Rachel Carson is my 2nd cousin 3x removed. That means she was the same generation as my great-grandmother, Jane Rice Remley. The Carsons arrived from Ireland and settled in the Hill District circa 1850. They worked as glassblowers and in the mills.
Her family branch moved to Springdale. Mine bounced between the Hill and Allegheny City.
Rachel's adopted son Roger was her biological great-nephew. So he was my grandmother's 3rd cousin by the adoption and my father's 4th cousin by blood. His children, Ian and Thomas, are my 5th cousins.
What I find especially fascinating is how many of our mutual relatives labored for industry, coping with the environmental fallout in their bodies and their home lives. We also have a lot of scientists in my family, including my brother. No writers that I know of yet.
I was at Chatham yesterday and thought of Rachel. I feel deeply compelled by this kinship. Unsure why.
Today in Pittsburgh's progressive history: On May 27, 1907, Rachel Carson, the environmental justice pioneer, was born in Springdale (died April 14, 1964). She graduated from what is now Chatham University, and is widely recognized as the mother of the modern environmental movement. She published Silent Spring in 1962, which detailed the ecological ramifications of post-World War II chemical pesticides, especially on bird populations. Both the general population and the government responded, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and Earth Day can be credited to Carson’s efforts and writings.
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