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The Unsolved Murder of Civil Rights Activist Harry Moore

Smithsonian Magazine

It was late on Christmas night, 1951, but Harry and Harriette Moore had yet to open any gifts. Instead they had delayed the festivities in anticipation of the arrival of their younger daughter, Evangeline, who was taking a train home from Washington, D.C. to celebrate along with her sister and grandmother. The Moores had another cause for celebration: the day marked their 25th wedding anniversary, a testament to their unshakeable partnership. But that night in their quiet home on a citrus grove in rural Mims, Florida, the African American couple were fatal victims of a horrific terrorist attack at the hands of those who wanted to silence the Moores.

At 10:20 p.m., a blast ripped apart their bedroom, splintering the floorboards, ceiling and front porch. The explosion was so powerful that witness reported hearing it several miles away. Pamphlets pushing for voters’ rights floated out of the house and onto the street, remnants of a long fight for justice. Harry Moore had spent much of the last two decades earning the enmity of Florida’s white supremacists as he organized for equal pay, voter registration, and justice for murdered African Americans. And yet despite his immense sacrifice and the nation’s initial shock at his assassination, Moore’s name soon faded from the pantheon of Civil Rights martyrs.

After the attack, Moore’s mother and daughter knew they would be unable to get an ambulance willing to transport a black victim, so nearby relatives drove the wounded Harry and Harriette to the town of Sanford, which was more than 30 miles away on a dark, two-lane road bracketed by dense foliage. Harry died shortly after arriving in the hospital, Harriette would die a little more than a week later. When Evangeline arrived at the train station the next day, “She didn’t see her mother and father, but she saw her aunts and uncles and family members. She knew something was wrong,” says Sonya Mallard, coordinator for the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Cultural Complex, who knew Evangeline before her death in 2015. Her uncle broke the news on the drive to the hospital, and “her world was never the same again. Never.”

In the years before his death, Harry Moore was increasingly a marked man—and he knew it. But he had begun charting this course in the 1930s, when he worked tirelessly to register black voters. He later expanded his efforts into fighting injustice in lynching cases (Florida had more lynchings per capita than any other state at the time), putting him in the crosshairs of Florida’s most violent and virulent racists.

“Harry T. Moore understood that we had to make a better way, we had to change what was going on here in the state of Florida,” says Mallard. Traveling around the state on roads where it was too dangerous to even use a public restroom, Moore’s mother, Rosa, worried he’d be killed, “but he kept on going because he knew it was bigger than him,” says Mallard.

Moore was born in 1905 in the panhandle town of Houston, Florida. His father, Johnny, owned a small shop and worked for the railroad, and died when Harry was just 9 years old. After trying to support her son as a single parent, Rosa sent Harry to live with his aunts in Jacksonville, a hub for African American business and culture that would prove to be influential on the young Moore. After graduating from Florida Memorial College, as today’s university was then known, Moore likely could have made a relatively comfortable life in Jacksonville.

However, the climate in Florida as a whole as hostile to African Americans. His formative years were ones of pervasive racial violence often unchecked by officials. Before the 1920 election, displaying the impunity enjoyed by white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan “marched in downtown Orlando specifically to intimidate black voters,” says Ben Brotemarkle, executive director of the Florida Historical Society. When a man named July Perry came to Orlando from nearby Ocoee to vote, he was beaten, shot and hung from a light post and then the primarily African American town was burned in a mob rampage that killed dozens. For decades after, Ocoee had no black residents and was known as a “sundown town”; today the city of 46,000 is 21 percent African American.

A portrait of Harry T. and Henrietta V. Moore (Courtesy of the Moore Cultural Complex)

In 1925, Moore began teaching at a school for black students in Cocoa, Florida, a few miles south of Mims and later assumed the role of principal at the Titusville Colored School. His first year in Cocoa, Harry met Harriette Simms, three years his senior, at a party. She later became a teacher after the birth of their first daughter, Annie Rosalea, known as Peaches. Evangeline was born in 1930.)

His civic activism flowed from his educational activism. “He would bring his own materials and educate students about black history, but what he also did was bring in ballots and he taught his students how to vote. He taught his students the importance of the candidates and making a decision to vote for people who took your interests seriously,” says Brotemarkle.

In 1934, Moore joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an indication of his growing interest in civic matters. In 1937, Moore pushed for a lawsuit challenging the chasm between black and white teachers’ salaries in his local Brevard County, with fellow educator John Gilbert as the plaintiff. Moore enlisted the support of NAACP lawyer (and later Supreme Court Justice) Thurgood Marshall, the start of their professional collaboration. The lawsuit was defeated in both the Circuit Court and the Florida Supreme Court. For his efforts, the Moores later lost their teachings jobs—as did Gilbert.

In the early 1940s, Moore organized the Florida State conference of the NAACP and significantly increased membership (he would later become its first paid executive secretary). He also formed the Progressive Voters’ League in Florida in 1944. “He understood the significance of the power of the vote. He understood the significance of the power of the pen. And he wrote letters and typed letters to anyone and everyone that would listen. And he knew that [African Americans] had to have a voice and we had to have it by voting,” says Mallard. In 1947, building on the U.S. Supreme Court case in which Marshall successfully argued against Texas’ “white primary” that excluded minority voters, Moore organized a letter writing campaign to help rebuff bills proposed in the Florida legislature that would effectively perpetuate white primaries. (As the Tampa Bay Times notes, Florida was “a leading innovator of discriminatory barriers to voting.”)

Before his death, Moore’s efforts in the state helped increase the number of black voters by more than 100,000, according to the Moore Cultural Complex, a figure sure to catch the attention of influential politicians.

But success was a risky proposition. “Moore was coming into a situation in Central Florida where there was a lot of Klan activity, there were a lot of Klansman who had positions in government, and it was a very tenuous time for civil rights,” says Brotemarkle. “People were openly being intimidated and kept away from the polls, and Moore worked diligently to fight that.”

Moore was willing to risk much more than his job. He first became involved in anti-lynching efforts after three white men kidnapped 15-year-old Willie James Howard, bound him with ropes and drowned him in a river for the “crime” of passing a note to a white girl in 1944. The perpetual inaction in cases like Howard’s, in which no one was arrested, tried, or convicted, spurred Moore to effect change. In a 1947 letter to Florida’s congressional delegation, Moore wrote “We cannot afford to wait until the several states get ‘trained’ or ‘educated’ to the point where they can take effective action in such cases. Human life is too valuable for more experimenting of this kind. The Federal Government must be empowered to take the necessary action for the protection of its citizens.”

Moore letters show a polite, but persistent, push for change. His scholarly nature obscured the profound courage it took to stand up to the hostile forces around him in Florida. Those who knew him recall a quiet, soft-spoken man. “The fiery from the pulpit speech? That was not Harry T. Moore. He was much more behind the scenes, but no less aggressive. You can see it from his letters that he was every bit as brave,” says Brotemarkle.

Two years before his death, Moore placed himself in harm’s way in the most prominent manner yet with his involvement in the Groveland Four incident. The men had been accused of raping a white woman; a mob went to drag them from jail and not finding them there, burned and shot into nearby black residents’ homes. After their arrest, conviction by an all-white jury was practically a foregone conclusion, despite attorneys’ assertions that the defendants’ confessions were physically coerced. The case also pitted Moore against Sherriff Willis McCall, who was investigated numerous times in his career for misconduct related to race.

While transporting two of the suspects, McCall shot them, killing one. McCall claimed he had been attacked, but the shootings elicited furious protest. All this took place against the backdrop of the ongoing legal battle—eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a re-trial, which again ended in the conviction of the surviving suspect, who was represented by Thurgood Marshall. (In recent years, Florida has posthumously pardoned and apologized to all four of the accused).

Moore wrote repeatedly to Governor Fuller Warren, methodically dismantling McCall’s claims. He admonished Warren that “Florida is on trial before the rest of the world,” calling on him to remove the officers involved in the shooting. He closed with a reminder that “Florida Negro citizens are still mindful of the fact that our votes proved to be your margin of victory in the [runoff election in] 1948. We seek no special favors; but certainly we have a right to expect justice and equal protection of the laws even for the humblest Negro. Shall we be disappointed again?”

Compounding Moore’s woes, just weeks after the shooting of the Groveland suspects and weeks before his own death, he lost his job at the NAACP. Moore had clashed with the organization’s national leadership for his forward political involvement and disagreements over fundraising. It was a severe blow, but he continued his commitment to the work—albeit now on an unpaid basis.

During the fall of 1951, Florida saw a rash of religious and racial violence. Over a three-month period, multiple bombs had hit Carver Village, a housing complex in Miami leasing to black tenants, in what was likely the work of the KKK; a synagogue and Catholic church were also menaced. “As dark shadow of violence has drifted across sunny Florida—cast by terrorist who blast and kill in the night,” the Associated Press reported days after the Christmas bombing. If lesser known black residents were targeted, then Moore’s prominence meant his situation was especially perilous.

“Moore ruffled a lot of feathers, and there was a large population of Florida that didn’t want to see the type of change that he was part of,” says Brotemarkle.

“I tried to get him to quit the N.A.A.C.P., thinking something might happen to him some day,” Rosa Moore told a reporter after the bombing. “But he told me, ‘I’m trying to do what I can to elevate the Negro race. Every advancement comes by the way of sacrifice, and if I sacrifice my life or health I still think it is my duty for my race.”

News of Moore’s Christmas night death made headlines across the country. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt expressed her sadness. Governor Warren called for a full investigation but clashed with NAACP executive secretary Walter White, who accused the governor of not doing enough. Warren said White “has come to Florida to try to stir up strife” and called him a “hired Harlem hatemonger.”

While Moore may have been out of favor with the NAACP’s national leadership shortly before his death, he was venerated soon after. In March of 1952, the NAACP held a fundraising gala in New York City, featuring the “Ballad of Harry T. Moore,” written by poet Langston Hughes. His name was a rallying cry at numerous events.

“The Moore bombings set off the most intense civil rights uproar in a decade,” writes Ben Green in Before His Time: The Untold Story of Harry T. Moore, America’s First Civil Rights Martyr. “There had been more violent racial incidents…but the Moore bombing was so personal, so singular – a man and his wife blown up in their home on Christmas Day – that it became a magnifying glass to focus the nation’s revulsion.”

While the publicity helped galvanize awareness for civil rights on a national level, the assassination soon had a chilling effect on voter registration in Florida. “People were petrified, they were scared,” says Mallard. The KKK “terrorized you, they killed you, they lynched you, they scared you. They did all that to shut you up.”

Meanwhile Harriette Moore remained hospitalized for nine days, dying from her injuries one day after her husband’s funeral. “There isn't much left to fight for. My home is wrecked. My children are grown up. They don't need me. Others can carry on," she had told a reporter in a bedside interview. Harriette’s discouragement was palpable, after years of facing the same threats side by side with Harry. “She adored her husband,” says Mallard.

The crime has never been definitively solved, despite commitments from notorious FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover in the bombing’s aftermath and from Florida Governor Charlie Crist in the mid-2000s. After almost 70 years, the identity of the killer or killers may never be pinpointed, but those who have studied Moore’s life and the multiple investigations of the case are confident it was the work of the KKK.

“As the movement’s ranks swelled and the battle was carried to Birmingham, Nashville, Tallahassee, Little Rock, Greensboro and beyond, the unsolved murders of Harry and Harriette Moore, still hanging in limbo, were forgotten,” Green writes. “For Evangeline and Peaches Moore, the pain and heartache never ceased. The murderers of their parents still walked the streets, and no one seemed to care.”

A quote by Harry Moore adorns a fountain outside the Moore Cultural Complex (Francine Uenuma)

Moore’s life and death underscore that not all heroes become legends. Today cities like Selma, Montgomery and Memphis—not Mims—evoke images of the Civil Rights struggle. Moore worked for almost two decades without the weight of national outrage behind him. No television cameras documented the brutal violence or produced the images needed to appall Americans in other states. The Maya Lin-designed Civil Rights Memorial situated across the street from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s office in Montgomery, Alabama, recognizes martyrs from 1955 until Martin Luther King Jr.’s death in 1968. That was 17 years after the Moores were killed.

“When you talk about the contemporary civil rights movement, [people] look at the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 as kind of the starting place for the timeline, and while that can be seen as true in a lot of ways, it overlooks a lot of activity that led up to that,” says Brotemarkle.

Nonetheless Moore’s work and legacy helped lay the groundwork for the expansion of civil rights onto the national platform, and Moore has received some belated recognition in recent decades. The Moore Cultural Complex in Mims welcomes visitors to a replica of their home, rebuilt on the original property. Several of their personal effects are on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.

In looking back at Moore’s life and work, it is abundantly clear he was never motivated by name recognition in the first place. Moore’s goal was singular - his daughter would later remember him saying before his death that “I have endeavored to help the Negro race and laid my life on the altar.”

The Worst Parade to Ever Hit the Streets of Boston

Smithsonian Magazine

This tale is excerpted from Nathaniel Philbrick's upcoming book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution, available for pre-order now and in stores on April 30, 2013.

Boston had always been a town on tiptoe. Just a square mile in area, with a mere sliver of land connecting it to the mainland to the south, this tadpole-shaped island was dominated by three towering, lightly settled hills and a virtual forest of steeples. From Boston’s highest perch, the 138-foot Beacon Hill, it was possible to see that the town was just one in a huge amphitheatre of humped and jagged islands that extended more than eight and a half miles to Point Allerton to the southeast. Whether it was from a hill, a steeple, or a cupola, Bostonians could plainly see that they were surrounded by two deep and endless wildernesses: the ocean to the east and the country to the west.

Boston’s topography contributed to the seemingly nonsensical pattern of its streets. Rather than follow any preconceived grid, the settlement’s original trails and cart paths had done their best to negotiate the many hills and hollows, cutting across the slopes at gradual angles to create a concave crescent of settlement within which more than fifty wharves and shipyards extended from the town’s eastern edge. 

It was in winter that this city of hills came into its own—at least if you were a boy.  Streets normally crowded with people, horses, ox carts, and carriages became, thanks to a coating of snow and ice, magical coasting trails down which a youngster on his wooden sled could race at startling and wonderful speeds. On January 25, 1774, there were at least two feet of snow covering Boston. Runner-equipped sleighs glided across roads that carts and chaises had once plodded over, moving so silently across the white drifts that tinkling bells were added to the horses’ halters so that the people of Boston could hear them coming. The boys in theirs sleds did not have this luxury, however, and that afternoon a child approaching the end of his run down Copp’s Hill in the North End slammed into the 50-year-old customs officer John Malcom—that is, at least, according to one account. Another account has Malcom falling into an argument with the boy when the child complained that Malcom had ruined the coasting run that passed by his front door by throwing woodchips on the snow.

Malcom, as his vocation as a customs agent might suggest, was a loyalist; he also had a reputation for losing his temper. Raising his cane in the air as if to strike the boy, he shouted, “Do you talk to me in that style, you rascal!” It was then that George Hewes, a shoemaker, came upon them standing at the mouth of Cross Street.

Hewes had recently participated in the Tea Party and was known to be a patriot. But at this point, political beliefs were of little concern to him; he was worried that Malcom might injure the defenseless boy and told him to leave the child alone.

Malcom turned to Hewes and accused him of being a “vagabond” who should not presume to speak to a gentleman such as himself. Besides commanding a host of coasting vessels, Malcom had served as an officer in several campaigns during the French and Indian War; he’d also fought more recently in what was known as the War of Regulation in North Carolina, where he’d assisted Royal Governor Tyrone in brutally suppressing an uprising of citizens who objected to the taxation system then prevalent in this portion of the South. Malcom claimed to have had two horses shot out from underneath him in North Carolina and later wrote in a petition to the king that “none could go further in the field of battle when the bullets flew thickest, he was then in his element.”

Malcom’s love of combat had recently gotten him into some serious professional trouble. Earlier that fall, while serving in the customs office in Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, he’d seized a ship and her 30-man crew under the slimmest of pretexts. His pompous and overbearing manner had so angered the sailors that they’d disarmed him of his sword and provided him with a “genteel” coat of tar and feathers—genteel in that they’d left his clothes on to protect his skin from the hot tar. Malcom had been humiliated but apparently not hurt, and even his superior officer at the customs office had had little sympathy for him. By that snowy day in January, Malcom was back home in Boston and arguing with not only a surly boy with a sled but this prying shoemaker as well.

Hewes was unimpressed by Malcom’s claims of social superiority, especially given what had happened to the customs agent in Maine, a story that had been repeated with great relish in Boston’s many newspapers. “Be that as it will,” Hewes replied to Malcom’s rebuke, “I never was tarred and feathered anyhow.”

This was too much for Malcom, who took up his cane and smashed Hewes in the head, ripping a two-inch gash in his hat and knocking him unconscious. When Hewes came to his senses, a Captain Godfrey was admonishing Malcom, who soon decided that it was in his best interests to beat a hasty retreat to his home on Cross Street.

All that afternoon word of the incident circulated through the streets of Boston. By eight o’clock in the evening, an angry crowd had assembled outside Malcom’s house. By that time Hewes had visited Dr. Joseph Warren, just across the Mill Bridge on nearby Hanover Street. Both a physician and a distant relative, Warren had told him that if it weren’t for his extraordinarily thick skull, Hewes would be a dead man. On Warren’s advice, he applied to a town official for a warrant for Malcom’s arrest, but it was now looking like a different kind of justice was about to be served.

Earlier in the evening, Malcom had taken a manic delight in baiting the crowd, bragging that Governor Hutchinson would pay him a bounty of 20 pounds sterling for every “yankee” that he killed. His undoubtedly longsuffering wife, the mother of five children (two of whom were deaf), opened a window and pleaded with the townspeople to leave them alone. Whatever sympathy she had managed to gain soon vanished when Malcom pushed his unsheathed sword through the window and stabbed a man in the breastbone.  

The crowd swarmed around the house, breaking windows and trying to get at the customs official, who soon fled up the stairs to the second story. Many Bostonians served as volunteer firemen, and it wasn’t long before men equipped with ladders and axes were rushing toward the besieged house on Cross Street. Even Malcom appears to have realized that matters had taken a serious turn, and he prepared “to make what defense he could.”

Collective violence had been a longstanding part of colonial New England. Crowds tended to intervene when government officials acted against the interests of the people. In 1745, a riot had broken out in Boston when a naval press gang seized several local sailors. Twenty-three years later, anger over the depredations of yet another press gang contributed to the Liberty Riot of 1768, triggered by the seizure of John Hancock’s ship of the same name by Boston customs officials. In that the crowds were attempting to address unpunished wrongs committed against the community, they were a recognized institution that all Bostonians—no matter how wealthy and influential they might be—ignored at their peril. On August 26, 1765, as outrage over the Stamp Act swept across the colonies, a mob of several hundred Bostonians had attacked the home of Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson, breaking windows, beating down doors, and ransacking the house of its elaborate furnishings. But as John Malcom was about to find out on that frigid night in January 1774, and as Thomas Hutchison had learned almost a decade before him, the divide between a civic-minded crowd and an unruly and vindictive mob was frighteningly thin.


Image by Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency, Inc.. Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution is available for pre-order now and in stores on April 30, 2013. (original image)

Image by Ellen Warner. Nathaniel Philbrick (original image)

Image by (c) 2013 Jeffrey L. Ward. Courtesy of Viking.. Boston in 1774, where loyalist John Malcom was tarred and feathered. (original image)

Image by The Granger Collection, NYC. An artist's depiction of the tarring and feathering of John Malcom in Boston. (original image)

Malcom and his family huddled in their home’s second floor. A locked door stood between them and the angry crowd down below. They heard the thud of the ladders against the sides of the house and the cries of the men and boys as they climbed up to the second-story windows and punched through the glass. It was then that “a Mr. Russell,” perhaps William Russell, an usher (or teaching assistant) at a school on Hanover Street, appeared inside the house. Smiling broadly, he assured Malcom that he came in friendship and shook the customs officer’s hand. He then asked if he could see Malcom’s sword. Desperate for whatever assistance he could find, Malcom reluctantly handed over the weapon, only to watch as Russell (who, if he indeed was William Russell, had participated in the Tea Party) called out to the others in the house that Malcom was now unarmed. “They immediately rushed in,” Malcom wrote, “and by violence forced your memorialist out of the house and beating him with sticks then placed him on a sled they had prepared.” One can only wonder what Mrs. Malcom and her sons and daughters were thinking as they watched him disappear into the unlit streets of Boston.

After a stop at a nearby wharf to pick up a barrel of tar (at some point, down-filled pillows, perhaps taken from Malcom’s own house, were also collected), the crowd, which now numbered more than a thousand people, hauled Malcom through the snowy streets to the center of town, where after three “Huzzas,” they loaded him into a cart parked in front of the Customs House. Almost four years before, this had been the site of the Boston Massacre, and as a consequence the building was now referred to as Butchers’ Hall. Bonfires were common in this portion of King Street, a 60-foot-wide plaza-like space in front of the Town Hall paved with seashells and gravel where the stocks and whipping post were also located. One of these fires may have been used to heat the stiff and sludgy pine tar (a distillation of the bituminous substance that bubbled from a smoldering pine tree) into a pourable black paste.

It was one of the bitterest evenings of the year. Boston Harbor had frozen over two nights before. Malcom was undoubtedly trembling with cold and fear, but this did not prevent the crowd from tearing off his clothes (dislocating his arm in the process) and daubing his skin with steaming tar that would have effectively parboiled his flesh. Once the feathers had been added, Malcom was clothed in what was known at the time as a “modern jacket”: a painful and mortifying announcement to the world that he had sinned against the collective mores of the community. Tarring and feathering went back centuries to the time of the crusades; it was also applied to the effigies used during Pope Night; several Boston loyalists before him had been tarred and feathered, but none could claim the level of suffering that Malcom was about to endure.

Soon the crowd began pushing Malcom’s cart up King Street toward the Town House, the cupola-topped brick building emblazoned with the king’s seal that was the home of the colony’s legislature. Once passed the Town House, they turned left onto Boston’s main thoroughfare, known in this portion of the city as Cornhill. With the three-story brick edifice of Boston’s first Congregational Meeting, referred to as the Old Meeting, on their right, they made their way through a gauntlet of tightly packed buildings of varying heights. Lights flared in the windows as they passed, the crowd’s shouts and whistles washing across the brick and clapboard facings and echoing up into the hills to the right, where the almshouse, the asylum for the “disorderly and insane,” the workhouse, and the granary overlooked the rolling 45-acre sweep of the Common.

Cornhill became Marlborough Street by the time they reached the block containing the governor’s official residence, Province House. On the cupola of this stately, three-story brick structure was a copper weathervane depicting an Indian with an arrow in his bow. When the wind was from the east, the Province House Indian seemed to be aiming at the even higher weathercock on the spire of the Old South Meetinghouse just across the street. The crowd stopped between these two soaring buildings and ordered Malcom to curse Governor Hutchinson (who was safely ensconced at his country house ten miles away in Milton that night) and “say he was an enemy to his country.” Malcom steadfastly refused.

On they proceeded through the freezing darkness, the cart’s wheels crunching through the snow. They were now in the heart of the South End, the more affluent side of town, where Marlborough turned into Newbury Street. At the corner of Essex on their left, they stopped at the huge old elm known as the Liberty Tree. A staff rose up out of the topmost portion of the tree’s trunk on which a flag was often flown. This was where the first protests against the Stamp Act had been held back in 1765, and in the years since, the Liberty Tree had become a kind of druidical, distinctly American shrine to the inherent freedoms of man and that Enlightenment sense of “the state of nature” that exists before a people willingly submit to the dictates of a government of their own choosing.

On this cold night, the people of Boston were directing their anger against a man who resolutely, even fanatically insisted that they must defer to a distant king and a legislature that no longer respected their God-given rights, that obedience must be paid not only to their royal sovereign but to a man like John Malcom: a bitter and grasping underling whose world was crumbling beneath him. Malcom stood in the cart below the tree’s bare winter branches and once again refused to curse the governor.

They continued down Newbury to where it became Orange Street. Soon they were approaching the town gate at Boston Neck, more than a mile from the Town House. The old brick fortification dated back to King Philip’s War, when Boston had become a refuge for those attempting to escape the Indians, and once through the gate, they were out onto the thin strand of wave-washed earth that connected Boston to the town of Roxbury. On either side of them, the icy marshes and shallows extended out into darkness. On the left, just past the gate was the gallows.

They placed a rope around Malcom’s neck and threatened to hang him if he would not do as they’d previously ordered. By this time the tar had congealed into a frozen crust; his body’s inner core had probably become so chilled that he no longer had the ability to tremble.  Once again, he refused to curse the governor, but this time he asked that they would “put their threats into execution rather than continue their torture.”

They took the rope off Malcom’s neck, pinioned his hands behind his back and tied him to the gallows. Then they began to beat him with ropes and sticks “in a most savage manner.” According to one account they even threatened to cut off his ears. At last, he said he would do “anything they desired.” They untied him and made him curse the governor and the Customs board of commissioners. But his sufferings were not over.

For several more hours they continued to parade Malcom through the streets of Boston. Not everyone shared in the crowd’s pitiless delight; a few people, including the man whose intervention had started this horrifying concatenation of events, the shoemaker George Hewes, were so appalled by Malcom’s treatment that they attempted to cover him with their jackets. 

By the time the crowd reached Copp’s Hill near Malcom’s home in the North End, he must have passed out, for he makes no mention of this final stop, which is described in several newspaper accounts. Here, in the cemetery near the summit of the hill, was the grave of Malcom’s younger brother Daniel. Daniel appears to have had the same fiery personality as his brother. Whereas John became a customs agent; Daniel sided with the opposite, more popular camp, famously barricading himself in his house in 1766 to prevent the crown’s agents from finding the smuggled wine he had supposedly hidden in his cellar. When Daniel died in 1769 at the age of 44, he was a patriot hero, and the inscription on his gravestone described him as “a true son of Liberty / a Friend to the Publick / an Enemy to oppression / and one of the foremost / in opposing the Revenue Acts / on America.”

Daniel had been celebrated for breaking the laws of his day. That night in January 1774, his loyalist brother John sat slumped in a chair that someone had placed inside the cart. It was true that he was obnoxious and impulsive, that he’d virtually invited the treatment he’d received. But the fact remained that this “enemy of the people” had been scalded, frozen, and beaten to within an inch of his life not because he’d taken a swipe at a shoemaker but because he upheld the unpopular laws that his brother had scorned. It had been a brutal, even obscene display of violence, but the people of Boston had spoken.

Around midnight, the crowd finally made its way back to Malcom’s house on Cross Street, where he was “rolled out of the cart like a log.” Once he’d been brought back into the house and his frozen body had begun to thaw, his tarred flesh started to peel off in “steaks.” Although he somehow found the strength to make a deposition five days later, it would take another eight weeks before he could leave his bed.

Later that year Malcolm sailed for London with hopes of securing compensation for what he’d suffered at the hands of the Boston mob.  In addition to a detailed petition, he brought along a wooden box containing the ultimate trophy: a withered hunk of his own tarred-and-feathered flesh.

On January 12, 1775, he attended the levee at St. James’s, where he knelt before King George III and handed his majesty a petition. What Malcom wanted more than anything else, he informed the king, was to return to Boston and resume his duties as a customs official—but not as just any customs official.  He wanted to be made “a single Knight of the Tar…for I like the smell of it.”

From the book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick to be published later this month by Viking. Copyright © 2013 by Nathaniel Philbrick

The narrative of the Honourable John Byron : (commodore in a late expedition round the world) containing an account of the great distresses suffered by himself and his companions on the coast of Patagonia, from the year 1740, till their arrival in England, 1746 : with a description of St. Jago de Chili, and the manners and customs of the inhabitants : also a relation of the loss of the Wager, man of war, one of Admiral Anson's squadron / written by himself, and now first published

Smithsonian Libraries
Frontispiece signed: S. Wale delin. C. Grignion sculp.

Signatures: A⁶ B-R⁸ [S]² (last leaf blank).

Cox, E.G. Reference guide to the literature of travel, II, p. 281

Sabin, J. Dictionary of books relating to America from its discovery to the present time, 9730

Also available online.

SCNHRB copy (9088012039533) has red emblem stamped on half-title; embossed on t.p.: Bureau of American Ethnology Library [and stamped acc. no.] 10546.

SCNHRB copy bound in recent yellow paste paper boards and black goatskin; title in gilt within leather spine label.


The natural history of Norway : containing a particular and accurate account of the temperature of the air,the different soils, waters, vegetables, metals, minerals, stones, beasts, birds, and fishes : together with the dispositions, customs, and manner of living of the inhabitants : interspersed with physiological notes from eminent writers, and transactions of academics : in two parts / translated from the Danish original of the Right Revd. Erich Pontoppidan, Bishop of Bergen in Norway, and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Copenhagen ; illustrated with copper plates and a general map of Norway

Smithsonian Libraries
Translated by A. Berthelson.

Title page vignettes (type ornaments).

Pagination: v. 1: xxiii, [1], 206 p.; v. 2: vii, [1], 291, [13] p.

Press figures.

Also available online.

Bound in 1 v.

Armorial bookplate: John Blackburne.

SCNHRB (formerly in the Jewett Room) has two copies; c. 2 (37 cm.) has hand colored folded map and plates 21 and 22 bound in reverse order before plate 20.


The present state of Peru : comprising its geography, topography, natural history, mineralogy, commerce, the customs and manners of its inhabitants, the state of literature, philosophy, and the arts, the modern travels of the missionaries in the heretofore unexplored mountainous territories, &c. &c. / the whole drawn from original and authentic documents, chiefly written and compiled in the Peruvian capital ; and embellished by twenty engravings of costumes, &c

Smithsonian Libraries
Preface signed on p. xi: Joseph Skinner.

Contents derived from El Mercurio peruano "as it was carried on during the first sixteen months, commencing with January 1791, and from various authentic sources ... 'Present state of Peru' has been compiled."- Pref., p. viii.

Printer's imprint at foot of t.p. verso: Printed by B. M'Millan, Bow-Street, Covent-Garden.

Illustrations hand-colored.

Plate II is misnumbered as "III"; plate VIII is misnumbered as "II."

Errata on final p.

Abbey, J.R. Travel, 723

Sabin 81615

Also available online.

SCNHRB copy 39088011476009 has blind-embossed stamp on t.p.: Bureau of American Ethnology Library; accession no.: 10658.

SCNHRB copy has a modern black quarter-morocco leather binding with red linen-covered boards and a gilt-lettered spine label.


The world in miniature; edited by Frederic Shoberl

Smithsonian Libraries
v.1-2 and 3-4 bound together in some instances.

Also available online.


These Ants Immobilize Prey With Acid Then Drag Them Back to Nest for Dismemberment

Smithsonian Magazine

Floridian Formica archboldi ants have eclectic interior decorating tastes, to say the least: Whereas most ant species are content to cozy up in sand- or soil-filled mounds, F. archboldi prefer to litter their underground nests with the dismembered limbs and decapitated heads of hapless prey.

This behavioral tic has baffled scientists since the species’ discovery in 1958, but as Hannah Osborne reports for Newsweek, a new study published in Insectes Sociaux reveals exactly how the deceptively deadly F. archboldi—which is typically not known for preying on other ants—targets a specific species of trap-jaw ant, or Odontomachus.

Researchers led by Adrian Smith of North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences have found that the key to these skull-collecting ants’ success is formic acid. F. archboldi spray their trap-jaw prey with the immobilizing chemical, then drag their kills back to the nest for dismemberment.

But trap-jaw ants are far from easy prey, Gemma Tarlach writes for Discover. Thanks to a set of spring-loaded mandibles capable of striking enemies more than 41 times per second, the trap-jaw ant is actually the more likely predator of the two species. In fact, Cosmos’ Nick Carne notes, scientists have previously posited that F. archboldi is either a highly specialized predator or a moocher of sorts, simply moving into abandoned trap-jaw nesting sites.

To better understand the relationship between F. archboldi and the trap-jaw ant, Smith and his team created a miniature test arena and pitted either an F. archboldi or Formica pallidefulva ant—a related species that has no known connection with Odontomachus—against a trap-jaw. Over the course of 10 trials, F. pallidefulva partially immobilized the trap-jaw just one time. Comparatively, F. archboldi bested the trap-jaw 10 out of 10 times. Seven out of 10 contests resulted in the trap-jaw’s complete immobilization.

The process of spraying victims with formic acid is known as chemical mimicry, according to Inverse’s Sarah Sloat. Trap-jaws are capable of producing the same formic acid as F. archboldi, but the latter happen to be more effective sprayers. Typically, chemical mimicry occurs amongst parasitic species that invade and overtake their prey. But, Smith tells Sloat, there is no evidence that F. archboldi is parasitic. Instead, the researchers suggest the ants’ deployment of formic acid is a defense mechanism designed to provide camouflage and ward off stronger predators.

In addition to observing interactions between Formica and trap-jaw ants, the team recorded high-speed footage of attacks and time-lapse footage of attack aftermaths.

“You could see the Formica ants pull in a trap-jaw ant from where they get their food and bring it into the nest,” Smith says in an interview with The Verge’s Rachel Becker. “And they’d start licking it, biting it, moving it around on the ground like they would with food. And then all of a sudden, 18 hours later, you’d see the head start to pop off of the trap-jaw ant. They would pull it apart, and start to dismember it.”

The new report offers insights on how these skull-gathering creatures trap their prey, but the exact reasoning behind the process remains unclear. As Smith tells Newsweek, he thinks the F. archboldi feed on the trap-jaws and leave behind their hollow head casings in a manner similar to humans casting off chicken bones after eating a pile of wings. Still, this explanation doesn’t fully account for the ant’s use of chemical mimicry, nor the long evolutionary history hinted at by the unusual predator-prey relationship.

Formica archboldi is the most chemically diverse ant species we know of,” Smith says in a statement. “Before this work, it was just a species with a weird head-collecting habit. Now we have what might be a model species for understanding the evolution of chemical diversification and mimicry.”

These Curious Spiders Evolved the Same Way Over and Over and Over Again

Smithsonian Magazine

The genus of spiders known as Ariamnes has always been known to have a few tricks up its sleeve. Measuring a max of just two centimeters in size, it can hide from predators by camouflaging itself to look like a stick in the forest. Now, scientists have discovered that these stick spiders also have a peculiar evolutionary history.

As Elizabeth Pennisi reports for Science, new research by Rosemary Gillespie, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and her colleagues demonstrates parallel evolution in the genus — that is, spiders on different Hawaiian islands independently evolved species of three different colors: gold, black, and white.

They also found that since arriving in Hawaii, the original group of spiders has diversified, spreading out across five of the islands. That one species formed 14 more over the years, George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo, creating a total of 15 different stick spider species still alive in Hawaii—four of which the researchers identified in this latest study. Their research was published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

For the study, the researchers examined the genetics of the spiders on five of the Hawaiian islands where gold and dark species of the spider live. Two of the islands are also home to a white version. Using this data, they constructed a family tree to study the relationships between the creatures.

While it would make sense that spiders of the same color would be the most closely related, Gillespie’s team found that wasn't the case. Residents of a single island were most closely related, while like-colored critters of other islands were distant relatives. This suggests that each island was likely colonized by one spider that then evolved into different-colored species. 

“It’s one of the coolest hidden [examples] of animals evolving new species,” Robert Fleischer, a conservation genomicist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, tells Pennisi.

Gillespie and her team think the first Ariamnes was dark or gold. It likely landed on the islands about 2 to 3 million years ago, inhabiting the oldest island of Kauai. In Hawaii, there weren’t many webs to steal food from, according to UC Berkeley's website. So the creatures started to trap and eat other spiders, as they still do today.

They each developed different colors where they could be effectively camouflaged in their own niches, Ed Yong reports for The Atlantic. One species became brown, living on rocks. Others became gold to hide on the undersides of leaves. Still others became a matte-white color, similar to lichen. ​They slowly hopped to the younger islands. And as they did, they would evolve.

What’s interesting is that throughout their history, the spiders would evolve over and over again in a predictable manner. While the different species of spiders have a similar body type, each has distinct physical traits. And their different colors allowed them camouflage themselves in their environments.

“There are only a certain number of good ways to be a spider in these ecosystems, and evolution repeatedly finds those ways,” Catherine Wagner, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Wyoming, who was not involved in the new study, tells Yong.

This diversification of species into different environments is not unexpected. Most famously, Charles Darwin witnessed this phenomenon with finches on the Galapagos Islands. But with the spiders, there isn’t any additional differentiation during each bout of diversification. "They don't evolve to be orange or striped," Gillespie says in a press release. She believes that this suggests the spiders are preprogrammed to evolve quickly to be successful, but how that works exactly isn’t clear.

The study finds similar conclusions to Gillespie's earlier work on Hawaii’s Tetragnatha spiders. The "spiny leg" Tetragnatha spiders developed colors tailored to their hunting habits. But in another group of Tetragnatha spiders, the evolution did not repeat itself. As Pennisi reports, the researchers believe it’s because this other group of Tetragnatha spiders are web-building spiders that don’t have to find a place to hide from birds during the day. 

Gillespie says in the statement that she hopes the research will provide insight into the predictable elements of evolution and the conditions that set the stage for such changes to occur. 

These Flowers Come Straight From the Farm to Your Door

Smithsonian Magazine

Take a close look at that bouquet that just arrived for Valentine’s Day. Where were your flowers grown?

There’s a good chance they came from Ecuador, raised in a greenhouse on the sun-drenched flank of an Andean volcano. But once harvested, the blooms usually take a lengthy detour to get to you: a third-party handler typically ships them to a warehouse where they can wait for weeks in cold storage before arriving on your doorstep. It’s not their fault they end up looking a little worse for all that wear.

But why go through all that, if less product is wasted (and the resources to grow them) by waiting to cut the flowers until they’re ordered, and shipping them straight to customers?

That’s the approach of The Bouqs Company, a startup headquartered in Venice, California. But the company’s true heart lies in Ecuador, home country of co-founder by J.P. Montufar. Raised in and around agriculture, he returned to his native country after earning business and biochemistry degrees from the University of Notre Dame and working in in the San Francisco biotech scene. Since founding Bouqs in 2012, Montufar and his partner John Tabis have enlisted around 50 partner farms in the United States, Ecuador and Colombia.

A new round of investing announced last month brings their total seed funding to $43 million; clearly more than a few people think the model is worth a gamble.

J.P. Montufar (left) and John Tabis (right), founders of The Bouqs Company (Bouqs)

The flower industry in Ecuador, and rose-growing in particular, has been both a boon and a burden for the country; while it created more than 115,000 jobs in 2008, occupied mostly by women, and exported $800 million worth of cut flowers in 2015, the industry has grappled with water overuse and the human impact of horticultural chemicals.

But going right to the customer is one way, at least, operations like Montufar’s can shield themselves from the vagaries of the international market, says Gregory Knapp, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of an upcoming journal article on the Ecuadorean flower industry.

“Cut flowers are the first highly lucrative global agricultural export from the high Andes, and because it’s decentralized, the benefits are spread fairly widely,” Knapp says. “Plantation workers are paid wages unavailable elsewhere, and they use their earnings to invest in their farms, health care and education. Despite many predictions of its imminent demise stretching back decades, the high Andean cut flower industry has continued to thrive. I wouldn’t bet against it at this point.”

Gail Nonnecke, a professor of horticulture and expert in global resource systems at Iowa State University, says Bouqs’ strategy is made easier by shipping flowers in small batches on existing international flights. It also uses a model that’s been the norm throughout most of the history of modern agriculture: purchasing straight from the farm or a farmers market.

“Having direct-to-consumer flower sales from South America, which are transported on airplanes already traveling to the US and delivered to the US consumer, is a novel adaptation of the earliest forms of agricultural marketing,” Nonnecke says. “It’s the farmer or farm group selling directly to the customer.” reached Montufar on a quick break in a greenhouse near the Cotopaxi volcano outside of Quito, Ecuador to talk about his business and how he hopes his company’s approach can change the flower business. Warning: he gets really excited about mold.

Why did you decide to market directly to customers?

[Co-founder John Tabis] and I realized something is broken in sourcing flowers and servicing customers. Sourcing them directly from a farm means we can offer a fairer rate to the grower. And flowers are the most delicate and time-sensitive perishable product you can work with—the more you touch them, squeeze them, store them and move them, the more they’re affected. Since the life of a flower is short, it seemed obvious to us to get rid of the wasted time in the middle steps of the process. When the recipient gets their flowers, the last time they’ve been touched is by the farmer. We restore a connection that’s been lost.

Talk about your company’s approach to pesticides and chemicals.

For this business to work, one has to be very responsible, both socially and environmentally. From an ethical standpoint it makes sense, but it also makes sense financially. Any farm we work with must be certified by a third party as not using any “red-label” [highly toxic] chemicals, and many have certifications from the Rainforest Alliance and fair-trade groups. We have traceability for each of our stems.

A farm that doesn’t take care of the environment and their people is a farm that will not, in my humble opinion, survive in the medium or the long term. That’s not a farm I want to engage in. If you’re cutting corners environmentally, you’re probably also doing it with quality control practices.

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

How have you used your knowledge of biology and chemistry to influence your fellow horticulturists?

There’s been a huge shift from chemical use to biological controls and sustainable fertilizer. We compost anything not suited for export, and not just waste from the flower farm, but egg shells and orange peels, which by the way also provides a natural fungus that helps convert vegetable matter into available carbon. We’ve also had great success with the control of grey mold, which rots flowers from the inside out, by developing a system at each of our locations to capture, grow and propagate strains of local molds that combat the grey mold but don’t hurt the plant. As well as being more effective and cheaper than chemical counterparts, it’s easier on the employees, too.

But I can’t take credit for any of these ideas. A lot of them come from scientific research papers at universities. What my expertise allowed me to do is see what could be performed in-house and why. I just hope I’ve had some influence as a biological consultant to some of our partner farms.

Has there been much resistance to changing growing practices in Ecuador?

My goal is to get everyone to produce better roses, especially in Ecuador. My expertise is an open book to everyone whether we work with them or not. It’s a cheap and logical change, but if you’re a flower grower, everyone is against you—the rain, the sun, the government, and then when someone comes in and says, try this! I understand why a lot of folks would be hesitant to change what works for them, even if it’s not optimal. But with a little bit of time, data, numbers and proof that the farm won’t go down in two days because you made a change, little by little, there is change.

How does Bouqs build its farm network?

We build up our supply network depending on which flower we need, and where the best of those flowers are grown. For example, the best spray roses are in California and the best roses are in Ecuador. Once we’ve located where those flowers are grown, we have a very thorough checklist of standards and best practices that all of our farm partners must meet. This process includes our farm operations team conducting site visits, ensuring the farm’s certifications are current, making sure they are financially stable, and that there are responsible labor practices in place.

Then the next step is testing the product quality. We know what our customers expect, so it’s crucial that the farm meets those quality standards.

Then lastly, once the partnership is made official, we work to be sure all of the certifications remain current and we continue making regular site visits. We also want to encourage our farms to experiment with new varieties so we can work with them to offer new things.

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

Image by Bouqs. (original image)

How do the farms’ geographic locations affect what flowers Bouqs can offer?

For some varieties it helps to know where they are native. For example, mini calla lilies are native to South Africa and grow well there. Northern California is on a similar latitude as South Africa, which means mini calla lilies will grow really well there, too.

Flowers with bulbs require four seasons, and it is not that easy to mimic that. Tulips and peonies grow much better in temperate zones than tropical zones, so we look for them very far north in North America or further south in South America. But tropical flowers, like ginger, are obviously going to grow in more tropical areas.

For roses, we look at both altitude and proximity to the equator to determine if a geographic location would be ideal.

So your farms can be far apart—how can you guarantee quick deliveries?

With air travel, the world is a small place. Of course the further away a farm is, the more it costs us to bring them in to the U.S. in a timely manner. But it’s not the distance that necessarily affects the freshness of the product, it’s the delays caused by the customs, agriculture and IRS inspections.

Our same-day delivery options are fulfilled by a network of hand-picked artisan florists around the country. We allow our florists the flexibility to be creative in their designs. There’s no “painting by numbers,” which allows for more craftsmanship and unique designs.

This Ancient Shark Looked Like an Eel and Swallowed Its Prey Whole

Smithsonian Magazine

Almost everything paleontologists know about ancient sharks comes from their teeth. That’s because the animals had skeletons made of cartilage, which does not fossilize as easily as bone. So researchers were surprised to find several shark skulls and an almost complete skeleton of 360-million-year-old primitive shark in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

The fossils, described in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, come from two species of sharks in the genus Phoebodus, which went extinct during the Caroboniferous Period about 299 to 359 million years ago, leaving behind no known ancestral species. Bob Yirka at reports that prior to the discovery, Phoebodus sharks were only known from three teeth.

These fossils survived because the area where the animals died was a shallow sea basin. Their bodies were covered in sediment and limited water circulation and low oxygen levels allowed them to fossilize without being destroyed by predators or broken down by bacteria.

Still, the fossils were fragile, so the team chose to examine them using a CT scan instead of chipping them out of the rock. The imaging reveals a very strange, un-shark-like creature. Yirka reports Phoebodus had a long, thin body along with a flat skull and jaw. The creature looks much more like a giant eel than a typical modern shark.

But it does resemble an atypical modern shark—the elusive frilled shark. That species is found in deep water around the world, but is little studied. Until 2004 when the creature was first video recorded, it was only known from being pulled up in fishing nets.

Tim Vernimen at National Geographic reports that the three-cusped teeth of the ancient species and the frilled shark are similar and can offer clues to how the ancient species hunted.

“The frilled shark is a specialized predator, with the ability to suddenly burst forward to catch its prey,” David Ebert at the Pacific Shark Research Center, who has studied frilled sharks, but was not involved in the new study, says. “The inward-pointing teeth then help to make sure the prey can only go one way: into its throat. Maybe Phoebodus did something similar.”

While most modern sharks use their teeth to rip prey to pieces before gobbling them up, the frilled shark—and perhaps Phoebodus—use their unique teeth to capture prey and swallow them whole, study coauthor Christian Klug of the University of Zurich tells Vernimen .

Because data on frilled sharks is almost as elusive as fossils of Phoebodus, the team also examined the jaws and teeth of the alligator gar, a species of North American fish dating back 100 million years that has a surprisingly similar mouth to the ancient shark. The gar hunts in open water, and its long jaw and flat head allows it to snap at a fishing coming from almost any direction.

It’s possible that Phoebodus developed its unique shape hundreds of millions of years earlier to hunt in the same manner. “When a certain structure or strategy is effective, there is a tendency for it to show up time and time again—both in living creatures and in the fossil record,” Justin Lemberg, gar researcher at the University of Chicago who was not involved in the study, tells Vernimmen. “While a lot has changed since Phoebodus swam the Devonian oceans, the physics of feeding in water have not.”

This isn’t the only rare shark fossil rewriting what we know about ancient sharks. Last month, researchers from the University of Chicago made a CT scan of a 2-foot-long, 335-million-year-old shark found in Scotland in 1837. They found that the early shark was a suction feeder, using mouth parts in a manner similar to modern day nurse-sharks and carp.

Modern imaging techniques are showing researchers that ancient sharks had diverse feeding patterns, similar to modern sharks.

“The quantity of data that is emerging from studies such as this is staggering,” paleontologist John Maisey of the American Museum of Natural History, not involved in the study, tells Vernimmen. “We are experiencing a renaissance of anatomy.”

This Device Lets People Video Chat With Their Pets

Smithsonian Magazine

There are "pet owners" and then there are “pet parents.” For the latter, there isn’t an effort to a great or a price too high to make their little ones feel like part of the family.

Over the years, the multi-billion dollar pet market has happily catered to these truest of animal lovers, making it possible for them to spoil their precious furballs with facials and manicures at dog spas, specially-concocted fragrances and custom-designed orthopedic pet beds. Being so attached, you can imagine the separation anxiety pet parents experience when they're at work or vacationing for an extended amount of time.

To alleviate this stress, a Minnesota-based startup has invented a two-way petcam that enables both owner and pet to connect and interact remotely in a manner similar to Skype or Apple’s FaceTime. The $350 PetChatz device features a "chew-proof" intercom-sized unit with a built-in speakerphone, camera system and interactive LCD screen that can be plugged into any wall outlet.

Connected via Wi-Fi, owners would then use an app on their computer or mobile device to start a "chat" session, which can be recorded and shared with others. A special ring tone signals to the pet that someone's calling and an additional motion and sound detection system can be set up to notify parents of any activity around the house. While technically dogs or cats don’t have the ability to chat, people can use the "Greet & Treat" system to reward their pets by dispensing tasty treats and even special scents that are kept in a refillable hidden compartment.

Credit: Anser Innovations

PetChatz was created by Mark Kroll, a medical technology developer with more than 350 patents to his name. He holds the title of Minnesota's most prolific inventor. The idea came to him about a decade ago when, while he was Skyping with his daughter, the family's labrador recognized her voice and came running into the room. Kroll later collaborated with veterinary technician Lisa Lavin to to develop PetChatz and other similar long-distance technologies under a new venture called Anser Innovation.

"As a pet parent myself, I understand how strongly people feel about their pets," says Lavin, who estimates that she has spent a total of $11,200 on vet bills and $80 a month on dog food for both of her live-in poodles. "We miss them. We feel guilty when we're away on vacation and this is a way to alleviate that separation anxiety."

If there is one aspect of these extravagant pet parenting products that some might find troubling, other than the cost, it's that promoting them involves a great deal of anthropomorphizing. Though dogs and cats are intelligent, they still aren't human, and treating them as such hints at a kind of resolute denial to accept the fact that they may not even enjoy being the benefactor of pricey skin treatments. Some experts think its a stretch to believe that the critter on the other end even recognizes a person being displayed on a screen.

"This product introduces the potential for interaction between the dog and the technology," Margaret Duxbury, an animal behavior professor at the University of Minnesota, told the Star-Tribune a year ago. "It will certainly be disappointing if the dogs don't respond at all [to PetChatz]. Perhaps they will respond to the voice but not recognize that the picture is of their owner. Does that even matter if they respond to the voice?''

Lavin claims that the company has since tested the device, with pet and human subjects, and discovered that pets can be easily trained to at least recognize the ring in a manner similar to a Pavlovian response. (Some animals have even been trained to be government spies.) As for whether a pet knows who's on-screen, she says that would depend on how much visual technology the pet has been exposed to.

"What we found was that the pet who spends a lot of time watching TV is more likely to be compelled to recognize your image on the screen and follow commands than one who doesn't," she says.

What's important, she emphasizes, is that this device does more for the emotional welfare of the owner than for the pet. If there is any benefit for the pet (besides food), she adds, it's that the pet, especially dogs, receives some stimulation during the day, which animal behaviorists agree can do wonders for their well-being.

PetChatz is slated to be available for purchase on the product's website and at select independent pets stores nationwide during the first quarter of 2014. For now, the company is taking pre-orders for the device. Packets of special treats and essential oil drops will also be available in the near future.

This Former Noma Chef Is Revamping the School Cafeteria

Smithsonian Magazine

Dan Giusti trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and spent three years as head chef of Noma, the cutting-edge Copenhagen restaurant that’s earned two Michelin stars and is considered by many the best restaurant in the world. Tables fill up months in advance, and lunch can easily run $500.

But now, Giusti is focused on cooking for a slightly different clientele: schoolkids. His program, Brigaid, brings professional chefs into public school cafeterias to create made-from-scratch menus. Brigaid launched in the New London, Connecticut school system in 2016 and expanded to the Bronx last fall.

We talked to Giusti about what he’s learned since the program started, how he hopes to change kids’ attitudes towards food, and why butternut squash soup is no longer on the menu.

What did you see as the biggest problem with school food when you decided to start Brigaid?

There’s this misconception—people think that [the problem with] school food is all about the nutrition. But all school food has to meet standard nutritional guidelines. The real problem is that the kids aren’t eating the food because it’s not tasty. In a nutshell, the idea was that the food doesn’t taste good, there’s not enough thought put into the food itself. If you could make food consistently that met the nutritional guidelines and the budget and that tasted very good to the kids, then you would be in great shape.

What are some of the changes you have made to the menu?

We took all those processed things—chicken nuggets, chicken tenders—and we put on raw meats we cook from scratch, so that we can control how they’re cooked and seasoned. We make all our own pasta sauces. We make a lot of baked goods ourselves. You’re not just appealing to a kids’ tastes when you’re cooking—kids can smell things that are happening. We serve them warm; it’s just a different experience.

Beef enchiladas with salsa roja, stewed black beans, kale caesar salad and fresh cut cantaloupe (Brigaid)

What is something that has been a hit with the kids?

It was such a simple thing, but we saw the consumption of fruit just spike up because we went from serving whole pieces of fruit that were not really good quality—kids weren’t interested in eating a whole apple that wasn’t very nice, or fruit that was frozen or canned—to serving fresh fruit that’s been cut daily. That really encouraged kids to eat fruit, which they really weren’t eating. Which was really strange because kids—most people—eat fruit. The baked goods we do, kids love. Certainly things that are more traditional like pizza—we make our own dough, and kids really love the pizza that we make. They recognize that a good amount of work goes into it. We do composed salads where we assemble a salad like a chicken Caesar or Cobb, and they just take it and put dressing on it. In a school of 700 or 800 kids we can sell 100 in a day. We like our kids wanting to eat salads, so that’s really cool.

What were some notable failures?

Things that didn’t work? There are tons. It’s a challenge. When we started, we had lots of kids inquire about fish. We managed to create a relationship with a purveyor out of Boston who supplied us with fresh fish. It was a pretty amazing thing, but just super-polarizing. A small percentage of kids enjoyed it, but a good portion of kids when they think fish, they think ‘fish sticks’—some kind of processed fish that’s breaded and fried. We’re not going to do that. If we revisit it, maybe there’s a way to mimic a fish stick.

We’ve done soups. Some soups are successful. But one soup was butternut squash that was pureed. Kids don’t want pureed soup. You find out when a kid spits it out on the ground.

A typical day of lunch offerings: Two hot entrées (chicken curry with ginger rice and roasted cauliflower or ravioli with marinara sauce, a garlic roll and steamed broccoli), two types of sandwiches (BLT and tuna), cold entrée salads (chicken caesar and cold lo mein), kale caesar side salad, and various fresh cut fruits (pineapple and honeydew melon). (Brigaid)

What was one of your unexpected challenges?

The challenging thing is not letting your own tastes get in the way. We made a lot of changes we thought were appropriate, and it made sense to take away processed foods. But sometimes those changes are deterrents. Taking a chicken patty off the menu that kids really enjoyed, because it’s a processed product, could really hurt you in terms of getting food that children will eat.

The biggest challenge, honestly, is that there’s a big discrepancy about the perception of what 'good' food is between parents, administrators, teachers, etc. People have this idea in their head, everything should be organic, everything should be this or that. But sometimes we serve very basic things because we want to make the kids feel comfortable, and sometimes people are disappointed about that, almost underwhelmed. It’s not about 'look what we got the kids to eat!' Lunch should be the last place that kids feel stressed out. We want to make sure the kids are eating, and that they feel good about it. If that’s happening, then we can use that environment to get them to try new things.

Public schools don't have the budgets of high-end restaurants. How do you keep costs down?

Well, it's a lot of experimenting. You kind of have to rethink how you cook. You need to find less expensive ways to develop and add flavor. For example, as a chef, you are very accustomed to using a lot of fresh herbs. We cannot really afford that, so instead we use a lot of dried spices and herbs.

How do you hope the program might change kids’ relationships to food in the long run?

Oftentimes, people are trying to get kids to really think deeply about things regarding food. Seasonal, local—that’s fine. But kids’ appetites for [learning about food culture] might not be there just yet. You need to sell them on the food first. Our idea is slowly but surely introducing new items so they trust you and they’ll continue to try things. We’ve seen this already with the kids that we’ve been with for three years. You can see that their attitude towards trying things or not trying things is much different than what we saw when we first came. They’re just experienced with eating.

The goal on a day-to-day basis is to make these kids feel comfortable and really provide them with a meal that makes them feel good and helps them get through their day.

Caribbean chicken with rice and beans, roasted sweet potatoes, kale caesar salad and orange segments (Brigaid)

You’re hiring trained chefs. What’s the appeal to them of working in a school cafeteria?

The initial appeal is that it’s weekends off, it might be a shorter day, you might have holidays off, which is a huge change from working in the hotel or restaurant industry. That’s a benefit, but by no means do we want people choosing this job solely for that reason. Chefs want a challenge—it’s their personality. To come day in and day out and solve a problem that’s very complicated.

What’s the difference between cooking for schoolkids and cooking for the kind of people who eat at restaurants like Noma?

I think the biggest difference is kids are honest. They have no reason not to be honest. They’ll tell you what they think, and sometimes they don’t have much of a filter and they say things that are difficult to hear. If you can get them to articulate why, you can really use that feedback. You can be upset about it, or take that and make improvements.

Adults, especially in a place like Noma, where people are waiting months to eat, it’s hard to get an honest opinion. They’ve waited all this time to eat in a restaurant, they’re there with their family, they don’t want to be the one who didn’t like the food because it’s almost like they feel they didn’t ‘get it.’

Do you remember eating in your own school cafeteria? Did you have any favorite dishes? Anything you hated?

I don’t even remember eating at all. I think it’s because for me, lunch was just a break period. At that time in my life food was very important—I came from an Italian family, I was used to eating well, and I was working in a restaurant full-time. But lunch was just a break period to talk to your friends. That’s indicative. If you don’t feel like food’s being prepared in a thoughtful manner, it’s just a break period.

I was fortunate to have access to good food outside of school. But there are a lot of kids who are coming to the cafeteria who don’t have access to good food—or food—outside of that lunch. So it’s even more imperative that we put as much of our thought into it as we can.

This Is How Much Starlight the Universe Has Produced

Smithsonian Magazine

Since the first stars first started flickering about 100 million years after the Big Bang our universe has produced roughly one trillion trillion stars, each pumping starlight out into the cosmos. That’s a mind-boggling amount of energy, but for scientists at the Fermi Large Area Telescope Collaboration it presented a challenge. Hannah Devlin at The Guardian reports that the astronomers and astrophysicists took on the monumental task of calculating how much starlight has been emitted since the universe began 13.7 billion years ago.

So, how much starlight is there? According to the paper in the journal Science, 4×10^84 photons worth of starlight have been produced in our universe, or 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 photons.

To get to that stupendously ginormous number, the team analyzed a decades worth of data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a NASA project that collects data on star formation. The team looked specifically at data from the extragalactic background light (EBL) a cosmic fog permeating the universe where 90 percent of the ultraviolet, infrared and visible radiation emitted from stars ends up. The team examined 739 blazars, a type of galaxy with a supermassive black hole in its center that shoots out streams of gamma-ray photos directly toward Earth at nearly the speed of light. The objects are so bright, even extremely distant blazars can be seen from Earth. These photons from the shiny galaxies collide with the EBL, which absorbs some of the photons, leaving an imprint the researchers can study.

Looking at blazars ranging in age from 2 million to 11.6 billion years old allowed the researchers to use the sensitive instruments on the Fermi telescope to analyze their light, measuring how much radiation it lost as it moved through the EBL. This let them create an accurate measure of the density or thickness of the EBL over time, essentially creating a history of starlight in the universe since, in deep space, distance and time are almost the same thing.

“By using blazars at different distances from us, we measured the total starlight at different time periods,” co-author Vaidehi Paliya of Clemson University says in a press release. “We measured the total starlight of each epoch – one billion years ago, two billion years ago, six billion years ago, etc. – all the way back to when stars were first formed. This allowed us to reconstruct the EBL and determine the star-formation history of the universe in a more effective manner than had been achieved before.”

Researchers have tried to measure the EBL in the past, but were unable to get past the localized dust and starlight close to Earth, making it almost impossible to collect good data on the EBL. The Fermi telescope, however, finally allowed the team to minimize that interference by looking at gamma rays. The data they collected is in line with previous estimates for the density of the EBL.

The study shows that the peak of star formation in the universe took place about 11 billion years ago. Over time, it has slowed drastically, but stars are still forming, with about seven new stars lighting up in the Milky Way every year alone.

The study was not just an exercise in smashing the zero key either. Ryan F. Mandelbaum at Gizmodo reports that the measurement gives scientist an upper limit to the number of galaxies that were floating around 12 billion years ago during the Epoch of Reionization, the period when dark matter, hydrogen and helium first coalesced into stars and ordinary matter. It’s also possible that the EBL measurement could help develop new ways to look for unknown particle types.

Clemson astrophysicist and lead author Marco Ajello says in the release that the study is also good step toward understanding the universe’s earliest days.

“The first billion years of our universe’s history are a very interesting epoch that has not yet been probed by current satellites,” he says. “Our measurement allows us to peek inside it. Perhaps one day we will find a way to look all the way back to the big bang. This is our ultimate goal.”

This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines

Smithsonian Magazine

Seemingly everyone you meet in Anderson Valley can tell you a migration story that has the flavor of myth — a tale that casts their arrival in this shockingly picturesque corner of California’s Mendocino County as the climax of a great quest, or the punch line of a cosmic joke, or both. One of the best yarns, surely, is Bruce Anderson’s. In 1971, Anderson, an avowed “big hippie,” rolled out of San Francisco in a Volkswagen bus, heading, like many pilgrims of the period, back to the land. For years, Anderson had lived in the thick of San Francisco’s counterculture. He had played a leading role in anti–Vietnam War protests. But as the 60s turned into the 70s, the city’s bohemian enclaves were gripped by malaise, Flower Power dreams withering amid rising violence and a plague of hard drugs. So Anderson hit the road with his wife, his young son, his brother, and a handful of friends, heading up the coast in a caravan, seeking spiritual rejuvenation in a landscape of stretching redwoods and soaring oceanside cliffs. And they had another plan in mind: to raise a dozen troubled Bay Area foster children in the countryside, far from the deprivations and vices of city life.

Anderson and company hadn’t decided exactly where they were headed, but the decision was soon made for them. About 125 miles northwest of San Francisco, Anderson pulled into a service station in a tiny town whose name, Boonville, made no secret of the fact that it was, well, the boondocks. “We barely knew where we were,” Anderson recalled. “We just happened to run into a guy who told us there was a ranch for lease south of town.”

They drove to the ranch and stayed. The basics of rural homesteading proved a mystery. (“Gravity-flow water systems, septic tanks — all that was completely new,” Anderson said.) As for the foster kids, that plan didn’t work out too well: “We had the delusional idea that juvenile delinquents would be less delinquent under the redwoods than they were under streetlights. They turned out to be twice as delinquent.”

But nearly a half-century later, Bruce Anderson has become so synonymous with Anderson Valley that he’s often mistakenly assumed to be its namesake. Today he lives with his wife in the center of Boonville. He works steps away, in a 40-foot trailer that serves as the headquarters of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, the weekly newspaper that he has owned, edited, and largely written for 34 years. At 78, Anderson looks and sounds the part of an éminence grise, with an ample white beard and a commanding basso profundo. He is a fount of local lore. Ask for a history lesson and he will tell you about successive generations of economic refugees, fortune seekers, and utopian questers who made their way to the valley: the European pioneers who pushed into Pomo Indian country in the mid 19th century; the Arkies and Okies who arrived after World War II, finding work in the then-booming timber industry; the members of his own hippie tribe, who came in the 70s, buying up cheap logged-over land where they raised kids and communed with nature.

From left: Donnelly Creek, outside Boonville; Daniel Townsend, co-owner of the Bewildered Pig, chats with a guest outside his restaurant. (Alex Farnum)

A fourth wave of Anderson Valley migration is under way. The climate and topography that for decades nurtured the valley’s agricultural staples — first apples and pears, then cannabis—has proven ideal for growing grapes, especially Pinot Noir. Today, Anderson Valley is California’s most exciting emerging wine region, a magnet for the 21st century’s new class of NoCal back-to-the landers: oenophiles, foodies, and others who want to live simply but sumptuously. Travelers who once bypassed the valley, following the siren call of Mendocino’s famous coastline, are increasingly journeying inland. What they find there is bounteous farmland and deep forests, a food-and-wine scene slowly but steadily coming into its own, a place that has maintained the funkiness that was long ago gentrified out of the county’s more well-trafficked communities. For locals, the transformation of Anderson Valley is nothing short of surreal. “It’s like something out of science fiction,” marveled Anderson. “Everywhere you look, you see vineyards coming over the ridge.”

My first glimpse of Anderson Valley came on a vibrant morning, when the sun streamed through cracks in a ceiling of magnificent gray-white clouds. The night before, I’d completed my own trek to the valley from San Francisco. The last leg of the journey was hair-raising: a 30-mile-long drive along fearsomely twisty Route 128, which slaloms north and west across a forested mountain pass before dropping into the valley at Boonville. (Locals credit the challenging drive with keeping the area’s population down.) I quickly got my reward in the form of an early lunch at Boonville’s Pennyroyal Farm, which for the last decade has been producing excellent wines and the valley’s most famous small-batch cheeses.

In the tasting room, locals and visitors crowded around the bar, sampling whites and rosés. I made my way outside, taking a table on a canopied patio that offered views of the vineyard. Twenty-three acres of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapevines lace a landscape roamed by sheep that do double duty as cheese suppliers and weeders of the vineyard floor. The food arrived on heaping platters: charcuterie; pickled vegetables; a big dollop of Laychee, Pennyroyal’s signature goat cheese; a slab of Boont Corners Vintage Tomme, a tangy, salty goat-and-sheep-milk cheese. I washed it down with a bracing Blanc. A couple seated at the next table, Pennyroyal regulars, told me, “You can’t leave without trying the Pinot.” The advice was less a suggestion than a command; it seemed foolish to ignore it. The pour of the day was Pennyroyal’s 2015 Jeansheep Vineyard Pinot, dark and spicy with notes of morello cherry. I ordered a glass, drank it, and ordered a second.

House-made cheeses at Pennyroyal Farm, in Boonville. (Alex Farnum)

The first Anderson Valley vineyards appeared in the 1970s, but it was the arrival of legendary French champagne maker Louis Roederer in the early 80s that established the region’s bona fides. Since then, dozens of vintners have set up shop, specializing in wines that thrive in the region’s distinctive terroir. Anderson Valley is a narrow strip, just 25 miles long, tucked between coastal redwoods and inland oaks. It’s threaded by the Navarro River, which passes through Boonville and two smaller hamlets, Philo and Navarro, on its way to the Pacific. In summer, fog drapes the valley in the morning. Afternoon temperatures can reach 100 degrees; in the evening, the thermometer may plummet 40 or 50 degrees. “When it comes to grapes, the temperate climate here makes all the difference,” said Matt Parish, a winemaker from New Zealand who in 2017 took the helm at Philo’s Lula Cellars. “You get that nice, even ripeness without blowing out the fruit flavors in too-hot weather.”

Lula Cellars is a favorite of valley cognoscenti. The wine is superb: meaty Pinots, holding lingering notes of dark fruit, with tannins that tickle the palate. The vibe at the vineyard is High Quirky. The tasting room manager, Dan Reed, is a burly man with a courtly manner and a wit as dry as the Pinots he pours. His business card reads pushy salesman, but his technique leans more toward gentle persuasion. “I think you’ll like this,” he told me, offering a glass of 2014 Costa Pinot Noir. (I liked it.) Reed lives on the property, in a house that he shares with Honey, a yellow Labrador mix, who has her own Lula business card (head of barketing). When visitors bring their dogs—a practice Lula encourages—Honey leads them on bombing runs into the vineyard’s pond to chase frogs. Honey often rides shotgun in Lula’s house car, a vintage Morris Minor, when Reed does errands in Philo and Boonville. “Me and Honey, we’re a little bit famous around here,” Reed said.

In years past, visitors who sought upscale lodging were forced to leave Anderson Valley and spend their nights on the coast, where options are plentiful. But today the valley has its own high-end Shangri-La, which sacrifices nothing in the way of amenities while offering the kind of oddity that can’t be faked.

The Madrones stands behind a grand gateway entrance in Philo, just across the Boonville line. The property includes a rose garden and a working farm. There are tasting rooms for three local wineries and an excellent little restaurant, Stone & Embers, that serves exquisite wood-fired pizzas and small plates.

There are four guest rooms in the compound’s main building, and five more in guest houses situated on the raffishly landscaped grounds. The rooms are appointed with a variety of antiques, nearly all from the collection of Jim Roberts, the owner. Weirder items from his stash—19th-century German anatomy posters, Victorian embalming machines—are on sale in the hotel’s curiosity shop, the Sun & Cricket. The main building has the look of a Mediterranean villa, with a shady courtyard and tiled roof. But there’s also a scattering of Asian statuary, a huge bronze dragon that presides over the hotel’s circular drive, and two fierce Chinese lions painted a lurid shade of pink. The first time I met Roberts, I confessed that I found the architectural hodgepodge delightful but disorienting. “Is this Tuscany? Spain? China? I’m not sure where I am,” I told him. “Good,” he said.

Roberts grew up in Orange County, California. “I always wanted to live in Mendocino,” he said. “I read about it. I dreamed about it. So I packed up my car and went.” For years the property was his home and the office for his now-shuttered interior design firm. In 2011, Roberts decided to try his hand at hospitality and, in the succeeding years, has gradually expanded the Madrones. Now, Roberts and his partner in business and life, Brian Adkinson, have added an adjacent property to the compound. One afternoon they took me to the Brambles, which occupies sprawling acreage in a grove of old-growth redwoods a short distance from the Madrones. The Brambles’ guesthouse, holding three spacious suites, is a Victorian stick-and-shingle structure. It looked like something out of a Grimms’ fairy tale.

Roberts and Adkinson epitomize the new breed of Anderson Valley refugees: creative, unconventional, entrepreneurial. On Boonville’s main drag, you can shop at Farmhouse Mercantile, a housewares emporium as tastefully rustic-chic as any in San Francisco’s hipster redoubts. Even the old Boonville Hotel—which dates back to the town’s rugged mid-19th-century frontier era—bills itself as a “modern roadhouse” where the restaurant serves food “inspired by whim and season.” It’s a big change for a place that has always been hardscrabble. A century ago, Boonvillians developed a language impenetrable to outsiders, Boontling. (A few old-timers still speak the argot, which is heavy on sexual and scatological terms: “moldunes” are large breasts; to “burlap” is to have intercourse.) On weekends, the streets ran with blood from bare-knuckle bar fights, and the brothels heaved. “This was wild country,” Bruce Anderson told me. “Lots of little mill shacks and people who worked hard, played hard.”

The valley grew more sedate when the timber mills began to shutter in the late 50s and 60s. But the outlaw spirit endured in the formerly illicit trade that has formed the backbone of Mendocino’s economy since the 70s: growing and selling marijuana. On New Year’s Day 2018, California’s first retail weed shops opened their doors, and the question hovering over the region today is how life will transform in the era of legalization. Everywhere you go in Anderson Valley, you hear grumblings that the pot business is facing a corporate takeover and that mom-and-pop growers will be left in the cold. Some imagine a time when marijuana farms and tasting rooms will line Route 128 alongside the vineyards, with “ganja sommeliers” proffering varietals to “weed tourists.” But if that day comes, who will reap the profits?

For now, the answers—like the pungent scent of Mendocino cannabis that locals proudly pronounce the world’s best—are blowing in the wind. In the meantime, curious new forms of life are taking root in the valley’s loamy soil. Oddly enough, the place that may best embody Anderson Valley’s iconoclastic spirit is its fanciest restaurant.

The Bewildered Pig sits on an otherwise sparsely developed stretch of 128 in Philo, about two miles south of the Navarro line. Janelle Weaver, the Bewildered Pig’s chef, and her partner, Daniel Townsend, fit the archetypal profile of Mendocino pilgrims. For seven years, they rolled up and down the coast in their 1978 Volkswagen Westphalia camper, seeking the ideal spot for the restaurant they envisioned. Weaver grew up in Michigan and Alaska, where she hunted and fished with her family; her first professional cooking job was at a breakfast counter, at age 12. Townsend spent much of his childhood on the White Mountain Apache reservation in Arizona. (His father was a missionary.) The couple met in 2004, in Napa Valley, where both had worked for years as chefs. Townsend is also a landscape designer and tinkerer whose touch is all over the Pig: a “cactus wall” that shields outdoor diners from traffic; gurgling fountains ingeniously crafted from repurposed industrial scraps; a gorgeous adjacent patio, where they plan to host DJ nights and other events. The dining room is an enchanted space. Weaver and Townsend like to throw around the term “refined rustic,” an apt description of both their design aesthetic and Weaver’s astonishing cooking.

From left: Anderson Valley sheep supply milk for cheese; miso deviled eggs and a salad of foraged greens at the Bewildered Pig, one of the area’s best restaurants, in the town of Philo. (Alex Farnum)

I had one of the great meals of my life at the Pig. It was a lavish six-course tasting menu with wine pairings, highlighted by dishes like the explosively flavorful spruce-tip custard garnished with maitake mushrooms and locally foraged herbs, and an obscenely delicious sunchoke bisque with house-smoked black cod and smoked trout roe. There are notes of Eastern European cooking in Weaver’s plates. (Her Polish grandmother was an early influence.) There is a classical French sense of balance, too, and the requisite Alice Watersian emphasis on garden-fresh ingredients and regional sources.

But Weaver’s style is bold and unusual; an inventory of influences doesn’t tell the tale. Maybe, eventually, Weaver’s innovative food will simply be called Anderson Valley Cuisine. To say that the Bewildered Pig is the valley’s best restaurant is not to insult the area competition: soon enough, it may be the best restaurant in California. With its mix of revelatory food, conviviality, and ambition without pretension, it feels like a dream of what a restaurant should be.

Tourism isn’t rocket science. But Anderson Valley is the kind of place where you can get sightseeing advice from a rocket scientist. While sipping Pinot at the Lula Cellars tasting room one afternoon, I met a Lula regular, Todd Lukes, a southern California expat who moved to Mendocino five years ago. Lukes has the languid, sun-fried look of an aging surfer, but he works in the aeronautics industry. After quizzing me about my visit to the valley, he concluded that I’d spent too little time experiencing its natural wonders. He asked if I’d explored Hendy Woods State Park in Philo. Yes, I’d done that: I’d been struck dumb by the cathedral-like groves of ancient redwoods. “Then you have to head to the beach,” Lukes said. “You can’t leave Mendo without hitting the coast.” Where exactly should I go? “Blues Beach, just outside the town of Westport. There’s no sign. But you’ll know it when you see it.”

Lukes was right. On a shimmering morning I guided my rental car down the steep curves of Route 1 until I spotted a little jog off the big road. I practically drove right onto the beachfront, an unspoiled, unpeopled coastline that seemed to stretch to infinity. I scrambled down to the sand and marched north, stepping over chunks of seaweed the size of large squid, with the wind and surf roaring. It was a scene of almost unseemly beauty. The sky was a deep, dusty blue, roiled by swiftly moving clouds. About 500 yards from the beach, two giant outcroppings rose from the deep—rocks that animist ancients might have worshipped as gods. This was Mendocino utopia: a place on the edge of the continent, where nature at its most untrammeled is on display, and freedom seems absolute.

From left: The Brambles, a new property in Philo by the owners of the Madrones, consists of a cluster of cottages nestled in a grove of redwood trees; the Mendocino coast south of the town of Little River. (Alex Farnum)

An hour passed, maybe two. It was time I moved along. The next day I would have to follow Route 128’s zigzags out of the valley, to Route 101 South and on to San Francisco to catch a flight back to the East Coast. In the meantime, I longed to get back to the valley, which offers its own mellow version of splendid isolation: a glass of something strong and red, a vineyard vista, a landscape gradually turning deep blue as the sun drops into the sea on the far side of the pine-lined ridges. I remembered a comment Jim Roberts made about Anderson Valley’s slowly-but-steadily rising profile. “The secret is out,” Roberts said. “But, you know, it’s not tooout.”

Exploring Mendocino County

Three days in Anderson Valley allows time to sample local wines, experience gastronomic nirvana, and immerse yourself in natural beauty. Add two or three days to your itinerary to visit the county’s famously dramatic coastline.

Getting There

The scenic way to reach Mendocino County from San Francisco is Route 1, which winds along the coastline. The drive takes roughly four hours; stop at Point Reyes National Seashore if time allows. If you’re in a hurry, take inland Route 101 to Route 128, which reaches Anderson Valley in three hours.

Anderson Valley


Boonville Hotel In the 19th century, this place was a raucous roadhouse. Today, it has 15 comfortable rooms, including a private creekside bungalow with a screened-in porch. Boonville; boonville​; doubles from $155.

The Brambles From the owners of the nearby Madrones hotel, this renovated homestead in a secluded redwood grove has three suites and two adjacent cabins. Philo;; doubles from $250.

The Madrones Nine accommodations in a gorgeous setting that is part Tuscany, part Alice’s Wonderland. Philo;; doubles from $252.

Philo Apple Farm Hidden in one of the valley’s last fruit orchards is this exclusive hotel with four chic guest cottages. Visitors can choose to “just stay” or to “stay and cook,” joining staff in hands-on farm-to-table meal preparation. Philo; philoapple​; doubles from $300.

Food & Drink

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. This 30-year-old valley institution is one of the country’s pioneering craft-beer makers. Try Frisbee golf on an 18-hole course that wends through oak groves and pasture. Boonville;

Bewildered Pig The Anderson Valley culinary revolution starts here. Janelle Weaver’s “refined rustic” food will bowl you over; the dining room feels like your long-lost home. Book in advance. Philo; bewildered​; entrées $26–$32.

Goldeneye Winery “The Pearly Gates of Pinot Noir” is this vineyard’s none-too-humble tagline, but the wine merits the boast. Experience an Essentials Tasting for $15, or book the Elevated Tasting, a deep dive into the winery’s portfolio. Philo; goldeneye​

Lula Cellars The wines are delicious and surprisingly complex; the vineyard views, gorgeous. Philo;

Navarro Vineyards One of the valley’s oldest vintners, with a charming, barnlike tasting room. The Pinots are big and flavorful, but don’t miss the Gewürztraminer. Philo; navarro​

Pennyroyal Farm Come for the farmstead cheeses, stay for the wine. Anderson Valley’s most hopping lunch scene. Boonville; pennyroyal​

Stone & Embers This delightful restaurant on the Madrones property makes the most of its tiny space. The inventive wood-fired pizzas have toppings like “turducken sausages.” Philo; stoneand​; entrées $15–$19.

Table 128 The Boonville Hotel’s restaurant serves family-style dinners. Reservations are a must. Boonville;; prix fixe from $38.


Hendy Woods State Park To step into the redwood groves is to enter a sublime space—nature’s own Chartres Cathedral. The trees are towering (some stretch to 300 feet) and ancient (some are more than 1,000 years old). Philo; 


Farmhouse Mercantile This lovely Boonville shop sells housewares, clothing,

Point Cabrillo Light Station, outside the town of Mendocino. (Alex Farnum)

The Coast


Brewery Gulch Inn A perennial on T+L’s World’s Best list, Brewery Gulch Inn overlooks a spectacular swathe of coastline. The inn combines the best elements of luxe resort, bed-and-breakfast, and rec room; in the high-beamed dining-room-cum-lounge there are plush couches, board games, and picture windows that frame eye-popping views. Mendocino;; doubles from $385.

Inn at Newport Ranch This brand-new hotel is situated on a 2,000-acre working ranch with more than a mile of private coastline. Take advantage of the hiking, biking, and horseback-riding trails that run through the property. Fort Bragg; theinnat​; doubles from $375.

JD House This just-renovated bed-and-breakfast is named for John Dougherty, its original resident. The rooms are a modern take on a sea captain’s quarters, with fireplaces and Persian rugs. Mendocino; bluedoor​; doubles
from $159.

Food & Drink

Circa ’62 at the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek A quaint inn uphill from Route 1 serves a decadent brunch. Menu highlights include kimchi pancakes and bacon-and-sweet-corn hash. Little River; schoolhouse​; entrées $7–$17.

Trillium Café Housed in a whitewashed clapboard house, this restaurant is beloved for its quintessential California cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Mendocino; trillium​; entrées $24–$37.

Wild Fish At this Pacific Coast Highway restaurant on the cliffs above Little River Cove, all ingredients come from local purveyors or are grown on the property. Little River;; entrées $22–$39.


Blues Beach Located just south of the town of Westport off Route 1, this pristine stretch of shore is officially known as Chadbourne Gulch Beach. You can drive your car right onto the sand.

Mendocino Headlands State Park The town of Mendocino is surrounded by 347 acres of protected green space. Visit for the pleasant nature trails and the park’s two beaches, which draw fishers, sailors, and scuba divers. Mendocino;

Skunk Train This 133-year-old train line, nicknamed for its diesel fumes, winds through the forest for more than 40 miles. Fort Bragg; skunk​; adult fares from $25. — Jody Rosen and Hannah Walhout

This content was produced with the assistance from Brewery Gulch Inn and the Madrones.

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This Spring, Dalí Museum Visitors Will Be Welcomed by AI Version of the Artist Himself

Smithsonian Magazine

In a move that would have appealed to its namesake’s flair for larger-than-life dramatics, the Salvador Dalí Museum is presenting an interactive iteration of the mustachioed modern art master himself this spring.

With just a click of a button, Taylor Dafoe writes for artnet News, the Surrealist artist will materialize on giant screens set up throughout the St. Petersburg, Florida, institution, ready to offer insights on his creative process and, most curiously, current events that the real Dalí has missed out on in the decades since his death in 1989.

Called “Dalí Lives,” the venture—which will debut in April—draws on archival footage, photographs and interviews, as well as new footage featuring a Dalí lookalike.

According to a press release, the Dalí Museum partnered with creative advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) to produce the AI experience. It marks the third collaboration between the museum and GS&P. In 2014, Stuart Elliott reports for The New York Times, the gallery hosted an exhibition featuring a photo kiosks where visitors could take a selfie. These images were stitched together to create a pixelated digital reproduction of a 1976 painting by the Surrealist, which wthen projected onto the wall beside Dalí’s original portrait.

Interestingly, Susana Martinez-Conde notes for Scientific American, the canvas, a dream-like portrait of the artist’s wife titled “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln-Homage to Rothko (Second Version),” was itself painted after Dalí read a Scientific American article on face perception.

A second partnering in 2016 resulted in “Dreams of Dalí,” a virtual reality experience that brought visitors inside of the artist’s 1934 work, “Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus.’”

This time around, the museum drew on hundreds of archival sources to teach an algorithm the artist’s mannerisms and appearance. Next, the team recruited an actor to deliver various monologues, most of which draw on quotes attributed to Dalí himself but also feature an array of what the statement describes as “dynamic present-day messages.”

Three promotional videos released in conjunction with the museum’s announcement offer an enticing sneak peek of how that might translate on screen.

In the longest of the three clips, the virtual reality Dalí meditates on the artist's real philosophy on death, which he saw as a natural, and therefore welcome, result of life—at least when it came to others. When pondering his own mortality, however, Dalí declared his death a distant near-impossibility.

“I understand that better now,” the Dalí approximation declares, pausing a moment to let those words sink in before teasing, conspiratorially: “[Still,] I do not believe in my death. Do you?”

Hank Hine, executive director of the Dalí Museum, tells artnet News’ Dafoe that they let the artist's own ideas guide the project. “Dalí was famous for his sense of his own eternal significance. It’s almost like, if had left instructions for us, this project would have been among them,” he says.

As Dalí himself once proclaimed, “If someday I may die, although it is unlikely, I hope that the people in the cafes will say, ‘Dalí has died, but not entirely.’”

This Tilting, Twirling Artwork, Sculpted Entirely of Sticks, Is Having a Shindig

Smithsonian Magazine

There’s a magical ascendency to Patrick Dougherty’s work. The world-renowned sculptor, who twists switches and saplings into towering whimsical structures, holds a kind of sovereignty over the simple stick.

You wouldn’t immediately recognize his supremacy upon meeting the mild-mannered craftsman from North Carolina, but he has created more than 250 site-specific sculptures on four continents over the past three decades using hundreds of truckloads of sticks.

“A stick is an imaginative object,” says Dougherty, while taking a break recently from the installation of his new work Shindig at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

A parade of playful tent-like structures lean against the gallery walls or appear to be roaming about the 2,400 square-foot room. Soaring 16-and a-half-feet-high, the tips of their switches tease at the ceiling lights of the newly renovated museum. They look, in fact, like individuals possessing a hint of a mischief, as if when the lights go down at night they might take off in a whirl of dance.

Patrick Dougherty is one of nine contemporary artists featured in the Renwick's new exhibition "Wonder." (David C. Calicchio)

But by day, they evoke that primordial need for shelter, and visitors will likely want to hide inside of them.

“I think we have a kind of shadow life of our hunting and gathering past, especially in our childhood play. Because a stick—a piece of wood—is an object that has an incredible amount of vibration for us,” says Dougherty. In a child’s hands, a stick becomes a marching baton, a flute, a sword or even just a simple tool to poke at, or flick something away.

“Sticks really give me a lot of energy,” he says. “I’m very keen to the material and I feel like I sense the potential of a sapling.”

Indeed, since his first visit to the Smithsonian Institution in 2000 when he built Whatchamacallit at the National Museum of Natural History, Dougherty has become known as the "Stickman."  And like a capstone to a full and engaging career, he returns now to welcome the Renwick Gallery back to life as it reopens on November 13 after a two-year, $30 million renovation, and as one of nine contemporary artists in the museum’s inaugural exhibition entitled “Wonder,” named for the awe and splendor that these works bring to the museum’s galleries.


Image by Zan Maddox. Ain't Misbehavin' 2010,Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina (original image)

Image by Duncan Price. Call of the Wild, 2002, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington (original image)

Image by Fin Macrae. Close Ties, 2006, Scottish Basketmakers Circle, Dingwall, Scotland (original image)

Image by Chandler Curlee. Double or Nothing, 2011, Washington University, st. Louis, Missouri (original image)

Image by Sapristi-Emmanuell Tran-le. Fit for a Queen, 2014, Ville de Nantes, France (original image)

Image by Doyle Dean. Just Around the Corner, 2003, New Harmony Gallery, New Harmony, Indiana (original image)

Image by Paul Kodama. Na Hale 'Eo Waiawi, 2003, Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii (original image)

Image by Charles Crie. Sortie de Cave, 2008 Jardin des Arts, Chateaubourg, france (original image)

Image by Solku Choi. Traveling Companions, 2013, Deokpyeong Ecoland, Seoul, Korea (original image)

Image by Rob Cardillo. Summer Palace, 2009, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (original image)

To Dougherty, the stick is a tapered line of a drawing. He thinks of his works as illustration and the sticks as the lines of his drawing. But the ease with which he does his work is illusory. There's a lot more to it then it seems. Only after years of painstaking craftsmanship, can he build them as if by magic.

First there is the gathering of the material. Volunteers clamor to help. “There are a lot of closet stick gatherers out there, it turns out,” he says with a chuckle.

And then later, the volunteers join him to build the structure. Dougherty starts the process, crafting out the base of the structure, marking it with paint or rope and then weaving it all together stick after stick before finally finishing it, loosening, clipping and correcting, with his only tool—a pair of pruning clippers. Sometimes his volunteers are a little too good at weaving, he says, a little too tight sometimes. "I'll go around and loosen it up and give the surface a sense of the flyaway."

And the weaving is nothing like that of a basket. “Don’t go horizontal or vertical,” he tells his helpers. “It’s not geometric. We want it to be more loose and friendly.”

Dougherty found his artistry only after a first career as a hospital administrator, But in the early 1970s, after leaving his job to care for his two children while his first wife worked, he bought property and built a home by hand, using as guidance the how-to Foxfire books, popular with the back-to-the-land movement of the time.

Finding in that creation his passion, he went back to school and sought training as an artist. His first sculpture—a funerary piece, evocative of a cocoon—he built out of maple saplings at his backyard picnic table.

“One could imagine a kind of personage in there for its final resting place,” he recalls. The work entitled Maple Body Wrap was included in the North Carolina Biennial exhibition. And Dougherty’s career took off from there.


Dougherty says he wanted his sculpture Shindig to look as if the "forest is kind of acting up within the geometric space of the gallery." (Ron Blunt/ Renwick Gallery/ SAAM)

His influence was the artist Robert Smithson, known for his provocative large scale earthworks. “I was kind of bent on making really big things. Smithson’s work freed up my mind. I didn’t have to follow the normal rules. Smithson stepped out of line, but for me that was the beginning,” he laughs.

The busy artist has been traveling the world making one monumental sculpture after another from Scotland to Korea to Australia and across the United States, one every three weeks after which he takes a week off—as many as ten a year. He’s booked solid through 2017. Here in Washington, D.C., the sculpture he’s crafted is one he thinks of as “natural beings, windswept, or energized and activating the space.”

An energy perhaps that is channeled from their creator, who beneath his thoughtful and patient demeanor seems never to rest. (He didn’t own a sofa until his second wife, Linda Johnson Dougherty, the chief curator of contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, made him buy one—because he never sat down.)

The challenge of his schedule and the constant travel is underscored by the simple way he gathers his materials, patiently teaching, instructing and showing his volunteers as if he is mentoring hundreds of future stick sculptors. He explains the best wood—maple saplings are his preference but sweetgum will do. No, he doesn’t like poplar—cutting and bundling, and then bringing them to the next location.

At the Smithsonian, the sticks had to be custom prepped. Leaves were removed and then the wood was frozen first to kill pests and then treated with a fire retardant.

"If you had a drawing on a piece of paper, you're making tapered lines," says Dougherty. "All of these sticks are pretty tapered and so there is a sense of energetic motion." (Ron Blunt/ Renwick Gallery/ SAAM)

Each site where he is invited to work is a blank page or canvas, says the artist who rarely comes with a design in mind.

“I don’t do research. I try to remember how I feel about a place and I make word associations with each location so that I can try to get something going,” he says. It might be something someone says. Or the way the trees line up on the horizon or the way a rooftop of a nearby building fits into the landscape. And soon the creative process begins. “I start imagining that I could make something provocative in that space.”

Dougherty, dressed in jeans and greeting a reporter with a solid workman's handshake, explains his art in a refreshingly uncomplicated manner.

How long do they last? "One year and one pretty good year." Why do they lean? "For fun." Why are they so inviting? “Everyone, even adults, responds to the idea of simple shelter. There’s a call to just go in there and sit.”

And why call this work Shindig? “They are having a hell of a good time.”

Patrick Dougherty is one of nine contemporary artists featured in the exhibition “Wonder,” on view November 13, 2015 through July 10, 2016, at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

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This Wearable 'Heart Sock' May Someday Save Lives

Smithsonian Magazine

There's a lot of buzz around wearable electronics these days—Google, for instance, is expanding into the eyewear business, while other companies are scrambling for their share of the market with high-tech clips and watches that track what you eat and how you move.

But none of them are remotely like what John Rogers, the 2013 Smithsonian American Ingenuity award winner in physical sciences, is developing. His device, you see, is engineered not only to fit like a glove, but also perhaps someday save the wearer's life.  

The materials scientist, along with his team of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have successfully tested what's best described as a sock for the heart. The device, fitted over the entire surface area of the heart, is comprised of a series of sensors to monitor, with uncanny precision, the inner workings of this most vital organ. If it detects a troubling abnormality, it can relay data to medical professionals; in an emergency, such as during a heart attack, it could even intervene by administering an electrode-induced pulse. 

Normally, the heart pumps in a manner that's so efficient we hardly notice it working. But for those with heart rhythm conditions, out-of-sync heart contractions can be debilitating—causing lightheadedness, weakness, vomiting and chest pain, for those with arrhythmia—or, in some cases, deadly. Over time, rhythmic irregularities can cause blood clots (which sometimes lead to strokes) and, in extreme cases, cardiac arrest.

Doctors can usually prescribe medication to correct these sorts of issues. But in some instances, patients must turn to surgical interventions such as pacemakers or defibrillator implants. And while those devices work sufficiently enough, the mechanism they use to regulate a person's heartbeat is actually quite crude. With defibrillator implants, a pair of electrodes is positioned inside the heart chamber. Whenever a life-threatening arrhythmia is detected, the defibrillator sends an electric shock that stuns the heart back into a normal rhythm. The problem with that approach, Rogers says, is that activity from another region of the heart can, by mistake, trigger a painful jolt when there isn't really a need for it.

Rogers' device encloses the heart in a much more sophisticated sensory system that can pinpoint exactly where a rhythmic irregularity occurs. In a sense, it functions like the nerve endings on a secondary skin.

“What we wanted was to harness the full power of circuit technology," Rogers says of the device, which is two and a half years in the making. "With a lot of electrodes, the device can pace and stimulate in a more targeted fashion. Delivering heat or pulses to specific locations, and doing it in measurable doses that are just sufficient enough, is important because applying more than necessary is not only painful but can damage the heart."

This step-by-step diagram illustrates how the heart device was created. (University of Illinois and Washington University)

Besides its potential as an emergency cardiac implant, the heart sock's elasticity allows for an array of other electronic and non-electronic sensors that can monitor calcium, potassium and sodium levels—considered key indicators of heart health. The membrane can also be programmed to track changes in mechanical pressure, temperature and pH levels (acidity), all of which could help signal an impending heart attack.

To fabricate the prototype sheath, the researchers first scanned and 3D printed a plastic model of a rabbit's heart. They then arranged a web of 68 tiny electronic sensors over the mold, coating it with a layer of FDA-approved silicone rubber material. After the rubber set, Rogers' lab assistants peeled off the custom-prepared polymer.

To test the membrane, researchers wrapped it around a real rabbit heart, hooked up to a mechanical pump. The team engineered the device to be a tad bit smaller than the actual organ to give it a gentle, glove-like fit. 

"The tricky thing here," Rogers says, "is that the membrane needs to be sized in a way that it can create just enough pressure to keep the electrodes in sufficient contact with the surface. Pressing too hard will cause the heart to respond in a negative way."

"It needs to fit just right," he adds.

As Michael McAlpine, a mechanical engineer at Princeton University who was not involved in the research, told The Scientist: "What’s new and impressive here is that they’ve integrated a number of different functionalities into a membrane that covers the entire surface of the heart. That spread of sensors provides a high level of spatial resolution for cardiac monitoring and offers more control when it comes to stimulation."

So what will it take for this breakthrough to go from lab to patient? Rogers estimates at least another decade of development before something could be ready for the medical market. In the meantime, he plans to continue collaborating with Washington University biomedical engineer Igor Efimov to refine the proof-of-concept into a practical, safe and reliable technology.

One major obstacle is figuring out how to power the membrane without conventional batteries. Currently, Rogers and his team are exploring a few alternatives, such as ultrasound charging, a method in which power is transmitted wirelessly through skin, as well as using piezoelectric materials that capture energy from the surrounding environment. For the latter, there's some precedent for success. Two years ago, engineers at the University of Michigan harnessed such materials to develop a pacemaker powered solely by its user's heartbeat.

"Since we're trying to incorporate a lot more sensors, as well as deliver electrical impulses and heat, it's going to take more energy than the amount generated for conventional pacemakers," Rogers says. "In the future, we're hoping we can improve the efficiency."

Another crucial element is homing in on a way to send data to an external gadget so patients and specialists can access it. Right now, the sensors record things like changes in temperature and PH, among other patterns, but scientists have yet to figure out a way to deliver that data wirelessly.  

"Bluetooth communication is low-powered, so we're looking at that," Efimov says. “Basically, the device will require more components and we'll need experts in other fields like electronics, telemetry and software. So ultimately, we're going to have to raise venture capital and start a company."

Right now, the focus is making the sleeve work as a practical device; there's no telling how much it will cost to produce, or, how much it will cost consumers when it comes to market. 

The big question, though, is ultimately whether the heart sock will function safely and effectively in vivo, or in actual living test subjects. Pacemakers can typically last 10 years. So, to be practical, Rogers' invention would also have to demonstrate it can stay operational for at least that long. The team is preparing to take that next step with a pilot that will test the membrane inside a living rabbit, a test they hope to complete with funding from the National Institutes of Health, along with other grants they're working to secure. If everything goes well, the next test of whether the gadget is up to snuff will be on humans.

Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr and the Election of 1800

Smithsonian Magazine

On the afternoon of September 23, 1800, Vice President Thomas Jefferson, from his Monticello home, wrote a letter to Benjamin Rush, the noted Philadelphia physician. One matter dominated Jefferson’s thoughts: that year’s presidential contest. Indeed, December 3, Election Day—the date on which the Electoral College would meet to vote—was only 71 days away.

Jefferson was one of four presidential candidates. As he composed his letter to Rush, Jefferson paused from time to time to gather his thoughts, all the while gazing absently through an adjacent window at the shimmering heat and the foliage, now a lusterless pale green after a long, dry summer. Though he hated leaving his hilltop plantation and believed, as he told Rush, that gaining the presidency would make him “a constant butt for every shaft of calumny which malice & falsehood could form,” he nevertheless sought the office “with sincere zeal.”

He had been troubled by much that had occurred in incumbent John Adams’ presidency and was convinced that radicals within Adams’ Federalist Party were waging war against what he called the “spirit of 1776”—goals the American people had hoped to attain through the Revolution. He had earlier characterized Federalist rule as a “reign of witches,” insisting that the party was “adverse to liberty” and “calculated to undermine and demolish the republic.” If the Federalists prevailed, he believed, they would destroy the states and create a national government every bit as oppressive as that which Great Britain had tried to impose on the colonists before 1776.

The “revolution...of 1776,” Jefferson would later say, had determined the “form” of America’s government; he believed the election of 1800 would decide its “principles.” “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of Man,” he wrote.

Jefferson was not alone in believing that the election of 1800 was crucial. On the other side, Federalist Alexander Hamilton, who had been George Washington’s secretary of treasury, believed that it was a contest to save the new nation from “the fangs of Jefferson.” Hamilton agreed with a Federalist newspaper essay that argued defeat meant “happiness, constitution and laws [faced] endless and irretrievable ruin.” Federalists and Republicans appeared to agree on one thing only: that the victor in 1800 would set America’s course for generations to come, perhaps forever.

Only a quarter of a century after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the first election of the new 19th century was carried out in an era of intensely emotional partisanship among a people deeply divided over the scope of the government’s authority. But it was the French Revolution that had imposed a truly hyperbolic quality upon the partisan strife.

That revolution, which had begun in 1789 and did not run its course until 1815, deeply divided Americans. Conservatives, horrified by its violence and social leveling, applauded Great Britain’s efforts to stop it. The most conservative Americans, largely Federalists, appeared bent on an alliance with London that would restore the ties between America and Britain that had been severed in 1776. Jeffersonian Republicans, on the other hand, insisted that these radical conservatives wanted to turn back the clock to reinstitute much of the British colonial template. (Today’s Republican Party traces its origins not to Jefferson and his allies but to the party formed in 1854-1855, which carried Lincoln to the presidency in 1860.)

A few weeks before Adams’ inauguration in 1796, France, engaged in an all-consuming struggle with England for world domination, had decreed that it would not permit America to trade with Great Britain. The French Navy soon swept American ships from the seas, idling port-city workers and plunging the economy toward depression. When Adams sought to negotiate a settlement, Paris spurned his envoys.

Adams, in fact, hoped to avoid war, but found himself riding a whirlwind. The most extreme Federalists, known as Ultras, capitalized on the passions unleashed in this crisis and scored great victories in the off-year elections of 1798, taking charge of both the party and Congress. They created a provisional army and pressured Adams into putting Hamilton in charge. They passed heavy taxes to pay for the army and, with Federalist sympathizers in the press braying that “traitors must be silent,” enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, which provided jail terms and exorbitant fines for anyone who uttered or published “any false, scandalous, and malicious” statement against the United States government or its officials. While Federalists defended the Sedition Act as a necessity in the midst of a grave national crisis, Jefferson and his followers saw it as a means of silencing Republicans—and a violation of the Bill of Rights. The Sedition Act, Jefferson contended, proved there was no step, “however atrocious,” the Ultras would not take.

All along, Jefferson had felt that Federalist extremists might overreach. By early 1799, Adams himself had arrived at the same conclusion. He, too, came to suspect that Hamilton and the Ultras wanted to precipitate a crisis with France. Their motivation perhaps had been to get Adams to secure an alliance with Great Britain and accept the Ultras’ program in Congress. But avowing that there “is no more prospect of seeing a French Army here, than there is in Heaven,” Adams refused to go along with the scheme and sent peace envoys to Paris. (Indeed, a treaty would be signed at the end of September 1800.)

It was in this bitterly partisan atmosphere that the election of 1800 was conducted. In those days, the Constitution stipulated that each of the 138 members of the Electoral College cast two votes for president, which allowed electors to cast one vote for a favorite son and a second for a candidate who actually stood a chance of winning. The Constitution also stipulated that if the candidates tied, or none received a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives “shall chuse by Ballot one of them for President.” Unlike today, each party nominated two candidates for the presidency.

Federalist congressmen had caucused that spring and, without indicating a preference, designated Adams and South Carolina’s Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the party’s choices. Adams desperately wanted to be re-elected. He was eager to see the French crisis through to a satisfactory resolution and, at age 65, believed that a defeat would mean he would be sent home to Quincy, Massachusetts, to die in obscurity. Pinckney, born into Southern aristocracy and raised in England, had been the last of the four nominees to come around in favor of American independence. Once committed, however, he served valiantly, seeing action at Brandywine, Germantown and Charleston. Following the war, he sat in the Constitutional Convention; both Washington and Adams had sent him to France on diplomatic missions.

In addition to Jefferson, Republicans chose Aaron Burr as their candidate, but designated Jefferson as the party’s first choice. Jefferson had held public office intermittently since 1767, serving Virginia in its legislature and as a wartime governor, sitting in Congress, crossing to Paris in 1784 for a five-year stint that included a posting as the American minister to France, and acting as secretary of state under Washington. His second place finish in the election of 1796 had made him vice president, as was the custom until 1804. Burr, at age 44 the youngest of the candidates, had abandoned his legal studies in 1775 to enlist in the Continental Army; he had experienced the horrors of America’s failed invasion of Canada and the miseries of Valley Forge. After the war he practiced law and represented New York in the U.S. Senate. In 1800, he was serving as a member of the New York legislature.

In those days, the Constitution left the manner of selecting presidential electors to the states. In 11 of the 16 states, state legislatures picked the electors; therefore, the party that controlled the state assembly garnered all that state’s electoral votes. In the other five states, electors were chosen by “qualified” voters (white, male property owners in some states, white male taxpayers in others). Some states used a winner-take-all system: voters cast their ballots for the entire slate of Federalist electors or for the Republican slate. Other states split electors among districts.

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Presidential candidates did not kiss babies, ride in parades or shake hands. Nor did they even make stump speeches. The candidates tried to remain above the fray, leaving campaigning to surrogates, particularly elected officials from within their parties. Adams and Jefferson each returned home when Congress adjourned in May, and neither left their home states until they returned to the new capital of Washington in November.

But for all its differences, much about the campaign of 1800 was recognizably modern. Politicians carefully weighed which procedures were most likely to advance their party’s interests. Virginia, for instance, had permitted electors to be elected from districts in three previous presidential contests, but after Federalists carried 8 of 19 congressional districts in the elections of 1798, Republicans, who controlled the state assembly, switched to the winner-take-all format, virtually guaranteeing they would get every one of Virginia’s 21 electoral votes in 1800. The ploy was perfectly legal, and Federalists in Massachusetts, fearing an upsurge in Republican strength, scuttled district elections—which the state had used previously—to select electors by the legislature, which they controlled.

Though the contest was played out largely in the print media, the unsparing personal attacks on the character and temperament of the nominees resembled the studied incivility to which today’s candidates are accustomed on television. Adams was portrayed as a monarchist who had turned his back on republicanism; he was called senile, a poor judge of character, vain, jealous and driven by an “ungovernable temper.” Pinckney was labeled a mediocrity, a man of “limited talents” who was “illy suited to the exalted station” of the presidency. Jefferson was accused of cowardice. Not only, said his critics, had he lived in luxury at Monticello while others sacrificed during the War of Independence, but he had fled like a jack rabbit when British soldiers raided Charlottesville in 1781. And he had failed egregiously as Virginia’s governor, demonstrating that his “nerves are too weak to bear anxiety and difficulties.” Federalists further insisted Jefferson had been transformed into a dangerous radical during his residence in France and was a “howling atheist.” For his part, Burr was depicted as without principles, a man who would do anything to get his hands on power.

Also like today, the election of 1800 seemed to last forever. “Electioneering is already begun,” the first lady, Abigail Adams, noted 13 months before the Electoral College was to meet. What made it such a protracted affair was that state legislatures were elected throughout the year; as these assemblies more often than not chose presidential electors, the state contests to determine them became part of the national campaign. In 1800 the greatest surprise among these contests occurred in New York, a large, crucial state that had given all 12 of its electoral votes to Adams in 1796, allowing him to eke out a three-vote victory over Jefferson.

The battle for supremacy in the New York legislature had hinged on the outcome in New York City. Thanks largely to lopsided wins in two working-class wards where many voters owned no property, the Republicans secured all 24 of New York’s electoral votes for Jefferson and Burr. For Abigail Adams, that was enough to seal Adams’ fate. John Dawson, a Republican congressman from Virginia, declared: “The Republic is safe....The [Federalist] party are in rage & despair.”

But Adams himself refused to give up hope. After all, New England, which accounted for nearly half the electoral votes needed for a majority, was solidly in his camp, and he felt certain he would win some votes elsewhere. Adams believed that if he could get South Carolina’s eight votes, he would be virtually certain to garner the same number of electoral votes that had put him over the top four years earlier. And, at first, both parties were thought to have a shot at carrying the state.

When South Carolina’s legislature was elected in mid-October, the final tally revealed that the assembly was about evenly divided between Federalists and Republicans—though unaffiliated representatives, all pro-Jefferson, would determine the outcome. Now Adams’ hopes were fading fast. Upon hearing the news that Jefferson was assured of South Carolina’s eight votes, Abigail Adams remarked to her son Thomas that the “consequence to us personally is that we retire from public life.” All that remained to be determined was whether the assembly would instruct the electors to cast their second vote for Burr or Pinckney.

The various presidential electors met in their respective state capitals to vote on December 3. By law, their ballots were not to be opened and counted until February 11, but the outcome could hardly be kept secret for ten weeks. Sure enough, just nine days after the vote, Washington, D.C.’s National Intelligencer newspaper broke the news that neither Adams nor Pinckney had received a single South Carolina vote and, in the voting at large, Jefferson and Burr had each received 73 electoral votes. Adams had gotten 65, Pinckney 64. The House of Representatives would have to make the final decision between the two Republicans.

Adams thus became the first presidential candidate to fall victim to the notorious clause in the Constitution that counted each slave as three-fifths of one individual in calculating population used to allocate both House seats and electoral votes. Had slaves, who had no vote, not been so counted, Adams would have edged Jefferson by a vote of 63 to 61. In addition, the Federalists fell victim to the public’s perception that the Republicans stood for democracy and egalitarianism, while the Federalists were seen as imperious and authoritarian.

In the House, each state would cast a single vote. If each of the 16 states voted—that is, if none abstained—9 states would elect the president. Republicans controlled eight delegations—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The Federalists held six: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and South Carolina. And two delegations—Maryland and Vermont—were deadlocked.

Though Jefferson and Burr had tied in the Electoral College, public opinion appeared to side with Jefferson. Not only had he been the choice of his party’s nominating caucus, but he had served longer at the national level than Burr, and in a more exalted capacity. But if neither man was selected by noon on March 4, when Adams’ term ended, the country would be without a chief executive until the newly elected Congress convened in December, nine months later. In the interim, the current, Federalist-dominated Congress would be in control.

Faced with such a prospect, Jefferson wrote to Burr in December. His missive was cryptic, but in it he appeared to suggest that if Burr accepted the vice presidency, he would be given greater responsibilities than previous vice presidents. Burr’s response to Jefferson was reassuring. He pledged to “disclaim all competition” and spoke of “your administration.”

Meanwhile, the Federalists caucused to discuss their options. Some favored tying up the proceedings in order to hold on to power for several more months. Some wanted to try to invalidate, on technical grounds, enough electoral votes to make Adams the winner. Some urged the party to throw its support to Burr, believing that, as a native of mercantile New York City, he would be more friendly than Jefferson to the Federalist economic program. Not a few insisted that the party should support Jefferson, as he was clearly the popular choice. Others, including Hamilton, who had long opposed Burr in the rough and tumble of New York City politics, thought Jefferson more trustworthy than Burr. Hamilton argued that Burr was “without Scruple,” an “unprincipled...voluptuary” who would plunder the country. But Hamilton also urged the party to stall, in the hope of inducing Jefferson to make a deal. Hamilton proposed that in return for the Federalist votes that would make him president, Jefferson should promise to preserve the Federalist fiscal system (a properly funded national debt and the Bank), American neutrality and a strong navy, and to agree to “keeping in office all our Foederal Friends” below the cabinet level. Even Adams joined the fray, telling Jefferson that the presidency would be his “in an instant” should he accept Hamilton’s terms. Jefferson declined, insisting that he “should never go into the office of President...with my hands tied by any conditions which should hinder me from pursuing the measures” he thought best.

In the end, the Federalists decided to back Burr. Hearing of their decision, Jefferson told Adams that any attempt “to defeat the Presidential election” would “produce resistance by force, and incalculable consequences.”

Burr, who had seemed to disavow a fight for the highest office, now let it be known that he would accept the presidency if elected by the House. In Philadelphia, he met with several Republican congressmen, allegedly telling them that he intended to fight for it.

Burr had to know that he was playing a dangerous game and risking political suicide by challenging Jefferson, his party’s reigning power. The safest course would have been to acquiesce to the vice presidency. He was yet a young man, and given Jefferson’s penchant for retiring to Monticello—he had done so in 1776, 1781 and 1793—there was a good chance that Burr would be his party’s standard-bearer as early as 1804. But Burr also knew there was no guarantee he would live to see future elections. His mother and father had died at ages 27 and 42, respectively.

Burr’s was not the only intrigue. Given the high stakes, every conceivable pressure was applied to change votes. Those in the deadlocked delegations were courted daily, but no one was lobbied more aggressively than James Bayard, Delaware’s lone congressman, who held in his hands the sole determination of how his state would vote. Thirty-two years old in 1800, Bayard had practiced law in Wilmington before winning election to the House as a Federalist four years earlier. Bayard despised Virginia’s Republican planters, including Jefferson, whom he saw as hypocrites who owned hundreds of slaves and lived “like feudal barons” as they played the role of “high priests of liberty.” He announced he was supporting Burr.

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The city of Washington awoke to a crippling snowstorm Wednesday, February 11, the day the House was to begin voting. Nevertheless, only one of the 105 House members did not make it in to Congress, and his absence would not change his delegation’s tally. Voting began the moment the House was gaveled into session. When the roll call was complete, Jefferson had carried eight states, Burr six, and two deadlocked states had cast uncommitted ballots; Jefferson still needed one more vote for a majority. A second vote was held, with a similar tally, then a third. When at 3 a.m. the exhausted congressmen finally called it a day, 19 roll calls had been taken, all with the same inconclusive result.

By Saturday evening, three days later, the House had cast 33 ballots. The deadlock seemed unbreakable.

For weeks, warnings had circulated of drastic consequences if Republicans were denied the presidency. Now that danger seemed palpable. A shaken President Adams was certain the two sides had come to the “precipice” of disaster and that “a civil war was expected.” There was talk that Virginia would secede if Jefferson were not elected. Some Republicans declared they would convene another constitutional convention to restructure the federal government so that it reflected the “democratical spirit of America.” It was rumored that a mob had stormed the arsenal in Philadelphia and was preparing to march on Washington to drive the defeated Federalists from power. Jefferson said he could not restrain those of his supporters who threatened “a dissolution” of the Union. He told Adams that many Republicans were prepared to use force to prevent the Federalists’ “legislative usurpation” of the executive branch.

In all likelihood, it was these threats that ultimately broke the deadlock. The shift occurred sometime after Saturday’s final ballot; it was Delaware’s Bayard who blinked. That night, he sought out a Republican close to Jefferson, almost certainly John Nicholas, a member of Virginia’s House delegation. Were Delaware to abstain, Bayard pointed out, only 15 states would ballot. With eight states already in his column, Jefferson would have a majority and the elusive victory at last. But in return, Bayard asked, would Jefferson accept the terms that the Federalists had earlier proffered? Nicholas responded, according to Bayard’s later recollections, that these conditions were “very reasonable” and that he could vouch for Jefferson’s acceptance.

The Federalists caucused behind doors on Sunday afternoon, February 15. When Bayard’s decision to abstain was announced, it touched off a firestorm. Cries of “Traitor! Traitor!” rang down on him. Bayard himself later wrote that the “clamor was prodigious, the reproaches vehement,” and that many old colleagues were “furious” with him. Two matters in particular roiled his comrades. Some were angry that Bayard had broken ranks before it was known what kind of deal, if any, Burr might have been willing to cut. Others were upset that nothing had been heard from Jefferson himself. During a second Federalist caucus that afternoon, Bayard agreed to take no action until Burr’s answer was known. In addition, the caucus directed Bayard to seek absolute assurances that Jefferson would go along with the deal.

Early the next morning, Monday, February 16, according to Bayard’s later testimony, Jefferson made it known through a third party that the terms demanded by the Federalists “corresponded with his views and intentions, and that we might confide in him accordingly.” The bargain was struck, at least to Bayard’s satisfaction. Unless Burr offered even better terms, Jefferson would be the third president of the United States.

At some point that Monday afternoon, Burr’s letters arrived. What exactly he said or did not say in them—they likely were destroyed soon after they reached Washington and their contents remain a mystery—disappointed his Federalist proponents. Bayard, in a letter written that Monday, told a friend that “Burr has acted a miserable paultry part. The election was in his power.” But Burr, at least according to Bayard’s interpretation, and for reasons that remain unknown to history, had refused to reach an accommodation with the Federalists. That same Monday evening a dejected Theodore Sedgwick, Speaker of the House and a passionate Jefferson hater, notified friends at home: “the gigg is up.”

The following day, February 17, the House gathered at noon to cast its 36th, and, as it turned out, final, vote. Bayard was true to his word: Delaware abstained, ending seven days of contention and the long electoral battle.

Bayard ultimately offered many reasons for his change of heart. On one occasion he claimed that he and the five other Federalists who had held the power to determine the election in their hands—four from Maryland and one from Vermont—had agreed to “give our votes to Mr. Jefferson” if it became clear that Burr could not win. Bayard also later insisted that he had acted from what he called “imperious necessity” to prevent a civil war or disunion. Still later he claimed to have been swayed by the public’s preference for Jefferson.

Had Jefferson in fact cut a deal to secure the presidency? Ever afterward, he insisted that such allegations were “absolutely false.” The historical evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Not only did many political insiders assert that Jefferson had indeed agreed to a bargain, but Bayard, in a letter dated February 17, the very day of the climactic House vote—as well as five years later, while testifying under oath in a libel suit—insisted that Jefferson had most certainly agreed to accept the Federalists’ terms. In another letter written at the time, Bayard assured a Federalist officeholder, who feared losing his position in a Republican administration: “I have taken good care of you....You are safe.”

Even Jefferson’s actions as president lend credence to the allegations. Despite having fought against the Hamiltonian economic system for nearly a decade, he acquiesced to it once in office, leaving the Bank of the United States in place and tolerating continued borrowing by the federal government. Nor did he remove most Federalist officeholders.

The mystery is not why Jefferson would deny making such an accord, but why he changed his mind after vowing never to bend. He must have concluded that he had no choice if he wished to become president by peaceful means. To permit the balloting to continue was to hazard seeing the presidency slip from his hands. Jefferson not only must have doubted the constancy of some of his supporters, but he knew that a majority of the Federalists favored Burr and were making the New Yorker the same offer they were dangling before him.

Burr’s behavior is more enigmatic. He had decided to make a play for the presidency, only apparently to refuse the very terms that would have guaranteed it to him. The reasons for his action have been lost in a confounding tangle of furtive transactions and deliberately destroyed evidence. It may have been that the Federalists demanded more of him than they did of Jefferson. Or Burr may have found it unpalatable to strike a bargain with ancient enemies, including the man he would kill in a duel three years later. Burr may also have been unwilling to embrace Federalist principles that he had opposed throughout his political career.

The final mystery of the election of 1800 is whether Jefferson and his backers would have sanctioned violence had he been denied the presidency. Soon after taking office, Jefferson claimed that “there was no idea of [using] force.” His remark proves little, yet during the ongoing battle in the House, he alternately spoke of acceding to the Federalists’ misconduct in the hope that their behavior would ruin them, or of calling a second Constitutional Convention. He probably would have chosen one, or both, of these courses before risking bloodshed and the end of the Union.

In the days that followed the House battle, Jefferson wrote letters to several surviving signers of the Declaration of Independence to explain what he believed his election had meant. It guaranteed the triumph of the American Revolution, he said, ensuring the realization of the new “chapter in the history of man” that had been promised by Thomas Paine in 1776. In the years that followed, his thoughts often returned to the election’s significance. In 1819, at age 76, he would characterize it as the “revolution of 1800,” and he rejoiced to a friend in Virginia, Spencer Roane, that it had been effected peacefully “by the rational and peaceful instruments of reform, the suffrage of the people.”

Tipi Model, Painted

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.


Some of the designs on this tipi model resemble figures in the publication: Catlin, George. Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Conditions of North American Indians: The Complete Volumes I and II: Ilustrated. See Volume1, Figure 65, after p. 148, showing robe of Mato-Tope/Four Bears (Mandan), and Volume 2, Figure 311, after p. 248. Compare also the designs on the Mandan buffalo robe of Mato-Tope/Four Bears in the collection of the Bernisches Historisches Museum, Bern, Switzerland, Accession No. 1890.410.8 (see p. 191 in Maurer, Evan M., Louise Lincoln, George P. Horse Capture, David W. Penney, Peter J. Powell, Angela Casselton, and Candace Greene. 1992. Visions of the people: a pictorial history of Plains Indian life. Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.)

To Find Baby Planets, Researchers Chase Waterfalls of Gas

Smithsonian Magazine

Since researchers discovered the first exoplanets in the 1990s, astronomers have gotten pretty good at finding satellites orbiting distant suns, cataloguing 4,000 planets in more than 3,000 planetary systems since then. Now, researchers are interested in learning how these planets form, and a new technique may help them find hard-to-locate baby planets.

Young stars often have a disk of gas and dust swirling around them. Planets typically coalesce from this material, and eventually grow large enough to clear a path through these protoplanetary disks. But researchers aren’t certain that all of the gaps they’ve found actually come from young planets. That’s why a team recently looked at these disks in a new way, as they describe in a new study published in the journal Nature.

Astrophysicist Richard Teague, who conducted the study at the University of Michigan, and his team examined new high-resolution data from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), a radio observatory in Chile. In particular, they were able to observe the velocity of carbon monoxide gas moving within the protoplanetary disc around a young star called HD 163296. While hydrogen makes up the majority of the gas in the disk, carbon monoxide emits the brightest wavelengths, giving researchers the most detailed picture of how gas moves within the disk.

“With the high fidelity data from this program, we were able to measure the gas’s velocity in three directions instead of just one,” Teague, who is now a research fellow at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, says in a statement. “For the first time, we measured the motion of the gas rotating around the star, towards or away from the star, and up- or downwards in the disk.”

When the data was processed with computer modelling, it revealed three areas where gas from the surface of the disc flows toward the middle layers, like a waterfall. The findings line up with previous studies that suggested three giant planets—one half the size of Jupiter, one Jupiter-sized and one twice the size of Jupiter—are forming in the disk.

“What most likely happens is that a planet in orbit around the star pushes the gas and dust aside, opening a gap,” Teague says in a statement. “The gas above the gap then collapses into it like a waterfall, causing a rotational flow of gas in the disk.”

Erika K. Carlson at Astronomy reports that the findings also suggest that the movement of gases within these protoplanetary disks is pretty complex. “There’s a lot more going on than we previously thought,” Teague tells Carlson. “We thought it was just rotating in a rather smooth manner.”

Since researchers have not directly observed the young planets forming in the disk, it’s possible HD 163296’s magnetic field is causing the anomalies in the disk. But co-author Jaehan Bae of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who ran the computer simulations, says planet formation is the most likely cause.

“Right now, only a direct observation of the planets could rule out the other options,” Bae says in a statement. “But the patterns of these gas flows are unique and it is very likely that they can only be caused by planets.”

Carlson reports that the team hopes to look at HD 163296 using other wavelengths to see if they can get data on gas movements deeper within the protoplanetary disk. And after that, the hope is that such observations will be confirmed visually when a new class of telescopes comes online in the early part of the next decade, including the James Webb Space Telescope scheduled for launch in early 2021.

Today's Tattoos

Smithsonian Magazine

Damon Conklin, owner of Super Genius Tattoo in Seattle, Washington, and founder of the Seattle Tattoo Convention, weighs in on which tattoo designs are the most popular on the West Coast. Tom Yak of New York Adorned says tattoo fans on the East Coast want the same provocative styles; the more customized, the better.

1. Flowers

Conklin: Everything from the daisy on the ankle to floral arrangement, reaching across several bodyparts.

Yak: Floral tattoos always remain in style. I do a lot of lotus flowers. I draw American imagery, daisies and roses, but I try to add an eastern sort of flair.

2. Lettering

Conklin: Usually names and quotes, but sometimes they're elaborate. In one instance, a New York-based writer composed a short story. You could only receive a copy of the story if you had an assigned word from the story tattooed on you, and when completed, the some total of participants comprised the whole story.

3. Symbols

Conklin: This could be as simple as an astrological sign or as abstact as an image that somehow represents a time or accomplishment in someone's life.

Yak: About 80 to 90 percent of what I do are personalized designs. That's what people want.

4. Religion

Conklin: Crosses, Jesus or a range of other gods, including depictions of events in sacred text.

5. Skulls

Conklin: Mostly human and other bone-related stuff.

Image by Damon Conklin. #1: Flowers.
Conklin: Everything from the daisy on the ankle to floral arrangement, reaching across several bodyparts. (original image)

Image by Tom Yak. #1: Flowers.
Yak: Floral tattoos always remain in style. I do a lot of lotus flowers. I draw American imagery, daisies and roses, but I try to add an eastern sort of flair. (original image)

Image by Damon Conklin. #2: Lettering.
Conklin: Usually names and quotes, but sometimes they're elaborate. In one instance, a New York-based writer composed a short story. You could only receive a copy of the story if you had an assigned word from the story tattooed on you, and when completed, the some total of participants comprised the whole story. (original image)

Image by Damon Conklin. #3: Symbols.
Conklin: This could be as simple as an astrological sign or as abstact as an image that somehow represents a time or accomplishment in someones life.Yak: About 80 to 90 percent of what I do are personalized designs. That's what people want. (original image)

Image by Wilson Kamin. #4: Religion.
Conklin: Crosses, Jesus or a range of other gods, including depictions of events in sacred text. (original image)

Image by Damon Conklin. #5: Skulls.<Br/>Conklin: Mostly human and other bone-related stuff. (original image)

Image by Ryan Rogers. #6: Japanese designs.<Br/>Conklin: The whole world of traditional Japanese art and tattooing is very influential in today's modern tattooing to the point where almost every tattoo reflects a lesson taken from Japanese art.Yak: I do a lot of Eastern-inspired art and a lot with the elements. Water, fire, wind. Also, power symbols like the dragon and khoi fish. (original image)

Image by Paul Thomas. #7: Portrait.
Conklin: This is mostly the realistic likeness of loved ones or celebrities, but more recently has been expanded to include all manner of realistic tattooing. (original image)

Image by Jeff Cornell. #8: Love.
Conklin: Hearts mostly, but sometimes sarcastic statements about love.Yak: The traditional American style provides the customer with a more historic feel. It's stood the test of time. (original image)

Image by Damon Conklin. #9: Birds.
Conklin: Including mythological flyers like phoenixes and griffins. Flying is always a metaphor for rising above, excelling and emergence. (original image)

Image by Jeff Cornell. #10: Wildlife.
Conklin: All manners of living creatures, from lions to gold fish. (original image)

Image by Damon Conklin. Damon Conklin uses the body, from head to feet, as his canvas. (original image)

Image by Tom Yak. Tom Yak of New York Adorned has tattooed over 10,000 clients. (original image)

Image by Damon Conklin. "A great way to brainstorm a tattoo idea is to mix three of these categories," says Damon Conklin, owner of Super Genius Tattoo, who provided this list of most popular tattoo designs. (original image)

Image by Kelly Durkin. Tom Yak, a tattooer at New York Adorned, has tattooed more than 10,000 clients. (original image)

6. Japanese designs

Conklin: The whole world of traditional Japanese art and tattooing is very influential in today's modern tattooing to the point where almost every tattoo reflects a lesson taken from Japanese art.

Yak: I do a lot of Eastern-inspired art and a lot with the elements. Water, fire, wind. Also, power symbols like the dragon and khoi fish.

7. Portrait

Conklin: This is mostly the realistic likeness of loved ones or celebrities, but more recently has been expanded to include all manner of realistic tattooing.

8. Love

Conklin: Hearts mostly, but sometimes sarcastic statements about love.

Yak: The traditional American style stuff provides the customer with a more historic feel. It's stood the test of time.

9. Birds

Conklin: Including mythological flyers like phoenixes and griffins. Flying is always a metaphor for rising above, excelling and emergence.

10. Wildlife

Conklin: All manners of living creatures, from lions to gold fish.

Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, east and west Florida, the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws : containing an account of the soil and natural productions of those regions : together with observations on the manners of the Indians : embellished with copper-plates / by William Bartram

Smithsonian Libraries
"Philadelphia: printed by James and Johnson, 1791."

First published in Philadelphia, 1791. Cf. Sabin (v. 1, p. 513) 3870.

Pt. IV, p. [479]-520 has special half-title: An account of the persons, manners, customs, and government, of the Muscogulges, or Creeks, Cherokees, Chactaws, &c. aborigines of the continent of North America / by William Bartram.

Frontispiece portrait signed: Holloway sculpt.; map signed: T. Conder sculpt.

Signatures: a⁴ b⁸ B-2L⁸.

Final p. is blank.

Press figures.

Includes index.

Directions to the binder: p. [7] (3rd group); this leaf is wanting in SCNHRB c. 2.

ESTC (RLIN) T88530

Also available online.

SCNHRB c. 1 (39088006094742) has ms. signature on end-leaves and on t.p.: Wm. C. Bryant. This copy is a gift to SIL from Harry Lubrecht, with his collection note "OSS 6/68" on front free endpaper; with some brief ms. notes in an unidentified hand in the margins. Also with a printed bookseller's label on front paste-down endpaper: The Arthur H. Clarke Company ... Cleveland, Ohio.

SCNHRB c. 1 has an extra engraved plate inserted between p. 210 and 211, captioned "An Indian warrior, entering his wigwam with a scalp," engraved by Barlow.

SCNHRB c. 1 has old half-leather binding with decorated orange and black paper boards; gilt-ruled spine.

SCNHRB c. 2 (39088010382414), erroneously stamped "W/D DSI," has bookplate: Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Gift of Marcia Brady Tucker; with the Tucker collection's collational notes on front free endpaper and t.p.

SCNHRB c. 2 has a later half-leather binding with brown cloth-clovered paper boards; raised bands; gilt-tooled spine; marbled endpapers; top-edge gilt. Signed: Bayntun, binder, Bath, Eng.

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