Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chicken Dinner: Politicians, Imported Bulls, & Rifles

On Memorial Day, we honor our troops as well as our loved ones who've passed before us. It began as Decoration Day, first celebrated by the Freedmen of South Carolina during the Civil War, and continued in 1868 as a national observance for veterans, then designated a date of May 30.

And how about Idaho Territory? What were they thinking along about this time? The Owyhee Avalanche reports the state of the nation on May 25, 1872, reprinted May 23, 2012:
A STRONG NATION. The census of 1800 [RTW: 1850?] gave the total property values of the United States at $16,000,000,000. The census of 1870 makes a return of nealry $32,000,000,000. Thus the wealth of the nation had about doubled itself in a decade during which the country was convulsed by a great civil war, involving an expenditure to both sides of not less than $6,000,000,000, and a vast destruction of life and property. Seven years after this terrible struggle, the total national, state, county, and municipal debts are only $3,271,841,786, and the country sustains a total tax of $688,520,535. These figures give an impressive idea of the financial strength and wonderfully rapid development of the United States, in view of which, the national debt seems a light affair. The showing is the more remarkable when we reflect that this debt has been reduced at a rate permitting yearly reduction of taxation.
The article ends with this bit, which shows that some things never change:
All the blunders of all the politicians cannot repress energies so boundless, though they may prevent their fullest and healthiest action.
Other news involved the importation of blooded stock from the States--Durham bulls and cows, as well as Berkshire hogs, and "four hens and two cocks of an improved breed."  Obviously Idaho Territory had a healthy competition going on with Oregon. This newsworthy item ended with:
...twelve imported bulls, one cow, four hogs, and six checkens in the county at present. We doubt even if any county in Oregon can boast of such an array of imported stock. The animals were brought to Winnemucca on the cars and thence driven up here [Silver City]. They are now on the bunch-grass range in the vicinity of Camp Lyon, and are doing splendidly.
Articles of interest this week:

Trail to El Paso by Alison Bruce

And on June 1, 1866, the Winchester Repeating Arms Corporation opened in Connecticut, producing a 17-shot, lever-action rifle. (From On This Day in the Old West.)


  1. I didn't know that about Memorial Day. Thanks Jacquie.

  2. Jacquie, you are a person I consider an expert on the Old West and on our promotion. Thank you for all the info you've shared. I love your books, and love more that you are such a nice person. Have a great weekend.


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