Straight from the Scullery

a blog about life, love, and the pursuit of food and happiness...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Journey's End

September 23, 1806

Thomas Jefferson announced the signing of the Louisiana Purchase agreement to the American people on July 4, 1803. Plans were made to send several missions to the west, including the Corps of Discovery. The goal for the Corps was to find a direct water route to the Pacific Ocean across the newly acquired territory. President Jefferson also instructed Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark to declare US sovereignty along the way.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Farewell to the Nation

September 19, 1796

George Washington's Farewell Address to the Nation has been referred to as one of the most important documents in American history. President Washington, with the help of his friend and colleague James Madison, wrote the original draft of his letter in 1792. He planned to be president for one term only.

Concerns over foreign affairs convinced Washington to run for a second term in office. The divide between the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party was growing rapidly, and President Washington set the letter aside for another four years in an effort to provide stability for the newly formed nation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Not So Neighborly

September 15, 1914

President Woodrow Wilson is continually ranked in the top ten most popular presidents in United States history. The Democratic governor of New Jersey won the White House in 1912, taking office in 1913. President Wilson is remembered for cracking down on child labor, avoiding a major railroad strike, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, the Federal Farm Loan Act, and his peace statement entitled "Fourteen Points." Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his 1919 efforts to promote the formation of the League of Nations. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Titanic of its Time

September 12, 1857

The California Gold Rush was well underway by 1857, and the SS Central America had so far hauled over one-third of California's output from the northern port of Colon, Panama (called Aspinwall in 1857) to New York City. The "Ship of Gold" had transported about $1.6 million in gold (1857 value) by the time it sank in a hurricane off the South Carolina coast on September 12 of that year. 

Over 400 passengers left the San Francisco docks on the SS Sonora, one of the steamships from the Pacific Mail Steamship Line. The journey to Panama would cost $300 for a first cabin and take around two weeks, at which point passengers would take the new Panama Railroad for a four hour journey (rather than tromping through the jungle for a week) to board the SS Central America (of the Atlantic Mail Steamship Company). The gold got a baggage car of its own.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Strength of America

My generation does not have haunting memories of world wars; we have the capability to take for granted the importance of the foundations on which our nation was built. We do, however, possess an understanding of the depth to which hatred and evil can shake an individual, a family, a community, a nation.

It is not in anyone's best interest to recount for you the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. Not the details, not the destruction and despair. The depth to which our media glorifies horrific acts haunts me more than the images themselves as they are burned into memory.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Treaty by the Sea

September 5, 1905

The Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) focused on the imperialist desire both countries had, wanting control over the Manchurian Peninsula and Korea. Russia had been fighting for Manchuria since the Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan the Terrible's conquest of 1.5 million square miles of land in the 16th century. Japan had only recently emerged in the world theatre as a potential powerhouse, having spent the past couple of centuries in isolation. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Arriving in Walla Walla

September 1, 1836

After growing up in New York state in the early 1800's, Narcissa Prentiss was swept away by the Second Great Awakening in America. Shortly after turning down one marriage proposal, she agreed to another. Dr. Marcus Whitman and Narcissa were married in February of 1836 and left the following day, en route to Oregon Territory to set up a mission.