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Princess Caraboo of Javasu and the Price of Charity

A pretty young woman in black, shows up at a cottage in Gloucestershire. She needs lodging, but she speaks no language that can be understood. Eventually she is brought before the county magistrate who discovers that her name is Caraboo, and after seeing a map of the world, she points to China. (She is obviously Asian!) Later, a Portuguese sailor attests that he knows the language she speaks, that she is a princess from the island of "Javasu", kidnapped by pirates and then escaped the ship and swam ashore. (Who can argue with that?) She writes using strange symbols which have been verified by an expert... that is, a doctor found similar symbols in a book. She prays to a strange god, and she swims naked. (She must be a foreigner because she does strange things that make no sense.) If this all sounds like a load of hooey, you are correct. Her real name is Mary Baker. She is an out-of-work servant girl and for several months she convinces the locals that she is a princess until her picture appears in the newspaper, and someone recognizes her. Is that the end? NO! Her hosts pay for her passage to Philadelphia, but the ship is driven off course and comes to the island where Napoleon is held in exile. Now Napoleon wants to marry her! (Oh, please!) In 1994, the film entitled "Princess Caraboo" will be made of her life. The story contains some fictional elements. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK. I have a friend who shall remain nameless. (It's not ME!) He found a young lady, homeless and blind, dying of cancer. He and his wife took her in, fed her and took her to the local hospital for cancer treatment. After a while, something didn't seem right so he remained in the parking lot of the hospital... and then saw her walk out the front door! She wasn't blind. She didn't have cancer. (She did need a place to stay.) My friend felt humiliated. He was trying to do the right thing and he got snookered. He is not a foolish man. He is a good man. If she had let him know that she needed a place to stay he would have helped her. Now, the next person who needs his help may not get it. I am a volunteer chaplain at the local jail. I meet all kinds of liars. Does it bother me? Not really. I am charitable when it seems right to be charitable. If they misuse my charity that is on them. As long as my intent is good, I'm OK with it.

The First Cholera Pandemic

Cholera is an intestinal disease caused by bacteria in contaminated food or water. It produces severe water loss and electrolyte loss due to diarrhea. The disease has been local, limited to the area around the Ganges River which is very big area in modern day India. With increased trade, the disease has spread outside of India. In the next few years it will be in Southeast Asia, Japan, Africa and Baghdad. It will come to the attention of Europeans when the pandemic kills 10,000 British troops. The total number of deaths during this pandemic are unknown. 100,000 deaths are reported in Java. 30,000 in Bangkok. The pandemic itself will die out by 1824 possibly due to colder than normal weather. In the year 1817 scientists are beginning to suspect that germs cause disease, but the germ theory of disease won't kick in until the late 1850s. [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
What is the cure? I am not a doctor, but you need to keep up your intake of electrolytes. (That means drinking stuff like Gatorade.) Water alone isn't going to do it. You are losing a lot of salts and if your salt levels get too low, you start experiencing pain, really severe pain, followed by all kinds of things that might make you dead. The disease is preventable through good sanitation and water purification (that includes the water used in food preparation). The United States has not had a severe cholera outbreak since 1910, probably due to good sanitation methods. [7]

In Other News

  • The Bicycle or "Running Machine" is invented in Germany. You sit on the saddle, push off with your legs and run. In England it is called a Dandy Horse. It is also called a draisine, named after the inventor, Karl Drais, but in the modern day that word refers to a light car on rails. [8]
  • Construction begins on the Erie Canal. It will move cargo from the Hudson River in Albany through Syracuse to Lake Erie. It will open in 1825. [9]
  • The U.S. invades Spanish Florida as the 1st Seminole War kicks off. White people are pushing the Indians. The Indians are pushing back. General Andrew Jackson will get involved next year. It will not be pretty. [10]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1817, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Caraboo: The Servant Girl Princess. Interlink Publishing Group. ISBN 9781566561792. 
  2. Princess Caraboo (1994). IMDb (1994). Retrieved on 28 June 2016.
  3. 1817–24 cholera pandemic - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 21 December 2014. “Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result of this pandemic, including many British soldiers, which attracted European attention. This was the first of several cholera pandemics to sweep through Asia and Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. This first pandemic spread over an unprecedented range of territory, affecting almost every country in Asia.”
  4. Origins of Cholera. choleraandthethames.co.uk (2016). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “The first pandemic occurred in 1817 hitting India, China, Japan, parts of Southeast Asia, much of the Middle East, and Madagascar and the East African Coast opposite Zanzibar; however, it died down in 1823 in Anatolia and the Caucuses before it reached Europe. As contact with India increased through trade and colonial endeavors—namely the creation of the British Raj—the disease began to spread along trade routes.”
  5. Cholera - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “On reaching the intestinal wall, V. cholerae start producing the toxic proteins that give the infected person a watery diarrhea. This carries the multiplying new generations of V. cholerae bacteria out into the drinking water of the next host if proper sanitation measures are not in place.”
  6. Cholera's seven pandemics - Technology & Science. CBC News (May 9, 2008). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “The first known pandemic of cholera originated in the Ganges River delta in India. The disease broke out near Calcutta and spread through the rest of the country. By the early 1820s, colonization and trade had carried the disease to Southeast Asia, central Asia, the Middle East, eastern Africa, and the Mediterranean coast.”
  7. MORE CHOLERA IN PORT. pqasb.pqarchiver.com (Washington Post) (Oct 10, 1910). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “Plague Develops in Two Pas- sengers on the Moltke. VESSEL HELD SINCE MONDAY”
  8. Karl Drais - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 11 May 2016. “his was the earliest form of a bicycle, without pedals. His first reported ride from Mannheim to the 'Schwetzinger Relaishaus' (a coaching inn, located in 'Rheinau', today a district of Mannheim) took place on 12 June 1817 using Baden's best road. It was a distance of a little less than 5 miles. The round trip took him little more than an hour, but may be seen as the big bang for horseless transportation. However, after marketing the Velocipede it became apparent that roads were so rutted by carriages that it was hard to balance on the machine for long, so Velocipede riders took to the sidewalks and moved far too quickly endangering pedestrians. Consequently, authorities in Germany, Great Britain, the United States, and even Calcutta did ban the use which ended its vogue for decades.”
  9. Erie Canal - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “The Erie Canal is a canal in New York that is part of the east-west, cross-state route of the New York State Canal System (formerly known as the New York State Barge Canal). Originally, it ran about 363 miles (584 km) from Albany, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, at Lake Erie. It was built to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. First proposed in 1807, its construction began in 1817.”
  10. Seminole Wars - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 28 June 2016. “On March 15, Jackson's army entered Florida, marching down the Apalachicola River. When they reached the site of the Negro Fort, Jackson had his men construct a new fort, Fort Gadsden. The army then set out for the Mikasuki villages around Lake Miccosukee. The Indian town of Tallahassee was burned on March 31, and the town of Miccosukee was taken the next day. More than 300 Indian homes were destroyed. Jackson then turned south, reaching Fort St. Marks (San Marcos) on April 6.”

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