Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Sunday, October 31, 2004  

Astoria and Sleepy Hollow, Indian Giving, Roots Along the Big Muddy

Chapter Three: The Outpost

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“One of the goals of the expedition was to inform the Indians encountered that they were now under the domain of the United States and the children of the great white father (Thomas Jefferson at the time) in Washington. It would be years before U.S. hegemony would be extended over the West and these tribes, but Lewis and Clark marked the beginning of that eventual fate, and it can rightly be said that the expedition in many ways marked the beginning of the end for them.”

James J. Holmberg

BASS LAKE, California -- Located in the Western Sierra Mountains, just 8 miles from Oakhurst,California.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Finding Pathfinder was no picnic. His last known whereabouts were sketchy at best - somewhere in the general vicinity of Yosemite's southern entrance. His last posting boasted of uncovering two journals of particular interest and a couple of maps that highlighted the major developments at end of the wild frontier. We caught up with him “near the forks” as the locals said.

Lone Eagle: Why there?

Pathfinder: Sorry for being so mysterious. When I first arrived in town, I logged into their great online forums and discovered this posting - “I saw the eagles today near the forks.” I'm going back tomorrow to take photos!” I couldn't resist. I had to check it out myself.

Lost Explorer: No wonder. Look at these Bass Lake photos posted by Sandman.

Pathfinder: Before I check out local areas, I always log on to webcams, if I can, like cameras one and two -- these two views of Bass Lake and pick up the weather report. You never know.

Eagle: We've got to be careful this time of year with early, early snowstorms.

Explorer: Not to mention some of the recent seismic activity in the Mammoth - Mono Lake region.

J2020F: We thought you might have already been in Yosemite, so we checked out two of their webcams. Not that we'd be able to pick you out. Why Yosemite?

Pathfinder: I've always been struck by the connection between Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks - their history.

J2020F: What do you mean?

Pathfinder: The government set aside the two territories as national parks around the same time. Mark Twain's overland stage passed near Yellowstone in route from Missouri to Carson City, where he prospected for silver near Yosemite. And the early river-based adventures in 1804 and 1811 - Lewis & Clark, William Price Hunt, Andrew Henry and Manuel Lisa -- paved the way.

Eagle: Those expeditions by the first generation -- the fur trappers and hunting parties -- that branched out from the early water routes finding newly discovered natural wonders, right?

Explorer: Like when John Colter returned from Yellowstone and experienced difficulty getting anyone, besides William Clark, to believe his Yellowstone geyser stories, for example?

Pathfinder: So you know about Colter? His story is told in detail in Washington Irving's book, based on one of the journals I recently uncovered. He wrote - about the Pacific Fur Company's expedition. Hunt left St. Charles, Missouri a few months ahead of the second expedition sponsored by the Missouri Fur Company and documented by Henry Marie Brackenridge, a key source for Irving's book.

Eagle: As I recall, once the government-sponsored Lewis & Clark expedition returned, the next wave of privately financed fur traders followed in their foot steps. The competition, especially between the Missouri and Pacific Fur Trading companies quickly deteriorated into quarrels, fistfights and very real threats of violence.

Pathfinder: Well, as Irving put it, it was a time of great enterprise - especially for the first millionaire - John Jacob Astor. Irving saw the story as a grand adventure, as this in passage shows in the introduction:

“About two years ago, not long after my return from a tour upon the prairies of the far West, I had a conversation with my friend, Mr. John Jacob Astor, relative to that portion of our country, and to the adventurous traders to Santa Fe and the Columbia. This led him to advert to a great enterprise set on foot and conducted by him, between twenty and thirty years since, having for its object to carry the fur trade across the Rocky Mountains, and to sweep the shores of the Pacific.”

J2020F: You cited Irving's reference to published journals - especially by Brackenridge.

Pathfinder: Yes, he's an interesting character. In 1810 Brackenridge settled in Missouri, where he continued to practice law. He studied Spanish and explored the natural history of the region. Articles written for the Missouri Gazette gained the attentions of Thomas Jefferson. Washington Irving used notes Brackenridge kept on the 1811 voyage in writing his 1836 Astoria.

Explorer: So, Brackenridge returns in 1811 and publishes his journal?

Pathfinder: The Journal was published in a book called “Views of Lousiana, together with a Journal of a Voyage up the Missouri River, in 1811,” in 1814 in Pittsburg, by Cramer, Spear and Eichbaum. In 1811 Brackenridge moved to New Orleans, where he was appointed deputy attorney general of the Territory of Orleans in present-day Louisiana. He assumed the post of district judge of Louisiana the following year. In 1821, Brackenridge moved to Florida, where he served under Governor Andrew Jackson as secretary and translator and died 5 decades later on January 18, 1871.

Eagle: Astor's Pacific Fur Trading Expedition, under the direction of William Price Hunt gets the jump on their competition in 1811?

Explorer: And, Henry Marie Brackenridge ascends the Missouri River, but months later with the Missouri Fur Company, led by Manuel Lisa?

Pathfinder: Yes and yes. With a Astor's bankroll Hunt succeeds in attracting St. Louis' willing boatmen and hunters, as well as the ire of the established Missouri company.

J2020F: Hunt leaves in January, right. Following delays caused by weather conditions and seasonal flooding, he travels up the Big Muddy - the Missouri River (as mapped in 1894) - and then on to the Pacific Coast. What about the Brackenridge and Lisa?

Pathfinder: Even though William Clark and other prominent investors backed the Missouri Fur Company they had suffered setbacks.

Explorer: Setbacks?

Pathfinder: One of their partners, Major Andrew Henry abandoned their outpost at the forks of the Missouri in response to Blackfeet harassment - triggered by a history of bad luck and blunders starting with earlier encounters by Merriwether Lewis and John Colter.

Eagle: Where did he go?

Explorer: Did he return like Colter did?

Pathfinder: No, he crossed the Rockies for the trapping regions along the Columbia River branches. After Hunt's arrival at St. Louis, in the early spring, the Missouri Company organized a rescue expedition to find Henry.

J2020F: What happened next?

Pathfinder: The Board of Directors of the Missouri Fur Company held a final meeting March 25, 1811, prior to Lisa's departure. The Chouteaus, one of the most influential French families in St. Louis, (as documented in footnotes in the December 12, 1803 Lewis and Clark Journals) had backed out on providing any money for the rescue. The only financial supporters of the rescue were Lisa, William Clark, and Pierre Menard.

Explorer: Didn't Lisa and Clark hate each other?

Pathfinder: Actually it was Lewis who disliked Lisa intensely, as did many others. But business was business, so Clark and Lewis's brother Reuben became Lisa's partners in the Missouri Fur Company.

Eagle: So, Henry's missing in action. Out of the blue Astor's better-financed expedition snaps up talent. What did they do?

Pathfinder: In his journal Brackenridge's writes, "The funds of the company were at so low an ebb, that it was with some difficulty a barge of twenty tons could be fitted out with merchandise to the amount of a few thousand dollars, and to procure twenty hands and a patron."

J2020F: Lisa was to lead the rescue and wait for Major Henry and the men at the Mandan Villages on the upper Missouri, right?

Pathfinder: And to make amends with the Sioux and Blackfoot nations while overtaking Hunt's expedition.

Explorer: So Hunt leaves in January, while Lisa and Brackenridge leave in April.

Pathfinder: According to Washington Irving's account: “On the afternoon of the third day, January, 17th, the boats touched at Charette, one of the old villages founded by the original French colonists. Here they met with Daniel Boone, the renowned patriarch of Kentucky, who had kept in the advance of civilization, and on the borders of the wilderness, still leading a hunter's life, though now in his eighty-fifth year. He had but recently returned from a hunting and trapping expedition, and had brought nearly sixty beaver skins as trophies of his skill.”

J2020F: On the1894 Missouri River map it looks like “Area 1” shows the details of the river where all three expeditions began their journeys - Lewis & Clark, William Hunt, and Lisa and Brackenridge. If you drill down by clicking on the rectangle you can see that Section II (far right section) shows the twists and turns in the river between St. Louis and St. Charles. And, where sections III and IV overlap is where Boone and eventually Colter and Henry lived out the remainder of their lives.

Pathfinder: While Hunt, in 1811, met Boone in his Femme Osage / Charette Village home, nothing in the journals kept by Lewis and Clark or any of their expedition members note that they stopped to meet with him.

J2020F: Then next two sections of the map really hit home for me - Sections V and VI showing Hermann to the west of Washington - where Franklin County and Osage Counties (Chamois at the rectangular overlap) border Gasconade County.

Pathfinder: Did you say Gasconade? Lewis & Clark and Lisa - Brackenridge write about it.

Explorer: Isn't that where your family originated?

J2020F: Well, according to family researchers we arrived in the US in the 1790s and migrated from North Carolina or Virginia to Tennessee, near where Davy Crockett roamed, and then the first ancestor to show up on a census settles in Osage County. But as kids, my sister and I would spend part of summer vacation in Gasconade collecting arrowheads -- and a tomahawk one year - and we'd listen to the hunting and fishing stories our relatives would tell about our father growing up.

Pathfinder: Well, those arrowheads and tomahawk might have belonged to the Osage or the Pottawatomis.

Eagle: What do you mean?

Pathfinder: At the end of in Brackenridge's Chapter I and just before the beginning of Chapter II he writes:

“We have been accompanied for these two days past by a man 14 and two lads, ascending in a canoe. This evening they encamped close by us, placing the canoe under shelter of our boat. Unsheltered, except by the trees on the bank, and a ragged quilt drawn over a couple of forks, they abode "the pelting of the pitiless storm," with apparent indifference. These people are well dressed in handsome home made of cotton cloth. The man seemed to possess no small share of pride and self importance, which, as I afterwards discovered, arose from his being a captain of militia….”

“He resides on the Gasconade; was the second family which settled in that quarter, about three years ago. He has present about 250 men on his muster-roll. We were entertained by him with a long story of his having pursued some Pottawatomise, who had committed robberies on the settlements some time last summer; he made a narrow escape, the Indians having attacked his party in the night time, and killed four of his men after desperate resistance.”

Explorer: You mentioned Davy Crocket. Apparently his grandfather and grandmother were two of a dozen or so settlers who were massacred by Creek and Cherokee Indians in Tennessee, so between 1811 and 1813 Crockett fought under General Andrew Jackson in the Creek War.

Eagle: Around this time, when white settler began streaming into the Illinois country after the War of 1812, the Sauks and Foxes fled across the Mississippi. A subordinate chief, Blackhawk, refused to retreat. He created an alliance with the Winnebagos, Pottawotamies, and Kickapoos, and declared war against the new settlements.

J2020F: In 1811 Isaac Best established a horse driven gristmill near the mouth of the Gasconade River from which the hamlet later sprang up and took the name of the river - which Brackenridge's “footnoter” attributes the Gascony in France. The town was the first county seat of Gasconade County and in 1821 it missed being the capital of Missouri by the narrow margin of two votes.

Pathfinder: Well, on May 27, 1804 the Lewis and Clark expedition camped at the mouth of the Gasconade River (scroll to the right until you see “Missouri River” and then scroll straight down) seven years before Best and Lisa. On the following day they record their deer hunting and cave explorations. Five months earlier, they spotted two Potawatomis near Chouteau Island.

Explorer: So one of your ancestors migrated from Tennessee in 1811?

J2020F: No. Nathan first shows up in the 1850 census at the age of 21 in Osage County where he farms near Chamois, mentioned various times in the various expedition journals, goes off to the Civil War and dies in a St. Louis military hospital. His widow and three children carry on. One of the boys, John works the land, and fathers twenty children - with two wives - nine with his first wife who dies and eleven with his second wife. John's first son grew up to become the superintendent of the Army Corps of Engineers based where Lewis and Clark camped and the Pottawotamis chaser took refuge from the storm with Manuel Lisa and Henry Marie Breckenridge two hundred years ago.

Eagle: So, unlike many of the sons and daughters of the earliest settlers who headed up the river for trails to the west, Nathan's family chose to plant family roots in the area. By the 1850s the Osage Nation had long been removed from the rural farmlands.

Explorer: If Nathan had survived the Civil War, he might have joined Mark Twain on an overland stage or one of the emigrant wagon trains west from Missouri.

J2020F: Like Mark Twain, my great uncle worked as a river captain, piloting gigantic barges up and down the Missouri. If Nathan had lived, he may have felt the same way as Larry McMurty's family did - that Missouri became a lawless breeding ground for outlaws after the Civil War, especially with Jesse James and his gang roaming the territory.

Explorer: He might also have take exception to Jesse's use of Nathan's son's first and last name while on the run.

J2020F: Speaking of being on the run, don't we have make tracks to Yosemite?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

2:22 PM

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