DECEMBER 01 – SATURDAY – No work in the shop. I spent most of the AM in drawing up anew the Librarian’s Account Book. I bought of Charles Bennett some composition for sealing up cider bottles. We took tea with Mother Griswold. We both went into the street in the evening, Gussie to Mary Hoyts’ to see about a new hat and I to market and to Moses’ for my overcoat which he has been repairing. DECEMBER 02 – SUNDAY – Pleasant. Somewhat cool and windy. We rose so late this morning that we had to neglect prayers in order to get to church on time. Brother Pegg preached an excellent sermon to the Sabbath School in the morning. His text was “And Jesus called a little child unto Him.” Brother Lovejoy from New York was with us at the Sabbath School. He opened the school with a hymn and a prayer. It was good to see him again in our school. He has grown old in looks very fast since he resided here with us. Brother Pegg preached a good sermon in the PM. His text was “For I am not afraid of the Gospel of Christ”, Romans 1, first clause of the 16th verse. The church was crowded and all seemed much interested. He entered into his theme with ardor and all his soul. He seemed to be inspired from on high. We called over to Mother Griswold’s before meeting in the evening time and walked down to meeting with her. Brother Pegg styled the meeting a Thanksgiving Prayer Meeting. A few prayers were made and then it was devoted to speaking. A good number spoke, but there was not as much freedom as there should have been. Notwithstanding, we had a good meeting. DECEMBER 03 – MONDAY – The third anniversary of my wedding. I went to the shop in the morning, but found nothing to do and came home and spent the remainder of the day painting my fence. Mother Griswold and Fanny took tea with us. I went to the Post Office in the evening and came directly back. The day has been pleasant and cool. DECEMBER 04 – TUESDAY – No work in the shop. It commenced snowing about 9 o’clock and continued all day. It is our first snow storm. I put hinges on Mother Griswold’s ottoman boxes in the forenoon. We had dinner over to her house. David Knowles called after dinner to see Mr. Smith. He was not home, so David stayed awhile with me. I went with George over to George Starr’s shop and made a cabinet for curiosities for him. Gussie and I filled it with a lot of trash in the evening and went over home with it to her folks. DECEMBER 05 – WEDNESDAY – I swept paths this morning for the first time this winter. The snow was about a foot deep on the level. The day has been pleasant and sleigh bells have jingled briskly for the first time. I swept paths for Mother Griswold also in the morning. The President’s Message came out in the paper today. We had tea over to Mother Griswold’s. I went to class in the evening. DECEMBER 06 – THURSDAY – Having nothing to do in the shop, we rose rather late. Our new stove, The Northern Light, came today. Mother came down in the PM. Mother Griswold and Fanny came over and stayed to tea. I attended prayer meeting in the evening. DECEMBER 07 – FRIDAY – I went into the street in the AM and got my pot of butter at Graham Hull’s – 24 ¾ lbs. for $6.19, I got one yard of oil cloth for the parlor stove and bound it myself. In the PM, I called on Robert Sayers, the Treasurer of the Danbury Cornet Band and got $9.00 from the Wooster Light Guards for the rent of the hall. I called at the shop and came home. I attended drill in the evening. There was not a quorum there to do any business. I paid the $9.00 to A. Knox, the Treasurer. DECEMBER 08 – SATURDAY – I went to the shop in the morning, but there was no work. It snowed a little in the AM. I spent the day around home. I bottled cider in the PM. I went to a special Hatters’ Meeting in the evening to take into consideration the adoption of uniform bills of price as prescribed by the National Association. DECEMBER 09 – SATURDAY – Mild and pleasant for December. Brother Pegg preached in the AM from 1st Peter, 1, first clause of the 19th verse. Sunday School Prayer Meeting at noon, a large attendance, every seat was filled. Brothers MacDonald and Lovejoy talked to the school. Sacrament in the PM. There was a full attendance. Six were taken in on probation besides four who were baptized and two who were taken into full connection. We attended church in the evening. Brother Pegg preached from 1st Corinthians, 3, last of the 27th verse. Subject, “How to be rich”. A good sermon. DECEMBER 10 – MONDAY – No work in the shop. I took a sleigh ride around town in the morning with David Knowles. George came home with me to dinner and I finished bottling my cider in the PM. Father Griswold came home on the freight train severely afflicted with Salt Rheumatism on his ankles. I went to market in the evening. Mrs. Smith came down and spent the evening with us. It commenced snowing in the forenoon and it turned to rain in the PM. DECEMBER 11 – THURSDAY – Nothing to do in the shop. I spent most of the forenoon at Mr. Woodward’s shop reading The Tribune and talking politics with Mr. Bailey, his jeweler. After dinner, I took a nap and then went to Mr. Hanford’s with Gussie for a pair of Morocco and rubber shoes. I went to class in the evening. Ours met with Brother Charles Stevens tonight because of the lecture tomorrow night. It was icy this morning. Pleasant all day. DECEMBER 12 – WEDNESDAY – No work in the shop. I walked downtown in the forenoon after the mail was opened. I called at the Office and came home. In the PM, I went over to George Starr’s shop and got out two pieces to put on the bottom of my South and West doors to prevent the storms from driving in under them over the sills. The remainder of the time, I spent in reading my paper. Mother Griswold came in a little while in the evening. I went into the street for some kerosene oil. DECEMBER 13 – THURSDAY – I have had work in the shop today for the first time since Thanksgiving. We started to go to meeting in the evening, but Gussie, having to go to Mr. Hanford’s to change a pair of shoes, it made us too late for the meeting. I carried a correspondence to the editor of the Jeffersonian for Father Griswold. I called at Mr. Woodford’s to look at frames for photographs and then I came home. I then went over and bought for Mother Griswold 2 ½ bushels of coal from the cellar and filled her coal box for her. It has been a cold day and a prospect of a very cold night. DECEMBER 14 – FRIDAY – A very cold night last night. Cold today. I worked in the shop all day. Mr. Crofut sent me a half bushel of flour. He can get no money just now on account of the Panic. He had an opportunity to buy some flour on time and he bought it so that his men could have some flour until money could be had. I bought 3 lbs. Of raisins of him also which were very nice, some which he took in of a peddler for some hats. Father Griswold went away this afternoon, notwithstanding that he is severely afflicted with the Salt Rheumatism again. In taking my watch from the nail at the shop tonight, I dropped it, breaking the crystal. Gussie went to the Sewing Society at E. S. Davis’ and I went to drill in the evening. DECEMBER 15 – SATURDAY – It was very cold last night. It has moderated a little today, I think, though it is pretty cold yet. I went to the shop in the morning and finished one hat which was left over from yesterday and then waited all day until night expecting every half hour to get a dozen, but went home without getting a single hat. While winding my watch last night, I broke the main spring. I left it at Mr. Woodford’s in the morning. It was repaired when I came from work at night, but not having enough money to pay for it, I left it. I attended a special Sunday School Teachers’ Meeting in the evening. Brother Maynard being absent, I was appointed Secretary Pro Tem. The principal business was to make arrangements for our coming anniversary and exhibition on Wednesday evening, December 26. DECEMBER 16 – SUNDAY – Pleasant and a little warmer than yesterday. It has thawed a little. H. F. Pease of Bethel preached for us all day. Brother Pegg exchanged pulpits with him. Text in the morning, Matthew 27:22. A Mr. Skinner was with us in Sabbath School. He is traveling around introducing good literature to the reading public and also in laboring in Sabbath Schools in which he takes a great interest. He talked to our school for a short time after the lesson to the edification and acceptance of all. Text in the PM, Luke 15:2. I liked his preaching today better than ever before. We attended Prayer Meeting in the evening. Mr. Wing from Goshen was there and exhorted at some length. He talked well. DECEMBER 17 – MONDAY – Today is the day for the Secession Convention in South Carolina. I have had work in the shop. I went to market in the evening and called with Gussie at the church where the Sunday School were met to rehearse for the Anniversary. I bought a string of suckers of Noah Hoyt and came home and dressed them before I retired. DECEMBER 18 – TUESDAY – I went to the shop in the morning, but there was nothing to do. I finished and had trimmed a hat for David Knowles’ father and then had Nelson Nickerson come home with me to dinner. We sat and talked awhile and then I went up home for my skates, thinking that we would go over to the pond for a short time, but I spent the whole PM looking them up as George had lent them out. About 4 o’clock, we went over to Col. White’s pond and I skated about tem minutes and then we went to our homes. I had a headache nearly all the PM, but it then ached severely. George came down about 6 o’clock and I cut his hair for him. DECEMBER 19 – WEDNESDAY – On my way to the shop in the morning, I carried a chicken and a winter squash to Mother White. There being no work in the shop, I came home and after dinner, went to Col. White’s pond and skated awhile. I did not attend clads in the evening, but stayed at home and helped Gussie chop and mix mince for pies. It rained a little in the evening. DECEMBER 20 – THURSDAY – It rained last night and the early part of the day. Very icy this morning. I went to the shop, but there was no work. Gussie having gone up home to spend the day, I went too. We stayed to dinner which we had about 4 o’clock and came home just after dark. We did not attend the Prayer Meeting in the evening. Abel’s pork having come, he made us a present of a spare rib. Mother gave Gussie a bed quilt before we came home – one which she promised when we were married. DECEMBER 21 – FRIDAY – Pleasant and warm with some mud. No work in the shop. The daily paper brings us news today that South Carolina passed her Secession Ordinance. I finished painting my front fence in the PM. Harriet and David Mills and Caroline and George came to tea and spent the evening. I went to drill in the evening. The company adjourned until the first Friday in April with the exception of the Quarterly Meeting in January. I came home and popped some corn for the cousins and visited with them until after ten o’clock when they went away, Harriet to her boarding place and David, Caroline and George went up home. DECEMBER 22 – SATURDAY – Rain last night and until nearly night today when it cleared off cold. I have had work in the shop – one dozen of 7/. Mr. DeOssy of Norwalk called on me at the shop to get me to canvass the town for subscriptions to the Sunday School Times. I received a letter from D. F. Hickok, the Patented Folding Clothes Dryer man, in answer to one I wrote to him about the agency for the dryer. I went into the street in the evening and got trusted for two undershirts at Stevens & Hoyt’s. DECEMBER 23 – SUNDAY – Pleasant. Skinner, who is studying for the ministry and now canvassing for subscriptions to the Atlantic Monthly, preached for us in the morning. Text, Hebrews 12:1. Brother Pegg preached in the PM from 1st Peter 1:7. After the service, I went with Mother over to Dr. St. Johns to get a tooth extracted. After tea, we called over to Cousin Frances Boughton’s, who is sick with the quinsy. We attended church in the evening. Brother Pegg gave us a Christmas sermon. Text, Revelations 22, the last clause of the 16th verse – The Bright and Morning Star. DECEMBER 24 – MONDAY – Cool and windy. I have had one dozen hats today - /7. Mr. Crofut paid us a little money for the holidays. I drew $3.00. We went down to the church for a short time in the evening, where the children were rehearsing for the Anniversary. From there, we went up to Mr. Rowan’s store to see the Christmas toys and the purchasers. Father Griswold came home today. DECEMBER 25 – TUESDAY – I rose early and Peter Starr, Henry Hoyt, George and myself took George Starr’s double team and went down below Mountain Pond after evergreens to dress the church with. We came back about 11 o’clock. I went to work in the shop in the PM. I went to market in the evening. DECEMBER 26 – WEDNESDAY – On my way to the shop in the morning, I stopped to have Dr. Bulkley call and see Father Griswold who is severely afflicted again with Salt Rheumatism. On my way from the shop at night, I went after Mother Griswold’s puppy at an Irishman’s, Thomas Sproul. In the evening, we had our Sunday School’s Anniversary. It was a complete success, notwithstanding the hard times. The church was crowded. The Christmas tree was a fine affair. DECEMBER 27 – THURSDAY – I have had one dozen of hats to finish today. I finished them just after dinner. There being no more ready for today, I came home. I went to market in the evening and bought a chicken. It was reported when the evening train came in that Fort Moultry at Charleston, South Carolina was on fire the guns spiked and a train laid to blow it up. Stephen Morris was buried in the PM, also, John Hedge, who died in his chair so suddenly. DECEMBER 28 – FRIDAY – A pleasant day. The report which we had last night is corroborated by the papers today. Major Anderson spiked the guns and burned the gun carriages and retreated to Fort Sumter to strengthen his position. It would now be impossible for any force, however large, to take Fort Sumter, even with the Major’s small force .The South Carolinians are indignant at the movements of Major Anderson, for they calculated to take Fort Sumter from the government themselves. I have had work in the shop but left about 2 o’clock to come home and eat a Christmas Dinner with Father and Mother Griswold and father and Mother Purdy, George and bell. We had a very pleasant time. In the evening, Abel and Harriet came over and they went with George and myself over to Col. White’s pond to skate. We returned early and finished the evening with old folks. DECEMBER 29 - SATURDAY – Cloudy and the appearance of snow. I have had work in the shop. I carried my subscription book and specimen Sunday School Times up to Mr. Huntington’s store in the evening, not having done anything with it. I have been too busy in the shop. The news from the revolutionists in South Carolina and the traitors in the government in Washington are more alarming every day. DECEMBER 30 – SUNDAY – Misty all day and some rain. We attended church. Brother Pegg preached in the morning from Genesis 3:9, “Where Art Thou?” A Sunday School Missionary meeting at noon. The time was mostly occupied by the brethren speaking, occasionally singing a hymn. The meeting was an interesting one. Text in the PM was Job 7:16, “I would not live always.” A proclamation was read from our Governor Buckingham in pursuance in one from the President Buchanan (traitor as he is showing himself to be to the country) for Friday, the 4th of January, 1861 to be set aside for fasting and prayer. Our governor has made some suitable amendments to it, and out of respect to him, it will undoubtedly be observed. After tea, we went over home for a short time. It began to rain quite hard in the evening. On that account, we did not go out to church. DECEMBER 31 – MONDAY – I rose and went to the shop rather earlier than usual. I finished two hats which I had left over from last Saturday and then had to wait until after 2 o’clock, PM until I could get anymore. I went to Teachers’ Meeting in the evening. Stirring news reaches us again today. It is reported that the President has consented to surrender the forts in Charleston harbor to the Carolinians (Traitors and Revolutionists) and recall Major Anderson from Fort Sumter. General Scott has written to Anderson to tell him that he did right and too hold his position and he will bear him out by heading the Northern army and putting down treason and rebellion. At least this is the report. It is reported here this evening that a telegraphic dispatch states that Buchanan has resigned his office as president of the United States. I hope that it is true for it may prevent a collision between South Carolina and the federal troops. I received a letter from Harriet today stating that she had no work and that she wanted to come up and stay awhile
Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal, December 1860 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Oct. 2019.
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