In his sleep he heard a groan: it was the groan of a man receiving the tomahawk in his brains. All sprung to their feet. The Klamaths were in the camp: the hatchet and the winged arrow were at work. Basil Lajeunesse, a brave and faithful young Frenchman, the follower of Fremont in all his expeditions, was dead: an Iowa was dead: a brave Delaware Indian, one of those who had accompanied Fremont from Missouri, was dying: it was his groan that awoke Carson. Another of the Delawares was a target for arrows, from which no rifle could save him — only avenge him.
It was 1846.  Mexico, Great Britain and the United States all eyed the area of Alta California as a prize to be kept or taken.  War was immanent.  In an era and area where communication could take weeks, months, or forever, John Fremont acted on his own initiative and birthed a republic, albeit a short-lived one.  If not for Fremont's bold, independent action, and that of Commodore John Sloat, USN, California likely would have become part of British North America.

"There was a combination of exciting causes—the feeling against England and Englishmen, handed down to us from the Revolution, and kept fresh by the insults and abuse of British writers on American manners—the injury committed against Forrest, with Macready as its presumed cause, and this was increased by the fact of Macready playing at the aristocratic, kid-glove Opera House."
In a time when duels settled "matters of honor," insults, perceived or real, could easily lead to violence.  When New Yorkers felt that one of their own was injured by "a combination of the aristocracy against the people, and in support of English arrogance," even by just one man, violence did erupt.  Twenty-two died, and thirty were injured in a night of rioting brought on by a spat between two actors who came to represent their respective countries to opposing forces.

"He now entered upon that period of the inventor's life which has proved to many so wearying and disheartening—the effort to bring his invention into general use. He applied to Congress in vain for aid. Considerable interest in the subject was aroused in Congress and throughout the country, but he derived no benefit from it. If men spoke of his telegraph, it was only to ridicule it, or to express their doubts of its success."
Before the Internet, before the wireless, before the telephone, there was the telegraph.  And as a disruptive innovation, it may rival the Web in how fast and how radically it changed the world, for before it, communication was slow and unreliable, while after it, instantaneous and sure.  It is hard for us to imagine news in New York taking weeks or months to reach San Francisco, but that was life before Morse code.

"But another disappointment was in store for him. About two hundred miles of cable had been laid, when it broke as did the former one, and once more the labor of months was swallowed up by the sea. The defect this time appeared to be in the construction of the cable itself, as it was repaired several times, and finally abandoned. It required all of Mr. Field's eloquence to induce the investors to make another attempt; he himself was greatly chagrined at the failure; but he still saw that the difficulties to be overcome were not insurmountable, and that perseverance would finally win."
Today, we are accustomed to communication which is instant and universal.  But before Cyrus Field, information took a week to cross the Atlantic.  He reduced that time to seconds, but it took nine years and multiple failures to accomplish.  Nothing great ever comes easy.

"But nothing could stop the survivors. They leaped over the cannon, and drove the artillerists from their positions, at the point of the sword.  The fiercest struggle of that day, was the resistance to this charge."

The Battle of Resaca de la Palma was one of the early engagements of the Mexican War, where United States General Zachary Taylor engaged the retreating forces of the Mexican Ejército del Norte ("Army of the North") under General Mariano Arista on May 9, 1846.

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