Got a new book for Christmas. The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War. I really enjoyed the perspective offered by this poem noted in the introduction.
I was a Metropolis when Chicago was a trading post;
I was a cosmopolitan on the bank of moody river when Philadelphia and
Boston were pulsated only by town-criers;
Along my levee French and Spaniard and Aborigine and African met and
understood each other.
I was hardy and founded upon a hardy brotherhood.
I became asylum to a horde of freedom-bent Germans from an oppressive Fatherland;
I was bosom to the shorn lambs of Ireland.
When gold polarized the West, through my bounden limbs converged the Argonauts of ‘forty-nine.
Frugal Yankees and touchy Southrons came and fetched their feud over slavery;
Slave pens and a public mart are among my relics in limbo, but I supplied
History with the cause celebre named for black Dred Scott.
I was a Union City in 1861, yet I gave succor and occasion to Confederate
sympathizers–(I should be the most liberal city in the U.S.A)
I am the center of the Continent. I am the centripetal of these United
States, for I am a parcel of all sections;…
I am the American City of manifest destiny–I am St. Louis
–Nathan Benjamin Young, Jr. “Your St. Louis’ Speaks,” 1937