Monday, September 28, 2009

A Lost Book On Constitutional Law Saved By Google Library Project

By Lars Trodson

I've been to Connecticut twice for different reasons in the past month, and during one of the trips I took a ride through Willimantic, which is where I spent some time when I was a kid. My mother grew up in a big old Victorian house on Church Street in that city, and lived with her grandmother Harriet Bass Fenton. I knew my Grandma Fenton -- she died in 1968 at the age of 93. I found her cane once and she rewarded me with a nickle. Her husband, my great grandfather, ran a company in Willimantic called the Windham Silk Co.

Robert Fenton had a brother, Horace Jewell Fenton. Both Robert and Horace seemed to know what they wanted to do when they were quite young. I have one letter written by each of them on the same day in 1887, and Robert writes about how they were building a new school in the town where they were living then, Saccarappa, Maine (now Westbrook). He later became an engineer and helped build the original pier at Old Orchard Beach. I have a scrapbook of his photos from that project.

Brother Horace writes that he can't wait to put his boat in the water, and he later had a career in the Navy. We always knew he wrote a law book that was once taught at The Naval Academy, but I had never seen it.

But I've seen it now, thanks to Google Library.

Here's the book:

Pretty cool.