My cameo appearance on BBC2’s “Great American Railroad Journeys” can now be seen on the Internet. The episode appears here on YouTube. I make a short appearance about 16:00 minutes into the clip. The interview took place in the summer of 2018, when I went to Alaska for research and to lecture on my book…

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Eliza Scidmore woodcut

On a research run through the Internet I come across this woodcut illustration of my book subject, Eliza Scidmore. It was made by an L.A. artist named Bijou Karman for an online National Geographic series on “21 Women Travelers Who Changed the World.” You can see the list of women and their portraits here. I…

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Caitlin Campbell Glacier Bay

(Reposted from August 2018) An email out of the blue from U.S. park ranger Caitlin Campbell sparked my first trip to Alaska this summer, capped by a special experience at Glacier Bay. Caiti first contacted me a year ago after stumbling across the website and blog I started to chronicle my progress on a biography…

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Book "In Their Own Words" on Women in WWI

(Reposted from October 14, 2015) Eliza Scidmore, the subject of my biography in progress, appears in a new book of writings by American women in World War I. Author Elizabeth Foxwell took a very different turn in compiling the anthology. Foxwell has spent much of her career immersed in mystery and crime fiction. A true…

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Washington celebrates the birthday of its famous cherry trees later this month. The city got the first of those trees on March 27, 1912. Two weeks earlier, on March 12, a resident of Savannah, Georgia, founded the Girl Scouts. So, Girl Scouting and Washington’s cherry trees have both been going strong for 106 years. (Many…

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Tourists at Muir Glacier, 1880s

Eliza Scidmore is known largely for her role as the earliest visionary of Washington’s cherry trees. She was also an intrepid traveler. And the National Geographic Society considers her its first female explorer. The Geographic recently spotlighted some of its pioneering women on its blog. I kicked off the series with an article on Eliza…

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Brochure Women Writers of Frotier

I had never been to St. Louis until this fall. Funny I should have missed it, as I attended grad school in journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Mizzou classmates and I used to pile into a car and go eat catfish at a tin-ceiling hotel in Booneville. We drove to Kansas City…

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Hand-colored photo Eliza Scidmore from "Eliza's Cherry Trees"

Thanks, Andrea Zimmerman, for giving a nod to Eliza Scidmore as a woman who “persisted.” The Internet meme “she persisted” caught fire this month after a remark on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Sen. Elizabeth Warren opposed the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general by attempting to read a letter from…

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Eliza Scidmore Artwork Carlyle Hotel

“Eliza and the Emperor.” That’s the title of an Eliza Scidmore-inspired mixed-media canvas produced last year for the Carlyle Hotel in Washington by artist Anna Rose Soevik. Soevik, who studied painting in London, lives and works near Washington. She likes big canvases and has done art installations at offices, bookshops, and galleries in Washington and several…

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OK, fellow “Downtown Abbey” addicts. I managed to find a connection between the TV series and Eliza Scidmore, the subject of my book. The line runs through Cora Grantham, the American-born mistress of Downton Abbey. Julian Fellowes, the show’s writer, has said Cora represents American heiresses of the late 19th century who married into the…

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