Splinters From The Tree September 2006
Thank you to the following who have made donations towards the Bassett DNA project this month:
Sheila Pranger $30 (mtDNA for Elizabeth Bassett)
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Section 1 - Welcome
Several dozen books have been written about different branches of the Bassett family. In time, we hope to include snapshots and brief sketches of these books at our website. One such book will be highlighted in this month's newsletter.
Funds are available to pay for two more 12-marker DNA tests for any male Bassett that is willing to take part from a family line that has not yet participated in the study.
Plans are still being made for the Bassett Family Reunion August 3-5, 2007 in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Section 2 - Featured Article: Updates to the Bassett Family website
Work continues on adding new material to the Bassett Family website. We have added a new section for "Books about Bassetts". I have at least a half dozen more books to add to this section over the coming months. Click on the link below to see this new section of the website.
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Section 3 - Featured Article: Civil War Letter & Diary
This month I have copies of a letter written by a Confederate soldier and a diary written by a Union soldier from the American Civil War.
Letter provided by Tom Waldrup.
Near Petersburg Va.
It has been some time since I received a letter from you. I am getting anxious to hear from home. I am well and getting on very well. Times are about as usual all hands getting tired of war and want peace. Reports are plenty about yanks. I know nothin for certain about them only they bomb away at Petersburg two or three times a day, The Cav has not been fighting for some time.
We get but very little feed for our horses for ourselves we get a plenty but some complain. It has been dry and dusty for the last eight weeks but yesterday we had a good rain which was ?????vely had corn crops look sorry.
I wish you would write a great long letter about every thing at home the folks and every thing else. Nothin more at present.
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The Diary of Erasmus E. Bassett and transcription was provided by Roger May.
Erasmus E. Bassett is a descendant of #6B William Bassett of CT as follows:
The author of this diary, Erasmus E. Bassett was born February 11, 1836 in Barrington, Yates County, New York. He enlisted in Company B, 126th New York Volunteer Infantry at Barrington on August 4th 1862, age 26. He was mustered in as 3rd Sergeant. His older brother, Richard, joined 4 days later and was mustered in as a 1st Lieutenant in the same outfit as Erasmus. September 15th 1862 found the brothers along with the entire 126th and 111th from the same area in Harpers Ferry for training. General Robert E. Lee’s troops were raiding that area and cut Harpers Ferry off from the rest of the main Federal Army. Stonewall Jackson’s troops captured nearly all the green troops. They were prisoners of war for just a few weeks when they were exchanged. A letter sent home from brother Richard Bassett sets the tone, “Dear Wife, Here I am…a parolee prisoner of war; in quick & out quick, it has been but a short few weeks since I left our house & yet how much I have passed through.” Throughout the diary, Erasmus talks about his brother Richard, referring to him as “Dick.”
The 126th New York Volunteer Infantry was formed because of the President’s call on July 2nd 1862 for an additional 300,000 men, followed the next day by a proclamation by Governor Morgan giving the number of men to be furnished by the state which was soon followed by each Senatorial district appointment of a “War Committee.” Yates County had a quota of 220 men which it filled quickly and so the 126th was formed.
Erasmus E. Bassett’s diary was given to him by his father while home on leave at Christmas time in 1862 according to family records.
“Erasmus E. Bassett
Presented by his Father Allen Bassett
Page 74, Friday, June 26, 1863
Commence march for Leesburg (?) This Brigade rear guard. Go through little town called Mt. Hope. Hear that Centersville is burned. Arrive at Bulls Bluff in eve, pitch tents eat supper. Then start across the river don’t stop till 3 at night. March 20 miles
Page 75, Saturday, June 27, 1863
Start out in the morning go about 1 mile stay till three P. M. Commence march for Frederick or through MD pass Poolsville, Barnesville stop about 11 near Barnesville on Sugarloaf Mts. March 12 miles
Page 75, Sunday, June 28, 1863
March to Monocacy [Junction, Maryland] & pitch tent for the night. Stand it well. Hear Gen’l Hooker is relieved of the command of Army of the Potomac¹ 16 miles
¹General Hooker is replaced by Major General George Gordon Meade
Page 75, Monday, June 29, 1863
Reveille at 3 A.m. Soon fall in. commence march at 10 and arrive very and much fatigued. 2 or 3 men left in cash (?)Co Sgts ordered on pickets march 32 (miles)
Page 76, Tuesday, June 30, 1863
Send Dick $5.00. Pitch tents in woods near Unionville. Boys all come in¹. Go to house & wash & eat. Muster. March on 1 mile and camp. Buy wool hat for $2.00 at Unionville. March 1 mile
¹The long hard march of the 29th left many stragglers along the way. This day of only marching 1 mile allowed stragglers to catch up.
Page 76, Wednesday, July 1, 1863
Leave camp at 7. Go to Taneytown 6 ½ miles. Ordered back 3 miles then march within 5 miles of Gettysburg and stop for the night, been fighting at Gettysburg
Page 76, Thursday, July 2, 1863
Start towards Gettysburg at 4 A.M. Arrive near town at 6 ¾ A.M. Form line of battle. 39th NY go out skirmishing, lose several
12 O’Clock at night I find my Brother Erasmus lying dead where I took this from his pocket.
R. A. Bassett¹
¹Captain Richard Allen Bassett, brother to Erasmus E. Bassett referred to many times in this diary as “Dick” wrote home of the incident, “I thought of George [another brother who had died at Antietam] and then think of Rapsy [Erasmus] falling so near him. I could not help weeping.”
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Section 4 - Featured Bassett: Bassett's Hotel of Sloansville, New York
It is not yet known where this James Bassett belongs. He is most likely related to the Bassetts living in Four Corners, Montgomery County, New York.
Invitation to the Opening Ball at the Bassett's Hotel, Sloansville, NY from about 1880.
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Section 5 - Featured Bassett: Josie & Ann Bassett of Colorado
William Bassett of Plymouth and wife Elizabeth
Much has been written about these two Bassett sisters, Josie Bassett Morris and Ann Bassett Willis. In her later years, Josie taped several interviews with staff from the Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. Ann Bassett Willis wrote an autobiography titled "Queen Ann of Brown's Park". You can find this work in The Colorado Magazine from 1952 and 1953.
A very good writeup of the family can be found in the book below.
361.311.72. Amos Herbert Bassett, son of Samuel C. Bassett
Amos Herbert Bassett, son of Samuel C. and Marie (Scott) Bassett, was born 31 Jul 1834 in Brownsville, Jefferson County, New York. He died 20 Jul 1918 from a stroke in Quincy, Illinois. He is buried in Sunset Cemetery in Division 3, Row 17 at the Soldiers Home in Quincy, Illinois. He married Mary Elizabeth Chamberlin Miller on 21 Sep 1871 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She died 11 Dec 1892.
Herbert was first admitted to the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Quincy, Illinois
on 24 Nov 1913 (Home # 10215).
1870 Federal Census of Rock Park, Hot Springs County, Arkansas (13 Jul 1870)
1880 Federal Census of Green River, Sweetwater County, Wyoming
1900 Federal Census of Elk River Precinct, Routt County, CO (1/2 Jun 1900)
1910 Federal Census of Brown's Park, Routt County, CO (15 Apr 1910)
1910 Federal Census of Brown's Park, Routt County, CO (24 May 1910)
1920 Federal Census of 10th Precinct, Moffat County, Colorado (23 Jan 1920)
1920 Federal Census of 10th Precinct, Moffat County, Colorado (16 Jan 1920)
+ 361311721. Josephine Bassett - born 17 Jan 1874 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, married Mr. McKnight.
361311722. Samuel C. Bassett - born 30 Oct 1875 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
361311723. Anna M. Bassett - born 12 May 1878, married in 1923. She died 8 May 1956 in Leeds, Washington County, Utah, buried in the Bassett Cemetery, Maybell, Moffat County, Colorado.
361311724. Elbert H. Bassett - born 21 Jun 1880.
361311725. George C.M. Bassett 29 Mar 1884.
Moffat County, Colorado, a Few Notable Burials
Bassett, Elbert 1880-1925, outlaw, committed suicide
BROWN'S PARK CEMETERY
Ann "Queen Ann" Bassett
Folk Figure, Western Rancher and Cattle Rustler. Known as the "Cattle Queen," by the age of eight, she could ride a horse, handle a gun, and curse as well as any man on the Bassett Ranch. She took to cattle rustling and sabotage to defend her family's holdings against the Two-Bar Ranch, a large cattle company vying for control of Brown's Park, Colorado range in 1900. During this time outlaws were known to frequent the community and her ranch. She had a friendship with Elsa Lay, a member of the Wild Bunch Gang and her sister Josie and Butch Cassidy were sweethearts for a while. Her open kindness toward the outlaw element caused rumor that she headed the Bassett Gang of cattle restlers and even committed murder. She denied the most controversial, however she was brought to trial on a charge of cattle rustling. The first verdict resulted in a hung jury and the second trial she was acquitted. After the trial reporters dubbed her "Queen Ann." She was a force to be reckoned with and fought the cattle barons against a hostile attempt to take over her land. In 1923 she married a cowboy prospector and eventually settled in a small southwestern Utah town where she lived till her death. Her remains were buried on the Bassett homestead.
Women Who Won the West By Jonathan Joyce
The Colorado-Wyoming frontier was a tough place at the end of the last century. Ruthless cattle barons drove their huge herds onto the smaller spreads and hired gunmen to harass and kill small-time ranchers. A cowpoke might have said it was "no place fer a lady."
He would have been wrong. One family of remarkable women held its own - and then some. There were the Bassett women - and neither cattle barons, death threats, assassins nor expensive lawyers could drive them off their land.
Elizabeth, the mother, gave most of the orders on the family ranch in Brown's Park, Colorado. Her unconventional daughter, Josie, dated Butch Cassidy and outlasted six husbands. Her other daughter, Anne, became known as "the Queen of Brown's Park".
They all knew how to ride the range, give orders, run a ranch and shoot with the best of them. When Anne was just 12, she watched Elizabeth disarm three gunmen who had just killed one of their ranch hands. Once, when 20 of the Bassett' steers were rustled by a rancer, Elizabeth risked being shot or prospecuted to lead them back herself.
Anne and Josie were courageous cowpunchers and beauties as well. During the 1890's, the Bassett ranch became a stopping place on the notorious Outlaw Trail. Bob Parker, alias Buth Cassidy, worked for the Bassetts and courted Josie. But even after he became a train robber, he and his Wild Bunch could count on bed and breakfast at the ranch. As Anne put it, "People of all types came and went. On the whole we kept our noses out of other people's business."
A few years after Elizabeth's death in 1892, the fights with the cattle barons turned into a range war. The headstrong Josie was involved in a stormy relationship with her first husband, and it was left to Anne, then all of 20 years old, to defend the Bassett turf. She rode the range alone, shooting trespassing steers or herding them into the Green River to drown. The barons labeled her a rustler.
Anne was involved in her first romance - with a cowboy named Matt Rash - when events took a deadly turn. Ora Haley, owner of a spread called the Two Bar Ranch, arranged for the paid assassin Tom Horn to investigate the disappearance of cattle. Horn's idea of justice was to establish and alibi and then shoot his suspects in cold blood.
Anne and some of her neighbors received anonymous notes that read, "Get out of Brown's Park within 30 days or die." Matt Rash was shot in the back. Isom Dart, a Bassett ranch hand, was killed by rifle fire.
Terrified ranchers resigned their boundaries and let Two Bar cattle graze their land. Some moved. But Anne stayed on. Two bullets splintered through her door one night, "imbedding themselves in the wall less than six inches from where I had been sitting," she later recalled. Anne killed hundreds of Two Bar cattle, then finally resorted to seduction.
The Two Bar Ranch depended on "the best damn ranch manager around," Hi Bernard. Anne invited him to her ranch. He had hired Tom Horn and thus aided, at least indirectly, in the murder of Anne's friends. Hi must have wondered, Is it a trap? It was - but different kind that Hi had in mind.
Anne put on a corset, a pretty dress and perfume. He later recalled that she was "curved in all the right places." He proposed, and in that April of 1904, he got a wife, and Anne got a ranch manager.
The marriage, which ended in divorce in 1910, did much to solidify the Bassett holdings. Hi staked out a homestead next to Anne's property, expanding their joint holdings, and they formed the Bassett-Bernard Cattle Company.
Ora Haley got so exasperated he hauled Anne into court for rustling, but his attack backfired when he was tricked into admitting that he had cheated on his taces. Anne was acquitted. While bands blared, she was carried out of the courtroom.
But legal expenses had bled the Bassett dry. It took som hard ranching to climb back, and Anne and Josie moved to Utah. Anne remarried in 1923. Her new husband, Frank Willis, was a good-natured cowboy who put up with a lot. "Once", herecalled, "she waited for me when I came home drunk, knocked me out and left me until I came to."
In 1956, Anne died of a stroke at age 78. Josie bootlegged apricot brandy in her old age, still riding horseback and splitting wood. She died in 1964 at age 90.
In their time, the Bassett women were accused of being rustlers, outlaws - even murderers. None of the charges were true. They just possessed qualities some men found - and still find - intimidating, namely self-reliance, courage and the conviction that a woman could do as much as a man - or more - to tame the Wild West.
To see more about Josie and Dinosaur National Monument, click on the links below.
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Section 6 - New family lines combined or added since the last newsletter
The following family lines have been added since the last newsletter.
359B. Robert W. Bassett of South Carolina Florida (b. 1856)
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The mtDNA kit for Elizabeth Bassett, wife of William Bassett, is at the lab. Results should be known by the next newsletter. Kit for #21B Allen Bassett of St. Joseph County, Indiana family is also at the lab. There are still 7 outstanding kits, four from Bassetts living in England.
Donations of any amount can be made to the Bassett DNA project by clicking on the link below. Any funds donated will be used to fund select Bassett DNA tests that will further our project as a whole and benefit all Bassetts worldwide.
This is just a reminder that the DNA portion of the Bassett Family Association can be found at:
A current spreadsheet of results can be found at:
If you don't have Excel and can't open the spreadsheet above, you can now see the DNA test results at the following website.
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