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Tonight, Lifetime is bringing the remarkable life of Gabby Douglas to the small screen for the made-for-TV movie The Gabby Douglas Story. Smith is one of the commonest American names, causing the Irregular researcher tracing Edgar W. Captain Joseph Smith was born on March 15, 1729, in Milford, Conn., and died there August 10th, 1810.
In June 1775, the 5th was sent briefly to New York City, but by July began its northward trek along the Hudson River with two other Connecticut Regiments to invade Canada and secure Lakes George and Champlain. Although enemy action caused some casualties the regiment suffered greatly from severe weather and large numbers were discharged early due to sickness. As a small boy, Edgar knew his grandparents Charles Griffin and Ann [Antonia3] Eliza Smith, born in Connecticut in 1835 and 1839 respectively. Three years after their wedding, during President Grover Clevelanda€™s second term, Edgar W.
By 1910, for perhaps some time before, the Smiths moved to 135 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, in a modest apartment house that was home to Edgar a considerable time. Edgar continued to write poems for his school friends after hea€™d graduated, to judge from not only The Ledger on the preceding page, but also the Eaglea€™s account of a dinner for the school magazine staff past and present: a€?Edgar W.
But Dee Alexander believed that a€?it was at this newspaper where he first developed his love of writing. If, in addition to the conclusive proof already existing, further evidence of mana€™s animal origin were needed, where could it be more easily found than in the fact of the Continental war now raging? Edgar did not see the conflict in Europe in black-and-white terms, nor initially take the Alliesa€™ side against Germany.
The possibility of war between the United States and Germany is not so extremely remote as many over-optimistic individuals believe.
While my sympathies are with Germany in her present struggle for existence in the midst of foes outnumbering her eight to one, I would not hesitate for a moment to defend my own America against any aggression which any nation might undertake; yet, if war were declared by the United States against Germany on the grounds which now exist for such an act, I would be the last to raise a hand in my countrya€™s name.
Let those who cry for vengeance think first what sacrifices a war would impose, even though they be, as they must, but a small part of what Germany is suffering. My view of the torpedoing of the Lusitania is that the controlling authorities deliberately encouraged passengers to embark on a British ship loaded with contraband of war, and bound for a British port. If, as many hysterical writers are intimating, the presence of American citizens on a British supply ship, such as the Lusitania, makes that ship immune to attack by the power with which England is at war, Great Britain could in this way protect every vessel in her fleeta€”warships, transports, passenger and ammunition boatsa€”by merely placing aboard each two or three citizens of the United States. To term the German methods of warfare a€?piracy,a€? a€?barbarisma€? and a€?murdera€? is ridiculous.
The fact that I have not a drop of German blood in my veins exculpates me from any charge of prejudice. But Edgar was made of brisk material, and his drive, studies, and business experience began to pay dividends. Armistice Day in Paris -- Home to a New Life -- General Motors Export Company -- Posted Overseas Again -- Organization Man & Free Trade Expert. 5 Both died when Edgar was in his late teens, his grandfather in 1911 and his grandmother in 1914. 6 In recent years the Paul Robeson High School of Business and Technology, which was reported in 2015 as scheduled to close.
15 We do know from the April 1912 Ledger that Edgar belonged to the schoola€™s literary society. 21 a€?A Terrible Glut of Murder,a€? dated August 31, 1914, in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 3, 1914. 22 a€?Approves Bryana€™s Stand,a€? June 15, 1915, in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 17, 1915. 23 a€?Justifies Germanya€™s Act,a€? May 25, 1915, in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 27, 1915.
Smith strove to present himself as a common man, and there does seem to have been something commonplace about the Smiths of Connecticuta€™s New Haven and Fairfield Counties, beginning in the 1600s. He served in the Fifth Connecticut Regiment, one of six formed in the a€?Lexington Alarma€? of May 1775, its history kept alive today by a volunteer regimental organization. The regiment received its first hostile fire from a force of Indians just prior to laying siege to the British fort at St.


Because they were enlisted only until yeara€™s end, the unit was mustered out by December 13, although some members remained in Canada to form part of a provisional regiment under David Wooster. They were the children of Charles Sullivan and Anna Taylor Smith on his grandfathera€™s side and William A. Smith returned to Connecticut, this time to the town of Bethel, but it was sometime after marrying a Brooklyn girl named Lillie Emma Wadsworth in March 1891.
Perhaps his grandfathera€™s death prompted his familya€™s return to Brooklyn: he died that year prior to the census-taking in June, and his grandmother now lived with him and his parents until her death two years later. Noteworthy about the Smiths now: hats as a livelihood had disappeared, for new careers in business, if low-level ones at this time. One is an existing copy of the April 1912 issue of the schoola€™s student magazine, The Ledger, with a number of references to him as a€?Smith, a€™11a€? (plus, below, a piece of humorous art and verse on which his distinctive signature is unmistakable).
A tall, handsome boy of 16, he was art editor of the school paper, and a contributor of some note to the news and editorial pages. They contain reports of Edgara€™s participation in amateur theatrics and song events, even, at least once, in a minstrel show,10 in part as a member of the Bedford Club of the Bedford Presbyterian Church, just a few minutesa€™ walk from his home. He also told me that he required little sleep and that he educated himself by reading books until 2 am every night. He began (perhaps had already begun) to take courses at New York Universitya€™s School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, presumably at night. The struggle for existence and the survival of the fittest have everywhere marked the course of evolution. Had Christ, the gentle Jewish reformer, lived to this day to see again, as so often in the few centuries since His death, His principles trampled upon, His ethics violated, His religion forgotten, how terrible would have been His agony! To the contrary, some ten months later he sent another letter to the Brooklyn Eagle expressing a view contrary to that, and his wish that the United States would stay out of the war. No justifiable basis at present obtains, and I hold myself sufficiently independent of autocracy or of maudlin patriotism and bound strongly enough to the laws of humanity to refuse to fight in any cause which my reason tells me is unjust. The German Embassy had forewarned Americans that the Lusitania, carrying such contraband, was liable to destruction, but despite this the Americans, at their own risk, took passage. If this were done, the moment one of her vessels foundered from the explosion of a German torpedo, ground for discord between the United States and Germany identical with that now existing would arise. I can therefore say, as a neutral, that he who refuses to sympathize with the cry of a€?Deutschland ueber Allesa€? must also disdain full accord with the slogan a€?America first.a€? Love of country is a noble thing, if sentimental patriotism be not carried to a hysterical prejudice against every other community. It may have been the revelation of the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany secretly promised Mexico the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona in exchange for joining Germany in war against the United States.
In September 1917 he was plucked from the enlisted ranks and commissioned a second lieutenant.
A good general history of these campaigns is Conquered Into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles Along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War by Eliot A. Dee Alexander worked for Edgar at GM from 1946 into 1949, and remained in the company beyond Edgara€™s retirement in 1954. These men participated in the ill-fated December 31 attempt by Montgomery and Benedict Arnold to storm Quebec City. His birth certificate gave his fathera€™s occupation at the time as a€?hatter manufacturer,a€? one of the towna€™s principal industries in those years.
In 1904 Edgar acquired a sister, Dorothy,4 about whom little is known except that she was living unmarried with their parents at the time of Edgar S.a€™s death in 1941. Even at that age, he was extremely well read, articulate, and had developed a retentive memory. This became a lifelong habit.a€?18 The Eagle and possibly other jobs consumed three years following high school, and then in 1914 the young man, now twenty years old, started as a postal and telegraph clerk,19 and before long as a secretary, at the J.
Civilization, itself a secondary redistribution of the forces of evolution, has somewhat tempered this perennial strife, but the great undercurrent of open battle, passed down through the centuries in the mind of man, lies ever relentlessly dormant and waiting the call to life. Yet, to make the Christian world forget, as it has, its leader, and to prove its hypocrisy, some stronger, deeper law than that of any religion must dominate all. Bryan has made in resigning his portfolio as Secretary of State because of Americaa€™s meddlesome interference in foreign affairs. As far as my ignorance permits me to judge, I should say that the enlistment of the United States as an ally of her dictator, Great Britain, would be of more good than harm to Germany.


But it is necessary to examine how he felt and thought at this time, when Europe was at war and America was neutral, because he would find himself in a similar situation some twenty years later a€” and very challenged by its circumstances.
After serving in the 305th Infantry Regimenta€™s headquarters company a while, he was transferred to Washington and the War Department itself, to work for the Second Assistant Secretary of War whose responsibility was procurement.
His birth certificate gave his fathera€™s occupation at the time as a€?hatter manufacturer,a€? one of the towna€™s principal industries in those years.A  How long Edgar lived in Bethel is uncertain.
And Edgar more than once obscured his own path through life by fostering an a€?up by his bootstrapsa€? tale about himself, among business colleagues, Baker Street Irregulars, and his own family.
Together with New York troops they engaged in a long siege that eventually led to the capture of Fort St. Edgar was five or six years old when his grandfather died in 1900, eight at his grandmothera€™s death in 1902.
Smith from Brooklyn working towards a Bachelor of Commercial Science degree in the same years,20 but it indicates the kinds of courses that Edgar would have taken: book-keeping, accounting, finance, management, business law, advertising and marketing, economics, and English, all subjects reflected in Edgara€™s future life both at GM and in connection with the Baker Street Irregulars, Inc.
Race hatred, politics, social broils, economic conditions, and usually, though, strange to say, not in this case, religion, may be the apparent, or even the proximate, causes of a war, but the great natural law that overshadows it all is the struggle for existence. Would the feeble strength of any paltry 40,000 we could send to aid the millions she is already staving off be felt? How long Edgar served there in Washington is unclear, but at some point in 1918 he proceeded to Paris as part of the Second Assistant Secretarya€™s office.25 It was his first of many transatlantic crossings to come. Francis Heitmana€™s Historical Register of the Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution April 1775 to December 1783 gives Captain Smitha€™s service dates as 1st May to 11 November, 1775. In the July 11, 1909 New York Times, when Edgar would have been between his sophomore and junior years, a news story entitled a€?On the Tennis Courtsa€? reports an Edgar W. Instead of exaggerating his origins and education among colleagues with Dartmouth, Princeton, and Stanford degrees, he downplayed his background until many believed him Brooklyn-born, lacking a high school diploma, yet rising to be a vice president of General Motors, the worlda€™s greatest corporation. Her father was a book-keeper in the chrome industry, but as a young man had worked in the patent-medicine business with his father in upstate New York. Perhaps Edgar S.a€™s father-in-law influenced this, for Charles Wadsworth was a book-keeper himself, in a piano factory, in 1910, and the Wadsworths also lived at 135 Rogers Avenue. A species is generated, lives, varies (physically, mentally and socially), and the process of natural selection commences. Would the allies profit by the gained naval strength when they even now have nothing to fight against?
These notions, neither entirely false nor entirely true, accumulated through the years, thanks to his light-hearted tendency to make little of other experiences that were in fact crucial to the making of the man who burst upon the Irregular scene at the end of the 1930s, fully formed like Minerva from the brow of Jove. Brigaded under General David Wooster, the 5th then joined the van of American forces under General Richard Montgomery and marched to Canada ten days later.
He loved good fellowship, could top a good story and, with his rich baritone, was at home in any impromptu quartet.
Though he continued to live at home in Brooklyn, he now worked in Manhattan, and in a world of high finance, even if in a humble capacity a€” for now. Would it not, on the other hand, be inestimably to Germanya€™s advantage to be free to sink all American ammunition ships bearing shot and shell to rend her defenders, and to effectually, if possible, limit by submarine attack the food supply of Britain?
One wants this to be our Edgar (even though he and his partner lost), since his partner was one C.
Charles and Ann had four children, of whom the oldest was Edgara€™s father, Edgar Sturdevant Smith, born in March 1861 while his parents were still living in Connecticut.
He played a fair game of baseball, and was excellent at tennis a€” a game he played well into his fifties. He underwent basic training at Camp Upton at Yaphank, Long Island, where another recruit named Irving Berlin wrote the army song Oh, How I Hate To Get Up in the Morning.




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