By John Bicknell
The presidential election of 1844 was once one of many or 3 such a lot momentous elections in American heritage. Had Henry Clay gained rather than James ok. Polk, we’d be residing in a really assorted kingdom at the present time. Polk’s victory cemented the westward enlargement that introduced Texas, California, and Oregon into the union. It additionally came about amid spiritual turmoil that integrated anti-Mormon and anti-Catholic violence, and the “Great Disappointment,” during which hundreds of thousands of fans of an imprecise preacher named William Miller believed Christ might go back to earth in October 1844.
writer and journalist John Bicknell information much more compelling, interwoven occasions that happened in this momentous 12 months: the homicide of Joseph Smith, the spiritual fermentation of the second one nice Awakening, John C. Frémont’s exploration of the West, Charles Goodyear’s patenting of vulcanized rubber, the near-death of President John Tyler in a freak naval explosion, and lots more and plenty extra. All of those components illustrate the competing visions of the yank future—Democrats as opposed to Whigs, Mormons as opposed to Millerites, nativists as opposed to Catholics, those that risked the enterprise westward as opposed to those that stayed properly behind—and how Polk’s election cemented the imaginative and prescient of a continental nation.
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In regards to the time they reached castle corridor on the confluence of the Snake and Port Neuf rivers, she got a letter he had written almost immediately after relocating out at the path in June. At that time, he advised her that he anticipated to be domestic through the recent 12 months. She dutifully handed alongside this little bit of excellent news to a chum, Adelaide Talbot, the widowed mom of youngster voyageur Theodore Talbot, writing her that “by the center or finish of December they anticipate to be during this position. ” If Frémont truly believed that during June, he had different plans in brain by way of fall, and Preuss famous that “this facet journey to the Salt Lake expenses us quite a bit time that he [Frémont] himself has most likely given up the belief of attaining the Pacific Ocean and nonetheless be domestic this iciness. ” Frémont’s uncomplicated orders from Abert had charged the explorer with noting parts alongside the path that might be of use to emigrants, together with watering holes and pasture land. Frémont knew that Benton and his fellow expansionists have been simply as drawn to discovering websites for army outposts. His former mentor, Joel Poinsett, used to be one other who had strongly supported the development of a line of forts in the course of his time as secretary of battle. Others, together with Kearny, who had provided Frémont’s howitzer, inspiration occasional marches up the path could rate much less and paintings simply to boot. yet Frémont used to be the following to do the bidding of Benton’s army Affairs Committee, which was once attempting to get the Senate to think about fort-building laws. “A army publish, and a civilized payment, will be of significant price here,” he wrote of the world among the endure and Snake rivers, “and livestock and horses might do good the place grass and salt rather a lot abound. ” the pinnacle of the clinical day trip was once additionally taking cautious notes in his position because the missionary of take place future. As Frémont plotted his subsequent strikes, the elements grew to become. On September 19 and 20 it snowed all day and evening, with the temperatures dipping into the low twenties. The rivers iced over over. offers have been low, and Frémont knew it is going to most likely worsen. a few discontent—beyond the standard from Preuss—began to emerge within the ranks, so Frémont made up our minds to ship ten of the worst grumblers again to St. Louis, led by means of the horse-fed Lajeunesse. He entrusted them with letters, together with a few meant for Jessie, yet they'd lose them in a river crossing. On September 23 the remainder of the boys left fortress corridor and headed for Oregon, following the Snake River. one of many mileposts alongside the best way for Frémont, like different westbound tourists, used to be the Whitman challenge, off the Oregon path approximately twenty-five miles east of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur buying and selling publish at castle Walla Walla in what's now southeastern Washington. Dr. Marcus Whitman and his spouse, Narcissa, had come to the zone in 1836 as Presbyterian missionaries attempting to convert the Cayuse Indians to Christianity. They loved few successes on that rating, however the challenge had grown into whatever of a profitable enterprise and shortly turned a fashion station for drained and hungry pioneers on their option to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, 300 miles or so additional west.
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