The availability of blogging has encouraged genealogists (2013 list) and others. We find blogs on all subjects. I like to find blog-like entries from the past.
Gardner Junction and its role has motivated a closer look at the westward movement. This junction was on the southern route west. Of course, Santa Fe was southwest of Kansas City. But, Oregon was west. The early travelers took this southern route until they split and headed back northwest. Later, the greedy call of gold helped develop other ways to go west. St. Joseph had been a terminal for the Pony Express. So, too, it was a starting point for a trail that met up with that taken by the southern route.
Aside: There were more bodies that headed west over the migration period than arrived in New England, and the middle states in the early years of the colonies. Too, these folks came from the whole range of the east coast. Hence, our interest. Prior to this time, there had been movement to the middle portion, say Ohio on south. Some stayed there. Many moved, again, once the U.S. got its western expansion thanks to Jefferson.
Also, the Mormons had been forced west and came to these parts out of Illinois through Iowa. There were many families related to Gardner on that trek. One thing of the Mormon migration was that they used hand carts to bring along their goods.
Now, to the theme of the post. Some of those who made the trek kept journals. Many entries are blog-like. This little bit from a traveler discussed the origin of the name of Lawrence, KS. One can just see the writer condensing some conversation with a local. We will be looking for more of these.
Written by Albert D. Richardson, 1867: ... first town in Kansas.... Pleased with the name, they gave it to their nascent city. Their first Herald of Freedom - for a newspaper is mothers milk to an infant town - bears the date Wakarusa, Kansas Territory, October 21, 1854. But the settlers soon learned this romantic legend of the origin and significance of the name: Many moons ago, before white men ever saw these prairies, there was a great freshet. While the waters were rising, an Indian girl on horseback came to the stream and began fording it. Her steed went in deeper and deeper, until as she sat upon him she was half immersed. Surprised and affrighted she ejaculated Way-ka-ru-sa!(hip deep). ... On reflection, the settlers decided not to perpetuate the story, and changed the name of their town to Lawrence, in honor of one of its most generous patrons, Amos Lawrence of Boston.
This entry comes from a collection of traveler notes plus other material at oregonpioneers.com (OregonPioneers).
Amos Lawrence was of an old New England family. His family tree is full of collateral families that are interest to us.
The northeastern part of the Kansas Territory (KT) was settled by folks from New England, including many abolitionists. KT and Nebraska had been carved out of the Missouri Territory. By 1867, the turmoils of the Civil War had come and gone, except the whole issue of carpet baggers. Prior to then, though, the KT area was site of lots of armed conflict that we will look into. For the most part, New Englanders were involved. These events represent a crucial period of the U.S. history.
Remarks: Modified: 11/22/2016
06/17/2016 -- More on trails.
11/22/2016 -- Final migration, flyover country.