Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Welcome to
The Independence Scavenger Hunt

In the mists of America's past, when she was a newly emerging independent country, some things were very different than they are today. Join in a scavenger hunt through the history of her early days!

The guidelines for your mission, should you decide to accept it, are:

* ANSWERS -- Find the item asked for in each question and then include all of your answers, in order, in one private E-mail to me at

* SCORING -- There are sixteen questions, each worth 6.25 points, for a total of 100 points. In addition, a bonus question, worth 20 points, will be offered on July 11th. [SEE BELOW.]

* DEADLINE -- all answers are due Monday, July 18th, MIDNIGHT GMT. [That's 7pm New York time and 11am (July 19) Sydney time.] And not to rush anyone, but early completed answers are always welcome.
And now, Good luck to you and have fun!

1. Right or wrong, this war hero is famous for a toast. Five U. S. Navy ships have been named after him; find a picture of one firing a missile.

2. Before they became allies, this young hothead once broke a future President's sword in half after a climactic brawl. "I do not quarrel sir, but sometimes I fight; and when I fight a funeral follows," he is said to have boasted. Who knows if he would have become allied as well with the foe he killed with a direct shot to the heart? Find a picture of the gold certificate which bears his image.

3. This tumultuous jurist was killed when he attacked a Supreme Court Justice who ruled against him in a "divorce" case. The weapon he used to kill a U. S. Senator just south of San Francisco in 1859 was sold at an auction a few years ago. Find a picture of it.

4. In a bizarre quest for death (perhaps today we might term it something like “suicide by friend's son”), this North Carolina doctor apparently got his wish. Find a photo of him in military garb.

5. This former Kentucky mayor was only released from Federal prison when he agreed to sign a non-competition clause with the United States. The soldier responsible for his arrest took care of things, though, by killing him. Find the text on the marker which commemorates the event.

6. Weep no more, this Kentucky Senator was acquitted of murdering a doctor. His old Southern home was given its nickname from a famous song written by his cousin. Find a photo of his tumbling tombstone.

7. The death of this New England Congressman helped put an end to subsequent deaths of the same kind. Find the heartfelt tribute mourning his death and denouncing the event written by a former college classmate turned well-known novelist.

8. Good dental hygiene (or aspirations thereto) may have contributed to his opponent's death. Find a picture of the portrait of this gentleman which hangs in the offices of a famous Arkansas law firm.

9. This man served as a Senator from California before becoming a Representative from another state, whose capital is named after him. Find a map of that capital.

10. This military hero and political behemoth was famously controversial for his marriage, his quarrels and violent temper. Some say he committed legal murder. Perhaps you live in one of the twenty-something states with a city, town or county named after him. Find the envelope with first day issue of the stamp bearing his picture.

11. He died in his forties, less than a year after signing the Declaration of Independence. The Runaway Bride's County is named after him. Find a copy of his signature, which is one of the most valuable in the world.

12. Saved by a fellow citizen of Georgia who recognized him just before he was about to be executed as a spy, this young man declined to serve the first time he was elected Governor, pleading youth and inexperience. Find the sign posting the hours of operation at the old Fort named after him.

13. Say did you see the story of the man who was killed shortly before the would-be axe murderer his father prosecuted was released, on the Fourth of July? Find the famous poem penned by his father.

14. Upset that his ex-fiance ignored him at a dance, this man wrote a poem about her for the local rag, then killed her new love. Although pardoned by the governor, he lost the button on his coat, his money AND the girl. Find the jacket of a book about the forgotten, forgiving governor.

15. Before becoming Governor he was thrown into the stockade after accusing a fellow General of cowardice, but was released to lead a cavalry charge. Find his Napoleon-like photo portrait.

16. This Representative received the first gubernatorial pardon ever granted in North Carolina. Find a picture of his home, where Washington once slept.


Q. July 11th is the anniversary of a famous event in America's history. In regards to that event, for a total of twenty extra points, please include the following four items with your answers:

1) a picture of the official medallion commemorating the event,
2) a picture of each of the wives of the two primary participants,
3) the tombstone inscription and a picture of the gravesite for each man, and
4) a description of an event of a related nature that occurred at the same place three years before.

Please label your pictures. Links are not required, but welcome. In the event of any ties, the winner will be determined on the basis of the bonus answers. So, if you'd like to display your creative talents, channel them here. You might include an interesting tidbit of information or picture or employ graphics -- use your imagination. Accuracy and quality are what's important, not quantity.

Remember, all answers are due Monday, July 18th, MIDNIGHT GMT. [That's 7pm New York time and 11am (July 19) Sydney time.]
Note: I have made a correction to Question #8 since it was first posted here.

Good Luck!


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