Sunday, July 22, 2018

Another western movement

Since an earlier post (and several others) mentioned western movement, we need to pause and look at the environment in the 1830s. Jedediah Strong Smith went west as a young man from New England (of course, our main focus) a little earlier. As such, he was an early explorer and lived the life of a mountain man. Before Jedediah went west, we had the conflict with England. One person to study further will be Hector St. John who wandered, as a foreign visitor, at that time and went home to write about it.

Turns out that there were others of such capability. Namely, the natives already on the continent. This post looks at events in the south, which was populated from England. However, many from New England went south, too. We will be looking at that (one of many examples). Then, some went west from the south.

A lot of the west has strong New England influence. Related posts: Gardner Junction, Final Migration, Gardner CO.

Today, we want to present the words of a native leader. The words come from the address of George W. Harkins to the American People dealing with removal of the natives (related legalese).
  • It is with considerable diffidence that I attempt to address the American people, knowing and feeling sensibly my incompetency; and believing that your highly and well improved minds would not be well entertained by the address of a Choctaw. But having determined to emigrate west of the Mississippi river this fall, I have thought proper in bidding you farewell to make a few remarks expressive of my views, and the feelings that actuate me on the subject of our removal.... We as Choctaws rather chose to suffer and be free, than live under the degrading influence of laws, which our voice could not be heard in their formation.
Western movement, example
Popularly, people talk of the Trail of Tears. But, it deals with much more than that. Notice his words about wanting to be free of degrading laws. Does that not sound American?

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Our theme, again: Culture, History, Technology (of which are the gene related things). In our broad sweeps, we will be sure to gather information about interaction with the natives. Thomas had peaceful relations, as did Richard and John in their leadership roles on Nantucket. But, we know issues are not simple. Yet, the stories will be told, especially given the web. We can have a more in-depth coverage from time to time.

Remarks: Modified: 07/22/2018

07/22/2018 --  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Whole views

People have been interested in genealogy for a long time, to wit, the Bible (from 2013, Endless genealogies, quoting Timothy). But one bogs down quickly with more than the mere brick wall. What were these people up to? What were their times like?

Oxford view
Having just gone through Dr. Frank's Massachusetts Magazine (2018, all issues) from cover to cover, I have acquired a little more understanding of one-hundred years ago, more or less. The last post (on Jedediah Smith - true mountain, and desert, man) looked at activities regarding western expansion which was post the jaunt of Lewis & Clark. Also, that post brought up the notion of a larger focus, namely: culture, history, technology (which includes genetics/genealogy). We will be discussing this, however a quote from an Oxford book of 1850, gives the proper view.

A review of posts in this blog will show many devoted to issues of Whence (2014) and What we know (2012 - definitely needs to be updated). Since the start, we have had several of these types of posts on a subject that will still need some attention. One approach will be to gather what has been found so far so as to evaluate the information and sources. Nothing new there. It is work, but fun. There is a lot of material on the web regarding Thomas and Margaret and variations thereof. For instance, did Thomas have a sister named Rachel? In that case, I looked at this and tried to establish sources (2015, Rachel (Nobel) Gardner).

One post looked at the period around the arrival, briefly (2013, Plus or minus the arrival - I call this the cigarette posts as the time view of the reigns look like ascending smoke). That image shows the long reign of Elizabeth I. Her time overlapped the life of Thomas' father and his birth. Recently, I have started to dig deeper. Frankly, I was motivated by seeing an article on Elizabeth and the Spanish armada incident. In other publications, I read of the various players and places. But, I also noticed Dorset (2015, Sherborne) which is where son John said that they had come from. That lead to a bunch of reading, especially to get familiar with the counties involved, Dorset and the surrounding, such as Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire, and Hampshire.

But, too, I got a better appreciation for the geography of the War of Roses (2013, Origins - Motivations). I do not like how Game of Thrones has warped  the story (only read 2 1/2 books - put it down, never watched any of the Hollywood renditions). But, then, I learned today that Shakespeare is considered a propagandists for the Tudors by historians. Nothing new, as the saying goes.

Dorset countryside
Before ending, that is Alfred the Great's territory. Of course, the Romans were there, earlier. There was a Sherborne Castle built in the time of William the Conqueror. I think Edward II had some type of confab there. It decayed and was destroyed during the Civil War. Oh yes, the next county has Stonehenge.

Let's stop with a photo out of Dorset.

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We expect to move this blog to be under TGSoc.org. Once we get the new blog set up, volunteers who want to help to move things over would be gladly acknowledged.

Remarks: Modified: 09/30/2018

07/17/2018 -- As we look at things related to western expansion, we need to remember the ones who were here prior to that event. 

09/30/2018 -- Need to mention Corfe Castle that was in the area. King John used it to starve Maude and her son (Maude de Braose). 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jedediah Strong Smith

We commented on the wonderful job that is being done for the Mayflower events and mentioned the work being done by the NEHGS. That will be something to watch. Of late, after reading of Judge Thompson spending time out west, I have been paying attention to events of the past 200 years. As, we have the opportunity to celebrate those while the 400th stream of fetes rages for several decades.

The Judge's sojourn to the left coast and back, plus Col. Higginson's travels out to the wild west, are examples from a long period of history leading to now. I was just digging yesterday into the 'Sooner' events that were associated with the 1893 Land Rush where the Cherokee Territory was parceled out to a greedy bunch of people. There are tales to tell; fortunately, the www allows people to publish what they know. The usual caveats are in order, albeit that the Thomas Gardner Society would like to be involved with efforts a providing a 'clean, safe' web source.

You see, from the research mode, there are many things to discuss. However, a triad of culture, history, and genetics/genealogy rises to fore, in our opinion. These will be discussed further, as we go along. Culture is a human trait of long-standing interest. So, in a sense, memes trump genes? Well, lots to look at, however history does have a huge role. Actually, it deals with people and their dealings. People, of course, are the major players, but each generation comes and goes. We have to look at the broader scope of things. Humans have many cultures, most of which are age-old.

Both Thompson and Higginson were late, comparatively, to the subject guy. They were around during the pre-Civil War times. And, both were heavily New England in pedigree. One thing to remember is that after the Revolution, we had lots of people coming here. In fact, D.A.R. has many members whose patriot ancestors came sometime in the 18th century prior to the uproar. But, we also had the Spanish here for a few centuries by that time. And, people came from all over.

Just like now. And, given some of the discussions that I see, we really need educational thrusts related to the hidden history of the U.S. So, let's go back a few decades prior to these two guys. One of the early explorers, a mountain man, was out west in the 1820s. He started in St. Louis working in the fur trade business. Then, he went west and covered a whole lot of territory. He took notes, drew maps, and even wrote letters. And, he has a New England pedigree which needs to be researched further. I looked at some reports and provide a brief list of families: Smith, Strong, Partridge, Mather, Ingersoll, Langley, Adams, Kilborne, Foote, Eddy. Like many, he has oodles of cousins.

Jedediah did not have descendants, but his siblings did.

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Now, let's switch to an example society that is doing very good work. In 1957, a group in California decided to found a group to research this guy and others like him and more. This is their website.


It's partly based in Berkeley (CA). They use WordPress nicely. But, their research work is real nice. There is some discussion, below. But, they have a Rendevouz that is planned and allows people to walk in Jedediah's steps, if you would. And, he covered a whole lot of western states, as an early traveler. I will look at one, below, a little.  

Being brief, just like the NEHGS helps lead the way, the JSS shines, too. Jedediah Smith was born in 1799, so he's a post-Revolution baby. His parents were in New York. They both have New England pedigree. By 1822, he was in St. Louis. Mind you, this was before the trails kicked in (see Gardner, KS at the split). After that, he went many places. He helped establish the Oregon Trail's route.

As we look at the filling in of the middle of the U.S., we can look at what was going on in New England. Like we know of Higginson, that he was one of the secret supporters of John Brown. By that time, there was regular publishing in eastern papers of articles sent from the west. Jedediah was before any of that.

His death was in 1831, in Kansas. There is a river that runs out of New Mexico into Colorado and then wanders east until it meets with the Arkansas River that comes out of Colorado, too. He was killed while drinking water from the Cimarron River during a parched time. His body was never found, however reports of this death traveled back quickly. In that area, they were laying out the Santa Fe trail

Area where Jedediah was killed, 1831
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It might be of interest to mention, now, that Jedediah and his crew were the first U.S. citizens to cross the Mojave Desert. And, this was in the summer.

After being detained and questioned by the New Spain Governor, Jedediah went north.

Jedediah maps out the Interstates
I had to include this map, which came from the JSS website. For those who may be familiar with the area, the long south to north line is, essentially, today's I5. Then, in the lower area, we see what is now I15. And that northern line is I80 which goes across the whole continent ending up in New York City.

There are similar maps of other areas created by researchers who have been studying Jedediah and his times.

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As an aside, the JSS still uses checks for their membership payment and contributions. They have a nice newsletter, too, and published papers.

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Jedediah was forgotten for a long while. One article is noted as having been written in 1922 by a grand-nephew who lived in Kansas not far from where Jedediah was slain. But, once the JSS was formed, it has been in action to get Jedediah recognized.

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We see a similar role with regard to Thomas Gardner and the Cape Ann crew, especially with regard to the Old Planters Society. That is, do not let the world forget early New England. Lots of research has been done the past 100 years or so. Too, there is a huge stack of pending research. Using the www for coordination goes along with its purpose and facilities. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/30/2018

07/17/2018 -- Continuation of the theme: culture | history | technology.