Peter Jackson – A Snapshot Biography

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson was one of the best boxers of his time, winning the Australian heavyweight title in 1886. 

Though a fighter by profession, he was calm, collected, his demeanor dignified. In the ring he was methodical. Outside of it he stood proud of his race and fought back against discrimination. With force if he had to, but he never used his strength and brawn to bully. 

From his success in Australia he moved to the U.S. looking for fighting challenges. But racism hindered his opportunities.

As his boxing life waned, Peter became an actor, touring with the stage production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the role of Uncle Tom. When speaking about considering the part, he said, “if Uncle Tom is a success, I intend to play it, but it does not do to be too confident.” And he approached the role with a diligent perspective that “acting is like everything else, it needs practice.”

Deteriorating health took him from the ring and the stage and at the young age of 40 he passed away from tuberculosis.  

His friends chose to emblazon his tomb with the phrase: “This was a man.”

Sources: Up against the Ropes: Peter Jackson As “Uncle Tom” in America by Susan F. Clark, The morning call. January 30, 1893, Page 3 (,,

Ida Tarbell – A Snapshot Biography


“There is no man more dangerous, in a position of power, than he who refuses to accept as a working truth the idea that all a man does should make for rightness and soundness, that even the fixing of a tariff rate must be moral.”

Ida Tarbell didn’t shy away from exposing wrongdoings in society. How people treated others mattered, character mattered. She believed that progress happened from people making moral decisions.

So while an early desire to be a scientist didn’t lead to a career, it birthed her “quest for the truth.” She became a journalist. And it became her way of making the world a better place.  

Ida published many works, but arguably her most famous was an expose chronicling the corrupt practices of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil, the largest company of the time.

“They had never played fair, and that ruined their greatness for me,” she wrote about the company.

The series was published in full over two years starting in 1905 and helped garner support for passing anti-trust legislation, which was used to break up the company.  


  1. Ida M. Tarbell, ca. 1905-1945 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Harris & Ewing Collection,
  2. Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection (Library of Congress),,_1857-1944_LCCN2001704019.jpg
  3. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division,
  4. The Ida M. Tarbell Collection, Pelletier Library, Allegheny College, Meadville PA,
  5. Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division,
  6. All in the Day’s Work: An Autobiography by Ida Tarbell

A snapshot biography of Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan

People called her Miss Morgan.

And Miss Morgan was just five feet tall, slender, dressed in drab, fragile looking. There was something Quakerish about her people said.

“She looked like a nobody.”

And when she spoke, she did so softly. But “when she issued orders it was with the finality of a Marine drill sergeant.”

Miss Morgan was Julia Morgan. And Julia was an architect. One who graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1894. One who waited for two years for admission into the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris because of her gender. And then became the first woman to graduate. And then she become the first woman to be registered as an architect in California.

In 1904, Julia opened her own architectural firm. Where she shared profits with her workers. And where her career lasted 42 years. Over which she designed about 790 structures, including Hearst Castle.