LETTERS AND DIARIES OF ABIEL T. LaFORGE
Thursday Jan. 4" 66. On Friday 29" Ult. I continued my search for a boarding place but did not succeed in finding one. Saturday I found a place at No. 24 Beech St which would be vacant on the fol-lowing tuesday this I engaged During the afternoon and evening we had a prety severe snow storm which had nearly stoped by 8 OC at which time I called on Miss Barrett who had came to spend New Years at her uncles at 133 Christopher St. I nearly forgot to mention that last evening I was over to Brooklyn and went to the Park Theatre to attend Shakespere's "Mid summer night dream". Sunday went up to Christopher St. again and met Josey Phillips who had come down to spend New Year with me. he went to Frenches and staid all night with me New Years day 66 Josey and I took dinner at his mothers then made some calls bringing up so as to spend the evening with Miss Barrett. Tuesday Jan 2 66 I commenced at Mills and Gibbs. Mr. Kennedy, the entry clerk, and I made an engagment to room togather at 24 Beach St but the vacancy did not occur until the evening after we had expected it would. and after thinking the matter over he altered his mnind as he had paid for a month in ad-vance where he is boarding now. Yesterday I took the room alone at $8 per week and moved in in that evening I was feeling quite sick. my cold has settled on my lungs. the gentleman of the house brought me a pan of hot water with a lot of mustard in it. in this I soaked my feet and this morning felt much better and have all day. Received a letter from Miss C. C. also one from sister, one from Josey Phillips and one from Miss Amelia Austin which was writ-ten last September.
Jany 5th I am still better to-day. have been buisy sending off circulars. wrote sister. I have almost made up my mind to stop smoking, among other reasons economy is the important one.
Jany. 9th We have been having four days of the most severely cold weather that has been experienced here since 1806, this on the heels of the very mild weather of the past month, seems still more severe. Sunday I went over to Jersey City and took dinner with cousin Sam Davy. Uncle Sam Davy was there also. I in the P.M. went to Brooklin and according to agreement Miss Hilyer and I called on and took tea with Roda P. Monday Mr. Macy came into the store and said Roly (Roland H. Macy, Jr.) was home, and invited me to come to his house that evening which I did, staying all night with Roly. He is looking as if he was truly repentant for his past folly and was bound to reform. I told him when he asked me to come up this eve that I hardly thought I could do so, but when eve came I went up, found he had ceased to expect me and gone back to Hart-ford, Ct. I stoped a little while then came down here and write up my mems. Weather moderating. I cannot refrain from saying that Roly told me when I was sleeping with him that when he came home he went over to his aunts, Mrs. Valintine's, and they told him then that he should take example by me, said he, "every body that knows you are praising you, I really wish I was like you."
Friday 19th have written nothing in ten days; lets see what has transpired in that time: First I have changed my boarding place to No. ? Garden Row just off of West 11" St. and near 6" Av. I was going to board with Kennedy at his boarding place in 19" St. but we got wind of this place and changed here where we get a room for $5.00 a month for each of us. Kennedy is the entry clerk of our establishment. our board in a Lager Beer saloon on White St., costs us about $4.50 a week. We came here on the 17" I left my former place on the 15" slept the nights of the 15" & 16" with MacDonald our porter at the store, this Mac Donald is a Scotchman and very well educated. he should be occupying some more exhalted place than that of porter. on the 14" I rec'd a letter from uncle John LaF- it was one of his old style of letters and full of good advise for me. on the tenth recd a letter from cousin Mary Barrett inviting me to attend a wedding party on the 17" I had to reply in the negative. Sold my first goods to a Mr. Mount for Mr. Macy on the 17". I hope that it will not be my last. Wrote to Roly on the 17", also directing to Hartford. I have also recd two letters from Josey Phillips to both of which I have replied. he is leaving my boarding place at 24 Beech St, the proprietor told me that he was very sorry to have me go. said he "me and my wife was talking about it to-day and I must say sir that never since we have been keeping boarders have we had a person stopping with us who seemed to enter our hearts so readily or for whom we felt so much regard as we do for you sir". as he has kept some hundreds of boarders I thought that his remarks to myself were very flattering.
Monday 22d Weather very agreeable not too warm nor still too cold. On Saturday night I staid at the store until past mid night helping our entry clerk with his bills ect. ect. Sunday was spent in the house most of the time. Went down to the store in the P.M. ... had a pleasant conversation with Kennedy and Mac Donald. also wrote three letters, one to Uncle Joe one to Sister and one to Josie Phillips. during the evening Mr. and Mrs. Burton ......... ................. Macy had a quite animated conversation which ... ......................................
Tuesday 23 Snowing some this evening. I came from the store at 5. called upon Maggie Cook at 209 W. 16th St. she has been quite un-well had a very pleasant evening only I began to find that flat-tery no longer gave me pleasure. I surely had enough to-night. Annie McDowell and several others had called upon Maggie and ac-cording to her all of them had some flattering remarks to make about myself although some of them had never seen me. I arranged with Maggie to call upon Annie one week from next Thursday evening I must not forget that. Got down to the store by 7½ this A.M. Oh I am not going to that wedding to-morrow as the Kangaroo has ar-rived in port with a large invoice of goods forms and I must now consider the call of business above pleasure.
Thursday 25" A little stormy yesterday and to-day, tolerable sleighing. Macy was in the store yesterday and invited me to a little party which is to take place at his house to-morrow evening. Mr. Macy handed me a letter from Josey Phillips yesterday morn and this morn gave me one from cousin Joe remarking that I seemed to be favored with a numerous corps of correspondents, last evening I got into the good graces of Mr. Gibb by staying and getting ready some circulars which he wanted sent. after all the rest had left. This evening I wrote to cousin Joe and also to R. H. Macy Jr. from whom I recd a letter day before yesterday.
Tuesday 30th I find that I am not paying as strict attention to my record of passing events as I should; some nights I come home late and rather weary and so neglect writing. other nights I have ap-pointments so that several days pass without a record. many events which would be of interest to me hereafter thus escape without re-cord of any kind only in a memory which although now good may here-after prove treacherous. On Friday eve attended the party at Mr. Macy's. Met several of the young people who were there on "All Hallow Eve" We had an extremely agreeable time. hours passed in social intercourse seem borne by on wings of gold. none seemed aware of the lapse of time until the clock on the mantle announced that it was midnight; this warning to adjourn our pleasure was heeded and off we went, bidding our kind host a pleasant "good evening" each took his or her homeward course, it fell to my lot to see Miss Cutter home which took me considerably out of my course so that I did not get to my boarding place until after 1 OC of 27" On Saturday evening I attended for the first time Trainers Dancing Academy at Cor. 34 St & Broadway. I have determined to learn the accomplishment of dancing so that I shall not be so much annoyed at having to say when requested take part in an entertainment of that kind that "I do not dace". Met a Mr. More there with whom I spent most of the evening in dancing. Sunday 28" went over to Jersey City and Made a call of an hour on Cousin Sam Davy. he gave me a report of the wedding of his sister on the 24" and also some of the wedding cake speaking of that reminds me that I slept on a piece of wedding cake on Friday night I dreamed Mr. Macys party over again so if there be any truth in the adage some one of the ladies who were there are to be my future wife- Last night I staid in the store until after seven OC. to-day I came out early- Kennedy and I went to Wallach's last evening to see the play of "The Rivals". I have made several resolutions lately which I think I may as well chronicle as they were made with a view to economy which I find that I must now practice Never to ride when I can as well walk- To seek no amusement which does not bring some benefit physically or mentally. and to allways live inside my income- these sayings have been well enough tried to convince me that they will surely conduce to my benefit. I have recd letters from the following personsons since the 25" Beaugureau, R.H. Macy & sister.
Wednesday 31" Pay-day and far more regular than it used to be in the army for I and all the rest got our pay promptly this afternoon $44.66 how small that seems beside the $150.00 I used to get, but never mind before I have been in this business as long as I was in the army I hope to get more; I received a letter from Miss Mary Barrett and wrote one to uncle John La Forge. The weather during this month has been very changeable, but mild weather has predomi-nated. in fact several days have proved almost too warm for com-fort. I attended Dancing School again this evening. enjoyed myself.
Feb 2" 1866 Last evening I called upon Misses Cook and Denniston, the former was too unwell to go with me to Miss McDowells, however Miss Denniston and myself went arround there. we had a very plea-sant call and made arraingements to meet again. Miss Annie is to come arround with me to 16" Street at any time I wish. I wonder if I do not love her a little almost think that if I do she returns the sentiment; This eve Kennedy and I thought we would see a lit-tle life, so we made a call at the Museum of Anatomy and from there went to and passed perhaps 20 minutes in the Oriental concert sa-loon where we of course were the recipients of marked attentions from some of the young ladies, or perhaps another term would suit them better. Such a life- both places were instructive in their way.
Tuesday Feb. 6" Quite cold for the past four days. Staid at home most all day Sunday. have written several letters since my last entry and answered several also. Last evening recd an invitation from Miss Cook to join her in a call upon Miss Kent did not receive the invitation until too late to comply with the request. This evening wrote to Misses ...nsen and Simmons also to Mr Birks, last eve wrote to cousin Mary and Mr Phillips went to the Post Office after 9 P.M. with some official Documents. I should like to know what has became of Cox and Merry... Kennedy and I are living very happily to-gather I think that we shall get along finely without doubt.
Sunday 11" Since my last we have had quite a snow storm which is however now rapidly disappearing. Last week was a very buisy one at the store. I have no doubt but that Mills and Gibbs have cleared at least $1000 dollars per day for the entire week- Mr Kennedy & myself have remained late nearly every night. Wednesday I attended at Trenors. Thursday had an invitation to call on a lady friend but was unable to do so as I rec'd the invitation too late. Recd one valintine yesterday. Have recd and answered four letters this week. one of which was an invitation to accompany Magie and Kate to call upon Miss Bates, which I was obliged to de-cline. Went arround to Mr. Macys to dinner met there a young lady who has resided for some time in the Sandwich islands her descrip-tion of the voyage to and from there and of the Hawaiian society were quite interesting. a very agreeable day altogather. The weather too has gained very much the character of Spring- a mild balmy breeze has been ....ting warmth from the Sunny South, over the snow mantle which for a fiew days has presistently blocked up our streets, and so now rapidly cleering them of their only type of purity.
Tuesday 13". Midnight and yet here I sit in my room enjoying a lonely smoke. for Kennedy has staid at the store to night having some work to do that he sleep there instead of here I have been out this evening with Maggie and Kate to call upon Miss Annie McDowell she is as interesting as ever. I dont know how it is I somehow cannot fully analize my feelings. I do not love that girl and yet I feel such a deep'ning interest for which there is no reason that I can discover, I can criticise every action & word of hers just as much as though it was our first meeting, and yet that feeling remains. Oh well; I presume that the matter will not last long. I look out upon the street now deserted excepting when the sharp ringing step of some belated pedestrian breaks upon the silence, still my thoughts are not there nor can I fully control their ac-tion for before my mind are passing the events of the last four years how they crowd upon each other. as they pass in such re-view before my mind, battles, marches, sieges, travels and my com-panions in them; some dead, some living, all scattered, my hopes and ambitions, too, where are they? some realized others almost forgotton, my lady friends of Baltimore, Washington, Danville, Martinsburg, Pittsburg, Ogdensburg, Massena Springs, Quebec- Andover, Matteawan; all charming yet all yet all pass and all rapidly- but why continue this morbid strain, truant Thought, look at the Future and gain, from the Past, a lesson which shall guide you correctly there.
Wednesday 14th Recd a letter from father- he has been unwell and has also met with some heavy losses. it seems hard that an old man like he is now getting to be should be so unfortunate. I wish that I was near him so as to be of some comfort in his trials I will write him to-morrow. Wrote to Miss Barrett this evening. Kennedy & I had a game of billiards.
Thursday 15th Kennedy and I came home at 1½ OC. to-night, he has just retired and I shall soon follow, I staid at the store helping him through with his bills until that hour. Wrote to father. Recd a letter from Walter Birks enclosing the likeness of himself and wife.
Monday 19th am very sleepy, but must not retire until I have chro-nicled the events of the last four days. Friday we called upon Miss MacDowell and escorted her arround to call upon Misses Cook and Denniston, she was expecting to go to New Burgh next day on the 2. P.M. train and as I was going to the same place we made ar-raingements to meet at the depot and ride up to that city to-gather, so after taking her home and being paid by a kiss at the door I came back to my lodgings and reported to my room mate; I succeeded in getting off next day (sat, 17") and met her as pre-viously agreed upon and had a most pleasant ride as far as Fish-kill-on-the-Hudson- then crossed to N. Burgh, the ferry was not making regular trips the river was frozen acrost and a channel had been cut through the ice for the boat, Miss Mac. thought that she would like very well to walk acrost the river if she had been pro-vided with "slipping preventatives" I bid her adieu after seeing her safely in town. then I went up and made a call upon Joe Van Clef- having a present with in box Mary Clemence then took a lunch and recrossed the river, meeting Charley Barrett on the boat, he was going to call upon his girl so we parted at Matteawan I pro-ceeded up to see Marry Barrett, found all well, after warming Mary and I went to make a call upon some friends of hers where we passed a very pleasant evening indeed; on our return home found Charley Barrett awaiting us. Sunday 18th Joseph Phillips with Charles & myself went up on the mountain and took dinner with Uncle Joe Ful-ler the family was well and delighted to see me of course, on our return from there called upon several of my old friends including Mr Birks family, bring up at Cousin Marys again where I took tea, Miss O. Robinson was with us also, after tea we all adjourned to Miss ... after calling for a fiew minutes on cousin Phebe Fuller. While with Mary Rodgers in the afternoon I drew up and signed an agreement to furnish her - Miss Rodgers with a wedding dress if I married before the 26" day of May 1873. Had to leave my friends at 8½ P.M. and repared to the depot in a heavy rain which however could not penetrate my over coat. took the cars and arrived at the city about 1 P.M.(A.M.) this morning walking down from the depot to Garden Row through the rain, found Kennedy in bed looking very comfortable, joined him with but little delay-. I rearly forgot to mention that on friday last (16") MacDonald wanted me to witness his packing up and giving Eavans a package of Greenbacks containing $4,000 dollars, I did so and can swear to the whole transaction.
Wednesday 21st Wrote to Maggie & Kate last night also to John Clemence. This evening Kennedy and I have changed into our new room, it looks palacial.
Sat. 24th Very warm and pleasant since my last until this evening when a warm rain commenced falling turning the dry pleasant street into a quagmire. The 22" (Washington's birthday 134) ... very generally celebrated throughout the country. our store kept open and did a good days work Kennedy & I went down to the City Hall to see the fire works which were splendid especially the last piece which represented the Temple of Liberty with Washington in the cen-tre and Justice on one side & Liberty on the other, beneath were the words - Washington the father of his country - after the pyro-technics came back to the store with K. and helped him until 10. OC. Last evening I went over to Mr Maceys met there Mr. Cutter also the Sandwich Islands lady. had a very agreeable time spent in conversation and euchre- Mr. C-. did me the honor to stay in my room with me on the way back and enjoy a segar. To-day I have had full employment at the store being very buisy until 7½ this even-ing. came home and shall spend the evening in writing. I have recd a letter from Prof Beaugureau also one from Mary Barrett and two papers from uncle John LaForge.
Sunday 25" Made a call upon Miss Cutter this P.M. lady was agree-able & call ditto.
Monday 26" Had quite a sick spell this P.M. feel better to night.
Wednesday 28" Pleasant. Roly Macy is in the city. I went over to see him last night and after a pleasant evening at his fathers Roly came home with me and had a quiet chat & cigar. To day when the cashier was paying me off he gave me ten dollars too much. I re-turned the surplus at once. I was intending to go to dancing school this evening but was detained late at the store by business. Recd a very pleasant & welcome letter from John & Mary Clemence. They say that John Baird came near being dround not long since.
Friday March 2" Roly & I called upon Miss Valentine but I did not stay late. Mr. Macy and his Sandwich Island niece attended a masked ball last evening. I saw them in their dominoes. Rather buisy to-day - wrote to John Clemence. gave him my views of Presi-dent Johnsons speech delivered to a concourse of people gathered to serenade him.
Sunday 4th Last evening Kennedy & I also Mr. Sedey, K.s assistant went to Niblos's to see Miss Maggie Mitchell play her celebrated role of Fancy the Cricket; the theme is exceedingly common place. man in high life becomes indebted to a female child in low ditto for a service gives word of honor that he will comply with any re-quest which she may make if it is in his power to do so. to repay said servise; thinks no more about it; at the festival of St An-drouche when all the young and wealthy of the village are assembled for a gay celebration little low life makes her appearance in an absurd dress out of date for twenty years and claims the hand of High-life for all the dances of the evening. H.L. struggles between honor & pride. the former gets the advantage & he redeems his promise & complies with request, motally offending village belle who also claims his hand. H.L. so defends little L. L. when she is attacked by the young people who claim her to be a witch L.L. leaves the festival goes home and crys. H.L. goes home before the party breaks up passing little L.L.s cottage. finds her sob-bing, comforts & advises her- then attempts to make love ...ituous & rejects familiarities, H.Ls love increases, but L.L. leaves for the city making him promise not to follow or inquire for her & she in return agrees to return in one year. which she does. H.L. meanwhile has remained at home and been a good boy, a great change has taken place in L.L. she has become more ladylike and is beau-tiful H.L. loves her to distraction but father opposes match. mother & brother aid and abet H.L. old man continues obstinate until L.L. goes to see him herself. then he too is conquered and gives consent to marriage, after which L.L. modestly confesses that she has inherited 20000 francs from her miser grand-...... all's well that end well' etc. etc. Maggie Mitchells represen-tations of a wild ...... would have been tolerable, if two thirds of its extravagance had been left out. the only piece of real good acting, in fact the only natural acting of the whole play was the part taken by the chicken, which flies in through the window and goes to roost on the old clock in manner the propriety of which cannot be doubted. and in every way displayed to good breeding of a very propper turkey.
To-day attended servises at the church of ascession. called arround at 209 16" St and found neither of the ladies at home; this spent a very pleasant evening at Mr. Maceys to end the day.
Tuesday 6" Rather cold again; Last evening I staid at the store until ten oclock after finishing my work I wrote letters one to Uncle John one to Prof Beaugureau and one to Sister, that morning (yesterday) I ceased the use of tobacco, am not to use it in any shape until July 1st again; I am bound to admit that my principle reason was econemy, not virtue; somoking has cost me some hundreds of dollars in the last five years and I conclude that it shall cost me no more until my salary warrants the expenditure.
Mr. Macy came in and gave me his whole confidence in regard to Roly. he does not want me to get him in any situation where he will have temptation thrown in his way either in the form of money or merchandise. Roly & Mr Cutter called upon me. the former in-formed me that he had procured a situation in his uncles store. In accordance with Mr. Macys request I endeavored to get Roly to board away from home but his salary will not warrant him in doing as yet.
Tuesday 13th. It has been settled. Mr. Macy gives Roly = by me = $5.00 per week to pay for his board, this Roly thinks he is receiv-ing from my hand and that he will have to pay it back. being thus under an obligation to a friend, he will, I believe, try to repay the obligation. He is now boarding at the same house with myself Saturday evening I called upon Misses Barrett and Robinson. who are stopping for a day at 383 Christopher St. Sunday called upon Misses Kate Denniston and Maggie Cook, unexpectedly found Miss Mar-tha there. This evening called at the same place had a very plea-sant call. Recd & answered letters to Sister, J. Phillips, Uncle Joe, and Uncle John.
Friday 16th Wednesday evening I went up to the Dancing school and on my return from there stoped at 209. 16" St. met several persons whom I never had seen before. one of them was a lady to whom Miss Maggie had been giving a very flattering of my person. and she upon the strength of that had dreamed of me several times. I was rather amused with the lady and had the pleasure of seeing her home. Last evening I went arround to Mr. Macys and enjoyed myself until 10 OC. trade prety good to-day.
Monday 19" Last evening I was over to Mr Macy's had a very agree-able evening mostly spent in a theological argument with the head of the family on the strength of the probability of, or possibility of the sayings of the old prophets being nothing more or less then the result of their wisdom in being superior in education and ob-servation than the men of their time, this and not inspiration from on high. Altogather my sabbath was spent in a rather profit-able.
Tuesday 20th Did not arrive home until late this evening as I had been drove with business at the store to-day. I feel now that scarcely a day passes without my making some = altho' small = ad-vance in mental improvement Kennedy thinks that I am a paragon of good sense and I find that I can maintain a character for a class-ical education, by being silent at the proper moment and speaking only when I am sure of the correctness of what I say or that none of those with whom I was surrounded knew as much of the subject which I am speaking as myself, when the last is the case a perfect-ly astonishing amount of information may be indulged in. I am reading Combe on the construction of man. Also Chambers Informa-tion for the people, both of which are full of useful Knowledge. Some evenings I find it rather difficult to read or study when Roly Mr. Seidie, & Mr. Kennedy get togather in the room, but a determi-nation to persevere is generally successful.
Sunday 25th I find that my visits to Mr. Macy's are becoming too frequent. I am almost afraid that my frequent visits there, al-though always invited - may become a matter of comment even among themselves, that is, I may be presumeing the the position of con-fident which I hold in the family. To-day Roly and I visited the Central Park. I was surprised and rejoiced to find that he was an admirer of nature and art. I now have something by which I may possibly work upon his mind, something that will interest him in a conversation of an elevated nature which I have hitherto been un-able to do. I trust that I may be able to ... him some mental good now. I was very pleased the day before yesterday to find that Miss Houghton (probably Mrs. Macy's sister) was a most superb performer on the Piano She played Shells of the Ocean with variation in a manner highly creditable to herself. Mrs. M. invited me to come arround to dinner, but I have been there so often lately that I concluded to decline. Wrote to Perry to day- recd letters from Su... Siter, Mary Barrett and Jo-sey Phillips. the first and last are answered I was at Trenors last night. We have had a slight touch of winter again this morning some three inches of snow greeted us this was not unexpected for the indications of last evening pointed that direction. This eve I went arround to the 14" St Church to listen to the "Anthem" by Webber and the "Magnificat" or the Song of the virgin Mary. The ceremony was most magnificent and imposing, the occasion of the Festival of the Annunciation the solemn strains of the grand old organ, the vocel performance was also a kind and character in keeping with the splendid reputation of the choir of this annunciation.
Thursday 29". Rained nearly all day, very disagreeable, trade, owing to the fluctuations of Gold is very poor and uncertain; I also believe that the want of harmony between president Johnson and congress has a tendency to create a feeling of uneasiness in commercial circles. It is impossible for me to follow entirely, either the policy of Johnson or Congress. I believe that a line drawn betwen the two parties, or extremes as they may be called, would be a far safer plan in carrying out the radical views of either. The President shows an independence of the feelings of congress which I can not think is correct, and Congress on the other hand shows a disregard for the President that is rather in-compatible with the dignity of the position of both parties. But enough of this.
Last evening I went in to Denseldorlfs Gallery to visit the exhibi-tion of the French Artists Club. The collection of Paintings is I think, more numerous than beautiful. None of the Paintings were what would be termed "First Class"; but fiew of them could fix my attention for more than a minute. Kellogs great Painting "The Oriental Princess after the Bath" was on exhibition in an adjoining Gallery- whither I repaired, and my first glance was one of adora-tion for the genus of the author, it was most beautiful; The group-ing of the picture was very simple and the almost surpassing grace of the principal figure "The Princess" is sufficient to reccommend it to the attention of the most cold blooded critic. A mere out line of the position of the three figures which compose the group is all that I will venture upon. as any attempt which I could make at description woul probably fall far short of the requirements of the subject. The "Princess" - nude - a beautiful oriental maiden is represented reclining upon a couch of Blue velvet cushions where - after the rites of the Bath - she has been hushed to sleep by the soft music of the lute of an attendant who is sitting in the Eas-tern fashion at her feet, this attendant has evidently just ceased the music, and raised her hand in a hushing attitude, to warn to a careful silence a servant who has just pushed aside the door cur-tain of the side of room and is entering with refreshments for the sleeping beauty- the expression of the servants face to show that the signal is understood, the warning attitude of the attendant, and above all the voluptuous but innocent beauty of voluptuous creature sleeping so tranquilly, gives the picture a facinating power sufficient to make the Gods - as of old - forsake Heaven for the matchless beauties of Earths fair daughters.- I was again arround at Mr. Macy's Tuesday evening- Miss Gitchell - his chasier (cashier) - was there also. spent the evening very pleasantly, saw Miss G. on the car when she left for home. (Margaret Getchell and Abiel LaForge would be married three years later.) Recd a letter from Prof. Beaugureau to-day. the suggestion of Mr. Kennedy I will add that Miss Houghton said that I was splended, for keeping my promise not to smoke.
Easter Sunday April 1 '66. Was over to Mr. Macy's this evening. Miss Gitchell and Mr. Wood were also there, we had a most pleasant entertainment, greater variety of pleasure was prepaired for us than I had anticipated I told Miss G. a fortune and in return obtained the favor of a Kiss.
I attended services at the Washington Square chapel. being Easter Sunday the episcopal servises were very interesting. Wrote to Prof. Beaugureau Miss Barrett Cousin Joe Fuller - Mrs S.A. Potter and Josey Phillips, in answer to the letters received last week.
April 3rd The "month of soft showers" has so far proved of a very .... disposition in fact a quite spring like. I am having a rather serious time with a cold to night Mr. Burton prevailed upon me to take some oil I had to even write their name. Uncle & Cousin Sam Davy called upon me at the store heard from the people at New Burgh they were all well, wrote to Marie Swart (daughter of his first step-mother), have some doubts if I shall not repent doing so. What a good gentle woman Mrs. Burton is. she has just brought me a glass of hot ale.
April 6th This is the anniversary of a rather eventful day in my life, one year ago to-day. I was suffering with the heat and sand of Virginia. I remember wondering that night where I should be in one year how very different is the reality from what I imagined would probably be my circumstances. The "soft mouth" is fully earning its own. balmy breezes constantly greet us from the Sunny South. and an occasional shower reminds us that the flower seed-lings are being nursed. I have not yet recovered from my cold. I was so unwell that I did not go to the store on the 4" on that P.M. I visited several picture galleries, and went over to the reading room of the Cooper Union, so that I gained some benefits from my illness Miss Houghton sent me a boquet as an incentive to health.
April 9- Monday. Anniversary of another eventful day, the Surren-der of Genl. Lee's army at Appomattox Court House.- Our business has been rather dull for some time. only ordinary- I was up at Trenors on Saturday Evening, and last evening over to Mr. Macys from which place I did not return until eleven but was up this morning before 6 notwithstanding. Strange to say when the city awoke Sunday morning they found themselves in a most disagreeable snow storm. I suppose however that it will be the last of the sea-son. Yesterday Mac Donald and I had quite an interesting argument occasioned by my disputing his assersion "that wealth did not bring happiness".
Thursday 12th. Yesterday there was a strike among the operatives of the city Rail Roads, of which I was made aware after waiting for more than half an hour for the 6" Av. cars. Last evening I went over to Jersey City to attend a party at cousin Samy Davy's. I did not get there until nearly 10 P.M. but made up for lost time after-wards, for the party did not break up until after 3 OC this morn-ing. and it was half past five when I got to bed. Recd and an-swered two letters from sister. Recd one from Beaugureau.
LETTER April 12th 1866
My dear Suse,
Your very welcome letter of Apr. 3rd and Post Scrip dated March 9" was received yesterday. I had just written you a letter about your sugar and now write another to inform you that I had fulfilled the commission which Martha gave me, and have inclosed the ribbon carefully in a paper which I also mail this evening. I coul not get the exact color and width both in the same piece so I bought the nearest I could to the article required. tell Martha that I do not think she is a good hand to pick out trimmings for the color I have got is much prettyer than hers,- if the ribbon I have (bottom line of page not copied) the trimming, she had better have it all like mine. I can get any quantity of that. the price is $1.10 a yard which makes the piece worth $1.65- is that any cheaper than your prices?
I am sorry that my illustrious namesake could not send his picture this time, however I shall look for it soon. My regards to the young gent.
Your sugar season must be poor indeed, if you have made no sugar yet. Why here I have been imagining what splendid sugarings off you were having and wishing myself with you, and lo! nothing of the kind has been taking place- what is the price of sugar this season?
Your dream was wrong entirely for I have all I wish to eat, and of (line not copied) mention chop-beef steak- veal cutlet- toast- potatoes- coffee &c. for dinner much better, and for supper- betterer still, I guess I wont starve; I do miss fried cabbage how-ever and should most dreadfully like to devour a bowlful of that comodity on a race with Janey.
Oh! do you have any snow to eat your sugar on? we have not seen any until last sunday in a long time, we had quite a little squall that day- but the weather is generally very warm and Spring like.
Tell master Bijou, that I am unable to take his advise in re-gard to kissing the city girles for they are so attractive that even a hermit would be charmed out of his stoicism, and be sur-prised into some act of for which I hardly believe I should have the hart to impose a penance, for what harm is there in (line not copied) Samy Davys this evening over to Jeresey City. I am almost sorry for since making that engagement I have been invited to a gathering at the House of that rich merchant you have heard me speak of- Mr Macy.
Good bye, for I have business now and you know the motto of Biz before &c.
Love to all- Truly
A. T. La Forge
Sunday 15th Weather very pleasant and spring like. the grass is springing up all arround in the little patches where it can have any possibility of growing. I have written to Prof Beaugureau and also to Cousin Mary Barrett. This P.M. Kennedy took a walk over to the banks of the Hudson and returned along 14" St. the rest of my time I have spent in reading- I should have went to church to-night but I have come to the conclusion that I have not heard a sermon since I have been in the city that was of as much real prac-tical benefit to me as I can derive from staying at home and read-ing Chambers or Comb. I have very flattering evidence of regard from Mr. Macy also from Miss Valentine and in fact all my friends here.
Sunday 22nd The strike on the city rail roads has ceased by the operatives resuming work. without receiving the advance for which they were contending. another triumph of capital over Labor. I have received and answered letters from father, Sister, Mr. Hudson and Miss Houghton. The business of the week has been rather good better than we could expect at this season of the year. trade which has been holding off expecting a material fall in goods has been disappointed and they are now coming to make the purchases which should have been made long ago. Last Monday (16") I and Ken-nedy went to see the farewell of Charles Keene and his wife. It was their last appearance in America. they have gone to Europe where they will continue to play until the Spring of 1868 when they will retire from the stage entirely an occupation which they have followed for forty years or more. The play was Louis XI, the act-ing I thought rather feeble, certainly the age of the actors re-quires their retirement from the life of Tragedy and comedy.
Friday night Roly Macy was tight again. the first time since he had been under my care. he promises that it shall be the last, oh! how I felt, after working so long to reclaim him then to see him upset all my calculations by again falling into such habbits. I trust to keeping him right for the future however, Kennedy was also rather the worse for the exposure, for he had a very repentent tale for me yesterday.
The weather, especially for two days has been extremely hot. last night the air was somewhat cooled by a refreshing thunder shower. The cholera is in port having been brought here on board the emi-grant ship Virginia. she is now in quarentine, another ship the England was obliged to put into Halifax on account of the same dis-ease. so far about two hundred deaths have occured but they have all been on ship board. The new Board of Health of the city re-cently appointed by the governer of N.Y. seems to be doing its work thoroughly and they are certainly taking more sensible precautions to prevent the spread of the epidemic than any sanatary body of this city ever did before. I went over to Mr. Macey's this even-ing. found Miss Addie rather unwell. still I had a very agreeable time on the porch in the moonlight with my interesting companion. Miss Gitchell came in also.
LETTER April 26th 1866
My dear Sister
Your letter was duly received, and as usual I hasten to reply; there a customer is coming towards me so excuse:-- well he is gone, I sold him 2 Dozen Hemstiched Mourning Hdkcfs. and 2 Doz. 5/8 L.C. Hdkfs. now for my letter.
You are right, although there is a resemblance to Oscar in that picture, still it is not as good looking as he ought to be, considering the celebraties after whom he is named, you cannot how-ever expect a good likeness of a child so young. in about another year, he will be just the right age to have his picture taken, I dont think you can get a good one of him before that time. (missing line) to Oscar, giving a description of my every day life. I will repeat it. Suppose for instance that it is saturday morn. I rise at 6½ take a good bath (every morn) and perform my twilight (toy-let) then read until 7½, when - if pleasant - I walk to the store. about a mile, stopping at a fine dining saloon near the store for breakfast, which I eat leasurly, reading the morning paper mean-while, until 8:45. then go in to the store and am ready for busi-ness, attending to customers and shipping goods until sometime be-tween 12 and 2 when I go to dinner, which if not in a hurry last an hour, if in a hurry ½ an hour, and if in a great hurry 10 minutes. Back to duty again until between 5 and 6 when we shut up, and I get my tea then proceed up town to my room, perhaps stopping on the way, into two or three picture galleries to admire the works of art, but never into a drinking salloon. by this (missing line) OC. then I read or study as the case may be until 10½ or 11 OC when I retire. Sundays I am up at the usual hour but do not come down town for my meals, as I have them at a saloon near where I room,- at present-, I usually attend church once, and make one or two calls, then read a sermon, and other useful reading the rest of the time, or perhaps take a walk through some of the parks.
Of course this is only the general rule of my domestic eco-nemy- some evenings I attend some little party, where dancing and conversation, or Euchre and ditto are the entertainments. Some evenings to I go to the theatre, perhaps once or twice a month, but four fifths of my time is spent as I have just described.
You see I do not notice smoking as any part of my enjoyment, well I have not smoked since the last of February - nor shall I again until the 1" of July. Mr Macy at (missing line) visitor, says that he is almost sorry that I made such a resolution, for he had anticipated a good deal of pleasure in enjoying a cigar with me on his back porch - which is a very agreeable - vine covered- ve-randa. however I shall not break my word.
Last week we had weather that would have been an honor to July - but just as a change we now have right the opposite, very cold weather.
If my company Descriptive book is at your house, will you get it and express it to the same address as you direct your letters. Get Mr. Krusen or somebody to put a good strong brown paper arround it. do not pre-pay. Perhaps it is over to Nelson Crandalls if it is will you get it and do the same. I have need of it now for men are writing to me to get certificates whereby they can draw pen-
Much love to all and also health.
Your Loving brother
A. T. La Forge
Apr. 27" 1866
I thought that I would add a little to my letter, as I have a fiew moments to spare; I have charge of the White Goods Department of the store to-day. My first sale this morning was 8 Pr's of Lace curtains at $8.50. they will retail at $15.00. = I have just got through selling a bill of Jaconets, Cambrics, Tape Checks & Stripes, Swiss Checks & Stripes Nainsooks, ditto of checks & stripes, Brillantes, Swiss Mull, ditto figured, India Twills, Dimities, Brocades, L.C. Hdk'fs. ditto hemmed, ditto hemstiched, Shirt fronts &c &c. amounting in all to about $700.00. those I had just sent up to the porter to be shipped and came here to re-sume this letter when in come another customer to whom I sold $250.00 and another $50.00 two more nothing; it is now noon and considering that this is what is called the dull season I think I have done well. I will not send you this until night so that you can know the result of my days work. I recd a letter from Marry Barrett last evening. she says that she was up to uncle Joes, on the 23rd and he had some of the syrup made by my brotherinlaw, and "oh! how good it was". they were wishing that I was up there also, she says that uncle Joe took them out to the Lone Cedar Peak, my favorite resort, and said that he would give almost anything if I could have been along. Quite warm again to-day much more so than since last Monday. 3 P.M. Several customers have been in and did not buy, one of them I felt very much inclined to help to the street with the toe of my boot, one gentleman has just gone out, who when he came in, wanted to see some of my handkerchiefs, not to buy but to learn the prices; I finished by selling him 23 Dozen.
4 P.M. Several more customers. sold one $96.00 worth of French Dimities, A case of goods has just come in, which I must compare with the invoice to see if it is correct, if so, must mark the price on them and have them put on the tables for sale.
As I have the whole responsibility, I am buisy uintil just now 7 P.M. I have about 10 minutes more work then go home.
A. T. LaForge
Sunday 29th This has been rather a cold week, very fiew of even warm days; I have received and answered several letters, one from Sister one Miss Barrett &c. On Thursday evening attended a party at Miss Valentines, we commenced a dance but did not finish it as a gentleman was sick in the house. to-day attended meeting at the 18" St Church, on return took lunch at Mr Macys Miss Addie was looking decidedly like an invalid, she has been quite sick I was considerably surprised to have her tell me in plain language that I was very handsome (!). I have come out in a new suit of clothes which I got of tailor Evans. another ditto is under way. Called on Maggie & Kate this evening.
Tuesday May 1". I have now met a disappointment which to my feel-ings is about as cruel as any I ever experienced. This evening I came home rather earlier than usual and feeling in uncommonly good spirits; Mr Seidy our assistant entry clerk came in shortly after-wards, and went up to his room; after a moment he came down all in a flurry which on due investigation I found to be occasioned by his having found his trunk pried open and $100 in Green-backs and nine gold Soverigns stolen from a small snuff box which it (the trunk) contained No person excepting Roland Macy his room mate knew of its place of deposit, suspicion at once fastened upon him, and I did not from the first moment doubt that he was the person who had accomplished the disgraceful deed; Still I wanted my suspicions confirmed before I should pass judgement I quieted them all = Mrs Burton = was in a state bordering on hysteria = and went over to Mr. Macys store. he said that his son had not been home that even-ing I went to Mr. Valentines. = Roleys uncles = he had not been there. I came back revieled all to him, what a sad change was no-ticeable in his face; for a month now his heart had been warming towards his son, who gradually under my charge was improving in manners, appearance & as we thought in morals, then to see so sud-denly all his bright hopes blasted by one fell swoop of the dis-troyers wing, how I pitied him; Miss Gitchell said that Roley had been in the store that evening with an overcoat on, and had said that he was going up Miss G- told him if so he might never come down; it has since turned out that he had also stolen Seidys over-coat; I went up to Mr Cutters to learn if by chance he might not have been up there courting Miss C. but I learned that he had not Mrs- & Miss C- were just retiring and this information was given me through the keyhole as it were. I again returned ato the store, Mr. M- and I had a talk and when I came to my room again I had authority to say that I would be responsible for the whole amount. As soon as I came in I took the various and necessary means to si-lence the tongues of all who were aware of the transaction Mr Kennedy would be silent out of his friendship for me. Mr. Seidy would be or do anything if he could only be sure of his money. With Mrs Burton I had to use a little diplomacy, convincing her that if the affair should become known it would ruin the reputation of her house in such a manner as that no boarder would ever think of taking a room with her. So I retire feeling as though I had done all that could possibly been done in the premi.... but my heart, oh how it feels.
Wednesday 2". I was down at the office of the Great Ameracan Tea Co- where Roly was employed- I made some inquiries about the run-a-way which was calculated to put them on their guard, this I re-peated this P.M. Mr Macy called in to see me, at the store, and this evening when I came up I went over to his store. after which I called on Mr. & Mrs. Griggs 53" E. 11" St. I was decidedly not pleased with my reception, those people feel themselves above me. I can afford to let them feel so.
Saturday 5th Thursday I went to the Great Am- Tea Co again, so as to excite their suspicion by my presistence, and make them wary of allowing Roland to resume work if he should present himself for that purpose. Friday night I drew up a paper of Siddy to sign & when gave him 108 dollars and 9 Gold soverigns, which was the amount young Macy stole from him, the money was given me by Mr Macy for that purpose: The same evening Mr. M- and I learning the Rol-lanand was at a house of assignation kept by one Madame De Cora we sallied forth in search of it. the place she had kept we readily found, but she had move on the day before, and where to was more than we could ascertain; we got some information of a policeman which led us to expect to find her at 56-58 or another number on W. 31st St. thither we went, and found that all these houses were houses of assignation but none of them were kept by those we were in search of; we had no small amusement and adventure on the trip but the result was not encouraging. Well my experiment has failed at a moment when all were the most sanguine of success, infatuation for an unworthy miserable fallen creature, has this time been the cause of his down fall, he perishes from our affections to day- no farther search will be made for him. He is lost.
Sunday 6th I attended church at the 18 St. Episcopal Chapel, the servises were very impressive, flitting clouds were driving across the sky: thus we would at times have the church flooded with a full blaze of light only mellowed by passing through the gorgeously stained windows where it received all the colors of the rainbow, than as a cloud would suddenly intercept the light an all most in-stantanious twilight would follow, which would seem all the more deep by being contrasted with the effulgence of the moment before. The curate preached to-day, and his solemn words and sentenses were perfect models of well selected phraseology-, then the waves of mu-sic which swelled through the church, accompanied by the voices of the male and female singers, as they alernated then blended re-minded me of the music of the great City of the New Jerusalem, where angels were constantly sending up melodious strains of praise to the bright throne on which sits their approving God. Such words as we heard hold such thoughts as they must give rise to, I believe is intended to treat and purify the mind, better fitting it for the word of our Great Creator, I always feel benefitted by attending such a service. Part of the Congregation are deaf persons, to them an associate curate = who is a proffessor of the Deaf & dumb lan-guage = interprets the words of the preacher as fast as they are pronounced, by the alphabet of Signs. I attended servises at the same place this evening, afterwards calling upon Mr. Macy.
Sunday 13th The sultry morning with which the day commenced turned into a blustery and showery afternoon. thunder lightning and hail also varied the entertainment, which was very refreshing. I recd letters from Miss Barrett & Josey Phillips and my company Record book from my sister. I have written only to cousin Joe Fuller.
Yesterday I went over to Hudson City N.J. to pay the dues on some property owned by Mr Merrill there; How beautiful the country out on Bergen Hights did look The trees clad in such beautiful emer-ald, the green fields, the lowing cattle and singing birds, all seemed so homelike and chearful, so sweet and pure, that I almost regretted ever having left them; however such reflections were of short duration, for the stearner realities of the life of which I have now entered for myself forced themselves upon me and nerved me for all obstacles which it may be necessary to overcome. One even-ing this week I was up at the Young mens Christian Associations reading rooms, it is a beautiful place and seems decidedly good institution Last evening I was over at Mr M's and was beaten twice & was victor once in playing Backgammon with Miss Houghton. How strange it seems not to hear Roleys name mentioned there well! Attended church at the 18" St Church again to-day.
Wednesday 16th. Monday evening we (Tom & I) had a most pleasant entertainment in the house which Mr Macy is about to turn into an addition to his store the building is now empty and the employees of Mr M- got his permission to use it to get up a dance; some sixty or seventy persons were present and there was ample accomodation for all; A violin and harp had been procured for the occasion and we had dancing in abundance I believe that every person enjoyed themselves splendidly, I did: Mr. M. introduced me to a young lady (Joice) with whom at his request I had the honor of going home. Miss Valentine was not there, being unfortunately sick. she how-ever sent a graceful creature by the name of Grace to finish with me the Virginia Reel which had been commenced at her house two weeks ago and was broken up by a gentleman in the house being sick. this was complied with. Miss Gitchill had got up a bill of fare which was distributed among the guests causing considerable laugh-ter. I append one. Yesterday P.M. Misses Houghton & Cutter went into the store to call upon me, both leave town to-day, Miss C- I bade good bye expecting to meet her again, and this evening I went over to bid Miss Addie Houghton adieu never expecting to see her again, she was rather sick and the final game of backgammon which we played was rather an exhibition of poor playing on both sides, she willingly gave me a fare well kiss and received my "God bless you" with moistened eyes- She too is now gone! during her brief stay at Mr. M's she has added a great deal to the attraction of his hospitible mansion, her presence has been a ray of sun light which many besides myself will miss- Adieu Miss Addie, may your way pure and gentle be unobstructed by any of the corse and cold realities of the world, which your gentle nature is so little suited to com-bat with.
Recd letter from Sister & answered it. also recd one from Cousin Joe, unanswered.
FRONT OF PRINTED PARTY ANNOUNCEMENT
BACK OF INVITATION (hand written)
N.B. This is a postscript.
No white vests, Fenian ties, or kid gloves allowed.
Mr. Macy has Kindly lent us the use of his vacant house on Fourteenth St. on Monday evening next and we purpose inviting a few friends. We shall be destitute of furniture and refreshments, but we shall have a fiddle and lots of room and you can guess what the consequences will be. Will you come? The hour is 8 o'clock.
N.Y. May 11th 1866. Margaret Getchell.
LETTER (Letters during this period were usually written on letter-head paper from "Mills & Gibb, 44, White Street, New York".
Wednesday May 16th 1866
My dear Sister
Yours of the 12th is before me, I have read it two or three times with much pleasure and now proceed to answer it.
To begin with, I wish to quiet any fears which you may have in regard to my danger from cholera. I assure you that to a person who keeps himself perfectly clean and temperate, and above all does not dread the Mighty Destroyer, Cholera or any other pestilence has but fiew terrors, I comply fully with all three of the above condi-tions, as much for your sake as my own.
Your reply to Dell Eaton was perfectly correct, I do enjoy life now as well as ever, an far more rationally. I feel that in no position which I have yet been placed in, did I spend the time as profitably as I do at present, And in regard to my keeping at one place and eating at another, why that is no inconvenience what-ever, not giving me a moments thought. I am just as well pleased to live in that manner as to take my meals where I sleep, and be-sides by this arraingement I have warm at any hour night or day, which would be impossible at any place but a saloon. I cannot al-ways leave the store at the regular meal hours and the Idea of a cold dinner or tea is not so pleasant as a warmer reflection, so I choose the latter. As for the blues I never have had them. not even when I wore that highly honorable color; I donot pass my evenings in conversation much of the time, if however I desire to do so, my room mate, a most pleasant fellow is at hand, or my land lord a most vivacious little person. or outside I can call on any one or more of a hundred acquaintances in a circle of half a mile, and be prety sure to see nothing but very small females in short dresses, or perhaps I will attend some party of young people like the one of night before last, I must describe it to you. Mr Macy is about enlarging his store by adding a building on 14th St to it; this building being temporarily vacant his clerks = male and female = determined on a dance, I recd the enclosed invitation from the committee and attended without "white vest of femian necktie", some sixty or seventy persons were present in all in the most jolly good humor, and those old halls and parlors resounded with musick and mirth, we had a splendid violin and harp to assist us to dance away the time until all were surprised by the arrival of 3 A.M. and we were gravely assured that it was "no longer to day but to-mor-row." than after a due amount of adieus and affectionate farewells the guests departed; I also enclose to you a bill of fare which was got up and circulated by the committee for the amusement of the guests. These parties, and meetings on Sunday embraces the list of the various ways in which most of my extra time is spent.
I enclose to you also pieces of English Nainsook and checked ditto, and a piece of French Nansouk, the checked goods are very much like checked Swiss, or as you probably know it checked Muslin. I must bid you good night, probably will add some in the morning before mailing this.
On due reflection I will finish this to night so that you pro-bably may receive it this week. I once thought that you was a very sensible person but am sorry to say that I am forced to alter my opinion by the astonishingly unwise advise you gave me about marry-ing. get a nice young lady and wed her eh! and pray what would I do with this very nice pice of female furniture after I had got possession of it? that is the question; buy a pretty little band box and put her in it when I left in the morning and take her out for an airing on my return from down town I suppose; not unlike the practice of Peter-Peter of pumpkin eating notoriety. I had rather be excused however, and besides I am pledged not to marry until on or after May 26" 1872 when it is considered by good authority will give me time enough to obtain good reflecting powers. Speaking commercially however, a wife might have been valuable in this way, by giving me something upon which to spend my money. she might have kept me out of one or two bad speculations. the money would have been gone just the same but I should have been better pleased with the manner of its exit.
Now in regard to visiting you this summer, I find it impossi-ble to give a definate answer, it however is a matter of some doubt to say the least. business may shape in such a manner as to pre-vent even if I wished to come badly so I will make none but non-committal answers.
Say to Martha that I rece'd the $1.65 all right and am obliged for the same; what did she have to pay for the ribbon which she bought herself?
There is still considerable Fenian excitement in town over the arrival of Stephens the great Head centre. Weather has been beau-tiful, a hail storm last Sunday &c. You did not say a word about mothers-pet in your letter, I suppose he is well however or I should know it. Remember me with love and kind words to all our family and friends.
Will you believe it, if I tell you that I have had an indirect compliment since I have been here? my room-mate one day wanted to know if my sister was as fine looking a lady as I was a gentleman. didn't I expatiate on my good sisters heart and face though? whew- I'll bet. With love A.T. La Forge
Saturday 19th I was on Thursday by Mr Macy's coming into the store and asking me to go out and lunch with him, I saw by his manner that something was agitating his mind; I will make the story as short as possible by saying that as soon as we were comfortably seated in Taylors eligand saloon Mr. M- informed me that on the night before while he was at the store Roly had came to the house drunk, had been refused admittance and stormed and swore from the stoop calling his mother all kinds of indecent names & cursing the family. Mr Cutter who was at the house calling on the family, fi-nally went out and took him away; Roly had told him a story like this, that last winter when he was in Con- he had married a prosti-tute and that she had followed him here and told him that he must live with her; on the day of the robbery she had came down where he was at work and told him that he must go with her or she would ex-pose all, that he had came up town with her in a carriage and stoped at the Grapevine on 11th St. was drugged in there after which he knew nothing for a long time! this last is an untruth for he was evidently perfectly sober when he broke open the trunk for Mrs Burton saw him almost immediately after, so also did Miss Git-chell & he appeared perfectly right. He further said that he & his wife - who had $8000 had been travelling, & now were back to this city stopping at the Stephens House near Bowling Green & that the wife was soon going to open a house of assignation in the city. I went down the Stephens House, but could not find that any person answering Rolys description had been stopping there. Then he had promised to meet Cutter at ½ past 7 OC Thursday evening on corner of Houston & Broadway, I arrainged with C- to be in a position to come upon them if the boy kept the appointment we went to the ren-dezvous he did not come so I returned with an adverse report so the matter rested. I was exposed to a severe rain by being at Houston St but feel none the worse. Rained most all day yesterday. Rather a dull day to day.
Sunday 20th Very agreeable day indeed. rather warm from 10- to 3 OC; I attended church at the Sweadenborg congregations church this morning and this evening went to St Anns as usual. Last night I was up at Mr Macys store and walked down home with Miss Whilehead stopping at a drug store to get a glass of soda water and some candy &ct. found her a very pleasant but probably not very well educated person. The singing was characterised this evening in this wise; said one old maid to an other, was'nt it fearful? when I go to church I like to join in, but with horrid screeching of that kind I cannot. nor I was the reply it is horrible. The singing was beautiful.
Tuesday 22nd Blustery but warm yesterday & to day it is windy & cold. Last night there was a most fearful fire just east of Union square. The Academy of Music, two churches, several manufactoring places & a number of dwelling houses were burned; one entire block & some beside, loss nearly $4 000 000. The city was illuminated as if by a strong twilight.
To night Mr Kennedy has went to a Free-mason lodge to be made a member of that order.
Thursday 24th Very agreeable weather just now. I wrote letters to Mary Barrett, Coz Joe Fuller and Mr Birks. Last evening I went with Mr Luther Wood to call upon a couple of his lady friends in Charles St No 8. The ladies names were Miss Marks & Miss Kittie Vernon - the first is a ministers daughter - mother dead - the last a lady friend from the country who is visiting her - both young, very handsome and very wealthy these however are not a tithe of their attractions. I spent nearly all the evening in conversation with our young hostess, we rainge frome one subject to another from Astronomy to Minerology - from Theology to love - from the late war to present peace, time meanwhile keeping on its rapid course until I was very much surprised by the arrival of midnight and it became prudent for us to return to our respective homes. Wood & I took our leaves followed by very kind desires for us to call again- I felt very well satisfied with the evening entertainment, should like one such every two weeks.
Monday 28th Last Friday I was very kindly invited by Mr. Macy to come arround to his house on Sunday. I informed him however that I had concluded to go up to New Burgh to Spend Sunday and would anticipate the pleasure of calling upon him at some other time. Left the store at 12 M Saturday and made a hurried journey up to my house, got ready and started for Orange Co taking passage on the Mary Powell. went over to Fishkill and spent the evening with some friends, then went down to Four Corners and staid all night. Sun-day forenoon it rained fearfully, oh! how miserable I felt, however by 12 it cleared somewhat, & I made a start for Uncle Joes had not proceeded far when the thickening clouds scared me and I turned back, went to call on my cousins at the Corners, and with them crossed the river to Matteawan New Burgh, calling on and taking tea with some friends who represent considerable wealth. Uncle Meade from Patterson was there also, he publishes a paper at Patterson and is a man of considerable influence; Took my cousins down to the ferry and started them safely back then took passage at 9½ OC on the Baldwin for the city. just as the boat left the wharf a nmost tremenduous thunder-storm came up. I went out on the after deck, and there under the protection of the "hurricane deck" stood and watched the awful grandeur of the storm. everything was pitchy dark excepting when the river and shores, and the grand old moun-tains with all the et ceteras of natures beauties, was for an in-stant lighted up by a flash of lightning which was so extremely vivid that the darkness which followed seemed almost palpable, from this scene I was called away to descend in the bowells of the ves-sel and there stowed away like an unruly sprite woo the sleep god. Did not come up home but went directly to the store from the boat, have been feeling rather sleepy all day.
Monday June 4". A whole week and no entry in my memory-refresher, let me see what has transpired in that time? among the rest I re-member one event which gives me considerable dissatisfaction it is this, Mr Merrills cousin who was discharged from Jaffreys has been at the instance of Mr. Merrill taken into our White Goods room much to my detriment I fear, because I believe Merrill will give him opertunaties which really belong to me, he is to be started off with samples very soon probably by the 6" this to commence with is giving him an opertunaty which belongs to West, Disney, or myself and is a consequent injustice to us, I believe however in the long run it will be better for me, because it excites me to exceed him = rivalry is the secret of progress = I believe that although one of my sayings is as full of truth as any of Poor Richards. Last Friday Mr. Gibb came to me and said "well Mr La Forge you seem to be doing well,l we are very much pleased with your progress, and on the 11" of July will raise your pay one hundred dollars," of course I thanked him bugt feel that I deserve the raise. I have received letters from father, sister and Joe Fuller, all of which I answered Saturday night and yesterday, also wrote to John Clemence yester-day.
Thursday evening I was up at the 13th St Church for the purpose of escorting Misses Cook & Denniston home, the meeting was nearly out so I did not join while I stood looking through the blinds to see if my lady friends were there, I heard one of the men inside who was praying say something letting down the shutters & letting in the light, the proposition scart me and I vamosed, it turned out however that he was talking about the "shutters of superstition" and "light of relegion" The girls tell me that the Bethlehem peo-ple have finally succeeded in expelling Mr. Battie, bully for them.
Friday 8th Wednesday Afternoon and evening my dep't = White Goods = in the store, was moved from the 3rd to the 1st floor, changing places with the Lace Goods Dept. It was very heavy work, but with a couple of Greeks to do the lugging, and every body to do the light work we got along very nicely. finished changing the goods about 9 P.M. when all went out and had a good supper at the expense of the firm. yesterday and to-day have been very hard days for the clerks of MIlls & Gibb, for we have not got the goods all arrainged yet. to-morrow I think will see my Dept all nicely in order again. the Hdkfs are to remain on the 2" floor in Dept- "B"
Yesterday morning I went down to foot of Warren St and on the the barge Minnesink to get a boquet & parcel for Misses Denniston & Cook, which they had requested me to do, the boquet & parcel both came from Orange Co and of course were very sweet on that account. the parcel, I found on taking it over to the ladies last evening contained ginger snaps, and very good they were.
I really believe that it is more blessed to give than to receive, for I have felt in splendid spirits just because this evening when I was coming down 11" St an old man with basket and spade on his shoulder asked me alms; I at first passed on without heeding as the request is made so often that to comply would be to rob ones self but after a fiew steps I turned & looked at the old man. he ap-peared feeble, his basket & spade proved his willingness to work. he was not a drinker. that I could see plainly. while I was look-ing the man turned & with a sorrowful face came toward, without seeing me he was turning down 5" Av. when I accosted him, & asked if he could not get work he said that he could not, & his voice trembled, I gave him some change which I hapened to find loose in my pocket & left with his blessing; & the deed has been a perfect luxory to me.
Saturday 16" 66 Last Monday Josey Phillips was in to see me and staid all night at my boarding place. Tuesday Joe Krusen of An-dover was in before I got to the store. he left a letter and par-cel both from Sister for me on Wednesday he came in again and I saw him & had a very short talk with him; that evening called on Uncle Tommy Clemence & Ruth Ha... at Mr Griggs. had a pleasant chat with uncle Tommy- To-day I have written to John Clem Sister & Maggie Cook. Gold within a week has enhanced from 30% to 61% premium many business houses are talking of shutting shop until it goes down again, as it almost puts the price of goods ov.. of the market Lloyd our asst entry clerk & Sandy McDonald the porter both like to have been killed day before yesterday, by an open hatch in the store. This Lloyd was formerly in the Rebel Q. M. Dept he is not however a very bitter Sesesh, Sandy is a native of Scotland, a ship carpenter by trade. once on the police force in Liverpool & afterwards on the force in Glasco. emigrated to this country some four years ago & is still a batchelor, devoid of school education he is still a well informed man having been an extensive reader. his abilities as an orator are very considerable; he has a toler-able understanding of German & phonography and is master of the celtic language - his excentricity is the mark of all that know him and a matter of considerable satisfaction to himself. strictly honest, an admirer of Scotsmen above all others & Americans next, unites a proud disposition with a decidedly careless appearance, and will accomplish a deal of work by very deliberate motions. he performs all the duties pertaining to the office of porter, but still will not allow any man to "play superior" to him, alltogather he is a person from whoes character a minister could find material in abundence for a good funeral serman, or an editor could select sufficient for an interesting obituary.
Monday 25th The past week has been warm and showery, very much like the month of April in Virginia. I have recd & answered let-ters from Coz Joe, uncle John and sister. Have charge of Dept "C" all of the time, as Mr Merrell has been up in the country on his vacation. I decidedly like having charge, as I can learn the goods much faster when I am showing them to customers all of the time. Mr M's- cousin seems to be doing well out in New England, he has sent back some prety good orders, the boy is a thorough worker I guess. Last evening I was over to Mr. Macys and took dinner, staid until after ten had a very pleasant time. Mrs. Macy & Florence are soon going up to the country, & Mrs. M- says that she wants me to take charge of her husband while she is gone. And make a report of his conduct, to her, on her return. Mr M- would like to have me come over and spend my evenings with him while the wife is gone. Miss Houghton is in Galena
Wednesday July 4th In my quiet parlor on Garden Row, I find my self quietly sitting, listening to the noisy manner in which Young America proclaims to the world that this is "the day we celebrate"; I feel but little interest in what is going on about me; therefore I will inform my dear Memoranadum how I have been spending my time since my last entry. For sometime I had been expecting to make a visit to Bethlehem, so last Saturday my chum - (Mr Kennedy) and I took the Mary Powell a 3½ P.M. for New Burgh, K- had never been up the Hudson before, and he was consequently perfectly delighted with the gorgeous beauties with which the banks of the noble river con-stantly teem, at New B- we were met at the boat by Sam Clemence who drove us out to Bethlehem in the most approved country style, I thot that K- would kill us both with laughter, indeed during the whole time of our sojourn he was constantly in flow of good humor which was perfectly irresistible, uncle Tommy even could not help laughing heartily at his lively saleys, staid all night at uncle Tommys, attended church on Sunday where I saw the Denniston girls, and many other "friends of former days". That night John brought us to N Burgh by the Way of New Windsor. we parted with him at Orange Hotel, our whole visit was of the most delightful descrip-tion. As we had an hour to spare before the arrival of the boat, a stroll up the river road was in order, while passing through Water St I saw Mrs Swart (his first step-mother), I did not stop to speak with her; on my returning to the boat I gave K- a little history of my life, something I had never done before- Mr Merrill has returned and I no longer am the chief of the White Goods Dept. Palnmer Merrill has also returned from his travels through the East. he has just paid his expense merely. I think that I shall commence my vacation about next Saturday.
Monday 9th Vacation hours seem frought with some pleasure. I shall not probaly go into the country until to-morrow P.M. to-day K- and I went up to Blackwells Island then down to the foot of East 6" St and went all through that enormous Iron Clad the "Dunder-bert", If it be possible to render anything that floats impregnable it seems as if it had been accomplished by the construction of this ram. her gun deck is a splendid cool place in which one might feel as safe in a fight as if in the bowells of the earth, the quarters for the officers are fitted up as nicely as one could wish for a private parlor at home.
In the afternoon of the Fourth I fell in with an officer of the Navy at Union Square. he was in the fight at Mobile where Farragut so distinguished himself, and gave me a prety good idea of what be-ing lashed to the rigging ment. He says that when, after the bat-tle, the commanders of vessels were summoned on board the Hartford, the Admiral was disposed to find some fault with the captain of the Missippi for slowing his vessel when opposite the fort, when the Hartford took the lead; the Capt. explained that he saw some buoys before his vessel and as they were undoubtedly attacked to tor-pedoes, he slowed his vessel as as to alter his course and avoid them the excuse was reced with bad grace by the Admiral; finally the Capt says "Admiral Farragut, I have been with you in many naval battles, in all of which we have been victorious, and never yet did I hear you say to your officers, well done".
Saturday 14th Tuesday P.M. I came up to New Burgh on the Powell. then crossing the river came directly up to Uncle Joes so as to cheat the weather this time; found all well; On the 10th I went up to the Lookout at Lone cedar and cut in the rock with a chizzel & lost myself for an hour or so in the meditation of the past. 12 years had elapesed since I could remember having first visited that spot, what an eventful 12 years has that period of time been to me, how many bright dreams formed not to be realized. how entirely changed has become my programme of life; always ambitions still un-til the army gave scope and direction to that ambitious spirit it was comparatively aimless, my constant aim for four years was con-fined to military advancement, ambition thus confined to one object gained the strength which it had previously lacked, and altho the object has now changed, still the same power is concentrated for mercantile advancement which if it prove equally successful will greatly please me; 12 years; I was then a boy without aim in life. now I am engaged in the struggle which my manhood must make against the world if it would secure a place above the level for which it seemed to be born; with high buoyant hopes, still not without fear alas I turned from the peak where I had not only surveyed the the beautiful landscape spread out below me but also my past life from both I trust that I shall be able to draw valuable lessons.
Evenings on the mountain are about the same now as 20 years ago with the exception of having ice cream in addition to the old-time reading and conversation, uncle now has an ice house, as well filled as the finest gents, and we luxurate on cream once or twice a week;
Wed. 12 Still on the mountain taking my fill of its beautiful sce-nery, ravines, rills, woods & farms, in luxurious profusion I as previously arrainged went on Thur 13 to New Burgh to call on the Swarts; during the day I had my picture taken at Remmilards and a couple of teeth filled at Stansboroughs. staid all night at the Orange Hotel on Friday 13 went back to uncle Joes & staid all night, & on the P.M. of the 14th went to Matteawan expecting to take a carriage there and go on to New Burgh and meet friend Ken-nedy who was to come up that day for a trip to the Catskills; a letter however which I received told me that he could not fulfill his engagement so I put up at Greens Hotel and made up my mind to remain for the remainder of my sojourn at that place, called on some young friends during the evening, Sund. 15th too hot to at-tempt to leave the hotel until afternoon. then I went and passed a very pleasant time with Mr Birks family. after tea called & Mr Barretts, Monday 16" awful hot. the thermometer indicated 104Ε in the shade, could scarcely move, the pas ten days has been the hot-test period known here for over forty years. Tuesday 17 there was a raspberry festival at the Hall for the Baptists, I attended and was on the committe, during the P M a shower had made the air agreeably cool, flirted some received several festival letters, on the next evening (Wed 18") the festival was concluded, I did not attend however until 11 OC. spending the early eve with Mr Birks family over wine cigars & dominos; had a quite an extensive time until one oclock, Received the appendid letter from Miss Lyde Ross who I was afterward introduced to, she signs herself Kate, Event over to Burgh again on Thurs 19" returning in time for an evening call, during the P.M- went down to Ben Laforges & copied a will & record which enables me to trace my ancestry back to my great-great-Grand father Nathanal La Forge who was born 1722, this will disposes of property on which part of the present City of New Brunswick N.J. is built upon, the old deeds of the property are also in possession of Ben La Forge. Friday 20 out all day & evening; up on the mountain I paid my good by visit also in town, and & Sat 21st took the "Armenia" for the city arriving safly at 7.30 three years of the ten which is to elapse before I meet prof Beaugureau on Prospect hill D.C. have on this night rolled past. Found all well & Tom most decidedly glad of my return. Sunday 22 was spent mostly in recovering from the fatigue of my journey. and to-day (Monday 23) have resumed my old occupation of Salesman.
LETTER TO LaFORGE (referred to above)
Monsieur La Forge,
How facinating you appear this evening, and yet so cool. I wonder at you. How can you resist the beseeching glances and win-some smiles that meet you on all sides? probably you have reasons for it.
Doubtless you are tired of excitements, busy whirl, or per-chance the fair sex of our little Village have no charms for you, or that their beauty dwindles into nothingness before your fasti-dous gaze, when compared to the artificial beauties of our gay Metropolis. excuse me, but do not blush so, I feel I have struck the right key. I know I am rather observing and scrutinizing. and world renowned my true remarks.
But I see, my remarks to you are already effectual, what a mo-mentuos change! smiles are lighting up, and dispelling the gloom from your handsome face, as you cheerfully recognize one and all of your acquaintances,
To make it complete just step up politely to each, (and my-self) included, and ask them to partake of some refreshments.
Is the music not charming? I will leave you to enjoy it, while I make preparations for my exit. meet me half an hour from now at the north end of the room, where I will accept some cream from you, after which, I may grant you the full right of escorting me home.
Now remember half an hour from now I am waiting for you.
Come to rogueish
Saturday 28" Have recd letters from, & written to Prof. Beaugu-reau, Capt Robinson, Miss Adie Ives, John La Forge, Mr Dubois, & Mr Remmilard.
Saturday August 4th Ends a week that has been a laborious one for me; MacDonald - our porter - hurt his hand badly last week and I by request of of Mr Gibb - been doing the duty so far as packing and shipping the goods was concerned; West tried it and Grant also but neither seemed to sute Mr Gibb as he would invariably ask me to go up to the packing room and send - "the boy down as he wants too much instruction" - so I have had a double duty to perform until to-day. now Mac has returned. I received the appended letter from Miss Elsie Wiltsie which rather pleases me. Wrote to and sent un-cle Joe ½ dozen handkerchiefs, and to Cozen Joe $5.00 which he is to return with the rest which he owes me on the 1 day of Sept. $18- Mr. Mills returned from Europe yesterday. he come back in mighty good humor and health, the firm is looking out some good site for their business where there will be more conveniences than they at present possess, both in room & machinery. There is no mistake that they - the firm - are making plenty of money.
Political indications continue very stormy - the breach between Johnson and Congress seemed anything but likely to heal. when the latter adjourned. The Southron people grow every day more dis-pleased with their situation, and more violent in their manifesta-tions of the same, for the state of things I can but blame the course of the Radical majority in Congress, When the Reble armies first surrendered the people whom they had been protecting would have accepted almost any terms. now the pampering which they have received from one party and the oppression from the other party has made them violent haters of everything which in the least inter-feres with them from any side, this I think must be a little tamed before we can admit them to representation in the Gov't but how this is to be accomplished, & by what acts must be the study of wise heads.
Tuesday 7" I received from Washington my promotion to the Brevet rank of Major to date from the 13th Day of March 1865 for gallant and meritorious servises in front of Petersburgh Va the commission was frorwarded to me by Miss Nettie Katkamer from Kingston where she is on a visit from the city - she having received it from a friend who is in the War Dept. said Dept being ignorent of my ad-dress - I wrote to Adjt Genl Townsend acknowledging its receipt, and to Miss K- thanking her for forwarding the same. I feel grate-ful for the honor and rather proud of the promotion. I wish that it had dated from Sept 19th (Battle of Winchester) for on that day I consider that I earned it.
Aug 9th The long expected neice and uncle of Mrs Burton arrived from Cleaveland yesterday; no the day before; I have had quite a flirtation with the first. she is very innocent. I received a letter from Uncle John La F to-day, he praises me greatly for my improvement in composition thinks that I now surpass him &c. Wrote to sister this evening.
Monday 13th Yesterday I, in company with John Baird, made a trip to Greenwood Cemetery taking the Fulton Ferry and Greenwood cars. We entered the grounds at the Northren gate - which is a magnifi-cent Structure of Redstone - at once found ourselves wandering among the homes of the dead, and altho I have visited many beauti-ful burial places this is certainly the most beautiful of them all; secluded paths and avenues, nicely graveled, wound with graceful curves and gentle grades in every direction, - now plunging in to some lonely dell and following for a time the course of some softly murmuring brooklet, or leading to some placid lake whoes pure bosom reflected the evergreens, and weeping willows upon its borders, the latter hanging mournfully over and laving their ...es in the limpid wave as if wooing it with gentle carresses;- and anon leading you to some hill from whoes wooded summit could be obtained a view al-most equal to that of the Delectible Mountains; Looking toward the South, the eye after lingering for a brief moment upon the fertile strip of land which forms a broad belt between the Cemetery and At-lantic, wanders off upon the blue ocean which streatching far, far, away toward the South until blending with the sky it sems to be lost in the blue ether. vessells laden with the riches of the world are ploughing their tracks paths acrost this expanse, whither bound you know not; Some to the ports of Europe to bring from the skilld hands of the artisan there the product of their skill, others to the tropics they will return laden with the fruits of the sun, and making those favored regions furnish their important share to our luxory, otheres again are bound to the distant scenes of China and India, to, upon their return, surround us with the splen-dor and magnifisance of the Oriental world, to those cargoes the toiling patient Chinaman and and indolent but excitable hindoo must contribute; All this to surround man that noble but imperfect image of Diety, with the glory of the world, and for what? that he may he may , for his brief item of time, imitate the the worship of the Golden Calf, and like them meet the long since incurred wrath of Him that Ruleth, and be brought to people these cities of extin-gushed motallity. Sit down beneath this spreading elm and give full scope to these thoughts, listen to solemn music of yonder fountain, feel upon your cheek the soft tuch of the gentle breeze which is breething through the boughs above you the exquisite strains of aeolus, listen to the buisy hum of the distant city, look upon the white emblems of Death arround, and comparing the lessons of motallity with those of immortallity become a worshipper at that high and only shrine which leasts through all eternity.
Upon my return to the city I found all our people gone to the pa... so I went over and took dinner at Mr. Macys; had a very plea-sant and instructive conversation with him upon the subject of business, he is most thoroughly posted upon that subject. Coming back to Garden Row I found the house musical with the praises which Mr. McKinnon and daughter were bestowing upon the Central Park, Kings & High Bridges and the upper portion of Manhattan Island. I do not precisely like the intimacy which has so suddenly grown up between my friend Mr. Kennedy and Miss McKinnon, he is of a warm, impulsive and impassioned nature if he becomes her lover he will be her seducer, Friday he "played sick" and with father and daughter made a trip to Rockaway, that night the father returned leaving the young people to come back next day; Mr K- stoped at the hotel all night and Miss McK- slept with Mrs Burton's sister who lives at Rockaway during the summer; I greatly fear that the young people had many oppertunities of being alone togather; In this opinion I am confirmed by his actions this evening, which betray an intimacy which to any but a father blindly trusting, would be very suspi-cious. However why do I write this? one to read it would be apt to consider me an old man grown wise with years; these too, are only suspicions.
Tuesday 14" Very pleasant. Tom has been morose all day from a cause which I feared, and was yet curious, to learn. he finally this evening made a clean breast of it and told me frankly that while he was at Rockaway he had succeeded in a base act and des-troyed the vitue of ____ he was extremely sorry and wished to do the honorable, I could not advise him to marry and yet that was the only honorable course; he had came home early from the store and proposed the matter secretly to the lady, and they had concluded to have some clergyman perform the ceremony with myself as the only out side witness. this I could not consent to be unless I first had the oppertunity of conversing for a fiew moments with the lady alone, to set the whole matter before her as only a disinterested friend could do; he agreed that I should do so, however when I sought her for that purpose I found that her father had sent her out with McDonald to the theatre, so the subject must rest for a while.
Thursday 16" Rained yesterday and to-day also. this eve Mr & Mrs Burton had some friends assemble to bid an adieu to Mr McKinnon who returns to Cleaveland Saturday morning. Time passed agreeably un-til 3½ OC. when the company broke up. Mr. Kennedy then under an impulse- as in almost everything else- proposed to Mr. McK- for the hand of his daughter, the old gentleman was at first disposed to treat the matter lightly. when I steped forward and beged to as-sure him that the request was made in ernest, Mr McK- then pro-ceeded to give us one of the best lectures on matrimony that I ever listened to, not refusing the request, and yet giving such food for reflection as to be rather discouraging to people about to enter the holy state. The slightes opposition of course had the effect of making my friend more eager altho' he had commenced in a ..est. Mr & Mrs Burton opposed him also. I however rather favored the matter as it was the only honorable course left for my friend; of course none of the party but I (of the outsiders) knew this. fi-nally the father consulted his daughter, found her willing then placing the young peoples hands within each other gave his consent to the arraingement. very much to the displeasure of the Burtons, who as they told me would rather have seen me in that position.
I nearly forgot to mention the fact that Mr Macy proposed last Sun-day when I was there to have me come and board with him this win-ter; he says that he shall try and get some teacher of French to board at his house and teach Miss Florence the French Language, he had heard me say that I proposed to change into some boarding house where nothing but French was spoken so he says if he should succeed in procuring a rather pretty lady, perhaps it would be agreeable for me to come there. I think it would myself.
Sunday 19" Rainy morning but pleasant P.M. Did not attend ser-vises to-day. I almost fear that I am getting very wicked.
Thursday 23" Rainy day. Last evening Tom's love which had seemed to be waning all the week again blew into a fresh flame; I had been out with Miss Mollie and on my return she & friend K- had a fiew moments conversation after which both came to me and asked me if I would do them the favor, to some night this week go with and see them privately married thenm sign my full titles with my rank to their certificate? I told them "of course I would they should have the honor of A.T. LaForge Maj. 106" N.Y.Vols. & Judge Advocate 3" Div. 6" Army Corps to their certificate, if they wished. Poor Tom he is the greatest slave to his impulses of any man I ever saw; now yesterday & the day before, he was as gloomy as a thunder cloud and would not for the world have thought of marrying so soon. Yes-terday the trade which had been exceedingly backward opend like an avalanche upon us and we did the best days work of the year, being over $8000 dollars sales. To-day has not been so good on account of the weather Charley West asked for an advance, assigning as a reason that I had more than he, Mr Gibb refused to consider the matter at all, saying it was premature.
Monday 27th Well Tom is now a husband; & thus it happened, on Saturday he meditated for a long time and finally favored me with the conclusions at which he had arrived, by "well major I will get married to-night if you will help me how am I to manage it"? I gave my views of the subject he wished me to be the only witness. On coming home we dressed and started in search of a divine after tramping over an hour we succeeded in finding one at ..... Dr. Benjamin the asst at the St Anns Church for mutes. I had heard him preach and so could without blushing make arraingements to have my friend married; accordingly we came to get Mary who had been out riding with one of our German boarders. Mrs. Burton was just going out and leaving Molly to keep house as she said, I told her how-ever that Molly was going out to have some ice-cream with T- and I- she was well please with this. she does not care where Molly goes so long as she is with me. when Tom is with her alone Mrs B. is dreadfully uneasy. Now the German with whom Molly had been riding was to be gotton rid of. I asked him if he was a good judge of character? he thought he was; Tom now opened - Yes a man who pos-sesses the prenological indications of superior metal endowments which s... eminently characterizes the physiognomical outline of the classically cut indicator of the mind of our friend could not be but an indication that such a faculty was possessed by him. This was more than Mon-heer- could digest at once so he sought the solitude of his room. Then we hurried off to our clergyman. and in his rooms with only myself and one of his servants as witnesses Mr Kennedy & Miss McKinnon were made man and wife according to rites of the Protestant Episcopal church. When we came out Tom turned his wife over to me and walked disconsolately along by my side saying "well Kennedy you've gone and done it, thrown yourself away" I must wet this however". I protested but he insisted that before he went to bed this night he would wet it (not the bed) we had some ice cream and cake at a restaurant, then came home and leaving Mary, went out and proceeded to "wet it". What a husband he will make, thoughtless, wild, easily led and very rough, poor Mary, poor Tom! Yesterday Mary was sick Mr B- wanted to procure some wine for her. Tom and I refused to allow this being her bro-thers as we term ourselves, and furthermore being the cause of her sickness by taking her for ice cream at night (none know of the marriage yet) still he would not give up until Ts eloquence came into play thus, "Now the Maj insists and I insist on getting this wine for Mary and if both of our united insistations is unsuffi-cient to over come, annul destroy and utterly anihilate your single opposishionallity then it is a case" it carried the day in our favor. In the P.M. I called on Miss Emma Hilyer in Brooklyn. she looks uncommonly well, it was the first time I had seen her since Thursday after the New Year. I received a press invitation to call again. To-day have been prety buisy. forgot to mention that last evening I went up to St Ann's church to hear Bishop Budell preach. I was very much pleased with him. Recd a letter from Miss Wilt-sie.
Thursday 30" Pleasant busy days since my last enough to do, and plenty of good health to do it with. Yesterday President Johnson made his triumphal passage through the city I hapened on Broadway just as the head of the procession came past where I was. the es-cort was splendid indeed, behind the president came Grant and Far-ragut in seperate carriages they as well as the President had to be constantly removing their hats and bowing to the cheering multitude on either side. the military were formed on the west side of the street with the right resting on Warren St or Murray St and the left away up by the Metripolitan somewhere. these all presented arms when the distinguished guests of the city passed; I rather think that altho this trip through the North was made with the ostensable purpose of laying the corner stone of the Douglass monument at Chicago, that after all the main object is to secure Johnsons reelection by popular voice shall write to sister tomor-row to see what she means by the long silence which she has main-tained.
LETTER New York City, Thursday Aug 29" 1866
My dear Sister
What can be the trouble out there, can it be possible that there is no ink in Andover since the fire, or have the geese re-fused to grow any quills that could be used as pens? I am very uneasy about you. this is the third time I have written you and have as yet received no answer I hardly know what to think I do hope that none of you are sick, yet by that supposition alone am I able to account for your long silence. do write at once and ease my mind Every day & at every arrival of the mail I go to the post office box to see if there are any letters for me, and although I receive enough from other sources still there are none from those who are ever uper most in my mind. Indeed it is difficult to take any interest in what is transpiring arround me. yesterday when President Johnson with Grant and Farragut and all their brilliant military and civic retinue were passing up Broadway I could take but little interest in the grand display because the reflection came to my mind "I wonder if any of my friends at Andover are sick while I stand here enjoying myself. such a thought dampened my glee at once.
Business has opened very brisk again and I find my time fully employed from 8½ AM to 6 & 7½ P.M. I like this as activity in what ever pursuit one may be ingaged makes them feel as if he was prospering; you probably can boast of the same feeling now for this is your buisy also; hay, grain, cattle and fences usually keep the Allegany farmers stirring at this season of the year. I know what it is from experience and am most happy to be earning a living in some other way at present Though still the quiet joy and innocent contentment of rural life comes often up before my mental mirror as if by its contrast to show the false hollow nature of the one and the honest full heartedness of the other.
It is now midnight and I must close, hoping that you will write me at once and relieve my mind of this load of anxiety.
My love to All
Your anxious brother
A. T. LaForge
Maj 106" N.Y.Vols
Friday 31" Rainy. Wrote to sister last eveing. Mr Macy started for Saratoga on Wednesday hope he will have an agreeable time I am sure. Prety buisy time of it this month. our sales have amounted to over $100 000.00 Prety good for Mills & Gibb. Now that Mr Ke-nedy is married he has but very little idea what he is going to do with himself or wife. indeed his plans never received a thought I am sure. the future gave him but little trouble then and he lets it give him very little now. I dread to see how he allows himself be borne along by the current of events without ever attempting to shape his own course.
Friday Aug (should be Sept) 7" Rained this evening. A very buisy week. Tuesday was the best business day the firm has had since commencing. the sales that day amounting to over $9.500ΕΕ Wrote to Miss Wiltsie last Sunday evening. Tom says that the description of a "trip to Greenwood which I sent her was one of the most beau-tiful and poetical that he ever read; of course I was greatly ob-liged to him for his good opinion of my effort. I have also recd a letter from sister. she says that she has written me several times but that I must have lost the letters through the careless-ness of the mail officials. I have to-day received a duplicate marriage certificate from Dr Benjamin which I will give to Mary this evening as Tom already has one. I am afraid that my time is not being spent in the most valuable manner now, owing to the fact that to many of my evenings are spent in idle dalliances with the inocent wife of my friend. she & I both lose sight of the fact that such are improper, now that she is married last Monday night the poor child threw herself upon my bosom and gave vent to a flood of tears that it was almost agonizing to see.
Sunday 9" Very buisy yesterday, kept at our labors until sep heur demi last evening. Tom, MacDonald and Mary have gone to Rockaway for a pleasure trip to day. I have often thou't that Broadway must present one of the most atractive studies for the lover of Physio-logy, for one by taking his stand at any point can have such varied matter to gratify his love of the subject. Every nationallity, co-lor, sect, class or condition of mankind from the North Pole to the South can find its representative on this teeming artery of the great Metropolis; Take your stand at any given point on the great thoroughfare and without a greater knowledge of the world than any extensive reader may readily acquire, you will be able to select a man for every class the sun shines upon. One can not help being struck with the large class of men constantly passing and repassing with hurried pace and anxious faces. they until we become accus-tomed to them, excite our pity for the cares of nations seem hang upon their shoulders, and they are bowed Atlas like, with the weight of the world. Those are the business men of the Republic of America, men indefatigable in resourse and energy, bold and gene-rally successful in speculation, far seeing and ready handed. To such men do we owe the unparalleled growth of the and development of the nation. they are building up in this new country a business which bids fair to out strip any other in the world so let them pass on their hurried way. Here comes a wide mouthed laughing eyed national of the Emerald Isle. he's the man to do your work or fighting. will divide his last crust with the friend of his gener-ous heart, and knock him down the next minute out of shear good feeling, easily angered but his friendship may also be as easily kept by a kind word look or action. let him pass for the brick and morter which is so rapidly building up the city has to pass up the weary rounded ladder on the hardy shoulders of such as he. Ah! here comes the man whoes phlegmatic nature is exhibited in every motion and feature, whoes stolid eye and grave step, with the ne-cessary accompaniment of meer schaun, and Lager bier proportions, proclaim him to be from beyond the Rhine. by the straight brows and expressionless face you are bound to arrive at the conclusion that his thoughts are far from the scenes which surround him, per-haps they are wandering among the scenes of his childhood in the far distant Fatherland, or they may be calculating to a nicety to just what extent a mans capacity for holding beer may be enlarged. his face would look the same no matter what thoughts occupied him. we had best let him pass us, for he may be planning a map to send to Bismark to enable that great personage to reconstruct Europe on Scientific principles. Now mark the refined ..ase which governs the actions of that light-whiskered gent who is passing by, the calm superiority which he assumes over all others. he seems to say, "My gwood pweople aw am so vewdy much gwattaw than any of you that aw may well awfoawd to look dawn upon you gwaciously", that thing is the English cockney, how thankful must be the genuine Eng-lishman the the cockney is not their representative man. it would be an easy matter to stand and thus classify men according to their national peculiarities, but the subject unless ably treated becomes tiresome to a reader, the best way for one to fully appreciate is to see. Stand and allow the tide to pass you, watch the faces sad and gay, bright and sombre, sickly and heathful those that indicate plenty and those that show want; and then and then only will a just idea be formed of the Broadway crowd and that be impressed upon ones mind.
Friday 14th Business continues pretty brisk. have received let-ters from Sister and Mary Barrett. the first says that she has written before, and the second signs herself - "your would be friend" - & adds that she will be in town on the 15" and asks me to call on her at 133 Christopher St on that evening. I have also a letter from father. he has been at work in the Saw Mill all summer to get money enough to buy another yoke of oxen, he now has purchased a yoke of Bulls with which he proposes to go to work next spring. still cheerful & hopeful - last evening I purchased and presented to Mrs Macy, Tennesons complete works; when I called upon her I found Mrs Van Tine there & her husband came in shortly after, he has been for over ten years in Japan purchasing goods with which he has now opened a store on Broadway, his anecdotes of the country in which he had so long sojourned were very interesting and in-structive and held me spell bound during my brief stay there. I must direct to Cedar Falls Wis.
LETTER New YOrk City Sept 16" 1866.
My dear Sis
Yours of the 2ond reached me on Wednesday, and relieved my mind of a load of anxiety which had became very painful; I have through its advice made up my mind never to worry about you any more for I find it is useless. I guess, upon due consideration that I will not accept your invitation to black berries and milk, as the season with us is over, and I am to tired to run up to your place this evening, You will, therefore please excuse a reluctant refusal, I am glad to learn of your continued good health and hope that you may all receive the continued smiles of Providence for several hundred years to come. Somehow I feel very gay in writing this time, I am so happy at hearing from you, but I will be real serious now and tell you about my visit, a short time since, to "Greenwood cemetery", that is if you will accompany me there in imagination.
Entering the cemetery by the Northern Gate, which is a magni-ficent structure of brown stone, and typical of that Shining Gate through which the spirits of the departed have entered upon the eternal joys of Paradise. we find ourselves wandering among the homes of the dead; carefully gravelled avenues and paths, wind, with graceful curves and gentle grades, among the trees and through the grounds; we are at once impressed with the care which is evi-dently expended upon the place, and have to acknowledge that altho we may , in our wanderings over the fair face of Earth, have visit-ed many beautiful burial places, still one that we could pronounce superior to this, must have surpassing lovelyness to merrit the distinction.
Entering one of the paths we are softly guided into a secluded dell, to follow the course of a sweetly murmering brook until it flows into a lake, whoes placid surface reflects the evergreens and weeping willows upon its borders. the latter hanging over and gently laving the water with their branches, as if wooing with its soft tuch the bosom upon which it was mirrored. Leaving the music of the fountain which plays in the centre of the lake, and in its rain of spray, is an emblem of the falling tears of the saddened mourners who have often gazed upon it, and which also points out - in the jet wihich it throws high in air - the way to that blessed cource where the sorrow burdened heart may obtain that comfort "which surpasseth understanding". we wend our way to a hill, from whoes wooded summit we may like Christian on the Delectable Montans obtain a view almost elysian. The gratified eye lingers for a mo-ment on the fertile fields which form a broad belt between the ce-metery and ocean, and then wanders off upon the Blue Atlantic, which stretching far, far, away to the South seems there to blend with the sky. and is lost in the blue ether, to the longing gaze.
Acrost this expanse of watere many ships may be seen, plough-ing their trackless course, where each is bound we cannot know- doubtless some to the ports of Europe to bring from the skilled hands of the workmen there the product of their toil; others to the tropics, they will return to us laden with the fruits of the sun, and make the vegetable riches of that favored clime add their im-portant quota to our enjoyment, others are bound to the distant seas of India & China, to the cargoes with which they return laden the indolent but excitable Hindoo and the toiling, patien Celestial must contribute; and all this that man, that beautiful but imper-fect image of Diety, may surround himself for his brief item of time, with the pride and vain glory of life, and in the end - like the worshippers of the Golden Calf - meet the long since incurred displeasure of a justly offended God, - be brought to people these cities of the Dead.
Sit down beneath the branches of this spreading elm, look about you upon the white way-marks, which Time has spread so pro-fusely through this beautiful grove; listen to the hum of the dis-tant city, feel the soft tuch of the gentle breeze upon your cheek now glowing with health, but remember that the same breeze is sigh-ing the dirge of the departed through the branches of yonder linden and comparing the lessons of immortallity with those of mortallity = for thus must ever the tho'ts of the dead and living blend toga-ther = draw from them the everlasting truths of the Providence which ruleth all things, and become a worshipper at the shrine of the ever living God; such tho'ts need not make us altogather sad, but let them add a healthy activity to our Moral natures and they become a blessing to us; So, at leaste tho't your brother, as turning from the Mosques, obelisks, Broken Pots & Urns and other emblems by which the living have testified their love for the dead who sleep at Greenwood. he wended his way back to the great throb-bing heart of the Metropolis, and mingled with the buisy multitude which throngs her streets, Feeling a benifit resulting from this short but sweet commune with nature.
There, How do you like my description? I think so very much faster than I write that I often omit what I wish to insert but you have my sentiments in my way of expressing them which is perhaps the better than more studied phrases.
I will not say what I think of the President yet. My love to all the boy included
A. T. La Forge
Father is well. address Cedar Falls, Wis. and you will be pretty sure to hear from him.
Sunday 23". Rather cool and decidedly showry all the week. Miss Barrett was in town she wrote she would be and I called upon her. Miss Florence Macy has also returned and with her comes her aunt a Mrs Sargeant, she is one of the most beautiful performers upon the piano that I ever hear, perfectly magnificent in fact. I have en-joyed her music for two evenings. This evening I was over to Mr Ms on the second call since Mrs S. has been there. I enjoyed myself as one can not help doing there. Miss Valentine called in and made the evening still more agreeable by her cheery face. I have writ-ten to sister and to Miss Barrett. On my return home I find the following letter lying upon the table for me. Mon Cher Major. Voulez-vous desirez ma f-d restir ici demain soir pour moi, et si possible pas aller a chez a mon Kennedy. Je dormis a le magasin ce soir, parlez avec elle la person ci soir si possible, et obligé, votre ami. Toujours Tom.
I can not comply with his request to-night as it is now past 11. and the young lady has not returned from a call upon Mrs Evans.
12 O.C. midnight I have complied with Tom's request. Mary came in shortly after I had got in bed, so I arose and slipping on my pants & dresser, spoke with her alone. If she was anything other than the wife of my friend I believe from the encouragements I have recd I would be doing something wrong. she allows me liberties which she will not allow her husband.
Thursday 27" Rained all this week until to-day which causes trade to be dull. to-day I sold Skinner and Stenger of Chambersburg a pretty large bill. Yesterday morning Molly went home in company with Mrs Kennedy. wife of the Superintendant of Police poor lit-tle thing she rather hated to go, but made up her mind it was best. she came to my be..... the night before to give me a farewell kiss. I was up next morning to see her start in however and had another lip salute. Yesterday I recd a written invitation to come arround to Mr Macys to have a musical treat on the occasion of his putting up his new Piano. I went last evening altho it rained and the others who were expected were not present. The new instrument is a magnificent one, very rich toned, and under Mrs Sergeants skill-ful hand was made to show its full power. As I was bidding the lady good evening I told he that she drew all hearts to her by her magnificent music, She bowed her acknowledgements with modest thanks. wrote to aunt Mary La...
Wednesday 3" Oct 1866. I had began to think that we should have wet weather until the end of the World yesterday it cleared off however and to-day a cold wind from the bright sky to the North admonishes us of the approach of Hieme. Last evening according to an invitation from Mr Macy I attended one of his family parties: his Mother and brothers and sisters were all present. We had some segars and champaign also whisky. these with the unbounded hospi-tality of the host made the evening one of the merriest I ever passed: Mrs Robert Macy got decidedly tight, that is for a lady, she with a Miss Churchill were about the wittiest pair I ever saw and excited much mirth by their livey sallies and reparties. Danc-ing and singing and frollicking kept us in ignorance of the hour until 1 OC this morning. we much against Mr Ms' inclination broke up. I had the honor of escorting Miss Valentine home. The Black Crook is a play which has had an exceedingly long run At Niblo's, its remarkable scenic effect, and the almost nude dress of its ballot girls have won for it an extensive patronage; during last evening it was referred to, Mr M- remarking about the scenery said that is was so very natural, one of the ladies replied that from the gentlemans account of it, it must be the naturalness of the scenery which fascinated them so much; whether she referred to the ballot girls or painting was left for her audience to infer I suppose. I have written to father and Miss Wiltsie.
Friday 5" Still cold. Trade slack. The floods occasioned by the recent rains through the country have occasioned an immense amount of damage in nearly all the Western States, the loss is estimated by Millions of dollars.
Had a fiew games of Billiards with Mr Macy last evening, I believe from his conversation that we are bound to have a tolorably good falls trade yet. Last month we did $148 000ΕΕ trade.
Monday 8th Indian Summer was duly inaugurated on Saturday by by soft suthron breezes and bright skies; Yesterday Tom and I conclu-ded to celebrate the same by a trip to High Bridge; we took plenty of segars and enjoyed ourselves amazingly, wandered about among the trees and green fields of a libitum. on my return in the evening I went over to call on Miss Maggie Cook, she gave me the news from the country, and delivered the little messages of regard which had been sent down by my friends.
Thursday 18" Pleasant & cool. Very dull trade. Mr Gibb decided to send Palmer Merrill of on a trip with samples; when orders had been given to prepare them I asked Mr G. how long P would be gone? he said about six weeks, and asked me why. I told him that I should like to go myself when he came back, he said I could go now if I wished. of course I was only too delighted; So we are getting up two sets of samples instead of one. I am to go out through Pa. visiting Trenton, Harrisburgh, Carlysle, Chambersburgh, Getteys-burgh, Pittsburgh and other places. I have received letters from Uncle John and Miss Wiltsie. both write very interesting letters but how different. The former glowing with the fire of ambition and the latter all quiet and content.
Lundi 22ieme Raining to-night - Miss McQuarry is here sick Mac is acting as her nurse. I think I shall be ready to start on my trip Wednesday as my samples will be ready by to-morrow night. Tom recd a telegraph dispatch from Cleveland written by Mr McKinnon & offer-ing him a situation at $800 per annum to commence with. so Mr K- is going out there Friday to see about it, and if suited will re-main. Sunday while T- and I were at dinner the fire bells com-menced wringing Tom cogitated for a minute then having apparently arrived at a conclusion he delivered himself as follows, "I should think when a fire was sucfully distinguished that the property owners should disembruse the Fire Companies which were engaged in its extenuation" I agreed with him.
Thursday 25" I left New York yesterday stopping at 2 P.M at New Brunswick I drummed the town prety thoroughly but only succeeded in getting one small order of about $50. That was from Plechener & Bro. I was in to a Millenery establishment where none of my goods were wanted but I had quite a flirtation in the way of talk-ing business with the lady manager of the place. To day came on to Trenton stopping at Princeton a one horse town of no business in my line & which being situated 3 miles from the R. R. is reached by small street Locomotives. I found that a stay there was useless so took the 5 P.M. train for this place arrived and put up at the Trenton. Stoped at the R. R. House at N.B. & at the Nassau at Princeton. Church St is the business Locality of N.B. I suppose that Palmer Merrill started on his trip to-day he ought to do better than I, and yet I cannot find it in my Heart to wish him success. there is an irrepressible conflict between us.
Sunday 30" Geting prety cool again. woolen clothing seems very desirable. No business seems to be doing in my line at customers look through my goods without giving orders I almost think they only want to post themselves on my prices. I left Trenton Friday Night thinking to come directly to Reading. but as no train left Phila after I arrived I had to remain all night stoped at the Gerard House opposite the Continental where I put up when in that city last. Rained a little during the night and the people here at Reading inform me that it snowed her a trifle I found a large croud of people just leaving town who had been to attend the county fair which for the last three days has been in progress I was un-able to do any busness yesterday the people are as blue as a U.S. uniform over the dull trade. they say that there is positively no trade going A fiew days of such weather as we have to-day will liven the trade a good deal. I got about half through the town yesterday, have shown my goods some. all are suited with the pri-ces but none like to take hold of them just now unfortunately for me. I am making a poor show for the firm. to-morrow I shall drum the remainder of the town and leave for Lancaster Pa in the evening if I can do no trade. I wrote to sister yesterday.
Thursday Nov 1st York Pa. Left Reading Pa last Tuesday P.M. pro-ceeded to Lebanon where I stoped that night and the next day Wed-nesday made a couple of small bills one with Goodyear & Diffenbach and the other with Mrs M A Orth. that evening went on to Lancaster where I became acquainted with a Mr Bower the oldest merchant of the place and a banker also. he was a fine stout old gent and very kind showing me the utmost kindness but buying no goods he is a stout radical. I found that I could do nothing with the merchants of that place who are the bluest and most complaining set I ever saw, so came on to this place I crossed the river Susquehanna at Columbia (the R.R. bridge which was burned in 63 to prevent the Rebs crossing has not been rebuilt yet so a ferry boat is used). I dont believe that I shall do much here as trade is very dull and merchants dislike buying. I shall drum the town well however. Last night I found a package at the Lancaster P.O. waiting for me, which contained a letter from Charley West. he sent me some sam-ples and gave me news of home. The package also contained a letter from sister and one from Beugureau, the first informing of the good health of my family, the birth of a daughter for Mr P. Potter and the marriage of Mr Billings. The other which was written in French - informed me of the death of the writers brother, and also of him-self having resumed his duties of Prof- at the Oxford College. I have noticed one peculiarity of all these Duch towns = the Duch is spoken in all local business transactions - which is their market arraingements; they all have a market centrally located, where mar-ket is held three days in each week. Tues- Thurs- & Saturdays. all market business is transacted on those days and they are conse-quently great business days for all the towns. When I passed through Harrisburgh yesterday P.M. I did not stop I shall get there sometime next week. Wrote to Sis last night.
Sunday 4" Chambersburgh Pa. Came here from York via Hamburgh Saturday P.M. before leaving Y- I was taken for a swindler who was travelling and selling goods, pretending to be an agent for Mellor - Baines & Mellor of Phila. he hapened to be here giving out his cards when the regular agent of the House arrived. Finding that somebody had forestalled him, he supposed it must be me as I seemed to be the only stranger in town, so he came to me; it so happened that I had seen the false agent and he had given me one of the cards of the firm so I knew just what Mr Bouce, the true agt. want-ed to find out; I explained my business and described mister swind-ler, was introduced to Mrs Bouce and came with them as far as Har-risburgh where we parted. they going to Pittsburgh and I coming here. It was dark when I arrived in town, but I went up and saw Skinner & Stenger. they have a splendid store and do a fine busi-ness. The burning of this town has been a fine thing for its beauty. on the sites of the former unsightly old houses now stand five Banks- Hotels, Stores and dwelling houses fitted up complete with all the modern improvements; one would imagine himself in some great mart of commerce to see the magnificent iron pillared stores, with their their glaced fronts and Blue curtains with ornimental gold lettered signs. I did a little business in York, not much.
Harrisburgh Pa. Wed. 7" Made a short trip up to Green Castle yes-terday but found that none of my goods were wanted there, it is a little one-horse insignificant place not worth visiting with my goods, came back to Chambersburgh the same evening, staid all night as the cars came no farther, and at 5.15 this morning came on to Carlisle, no business was doing there either, I visited all the stores but could not open any accounts, and almost heartsick came to this place this evening; Here I am greeted with the same dole-ful acounts of bad trade & the truth of the complaint is but too evident in the almost deserted stores. I am sure of one thing at least, and that is that I shall make but a poor mark on this trip, If I reach a thousand dollars I shall do well I am sure. There are a fiew things working to produce this dull trade which anybody can readily comprehend, First although laborers & mechanick wages are good still the very high price now charged for provisions, takes all they can earn to supply their tables, also every thing required for wearing or using is so exorbitantly high that all consumers not possessing fortunes, are unable to gratify their wants, to say nothing of their fancies, further the immense amount distributed in the shape of bounties to soldiers, have been mostly expended by the recipients, and the rush of that class upon fineries & luxories to which they were formerly unaccustomed has almost if not entirely ceased, the wives & daughters of soldiers (bounty men) who used to throng our stores, have found their exchecquers exhausted at last and they are seen no more, save when a positive necessity drives them to purchase, or when some unexpected good fortune throws money into their grasp for further useless expenditures. I write sister from almost every town I visit.
Huntindon - Friday 9. Came here yesterday evening, have opened three small accounts in town; Instead of going to Birmingham as on my directions, I shall go to Huntington. The former is a little place with a school and one store. I write to Sister almost every day. There is a man in town calling himself Prof Sergeant peddling a fluid compound called the `Oil of Life' with which he performs marvelous cures, I saw him cure deafness in five minutes, also straighten out limbs which were drawn up through rheumatism or in-juries, cured toothache also & headache etc etc. he sells his oil at about a dollar per pint- and performs his cures free of charge.
Altoona Sunday 11th Came here last evening, am stopping at the Lo-gan House. It has rained nearly all day; About 10 I lit a cigar and wandered out to one of the hills in the vicinity, and from the eminence looked down upon the thriving city below me, upon which however now rests the quiet of Sabbath and a rainy day. As I gazed upon the evidences of industry arround me, my thoughts wandered back to the not distant day, when the hill embowered vally in which now sits this centre of industry was a howling wilderness, Enormous Okes and Pines of centuries growth waved wildly over the stream which now reflects the buisy mill and viaduct, the red man as prim-ival as the forrest, chased the deer acrost acrost the wooded vally and hills, or built his winter wigwam, where the the city below me, it would be sheltered from the rude blasts by the surrounding hills, what a change has come over the place; gone is the savage like his native forrest, in their old haunts, appeared the Chris-tian, and cultivated fields; Railways intersect the the plain or plunge with desperate valor through the surrounding hills, where was heard the War-whoop is now heard the shreak of the locomotive, as it hurries with fearful velocity to its destination; where the war-dance was held now stands a magnificent edifice didicated to the worship of the Great Spirit of the White man, Every vestige of the past is being rapidly swept away before the tread resistless march of Civilization; I wondered to myself - how this vally must have appeared to the first adventurous pioneer who as he raised the hills far to the east was greeted with the first view of forrest and prairie which burst unexpectedly upon his vision(!) could he then read the future two centuries, and behold the great change which that brief time would carve out here? Or supposing he had Rip Van Winkle like have gone to sleep and wakened at this moment,- would he recognise the prospect Westward as that upon which he had last gazed before his nap? I think that to both questions a nega-tive must be returned; It must have appeared to him that age upon age would elapse, before the requirements of civilization or the progress of an energetic people would bring about this change
Will write to sister this evening, I have all along had a little scheme of my own whereby I could give her a glad surprise. If I can get through my business at Pittsburgh so as to leave there on next Friday evening, I propose to take the cars up to Warren where I can get on the Atlantic and Great Western and thus manage to get to Andover sometime Saturday, and make my friends a Sunday visit.
Pittsburgh Tuesday 13" Came on to this place from Altoona on the train which arrived here at 11 P.M. took up my quarters at the St Charles and have been making calls on all the firms in town. busi-ness is very dull here as it seems to be every where else. I have written to sister, and have not yet told her of my intention to call on her. Called on Col McKelvy at the custon office he is now U.S. Marshall of the western district of Pa; the old gent was de-lighted to see me as I was to see him, his boys were both at his office so I saw them also I think that this town richly deserves its name of the Smokey City, the air, streets, alleys, and houses are filled with the dirty tarry smoke of the manufactories which all use the soft coal found so abundantly among the hills here, dirty hands are so common that they excite no remarks even when met in polite society even the pillow soils ones face at night.
Andover Friday 16". Left Pittsburgh yesterday at 3.30 P.M. rode all night, arriving at Wellsville at 2 OC this A.M. had to remain there until the 12 M train then came up to Andover and secured a ride up to Josephs with Stephen Clark. the people were all well and we had a joyful reunion. About two inches of snow fell last night, but it has mostly left already.
Sunday 18" Saw almost everybody at church yesterday, of course they were all surprised to see me among them; This evening called upon Uncle Nelson Crandalls people, with Miss Clara I used to be quite intimate, and I find that it is confidentially reported ar-round here that I was supposed to be engaged to marry her when the war was over; I find however that their calculations have not been verified;
I shall leave here on the 5.45 P.M. train for Hornellsville where I shall await the night Express from Buffalo and take that on to New York; my stay has been very brief but most pleasant.
Home, New York Thurdsay (sic) 22". Arrived here on Monday noon, went down to the store and found that my trip had given the firm the utmost satisfaction, I had done better far than they had anti-cipated I would. Tom has concluded to remain at Pittsburgh Cleve-land to which place he went the next day after I started on my trip; I find that he has allowed it to be understood that he was married here in the city. Mrs Burton is very angry at any such thing of course, but she likes me yet, She had a nice new carpet down to surprise me on my return and every thing arrainged beauti-fully, so I am keeping batchelors all all alone. Monday evening I called on Maceys people and was congratulated for my success, Tuesday evening I went to see the most magnificent scenic play ever produced in this country the "Black Crook" it was grand, Last eve I attended the semi-annal meeting of the Burchard Lieterary Society and went home with Maggie and Kate; Ike Denniston was there and came home and slept with me. Rained nearly all this day. quite cold, Ike came over to have a segar this eve- goes back to the country to-morrow. Have written father Mary Barrett, and one or two others.
Tuesday 27" Several of the merchants who I visited while I was gone, have been in to see me. My trip has already resulted in the opening of eighteen new accounts, I am very glad I have done so well. Merrill got back yesterday and is a full of pomposity as ever. I was very much surprised at receiving a call from Richard (now Capt) Swart, he has for sometime past been on duty in the Freedmans Bureau but is now mustered out of the service and is here in the city seeking a situation, which he informed he had found when he droped in this P.M. I was out with him nearly all the afternoon yesterday, seeing the grand parade on the aniversary of Evacuation Day. This evening I accompanied Misses Maggie, Kate & Secor, over to call upon Miss Mary Griggs. The young lady was very pleasant and I could not help admiring the good manner which seemed to govern all of her movements, she is not handsome, but at the same time is attractive. I received a letter from John C- this morning inviting me up to Thanksgiving Dinner. of course I'll go. Have written eleven letters.
Friday 30" Yesterday was Thanksgiving; I spent the day at Uncle Tommys Leaving the store the day before at 4 P.M. went to the N.Y. & E. R.R. & time to find the last train that connected with the B. branch gone, John was to meet me at that train so he was disap-pointed. I went up by the H R.R R. arrived at NBurgh 9 P.M. & hiring a carriage was driven out to the Bethlehem Church, found Mr Hane... making such a noise that my efforts to be heard were only considered its idle fu... so I truged on up to Uncles, arrived about midnight & finally succeeded in gaining admittance and my much required sleep. Thanksgiving day was very warm with a high balmy wind from the south, after dinner which was a very pleasant affair John & I wend up to Salisbury & Washingtonville with one of his fast horses, altogather had a very pleasant time; remained at Uncles until the morning at 7 OC when I started for the city. arrived at 11 O.C. found but little business doing. = Received a letter from Tom, he comnplains of being very happy, but I really think from all that I can see in his letter that he is far from being contented.
Thursday 6" Dec. Rainy but still warm, in fact very mild for this time of year. Last evening in accordance with an agreement made on Sunday last I escorted Miss Maggie Cook to call on Mis Annie Griggs, got the young lady Miss Griggs into a conversation which revealed the fact that she was highly educated and altogather a rather sensible conversationist for a lady. was very tired when I returned. Received a letter from Sister all well but Janey. Recd "une lettre français de Monsieur Bogureau". Have written to sister and John Clemence. Had a pleasant game of billiards with Mr Macy the evening of the 4". also a very agreeable call at his house at the same time. Have a friend Hungarian - Mr Wehle one of our boar-ders who I find just my match at chess.
Sunday 9" April weather still. I beat Mr Wehle every game yet, he beat me badly when we first commenced playing chess. Night before last I also beat Mr Macy at two carum games of billiards, he also beat me once. Mr Hard.. has just returned from his trip through the west part of the time he was very successful he seems to have a remarkable tact of telling stories that winds nearly all the buy-ers over to him, I wish I could tell them as well - He starts for Boston this evening with some jobs which he is going to try to dis-pose of tomorrow. I am going up to St Anns this evening.
Saturday 15" I have been disipating fearfully this week, have not spent one evening at home much to the detriment of my studies, this will never do I must cease any such proceedings that is my deter-mination I do not regret my last Wednesdays evening entertainment for I took Miss Florence M- to see a stereophantiscopic tour throug the celebrities of the world, we visited the Holy Land, lingered about the scenes rendered memorable by their connection with our Savior, crossed the River Jordan where the Twelve tribes are sup-posed to have done the same thing, then took a trip among the rich greatness of of Egypt; then crossing the sea looked in at the lone-liness of the Athenian Parthenon Acropolis, sailed up the Grand Ca-nal of Venice and droped a tear from the Bridge of Sighs, thence to Rome visiting her Forum and churches; and sympathized a little with Pro nono, warmed our hands at Vesuvius, took a passing glance at Paris & London and came back to America. of course during the journey we saw all the celebrated statues and paintings of the old masters, and here visited the most prominent beauties displayed by Nature in America. Thursday evening I went to escort Miss Annie Griggs to call upon Misses Kate and Maggie; I found Miss Annie McDowel waiting to be escorted over also so with the two I had a decidedly pleasant evening. Recd letters from Miss Wiltsie, & Miss Barrett.
Saturday 22" Last Wednesday evening I took Miss Barrett to see "Ours" which is being performed at Wallack's theatre. the scenery was very fine and the players delivered themselves very well Miss B- was exceedingly well pleased. Last evening I accompanied Mr Whele on a skating frolic to Central Park, I rather feel the ef-fects of it to-night. Have been at work very hard packing our goods ready to be moved. There is a play being performed at the New York Theatre which is said to be superior in some of the worst respects to the Black Crook I think I must go to see it some night.
Friday 28" Merry Christmas is past, with me the day went very agreeable Mrs Macy insisted upon my taking dinner with them. I was pleased to comply. In the morning Mr M. and I had a fiew games of billiards, and in the evening All of us went over to Mr Valen-tines were was quite an assembly of young and old people of both sexes. Some sugar was manufactured from molassas, some singing, some dancing and a great deal of fun practised. Last evening I accompanied Mr Whele and Mrs Evans on a skating tour to Central Park. had great pleasure and considerable excitement. Stoped until midnight at Mrs Evans' Mr W. drank rather too much punch and was very loquatious. to-day received letter from sister wrote her and Beaugureau. We do not move to-morrow as anticipated as the carpenters will not have the new store ready. I should have called upon Miss McDowell on Wednesday evening but was unable to do so. I shall have to commence the Year 1867 depending entirely upon my salary as all the money which I had put by has left me in one way and another until I find myself pennyless almost. I shall have to commence a system of rigid econemy also.
Monday Dec 31" 1866- The day approaches its end and with it the year also closes. As I look back upon it I cannot help my heart growing sad for I see opportunaties neglected of which if I had availed myself I might have been much farther advanced toward the high appex of fame at which I have an uncontrolable desire to ar-rive, I have tho't too much of idle show and spent many invaluable hours in idle and useless pursuits which can result in no practical good. I do believe that, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Neglected all the voyage of their lives,is found in shallows and in miseries" (Shak'-speare). I trust that that flood has not passed me yet; I have made some resolutions for the coming kyear which I think must pro-perly appear in my memo of its first day. Wrote to Sister & Beau-gureau, reced from Miss Wiltsie.