Washington's assistance became crucial when the panic of 1893 hit and Centralia, along with the rest of the country, went into an economic downspin for most of the decade. On his own initiative, Washington organized a private relief program for needy residents. He drove to Portland, Oregon, by wagon to bring back tons of staples like rice, flour, and sugar, which he distributed along with lard and bacon that he bought wholesale in Chehalis. Washington declined to foreclose on mortgages he held, and when other properties went up for auction, he bought them to save the town from absentee ownership or bankruptcy. Although population and property values declined, Centralia survived and by the end of the decade began to rebound, entering the twentieth century with a population of around 1,600.
While on the Erebus , Hooker had read proofs of Charles Darwin 's Voyage of the Beagle provided by Charles Lyell and had been very impressed by Darwin's skill as a naturalist. They had met once, before the Antarctic voyage embarked.  After Hooker's return to England, he was approached by Darwin who invited him to classify the plants that Darwin had collected in South America and the Galápagos Islands .  Hooker agreed and the pair began a lifelong friendship. On 11 January 1844 Darwin mentioned to Hooker his early ideas on the transmutation of species and natural selection ,  and Hooker showed interest.  In 1847 he agreed to read Darwin's "Essay" explaining the theory,  and responded with notes giving Darwin calm critical feedback.  Their correspondence continued throughout the development of Darwin's theory and in 1858 Darwin wrote that Hooker was "the one living soul from whom I have constantly received sympathy". 
This book is an exploration of what it’s like to live in America II, or on the outskirts of it. It’s about the people left behind, but mostly it’s about the people who are moving, about condo dwellers and pot farmers, corporate utopians and private police, rural entrepreneurs and urban escapees, computer programmers and unemployed wanderers. It’s about people trying to get control in an economic and social environment that seems out of control. It’s about the search for home, the creation of new nests from the sticks and mud of our fantasies of what home should be. This book is about the unintended consequences of that search. Read Full Post .