Posted By: S. Ferrall - IAGenWeb volunteer
Date: 7/15/2010 at 21:39:24
Wauchope Tenants - Adam Cavers
Adam Cavers, the younger, when a youth was educated in the parish school of Hobkirk, and being naturally of a studious nature he took a deep interest in his lessons. These early associations with the district of Rulewater made a lasting impression on his memory. The place of his birth, the home of his youth, and the lovely valley of the Rule were uppermost in his thoughts.
Adam Cavers had an ambitious and independent spirit and longed to try his fortune in the wide world. In 1849, when only eighteen years of age, he sailed for Canada, and from thence he went to Iowa.
In 1851 he took a farm, but disposed of it to try another venture. At the age of twenty-one he was employed on the Isthmus of Panama railway. A bad type of fever broke out amongst those employed, and they died by the score, and something like panic seized the workmen. The contractor used every means to prevent his able-bodied men from leaving, but young Cavers determined to escape, and boldly plunged alone into the adjoining tropical wilds in an effort to reach the West Coast. In this desperate attempt he was fortunate enough to succeed. He obtained a passage in a badly constructed coasting vessel, and for a hundred and sixty days the ship drifted about the Pacific Ocean. Finally he reached San Francisco, half-starved and with his last dollar in his pocket. He spent it in treating himself to a good square meal, a thing he had not had the chance of eating for several weeks. He remained some time in California, and after frequent ups and downs he joined in the rush to the goldfields of Australia in 1853.
During his journeys he often thought of the old folk at home, but had never written to them. At last homesickness got possession of him, and he returned to Scotland and found his parents alive, who were overjoyed to see him, as from his long silence they had given him up as dead. Just before leaving Melbourne he saw in a newpaper that his elder brother Robert had been killed in blasting a rock at the gold diggings, and he brought this sad news home with him.
Adam Cavers remained at home until 1855, when he again returned to America and settled on a farm near Village Creek, Iowa. Here he met his future wife, Caroline Ingmundson, whom he married on the 5th of May 1857. They lived on the farm until 1873, when the love of travel took possession of them both, and they sold their property and sailed for Europe. They made a circuit of the globe, visiting all the principal capitals, and spent two winters at Rome. The continent of Australia and New Zealand were also visited.
In all his changes of fortune he never forgot Scotland, as after his marriage he revisited four times the valley of the Rule, which was always most dear to him. In the winter of 1900 Mr. and Mrs. Cavers paid a visit to Bouremouth, Hants. He was then in bad health, and here he died on the 11th May 1901, to the great sorrow of his wife, who had been his constant companion for forty-four years. Mrs. Cavers since his death has paid several visits to the valley of the Rule, and has given liberal donations towards our parish institutions. The Ewen Fund to endow a nurse for the parish has been also benefited by her help.
~Rulewater and its People, 'Wauchope Tenants', by George Tenered, 1907, p. 147-148
published Edinburgh, Scotland, University Press
~note: the book also gives a brief bio of his father, also named Adam Cavers, on page 146:
An old soldier, Adam Cavers by name, came to Rulewater and took a small farm called Langhaughwalls, but usually called the Wa'as, from Mr. Scott of Wauchope. He had served nearly twenty years as a private in the 3rd Dragoons (now 3rd Hussars), and also served with the regiment in the Peninsular War. For this long service he was only allowed a pension of sevenpence a day. Mr. Elliot of Wolfelee took an interest in the old soldier, and endeavoured through that distinguished cavalry officer, Sir Charles Dalbiac, to obtain for him a larger pension. Adam's wife was a foolish, untidy woman. One of his sons was born deaf and dumb. He had three other sons, Robert, Adam, and Walter.
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