But in the absence of much detailed written or oral history in my family, I've never known much about the events or decisions that may have led anyone in particular to pick up stakes and move. (There are some exceptions, most notably Silas Jones's perceived need to get out of Arkansas in a hurry.)
So it was exciting for me to hear today about the Year Without a Summer in New England in 1816. I heard about this on an episode of Backstory, a terrific public radio show about American history. As they described it, there was crazy snow, cold temperatures, and frozen ground all summer, leading to crop failures and hunger.
|The eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in 1815 was bad news for farmers, but good news for painters of sunsets. J .M. W. Turner's painting Chichester Canal was inspired by the golden sunsets caused by the ashy sky.|
As it happens, my only New England ancestors, John and Marcy Clark (who I've talked about a little before), were married in Vermont in 1810. Eight years later, their son Ambrose was born in Ross County, Ohio. I have no record of when they moved (nor do I have birthdates or birthplaces for any children older than Ambrose) but the timing makes me wonder if they were among the people who fled New England when it seemed that summer would never come again.