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.


  1. My own families typify your thesis. For it was in the new "free state" of Indiana (midwest) that my line from Massachusetts (north) met my line from Virginia (south), as both were abolitionists who ended up later fighting on the side of the North. -- James Mace

  2. James, Thanks. I put a link to your George Starbuck within the post. ... The long reach of New England across the broad sweep of the country.