Connections The Nation Grows Honest Men Secure Their Future For Us An Amazing Day

Today in History, March 10:

I was researching for today and found amazing connections – I love connections in History! This will be a long post, but in summary:

In 1804 a ceremony was held in St. Louis commemorating the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of our young nation overnight.

In 1848 the US Senate ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, officially ending the Mexican-American War and again doubling the size of our nation.

Many believed the Mexican-American War was an unjust, fabricated conflict, much as many of us argue today about the Iraq War and its costs (not saying what my beliefs are…but I always stand with my beloved country).

Two of the men who felt the Mexican-American War was unjust spoke out vocally about their beliefs. One was a Congressman who disagreed with men he respected on the issue. The other who spoke out was a young Army officer who, in spite of his beliefs, fought courageously during the war.

In 1864 the Congressman, now President, signed documents promoting the young officer to Lt. General of the US Army (a rank only George Washington had previously held as permanent) so no other officer would be his equal. Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant believed wholeheartedly in their cause during the Civil War.

Today in History, March 10, 1804:

In St. Louis (not yet Missouri), an official ceremony is conducted, transferring possession of the “Louisiana Purchase” from Spain to the United States, virtually doubling the size of the American landscape overnight.

Today in History, March 10, 1848:

Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, or the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican-American War is ratified by the US Senate after several amendments were made by that Congressional body.

The treaty had been negotiated in Mexico, documenting monies to be paid by the United States to Mexico and territories including modern day California, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah to be ceded to the US.

Senators to include Thomas Hart Benton, Jefferson Davis, Sam Houston, Stephen A. Douglas, and John C. Calhoun fought over the final draft.

Today in History, March 10, 1864:

President Lincoln signs documents promoting Ulysses S. Grant to the rank of Lieutenant General.

Grant was only the second person to hold the rank, the first having been George Washington. Winfield Scott had held the rank in the interim, but only as a “brevet” or temporary rank.

Lincoln wanted his commanding general to have a rank above his other generals for leadership purposes. Grant would answer only to the President. I didn’t find anything to document it, but have to wonder if this was partially because Grant had been promoted over several more senior officers to command the army due to his runaway successes in the west.

You Can’t Cheat the Undertaker

Today in History, March 10: 1891:

Almon Brown Strowger, a Topeka, Kansas undertaker, felt that he was being cheated. His competitor’s wife happened to be the operator for the town’s telephone exchange; Almon suspected that each time someone rang the operator and asked for “the undertaker”, that she would route the calls to her husband, cheating Almon out of much needed business.

So, with several relatives, he strove to put her out of business by inventing the Strowger stepping switch, which made automated telephone exchanges feasible.

On today’s date he received a patent for his invention, and installed the first Exchange in La Porte, Indiana. In 1896 Strowger sold his patents for a pittance of $1,800 and eventually returned to undertaking. In 1916 his patents would be resold for $2.5 million.

Two Westerners, President and Lt. General

Today in History, March 10: 1864 – President Lincoln signs documents promoting Ulysses S. Grant to the rank of Lieutenant General. Grant was only the second person to hold the rank, the first having been George Washington. Winfield Scott had held the rank in the interim, but only as a “brevet” or temporary rank. Lincoln wanted his commanding general to have a rank above his other generals for leadership purposes. Grant would answer only to the President. 

Lincoln had difficulties with several Generals prior to Grant being appointed as the commander of all the Union Armies. The two communicated and worked very well together. Perhaps because they were both westerners from Illinois and understood each other. Certainly because Grant carried out Lincoln’s wishes to pursue Confederate Armies with vigor.