Seton’s Father: One Who Knew the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

This morning’s Chicago Tribune has an article entitled “10 Things You Might Not Know About Debt.”

Number seven on the list is as follows: “Canadian naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton, a father figure in the development of the Boy Scouts, had a difficult relationship with his own dad. When Seton turned 21, his father handed him an itemized bill for everything spent on him up to that point, including the doctor’s fee for his birth. The total came to $537.50, and his father set the interest rate at 6 percent. Seton reportedly paid the debt.” Here’s a link to the full article: http://bit.ly/SqVveN

This story, which Seton told so many years later in his autobiography, The Trail of an Artist-Naturalist , has remained in my mind for a long time. He described his father as “one who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. There are plenty of reasons to doubt this literal accuracy, but no doubt his strained relationship with his father was one of the contributing factors that came together to form this driven man who influenced the world in so many ways.

Where is (or was) Currumpaw?

People who hear or read Ernest Thompson Seton’s story of “Lobo, The King of Currumpaw”, often ask just where Currumpaw is or was.  The answer to that question has not been very clear – beyond somewhere in Northeast New Mexico.  If you look very carefully at maps, you may find Currumpaw or Currumpah.  The area is quite close to Capulin Volcano National Monument, which is one of those places I remember very well from my youth-nearly 50 years ago. I also visited there with my own son five years ago – on the way to a Philmont trek.

I thought website visitors might be interested in the National Park Service’s take on the Lobo story.  Here’s a link:  http://www.nps.gov/cavo/historyculture/ernest-thompson-seton.htm

 

Scouts Discover Standing Rock Site in Greenwich

There has been a great deal of interest in Seton in the Greenwich, Connecticut area this year, much of it focused on the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scout Council there,of which Seton was a founder.
One interesting development was that a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout service project was working to clear an overgrown trail on the Pomerance-Tuchman property now owned by the Town of Greenwich. This property was once part of Seton’s estate. While clearing the trail, the Scouts came upon a strange rock sculpture. After some research, they discovered the sculpture was Seton’s Medicine Rock and they had uncovered the main Woodcraft ceremonial ground there.
Here’s a link to an article on the discovery in the Greenwich Citizen.