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Story of Inyo 1

A Look Inside: The Story of Inyo

The Story of Inyo can be found in the California section of our American County Histories: The West. This book was compiled by Willie Arthur Chalfant (1868-1943) and dedicated to Pleasant Arthur Chalfant.

Story of Inyo Dedication

Story of Inyo Dedication

From the Foreword to the First Edition

California has furnished probably more themes for books than has any other American State. The easy-going romantic years of Mexican rule, the padres, the Argonauts, the golden era, the wonders of this Empire of the West, have had generous attention from both masters and amateurs in prose and poetry, fact and fiction. The flood of writing hardly diminishes, for magazine literature and still more books add to it month by month.

This book’s purpose is to preserve, particularly, the record of Inyo County earlier than 1870, when a printed record began. Gathering data for some such purpose began more than twenty years ago, while many of the pioneers still lived. It was the author’s good fortune to know personally every early-day Inyoite then in the county. All narratives were checked and rechecked with each other and with other sources of information.

One of the most valuable sources of information was an extensive manuscript collection in the private library of Henry G. Hanks, in San Francisco. Mr. Hanks was an assayer in San Carlos and Chrysopolis mining camps, Owens Valley, in 1863. In later years he became State Mineralogist of California. He was a man of education, and when age caused his retirement from active labors his library received his whole attention. His interest in Owens Valley continuing, he kept and arranged many letters, diaries and other writings relating to this county’s history.

Everyone who took any prominent part in the Indian war has passed on. The Hanks library was burned in the fire of 1906. As those sources of information are thus forever lost, there is some justification in believing that a service was done in getting what they had to impart; and also, that these chronicles, having that advantage, give the only fairly complete record of the county’s beginnings that can be compiled.

Story of Inyo - Settlement Map

Story of Inyo – Settlement Map



Sleep Talking – Godey’s Lady’s Book May 1832

This is merely a modification of somnambulism, and proceeds from similar causes, namely, a distribution of sensorial power to the organs of speech, by which means they do not sympathize in the general slumber, but remain in a state fit for being called into action by particular trains of ideas.

If, for instance, we dream that we are talking to some one, and if these organs are endowed with their waking share of sensorial power, we are sure to speak. Again, the mere dream, without a waking state of the organs, will never produce speech; and we only suppose we are carrying on conversation, although, at the time, we are completely silent. To produce sleep talking, therefore, the mind, in some of its functions, must be awake and the organs of speech must be so also. The conversation, in this state, is of such subjects as our thoughts are most immediately occupied with; and its consistency or incongruity depends upon that of the prevailing ideas being sometimes perfectly rational and coherent: at other times full of absurdity.

The voice is seldom the same as in the waking state. This I would impute to the organs of hearing being mostly dormant, and consequently unable to guide the modulations of sound. The same fact is observable in very deaf persons, whose speech is usually harsh, unvaried, and monotonous. Sometimes the faculties are so far awake, that we can manage to carry on a conversation with the individual, and extract from him the most hidden secrets of his soul. By such means things have been detected, which would otherwise have remained in perpetual obscurity.


Serving the Republic: Memoirs of the Civil and Military Life of Nelson A. Miles, Lieutenant-General, United States Army

A Look Inside: “Serving the Republic”

Serving the Republic: Memoirs of the Civil and Military Life of Nelson A. Miles Lieutenant-General, United States Army can be found in our The Civil War – Part III: The Generals’ Perspective collection of full text search able books.


In writing these memoirs I have a threefold object. My hope is to interest the reader in certain subjects which should rest near the hearts of all patriotic citizens, since they are topics dealing to some extent with the history, conditions, and welfare of our country; also, in doing this, to add a leaf to the crowns of those noble men who, as my self-sacrificing companions in arms, labored heroically in her service; and, finally, to be able to set forth some information that may attract and prove of value to the future student and historian. I trust these chapters may awaken their readers to a broader interest in the establishment and development of our government, and to a justifiable pride in our country, its influence and its glory.

The recording of one’s personal opinion, judgment, and observation of historical events appeals to me as a sacred duty, since out of such narratives the facts of history are culled. I think grave error may result, and often arises, from the inclusion of inaccurate reports and sensational statements, and I believe that literary indifference or recklessness should be avoided at all times. To this end I shall devote my earnest efforts in order that what I have to say may at least be authentic.

That part of our country’s past history which treats of the expansion of our civilization in the territory west of the Mississippi, and the causes thereof, will come in for notice in the course of my narrative, as will also the more salient features of our present conditions, the possible trend of our country’s future, and the responsibilities and possibilities which lie before us. I hope that what I have to say may promote confidence in the young men of to-day and inspire them with patriotism, since, of necessity, the destiny of our great Republic depends chiefly upon them and those who shall follow them.

–Lieutenant-General Nelson A. Miles



Woman Suffrage and “The Nation” in 1871

By Mrs. Goodrich Willard

As the editor of The Nation has at last come out and treated the woman question and its advocates in a more respectful manner, we will discuss his views as if he were a gentleman, and not a blackguard or a gander. If he will stop calling names, we will. We are glad that our plan of “treating a fool according to his folly” has worked so well, and made him ashamed of the folly. It is sometimes necessary to do this, because it is the only course that will succeed; nevertheless, we deplore the necessity. It is not to our taste.

The article of The Nation is headed, “Sex in Politics.” The editor says:

Owing to the interest excited by the condition of the city and State of New York, and the condition of the South, and by the condition of France, all of these countries being governed by a numerical majority, and all badly governed, the foundations on which democratic governments rest are receiving a more serious and thoughtful examination than they have ever received before. … Hitherto democracy has been discussed in very much the frame of mind in which men speculated on the form and habits of dragons or the scenery of Hesperides. … Now, however, we have at last got the thing itself under our very eyes, and the debate has assumed a gravity and even a solemnity it has never before had.

The astute editor of The Nation ought to know that the world has never yet seen a true democratic government, but only approaches toward it. The present government of this country, north and south, is nothing more nor less than the very worst form of a masculine oligarchy; and then to think of the absurdity and injustice of calling France a democracy– poor France, in a state of perfect anarchy brought upon her by monarchial misrule and injustice.

It is very evident that The Nation is endeavoring, by sly insinuations, to cast obliquy and distrust upon a democratic or republican form of government. If The Nation, and others like him, shall attempt to foist a monarchy upon this people, they will have a hot time of it.



Imprisonment of Free State Abolitionists

From the Pennasylvania Freeman:

Many of the readers of the Freeman are familiar with the case of Dr. Brooke, and others, of Ohio.

By the constitution and laws of that State, all slaves entering her territory with the consent of their owners, are declared free. A party of slaveholders emigrating from Virginia to Missouri with their human chattels, encamped for the night in Clinton county, in which reside a large number of active abolitionists.

Several of these called at the encampment, and informed the slaves that by the laws of the State they were in, they were entitled to their freedom; whereupon they all decamped. For this act, twenty-one persons were indicted for abduction and riot.