In the year of our Lord 1848, vast swarms of crickets descended upon our settlement. Twas a judgment upon us, yea certain, for how else could you explain the desecration of our crops, the dimming hope of survival for the coming winter?
We tried rude methods to destroy the insects: some attempted to burn the crickets, some tried to drown or bury them. But alas, nothing, not even our prayers for deliverance, seemed able to stop the massive destruction of the crickets.
Then, when we had lost all hope, the morning sky was filled with the hoarse cry of gulls and the sound of wings. Before our eyes, thousands of gulls descended over the Great Salt Lake and commenced a great feasting upon the crickets. Twas a miracle of God. Every day the gulls came to eat the crickets until there were no more crickets left. Our crops were saved and we survived the following winter.
* Based on a true story, this story explains why the California gull is the Utah state bird.
Gouverneur Morris, American minister to the court of Louis XVI, was considerably enriched, at the close of the reign of terror, by plate, jewels, furniture, paintings, coaches, and so on, left in his charge by members of the French nobility, that they might not be confiscated in the sack of the city.
Some years before the outbreak of the Civil War, a man with his wife and daughter took up their residence in a log cabin at the foot of Sunrise Rock, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. It seemed probable that they had known better days, for the head of the household was believed to get his living through “writin’ or book-larnin’,” but was fairly useless at hunting and farming.
Wallen’s Ridge, a rough eminence about a dozen miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was once an abiding place of Cherokee Indians, among whom lived Arinook, their medicine-man, and his daughter. The girl was pure and fair, and when a passing hunter from another tribe saw her one day at the door of her father’s home he was so struck with her charm of person and her engaging manner that he resolved not to return to his people until he had won her for his wife.