Not only does the year 2019 mark the 200th birthday of John Bidwell, but he shares his bicentennial year with some notable figures.
Here are some other folks who turn 200 this year.
Two royals: Queen Victoria (May 24) and Prince Albert (August 28). Queen Vicky and her Prince Consort were born in the same year, and she was actually three months older than he.
Two famous American authors: Walt Whitman (May 31) and Herman Melville (August 1). Maybe this year is a good year to pick up Leaves of Grass or reread Moby Dick.
A great British novelist: George Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans (November 22). One of these days I am going to reread Middlemarch. I keep telling myself that.
The author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic: Julia Ward Howe (May 27). Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Another Howe, inventor of the sewing machine: Elias Howe (July 9). He was not the first to try to invent a machine for sewing, but he came up with the lockstitch method that is still the basis for modern machines. Seamstresses (or sewists, as they are called now) everywhere than you!
The foremost American detective: Allan Pinkerton (August 25).
And last but not least, that other California pioneer: Samuel Brannan (March 2). (I knew I shared a birthday with Dr. Seuss, but Sam Brannan too? I am not an admirer.)
Brannan was an opportunist and a scoundrel, but he has an important place in California history.
Very soon I will tell you about my favorite Bicentennialist (other than John Bidwell) , a California writer we should all celebrate.