Hobo’s and Tragedies in Beckwith

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The hobo was  a figure that established itself in the 1870s with unexpected suddenness in our public consciousness. While itinerant laborers and the wandering poor had been part of American life since colonial days, tramping as a mass population movement was an unprecedented phenomenon that sent tens of thousands of men on the road.

There were attempts to differentiate between tramps (migratory nonworkers) and hobos (men who traveled in search of work), but there is no consensus on the precise characteristics of these terms. Sociohistorical studies have shown that tramps were predominantly white, North American-born, unskilled laborers between the ages of twenty and forty, who traveled on foot but more often used the railroads to cover the distances they traveled.

In 1877 the Hartford Courant estimated that there were 100,000 tramps in the country. In 1906 and 1911 individual observers spoke of 350,000 and 500,000 vagrants nationwide.

 

Almonte Gazette

Tuesday afternoon some little girls were picking strawberries between the lOth and 11th lines Beckwith. A tramp appeared on the scene, and caught Maggie Garland as she, with the rest, was climbing a fence to escape.” She tried to break away, and the others hurled stones at him. They then ran off, screaming for Mr. McNeely.

No one turned up ; and the girls hurried home.. Mr. Jamieson and Mr. Demer hastened to the. spot. The latter found the girl walking in a dazed way. Her face was scratched and her neck black and blue. Mr. Demer put the matter in the hands of Chief Wilson at once, who promptly acted. This morning the girl had not yet recovered her mind, and her story is not yet all known. The mother, Mrs. N. Garland, was in a dreadful condition of excitement last night.— C.C

 

Read the Almonte Gazette

 

historicalnotes

Margret Garland

Canada Census, 1891
Name Margret Garland
Gender Female
Age 10
Relationship to Head of Household Daughter
Birth Year (Estimated) 1881
Birthplace Ontario
Marital Status Single
Religion Baptist
Province Ontario
District Lanark South
District Number 84
Sub-District Carleton Place
Affiliate Film Number 30953_148151

 

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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