In 1982 Bruce Campbell Adamson began on this film as a historian on two books 1). The Life and Times of Captain George W. Ely, who was the youngest captain ever of the New York Seventh Regiment. Ely served as Secretary of the New York Stock Exchange from 1873-1919 closing out WWI. This was the first regiment mustered into service by President Abraham Lincoln to preserve the Union after the firing upon Fort Sumter.
During the 1980s BcA became a U.S. mail clerk and after a long day at the U.S. post office he would come home and lie back in bed with computer and clipboard attached to an accordion extending lamp and transcribe the ancient documents of Rufus Easton's papers. I had purchased them from Martha Clevenger from the Missouri Historical Society. One might say that Adamson lived and breathed his new founded friend Rufus Easton. It is like looking through a giant microscope and making the connections that those living in the those times had no way of knowing what was happening all around them. They lived on faith, and some, not all, lived with good will to their fellow human beings. During the late 1980s I had written another book: For Which We Stand; The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton. Without a publisher other friends contributed in editing the 1000 page book and it was reduced down to 300 pages. I had the assistance of Professor William F. Foley who wrote two chapters for the volume on the Sycpion Slaves and Chief White Cloud. Over a time it was whittled down to less than 300 pages. Adamson went to Tucson, Arizona and studied Film Production at the Public Access TV at the Public Access TV station. I created Our Pal Hal; another documentary. It took much longer to bring life to The Spirit of Alton. All the while Adamson had other subjects which kept him busy.
Adamson is the grandson on his dad's side of the family, of James Harold Adamson who was written up in How to Win Friends and Influence People with the inventor of motion picture film George Eastman. While Eastman was into collecting photographs. James Adamson helped create the first stretchable clothing, along with his brother Percy Adamson who invented "Lastex." In 1932 they sold the trademark "Lastex," to the Dupont's U. S. Rubber company. Being the grandson I wrote a 50 page book titled "The Forbidden Fruit of the Loom." A story that shows how the glory of the invention of "Lastex" was lost over greed. Yet this product literally touched almost every person around the world, and that is no stretch of the imagination. "One Size Fits All," was their selling point.
During the 1930s while Eastman and Kodak received five Oscar nominations for the improvement of motion picture film. My uncle Harold Adamson was nominated in the 1930s for two Oscar hit songs 1). Did I Remember? and 2). My Own. Uncle Hal wrote over 300 songs for the film industry, TV and Broadway theater. His most important hits for TV, were 1). I Love Lucy; and 2). The Legend of Wyatt Earp. Harold wrote several songs for Jean Harlow shortly before she passed. Hal's first and last Oscar nominating songs were actor Cary Grant films: 1). Suzy, 1936 ; and 2). An Affair to Remember, 1957. He wrote the words to an Oscar winning composition Around the World in 80 Days. It was voted Hit Song of the Year by the Radio and TV producers of America. Yet he could not be nominated for an Oscar, for the lyrics were written two weeks before Oscar night and the votes had already been submitted.
Well I began and produced the documentary: Our Pal Hal; An Affair to Remember. It also contained the narration's from Wes Sims a news producer of KION, Monterey, CA and later a Professor of journalism at Brigham Young University in Utah. Wes Sims was featured as Elijah Parish Lovejoy in the Spirit of Alton.
In the film the Spirit of Alton Bruce Adamson grew his beard out just as Edward Bates had worn in the 1860s.
In July of 1866, former Attorney General of Lincoln's, Ed Bates wrote of Rufus Easton who had died in 1834: "Easton was a wiser man than he passed for, and a better man than his adversaries chose to admit. All acknowledged his professional ability as compared with his associates, but many failed to give him the credit he deserved for his personal virtues. He was certainly the best-read lawyer of the Missouri bar in his day, the regular training of his youth and the indefatigable industry of his riper years, made him always, a formidable adversary and generally a case - gaining advocate he still lives in my memory with respect and gratitude." Ed Bates.
At a CSPAN memorial of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, In 1994 I was asked to speak at the Lincoln-Douglas debates and read the speech verbatim.
The original film The Spirit of Alton was originally four hours long and in my voice and was extremely boring. ---} Cut --
By adding computer work, art, music and other voices it was improved, but not perfected. Bruce Campbell Adamson