Monday, October 28, 2019

Heading West in 19C America

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson quietly purchased the territory of Louisiana from the French government for $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to New Orleans, & it doubled the size of the United States. To Jefferson, westward expansion was the key to the nation’s moral health. He believed that a republic depended on an independent, virtuous citizenry for its survival, & that independence & virtue went hand in hand with land ownership, especially the ownership of small farms. “Those who labor in the earth,” he wrote, “are the chosen people of God.”

John George Brown (American genre paintere, 1831-1913)  The Young Mother