Notes on Chapter Two of 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.
The photo of Lewis was taken by Wm. J. Baker’s Photographic Studio, Tibbit’s Block, Utica NY. I don’t know when this was taken, though if Lewis did die at San Francisco in early 1858, it could have been either before or after their wedding in April of 1854.
I can find evidence of Baker’s studio in 1863, but so far nothing earlier. If Baker was not in Utica before 1856, then Lewis did return from California before his death.
Note that Anna and Charlotte’s photos were taken at the same studio, Remington’s, in New York City. It’s not unreasonable to think that these might have been at the same time. If so…