By the Numbers

Cabinet card image of unidentified woman, taken by William Sawtell. Author's collection.

Cabinet card image of unidentified woman, taken by William Sawtell. (One of thirty such Sawtell images acquired during the researching and writing of this blog.) Author’s collection.

As I approach the second anniversary of this project, I have been considering how best to proceed moving forward. Should I continue to post ongoing research? Should I further develop the body of work on topics of particular interest to me? Perhaps I should stop posting regularly and instead focus on publishing a traditional, hardbound book? While I ponder these questions, I have been doing a great deal of behind-the-scenes work on the blog, structural and copy editing improvements that have almost certainly been invisible to the public.

In the course of that process, I have assembled some statistics and “fun facts” about the blog. I am the sort of person who loves a stats list–yes, please, do tell me precisely how many times my DNA would stretch around the equator if it were all unraveled! If that sort of exercise is not to your taste, dear reader, you may wish to give this post a pass.

This is my 120th post in just twenty-two months. By my calculations, I have already written over 101,000 words on the history of Wellington in the 1800s, excluding captions and comments. When that text is put into manuscript form–sans illustrations–it is just shy of 200 pages (in 12 pt font). Adding in the illustrations would extend the page count considerably, as I’ve used more than 430 of them.

Of the 101,000 words, more than 20% were written about just five subjects. They are as follows, in ascending order: William F. Sawtell (photographer and painter); Wah Sing (Chinese proprietor of a laundry business); Dean (emancipated female slave and one of the very first settlers of the village); Noah Huckins (Canadian entrepreneur who built a house my family once owned); and The Wellington Enterprise. I have written multiple posts on each of these topics, tallying in total 4,000 to 5,500 words each.

And you, the audience, have been more than generous in your support of this little endeavor. More than one hundred of you are subscribers to 19th-Century Wellington. Visitors to this page–and there have been upwards of 23,000–have come from 84 countries around the globe. (Top five countries in descending order: United States; Canada; United Kingdom; New Zealand; France.) You have offered more than one hundred comments, all of them kind, encouraging, and expressing a level of interest in the topic that continues to surprise and delight me.

Many thanks, as always, for your time and attention. If you have comments to make, or suggestions to offer, you can do so at any time by clicking, “Leave a reply,” under any post title.


8 thoughts on “By the Numbers

  1. Linda Van Meter

    whatever you want to do is good and it is always great to read and see what you have done. You always have my vote

  2. LynneW

    I hope you will continue to research and post on your interests, wherever they may lead you, and I’m sure your other readers will be as enthralled as I have been by your narratives. Who knew Wellington had so many interesting characters, buildings, and stories to reveal? I eagerly await your next discovery. And the one after that …

  3. Mick Howk

    Just my two cents worth. I enjoy the work you do on this and I would hate to see you abandon us for other pursuits! I think working on a real book would be outstanding while you continue the work you’re doing on the blog. (Use the blog as your outline). There are a couple of points on Wellingtons history I’d like to read about if they are of any interest to you. First the work you did on “Dean” was very interesting and made me wonder about any connection between Wellington and the “Underground Railroad.” Secondly I’d be interested in the role of Wellington in the Civil War. I remember seeing many grave markers in the Wellington cemetery making reference to deaths from that war so I know we had significant losses from that period.

    Anyway keep up the good work and best regards,


    1. Armchair Historian Post author

      Thank you very much for the kind words and encouragement, Mick. I am still working to figure it all out. And I just want to reiterate that it is not lack of interest that is giving me pause, only lack of time!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s