SADAKICHI HARTMANN, ALIEN SON
By James S. Peters
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Sadakichi Hartmann was born in Japan in 1867, the second son of Prussian businessman Carl Hartmann and a young prostitute, Osada. Upon her death shortly after Sadakichiís birth, both boys were sent to Hamburg, Germany to live and be educated, as promised by Hartmann Senior to their mother on her deathbed. With this act of kindness, their father completely washed his hands of any further obligation to the boys. He ignored them completely as he continued his profession traveling the world over as a business rep for various corporations. Their fatherís rare appearances, and gelid distance toward them when he was present, affected Sadakichi depressingly, he having a satiating need of a fatherís acceptance and affection. Although Sadakichi found the Hartmanns in general were a cold lot, it was in particular his fatherís endearment he sought. Possibly too, he may have felt a streak of guilt over his motherís death. As his fatherís Teutonic demeanor grew, Sadakichiís growing rebelliousness became intolerable, and at fourteen he was disowned and shipped to a Hartmann brother in Philadelphia. From here on, the youth drivingly self-educated himself thoroughly, in time becoming widely and respectfully known in the world of art, literature and entertainment. His retentive memory was an amazing asset which fascinated many of his colleagues. And of course his aim at intentionally driving himself to succeed at anything he touched was to win his fatherís respect and acceptance. But it was a draining, thankless, heart-crushing journey.
James S. Peters was born in Wyandotte, Michigan in 1930. In the mid-1940s his family moved to California where at sixteen he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served three years as a medic. Later he spent ten years in the navy as a photographer and in 1964 he alighted in Taos, New Mexico and developed an avid interest in Southwestern American history. After living in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, he continued researching and writing articles on the frontier West. After retiring, he pursued his interests in writing and painting. His previous books, Robert Clay Allison and Headless in Taos were also published by Sunstone Press.
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