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.
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.
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.
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.
Hastings continued to be a man in search of a kingdom…..er…..republic of his
It does seem like he
had a plan and just kept working those same steps over and over. Doesn’t
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.
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….
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
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.