Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lucius Anson "L.A." Booth (1820-1906): Railroad pioneer; Grocery mogul

Booth Family plot at Mountain View Cemetery
New York native Lucius Anson Booth, was a Forty-Niner  who arrived in California via Mexico.

He was one of the original incorporaters of the Central Pacific Railroad with the Big 4 - Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker and Collis B. Huntington. In 1860, the five men, along with Theodore Judah, James Bailey, Charles Marsh and John Marshall, learned about an unused wagon trail across Donner Pass. They decided to organize the Central Pacific Railroad and funded the survey that convinced Congress to approve the Western portion of the transcontinental railroad. The Pacific Railway Act was passed by Congress in July 1862 and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

The nine men bickered about numerous business issues and the board often split 4-4 on key votes (with Marsh often absent). The company faced numerous financial and technical challenges, including the inability to find workers after the Civil War. Over the next six years, the Central Pacific brought in 13,000 workers who were mostly Chinese. The immigrant workers laid 690 miles of track over the Sierra Nevada's and over 1,500 died from avalanches, freezing weather and dynamite explosions while making tunnels. They were paid $26 a month and had to buy their own rations.

Booth & Co. on J Street in Old Sacramento
Booth made a fortune in mining, which he invested in founding a wholesale grocery business on J Street in Sacramento, which at various times was known as Booth & Company, Booth, Adams & Company and Forshee, Booth & Company. One of the investors in the business was his cousin Newton Booth, who was the 11th Governor of California.

In April 1877,  he became an investor in James Gamble's 350-acre tract of land that he purchased from Walter Blair, which became the Piedmont Land Company. The property was subdivided and sold to individual land owners.

He died at his residence, known as Hazelwood, on Hazel Lane in Piedmont.

[Sources: "Historic Donner Stock Trail" by Milan E. Wight; Oakland Tribune; San Francisco Call; "History of Sacramento County" by G. Walter Reed; "Classy  City: Residential  Realms  of  the  Bay  Region" by Richard Walker; Wikipedia; Bancroft Library; Ancestry.com]

Roi Partridge (1888-1984): Noted printmaker and teacher; Married Imogen Cunningham


Roi Partridge in 1952 (photo: Paul Bishop) and in 1915 (Photo: Imogen Cunningham)
PLOT 11

Roi George Partridge (October 14, 1888 – January 25, 1984) was an American printmaker and teacher. He was born in Centralia in the territory of Washington on October 14, 1888. At age four he moved with his family to Seattle, Washington, where his father worked as a typesetter and later owned the local newspaper.

Roi Partridge is buried in his wife's Fisher family plot
In Seattle, Partridge was one of three Seattle artists who worked together under the name "The Triad". The others were painter John Butler and miniaturist Clare Shepard Shisler. Also in their circle were photographer—and Partridge's future wife—Imogen Cunningham, and painters Mabel Lisle Ducasse and Yasushi Tanaka.
Roi Partridge's Santa Rosita (Hollister Peak) - 1923
In 1909 the budding artist traveled with Butler to New York City for one year of art study at the National Academy of Design and then studied etching in Munich. His next three years were spent in Paris where he worked as a printmaker under the mentorship of Bertha Jaques. When the German troops were approaching the French capital in 1914, Roi returned to Seattle. When 44 of his etchings were shown at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, he decided to make California his home. After moving to San Francisco in 1917, he began teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California in 1920 and became the first director of the school's art gallery. His marriage to photographer Imogen Cunningham in 1915 ended in divorce in 1934. They had three sons, including photographer Rondal Partridge. His second wife, artist Marion Lyman, died of cancer in 1940; his third wife was May Fisher.

Partridge took a leave of absence from Mills College in 1946, continued etching until 1952, and retired in 1954. His last years were spent in Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, California, where he died on January 25, 1984.
Roi Partridge's California Coast -1924–1925
The Amarillo Museum of Art (Amarillo, Texas), the Bancroft Library (University of California), the British Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, Mills College, the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, Alabama), the New York Public Library, the Oakland Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art (San Diego, California), the University of Michigan Museum of Art (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and the Weisman Art Museum (University of Minnesota) are among the public collections holding works by Roi George Partridge.

[REPRINTED FROM WIKIPEDIA]

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Holmes Beckwith (1884-1921): Killed Syracuse Professor

Grave of Holmes Beckwith (photo Michael Colbruno); News photo courtesy of Dubuque Telegraph-Herald
PLOT 1

[Reprinted from Wikipedia]

Holmes Beckwith (1884–1921) was an American political scientist and professor of finance and insurance at several universities. He shot and killed Dean J. Herman Wharton and himself at Syracuse University on April 2, 1921.

In late March 1921, Beckwith was informed by Dean Wharton that he would be dismissed; after Beckwith protested, Wharton told him that students had complained about him. Beckwith argued with Wharton twice at his house, and went to see him a final time in the dean's office on April 2, bearing a letter, later found on Wharton's desk, declaring his dismissal to be unfair, and that other professors were more popular because they were "too lax"; he also carried a military revolver and a knife.Beckwith shot Wharton five times and himself once.

After his death, a number of letters were found addressed to relatives and university administrators in Beckwith's hand; the letters complained of a life of failure and misunderstanding, apologized to relatives, and made clear that the murder was premeditated (and that Beckwith had contemplated murdering other academic administrators previously). Beckwith's uncle suggested the following day, in a statement of condolence and regret, that he did not believe his nephew "was dealing in personalities when he shot the Dean, but that the act was just his disordered expression of compensation for the wrongs and injustice he believed the world did him." Physicians and psychologists interviewed by The New York Times suggested Beckwith had an "exaggerated ego" and compared him to the notorious murderer Harry Kendall Thaw.

Headline of Syracuse Herald
Beckwith was born in Hawaii to a family of ministers and missionaries, and spent his early life there and in California. He received degrees in law from the University of California and the Pacific Theological Seminary, and in 1911 completed his Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University. While at Columbia he married Frances Robinson, the daughter of a Berkeley, California minister.

Beckwith's dissertation, German Industrial Education and its Lessons for the United States, was the result of a trip to Germany to observe industrial education practices in the summer of 1911. Beckwith has been cited as a significant part of academic and policy debates in the period about the potential for German-style industrial education in the United States.

After completing his dissertation, he was appointed instructor in economics at Dartmouth College in the fall of 1911. He later described Dartmouth as "the toughest college in America"; he was dismissed not long after arrival, following conflicts with Dartmouth professor George R. Wicker.

During World War I he attended an officer's training camp but was discharged for physical disability, which began a long series of brief positions with a variety of institutions. In 1914, he worked for the California State Banking Commission, but was fired after complaints about his manner from the banks. In 1916 his wife, who had supported him at times during his career, left him, eventually remarrying.

In the following years, he held positions at Grinnell College and the Northwestern University School of Commerce, both rather briefly. He taught for one year at Colorado College in 1920, where he became friendly with folklorist Stith Thompson, who had just begun his first academic appointment there. In his memoirs, Thompson describes Beckwith as "an extremely odd character, utterly unable to adapt to his environment." Soon after, Thompson was asked by a department head to explain to Beckwith that he would not be reappointed; Thompson reports that his colleague "received me very cordially and seemed to appreciate my interest and frankness." Shortly thereafter, Beckwith was appointed to his final position at Syracuse.

Sources: Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Wikipedia, Syracuse Herald

Caspar Thomas Hopkins (1826 – 1893): Pioneer Insurance Man

Caspar Hopkins (Grave by Michael Colbruno; Head shot courtesy of Bancroft Library)
PLOT 11

Caspar Thomas Hopkins (1826-1893), moved to California in 1849 two years after his graduation from the University of Vermont. In 1853, he married Almira Burtnett (1828-1875), with whom he had four children, Frances "Belle" Isabella (1854), Amelia (1856), Myra (1864), and William (1866). He settled in what is now known as the Fruitvale area of Oakland. His home was known as Alderwood  and sat on six acres of apple orchards near Sausal Creek. 

After testing out several endeavors, including trading, sailing, and exploring southern Oregon, Caspar finally settled on a career in marine and fire insurance. In 1861 he established the first insurance company on the Pacific coast, the California Insurance Company, and served as its president for 35 years.

He was a prolific writer, including letters which are archived at the University of Michigan, articles for "The Vermont State Agriculturalist," which he founded, and a civics textbook called the "Manual of American Ideas (1872). In 1876, he also was granted a patent for "S.F. street railroad rails."

His letters document many stages of his life, such as his 1849 voyage to California via Mexico and his participation in the Gold Rush as a speculator and businessman, his exploration of the Umpqua River in southern Oregon in the early 1850s, and his career as president of the California Insurance Company in the 1860s through the 1880s. His Gold Rush letters contain stories about the miners he encountered and on their way of life. On October 14, 1850, he wrote a letter to "Friend Clarke," describing frontier conditions, the attitudes of settlers, and the habits of Native Americans in the Klamath River Valley. 

His brother, Dr. John Henry Hopkins, wrote the popular Christmas song "We Three Kings."

Sources: William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, North Adams Transcript, Bancroft Library.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Roy Merriam (1897-1918): Vanished in Bermuda Triangle

Roy Mirriam and his grave in Plot 14
PLOT 14

Roy Merriam was a coxswain on the U.S.S. Cyclops, which disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle on March 4, 1918.

The ship carrying 306 people including enlisted men and passengers was never heard from again and remains the single largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat. As it was wartime, there was speculation the U.S.S. Cyclops was captured or sunk by a German raider or submarine, because she was carrying 10,800 long tons of manganese ore used to produce munitions, but German authorities have denied any knowledge of the vessel to this day. The ship was thought to be overloaded when she left Brazil, as her maximum capacity was 8,000 long tons.

Rear Admiral George van Deurs suggested that the loss of Cyclops may have been the result of structural failure, as her sister ships suffered from issues where the I-beams that ran the length of the ship had eroded owing to the corrosive nature of some of the cargo carried. This was observed definitively on the U.S.S. Jason, and is believed to have contributed to the sinking of another similar freighter, Chuky, which snapped in two in calm seas. The Washington Herald also reported that the ship has been traveling at a reduced speed due to a damaged engine.


Moreover, Cyclops may have hit a storm with 30–40 kn (56–74 km/h; 35–46 mph) winds. These would have resulted in waves just far enough apart to leave the bow and stern supported on the peaks of successive waves, but with the middle unsupported, resulting in extra strain on the already weakened central area.

The ship has appeared numerous times in popular culture, including in Clive Cussler's novel Cyclops, in an episode of Quantum Leap entitled "Ghost Ship," in the cartoon Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! and  in the video game Dark Void.

Although the ship disappeared on March 4, 1918, the designated date of death for every one on board is June 14, 1918. The list of the missing sailors released by the U.S. Navy stated that he was from Hickman, California in Stanislaus County. There is a Merriam Road in Hickman.

* Coxswain is the person responsible for steering the ship

Friday, May 13, 2016

Elijah Bigelow (1810-1895): Wealthy early Oakland settler

Emma Bigelow's tombstone on the Bigelow plot; Ladies Relief Society
PLOT 6

Elijah Bigelow was one of the early settlers of Oakland and one of its wealthiest land owners.

He was born in Newton, Massachusetts on September 9, 1810.  In 1852, he sailed aboard a steamer from New York City to California. He settled in San Francisco where he opened a grocery store on Front Street, eventually opening stores at other locations. In 1863, he headed across the Bay and settled in Oakland, where he opened a successful real estate business.

He settled at what is now 14th and Brush, making his homestead one of the first north of 7th Street. His home was considered to be on the distant outskirts of the city. He subdivided his property in numerous large tracts and created the Oakland Homestead Company.  In 1877, the Daily Alta California listed him as one of the wealthiest land owners in Oakland, along with fellow Mountain View Cemetery denizens Edson Adams, Walter Blair, George Blake, Frederick Delger, James De Fremery, John Felton, A.K.P. Harmon and Samuel Merritt. 

In 1872, he donated a large piece of land at 14th and Franklin Streets to the Ladies' Relief Society, who provided various compassionate services to children, poor women and the elderly living in Oakland. The gift was in honor of his wife Emma. The Society decided that it wanted something farther from the city center, so Bigelow swapped that land for 3-acre site on Telegraph Avenue well to the north near today's Pill Hill District. The home was Oakland's first nonsectarian charitable facility.

You can read my post about the Ladies Relief Society at Plot 26 HERE.

Sources: Oakland Tribune, City of Oakland, Daily Alta California
    

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fritz Boehmer (1831-1910): Early Alameda pioneer

Fritz Boehmer (Image from Hayward Daily Call; Grave photo by Michael Colbruno)
Plot: Plot 21, Lot 17
GPS (lat/lon): 37.83457, -122.24029


Text by John Sandoval, reprinted from Hayward Daily Call, December 13, 1964

One of the most colorful early pioneers of Alameda was Fritz Boehmer, who was an early merchant whose general merchandise store was built on Park Street.

Fritz Boehmer was born in Prussia, near Magdeburg in 1831. His father was a machinery maker and foundry owner. At 17 Fritz and a company of students fought briefly in the battle of Gravelot, for the unification of Germany under Bismark.

However, the news of the discovery of gold in California swept the youth of Germany into a frenzy to come to the gold fields, and in the fall of 1848 Boehmer went to Bremerhaven to see his older broth- er, Edward, off by ship to California. Fritz stowed away on his brother's ship and came to California with him without his family's permission.

The Schroeder Building was built in 1873 for Fritz Boehmer. He moved his grocery and hardware business into the ground floor, and the upper floor contained a public meeting hall. The Masons leased that space until their new hall was built in 1891 at the corner of Park Street and Alameda Avenue. In 1876, Boehmer sold the building to Adolph Schroeder (co-owner of a local feed and fuel business), who used it as rental property.
Mr. Boehmcr's ship rounded the Horn and arrived in San Francisco Bay in 1849. He went to the mines near Mokelumne Hill but being unsuccessful, returned to San Francisco and there joined with his brother in the house-building business. As a contractor the Boehmer Brothers paid carpenters the then-high wages of $12 a day.

Fritz Boehmer then alternated between operating mining ventures at Marysville, Coloma, and the American River, and in farming at Sacramento, in running a restaurant at Sacramento and in the contracting business in San Francisco.

In 1851 Boehmer and a partner, Henry Rosenbaum, bought rights to 150 acres of land in what is now downtown Oakland. However "squatter trouble" with a very rough element in the little village of Oakland caused Boehmer and Rosenbaum to sell out.

With the proceeds of the land-sale Boehmer joined a brother-in-law, Henry Gersting, in a mercantile business in San Francisco. Boehmer then established mercantile establishments in the booming gold-strike towns of Campo Seco and later Columbia and eventually in Alameda.

An historic post card of Park Street where Fritz Boehmer opened his first store
His store in Alameda on Park Street eventually expanded to encompass an en-tire block of the business section. When Alameda was in-corporated as a city the first board of city trustees was composed of Fritz Boehmer, Henry Robinson, Henry H. Haight, E. B. Mastick, and Jabish Clement.

Boehmer was also on the local school board and was effective in getting teachers salaries raised from $50 per month to $125, a very high scale for the 1880's. He also was instrumental in getting $300 raised by subscription to start the first public library in Alameda.

Boehmer was a member of the pioneer fire department of Alameda and was always interested in glee-club and choir singing, being a member of the pioneer San Francisco Harmony Glee Club and the Thalia Singing Society of Alameda.

Boehmer was married twice, first to Johanna Sevening, whom he courted by mail back in Germany and brought back as a bride to California. His second marriage was to Mary Elizabeth Hildenbrand a member of a well-known pioneer family of Stockton and Tuolumne County.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Socrates Huff (1827-1907): Gold Rush Pioneer; Banker; Alameda County Treasurer

Socrates Huff (photo of grave by Michael Colbruno)
Plot: Plot 21, Lot 43

Socrates Huff was a Gold Rush Pioneer, successful businessman and the elected Treasurer of Alameda County. 

He was born in Crawford County, Ohio on July 1, 1827 and moved to St. Joseph, Michigan when he was 2 years old. His mother died a year later and stayed in Michigan until 1849, when word reached the community that gold had been discovered in California. Huff organized a party of men to travel west, purchasing mules in Indiana, wagons in Chicago and provisions for the journey in St. Louis. The group arrived in Bear River in the Sierra Nevada on August 12, 1849, where Huff tried his hand at mining. He abandoned his gold mining pan after just two weeks and traveled 33 miles to Sacramento, where he worked for the city.

Due to ill-health (purported to be malaria), he headed to Mission San Jose where he bought a freighting boat that he ran for profit between Stockton and Alvarado (now Union City). In 1853, he returned east where he married Amelia "Mamie" Cassady and returned to California with her.

In the ensuing years, he raised cattle and horses in Green Valley, Contra Costa County and Hayward, ultimately settling on Estudillo Avenue in San Leandro. In 1869, his wife was injured in a famous train wreck that killed a number of notable people, including the Honorable Alexander Baldwin, U.S. District Court Judge of Nevada.

The Huff residence, which was torn down in 1972 to make way for a fire station
In 1863, Huff was elected Treasurer of Alameda County from 1863-67 and from 1886-92,  opting not to run again in 1892. In 1880, he was chosen as a  delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in Chicago which chose James Garfield as their nominee. During much of this time he also ran a mercantile business in Carson City, Nevada. 

In 1891, while serving as Treasurer, he caught three men stealing oysters from his oyster bed near San Leandro and seized the boat and its load. He refused to give the boat back to its owner, Joseph Peralta, and the county official was arrested on charges of petty larceny. He was eventually acquitted, while the two thieves were apprehended and arrested.

Huff became a successful banker in East Bay, serving as a director of the Union Savings and Union National Bank, and as president of the Bank of San Leandro.

A description of his memorial and funeral took two full columns in the Oakland Tribune. 

 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Joachim Mathisen (18??-1896): Noted architect; Hanged himself from tree

Gravesite of Joachim Mathisen and image from San Francisco Call
Mathisen was born in Trondhjem, Norway and trained as a civil engineer at Hanover's Technische Hochshule. He came to the United States around 1886 and in 1890 worked as a draftsman for A. Page Brown. In 1891, he set up business in San Francisco with William Howard on Montgomery street. In 1892, along with Maybeck, he entered the competition to design the California Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. They lost to he famed architect George Brown.

Mathisen design for San Francisco homes (SF Call)
He later honed his skills under the tutelage of George Brown, who mentored many other great architects including William Knowles, Sylvain Schnaittacher, Frank Van Trees and James R. Miller. Even Bernard Maybeck was associated with Brown in 1890.

His business partner George Brown took ill after they had taken over much of A. Page Brown's work, after the latter died from severe injuries suffered in a runaway horse and buggy accident. The stress proved too much for Mathisen, as income dropped and his rent increased. Two days after laying off two employees, he headed into the woods behind the Asylum for the Blind and Deaf in Berkeley and hanged himself with a four-in-hand neck tie which he had suspended to a small cypress branch.

Asylum for the Blind and Deaf in Berkeley
The branch that Mathisen hanged himself from was only about three feet from the ground and his body was found in a kneeling posture, his bead thrown forward, and his hands and arms dangling by his sides. There was no sign of struggle and there was a post card found in his pocket addressed to C. B. Vorce, a draughtsman in his office, with the following written on the back: "Please look for directions in safe."
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
Mathisen designed the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, which included fellow architect Bernard Maybeck amongst its parishioners.  The ambitious design for the church and seminary resulted from a resolution by the Pacific Coast Unitarian Conference to establish a Unitarian divinity school. The redwood-shingled structure became a landmark of the Bay Region's "building with nature" architecture and still stands at its original location and is now used as a dance studio on the University of California campus. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981.

Burlingame Train Station

In 1893, he worked with his architectural partner George Howard in designing the Burlingame Train Station, where trains brought wealthy businessmen from San Francisco to the Burlingame Country Club. The two men chose a quintessentially California design for the station—that of a California mission. The train station, completed in 1894, is now designated as a California Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places due primarily to its architectural significance as the earliest permanent example of California Mission Revival architecture.

Sources: San Francisco Call, Burlingame Historical Society, UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, "On the Edge of the World: Four Architects in San Francisco" by Richard W. Longstreth, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Joseph Glover Baldwin (1815-1864); California Supreme Court Justice

Justice Joseph Baldwin is buried in the Felton Family Plot
FELTON FAMILY PLOT 
Lot 2, Plot 410c

Joseph Glover Baldwin was born January 21, 1815 in Winchester, Virginia who became a noted lawyer, author, politician and California Supreme Court Justice.

In 1835, he edited the ‘Buchanan Advocate" and eventually went on to write he Old Southwest, as the southern frontier at the time has come to be known by historians. He is best known for his work The Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi, a series of humorous sketches describing life on the frontier. Flush Times established Baldwin as both a serious author and astute observer of antebellum Alabama.

He moved to DeKalb County, Mississippi in 1836 then to Gainesville, Alabama in 1838 where he practiced law with J. Bliss, Esquire.

He was a Whig in politics and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1843 in Democratic  Sumter County, and was acclaimed as a skillful debater in the House. He was known for his courteousness, demanding respect and confining himself to the parliamentary rules.

In 1849, he lost to his Democratic rival Samuel W. Inge, who once partook in a duel with Congressman Edward Stanly from North Carolina, which gave him decided prestige. Baldwin was defeated by a narrow margin and  moved to Livingston, Alabama. Ironically, Stanly is buried near the grave of Joseph Baldwin.

In 1854, Baldwin moved to California, where he served as legal counsel on a number of important cases. In 1858, following the death of Chief Justice Hugh Murray from consumption, he became an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. He served from October 1858 to January 1862 and he resumed the practice of law in San Francisco after he left the bench.

The book “Lincoln’s Stories” (Chicago 1879), tells the following humorous anecdote: "Judge Baldwin, of California, being in Washington, D.C., called one day on General Hallock, and presuming as a familiar acquaintance in California, a few years before, solicited a pass outside our lines to see a friend in Virginia, not thinking he would meet with a refusal, as both his brother and himself were good Union Men. 'We have been deceived too often,' said General Hallock, 'and I regret I can’t grant it.' Judge Baldwin then went to Stanton, and was very briefly disposed of with the same result. Finally he obtained an interview with Mr. Lincoln, and stated his case. 'Have you applied to General Hallock?,' inquired the president. 'Yes, and met with a flat refusal,' said Judge Baldwin. 'Then you must see Stanton,' continued the president. 'I have, and met with the same result,' was the reply. 'Well, then,' said Mr. Lincoln, with a smile.' I can do nothing, for you must know that I have very little influence with the administration!' 

His son Alexander White Baldwin, was a U.S. District Court Judge. He was killed in a railroad collision near San Francisco at age 34 and is also buried at Mountain View Cemetery.  His nephew, John Garber, who lived with him at one point, served on the Nevada Supreme Court and is also buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

Joseph Baldwin was the author of Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi which was written to show the evil effects of an inflation of paper currency from 1833 to 1840 when paper money was so abundant. “The work was quite dramatic and described many transactions and scenes in and out of court, of wonderful originality and humor. It had an extensive sale. His other work was Party Leaders, in which Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Randolph and Clay were introduced as representative men, with contrasts and parallels well delineated, showing a great fund of information, and remarkable power of analysis in the writer.”

In 1854, Baldwin moved to California where he gained a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court from October 1858 to January 1862 when he resumed the practice of law in San Francisco.
“From the book “Lincoln’s Stories”, Chicago 1879, is the following anecdote: Judge Baldwin, of California, being in Washington, D.C., called one day on General Hallock, and presuming as a familiar acquaintance in California, a few years before, solicited a pass outside our lines to see a friend in Virginia, not thinking he would meet with a refusal, as both his brother and himself were good Union Men. “We have been deceived too often,” said General Hallock, “and I regret I can’t grant it. Judge Baldwin then went to Stanton, and was very briefly disposed of with the same result. Finally he obtained an interview with Mr. Lincoln, and stated his case. “Have you applied to General Hallock?” inquired the president. “Yes, and met with a flat refusal,” said Judge Baldwin. “Then you must see Stanton,” continued the president. “I have, and met with the same result,” was the reply. “Well, then,” said Mr. Lincoln, with a smile.” I can do nothing, for you must know that I have very little influence with the administration!”
His wife, Sidney White, daughter of John White, (above) lived with her daughter, Mrs. Judge Felton of Oakland, California in one of the finest residences in the city of Oakland around 1880. Judge Felton died in 1878. Judge Felton was one of the best lawyers in California and his practice was said to amount to one hundred thousand dollars per annum. It was reported that even in 1880, Sidney retained much of her youthful beauty and vivacity.
He was a Whig in politics and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1843 for the Democratic county of Sumter. Mr. Baldwin was a skillful debator in the House. “He was courteous and always confined himself to parliamentary rules in his efforts on the floor and respected the personal rights and feelings of others in discussion, at the same time demanded the like civilities for himself.
He was a candidate for Congress in 1849 but his Democratic rival Hon. S. W. Inge, in the Tuscaloosa district had the advantage of having knocked down an abolitionist on the floor of Congress which gave him decided prestige. Mr. Baldwin was defeated by a small majority. In 1850, he moved to Livingston, Alabama.
Joseph Baldwin was the author of Flush Times of Alabama and Mississippi which was written to show the evil effects of an inflation of paper currency from 1833 to 1840 when paper money was so abundant. “The work was quite dramatic and described many transactions and scenes in and out of court, of wonderful originality and humor. It had an extensive sale. His other work was Party Leaders, in which Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Randolph and Clay were introduced as representative men, with contrasts and parallels well delineated, showing a great fund of information, and remarkable power of analysis in the writer.”
In 1854, Baldwin moved to California where he gained a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court from October 1858 to January 1862 when he resumed the practice of law in San Francisco.
“From the book “Lincoln’s Stories”, Chicago 1879, is the following anecdote: Judge Baldwin, of California, being in Washington, D.C., called one day on General Hallock, and presuming as a familiar acquaintance in California, a few years before, solicited a pass outside our lines to see a friend in Virginia, not thinking he would meet with a refusal, as both his brother and himself were good Union Men. “We have been deceived too often,” said General Hallock, “and I regret I can’t grant it. Judge Baldwin then went to Stanton, and was very briefly disposed of with the same result. Finally he obtained an interview with Mr. Lincoln, and stated his case. “Have you applied to General Hallock?” inquired the president. “Yes, and met with a flat refusal,” said Judge Baldwin. “Then you must see Stanton,” continued the president. “I have, and met with the same result,” was the reply. “Well, then,” said Mr. Lincoln, with a smile.” I can do nothing, for you must know that I have very little influence with the administration!”
His wife, Sidney White, daughter of John White, (above) lived with her daughter, Mrs. Judge Felton of Oakland, California in one of the finest residences in the city of Oakland around 1880. Judge Felton died in 1878. Judge Felton was one of the best lawyers in California and his practice was said to amount to one hundred thousand dollars per annum. It was reported that even in 1880, Sidney retained much of her youthful beauty and vivacity.
- See more at: http://alabamapioneers.com/biography-joseph-glover-baldwin-born-1815/#sthash.sdBb66mk.dpuf