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Northwest Passage: A vision of the world in the grain of Duluth

By Robert Whitcomb
The Weekly Standard

Fedo_Zenith coverOne of the cities of my boyhood was Duluth, Minnesota, where most of my mother’s family lived when they weren’t in Florida. I recall it as spectacular, with high hills overlooking the unswimmably cold Lake Superior, evergreen forests, and many signs of intense industry and trade. In 1868, Dr. Thomas Preston Foster, founder of the city’s first newspaper, dubbed Duluth “the Zenith City of the unsalted seas.’’ Glorious boosterism! Sinclair Lewis, who lived in the city for a while (and lauded its beauty), must have loved the nickname.

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