Smoke Signals

July/Aug 2011

North American Frontiersmen here's a nice reply from one of our members that has been here from the start-up. I sent out my usual "Holidays with the Corp of Discovery" message for the different Holidays, this one being for Easter.

The same day I get a reply with additional historical information by our NAF member Paul Jacobson. This is an interesting read, plus we are twisting his arm to supply us with more of his "footnotes" for all to enjoy.


From: Buck Conner

Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2011 8:00 AM
Subject: Re: Holidays with the Corp of Discovery

Holidays with the Corp of Discovery


Checking the different sources listed below, no entries where made on this date, but we know that they where with at Fort Mandan waiting for the ice to clear from the rivers.
Invoice of articles from Fort Mandan to the President:
  • First box, skins of the male and female antelope, with their skeletons;.... horns and ears of the black tail, or mule deer;.... skeletons of small animals, or burrowing wolf of the prairies, the skin having been lost by accident.
  • Second box, four buffalo robes and an ear of Mandan corn.
  • Third box, skins of male and female antelope, with skeletons.
  • Fourth box, specimens of earths, salts and minerals; specimens of plants;..... one tin box containing insects.
In a large trunk: one buffalo robe painted by a Mandan man
representing a battle which was fought eight years [ago], by the Sioux and [Arikaras] against the Mandans and [Hidatsas].
  • One cage, containing four living magpies.
  • One cage, containing a living burrowing squirrel of the prairies.
  • One cage, containing one living hen of the prairies.

One large pair of elk’s horns, connected by the frontal bone.

We know that by the end of March the ice was no longer a problem on the rivers and Lewis had sent a small detachment back to St. Louis with the big keelboat, loaded with materials for Jefferson: maps, lengthy reports about populations and customs of the Indian tribes in the Louisiana Territory and the prospects for trade, and box after box of specimens they had collected from the newest region of the now growing U. States.
April ?. At this moment, every individual of the party are in good health and excellent sperits; zealously attached to the enterprise, and anxious to proceed; not a whisper of discontent or murmur is to be heard among them; but all in unison act with the most perfect harmoney. With such men I have every thing to hope, and but little to fear.


Once again the Corps of Discovery headed west ...........

From: Paul Jacobson <pjacobson@bak.rr.com>
To: Buck Conner < buckconner@yahoo.com>
Sent: Sun, April 24, 2011 10:43:08 AM
Subject: Re: Holidays with the Corp of Discovery

Buck, your holiday notes are always a pleasure to read – coffee or not.
For years while I was teaching, I produced what I called “Historical Footnotes,” – a brief description of some event that happened each day. They were first published in the school’s daily bulletin, and later when the school read the bulletin via loud speaker, they were emailed to those on staff who wished them. They were also emailed to sister campuses, and various other individuals at schools, colleges or whatever. For a while they were published in a small local newspaper. Intended originally for school use, there were at least four items for any given date so that a freshman starting in high school could hear a different event each day for their four-year high school career. For your enjoyment I have copied an event for this date below – it is not related to the Easter Season, but rather to America and especially Thomas Jefferson.



HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE: April 24, 1800: The Library of Congress is born as President John Adams approves legislation appropriating $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress." The first books, which were ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library's first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps. When the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol in 1814, the 3,000-volume Library of Congress was lost in the flames. Former president Thomas Jefferson responded to this loss by selling his personal library, the largest and finest in the country, to Congress to "recommence" the library. In 1851, a second major fire at the library destroyed about two-thirds of its fifty-five thousand volumes, including two-thirds of Thomas Jefferson's library. Today, the collection, housed in three enormous buildings in Washington, contains more than seventeen million books, as well as nearly ninety-five million maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints and drawings, and other special collections. The main library building itself is one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington.


Added Notation: Recently, a-here-to-fore unrealized collection of 74 volumes of Jefferson’s personal books were discovered at Washington University. They had been originally auctioned in 1829 to help pay off debts, and were donated to the university in 1880. Since that time, they sat unidentified until researchers at Monticello, Jefferson’s home, figured it out.



I told you folks this is some very interesting material from a very knowledgeable member that the staff really enjoyed,  hope you have and will encourage Paul to continue supplying "Smoke Signals" with his “Historical Footnotes”.






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