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Re: [tr-m] TR and his father in war?

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  • Edward J. Renehan Jr.
    Greg is quite correct. TR Sr. certainly didn t shirk this or any other duty in his life. But what I meant to convey is that there is some indication -
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 28, 2005
      Greg is quite correct. TR Sr. certainly didn't "shirk"
      this or any other duty in his life. But what I meant
      to convey is that there is some indication - chiefly
      in the way of testimony from TR's sisters and his
      daughter Alice - that TR was at best uncomfortable
      with what his father had done in hiring a replacement.


      Another aspect to all this: As TR would have been
      quite aware, TR Sr. had a personal, complicating
      factor to deal with when making his decisions during
      the Civil War. His wife Mittie starkly insisted that
      he not take up arms against her family, or the cause
      to which so many in her family were devoted - the
      Confederacy.

      All best,
      Ed

      --- Greg Wynn <gregwynn@...> wrote:

      > I would add additionally, however, while I agree
      > with the Executive
      > Director --- that characterizing TR Senior's role as
      > "shirking" is grossly
      > unfair. His hiring was a common practice and, for
      > that matter, accepted.
      > However, what was not common was service in the
      > cause greater than that for
      > which he chose not to commit.
      >
      > TR Senior's contribution during the Civil War as
      > part of the Allotment
      > Commission was extraordinary at the time and impacts
      > Marines, soldiers,
      > sailors, and airmen serving today. Without
      > argument, his contribution was
      > GREATER in what he did than if he had served in
      > uniform. TR Sr. was away
      > from home for nearly two years serving in the field
      > and encampments with the
      > soldiers.
      >
      > He would write to Mittie: "I do not want you to
      > miss me, but remember that
      > I would never have felt satisfied with myself after
      > this war is over if I
      > had done nothing, and that I do feel now that I am
      > only doing my duty. I
      > know you will not regret having me do what is right,
      > and I do not believe
      > you will love me any the less for it."
      >
      > In my TR collection, I have a wonderful letter
      > written on Allotment
      > Commission letterhead by TR Senior during his long
      > time in the field --- all
      > in his own hand --- which pursues doggedly the
      > allotment that should have
      > been provided to a soldier's wife.
      >
      > Note my article on the subject in "The Railsplitter"
      > (A journal for Lincoln
      > collectors -- Spring, 2002) along with an article
      > from John Gable on the
      > subject of John Hay's ring.
      >
      > Best,
      > Greg
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Edward J. Renehan Jr." <erenehan@...>
      > To: <tr-m@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:08 PM
      > Subject: Re: [tr-m] TR and his father in war?
      >
      >
      > > As I point out in TLP, the issue is far more
      > complex
      > > than simply whether or not TR Sr.'s shirking
      > > influenced TR the younger and turned him toward
      > war.
      > > In TR's youth, his entire class made a cult of
      > > glorifying idealized sacrifices made in righteous
      > > fights on distant battlefields: right out of a
      > Kipling
      > > novel. Like Holmes and Brooks Adams and others, TR
      > saw
      > > righteous warfare as an antidote to burgeoning
      > > American materialism. He also saw it as a a
      > necessary
      > > democraticizing exercise needed every generation
      > or so
      > > to casting Ivy League gentleman in death's way
      > side by
      > > side with sons of coal-miners, and make them
      > brothers.
      > > See TLP pp. 24-26. This latter element must have
      > > inevitably tracked back at least in some small way
      > to
      > > TR Sr.'s hiring an underpriviledged replacement to
      > > serve in his stead during the Civil War. But
      > boiling
      > > it all down to this one item - if, indeed, that is
      > > what Ms. Millard does - doesn't work. Best, - EJR
      > >
      > > --- Linda Shookster <mrmoose@...> wrote:
      > >
      > >> Jim, just for curiosity, whom does the author
      > cite
      > >> for this point of view,
      > >> assuming anyone is cited? Was "The Lion's Pride"
      > >> mentioned in her
      > >> bibliography???
      > >>
      > >> Thanks, Linda
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > Dear friends,
      > >> >
      > >> > As I read the galleys of Candice Millard's
      > _River
      > >> of Doubt_, I'm
      > >> > disappointed to come across the old canard
      > about
      > >> how TR's service and
      > >> > bravery as a soldier and, later, his intention
      > to
      > >> back the national
      > >> > interest with military resourcefulness-well, it
      > >> all had everything to
      > >> > do with his father, who bought a place in the
      > >> Union army during the
      > >> > Civil War.
      > >> >
      > >> > I have never seen a scintilla of evidence that
      > >> supports this assertion.
      > >> > I think TR's love for his father was
      > >> unconditional and without a
      > >> > conflict like this.
      > >> >
      > >> > TR simply is not susceptible to the facile
      > >> theories of psychohistory.
      > >> > Like many geniuses- Shakespeare, Mozart,
      > >> Einstein-he is sui generis.
      > >> >
      > >> > I am willing to stand corrected, however. Does
      > >> anyone have a source that
      > >> > supports Millard, et al. on this point?
      > >> >
      > >> > Every good wish,
      > >> > Jim
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > To Post a message, send it to:  
      > >> tr-m@...
      > >> > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      > >> tr-m-unsubscribe@...
      > >> >
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      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > SPONSORED LINKS
      > >> >
      > >> >
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      > >> > United state army
      > >> >
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      > >> >
      > >> > United state coin
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > United state flag
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > United state military
      > >> >
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      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
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      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >> > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
      > >> >
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      > >> >
      > >> >  Visit your group "tr-m" on the
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      > >> >
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      > >> >
      > >> >
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      > > ******************************************
      > >
      > > EDWARD J. RENEHAN JR.
      > >
      > > Sporadic blog:
      > > http://renehan.blogspot.com
      > >
      > > XML syndication:
      > > http://feeds.feedburner.com/ejr
      > >
      > >
      > > *******************************************
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      ******************************************

      EDWARD J. RENEHAN JR.

      Sporadic blog:
      http://renehan.blogspot.com

      XML syndication:
      http://feeds.feedburner.com/ejr


      *******************************************

      CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this e-mail
      message and any attachment(s) is for the sole use of the intended
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    • Greg Wynn
      TR Senior s role in the Civil War is too-often relegated only to that of hiring a substitute ....just as TR as a diplomat is too-often relegated to gunboat
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 28, 2005
        TR Senior's role in the Civil War is too-often relegated only to that of
        "hiring a substitute"....just as TR as a diplomat is too-often relegated to
        "gunboat diplomacy". One-sided and unfair.

        TR Sr's role and impact is one area of Roosevelt historiography that could
        use some more academic rigor. It should be taken on and explored. A
        magnificent contribution to our country.

        If it wasn't for him, the concept of split-pay, allotments, etc...to
        families of servicemen, likely wouldn't exist --- the thread can be extended
        to the genesis of such organizations as the Navy & Marine Corps Relief
        Society of which one of our VP's serves as Director and President!


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Edward J. Renehan Jr." <erenehan@...>
        To: <tr-m@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:20 PM
        Subject: Re: [tr-m] TR and his father in war?


        > Greg is quite correct. TR Sr. certainly didn't "shirk"
        > this or any other duty in his life. But what I meant
        > to convey is that there is some indication - chiefly
        > in the way of testimony from TR's sisters and his
        > daughter Alice - that TR was at best uncomfortable
        > with what his father had done in hiring a replacement.
        >
        >
        > Another aspect to all this: As TR would have been
        > quite aware, TR Sr. had a personal, complicating
        > factor to deal with when making his decisions during
        > the Civil War. His wife Mittie starkly insisted that
        > he not take up arms against her family, or the cause
        > to which so many in her family were devoted - the
        > Confederacy.
        >
        > All best,
        > Ed
        >
        > --- Greg Wynn <gregwynn@...> wrote:
        >
        >> I would add additionally, however, while I agree
        >> with the Executive
        >> Director --- that characterizing TR Senior's role as
        >> "shirking" is grossly
        >> unfair. His hiring was a common practice and, for
        >> that matter, accepted.
        >> However, what was not common was service in the
        >> cause greater than that for
        >> which he chose not to commit.
        >>
        >> TR Senior's contribution during the Civil War as
        >> part of the Allotment
        >> Commission was extraordinary at the time and impacts
        >> Marines, soldiers,
        >> sailors, and airmen serving today. Without
        >> argument, his contribution was
        >> GREATER in what he did than if he had served in
        >> uniform. TR Sr. was away
        >> from home for nearly two years serving in the field
        >> and encampments with the
        >> soldiers.
        >>
        >> He would write to Mittie: "I do not want you to
        >> miss me, but remember that
        >> I would never have felt satisfied with myself after
        >> this war is over if I
        >> had done nothing, and that I do feel now that I am
        >> only doing my duty. I
        >> know you will not regret having me do what is right,
        >> and I do not believe
        >> you will love me any the less for it."
        >>
        >> In my TR collection, I have a wonderful letter
        >> written on Allotment
        >> Commission letterhead by TR Senior during his long
        >> time in the field --- all
        >> in his own hand --- which pursues doggedly the
        >> allotment that should have
        >> been provided to a soldier's wife.
        >>
        >> Note my article on the subject in "The Railsplitter"
        >> (A journal for Lincoln
        >> collectors -- Spring, 2002) along with an article
        >> from John Gable on the
        >> subject of John Hay's ring.
        >>
        >> Best,
        >> Greg
        >> ----- Original Message -----
        >> From: "Edward J. Renehan Jr." <erenehan@...>
        >> To: <tr-m@yahoogroups.com>
        >> Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:08 PM
        >> Subject: Re: [tr-m] TR and his father in war?
        >>
        >>
        >> > As I point out in TLP, the issue is far more
        >> complex
        >> > than simply whether or not TR Sr.'s shirking
        >> > influenced TR the younger and turned him toward
        >> war.
        >> > In TR's youth, his entire class made a cult of
        >> > glorifying idealized sacrifices made in righteous
        >> > fights on distant battlefields: right out of a
        >> Kipling
        >> > novel. Like Holmes and Brooks Adams and others, TR
        >> saw
        >> > righteous warfare as an antidote to burgeoning
        >> > American materialism. He also saw it as a a
        >> necessary
        >> > democraticizing exercise needed every generation
        >> or so
        >> > to casting Ivy League gentleman in death's way
        >> side by
        >> > side with sons of coal-miners, and make them
        >> brothers.
        >> > See TLP pp. 24-26. This latter element must have
        >> > inevitably tracked back at least in some small way
        >> to
        >> > TR Sr.'s hiring an underpriviledged replacement to
        >> > serve in his stead during the Civil War. But
        >> boiling
        >> > it all down to this one item - if, indeed, that is
        >> > what Ms. Millard does - doesn't work. Best, - EJR
        >> >
        >> > --- Linda Shookster <mrmoose@...> wrote:
        >> >
        >> >> Jim, just for curiosity, whom does the author
        >> cite
        >> >> for this point of view,
        >> >> assuming anyone is cited? Was "The Lion's Pride"
        >> >> mentioned in her
        >> >> bibliography???
        >> >>
        >> >> Thanks, Linda
        >> >>
        >> >>
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > Dear friends,
        >> >> >
        >> >> > As I read the galleys of Candice Millard's
        >> _River
        >> >> of Doubt_, I'm
        >> >> > disappointed to come across the old canard
        >> about
        >> >> how TR's service and
        >> >> > bravery as a soldier and, later, his intention
        >> to
        >> >> back the national
        >> >> > interest with military resourcefulness-well, it
        >> >> all had everything to
        >> >> > do with his father, who bought a place in the
        >> >> Union army during the
        >> >> > Civil War.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > I have never seen a scintilla of evidence that
        >> >> supports this assertion.
        >> >> > I think TR's love for his father was
        >> >> unconditional and without a
        >> >> > conflict like this.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > TR simply is not susceptible to the facile
        >> >> theories of psychohistory.
        >> >> > Like many geniuses- Shakespeare, Mozart,
        >> >> Einstein-he is sui generis.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > I am willing to stand corrected, however. Does
        >> >> anyone have a source that
        >> >> > supports Millard, et al. on this point?
        >> >> >
        >> >> > Every good wish,
        >> >> > Jim
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > To Post a message, send it to:  
        >> >> tr-m@...
        >> >> > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        >> >> tr-m-unsubscribe@...
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > SPONSORED LINKS
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > Theodore roosevelt
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > United states
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > United state army
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > United state coin
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > United state flag
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > United state military
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >  Visit your group "tr-m" on the
        >> web. 
        >> >> >  To unsubscribe from this group, send an
        >> >> email
        >> >> > to: tr-m-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 
        >> >>  Your use of
        >> >> > Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
        >> >> Service.
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >>
        >> >>
        >> >>
        >> >>
        >> >
        >> >
        >> > ******************************************
        >> >
        >> > EDWARD J. RENEHAN JR.
        >> >
        >> > Sporadic blog:
        >> > http://renehan.blogspot.com
        >> >
        >> > XML syndication:
        >> > http://feeds.feedburner.com/ejr
        >> >
        >> >
        >> > *******************************************
        >> >
        >> > CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained
        >> in this e-mail
        >> > message and any attachment(s) is for the sole use
        >> of the intended
        >> > recipient(s), which is confidential and/or legally
        >> privileged. If you are
        >> > not the intended recipient, you are hereby
        >> notified that any disclosure,
        >> > copying, distribution or taking of any action in
        >> reliance on the contents
        >> > of this e-mail information is strictly prohibited.
        >> If you have received
        >> > this e-mail in error, please immediately notify
        >> the sender by reply e-mail
        >> > and destroy all copies of the original message.
        >> Thank you for your
        >> > cooperation.
        >> >
        >> >
        >> >
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        >
        >
        > ******************************************
        >
        > EDWARD J. RENEHAN JR.
        >
        > Sporadic blog:
        > http://renehan.blogspot.com
        >
        > XML syndication:
        > http://feeds.feedburner.com/ejr
        >
        >
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        > message and any attachment(s) is for the sole use of the intended
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      • JAMES SUMMERVILLE
        Dear Friends, In reply to Linda Shookster s question, Ms. Millard s footnote doesn t cite any source for the first part of the paragraph below. The source of
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 28, 2005
          Dear Friends,

          In reply to Linda Shookster's question, Ms. Millard's
          footnote doesn't cite any source for the first part of
          the paragraph below. The source of the quote is given
          in the text.

          I'm reading galleys for a review, and they don't
          include her bibliography. (Of course, it's bound to
          include _The Lion's Pride_. Who could imagine writing
          about TR without consulting that essential book!)

          To be fair, TR's experience as a soldier and an
          advocate of US military strength and preparedness is
          not Ms. Millard's story. Here is what she writes,
          which does not seriously undercut her fine account of
          "Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Hour"

          From p. 35 of _The River of Doubt_:

          "If the United States did go to war with Mexico [this
          is in 1913], Roosevelt was confident that his two
          oldest sons would be among the first to enlist.
          Theodore Jr. and Kermit had been raised by a father
          who was almost obsessed by war. Their grandfather,
          whom Roosevelt had idolized, had paid another man to
          fight for him during the Civil War, and Roosevelt had
          never gotten over it. It was acceptable and relatively
          common at that time for wealthy men to pay poor men
          to take their place on the battlefield, and
          Roosevelt's father had taken this route not out of
          fear but out of respect for his wife, who was a
          Southerner and whose brothers were fighting for the
          Confederate Army. But Roosevelt could never understand
          what he saw as the one great, gaping flaw in his
          father's otherwise irreproachable character. He would
          never miss a war, and neither would his sons. 'I
          should regard it as an unspeakable disgrace if either
          of them failed to work hard at any honest occupation
          for his livelihood, while at the same time keeping
          himself in such trim that he would be able to perform
          a freeman's duty and fight as efficiently as anyone if
          the need arose," Roosevelt had written to the British
          historian and statesman George Otto Trevelyan after a
          post-Africa tour of Europe with Kermit in 1911."

          I was just troubled by the phrases "Roosevelt had
          never gotten over it" and "Roosevelt could never
          understand what he saw as the one great, gaping
          flaw...." I know of no evidence that supports either
          of these strong assertions.

          In his post here, Ed has set us straight on the
          complexities of TR on this matter.

          Ms Millard's book is thoroughly research, engaging in
          style, conveying the folly of the expedition (from the
          standpoint of preparation) and the bravery of those
          who endured this "darkest journey."

          Every good wish,
          Jim
        • Linda Shookster
          Thanks, Jim, for the reply. (I never read galleys, so I m not familiar with their format.) I agree with Greg: the fact that the topic of Theodore Roosevelt,
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 29, 2005
            Thanks, Jim, for the reply. (I never read galleys, so I'm not familiar
            with their format.)

            I agree with Greg: the fact that the topic of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr's
            role in the Civil War keeps re-surfacing as a bone of contention among
            Tedheads and others is sufficient reason for someone to further explore
            all the complexities of this issue. (But that I had the time!!!) TR
            regarded his father as "The best man I ever knew." I, myself am a great
            fan of TR, Sr, because TR would not have been the man that he was without
            his father's wonderful, encouraging influence. NYC would not be the place
            it is without TR, Sr's influence, either. (I personally therefore have
            never been clear why TR, Sr is not actually referred to as TR1, as he was
            the original Theodore Roosevelt!)

            TR, Sr., as Renehan eloquently points out below, had to make a most
            difficult decision, in view of his "house divided." Such a dilemma was
            occurring all over the nation, with split allegiences to North & South
            occurring within a number of households. Abraham Lincoln also had to
            contend with a Southern wife whose relatives were fighting for the South.
            TR, Sr.'s decision to contribute constructively to the war effort is most
            commendable, in view of his circumstances.

            But historians have to contend with the lasting 19th century stigma of
            paying a substitute to fight in one's place. There were huge draft riots
            in many cities, notably NY and Brooklyn (a separate city at the time)in
            July 1863, with very negative press coverage of wealthier men who
            bought substitutes. For example, the Brooklyn Standard ran the following
            comments as late as September, 1863:

            "These rampant abolitionists (referring to prominent New Yorkers who
            provided substitutes) are all poor, white-livered creatures and would
            faint away at the smell of a gun, though terribly truculent with tongue
            and pen."

            from "President Lincoln's Third Largest City," by Bud Livingston.

            I'm sure TR's family must have felt the sting of such press. With the
            romanticized view of war that was widely held in the 19th century, it's
            obvious why TR and his siblings would always chafe at the memory of these
            events. In the case of the Roosevelt family, however, such memories would
            be unfairly cruel and unjustified, especially seen from today's vantage
            point.

            Best, Linda
            >
            >
            >
            > Dear Friends,
            >
            > In reply to Linda Shookster's question, Ms. Millard's
            > footnote doesn't cite any source for the first part of
            > the paragraph below. The source of the quote is given
            > in the text.
            >
            > I'm reading galleys for a review, and they don't
            > include her bibliography. (Of course, it's bound to
            > include _The Lion's Pride_.  Who could imagine writing
            > about TR without consulting that essential book!)
            >
            > To be fair, TR's experience as a soldier and an
            > advocate of US military strength and preparedness is
            > not Ms. Millard's story. Here is what she writes,
            > which does not seriously undercut her fine account of
            > "Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Hour"
            >
            > From p. 35 of _The River of Doubt_:
            >
            > "If the United States did go to war with Mexico [this
            > is in 1913], Roosevelt was confident that his two
            > oldest sons would be among the first to enlist.
            > Theodore Jr. and Kermit had been raised by a father
            > who was almost obsessed by war. Their grandfather,
            > whom Roosevelt had idolized, had paid another man to
            > fight for him during the Civil War, and Roosevelt had
            > never gotten over it. It was acceptable and relatively
            > common at that time for wealthy men to pay poor  men
            > to take their place on the battlefield, and
            > Roosevelt's father had taken this route not out of
            > fear but out of respect for his wife, who was a
            > Southerner and whose brothers were fighting for the
            > Confederate Army. But Roosevelt could never understand
            > what he saw as the one great, gaping flaw in his
            > father's otherwise irreproachable character. He would
            > never miss a war, and neither would his sons. 'I
            > should regard it as an unspeakable disgrace if either
            > of them failed to work hard at any honest occupation
            > for his livelihood, while at the same time keeping
            > himself in such trim that he would be able to perform
            > a freeman's duty and fight as efficiently as anyone if
            > the need arose," Roosevelt had written to the British
            > historian and statesman George Otto Trevelyan after a
            > post-Africa tour of Europe with Kermit in 1911."
            >
            > I was just troubled by the phrases "Roosevelt had
            > never gotten over it" and "Roosevelt could never
            > understand what he saw as the one great, gaping
            > flaw...." I know of no evidence that supports either
            > of these strong assertions.
            >
            > In his post  here, Ed has set us straight on the
            > complexities of TR on this matter.
            >
            > Ms Millard's book is thoroughly research, engaging in
            > style, conveying the folly of the expedition (from the
            > standpoint of preparation) and the bravery of those
            > who endured this "darkest journey."
            >
            > Every good wish,
            > Jim 
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