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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bessemer Bend in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Shape of the Future

 
 
Shape of the Future Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
1. Shape of the Future Marker
Map of the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express trails and the route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Inscription. The eighteenth century saw competition for control of North America among Spain, France, England, and the fledgling United States. Following a forty-year period of wars, treaties, territorial purchases, and establishment of trading posts, the future of the United States became clear: the new nation would settle for nothing less than a continental domain. Expansion to the Pacific was justified by leaders and politicians of the 1840s as America's "Manifest Destiny."

"Much of this vast waste of territory belongs to the Republic of the Unites States... She should assert her claim by taking possession of the whole territory as soon as possible - for we have good reason to suppose that the territory west of the mountain will some day be equally as important to a nation as that of the east." (Excerpt from Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard, 1939)

Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery was tasked with exploring from St. Louis to the headwaters of the Missouri River and beyond, opening wide doors of knowledge at the dawn of the nineteenth century. In the wake of overland expeditions by trappers and explorers, the first wagon companies organized for California and Oregon set out along the Platte River in 1841 and 1843. Mormon Pioneers bound for the Great Salt Lake followed in 1847.
The Pony Express carried
Shape of the Future Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 17, 2015
2. Shape of the Future Marker
mail overland in 1860, just prior to completion of the transcontinental telegraph system. By 1890, the great Westward Migration had drawn nearly 500,000 people into the vast American wilderness. In five decades California, Oregon, Kansas, Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho and Wyoming had been granted statehood. The fifty-year drama that populated those states with great-grandchildren of the colonists bestowed an abiding sense of romance to lands known simply as the West."
 
Erected by Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
 
Location. 42° 46.444′ N, 106° 31.835′ W. Marker is near Bessemer Bend, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on Bessemer Bend Road (County Route 308) near Speas Road (County Route 311), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14456 Bessemer Bend Road, Casper WY 82604, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Witnessing the Past (here, next to this marker); Red Buttes (within shouting distance of this marker); Ranching Takes Its Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Queen City of the West (within shouting distance of this marker); Marking Their Progress (within shouting distance of this marker); First Among Many (within shouting distance of this marker); "History Is Not Obvious" (within shouting distance of this marker); Science Visits the West (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bessemer Bend.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Bureau of Land Management's Bessemer Bend Historic Site.
 
Categories. ExplorationRoads & Vehicles
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 176 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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