America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion, and the Presidential Election That Transformed the Nation

By John Bicknell

The presidential election of 1844 was once one of many or 3 so much momentous elections in American historical past. Had Henry Clay gained rather than James ok. Polk, we’d be dwelling in a truly assorted kingdom this day. Polk’s victory cemented the westward growth that introduced Texas, California, and Oregon into the union. It additionally happened amid non secular turmoil that integrated anti-Mormon and anti-Catholic violence, and the “Great Disappointment,” during which millions of fans of an vague preacher named William Miller believed Christ may go back to earth in October 1844.

            writer and journalist John Bicknell information much more compelling, interwoven occasions that happened in this momentous yr: the homicide of Joseph Smith, the non secular fermentation of the second one nice Awakening, John C. Frémont’s exploration of the West, Charles Goodyear’s patenting of vulcanized rubber, the near-death of President John Tyler in a freak naval explosion, and lots more and plenty extra. All of those components illustrate the competing visions of the yank future—Democrats as opposed to Whigs, Mormons as opposed to Millerites, nativists as opposed to Catholics, those that risked the enterprise westward as opposed to those that stayed properly behind—and how Polk’s election cemented the imaginative and prescient of a continental nation.

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That I knew it might be undesirable for his animals, who could have merely the scant early grass, yet they can cease at Bent’s castle and fatten up. in simple terms belief me and move. ” The messenger stuck up with Frémont at Kaw touchdown at the Missouri River, no longer faraway from the place kingdom defense force had attacked the Mormons and chased them into Illinois in 1838. it's a degree of the Frémonts’ dating and of the religion the thirty-year-old husband put in his nineteen-year-old bride that he didn't hesitate. inside every week of her letter going out, one got here again.

6–7 Riots rage in Philadelphia’s Southwark local among nativists and defense force performing to guard neighborhood Irish Catholics. 27 Clay’s moment “Alabama Letter” is released. AUGUST 6 Frémont arrives again in St. Louis. 8 Brigham younger is selected to be triumphant Joseph Smith as chief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 15 Fifty thousand Democrats assemble in Nashville for a pro-Polk rally. 20 John Tyler withdraws from the presidential race. SEPTEMBER 2 Clay publishes a letter distancing himself from antislavery comments by means of his far away relative, Cassius M.

7, 401; and Polk to Jackson, August three, 1844, in Polk, Correspondence, vol. 7, 430 “Support the reason for Polk …” Peterson, Presidencies, 238–39; Chitwood, Tyler: Champion, 380; Borneman, Polk, 118–19 “one fantasy worse than Millerism …” Warner, “Changing Image,” 7 “To My pals during the Union” … Peterson, Presidencies, 239–40 “The conference was once addressed …” Garr, Presidential Candidate, 64–65 “A huge variety of rowdies” … Ibid. , sixty five “Sometimes the Mormons are all killed …” Garr, Presidential Candidate, sixty seven; Ronald Walker, “Six Days in August” “not a spontaneous, impulsive act …” Oaks and Hill, Carthage Conspiracy, 6 “determined upon riding Mormons out of the nation …” Bushman, tough Stone Rolling, 508 They began through tough … Roberts, background of the Church, vol.

We now have been heavily charged with an inordinate spirit of territorial aggrandizement; and, with no admitting the justice of the cost, it has to be owned that we have got made large acquisitions of territory in the final 40 years,” he mentioned. And, simply because he didn’t care a lot, Clay concept not anyone cared a lot. This rush to annexation, he concluded, used to be “not known as for by way of any common expression of public opinion. ” Texas, briefly, was once no longer worthy scuffling with for. “Annexation and warfare with Mexico are identical,” Clay defined.

On may well 31, approximately and a part weeks when they left civilization, Rosanna was once born within the family’s wagon, arriving quickly when they crossed the Missouri. The early highway was once tough, requiring the crossing of limestone outcrops that jostled the wagon. Naomi was once weakened by way of the start of her 7th child—the educate gave her in basic terms days to get better prior to relocating on—and quickly the full relatives used to be feeling the ailing results of commute. stipulations have been made worse through the need of getting to maintain the canvas drawn tight over the wagon to maintain out the rain, the kinfolk cramped uncomfortably jointly between their property, in outfits that stayed rainy with little likelihood to dry them.

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