January 1868 "How stands the record of the dying year? Are all the bonds fulfilled?" I am not among the numbers of those who can answer affirmatively, for there stands upon the first page of my Mem's for 67 several good resolutions want of energy, time and circumstances have made it impossible to fulfil. I have mastered neither French nor Algebra. Still the year has not been without mental progress, and in some respects has been one of the most re-markable of my life. Again I have lived o'er the experience which marked my acquaintance with Martha Denniston and with Lulu Steb-bins, the only difference being that the passion which I felt for them was as the sun at rising, gentle and dewy, while now at meri-dian he blazes out with an intense tropical heat, blinding in its splendor and absorbing in its power.
Commercially and financially I cannot record any advance of note. This has been a most disastrous year to business and our house has only kept its own, still I can say of the year, in the words of a sweet New England poet.
"I have tasted pleasures in thy transient reign;
Oft did I too participate of pain."
Mercredi 1" Commenced snowing last evening, and this morning greeted us with a present of about 4 inches of the whitness. Com-menced raining about daylight which made it rather bad for callers. Was in Macy's store until about 11½ last night then with him and Margie adjourned to a Saloon and had the happiness of her first kiss on New Year. Macy tho't that he was going to get ahead but was about half a minute too quick. Made a fiew calls with Wehle in his carriage and then laid up not liking the storm. Played Bil-liards nearly all the afternoon with Macy in the evening we went over to his Brother's and two Brother-in-laws. Came back to his house and about 12 he and Florence went to bed leaving Margie & me to finish as we had begun the New Year, to-gether. It is wrong for me to seek her society for her control over me is great.
Dimanche 5" The various changes of cold and warm, wet and dry are being rung on the weather, until we have about as disagreeable a compound as could be asked for.
On the 2" Margie moved back to her old room 66 W 14" St. She and Mrs. Macy have not been able to get along at all, and the most dis-agreeable scenes have been daily enacted since her taking up her abode there. Mrs. Macy has scarcely been visable and every evening Kept the upper Parlor while Margie was below, Mr. M- vibrated be-tween the two courts. Last eve was up to the store. Mr. M- chal-lenged me to two games of Billiards, accepted, gave him 25 points and beat him then out of thirteen games. Was up to see Ristori the evening of the 3". In the play of Maria Antoinette she is certain-ly magnificent. The effect of her tragic acting in its tremendous excitement was almost painful. No need to understand the language for she acted it to the comprehension. Asked Margie when she would ask me to call on her. She replied playfully that she would consi-der the matter. Will give her until Wednesday to consider
Mardi 7. Yesterday evening went up to the Park with Wehle and Ox. Had a good time skating and a real lot of fun knocking arround among the crowd which was there assembled, and which crowd was greater than any which has been on the ice at any time since Christmas Have now got a large edition of Grammar, "Brown's with Analysis." which I am studying in connection with Algebra. The latter study I wish to master and must give considerable time to do so.
LETTER January 8" 1868
My Dear Sister
I am very sorry to think how sick you must be, not to be able to reply to my letter. Altho' it has been long since I have been confined to my bed, yet I can fully appreciate the languor and en-nui which must necessarily assail one so confined, to say nothing of the pain and mental anguish which may accompany such confine-ment. Still I do think that it might be possible for you to get some one to write to me in your name, or if the duty is too onerous for one person to perform for you, might it not be in the bounds of possibility and christian charity to suppose that in a community like yours = noted for its moral tendencies = a Bee could be gotton up to write a letter so obviously necessary.
I according to promise, wrote you as soon as I arrived in the city from my trip, since then I have been allowed to languish in daily disappointment. "Hope deferred maketh the heart grow sick" Consequently you must not be surprised to learn that I am very unwell, indeed so weak am I that three meals per day is all that I feel an appetite for, unless unusual exertion exhausts soon the supply taken abord at these stated periods. I now & then muster up strength enough to spend a couple of hours skating, calling or in some other gentle amusement. Now all that is required to better my condition is a letter from you.
We are in the mud again, soft warm weather that would thaw your pump logs out if you will only send them down here. Over shoes four feet high are required to navigate Broadway.
Next Monday (13") I am going up to Bethlehem to attend a wed-ding. one of Uncle Tommy's former protegées is to be married and I am expected to officiate as "Grooms-man" Ahem- Don't you envy me? I do. I can't tell yet whether I shall survive or not. don't congratulate me beforehand. Are you haveing any good Opera's at Andover this winter? we are having some very fine singing here. Have been to the Theatre only once
I trust that all the rest of your family are well and that you my dear sister will soon recover.
Love to all
A. T. LaForge
Dimanche 12. Has been a cold week, just such a one as ought to be expected at this time of year, and just such as furnishes skating N. York with grand sport. Trade is yet dull and I fear likely to remain so for a while. Mr. Banker has been into the store a couple of times. All the arrangements are made for his wedding on Monday but the gent himself is very ignorant of the details, whatever they may be, altho he looks quite happy at the prospect before him. I am not to go up to see Miss Jones, she is to meet Mr. Banker and myself at the boat at 4 O.C.
Wednesday evening I played Billiards with Macy, giving him one quarter of the game and coming out even games. Thursday eve I was at home. Friday was at Wallacks to see Oliver Twist and brought Mr. D'Estimanville home with me. he is one of our Entry clerks. Did not enjoy the play very much but did enjoy his society after the game was over. He informs me that he has been married once; it was when he was nineteen years old, his wife soon died, however, and he has been a widower for nearly six years, his advice to young men is "Not to marry", His sister, who is a widow, and himself en-joy themselves as much as any young people can. They visit the balls and places of public amusement in each others company just like two lovers.
Last evening (Saturday) was up to the park with Margie skating. had a lovely time of course. Had an engagement with Mr. Macy but he was unwell which gave me the unexpected pleasure of Margie's company. She gave me her purse to keep for her, and forgot to get it back when we parted. The consequence was I took it to 66 W. 14" St. this morning and had the unexpected pleasure of seeing her in her boudoir. She is very comfortably situated, altho occupying the house alone with the exception of one of the cash girls who stays with her all of the time. The furniture is very fine indeed.
Spent a couple of hours very agreeably skating this morning. Mr. Whele and I will soon be very proficient skaters I am sure.
Mercredi 15 Well I have been up to the country to attend the wed-ding. it is over, and was "thusly". Banker and I met the two ladies Misses Jones an Diniston at the Pavonia Ferry we were also joined by Mr McMathew and Miss Secor and the whole party of us went up to Bethlehem where we arrived at 7 OC P.M. and were met at the cars by Jno C- Ike Deniston and Joe Chase with conveyances to take us up home. Took supper at Mr Hausers after which I went down to Singing School and joined Mrs Clemence (Jno) Mr Banker and I went up to Johns to stay at night. had a good smoke after which at mid-night we went to bed and Mr Bankers kept me awake for two hours telling me of his New Years calls &c. Next morning he and I took Miss Jones out on a grand sleigh ride stopping at Miss Denistons coming back. Had dinner at Hausers and then went up to Johns to dress for the wedding. The ladies looked lovely Annie and I went in first as First Maid and Man then came the principal couple and after Mr Pierce and Miss Kate Deniston as Second Maid and Man the service was at 6.30 and was over in five minutes the reception was from that hour till 9 OC, then came the wedding supper, a part of the programme for which I was fully prepared having been very hun-gry for the two hours preceding. Miss McDowel told me that one of the old ladies when congratulating the bride used an entirely new form of words "Well you'r hitched at last." The festivities con-tinued until midnight, the parties having by that time droped off one by one. Jno & I lit our cigars and walked up to his house, feeling decidedly glad that the whole matter was finished. The bride and groom remained at Mr. Hausers.
I tried to arrange matters so as to stay in the country until to-morrow, but Annie had to return to the city to-day as she was going to New London Ct to attend a ball on the evening of the 16" so Jno took her to New Burg with the wedded pair who were going up to Troy and Joe Chase took Miss Jones and myself down to join Annie at Fishkill thence we came down here. The young Dominic of Bethlehem came down with us. he is to be married to a rich Brooklyn lady to-morrow. the said lady has furnished his Parsonage for him and made him a present of a fine grey horse.
Miss Jones (about 30 years old) and I formed a very pleasant friendship I shall make a call on her. Found Margie in the store, where I stoped on my way down. She is looking lovely. Mr. Macy has not been out of the house since my departure. he says that he is feeling better however, I made an appointment with Florence when at Mr. M-s, to take her out skating to-morrow evening, weather permitting of course.
Lundi 20. Had a very pleasant time skating with Florence on the evening of the 16"; and a much more pleasant two hours with Margie on the 17" (Friday). I don't know what it is that makes that girl so attractive to me, perhaps it is because she is so much more in-tellectual and so superior to the ladies who are usually found in her walk in life; she would very probably object to my giving such a reason, by saying that there were just as intellectual ladies to be found in her walk of life as in any other, and very probably with justice could such a reason be given, for the nature of their occupation makes them cultivate a shrewdness which the ladies of the upper circles of society find unnecessary.
Saturday evening (18") she was unable, on account of a cold, to accompany me to the park, so much to my disappointment the best company I could get was Mr Ox. Yesterday I was also up there from 12 M to 4.30 OC; the last hour skating was almost an impossibility owing to the crowd; It was estimated that 10.000 people were on the big pond and its borders. came home wet with perspiration, took a Bay Rum bath, changed my clothes, had dinner, smoked a segar, then felt like a new man.
Sun. Jan. 19 In the evening called on Mr Macy's people. Robt M. was there also grandma and later Robie and Howard came in. I had intended to call on Margie about 9 OC but they kept me until nearly 10. Mr Macy was then intending to go to Havanna until the first of March, however to-day he has changed his mind and is going to Charleston, Savannah and afterward to Havanna. he needs some such a trip for his health.
Concluded when I left his house to go arround to 14" St and if a light was burning in Margies room I would ring and send up my com-pliments at any rate. She however was up and very kindly received me altho she was quite unwell; as usual I forgot the lapse of time while in her society, and was surprised to find how quickly 12.30 came arround.
Lundi 27. Mr M- left for Charleston last Wednesday. I had a part-ing tournament with him Tuesday evening and beat him the rubber, then parted with him after receiving his injunction to "be neigh-borly at the house during" his "absence". I saw him again however on Wednesday as a case for him came in before he left and I ran up to sell it to him making a sale of $430.ΕΕ. When I returned to the store Mr Lyon walked down with me and getting into conversation on the merits of Miss Getchell he gave it to me as his private opinion that she was the brain of the establishment and had made R.H.- I let him talk all he choose without making any comment. Wednesday evening after making Mr Mount feel bedly by beating him four games of billiards, I called on her, found her very much depressed on ac-count of Mr M-s departure. stayed long enough to leave her in good spirits. She was in with Miss Lyon buying goods next day. Mr Gibb waited on her.
Saturday (25") was up on the park skating with her, and to-day heard that I had my arm arround her when coming back to the cars, Grant saw me and told Palmer. Saw the latter on the ice.
Yesterday used myself up by skating from 11 A.M. until 5.30 P.M. consequently felt quite ill when I went to call with Margie on Mrs Macy where we stayed until 9 O.C. when we went back to her room I laid down on her sofa and she rendered herself very dear by the kind manner in which she nursed me. Sent up a grand boquet this evening. It has been snowing all day. the rest of the week has been very warm with the exception of Friday night and Saturday. Business very quiet indeed but little doing still we can not expect much at this season.
LETTER Monday Jany 27" 68
My Dear Joe
I write you, to see if I = through you = can obtain any information of my sister.
The last I know of her was that she was alive and apparently well. that was on or about the 20" of Dec 1867 since then I not only cannot hear anything from her, but her people are also as silent as the tomb.
The neighborhood seems also to be afflicted with the same si-lent disorder. I sent Mrs Bossard two pair of gloves and wrote her a letter to that effect. she has not deemed the matter of enough importance to even inform me whether they pleased her or not.
So you see I have some excuse for entering a complaint against being thus treated. I have some small interest in your community and do not wish to be cut off from it entirely.
It is a very snowy day but is so warm that I cannot find it in my heart to complain against the weather, altho I do want to com-plain against something for the injustice under which I am suffer-ing.
There I have had my say as far as scolding goes. I hope that you are all well but of course I am left entirely in the dark as to whether you are or not.
I venture to send you all my kindest regards and at the same time request that my nephew may be taught to write as soon as pos-sible so that I can hear from you occasionally.
Your Disconsolate Brother
Mr Jos. Potter A. T. La Forge
Lundi, 3 Février. Came home sick a week ago to-morrow, had a very serious time with the diarrhoea. Mr Wehle sat up with me the first night and part of the second; for the first forty-eight hours my bowels moved about 75 times; if it had been warm weather I should surely have been dead. suffered very much. In the evening Margie = who had learned from Mount of my coming home ill, = sent Effie down to ask my permission for her to come and be my nurse of course with such a disease all I could do was to thank her for her kind-ness and refuse. we have exchanged letters nearly every day since and her bright cheerful words have been my one source of pleasure during my illness. If I should try I could not tell why such lit-tle things from her are matters of such great moment to me. per-haps after they have ceased to be so dear, I may be able to analyze because of their being so now.
Wednesday A.M. an old Dutch Dr was in, who could not make a case of me; quiet and a little "beef tea" would cure me. I took both but by the middle of the day I was in such distress that another physician had to be consulted. He made a case out of me in a short time, a pretty hard one too; he gave me some medicine which eased me at once but which has not cured me yet.
Thursday P.M. was up to the R.H.M. store. Margie had heard from the proprietor he had arrived at Charleston and after stoping for a day or two had began making his way Southward. had been sea-sick off Hatteras, but that was his only sickness was enjoying himself hugely. D'Estimanville slept with me.
Friday was up to my loves room for a little while how lovely I felt. but oh my so weak, and I was petted so much while there.
Saturday (1") was down to the store for a fiew minutes. the peo-ple were all horrified at my appearanse. did not suppose it possi-ble for so short a time to alter one so. find that my salary has been raised to $1.000ΕΕ. Ought to have more but this is a hard time to strike for higher wages.
Sunday travelled arround to much. I was looking for a copy of "Young Folks" which she had been unable to get on Saturday and was therefore feeling quite disappointed. I tho't that it would be a plesant surprise to have it sent up, and I could not find one until I arrive at the 5" Av. Hotel, altho' I enquired at every News Monges on my way home in consequence of all this walking I felt worse. in the evening and it was not without reluctance that I went up to spend an hour with Margie the hours stretched itself out until mid-night. then a reluctant farewell and my weary body came down and threw itself beside d'E_ who had already retired. he had been with me nearly all day.
LETTER Bethlehem, Orange Co. N.Y. Feb 6" 1868
My Dearest Sister
Your favor of the 1" inst is received and your long silence is at length explained; all I have to say in regard to said silence is don't trust Billings again, altho you may give him and his family my regards.
I am real sorry that you have been such a sufferer in regard to your poor little heart, I was afraid all along that you were sick and did not want to write me until better. am glad it was no worse.
You may be surprised at my date, I must tell you how I came to date the letter thus.
A week ago last Tuesday I was taken sick with the diarrhoea. had eight stools in two hours, and fifty six in the first twenty four hours. of course I was quite sick, had watchers &c. began to mend a little last Tuesday, and yesterday the Dr said I must have change of air and diet for a little while, and so sent me off up here; got your letter in the morning before I started and that combined with my kind reception at Uncle Tommys has made me almost well. I could jump over a ____ fence. am running all about and eating everything. Shall go back to the city next week and hope to find an answer for me there.
Did I write you about my being up here to a wedding on the 14" of Jan.? I came up to be grooms-man = or at least one of them = at the marriage of Mr Banker & Miss Cook. the latter is some relation to the Clemence's and Uncle Tommy was her guardian. Thats how I came to be in the arraingement I suppose.
I have not heard from father. perhaps he has gone into the woods again. if so we may not hear from him in some time to come.
Hope you will write soon.
Tell Mrs Bossard that she may send the mony by mail, if she wishes. glad she was suited.
Love to All
A.T. La Forge
Samedi 8. Bethlehem. Yes, here I am at John's again. Was ordered to have a change of diet and air and knowing of no better place to get either than here, packed myself off last Wednesday P.M. for this reunion. Arrived at Joe's, was snowing, got an Irishman to bring me down to John's. The mick upset me just by way of variety down by the church, otherwise we succeeded in getting along safely altho not gracefully. Was everywhere welcomed by all the cousins and am having a nice time here.
Walked above Salisbury on Thursday, stood around rather too long and as in consequence was weak and pale as a ghost when I got home. all the people were scart, however came out all right yesterday.
Wrote to sister and Margie. Thursday the latter was feeling sad enough when I bade her good bye. Tuesday evening own mother was with her however and perhaps that will will keep her from getting too severe a fit of the blues. We had to make the accustomed call on Mrs Macy the evening before I came away. Of course the two ladies never speak to each other and these visits are very awkward for me. we got thro them however.
Was down to make a call on Mr. Hauser's people yesterday; the head of the family has been sick for some time.
I find it difficult to get interested in anything even these mem'oirs. Drove Mary over to Mr. Waras for a morning call, next day the wind which had blown all the night before still blew furi-ously. it was very cold. were it not that there is a crust on the snow the drifts would be dreadful, snow about 20 in. deep.
Very still and cold last night and to day Thermometer 11" below the coldest day of the winter.
Dimanche 16. One week ago I was still in the country and spent the entire day in the house as a snow and rain storm forbade our doing otherwise. Monday 10" it was cold again. John said that he would hitch up the mare and we would go to Salisbury if I would drive. I was willing for there would probably be a letter from "Margie". We started off but had not gone far when we met Mr Hauser coming up with the coveted letter. I gave Jno the reins while I mastired its contents. She wanted to know if "Uncle Tommy is a jolly old far-mer, and has he got plump red cheeks, and does he live in a gable roofed house, painted red, and does he have pop corn hickory nuts and dried "Yarbs" in the garrot, and is there a swing in the barn, and do you go to bed with tallow candles (I dont mean sleep with them). Of course he is married, N.B. if not and all this is true please let me know". The picture she had drawn in her imagination was so singularly out that I laughingly read it to John, he hap-pened to see the name and after that he had no small amount conver-sation about "Margie". drove on up to S- found Houser at Mr. Stahlnehs when we came back and challenged him to a game of check-ers, so he drove after us up to the house. he is the best checker player in Bethlehem he beat John and then performed the same office for me. John and I have been playing every day since I have been here. In the evening went over to call on Albert Van Cleft. he has just been married to Mrs. Orr, his wife was at her fathers house so I did not see her; had a very pleasant time and beat Miss Van C- a game of chess.
Tuesday 11" was also a very fine day. hitched up and John Mary & I started for a ride. at New Burgh I left them and mailed some letters (one to M-) they went on up to Walden to Marys fathers. I roamed about and made some calls until they came back, then came home again making for me a 14 mile sleigh ride. made some very fast time in our journey. In the evening all three of us made a call at Mr Stahlnehs but finding them not at home we went back and spent the evening in playing checkers and eating apples & nuts and drinking cider. We had the same home entertainment every evening that I was up there however; how nice a farmers life, so quiet innocent and harmonious and yet so full of real enjoyment. Its independence is also a great feature in its favor.
Wednesday 12". Made a morning call on Samuel. he had gone to Salisbury so did not see him then. Mrs. Smaltz was then with her two children. she used to live at Sams before she was married, and when her husband went into the army Sam told him to have no fear with regard to his family for he would see that they were cared for and he = after Smaltz was killed at Bermuda Hundred = took Ematine with her two children into his family where they have been ever since. Came back to Johns and found Samy just arrived from the mill Mr Marvin my old time singing school teacher. we had a smoke and visit After John and I had tried some peach pies which Mary had just baked, he brought me to Salisbury to take the cars. ar-rived just in time for the cars so had to take a rather hasty leave of my good friend. On the train I found Mr Shultz, his presence brought up strane reminiscences of by-gone years. When I lived at uncle Tommys Shultz was Churched & turned out of the Bethlehem Church for being found guilty of having a child by his servant girl. he repented and was afterward taken again into the fold of the church. Owing to the train being behind time and the boat being delayed by the great quantity of ice in the river, did not get home until nearly six oclock. went up to see Margie. the store was just shutting up and she only was there. no I am wrong I did not go up until evening then went to her room what a pleasant meet-ing it was what a pleasant time I had until midnight and after.
Thursday 13" had made arrangements to go out skating but the weather forbade so I took my chess men along and beat Margie a cou-ple of games. business has commenced pretty brisk again.
Friday 14" went up skating with my love the ice was very rough. as it did not furnish many attractions for us we did not stay late but enjoyed each others society for an hour at her cozy rooms for a little season.
Saturday 15" Was very buisy at the store until after 7 OC. Called on Mrs. Macy for an hour in the evening. Yesterday d'Esti-manville was discovered to be the thief who had taken so many of our goods. we had been missing articles now and then for some time, but never suspected him. he was one of our entry clerks and a general favorite. of course he has left the firm = On condition of his returning the stolen articles = are not to prosicute him.
To-day I was up early and getting Wehle up. we shaved, break-fasted and then journeyed to the park to skate until noon. this afternoon I wrote to "Bessie" and this evening expect to call on Margie to escort her arround to Mrs Macys. the two ladies are not on speaking terms, yet Mr M- tho't it was best to have her go arround once a week to imply that every thing was right at the store. I talk to Mrs M. while Margie amuses herself with Grandma and Florence. What a farce it is altogether.
Mardi 18. When we made our Sunday evening call at Macy's, we found Mr Houghton & Mr Kent from Boston there. The first is Mrs Macys brother and the largest dry goods man at the Hub. Only stayed un-til 9 OC then went home to 66 W 14" St. Margie and I had a long talk. she said that she did not beleive quite all I said. I cor-nered her for her meaning and gathered from her words that if I really loved her I would strive to make her mine; all of which in ordinary love would be true, poor child she little knows why I do not thus strive; from my reply she dreaded least from her words I had construed her meaning to be a desire for me to say something stronger, and when I told her that such was what I understood, I tho't that she would sink into the floor. I came to her releif however by explaning that when a gentlemans word was doubted by a gentleman the matter was settled by might, when it was doubted by a lady, especially if it was one he loved, he strove by stronger language to make her believe him.
Yesterday was very buisy. I was at the store until 9 OC and was so tired when I got home that I went right to bed; to-day I was there until after seven, so have not had an opportunity to spend an evening out since Sunday, however the one I wanted to see was in buying goods this P.M. I shall never forget the Manner in which she looked directly into my eyes with her black orbs when I ad-dresed her. She tried to read my mind I know and I also know that she read just what was not passing in it for when I discovered her intention I determined that such should be the case. Was intending to write Uncle John to-night but it is so late that I will go to bed.
Ventredi 21. Was intending to go out Wednesday evening, but came up home so late and had so much writing to do that I concluded not to follow out my intention. wrote to the lady on whom I intended to call and sent the letter yesterday morning. recd a reply per Mr Lyon about noon. Wehle came in during the evening and we had a game of chess with the result that I beat him and then gave him a punch to put him in good humor again.
Last evening made a call on Margie. staid until nearly one OC then had some writing to do and did not get to bed until about 2.30. Has been very warm to day but is now (midnight) growing cold again. I must write Soon about the explanation which we had Thurs-day evening. Upon the whole as it was a lovers quarrel, or came near being, I will say but little about it. She doubed that I loved her as dearly as my words would lead her to believe. I made protest, and she got the impression from my words that I tho't her trying to make me use language which would commit me. I Shall ne-ver forget her confusion and shame when this idea flashed acrost her mind. To drop and avoid the subject she tried her prettiest skill, and seeing the pain which to pursue it would give her I also droped it.
Mardi 25. We have had another spell of cold weather. also some snow not enough to make sleighing however. Broadway is in a worse condition than I ever saw it before. that is as far as its ability to destroy horseflesh is concerned.
President Johnson has been impeached by the House of Reps and they are now busily engaged on the Art of impeachment necessary to bring him to trial before the Senate. the excitement is very great still it has only thus far advanced 2% altho the news was recd last night. I scarcely know what to predict as to the future.
Was up to Macys Store last eve. Misses Smith & Getchell had to work late and Mount and I went up to escort them home. had dan-cing, parlor skating and lots of fun.
Business still keeps brisk. the prospects are that goods will have an upward tendancy under the present political aspect. if money were only a little more plenty a fine Spring trade might well be looked for.
Mardi 3 Mars. Pretty buisy all last week. only at home one or two nights early enough to call on Margie. Friday and Saturday even-ings we finished her tidy which she had been crocheting out of ze-phyr wool and which she finished all but the fringe while I was up in the country. The fringe was left so that we could finish it to-gether. On Thursday she received a telegram from Mr Macy that he would sail from Savannah that day and would arrive home Sunday the 1" of March so at 10 OC on that day I went down to "Pier 36" where the steamer landed, found Walsh his porter also waiting there. commenced snowing about 11 OC. the steamer was behind time and getting tired of waiting I about noon went down to the Western Union Telegraph Office at the Battery and telegraphed down to the Hilands which place I found the Gen'l Barnes had passed about 12 M. went back to the Pier and amused myself while waiting, with a lit-tle girl who who with two ladies was also waiting for the boat The steamer waited until 2.30 before she put in an appearance and then made her wharf in a very heavy snow storm. Macy was out on deck and I had quite a talk with him before he came ashore and gave and received a hearty greeting when he landed. Experienced some diffi-culty in getting a carriage to bring us up town consequently did not get home until after 4 P.M. left Macy at his house and went arround to tell Margie of his arrival. it put her in beautiful spirits and she was in such vivacious tone that she gave me a gra-phic history of her island home of Nantucket. I think from her description of the place "Historical and social" that I should be perfectly at home there myself now. In the evening I escorted her arround to Macys the greeting between them was of the most cordial kind. Of course Mrs M- did not put in an appearance. I received an Orange walking stick as a memento of Florida, spent a very agreeable evening and came away with my pockets full of oranges and my mind full of anecdotes relating to Southron life.
Snow continued to fall all Sunday night so that on Monday it was good sleighing. Recd a letter from Mrs. Guldin asking me to call upon one of her girls and escort her arround the city last night and to-night. could not see it.
Mr Mount came down to see me about noon and said that the girls were crazy for a sleigh ride. so we concluded to take them out. got a fine conveyance with a driver, and started about 7 OC. took a turn out thro' Central Park and the Bloomingdale stoped at two hotels for refreshments. had a jolly tinme. in fact the very best sleigh ride I ever enjoyed; came back at 12 OC, Miss Smith was to stop with Mis Getchell and they insisted on Mount and I coming in for an hour or two which we did and until 2 OC spent the time in the most jolly manner.
To day has been very cold. Barnums New Musium burned down last night. Business fair. got somethin of a scolding from Mr Gibb for not knowing a price on a line of goods.
Vendredi 13" Memory will hardly enable me to recall all that has transpired since I talked to you before my old friend; therefor perhaps a fiew of the incidents which ought to have been recorded here will satisfy you.
I remember that on Sunday the 8" I accompanied Mr Wehle over to Brooklyn to take dinner at Lederers. he has got his wife out from Vienna and is now living on Anson Street in very comfortable style. Mrs. L-. had been led to believe that I was an old man, with long gray beard and mustache, that I chewed tobaco and spit arround per-miscuously, and that I had a habit of poking people in the ribs when I spoke to them so of course she was not a little surprised when introduced to the smoothe faced boyish looking Major. Had a very pleasant time after dinner playing Hammer and Glock. I wonder what uncle Tommy would have tho't to have seen me thus engaged playing for Money on Sunday. Had to get back to town at 6.30 P.M. to escort Margie over to see her sister Mrs Lisle (Susan B. Get-chell Lyle) who on the previous Friday had been delivered of a fine girl weighing but 5 lbs; it was a premature child but promises ne-vertheless to live, when we came back we went up to the Marble House and had a stew and chocolate. Margie had been trying to make me tell her a certain secret. this I had refused, and all the way home from the Restaurant she had kept perfect silence. when we ar-rived at her door her key refused for sometime to admit us. we fi-nally got the door open and I was going to leave at once, but as my umbrella was up stairs I had to go up and get it. she took advan-tage of this fact to be as pleasant as possible and her endearing ways made amends = if possible = for her long silence; whoever gets her to wife will have no ordinary life to lead, her love will at times cover her husband with the most exquisite pleasure and her temper will again cause him the most accute anguish.
Tuesday evening, the 10" I made an engagement with Mount to play him a game of billiards, but in the afternoon I received a note from Margie saying that he and Miss Smith would be at her room that evening and asking me to join them. Of course I would be only too happy; alth'o it was late when I rang her bell; still I managed to spend the portion of the evening that I was there in the most plea-sant manner.
Wednesday eve 11" I played Mr Macy 7 games of billiards beat him 5. Yesterday got home quite late; spent the evening in my room with Mr Wehle for a guest. wrote to Miss Blymyer; This evening did not get home until 10 OC, so write up my mem's and go to bed.
Came near forgetting to mention that Mr & Mrs. Banker arrived in town last week and Monday evening I went up to Miss Jones' to take tea with them and her. Mrs Griggs was also there; Mr & Mrs. B-. & Mrs. G. left shortly after tea, so I was obliged to spend the rest of the evening among strangers. after music came cards, these whiled away the time until 11. I felt in excellent spirits and made myself as agreeable as the rest of the conmpany, which I very sldom do.
Mrs. B. goes up to Bethlehem for a couple of weeks and then the happy pair expect to start for their distant Wisconsin home; may happiness go with them.
Samedi 14. Very mild and spring-like; the warmth of the atmo-sphere has turned Broadway into a grand mud-pubble. all the other streets with the exception of 5" Avenue are of the same pattern, or still worse.
Very buisy until a late hour. business generally is dull however
Drove Wehle arround to the Leidercranz Ball or rather private masquerade. helped him dress, and must admit that I was abundantly repaired by the ludicrous figure which he cut in his disguise of an old woman the time of 76. Drove back thro 14" St to take a look at the light which shown from Margie's Room; and to surmise what she was doing just at the time, have no doubt that she was burried deep in one of Dickens novels; that gent is her pet writer and she reads him as a relaxation of her brain after its being tied to business for sixteen hours.
Must write to Uncle Joe to-night yet altho tis past 10 O.C.
Must stop dreaming and wake up to the realities of life.
St Patrick's Day. Pleasant enough during the procession time but rainy ever since. The Mickies turned out in strong force notwith-standing the mud; The Shamroc rose trimphant above such considera-tions as bad streets. The Green was worn and St Patricks day kept with all the customary honors, including I presume - a drop of the crathur and broken heads. I noticed men in several of the Father Mathew Total abstinence Societies who had to be supported in their places in the line of the procession probably they were very tired.
Called on Margie Sunday eve, She had = as she said - thrown her-self on the sofa with the exclamation "here goes a woman watching for a man who will not come". I had been so buisy all the week that with the exception of Tuesday evening I had not been at her place in that time. My enjoyment of the visit was consequently proportionately increased. I had been telling her of some of my adventures in Balto'. Washington and other places, she tried me pretty hard but finally confessed that she did not see any sign of my being a very naughty boy(!) When I left she playfully reminded me that she still lived at 66 West 14" St.
Had six games of Billiards with Mr Macy last evening. beat him four. Congress gets along slowly with its Impeachment of Johnson. the latter has ordered Handcock to Washington to take command of the Dept of the Atlantic. Genl H. is the only Gen'l who supports Johnson. The latter therefore wants him at hand in his present trouble. Ben Wade is getting ready for his Home at the White House.
Mercredi 18. Cleared off very pleasantly after a most disagreeable rain last night. I was fortunate enough to be caught in the rain coming up from the store at 7.30 last evening and had it not been for the Waterproof overcoat and clouched hat which I wore I should have gotten a thor'o wetting.
Recd a letter from Bogureau. he informs me that he will arrive at Phil'a on the 21" and will come over to see me sometime next week. oh! how glad I shall be to see my old army companion, and the soldier who I formed my most agreeable acquaintance and strong-est friendship with.
Did not get home from the store until 10.15.
Venderdi 20. Quite cold. Snowed a little to-night. Trade has fallen off wonderfully scarcely anything doing. One of our porters was gone last night and I stayed to help Sandy with his shipping goods Got home about 9 O.C. when I came up home found that Mar-gies servant girl had been down here, but left no message other than to tell me she had called. I feared that my love was sick and broke a billiard engagement with Mr Macy to go up and spend the evening with her; She was unwell but managed to entertain me very plea-santly after all until after 11 O.C. when I came away I met with an accident before I got home which is long to be remembered. high ho! what a time I had to be sure.
Came up early and went arround to Macys store this eve. had some purchases to make. could not go up to see Margie, as had expected to do, as Siddy was to come arround. Played Macy 3 games of bil-liards however, got beaten two of them.
Dimanche 22". Commenced snowing about 12 OC Friday night, and yes-terday morn we were surprised to find some twice six inches of snow to greet us, also a fair prospect of much more as it was blowing and snowing at a terrible rate; In fact, we have hardly had so severe a storm in all winter. The Vernal Equinox kept us reminded of its approach by giving us a most disagreeable stormy day.
Not much business doing of course. Several of us stayed last night to help get a place arranged in the packing Dep't for a new Entry Desk. we had about 100 cases to move and it took us until about midnight. the last hour, however, was spent over a keg of lager which we had sent for. of course when that came in we had a jolly time over it, speech making and singing was the order of the day, or rather night. Grant Disney Carson and I came up town to-gether, we ran into several persons, knocked one down which was all accidintal however of course (!)
Clear but rather cold. the snow going off rapidly.
Samedi 28. Monday 23" got a letter from Beaugureau saying that he would be in New York on Friday. how it made my heart jump with joy to think of seeing my old army friend again. Sherman Crandall was in also to take a lunch with me. he is down visiting his sister at Plainfield. we were so buisy that I could not go out with him longer than for lunch. Rec'd a note from Margie that gave me to understand that young lady had made up her sage mind to come = ac-companied by Mr. Mount and Miss Smith = to the store some night this week when I was detained late by business and bear me off bodily for a march up Broadway four abreast. I had told her some-thing of Saturday night's adventures I guess
Tuesday Sherman was in again for a short time. Was expecting to start for home next day, I had shown him Clara's picture when he was in first and having forgotten where I put it when he gave it to me again, tho't that he had kept it. He denied so doing, however, and upon search I found the missing article.
Wednesday evening (25") went up to Macy's store about 9 O.C. to help him look over some goods which he had bo't of us. it was a big job indeed we were at it until about 12. The time seemed short, however, as she was there.
Thursday 26" at 10 A.M. Mr Drouin (Beaugureau's cousin) came into the store and told me that the Prof. would be in the city by the 5 P.M. train I was taken by surprise was glad of his anticipating his arrival by a day however. The two came to the store about 6 O.C. We went up Broadway and had dinner to-gether then I left them at the Metropolitan while I ran and dressed for the evening; We went to see Humpty Dumty at the Olympic The theatre was so crowded that we had to stand, but G. L Fox's inimitable pantomime made us forget the fatigue consequent upon so doing. B. and I had a couple of games of Billiards and I had the honor of beating once the man who first taught me how to play the game. We then came home over our wine and sigarettes talked Camp Distribution, War, old associ-ates until far into the morning. Breakfasted at my usual place on the 27" and we had a pleasant smoke riding down to the store. Drouin left after lunch and in the evening B- & I called Mr Macy out for a game of Billiards. As Mrs M. was unwell Mr. M. excused himself from going to see La Belle Helène at the French Theatre. B. & I went, however; The Prof. being a Frenchman helped me to understand what I would have otherwise lost of the play. When we got back to our room we shortly retired, being very much fatigued.
Bade my old friend good bye this morning, as he took the train for Phila at M.
What a pleasant incident this visit has been to me; In my jour-ney through I have met many with whom I have formed very pleasant friendships, but separation, jealousy, want of congeniality of taste or something of the kind, has with but fiew exceptions termi-nated our connection. The Prof. is an exception to the rule how-ever. Toward him my heart has always retained its warmth, and with him I am content.
Mardi 31". Sunday eve I accompanied Margie to Brooklyn to see her sister, who is shortly to break up house keeping preparatory to going South to live. Mr Lisle goes to Florida now, his wife will follow him there this fall. The 5 lb baby was doing well. Got back to the city about 11. Margie had never been in my room, and she asked me in a bantering way to take her in, So Garden Row was honored by the presence of a lady. We went in, had a glass of wine together and a good long talk. Mr. Wehle came in about midnight but fortunately did not come into my rooms. Went home with her for fear of interruption of our tete et tete. Did not leave Margie's side until 3.30.
Business is brisk again. This evening had an engagement at Bil-liards with Mr Macy. went arround to his house about 8 and not finding him in, went over to the Billiard Rooms, he was not there either, he must have forgotten his engagement with me. I came back here and have spent the evening writing. Business holds out Have been very buisy all the week so far. Must be down at the store early to-morrow morning as Woodburn came there and will want me to wait on him.
Marci Avril 2. Something in the way of April showers have greeted us for a couple of days; this evening had quite a fall of rain after a wet afternoon.
Last evening was arround to see Margie. tho't she received me with evident embarrassment. could not interpret the meaning of her so doing until the bell rang and Mr Macy was ushered in; they had evidently intended spending the evening to-gether, had some busi-ness to talk or something of the kind; as I did not want to inter-rupt the business in hand I took occasion to make my excuses and leaving them early; Margie pressed me strongly to stay and Mr Macy was kind enough to do the same, begging pardon if he had inter-rupted me, &c.
Poor Tom, what he must have suffered when I used to come home early nights and he was kept late at the store; that was while he had his wife here. he the how intimate she and I were and the bare possibility of what might happen alth'o he trusted me so much must have been perfect agony to him. I just begin to appreciate it for the first time. The Green-eyed-monster can build a mighty edifice upon a very slim foundation.
LETTER Sunday April 5" 1868
My Dear Sister
Your kind letter of the 21" ult is received and I am pleased to inform you that it arrived just in time to prevent being delayed by a snow storm. Last night, after a very dusty day, we concluded to have a little variety in our weather programme, and so got up an April shower of snow, this, altho' not very promising for May flo-wers, still possessed the charm of being a novelty, for snow has been a scarce article this winter.
I have just returned from abo'rd the City of Washington, one of the steamers which runs between this city and Liverpool; The chief Engineer, upon whom I called, was very kind In showing me over the ship, we went thro'o the saloons Steerage, Engine and Fire-rooms,- Cabin, State rooms &c, so I have a pretty good idea of what an Ocean Steamer is like, and my visit was instructive as well as pleasant.
It would have been pleasant could you have been of the party. still you could not have went in many places which we visited, as the passage ways and ladders of the bowels of a ship were never intended for the navigation of hoop-skirts.
Had the pleasure of a call from Sherman Crandall, who was in the city week before last, I hardly knew him with his big black whiskers, but he wa a very pleasant reminder of old Independence. A day or two after Sherman called, Prof Beaugureau, my old Camp Destribution friend, was here, and made me a good visit of two days, what fine times we had talking over old-times, and comparing the past with the present; he remains nearer my heart than any of my old companions in arms and consequently when he left it seemed as th'o an agreeable picture had been removed from the gallery of my friendships.
It will probably be a good while before I get to Andover now; If I had started on my trip when I expected to, I should have went at once to Erie, only stopping at your place on my way out, when I go now I shall make my commercial tour from this end of my route, and consequently stop at your place on my way back which will not be until some time the last of May.
Have not yet found the price of White Pine Touch Wood, will try and get it to night so as to add it in a post-script to this letter.
It does seem too bad that father is so unlucky in his getting payed for his labor; I would like first rate to wring the nose of his employer.
Tell brother Joe that I shall put his kindness to the test, and make him come to Andover for me in some rain storm, you know it always rains when I am out there.
Much obliged to Master Potter for his letter, I do think he is improving wonderfully.
Love to all
A. T. LaForge
Any of the Druggists that I have asked do not know what White Pine Touch Wood is. LaF.
Dimanche 12. Commenced snowing about 2 OC and has continued the same intermittantly ever since. it is now (10 P.M.) snowing away at a quiet rate, which promises several inches by morning. Last Tuesday night gave us a white covering also.
Recd a letter from father, it was the first from him in a long time. he has been quite unwell this winter and with his illness has also had the misfortune to be unable to get his pay for the winters work.
Went out riding with Wehle. drove up through the Park and lunched at the Belvidere. came back thr'o the snow storm; On coming into my room from the ride I found a note pinned to my toi-let cushion. it was from Margie. she informed me that, I guess I will copy it. "Dear Major. Unless otherwise engaged, can you con-trive to drop in on me this afternoon. I shall be engaged this evening so unless you can come up this afternoon I shall not see you at all to-day- Yours M-." I was for a fiew moments undecided whether to take counsel of my head or heart; the first said, "the young lady has an engagement for this evening and only takes this manner of informing you that your usual Sunday evening call would find her so, as such her note is very delicate and polite." My heart without taking any notice of this argument, told me to go and see its idol and I went. my call was very agreeable. I never see the woman I love now, without feeling that a shadow is creeping be-tween us, which is gradually becoming more palpable and will final-ly divide us altogether. I have tried to shake off the feeling but cannot, so I toy with it as one sometimes does with a dangerous feeling which he knows can bring him nothing but unhappyness. As everything which relates to this love of mine will always continue to be of great interest to me, I wish to preserve a pretty com-plete set of notes of it, for over them I may some day find a mel-ancholy pleasure inpouring, perhaps, thereby making myself a per-fect cynic.
Roland Macy was in town again Friday. he is still here some-place; Mount told me that the boy was in the store and drunk the other day. What Mr. Macy has done or will do with him is more than I can say, not having seen him since Roly's reappearance.
Made a call with Siddy and Appleton on Mr Ferguson, Chief Engi-neer of the City of Washington, last Sunday. When we went on board Mr. S was still in his bunk went all through the ship.
Lundi 13". Rather cold only about 2 or 3 inches of snow this morn-ing after all. After Dickens had left when he was here before Mar-gie expressed her wish to see him, saying that she almost adored the intellect of the man. I tho't to give her a pleasure by pro-curing tickets to one of his farewell Readings, so this eve went arround to Steinway Hall and procured tickets for to-morrow even-ing; the next step was to ascertain if the young lady would be en-gaged. So on my way back I stopped into her place. on rapping at her door I heard a slight commotion within and a door shut. My in-ference was that Mr. Macy was there and not knowing who might be seeking admission concealed himself. Margie came to the door & with a vivid blush begged my pardon "but she was engaged for the evening" I told her that my mission was not for this eve but to-morrows' She tho't that she should be pleased to accompany me; I thanked and wishing her a pleasant evening came down here to medi-tate and write up my Mem's. Hope to be able to start for Pensylva-nia next Monday. I will light some Turkish to help my philosophy.
Mercredi 22. Trenton House. Trenton N.J. Monday evening when the time arrived to go to hear Dickens it was raining so I took a car-riage over to keep my lady dry. Am very much pleased that I took the notion into my head of going to hear D-. Still I do not think that he is a good reader excepting where dramatic effect is to be studied. then he was excellent I know that Margie must have thot' I was very cold. indeed I could not help acting so, for which I can give no sensible reason. I expect that I felt a little sore over the evening before.
Had a farewell tilt at Billiards with Mr Macy Thursday 16" in which I came out ahead. Sunday 19" he and I went over to Mr Van Grines had quite a visit there. before that in the morning Mr Wehle drove me out for an hour.
Sunday night I was on a farewell call at 66- Accompanied Margie on a visit to Miss Smiths. that lady had been sick for some time. Mr Mount was up there of course. Left Margie at 2 O.C. Monday mor-ning. I felt as if I was tearing a very important part of my heart away when I bade her good bye. When she spoke of the love I had once borne her, she made me tell her that I loved her as much now as ever. if any thing my love had grown stronger.
Left the store in a heavy rain on Monday P.M. Stayed all night at N Brunswick. did nothing there. came on here in the rain yes-terday. But little trade here either. Very fair weather to-day. shall go up to Easton at 4.30 P.M.
Lundi 26. Allen House again. Did a fair trade at Easton Was there Wednesday and Thursday nights. The latter evening was spent at Mr. Kunsiders in the society of Miss Brodt. Had the pleasure of escorting a cousin of that lady as far as Bethlehem, where she was attending Boarding school. On the route I purchased a couple of cakes of Easton candy which we individually agreed to keep until we met again.
Rained hard all day Saturday. Very pleasant over head yesterday however. Attended the Lutheran church. Their form of worship is not unlike the Episcopal. The latter, however, says "Oh Lord look out for us and then take care of every body else. The Lutheran in-vokes his protection over all the world. After dinner in company with Mr. Rohe, visited Horse car R.R. now in process of construc-tion here. Saturday some Vandals had gone to the stone bridge of 17 arches which spans the river Jordan and a ravine thro' which it runs, and tore up and threw into the river a lot of ties & track belonging to the street R.R. The act delay the construction but a fiew days and it is comforting to know that when it is finished we shall be enabled by this modern improvement to cross the Jordan on Horse cars.
Next came the Jail = also in process of construction = It is a solis edifice and well calculated to afford its occupants a feeling of the most perfect security against intrusion.
A fiew minutes more and we were on top of the Fire Tower. from there the view was magnificent. Ruhe, like all the people of the town, was proud of his enterprising city. He waved his hand the-atrically toward the surrounding plain and with beaming face said, "you see there is nothing to prevent our growth." I really see no territorial reason why Allentown should not become as large as Lon-don. My frank avowal of this optical discovery raised me so many degrees in my guide's estimation that a cooling drink had to be proposed to modify the sudden change in his mental thermometer. The Bar to which we adjourned had a keeper who was fond of a prac-tical joke; he operated on us by slipping a moderate sized fly into each of our drinks. we were too dry to resent the insult.
Our final visit was to the spring which supplies this city of 20000 inhabitants with water. The clear, crystal current bursts from a small cave at the foot of a lime stone hill, and enough of the bright unfailing liquid goes to waste to supply two more such cities.
Wrote to Margie last night.
Did a good trade here.
"Michaels" Lancaster. May 2" To Reading night of the 26". no trade, so left the 27" for Pottsville. did not do much. 28", makes the same report of Lebanon, at Harrisburg on the 30" and yesterday did a fair trade. Last night while waiting there for the cars, went for an hour to hear "Blind Tom" perform; he is certain-ly a wonderful natural musician. When I arrived here at 11 P.M. met Mr. Long up at the depot as usual; he is a queer old fogie, is Long. Not a bad representative man for Lancaster; he presents about as striking a contrast to my companion (Ruhe) of last Sunday as do the Cities of Lancaster and Allentown. I have often noticed that when one finds the people of any town proud of their past, and living as it were upon their own history, that town has all the elements of old fogieism and as a consequence no ideas of enter-prise and pushativeness. When, on the other hand, a people are al-ways speaking of their future it may be recorded as an undoubted fact that they will coin some interesting history for themselves.
Old Gov. Hamilton of Colonial days, founded this city, and his heirs still own the greater portion of it. to hear the people talk one would suppose that the shade of the founder still ruled su-preme, so prevalent are the notions which were in vogue in 1758. This very hotel = and it is the best in town = is but another proof of the affection here felt for old institutions. one cannot enter it without feeling that upon crossing its threshold they have bridged the lapse of years and gone back ½ a century; it looks as if some mighty magician had touched the house fifty years ago with his wand and thrown it into profound slumber, then by way of re-cording the passing years he comes arround occasionally and puts here and there an improvement; in one place marble basins for washing, in another a modern piano, &c. Among the latest signs of his visits are a fiew prints of the late war. How strange a con-trast the mantle of the Reading room presents with its mirror of a date so ancient that the gold with which its frame is gilded has turned a sickly yellow, and its flanking pieces of bright silver forms supporting glass flower vases of the most modern pattern. The room which I occupy has two beds = very soft they are too = but such old fashioned heavy wooden bedsteads surmounted by large wood-en frames for supporting curtains; the room and house are lighted with gas but the pipes run along on the surface of the wall in an uncomfortable sort of way, which shows their appreciation of the fact that they are out-siders.
Dimanche 3" Was at church with Long this morning. When I came back I sat down in the office to bring the picture of last Sunday before my mind in contrast with what I had seen to-day. I was unconsciously looking at the old half moon clock in the corner which for sixty years has recorded time for the comers and goers, Tick, tick, tick. it carried me back to its youth and in its mono-tonous way seemed telling the changes it had witnessed. Just then the door opened and a tall, tallow-faced, portly individual en-tered. Here was a companion piece for the clock; one like it which for years had been a marker of time, yet unable to influence the times. Yes, there stood the man who might have saved a million of lives and billions of treasure to this country, James Buchanan. The old fellow was rather genial, sat down and opened his mail, after reading which we fell into a pleasant, chatty conversation about the weather, church, town and so on. He rose to leave and I could not help being struck with his dignified appearance when standing. Exit J. B.
Lundi 11" Morrison House Lewistown Pa. Arrived at York on the eve of the 4"- Found McIntire, my old opponent in goods, was there be-fore me. Sold some goods however. That evening Friebis arrived and we conjointly became acquainted with a Mr Lane of Ill. The evening we of course spent in Friebis' room listening to his Zeither. Some drink was ordered up and as we never could get suited we kept changing until finally about midnight I concluded to retire as I had an engagement to show goods at 7.30 next morning. I found myself nearer drunk than I ever had been before, and oh! how sick Felt very badly all next day but managed to get arround to Chambersburg by the evening of the 5". Did a good trade there on the 6" and 7". Did not see Miss Tilby Oaks this time. I was too buisy. Miss Trostle was as handsome as ever. Spent the night of the 7" in Carlisle remained fair but very cold ever since, dur-ing nearly all the spring it has rained nearly every day and the season is consequently backward. In fact the farmers have done almost no seeding or planting at all. Last night there was a freeze up that would have made March blush.
Of course was into Blymyer's store at L. saw my unknown corres-pondent several times but made no effort at an acquaintance. In the evening Mr Goodheart asked me if I desired an introduction to MIss B-. of course nothing would give me greater pleasure, the consequence was that I had a very pleasant chat of an hour with her. She is splendidly educated. I found her far beyond my reach but did not let her perceive it
Sunday 10" went to the Lutheran Church in the morning and had great difficulty in keeping my eyes from shutting up very tight in a cozy but uncomfortable sleep. I find that I was at Blymyer's church. Read over Margies' letters, one of which I received at Harrisburg and one was waiting for me at Lewistown. The girl writes as if she were endeavoring to make her letters formal but found it an effort. When I read them I think myself an unworthy, mercenary wretch. Wrote to Wehle, Mount, sister & Siddy. Have desired them to answer me at Meadville Pa; that is the two first. When I was returning from putting my letters in the office I found the Misses Blymyer standing at their door. Received from Miss Bessie an invitation to attend church. Was of course delighted (!) to accept it. Kept awake without difficulty as the minister was in a very labored manner preaching a sermon to disprove infidelity and Miss B- (who knows my views) kept nudging me whenever she tho't a point was made against. I could easily refute any of the puerile arguments which were advanced. Left her about 10.30 but did not retire as early as I desired after all. Arose at 4 A.M. this morn-ing and took the train at 5.35 for this place. The morning was very cold; in fact ice was formed on the streets. Did a fair busi-ness here to-day and shall go up to Altoona this evening. Mr. Lewis, one of my customers here, will accompany me.
Dimanche 17". St Charles. Pittsburg Pa. Stoped at Altoona until the evening of the 13" and then came on up to Johnstown. Rain, rain all the time. the rivers were greatly swollen and two bridges were carried away there. Arrived here at 2.30 A.M. Thursday 14". Douglas left here 10 days before my arrival, he had been scared by the recent arrest and fine of so many Agents so not to run any risk of being fined $300.00 for selling goods without a licence he took out an article of that description which protects us for one year by our paying $300.ΕΕ.
Found trade very dull, owing to the bad weather = Rained every day since my arrival until yesterday evening when it cleared up and to-day has been quite pleasant.
Eckstein I found at the hotel and well. We have been togather all that the circumstances would permit and have had a very plea-sant time. Celebrated this fair day by crossing the Monongahela, ascending the bluff to the road which runs along the summit 900 feet above the river. Walked to the West for 2 miles, having a most magnificent view all the way, descended at the Ferry at Man-chester, crossed the Ohio there and came back home by the Allegheny City Cars. I Meet Simon here again. Wrote to Margie, asked her to mail her reply to Reed's Hotel, Erie.
The view of Pittsburg and Allegheny Cities and Birmingham and Manchester, their respective suburbs nestling in their smokey valleys was very fine.
Dimanche 24. Brother Joes'. Left P- at 6.30 18" Stopped at New Castle just long enough to find I could do nothing. went on to Greenville same evening. left for Meadville 19" at 12 OC there I did some trade in the evening besides opening some mail and reply-ing to it. at 6.10 on 20" went down to Franklin, was in bad luck there. Woodburn, Miller, Horton, Lamberton & Parks were all gone, so I left at 2.30 going off in such a state of absent mindedness as to forget my umbrella and travelling sack. Telegraphed for them from Oil City. was answered at Titusville that they were lost, so I must of necessity go back to F. Got an old friend in the shape of the Mail Agent who proved to be no other than the old story teller to whom I listened on the cold night that I was snowed up at Petroleum Centre. Uncle Billy Grey. On the 21" I rode down with him to Oil city from Titusville where I had stopped all night, and thro his influence had the exquisite pleasure of riding on the en-gine. By George, there is as much difference between the excite-ment of riding on the engine or riding on the train as there is between riding on a horse or in a carriage.
I sat in the Mail Van with Uncle Billy from Oil City to Franklin On the way up he told me the "Story of his love" courtship and marriage. At Franklin I bade him good bye but soon joined him again for I found my things in the saloon right by the depot. On the rest of the way up to Meadville Billy was telling me of his early life his fathers death in a fit of delirium tremens, his hard struggle against poverty, his journey to Asia, finding he had talents oratorially he cultivated them and had delivered many lectures before he could read or write a word. He gave me sound specimens of his oratory and I must confess to being not a little surprised at his ability At Meadville I found a letter from Mount. He was pleased to be very funny and I laughed to no small amount.
Arrived at Corry en route for Erie. had some three hours to wait so got a horse and to a gallop thro town, rode down long avenue which extends right into a big forrest, about a mile from town I saw a flag with the well known device of the 1" Div 5 A.C. flying upon a small stone fort in a yard, by a new house, as there was no fence to the yard I rode in, A dark looking young man came out from behind the house. I asked him if that was Petersburg or Richmond He said that he only built it for fun. he was going to cover it with moss. There was a tremenduos big stump in his yard which as he could not move he concluded to make a mound of which he would some day make an arbor upon; but of a swamp hole he had made a fish pond and altogather he was making the "Desert bloom like a Garden He told me his name was Oakly, he belonged to the 5" Corps during the War, one year ago he came here and pitched his tent right in the woods, had cleared up the place, built a house and was now living there with his mother. We parted with an earnest wish to meet again. Went up to Erie, (rain again) where I stayed until 3.45 P.M. 22". came to Dunkirk, changed cars, came down to Wells-ville stayed all night as the Express does not stop at Andover. Came up to Andover at 2 OC yesterday. Met Billings as usual at the Depot, he took me over to his house and while waiting there for him to procure a team I was told a fresh story of disgrace by Mrs. Hall. Mary Jane whom I suspected to be pregnant when I was here before, has since then went off and had a child, and swore it upon Jack Hunt. besides she wrote for money to three other married men all of whom I believed complied with the demand. By the Spoons, must a nam (man) constantly be associated with such disgrace. I have a strong notion of going to some country where there are no christians and spending the rest of my life. came up to Sister's nevertheless.
Mardi 28 Wyoming Valley House. WilksBarre. After a very pleasant visit with sister, until noon the 24" (rained all the time I was there) came down to Andover and made a call with Miss Hall upon the Misses Hunt. very aristocratic people for Andover. which call I found very interesting after I got the young ladies warmed into a conversation. Came as far as Hornellsville on the 4.38 train, and getting supper at Hunts Hotel took the Lightening Ex at 6.30 for Great Bend. I suppose we arrived at that place about 12 O.C. P.M. but being fast asleep at the time, was not aware of my locality until I was 27 miles beyond. Got back to that place so as to get to bed at 3 A.M. 26" arose at 4.30, breakfasted and came down to Scranton. Finding no opening there came on to this place. Here am doing some business. To-day when I opened my private baggage I found a note from sister giving me some loving sisterly advice with respect to my future state. Sister joined the church and was bap-tised this spring, so of course being fresh in the church feels more solicitude toward me and others than she will by and bye. Poor child if she knew how anxcious I am to please her she would feel better. I cannot think as she does, however. Still that does not prevent my trying to be just in all my dealings with fellow man and trying to make my character upright in all things.
While I was home I read the letters sent to L. E. Livermore (an old friend of my child hood, who has been my school master, compan-ion in arms, my sargeant, my subordinate on the staff of the army, and since the war a preacher in Conn=) by an illicit love of his. Preacher as he was with a wife and child, the man Adam was stronger in him than the Divine Christ. He, of course, losses his place and his wife has been divorced from him. smart man, very; His pride should have prevented any such an escapade. always ambitious he wanted more than one woman. It can be said in his favor that his wife was not of a very loving disposition while the girl was in that respect all the most ardent fancy could paint her. One thing about the matter looked very strange, both of the parties seemed very religious in their correspondence, looked to Divine aid, seemed to expect some special dispensation of Providence in their favor.
Mardi Jeun 2. Trenton again. Arrived at Easton on my way home Wednesday May 27". stopped there all night. the Franklin being full of guests bidden to a wedding which took place on the 28" I was billeted for the night on Mr Kinsman, Of course did not seri-ously object to that for I could spend a very pleasant evening with Brodt and his sister, which I did. Next day went on home and filled my orders. That evening went up town and passing Macys Store about 10 O.C. looked in and saw him and Miss Getchell, plan-ning their sales, I suppose. Did not go in but went home and to bed, not to sleep, however, for that proved an impossibility until after 2 O.C. Friday (29") evening called up at the store and helped R.H.M. and Margie assort goods until 9.30. then went with the for-mer to play billiards. beat him three out of four games. Next night spent with Margie until after 12. Sunday went with Wehle to take dinner with him at his brother-in-laws Mr Whiteisch, also a Hungarian. That P.M. took his horse and gave Margie a ride thro the Park. That night Margie & I went to the farewell concert of Parepa-Rosa. Did not we have a nice time. I think I was with her rather late again.
Last night with her again ....... (The next nine lines are ille-gible after being crossed out and scribbled over. Only the first and last words can be deciphered.) ...... Oh heart ............... completely in the chains.
To day came here, leaving N.Y. at 12 M. and arriving after a rapid ride of two hours. rains a little some trade.
John Clemence writes me that Uncle Johny is dead. among the let-ters of his deceased uncle he found two for him self, one from me which the old gent had opened and kept.
Wm Pratt, or as he calls himself the Great American Traveller, was on the Ferry Boat coming over to Jersey this noon. He as usual took the opportunity of making a speech, "he was going on to Wash-ington to introduce reforms in Government, hoped to make his voice heard in the Congress Halls. He was a very much abused man, had lost a his property and expended his mental energies (which were enormous, as he had more brain than any other man in the world) in support of this Gov't." Finally just before we landed he took off his hat to make a contribution box of it, hoping to get enough money to pay his expenses to the Capitol. Finding that he got no pennies he gave us permission to "go to H__l our own way". I heard his voice, loud in granting that and licenses of a kindred nature, until I passed to the depot at Jersey.
Samedi, 6. Allentown Pa. During my stay in Easton I made several calls upon Miss Brodt. Just before sundown on the 3" Henry and I went out for a canter arround the country, we gave the horeses enough exercise in three hours to last them for several days. I learn that the young lady = Miss Woodring = with whom I had a plea-sant ride from Easton to Bethlehem (where she is at school), on April 24" is soon to be engaged to be married. will give her reply now in a fiew days. came up here on the 4" have been laofing a good share of the time as I was unfortunate in making my customers come to time. shall go on to Reading at 12 M. while I am waiting think I will write to Wehle and ask him to reply to the National Hotel Lewistown Pa
Eagle House Lebanon Evening. came up to Reading at 1.30 P.M. & as there was no business opening there concluded to waste no time but to come on here at 6". The run up the Valley was grand with the exception of the first fiew miles during which the heat was intense enough Gradually however, the clouds which had been banked up in a white mass in the N.W. began to assume a darker hue and to move toward us. The sky became obscured and the wind sprang up. the grass and trees which at first seemed by their graceful swaying to court the breeze, suddenly changed their demeanor and seemed to shudder as if at some approaching danger. Darker and darker grew the clouds, looking out in front an inky mass hugged the earth in that direction, bringing into bold relief the the shining masses of foliage which intervened. The Locomotive was instinct with life as it hurried us along. as if it were some fiery monster detailed to carry and plunge us headlong into the black unfathomed mass in our front. Birds and beasts there were none in sight. they had all sought shelter from the war of elements which they instinctively knew was approaching. I had some hopes of reaching the hotel be-fore the storm burst, but was disappointed; lurid lightning had illuminated the clouds all the time but thunder was as yet only heard in very distant mutters. just as I got into the Bus to come down to the house a flame of light flared from one end of the hea-vens to the other accompanied by such a terribly loud, long and heavy roll of thunder that the very earth seemed to have rent asun-der, then the flood gates of the heavens were opened, and the wa-ter, borne by the gale, was swept in perfect torrents along the face of the, the weight of wind and water seemed to drive one along as if they were in a mill race.
Dimanche 7". Has been showery most of the day. Was at the Ducth Reformed church this morning with Shenck. The sermon surpassed my expectations. It was good. This P.M. went to the M.E. Sunday school principally because S. wanted to show me the girl to whom he was engaged to be married. His choice seems to be about right. the girl is fine looking and seems to possess good sense, he was expecting to present me but did not have courage to do so. wrote to Margie making a frank picture of myself which I fear will not raise me in her estimation. still love will overlook much or at least see no deformity where other eyes would be struck with horror.
Somewhat showery and very hot.
Mardi 16. Did but little in Harrisburg on the 9" and nothing in Lancaster on the 10" however that night ran up to Columbia, a town not on my list, and did some business the next day. Left for York at noon and attended a Strawberry festival at the Hall in that town in the evening. Became acquainted with several ladies. Miss Molly E Rhoads was with me a considerable portion of the evening and ex-pected me to take her home. I however went home with a very accom-plished musician named (Miss) Small. Mr Vandersloot = my customer, took great pains to have me spend the evening pleasantly. On the 12" went to Carlisle and on the 13" continued my journey to Cham-bersburg. found all my friends there well but not able to make my visit very profitable in a business way. About Sundown Mrs & Mr Grimisan Mrs Stenger and myself went to the farm of the former near town and had a splendid lot of Strawberries and cream also a good frolic generally. Mr S didn't care if we did have a good time.
Later in company with Miss Trostle went to call on Miss Adilade Shoemaker who was visiting the town from Harrisburg; it was at her home that I formed her acquaintance. The night I was in H. Mr Moorhouse took me with him to see her and a Washington friend who was visiting her (Eigholds) it was after 9 OC. but the ladies were gay and after we had got them livened up we had a dreadfully gay time. My goodness, I shall not soon forget that evening. Walk, Ice cream- talk, actions and all, form a tout en semble not to be erased.
Sunday morning I arose early and mounting a horse went out far into the country on a visit to nature, had a lovely visit made very musical by birds and 17 year locusts. As the day advanced it be-came very hot and drove me back to the Hotel and breakfast attend church and thot of Margies letter which I received the day before more than I did of the sermon. Visited arround some in the P.M. and late in the evening commenced writing. finished my last let-ter, one to Margie - at 2 OC A.M. 13" Came to Harrisburg on the 1.20 P.M. train. had for a companion Miss Shoemaker; She was as lively as ever and we were at once old friends. She offered every inducement for me to stay in H. all night, saying that we would be pretty well acquainted before morning if I would. Altho the hint was broad I did not accept but came on up to Lewistown where I found Miss Blymyer very friendly. Had half an hour at Croquet with her.
Came up to Huntingdon to-night.
There was a big joke perpetrated on two New York travellers at Chambs'b'g. One of them was Kellogg. He and a friend took Miss Curts and Miss Trostle out one evening and somehow there was a big fuss made about it. When they returned the young men of C- told K. & his friend that the fathers of the two ladies had threatened all sorts of dire things against them. They became terribly fright-ened, hired a conveyance and went clear to Shippensburg, driving all night, the whole thing costing them some $50ΕΕ, and all for no reason particularly. I dont believe that those men will find C- a pleasant place to visit hereafter as everyone knows all about it.
LETTER Meadville Pa. June 24" 1868
My Dear Sister,
Both of your favors were duly received, and perused with pleasure.
I am going down to Franklin in an hour thence to Titusville & Jamestown, after which I propose to make a short visit to Andover. shall probably arrive about Saturday night. If Brother Joe should happen to be at Andover Saturday P.M. tell him to wait for me as I shall probably be in on the train from the East or West I dont know which.
Shall not be able to be with you this 4".
Would stop and see our uncle at Jamestown but have forgotton his name. Love to all
Your Loving Brother
(Back of letter was evidently used by Susan to send a message to a nearby neighbor. Her son Oscar was four years old in 1868.)
Wm & Alma Green are here I thought I would let you know it have you got any white spool thread No 30 or 36 that you could lend me if you have please send Oscar back with it soon as he gets rested
Vendredi 26. Jamestown Hotel. The R.R. Co. lost my trunks some-where between Johnstown & Huntingdon when I went over that route on the 17" so I could do nothing in J. but to take a good swim in the evening. Succeeded in getting my trunks the morning of the 19" and came on to Pittsburg. Eckstein and I had our usual good time in each other's society. Made one or two calls. voted ourselves bored on both occasions and being resolved into a mutual admiration committee passed a bill to the effect that we were better company to each other than the community at large was to us. this sage conclusion no doubt was as satisfactory to the community as to our-selves. Arrived at Meadville about 1 A.M. 23. Caught a very bad cold on the journey and am suffering with it yet. M- ville was doing a lively trade in wool and I did a lively trade with them in cotton. Visited Franklin on the 24" Titusville 25" finishing the latter in time to arrive here at 12 last night.
Rec'd a letter from Mount at Meadville. I am a little surprised to find that his mind runs so much to vulgarity.
Was expecting a letter from Margie but it did not arrive before I left so Richardson is to forward it when it comes.
Wrote to sister that I would be there to-morrow.
LETTER Wednesday July 1" 68 Home
If you are down to Andover 6" Day evening you will receive this letter as a present from your recent visitor.
I arrived at Andover without accident or event, other than having somebody, who met met me with an umbrella over my head, pass with an audable smile; I thot that I detected an expression of envy on his sun-heated face, so concluded that those who win can laugh the most gracefully.
Did not make that call on those young ladies at Andover, for which I am really sorry as it appears that they expected a visit and had made some preparations an honor which I did not anticipate.
Called at Mr Halls while there the man of whom I had that horse came over and said that he was minus a halter I did not know that he gave me one, ask brother Joe to send it down to Billings' he will return it to the owner.
Could not get a sleeping Coach at Hornellsville nor at Elmira, as at the latter place we had to leave one of our sleeping coaches on account of a broken journal. we did not have enough accomoda-tion for our passengers; many of them were delegates to the Demo-cratic Convention to be held on the Fourth.
Travelling was very dusty & otherwise disagreeable. I opened my window and leaned back in my seat. in half an hour I did not know myself. My bosom and lap had enough dust in them to give me as decent a burial as I have seen many a soldier receive. A lady who was nursing her child, had great trouble in getting her dress to meet over the portion of her person from which the babe had "drawn its rations". it must have been on account of the dust which had accumulated there while uncovered.
Arrived at Garden Row 11 O.C. A.M. yesterday three hours be-hind time, was very kindly greeted by my dog and landlady, both gave me a kiss and welcomed me back with pleasure.
Have made arraingements for my young men to go into the country and some of them are off. I was going to write this so that you could read it but have not had a smoke to day consequent-ly have not the required control over my hand.
Love to all of our friends and much to your self
P.S. What luck strawberrying?
N.B. If any letters arrive for me please send them here.
Jeudi 2. Juli. A ma maison, et sans regret. The heat and dis-comfort of travel makes me echo the entiment with feeling of pro-found pleasure. Left James town the evening of the 28" A young lady who asked me what time the cars started was very anxious to accompany me and put up whenever I stopped over night. she was physically quite attractive, but the thot's of Margie and sister drove everything of that kind from my my head and I declined the intended honor. When we approached Hornellsville I could see a great light denoting a big fire, it was nearly 3 A.M. (27") the cars started for Andover at 5 O.C. So I went to the fire instead of to bed; the heat was greatful for the night was cold and I stood and warmed myself by the ruins of the business portion of H-. The damage must have been great for some ten stores were burned. When I left the fire I walked about rapidly to keep myself warm until the train started for Andover. The people were all stirring when I arrived at A-. took breakfast at Fullers Hotel and hiring a horse for the time (three days) that I purposed staying at sis-ters, drove up to Independence The people were just getting ready to go to church so I took sister in and drove down to Sabiterian Hollow at attend meeting. Elder Kenyon is now becoming a grey-haired venerable looking pastor. he is also as interested in his cause and ungrammatical as during his early pastorate of that church. Had a rather pleasant lazy visit all round among the neighbors, driving from one to the other just as I listed. Aurelia Green (Eathans wife) seems to be laboring under the im-pression that my heart is still languishing for Clara. By the way that young lady under the title of Mrs Tittsworth is now the happy mother of a bouncing boy.
Left for home Monday night (the 29") while waiting for the Light-ning Express at Hornellsville came acrost Mr Bullock one of my customers from Meadville doing the same thing. The Ex. was behind time and after arriving had to wait still longer to repair a melted Journal Cap. This thing continued to bother us until we finally had to switch the coach off at Elmira. Very dusty and hot travel-ling and no sleeping birth to be had Bullock and I however managed to pass the time in pleasant converse. Arrived in New York 2½ hours behind time June 30". Came up home, changed my clothes and went down to the store, feeling much better.
Called at Macys store about 8.15 P.M. He & Miss G- were just coming out. I stepped aside and gave them a surprise. Miss G- was very unwell and we only accompanied her to the door. Then we ad-journed to tray a match at billiard in which I was beaten the rubber.
Last evening Wehle and I went over to see the Worrell sisters perform the English of the Grand Duchess. I injoyed the piece very much but Mr W. Did not, so we came away at the end of the second act. Mr. M- was in to see me to-day. Called on him at the store this evening and later called on Margie. she was not at home so I returned disconsolate to write up my memn's. Tamany Hall looks brilliant in anticipation of the great Democratic Convention to be held there on the Fourth of July.
Lundi 6" Our Ninety second National Birth Day is past and owing to the stringent police regulations it was the most orderly one that I can remember in the city altho' we had half a million strangers in the city. On the evening of July 3" I called on Miss G-. she was not at home; probably she had accompanied Mr. M-. to some place of amusement or refreshment. The morning I spent at her room on the Fourth. Mr. Macy who was there also was to take her out to dinner and during the P.M. and evening was to take her to walk and the fireworks. I spent the rest of the day at the Democratic and Soldiers and sailors Conventions, Joneses Wood Central and Hamilton Parks. saw some rich scenes at the latter Park. At Jones' Wood the Shuetzenfest represented by delegates from all parts of the U.S. and German Europe was holding its annual meeting. 25000 people were assembled in the wood to witness it. the meet was very order-ly. none but Germans could have assembled such large crowds and not have the general good feeling marred by trouble of some kind. The heat was intense enough yet the Teutons were dancing in the broiling Sun just as if it was a matter of course.
Looked at the Fireworks at Madison Square. Lorillard fired a final piece as an advertisement of his Yacht Club Smoking Tobacco.
Sunday the thermometre stood 105Ε in the shade and 135 in the sun at 11.30 A.M. toward evening a storm of wind came up and without much rain cooled off the air. I was over at the Spangler House and returning about dusk saw Margie watching the rising storm from her window. tho't it would be pleasant to join her there, so after procuring an umbrella returned but Mr. M. had gone in just before and as I did not know but they had business together (it being stock taking time) I came back home again. Business was pretty brisk to day. Had all that I could attend to.
Lundi 20. The weather has ben so fearfully hot that writing or doing anything else not positively necessary has been altogether out of order with the mercury nearly every day reaching a hundred and five degrees above. I believe that once brain becomes corres-pondingly depressed for mental activity seems next to impossible. Over 800 deaths from sun-stroke in the city this week. with such a ghastly record of mortality before one's eyes they may even start back in dismay and observe as much mental an physical quiet as pos-sible Yesterday P.M. Last night and to-day a most refreshing storm has been in progress which gives us much promise of cool days to come.
The National Democratic Convention finished its labors and aston-ished the country at the same time by nominating Horatio Seymour and Frank P. Blair for their ticket. They could not possibly have nominated a stronger ticket for the Republican party. The campaign now becomes an easy matter for the latter
Last Wednesday (15") evening helped Margie pack up for her trip to Saratoga. she left next morning, Mr. M. taking charge of her to the Depot. The feeling that she was gone forom the city was one which brought with it loneliness altho there has not been the same amount of freedom between us since I have been back. still there was the old look of love whenever occasion required it. I am alto-gether wrong to encourage this feeling which I am so fondly press-ing to my breast.
Saturday in accordance with a resolution formed early in the week I boarded the Mary Powell and started for Fishill-on-the-Hudson where we arrived at about 7 O.C. P.M. Met St. Van Planck crossing on the Ferry Boat from New Burgh. he had also came up on the Powell, we were delighted to meet each other, both having served on Seymour's Staff at the same time.
Took supper at Greens and the evenning being cool, lit a cigar, shouldered my haversack and started for Uncle Joe's. took them all by surprise of course but had a right jolly time. A party from Matteawan were up there swinging. Those young people will walk all the way from town up the mountain of an evening just for the pur-pose of swinging.
Yesterday I wandered about the mountain and visited and swung until nearly dusk, then had the pleasure of the company of a couple of young ladies down the mountain. The air was nice and cool, as rain enough to lay the dust had fallen. When coming thro Matteawan I met Mary and Elmira Barrett and Mary Fuller. of course had to stop and chat with them, and take a scolding for not calling on them with as good grace as possible. Came over to N. Burgh and succeeded in getting a Stateroom on the Baldwin for the city at 10 O.C. When I awoke this morning was at the wharf.
Rained since 2 OC quite hard and is now pouring. Every body is delighted with the much needed flood. Recd a letter from Sister and one from J Clemence. answered the latter saying that I should be up there next Saturday.
LETTER July 22" 1868
Your silence was a long one but I can readily forgive it when I consider the terrible heat of the period just past. Any exertion during that time, either mental or bodily, save what was necessary and positively required by the surrounding circumstances seemed a sin not to be tolerated for a moment.
I have often thot of your men folks working out in that broiling sun and was almost inclined to wonder how it was possible for human nature to stand such exposure until I remembered my own experience in the heat and dust of Virginia and North Carolina, and make up my mind that mankind is constructed in such a happy manner that with temperance and virtue he can well stand almost any pheno-menom of temperature. The mortality from the effects of heat have been something fearful in the city. We have had upwards of three hundred fatal cases of sun-stroke in a single day and nearly a thousand in one week. such startling statistics of course produced a run on creams and and everything which promised a cooling sensa-tion or imparted one. Individually I made no small havoc among un-protected coolers nothing however was for any length of time proof against the penetrating heat. In one thing and only one I congra-tulate myself on having got the advantage of the weather those hot nights I slept upon the top of the house and was perfectly comfort-able it seemed like old times too to be winked out of countinance by those bright little star eyes and soothed to sleep by the gentle touch of inumerable zephyr angels.
Saturday afternoon I took the Mary Powell up to N. Burg & crossing the river went up and Spent the Sabbath with Uncle Joes people. they greeted me very cordially and were very kind in their inquiries about you and father.
Aug. 15". To-day in looking over and destroying a lot of old papers which had accumulated in my writing case I came acrost this letter; how it came there I am unable to say. I thot that I had sent it to you and am determined that you shall have it now at any rate. I have written you since the first date of this letter but have rec'd no answer from you.
Rec'd a letter from father the other day. he was well, had got the money which I sent him and says that it came just in time to do him good.
Let me hear from you my love.
Regards to all
Aout 2" Dimanche. One week ago yesterday took Wehle with me up to Bethlehem on a visit to Uncle tommy's, had a most agreeable lazy time. The only exertion we made was continual repartee which much amused our country cousins. Sunday P.M. while out riding made a call a Mr. Hausers where the Griggs family are now stopping. Miss Mary has grown quite an entertaining lady and will be more attrac-tive in general society than her now married sister Annie. Sunday night Wehle and I were brought down to the Baldwin at Cornwall. There was not a cot, birth or state room to be had the captain said. I happened to know that a Mr. Leonard engaged a Stateroom for the Season Sunday nights, so I asked the Capt if I came on board at NewBurgh and finding he did not I boldly engaged his room. Monday night my face commenced swelling and pained me very much. finally closing my mouth so that with the utmost exertion and pain I could only open it ½ an inch to get broth or milk in. So during the whole week I have been obeying an old injunction of fathers' by holding my jaw most tenaciously. I can open it now however.
(One wonders whether he might have had tetanus, also known as lockjaw. The encyclopedia says that before modern treatment the recovery rate was under 20%.)
LETTER New York Aug 2" 68
My Dear Sister
For the past week I have suspended literary payments of all descriptions probably much to the satisfaction of my not very nu-merous creditors. in fact I am rather of the opinion that they would give me a discharge in Bankruptcy on the most favorable terms. My application for such a discharge would not be a volun-tary one as far as you are concerned at least.
The cause of my suspensions was what the Faculty was pleased to term rheumatism of the muscles and nerves superinduced - they might have added = by exposing the body while in a state of profuse prespiration, to the strong cold draught on the bow of the Mary Powell steamer not spinster during an up trip on the Hudson river one week yesterday. The the first effect of this exposure was a severe cold, the next a rigidity of the muscles particularly those of the mouth, so that for several days I have obeyed an old injunc-tion of fathers by "holding my jaw" most tenaciously; that was no merrit of my own however for to do my utmost I could not get my teeth more than half an inch apart and that was accompanied with so much pain that I only tried the experiment when I wanted to pour some broth or milk between them I was in excelent spirits all the time did my work every day and could have eaton rhinoceros steak at short notice if it had not been for those confoundedly swollen and painful muscles; it is pleasant to be making up the old score of regular meals now, I assure you.
Two weeks yesterday I went up to Uncle Joes. had a splendid visit returned here on Monday. The people are all well and all made me jealous by their numerous inquiries about you. what de-lightful old people they are old and young. they lead everybody to believe that a most important favor is conferred upon them by vi-siting the farm House. give me a horse and books and I could spend a year most agreeably there. How unmercifully I have been dinning my nonsense into your ears I hope however that you will not form so uncharitable an opinion of me as you say the Hunt girls have. Ap-propo of them, dont you know my dear girl that this is a free coun-try and every body in it allowed to think as they please. I do not feel in the least injured by the opinion which the Misses Hunt have formed of me.
Billings wrote me some time ago about buying him a watch in the city but did not give me the address, I instantly replied to him to that effect, but since then have received no answer from him. What is the matter?
Well my love, good night! Best wishes to your family every member of them are dear to me.
A. T. LaForge
Mercredi 4 The heat has somewhat abated altho it is still pretty warm 85 to 90Ε in the shade nearly all the time. Last night wrote to Margie for the first time since she has been away. The pain in which my face kept me last week prevented my writing to any body sister excepted. She would excuse any thing wrong in one of my letters. Recd a letter from Cousin Joe to-day and replied to it telling him that I should be up there this week Saturday. Macy is getting so that he beats me nearly every rubber at billiards now. he is practicing every night while I play only twice a week. Busi-ness has not opened at the store yet Nor do we expect it to before the middle of the month. I am going to try to get changed to the lace stock if possible; dont know whether I shall succeed or not, will try hard at any rate, must talk to Mr Gibb about it.
Politics does not seem to open up very brisk yet. probably both parties are reserving their fire until the weather becomes cooler.
Lundi 10". Pretty busy getting in goods and one or two fair days selling also but not as much doing as I would like to see. no doubt the excitement of the presidential election will make trade somewhat dull this fall. The excitement has yet to come however for at present politics and reconstruction both together do not make as much stir as Burlingame and his Celestial Embassy. Burl-ingame is a man of immense power now and he can be of great benefit to the Christian powers of the earth if the Chinese only will ratify his treaties and abide by them when so ratified.
Saturday evening the 8" went up to Uncle Joe's or rather part way there for It was so dark that I concluded to stay at Greens Hotel all night and make some calls in Matteawan. Called Phebe and Mary Fuller. did not spend a pleasant evening, nor was I very well pleased with my visit next day. I had too many calls to make and could not be quite as lazy as I wished. Sunday evening on my way to the Dock made a look at Aunt Rachel La Forge and her old maid daughters. all well and their hearts big with hospitality. Mrs. Green was telling me that Mr. Wiltsie had been down making inqui-ries about me, and cousin Jane said that whoever had given him in-formation concerning me had willfully misstated my connections and relationships. Very well who cares. I dont, not even enough to contradict the falsehood. Very pleasant and cool coming down the river in the evening. could not get a stateroom.
Dimanche 16". Detained late at the store two evenings this week, getting samples for Brenner and Douglas & Hardie. Douglas will not go out before next month however. One night Siddy and I went to see Fire Fly. Lotta is the only one who has any character to sus-tain in the piece. everything depends on her and the scenery.
Had a good swim at 30" St Friday night.
Thaddeus Stevens of Lancaster Pa. died at Washington on the 13". he had for two years been the acknowledged leader of the Republican radicals, a man intense in word and tho't and I believe thoroughly honest in his convictions. on whom will the mantle fall now. But-ler will strive for it no doubt.
Adah Isaacs Menkin's death was announced in the same paper; what a life she led, bestowing her smiles and favors with a lavish hand. she was a self made man just like Stevens, but of a very different self. Ada's amours with the elegant Dumas made no small noise last winter. More lately she has shown a marked preference for the Poet Swinbourne. She was the best Mazeppa I ever saw.
Dull day for me in town. Wrote to father sister and a friend.
Macy went to Saratoga on Monday taking Mrs. M. with him.
I think that my landlady's sister must be married for I am quite sure that James (some Scotch name) staid with her last night.
Vendredi 21. Jessie is married sure.
Tuesday evening went to see Lotta as Fire Fly, a play written expressly for herself. The scenes were all interesting and Lotta's acting. she has the whole play to herself, however, for there is no other character of importance in it.
Wednesday evening went to the Theatre Comique (which has entirely changed its character) and saw Lingard, the great English person-ator and singer. He went thro' his statue representations and songs with a vim quite enchanting
Last evening made another visit to Humpty Dumpty and saw the ini-mitably funny G. L. Fox in his comic part of clown. The Steamboat explosion was a decided success. Siddy was with me in all these tours. he will come to room with me next week. After returning from the play I wrote a letter to Margie in reply to hers of this morning. She wanted me to come up to Saratoga. We are busy now and I had to refuse. How unfortunate. I should so like to go. She never received my letter until Mr. Macy went up there when she learned that I had written one and found it advertised at the of-fice. so that accounts for my not hearing from her. She will re-turn next Monday. Mr. M. leaves the Springs at the same time to spend a week in N.H.
Mr. Mount tells me that he is to be married the first of Sept. Happy fellow.
Dimanche 23. I may be mistaken about Jessie's being married after all.
Had a fair trade yesterday and opened many new goods.
Rec'd a letter from sister. All well. She says that I write as if I were always in the very best of spirits. Those letters are sometimes written from a sore heart tho.
To day went with Siddy over to the Elysian Fields. Met Weller who is now boarding at 110 East 35" St Bet Park and Lexington Ave-nues. He expects his father from Europe soon. Went up to Saint Ames Church this evening. Cool and pleasant.
Vendredi Aout Septembre 3. Margie arrived back from Saratoga the 24" ult. Of course I was in to see her that evening. found her buisy unpacking her trunks and doubtless thinking over the plea-sures which she had left behind her. The old smile of welcome was on her face when I met her, however, and she gave me her hand in a manner which seemed to say that its owner had also bro't her heart back also. did not keep her up late as she had been travelling the night before. From that evening until the 29" I did not see her again we were buisy at the store until late nearly every evening Her mother and sister Sue were there getting ready for their jour-ney South upon which they started the 29" per Steamer. Mr. Lisle who is already down there is getting things ready for them.
Sunday the 30" ult. I spent a good share of the day with M.- In-spected Mr. Macy's house to see that everything was right. found things all O.K. We seated ourselves in the chairs so long unoccu-pied and I was regailed with the history of the summer cruise to the Springs. Mrs. M. was contumatious as ever and after the first day refused to go out in company where Miss G. made one of the party; in fact the poor lady made herself as miserable as possible over the situation which certainly is an unfortunate one for her. ...... wanted to know what I tho't of the situation. Of course I refused to tell her what I did think of it, as any remarks of mine of that question would seem particularly ungraceful. (sentence completely crossed out) My heart is too sore to answer the ques-tion myself.
Monday evening 31" I played Mount a farewell tilt at Billiards we came out even he was married yesterday at 1. OC.
Mr. Macy returned to the city from N.H. where he had been visi-ting for a week. When I found that he was in town I made a rush for M's to find him, paused at the door with my hand on the bell, studdied long enough to change my mind about the propriety of dis-turbing his first evening, & came back home.
Margie came down to my room Sunday evening to get a book (!/ excuse). While she was in here my lungs took to bleeding and I had quite a hemorrhage from that unnatural quarter. Since then I have continued to bleed more or less every day. This morning went to see one or two Dr's. none were in town upon whom I called so I had to give it up. Mr. Gibb was telling Macy of it to-day and that worthy gent was quite frightened.
Dimanche 13. Macy is coqueting arround considerably about buying his goods. he finds us very high I am sorry to say.
Friday evening called on M. to take her arround to see Old Mrs. M. who has nowe almost entirely recovered from her misfortune. Margie casually mentioned that O. M. F. had with his wife gone to see Lotta in Little Nell and the Marchioness. I proposed that we should go also. the proposition was enthusiastically accepted. She hastily got ready. We went . I purchased orchestra chairs at the door and by some strange fatallaty when we reached our seats we found ourselves directly in front of O. M. F. and his wife. I spoke to them but only seeing the male party my bow was more in that direction. when I saw the lady I turned to address myself to her and found my eye avoided. Soon heard the lady say it was "add-ing insult to injury. if you want to bring her here it is an insult to me not to leave me at home". The gent protested that he knew nothing of our coming and leaning forward made me say in answer to his questions that I had purchased my tickets at the door and that he knew nothing of my coming over there. some further disagreeable talk insued behind us and held an intermittant sway until the thea-tre closed. Margie was very much excited when we left. she said that the coinsidence of our getting seats where we did was more strange than it looked to me. O. M. F. had purchased seats for four in the morning, and the two other ladies which he had intended to bring had been unable to come, so it must look as if the extra tickets had been given to us on purpose to anoy a certain indivi-dual.
We went over to Ponchon's and afterwards took a walk, as her highness was too excited to sleep. finally got a coupe at Union Square and drove up into and thro the Park. drove out the Bloom-ingdale. every where any where, under gas light, under the pure light of the stars, finally the moon also lent her feeble light to us. still we drove and talked. The Future we never looked into; that may not be common property; the Past we have together and to-gether we canvassed it; our first meeting, all changes since up to the present. Somehow a change is coming over my feeling; every-thing begins to appear to me in a new and strange light; the eyes of manhood exchanged for those of youth, perhaps.
Mardi 15. Did not mention that one night last week Siddy and I went in to see the Judge and Jury at the House of Commons on Hou-ston St. Those mock trials are very funny if very vulgar The tri-al was a suit bro't on the part of Miss Rosa Cherrybottom Shapewell to recover damages of Mr. Windy Fips for indecent exposure of his person to the plaintif. The judge in wig and gown was a perfect model of gravity even when the court and bench was in a roar of laughter.
Sunday evening called on Margie to go over and see grandma Macy; did not go as O. M. F. and wife were there and Margie's presence would have been very disagreeable to the lady. Had a pleasant walk, however.
Monday evening beat Mr. M. five games of billiards and to-night have been arround helped him average some shirts, after which came home and wrote to sister.
LETTER New York Sept 15" 68.
My Dear Sister
Busy is the word now and busy I have been for several weeks; merchants have been flocking in from the West, South-West and South, buying goods and filling our hands with employment if not our pockets with money. consequently I have not found myself in the disposition to write even when I had leasure time. when one wants to rest thoroughly they must resign themselves completely to the delicious sensation of weary inaction. not three letters in as many weeks have I written. now therefore my hands are full of let-ters waiting to be answered and for once in my life I face the task with dread.
Nothing in letter writing can be more dangerous than procras-tination, put off until next week a letter that should be written this, and very likely it will not be written until three weeks af-ter the date to which it was first deferred, if written at all.
Sunday before last I and my room mate - Mr Siddy - ran up to New Burgh on the Steamer Magenta, took dinner at the U.S. Hotel then had a beautiful drive out to Uncle Tommys, had a smoke with John a talk with uncle and tea with the family. drove back in the beautiful evening to N.B. and at 9.30 took the Baldwin for the city again. had a most excellent time because it was all so impromptu. we did expect to go at all until we awoke in the morning. did not expect to drive until we made up our minds while smoking after din-ner and did not dream of Uncle Tommys until we were nearly up to New Mills on the road, so you see we were continually treating our-selves to surprises.
I am smoking a pipe with a cherry stem so long that it bothers me terribly to get it in any shape to enable me form letters with my pen. There I have it on the table with the bowl about three feet in front of me and altho' the stem runs directly over the pa-per I can manage it by bringing some of my old regimental tactics into play.
My new Room mate is an English man of good family, rather good looking but a pure blond instead of dark like my old friend Tom. Siddy is a fine fellow and is in our store which is a fine recom-mendation for any young man. ahem! I have known him for three years. part of that time he spent in Europe travelling and visi-ting.
Is my nephew almost ready to take charge of a wholesale store yet?
Much love to Joe and Mother and the whole of your family.
Good night. Your loving Brother
A. T. LaForge
Samedi 20 Friday evening 18" called at the 14" St Store. Miss M. was in but Mr. M. was also soon expected; the two were expecting to take a walk. When the Gent came in he said that he had visitors at the house and could not keep his engagement, so I took possession of the young lady and we went up to call on her bachelor uncle, Cap't Pinkham; when we returned I was allowed quite a visit with the lady but at the foot of the stairs where our acquaintance began a year ago. Saturday evening we went down to the Broadway to see Mrs. Lander as Mary Stuart. The play was intensely exciting that it was. easy to see the painful effect it was having on Margie's finely strung nerves. so at the end of the second act I proposed that we should vacate our chairs and walk up Broadway in the cool air. We did so. Stoped on 14" St for refreshments. Then she ac-companied me to my room while I left my opera glass and got a ci-gar. While we were in there Siddy came in and I was exceedingly pleased at the nonchalant manner in which she met him under such embarassing circumstances. She is a rare girl, I believe.
To-day did not get up until 9 O.C. about noon had a visit from Woodcock and Roby. the latter is a scion of a wealthy English family. he not now in favor however. he runs thro money too fast
I am getting ready for another trip out west.
A rainly gloomy afternoon.
9 OC P.M. have just returned from a trip to 14" St. Found O. M. F. at 66. he opened the door for me and said that he was just going away; that I would not allow on my account. When I got into the room I found Margie lying on the sofa and quite ill, poor thing the excitement of the play of last evening was too much for her. I am glad we left as soon as we did. I tho't she wanted to see Mr. O. M. F. so I left before 9 O.C. I cannot bare to see her suffer and not have the right to be her protector and sympathizer and nurse. I hope that she will be better to-morrow.
Siddy has gone out to call on Appletons girl.
Vendredi 25". Easton Pa. Sunday evening I found Margie sick when I called on her in the evening. O. M. F. was there and I left him with her when I came away. Monday evening I was also with her. She had not been out of her room during the day. There I find that I am repeating as far as Sunday is concerned what I had written before.
Mount was in the store Monday. He has come back from his wedding tour and is looking splendid. gained eleven pounds while he was away.
Tuesday evening went in to Macy's and bo't a travelling Kit; la-ter in the evening called on Margie to bid her good bye. During our conference she told me, when speaking of our correspondence, that the change in the tone of her letters was not owing to any change in her feelings but to something else of which she could not speak, as the honor of somebody else was in the question. She could not explain herself farther than to say that the change was not occasioned by any consideration of its propriety on her part. I knew her well enough to be aware that she was the last person who would allow herself to be influenced by such a consideration. when I am left in the dark.
Left home Wednesday afternoon. Had a pleasant run down to Tren-ton but found trade very dull there. The State fair was being held there and everybody was at that instead of business.
Came up here last evening. The county fair terminates to-day; rainy and disagreeable. This evening an oil tank exploeded in the lower part of town, shaking everything tremendously. A bright fire it made for a long time.
Miss Woodring, the lady with whom I rode to Easton Bethlehem last spring is not married yet; doubtful if she will be. Her lover got her out of school and had her over to New York for five days and it is doubtful now if he cares for her as much as he did. "One more unfortunate." Her parents have sent for her to come home to Wis-consin.
Dimanche 27. Allentown. Seem to be very unfortunate so far in this trip. the merchants have all just returned from the city and their stocks are all full. Shall do better when I get farther west.
Attended Major Seips funeral to-day. he was a Mason, Odd Fellow, member of the Union League and Grand Army. he was burried with mi-litary honors and the peculiar rites of the fraternities to which he belonged. altho rainy the funeral was large and the ceremony impressive.
Wood, my opponent from Charles Scotts left here last night for Reading I shall run acrost him there I expect. Wrote to Uncle John to-night. have not heard from him in so long that I think his nomadic disposition must have led him to move again.
Shall not write to Margie as has been my custom every Sunday when travelling. from our conversation before I left the city I judge that she will not be surprised if I do not. she knows I love her and I believe she loves me, but could I have the heart to ask her to wait until July 21" 1873 never, if we were engaged for so long a time we should become as strangers before that time, neither re-specting or loving each other. that is if we are like the rest of the world. It don't seem possible to me now but I have travelled too much not to know how such things work.
Mr. M. does not jowjqf me arround qp ejt epvtf as of xpsf. he is bgsbja of a sfwfhbqjpo which his xjgf would mpvs into nx fbst. that is all right but then he ought to know that I voafstqboa the sfhbsjpx w... ftjtqt between the qesff. everything is understood for M- told me, so I would hear nothing new.
(A translation has been obtained by usually substituting the previous letter of the alphabet in coded words . Some unusual substitutions, however, are d for a, h for e, and t for q. Other times a following letter is used. The translation produced is "Mr. M. does not invite me arround to his house as of yore. he is afraid of a revelation which his wife would pour into my ears. that is all right but then he ought to know that I understand the relation which exists between the three.")
The Democrats are feeling rather sore over Vermont and Maine but are trying their best to gain a victory in this state. their efforts will be fruitless I trust.
Have been reading over some of last year's mem's. I conceive that this labor of mine will be of great comfort to me in after year; a great pastime anyway.
Dimanche Oct 4. Everything in business is very discouraging nearly everybody has just been to the market or are just gone, consequent-ly they are full of goods or not present to buy; I shall certainly have a fit of the blues if things do not improve.
Monday night 28" ult. came to Reading and the next afternoon pro-ceeded to Lebanon and am sorry to record no marked success in either place. no adventure either to change the uneventful course of things
Wednesday 30" found on my arrival at Harrisburg the people were so much occupied with the State Fair that there was no prospect of my being able to do any thing. having a couple of hours leisure went up to the Fair Ground; The Pa R.R. had a train running up every half hour and issued 10¢ tickets for the round trip. did not find myself very well paid for my trip. The Fair was poor enough. Went down to Lancaster that evening found that city considerably excited by an attack which had been made on the Republican members of a Guave (?) company which had attended the political meeting of the day preceeding. The cowardly assault was made by an organized band while all but the Gouaves were in another part of the city listening to the speaches. nobody was killed altho several were badly wounded.
Thence to Clolumbia and York and Last night to this city of Har-risburg again Friday evening in York I spent in a pleasant call which a party of us made on Miss Vandercloot, the lady has taken quite a fancy to me.
Became acquainted with Chas H Segelbaum last evening. he is a brother of Sander whose trade I lost by our house sending to him for a statement. Chas by thirteen years attention to trade has amassed a fortune of one hundred thousand and last April retired from business on his thirtieth birthday.
Wrote to Sister, Siddy, Margie, the Firm.
LETTER "Lochiel" Hotel
Oct 4" 1868
I received your welcome letter just before starting away from New York on the 23" of September. Since then I have been so busy trying to do something and not succeeding, that no chance, until now, has presented itself to write you.
Everything has went against me since starting out, in every town which I have visited a Fair was sure to be in progress, or a rain storm kept a wet blanket thrown over the spirits of my customers, until now I am threatened by an attack of the Blues, to prevent which dire calamity I resort to writing to you, as I generally find that occupation a preventative of no mean order.
I want to have a chance to call upon you sometime the last of this month or the first of Nov. My doing so however will depend somewhat upon business, for nothing must keep me from getting back to the city to deposit a vote for Grant and Colfax.
The excitement over the election is perfectly intense in the state, never saw anything like it, everybody makes that the one idea of their daily existence. How the state will go on the 13" is a mat-ter of conjecture yet, but I hope the 13" inst will tell the story for the right side.
New York does not vote until the General Election on Nov 3". So we expect the votes before that will somewhat influence our state.
Everything is all right in so far as I am concerned in health, hope that you may be able to make the same report. Write me at the "Mo-nongahela House" PIttsburg Pa- shall be there in two weeks, have your letter mailed by the 12" if possible.
Love to mother, Joe, the girls, Oscar, Perrys people, my fu-ture wife, all the neighbors and as much farther as it will go. and believe me still Your loving Brother
A. T. LaForge
Did you get the Bazarre?
Mercredi 7. Mon'y went to Chambersbg, got there just in time for the county fair. confound the Fairs, say I. They have interfered with me in almost every town I have visited. altho they improve retail trade very little still the stores are visited by so many people that the merchant have no time to buy goods or talk trade with agents. Spent all day Tuesday. did but little business however, became acquinted with a Mr Beardslee of Lancaster agent for the Singer Machine. sold him a pretty good bill. In the even-ing he came into my room and I found him a most interesting com-panion he has a splendid education and was especially well posted on the logical subjects. We got upon that theme and gave me many new ideas regarding that interesting theme. I was much interested in his idea of the scheme of Salvation; it was somewhat new to me, and not in the least miltonic.
Mercredi 14" Arrived at Lewistown Thursday night and spent Friday there; The merchants could not be induced to buy and I positively would have been idle but for the Miss Blymyers. they kindly took me in hand and agreed to occupy all my liesure time so as a con-sequence I have to record an hour to croquet by day-light and two hours to the same by gas light. The second game of parlour croquet which I played with them I "salted" them both by playing two balls against their one. there being only three of us, one of our number had to play two balls to make partners. Went to Huntindon Saturday morning spent the day there and in the evening in company with one of my customers called upon the Misses Steel. I met the two sis-ters and a Miss Myers who is from Lockhaven on a visit. two or three times on the street they manifested a disposition for a strong flirtation and in the evening they came into Lewis Store while I was there and I heard them talking to Mr Lewis. he after-ward told me that they were insisting on his bringing me arround to see them. Miss M. is a very fine singer and a splendid flirt. To make Sunday in a dull country town interesting I got a horse which proved to be a fine rider, and mounting him rode off to the top of the mountain. The road skirted the side of the mountain by an easy ascent and the view all along was splendid. The autumnal forrest with its thousand blended colors was perfectly magnificent. I felt in a romantic mood which my bad success so far this trip could not entirely spoil. We galloped, my horse and I, merrily along, now plunging into some almost impervious evergreen wood and anon imerg-ing upon some unexpected Elysian view. after a circuit of some ten miles we found ourselves again in town and ready for dinner, in the evening I again rode out for a sunset view which would have made Bayard Taylors heart palpitate with. I forgot to mention that after dinner Lewis and I went acrost the Juniatta for a walk, and following the road at the foot of the hill for half a mile came upon what is called Table Rock. The rock overhangs the road and is about sixty or seventy feet high, to ascend to its top is quite an undertaking. fiew have accomplished it, we did and carved our names on its top.
Monday morning I went up to Bellefont, a thriving town on the Lockhaven road and off my route. Mr Beebe of Lewis Titus & Cooke pursuaded me to accompany him up there, and I guess it paid me for the first store I went into, Zimmerman Bros & Co I found the buyer to be an old army friend of mine. knew him at Camp Distribution and under the influence of our brotherhood we were at once old friends Pontius was his name, he was clerk at the Hd. Qrs. of the Pa Div.
Tuesday the 13" (Pa's election day) went to Johnstown the poli-tical excitement was too great to allow me to transact any busi-ness. called upon Masterson of Wood Morrell and Co and shall fi-nally get his trade I think. In the evening after the election there was an arrest made at this hotel; the landlord and a police-man were marching their prisoner off, when an organized band of De-mocrats attacked them and rescued the prisoner, Mr Hueston (the landlord was struck with a "billy" just behind the ear and we tho't him killed. his wound proved no more than a bad cut, however. With the exception of this affair things passed off quite smoothly. To-day the election returns indicate a Republican victory in all the states which voted yesterday, Pa. O. Ind and Nebraska. A tough stroke for the Democracy
Dimanche 1me Nov. Arrived home yesterday at 11 P.M. To-day being a rainy gloomy Sabbath I spend it at home, and among my first du-ties I find the filling up this gap of half a month necessary. At Pittsburg on the 15" I found that I had struck Trade at last. on that day and the 16" I sold $2500ΕΕ worth of goods and since that time have had a fair trade. Remained at P- a week. stoped at the Monongahela House where Eckstein is now boarding and as usual had a good time in his society. We went to see Owens as Solon Shingle and as John Unit in "Self". He was good in both. Stock company was bad with the exception of Miss Dargon who as Mrs Apex in the last piece was excellent From Pittsburg went to New Castle and Meadville thence down to Franklin, Oil City and Titusville. was in the latter place last Sunday. Brosnan was there. he is an ac-quaintance made at Ogdensburg, now an Insurance Agent at Pittsburg and one of the wittiest story tellers I ever knew. Saturday even-ing, Sunday & Monday he kept my mouth streatched until it ached. At Jamestown last Tuesday I did a fair trade. Thursday I spent at home finding sister and her people all well. The Boy, my nephew, is doing finely. Friday went up to WilksBarre and came home as before stated, from there. The City looks cheery enough after my long sojourn away from it. The people here are all looking natu-rally and well. Looked at M-'s windows last night at 11 OC they were brightly illuminated. Of course I did not go in. Rec'd a letter from her much to my surprise at Meadville when I was there. it had been sent thro' M & G & of course was addressed in a strange hand, so I put it into my pocket until all of my business letters had been read and attended to. If I had known who it was from I guess it would have been opened sooner. The tone was friendly merely. Answered from Titusville on Sunday.
Shall not see her to-day.
Mardi 10" Allen House. Monday 2" Mr Macy was in the store and I had a pleasant chat with him. That evening I was up at his place and saw Margie for the first time since my arrival in town. she was not looking well. in answer to my request for her company on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, she would give me the first but did not know about the second. Tuesday evening 3" had a beat at Billiards with Mr Macy. I did not vote as I was absent during the time that the registering books were open. I am sorry to say that the state went for the Democratic party. Grant was elected how-ever, so the country is safe and we shall "have peace".
Wednesday 4" Took Margie to the Theatre, Wallacks. The Lanca-shire Lass. Wallack (not Lester) was "A party by the name of John-son" Fisher as Redburn. Rose Eyting as "Mary" were all pretty good, not famous however. We were well pleased with the play and came away well satisfied with everything. Went up to the Marble House for refreshments and had a good long talk. mutually avoiding any approach to the forbidden territory. Thursday eve we called on Mr & Mrs Mount, the first call and the first time I had seen the lady since their marriage; they are boarding with Mrs M's Father and seem very happy with each other. we had a regular jollifica-tion with them comming out at midnight for refreshments. it must have been killing for any outsider to have seen us go skipping down 6" Avenue four abreast, children we were in reallity and very fool-ish ones too I am afraid.
Thursday night is one to be remembered.
Friday (6") morning came down to NBrunswick and Trenton, did a small trade returning to the city in the evening to spend Sunday. Siddy and I went up to Woods Museum to see Exion played by the Eng-lish company. the play was nothing but the legs were everything. Pauline Markham as Venus was especially admired for her superb form. Lydia Thompson was good that way too; Nevertheless I came away disgusted as we had to stand during the whole performance.
Sunday I dined with Wehle. his brother from Vienna was also at his table. he is a loud talking voluable man just like his son Willer. when I came home in the after noon Mrs Burton told me that Effie had been in to see me while I was gone, so I felt pretty sure that Margie wanted to see me. When we parted on Thursday evening she was not sure but that she would be engaged Sunday so I was not going to venture to call upon her without an invitation. glad was I to thus receive one from her. I went, we walked, we talked and from 6 to 7 OC dined at Pouchons, then she went with me down to my room and we sat and talked there until Siddy came home shortly after which I took my lady home and leaving her at 10.30 returned to my room.
Monday morning 9" was up bright and early and took the cars for Easton did some business there and in the evening had a very plea-sant time with Hen Brodt and his sister and a Miss Groetzeuger who is the richest lady of Easton. This evening came up here and the prospects are that I shall not do much.
Jeudi 12 After a dull day in Allentown I came up here where I must stay until evening to receive a letter from home. weather is quite cold and and trade very dull but I am doing enought to keep me in pretty good spirits. sometimes I get a little blue when I think that I could be so happy if I would only follow a certtain path, but the fates seem to barr that path. Reading looks cheerful but is always dull.
LETTER Reading Pa Nov. 12" 1868
Having a fiew moments on hand, even altho' it is a leasure not to be "devoutly" desired, I conclude to put it to the best possible use and write to you.
Before I left home I sent you a box containing - as you de-sired, a shawl for yourself; it seems to me that you placed a ra-ther low estimate upon our New York prices. I sent you a shawl that retails in the City at $6ΕΕ. It cost me $4.25. Hope it suits you. if it dont you must consider it owing to my inexperience in selecting such goods.
I started from home last Friday morning, first stoped at New Brunswick then went down to Trenton, where, finding myself only 90 miles from home on Saturday night, I concluded to trot back to the city and spend Sunday; I did so and upon the whole consider it a masterly stroke of policy for I was thus enabled to go to the Thea-tre Saturday night and see a play that I had wanted to see, also had the pleasure of a fiew more hours of her society; got a new pair of boots which I had ordered, and took a good fresh start on Monday morning.
Am now just getting fairly into the work again. feel first rate, have no fault to find with anything but this confoundedly thick ink which makes awful work of my writing.
Expect to be in Harrisburgh the day after to-morrow - first Sunday out. a week after shall vegetate at Chambersburg and seven days thereafter shall be at Pittsburgh, at the Monongahela House when I should like to receive a letter from you. send one on please.
Will let you know about what time I will be home, probably I shall be able to stay longer than before possibly to two meals-
Love to all
A. T. LaForge
Dimanche 15". Lochiel House. Harrisburg. Friday I took six orders in Lebanon and came on here in the evening. had just settled my-self to writing up my orders, when a boy came down to the Hotel with an invitation to come up to Bowmans (a customer of mine) he was having a party to commemorate his birth day and to honor the event of his taking a partner into the business. the partner is his uncle who is represented in the firm by his son. When I got to the house the party was at supper. I was presented to the company and took my place at the table. everything was in first class style, a regular Delmonico affair. Gov. Geary was there. I was much interested in him when after supper and champaigne he com-menced relating his political career, his adventures in the army and in Kansas during the border ruffian troubles there. The Gov-ernor told me of his being poisoned by his physician and his escape from the city of Lecompton. Five men were appointed to assassinate him and all but one of them met a violent death in after years. The party broke up at 2 OC. only one man being very drunk at that time.
Last evening went arround to the Fair of the Hope Fire Engine Co. being held at the Hall. accompanied the Post Mistress of the Fair home. have forgotton her name was not enough interested to remember it.
Have a bad cold to-day and of course am not feeling very well have written to Margie. = answer at Chambersburgh = wrote also to Siddy, Foster, Masterson and I think that I must write to Prof Beaugureau to-night. the way the latter gentleman has been neglec-ted is a shame.
Mercredi 17". Michaels. Lancaster. Monday's work amounted to get-ting Bowman and Einstein on one or two small bills. Had some sport doing nothing in the afternoon. Packed up, wrote my orders and went to bed at 12 O.C. got up at 4.30 this morning and took the train for this city. arrived before the hotel was open; went to work early; have sold about $350ΕΕ. Shall go on to Columbia and York to-morrow. Sold Beardslee again to-day, the Singer Sewing Ma-chine Agt. whom I met at Chambersburgh during the Fair at that place. A very disagreeable rain has set in this P.M. which bids fair to make the ballance of the week very nasty.
Dimanche 22. Spending Sunday at Chambersburg again and have passed a rather dull day. Attended service at the Presbyterian church to-day A.M; this Afternoon went up to call on Mr. and Mrs. Grinilson they are now keeping house and seem to be very comfortable and hap-py, this evening attended the Reform church.
The 18" I was at York and in the evening accompanied Vandersloot arround to call on Miss Donnelly and his sister; was not bored as badly as I expected to be. 19" arrived at Carlisle in the evening, the next morning when I got up it was sleeting. that finally turned into snow and it snowed prosistently all day; delaying mails and trains and cutting off all telegraph communication. Fully a foot of damp snow fell on the plain and twice as much in the mountain. Trade was very dull in C-. and I got through so as to catch the train to this place; fortunately for me the train was two hours be-hind time.
Found the town in a very nasty, slippery condition. Did some business here yesterday and will do some more to-morrow. Has snowed a little at times to-day.
Dimanche 29. Monday took the long ride from Chambersburg to Lewis-town, stopping at Harrisburgh enroute, to run up to the Lochiel for some segars which Siddy had sent to me by Ex. and some letters. Miss Blymyer received me very cordially indeed and on Tuesday beat me a game of croquet in the parlor. Wednesday went to Huntingsdon and was treated so well that I resolved to stay to Thanksgiving Dinner next day. Met the Misses Steel at a temperance lecture Wed-nesday evening and Thursday eve took them to the same again. had a decidedly lively time. I see I have made a mistake, it was Tuesday evening that I met them first and Wednesday that we went again to the Lecture.
I was much amused at a little girl at the Morrison House telling me that everybody would be falling in love with me if I staid there any length of time. After Dinner on the 26" I came up to Johnstown to their miserable accomodations which made the considerate treat-ment at the Morrison House all the brighter in recolletion. Opened the account with Wood Morrell & Co this time, a thing which I had long been trying to do. Arrived here on Friday night at 11 P.M. things look as tho' I should do a pretty good trade here. Saturday at noon I received a letter from Margie. it was three sheets full. I read the first sheet then resolutely put the letter in my pocket. I had enough food for reflection for awhile; in the evening I fin-ished the letter and put it asside with feelings not to be envied at all. An acknowledgement of love in the past tense flickering down to the bright consistent flame of Friendship. Oh, consistency thou art a jewell! So I read the future best, when we met to love each other I foretold to her the final event, but the end is not yet and I will not undertake to foretell what the end will be.
Mercredi 4" Dec. Youngstown O. Arrived at Pittsburgh last Friday night at 11 O.C. did not go out at all in the evening. Next mor-ning met my old friend Eckstein at the breakfast table. Capt. Crawford was also there. It was our first meeting since I was pro-moted and left Camp Distribution. Old times, of course, was our principal topic of conversation and it is an ever fruitful theme with men who have been conmpanions and in arms. Crawford is now superintending the erection of Gas works
Sunday was rather a dull day at Pittsburg. Rec'd several callers but they were all rather dull. In the evening I attempted to write to Margie but after several unsatisfactory beginnings I gave it up as a task to which I was then unequal. Monday I was pretty busy; in the evening when I was over to Allegany Mr. Erwin told me that Douglass would be on hand next day; the notification having alrea-dy been received from our house.
Tuesday evening Eckstein and I went to see Adams in his great character of "The Thunderer" in Wild Oats. The play is capable of being made very funny but was not made so by the company at Pitts-burg.
Wednesday Douglass arrived and in the evening I took the Pan Han-dle R.R. for Steubenville arriving at an unreasonable at the uncom-fortable Hotel. Did but a small business there but spent a very pleasant afternoon with Mrs. Judge Johnson of Brafton, Va. and another lady also a Southerner. Both were at Steubenville to at-tend a wedding in high life which was to come off Thursday evening.
At 3 O.C. P.M. took the cars for this place and after two changes and a very disagreeable ride arrived here at the Grant House. It is the worst Hotel that I ever stopped at and deserves the hearty execration of every traveller.
To-day is decidedly depressing, a cold sleet has blown from the East all day. I have done all the business I can and now have to await the train at 5 O.C. (only one train a day here) to go on to Warren Ohio. Am improving the time here in my room by writing and reading. After I get through these memorandums I shall write to Miss Blymyer according to promise.
Dimanche 6". Warren was dull enough in the storm to please any dispeptic for biz. After visiting all of the firms and finding that they gave me about the same answer I went back to the Austin House and spent the balance of the day in reading and writing; wrote part of a letter to Margie then had to postpone it and finish the missive here to day. shall expect a reply t the Wyoming Valley House about the 16". Took the Accomodation train at Warren for this place at 6.30 expecting a dismal ride of five hours thro' the dark and sleet. but to my surprise and pleasure I found at W Station a party of five young gents (among the rest was Colt, prop. of this "Colt House") and two bottles of whiskey. I had plenty of segars so we had ourselves out for a fine time. Some fast girls were also on the train and some of the party "went for them strong". I did not speak to any of them, however. Arrived here about midnight and after going to a saloon and getting some oysters we all retired in good order. There is a black eyed girl down stairs who is very pretty. I am reminded of it by hearing her merry laugh every now and then. Called on Mayer & Fox at the store to-day. Think that I shall go to church to night.
Home, Andover Dec 11". From Meadville I went down into the Oil Regions. Had to get up at 5 O.C. to start for Franklin last Tues-day morning. Daken and I went down through the snow on a run, being late. At Franklin the bridge was gone (the old one) and no way to cross the river except by walking the sleepers of the new Bridge or going a half mile below to cross; Most of the passengers took the latter course. I did the former and once came near fall-ing. Horton was being sold out at auction and another Auction was open there, so between the two business was pretty dill for legi-timate trade. staid all night at Franklin and Wednesday morning went arround to Titusville. The great oil excitement at Pleasant-ville still continues, the hotels were crowded so that accomoda-tions were scarce enough.
Hazzard (one of my customers) and I went to see Sherrys Troupe play Ten Nights in a Bar-Room; did well enough for a country troupe. Thursday all 11 AM took cars for Erie Pa. Long ride and not the most agreeable in the world. It was awful cold up at Erie. Grantland would have blushed to have seen how that Blast from Lake Erie froze one's blood. Just allow your imagination to transform your team to Esquimaux dogs, your sleigh, to a sledge, Your driver to a be-furred Innuit and one puff from old Boreas would do the rest. Iceland would be out in the cold altogether. Did a good trade in Erie and at 6 OC Thurs Friday evening took cars for James-town where I arrived at 3 A.M. yesterday morning. Finding the place rather inhospitable I took the 1.40 train for Genessee. Took supper there and an hour after came on the Mail to Andover. Owing to the deep snow could not get up here until to-day. Billings bro't me up with his horse. What fun we had getting through the drifts; upset once in the cold. By George it was cold, too. Found every body well; wrote to father, and spent the time until Monday evening very pleasantly with my dear friends. They make a great fuss over me up there; in fact treat me very much like a par-ticular favorite. xx Monday when Perry bro't me to the cars sister came along also and attempted to pay me for a shawl which I had sent her. However, I left that for a Christmas present altho that day was still distant. Had a very strange accident on approaching Great Bend; the switch had been purposly misplaced to throw the train off the track. but providentially only the engine was thrown off and in dragging the Tender after it the wheels of the latter struck the switch Rod and threw the Switch Rail back into its place. the rest of the train tore away from the Tender and keeping on the track, ran on down to the depot; the event was not known to but fiew of the passengers until for some moments, so smoothely did the accident happen. Indeed I left the train and went up to the hotel before I learned what a narrow escape we had had.
Next morning I proceeded to Scranton thro' the snow. thence to WilksBarre,staid all night and next day the 17" came home. It was rather late when I arrived so I did not stop at the store. went down there next day however and filled the orders which I had bro't home with me. Palmer was still out as also was our other travel-lers, Merrill arrived from Europe on the 19" says that he had a rather rough voyage returning. This mem' from the xx on the page was written since my arrival home.
Dimanche. Dec 27". Was up at the store = Macy's = once or twice last week. being in there Thursday evening was invited down stairs to have a cup of tea with Mr. Macy and Miss Getchell. they have a lunch in the store during the time that they keep open evenings. Mr M. teated me very kindly, and we made arrangements to call to-gether on Miss G. the next evening, and about 2. P.M. he was to call on me at my rooms and we were to go out and have a fiew games of billiards at Wizemans. Christmas morning Siddy and I went up skating. weather very cold, wind almost a gale; skating conse-quently not very pleasant. Appleton who was married while I was away - we met on the pond, also Lewis - Brother to the man with whom I called on the Misses Steele while at Huntingdon, was also there; also Daken, for a long time my travelling companion on this trip. He told me that his House had disputed his travelling expen-ses altho' they only amounted to $5.35 per diem. Mine amount to $8.ΕΕ per day. I left them all about twelve oclock and came down home. Appleton who had been accidentally struck in the eye with a stick came down as far as 30" St with me. In the afternoon Macy and I fulfilled our programme. the call on Miss G. was a short one, on coming away she gave my hand a parting squeeze as much as to say we are still friends I hope. Poor child, she is in mourning now; Sue, unable to endure the loss of her household gods which went down with a steamer off Sandy Hook, gave way at that climax of her troubles and died of a broken heart two weeks ago. Margie went down to Hartford to superintend, and I strongly suspect, bear the expense of her sisters funeral; and came back little less than the ghost of herself; all treat her very kindly but the subject of Sue's death is one forbidden in conversation with her. Was up to the Park with Wehle and Siddy to-day. being lame I could not skate. and the snow soon spoiled their fun.
LETTER New York City Dec 27" 1868
Home almost one week and have not written to you yet. what excuse can I offer, will it do for me to say that I have been busy taking stock, have consistently found my time taken up during the day at the store and my evenings employed in making or receiving calls from long neglected friends? Both are true and I guess on the whole that I cannot better myself by addopting any other state-ment will you please accept it such as it is?
My journey from Andover to this city was without accident, had a close shave at Great Bend however. It seems that some wretch has several times misplaced the switch near the Depot at that place, to throw the train off the track, up to that time it had been disco-vered in time to prevent accident. Monday night it was not, so when we arrived there the locomotive jumped off the track carrying the Tender with it. the baggage car followed suit. the latter however struck the switch bar with its front wheels and bounded back onto the track and in so doing brought the switch Rail into its propper place. then the coupleing between the car and Tender being providentially rotten broke in two, and the train being on the track continued on down to the Depot. while the Engine went off down the embankment on its own hook. Nobody was hurt, and so quick was the whole thing done, and so slight the effect on the train that none of the passengers knew for some time that we had marvelously escaped a fearful accident.
I had to stop off at Great Bend to change cars for Scranton, so it made no sort of difference to me, the rest of the passengers had to wait until an engine could be sent up from Middletown.
Found no snow on the ground here on my arrival. there is about to-night however which has fallen to-day.
Spent my Christmas very quietly with Mr Macy; tho't of you when I was eating my turkey, and wondered if you were eating the mate of that good one you cooked when I was up there.
I trust that you all enjoyed a Merry Christmas and most heartily wish you, one and all, the happyest of
Happy New Years
A. T. LaForge
(Only letters and a few other documents exist after 1868.)