While googling for something else

Have you ever found something neat while googling something else? I just did, while looking for the number to the service department for my apartments.

Someone scanned in a document from 1863 Richmond, which at that time was the capital of the Confederacy. It’s called

The Stranger’s Guide and Official Directory for the City of Richmond.
Showing the Location of the Public Buildings and Offices of the Confederate,
State and City Governments, Residences of the Principal Officers, etc.:

It’s a list of who’s who and what’s what in Richmond in the year 1863. It’s probably a lot more interesting to Richmonders, who know the streets and places and can say, “Wow, that company was around during the Civil War?” But I found this to be amusing:

In the absence of a map it may be proper to remark for the information of strangers, that the streets of Richmond are laid off at right angles to each other, with one or two exceptions. The principal streets are those extending from east to west. The “cross streets” extend from the river to the northern boundary line of the city, and are numbered in regular order from west to east. North of and parallel with Main street, in the order mentioned, are Franklin, Grace, Broad, Marshall, Clay, and Leigh streets; South of Main, and also parallel with it, are Cary, Canal and Byrd streets. The Capitol Square, which is situated near the centre of the city, is bounded on the north by Capitol street, which is parallel with and near to Broad street; on the south by Bank street; on the west by 9th street, and on the east by Governor street, and a part by 12th. Governor street (formerly a county road,) is irregular. It is 13th street south of Main, but by its inclination to the west acending the hill, its continuation becomes 12th street north of Broad street. A stranger can readily find any place, whose situation is described in the DIRECTORY, by bearing in mind that the numbers of the “cross streets ” diminish as he goes “up town” or west, and increase when he goes in the opposite direction. The names and numbers of streets are (or should be) inscribed on boards attached to the corner houses. The Capitol Square breaks the continuity of two streets, Franklin and Grace.

They sure knew how to stretch a sentence in 1863. But not nearly as badly as they did in 1763, and don’t even get me started on early eighteenth century literature. (Have you ever read Jonathan Swift? Sure, he had some good stories, but my God, the abuse of the comma and semicolon!)

So. Have you ever found something neat while googling something else?

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