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

Archive for October, 2011

April 30th, 1901

The page for Tuesday, April 30th says:

At office 6 A.M.
Finished ledger balances in laborers a/c
books Nos 6 and 7.
End of month - very busy.
Rain for past month 28 inches.
Talk much with Gerald on the situation.
No cargo - no mail until to-morrow.
Dreaming last night of Sisters Teresa,
Mary Ester. Had long hair la mismo
seven Sutherland sisters.
Boy in good cheer.
So ends my month of April
1/3 of my journey over.

Start another Novenna.

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

Questions and comments:

  • The Seven Sutherland Sisters were were a group of women known for their long hair. At one point, they had a combined “37 feet” of hair. They sang, and travelled with Barnum and Bailey.
  • Yesterday, Nathaniel was talking about leaving in June. Today, he is contemplating another 8 months in the camp.

April 29th, 1901

The page for Monday, April 29th says:

At office 6 A.M.
Did good work until 2 p.m. headache,
no food from 6 A.M. trying on
one.
Gerald goes over the line to Sajado.
Have much conversation with him in
the evening.
Tells me he is not going back to the States
again. Competition too close, and so much
rascally doings going on among our best
people.
Downey too has gold fever from Jim Nugent.
Might take a hunt for gold himself.
Gerald says it will take much lumber to
open Sajado Mine. Thinks it would be wise
to close down until lumber is here, pay all
hands, then, a person can have the heart to
rush the work.
Boy in good appetite.
River high to-night - this means more 
delay for our cargo.
Dreaming of Jim Gormley last night.
Told me that no word from California.
I wonder if Anna wrote to him.

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

 

Questions and comments:

    April 28th, 1901

    The page for Sunday, April 28th says:

    Boy leaves house at 3:30 A.M, to watch a
    killing of a cow for fresh meat. At 5:30 A.M.
    returns - bitten 5 times by wasps. After a good
    cry relates his laughable experiences.
    I go to office at 6 A.M. from then, work at books
    paying 50 men - regulating sale of beef to the
    workers. Am tired out - earn my salary !!
    Have a chat with Downey. Tells me of my
    brothers and sisters. I thank him heartily.
    really too tired for much thought of a
    diary.
    No other cargo up as yet.
    Think of soup and fresh meat for a 
    change !!
    Boy promises to beat me at pinochle.
    Month almost gone.
    Man wants phonograph for $75.
    Done with a view of quitting and going 
    to my Anna in June. Boy happy at the idea.
    Will sell galvanic battery, too.
    Downey's home talk brought tears to my
    eyes - he is a large hearted man.

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

     

    Questions and comments:

    • Sounds like Nathaniel has what we call “short-timers disease”, looking forward to the end of the current job. Yesterday he was talking about “soon having enough money” to leave ; today he is talking about leaving in June.

    April 27th, 1901

    The page for Saturday, April 27th says:

    At office 5:50 A.M. 
    Work fairly well. Couldn't make up my mind
    to a failure of P. ed O. Camillo Quinonez, pipeman,
    says, but little gold was taken out of Quasamambi.
    Ten years have I have been Jarndyce vs. Jarndycing
    myself. Well from to-day no more wrinkles
    will come from thinking of it. Anna is my
    ever constant dream. I will soon have enough
    in hand to go to her. Will life is truly a
    problem. Big money, corresponding worry.
    I have so much to be thankful to God that, I will 
    add greater fervor to my Blessed Lady.
    Men talk with Gerald. D.C. Stapleton is
    going to ask $1000 a year salary as a com-
    pensation. He is deserving of it too, in muy
    opinion. A thorough Company manger.
    Nugent down here in case of trouble a la
    frontier style. Truly the Jamacians better
    behave. Boy panning for gold - is happy.
    Kill fresh meat to-morrow. Much excitement
    and jealousy among the negroes for tripe.
    No cargo has het arrived. Down to our last bag
    of rice. Beans all gone. Only 2 barrels of
    pork left. Realistic mining - no pay - no
    pay dirt - almost no food.
    Say Stations to-night for Suffering Souls.
    Good night my Anna!

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

     

    Questions and comments:

    • The word “tripe” is underlined.
    • Jarndyce and Jarndyce is a fictional court case in Chancery in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens. The case concerns the fate of a large inheritance. It has dragged on for many generations prior to the action of the novel, so that, by the time it is resolved late in the narrative, legal costs have devoured the entire estate. The case is thus a byword for an interminable legal proceeding.

    April 26th, 1901

    The page for Friday, April 26th says:

    At office 6:15 A.M. About 4 A.M. watchman
    comes to my house for keys. I keep silence
    and do not go to office so as not to be thought
    interloping. Mr. D.C. Stapleton sails at 5 A.M.
    Francis tells me - he has been nosing over
    at store.
    Gerald and I talk freely. Poor gravel
    at Quasamambi. Can't yet tell about
    Sajado. Strictest economy necessary here
    Downey and Nugent to run Quasamambi.
    Sent up their clothes yesterday.
    Glad I have 2 months salary to the
    good. Ask questions about steerage rates
    from here to Panama.,
    Boy cheery when I tell him. Says "Pop,
    how is it Mr. Nugent and Downey liked
    the mine so well" Don't get blue, I am
    satisfied with steerage, I can stand it
    but, I don't think you can.
    Thanks to God for such a blessed
    boy. Things look different. Such is youth.
    Gerald says "Distance lends enchantments"
    Dan expects $6000 - if they (N.Y.) put up
    they can have possession. If note, can
    save himself here. Here again is a riddle.
    Annual meeting deferred until July, Ward told him.
    Say prayers Mac - have faith and get to Anna.

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

     

    Questions and comments:

    • Is “Dan” Daniel (D.C) Stapleton?

    April 25th, 1901

    The page for Thursday, April 25th says:

    At office 6 A.M.
    Meisner comes from Sajado.
    Tells me of Mother Green National City near
    Dulzura. Also, Brooklyn Hotel for rooms.
    Commercial Hotel for reasonable board.
    Leaves with Mr. Stapleton to-day.
    Mr. D.C. Stapleton comes down from mine.
    Not a word about clean-up. Strange, I
    fancy it is not good. Work until 8 p.m.
    He comes to my desk - says good-bye - my
    tip not to bother him by coming over to
    see him off at 4 A.M. tomorrow. Tells me
    not to lock office door - he may have to come
    over from his house during the night.
    I fancy he is going to take the gold down,
    and does it in this quiet manner.
    Will it does set one thinking !!
    Learn that canoes do not show up for
    to carry down Mr. Meisner. Nothing
    can be depended on in this country.
    Gerald now living in General Manager's
    house. My usual recourse. Prayer.
    Send letter to Harry.
    Get orders to make pay roll for the 
    laborers up to April 1st. $190 !
    Mr. D.C. Stapleton to be gone 3 weeks.
    Little sleep.

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

     

    Questions and comments:

    • Two nights in a row of little sleep.
    • I couldn’t find a reference to “Mother Green” in National City.
    • More evidence that Nathaniel’s move to California was hatched before he went to Ecuador. There’s only one “Dulzura” that I know of, and that’s in East San Diego county.
    • Family lore has said that Nathaniel left Ecuador, came to San Diego (involuntarily), liked it, went back to New York, married Anna Lauterbach, and then moved his new bride (and large chunks of her family) to San Diego. Based on this diary, that appears not to be the case.  It appears that Anna Lauterbach went to CA before Nathaniel left for Ecuador (since he talks about how long his letters to her will take to get to Dulzura). My records (which are not definitive) say that Nathaniel and Anna were married on November 7th 1901, at St. Patrick’s in New Jersey.

    April 24th, 1901

    The page for Wednesday, April 24th says:

    At office 6 A.M.
    Bought boy boots. Cost $13 - Whew!
    All hands go to Quasamambi. Boy
    takes them up. On his return says
    Mr. D.C. Stapleton is happy as a boy.
    Downey and Nugent return with
    gladsome news of gold they picked 
    up off the bed-rock say $40 or $50.
    Listen well, and Nugent tries to find
    from me the figures from the last clean-up.
    Repeatedly says he likes Quasamambi
    mine. Good bedrock. D.C. Stapleton
    has a quick eye, and a thorough
    miner. Surest footed man he ever saw.
    No one can steal gold on him.
    A pleasing day.
    Still my thoughts wander off to
    California.
    Downey says Morrell made a bad break
    saying Mr. D.C. Stapleton was not a
    miner. He wish he knew then as much as
    now, and he would have answered him.
    Nugent adds - He is miner enough.
    Gerald remains up with his brother for
    the night. Canoe man stopped over to carry
    down in the morning. Mr. D.C. Stapleton.
    Bats in my room last night. Poor sleep.

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

     

    Questions and comments:

    • “Morell” is F.V. Morrell, who is in the New York office. He wrote a letter that caused much Nathaniel much angst in when it was received on April 3rd or 4th.

    Tag Cloud