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I developed a sore throat yesterday, and apparently I wasn't able to nip it in the bud in time, so it looks like I'm coming down with a cold. That probably means missing around a week of work. Like my reincarnational predecessor, Mathew Franklin Whittier, I have an ongoing battle with insomnia. If only I can get back to sleep in those early hours, from about 3:30 to 5:00, I'm good to go. But meanwhile, my aged cat, Gwendolyn, is having trouble with constipation. I have to fill her full of Miralax (doctor-ordered) to combat it--and very often, she finally gets Nature's call around 4:00 a.m. Her stools are so stinky, that I have to flush them before I can hope to get back to sleep, and by that time, I'm wide awake.

Such has been the case, this morning. The past-life therapists have determined that traumas follow us into our subsequent incarnations--but it seems to me that just about everything may come along with them, like cars on a train.

There are a lot of trains, here. Mostly it's freight, of course, but occasionally one sees Amtrak. One of these days I'll have to use them, for old times' sake. From the period maps, I'm pretty sure the line a half-block from my house, today, was there in Mathew's time, in the 19th century. That means I rode on that track in a different body, 150+ years ago. Even the trees aren't the same, and very few of the houses. But Mathew practically lived on trains in the early 1850's, when he wrote his "Quails" travelogue.

That's my folksy intro. It's the best I can do at 4:41 in the morning, under somewhat trying circumstances.

I was thinking about an analogy I made a couple of entries back, that my results are like a series of strings tied together, so that if you pull one, you get them all. Actually, it's more like a tapestry. You can't see the picture unless you have all the threads of the tapestry. For that, you have to immerse yourself, with an open mind, in both of my books: "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words," and the newly-completed sequel, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own world." It is no good for people to say, "I won't believe, or even respect, unless you have proof," and then to make the excuse, "I don't have time to read your proof."

So I can't force anyone to read these books, nor to take them seriously, nor to take me seriously. Therefore, I cannot make them see the picture on the "tapestry." But with that caveat, I can show you how one string, one thread, is attached to the others--how I get from "string A," to "string Z."

Recently, I presented evidence that Mathew, as a boy of 15, was, in fact, writing a great many pieces, under various pseudonyms, for the Boston-based New-England Galaxy as early as 1827. One of his pseudonyms was "Trismegistus," and he had adopted that one because his young tutor, and future wife, Abby, was trying to teach him metaphysics and the occult, along with their agreed-upon curriculum of the classics, French, etc. He wasn't buying it, but he would borrow from it occasionally, including for this pseudonym. "Trismegistus" means "thrice-great," and it must have amused him. The editor, in his memoirs, released in 1852, knew that Mathew was writing under that pseudonym again, for the Boston-based Carpet-Bag. Those productions were getting extremely popular, especially the spin-off character "Ensign Jehiel Stebbings," who was running for president (much as Pat Paulsen did in the 1970's).

Mathew had sworn everyone he knew to secrecy; but Joseph Buckingham, the editor, couldn't resist bragging that the author of "Trismegistus" had first written for his own paper, the Galaxy, in 1828. So he disguised the name, retaining Mathew's initials, and also retaining the first four letters of his last name. I suppose he thought that would be enough to put posterity on-notice. He called the boy "Moses Whitney" instead of "Mathew Whittier." But he included a mention that "Moses" had written under a variety of pseudonyms, and that he was pursuing a mercantile career in Boston. Now we have triangulation of clues, because very, very few (if any) writers had this habit of submitting under multiple pseudonyms; and Mathew was, in fact, pursuing a mercantile career while making extra money submitting work to the newspapers.

Then, "Trismegistus" shows up again in another paper Mathew wrote and edited for in New York City, the Transcript, in 1835. There is clearly continuity by subject and style, and it dovetails with events in Mathew's life at the time. It's the same author each time it appears.

So now we have Mathew as a regular contributor to the Carpet-Bag in 1851-53, when historians only know that he submitted a handful of "Ethan Spike" spin-offs to it. But there is also a brief mention, by the editor, B.P. Shillaber, that he was a "fellow-sufferer in the venture" when the paper folded, meaning, that he had a financial interest, as well. I have painstakingly gone through every issue of that paper, and have demonstrated that at its peak, Mathew was submitting as many as four different pieces per issue, under different pseudonyms and characters.

One of his series included small illustrations, as one might find, for example, in Britain's Punch. Only one is not Mathew's work, because he had a very pesky imitator, and that imitator submitted one humorous sketch for this series. Shillaber, the editor, did not consider imitation as plagiarism. The reason he didn't, is that he had launched the paper in a very idealistic vein. He would neither accept any advertising, nor would he reprint anything from other papers (a very common practice). It would be all original material. But when the paper began, he had only a small circle of contributors to work with, and he had to fill an eight-page paper every week. Therefore, it was either accept the work of the imitators, or not have enough material to fill the paper. (Idealism can be a burden, no question about it.)

But all the rest of this series were written by Mathew. All of them were either unsigned, or signed with a pseudonym. I've been through them with a fine-toothed comb, cross-checking for style elements, favorite phrases, etc. I have all of Mathew's work digitized, and I can search any particular phrase or word I want to, and tell you how many times he used it. I can tell you how many times he used the word "sublunary," for example, or "palladium." Or how often he referenced the patriotic song, which he particularly disliked, "Hail Columbia."

And scholarship aside, I recognize my own "children."

One of Mathew's contributions, in this illustrated series, was a parody of "The Raven," called "The Vulture." There's no question it's his. It has become one of the most famous parodies of that poem; but historians missed its debut in the Carpet-Bag. It appeared in two other publications, afterwards. The British re-printing--with the illustrations carefully re-drawn (but missing one of them), appeared in Cruikshank's comic magazine. The full, identical piece appeared a year after its debut, in Graham's Magazine, sans attribution. These are the two instances that historians cite. The "penguins" are demonstrably mistaken. (Sylvie Ivanova, take note ;-)

When John Greenleaf Whittier died, of course there were obituaries and eulogies everywhere. One which appeared in Great Britain, gave a brief anecdote about Whittier's brother, Mathew. It gets several facts wrong, but the anecdote tells us that he disliked bores so much, that he would contrive to lose them in the city streets. I can't remember, now, how many pieces Mathew wrote on the topic of bores, but there are several, going all the way back to his early work, at age 15, for the Galaxy.* Here's the opening for that one, from the Nov. 16, 1827 edition. The editor he addresses is Joseph Buckingham:

Thoughts on Bores.

Mr. Editor,--Perhaps I am a living illustration of my subject,--yet what is a bore is a mere matter of opinion or of feeling, and men higher in dignity and station than myself may perhaps fall under some division of the subject. I except all editors but one, and he, Sir, is not of the Galaxy.

The second-most popular spin-off character in the Carpet-Bag from "Trismegistus," Dr. E. Goethe Digg, writes an entire article on the "Treatment of Bore" in the May 8, 1852 edition. Here's an excerpt:

Case II. While I was reading Bleak House, and had become interested in the treatment of Jaundice, C.D. entered my office. I noticed, that his gait was slow and irresolute. I suspected, that he had come to consult me on a case of acute bore. I laid down my book, and proceeded to examine the patient. His pupils seemed deficient of healthy expression. He took a seat near my table, took up the book which I had laid down, and began to read. I was satisfied now, of the nature of his affliction, and while ruminating on a method of cure, I unconsciously took up his hat, and commenced piercing holes through it with a lancet. He dropped my book, asked for his hat, and through the influence of simple suggestion, said "I must be going." As he has not called on me since, I have no doubt he was cured by the use of the lancet, as above mentioned.

This is all Mathew Franklin Whittier. He was so good, he could write several characters at once. It reminds me of a chess demonstration I saw in college, where an advanced player had set up a square of tables, and was playing several students at the same time.

Mathew wrote "The Vulture" partly to demonstrate that he had been the original author of "The Raven," by a display of skill. He wrote it to express his exasperation with bores, and probably to get revenge on one particular bore. (As "Quails," he writes for the Boston Weekly Museum of a very similar encounter, in a very similar vein.) But he leaves it unsigned.

Therefore, Galaxy editor Joseph Buckingham's memoirs lead us directly to Mathew as the original author of "The Raven." You might not think so, because I have only shown you one "string." I don't just have one string. I have an entire tapestry.

Do you like proof? Are you an academic? And have you, perhaps, scoffed at my assertion that Mathew Franklin Whittier was the real author of the travelogue signed "Quails," in the Boston Weekly Museum, when scholars tell us it was entertainer Ossian Dodge? Okay, this is one of "Quails'" travelogue letters, the one I referenced, above. He is traveling to Portland, Maine (where Mathew had lived since 1839, and where he still kept a flat because his second family lived there, even though he had separated from his second wife in 1849). Of all the people in that city, he chooses to look up Edwin Plummer, the editor of the "Eclectic." They walk to Mathew's flat, which I know was on the corner of Pearl and Congress Streets--a short distance from the Eclectic office. But here, Mathew tells us that "Quails" and Plummer are visiting "Ethan Spike"--Mathew's one historically acknowledged character. That's right, "Quails" is visiting "Ethan Spike." Now, "Ethan Spike" was a caricature of ignorant conservatives, and as such, this was an anti-slavery series. But when Ossian Dodge takes over the Weekly Museum as owner and editor in mid-1852, he reveals himself to be a bigot.** So if you believe the historians, we have a bigot choosing, out of the entire city of Portland, to visit an ignorant conservative yahoo fictional character, which is clearly written by an abolitionist. Keep in mind that Mathew would not be "outed" as the author of "Ethan Spike" until 1857. The editor of the Weekly Museum, Charles A.V. Putnam, actually said, in black-and-white, that Dodge was the author of "Quails." They were in collusion, and it was a ruse. That's another thread. But here is Mathew's piece about a particular bore, which you may compare with Dr. E. Goethe Digg's article on the "Treatment of Bore" in the Carpet-Bag, and also with "The Vulture," likewise in the Carpet-Bag. It's all MFW.

You know how you can tell that people don't really believe you? A friend of mine was like that, I think, until I told him that "Quails" visited "Ethan Spike." He said, "Quails visited Spike"? I could be wrong, but I got the feeling he backed away from me after that, and coincidentally or not, our friendship was never quite the same.

Incidentally, "Quails" does appear in the Carpet-Bag, with a brief introduction that the sketch was "prepared for Mrs. Partington's excellent 'Carpet-Bag,' by her devoted admirer, Quails." The piece is a typical deacon story, such as those Mathew had been writing for many years, on the subject of "Foreordination."

I looked for the article by "Maline" that Mathew might have been reacting to in the following "Spike" letter; I was able to find editions of the paper at the appropriate dates, but no article. There was, however, a large hole where an article should have been...

Note that "Quails" buttons up his "old Quaker coat." Mathew was a Quaker (i.e., by background). He has placed clues all through this piece, because at this time, the editor was openly hinting that Dodge was the author of "Quails," and Mathew--to remain under cover as an active abolitionist--was playfully going along with it. But apparently he wanted to put posterity on-notice as to the real state of affairs. "Original genius" is another of Mathew's pet phrases, which he here applies to himself, in-character, as the "most original." On the other hand, where he describes "Ethan Spike" physically, as an inside joke, he describes Ossian Dodge! In other words, he is saying, "If you think 'Quails' is Ossian Dodge, maybe "Ethan Spike" is Dodge, too." But there's no question who "Ethan Spike" is, today.

The more I look at this, as I key in the HTML coding, the more clues I see. For example, the gag about "enjoying the same great blessings" is one that Mathew also uses for "Ethan Spike." In the April 19, 1851 edition of the Portland "Transcript," we see the opening:

Gentlemen,--Sir:--I take my pen in hand, to say I'm pretty well--I thank you--all but a bad cold, a great boil on my neck, and some corns on my toes--and hope these few lines will find you enjoin the same great blessin.

Meanwhile, the reference to "our Abby" and "eloping" (set in italics) may be veiled autobiography, inasmuch as he and his first wife, Abby, had eloped (I just noticed that one). That Spike is styled as "late of Hornby, Maine" means that Mathew now travels the New England states in his position as a postal inspector, but keeps a flat in Portland so he can visit his children. And so-on--there are too many personal, encoded references to list.

Now compare the following line from the story, below, with the conclusion of "The Vulture":

"Leave the room, sir!--leave the room instantly, or the consequences be upon your own head. Not another word!--not a word! Do n't you open your mouth, but leave the room instantly!"


“Smith!” I shriek’d—the accent humbler dropping, as another tumbler
I beheld him mix, “be off! you drive me mad—it’s striking four.
Leave the house and something in it; if you go on at the gin it
Won’t hold out another minute. Leave the house and shut the door—
Take your beak from out my gin, and take your body through the door!”
 Quoth the Vulture, “Never more!”

Here's a chart that might help you put all of this together:

The following piece was (as you see) published in the Dec. 7, 1850 edition of the Boston Weekly Museum; the first and original printing of "The Vulture" appeared in the Dec. 12, 1852 edition of the Carpet-Bag.

The Boston "Weekly Museum"
December 7, 1850

Mechanic Falls, Me., November 25th, 1850.

Dear Putnam:--During our stay in Saco, (the place from which our last letter was written), we are under a strong impression that we received a visit from our old and valued correspondent, Miss Mary Abby Smith, though we are as yet not quite certain on that point. We formed a slight acquaintance with a bewitching little daughter of Eve, who is at present writing a series of interesting and well-written letters to the Biddeford Mercantile Advertiser, over the nom de plume of Maline; and if Maline is n't "our Abby," then all we have to say is, the two girls should by all means cultivate one another's acquaintance, for their natural handwriting is precisely alike, and their composition has such a resemblance, that a Philadelphia lawyer could n't tell t' other from which. Abby, we call upon you to acknowledge the detection, and ask forgiveness for playing your pranks on an old man, who always feels deeply grieved at any thing like a joke--when it is as his expense. We will leave you, Maline--naughty girl!--in the hands of our friend Hays, of the Mercantile Advertiser; who, by the way, is an original himself, and if he can't reciprocate your playfulness, then we know of no one who can.

Biddeford has many delightful residences, and is destined ere many years to become one of the largest manufacturing villages in New-England; but as we intend to return that way, on our route home, we will defer giving the particulars until that time.

During our stay in Kennebunkport, we went on board and examined the new and splendid ship Helvetia which has lately been built and launched at this place, by Messrs. Bourne and Kingsbury. The Helvetia is one of the largest-class ships, being one hundred and seventy feet on deck, thirty-seven feet in width, with a sharp bow, expressly for speed, and is reckoned at eleven hundred tons burden, carpenter's measure. She is finished on the inside in an expensive and gorgeous manner, and is said, by those who have had an opportunity of knowing, to be unequaled for splendor in the world. She was built expressly for the New-York Harvard Line of Packets, and will probably make her first trip in a few weeks. Among the many improvements which we noticed on board this splendid ship, both for utility and beauty, none struck us more favorably than the newly-invented water-gauge, which was on exhibition at the Boston Mechanics' Fair, last September. The advantage of this instrument is as follows:--It is constructed on the principle of a magnetic alarm watch. It can be set at any given number of inches, and the moment that that amount of water is in the hold, be it day or night, an alarm loud and long is given to warn the officers that the pumps must be worked.

Making a forced march from this place, in the society of the Belle of Maine--we was n't eloping, by any means--we arrived in the beautiful City of Portland on the morning of the 21st inst. Button our old Quaker coat clear up to the chin--for old Boreas reins in this quarter as reckless as though the jolly old boy was out on a blow--we took a stroll around the city to get a peep at the fashions of the Portlanders, and to take a few notes for the Museum. Thinking it best to commence, where we would be the most likely to obtain the greatest amount of information, we first popped into the editorial sanctum of the Eclectic where we found our old and sociable friend Plummer, giving the devil his due, in a manner worthy to be copied--though the poor devil said it was mere inkling of the manner his feeling were occasionally tried, when, instead of having one man to contend with, who had a disposition to do write (right), his equilibrity of temper was ruffled by being caught in the centre of a whole column of "evil communications." That devil is one of 'em--he is, and Plummer thinks some of sending him out to Utica, New-York, to match the devil in that city who wrote the following "model puff" during the editor's absence:--"Mr. Jones, at t' other end of the bridge, sent us in some peaches as was the best we ever eaten. He keeps the best as is in the market." Although the Eclectic has been in existence but a few months, we find it very popular with the mass, and its typographical appearance and editorial matter are unsurpassed in the State.

Having been informed that that most original of all geniuses "Ethan Spike, Esq., late of Hornby, Me.," resided somewhere in the vicinity of Portland, we told friend Plummer that we should consider it a great favor if we could, by hook or crook, obtain an introduction to the gentleman, over whose Fourth of July orations and chit-chat correspondence of the Boston Chronotype we had enjoyed many a hearty laugh.

"You would," says Plummer.

"Indeed we would," we replied; "can you assist us in the matter?"

"Put on your beaver," says Plummer; "button up your old Greeley coat, and in five minutes' walk you shall be cozily seated by the side of the old gentleman himself."

Time being now too precious for slow movements, or common-place observations, we both hurried down Exchange street, without exchanging a single syllable of conversation; but our imagination was rapidly picturing out the age, size, shape, and appearance of the mirth-provoking Mr. Spike, Esq.

"Of course," we said to ourself, "Mr. Spike is a very large man--perhaps Justice of the Peace--rather corpulent in form--a large bottle-shaped and flaming-red proboscis, and a pair of eyes that might easily be mistaken for a couple of capsized pink tea-cups."

Judge, then, of our surprise when we were introduced into the presence of a man of only about thirty years of age, five feet ten inches in height, rather slim in form, with a sharp cast of features, and a pair of little dazzling black eyes, that fairly made the corners of our mouth pucker for a hearty laugh in spite of ourself. Although Judge Haliburton manufactured an undying fame by his Sam Slick letters, we consider them--so far as a naturalness of Yankee peculiarity is concerned--not much superior to the writings of "Ethan Spike, Esq., late of Hornby, Me."

On the morning of the 21st ult., we were treated with the first snow-storm of the season, and Portland really looked as if she was dressed for a bridal-party, with her flowing robes of virgin white and ruffles of diamond flakes.

As we were busily engaged in our room, on the morning of the 22nd inst.--preparatory to a continuation of our journey east, as far as Bangor, and perhaps to the British Provinces--there suddenly came a knock on our door that sounded so much like the official tap of a sheriff with an unpaid bill from the washerwoman, that we had for the moment a serious intention of crawling under the bed, and screaming at the top of our lungs that we were "out intirely," and could n't be seen until the departure of the second train for Yarmouth. Before we could put our precautionary plan into execution, however, the door opened and a large head, covered with a profusion of bushy black hair slowly made its appearance through the aperture, and ere we could say--"Good-morning"--"How d' ye do?"--Walk in"--or any other of the common-place observations, usually used on such occasions, the whole body slid into the room, closed the door, seated itself before the fire, crossed its legs, placed its hat on the carpet, and after squirting about half a pint of the filthiest tobacco-juice on the stove exclaimed--

"Heow d' dew?--I'm happy for to make your acquaintance. I haint never afore seen ye. I've hearn on ye a good many times, but I 'spose ye never heard o' me--my name is Diggetts. I'm kinder of a specelator in knicknacks and all that sort o' thing. I never seen ye afore; but I see by the papers that a spell ago you was up in V----. Neow, I eused to live in V---- myself, though it was an allfired spell ago, and I haint bin there never since the day I left. Heow d' ye find the folks up there?"

We informed Mr. Diggetts, that according to our best knowledge the folks were "so-so," and no doubt they would be pleased to learn, that he was "enjoying the same blessing."

"Wall, I'd know abeout that," replied Mr. Diggets, emptying his mouth of another half pint of dark-colored liquid; "I eused to have some purty good friends up there, but that was a good many years ago, and likes anyway they've all forgotten me by this time. But won't you have a chaw-er terbacker?"--taking from his capacious trowsers-pocket, a piece of pig-tail that looked like the end of an old tarred rope, fresh from some smokey garret in an Ann street junk-shop.

"No, thank'e," we replied; "we never use the weed; and unless you wish to transact some business with us, you will please excuse us for the present, as we have some writing to attend to this morning, that must not be neglected."

As we closed our last remark, we seated ourself at the table, took up our old steel pen, and commenced a vigorous display of our chirographic powers. Not to be so easily cut, however, Mr. Diggetts recrossed his legs, threw back the collar of his coat, and exclaimed--

"Oh, wall; if yeou've got any bizzness to attend to, do n't pay no attention to me--I haint no doubt yeou're almost bored to death by havin' folks comin' in to see you, and havin' long stories to tell that aint no interest to yeou, whatsomedever; but I've got a little better manners than all that comes to; I hope; so----["Heavens and earth!" we exclaimed to ourself; "will the fellow never get through?"] yeou may go right on with yer writing, and I won't be no bother to ye, whatsomedever. The fact of the bizzness is, I'm as fond of my friends as anybody, but I know by my own experience [here our head began to ache unmercifully] folks can't allers feel the same, nor they do n't allers feel as if they could afford to enjoy the surciety of new acquaintances when they has other bizzness on their hands. [Having just commenced a letter to a friend in Bangor, and our attention being equally divided between our business and the impudent fellow's never-ending clatter, we had it "Portland on their hands."] So yeou can go right on, just the same as though yeou was all by yeourself; and after yeou get through, if yeou have any time to spare, and would like a chaw-er terbacker--or, I b'lieve you said you did n't chaw--we'll set down and p'raps I can give yeou a few good ideas on yeour best plan for"--buz--buz-z z-z-z--We could hear no more--the fellow had made us so desperate, that we sprang from our chair, and in a tone of thunder exclaimed--

"Leave the room, sir!--leave the room instantly, or the consequences be upon your own head. Not another word!--not a word! Do n't you open your mouth, but leave the room instantly!"

Snatching up his hat and looking as if he had received an unexpected shock from a galvanic battery, or been nearly skinned alive by a flash of lightning, Mr. Diggetts slide out of the room at a pace that would have had but Morse's new telegraph to the blush.

We regret very much losing our temper on the above oc casion, and hoping that this number of the Museum may happen to fall under the observation of our dear friend Diggets, we will now apologise for so doing--offering, at the same time, a bit of advice for his consideration, viz.: always knock before entering the room of a stranger; never seat yourself until you have been invited to do so; and never under any consideration use a handsome parlor stove as a spittoon.
Passing through the pleasant little village of Yarmouth--where a mirthful little incident occurred at the expense of our good friend P----, (which is too long to tell here, and sufficiently rich to be laid on the shelf for a separate sketch at some future time) we at length arrived here at Mechanic Falls, where we found our old friends, with smiling faces and open hearts, to greet us with a true, old-fashioned Yankee cordiality.

Our next letter, will probably be written from the banks of the Kennebec. Till then, adieu.

Thine, as ever,

Incidentally, you might wonder why I don't talk about current events. I did warn people about Trump on Facebook, with a comparison photograph of him and Mussolini, months before other people were picking up on it, but of course nobody paid any attention to me. I refused to watch his reality TV show, because I could see that the guy is mean. But what I'm talking about addresses the deeper core issues. It is ignorance that's the enemy. It is ignorance which permits people like Trump to gain power (and much, much more which I won't go into). It is ignorance which tells people that animals have no souls, and hence can be eaten and tortured with impunity. It is ignorance which tells people that skin color and income level are at all significant in evaluating a person's worth. It is ignorance which tells people either that the soul is "created" at conception, or that there is no soul, at all. It is ignorance that makes people passionately identify with narrow considerations like country, or ethnic group, so that they are quite willing to make people of other groups suffer for it. It is ignorance which makes people imagine that "St. Paul" was an actual saint, instead of a con-artist who created his own alternative "lite" Christianity that mixed Pharisee errors with Jesus's teachings. But I would say the biggest error is to imagine there is no soul. We have lost any understanding of the sacred; and having lost the sacred, we are rudderless, and willing to justify almost anything. It has taken the persecution of children to wake people up, lately--but it may be too late. People should have been waking up long before this--and that's what I've been trying to do, focusing for 20 years on this one idea, reincarnation. Reincarnation can be objectively proven; it is deeply relevant to psychology and almost every other discipline. It clearly shows that there is a soul, and that philosophical Materialism is bankrupt.

Best regards,

Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.

*I had the whim to search on the keyword "bore" in my digital archives of Mathew's work, but I came up with so many hits--over 100 of them--that I really don't have time to open each file and determine whether it would qualify, in a tally.

**He also revealed himself to incapable of writing on his own (and this, in the face of "Quails'" inexhaustible creativity). He had to offer a hefty prize to induce people to submit stories, just as he had probably bribed the editor to assert that he was the author of "Quails," which claim gave him both moral and intellectual credibility. This, in turn, swelled his audience and made him wealthy, because he was billing his act as family-friendly entertainment. However, the prize-winning story he chose for the paper, after he took it over, featured, on the front page, a bare-breasted slave girl seated at the feet of her master, pleading that she "hadn't stolen the money." So much for either writing ability, or moral credibility.


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