Once upon a time one of my brothers confessed a funny story. When he was little, he thought the American explorers Lewis and Clark were just one person: Lewis N. Clark.
It’s understandable. Meriweather Lewis and William Clark’s last names are inseparable in American history. And to make things more confusing, we tend to slide their names together if we’re not using good diction.
Really, they were two amazing men whose leadership and sense of adventure officially “opened” the American West. Searching for a quick and easy water-route to the Pacific Ocean, Lewis and Clark discovered the interior of a continent and helped their nation lay the groundwork to stretch from “sea to shining sea.” So who were these men before they were famous? That’s what we’ll discover today with some fast-facts. Continue reading
I’m a little ashamed to say that the first thing I usually think of when I drive down General Kearney Street is “Yeah, he was the general who lost the Battle of San Pasqual.” While that is true, I’ve enjoyed learning more about this American military man and his role in the Mexican-American War and the settlement of the Southwest. So…now I’ll have some more positive thing to review as I’m driving on this “country” road.
Recently, we’ve discussed two Spanish explorers who discovered routes into California. Today we’ll jump forward a few decades on the timeline to find an American who crossed into California from the east…and created a quandary for Mexican government ruling California at the time.
And, of course, there’s a street named for this American in early California History. Jedidiah Smith Road. Continue reading