Friday, July 29, 2016

History: The Year is 1838

I've uploaded year 1838 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

A Trail of Tears -- The Cherokee take one in the neck from the government and head for Oklahoma. A lot of them won't make it.

The Missouri Mormon War -- The Mormons take one in the neck and head for Illinois. Some of them won't make it either, but they will prosper there, for a little while.

The Pastry War -- A French pastry shop owner demands payment for damage done by Mexican officers. His demand spirals out of control and starts a war with France.

In Other News -- Queen Victoria, the National Weather Service and John Wilkes Booth.

A Trail of Tears

By solemn treaty, the Cherokee Nation has been granted rights to a large region in Georgia, forever... that is until gold is found. Then... somehow... "forever" is redefined to mean, "Get the heck off this land and move to Oklahoma." (Oklahoma is designated as "Indian Territory.") A few Cherokee Indians escape to the Smokey Mountains, and others, who had bought private plots of land, are allowed to stay. 2,000 Indians volunteer to move to Oklahoma, and are transported by water, but as many as 16,000 are force-marched out of Georgia. They will lose approximately 4,000 to disease and exposure, mostly in Illinois. The Cherokee call it the Trail of Tears. Many tribes have followed similar trails and shed their own tears. Due to the Indian Removal Act of 1830, a couple of Supreme Court decisions and what can only be described as outright cheating, the Indians tribes have been pushed off to Oklahoma... the final, true land set aside for the Indians in perpetuity... that is, until oil is discovered there. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
OK... I've painted a bad picture of the US government, and in many ways it deserves it. I'd like to stop there, but in fairness, it looks like a dispute between state rights and federal rights. Georgia wanted the Indians out and the Feds didn't want to enforce their rights which might have sparked a civil war. (We got one anyway, but that is hindsight talking.) On the whole and generally speaking, the Indians got the worst of it when confronting settlers migrating west and most of the US official abuse looks like an I-don't-give-a-crap-anymore attitude. This was due in part to viewing the Indians as savages or because the government did not understand leaderless organizations. (Frankly, they do not understand them today.) The Indians had "chiefs" but making a deal with "the chief" wouldn't always stick if the "young bucks" wouldn't go along. I can hear the objection now... "But Alex! What about defending property rights?" Historically speaking, the Indians used two strategies for survival against settler encroachment. The most successful was to use the "scolding houses" as they called the courts. Maintaining one's property rights is a "scolding house" strategy. Buying plots of land and defending their right to property worked better than claiming a national right to lands in perpetuity. Nations can be conquered and then "the nation" belongs to the conqueror. It's not pretty, but it happens a lot. However, in those days even property rights wouldn't have protected the Indians completely. Laws only work when they are for everyone and in case no one has noticed, laws seems to be enforced selectively even today. (I'm looking at YOU, Hillary!) [3] [4]

The Missouri Mormon War

LDS Church members or "Mormons" as they are often called, have been moving west. Their leader, Joseph Smith, has prophesied a New Zion in Missouri. (Technically speaking, a prophesy is not a prediction. It is more like an authoritative message.) The recent financial panic across the nation has caused a sudden collapse of a stock company in Ohio organized by LDS members. They exit Ohio and head for Far West, Missouri... part of New Zion. Missouri is a slave state, but most LDS members are outspokenly anti-slavery and they vote accordingly. With their rapid growth, they are changing the balance of power and have become the targets of violence. In response, a secret guerrilla group called the Danites strike back. As tensions mount, Captain Bogart and the Missouri Militia are sent out. The Captain makes a dog's breakfast of disarming several Mormon residents. Rumors reach Far West of a wild mob about to massacre the Mormons. Armed men quickly organize to meet the trouble. Near Crooked Creek, a Mormon scout runs into a Militia sentry. Shots are fired and when when the dust settles, 1 Militiaman lays dead and another stabbed through the mouth with a sword. Word is sent to Governor Boggs that half of Bogart's company has been mutilated and massacred. Governor Boggs directs the Militia to exterminate or remove all Mormons from the state. The Militia choose "remove", but it is not pretty. After trials for treason, signing over their property, and paying the Militia for their trouble, Mormon families are turned out into the cold. They head for Commerce, Illinois and buy the town. They will rename it Nauvoo, meaning "beautiful". (In Hebrew, it is pronounced Navu or Novu in this context.) By 1844, the population will grow to the size of Chicago of the day. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
It is tempting to think that the persecution of the Latter Day Saints was due entirely to religious differences, and that was a large part of it, but with the sharp uptick in the population and a lot of bad money being passed around, people were suspicious of the stranger. Although it seems reasonable for a people to form their own protection group, when it was announced the Mormons would be doing this, non-LDS folks were extremely jumpy and believed almost every rumor. The anti-abolitionist groups were terrorists by another name and as I reported in the previous year, Elijah Lovejoy was murdered by anti-abolitionists FROM MISSOURI simply for expressing his opinion in his newspaper PRINTED IN ILLINOIS. There were lawyers willing to protect the rights of minorities, but they often faced armed mobs themselves. In one case, Attorney David Rice Atchison who was also a captain of a Militia company, escorted several Mormon leaders to Independence, Missouri so that a judge could hear their petition for redress, but it became too dangerous for them, even under guard. Atchison marched them out of the city to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy and that was that. He later became a Senator. [11]

Final note: This is a complex subject. If I missed something, don't get angry. Just send an email to AlexShruggedHistory at gmail dot com. I like you guys. I don't want to piss you off, but if you think I got something wrong and you don't let me know, it's on you.

The Pastry War

As you no doubt recall, Texas beat the tar out of General Santa Anna last year. He is in retirement now, but before he came to Texas, he was struggling with revolutions throughout Mexico. The fighting back and forth naturally produced a lot of rubble, and a little French pastry shop in Mexico City was damaged and looted. We know it was French because it was owned by a Frenchman named Remontel and he identified Mexican officers as the culprits in the looting. He demanded compensation, but he was rebuffed, so he wrote to the King of France and unburdened himself to the King. The King then wrote to President Bustamante of Mexico demanding compensation for his subject to the tune of 600,000 pesos. In modern terms this translates into "No-Way, José" or slightly less than "un-FREAKIN-believable". Bustamante naturally refuses, and all Hell breaks loose. The French start a blockade of Mexican ports so the Mexicans use Corpus Christi Bay to smuggle goods in and out. The Texans don't want a war with France, so they shut down the smugglers and patrol the coastline. Finally, General Santa Anna is called out of retirement, but all he gets for his trouble is his leg shot off by the French. It is buried with full military honors, and he will parlay his sacrifice back to the halls of power. Bustamante will pay the 600,000 pesos early next year. [12]

In Other News

  • Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is crowned. Thus begins the Victorian Age, although some historians date its beginning from 1832 when reforms were enacted to reduce election abuses. [13] [14]
  • The Father of the National Weather Service is born. Cleveland Abbe will use the telegraph to collect weather reports and make reasonably accurate predictions using probability and statistics. [14] [15]
  • John Wilkes Booth is born in Maryland. He will assassinate President Abraham Lincoln at the Ford Theater on April 14th, 1865, 5 days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders at Appomattox. [14] [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1838, Wikipedia.

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