Monday, January 14, 2013

Pursuing Goals

Pursuing one’s goals…..a worthy pursuit, right?
Hard work and determination….giving each and every move careful consideration…..making a plan……following the steps….changing course when necessary……

Yes, all of these are strategies to pursue one’s goals, but all too often we get tired of the time it takes to reach our goals. 
That’s when short-cuts come into play.

Take the following words. They represent a short cut……
“The most direct path would be to leave the Oregon route, about two hundred miles east of Fort Hall; thence bearing west south-west, to the Salt Lake; and thence continuing down to the bay of San Francisco.”

It was with those few words the George Donner party made the fateful decision to take a short-cut they found highlighted in the book The Emigrants’ Guide to Oregon and California. 
The book was written by Lansford Hastings and even though he never met any member of the Donner party, and even though Hastings didn’t exactly promote the short-cut he is forever linked to the disastrous end the Donner party faced.  Some sources state Hastings who had explored the West extensively had never even traveled on the trail.  Other sources mention he had gone down the trail with no incident a few weeks ahead of the Donner party.

Lansford Hastings had written his book in 1844 to entice settlers to California which at that time was held by Mexico. Hastings’ goal was to set up an independent republic and as a result be able to take some sort of office in governance.
Yes, that was Lansford Hastings’ goal to hold a high public office……

The Republic of California or the Bear Republic did exist for a time in 1846, but just for a few days before U.S. soldiers arrived and the annexation process began. 
Yes, that’s why the state flag of California has a bear on it even to this day.

Lansford Hastings still had to meet his goal, however….hence the Hastings Plot.
Ever hear of it?

During the Civil War Lansford Hastings sided with the Confederacy.  Even though he had been living in Arizona for some time he traveled to Richmond late in the war and met with President Jefferson Davis.  He tried to convince President Davis to allow him….on behalf of the Confederate States of America to wrestle California away from the Union and make it part of the Confederacy. The war was over in a year so the plot never amounted to much.
Still……..Lansford Hastings continued to be a man in search of a kingdom……..republic of his own.

It does seem like he had a plan and just kept working those same steps over and over. Doesn’t it? 
In the years following the war Hastings became involved with a group of ex-Confederates who wanted to move to Brazil.  Lansford Hastings traveled to South America, and met with the government there to set up arrangements for the Americans to settle.  He also wrote a guide for those wishing to move there.

Lansford Hastings died while traveling to Brazil accompanying a group of settlers in 1870, and while he never did achieve his goal of a high governmental office Hastings did achieve one thing….
Over 10,000 Confederados. as they are known in Brazil remain there and are descended from the ex-Confederates. Every year they have festivals complete with Confederate flags, Confederate uniforms, hoop skirts, food of the American South infused with that of Brazil.  They also have dances and music their ancestors brought with them….styles from the antebellum period.

Former First Lady Rosalyn Carter’s great uncle was one of the first Confederados in Brazil.  The Carters traveled to Brazil in 1972.

Getting back to Lansford Hastings...He finally got that kingdom, of sorts. He just didn't get to govern over it.


Rob From Amersfoort said...

Confederates living in South America, that's a fascinating fact I didn't know.

Classof1 said...

That's a lot about Hastings that I didn't know. Should've paid more attention while doing the history homework!