Today, I'll give a little more background on the man who delivered the poem as it is recalled in my new book, Lost Lexington which is available on shelves today.
|Judge James Hillary Mulligan *|
During his own career, James Mulligan reached high levels of political power, including a stint as speaker of the house in Kentucky’s general assembly. He preferred, however, the title of “judge” in deference to the position he attained in his legal career.
Mulligan also served as the consul general in the American Samoa and held positions in the United States Treasury Department. The Lexington Leader wrote that he was “a shrewd looking man, even through his spectacles, and has an air of always being alert. The Judge loves to debate, has a penchant for thoroughbreds, does not care for society, and can make a better humorous or satirical speech than any man in the state of Kentucky.”
It was that humorous and satirical spirit which provided Mulligan his greatest legacy. In the ballroom of the Phoenix Hotel in February 1902, Mulligan spoke before a number of state legislators. To conclude his toast, “he drew from his pocket, as if drawing a deadly weapon, dangerous-looking type written manuscript, and peering over his glasses with a smile of satisfaction that amounted almost to a leer, read” his poem, In Kentucky:
The moonlight falls the softest
The summer’s days come oft’est
Friendship is the strongest,
Love’s fires glow the longest;
Yet, a wrong is always wrongest
Song birds are the sweetest
The thoroughbreds the quickest
Mountains tower proudest,
Thunder peals the loudest,
The landscape is the grandest—and
The poem has seven verses and you can read them all here.
|This post is based on an excerpt about the Phoenix Hotel from LOST LEXINGTON, KY.|
Lexington has dozens of well-restored landmarks, but so many more are lost forever. The famous Phoenix Hotel, long a stop for weary travelers and politicians alike, has risen from its own ashes numerous times over the past centuries. The works of renowned architect John McMurtry were once numerous around town, but some of the finest examples are gone. The Centrepointe block has been made and unmade so many times that its original tenants are unknown to natives now.
|Where to purchase LOST LEXINGTON?|