A Journalist’s Sojourn:[/b] Take a pinch of Mark Twain, add a dash of Studs Terkel, and you’ll have the recipe for Amos Jay Cummings’ westward-ho dispatches for the New York Sun. Cummings was a man of his times: he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in the
Civil War before he wrote for newspapers, and after his journalism career he was a member of the House of Representatives from New York until his death in 1902, at age sixty-three.
In A Remarkable Curiosity: Dispatches from a New York City Journalist’s 1873 Railroad Trip Across the American West (University Press of Colorado, 978-0-87081-926-1), Jerald T. Milanich has compiled nineteen articles filed during Cummings’ transcontinental adventure, thereby reintroducing the public to some of America’s most lively human interest stories and travel writings. The editor has written more than twenty books and is currently a curator in archeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History and professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. This collec-tion brims with anecdotes about American originals who settled the West—farmers, gamblers, towns-folk, scoundrels, Native-Americans, prospectors, gunslingers, and Mormons—brought to life by one sharp newspaperman.