railroad about age fourteen, which was fairly common (although many in the profession had unionized and denounced using child telegraphers in railroad work).
Although Emmett switched to law, Julian made a career with the railroad, eventually locating in Montgomery, where he moved up the ladder into management.
Tomorrow I will meet with some of Emmett’s relatives who still live here to share information from my research over the past several. I’m very much looking forward to this meeting! I also plan to check out some of the buildings in historic Montgomery that I know are still around from Emmett’s time.
The University of Maryland Global Campus