Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Assassinination/Murder of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur De La Salle and the Role Of Jean L'Archeveque

 (1643 - 1687)
Wandering about lost in the wilds of Texas were, amongst others, Robert-Rene Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, Pierre Duhaut, his servant Jean l'Archeveque, La Salle's nephew Cavelier, Henri Joutel, the friar Anastase Douay, Another La Salle nephew Crevel de Moranget, the surgeon Liotot, the German Hiens sometimes known as English Jem, a pilot Sieur de Marle, Nika one of two Shawnee hunters, Teissier and Saget.
Pierre Dahaut,  the surgeon Liotot, the German Hiens, Teissier, Jean l'Archeveque, Nika the hunter and Saget were ordered by La Salle to go and search for a cache of food hidden by La Salle on a previous mission. The food in the cache was found but spoiled and as they returned they ran into buffalo and Nika, the Shawnee hunter shot two of them. They camped to dress the animals and sent Saget to inform La Salle so he could send horses to transport in the meat.
La Salle sent Crevel de Moranget and de Marle to go back to the buffalo camp with Saget. Menwhile Pierre Duhaut and his companions had cut and prepared the meat and they had also put away for themselves the marrow bones and some choice portions of meat as was the custom and their right by woodland custom. When Crevel de Moranget and company arrived Moranget flew into a rage as was his habit and he threatned Pierre Dahut and siezed the whole of the meat including the reserved portions.
Angered by the outburst Pierre Dahut met in counsel with the surgeon Liotot, the German Hiens, Tiessier and Jean l'Archeveque and there it was reselvoved to kill Crevel de Moranget that night. Nika, La Salle's faithful follower and Saget must die with him. All five in on the counsel were of one mind with the exception of Teissier, who neither aided nor opposed the plot.
That night when the watch changed and most were asleep Pierre Dahut and the German Hiens, guns cocked ready to shoot anyone who should resist or try to flee. The surgeon Liotot, with an ax swiftly killed Saget and Nika but Moranget started to spasm into a sitting position gasping and unable to speak. The murderers compelled De Marle, who was not part of the plot, to comprimise himself by dispatching Moranget.
Now, vengenance and safety demanded the death of LaSalle. Hiens or "English Jim" alone hesitated as he was close to La Salle. Meanwhile La Salle was still at his camp six miles away. It was the 18th of March, 1687 and Moranget and his companions had been expected the night before. La Salle was anxious and on the 19th of March set out to find them along with the other Shawnee Indian guide and the friar Anastase Douay.
As they approached the buffalo camp LaSalle fired his pistol to summon followers within hearing. Pierre Dahaut stelathily crossed the river between them and he and the surgeon Liotot hid in the long reed like grass out of sight of LaSalle. LaSalle spotted l'Archeveque on the opposite bank and called to him demanding to know where Moranget was. l'Archeveque without lifting his hat or any other show of respect replied in an agitated but broken voice, but in a tone of insolance, that Moranget was strolling about somewhere. La Salle rebuked and menaced him and l'Archeveque drew back as he spoke toward the others in ambush. At that moment a shot was fired from the grass, instantly followed by another hitting La Salle in the head as he dropped dead.
"There thou liest, great Bashaw! There thou liest"! exclaimed the surgeon Liotot. With mockery and insult the members of the conspiracy stripped the body naked, dragged it into the bushes and left it there, a prey to the buzzards and wolves. Thus in the vigor of his manhood, at the age of fourty three died Robert-Rene Cavelier Sieur de la Salle.
Most, but not all, of the information on this post comes from the book titled La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West written by Francis Parkman published by Random  House in 1999. A tough but great read.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gross Kelly & CO, Rowe, New Mexico - 1910 - 1947

Click on the image to make it larger.
This is a picture of the Gross Kelly & Co. store in Rowe taken on August 11, 1918.  Clearly the picture was taken in Rowe, the Picacho clearly visable behind the store. Other than that I do not recognize anything in the photo.
Rowe, what ever there was of the town in 1918 was 40+ years old, having been built as the AT&SF railroad came through. Prior to that the residents of Rowe were, for the most part, from Las Ruedas, down by the Pecos River.
This was the first Gross Kelly store. Later a second, or a third, building would be errected a bit further to the right of this picture and right in front of the AT&SF Railroad depot. Who knows who lived in the house next door pictured in this photo.
Gross Kelly was a big influence in the area around Rowe. Railroad ties were manufactured by the locals according to GK & Co. specs and sold to the company who in turn sold them to the Santa Fe Railroad who took them to a wood treatment plant to be treated prior to use on the tracks. The same goes for mine props and firewood, they were cut, delivered and sold by the locals to the store who in turn would sell them where ever they found a market. The store was operated as a Gross Kelly & Company store between 1910 and 1947, there after under different ownerships well into the 1960's. My mothers first cousin, Aaron Archuleta, worked at the store for many, many years and retired from there.
A good source of information on the Gross Kelly & Company is a book titled The Buffalo Head, A Century of Merchantile Pioneering in the Southwest written by Daniel T. Kelly with Beatrice Chauvenet and published by the Vergara Publishing Company in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1972.
Click on the image to make it larger.
The man on the left is Harry W. Kelly (H.W. Kelly) and the person next to him is Carlos (Charles) Cramer. I knew Charles Cramer's, wife Mrs. Maude Cramer. She lived to a ripe old age and was the postmistress in Rowe in the 1950's. Carlos Creamer came to the Rowe area as manager of the GK & Co. store. His family did stay in the area and Mr. and Mrs. Cramer raised several sons in Rowe.
The other four people and the dog are not identified.
Click on the image to make it larger.
These are the three folks who appear to be locals from the area. I do not recognize anyone, a bit before my time. But the boy appears to be 9 or 10 years old.
My padrino Jose Benavidez was living in Rowe and 18 years old at the time this photo was taken. My mother, Refugio Benavidez was 12 years old and my grandfather Roman Benavidez would have been 44 years ols and my grandmother Ignacia Archuleta 42.