Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief

Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief

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Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief by James Fenimore Cooper

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1843

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Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief

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Cooper's first serious attempt at magazine writing.

Book Excerpt

nt myself, the laws of nature have not permitted me to escape from the influence of this common rule. The earliest accounts I possess of my progenitors represent them as a goodly growth of the Linum Usitatissimum, divided into a thousand cotemporaneous plants, singularly well conditioned, and remarkable for an equality that renders the production valuable. In this particular, then, I may be said to enjoy a precedency over the Bourbons, themselves, who now govern no less than four different states of Europe, and who have sat on thrones these thousand years.

{Linum Usitatissimum = Linum usitatissimum (Cooper's capitalization varies) is the botanical name for the variety of flax from which linen is made}

While our family has followed the general human law in the matter just mentioned, it forms a marked exception to the rule that so absolutely controls all of white blood, on this continent, in what relates to immigration and territorial origin. When the American enters on the history of his ancestors, he is

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