October 29, 2003


I finally investigated Friendster today. Totally cool. Very addictive. It's essentially the six-degrees-of-separation graph. I'm now obsessed with getting as many of my friends in there as I can; this is made difficult by the annoying people with no picture and insufficiently unique names---even if there's just one entry for their name, I'm not sure it's them. (Of course, I can just email them....) If you're not in their network, you should be.

Also, I'm still working my way through They Broke the Prairie. I just read the chapter about the, er, sectarian strife between the Presbyterians and the Congregationalists from the town's founding through the Civil War. Amazing invective and nastiness. Airing the town's dirty laundry all over western Illinois. Impressive in its scope, really; it nearly took the College down with it. More Galesburg trivia: Jonathan Blanchard, second President of the College, brought the institution to financial solvency (to the tune of some $400K in assets in the mid-1860s, an impressive sum), was driven out by the aforementioned sectarian tussle, and went on to found and preside over Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, until his death in 1882. The Reverend Edward Beecher, a major player in the tussle, and the man for whom the former Beecher Chapel of Knox College was named, was a brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Oh, and from an earlier chapter: the Ferris family of Galesburg? Yes, those Ferrises---a grandson of Silvanus Ferris was the inventor of the Ferris Wheel.

"It is astonishing how many sides truth seems to have, even in the hands of devout Christians." --Earnest Elmo Calkins, _They Broke the Prairie_ (1937)

Posted by blahedo at 10:41pm on 29 Oct 2003
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