SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Forseti

Forseti is the god of justice and reconciliation in Norse mythology. He is identified with Fosite, a god of the Frisians. Jacob Grimm noted that if, as Adam of Bremen states, Fosite's sacred island was Heligoland, that would make him an ideal candidate for a deity known to both Frisians and Scandinavians, but that it is surprising he is never mentioned by Saxo Grammaticus. Grimm took Forseti, "praeses", to be the older form of the name, first postulating an unattested Old High German equivalent *forasizo, but preferring a derivation from fors, a "whirling stream" or "cataract", connected to the spring and the god's veneration by seagoing peoples. It is plausible that Fosite is Forseti a folk etymology. According to the German philologist, Hans Kuhn, the Germanic form Fosite is linguistically identical to Greek Poseidon, hence the original name must have been introduced before the Proto-Germanic sound change via Greek sailors purchasing amber; the Greek traveller Pytheas of Massalia, who describes the amber trade, is known to have visited the region around 325 BC.

According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, Forseti is the son of Nanna. His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning "shining," refers to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance, his is the best of courts. This suggests skill in mediation and is in contrast to his fellow god Týr, who "is not called a reconciler of men." However, as de Vries points out, the only basis for associating Forseti with justice seems to have been his name. The first element in the name Forsetlund, a farm in the parish of Onsøy, in eastern Norway, seems to be the genitive case of Forseti, offering evidence he was worshipped there. According to Alcuin's Life of St. Willebrord, the saint visited an island between Frisia and Denmark, sacred to Fosite and was called Fositesland after the god worshipped there. There was a sacred spring from which water had to be drawn in silence, it was so holy. Willebrord defiled the spring by killing a cow there. Altfrid tells the same story of St. Liudger.

Adam of Bremen adds that the island was Heiligland, i.e. Heligoland. There is a late-medieval legend of the origins of written Frisian laws. Wishing to assemble written lawcodes for all his subject peoples, Charlemagne summoned twelve representatives of the Frisian people, the Āsegas, demanded they recite their people's laws; when they could not do so after several days, he let them choose between death, slavery, or being set adrift in a rudderless boat. They chose the last and prayed for help, whereupon a thirteenth man appeared, with a golden axe on his shoulder, he steered the boat to land with the axe threw it ashore. He taught them laws and disappeared; the stranger and the spring have traditionally been identified with Fosite and the sacred spring of Fositesland. Modern scholarship, however, is critical about this hypothesis, as the attribute of the axe is associated with Thor, not with Forseti; the German neofolk band Forseti named itself after the god. Poetic Edda The dictionary definition of forseti at Wiktionary Media related to Forseti at Wikimedia Commons

Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park is a 3,112-acre Pennsylvania State Park on an arching, sandy peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, 4 miles west of the city of Erie, in Millcreek Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The peninsula sweeps northeastward, it has 13 miles of roads, 21 miles of recreational trails, 13 beaches for swimming, a marina. Popular activities at the park include swimming, hiking and birdwatching; the recorded history of Presque Isle begins with the Erielhonan, a Native American tribe who gave their name to Lake Erie, includes French and American forts, as well as serving as a base for Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet in the War of 1812. With the growing importance of shipping on Lake Erie in the 19th century, Presque Isle became home to several lighthouses and what became a United States Coast Guard station. In 1921, it became a state park, as of 2007 it hosts over 4 million visitors per year, the most of any Pennsylvania state park; the Presque Isle peninsula formed on a moraine from the end of the Wisconsin glaciation and is being reshaped by waves and wind.

This leads to seven ecological zones within the park, which provides a classic example of ecological succession. A National Natural Landmark since 1967, the park has been named one of the best places in the United States for watching birds in the Gull Point Natural Area; the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at the entrance to the park allows visitors to learn more about the park and its ecology. Presque Isle State Park has been chosen by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Parks for its list of "25 Must-See Pennsylvania State Parks". Presque Isle was formed at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation about 11,000 years ago; the earliest known inhabitants of the southern Lake Erie coast were the Erielhonan known as the "Eriez", an Iroquoian speaking tribe of Native Americans. Erielhonan meant the "Cat" or "Raccoon" people, the name "Erie", a corruption of Erielhonan, became the name of the lake and county in which Presque Isle Park is found and of the city nearest the park. An Erielhonan legend taught that the Great Spirit led them to Presque Isle because of the wealth of game, the abundance of clean fresh water, the cool breezes "coming from the land of snow and ice".

Another legend explains how the Erielhonan ventured into Lake Erie in search of the land where the sun set, but the spirit of the lake blew a fierce storm to keep them from finding it. To protect the Erielhonan from the storm, their god laid his outstretched arm into the lake, giving them safety during the storm; the god's arm remained in the lake. The Erielhonan are believed to have farmed on the peninsula, they fought the last starting in 1653 with the Five Nations of the Iroquois. Despite initial victories over the Senecas, in 1654 the Erielhonans' largest village, was destroyed by 1,800 Iroquois warriors. By 1656, the Erielhonan had been destroyed as a people, although the Iroquois adopted survivors who were absorbed into the Senecas; the French first named the peninsula in the 1720s. They built Fort Presque Isle at the modern city of Erie in the summer of 1753, naming it for the peninsula that protected the fort; the French built two "military outposts" on Presque Isle itself. The first outpost was located at the entrance to the peninsula and the second was built at the eastern point.

During the French and Indian War, the French abandoned their outposts and burned their fort in 1759. The British constructed a new fort of the same name that year, which fell to Native American forces on June 19, 1763, during Pontiac's Rebellion. Presque Isle passed from British to American control after the American Revolutionary War, the Iroquois sold their rights to the land containing the peninsula to the United States at the second Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1784. Pennsylvania did not acquire an undisputed title to the land until it purchased the Erie Triangle from the federal government on April 3, 1792. In 1795 General Anthony Wayne built a new, American "Fort Presque Isle", on April 18 of that year the town of "Presqu' Ile", since renamed Erie, was laid out near it. Wayne died at the fort on December 15, 1796, was buried there. Erie County was formed from Allegheny County on March 12, 1800. Millcreek Township, which contained both the Presque Isle peninsula and village of Erie, was one of the original townships.

Erie was named the county seat in 1803, incorporated as a borough in 1805, became a city in 1851. During the War of 1812, Presque Isle played a part in the victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie. Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of the American fleet, made strategic use of the bay as a place to construct six of the nine ships in his fleet. Using this location protected the men by creating an obstacle, forcing potential attackers to circumnavigate the peninsula to reach them; the "Little Bay" near the tip of the peninsula where the ships sheltered, next to the current Perry's Monument, was named "Misery Bay" because of the hardships during the winter of 1813–1814, after the men returned there from battle. Many men were kept in quarantine near the bay. A great many infected men were buried in what is now called Graveyard Pond. After the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, Perry's two largest ships were badly damaged, the US Brig Lawrence was intentionally sunk in Misery Bay; the Lawrence was burned while on display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

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John Robert Radclive

John Robert Radclive was Canada's first professional hangman, serving from 1892 until December 27, 1899. Placed on the federal payroll as a hangman by a Dominion order-in-council in 1892, on the recommendation of the justice minister Sir John Thompson: Radclive had trained under British hangman William Marwood, he is known to have hanged at least 69 people in Canada, although his life total was much higher. At his death, the Toronto Telegram said, he died of alcohol-related illness in Toronto on February 26, 1911, at the age of 55. Radclive was described as a humane and genial Englishman who regarded himself as a public benefactor, he was known for the speed of his executions. He is considered to be one of Canada's best known executioners. Radclive spent his early life in the Royal Navy, he apprenticed under the English executioner William Marwood, who had invented the table of height and weight, used to determine the length of rope for a hanging. In 1890, Radclive immigrated to Toronto with his family where he passed along testimonials of his work to local sheriffs.

When not serving as a hangman, Radclive worked as a steward under the alias Thomas Rately at the Sunnyside Boating Club, a rowing club in Parkdale, Toronto. However, when his identity was accidentally disclosed by an inspector from the Northwest Mounted Police, Following an interview with Radclive, Hector Willoughby Charlesworth recorded in his notebook, the Candid chronicles, why Radclive became a hangman: I once had occasion to interview Radclive on a matter unconnected with his profession and found him a genial Englishman, who regarded himself as a public benefactor, he said: "If there'as to be'angin's the only merciful thing is to do'edm right!" Asked where he learned his trade he said, "I used to be a sailor on the China seas, we common seamen was detailed to'ang Chinese pirates from the yard-arm. I was sorry for the poor blighters, they used to struggle and suffer so, so I figured out'ow to do it quick and mercifullike; when I took the Birchall job I was'ard- up. He seemed a pleasant sort of man, I figured that it was kinder for me to do the job than to'ave it bungled by one of them farm'ands up there, like lots of cases that used to'appen.

All the time he was talking he was busy packing ropes. He explained his technique. Cordelia Viau and her paramour, Sam Parslow, were to be executed on March 9, 1899; the preparations for the hanging on an elderly man at St. Scholastique, Quebec in 1899 had gone well, when the man, while standing on the trap hooded and pinioned fell lifelessly into Radclive's arms; the presiding physician determined that the man was indeed dead. A quandary thus presented itself in that the man, to be killed had died prior to being hanged and there was no legal precedent. Although Radclive believed that justice had thus been served, the presiding local sheriff, the legal authority at the execution, thought otherwise; the sheriff, referring to the language of the death warrant issued under the imprimatur of His Majesty the King, which unequivocally stated "I do now direct you the said sheriff of the said county to cause execution of the said sentence to be done," argued that the man was to be hanged until dead, the fact that the subject had expired prior to being hanged was an unanticipated contingency.

Thus, the sheriff instructed that Radclive "get a chair", subsequently the corpse was hung, with the neck snapping audibly. Radclive was distraught by this display of justice that pursued the sentence of death beyond the grave and was offended by this burlesque of his profession. Following the St. Scholastique hanging, Radclive drank consuming a bottle of brandy after every execution. Radclive arrived in Port Arthur, Ontario for the execution of Oliver Prevost, a convicted murderer, on March 15, 1899; this was the first hanging to take place at the Lakehead (now Thunder Bay, Ontario. A testament to Radclive's skill, Prevost was dropped through the trap door and his neck cleanly broken; when the autopsy was undertaken, it was determined that there had been no suffering on the part of the condemned and he had died instantly. So had he expired, in fact, that he did not have time to drop the bible he had been holding and it was still clutched in his hands after death. Emily Hilda Blake was the last official Canadian execution of the 19th century, executed by Radclive on December 27, 1899 at Brandon, Manitoba.

The hanging was described by Frank W. Anderson, a criminologist, in his publication A Concise History of Capital Punishment in Canada. After pinioning her arms to her waist with two leather straps, Radclive escorted her to the scaffold with extreme gentleness; as she reached the bottom of the steps, she asked him to raise her skirt so that she could put her foot on the bottom step. Her former guardian, Mr. Stewart, tears streaming down his face, stood on the bottom step the whole time... Hilda attempted to delay stepping on the fatal trap as long as possible, but was urged forward by the hangman, she smiled as Radclive placed the black hood over her head. As the Lord's Prayer was said, she was seen to sway but she died with composure. Radclive subsequently suffered from perpetration-induced traumatic stress describing his psychological torment And so I pacified by conscience in that way for many years, but of late it is killing me. I suffered agony of mind, terrible, began to feel as if iron bars tightened around