The truth about Joseph Lane's "slave."
Mr. Abbott, a strong pro-slavery Lane Democrat, who spurned to vote for a Republican, now lays in the same bed with Watkins and Riggs, and swears they are Lane men. He is a candidate for Assessor.
"Roots" (O. T. Root), Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 29, 1858
Jacksonville, June 6, 1858.Editor Sentinel: Sir:--I see by reference to the Oregon Sentinel of May 29th a correspondent signed "Roots" speaks of me in the following language:--"Mr. Abbott, a strong pro-slavery Lane Democrat, who spurned to vote for a Republican--now lays in the same bed with Watkins and Briggs and swears they are Lane men."
Now this latter sentence is false--and calculated to do me injustice, and I demand the author "Roots" to come out and retract the statement, or I will expect you to give me the true name of the author, that I may apply the falsehood to the individual concerned.
J. A. ABBOTT.["Roots" will please notice and arrange the preliminaries of veracity between himself and Mr. Abbott, or we may be compelled to give his name.--Ed.]
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 12, 1858, page 2
Correspondence of the Sentinel.NEGRO KILLED.--[James] Asahel Abbott, Commissioner of Josephine County, on the 27th ult., at Kerbyville, killed a negro who was working for him. No examination was yet had; it is thought, however, that Abbott will not be held for trial.
Kerbyville, June 16, 1858.
Mr. Editor:--In your last Sentinel, dated June 12th, I see a communication from a Mr. J. A. Abbott, calling on "Roots" to explain a certain paragraph in his communication to the Sentinel of May last, viz: "Mr. Abbott, a strong pro-slavery Lane Democrat, who spurned to vote for a Republican, now lays in the same bed with Briggs and Watkins, and swears that they are Lane men." I had hoped that as the campaign was over all buncombe had been laid aside. But it seems Mr. Abbott intends to keep up the agitation, or perhaps to bring his political consistency into good repute. It was not the intention of the writer to cast any unchaste reflection on Mr. Abbott's character when he said that "he now lays in the same bed with Watkins and Briggs," but simply referred to his course during the last campaign. It is an undeniable fact that Mr. Abbott approached a number of [illegible] Democrats to ascertain what [illegible] of success he would have [illegible] on the Independent ticket [illegible] candidate for Representative [illegible] Holton, the regular Democratic nominee. Now, on this Independent [illegible] on which Mr. Abbott intended to become a candidate, Mr. Briggs was placed as a candidate for Senate and Dr. Watkins as County Judge, and Mr. Abbott was afterwards placed as a candidate for Assessor, and received the support of the friends of the whole ticket, and none others. The foregoing are the reasons why I said that Mr. Abbott "now lays in the same bed with Briggs and Watkins, and swears that they are Lane men." With these few remarks I will leave Mr. Abbott, hoping that he will be satisfied with the explanation.
O. T. ROOT.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 19, 1858, page 2
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 9, 1862, page 3
A colored man named Alfred Lorry was killed on the 27th of July, 1862, by James A. Abbott of Kerbyville. The colored man was intoxicated and riding his horse up and down the main street [and] finally attempted to ride the horse into the front door of Sawyer's saloon. Being unable to get the horse into the saloon door he tied it to the doorknob and entered the saloon, where he helped himself to a tin cupful of liquor. Abbott was in the saloon at the time and followed the negro outside. Meanwhile the negro had mounted his horse and Abbott cautioned the negro to go home. Abbott had meanwhile gotten into a wagon when the negro dismounted and walked toward Abbott, whereupon Abbott struck at him with the small end of the buggy whip. The negro seized the whip out of Abbott's hand and struck Abbott. Abbott backed up toward the saloon and drew his bowie knife and scabbard, stabbing the negro.
Unattributed photocopy, Josephine County Historical Society Abbott family vertical file. The copy appears to be from a book of typed historical anecdotes, possibly from the James T. Chinnock papers.
James Asahel Abbott, 1867
In that year of '62 we moved to Josephine County, coming through the Cow Creek Canyon on Christmas Day. Father rented a place on Deer Creek, where we lived for a time, then moved to the place where Dryden is now.
I went to school first there in an old house at the foot of the hill where the cemetery is now. Our teacher was Ella Watters, who boarded at the home of "Ace" Abbott. Lollie, Lana and Willie Abbott all came to that school.
Later the Abbotts moved north. They had slaves, a negro man and wife. The negro man was killed, and they took the negress north. The negroes had two children--little Lou and little Abe. ["Abe" must have been Peter Waldo. All other sources indicate that Peter's father was an Indian.] Abbott gave the little boy Abe to General Joe Lane of Roseburg. The Abbotts kept the little negro girl.
Margaret Brown Knox, in "Mrs. Knox Says Negro Slaves in County in '60s," Grants Pass Courier, April 3, 1935, page 10
Kerbyville Ogn. May the 14 / 64Dear Gen.
After coming here I found that the stage does not arrive here on Thursday the 2nd of June until about 6 o'clock in the evening, so if it will suit your convenience I will meet you at Jump off Joe at Mr. Wallace's on Wednesday morning the 1st. The people are elated at the prospect of hearing you once more. Do not disappoint us, we will have the turnout of the season. Please let me know whether to meet you or not at Wallace's. If you go to Jacksonville let me know. Believe me sir
Your Friend & Servant
J. A. Abbott
Joseph Lane Papers
State of Oregon ) In the County
County of Josephine ) Court of said county
Your petitioner respectfully represents to this court that Louisa and Peter Waldo, negro minor children under the age of fourteen years, having no father and they are abandoned by their mother, and have no parent competent to act for them.
Wherefore your petitioner be appointed guardian over the said minor children.
C. R. ShortNo date, presumably June 2, 1864. Oregon State Archives Record 527778, Josephine County Probate Records, Box 5, Folder 25. The 1860 Census lists Charles R. Short as a 26-year-old unmarried butcher, born in Delaware, living in Kerbyville.
Know all men by these presents that we, C. R. Short, principal, and James A. Abbott, surety, are held and firmly bound unto the State of Oregon in the penal sum of five hundred dollars for payment of which we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and assigns, sealed with our seals and dated this 2nd day of June A.D. 1864.
The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the said C. R. Short has this day been appointed guardian over two negro minor children, Louisa and Peter Waldo.
Now if the said C. R. Short shall faithfully discharge and perform the duties as guardian aforesaid, then this obligation shall be null and void, otherwise to be and remain in full force.
C. R. ShortOregon State Archives Record 527778, Josephine County Probate Records, Box 5, Folder 25
J. A. Abbott
Be it remembered that at a County (Commissioners) Court of Josephine County State of Oregon, begun and held in Kerbyville in special session on Thursday June 2nd A.D. 1864, one thousand eight hundred sixty four at which were present Hon. B. F. Holsclaw County Judge, John McBriarty Commissioner, Gustaf Wilson Clerk and Jefferson Howell Sheriff, at which the following proceedings were had.
Thursday June 2nd A.D. 1864It affirming to the Court that Louisa Waldo and Peter Waldo, negro minor children under the age of fourteen years, are likely to become chargeable in the County because they have no father and they are abandoned by their mother, and have no parent competent to act, and the mother neglects and refuses to support them and
Therefore ordered by the Court that the said Louisa Waldo be and remain bound as apprentice to said James A. Abbott until she becomes of the age of eighteen years to wit until 24th day of June A.D. 1879 and that the said Peter Waldo be and remain bound also to the said James A. Abbott until he becomes to the age of twenty-one years to wit the first day of July A.D. 1883.
Josephine County Commissioners Journal, Vol. 1, 1858 to June 2, 1864, pages 285-286. Thanks to Susan Abbott-Jamieson.
Know all men by these presents that we jointly and severally bind ourselves to Peter Waldo, a minor negro of the age of one year and eleven months, in the sum of five hundred dollars, sealed with our seals and dated this 2nd day of June A.D. 1864.
The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the said Peter Waldo has no father and has been abandoned by
And in consideration thereof the said James A. Abbott agrees that during said term he will teach the said Peter Waldo to read, write and cipher and at the end of said term to pay the said Peter Waldo twenty-five dollars.
In witness whereof we, James A. Abbott and C. R. Short, guardian of said Peter Waldo, Benj. F. Holsclaw, County Judge, and John McBriarty, County Commissioner, have hereunto set our hands and seals on the day and year above written.
[signed]Oregon State Archives Record 527778, Josephine County Probate Records, Box 5, Folder 25
J. A. Abbott
B. F. Holsclaw, Co. Judge
Jno. McBrearty, Co. Commr.
C. R. Short
Know all men by these presents that we
The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas the said Louisa Waldo has no father and has been abandoned by
And in consideration thereof the said James A. Abbott agrees that during said term he will teach the said Louisa Waldo to read, write and cipher and at the end of said term to pay the said Louisa Waldo twenty-five dollars.
In witness whereof we, James A. Abbott and C. R. Short, guardian of said Louisa Waldo, Benj. F. Holsclaw, County Judge, and John McBriarty, County Commissioner, have hereunto set our hands and seals on the day and year above written.
[signed]Oregon State Archives Record 527778, Josephine County Probate Records, Box 5, Folder 25
J. A. Abbott
B. F. Holsclaw, Co. Judge
Jno. McBrearty, Co. Commr.
C. R. Short
Scan is of a photocopy in the Douglas County Museum Lane vertical file G-21.
Roseburg, Douglas Co Ogn
August 25, 1864
Know all men by these presents that I, James A. Abbott, of the County of Josephine, state of Oregon, do hereby constitute and appoint Gen. Joseph Lane our attorney in fact and agent to take charge of our negro boy named Peter Waldo, who has been apprenticed to me by the County Court of Josephine Co., Oregon, the said Joseph Lane to undertake and perform all the duties that I assumed in regard to the said Peter Waldo, for the full performance of the said duties I have received sufficient security. And I hereby authorize the said Joseph Lane to use such authority, receive in services, perform the required duties and do all other things in the premises as fully as I could do if personally present. Hereby satisfying all his acts in that behalf.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year above written.
James A. Abbott
WitnessTHE ABBOTT CASE.--The second trial of J. A. Abbott, on the indictment for murder in the killing of David H. Hannor, at Placerville, on the 26th of June last, was brought to a close on last Friday night. This case has occupied a considerable portion of the time of the court during the present term, the first trial resulting in the jury disagreeing. Numerous witnesses were examined, both on the part of the prosecution and defense, and the case appeared, from the evidence, one difficult to decide, either pro or con. The prosecution was conducted by Maj. R. E. Foote, District Attorney, assisted by Hon. Jos. Miller, and the defense by Hon. Saml. A. Merritt and Judge John R. McBride. Judge Miller opened the case for the prosecution in an able and eloquent speech of one hour and a half's duration and was followed by Col. Merritt, on the part of the defense, in a speech of about two hours' length, in which he fully sustained his well-earned reputation as an advocate. Judge McBride then closed the case upon the part of the defense, occupying something over two hours, and in an able manner presented the facts and law applicable to the case. District Attorney Foote then closed the case upon the part of the people, occupying an hour and a half, carefully reviewing the testimony and stating the law governing the different grades of homicide, and closing with an eloquent appeal, upon the part of the people, demanding a conviction of the defendant for the crime of murder as charged in the indictment. Judge Whitson then delivered a comprehensive and able charge to the jury, who were then placed in charge of the sheriff to deliberate on their verdict, and the sheriff was instructed not to furnish them anything to eat except by order of the court. After remaining upon a healthy diet (being allowed lunch twice a day) until Monday last, they then returned into court and rendered a verdict of "not guilty."
L. F. Mosher
Joseph Lane Papers, Reel 8
The copartnership heretofore existing between J. A. Abbott, Wm. M. Abbott and B. T. Davis, under the name of Abbott & Co., is this day dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. B. T. Davis withdrawing from the firm.
J. A. and Wm. M. Abbott, who will continue the business at the old stand under the firm of Abbott & Bro., will pay all liabilities, and to them alone all debts due the late firm must be paid.
F. 25. No snow last night. Hazy morning, sun showed himself dimly till 12 M [sic--"Meridian"]. Clouded & commenced snowing hard. Continued till 2 P.M. then moderate till 4 and turned to rain wind S. blowing hard. Still raining at 7--chopped rail timber. John bored & fired log--M. hewed footlog & went to Coy's. Pete's hands got very red.
S. 10. Rained lightly last night. Clear at sunrise this morning; soon after fog drops; fog disappeared at 12 M. Beautiful afternoon. John returned, M. to Coy's and returned. Mrs. Lane & Pete walked to the Dearborn place, saw Jo's heifer.
Sa. 23. Very light sprinkle of snow fell in the night. Cloudy & cold in the morn. At 9½ A.M. cow Lady had a calf. At 10 A.M. quite cold & dreary. M. gone to Ch. Some snow fell in the afternoon. Snowing at 7. Pete dragged up firewood. John hunted and took care of cattle. Coy called to get balm [of] Gilead.
"Memoranda," Joseph Lane's farm journal, Joseph Lane Papers, reel 8. The journal covers January 1 through June 3, 1867. There are no other mentions of Peter Waldo in the journal. Mrs. Lane was mentioned only two times more than Peter.
Roseburg--or ratherMy Dear Eugene,
Strawberry Hill, Novr. 21--1869
I thank you for your letter and am gratified to find that you write a very good letter. I am glad your mother got home without accident and in good health. As a daughter we are proud of her, and as a mother I am sure you are equally proud of her. She deserves the love of all. Your grandmother is with us at home and has been for two weeks. She has improved in strength and in mind, though she is not able to walk without help, nor has she any use of her left arm or hand. I and Pete have a busy time attending to her and the work outside. I rest but little; thus far we have done well. Mother has wanted for nothing and is improving and contented. Frank has been staying with us one week, and Virginia stayed four days. We have plenty and live as well as anyone could without a good cook. I have had two letters from your Uncle John in the last thirty days. The mines are paying very well. They will have their water ditch completed ere long; that done and they think they will be able to take out five hundred dollars per day or more until they take out a million. As for myself I have no doubt but they will realize several hundred thousand dollars. I know nothing of Jo Ben; have heard nothing. I hope he is doing well. Lafayette is giving his attention to the law and I understand had one side of every case at the last term of court. Say to Annie that her stock of cattle are doing well, though I have not yet got up the red heifer and her calf but will do so as soon as possible. Except Mother, our folks are all well. I trust this will find you, your mother, father and sister all well. Give my love to them--and my kind regards to your teacher Mr. Johnson. I am glad to be remembered by him.
May God bless, protect and prosper you is the sincere prayer of your old grandfather.
Write often and don't think hard if I fail to answer promptly. I have but little time, and in the winter I cannot always have an opportunity of sending letters to the post office.
Transcribed from a photocopy of the original in the Douglas County Museum Lane vertical file G-21
And there was "Ace" Abbott. In the early '50s, when I first knew him, he was a good man, but something of a bluffer. He lived south of us, in the same county, near Kerbyville. He, too, had to get his man with a gun--I think he was a colored man. Abbott was tried and turned loose by a "lower court," but his life was wrecked.
Billy Abbott carried the mail on horseback, and stopped with us in the fall of '55, during the war. They all came up here [to the Boise area] in '63 and settled in Garden Valley. At Placerville[, Idaho] one day, "Ace" got into a shooting scrape with others. When the smoke cleared away it was found that he had killed his brother, Billy. Abbott was again tried by the "lower court" and swung clear. He sent for me to come up and buy his ranch, in the winter of 1870. I went up and found two feet of snow and did not purchase it. Abbott sold it in 1871 or '72, left the country and went to Texas, where he could get rid of his troubles, as he thought, but alas! the poor deluded man found a judgment hanging over him from a higher court, that said: "Thou shalt not kill." It set him crazy--conscience would not down, so he passed in his checks, going via the double-barreled shotgun route. Oh! if men would only stop to think!
JAMES H. TWOGOOD."Thou Shalt Not Kill," Evening Capital News, Boise, Idaho, December 7, 1907, page 10
Boise, December 6, 1907.
A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY.
On last Saturday evening Placerville was the scene of one of the most terrible tragedies that we have ever been called upon to chronicle, and which resulted in the instant death of one young man and the death of another a few hours afterwards. It appears that a feud existed between J. A. Abbott, more familiarly known as Asa Abbott, who lives on a ranch on Upper Payette Valley, and a young man named David H. Hannor, who for some time past has been engaged in mining on Granite Creek or in that vicinity. The parties had not met for about two months before, and, as we are informed, the bitter feeling between them became more intensified in consequence of some rough language made use of by J. A. Abbott in the Democratic county convention, which met at Centerville on the 23rd of last April, when Hannor's name was placed before the convention for the nomination for school superintendent. Asa Abbott and his brother, Wm. M. Abbott, and one ----- Curlin, who has been in the employ of the Abbotts at their ranch, came to Placerville, which is about twelve miles distant from the ranch, and they met young Hannor in the plaza, near the store of Mr. Wm. Lynch. Some words were exchanged between Asa Abbott and Hannor, the former standing by his mule, while Wm. Abbott was standing near Hannor talking to him also, Curlin being off somewhat to one side during the conversation. Hannor stepped forward and pistols were drawn. Hannor was shot in the back of the head, the ball penetrating his brain, and another shot fired by Asa Abbott struck him in the center of the forehead. Hannor managed to fire twice at Asa Abbott and the third time his pistol went off into the ground as he fell. Asa Abbott fired some three or four shots altogether, and one ball, which was intended for Hannor, took effect in the body of Wm. Abbott, who was standing in the rear of Hannor, striking him about the center of the abdomen. Hannor died almost instantly, and William Abbott lingered until about 11 o'clock p.m., when he also expired. Curlin, though he had his pistol out, we are informed did not fire, someone interfering to prevent him. These are about the main facts in regard to this terrible affair, as we have received them from persons who were present.
A coroner's inquest was held on the remains of the two persons killed, and a post mortem examination made by Dr. C. E. Freeman, of Centerville, who extracted the balls, which we believe are in the possession of Justice Eagan, acting coroner, to be used on the trial of Asa Abbott and Curlin, who were arrested shortly after the shooting and are in custody of the officers of the law. The following are the verdicts as rendered by the juries:
Territory of Idaho, )
County of Boise. )
We, the jurors summoned to inquire into the cause of the death of D. H. Hannor, certify that we have examined the body and the witnesses called, and find that the name of deceased was D. H. Hannor, that he was born in Hannibal County, Missouri, and was twenty-seven years of age, and that he came to his death in Placerville, Boise County, Idaho Territory, by gunshot wounds made by pistols in the hands of Wm. Abbott and Asa Abbott on the 26th day of June, A.D. 1870.
(The jury are mistaken as to Hannor's birthplace. There is no such county in Missouri as "Hannibal." He was born in Cooper County, Missouri.--Ed.)
Placerville, Boise County, I.T. )
June 27, 1870. )
We, the undersigned jurors convened to inquire into the case of the death of deceased, do find his name to be William Abbott, that he is about forty years of age, a native of Missouri, and that he came to his death by a pistol-shot sound, the ball entering his bowels and ranging down, lodging in his right hip, the said wound being caused by a pistol shot fired from the hands of Asa Abbott.
David H. Hannor, one of the young men who met with such a tragic fate, was a native of Cooper County, Mo., and we believe was about twenty-four years of age. We have known him from his childhood, and whatever of blame, if any, attaches to him for the part he took in this dreadful affair, resulting so terribly to him, and which will appear only upon the examination or trial of the parties in custody; we can say that otherwise he sustained an unblemished character, and was one of the few young men who, after leaving home to seek his fortune in a new country, had contracted some of those vices or bad habits so common with young men of the present day. His funeral took place on last Monday evening under the auspices of the Good Templars, of which order he was a member, and it was the largest which has ever taken place in that portion of the county, evidencing the estimation in which he was held by all with whom he was acquainted. His mother resides somewhere in Iowa, we believe, having removed from Missouri during the war. In common with the many friends of the deceased, we tender to her, in this her sad bereavement, our heartfelt sympathy and condolence.
William Abbott was a native of Indiana, and we believe about 35 years of age, and it will be a sad blow to his aged mother to hear not only of his death, but of the circumstances under which it was brought about. His remains were brought to Idaho City on last Monday night, and on Tuesday evening, at 5 o'clock, the funeral services were conducted at the Catholic Church by the priests, one of whom, Father Archambault, accompanied the body to the cemetery on the west side of Elk Creek, where the last rites were performed, and in the presence of the relatives and friends of the deceased the grave closed over the remains of one of the unfortunate participants in this fearful tragedy.
Idaho World, Idaho City, June 30, 1870, page 2
Another murdering affair occurred in Placerville, Boise County, on last Sunday evening, June 26th. The parties interested were J. A. Abbott, Wm. Abbott and Floyd Curlin as against one David Hannor, from what we can learn. It appears that an old feud had existed for some time between J. A. Abbott and David Hannor, in regard to the former's family. On the evening mentioned, the four persons met on or near the public square in Placerville, when shooting commenced between the Abbott brothers against Hannor. Wm. Abbott was shot in the abdomen (by whom it is not yet known) and died in a few hours. Hannor was shot in the forehead and also behind the ear. He died almost instantly. Hannor is spoken of as a fine young man of exemplary habits, and liked by all who knew him. He was from Brownsville, Missouri. J. A. Abbott and Curlin were arrested and taken to jail in Idaho City immediately after the affray, when they waived an examination for the time being. Hannor was buried at Placerville on Monday, and Wm. Abbott was to have been buried at Idaho City last evening.--Chronicle, June 29.
Owyhee Avalanche, Silver City, Idaho, July 2, 1870, page 2
WAIVED AN EXAMINATION.--J. A. Abbott and ------ Curlen, who were engaged in the shooting affair at Placerville about a week ago, which resulted in the death of D. H. Hannor and William M. Abbott, waived an examination before Justice Bowen, on yesterday, and were committed to jail to await the action of the grand jury. Hon. S. A. Merritt and Frank Miller, Esq., appeared for the defense.
Idaho World, Idaho City, July 7, 1870, page 2
THE PLACERVILLE TRAGEDY.--A couple of weeks ago we published an account of the recent killing of Abbott and Hannor at Placerville. From additional particulars in the Idaho World, we learn that besides killing David Hannor, J. A. Abbott fired the shot that killed his brother William, thus making the affair a fratricide as well as a double homicide. J. A. Abbott and Curlen, who was in some manner implicated in the shooting, were brought to Idaho City, waived an examination and were committed to jail to await the action of the grand jury.
Owyhee Avalanche, Silver City, Idaho, July 16, 1870, page 1
ARRIVED.--Mr. George A. Abbott, a brother of J. A. Abbott, arrived from the States a few days ago, bringing with him the daughter of the latter, who has been attending school in Missouri. . . .
Idaho World, Idaho City, July 21, 1870, page 3
Pioneer City, Boise County, Idaho:
Rowland H. Robb, 37, dairyman
Louisa Robb, 39
Louisa Waldo, 9, mulatto, born in Oregon. Mother of foreign birth, attending school
U.S. Census, enumerated August 20, 1870 Louisa was Peter's sister.
Deer Creek Precinct, Douglas County, Oregon
Joseph Lane, 69, farmer
Mary Lane, 63
Peter Waller [sic], 9, white, born in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated September 8, 1870
NOMINATED WHILE ABSENT.--From a Nebraska paper, which recently came to hand, we observe that the Richardson County Democratic Convention nominated Mr. George A. Abbott for State Senator. This quite a compliment to Mr. Abbott, who left home some time ago and is now here for the purpose of looking after the affairs of his brother J. A. Abbott. Parties are about equally divided in Richardson County, but as Mr. Abbott will not be able to be there before the election he may probably be defeated.
Idaho World, Idaho City, September 22, 1870, page 2
October 5, 1870, we the undersigned have baptized in St. Stephen's Church, Peter Waldo, born on the 1st of July, 1862, of a negro mother. Sponsor: General J. Lane.
L. H. Wenenger, Pt.Register of St. Stephen's Church, Roseburg, from Catholic Church Records of the Pacific Northwest: Roseburg Register and Missions, Binford & Mort 1986, page 25. Peter was baptized with two daughters of John C. Floed and Sarah Lane, Joseph Lane's granddaughters.
Thursday, Oct. 6 . . . On this day the grand jury came into court and presented two true bills of indictment, to wit: Against James A. Abbott for the murder of David Hannor, and against Lloyd Curlin for being accessory before the fact, and against James A. Abbott for the murder of Wm. Abbott, and against Lloyd Curlin as being accessory thereto.
People vs. James A. Abbott and Lloyd Curlin; indictment for murder; defendants were arraigned and pled "not guilty" to either indictment.
"City and County," Idaho World, Idaho City, October 13, 1870, page 3
Monday, Oct. 17.--People vs. J. A. Abbott; the jury not agreeing, they were discharged and a new jury ordered. The panel being exhausted, a new venire was issued for forty additional jurors, returnable Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 18 . . . People vs. J. A. Abbott; case called and the following jury empaneled: Jno. Caden, Homer Dray, Thos. Cox, Geo. Bidwell, M. Donald, Robt. Tompkins, Duke McAlister, Joseph Moore, John Wallace, Julian Smith, John Weaver and Green Morrison.
Wednesday, Oct. 19 . . . People vs. J. A. Abbott. The trial of this case was still progressing as we go to press, the prosecution having examined nearly all their witnesses.
"City and County," Idaho World, Idaho City, October 20, 1870, page 3
THE ABBOTT TRIALThe Abbott case having attracted considerable attention, and absorbed not only the public interest, but a large portion of the term of the Court at the recent session, we commence publication in this issue of the evidence adduced upon the trial. We give the evidence for the prosecution this week, and will give the evidence for the defense in the next. The prosecution was conducted by Major R. E. Foote, District Attorney, assisted by Hon. Joseph Miller, and the defense was conducted by Hon. Sam'l A. Merritt and Judge John R. McBride.
EVIDENCE FOR THE PROSECUTIONJesse Bradford, sworn.--Was at Placerville on the 26th of June; saw defendant on that day; I knew of trouble between Hannor and Abbott; witnessed shooting between Abbott and Hannor; Hannor requested me to go with him on the 26th of June 1870; followed Hannor up and he was half way across the plaza when I saw Abbott coming from towards the Express Office. As Abbott was getting off his mule, or after he had got down, he drew his six-shooter and said, "Hannor, keep away from me"--said it three times. Hannor made no reply that I heard, but kept walking a little to the north of Abbott, who turned facing him. Hannor continued walking slowly on north side of Granite Street. Wm. Abbott fell in with Hannor; they walked slowly until they got about due west from defendant, then H. halted and some words passed between H. and defendant. Of their first conversation I can't tell the words; def't. then said that he could prove that H. had made threats; H., I think, denied it--I won't be positive; def't. then said "I can prove that you did, or tried to, seduce a child 12 years old." H. stopped suddenly, said 'You are an infamous liar'; H. said also, "Get out of the way, boys, that is more than I can stand," and went for his pistol. Shooting commenced; both H. and def't. shot; am not positive who shot first, think def't. did. When H. drew his pistol def't. was standing facing him, almost due north of him, I think with his pistol in both hands, with the muzzle elevated in front of him; I am not positive of this about holding pistol; if I remember right, had one foot in stirrup when he drew pistol; H. was walking directly toward him then, but turned his course and went a little north of def't. At time def't. drew pistol H. had no pistol drawn, if he had I did not see it; think I could have seen it if he had (explains diagram); A. got off on the right side of his mule. At the time H. drew his pistol, Wm. Abbott was on the street close to the sidewalk; at the time H. and def't. fired I looked up and saw Wm. Abbott was on the sidewalk; at the time H. went for his pistol then Wm. A. went for his. During the time H. was walking around def't. I saw no pistol in H.'s hands; def't. had a pistol in his hands during this time; might have been half a minute, maybe longer, when I was not there--I went into Lynch's store; Abbott's first shot, I think, did not take effect on H. Never heard def't. or Wm. Abbott make any threats against Hannor, if they did, I don't remember it; I supposed there was hard feelings between the parties previous to the shooting. H. undertook to tell me something about trouble once; I paid not much attention to it. H. did not tell me that morning that he feared his life was in danger. Heard several shots; saw flash of the pistols; I threw my eye up toward H. and he was standing on the sidewalk with pistol in both hands and with pistol up to his forehead, appeared to shove his hat back; thought at the time his hat had dropped over his eyes; my eye was on him a moment. H. resided on Granite Creek; this was 5½ p.m. on 26th June 1870, in this county and Territory. A. lives on Upper Payette; in going to A.'s from Centerville need not go through Placerville but may go by Payette Road which turns off 150 yards from Placerville.
Cross-examined.--Am a miner by occupation. A short time before shooting H. came down to the Assay Office and requested me to go up street and hear what he had to say to A. Saw he was excited; I had seen A. pass a few minutes before, going up street; A. was coming from towards Centerville; H. came in; saw he was excited; I remarked, "Has your friend come to town?" he said "Yes, and I want you to go up street with me" (Eissler and Geddis were in the office at the time, I think); I said, "You had better go slow on this," and told him I would not go; he again requested me to go up; I said you go on, I may come after awhile. The reason I told him I would not, I had heard a great deal about there going to be trouble. A. had made remarks in the Convention, and H. asked me about it. I told him I did not remember the words and referred him to Lynch. H. said, "The first time we meet in town I have got to have an explanation or an apology from him and want you to hear it." I told him I had about all I could do to attend to my own business. I told him to "go slow" because I thought there was liable to be trouble between them. The next day after the convention A. told me he was sorry for what he had said, as far as I was concerned. I put H. in nomination. I did not know that H. was armed; saw he had a belt on and thought he had a pistol; he was out on the plaza when I started after him; after speaking to Frary, saw two Abbotts coming from post office; A. said, "Hannor, keep away from me." This was after he got off his mule; heard no reference, as I remember, about remarks made at Centerville Convention. A. left his mule at Lynch's corner, and after H. had passed him I went to Lynch's corner; a number of persons had collected, 15 or 20 or more, quite a little crowd; saw def't. make no attempt to use his pistol till H. went for his. I think def't. drew his pistol from his right side. After shooting commenced shots exchanged rapidly, about as fast as men could cock and shoot. I went into store to get a weapon, and if there was a fight, I wanted to see H. have a fair show. I had a derringer and drew it, and said "you give H. a fair show, if you want to fight go out of town." I contributed $2.50 to employ counsel to prosecute defendant.
Direct resumed.--Saw Curlin waving six-shooter and drew mine. Curlin said, "I want fair play." Just as Wm. Abbott fell, saw a pistol in his hand. Curlin was doing a great deal of talking. I told him if it came to a fight H. must have fair play.
J. E. Saunders, sworn.--On the 26th of June was sitting on the steps at Lynch's store in Placerville, in the evening. Hannor came up and commenced talking to me; he said the Abbott family, or Abbotts, were coming into town to clean him out; saw a man crossing the plaza, I supposed to be A., and H. said "There is my man now"; think it was not Asa Abbott; he rode across the square and went to Phillip Diehl's shop. H. went in and fumbled around Lynch's desk and when he came out had a belt on. I went away and when I came back asked him where A. had gone. He said, "I guess that was not him." We then sat down and commenced talking. Wm. Abbott rode up to Jersey's and got down; stayed there a few minutes, then got on his horse and went up the flat towards Boyle's Gulch--this was towards Centerville--there he met def't. and I think Curlin; they stood there on horses talking quite awhile; after awhile they came into town, went towards the post office and stayed there a short time. While they were on the flat talking, H. went to Jersey's saloon and walked up and down in the saloon, and while the Abbotts were at the post office, he came to Lynch's corner and walked back and forth there awhile. Directly, I saw the Abbotts coming down from the post office, and when they got opposite Lynch's store, they began to get off their horses. I think they had their pistols cocked before they got off their horses. Def't. as he was getting off said, "Dave Hannor, keep away from me." He got off on upper side of mule and laid his pistol across his hand--his hand in saddle pointing directly towards Hannor. Hannor said, "That is right, shoot a man from behind your horse and give him no show," or words to that effect. They scrambled around there quite awhile; a crowd gathered; Curlin came from towards Templar Hall--came across the street--jumped on stoop and commenced waving pistol, saying, "This town won't see fair play," &c., "I will see fair play." &c. I did not pay much attention to him--knew he was a wordy kind of a man. Hannor then started and walked around and got up on stoop; they stood there some moments; directly H. walked off 10 or 12 feet to left of me; I believe def't. said, "I can prove you to be the meanest man in the Territory." H. started to say "you are a stinking" and finished by saying "You are an infamous liar." Def't. then said he could prove that he H. had tried to seduce a 12-year-old girl. H. muttered something and drew his pistol, and as he was drawing and leveling it in the direction of def't. the def't. commenced firing. When A. fired I looked towards H. and saw Wm. Abbott with his pistol pointed towards H.'s head--15 or 20 inches from his head; just as Wm. Abbott fired, H. commenced staggering and Wm. Abbott also, then Wm. Abbott raised himself and went forwards; Asa A. kept on firing till he hit H. in the forehead; H. fell. A crowd gathered around; def't. went over to his brother and I think picked up a pistol; def't. then went toward Wetzel's, think he had two pistols in his hands. Parties remained 20 or 30 minutes in the flat; I had to got to Davidson's to see them. Wm. Abbott could see H. when he rode into town. At the moment the Abbotts dismounted I saw Curlin near the Templars Hall--125 feet from where Abbotts dismounted. When def't. drew his pistol, H. did not draw for some time. Wm. Abbott had a pistol, I noticed immediately after he got off his horse. H. told Wm. Abbott to keep away from him; I think H. fired as many as two shots; it seemed to me that Asa A. fired four times; three balls in side of buildings appeared to be dragoon balls. H. did not state who told him the Abbotts were coming to town.
Cross-examined.--I was watching the Abbotts; the two came in together; about the time they got opposite Tom Malone's saloon, going up street, H. left Jersey's, come up street and walked back and forth in front of Lynch's store. The Abbotts stayed at the post office 10 or 20 minutes; when I saw them coming down from post office, H. was walking back and forth, like any idle man, in shade of Lynch's store; I don't think he looked up towards the Abbotts until they spoke to him. Asa A. first spoke and said, "Dave Hannor, keep away from me." H. was walking back and forth in shade of store; A. I think kept hold of his mule all the time; had his mule with him on opposite side of street near the bakery when the shooting commenced; I am very hard of hearing; there were 20 or 40 men gathered around; I have considerable feeling against Abbott.
The following question was then asked witness by S. A. Merritt, for defense: "Did you not tell A. E. Smith that you was the hardest witness old Abbott had, and when you came on the stand you intended to set him deep?" Ans.--"I don't think I did."
Sam Weiler, sworn.--On the 26th of June, at Placerville, saw def't., J. A. Abbott; saw difficulty between def't. and Hannor; on the evening of that day Curlin was on corner of Lynch's porch with pistol flourishing over his head. The first thing I saw, a few minutes before the difficulty, H. came down to my store and asked where Bradford was; I told him in the assay office; Curlin at that time was at my store standing in front of barber shop, which is about 220 feet from Lynch's corner. Directly H. came out of assay office and walked across the plaza in the direction of Lynch's store--Curlin up sidewalk--and when H. came near Lynch's store I saw the Abbotts coming down street towards Lynch's store; didn't notice Abbotts dismount but shortly after saw Wm. Abbott catch hold of H.'s arm; he was near corner of store; H. circled around def't. towards bakery--Wm. A still holding his arm and talking to him. Asa A. had bridle of mule in one hand and pistol in the other. I then saw Curlin flourishing pistol and talking loudly; I walked up closer and I think Curlin said "stand back." Asa A. then walked across towards bakery, with pistol in one hand and leading mule with the other; H. was then on porch followed by Wm. A. opposite def't. Conversation then ensued, I heard the lie passed several times between them, and then saw H. mumble something and draw his pistol, and when in act of drawing and leveling def't. fired a shot. I then saw Wm. A. immediately after that shot was fired draw his pistol and aim at H.'s back or head and fire; H. fired a shot just abut the time Wm. A. did, and def't. kept firing. H., as he fired that shot, was in a stooping position, with head down and raised pistol to his head, then he threw hand down and fired another shot. Immediately afterwards both Wm. A. and H. fell slowly; as H. fell his pistol seemed to go off in the ground; he fell with blood spouting out of mouth; Dr. Ralston and I walked up to him and helped to carry him in; I saw him after death. This was in Boise County, I.T.
Cross-examined.--As I saw Hannor crossing plaza I saw Abbotts coming down from the post office; saw parties together a few minutes after. As H. and Wm. A. came round, def't. crossed street leading mule with him; conversation started immediately after def't. crossed street. While Wm. A. and H. were in conversation saw no arms in Wm. A.s' hands; he drew pistol immediately after def't. fired; firing commenced before H.'s pistol was fairly leveled. Wm. A. and H. were 3 or 4 feet apart. I think H. fired 3 or 4 shots, one I think in the ground; saw Wm. A. fire only one shot. About 3 minutes elapsed after H. left my store before shooting commenced. While H. was walking up across plaza, I saw Abbotts coming down from post office.
Direct resumed.--At time of shooting def't. was on opposite side of street from H. and Wm. A. stood a little to the left and near H., and H. and def't. were opposite and facing each other.
John G. Hughes, sworn.--Was in Placerville on the 26th of June and saw the difficulty; saw parties meet, have words, draw pistols, and shoot. When I first saw them the two Abbotts and Curlin rode into town; they came from the direction of Centerville; first saw them riding past butcher shop; two Abbotts went to post office, and Curlin stopped near barber shop and tied his horse. Abbotts went to the post office, tied horses, and went in and stayed there about several minutes; came out, got on their animals, rode down the street from post office to corner of plaza, stopped there near Lynch's corner. I saw H. and them meet. The two Abbotts got off their animals. Wm. A. stepped over and took H. by arm and apparently was talking to him. Def't. drew his pistol and pointed across the mule towards H. I also heard his voice. H. and Wm. A. walked around def't. and his mule, about three-fourths of a circle and back again to same side of street. Loud words passed between H. and def't. The last remark H. made previous to shooting was, "This is more than I will stand from any man," or words to that effect. H. then drew his pistol, and while he was drawing it or had it out def't. raised his and fired. H. raised his and shot. I saw Wm. A.'s arm in the direction and position as if he was holding a pistol to H.'s head; could see neither pistol nor hand; I heard the shots. When def't. drew his pistol, he kept it pointed across the mule, and while H. passed around him def't. stood with bridle in one hand and pistol down by his side in the other hand. When H. reached to draw his pistol def't. had his pistol down by his side. Def't. fired first shot. I don't know positively who commenced the conversation; it appeared to me that Wm A. was talking to H. and def't. cautioned H. to stand back.
Lee Dougherty, sworn.--Was in Placerville on the 26th of June and saw part of the difficulty; saw no shooting done that day. Saw Curlin come in first and have some conversation with H. near the barber shop. Curlin went in the barber shop and pulled off his coat, pulled his pistol around in front of him and went up street. H. went up in same direction. When the Abbotts brothers came in town, they went up towards the post office and H. went up in same direction and stopped near the corner of Lynch's store. When I arrived there the Abbott brothers were coming from the post office. About this time Curlin stepped on sidewalk and drew his pistol, and def't. said to H. "go away from me," Or "keep away from me." Curlin was flourishing his pistol and calling for "fair play." I then went through Lynch's store and opened the back door. I saw def't. standing on opposite side of street. I turned and had conversation with another party and firing then commenced. When I looked again Wm. A. was lying on the sidewalk, immediately behind where H. was standing. When I next looked out H. was on one hand and knee, near the door where I had been. When def't. said "keep away from me," &c., H. was standing near corner of plaza. He had no weapons drawn at that time. I can't say that def't. had a pistol. The first time I noticed def't. with a pistol he seemed to be half stooped with pistol in hand.
Cross-examined.--From the time Abbotts went to post office until I saw them coming down only 3 or 4 minutes elapsed. I had not got to Lynch's corner when the Abbotts came down street from the post office. The first words I heard spoken was what def't. said to H. I went across to the corner because I expected there would be a difficulty from what I had heard from street talk. I heard the lie passed between them. First saw defendant's pistol when he was in a stooping position. About two weeks before the shooting, H. came to my shop to get a pair of bullet molds repaired for pistol. The pistol was a 9 or 11 shooter; one barrel was a shotgun, barrel in center. H. brought it to my shop. I contributed $2 or $2.50 to aid in prosecuting def't.
Jas. H. Hawley sworn.--On the 26th of June, at Placerville, I was sitting in assay office, when Hannor came in and said to Bradford, "Abbott had come to town," and asked Bradford to go up and hear what he had to say to Abbott. Bradford said, "Go slow today, Dave." Hannor said he was "going slow." I then went out and saw Curlin in front of barber shop. Hannor came out and went up to Lynch's corner. I then noticed the Abbotts on horseback. I went up shortly after and saw Curlin flourishing a pistol and talking. Mr. Bradford had out a derringer and told Curlin not to interfere. I went into Lynch's store; as I came out again, saw both the Abbotts dismount. Asa A. and H. had angry words. Asa A. said, "You take this side of the street and I'll take that," and went over to Clouder's bakery. H. and Asa A. had further conversation; kept getting warmer and warmer. A. said H. had tried to seduce a girl 12 years old. H. then said, "Stand back; I can't stand this any longer." As he said this he went after his pistol. A. then leveled his pistol and fired. H.'s pistol caught in his coat or belt; he fired about the same time A. fired his 2nd shot. During this time Wm. A. stood close to H. At the 3rd shot from Asa A.'s pistol, Wm. A. dropped. H. fired several shots afterwards; he seemed to be bothered with his pistol. At A.'s 5th shot Hannor fell. Asa A. then called for someone to assist him with his brother, and they took him down to Wetzel's. When up to Lynch's corner the Abbotts were on horseback. At the time H. commenced to draw Asa A. had his pistol in his hand, hanging down by his side. H.'s 1st and A.'s 2nd shots were very close together. A. raised his pistol to the saddle a second or two, and I heard him tell H. to stand back, and not to come near him. H. said something about writing some explanation of what occurred at the Convention; he wanted an apology; had told me previously what A. had said about him in the Convention, and said he wanted an apology as public as the insult; and if not given, Mr. A. had to fight him.
Cross-examined.--I was going towards Lynch's corner when I heard def't. say that Hannor had threatened his life. Hannor said he (def't.) was a d---d liar. Defendant had a pistol in his hand. H. said he wanted def't. to make some explanation. Def't. said something; don't know what; but told him to keep off. It seems to me that something was said about writing. H. had told me previously something about a written apology. I had two conversations with him coming into the town of Placerville. In the first conversation he told me what def't. had said in the Convention. This was one Sunday, as I went through Granite Creek. Hannor talked violently about it, and said something about a written or published apology; said he would have a fight--a fair fight, &c. Hannor told me last fall about a difficulty he had with defendant, on the Payette; said def't. had accused him of trying to run away with his daughter, and came to the school house; said they had had several difficulties; said that David Abbott had charged him with writing a disgraceful letter to an Oregon paper about his brother Asahel. Hannor laughed at the idea of wanting to run away with the girl and called her a snot-nosed brat. In the second conversation the Sunday after Holbrook was shot, he said it was curious that people could not get shot except in the bowels, and said when he got shot, if ever, he wanted to be shot in the head. I told him it was foolishness to talk so, when he reiterated what he had said. Hannor said, on one of those Sundays, that he might or would meet def't. that day. Hannor was very sensitive; seemed to think he had been slandered and must have an apology or a fight. I considered him a monomaniac on the subject of his trouble with defendant.
Frank Fisher sworn.--On the 26th of June was in Placerville; saw def't.; saw difficulty. Saw def't. in the morning; shook hands with him. In the afternoon saw the Abbotts go to the post office; next saw them out, down the street. Saw def't. standing near Lynch's corner, in the street, leaning against a mule. Saw Curlin jump up on the corner and draw a pistol, saying "fair play." Saw Wm. A. coming around with Hannor; heard def't. and Hannor have words; saw def't. shoot the first shot. Three shots went off very near at one time; each one fired--H., def't., and Wm. A. There were more shots. Def't. and H. fired 3 or more shots. Def't. and H. nearly faced each other, Wm. A standing nearly on H.'s left side. First saw Billy Abbott drop, and then saw Hannor drop.
Cross-examined.--First saw Abbotts in the forenoon; they went towards Centerville.
A. G. Carman sworn.--Was in Placerville on the 26th of June; saw a portion of the difficulty between def't. and Hannor. The first I saw of def't. he went up street towards the post office, and then came down and got off near the bakery, in the street. I saw a pistol in his hand immediately afterward; saw him, a few minutes afterwards, raise and shoot 4 or 5 times; could not see in the direction he had his pistol; def't. fired first shot. Saw Asa and Wm. A. ride up towards Lynch's. Saw Curlin about that time walk up street.
Cross-examined.--I was standing on stoop, in front of Lynch's store, facing plaza, when I heard the first shot. Did not see H. I heard def't. make a remark; don't know what it was. Saw H. on the plaza a short time before; he was coming up towards the corner.
Dr. J. H. Ralston sworn.--On the 26th of June I was in Placerville. Saw difficulty. I was on the eve of going to the cellar. On going to the door, I heard loud talking down street; looking, saw it was J. A. Abbott, Curlin and D. H. Hannor; talking loud; continued short time; the lie passed, or was given and replied to, and charges made by def't. regarding a girl, &c. H. replied, in harsh terms, and said he couldn't stand it longer, and made a motion as if attempting to draw his pistol; as he did so def't. was on the eve of bringing his pistol to a shooting position; the action by both was about the same time. H.'s pistol seemed to hang in the scabbard. I looked for def't. at the time he had his pistol not quite to a shooting position and did not look to him any more during the shooting. Next, I heard a shot; did not see who fired; then there were 3 shots so near together that I could not tell from where--one, I think, from Wm. A.'s pistol. A very short time before the shooting, the two Abbotts were in my place; we had some conversation about purchasing some oil, which they had spoken about in the forenoon. I could not furnish them with the oil they wanted. They said they would call, on their return, and take lard oil, in case they could not get the kind they wished. We had no conversation then except as to oil. In the afternoon they called and said they would take a can of lard oil. I noticed nothing unusual in their manner. Between the 1st and 2nd shots the time was very short. Def't. had a pistol in his hand while talking in the street; on opposite side of street saw H. with a pistol; saw Curlin with pistol, and saw Wm. A. draw his pistol after the first shot. Saw Wm. A. place his pistol in a position towards H., and I think fired. This shot did appear to stun H., or to disturb him. Saw Wm. A. fall, and shortly H. fell, with blood flowing from his mouth and forehead.
Cross-examined.--My store is on Granite Street, on the opposite corner, diagonally across; about 100 feet is Lynch's corner. They were 10 or 15 feet up street from the corner. When Abbott came to my place, he asked for mail matter and for oil, and also for some money he expected. That is Abbot's post office. In the spring there was a time when def't. did not call for some time. My idea was that Wm. A. was trying to dissuade H.--trying to make peace. This was prior to the remark by def't. that H. attempted to seduce a girl, &c. Both passed the lie; several shots were fired when I noticed H.'s difficulty in getting off his pistol or cocking it.
Direct resumed.--When the Abbotts left my store they did not take the oil, as they were on horseback.
Fred. Cushman sworn.--Was at Placerville on the 26th of June; saw the difficulty; first saw Curlin on the corner flourishing a pistol and talking; saw def't. standing near him, and also saw Hannor and Wm. A. Wm. A. seemed to be pushing H. away. Bradford, Saunders and others were there; Bradford tried to prevent Curlin from getting into a fuss; Curlin paid no attention; Bradford walked off that time; some words passed between def't. and H.--def't. standing by a mule; H. had no pistol drawn; def't. called H. a liar; lie passed between them; def't. started off to move across the street, with pistol in hand; he got nearly opposite Hannor; said something about the seduction of a girl of 12 years old. H., at that, said; "Boys, I can't stand that" and made an attempt to draw his pistol. I then saw def't. fire the first shot; looked back to see effect; didn't think H. was hit. About that time H. fired; looked back and saw def't. fire again; then looked aback to H. and he acted as if he was excited, or blind, sorter staggered and shook his head, threw up his hand to his head. Saw def't. shoot again; looked back and saw Wm. A. staggering. He fired and fell. Def't. and H. were facing each other all the time I saw them. As def't. backed across the street he had his pistol in both hands and kept raising and leveling it. I stood near the corner post of Lynch's porch; H. and the def't. were 35 or 40 feet apart.
Cross-examined.--Supposed there would be a difficulty. H. told me that he wanted to see def't., as he wanted to have a settlement, and wanted him to take back what he had said at the Convention; said that he should take it back; if he did not he wanted def't. to fight him, and that he did not want outsiders to interfere--all he wanted was a fair fight; said he calculated to make def't. take it back or fight him, and give him a fair fight. I have contributed $5 towards employing counsel. I was particularly friendly towards Hannor. H. told me that Curlin came into town and wanted to settle this affair for def't. H.'s answer was that he (H.) had no settlement to make with Curlin; that if Asa A. wanted to settle the affair, he (A.) should come to (H.) personally. H. spoke to me on more than one occasion. H. acted as if he felt aggrieved, and wished this matter settled without any difficulty, and so stated to me; did not want to have a muss if he could help it; that Abbott would have to make the start, he would defend himself.
Henry Irving sworn.--"I don't know anything about the fight."
Wm. Hooper sworn.--I was in Placerville on the 26th of June; I saw the difficulty; I first saw def't. and Curlin in Centerville; left there on my way to Placerville; just before I got there met Wm. A.; Mr. Brainard was with me when we met Wm. A.; he asked Brainard "where the boys were." Brainard said they were in Centerville, preparing to go home; I rode into town; Brainard stopped with Wm. A.; Brainard and Wm. A. came to Jersey's corner, got down and hitched their mules; I went into the saloon, set my shotgun down and went out 5 or 10 minutes, returned to the saloon, looked down to Wolf Creek, saw Abbotts and Curlin in conversation down there. I looked out at the back door of the saloon. I went back into the saloon, stayed a short time, then started out on Granite Street. As I walked out, saw Curlin come riding up; he got off his mule and went into Hart's store. I went over into the store, looked around, went up above there as far as beef market, towards Lynch's, and stopped; talked with Hughes. While I was standing, Abbotts passed me and went up towards post office; as they passed me Curlin came out of the store; when he came, he had his sleeves rolled up, had on [a] pistol. When he came out I noticed a man in the middle of the street, between the saloon and store; he started up towards Davidson's hotel, across plaza. Curlin then passed me; I made the remark, "What's up?" Hughes made no reply. I pointed over to the man crossing the plaza. He said it was Hannor. Curlin walked, got upon Lynch's corner, drew his pistol, and swore he was "the best man ever marked or made a track in Placerville." As Curlin crossed the street Hannor partially halted, then turned and went across the street, towards the bakery. Curlin then made his threats; said he came there for a fight; said Abbott had been imposed upon, and if he didn't get a fair fight, he would see to it. The Abbotts were near the drug store; they came down near Lynch's corner and def't. got off mule and drew his six-shooter. H. was on the opposite side of the street, near the bakery. Wm. A. crossed over and took hold of H. Def't. said Hannor had threatened his life. H. said it was a d---d lie. Wm. A. told his brother to "keep away--that he would settle this thing." Wm. A. and H. walked up street, and quartering, crossed it back to the side that def't. was on; defendant then crossed over near the bakery, on the opposite side of the street. Def't. made some charge about a child; when these charges were made def't. said H. was a d---d pusillanimous puppy, and he could prove it on him. When def't. said this H. said, "Stand back, gentlemen, I can't stand it any longer." Stepped below Wm. A. and started to draw his pistol, and when he made a pass for it, Asa A. raised his pistol and fired. H. was bothered in drawing his pistol, and def't. shot as H. drew; about deft's. second shot H. fired, and there was a side shot, from smoke of pistol, close to H.; these three shots were close together. About the time of defendant's 2nd shot Wm. A. fell, and between his 2nd and 3rd shots H. partially fell and raised shooting; they kept shooting; at defendant's 4th or 5th shot H. fell, partially sideways, caught on his hands and went to the ground. I think def't. fired 5 shots; H. I think fired 4 shots. I was partially acquainted with the Abbotts; I am positive I saw them on the flat in the rear of Jersey's.
Cross-examined.--Defendant said to H., "Keep away, you have threatened my life." As H. went near to him def't. crossed over to the opposite side of street. H. and Wm. A. were walking quietly across the street together. I stood in one place all the time; none of the parties paid any attention to Curlin.
D. Knight sworn.--On the 26th of June I was at Placerville; saw difficulty. My attention was called; went to door of Magnolia saloon and saw Curlin and Abbott on Lynch's corner with pistols in hands; I walked up close to them; I asked them what they were doing with pistols out; Curlin kept waving his pistol over his head and said if Asa A. wanted to fight he should fight, and no one should interfere. Def't. told me not to come near him, as he would allow no one to interfere with him then; he then crossed over in front of the bakery. Hannor was standing on the side of Lynch's store; H. and A. were using abusive language, and the lie passed, and then def't. said to H. "You tried to seduce a child 12 years old." H. said, "You are an infamous liar." Def't. said that he could prove it. Hannor said, "G-d d--n it, gentlemen, I can't stand it; get out of the way"; and I got. Saw none of the shooting; def't. had a pistol; I saw no pistol in H.'s hands; A.'s pistol in front of him.
Cross-examined.--Don't remember seeing Wm. A. at all. When I first saw def't. he was standing on step of Lynch's stoop. Def't. crossed street to bakery. When I went up saw no one talking to Hannor. When A. was on step, H. was up Granite Street, west of A. Hannor told me in consequence of some remarks in Convention, he would see Abbott and have an apology or explanation from him. H. appeared to be some little excited over it. This was some two weeks before the fight. Hannor said he didn't want to fight, but if Abbott did, he would give him the best of it. I told him if he did, A. would kill him. Told him of the risk, I understood H. would accept any sort of a fight.
Direct resumed.--Said Abbott had injured his good name; intended to go to him and have an apology or explanation; if A. wanted to fight, he would fight him and give him the best of it.
J. J. Epperson, sworn.--I was at Placerville on the 26th of June and saw the difficulty. The first I knew I saw Asa Abbott riding up on mule; he rode up and Curlin made some remarks. Abbott made some remarks to Hannor; don't know what. I was standing on Lynch's corner; the first I noticed def't. he was on street near Clouder's. He got off his mule on opposite side from H. and laid his pistol in the saddle pointing towards H., who was standing on the sidewalk without any weapons in sight. Hard words passed between the two, then shooting commenced. Def't. called H. some name. H. said "he could not stand that," and went for his pistol. Defendant's second shot and H.'s first were together. Def't. kept his pistol out all the time. They commenced shooting; def't. shot, I think, five times and H. shot three times. The first I noticed of Wm. A. he was falling with pistol in his hand. I just happened to be there; had heard there was some trouble between the parties.
Cross-examined.--I was standing on stoop near post on corner of Lynch's store; 20 or 25 men were standing around; the bulk of crowd was on Lynch's corner. When I first saw def't. he was 150 feet from the corner, and when I first saw H. he was in the street 25 or 30 feet from def't. H. wads going towards def't. while conversation was going on between them. Def't. got off his mule on opposite side from H. and laid pistol on the saddle. H. got around on sidewalk next to Lynch's store. Def't. let go of his mule and walked over to bakery; went two or three steps from where he got down; shooting took place two or three steps from where def't. got down; def't. got down near middle of street; def't. was getting further from H.; if def't. had stood still H. would have got nearer him; H. walked clear around def't. and came on same side of mule that def't. was. At defendant's second shot H.'s pistol went off apparently in the air; that was H.'s first shot. I could see def't. more distinctly than I could H. A larger crowd was nearer H. than def't. Before the shooting, Wm. A. was near H. talking; not angrily; it appeared that Wm. A. was trying to settle the thing.
Alex. Sifers, sworn.--Reside at Pioneer City; I know def't.; knew deceased. Sometime in August or October 1869, def't. and I were riding from Placerville to his ranch. Def't. commenced talking about a difficulty he had had with H. in February before--went on and related the whole affair. I paid but little attention to the conversation--he talked so long that I paid but little attention, except once in a while to say yes or no. Finally, he came to a point; he said "he meant to kill the dirty" and then stopped and said "I was going to say the dirty son of a b---h, but as I never knew his mother I won't say the word." Def't. then remarked that "she might have been a lady, but she raised a dirty scrub of a boy." I spoke to him and said, "Abbott, you are a d---d fool to make such an expression." At that time I don't remember what more was said; I did not pay enough attention to remember it. On another occasion when I was a work for def't. on flume--I can't say whether it was the latter part of October 1869, or January 1870--he got to talking about the affair again. I was busy at work on the flume and did not pay much attention; once in a while listened what he had to say. During the conversation he remarked that he did not calculate to stay in the country longer than two years; he said "he meant to kill him before he left the country"--he did not mention any name but had been talking of H. and I supposed he meant him of course. That was all I paid any attention to at the time. I have no ill will towards def't. at present. We had some misunderstanding, but it was all settled afterwards. I first told H. this sometime after I quit work there--perhaps sometime in Feb. or March 1870. I told him he had better look out for himself; he said he was not afraid of def't.--all he asked was a fair show. I told him that if def't. attempted it he would not have an equal show; he said he was not afraid. I told Mosier before this occurred. At one time E. Meader was present; can't say whether he heard all the conversation or not.
Cross-examined.--The first conversation was in Aug. or Oct. 1869. I was going to defendant's ranch. We were on horseback. I swear we went together. I don't remember what kind of horse I rode; think it was not my own--don't know whose horse it was. Can't say whether I ever went out on horseback with def't. any other time--have no recollection of it. The conversation was lengthy; don't remember the conversation. Def't. claimed that H. had tried to seduce his daughter. Knew H. since 1858; knew him very intimately.
Question by Judge McBride.--Are you positive Abbott used the word "I mean." &c.?
Answer.--It struck my ear that he said, "I mean," &c.--that is the way I understood it. Can't say how the conversation at the flume in Oct. Or Jan. commenced, but it was something about going for a boat to Pete Anderson's; said he did not want to ask Anderson a favor. The boat was needed in October. My idea was that if Abbott intended to kill Hannor he would not give him an equal show.
Question by McBride.--Did you not wait until you had had trouble with Abbott before you told Hannor?
Answer: --I told Hannor about six months after the first threat, and about six weeks after the second threat. I had seen H. several times before I told him.
Dave Moore, sworn.--I know the defendant and knew Hannor. At Abbott's house, on the 4th of July 1869, on the night of that day, Sixty Fossett and I went to Abbott's house from the barn. We were in his employ. We went there for the purpose of talking with def't.; it was quite awhile before we could get in conversation with him. He said "he had never had any trouble in his family until that son of a b---h Hannor came into it"; said "when he killed the d---d son of a b---h he was ready to die or leave the country." I slept at defendant's that night. On the morning of the 5th of July 1869, def't. told us men to go on with our work; that he was going to send into Placerville to Lynch and Wetzel and sell out his ranch, kill the son of a b---h that caused him all that trouble, and then go to the States. Did not call Hannor's name. I left defendant's employ that morning. I have heard two or three say my evidence was going to be overthrown. George Abbott asked me if ever I had heard def't. make any threats since the Convention; he asked me if I had heard H. make any since that time. I said I had not.
Cross-examined.--I reside at Horseshoe Bend. I did not go to work on the morning of the 5th--I left his place. I drew my pistol on def't. that morning; he tried to grab hold of me. I don't remember whether I had a knife or not. Things did not suit me at Abbott's. I worked on the ditch part of the time. I met H. once at the ditch--he was on his way to McLaughlin's; never talked with him about any trouble with def't. Hannor said A. had denounced him in the Convention, and that he had to take it back as publicly; heard him say this shortly after the Convention; heard him tell Wetzel that it would all depend on A. if they had any trouble.
Question by McBride.--Did you not tell George Abbott that you had never heard def't. make any threats in your life but had heard H. say A. should take it back or they would hitch?
Answer.--I never did. I have no sympathy for def't.; I was a friend of Hannor's; he was about 26 or 27 years old.
Dr. C. E. Freeman, sworn.--I am a physician. Examined body of Hannor on 27th of June. Extracted one ball. Found two wounds--one back of left ear and the other in the center of forehead. Ball in forehead would cause death. The ball behind the ear had lodged between the skull and tissue of brain. Ball in front was not on skull. It must have passed downward. There was no powder burn either in front or rear. I attended Wm. Abbott just before his death.
Peter Anderson, sworn.--I know def't. and knew deceased. I had a conversation with def't. in Centerville. He asked me how many letters I had carried from Hannor to Laura Abbott. I told him three or more, and he told me to remember how many as the time would come when I would have to prove it. I told him the best thing he could do was to settle it. He said it was no use, he could not do it. This was the day of the killing. An hour or two afterwards I went to Placerville and Wm. A. came in. I never heard def't. make any threats. I expected there would be a fuss between H. and A. if A. went into Placerville, because H. told me so. I had a conversation with George Abbott. He said he did not care for me to come and testify to what I knew. In the first place Wetzel came to me, and I was to meet George Abbott at the school house. George Abbott asked me there what proposition I had to make; I told him to make one. He said he would not; I said I don't like to make a proposition. I am a poor man. He said make your proposition. I then told him I would take five hundred dollars and leave the country, and if he accepted to meet me at the same place the next night at moon down. I was there on time; he did not come. Saw George Abbott next day and told him I had a notion to ride him for keeping me standing there in the cold three hours and not coming to time. George Abbott said he did not want to buy anybody [as in "buying" witnesses]. I asked him how the old man was, and what he thought of my proposition? He told me Asa would not give ten cents to have all the witnesses for the prosecution leave the country.
Cross-examined.--H. asked me, at Thebo's, on Granite Creek, shortly after the Convention, if I heard about Abbott. I told him not to mind. He said he would make Abbott take back what he had said about him; that if he could not make him take it back without fighting, a fight goes. I expected that if Abbott went to Placerville Hannor would get after him. I took three or more letters to Laura; this was in the spring of 1869; I knew then that Hannor and def't. had had a difficulty. Wetzel came to McLaughlin's to buy a mare; I told him she was not mine; we got into conversation about def't.; I said I was in hopes they would not send for me as I would be a hard witness on def't.; I told him if I had money enough I would go out of the way--that I had told Geo. Abbott so; Wetzel told me that he would go up and make arrangements for us to meet at the schoolhouse. If Geo. Abbott had given me money enough to go I would have gone. Geo. A. asked me what proposition I had to make; I said, I don't like to make any--I leave it for you to say. He said he would not make any. I went there to make or receive a proposition. I stayed there next night, 3 hours after the moon went behind the hill. I suggested $500; if I had got it I would have left the country.
H. A. Mattox sworn.--Was at Placerville on the 26th of June, saw def't. and deceased, saw difficulty. On that day was at Magnolia saloon, playing billiards; heard a noise, went to the door and saw Curlin flourishing a revolver; he was standing in front of Lynch's corner; I said, let us go up and stop it. When I got within ten steps, I saw Abbott with pistol in hand; he was standing on lower side of mule with his pistol in hand, down by his side. I saw H. apparently walking off alone; between Templars' Hall and bakery Wm. A. joined him, took hold of H., commenced talking; they went around by the bakery and crossed over to Lynch's; when they came around Abbott crossed street to bakery; words passed between def't. and H.; heard lie passed, as I supposed, between both of them; then shooting commenced; did not see Abbott shoot--mule obstructed my view; first shot came from bakery; next two shots came nearly together, could make no distinction between them; 3rd round Wm. A.'s pistol towards Hannor; turned around to Wm. A., then turned and fired again; the next shot blood burst from H.'s forehead and mouth. They picked him up and carried him into the house. Did not see def't. when he come in town second time; saw him when he come in in the morning. Hannor lived, after he fell, a very short time. Wm. A. stood not behind Hannor, but to his side.
Cross-examined.--I saw Wm. A. go to H. before I noticed def't. When I saw def't. he was on east side of mule--the mule's head towards the corner--def't. on lower side of mule; I noticed Wm. A. was with H., and stopped with him, and appeared to be engaged in conversation; saw no arms in hands of Wm. A. or H. until after they had crossed the street; when the lie passed, I heard Hannor say, "Boys, get out of the way, I can't stand this," and went after his pistol; H. was trying to get his pistol out when first shot was fired; H. was a little bothered in getting his pistol out. Wm. A. fired once; there were 30 or 40 people around. Wm. A. stepped up to H. with no hostile demonstrations and took hold of his arm; I think there was no pistol in Wm. A.'s hand at that time; he and H. were walking around apparently friendly; when firing commenced, I think Curlin run.
J. B. Duke sworn.--I am doing business at Centerville; saw Abbott on 26th of June; he was trading with me. He asked me a question--I am not positive--what would you do with the son of a b---h? Or, would you kill the son of a b---h that would try to seduce your daughter? This was between 11 and 1 o'clock. Def't. bought merchandise--a piece of lead pipe (waste pipe), flour, boots, &c. Curlin was in the store at the same time.
Cross-examined.--Am pretty certain Abbott bought lead that day--a piece of lead pipe.
Question, by Sam. A. Merritt: Did you render an itemized bill to the defendant of the articles bought on that day? Answer--I have since presented an itemized bill to defendant of all he bought.
Andrew Brainard sworn.--On the 26th of June I was in Placerville; saw a difficulty; the first I saw or became aware of anything I was in front of barber shop; a man spoke to me and said you'll see trouble. I asked him what was up? He said Curlin was looking for Hannor. Curlin came towards us, in front of the barber shop, and while he was standing there, Louis the barber came out. Curlin had a pistol in front of him; Louis asked him why he carried it there, and he said he carried it there to please him; he said nothing more. I left him talking to the barber and went into Hart's store; I did not see where Curlin went; when I left him, he had duster on. I went in Hart's store and remained there 15 or 20 minutes; when I came out I saw Hannor 35 or 36 feet from the corner of the Magnolia saloon; I also saw Curlin on the sidewalk opposite, at the butcher shop; he went up the street; there was a large crowd of men in front of Malone's saloon; never noticed Curlin again until I saw him in front of Lynch's store; this was 5 minutes, probably, after he went up street; he was swinging his pistol and said let no man interfere--let them have a fair fight; someone was the best man in Placerville. At that time, I think Abbott was on his mule. I saw him get off of his mule. He had his pistol in his hand and laid it across the saddle. Hannor was on the platform near the door of Lynch's store, fronting on the plaza. I stood between Tank Hall and Egan's office; some loud talk between Abbott and Hannor; heard Abbott call him a lying son of a b---h and a thief, and he could prove it. H. said, you are another. Abbott said, you tried to seduce a child 12 years old. H. said to A., you are an infamous liar. During this time Abbott was walking up Granite Street; he went in front of bakery. At the time A. made that remark, H. said, that I can't stand, and said, stand back, boys; H. then shoved his hand down, as I supposed, after his pistol. Abbott at this time had his leveled on H., and then shooting commenced. Abbott fired first, Hannor next, then three shots close together; A. and H. shot them. Saw Wm. A. at H.'s left with pistol in hand; he was right alongside of H.; did not see Wm. A. shoot. Hannor had pistol partly out when defendant shot.
Cross-examined.--When I saw Hannor on sidewalk in front of Lynch's store he never got off but walked around the corner of the store and up the sidewalk, fronting on Granite Street, to the point where he was when the shooting commenced.
Pat. Noonan sworn.--I know J. A. Abbott. Have seen Wm. Abbott and Hannor. I saw the difficulty. I was at the upper butcher shop, close to Blake's store. The first thing called my attention was the Abbotts riding down to Lynch's store. Heard angry words between Hannor and Abbott. Saw Abbotts get off their mules, angry words still going on; had been talking 3 or 4 minutes. Hannor had worked around Abbott. Abbott stood by his mule. Wm. Abbott went round with Hannor. Saw pistol in hands of Asa Abbott after he was off of his mule, at the time Abbott shot Hannor was trying to go under his coat after his pistol. The first I saw pistol in Wm. Abbott's hands was when he was falling.
Cross-examined.--I heard angry or loud words before Abbott dismounted. I was somewhat excited. Saw no weapons in Wm. Abbott's hands while he was going around with Hannor. I thought Wm. A. was trying to pacify Hannor, and did not want any quarrel--walking as if to keep the parties apart. When Abbott went to Clouder's his pistol was in his hand, hanging down by his side. I am positive Asa Abbott fired before Hannor had his pistol out. The largest crowd was around Lynch's corner.
Idaho World, Boise, November 17, 1870, pages 1 and 4
THE ABBOTT TRIALJ. A. Abbott, sworn.--I am the defendant in this case. I reside on the Upper Payette Valley, and have resided there since 1866. I came to this country in June 1865, with my family; had come here the fall before myself. I knew David Hannor; knew him two or three years. Previous to the killing I had a difficulty with him. In Dec. 1868, I hired him to teach school at my place; I hired him by authority of the Trustees, being one of the Board myself. His pay was $50 per month and board. He would not agree to teach unless I boarded him. He taught three months, and four of five families besides mine made up the school; he taught three months; quit in March 1869. Things went pleasantly at first. The first hard words were about directing my children when at home. When I first heard him, I told him that while the children were at school, they were under his charge, and when at home under the care of their parents. In a short time afterwards, he went out where I had set the boy to chopping wood and told the boy to go to the barn, that he would chop wood, &c. I told him not to interfere with the management of my children while at home; he said he would not. A short time afterward my daughter Laura, one evening, told my little boy Asa to go for some wood; Asa did not start immediately, and Hannor spoke crossly to the boy about not minding his sister. I told him again not to interfere with my family, and he said he would not. I saw he was worried afterwards about it and spoke kindly to him and told him of the bad effect it would have upon children when there were too many masters. The next time we had trouble was at a ball at Youren's. Biggerstaff came and asked me for a sleigh. I told him he could have it. He, (B.) said that he and Hannor wanted to go to the ball. They went; I went also. Sometime about 9 or 10 o'clock the dancing room was crowded; I went to the room adjoining the ball room. When I went in Biggerstaff was noisy and drinking. I spoke to him and told him that he had agreed not to drink. He jumped back and said, "You d---d son of a b---h, you are not my master," and drew a revolver, pointed it at me very close and snapped it; it failed to fire. When in the act of cocking it again it was taken away from him by Hamberger; he ran out of doors. I asked, "Whose pistol is that?" Hannor stepped and said, "It is my pistol." I said, "It is yours?" He said "Yes." I said, "No one but a dirty dog would go armed to a ball where there were women and children." Hannor wheeled around and went off. I saw him once or twice that night; we did not speak. I went home. I did not see Hannor for two or three weeks after to speak to him; he never came back to my house after that ball. A few days afterwards I received some letters from him couched in very insulting language. (Letters introduced and read in Court). A few days after I received the last letter I went and saw some of the neighbors. They were dissatisfied with H. I went up to [the] school house with Wm. Abbott and Curlin and when we got within 50 yards of it, he stopped us and said he would shoot me if I came any nearer. I made a few steps and he drew his pistol. I had no weapons; my brother had none except a knife. I told H. that I came in the capacity of one of the Directors of the District to ascertain when his time would be out, and to settle with him, that I did not come for trouble. He then told me I might come in. I then asked him to whom he referred when he spoke of a traitor in one of his letters; he said, "Your brother Billie, but I guess I was mistaken." I had taken three of my children away from school. I told him about scratching in my girl's hand and trying to put his hand in her bosom. I told him how, upon another occasion, he caught hold of her, drew her up to him, pinching her and handling her in an amatory manner, and trying to take improper liberties with her, &c. At the end of three months I paid him off and took his receipt. Laura, my daughter, was 13 years old the April following. About the language used by me in the Centerville Convention--I was a delegate to that Convention from Upper Payette. H. was put in nomination for Superintendent of Public Schools. I asked the Convention not to nominate H. for three reasons: 1st, he was an educated fool; 2nd, his heart was as black as the ace of spades: 3rd, he was incompetent for the position. I then suggested Bart Clinton and he was nominated. I heard of H. making threats before the Convention; he told one of my boys he would put daylight through me. After the Convention, Curlin and Wm. A. told me H. had threatened me and for me not to go to town. Farnam told me H. had laid in town 3 or 4 days for me, that my life was in danger, and that I better not go to town; also Geo. Cartwright told me that Dave Moore and Dave Hannor had threatened to kill me, that my life was in danger and I better not go to town. I told him I was well aware of that. Also, Nick Wetzel told me that H. had threatened to take the sand out of me if I had any in me; he (Wetzel) wanted me to stay out of town, he thought he could settle it with H. I did stay out of town from the time of the Convention until the day of the shooting, except once when I went to take the election returns to Idaho City, then I went by the way of Pioneer and returned through Placerville, but was only in town a few minutes; did not see H. that day. I never bought any lead of Duke as sworn by him. (A new knife exhibited in Court.) I never saw that knife until here in Court. (Duke's bill was then exhibited and there was no lead charged on it.) I never did make any threats against H. to Dave Moore or anyone else.
EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENSE.
Cross-examined.--I told Tincher that I wanted him to go to H. and see if he could not settle it. I never said that "if H. wanted to fight he would have a worse man to fight than I was." If I ever told Duke anything about killing anyone, I have no recollection of it. I had a talk with Wetzel on the morning of the killing and authorized him to settle it with H.
J. B. Duke, recalled.--Recognized the bill rendered to Abbott. Explains inconsistency by saying that Billie Abbot bought the lead. (A bill rendered to Wm. A. on the 26th of June from the house of J. B. Duke & Co. was then introduced and there was no charge of lead on it.) Duke again explained by saying he did not know why he had rendered such a bill, as his books showed lead bought on that day.
Frank Farnam, sworn.--I reside on Upper Payette. I know defendant and knew Hannor. I heard something about a difficulty about something Abbott had said about Hannor in the Democratic Convention. I told Abbott what I had heard, which was that A. should take back what he had said at the Convention or take the consequences. I heard this from Mr. Beard and Mr. McLaughlin. I did not tell what the consequences would be. A. told me he was going into Placerville. I told him to look out for himself, and he wanted to know why. I told him H. was in town waiting for him to come into town. I had heard that he had waited in town on one occasion three or four days.
Cross-examined.--I told him that I got my information from as good a Republican as there was in the valley. A. said he had stopped at home for some two months and his business compelled him to go to town. I was a friend of A.'s and consequently told him, as I considered him in danger.
J. B. McLaughlin, sworn.--I live on the Upper Payette, and have been there nearly 5 years. I know def't. and knew Dave Hannor. I heard of difficulty. I had a talk with H. about the middle of June 1870. I was riding up Granite Creek and H. stepped to the door and inquired if A. was in Placerville. I told him I thought he was at home and he said, "It appears as if A. don't want to see me; I will see him sometime and he will have to take back what he said about me in the Convention, and if he wants to fight, a fight goes." I told him, "Dave, you had better drop this and say nothing about it, it was no disgrace to him, and if he got into a difficulty one or the other might get hurt." He said, "I have never made any threats, and if A. don't want to see me, all he has to do is to write me an apology and acknowledge he has lied about me." I told this while on my way home to Mr. White, and at home I was talking of it. I told it several times to different ones; perhaps I told it to Farnam. This occurred sometime in June--some two or three weeks before the killing.
E. B. Johnson, sworn.--I know def't. and knew H. Have known both about 11 months. In May and June resided at Granite Creek, H. also. We boarded together. I was working in one end of a house where he was sleeping. Heard of remarks at Centerville; heard H. say A. had made remarks about him--rough remarks; heard H. talk frequently; first time said A. had made remarks, said A. had to take it back, and he expected they would have a shooting match over it, and at that time said, "I shall prepare for it the first time I meet Abbott." At the time he made those remarks he had a revolver and four-shooter lying on table working at them, cleaning them up; said he was going to have them ready for the occasion; said he would carry nothing but what was fixed. Saw him on Sunday following exhibiting pistol to show how nice it worked. Heard H. speak of prior difficulty--this a short time before I got into Placerville; he was talking with D. Adams. I laughed and said, "Something about that little girl, is it?" He said it was; said A. was jealous of him. At another time he said they had had trouble about the girl. Before the Centerville Convention, he said he intended to write to the girl and keep A. in hot water as long as he lived.
Question, by McBride--Did not Hannor tell you that he never had seduced the girl, but he had felt around her some and intended to seduce her if he could? Question ruled out by the Court.
Had another conversation with H. one Sunday. H. said, "I understand the Abbotts are to be in Placerville and I am going over to have that settlement with them." After dinner he quit work and went over to Placerville--expected to meet A. Said "I am not going to let him get the drop on me: I will be ready for him; I know how he will do; it will be Mr. Hannor this and Mr. Hannor that, but I am not going to let him get the drop on me; I will just go for him." In the evening, after H. returned, I said, "Did you see Abbott?" He said, "No, I did not, the old son of a b---h was afraid to come to town." He said he saw Billie Abbott and that Billie said, "that he had come into town to settle the matter before my brother meets you--I will pledge for my brother." He said he told Wm. A. that he did not want to settle with him, that he wanted to settle with Asa A. This was two or three weeks before the killing. A week after there was another time he spoke of A. Someone said A. Had been in town and H. seemed excited and said, "If I had been in town I would have shown the old son of a b---h that I had a black heart. If I had shot him down like a dog on the streets I don't believe anybody would have paid any attention to it." I heard H. frequently talk about the matter; he annoyed me by it, and always appeared to be excited; he manifested a great deal of feeling about the matter. I was not present at the time of killing, and did not know H. had gone over to Placerville till I heard of his death.
Cross-examined.--Hannor told me he wanted me to pay him what I owed him, that he wanted to settle up his affairs, that he might have a shooting match.
Jas. H. Hawley, recalled for the defense.--I saw Wm. Abbott and Hannor up above Lynch's store. Wm. A. had H. by the arm and seemed to be trying to settle the difficulty--seemed to be expostulating with H.--seemed to wish to prevent a row. I saw Wm. A. after he was shot, and talked to him. He said he tried to settle the difficulty. Wm. A. fell about the third shot from Asa A. or right after that. Wm. A. tried to stop [the] affray; I judge so by his actions and what of his conversation I could hear.
Cross-examined.--I heard a portion of what Wm. A. said. Heard him expostulating with H., and H. said he wanted to talk and settle the matter with Asa A. Wm. A. did not want H. to go towards Asa A.
A. E. Smith, sworn.--I make my home in Granite Creek; know def't.; knew deceased. Hannor resided on Granite Creek last spring; he cabined with me and I knew him well; have heard him speak of difficulty with def't.; heard him speak of difficulty 2 or 3 times. On one occasion H. told me--during May 1870, after Convention at Centerville, sitting in my cabin--that he loaded a pistol himself and put it into the possession of Biggerstaff, with the intention of arming Curlin, for the purposed of shooting Abbott, when it was thought there would be a difficulty; he stated that that was in the winter of '68, at the time he was teaching school in the neighborhood of Abbott's; there was a row; the pistol was used by Biggerstaff instead of Curlin. After that he got possession of his pistols again; said there was a cap snapped at A.'s breast; was in the act of cocking it again and was prevented. After he (H.) got possession of the pistol again, was in Placerville; took the pistol out behind Maulden's stable, recapped it and every barrel fired clear; said d--n the pistol, wished it had fired, it would save him the trouble. On another occasion, at Thebo's house, H. said he had been looking for someone to stand by him in this affair with A.; expected it to come off every day, and now he thought he had the man. I asked him who, and he said Dave Moore. On another occasion he said he allowed to meet Mr. A. and ask him why he used that language about him in the Convention, and if he commenced going on as he usually does--"Mr. Hannor this, Mr. Hannor that"--he allowed to go right after him. I said A. was a stout man, and he said he did not allow to give him any show. I heard him say he bought a pistol; I know it was a ten shooter--nine cylinder shots and one shotgun barrel; he had often taken it to town; on the occasion of this killing I don't know whether he took it or not; said he calculated to defend himself--did not know but what he would meet with A.; frequently talked about this. A man named Cameron cabined with me. H. was the best friend I ever had, and was at the time of this killing. I took the pistol to the shop, at H.'s request, to have it fixed, as he expected any day to have trouble with Abbott.
Cross-examined.--Our cabin was between Granitetown and [the] quartz mill. I think Cameron was present; he is now on Granite Creek. H. asked me frequently to go to town with him.
Thos. Stanton, sworn.--I knew def't. and knew Hannor. H. was residing about Placerville; I was at work at Crooked Ravine, near Placerville. After the Convention I heard H. say that A. had been talking about him, and if he did not take it back or make an apology he would have to fight, or do worse. I told him he had better be careful how he talked. This was a few days after the Centerville Convention, in Bill Lynch's store in Placerville. I was friendly with Hannor.
Cross-examined.--H. did not tell me what A. said, more than that Abbott had abused his character; he seemed to be in a passion; he had been talking a good deal.
Direct resumed.--Hannor said there was a pistol left out in a sleigh at the Rutabaga Ball, on the Upper Payette. Biggerstaff got the pistol and snapped it at Abbott's breast. Said it was his (H.'s) pistol, and he had it rolled up in a coat.
Phillip Diehl, sworn.--I reside at Placerville; am a blacksmith. I went to Abbott's ranch the Tuesday before the killing; A. wanted some work done--some sickles fixed, and wanted them by Sunday; said he was afraid to go to town. Hannor came into my shop the night after the Convention; said A. had talked hard about him. H. came in second time and said something must be done; that def't. had to take back what he had said, or def't. would have to kill him, or he would kill def't. The blacksmith shop on A.'s ranch burned down, def't. sent the sickles to me on Friday morning; saw def't. on Sunday morning, 26th, at the corner of [the] Magnolia Saloon; the sickles were finished on Sunday afternoon by 3 o'clock; they wanted them as they returned from Centerville on their road home.
George Cartwright, sworn.--I reside at Abbott's ranch; work for def't.; know when the shooting took place [sic]. I let Curlin have some money at Centerville to pay for a watch; think def't. got some of it; the money was at Ridge's, at Centerville. I told def't. to go to Ridge's and get the money. I remember, about two weeks before the killing, I told def't. that I had heard that two men--H. and Dave Moore--had threatened to kill him. Defendant's reply was that he was well aware of it. Def't. was afraid to go to town; he only went once while I was there--about six weeks; I went there about six weeks before the shooting.
Cross-examined.--I came to this country in April; I went to work for Abbott on the 17th of May; I informed def't. of what I had heard; he said he was well aware of it.
Nick Wetzel, sworn.--I reside in Placerville; know defendant; knew Hannor. The first I heard or knew of it was 3 or 4 days after Convention; that def't. had said something about H.; he took it very hard; said def't. had insulted him, and the first time they should meet def't. would have to take it back or he would take the sand out of him, if he had any in him; two or three weeks after, had another conversation, he made the same remark and stated what def't. had said about him. The last conversation I had with him was on the day of the fight; I went to him. The morning the fight came off def't. came to town; wanted to get some money from me; I told him I wanted him to make up with H.; he told me to go to H. and apologize for him. I went to H. about 12 o'clock of the day of the killing; when I came to H. he said he would not take the apology, "What is it good for, this is only between you and me and Abbott, if I take it." About an hour before the fight I went to him a second time; he said, "I will not take this apology"; that if def't. would go to work and publish a card in the paper he (H.) would drop it. I then told him that the insult had not been published, and it was asking too much, but to write out his own statement and I would have def't. sign it. He said he would not write out any statement, for it would not be known to anyone but me, def't. and himself. I then told him that the statement would be his, and he could make it as public as he pleased; he then said that if def't. was a Missouri "drag tail" that he (def't) would stand and hear what he (H.) had to say, and if not, def't. could stand up to it like a man; he then said he would meet def't. the first time he came to town and crossed the plaza, that he would not follow def't. into a whiskey shop or place of business; he then said I was no friend of his; I explained that I wanted peace; he then said I showed equal friendship to him and def't. The first conversation he and I were alone; the second time I called C. B. Mosier to hear it; that was the last conversation. Mr. Mosier said to H.: "If you don't gut-shoot Abbott, I will." H. said nothing--expressed no dissent. The whole conversation was about 20 minutes. I then left H.; I did not see def't. after this conversation and before the fight. I went to Abbott's ranch some time before the killing, with beef, and told def't. he better stay at home for fear of a difficulty; I told him this in consequence of some remarks made to me by H., as I have testified to. I have known Pete Anderson 4 or 5 years. Anderson said to me that he would most likely be subpoenaed in this case--that he would be a hard witness against def't.; he said if Geo. A. knew what was good for his brother he would give him (Anderson) money to leave the country on; he told me that he had given George A. a hint to that effect, and also Cook, on Upper Payette; he asked me if I was going; told me to tell Geo. A. to meet him near the school house that night; I told him I would tell Geo. A. if I saw him; I saw Geo. A. and told him. I was authorized by Abbott to go to Hannor and make a proposition with a view to settling the difficulty. I told H. I came to apologize to him for A. As he (H.) was not in town when def't. was in that morning I asked H. to write out his own statement and I would hand it to def't. to sign. H. refused.
Cross-examined.--Abbott told me he would sign any statement H. would write; H. told me if def't. would publish it in any one of the Boise newspapers he would be satisfied; I told him I thought he ought not require so much of def't. I am positive that Mosier told H. that if he did not gut-shoot the def't., he would.
Joe. Thomson, sworn.--Reside in Boise Valley; I knew David Hannor at Granite Creek last spring; I never heard H. say anything about a difficulty with A.; knew time of killing, on 26th of June; on Thursday night before the killing I went down from the quartz mill and went into the sleeping house at Thebo's and Hannor was sitting by the stove loading a ten-shooter, and I said, "You are going after them, are you?" Hannor said, "Yes; when I want to use this pistol I want to know if it will go, for I expect it will be in case of life or death." Did not say about who. H. looked very red in the face; noticed nothing else peculiar.
Johnson Moore, sworn.--I reside at Abbott's ranch and work for wages. Knew when difficulty occurred. Know Abbott and knew deceased. Prior to shooting had a conversation with H. He said A. would have to apologize and have it printed in the Idaho World or one or the other of them would be killed. I heard him make this threat on the 11th day of June 1870. About a week before that time I had had another conversation with H. He made the same statement. Said he had been over to Placerville looking for his friend Mr. Abbott. He stated that he was going to have Dave Moore to watch the corners for him on the outside when he and A. had a talk.
Cross-examined.--Am not in the employ of A. now.
Philip Clouder, sworn.--I live in Placerville. Was there on the 26th of June. Saw the shooting. I am positive H. had his pistol out and in the act of leveling when A. fired his first shot.
John Scott, sworn.--I was in Placerville on the day of the shooting; was in Kohny's saloon. Somebody said, "A fight." I went to Lynch's corner; saw Curlin; heard him say, "Fair play." When A. fired his first shot H. had his pistol leveled.
Wm. Shelly, sworn.--I live in Placerville; was there on the 26th of June; was at the brewery and heard a noise and went to Lynch's corner; saw the shooting. Am positive Hannor had his pistol in [his] hands; was in the act of leveling it when A. fired.
Turner Swain, sworn.--I heard Hannor say, "Abbott had to take certain words back or fight." This was after the Convention.
Cross-examined.--This was in Hart's store in Placerville, the night of the first speaking at Placerville after [the] Convention.
Mr. Hanafen, sworn.--I was at the barber shop in Placerville, 3 or 4 days before the shooting, in conversation with Dave Hannor and Sam Weiler. In speaking of Abbott, he said, "The son of a b---h, as soon as he met him he would make him take it back or make it hot for him." I told this and Weiler was very mad at me for telling it.
Antoine Rogers, sworn.--Been working at Payette; live in Placerville in May and June; knew David Hannor; talked to him a few times. Sometime in the forepart of June I think I saw Hannor and Curlin standing in front of Hart's store. H. came up to the hotel and told me Curlin went to him and asked him if he was lying around corners to kill Asa Abbott. He said, "No, I don't want to kill Abbott; I am not packing pistols to kill him." Curlin said A. was a gentleman and would come and apologize to him. H. said all he wanted was to take back what he said, if he don't, he would have satisfaction. H. said he did not want Curlin or Wm. A. to have anything to do with the fight. His last words were "apologize or not apologize; I'll have satisfaction."
Bart Clinton, sworn.--I reside at Granite Creek. I am School Superintendent of Boise County. Know def't. and Hannor. He was a school teacher. Said he had a difficulty with Asa A. and had occasion to defend himself. Said that Asa A. and others for some purpose came to the school house and that he would not let them come into the school house. Asa A. was one of the School Trustees of the Payette District. I heard H. last spring or early in summer say he felt aggrieved about some remarks of defendant's in the Democratic Convention. He said that he had been unjustly dealt with. On another occasion he said that he would fight Asa A. if had any sand in him; he said he expected to meet him on the same evening he was talking to me; that he would best A. on the fight if had four grains of sand in him. This conversation was before the killing.
D. C. Holden, sworn.--I reside at Placerville--most of my time for six years; knew Hannor; have known him about one year and a half. Last fall, in 1869, he applied to me for a pistol for Mr. Luce; he wanted a pistol for Dick Luce to go out to Abbott's; he said that if Dick went out there and had no pistol, they would run him off. I was in Placerville on the day of the homicide; I was standing on Blake's porch; saw two men fall; was about 100 to 150 yards from the parties; I heard shots; heard the first shot; about a second or two between the 1st and 2nd shots; the shots were all close together. I did not let H. have the pistol.
Eugene Merrinan, sworn.--I have been residing since last June in Granite Creek and Wolf Creek. On the 26th of June 1870, saw the shooting; was standing on the corner of Templar Hall. H. and Wm. A. stood at Lynch's corner; Asa A. stood at Philip Clouder's. I happened to be coming from blacksmith shop; I stopped at the corner; saw shooting; could not tell what was said. The two men who were shooting were arguing about something. I did not hear what they said. I heard Wm. A. say, "For God's sake to quit it." H. and Wm. A. was standing together; other parties moved; all moved together at the same time. I heard H. call someone a liar and a God d--n stinking liar and jerked his pistol out. I was looking at every move; think def't. had a pistol in his hand; H. jerked his pistol out; shots very close together; both shot as quick as possible; can't say which shot first; both pistols went off so close together I cannot tell who shot first. Wm. A. fell at first fire; he had a pistol in his hand when he fell; he did not use his pistol; did not see him draw it; I know Wm. A. did not use the pistol; I saw it all. Three or four shots exchanged before H. fell. There were no shots fired after H. fell. No shots were fired before H. drew or attempted to draw his pistol. Asa A. was standing just abreast of me--his left side next to me. [The 1870 census spells the witness' name "Eugene Mewrinane."]
Cross-examined.--I saw Curlin swing his revolver; saw him do nothing else.
Peter Tuoy, sworn.--I live in Placerville; I saw the shooting; I was standing on the porch at the upper butcher shop; I heard a noise when I was sitting in the rear of the building and came out in front on hearing the noise; I saw Curlin on the corner; in a little while saw def't. crossing the street diagonally--stopped in the street; saw Hannor move round to the side of Lynch's building and stood for a second; loud talking commenced, and he went down after his pistol, and gave a kind of a second draw; the first shot fired after H. had his pistol out; the first two shots were right close together; I saw H.'s pistol when he drew it; I saw H.'s pistol in sight before I heard any report at all.
Cross-examined.--Heard voices, am positive that H. and A. were quarreling, I am positive Wm. A. fired; thought he fired at defendant.
Wm. Geddis sworn.--I reside on Ophir Creek; was in the town of Placerville on the 26th of June 1870; known def't. and H. slightly; saw H. on that day--he came into assay office of M. Eissler about fifteen minutes before the shooting; when he came in he appeared excited; he was talking to Jesse Bradford as I walked out of the assay office. As I came back Mr. Bradford walked out towards Jersey Bill's saloon; H. went up [the] street; I next saw H. not far from the post office; I went up to Tom. Malone's saloon; I expected to hear a fuss and went up to see it. Curlin was telling the crowd to stand back, he wished to see fair play. My attention was directed to Wm. Abbott, standing in the middle of the street, near the post office; Wm. A. had his hands on H.'s shoulders; H. sheared round him and came down on to Lynch's stoop; Wm. A. on the west side. Asa A. crossed the street, the lie passed, and def't. said something about his daughter. After they had talked awhile I cast my eyes towards H.; he said, "Boys, I can't stand that," and went after his pistol; had trouble in getting it out; did get it out, and raised it, and the firing commenced. The first shot came from the direction of the bakery; H. did not appear to be quick enough with his pistol. I am positive that H.'s pistol was out when the shot from defendant's side came. After one or two shots I saw smoke raise from Wm. A.'s pistol; saw Wm. A. fall; at the last shot Hannor fell. When H. looked to his right, Curlin, Bradford and others were on H.'s right; H.'s remarks might have been to his friends. Wm. A. had his hands on front of H.'s and looked down the street towards his brother, Asa Abbott.
Negro Barber (Rebuttal).--I reside in the town of Placerville. On Sunday, in my barber shop, I saw Curlin with his pistol; he said that it was as "good a pistol as I want"; you will see what is going to happen? Hell is going to pop and they have come here to have it, and they shall have it; no one shall interfere.
Samuel Biggerstaff (Rebuttal). I was at a ball at the Payette; drew a pistol on Abbott and snapped it; found it in a sleigh; Hannor never gave it to me to shoot Asa Abbott.
Cross-examined.--I went to the ball in Asa Abbott's sleigh; found a pistol; it was Hannor's pistol; saw H. the next day; he said that he was going to town to get his pistol.
Wm. Lynch (Rebuttal).--Knew Hannor some two years and a half; knew him with S. Bidge and in Placerville. Slept in my store. Hannor was in my employ; he was not in the habit of using profane language towards other persons, not in my presence.
Judge Whitson's Charge to the Jury.Gentlemen of the Jury:--It becomes my duty, before you pass upon this case, to instruct you as to the law bearing upon whatever state of facts you shall find to exist in the examination of the evidence in this case.
James A. Abbott stands charged before you with having murdered David Hannor, at the county of Boise, in the Territory of Idaho, on the 26th day of June A.D. 1870.
The first proposition which presents itself for your solution is: Did the deceased come to his death by any act of the defendant; and if so, the second question which presents itself is: What were the circumstances connected with the killing. Out of this last question grow three others:
1st. Is the defendant guilty of murder in any degree?
2nd. Is the defendant guilty of manslaughter?
3rd. Was defendant justified in the killing?
The statute defines that: "Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought, either express or implied. The unlawful killing may be effected by any of the various means by which death may be occasioned.
"Express malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a fellow creature, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.
"Malice shall be implied when no considerable provocation appears, or when all the circumstances of the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart."
All murder committed by any willful, deliberate and premeditated killing is murder in the first degree.
All murder committed without any deliberation or premeditation, but with malice previously formed, is murder in the second degree.
"The unlawful killing of a human being, without malice express or implied, and without any mixture of deliberation, upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a provocation apparently sufficient to make the passion irresistible," is manslaughter.
Any killing of a human being by another, under any circumstances, is homicide; and if not murder in the first or second degree, or manslaughter, is excusable or justifiable.
Any killing of one person by another in the necessary defense of such other's self or property against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony against such other, or his property, is always justifiable. In defending one's self to the extent of taking the life of the assailant, "it must appear that the circumstances were sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable man, and that the party killing really acted under the influence of those fears, and not in a spirit of revenge; that the danger was so urgent and pressing that in order to save his own life, or to prevent his receiving great bodily harm, the killing of the other was absolutely necessary; and it must appear, also, that the person killed was the assailant, or that the slayer had really and in good faith endeavored to decline any further struggle before the fatal blow was given." The killing being proved, the burden of proving circumstances or mitigation or justification will devolve upon the accused, unless the proof on the part of the prosecution shows that the crime committed only amounts to manslaughter, or that the accused was justified in the killing.
You have heard all the evidence in this case, and of the weight that ought to be given to it you are the exclusive judges. Every witness under oath is presumed to speak the truth, but the manner in which each testifies, the interest which the witness has in the result, ought to go far in influencing you as to the way in which you will act upon the evidence given in the trial. If a witness makes contradictory or unreasonable statements, you ought to look with suspicion on all his testimony, unless corroborated by others. A witness may be impeached by showing that his character for truth is bad, or that his moral character is such as to render him unworthy of belief, or that he has made statements inconsistent with his present testimony; but no witness can be impeached by showing that he has been guilty of a particular wrongful act, unless it be that he has been convicted of a felony. The evidence, therefore, which you are to consider in the case at bar is:
1st. That which you deem to be true; and of that which you deem to be true.
2nd. That which is applicable.
In the application of the testimony you have a right to consider what was the state of feeling between the defendant and the deceased, and what acts of violence were ever threatened, attempted or executed by the one against the other.
1st. You are to determine what the feeling of defendant was against deceased prior to the killing, and whether or not that feeling was kept up by him until the fatal affray.
2nd. You are to determine what acts of violence were ever threatened by defendant against deceased prior to that killing.
3rd. You are to determine what acts of violence were ever executed by defendant against deceased, and
4th. If acts of violence were ever executed by defendant against deceased, what application such acts, with all their surroundings, can be made by you to the definitions I have given you of murder in the first and second degrees, manslaughter, or justifiable homicide.
Malice once proved to exist is presumed to remain, and the burden of proof is on the defendant to show that it had ceased. The same rule applies to premeditation or deliberation, and in order to find defendant guilty of murder in the first degree you would have to find that both had been formed previous to the killing, for a sufficient length of time to have allowed the blood to cool, and that the same state of feeling existed up to the time of the fatal occurrence. Malice must be presumed from a deliberate and premeditated intention to kill, but a deliberated intention to kill cannot be inferred from previous malice, because a man might hold malice against another without intending to kill him. Deliberated intention to kill embraces within itself malice, but malice does not necessarily embrace deliberate intention to kill.
In order to find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree you would have to find that defendant entertained malice against deceased, but that there was no sufficient deliberation to raise the crime to murder in the first degree; that is, that defendant entertained malice against deceased, but that he never made up his mind to kill him, until such a period so near the killing that he had not sufficient time to consider; or, if he had sufficient time, his mind was not in a condition to consider what he was doing, or what would be the result of his acts.
In order to find defendant guilty of manslaughter, you would have to believe that there was no deliberate intention, or malicious feeling, existing in the breast of the defendant against deceased at the time of the killing; or if there had been, that both were wanting, or had been abandoned, because premeditation or deliberation on the part of defendant to kill deceased would raise the crime to murder in the first degree; and existing malice, without due deliberation or premeditation, would raise the crime to murder in the second degree.
To find the defendant guilty of manslaughter, you must find from the evidence that the killing was the result of some sudden cause, and that there was some provocation sufficient to overthrow and dethrone reason, and to create such a passion in the breast of defendant that it is not in the nature of humanity to resist.
In the consideration of threats, it is always necessary to take into account the circumstances under which such threats were made, for the purpose of determining as to whether the intention of the party making the same, and the causes therefor, continued until the time of the fatal affray. Aggravating circumstances very often prompt threats, and it would be very unjust and unnatural to suppose that time would have no tendency to efface and soothe the agitated mind, or the ruffled spirit; and while threats should be entitled to each and every explanation surrounding them, I would instruct you that declarations of the defendant made in his own favor ought to be received with still greater caution, upon the well-established principle that all person are loath to make admissions against themselves, while all accused are inclined to cover up their criminal intentions by excuses of business, or fears of impending danger. All such declarations of business, or fears of danger, ought to be well corroborated by testimony which convinces you of the truth of the declarations.
There is a question of conspiracy to be decided by you, and the rule is, that "when two or more persons agree to do an unlawful act, or and act which may be done by the combination injurious to others," and in pursuance of such design, one of the conspirators acts in the matter, with the advice and consent of the others still continuing, all are responsible for the act done, which was previously planned and assented to by all; but you must be satisfied that such a combination was formed to do what was done, and that the defendant was one of the persons so conspiring, before you would be warranted in holding him to account for what any of the others did in the premises. If you should believe that such a conspiracy was formed, and that the program was carried out in substance as planned, and that defendant was a party thereto, then he would be bound by any act of the others which was in pursuance of the previous design.
If you should believe that the combat between defendant and deceased was mutual, and that each was bent on taking the life of the other, or that either intended to provoke the other into a fight for the purpose of making an excuse to kill the other, and that neither was acting in self-defense, in good faith, then it makes no difference as to who might have been killed, the slayer would have been guilty of murder or manslaughter according to the definitions which I have given you before.
No words, however insulting, or provocation, however great, can reduce a homicide to a lower grade of killing than manslaughter. Even the finding of a man in adultery with another's wife will not justify such other in killing the trespasser, and if the injured or outraged man should kill the violator of his bed, he would be guilty of manslaughter, and if he had sufficient time to deliberate he would be guilty of murder.
If you have any doubt as to who was the aggressor on the day of the fatal affray, and the feeling or threats of deceased against defendant will throw any light upon this question, then you can take such feeling or threats into the account to aid you in arriving at just conclusions as to the animus of deceased and the probabilities of he being the aggressor; but such threats should not be received to justify defendant unless such threats came to the knowledge of the defendant. Such threats, if communicated, should be taken into consideration for the purpose only of determining with what fear of danger defendant acted at the time, and are to be added to the real danger in which the defendant was placed. If a man is in real danger, or thinks he is, he is justified in defending himself to the extent of taking the life of the person from whom danger was expected or threatened. Such danger of bodily injury, or expected injury, must be so urgent that a reasonable man would fear for his life or limbs; and in this connection I will take occasion to say that it is immaterial who fired the first shot, or attempted to fire first, if such shot was fired solely in self-defense.
If you believe that Abbott shot Hannor in consequence of what Hannor said at the time of the killing, Abbott would not be justified; but if Hannor drew or attempted to draw his pistol to shoot Abbott, in consequence of what Abbott said, and Abbott then shot Hannor to prevent Hannor from shooting him, then Abbott would be justified, provided that he (Abbott) did not say what he did simply for the purpose of affording him an excuse to shoot Hannor if Hannor should show any resentment.
The defendant is presumed to be innocent, and to find him guilty you must be satisfied, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he has been proven guilty of any crime, but your doubt must be serious and substantial, and not the mere possibility of a doubt.
It is not expected that the jury will be disposed to hunt up some trivial pretense for the purpose of excusing the defendant, but they are to weigh all the evidence in the case calmly, deliberately, dispassionately, and then come to a conclusion as to whether any other theory, than that the defendant is guilty, would be reasonable. In civil cases, the side making out the strongest case is entitled to a verdict, but it is not so in criminal cases. The defendant must be shown to be guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. The reason of this principle is obvious. It is founded upon that humane doctrine that it is better that guilt should go unpunished that that innocence should suffer punishment. I would say that it is your duty to accept the law as given to you by the Court as much as it is to take the evidence detailed by the witnesses.
Gentlemen, I have said all that is proper for me to say, which I can conceive of any service to you in making up your verdict. It is the pride of our institutions that every person accused of crime shall have the right to be tried by a fair and impartial jury of the country. No higher duty can devolve on you than the one you have assumed, and such being the case, how very important that you should discharge it without fear, favor, affection or hope of reward.
This case has been submitted to one jury, and unfortunately for the public they failed to agree, and you have been called to perform what such jury failed to do. The public is being put to a very heavy expense, as well as the defendant, and it would be very unfortunate for all parties interested if you should have no better facilities for arriving at one and the same opinion than the jury which had preceded you. It is your duty to agree, if you can, without doing violence to your feelings of right; and while it would hardly be expected that each one and all of you would view all the evidence as pointing to the same result, yet it is expected that in all that is material in the case you will agree, and that as reasoning, candid and sensible men, you will be able to reconcile any inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses, and differences of opinion you may have, and that you will agree upon a verdict. If you should find it absolutely necessary to compromise your opinions, which I hope you will not, it ought always to be in favor of the defendant. It is always better to err on the side of mercy than that justice should have more than her due. No juror should think or say that he is wiser than his fellows. The law is founded upon the theory that one is as wise, and no wiser, as good, and no better than another and that all will see and act as a unit. No ill feeling ought at any time to possess any of you, but all should have a mind open to conviction. It is no credit to a man in any station in life to adhere to an opinion, if wrong, because it has once been formed. It affords me great satisfaction to believe that you are men of such honesty and intelligence that when you retire for deliberation you will enter upon your duty with assiduity; that you will sift all the testimony which has been detailed to you by the witnesses; that you will arrive at the truth; and that you will return into Court with a verdict with which all right-minded men can agree.
You occupy an important position. None more important could be occupied by you. You are trying a man for his life. It is not for you to consider what will be the result of your verdict. The law has placed you where you are, and you are not responsible for anything, except the manner in which you discharge your duty. Do that fearlessly, boldly and justly. You are above the rabble, and if prompted by the right motives have nothing to do but perform your duty.
The court and jury occupy a position the most important that can be conceived. Upon our action depends the life or liberty of a fellow being. Neighborhoods, towns and counties take sides more or less in these troubles; counsel become warm in the advocacy of their side of the case--and in this case I will say that each side has been managed most ably by counsel; friends of the accused and of the deceased become enlisted in the cause of their friend; but our hearts and feelings ought to be hardened against all these influences of sordid and biased prejudices, and our minds open to the conviction of truth, so that when excitement and ignorance dies away, and reason asserts her sway, we can look with pride upon our action, which resulted in the vindication of the law and the plaudits of all those who love to see the scales of justice equally poised.
W. C. WHITSON, Judge.The defendant asks the Court to instruct the jury as follows, which was given:
The jury are to judge of the motive of defendant at the time of the killing, and although the testimony may show that the defendant had ill feeling towards the deceased, if the jury believe that he acted in self-defense at the time of the killing, he should be acquitted.
W. C. W.Idaho World, Idaho City, November 24, 1870, pages 1 and 4
"City and County," Idaho World, Idaho City, October 20, 1870, page 3
People vs. James A. Abbott; indicted for murder of Wm. Abbott; nolle prosequi entered in this case, and defendant ordered to be discharged from custody.
People vs. Lloyd Curlin; indicted as an accessory before the fact of the killing of David Hannor and Wm. Abbott; nolle prosequi entered in each case and defendant ordered to be discharged from custody.
"Boise County," Idaho Statesman, Boise, November 5, 1870, page 2
GONE HOME.--Mr. George A. Abbott started for his home in Nebraska on yesterday morning. We wish him a safe and pleasant trip.
Idaho World, Idaho City, December 8, 1870, page 3
Hon. James A. Abbott, formerly a member of the Idaho Legislature, and for five years probate judge in Oregon, committed suicide recently at Denison. The Journal says:
"The Judge has been for some time laboring under a mental delusion, the cause of which has never been made known. He was a good husband and a kind father, and was well provided with this world's goods, but since he came from the mountains he has been subject to fits of despondency, and while laboring under one of these hallucinations he took a pistol and deliberately shot himself through the forehead, the ball passing through the front part of the head, lodged in the interim of the cerebellum, from the effects of which death put an end to his existence eight days after."
"State Items," Dallas Weekly Herald, Texas, January 11, 1873, page 2
SUICIDE OF ASA ABBOT.--A son of J. A. Abbott, formerly a resident of this county, received a letter from Texas a few days ago, announcing the suicide of his father, who was more familiarly known here as "Asa" Abbott. The letter stated that he shot himself, inflicting wounds of such a nature that his recovery was impossible, though it was believed he might live two or three days.
Idaho World, Idaho City, January 16, 1873, page 3
TRUE.--The Statesman, several days ago, contradicted the report of the death of "Asa" Abbott, in Texas, on the authority of a letter received from Dr. T. H. Callaway by his son in Boise Valley. We have conversed with Mr. J. F. Hill, a son-in-law of Abbott, who has just arrived here from Denison, Texas, and he informs us that the report is true; that Mr. Abbott shot himself in the forehead with a six-shooter, the ball penetrating the brain and lodging near the root of the tongue, and that after lingering for eight days he died.
Idaho World, Idaho City, March 20, 1873, page 3
GOT BACK.--Mr. Julian F. Hill, one of our old "residenters," after an absence of several months, visiting friends and relatives in the Southern states, returned here by last Monday's stage, and we are happy to state that while sojourning in Texas, like a sensible man, renounced the state of single cussedness and took unto himself a better half. His wife, who is a daughter of the late J. A. Abbott, formerly of this county, accompanied her husband to Idaho, where they were warmly welcomed by a host of friends.
Idaho World, Idaho City, March 20, 1873, page 3
RETURNED.--Mrs. J. A. Abbott and children, formerly of Upper Payette Valley, but of late residing in Texas, returned to Idaho by yesterday's stage.
Idaho World, Idaho City, June 19, 1873, page 3
Have killed my hogs but one and salted the pork and rendered our lard. The pig that we are still feeding is large, say 300 lbs. The six killed were 8 months, very fat. Ere long I will kill a beef. Pete has killed two very fine deer.
Joseph Lane, letter to his son Nathaniel Lane, November 22, 1876, Joseph Lane Papers, Reel 8
Mountain homeMy Dear Simon,
With all my heart I thank you for your letter of the 10th inst. It takes a heavy load from my mind. Now I will be able to soon to close my cares and labors on this old ranch. As soon as my brother comes and takes charge of the ranch and Pete, I will go to town, build a small house and board among my children.
Your letter settles me for life, my claim against you including $350 paid.
How (in cattle to Ratliff) Is ($1500) fifteen hundred dollars, pay to Floed & Co. for me;
in other words deposit with them for your old father. And may God bless you and yours.
Joseph LaneSimon R. Lane Esqr.
Transcribed from a photocopy of the original in the Douglas County Museum Lane vertical file G-21. The second sentence of the second paragraph is clearly written; I don't understand it either.
STATE vs WALDO
A Charge of Robbery.
Peter Waldo, a mulatto boy aged seventeen, was examined last Tuesday before Abraham Rose, Justice of the Peace, on a charge of larceny of a watch, locket and money from the person of E. Livingston. F. P. Hogan appeared for the state and L. F. Mosher for the defense. As the lad is well known in this vicinity, we publish the testimony in full.
E. Livingston testified as follows: Left town on Wednesday, 6th March, to go up Deer Creek. I had on my person a centennial watch and chain and a gold locket, a pocket knife and between five and ten dollars in money. When I arrived at my brother's house I had nothing at all. I arrived at my brother's house about 4 o'clock p.m. I have since recovered my knife. Peter Waldo overtook me on the road. I was intoxicated at the time, so I asked Pete to tell my brother Newton to come down to me, and do not recollect anything else that took place while he was with me. He left me about three and a half miles from my brother's. I remained where he left me until Mr. Shaff came along, who went with me to the crossroads. Peter Waldo told me at Gen. Lane's, where he was working in the garden, that he did not have the watch. I said I thought he took it whether he had it now or not. He said he did not know anything about it. I told him he had better tell the truth, as I knew he had the watch. He finally said he took my chain and locket. I asked why he had taken them without the watch. He said it was at the jeweler's shop. I told him it was not there; he said then that they had taken it away from there as he had left it there to be fixed. I asked him for my knife. He said he knew nothing of it, but afterwards acknowledged that he took it, and said George had it. He then went and got it and handed it to me. He denied taking any money from me, but afterward acknowledged that he took $1.50. He afterward said that he took $2. I then left him. Knife valued at $2, watch $16, locket $4.50.
Cross-examination: Do not recollect all that took place. I left town on horseback. When Peter came up I was on my hands and knees. He assisted me in getting up. Do not recollect giving him the watch. I do not recollect anything I said to him except to send him for my brother.
George Elsefelder testified as follows: Live on Gen. Lane's old place; was plowing when Peter brought me the watch and wanted me to pay him $5 for it. I refused, when he made me a present of it. He said he had got the watch from Sam Hall, at Roseburg, had traded a pistol for it. I brought the watch to town and gave it to John Lane to keep until the owner called for it. He gave me the locket also, which I disposed of in the same manner.
James Cox testified: Live on Deer Creek 8½ miles from Roseburg. On the 6th March, Peter came to my house to get Mr. Cavatt's mail, and said he was going to town. He paid me $2. I said, you owe me $3. He said he knew it but that was all he had then. On his return I gave him the mail, when he paid me another dollar. I asked him where he got the money and he said he met a man in town who owed him $8 and paid him, and said he had the balance in his pocket.
N. Livingston testified: Saw Peter on the 6th March. He told me Elijah was on the ground pretty drunk, and wanted me to come down. My brother made no mention of losing anything. The next day at his request I searched the clothes that I had taken off him when he came home and found nothing.
Cross-examination: E. Livingston is my brother. He told me that he had sent Peter to me to tell me. He was very much intoxicated at the time.
Henry Shaff testified: Overtook Livingston and took him in my wagon as far as the crossroads.
The Justice held him to answer to the grand jury, with bail fixed at $500.
The Western Star, Roseburg, March 22, 1878, page 3
Criminal case larceny by stealing from the person of another a silver watch $16.00, watch chain $2.00, gold locket $4.50, pocket knife $2.00 and sixteen ½ dollars, grand jury ruling a true bill, court ruling indictment. Jury ruling guilty, court ruling fine $25.00 and committed to county jail until fine is paid, not to exceed 12 days.
Douglas County Circuit Court Records, Book 5, 1872-1886, Genealogical Society of Douglas County 2006, page 29
Peter Waldo was arrested and brought to this city Monday, charged with malicious destruction of property. Upon examination he was bound over to await the action of the next grand jury in the sum of $200. The required bail was given.
The Western Star, Roseburg, June 14, 1878, page 3
Again in Trouble.
Peter Waldo, a negro, but a short time ago discharged from the county jail, was up before Justice Rose again this week on a charge of larceny. Peter, it seems, went into a house belonging to Sampson Jones, down the river, and destroyed the contents thereof--probably for no other reason than that he had nothing else to do. Though he was bound over in the sum of $200 for larceny, it appears to us his offense comes under the heading of malicious mischief, since Pete appropriated none of the goods contained in the house to his own use.
The Douglas Independent, Roseburg, June 15, 1878, page 3
For ten years I have been living on a ranch alone--twelve years--but for ten years entirely alone. I had a little colored boy with me, and that was the only human being I had for company, unless one of the friends would drop in; it was inconvenient for them to do it too.
Joseph Lane, interview, June 21, 1878
IN DURANCE VILE.--Saturday afternoon the stentorian voice of the crier was heard from the court house, the attorneys lighted a fresh cigar, and thereupon Justice's Court was declared in session. Peter Waldo, who of late has appeared before our courts on several different occasions, was examined on a charge of breaking open a trunk and appropriating unto himself a suit of clothes. As Pete had the clothes on when arrested, the evidence was strong against him, and his honor, Justice Hursh, held him to await the action of the grand jury in the sum of $200. Failing to give bail, the festive Peter now languishes in jail.
The Western Star, Roseburg, July 12, 1878, page 3
I am in a quiet part of our pretty little town [Roseburg] near some of my children, with whom I shall take my meals and still live alone in my pleasant little home.
Joseph Lane, letter to Mrs. L. A. E. Stikeleather, July 17, 1878, Joseph Lane Papers, Reel 8
STATE vs WALDO
STATE vs WALDO et al.
OUR MITE.--By virtue of the recent term of Circuit Court, Douglas County contributed three boarders at the Oregon Penitentiary, to wit: Peter Waldo, larceny, for three years; Henry L. Hansen, larceny, five years; J. C. Engles, forgery, three years. They are all young and able-bodied men and may render the state efficient service.
The Western Star, Roseburg, November 1, 1878, page 3
FOR THE PENITENTIARY.--On Wednesday, A. W. Compton left this place, having in charge Peter Waldo, whom he was conveying to the Penitentiary, where he had been sentenced for a term of three years. Engles was taken to the same institution yesterday.
The Western Star, Roseburg, November 1, 1878, page 3
Height: 5' 10¼"
Color of Hair: Black
Color of Eyes: Dark
Remarks: Occupation teamster / Mark on left side of face / Mulatto
County Where Convicted: Douglas
Date of Reception: Oct. 30, 1878
Sentence: Three years
Name of Convict: Peter Waldo
Remarks: Sentence three years
"Convict Record, Oregon Penitentiary," Oregon State Archives Record 222401, pages 92-93
RECRUITS FROM DOUGLAS.
THREE BOARDERS FOR BUSH'S FREE LUNCH HOUSE--
H. L. HANSEN, P. WALDO AND J. C. ENGLES
Superintendent A. Bush receives three new recruits from Douglas this session. One for five, and the other two for three years each. . . . Peter Waldo is a native of Douglas County, and is a descendant, on the mother's side, of African parents. He was raised and cared for by Gen. Jos. Lane until the old gentleman could control him no longer, since which time he has been on the "ragged edge" almost continually. He too broke into a house, stole different articles and has been a continual nuisance for some time. The Judge was very lenient in giving him but three years. . . . Deputy Sheriff Cox took these parties to Salem on Thursday last and we doubt not they are now repenting of their misspent youth.
Roseburg Plaindealer, November 2, 1878, page 3
State vs. Peter Waldo; larceny. Verdict of guilty.
"Court Proceedings," The Douglas Independent, Roseburg, November 2, 1878, page 3
Garner Miner, 57, farmer
Ann E. Miner, 52
Ada C. Miner, 22
Martha E. Miner, 18
Willie M. Lynch, 10, grandson
Louisia Waldo, 18, black, servant/cook, father born Kentucky, mother South Carolina
Peter J. Mann, 52, boarder
William McFarling, 23, boarder
U.S. Census, enumerated June 10-11, 1880 A near neighbor to the Miner family was Rollin H. Robbs, with whom Louisa appeared in the 1870 Census.
Oregon State Penitentiary, Salem:
Peter Waldo, mulatto, 19, teamster, born in Oregon, parents born in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated June 19, 1880
Roseburg, March 30th 1881.My dear General,
I am about to cross the river of life to the shores of eternity, but cannot start without communicating the assurance of my love early earned and ever since maintained.
You as well as anyone know my disposition. Those who have been placed in my charge are the subject of solicitude. Thinking of that unfortunate negro boy Pete, now in the Penitentiary. It has occurred to me that you might make him a useful man. If you have any employment such as taking care of cattle, stock etc. & would recommend him to you. When his time expires see that he gets work of some honorable character where he may be made serviceable to himself and to his employers. Pray attend to this, my last request. I should prefer that he should become your servant.
With love for your family and yourself[The transmittal is inscribed "Written by Lafayette Lane for General Lane, his father." The addressee is most likely James Nesmith.]
I say goodbye forever.
Joseph Lane Papers, OHS Mss 1146, Oregon Historical Society Research Library
Peter Waldo, oysterman, residence 415 East Street
1887 San Francisco City Directory, page 1187 This must be a different Peter Waldo, though his 1890 prison records (below) show him as being a Californian.
Following is the list of letters remaining uncalled for in the Roseburg P.O. Jan. 21, 1887. . . .
"Letter List," Roseburg Review, January 21, 1887, page 2
SEEKING HIS SISTER.--Peter Waldo, a colored youth, whose home is at Roseburg, Oregon, has been in town several days in course of a quest for relatives. His deceased mother's sister is Mrs. Richard Bogle, of this place. They had kept track of one another, and their meeting for the first time has been one of pleasure on both sides. The main object of Peter's search is the discovery of his sister, from whom he was separated when they were small children. The family lived at the home of Gov. Joe Lane, and after the Governor's death a man named Abbott received the little girl and took her to Nez Perce County, I.T. Afterward it is supposed she was given into the care of another family residing in the Lewiston neighborhood. Only lately has Peter been able to learn thus much of her movement, and he has possession himself of papers which will establish the identity if she be found. He hears of a young woman at Lewiston who tallies in age and some other matters with the missing girl, but whose name is different. He left for Lewiston Monday with a team to interview the girl. Mr. and Mrs. Bogle are as anxious as Peter to press the search, and will not stint expenditures necessary for its success--[Walla Walla Journal.
A colored man by the named of Waldo is in the city in search of his lost sister, he having received information in the lower country that she was in these parts.--[Lewiston Teller.
The lost sister is in this county, and has been here since 1865. Her name is Lu Waldo, and she is now a resident of Horseshoe Bend, Boise County, and has been for many years. She arrived here in '65 with Asa Abbott and family from Oregon. Judge T. S. Hart, probate judge of this county, was acquainted with the parents mentioned, including Governor Lane, and the circumstances related. Abbott, before starting for Idaho, left Peter Waldo (who previous to this lived with the Abbott family) with Gov. Lane. The Judge traveled a good portion of the distance from Oregon to this place with Abbott. The Abbott family and Lu Waldo came direct to Boise County, and not, as stated, to Nez Perce County. We have addressed a copy of this number of the World to Peter Waldo, who will now have no difficulty in finding his lost sister.
Idaho World, Idaho City, February 18, 1887, page 3
Peter Waldo Insane.
WALLA WALLA, Feb. 21.--Peter Waldo, a colored youth of Roseburg, Oregon, is sick here in the hospital, having been sent from Waitsburg, where he developed violent insanity, consequent on a broken skull of long standing. He lately returned from Lewiston, where he went in search of a sister, from whom he was separated when they were small children after the death of Governor Lane, with whom they lived.
Statesman Journal, Salem, February 23, 1887, page 4
IS SHE THE ONE?--Two weeks ago, it will be remembered by our readers, we published a quotation from the Walla Walla Journal, concerning one Peter Waldo, a colored youth, who was in search of his lost sister, and had received information answering her description of a girl in Nez Perce County, I.T. Peter visited Lewiston last week, but his visit was of no avail, for Lewiston, strange to say, possesses neither a male nor a female colored person. A party residing in Boise City has read the article, and in a letter to this office, under date of Feb. 15, says: "A man named Asa Abbott brought from Oregon some years ago a colored child. She [is] now living at Horse Shoe Bend, Boise County, Idaho. A letter addressed to T. S. Hart, probate judge, Boise County, or Gov. Stevenson, Boise City, or Hon. R. H. Robb, Horse Shoe Bend, will give all information."
Lewiston Teller, February 24, 1887, page 3
NOTES FROM WALLA WALLA.
WALLA WALLA, Feb. 21.--Peter Waldo, a colored youth of Roseburg, Oregon, is sick here in the hospital, having been sent from Waitsburg, where he developed violent insanity, consequent on a broken skull of long standing. He lately returned from Lewiston, where he went in search of a sister, from whom he was separated when they were small children after the death of Governor Lane, with whom they lived. Papers received today show that the girl is living at Horseshoe Bend, Boise County, Idaho.
Roseburg Review, February 25, 1887, page 3 This article also ran in Salem's Weekly Oregon Statesman of the same date, on page one.
Peter Waldo arrived the other day.
Horseshoe Bend correspondent, Idaho World, Idaho City, March 22, 1887, page 1
Peter Waldo, a colored "ge'man," who is pretty well known in these parts as a cultus ["worthless"] nigger, and if we mistake not was born in Boise County and claims a white man for his father, was arrested and brought before Justice Randall on Thursday last on the complaint of D. C. Coffer, a young man about twenty years old, who lives some ten miles below Boise City. The evidence showed that Waldo was at Placerville, Boise County, and got a free ride with Coffer to this valley. That while on the trip Coffer took his purse out of his pocket and Waldo snatched it out of his hand and kept it some time, but finally gave it back with ten dollars less money in it. Twenty-five dollars were in the purse, and only fifteen dollars when the purse was returned. Waldo was held in [lieu of] $1,000 [bail] to answer to the crime of robbery before the grand jury, and is now in jail.
"Saturday's Statesman," Idaho World, Idaho City, September 6, 1887, page 1
Territory, etc., vs. Peter Waldo. Defendant tried by jury and convicted of robbery. Sentence 20th inst.
"District Court Proceedings," Idaho Statesman, Boise, September 17, 1887, page 3
Peter Waldo, a dark-complexioned "gem'an" who stole ten dollars from a teamster who gave him a ride from Placerville to Boise City, has been sentenced to serve at hard labor in the Territorial prison for eight years.
"Territorial News," Idaho News, October 8, 1887, page 4
Peter Waldo, found guilty of the larceny of $10, was sent to the penitentiary for eight years, while Thomas Morrow, who attempted to murder his wife, was fined $100 and sent to jail for 20 days.
"Idaho News: Ada County," Ketchum Keystone, Ketchum, Idaho, October 8, 1887, page 3
We have often seen justice represented as a blindfolded female, but the damsel who had charge of the scales at Boise should consult an ophthalmologist, at once. The quality of her mercy is not very well strained, and droppeth like the gentle ten-ton meteor upon the victim beneath. Last week, at Boise, Peter Waldo, charged with the larceny of $10 from a teamster, got eight years at hard labor in the Territorial penitentiary; and Thos. Morrow, who attempted to murder his wife by shooting at her, got twenty days in the county jail and $100 fine. Subtract the wife from ten dollars, then divide twenty days by eight years, and--we give it up--Shoshone Journal.
Idaho News, October 8, 1887, page 6
Chas. Stevenson, defending Peter Waldo . . . . . . 50.00
"County Commissioners Proceedings," Idaho Statesman, Boise, October 18, 1887, page 3
We have often seen justice represented as a blindfolded female, but the damsel who had charge of the scales at Boise City should consult an ophthalmologist at once. The quality of her mercy is not very well strained and droppeth like the gentle ten-ton meteor upon the victim beneath. At Boise City, recently, Peter Waldo, charged with the larceny of $10 from a teamster, got eight years at hard labor in the Territorial penitentiary; and Thos. Morrow, who attempted to murder his wife by shooting at her, got twenty days in the county jail and $100 fine. Subtract the wife from ten dollars, then divide twenty days by eight years, and--we give it up.--[Journal.
Idaho World, Idaho City, October 21, 1887, page 1
174 Waldo, Peter
Idaho State Penitentiary, 1920s
File: AR42 / 20063160 / 1009.1-4 / 174
Year: 1887 Approx. age: 27 Born: circa 1860
Jurisdiction: Ada County
Notes: AR42/20072455; AR42/20072454; AR3/20072458; AR202/20051008/p65; AR42/6/20072459/4
Inmates of the Idaho Penitentiary 1864-1947, page 19 "AR" numbers are references to Idaho State Historical Society collections--please contact me if you have access.
Range and Valley: Foley Abbott made a narrow escape from death by a snow slide last week while coming from Atlanta to Rocky Bar in company with Bill Mackey and others whose names we did not learn. The party were caught in a snow slide but all escaped being covered except Foley, who was buried under about two feet of snow. Mackey used his snowshoe balancing pole for prodding and fortunately struck Abbott in time to rescue him from a fearful depth death. Foley says he yelled lustily while lying on his face and embedded in the compact snow, but his voice was unheard by those above. Seconds seemed to him like hours during his helpless condition.
"Pacific Coast," Idaho Statesman, Boise, January 15, 1888, page 1
The Dark Wedding, As Told by Catchall.
MR. EDITOR:--Once in a while there is an oasis in the desert of life, and we found one the other day. Here it is:
MARRIED:--At Hotel de Murray, Emmett, June 25, 1888, Miss Lou Waldo to Mr. Harry Kelley. They were married after many tribulations by P. H. B. Moulton, J.P.
Both of the victims were colored. Dav [sic] McAuliff, Hammersley and the Deacon seemed to think they ought to have a hand in the fun, and for a while it look as if there would be three or four bridegrooms, but the other darkey finally got away with the blushing bride. It was an event in our humble burg. We often have somebody get married here, but the circumstances of this wedding created a flutter in high life. The bride was dressed in white cashmere, and indeed was a bride to be proud of. Horseshoe Benders came with the happy couple and stood as best sponsors. Peace to their ashes. Maybe that is not just what I ought to say, but they can guess at what I mean.
Idaho World, Idaho City, July 6, 1888, page 1
We had the finest dance--and everybody says so--that has taken place in the memory of the oldest inhabitants. Foley Abbott and his wife and Harry Thomas furnished the music.
"Rocky Bar," Idaho Statesman, Boise, September 11, 1888, page 3
Escaped from the Penitentiary.
On Thursday evening last three men who had been regarded as "trusties" at the penitentiary escaped. They had been permitted to do outside work for some time, but [it] is probable that they made their calculations on the weather continuing warm enough so that they could trust themselves upon the prairie or in the timber without the usual protection from the weather after Thursday, which was a very pleasant day, and left the home the law had provided for them to seek other quarters. One of the escaped was John Payne, a negro, of the age of 31 years. He was 5 feet 8 inches in height, complexion dark, hair black, eyes black, teeth good, size of boot No. 10. He had a large vaccination mark on his left arm.
Peter Waldo, aged 30 years. He is five feet and eleven inches in height, weighs 200 pounds, complexion dark, hair and eyes black, size of shoe No. 9. He had a scar between his shoulders, knife mark on muscle of right arm, large knife wound over right knee, and scar on left side of his head. He is a half-breed negro.
Conrad Vesperman is a German 34 years of age. He weighs 164 pounds. His height is five feet eight inches, complexion fair, color of hair light, color of eyes blue, wears a No. 8 shoe. He has a scar 1¼ inches long on the instep of his right foot and a round scar under the point of his chin. He talks very broken.
The Peter Waldo herein mentioned was convicted in September 1887 of larceny; Conrad Vesperman in 1888 of burglary. A reward of $300 for the apprehension of the fugitives or $100 for either of them.
Idaho Register, Idaho Falls, April 18, 1890, page 2
Last Thursday three prisoners who had been treated as trusties about the penitentiary made their escape. Their names are Peter Waldo (mulatto), John Payne (negro) and Conrad Vesperman (German). A reward of $300 has been offered for the apprehension of the fugitives, or $100 for either of them.--Hailey News-Miner. Later--From the Boise Democrat we notice that the fleeing parties have been captured.
"Territorial News," Lewiston Teller, Lewiston, Idaho, April 24, 1890, page 8
On Sunday morning last B. K. Ninemyre, with the assistance of his brother, A. J. Ninemyre, succeeded in capturing John Payne, Peter Waldo and Conrad Vesperman, who absented themselves without leave from the penitentiary on Thursday of last week. He started out on Sunday morning at 2 o'clock, and striking their trail followed it to a haystack at the barracks. Upon examination the hay was found to have been disturbed, and B. K. Ninemyre directed his brother to make use of a pitchfork which was lying near, and prod where the prisoners were supposed to be. It had the desired effect, one prong piercing Vesperman and slightly wounding him. Then the three crawled out, and A. J. Ninemyre searched the prisoners while B. K. took care that they did not offer resistance. They had no weapons, and were marched to the jail and delivered over to the authorities about 8 o'clock in the morning. During a conversation Ninemyre had with them they said that they had not been able to obtain anything to eat since their escape.--Boise Statesman.
"Territorial," Idaho Register, Idaho Falls, April 25, 1890, page 2
Peter Waldo, Conrad Vesperman and John Payne (colored), who recently escaped from the Idaho penitentiary, have been captured and placed in their old quarters.
Elmore Bulletin, Rocky Bar, Idaho, April 26, 1890, page 3
Geo. M. Payne, of the Elmore Bulletin, and Asa Abbott, of the Range & Valley, are engaged in a hunt for each other's scalp. In his last issue Mr. Payne says: "His outrageous and false accusations against us will be met outside the columns of the Bulletin." And we expect that in the next issue Mr. Abbott will name the time and weapons.
Caldwell Tribune, Caldwell, Idaho, April 25, 1891, page 1
To the honorable members of the State Board of Pardons, Boise City, Idaho.
We, the undersigned citizens of Ada County, respectfully petition that a pardon be granted to Peter Waldo, now a prisoner in the state penitentiary.
Considering the trivial nature of the charge, the extreme severity of the sentence and the number of years he has now been in prison we are of opinion that he has been sufficiently punished and the demands of justice fully satisfied.
We would therefore respectfully ask your honorable body to release the said Peter Waldo or do otherwise in the premises as to you may seem just.
And your petitioners will ever pray.
Boise City, IdahoHon. Judge Nugent
Augt. 30th / 91
In compliance with law I affix hereto notice of my application for pardon and respectfully ask you to sign receipt therefor and return to me.
I hereby acknowledge receipt of the above notice.
E. NugentDated Sept. 2nd 1891.
Judge, 3rd Jud. Dist.
Idaho State Archives, Box 1009, File 174
Boise City, IdahoC. P. Bilderback Esq.
Augt. 30th / 91
Chairman Bd. of Co. Comrs.
In compliance with law I affix hereto notice of application for pardon and respectfully ask you to sign the docket attached thereto and return to me.
I hereby acknowledge receipt of the above notice.
C. P. BilderbackDated Septr. 7th1891.
Chairman of Board
of Com., Ada Co., Idaho
Idaho State Archives, Box 1009, File 174
Boise City, IdahoChas. Hays Esq.
Augt. 30th / 91
Dist. Atty., Ada Co.
In compliance with law I affix hereto notice of my application for pardon and respectfully ask you to subscribe the docket attached thereto and return to me.
I hereby acknowledge receipt of the above notice.
C. M. HaysDated Sept.10th 1891.
Idaho City, Idaho
Idaho State Archives, Box 1009, File 174
To the honorable members of the State Board of Pardons, Boise City, Idaho
The petition of Peter Waldo, now a prisoner in the Idaho State Penitentiary, humbly showeth
That your petitioner was convicted of the crime of robbery at Boise City, Ada County, in September 1887 and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.
Your petitioner would respectfully ask for executive clemency on the grounds of excessive sentence for a trivial offense, and the number of years he has now been in prison.
Herewith is enclosed a petition signed by a number of prominent and well-known citizens, and your petitioner would respectfully call the attention of the honorable members of the board to the opinion therein expressed, viz.: that your petitioner has been sufficiently punished and the demands of justice fully satisfied.
Your petitioner will cheerfully comply with any conditions your honorable body may see fit to impose, and if restored to liberty will endeavor to lead an honest and upright life in the future.
Respectfully and obediently
Boise City, IdahoTOO POOR TO LIVE.
October 2nd 1892.
Idaho State Archives, Box 1009, File 174
The board of pardons met at the executive chambers Monday afternoon. The case of Peter Waldo, convicted of robbery about four years ago before Hon. Case Broderick, came up to be considered. Waldo took a ride with a man selling watermelons between Idaho City and this town and took his pocketbook from under the seat but restored the same in the evening, as the prosecuting witness testified, minus ten dollars. There was no more robbery in the case than arson, but the jury found a verdict of guilty and the judge gave the defendant ten years.
"Local Happenings," Idaho Statesman, Boise, October 13, 1891, page 8
Orlando Barker, the convict who escaped from the Blackfoot asylum, and who was recently rearrested at Butte, has been returned to the penitentiary. Barker's arrest was effected by a colored man named Waldo. The two men were for a long time inmates of the state prison, and Barker never missed an opportunity to abuse Waldo. He said he hated the "d----- nigger," and his actions did not belie his words. Waldo was eventually pardoned, and then he went to Butte. Barker feigned insanity and was sent to the asylum, from which institution he escaped. He proceeded to Butte, where he was seen by Waldo. The latter, still smarting from the brutal treatment inflicted upon him by Barker, informed the Butte police of the escapee's presence in that city. A search was commenced, and Waldo soon had the pleasure of placing his old enemy under arrest. Some of the convict sympathizers of Boise very bitterly denounce Waldo, but it is evident that he did the proper thing.
"Criminal Notes," Idaho Statesman, Boise, February 12, 1892, page 5
Boys may be had, and sometimes girls, for ordinary service at wages, upon indenture (to work, attend school and be brought up somewhat as your own), and children may be had for legal adoption by addressing W. T. Gardner, Supt. Oregon Boys' and Girls' Aid Society, Portland, Oregon.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 23, 1893, page 3
Portland, Dec. 20.--At noon today Coroner Hughes held an inquest on the child of Ella Patton, which died yesterday at the home of Mrs. Peter Waldo, 203 South Union Avenue, East Side, at the urgent request of interrupted persons, who suspected that death ensued from unnatural causes. All persons connected with the matter are colored. The mother of the child testified, as also did Mrs. Waldo, George Smith and Dr. J. J. Kelly. The latter testified that death was due to congestion of the lungs and pleurisy. Peter Waldo substantially testified that, owing to the want of money on his part and Miss Patton's, they could not engage a doctor to treat the child when it became sick. He believed that the child might possibly have gotten well had it not been for their poverty.
The verdict was that Walter Patton came to his death from congestion of the lungs by reason of neglect because of the poverty of his guardians.
Weekly Oregon Statesman, Salem, December 22, 1893, page 11 Thanks to Sandra Freels.
Pete Waldo, criminal, allowed $3.20.
"County Court Proceedings," Capital Journal, Salem, April 28, 1894, page 3
House of Representatives; Salem, Oregon
February 9, 1895
I am directed by the speaker to inform you that the house has passed house bill No. 347, a bill for an act to change the name of Peter Waldo, a colored person.
And the same is herewith transmitted to you for the consideration of the senate.
R. E. Moody, Chief Clerk
Journal of the Senate of the ... Regular Session of the Legislative Assembly of Oregon; 1895
Moores, by request--Changing name of Peter Waldo to Henry M. Loria; read third time and passed.
"In the Lower Branch," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, February 10, 1895, page 3 Other than a mention of an "H. M. Loria" receiving fees from the Salem circuit court (for witness or juror's fees) in June 1895, I've found no further mention of Loria (or Peter Waldo under the Loria name) until Peter Waldo's interment, below.
Friday afternoon a vagrant named W. M. Haskell kept the ladies of Yew Park badly frightened by calling from house to house demanding something to eat. When he reached the residence of Wm. Heinsworth on Capitol Street near Mill, he promenaded about the building a number of times, scaring Mrs. Heinsworth, who was alone, to a considerable extent. Becoming tired of such maneuverings, Mrs. Heinsworth called to Peter Waldo, who was at work nearby, to go and call policeman Latourette, who lives in that vicinity. Mr. Latourette, being on the night force, was enjoying his usual sleep but came immediately to the residence of Mrs. Heinsworth. Noticing Mrs. Heinsworth's actions, the tramp had crawled under the bridge near the residence, hoping to escape the policeman. After a short chase with the assistance of Mr. Waldo, the tramp was captured and taken to the city jail. He was brought before Recorder Edes this morning, charged with vagrancy and entered a plea of "not guilty," and his trial was set for 4 p.m. today.
"Caught Under a Bridge," Capital Journal, Salem, July 27, 1895, page 4
Bloody Encounter at a Sawmill Near Rocky Bar.
ONE MAN CUT DOWN
Foley Abbott, in a Quarrel with Another Man Whose Name Is Not Known,
Nearly Cuts Him to Pieces.
News reaches this city of a duel fought with axes at a lumbering camp near Rocky Bar a few days ago.
One of the principals was Foley Abbott, but the name of the other man could not be learned. The gentleman who brought the news to this city came from Mountain Home. He said the news was carried there by a messenger, who had been asked to send a doctor to the scene. The messenger retired a few minutes after he reached town, and the Statesman's informant could not learn all the particulars.
It seems the men quarreled over some slabs. After a few hot words, according to the story brought here, they picked up their axes and a deadly combat ensued.
When it was over one of the men lay on the ground almost chopped to pieces, and Abbott stood glowering over him, his ax upraised ready to strike again. From all accounts Abbott was not seriously injured, but it was believed the other man could not live until a doctor could reach him.
Idaho Statesman, Boise, June 16, 1898, page 2
NEW VERSION OF AXE STORY
Mr. Moseley tells a new version of the reported duel with axes near Rocky Bar. He was in camp when the messenger who was going to Mountain Home for a doctor came up. He overheard the messenger telling another party of the tragedy. As Mr. Moseley remembers, the man who was so badly cut was named Griggs. He and Foley Abbott had some trouble and Abbott struck him on the side of the head with an axe, cutting his head open. It was not expected the injured man would live.
Idaho Statesman, Boise, June 17, 1898, page 3
Joseph T. Sprague is here from Mountain Home. He says Kirby, the man who was struck with an ax by Foley Abbott near Rocky Bar, is being treated at Mountain Home. He had a close call but will recover.
"Local Brevities," Idaho Statesman, Boise, June 21, 1898, page 6
WALDO--To the wife of Peter Waldo, in North Roseburg, May 10, 1900, a daughter.
The Plaindealer, Roseburg, May 10, 1900, page 5
149 Mill Street, Roseburg:
Peter Waldo, Indian, 37, day laborer, born July 1862 in Oregon, parents born in Oregon
Eunice Waldo, Indian, 26, born April 1874 in Washington, father born Oregon, mother Washington, married 6 years
Alvia Waldo (son), 3, born October 1896 in Washington
Lorena Waldo, 2, born May 1900 in Oregon
U.S. Census, enumerated June 2, 1900 Both Peter and Eunice indicated they could read and write; they were living in a rented house.
Peter Waldo, Modoc, father Modoc, mother Colored, no white blood
Eunice Waldo, Modoc, father Klickitat, mother Modoc, no white blood
U.S. Census, 1900, Special Inquiries Relating to Indians
Mr. Peter Waldo is quite ill and in need of assistance."City News," The New Age, Portland, August 25, 1900, page 5
Mr. Peter Waldo is still quite ill and in need of the attention of those charitably inclined.
The New Age, Portland, September 1, 1900, page 5
Oregon State Archives Record 177620
Alvia Waldo, 4 years, died September 1, 1900 at Good Samaritan Hospital, Portland
Lorino Waldo, 5 months, died October 18, 1900 at 268½ East Front, Portland, "color black"
Multnomah County Poor Farm Cemetery Index
Peter Waldo, laborer, rooms 22½ Third Street North
1901 Polk's Portland City Directory, page 730
GAVE INDIAN MEDICINE.
Mrs. Morgan's Home Decorating Brings Her Before Coroner.
Unusual circumstances connected with the death of Clyde Henry Harrison Stone, 2 years old, colored, of Third and Davis streets, were considered at a coroner's inquest last night.
Mrs. Minnie Morgan, colored, who testified that she was born at Lima, Peru, and that her maiden name was Fernina Torise, said she is the baby's mother. Her first husband, the baby's father, is now in London, Eng., earning his living as a woman impersonator. The baby had been sickly from birth and suffered from throat trouble. Last Wednesday [the] witness had given Indian medicine to her baby, and Thursday morning she was surprised to find her baby dead in bed. She got a hack and asked the hackman to drive to the Terminal Depot, where her husband is employed as a porter, and told him the baby had died. They told Peter Waldo and his wife, who informed Finley, Kimball & Co., undertakers, and they in turn promised to notify the coroner. Witness did not know the name of the undertaker who took away her child's body. The first child of the witness had died suddenly, and she had given away another child for adoption. Witness was married when she was 15 years old, and had been brought to the Pacific Coast by a Spanish lady.
Mrs. Eunice Waldo, an Indian woman, testified that she gave Mrs. Morgan the Indian tablets referred to, and had doctored her own children with similar medicine.
The jury decided that the baby had died from enterocolitis, and the verdict went on to say: "It is further known to the jury that the body of the child should not have been permanently removed from the room where the child had died, that such act was unlawful, and further that the coroner should have been notified and have viewed body before said removal."
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 10, 1901, page 7
Peter Waldo, laborer, residence in rear, 380 Front Street
1902 Polk's Salem City Directory, page 167
Local Negro Character Dead
Peter Waldo, a well-known Salem negro character, died at his home on Front Street, in this city, this morning, aged about 40 years, of consumption. Waldo has for years been a familiar figure in Salem. He was raised by Joe Lane, of Douglas County. Funeral services will be held Friday, and burial will probably be had in the Catholic cemetery.
The Daily Journal, Salem, April 10, 1902, page 4
Waldo, (Loria) Peter; Born: ?; Age: ?; Died: 10 April 1902; Buried: 11 April 1902; Priest: P. A. Olivatti; Cemetery: St. Joseph's; Cause of Death: Consumption.
Church of St. Joseph (Catholic), Salem, Oregon; Record of Interments, 1889-1933, page 6, 1900-1902 cont.
Well-Known Salem Character.
SALEM, April 11.--Peter Waldo, a well-known local colored character, died in this city yesterday, aged about 40 years, of consumption. Waldo was raised by Hon. Joe Lane, of Southern Oregon. He had made his home in Salem for several years.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 12, 1902, page 4
NEGRO CHARACTER DEAD.--Yesterday's Salem Journal: Peter Waldo, a well-known Salem negro character, died at his home on Front Street, in this city, [omission?] morning, aged about 40 years, of consumption. Waldo has for years been a familiar figure in Salem. He was raised by Joe Lane, Douglas County. Funeral services will be held Friday, and burial will probably be had in the Catholic cemetery.
The Eugene Guard, April 12, 1902, page 2
WALDO.--At the family home, on Front Street, in this city, Tuesday, April 15, 1902, to Mrs. Peter Waldo. The posthumous arrival is a big bouncing boy. The father of the little fellow died last week.
Daily Capital Journal, Salem, April 15, 1902, page 4
In the notice of his death yesterday morning the Statesman reporter did not tell who Peter Waldo was. He was a colored man who has made Salem his residence for a number of years. It is said that he was raised from a little boy by General Joseph Lane. The colored people gave him quite a respectable burial yesterday. They chipped in and added several dollars to the $8 allowed by the county, and thus provided him with a neat coffin. There were more colored people in Salem yesterday than for some time before. It is perhaps not generally known by newcomers that Salem used to have quite a large proportionate colored population. In fact, there were so many back in the sixties that a public school building was provided specially for their children--the building that is now the "Little Central" school house. Even ten years or so ago, they maintained a church in North Salem, with a black preacher named George Washington White. But now there are but few colored people left here. Why this is it is hard to explain.
"Personal and General," Weekly Oregon Statesman, Salem, April 15, 1902, page 7
Colored Child Died.
A colored child named Waldo died on North Commercial Street this morning, aged two years, of brain trouble.
Daily Capital Journal, Salem, May 13, 1904, page 5
Although the political scene never ceased to intrigue Oregon's first senator, he was content, too, with the management and cultivation of his farm. He did the farm work himself, alone or with the assistance of Pete, a negro boy given him by Mrs. Waldo.
Sister M. Margaret Jean Kelly, Career of Joseph Lane, Frontier Politician, 1942, pages 190-191. Kelly cites the Autobiography as her source, but that document mentions neither Peter's name nor Mrs. Waldo.
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MY ABBOTT FAMILY MEMORIES ABOUT LOUISA WALDO AND OTHER THINGS I'VE COME TO KNOW ABOUT HER LIFE
2 September 2017
My great-grandfather, James Asahel ("Asa") Abbott, moved himself and his family from Josephine County, Oregon, to Idaho Territory in 1865, attracted by the Boise Basin Gold Rush that began in 1862. He was accompanied by a brother, William, with whom he was in business. They settled in Boise Basin, where they initially ran a general goods store in Pine Grove, near Idaho City. Subsequently purchasing land on the South Fork of the Payette River in Garden Valley, they became well-known farmers. Asa Abbott was active in local and territorial Democratic Party politics.
My grandfather, Edward Lee Abbott, was born in 1866. My father, Norman, his son (b. 1909), and my aunts, his daughters, Leona (b. 1897), Hazel (b. 1911), and Naomi (b. 1912), would talk about Asa Abbott, the Placerville gun fight that killed his brother William, and Hannor, his protagonist, though with most details missing or transformed. They correctly said Asa had committed suicide in Texas, stranding their grandmother, Anna Marie, and the rest of their children in Denison. Their uncle Foley Abbott (b. 1853) had stayed behind in Idaho when the family left the territory in late 1870 after Asa was acquitted of murder and sold their farm to Asa's youngest brother, David. Foley borrowed money to return his mother and siblings from Texas to Idaho; they arrived in June 1873, returning to Placerville.
A few times during family conversations in the 1950s and 1960s, my aunts referred to a girl or woman named "Nigger Lou," whom they thought their grandfather had brought with the family to Idaho. I remember them being uncomfortable when they brought it up; they did not elaborate beyond that. I don't know if it was because they didn't know any more, or they just preferred not to talk about it. Though their grandfather, Asa, was dead long before they were born, they knew his widow, their grandmother, Anna Marie (d. 1926). Her adult children, who were still living in Idaho, particularly their uncle Foley and their father, Edward, took turns caring for her in their homes.
In September 1991, I did an oral history interview with Foley Abbott's youngest and last surviving child, Sarah Ellen (Ella) Abbott Wood (b. 1905, d. 1994) in her home in Boise, Idaho. During our conversation she said she remembered an older Black woman coming to her home, knocking on the door. She said they were living in Boise at the time. She remembered the woman to have said she didn't want anything, but just wanted to say that she had been brought to Idaho by Ella's grandfather, and that she knew Ella's father, Foley. Ella didn't remember the woman's name, nor any more about the event.
Assuming the visitor was Louisa Waldo, she had been about three years old when Asa Abbott was given legal control of her as his "apprentice" on 2 June 1864. She stayed with the family until sometime before 1870, when she began living with a different family, Rowland and Louisa Robb, in Pioneerville, Boise County, about 10 miles from Placerville. The Robbs were operating a dairy. So far as the sparse records indicate, Louisa continued to live primarily in Boise County, Idaho. By 1880 she was working as a live-in cook for the large extended Garner Miner family, who had been ranching at Horseshoe Bend in the Payette River valley since 1870. Miner's land patent included much of the modern Horseshoe Bend town site, while his son-in-law, William Lynch, in 1872 had patented the area making up the bend of the river giving the town its name. Horseshoe Bend is where the old stage road climbed steeply up Harris Creek in an easterly direction into the Boise Basin to Placerville, about 20 miles away, and then on to Idaho City. In 1870 Placerville was both the Miners' and the Abbotts' post office, though the Abbotts were located about 12 miles to the north and below Placerville in Garden Valley at the juncture of Alder Creek and the South Fork of the Payette River. Louisa married Harry C. Kelly in 1888 in Emmett, then Boise County, but now in Gem County, about 20 miles further down the Payette River from Horseshoe Bend. The newspaper report of their wedding states that well wishers traveled from Horseshoe Bend to attend the wedding.
Based on U.S. Census records for Ella Abbott Wood's family, the knock on the door likely occurred sometime in the late 1920s. Was it stimulated by Foley Orlando's obituaries in the local papers in 1928? There is no answer to that speculation.
Information drawn from 1870 and 1880 U.S. Population Census, BLM Land Patents for Garner Miner and William Lynch, original documents and newspaper articles on the Abbott family collected by the author, and original documents and newspaper articles posted on this web site by Ben Truwe.
Last revised January 9, 2019