Tag Archives: Ben Ficklin

Knights of the Golden Circle Exposed

BOOK REVIEW: Baker, L. C., The Ones That Got Away: Knights of the Golden Circle Exposed (no publication information given) pp.177, some photos and illustrations, no endnotes, bibliography, or index. ISBN 978149959393, soft cover $14.99

By Nancy B. Samuelson

Book jacket: The Ones That Got Away, Knights of the Golden Circle ExposedThe Knights of the Golden Circle seems to attract all kinds of strange people and theories. This book, indeed, contains some strange theories and a lot of misinformation. The writing is littered with errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The photographs and illustrations used are of very poor quality. The author gives little or no information about where he got his material.

The author would have us believe that Lewis Cass, who resigned as Secretary of State because Buchanan took little or no action against the secessionists, and Illinois Senator Orville Browning were connected with the Knights of the Golden Circle. He hints that both men may have had something to do with Lincoln’s assassination. He also makes the preposterous accusation that Browning, a close friend and confidante of Lincoln for many years, carried on a lengthy love affair with Mary Todd Lincoln!

L.C. Baker
L.C. Baker, author of The Ones That Got Away, Knights of the Golden Circle Exposed

There is a lot of misinformation about Ben Ficklin and his association with Sen. William M. Gwin of California and the freighting firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell. He says Ficklin was a West Point graduate. This is not so, Ficklin graduated from Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Ficklin was acquainted with Sen. Gwin and Gwin did back the Pony Express, which was first Ficklin’s idea. Gwin was a farsighted man who fought long and hard for all sorts of development on the Pacific Coast that would benefit California and the nation. Gwin was, as one author put it, “adept at reconciling contradictory forces for his own political advantage”.  However, to state that Gwin was trying to obtain a monopoly in the opium trade to raise money for the Knights of the Golden Circle is way out there in left field.

The author’s idea that Russell, Majors and Waddell and Ficklin had a monopoly of freighting during the “Mormon War” and made a fortune is completely wrong. Russell, Majors and Waddell lost a half million dollars when their wagons and livestock was stolen or destroyed by the Mormons and the Indians. The Pony Express also lost money and the company went broke and sold out to Ben Holladay.

Jesse James gets into the story in the chapter on Captain Logan Enyart. Enyart served in Company G. of the First Missouri C.S.A. He was married to a sister of Col. Richard B. Chiles, his commanding officer. Chiles later joined Quantrill’s Raiders and was killed during the war. Enyart probably knew Frank and Jesse James during the war. The author would have us believe Jesse James made regular visits to Enyart’s home in Nebraska City, Nebraska after the war. The author states that is was a well known fact that Enyart had a secret underground passage between his house and stables over 100 yards long to give the James gang entrance to his house. (He must have borrowed this one from some Dalton Gang mythology.) The author did not, however, seem to know that Enyart did invite Frank James to stay at his home when Frank was an official race starter in Nebraska City in August 1909.

Many other examples of bad information in this book, could be pointed out. The above should be enough to tell the discerning readers to save their book money for something more worthwhile.

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Sunday March 29th, 2020

Stray Leaves

Our James family cousin Jamie Harmon reports about the virus from his family's worldwide tour:
Day 214. New Zealand is under national lockdown. We are completely fine and overall happy to be stuck here. But it is serious: rules enforced by police - who can question you if you go for a walk and officially have the power to enter your home (but they probably don’t do that much). We are 5 days in, and it is minimum 28 days. When the government announced the lockdown, they gave everyone 48 hours to plan. Our hotel told us it was closing, and we scrambled to find a house to rent. We are in a good spot, but we did have to cancel the hotels and flights for the last 100 days of our trip. Many of our countries cancelled on us because they imposed travel bans. Sad to see those go, but our problems are small compared to many. NZ imposed a national grocery store limit of 2 of the same item per person, but we have enough food. The country is not out of toilet paper, but they are out of flour for some reason. Regarding the picture, this is actually from 6 weeks ago in an airport in Asia. We were in Asia for about 2 months when Asia was the center of all this, and Hazel in particular has been really scared of the virus. We have been wearing masks in airports and the few crowded places we went. But we mostly felt safe by being in small hotels that were out of the way. We have been so sad to watch the virus spread in the USA. Such crazy times. Stay safe out there!
... See MoreSee Less

Our James family cousin Jamie Harmon reports about the virus from his familys worldwide tour:
Day 214. New Zealand is under national lockdown. We are completely fine and overall happy to be stuck here. But it is serious: rules enforced by police - who can question you if you go for a walk and officially have the power to enter your home (but they probably don’t do that much). We are 5 days in, and it is minimum 28 days. When the government announced the lockdown, they gave everyone 48 hours to plan. Our hotel told us it was closing, and we scrambled to find a house to rent. We are in a good spot, but we did have to cancel the hotels and flights for the last 100 days of our trip. Many of our countries cancelled on us because they imposed travel bans. Sad to see those go, but our problems are small compared to many. NZ imposed a national grocery store limit of 2 of the same item per person, but we have enough food. The country is not out of toilet paper, but they are out of flour for some reason. Regarding the picture, this is actually from 6 weeks ago in an airport in Asia. We were in Asia for about 2 months when Asia was the center of all this, and Hazel in particular has been really scared of the virus. We have been wearing masks in airports and the few crowded places we went. But we mostly felt safe by being in small hotels that were out of the way. We have been so sad to watch the virus spread in the USA. Such crazy times. Stay safe out there!

Wednesday March 25th, 2020

Stray Leaves

DID YOU KNOW? Country music star Tim McGraw is an 8th great-grandson of Hans Jost Heydt and a 4th cousin of the brothers Woot & Tuck Hite of Quantrill's Raiders. Tim's father Tug McGraw was a professional baseball player with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. ... See MoreSee Less

DID YOU KNOW? Country music star Tim McGraw is an 8th great-grandson of Hans Jost Heydt and a 4th cousin of the brothers Woot & Tuck Hite of Quantrills Raiders. Tims father Tug McGraw was a professional baseball player with the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.Image attachment

Saturday March 21st, 2020

Stray Leaves

IN SILENCE & STILLNESS...

While recovering
our national health,
it's useful
to use silence
to see
who we are
in stillness.
We are made
of love and grace.
Now is a good time
to plan
for what still
we will become.
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