December 5, 2011

Too Much Information, pt. 1B

Filed under: Uncategorized — carrite @ 3:41 pm

Monday Afternoon.

Ida Crouch-Hazlett, 1904

It’s 3:30-ish and I’m about ready to move along from Ida Crouch-Hazlett. It turns out that her big claim to fame isn’t as the “first woman to run for Congress” — or even the more inflated “first woman to run for any parliament in the world,” which is claimed in the 1925 American Labor Who’s Who — but rather the “first woman to run for Congress FROM COLORADO.”

It turns out that Elizabeth Cady Stanton ran for Congress way back in 1866, giving her the honors. ECS got a big 24 votes out of 22,000 in the race, which I suppose can be regarded as indicative of something or other.

There is still quite a little work that needs to be done on the bio before it is anything like a fully fleshed-out record of Crouch-Hazlett’s life. It’s pretty absurd to think that such a job can be done in four or five hours of fly-by harvesting of secondary sources, if you think about it. Anyway, the nature of Wikipedia isn’t that something needs to be perfect — anything sourced and substantial beats nothing, and the crap I’ve kicked out today is more than sufficient as a start.

I’ll probably revisit the page several times during the course of the week as more ideas for where to find detail emerge. I’ve got a date and location for one obituary identified — unfortunately in a Socialist publication for which I do not own microfilm. That’s one that I’ve got on order from the University of Washington, so it will soon be possible to fill in the blanks on the last two decades of her life.

One of the interesting things about biography writing is that the hardest information is very often the death date. That seems counterintuitive, yes? But you see, a person is generally famous in the middle of their life, and at that time their birth date and early family information is generally published somewhere or another. Later the individual sometimes fades from the public eye and drops off the radar, sometimes completely. It becomes damned tricky to learn a death date in order to find obituaries.

In Crouch-Hazlett’s case, the birth date seems to have been concealed, but I’ve got the death date narrowed to the first week or so of May 1941, so in this case the “easy part” and the “hard part” happen to be a bit backwards. Which is fine. Presumably, perhaps, probably, the birth information will be available when the life story is recounted in the obituary.

Anyway, that turned out to be a very productive morning. Now it’s off to the mailbox to see what’s there, then a jaunt with Bingo Bill the dog…


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