HISTORICAL CRAWFORDS

 
LEFT TO RIGHT, THE PATRIARCH’S GREAT GRANDFATHER AND GRANDMOTHER, JAMES AND CAROLINE.  MY GRANDFATHER AND GRANDMOTHER, WILLARD E. AND CLARA. 
 
WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES DURING THE YEARS THAT CRAWFORD ANCESTORS WERE BORN, AND WHAT WAS OCCURRING IN THE COUNTRY IN THE YEARS OF THEIR DEMISE?
 
I think that relating a Crawford ancestor’s birth and death years to what was going on in the country at the same time, is a good way to view their lives as they related to American history.
 
The first Crawford ancestor that we have been able to locate so far is James Crawford, a blacksmith who was born in 1789 in Pennsylvania.  James married his wife Abigail in Pennsylvania in 1810, and they had 10 children.  James and Abigail move to Ohio in 1819.
In 1789, the United States held its first Presidential election, and elected George Washington for the first of his two terms as President, and John Adams was voted in as the first Vice President of the United States.

In this election, the enormously popular Washington essentially ran unopposed. The only real issue to be decided was who would be chosen as vice president. Under the system then in place, each elector cast two votes; if a person received a vote from a majority of the electors, that person became president, and the runner-up became vice president. John Adams received the most votes and therefore became vice president. Also in 1789, North Carolina was admitted as the 12th state of the union.

James Crawford died in 1858, the year of the great Lincoln-Douglas debate. Abraham Lincoln’s famous “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” speech was delivered on June 16, 1858 at Springfield, Illinois. While accepting nomination as the Republican candidate for U.S. senator, Lincoln proclaimed, “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect that it will cease to be divided.” In 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the union as the 32nd state.  There were a total of 15 different presidents, during James’ lifetime, and 21 new states were added to the union.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO VIEW PRESIDENTS IN OFFICE FROM 1789-1857

U.S. PRESIDENTS IN OFFICE DURING THE LIFETIME OF JAMES CRAWFORD

Our next ancestor in line is James Crawford’s son, John, who was born in 1811 during the famous “Battle of Tippecanoe“ (called Tecumseh’s War). The U.S. troops defeated Native American Chief Tecumseh and his warriors near Battle Ground, Indiana. President James Buchanan, who was the President in 1858, authorized the Battle of Tippecanoe. 

John had 6 children with his first wife, Susan, and 3 children with his second wife Lucy.

John Crawford died in 1884, during the construction of the Statue of Liberty. In 1884, Grover Cleveland was elected President of the United States, and Susan B. Anthony testified before the House of Representatives arguing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. Also in 1884, the Washington Monument was completed.

Next up is John’s son James Crawford (named after his grandfather, of course.) James was born in 1846, while the United States was declaring war on Mexico, which began with the siege of Fort Texas. James K. Polk was the U.S. President during the Mexican-American war in 1846.

Also in 1846, the Oregon Treaty established the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, and the U.S. annexed New Mexico. The planet Neptune was discovered, and Iowa was admitted as the 29th state in 1846. 

James had 5 children with his first wife Sarah, and 2 with his second wife Caroline.

James died in 1916, two years after the beginning of WW1. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected President of the U.S., and Albert Einstein published his famous “Theory of Relativity.”

Enter my grandfather, Willard E. Crawford, who was born in 1873, during President Ulysses S. Grant’s term in office. The Civil War, which had only been over for eight years when Willard E. was born, led to the famous, or rather infamous, “Panic of 1873.“ After the civil war, many U.S. citizens refused to pay back their bank loans, and the banks ran out of money. When the banks ran out of money, big businesses ran out of money, and when that happened, unemployment rates skyrocketed, which caused the economy to tank, thus causing the panic on Wall Street, as well as in the entire country

Also In 1873, the famous outlaw Jesse James and the James-Younger gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the history of the U.S.

Willard E. had 3 children, Willard J. (my father) Walter B., and Mildred May.

Willard E. died in 1950, the year that the Korean War began. Also In 1950, an attempt to assassinate President Truman was thwarted. Later, Truman ordered the development of the Hydrogen bomb.

My father, Willard J. was born in 1903, the year that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane and made their first flight at Kittyhawk, North Carolina. Also in 1903, Henry Ford sold his first automobile, the predecessor to the famous Model “T” Ford, that was first built in 1908, and continued in production until 1927. Theodore Roosevelt was the President in 1903, and Major League baseball first began in 1903.

Willard J. died in 1990, during President George H. Bush’s tenure.

The writer, Willard II, was born in 1937, the year that Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated for a second term as President. In addition, during 1937, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first round-the-world flight at the equator. Japan invaded China in 1937, leading to the beginning of WW2.

Willard J. Crawford II

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