Tag Archives: samuel pittard

Lanark County Residents involved in the California Gold Rush

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If you read my story about The Body Snatchers of Lanark County or Did Samuel Pittard Murder his Wife? you will know it just wasn’t the men of the United States that were bitten by gold rush fever.

goldrush-miners

During the California Gold Rush Era, many men from Lanark County joined together with others to make the trip to the gold fields. Some of these groups were more formal than others, some even were financed by people in their own hometowns. A notice published in the Carleton Place Herald on Oct 23, 1851 states that a group of 9 men including Pittard left the Lanark County area as part of Moffatt and Company at the beginning of March, 1851.  Even though the men may have had intentions of staying together as a group, many situations would occur along the way that would cause them to go their separate ways. A lot of them ended up in Sacramento like Mr. Pittard of Ashton or Placerville which was known as Hangtown.

One situation, for example was that demand was very high for passage to San Francisco and space on the steamships was not always available to accommodate entire groups either in New York or at the Pacific side of Panama. Once they arrived in California, decisions had to be made as to where to dig for the gold. Men moved frequently according to the latest news of large finds of gold. Some men decided against digging for gold and would pursue whatever their trade was at home. Because most men were out at the diggings, tradesmen were in high demand and could garner high prices for their work.

An Account by Annie Stanley from Ancestry.com

A few notes on the men listed here:  I tried to do the best job possible of searching through the microfilms of early issues of the Perth Courier and the Lanark Herald (published under this name until May 9, 1851 and after that it was called Carleton Place Herald – I used the name “Carleton Place Herald” as a reference throughout.)  Not all issues were completely readable.  Not all issues were present on the microfilm.  I certainly could have missed names somewhere along the way.

The names listed here are transcribed directly and spelled as they were printed.  I have known these papers to make mistakes in listing names from time to time.  Lanark County had many families with the same surname and had named their sons similarly.

Armstrong, ?: Notice from Carleton Place Herald ( Feb 12 1852 ) states that he left Lanark County for California on Jan 30, 1852 .  Said to be from Ramsay.

Bain, Alexander:  Alexander’s name is mentioned in a letter written (Oct. 15, 1854) by John Doherty that was published in the Carleton Place Herald on Dec 7, 1854 .  Mr. Bain is said to be the son of Daniel Bain of Ramsay.

Baird, Andrew: Notice from Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that he left Lanark County for California on Jan 30, 1852 .  Said to be from Ramsay. Note: There were three Baird families that settled in Ramsay.

Beckwith, J: Mr. Beckwith is mentioned in a letter written by Henry O. Burritt from San Francisco on Aug 31, 1849 .  The letter was published in the Perth Courier on Nov 2, 1849 .  See entry for Henry O. Burritt.

Bowie, Langham: Notice from Perth Courier (March 26, 1852) that Mr. Langham left Lanark County on March 23 1852 .  Notice did not say where he was from.

Burritt, Henry O.: A letter dated June 18, 1849 , published in the Perth Courier on Sept 21, 1849 locates Mr. Burritt in San Francisco , having arrived aboard the Steamship Oregon on June 13, 1849 .  Mr. Burritt is part of a group called the Ogdensburg Co. of 10.  The letter mentions a James Simpson, James Beckwith and a Mr. McCaffrey (I assume Mr. McCaffrey is Nathaniel McCaffrey, of Carleton Place .  The other two men may be from LanarkCounty , but there is no other data to back that up, I have included their names in this listing.)

Mr. Burritt also wrote two other letters that were published in the Perth Courier.  One is written on April 20, 1849 from Panama and published on July 6th, 1849 . The second is written from San Francisco , dated Aug 31, 1849 and published on Nov 2, 1849 .

Campbell, Alex:  A notice published in the Perth Courier (March 26, 1852) states that Mr. Campbell left the Lanark County area on March 23, 1852 .  Paper did not state where he was from.

Campbell, Dugald:  A notice published in the Perth Courier ( March 26, 1852 ) 1852 states that Mr. Campbell left the Lanark County area on March 23, 1852 . Paper did not state where he was from.

Campbell, Peter:  A notice published in the Perth Courier (March 26, 1852) states that Mr. Campbell left the Lanark County area on March 23, 1852 . Paper did not state where he was from.

Campbell, Thomas: A letter dated Dec 10, 1850 (written by John Glasscott) that was published in the Carleton Place Herald (March 7, 1851) states that Mr. Campbell, of Perth, was in California and noted as being one of Perth’s first settlers.

*Cram, Peter: A notice published in the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 15, 1852) states that Mr. Cram left Lanark County for California , with Mr. Thomas Teskey on Jan 13, 1852 .  Notice states that Peter is the son of James Cram.

Docherty, John: Also spelled Doherty.  From a letter dated March 26, 1851 (published in the Carleton Place Herald May 2, 1851 ) Mr. Docherty writes that he arrived in Chagres on March 20, 1851 .  He writes from New Grenada,Panama .  He traveled on the Steamship North American, leaving New York on March 11, 1851 .

The July 29, 1851 issue of the Perth Courier carries a letter from John Docherty, as he writes from Mazetlan.  His ship had been disabled between Panama and San Francisco .  Letter was dated April 15, 1851 .

Still another letter, dated May 10th, 1851 (Perth Courier, July 29, 1851) John writes that he left Panama on April 15th 1851 aboard the Steamship Antelope.  Arrived San Francisco , May 29, 1851 (ref: San Francisco Passenger List, Vol 2, pg 151).  Name spelled Dougherty on ships list.

Published were two other letters.  One was dated July 27, 1853 from Nevada City, California (published in the Carleton Place Herald Sept 8, 1853) and a letter dated Oct 15, 1854 written from Volcano, California (published Dec 7, 1854 in the Carleton Place Herald).

Drynan, James: Notice from the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 29, 1852) states that Mr. Drynan left Lanark County on Jan 28, 1852 .  Mr. Drynan was from Ramsay.

Drynan, Robert: Notice from the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 29, 1852) states that Mr. Drynan left Lanark County on Jan 28, 1852 .  Mr. Drynan was from Ramsay.

Farquharson, D.: A letter dated Dec 10, 1850 (written by John Glasscott) that was published in the Carleton Place Herald (March 7, 1851) places Mr. Farquharson in either Mountain Ridge or Nelson’s Creek, California.

Farquharson, James: A letter dated Dec 10, 1850 (written by John Glasscott) that was published in the Carleton Place Herald (March 7, 1851) places Mr. Farquharson in either Mountain Ridge or Nelson’s Creek, California.

Glasscott, John:  Letter dated Dec 10, 1850 published in the Carleton Place Herald (March 7, 1851).  The Herald makes note that Mr. Glasscott had left about a year earlier.  The letter was written from Mountain Ridge , California.  Mr. Glascott is from Perth and had written the letter to his father.  A death notice from the Perth Courier, July 1, 1887 is on this website.

Glassford, Charles: Mr. Glassford’s name is mentioned in a letter written by Henry O. Burritt dated April 20, 1849 from Panama .  Mr. Glassford is said to be the son of Paul Glassford, Esq. of Perth .

Hodgins, ?: Notice from the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Hodgins left the area about Jan 30, 1852 .  It is stated there that he is from Clarendon, Frontenac County .  He is listed here because he is from a group of 16, most of whom were from Lanark County that left on the same date.

Hutcheson, Mr.: Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, of Carleton Place , that was published in the Carleton Place Herald (Dec 18, 1851).  The letter is dated Oct 20, 1851 and is written from Mokelumne Hill ,California .

Lang, ?:  Notice from the Carleton Place Herald ( 3/25/1852 ) states that Mr. Lang returned from Panama without ever making it to California .  Lack of funds was given as the reason. Mr. Lang was said to be from Ramsay.

Leckie, J:  Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, of Carleton Place , that was published in the Carleton Place Herald (Dec 18, 1851).  The letter is dated Oct 20, 1851 and is written from Mokelumne Hill , California.  There is also a John Leckie who had signed a petition that was published  in the Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan – this may or may not be the same man mentioned in the letter.  See Moffatt and Co. below.

Lockheart, William: Mentioned in a letter published in the Carleton Place Herald, June 22, 1852 , that was written from Carleton Springs , California , June 6, 1852 (author unknown – see entry for Dr. Gavin Russell).  Letter states that Mr. Lockheart was in Sacremento City and from Canada – not specific to Lanark, but I thought to include his name anyway.

Lowe, John: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Lowe is from Pakenham and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

Mansell, Thomas: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 7, 1851) that Mr. Mansell left the Lanark area on Feb 5, 1852 .  Mr. Mansell was from Ramsay and his occupation is stated as a currier.  I found a Thomas Mansell (San Francisco Passenger Lists, Rassmussen, Vol 1) as arriving in San Francisco on April 2, 1851 aboard the Steamer Union.  Thomas Mansell had placed notices in the Carleton Place Herald in February to dissolve a partnership with Isaac Mansell and have any debts owed to him placed in the care of James Poole, editor of the Carleton Place Herald.  Thomas Mansell, John Patterson and Andrew Smith (all from Ramsay) were said to be the “advance guard” for Moffatt and Company, who left Carleton Place at the beginning of March 1851.  See Moffatt and Company below.

Nathaniel McCaffrey: A reprint from the Ogdensburgh Republican that ran in the Perth Courier (Mar 28, 1851) states that Mr. McCaffrey left there for California .  States also that Mr. McCaffrey had previously been to California in March of 1849.  Said to be from Carleton Place , perhaps a brother to Absolem McCaffrey (see Moffatt and Company). There is a Nathaniel McCaffrey in the 1852 Head of Household Census listing for Beckwith.

McDonald, Donald: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 29, 1852), said to have left Carleton Place on Jan 28, 1852 .  Mr. McDonald is said to be from Beckwith, and a single man.

McFarlane, David: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. McFarlane is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

McFarlane, James: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. McFarlane is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

McFarlane, John: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. McFarlane is from Clarendon, Frontenac County   and left on or about Jan 30, 1852 .  He is included here because he is from a group of 15 men, most of whom were from Lanark County that left on the same date.

McFarlane, Robert:  Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. McFarlane is from Clarendon, Frontenac County   and left on or about Jan 30, 1852 .  He is included here because he is from a group of 15 men, most of whom were from Lanark County that left on the same date.

McGregor, James: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. McGregor is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

McLaren, Alexander: A letter that was written by William Muirhead was published in the Perth Courier (Nov 26, 1852). The letter was dated Nov 16, 1852 and written from Beckwith.  Mr. Muirhead was a nephew of Alexander McLaren.  The letter tells of the death of Alexander McLaren at Foster’s Bar along the Yuba River in California .  The two had left the Lanark area about a year prior to Alexander’s death (Beckwith: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community 1816-1991, Glenn J. Lockwood, p 185).  This letter is published on this website.

McLean, J: Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, of Carleton Place , that was published in the Carleton Place Herald (Dec 18, 1851).  The letter is dated Oct 20, 1851 and is written from Mokelumne Hill , California.

McMillan, John: In a short article that ran in the June 17, 1852 issue of the Carleton Place Herald it states that Mr. McMillan left Carleton Place on June 11, 1851 and reached San Francisco on April 29, 1852 .  The article outlines how Mr. McMillan worked as he traveled to California – which is why it took him 10 ½ months to get there.

Moffatt, James: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Moffatt is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .  This man is a brother of William Moffatt, who headed up Moffatt and Company (see below)  There is a J. Moffatt that is part of a ships passenger list that arrive aboard the Ship Margaret on May 15, 1852 (San Francisco Passenger Lists, Rassmussen, Vol 1)

Naismith, L: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Naismith is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .  There is a Lawrence Naismith who lived in Ramsay about that time, but I don’t know if this is the same man.

James Patterson: Mentioned in a letter published in the Carleton Place Herald, June 22, 1852 , that was written from Carleton Springs , California , June 6, 1852 (author unknown – see entry for Dr. Gavin Russell).  Letter states that Mr. Patterson was in Sacramento City and from Canada – not specific to Lanark, but I thought to include his name anyway.

John Patterson: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 7, 1851) that Mr. Patterson left the Lanark area on Feb 5, 1852 .  Mr. Patterson was from Ramsay and his occupation is stated as a Blacksmith.  I found a John Patterson (San Francisco Passenger Lists, Rassmussen, Vol 1) as arriving in San Francisco on April 2, 1851 aboard the Steamer Union.  This man, Thomas Mansell and Andrew Smith (all from Ramsay) were said to be the “advance guard” for Moffatt and Company, who left Carleton Place at the beginning of March 1851.  See Moffatt and Company below.  An obituary for John Patterson is on this website in Annie Stanley’s – Almonte Gazette Obits.

Note: There was a second John Patterson living in the Ramsay area at the time.  I found an account of his accidental death in the May 16, 1851 issue of the Carleton Place Herald.

Pattie, James: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 29, 1852), said to have left Carleton Place on Jan 28, 1852 .  Mr. Pattie is said to be from Carleton Place , and a single man.  In the March 25, 1852 issue of the Carleton Place Herald a notice is printed that Mr. Pattie returned to Carleton Place from Panama , never having reached California .  Lack of funds was given as the reason.

Reid, Samuel: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Reid is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .  In the March 25, 1852 issue of the Carleton Place Herald a notice is printed that Mr. Reid returned to Carleton Place from Panama , never having reached California .  Lack of funds was given as the reason.  See obit on this website.

Russell, Dr. Gavin: A notice in the April 15, 1852 issue of the Carleton Place Herald states that Dr. Russell has left for California .  On May 6, 1852 , June 3, 1852 and July 7, 1852 there are letters published in the Carleton Place Herald from Dr. Russell describing his journey to California .  On July 22, 1852 there is a letter published in the Carleton Place Herald from Carleton Springs , California (author unknown) that gives details about the death of Dr. Russell.  His death on June 3, 1852 in Sacramento City , California was attributed to Panama Fever and he died not long after arriving in California .  Dr. Russell had opened a practice in Carleton Place in 1846 (Beckwith: Irish and Scottish Identities in a Canadian Community 1816-1991, Glenn J. Lockwood, p 130), but had moved to Toronto at some point before he left for California.  There is a website listing the names of people buried in theSacramento Old City Cemetery (http://www.rootsweb.com/~casags/sg_cems_occ.htm).  Dr. Gavin is listed there as being 35 years of age when he died.

Scott, John: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Scott is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

Shield, Mr.: A reprint from the Ogdensburg Republican that ran in the Perth Courier (Mar 28, 1851) states that Mr. Shield, of Smith’s Falls left there for California .  He was said to be traveling with Nathaniel McCaffrey and A. F. Patrick of Carleton Place .

Simpson, James: Mr. Simpson is mentioned in two letters from Henry O. Burritt.  The first letter is written from Panama , dated April 20, 1849 and published in the Perth Courier on July 6, 1849 .  The second letter is written Aug 31, 1849 and published in the Perth Courier on Nov 2, 1849 .  Mr. Simpson was said to be in Stockton , California .

Sinclair, Alexander: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 29, 1852), said to have left Carleton Place on Jan 28, 1852 .

Smith, Andrew: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 7, 1851) that Mr. Smith left the Lanark area on Feb 5, 1852 .  Mr. Smith was from Ramsay and his occupation is stated as a Waggon-maker.  This man, Thomas Mansell and John Patterson (all from Ramsay) were said to be the “advance guard” for Moffatt and Company, who left Carleton Place at the beginning of March 1851.

Smith, G: Notice from the Carleton Place Herald (March 7, 1851).  Paper did not state when Mr. Smith left or which town or village he was from.

Smith, William: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Smith is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

Snedden, John: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Feb 12, 1852) states that Mr. Snedden is from Ramsay and left with a group of about 15 others on or about Jan 30, 1852 .

Stead, George: A notice published in the Perth Courier on March 26, 1852 states that Mr. Stead left the Lanark County area on March 23, 1852. Paper did not state where he was from, but since it was noted that a crowd had gathered to witness this (he name was listed along with 4 other men: Peter Campbell, Langham Bowie, Alexander Campbell and Dugald Campbell) departure, I am assuming they were local men.  A letter that has been transcribed and placed on the Lanark County Genweb site puts his arrival in California at Sept 1, 1852 .  The letter is dated Nov. 28, 1852 , written from Long Bar , California .  I found Mr. Stead’s name on a ships list (San Francisco Passenger Lists, Rassmussen, Vol 4, page 100) along with L. Bowie and D. Campbell on ship North America .  This was the only voyage that I found that had gone around Cape Horn of South America with stops in Rio de Janerio and Valpairso , Chile .  The voyage is said to have lasted 151 days.

Teskey, Thomas: A notice published in the Carleton Place Herald on Jan 15, 1852 states that Mr. Teskey left Lanark County for California, with Mr. Peter Cram on Jan 13 1852.

Thomson, John: A letter written from California from Mr. Thomson to his cousin in Port Sarnia was published in the March 24, 1853 issue of the Carleton Place Herald.  The paper makes note that John Thomson is the son of Andrew Thomson of Beckwith.

Tomlinson, Gilbert: Notice in the Carleton Place Herald (Jan 29, 1852), said to have left Carleton Place on Jan 28, 1852 .

Moffatt and Company:  During the California Gold Rush Era, many men joined together with others to make the trip to the gold fields.  Some of these groups were more formal than others, some even were financed by people in their own hometowns.  A notice published in the Carleton Place Herald on Oct 23, 1851 reads

The names below are of men that I could attribute to a group that left the Lanark County area at the beginning of March, 1851.  From other notices in the Carleton Place Herald, I am led to believe that there were more men in the group, but only the names of the nine men that I have found reference to are listed here.

William Moffatt, age 31 at the time, carpenter, married:

References: William Moffatt had signed a petition that was published in the Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.

William Moffatts’ California trip was noted on page 7 of “The David Moffatt Family of Carleton Place ” by Howard Morton Brown.  William Moffatt’s name is listed in the book San Francisco Ships Passenger Lists, Vol 2, Rasmussen, page 180 as arriving in San Francisco July 28, 1851 aboard the Steamer Ohio.  William Moffat’s name is on the  1852 Beckwith Head of Household listing*.

See obit for William Moffatt on this website.

Absolem McCaffrey, age 40, cooper

References: In a notice published in the Carleton Place Herald Feb 14, 1851 , Mr. McCaffrey expresses his intention of emigrating to California and asks those who are indebted to him to settle their accounts.  Mr. McCaffrey signed a petition published in the Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.  Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, located at Mokelumne Hill , California(letter dated Oct 20, 1851 , published in the Carleton Place Herald Dec 18, 1851 ) Notice published on Jan 10, 1854 (Carleton Place Herald) states that Mr. McCaffrey had returned recently to Lanark County from California . Matched name to 1852 Beckwith Head of Household listing*.

Samuel Pittard, age 26, farmer

References: Published petition in Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.  Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, located at Mokelumne Hill , California(letter dated Oct 20, 1851 , published in the Carleton Place Herald Dec 18, 1851 ).  Mr. Pittard was said to be in Sacramento at the time. Name found listed in the book San Francisco Ships Passenger Lists, Vol 2, Rasmussen, page 180 as arriving in San Francisco July 28, 1851 aboard the Steamer Ohio.  Matched name to 1852 Beckwith Head of Household listing*.

Andrew Fitzpatrick, age 36, shoemaker

References: Published petition in Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.  Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, located at Mokelumne Hill , California(letter dated Oct 20, 1851 , published in the Carleton Place Herald Dec 18, 1851 ).  Matched name to 1852 Beckwith Head of Household listing.*

Walter Scott, age 22, tanner

Reference: Published petition in Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.  Name found listed in the book San Francisco Ships Passenger Lists, Vol. 2, Rasmussen, page 180 as arriving in San Francisco July 28, 1851 aboard the Steamer Ohio.  Matched name to 1852 Beckwith Head of Household listing.*

Ira Rose

Reference: Mr. Rose signed a published petition in Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.  Name found listed in the book San Francisco Ships Passenger Lists, Vol 2, Rasmussen, page 180 as arriving in San Francisco July 28, 1851 aboard the Steamer Ohio.

Henry Rose

Reference: Mr. Rose signed a published petition in Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan. Name found listed in the book San Francisco Ships Passenger Lists, Vol 2, Rasmussen, page 180 as arriving in San Francisco July 28, 1851 aboard the Steamer Ohio.  Shirley Atkinson, a Rose Family researcher was kind enough to share copies of transcribed letters from the Henry and Ira Rose written while they were in California .

Aaron Cross

Reference: This man was mentioned in letters from Ira and Henry Rose that Rose Family researcher Shirley Atkinson was kind enough to share copies of with me. (Feb. 2004)

William Russell

References: Mr. Russell signed a petition that was published  in the Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.  Mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, located at Mokelumne Hill , California (letter dated Oct 20, 1851 , published in the Carleton Place Herald Dec 18, 1851 ).  There is also a letter published in the Carleton Place Herald written from Carleton Springs , California (author unknown) on July 22, 1852 that tells of the death of Dr. Gavin Russell and mentions that his brother – William – was in Sacramento on June 3, 1852 when his brother, Gavin, passed away.

  • Although the Beckwith Head of Household listing is dated 1852 and the men here would not have been physically present for the enumeration, I believe their families still listed them as head of household, despite their absence.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

LIPPED FROM
The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
06 Oct 1897, Wed  •  Page 1

Did Samuel Pittard of Ashton Murder His Wife?

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Sequel to The invasion of the Body Snatchers of Lanark County

“In 1861 the Carleton Place Herald reported that Mrs. Samuel Pittard of Ashton was to be exhumed as her husband was suspected of foul play due to idle gossip. After poor Jane, age 34, was dug up it was concluded she had died of natural causes. This had been the second body dug up in two weeks in the same cemetery due to the tongues of scandal. A conclusion was concurred that  of everyone followed Psalm 15:3 none of this would be happening.” But were the townsfolk of Ashton right? I started to dig and found some amazing facts.

pittard

1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
CENSUS & VOTER LISTS
NAME: Samuel Pittard
BIRTH: abt 1826 – location
RESIDENCE: township, Lanark County, Canada West (Ontario)
1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia
CENSUS & VOTER LISTS
NAME: Jane Pittard
BIRTH: abt 1827 – location
RESIDENCE: township, Lanark County, Canada West (Ontario)
The Case Against Samuel Pittard of Ashton, Ontario.

Samuel Pittard, a tanner by trade, of Ashton published a petition in Lanark Herald, April 25, 1851 listing the grievances of passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan.He was one of the many men from Lanark that joined a small group from Carleton Place called Moffat & Co to seek their wealth in the great  California gold rush.  He was also mentioned in a letter written by Nathaniel McCaffrey, located at Mokelumne Hill , California (letter dated Oct 20, 1851 , published in the Carleton Place Herald Dec 18, 1851 ). Mr. Pittard was said to be in Sacramento, Ca. at the time the letter was written. His name found was listed in the book San Francisco Ships Passenger Lists, Vol 2, Rasmussen, page 180 as arriving in San Francisco July 28, 1851 aboard the Steamer Ohio.

During the California Gold Rush Era, many men from Lanark County joined together with others to make the trip to the gold fields. Some of these groups were more formal than others, some even were financed by people in their own hometowns. A notice published in the Carleton Place Herald on Oct 23, 1851 states that a group of 9 men including Pittard left the Lanark County area as part of Moffatt and Company at the beginning of March, 1851.  Even though the men may have had intentions of staying together as a group, many situations would occur along the way that would cause them to go their separate ways.

One situation, for example was that demand was very high for passage to San Francisco and space on the steamships was not always available to accommodate entire groups either in New York or at the Pacific side of Panama. Once they arrived in California, decisions had to be made as to where to dig for the gold. Men moved frequently according to the latest news of large finds of gold. Some men decided against digging for gold and would pursue whatever their trade was at home. Because most men were out at the diggings, tradesmen were in high demand and could garner high prices for their work.

SS_Brother_Jonathan_1862

Samuel Pittard,  in April 25, 1851 lists grievances from the passengers of the steamship Brother Jonathan that they took to California. The Steamship Brother Jonathan left on its maiden voyage from New York City on the 19th of March 1851 headed for Chagres, Panama. The ship was advertised as ready to leave on the 15th of that month, which left the anxious men to wait for four days, probably at or near the docks in New York City . Eight days into the voyage the ship was forced to pull into port at Baltimore for repairs on the 27th of March 1851.

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The passengers were held over in Baltimore until the 3rd of April 1851 . A month or so had passed since they had left Lanark County, and they were only in Baltimore. The trip that was supposed to take 56 days from Lanark County to San Francisco took the group of men almost 150 days. The prices for passage on the Brother Jonathan were $80.00 first class, $70.00 second class, and steerage, $40.00.

2_Mining_the_American_River_t614

Not being successful finding gold Pittard returned to Ashton a few years later. Life was hard in those days. Did Jane nag Samuel about his shortcomings providing for the their children and herself? Was he unhappy how his life had progressed? Did Jane really die of natural causes and were the townsfolk of Ashton right? Only Samuel Pittard knew the truth and he took that to his grave.

More on the gold rush this week.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place