Notes on Chapter Two of Anna Raymond Beardsley

More gaps to fill


Family photo Anna Raymond Beardsley

While it was tempting to spend more time on the aborted trip, the story is about Anna, not Charlotte or Lewis.

We don’t know how Charlotte felt about staying in Madison. It could have been her idea, her wish. Anna may have been sickly, Charlotte may have been ill herself. The birth might have been difficult — there are many ways to write this story, but only anger seems to suggest why she did not follow her husband to California.

Madison was a city by this time. They could have stayed in a hotel. There is no indication that either Lewis or Charlotte were poor. Neither family was wealthy, but the education of their children and their clothing certainly doesn’t suggest poverty. I didn’t want to make them seem extravagant: had they been very well off, they could have taken a boat to San Francisco, but we know they did not. Her brother and his wife traveled to California by boat when he was hired as Chief Engineer for the Central Pacific Railroad, though that cost may have been borne by his employer.

Wealth also might not have made Lewis so anxious to get on to California while leaving his wife behind.

Though we do not know why he left her, nor why she chose not to follow.



Anthony (Tony/Pcunix) Lawrence 👀

Retired Unix Consultant. I write tech and humor mostly but sometimes other things. See my Lists if your interests are specific.