harrison otis


Daveed Diggs: Hamilton’s letter to Harrison Gray Otis

Daveed Diggs (Thomas Jefferson / Marquis de Lafayette in “Hamilton: An American Musical”) discusses a letter Alexander Hamilton wrote to fellow Federalist, Harrison Gray Otis, on the presidential election and relations with France and Britain


George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, with Paul Drew; as well as a letter from George to Paul Drew. All images courtesy and © Paul Drew (The Georgia Radio Museum and Hall of Fame)

George’s letter reads:

George Harrison
Claremont Drive
Esher, Surrey
2nd. Nov. 65

Dear Paul,
I thought I would write a quick letter to tell you that I have been recieving all the records etc. and also to say thanks for them.
I recieved the Otis Reding album this morning and its a knock-out and I am playing the Choker Campbell Album this moment. Its not bad, but I do prefer the vocal versions of most of these tunes. I will be seeing Ringo later today, so I will give him the “Flowers on the Wall” record.
We have been in the studio lately doing 16 new tracks for a single and L.P. and so far we are pleased with what we have done. The overall sound is much better, and I will send them to you as soon as I get copies.
Well even though I am “free” today I still have a few things to do, so I had better pack in now. Thanks again for all the records - say hello to everybody for us - keep fit - and I just remembered - John, Paul + Ringo send you their regards, and also everyone else here at Wonderful Radio W.W.W.W.W.W.
best wishes
P.S. Have you heard “Im Coming Through” - the track “Sounds Inc,”- recorded while we were in L.A. Its very good but I think it will do better in the U.S. than in England, if liberty get the plugs going!

Los Angeles Times, 1901

In 1901, Harrison Otis, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, and his son-in-law, Harry Chandler, purchase large chunks of land in Owens Valley, which is on and just beyond the northeastern edges of Los Angeles County.  City Water Commissioner William Mulholland hires J.B. Lippincott, who works for the U.S. Land Reclamation Department, and also secretly works for Otis and Chandler, to survey the land, and it is determined that the Owens River and Owens Lake would be able to provide Los Angeles with a sufficient water supply.  Otis and Chandler then purchase large sections of the San Fernando Valley, which would be suitable for development with a proper water supply, and also purchase the water rights to the Owens Valley from a cooperative of local farmers and landowners.  They then use the newspaper to create hysteria in regard to the dwindling water supply, and to promote a bond initiative that would finance the design and construction of a new water system.  When the bond initiative passes, they sell the Owens Valley water rights to the city of Los Angeles at a huge profit.  Mulholland begins designing the Los Angeles aqueduct, which will bring the water of Owens Valley to the city of LA, and which becomes the longest aqueduct in the word, with a distance of just over 223 miles.

Bright Shiny Morning, James Frey

At the same time that blacks were coming to Philadelphia in the 1790s, Irish immigrants were arrived in numbers that offset the black migration by as much as seven to one. Edward Carter estimates that nearly thirty thousand Irish arrived in Philadelphia between 1790 and 1800. Many quickly moved on to other parts of the state and country, but one could nonetheless conclude that Irish migration to Pennsylvania held the black density of the state steady in the opening decades of the nineteenth century.

Moreover, most of the Irish immediately gravitated to the Republican Party in the 1790s; they remained one of the most loyal voting blocks of the Jeffersonian Republicans in the first party period and the Jacksonian Democrats in the second. One need not look very far for the reason: Federalists abhorred Irish migration and sought to put an end to it through the infamous Naturalization Act in 1797 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. On July 1, 1797, Federalist Congressman Harrison Gray Otis gave his “Wild Irishmen” speech on the floor of the House where he warned against the possibility of these radicals disturbing “our tranquility, after having succeeded in the overthrow of their own government.”

As was the case in New York, poor Irish immigrants in Pennsylvania responded to Federalist political leaders by flocking to the ascendant Republican Party. There they found a home; but it is also there that, in the words of Noel Ignatiev, they learned to become “white.” According to Ignatiev, Pennsylvania’s Irish population took the lead in the rising wave of racial hostilities, playing major roles in the conflicts that began in the first decades of the nineteenth century and lasted through the 1830s. Ignatiev impressively documents the origins of the link between Irish incorporation into the Democratic fold and the latter’s white supremacist ideology all across the North in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. He goes on to argue that the creation of Irish “whiteness” played the biggest role in the Democratic Party’s continual rejection of nativism from the Jeffersonian Revolution of 1801 through the end of Reconstruction.

—  Christopher Malone, Between Freedom and Bondage: Race, Party, and Voting Rights in the Antebellum North