Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

English Colonization of America

Rough Draft - Partial




Gosnold, Prinne, and Wymouth

The English continued to fish near North America and trade with Native Americans, but attempts to settle stopped. A voyage made by Bartholomew Gosnold changed everything. His was the first careful exploration of parts of North America where the first successful English colonies were started.
Gosnold and thirty-two crewmen sailed from Falmouth, England, on March 26th, 1602, intending to found a small settlement.[*] Previously, explorers sailed first for the Gulf of Mexico and then up the coast. Gosnold sailed as nearly west as the winds and currents permitted. This more direct route was used by those who followed. After Seven weeks they entered a bay we now know as Massachusetts Bay. He followed the winding coast southward, exploring and naming Cape Cod. They traded with the natives and explored the country. “Every thing on which they cast their eyes became a new source of wonder and delight.”
The native tribes were welcoming. They gave the sailors copper bangles, and the English explorers imagined from that there were rich mines of copper and maybe gold nearby. They found forests “abounding with stately trees,” meadows full of deer, and a rich soil that an experiment showed would grow vegetables.  The saw plants growing wild that in England required care and work to cultivate.  
Gosnold built a house on one of the Elizabeth Islands, a group of small islands just south of Cape Cod. After building it, he decided that they didn’t have enough supplies to last until a return voyage was made, and the natives were turning hostile. They returned to England after four months with a rich cargo of sassafras and furs. Word of his discoveries spread rapidly. His voyage revived interest in colonization. Especially important was his route across the Atlantic which cut off “more than five hundred leagues,” That’s over 1700 miles.

Task: Find out what Sassafras is and why it was important to Europeans.

Gosnold described the lands he had seen as “absolutely ravishing,” a place of amazement and beauty.  Plans were made to settle in North Virginia, as this part of America was called. In 1603 merchants from Bristol, England, sent two ships to America.  Martin Prinne, their commander, was to trade with the natives and to see if Gosnold told the truth about America. Prinne sailed down the coast and visited the islands which Gosnold discovered. He too returned with furs and sassafras, and he told his sponsors that Gosnold was truthful. Two years later, in 1605, two noblemen sent George Weymouth to explore the North American coast. Though he was looking for a passage to Asia, he found the Penobscot River in Maine. He returned with an even more excited report about the land’s richness. The problem with their reports is that they arrived in the spring when everything is green and lush. The coasts from Virginia to Maine are different in winter. No-one seems to have asked what the land was like in the coldest months. They believed that the climate was unchanging.  

Gosnold Trading with Native Americans as drawn by Matthäus Merian in 1634.



Americans little remember Gosnold, Prinne, and Wymouth, but their reports created interest in establishing settlements in North America. The English saw American colonies as a circle of trade. Settlers would need English goods, clothes, pots and pans, axes, guns. In turn they would send back lumber, important to England because they had cut down most of their forests.




[*]              By our modern calendar it was April 5, 1602.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

From O. Reader



Song writing

My mother until well into her eighties used to recite a popular piece from the 30s and 40s, Stanley Holloway’s “Albert and the Lion”. I grew up being able to copy her with the same broad Yorkshire accent, but then decided in my mid-teens that I would rather write my own material. From recitative pieces, it soon developed into notebooks full of what can only be described as verse and worse.

Before I saw the light (somewhat concurrent with getting married) I had written around 200 pieces, and – gasps of admiration or horror depending on your artistic point of view – was even PAID for a couple that were published. It is all a very long time ago. But song writing was generally not on the menu – I could only steal other people’s tunes. Mind you that happens a lot in folk music – around 1962 a young folk singer with adenoids called Robert Zinnerman adapted an old spiritual tune called “No More Auction Block” and morphed into Bob Dylan with his new lyrics, “Blowing in the Wind”.

I had a working partner named P, and he and I used to do rock ‘n’ roll numbers at parties, some of which we wrote ourselves. The parties were otherwise extremely sedate, and we felt we enlivened the proceedings a bit. On occasional moments I still shudder at what we must have looked and sounded like.

But there was one song I remember writing from that far off era. There was a young lady who I met and dated who we shall call L. As it happened, I was quite soon dumped – which turned out to be A GOOD THING because I later met the girl who became Mrs Occasional. (All together now – aaah!)

But the cause of my being a dumpee was a very tall young man in my same line of business. And when I say tall, I mean – VERY TALL. So, showing my maturity and sophistication, I knocked out a rock ‘n’ roll song (as you do), based on a Little Richard riff. It required a Little Richard whoop every so often. P obligingly played guitar and whooped with me at the appropriate moments. The first verse described how I suddenly turned around in the street and there was my arch rival – my very TALL arch rival – whom we shall call J. The second verse, dredged up from memory, went something like:

He looked down upon her and she smiled at him so sweet.
Lovely L    (Whoop)   Lovely L   (Whoop)
How come she just likes a guy who’s over seven feet?
Lovely L    (Whoop)   Lovely L   (Whoop)
If I see that J, and he niggles me,
I’m gonna stand on tiptoe and punch him in the knee
For lovely L    (Whoop)   Lovely L   (Whoop)

The one party where we performed it, it really went down a storm. But news travelled...  I will draw a hasty veil over the consequences.

Wind the clock forward to more recent times, where age may or may not have improved my judgment. As a well known phrase goes – we live and learn. Some of us just live...

Mrs O loves singing Welsh folk songs. It was her initial reason for wanting to learn more Welsh to add to all the stuff she was taught in school and promptly forgot. Welsh folk songs are all about the forge, or the baby, or the flowers, or sheep... A bit like Latin in ancient liturgies, it often sound a lot better when you don’t actually understand the words. I’ve tried my hand at writing English lyrics for Welsh songs to capture their essence, but being po-faced is not much fun.

However, one of the famous Welsh songs is Sospan Fach. (Yup – that’s “little saucepan” to you).
The idea is that Mrs O will start off with tenor guitar and Welsh vocals - Welsh accent, all that back of the throat stuff – “Mae bys Meri-Ann wedi brifo...etc. etc.”

Then – ultimate heresy – I suddenly invade her song with baritone ukulele and one verse in English. To understand the two Welsh expressions in it – “wedi blino” (pronounced “weddy bleeno”) is a standard response when someone asks how you are? Tired, shattered, blathered – that sort of thing. And “ofnadwy” (pronounced “ov-nad-oi”) means awful!

So - take it away Occcasional....

I am feeling “wedi blino”
Or even “ofnadwy”
It must be drinking all that vino
Something alas, I now enjoy.
Learning Welsh, learning Welsh,
A habit that may grow,
With 20 different ways
of saying Yes and No...

(20? Believe it or not, that may be an under-estimate!)

I’m working on her, but Mrs O is not convinced.

I don’t think I’ll give up on the day job just yet.

From Harry: The Perils of Doughnut Rejection!

Friday, July 24, 2015

From Amy Goddard: Trials and Tribulations and a luscious Voice

Note from the Pixie. The title is my doing.

Too may hats... Organisational musings... Who are you again?

After 6 months or more of spinning so many plates there's a serious risk of them all landing in a heap (with me underneath them) I have been trying to work out a way to organise my time.

I teach Monday to Thursday but have a variable amount of time in the morning on these days before my students come, time to build that guitar that's been commissioned, time to finish my second album and get it released before the kind people who wrote good reviews of the first album have forgotten who I am, time to clean the house, walk the dog, and do lesson preparation so my classes don't begin with 'Who are you? What instrument am I supposed to be teaching you today?

First I tried a daily schedule. Monday was housework day, Tuesday was for song recording, Wednesday was guitar building day and so on. I find lesson prep is best done each day for that day's classes to avoid the risk of forgetting it again before the lesson. But I just couldn't get on with that sort of schedule. Something would invariably happen to stop a day's scheduled activity. The dog would be sick and I'd spend the morning waiting at the vets or some other such disaster. Then I would be left with the question... 'do I do Tuesday's tasks on Wednesday or do they wait till next week?' Oh the mental torment!








Then there's the guilt-trip... 'Should I really be holed up recording a song when the contents of the airing cupboard are threatening to eat me every time I open the door to wedge something in there?'

So, I came up with a new plan... drum roll... A weekly rotating schedule!

The idea is that, apart from essential housework and teaching, each week has a main focus. I don't have to worry that there may be something more important that I should be doing, that's next week's problem. I started with workshop week and worked on the guitar build. Then it was housework/maintenance week...yawn! I rediscovered the airing cupboard though and found some summer clothes to wear before summer is over. This week... was recording week...ahhhhhhh! Guilt-free-I-earned-this-time recording week. Two more tracks for the new album in the bag.

Sneak preview available here:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

You may think ....

You may think that coming to my blog through a proxy or anonymizer disguises you, but it doesn't.

Go look at THIS!

http://www.amplefunny.com/4581552-10500907

The perils of sisterhood.



            Roberto asked for an update on my children. I have fewer ‘cute’ stories as they mature, but there is this …
            I’ve talked about my baby half-sister a few times. She resembles my two youngest, except she has her mother’s darker skin. She’s a blond, but it’s not the golden blond that my youngest have. Ever seen an antiqued gold ring? It’s very much like that. Sometimes people presume she’s mine. Annie and Kat delight in saying, “No, she’s our aunty.”
            My dad and his wife live near enough that my kids can walk there without me stressing to the point of distraction. They love my sister, and one can often find them down there. There’s a park of sorts, more of a play field than a park I think, nearby. If they can convince one of their older sisters to go with them, they take my sister down there to play on the slides and swings and just generally run around like feral children. To get there they have to pass down our street. There’s a concrete retaining wall on one side of the street. It’s not high. In most places it’s less than a foot high. And no where is it higher than two and a half feet. They let little S* balance on the wall. They hold her hand of course. She thinks it’s great fun.
            Yesterday we all walked down there. I brought some egg salad sandwiches and we brought things to drink and snacks and such. (Good thing there’s a public potty there.) The result was two skinned knees hardly noticed; a discussion of the merits of root beer; a trip down the highest slide fraught with trepidation. It was finally made with sister sitting on Annie’s lap. She screamed the whole way down, flew off Annie’s lap, did a little dance and said, “Let’s do it again!”
            A tall, handsome Scotsman pushed me on the tire swing. It left me dizzy. Isabella got sand in her shoes and spent a considerable amount of time shaking them out and washing her toes under the outside faucet. It was fun.
            Kat is bored with summer. I don’t know why. Usually it’s Annie that wants to return to school. Annie is way too busy with projects and plans and adventures. She’s said nothing about school. Kat keeps asking how many more days until it starts. The school she attends has its first day in the last week of August.
            We found a turtle in the back water of the small stream that crosses our pasture. It’s down to a small trickle because of the drought. I don’t think the turtle is native to this area. Might be … but I’ve never seen one before. Kat wouldn’t touch it, but Annie did. Kat’s reaction was, “Put that thing down and wash your hands!” Annie returned the turtle to the stream bank, and then, mischievous child that she is, grabbed Kat’s hands and told her she was now infected with turtleitis. Kat swished her hands in the water and grumbled a lot, but it was short lived.
            Children remember more than we think. When Liz was tiny and misbehaving, her dad told her that he would rub her butt on the carpet and stick her on the wall as if she were a balloon. Her eyes grew wide, and then filled with adventure. “Do it Daddy! Do it!” she said. I didn’t expect her to remember that; she was so young. But last time baby sister was at our house and we had a moment of pouting, Liz repeated that to her. She got the same reaction too!
            There! Feel better, Roberto. Better than bits of history, huh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dutch Fur Trade - Partial as rough draft

Certainly more than one of you can make a helpful comment ...



Dutch Fur Trade

            The Half Moon’s crew told of the rich furs they’d seen along the Hudson River. If there was no short route to Asia, there were riches in furs. Cold northern European winters made furs desirable, and they lived on the edge of a period of cold that some call a mini-ice age. Wide brimmed fur hats and capes and coats lined with fur were popular, almost a necessity. Beaver fur was especially warm. So, opening fur trade was a logical step.          
            Dutch trappers explored the forests. They met the Iroquois, the most powerful tribe south of the Great Lakes. The Iroquois journeyed from their lands through all of the lakes. Trading routes took them down the Mohawk River to the mouth of the Hudson River. The Dutch took all the furs the Iroquois trapped; they in turn received items they wanted, especially guns and liquor, but also kettles, cloth, beads, and blankets. When the animal population decreased, the Iroquois obtained furs from tribes farther west.
            The Dutch didn’t try to convert the natives to Christianity, and unlike the French they would not marry native women. They were interested only in trade, and if that diminished they wanted the natives to leave the land. The Dutch were shrewd traders, driving hard bargains, filling their ships filled with furs. Records remain, and we know that one ship carried 7246 beaver skins, 853 otter skins, 81 mink pelts, 36 wildcat skins, and 34 muskrat skins.
            Competition for furs led to war. The Algonquin were French allies, but the French were busy fighting England. In a series of brutal wars the Iroquois, supported by the Dutch changed the nature of native civilization and power in the Great Lakes region. The wars diminished when the English drove the Dutch from North America, but more about that later.
            Dutch traders wanted somewhere to keep their furs until they could be sent to the Netherlands. They built Fort Orange where the Mohawk River flows into the Hudson River. They built another fort on Manhattan Island, where New York City is now, calling it New Amsterdam. They called the regions they controlled New Netherlands. In 1626 Pieter Minuit was sent as governor. He was a fair-minded man. Though he had absolute power, he enlisted a council of five others to help him govern and listened to the settlers.
To keep the native tribes friendly, he paid them for Manhattan Island, paying sixty Guilders worth of trade goods. Over a hundred years ago someone calculated that at about twenty-four dollars. This created a myth. In fact the sixty guilders represented considerable money. In terms of purchasing power today it would be close to twenty-thousand dollars, not a bad amount for a swampy island.
Settlement was slow. Trappers and traders didn’t want to settle and farm. They wanted to wander native lands and trade. Few Dutch wanted to travel to the wild lands of North America. They were comfortable in their cities and on their farms. To increase settlement a wealthy settler who brought fifty families with him could have sixteen miles of riverbank land. In return for the land he had to provide each family with a house, barn, tools and cattle. The land remained the property of the wealthy settler whom the Dutch called a patroon. The settlers could use the land, but they had many kinds of service they had to perform. This system failed because people did not want to work hard on land they did not own. Later a Dutch settler could own his own land.


Illustration: Fort Orange

Life in New Netherlands

            New Amsterdam had a small log fort. A palisade surrounded the fort to protect it from native attacks. (The Dutch called Native Americans “wild men.”) The fort had a stone storehouse for furs. They built a two story building. The top floor was used as a church and the bottom floor as a flour mill. The main street was called Broad Street. It still exists as Broadway in New York City, thought it looks nothing as it did in the sixteen hundreds. Women washed clothes in a stream where Maiden Lane is now. The soldiers practiced on a large grassy area. Further away from the fort were small farms, dangerous places to live because of attacks my Native Americans. In contrast to Spanish settlements, houses were neat and orderly. Because of dangers from fire and native attacks they had a night watch and an officer who inspected chimneys to reduce the chance of fire.

This map speaks for itself ...


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Beached!


Assume that ...

Assume that you're 12 years old and bright as a collection of fire flies on a moonless night, would this keep you reading?

More of "Henry Hudson" in rough draft:



The London Company – English merchants – wanted Hudson to look for a Northwest Passage through or above North America. Early in the spring of 1610, the ship Discovery, of fifty-five tons, was equipped. It had a crew of twenty-three men. Robert Juet, who had sailed with Hudson before and John Hudson, Henry’s son, were part of the crew. And so was a man named Henry Green, a bad ‘un.
Green was a young Englishman from a respectable family, but with “extravagant and wicked habits.” None of the records clearly say what his wicked habits were, but they all emphasize his bad behavior. Because of his conduct, his friends and family abandoned him, and he was almost a beggar when he met Henry Hudson who felt pity for him and wanted to, one historian says, “reclaim him from his worthless ways.” We don’t know what Hudson’s motives really were, but Henry bought him clothes and fed him. He invited Green to accompany them as his companion and secretary. He promised Green wages and that on their return he would help Green become one of the Prince of Wales’ Guards. Henry Hudson sent someone to Green's mother to ask for money to purchase clothes for the voyage. She was reluctant to fund more bad behavior, but finally gave five English pounds, telling Hudson’s messenger not to give it to her son but spend it in his behalf.  
The Discovery set sail on the April, 17 1610. On the 11th they were off the shores of Iceland where they saw Mount Hecla, a volcano, spewing fire. They struggled against winds and icebergs for more than two weeks, finally anchoring in a harbor on the west of Iceland. Here his men bathed in a hot springs, and here Hudson discovered, probably with little surprise, that some of his crew were rebellious. Juit, who had been mutinous on previous voyages, tried to shake their confidence in Hudson. He told two of the men “to keep their muskets charged and swords ready in their cabins, for there would be blood shed before the voyage ended.” The ship’s surgeon and Henry Green quarreled, and Juet took part in it, using the argument to undermine Captain Hudson. Henry didn’t learn the full story until they were forty leagues away from Iceland. (About 140 miles.) He wanted to return to Iceland and send Juet home in a fishing boat but was persuaded not to do that.
They were away from Iceland on July 1st, but a thick fog surrounded the ship. When they neared Greenland they found the sea full of mountains of ice. One turned over near The Discovery causing huge waves and terrifying the crew. Soon the ocean was full of icebergs. While struggling to avoid one they met others more “numerous and terrifying.” They reached a bay, but a storm drove ice against their small ship. Their only escape was to run The Discovery “into the thickest of it, and there leave her,”  using the large icebergs as a shield against others. Many of the crew were frightened, and some fell sick. Hudson’s journal tells us that he believed it was not sickness of the body but of the mind. He did not know what the effects of deep cold were. “Some of our men fell sick,” he wrote. “I will not say it was of fear, although I saw small sign of other grief.”
When the storm ended, the sea was covered with the huge masses of floating ice. They moved from one clear spot to another as if in a maze. They were trapped. In secret Hudson told one of his men that he thought they would die. But to the crew he tried to appear cheerful and confident. When the ice cleared enough to sail on, he called the crew together and showed them his chart. They had gone three hundred miles farther than any Englishman had gone before, he said. He gave them a choice. Should they go forward or turn back? They argued but could not reach a clear decision. One said that “if he had one hundred pounds, [money, not weight] he would give four score and ten to be at home.” That’s like saying “If I had a million dollars, I’d give nine hundred thousand of it to be home.” The carpenter, who had some courage, said “that if he had a hundred he would not give ten upon any such condition: but would think it to be as good money as any he ever had, and to bring it as well home by the leave of God.” Most of them did not care which way they went as long as they were clear of the ice. Some were angry with Hudson. He’d expected that. He knew that the crew was unhappy, but he didn’t argue. He wanted to pacify them. A biography says he “reasoned with them, trying to allay their fears, rouse their hopes, and inspire them with courage, until at length, they all again set resolutely at work to bring the ship from the ice, and save themselves. After much labor, they succeeded in turning her round. They now worked their way by little and little, until at length they found themselves in a clear sea, and kept on their course north-west.”
They still occasionally saw ice, but the men were now familiar it. They charted new places, sometimes chasing bears caught on the ice for sport. Eventually he entered a strait, a passage between two landmasses.  Hudson hoped he had found the passage to Asia. He sent men ashore to climb the hills and see if the Pacific Ocean lay beyond. They found a land rich with grasses including Cochlearia, an herb rich in Vitamin C. Sailors called it Scurvy Grass, eating it to cure that disease.[1] They saw herds of deer and many birds. A storm prevented further exploration, so they turned back. Fog made it difficult to reach the ship. Hudson had cannons fired so they could find their way. The men wanted Hudson to stay for a few days and resupply the ship. Henry Hudson’s eagerness led him to a bad decision. He pressed on. A storm and rocks brought danger, and they reached a dead end. They had found a great inland sea, now called Hudson’s Bay, but it was not the way to Asia.
His crew was angry.  Robert Juet who had caused trouble in Iceland and Frances Clement the boatswain[2] led the complaints. When challenged over his behavior, Juet pretended to be innocent. Hudson reached his limit. He organized a ship’s court, called a Court of Inquiry that uncovered Juet’s bad acts clear back to Iceland. Hudson removed Juet as First Mate and replaced Clement with another. Hudson told them both that if they behaved will in the future he would forgive them and “do them good.” Hudson seems to have been a poor judge of character.
Hudson spent most of September and all of October exploring the great bay that is now named for him, still hoping for an eastward passage. There were storms. During one of them they had to cut their anchor cable. During another the ship ran onto rocks and was stuck there for half a day. By the end of October “the nights were long and cold, the land covered with snow.” Hudson sheltered the ship in a small inlet, sending two men ashore to find a place they could safely spend the winter. They found a place and hauled the ship partly onto the beach. By November 10th the ship was frozen tight.


[1]              Scurvy is caused by a lack of Vitamin C. Symptoms are tiredness, spots on the skin, bleeding gums, open sores, mental issues, and if not treated death is the result.
[2]             A Boatswain was the ship’s officer in charge of equipment and responsible for the Ship’s hull or body.

I can think of a few people who needed this tatoo


From Twitter


5-year-old: Dad, can you make the rain go away? 

Me: Someone more powerful than me controls the weather. 

5-year-old: 

Me: 

5-year-old: Mom?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Damn Perverts

Okay, guys .... For the last month people have visited my blog looking for "azov fuck boys," "azov fk boys" and similar things. You will not find that here. SO JUST STOP IT.

Edwardian Era Post Cards

These represent an Edwardian era obsession with children. Many 'cute kid' post cards were printed, probably because child mortality was high. Post-mortum photos were common in the Victorian and Edwardian eras too.


I think a minor change fixes most issues



Green was a young Englishman from a respectable family, but with “extravagant and wicked habits.” None of the records clearly say what his wicked habits were, but they all emphasize his bad behavior. Because of his conduct, his friends and family abandoned him, and he was almost a beggar when he met Henry Hudson who felt pity for him and wanted to, one historian says, “reclaim him from his worthless ways.” We don’t know what Hudson’s motives really were, but Henry bought him clothes and fed him. He invited Green to accompany them, not as part of the crew but as his companion and secretary. He promised Green wages and that on their return he would help Green become one of the Prince of Wales’ Guards. Henry Hudson sent someone to Green's mother to ask for money to purchase clothes for the voyage. She was reluctant to fund more bad behavior, but finally gave five English pounds, telling Hudson’s messenger not to give it to her son but spend it in his behalf.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Henry Hudson and Henry Green.

I've been thinking about these two for most of two days. Our text book is for grades 4-6 gifted - little kids even if they're smarter than a cup cake with sprinkles and pink frosting. So ... how do I tell them what the relationship between these two men was. I've decided ... finally ... to stick with the evidence as it exists and say nothing that matters. Did that make sense? Probably not. Herewith is the paragraph as it now stands:



Green was a young Englishman from a respectable family, but with “extravagant and wicked habits.” None of the records clearly say what his wicked habits were, but they all emphasize his bad behavior. Because of his conduct, his friends and family abandoned him, and he was almost a beggar when he met Henry Hudson who felt pity for him and wanted to, one historian says, “reclaim him from his worthless ways.” That appears to be an attempt to ‘rescue’ Hudson’s reputation. We don’t know what Hudson’s motives really were, but Henry bought him clothes and fed him. He invited Green to accompany them, not as part of the crew but as his companion and secretary. He promised Green wages and that on their return he would help Green become one of the Prince of Wales Guards. Henry Hudson sent someone to Green's mother to ask for money to purchase clothes for the voyage. She was reluctant to fund more bad behavior, but finally gave five English pounds, telling Hudson’s messenger not to give it to her son but spend it in his behalf.  


I am open to ideas.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Delightfully Messy

I'm not home. I'm off at my aunt and uncle's place where my daughters have wandered for the weekend. They wanted to attend a religious convention. Aunt S and Uncle B squeezed them and their sleeping bags into the second bedroom and on to the living room floor. Knobby Knees said that was too much and got us a room in a hotel. It has a pool. And good food.

I attended the convention with them this morning. I don't believe as they do, exactly. We share some beliefs in common but differ widely in some areas. But ... this morning's session was delightful. Good sense stuff, things everyone should hear. It's always nice when pure gospel is preached. One bit of nonsense showed up, a hold over from 19th Century prophetic speculation. I doubt that God thinks worse of them for the belief.

I admit to baby watching. So? I like babies. One harried mother with too many children to handle was trying to change a diaper in one of the women's restrooms. I entertained her other children while she did it. She thanked me, calling me "sister." I didn't explain my relationship to their fellowship. I just chatted her up for two minutes and wished her well. Most of these people don't have a prejudiced bone in their body. Accordingly there were many mixed marriages: Black-White; Hispanic-White; Black-Hispanic. This is the way life should be.

Most of the speakers were good. One was so-so. My take on his ability is that he's great with a smaller crowd, but before several thousand people he became nervous.

I left early because I started to get sick. I walked to our hotel room; it's not that far from the convention center. So that's pretty much today.

But let me tell you about last week ... I'm trying to finish our Colonial History textbook. We're behind, but that's not unusual. The world won't end if we don't finish by September first. We'll use the district print shop to produce it in parts. Then when it's finished it can go to real publication.

I bought a box of stamps at a yard sale. It's nasty, or was. I came out of a storage shed. Mice had peed and worse in the box, and it was full of dried weeds. The people selling it had a sign on it reading, "Rare stamps. $100.00 or Offer." I offered three dollars and the woman said 'sold.' So ... when I take a break from writing history, I work on this box. [Think surgical mask, rubber gloves, and soapy warm water.] I pulled out all the things the mice didn't contaminate. The rest I've gently soaked in warm water.

Most of the stamps are so-so and most are things I have. But ... near the bottom were pages of early Hungarian stamps stuck together with mouse pee. (Ewwww!) I put sprayed them down with an enzyme cleaner that doesn't hurt paper and dumped the lot in a small tub of warm water. Worked wonders. And the nice thing is there were many early stamps that I did not have in my collection. But now I do.

Most of the shades, color differences in the same issue, are in this group. My old album is hardbound and doesn't allow for extra pages. (My grandfather bought it back in who knows when.) I've put the new additions in my albums, doing my best to find a place for the varieties. It's left some pages a bit messy, but I'm delighted anyway.  So here are the album pages as they now are [remember, I don't take good photos; you have to live with these]:




The stamp that appears torn is just curled from soaking. It will straighten out



Why Muslims will never achieve Civilized Status

From Pakistan Today.

A widow’s young daughter was gang raped by three accused in village Shadiwal-Kotli Loharaan on Sunday.

Rubina said that three men including Usman and Mudassar of neighbouring village Dinga sent poisoned cold drinks to her home for Iftar, consuming which her family was left unconscious.

Later, the men took her young daughter R****, 16, to a nearby Haveli, and gang-raped her, she said. The girl became unconscious and the men fled away considering her dead, she claimed.

Locals found the girl in critical condition and shifted her to a hospital.

The grieved family staged a demonstration in front of the Kotli Loharaan Police Station and kept the traffic blocked for an hour by burning tyres on Sialkot-Kotli Loharaan Road, demanding immediate arrest of the alleged rapists.

According to the victim’s family, the accused were politically influential and were still at large. Besides, they were threatening the family of dire consequences for reporting the matter to the police, they said. The police have however registered a case but no arrests have been made so far.

MAN RAPES DAUGHTER:

In a separate incident in Pasrur, Saddar Police on Sunday arrested Ashraf from village Basra Shaamey Wala on charges of raping his daughter.

The 16-year-old victim told the police that her real father had been raping her forcibly for the last two years. The police have sent the accused behind the bars after registering a case against him. Further investigations were underway.

So ... because some of you asked

Dutch in the New World, rough draft, more of it. I don't usually post this much, but here it is.


Chapter 11: The Dutch

            The Netherlands is a small country on the Atlantic coast of Europe. When Champlain was exploring North America, the Netherlands were a Spanish possession. The Spanish oppressively taxed their Dutch provinces. Many of the Dutch found the Protestant faiths more rational than their previous Catholic faith, but the Spanish king wanted to impose the Catholic faith on them. King Philip introduced the Inquisition in 1565. The Inquisition was a church institution based on torture and intimidation. Philip decreed that Protestants should be burned or buried alive. He wanted the victims murdered in secret rather than publicly.
            The Netherlands eventually became independent, and though weaker than Spain, France and England, they sent out explorers and settlers too. Dutch explorers sailed to Asia and took possession of Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the Spice Island. They returned with pepper, cloves and coffee. Dutch explorers found Australia and New Zealand. [Zealand is a region in the Netherlands.] Because the journey was long and harsh, they established a station at Cape of Good Hope were fresh food and water could be found and sailors sickened with scurvy could recover.  Little Netherlands had an empire far larger than itself.

In North America

            The Dutch wanted to trade with the Spanish colonies in America. Spain forbade that, but that was often ignored with the help of Spanish governors. The Dutch took possession of some small islands in the Caribbean Sea. One of these was Curaçao [kur-uh-sow]. In 1662 the Dutch West India Company made Curaçao a centre for the Atlantic slave trade. Selling slaves became the primary source of income from Dutch trade.
They were as eager to find a short passage to Asia as anyone else. They hired Henry Hudson, an English sea captain, to find it. Hudson was an experienced explorer. In 1607 and again in 1608 the Muscovy Company, a group of English merchants, sent Hudson with a small ship, the Hopewell, and a crew of ten to explore to the north east. They hoped that the ice would melt in the long period of arctic daylight and they could sail across the top of Russia. The voyage was unsuccessful, but Hudson came away from it with the reputation of an intrepid sea captain.
The Muscovy Company were disappointed and unwilling to send Hudson on another voyage. Hudson traveled to the Netherlands, offering his services to the Dutch East India Company. His fame had gone before him. They knew of him as “the bold Englishman; the expert pilot; and the famous navigator.” A prominent member of their company, Balthazor Moucheron, who had attempted “large and unsuccessful adventures in Arctic voyages,” opposed sending Hudson to explore a route he knew was impossible, but the company provided Hudson with a small ship called the Halve Maen, or in English the Half Moon. With a crew of sixteen or twenty Dutch and English sailors, Hudson “was now ready to brave again the ice and storms of the Arctic seas.”

[illustration] The Half Moon in the Hudson River

            Hudson left Amsterdam in 1609 but the ice north of Norway blocked his passage. John Smith, an English explorer about whom we will learn more, is believed to have sent Hudson a letter  and maps saying that somewhere near Virginia was a sea route to Asia. Hudson convinced his crew to sail to America to look for the passage to India and China. They reached Newfoundland, but the journey there was perilous and full of adventure.[1]
During three stormy weeks his foremast was carried away. His crew rigged up a jurymast, a temporary repair. But the winds continued, splitting his foresail.  He sailed southward to escape the storms, but ran into another just as fierce. Three days after this they saw a sail off to the east and turned to meet the other ship. They couldn’t catch up to it, so they turned westward again. Early in July, they found a fleet of French ships fishing on the Grand Banks. The winds died and they were becalmed. Hudson sent his crew out in their small boat, and they returned with one hundred and thirty codfish. On the 9th, they spoke to the captain of a French ship near Sable Island. Finally, on July 12, they saw the coasts of North America, but the fog was thick. For several days they were afraid to approach the land; but on the morning of the 18th, the weather cleared up, and they ran into a “good harbor” at the mouth of a large river, in the latitude of forty-four degrees. This was Penobscot Bay, on the coast of Maine.
Hudson had already met some of the inhabitants of this new country; for on the morning of the 19th, while they were “standing off,” unable to enter the harbor, six of the natives paddled out to the Half Moon. They “seemed very glad” to see the Half Moon and its crew. Hudson gave them presents, and fed them. One of the natives could speak a little French. They told Hudson that there were gold, silver, and copper mines nearby, and that they regularly traded with the French.
Hudson sailed south to the James River in Virginia where an English colony had just been ‘planted.’ Hudson and his crew then turned northward, looking for “a gateway through this wild and unknown coast.” They explored Delaware Bay. They reached the mouth of the river later named for Hudson. He wasn’t the first European to find it, but he sailed farther up it than others had.
            One of his crew described the area as “very good land to fall in with, and a pleasant land to see.” Natives wrapped in fur robes and feather capes, and wearing copper bangles surrounded the Half Moon, convincing Hudson that he was close to the passage to India and China. He sent men out to explore the harbor and streams. They reported that the land was “as pleasant with grass and flowers as ever they had seen, and very sweet smells.” But before they returned to the Half Moon, two canoes containing twenty-six natives attacked them, killing John Coleman who had been with Hudson on his first voyage, with an arrow through the neck. Two others were slightly wounded. They were unable to fight back because heavy rain had extinguished the smoldering cord used to fire their gun. Coleman was buried ashore at a place Hudson called Coleman Point. Today it is called Sandy Hook.
When Native American canoes surrounded the ship again, Hudson ordered his men to capture two of them as hostages. A third native jumped overboard and swam for shore. The Half Moon’s crew drove the rest away. As they sailed up what is now the Hudson River, twenty-eight canoes filled with whole families followed them. Hudson’s crew traded with them, “giving them trinkets for oysters and beans.” But they didn’t allow any of the natives aboard the ship. As they sailed up the river, the two captives wiggled out a porthole and swam to shore where they made rude gestures and insulted the crew of the Half Moon. Hudson anchored at the Catskill Mountains. Native people brought corn (maize) and pumpkins and tobacco to trade. Further up river they found a tribe with amazingly vast heaps of corn and beans. They fed Hudson, inviting him to sit on a mat and eat from a red wooden bowl. The natives broke and burned their arrows as a gesture of friendship.
The river grew shallow. When they arrived near where Albany, New York, now is, Champlain was not many miles away exploring the area around the lake that bears his name today. Hudson sent men in a rowboat further up river. This was not the route to Asia. He sailed down river and returned to Europe, landing first in England. The Half Moon returned to Amsterdam, and the Dutch sent out more explorers and traders. Eventually they established a settlement on Manhattan Island, were New York City is now.
            Before we learn about the colony of New Amsterdam, there is more to tell about Henry Hudson.


[1]              Robert Juet, a member of Hudson’s crew left a record of this voyage. If you want to know more about it, you will want to read his history of the voyage.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Louise Caroline Alberta

Gift from Louise, born Louise Caroline Alberta Saxe-Coburg und Gotha.
Married  John Lorne, later to take the last name Argyle.
The Province of Alberta was named for her.

The Letter

From Infanta Maria de la Paz, Princess Ludwig of Bavaria to  Gisela Archduchess of Austria Princess of Bavaria


Henry Hudson: Sailing for the Dutch



            Hudson left Amsterdam in 1609 but the ice north of Norway blocked his passage. John Smith, an English explorer about whom we will learn more, is believed to have sent Hudson a letter saying that somewhere north of Virginia there was a sea route to Asia. Contrary to his orders, Hudson convinced his crew to sail to America to look for the passage to India and China. They reached Newfoundland, sailing south from there to the James River in Virginia where an English colony had just been ‘planted.’ Hudson and his crew turned northward, looking for “a gateway through this wild and unknown coast.” They explored Delaware Bay. They reached the mouth of the river later named for him. He wasn’t the first European to find it, but he sailed farther up it than others had.
            He described the area as “very good land to fall in with, and a pleasant land to see.” Natives wrapped in fur robes and feather capes, and wearing copper bangles surrounded the Half Moon, convincing Hudson that he was close to the passage to India and China. He sent men out to explore the harbor and streams. They reported that the land was “as pleasant with grass and flowers as ever they had seen, and very sweet smells.” But before they returned to the Half Moon, natives attacked them, killing one of them with an arrow.
When Native American canoes surrounded the ship again, Hudson ordered his men to capture two of them as hostages. They drove the rest away. As they sailed up what is now the Hudson River, twenty-eight canoes filled with whole families followed them. Hudson’s crew traded with them, “giving them trinkets for oysters and beans.” But they didn’t allow any of the natives aboard the ship. As they sailed up the river, the two captives wiggled out a porthole and swam to shore where they made rude gestures and insulted the crew of the Half Moon. Hudson anchored at the Catskill Mountains. Native people brought corn (maize) and pumpkins and tobacco to trade. Further up river they found a tribe with amazingly vast heaps of corn and beans. They fed Hudson, inviting him to sit on a mat and eat from a red wooden bowl. The natives broke and burned their arrows as a gesture of friendship.
The river grew shallow. When they arrived near where Albany, New York, now is, Hudson sent men in a rowboat further up river. This was not the route to Asia. He sailed down river and returned to Europe, landing first in England. The Half Moon returned to Amsterdam, and the Dutch sent out more explorers and traders. Eventually they established a settlement on Manhattan Island, were New York City is now.
            Before we learn about the colony of New Amsterdam, there is more to tell about Henry Hudson.

Champlain and New France - Rough Draft



Champlain and New France

             While there were no attempts to found permanent colonies for about thirty years, the French returned to the St. Lawrence River in the 1570s to trade for furs. This was profitable because beaver pelts were increasingly used to make hats. Trade for furs was competitive and unruly. As a result the French king granted monopolies. It was the fur trade that brought new attempts to colonize. Among those journeying to North America was Samuel de Champlain. He first sailed in 1603, landing at a trading settlement at Tadoussac in what is now Canada. He wanted to establish good relationships with the native people and find a place to establish a permanent settlement. In 1605 and 1606 he explored the American coast as far south as Cape Cod in what is now Massachusetts.
            He tried to establish a settlement near the coast, but the area was low and damp. In 1608 he founded Quebec at the “foot of a great rock wall.” There were difficulties and he returned to France for help. He befriended the Algonquin who aided his exploration. He paddled endless miles in a canoe through lakes and up rivers, seeking a passage to Asia. He didn’t find it, of course, but he made his way up the Ottawa River and across Lake Huron. His native guides led him overland from Lake Huron to Lake Ontario. [Find these on a map.] His explorations established fur trade routs.
He made alliances with native tribes. Some of these asked for his help against the Iroquois. After some days without encountering them, most of Champlain’s force of nine Frenchmen returned to Quebec leaving him with two Frenchmen and about sixty Huron (Wendat) warriors. Somewhere near Crown Point, New York, they were attacked by about 200 Iroquois. Champlain fired his arquebus killing two of the Iroquois chiefs with a single shot. One of the other Frenchmen killed the third chief, and the Iroquois fled. It was on this trip that Champlain mapped the lake since named for him.
As always in this era, events in Europe determined what happened in North America. A series of brutal wars called the Thirty Years Wars, begun as a war between Protestant and Catholic states was renewed in 1627 when Catholics renewed their attack on French Protestants. This ended a brief alliance between England and France, and there was a brief war in which the English did not fare well in France. But in North America Champlain and the French were in trouble. David Kirke (c. 1597 – 1654), a knight and merchant, and his brothers, attacked the French, first capturing a supply ship, then sending messengers to Champlain demanding the surrender of Quebec. Champlain thought help was on the way and refused to surrender. The Kirke brothers starved them out, and Champlain surrendered. He was taken prisoner. England and France signed a peace treaty, and French lands in America were returned, though slowly.
Champlain is important to American history because he established a stable French presence in America, exploring areas now part of this country. He was an extraordinary man. He befriended the Algonquin, and he paddled endless miles exploring what is now part of Canada and the United States. He never found a passage to Asia, but he found a rich land. His native guides brought him to natural wonders such as Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, and Lake Champlain. Few in France were interested in America, and French settlement was sparse. But Champlain persisted for thirty years.

French Fur Traders

            France didn’t find a passage to the riches of Asia, but she found furs. Fish and Fur made some very rich. Coureur de bois [French for “Runner of the Forest], were independent traders without a royal license. They journeyed into the deep forests, trading for furs. Licensed traders sent out voyageurs, men who were bound to serve for some years, to transport furs to settlements. These men would paddle up rivers and streams as far as they could, then carry their supplies and canoes until they found another stream. This was called a portage. They reached places few Europeans visited.

Illustration: The Thirty Years War was Brutal.

            The best furs came from animals trapped in winter when their coats were thickest. In spring the Forest Runners and natives gathered at Mackinac Island, now part of Michigan, to trade. There were as many as thirteen hundred natives and two hundred white men. A great trading fair was held. Dancing and drinking went on until the native tribes traded away their furs. One hundred thousand beaver skins changed hands. The French traders would return to Montreal, which had become the center of the fur trade, arriving in late summer. French ships carrying beads, blankets, kettles, guns and brandy waited for them. The cycle would begin anew.
            Increasing demand for furs and Native American desire for French goods had unexpected bad effects. The French expanded into native lands, and by the end of the seventeenth century, they had moved from the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers into the Great Lakes. Later they established posts in the heart of the Hudson Bay region. They explored the rivers to the south including the Mississippi, establishing a trading post where New Orleans is now. Animal population decreased. It would never recover. The fur trade led to conflicts among tribes, and these were more violent than previously. The nature of Native American societies changed from agriculture and hunting to trade.

Task: Explore this on your own. Write a short report telling how trade changed native cultures.

            Only about fifty new settlers arrived in New France each year. After fifty years there were only about twenty-five hundred French living along the St. Lawrence River. There was little agriculture. New France was a series of small trading posts rather than a real colony. They were there to fish or trade for furs, not to settle. They didn’t add to the land; they took from it. By the end of the 17th Century (1600s) the St. Lawrence could no longer meet their needs. Trading moved west and south. The journeys home were longer, more dangerous. The French in America were “constantly wearing out or using up the natural resources of the country.”