Thursday, August 27, 2020

US Territory

TL;DR - Military man. Went up the Mississippi to its start. Then, went out to see the Rockies. Found the source for the  Arkansas River. Had a run in with the Spaniards. So, was taken to Mexico. Sent back. The War of 1812 came up, and Zebulon Pike died. Young man. He, of several, helped us map out the western U.S. where the states can be huge.


Having been looking at families as they moved west, we have learned a lot with respect to history, genealogy, and life, in general. For one thing, there are people who need to be recognized for their lineage, albeit some of the genealogical bent have this bias (it's the paper that counts, silly). On the other hand, people had lives and left others behind. One consequence of the forever shift is that things get lost, like who was where.

As an aside, we know of Zebulon Pike's life. He wrote of it. After looking at Daniel Boone, we figured that we need to move further west, as Daniel stopped not far west of the Mississippi. Hence this post, as those who went west did it with labor. We'll get there in a continuation of the western movement series that started a few years ago. So, let's stop to look at the US States and some of their attributes.

After a brief pause, though. One thing that stood out in looking at early Massachusetts and New Hampshire is that someone could move, even two counties over, and be forgotten in the sense of not being included in some write up. So, it was understandable when someone went further west. Say, the Mayflower descendant out in the lonely prairie grave - see Bayes post - more coming. In his case, a book on his family starting with the 17th century arrivals just noted that he was out west. In another case, some abolitionist was hanged in Texas (pre-Civil War) for being there. We found this out by digging. Lots and lots of stories to tell; fortunately, the internet will allow a more full fleshing of history through time. So, people will be a common focus; we will set up a proof process for descendants of Thomas and Margaret; however, friends will be allowed, to boot.

So, there was a comment about Boone being known for migration on land. After all, his party went by foot from NC to TN and west out to MO. The old guy (in his 80s) is said to have taken a party out to the Yellowstone area. Pike, on the other hand, was young. He mapped the source of the Mississippi. He did the same for the Arkansas River, poorly equipped in late fall (snow of the Rockies). Then, he was taken down by the Spanish to Mexico and brought back. His travels were after Lewis & Clark and before the Santa Fe trail.

Note: we got on this theme with Jedediah Strong Smith and Judge Thompson of Massachusetts, in part.

Looking at the U.S., all of the larger states are out west. For instance, KS is 81K sq mi. This is mentioned since Col. Higginson went there explicitly to show support for John Brown. Too, it was traversed, in part, by the trails, with almost 6/8ths of the trail in KS (Santa Fe Trail). But, Pike went through the area, too, earlier (The White Man's Foot in Kansas). Lots have been written about Pike.

The largest state is Alaska with over 1/2 million sq mi. Texas is next (it'll be featured due to several connections with the East Coast, including New England). This comparison is not for bragging rights; rather, the amount of effort to go across an area relates to the distance. However, terrain was a larger factor. Drive across WV, sometime, and note the absence of any flat area. Or, what they call flat is not really.
Size of States, U.S.
The tales of the Sante Fe Trail mention that parties, sometimes, took the harder route in order to avoid conflict with the American Indian population. From a commercial view, that makes sense. We will look at that. Usually, the path of lesser resistance was taken. Say, moving from Gardner KS to above St. Joe MO in order to save a few days (the gold in CA was calling); besides, going up the MO river was easier than sloughing out west by land. Even if for a few days. Choices.

Remarks: Modified: 02/27/2021

02/27/2021 -- Changed to using American Indian. 

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