September is here already! This is the month where Americans celebrate Labor Day, a day dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. Labor Day is an annual tribute paid to all workers for their contributions in making this country a better place in which to live and work.
Joseph Pulitzer, one of the characters in my upcoming book, (working title: Splendid Isolation: The Jekyl Island Millionaire’s Club), was a strong advocate of the working class in the early 1900’s. His newspaper, The World, which he purchased in 1883 from Jay Gould (father of two Jekyl Island Club members), was the cutting edge of reform. Pulitzer used his power to promote ideals of justice, giving the lower classes visions of the possibility of democracy.
The above spelling of Jekyl Island is intentionally misspelled. At the inception of the Millionaire’s Club in 1886, the charter members misspelled Sir Joseph Jekyll’s name. Sir Joseph Jekyll was one of the original British financial brokers for the 13th American colony, Georgia. General James Oglethorpe named this small barrier island on Georgia after Sir Joseph Jekyll. Unfortunately, the charter members of the Jekyl Island Club (northerners, mostly) did not know the correct spelling of his name.
Through correspondence with the Jekyll family, the spelling error was discovered. Club members agitated for the name of the island to be corrected. On July 31, 1929, the Georgia State Legislature passed a resolution to change the spelling of “Jekyl Island,” declaring “the correct and legal spelling of the name of said island is and shall be Jekyll Island.” Thus, 191 years after his death, the name of Sir Joseph Jekyll was corrected in every piece of legal correspondence in Georgia. This seems to be a fitting end to the tale of a lawyer, judge, and politician.
On my August BLOG, I asked if anyone knew whether Sir Winston Churchill had ever set foot on Jekyll Island. Several of you wrote that he had not; one of you stated that he never received an invitation from the Millionaires to visit.
No one has yet answered the question of whether Thomas Edison came to Jekyll Island personally to establish the electrical plant. Maybe we’ll find that out this month!
For a refreshing and unique view of Jekyll Island, please click on the second link to this BLOG: Memories of Jekyll Island. Enjoy the music and exquisite photos of the island.
Michael and I will travel this month to Greece and Turkey, retracing the footprints of some of the Bible’s greatest writers. We should return refreshed and exhilarated. I believe I’ll be ready to buckle down and start writing!
Pamela Bauer Mueller
Monday, September 1, 2008
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