Asbury Harpending
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He was also commanded the federal arsenals, which contained weapons for 75, men. California's fate — peace or insurrection — depended on Johnston's loyalty to the oath he had taken as a US officer. At the start of the war, California's congressional delegation was composed of members of the "chivalry," the pro-slavery wing of the Democratic Party that wanted to bind the state to the South. Southern President Jefferson Davis was assured that the Pacific Coast would give a great deal of trouble to the Union — if not secede entirely.

Fort Point, San Francisco.

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Unionists' suspicions about Johnston were heard in Washington by the incoming Lincoln administration, who promptly sent out General Edwin V. Johnston did not know he had been superseded. Hearing that Texas had seceded, Johnston resigned before learning of Sumner's appointment. Despite Republican fears, Johnston's tenure in command was exemplary, from the moment he assumed command until Sumner took over.

Once relieved, Johnston traveled south to Los Angeles. He was 58 and ready to retire after a lifetime of service. In the end, though, Johnston couldn't accept civilian life while his adopted state of Texas was at war. Johnston enlisted as a private in a local Secesh militia group, the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, and joined them in a desperate journey across the Southwest in June and July Johnston died on April 6, , while leading his men at the Battle of Shiloh.

Crossing the Southwest. His son later characterized the journey:. The route lay through one of the hottest regions in the world, where the thermometer often marked over degrees in the shade, when shade could be found In the turmoil that accompanied the unraveling of the Union in early , California's course was very much up in the air. The elections had been a triumph for the "Chivalry," the pro-slavery Democrats who sided with the South.

Harpending, Asbury [WorldCat Identities]

But the rift in Democratic ranks widened dramatically after the infamous Broderick-Terry duel, in which California's pro-slavery Chief Justice shot and killed the state's Free-Soil US Senator in a struggle for leadership in the party. The young Republican Party was positioned to harness pro-Union sentiment in the Golden State, but the party's most able orator, Edward Baker, had just departed for Oregon to follow his political star and become that state's US Senator.


Accounts, covenants, and other papers undated. Need an account? He converted to Catholicism while in prison. Accounts, receipts, correspondence, and other papers Scope and Contents Includes business correspondence and records documenting Harpending's business ventures in and around Louisville, Princeton, and Millville, Kentucky, including a general store, and mining and agricultural investments. In Harpending and other investors were duped by two Kentucky born miners into investing in a fake diamond mine in Colorado. The email does not appear to be a valid email address. Asbury Harpending and others.

Into this tumult and uncertainty stepped the Reverend Thomas Starr King, a 5' 2," pound dynamo who had perfected his public speaking skills during his years on the Lyceum lecture circuit back East. King was an charismatic orator whose graceful good humor and eloquence won applause as he criss-crossed the state, speaking out for the Union.

So successful were King's efforts that Abraham Lincoln dubbed him "the man who saved California for the Union. As loyal control of the state government grew more secure, King turned to raising funds to support the United States Sanitary Commission, the foremost soldier's aid society in the North. The USSC, or "Sanitary," as it was called, provided the support for wounded soldiers and their families that the federal government was ill-equipped to offer.

Under King's leadership, California raised a quarter of all the funds that supported the Sanitary's efforts. King's unwavering commitment to his causes came at a cost. His health had never been strong, and he refused to moderate his crushing schedule. In March , Starr King fell ill with diphtheria and then contracted pneumonia.

He died at age 39, having literally worked himself to death in the cause of his faith and country. The banners display quotes from Daniel Webster's famous defense of the Union on the floor of the Senate. Asbury Harpending was an aristocratic young Kentuckian who had already lived a lifetime's worth of adventures when the Civil War broke out.

He had achieved great success in the Northern Mines of California and knew the value to the Union government of the massive gold shipments that sailed from San Francisco to New York.

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He secured a letter of marque from Jefferson Davis, authorizing a bold privateering scheme on the Pacific Coast. Harpending and his confederates purchased a schooner named the J.

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Chapman and filled her hold with crates of guns and a band of partisans. Pacific Mail steamships laden with gold were Harpending's targets. Individual vessels often carried over a million dollars. At the eleventh hour, the plot was foiled by San Francisco's famous detective Isaiah Lees.

Marines from the US sloop of war Cyane boarded the Chapman and captured the conspirators. Sep 29, Herman Gigglethorpe rated it really liked it Shelves: obscure-project-gutenberg , autobiography-and-memoir. Not everyone will like this book, because Harpending was an unrepentant Confederate and Lost Causer. He sometimes used rather racist idioms too, which can be expected for someone with his political sympathies. If you can stomach some of his views long enough to read the rest of the book, you'll learn about colorful events and people of the Old West. Less than half the book is about the Great Diamond Hoax of The beginning deals with his failed attempts to join the filibuster William Walker, Not everyone will like this book, because Harpending was an unrepentant Confederate and Lost Causer.

The beginning deals with his failed attempts to join the filibuster William Walker, then his mining career during the California Gold Rush. After that, he became a Confederate privateer on the Chapman who tried to intercept Union gold ships.

The Great Diamond Hoax

By , he financed much of California's development, including San Francisco. He fell for one of the 19th century's greatest frauds, perpetrated by Arnold and Slack. Arnold and Slack "salted" an empty mine with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, and claimed it was worth millions. Harpending makes the case for his innocence throughout the book, saying that he was already a wealthy and respected investor, and that the scheme was so brazen that only someone obscure could have pulled it off.

For instance, diamonds are not found with rubies and sapphires, which was apparent in 19th century geology books.

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He knew that the mine was empty at first, and tried to warn investors, but was called a "bear" for his trouble. He then investigated other parts of the mine after it had been salted, and people he trusted thought it was genuine. Harpending has a dry sense of humor throughout the book. Here's an example: "Libby's first name was Lorenzo. People often ask, 'What's in a name?

Finding aid to the Asbury Harpending papers, MS 950 MS 950

Lorenzo Libby helped to land me in prison. Lorenzo Smith did me up in a business deal, and I have unpleasant recollections of Lorenzo Sawyer, once on the Federal bench of San Francisco. I never see a man christened 'Lorenzo' without an impression that he will bear a heap of watching". Hayley rated it really liked it Mar 04, Joyce M. Tice rated it it was amazing Jul 24, Stacey rated it really liked it May 07, Osiris Oliphant rated it really liked it Feb 26, David Schwan rated it really liked it Jun 07, Alan Moreland marked it as to-read Nov 21, Patrick added it Feb 26, Clara marked it as to-read Jan 08, Stephen Robertson marked it as to-read May 02, Stephanie McGarrah marked it as to-read Feb 27, Lydia Rainville marked it as to-read Apr 13, Janice marked it as to-read Dec 02, Thomas marked it as to-read Dec 13, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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