The very first, and only, bonafide antique top hat I’ve ever worn belonged to a long-departed Nebraska Territorial Governor. My best friend’s father, Ed, purchased three items of Samuel Black’s wardrobe at an auction many years ago. One day, while sorting through his attic Ed asked me to try on the hat to find out if it fit. The hat size
was slightly too small for my head, but I did wear the thing for several minutes. Everyone had a good laugh as I paraded around the house, pretending to be the old Governor of Nebraska.
I later learned that the former Territorial Governor was an ex-Pennsylvanian from Pittsburg. He was a war hero in the Mexican-American War before his short term in territorial office. He returned to Pittsburg in the summer of 1861 to command the Union Army’s 62nd Regiment as a Colonel, the first to…
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