Born in Texas, Henry and his brothers had to face their Confederate neighbors scorn--their father, labeled as a traitor, fought for the Union in the Civil War.
His father set high standards for his four sons, and berated young Henry mercilessly about his handwriting.
Moving to Washington, DC, Henry married, working by day as a government clerk to support his wife and child, while managing to get through night school at Columbia to become a doctor.
Henry M. Haynes was the son of Col. John L. Haynes and Angelica Irene Wells. He was the second of five children-he had an older brother James, two younger brothers Leonard and Robert, all born before the Civil War. His younger sister Mary was born when their father returned from the War. He was born in Fayette County, Texas, on August 17, 1855, when the young state was being torn by the issues raised by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, issues which would divide the country and lead to the War. That year, the public was also puzzling over the newly published book of poems Leaves of Grass by a 36 year old Quaker from Long Island named Walt Whitman. Henry lived to see man fly, the Model T replace horses, and whole of Europe erupt into a War.
The Civil War Years
The family was prosperous in Henry's early years. His father was a wealthy merchant, a Texas state senator, and acting attorney general under Governor Sam Houston. But all that changed when his father published letters arguing the legality and futility of the secession, and refused to sign an oath of the confederacy. In 1861, the "traitor" was forced to flee for his life, leaving the young family in Texas while he served in the Union Army for the duration of the War. Henry's 25 year old mother was reduced to selling off her jewelry to survive, eventually making money by sewing caps for the Confederate Army. Living in "enemy territory", Henry did not see or hear from his father until 1865, when he returned from the war.
Letters from Col. Haynes to his son Henry
As Henry matured from teenager to young adult, he received a series of letters from his strong-willed father, letters which show great pressure on the maturing young man. It is surprising that this thoughtful young man kept these letters all his life, passing them on to his son.
|July 1869, while still in school in Austin at age 14, he received a letter from Galveston, where the Colonel was working in the Custom House, admonishing him to study drafting, so "it may some day or other make you a good living."|
|July 1873, while studying at age 18, he received a response from a letter he sent to his father who was now working in Brownsville, also in a Customs house. It started "No one would suppose from the letter that you were a scholar in a Commercial College." It goes on for nine pages criticizing his penmanship and instructing him how to "make straight lines and pothooks" to form more acceptable writing.|
|January 1875, still in Brownsville, his father writes Brooklyn, NY where the 20 year old Henry is studying "telegraphing." The letter continues the harangue about Henry's handwriting, repeating lessons about "straight marks, pothooks and round letters."|
|September 1878, 23 year old Henry is now in Baltimore, and his father writes his regrets at Henry's "attack of chill & fever." His father recommends Quinine for what may be Malaria.|
In between his stays in Brooklyn and Baltimore, young Henry was appointed as a clerk to the Commanding Officer of the USS Rio Bravo in October of 1876. In 1885, Henry moved to Washington, DC, where he became a clerk in the US Government Pension Office, a position he would hold for about 30 years, until just before his death.
Henry's Long Courtship, Eventual Marriage and Child
Caroline Jane Brown
|When Henry moved to the District of
Columbia in 1885 at age 30, he took a room at 617 13th Street, NW, 5 blocks from the White
House. One block away, a very attractive 17 year old named Caroline Jane Brown
"Carrie" was living with her widowed mother Eliza Brown and her 31 year old
sister Elizabeth at 1316 G Street, NW. Elizabeth, less than two years older than Henry,
was single and also worked as a government clerk.
Five years later, Henry, a slow operator, made his move, relocating to the Brown house on G Street. Notice the parallel with his father, who roomed with his attractive bride-to-be when she was just a teenager! After a year, Elizabeth must have seen that Henry was more interested in her younger sister than her, for she moved out to D street SW.
In 1891, Henry moved to at 1347 Q Street, NW. The following year, the widow Brown and her now 23 year old daughter, Caroline Jane Brown moved to the same address. The widow Brown was later listed as the head of the household in the US Census. Three years later, Caroline's older sister Elizabeth, still a spinster clerk, moved back in with them. Henry never moved again.
Fifteen long years after Henry met the Brown sisters, at age 45, he finally proposed to Carrie, and married her in a ceremony at home on December 15, 1900, nine days after her 33rd birthday. They continued to live with her mother until Eliza Brown passed away.
The New Century
The first twenty years brought great changes to the world, some of which impacted Henry's family.
|1901 President McKinley is assassinated,|
|1903 The Wright Brothers first flight,|
|1906 San Francisco is destroyed by Earthquake,|
|1908 Henry Ford introduces his Model T,|
|1910 Mexico erupts into Civil War,|
|1912 The Titanic sinks, 1500 drown,|
|1913 Income Tax made legal by the 16th Amendment,|
|1914 Panama Canal opens, World War I starts in Sarajevo,|
|1916 Pancho Villa raids into US, US troops mobilize on the border,|
|1917 Mexican turmoil continues, Zapata and Villa both shot,|
|1918 WW I ends,|
|1919 Air Mail service begins from New York to Chicago.|
After waiting 15 years to marry Carrie, Henry made up for lost time. She was pregnant within four months. In January 1902, they had their only child, whom they named John, after Henry's dominating father, who had passed away in 1888.
|1||John Lenneis Haynes||(1902-1985)||Anna Frances O'Donnell; Ardeth Linton Golliher|
The years following his marriage brought many changes to this family, most of them sorrowful. Henry and Carrie both lost their long-widowed mothers. In 1907, his mother Angelica died in New York at age 72, outliving the Colonel by 19 years. Three years later, in 1910, Henry's mother-in-law, Eliza Brown, passed away at the family home at age 86, having outlived her husband by 48 years.
In December of 1910, when young John L. was eight, his cousins Jimmy and Mamie Haynes fled from Texas to live with his family to escape the Mexican Civil war and border skirmishes along the Rio Grande. Henry's younger brother Robert, who lived on the border city of Laredo, TX, sent his 10 year old son James Haynes and his 7 year old daughter Mary Margaret (Mamie) Haynes to safety in DC for the duration. it would turn out to be a long visit--the troubles in Mexico dragged on for many years.
In 1915, at age 60, Henry finally got his MD degree, and was promoted to Medical Examiner in the Pension Office. A year later, he lost his young sister Mary, who had retired from the stage and became ill while caring for the poor in Calcutta, India. Mary returned to the states, and went to Baltimore, just 40 miles away from Henry's home in DC. The doctors in Baltimore were unable to save her. Mary passed away in May of 1916, only 49 years old. Henry was to live only six more months before he had a cerebral hemorhage and died at home, in mid December. The next morning, Carrie awoke to what was to have been her 16th Wedding anniversary. Putting away the card she had prepared, she spent the day making the arrangements for his funeral. Henry was buried in Rock Creek cemetery, in Washington, DC on December 16, 1916, a few feet away from his mother-in-law Eliza Brown.
Carrie was now a widow at 48 just as her mother before her. His young son John was only 14 when Henry died. John and the two cousins from Texas stayed on with their "Aunt Carrie", and Aunt Elizabeth. The two ladies moved their three charges to a new home on Mintwood Place in DC. "Mamie" and her brother James were still living there in 1921, when Mamie wrote her older brother John. In 1925, tragedy struck again, when young Mamie died of TB at 21. Her body was returned to Laredo for burial in the family plot. Carrie would live another 26 years and see her son John marry, and give her grandchildren, before she joined her sister, mother and husband at their final resting place.
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