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Zrt^i &u 







By His Daugiiters 




February, 1909 



Honoring and loving the memory of our father, as 
his children always have done, it seemed to me that a life 
such as his should continue to influence his descendants 
for generations to come. 

So, for many years, it has been my wish, to put the 
story of his life into such form, that his childr"en's chil- 
dren might learn something of the rare attributes of a 
character, which should make them appreciate his virtues 
and wish to emulate them. 

With my sister's hearty sympathy and collaboration, 
I present this little book to those who we trust will 
value it. 




By his Daughter 


When I was a child, my father always seemed to me 
a wonderful man, and as I grew older and had some ap- 
preciation of character, I knew he was indeed a remark- 
able man. In later years, as I made some study of his 
life and influence upon his times and country, I knew 
that I was not mistaken in regarding Captain Kirtley as 
one in a thousand. He was a well educated, rarely cul- 
tured gentleman. There are few now living who knew 
our father, but, I believe for even those early days, when 
probity, uprightness and chivalry were supposed to be the 
attributes of a gentleman, his life and character were 
recognized by all as representing those characteristics. 
Even as a young lad, he placed a high value on the ad- 
vantages of education, and in opposition to the wishes of 
his guardian, Mr. William Buford, took the patrimony 
left him by his father, and at the age of twenty-one be- 
came a student of Transylvania University at Lexington, 
Kentucky, graduating from that institution four years 
later. He studied law with his brother-in-law, Mr. Isham 
Henderson, Lexington, Ky. He went to Columbia, Mis- 

souri, in 1824, and I think he married our mother, Mary 
Ann Breckenridge Peebels, February 3d, 1831. This 
February was said to have been the coldest known to the 
then " oldest inhabitant " of the State. The young couple 
made their bridal trip in a sleigh from Old Franklyn, 
our grandmother's home, to Columbia, where my father 
introduced his beautiful young wife tO' the hospitable and 
friendly people of the town, at a ball given on the 226. of 
February of that year. 

Our mother was not seventeen years of age at the 
time of her marriage, and Captain Kirtley was much 
older (being 32 years of age) than this young girl he had 
chosen as his mate, but their happy union proved that he 
had made no mistake. Our father had been fortunate in 
securing better advantages in education than fell tO' the 
lot of many young men who grew up in the frontier 
States of our land in early times, whereas his young wife 
had few advantages except such as could be obtained in 
the backwoods of Old Franklyn, where she attended the 
little school on the river bank. She was fortunate, it is 
true, in having been reared by a wise and splendid 
mother, and her home, though situated on the borders of 
the State (almost in the heart of the Indian country), 
was not lacking in culture and refinement. She was 
scarcely more than a child when she became the head of 
her husband's home, but I know our father always had 
the greatest pride in his home imder the fine management 

Page Two 

of his beautiful young- wife. Our mother often deplored 
the fact that she had no opportunity of securing a tin- 
ished education, but her very appreciation of her loss 
made her a student and a woman of self-culture, and as 
she grew older she became the pride and ornament of 
the hospitable home where many of the distinguished 
people of the State were the frequent and always welcome 
guests. Our father's admonitions to his children were al- 
ways most impressive. In leaving home and always in 
his letters to us, he most tenderly committed our mother 
to our care. " Be obedient and loving to your mother, be 
thoughtful for her, and help her to bear the cares and 
burdens of the home " — thus ever showing his own great 
love and regardful care for her. I have since thought 
our mother's youth and inexperience made him so mind- 
ful of her. My grandmother used to say of him : " Every 
one obeyed him, his horses and dogs for love of him, 
his negro servants obeyed him even when his back was 
turned, and his children rendered him unquestioned obedi- 
ence and devoted love." 

I am sure Captain Kirtley was a man " before his 
time." He was much in public life, not for the honors 
or emoluments of office, but for the good he could do 
his country and his State. Many of these things I have 
come to know by correspondence with those who knew 
him in the early days of Missouri. It was largely 
through his influence in the Legislature, and his earnest 

Page Three 

work in his own county, that the State University was 
secured and located at Columbia, at that time one of the 
most progressive towns of the State. Our father, even 
at that early day, in connection with Edward Bates and 
other advanced men of the State, became deeply inter- 
ested in attempting a solution of the terrible problem of 
slavery, and some beneficient solution of the " Race Ques- 
tion" which might result in benefit to the white race as 
vrell as the reclamation and uplifting of the poor slave. 
A short time ago, I saw stated in a Columbia paper, that 
Captain Sinclair Kirtley was the first person who built 
an ice-house in Boone County. His interest in horticul- 
ture and such things prompted him to send to the nurser- 
ies in the East to get for his own orchards and gardens 
the superior fruit trees and fine shrubbery then unknown 
in the far West. I do not know whether they were 
brought all the way by coach from Rochester, New York, 
but well I remember as a child when the stage with its 
splendid team of six horses dashed up to our front door, 
and the curious package done up in burlap was taken 
from the boot and thrown at the door. Father, mother, all 
the darkies on the place, and the children gathered to 
learn what was the treasure which had come to us from 

After the opening of the University, the students be- 
gan to flock to the little town from all parts of the State. 
Father and mother became deeply interested in many of 

Page Four 

them, and they were frequently the especial guests of our 
home. At an early day, too, he organized a dramatic 
club for the University students, and he must have been 
their leader, manager and instructor, for even we, as 
children, can remember some rather pretentious perform- 
ances given by this company in the crude town hall. 
" Guy Mannering " must have been one of the plays, for 
well I remember our father very splendidly dressed in a 
gorgeous costume of a Scottish chief, taking the part of 
Rob Roy on the stage. The costume he wore on this 
occasion was an expensive one, and doubtless correct in 
every detail. The kilt of Rob Roy plaid, with hat to 
match, a cock's plume fastened with a brilliant jewel in 
front, as was also the graceful scarf fastened on the 
shoulder, the plaid stockings, buckled shoes, and of 
course, the Scottish sword, completed the costume. I am 
sure my sister Mary will give her testimony as to the 
correctness of these details, for all of this beautiful cos- 
tume was carefully kept in a great chest in our garret 
which was the depository of my mother's wedding dress, 
the blue silk gown she wore to her first ball as a bride, 
the blue prunella shoes worn with it, the high-backed 
shell combs worn at the time, and many other treasures 
carefully kept until they were all destroyed by one of 
the vandal fires of the Civil War, which occurred in Lex- 
ington, Missouri. In after years, in speaking of our 
father's deep interest in the University, both our mother 

Page Five 

and grandmother gave us the impression that it was his 
wish to give the students, who had so few opportunities 
in those days, some knowledge of and love for the litera- 
ture which was so dear to his own heart. Athletics had 
not then become the fashion. 

Captain Kirtley, though gentle as a woman, was 
bold as a lion, and his moral courage was above fear or 
favor. To illustrate these traits, I will tell a story of a 
tragedy with which he became connected. This history, 
told in the family, as we children grew older, made us 
think that he was a hero, as indeed he truly was. Cap- 
tain Kirtley espoused the cause of a young negro who 
was accused of the murder of his master in Callaway 
County, Missouri. Our father, doubtless, was at Fulton 
at the time, attending court. The murder of the man had 
been a brutal one, and though he was wealthy and promi- 
nent it was well kno\\Ti that he was a harsh and cruel 
master, and it was at once surmised that he had been 
killed by some of his own slaves. Mr. Beesley owned a 
place not far from the town of Fulton, and on the day of 
the murder he had gone into town expecting to return 
that day, but as the night waned he was still absent. His 
servants, having prepared his supper, were looking for 
him anxiously. When his fine riding horse appeared at 
the barn riderless, this alarmed the faithful servants. The 
horse was stabled and an anxious search made, but the 
body was not found until next morning. All of the serv- 

Page Six 

ants were supposed to have been at home at the time of 
the murder, except the master's young body servant, 
Archie, who had permission and his master's " pass " to 
go that Saturday night tO' visit his sweetheart, a young 
negro girl Hving on a neighboring farm, some miles 
away. As it was Archie's Saturday night out, he had 
been ready early and left home as soon as he dared. This 
was indeed a fatal holiday for the poor boy. Mr. Beesley 
lived on his place alone with his negroes, his wife having 
been dead some time, so the poor negroes had no intelli- 
gent white person to guide them, and they did not find 
the master's body until next morning. Captain Kirtley 
knew Mr. Beesley well, having often been a guest at his 
house in his journeys from Columbia to Fulton, and he, 
with the whole community, became deeply interested in 
this startling murder. The night of the tragedy, after 
the return of the riderless horse, all of the servants were 
found to be at home except Archie, and he was at once 
accused of the crime and arrested. My father, in visit- 
ing Mr. Beesley, had frequently met the boy, noticed him 
as a bright, willing, good-natured lad about the house, 
and from this knowledge became convinced that he never 
could have planned or executed such a murder. He in- 
vestigated the case, visited the poor boy in jail and, con- 
vinced of his innocence, at once offered his services to 
defend him. 

The whole of Callaway County was inflamed, for the 

Page Seven 

murder was a most brutal one, evidently committed by 
negroes, and this always excited the whites. When 
found, Mr. Beesley's body had been partly concealed un- 
der a large log near the roadside, the axe with which his 
skull had been crushed was found near the body, and 
this was identified as belonging to the Beesley wood-pile. 
The circumstances for poor Archie were indeed most un- 
fortunate. Archie, with a song upon his lips and a care- 
free, happy heart, rode away that night to end his life 
upon the gallows. When it was learned that Captain 
Kirtley had offered his services to defend this negro, the 
people of the county became incensed, and he was, openly 
and by anonymous letters, threatened with assassination, 
and Judge Todd, who was his warm friend, urged him to 
give it up. But his investigations satisfied him that the 
boy was innocent. Captain Kirtley had learned from 
the negroes on the farm where Archie had spent the even- 
ing, that the boy must have been there when the murder 
was committed, but at that time the testimony of a slave 
was not admitted in any court in the South, and the only 
bit of testimony my father could produce before that hos- 
tile jury was that of a white man, who upon the fatal 
night was riding home and at the same hour when Archie 
was on his way home, heard the poor doomed lad smgmg 
at the top of his beautiful voice his favorite song, and as 
Archie was well known in the neighborhood as a fine 
singer, he identified the boy, whom he knew by his voice. 

Page Eight 

This was but a slight thread of circumstantial evidence 
ignored by the jury, and so this helpless, innocent boy 
was condemned, and in a month's time suffered death on 
the gallows in Callaway County. 

Judge Todd, who was on the bench and heard my 
father's defense, afterw^ards told my mother and grand- 
mother that Captain Kirtley was the most dauntless ad- 
vocate and the bravest man he had ever known. During 
the trial, there was no way by which my mother could 
hear from Fulton, which was a town about fifty miles 
from Columbia, and knovvdng that her husband's life had 
been threatened, she spent the days in an agony of ap- 
prehension until his return home, to tell the heart-break- 
ing story of his defeat. In his speech, he boldly up- 
braided the men of Callaway County for their intemperate 
and unjust hatred of the negro, and warned them that 
they would live to see the day when in bitterness of 
heart they would condemn themselves. The sequel of 
the story proved that he spoke the truth. After poor, 
innocent Archie was hung, the negroes on Mr. Beesley's 
place talked constantly about the event, and two of the 
older negroes, Jake and his wife, confessed the crime. 
They had often been cruelly treated by their master, and 
together planned the murder. But they were poor, down- 
trodden, superstitious creatures, and the visions they 
saw, and the dreams they dreamed, would not let them 
rest, and finally they confessed the crime and were tried 

Pasre Nine 

and hung. My father was afterwards told that the men 
of Callaway County were conspicuous by their absence 
upon this occasion, and he knew that some of these men, 
who at one time had been his friends, avoided meeting 
him, showing that in their hearts they felt the bittei 
shame he had predicted for them. I am closing this 
sketch of our father's life with this story, though many 
other incidents of his early life in Missouri might be of 
interest to his descendants; but it illustrates, I think, a 
characteristic which was conspicuous in his character, 
which was to face his duty and do it, regardless of conse- 

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Page Ten 





My dear and honored father's character has been 
well and truthfully drawn by my sister, Eliza Kirtley 
Royle, but all has not been said which will show to his 
descendants the unusually perfect and rounded character 
of this man, who was revered and loved by every one — 
old and young alike — who knew him. Until my brother 
Edwin was eleven years of age, our father and mother 
had not been members of any church. After a revival in 
the Presbyterian church, they united with that church, he 
being elected an elder a few weeks afterward, a position 
he held in the church, wherever he lived, until the time of 
his death. In our home prayers were said each morning, 
when every member of the household was present. Not 
many Bible verses were read, but every obscure passage 
was simply explained, my father often asking the serv- 
ants if they fully understood the passage. If they said 
" not," then it was more fully simplified. A hymn was 
sung, our mother's sweet voice leading; the servants' 
tuneful voices mingling with those of the family, as the 
words were lined out. My father's prayers were never 

Page Eleven 

long, but Tm sure that every member of the little band 
gathered around that family altar, from the dear grand- 
mother down, felt the sincerity of his petitions, and that 
God Tx'Qs very near. Who can measure the blessed mtlu- 
ences that flowed out from these simple daily services ? 

I remember w^ell, directly after prayers, one summer 
morning, that we children were gathered about my 
mother, when father said, " Children, your mother and I 
have dedicated our lives to God's service. Now we want 
to dedicate our dear children to His service by baptism. 
Are you older ones willing that we should do this? If 
you are not, then we will have only Rebecca and Fanny 
baptized." Of course we older ones gladly consented, 
as we did to everything they thought right, and on the 
next Sunday morning — Fanny in our mother's arms, the 
rest of us standing — we were sprinkled with the water 
of baptism by the old minister, Mr. Jones. I wish to 
state here, that my father's parents, being of direct Eng- 
lish descent, were Episcopalians, but at that time there 
was no Episcopal church in Missouri outside of St. Louis, 
and I have heard my father say, that he believed that 
the doctrines and form of church government in the Pres- 
byterian church more nearly conformed to the early 
Christian church than any other. 

My father's becoming a member of the church did not 
change his attitude of mind toward innocent amusements. 
Dancing was the amusement mostly indulged in by al* 

Page Twelve 

most every one, and a dancing master gave lessons to the 
young people every winter, we children being pupils as a 
matter of course. Our house seemed to have been the 
rendezvous for all the numerous children in our neigh- 
borhood, and often, late in the afternoon, or at twilight, 
when they must soon go home, my father would get his 
flute, and calling them together, play for them to dance 
on our large back porch, every child there being as much 
at home with him as were his own children. 

To my father, more than to any other man or influ- 
ence, is due the fact that the State University of Missouri 
was established at Columbia. While deeply interested in 
everything appertaining to all public affairs of his town 
and county, yet he had never been in politics, or offered 
himself for nomination for any public office. But, when 
the site of the State University was spoken of his friends 
urged him to rim for the Legislature, saying that they 
knew of no man who could so influence its members, in 
favor of Columbia, as could he. Consenting, he was 
nominated and, though a whig, and the town and county 
democratic, he was elected, eighteen votes only being cast 
against him. The Legislature did not, during that term, 
decide the site of the University, so father again ran for 
the Legislature, and was again elected, not one vote being 
cast against him, as often my grandmother declared. The 
members of the Legislature, appointed for the purpose, 
came to Columbia, were handsomely entertained, and, as 

Page Thirteen 

every one said, through father's influence, gave the peo- 
ple of Columbia what they so much desired. Gen'l Bela 
Hughes, who served in the Legislature with our father^ 
said to my mother, '' I never loved any man as I loved 
that man," pointing to his picture. *' When in the Legis- 
lature with him, and opposing factions were hurling their 
strongest and hardest words at each other, when Sinclair 
Kirtley got upon the floor, instantly his words fell upon 
the excited members as oil upon the waters, and soon all 
was calm again." A sketch of his life and services is 
among the archives of the University. 

My father practised in the courts of many of the 
towns of upper Missouri, going to them always on horse- 
back, usually accompanied by the Supreme Judge of the 
State and a life-long friend. Judge David Todd. Four 
horses were always kept in his stable, and many were the 
delightful rides those of us children who were old 
enough enjoyed with him, early summer mornings being 
the favorite times. Never were children reared under 
happier auspices, or in a sweeter home; the house not 
large, but set in the large grounds of two whole blocks of 
the town. Here was an ice-house, spacious stables, corn- 
crib, etc., all a little way from the house, while on a little 
farm of forty acres, a mile from town, were grown all 
the foods for the animals, horses and cows. Here also 
were hickory and walnut trees, and hazel bushes, which 
furnished us with barrels of nuts for winter. The large 

Page Fourteen 

yard, with its fruit as well as shade trees, and fine well, 
made the delightful play-ground for the children. Over 
the walls of the house were honeysuckles and climbing 
roses, and I cannot, to this day, inhale the fragrance of 
either, that the picture of our sweet home does not, in 
imagination, instantly appear before me. 

My father's recreation was in his garden and or- 
chard, and his family have always felt that a sad mistake 
was made, when he was persuaded by his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Edwin Ryland, of Lexington, Mo., to enter into a 
law partnership with him, and move to St. Louis. The 
life being so different, he sadly missed his horses, his 
fruit-culture and flowers, and, not least, the dear, life- 
long friends of his early married life in Columbia. It 
was not many years before his health suffered from the 
close confinement to business, and he was advised by his 
physician to seek California's genial climate. His letters, 
which follow in this, will tell of his hard trip to reach 
there, and his delight with California and its future possi- 
bilities. His aim was as soon as possible to provide a 
rural home for his beloved family in Sacramento, where 
very soon he hoped to find his old-time recreation among 
fruits and flowers, and cultivate a garden even more 
bounteous in its yield than the old, beloved one of 

Alas for human hopes! He died of paralysis, after 
only three days' illness, a few days after writing his last 

Page Fifteen 

hopeful letter, April 27th, 1853. He was buried in Sac- 
ramento with Masonic honors, he having been Grand 
Master of the State of Missouri. Although he had been 
away from St. Louis over a year, as soon as the news of 
his death reached the city, a meeting of the St. Louis Bar 
was held, and most touching and eloquent addresses were 
made by the most eminent lawyers of the city, in testi- 
mony of his worth and beautiful character. These will 
be printed in this little book, to show to his descendants 
in what regard he was held by the public, as well as by 
his own family. 

m\s\ ra t^ 

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Page Sixteen 




At a meeting held by the members of the St. Louis 
Bar, on the 8th day of June, 1853, to take some action in 
relation to the death of Sinclair Kirtley, Esq., late a mem- 
ber of the St. Louis Bar, on motion of Mr. Willis L. Wil- 
liams, Edward Bates, Esq., was called tO' the chair and 
John R. Shepley was appointed secretary. On taking the 
chair Mr. Bates alluded to the melancholy occasion which 
called the Bar together, and the high character and emi- 
nent worth of the deceased. 

Samuel Glover, Esq., then offered the following re^ 
solutions, which were unanimously adopted : 

*' Resolved, That this meeting has learned with the 
deepest regret and sorrow of the sudden death of Sinclair 
Kirtley, Esq., late a member of the St. Louis Bar, about 
the 27th of April last, at his residence in the city of Sacra- 
mento', California. 

'* Resolved, That this meeting deem it a solemn duty, 
which they not only owe to the deceased, but to them- 
selves and the public, to record their high appreciation of 
the noble character of their late departed brother. 

Page Seventeen 

" Resolved, That years of professional intercourse 
with him only served to fix in our minds and hearts more 
and more deeply the impression of his many sterling 
qualities and manly virtues. No one, in our judgment, 
ever lived with purer motives; more resolutely met the 
trials of this life, or more faithfully assumed the respon- 
sibility depending on the discharge of its duties. Our 
lamented brother united the rare endowments of gentle- 
ness without weakness and firmness without severity, 
which, to these again in a very eminent degree, he added 
the crowning graces of a most devout and active Chris- 
tian piety. In all the relations of life, whether as an of- 
ficer of the law, or as a citizen, in the capacity of friend, 
husband or father, he has left a character that may be 
praised without adulation, and which but few could study 
without advantage. 

" Resolved, That this meeting do deeply and ten- 
derly sympathize with his bereaved and disconsolate 

" Resolved, That the president of this meeting is 
hereby requested to transmit to the family of the deceased 
a letter, expressive of the sincere condolence and grief of 
the meeting for their irreparable loss, accompanied with 
a copy of these proceedings." 

On motion, it was resolved that the proceedings be 
presented to the several courts, etc. 

The remarks at this meeting of Messrs. Glover, Wil- 

Page Eighteen 

Hams and Coulter, were beautiful tributes to the memory, 
and leave a very high impression of the exalted worth of 
the deceased. We make the following extract from the 
speech of Mr. Glover. It is the eloquent portrayal of a 
character which is deserving of honor in any station : 

" I remember well the occasion of my first acquaint- 
ance with the deceased. It was in Paris, Mo., in the 
spring of 1838. We met there as lawyers, practising in 
Judge McBride's circuit. The opinion then formed of 
him in an intercourse of two weeks, during which time he 
was constantly engaged in important professional labors, 
remained unchanged till the hour of his death. Then was 
commenced a friendship most intimate and confidential; 
never interrupted; never temporarily ruffled during the 
fifteen years that have ensued. Previously to the period 
mentioned, we had not resided nearer each other than the 
distance between Palmyra and Columbia. But let no 
one suppose the mere intercourse of the bar is insufficient 
to enable us to form an accurate notion of the value of a 
character. Sir, the man, who in the course of fifteen 
years' practice of the law, never availed himself of the 
opportunity which absence or other cause thre^v in his 
way to take some deep advantage of a brother lawyer; 
the man who never found it convenient to forget an 
agreement which he had fairly entered into touching the 
trial of the cause ; the man who never could be induced on 
any pretence to violate an agreement which he had ad- 

Page Nineteen 

mitted he had made, might be safely trusted in any other 
capacity. Integrity of character either exists, or it does 
not. If the virtue is in him, it fills the entire space, 
spreads from centre to circumference, and illuminates 
every nook and corner of the most secret recesses of the 
heart. It is like yonder sun, whose beams shine every- 
where. * * * 

" It follows from what has been said, that Sinclair 
Kirtley never could consent to make the practice of the 
law an engine of oppression in his hands. To that whole 
class of practice, therefore, by which the rules of courts 
and the rules of law — all of them intended for the pur- 
poses of justice — are sometimes seized upon and per- 
verted to iniquitous ends, our lamented brother was a 
total stranger. Such was the force of his opinions on 
this subject, that had he caught a brother lawyer 'on the 
hip' and taken against his client a judgment by default 
upon an unjust demand, and had he failed upon a proper 
suggestion of the facts to submit the matter to arbitration 
of fair litigation, he would have regarded himself as per- 
sonally degraded. Sir, he could not have rested on his 
pillow through the night, without feeling the burden of 
such practice weigh heavy on his conscience. The code 
of ethics which Mr. Kirtley always inculcated, and by 
which his own conduct was governed through life, never 
permitted him as an attorney and counsellor at law, or 
solicitor in chancery, to do, or omit to do, in his profes- 

Page Twenty 

sional capacity anything which, in his own judgment, 
would have dishonored him as a gentleman. To his 
mind injustice was the same, whether standing out in all 
its naked deformity, or clothed in the habiliments and 
forms of the law." 

The following are some of the interesting portions of 
the remarks of Mr. Williams: 

" It was at the revising session of 1844 and '45, when 
Mr. Kirtley was one of the representatives of Boone 
County, that it was my good fortune to make his personal 
acquaintance. I say 'good fortune,' sir, for such I have 
always considered it. Before I saw him, his character of 
head and heart had been made known to me by those who 
had long been on terms of familiar acquaintance with 
him : among others the present distinguished presiding 
judge of our Supreme Court, who had been his friend for 
many years. And you, sir (Judge Edward Bates), had 
said, * Get acquainted with that sterling man, Kirtley.' 
After five months of constant daily intercourse, under 
circumstances of deep interest and frequently of trial and 
difficulty, sitting near him in the house, watching his 
assiduous labors as Chairman of the Judiciary and Revis- 
ing Committees ; boarding at the same table with him all 
the while ; communing with him in sickness and in health ; 
hearing his voice in sweetest social intercourse, whilst 
absent from his home and in the bosom of his own dear 
family, and many times in prayer and praise to God; I 

Page Twenty-one 

am ready to proclaim here and everywhere that I have 
never known a better man than Sinclair Kirtley. i am 
not disposed to indulge in fulsome eulogy, but I would, 
in the presence of my professional brethren here assem- 
bled, many of whom know not the subject of my dis- 
course, utter none but words of truth and soberness; not 
only with a view and in hopes of rendering some faint 
tribute, in this public manner, to the blessed memory of 
Mr. Kirtley, but with an earnest desire also to induce 
those who live after him, to imitate and practise his vir- 
tues; and, if I knew his foibles — which / do not — they 
should be stated that we might avoid them. 

" He was, in the upper counties of Missouri, a prom- 
inent member of our ancient and learned profession for a 
great many years, and well did he sustain himself in his 
conflicts with the best minds with which he came in con- 
tact. Seldom ornate, never perhaps brilliant, he was al- 
w^ays clear, comprehensive and sensible. He would not 
have been generally called a man of genius, but he was a 
man of talents and of sound learning and judgment. But 
his greatest and most charming trait was his goodness! 
A warmer or purer heart than his never palpitated in 
any man's bosom. 

" In the vigor of manhood, after mature deliberation 
and the exercise of a good judgment, he attached himself 
to a Christian church, of which he continued a valuable, 
zealous, and most consistent member to the hour of his 

Page Twenty-two 

departure for another, and, we believe, a better world. 
During his residence here he was chosen to the office of 
an elder of the Central Church (Presbyterian), the varied 
and often delicate duties of which he performed to the 
entire satisfaction of that numerous congregation, all of 
whom, who expect to reach Heaven, rejoice now in the 
glorious hope of seeing there the friendly, benign and 
joyous face of this humble follower of Jesus. Sir, Sin- 
clair Kirtley is, and has been for years, a most familiar 
name in Missouri, and especially so among those who call 
themselves Christians, and it does my soul good to be- 
lieve that he is this day in Paradise. I knew him inti- 
mately — I have been with him in all the varied relations 
of life — as a statesman, member of the church, lawyer, 
father, friend; in none of them did I ever know him to 
forget his dignity and profession — never did I hear or 
know of his committing an act, or uttering an expression 
that would create a doubt of his honesty and sincerity. 

"After he came to this city, although but little past 
the prime of life, it was observed that his health was fail- 
ing. Doubtless, the mysterious disease, which partially 
prostrated him before he left us, with the hope of eradi- 
cating which he went away, and by which he was at 
length destroyed, was even then beginning to prey upon 
his vitals. It is not more than a year since we bade him 
farewell, wishing him a long, prosperous and happy life 
amid the golden sands of the Pacific. We did hope that 

Paere Twenty-three 

the climate he sought might restore his health, and that 
he might welcome to that distant clime the loved ones 
of his home, to rejoice with them through many long 
years. But such w^as not the will of Him 'w^ho doeth all 
things well.' No doubt his life proved a happy one, for 
he was happy everywhere. It was hardly possible for so 
good a man to be otherwise than happy. In the month 
of April last, I had the pleasure of seeing in this city, his 
excellent, devoted wife and his beautiful and accom- 
plished daughter, who were full of hope and buoyant 
with joy at the prospect of meeting their husband and 
parent the coming autumn, when they expected to go to 
him in California. They had a good report of his success 
in business, and most cheering accounts of his improving 
health. How little did they expect that the next news 
from that distant State would be that he had passed 
away ! " 

General Coulter paid a feeling tribute to the beauti- 
ful virtues which adorned the character of Sinclair Kirt- 
ley, closing as follows : " How sudden the shock, to be 
told that he is cut off by death ! And if the shock is great 
to us, his friends, how much greater to the near and dear 
relatives left behind. Theirs must be no ordinary sorrow. 
I, too, have the pleasure of knowing some of them, and 
never have I known the absent spoken of with more 
heartfelt affection, or his necessary separation from them 
more deeply regretted. Such devotion could not be be* 

Page Twenty-four 

stowed upon an ordinary man. They, too, were buoyant 
with hope of a speedy reunion, and saw no difficulties or 
dangers in the journey to CaHfornia, if the husband and 
the father were to be met at the end of it. But this is 
sacred ground, for impious is the hand that Hfts the veil 
that conceals private grief from the public eye. I allude 
to it merely to say, that, after all, a man's highest eulogy 
is the devoted love of such a family, and his best requiem 
their sincere, earnest, abiding sorrow for his loss. We 
esteem it a privilege to be permitted to mingle our sorrow 
with theirs." 


" Captain Kirtley was a citizen of this place for 
many years, and the unexpected intelligence of his sudden 
death, far away from his family and early friends, deeply 
moves all who knew him. 

" As a lawyer, citizen, legislator, husband, father, 
Christian, none shone more brightly. Indeed, in all those 
sterling and priceless qualities which endear a man to his 
family and acquaintances, and render sweet his memory, 
Captain Kirtley was distinguished. 

" In view of a dispensation so peculiarly afflicting to 
his wife and children, we beg to offer our condolence and 

Page Twenty-five 

sympathy; to mingle our tears with theirs over the death 
of one bound to them by the endearing ties of husband 
and father, and to us by the bonds of sincere friendship. 
Peace to his ashes — respect to his memory!" 


assembled at the Court House on Thursday, April 28th, 
to testify their respects to the memory of their deceased 
associate, Sinclair Kirtley: 

" Whereas, the painful tidings of the death of Capt. 
Sinclair Kirtley have just been announced to the citizens 
of Sacramento, and 

" Whereas, in the death of their associate, a man no 
less distinguished for his public ability than his private 
virtues, the members of this Bar deeply realize the loss 
which this community and the legal profession have sus- 
tained; therefore, in honor of his memory be it 

*' Resolved, That we will attend the funeral of the 
deceased, and wear the usual badge of mourning for 
thirty days. 

" Resolved, That in his decease the legal profession 
has been deprived of one of its brightest ornaments, and 
society of one of its most useful members." 

And other resolutions. 

Page Twenty-six 






April 13th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

I with six others have taken passage on the brig 
John Williams, to Vera Cruz. * * * My heaUh con- 
tinues to improve slowly, the weather has been most de- 
lightful, and but for my eager anxiety to get on, and the 
absence of my family, I should have spent a delightful 
time in this interesting city. (Then he speaks of meeting 
a number of St. Louis friends in Dr. Scott's church.) 
* * * I regret exceedingly that I did not ask you to 
write to me here, on your arrival in Columbia. Tell my 
dear Rebecca and Fanny I think of them ver}- often, both 
sleeping and awake. I knew not how much I would miss 
them' until absence made me feel it. I charge them both 
that they will be very dutiful and good children to their 
mother until I am permitted to meet them again, should 
a gracious Providence so in His mercy order it. (After 
kind messages to friends, he continues). Give my filial 

Page Twenty-seven 

love and duty to mother, a father's kiss and love to our 
dear children, and receive for yourself, my dear wife, the 
sincerest love and most earnest prayers of one who for 
many years has anxiously, though not very successfully, 
toiled for you and them, in a manner he never would 
have done for himself. And may the great and gracious 
Giver of all good watch over, take care of and abund- 
antly bless you all, is the sincere prayer of yours, ever 

New Orleans, April 14th, 1852. 
My Dear Daughters: 

To my own astonishment, I am yet here, but shall 
be off at the farthest by to-morrow or the next day. I 
had a tedious, but otherwise pleasant trip to this city. 
* * * The vessel on which I have taken my passage 
is the brig John Williams, Captain Goodspeed, both great 
favorites with the shipping and travelling public, and I 
hope that the residue of my journey may be as favorable 
and pleasant as it has been thus far. * * * I have had 
much to interest me, and my health, I am sure, is de- 
cidedly improved. There are seven of us who have taken 

Page Twenty-eight 

passage on the Williams going to California, and by the 
same route. As far as I have seen of them, I think it 
will be quite a pleasant company. The change of season 
and of scenery, with the many interesting points of view 
on my passage down, was indeed interesting, but, unfor- 
tunately, we had not a passenger, of the few on board, 
who had heart enough to sympathize with me in such 

Since my arrival here I have occupied much of my 
time in visiting the fine churches, and have been to several 
fine hotels, greatly superior to anything in St. Louis. 
But I think the burying grounds are the most remarkable 
curiosities to strangers, in this strange city. I have also 
visited Lake Pontchartrain, by steam cars and on horse- 
back, by the new and beautiful shell road. But, enough of 
this : I should exhaust my letter in enumerating the ways 
by which I have been trying to kill time in my unwilling 
and long delay here, without giving you any satisfactory 
description of these various curiosities. * * * (He 
then speaks of meeting and visiting several old friends, 
living in New Orleans). 

I find walking on these dead-level streets tires my 
feet, and when tired, I return to my boarding place and 
enjoy the comfort of resting in my beautiful slippers, 
Mary's acceptable present and work. * * * And now, 
my dear children, before closing, I have a few sugges- 
tions to make, about which I am deeply anxious. Culti- 

Page Twenty-nine 

vate a constant and filial intercourse (for such is your 
privilege, if your hearts are right before Him) with your 
merciful Creator. Enjoy rationally His blessings, but 
enjoy them in reference to His word and will. And 
though the ordinary disappointments incident to human- 
ity may come, all shall, in the end, work together for 
good. Be very prudent and careful with your health. 
Let nothing induce you unnecessarily to expose it, and 
without forgetting this, make the best use of your very 
precious time, in the excellent school you now enjoy. 
Give my warmest good wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Withers 
(Mary and Eliza were staying with them, in St. Louis, 
to finish their term at school, after which they joined their 
mother in Columbia), and receive for yourselves the 
prayers and love of your anxious father, 

Sinclair Kirtley. 

Vera Cruz, April 29th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

After a stormy and tedious passage, we anchored 
in this port at 10 o'clock last night. We were visited by 
a number of officers this morning, who took a minute 
account of our baggage, and permitted us to land in this 
strange city this morning, whence we took the national 
diligence in an hour. Our passage from New Orleans 
has been stormy and tedious, but, by the protection of a 

Page Thirty 

merciful Providence, safe. On the morning after get- 
ting into the Gulf, we discovered we had sprung aleak 
and had four feet of water in the hold. The captain 
thought that, unless the leak could be found, we must sink 
in an hour. I thank God in that critical hour I still felt 
strong in His mercy. We threw out 33 bales of cotton 
and considerable amount of lumber, found the leak, and 
in a short time felt that the danger was past. Then a 
northerly wind sprung up, that drove us far south, during 
which time we were, by stress of weather, in much dan- 
ger, but were again mercifully protected and brought mto 
this port, so that I can safely say that my entire trust in 
the goodness and mercy of a kind Providence was never 
more vivid and firm than at this moment. 

I cannot, starting as I do in an hour, give you any 
description of this very strange city, but will endeavor to 
do so from Mexico. My health is greatly improved, and 
I feel strong in the hope that I may yet enjoy much of 
health and life, to struggle for my wife and dear children. 
Be of good cheer. Be faithful to Him, who is our faith 
and hope. * * * That God will enable me to resume 
the future care and protection of those for whom alone 
life is dear to me, is my constant prayer. Love to mother 
and our dear children, and believe me ever affectionately, 

S1NCI.AIR Kirti.e:y. 

Page Thirty-one 

City of Mexico, May 4th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

Our party of seven reached this ancient city by the 
dihgence from Vera Cruz, yesterday. All pretty well, 
but very weary and sleepy, from the travel, without being 
robbed, or in anywise frightened. At the taking of our 
passage, we were required to pay the magnificent govern- 
ment of Mexico fifty cents each, for a guard to protect us 
from the robbers that infest the road. They consist of 
three rattling, dashing, suspicious, tawny-looking Mex- 
ican soldiers, mounted on wiry, prancing, spirited mus- 
tangs, and armed with short carbines and a rattling 
sword and lance. They looked like they would dash off 
for the safety of their own precious selves at the first ap- 
pearance of a guerilla. * * * 

The road from Vera Cruz to this city is, for its 
length, one of the finest in the world, with bridges across 
all creeks and rivers and ravines, and with scenery un- 
equalled, perhaps, in any country. The wild and mag- 
nificent mountain scenery, with the frequent snow-capped 
peaks, inviting you, by their apparent nearness, and the 
warm, dry plain, travelling through which, amid dust and 
thirst, to canter up their sides for the apparently easy 
means of procuring the cold, refreshing draught, that 
seems now priceless, because inaccessible; for these 
snow-capped and dazzling mountain heights, apparently 
so near, seem to change little in their relative distance 

Page Thirty-two 

during a whole day's travel. * * * (He describes the 
Spanish towns en route, which were taken by our 
American soldiery during the Mexican war, and adds) : 

They serve to give this country a peculiar charac- 
ter unlike, perhaps, aught else in the world. Surely Prov- 
idence has been most bountiful and lavish in His favors 
to this people, who have been equally thoughtless and 
reckless of these blessings, until there would appear to be 
no hope of their recovery, but by their entire conquest by 
a more enterprising people. * * * Their public works 
are surpassingly great. Their cathedrals and churches 
possess incalculable wealth and splendor. The Alamador 
of 12 acres, beautifully ornamented with many fountains, 
flowers, varied and beautiful walks, carriage drives, and 
places for recreation and refreshment for all ages and 
classes, is beyond any powers of description I possess. 
Here every evening * * * are to be seen the fashion, 
the wealth, and squalid poverty, of the people. But these 
descriptions give you little idea of the scenes themselves. 

We found Mr. Letcher, our minister, a)l that was 
courteous, attentive and kind, gave us all needful advice 
and letters, to help us on our way. We leave at one 
o'clock to-day, 5th of May, for Acapulco, which we 
should reach in nine or ten days. Our party has increased 
to a round dozen — quite as many as we desire. My ex- 
penses have been, and probably will be, about what I 
calculated. And now, my dearest wife, I must commend 

Page Thirty-three 

you and all I hold dearest in life, to the protection and 
goodness of Him who has presented and watched over 
me amid dangers that might have appalled the bravest. 
* * * Believe me ever trnly and fondly your own, 


AcAPULCO, May 17th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

Our company arrived in this city, night before last, 
without any serious accident, all in pretty good health, 
but miserably dirty, sun-browned and ragged. * * * 
For myself, I was so much more comfortable on terra 
iirma than on the mountain wave, that I was all the way 
from Mexico ready to sing, *' But a chosen band in a 
mountain land and a life in the woods for me." We are 
looking for a steamer for San FranciscO' this evening, and 
two others in a few days, but I shall endeavor to be as 
little impatient as possible until one does arrive. There 
are a considerable number of Americans here, * * * 
We have seen nothing as yet of the great Pacific ocean, 
except this fine bay, which is completely land-locked, shut- 
ting out the view of the ocean by the high hills. The bay 
runs into the land, making one of the most capacious and 
finest harbors in the world. I can conceive nothing finer 
than the bathing it affords, with its long sloping sandy 
bottom and its clean and quiet places for dressing and 

Page Thirty-four 

undressing, all of which those of our company regularly 
enjoy every day, before sunrise and after sunset, leaving 
to the natives the more acceptable hours of the glorious 

A report has just been received, that a vessel has 
been telegraphed at the mouth of the bay, " No more pas- 
sengers taken." We trust we shall again be on our way 
by the time we are rested, our clothes washed, and ready 
for our further voyage. * * * I must say this is a coun- 
try of wonders, with a mixed population, with many 
good natural traits of character. * * * A delightful 
climate, and a land teeming with unexplored mineral 
wealth and undeveloped agricultural luxuries and plenty. 
* * * * In this city I have not yet seen a carriage, or 
anv wheeled vehicle. * * * I have heard much of the 
beautiful senoras of Mexico, but having seen thousands 
of every shade, from the brunette of Castilian blood to 
the copper-colored Indian, I have yet to see the first beau- 
tiful woman. If detained any time I may write again, 
or, if not from here, will write from Sacramento. Heaven 
guard and bless you all. Yours ever, 

Sinclair KirtIvEy. 

The letters written from May 17th to July loth have 
been lost. But I remember that my father's account of 
the voyage from Acapulco to San Francisco was one of 

Page Thirty-five 

hardship and terrible discomfort, so that he said that he 
could not bear to recall it. 

Sacramento,, July loth, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

* * * My health is, I think, steadily improving 
and I have great hopes, that with the blessing of Provi- 
dence, the influence of this fine climate and the necessary 
care and self-denial I am endeavoring to exercise, that I 
may regain my former strength and ability to labor for 
the support and advancement of my dear family. I have 
not fully determined on my permanent location, but shall 
do so in a few days, unless I meet with some inducement 
to change. I think I will remain here. 

My father was of a genial, social nature, and he was 
fortunate in finding that a number of old friends from 
Missouri had settled in and near to Sacramento, and life 
was made pleasanter for him by his renewed and friendly 
intercourse with them, all of which he writes about, in 
his letters home. 

Sacramento, August 28th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

I at last received your letter, written June 19th, 

Page Thirty-six 

after it had been on its way nearly two months. * * * 
Edwin has reached Carson City and is very well, and I 
am looking for his arrival here any hour. * * * Ed- 
win writes that he has had better health than he ever had 
in his life; that he had not seen half the hardships he 
expected, and that a trip across the plains is not as bad as 
most people make it out. * * * Dr. Ellis is very anx- 
ious to join me in procuring apple and peach seed this 
fall, from Missouri, by some friend coming to this coun- 
try, that we may at once commence the raising of fruit 
trees, which we may yet be spared years enough to enjoy 
with our families. Try and send us some this fall, if 
possible, in time to meet the November and December 
rains for sprouting and planting out. A few plum, dam- 
son and cherry seed would also be acceptable. By 
way of showing how things may successfully be 
brought out, as, for example, two bee-hives, with the bees 
in full health, were landed in San Francisco from the 
States, and when opened and the bees commenced flying 
about, the successful importer could have sold either of 
the stands to a hundred purchasers for a thousand dol- 
lars. * * * 

My dearest, it rejoices me to inform you that Ed- 
win has arrived, has grown considerably and looks heart- 
ier and better than I ever saw him. How grateful should 
we be to the gracious Giver of all our mercies ! Edwin, 
after resting a day or two, will go down to his Uncle 

Page Thirty-seven 

Cary^s, who is anxious for his arrival, where he will not 
only increase his knowledge of business, but be under the 
care of his uncle, who will watch over him with the same 
anxiety that I should. * * * I am gradually wearing 
out the effects of my St. Louis attack of threatened par- 
alysis. * * * I have said very little of my views of 
California, and now I am not disposed to venture a great 
deal on my judgment, for I find the wonders of the coun- 
try grow upon me so fast, and I seem to understand so 
little of the real characteristics of it, I am still disposed to 
defer my speculations a while longer. That the climate, 
soil and productiveness of the country in fruits, vege- 
tables and grains is greatly superior to anything I have 
ever known, is indisputable. It is also certain that the 
steady yield of gold will continue for many years. * * * 
Lewis and Gary are well and, I think, doing well. * * * 
My love and duty to mother. My daily prayers and most 
earnest petitions ascend to our ever-gracious Providence 
for every blessing for my dear wife and children. Ever 
affectionately and devotedly your fond husband, 


Sacramento, Sept. 24th, 1852. 
My Dear Child (Mary): 

The last mail from the States brought me your 
very acceptable letter, together with your mother's. 

Page Thirty-eight 

Yours was the first letter I have received from any of the 
family, except the regular and faithful letters of your 
dear mother. May you, my child, with your sister, be 
encouraged to follow and emulate her example in the dis- 
charge of every known duty. Tell Eliza, Rebecca and 
Fanny that I will work hard to find time enough to an- 
swer all the letters they will write to me. Tell them also 
that I shall prize the willing and voluntary letters of my 
children, as well for the pleasure they afford myself as 
also to encourage and improve a habit of letter writing, 
that w^ill be a great accomplishment and a most agreeable 
and valuable acquisition in all subsequent life. I was 
much gratified to receive an account of your pleasant trip 
to Glascow with my fair friend Miss Anna, and of the 
many enjoyments that awaited you in your return to 
your native town. (Then follows a long and interest- 
ing letter, upon other subjects.) 

October 23rd, 1852. 

Yours of September 5th reached me yesterday. 
* * * I have an objection to making large promises, 
as I have too little faith in myself to be sure I may not 
fall short in the performance, and long experience has 
taught me, that it is more wise to do a dozen good things 
unpromised, than to omit one I was pledged to perform. 

Pasre Thirty-nine 

My health is comparatively good, and if I can hold what 
I have got, with my present ability to attend to business, 
I shall continue to be pleased with California, and I trust 
I will be enabled to do very well. 

For myself, I do not expect to find a country I would 
prefer in any quarter of the globe. One of the most strik- 
ing differences in its favor, over any other country I ever 
saw, is that almost every man, aye, and the ladies, too — 
bless them — are estimated, as far as they can be found 
out, by their real merit, and not by their fine dress, pre- 
tended blood, or aristocratic airs. If, perchance, the trip 
to this country does not cure them, as it is apt to do, and 
a donkey appears here in a lion's skin, or a feminine jack- 
daw is putting on airs, because she is decked in the pea 
fowl's plumage, a well-bred calico or flannel-shirted 
miner or teamster will, if the occasion is offered, pluck 
the skin off the one, or expose the false feathers of the 
other, with the same sangfroid that he would spit a fat 
antelope or wild turkey for his dinner. I have seen, too, 
with approbation, on a number of occasions, a sincere 
lover of the Bible, in a plain, though clean mining or 
teaming dress, perhaps the best he had, walk into our best 
churches on the Sabbath, without being impertinently 
stared at, join in the services, apparently with an honest, 
manly consciousness that his worship would be as accept- 
able as the finest dressed gentleman or lady in the congre- 
gation. I am very conscious that many of my opinions 

Page Forty 

are thought antiquated, and were very unsuitable to the 
latitude of St. Louis. I imbibed them in early life from 
one of the best of men, a most indulgent father, and no 
change of scene or circumstances has ever shaken my 
estimate of their correctness or value. 

You submit the question, whether you had not bet- 
ter stay in Missouri until I see how I succeed. Prices are 
indeed very high, but I have only to bring my wants 
within my means and consult my purse, and those same 
early teachings that advised me to keep the old coat until 
I cotildpayfortheneuwne/mstesLdoi counselling with my 
pride, the evil vanishes at once, and I shall unquestionably 
succeed to every reasonable extent. The primitive sim- 
plicity of general society and the tendency to judge of 
men by themselves, and not by their tailors, enables me to 
do this without loss of my self-respect, or being com- 
pelled to give up any of my early and native love of social 
intercourse. Still, knowing that my own views should 
be influenced and modified by others connected with me, 
I am induced to adopt your suggestion that your emigra- 
tion had better be deferred until the further indications 
of time and Providence shall open the way more fully to 
the step. * * * Edwin is very well and, I believe, is 
well pleased. Gary and Lewis are well. Have seen none 
of them since Edwin went to San Francisco. We appear 
to be all workers, yielding the pleasures of travelling to 
those who have more means and a less sacred use for 

Page Forty-one 

them than preparing for the comfortable emigration of 
those we love better than our own self-indulgence. 

I have just met Mr. Kramer, who is teaching classes 
in music, and I am hoping he may continue here until 
your arrival, when he can complete Mary's and Rebecca's 
music, and, if desirable, either of the others that may de- 
termine to study music. Tell Fanny I have gotten a young, 
sprightly shepherd dog, of the Scottish breed, with one 
light blue and the other a dark hazel eye, and long, curly, 
silken hair; very fond of its master, and is learning to 
fetch and carry. Fanny must take an interest in him, 
when she arrives. Tell her also, with Eliza and Rebecca, 
that I am holding myself in readiness to answer their 
numerous letters — that is, when I shall get them. * * * 
Give my filial duty and love to mother — a father's warm- 
est affections to my dear daughters, and receive, my dear 
wife, the assurance of the unfailing confidence and fond 
regard of your far-distant husband. May our Heavenly 
Father, who has preserved us from manifold dangers and 
evils, still bless, guide and sustain you all, is the prayer of 
yours ever and devotedly, 

Sinclair Kirtley. 

Sacrami^nto, Sept. 14th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

Yours of July 3rd and Mary's of 20th received by 

Tase Forty-two 

last steamer. * * * You ask for my candid opinio; 
of this countr}^, as far as formed. Well, its climate is 
glorious, its soil is being clearly ascertained to be among 
the richest and most productive in the world, capable of 
producing the largest, abundant and constantly recurring 
crops of vegetables, grains and fruits, corn and fine apples 
excepted. Its mineral wealth is but skimmed. * * * 
There is another striking characteristic in this country, 
that perhaps, with my peculiar constitution, is its most 
winning attraction to me: that perfect independence that 
leaves every one to follow the dictates of his own con- 
science, the conclusions of his own judgment, being re- 
sponsible for their proper exercise to the laws, his Maker 
and himself, controlled only by that regard for the rea- 
sonable opinions of those whose good opinion makes up 
much of the happiness of a virtuous mind. On the re- 
verse of this picture is manifestly painted the great truth, 
that California exemplifies as strongly as any country 
ever did, that man, with his unchastened passions, will 
most abuse God's greatest blessings, by reckless living, 
extravagance and adventurous speculations. The want 
of servants will be seriously felt for some time. 

Churches and schools are springing up rapidly in 
every well-settled part of the country. Integrity and 
moral worth are beginning to be marked and appreciated 

Pagre Forty-three 

San Francisco, Dec. 15th, 1852. 
My Dear Wife: 

Mail closes to-day. Olir courts have been sitting 
since my last unconscionably long letter, and I have just 
risen at 10 o'clock in the morning to write to you a hasty 
letter. I have enclosed a draft on Page & Bacon for a 
hundred dollars. I have lost my memorandum of my 
claims left in Missouri, and I shall be less able to give 
you a clear account of them now than I have given you 
several times before. My unsettled interest in our St. 
Louis fees has no doubt realized and must realize a hand- 
some sum. It was impossible to make the estimate be- 
fore I left. Mr. Richardson (his partner) doubtless will 
account to you for every dollar as fast as collected. (A 
long account follows of various business matters). Your 
absent, but hopeful husband, 

Sinclair Kirtley. 

Sacramento, January 21st, 1853. 
My Dear Wife: 

The mail that arrived on the 21st brought me your 
letter of Nov. 29th, and many of the facts gave me very 
great satisfaction. I shall be delighted to get the daguer- 
reotypes from Col. Wood. I heard from Mr. Wallace of 
his having a package from you, for me, and wrote asking 
the Q)lonel if an opportunity offered to send it to me. 

Page Forty-four 

And this morning I have asked Dr. Ellis, who is going to 
Benicia, to take charge of the package, but not to look at 
it, until / get the first peep. Then I shall be ready to show 
with him for a handsome cup, before any competent 
tribunal in Christendom, provided the costimies and hair 
are in plain style, believing with Thompson that '' Beauty 
is, when ?r;zadorned, adorned the most." I have been 
much gratified with the pleasant trips you and the girls 
have been making and the pleasures you have enjoyed in 

The rainy season in this country is a time of con- 
siderable privation, the mud and water very deep and 
disagreeable. * * * Indeed, transportation and travel 
are carried on principally by the rivers. I have scarcely 
been out of Sacramento since the rains commenced. 
Lew^s and Gary have both rented out their farms, and 
what Lewis wall go at next I have not yet learned. Ed- 
win, with what he has been enabled to save from his 
salary, * * * has commenced business in the pro- 
vision and produce, in partnership with Mr. Hanstro, 
having an equal capital. He is said to be a very clever 
and business-like gentleman, and I greatly hope that they 
may do well. Edwin has succeeded in pleasing his uncle 
by his industry and steadiness, and I trust that the stimu- 
lus of trading for himself and establishing a character for 
integrity and personal worth will be a shield and protec- 
tion from the many temptations that beset the young men 

Page Forty-five 

of this country. Later : the rainy season seems to be 
passing off. We have had a few days of beautiful spring- 
Hke weather. Peach trees begin to bloom, flowers in 
bloom, early vegetables in market. Gardeners planting 
and sowing. How anxious and restless I feel to be at 
it, too. Oh! that m}^ dear family could be with me in 
this most primitive and delightful of all the emplo3rments 
of poor humanity ! My love to mother and the children. 
God bless and preserve you, my dearest, and give you all 
early to yours fondly, 


March 4th, 1853. 
My Dear Children: 

As this is the commencement of a new administra- 
tion, so I have concluded to begin it by turning a new 
leaf in my correspondence with you. * * * These 
epochs are very well improved by reviewing our past 
lives, and entering on fresh and renewed determinations 
to redouble our former efforts and to strive after new 
obedience. May our Heavenly Father bless these resolu- 
tions, to our mutual growth in every good word and 

The climate, the country, the city and the people 
seem all to be making a new start, to be springing into a 
new existence. Spring is fully here. Gardening, min- 

Paere Forty-six 

ing, farming, all off in steam-car speed, and life, spirits 
and energy are bounding forward as though there was no 
such word as " fail " in the headlong, break-neck speed 
after the almighty dollar. I, too, am feeling something 
of the impulse, for your dear sakes, and but little for my 
own. Not to enable you tO' live lives of ease and pleasure 
— falsely so-called — but that you be useful and respect- 
able members of society, and be above the vexations and 
mercenary wants of this unsatisfying and selfish world, 
and that you may be better enabled to fulfill the varied 
and important duties, for which a kind Providence grants 
His blessings to His children. Study to keep down selfish 
passions, be industrious to acquire all that will be useful 
on the new theatre where you will probably be destined to 
play your parts in life — that you may be ornaments in 
society and the pride, help and support of your dear 
mother, whose whole heart is bound up in your success 
and happiness in life. 

Obey and comfort your aged grandmother, and en- 
deavor to supply to her the place of her absent sons, and 
in some sort repay her toil, anxiety and sacrifices for your 
parents and yourselves. I still wish you to study the 
Spanish language, and we will compare our progress 
when we meet. In this country it will be of great service 
to you in after life, and will, at all events., be a useful 
study and an elegant accomplishment. I am endeavoring 
and expect, in a few days, a home for us, just out of the 

Pagre Forty-seven 

city, in our beautiful plain, near the banks of the Amer- 
ican River, but out of the reach of its overflow, where 
we shall be able, with the blessing of Providence, to raise 
fruits and flowers, vegetables, vines and shrubs, in an 
abundance. It will go hard but I will have a place for 
Fanny's hens and Willie^ too (the bird), and mother's 
cow and father's horse, that will make usi all happy yet, 
if we can be happy with a reasonable share of our 
Father's blessings. You will, I doubt not, have had my 
friend, Mr. Wallace, with you before you receive this. I 
am sure you will like him, for he is a man after my own 
heart. * * * Your affectionate father, 

Sinclair KirtlEy. 

Sacramento, March 15, 1853. 
My Dear Daughter (Mary) : 

The last mail brought me your very anxiously look- 
ed-for letter. The same mail brought also your mother's 
two, of January 4th and loth. Yours I received two 
days the sooner, as, from the great number of letters this 
mail brought, the postmaster and assistants were three 
or four days distributing them. They, indeed, were most 
welcome, for I was becoming restless and apprehensive. 
* * * I believe that I stand at the head of the favored 
among all my acquaintances in this respect, namely, of 
getting letters. * * * j received a letter from Edwin 

Page Forty-eight 

yesterday, in which he informed me that his business is 
paying them a profit fully equal to his expectations. * * * 

I am much pleased with your description of your 
tableau party at Mrs. Field's, and what you say of the 
rapid improvement in Rebecca and Fanny, that they are 
lady-like, industrious and modest in deportment. Bless 
you, my child ! It is these qualities that make the bright 
jewels in a woman's cabinet. * * * /^U i^en know 
that the most dazzling beauty is worthless, unless joined 
to the brighter gems of piety, virtue, and the Christian 
graces. Then, neither time nor change of fortune can 
rob it of its superlative charm, and all hearts will pay 
homage to its supremacy. I am always delighted to hear 
of all that interests Mr. Howard and his family. He is 
among the few surviving friends of the days of '24, 
w^ho in every trial and changing event, stood by me, a 
trtie friend. * * * I shall not fail to send your excel- 
lent letter to Edwin and your uncles. We are in the 
habit of filling up the occasional gaps made by floods, 
fires and the more frequent sinking of the mail ships and 
blunders of mail agents, by these interchanges. Say for 
me to my old and young friends what I would w^ite, if 
I had the time. 

Your fond, though distant father, whose precious 
jewels are scattered in the world, but ever in heart of 

S1NC1.AIR Kirti.b;y. 

Page Forty-nine 


Sacrame^nTo, April 14th, 1853. 
My Dearest Wife: 

The last mail brought me yours of the 13th and i8th 
of Februar}^, which gratified me very much, from the 
greater spirit of resignation and cheerfulness with which 
it was written. We have had another partial overflow, 
but it has only served to convince us that our city can 
and will within the present season be completely leveed 
in, and protected from future high waters. It is certainly 
better situated for such a purpose than New Orleans ever 
was, and the citizens of New Orleans have never pos- 
sessed anything like the energy and enterprise that so dis- 
tinguishes the people of California. I have purchased a 
block of ground about half a mile from the Court House 
in a northeast direction, which has been entirely above 
the high waters; is very beautiful and in an excellent 
neighborhood, adjoining Col. Edwards and Col, Sander- 
son and others of our best citizens. It is 360 feet square, 
surrounded by streets 80 feet, a border of 60 feet, which 
I expect to enclose. If I am blessed with health and pros- 
perity, I hope to add a square or two more during the 
coming season. * * * 

We have had an unusual number of terrible dis- 

Page Fifty 

asters among the steamships and steamboats of Cahfornia 
this season, until I tremble at the very idea of your com- 
ing to this countr>^ by that mode. The deaths and acci- 
dents are incomparably fewer and less appalling by way 
of the plains, and if I have to come for you, as seems 
probable, I never can stand the ocean routes. It may be 
that Gary or Lewis may go in the present season, but I 
hear nothing of it spoken of at present. My landlord 
happened to receive, some weeks since, a present of three 
bushels of fine apples, from New York, so carefully put 
up in papers, each surrounded by tin-foil, that they all 
spoiled, but left the seed in a very perfect condition for 
planting, and being about to throw them out to the hogs, 
I obtained the privilege of taking care of them, and have 
had them all planted carefully, in Mr. Suydam's garden 
on shares with him, and confidently expect to raise stock 
enough to set us out a clever orchard. In the meantime, 
don't forget the black locust seed, and I would like to 
procure some Osage orange seed for hedging. You see, 
dearest, with the blessing of Providence and with care 
and abstinence, I am hoping for several years of useful- 
ness, a reasonable share of health, in the cause of my fam- 
ily and my Master's service, yet to be granted me. 

My purchase of the ground I mentioned has de- 
layed my remittance somewhat, but I do not intend to 
defer it unreasonably, and I am determined that nothmg 
but Providential inability shall prevent my strenuous ex- 

Pagre Fifty-one 

ertions to keep up that account. The new arrangement 
of a weekly mail to California is just going into opera- 
tion, and I must now ask the girls to share more liberally 
with you in this labor of love, which you have so faith- 
fully observed, and which I trust they will practise, 
continually, until the task becomes a pleasure. I bless 
you, from my heart, for your untiring fidelity in this re- 
spect. Edwin is on his first visit to me since he went to 
San Francisco, and is looking very well indeed. Remem- 
ber me to Mr. Howard and all their family, and to my 
old friends generally. Give my love and duty to mother, 
and say I have been expecting to get a letter from her for 
some time past. I hope that the girls will take advan- 
tage of the weekly mails, and keep me well supplied with 
home reading. Tell them to be dutiful and respectful to 
their grandmother and yourself, kind to their friends and 
true to themselves. 

And may a gracious God bless, preserve and take 
care of you all, and keep you from all evil and harm, is 
the constant and earnest prayer of, affectionately and 
fondly, your absent husband. 

I cannot close this without testifying to the fact, that never was heard from 
father or mother one impatient or irritable word, either to the other. His conduct 
toward his wife was characterized by the most chivalrous devotion, while she felt 
for him an almost worshipping affection. Let U8 hope that their decendants may 
emulate their beautiful example. Mary Kirtley Turner. 

Page Fifty-two 



(This paper was written at the request of the Ladies' Liter- 
ary Club, Salt Lake, and read before them.) 

The old-fashioned business of housekeeping was, I 
think, regarded as a simple thing in the days of our 
grandmothers, and quite within the scope of any ordinary 
woman of that day, but with all the wonderful improve- 
ments of this age, it has grown to be a perplexing prob- 
lem, disTiified bv the title of domestic science. It is at- 
tracting the attention of the profound thinkers of the day, 
who seem to be attempting to elucidate the difficulties of 
our poor harassed housekeepers by prize articles on the 
subject, written for popular magazines of the country. I 
have perused many of these papers without so far being 
able to get any practical help for our woes. They read 
well — for a moment we are inflated by the possibilities 
they seem to offer, but when we give them serious con- 
sideration, their full suggestions prove but broken reeds. 
Take, for instance, this lofty instruction from one of 
these authors : 

" A housekeeper should discipline her servants as 
though she were a general of an army, but at the same 

Page Fifty-three 

time treat the maid under her as a woman and a sister. '' 

I need not here attempt to reveal the results to any 
Salt Lake housekeeper who should attempt these large 
and heroic methods advocated by the writer. 

I have been asked to tell you of the old-fashioned 
home, of the manners, customs and habits of the domes- 
tic life of the early days of this century: to give you a 
history of the same from my own knowledge and experi- 
ence. Here I must crave your indulgence somewhat if 
I seem egotistical, for I must tell my story as I know it, 
and I think I can safely say that my account will be reli- 
able and authentic. My memory of a sweet, peaceful 
home goes back, I think, quite sixty years. I very dis- 
tinctly remember several events which took place when I 
was about three years of age, but it will be the experi- 
ences of later years of which I will tell you this after- 

My early life was spent in the extreme West: My 
native State, Missouri, was a border State and a slave 
State, so that it is the story of that time and that environ- 
ment of which I will try to tell. My home was in Colum- 
bia, a little town containing many refined and cultivated 
people and a town of some ambition, as it was the seat of 
the State University, and at quite an early time of its 
history it was fortunate enough to have a female sem- 

Page Fifty-four 

The whole domestic machinery of that time was con- 
tained within the home, and the dignity and importance 
of the mistress of the house seemed to give her the right 
to the title often bestowed upon her of queen of the home. 
She was indeed sovereign of a little realm of her own, 
reigning supreme over her large family, for it was not 
considered plebeian in those days to have children, but it 
was the fashion rather to have a goodly number of them, 
from six to a round dozen. Every household had its reti- 
nue of servants, and the number seemed not to depend 
so much on the size of the family as on the master's 
purse. First of all in importance was the cook, the chief 
factotum of the mistress, and not to have a No. i cook 
almost indicated an indifferent housekeeper. The cook 
was certainly the autocrat of her own domain ; could dis- 
miss the children from her kitchen when she wished, and 
always had under her control one or two younger serv- 
ants who were hers to command, to scold and to cuff 
about when her patience was quite exhausted. The next 
servant in influence was the dear " black mammy," the 
nurse of the children. She stood really in relation to her 
mistress as under-housekeeper, having in charge often 
two or three young maids who did the housework, the 
sweeping and dusting and setting the table, under her 
direction. She was the children's champion and friend. 
She taught them good manners and good morals, and 
gave them that incessant care which the busy mother 

Page Fifty-five 

could not give. What pride she took in her children al- 
ways ! We in our home had the sorrow to lose our nurse 
while we were still small children. A little while after 
her death my mother's dearest friend came to see her, and 
as we little tots ran as we always did to greet her, she 
said with tears in her eyes, " Mary Ann, your children 
look as though they had lost their mother. So long as 
Delphy lived, I never saw them with soiled hands or 
touseled hair." And so together these fair women wept 
for the dear friend they had lost, that dear '' brown-skin 
white lady " — Rebecca, her pet, called her so — whose 
place could not be filled and who was never forgotten. 

This head nurse, as I have intimated, was the mis- 
tress's right-hand help. She was often a skilled seamstress, 
and assisted in making the clothes for the children and 
servants. She taught the house-maids to sew, and trained 
them in their duties of waiting at table, etc. Then there 
was, too, the jolly old wash- woman who sang over her 
tubs and whose work lasted from early morn to dewy 
eve, for she simply took her own time over her work. 
The master always had his body servant, or " boy " as he 
was called, although he might be double his master's age. 
He took care of the master's clothes, blacked his boots, 
had charge of his office, and had the especial care of his 
master's riding horse or horses. Then there was the old 
coachman and gardener. No one but this old dignitary 
ever drove the state carriage or handled his horses. I can 

Page Fifty-six 

think of scarcely any family whom I knew who did not 
have as many servants as I have named and often more. 
How such a retinue of servants were kept employed in 
an ordinary sized family seans now hard to imagine. 
I remember when only a little lass of ten or twelve years, 
I came to understand that my dear mother was a very 
busy person, and probably the hardest worked individual 
on the place. These simple servants were as helpless as 
children, and a constant care to her. In sickness she 
cared for them, nursed them and had to give them every 
dose of medicine they took. She bought, cut out and 
made most of their clothes. She was the purveyor of her 
large household, the supplies of her larder were all under 
her care, and as she was the mistress of a large and gen- 
erous hospitality, such duties almost required the ability of 
a general of an army. Provisions were laid in by the 
quantity. There were large cellars, wide barns and the 
universal smoke-house, all filled with supplies which the 
mistress had to dispense alike to white and black. 

The words of King Lemuel which his mother taught 
him, most fittingly describe the head of the old-fashioned 
home of which I am telling you : 

" I. She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh will- 
ingly with her hands. 

" 2. She seeketh while it is yet night, and giveth 
meat to her household and a portion to her maidens. 

Pagre Fifty-seven 

" 3- She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her 
hands hold the distaff. 

" 4. She stretcheth out her hands to the poor, yea, 
she reacheth out her hands to the needy. 

" 5. She is not afraid of the snow for her house- 
hold, for all of her household are clothed in scarlet." 

You can readily see that the life of those early days, 
and the great demands upon the mistress of the home, had 
a tendency to enlarge the nature and develop the women 
of this country into the grand, stately dames whom many 
of you doubtless remember as your own grandmothers 
and mothers of blessed memory. 

And now it is of that large, generous, free hospital- 
ity of those Western homes that I am going to speak. To 
keep the latch-string out was almost a matter of neces- 
sity, for there were no houses of public entertainment 
through the country, and but few inns in the smaller 
towns. The country tavern found in the towns was a 
place of such notorious discomfort for both man and 
beast, that any one who could give shelter to a friend 
would have been counted most inhospitable to have al- 
lowed such a one to have spent a night under its roof. 
Hence, the ordinary home was open alike almost to 
stranger and friend. My father's house was one of 
boundless hospitality, but no more so than those of his 
neighbors. You can readily see that this custom of free 

P&ge Fif ty-ei^ht 

entertainment brought the family into rare and even inti- 
mate intercourse with the best people of the State, and 
so the young people of that primitive time had excellent 
opportunities for culture and refinement. Columbia was 
the county seat of Boone County, hence the Circuit 
Courts were held there twice a year. In my home were 
entertained the distinguished judges and lawyers from 
all over the State. Columbia was also the seat of the 
State University, and during the sessions of the Legisla- 
ture, the Curators of the University, as they were called 
then, men of learning and ability, came to Columbia in 
a body to look into the welfare of the institution. I came 
to know some of the most distinguished men of Missouri 
because they were the guests of my father's home. My 
distinct recollection was that there was always a party 
of some kind given by my father and mother. Some- 
times it would be a ''stag party" and a splendid game 
supper. Sometimes, if there were a number of bachelors, 
it would be an evening party where these fine men would 
have the opportunity of meeting the beautiful girls of the 

The same hospitality was extended to the various 
religious conclaves which often met in this delightful old 
town. It mattered not what denomination, every house 
was open alike to receive and entertain the clergy and lay 
delegates who would represent these churches in differ- 
ent places, and I have heard my mother say that there 

Page Fifty-nine 

were no more witty and delightful guests than the Meth- 
odist circuit-riders of that day. There were but few 
ornamental decorations in those primitive homes. No 
bric-a-brac, but few pictures, and the furniture would 
now be considered plain indeed, but it was in the giories 
and elegancies of her table that the mistress displayed her 
taste. The table linen was fine and beautiful, the silver 
was sterling (the plated ware was not known until later), 
and there was cut-glass in decanters, wine glasses and 
tumblers, and nearly always, I think, a pair of cut-glass 
pitchers which belonged to the wine set and graced the 
sideboard. The cut-glass of that day was not so beauti- 
ful or elegant as we see it to-day, but it was ricn and 
heavy. It must have been when I was quite a little girl 
that the white china with gilt bands was introduced, and 
a table laid for dinner or tea in a full set of this gilded 
w^hite china, its old-fashioned silver and cut-glass and 
gleaming steel cutlery, was a pretty sight to see. I never 
remember to have seen flowers used to decorate a table 
while I vv^as a girl, I think. The decorations outside the 
dishes consisted of the wonderful creations of the cook; 
great stacks and pyramids of beautifully iced cake, 
towers of fruit, dishes of nuts and raisins and beautiful 
sparkling jellies. These were the substantial decorations 
which meant more than the fading beauty of a flower. 
I am quite sure that the white china was first used m the 
thirties, for my grandmother told a story in connection 

Page Sixty 

with this which made an impression upon me. There 
was an old Mrs. Higgins of that day of whom the fam- 
ily told a number of quaint stories, and this was one of 
them, Mrs. Higgins came to town to replenish her 
dishes, and went to the store where everything was sold 
and made her wants known to a dapper little clerk, who, 
when she said she wanted some good plates and cups and 
saucers, officiously displayed the new white china, saying, 
"Here, Mrs. Higgins, is just what you want; it is the 
finest thing made and the latest thing out." Mrs. Hig- 
gins took the plate, held it up to the light, and said, " No, 
young man, I want no such flimsy thing as this; I want 
something that won't show the dirt and that you can't 
see clean through. Hand me down some of them blue 
dishes there." So Mrs. Higgins, I suppose, clung for all 
time to the old blue china which we have come to admire 
so much to-day. 

I think, dear friends, you can quite conclude that an 
ignorant, shiftless housekeeper in that day was hardly 
considered within the pale of respectability. On the 
other hand, I cannot in the time allotted to me do justice 
to the fine qualities of the men and women who laid the 
foundations for the learning, culture and high civiliza- 
tion of the grand old State of Missouri. The men of 
that time were esteemed for their worth and ability, and 
the wives of these men were every^where received with 
courtesy and distinguished consideration, for, aside from 

Page Sixty-one 

the personal charms possessed by some, many were true 
heroines by right of noble deeds performed as simple 
calls of duty. It was my good fortune later in life to 
know intimately one of these grand old dames, of whom 
it might have been said that she belonged to the advanced 
army of the Red Cross. During the terrible scourge of 
the cholera which almost devastated the land m 1849, 
this dauntless soul, with a friend who joined her, consti- 
tuted herself a public nurse, a ministering angel indeed, 
going night and day attending to the sick and dying. She 
left orders at the hotel in the place, to be called to any 
stranger who might be stricken with this almost fatal 
disease. She kept a basket at her bedside containing the 
well-known remedies used at that time, and went to the 
call of friend and stranger alike. This she did when 
hundreds were fleeing in every direction from the plague- 
stricken towns. This heroic soul had no fear, but when 
her family would remonstrate with her — for they were 
in mortal dread that she, too, would be laid low — she 
would say, " The doctors are so busy, many will die be- 
fore help can reach them. God will take care of me." 
Sweet and gentle soul, she seemed quite unconscious of 
the fact that she was of the stuff of which heroines are 

My grandmother was one of the pioneers of Mis- 
souri. She went w^ith her family to Old Franklyn, which 
at an early day was the depot for supplies and the out- 
rage Sixty-two 

fitting post for the great Santa Fe trade. Many young 
men of wealth and enterprise came to this old town ro 
engage in the great overland business which was so full 
of adventure and of peril often, but promising that for 
which men will risk their lives, a great return in gold. 
Many families were scattered along the borders of the 
river and along the border of the Indian Territory as 
well. Some of these had come from refined homes in 
the East, and had brought with them only what could 
be packed in a mover's wagon, and so found themselves 
in an unconquered country with but few comforis and 
no luxuries. My grandmother and other brave women 
like her did not stop to ask in that new land, " Who is 
my neighbor?" But their neighbors were those who, 
though miles away, needed help and kindness from them. 
I have been told by those who knew my grandmother at 
that early day, that they had known her to leave her home, 
attended only by a faithful colored boy whom she her- 
self had reared from his cradle, and on horseback travel 
over almost impassable roads to the poor fever-stricken 
people, taking them medicines and many little comforts 
for the sick and dying. There was a young man from 
the far East (Hartford, Conn.), Elisha Stanley* by 

*The children called this dear friend "Uncle Stanley," who came to visit his old 
friends every summer; never failing to bring each of the children lovely presents, 
which he had selected when buying his goods in New York. How our little girl 
chums envied us the little parasols, the first seen in Columbia, and the marvellous 
toys, never before beheld. Are there such friends as he nowadays ? I hardly think 
so. — Mary Turner. 

Page Sixty-three 

name, in whom my grandmother had become inter- 
ested. He brought wealth with him, and had 
already embarked in the romantic and fascinating busi- 
ness of the Santa Fe trade. During one season he had 
spent much time in the saddle, going through the coun- 
try tO' secure horses and mules for his outfit. While 
travelling through that malarial district he was stricken 
with fever, and confined for days in a rude log cabin 
among rude people wnthout a single comfort and with but 
scant attendance. Almost by accident my grandmother 
heard of his illness and at once, without delay, she pre- 
pared to go to him. She fitted up a wagon with feather 
bed, warm blankets and pillows, and taking with her two 
of her trusted men servants and herself on horseback, 
she went with medicines, food, etc., for her sick friend. 
When she reached the place she sent her boy Henry in 
to tell Mr. Stanley that friends had come. She quickly 
followed, and as she knelt by the wretched pallet of straw 
on the puncheon floor, all the poor fellow could do was 
to put his wasted arms about her neck and whisper, 
" Mother." Though she found him very ill, she felt that 
she must get him home. With a promptness and cour- 
age most characteristic of her, she made arrangements 
to move him the next day. Bright and early the little 
train started, and this brave, strong woman, riding all 
the way close at the side of the wagon, w^atching her 
patient, feeling his pulse, administering medicine and 

Page Sixty-four 

stimulants, until finally at the close of hours of anxious 
suspense, she reached home with her charge. He was 
sick for many days. Her goodness never faltered. He 
was faithfully attended, not by a trained nurse or paid 
physician, but by " one who did what she could," with- 
out money and without price, and with no thought of re- 
ward. This was the beginning of a friendship which 
came down to the third generation. jNlany years after 
my grandmother's death, and when Mr. Stanley was an 
old man confined to his chair by paralysis in his limbs, a 
friend of my mother's called on him. She introduced 
herself as a friend of ]\Irs. Kirtley's, telling him how 
often she had heard him spoken of in the family. He 
greeted her warmly, and after a little while he reached 
from the mantel-piece above his head a curious looking 
book, and turning the leaves he said, '* I live in the past. 
There are the letters of my more than friend, Mrs. 
Peebels, and oi her daughter, Mrs. Kirtley, whom I knew 
so many years ago." Thus these faded letters, the ex- 
pressions of a friendship of more than thirty years, had 
been kept and so became the light of the fading day to 
one whose beautiful life had been the light and joy of 
many a heart. 

I tell this little story, not because the good Samari- 
tan of the narrative was my own grandmother, but be- 
cause I wish to emphasize the fact that unselfish heroism 
was most characteristic of the w^omen of those pioneer 

Page Sixty-five 

days of the West. There were others whom I knew as 
noble as she, but they have passed away with their day 
and generation. I would not intimate that there are not 
women to-day whose hearts are unselfish, brave and true, 
but because in these days of luxury and ease there are no 
such calls for heroic deeds. 

As I look back on those other days, some of them 
filled with sweetest memories, but fast receding on the 
shores of time, I recall with a throbbing heart Tennyson's 
beautiful lines: 

'^ Break, break, break. 

On thy cold gray stones, oh sea, 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 
Can never come back to me." 

23 c^ r^w^ 

iDlfDJ ji — 'I folfg 

53 R/ V53 K 

Page Sixty-Bix 


As we of this generation are so deeply interested in 
all that concerns the lives of our immediate progenitors, 
I am sure that a little information concerning my father's 
and mother's children will be of interest to those who 
come after us ; also a few lines about our dear mother and 

When father went to California, the family returned 
to Columbia, where we remained until his death, when at 
grandmother's request, we moved to Lexington, Mo. 
We remained there, much enjoying the delightful society 
of the young people in that pleasantest of Missouri towns. 
Eliza married a lawyer, Mr. Jonathan C. Royle, April 
23rd, 1857, and Rebecca married Mr. George A. Shields, 
son of General Wm. Shields, July 22nd, 1857. As they 
left the home roof, we broke up housekeeping and went 
to the Female Seminary, mother as manager, Fanny as 
pupil, I as teacher, remaining until the Civil War, when 
the Federal soldiers occupied it as barracks. We then 
went to George Shields' home in the country. Our 
grandmother before this had divided her time between 
Eliza's and Rebecca's homes, and died in Mr. Koyle's 
house, after a three days' illness, almost the first in her 
life, July 9th, i860. When the war broke out, we lelt it 

PaRe Sixty-seven 

a mercy that this patriotic woman, who had always felt 
the keenest interest in everything concerning the govern- 
ment, should be taken before the conflict began. 

George Shields, the genial, courteous gentleman, 
joined Price's army at the beginning of the Civil War, 
and was made quartermaster. He died at the age of 
twenty-six of army measles, in Little Rock, and is buried 
there, as is his dear little Percy also. George had sent for 
his family, and they were with him during his last illness. 

After various alarming vicissitudes, we all left the 
farm and went to St. Louis for safety, soon after which 
Mr. Royle went from Lexington to far-off Central City, 
Colorado, a year later being joined by his wife and their 
three little boys, Sinclair, Frank and baby Edwin Milton. 
Precious little Frank, who much resembled our father, 
died there a few months later, at the age of four years. 
Martha, their daughter, was born there. In 1868 mother, 
Rebecca and I were urged to go to Colorado, and, with 
little Annie Shields, we made the trip to Hays City by 
rail, the rest of the way by stage-coach to Denver, then 
a town of 5,000 people. We remained here only eighteen 
months, then went to Central City. 

Fanny had gone there to be with her sister, in the 
year 1865, and in December of that year married Joseph 
A. Thatcher, manager of Mr. Hussey's bank. Shortly 
afterward, Rebecca and Annie went with Mr. Royle and 
family to San Jose, California, and from there to Salt 

Page Sixty-eigrht 

Lake, where, on June 5th, 1873, Rebecca married Rich- 
ard Y. Anderson, also a Southerner from Virginia. Four 
children were born to them, two of whom, Frank 
Thatcher Anderson and Mary Jeannette Anderson, are 
living. Rebecca, than whom there was never a sweeter 
nature, had some sore trials and disappointments in life, 
but she bore them with such angelic patience that her 
character was only hallowed and beautified. She was a 
devoted, self- sacrificing and loving mother, and her fam- 
ily were bereaved indeed when, on May 8th, 1898, she 
was taken from them by that form of heart disease know^n 
as angina pectoris. She rests in Riverside cemetery, 

Mother remained in Central City, where she was 
happy in Fanny's sweet home. She lost her life, Decem- 
ber 15th, 1869, by slipping on the icy boards of a porch, 
falling to the ground some distance below. She is buried 
at San Jose, California, as Mr. Royle's family were tnen 
living there. 

I was teaching in Central City, where I met the Rev. 
Joseph M. Turner, son of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Turner, 
for forty years professor in the Episcopal Theological 
Seminary of New York. We were married in Phila- 
delphia (where I had gone to study successful church 
work), in old Christ's Church, May 6th, 1873. Like my 
father's, Mr. Turner's was a well-rounded, beautiful char- 
acter, and all too soon was our happy married life severed 

Page Sixty-nine 

by his death, in Pittsfield, Mass., January, 1887. I have 
since, with the exception of three years in Europe, Hved 
in Denver. Domestic in my tastes, retiring in disposi- 
tion, I have never craved the pleasures of society. 

As stated before, Fanny married Joseph A. 
Thatcher of Central City. The}' lived there until the 
year 1884, when, in December, Mr. Thatcher established 
the Denver National Bank, of which he is still presiaent. 
One of the most distinguished looking of men, he has 
been known as a man of influence in the community, al- 
ways. Here he and his wife have occupied an enviable 
position in society, and are known, not only for their un- 
bounded and kindly hospitality, but for every good word 
and work. Their interest in St. Luke's Hospital (of 
which both have been directors since first its doors were 
opened) has never flagged. The Y. W. C. A., of which 
she is a director, has shared with St. Luke's Fanny's lov- 
ing interest and care. Her church duties are by no means 
neglected. Indeed, one wonders how, in her very busy 
life, time is found, not only for every duty, but time to 
give as well as to enjoy pleasure. Hosts of friends testify 
to the popularity of both Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher. What 
this dear brother has done and is doing of beautiful deeds 
for every member of our family, a big, big book only 
could contain the chronicles thereof. God bless him tor 

As one reads from father's letters, Edwin, the eldest 

Pagre Seventy 

child, went overland to California in 1852, arriving there 
shortly after his father, who writes of him and of his busi- 
ness. Shortly after father's death, Edwin was persuaded 
to go to Callao, Peru. There he became acquainted with 
the Hon. Wm. R. Grace, who afterward went to New 
York and became mayor of that city. But he and his 
charming wife and children lived for a number of years 
in Callao, where he was largely engaged in the shipping 
business. He formed a partnership with Edwin in 
launches, which carried the guano (the great bird fertil- 
izer) from the Chincha Islands, not far from Callao, to 
the ships, which went there for it from all parts of the 

Edwin was treated by Mr. and Mrs. Grace as a dear 
member of the family, and he became deeply attached to 
them all. After a good many years he returned to the 
United States, and made his home with Mr. Royle and 
sister Eliza in Salt Lake. On his way to New York to 
consult Dr. Agnew, he stopped for a week's visit to Mr. 
and Mrs. Thatcher at Central City, and was found dead 
in his bed from heart failure, after an entertainment given 
for him the previous night, in August, 1874. He sleeps 
in the cemetery at Camp Douglas, Salt Lake. 

Paere Seventy-one 


Those for whom this mere outhne of a family his- 
tory is written will not deem it strange that a little more 
extended account is given of my sister, Eliza Kirtley 
Royle, than of the others of our father's and mother's 
children, because her life in Salt Lake has been one of 

unusual influence. From her earliest years she mani- 
fested a love for good literature, and read the books, not 
as many do for the climax of the story, but because she 
keenly appreciated and enjoyed the beauties of the style, 
or the " truth to nature " of the plot, or the high and 
noble thoughts portrayed by the author. Her own style 
of composition was insensibly formed by these high 

Soon after settling in Salt Lake, feeling keenly the 
dearth of all intellectual pleasures and interests in that city 
of Mormons, she talked the subject over first with her 
husband, getting his hearty approbation, then with four 
of her intelligent lady friends, and proposed to them that 
they meet with her in her parlor every Friday, for two 
hours, and together read and discuss all those subjects in 
which other communities were interested; inform them- 
selves in regard to the noted writers of all nations, 
w^hether of prose or poetry; study history, art, ceramics, 

Pagre Seventy-two 

and indeed a large range of interesting and improving 
topics. One of the ladies was to read an original paper, 
upon the topic to be discussed, each week. She called 
this little weekly meeting "The Blue-stocking Tea," and 
served simple cake and tea at its close. 

Is it surprising that other ladies, hearing of those 
delightful reunions, wished to join them? Soon Mrs. 
Royle's large parlor was too small to accommodate all 
who came, and having become interested in the accounts 
of the Sorosis Club in New York, she proposed organiz- 
ing a woman's club, and renting a large room some- 
where. All agreed to this, and they named it '' The 
Ladies' Literary Club," and elected Mrs. Royle their first 
president, which office she held for seven years, or until 
the birth of her youngest child, John. Then she was 
elected historian, which office, I think, she held until a 
short time since, when she resigned it, ownng to ill health. 

Since the first inception of the club, this genial, sym- 
pathetic, brainy woman has received the devoted, loving 
allegiance of every member of it, and at the celebration of 
special anniversaries, she has been made the recipient of 
some token of their love and respect. At the twenty-first 
birthday of the organization of the club, a most beautiful 
and touching address was made b}^ the then charming 
president, Mrs. Jennings, in which she rehearsed all that 
their club owed to Mrs. Royle's wise administration and 
wonderful influence when president, and in behalf of the 

Page Seventy-three 

ladies of the club, asked her to accept the beautiful silver 
loving cup in token of their deep appreciation. Mrs. 
Royle was taken completely by surprise, but rose from 
her seat, and in a short address, which brought tears to 
the eyes of all present, and with most touching words, 
thanked those dear women for that proof of their affec- 
tion. Hugging the beautiful cup closely to her, she 
closed by saying, '' Ladies, I thank you, for I know that 
you gave me this because you love me!" She is lovingly 
called " Our Club Mother." 

A friend who was present upon that memorable oc- 
casion related the above to me, her own eyes brimming 
with tears as she talked. 

Like others of us, her life has not been without its 
trials, ill health being not the least. But the more than 
fifty years of the sustaining and unutterable love of her 
devoted husband, who has deeply sympathized with her 
in her every pursuit, every pleasure, every sorrow, has 
enabled her to say, as not every one can, " In all things, 
we are one" The celebration of the fiftieth anni- 
versary of their wedding, which occurred April 23rd, 
1907, was an occasion of deepest interest to their rela- 
tives, their hosts of dear friends and to themselves, but 
the limits of this paper will not permit of a detailed ac- 
count of it here. 

Pagre Seventy-four 


As this is written for my father's future descend- 
ants, as well as for those of the present generation, the 
setting of whose lives, in a hurrying age, will be totally 
unlike the more primitive times in which their grandpar- 
ents lived, a little story, showing how my father cared 
for his old slave, '' Uncle John " (who died at the age of 
103), may interest them. Father doubtless inherited sev- 
eral negroes at his father's death, but, with his great, 
w^arm heart, he could not find it possible to separate them 
from their families. So that as a young man of twenty- 
five, when he left Kentucky for Columbia, Missouri, in 
1824, only " Uncle John," who had outlived all of his 
owm family, and who begged not to be separated from his 
** Mars Sinkler," went with him to his new home. How 
he cared for the old man, before his marriage, I know 
not. But as soon a^ his own house was built, a nice, com- 
fortable cabin was built for Uncle John, near to the 
kitchen, so that the other negroes were within easy call, 
and all his daily wants punctually attended to. 

I have a vivid recollection, when only four or five 
years old, of being taken to see Uncle John in his cheery 
cabin, by my dear nurse, she always carrying my little 
yellow chair. Summer and winter a fire of logs was 

"Pige Seventy-five 

burning in the big open fireplace, and I see yet the rows 
of bunches of herbs (''yarbs," he called them) hung 
upon the walls. Shading his eyes with his hands, he 
would call out, " Here comes Mars Sinkler's little girl. 
How you do, honey ? Come to see old John ? Well, I'se 
got somefin' fur you dis mornin'. How you like dat?" 
He would then give me the various rude whistles, tiny 
doll sleds, etc., with which he amused himself, and which 
he had made for me. Nurse would leave me for a while 
as I played contentedly with the new toys. 

An old white horse was kept especially for Uncle 
John's use. In pleasant weather it would be brought to 
the gate, bridled and saddled, when Uncle John would 
tie bunches of herbs and roots to the saddle and, unth the 
bridle over his mm and leading the horse, commence 
his walk to visit some sick negro, probably several miles 
away. Never was he known to ride in the saddle. All 
the negroes, for miles around, had profound faith in 
Uncle John's ability to cure them, not only with his teas, 
but with his incantations. As his teas were harmless, the 
masters allowed their servants to send for him. I dis- 
tinctly remember the multitude of dusky attendants at his 

Pasre Seventy-six 


Mary Peebels, nee Simpson, was born on a farm on 
the James River, Virginia, in July, 1776. She married 
Thomas Peebels in 1800, moving very soon thereafter to 
a farm six miles from Lexington, Ky. Their five child- 
ren, John, Lewis, Eliza, Cary and Mary Ann, were all 
born there. Mr. Peebels died there, when Mary Ann 
Breckenridge was an infant. When she was two years 
of age the family moved to St. Louis, then the most im- 
portant town west of Philadelphia. 

They remained in St. Louis a few years only, when 
they went to Old Franklyn, opposite Booneville, on the 
Missouri River. John Peebels died there at the age of 
18 years. Eliza Peebels married a lawyer, Mr. Edwin 
M. Ryland, and with him settled in Lexington, Mo., 
where their sons, Stanley, Kirtley and Edwin were born. 
Lewis never married, but Cary, who had become a dry 
goods merchant in Rocheport, Mo., met in New York 
and married a charming young lady, Theresa Kavanaugh 
by name. She lived but a few years. Lewis and Cary 
were among the first to go to California, overland, by ox 
teams, settling in Sacramento. They afterwards went to 
Santa Clara, where Cary married an excellent English 
woman. They, and their one child, Kate, died there. 

Page Seventy-seven 

Our grandmother, Mary Peebels, was of Scotch an- 
cestry, although her parents, our great-grandfather 
and grandmother Simpson, emigrated from Ireland to 
Virginia about the middle of the eighteenth century. 
Their progenitors fled from Scotland to the north of Ire- 
land, during the time of the persecutions of the Protest- 
ants, which continued from 1549 to 1575, until the death 
of John Knox. Hence grandmother Peebels inherited 
her staunch Presbyterianism. Our great-grandfather 
and grandmother Simpson had six children, John, Wil- 
liam, Charlotte, Rebecca, Mary and the eldest daughter, 
whose name I forget. She married a Simpson (not rt 
lated). She played the violin and taught her sons to 
play it. 

As sister EJiza has written, our two family Bibles 
were lost after our father's death, the old Peebels Bible 
being one of them, so that having no record of the Pee- 
bels family, I cannot give the dates of either our grand- 
father Peebels' birth or death. I have an indistinct re- 
collection of hearing grandmother telling us that like her 
own father and mother's family, her husband's also fled 
from Scotland, at about the same time, and that a colony 
of Scotch people after a time emigrated from there to 

Although a devoted Presbyterian, yet with it she 
had little patience with those who would forbid innocent 
amusements. When eighty years of age she would show 

Pase Seventy-eiffht 

groups of girls, her granddaughter's companions, how they 
danced the minuet " when I was young," she would say, 
and most gracefully she danced it. After her marriage 
they moved to Woodford County, Kentucky, and livmg 
only a few miles from grandfather Francis Kirtley, she 
knew him and his family. I have heard her speak of 
grandfather Kirtley as being, although a very large man 
— weighing nearly four hundred — a gentleman noted for 
his courtly, old school manners, and as one of the most 
popular men in his community. Our grandmother, Eliz- 
abeth Walker Kirtley, never weighed over ninety pounds. 

My dear father, Sinclair Kirtley, certainly inherited 
many of his father's traits, for he, too, was noted for his 
elegant, courtly manners, and his social, genial, lovable 
nature. He resembled his mother more, being 5 feet "jYi 
inches in height, and well proportioned, though not creat- 
ing the impression that he was a small man. 

Pasre Seventy-nine 


Salt Lake City, Utah, July 19th, 1896. 

Mr. M. B. Buford, 362 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, 

Dear Sir : It has indeed been several months since I 
promised to write and give what information I possessed 
of the history of the Buford family, which seems to have 
been so nearly connected with my own for generations 
back. However, I know but little of the genealogy of the 
family. My grandparents were Francis and Elizabeth 
Walker Kirtley, of Woodford County, Kentucky. Their 
eldest son and eighth child, Sinclair Kirtley, was my 
father. His two sisters, Frances and Nancy, married 
brothers, Col. William Buford and Ambrose Buford. 
It was with Col. Buford, though, that my father's life was 
most intimately connected, for at the time of his father's 
death in 181 5, he was only a lad of sixteen years of age, 
and Col. Buford was appointed executor of my grand- 
father's estate, and the guardian of my father, Sinclair, 
and of his brother, John. 

The first mention you make of the union of the fam- 
ilies is, I see, in 1777, and in the good old Virginia style 

Pagre Eighty 

they continued to intermarry until the custom culminates 
in the marriage of the two Buford brothers to the two 
Kirtley sisters. These were my father's sisters. I can 
tell you but little of either of the families. There is a 
tradition with us that these Buford-Kirtley women were 
gentle and fair ; and that the men of the family were dash- 
ing* fellows, given to high living, horse-racing and the 
duello in the early days when the '' code " prevailed ; and 
that that inexorable law prevailed which placed every 
gentleman under a bond of honor to resent to the death 
an impeachment upon his honesty, truth or courage. 

One verse of an old ditty has recently come to me 
from those old times, through another Kentucky family, 
more recently connected with me by marriage. Two 
years ago my son, Edwin M. Royle, keeping up the tra- 
ditions, married a Kentucky girl, Miss Selina Gray Fetter, 
and she tells me her earliest recollections are connected 
with this old song. Indeed, she remembers to have been 
often sung to sleep in her father's arms to the tune of this 
delightful blue-grass ditty: 

" Then up stepped Miss Buford, 

So gallant and tall, 
The belle of the city. 

The belle of the ball. 
She bet all her money. 

Likewise jewels and lands. 
And she fell very heavy 

On the noble ' Skew Ball.' " 

Pasre Eighty-one 

There seems to be something out of joint with the 
rhyme in the last Hne, but it serves at least to show that 
there were some "dashing fellows," too, among the young 
women of the family. 

I can tell you nothing of the Frances Kirtley who 
married Francis Buford, or indeed but very little of either 
of our families. Perhaps on account of the peculiar re- 
lation existing between my father and Col. William Bu- 
ford, that of guardian and ward, my father regarded Cal. 
Buiord as an austere man, ruling his family and manag- 
ing his affairs in a stern, cold and harsh manner. He 
threw every obstacle in the way of my father entering 
college, and of his studying law. However, the course 
pursued by the stern old feudal colonel with his young 
ward may have had much to do in forming my father's 
character; for he patiently bided his time, and when he 
attained his majority he entered Transylvania University, 
graduated at the age of twenty-four, studied law with his 
brother-in-law, Isham Henderson, a congressman, and af- 
terwards became a distinguished lawyer in Columbia, Mo. 
I mention my father here because I desire to explain 
to you why I have not the family record from which to 
send you the correct data of the two families. My father, 
Sinclair Kirtley, moved to St. Louis in November, 1847, 
and became a prominent member of the bar there, but in 
1852, on account of failing health, he left St. Louis and 
went by wa,y of Mexico to Sacramento, Cal. He sent 

Page Eifirhty-two 

there, by way of the Isthmus, a valuable law library and 
some other books belonging to the family, which to him 
were invaluable. Among these were the family Bibles, 
which had belonged to his family and also to my mother's. 
He died in Sacramento in April, 1853, and these books, 
so sacred to us, were undoubtedly stolen. They were 
old editions, and were very valuable as antique copies 
of the scriptures. California, at that early day, was a 
long way off, and though my mother made many efforts 
to recover these valued relics of our family, they were 

It interests me greatly to learn that you have found 
the owner of the old Buford Bible, and I am most curious 
to learn how you obtained the perfect and co^rrect list 
of the members of my grandfather's family; namely, 
Francis Kirtley of Woodford County, Kentucky. You 
begin with Frances, who was my father's oldest sister, 
and close the list with a mention of the youngest mem- 
bers of the family, who were the only sons, Sinclair and 
John. Will it be asking too much of you to let me know 
something of the owner of the old Buford Bible, and also 
of whom you obtained the information of the Kirtley 
family; all of which interests me and also my sisters 
deeply? I speak of my grandparents as having lived in 
Woodford County, because I believe my father was bom 
in Woodford County. I can only tell you a very little 
of the history of my twoi Aunt Bufords. General Abram 

Page Eigrhty-three 

Buford was a nq)hew of my father, and whether a son 
of his sister Fannie or of Nancy I do not know. (Son 
of Fannie — Mary K. Turner.) He visited my father (in 
St. Louis) when a young man. Perhaps he had just 
graduated from West Point, for I have an indistinct rec- 
ollection of a large, handsome young man, and I have 
an impression that he was in uniformi. He was in the 
cavalry service. Sinclair Buford, named for my father, 
I believe, was a son of Col. William Buford. There were 
certainly two daughters in that family. They were twins, 
and one of them, Mary, was a frail, delicate girl who 
never married. When I read the newspaper account of 
the last tragedy in this family of mine and yours — the 
shooting — indeed the killing — of Judge Elliott by Thomas 
Buford some years ago, I read that his sister (a devoted 
sister) who had always kept house for him and had never 
married, was prostrated with grief by the dreadful oc- 
currence. I had a deep, indeed a profound, sympathy for 
this faithful sister. I know that at the time of Col. Wil- 
liam Buford's death my father expressed a disapproval 
of his brother-in-law's will, because he did not as amply 
provide for these two delicate girls as he did for his sons. 
Indeed, he rather left them dependent upon their brothers, 
which my father thought unjust. 

Can you tell me who of these two Buford families 
are living? As you can well understand, I am most 
deeply interested in all that you can tell me of these mem- 

Pase Eifi^hty-four 

bers of my father's family, so near to me and bearing 
your name. 

My eldest sister, Mrs. Mary Kirtley Turner, a widow 
without children, now living in Denver, recently wrote 
for some of the younger members of our family a short 
account of my grandfather's family and also of my 
father's. Perhaps, as the Kirtleys are so closely related 
all through with the Bufords, you might be interested in 
reading this brief history. If soi I will, if you so request 
it, send it to you sometime, as I shall have this chapter 
of my family's typewritten, as my children are interested 
in it. My father was one in a thousand, an upright and a 
most accomplished and cultured gentleman. As a relative 
of your own, which he must have been, I venture to- speak 
of him more fully than I otherwise would have done. 
Some of the younger members of my family are deeply 
interested in the letters you have written, as they give 
information of the Kirtleys as well as the Bufords, and 
naturally they would like to hear something of the first 
Kirtley in Virginia, Sir Francis, of Culpeper County. This 
interest in Sir Francis amuses me a little, for as it happens 
these young people are anxious to trace their lineage to 
the sons and daughters of the Revolution. Doubtless the 
first Kirtley, Sir Francis, was a loyal subject of the King, 
a staunch old tory, and it may be he or his descendants 
were on the other side. I remain very truly yours, 

Eliza Kirtley RoylE. 

FsLge Eighty-five 


The first I find any trace of is Sir Francis Kirtley, of 
Culpeper County, Virginia. 

Simeon Buford married, 1777, Margaret, daughter 
of WilHam Kirtley. 

Frances Buford, sister of Simeon, married Francis 
Kirtley and settled in Kentucky. 

William Buford, son of Simeon, married Frances 
Walker in Fayette County, Kentucky, December 31st, 
1 80 1 — daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Walker Kirt- 

Our grandfather, Francis Kirtley, died in Woodford 
County, Kentucky, September 9th, 18 15. Elizabeth 
Walker Kirtley, his wife, died in Woodford County, Ken- 
tucky, October 3rd, 1807. 

Frances W^alker Kirtley was bom in Rockingham 
County, Virginia, on the Shenandoah River, February 
6th, 1787. Died at Hill, Woodford County, Ken- 
tucky, May 29, 1866. 

Francis Kirtley lived in Woodword County, Ken- 
tucky, and at his death his farm there went to his children 
as follows: William Buford's wife, Frances, one-ninth; 
William Buford purchased the other eight-ninths from: 

Polly K., who married George Rogers. 


Page Eighty-six 

Nancy, who married Ambrose Buford. 
Janetta^ who married James Miller. 
Mildred, w^ho married John Merrill. 
Harriet, who married Isham Henderson. 
Sinclair, who married Mary Ann Breckenridge 

John H., unknown. 

With expressions of r^ard from my husband and 
myself, I remain very truly yours, 

EuzA KiRTlvKY R0YI.E:. 

Mr. Buford writes: 

" The first I find any trace of is Sir Francis Kirtley, 
of Culpeper County, Virginia." I remember well 
hearing my father, Sinclair Kirtley, relating the story he 
had often heard from his father and sisters, namely, that 
when his grandfather. Sir Francis, was coming from 
England to this country, that on board the sailing vessel 
was a beautiful young girl, who with her parents was 
also coming to this new land. She had beautiful hazel- 
brown eyes and nut-brown curling hair. Sir Francis fell 
in love with her, and they were married soon after their 
arrival in Virginia. Father said that from this ancestress 
came the brown eyes in the family, as the Kirtleys had 
blue eyes, but she did not transmit the curling hair to 
her descendants. 

Page Eighty-seven 

One very dear to us all, "no^ enterer] into 
Rest", made the suggestion that these notes of 
©.ppreciption should be added to this beautiful 
book, so that the ones who follow us nay know 
something of the love and esteen in v/hich 
"Aunt llrnnle" was held by the family. Hence, 
this suppleiiient, 

F. K. T. 

May 9, 1909. 

TO MRS. MARY S. 'ii:JRNim, who has given us this 
volvcne of precious, sacred memories. 

J. C. Royle. 

Since our earliest girlhood, dear Sister, 
our love for each other has been most precious 
to me and this love of yours for ire has brought 
help and comfort to my heart ell through life. 
You have brought many joys to my home and have 
been a blessing to my household. 

Your sister, 

Eliza K. Royle. 

D-ear Sister Mary,- 

I wish to express to you my 
appreciation of the noble ^nd lovable char- 
acteristics of your beautiful life and 
character. Leading, as you have done, a 
life unselfish, faithful snd true, your 
mind has been quick to discern, and your 
hearo quick to respond to the needs of your 
deer ones. 

And so, noble, loving and generous, you 
have been good and generous to me and to my 
dear ones pnd to your ov/n dear ones; oft- 
t lines I fear, sacrificing your ov^n ease end 
comfort for their good. 

May G-od bless you for it ell! 

Affectionately, your brother, 
Jonathan C. Royle. 

I think my desjr Aunt Mary Turner one of 
the most unselfish Torn en in the world, for 
she is constantly denying herself to do some- 
thing lovely for some one else, and in a way 
that no one else could do. A most bea.uti- 
ful example, I wish we could ell follow more 

Martha Royle King, 

New Yoric, May 10, 1909, 

I feel as though pages could be written 
about dear Aunt Manie. Her great love sjid 
devotion to Sinclair and myself has been very 
dear to us. She has been siost generous, lov- 
ing and sympathetic . 

God bless her for sll her goodness! 

Mary Cross Royle. 

New York City, May 10, 1909. 

Being a na'nes^ice of my Grpjidf ather, 
Sincl??J.r Kirtley, I especially prise j?jid value 
this record of his noble, manly, beautiful 
life. The asserr^bling of all the facts and 
tender memories herein given, is the crowi- 
ing gift to us 9ll, in a long life of a noble, 
generous, self-sacrificing womeji,— "The Queen 
of Givers," dear Aunt Mar}/' Kirtley Turner. 

I ranember bs far back as 1869 when our 
beloved aunt began to give my Father* s chil- 
dren their first lessons. She has been giv- 
ing to us ever since through all these years, 
out of her purse, out of the best of her 
thought, out of the best of her love, some- 
thing useful, of value, or artistic. 

•I think because I was named for ray Grand- 
father, my dear Aunt Mamie h^as given to me more 
especially in a finsjicial way, than to any other 
of m^ family. 

I 07/e'the bep;inning fjnd end of my edu- 
cation to her. The position I occupy a.s a 
physician in the great City of New York I 
owe to hsr loving generosity. And I wsjit 
hsr nnd all the other members of our famly 
to know that this "Memorial Book" and sll her 
loving gifts and help are treasured with deep 
gratitude hy her nephew, 

Sinclsdr Kirtley Royle. 

New York, May 1909. 

One man has the ^ift of sei^arating his 
f ellownen from their money — Financier; 
another h3-s the gift of destroying his fel- 
lows in large snd important masses, — the 
great Soldier, There is the gift of 
tongues and the gift of prophesy; there be 
meny gifts, but you , dear Aunt Mary, have 
the delightful gift of .giving, and your 
giving is quite as much a tribute to your 
head as to your heart. 

In all your fine career of loving, 
thoughtful giving, you have never turned out 
a more finished, perfect ssjnple thon this 
little book. My wife, ny children pnd 
your affectionate nephew will clways prize 
it, not only as a memorial to our grsnd- 
parents. of whom we may be so justly proud, 
but a memorial too, of our dear, dear 
Aunt Mary. 

Lovingly your nephew, 

Edwin Milton Royle. 

New York City, May 13, 1909. 

Is it not just like dee.r A.unt Mary Turner 
to have thought of and compiled this charming 
little book? It would, I am sure, be inter- 
esting to even the casu&l reader, but what a 
noble inspiration to those in v/hose veins runs 
the blood of these same fine men and worsen whose 
ch^xacters are so lovingly set forth in its pa^es 

My children will, I sm sure, value it sniong 
their treasures, 

Selena Fetter Royle. 

Denver, May 19, 190 9. 

The place left empty by a dear Mother' s 
loss can never be filled, but my good Sister Mary 
in her untiring devotion and self-sacrificing 
interest in my v/elfare has very nearly approached 
that sacred position. She has spent herself for 
me in untold Dnd unendinq; ways, pnd her judicious 
advice and fine influence have stood back of me 
like a tower of strength. Y/hen sickness has as- 
sailed me and mine, she invariably came to tend 
and for us, and in the crisis of a critical 
illness, VThen the nurse was careless and neglect- 
ful, her sleepless watchfulness saved my life . 
For this i?nd a life-lcr.g devotion, I love and 
reverence her. 

Frances Kirtley Thatcher. 

Denver, May 19, 1909. 

We BTe indebted to Sister Mary for so many 
tilings, and in so m?my v/ays, that it* s not pos- 
sible to enumerate how pjid when. For nearly a 
half century I have personally kno\/i'n of her ac- 
tive ^nd thoughtful life for the good of others 
of her family snd their relatives. It was Sis- 
ter Mary who, a few years ago, with infinite 
pains gathered and mounted in a most beautiful 
np.nnor pictures of her Father and Mother and 
their children «nd presented the saine to all 
the members of her fanily, thereby preserving 
their personality for all the future years. 
And now she orovfns the close of a beautiful sad 
useful life by this brief history cmd loving 
tribute to the Kirtley fariily , end for which 
we -all, I am sure, are de eply p:rateful . 

Joseph A. Thatcher. 

Denver, May 20, 1909. 

I have always felt the tenderest interest 
in the story of my Grandfather, for, fros: my 
earliest recollections, his noble character 
was iispresr^ed upon me by my Mother, who loved 
to tell of the old home and its associations. 
I loved my G-randrr.other dearly; to my childish 
c-ind she was a wonderful woman. This is in- 
deed a precious memorial, — Aunt Mamie's labor 

of love for their descendnr.ts, a living witness 
to her loving thought for us all — and it is 
one more beautiful deed to add to a lifetin*e 
of beautiful deeds. 

Annie Kirtley Shields Cooke. 

Denver, May 20, 1909. 

No, I am not one of tho descendants of the 
gentloneri so sdnirably described by your love- 
guided hand, but I do daily benefit by the in- 
heriter.ce of mind and manner his grand children 
have of him — and if the third generation bears 
fruit due to descent frora such a character, hov/ 
much more may we expect ptA rejoice to see the 
results in the record. 

Dear Aunt Hairiie! "I was a stranjrer and ye 
took me in" — indeed, and if I may not express 
my appreciation in as glowing language as others, 
nevertheless I do see much reserr.blance in you, 
his daughter, to the high-minded man you herein 

G-ood to us all to a fault, ever seeking an 
excuse to help in word and deed, ever holding 
up to us high ideals, your vigor and thorough- 
ness have given me nev/ ideas of the capacity 
of v/oman; so I count myself fortuna.te to be in- 
cluded in the circle of your kindred. 

Persifor M. Cooke 

Denver, May 21, 1909. 

Being as I am a descendant of Sinclair 
Kirtley, I feel justly proud of him end em glad 
to say that the "Memorial" to him and his farr.- 
ily written b^^ my Greataunt Mary S. Turner 
has been a pleasure to me and will continue 
to be so, for all time to come. So that I 
greatly appreciate her and her efforts to help 
me in so many ways during my whole lifetime. 

Stpjiley Shields Coolce 
Fourteen years of age, August 9th. 

Denver, May 21, 1909. 

Dear ^.untie,- 

It ?/ould take a much larger book than this 
one, to hold all I would like to say in loving 
appreciation of what you have done for us in 
the past end are doing all the time. This 
"Manorial" of Grandfather and the beautiful 
home life of which he was centre and inspira- 
tion, with the glimpse of Grandmother and her 
dear Mother, will be a very precious possession 
for all time to come, not only because of the 
joy BrA pride I feel that these dear people 
were mine, but because it was your generous 
thought and work which has given us the record 
in permanent form. 

Mary Jeannette Anderson. 

Salt Lake City, January 28, 1910, 

Dear Aunt Mpry,- 

Heaven is provided to give reward to such 
as you. On this earth you have the appreciative 
affection of those who knov; your loving generosi- 
ty and kindly thoughtfulness, which you show in 
an endearing manner all your own. 

If It is R reward for you to knov: that people 
are made happier end better for having come into 
contact with you and that the influence of your 
spirit will continue in this world long after 
you have taken, the journey to the other — that 
satisfaction is yours. 

Eugene B. Palmer 
Married to Martha Royle King, January 1910. 

Aguasc?lientes, Mexico, 
June 3, 1909. 

And lastly, there are two exiles, whose 
debt of gr??.titude to you, dearest Aunt Msmie, it 
would be hard to express in the limits of this 
page, for the years of your s^Tapathy and rejoic- 
ing with us in days of happiness; for your lov- 
ing-kindness in times of adversity, and finelly 
for the beautiful history of our Grandfather and 
his family, which shall be proudly treasured 
alway s . 

Frank Thatcher Anderson 

Eva Kneeland Anderson. 



Page 86. Read " Mr. Buford writes " at top. 

Page S7. Eliminate last two lines at bottom 
of first article (including Eliza K. Royle.) 

Page 8 7 . Begin last paragraph ^ * I remember ' ^ 
(Signed) M. S. Turner. 


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Brigham Young UnivcRity