Henry Hawley's Diary

compiled by Betsy Buck


 New Year Troubles



January 1st  Tuesday.  A beautiful day.  I enjoyed myself Tip top working hard as the mode of recreation in this country does not suit my style Vis drinking  fighting  whiskey.  I heard of a few parties but as I am living rather a retired life did not indulge in any of them.   Rowlin came up quite late after George’s revolver as he says his life has been threatened.


January 2nd  Wednesday.  We all went to work.  There are fifty men at work in sight of me.  There is a car that is used for drawing quarts in runing up and down the mountains and it ran off from the track today very near killing a man.  Went to Central City saw nothing exciting.


January 3rd  Thursday.  Worked until the middle of the afternoon when I was taken quite sick and started for home which I reached with some difficulty.  Found John sick so we had a jolly time of it.


January 4th  Friday.  I am able to be around but not to work.  Stayed in the house then went after the cattle to move Rowlans things away as one Davies talks of confisticating his wife, household goods & C.  While I was watering the cattle Davis shot Rowlan through the head but not killing him.  After some trouble the gent was arrested and is now the topic of the day.


January 5th  Saturday.  Great excitement prevails this A. M. in regard to the shooting affair of yesterday.  Some are for hanging, others for whipping and some are for shaving his head, croppng his ears and numerous other ways were suggested in way of punishment but they are having a regular trial and will give him a fair show.  Rowlan is not dangerously wounded.  The boys were summoned to witness but not called upon.  Boys got home at midnight. Jury were out trying to agree.


January 6th  Sunday.  Exciting times today. The jury gave their verdict as guilty and sentenced Davis to have one side of his head shaved, receive fifty lashes and make his exit from the Mountains for ever.  The time soon came for the fun to commence.  His head was duly shaved and then he was taken to the spot where he done the deed, tied to a tree and five men gave him his fifty lashes on the bare back that made him get up and stir about.  There were eight hundred or a thousand men present all shouting to put it on harder but very few had any sympathy for him.  The last that was seen of him was taking down the gulch at a 2-40 rate.  The crowd then voted to have  the lady of Rowlan banished also and gave her twenty four hours to leave in.  This is rough business for a Sunday but such things have to be attended to.  But such a day I do not wish to witness again as it adds anything but good to any one. All resumed its usual calmness in the evening.





Betsy Buck discovered Hawley’s original diary in the library of the Colorado Historical Society in Denver.


Henry James Hawley

1839 - 1923


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