JUNE 2017

JUNE  2017
J.P. Morgan as a young man in his own words - "The Public Be Damned."

Translate

Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT

I am tempted to call his life a tempest in a tea pot. It was a “Tempest” worthy of William Shakespeare only because Albert Bacon Fall (above) was a scoundrel of operatic proportions, a self made legal sorcerer and a bombastic, selfish, fearless and vulgar cowboy Caliban. His villainous reputation was established by a mysterious double murder in the New Mexico desert. But the climax was staged on 9,480 rolling Wyoming acres along Salt Creek and adjacent to a subterranean anticline dome near an odd looking 75 foot tall sandstone butte (below). Some thought the butte resembled a tea pot, which gave its name to the scandal that finally brought our reprobate down. But the true scandal was Albert Fall's entire career.
You taught me language; and my profit on't Is, I know how to curse.”
Caliban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act I, Scene 2
Near the low crest of Chalk Hill (above) the search party found a patch of blood soaked sand and some papers belonging to 57 year old Republican lawyer Albert.J. Fountain. A hundred yards further on, Mescalero Apache scouts found where a man had knelt in ambush, the casings ejected from his rifle, still in the dust. The buggy tracks led eastward 12 miles into the Jarillas Mountains (above, bg), where the search party found Fountain's carriage “plundered and abandoned.” Still in the buggy was a note reading, “If you drop this we will be your friends. If you go on with it you will never reach home alive.” And stuffed under the seat was a kerchief wrapped around some change, belonging to 8 year old Henry Fountain. Neither the father's nor the son's body was ever found.
The clouds methought would open and show riches, Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked, I cried to dream again.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act III, Scene 2
When he was accused of masterminding the 1896 Fountain double homicide, Albert Fall said it was just Republicans trying to “crucify innocent Democrats”. The criminal indictments Fountain had just secured against 23 clients and friends of Albert Fall were likewise dismissed as political. In a courthouse jammed with the alleged killer's allies, threatened and intimidated witnesses simply failed to show up. But Albert Fall still managed to be arrogant and offensive in his one sided victory. The Democrats were all found not guilty. And then, two years later, Albert Fall switched parties and became a Republican. And all his friends found it profitable to go with him.
I'll show thee every fertile inch o' th' island; And I will kiss thy foot: I prithee, be my god.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act II, Scene 2
After having fought statehood for years as a Democrat, in 1912  when statehood came, newly minted Republican Albert Fall became one of New Mexico's first elected U.S. Senators.  In Washington, D.C.,  Albert became famous for two things - his alcohol fueled poker parties with Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding, and his unrelenting animosity toward Democratic President Woodrow Wilson. When Wilson suffered a stroke in 1919, Albert alleged he had been rendered mentally incompetent. At their October examination, Senator Fall hypocritically assured the bedridden Wilson, “I have been praying for you, Sir.” Looking up at his torturer, Wilson inquired, “Which way, Senator?” Albert joined in the laughter, but in November of 1920 it was Senator Fall's drinking buddy, Republican Warren G. Harding who was elected President, defeating Wilson.
Ban, 'Ban, Cacaliban, Has a new master: get a new man. Freedom, hey-day! hey-day, freedom!”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act II, Scene 2
Harding wanted his drinking buddy Albert Fall to be his Secretary of State, but party leaders insisted on someone more trustworthy. Said Harding, “If Albert Fall isn't an honest man, I'm not fit to be President of the United States.”  Hard to argue with that logic. But when the party leaders refused to back down Harding named Albert his Secretary of the Department of the Interior, a branch of government Albert had been denouncing for decades.   Almost the first thing after taking the oath in the spring of 1921 (above), Secretary Fall cajoled Harding into giving his despised Interior Department control over the U.S. Naval Oil Reserves in California and Wyoming.  Fall then quickly granted a no-bid lease for the two reserves in California to oilman Edward Doheny, and in December Albert did the same for oilman Harry Ford Sinclair, granting him sole access to the Tea Pot Dome field, also known as Naval Reserve Number Three.
Do that good mischief which may make this island Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban, For aye thy foot-licker.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act IV, Scene 1
In the spring of 1922, the railroad town of Casper, Wyoming, 35 miles south of the dome, was abuzz with rumors of equipment bearing the name Mammoth Oil Company which had suddenly invaded the naval reserve. Competitors like New Yorker James Darden quickly pierced that deception. He was also certain the lease granted to Sinclair was not legal. Colonel Darden decided to become Sinclair's unofficial partner by drilling his own well sideways, into the same dome. As Fall himself explained, “Sir, if you have a milkshake and I have a milkshake and my straw reaches across the room, I’ll end up drinking your milkshake."  Just the sort of thinking you could expect from Albert Fall.
I will have none on't: we shall lose our time, And all be turn'd to barnacles, or to apes With foreheads villanous low.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act IV Scene 1
The problem for Secretary Fall was the “low down son-of-a-bitch” Darden “was an old friend of President Harding. So on a Saturday afternoon, while the Secretary of the Navy was out of the office, Fall told the the Acting Secretary of the Navy that Harding wanted “squatters” thrown off the dome. Fall added there was ample legal precedent for using U.S. Marines for this duty. There was none, but Fall never showed reluctance to lie to make a profit. Within the week Captain George K. Shuler and four enlisted marines were slapping “No Trespassing” signs and padlocks on Colonel Darden's well. And because this was done in front of reporters, Albert Fall had finally taken one step too far.
I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy-headed monster. A most scurvy monster! I could find in my heart to beat him
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act II Scene 2
Long annoyed by Fall's arrogance, the Senate majority Republicans allowed a Democrat from Montana, Senator Thomas Walsh (below), to investigate the oil leases. And when Walsh issued his first subpoena for documents, Fall responded by burying Walsh in a literal truck load of paper. It slowed Walsh, but Darden's complaints finally caused Harding to separate himself from his old drinking buddy.  In March of 1923, Albert Fall was forced to resign from the cabinet, first going to work for Harry Sinclair and then returning to his own 750,000 acre southern New Mexico ranch, "Three Rivers".  And then, in August of 1923, President Harding dropped dead of a heart attack. The new President, Calvin Coolidge, decided to treat Albert (below) as the fall guy, sacrificing him to the growing public outcry over fraud in the administration of the late President Harding.
How does thy honor? Let me lick thy shoe.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act III Scene 2
The truck load of documents supplied to Senator Walsh provided enough heat to keep the scandal simmering for two years. Called before the committee three times Albert swore under oath - once in writing - that he had done nothing illegal. But late in 1925 questions began to be asked about the number of improvements to Fall's Three Rivers ranch. When put under oath Albert's own son-in-law, M.T. Everhard, was forced to admit he had accepted $198,000 in federal bonds from Harry Sinclair's own hand, and delivered them to Secretary Fall's own hand. There was also a no interest “loan” of $36,000 from Sinclair, and one of $100,000 in cash, the little black bag delivered to "Three Rivers Ranch"  by Edward Doheny's son Ned, and his "friend" and body guard Hugh Plunket. In 1927 the Supreme Court ruled the leases on all three naval oil reserves were invalid, and control went back to the U.S. Navy.
Having first seiz'd his books; or with a log, Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake, Or cut his wezand with thy knife. Remember, First to possess his books; for without them He's but a sot, as I am, nor hath not One spirit to command: they all do hate him, As rootedly as I — burn but his books.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act III, Scene 2
When the federal case went to trial in Los Angeles in 1930. humorist Will Rodgers cracked that Doney's defense team took up three full Pullman railroad cars. The first car was “Just for the little lawyers...to carry the brief cases.” In the third car, said Rodgers, were “the big ones that were in real touch with Mr. Doheny.”  Harry Sinclair's defense team in his Cheyenne, Wyoming trial, took up at least four Pullman cars, according to Rodgers.
Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou: I would my valiant monster would destroy thee: I do not lie.
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act III Scene 2
Edward Doheny paid a high price for his involvement with Albert Fall. In 1929, under pressure by prosecutors for one of them to turn on their fellow conspirators, Ned Doheny and Hugh Plunket died in what appeared to be a murder/suicide. The next year, Edward was not only found not guilty of bribery, but the jury broke into song after rendering their decision.  But the old oil man did not have the heart to celebrate. One disgusted U.S. Senator was prompted to observe, “It is impossible to convict a million dollars in the United States“   Edward Doheny served just 3 months for contempt of Congress, but never recovered from the death of his only son.  He died in September of 1935, still one of the richest men in Southern California. The mansion built for the young Doheny and where the murder/suicide occurred, still stands empty in Beverly Hills, often used for filming movies. 
I'll not serve him, he is not valiant.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act III Scene 2
In Wyoming, Harry Sinclair (above) received a mistrial after it was discovered his private detectives had been shadowing members of the jury. He was never retried for the bribery, but he was sentenced to six months for contempt, which he served in the District of Columbia city jail. He also died one of the richest men in Southern California, in January of 1949
What a thrice-double ass Was I, to take this drunkard for a god And worship this dull fool!”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act V Scene 1
Albert Bacon Fall was the only member of an administration awash in bribes, arrogant enough and clumsy enough to be convicted of accepting a bribe. He remains the only cabinet member in American History sentenced to prison for crimes committed while in office. He served nine months. When he was released in May of 1932 (above), Doheny repossessed Fall's beloved Three Rivers ranch for not repaying the bribe, for which Doheny had been found “not guilty” of paying him. Fall died a broke, sick old man, at the end of November, 1944, arguing to the last that his conviction was just political payback. I doubt that Albert and Henry Fountain, still lying alone somewhere out there in the New Mexico desert, would agree.
Flout 'em and scout 'em, And scout 'em and flout 'em, Thought is free.”
Caloban - Shakespeare's “The Tempest” Act V Scene 1
- 30 -

Monday, June 26, 2017

WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

I would not have gotten along with John Birch.  Probably, whatever your politics, neither would you have.  One of his college professors described Birch as “a one-way valve; everything coming out and no room to take anything in”. Honestly I think the odds were pretty good that eventually somebody somewhere was going to shoot him for shooting off his mouth.  Politics had almost nothing to do with it.  It just so happened that John Morrison Birch was a human bull who finally met his china shop on a road in northern China, and that the hot head who pulled the trigger happened to have been a communist. It was just as likely the shooter would have been a Methodist or a Mormon
“Oh, we're meetin' at the courthouse at eight o'clock tonight. You just walk in the door and take the first turn to the right. Be careful when you get there, we hate to be bereft. But we're taking down the names of everybody turning left. Oh, we're the John Birch Society, the John Birch Society. Here to save our country from a communistic plot. Join the John Birch Society, help us fill the ranks. To get this movement started we need lots of tools and cranks.” (lyrics and music by Michael Brown) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG6taS9R1KM
His commanding officer in the forerunner of the CIA, Major Gustav Krause, described the situation rather simply; “Militarily, John Birch brought about his own death.” Birch was a life long missionary on a military mission on 25 August, 1945, when he and a few other people ran into a patrol of Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army. The commander asked Birch to hand over his revolver, and, surrounded by nervous soldiers, the other members of the group handed over their weapons. Birch decided to argue about it.  Eventually, embarrassed and frustrated, the officer shot him. The other people were held for a few hours and then released unharmed. But the role of the missed opportunity for the application of common sense in John Birch's death did not stop candy-king Robert Welch from building an elaborate conspiracy theory around Birch’s death, Welch saw Birch as the first hero of the war against the international communist plan for world domination. Welch's vision of Birch as a hero evolved until it became a virtual black hole of paranoia and invective that eventually sucked into it everything Welch came in contact with, including the Republican Party, tooth decay, the Republican President Dwight David Eisenhower –whom Welch accused of being a “conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy” - and, believe it or not, the entire state of Alaska.
I’m not kidding about the Alaska thing. Conservative deity William F. Buckley even mentioned it in a column posthumously published in March of 2008, entitled “Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me.”  In discussing how to distance conservatism from the John Birch Society, Buckley described Welch's belief that "the state of Alaska was being prepared to house anyone who doubted his doctrine that fluoridated water was a Communist-backed plot to weaken the minds of the American public.” I guess Alaska was supposed to be the new Texas.

The John Birch Society is and was part of a long line of paranoia  that stains the American psyche, from the anti-French and anti-Irish ‘Alien and Sedition Acts’ of 1798, through the “Order of United Americans”, the “Know Nothing Party”, the Immigration Restriction League, the anarchists scare, the “Yellow Peril”, the imaginary Pearl Harbor betrayal plots, the Black helicopters hiding in our national parks, the militia movement and the mythical bombs planted in the twin towers on 9/11. In fact the John Birch Society cemented all that lunacy together on a firm foundation of anti-Semitism. And this legacy of lunacy and head-up-your-exclusion-duct thinking officially began in Indianapolis on 9 December, 1958.
Robert Welch organized and financed the meeting. He had made his fortune by inventing “Sugar Babies”, “Junior Mints” and “Pom Poms”. And that wealth built on the little holes in children's teeth gave Welch the authority to lecture to 12 true believers for two days straight, about the worldwide communist conspiracy. Welch spewed out such gems of wisdom as, “When Woodrow Wilson, cajoled and guided...by the collectivists of Europe, took us into the First World War, while solemnly swearing that he would never do so, he did much more than end America's great period of happy and wholesome independence of Europe. He put his healthy young country in the same house, and for a while in the same bed, with this parent who was already yielding to the collectivist cancer. We never got out of that house again. We were once more put back even in the same bed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, also while lying in his teeth about his intentions, and we have never been able to get out of that bed since.”  You might notice a disturbing repetition of bed and parent analogies throughout Welch’s theology, whether the commies are in the bed or under the bed, alone in the bed or sharing the bed, there are a lot of beds and Commies. And cancer - he refers to cancer a lot.
Warned, Mr Welch, “…both the U.S. and Soviet governments are controlled by the same furtive conspiratorial cabal of internationalists, greedy bankers, and corrupt politicians. If left unexposed, the traitors inside the U.S. government would betray the country's sovereignty to the United Nations for a collectivist New World Order, managed by a 'one-world socialist government.'” Did I mention that the John Birch Society was anti-Semitic?  Ayn Rand, no Semitic lover herself, complained, “What is wrong with them (the JBS) is that they don't seem to have any specific, clearly defined political philosophy.”  She might have been talking about the Tea Party, who, in fact, have been encouraged and funded by the JBS - a sort of thinking man’s Klu Klux Klan, while the KKK remains a sort of the idiot's version of the “Tea Party”.
In 1966 the New York Times described the John Birch Society as “…the most successful and 'respectable' radical right organization in the country”, which, if you think about it, is the equivalent of being named Miss Congeniality in a mental institution -  she even brings smiles to the invisible people.  Robert Welch died in 1985 and his creation is now watched over by the Koch brothers, whose father Fred attended the first meeting of the Society.  Each year the John Birch Society continues to produce cadres of indoctrinated Johnny Apple Seeds, planting fear and ignorance in every dark nook and cranny where it might take root – sort of like tooth decay.  And they have now taken over the entire Republican Party.
But the thing about Johnny Appleseed was that the all the apples which grew from his seeds were sour. Edible apples are possible only through a science of grafting – but then the John Birch Society never believed munch in science - too many Jews.
- 30 -

Sunday, June 25, 2017

FIGHTING OVER SWAMPLAND

“Politics have no relation to morals”
Niccolo Machiavelli - “The Prince” - 1513
I would say that 1835 was, like most years, a revolutionary year in America. Inspired by pro-slavery gringo emigrants, Texas rebelled against anti-slavery Mexico. In Boston, five thousand bigots broke into a meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society, and dragged abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison through the streets at the end of a rope. In South Carolina 36 slaves and one 60 year old free-black carpenter were hanged for trying to organize a slave revolt. Down in Florida the Second Seminole War broke out when Native Americans refused to surrender their freedom and their homes. And along the shores of Lake Erie, free whites did their very best to start a war over possession of 268 square miles of swamp known as “The Toledo Strip”.
In truth, the Great Black Swamp was what film maker Alfred Hitchcock would call a "magoffin'. It was not what people were really fighting over, even tho it was what people were fighting over. It was not even much of a swamp by Louisiana standards. It was great only because it occupied a swath of land 40 miles wide and 120 miles long, in the northwest corner Ohio – which was a little far north for a swamp.
It was really a remnant of the ice ages, a collection of ponds and marshes interspersed with hillocks, filled and drained by the 130 mile long Maumee River, which rose from the high ground around Fort Wayne,  Indiana and fed into Lake Erie.  It's only claim to fame was that it formed a natural barrier between the state of Ohio and the territory of Michigan. The Black Swamp was certainly not desirable  farmland, but it provided a bumper crop of mosquitoes each summer, and they, and the malaria they carried, made life difficult for any intrepid surveyors who might set up their theodolites upon such soggy ground.
“Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.”
Niccolo Machiavelli – “The Prince” – 1513
The first real attempt to draw the border was made in 1817, when Michigan Territory hired surveyor William Harris. According to the “Harris Line” the mouth of the Maumee River was in Michigan, below the swamp. In 1818 Ohio responded by hiring John Fulton to survey the border, which he found five miles further north, avoiding the swamp by going above it. Taken together the two lines bracketed the Great Black Swamp. And while the desire of a surveyor to avoid all those mosquitoes was understandable, the residents of Ohio and Michigan were confused. They appealed to Washington, D.C.  But abiding by the political rule that whatever you do will make somebody angry with you, the Federal politicians decided to do nothing. After all, nobody would fight for ownership of a swamp. Would  they?
Then in 1825 the Erie Canal opened, connecting the port of New York City with the Great Lakes. It proved to be such an economic revolution that plans were immediately drawn up for a port at the mouth of the Maumee River, and a canal up that river to Fort Wayne, Indiana (statehood granted in 1816), where it would connect to another canal to be built down the Wabash River, to the Ohio and thence to the Mississippi. Those canals would make the port at Toledo (which was established by Ohio in 1832) the hub of transportation for the entire center of the continent. A Toledo lawyer, John Fitch, noted that already it was the general opinion that “no place on the lake except Buffalo will rival it.” Quite a claim to fame - almost as big as Buffalo. The politically active residents of Michigan Territory became convinced that Ohio politicians were trying to steal Toledo from them. Which was true.
The politics finally solidified when hot-headed 23 year old Stephen Mason was appointed Territorial Governor of Michigan. He was a gift from President Andrew Jackson, a man who appreciated hot heads. And under pressure from other hot heads in the territory,  Governor Mason issued the “Pains and Penalties Act” of 12 February, 1835,  making it illegal for a non-Michigan resident to enforce Ohio law in Toledo, Michigan Territory.
The Cleveland, Ohio newspapers called the Michigan claim to Toledo “as absurd as it is ridiculous.” And on 23 February, the defiant Ohio General Assembly, playing to their own base, voted to “run the border” of the Fulton Line, meaning to mark it again as Toledo, Ohio, with stone posts that clearly said so. Then on April Fool’s day Michigan held local elections in the Toledo Strip. On 6 April, Ohio held competing local elections in the Toledo Strip. Somebody was going to have to disappoint their supporters..
“Before all else be armed.”
Niccolo Machiavelli – “The Prince” – 1513
Two days later a Michigan Country sheriff and an armed posse of 40 men rode into Toledo to enforce the Penalties Act. Several men snuck into the home of Benjamin Stickney, who was an “Ohio patriot” or an Phio Nut - depending on which side of the border you lived on. He was also a major in the Ohio militia. Now, even allowing for how little humanity knew at the time about dysfunctional parenting, the level of strangeness displayed by Benjamin Stickney toward his own children is staggering. This respected member of the Ohio community named his eldest son “Number One” and his younger son “Number Two”. Stickney also had a daughter, but we don't know what he called her. I suspect it might have been “Light Sleeper”.
You see, on the night of 8 April, 1835,  the girl was awakened by a noise, and she stepped into the hall to investigate. A creeping Michigan deputy clamped a hand over the startled child’s mouth, and held her silent, lest she shout a warning to her father.  Alas, Benjamin Stickney would not have heard her, as he was not at home. So two of his house guests were arrested and taken north for arraignment. Two days later they were released on bail.
In handbills and letters to Ohio newspapers Major Stickney inflated the posse to 300 men “armed with muskets and bayonetts". He claimed that the deputies had tried to gouge out his eyes (he wasn't there)  and had “throttled” his daughter.  He urged his fellow buckeyes to “turn out en masse to protect  their northern border and restrain the savage barbarity of the hordes of the north.”  Ohio Governor Robert Lucas, another Jackson Democrat,  sent 40 men to guard his surveyors and ordered the 100,000 members of the state militia to assemble in the tiny town of Perryville, Ohio, just up the Maumee River from Toledo. Only 10,000 actually responded and most of them never got to Perryville, because they got lost in the swamp.
Meanwhile on Sunday 21 April a Michigan posse 30 strong, caught the Ohio “line runners” relaxing in camp.   Most of the buckeyes broke for the woods, but nine of the protecting militia were caught in the open. When the Michigan posse fired a volley over their heads they wisely surrendered. All seven were unharmed but were arrested for violating the “Pains and Penalties Act”. And on Monday morning six were granted bail and two were released after a warning to behave. The only Ohioan who remained in jail was Jonathan Fletcher, a hot head who refused to post bail “on principle.” In the annals of Michigan this encounter was memorialized as the “Battle of Phillip’s Corner”, since the encounter had occurred in a field owned by Eli Phillips, who supported Michigan.
“The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.”
Niccolo Machiavelli – “The Prince” – 1513
The smell of gunpowder had brought a degree of sanity back to Governor Mason, and in the spirit of good will he suspended enforcement of his Pains and Penalties Act. But now it was the Ohio legislature’s turn to appease their base. Kidnapping was already illegal in Ohio, but buckeye politicians felt it necessary to pass a new law providing hard labor for kidnapping anyone from Ohio. And they made Toledo the capital of a new Ohio county.
In Toledo one observer noted “Men (were) galloping about – guns getting ready – wagons being filled with people and hurrying off, and everybody in commotion “ The little town of just 1,250 citizens had become a magnet for every nut case, political hot head and pugnacious drifter in the Midwest. In July, two Michigan deputies tried to hold an auction of property seized for non payment of Michigan taxes, and a gang of Ohio “patriots”, led by Number Two Strikney, broke up the auction. So, on 12 July 1835 a Michigan arrest warrant was issued for the son-of-a-patriot, for disturbing the peace.  Number Two, upon learning of the warrant, sent a message to the Michigan Sheriff to stay out of Toledo, if he wanted to live.
That threat set Michigan Governor Mason off again. He ordered 250 men into Toledo, under Deputy Sheriff Joseph Wood, to arrest Number Two and his "gang". Most of the Ohio “patriots” ran safely for the Maumee River border, but Number Two didn’t make it. When Sheriff Wood physically grabbed Number Two, he pulled what in Ohio was called a pen knife and in Michigan described as “a dirk”.  “Two” stabbed the sheriff in the leg and disappeared across the Maumee River. The wound was minor and the sheriff was able to ride back across the border that night, having paused to arrest Number Two’s father, Major Stickney, and drag him back to Michigan, tied to the back of a horse. But before leaving town the Michiganders also smashed the offices of the pro-Ohio Toledo Gazette, behaving, claimed the paper, worse than an “Algerian robbery or Turkish persecution.” It seemed the residents were finally running short of hyperbole. What was left but gunpowder?
“A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.”
Niccolo Machiavelli – “The Prince” – 1513.
It was at this point that Andrew Jackson finally stepped in and on 29 August, 1835 removed Mason as governor of Michigan Territory. Jackson also let it be known that Michigan would only be allowed to become a state after they accepted that Toledo was a town in Ohio. It was a bitter pill for the Badger rabble to swallow, particularly after all that rabble rousing, but as a sop for hurt feelings, the federal government granted Michigan the additional territory known as the Northern Peninsula. Michigan was finally admitted into the union, sans Toledo, on 26 January, 1837.
So Ohio won. The canals were dug, and the buckeyes benefited from the taxes paid by the port at the mouth of the Maumee River.  In 1842 1,578 barrels of flour and 12,976 bushels of wheat were shipped through Toledo, Ohio, and taxed.  By 1852 the totals were a quarter million barrels flour and almost two million bushels of wheat. But Toledo did not become the transportation hub for the Midwest, because canal technology was superseded by the railroads, and Chicago superseded Toledo; none of which the Ohio patriots could have predicted in 1835.
Meanwhile, in 1844, a party of surveyors was marking out the second place prize for Michigan, the Upper Peninsula,  when they found their compasses spinning wildly. This was caused by one of the largest concentrations of iron ore ever found on the planet Earth, the Marquette Range, which was surrounded by one of the largest concentrations of copper ore ever found on the Earth. Beginning in 1847 and continuing over the next one hundred years and fifty years, over a billion tons of iron and several billion tons of copper were removed from those hills. None of the Michigan patriots could have predicted that, either.
The truth was the future contained a bounty beyond the imagination of the patriots who willing to kill each other in 1835, all for possession of a swamp – and not a great swamp at that. Does that make any sense?  It is a basic rule of human history - That which people are willing to murder for today, they may give away tomorrow, and what they want to give away today may be worth a fortune to their children.  Folks, you might remember that rule, next time a hot head starts calling for a war.
- 30 -

Blog Archive

Amazon Deals