Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bannock (Idaho) City Trader Absconds with Money, Provisions Shipped

On October 8, 1863, The Oregonian reported details on the census of Idaho Territory. (Those details were known and used earlier – after September 21 – by Governor Wallace in Lewiston, to establish legislative and judicial districts.)

The article then gave news from Bannock City: “Our mercantile community were a little startled a few days ago at the sudden disappearance of a Mr. Hoyt, formerly of Olympia.  He has been a successful trader – his profits in less than two months, have amounted to about $10,000.”

The trader had, the article went on, “managed to buy goods of different parties on credit. He owed one concern between three and four thousand dollars.”

The surprise at his disappearance was not, however, occasioned by the usual fear of foul play: “He had the money with him, but couldn’t well spare it. When last heard of, he was traveling, as fast as possible, towards Salt Lake. A purse of $1,000 was made up by his ‘constituents,’ and an express started after him, to invite him to return.”

Having disposed of that matter, the report went on, “We have positive information, by the Salt Lake Express, that there is any quantity of eggs, butter, bacon, salt and flour on the way here from Salt Lake.”

This item, of course, represented the other side of earlier complaints from Salt Lake about how the gold camps were draining provisions out of Utah. Miners naturally hoped that greater supplies might drive costs down to more reasonable levels.

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