Friday, December 30, 2022

Gardner's Beacon, Vol XII, No 3

This issue of Gardner's Beacon continues with the context of our previous issue with respect to a regular presentation of ongoing work as well as reviews of common interests. ...


400ths plus

GB XII, 3 (PDF w/links)

GB XII, 3  

See Vol. XII, No. 3 of Gardner's Beacon for links to Sources.

Remarks: Modified: 12/30/2022

12/30/2022 --

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Charles Sanders Peirce

TL;DR -- Our technology focus will get regular attention. Today, we mention the role that a cuz had in the development of some of the logic that drives computing, especially that which models complex systems. His family has been mentioned in several posts. It was time to feature CSP, himself. 


This post is overdue and is motivated by current research related to the TGS, Inc. focus on technology is all of its aspects, particularly that which requires advanced computational support. We have had a few posts on the theme (results from search on 'technology' includes "How dumb is AI?"). As we have mentioned, our scope on this is a broad as is the Gairdner's handling of their medical research. The computer is more than merely ubiquitous, it's a phenomenal basis of sorts. 

Too, we have featured a few individuals, so far. This year, we noted Emmy Noether for several reasons. We have looked at Jedediah Strong Smith and some military people, such as Gens. Worth, Greeley, and a lot more. We considered the lives of religious folks. This is a continuation of that thrust. 

We mentioned Charles' father, earlier (see search results for "Charles Sanders Peirce", Benjamin is at the top). The early motivation was to focus on Thomas Gardner descendants, then we extended that to the collateral families. But, then, lots of in-law situations abound (that includes those events that lead to the "step" sibling). Then, we have friends of the family, such as Charles A. "Flagg" who worked with Dr. Frank on The Massachusetts Magazine. 

The motivation? Poking around the bowels of mathematics and logic (and their children, ala computational modes) will be an imperative chore, forever. It's about time to recognize this. And, arguing 'black' box opacity? AIn't (our little icon for AI ain't) gonna happen that this is allowed. We can sit back and reverse engineer thinking and hypothesize. Eventually, we'll get close. It's guaranteed. Oh? You bet. This is where CSP comes in. 

BTW, Wolfram's deal (his language and Mathematica and more) plus Lenat's several decades work (Cyc) are going to be on the plate as examples of how to do things. Anyway, Wolfram was, like everyone of late, reflecting on his long road. It was interesting that he used 'C' (the Bell Lab language) but worked sophisticated extensions (Lisp M-expressions). Part of Lenat's systems uses Lisp. There were good arguments for this approach. Wolfram was noting the logic modes that he supports (uses) and mentioned abduction. Well, CSP 'coined' that as he described sufficiently ways to work this (remember, he is from the late XIX century) so that Alfred North Whitehead was impressed, after the fact. 

Strange names? We'll set up a site to handle these discussion. Here, we're noting that CSP does not have Thomas Gardner as an ancestor. There are links to WikiTree material, below. Too, TAG was one source. And, WT did additional research. We have not considered the specifics, yet, but will weigh in at some point. In the meantime, CSP is still cuz via other families. 

Let's look at the guy through some bullets with comments. 

  • Charles Sanders Peirce - he worked in philosophy and mathematics. Actually, he was a true polymath. But, our interest in the beginning are his thoughts about things relating to cybernetics long before people even dreamt of control systems or computers. Then, he was a major force in several areas, with some thinking he was the greatest of American brains til then and probably a long time after. A. N. Whitehead, British mathematician, came to Harvard where he had access to CSP's material. There is an organization for him (The Charles S. Peirce Society). 
  • Pragmatism - Let's note what Stanford says: Encyclopedia article. There are many more to chose from. 
  • Mathematics - St. Andrews (UK) has a nice take on him. Lots of papers have been written on his work, but this one deals with his logic emphasis which lead to the conceptual/existential graph of Sowa.  

With respect to his wok, Wikipedia hosts an extensive bibliography (as a good example of its capability). We feel somewhat remiss in that the effort to collect and present this material started in 2006, and we just found it the other day. Has to do with focus and viewpoints, where there is no overarching view that encompasses all (one might say, no theory). Frankly, that CSP still gets attention in the modern world is appropriate. His worth will grow when we tame computation and their misuse of "metrically transitive operators." 


Now, it was Benjamin's Memoir (see post) that noted the Thomas Gardner connection which was picked up by Dr. Frank. We went to look at the WT information on CS Peirce. There was a note about a G2G (study by genealogists) activity that established a different mother rather than the granddaughter of Thomas. As said, we have not reviewed this work, as of yet. On an initial look, per usual, there was not a complete edit/update with the new material. In fact, due to the discussion, the final decision was different than that proposed, at first. But, then, that is how these things go. 

There is technology related to genealogical studies (including those dealing with biological issues), but our focus on technology is across the board. Somewhat, we are pursuing a thrust dealing with truth engineering as being a necessity in the computer age. Nothing new here as the computer has been evolving for decades, now. It is more the case that how things unfold make the need obvious from certain viewpoints. 

Looking at CSP's life show parallels with what we see now. In fact, one wit said that the 'whole family' was crazy (perhaps, jokingly); yet, dynamics related to knowledge and its use are not new to us. We just have the advantage (or misfortune) of being around when things got more gnarled than anyone thought could be. 


Note: There will be more information, in the technical forum, about Wolfram (Mathematica) and Lenat (Cyc). The parentheses provide a link to their work via Wikipedia.  

With respect to CSP, he and his wife had no offspring. So, they are on our growing list of those forgotten ones that we will pay attention to, going forward. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/29/2022

12/29/2022 -- Added in pointer to the bibliography on Wikipedia, started in 2006.  Benjamin was at Harvard (Class of 1829) and is listed as one of the few mathematicians from the USA in the XVIII Century. A cuz at Clark University has created a chronology of mathematics which will be useful for a quick look at the generational aspects. 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

New Hampshire

TL;DR -- ME has been in sight since the beginning. NH only has had passing reference as we studied Cape Ann in relation to 400 years. They have 2023 for their commemoration, as does Gloucester. We look at a few of the posts over the years that mentioned our scope. In our future research, we will balance the view across the local territory and further, in this context: the long reach of New England.  


We have had a 400th focus for a while as we watched other celebrations (Plymouth - 2020, Weymouth - 2022). Gloucester comes up in a few days. Our start was with a focus on Cape Ann and Essex County

Then we extended our view to MA and New England. Incidentally, ME was involved due to its association with MA. After looking at the long reach of New England in the interior and the west of the U.S. and around the world, we now have a U.S. focus through the 400 years where we consider details through time of the other colonies (like New Spain) as well as the events related to populating the interior (Frontier century).  

Recently, while looking at the Northwest (as seen in the time of the Revolution), we saw Rhode Island being represented out west, in the form of a Governor of the Territory of Michigan. Having looked at the family involved and tying things back to Massachusetts, we thought to fill in the gap by looking at a family that had long been in RI (see H.P. Lovecraft). We had mentioned that we needed to bring in the surrounding States, such as CT (a little later), NH (which we had already touched upon), ME (which we have covered many times) and VT (already noted in looking at western movement). We will get these posts better categorized and related as we work the 400s going forward. RI and CT do not come up on the 400th list yet, that we know of. We should have looked north, again. 

Today, we saw (on FB) that the northern neighbor whom we associate with Rev. Bachiler is on the 2023 list. That was good to find out. We will spend more time researching the Rev. and his cohorts, but he was mentioned recently in this post (see Two Houses) which was motivated by research on New Hampshire families where it was noted the Gilman family was of interest with regard to the Revolution (both sides, plus the Society of Cincinnati). Nathaniel Ladd was one of the builders. We also had looked at the Dudley family who hung out there. 

Rev. Hubbard, friend of the family, weighed in on the controversy of when did NH start. John B. Sanborn (several posts) was born in NH. Sam Webber, Head of Harvard, was born in Essex Co, MA, but his family moved up north. Lots of Ann's folks did the same. 

Hence, in a few days, we'll have another commemoration to add to the list. As well, we need to find a time line for NH similar to the one for MA. 

This was a great reminder as it expands the scope at a good time, that is, when Essex County starts its long-awaited commemorations. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/25/2022

12/25/2022 --

Friday, December 16, 2022

H. P. Lovecraft

TL;DR -- We look at an author from the earlier part of last century. His parents were of the 10th generation and have lives that are of interest to several of our themes. The main locale is Rhode Island which we will pay more attention to, plus adding in a regular look at CT and VT (both involved with the western movements). 


The name of H.P. (Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Wikipedia, WikiTree) came up recently in a discussion. Per our norm we try to find associations with the themes of the TGS, Inc. For context, he is an author with view similar to the modern author, Stephen King (Wikipedia, WikiTree), who acknowledges the influence of H .P who was born in Rhode Island; Stephen is from Maine. Both of New England. We need to look further at RI but will defer that. Lots of interesting families were involved in the founding and were instrumental in getting the state to this date. 

So, a theme here is that we have a basis with Essex County of MA and then MA but New England follows. We will note the various categories that will come into play as we continue our research. We have lots of post under the category of the Revolution where the 5th generation is the focus. We have not looked at Rhode Island very much nor paid suitable attention to Connecticut. We will. Also, VT will be brought into the mix as it was on the pathway as well as being settled early (example of families ratcheting westward  over time, leaving traces for us to look at - modern example: Coleman). 

Most of the Rhode Island material was about someone of the George Gardiner family. Examples are Henry and his brother plus Dr. Silvester and his wife. Now, H.P. will be another example as most of his lineage has folks who came into Rhode Island and stayed there. Of course, there are connections to families in the whole of New England. 

H.P.'s father was Winfield Scott Lovecraft who had been named for the General; his mother was Sarah Susan Phillips. Both are New England families Lovecraft was a fairly recent family in terms of arrival, but the collateral families of th Philipps have a history in the colonies. Both Winfield and Sarah are of the ninth generation which we need to look at further. That makes H.P the tenth. 

Another theme? This one has been in abeyance from the beginning except for minor remarks, here and there. Without pointing to specific posts, we saw that the Cape Ann crew was well capable in taking care of themselves. But, Conant came; later, we saw Endicott. It was not long after that when more people came in than the local environment could support. Typical then, as we see now. That is the major aspect of the theme. Economics, for one, as the common reality across time. Too though, generation after generation saw the rise of affluence (please do not compare to the supposed glories that we see now) and then its decline (oh yes, modern world's crypto - gaming as one huge factor). 

H.P. got attention to this theme brought to bear, finally. His family was wealthy (again, we will only briefly touch upon extremes of richness (which is stupidity, somewhat) and its opposite (as demonstrated with tens of thousands of homeless in the LA (that is, in CA) not considering all of the other areas that we need to pay attention to). First, his father took ill enough to be institutionalized. His grandfather and mother raised him. Then, his grandfather's business world experienced problems. 

H.P. has quite a following. One enthusiast pulled together a view of the family and published a book on H.P. parents (see image). The author gathered information about the business activity of H.P. maternal grandfather that is available via a blog (inactive since 2014): Whipple Van Buren Phillips. Rather than take an involved look at this, we can provide a few interesting pieces of information with commentary. 
  • The researcher and book author, Kenneth W. Faig, Jr., published the book in 1990. Later, with the cloud coming to fore (Google's release of digital copies of documents), further research was possible by what are known as Lovecraftians. We like this as an example of what we will continue to see. Lots of this work was done in the earlier days of computing with some of that work gone but some recoverable. Such activity will be more commonplace. 
  • The Panic of 1873 was one factor in H.P.'s grandfather business. Such events are a part of human life, as we can see with the more than a handful which have occurred within the past 30 years. Granted, these dynamics pertain to the whole country, but pulling to focus the New England aspects will be an ongoing bit of work. 
  • Whipple was involved with several other ventures, but we wanted to look at the dam on the Bruneau River, in Idaho, that took time and money. Considering the time, the terrain, the technology, and local culture, this effort was extremely bold (Musk'ish?). The C.J. Strike Reservoir can be thought of as the result even if this was not accomplished in Whipple's time. The Snake River comes out of the area where we have researched and made mention of the years spanning from early trapper all the way to the ski resort offerings of the mid-20th century. Idaho is far afield from Rhode Island.
What we see here is the long reach of New England that will continue to be of interest. Also, we see two themes related to our interests that came about from looking at a New England author. As such, this represents several things of which we want to mention two: 
  • over the 400 years from Cape Ann and the 250 years from the Revolution, history has weighed in from its view which we can discuss. However, families got themselves through those times and have tales to tell. We want to facilitate that all around especially by verifying information and getting it out to the world. As said, McCollough can be a model.
  • at the same time, technology is of interest in its ceaseless mode of offering more and more (with less and less impact?).  

Remarks: Modified: 12/17/2022

12/16/2022 --

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Wartime Quartet

TL;DR -- WWII gave Oxford (and Cambridge) the opportunity to focus on the women students. We point to four who were known as the Wartime Quartet. The subject? Philosophy. The context? Say, FB to Meta? Is this something of value and what type? Or not? Our focus on technology puts this type of discussion squarely on our table that is 400 years in the making. But more, underlying issues of consciousness and reality are where the issues lie, for many. Not for all. How do we lift this bit (pun) of shambles into some mature, rational framework?


One focus that we have deals with all aspects of technology; we are taking up the challenge in a vogue similar to that which the Gairdner Foundation used as they supported research for many years, in biomedical research. And, technology in this sense is much more than the 'T' of STEM. 

Of late, we have been looking at various computational modes that marvel the minds of people and that brings up discussion about consciousness and intelligence using an endless gauntlet of material that accompanies any attempt to adequately consider how technology has not only changed our lives but also can easily be seen to portend troubles in the future. At some past point, science split from philosophy though physics was known once as natural philosophy. Same goes for mathematics which is a core entity (almost foundation in its scope) and which has little room for philosophy. 

Discussions of a necessary nature have been on-going the past century and were there earlier. Take the topic of consciousness, there are loads of opinions that abound with regard to what is involved with this phenomenon with which we are all familiar, but there is no real theory extant, yet. Will there ever be? 

Or, we find ourselves stuck in the mode of demonstrative prowess which has been the most common approach that we have seen. Power orientation arises from this. Granted, technology when it works is great as, again, we all know. When it does not? Oh yes, let's talk that, later. 

And, examples are there, too, say Google's offspring doing things that marvel the like of which when coupled with marketing suggest something like the 'second coming' (this concept is very much part of the worldview associated with how the U.S. came to be). In other words, miraculous events pend (are anticipated) due to perceived (or the expectation of new) potential lurking, waiting around the corner. Yet, is the stuff real? Lots of it is not, unfortunately. We can deal with that. Ought to.  Have to given the state of the web/cloud/internet.  

John will say this (does not apply to robotics which has a different set of dilemmas) with regard to huge portions of what is called machine learning: AIn't can't Kant. This will be one of many memes. Should the reader want to add to the list, let us know. 

Now, again, examples? Take the morph of FB to Meta. This is a very sketchy overview, but FB is a 'soc med' type of system that is about eighteen years old, has billions of users worldwide (those in the U.S. are a small percentage), is there 24/7, has led the way in both good and not-so-good ways (will not talk 'bad' as we really are dealing with science and its responsibility beyond twiddling with quantum bits or dreaming of cosmological takeovers), and a lot more. In 2022, there was a change to have a focus that merges augmented reality, virtual life, 3D modeling of an extreme manner, artificial intelligence (all types), and development of a commonality which bridges all of these silo'ic modes into something integrative, useful, and, perhaps, even of great power for the world and its people. 

Aside, you all know of the crypto bust of late. Also, that approach is hugely expensive and not by any ilk to be considered mature. Yet. It ran and reigned minds. What came from this event of late will be discussed? Seriously, we need viewpoints that encompass the totality as much as we can. Science is disparate in nature, by choice, How can it get back to a healthy state? 
Reminder? Philosophy used to be an assistance. It has not gone away. Now, that things have become so murky with respect to who is doing what, why, and 'is it real' are only a small set of a large space of confusion. America (norte) started this stuff. It is this culture that will recognize the consequences and work to make it much better, for everyone. 

Publications of a philosophical nature quote from the older crowd that is familiar, say the Greeks and early Europeans, as well as with the names of those who thought of this stuff all the way down to the 20th century. Even later authors have weighed in. Being that this work has a technical nature, lots of the discussion does deal with mathematics and computer science as well as computer engineering. But, humanities, business and all of those realms? Yes, they are paying attention. 

In fact, one concern is that of late we find business types releasing 'machine learning' models upon the public, usually arguing that it's for their customers' and clients' benefit. Yet, take it from an informed observer, lots of these things are causing even more problems of a nature that is painful to watch. We had a post on this: Why is AI so dumb?  There have been other posts. But, our focus is not just on AIn't. 
For one thing, this issue does not deal with trivial subjects, by any means. As we know, there are loads of universities around the world with departments dealing all sorts of topics, and these represent 'knowledge' in some manner. Too, we have humans who can demonstrate expertise of other types that are not of any academic category. In short, humanity consists of almost unbounded talent which we see demonstrated from time to time. 

We, in particular, want to show how the 400 years since the colony started plus the 250 years of the U.S. can be used to establish threads for discussion that help bring technology into a proper light as required by accelerating expansion of technical modes. We are not in a simple world. Never were. But, we came from an older culture. We pick England as an ancestral hub, however the continent comes into play, too. 

Take universities? We wrote of the influence of Cambridge with a minor mention of Oxford. We will flip that in the following paragraphs. This year, we took a closer look at women's history month. One person of note mentioned was Emmy Noether. We will be getting back to her. 

As mentioned, there is active philosophical discussion now about computing, more than seen before. Some are looking at whether we are experiencing a Kuhnian paradigm shift. In this discussions, there was mention of a suggested change to the reading list on the subjects. 

See The women who brought philosophy into everyday life by Dr Clare MacCumhaill and Dr Rachael Wiseman as an example. Four women philosophers, listed below, were added to the list. Another example is the commemoration that the Durham University Philosophy Society did in their journal. 

BTW, the group was called the Wartime Quartet since they were women students at the time when most of the male students were off, involved with WWII particularities. In one of the overview essays, it was noted that the women did not try to outdo each other. Lesson for males? Rather, they tried to get to the bottom of problems and to look at solutions. 

Aside: that's the way in the business world where the owners set the pace; as opposed to the academic milieu's issues (observed many PhDs who worked in both environments). 

This is cursory, again. But, let's start with the names plus a little information about the scholars, especially noting that which applies to our themes with respect to history and technology. 

Mary Midgley --  quote: I do think that in normal times a lot of good female thinking is wasted because it simply doesn't get heard.

Philippa Foot --  granddaughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland (needless to say, of New England heritage)

 Iris Murdoch -- Irish philosopher and author who studied at both Oxford and Cambridge. 

 G.E.M. Anscombe -- In 2010, philosopher Roger Scruton wrote that Anscombe was "perhaps the last great philosopher writing in English".

 This is more than an advanced post for next year's WHM. This quartet was brought up in a talk about whether we ought to follow Zuckerberg (FB, Meta) to his new environment. In that same discussion, Berkeley and Descartes were discussed. We didn't see Kant, except for some implicit reference. In any case, after reviewing material from the quartet, we are ready to bring them into the discussion as 20th century examples. Albeit Philippa is the only American, but these minds are of the culture that was the foundation of the colonies and the subsequent Nation; and so, this material needs more exposure. 

Oh yes, all along, we have talked about the internet and the new information modes and how they will help us improve the historical look at about any situation over the past 400 years. This is another example of that endless bit of tasks which will be on the plate going forward. 


Note: Where I saw the Wartime Quartet referenced. Video lecture from UMass: Should We Plug In To The Metaverse? 

Already, I like Mary due to her interchanges with Dawkins. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/14/2022

12/14/2022 -- 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

19th Century details

TL;DR -- Earlier we took a look at transcontinental travel in the early 19th century and its ardors. There was nothing easy about the ordeals, but people took up the gauntlet. Here we look at one site where travelers made their presence known and link to a map that has local details of interest. 


We have had several posts on trails. Recently, we looked at a well-known trail (to Santa Fe) as it was the terminus of another trail in New Spain which provided other trails such as that which provided a route used by the Butterfield Overland Mail Company in carrying mail, freight, and passengers from the east coast, through St. Louis and to San Francisco. This was pre-Civil War and was interrupted. Further north, the Pony Express went from St. Joseph, MO to California carrying mail. Butterfield established a new route up north using coaches. Mark Twain wrote of his journey on this route. 

There was another Butterfield in that area who was not related and who had a  Butterfield Overland Dispatch (using a post at the Legends of America site) through Kansas. Both of these Butterfield gents had investors back east. The amount of stations, equipment, horses and people required to have regular routes was tremendous. As we know, the rails of steel were going to play havoc with these routes. But, that was enough later for history to be made. 

As a reminder, at the same time, there was regular traffic from New England which moved south by sail to the area of Panama which involved going across land from ship to ship and then sailing back north. Of course, one could go around South America. We looked at this briefly when writing of the Bostonian (barque) that wrecked along the Oregon coast in 1850. The barque left Boston in July and arrived at San Francisco the following January. It was later seen in New Zealand and, evidently, carried goods to San Francisco before venturing north to its fate. Gardiner, OR resulted from that incident. The overland trails had as many dangers; but, even without those happenstances, the travel was arduous. 

Besides looking further at the specifics of these overland efforts where we find the two Butterfields, we want to bring in more detail as is required for doing history of the events better and for considering the people involved in a more respectful light. Also, the area in the center of the U.S. was very busy. For comparison, we looked at a railroad town and its specifics from the early 1900s (see KATY - western railroad). 

Let's start with a map that comes from KDOT (see 19th Century Kansas Trails). Notice that the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails come into the area in the northeast corner. The Oregon Trail splits off and heads northwest. Another trail in that area is the Butterfield Overland Dispatch which terminated in Denver, CO. The other Butterfield route would have been north of this area. 

Click for detailed 
map from KDOT

The map includes other trails of interest including those used by indigents and that related to the cattle trade where heads were brought as herds to a rail terminus for loading. As one looks at images, the wild west was in this area (see Dodge City). "Hell on the plains" might apply to our few decades of the web. 

Looking at some of the details, there was a military road (double green) that went from Ft. Leavenworth to Ft. Scott and further south. This was there early. We mentioned a Mission in the southeast corner (see Memorial Day 2022). Nathaniel Boone (son of Daniel) was in the area. Col. T.W. Higginson was in Lawrence and Topeka. Lawrence was founded as part of the abolitionists' interest in keeping Kansas free. Take a close look and note a trail (blue dashes) from Leavenworth which was originally for supplying Army posts as they expanded westward but ended up with a California connection

In a recent post, we looked at how Ipswich MA got Ohio going. That was not long after the Revolution and was similar many ways with what happened later out west. In fact, we included a graphic (map) showing both areas. So, we could look at this type of detail across the whole of the region. 

One of our interests is the long reach of New England. Both Butterfields were from New England (their relationship, if any, needs to be researched). For the most part, we will be taking time to link with both genealogical and historical information (see Lorenzo and Peggy). As well, we have a technology interest and want to include specifics of the reality of the earlier times. After all, everyone here had forebears who were alive then. The particulars of the American west are such that we can see the transitions clearly over the frontier century's span. We mentioned it before, but this map brings up the fact: going from the northeast (Kansas City) to Ft. Larned (south central, look for Great Bend) took three weeks of daily work on the Santa Fe Trail. 

One more detail, Jedediah Strong Smith was last seen in the area of Point of Rocks (lower left - southwest). He was killed by an indigent part. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/12/2022

12/11/2022 -- 

Thursday, December 8, 2022

1623 to 2023

TL;DR -- It has been twelve years since we began our effort. The 400th is now showing on the horizon. It's time to stop, reassess, and prepare for the future. Definitely, we can compare what we know and how versus the comparable periods in the past. At the same time, the 500th and its requirements can be considered. As, a 100-years focus for a project has come forth as necessary for us to do technology correctly. That is one focus that we adopted. 


In Massachusetts, Gloucester is starting their 400th in a mere 22 days. Can you believe it? Here is a link to the stories that they have been collecting at their site ( 

When we started this work a decade ago, we had a lot to learn which entailed reading, on-line, in libraries, general books and articles, plus visiting places to get acquainted. Along the line, we have posted here plus put out the Gardner's Beacon and The Gardner Annals. And, we have corresponded with lots of people. We have two websites and several blogs. We wrote on existing topics (Charles Olson, Worcester born and of Gloucester by choice) and ventured into other areas, such as technology

Back then, our timeline started with 1624 as that is what Dr. Frank used in his books following work being done in England. Since then, there has been other work done that added more flavor. A crew stayed over for the winter of 1623/24 with an arrival the next spring of another group of ships (one of which was the Zouch Phenix). Thomas Gardner is mentioned as being on a passenger list, however there are arguments that claim no such list existed. Margaret Gardner was noted for not being the mother of the children mentioned by Dr. Frank. That was clarified further. 

We have more tools now, such as WikiTree's support for genealogy. But, we saw lots of other work and must gather these to create a view of the knowns as of this time, the 400th. We can remind ourselves that the 200th was coincident with the start of the new country, U.S. In that regard, we have been setting up means to know how New England's influence has evolved over the whole period since the colony started and from the beginning of the country that we know. That involves knowing more about the interior and its history. 

But, as we came through the years, things stood out so as to allow us to categorize. We will get into that further. But, let's mention some that will have continuing attention with a little commentary. 

  • What we know -- We wrote on this, first, in 2012. It precipitated the creation of a FAQ.  We will continue that effort and keep this collection up to date. 
  • What's new - This was an early effort and has been through several changes. One aspect that will be continued is the Recent finds overview. 
  • Gardner's Beacon - We started with a PDF and a web page and have started to convert over to a database driven by one of the known platforms while keeping control via our own rented virtual server. The Gardner Annals has incorporated issues of Gardner's Beacon in a printed format. But, other approaches are being explored as we look for a good way to go toward the future. In any case, we will balance various media yet keep the printed variety present for several reason, such as support for research and its necessity for handling provenance. 
  • Long reach of New England - This entails keeping aware of the many ways that life and changed over the periods since Cape Ann and the later Revolution. Not only must we consider the vast interior and its lure, but the scope is international as well. 
  • But, Cape Ann and specifics - From details of Rev. John White to the families and their descendants (John Goff), there will be research to be done. Our interest runs from providing funding to coordinating presentation and analysis of results. 
  • The Massachusetts Magazine -- Dr. Frank and friends published this periodical for over a decade which was to be the official voice of the Old Planters Society. Here are a few links to posts related to the Old Planters: Old Planters, Beverly (2011); Old Planters, Massachusetts (2012); "Old" in New England (2021). 
Needless to say, for the 300th, there was a lot of effort put into genealogical research and publication. As said, the 200th was overshadowed by concerns for getting the U.S. going properly. The 400th will be about history and bringing information into a better mode for continued work down the pike, which implies 100 years plus (we will cover this under technology, in contexts such as discussing content versus configuration). 

We are using 1624 as our date while being cognizant of the overwintering party. But, we have other commemorations that will ensue, such as the arrival of Roger Conant (1625) and the movement to Naumkeag/Salem (1626) with parallel efforts applied to the other locations where collateral families were involved early on (say, Ipswich).  

Remarks: Modified: 12/20/2022

12/20/2022 -- Gloucester is preparing for the kickoff of 2023. 

Theirs is the first commemoration in Essex County, MA. Which is our original focus, like this: Cape Ann (Glouceser), Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, New England. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Perspective, a necessity

TL;DR -- Ipswich has been a topic from time to time. It had shipwrights. Of course, different size of vessels were handled. There were no biggies like Boston (MA) or Bath (ME) or Norfolk (VA). Other examples of industry and technology can be used. But, Ipswich led the way to the expansion across the interior that we saw for over a century. We will be looking at that, as after all, New England has a long reach. Ipswich has done well for itself. 


As technology runs toward the future, we always get to states where we get locked in. We cannot go back. Technology is great, except for when it doesn't work. If the problem is solvable, then we have a glitch and a correction. If the problem is systemic or not resolvable within a reasonable timeframe and costs, we have adjustments rise as imperatives. Learning drives technology; unlearning drives recovery from technology's failures. 

The U.S. is about the best example that we have for several reasons. We have already addressed technology as being our main focus. We have 400 years of data to ponder, in this regard. But, just those pieces of evidence from the past 250 years is worthy of study, too. And, commemorative moments, such as we are having now which will last decades are a time to reflect and learn from the past. We are surely in a different mode than the generation of the recognition of the 300ths. 

Today, we are featuring Ipswich which does not come to bear until later, but it does involve Essex County. Reminder, Cape Ann (Gloucester) has their moments in 2023.  It was from Ipswich that a group went west. Gen. Rufus Putnam (Wikipedia, WikiTree) was one of the leaders of the effort. Let's look at some particulars. 

Historic Ipswich is a website that has been quite a motherlode of information. Of course, we are interested due to the many families in the heritage who had Ipswich connections. For one, Rev John Wise has an interesting bunch of  events in his life that we can learn from. We have been looking at shipbuilding in little Ipswich as well as similar work in the County (see Newbury Essex County MA).

The website has looked at Putnam's effort: Ipswich to Marietta, December 1787. First, they show the result of contention between the States with regard to this unsettled land to the west. We mentioned that in the last post about Family Search and their great support for research. Then, the post has the photo of a plaque that notes the endeavor. What? That got our attention, as we have been looking at the western expansion and its frontier century, including lost generations that plague genealogists who have no imagination. Why say that? These people were. Some were newcomers, true. Many were representative of the long reach of New England. Along with technology (and its specifics), our interest deals with identifying the examples of that reach plus the evidence now of its continuing existence. 

Then, the post looks at an effort in 1937 to redo the trek while documenting the effort. For one thing, they provide the map that gives details of the geography. That was great to see as we have looked at the west and its rivers and its great expanse and the carving that was inevitable. Lots of this was with a focus on St. Louis, the gateway. Putnam kept a journal. There were other reports written. In short, it was a great find that was more special since it involves little Ipswich (influence a huge multiple of its size). 

Now, let's look at perspective. Technology makes people lazy; oh, managers will say that it increases productivity. In terms of the former, heard of AI? It's a huge scam which we will show as we go along. Yes, balancing mathematics with knowledge with respect to culture that the broad history of U.S. allows. After all, we are a nation of immigrants. Luckily, we have two broad scopes, related to the colonial times versus later. Too, we have cultural associations with the old countries, for the most part. The list goes on and on. So, expect this theme to be recurrent. BTW, that which is being touted as AI is merely fancy math being exploited by computational prowess that came via modeling founded on (guess what?) mathematical modeling and the detailed work over the centuries. Yes, we will to touch upon all of that. 

For the time being, we will present the following map with some commentary afterwards. 

This graphic shows a map from the prior post which has one view of the partitioning before the carving that was involved in establishing the States. 

1) deals with the Michigan Territory (again, the prior post) that we just offhandedly dismissed as practice for the carving. Our only excuse was that we were dealing with the broad expanses beyond the Mississippi River, but that was not correctly assumed. We have to step back given that the focus of DAR/SAR is the upcoming 250th of the U.S. Besides, we have to give generations credit. This deals with the fifth and the sixth where the latter is the first of those that were heavily in the lost side of things. 

After all, people moved and did so quickly, once the way was set. Say, thanks to the likes of Daniel Boone and Jedediah Strong Smith. The former was doing his exploration prior to the Revolution. The latter was directly connected with St. Louis and its influence. We will go into that deeply. 

A point to make is this: that trek from Ipswich was difficult. Hence, there were real reasons why it took months. In fact, it was practice for the challenges of going even further which was all the way across the continent. On the right is a modern image with routes and times. Even today, travel is difficult. Try driving diagonally across West Virginia. It's fun; but, don't expect to make record time (except, perhaps, max time which is open). Those mountains run further north. By the time that they would use the Ohio, they had already trekked some distance. 

We will take the time to go into this further, since it does set the stage for later developments out west. 

2)  This view trails the other by only a couple of decades. Missouri, the starting point, was a State in 1821. By then, most of the issues related to the green area had been resolved. But, it was 1804 when Lewis & Clark did their venture from D.C. through St. Louis to the west coast. At that time, mountain men (trappers, explorers) and American Indians were mostly in the area. Except, that had been activity from the west coast in (New Spain), some of which got away from the coast. Too, the northern explorers had been more adventurous than those of New England. Boone in the south went further west than did those up north. Lots to discuss. 

Taking the same approach, notice that we are now in the middle of the country covering only a fraction of the area. Here, the issue is that folks would have followed a similar path down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River and then St. Louis and finally the Missouri River west. But, that was on to a starting point. There were several trails. This example uses that which went to Santa Fe in New Spain. One thing to note is that Santa Fe was the terminus of another trail that came up from the south. Too, there were trails out of the east through Texas to consider. 

But, taking that one small portion which involved about four hours of driving now, it took three weeks for a wagon train to cover that area with a daily grind of a few miles. Notice, too, that we are talking the plains portion which is supposedly flat. It isn't. You can still hurt yourself by falling off of a cliff at various places.  

In all of this travelling, rivers were both a barrier and a boon. In these graphics, they are not shown with any clarity, but, even recently, we have seen examples of traffic snarl ups due to bridge damage. One time, we were across the river from where we wanted to go. Okay. There was no ferry. This is a form of technology to note. So, the solution, since we didn't have a helicopter that would pick up the car and deliver us to our destination, was to backtrack to where we could follow a road that went over the river and then get back to where we needed to go which was a stone's throw (well now, as it was broad). 

During the times before bridge technology really advanced, one waited out water. Incidentally, here in the west, there are uncountable number of places where high water will stop traffic. And, in many others, the water comes up to the edge of the road. One hopes that the road engineers did a good job with the base. And, that's not mentioning storms such as we will be seeing with winter setting in. It does not even have to be like the recent dump on Buffalo, NY. A few inches can be catastrophic. 

 Oh yes, real examples. There is a method to that madness. AI and other computer has gone off the rail since a proper basis was lost. Yes indeed. We have seen so many examples of modeling gone wild (like the kids at spring break) due to a lack of grounding which comes about for several reasons. One of these is a lack of respect for the need. Some of that might be generational; a lot of it has to due with the computer being too new for us to really have a grasp of how truth engineering is necessary. Too, what John von Neumann wrought will bitt us until we learn several lessons that have been pending for a long time. 

You know, we are looking at the U.S. and its growth. But, at the same time, the world of thought was changing. There and here. Say, for the latter, Charles Sanders Peirce. But, parallel to the U.S. and its experiences, the world was changing, too. There is not end to that type of analysis. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/08/2023

12/16/2022 -- Rutland VT is hosting the Smithsonian's roving display:  The Smithsonian comes to Rutland. They are reading and discussing McCoullough's book The Pioneers as Rutland is on the pathway west. 

06/08/2023 -- Updated the URL for the Historic Ipswich post. It was originally dated in 2019. The 2022 update removed the older post. One of the technical concerns is that source linked by an URL can disappear or have some other issue, like the information changing drastically. Or, as we might wish not happen, contain undesirable information. In this case, an easy fix. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Family Search

TL;DR -- Looking at the Northwest Territory, which is far east of the Northwest Territories of Canada, we saw questions arise that we can pursue further. For instance, tracing a family some of whose members went west we got back to Connecticut and then Philadelphia. Some of the tracking issues involve changes in governmental overview over the 150 years to the Revolution and the 250 years after. Technology has offered the means to tie information together, across time and space, in interesting ways. An example is Family Search which we have used from the beginning. 


We have used Family Search from the beginning our endeavors, which led to the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc., such that it's now our first line of research after WikiTree. Of late, we have been researching families that moved inward starting with the creation of the new nation. But, to get the proper perspective, we found that we need to step back a decade or two which would include New Spain and New France. But, too, we need New Netherlands and New Sweden. More on that later in the post. 

U.S. and its interior

So, we got this feed which showed two guys talking about a video which had been run on a computer. The video showed a ship going from the Dutch country in Europe that ended up at Long Island. Then, there was mention of house built in an area or on a road with the name of Greenwich. Turns out that the builder of the house was the eighth-great of one of the men, an actor. The other? Not associated with ancestry[.]com or NEHGS, such as we saw with WDYTYA or Finding your roots or several others. 

No, this scene had been sponsored by Family Search and published on Youtube (it was CEO Steve Rockwood). Here is the video: Matthew Modine Discovers His New York Roots. It is a short bit. We didn't look further but recognized an interesting fact. The actor lives in Greenwich village That's several generations later. Too, that we have associations with people over the water cannot be forgotten. 


Now, New York. Just the other day, we were looking at the area of the Dutch settlement. One reason was looking at some activity in the Northwest Territory in the very early 1800s and noticing New England names. You see, both in the 1600s and in the 1700s, New England (north - Plymouth Colony and Cape Ann) expanded several times. Two of interest are when New York came under the Province of New England. Later, the nebulous notion of who owned what settled and we got areas with names and took up the duties of management. We will be looking at all of this more closely. 

Here is a related map.  

There are several versions of this map, but we used it in a post with respect to the early times that helped hone the carving of land discipline (see Practice for carving). Notice all of the cede activities that went on. States in the east though they owned land out west (see Connecticut Western Reserve). Virginia thought it extended to the Rockies though they had not been that far out. 

Now, let's look at one more. This is from the same post and shows the U.S. in its entirety at the time of the Revolution with only New England marked. Lot of the area in red had been under New France and was seriously changed after the French-Indian event. We can see the extent of New Spain.  

Now, the point is that in the red and orange, later, came families from the east (and overseas), with our focus, for now, being on New England (in its extended mode). After all, Ohio country is in the red and was there at the time of Revolution. As in, settlement had started. Going further west, the Territory of Michigan was in the red abutted by the Territory of Missouri in the orange. 

When we get to the orange, we are talking a later time and different technology, yet the same types of families were involved. We used the Bents a couple of years ago (see Trapper, trader, rancher). And, the mode of arrival had been by land (see Western expansion). Some was by sea (see Water and air). One focus has been to track families out of New England, to the West, Southwest and South (recognizing that there had been movement northward, too). 

But, looking further at the water ways (other than the multitude of rivers), we know about the Islands, such as Gardiner's. We saw that the southern territories had their island counterpart (see Fifteen colonies). We wondered about travel from Nantucket to Salem, for instance, by water, which would be faster than by land give the right boat and sailor. Too, though, all of those regions near Long Island are accessible by water, including Philadelphia. A ferry from Nantucket to Philadelphia nowadays takes somewhat over seven hours. 


One interest, as mentioned, came from following a family back from the Northwest Territory, in particular Michigan which was covered in The Massachusetts Magazine) to CT and then PA. In the beginning, administration of an area was run from the east coast. This is one of many examples. As we were doing the work, we made sure to identify Gardners out of Essex County when we could, including Thomas of Salem descendants. So far, we have barely touched upon the topic. But, we see parallels, as we did with the Southern folks (see The almost forgotten). As well, we will watch for existing research, as we see with the Biddle family of Philadelphia. There was a personality of this family mentioned in the news a while back whose ancestry include Plymouth Colony (Mayflower). Too, we see evidence of the family's presence in various ways, such as a house (on Mackinaw Island). 

Back to Family Search and its way. We have used WikiTree to expand the graphing portion of our work, such as presenting Dr. Frank's research about his material ancestry. Too, we have been working on expanding the children's progeny out to five generations or so. Besides RootsTech, we will be appreciative of the support that Family Search gives to the study of history and the families involved. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/29/2022

11/29/2022 -- 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Plymouth Colony

TL;DR -- Hist of Mass always comes across with good information. Today, the FB feed pushed a 2017 blog post our way to which we paid attention. Nice timeline. With a map, of the area. One could probably think of the feed's logic (algorithmic rumblings) should one choose. Not. A theme can be mentioned, though, farming. 


Or the timeline, thereof. We have several timelines, such as the one related to the 400th commemorations that started this year with Weymouth and next year with Gloucester. 

This post has a Thanksgiving theme (who was first? ;>), as it involves foods and feasts. We will be looking at farming in the northern colonies as one focus on technology. Subsistence farming was the norm until the early 1800s. But, that means more than a family providing for itself. We had local (even regional) markets for farm goods early on. Too, the Cape Ann crew's intent to come over was mainly to farm and ship produce back. So, we cannot leave that theme. Besides, going forward into the grand future, people will be eating. 

In 2017, History of Massachusetts blog created a timeline for the Plymouth Colony. The feed at FB showed it to us today (don't we love being driven by algorithms?). It has a real good graphic which will become the norm with the internet maturing (finally). As one looks around at papers and discussions, one sees systems thinking coming forth as opposed to that make-havoc-break-china mode of the past two decades. 

BTW, with respect to our themes, 'feed' was only mentioned once. That had to do with an early shortage which caused rations to be to be more strictly rationed. Cape Ann had a similar problem after more people came with Endicott and without proper thought for supplying themselves. Before then, the colonists were making it though the capitalist's expectations may not have been met. 

Also, earlier, Virginia had a real hard time trying to get started. Oh yes, it as the Berkeley Hundred that thought to celebrate after twelve long years. 

The details are great, in the map. It took a moment to get the drift as Essex wasn't there. Well, it's clipped and under the "Massachusetts Bay (1630)" label. 

In our last post, see Lydia Maria Child, we were looking at the Francis family which is Lydia's ancestry. The family is mentioned in a large number of Counties including Barnstable which is visible in this graphic. Nantucket was mentioned, too, which is visible in the lower portion. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/24/2022

11/24/2022 -- 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Lydia Maria Child

TL;DR -- Over the 400 years of our interest, we will be looking at people and events, here, there and everywhere. That goes with the long reach of New England. This post looks at someone from the seventh generation who was involved with several matters of long-standing concern. L. M. Child is of long New England pedigree as is her husband.


Book reviews can be a great resource. We don't always pay attention, as life is full of multiple areas of concern that need attention. But, the WSJ (weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal) has been a constant supplier of reviews of good books, that is, ones pertinent to our interests. For this post, we can point to three of these. One is that the childless can become lost as who pays attention down the pike? Lydia and her husband had no offspring. We have mentioned this interest several times, say with respect to Joseph and Ann - see Aunts, Uncles, Cousins which is from 2012 and needs some updating. Note, though, others have been added, such as Charles Alcott Flagg, friend of Dr. Frank and contributor to The Massachusetts Magazine

There are a couple more interests of many which we will itemize and discuss next year being motivated by the next 100 after the 400th commemorations cease, down the pike. The other two interests deal with identifying Essex County (Cape Ann) influences over the U.S. and the world, even today. So, that entails recognizing names of New England families in various contexts and looking for the specifics. The other is to find family associations within the large collection related to Thomas and Margaret (Fryer) Gardner. In this case, we have already found some but will keep those particularities out of focus for later. 

WBUR (news station, Boston) provides the following quote. 

BTW, we are finding that becoming stale is the norm for the web links and their offspring. This usually is only an inconvenience until one considers that what gets into place after the target of the scale link disappears. That can be problematic and will be covered under the topic of technology going forward. 

Here's the quote: 

  • Lydia Moland: "Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life" tells the story of what brought Child to this moment and the extraordinary life she lived in response. Through Child’s example, philosopher Lydia Moland asks questions as pressing and personal in our time as they were in Child’s: What does it mean to change your life when the moral future of your country is at stake? When confronted by sanctioned evil and systematic injustice, how should a citizen live? Child’s lifetime of bravery, conviction, humility, and determination provides a wealth of spirited guidance for political engagement today. 

The Frugal Housewife
by Lydia M Child
Information about Lydia Child is available many places (Wikipedia, WikiTree). She is the author of a popular poem; too, she wrote The Frugal Housewife, an early example of self-help. Her parents were Convers Francis and Susanna Rand. With respect to point #1, WikiTree does not have her heritage filled in as it could be since she does had New England families in her tree. So, we'll look at that. 
It ought to be an interesting bit of research. We can start here, with the VR of Medford which is in Middlesex County under the "Francis" surname for which there are several entries. 
  •  Lydia, d. Convers and Susanna, Feb. 11, 1802. ["took, when baptized, the name Lydia Maria" [w. David L. Child, Esq.] "the author of several valuable works," PR13]
The 'Francis' surname appears in Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, and Worcester Counties of Massachusetts. Okay?


We have looked a little at Lydia and her family. Let's stop to consider the times that she was born into. Recently, we did a look at veterans throughout the time of the U.S. (see Veterans Day) and showed a graphic of the conflicts. According to that source, the Revolution ran from 1775 to 1783. Lydia was born 21 years after the end of the revolution. The next conflict started in 1812, so she would have been aware of that war. Also, we had next the Mexican War and the Civil War. Now, Lydia was an early abolitionist as was her husband. We will get back to that as the extended family had a lot to do with the opposition to slavery. 

As an aside, Great Britain started the anti-slavery effort which we will look into. The U.S. had some involvement in the industry of slavery but pulled out of it. Needless to say, slavery still exists in our world. We really need to give credit to the folks of New England (they are legion) who worked and gave their lives for the effort, as we continue the efforts toward a more just life for everyone.   

So expect that we will continue our efforts at identifying abolitionists and other positions to be applied to new material about new people plus we will be going back for another look at what has been done so far in this regard. 


On the other side of things, 1804 was the year that Lewis & Clark got their sojourn going. They went down the Ohio River to St. Louis before running up the Missouri River. People were already going west, mostly for fur trading and exploring in the beginning. Boone himself was doing interesting things. We will be touching upon these themes as we continue our research. 

One category to keep in mind as we go forward deals with generations. The fifth were the core of the Revolution. The sixth were born but too young. The early seventh is where we would place Lydia. As we fill in more information about her, we will post updates. 

We will look at the family of Lydia's husband as well as that of the Francis family using the time of Lydia as a reflective point. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/29/2022

12/29/2022 -- Ipswich, MA led the way in settling Ohio post the Revolution.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Rails of steel

TL;DR -- In the territory of the U.S., whether the colonial times or after, people have trekked along trails leaving tracks. Technology brought us several ways to make tracks more permanent, namely the railroad and the road are examples. The rails? In the1880s (later part), there was rail from coast to coast (let's say, one thread of such though there was already a network of such) that supported passable traffic, to a degree. Mountains and rivers continued to be an inhibitor of traffic. Accomplishments related to these facilities took lots of blood, sweat and tears. And, remembrance of that is important; first, though, we need acknowledgement of the deeds. That suggests knowing details beyond mere generalization. 


We just had a post (Trails and tracks) on the trail of notoriety that crossed the middle U.S. and ended up at a terminus of another trail that came out of Mexico (New Spain) and was much longer. The New Spain route was part of the Camino Real system. We will look further at that topic. 

With respect to other types of tracks, the railroad (see Recap, again) comes to mind as it spread over the landscape. We have a graphic which show the growth by marking the post offices as they moved with the rails. See Pace of change. These two, the railroad and the post office, are types of technology that were (are and will be) of importance. 

Today, Woodbury Historical Tours shared a link to a monument on Donner Summit  The site is dedicated to the Chinese workers who came over to help build the railroad and were the largest group of laborers. Near the monument is the "China Wall" which is a retaining wall built by hand. There were two walls. Additionally, tunnels were dug out by hand.  

Of course the Pass was infamous earlier in the century. However, it still is fierce in the winter and creates havoc for traffic of all sorts. An interstate through that area experiences frequent closings. By April, snow banks are piled high on the side of the road. 

As mentioned, the Chinese workers were by far the largest group. Comparatively, several other groups stand out, such as the Irish. There is a monument to this group in the next state: Irish Railroad Workers

We might take a relook at the industry since John is from a railroad family. There are plenty of other jobs related to this accomplishment which is usually associated with names like Stanford in the West and Cornelius Vanderbilt in the East, of the U.S. 

We might use the Katy Railroad as an example as it has already come up in reference to the long reach of New England. Too, population centers shifted as the railroad made decisions about routes. Today, one finds long paths in many places where rails were lifted so that walkers and bikers can traverse the resulting trail. U.S. and railroads go way back. 

Earlier, we had a post about the Woodbury Historical Tours as we ran into their posts while browsing different subject. That was a nice thing to find. On the other hand, Woodbury was a Cape Ann family. We have not explored that aspect as of yet.  See Tours, of the real. One motivation for that post was something they wrote mentioning the Bents who we looked at earlier. And, their approach appealed for several reasons. A main one? In this day and age, we need to 'ground' lots of information and rhetoric by specific effort due to the influence that technology can have on our grasp of what is. 

That's another discussion best left for another day. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/16/2022

11/16/2022 -- 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Trails and tracks

TL;DR -- Trekking on the Santa Fe Trail started in 1821 at St. Louis MO. The traffic grew during the years up to the Civil War. Post the conflict, the railroad made its incursion which ended the majority of the traffic. Some still had this as their only recourse. However, the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail was on another trail that had been in operation since 1598 and was in New Spain that will be a continuing topic in our look at the long reach of New England. Too, going forward lots of effort by conservation groups has saved artifacts from the earlier periods. This focus will continue to be necessary.  


For awhile, we have been looking at the many commemorations that are in progress or will happen. The Cape Ann crew's arrival will be next up for the 400th. But, we have the 250th to consider, and even more, such as the 200th which is a few generations post the Revolution (250th). 

Last year was the 200th of the first trek by the eastern culture from St. Louis MO to Santa Fe NM along what became the popular trail. The trail went from the U.S., which had grown post Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory, to New Spain.  

To quote the Santa Fe Trail Association: "In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail became America's first great international commercial highway, and for nearly sixty years thereafter was one of the nation's great routes of adventure and western expansion." This association formed a few decades ago and has collected an astounding mixture of technology with which to tell the story of the times and the people who were involved. 

In terms of the later, they have been nominations for a Hall of Fame. On our review of the list, today, we saw many familiar names, some of whom are well-known characters of the American West, such as Kit Carson, Zebulon Pike, and more. The Bent family and others have been mentioned in this blog in the context of the long reach of New England. 

Also, the Association publishes a newsletter which is available online: Wagon Tracks (online list of issues). They have published since 1986. The latest issue (Wagon Tracks, Aug 2022) included an article on measuring distance traveled which looked at one invented by Ben Franklin. This article is an example of a technology focus which we will keep to the fore. In this case, miles were the enemy more so than others that are known, such as weather. We have looked at rivers and other waters as a means for travel as well as being a barrier.  

May 2021 issue of
Wagon Tracks
The image comes from an issue from 2021 (Wagon Tracks, May 2021). 

Another source for information is the Kansas Historical Society whose state is crossed diagonally by the trial. We have referenced this source before; an example was our earlier look at Col. Thomas W. Higginson who was from New England and was out in Kansas supporting abolitionism and John Brown.  

There are many persons to look at. Right now, let's consider Isaac Bowen and his wife Katie. He was in the military and brought his wife with him as he did his duties in several locations. She kept a diary and wrote to her mother on a regular basis. This is the KSH Overview of Santa Fe Trail Diaries - Katie Bowen. In 1996, the KHS published the diaries which is available for public reading: A Faithful Account of Everything

Their first visit out west was pre-Civil War and about the time of Col. Higginson. Post the conflict, there was another dynamic related to technology, the railroad. The National Park Service provides a timeline from 1866-1873 which is interactive and provide information by time and place with respect to the trail. As the railroad came in, people road the train to the endpoint of its rails and then continued in the mode of laborious travel. 

Unto this point, we have looked at New England and flow from east to west toward the southwest. We will be looking further at the northern route, too, as we take a deeper look at Oregon. Even up there, we will be considering New Spain as the extent of the U.S. was not the west coast until later. 

The Santa Fe Trail ended at a terminus of Camino Real in New Mexico whose existence needs more attention since it gets us more aware of European activity in Texas and points west. The trail used by Butterfield and others ran along those southern routes that were pioneered by New Spain and before them, the American Indians. The Camino Real is traversed today in a north-south direction from El Paso TX to Albuquerque NM. 

Just like we can see wagon wheel ruts today along the route of the Santa Fe Trail in areas where development has not blotted out the past, the same is true for those earlier travelers along the Spanish trails. An example can be see at Fort Selden with tracks along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro still visible.  

Our interest is primarily New England but with scope large enough to cover the prior periods thoroughly. Our southern border, from TX to CA, has a lot of history still to be told, where generalization does not trump truth.  

The southern trail ran from 1820s to the 1880s. Putting this into the context of generations, that was post Jefferson's purchase and during the start of the push to the west where we had a century of frontier experiences in many places with results such as lost generations

Remarks: Modified: 11/12/2022

11/12/2022 --  We need to add New France into the triad in order to know how the U .S. is a phenomenal experiment in the experience of being, inner and outer. In other words, our focus will be on the long reach of New England but with a context filled in as only the internet will allow.