Forty-Niner Profile: Josiah Roop

Josiah Roop was the son of Joseph Roop, Jr. and Susan Engle. At the link below is some background on the family. I have excerpted the part about Josiah and his brother Isaac.

From:

The Library chronicle (1947)
Author: University of Pennsylvania. Library. Friends
Volume: 24
Subject: University of Pennsylvania. Library; Bibliography; CHR 1947-1981
Publisher: Philadelphia : Friends of the Library, University of Pennsylvania
Year: 1947

Pages 72-78

The arch-wanderer was Josiah,  and he set the pattern for three of his brothers. His initial step from Ashland took him only to Republic, nine miles east of Tiffin, Ohio, but he left his family there when he joined the Gold Rush and by the Spring of 1852 he owned the Old Dominion House at Shasta. On 8 May 1852 he made his brother Isaac his agent and left for home via Nicaragua to bring out his family. Dysentery overtook him in the Caribbean and he was buried at sea from SS Prometheus 14 June. 8.

Isaac became his executor and successor.  He had arrived by the steamer Oregon in San Francisco 18 March 1850 from Panama. Already he had an interesting past. As a farmer’s son in Carroll County, he had found schooling not easy to come by.

When he moved to Ashland at 1 5 he was not too young to notice Nancy Gardner of Westmoreland County, 10 who studied at Transylvania University. They married at 18 and under her ministrations his mind unfolded, advancing from contentment with frugal devotion to the soil toward a broader knowledge of the world and facility in language. Three children came along, but in 1850 she died of typhoid. Ohio could no longer hold him.

Susan and the two boys were left with grandparents and Isaac was off to join Josiah. Ephraim, next older than Isaac, had a part in the adventure, and Jonas E., prepared by apprenticeship for practice, visited Shasta briefly in 1853, but soon returned for medical schooling, and then teaching, at Cincinnati.

Isaac remained the central figure. 11 He was a miner and merchant at “Oak Bottom” (near Shasta) for a year, kept public house for four months, “lived on Bear River” till March 1852.

He entered the Masonic Fraternity at Sacramento 16 June 1851 and was a charter member and Junior Warden of Western Star Lodge No. 2 at Shasta, whose founder and first Master, Saschel Wood, had brought the charter from Missouri. 12 In a report of 15 June 1852 a phrenologist praised his personality. He was chairman of the Whig party meeting of 1 October 1852 and was their candidate for Shasta County assessor, but was defeated 836-674. He raised a fund for the Washington Monument which added up to $348.65, four times as much per voter as could be done at Placerville. He was one of 15 managers of a “cotillion party.”

In the midst of this flowering activity, 7 August 1852, came word of Josiah‘s death; in December fire swept the town, though the Old Dominion was spared; in March 1853 the store was sold but not the hotel; on 14 June 1853 fire most thoroughly destroyed the city. However Isaac had already published notice of his intent to depart “for four years, leaving 1 July for Salt River on steamer Bigler No. 2.” The fire and loss of the Old Dominion confirmed his plan to begin again elsewhere.

*****

Josiah and his father Joseph, evidently were involved in the running of  this school:

From the Huron Reflector – 1845

Mr. Roop was  politically active:

Another Free Soil Taylor Whig.

JOSIAH ROOP, Esq., a distinguished Whig of Republic Seneca County, was nominated by the Free Soil Van Buren party in his district on the 16th ult. as their candidate for Elector. After reflecting on the matter, he resolved to decline the nomination and states his reasons in a communication to the State Journal, as follows:

I am now no less than ever, an humble advocate for the doctrine of FREEDOM — as well of Soil and [Labor, as of Speech and Thought. In espousing this doctrine, I abated nothing of my devotion to the doctrines of the Whig party, of which I have ever been a member. I am a Whig, as well as a Free Soil man. In looking at the political prospects in a practical point of view, I am persuaded that the most effectual means of preventing the extension of slavery and the increase of the slave power, is by co-operating with that party which presents the most formidable obstacles to such extension and increase. I was in Delaware on Thursday, and listened attentively to the address of Hon. THOMAS CORWIN, and I am constrained to admit that my judgment cannot resist the force of his reasoning. I am persuaded that there is no earthly prospect of the vote of Ohio being given to Messrs. Van Buren and Adams; and there is still less prospect of their being elected, even should they, against all human probability, receive the vote of Ohio. To vote for them, therefore, is equivalent to not voting at all. And this I do not conceive to be the part of patriotism, at a juncture like the present, when the great and important crisis is to be met. I cannot avoid responsibility, by throwing away my vote; and I cannot afford to purchase immunity at that rate, even were I disposed so to do.

The States of this Union being now equally divided as between slaveholding and non-slaveholding, I deem it a matter of vital importance to the latter to secure the Vice Presidency, on whom may devolve the casting vote decisive of the most important questions. There is to my mind no prospect of electing Mr. C.F. Adams to the Vice Presidency by the Electoral Colleges. In default of such election the choice will devolve upon the Senate; and that body, as already constituted, could hardly fail to make choice of Gen. William O. Butler, who is not only himself a slaveholder, but who would be constrained by the force of circumstances, as well as long-cherished sentiments, to vote with the slaveholding interest on all questions in which that interest is involved.

Under these circumstances, I feel it my duty to decline the compliment intended me by placing my name on the Free Soil Ticket; and shall at the proper time, if living and able to get to the polls, bestow my suffrage for ZACHARY TAYLOR and MILLARD FILLMORE; confidently believing that the honor and the welfare of the Republic may be safely entrusted to their hands.

JOSIAH ROOP

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 3, 1848

California Items.

A correspondent of the Tiffin Standard on his way to California, (probably Mr. Josiah Roop from Republic, who signs himself “J.R.,” writes from St. Louis under date of April 17th as follows:

“We left Cincinnati on Friday about 1 o’clock P.M. the 13th inst. on board the fine steamer “Belle of the West,” in company with about 120 passengers bound to the El Dorado of Sacramento’s golden sands, among whom were the “Buffalo Mining Company” from Buffalo N.Y. They are a noble set of fellows, 12 in number, and are commanded by Col. Fay, formerly Governor of Camargo, and Dr. McBeth, who is one of the right stripe; also a company from Xenia and Springfield making some 20; and our own dear selves, vis: Mr. Patrick’s two sons of Norwalk, John H. McArdle, Samuel Myers and your humble correspondent. It is computed that there are now at Independence and the different parts in that region, about 5,000 emigrants. It will be the 10th of May before any will dare to start over the plains.”

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) May 8, 1849

Shasta California Mainstreet

Josiah became the postmaster of Shasta City, California:

From the book:

When the Great Spirit Died: The Destruction of the California Indians, 1850-1860
By William B. Secrest
Pg. 122 (Google Book LINK)

DEATH OF JOSIAH ROOP.

Mr. Josiah Roop, formerly of Republic, Seneca Co., died on board the Monumental City, between Chagres and New York. He was on his way home from California, where he had been highly successful. Mr. Roop was post-master at Shasta City. —San. Mir.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Jul 13, 1852

*****

josiah roop death 1josiah roop death 2

Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 3, Number 432, 10 August 1852

*****

Previous posts mentioning Josiah Roop and his California Gold Rush Adventure:

Buckeyes Catch the Gold Fever

Buckeyes Prevail, Brook the Trail, Send Loved Ones Gold Dust in the Mail

News From the Gold Country: Josiah Roop Writes Home

** I am not related to Josiah Roop, and have only done cursory research on him. If you have additional information and/or corrections, feel free to leave me a comment.

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