Over 100,000 people a day travel the Geary Street corridor. But how many glance over and notice the grey statue standing watch at Franklin Street? Only a very few look even further, and notice the low, stone sarcophagus nestled in front of the gothic Unitarian Church. Walk right up to it and you’ll discover that it contains the earthly remains of Thomas Starr King.

Thomas Starr King? Who on earth was that — and what’s he doing here?

Indeed. The storm clouds of the American Civil War were brewing, and California’s loyalty to the Federal government was an open question. Though largely forgotten, Starr King was known in his day as “the Man Who Saved California for the Union”. His impact on California was incalculable, as you’ll begin to discover in this podcast — part one of a two-part story.

For further edification:
» Starr King in California — William Simonds, Project Gutenberg
» Starr King statue — National Hall of Statuary
» California in the Civil War — Wikipedia
» Starr King bio — Starr King School for the Ministry
» First Unitarian Church, 1864 — GoogleMaps

random episode from the archives:
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musical support:
Thanks to Aaron Derington for “Green Forest”, Devin Anderson for “Trifles – A Play in One Act”, George Wood for “Slack Jaw”, and Commander Yo for “420 Improvisation”. This week’s music courtesy of PodSafeAudio.com.

printed bibliography:
“Thomas Starr King” — Robert Monzingo
“Apostle of Liberty” — Arnold Crompton
“SF, You’re History!” — J. Kingston Pierce
“Americans and the California Dream — Kevin Starr
“Starr King in California” — William Day Simonds (online edition — Project Gutenberg)

linking policy: books in print available through your local independent bookstore; out of print books through abebooks.com