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‘Where is Duluth?’

I stumbled upon an interesting Duluth factoid, courtesy of the Futility Closet:

In 1871 the House of Representatives was considering subsidizing railroads to serve the Midwest, including tiny Duluth, Minn. Kentucky representative J. Proctor Knott rose, produced a bucket of sarcasm…

Yet, sir, had it not been for this map, kindly furnished me by the Legislature of Minnesota, I might have gone down to my obscure and humble grave in an agony of despair, because I could nowhere find Duluth. Had such been my melancholy fate, I have no doubt that with the last feeble pulsation of my breaking heart, with the last faint exhalation of my fleeting breath I should have whispered, ‘Where is Duluth?’

Little did he know that Duluth was destined for greatness thanks in part to its railroad. Full speech here (along with annotated laugh track): The Kentucky Anthology

4 Comment(s)

  1. “The Untold Delights of Duluth” is a fun speech, though it requires a bit more knowledge of 19th century politics than most people have in order to get the most out of it.

    Note that Proctor was originally named Proctorknott after the same man. Proctor was known primarily for the railroad at the time so a nod in his direction seems appropriate.

    Nettles | Apr 20, 2012 | New Comment
  2. Proctor Knott has come up a few times on PDD before.

    The Untold Delights of Duluth (2006)
    Historic Praise for Duluth (2008)
    Ye Olde Duluth/Superior Rivalrie (2009)
    Duluth, Kansas (2011)
    Getting ready for Duluth in three books (2011)

    Paul Lundgren | Apr 20, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Awww, and here I thought I had stumbled on to something new. :/

    BadCat! | Apr 20, 2012 | New Comment
  4. Superior’s gonna be the next!… — awww, son of a bitch.

    adam | Apr 20, 2012 | New Comment

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