The legend of Archibald J. McNeil was unearthed one stormy afternoon in an antique bookshop. While searching for a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives, we stumbled upon a handwritten manuscript which kept us entranced for hours. Within it were the adventures of one Archibald J. McNeil. Whether fact or fiction we will never know, but his pursuit of adventure continues to inspire us to this day.
WHO IS ARCHIBALD - THE LEGEND
Archibald J. McNeil made his first voyage around the globe in the autumn of his seventeenth year. Irish by birth and orphaned by the age of ten, he was taken in by a widowed gentleman following an inquiry about becoming a stable boy. Never one to depend on another’s largesse, Archibald demanded on earning his own keep and began an apprenticeship under a local silversmith. Acutely aware of his humble origin, he was determined to always cut a dapper figure and some even labeled him a dandy.
As a lad he yearned for adventure and he eventually stowed away on a ship headed for Borneo. Getting by on his wile and wit, Archibald charmed everyone he encountered. Borneo to Bombay. Barbados to the Amazon. Patagonia to Barrow. San Francisco to St. Petersburg. Capetown to Christchurch. From surviving on the sand of the Sahara or the ice of Siberia, he was as at home as he was in the Shah’s court.
It is said that there was no skill that Archibald couldn’t master. He captained a riverboat on the Nile and trained circus animals in Oklahoma. He traversed China in a hot air balloon. Archibald climbed Kilimanjaro twice, the second time to retrieve a pair of cufflinks he had left sitting on a rock. In Istanbul, he avoided a bounty on his head by swaddling himself in a carpet which was subsequently sold and shipped to Edinburgh.
Never idle for long, the earth’s breath blew him near and far.
What legend will you leave behind?