Santa Cruz County History - People



Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

SPALSBURY, EDGAR (1835-1897)

Records of Members of the Grand Army of the Republic, William H. Ward

Spalsbury Vault
Spalsbury Vault
IOOF Cemetery in Santa Cruz

HS Crocker, San Francisco 1886

EDGAR SPALSBURY Was born in Jefferson County, N.Y. August 24, 1836; is by profession an Attorney at law. Enlisted in the 35th New York Infantry, April 27 1861; was commissioned Captain Company I, same regiment, May 14, 1861; was attached to the 1st Army Corps; was engaged in the battles of Bull Run, Brandy Station, Bristoe, Manassas, and Chantilly; was honorably discharged March 27, 186_. Comrade Spalsbury is a member of JF Reynolds Post of Santa Cruz, Cal., where he resides; has been adjutant, quartermaster, and commander of his post.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (June 6, 1884)

Memorable Convention
Reminiscence of Justice Spalsbury, who Attended the One that Nominated Lincoln

"I attended the Republican Convention of 1860, that nominated Abraham Lincoln" The speaker was justice Spalsbury, who had just uttered the above remarks as the reporter entered the court room Wednesday afternoon. the Convention now in session in Chicago being similar in some respects to the memorable one of '60, especially in the enthusiasm over Blaine, the Justice was asked to give a bit of his experience.

"I attended that Convention as one of twelve hundred young men who went from New York. They were the representatives of the Seward clubs of the State of New York" resumed his honor.

"At that time the Convention was in the Wigwam on Lake street. This was a building especially erected for the purpose, and considerably smaller than that which is at present used by the Convention. the Wigwam was only able to hold thirty six hundred persons, while the Exposition building will seat fourteen thousand.

"While the Seward Clubs were around parading with a band of music and creating enthusiasm on the outside, the Chicago people crowded the Wigwam to the exclusion of the New York clubs, so when the names of the candidates were presented for the consideration of the delegates, the name of Seward fell flat, while that of Lincoln occasioned an outburst of applause, as was naturally to be supposed, as the Wigwam was filled with the Chicago people. The result was that the wavering delegates were swept over by a tidal wave of enthusiasm to the side of Lincoln, and as a consequence he was nominated on the second ballot.

"At that time the Republican party was young and made up to a great extent of enthusiastic but inexperienced young men, unused to the wiles of political conventions."

"The nomination of Lincoln was a great disappointment to the New York delegates, was it not Judge?"

"It was, as the nomination of Seward seemed more imminent than that of Blaine today. We brought along two thousand dollars worth of fireworks to celebrate the nomination of Seward, but took them home on the train with us.

"Perhaps one of the nicest things, showing the devotion of the Seward delegates, was shown after the nomination of the President, when word was sent to the headquarters of New York, saying that the Empire State could name the Vice President. This was declined, and word sent back that New York had no second choice.

"Mr. Seward was a favorite son of New York, occupying a similar position to the one Blaine does before the people. He was an accomplished statesman, and at the same stage of the convention his chances were decidedly better than Blaine's are. This is one reason why I fear Blaine will be defeated."

"I was in the same convention, too, Judge," broke in Constable Sutphen who was busy filing away the many bills he had for collection; "Why, I was the Captain of the Wide Awake Club of Earlville, Illinois. We were for Seward first and Lincoln next, but it was not near so exciting as the convention which nominated Grant. I paid five dollars at that convention for a seat in the northwest section of the building."

Unidentified Santa Cruz Newspaper, Contributed by Phil Reader (August 17, 1897)

Passed Away
Death of Edgar Spalsbury on Monday Night
He Served His Country During the War -- Was Among Our Prominent Citizens

Edgar Spalsbury died at 11:50 o'clock Monday night at his home on Laurel St. of organic disease of the heart after a lingering illness.

Mr. Spalsbury was born in Jefferson Co., New York in 1835. He was admitted to the bar in 1856. On the breaking out of the Rebellion he abandoned a large practice and entered the service as Captain of Co. C. 25th New York Infantry, receiving his first baptism of fire at the battle of Bull Run. He also served with his regiment in the Army of the Potomac and participated in the campaigns of Northern Virginia.

Much broken in health, Mr. Spalsbury, after the war, spent some time in traveling in an effort to regain his health, resuming the practice of his profession in Chicago in 1865. Overwork and the severe climate again caused him to lose his health and, after trying several Eastern health resorts, he came to California in 1875, locating in Santa Cruz a year later and recovered his health. Recently he was taken ill again and but little hope was held out for his recovery. He leaves a widow and a host of friends to morn his loss.

In the death of Mr. Spalsbury Santa Cruz loses a good citizen, one who always had the interest of the city at heart.

He served as Justice of the Peace in Santa Cruz before he entered upon the practice of law with Bart Burke. He also served as Library trustee, taking much interest in the Library. The deceased was a member of Wallace-Reynolds Post, G.A.R.


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