The story of Nathaniel McHorney's 1901 trip to Ecuador.

Archive for September, 2011

A brief hiatus

I’ll resume posting pages over the weekend.

Probably April 1st will show up on October 1st.

Foolish consistency, little minds, all that.

— Marshall


March 31st, 1901

The page for Sunday, March 31st says:

At office 5:45 A.M. Paying off for month past.
Indians around all day. Much incensed at having no
money to pay off. Boy gives them Phonograph selections
to enliven them. Both Alej and Auriliv Gomez good
helps. Trial of Higmio Aprais and Menaro Beira
takes place before Governor Stapleton at Quasamambi.
Two policemen from Playa de Oro take the witnesses
up before Governor Stapleton. He is sole judge on
this property. Got Camillio Quinones to work
this afternoon for him along with Camillio Sanchez.
Mr. E. Russell of very great service to Governor
Stapleton with statements. Provisions very low.
Mr. Moore says if N.Y office has deposited any
more money to his credit on April 1st as promised
on the 1st of each month - he would pay himself
$2000 - and then off to California. This was
said in yesterday's talk. He can make these
mines pay for he knows how to wash. Mr. Stapleton
very good and very quick but does not know
it all. Neither did McKenzie, though he was
the only man as far as he could judge the only
miner here; Boys are ordered up to Quasamambi
tomorrow to watch men while Mr. Stapleton comes
down to fix up the indians.
Very busy 13 hours. 94° Fahr. A long month.

Devotions at night.

(as always, you can click on the image to get a larger view)


Questions and comments:

March 30th, 1901

The page for Saturday, March 30th says:

At office 6:10 A.M. Exciting day. Two men
had a cutting match a la machette. I dressed
the wound. Refused him his a/c so he would
have to see Mr. Stapleton. He was prevented by E.
Russell from going to Concepcion to cause us
trouble. Clair Moore was sent after his pistol
to prevent canoe man from carrying his trunk
off. Silly Business - lots of talk with E. Russell
would have done to trick. Menaro Beira to go
to Mr. Stapleton tomorrow. I lost my temper
at boy to-day - swore forcefully. This thing
down here will Kill anyone who stays with it.
Word came to Mr. Moore not to come over to Uimbi.
I read the letter. Word was sent by Mr. Moore
to Mr. Stapleton about the cutting match.
I have made friends with the men and
they go a great deal on what I say.
Much kevcking and swearing by the men
for being treated as slaves. Only by
those who owe money to the Company.
Indians leave for the interior to-morrow
for Holy Week. My what a country
to be in. No church - no consolation or
kindly words of a priest. Miss it greatly.
Must have more patience with my crosses.
Boy and I play cards.
Stations to-night. Another Novena for Souls in purgatory.

(as always, you can click on the image to get a larger view)

Questions and comments:

March 29th, 1901

The page for Friday, March 29th says:

Routed out of bed again. John Moore's wife dies - 
Fix him up with necessary materials for a coffin.
Send word to Mr. Stapleton about his return.

At office 5:50 A.M. Saw Mr. Moore going to
Quasamambi Mine. Mr. Stapleton hurries down to fix
up a pilot's release from jail - owes $40. Company
owes him $234 - Jail people in this community
for debts. Mr. Stapleton has to show the gold in
safe to satisfy them that draft will be honored
at Quayaquil. I wonder if it will.
Mr. Stapleton considers Mr. Moore an extravagant
and un-methodical man for a manager of this 
Company. I thoroughly agree with him. My, my
but Mr. Stapleton is wise on this P. de O. subject.
Probably a receiver will be appointed too. He tells me
he has made no promises to Mr. Moore about paying him
out of gold on hand. All debts for labor performed
must first be attended. Then provision the camp and
take care of his friends. Mr. Moore talks much of affairs.
That dynamiter, John Moore buried his wife today.
Returned the tools. Charged him with the wood 
for the Coffin $8. Not an employee, hence no
obligation. Expect some excitement with he and his
friends when settling time comes. Mr. Stapleton came
prepared to-day. They are a bad lot of people.
Food stolen at Borboni - 5 barrels of beef, 1 beans
1 lentils 1 rice. Again it will reduce us to short
rations. Tough country. No piping at mine today.
Each day changes conditions here.
Anna - wondering what you are thinking anyway

(as always, you can click on the image to get a larger view)


Questions and comments:

  • Mrs. Moore was sick yesterday, and tonight she died.
  • “Appoint a receiver” – that sounds like bankruptcy proceedings to me.
  • The last word in the last line is smudged.

March 28th, 1901

The page for Thursday, March 28th says:

At office 6 A.M. A/cs in good shape for Sunday.
No water last night nor to-day to pipe at
Quasamambi. Mr. Moore wonders how the engineers
figured so high. Talkes much over the futurety
Will posted. realizes that N.Y. have forced
Mr. D.C. Stapleton to take care of himself and friends.
Commends him for his action - 48 hours
for N.Y. to put up and comply with his
Hot day - 98° 12 Noon, 80° at 6 p.m.
Two rainbows in succession then a lighting
and thunderstorm. Startles boy somewhat.
Some worrying about Anna - Wondering!
How soon! Patience boy patience.
John Moore, dynamiter, returns, wants $10 -
refuse him. Must have an order from D.C.S.
Get him medicine for his sick wife, though!
This country is, well well tiresome.
Enough to make me unsettled for
All has its end; must pray for
patience to-night.
Dreaming of McArdle last night on a
spree - many politicians in a new
house- galore was the fun - owned by
Mrs. Brady. Winnie Morris held a $500
mortgage on it.

(as always, you can click on the image to get a larger view)


Questions and comments:

  • “futurety” – I’m not sure what this word is supposed to be.
  • “galore was the fun” – I’m not sure about ‘galore’.
  • There was a Winnie Morris who was in a play in New York in September 1900

March 27th, 1901

The page for Wednesday, March 27th says:

At office 6 A.M. All hands at table for first time
Stranger is Mr. Drum. Wants medicines and pro-
visions. Sell the provisions but Mr. Stapleton's orders
were to give all medicines free - Mr. A. L. Moore
fixes Mr. Drum up. I keep my peace.
Mr. Evans is sick with Malaria at Uimbi.
Boy cuts a trail lands down a bluff 40 ft
Climbs up perpendicularly when we pass down
a rope - Comes out all right. Too venturesome.
Mr. Moore talks about water. Engineers estimate
wrong. One monitor going to-day.
A problem surely when 5 monitors are working
and farther away from head of water.
He cannot see it. Mr Stapleton comes to Playa Rica
Surely enough, McKenzie had the right idea.
Both Moores fond of gambling and betting
selling out their outfits. Natives are beginning
to guy them.
I hope D. C. Stapleton takes care of himself
with this man. I warned him to go slow the
3rd night after their arrival.
Offer up prayers for my boy's safety.
Thinking of Anna all day
Trust the Lord is soon to send me to her.

(as always, you can click on the image to get a larger view)

Questions and comments:

  • I have no idea who “Mr Drum” is

March 26th, 1901

The page for Tuesday, March 26th says:

At office 5:50 A.M.
Mr. Moore off to Quasamambi Mine.
Work on my postings - done fair work.
Manuel Edwards quitting. I understand
men are gradually preparing trying to get
paid and then off to work at Uimbi.
Young Moore reads much of the day.
The only snake I've seen here was
brought to me to bury - 9 feet long.
Weather pleasant at 94°.
Raid by Ants. Chase and eat all
roaches - then go back to the earth again.
Much fun watching the ants land on
the roaches legs. Say, that snakes can-
not fast enough to keep clear of ants
when they come from the ground.
Sign of very wet weather - Whew!
What that must be.
Boy comforting to me.
Pinochle at nigth.
Stranger in town from Uimbi. Both cook & watchman
inform me at my house at night.
Mr. A. L. Moore sends word to Mr. D.C. Stapleton.

(as always, you can click on the image to get a larger view)

Questions and comments:

  • Uimbi is about 5 miles due north of Playa De Oro.

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