A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 02, 2017
“The pathway to glory is strewn with pitfalls and dangers” (Per Ardua ad Astra)

New York author Ingersoll Lockwood (1841-1918), who wrote the books Travels and Adventures of Little Baron Trump and his Wonderful Dog Bulger and 1900, or, The Last President (1896), had renewed popularity after the 2016 election of U.S. President Donald Trump (who had a son named “Barron"). One passage from the “Little Baron Trump” novel is:

“Remember, little baron, the motto of the Trumps, Per Ardua ad Astra — the pathway to glory is strewn with pitfalls and dangers — but the comforting thought shall ever be mine, that when thy keen intelligence fails, Bulger’s unerring instinct will be there to guide thee.”

“Per Ardua ad Astra” became famous in the 20th century as the motto of the Royal Air Force. “The pathway to glory is strewn with pitfalls and dangers” is not the usual translation from Latin to English, which is either “Through adversity to the stars” or “Through struggle to the stars.”

“Per Ardua ad Astra” was printed in many books from the 1800s, but was probably used centuries earlier.


Wikipedia: Per ardua ad astra
Per ardua ad astra ("Through adversity to the stars” or “Through struggle to the stars") is the motto of the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces such as the RAAF, RCAF, RNZAF, the SAAF, as well as the Royal Indian Air Force until 1947. It dates from 1912 and was used by the newly formed Royal Flying Corps.
(...)
The question of where this motto had come from can be answered by the fact that Yule had read it in a book called The People of the Mist by Sir Henry Rider Haggard. In the first chapter was the passage: “To his right were two stately gates of iron fantastically wrought, supported by stone pillars on whose summit stood griffins of black marble embracing coats of arms and banners inscribed with the device ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’”.

Where Rider Haggard obtained this phrase is still unclear, although it is possible that it originated from the Irish family of Mulvany who had used it as their family motto for hundreds of years and translated it as “Through Struggles to the Stars”.

Google Books
Memoirs of an Old Wig, Volume 1
By Mr. Fenton (Richard), Samuel Rogers
London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown
1815
Pg. 133:
In short, I perceived that the exalted Alderman felt more than he was willing to express, and though his family motto was per ardua ad astra, and probably might have influenced him to the enterprise, that could he have foreseen the feelings he was to encounter, he would have preferred walking through life orange-headed on terra firma, than with such an ornament as mine on his head, have hazarded a voyage to the skies.

Google Books
The Worcester Association and Its Antecedents:
A History of Four Ministerial Associations

By Joseph Allen
Boston, MA: Nichols and Noyes
1868
Pg. 138:
PER ARDUA AD ASTRA; By a thorny path we mount to the stars, — Bearing the cross, we gain the crown: this sentiment he quoted on one of my last interviews with him, and on this he acted throughout.

Google Books
The Story of Methodism:
Tracing the Rise and Progress of that Wonderful Religious Movement

By Ammi Bradford Hyde
Greenfield, MA: Willey & Co., Publishers
1887
Pg. 164:
His industry was his genius and it was with him, “per ardua ad astra,” steep climbing to the stars.

Google Books
Baron Trump’s Marvellous Underground Journey
By Ingersoll Lockwood
Boston, MA: Lee and Shepard Publishers
1893
Pg. 5:
“Remember, little baron, the motto of the Trumps, Per Ardua ad Astra — the pathway to glory is strewn with pitfalls and dangers — but the comforting thought shall ever be mine, that when thy keen intelligence fails, Bulger’s unerring instinct will be there to guide thee.”

Google Books
The People of the Mist, Part 1
By Henry Rider Haggard
New York, NY: Longmans, Green, and Co.
1894
Pg. 16:
“‘Per ardua ad astra,’ said Tom, absently reading the family motto which alternated pretty regularly with a second device that some members of it had adopted — ‘ For Heart, Home, and Honour.’ ‘

“Per ardua ad astra” — through struggle to the stars—and “For Heart, Home, and Honour,” repeated Tom ; ...

Newsweek
DID AN AUTHOR FROM THE 1800S PREDICT THE TRUMPS, RUSSIA AND AMERICA’S DOWNFALL?
BY CHRIS RIOTTA ON 7/31/17 AT 12:43 PM
Ingersoll Lockwood, an American political writer, lawyer and novelist, combined a unique mixture of science fiction and fantasy into his novels from the late 1800s. Two of his most popular works of literature were illustrated children’s stories, focusing on a peculiar fictional character whose name rings a bell in 2017: Baron Trump.

Trump, an aristocratically wealthy young man living in Castle Trump, is the protagonist of Lockwood’s first two fictional novels, The Travels and Adventures of Little Baron Trump and His Wonderful Dog Bulgar and Baron Trump’s Marvelous Underground Journey.
(...)
Before leaving for his voyage through the unknown, Trump is told of his family’s motto: “The pathway to glory is strewn with pitfalls and dangers.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, August 02, 2017 • Permalink