Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Opening paragraphs......

Portrait of Alexander von Humboldt by Charles Willson Peale

    On a morning in May 1804, there arrived at the White
House by Baltimore coach, and in the company of the painter
Charles Willson Peale, a visitor from abroad: an aristocratic
young German, age thirty-four, a bachelor, occupation
scientist and explorer.  And like Halley's comet or the white
whale or other such natural phenomena dear to the nine-
teenth century, he would be remembered by all who saw him
for the rest of their days."

-David McCullough, Brave Companions

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