Filed under: Archival Follies, Knowledge Droppings, Now in Actual Work, Our Glorious National Heritage | Tags: Asa Whitney, doge, Phrenology, suchwow, transcontinental railroad
Or, Meme Translation
Today I found a portrait and detailed profile of one of the characters I’m currently writing about in the American Phrenological Journal.
Yes folks, in November 1849, Asa Whitney, railroad projector and lobbyist for humanity, was not only the man of the hour and talk of the town, but also the cover model for America’s leading pseudoscientific periodical. Reading what the nation’s foremost experts in head-bumps and skull-shapes had provided to the interested public concerning the former China merchant, it occurred to me that the phrenologist’s analysis might very easily be stripped of its Victorian vagaries, and translated into a jargon with more currency today; that is, into doge speak. Thus, the above.
(Also, per Gary Larson, it was late and I was tired).
Full cite (incl. original image):
“Article LXXI: Phrenological Character of Asa Whitney, with a Likeness,” American Phrenological Journal 11, no. 11 (November 1, 1849): 329–333.
Filed under: Adams Family, The Past is a Foreign...Something | Tags: JQA, Phrenology, Science!
Or, Phrenology Is Silly
At least, so John Quincy Adams, age 74, told his diary on Thursday, October 14, 1841:
Mr. Clother Gifford came to me, as a phrenologist, and proposed to give my head a scientific phrenological examination, which I declined; regarding the whole pretended science as a mischievous humbug, with all the evil tendencies of fortune telling – I did not say so to Mr. Gifford, but merely declined submitting my head to his examination.”
John Quincy Adams diary 41, p. 494 [electronic edition]. The Diaries of John Quincy Adams: A Digital Collection (Boston, Mass. : Massachusetts Historical Society, 2004), http://www.masshist.org/jqadiaries
Gaetan Lee, “Phrenology Heads,” Flickr, CC License