photograph by Jason Gray
“‘Your St. Louis’ Speaks” by Nathan Benjamin Young Jr., 1937:
I was a Metropolis when Chicago was a trading post;
I was a cosmopolitan on the bank of a moody river when Philadelphia and Boston were pulsated only by town-criers;
Along my levee French and Spaniard and Aborigine and African met and understood each other.
I was founded upon a hardy brotherhood.
I became asylum to a horde of freedom-bent Germans from an oppressive Fatherland;
I was a bosom to the shorn lambs of Ireland.
When Gold polarized the West, through my bounden limbs converged the Argonauts of ‘forty-nine.
Frugal Yankees and touchy Southrons came and fetched their feud over slavery;
Slave pens and a public mart are among my relics in limbo, but I supplied History with the cause celebre named for black Dred Scott.
I was a Union City in 1861, yet I gave succor and occasion to Confederate sympathizers–(I should be the most liberal city in the U.S.A.).
I am the center of the Continent. I am the centripetal capital of these United States, for I am proud of all sections;…
I am the American City of manifest destiny–I am St. Louis.
St. Louis, the city of a robust and complicated history, turns 250 years old in 2014, and the organization tasked with celebrating the occasion is stl250. Throughout 2014, Photo Flood Saint Louis has partnered with stl250 to photograph their many wonderful and historic events as they unfold.