Saturday, February 27, 2021

New Spain

TL;DR -- New Spain covered more area than New France. And, it had land that the U.S. wanted later than did any other country. Finally, a look at the situation. 


We finally are getting to New Spain after spending some time looking at New France.  Doing these other areas does a couple of things, at least. For one, New England dealt with others who were European and who were over here but outside of New England. It will be good to get a closer view of the events and activities where we can 'flesh' out the situation; this type of work makes the study of history to be more human oriented. 

The other thing is that the areas involved outside of New England were much broader in scope which we saw with the Louisiana Purchase. We backed into this study through looking at families that had gone west from both the northern and the southern parts (Virginia and surrounds) of New England. As we were getting familiar with details, it became obvious that we needed to stop and acquaint ourselves with the other colonialist's views. Jefferson did the Louisiana deal with New France, but the area had been under New Spain, too. 

Let's use Wikipedia. There are several maps on the New Spain page, but we like this one for several reasons. It shows the total scope of New Spain. The darker blue region is the original coverage. There is a medium blue region that New Spain got from New France. 

New Spain, colored in blue

Stopping for a minute, we can look at St. Louis, MO. It was founded by French trappers, as we would expect. However, the area had been visited by people from both New Spain (1500s) and New France (1670s). In 1764, New Spain got the area from New France who got it back later, prior to the sale to Jefferson. In the map, the light blue areas were obtained from New France. 

Except, there had been exploration along the left coast as shown by this map which is of the Pacific Northwest. 

In the southwest, New Spain ventured in from the coast. To wit, Santa Fe, NM was an early post. Coronado covered a lot of area which we will be looking at further. Reminder, we are talking 1540 which was the time of Thomas Gardner's great-grandfather. It was about the same time that de Soto ventured up the Mississippi to just south of where St. Louis is now. It was 100 years later when New France ventured into the same area arriving by a totally different direction from the Great Lakes. 

Coronado and his scouts

Lewis & Clark came through the St. Louis area in their 1804/5 trek. The fur business started to explode. And, then we had the early explorers. Missouri, as a State, had entrants on a regular basis prior to 1820s. As well, all of the characters that we have taken some interest in  (such as Jedediah Strong Smith) were in St. Louis at some time or the other. 

Even after the Jefferson deal, New Spain covered a lot of area. Those familiar with the modern maps can see Florida, parts of other southern States, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California across the bottom (others, such as Colorado, were above these) as parts of New Spain. At the same time, there were wanderers from out of New England, in the area. Some of these were early pioneers who planned to put down roots. 

New Spain, 1819

One thing that we can do is pick a few families for a focus. Francis Alcott Flagg had a long series about pioneers to the western front. You know, his research was related to Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. The area was considered the northwest (hence Northwestern University). Far west? 

We will (continue to) look at the total breadth of the emigration across the U.S. And, bringing in geography allows us to see the reality of the situations

Caveat: Using Wikipedia's  maps. If anything seems out of order, let us know. Meaning, Wikipedia is a volunteer effort and needs editors to keep information accurate and up to date. 

Remarks: Modified: 02/27/2021

02/27/2021 --  

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