Tidbits of Saga-ish Information
The term Gilded Age was coined by Mark Twain. This period of American history covers the latter decades of the 19th century, namely 1870 – 1900.
Driven by unfettered capitalism, the era was characterized by rapid and intense industrial progress, the rise of corporations, unparalleled immigration and rapid population growth, amazing invention and discovery, and continental transportation. It is marked by labor violence, corruption and social and racial tensions.
This is the era of the elite few acquiring their extreme wealth from the struggle, hardship and labor of the rest.
Liberty and property comes to us from the great English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), as is considered the Father of Liberalism; he is quoted, Government has no other end, but the preservation of property, and also, Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.
In HEARTLAND On the Side of Angels, Luke presents his case to the governor under trying circumstances... "I am defending my life, my property and my rights." The governor replies, "A fan of John Locke, I see." Luke had an extremely powerful argument to put before the governor. By his own admission he firmly believes in liberty and property and the governor respected it.
The American Constitution was founded on Locke's principles. They are born out in the Declaration of Independence (1776):
'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government...'
The Declaration goes on to accuse the King of Great Britain of absolute tyranny and proceeds to list the grievous facts of the matter. The Congress then dissolves all political connection to Great Britain and allegiance to the British Crown, and ends with: we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. A new nation was born.
Pledges are extremely significant in the Legends, too. The pledge that concludes the Declaration is exemplified by the Alliance families. It isn't written down as such; it is to be found where it was forged, in the friendship between Luke and Mart, and remains unbroken.
The significance of the railroad to the lives of everyone in The Liberty & Property Legends cannot be over-stated. A train is part of the Liberty & Property Seal for that very reason. The continental railroad, called the Overland Route, tamed the vastness of the Great Plains and united the country in every way. It was also big business and the epitome of Gilded Age capitalistic enterprise.
In EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY, Luke refers to a poem he read about Omaha. He only remembers the first line or two... ever been in Omaha where rolls the dark Missouri down... It was published in Harper's Magazine in 1869.
A Kansas City newspaper once described Omaha as a 'rogues rookery'.
At the time of EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY, Governor of Wyoming William Hale passed away while in office on January 13, 1885; Elliot Morgan served as Acting Governor until Francis E. Warren resigned as mayor and became governor; this he did on the same day, February 28, 1885.
In her dealings with Dillon Kerr in EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY, Emmaline refers to the Fifteen Amendment of the US Constitution. She is a Southern girl so the amendment is of great significance to her. The 15th Amendment states: Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Matthew Taylor, aged 19 years, arrived in America from England on 15th June 1760 with his wife Elizabeth, 18 years. She was highborn and he was the son of a farmer. They eloped and were married in London before emigrating to begin a new life in the New World.
Over the years, the Taylor family history acquired the affectionate epithet Liberty & Property, a catch cry for, and the deeply-held ideology of, the American Revolution, and Declaration of Independence.
The Taylor family motto, We will not be slaves, comes from verses penned by the Sons of Liberty. This group of patriots formed the so-called resistance movement in the struggle for America's independence from Great Britain.
Luke's great-great grandfather, Matthew Taylor, belonged to the Sons of Liberty... "The birthright we hold shall never be sold, but sacred maintained to our graves, and before we'll comply, we'll gallantly die, for we must not, we will not be slaves, brave boys, for we must not, we will not be slaves."
The War for Southern Independence was a Confederate (The South) term for the American Civil War. As a Texas cattleman, Luke's father Morgan Taylor fought for the South, not something that sits right with Luke considering the family motto, but needs to be understood in the context of the profound desire of Texas for independence.
In A PLACE AMONG HEROES, Book 2, the Reuben sandwich, a version of which makes The Globe newsroom and Emmaline desperate to stop work and take lunch, famously consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye. There is hot rivalry out there on when and by whom it was first created, and likely a couple of decades after A Place Among Heroes... but just maybe Cliff asked the sandwich store owner (whose name was Reuben?) for a sandwich with quite similar ingredients: corned beef, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, pickles, Russian dressing on rye... and made it very popular...
If you've ever eaten one, you know how good they are, not to mention how desperate Cliff must be to win Emmaline's regard that he shares his with her!