1. A Washington Post columnist recounts the discovery of historical artifacts, including John Marshall's gallstones and Abraham Lincoln's hair, in his friend's basement.
2. The artifacts were inherited by the friend from his godmother, who had acquired them from her father, a former anatomist who may have taken them from the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia.
3. The article reflects on the changing attitudes towards gruesome medical curiosities and the emotional weight of family legacies.
The Washington Post article titled "Opinion | My neighbor found Lincoln’s hair in his basement. I found a mystery" by Matt Bai is an interesting read that delves into the strange world of historical relics and macabre American artifacts. However, the article has several potential biases and missing points of consideration that need to be addressed.
One-sided reporting: The article focuses solely on Ledge King's collection of artifacts and Aunt Judy's box, without exploring other collectors or museums that may have similar items. This one-sided reporting could lead readers to believe that Ledge's collection is unique when it may not be.
Unsupported claims: The article makes several claims about the origins of the artifacts in Aunt Judy's box, such as Tom Haviland taking items from the Wistar Institute with permission or being told he could take a few items and getting carried away. However, there is no evidence presented to support these claims, leaving readers to speculate about their veracity.
Missing evidence for claims made: The article mentions that some of the contents from Aunt Judy's storage unit were sold at auction and vanished into the world of antique collectors. However, there is no evidence presented to support this claim or any information about who purchased these items.
Unexplored counterarguments: The article does not explore any counterarguments to Ledge King's possession of John Marshall's gallstones or Abraham Lincoln's plucked hairs. For example, some people may argue that these artifacts should be returned to their rightful place in a museum rather than being held by a private collector.
Partiality: The article presents Ledge King as a sympathetic figure who inherited Aunt Judy's sad legacy but fails to acknowledge his privilege as a member of one of America's oldest and most accomplished families. This partiality could lead readers to sympathize with Ledge more than they would if they knew more about his background.
In conclusion, while "My neighbor found Lincoln’s hair in his basement. I found a mystery" is an engaging read, it has several potential biases and missing points of consideration that need to be addressed for readers to fully understand the story behind Aunt Judy's box and Ledge King's collection of artifacts.