Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tombstone Series ~ Those Big Business Sons of Bitches ~ Part I

The monograph, quoted below, was written by my grandfather John Sherman Bagg. It is undated, but probably from the 1950's. It's a wee bit of his family history ala the Reduced Shakespeare Company's take on Shakespeare's plays "Brevity is the Soul of Wit". The corrections and additions, in parentheses, are attributed to some of my research and that of his sister Katherine Bagg Hastings. I wish I'd had the chance to meet him. 

"This then is the story of a lifetime on contacts with these so-called big businesses. It is a personal and first hand story, and involves the thefting, mooching and framing of the American Public out of Billions of dollars, and involves Kennecott Copper Co, The Standard Oil Co and Koppers, the Interior Department, Bureau of Mines and Land Management, the American Crayon Company, the Land Grant Railroads and others. 

I'm paying an ancestral debt by these exposures. An obligation to those who have fought and battled to build and preserve this union against these Sons of Bitches of Big Business. The fight with the greedy amoral bunch of necrophagen still goes on and only those who are born into the purple of dedicated Americanism are able to see and feel and smell it and to those we bow, and with these we join hands and carry on. My right to stand against these sons of bitches who are gnawing at the vitals of our country, stems from the Mayflower. 

I, John Sherman Bagg, am registered in the Studbook of the Mayflower as ninth descendant from John Tilley and his wife Bridget (actually his wife Joan according to William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation)Their daughter Elizabeth married John Howland of the Howland House in Plymouth, whose daughter (Hope Howland) married John Chipman, whose daughter (Sinai Fitch Chipman) married a Welles (D. Cyrus Wells)whose daughter, (Frances Wells) married my grandfather John Sherman Bagg. He was a law partner of John Lansing, father of Robert Lansing of Woodrow Wilson's cabinet with offices in Landsborough, Massachusetts.

Grandfather left that partnership and took over the Watertown New York Freeman, because he wanted to fight the Big Business Sons of Bitches. He was a close friend of President Polk, and at his request "went West" to Detroit where he was postmaster and U.S. Marshall, and finally, at Polk's request he founded the Democratic Free Press to fight slavery. He later changed this to the Detroit Free Press which it is today. 

His son, Stanley Chipman Bagg, moved from Ann Arbor College to Santa Barbara, CA where he was introduced to Colonel
(William Welles) Hollister, a friend of my Grandfather. Colonel Hollister sent him onto the Las Armitas Rancho in the foothills of Goleta, where we leave him for the moment." 

Stanley Chipman Bagg
undated Photo

What Grandfather doesn't mention is that Sinai Fitch Chipman's roots trace back to William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Colony, and his wife Alice Carpenter Bradford, a fact chronicled in his sister Katherine's genealogy, researched and written in 1929, tracing the family lineage back to the Mayflower. 

Barbara and Elizabeth are my mother and aunt and his daughters

Part II of the story will take up the Winchester side of the family. Researching family history is an adventure in perseverance and full of surprises. It is amazing how much you can find on line: from the freshman class of 1873 at Ann Arbor College to an ancestor already cited in another's family tree. If you find a closed door, you'll probably discover an open window or a quiet path to another key in the puzzle. Trace your roots, create a legacy for generations to come. I have no children, but there are generations of other families who share common roots with me.