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 -- 

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