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       This site features biographical narratives centered around the figure of Alfred William Lawson (1869-1954). Other major figures in this collective biography project include his brother George Herman Lawson; cowboy/aviator Samuel Franklin Cody and his first wife, Maud Maria Lee; inventor William Whitney Christmas; editor and antiquarian Henry Woodhouse; and aviation designer Vincent Burnelli. Woven throughout the chronicles of events in their lives are short digressions into lesser-known aspects of American cultural history.

       On the "Chapters" page, the narratives are organized in chronological order, to emphasize parallels between certain individuals and to convey a holistic sense of  history. However, at the top of that page are links to pages that list the narratives by individual in order to follow that persons story, as an alternative to the chronological arrangement.

      In addition to the narratives, many source materials on the site will be of interest to show business, Wild West, baseball and aviation historians. Over a half dozen public domain texts with a connection to these unique characters have been digitized and made available for the first time (and were simultaneously donated to Project Gutenberg).*

      I have not created footnotes within the chapters to my sources--but will respond to individual queries asking for sources of specific incidents. This is one of the options being reserved if print publication ever becomes possible. Many years ago I tried to write a dramatized novel based on Lawson's life, and the more I strayed from actual events, the weaker the story became. Also, to my horror I found some people were taking incidents I had fictionalized and were quoting them as if they were real. These current narratives are not fictionalized; in a few instances, lacking any possibility of the existence of documentary evidence, I have made conjectures that are probable but not proven.

--Jerry Kuntz, Warwick, NY   email: [email protected]

*A few of the materials posted here represent information unearthed during the course of the research that ultimately proved to be unrelated to Lawson: the text of the Story of Paul Boyton, the Vaudeville act of Lawson and Namon, and showman Captain Louis Sorcho.

"When I look into the vastness of space and see the marvelous
workings of its contents... I sometimes think I was born
ten or twenty thousand years ahead of time."


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