Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Tid-bit of Utah History - Number Three

Yes, brethren and sistern, uh-huh, who was the first white man to explore the mountains and canyons and rivers of Utah before it was a Territory? It was the Catholic, Father Escalante,  who in 1776 a memorable year) explored the Utah Valley and the Utah Lake and called the Jordan River the "Rio de Santa Ana," and the local Indians were called the Timpanogatzi, who had friendly relations with the Paguampe, who were scattered near the Great Salt Lake. These Paguampes spoke the Comanche language says Father Escalante and, like I just said, were friendly to the Timpagonotzis until someone killed one of them and since has not been so friendly. A killing has that effect on some people, take the Palestinians and the Israelis, for instance.

Ahem, now who was the first American to write about the mountains, rivers, and valleys, and lakes of Utah? It was not another Catholic or even that Great Explorer, the Pathfinder, John C.Fremont. It was another man who most always had his Bible handy and was ready to preach to anyone at the drop of a hat or a moccasin, that Methodist Bible-totin'  feller, that Jedediah Smith, no less. It was in the year 1825 that Mr. Smith descended on the Rocky Mountains with the party of Ashley and his men. But, he didn't stay long, leaving in August 1826 for California and returning via the Sierras and the great desert to the land of the Great Salt Lake, passing through the lands of the Pa-ulches (Paiutes) who had not clothing except rabbit skins and lived off grasshoppers and seeds. Jedediah said he was compelled to eat most of his horses and mules to survive due to the lack of any edible material in the desert. And this famous beaver-killing mountain man, explorer, frontiersman, and mountain climber was friendly to the Indians and read to them from his Bible and shared some of his equipage with them. In the year 1830 his company sold out to that other old mountain man, beaver killer, frontiersman, and mountain climber, Jim Bridger, and Smith and company hit the trail for St. Louis with his precious packs of beaver skins and a lot of dust. Unfortunately, most of Smith's writings and papers and maps and red tape were demolished in a fire there in St.Louie, Louie.

Ref: The Founding of Utah by Levi Edgar Young  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tid-bit of Utah History, Number Two

This is my version of this bit of history.

In the years back then, before the beginning and just after Man descended onto the Western landscape, there was a river discovered running through it. Yes, the Colorado River ran through it, cutting out of the desert and mountains a great gorge with very high cliffs in places that no man had ever been, not counting the thousands of Indians that lived on or near it for thousands of years. But even the Indians had not been in some of the places, being warned by the Great Spirit of the danger to be encountered by anyone venturing into these places.

And so it came to pass that a man named Powell and his eight brave men took off on the Green River from a sacred place called Wyoming to make the first trip through these cataracts and bring forth their reports of the exact nature of the River and the country. Verily, it was in the years of 1869 and '70 and this Green River ran smack dab into the Colorado River and it further came to pass that three of his men became disgusted with all the fol-de-rol and not to mention hunger and near drownings of the exploratory party and made their escape by climbing out of the deep gorge up the sides of the cliffs to level ground high above and looked down into the chasm and laughed and waved goodby.

And it further came to pass that these same three men found an Indian Village up there and hal-looed and yelled and wandered closer, scaring the pee-wadden out of the residents. And the residents did see them and did welcome them into their midst and did promptly pounce upon them and beat them severely around the head, neck, shoulders, torso, legs, and feet of the strangest of strangers until they were all three mortally killed. And the Indians danced and sang around their bonfires at night and consulted the Great Spirit in an effort to find out who these strangest of strangers could be. And nobody, not even the highest of the high, like the likes of Brigham Young and his  high Counsellors, ever heard of these three brave men again. That is, not until another year had passed and everyone had aged more in their complete selves, and it further came to pass further, that this one-armed cliff-climber, this Major Powell, ran into an Indian Chief and became a hear-say witness to the fate of his three men.

It happened and came to pass that these three men had found a Shi-wits Indian camp, and after a couple of moons, or I should say nights, they were massacred. Jacob Hamblin was the interpreter as the Major learned about this travesty. Yes, it was the Jacob Hamblin who also went down into Arizona Territory and encamped with his followers and started a town down there out of nothing, but that's another story.

Ref: Levi Edgar Young's The Founding of Utah and John Wesley Powell's Exploration  of the Colorado River and its Canyons

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Tid-bit of Utah History

News Flash:

St. George, Utah. The Black Hawk War is raging in the Territory in the year 1866 when Captain James Andrus received the call to mount an expedition for the purpose of scouting out the Indians from Hell and Back. Oh, no, he was to take his party across the Territory betwixt there and the junction of the Grand and Green Rivers  and pinpoint the camps of the Indians, if any, and report the findings to his superiors. The weather was fine, nice and sunny in the summertime and the Indians were raising havoc in the southern towns. They killed some settlers, stole their cattle, and burned their towns, absolutely terrible conduct. Captain Andrus rendevoused with his company of militia some miles east of St. George and set out on the expedition, traveling east to Pipe Springs, Arizona Territory, and north through Kanab, Utah Territory, and east again, taking notes of the Indian trails  for his report. They traveled over a hundred miles before they made camp and Lieutenant Joseph Fish showed up with his company from the town of Parowan.

Lt. Fish had an encounter with the Indians on his trek when he sent some men back to Parowan. They were set upon by Indians and Elijah Averett was killed and several of the men wounded in the battle. Twenty-five men were sent after them, but the Indians escaped into the mountains. Captain Andrus left and made his way back to St. George in September before the snows came and submitted a report describing the Indian trails and the country from top to bottom of that remote area, which is still practically vacant from bottom to top and is still just as remote.

Captain Andrus was the oldest of 57 kids in his family and he ended up with two wives and 20-odd children of his own. And I'm sure I went to school with a couple of his descendants.

Reference: The Founding of Utah by Levi Edgar Young. Scribners, 1923, 1924

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wowee! Another Award?

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Patsy Collins and must tell everyone seven things about me they don't already know and pass on the nomination to FIFTEEN other bloggers.
So, all right, here's the seven things you can't possible know:

1. I used to have a cat named Guinevere.
2. I keep my fingernails short.
3. I, I, I, never tell a lie.
4. My nose has been broken at least once.
5. I've never seen the Aswan Dam, except in photos.
6. I don't plan to see the Aswan Dam.
7. I don't like fish, but I like to fish.

Here are the next nominees and they don't have to accept if they are disinclined to:

Neil Waring
Albie the Good
Ron Scheer
Houston A.W. Knight
Richard Prosch
Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin
Matthew Pizzolato
If you double this list and add one there'll be 15, but that's my nominees.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Finally, It's Out

Trouble at Sagrado Ranch is available to order from on the Kindle or in print and I am glad to finally get this offering done. It is the story of the Hawkins family in New Mexico Territory after the Civil War as seen through the eyes of Thaddeus Hawkins. Here is the back of the book:

As for pricing, I used Amazon's calculator and it came out with a price of $8.49 for the pocket book and the Kindle edition at $2.99.

The paperback is currently priced at $7.64.

Get your order in quick before they are all sold out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Proof is in the Pudding

But the pudding isn't in the proof, at least the one I received a couple days ago. The layout of the book is fine, but wouldn't you know, as I read through it, I found some more errors that will have to be changed, so the release of the novel will be delayed, and I'm still reading it. Anyway, here is a pic of the cover:

This is a photo of one of Junior and Norita Tidwell's Black Angus bulls "bellerin'" about something, maybe me taking the picture of him. I thought it might make a fairly decent cover picture. This ranch is located in the outskirts of Altonah, Utah, which is in the northeast corner of the State and nowhere near New Mexico, where the story takes place.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ye Olde Proverbs

Here are some olde horse proverbs for your consideration:

1. It is a good horse that never stumbles.

2. Mettle is dangerous in a blind horse.

3. A horse is neither better nor worse for his trappings.

4. One may take a horse to the water but you can't make him drink.

5. Get upon a high horse.

6. Putting money on the wrong horse.

7. Flogging a dead horse.

8. One must not look a gift horse in the mouth.

9. Putting the cart before the horse.

10. While the grass is growing the steed is starving.

11. A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.

12. An two men ride on a horse, one must ride behind.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Go West, Young Man

This month's header sketch is Horace Greeley who received fame for saying "Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country" as he urged people to make the trek west. Greeley was a politician, editor, founder of the New York Tribune, a Liberal Republican, among other things. He ran for President of the U.S. but died before the votes were counted. He lost, anyway, poor fellow. Two of his correspondents on the Tribune were Karl Marx and Fred Engels, the bad guys of Communism and Socialism. He also launched the New Yorker journal and a Whig weekly the Log Cabin.

Mr. Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire, on Feb 3. 1811 and died in Pleasantville, New York, in 1871 on Nov 29.

(Info from Wikipedia whee you may go to find a more lengthy short bio with photos of Greeley.)

To everyone: Have a happy Fourth of July!