Video Licks: Two Pioneers Embrace “Manifest Destiny” in A New Sketch from WE ARE THOMASSE
Shall we have a brief history lesson first? WE SHALL! The term “Manifest Destiny” was first coined by journalist John Louis O’Sullivan way back in 1845. In an essay promoting the U.S. annexation of the Republic of Texas, O’Sullivan stated that it was “our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” No surprise, Texas was annexed but it wasn’t until O’Sullivan again used the term addressing the Oregon boundary dispute with Britain that the phrase really started taking off.
O’Sullivan’s original conception of the term actually did not call for territorial expansion by force. Blink. He believed it would happen without U.S. government oversight or military involvement. Double blink. His thought was that as Americans immigrated to new regions, they would set up new democratic governments, and then seek admission to the United States. The term only became popular when it was criticized as preaching the right of conquest and using “Divine Providence” to justify annexation. Expansionists went on to embrace the phrase, which went old school “viral” so quick that its origin was soon forgotten. Doh!
Now back to the matter at hand, We Are Thomasse’s new sketch, aptly called Manifest Destiny. We find a Pioneer couple, Annie (Sarah Ann Masse) and Jedediah (Nick Afka Thomas), in the midst of staking their claim to the new land they’ve discovered at the far edges of a growing America. They feel so blessed they’ve found this land that they can’t help wanting more. Better call dibs! Enjoy!