Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gillmore Goodand: A Look at the Years 1913-1915

In 1913, the Batopilas Mining Company, ordered American staff out of the country after United States President Woodrow Wilson advised American citizens to leave the country.

Mexico had been in a state of upheaval since about 1910, and was in the midst of a revolution or "Civil War." Little in Mexico could have been considered "normal" during that time, and the politics of the country—one in which 5% of the population owned 95% of the land—had to have been a concern to London's subsidiary company, the Batopilas Mining, Smelting and Refining Co., Ltd., and its General Manager, mining engineer Gillmore Goodland.

Perhaps it was the revolution itself that had prompted Gillmore, who always seemed quick to cross the proverbial pond before, to stay in England in 1913. But what of the interests, for example, he had in Russia—and elsewhere?

The Second Balkan War had erupted on 16 June 1913 when Bulgaria attacked Serbia and Greece. Although another Peace Treaty would be signed in September, the conflict encompassed Romania, Montenegro, and the Ottoman Empire and trigger the First World War.

Also in 1913, China's Song Jiaoren was assassinated, leading to Yuan Shikai's military takeover as dictator and dissolution of the parliament.

Just as Woodrow Wilson [seen right, addressing Congress in early 1913] was being sworn in as 28th President in the first week of March 1913, U.S. Marines defeated Moro rebels in the Philippines. Wilson also presided over the completion of the Panama Canal that year.

Insane King Otto of Bavaria was deposed by Prince Regent Ludwig, his cousin, in November, and in that same month, Mohandas Gandhi was arrested leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.

And in December 1913, Crete was "annexed" by Greece.

During 1913, the value of world trade had reached approximately $38 billion.

1914 began with author Ambrose Bierce disappearing while traveling with 'General' Pancho Villa [seen below, left, third from right] in Chihuahua. Bierce was never heard from again. At the same time, Villa's troops took the city of Ojinaga, Chihuahua.

In April 1914, President Wilson dealt with the "Tampico Affair," which was described in our last blog entry. Tensions grew between the U.S. and Mexico and American marines would soon occupy Veracruz.

On May 25, Great Britain's House of Commons passed Irish Home Rule, and would soon pass the controversial Welsh Church Act of 1914. The enactment of both would be suspended due to the outbreak of the First World War.

Then, on 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Pricip, a nationalist, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie of Austria in Sarajevo, in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. Anti-Serb riots erupt throughout Bosnia. The next day in Siberia, Russia, Chionya Gusyeva failed in his attempt to assassinate Grigori Rasputin.

By July 1914, demonstrations in Ulster, Ireland, suggested civil war was on the horizon. Days later, de facto Mexican presidente Victoriano Huerta resigned his post.

On 23 July, Austria-Hungary issued Serbia an ultimatum, and then attacked on 28 July. By the following day, Czar Nicholas II of Russia was fully mobolised against Austria-Hungary.

On 1 August 1914, Germany mobilised and declared war on Russia. France mobilised on the same day. As a result, the New York Stock Exchange closed due to war.

On 2 August, Germany occupied Luxembourg, and issued a 12-hour ultimatum to the neutral Belgium government to allow German troops to pass through into France. The next day, Belgium failed to comply, while Germany declared war of France.

Germany invaded neutral Belgium on 3 August at 8:02 am and Great Britain declared war on Germany. (And, I'm ashamed to say, the isolationist United States declared its neutrality.)

On 5 August, Montenegro declared war on Austria-Hungary, and the Germans bombed the city of Liège using zeppelins [pictured, right].

The next day, 6 August 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia.

Later, on 15 August, the Panama Canal was officially inaugurated, while the troops of Venustiano Carranza marched into Mexico City under General Alvaro Obregon.

Later in August, Germany would occupy Brussels, defeat Russia in the Battle of Tannenberg, and force British, French, and Belgian forces into a tactical retreat during the Battle of Le Cateau.

At the Battle of St. Quentin, French forces held back a German advance at La Cateua and British cruisers sunk three German cruisers in the Battle of Heligoland, as well as the German minelayer Königin Luise [left], which was trying to lay a minefield in the estuary of the Thames at Lowestoft.

During that month, Japan also declared war on Germany, and Prince William of Albania was forced to leave his country after 6 months due to opposition to his rule.

Then, on 13 September 1914, South African troops attacked German South-West Africa (today called Namibia) and the Battle of the Aisne began—that's the battle in which George Mills's brother, Arthur, was wounded.

On 3 October, 33,000 Canadian troops crossed the Atlantic to join the fight, and on 29 October, Ottoman warships shell Russian ports on the Black Sea, prompting Russia, Britain, and France to declare war.

On 20 October, the the German U-boat U-17 sank the first merchant ship of the war, the S.S. Glitra, off Norway.

In November 1914, Great Britain "annexed" Cyprus and Japan seized Jiaozhou Bay, China (which declared neutrality), base of the German East Asia Squadron.

The New York Stock Exchange re-opened for the trading of bonds in November, and the U.S. withdrew troops from the Mexican city of Veracruz, prompting Venustiano Carranza's troops to march in.

By December, the New York Stock Exchange was fully re-opened on the 12th, and on the 24th, there was a German air raid on Dover on the same day a Christmas Truce [right] was declared.

On 9 February 1915, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm assented to the creation of a declaration of war zone around the British Isles. Then, on 7 May 1915, the RMS Lusitania was sunk with a loss of 1,198 lives, including 128 Americans. The United States was holding Germany "strictly accountable" for the loss of U.S. lives, but it would be another two years and the loss of more lives before the neutral U.S. could be coaxed into the global conflict.

A couple more notes: The Germans unleashed poison gas against the Russians on 31 January 1915, a plague of locusts broke out in Palestine in March, and in April the Ottoman Turks began the Armenian Genocide, the slaughter of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians.

Horrific battles, bloodshed, and disasters (of both natural and man-made origin) continued to proliferate, but at this point, we've made at least a cursory examination of the world in which consulting mining engineer Gillmore Goodland was bankrupted.

It's easy to see above that virtually all of the lands in which Goodland was involved in mining were involved in violence and conflicts: Mexico, Russia, South Africa. The New York Stock Exchange had been closed and Americans had been ordered out of Mexico. German submarines [like the U-9, left] made transoceanic travel dangerous to possible mining points in Jamaica and Australia. And consulting in England would have been almost impossible because of the many creditors desiring to know his location.

Presumably Gillmore's family was comfortably ensconced, if not at Hoving Shaw in Woldingham, then in Wales with sister Grace Goodland or in London with brother Joshua Goodland. Goodland, with his employment ended, his company liquidated, and violence and war breaking out in seemingly any country with mines, Goodland ran.

When we last left Gillmore, he was at the Hotel Belmont in New York City, very likely working to save his professional career in the neutral United States. The September 1915 issue of Mining and Metallurgy, the monthly bulletin of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (No. 105) records Gillmore's correspondence address as having been "Devonshire Club, St. James St., London, England," so it's clear that he hadn't completely severed ties to the U.K [below, right].

Does that address imply that his family was still in Surrey, or perhaps in London? Did Kathleen take the train in to London Victoria to pick up mail from Gillmore and his creditors? Or had that task fallen to Joshua, his brother and barrister, who then handled bankruptcy-related documents and forwarded personal letters from Gillmore in North America to his family?

The latter seems more probable. Having surmised that Gillmore was the financial benefactor of Joshua's lengthy Cambridge education in the field of Law, the younger brother would still have been beholden to the older for favors previously extended from 1900 through 1908.

It seems, however, that there was not much that Joshua could do on Gillmore's behalf—at least without the full cooperation of Gillmore, who was clearly a man on the run.

As far as we know, Gillmore Goodland never returned to England. And we'll learn of the rest of his personal and career experiences next time…

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