Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery's Frontier

By Lea Vandervelde | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
Celestial Explorers

SEVERAL OF THE summer’s steamboat tourists wished to remain at the agency. Since servants’ help was necessary to making the frontier livable, it was also the key to extending hospitality. “[A]s we are not prepared for much company, none remained but a distinguished French gentleman—who had letters to me from my friends in St. Louis,” the master wrote.1 The French gentleman, who was invited to stay, filled the place of houseguest after Mistress Taliaferro’s brother departed. Joseph Nicollet remained with the Taliaferros all winter. His was a friendship in which one was invited to visit and remains for the year.2 The master wrote: “So Monr. Nicollet has comfortable quarters in my family residence and the use of the Agency house to store and carry on his observation at his leisure.”3

By living in the same household that winter, Harriet came to know one of the century’s most remarkable men. The small man with dark curly hair was a brilliant mathematician, and he had already made significant scientific advances in his native France. He also erroneously predicted that the new science of probability could be used to forecast the stock market. Having made some disastrous investment recommendations to powerful friends in Paris, he had had to leave France in disgrace. Setting his sights on America, he had lofty aims; he wished to add to the exploits of the great French explorers and contribute to the record of explorations in the West. Failing at his career, he labored for his posterity. Trained in the highest scientific learning of mathematics, astronomy, geology, and map making, he came to St. Peter’s with no less an aim than to measure the heavens and chart the waters of the earth.4

When he arrived at the agency doorstep, he brought letters of introduction from influential people in Washington and St. Louis. Nicollet seemed to charm everyone he met.5 Despite the master’s usual distrust of “foreigners,” this Frenchman won his complete trust. Nicollet was described as “urbane, forbearing, rounding off obstructions in intercourse; polished and persuasive, and careful of the feelings of others.”6 As Nicollet, the amiable houseguest, seemed to suit his hosts,

-85-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery's Frontier
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 480

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.