California Historical Society Quarterly

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Noblet Herbert and John A. Washington by Washington, John Augustine

California Historical Society Quarterly


Noblet Herbert and John A. Washington


Washington, John Augustine




Vol. 29, No. 4





Dec., 1950 
Topics Gold Rush,Deaths,Genealogy

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Noblet Herbert to Mrs. John Augustine Washington

Transcribed, with Introduction and Notes, By JOHN A. WASHINGTON

NOBLET HERBERT'S brief life carried him from a childhood spent at Mount Vernon, the home of Washington, to a mysterious and violent death in the California gold fields. This, his only surviving letter, was written from Sutter's Hock Farm, near Marysville, to his aunt and foster mother, the dowager of Mount Vernon.

Both Noblet Herbert and his mother, Mary Lee Washington Herbert, were, in successive generations, orphans raised by an aunt and uncle who resided at Mount Vernon. After the death in 1802 of the childless General Washington's widow, his home passed to Justice Bushrod Washington (1762 -1829 ) of the United States Supreme Court, son of the general's brother, John Augustine. Judge Washington had no children of his own, but assumed the care of the live orphans of his brother Corbin Washington (1764 -1799 ). Mount Vernon was inherited by the eldest survivor of these five children, John Augustine Washington (1781 -1832 ), to whose widow this letter is addressed. Another of Corbin's live children, Mary Lee Washington (c 1794 -1817 ), married Nobler Herbert of Alexandria, Virginia, and left two orphan sons, Bushrod and Noblet, Jr. (the writer of the letter) to the care of her brother John.

Upon reaching the age of twenty-one in 1810 , John Augustine Washington established his residence in Jefferson County, in what is now the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, where he built a home called Blakeley. Noblet Herbert's childhood was divided between this western home, sixty miles from Mount Vernon, and the better known place on the Potomac. When the elder son, John Augustine Washington, Jr. (1821 -1861 ), married in 1843 , his mother, Mrs. Jane Washington, turned Mount Vernon over to him and spent thereafter most of her time with her younger son at Blakeley, where she received this letter. She kept, however, in constant touch with her son and West Ford, the plantation manager at Mount Vernon, and exercised considerable supervision over its management.

In 1849 Noblet Herbert, about twenty-five years old, joined a group of eighty Jefferson County young men in an expedition to California. The trip of the Charlestown (Va.) Mining Co. is graphically recounted in the diaries of two of its members, Vincent Geiger and Dr. Wakeman Bryarly , which may be found in David M. Potter, Trail to California (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1945 ). After an unusually successful and fast trip, the company reached Johnson's ranch and separated.

[page 298]

Occasional glimpses of Herbert's life in California during the next three years appear in the Reminiscences of a '49er (Kansas City, 1908 ) by Edward W. McIlhany, one of Herbert's companions on the trip and in California. A group of nine (including Herbert, McIlhany, Blakemore, Bender, Thomas, and three Cunningham brothers; see notes 10, 13-16 below) left Johnson's ranch together, went up the Sacramento to Shasta, and, being dissatisfied with the mines there, came south on John Bidwell's advice to mine at Bidwell's Bar on Feather River. They then engaged in the American Bar project described in this letter, and Herbert spent the winter of 1850 -1851 near Marysville. His life in 1851 is a blank, but he did not carry out his expressed intention to return to Virginia in 1851 , for in the spring of 1852 he joined Blakemore and two Cunningham brothers in the purchase of a string of pack mules from McIlhany and Thomas. The Cunninghams were inactive partners; Blakemore returned to visit Virginia; and Herbert operated the pack train alone with the assistance of two Mexicans, Corralis and Joe.

In the early autumn of 1852 they were camped on a little stream a mile from Maj. John Bidwell's home at Chico. One day it was noticed that the men and two mules had disappeared, the other mules were running loose, and the camp, with everything there, had been burned. McIlhany and Thomas went to investigate, questioned the men who lived nearest the camp, had the creek dragged, but learned nothing. They and Blakemore believed that the Mexicans had robbed and murdered Herbert, disposed of his body, and left the country.

In January 1853 , at Charlestown, Bushrod Herbert was appointed administrator of the estate of Noblet Herbert, deceased.

The letter, transcribed below, is printed as written with respect to spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, but words and phrases, crossed out by the original writer, have been omitted. At appropriate intervals, arbitrary paragraphing has been introduced. The manuscript is in the possession of Mrs. S. Walter Washington, of Charlestown. A group portrait, painted about 1834 , showing Mrs. John Augustine Washington, the recipient of this letter, her three children, and her nephew Noblet Herbert, is in the possession of the family of the late Lawrence Washington, of Washington, D. C. It has been reproduced in Charles Moore's Family Life of George Washington, Boston, 1926 .

I wish to express my thanks to Mrs. John Russel Hastings of the Santa Barbara Historical Society for indispensable encouragement and assistance in the preparation of this letter for publication. Further information bearing on Noblet Herbert's life is eagerly solicited.

Near Marysville Decr 27th 50

My dear Aunt [1]

I was in Onion Valley [2] when I received your very affectionate letter, (containing an account of the death of poor sister Maria [3] which I was the [page 299] more distressed to hear as I was unable to bid her goodbye when I left home, however I feared from what uncle Bushrod [4] said in his letter, which I received in April that she would hardly recover, she was truly a great loss to all her friends and especially her own family, it is most distressing to lose one's friends when so far away, and to be constantly expecting to hear of the death of some beloved friend makes one almost miserable.)

I should have answered your letter before but there was no opportunity for sending them from there and since I left there (in November) I have been so busy buying cattle to herd this winter and butcher next summer, besides having hurt my eye which prevented my being able to write that I really have not been able to do so until now, though I have made one or two attempts to do so.

I will try and give you some little idea of what I have been about our here, the American Bar the great speculation in which we were engaged, on Feather River proved a failure and brought us all in debt owing to our not being able to collect any of the money which we had made of odd times by packing our mules, to pay for the provisions we used while at work on the race & dam for we turned five hundred yards of the river through a race so of course we had to go to work and make some money to pay our debts we went into the mountains to Onion Valley about six miles from the Nelson Creek [6] which I see mentioned in the Free Press we mined some of us on a gulch near there call'd Poor Mans creek [7] some on the great Rich Bar [8] of Feather River some kept an eating house and herding ranche (a herding ranche is a place where Gentlemens mules arc taken care of kept on good grass and brought to them when wanted. we butchered packed, traded, any thing at all we could make money at until in November signs of winter frightened us out not however before we had got out of debt and had made & collected some four or five hundred dollars apeice. among us.

While there, two grizzly bears were kill'd by hunters from the neighboring mines within fifty yards of our house [9] Charley Cunningham [10] was among those who shot at them while the rest of us who had no guns kept out of the way some very amusing little scenes took place among us who had no guns to the no small amusement of the valiant hunters who however found it difficult to explain their positions after having fired their guns, some of them being seen on a large log pen which had been commenced for a house however I'll tell you all about these things when I gee back it won't do to tell all our adventures before we get back or we wont be considered anything extra when we get home.

In Onion Valley there is snow all the year. when I went there I left a temperature of 118 to 110 Fahrenheit at Bidwells Bar [11] where I used to go to get loading for my pack mules, and slept where there was snow, several feet deep. I suppose from six to ten. within two hundred yards of our beds, in very heavy frosts out of doors and yet we were all comfortable until one [page 300] or two rainy nights in September came, after that we took our saddle blankets and made our selves a shelter by stretching them over a pole one end of which ran into the side of the hill the other was in a fork of another pole It is right disagreeable sleeping out when it rains hard enough for a Stream of cold water to cover the bottom blanket; until one is used to it. I have had to do it several times in California but it does not hurt me. I am hearty as a buck again.

Some Miners tried to winter near Onion Valley I do not know how they will do some have come out they say it is too cold there to work they came out on snow of which they could not judge the depth. we left Grass Valley [12] six miles this side in a snow Storm, after that some packers ventured up, Blakemore [13] & Bender [14] two of our old mess took up a train

Edward McIlhany [15] and Charly Thomas [16] two more of our mess took up another they all got out safe but a poor spaniard lost all his mules I think forty of them. [17] the snow fell so as to cover their backs in one night another packer lost fifteen somewhere in the mountains two or three trains have been lost in this way this fall.

Ever since August I have been within an hours walk of snow until November and now between Christmas and New Year I am laying in the warm sun out of doors the mosquitoes plaguing me so, I can hardly write and the nearest snow at least eighty or ninety miles off on the mountain yet still it is within sight and looks as if it was at least twenty feet deep.

yet great as is the difference in temperature it is not greater than the difference in the scenery, immediately around here it is a level plain about thirty miles across where when sitting on a horse you can see a band of 'mustangs in spanish a menage, or wild horses or perhaps a herd of wild cattle some three or four miles off. there were endless chains of mountains with Cliff rising above Cliff untill the most distant covered with snow seemed lost in the clouds with sides so steep that not even the soil can stay but washing away leaves the bare rock and great avalanches of snow sliding down sweep everything away taking acres of trees in their course that is what the miners most fear in staying on these gulches in the winter; for the snow is hard enough to bear them anytime they may fall short for provisions.

But even here we will have our disagreeable weather after a while when the rainy season sets in however we have a fine Antelope and some wild ducks in camp now, I dont think we will suffer, game is plenty here I have seen a hundred (I suppose) Antelope in a gang there is no end to the wild geese, though they are very wild, and a good many partridges,

We are camped within two miles of Capt. Sutter's [18] dwelling I suppose we may be call'd squatters. but he does not object to any one herding here I believe, He has a daughter but I guess there is no danger of my ever seeing her although I am sometimes down at or very near the house but the old man seems to have some notion of being aristocratic, from his having a notice up [page 301] that any one wishing to see him on business will please call at the secretary's office. but, the dutch sticks out in the way of roofs painted red, red gates, white palings with blue posts dwelling houses out houses & stabling all together &c

The old man has great influence over the Indians here, who are more like wild beasts than human beings, however they are friendly they live on a kind of cake made of acorns pounded up, ants, fishing worms &c together with what fish & game they can get they are quite expert at catching salmon, and it is a fact that they can dive under the water and lariat them, (although the gentlemen at Clay Monte, [19] thought it a fish story.) I have seen them dive down and catch them without anything. they are great packers the ma-ha-les or Squaws will carry two or three bushels of acorns for miles at quite a brisk walk and not seem to mind it. I have seen the men carry a sack of flour, 100 lbs. up mountains where it was considered a good mule load, on account of the road being so bad & steep. they sleep in a hole dug some four feet down into the ground with pales over the top and dirt over that, with a fire right in the middle of the floor. I don't know how they stand the smoke,

I am coming home next fall. I would have done so this fall but it was late before I could have come and then I could not collect all that was owing to me, &c & indeed a man seems too trifling to come to this country and not make more than four or five hundred dollars where I have hired out for $12.00 after 11 AM. besides the promise of eight more, I have made here fifty or sixty dollars in a day, packing mules, but one can not always get enough of it to do,

When we were in Sacramento we got one or two old Charlestown papers it was quite a treat, but I hope now since we are near Marysville we will get our letters regularly and perhaps sometimes see a paper or so as the mails come there immediately after they are distributed at Sacramento, heretofore our letters have been miscarried both to and fro, I have received two from you since I have been in this country one was written before I left Missouri and one from Dick. [20]

Tell Dick I am going to answer his pretty soon, but not to wait as he has so much better fixings for writing than I have being destitute of chair table or any thing of the sort, I have to make down my bed in the sun to lie on & write on a wash board the bottom of a bucket or anything of the kind, I see no newspapers and he has a good chance to fill up his letter with what he can glean from them while I must write of Diggers (white & Indian) mules mountains &c

I was very sorry to hear in Augustine's [21] letter that Dick had been troubled with the erysipelas. I hope he is well of it by this time, and. that You are all of you enjoying good health, especially You, as young folks soon recover from a spell, which would go very hard with you! I was afraid when I heard [page 302] of the cholera in H Ferry [22] that it would be in your neighbourhood and was very much relieved to hear that it had not. I think fear and irregular living cause half the deaths by that disease. It was very severe in Sacramento this fall. they said there were upwards of a hundred deaths a day there We were there soon after it had left the city

I saw Frank Washington [23] he looked thin but seemed to be in good spirits. I fear he is not so popular as he was he should have joined the squatters they are so much more numerous as to carry the elections, Dr Bryarly [24] the old company physician is said to be engaged to a lady in San Francisco, the rest of the company are scattered about everywhere some doing very well, the Moore's [25] are in Napir [Napa?] Valley they have taken up a ranche there are trading in stock and are doing well, Charley saw Jno Moore he said nothing about the death of Monroe Manning [26] and as they were together I suppose it is a mistake we had not heard of it then, but Charley afterwards got a letter from his wife mentioning it, Mr Aisquith [27] is to be in the Post Office I understand. Mr Lewis [28] of Jefferson ran for the legislature in Burre County in which we are living he might have been elected but did not come out in time.

Charley George [29] & I are together yet they are never very hearty but are much stouter now than they have been George was very low last spring with a cough I was afraid he would not recover at one time, &. Charles was equally as low during the summer. I have been as hearty as a buck ever since last winter and walk sometimes from fifteen to twenty five miles a day with the pack mules over hills in places four or five miles high [?] and some of the way steep you would hardly think a mule could go

indeed I have had the honor of rolling two mules down a place, one, went about a hundred yards and fetched up (as the sailors say) in the creek below, the other caught by a crowbar that was on her, one end caught against a tree the other against the side of the hill and held her until I got down unloosed her pack, & let her up, she was not hurt the other had some severe cuts we thought she would die but she got as well as ever no one would ever think now that she ever had a hurt in her life. I had to leave her in the creek all that night (the water was not deep enough to be in her way) and the next day two of us whipped her out, it looked cruel but it was better than to let her die down there, but the way bottles of pickles sugar rice &c were smashed up was curious, two bottles went down into the creek without breaking, of the rest -- we could hardly find the peices, the owners of the things lost them, we lost the packing on them, out here a man risks enough to risk his mules, the trails are so bad.

I suppose by this time Lizzie [30] can write & read though I fear not well enough to read this scrawl I have such a miserable pen, and I am copying this off now from a sheet which a mouse has spoilt for me. it also eat a hole in Charley Cunningham's letter to his wife which two offences would cause [page 303] his death if I could catch him, and Jack [31] must be large enough to ride horseback by this time if he can ride well enough to break mustangs and would learn to lariat wild cattle he would do well here, I am too prudent to trust my neck on them, I should like to see them very much And your two young ladies of whose personal appearance you speak so highly. Miss Annie Burnet, A [32] & miss W. [33] and indeed all of you.

Night coming on stopped me and for the last few days I have not been able to write. however it makes no difference as the mail does not go for some rime yet, but it puts me out as I forget what I was going to say &c That mouse has been killed, but still my letter seems to get a little dirtier every day, we have just had some rain I think the rainy season has commenced it keeps me more out watching the cattle for fear of their wandering off. during the storms, but still I am glad to see it, as it will start the grass. and I keep dry with a gum-blanket over me,

I suppose I should have gotten Dick's letter at the same time I got yours, but an accident happened to it which I thought would never happen to any of my letters it was taken out by another man a Mr Albert Herbert, I guess he is the only man out here who can come that near matching my name and he is a right clever fellow for he put it back in the P. Office again I was very much indebted to him I assure you. I got one from Augustine at the same time he writes a first rate letter too I wish I could send him such an answer as his deserved, two, sheets of paper all full no excuse about not having news, but he sent me as much as I could get out of half a dozen newspapers, besides telling me all about almost every one I know,

I hope you are pleased with your new pastor Mr. Tyng he must be an able man to be equal to Mr. Jones but you ought hardly to expect that. [34] there are no churches in this part of the country. I have been to hear preaching several times out doors. at our old claim we had an old gentleman working who used to preach every Sunday evening, but they are generally illiterate men somehow I believe no good preachers come here. I wonder none of the missionaries come here. I think there is as good a population here as in any of the states although they kill Captn Sutters wild cattle and make him say. it ish awful to see the stealing that ish going on in tish country. the fact is it is very easy to steal here without being found out.

I dont believe there would be half as much rascality as there is if there was no law but the one we had when we came here at first, lynch law. before we went to Bidwell's Bar to live a man was whipped for stealing a pint of molasses so, that he died, that kept things pretty quiet for a while.

The mule I mentioned having rolled into the creek, threw me the other day skyhigh and the next day threw Charley Cuningham just as pretty but did not hurt either of us. the crupper broke both times and a mule humps so, no one can ride one without a crupper,

I hope the crop of corn was good in Jefferson and that the wheat looks [page 304] well now there is no crop out here but grass. that I fear will be scarce next season although it does not make much difference to us there is always enough where we are going. Provisions are very low this season compared to what they were last flour and meal can be bought from 10c to 15 cents a pound and other things in about the same proportions but shot are worth two dollars a pound in Marysville on Salmon river flour is worth eight dollars a pound but no one can get there now, Hay sells well here if sold at the proper time which is when the grass is eaten off, so that the teams must be fed.

I should think beef would be high in the states so many cattle are required to supply the emigration and indeed it is one of the speculations I can think of to drive them out here such steers as could be bought in Illinois for ten dollars would bring a hundred here that and it costs nothing to fatten them they have only to be herded until the next summer, with good management a man would not lose more than one fourth at any rate and just see the profit with hardly any expense. the wild cattle here are nearly all killed off.

And now I must finish my letter I am well enough contented with the length but I fear you will not find it very interesting it is so unconnected too & so dirty that I am ashamed of it but it has been written at leisure times taking nearly a week to finish it just whenever I could get a chance, so you must excuse it and please dont show it to any one else (but burn it as soon as you have read it) of course I except Dick or Gus or any of the family. please give my love to all at Blakely C.Mont, R Woods [35] Dr Alexander [36] & his little family, & at Mt Vernon [37] when you write there; it would take too long to mention names. I think of all of you every day, & accept my best love to yourself Yrs

As ever


PS. please remember me to all the servants --


1. Jane Charlotte Blackburn (1786 -1855 ), daughter of Richard Scott Blackburn, of Rippon Lodge, Prince William County, Va., and Judith Ball, his first wife; she married John Augustine Washington (1789 -1832 ), of Blakeley, Jefferson County, (West) Va., and Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Va. (The reader might be reminded here that West Virginia was not separated from Virginia until 1863 .)

2. Onion Valley, Plumas County, Calif., on a tributary of the middle fork of Feather River. a productive mining site north of Downieville. Gold was discovered there in July 1850 , and by 1851 it had a population of 1500 miners. It became the center of supply for the camps at Poor Man's Creek, Hopkins Creek, Nelson Creek, and Rabbit Creek. Wild onions in the neighborhood gave the valley its name. (Phil Townsend Hanna, Dictionary of California Place Names, Los Angeles, 1946 , p. 198.)

3. "Sister Maria" was not a blood sister, but the first cousin and foster sister of the writer of the letter. Anne Maria Thomasina Washington (1817 -1850 ) married [page 305] in 1855 Dr. William Fontaine Alexander and died of tuberculosis, leaving six children.

4. "Uncle Bushrod" was Bushrod Corbin Washington (1790 -1851 ), brother of John Augustine Washington and Mary Lee Washington Herbert. He married Anne Maria Thomasina Blackburn, sister of his brother's wife, and resided at Claymont, a large house within sight of his brother's place, "Blakeley," in Jefferson County, {West.) Va.

5. At American Bar, a group of miners, including Herbert, built a race to divert the Feather River and work the bed. The night before their plan was to be put into operation, the wing dam washed our, as a result of three days of heavy rain during Sept. 1850 , and "everything went rushing down the river." The miners, too discouraged to repeat the months of work, scattered. American Bar was forty miles above Bidwell's Bar; it was chosen because of the popular belief that gold found lower down the river had been washed from some richer and higher place. H. H. Bancroft, History of California (San Francisco, 1886 -90 ), VI, 354, note 17, credits it with a yield of $3,000,000. While the place does not persist, it appears to have been in the immediate vicinity of Rich Bar (now Rich), Plumas County, on the east bank of the north fork of the Feather. (Edward W. McIlhany, Recollections of a '49er, Kansas City, 1908 , pp. 43-44; History of Plumas, Lassen, and Sierra Counties, San Francisco: Farris and Smith, 1882 , p. 247.)

6. Nelson Creek was a rich mining district, seven miles (according to McIlhany, op. cit., p. 80) back in the mountains from Onion Valley. It was discovered in June 1850 . (History of Plumas..., op. cit., p. 151.)

7. Poorman's Creek was three miles east of Onion Valley. Gold was likewise discovered there in June 1850 . These creeks empty into the middle fork of Feather River. (Ibid., p. 151.)

8. The Rich Bar mentioned here seems to be the one on the middle fork of Feather River, where gold was discovered in June 1850 , and is to be distinguished from the better-remembered Rich Bar (see note 5 above), on the east branch of the north fork of the Feather, where gold was discovered July 1, 1850. (Ibid., pp. 151, 146, 288).

9. See vivid account of this encounter in McIlhany, op. cit., pp. 53-55.

10. Charles Edward Cunningham, George Forley Cunningham, and James Cunningham, Jr, three sons of James and Cathherine Campbell Cunningham of "Richlands," Frederick County, Md., across the Potomac from Charlestown, were among Herbert's mess of nine members which left the company when it dissolved in September 1849 . James died at American Bar in 1850 ; the other two returned to Virginia, and Charles later settled in Missouri. They had a sister, Rebecca Janet Cunningham (1810 -1890 ), who, in 1839 married (as her first husband) a first cousin of Herbert's, Thomas Blackburn Washington (1811 -1854 ), only son of Bushrod Corbin Washington (1790 -1851 ) of Claymont. (See note 4 above; also Horace E. Hayden, Virginia Genealogies, Wilkes-Barre, Penn., 1891, p. 165; and David M. Potter, Trail to California, New Haven, 1945 , pp. 63 and 223.)

11. At Bidwell's Bar on Feather River, Maj. John Bidwell mined in 1848 . On his advice, Nobler Herbert and his companions went there in the fall of 1849 . It was the supply point for the territory on Feather River which included their American Bar project. (See note 5 above; also McIlhany, op. cit., pp. 39 and 44.)

12. "'Little" Grass Valley in Plumas County was the end of the wagon road thirty-five miles miles from Marysville. Here in 1850 goods were transferred to mules to go into Onion Valley, which, according to McIlhany (op. cit., p. 95), was twelve miles further. It is to be distinguished from the present town of Grass Valley, to the south in Nevada County.

13. Robert M. Blakemore , of Jefferson County, was a member of Herbert's mess from the Charlestown Mining Co. With Herbert and the Cunninghams he bought a pack train of mules from McIlhany and Thomas, which Herbert was operating at the time of his disappearance. Blakemore returned to Virginia in 1865 and died of yellow fever in New [page 306] Orleans in 1866 . Fenton B. Whiting, a native of Jefferson County, (West) Va., who was clerk-of-court of Plumas County for many year, apparently was responsible for the following estimate (History of Plumas..., op. cit., p. 150): "Among the thousands whom the golden magnet drew to this coast, none had more true nobility of character than Blakemore." (McIlhany, op. cit., pp. 117 and 146; Potter, op. cit., pp. 63 and 213.)

14. Jacob Bender, a member of the Charlestown Co. (Potter, op. cit., p. 223.)

15. Edward Washington McIlhany (1818 - ca 1908 ), son of Mortimer and Mary Ann Washington McIlhany, of "Rosewood," near Hillsboro, Loudoun County, Va., later of Montgomery County, Mo., was the author of the Reminiscences of a '49er, frequently mentioned here. He later became a cattle dealer in Kansas City. His mother belonged to a family of Washingtons not related to Noblet Herbert's mother. (Hugh Milton McIlhany, Jr., Some Virginia Families, Staunton, 1903 .)

16. Charles G. Thomas. of the Charlestown Co., was a member of the California legislature in 1852 , became a mining engineer in Nevada, and never returned to Virginia. (McIlhany, op. cit., p. 153; History of Plumas ..., op. cit, p. 193.)

17. This incident is described more fully in McIlhany, op. cit., pp. 58-62.

18. In 1850 , Sutter took up residence at his Hock Farm, five miles south of Marysville, on the west side of Feather River. (John P. Zollinger, Sutter, New York & London, 1939 , pp. 117 and 290; see also History of Plumas..., op. cit., p. 108.)

19. Clay Mont, more commonly Claymont (see note 4 above). The closest intimacy existed between the families of Noblet Herbert's two uncles of Blakeley and Claymont. Noblet seems to have been raised chiefly by the Blakeley-Mount Vernon family after his parents' deaths; his brother, Bushrod Herbert, at Claymont.

20. Richard Scott Blackburn Washington (1822 -1910 ) of Blakeley, first cousin and foster brother of Noblet Herbert, and a son of the recipient of this letter.

21. John Augustine Washington (1821 -1861 ), brother of R. S. B. Washington (note 20 above). He was married and living at Mount Vernon at this time.

22. Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County. (West) Va, seven miles from Charlestown and eleven from Blakeley, later became famous as the site of John Brown's raid. Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia meet there, where the Shenandoah River empties into the Potomac.

23. Benjamin Franklin Washington (1820 -1871 ), a third cousin of Noblet Herbert, of Cedar Lawn. Jefferson County, was president of the Charlestown Mining Co., and later collector-of-the port of San Francisco.

24. Dr. Wakeman Bryarly (1810 -1869 ) of Baltimore kept a diary of the Charlestown Co.'s expedition to California in 1849 which has been edited by David M. Potter (See note 10 above for full citation). If Bryarly was engaged at this time, he did not marry the lady (ibid., p. 65).

25. Henry, James, John, and Thomas Moore, four brothers from Harpers Ferry, were members of the Charlestown Co. (Ibid., p. 214; also History of Plumas ..., op. cit., p. 106.)

26. Monroe Manning was not a member of the Charlestown Co. and has not been identified.

27. Edward M. Aisquith of Charlestown was treasurer of the Charlestown Co. (Potter, op. cit., p. 213.)

28. Joseph E. N . Lewis, a lawyer and third commander of the Charlestown Co., resided in Butte County, Calif, (which in 1850 included the present Plumas County). He was a county judge and state senator. (History of Plumas..., op. cit., p. 181; see also Potter, op. cit., p. 223.)

29. Charles and George are the two Cunnighams (note 10 above).

30. Lizzie is Elizabeth Clemson Washington (1845 -1911 ), daughter of Noblet Herbert's [page 307] beers cousin Richard (note 20 above) and his wife Christian Maria, nee Washington. She was a granddaughter of the recipient of the letter.

31. "Jack" is John Augustine Washington (1847 -1913 ), brother of Lizzie.

32. "Miss Annie Burnet, A" was Ann Burnett Alexander (1848 -1864 ), daughter of Anne M. T. B. Washington (note 3 above) and granddaughter of the recipient of the letter.

33. "Miss W" was probably Eliza Selden Washington (1848 -1909 ), third daughter of John Augustine Washington (note 11 above). This grandchild of the recipient of the letter was just eight days younger than Ann Burnett Alexander.

34. The church was Zion Church, the Protestant Episcopal Church of Charlestown.

35. "R. Woods" cannot be identified unless it is intended to refer to "Richlands," the Cunningham home (note 10 above).

36. For Dr. Alexander, see note 3 above.

37. The recipient's elder son and his family then lived at Mount Vernon (note 11 above).