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October is just around the corner and I thought I would give a brief bio on one of the noted Grove Street residents - I chose Henry C. Flagg, a New Haven Mayor from 1834 to 1839. He was not only our Mayor but also a rector and a poet.
Henry C Flagg was noted for his involvement with The Citizen's Line - a steamship company which New Haveners felt was needed with the onset of the powerful railway-steamship industry would put New Haven businesses in a compromising situation concerning pricing and fares.
Hence, with Vanderbilt as "The Commodore", price-cutting was interrupting the flow of business. So down the road with Seth Staples, Isaac Townsend, Henry Flagg, and Horace Hotchkiss established "The Citizen's Line" for the city of New Haven to keep New Haven a thriving city of its own.
What also is an interesting note concerning Flagg is he is related to James Montgomery Flagg. He is the artist and illustrator who developed the famous poster of World War I - "I Want You":
When the United States became involved in the First World War a group of artists, with Charles Dana Gibson, as chairman, established the Division of Pictorial Publicity. The group met once a week at Keene's Chop House in New York City, to discuss the government's requests for posters. During this period, Flagg designed 46 posters. This included the famous Uncle Sam poster with the caption "I Want You for the U.S. Army". (note from Sparacus Studies).
So to give a small honor to Henry C Flagg - I am including a lovely poem from Mrs. Sharp's Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach: The poet is K. Pyle. The poem is entitled "OCTOBER".
We went to hunt for chestnuts
One fine October day,
And in the windy country
We wandered far away.
We built a fire of brush-wood
Beneath the sheltering hill,
Among the rustling corn-shocks
The wind was never still.
We played that we were gypsies,
Who never sleep in beds,
But lie beside their fires
With stars above their heads.
But when the air grew frosty,
Beneath the chestnut tree
We filled our bags and baskets,
And hastened home to tea.
Please come enjoy the October scenery at Grove Street Cemetery. Thank you for viewing this note on our Mayor Henry C. Flagg, from 1834 to 1839.
Patricia B. Illingworth, Chief Docent