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Chapter 102: Emmett’s Decision

April 30, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland Apparently Emmett’s visit and interview with Nicholas Van Sant, which took place sometime during the last week of October, 1905, was successful: In the spirit of transparency, I have no idea what kind of conversation went on between Emmett and Nicholas Van Sant during their […]

Chapter 101: Day One in Sterling

October 25, 1905Residence of Nicholas Van SantSterling, Illinois I slept well after the three-day train trip to Sterling. Van Sant met me at the Sterling train station, brought me home right away; as it was late, the house was already quiet, but that was no matter — I was glad […]

Chapter 95: No Waiting

April 30, 1905Cephas and Lula Wilson’s HouseMarianna, Florida7:25 pm I’m standing outside of Ceph’s house, in the front yard, looking up at the huge oak tree near the sidewalk. The tree has curtains of gray moss dangling, drifting with the soft wind. The sun’s set already, and it feels like […]

Chapter 92: Remembering

April 29, 1905Marianna, Florida5:45 p.m. After Long had shut the door behind him, and I knew I was all alone, I turned again to gaze out of the window at the courthouse; the shadows of the oaks around the building growing longer with the sunset. I didn’t want to go […]

Chapter 89: Emmett and Sterling

March 26, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland Back in the mid-1980’s, when I was a year or so out of journalism school with some experience writing for daily newspapers under my belt, I got the itch to move on to a bigger newspaper market, with a more interesting beat, and more exciting […]

Secretarial Musings

I often wonder what kind of employee or boss Emmett was? Was he considerate and competent? Quiet and hardworking? A lunch-stealing backstabbing jerk, perhaps? An excellent source of information on Emmett-as-colleague would be the office records — a desk calendar, case files, or even an office journal. I don’t doubt […]

Julian Wilson & The Steamer “Gertrude”

Yesterday afternoon, I was going through my notes (looking for something else, naturally) when I found an article from the July 26, 1906 issue of The Chipley Banner, which reported Emmett’s twin brother Julian, “… a purser on the steamer ‘Gertrude’ was in town visiting his father at home, and left […]

Not So Unexceptional Sources

Last time I checked, I realized that I’ve collected over 500 individual newspaper articles about Emmett Wilson. That’s pretty good, considering that when I started this project, I didn’t expect to find more than a few dozen, given his obscurity in Florida politics. Granted, most of these newspaper articles aren’t […]

Crowd Sourcing Research

One of the reasons why I started this blog about Emmett’s book was (is!) to locate his scrapbooks, correspondence, or anything that exists out there that may not be already digitized. Crowd sourcing the research has worked fairly well; last year I wrote about Emmett’s sister, Katie Wilson Meade, and […]