CASE TO BE APPEALED
[Welland Tribune, 15 January 1904]
Welland, Jan.13- James N. Abeel, the young man who has been lingering in Welland jail for the past two weeks under the charge of forgery, for which proceedings were being taken to extradite him, and in which judgment was reserved until today, appeared before Judge Wells this afternoon at 2 o’clock to learn his fate. H.E. Rose, Toronto, appeared for the prosecution. Abeel was in good spirits and talked and laughed with his counsel, W.M. German, K.C.
Judge Wells read the charge against the prisoner. He stated it had been urged by the defense that the depositions presented at the previous hearing had not been taken in the presence of accused and were not fair, that the evidence that a forgery was committed was not corroborated, that there must be a practical attempt to copy the handwriting, and that there was no intent to do injury. He over-ruled all these objections. He said there was expert evidence that the facts disclosed in the depositions constituted forgery in New York state. He committed Abeel to jail for extradition and informed him he would not be surrendered until 15 days had expired, and that he had a right to appeal.
22 March 1834-14 June 1904
The Autobiography of the Late Rev. Nelson Burns
Born in the town of Niagara, now called Niagara-on-the-Lake, 22 March 1834, Nelson was the second son of John and Deborah Huff Burns. His brother, Doctor Alfred Burns was a physician in the early years of Merrittsville, now Welland. Another brother of note was Theodore Burns, an editor of the Georgetown Herald.
An Anglo-Saxon Protestant, John Burns was born in the southern part of Ireland emigrating to Canada as a young man. Once situating in Niagara after living in several locales, he became engaged in the boot and shoe business. His wife, Deborah, born in Bath, was of Pennsylvania Dutch background, U.E. Loyalist. Together they raised six boys and one girl.
Upon graduation Nelson took the headmastership of the high school in Welland, remaining for one and a half years. He stated that “he took this position chiefly by the fact that my eldest brother was practicing medicine in Welland.”
The Reverend Burns was an early teacher at the Sabbath School in Welland for one and a half years, before moving to St. Thomas, ON. He married Eleanor Tyler on 12 July 1866.
Nelson died in Toronto, 14 June 1904 of heart disease. He is buried in the Erin Union Cemetery, Erin Twp., Wellington County.
[Welland Tribune, 1891]
Dr. Howell, while driving up Division street Monday noon, had an exciting runaway experience. While he was driving past Dr. Hutton’s residence the shafts on the cutter dropped on the horse’s heels, frightening the animal, which bolted. The doctor hung on while the horse went over the bridge and up Ball street. When just opposite Mr. Swartz’s residence the doctor steered the horse into a tree and brought the cutter to a standstill, but the horse broke loose and ran some distance farther. The doctor was thrown out but beyond a severe shaking up received no serious injury. The cutter was damaged but the horse was unhurt.
[Welland Tribune, August 1903]
Dr. Howell and son Harry returned home on Saturday evening, after spending a couple of weeks in Muskoka. Mrs Howell and daughter Doris will remain in Muskoka till the end of the month.
[Welland Tribune, 1904]
Dr. J.H. Howell, M.B. Toronto University, M.C.P.S.O. Office and residence, corner Fraser and Bald Streets, west side Welland. Jail Surgeon County of Welland.
[Welland Tribune, 1909]
Applications were received from Drs Davis and Howell for the vacant office of medical health officer.
[Welland Tribune, 1921]
Dr. J.H. Howell, Welland—Office and residence, corner Bald and Fraser Sts. Opposite Presbyterian Church. Office hours 8 to 9a.m., 1 to 3 and 7 to 8 p.m.
Born, Oct. 15, 1824
Died, July 19, 1904
[Welland Tribune, 22 July 1904]
John Clarkson, one of the oldest and best known residents of the township of Crowland, was a native of Yorkshire, England, coming to America in 1840. He landed at New York and came on to Brant county where he remained for a time, then went to New York state and again returned to Canada, settling at Chambers Corners, Wainfleet, where he carried on the business of wagon making for 25 years. His health showing signs of failing he gave up on that trade and engaged in farming on the Forkes road. In June, 1873, he sold his farm there and bought the farm in Crowland formerly owned by the late William Hill, for which he paid $6000 in cash, and here he resided until his death. In politics he was a sterling and advanced Liberal. In religion he was a firm and consistent member of the Methodist church. He was a member of the Crowland township council for the year 1878. He was a man of unwavering honor and integrity, a good friend and valued member of the community, enjoying the respect and esteem of all who knew him. Of late the pressure of accumulated years began to tell heavily upon him, and since April last, he has mainly been confined to his bed, passing peacefully to rest on Tuesday last. His life partner survives him, also one son, Jabez W., reeve of Crowland township, and two daughters, Mrs. Wellington Misener of Buffalo, and Mrs. Gideon Hodgkins of Wainfleet.
The funeral took place on Thursday and was very largely attended. Interment in Fonthill cemetery.
[Waterford Star, May 12, 1904]
Welland, May 4—The Welland County to-day, Judge Britton presiding, the jury found a verdict of three thousand dollars damages to the widow of the baseball player, Dalahanty, and two thousand dollars to the daughter against the Michigan Central Railway. Dalahanty was drowned at Bridgeburg some time ago, having been put off a Michigan Central Train.
A Piece of Unwritten History Disclosing the Identity of the Mysterious Backer of the Hero of Harper’s Ferry
By Sam P. Davis
[People’s Press, 5 January 1904]
When in 1858 John Brown made his unsuccessful but picturesque stand at Harper’s Ferry, Va., there was found on his person a letter. A significant paragraph which attracted the attention of the detectives, read as follows: “The axe is laid at the root of the tree and after the the first blow is struck there will be plenty more money coming. W.E.P.”
There was considerable speculation as to the author of this letter, and all sorts of wild stories were afloat. The horses, arms and ammunition Brown had with him at various times must have cost considerable money. This capital came from his sympathizers. It was thought that the author of the letter was one of his heaviest backers, but though a very rigid search was instituted, all efforts to find W.E.P. were unavailing.
Now after nearly half a century has elapsed, the identity of the writer was revealed to me in a most unexpected way.
On October 20, 1901, I received the following telegram from San Francisco: “Mrs. Pleasant very ill and would like to have you come down. Doctor Kearney.”
A few weeks prior to this time I had called on Mrs. Pleasant, an aged colored woman in San Francisco, whom I had known for many years. She had told me then that being eighty-seven years of age she felt that her end could not be far off and asked me if I would come to her in case she felt that death was near as she had something of considerable importance to tell me.
When I reached her bedside next morning she had failed considerably, but her physician told her that if she had anything special to tell me that she should do it at once. I took down her story and reproduce it here as nearly as possible as it came from her lips.
“I have never made this statement in full to anyone, but before I pass away I wish to clear the identity of the party who furnished John Brown with most of his money to start the fight at Harper’s Ferry and who signed the letter found on him when he was arrested.
I furnished the money and wrote the letter. My initials are M.E.P. For Mary E. Pleasant, but in signing my name I have always made the M so that it looks like a W, and I suppose that little mistake was all that saved me from being captured and hanged alongside of John Brown, and sometimes I wished that I had gone up on the scaffold with him, for I would at least have died in a good cause and in good company.
I was born in Philadelphia at No. 9 Barly street. My father was a Kanaka and my mother a Louisiana negress.
His name was John Alexander Williams and he was an importer of silks and dress goods. When about seven years of age I was sent to some people in Nantucket. The name was Hussey and they kept a huckster shop. My father, as I afterwards learned, sent money every year for my education, but as I was an unusually smart girl and quick at everything, they kept me at work in the store.
I finally went to Boston to better my condition and learned boot-binding and vest making of a man named Jackson on Merrimac street. Here I met my first husband, James W. Smith. He was a wealthy Cuban.
I sang in the church choir at St. Mary’s church on Endicott street. Father McRoy was the priest, and Father Trainor the assistant.
I was so white that but few knew that I had any colored blood. I sang with a white choir and one evening after the service Mr. Smith, who was introduced by the priest, saw me home. We were married inside a month. My husband was a close friend of Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison, also of Captain Dampie ? whose mother was the daughter of the president of Jamaica.
Mr. Smith became very much interested in the abolition question and was always in close touch with the leaders of the movement.
Sometimes Garrison and Phillips would come to our home, also Geo W. Green and Louis Hayden. Mr. Smith frequently demonstrated his feeling for the colored race by buying slaves and giving them their liberty. On his deathbed in 1844, he made me promise that I would devote a portion of the money he left me to the cause of freeing the slaves. I promised with a full heart, and before I die I want to let the world know how I tried to keep my promise.
After my husband’s death, Captain Edward Gardner, who had known me in Nantucket, took charge of my affairs and settled up my husband’s estate. Most of the money I received came from the sale of lands which he had owned. They brought me in a little over $45,000.
I married my second husband, John J. Pleasant in 1848. He was the foreman and manager for my first husband. We were married in the Gore Catholic church in Charlestown.
We went to California soon after that and invested our money during the good times of ‘49. I lent money at ten percent interest per month and invested in real estate and kept a boarding house on Washington street. It was the leading boarding house in San Francisco and set the best table. Many of the best families of the city lived with me. Governor Booth was elected to office while he lived there. We were always great friends and I consider him the greatest intellect that California ever produced.
In 1858 I went back to New York to help John Brown. I had no well defined idea of just how I was to help him, and concluded to see what could be done after I reached the west.
I had been a regular subscriber to “The Liberator” edited by Garrison. I was corresponding with Garrison and and Phillips and Gardner. I told them that I had money and would bring plenty to help them in their struggle for the liberty of the blacks. I left San Francisco with my husband on April 5th. I think we went on the “Moses Taylor.” I took with me in addition to the money needed for expenses, a thirty-thousand dollar U.S. Treasury draft, which I decided to give to John Brown of whom I had heard through the letters from the east and the papers. Robert Swain of San Francisco took the money and got the draft. John W. Coleman and Richard Patrick sent us our steamer tickets by Wm. Alvord who was then their messenger boy. He subsequently became mayor of San Francisco and president of the bank of California. Just before I left I received a nice letter from William Lloyd Garrison. He was then editing “The Liberator” and lived at No 13 Pine street in Boston.
“Captain Gardner knew of our coming and met us at the dock when we reached New York. We went at once to a colored boarding house kept by a Mrs. Bell. That afternoon I went out to attend to business, and having letters to the right people I got my money on the draft of A.A. Low, through Cartright Harrison. It was changed into a Canadian draft. I left for Canada that night, for I felt impatient to be moving in the matter at once. I crossed the river at Detroit and went to Chatham, the second stopping place then from Windsor.
I wrote letters to several parties and told them that I wanted to have a talk with John Brown in Chatham.
I put up at a boarding house for colored people kept by a Mr. Barbor on King street. Here I was joined by John Brown and his son. They had come direct from Harper’s Ferry. We had several conferences in this house. I had received the money on the Canadian draft from Mr McRea, who was in some way connected with the bank there. I turned the whole amount over to John Brown and his son one night in my room.
None of the people who had been corresponding with me knew to what use the money was to be put. John Brown and I talked it over but we did not confide the details to our friends. I told him that by the time he had organized for his fight I would have the blacks in a state of insurrection and near at hand to come in with reinforcements. With this agreement we parted. I then went to Montreal and there I met several abolition sympathizers. Wendell Phillips and Green, who was then his brother-in-law, called on me in Montreal, but I did not tell them of my plans with Brown. I know there was to be bloodshed and concluded not to talk it over with them.
I then went back to the United States and secured a trusted man to go with me down along the Roanoke river and incite an uprising of the slaves. I was dressed in the clothes of a jockey and he had horses along and we posed as people connected with the turf.
We stopped first at Mark Alexander’s plantation where we talked over the the outlook with his negroes. They were very much taken with the idea of participating in the fight for their freedom. We also visited Henry Coleman’s, Mr. Sydney’s, Mr. Townsend’s and John Nelson’s plantations. We remained in the negroes cabins at night. We arranged that when Brown made his stand at Harper’s Ferry the negroes were to rise in every direction, but our plans were all knocked to pieces by Brown himself. He started the raid on Harper’s Ferry before the time was ripe. I was astounded when I heard that he had started in and was beaten and captured and that the affair upon which I had staked my money and built so much hope was a fiasco. I have never been able to figure it out. It was a big blunder all round and when we saw that things had ended in failure we began to look about for our own safety, for we read in the papers that all of Brown’s fellow conspirators were being sought for by the authorities. When they captured him they found among his papers a letter from me. I cannot remember all of the letter now, but it contained these words.
“The axe is laid at the root of the tree. When the first blow is struck there will be more money and help.” The papers stated that such a letter was found and signed W.E.P.
I parted from my friend whom Brown had sent me and I have never seen him or heard from him except through other parties. I supposed he would write me after I returned to San Francisco, but I never received any letter. We went down the Roanoke river at night in a boat and then separated. I went to New York as fast as I could. I read in the papers that the detectives were on the track of the W.E.P. who wrote the letter, and I had a quiet laugh when I saw that my poor handwriting had given them a false trail. I went to a sailors’ boarding house at No 40 Grand street in New York and registered as Mrs. Smith. I remained there until after Brown was hanged in December and finally started home to the Pacific coast.
I did not dare to use the return steamer ticket that I had, but gave it to a woman on condition that she should take the name of Mary E. Pleasant during the voyage. My husband went on the same steamer in the first cabin, but to be certain that I would not be caught I went as a steerage passenger under the name of Smith. I asked all sorts of fool questions about California of my fellow passengers on the voyage and was often laughed at for my seeming ignorance. When I reached home I found a letter awaiting me from John Brown. I destroyed it at once. Brown was an earnest, sincere man and as brave a man as ever lived, but he lacked judgment and was sometimes foolhardy and cranky. He wrote too much and talked too much.
I felt very bad over the failure of our mission, but I never regretted the times or the money I spent on the idea. It cost me all told about $40,000. It seemed at first like a failure, but time proved that the money was well spent. It paved the way for the war and the war freed the slaves. I always felt that John Brown started the Civil War and that I helped Brown more than any other person financially. I wish I had given more. It was the greatest pleasure of my life to give this money. When I die all I want on my tombstone is “She was a friend of John Brown.”
I called her attention to the fact that after all these long years her story would require considerable corroboration before the public would believe it, and I asked her if she would be able to prove conclusively that she was at Chatham when Brown was. She replied, “I bought four or five lots there from a clergyman, but I cannot recall his name. I think he preached in a Methodist church. John Brown has some children still living in California and they would be likely to know about the money I advanced to Brown.”
I hunted up Jason Brown an old man living in great poverty in Ben Lomond, Santa Cruz County, Cal. He is in the neighborhood of eighty years of age and is still strong and active. He is in receipt of a small pension from the government, for he served in the Union army fighting for the same undying cause, for which his father was hanged. When I stated my mission he received me cordially.
“Yes,” he said in response to my questions. “It is true my father went to Chatham in ‘58 and met a colored woman who advanced him considerable money. I don’t know her name.”
I found Susan Brown, a daughter of John Brown, living near Los Gatoes, not far from her brother Jason.
I explained my presence and asked for such information as she might give. She said that her father had met a colored woman in Chatham, Canada, and received considerable money from her to further the cause of emancipation, but he never disclosed her name.
I addressed a letter to the town auditors of Chatham regarding the presence of Mrs. Pleasant in Chatham in ‘58 and in reply received a letter from Mr. J. Fleming, auditor of Chatham, saying that old settlers remember Mrs. Pleasant.
I next wrote to the law firm of Lewis & Richards, Chatham, and asked them to make a search of the records.
They discovered a deed, dated Sept. 7th, ‘58 in which Rev. Archibald Campbell conveyed four lots on Park avenue and Campbell street, in block D, in the township of Harwitch, Chatham, to John J. Pleasant and registered on the 10th of September. The deed was witnessed by Thomas F. Carey and William H. Day.
Next was a deed bearing date of May 8th, 1872, and registered Oct. 23rd, 1878 in which John J. Pleasant and Mary E. Pleasant, his wife, conveyed same property to Jas. Handy of San Francisco. The deed was acknowledged before F.J. Thibault, a notary public of San Francisco.
This ends the documentary evidence relative to the case, or at least all that I have been able to discover.
[People’s Press, 4 January 1904]
The residence of Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Williams, 99 Sixteenth street, Buffalo, N.Y. was the scene of a brilliant society event last Wednesday afternoon, when Rev. Dr. Samuel Lynch Beiler, of Richmond avenue M.E. Church, united in marriage their eldest daughter, Mabel and William Constable of Thorold. Lohengrin’s wedding march was played by Harry Templeton of Buffalo. The bridesmaid was Miss Lillian Williams, sister of the bride, Robert Constable of Thorold, brother of the groom, acted as best man. After the ceremony the guests repaired to the spacious dining room where an elaborate dinner was served. Mr. and Mrs. Constable left per 9.30 N.Y.C. train for points east, to spend a brief honeymoon. On their return they will take up their residence in Buffalo.
..FROM A FORMER RESIDENT OF WELLAND TO THE TRIBUNE
Oil City, California-Dec. 31, 1903
[People’s Press, 12 January 1904]
Dear Old Tribune:-
Greetings from the land of dust and wind and smoke to the land of cold and storms and snow.
Christmas time always recalls memories of the past, and as the year wanes we think of those dear to us in other climes, and ofttimes wonder if the New Year will give us the pleasure of seeing some of our dear old school mates who are somewhat scattered throughout this great continent.
For the past thirteen years we have welcomed thee in many different parts of Southern California, but never before have we welcomed thy pages with so great pleasure as the year past, which has been out in the great crude oil region of the Kern River, nine miles from Bakersfield, the county seat of Kern County, and where tarantulas, centipedes, trap-door spiders, swifts ( a kind of lizard), stinging crickets, scorpions, spiders of all kinds and ants of all sizes hold high carnival each in its season. I must confess it is slightly wearing to one’s nerves to be ever on the outlook for fear of being bitten or stung by one or the other of the “pests”.
The story of Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer with sleigh and jingling bells have no music down here among the barren hills and dust several inches deep, with mercury ranging all winter from 40 to 70 degrees during the day. This year we have had only three frosts up here among the hills, but down along the river everything is frost-bitten.
No rose-kissed zephyr reaches this far from Los Angeles. For Christmas greenery we had a small green artificial tree, other decorations consisted of celery leaves and mistletoe. Yet, for all, we had a pleasant time, for we made the most of our surroundings.
Our little settlement consists of six houses divided into two rooms each, and stand in a row about 12 feet apart. In architectural design they are similar for all are built of rough lumber, battened, with a roof of tarred and graveled paper-windows are a half regular size and slide to open; there are 2 doors and 5 windows to each house. The interior is finished in natural wood and walls and ceiling are covered with a building paper resembling the coarse-brown paper used for wrapping paper. Then, too, it is tacked on and rattles “beautifully” when wind blows so that once in a while a whole section will let loose from the tacks and come down. The Southern Pacific Co. built these houses for some of their employees to live in and had the gall to ask $5.00 per month for rent. Water and natural gas is piped to each house, so for light and fuel we use gas.
We have a very fine neighborhood for what few families are here are all well educated, hence, well behaved.
Stringed instruments furnish music to break up the monotony.
Were a stranger to strike this part of the country during August and September he might imagine with considerable real feeling that he were near the “ warm country,” especially if the thermometer showed the heat to be 130 degrees and several slump holes of oil were burning, spreading great black clouds over the heavens and omitting a gaseous odor. Thank kind providence for such experiences to be few-for as a general rule the smoke from the burning of the waste oil from the holes ascends in columns to a great height before distributing into space.
The sand storms are not very desirable either; but we do have some beautiful weather-not foggy like Pasadena and Los Angeles. It is a beautiful sight to witness the sun rising above the mountains away to the east. I have seen the mountain tops appear as tipped with gold while a sky of pale blue shaded to royal purple with the first glints of Old Sol ever changing the tints spread over head and were reflected in the waters of the river at the foot of tall irregular bluffs about two miles east and southward.
Oil City in its infancy may yet vie with Oil City of Pennsylvania. As now, it is merely the name of the terminus of the branch from the main S.P.R.R.
To those of your readers who have always been in the habit of donning wraps and walking a short distance to see all the pretty Xmas displays , it may interest them to know how a great many do Xmas shopping. First of all it costs $2.50 to get to town just to take a look and then if you have a full purse it is soon relieved when you get inside one of the many department stores of Bakersfield., where you have so many things you must take home. Some prefer to stay at home and give a solicitor from the store who has a “corner” on the oil field trade, an order for toys, etc., which may be what you want and may be different. Turkeys this year sold for 25¢ per lb., live weight. To be sure we had “to have turkey or bust,” as the little fellow said. Eggs, fresh are 45¢ per doz. Just think of that right here in this beautiful California.
I must say too, that all that looks like oil is sometimes soup. All derricks do not indicate oil wells. About 7 miles from here are some derricks without even a hole in the ground and where some English and French investments, besides some nearer home, were sunk. To be sure some one got the “mun.”
I have rambled somewhat from what I intended to write you, but must soon close for the old year is fast dying and I wish to say that may you live long and may the New Year be more prosperous than ever for you.”
Twenty years in March 1904 since I said good-bye to dear old Welland.
A Happy New Year to all. ADIOS
[People's Press, 12 January 1904]
If the party who took the “Book Lovers Magazine,” from the library table does not return it at once she will be prosecuted, as she is well known.
We are authorized to insert the above, and the librarian informs us that every little while a magazine proves missing, and never is seen again. No person has any right to take a magazine from the library, and if taken with the intention of keeping it the act is, to say the least, a mean, low down trick. A number of the best magazines have been removed from the library.