The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Hannibal Eugene Hackett
A bored 25-year-old in Crescent City, California in 1860.

Journal for
Hannibal Hackett

Crescent City, Jan. 1, 1860.
    A happy thought has struck me--I will keep a journal: it may be interesting to my friends on the other side, but if not it will have answered its purpose by partially occupying my time during the irksomeness of idleness in this "Sleepy Hollow" of existence.
    The old year is dead, and let it sleep in oblivion. To me a retrospection of the years has nothing of pleasure, and if here and there a bright spot appears in the view, it only serves by contrast to render the picture more dark and gloomy. So let it slumber.
    With the future only have I to deal, and in after years this journal may furnish some waymarks, when the mind, in looking back, may linger for a moment, which otherwise would be lost in chaos and obscurity.
    I am still as in days gone by looking forward, but happiness, mayhap in long abeyance, has almost ceased to be a hope. I think I see it in the dim distance, but when I approach, it vanishes like the rainbow or mirage. I am now twenty-five years old, and what have those years brought to me? Nothing except twenty-five. It took my last dollar to bring me to California, and now--what now? I do not know. "I think 'tis somewhat better here than there," and were it not for a few [omission], I would never return to Maine again.
    It is wild, dark and stormy without and quite in keeping with my state of mind.

Jan. 2, 1860.
    Another day of the new year has been added to the eternal past. Time stops not at any of the little events of man, nor even at the birth of its infant year, but impatient and incorrigible hurries on to succeeding ages. A day, a week, a month, a year, a century--all are alike in time's relentless, endless, tireless flight. And what are we? We "eat, drink, toil, tremble, laugh, weep, sleep and die." And there is the last of us.
    But no more speculation. Estoy dolorido. ["I'm in pain."] I will think of the agreeable--of this "goodly" western land.
οπερε, παωτα ϕερεις,
Φερεις οευου, ϕερεις αιγα,
Φερες ματερε παιδα."
[??--"Now you have no one, you have a goat, you are a fake kid."]
    We have received a number of New Year's calls today--as yesterday was Sunday they were postponed till today. The Messrs. Baxter, and Dugan, Ormon, Eldridge, Baker, Drs. Miller and Mason, etc. Tonight I have read The Diadem. 'Tis a work of rare sentiment, beauty and refinement. The illustrations are in the highest style of art, though I fancy a sort of sameness in the portraiture engravings. "The Highland Reaper," the frontispiece, is a splendid picture--the expression is so perfectly illustrative of the supposed state of her mind in the reminiscences involved in the accompanying poetry. "Esther Copeland" is a very characteristic illustration of vanity, hypocrisy and folly. The "Maid of Foro" I consider the most beautiful and interesting, though others would probably think differently.
    I have also been reading from Byron, and the "Poetry of the Ancients." Thus I close this nasty, rainy, gloomy day and my livraison ["reading"].

Jan. 3.
    Rain, rain, rain. Nevertheless have passed this day more cheerily than the preceding. Have not been out today. I do not like the saloons--I always had an aversion to such society: nothing but drink, and witless, mindless mirth. I always leave such places in worse temper than when I enter.
    Have been reading Roman history. What a devil of a set they were. Maximian was made for a soldier, but not an emperor. His promotion was like making your ass your master because he can pack a bigger load than thou.
    I think I would rather live now than at any former period, and a thousand years hence than now, but it matters little when a man plays his part in the great farce which has been going on since Adam. It does not occupy him long, and then--what then? "I do not know, no more do you." But "why should a living man complain," says Job. This oracular remark of the man of Nod* silences all complaint on my part, whether lawful or expedient, so I will smoke my cigar and smoke the matter out of my head.
    *Damn the quotation--I had spelled Job with a double d, and have made him a resident of Nod to rhyme with him. Viz, it should be--the Nod is all in my head.

Jan. 4.

    Got up this morning at half past twelve to sit up with Tommy. He is very badly, though we speak encouragingly to him. Dr. M-----, an old ass, has been poisoning him with calomel and other delicious potions for the last six weeks, and now admits in consultation 'tis not the complaint he has doctored for! So much valuable mercury all thrown away. O, what a set of dunces we trust our lives to.
    I have been lucubrating this morning in "Byron's Life and Letters" by Thos. Moore. Byron's character has been termed difficult, incomprehensible &c. I do not think so. He lived in an age of popular vices, if I may so speak, when, as is indeed too much the case in our own time, licentiousness and intemperance were, by tacit acknowledgment, accounted evidences of smartness. Lord Byron was a person of ardent temperament, and the most lively passions, accordingly, in this vitiated state of public morals, insofar as he excelled the rabble mind, so far he exceeded them in dissipation, and the apparent inconsistencies and contradictions in his life arose probably from the continual struggle going on between his perverted ambition and his better, nobler nature. Nevertheless, to these very causes is no doubt attributable his great power and success as a poet. With his knowledge of the passions, and of mankind generally, acquired by familiarity with the darker traits of human nature, who, without this experience, could so faithfully and powerfully delineate them!
    "'Tis pity, though, in this sublime world, that pleasure's a sin and sometimes sin a pleasure." Um! but I hate reviewing and metaphysics above all things, so no more of this.
    My time is growing confoundedly irksome in this accursed place.
    Carajo, as the Spanish say. I wish I was out of it, and nothing but "filthy lucre" keeps me here. No business, no amusement, no life--no news--nothing. The steamer is expected tonight, the only event to vary the everlasting, petrifying, stupidly comatose monotony of this lugubrious borough. I wonder if I shall get any letters. I hope so, but "hope cheats us from afar." My friends, if I have any, treat me shabbily--no letters for two months--convenit! if they continue I will abjure them all. 

Jan. 5.
    Rose at 8 o'clock and breakfasted. Coffee good. Steamer not arrived. Weather rainy as usual--myself habitant ["living"] as usual too I might add. Can do nothing but keep hours and serve the ladies. Have been helping them on camisas*--rather like it--it turns one's thoughts in a pleasant direction. And then, you always do everything just right, and are always commended. *ladies' shirts [The Wendell women are apparently sewing blouses.]
    Have been reading Dr. Kane's Arctic Explorations. Kane was a great man, and his portrait is characteristic. You see in his countenance as plainly as words could express it that firmness of purpose, that indomitable energy, which carried him through so many hardships, so many perils, to the consummation of his enterprise, and his own immortal fame.
    Mem. Will write some letters tomorrow. Though my friends don't deserve any, yet it will be a diversion.

12 o'clock mezzanotte
    The night is wild and boisterous, and the wind is howling and shrieking like the wail of evil spirits. Such weather makes me gloomy. I am naturally of that time of mind, and fear that it grows upon me. Mr. Dugan and Baker called in the evening--played a few games of euchre and got beat, and must now write to mon père cher ["my dear father"], and also to mi señora María [my married woman Mary].

Jan. 6.
    Sat up all last light, consiguiente [consequently] was up this matin betimes. Read from Dr. Kane's works, and some in Robinson Crusoe, which I had never read. Breakfasted at 9 o'clock, and have since been hard at work. Felt very unlovable tonight, and loup-garouish [like a werewolf].
    What kind of a wife would M------ make? She seems quite practicable, and has the three good points which Julian [sic] enumerated, viz: "Fair-haired, fair-breasted, and easy to move," besides perhaps others perdue [lost].
    Confoundedly sleepy, and--
Jan. 7.
    Rose late this morning, as usual. Read some in the "British Poets" and translated a little Spanish.
    I am getting ineffably ennuyé [bored], the result of having no fixed employment. A desultory life is misery. I believe most people are all wrong in their plan of life--"They aim so high they will o'ershoot the mark." Conticinio [dead of night].
    Have written a long letter to T----- W----- and put it in the post. If I had it back again I would burn it. I am conscious of some absurdities, all through carelessness, for I believe I am not more stupid than the rest of them.
Il vous souhaite le bon soir.
["He (sic) wishes you a good evening."]
Sunday, Jan. 8, 1860.
    The holy Sabbath! and yet, because it is the Sabbath I lay abed this morning till near noon. I do not go to church--these canting Methodists have no interest for me. I am conscious of a slow, gradual change in my character. I was once in my simple youth and ignorance religiously inclined, and many a prayer have I sent up to "the great God above." Can it be that the gentle, affectionate, confiding little boy of that period, and the sad skeptic of this, are identical?
"Eheu, fugaces, posthume, posthume, labuntur anni" ["Alas, Posthumus, the years glide swiftly away"], and so what are we hurrying [for]?
    The steamer is expected tonight, and I must send a letter to mi querida hermana [my dear sister], which
So here ends the record of this ill-spent day.

Jan. 9.
    'Rose late--read & wrote &c. Took violent exercise in the afternoon, almost to exhaustion. Tonight the steamer arrived with the eastern mail. No letters for me, and I'm as savage as a bear. However, I shall have no answers to write, but to be forgotten by one's friends is damnedly provoking anyway, especially when you have tried all you could to please them, but I am (or is) a pronoun that is not demonstrative, and I will let them know that I can be as indolent as the laziest of them.
    The Columbia brings me sad news of the loss of the Northerner on the 5th inst. off Cape Mendocino, and 35 lives. She has been running between San Francisco and Victoria, V.I. and was on her way to the latter place at the time of the accident. The conduct of the officers is highly spoken of, nevertheless I think they must have been culpable in hugging the shore so closely.
    What after all are my disappointments at not hearing from my friends to many who hear from theirs only to learn that they are forever lost by the wreck of the Northerner.

Jan. 10.

    Little done, and little to record. Breakfasted at 11½ o'clock. Weather fine.
    Have written a letter to my Uncle Joseph, San Francisco, and read the papers. Congress wrangling, as usual.
    I am inveterately given to sleep lately. But I believe my chief happiness consists in sleep; however, it is denounced by the philosophic, the metaphysic and the ethic, and so are most pleasures.
    The Crescent City Herald was an abortion today, about the size of your hand. Its "father" says it was all for the want of paper, which God grant he may not want in his future bringings forth.

Jan. 11.

    Have eaten, drunken, slept, and, and--I don't know what else.
    The most important news by the late arrival is that of a treaty between the U.S. and Mexico, by which the latter cedes to our government Lower Cal. and Sonora, together with a portion of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec for a "way" between the two oceans.
    Mexico presents at present a deplorable aspect. It is that of a nation divided against itself, and fast degenerating, by its intestine [sic] disorders, into hopeless anarchy. The Spanish character is totally incompatible with a republic, being essentially wanting in those attributes of republicanism, moral stamina, incorruptible patriotism, and a correct appreciation of liberty.
    It is now three hundred and forty years since Cortes and his followers entered the harbor of Vera Cruz, and saw towering afar off near the capital of the Montezumas the snowcapped peak of Orizaba, or "Snow Mountain." A hundred years later, our Anglo-Saxon fathers landed at Plymouth, and, I may say, laid the foundation of the future Republic. While we, through almost insuperable obstacles, from natural causes and the tyranny of those who should have been our friends and patrons, have overcome every hardship, and wrung a reluctant tribute even from oppression itself, and at last stand, in the pride of our strength and glory, among the first of nations, what is the condition of Mexico, a century our senior? "None are so poor to do her reverence." Since her independence, she has been relapsing from one degree of weakness to another, till her total imbecility is at hand. Her population is now less than was that of the ancient Aztecs, whom Cortes subdued.
    In this state of affairs, that the intervention of the United States is not only an act of expending for our own safety and interests, but one of justice to Mexico and to humanity, cannot by any man who loves liberty be controverted or denied.
    With our power, we may preserve her from that confusion and bloodshed to which she is tending, while, by giving her citizens the benefit of law and order, she may ultimately become what she is naturally adapted to be, a happy and prosperous country. (What a rigmarole.)

Jan. 12.

    Rose early, though reluctantly, and breakfasted at 5½ o'clock in the silvery moonlight. Afterward was interested in the beauty of the rosy morning twilight--the amber-colored clouds changing to gold--"from gold to crimson," and finally to pearl, and as the sun came up from behind the distant hills, and threw his gorgeous beams over the dewy earth, and danced in lambent rays upon the waters of our little bay, I thought I had never seen anything more beautiful.
    Quite poetical, truly, and this reminds me that I have written four stanzas of poetry today on friendship, which, as characteristic of my humor, are inveterately misanthropic, and worthy of the veriest cynic.
    I have also been reading Tom Paine, at which M------ expressed a holy horror. This amused me exceedingly. The spirit of intolerance manifested against Paine arises usually from ignorance and superstitious prejudice. What if his views were erroneous at times. A person in the years of puberty, if he be not a dunce, should be able to judge for himself, and should be no more afraid to read Tom Paine than the Bible, where he reads everything from David to the Devil.
    Company in this evening--conversation all fiddle-faddle, made a blunder, but did not care--ladies got me over it better than I desired.
Jan. 13.

    Read Vale's Life of Tom Paine, and Butler's Hudibras. This latter reminds me of a little forensic incident which pleased me the other day. The defendants were endeavoring to disqualify the evidence of a principal witness on account of his suspicious character (which was really bad, he having been a state prison convict), and among others called against him was my uncle. The Major, who goes upon the principle that "honest men are scarce," thought it not best to say too much, and accordingly so ambiguously worded his testimony that it could be construed for either side without much twisting. In his speech, the counsel for the defense alluded to this, and humorously compared the Maj. to Sir Hudibras with the lines
"He could distinguish and divide
A hair twist south and southwest side,
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands and still confute."
The quotation was so applicable that none who knew the Major's peculiarity could suppress a very broad grin, in which the judge himself joined.
    This day passed in idle thought, as useless to others as to me. "Sir, there's someone at the door must needs speak with you." (Exit.)

Jan. 14.
    The weather is still beautiful, as it has been for several days--warm and bright as a May Day in old Maine. I like the climate of California, but its scenery I do not admire: it is dull, dreary and monotonous. It is called by many grand, beautiful and imposing. It may be grand and imposing, but as for beauty, I have never been able to discover it in any remarkable degree. Everything is on an immense scale, but height, depth, length and breadth are far different things from beauty. The sight of a tree three or four hundred feet high may impress me with wonder, but not the pleasure which a rose affords. In short, California scenery is to that of the East what a plain 7-ft. virgin is to one of comely proportions.
    Nothing of new, as the French say. Several gentlemen called this evening, and one lady. Had considerable conversation and argument with her--discussed the merits of several of the poets--found her intelligent. I like to argue with a woman, but like also to be right, for they are remorseless, and if they get you "cornered," they push you like an irritable bull. If I had forty thousand dollars, I suppose I would marry one of these wretches.
    After all, if I had a wife, I'm afraid I should get sick of her in a couple of weeks, and want somebody's else, so the sisterhood will do without me. Cognovit.
Have read Campbell's "British Poets," a very convenient work of reference, &c., &c., &c.

Sunday Jan. 15, 1860.
    Rose late: breakfasted at 11 o'clock, which, by the way, is not far from our usual breakfasting in winter.
    "When one," says Byron, "subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling, buttoning and unbuttoning--how much remains of downright existence? The summer of a dormouse."
    Steamer in today--have read the papers--Congress not organized, and maneuvering.
    Company fun this evening--hes and shes--married and unmarried--Miss A------ very good-looking and sprightly in conversation. Dr. S----- must be an ass to think of wooing her at his time of life, but if he has gold enough he will do, for
    Mem. Must write a letter to my sister Julia, whom, when I think of it, I have neglected for a long time. She will wonder at this, and possibly feel hurt, but--but--I don't know what--"Whatever is, is right," though many a poor devil may be sacrificed in evolving it. My life is monotonous and desultory. Shut up in this little cranny of the world, we have nothing to do but suck our paws like a bear and slap the time away. But "I'll have done with it" un de ces jours ["one of these days"].
    My friends, no doubt, are expecting great things of me. That I shall come home with a "golden fleece" and all that. No sooner does a Californian set foot in the eastern states than "How much has he got?" flies from mouth to mouth and is the stereotyped inquiry, which if he does not hear, he feels and sees in the countenance of every man, woman and child he meets. And if the gods have not favored him, why, be damned to him--every mother's son of them who has a copper and a nail to rattle will turn up his nose in sovereign contempt.

Jan. 16.
    The weather is glorious. While writing this, I am sitting in my room without a fire, and have thrown open the door, the air being oppressively warm.
    There is this difference between Cal. and New England, that in good weather there, some clouds are usually floating over the sky, while here they are not sun clouds in this climate and are almost sure precursors of rain.
    Took a trip in dream last night, 3000 miles over the continent. Called on no one, however, but F. G. Butler Esq., and was happy on awaking that I had been in so good company.
    Today have done nothing--nothing. This journal is something of a relief, but god knows who will want to read it. However it answers its purpose while I write by occupying my thoughts, and further I do not care.
    I wish there were more women here: as it is, they are only an aggravation. There are so few, there is no room for comparison or selection, and any two-legged she, be she as ugly as Otway's "wrinkled hag," can command the most gallant attention. I like the manners of our women. If a California lady has petticoats and legs, she is not afraid to own it (or show it, I might almost add) instead of simpering absurdly at their mention like some hypocritic prudes I have seen--but the subject breeds discontent, so "no more on't."

Jan. 17.
    Foggy, nasty, chilly day, and looks like rain. Eat, drink and sleep is the order of the day--and make merry if you can. Positively nothing to record. Damn the pen and damn this diary, and thus I euphoniously close, and go to bed.

Jan. 18.
    Rode--dined--read--Boswell's Life of Johnson, London News, the weeklies, &c. Wrote a letter to my sister for the overland mail. Have also been studying Spanish--I like the Spanish--it is so copious, sonorous and musical. I commenced to study it in Massachusetts in 1856, but soon dropped it, and have given it no attention since, until lately.
    The winter of '56 was the happiest period of my life, and yet I was glad to have done with it. The fact was, Andaba en dimes y diretes con M---y A----- [I was walking and gossiping with M---y A-----]. Such things, though they may amuse for a while, must be put an end to or they weary. Sino, se hace tarde. Bueno noche [sic]. [But it's getting late. Good night.]
Jan. 19.

    Got me up late. I am getting as indolent as an alderman but what boots it? Why should a man waste all his best days in laying up money to leave, mayhap to a fool. And yet, men are measured, not by their intellect and ability, but by the size of their purse, and the women are as much ahead of the men in this respect as Eve was of Adam in deviltry.
    Have been reading the papers. There are "mare's tails" in the political horizon, precursors of a struggle for 1860. Congress is in an imbroglio of bickerings. The Democrats are "proudly obstinate," and the Black Republicans in an agony of intrigue, haste and suspense. Buchanan seems destined to manufacture a little glory out of the Mexican question and certes the old gent's perseverance deserves some such reward.
    I'm as cold as an iceberg, and--bon soir.

Jan. 20.

    Ditto with yesterday, nothing to record worth the scratch of a pen. I have read a good deal of late, but desultorily--I never could confine myself to routine, and the keeping of this journal is a severe tax upon my longanimity.
    Was out this evening till 10 o'clock--afterward at home in conversazione, and am now in my dormitory with my household gods around me, which are--no matter what. Have been thinking, but my thoughts take a direction which my pen must not follow, and could not if it would. 12 o'clock midnight--Have conjugated 5 Spanish verbs, smoked 5 pipes of Spanish tobacco, and dilapidated a chair in trying to kill an infernal cat that was concatenating in my apartments. So ends my diatribe.

Jan. 21.
    It is twelve o'clock Saturday night, or rather the interregnum between the two days where Sunday from her primulat travil [Romanian for "first travel"] will soon assume her throne and Saturday retire into the dim obscurity of the past. Farther than this trite metaphor, what can be said of today? Nada sé, absolutamente. [I know nothing absolutely.] (The frequent recurrence of barbarism in my journal might seem to another pedantic, but as I do not write for others, the critique is all my own.) The day just past has had no interest for me further than that it connects the yesterday and tomorrow of my life, and thus preserved the thread of chronology, and my unprofitable existence.
    Shall I go to church tomorrow? Was today very politely invited to attend by the "dispenser of truth" (or with truth). Whether for my spiritual good, or his own pecuniary benefit, I am not at liberty to say, but when that redoubtable hat as large as a churn is passed 'round he always manifests a lively interest. "Man delighteth not me," and these hypocritic long-faced, stupid Methodist jackasses in particular. I have just parted company with one at a card table, who will doubtless tomorrow, with the effrontery of a wh--e, preach anathemas on such immoralities.

Jan. 22.
    Got me up at 9 o'clock and breakfasted at 11. We go to bed late, and rise late. Do not go to church today. I [would] rather smoke a cigar.
    I fear a few more years will make me a misanthrope, but I should hope not. The world is full of selfishness, and hypocrisy is the varnish that covers the defects--it extends everywhere. You meet it on the street, at your neighbor's, in the house of God--and in your own home. "Ay, there's the nut." You feel it then, and it strikes your heart.
    I have been thinking of my mother tonight. O! if she had lived--she was one of the noblest of women. I have often wished I had a portrait of her, but unfortunately there is none in existence. I think I could paint, were I acquainted with the art, a correct picture of her from recollection, though I was but nine years old when she died, but her countenance is still indelibly impressed upon my memory.

Jan. 23.
    The days are prepossessing and the nights fair and frosty; notwithstanding, I had a diabolical dream last night which might have furnished a new suggestion for Dante's Inferno. Just imagine a person confined upon his back, and scalding water dripping on his bowels from a hole in the ceiling. Nature smiles and man reviles. The "times" are duller than a country schoolroom. The most really exhilarating and invigorating thing of late was the appearance of a beautiful young lady on the street today--a stranger in town--with her convoy. Now it must be known that such visits, in our masculine dominion, are like those of angels in all respects.
    With eyes and mouths dilated, our fascinated young gents gazed upon the joyous spectacle--
    I pretermit and go to bed.

Jan. 24.
    The days are cold but silvery bright. We never have snow at this place, though there are vast quantities in sight from the Battery Point on the distant line of the Siskiyous. Those mountains, when viewed by moonlight, present a very romantic and mysterious appearance, stretching to the north and south in serried columns, all in white, like a cavalcade of Death's pale horsemen.

Jan. 25.
    Weather beautiful. Our winters are like the last part of Oct. in Maine.
    Went to a horse race this afternoon. Saw all the world there, and four whores on the way in a carriage stuck in the mud. They were in a fury, and I heard them call the driver in so many words--a God damned blockhead. We rode on and left them in their glory, or rather fury.
    Company called this evening--cards, conversation, scandal, &c., &c.

Jan. 26, 1860.
    Today is my birthday--I'm 26 years old. How long! a fading dream, I see them dimly--a little cot upon the hillside--Mother--father--sister--brothers--
    I feel a silly weakness tonight and a sadness unusual even for me as I recall the past--the dear ones gone--my cheerless life--and emotions I cannot control crowd my bosom, and the tears fall thick upon the paper while I write.
To twenty-six I've dragged along
Through toil and sorrow, pain and wrong,
And what of value have they brought?
Nothing; I've seen the world's fierce strife,
And hated man, and hated life,
And still live on, and still to naught
My waning life, my fleeting years,
I see them dimly through my tears,
A part of Time's vast cavalcade--
Why should I stay them? The long train
of ages have all passed in vain
Since evanescent man was made.
Jan. 27.
    Steamers arrived with mail &c.
    Received a letter from my sister Rachel, which puts me in better humor than I supposed myself capable of.
    By the way, she writes a very pleasing letter, and shows more genius and facility than I expected, though I knew her to be a girl of much good sense. Strange there are traits in people's character that we never understand until we are separate from them. Her style and diction are good: if she would use a little more confidence, and not write as if she feared she should say too big a thing, it would be an improvement.

Jan. 28.
    Rose with the sun, agreeable to the habitude of my youth, but though bent to it when a twig, I have not inclined to it very regularly in my treeage.
    Have taken a long walk about the city, and feel tired tonight. Called on several friends, and had a long "talk" with a literary gentleman on "these degenerate days," and the perverted taste of society. "A lamentable decline of interest in literature," "aversion to clubs and associations for intellectual improvement," "a tendency to dissipation and pleasure," &c., &c. were some of the points of this learned discussion. Tonight cards and insipid conversation, which I escape, rather impolitely, at an early hour.

Jan. 29.
    Another Sabbath, and spent much like former ones in sluggishly lying in bed till too late for church, and eating and swilling the rest of the day, making myself an epicurian philosopher.
    Several persons called in the evening--a learned talk on crinoline and the gospel, and--I wait for another day.

Jan. 30.
    Heard the birds singing merrily in the trees this morning before I was up. I listened to them a long time in dreamy pleasure. It carried me back to my boyhood days, when I heard them in the groves on the old homestead, myself as happy as they, contented in the present--careless for the future. "All things have now become estranged," and, mingling in the world's great alembic, my own change is no less remarkable than that of my time.
    The day passed unimportantly, and--good night.

Jan. 31.
    Mail steamer departed this morning before I rose, consequently did not get a letter posted to my sister Rachel as I ought, for which neglect I do not deserve the least mercy at her hand. But I will write her a good long one next mail that will make her forgive me everything. By the way, she writes that they think of me often: is it possible that anybody ever remembers me with regard? me, 6000 miles away by ocean? perhaps--I can remember--and some things that I wish I might forget.
    I have been thinking today of Miss -------. She was beautiful, respectable and witty: what more could I ask? And yet I obstinately threw her away, or rather my fate would not allow me to be happy. It was a recent amour, and unlike some of my former ones, sincere and honorable. My friends never suspected it. But now, no more. And 'tis but a miserable consolation to remember that I might, perhaps, if she would, have been happy.

Wednesday, February 1, 1860.
    Came home tonight much fatigued in consequence of an absurd expedition I have been on this afternoon. I have not yet shaken off all my boyish nature and it is still frequently leading me into foolish adventures, which as soon as ended my manhood condemns.
    Saw something as I walked up street which warned me against matrimony. It was so true an illustration of waning connubial affection, and of the impatience of marital fidelity inherent in some natures, of which I fear mine is an example. It was a young acquaintance of mine, lately married, walking in "close order" with his wife's pretty niece, while the spouse was left to shift for herself. I have seen other indications which confirm my belief that he likes the girl best. She is the lovelier of the two, and the phiz is quite natural. I think I might court the young lady, and save them much trouble (the married folks), but then, the remedy would be as bad as the disease.

Feb. 2, 1860.
    Rose early this morning, and I felt myself very amiable, but all my sweetness of temper was dispelled by events of the day. Have been full of business, but the more I do the less have I to record. I do not like to write my actions--they are seldom interesting in the retrospect. Came near getting my leg broken this afternoon, through the carelessness of a damned sheephead of a fellow, whom I think I called by his proper name at the time. Tonight, cards, conversation and myself a few Spanish verbs.

Feb. 3, 1860.
    I have never known weather in any part of the world, at any time of the year, to compare with this. The bright blue sky, the temperate warmth of the sun, the gentle breezes from the mountains, the absence of any annoying features, all render it supremely beautiful. The moonlight nights are enchanting, and the young ladies are in an agony of romance. But I am sick of admiring the climate--it is all we have to say when we meet in this sluggard of a town.
    I am called away by a young lady--Addio.

Feb. 4.
    Have been unhappy all day, in direct opposition to my historical philosophy. Existence is made up of contradictions, and dissimulation is its philosophy, I believe. A man may say, "I will banish sorrow," but yet he is not happy. There may be an external semblance of gladness, and even gaiety, while the heart is sunk in the gloom of wretchedness, and the bosom is crowded with a volcano of emotions becoming but the more dangerous by their confinement. Yet he who knows the world will be prepared for its vicissitudes, for the past is the prophet of the future. But this knowledge is seldom acquired but by the destruction of the fondest hopes, and the immolation of the dearest qualities of the heart.
Sunday, Feb. 5, 1860.
    Got me up very late, with a cursed headache, but it passed off with coffee &c. Went to church--purchased three shillings' worth of religion, and came home with much self-complacency, spirits exuberant, and becoming somewhat loquacious I soon raised a tempest among some lady visitors, who evidently thought I was intruding upon their prerogative. Miss A------ was "highly indignant"; however, it "blew over," and I retired unharmed. By the way, H----- made a remark for the salvo pudore of which I would not have answered. But among us virtuous people, we do not fear a little latitude in conversation, knowing, like Donna Julia, that though we relax somewhat from prudery, our self-control will always prevent any improper consequence from being sure to follow.
    Steamer Columbia arrived last night with the mails. Have read the papers &c. Tonight was urged to go to church--wouldn't go. This evening is glorious. It reminds me of a similar moonlight night at the East, when I walked four miles with a young lady, and four miles back, without feeling tired. Also, drank so much old cider on the way, with some other young gents, that I lost my girl (that is, afterwards) and ran two miles going home, trying to outrun the moon.
    Will write a letter and go to bed.

Feb. 6.
    Rose at six.
    Rode--read--wrote &c. The weather has at length changed. The wind is shrieking wildly and mournfully tonight; the "whitecaps" are licking the surface of the bay. The moon is struggling through the dark masses of broken clouds, while a number of fires along the mountainous coast throw 'round all a lurid glare, like the livid coloring of hell.
    No visitors tonight and I retire early, for what with women and fleas and cards &c., I have failed to get much sleep of late.

Feb. 7.
    The weather, last night, portended a long storm, so common in this climate in the winter season, and it did rain through the night, but I was agreeably surprised on awaking this morning to see the sun struggling for admittance through my window curtains. The day has indeed been more lovely than usual, and this evening is enchanting.
    The silvery rays of the moon fall softly over the widespread landscape; the dewdrops are glittering in the mellow light on flower and leaf; softly and sweetly the nightingale is singing in the myrtle shrubbery, and over all the broad blue sky, with here and there a pearly cloud sailing over its expanse like some gentle fairy, and the stars twinkling modestly in the moonlight as though in gladness at the sight--all this justifies enthusiasm for the beauties of nature.
    But such sentimentality is not characteristic of me, and I only admit it because I can think of nothing else to write in these stupid times. Manly spirit and vigor are in danger of being extinguished by desuetude, and I really believe if such petrifying dullness were to continue any great length of time, we should all become old women, and cease to propagate. Nothing done to record.

Feb. 8.
    Rose early this morning--under protest--at the importunities of the ambitious women. Confoundedly dejected all day. An anomalous and indescribable sensation of wretchedness frequently comes over me, and a painful fear of I do not know what--and without any apparent cause. It is not well. I must guard against such hypochondria.
    Have been thinking today on the depravity of California society. It is the damnedest country I ever saw. Almost every man is a roué and drunkard, and the women are not a whit behind. Virtue and chastity sound here like terms of mythology. Evening passed as usual.
    Some consummate fools looking over my shoulder bring the day's scribbling to a close.

Feb. 9.
    Read and written a good deal today. Consequently have little for this receptacle of the fragments of my vagrant thoughts. Have looked over my old manuscripts, about half a bushel of which I committed to the flames. [Some survive among the miscellaneous Beekman papers at the Oregon Historical Society.] This will probably share the same fate not long hence.
    The frogs are in full chorus tonight. The more gloomy their surroundings, the happier do they seem. How different from man. And what makes the difference? Mind! And was mind created for misery? "That is the question."
I do not know.                   
Feb. 10, 1860.
    Today is but a counterpart of the preceding--rode in the morning--read--
wrote--&c., subsequently, and visitors and conversation this evening, completing the diurnal round of sluggish existence. Received a very curious letter today from a whilom inamorata, full of crimination and imprecation. She evidently thinks she has discovered a process for "blowing up" men--even three thousand miles away--which Shakespeare's shrew inquired for in vain, but I fear she will miscarry (I mean her plans). Only think what I might have done in my youthful inexperience.
Saturday, Feb. 11.

March 10, 1862.
    Two years have elapsed since I was last scribbling in this journal--years which have brought events of momentous import not only to me individually, but to the world. The most remarkable and interesting event which has transpired, at least to every American, has been the rebellion of the entire body of the slave states against the government. That glorious fabric, the boast of our fathers, the pride of their sons, the envy and wonder of the world, has been in imminent danger of tumbling to pieces from the accursed machinations of the most damnable traitors that ever disgraced the form of humanity. The capital was nearly taken, forts were captured by coups de main, the sick ejected from hospitals, arsenals and dockyards destroyed or seized, public property of every description confiscated or ravaged, and the power of the federal government insulted, and set at defiance. The country, from long years of peace, though having the germs of strength, was, as one may say, without army or navy, or warlike appliances. Moreover the people were struck with amazement at the suddenness and unnaturalness of the blow, aimed at the very heart of American liberty, and by Americans themselves. Then things for a period seemed to paralyze the arm of government, while meantime the diabolical schemes of the traitors had well nigh been consummated.
    But the shock to the natural energies could not last. A terrible--to the rebels--
revulsion in the public feeling took place, and the North and West arose in their majesty. Seventy-five thousand men were first called out by President Lincoln, but to keep pace with rebel activity, the number was almost immediately increased until the thundering tread of over six hundred thousand men among our hills and valleys, the ring of workshops and armories in turning out materiel of war, the energy in our navy yards in providing for the marine service, and the clangor of arms in every city and village from Maine to California showed that the North was now fully aroused, and that treason must be put down. Some eleven months have elapsed since the fall of Fort Sumter, the first conflict in arms,
C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916 Box 5, Oregon Historical Society Research Library  The 1862 entry was written immediately after the battle between the Monitor and Merrimac.

Lima Sept. 29th 1862
Dear Leonora,
    I have not written you for some time not for lack of love, but for an excess of it, for I know not what to say to you. The affairs of your place and family look so dismal, and those of this country and mine the same way, that I am complexed in the extreme. I feel for you, for your family, for Hannibal and for my own situation there. I don't know how you can get along. I have seen your letter of the 9 ult., which revives in some measure my responding hopes.
    From mature consideration I had determined not to spend any more on the wharf until I could see some better prospects for the bettering of that place, and indeed I have fastened for a long time much hopes in the success of the copper mines in that vicinity, in which case that place must revive and the wharf speculation may turn to something; therefore I have always requested of you to do me the favor to keep me posted on the subject and everything relating to them. You now give me some good news which Capt. Wakeman communicated to you, which is in perfect accordance with the opinion that I had formed of them, & I think that on working them a short time or to some small depth there will be found most excellent metals. Should this be the case we shall all be happy. I will go to see you and make every arrangement for the working [of] them and rebuilding the wharf. Therefore I wish you to write me often and give me all the news that you can gather respecting them, the quality of the metals, the width of the lead or vein, the cost to get the metals out per cwt., the number of men at work, the number of leads worked, the distance of the mines from the port, cost in getting the metals down to port &c., &c.
    You say that you sent me some specimens, but I have recd. none.
    Tell me how the family supports themselves, and what your prospects are. Keep nothing from me. I want to know anything as if I was your father; does the wharf stand as it did or does it go to pieces.
    You speak of Hannibal's being absent, and that you hear from him frequently, but I have had no news of this before. Tell me how far he is from your place, and what he is doing. I feel a great interest for him, and I feel more the loss of the wharf on your and his account than on my own, for I had fondly hoped that that would have been a source of income and riches for you all, but god had seen fit that it should be otherwise and we must submit to his will; if the mines turn out well I still hope that all is not lost and that place [may] still be of use to you all.
    My affairs here are in such a bad state that I hardly know what to do--exchange between this and California is so high that it is impossible to remit money, yet we are in hopes that this government will establish a new coin equal in value to that of other nations so as to bring down the exchange, for the cause of this high rate of exchange now is because the coin of this country is one-third and more alloy of copper. Congress is actually treating upon this subject, and try[ing] to get a loan from Europe to call in all the bad money in the country and to pay off some debts that she owes to private persons. I have told you before, I think, that I had purchased a large sum of this debt last year, expecting that it would be paid, as a decree was issued by Congress to this effect in April 1861, but has not as yet been complied with; therefore I am in a bad state as it regards money matters, besides some heavy failures that have injured me much, very much.
    I have not heard from Farmington for many months and know nothing of my dear old father and from many of the young relatives which may be in the war. I see that the Maine boys distinguished themselves at Baton Rouge, which makes me feel proud, but I am sickened to the heart to see that our dear country is becoming daily desolated by the horrid civil war, and that there is not good sense enough in the Southerners to come back to the Union. I fear that very soon a war of death will commence and that peace will never be again known in the Union until slavery is completely [gone] and an annihilation of the white population of the South take place. God grant that these deluded people come to their senses and repent of their foolishness and become again a sensible people, and that our glorious country may once more be ranked the first of the earth.
    When you write to Hannibal send him my love and tell him how much I feel for him and pray for his welfare and always wish to know how he is and what his prospects are.
    Give my best love to your dear mother and to all the little boys and girls, and receive the same from the heart of your
Affectionate uncle who longs to see you,
    Abraham Wendell
C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916, Box 12, Oregon Historical Society

Crescent City Nov. 16th 1862
Dear Cousin Hannibal
    I have but a moment in which to address you, but I avail myself of this one moment to send you a few lines at least, to assure you of our good health, and to return my acknowledgments for your last letters. By the last steamer, the "Sierra Nevada," we received a letter from Uncle Abraham, and knowing you would feel pleased to hear from him I send it to you and am scribbling this little note on the back of it--he evidently has failed to receive some of our letters, several of mine I am sure cannot have reached him, and I doubt not an equal number of yours have been miscarried. It seems too bad does it not? for we certainly have not been too profuse in the sending of our letters to him.
    Copper still rages; the fever is unabated. The last steamer brought up several more copper men, all of whom profess themselves highly pleased with the mineral wealth of Del Norte. Everyone are saying, well, I presume the wharf will be rebuilt in the spring now? and it certainly seems as if business would warrant it. Uncle has felt so much confidence in the copper I hope he may feel encouraged enough to repair it. You write of thinking of going to San Francisco, but I think you had better come to Crescent City. We all feel so anxious to see you and hope you will come. We do not hear from home either. Our friends have also deserted us. You will write to Uncle, will you not. He writes that he did not know you had left, so your letters must have been miscarried. I shall write by the first steamer. Please tell Mr. Babcock I will write him a long letter next mail. I would write them but I should have to write so briefly it would hardly be a letter, but I will try next week and send you both a long letter and until then believe me
Your aff.
    Thank you for these envelopes. I am very much obliged.
C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916, Box 12, Oregon Historical Society

Jacksonville, March 13, 1863
My Dear Miss Lydia--
    So long a time has elapsed since we were last together, and so many changes taken place, that it seems almost as if we had grown strangers to one another--almost but I hope never quite. And to prevent the possibility of such an occurrence, which would be so great a loss to me, I will take a moment this evening to redeem the promise, made five years ago, to write to you from Oregon. For an excuse for not doing this before, I fear I have nothing to offer but the general habit of negligence incident to us bachelors in this land of "Tartars." But I have been far from forgetting you--indeed I could never do that, for the pleasant hours we have spent together, the drives and loitering moonlight walks are still too fresh and dear to my remembrance. I am going to confess a few things to you before I get done, and if you laugh at me I am too far away to mind you. The society of this country is "mixed" and peculiar. There are but few women, and this alone, you must know, tends to make men rude, coarse, vulgar and profane, and "hard cases" generally. Furthermore, the few women we have appear to be a sort of refuse article, sent out here, like a good many other wares, because they are unmarketable at home, to cheat the "honest miner," or whatever he may be, with their stale virginity and worn-out, used-up charms. To "confess," therefore, I am tired of such consolation, and get tolerably blue sometimes over it. Of one thing I can assure you, my dear little girl, I can never permit any of these female cayuses to enchant me. Indeed, I almost expect I am "a used-up man," though I have not yet lost my "grip." This state of betwixity, however, is confoundedly unsatisfactory, and I will tell you what I intend doing. Next fall, if I do not disappoint myself, I intend going to the old state of Ohio on a visit, and renew some of the old friendships which are still so dear to me; and if I can persuade, cajole, or steal, before my return, some little piece of female obstinacy, I will bear her away to Pacific's sunny shores to grace some little cot I will make for her.
    The last news I received from Ellen informed me that if I did not come home immediately she would get married, which threat I suppose before now has been carried out. "This was the most unkindest cut of all," and came near being fatal, at least to my matrimonial projects. However, I slowly recovered and put the best face on the matter. I could not avoid it, for I could not then go home, and thus the moment of my salvation was lost. But, Lydia, I trust all will not be married, and I will not despair yet. You must answer [remainder of letter lost]

C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916, Box 12, Oregon Historical Society

My Dear Sir--
    I hardly know but you will chide me for not redeeming my promise to write you before this, but anticipating your pardon, I will now take a moment to perform so agreeable a duty.
    I have not much of news to tell you. I am still luxuriating in the great and almighty state of Oregon, whose mountains reach the clouds, whose valleys reach the mountains, and whose morals are good deal lower down than either of the former. They have schools, however, here, where the younger vagabonds are put through a course of sprouts in moral calisthenics, and other graceful graces, which leads us to hope that what the rising generation lack of nature will be made up by art, so that this great and invincible commonwealth shall not degenerate. I visited one of these institutions of art the other day, and before leaving I made a speech to the young cayuses. I rose somewhat impressively, and straightening myself up to my full height and striking an oratorical [remainder of letter lost]
C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916, Box 12, Oregon Historical Society

Jacksonville March 15, 1863
My Dearest Cousin--
    I cannot sufficiently thank you for the many interesting favors from your pen, for which I am so much indebted, since I have been in Oregon, and especially as I can so illy requite them in kind. More than anything else have they compensated me for the privation of home, and the thousand little comfortable and confidential privileges of its associations--so missed by the roving adventurer, but always so faithfully and carefully treasured in his remembrance. Especially proud and happy am I to receive letters from a lady who has the talent to make them interesting, for the best of things you are aware may be spoiled in the telling.
    I received yours of the 6th inst. last evening, which was sooner than I had expected to hear from you, and I can but praise my good luck for so favoring me. I had decided upon leaving here soon, and possibly in a few days, which would depend something on the prospect of getting a certain school in the valley about which I had had some talk. As you inferred, I did not propose going by way of Crescent City. Not that I owed that little burg any ill will, but, as fortune had not particularly smiled on us there, and from many disagreeable business recollections which I wish to forget I made an agreement with myself, on leaving the town, one nasty July morning, that "let come what come might," I renounced and abandoned all interest and participation "in and about the premises" to the guardian (or evil) genius of its destiny, turning my back, resolutely and determinedly, ever upon the palaces of its grandeur in the vicinity of C Street. This agreement, however, like some other contracts I have made in my time, is, as Preston says, probably voidable, and I did not certainly renounce my interest in the people, and such oversights, you know, are generally taken advantage of in this country. Your letter, which is so flattering to the hope that I might still be welcomed by some among you, together with my own earnest desire to meet you all again, may yet decide me, therefore, to take your little city--once so fallen, but now so restored, revivified and copper-plated--in my way, when I have concluded to bid goodbye to the Tartars. I should, I think, defer leaving a short time, and will let you know if I change my mind again.
    As Mr. Babcock, I believe, is writing you also today, and as I have squandered a good portion of the time this evening which I designed for this letter, I will leave him to tell the news, if there be any, while I briefly refer to a few matters of our own. I would say, however, in passing, that the people of this town and valley are indulging in many sanguine hopes and expectations of better times--the principal article of their faith being the prospective wagon road to the Boise mines, which enterprise has been actively taken in hand, and will this time, there is little reason for doubting, prove a success. The "exploration" last year, under Ross, was evidently no criterion, but a great humbug, the party having spent the money which was raised for them on a pleasure excursion, and never condescended even to make a report. All this, also, is favorable to Crescent City.
    I am pleased to learn that you have realized a little something from the wreck of the poor old wharf. It therefore yields some income yet, especially, I suppose, after a storm. Mr. Baxter has been very kind in attending to these little matters. In relation to the selling of the wharf, or rather the place where the wharf was, I hardly know what to say. I am rather distrustful of the real opportunity of so doing. I think if it were mine I should accept a thousand dollars for the wreck and charter before letting so much money pass me. I have no confidence in a wharf ever accounting to anything unless it be filled, or built on piers, and then it should run straight out from C Street.
    Concerning Uncle Abram, I told you about all that I had myself learned. Uncle Butler, I believe, who attends, you know, to the looking up of stray relation, not having heard from Uncle Abram for a long time, wrote a letter to the postmaster at Lima, making inquiry regarding him. This "brought out" the Doctor, who thereupon informed him of the facts I have already stated. Like yourselves, I was certainly a good deal astonished, and hurt, that we, who have a direct interest in his California business, should not have been deemed worthy of such confidence. With regard to myself, I have received nothing from him of which you are not fully aware. His marriage, I presume, is the same spoken of by Boyer. Even this "rumor" I had never mentioned to my friends East, though often inquired of concerning him, considering it, if true, his secret still. I wrote home in December, and ought soon to receive a reply.
    By letters received from the States since writing you, I learn of nothing new [or] particularly important. Isaiah Richards, I am informed, did not die in California, but in the mines in one of the Territories--which is not stated--of the smallpox. He left Emily nothing. I have never heard anything from Washington, and don't know where he is. Betsy's husband I was slightly acquainted with. He was spoken of in connection with Bet before I left the States, and the prospective "match" commented upon. Allen was a musical instrument manufacturer and vendor at Farmington village, and boarded with John Lum. Bet used to have one of his melodeons at the house. I believe he was considered a man of good character, but of no great force in the world. They may, however, be happier than though he had more ambitions. I presume he is not worth much.
    Three of my cousins, brothers, are in the army--one on the Rappahannock, and two at Vicksburg. The latter were in the last battle of Vicksburg, and also at the capture of Arkansas Port. They escaped uninjured. But I will have to close and post this. I am very happy to hear of the welfare of your family &c. I can hardly imagine that little Bill can already read. How many changes are made in one short year, are there not? And speaking of changes reminds me of the old blacksmith shop. "Rest its ashes," but I'm afraid they won't, for Jo is a terrible fellow in the field. He ought to have a military command. And what does Tom do? Does he go a-courting yet? And what are the secret councils in the higher court? If I stop here long I will get Augusta to write me privately; I think, however, I will conclude to investigate for myself ere long. With much love to your mother and the children, I remain always
Your Aff. Cousin
March 18.
P.S.    I wrote this letter for Monday's stage, but by an oversight failed to post it; hence I can give you three days later. "All is quiet." I have not changed my mind since Sunday. I think I will, without much doubt, pay you a visit early in April. I should be much pleased to get into some business at C. City, so that I might be near your family; I have not, however, much expectation of doing this. I might, perhaps, get work in the copper mines, but such kind of work I think is about played out with me. I have been farming some in Oregon, but I don't believe I shall farm anymore. It isn't my forte. The fact is I haven't got the constitution for such work, honestly. Some might hint that I was "constitutionally tired," but out on all such evil-minded people. I will come and see you at all events, and can go to San Francisco by steamer.
C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916, Box 12, Oregon Historical Society

Jacksonville March 17, 1863
My Dear Cousin:
    Yours of the 9th ult. was received a week ago, and was more acceptable and interesting to me than I can tell you. I have been somewhat tardy in answering it, for the reason that I have not actually felt the energy to make the effort. This may be laziness, though I don't give it that name. I think it is the return of the warm spring weather, which gives me a dull pain in my head, and an all-overish feeling of stupidity, which renders me sometimes perfectly wretched. But I will be off for the Coast directly. In commencing this letter I sat for half an hour dipping my pen into the inkstand, like a boy in his maiden effort, without an idea worth soiling the paper with. In such cases, however, I set my pen running mechanically. It is sure to say something, and a good many things too I suppose that better not have been said. There was one single word in your letter which amused me, and I laughed over it after going to bed, for you must know that my evil genius is always sure to present the ludicrous side of everything to my perceptions. You say, "Now for once in your life be sober, and tell the truth, etc." The request was certainly well thought of, and pertinent to my case. You will pardon me, for the folly is all with myself, and though I am not making a handle of the expression for self-accusation, yet it furnishes a pretext for making a confession. I always had a vein of dry humor (very dry, I suppose) running through my composition, and in living in this country, where serious things are rather at a discount, and in mingling with all sorts of people under the sun, and observing the follies and whimsicalities of life, this disposition has increased upon me; and frequently after sending a letter to some friend, when I come to reflect upon the amount of nonsense which had crept into it, I have blushed at my own absurdity. I know this is true of many of my letters to you, which were probably only saved from being worse by the consciousness that I was addressing a lady. And though my friends in writing me often refer to my own as "interesting," "kind," etc., I have not certainly the vanity to attribute to each complaint anything more than the usual courtesies of correspondents. But today, if I have asked to write an address to a dog, I should distrust my ability for the task.
    Your own letters do not require my praise, else I would give it. Your reputation was established, I can well recollect, before I had hardly attempted the art.
Abounding in sentiments of the highest refinement and purest morality, I always feel my own better nature improved and ennobled by reading them. And this is something that I'm afraid I need, for in this country of relaxed morality and latitudinarian views of religion, the benefit of this influence is exceedingly questionable. I fear I have not myself entirely escaped the effects of such an atmosphere. I do not go to church a great deal; it is not impossible that I read more of newspapers on Sunday than the Bible, and I'm very much afraid that I sometimes swear when things don't go to suit me. Now will you continue to correspond with such a reprobate? There is one thing, however, that I never allow myself to do, and that is to treat religious subjects with levity. I gave a fellow a lecture the other day--who was scoffing at the Bible--which "brought down the house," even among a rough crowd of Oregonians, for there is generally a spark of religious reverence slumbering in the heart of the most abandoned, which can so late be rekindled. This, I think, I shall not lose. For I had a pure and noble mother once who taught me many things I have not practiced, but which will be remembered
and respected as long as I hold her memory sacred. But all these things, I suppose, are out of place in a letter, but as I hardly hope to interest you today, in any event, what subjects I choose is not important. [Letter unfinished.]
C. C. Beekman Papers, Mss 916, Box 12, Oregon Historical Society

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New Vineyard, Franklin County, Maine;
Franklin L. Hackett, farmer, 49
Deborah Hackett, 25
Julia Hackett, 21
Abigail Hackett, 19
Hannibal Hackett, 16
Rachel Hackett, 14
Abraham Hackett, 9
Susan Hackett, 7
Emma Hackett, 2
Joseph Hackett, 4 months
All born in Maine.
U.S. Census, enumerated August 24, 1850

    WHARF AT CRESCENT CITY.--At Crescent City we were happy to see in progress, by Major J. Wendell, a wharf running from Battery Point to Flat Rock (so called). This is a distance of 1,225 feet, running out under cover of a reef of rocks that must well protect the work. The bottom is composed of a soft sandstone cement, very even, and gradual in its inclination to the terminus--the Flat Rock. This rock presents a solid body of 10,800 cubic yards, 125 feet square, with a depth of water of eighteen feet at its sides at extreme low tides; offering facilities for first-class steamers to discharge at any stage of water. It appears that the securing of this rock was the main object of the Major in getting his charter in 1853, inasmuch as an artificial filling must cost one dollar per yard, and be much less permanent. Seven hundred feet of the work is completed except planking.--Portland Oregonian.
Daily Alta California,
San Francisco, October 15, 1859, page 1

Marriages and Deaths.
    WENDELL.--In Crescent City, March 5, Joseph F. Wendell.
New York Daily Herald, April 23, 1860, page 4

Manchester June 3rd 1860.
My Dear Brother,
    Your letter of March 23rd came duly to hand; and I should have answered it before but was intending to visit our friends in Farmington and N.V., and thought I would defer writing till I returned.
    I came from Father's a week ago yesterday; found them all well. Rachel was up to Freeman, but Father posted Abe after her as soon as I got there, so all we lacked was your presence to have made the family circle complete; if you could have taken a peep in at the old house and seen Father with all of your letters before him, and the big tears running down his cheeks (not to say anything about the tears the rest shed) you never would suppose you were forgotten. You have a gift for writing that the rest of us have not; I thought after I read your very interesting letters that I should hardly dare to write again.
    We were all pained at the mournful intelligence of Uncle Joseph's death. I feel to sympathize with you and the family. I feel that it was providential your going there. What a comfort it must be to Aunt Lemira to have you there, and I do think, Hannibal, that if you prove yourself trustworthy in Uncle Abram's employ that you will never lose anything. I thought while I was in Farmington that I could discover a feeling of jealousy in some of our friends there for fear you might gain Uncle Abram's confidence and esteem. Although your life thus far has been fraught with disappointments, yet I do believe if you put your trust in God and the ability he has given you you will come out bright at last.
    Father's health is not very good, about the same as when you were here; the rest of the family are well. Rachel intends stopping to Uncle Ephraim's this summer. Emma is coming down and stay with us, if she is contented. We have quite a family. Eliah [Eliah L. Caton, Manchester, Maine] has taken three paupers. Amos Lyon is one of them and a Mr. Henry Morrell, aged 80, and a boy [Seth D. Gordon], 16. We have $200 for keeping them this year.
    I was at Uncle Thomas Wendell's and made them a short visit. Grand Sir was down to Uncle Butler's. I did not see him. The Old Lady too has died since I was there, so it did not seem like Grandfather's to me. Aunt Susan's health is poor. She had a hoarse cough when I was there and one very sore eye. I did not say anything about the Marston dowry to Uncle Thomas, but I did to Uncle John. Aunt B. says we shall have our due. I told her I hoped out of 3 or 4000 dollars my mother would have enough to get some gravestones to mark the spot where she lay. I found out that Uncle Butler has got $2700 in his possession. I don't know but what they will do right, but I don't expect we shall ever get a dollar.
    Here I am at the bottom of my sheet. Give my particular regards to Aunt Lemira and the children and accept much love to yourself.
Your Sister
Peter Britt Papers, MS 170, Box 12, Folder 6, Southern Oregon Historical Society

Crescent City, Del Norte County, California:

Lemira Wendell, 40, born in Maine
Leonora J. Wendell, 17
, born in Maine
Joseph F. Wendell, 15
, born in Maine
Thomas Wendell, 12
, born in Maine
Augusta E. Wendell, 10
, born in Maine
Abram Wendell, 4, born in California
William Wendell, 3 months, born in California
Hannibal Hackett, 26, laborer, born in Maine
Emery Upham, 23, laborer, born in Maine
U.S. Census, enumerated June 4, 1860

    COPPER FEVER AT CRESCENT CITY.--The Crescent City Herald of May 30th says: Copper is all the rage and all the cry. Men eat copper, drink copper, sleep on copper and dream of copper. Approach two or more individuals who are talking in the street, and the first word you hear will be copper. Ask any individual you see on horseback where he is going, and be sure the answer will be to the copper mines. See anything in a man's hand and you may be certain it is a piece of copper ore, and if you search his pockets the probability is they are full of ore also. Oxides and sulphurets and casing and outcroppings are familiar words on the lips of men who two months ago would have been puzzled to define them. The fact is the whole country is full of copper, and in consequence all the inhabitants of this section thereof have got the copper fever badly and are much excited thereat.
Daily National Democrat, Marysville, California, June 13, 1860, page 3

Lima June 29th 1860
Dear Hannibal
    I have recd. yours of the 6th May, and am happy to learn that you arrived back from San Francisco well and were about commencing getting out timber from the woods for the wharf; I hope that by this time you have recd. the money that I sent on the 27th April to Mr. Larco of San Francisco and are driving ahead like a true Yankee.
    You say that there is owing something on the wharf for stumpage, freight to steamers &c.; pay everything that is right and just. You also say that there is coming to you some three hundred dollars. I don't know what bargain your uncle made with you, but I suppose that your aunt Lemira does, and anything that she says is right and is due to you, shall be paid; besides this, I have confidence enough in your honesty to believe that you will not deceive me. If God spares my life until next spring, I shall try and make you a visit and will arrange every[thing] to your satisfaction, both respecting past accounts and those that may be due hereafter. I only want you to drive on and get the wharf through as soon as possible so that it may commence producing something. As it respect your aunt Lemira putting into the wharf some little money of her own, that you say she has, I will say that she may do it on interest at two percent per month, or as a stockholder, whichever she pleases; besides this, I intend one-half of the wharf for the family the same as if my dear brother had lived and under the same conditions as I celebrated my contract with him.
    I want you to tell me how much my brother was owing when he died, or rather what debts there are which cannot be paid, and what the nature of them is, and how you have regulated the testamentary.
    Write me every mail without fail, and give me a description of the progress of the work.
    Give my love to all the family and receive that of
Your affectionate uncle
    Abraham [Wendell]
Peter Britt Papers, MS 170, Box 12, Folder 6, Southern Oregon Historical Society

New Vineyard Oct. 14th / 60
Dear Brother
    I received a letter from you dated May 20, and should [have] answered it before had not Father written you. Your advice to me was very good but needless. If I do flirt with the girls a little now while I am at home I consider that my privilege and that there is no harm in it.
    It is still times about here at present; the smallpox keeps everybody at home. We have not been on to Farmington Hill any of us since the 4 of July. That disorder had caused a great many deaths in this county and is still at work in many places. There is no longer much danger however at Farmington. It had been very sickly about here this fall. Emmaline Ferrand and Sally Ridgeway have just recovered from fevers.
    Uncle Ephraim and Aunt Hannah have been out to Wisconsin. They had a letter from there two days before they started, informing them that Mr. Ray was very sick, but he was buried the day before they got there. They brought two of his children home with them. Uncle Ephraim went to Baraboo, found our folks there all well. Eph and Han were at Uncle Hartson's. They were going into the woods this winter. We have got their pictures here, also John Leuce and his family.
    We got a letter from you last week and on opening it found a little one dollar gold piece and by reading the letter found it was to pay our postage. Father thought it was rather a hard case for you to find us [omission?] in postage money, but I suppose you thought it would not cost you much if we did not write oftener than we have done since you have been in California. We shall try and do better now until that money is gone. Rachel is a-going to write you today.
    Father has sold his oxen for 92 dollars and bought another pair for 102. They are a nice pair. They measure seven feet and 8 inches. Six years old. He has sold also 20 sheep for 2.50 per head. Cattle are low this fall and also horses. Rach has got her colt now. She ofers him for $75. He is a great horse. Father sold a cow last week for 20.00, two dollars more than he was offered for her when she was one year old.
    We have dried about 1000 pounds of apples and sold them for five and one-fourth cents per pound. We have got our corn all husked; had 100 bushels of ears. We had three acres of wheat and about the same of oats. We shall have it threshed tomorrow.
    Our Sue has got a beau. John H. Carville is his name. He sends his love to you and says he should be glad to see you. You wanted to know about the girls you went with last. I believe that Aurelia Wilcox was the last one. Of the rest I know but little, as I never have anything to do with a girl that somebody else has left. Mary Wade and Betsy Holly are at home. Mary Danvers I believe has got a beau, so you have lost her, but never mind it, there are as good fish in the sea as ever was caught.
    Our state election has passed with a grand Republican majority, but if the smallpox should continue the Democrats would carry the day next year, for it has so happened that every case of the smallpox there has been the diseased has been a Black Republican, not a single case having occurred among the Douglas Democrats, but I had not ought to make light of that dreadful disease, for we do not know how long before we may have it.
    I feel too sleepy to write any more at present, having been out two nights past till three or four o'clock. Give my love to all my relations and also to every pretty girl in California.
I remain your affectionate brother,
    A. W. Hackett
Peter Britt Papers, MS 170, Box 12, Folder 6, Southern Oregon Historical Society

Baraboo Nov. 10, 1861
Dear Cousin Hannibal:
    Never defer till tomorrow what can be done today was one of Dr. Franklin's mottoes. Never do today what can be deferred till tomorrow is one of mine--in the case of letter-writing at least. But I have no room for apologies and am a poor hand to make them at best. This much, however, when emancipation shall have taken place and four millions of colored people shall rush to the North and West for homes among their friends--then I expect to have plenty of leisure so that never after will my correspondents have occasion to accuse me of neglect. It is well, methinks I hear you say, when darkness surrounds me, to have an eye to penetrate its gloom and catch a glimpse of one bright spot far far in the distance. This, cousin mine, is all the spot I see, and the departing glory of our great Republic may soon shut out its last faint ray.
    Where, oh where, is the patriotism that fired the hearts of Jackson, Jefferson, Clay and Webster? Alas! their mantles have not fallen upon modern statesmen or generals. Some, yes, many, of our bravest, best and truest men either fall in battle or die otherwise. The brightest jewels are torn from the nation's casket, but 'tis said "Death love a shining mark." Last though not least of the gallant band who have given their lives in support of our government is the noble Col. Baker, formerly of Cal. Well may a nation mourn for such as he.
    Cousins Henry & Ephraim are in the army. They enlisted at La Crosse, went into camp at Racine and are now in Louisville, Kentucky, or I suppose they are, for Henry was at home last week and said they should start as soon as Thursday. Eph has been very sick for three weeks, but was gaining when Henry left. We felt very badly to have them go, but as we must fight or die, we bade them go, and "God speed." We hope for them all the honors due a soldier, the achievement of great victories, and a safe return to our arms. They belong to an artillery company, and Eph is to be a lieut. I think you would feel somewhat flattered to hear what your friends say of your patriotism. When I read your last letter to sister Em, before I finished the war part she interrupted me by saying, "O, I wish cousin Hannibal were President, then we should have something done." And LIzzie in writing me a few days since spoke of a letter lately received by your father, from you, in which you poured forth a flood of Unionism--and, she added, "Han is one of the noble sons of New England, and find them where you may, they are true to the Union." The war fills so large a place in my mind that I find it next to impossible to introduce any other subject. There is one, however, upon which I beg leave to offer a few thoughts before laying aside my pen.
    Dickens says--away in an upper room, up a great many flights of stairs (in the heart of man) there is a door, and on that door is written Woman. After nearly a year's correspondence with you, my cousin, with an unreserved interchange of thoughts and feelings (as I supposed) after having called you a Stoic &c. you with your own hand cautiously push aside the curtain and disclose to my eager eyes the door--that very door which you have guarded so well--and engraven thereon I read the unmistakable letters w-o-m-a-n. This is convincing proof that the powers of deception are not confined alone to females. Yes, you had really made me believe that your cat and dog were all the companions you deemed necessary for your happiness. I now begin to see things as they are, and apprehend that the time is not far distant when the canine and the feline will give place to the feminine. Well, there is a time for all things (Solomon says), and it is not strange that your time to marry comes slowly on. Write me often, cousin dear, before that great event transpires, for never after shall I expect to receive a letter postmarked Crescent City. Black eyes are very captivating sometimes, and men of superior judgment never allow themselves to be fascinated with any other. You have given me the outlines and now my woman's curiosity demands the whole history. San Francisco--black eyes--this is all I know. Please give me the particulars in your next--the name I am very anxious to know. As I have made up my mind that I would not kill you with a long letter this time I shall be obliged to close soon, as I find myself near the end of my sheet. John is intending to go East on a visit in a few weeks. He will visit your folks, of course, and after his return I will write you all about them. Dilla told me she had just written to you, and I dare say you will get all the news this time, for what she did not tell I shall be likely to. As letters now are sent overland to Cal., I feel somewhat concerned lest mine may stop among the Saints at Salt Lake, but hoping this may not be the case I shall start it the first opportunity. Hoping to hear from you soon I subscribe myself
Your affectionate cousin
    If you knew how anxiously I watch the post when looking for a letter from you I think you would let me hear from you oftener than you do. I have neglected to tell you about my folks as you requested, but will try to do so next time.
Peter Britt Papers, MS 170, Box 12, Folder 6, Southern Oregon Historical Society

    On Front Street, driftwood, most of which was hewn timber, supposed to have come from Humboldt and Trinidad, was piled up ten feet high; this, together with tapping the lagoon so that it could run into the ocean--which labor was performed by the Indians--[Crescent City] was saved, although the water is said to have been three feet deep in the buildings on that street. The wharf sustained considerable damage; one-third of it was carried away in the middle; a large stick of timber was thrown with great force by the waters over the wharf and entered the warehouse of Dugan & Wall.
"Del Norte County," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 27, 1861, page 1

Kerbyville 31st Dec. 1861
Mr. Hackett
    Dear Sir
        Your favor of 22nd inst. was lying here in the P.O. when I arrived today, but before I had seen its contents the mail was gone. Sorry I was not able to write in reply by return mail but hope this may arrive in time to serve your wants in the Saville business.
    I have examined the authorities carefully this afternoon and am fully satisfied that you had no authority to purchase the lighters, execute the notes or make the mortgages in the name of Dr. Wendell and that those acts are void. I really never had any doubt on that question. I fully endorse the opinion of Mr. Haynes as stated in your letter and assure you that you may rest easy about the sale of the wharf to satisfy that mortgage. That the Dr. has not ratified your doings in the premises you may deem certain until he executes a deed under seal or by very possibility a written agreement, not under seal, by which to remain himself responsible. No less solemn ratification would avail those who claim under your contract.
    The whole matter is void. But you ask what is best to be done? You say that the lighters will not pay expense money this winter and I infer that you are not anxious to retain them on the old contract terms!
    If you are disposed to treat the old transactions as a nullity my advice to you is this: Inform Messrs. Saville & Co. that you have taken counsel, or rather that Dr. Wendell through you has taken counsel in the case, and that you are advised that so far at least as Dr. W. is concerned the notes & mortgages are void, and that they will be so treated by him. That if they with immediate peaceable possession of the lighters by arrangement with you they must accept them in full cancellation of debt & satisfaction of mortgages. That you will either abide the legal test of the matter as originally written down & leave them to their remedy or wipe out the slate as you now stand & let them keep the $400 for the use of their awkward-looking boats, & think themselves well off in getting them back so easily. For it is possible that by their own improvident neglect to look into the scope of your powers, they may have lost their equities with the possession of their junks. This last item you need not mention unless they grow insolent.
    If they accept such an offer you would surrender the lighters absolutely. Insist on having satisfaction of the wharf's mortgage entered upon the records, for though the deed is void yet while it stands it will be a cloud & scarecrow that should be extinguished.
    If they will not do this I would hold on to the lighters, and be sure and take good care of them. For unless you shall become negligent and leave them exposed to unnecessary damages you need feel no anxiety about their taking them from you before the whole controversy shall be decided on its merits. When they come to foreclose their mortgages next May, the Dr. by his counsel will deny your authority to bind him as well in the mortgages on the lighters as in that on the wharf; as well in the notes as by the mortgages, and should the court sustain that view, of which there can be no doubt! they must entirely fail in that suit & the little boats still out of their reach and no possibility of further proceedings against your uncle or of any costs against him.
    Suppose matters standing thus at the close of May term. You will not be in any bad position. You in possession somehow! occupying some relation to them to the crafts, but what relation I assure you it will not be a criminal one, or one in any sense dangerous to you or any of your friends in a legal sense. And if you retain Mr. 
Haynes I much doubt if they can find counsel thereabouts who can frame a cause that will reach you or the lighters for a year or so.
    Should they bring suit for the possession of the lighters on the idea of liability to damage you must consult your own judgment whether to suffer a default, but I incline to the opinion that if they will not consent to a full cancellation of everything I would fight them wherever they may show themselves at law. But if they are willing to come up to my first suggestion I would close the business then which I am the real equity of the case.
    I regret that I am not in a position to attend personally to you & their interests in this matter, but I trust you will at all times write to me with perfect freedom in reference to any point of business which may arise and rest assured that I shall regard it a pleasant duty to afford you all the intelligence in my power.
    Write on the issue of the business should you reach any result.
Meanwhile I am
    Very truly your friend
        H. L. Preston
    I hope you may find this "opinion" intelligible but I am not quite certain as I have been riding in the storm & snow 3 or 4 days & am suffering from pretty severe irritation of the lungs & nervous headache &c. &c. &c., particularly the &c. Am afraid to read it over for fear I would have to rewrite it.
Yours &c.
Peter Britt Papers, MS 170, Box 12, Folder 6, Southern Oregon Historical Society

Sharon July 6, 1862
Dear Brother
    I received your long letter of Feb. 20 and was glad to hear of your good health and prosperity. I have got the California fever worse than ever. I left home last April and came up to Lowell but could find no business there to suit me so I strayed off out here into Sharon and hired out on a farm for three months. I am to work for a widow woman. She has got twin daughters and one granddaughter. The latter is a sweet sixteen and we have some high times.
    I got a letter from Father last week; he informs me of their good health and says he received a letter from you a short time since and was glad you had not left C. City.
    I had made up my mind to start for your part of the country as soon as I got through here. There is a ship leaves Boston every month for San Francisco and I thought of getting aboard of one and working my passage. Sailors are very scarce, and I could get good pay. I informed Father of my plans and asked his advice, but he wrote me such a discouraging letter that I have given up the idea at present. He advised me to wait until fall and take your advice and the rest of my friends' before I took such a step. He wants me to go home and help him get his hay, and I guess I shall.
    I like here very well; the people here are kind to me, both male and female. Last week I went a-fishing down on the salt water. A party of us went to Boston, hired a boat and ran down the bay about 15 miles, caught about 40 codfish, some haddock and returned home the same night.
    There is hard fighting at present at Richmond. We hear from there every night, and the way they are slaughtering the poor soldiers is terrible. They have not time to bury their dead, and many of them are rolled in tar, thrown into heaps and burned. I was told of this by a fellow who was an eyewitness of the scene. This has sickened me of the war. Last fall I wanted to enlist and should, had my friends given their consent.
    I want you to write to me when you get this and tell me what you think of my plan in going to Cal. by the way of Cape Horn. You think it would be better than to get married and settle down in N. Vineyard, do you not, but my sheet is full and I must stop. Direct your letter to N. Vineyard, for I shall be there before you get this.
From your brother
Peter Britt Papers, MS 170, Box 12, Folder 6, Southern Oregon Historical Society

Benicia, Solano County, California:

H. E. Hackett, 30, U.S. soldier, born in Maine
U.S. Census, enumerated June 13, 1870

St. Augustine's College
Hannibal E. Hackett, Military Instructor
Major; attained rank February 5, 1874, commissioned February 9, 1874
"Roster of the National Guard of California," Report of the Adjutant General of the State of California for the Years 1873, 1874 and 1875, page 47

    MILITARY COMMISSIONS.--Commissions were issued from general headquarters yesterday as follows: To Hannibal E. Hackett, as Major of the National Guard of California and Military Instructor of St. Augustine College, Benicia, vice John H. Dickenson, resigned; also, to Mathias Dixheimer, as First Lieutenant of the Sherman Guard, Company H, Fourth Infantry Regiment, Fourth Brigade.
Sacramento Daily Union, February 11, 1874, page 3

    The faculty is comprised as follows: Rev. William P. Tucker, Rector, Teacher of Greek, Philosophy and Sacred Studies; Elijah Broadbent, Headmaster and Teacher of Higher Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Major H. E. Hackett, Military Commandant and Teacher of Mathematics and Geography; M. T. Sickal, Teacher of English Grammar and Elocution; F. W. Gabriel, Teacher of Vocal and Instrumental Music and Grammar; Mrs. C. E. Gabriel, Principal of Lower School and Teacher of Spanish; Mons. Henrie Mowron, Teacher of French.
"College of St. Augustine," Pacific Churchman, San Francisco, June 11, 1874, page 5

    College of St. Augustine, Benicia.--(Incor. 1868) Board of Trustees--Pres., the Bishop. Vice-Pres., Rev. J. Lloyd Breck, D.D. Sec., Rev. W. P. Tucker. Rector of College, Rev. W. P. Tucker, A.M. Headmaster, E. Broadbent. Commandant, Maj. H. E. Hackett.
William G. Farrington, ed., Church Almanac for the Year of Our Lord 1875, Protestant Episcopal Tract Society, page 26

    After a generous lunch, provided for all the guests. the entertainment was continued at the parade ground, where a competitive saber drill was held, under command of Major H. E. Hackett, who by the way is a most accomplished drill master and unmistakably true soldier. This is a new feature in the school, and was a very interesting one, though allowance had to be made for young wrists, swinging regulation cavalry sabers. The prize was awarded to W. S. Coleman for his soldierly bearing as well as skill with the saber.
    Then came the old-time and always interesting dress parade. Orders were made, cheers were given for Major Hackett, Mr. Brewer and others, and the duties were done. The muskets were hastily put away to rest for a month, and with old soldier instincts the stiffness of discipline disappeared with the accoutrements, and with loud shouts of freedom the happy, handsome crowd of young men dashed for the depot. We have witnessed many military charges, but none ever pleased us more than the sight of these ruddy, handsome fellows with the holiday shout upon their lips.
"St. Matthew's Hall: Closing Exercises of Trinity Term," Times and Gazette, Redwood City, California, December 13, 1879, page 3

San Mateo Military School
    Dr. E. A. Baldwin, Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the San Mateo Military School, is in the city on business connected with the institution, and is staying at the Arlington Hotel. San Mateo is situated twenty miles south of San Francisco, on the line of the Southern Pacific. The school is finely located, and has the advantage of healthful grounds and even climate. There are at present over one hundred pupils engaged in the study of the different branches of classical knowledge and military discipline. The military department is under the superintendence of Major Hackett, a well-known and able army officer, and a full equipment of U.S. accoutrements is furnished. The remaining studies are taught by equally efficient teachers, who spare no pains for the advancement of their pupils. An infirmary is attached to the school, and the greatest skill and attention is tendered the sick. Dr. Baldwin will remain in the city for some days, and all who desire to obtain information concerning the school can do so upon application at the hotel.
San Diego Union, June 12, 1887, page 5

    Reids' school closed this week for eleven weeks' vacation. Prof. Reid and Major Hackett leave for the East today to spend their vacation.
"Belmont," Times and Gazette, Redwood City, California, May 24, 1890, page 5

H. E. Hackett to A. S. Hackett, lot on S.E. cor. of Sadowa and Capitol sts., E. 50x125 . . . Gift
"Real Estate Transactions," San Francisco Call, September 18, 1890, page 6

Belmont School, San Mateo County, California:
Hannibal E. Hackett, 66, teacher, born Jan. 1834 in Maine, married 25 years
Abby Hackett, 43, born Sept. 1856 in California, parents born in New Hampshire
U.S. Census, enumerated June 29-30, 1900

    These pensions were granted: California--Original--Hannibal E. Hackett, Belmont, $6. Increased--John A. Owen, Pasadena, $17.
"Of Interest to People of the Pacific Coast," San Francisco Call, January 1, 1902, page 9

    Major Hackett and wife, who have been visiting Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Beane and Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Blanchard, returned to Belmont Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Hackett is a sister to Mrs. Beane and Mrs. Blanchard.
"Purely Personal," Woodland Daily Democrat, Woodland, California, December 28, 1903, page 1

    Mrs. H. E. Hackett of Belmont, Cal., who has been the guest of Mrs. Louise E. Jewett, 73 Court Street, for the past few days, left on the morning train, Friday. She will be in Cambridge to attend the commencement exercises at Harvard, when her son, Lewis H. Hackett, will graduate. Her husband, Major Hackett, who is a professor in the Belmont school, is a native of Franklin County, Maine, and an uncle of Mrs. Jewett.
"Personal Mention," Daily Kennebec Journal, Augusta, Maine, June 17, 1905, page 8

(The Bee's Special Service.)

    WOODLAND (Yolo Co.), September 8.--Mrs. F. W. Blanchard received a telegram Monday announcing the death at Belmont of her brother-in-law, Major H. E. Hackett. Deceased had been a frequent visitor to Woodland. He was a noted educator. For a number of years he was an instructor in St. Augustine's Academy, Benicia. Later he was a teacher in Brewer's Academy at San Mateo and at the time of his death was a member of the faculty of Reed's Military Academy at Belmont.
Sacramento Bee, September 8, 1909, page 7

Former Military Instructor to Be Buried Today

(Special Dispatch to the Call)
    BELMONT, Sept. 8.--Major H. E. Hackett, until recently recorder and commandant at Belmont School, died at the Gardiner sanatorium in Belmont yesterday. He was at one time military instructor at St. Augustine's college at Benicia and afterward instructor of military tactics at St. Matthew's military school, San Mateo. For some months he had been suffering with cancer, which caused his death. Major Hackett was once a noncommissioned officer in the regular army and later a member of the national guard of California. A widow and son survive him. The funeral will take place at Benicia tomorrow.
San Francisco Call, September 9, 1909, page 5

HACKETT--Passed away, at Belmont, Cal., September 7, 1909, Major H. E. Hackett, formerly commandant at St. Augustine college, Benicia, Cal., and St. Matthew's military academy, San Mateo, Cal., and recorder and commandant of Belmont school, Belmont, Cal., 1889 to 1907. (Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles, Cal. papers please copy.)
    The services will take place today (Thursday), September 9, 1909, at Cypress Lawn chapel, upon arrival of train leaving Belmont at 12:24 o'clock. Interment at Benicia. Please omit flowers.

San Francisco Call, September 9, 1909, page 11

Major Hannibal Eugene Hackett
Birth: January 1834, Maine
Death: September 7, 1909, San Mateo County, California
Burial: Benicia City Cemetery, Solano County, California
Married: Abigail Ann Sanborn (1855-1929) July 24, 1875, Solano County, California
Children: Lewis Wendell Hackett (1884-1962)

Major Hackett Was a Son of Maine.
    Major Hannibal E. Hackett of Belmont, Cal., a well-known son of Maine, is dead. He had many relatives and friends in Franklin County and two nieces, Mrs. Louise E. Jewett and Mrs. H. M. Perry of Augusta. The San Francisco Chronicle, in reviewing Major Hackett's career, says: Major Hannibal E. Hackett was one of the notable figures in the secondary schools of the state. His father, Joseph L. Hackett of Maine, was an associate of Hannibal Hamlin in the political life of that state. His grandfather served in the War of 1812, and his great-grandfather in the Revolutionary War.
    Major Hackett came to California in 1859. He engaged in business in Crescent City for a time, and later in a mining venture in Idaho. In 1863 he joined the California volunteers, and later was transferred as sergeant-major to the ordnance department of the regular army. On his retirement, in 1873, he was appointed on the staff of General Booth, with the rank of major.
    He served as commandant at St. Augustine School at Benicia from 1873 to 1897, at St. Matthews School from 1879 to 1889, and at Belmont School from 1889 to 1902, continuing with the last-named school as recorder until a few months before his death.
    During his thirty-five years in these schools he had under him hundreds of boys, some of them now prominent in the life of the state. Although a strict disciplinarian, his dignity and simplicity of character, his gentleness of heart and his kindly humor awakened in his pupils both respect and affection in a rare degree.
Daily Kennebec Journal, Augusta, Maine, October 4, 1909, page 5

Son of Californian to Study Hookworm
    Dr. Lewis H. Hackett, son of the late Major H. E. Hackett, California educator, has been selected by the Rockefeller Foundation to direct the first campaign for the study of hookworm.
San Francisco Call, February 28, 1914, page 7

Last revised February 8, 2023