The Memoirs of an American Citizen

The Memoirs of an American Citizen

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The Memoirs of an American Citizen by Robert Herrick

Published:

1905

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The Memoirs of an American Citizen

By

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Edward V. Harrington's rags-to-riches story, set in the turbulent years from 1880 to 1905, is a perfect mirror image of the social and economic conditions existing in Chicago during that time, which made possible the phenomenal rise of many common people to positions of wealth and power. A poor boy who leaves home to seek his fortune in the city, Harrington first appears to the reader as an accused pickpocket in the Chicago Police Court. From Police Court to driver of a grocery wagon to meat packer to United States Senator, Harrington fights his way to prominence, using fair means whenever possible, resorting to devious methods when the need arises. Writing in a first-person, autobiographical style, Herrick immerses himself completely into the character of Harrington to present a history of the times and of the man in intimate detail.--Book Review Digest, 1905, p. 165.

Book Excerpt

innocent, it made no difference after I had given my real name and home. Thanks to the enterprise of metropolitan journalism, the folks in Jasonville, Indiana, would be reading at their breakfast to-morrow morning all about how Van Harrington had been taken up as a thief.

"Here!" the fat sergeant called out to one of the officers, after I had handed over to his care the few odds and ends that I still had about me; "show the gent from Indiany to number twelve."

CHAPTER II

THE HARRISON STREET POLICE COURT

A night in jail -- A rapid-fire judge -- The young lady is not so positive -- The psychology of justice -- What's the matter with Jasonville? -- I tell my story to his Honor

THERE was a greasy bench at one end of number twelve, where I sat myself down, feeling that I had come to the end of things in Chicago mighty quick. A measly gas-jet above the door showed what a stinking hole I had got myself into. I could

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