Friday, May 27, 2022

Memorial Day, 2022

TL;DR --  We hope to continue having a post with a Memorial Day theme. Today, we look more closely at a region that is of interest for several reasons. It deals with an area west of St. Louis but not outside of the eastern part of the U.S. plains. 


Our main focus had been New England, both north and south, from the early days. But, as time went by, people moved. Western migrations were a norm from the beginning. The access to water and the means to move upon it saw lots of traffic along the coast and across the seas. That is almost a given as New England has a nautical flavor. There will be a lot more work to do concerning the periods (several generations) prior to the Revolution (which is coming upon its 250th) which was our focus. But, the constraints of the viral outbreak came to be and brought a more local view to fore. 

Along with, we might add, came a more virtual way of operating. From the beginning, we had tried to tie pieces together whether it was getting Find A Grave profiles in order, keeping WikiTree up to date with respect to research results or such. As COVID made an impact, the benefits of virtual work became more apparent. In our Memorial Day, 2019 work, we attempted to find all siblings in one generation and got several records update. One of these was for a grave in a Veterans' cemetery in Saugus, MA where we requested that his wife's FAG profile be linked with that of the veteran. At the same time, we got WikiTree updated. As an aside, we have been using WT in order to have completion. In our Memorial Day, 2020 work, we mentioned missing graves which is a common theme and suggests lots of work to be done. For instance, in little Essex County of MA, a Trask family researcher noted dozens of graves moved without documentation. Then, our Memorial Day, 2021 work was related to the theme of going west. That has been a key area of research related to the upcoming 250th (D.A.R. and S.A.R.). 

This year, we will continue that theme. While researching up north, New France was the focus. As we looked at the west and the southwest, New Spain became of interest, especially its influence during the Revolution (New Spain's span). Then, we had to look at the various modes of transportation, say from the days of Jedediah Strong Smith to the time just after the automobile arose. And, the train is a major character in the story.

This brings up today's theme, an Osage Mission (FB: The Catholic Osage Mission). Earlier, one of our posts looked at the Katy - Western Railroad which went from the Texas Gulf Coast up to Kansas City and St. Louis and passes through several states including eastern Kansas and included an image of Parsons, KS. While browsing today, we saw an image of a cemetery that could have been anywhere but definitely reminded of many of those in New England. The photo was at this blog: A Catholic Mission. The area is not far from the Osarks, however hills run along this longitude from Texas up to Canada. Not far from this area, though, is the beginning of the large prairie which hampered those going west. 

St. Francis cemetery
St. Paul, KS

There is a lot to write about this site's topics as they match up with our interests. On one page in the blog, Zebulon Pike is quoted with a photo from the Flint Hills grassland area. We have had several posts, ourselves, dealing with the arduous travel including quotes from the party that founded Lawrence, KS as a Massachusetts project.


We pulled out one individual, William White Graves (WikiTree), to look at in more detail due to the names of his parents. W.W. Graves was born in KY. His parents' heritage includes Virginia. Our interest, per usual, is to find links with families in New England north, even if these are of a collateral nature. 

In the periods prior to the Revolution, there was a major influx which we want to look at; though, the first 30 years (see Great Migration Project, NEHGS) involving immigrants from England has a major scope. Some of those who arrived in the early 1700s are on D.A.R.'s list of Patriots. Another area needing some attention would be the Carolinas (both North and South) and the Bahamas. 

On a cursory look, the region looked at in this post will offer lots of research opportunities in the sense of the history of the U.S., in toto, including details about the contributions of New Spain and New France. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/28/2022

05/28/2022 -- Earlier post on the Trail of Tears

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Pony Express

TL;DR -- American stories can be real and interesting; most major themes are universal and apply across the scope of humanity. So, what's special? People, for one. Memorial Day is a time to reflect on that. Too, how things changed over the 400 years of the history starting with New England. The Pony Express is an example that happened right before the Civil War. It took several decades for the need to regular communication between the east coast and its leftie counterpart to come about. A way was developed for people to go from St. Louis to San Francisco. Arduously so. It took weeks. But, there were passengers. Meanwhile, in the north, young men went by horseback across the country in 10 days. That is, from St. Joseph MO to CA. Mind you, at that point, you are still a long way from the east coast. The Civil War disturbed the southern route which went north and displaced the Pony Express. We can follow their paths by car. In the south, ruts still exist from the coach traffic. The telegraph came in and changed things. Too though, post the Civil War, the U.S. finally got a transcontinental railroad establishd.  


This post has several themes. One of them is technology on which we have had several posts, including a separate blog. The other deals with Memorial Day; our post, from 2021 looked at posts from 2020 and 2019. The Holiday, originally, had a focus on war casualties and changed to be more reflective, as a whole. Then, per usual, we look at people, mostly with a New England focus (Cape Ann, Essex County, and Massachusetts). 

Starting with the ponies and riders, we can use Bill Cody (Wikipedia, WikiTree) of western fame as an example rider. His family had gone west out of the New England. Skipping over some details, we know that his father was an abolitionist which brought turmoil into the lives of his family. After his father's death, Bill found work that led to being involved with the Pony Express

There is a lot of material on the subject, but this site (Riders of the Pony Express) has more details about riders than we see most places. Bill Cody was the most known. Many of these fellows did not have progeny and are forgotten. Some are mentioned on WikiTree without any details. At some point, perhaps, research will be done to fill in the missing pieces about the people. 

Lots is known of the geography and technology. The National Park Service offers interpretative guides for auto tours (self-guided).  

There were two technologies that interfered with the success of Pony Express. One dealt with regular coach traffic using horses which we discuss next. Then, there was the telegraph which could not carry mail but could relay information coast to coast, albeit not in today's quick mode.  

Two routes of mail

The graphic shows the routes taken by two means of carrying mail, prior to the Civil War. The red dots indicate the northern route, of the Pony Express, that went from St. Joseph MO to Sacramento CA. The blue dots show the Butterfield route which we address next. The Pony Express was faster with a smaller load while the southern route took days longer but could take some freight. 

Earlier, we mentioned a route from San Antonia TX to San Diego CA that was quite successful. We also looked at one New England family (Giddings, of Ipswich MA) that was involved. Later, this route was part of a route from St Louis MO to San Francisco CA. In the above graphic, this is the route depicted by the blue dots. The Butterfield approach was quite successful even with the difficulties of travel. But, the start of the Civil War threw in a few troubles. 

Texas closed their border to Butterfield access which interrupted the flow. Too, there was the contract by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail from the east coast to the west. The Butterfield line was doing fine with this and did not conflict with the northern delivery by the Pony Express. But, with inhibition of travel, a northern approach became necessary. 

Some had already been trying to take coaches along the same route of the ponies. The new requirements got that going regularly, so that the Central Overland route was established. With this method in process, the Pony Express saw a serious decline in its business. At the same time, there was the coming railroad which was several years away from completion. 

What did finally come about was the 1st Transcontinental Telegraph. It had started on the west coast and was coming east. As the gap was filled, the Pony Express had shortened routes to run which would be from the end of the eastern line to where the western line was in place. Once the telegraph became possible, the Pony Express ceased to be. 

However, the Overland approach? The railroad was completed toward the start of the 1870s. It replaced the transcontinental coach route, though regional coach routes continued into the mid-part of the 20th century. 

In this example, we see succeeding introduction of technology that replaces the former. Not abruptly, but gradually. That became easily seen and is part of life as we know it. The latest manifestation might be the slow adoption of the internet's ways until COVID forced normal ways to become either too hard or not capable at all. As we know, snail mail still is. We see lots of transportation modes in operation, from the fast (costly) to the slower (perhaps more economical) types. 

Besides looking further into the people of the Pony Express, we want to know more of the people involved the Overland approaches; that is, we want to know more of all types who were involved. We know that the telegraph was used for decades and still has a role. 

We also know that the 'flyover country' view is still there; too, we know that the great interior provided people who got things done when these were needed; these folks adapted through the changes in technology and economic realities. The story of America? You bet. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/25/2022

05/24/2022 -- 

Oldest universities, New Spain

TL;DR -- Getting away from geographical concerns, we started to look at how the intellectual landscape developed in New England which led to considering what happened through time. Given that focus and our brief survey of New Spain, we had to look at the Universities of that region. ... 


Our focus is the new world as seen from New England, principally the northern part. Though, plenty of families went south permanently. Some may have returned or kept in touch. Many lost connections which was easy given the difficulties of travel. Except, the sea was a facilitator. Not only was there a conduit of new arrivals from the south, say via the Bahamas, but, some families had multiple households. Essentially, there is no end to these stories. 

At one type of top, there is education with the higher-order types reigning. So, we are looking at the History of Harvard. Doing so, means that we need to look at what was what in England (say, Cambridge which was the influencer of many who arrived here early). Too, we had to look at the situation through time, say the earliest and then a sampling of others from a western cluster: Schools, New England and beyond. Naturally, that led to consider all schools in terms of time: Oldest universities.  

Those were all from the English perspective. Now, let's consider New Spain's experience in this regard. There were institutions formed in both the 16th and the 17th centuries, including Mexico's 1551 establishment in Mexico City. It's interesting that there were not any in California or New Mexico.  

Given that Mexico borders the U.S. and played a huge role in the establishment of the southern border from Texas west to the Pacific, a closer look at Universities there would be of interest. We have Mexico City (1551) Yucatan (1624) and Guadalajara (1781) are not close, at all, being more than a thousand miles in distance over difficult territory. One thing that looking at New Spain can do is get the Northeast familiar with the rugged southwest: Jedediah Strong Smith, St. Louis to San Francisco by coach (not on rail), and others are an example. 

The closest university in New Spain that would be considered close to the U.S. would the Havana (1721). Given that New England was represented well in the Carribean, we will have to look further into possible family connections with that institution. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/24/2022

05/24/2022 -- Of course, New France comes into play. For now, Sorbonne is the oldest for France, in general. Later, we'll take a brief survey of New France's efforts in this matter. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Oldest universities, New England

TL;DR -- We have been looking at the History of Harvard with respect to its parallels with the unfoldment of the U.S. over 400 years. In doing so, we are paying attention to families and events over time. Post Harvard, there have been lots of universities established. Many of these have family names. Some of them are of New England. Lots are of new comers. So, we pause to look at the first 10 institutions in order to have some notion of how and where we saw the initiations. 


Earlier, we looked at Schools, New England and beyond with a focus on the U.S. and with an intent to broaden the scope in order to account for 400 years of history, especially, the latter part dealing with the importance of the frontier century and the regularly occurring dynamics of old families (particularly, New England's) and the new arrivals. We did this cursory table showing the spread of education institutions over the landscape. 
Some U.S. Universities

The look at these institutions is part of a larger theme dealing with the American Dream which will always be of interest. But, establishing the intellectual realm's history will allow us a better position with which to look at the whole of the 400 years. We started with Harvard's history where the influence of Cambridge is considered. Family concerns was a factor; Yale will be on the list to be handled, soon. However, we wanted to stop and look at what's known historically in terms of origins. 

Lots of universities (and, colleges will be included separately if they have not extended their reach) came about in the 1800s. We were looking at Tulane's history today with respect to New England influences. Successful families and their schools dot the landscape. Stanford comes to mind (the time was of Eliot's administration). Many of these schools bear the family name. In any case, we will search out New England connections. 

Which bring us to this post. After Tulane, we looked at William and Mary with interesting associations in the old country which is more prominently seen in the southern realms. So, we will get back to that. Yale came to mind due to the Eaton connection. 

So, what came to mind was listing the 10 earliest institutions as provided by a reputable researcher. Here is the list with start year, name, and location. 
    1636, Harvard, Cambridge MA
    1693, William and Mary, Williamsburg VA
    1696, King Williams School (now, St. John's), Annapolis MD 
    1701, Yale, New Haven CT
    1740, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
    1742, Moravian, Bethlehem PA
    1743, Delaware, Newark DE
    1746, Princeton, Princeton NJ
    1749, Washington and Lee, Lexington VA
    1754, Kings College (Columbia), New York NY
Like the expansion of our scope from New England brought by the need to look at the U.S. in total after its establishment, we will cover lots of subjects. Of importance will be tracking the educational part of the culture that developed from its earliest days. 

Colombia University's time corresponds with the French-Indian affair which set the stage for the revolution. So, we need to look at that next. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/24/2022

05/24/2022 -- Added look at Oldest universities, New Spain

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

John Rogers

TL;DR -- As we continue or pace through the terms in an other-than-linear manner, we next see John Rogers who as born in England, was a graduate of Harvard, married into the Dudley/Bradstreet mix, worked with Rev. Hubbard come into his brief term as Head. Of note will be the Ipswich influence, that is, the Ipswich of Essex County of Massachusetts. 


Our look at the Heads of Harvard (Wikipedia) has been driven by different factors since we started the work. This one allows us to finish the early Heads with John Rogers (Wikipedia), so that we can start looking at periods. He came as a youngster from England with his parents but attended Harvard. 

Initially, the interests for looking at the Heads were several, but we can start with this list: 

As we complete a first pass through the list, we will tie U.S. generations back to these Heads in terms of general views of the U.S. For instance, D.A.R., in an overview of their mission, stresses the upcoming 250th where the U.S. split from European influence, somewhat. It still had to contend various ways. On the other hand, D.A.R. notes that the whole idea of an American Spirit has lapsed. To us, that has been apparent for some time. 

Does having an old pedigree mean anything? John Rogers married into a family that lived in Ipswich. This Essex County town is of importance to us for several reasons which we will get into. For the Heads, we like to provide WikiTree information: John Rogers; his wife, Elizabeth Denison. Her grandfather was Gov. Thomas Dudley. Too, John had William Hubbard, as in law. 

John Rogers' term which started after that of Urian Oakes was brief. Increase Mather came into the office next. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/28/2022

06/28/2022 -- Updated the typo in the Wikipedia reference. 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

New Spain's span

TL;DR -- Our early focus was on New England and its northern neighbor, New France, as we got acquainted with the history of the northeastern part of the U.S. Post the Louisiana deal, the western expansion came to attention which brought New Spain into the focus. What was the situation in that huge western part in the time of the Revolution? Did New Spain get involved? SAR reports on their research into the matter.  


New Spain came into the discussion last year, as we looked at the movement to the west which started in earnest after the Revolutionary War. A search in this post on New Spain brings in some of the articles on the subject. 

As well, the Wikipedia article on New Spain provides information including a 1561 map of the extent of New Spain which ran across the whole of the country from CA to FL, through AZ, NM and TX. But, by the late 17th century, much of "North America had been claimed by European countries." Texas is interesting due to its access from New England through the interior or by water. The French had been there about the same time as the Massachusetts start having gone down through the Great Lakes to portages on two rivers to the Mississippi and then down. New France was the first colonizer of Texas which was at the southern end of its extent along the waterways from the north. Later, we saw explorers covering the same area by foot and horseback from the north and east. 

Spanish Texas

Coming from the south, New Spain had displaced New France by the time of the U.S. Revolution. This map of the Spanish Missions (1659-1795) shows the extent of its coverage. 

By 1819, the map on the left  (below) shows the lay of the land. This was after the addition of the land of Louisiana. 

Today, we see huge splits in views between regions of the country, such as those between some in the east and those of the southwest. Our review of history with a different perspective based upon changes over time and through technology will become more regular in looking how 'views' emerged and evolved. 

When we get to the time of the Revolution, there had been decades of maneuvering between the colonials of New England, New France and New Spain (and others). The advent of the newer party, America, provided means for old conflicts to work themselves out. Fortunately, we have descendants of the people involved to study (context of D.A.R. and S.A.R. and those of the loyalists' leaning).  

In 2010, a group from SAR went to Spain to celebrate New Spain's help in the efforts at attaining independence. In their report which gives us some details of the history of the interaction between the new start and the old country, we get another map showing a comparison of the extent of the areas related to each of the parties involved. 

Spain in the American Revolution
By Stephen Renouf, Trustee,
SAR Spain Society

Remarks: Modified: 05/24/2022

05/24/2022 -- Added look at Oldest universities, New Spain

Monday, May 2, 2022

Legacies of Harvard

TL;DR -- Recently, President Bacow released a report by a committee that looked at Harvard's involvement with slavery. The report is about the first phase of an on-going project that associates with our interests in Harvard as an archetype, of sorts. 


Legacies? There are many. This post deals with a recent report which is very much apropos for further discussions about the History of Harvard (our look). But, there are many other legacies to note, many of which will deal with the U.S., in particular, while others are of a more universal flavor. 

Report by 
Harvard Radcliffe Institute
Quote: On April 26, 2022, Harvard President Larry Bacow released the Report of the Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery

The site's concern is the first phase of a project for which it provides a message by Bacow and identifies the Committee. There is other information available such as the following:

The list includes the "Enslaver," the "Harvard Affiliation(s)," the "Enslaved Persons," the "Documentation Dates," and any "Memorialization(s)." The first line is for "Nathanial Eaton (1609-1674)" who was "Schoolmaster (1637-1639)" and who owned "The Moor". The list has footnotes that have extensive links. 

We will follow the progress of this Initiative, as it is an example of Harvard and the history of the U.S. through time. Also, the timeline, explicitly, includes the first Head who was the first "enslaver." What we see in the table is that the next row is Increase Mather (who was involved from 1686 to 1701). That points to little to none slavery involvement in New England early on. 

That needs to be studied. Casting Eaton as a sole rogue may have been fun, but the research needs to expand due to Harvard's senior, and influential, roles, across the board. 

So, we can say that this gets Eaton listed in a different context. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/02/2022

05/02/2022 --  On the names, we can look at absences as well as presences. There was a run of Heads that can be looked at. The only 'Gardiner' was in the Perkins family. Other than that, 'Gardner' does not appear. Nice bit of research that has been sorely needed for a while. Appreciate the focus on the American Indian experience. Now, how about the Quakers?