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David Swinson Maynard

david swinson maynard
David Swinson "Doc" Maynard March 22, 1808 – March 13, 1873 was an American pioneer, doctor, and businessman He was one of Seattle's primary founders He was an effective civic booster and, compared to other white settlers, a relative advocate of Native American rights His friendship with Chief Seattle was important in the formation of the city of Seattle, and it was he who proposed the city be named for this important chief Maynard was Seattle's first doctor, merchant prince, second lawyer, Sub-Indian Agent, Justice of the Peace, and architect of the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Early ventures in Seattle
  • 3 Later life
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 Further reading

Early lifeedit

Maynard was born to a family of means near Castleton, Vermont At the age of 17 he was accepted into Castleton Medical School which at the time was associated with Middlebury College He was top in his class and apprenticed to Dr Theodore Woodward not to be confused with Dr Theodore E Woodward

In 1828 he married Lydia A Rickey; they had a daughter, Frances, in 1830 and a son, Henry, in 1834 According to court papers, he discovered in 1841 that she was unfaithful to him but remained with her until 1850

In 1832, the Maynards moved to Cleveland, Ohio, at the time a town of 500 He made and lost small fortunes in business and political ventures including railroading and a medical school that collapsed in the Panic of 1837 Maynard left Cleveland in 1850, either promising to send for his family when he was settled elsewhere, or giving Lydia the chance to file for divorce on the grounds of desertion; either way, she never actually completed the divorce

Maynard took the railroad to St Louis, and from there set out for California He circulated among several wagon trains fighting cholera, which he had learned about during the 1849 epidemic in Cleveland When the leader of one small wagon train heading for Oregon Territory died, he assumed leadership and thus ended up on Puget Sound He and widow Catherine Troutman Broshears June 19, 1816 - Oct 20, 1906 fell in love during their journey; however her brother, Mike Simmons, refused them permission to marry, perhaps on the grounds that Maynard was still married

Early ventures in Seattleedit

Maynard joined in the logging activity at New York-Alki later Seattle, near the mouth of the Duwamish River on Puget Sound Instead of selling his wood to shippers at $4 a cord, he leased a vessel from Captain Felker, using the wood itself as security, and sold the load in San Francisco at ten times the price With that money, he bought the fixings for a general store and briefly set up in competition to the only other such store on Puget Sound, which was in Olympia and owned by Catherine's brother Mike soon agreed to his sister marrying Maynard, apparently on condition that they move the store to Duwamps and do something about that prior marriage

In April 1852, Maynard claimed, as a married man, a tract of land of 640 acres in what is now Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood, and hired Indians to help him build a combination cabin and store According to historian Bill Speidel, the land he preferred was the undeveloped southern part of Carson Boren's claim, but while Boren was out of town, Arthur Denny shifted Carson's claim north to make room for Maynard Maynard's building became a hub of activity when Maynard became King County's first Justice of the Peace1

Maynard laid out streets in his claim according to the cardinal directions north/south but Boren and Denny insisted on orienting the streets according to their stretch of shoreline Seattle's downtown still shows awkward bends and jogs where the plats meet, but the rest of King County follows Maynard's original design In reference to the disagreement Arthur Denny would go on to comment that "Maynard was king of all he surveyed, and some of what Boren and I surveyed as well" In a study conducted by the City of Seattle in the 1930s it was determined that Denny has platted his streets in violation of donation land claim law under which the original land claims were filed

Doc Maynard's character and approach to city-building differed from that of his contemporaries William Bell, Arthur Denny, David Denny, Henry Yesler, and Carson Boren In part, this may have been because he was much older and had already participated in the development of one city He drank liquor while the Denny Party were mostly teetotalers and, with his friend Captain Felker, found someone to start a good brothel in Seattle — the infamous Mother Damnable — believing that vice was essential to the economic success of a frontier town of that time

Maynard's political skills helped defuse difficult situations with the Indian tribes, in particular between the Duwamish and the more powerful Snohomish, led by Chief Patkanim As part of his diplomacy, Maynard worked to rename the settlement after the Duwamish's leader, Chief Sealth or "Seattle" in exchange for an annual payment to Sealth local legend has it that the tribes believed having one's name spoken after their death would disturb the named one in the afterlife; hence the payoff to Sealth to make up for that in advance This friendly relationship paid off during the Battle of Seattle 1856 when both Sealth and Patkanim kept their fighters out of the battle

Maynard's political skills were helpful in persuading the legislature of the Oregon Territory to support the formation of a separate Washington Territory; in return, the legislature passed an unusual bill granting Maynard a divorce2 He married Catherine on January 15, 1853

Maynard developed many clever ways to improve his property and his city For example, he obtained the right to host the post office at his store; as a result, everyone had to come to his establishment to get their mail He sold a lot cheaply to blacksmith Lewis Wyckoff; people needing smithing therefore came to Seattle instead of its rival Port Madison Perhaps his greatest coup was persuading Henry Yesler to set up a steam sawmill on land sliced from the north part of Maynard's claim and the south part of Boren's This sawmill helped establish Seattle's economic ascendancy

When the only lawyer in Seattle died in a canoeing accident, Maynard studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1856 In 1857, Doc Maynard traded his "downtown" acreage for Charles C Terry's farm in West Seattle, but this new enterprise did not prosper; he and Catherine then opened a two-room hospital in what is now Pioneer Square This enterprise failed because a number of settlers refused to use the hospital after the Maynards insisted of serving both whites and Indians

Later lifeedit

Doc Maynard was known as a friend to the Indians; when Washington became a territory in 1853 Doc Maynard was appointed as the man in charge of Indian relations During the Seattle Indian war Doc Maynard protected the natives and ensured that they did not starve

Although Maynard was originally one of the city's largest landholders and strongest boosters, he is considered not to have prospered as well as his contemporaries Among the reasons given for this are that his friendly relations with Chief Seattle and other natives made him suspect to his fellow settlers His Democratic politics may have been a disadvantage in an increasingly Republican region and his civic minded gestures helped others who did not always help him in return Maynard started out much older than his fellow city fathers, and thus died much sooner Furthermore, the surviving city fathers minimized his role in their reminiscences in response to Maynard's autocratic rule of early Seattle At any rate, he died in a mansion furnished with every comfort It is important to note that Maynard's stated purpose was not to get rich but rather to build the greatest city in the world

Near the end of his life, Maynard's first wife Lydia sold any rights she may have had in Maynard's property to a person who promptly sued Maynard for Lydia's share of Maynard's property in Seattle claiming that they had never been divorced; while he was still married when he built his fortune, the common law is not entirely clear as to her claim Lydia arrived penniless in Seattle to testify on Maynard's behalf; he and Catherine let her stay in their mansion on friendly terms As Bill Speidel has written, Maynard was seen strolling around town, the only man in Seattle with a wife on either arm

The ultimate result of this land dispute is that the east half of Maynard's claim reverted to public land, as neither of his wives had satisfied their requirements for their share; the legal battle passed through several hands until it was ultimately decided against all the Maynards in the United States Supreme Court case of Maynard v Hill2

See alsoedit

  • History of Seattle before 1900

Referencesedit

  1. ^ a b "MAYNARD v HILL, 125 US 190 1888" United States Supreme Court 1888 Retrieved 2011-10-22 

Further readingedit

  • A brief biography of Doc Maynard at historylinkorg
  • Bill Speidel, Doc Maynard, The Man Who Invented Seattle Seattle: Nettle Creek Publishing Co, 1978 ISBN 0-914890-02-6
  • Murray Morgan, Skid Road New York, Ballantine Books, 1951, 1960, and other edition ISBN 0-295-95846-4
  • Jones, Nard 1972, Seattle, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-01875-4 

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    29.10.2014


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