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Wednesday, 15 February 2023


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Mike --

These images are remarkable indeed. As it happens -- and for reasons having more to do with chance than intent -- I volunteer as a George Washington re-enactor for small Connecticut 18th century tavern. Thus I found the biographical stories in Hilliard's book truly touching. Of Lemuel Cook -- who enlisted at 16 and was selected for the elite dragoons -- the author says:

" . . . in his prime he must have possessed prodigious strength. He has evidently been a man of most resolute spirit; the old determination still manifesting itself in his look and words."

And so he must have been. We owe them so much.

One can access the entire full page images of the book at the link below. The engraved prints of each man's home are also worthy of study.

-- gary ray



Samuel Downing, one of the men mentioned in the book you cite lived much of his life in the small (pop. about 2600 currently) town of Antrim, New Hampshire where I reside.

We have a state historical marker on our main street dedicated to Samuel (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Hampshire_historical_markers_(176%E2%80%93200)#178)

Thanks for sharing all that you do. This was a great treat to learn about. Also made me realize how old photography is. It didn't seem like old tech when I started in the 70s, but it sure seems it now.

This thread brings to mind an interesting offshoot question. What is the picture of the earliest born person ever taken. (Phew! That was a difficult question to phrase.) I suspect that the picture you posted is in the running. After all, he was 105 in 1864. Not many lived that long, and of course, fewer were photographed.

A similar question is who is a well-known person of earliest birth who has been photographed.

I love these historical/photographic discussions.

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