Musings on being an American and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center in Boston
|"Keep Dakota Out", one of Cleveland's ideas in the campaign of 1888.|
Conversely, I never feel more American than when I'm abroad. Nationality is the primary way that expats classify other expats - Gitte is Danish, Sue is English and Mary Kay is American. So, imagine how stunned I was to see that I wouldn't be a citizen of the United States if President Cleveland would have had his way in 1888. Running for re-election, Cleveland wanted to keep my birth state, North Dakota, out of the union, while he was ready to admit New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Other than sunshine, Mormons and relatively hospitable climates, what do those states have that North Dakota doesn't have?
Thank goodness that Harrison was elected in 1888. Otherwise, I would have a completely different identity. North Dakotian, or perhaps Canadian -- although I'm not sure that I'm nice enough to qualify for a maple leaf on my passport, eh.
With more than 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is ranked among the top ten in the United States for the size of its collection, the significance of its historic (pre-1900) material and its advanced digitization program. Its current exhibition, "America Votes: Mapping the Political Landscape" examines how the map of America’s political landscape has changed over the past 200 years. It's as fascinating as it is timely.
If you're a cartophile, you'll be pleased to know that the website for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center includes more than 3,700 digitized maps. Do you recognize this place?
700 Boylston Street, Copley Square,
Boston, MA 02116
One final note about North Dakota - a large portion of it was acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
|"Admit Dakota to this Sisterhood of States!" I like Harrison's ideas.|