Remarkable AmericansAuthor Kerck Kelsey ISBN 9780884482994 Binding Trade Cloth Publisher Tilbury House Publishers Publication Date February 01, 2008 Size 152 x 229 mm
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REMARKABLE AMERICANS, by Kerck Kelsey, traces the lives of ten remarkable children who grew up on a simple farm in remote Livermore, Maine. Four were elected and reelected to the U.S. Congress from four different states. Two of the four would later be separately considered for Republican nomination for president and vice president of the country. Two were ambassadors, two were state governors, and two others worked to establish the great mills that would become General Mills. Growing up in rural poverty, their advantages were few, but together they left a record of achievement that will probably never be equaled again by a single generation of any American family.
After a career in textbook publishing and banking, Kerck Kelsey received a Master's Degree in History from Harvard University just before his seventieth birthday. He wrote his thesis on the eldest Washburn brother, Israel Jr. It was later published as Israel Washburn, Jr.: Maine's Little—Known Giant of the Civil War. He lives in Freeport, Maine.
Kelsey calls this the story of the most famous family in America that nobody ever heard of, the Washburns of 19th—century Livermore, Maine. A descendant of the Washburn family, Kelsey followed his publishing and banking careers with a Harvard master's degree in historyat age 70. He surveys his great—great—grandfather Cadwallader Washburn and his nine siblings, who for Kelsey embodied the best of 19th—century America. The seven brothers (Cadwallader, Charles, Elihu, Israel Jr., Sam, Sid, William) and three sisters (Caroline, Martha, Mary) grew up in a rural crucible of poverty, where pigs had to be slopped and horses shod. Yet they went on to launch law firms, banks, railroads and sawmills. They spread across the continent to the Midwest and California and served the Union, both in uniform and out, during the Civil War. Some became senators, governors and diplomats; others went into business, including the flour—milling firm Washburn Crosby, which in 1928 became General Mills… this chronicle presents a narrative of big dreams that reflects the physical and economic expansion of 19th—century America, and the Washburns' achievements spring to life." —Publisher's Weekly
"…ambitious, consistently engaging…." —Kirkus Reviews, October 2007
"…a remarkably good job in terms of infomation and readability….The Washburns…played huge public and subtle roles in the shaping of mid—19th century American political and economic life…" —Maine Sunday Telegram, March 9, 2008
"…family biography of the ten siblings who made good in the second half of the nineteenth century…detailed and interesting portrait of a Yankee family that embodied the American dream of success." —Minnesota History, Summer 2008
"The Washburns embodied the best of nineteenth—century America and their story is a fascinating one." —The Maine Event, February 2008
'…colorful and lively tale of the 10 Washburn brothers and sisters…filled with warmth and admiration for a family that achieved amazing wealth, success, influence and contribution for 70 years in the 1800s." —Kennebec Journal, April 6, 2008