Another British connection to the Seaboard

Jody Meacham
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Another British connection to the Seaboard

Postby Jody Meacham » Thu December 13, 2012, 6:22 pm

Establishing a mini-theme here:

A famous British author included the Seaboard in his second novel of a series that became one of the most successful book -- and movie -- series of all time. When the book was published in Britain, the series hero traveled from New York to St. Petersburg aboard the Seaboard's Silver Phantom. In the subsequent American edition of the book, the name of the train was corrected to the Silver Meteor.

1) Who was the author?
2) Who was his hero?
3) What was the name of the novel in which the Silver Meteor appeared?
Jody Meacham
HHS Class of 1969

Jody Meacham
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Postby Jody Meacham » Fri December 14, 2012, 4:08 pm

OK, a hint:

The author worked in British Naval Intelligence during World War II, which is why this was a series of spy novels.
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Larry Mills
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British and the Seaboard

Postby Larry Mills » Fri December 14, 2012, 6:37 pm

Jody, that would be Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die, with one James Bond.

Another British spy, from WW1, spent much time during WW2 in a home built for him by the book publisher Nelson Doubleday on his plantation in the Beaufort county town of Yemassee, South Carolina. The writer was still famous, lived a notoriously dissolute life, and was about 5 feet 5 inches tall (Doubleday was over 7-feet tall!). Name that writer/spy.

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Postby Jody Meacham » Sat December 15, 2012, 8:03 pm

I had no idea that Somerset Maugham was ever a British spy or that he lived in South Carolina.

But Yemassee is on the Seaboard's main line, and he may have ridden its trains. The schedules I've found for the Silver Meteor and Silver Star back then don't include stops in Yemassee, but local trains may very well have. Amtrak's Silver Star stops there now.

I think many people recognize Doubleday as a book publisher. Grandfather, father and son -- each named Nelson Doubleday -- ran the business at one point, but the middle one, I believe, was Maugham's friend and publisher.

But more people may associate the name Doubleday with the game of baseball and Abner Doubleday, its supposed inventor and a distant ancestor of the publishing Doubledays, who was a Union general during the Civil War and second in command at Fort Sumter when the war started (Doubledays were just attracted to South Carolina, apparently). The youngest Nelson Doubleday was once a part owner of the New York Mets.

Which -- in a very roundabout way, Mr. Mills, one of a pair of baseball playing Hamlet brothers -- brings us to the curious case of Abraham Mills, who was once president of the National League. Abraham chaired a commission in the early 1900s to investigate whether Abner Doubleday actually invented baseball.

Any relation?
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Jody Meacham
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Postby Jody Meacham » Sun December 16, 2012, 3:23 am

My bad on the above post: Seaboard trains didn't stop at Yemassee because it was on the Atlantic Coast Line side. The Silver Star doesn't stop there because there are no stops between Columbia and Savannah.
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Wayne Terry
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Yemassee

Postby Wayne Terry » Sun December 16, 2012, 8:59 pm

The train that stopped in Yemassee dropped off a bunch of young fellows headed to Parris Island...

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Re: Yemassee

Postby Bruce Brown » Mon December 17, 2012, 1:38 pm

Wayne Terry wrote:The train that stopped in Yemassee dropped off a bunch of young fellows headed to Parris Island...


Wayne , the train carrying the Army recruits from NYC and the big northern cities to Ft. Jackson. came thru Hamlet. It was train #9, the southbound "Palmland." I worked this job for 3 months one summer and the last three Pullman cars were reserved for them. These were some pretty rough and tough guys and they were chomping at the bits to get to Columbia and over to Ft. Jackson. I'm sure the ones going to Yemassee were 'gung ho" to get to the D.I.'s at P.I. and teach those seasoned disciplinarians a thing or two. LOL

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Re: Yemassee

Postby Wayne Terry » Mon December 17, 2012, 7:42 pm

Bruce Brown wrote:
Wayne Terry wrote:The train that stopped in Yemassee dropped off a bunch of young fellows headed to Parris Island...


Wayne , the train carrying the Army recruits from NYC and the big northern cities to Ft. Jackson. came thru Hamlet. It was train #9, the southbound "Palmland." I worked this job for 3 months one summer and the last three Pullman cars were reserved for them. These were some pretty rough and tough guys and they were chomping at the bits to get to Columbia and over to Ft. Jackson. I'm sure the ones going to Yemassee were 'gung ho" to get to the D.I.'s at P.I. and teach those seasoned disciplinarians a thing or two. LOL


True..Bruce...I can't remember Train numbers like you guys that were affiliated with the RR, and made my arrival at Ft. Jackson via bus from the induction station in Charlotte at about midnight on a dreary Tuesday night, March 14, 1966. I don't think any of us taught the DI's anything that night.

But, I lived and worked in Beaufort from 1978-1987 and crossed the RR tracks and station in Yemassee many times. I think the buses from PI would go over and pick up the recruits at the station back then.

When I made the turn off of I-95 through Yemassee to Beaufort for my job interview in 1978, my first thoughts were "what in the hell are you thinking"? All I could see were live oak trees and swamps for miles. And now, my thoughts are "Dang, I sure miss that place"! 'Cept for the sand gnats and rattlesnakes!


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