On This Day
1685 – René-Robert Cavelier establishes Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France’s claim to Texas.
The French colonization of Texas began with the establishment of a fort in present-day southeastern Texas. It was established in 1685 near Arenosa Creek and Matagorda Bay by explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle. He intended to found the colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River, but inaccurate maps and navigational errors caused his ships to anchor instead 400 miles (640 km) to the west, off the coast of Texas. The colony survived until 1688. The present-day town of Inez is near the fort’s site.
The colony faced numerous difficulties during its brief existence, including Native American raids, epidemics, and harsh conditions. From that base, La Salle led several expeditions to find the Mississippi River. These did not succeed, but La Salle did explore much of the Rio Grande and parts of east Texas. During one of his absences in 1686, the colony’s last ship was wrecked, leaving the colonists unable to obtain resources from the French colonies of the Caribbean. As conditions deteriorated, La Salle realized the colony could survive only with help from the French settlements in Illinois Country to the north, along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. His last expedition ended along the Brazos River in early 1687, when La Salle and five of his men were murdered during a mutiny.
Although a handful of men reached Illinois Country, help never made it to the fort. Most of the remaining members of the colony were killed during a Karankawa raid in late 1688, four children survived after being adopted as captives. Although the colony lasted only three years, it established France’s claim to possession of the region that is now Texas. The United States later claimed, unsuccessfully, this region as part of the Louisiana Purchase because of the early French colony.
Spain learned of La Salle’s mission in 1686. Concerned that the French colony could threaten Spain’s control over the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the unsettled southeastern region of North America, the Crown funded multiple expeditions to locate and eliminate the settlement. The unsuccessful expeditions helped Spain to better understand the geography of the Gulf Coast region. When the Spanish finally discovered the remains of the French colony at the fort in 1689, they buried the cannons and burned the buildings. Years later, Spanish authorities built a presidio at the same location. When the presidio was abandoned, the site of the French settlement was lost to history.
The fort was rediscovered by historians and excavated in 1996, and the area is now an archaeological site. In 1995, researchers located the ship La Belle in Matagorda Bay, with several sections of the hull remaining virtually intact. They constructed a cofferdam, the first to be used in North America to excavate the ship as if in dry conditions. In 2000, excavations revealed three of the original structures of the fort, as well as three graves of Frenchmen.
Born On This Day
1784 – Judith Montefiore, British linguist, travel writer, philanthropist (d. 1862)
Judith, Lady Montefiore (née Barent Cohen; 20 February 1784 – 24 September 1862) was a British linguist, musician, travel writer, and philanthropist. A keen traveller, she noted the distress and suffering around her, more particularly in the “Jewish Quarters” of the towns through which she passed, and was ever ready with some plan of alleviation. Her privately printed journals, threw light upon her character, and showed her to be cultureed, imbued with a strong religious spirit, true to the teachings and observances of the Jewish faith, yet exhibiting the widest catholicity to those of other beliefs. She was quick to resent any indignity or insult that might be offered to her religion or her people. Montefiore authored the first Jewish cook book written in English.
Judith Barent Cohen, fourth daughter of Levy Barent Cohen and his wife, Lydia Diamantschleifer, was born in London in 1784. The father, of Angel Court, Throgmorton Street, was a wealthy Ashkenazi or German Jew.
She married Sir Moses Montefiore on 10 June 1812. Marriages between Sephardim and Ashkenazim were not approved by the Portuguese Synagogue; but Moses believed that this caste prejudice was hurtful to the best interests of Judaism, and was desirous of abolishing it. There is little doubt that that marriage did more than anything else to pave the way for the present union of English Jews. They were married on 10 June 1812, and took a house in New Court, St. Swithin’s Lane, next door to one Nathan Maier Rothschild, living there for 13 years. This was likely Nathan Mayer Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking family of England, whom one of her sisters, Hannah (1783–1850), had married in 1806.
Her prudence and intelligence influenced all her husband’s undertakings, and when he retired from business, the administration of his fortune in philanthropic endeavours was largely directed by her. Lady Montefiore accompanied her husband in all his foreign missions up to 1859, and was the beneficent genius of his memorable expeditions to the Holy Land, Damascus, Saint Petersburg, and Rome. By her linguistic abilities, she was enabled to materially assist her husband in his self-imposed tasks. During the journey to Russia, in 1846, she was indefatigable in her efforts to alleviate the misery she saw everywhere around her. The wife and daughter of the Russian governor paid her a ceremonious visit and expressed the admiration she had inspired among all classes. Her sympathies were greatly widened by travel; two journals of some of these travels were published anonymously by her. The last years of her life were spent alternately in London and Ramsgate.
For some years her health had been so bad that they had spent much of their time in Europe in the hope of improving it, but she had at last become too weak to undertake the journeys, and her last days were spent in England. Only a few months prior to her decease, the couple had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, and this period was marked by what seemed a partial restoration of her health. On 24 September 1862, after exchanging blessings with her husband, she fell into her last sleep. Lady Judith died 24 September 1862. At her death, Sir Moses founded in her memory the Judith Lady Montefiore College at Ramsgate. 
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Moose sightings Friday morning through 5 p.m. Sunday can be reported online at www.adfg.alaska.gov , by phone at (907) 267-2530, or by text at (907) 782-5051.
Reports should include the number of moose, time of sighting, and moose location.
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“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”
“I would rather be able to appreciate things I cannot have than to have things I am not able to appreciate.”
“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”
“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
“Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.”
W.H. Auden, The Dyer’s Hand
“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“This place was truly the highest and the lowest of all worlds – the most beautiful senses, the most exquisite emotions…the most malevolent desires, the darkest deeds. Perhaps it was meant to be so. Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached.”
Stephenie Meyer, The Host
“In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.”(From a speech read on video on August 31, 1995 before the NGO Forum on Women, Beijing, China)”
Aung San Suu Kyi
“Ten long trips around the sun since I last saw that smile, but only joy and thankfulness that on a tiny world in the vastness, for a couple of moments in the immensity of time, we were one.”
“You are evidence of your mother’s strength, especially if you are a rebellious knucklehead and regardless she has always maintained her sanity.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy
“Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, but of moments. You must experience each one before you can appreciate it.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach
“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”
“Connecting with those you know you love, like and appreciate you restore the spirit and give you the energy to keep moving forward in this life.”
Deborah Day, BE HAPPY NOW!
“For the yesterdays and today’s, and the tomorrows I can hardly wait for – Thank you.”
Cecelia Ahern, The Book of Tomorrow
“Not having money to spend doesn’t mean we can’t have well-spent moments every day.”
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“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
Gilbert K. Chesterton
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
“ ‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
Henri Frederic Amiel
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
On This Day
1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.
The Treaty of Westminster of 1674 was the peace treaty that ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Signed by the Netherlands and England, it provided for the return of the colony of New Netherland (New York) to England and renewed the Treaty of Breda of 1667. It also provided for a mixed commission for the regulation of commerce, particularly in the East Indies.
It was signed on 19 February 1674 (Old Style: 9 February 1674) by Charles II of England and ratified by the States General of the Netherlands on 5 March 1674. England was forced to sign the treaty as Parliament would not allow more money to be spent on the war and had become aware of the secret Treaty of Dover in which Charles had promised Louis XIV of France to convert to Catholicism at an opportune moment. The English were dismayed by the unexpected fact that Dutch raiders managed to capture more English ships than vice versa and that New Amsterdam had been retaken by the Dutch in 1673.
Most of the initial peace conditions demanded by the English in the Accord of Heeswijk of 1672 were not met, but the Dutch paid two million guilders (down from an original demand of ten million) to be paid over a period of three years (basically to compensate for the loss of French subsidies) and again affirmed the English right of salute, their Dominium Marium, now extended from “Lands End” at the Bay of Biscay northward to “Staten Land” on the Norwegian coast. This was qualified by the condition that Dutch fishery would in no way be impeded by this right. The treaty conditions of 1668, regulating trade and shipping, were reconfirmed. As regards territorial disputes, the treaty was a typical status quo ante arrangement:
That whatsoever countries, islands, towns, ports, castles, or forts have or shall be taken on both sides, since the time the late unhappy war broke out, either in Europe or elsewhere, shall be restored to the former lord or proprietor, in the same condition they shall be in when the peace itself shall be proclaimed
Peace was proclaimed at Whitehall on 27 February (New Style) at 10:00 AM. The condition implied that New Netherland, retaken by Cornelis Evertsen the Youngest in 1673, would henceforth again be an English possession and that Suriname, captured by the Dutch in 1667, would remain their colony, legalising the status quo of 1667. These issues had been left undecided by the Peace of Breda of that year, an uti possidetis agreement. Also the islands of Tobago, Saba, St Eustatius and Tortola, taken by the English in 1672, would have to be returned.
As the peace could not be communicated quickly to all parts of the world, different dates had been determined upon which legal hostilities would end. From the Soundings of England, i.e. its southwes
Born On This Day
1497 – Matthäus Schwarz, German fashion writer (d. 1574)
Matthäus Schwarz (19 February 1497 – c.1574) was a German accountant, best known for compiling his Klaidungsbüchlein or Trachtenbuch (usually translated as “Book of Clothes”), a book cataloguing the clothing that he wore between 1520 and 1560. The book has been described as “the world’s first fashion book”.
Donald Newcombe (June 14, 1926 – February 19, 2019), nicknamed Newk, was an American professional baseball pitcher who played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers (1949–51 and 1954–58), Cincinnati Reds (1958–60), and Cleveland Indians (1960) of Major League Baseball.
Newcombe was the first pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young Awards during his career. This distinction would not be achieved again until 2011, when Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander accomplished the feat. In 1949, he became the first black pitcher to start a World Series game. In 1951, Newcombe was the first black pitcher to win twenty games in one season. In 1956, the inaugural year of the Cy Young Award, he became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP and the Cy Young in the same season.
Newcombe compiled a career batting average of .271 with 15 home runs and was used as a pinch hitter, a rarity for pitchers.
Read more ->
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