2.19 Port Sudan to Khartoum!

July 1, 2012

Arriving by rail at Khartoum on the Nile preparing to board a steamer south; this segment and the next two might be considered the fulfillment of Hayes Perkins’ lifelong ambitions.

January 1,1914 – January 4, 1914

At Port Sudan, Brits run the town; Germans run the hotel:  “These people are ubiquitous in hotel life all over the East, a key position to give them the opportunity for information they relay to their home government.  Why one wonders, but Germany aspires to be next top dog for world power.”  Egyptians and Syrians hold the minor bureaucratic positions.  Nubian Sudanese hold the rifles and “It is easy to see they like their jobs, take real pride in keeping to the scratch.”  Arabs and Hadendowas (sic) populate the town.  Moslem pilgrims streaming through Port Sudan on Haj toward Mecca find a detention barracks surrounded by “barbed  and panel wire entanglements,”  rather than a German hotelier.  Pilgrims “rest” at the detention center on quarantine against plague.

Customs officials sent Hayes through a maze of red tape appropriating his “fine Savage rifle and 200 rounds of ammunition” to the Sudanese government.  He claims they charged him for wearing his fine London clothes through customs as well.  “But that is ancient history now [one day later], and we will forget it.”

The slow train climbing the mountain Range to Sinkat captured Hayes’ imagination just as it had Rudyard Kipling’s “because of the wars fought in its vicinity, when Dervish battled Briton and Fuzzy-Wuzzy contested with warrior Hybernians(sic) in a manner they both loved.”

The Royal Irish Lancers at Suakin, 20th March, 1885. It was here that the men of the 5th distinushed themsleves by charging and putting to flight the Dervish enemy. (Caption from the site of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers.)

In 1914, Sinkat had become “a peaceful little station” through which “Arab and Sudanese Negro” pilgrims continued their “two or four year” struggle “across the vast plains of the far Soudan (sic) from Sokoto and Kano or from far Dakar and Djenne.”  Hayes can almost understand the long trek for the male pilgrim who “obtains merit in the sight of Allah that endures for all eternity.”  The women though; “some authorities say she has no soul.”  Hayes sees her following her man, “trusting in the protection of Allah to save her from the dangers of the way.… With no hope of Heaven and doomed to slavish toil in this world, life holds little for her.”

Pyramids at Memroe

During the night Hayes’ train descended the mountains onto “a sprawling yellow plain seemingly without end,”  as a thin line of green gradually resolved into trees along the now-dry Atbara River.  At the town of Atbara, Hayes got his first look at the Nile.  It was the time of “low Nile” and the local residents were sowing grain “getting quick results in the rich soil of the river silt, sub-irrigated by the filtering water.”  Despite the grains, “one wonders how all these people lived, for there are vast ruins here.”  At Memroe, he sees “pyramids, ruined temples and even cliff dwellings.”

“Khartoum! How often have I looked on the map and wondered what this city might be like, little thinking I would ever reach it.”    [Stories of Charles George Gordon and the The Mahdist siege of Kartoum of 1884-1885 had fired the imagination of a young Hayes living on the Coquille River, Oregon igniting his lifelong fascination with the African continent.]  Another German hotel keeper let Hayes a “clean and ample” room where he sat on the roof overlooking the white houses amidst waving green palm fronds just as Gordon sat brooding on the roof of his palace overlooking Khartoum watching his diversion of the Nile, the city’s only defense against the overwhelming force of the Mahdists, dwindle into the desert sands.

On the Blue Nile 1913

“When the British retook this city from the Dervishes [in 1898], it lay in ruins. The zealous disciples of the Prophet abhorred anything pertaining to the Infidel, so moved the few remaining people across the White Nile to Omdurman.”  But, “Khartoum is a surprise.  In the fifteen years since the night of Mahdism has been dispelled a modern city has been created.”  Hayes admires the British efficiency: streets at right angles, a zoo of native animals, trees planted at regular intervals, and “a wide avenue border[ing] on the high bank of the Blue Nile.”

The two great rivers, the chalky White Nile and the transparent Blue Nile meet at Khartoum whose name Hayes says “signifies ‘proboscis’ or the trunk of an elephant.  And it is like that, a long cape dividing the two rivers, each keeping to its own shore far down river, refusing to mingle until compelled by swiftwater below.”  By comparison to other rivers Hayes has seen, “The Niles have none of the lilt and swing of the Yukon nor the sparkling blue of the St. Lawrence.  They are patient plodding rivers, uniting their forces here for a common purpose, that to conquer the desert.”

In early 1914, Hayes, nearly 36, has been traveling the hard avenues of the world for more than 20 years with one of the great disappointments of his life looming ahead at the Heart of Africa Mission in the Congo with C.T. Studd.  It’s nice to read at khartoum a little of the wonder of the ten year-old boy who fell in love with Africa on the south coast of Oregon.  He says of Khartoum:  “There is an air of enchantment and mystery about it all.”


2.18 London to Port Sudan

June 24, 2012

For my formerly British readers, a bit more about London of 1913: the aristocratic missionary families and the slums of Whitehall.

November 19,1913 – December 31, 1913

In the hagiography C. T. Studd  Athlete and Pioneer, Studd’s son-in-law Norman Grubb describes Studd’s renunciation of his family inheritance as part of Studd’s missionary belief in radical reliance on divine providence.  Gauging by Hayes’ experience with Studd’s extended family in London, the renounced fortune must have been sizable:  Hayes marveled at the servility of British servants while at tea with Studd’s mother – “quite a lovely and gracious old lady” – at Hyde Park Gardens;  served as  “exhibit A” for  “a congregation of the froth and bubble of this great city” at Ashley Gardens in Westminster, and  stayed three days with Martin J. Sutton, 63 year-old husband to C.T. Studd’s 26 year-old daughter Grace at Wargrave Manor overlooking Henley-on-Thames.  Sutton graciously picked up Hayes’ hotel tab at the Wilton as well; in return, Hayes allowed Sutton to introduce him as the hyphenated Hayes-Perkins to the reverend Webb-Peploe – “but I think I’ll drop mine when I leave London.”

Hanmer William Webb-Peploe

When swimming in the cream of British Aristocracy threatened to overwhelm Hayes’ egalitarian sensibilities, first he tried chatting with the liveried staff.  Rebuffed by the butler, he went walking on the streets of London.  On his first walk he met a pair of “bunco men.”  A “presentable young man” introduced himself to Hayes as, Patrick Murphy, an Australian Sheep farmer.  Shortly, a “heavily walking man of great stature” dropped a package on passing by.  As the large man ignored their shouts, Hayes had to run him down to return the packet which turned out to contain 3,000 pounds in 5 pound notes.  From here Hayes’ account continues like the internet fraud popular a few years ago:  the large man’s brother, Dinny, “had emigrated to Ameriky and struck oil, died and left him $3,000,000 with the proviso that 50,000 pounds be given to charity, the recipient to say mass for the Brother Dinny’s soul.  Protestant prayers would be all right too, but the recipient had to put up 500 pounds to show sincerity.  If Hayes didn’t know from the start he was being scammed, a glance at Patrick Murphy’s hands made it clear to him:  “They were as smooth and soft as a woman’s, one who never soils her lovely palms” – decidedly not the hands of a sheep farmer.  Eventually Hayes offered to put up 10 pounds if he could go along to an audience with the pope.  The two film-flam men gave him up as “a dead one” and a few days later Hayes read in the morning papers that the pair had been arrested.

On his next walk, Hayes donned his “second best suit, not fit for the Wilton or elsewhere on the West End,” and slipped out for a tour of the London slums around Whitechapel.

Westworth Street. Whitechapel of London
From a Photograph by F. Frith and Co.

“The streets are narrow and twisted, covered with grime of centuries and filled with playing children of the slums.  It is as different as day from night, the contrast of Grace Sutton serving at one end of the table and her aged Nestor at the other, waited on by stiff backed servants in livery.  Here are 3,000,000 people never a week from want.  There are children with stunted, misshapen bodies and with faces like those of a hunted animal.”  Hayes continues for a couple of pages:  fallen women, ragged clothing, bloated barmaids, food of poorest quality, and always some wherewithal for “the cup that cheers and lies.”  Perhaps Hayes unintentionally critiques the mission work of his aristocratic hosts who travel halfway round the world to Africa with Whitehall within walking distance; he doesn’t write that critique directly, but on returning to the Wilton, then to some evangelistic services in the Wimbledon suburb, he does go this far:   “There, amid the enthusiasm of the better fed and better clothed sisters and brothers of the submerged where I had been, we listened to their peans (sic) of praise and songs of joy, forgetting the dingy East end and all its pathos.”

After outfitting at the Army & Navy stores in Victoria street, a flurry of dinners, that photography course, and a final meeting with Martin Sutton who, “is much at sea concerning his father-in-law’s [Grace’s father, C. T. Studd, ten years younger than Sutton] doings in Africa, and asks me to write him, telling what is actually happening there,”  Hayes finally got away from London on December 11 by taxi to Frenchurch St. Station, then by train to Tilbury, and onto there British India liner Golconda.

SS Golconda

Of course Hayes travels second class.  The Golconda carries only eight other passengers: “All men, so it looks like a good trip.”  The Lascar crew of 155 gather on the afterdeck wearing white jibbehs bowing, kneeling and standing in prayer every afternoon.  The crew looks foolish to the passengers, the passengers look destined for hell to the crew.  “What is one man’s meat is another man’s poison, all over the world.”

On a smooth sea through the Strait of Gibralter, Hayes “tried to get a snapshot of Tarifa as we passed, but it was too far away.”  A howling gale sweeping a raw drizzle down off the Alps welcomed the Golconda to Marseilles where news came of the sudden death of Martin J. Sutton.  Hayes had had a “certain premonition of ill tidings coming into port,” that he retrospectively attributes to the death of Sutton who had shown kindness to him in London.

Chateau d’if

Hayes’ tour of Marseilles included the Rue Cannibiere (sic) “dating from the time of Rome and Greece in their greatness… a show street if there ever was one,” and the Chateau D’if “where the prisoner of Chillon-no, some old-time captive was put on cold storage, and it was the right place for him; for how cold this place is, with the mistral sweeping down off the Alpes Maritimes!”

Leaving Marseilles, past Corsica, and Sardinia, Hayes falls in with fellow American passenger, Charley Fanton, who says he’s fifty but looks seventy, sailing toward Aden, “where he will set up an electric plant for the city.”  Fanton spent twenty years in Russia “acquiring nihilist ideals,” and has just come from oil company wars in Mexico where he fought for Standard Oil.  Before that he worked on the Madiera-Marmore Railway construction in Brazil where kidnapped Germans marooned there died like flies in the winter.  Of course, to Hayes, Fanton, a kindred spirit, “is a likable chap, a good buddy for a trip like this one.”  At Naples, Hayes and Fanton bypassed the dockside sirens and the glass houses with naked dancing girls in search of “real knowledge of Italian city life.”  Mostly they learned inhabitants of Naples ignore the ash regularly settling on the town from the volcano at Vesuvius “going their several ways as people do all over the world.”

Arriving in Port Said on Christmas Eve 1913, “All the crowd are jolly tonight.  With usual regard for the birth of Christ everybody is celebrating with wine and song.”  Earlier in the day, Hayes had delivered gifts to some friends from Los Angeles working at a girl’s school, “training them in European culture and learning,” in Port Said.  Because they knew Hayes was “a Nasrani infidel,” the girls dined unveiled, their “dark eyes shaded by extra long eyelashes” watching his every bite.  If eating unveiled before ‘an infidel’ seems confused, the following explanation of the girl’s future reads as hopelessly ill-informed, nevertheless Hayes writes:  “The Americans told me they would soon enter harems, for all these girls are daughters of sheiks and emirs, or prominent business men of the Egyptian cities who have parental feeling for their children and wish to give them some instruction in the ways of the dominant Unbelievers who rule Port Said.”

Dining with 200 young women on Christmas Eve beat “the usual booze comedy” pulled aboard the Golconda steaming down the Suez Canal the next day hands down.

Port Sudan

On the last day of 1913, Hayes debouched from the Golconda once again stepping onto African soil at Port Sudan among “ragged pilgrims… swarthy Greek merchants… inky black Sudanese and suntanned Indian traders.”  After the typical shakedown at customs, in another week he’ll be steaming south up the Nile!


2.17 San Diego to London

June 17, 2012

Kayann, Does the hip in the Velasquez painting remind you of Edward Weston?  Can that have been intentional?  Maybe that’s just what hips do.  His one appreciation of culture in London high society.

I’ve included two maps this week.  The first shows his travels in the last half of 1912 and all of 1913 – about eighteen months.

This second map gets him from San Diego to London by way of Canada and across the Atlantic.  Click the title if the maps do not appear.

October 8, 1913 – November 17, 1913

“This Place [San Diego] is the place I have been looking for all my life.  For some reason the boss seems to like me, and the place is permanent.  It will take something good to get me away from here. I am almost forgetting about Africa even.”

Standard Oil Fire, 26th and Schley, San Diego CA 1913

Marred only by the Standard Oil fire that Hayes says burned 250,000 gallons of gasoline and another 1,500,000 gallons of other oil on October 5, 1913, San Diego is a sleepy little town with soft, balmy air off the Pacific Ocean tempering the heat of the sun.  Sharing a room with Fred Sidler, Hayes cooks meals in a small kitchenette, sleeps well in the cool evening air, and watches a rising sun darken the blue of the sea caressed by the cool morning breeze.

And yet: “Somehow I have a premonition of disaster.  I don’t see what could happen in a place like San Diego, but there is a haunting, sub-conscious warning of evil to come that thrills me like an electric shock.  I wake in the night wondering; I am almost afraid.”

October 20, 1913, the day after writing the preceding paragraph, Hayes received a wire from London asking him to report to the board of the Heart of Africa Mission.  If the interview in London goes well, the board will send him to the Belgian Congo.  “Will I go? Of course.  Perhaps this telepathic warning I have had tells me to stay away.  But it is Africa, and to Africa I will go regardless of warnings and all else.”

Three weeks after arriving in “the place I have been looking for all my life,” Hayes departed San Diego for Los Angeles, arrived in time for breakfast with George Studd, delivered and evening address to “a small crowd … at the big mission hall in Los Angeles,”  and left for Chicago at 9:00 AM on the morning of October 28th carrying gifts for George’s brothers: C.T. Africa and and J.K. in London.

Arizona is desolate; Chicago “is so cosmopolitan I feel a stranger in my own country;” Montreal is so cold with no heat in the hotel Hayes must sit all day in the moving pictures to keep warm.  “It costs five cents all morning, five more until bedtime, with a bit of entertainment between naps.”

Ausonia (1), Cunard line

On November 1st, Hayes sailed out of Montreal aboard the Ausonia, a cargo boat that carried passengers in “knockdown berths.”  Such boats are always full of immigrants on the westward trip, but the Ausonia sails east only half full of a few Russians retiring home to their slums with an “ample competence” earned in Canada and many “British who have failed in the new country.”  As the river widened at Lac St. Pierre the Ausonia stuck in the low water, “then we hauled off and we are on our way again, a howling blizzard behind us.  The men who broke the way into the wilderness of the St. Lawrence were made of sterner stuff than I am.”  Hard to imagine anyone made of sterner stuff than Hayes, but he says “I am getting all the hardships I want as a passenger on the Ausonia.”

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec

At Quebec, only a few passengers aboard the Ausonia “braved the howling gale to look at the city from the deck. The Chateau Frontenac looms high above its neighbor buildings from its vantage point on the bluffs.”  Labrador “is an icy desolation”;  Newfoundland “almost as cheerless as Labrador.”  Waves jumping the forecastle froze “the anchors, forward rigging and rails all [into] a sheet of ice.”  Passing out the Strait of Belle Isle Hayes saw a green and blue iceberg so large it had hills and valleys:  “150 feet in height, covering two or three square miles in extent.”  Leaving the shelter of Canada, the Ausonia’s crew secures the deck in preparation for heavy weather(!)

November 7 1913:  For three straight days a blinding gale rolled the ship on high irregular swells with seasick passengers huddled together for warmth “and on every hand could be heard wails of fear lest the ship be lost.”

But on the 9th, the sun broke forth, the passengers forgot their woes and some even broke out a gambling table in the cabin directly beneath the sign reading “Gabling Forbidden.”  Hayes’ berth mate lost $100 using a surefire winning scheme but Hayes eschewed the table worrying more about the larger gamble of his return to Africa:  “I usually get the bad place, and wonder if this will be an exception.  I hope to accept the result, whatever it may be, with equanimity.”

The Ausonia docked at Plymouth where passengers transferred to trains arriving in London on November 12th.  To economize, Hayes took a room in Edgeware Road, “a slightly dingy part of town.”  But was transferred to the Wilton “not far from the House of Parliament and from Buckingham Palace,” after meeting with James Ingram and Martin J. Sutton, “who are heads of the mission that proposes to anticipate Islam in Africa.”

Priscilla (Stewart) Studd

From the Wilton, Hayes launched straight into the whirl of England’s aristocracy.  First he met with “Mrs. C.T. Studd” and her four daughters (two unmarried) at their home near Crystal Palace.  Hayes writes: “We had the usual pink tea fight, and later came another at the Wingfields at Ashley Gardens in Westminster.”  (I wonder if a reader familiar with the phrase “pink tea fight” might send a definition.)  Feeling very much at sea “among these grandees,” Hayes allows his name to be hyphenated:  “I am now Mr. Hayes-Perkins.  This adds infinitely more tone than to be just common Hayes Perkins, as I used to be.”  At these fêtesHayes can manage English men, but the “primped and bedizened dowagers who stare at one through double barreled lorgnettes give me the creeps” – though “they do have some handsome daughters.”

Venus, Diego Velázquez

The following day Hayes escaped to the Natural History Museum at South Kensington.  “This is more in my line, for I love animals, and saw many, including rare ones now extinct.”  For some culture, he revisited Mme. Tussaud’s wax museum (no longer the wonderland it was for Hayes the 21 year old boy, but “it is still good”) and the National Art Gallery where Velasquez’ Venus slashed by suffragette Mary Richardson alone caught his attention:  the rest “might have been beer chromes as priceless art in my eyes.”

Hayes will be in London high society for another month.  The “handsome daughters” make the time bearable and he attends to at least one practical matter as tantalizing to me, his first cousin thrice removed, as any recorded in his diary:  “This afternoon I was at the Army & Navy Stores taking a course of instruction in photography, for the board wants some pictures of inner Africa.”

Anyone have an idea where those pictures taken for the mission board might have ended up?  I’d like to see them too.


2.16 Bandon to San Diego

June 10, 2012

During this “calm” time while Hayes gets money together for travel, one is impressed by the extraordinary physicality of the work he seeks.

June 21, 1913 –  September 30, 1913

After leaving the Donaldson family dairy at Bandon, Hayes came up the Oregon coast returning to the familiar mills of North Bend where he knew he could get steady employment toward earning a road stake.  He and a buddy George Savage, a fallen theology student formerly at Princeton, work the end of the sorting table heaving and shoving the heaviest timbers onto trucks, ten hours a day for $2.25.  In a backhanded compliment to dairy workers, Hayes writes:  “Nothing to do here but to be one of the social set who play in their spare time.”

And, if one were so inclined, play would be interesting here.  “There are many lovely girls, there are in every little town from Maine to Oregon.  These have a certain charm for a red blooded man, an appeal that is hard to deny.”

But, of course, Hayes does deny himself.  For Hayes, one either settles in one place to marry a woman, “unthinkable to a real adventurer,” or takes a sequence of temporary wives, “But it is not the honorable way, so I won’t.”  Look no further than George Savage to confirm of the dangers of consort with women:  “he met a fair maid, who tempted George and he did eat.  Consequently he is here on the end of the sorting table with me, instead of discoursing before learned audiences on how to be good.”

On July 23, just before quitting the mill at North Bend, Hayes “took great interest in watching the forcible deportation of an I.W.W. organizer.”  Edgar and Louis Simpson, the sons of L.M. Simpson, basis for the Cappy Ricks character mentioned in section 2.5 of this blog, and “several of the leading citizens took this wretch on board a launch, hoisted the American flag on high to proclaim to the world their 100% Americanism, took him down to the sandhills across on the north side of the bay and told him to hike for it.”  Given the wretched working conditions at sawmills of the time, union organizing quite naturally follows; surprising though that Hayes, who was sternly critical of the corrupt San Francisco unions, writes with a hint of sympathy for the I.W.W.:  “The only union that has ever done any good whatever for the laborer in this northwest part of the U.S.A. is the same I.W.W.  Nuff said.”

Assignment to the end of the sorting table had been a promotion.  Hartman, the yard boss had seen Hayes and George Savage easily keeping their middle section of the table clean of the lighter boards, so “honored” them with the heaviest work at the end.  “I have learned the men who sit quietly along its sides and do little draw $2.5o per day, while my wage is $2.25.  The hardest job draws the least pay, so I tendered my resignation, to be effective at once.”  No union organizing for Mr. Perkins; if a job’s unfair, go find another one down the road somewhere.  George Savage doesn’t care:  “He has reached a place where so long as booze money comes it makes no difference.”

By August 6, 1913 Hayes had work on the planer at Hammond’s mill in Samoa across the bay from Eureka.  “Hammond’s is the worst place in the redwoods, perhaps the worst on the Coast.”  Hammond’s explains the millworker’s receptivity to the I.W.W..  Just as Hayes described with regard to the Yukon gold fields, ads in San Francisco newspapers keep Humbolt County full of unemployed lumberjacks who’ve paid $2 a head to be shipped north ready to replace any man who collapses on the job as “the various machines in the mills are speeded up until the man behind it is going at top speed all the day.”  At the job interview, Hayes saw, “Guns, knuckle dusters, black jacks, handcuffs and all other paraphernalia usually found in police headquarters and penitentiaries.”  The pay was $1.75 for ten hours a day.  “Flunkies” with stars on their shirts enforce silence in the “vast barn-like hall” at meal times.  $2.50 a week goes back to the company for a bed already fully occupied with vermin and Hammond’s takes another $6.50 from the first paycheck for “poll tax, road tax, hospital fees and whatnot.”

But Hayes takes the job:  broke, it keeps him from begging and, because Samoa is so near Eureka, he can easily spot the first ship sailing anywhere other than here.

After only twelve days on the job at Hammond’s, Hayes collected his $10.10 paycheck, “ten hours a day, and only that, less than a dollar a day,” and sailed out of Eureka on the F. A. Kilburn to San Francisco, then on the Hanalei to Los Angeles with “Big Bob Black – the Australian [who] has Mexico on the brain.”  While Hayes and Big Bob check the Los Angeles street gossip about Mexico – “all say it is futile” – Hayes falls in with a missionary crowd “including the Fergusons,” who suggest “that I go to Africa to build a line of mission stations from the upper Nile to Lake Chad.”  Hayes decided he’d better go to Mexico:  “[The Fergusons] might as well offer me a place on the moon or Mars, it is about as easily obtained.”


John Edward Kynaston Studd, Charles Thomas Studd, George Brown Studd

Two nights later, accepting an invitation to speak at a mission hall, Hayes “took them through West Africa, the Solomons and New Guinea,” after which, “George Studd asked me to dine with him.”  George Studd, formerly with the Ferguson’s Peniel Mission in Los Angeles, was now doing advance work for his brother Charles Thomas (C. T.) Studd‘s mission to Africa.  George said C. T. was already in Africa and “An experienced man is wanted to go to him and build stations in that country for the new mission.”

To Hayes this is more of the same moonshine: he and Big Bob “took the train to El Centro in Imperial Valley.”

Where Hayes had hiked nine years previously, “now is eighty feet of water”; the Salton Sea “began filling soon after my trip across.” Big Bob still presses Mexico but Hayes thinks Big Bob needs to learn how to work:  “He has always rode in on the shirt tail of his parents, spending money others earned instead of fighting his own battles.”  Now Big Bob wants Hayes to “finance a prospecting expedition into Mexico.”  Citing “insurrectos … barging about a few miles away hating Gringos, and all others who do not see eye to eye with them,”  Hayes signs on as a teamster pulling a Fresno Scraper working “on a new canal known as the high line ditch.”


Teams pulling Fresno Scrapers


Fresno Scraper

Big Bob got drenched in a heavy thunderstorm the first night on the job and promptly quit, but Hayes stayed on working “mules and broncos … savage as wild horses. One must watch their teeth and heels, yet when once hitched they work well.”  Low paid, inexperienced Mexicans and Indians drive most of the other teams on the job with little regard for the health of their animals.  Hayes and a few other Americans are kept on at higher pay to hitch all the teams.  “The mules know enough to do the rest.”  Of course, a “caste line” develops:  “No American is expected to show courtesy to a Mexican or an Indian, and these proud aboriginals resent it.”  Typically, Hayes defies caste conventions:  “Often I sit with the Mexicans in the cook wagon, chat with them and am learning a modicum of their language.  We get on quite well with the few words in common we have, and they all appreciate it.”

Three weeks in the ferocious heat, flies, and mosquitos and Hayes has been on the job longer than any American still there, “but some of the Mexicans can take it easily.”  When the “corral buck” quit, Hayes was given his extremely dangerous job:  “Some of these broncos and mules are as savage as tigers.  I keep a long chain dangling to their halters nightly.  On entering the corral they often charge me ears laid back and teeth all showing.  I leap over the feed boxes, catch the chain with an iron hook and tie them to the boxes.  Shoving a tame horse beside them, it is easy to harness them across the back of this docile animal.  But it would be suicide to place one’s self alongside these brutes.”

One more week and “Clark, the boss, decided wages were too high, so imported a lot of city bred Italians from Los Angeles.”  Hayes and the few remaining experienced men quit the job rather than accept the pay cut Clark offered.  “I stayed long enough to save a few lives, for the mules were in their element trying to kill some of the unfortunate Romans who had collars on upside down and could get no further.”

Hayes and all the men leaving the job came through Brawley “88 feet below sea level,” and on to El Centro.  “Even the Mexicans quit with us.  They showed their appreciation of my interest in them while at camp.  If I had permitted they would have bought out the town’s ice cream supply….  After all, men are alike under their skins.”

Construction at Balboa Park circa 1915

At El Centro, Hayes caught a fortunate ride:  “A man with an automobile was going across the ranges to San Diego, was looking for passengers to pay his way.  For seven dollars I made a seat and here we are.”  Back in San Diego after a little more than a month in the desert wrangling wild horses Hayes runs into an old friend, Fred Sidler, from back in the gold rush at Cripple Creek.  Fred has work on the construction team at Balboa Park and gets Hayes on:  “all I have to do is to dump a two-horse scraper, another man driving the team.  It seems ridiculous after handling four wild broncos in the desert all alone.  The pay is better, too, and I am considering Staying on here the rest of my life.”

Ha!  In three weeks he’ll be on his way to the moon – or to Mars – or maybe to that mission job he thought equally improbable with C. T. Studd in Africa.


2.15 A Family Visit

June 3, 2012

Jean, the precise quote from the diary upon Hayes’ arrival at Bandon is:  “Little Maxine, my cousin, with all the charming candor of childhood tells me I am lots uglier than when I was here last time…”  For other’s interested in the genealogy:  Daniel and Lydia (Banks) Perkins;  Thomas Jefferson and Eliza Jane (Houghmaster) Perkins; William Billy and Francis (Hambloch) Perkins; Ethyl (Perkins, whom Hayes describes as his favorite cousin) and Ed Oakes; Maxine Oakes.  Thank you Aunt Ruth.

Here is the map of segment 2.14 that wouldn’t load for me last time:

This is the map of Haye’s four month family visit; as usual, more travel than visit:

March 5,1913 – June 15, 1913

Traveling south by rail, Hayes comments,  “The southeast coast of the United States is the most unattractive I have seen in the country.”  Human destruction and sloth bear most of his critique:  lumbermen and turpentine distillers have wrecked the pinewoods and the residents show little industry – “tumble-down log cabins, slattern women in illfitting clothes and ragged children standing about.”  Uncharacteristically for Hayes, the natural sights fail to raise his spirits: “Even the trees look mournful, festooned as they are with Spanish moss, and one sees no more cheerful bird than a heron or buzzard.”

Water Hyacinth

“Florida is a little better” – the water hyacinth at Sanford on St John River are a nuisance to shipping but at least pretty, the trees are more flourishing, and the towns, Savvanah and Jacksonville, are prosperous.

On this trip to the US, Hayes reconnects with much of his family. His father’s brother Epaminondas, who ten years previously graciously helped place Hayes on the USGS expeditions to Alaska (volume 1, segment 20.6), is a “southern hothead” who quarreled irreparably with his children and retreated from Washington DC to a 120-acre homestead at Winter Garden, Florida with orange groves and a truck garden for northern markets.  Because his farm blocks development of the town, Epam “has recently overheard remarks from the up and coming real estate men concerning reactionaries who stand in the way of public advancement, and is much perturbed thereby.”  At 78, all this has become too much for Epam.  “He wants me to stay with him, promises me $10,000 if I will stay.”  An attractive eighteen-year-old daughter of Epam’s hired hand can be considered part of “the bait” as well – for “she is willing.”

Hayes never seriously considered Uncle Epam’s offer – then beg – then demand, that Hayes stay and manage the farm at Winter Garden.  In the first place, Hayes is twice the girl’s age; second, Epam has children to whom the inheritance rightly belongs; and third, “it has not the attraction of the lonely Australian bush, the lack of romance of the South Seas.”

So, after three weeks at Winter Park, Hayes crossed to Tampa Bay billeting on the steamer Brunswick headed for New Orleans with “a Swede, [and] two drunks (American)”.  The first night’s “holy show of it” was too much for Hayes and the Swede; after their bibulous cabin mates caroused out to disturb the rest of the ship, the sober pair remaining behind found and poured all the remaining booze down the drain and went back to bed.

Andrew Jackson Statue, New Orleans, LA

At New Orleans, Hayes coolly observed the fine sugar plantations, the great levees holding back the sea, the statue to Andrew Jackson, and the French-feel to the town.  “I like to see the town once; but not again.”  Not at least until these backward-looking people realize that the War of 1812 was 100 years ago and the Civil War ended nearly 50  years ago – and the North won.

Travelling immediately up to Houston to visit his mother and sisters (Jennie and Louise Pearl), Hayes writes:  “I cannot realize they are nearer me than any others I meet in the street.  My sisters have had a hard, uphill fight for an education.  Now that they have arrived, I fear it has slightly gone to their heads.”  Hayes sees his mother looking older than her sixty-three years.  “When women live a pioneer life as she has lived, they age more quickly than when sheltered.”

But enough about family matters, how much more interesting the city:  Houston,  splendidly located with neither the hurricanes of Galveston nor the floods of New Orleans, “cannot help but grow into a great metropolis.”

Hayes stayed three days with his mother and sisters in Houston.  “They are strangers to me, they know it and I know it.”

Passing through Morgan, Texas on April 13th, Hayes comments on the inhumanity of the prison labor farm where head-shaved men slowly plow or swing hoes followed by hulking guards with rifles slung across saddles ready to shoot any man who might break for the bush.  “Crime cannot be condoned, but what advantage is gained in further brutalizing these men, then turning them loose on the public?  The way of the transgressor is hard – if he be a poor man.”  Hayes sister Memrie still lives at Hico, Texas, Hayes’ birthplace, only thirty miles from Morgan.  He decides not to call at Hico:  “like these convicts my heart was embittered too, but it is a closed book, a turned page and we will let it stand as it is.  I hope never to see the village again.”

At Oklahoma City, Hayes’ sister May, her husband William Mobley and two children visited with Hayes at the train station.  That was enough; “it is impossible to believe they are kinsfolk.  Strangers seem more natural.”

“San Francisco always acts like a magnet for me.”  This time, the “brusque and cynical” city drew him by rail across the sagebrush country from Newton, Kansas, through cold, dry Colorado, and up the San Joaquin Valley.  He saw most of the land along this way as barren and wild but, “When man uses his intelligence for some other purpose than satiating his lusts, he is a useful animal.”  The occasional alfalfa field or perhaps a fruit orchard following an irrigation project show evidence of ‘man’s use’ to Hayes.

Steam Schooner Speedwell, San Francisco, CA

After only three days in San Francisco, Hayes caught the steam schooner Speedwell bound north to Bandon, Oregon to complete his visit to the family. “I have no particular desire to see the place, but it is a duty, not a pleasure.”  His world travels have spoiled US scenery to his experienced eye:  “We have been in sight of the coast all the way.  It is not inspiring as are the tropics, merely a dull darksome line with sometimes white cliffs or grim headlands.”  Perhaps he’s tired: “My long journey from Sydney is ended, and a new chapter begins.”  Perhaps family responsibilities weigh heavily:  “What lies here?  I am not enthused about it, but will see it through to its end.”

James Manley Perkins, Mary Lucretia (Covey) Perkins, Coquille, OR

James Manley Perkins, Mary Lucretia (Covey) Perkins, Coquille, OR

Within a week of his arrival in Bandon, Hayes attended the funeral his uncle Jim (James Manley Perkins, great-great grandfather to the author of this blog).  James Manley had not seen his brother Epaminandos for more than fifty years; Hayes was glad to have delivered news and photographs from Florida to Uncle Jim before he died but dreads writing Epam with the sad news.

After James Manley’s death, Hayes stayed on for a while at the dairy farm with his cousins (who must be Joe Donaldson and Minnie (Perkins) Donaldson, great-grandparents to this author).  The contrast between the relentless demands yielding stolid rewards on a dairy farm could not contrast more starkly with the uncertainty and adventure of Hayes’ wandering life.  He describes dairy work at some length:  “We are up at 5 A.M., milk 22 cows.  Then breakfast, an ample meal with all the real food one gets at such a place. … After breakfast we put the milk through a separator, hauled it to the river and put it in a steamer for the creamery in Coquille.  Skimmed milk is given to the calves and pigs.  The fowls are fed, the horses slicked down and made ready for farm work.  There are a thousand things to do on a farm, and when these are done we take the cows in hand again.  There are three meals that are incredible to a city dweller.  But the work lasts until eight P.M. or later, when one is tired and ready for bed.  In the morning one gets up and does it all over again.”

After reading many  examples Hayes’ capacity for long days of hard work across Africa, Australia, New Guinea, and on ships sailing every sea, one suspects he disdains the tedious repetition more than the exertion.  “To me the world would be a dull place without its adventurers…?”

After a month on the farm at Bandon, news arrives that now Uncle Epam has died of nephritis in Florida.  These two deaths of his close uncles finish Hayes’ family visit.  Acting messenger-boy of death suits him even less than farming.  So with no inkling what will be next, Hayes writes “Well, I have finished this job, and now for something else.”  First he’ll need a stake – one eats well at the family farm but, as usual, Hayes’ purse is flat.


2.14 Two Parades

May 27, 2012

Hayes Perkins at a suffrage parade – imagine.  I expect you anticipate correctly: rowdy and discourteous.  Nevertheless, a quite remarkable passage from the diaries.  His presence in that crowd informs me, at least, of the scope and power of that civil rights movement that changed the course of the United States.

Sorry about the lack of a map.  Google Maps updated and the import function is glitching – again.  The desired import shows Hayes sailing from Southampton, to Cobh, across the Atlantic, and to Washington DC.

February 10, 1913 – March 4, 1913

Touring Southampton with “a fellow Yank from Buenos Aires,” Hayes’ diary demonstrates that secondhand information he records isn’t always reliable. The friend filled him full of tales of Harvey Logan, Butch Cassidy, and Harry Longebaugh marauding around Argentina with an army of 400 soldiers of fortune.


Harry Longebaugh (Sundance kid) seated left
Harvey Logan (Kid Curry) standing right
Robert LeRoy Parker (Butch Cassidy) seated right

Kid Curry never went to Argentina and died in 1904 outside Parachute, Colorado. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fled from US law enforcement agents to Argentina in 1901 but were chased to Bolivia in 1908 where most biographers believe they were killed.  Some believe the pair went successfully into hiding, but in any case by 1913 they’d been gone for five years.


SS Majestic 1896

Hayes describes the SS Majestic on which he took passage from Southampton to New York as, “just another old packet.” (The Majestic had been pressed back into service on the transatlantic run after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 before being scrapped in May of 1914.)  Upon arrival at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, Hayes remarks that nothing about the town has changed since his visit there fourteen years earlier – right down to “the same old hulks off Spike Island.”

After a few rough days out from Queensland on high seas with wind driving straight out of the north carrying spits of snow, both wind and water calm allowing the Majestic’s slightly green passengers on deck for the first time. Hayes writes, “there are so many Jews on board, chiefly from Russia, and Galicia in Austria. One wonders what influence they will have on the American people, whether good or bad. They don’t seem to have much to offer now.”

The lull in the storm only lasted one day.  A westerly gale blew up fighting the majestic all the way into dock at Tompkinsville, NY where “came doctors and immigration officials and customs to receive us, none of them courteous, for this is a lost instinct in the American people. It is a sign of weakness to show ordinary decency to a stranger in my own land.” After enduring much hustling and bawling and shoving about, Hayes went ashore to the pier. “The rest were whisked away to Ellis Island, where doubtless they will be put through the mill by other inquisitors there.”

After stopping to see some relatives in New York, Hayes arrived in Washington DC on February 28, 1913, just prior to the presidential inauguration of Woodrow Wilson.

His two-page derogation of the US congress describes the House of Representatives as a group unintelligent (though notably bald) schoolboys incessantly quarreling – and the Senate as a “a rather mediocre body of men,” (with considerably more hair). “All of them have reached the goal they now have arrived at by trickery, chance, influence from some corrupt corporation.”

On March 3, 1913, the day Wilson arrived in DC to little fanfare, Hayes and his cousin Adam joined the “ignorant and uncouth mob” (quoting Women’s Journal of March 8,1913) pictured below in an historic suffrage march.

15th and Pennsylvania Washington DC
March 3, 1913

Hayes puts the number marching in the parade at 5,000 surrounded by “250,000 of these low browed proletariat crowed against the flimsy cords that restrained them”

First in the parade came Inez Milholland “clad as a nymph and riding a white horse”


Inez Milholland

Then Fraulein Hedwig Reicher “rigged out as Semiramis.”


Hedwig Reicher

Other documentarians describe Reicher as depicting Columbia. But Hayes is sure he’s heard of Semiramis, “for she was the first to discover the utility of eunuchs and introduced them to her harem.”

By now “some bold and unknown adventurer stepped over the rope. Another followed him, then another. Then they began to come at a dozen at a time.” Hayes saw Carrie Chapman Catt looking as grim as the red faced Hedwig Reicher who “looked all any German officer could” riding high on “a float drawn by big horses and the crowd gave way before these heavy animals, respecting their weight alone.”


Carrie Chapman Catt

Not all the men present were heckling the suffragist; Hayes saw Richmond Pearson Hobson,”hero of the Merrimac incident in Santiago in Cuba,” marching with the women. In 1913 Hobson represented Alabama in the US House of Representatives. Marching with the suffragists must have required considerable courage, but the rowdies in the crowd taunted the handsome man mercilessly saying, “We know why you’re here.” From Hayes we learn that the women knew Hobson was handsome as well “and have before this given ocular (and oscular) evidence of their admiration.”


Richmond Pearson Hobson 1911

Hayes’ mean spirited mockery of the women’s march persists even when applauding a woman he describes as “the prize of the show … an old negro mammy, perhaps a washer-woman. She knew human nature and took it all with a grin.” This woman received and returned many compliments shouted from the mob, bowing finally to an enormous cheer from the men. “It was an honest tribute, for she did not hold herself above us.”

Thus, the root of Hayes critique of the suffrage parade:  “If they want equality with men, then they should learn to take it.  They want all the deference men show them as they are now and want the right to mix with men as one of the crowd.  They got it today and showed they couldn’t take it.”  An ironic stance from a wanderer who always holds himself to impossibly high standards of abstinence and chastity constantly mourning the failures of the dissolute men and women with whom he associates.

The next day’s parade featured President Wilson, “self conscious, frightened, looking every inch the school master he is,” accompanied by the outgoing President Taft who “looked like a brewer who had had a bad night.”


Presidents Wodroow Wilsonand William Taft
at Wilson’s inauguration 1913


William J. Bryan
1908

The populist supporter of Wilson, William Jennings Bryan, “had the eye of everyman in the crowd. He Knew his audience, was like a jovial Nebraska farmer, which he is.”

Both outgoing President William Taft and wanderer Hayes Perkins (separately) slipped  away early from the pompous inaugural ceremony hoping to beat the rush for trains leaving the city.  A feeble hand clapping greeted Taft at the station.  As for Hayes:  “If Uncle Sam can dispense with my presence at future inaugurations, I shall be glad.  The entire proceeding is a bore, a nuisance to all concerned.  If they want to make a spectacle of this happening, why not change the date to sometime in midsummer?  At least people could keep warm.”  He caught a train heading south arriving in Richmond by nightfall.


2.13 Halfway around the world.

May 20, 2012

Hayes sailed west from Sydney on his way back to the US; thus his arrival in England marked his first complete circumnavigation of the globe.  Please click to the website to see the map.  The distance Hayes traveled in six weeks requires zooming out to show half the earth’s surface.

December 25, 1912 – February 9,1913

On boarding G.M.S. Zeiten at Sydney on Christmas Day, Hayes makes no comment on the holiday but does note that the German penchant for naming ships for “obscure old time generals of Napoleon’ day… Seydlitz, Roon, Goeben, Zieten…” parallels the US use of “Civil War generals no one in Europe ever heard of… Grant, Sherman, Slocum, Logan, Hancock, Sheridan and so on.” He prefers the German ships to the British boats on the same line as faster, cleaner, and more solicitous of the passengers – still – “Were it not for the military aspect of it all, I would like it.”


G.M.S. Zeiten

A glance at the map shows Hayes retracing his route of eighteen months previously. This time though, instead of south to Mombassa, he’ll turn north at Aden toward the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean, and eventually home to the US.

Having covered this ground recently, his diary entries include little detail: Great tides at the entrance to Melbourne harbor: a suspicious woman on board who announces her intention to “escort” every male passenger on the Zeiten; silver-lead ore loaded at Adelaide bound for German factories; the drear Nullarbor Plain north of the Australian Bight; dry at Fremantle; Neptune’s visit at the equator; gamblers causing a ruckus banned from the salon by the officious Germans….

“Colombo made a pleasant interlude” – except that “Lady Alice” followed Hayes and his fifteen year old companion on a tour of a Buddhist temple. “If this is to be a sample of her keeping company with every man on board, she is hard put for escorts.”

Hayes’ critique of Buddhist practices following his visit to the temple might seem unduly harsh if he was less egalitarian in his denunciation of organized religions across all faith boundaries. “The great buildings, the bizarre decorations, the useless, lazy priests who are drones on the body politic cost tremendous sums, but the people give of their little freely to support all this.” How reminiscent of his assessment of Roman Catholicism. He does though write a line particular to Buddhism: “to the onlooker Buddhism resembled a stagnant pool, a slough of despond from which none escape who enter.”

At Aden the “brutal, domineering ways of the Germans showed to full advantage.” Without warning, sailors turned two great fire hoses on the hundreds of purveyors of small merchandise swarming about the Zeiten scattering men, boats and merchandise into the sea.

Sinai Penninsula

The view of the “vast, rugged bulk of Mt. Sinai” on entering the Gulf of Suez prompts Hayes to write a little biblical exegesis: “Of one thing one may be assured. If Moses led 3,000,000 people through this wilderness it was accomplished only by supernatural aid. There is very little natural food in this desert, nor water, nor shade.” (Hayes does not justify his number; one wikianswers site tells how to reach that number, another site asserts that the entire population of Egypt at that time totaled about 3.5 million people.)

The site of Elim’s wells, where Hayes says Miriam danced as the Israelites celebrated their escape from the Egyptians, elicits from Hayes another critical speculation concerning the biblical account of the parting of the Red Sea. “We are even shown where the Hebrews crossed, down some miles south of Suez. This is very unlikely.” The winds just don’t blow properly. The east wind described in the bible won’t push the waters back from the quicksand – “but a north wind will drive back the waters off the flats from some miles. There are quicksands there, and it is possible.” Perhaps Hayes would like to believe in the miracle that saved the Israelites: “The contour of the land may have changed materially in 3,000 years. It can easily when the sands blow across the desert as they do now.”


Suez Canal

The Zeiten makes slow headway up the Suez canal until reaching “the bitter lakes” where the ship can steam more quickly, “materially lessening the time that would be otherwise consumed if it were all canal the entire 110 miles.”

In a diary passage concerning the city at the north end of the canal, Hayes demonstrates that his reading extends beyond the bible:  “Port Said must be near the site of ancient Pelusium, where Cambyses the Persian captured the city by stratagem from the Egyptians.”  And that he is not interested in the kind of photography on offer from wouldbe guides to the “purlieus” of the town: “Peddlers in the streets are everywhere, both as guides and purveyors of pictures. They follow after persistently and will not be denied. Doubtless most people desire to be rather naughty when away from home, else this would not be so fully exploited.”

Kaiser Wilhelm II 1913

On January 27 1913, the Kaiser’s 54th birthday, all the Brits on board the Zeiten join the German’s celebrating, at least “insofar as beer guzzling goes.” Hayes writes that “There is a general Balkan war going on now…” From the deck of the Zeiten, he watched a Turkish battle ship run from a larger Greek ship. When the Egyptians voiced their “sympathies with their co-religionists,” Hayes and some of the other sailors on board told them (falsely) that an even larger British ship entering the Port was another Greek ship hunting the Turkish ship, “an antiquated American battleship sold to the Ottoman government.”

Intrigues aboard the Zeiten reveal that Lady Alice is a spy for the German government. “She gets her trips about the world in payment for information gleaned from her fellow passengers.” Sailing through the narrows as Scylla and Charbdis, “there were no other sirens than Lady Alice.” But even the German officers hold her in low regard, “for who can like a traitor to one’s own coutry?”

Past Capri and “the sullen smoking bulk of Vesuvius,” the Zeiten docks at Naples amidst a swarm of pimps and vendors. But past that crowd, “There is really something to this report of Naples’ surpassing beauty, especially at sunset.” Of course, admiration for a city can’t last more than a paragraph for Hayes. His entry for January 29, 1913 ends: “The more I see of the world the more I feel convinced it would be a better place without man in it.”

Campo Santo, Genoa

Approaching Genoa, a passenger on the Zeiten asked Hayes if he’d “seen anything of the leaning tower of Pysy [sic] yet. [The Passenger] could scarce believe this could not be seen when miles at sea.”  On arrival, Hayes visited the house where Christopher Columbus was born, commenting that the Genoese of his time thought Colombus crazy and the Spaniards threw him in jail before he died. Of all the sights of Genoa, the Campo Santo most “excites the admiration of a mere tourist and globe trotter.” He writes that the compound is only eight acres but “half a million people have been interred her from time to time.” He’s not much for sculpture in general but feels inadequate to the job of describing “this wilderness of marvelously carved marble.” He’s also impressed by a candle a foot in diameter and more than ten feet tall designed to burn for hundreds of years.

French President Raymond Poincare

Leaving some of the “more bibulous passengers” behind in Italy, the Zeiten sails past Corsica, then along the coast of Africa with a splendid view of the Leseser Atlas Range. “Algiers is a clean city” in the midst of a great celebration for the coronation of French President Poincare.

A German man-o-war anchored near enough to the Zeiten that Hayes could see their sword-work drills, elicits comparison between national military comportments: To Hayes, the German officers are bullies, the Brits are occasional snobs brought quickly to earth by their countrymen, and the French are least domineering “though it is said the foreign legion is tough.”

Passing through the strait at night, Hayes could see the lights of Gibralter to the north and of Tangier to the south. With the Bay of Biscay “on its best behavior” none on board suffer seasickness which allows “boozing to their heart’s content.” Taking on a pilot at the needles,

The Needles, Southampton

the Zeiten makes her way to Southampton where Lady Alice greets her fiancé radiant with smiles despite a severe session with the ship’s captain moments previously. “Surely Germany has some obscure purpose in this, and why an English citizen can demean herself to carry tales on her fellows is more than one can see.  I hope I never see her again.”

February 9, 1913, one day short of Hayes’ 35th birthday. His arrival in Southampton signals his first circumnavigation of the globe – a milestone unremarked in his diary.