Etta A. Anderson Personal Account of Her Experiences as a Pioneer in the Territory of Washington 1853-1856

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Etta A. Anderson Personal Account of Her Experiences as a Pioneer in the Territory of Washington 1853-1856
Etta A. Anderson, 1834-1917
Uhler, Margaret Anderson
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Civil War
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North America
North America -- United States of America -- Florida
North America -- United States of America -- Tennessee
North America -- United States of America

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A Personal Account of Her Experiences as a Pioneer

in the Territory of Washington, 1853-1856

Edited and with an introduction


Margaret Anderson Uhler

The following letter from Henrietta ("Etta") Anderson to

Professor Edmund S. Meny is a response to his request for

reminiscences about her early life and about her three _ye.a-s-'-

residence in the newly created Territory of Washington. Etta,EIjmy__

great-grandmother, was the wife of James Patton Anderson, the

territory's first United States Marshal.

Henrietta Adair and Patton Anderson were first cousins, and

both were grandchildren of General John Adair, hero of the

Revolution and of the War of 1812, and the eighth Governor of

Kentucky. Etta, the daughter of Elizabeth Cromwell and Doctor

William Henry Palmer Moore Adair, was born June 3, 1834, in

Tomkinsville, Kentucky. Patton, born February 16, 1822, in

Franklin County, Tennessee, was the son of Doctor Adair's sister,

Margaret, and Colonel William Preston Anderson, a veteran of the

War of 1812.1 Patton was also the great-grandson of Colonel

James Patton, founder of a colony on the James River in

Virginia. **

In 1847, Patton was a lieutenant colonel in the Mexican War.

At the close of the war, when he returned to his law practice in

Hernando, Mississippi, his health was frail from recurring


attacks of malaria contracted in Mexico. As his physicians

advised him to move to a more congenial climate, his friend,

Jefferson Davis, the Secretary of War, in 1853 secured for

Colonel Anderson the appointment of United States Marshal from

President Franklin Pierce.3

Etta and Patton were married on April 30, 1853, in Memphis,

Tennessee. Immediately after the wedding, they embarked on their

voyage to the west coast. The courage and optimism of the young

couple as they began their perilous adventure are expressed in

the lines Patton composed to his bride on the day of their


The wise and active conquer dangers
By daring to attempt them; sloth and folly
Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,
And make the impossibility they fear

Mississippi River, April 30 18534

A riverboat took them to New Orleans where they boarded a

steamer for Nicaragua. From there, they took a small river

) steamer up the San Juan River to Virgin Bay, another steamer to

SSan Francisco, and yet another to Astoria, Oregon. The voyage,

with several delays, took two months.5

According to extant letters and family tradition, the

Andersons found the wilderness territory filled with challenge

and their life there one of great happiness. The invigorating

climate restored Patton to robust health, and his duties,

frequently shared by Etta, were pleasant though strenuous. In

1855, Patton was elected territorial representative to Congress.


Consequently, he and Etta left in October 1856 and arrived in

Washington City for the convening of the Thirty-fourth Congress.6

At the conclusion of this congressional session, President

James Buchanan appointed Patton Governor of Washington Territory

and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Patton resigned this

position, however, without returning to the territory. Etta was

pregnant with their first child, and, since Patton had become

convinced that the country would soon be at war, he wished to be

able to serve the South when the conflict came.

To this end, he and Etta moved to Monticello, Florida, where

their aunt, Ellen Adair White Beatty, had a large plantation

home, Casa Bianca. After managing this estate for a year, Patton

bought it; during the War Between the States, he sold it.

In April 18,61, Patton organized a company of infantry and

was elected colonel of the First Florida Regiment; he was
promoted to major general in January 1864. Etta had been her

husband's constant helpmate and companion in Washington, and she

did not hesitate to join him on several battlefields during the
war. In August 1864, General Anderson was severely wounded in

the battle of Jonesboro, near Atlanta. Never fully overcoming

the effects of the wound, he died on September 20, 1872, in

Memphis, where he and Etta with their five children had lived

since 1869.10

Patton's death left Etta financially destitute with only her

young family: William Preston, Theophilus Beatty, James Patton,

Jr., Elizabeth Cromwell, and Margaret Bybee. Etta had been a

worthy exemplification of the American Woman's indomitable


pioneer spirit in her youth; she lived the remainder of her life

with typical fortitude,

The life of this young bride, accustomed to gentility and

ease, yet equal to any challenge circumstance presented her with,

is romantic and inspiring. This is her story as she recalled it

when she was an elderly widow living in Palatka, Florida. She

died February 18, 1917, survived by two of her children, James

Patton, Jr. and Margaret Bybee.



--~-- ---


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Palatka, Florida

July 23rd, 1902

My dear Mr. Meany:

I fear your patience is quite exhausted waiting for the

papers.... I was deeply interested in the pamphlets and in the

copy of Governor Stevens' letter. I must, if I do not forget,

tell you of my experience with him before I get through. How I

wish I could talk to you; I could make things plainer; and

indeed, my experience in many ways has been stranger than


I know so little of the art of condensing; how shall I ever

get through with a sketch of my life? I was born in a small

town, Tomkinsville, county seat of Monroe County, Kentucky, on

the border of Tennessee, June 3rd, 18341 When I was six weeks

old, my parents moved back to Harrodsburg, Kentucky, my father's

native town, and near my grandfather Adair's farm. We lived

there until I was three years old, when Mother thought she ought

to be near her father--grandfather Cromwell. He had just come

out from Virginia and bought and lived on a farm three miles from

\ Morganfield. This was at that time a wild part of Kentucky and a

strong Catholic neighborhood. Father, being a physician and an

elder in the Presbyterian Church, concluded to move to

Morganfield where he could practice his profession and serve as

Missionary, organizing Sabbath-schools, etc. Many of the people

could not read. Mother taught such as wished to learn, that they

might be able to read the Bible. Of course she taught her own

children and Father prepared my brother12 for college; he

(brother) was educated at Hanover, Indiana....

When I was twelve years old, I went on horseback with my

father directly across the state of Kentucky from north to south

to visit his mother; grandfather Adair was dead and my father was

her eldest son. He spent a few weeks, I stayed a year and went

to school and returned with my Grandmother in her carriage.
One of my father's sisters had lost her husband. She had

no children; both Mother and Father thought it a great affliction

to be childless, and they felt very sorry for her. She was very

wealthy and begged to be allowed to adopt me. Father said he

could never give up one of his children (there were three of us,
one son and two daughters) but one or the other of us might spend

some time with her at different intervals as it suited her
convenience. She lost her second husband in 1847. He was a

physician from Dublin, Ireland,.a very handsome man and a highly

cultivated gentleman. Her first husband was Colonel Joseph

White, a representative in congress from this (then) Territory of

Florida for years. He was a very prominent lawyer at the time

and wa ..-sent by President Jackson to Spain to investigate

something about the Spanish claims in Florida, My aunt spent

many years abroad and met all the people of note at that time;

was herself not only a great beauty but very talented, and was

known as "Mrs. Florida White.".... After the death of her second

husband, she gave up society almost entirely, and was anxious to

visit her husband's parents in Dublin. Her father-in-law was a

Captain in the British army and had distinguished himself by his

service in India. He occupied the castle in Dublin and lived of

course in great style. In their great affliction in the loss in

quick succession of three grown sons, he asked to be relieved and

retired to a more quiet life....

In 1849 in April, Aunt Ellen (then Mrs. Beatty) came to

Henderson, Kentucky (about twenty-five miles from Morganfield

where we lived). She wrote Father to bring us all and meet her

there. (Brother was there at school). I had never been there

before--it was quite a city to me (I suppose four or five

thousand inhabitants); I thought it was wonderful with its large

churches, paved streets, etc. She told Father she expected to

spend most of the summer visiting her mother and sisters in the

neighborhood of Louisville and persuaded Father to allow her to

take me that far and put me in school, boarding with a favorite

niece of Father's. Mother had been my only teacher except that

year I had spent with grandmother, and that was in the town where

I was born, Tomkinsville. We started in about ten days on a

small steamboat (but to me grand) for Louisville. It was, as my

aunt told me, perfect life in every movement.

I had lived on a farm for some years where Father had gone

on account of Mother's health. I rode everything in the shape of

a horse that I could catch; delighted in attending the sheep and

chickens, gathering flowers in the woods, anything to be out of

doors. I could not stand anything indoors. Mother was firm and

very systematic, and fortunately for me, she compelled me to go

regularly through certain duties, keeping house, knitting--Oh! I

despised to knit!--sewing, and even spinning. (How thankful I

was to know this in the late war). I was spoken of at home as a

great, overgrown, awkward girl. I was fair and a very bright

color. I was greatly annoyed as I would be passing persons on

the boat to hear the remark, "Do look at that young girl, so

painted, but what a figure, and how graceful!" I entirely lost

sight of the compliment in what I had been taught was a disgrace

in the paint. In my grief (for such it was to me) I went to

Aunt--was surprised to see that while she tried to sympathize

with me, she was evidently much amused; said she had heard the

remarks but considered them unworthy of notice and so must I

feel. I tried, but was so timid no one knows how I suffered....

In Louisville I attended my first theater. I thought'nothing L

could be grander. My friends were saying "How very poor!" I

found (as I had known before) my father's family was prominent in

society and politics. Of course Aunt was dined and supped, etc.,

and I, though a child, was taken with her. Here I attended my

first grand dining and was instructed by my Aunt that I must take

wine if invited to do so. Father was strictly temperance, and

Mother had often told us she never wanted us to take wine or play-

cards; she had no objection to dancing. So I told Aunt I could

not and why; she said I need not drink it. She did not wish me

to do that on account of my bright color, but I must raise the

glass to my lips. This seems to me now very weak and a sacrifice

of principle that I have a contempt for; and it is something I

thought for years after even I was a mother that true politeness

required of me. Such stuff!--I am ashamed that even as a child I

could have felt so. But to return.

After we had been there a week or ten days, Aunt had

selected my school, bought my books, music, and all, and I went

one day--Monday. Tuesday morning I was up and at my lessons

before breakfast. When she got up, she said, "My daughter, I

have concluded I do not like to travel alone to New York, so you

put up your books and pack your trunk. We start at nine and I

will put you in school in New York." I know now that Aunt never

had her wishes crossed in anything, and so she was determined to

have her own way. I had a horror of being left among strangers

even though they were kin, and felt glad to be with her that much

longer, childlike, not thinking of the trial that awaited me in

New York.... My every thought was to complete my education as

quickly as possible and return to my mother and my dear wild

Kentucky home.

We took boat again, a small one for the river was low. At

Cincinnati we stopped only for the first train. KWe had, however,

a few hours for a ride around the city. I think Aunt must have

thought considerable of my complexion, for from this point on she

required, me to keep a heavy veil over my face, which was torture

to me.... My first railroad ride!--from Cincinnati via Columbus

to Cleveland, across Lake Erie to Buffalo, stopping here long

enough to run up to Niagara Falls, then by rail to Albany and

down the lovely Hudson to New York where we put up at the Astor

House--at that time the largest and most fashionable hotel in the


Here we gave our whole time to sight-seeing, theaters,

dressmakers, milliners, etc. Aunt was opposed to boarding

schools, so sent to Brooklyn for her merchant, made arrangements

that the morning she sailed, I was to go to his house and enter a

private school with his daughters, taught by Miss Jewell from

Hartford, Connecticut. S The day before Aunt was to sail, she took

me over the great steamship "Atlantic;" it was her second trip.

She went over in nine days and five hours, the quickest trip ever

made up to that time! This was Aunt's ninth-voyage across the

Atlantic. She was to sail at ten o'clock. Of course, I was

-dfeading it. She had ordered breakfast earlier than usual. Our

trunks were packed--mine as I though for Brooklyn--we went to our

room (with me straining every nerve to keep the tears back) when

she seated me beside her, and taking my hand, said, "My daughter,

I cannot-cross the Atlantic alone; I have -never-iTnte-nded to. I

am lonely and need you. I knew if--I-asked your father, he would

never consent for you to go so far, and I could not take you

against his positive commands. After it is done, it will be alZ

right with him and with your dear mother." Aunt was four years

older than Father; we had been taught to obey our aunt as our

parents, so anything that Aunt did was right with me. So when we

got to Liverpool, she wrote back, and it was just as she had


After a day or so in Liverpool, we went direct to Dublin.

The cultivated Irish are charming--I loved Dublin and Ireland;

the scenery is lovely--and those lovely country homes! We spent

a delightful day at the country seat of a granddaughter of Lord

-Cornwallis; she had his sword and other mementos.... While here

I witnessed a review and sham battle of ten thousand troops in

Phoenix Park Duke of Wellington. Captain Beatty (Aunt's

father-in-law) took me on the stand with him as they wished to

show him marked respect. I had a prominent position. I was

perfectly carried away. Captain Beatty was much amused and told

Aunt that I was a "natural little soldier." I wonder if I was

-being prepared then for the life before me?....

In August, Aunt concluded to take me to Paris to school and

take her two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law (my age) for a

-t-r-ip on the Continent.... From Paris we went to Brussels, thence

to Cologne, thence on the Rhine as far as Frankfurt-on-the-Main,

back to Cologne, then to Aix-la-Chapelle, and thence to Paris

where as-u-su-al I was to be left at school and where I was anxious

to stay. But here Aunt me-t--some old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Izard

of South Carolina, who were on their way to Palestine. (As much

as she had traveled, she had never_ _been to Palestine and had

alway-s-wanted to go). She at once decided that travel would -do

,ne more good than school; living when my school

days were over (as far as I knew, she was. in perfect health) and

C was young-enough to travel first and go to school after. So

the Izards were to wait in Paris while she returned to Dublin,

"left her sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, got the rest of our

-baggage, and rejoined them in Paris. We got to Dublin, had our

trunks packed, and were just ready to leave the house when a

letter was handed her from her lawyers) (the Lords) 'in New York

telling her that she must return at once as-relatives of Uncle

White's (Aunt's first husband) were trying again to break his

-will (they had tried after his death and failed as they did

then), so we went -te---iv-e-rpool and took the Cunard steamer

"Canada" forBo-ston. After stopping tosee_-the city hurriedly,

we returned to New York, and then I was reff in Brooklyn for a

year at Miss Jewell's select school. In a few days, the business

was settled and Aun-t---1ftiefor Florida. This was the first of

October or November, 1850.

I was anxiousto._remain at school at least another year. I

felt--child that I was--that I was-doing well and ought not to

change, but in Sept-ember-, ...1.851, Aunt sent for me to go to

Florida, saying she intended as soon as it was safe on account of

-yel1ow fever to take me to New Orleans to study French and music,

which she wished to superintend and would-remain with me. I

begged if I must go to be allowed to go through Kentucky and

visit my parents. She would not hear of it. So on the llth day

of September, I left New York on a-s-teamer for Savannah, Georgia.

The night before I left, I heard of my grandfather

Cromwell's death. I was a great pet with him and his death was a

- -great grief and, only made me more anxious to go to Kentucky.

From Sav-a-nnrah--we took .-the train to-- Macon and.,-thence to

-,Qglethorpe, a short distance south...-From thence by stage night

and day to Monticello (Florida) we were over a week. /I was under

the care of friends of Aunt's, a Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, a, planter

from Tallahassee, who were- -bringing their -own daughter, a

beautiful girl, from -school; she had just graduated, was about

two years older than myself and all were-p--easant and kind.,

After nursing grandfather with typhoid fever and a

half-sister, Mother took dit-and died-the 8th of October. News

did not fly then as now, and it was December before I heard of my

loss. I felt Oh! so bitter then and stil-l--ee-l--s.o__hen it comes

back to me that I .had not been allowed to go through Kentucky on

-_y 'way to Florida. Father wrote for me to come home. There was

no-way-for me to go except-by. schooner across the Gulf and up the

Mississippi and Ohio Rivers f-rm- New Orleans. We found a

schooner early" in January. When I reached New Orleans, the Ohio

was fro-z-en--down to its mouth; I did not reach home unt-l- April.

,Grandmother Adair was there.

In July, I think, 3852; General Anderson came to take

grandmother to Hardin Springs in Tennessee, where his sister had

her summer home. This is the first time I had ever met my

husband since I could remember. He remembered me as-an infant,

he was nearly thirteen years older than I, had spent several

weeks with us, and we were all charmed with him. My father had

not seen him since his return for Mexico (General Anderson was a

-colonel in the infantry during the Mexican War). His visit was

quite a green spot in our lives in that back woods country and in

our sad home. 'He spent several weeks with us. As soon as he

reached his sister's, he wrote addressing me; I showed his letter

to Father--it was a surprise to him as well as to me. I did not

answer it. Such a thing as cousins marrying in our family was

,u-nheard of and the idea of him, the model of all, thinking of

such a thing! In about ten days he wrote again; again I gave the

letter to Father--he said nothing.

It had been decided by my aunt that I was too young to be

left so -often alone at night while Father was visiting his

patients. So it was decided that we must break up housekeeping

and I must-go-t-e-Mem-ph-i-s-to spend the winter and put my sister in

__school. I had a delightful- winter. Brother [Cromwell Adair] had

decided to tea-ch--there- that winter, having just graduated and

.--.inteinding to study law.

General Anderson was practicing -- law- in Hernando,

Mississippi. As soon as he heard I was in Memphis he came out to

see me. At his second visit, I became -e-ng-aged to him on

condi-t-ion that Father approved. We were not to be married until

'sister [Mollie Adair] had finished her education and wa-s-prepared

to take care of Father.

General Anderson, his mother, and his. physicians were

already very anxious about his health, which had been brok-en-down

by his service in Mexico; he was contemplating giving up the law

and engaging in some business that would keep-1him out of doors.\

ISeveral times during the winter they--thought he would die. He

went to Washington City to attend the inauguration of Mr. Pierce

and returned- with his- appointment as Marshal of Washington


A widowed -sister of Father's had determined to go and keep

house for him, so I decided I would-go-with Patton. We sent for

Father; he came at once and gave -his full consent. Within a

f week, we were married and started to Washington. Our friends

thought I could not- get on there without servants. All thought

it doubtful- if Patton-lived-to get there; it was his only hope,

and I was determined he should try it. I was well and strong and

had no fears but that I could stand the rough life. My only

trouble was that I had neyer-made a pot of coffee or baked a loaf

\ of bread, but I thought I could learn.

When we reached New Orleans, before I knew it, he hired an

Ir-i-shma-n-an-d-h-i--wi-fe, promising to pay_--thei-r--pas-sage out, and

they were--to -remain with us a year as servants. This and--my_

extreme illness (on the voyage) reduced our-funds until we did

not have -enough- to land our -trunks- at Astoria (Oregon); and we

never-saw-the-servants after landing at San Francisco. We found

this .was_-a regular plan practiced to get t_o.the-g-l-d--fields of

California or to meet sweethearts.

I spent the summer at-Astoria while Patton was over on the

sound taking the census, etc. He went down the west coast to

what I think was Bellingham Bay....

[When he had been gone for six weeks], his brother John

(next in age to himself), a young lawyer, and at that time a

member of the Oregon--legislature, heard that Patton was expected

that day and called for vol-unteers to cross the Columbia (said to

be ei-g~rt-f eiswide there at Astoria) to rre-t--him. Of course, I

was fitrs, and simultaneously two young cousins, one -a-g-i-rl of

eighteen- years, and her brother, John Adair, Jr., three years

younger. My aunt put us up a good bountiful lunch and we were

off in a few moments with --a--manto_ pul-- the boat. When we

-. landed-, we found an ..Indian--with an ox-car-t---whom brother John

/persuaded to take us up the lonely beach eleven or fourteen

miles. There we had to cross--a--portage over the mountains two

and one-half miles and nothing but a narrow Indian trail, to the

head of a small creek or river emptying into this bay, where a

PPYrr~r*~el~BsRUbr.IIB~W(lls~lRIII YPI~I~'Y~P~--r~~~--IIL-----IYU~ _-l-------P----^---------

man-lived with his wife and several children--not -even an Indian

hut near him. He said he had heard that Patton would be there

three days before and he had been expecting him every hour since.

Brother John made an excuse and took him off; they were just then

j-oined by two other men. After talking awhile, Brother John came

back and said: "Well, we-wi-ll stay here all night, and in the

Morning I will start through to Olympia and you -must return to


I had not been there long enough to learn, much of the

-I-ndi-ans and cou-l-d--not look upon them except as I had-done upon

our-n egoebf -except of course I hadn't the-affection for them that

I had for our own--they dirty. I had a contempt for them

and did not-know until afterward how very anxious Brother John

and the men were, so I said, "Oh, Brother John, let me go,

please!" He said, "Why, you would have to walk all the way." I

said, "I can," and the cousins ebth-begged to go. He laughed and

Ssaid, "We will see."

I suppose it was now about four p.m. I had of course ne-ver

seen my husband dressed except as he had always done in the city,

silk hat, cloth clothes, and not only a white shirt, but usually

ruffled. He was always one of the neatest of men. About sunset,

we saw a canoe with a man and two Indians coming up this stream.

I had turned and was resting my head on a rough table, my

disappointment at his not coming was about to overcome me. He

had been gone six weeks and, though better when he left me, he

was still far from well. He had only been able to write once,

and that was when he was starting from Olympia; in that he said

his health was greatly improved. (On that trip he had his last

bilious attack until we reached the Isthmus on our return).' John

Adair (the young cousin) said, "Cousin Et, here is Cousin

Patton." I looked up and saw the man and said, "Oh! John! I

cannot bear such jokes now," and put my head down and began to

cry. He laughed and said, "It is." Just then Patton said, "Et."

I looked up and all was right; then I had to laugh indeed. He

had on a soft -hat (and they were rarely used except at operas or

somewhere that you could put them in your pocket) a colored

flannel overshirt, and mocassins. His hair and beard had not

been trimmed since he left Olympia. His feet had so blistered

from his long walks he had had to put on mocassins.

The house where we were had one room and one bedstead and an

open kind of shed where the women cooked and where we ate. The

supper was served, as you can imagine, not only in plain style,

but worse. The fare was good--f-i-sh (which I never tired of), good

potatoes, good bread, and pumpkin pies. We certainly enjoyed our


Now for bed (can you imagine the change for me?) The

Indians (five or six with the different canoes) occupied the

shed. The man, his wife, and two children occupied the bed. We

had two pairs of blankets and Patton had one. We spread them in

one corner of the room as far as they reached, and we all lay

down: Nellie (the seventeen year old cousin) close in the

corner, myself next, then Patton, his brother, the young cousin

(John), then the other men each on their own blankets, until

every particle of the floor was covered. I never slept better in

my life and I think they all did. I heard no complaints. This

was my first night in Washington Territory.

The next morning after breakfast, we started on our return.

The Indian had promised to meet us with the cart, so we of course

started to walk across the portage--two miles. When we reached

the beach, there was nocart. I proposed that we walk on and

leave the Indian to overtake us. We left a message, but we never

saw him and walked the whole way.

When we reached our boat, we could see a large ship anchored

at Fort George or "lower Astoria." As we neared it, we

recognized it as a naval vessel; that meant the officers would be

entertained at Uncle's. [John Adair, uncle to both Etta and

Patton, was customs inspector for Astoria.] When we landed, we

found they were expected for supper and to spend the evening. We

dressed as quickly as we could, for it was after sunset.

Nellie's feet were a solid blister, mine were somewhat better.

She danced very little. I kept it up until twelve that night and

was quite myself the next day, but Nellie had to keep to her bed

for a day or two.

After a few days' rest (Oh! that climate! We were all so

well!), Patton started with a young man, a friend from Kentucky

named Logan, to go up the Columbia to the Dalles, etc., to take

the census in that part of the territory. It was on this trip

they had the episode with Genl. Grant to which Genl. A. alludes.

I think they were gone nearly three weeks.

[The following paragraph is Etta's verbatim account of
the General Grant "episode" as it appears in a letter to
a Mr. Earle, April 11, 18.a9, P-alatka, Florida. It is
included here for clarification of the above statement:

Genls. McClelan (a great favorite with us), Grant,
Auger, & many other officers were,,our- friends there; &
let me tell you a little thing that for Genl. Grant's
--children's sake will be kept between us. Genl. Ulysses
Grant, then a lieutenant paymaster with the rank of
captain, was suffering from (illegible) mania [deliriumI
tremens]. Got away from his soldiers. They were all
camping on the bank of the river. My husband had In-
dians with him. The soldiers woke him and told him of
Grant's condition and that he had gone. He woke his
Indians, made them understand, and put them on the
trail. They tracked him by the pieces of his outside
woolen shirt on the bushes; found him crouched down
under some bushes ready to plunge into the river
\hundreds of feet below. One false step and both would
go down to certain death. The banks were solid rock
hundreds of feet high and the water so cold that they
could not live in it a moment without cramp. General
Anderson was strong and active. He climbed carefully
until he was between. Grant and the river gave one
spring against his breast forced him to the ground,
and caught the bushes near and held him fast until the
soldiers came and helped to'secure him and take him into
camp. Patton rarely spoke of it. About the time of the
-fall of Vicksburg, it got out through some officer
writing to one of his staff and his staff insisted on
knowing the particulars and were much amused.]

When General Anderson returned to Astoria after this trip,

we started almost immediately for Olympi-a, and after this I went

Switch him almost constantly, in canoes, horseback, or walking, any

way that we could go, taking our blankets and sleeping where

night overtook us. From Astoria we took a San Francisco steamer

as far as the mouth of the Cowlitz. It seems to me the. people

were named Huntington. The house was unfinished but promised to

be comfortable, and, as I remember, quite large. And let me say

here that everywhere and always there was the greatest abundance

of good food, and everywhere we were treated with the greatest of

consideration and kindness. At this house there was a wedding--I

think the man's daughter. The guests were assembled and we were

invited to witness the ceremony. There was a very handsome young

man who had gotten on the boat as we came up, fresh from crossing

the plains--had left his cattle, etc., and he was on his way to

locate a claim. I think his name was Windsor. He too was

invited in to witness the wedding. After the ceremony and

congratulations, the minister, who had come from Portland, a

Methodist I think, in a spirit of fun, said that it was a long

way for him to come on such a business, and if there were any who

would probably need him in this service soon, they had better

decide to have it done at once. In a few minutes a young lady

Swho had acted as a bridesmaid stepped out and said she was ready.

Of course, everything was still as possible. She stood, it

seemed to me, quite a while. I was so surprised and shocked.

Directly, Mr. Windsor stepped up beside her and said he was ready

and requested the minister to go on. The minister talked to

them, still--as I thought--rather in fun. She said she was in

earnest; Mr. Windsor insisted he was. A young man that we were

told she was engaged to stepped up and said something low to her.

She said so that we could hear, "You had the chance he had; why

didn't you come?" The minister then talked to them more solemn-

ly. It did no good; they went on and were married! In all my

life I never had anything to surprise me so. She did not look

more than sixteen or seventeen.

The next morning we crossed in a small steamer to the

opposite side. There was another stream that ran in there and

the stream was wide. We met the girl's father who had heard of

the marriage. He took her home; both parents were grieved and

-said the man should not come to the house. But he told them she

could stay until he located his claim, when he would return and

claim his wife and take her. He turned out to be a man of some

means. We were at their house afterward and they seemed very

happy; people respected him. We stopped that day and night with

the bride's parents while my husband took the census in the

neighborhood. The house consisted of one room below and one

above. We went up above by an ordinary ladder. Beds were

arranged on either side of the room like a hospital. Everything

was nice and clean and they had everything around them in

"abundance. We selected a bed over in the far corner. I was the

only lady and we had no light but what the moon gave us through

the window. I have no idea how many slept in that room; some of

the beds had two occupants.

The next day Mrs. Hunter (if that was her name) put us up a

lunch. My husband had secured two Indians and a canoe, and here

an express messenger joined us that we afterwards knew well. We

called him "little Miller." He was afterwards drowned on one of

his trips trying to cross the Skukumchuck.

My husband was still taking the census (as he did all the

way to Olympia), so was delayed and we did not reach the landing

that night. It grew so dark the Indians--were-afraid to try to

_cross the last- rapids--about three miles below the landing. Our

lunch had given out. Someone had given my husband a large onion

as a curiosity. We ate a part that night and a part the next

morning. The young man had no blankets so we gave him a pair of

ours, and we lay down on the bank of the stream on the others.

It seemed like fairyland to me. We had gotten our heads under a

bush and in the night the heavy dew falling in my face awoke me.

The moon was up and so bright and the scene so lovely. I had to

wake my husband to enjoy it. While we were talking of it, an

immense wildcat came to the edge of the high bank on the opposite

side and looked at us for a moment, then turned and ran off. Oh!

How I enjoyed everything, every moment. Was I the same person I

am now?

The next morning we went on to the landing, had breakfast,

and took ponies for the Jackson-Prairie. We spent several weeks

at Mr. Jackson's before my husband finished the census in the

neighborhood. While he was away, I concluded to try to do my

,f-irst washing. Mrs. Jackson kindly offered to teach and assist

me. I got through with it and a part of the ironing--them I was

taken quite sick with the mumps. LI suppose I had taken some

cold, for they made me quite sick--I knew I had been exposed to

them in Astoria but thought nothing of it, supposing I had had


When we reached Olympia, we went straight to Mr. Ensign's

hotel, where we expected to board. Mr. Corliss, his brother-

in-law, assisted him. They were all very kind, but as it was

finished only with cloth partitions, the hotel was not at all


The first evening when we came out from supper, one of the

ladies, I noticed, did not take her eyes off me. At last she

said, "I am so ...sorry for you. How in the world do you ever

expect to get along here? I know from your hands you have never

worked. It is hard for us with no convenience who have been

raised to it, and what can you do? Oh, it is a shame!" She

seemed really distressed. I said, "Well, I know nothing about

the convenience, so perhaps it will not be so hard on me as on


In a few weeks, we rented a house from Mr. Percival, who had

a claim across the bay; it had four rooms and a kitchen. Now,

how were we to get furniture? Judge Victor Monroe, our cousin,

insisted on staying with us. Lieutenant Governor Mason was sick

and said he must take his meals with us. I had never cooked a

meal in my life. From camping out and his service in Mexico,

Patton had learned to prepare some things in camp style and could

help me some.

An Englishman was going home from whom we bought a splendid

bedstead and mattress, a pair of blankets, a small rocking chair,

a handsome cut glass butter plate (which I still have), and one

china cup and saucer, and a pair of bronze candlesticks. We took

all he had and were glad to get them. We got a piece of carpet

that you could stick your finger through, had a plain kitchen

table, and some hard wooden chairs that we had picked up here and


Just as we were fixed up and feeling fine, Govea-no-r -Stevens

got in from across the plains. Patton came in and said, "The

Governor is here and looks worn out and almost sick. The hotel

is so uncomfortable that I do wish we had a bed to invite him to

stay with us." Cousin Victor had only his blankets. I said,

"Well, we can put our blankets in the kitchen and give our room

to him." At first, Patton would not hear of turning me out, but

I insisted and we did!

When we left Washington, the Governor was in the mountains

and we were all uneasy lest his whole party would be murdered; it

was just as the Indian war was breaking out. The next thing I

heard of him he was in command of negroes, coming out to

Savannah, murdering, burning, and destroying all he could get his

hands on. My husband said, "How do you feel about giving up your

bed to such a man?" I answered, "Well, perhaps he will meet his

dues from a higher hand before he goes very far." And he did.

In a few months, my husband bought a small house with four

rooms and a kitchen. We found in a Hudson Bay store a piece of

matting and a bolt of worsted damask. We got some goods boxes; I

drew some backs. And my husband had them cut out and we nailed

them on and covered the whole with the damask. We put up some

curtains of plain white domestic, draped goods boxes in the same

material for bureaus, washstands, etc. We had succeeded in

getting another bed and were fixed comfortably.

When we were coming home, a young man, Mr. Swan, was going

to be married. He bought the house and gave us in gold $250 for

the furniture! We had a lovely view of the Olympic Range from

our sitting room window. That home was givn me by my uncle,

John Adair; he also gave me two lots down nearer the water. We

owned one block on Capitol Square; this we intended for our home.

The lots ran back to the bay where the fresh water tumbled into

the salt. Here we had a bath house planned, had a cabin built on

it, and a man in it to take care of the fruit trees already


In Seattle, we always stayed with Dr. Maynard. My husband

bought several lots from him and gave me one or two. We stayed

with Mr. Kirby on Kirby's Island and a Captain Webster at Port

Townsend. We also had lots in Steilacoom. We always stayed at

the Post there. My husband left his brother Butler a power of

attorney to act for him. Very soon after the war broke out,

Brother Butler was given twenty-four hours to leave the territory

for being a brother of General Anderson. He sold everything

almost for nothing, thinking it would be confiscated. About two

or three hours before General Anderson died, he received the

deeds to the Seattle lots and a letter from the man who had

bought them saying there was a flaw in the title and asking him

to correct it. He handed them to Brother Butler and told him to

fix them and return them. After my husband's death, when Brother

Butler was looking over the papers, he said he intended paying

the man what he had paid for them and get them back for the

children. We hadn't a cent in the world then. He never did it

and died himself in a few years. I still have the papers.

The Capitol Square was all woods when we left there except

for the little improvements we had made.

We were going once to Seattle, and just as we got through

Sthe Narrows (it was after sunset), it looked as if the moon were

lying right on top of Ranier! How I wished for an artist!

While my husband had gone to the gold mines, a party of four

gentlemen and four ladies, Brother Butler and myself among them,

took a trip to Snoqualmie Falls. We stopped for dinner with a

family at the mouth of the White River. We were all chatting,

leaning on the well and talking of the fine water. The first

accounts of the war that we had after reaching Washington City,

the Indians had murdered.-the wife and children and thrown them in

that well....

But I have written until I am ashamed.... If you can get a

recent novel out there, The Leopard's Spots, read it; it will

give you a faint idea of our suffering then. For three years, I

have positively refused to write anything of this kind. My hands

are so full and my mind and heart, I do not have the time, but I

love Washington so. I was so happy there, and I felt as if I

wanted my grand, noble husband done justice in her history.

.... One thing I had almost forgotten. Patton organized

the first Masonic lodge in Washington at Olympia, and he

delivered the address at the laying of the cornerstone. I cut up

one of my party dresses, a blue tarleton, to make sashes for him

and for the others as far as it would go....

Cordially yours,

Mrs. Patton Anderson


James Barnett Adair, Adair History and Genealogy, Los

Angeles, 1924, 54, 108.

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography VIII, 1900-1901,


3Autobiography of General James Patton Anderson, P. K. Yonge

Library of Florida History, Gainesville, Florida.
Henrietta Adair Anderson's Album, in possession of the




Undated letter from Henrietta Anderson to a niece, in

possession of the editor.

General Anderson's commission, in possession of the editor.

9Adair, 113.

1Anderson Family Bible, in possession of the editor.

1Governor Isaac Stevens, first Governor of Washington

Territory, 1853-1857. A graduate of West Point, he became a

major general in the Unjo-n Army and was killed at the battle of

Chantilly, Virginia, September 1, 1862 (Biographical Dictionary

of the American Congress, 1774-1949, United States Government

Printing Office, 1950, p. 1862).
Stephen Cromwell Adair.

1Ellen Adair White Beatty, widow of Colonel Joseph M.

White, Territorial Representative to Congress from Florida,

Dr. Theophilus Beatty.