Israel-WashburnWhen the American Civil War broke out in April 1861, the governor of Maine was Israel Washburn. A graduate of Bowdoin College, Washburn had practiced law in Orono, served in the Maine legislature and the U.S. Congress, and helped found the new Republican Party. He was not the only member of his family to have an impact on the war, either. Israel had six brothers. One of them, Elihu Washburne (who had attached an “e” to his name because it looked more distinguished) moved to Illinois, where he became a Republican congressman and the political patron of an apparently undistinguished soldier named Ulysses S. Grant. Cadwallader Colden Washburn ended up in Wisconsin, became a U.S. representative two years after his brother did, and became colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. He eventually became a major general, and commanded a corps.

Stephen King2Quite a family. But one thing that amazes me about Israel is the fact that he bears an unmistakable resemblance to another notable son of the Pine Tree State: author Stephen King. Is it possible that King derived the inspiration for the time-travel plot of 11/22/63 from real life?

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