Episode 142: Private Robinson on Pawnee Rock
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That is Evelyn dot com slash memory ever lane dot com slash memory. This is the memory palace. I'm nato. Having left seeing those behind private Robinson said out a news first mission into the west along the Santa Fe trail, so many, Americans traders trappers in scouts and soldiers had done before him. Since misery, man, had I carved out the route in eighteen twenty one afterward had travelled north that Mexico having freed itself from Spanish rule was opened for business. Now in June of eighteen forty six private. Jacob Robinson of New Hampshire road out with the first Missouri mounted volunteers one of five hundred new recruits eager to cross the continent, and take the south west away from Mexico, the March fifteen miles a day, most days following the hoof in footprints of earlier, expeditions, the rutted paths, carved out by wagon wheels now green, Dover and Wildflower Kansas unfurling in all directions. The shush of tall grass, the buzz of summer bugs, the air, private Robinson, right? And private Robinson. The son of newspaper man could ride. He wrote a shout of joy ran through all the ranks is they inhaled the clean air, the green and sunny prairie, he would remember a thousand miles on. That rush of relief that feeling of being finally three as the confinement of the Ford marching, and sir all the drills and the dust now behind them now replaced by open fields, and endless sky, an air suite with primrose lavender and prairie flocks distant campfires, the sounds of creeks in chickens in entourage of civilians, accompanied them Cooper's wheel rights, and varies in the like men in some women who knew the trail, we'd waited its head looking to attach themselves to a wagon train who can pay for their particular expertise or provide safety in numbers for a trip through country claimed by the United States. But uncontrolled for the volunteers, everything was new when they were making good time on flat ground, the Rockies the desert, we're still just stories. They'd heard. Did came upon places where native bands spent the nights before fresh prince extinguish fires tip grounds were tented starting horses had lane. They'd pass farms in villages in gardens of the tribes, leading other lives here. Other languages in English to learn by the shawnee and Delaware from other travelers, and Jacob Robinson the private the writer son would see at least one of those communities tribe, whose name he didn't note, or didn't know and thought they seem to enjoy a better way of life, he'd ride out there and the wide wild prairie with the flowers, grow the birds sing in nature is decked in beauty. Then the one his own people had brought to the continent. Then on the eighteenth day of their deployment some five hundred miles into a trip that would take them three thousand more, and what would become the longest marched by an army since Alexander. The greats the March that would take them to the foot of jagged peaks that stretched heavenward and left the easterners dumbstruck that would have the marching for days of ground that shuttered in crack above cities, Doug by prairie dogs over San that burn their feet through their shoes. That would see two thirds of their horses. Dive exhaustion of, of malnutrition, or felled by coyotes and the night, so others, wander off and take to the wild the March that would see them fight a Mexican battalion twice their own size in win and take Paso, and another as much as four times their own number and take Chihuahua, and we'd have them sailing to New Orleans and up the Mississippi back home, one year in five thousand five hundred miles later. Lindmark appeared in the distance Ponti Rockland at the edge of the rise up from the flat of land impressive. In that context, though, it was little more than one hundred feet at its tallest point, no taller than these, no tree, for decades, likely centuries. It had been the site of battles into peace councils between Comanche in Keila in Ponti and Cheyenne into rap. Oh, but by then when the men of the army of the west came upon it, it was mostly a sign that you are going, the right way. The place to find some shade on route to Santa Fe in water you horses at the creek that ran beside. There were many names chipped into its face. Some painted in a mixture of tar and animal fat left by travellers pass that way before. And so, in July eighteen forty six private Robinson climbed Ponti rock. Maybe to find a good place to carve his name and not knowing that, just a few years later, another travel around as way to claim his own plot in what would then be American lens. Right. That there were so many names in the rock that there wasn't room for his Robertson climb that knowing that a town would be incorporated, right there called, Ponti rock. Stop on the railroad that would roll through there just twenty years later, not knowing that the shawnee in the Delaware, and the unnamed tribe. He so admired at the edge of the frontier wouldn't be there for much longer. Was it the rocky was climbing with someday? Be shorter by maybe forty feet because it road crew would need that stone in the next century to pave part of the prairie and lay down. What would be US highway fifty six that can take you from Kansas City to Santa Fe and eleven hours and change, depending on traffic in private Robinson reached the top of Ponti rock and looked out to the west vast in unknown and saw a herd of buffalo a quarter million strong. The grand aside I ever beheld every acre was covered until in the dim distance the prairie became one black mass extending to the Reisen going on forever. This episode of memory palace was written and produced in stuff by me, with engineering assistance from, Elizabeth, obair research assistance from allies, McGraw, the show is, proud member radio topa from pure X collective of independent podcasts trying to keep the medium free and open a so many investment firms in media conglomerates look to put up a parking lot. You can find out more about the other radio shows, including our friends at the truth, dynamite show of audio fiction, which just launched a new series that you just might love really Toby dot FM. To find out more as always, you can follow me at the memory palace on Twitter, and our Facebook or drama line at Nate at the numbers dot org listening. Radio. Ex-.