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.
The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Sunday, October 17, 2004
Emerging Westward Destiny: Whiteman's Fly, the 100-Mile Migration Indicator
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
“Routinely outnumbered by the tribes they met along the Missouri, in the Rockies, and along the Columbia, Lewis and Clark and party would have been forced to retreat or met a violent end if any one of these still free and often powerful nations had chosen to stop them. Incredibly, given the thousands of Indians the expedition interacted with on hundreds of occasions, only one instance of actual hostile conflict occurred - and that was a case of self-defense.“
James J. Holmberg
OAKHURST, California. -- No male on earth likes to backtrack, admit they are lost, or ask for directions - just ask my wife. So it was a complete surprise to me when after consulting Internet maps of the possible locations where we might find Grey Owl - traveling on to Carson City, Virginia City, Reno and the northern part of Nevada, including Pyramid Lake, we decide to head back on US 50 to Placerville,then head almost due south on “Historic Highway 49.”
Journal of 2020 Foresight: Why are we going backwards?
Lost Explorer: We just got an unexpected email from Pathfinder. He's near Yosemite and wants us to pick him up before we take off for the five Western States.
Lone Eagle: If you look here on this map it looks like we won't lose too much time, because we can take a shortcut over the Sierras out of Yosemite and come into Mammoth, and then cruise down US 395 as we had planned from Reno and Carson City.
Explorer: But looks can be deceiving, if you know what I mean.
Eagle: You mean … “Donner party of 89 your table is ready. What do you mean change your reservation to 47?”
Explorer: Remember, Captain John C. Fremont's Army Corps of Engineers with Kit Carson, as a guide, explored the area to chart the west from 1842 to 1845. Fremont's maps and vivid descriptions of the unknown land heightened interest, and increased migration began. Many of the first pioneers were unaware of the region's dangers as they eagerly pushed westward.
J2020F: Oh, I get it. You're talking about the 353-acre Donner Memorial State Park two miles west from Truckee, on Donner Pass Road. Near where the Donner party was stranded without food as they tried to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains a year after Fremont and Carson's expedition, during the severe winter of 1846-47.
Eagle: That's right. Taking a shortcut they were caught by an early winter in the Sierra Nevada. More than 50% perished in the bitter cold. News deterred the pace of settlement.
Explorer: Especially the part about their acts of cannibalism.
J2020F: So, back to our “expedition.” To pick up Pathfinder, we retrace our path over the “Loneliest Road in the World” - US 50 that follows the original Pony Express Route - across central Nevada?
Explorer: Yup. I for one am looking forward to it. This whole region, in and around the eastern and western slopes of the High Sierras from Virginia and Carson cities to Yosemite National Park and Mono Lake near Mammoth provided the backdrop for Mark Twain's adventures in “Roughing It.”
Eagle: Twain traveled through this area about 12 years later, right?
Explorer: That's right. After the end of the Mexican War with the United States and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1846 that, in effect, turned former Mexican land over to the US.
Eagle: And probably after 1851 when Mormons founded the first permanent settlement and after 1855 when a Mormon mission in Las Vegas Valley was established, but failed.
Explorer: And after 1858 when Carson City, was formed - not by Kit I might add -- and the Comstock Mines in 1859 discovered gold and silver in Virginia City - turning the region into a major mining center.
J2020F: So he must have arrived in Carson City between 1860 and 1861, since his brother became secretary of the Nevada Territory, from what had been known as the Utah Territory.
Explorer: True. In fact, when Samuel Clemens or Mark Twain traveled west from St. Louis to leave from St. Joseph, Missouri (near Topeka on the map) for Carson City by overland stagecoach - the “rough part” of” roughing it” - he writes about sighting, for what seemed like only an instant, the from Pony Express rider on the horizon. With only a hearty shout, the rider zipped past Twain and fellow passengers in the overland stagecoach and disappeared out of site.
Eagle: So, it had to be then. Because, in 90-year saga of the Western Frontier, the pony express came and went almost as fast as that unnamed rider.
J2020F: What do you mean?
Eagle: The expansion of the telegraph from New York to San Francisco in 1861
put an early end to the pony express. I believe the first rider left Missouri for the 2000-mile trip to Sacramento in 1860. Eighteen months later the last rider traveled along what is now US 50. But the stories and mythology continue today.
J2020F: What was the title of the book Jonathan Kirsch reviewed not too long ago about the Pony Express - “Only Orphans Need Apply”?
Eagle: Oh, yeah the one by Christopher Corbett. That job title appeared in an ad in the St. Louis papers, right?
Explorer: How did it go? “Seeking young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over eighteen, willing to risk death daily.”
J2020F: While there were others, one who did apply was William Frederick Cody - or Buffalo Bill to his “close personal friends” - and the rest of the world. Wild Bill Hikok was never a rider for the Pony Express. However, in March 1861, he was an assistant station tender at Rock Creek Station where, in a still disputed gunfight with station agent David McCanles, McCanles and three other men were killed by Hickok. Cody also worked on the Overland Stage, as did Wyatt Earp riding shotgun.
Explorer: Later Hikok would travel with Cody's Wild West Show. Kit Carson was already twenty years old when Buffalo Bill was born in 1846 in Scottia, Iowa. Cody managed to outlive the actual end of the western frontier, in the 1890s, but managed to extend its mythology into the early 1900s until his death in 1917 with his Wild West Show.
J2020F: While Cody died on January 10, 1917 in Denver, Colorado, my father was born 10 months later in a small Missouri town along the banks of the Missouri River that employed his father, my grandfather, as the Superintendent of the Army Corps of Engineers. So, I'm one generation removed from the ending of the west as we've come to accept it in our popular culture - that independent way of life.
Eagle: If we were to put Cody in a category, we'd probably place Buffalo Bill in the second group of western heroes that included Jim Bridger (1804 - 1881), John Fremont (1813 - 1890), Ben Holladay (1819 - 1887), Horace Tabor (1830 - 1899), Wild Bill Hickok (1837 - 1876), Jesse James (1847 - 1882), Wyatt Earp (1848- 1929), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1866 - 1909).
Explorer: And Mark Twain (1835- 1910).
J2020F: They were the frontiersman, pony express riders, stagecoach drivers, wagon train leaders, army scouts - the trailblazers who pointed the way to those who provided the communications and transportation for the wave after wave of new emigrants pouring into the western states, right?
Eagle: Right. Greed, war and politics accelerated the migration.
J2020F: By that you mean?
Eagle: In 1861 the Nevada Territory was carved out of original Utah Territory, but it only had 1/6 population needed to become a state. With the Civil War severely draining the Union coffers, in 1864 president Lincoln proclaimed Nevada the 36th state.
Explorer: By doing so, Lincoln gained two advantages. Gold and silver financed the Union's side in the Civil War, and he obtained the one vote necessary for the ratification of the 13th Amendment
J2020F: So, Buffalo Bill, his fellow pony express riders, Mark Twain, and emigrant wagon trains made the trek from St. Louis to Carson City on the trail that has become US 50 today?
Eagle: That's right. St. Louis, like the Hudson's Bay Company, evolved with the times. One hundred years before Twain purchased his overland coach ticket to Carson City for $150, Pierre Laclède founded what would become St. Louis on the west bank of the Mississippi south of the mouth of the Missouri River in 1764.
Explorer: Weren't the Laclèdes known as a family of traders?
Eagle: Pierre and his sons traded for furs and skins from the Osage Indians in exchange for guns, clothes, liquor and finished goods popular to the tribe's tastes from the Frenchmen.
J2020F: So, this was the time of “America's First West” as described in Landon Y. Jones', "William Clark and the Shaping of the West." When the Missouri River Valley represented the boundary to the unknown territories. What has become known as the Midwest, right?
Explorers: Yes. The era when the frontier moved westward from the Ohio River Valley - near present day Louisville, Kentucky - where Clark's family settled in a “bustling hamlet of about a hundred log cabins.” And, from where the Lewis and Clark expedition prepared for their expedition of discovery. - from the Falls of the Ohio.
Eagle: It was a time, when honeybees foretold the beginnings of manifest destiny.
Eagle: Native Americans, for example, came to know when white settlers were approaching their tribal grounds by the appearance of what they called "white man's fly" - that is, the honeybees that were driven westward as the newcomers cleared the old-growth forests to make room for farms and towns.
Explorer: Kind of like what Trailblazer calls an early indicator that a particular scenario is unfolding.
Eagle: Exactly. The honeybees stayed roughly 100 miles ahead of the migration of settlements across North America.
J2020F: So, in about 100 years, St. Louis evolved from trading post for the early fur trappers to a launching pad for the river-based expeditions to a gateway for wagon trains, pony express and stagecoaches migrating to the Rocky Mountains and beyond?
Explorer: The St. Louis “Basecamp” was the last trace of civilization and the networking hub to exchange intelligence about what lay before the trappers, explorers, and settlers as they established “Outposts” between the “Gateway” and the California coast - throughout the established “Tribal Territories.”
Eagle: And it became the area for retirement for the first wave of frontiersmen as the second generation escaped to new adventures.
J2020F: Let's see - in 1799 Daniel Boone.traveled by canoe, paddling down the Ohio River and up the Mississippi into what has become the greater St. Louis area - St. Charles County. Boone wrote about General George Rogers Clark, renowned Indian fighter, commandant at The Falls of the Ohio and older brother of William Clark in his journals. But, it was time to move on for Boone. He followed one of his sons, Daniel Morgan Boone to Missouri, who had already settled there while the territory had been under the dominion of Spain.
Explorer: And, I believe in Missouri Daniel lost land again - as he had in Kentucky when it had been admitted as a state in the Union. The second time, he had been appointed commander of the Femme Osage district with a large tract of land for his services - but he failed to make good on his title.
Eagle: As I understand it, when Missouri was transferred to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase, Boone's land had been sold to satisfy creditors in Kentucky.
J2020F: However, in 1812 Congress confirmed his title to another tract of land and he lived out his life at Charette Village on the Femme Osage Creek and died at the home of his other son, Major Nathan Boone - a first of a kind two story house on the western side of the Missouri River, built between the launch of Lewis and Clark's expedition in 1804 and finished in 1810. He died in 1820 at the age of 86.
Explorer: One of Boone's neighbors in retirement, John Colter, left St. Louis in 1804 with Lewis and Clark, but in 1806 on the return trip negotiated his permission to leave early. He led Joseph Dickson and Forest Hancock back up the Missouri River to trap beaver along the Yellowstone River.
Eagle: Colter tried his hand at a variety of early frontier occupations: explorer, fur trapper, mountain man, army scout and eventually farmer.
J2020F: About the only person who believed Colter's amazing descriptions of Yellowstone geysers and boiling mud was William Clark, who placed the details of Colter's discoveries on his private map. Colter trapped beaver in the Yellowstone Park and Teton Park areas from 1806 until 1808 when the Blackfoot Sioux captured him.
Eagle: Apparently, they asked him if he was a fast runner. He said no, so they gave him a head start to run for his life. Turns out that he was a fast runner and managed to elude his pursuers.
Explorer: So, in 1809 after another hair- raising escape, Colter figured he had enough and returned to a new wife and a farm until he died in poverty in 1813.
J2020F: In the same year, William Clark was made governor of the Missouri Territory, after having served as superintendent of Indian Affairs beginning in 1807. He governed for eight years until 1821, during which time the journals of his expedition had been published, in 1814. Clark died at St. Louis in 1838.
Explorer: Jim Bridger left St. Louis in 1822 at the age of 18 when he signed on with William Ashley to trap beaver in the same general area of the upper Missouri River, as Colter had roamed 16 years earlier. He died on his farm near Kansas City, Missouri in 1881.
Eagle: And, four years later, but three years younger than Jim Bridger, Kit Carson high tailed it out of Missouri in 1826. He tried his hand at several occupations, too - saddler, mountain man, fur trapper, hunter, army scout, buffalo hunter, and guide.
J2020F: Instead of targeting the upper Missouri River, Carson made his way to the New Mexico territory and worked as a hostler for a hunting party going to Santa Fe. Two decades later, in 1842 to 1846, he works for John C. Fremont as a guide for expeditions to the Northwest and into California.
Explorer: Carson might have heard stories about the mountain men adventures that he just couldn't resist. In the spring of 1826, the same year Carson hit the trail, Jedediah Smith founded his own fur trading company with partners David S. Jackson and William Sublette.
Eagle: Exploring with Jackson, William Sublette rediscovered the geysers of Yellowstone Park in 1826, two decades after John Colter had done so in 1806.
J2020F: Having given up the life of adventure, on March 10, 1830 William Sublette purchased his Sulfur Spring farm located on the River Des Peres, six miles from St. Louis, Missouri. He then focused his career in a different direction and became one of the original developers of Kansas City, Missouri.
Explorer: William Sublette before retiring played a major part in establishing the wagon trail through South Pass.
Eagle: And the building of what was known later as Fort Laramie, written about by Mark Twain and figuring prominently in the history of the West.
J2020F: Speaking of explorers, where do we meet Pathfinder?
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