Working the Media

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Emmett’s grand niece Elizabeth alerted me to another Cephas find the other day.

All but one photo I have of Cephas features him in a bowtie. Nice detail of his watch chain. Also, I note the strong resemblance between Cephas and Emmett.

Every photo I have of Cephas features him in a bowtie. Emmett preferred neckties. Source: Katie’s granddaughter.

The clip was a reprint in another Florida state paper; the type does not look like the style used by the Marianna Times-Union between 1900-1918 (based on my reading of all available hard copy). I'd estimate the date of this article around 1902, based on the issue in the article.

The clip was a reprint in another Florida state paper; the type does not look like the style used by the Marianna Times-Courier between 1900-1918 (based on my reading of all available hard copy). I’d estimate the date of this article around 1902, based on the issue in the article. Source: Katie’s granddaughter.

One immediate takeaway from this piece was interesting — Ceph described as gossipy. Honestly, I don’t find that surprising. Cephas knew the value of the media in building one’s political career, as did Emmett.  Both Ceph and Emmett were ambitious, so they would make sure to befriend the press, taking advantage of every opportunity to see their name in print.

In her message to me with the clips, Elizabeth added: “Every time I think I’ve hit the bottom of the family papers, more emerge (still a big box in the shed).”

That’s excellent! You know I’m always willing and able to drive the two hours just to root around in boxes, and catalog or scan documents. Just say the word!


Nicholas Van Sant. Source: Ancestry.com

Nicholas Van Sant. Source: Ancestry.com

In other Emmett Wilson book news, I’m outlining the next chapter, which is about Emmett’s move to Sterling, Illinois, to work as law partner to Nicholas Van Sant.

This was a big move for our hero; he did this thinking it was permanent, tinged with an attitude of slight arrogance and hubris, particularly in the eyes of Cephas. It was supposed to be a permanent move, but it didn’t work out that way.

It would turn out to be one of the most teachable, humbling moments of Emmett’s career.

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