Sunday, April 30, 2023

R Waldo Emerson, out west

TL;DR -- In 1871, R Waldo Emerson went out, leisurely, on the train from coast to coast as the labor of many finally got the rails in place. Out there, the party looked around for a while but did not really report as we saw with some of the other earlier travelers. Except, Waldo mentioned that he would have moved out if younger to get his land from the government. So, a recent book is of interest to this theme which we will look at further. Mark Twain went by coach, a decade earlier. 


This post is about Ralph Waldo Emerson (WikipediaWikiTtree) and his travel west once the railroad was in place all the way from his Boston surrounds to San Francisco. First, here is a long post on his house (The Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson). 

We have looked at the travels of others both before and after the railroad was in place. This trip was a good time as it was post the Civil War. And, there was a recent book that reported on research which exemplifies what needs to be done: The California Days of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Brian Wilson. There have been many reviews, but these two are especially pertinent. 

  • Zeringue Marshal - mentions that Emerson's group tried their hand at the wagon passage through the mountains and other things to note. Also, in his wandering arounds, why would he not love the place? He wrote to his wife that if they were younger they might have gone out and took up the government's offer of land. 
  • Donner Summit Historical Society - the reviewer notes several things missing which we agree with. Note, we have mentioned Donner Pass several times, including mentioning John's first pass through it in 1962. Of note, though, is the Woodbury Historic Tours being mentioned in a post. 

We'll be looking at this trip further. But, let's close with a well-known person's take on Emerson, courtesy of the Sierra Club: John Muir's opinion

But, we have to mention Mark Twain's journey, earlier: Riding the Overland stage, our posts on the subject. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/30/2023

04/30/2023 -- 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

To and from New England

TL;DR -- In 1794, Sam Dunn published a map of the territory of what was to be the U.S. The whole of the middle is empty. Taos NM and New Orleans LA are exceptions. These were of other cultures, namely New Spain. This map can be used to look at the period up to about 50 years ago (perhaps more); since then technology has been the focus as we can see with the current involvement with releases of what are called AIs (artificial intelligences). Too, early on people went west and south. The former got attention. We have a book, now, to start study of those going south. 


Earlier, we looked at a map of North America from 1794. It is fairly sparse in terms of information as the mapmaker was in London going on second-hand information. See post on Sam Dunn. But, too, travel was hard. The space was wide-open in a sense. 

So, this 1794 map will feature as we research the carving of the land and the participation of such by New Englanders. At the same time, the map will get involved with our discussions of technology. The U.S. grew from a small footprint to cover a wide expanse in 200 years or so. In the last 50 years, the focus has been technology of types. At the same time, the infrastructure decayed. 

Now, we knew of movement south from northern New England. This was an early18th Century phenomenon that halted with the advent of the Revolutionary War. In particular, known families left and went south and west. 

Movement picked up apace after the Lewis & Clark expedition. An example is the excursion sponsored by Ipswich of Essex County of MA. Veterans were restless; a good use of their energy was starting Ohio and other points west. 

Getting back to families, Melissa Davenport Berry, a writer on the history of New England, discovered a book that gives details about the movement of families from Nantucket to the south. It has the title of "Our Quaker Friends of Ye Olden Time" and is available on-line in the PDF format. The author was Edward Henry Hall, of the 1851 class of Harvard. The book's first part is "a transcript of the minute books of Cedar Creek Meeting, Hanover County, and the South River Meeting, Campbell County, VA" and includes births and deaths, marriages, and more. 

Then, an Appendix (pages 171-277) provides a "Historical Sketch" that is quite detailed plus some information on the Quaker views. Then, there are brief looks at prominent families and the publication of a diary.  

Remarks: Modified: 04/29/2023

04/29/2023 -- 

Friday, April 28, 2023

California, Golden State

TL;DR -- Our first bit of tasks dealt with learning about New England, especially little Essex County of MA. Later, we considered movement away from that area either to the south or to the west. And, by water, too, as that traffic had been constant from the beginning. After the Revolution and Lewis & Clark's journey, the expansion started in earnest. However, the interior of the U.S. is huge and took a while to be carved up. Travel across the country took time by land. And work. Too, water travel was full of its travails. With the 400th from the beginning, the 250th coming up relates to the U.S. being populated. California will get a little more focus as it is first by many categories. 


Our first mention of the Golden State was in 2015 which is the sixth year after the blog had its first post. It was a brief mention as we researched the Barque Bostonian owned by Henry Gardiner that wrecked in Oregon. The ship had been in San Francisco prior to that. But, we found out that it had also been in New Zealand and a number of other places. 

Then, about that time, while being at a lavender farm near Lawrence, KS and realizing that the trails had passed through that area, the thought was: did the students up on Mount Oread see the trekkers as they labored past? The post: Gardner KS (11 Aug 2015). We had seen signs while traveling but were overwhelmed with learning New England particularities. Even little Essex County was unknown to us and took some time for study. A year later, we started to update the information dealing with the western movement (Gardner Junction).   

Of course, given the drive to get to the gold rush as fast as possible, the CA traffic dwindled after the young guys figured that going up the Missouri River past St. Joseph saved them a few days. Rather than the circuitous route into upper KS and then heading northwest to NE, they just got off the boat and joined the trail goers after a shorter jaunt. But, traffic to the southwest (Santa Fe) still went through Gardner, KS as did some going to CO first and then joining the OR/CA trail in Wyoming. 

That deals with movement by land. While researching the early venturers (mountain men, trappers), we looked at CA, too, principally. Though, Jedediah Strong Smith got there in 1826 and was the first European to go across the Mojave desert (even doing so in the summer). Then, he mapped out the Interstate system with his wanderings before coming back to meet his demise in the Great Plains region. Along with and after him, there were other travelers that we looked at. 

But, there is an area that we have avoided, to dated. How did CA end up with its 1850 entry into the U.S.? For this historic portion, we will use documents published by the U.S. By 1847, the area of California was home to 150K indigenous people plus about 14K folks of European ancestry. Most of the Europeans lived south of Monterey, especially Los Angeles. San Francisco (then Yerba Buena) had a scattering, until after the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's who had arrived in 1838. In 1849, 100K additional people arrived from the U.S. and Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. 

We will back up and look further at New Spain in California. Mexico had won its Independence in 1821. As well, we will look into the lives of the indigenous folks prior to and after the arrival of the Europeans. 

There will be more posts on this and other states. As well as New England States and Missouri, we have looked at VirginiaKentuckyOhio and Michigan which got started after the Revolution, mostly by restless veterans. So, we will cover the States, interior and along the coast lines. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/28/2023

04/28/2023 -- 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Fairmont Hotel

TL;DR -- Technology allows many types of reports not possible in the past. This will be a continuing theme as progress continues. We look at San Francisco by two views, one old and the other of the modern marvels. The Fairmont Hotel stood the test and was finished. It has an interesting story of old and new families coming to the U.S. 


Earlier, we noted the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, CA which city features heavily in our look at history. The Presidio was established there at the same time as the American Revolution was getting ready to fire up. So, we're talking concurrent events from 250 years ago. Or, in terms of generations, the fifth's grand entry into the world. 

So, we have lots of links from New England and the U.S. to the city on the Bay. In that last post, we included two photos. We are taking the first one and comparing it with Google Earth's view (wait while the system switches to the view) of the city. The Fairmont Hotel is the focus. It was under construction at the time and withstood the test. It was cleaned up and finished to become the remarkable lesson that it is. 

San Francisco, 
1906 and Google Earth 2023

This post is to show benefits of technology. The original photo had been obtained using a kite. Several books would be required to go over all of the basis for Google Earth. It is more than the computer parts as lots of mathematics was required. But, we have that on our plate, as there is commonality with these techniques and those being used for AI. 

Our thrust will offer grounds for discussing how we can have maturity with request to technology, starting with software being more than a mere playground for those who can. Frankly, what happened in November of 2022 was the precipitation of an unnecessary trial whose characteristics are unknown (opinions range from glee to gloom, depending upon several things). One might also use awe and angst or any other pairing of concepts. 

Stay tuned, as we get the ball rolling with this effort. 

Too, John lived and worked on Hyde for over a year. The street is visible on the upper right as on[e] of the longitudinal lines cutting across the landscape. 

The Historic Hotels of America provides information: The Story of The Fairmont Hotel. It was named for Senator James Graham Fair who came from Ireland. In looking at the extended family, there are many threads of interest to follow. A daughter married into the Vanderbilt family which represents New Netherlands

Remarks: Modified: 08/08/2023

04/30/2023 -- The Geological Survey has a nice map with a legend of the extent of the fire. The legend shows the area of the Fairmont Hotel and the Flood Mansion, both of which still exist.  

Sarah Margaret Fuller

TL;DR -- We run into New England influences a lot. This post looks at Margaret Fuller who was prominent on the literary scene of the early 19th century. She died as a young mother but go recognition later with the advent of the feministic movement. 


We are always looking for the New England influence and have examples of finds in different places of the U.S. We don't have a category, but there are enough of these examples to identify them in terms of types of meaning over the long years since Cape Ann and Salem. While reviewing philosophical writers in the 19th century in regard to our interest in technology and its impacts on all of us, Sarah Margaret Fuller's (Wikipedia, Wikitree) name came up. She was born in 1810 and is a member of generation seven. 

Among other things, she was a cohort of Ralph Waldo Emerson (WikiTree), a critic for Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, and, in that role, criticized the work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (National Park Service). 

Her birthplace is still standing in Cambridgeport of Middlesex County of MA. Margaret was home schooled by her father who was a lawyer. 

One of her brothers was a great-grandfather of Buckminster Fuller (Wikipedia, WikiTree) who was well-known in the 20th century. By Buckminster's time, here were many New England families involved with the Fullers. One of these was Thomas Gardner of Roxbury who we have looked at in a prior post. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/27/2023

04/27/2023 -- 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

In summary

Note (02/27/2024): See Current status


TL;DR -- Research continues on origins with a different focus. Now, we can look over the waters and see what happened over there during the time of the Dorchester Company. 


Recently, we found more information about 'origins' that shuffled the stack a little. As noted in the FAQ, we have found records about the baptism dates and place for more of the children of Thomas and Margaret. The indications are that most were born in Sherborne, Dorset, England. 

Earlier, we were able to settle the marriage issues. The Great Migration Project of NEHGS had proposed that Thomas had three wives with the mother of the children being UNKNOWN. In our research, we found that child John had noted that his father had told them about Sherborne being their prior home. Too, researchers had noted that Margaret Fryer had been mentioned over the years. 

As this icon shows, the marriage record had been digitized and indexed. A U.S. researcher found the record on AOL in 2014. See the post (Margaret, anew) which was written in the 2018 timeframe when WikiTree discussions led to having Margaret as the first wife and Damaris as second. 

We have changed the header graphic to remove Cape Ann. 

Thomas and Margaret
Planters of Salem, MA

Due to the recent work, there are now two profiles on WikiTree for Thomas Gardner. One is for the Salem family who seemed to have come over after the birth of Miriam who was born in Sherborn and that of Seeth who was born in Salem. 

The other profile is blank but for the Thomas Gardner who was here. Rev. Hubbard, and others, suggested that this was the same person. The Rev. is important as he talked to the principals and wrote of his findings, albeit his manuscript was two centuries in peril (went through the Revolution) prior to its publication. Too, some researchers in England noted that there was a relationship between the Thomas Gardner involved with the Dorchester Company's effort and a sister of Rev. John White. 

Many questions will be formulated and answered. If there were two Thomas Gardners, were they related? If so, how? 

Remarks: Modified: 02/27/2024

05/11/2023 -- A few typos corrected.  

12/27/2023 -- Add link for WikiTree Profile which has the details of this work. Don't agree with the interpretation nor the language of Joe. But, for now, we can work with the two records. 

02/27/2024 -- Added link at top for the "Current status" post. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

San Francisco

TL;DR -- San Francisco stands as an icon in the American psyche for several reasons. There was sufficient traffic from the east to the area to warrant regular routes which started as mere trails. The railroads closed up the gap as they offered the speedy delivery not attainable by the sea routes. Whereas, in 1859, Horace Greeley's route to the city was by stage coach after Kansas City, MO. But, in 1906, San Francisco had a quake. We will have that as a regular theme (reach of New England). 


San Francisco has been mentioned many times in our posts, as it is a well-known destination by land and by water on the west coast of the U.S. And, it is old. Somewhat. Yesterday, we mentioned Horace Greeley's one-way trip out in 1859. He returned by sea. And, he sent dispatches back to his publishing company that were collected into a book which is currently available on-line. 

In our post, we mentioned Gen. A.W. Greeley who is a cousin of Horace's. Too, we brought up the link twixt two Thomas Gardner descendants with the Artic rescue of Greeley by team that included Capt. George William Coffin, a graduate of the Naval Academy. Turns out that the General is also a Coffin cousin of the Captain through his grandfather, Stephen Greeley (aft 1769-1830) of Essex County who was a descendant of Tristram Coffin, Sr. of Nantucket. There are many other New England families in the pedigree of the General. 

The General features briefly in this post's look at San Francisco (SF). On April 18, 1906, there was a devastating earthquake in the city that destroyed a large percentage and resulted in several thousand deaths. The U.S. Army was local and available to assist in relief efforts. 

This photo was of several taken from kites looking over Knob Hill. 

From USGS, photo
of San Francisco after the
1906 quake

There are many sites with photos and reports which we will look at from time to time. This photo tells many tales of the destruction near the area of Post and Grant which is near to Union Square. 

1906 damage near
Post and Grant

We will put that on our calendar to remember. Earlier, we learned more about the Salem, MA fire of 1914. The old city of SF was mainly of wooden structures that were leveled. But, brick building burned, as well. Fortunately, the Presidio of San Francisco was not damaged and was able to support the population. Gen. A.W. Greeley was involved in the relief effort and reported that they were feeding 250,000 per day. A tent city was put up at the Presidio and another area close to Golden Gate Park. 

On a personal note, John remembers descending by car in April of 1962 from a dreary ride across frozen northern U.S. and through Donner's Pass which was a tunnel of snow into the green valleys of interior CA and then onto the Presidio. That would have been the new city which cropped up as people recovered from the quake. 

With respect to the Presidio, we had an earlier post on Jonathan Letterman, MD who was there later in his career. We mentioned the Dr. in relation to his work with battlefield medicine. The effort to clean up after the battles of Antietam and Gettysburg included handling the injured from both sides of the conflict. The Army Hospital in the Presidio was named after Dr. Letterman. 

There are many stories about New England's reach to San Francisco that we will look at in the future. But, the early years before and after the Gold Rush will continue to be a topic, as well. 1906 is a good demarcation point for splitting the old and the new. 

Remarks: Modified: 05/14/2023

04/29/2023 -- The Fairmont Hotel is visible in the first picture. It has an interesting history, being constructed at the time of the quake. It passed the test. They fixed it up and finished the work. ... We, of course, will pay more attention to the history of the Golden State

04/30/2023 -- The Geological Survey has a nice map with a legend of the extent of the fire. The legend shows the area of the Fairmont Hotel and the Flood Mansion, both of which still exist.  

05/14/2023 -- Added link to the fire area outline. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Go West, wrote Horace

TL;DR -- Supposedly, the phrase associated with "Go west" is attributed to Horace Greeley. While researching, we found that Horace had gone west, prior to the Civil War. He did it cross country and wrote of the journey in detail. This information pertains to our current time and issues; as such, it is worthy of our attention. 


In an earlier post, we looked at two cousins, one of which was Adolphus Greeley and the other was USN Captain George William Coffin. They met in the Artic as the latter rescued the former who had been stranded with the crew of his Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. 

A generation earlier, we have another name, Horace Greeley who shares ancestors with Adolphus. Too, Horace journeyed west prior to the Civil War. We ran into his correspondence while researching the historic weather of Donner Pass with respect to the California Trail as this topic is part of our interest in the western expansion and the related trails that crossed the vast interior of the country.  

As an aside, this winter's total snowfall will set a new record. 

Before getting into the gist, we provide profiles for Horace (WikiTree, Wikipedia) and Adolphus (WikiTreeWikipedia) Greeley. Also, we provide more information on George William Coffin who was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy. 


Along with information about trails and passes, we ran into an on-line copy of Horace's book on his trip: An Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco (1860). His journey started in New York by rail and boat until he reached St. Joseph, MO. Until others who headed off west on the trails, Horace went down to Kansas for a Republican Convention at Osawatomie, KS. He mentions going through Lawrence which whose settlement was supported by The New England Emigrant Aid Company. The Convention was on the 18th of May in 1859 (Miami County). This chapter of the book was submitted from Atchison, KS on May 15th. 

His book has thirty-four Chapters of which more than ten are on Kansas, the Plains, the Desert, and gold. These will be of interest as we pursue the history of the U.S. and its interior. He heads west out of Denver by jaunting up to Fort Laramie (Chapter 16) and then west to Utah. Several Chapters deal with Salt Lake City and the area. And, he provides several views of California (Chapters 27 to 33). His final Chapter looks at traffic into and out of San Francisco and discusses the need for a railroad. 

In our post, St. Louis MO to San Francisco CA, we describe the route from St. Louis down into Texas and across the southern border to Los Angeles, CA and then up the coast to San Francisco. The 1860 portion (top) of this graphic shows the transportation status when Horace went west. 

Horace Greeley returned by boat. For this book, his last Chapter was posted on the 9th of September of 1859. 


Of note, this was no virtual trip. We have to match this effort up with that of the comedic guy (Samuel Clemens), later. As said, we had several posts on this theme (starting with the mountain men). 


This story has several points of interest related to our work. This applies even to our current interest in technology and its historical impact, especially as activities of our times may portend to the future. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/14/2023

06/16/2023 -- Added "Horace" to the title. He went himself.  

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Arab History Month

TL;DR -- So, following technology and its changes, we will be changing our goals, somewhat. That is long term. Of immediate concern is the new month and its focus for history. Arabic Americans and their contributions will be looked at further during the year. To begin, we will look at the History of Mathematics which discipline is behind all of this technology that we see. 


We have been pursuing insight into the lessons from new data. As we said, now we can start to look at origins with some semblance of locations of interest. From the beginning, we followed the adage for Americans to look at their own stuff and leave the Brit stuff for those over there. Technology has changed that considerably which we will be addressing as well. 

Along that line, the emergence of new toys of technology had us doing research which has been a huge time consumer. So, expect that lots of posts will provide an overview of findings, opinions, and positions. 

One thing certain? I'll be writing of AIn't, regularly. Not that there is not machine intelligence. The whole concept of intelligence is open and needs more study. But, we do see behavior that appears to  be consistent with intelligence which is really easily mapped back to semantically tuned databases. That is, technology (lots to discuss there) is the basis. 

We are not dealing with any type of new life form or latent being emerging out of the shadows, not that such will (could) not happen at some point in the future. 


Arab American
So, stepping back to normalcy, we have a month to celebrate as planned for this year (Awareness months). Last month was Women's History Month

Right now, we will mainly focus on the mathematical contributions out of the Arabic culture (article from MathTutor at the University of St. Andrews - Scotland). These are tales that need to be told. 

Over the rest of the year, we will look at other aspects of Arabic culture and the U.S. 


An example of technology is what can be done now with the web. WikiTree has been our mode for some time. It is there that we saw the report on the children of Thomas and Margaret Gardner being born in Sherborn, Dorset, UK. But, there have been many ongoing projects of this sort. 

One of renown dealt with the Magna Carta which is coming into focus, again, in 2025. One of the team members of the Magna Carta Project on WikiTree, Michael Cayley, is a cousin of Arthur Cayley, who is one of the mathematicians behind some of the newest AIn't methods. 

So, lots to look at there. What would old Arthur think? 

BTW, yes, AIn't is not (ain't) a typo.  

Remarks: Modified: 04/16/2023

04/16/2023 --

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Research notes

TL;DR -- Too short for a TL;DR? Not. 


See our tech blog for our post summarizing our status: Research notes.  

We look forward finally get into the family before the move. When we started, the adage was this: Americans, work your side; let those over there take care of that side of things. 

Well, the Mayflower anniversary brought forth cooperative effort that was interesting to see. COVID interrupted the event's unfolding, but both sides organized events and tours. 

Too, there are many examples of work being done on both sides, so that adage can be forgotten. In any case, there was a lot to learn.

Our intent is to update the "What do we know?" list, the FAQ, the bibliography and more. Too, we will be gathering what tales came from where. We have already mentioned the Paine book. And, Rev. Hubbard had contemporaries.   

Remarks: Modified: 04/02/2023

04/02/2023 --