Immortality Inside the Earth (Part I)

Note:  This report was filed by former CHRONOS historian, Saul Rand, about one year prior to the sabotage of CHRONOS headquarters in 2305.  Rand is suspected of involvement in that attack.  All sections of this report have been cleared by Internal Affairs.  

September 28th, 1893
S. Rand
Chicago, Illinois

The World's Parliament of Religions recently held here in Chicago included speeches by hundreds of religious leaders around the world, but one of the more interesting and peculiar of the species, Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed (or, as he prefers to be known, Koresh) was not invited to speak.  This is double injustice given that his religion, the Koreshan Unity, is headquartered--at least for the next few years--right here in Chicago. And while my core assignment for this research trip was the World's Parliament, I took a short sidetrip this afternoon, so that I could observe this small, lesser known faith firsthand.  
The College of Life and Offices of the Guiding Star

Koresh rarely speaks with reporters or outsiders of any sort.  He will, however, gladly speak with potential donors and members of the community. I arrived at the College of Life building on Cottage Grove Avenue to listen to one of Dr. Teed's lectures, having paid my enrollment fee in advance. 

The College of Life is actually a degree granting institution, certified by the state of Illinois.  The entry fee is $30.00--nearly a month's wage for the average laborer, assuming the typical sixty hour work week.  Needless to say, most of those who have enrolled are not from the laboring class.  If you maintain your enrollment for the full month, you will be granted a diploma, along with the right to hand over all of your worldly possessions and become a resident of the community.

The Torture Castle - 1893

March 27th, 1893
K. Shaw
World's Fair Hotel
Chicago, Illinois

This is my fifth jump to the World's Fair Hotel, and I am growing tired of landing in this miserable closet.  It is tiny and dark, and it reeks of chemicals.  In a few months, as the body count rises, it will reek of something far worse.  Inconveniences aside, this horrid little hole provides excellent access to the site of one of the most horrific and mysterious murder sprees in American history. Hopefully after today I can move on to something a bit less gruesome.

World's Fair Hotel
The World's Fair Hotel, at 701 Sixty-Third Street, looks much the same as any of the other hotels that were hastily constructed or remodeled during the past few months by enterprising businessmen eager to cash in on the millions of tourists that will soon pour into Chicago for the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The lower floor of this building, which neighbors have dubbed The Castle, is taken up by several small businesses, including a restaurant and a pharmacy owned by Dr. H. H. Holmes, who designed the building himself.

Tracking the Infanta, Part 2

June 9th, 1893
K. Shaw
Chicago, Illinois

The Midway was crowded tonight. That is usually the case in the evenings, but even more so in the past week.  The temperature has run a bit above normal, making it far more pleasant to observe the Fair as the sun sets and day grows cooler.   

The Infanta was indeed in Old Vienna tonight, seated with another woman, who I believe was the Marquesa de Arco Hermosa, her lady-in-waiting.  They both looked tired.  The princess herself was much smaller than I expected--a tiny, slender woman. She was smoking a thin cigarette and staring out at the Ferris wheel.  It is an impressive sight during the day, but even more awe-inspiring when the three thousand bulbs on the frame come to life, spinning a lazy arc of light against the evening sky.

Eulalia's tiara and flowing gowns have been traded in, at some point during the evening, for a gray traveling dress.  I recognized her at once because I've studied the various photographs of her, but if others in the cafe suspected they were in the presence of royalty, they didn't let on.  A few people, both men and women, shook their heads in disapproval of the cigarette between her fingers, which could get the average woman arrested in many towns during the late 1890s, but no one seemed to connect the grand princess of Spain they'd been reading about in the papers with the small young woman looking out at the scenic view.

Tracking the Infanta - 1893 (Part 1)

June 9th, 1893
K. Shaw
Chicago, Illinois

Infanta Eulalia of Spain
The Chicago newspapers have been abuzz for weeks now about the upcoming visit of the Infanta Eulalia of Spain.  The World's Columbian Exposition is, after all, intended in part as a celebration of the arrival of Columbus on this continent and Eulalia is an indirect descendant of the woman believed to have funded that journey, Queen Isabella I.  

The title of Infanta is given to all Spanish princesses. Her full name is Maria Eulalia Francisca de Asis Margarita Roberta Isabel Francisca de Paula Cristina Maria de la Piedad, and at twenty-nine years of age, she is the youngest member of the Spanish Monarchy.  Eulalia and her husband,  Antonio de Orleans y Borb√≥n, were received at the White House late last month, along with other members of the official Spanish delegation, including a descendent of Christopher Columbus.

Chicago society was eager to prove itself equal to the challenge of hosting royalty, so Eulalia discovered, upon her arrival in the city, that she had a full itinerary of dinners and luncheons in her honor straight through until her planned date of departure.  Press accounts concerning the Infanta were glowing for the first few days, although readers of the Tribune were a bit suprised to learn her Highness is a smoker. Stories hailed her as beautiful, gracious, and even democratic, noting that she was willing to dispense with the typical trappings of royalty and preferred a simple handshake to a curtsy or a bow.  

Some of her hosts and hostesses have now, however, dubbed Eulalia the Infanta Terrible.

Dedication Day - 1892

K. Shaw
October 21, 1892
Chicago, Illinois

Official "Dedication Day" for the World's Columbian Exposition.  The fair itself will not open for another six months, but dignitaries are gathering today for the ceremony where Chicago formally transfers "ownership" of the Expo to the U.S. government. The parade route is so crowded that I can barely move, let alone get close to the front to see anything, especially with this gargantuan camera around my neck. Those ads with Kodak Girls don't tell you that these things are heavy and bulky.I'm beginning to suspect that the nickname "Kodak fiend" that photographers will be given at this fair is due less to people not wanting their pictures taken and more to their annoyance at being jabbed in the back with a camera case when mashed together in a queue with hundreds of other tourists viewing an exhibit. I do understand that the goal is for me to get the full experience of being here, but it would be so much easier to document these jumps if they'd let me use a holovid. 

But this trip has been worth it if only to see the excitement of the spectators as the parade passed. The economy is very weak right now and the jobs created by the Exposition, both in construction and service, are badly needed. The city lobbied hard to host the fair and they have turned out by the thousands to show their support along the seven-mile parade route.

Along the parade route, near the Midway Plaisance
The young men perched on this pole have the best seat on the entire route, although it sways a bit every time we get a half-decent wind gust from Lake Michigan.  They make me very nervous, especially the little guy at the top, but no one here even glances their way.  This shouldn't be too surprising in an era when kids their age are allowed to work in factories with no sort of safety laws, but I have to fight the temptation to warn them that what they're doing isn't safe--although I doubt they'd listen to me.  I don't remember reading anything about a kid falling to his death along the parade route in the newspaper accounts I read about this day, but would that kind of thing even have been reported?  Probably not.

We Are All Starving Together - 1907

November 3, 1907
S. Wrenn
Interview with Harriet Scott Palmer
Lake Grove, Oswego, Oregon

Harriet Scott Palmer is more than seventy years old, but her voice is clear and unwavering.  This is the fourth of seven trips I'm scheduled to make this month to Oregon, where the women's suffrage movement is poised for a long-sought victory later this year.  Harriet's older sister, Abigail Scott Duniway, is at the forefront of that campaign, but Harriet tends to stay out of the limelight, possibly because of a rumored divorce in her past.  The historical records are unclear on exactly when this divorce occurred.  At some point between 1880 she ceased to be Mrs. William McCord and became Mrs. Isaac Palmer. But I don't ask--this is an era where the stigma of divorce is still strong, even in western states like Oregon where the social mores aren't quite as rigid as they are on the East Coast.

Harriet takes a sip from her cup of tea and then begins to tell me about her trip along the Oregon Trail. "Altho I was but a girl of 11 years I distinctly remember many things connected with that far-off time when all of our western country was a wilderness... We were six months in crossing the plains in ox-wagons.

"In our home, in Illinois, in the early fifties, there was much talk and excitement over the news of the great gold discoveries in California -- and equally there was much talk concerning the wonderful fertile valleys of Oregon Territory -- an act of Congress giving to actual settlers 640 acres of land.

"My father, John Tucker Scott, with much of the pioneer spirit in his blood, became so interested that he decided to "Go West"....The spring of 1852 ushered in so many preparations, great work of all kinds. I remember relations coming to help sew, of tearful partings, little gifts of remembrances exchanged, the sale of the farm, the buying and breaking in of unruly oxen, the loud voices of the men, and the general confusion.

You Have to Figure Every Penny - 1938

First in a series of three installments. CHRONOS student historians interview Connecticut residents during the Great Depression. Interested in submitting your own student post?  See the information for students in the menu on the right. 

November 3, 1938
G. Morrell
Interview with Elizabeth Newsome
Thomaston, Connecticut

Like most rural areas, the city of Thomaston was hit hard by the Great Depression.  This small Connecticut town was once booming, but now it has widespread unemployment and industrial decline. One of the biggest employers, the Thomaston Knife Company, burned down and the city’s main industry, clock making was declining at the same time.  Many people lost their jobs.  The goal on this trip is to dig a bit deeper and see what impact this had on the lives of people living in Thomaston -- not just the factory employees, most of whom were male, but also the women in the town.  
You can see the old factory from where Mrs. Elizabeth Newsome lives. Her "double" house is on a hill just above the Waterbury highway.  She’s about 75 now, but she worked for many years at the factory.  She seems a little suspicious of me at first, but when I explain that I’m interviewing people to learn about the knife making industry, she welcomes me..  
“Why, I'll be glad to 'elp you if I can. Lord, I 'aven't thought much about the knife business lately. Seems as if it's died out completely the last few years. And look what it's done to this 'ere village. Half the people are gettin' 'elp from the town, if they ain't on the WPA. This chap next door, 'e ain't workin'.