Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let Them Eat…

We’re near Fargo, ND, and as is apparently a frequent occurrence here, the Red River is over its banks.


This isn’t nearly as bad as it was several years ago when the entire town turned out to fill sandbags to protect homes and businesses. At least that’s what was said on TV, so it must be true.

Fargo, like the rest of N. Dakota is currently experiencing a boom, even though most of the oil and gas exploration is taking place about 150 miles west of here. The state hit the 1-million barrels of oil mark just yesterday. So I wonder why diesel fuel is more expensive here than in New Jersey.

DSC_0279 About 20 miles south of Fargo you’ll find the Fort Abercrombie Historic Site. Built during the civil war period, it was named by it founder, Lt. Col. John J. Abercrombie, who founded it, stayed for a few months, then went south to fight rebels. This building, the guard house, is the only original building of the fort. After the Army closed it after the war, the surplus buildings were sold to the highest bidders. This building was removed from the site used on a farm, and brought back when the Site was established.

This fort was involved in a few “battles” with the Santee. One story involves a trader named Andrew Myrick who was contracted by the government to sell food to the Indians on credit as provided by a treaty which took virtually all of the traditional hunting lands and gave the Santee a little land near the river. After a poor harvest, Myrick refused to sell to the Indians and is quoted as saying, perhaps paraphrasing Marie Antoinette,  “let them eat grass or their own dung.” Three days later he was found dead with his mouth stuffed with grass. Ah, frontier justice.


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