Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gardner's Beacon, Vol. VI, No. 1

The current issue of Gardner's Beacon starts to look at upcoming 200th anniversaries. More people went out west through the various trails (Westward Ho) than arrived both in northern New England and its southern counterpart. In those early days, there was motivation to go west. For one, claiming land would keep out settlers from other countries. In that case, there were conflict with the American Indian population and with other countries.

By the time of the end of the long American Revolution, people were ready to go west. Lewis and Clark helped capture the imagination. Families took the long trek to Oregon and California. During the gold rush, many 49ers went out by the trails.

An older trail, to Santa Fe, provided the starting point. But, as more people gathered, there were issues, such as a cholera outbreak, that establish another starting point, present-day St. Joseph, MO. Too, the 49ers were in a hurry and wanted to take some days off the trip.

The story would not be interesting without the people. That launching point for western expansion turned out to be where early conflicts started between pro- and anti-slavery proponents. "Bleeding Kansas" was more than a name.

And, New Englanders were heavily invested in the area, in terms of money and blood and sweat.

Of late, DNA has been put on the plate and will be getting more attention. Lots to discuss.

Charles Sanders Peirce (his father, Benjamin) did some marvelous work without much attention. He died destitute. He was the first to look at abductive approaches (see DNA above). Also, he was probably the best mind of that generation, though Eliot of Harvard did not think much of him.


See Vol. VI, No. 1 of Gardner's Beacon for a review of research to date. Sources: Oregon-California Trails Association (Trails, again).

Remarks: Modified: 04/23/2021

06/19/2016 -- Switched to larger font, two pages, and introduction to Charles Sanders Peirce.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Trails again

These are links to material about the settlement of the colonies and the later western movement that the U.S. saw after the conclusion of the American Revolution and after the jaunt of Lewis and Clark under the auspices of President Jefferson. Lewis and Clark told the people about the large bit of land out west.

One theme of the upcoming issue of Gardner's Beacon deals with the west. The long arm of New England reached across the country.

Many more people went across these trails than came over by boat in the early days. The trip was arduous. Present day cities exist along the trails. Modern roads parallel their ways.

In Kansas and immediate territories, the issues that lead to the U.S.Civil war were being played out as abolitionists left New England and helped found the free state.

Finally, from the genealogical side of history, people populated those cities and places in-between as they dropped off the traversing of the trail to settle down to roost. Many stories abound.

Trails (a mere sampling):
Earlier history (southern New England):
This effort is part of our bibliographical effort.

Remarks: Modified: 03/01/2019

07/16/2016 -- Gardner's Beacon, Vol. VI, No. 1

11/01/2016 -- On foot traverse.

03/01/2019 -- Added image. We're building an index by images for the portal to truth.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Blogging and such

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).

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: 02/09/2020

11/22/2016 -- Final migrationflyover country.

06/17/2016 -- More on trails.

08/13/2017 -- Posts on Lawrence (and surrounds): Trails WestWestward HoBlogging and suchFinal MigrationThomas Wentworth HigginsonKansas and Lawrence.

02/09/2020 --  A couple more names: Gardner, IL; Gardiner, MT.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Westward Ho

We already had the 200th of Lewis and Clark's venture west. They came through near where I was recently and spent three days resting and getting their supplies in order. Kansas created a park at Kaw Point to commemorate the event. Other locales established memorials over the length of the Lewis and Clark trek.

Coming up then, too, will be 200th anniversaries of the great migration to the west.

We will be doing more posts on this for several reasons. For one, a major point in the trek was the split at Gardner Junction where the Sante Fe trail went south and the Oregon trail headed north. For a long while, the Oregon and California trails were the same. Then, out west, some wanted to go to sunny California and the Spanish architecture. Others wanted to go to the gloomy north. 

Go spend some time in Seattle to see what I mean. Nice places, though.

Then, too, plenty of Gardner and related families came through this area venturing either way. We will get stories of these families and their ordeals.

A little further south, there was another set of trails that came out of Arkansas heading west. 

One important thing to remember is that even in this eastern region of Kansas, wagons had a problem fording rivers (say, the Wakarusa). For instance, near Lawrence, they had to dismantle wagons as much as they could in order to get the things down the cliffs and over to the other side. Of course, similar efforts were required for the wagon contents.  

Consider, if you would, what was coming up for these folks as they went further west and experienced the terrain found in present day Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, and, even, Idaho.

Major work. Every day.

Do we ever think of that as we buzz down General Ike's (BTW, a Kansas boy) roadways - our current Interstate system?  

Remarks: Modified: 08/13/2017

06/17/2016 -- More on trails.

07/16/2016 -- Gardner's Beacon, Vol. VI, No. 1

11/01/2016 -- On foot traverse.

08/13/2017 -- Posts on Lawrence (and surrounds): Trails WestWestward HoBlogging and suchFinal MigrationThomas Wentworth HigginsonKansas and Lawrence.