Thursday, June 30, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: Jean La Forêt's Diary, the finale

We have reached the end of the diary entries that Jean La Forêt wrote in his small journal.  This week I have only two pages to share.  The last entry from last week's pages was dated November 12, 1906, when Jean arrived at Mare Island, California, and he begins with that date on the next page.

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1906 California – 1908

Nov. 12 1906  A Mare Island – Commissary & Quartermaster until December 25th 07

Dec. 26 1907  Retired w/30 years.

Dec. 30  10 AM. Left Vallejo

" 31  Los Angeles

Jan. 1st  Arizona & New Mexico

Jan. 2 – El Paso.  Juarez.  Mexico.

" 3 – San Antonio, Houston and New Orleans

Jan. 4  Pensacola.  Jacksonville arrived 8 – P.M.  Hotel Everett –

Jan. 5 – 6 – 7 – Hotel Everett –

Jan. 8 – Main Str 1533 – Aug. Blum.

March  A Pablo Beach – achete Neunert(?) Cottage —

Quitte Pablo Beach p. St. Louis 13–15 Avril 1909.

Quitte St. Louis (Anglum) pour Washington 20 Avril 1909

Quitte Washington p. New York Avril 4 – 1909 – May.

Marié à Jacksonville (Florida) May 7th 1908 –

Quitte New York (Str. Hamburg) pour Naples et Genoa, Italie, 11 May 1909

Arrive à Naples = 23 May 1909

" Gènes = 25 May 1909

En Suisse par le grand tunnel du Simplon, Montreux, Lauzanne, Genève, Versoix, etc. . . de Juin 1909  à Mai 1910

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1906–1908 California

November 12, 1906  At Mare Island — Commissary and Quartermaster until December 25, 1907

December 26, 1907  Retired with 30 years

December 30  10:00 a.m. left Vallejo

December 31  Los Angeles

January 1 [1908] Arizona and New Mexico

January 2  El Paso.  Juarez.  Mexico.

January 3  San Antonio, Houston, and New Orleans

January 4  Pensacola.  Jacksonville arrived 8:00 p.m. Hotel Everett

January 5–7  Hotel Everett

January 8   1533 Main Street – Aug. [August?] Blum.

March   To Pablo Beach – buy Neunert(?) Cottage

April 13–15, 1909  Leave Pablo Beach for St. Louis

April 20, 1909  Leave St. Louis (Anglum) for Washington

April 4 1909 May [probably May 4, 1909]  Leave Washington for New York

May 7, 1908  Married in Jacksonville, Florida

May 11, 1909  Leave New York (Hamburg Street) for Naples and Genoa, Italy

May 23, 1909  Arrive in Naples

May 25, 1909  Arrive in Genoa

June 1909–May 1910  In Switzerland via the great Simplon Tunnel, Montreux, Lauzanne, Geneva, Versoix, etc.

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These pages, as with last week's, were not difficult to translate, because the words were mostly place names or in English.  Here again Jean used both English and French.  Whereas earlier he went back and forth, here he wrote almost entirely in English until March 1908, when he switched over to French.  Maybe he was getting his brain in the right mode for his impending return to Europe.

I have to admit, I was amused to see that Jean wrote an entry for his marriage a year after it occurred.  Kind of makes you wonder why he didn't include it at the time, and why he felt the need to add it when he did.  Going by the rest of his timeline, it does seem that the marriage should have been in 1908, as it took place in Florida, and when Emma applied for a pension based on Jean's military service, she included a transcription of the marriage certificate, which gave the same date and location.

When I wrote about Emma (Schafer) La Forêt's 1917 emergency passport application, I wondered when and how she had met Jean.  While nothing in Jean's journal indicates that specifically, it appears almost definite that he knew her in Vallejo and that they probably planned to be married before he left on his cross-country trek in early 1908.  Otherwise the fact that they both ended up in Pablo Beach, Florida by early May is a pretty impressive coincidence.  She might have even traveled with him, but we don't know.  On the other hand, I suppose it is possible that he left, arrived in Florida, and they missed each other so much she immediately followed him out there.  We'll probably never know the answer to that question.

However they got together, they lived in Pablo Beach (which is now Jacksonville Beach, in Duval County, Florida) for about a year and then left for Europe.  Their itinerary looks like it could have been a honeymoon.  It's also possible Jean had already been chosen for a position with a consulate and they used that as an excuse for the tourist-type trip.  I had never heard of the Simplon Tunnel, so I had to look it up.  Now I know it's a tunnel that connects Italy and Switzerland.

I noticed the short stop in Anglum, Missouri, before the departure for Europe.  My guess is that's when they dropped off Emma's children from her first marriage, who had been living with her in Vallejo.  As I discussed when analyzing Emma's registration as an American citizen in Switzerland, the kids were living in St. Louis and not with Jean and Emma in Europe; they had to be with someone, and her family members were still in Anglum.

One event that Jean did not include in his journal was the birth of his daughter, Rosita.  According to Emma's emergency passport application, Rosita was born September 9, 1909 in Versoix.  That falls squarely during the last year Jean listed.  Maybe that was another afterthought entry, like his marriage, and it was written on a page that did not survive.

Two items that stumped me in these pages are "Aug. Blum." and "Neunert."  My guess is that Aug. Blum. is a person's name, but I don't understand the context for it in the January 8 entry.  Maybe it was the owner of the address at which Jean was living?  And I'm not sure I'm even reading "Neunert" correctly.  If it's a name, maybe that's who he bought the cottage from in Pablo Beach.  More research for the future!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: Jean La Forêt's Diary, section cinq

Jean La Forêt's diary holds yet more treasures to explore.  When last we left Jean, he had arrived in Valparaiso, Chile while serving with the U.S. Marines.

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Febr. 11 – 02 – Callao again

Feb. 26 – 02 – Acapulco

Mrch 5 – 02 – Pichili[n]gue Bay and La Paz –

Mrch 12 – 02 – Madalena Bay

Mrch 26 – 02 – San Diego

April 5 – 02 – San Francisco

April 7 – 02 – Mare Island à l'hopital.

Juillet 8, 02 – Quitte l'hopital

Novembre 15 – 02, A Yerba Buena ——

Nove Oct. 20, 1903  Quartermaster Sgt.

February 1 – 1905  Left Yerba Buena for Philipine Islands –

Manila – March 2 – 1905

Cavite — same day —

Olongapo — March 6 – 05

Leave Olongapo May 19 – 1906

Arrive at Cavite May 19 – 1906

Quitte Cavite Oct. 7 – 1906 – 4 ½ P.M.

Quitte Manila Oct. 9, 1906 – 2 P.M.

Quitte Mariveles Oct. 10 – 1906, 4 P.M.

Arrive à Nagasaki, Japan, lundi, Oct. 15 3. P.M.

Quitte Nagasaki, Japan Oct. 17 – 6 AM.

Arrive à Honolulu, Hawaii on Monday Oct. 30 – 9 AM.

Quitte Honolulu Samedi Nov. 3 – 5 P.M.

Arrive à San Francisco dimanche Nov. 11 –

Arrive à Mare Island Nov. 12 –

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February 11, 1902 – Callao [Peru] again

February 26, 1902 – Acapulco

March 5, 1902 – Pichilingue Bay and La Paz

March 12, 1902 – Magdalena Bay

March 26, 1902 – San Diego

April 5, 1902 – San Francisco

April 7, 1902 – Mare Island in the hospital.

Juillet 8, 1902 – Left the hospital

November 15, 1902 – At Yerba Buena

Nove October 20, 1903  Quartermaster Sergeant

February 1, 1905 – Left Yerba Buena for Philippine Islands

March 2, 1905 – Manila

same day – Cavite

March 6, 1905 – Olongapo

May 19, 1906  Leave Olongapo

May 19, 1906  Arrive at Cavite

October 7, 1906  Leave Cavite 4:30 p.m.

October 9, 1906  Leave Manila 2:00 p.m.

October 10, 1906  Leave Mariveles 4:00 p.m.

October 15  Arrive in Nagasaki, Japan, Monday, 3:00 p.m.

October 17  Leave Nagasaki, Japan 6:00 p.m.

October 30  Arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii, Monday, 9:00 a.m.

November 3  Leave Honolulu Saturday 5:00 p.m.

November 11  Arrive in San Francisco Sunday

November 12  Arrive at Mare Island

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Nothing in these pages was difficult to translate, not only because a lot was written in English.  These entries are almost entirely a list of locations and when Jean arrived and left.  He appears to have become fluent in "franglais", that mish-mash of French and English.  He goes back and forth between the two languages and sometimes uses both in the same entry.  I took a small amount of liberty with the translations by making the format consistent for each entry:  date, then location, then day and/or time if included.

In this part of Jean's travelogue, I think the item that caught my attention the most was his three-month stay in the hospital at Mare Island, from April 7–July 8, 1902.  After all of his travels up and down the Pacific coast, he comes back to California and goes into the hospital.  Maybe it was a bug he picked up on the trip.  Obviously, another item that I hope shows up in his service file.

I'm guessing that the entry for October 20, 1903 — "Quartermaster Sgt" — means he was working in that position.  He tends to write little about his accomplishments.  I am pretty sure that Yerba Buena refers to the island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, which currently is a U.S. Coast Guard installation.  The Wikipedia page about Yerba Buena does mention that a U.S. Navy training station was established there before the turn of the 20th century.

Several of the locations Jean mentions I had not heard of previously.  I now know, however, that Pichilingue Bay (with some spelling variation) is in Baja California, as is Magdalena Bay. I guessed correctly that Cavite, Olongapo, and Mariveles are in the Philippines because of their apparent proximity to Manila based on Jean's notes.

There are additional significant gaps in time in these pages.  Between November 1902 and February 1905, Jean made only one entry, the one that says "Quartermaster Sgt."  And it seems that Jean had nothing to write about during his stay in Olongapo.  He arrived on March 6, 1905, and the next entry records his departure on May 19, 1906.  I wonder if that means he had a quiet tour there.

From May 19, 1906 through the last page shown here, the entries were written first in pencil and later copied over in ink.  I wonder if Jean was the person who wrote over the entries to make them darker, or if that was the work of Emma.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Three Stories for Father's Day

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver was not only timely but incredibly helpful, as I had not yet decided what I wanted to write about for Father's Day.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible music) is:

1)  Sunday, 19 June, is Father's Day.  Let's celebrate by writing a blog post about your father, or another significant male ancestor (e.g., a grandfather).

2)  What are three things about your father (or significant male ancestor) that you vividly remember about him?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook status or Google+ stream post.

Father's Day 2013
My father is Bertram Lynn Sellers, Jr., born in 1935 in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr. and Anna Gauntt.  He married my mother, Myra Roslyn Meckler, in 1961 in Miami, Florida and they then moved to Southern California, where I and my brother and sister were born.

(1) My father loves cars.  He raced cars, worked on cars, worked in garages.  I remember him racing when I was growing up in the Los Angeles area and going to racetracks to watch races.  He raced while we lived in Australia, in Florida when we returned to the U.S., and in Texas when he moved there.  He has a large collection of trophies and memorabilia from his racing days (or better still have them, because I told him that if storage was an issue, I would take care of them).  He told me one story about having broken an arm while racing when he was a teenager, and he tried to hide it from his mother (my grandmother).  Several years later, he discovered she knew about it all along.  Even now, when I go into a garage and smell the grease, it brings back happy memories.  If I ever have a question about car models, I know he'll be able to answer it.  He identified all the cars in the photos I took while I was in Cuba (well, except for the Russian "Moskva", which he had never seen before).

(2) My father was a great musician.  I grew up listening to my father play guitar and sing.  I learned the words to many songs, including "Sixteen Tons" and "Mairzy Doats", from listening to him when I was little.  Later, when my siblings and I were a little older, he would try to skip a verse and I would usually be the one who pointed it out to him, which would earn me a comment about being a "smartass kid."  He also used to play piano.  He performed swing music with a band called the Court Jesters that competed on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, coming in second to Gladys Knight.  I say my dad was a great musician because he can't really play anymore due to arthritis.

(3) My father looks a lot like his father.  This is kind of ironic, because the two did not often get along well.  Whether that was because of the ways they were the same or the ways they differed, I don't know.  But I have noticed each year how much he looks more and more like my grandfather.

Archives in Africa, a Cultural Heritage of Humanity

This article about the situation with archives in Africa was published online by Le Monde on March 20, 2015.  I thought the information might be useful and of interest to other researchers, so I've translated the article from French to English.

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At the National Archives of Senegal, Dakar.  Credit:  AFP.

At the Foccart symposium taking place on 26 and 27 March [2015] in Paris, Le Monde Afrique will publish a brief on the famous consultant and on archives in Africa.  Report of the former director of the Senegal archives, Saliou Mbaye.

Archives allow one to glimpse the past and to write the future.  They delve into the history of societies, peoples, and states.  Archives in Africa are currently a key issue of good governance, democracy, and development.  An archive is, among other things, knowledge of the state about the state, namely the peoples themselves.  Our societies and our African states therefore cannot develop without full knowledge of their own history.

Archival heritage, in West Africa for example, is not confined to yellowed papers from colonial administrations.  It’s about a heritage produced and admittedly received by colonial administrations and those of independence, but to it must be added all private archives, copies of archives of former colonial powers, collected and stored oral archives, objects and materials produced by West African societies, and finally manuscripts in Arabic or ajami (Arabic characters used to transcribe African languages:  Pulaar, Soninke, Hausa, etc.).  Oral sources and the extraordinary vitality of our societies based on oral tradition, as well as new information and communications technologies, are also part of this cultural and archival heritage that Africa has shared with mankind.

Dakar, the “Holy Mecca” of Archives in West Africa

In the early 2000’s, Africans decided to take charge.  Africa relied on itself.  It established the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD;, which intended to use private funds to implement development programs.  Among NEPAD’s priorities were indeed mastery of the new information and communications technologies and the development of records management capabilities.  What about today?  Efforts were certainly made.  But the great majority of countries are still deficient in rational management of their archives.

At the National Archives of Senegal, Dakar, in February 2013.  Credit: Nicolas Courtin.
The archives in Dakar, the "Holy Mecca" of archives in West Africa, as my late colleague J. Enwere from Nigeria said, "are recorded in the Memory of the World Register [since 2000] and were classified as World Heritage documentary" by Unesco.  The archives of French West Africa, held in Dakar, are also an exception, that we in Senegal today like to rank among the "Senegalese exceptions."

On the other hand, while the archives of Indochina, Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, and Algeria, based on the principle of sovereignty, are now found in the National Overseas Archives (ANOM) in Aix-en-Provence, France, the French West Africa (AOF) archives remain in Dakar.  This collection is undeniably a "common heritage."  This means that "the collection is kept physically intact in one of the relevant countries, where it is integrated into the national archival heritage, with all the responsibilities for security and processing that implies the State as acting owner of this heritage."

The archives have been microfilmed since 1961, but a good portion of these microfilms have deteriorated, and microfilming operations have been reduced for about a decade, which it is hoped will be of short duration.  In the 2000’s, several countries have made efforts to microfilm all or part of the archives relating to the histories of their countries preserved in the AOF collection.  These are Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

But in fact, to do it well, the entire collection should have been scanned, so each party could freely access it and in its own territory.  Total digitization would protect and save this "shared memory" between France and Africa.  Reducing the technology gap also begins with scanning everything.

The AOF Archives, Sources for African History

Although they originate from colonial institutions, the AOF archives unquestionably constitute sources for the history of Africa.  Of course, they have been grouped to illustrate colonial actions.  But they serve Africans and specialists in the history of Africa, who analyze them as bona fide sources of African history.  So, based on territorial principles (they were mainly produced in Africa) and relevance (the majority are focused on Africans), they belong to the heritage of Africa and Africans consider them as such.  They are correct.

These two sculptures stand guard at the bottom of a staircase at the National Archives of Senegal.  Marianne's feet are surrounded by mango trees, each representing a new colony.  Credit: Nicolas Courtin.
At independence, governments made efforts to provide archival services.  The challenge is how developed the nation is and that archives are viewed and maintained as a tool for development.  Moreover, most archives are under the authority of either the president of the country (e.g., Burkina Faso), the prime minister (e.g., Senegal, Madagascar), or the Ministry of the Interior (e.g., Ivory Coast).  In doing this, the administrations want, in effect, to present archives as an interdepartmental service that can provide historical information needed by any active bureaucracy.

Although repositories have been built here and there to house the archives, the oil crisis of the 1970's and the emergence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in the economy of our country, with their structural adjustment programs, have dampened the enthusiasm of the 1960's.  It was not until the years 1990–2000 that a building construction policy resumed.  This is the case in Benin, Mali, Niger, and Ghana, where buildings were constructed for archives.  Guinea and Cape Verde have renovated old buildings.

But curiously, Senegal, which has had a construction plan since 1972, remains stuck at the starting line.  The project was started, but political changes that occurred 19 March 2000 terminated it.  However, since 2012 (after a second round of political changes), there are rumors that generate a lot of hope in the national community of archivists.

The development of democracy, the issue of good governance, and the requirements of new citizenship demand more transparency in government actions and greater access to administrative information.  The governments of African countries must give their citizens free access to administrative information and create privacy legislation.  Another obstacle is that only a few countries, such as Senegal, have adequate legislation, characterized by a number of laws, notably on archives (2006) and the protection of personal data (2008).  It is hoped that such laws will be adopted in the near future in all of Africa, giving the countries of the continent the opportunity to be included among the countries of the world where archives count.

Saliou Mbaye is a palaeographer and archivist.  Former director of Senegal's archives, he is a university professor.

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I've tried for the past year to obtain official permission to publish this translation, but Le Monde says it isn't their intellectual property but the author's, and they won't help me contact the author.  I found an e-mail address for the author online, but no one responded to my message.  If anyone can help put me in touch with Saliou Mbaye, I would appreciate it.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: Jean La Forêt's Diary, fourth section

This Thursday we continue on with Jean La Forêt's diary.  Since only a small portion of the next page was needed to finish the last entry translated, I'm counting this week's first page (above) as a complete one.  Remember, as of last week's episode, Jean is no longer in the U.S. Army but has joined the Marines.

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Janvier 15 – 92

Changeons de quartier – Caserne nouvelle bâtie trés confortablement.

Avril 5 – 1897

Pars de Sitka et d'Alaska avec "Topeka" – Arrive a Victoria Avril 11 – 97  Seattle – Avril 11 – 12 – 13/97  Retourne a Victoria 13/97  Arrive à San Francisco Avril 18 – 97 – a Vallejo même jour

A Mare Island Avril 20 – 97 – 3h. P. M.

A l'"Independence" Mai 24 – 1897 ——

May 25 – 99 – Quitte Independence and report for duty at Mare Island.

Juillet 1 – 99 – Prend charge de l'office de Quartier Maître.

Août 31 – Prend in[s]cription pour Gunner – Passe examen Sept. 1 – 99;

Sept. 1st 1900 – Décharge

Oct. 3 – " – Prend saloon à San Francisco.

Nov. 19 – " – revends

Nov. 30 – " – Rentre dans Marine Corps.  Congé 6 semains.

Jan. 15 – 01  Report for duty at Mare Island, Cal.

Febr. 4 – 01  U.S.S. "Wisconsin" put in commission – Reported aboard as 1st sergt of Marine Guard — In commission at 2 P.M.

March 9 – 01  Left at noon for Magdalena Bay (Mexico)

March 15 – 01  Passed "Philadelphia" off Guadaloupe Island

March 17 – 01  Arrived in Magdalena Bay

March 28 – 01  Arrival of "Mohican"

April 11 – 01  Left about 4 P.M. for San Francisco

April 15 – 01  Arrived in San Francisco Bay 1 P.M.

May 28 – 01  Left San Francisco Bay for Puget Sound, Wash.

June 1 – 01 – Bremerton at 5 AM.

June 12 – 1901 – San Francisco.

June 29 – Port Angeles, Wash.

July 2 – 01 – New – Whatcom –

July 23 – 01 – Bremerton

Oct. 23 – 01 – Honolulu

Nov. 1 – 01 – Passe l'équateur.

Nov. 5 – 01 – Tutuila Island

Nov. 20 – 01 – Pago-Pago – Apia – Samoa

Dec. 1 – 01 – Honolulu

Dec. 25 – 01 – Noel – Acapulco Mexico —

Jan. 3 – 02 – Passed under Equator again

Jan – 7 – 02 – Callao, Peru

Jan. 9 – 02 – A Lima

Jan. 20 – 02 – Valparaiso Chile

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January 15, 1892

We change quarters – new barracks built very comfortably.

April 5, 1897

Leave Sitka and Alaska with the Topeka – Arrive in Victoria April 11, 1897  Seattle April 11-12-13, 1897  Return to Victoria [April] 13, 1897  Arrive in San Francisco April 18, 1897 – in Vallejo the same day

In Mare Island April 20, 1897  3:00 p.m.

On the Independence May 24, 1897 ——

May 25, 1899 – Leave the Independence and report for duty at Mare Island.

July 1, 1899 – Take charge of the Quartermaster's office.

August 31 – Apply for Gunner – Pass exam September 1, 1899;

September 1, 1900 – Discharged

October 3 " – Buy a saloon in San Francisco.

November 19 " – Resell it

November 30 " – Return to the Marine Corp.  Six weeks leave.

January 15, 1901  Report for duty at Mare Island.

February 4, 1901  U.S.S. Wisconsin put in commission – Reported aboard as 1st Sergeant of Marine Guard – in commission at 2:00 p.m.

March 9, 1901  Left at noon for Magdalena Bay (Mexico)

March 15, 1901  Passed Philadelphia off Guadaloupe Island

March 17, 1901  Arrived in Magdalena Bay

March 28, 1901  Arrival of Mohican

April 11, 1901  Left about 4:00 p.m. for San Francisco

April 15, 1901  Arrived in San Francisco Bay 1:00 p.m.

May 28, 1901  Left San Francisco Bay for Puget Sound, Washington

June 1, 1901 – Bremerton at 5:00 a.m.

June 12, 1901 – San Francisco.

June 29 – Port Angeles, Washington

July 2, 1901 – New Whatcom –

July 23, 1901 – Bremerton

October 23, 1901 – Honolulu

November 1, 1901 – Pass the Equator.

November 5, 1901 – Tutuila Island

November 20, 1901 – Pago-Pago – Apia – Samoa

December 1, 1901 – Honolulu

December 25, 1901 – Christmas – Acapulco Mexico —

January 3, 1902 – Passed under Equator again

January 7, 1902 – Callao, Peru

January 9, 1902 – To Lima

January 20, 1902 – Valparaiso, Chile

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This man surprised me again.  He enlisted in the Marines on August 26, 1890.  He was discharged on September 1, 1900, one year after he passed the Gunnery Sergeant exam and with a little more than ten years service.  He didn't stay out even three months before he re-upped (but at least he had six weeks leave before reporting again).  I'm sorry, but I just don't understand.  He had the saloon in San Francisco for only a month and a half before selling it.  Maybe he just had a love-hate relationship with the military and couldn't stay out.

He seemed to be pretty successful in the Marines.  He was in charge of the Quartermaster's office; he passed the Gunnery Sergeant exam.

Jean apparently became more comfortable with English during this period, because about half the entries are in that language.  He still goes back and forth, though.

He definitely saw a lot of the world while he was in the Marines.  Up and down the Pacific coast, around the Pacific Ocean — that's a nice travelogue.

I was very disappointed to see the gaps in dates in these pages.  Whatever the reason, Jean did not write between November 1890 (from last week's installment) and January 1892, January 1892 and April 1897, and May 1897 and May 1899.  That's eight years we don't know what he was doing, the bulk of this tour in the Marines.  Who knows where else he went during that time?  Maybe he was on classified missions and couldn't write.  I hope those periods are documented in his service file.

Thinking again about Emma La Forêt's 1917 emergency passport application, where she said that Jean had lived uninterruptedly in San Francisco from 1884 to 1909, we now have more data.  Based on these diary entries, Jean appears to have been in Sitka from 1890–1897.  He wasn't in San Francisco an entire day before he went to Vallejo.  The longest he might have been in San Francisco was while he owned the saloon, not even a month and a half.  Emma was certainly stretching things when she filled out that application.  Or maybe she really meant "the San Francisco Bay area."

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Loving Day 2016

It is Loving Day, and therefore time to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967 that struck down antimiscegeneation laws in those states that still stood firmly by them.  Those sixteen states, all in the South, did not permit someone classified as "black" (the "one-drop rule" prevailing) and someone classified as "white" to be married, some of the states even disallowing marriages performed in states that permitted the unions.  If not for the Loving v. Virginia decision, my brother might not have been able to marry Sandra, and my family would not have had the pleasure of welcoming her and her family into our lives.  This year will be their 5th anniversary.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: My Genealogy Database Statistics

This week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Randy Seaver had people looking at the statistics in their genealogy databases:

1)  If you have your family tree research in a genealogy management program (GMP), whether a computer software program or an online family tree, figure out how to find how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database.  (Hint:  The Help button is your friend!)

2)  Tell us which GMP you use and how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database(s) today in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook status or Google+ stream comment.

Randy uses Roots Magic 7 but generously gave instructions on how to find the statistics in several programs, including Family Tree Maker 16, which is what I use.  I didn't take a screen capture of the results from my inquiry, but the statistics from the default settings are:

• Size:  6,835 kb
• Total number of individuals:  7,884
• Total number of marriages:  2,622
• Average lifespan:  57 years 4 months
• Earliest birth:  1540, Ebert Mack (from my adoptive Sellers line)
• Text record:  71,765 (I have no idea what this means)
• Total number of generations:  18
• Total number of different surnames:  1,970

I don't know if I can adjust the inquiry to add more statistics, but the default shows that Family Tree Maker gives substantially different information than Roots Magic.  But now I know how many people I have in my database (which is not totally up-to-date, unfortunately, or it would show a birth in 1508, along with several hundred more individuals)!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: Jean La Forêt's Diary, la troisième partie

It's Thursday, so it must be time to learn more about Jean La Forêt's experiences in the U.S. Army!  I hope this week's segment lives up to the excitement of last week's bounty on Jean's head.  Because the last entry on the fourth page rolled over to the next page, I've included that piece this week.

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Juillet – 2  Arrive à San Francisco

" – 4 – Grande parade à S.F.  Saluons le "Duquesne" bâtiment de guerre français, Amiral Lefèvre.  Marseillaise par la musique du Regiment.

Juillet. 8. Quittons San Francisco pour Monterey, passant par Boots Parc, San Matéo, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Saratoga, Alma, Soquel, Watsonville, Castroville.

Juillet – 18 – Arrivons à Monterey

Août – 11 – Quitte l'armée.

Août – 16 – Quitte Monterey pour San Francisco.

Août 19 – Quitte San Francisco pour Hoopa Valley.

Août 24 – Quitte Hoopa Valley pour Requa où j'arrive le 28 avec Rust, agent général (H. N. Rust)


Sept. 18  Je prends charge de la cannery et du store de Bourkoff(?) et Co. comme surintendant et comptable

Oct. 19  Un parti de six assassins essayent de m'assassiner.  Je dois la vie à mon revolver et à mon sang froid, mais aussi un peu à Hattie.

Dec. 24  Mes ennemis essayent d'acheter un indien pour me tuer d'embuscade.  L'indien a peur et me prévient.

1890 – Fevrier 19 – La compagnie s'écroule ruinée par mauvaise saison et la malhonnetété du principal.  Je quitte Requa pour


Crescent City où j'arrive le 22 –

Mars – 1 – Quitte Crescent City pour San Francisco où j'arrive le 2(?) Mars.

Mais – 14 – Vais à Athlone avec Mr. Wilson B. Morse je reste sur sa proprieté jusqu'en Juin 14.

Juin – 15 – A San Francisco

Juin 20 – A San José retourne S.F. le 22.

Juillet 28  à San José retourne à S.F. le 31

Août – 26 – Entre le Corp de la Marine à Mare Island et j'y reste jusqu'au 1er Novembre.


Nov. 1  Pars de Mare Island pour San Francisco pour l'Alaska.  Embarque à San Francisco le 1er 10h. du matin sur l'"Umatilla" avec détachement de cinq marines et six marins.

Nov. 4  Arrivons à Port Townsend, Washington d'où nous repartons le 7 Nov. avec steamer "City of Topeka".

Nov. 14 – Arrivons à Sitka, Alaska où nous restons jusqu'à nouvel ordre, sous les ordres de Capt. Fahrenholt, du navire de guerre "Pinta".  Les marines vont à bord et nous restons à terre, cantonnés dans un vieux bâtiment appartenant autrefois au gouvernement Russe.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --


July 2  Arrive at San Francisco

" 4 – Big parade in San Francisco.  We welcome the Duquesne, a French warship, Admiral Lefèvre.  "Marseillaise" with music from the regiment.

July 8.  We leave San Francisco for Monterey, passing through Boots Parc, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Saratoga, Alma, Soquel, Watsonville, Castroville.

July 18 – We arrive in Monterey

August 11 – Quit the Army.

August 16 – Leave Monterey for San Francisco.

August 19 – Leave San Francisco for Hoopa Valley.

August 24 – Leave Hoopa Valley for Requa, where I arrive on the 28th with Rust, general agent (H. N. Rust)


September 18  I take charge of the cannery and the Bourkoff store and company as manager and accountant

October 19  A party of six assassins tries to kill me.  I owe my life to my revolver and my composure, but also a little to Hattie.

December 24  My enemies try to pay an Indian to kill me in an ambush.  The Indian is afraid and warns me.

1890 – February 19 – The company collapses, ruined by a bad season and the dishonesty of the owner.  I leave Requa for Crescent City, where I arrive on the 22nd –

March 1 – Leave Crescent City for San Francisco, where I arrive March 2(?).

May 14 – Go to Athlone with Mr. Wilson B. Morse I stay on his property until June 14.

June 15 – To San Francisco

June 20 – To San Jose return S.F. the 22nd.

July 28 – To San Jose return San Francisco the 31st

August 26 – Enlist in the Marine Corps at Mare Island and stay there until November 1.


November 1  Leave Mare Island for San Francisco and then Alaska.  Embark in San Francisco on the 1st at 10:00 a.m. on the Umatilla with a detachment of five marines and six sailors.

November 4  Arrive at Port Townsend, Washington from which we leave on November 7 with the steamer City of Topeka.

November 14 – Arrive at Sitka, Alaska where we stay until new orders, under the command of Capt. Fahrenholt, of the warship Pinta.  The marines go on board and then stay ashore, billeted in an old building that formerly belonged to the Russian government.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

I promise I had not read these journal entries before I wrote the intro paragraph to this post, where I said that I hoped this week would live up to last week's excitement.  But it sure did!  Six assassins tried to kill Jean?  And then an Indian is hired to kill him, but is afraid and tells him about it?  How in the world did this man survive to marry Emma?

Moving past that, Jean left the Army on August 11, 1889 and went right back to Requa, which he had left on June 22, not even two months earlier, apparently after a court case that didn't go his way.  And then he took a job running a company there.  This sounds kind of squirrelly to me, but it might have all been aboveboard.  Maybe it wasn't, and that has something to do with the assassination attempt.  But his separation date from the Army was exactly five years after his enlistment, so that may have been the term he signed up for.  When Emma applied for a pension, she said he was discharged on August 10, a minor discrepancy.

Five months later the company fell apart.  Jean bounced around for a while, staying for a month in Athlone before returning to the San Francisco area.  And then what did he do?  He joined the Marines on August 26, 1890.  Maybe he missed military discipline (and a regular paycheck and meals).

Something intereresting to note is what Jean did not write in his diary.  According to Emma's 1917 emergency passport application, Jean was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in San Francisco on March 22, 1890.  Yet Jean doesn't mention that at all.

At the time I described that passport application, I questioned Emma's statement that Jean had lived uninterruptedly in San Francisco from 1884 to 1909.  I'm only up to the end of 1890 in Jean's diary, and so far he lived in New York (where he enlisted in the Army), San Francisco, Requa, and Athlone.  The first time he was even in San Francisco was July 10, 1886, and he left after four days.  So yeah, Emma pretty much blew that one.  Maybe that's what Jean told her?

Captain Fahrenholt, under whose command Jean came in November 1890, was Oscar Walter Fahrenholt, who later became a rear admiral in the Navy.  I'm still working on just who H. N. Rust was.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 Visits the San Francisco Bay Area

After two previous visits to San Francisco, the Ancestry Day event appears to have outgrown the available facilities at the Hyatt Embarcadero, because this year we'll be in South San Francisco.

Space is still available for the 2016 Ancestry Day by the Bay, taking place on Saturday, June 18, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the South San Francisco Conference Center.  Come for a fun, information-packed day to learn how to research your family.  Ancestry will bring some of its top researchers, who will show how to locate your ancestors and trace your family history using their voluminous resources.  Sign up and learn more today.

This year Ancestry's conference partner is the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF).  All proceeds from this event go to AIISF's Immigrant Voices Initiative, which tells the stories of immigrants to the Pacific Coast.

There will be a full day of presentations from Ancestry staff.  In addition, representatives from the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, African American Genealogical Society of San Francisco, California Genealogical Society, San Francisco Public Library, San Mateo County Genealogical Society, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Daughters of the American Revolution will be on hand to tell you how their groups can help you continue your research beyond the basics.

The day's classes will include:
Beginner's basics session
How to get the most out of's Web site
Using AncestryDNA to further your family research
Sharing your family story

Door prizes, including a gift certificate for genealogy research assistance (donated by me!), will be awarded throughout the day.

The optional luncheon includes a presentation by speaker Paula Williams Madison, former NBC Universal executive and author/producer of the book and film Finding Samuel Lowe, about the search for her Hakka Chinese grandfather's story.  Paula Williams Madison has African, Chinese, and Jamaican ancestry.

Angel Island Day

There is also an Angel Island Day on the island on Friday, June 16, featuring speakers Zack Wilske, from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and former National Archives staff member Marisa Louie, talking about the resources these organizations offer.  A few tickets are left for the whole package (ferry, shuttle, lunch, Immigration Station admission).   If sold out, you can make your own transportation arrangements and still enjoy the program.

Find out more about both of these exciting days here.

Wordless Wednesday

My Extended Jamboree Weekend

Well, I had a great time at Jamboree this year.  Every day was full of informative sessions, and I saw many genealogy colleagues in person.  I started with the first session every day and finished with the last.  I didn't realize how much I was doing until I discovered I was too tired to write every night!  But I didn't want to miss a thing.

The highlight for me on Friday (my first day at the conference, because I didn't go to the DNA Thursday events) was the "Manumissions and Motivations:  Uncovering Possible Family Connections" session by Michael Nolden Henderson.  He discussed a case study from his own family research, where reading between the lines in a manumission and extrapolating the information pointed to the probable family connection it concealed.  He has done some impressive research on his family, going back several generations.  I also heard Gena Philibert-Ortega talk about "Women's Work:  Tracing Your Ancestor's Ouccupations and Volunteer Work", which surprisingly had only about 20 people in attendance in a room capable of holding more than 100.  The day's (and the weekend's) "lowlight" was the Librarian's Boot Camp, which ran from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon; I wish I had slept in.

Although I didn't attend the Friday banquet, I heard the next day that the speaker, David Rencher, gave my blog a callout.  Linda Okazaki, the California Genealogical Society president, told me that he showed an image of my post about the situation with the Solano County Archives in conjunction with his discussion about records preservation and the roles that genealogists can play in publicizing that type of information and bringing it to the attention of others.  That's pretty cool!

Saturday was full of great sessions.  Unfortunately, several of them were scheduled at the same time as mine, so I couldn't go to them in person!  But I was able to hear Michael Strauss talk about "Secret Societies:  Finding Your Ancestors in Fraternal Organizations", which was educational and fun.  He has found information about some truly "interesting" organizations, and he's a very enthusiastic speaker.  Karen Mauer Jones' presentation, "Low Bridge, Ev'rybody Down:  Navitaging the Erie Canal Records", and Connie Lenzen's on "Strategies for Adoption Research and Finding Other Missing Persons" were also full of useful content and methods.

Sunday was a shorter day, but many sessions still sounded really good.  The best was Pam Vestal's talk on "Voting Records:  Genealogy's Best Kept Secret."  While I don't think of voting records as that big of a secret, she has found some unusual items, including the fact that Multnomah County, Oregon voter cards asked for full names of the parents of the person registering, making them another place one can look for maiden names.  I also enjoyed the Rev. David McDonald's session, "An Illegitimacy:  A Mid-19th Century German Immigrant to the U.S.", and I have finally heard a presentation by JewishGen's Warren Blatt, who spoke on "Polish-Jewish Genealogical Research."

Part of what kept me so busy was the extra volunteering I was doing.  I was a room monitor for four speaker sessions and a research assistant for three time slots.  I also spent about an hour and a half at the California State Genealogical Alliance information table on Friday afternoon and spoke to a few people about the organization.  And CSGA helds its board meeting on Saturday, which I attended, because I am a board member.

I was able to do some socializing, though.  I went to lunch with seventeen other genealogists who have gone (or are going) through the ProGen Study Group, and now I have faces I can put to several names.  I also was part of the California Genealogical Society group photo, where I learned a fantastic way of organizing people for group photos.  I hope I remember it the next time the occasion arises.  And I ran into several friends just walking around.

I have to say I had a successful conference.  I learned a lot, saw old genealogy friends and made new ones, and had a great time!  About the only thing that could have made it better would be if I had won one of the door prizes, but I guess you can't have everything.

As if all that hadn't been enough, the day after the conference, I wrapped up my long weekend by speaking at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles on Monday evening.  My presentation on finding women's maiden names went well, and a lot of people had great questions.  I left immediately afterward and made it back to Oakland at 3:00 a.m. Tuesday.  My car then proceeded to die on me later on Tuesday morning, but it managed to last long enough for me to pick my birds up from boarding and get them home.

I haven't driven to Los Angeles in a few years, and I have to admit I was surprised by the changes in what I saw on the way south.  There used to be several citrus groves along I-5, but now most of them appear to have been pushed aside in favor of stand after stand of almond trees.  Until I got close to the Grapevine, I had seen only one citrus stand.  Even down south I saw (yet more) almond trees.  There used to be many plantings of grapes, but this time I saw only a few.  Apparently almonds really do rule.  Also missing up north were the fun rhyming highway signs from Shane P. Donlon, who probably had been inspired by Burma Shave.  Now that I think about it, a lot of those signs were in the now-missing citrus groves.

One thing that hadn't changed was how many rivers, creeks, and other water courses were bone dry:  Ortigalita Creek, Salado Creek, Kern River, Arroyo Pasajero, and far too many more.  Of course, the Kern River flood canal ("flood" being a euphemism for agricultural run-off) wasn't wanting for water.  And somehow, Orestimba Creek managed to have a reasonable amount of water.  But it sure was a dry-looking drive down.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Saturday (Sunday!) Night Genealogy Fun: My Best Genealogy Research Find in May 2016

I was at Jamboree this weekend, and it's amazing how much time it took, not only in being at the conference during the day, but recovering from all the fun every evening when I went home.  I didn't even see Randy Seaver all weekend!  And I was just too pooped last night to take him up on this week's challenge for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  I am away at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree this weekend, having too much fun (I hope!).

2)  What was your best genealogy "research find" in May 2016?  It could be a record, it could be a photograph, etc.  Whatever you judge to be your "best."

3)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

I think by far my best "genealogy" find this past May was when I was watching Antiques Roadshow on PBS and saw the segment with drawings of twelve young black students from 1864 Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  On May 25 I posted about the drawings and on June 1 about the teacher's narrative describing events in the area.  It doesn't matter that the information has nothing to do with my family.  I am happy I was able to capture good images of all but one of the children, and Schalene Dagutis has added the post to the Slave Name Roll Project.  I hope publicizing the information helps some researchers connect to images of their relatives.

Mary Lawrence, aged 12 years Baton Rouge Aug. 30 1864 A good scholar, pleasant girl

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: Jean La Forêt's Diary, part deux

Last week I began the transcription and translation of Jean La Forêt's diary with the first four pages.  It's a new week and time for another four pages.

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1887 – Jan. 1 – Deuxième warrant.

" Mai 1 – Retourne à Hoopa Valley où je reste jusqu'au 10 Octobre.

" 10 Octobre – Retourne à Requa avec six hommes et un sous-officier pour arrêter troubles.  Capitain Dougherty avec nous.

" Oct. 12 – Arrivons à Requa embouchure du fleuve Klamath où je reste en charge de la Reserve Indienne du Bas Klamath et commandant du Poste militaire.

" Decembre 12–14 – Premier conflit avec les authorités civiles de Del Norte Co.  Mandats d'arrêts lancés contre moi – Affaires McKenzie et Hume.  Un Detachment militaire est envoyé à mon secours et nous tenons tête.  Authorités civiles recrutent une petite Compagnie pour forcer mon arrêt.  Grand revue-ménage à Crescent City, Capitale de Del Norte.

1887 – Decembre 22–23 – Le sheriff arrive et entre en pourparlers.  Pas de resultat, mes ordres étants de tenir tête jùsqu'au dernier homme et j'ai des gaillards décidés avec moi.

1888 – Janvier 2–3 - Chassés de nos quartiers par l'innondation, Le Klamath detruit maisons et proprietés le long de ses rives.  Embouchure fermée et s'ouvre dans le coin nord.

" Janv. 3 – Je quitte Requa avec six hommes d'escorte pour Fort Gaston où je reste jùsqu'au 27 février.

1888 – Février 27 – Retourne à Requa pour reprendre mon Commandement.  Des mandats d'arrêt son de nouveau lancés contre moi et un recompense de $250 ou douze cent cinquante fres est offerte à quiconque me livrerait, viviant ou mort.  Soldats et indiens me sont dénoncés et je puis rire au nez des imbéciles.

Les journaux me déchirent, surtout ceux de la côte du Pacifique; ceux de l'Est me défendent légèrement.  Honnêts gens et Armée de mon côte.

1889. Juin. 1 – Envoyé de plus en plus par authorités de Del Norte.  Pars de Requa par Hoopa pour conférer avec Capt. Dougherty; il me donne le conseil de voyager pour quelques temps jùsqua'à ce que la Cour a décidé.

" Juin 4 – Je pars pour Eureka de là à Arcata et Trinidad où je reste jùsqu'au 20 Juin.

Juin 20 – Reçois l'ordre d'abondonner la Reserve et de ramener Detachment et propriété du gouvernement à Hoopa Valley.

Juin 22  Quitte Requa avec Detachment et arrive à Fort Gaston le 27 Juin.

Juin 28  Pars pour San Francisco avec Co. à l'encampement d'été.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

1887 January 1 – Second warrant.

" May 1 – Return to Hoopa Valley where I stay until October 10.

" 10 October – Return to Requa with six men and a noncommissioned officer to stop unrest.

" October 12 – We arrive at Requa at the mouth of the Klamath River where I am in charge of the Indian Reservation of the Lower Klamath and commanding officer of the military post.

" December 12–14 – First conflict with the civil authorities of Del Norte County.  Arrest warrants issued for me – McKenzie and Hume business.  A military detachment is sent to save me and we hold position.  Civil authorities recruit a small company to force my arrest.  Grand jury inquiry in Crescent City, capital [county seat] of Del Norte.

1887 December 22–23 – The sheriff arrives and begins negotiations.  No change, my orders being to hold position to the last man, and I have determined men with me.

1888 January 2–3 – Chased from our quarters by the flood, the Klamath destroys houses and property along the length of its banks.  The river mouth is blocked and opens to the north.

" January 3 – I leave Requa with a six-man escort for Fort Gaston, where I stay until February 27.

1888 February 27 – Return to Requa to resume my command.  Arrest warrants are again issued for me and a reward of $250 or 1,250 "fres" to whomever delivers me, alive or dead.  Soldiers and Indians inform me, and I laugh in the face of the fools.

Newspapers rip me up, especially those from the Pacific coast; those from back east slightly defend me.  I have honest men and the Army at my side.

1889 June 1 – Sent away increasingly by Del Norte authorities.  Leave Requa for Hoopa to discuss with Capt. Dougherty; he recommends I travel for a while until the court makes a decision.

" June 4 – I leave for Eureka and from there to Arcata and Trinidad, where I stay until 20 June.

June 20 – Receive orders to abandon the reservation and to take the detachment and government property back to Hoopa Valley.

June 22  Leave Requa with detachment and arrive at Fort Gaston 27 June.

June 28  Leave for San Francisco with company for the summer encampment.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

I believe what Jean means by "second warrant" is that he was promoted on January 1, 1887.  He seems to have been doing well in the U.S. Army.

On the other hand, he definitely ran into problems in Del Norte County.  He doesn't explain the back story of the unrest, but these pages say that Dougherty (or perhaps Jean, as his agent) expelled John McKenzie and R. D. Hume from the Klamath Indian Reservation, and that Hume sued Dougherty and Jean.  And he had a bounty on his head!  This is going to be a fascinating story to research!  I wonder if I'll be able to find some documentation of the bounty offer (or what 1,250 "fres" was) . . . .

As if that weren't enough to deal with, in the middle of the court problems, the Klamath River flooded the post!  The 1888 flood is mentioned in this report (look at the bottom of the link page, 3-10) on the Klamath Hydroelectric Project.

Jean didn't record in his journal the court's decision, but since he abandoned the post and brought everything back, I'm guessing it went against him and Dougherty.  I'll just have to wait until I'm finished going through my entire "treasure chest" to find out.

This man had an interesting life well before he met Emma!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Susan Carhart Tallman's Narrative from 1864

When I posted the drawings of the twelve students from the 1864 school for freedmen in Baton Rouge , I said I was working on transcribing the narrative that the teacher, Susan Carhart Tallman, wrote over a school form.  I had several deadlines pop up over the weekend, but I made time to finish the transcription tonight.  I was able to read most of the handwriting, but four words have continued to elude me, and I'm unsure of a few others.  If anyone can figure out what the missing words are, or if you think I've made a mistake somewhere, please post and let me know.  I will be happy to update the transcription as necessary.

I think I captured all the close-ups shown in the segment.  Normally I make graphics smaller for my blog, so posts will load more quickly, but I've left these images as large as possible, to help facilitate legibility.

Here's my transcription.  I did both Tallman's narrative and the form itself.  I figured I might as well do it all while I was working on it.

-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Susan (Carhart) Tallman’s handwritten note over the school form:

Left page:

[At?] my place

Oct 21, during this week Miss(?) Davis(?) was called home.  I was sorry as she seemed naturally fitted for a teacher.  She was interested in the school, kept good order + had the respect of her pupils, + they were learning well.  Mrs. Reese(?) has no faculty for [illegible] at all + I have the care of two schools.  I think she is learning some about it and hope she will do pretty well.  ——  On the evening of Oct 18, Tues. we were kept from returning until very late + sat without lights + with our bonnets on ready to run when the school should be attacted [sic] by the rebels who were said to have attacted [sic] our guard   There is also talk of removing the last(?) of soldiers now here.  I have had no answer from the board since I wrote to [illegible] if I could do any teaching before 1 P.M. + as Mrs. Boggs with whom I am boarding says I must eat at noon I have to teach according to the instructions though I am much disturbed by having to let part of my school leave before I close to go into the cotton field.  ——  Since Mrs. Boggs has applied for my school, if no other(?) teacher is sent, [illegible] I suffer she will teach after I close(?), which I expect to do

Right page:

on the first of November, as I wrote to the Board several weeks ago.  When I leave, the teachers here are boarded(?) by the Lt. in charge of the place + [illegible] him, but he does not furnish them with separate room however great strangers they may be.  [In the narrative, Tallman had crossed out with Xes this section I have marked with strikethrough.]

Sun. Oct 23d Last night the Rebels attacted [sic] and robbed a place three miles below this.  One man once a Major in the Union army lost some 2000.00  We do not feel very safe, here. —


School attendance form:

Report of Attendance
In Department No ……..… School No …………
Parish of East Baton Rouge.

For the week ending Sept. 30th, 1864.

                                                     BOYS.            GIRLS.            TOTAL.
Number of different Pupils                26                22                    48
“ Average attendance                        19                16.2                  35.2
“ Instances of absence                       35                29                     64
“ Instances of tardiness
“ Admitted
“ Transferred
“ Left                                                   1                  1
“ Who Study the Alphabet
“ Who Spell                                       26               22                    48
“ Who Read                                       26               22                    48
“ Who study mental Arithmetic        24                15                   39
“ Who study written Arithmetic
“ Who study Geography                   10                 10                   20
“ Who study Grammar
“ Who Write in Copy Books
“ Who Write on Slats                        25                21                    46

I certify that the above report is correct, and that the accompanying regulations have been complied with.
Susan G. Tallman, Teacher


Board of Education rules:

Office of Board of Education

To the general instructions personally given by the Board to the Teachers under its charge, the following more specific regulations are added.  Non-compliance with these rules will be regarded as disobedience of Orders.

I.  That each School be kept in session every week-day except Saturday and Sunday, from 8. 45 A. M., to 2. 30 P. M., with a half hour’s recess at mid-day.

II.  That each teacher be present at the school-room daily at 8. 30 A. M. to secure orderly assemblage and prompt readiness for the regular exercises at 8. 45 A.M.

III.  That the presence of each pupil at 8. 45 A.M. be noted by roll-call or otherwise, and that the first exercise be either the singing of an appropriate melody, the repeating of the Lord’s Prayer, or the reading of a selection from the Bible.

IV.  That there be a regular Order of School Exercises; that it be conspicuously posted in the school-room; that duplicate copies thereof be furnished to the Board; that, in schools where the formation of classes is practicable, no class exercise exceed thirty minutes.

V.  That during any exercise in which the whole school may not participate, stillness and industry be preserved among the non-reciting pupils by such memory, slate, or other silent exercises as have been found requisite to every well ordered school.

VI.  That the pupils pass into and out of the school-room and the classes, to and from their seats in military order.

VII.  That each teacher promptly account to the Board for all books, slates, charts, &c., delivered to the school, and in failure thereof, that the value of the same be deducted from the teacher’s salary.

VIII.  That each teacher faithfully render to the Board the weekly report of attendance etc., as indicated in the accompanying blank, together with all other facts pertinent to the welfare of the school.
-- >< -- >< -- >< -- >< --

Something I hadn't picked up on while watching this, but that became clear to me while transcribing the document, was that even this early the school was under the auspices of the military.  The Board of Education was part of the Department of the Gulf, the students were to go everywhere in military order, and the person in charge of "the place" (the school, I believe) was a lieutenant.

One thing I'm wondering about is how Mrs. Tallman could have a partial student.  The average attendance for girls was 16.2.  I suppose it would make more sense if I knew what the average was computed from — daily attendance over the week, perhaps?