Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bannack Thanksgiving ...

Today's quote is a memory of an early Thanksgiving day in the gold rush town of Bannack from the diaries of Harriet Sanders. Harriet came to Montana in the summer of 1863 with her husband, Wilbur Fisk Sanders, a man who became one of Montana's most prominent attorneys and civic leaders. (Wilbur is best remembered for his role as a leader in the territory's famous vigilante movement of the era ... which makes the following quote all the more interesting.) Forty dollars in gold was a hefty price back then.
“Our first Thanksgiving day dinner in the territory in the fall of 1863 was one of the most memorable dinners I have ever at- tended. Henry Plummer, desiring to be on good terms with the Chief Justice, Mr. Edgerton, and my husband . . . invited [us] to dinner . . . he sent to Salt Lake City, a distance of five hundred miles, and everything that money could buy was served, deli- cately cooked and with all the style that would characterize a banquet at ‘Sherry’s’. I now recall to mind that the turkey cost forty dollars in gold.”

Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving.


  1. Forty dollars in gold is a hefty price for a turkey, NOW. I love that it was "deli-cately cooked"! I can't say that I treat my turkey that well....

    Plummer was rather a scoundrel, wasn't he? But apparently was a scoundrel with good taste!

  2. Wow, that's an expensive turkey! Happy Thanksgiving, Mark!

  3. Yep, I read that in today's dollars that turkey would have been over $600! I'll have to remember that the next time I walk down the aisles of the IGA grumbling at the prices ... :)

    And Plummer was a thoroughly fascinating guy, without a doubt ... a shameless crook, but one with enough class and flair that you almost wanted him to get away with it.

    Anyhow, once again ... happy Thanksgiving, to the both of you!