Horace Purdy Journal, January 1861 Entry

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JANUARY 01 – TUESDAY – The report that Buchanan had resigned is false. The papers today state that General Scott was offered the War Secretaryship but declined. Postmaster Holt was then appointed who is now officiating as such. He is a strong Union man, they say. It looks a little more favorable for the Union now. The report also that Major Anderson is to be recalled id contradicted and he is to keep his position at Fort Sumter for the present at least. I paid my interest at the Savings Bank, $21.00. I drew $25.00 for Father Griswold. I have had work in the shop, but having a hard headache, I came home after dinner. I brought home my boots from Mr. Hanford’s which he has been soling for me. Mr. Smith came down in the evening to say that he is moving out tomorrow and that he could not pay his rent until the last of the week. JANUARY 02 – WEDNESDAY – The day has been pleasant. I have had work in the shop, but have had to wait a great deal for it. No papers from New York today. I brought home a bag of shavings from Starr & Barnum’s shop when I came from work. Annual meeting of the Hat Finishers’ Association under Concert Hall in the evening. Officers were elected. For president – Charles Lamb; Vice President – William Bradley; Secretary – Philander Betts; Treasurer – Calvin Dunning. JANUARY 03 – THURSDAY – Rain, snow, fog and mist. I have had work all day in the shop or at least the work has kept me there. I have waited some and then they want a great deal of work laid out on the hats. Taking all the hindrances together, I have accomplished but little. Gussie went up home today. George came down home with her about dark. I wrote a letter to Harriet in reply to one of hers asking her at her request to come up and stay awhile as she has no work. I went into the street and mailed it in the evening. The stars shone brightly when I came home. JANUARY 04 – FRIDAY – I have worked all day in the shop. A little snow in the AM; pleasant in the PM. The news from South Carolina today is that the Carolinians have repaired Fort Moultrie and are planting cannon at the nearest land point to Fort Sumter and are nearly ready to open fire on it in an attempt to take it. Now is the time for the President to act, and quickly too to send reinforcements to Major Anderson at Fort Sumter. Gussie went to Sewing Society at George Starr’s in the evening while I stayed home and read my paper and cut out documents and select pieces for a scrap book. JANUARY 05 – SATURDAY – Pleasant. Good sleighing. I had work in the shop until about 2 o’clock. Yesterday’s news in regard to besieging Fort Sumter is contradicted today. Instead of getting very stirring news today as expected, affairs are more tranquil. Secession has reached its highest pitch. Next week will tell. Something will be done then, if ever. I had the headache in the afternoon. Gussie and I went into the street in the evening. JANUARY – 06 – SUNDAY – Pleasant. A Love Feast in the morning at 9 o’clock; a good one. William Hoyt was with us and preached in the morning from Romans 13:14. A picture of Joshua commanding the sun to stand still was given in Sunday School by Brother Pegg to George Cosier for bringing the greatest number of scholars into the school, he having brought in seven. Peter Starr ids to give another present is to give another present to the scholar bringing in the next highest number. He did not say what it is to be. Brother Pegg told the school that he had a watch that cost $15.00 when new (and it is nearly new now) which he would give to the scholar who would get the largest number of new scholars to attend regularly in the year which we have now commenced, the watch to be given at the expiration of the year. Brother Pegg preached in the PM from Mark 13:36. I took a nap after tea. Mother Griswold and Mrs. Crofut stopped to go to church with us in the evening. Brother Pegg styled his sermon as the funeral sermon of the old year. Text, 1st Chronicles, 20th chapter, the first part of the first verse. It became cloudy before we went to church and snowed a little when we came home. It has more the appearance of rain than snow. Mother Griswold and Fanny made me a present of a diary for 1861. JANUARY 07 – MONDAY – Warm, cloudy, rain and a little sunshine. I waited again until nearly noon for work in the shop. I went to Oliver Stones’ office before the Board of Relief and swore off four hundred dollars on my place. Alfred Gregory holds my note for that amount on which I am paying interest. Father Griswold came home in the evening. I went to the Post Office, expecting a letter from Harriet, but did not get one. JANUARY 08 – TUESDAY – Cloudy and sunshine. Having but 7/ worth of work, I finished it before night. I received a letter from Harriet declining our invitation to spend a few weeks with us while she was out of work. Her reasons are that she had engaged to sew for a lady for the present. I brought one for Father Griswold, also from Edwin in Elyria, Ohio. I went to the store in the evening for some kerosene oil. George came in just before bedtime, he having been over to Aunt Louisa’s. It snowed before we retired. JANUARY 09 – WEDNESDAY – The ground was thinly covered with snow this morning. I had one dozen hats to do at the shop, /7. I finished about 3 o’clock. It began to snow again in the PM and was still snowing when we retired. JANUARY 10 – THURSDAY – There was about two inches of snow on the ground this morning. The papers report that the Star of the West, carrying reinforcements to Major Anderson at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, was fired into as she attempted to enter the harbor. She put about and set out to sea. George called in the evening and we went to Prayer Meeting. JANUARY 11 – FRIDAY – Colder. No work in the shop. We did not get the newspapers until the freight train came in at 2 o’clock. South Carolina has actually declared war against the United States. Major Anderson is now waiting orders from the President through one of his lieutenants who he has sent as a messenger to Washington. He will undoubtedly have orders to blockade the port and protect the Stars and Stripes. I painted a little upstairs before dinner. I attended the Quarterly Meeting of the Guards in the evening. There was not a quorum present. JANUARY 12 – SATURDAY – It snowed very quietly last night and this morning, which has made the sleighing very good. I went to the shop and earned 6/. We took tea over home. I went into the street in the evening to get the news. The Star of the West has returned to New York with her troops, she not being able to land them at Fort Sumter. Out of 17 shots fired at her from Morris Island and Fort Moultrie, only two struck her. The President has determined to remain inactive and to send no troops to retake the forts which are on the Gulf Coast of the United States, thinking that the secession difficulty can be managed better without arms than with. This is the news tonight in the New York Evening Express. JANUARY 13 – SUNDAY – Very cold last night and today also. Brother George Woodruff preached in the morning from Exodus 32: 30-32. Subject, “The Unselfishness of Moses”. A good sermon. A rehearsal of the Catechism by the Sunday School at noon. We did not change books on that account. Brother Pegg preached in the PM from Hebrews 13:8. We attended church in the evening. Brother Woodruff preached his sermon entitled, “The Blight of Tobacco.” The church was densely crowded. The sermon or lecture (for it could pass for either) was excellent. He took his text from 2nd Corinthians 6:17, 1st Corinthians 10:6-9, and 1st Kings 2:2. JANUARY 14 – MONDAY – No work in the shop. I waited there until the cars came in and then went up for the papers. I brought them to the shop and there we all read the news. The return of the Star of the West to New York is confirmed. The troops were landed on Sunday morning at their barracks on Governor’s Island. The war steamer, Brooklyn, is laying off Charleston Bar. Its real object is not definitely known. I ate my dinner at the shop and came home. The weather has moderated. It began to snow about noon. JANUARY 15 – TUESDAY- The snow turned to rain before morning and the snow was crusted in the morning. It soon stopped raining, though the day has not been entirely pleasant. I did not get my work in the shop until nearly noon. We gave in our checks to the foreman and I expect we will get some money before the close of the week. I gave in $17.00 of checks. I stayed at home and read my paper in the evening. JANUARY 16 – WEDNESDAY – Rain. The snow water runs freely. The streams are rising rapidly and a prospect of breaking up of the ice. I have had work nearly all day or rather have been kept at the shop all day as I did not get my work until nearly noon. Chauncey Haines died. Mother Griswold was taken with bleeding from the lungs this afternoon. We feel concerned about her. I did not go to class in the evening on account of the walking and storms. JANUARY 17 – THURSDAY – No work in the shop. Mr. ___ Clark sent a side of beef to me in the afternoon. I then had it cut up and the brine to make after which I went to the shop and Mr. Crofut gave the men a little money. I got five dollars. I paid $3.00 of it to David Hanford on my bill of $5.12. JANUARY 18 – FRIDAY – I laid awake all night last with a severe pain in my bowels and sickness to my stomach. A severe headache today and nearly prostrate. I felt better towards night. JANUARY 19 – SATURDAY – I have felt better today but did not go to the shop to work. I went into the street to get my paper and came home and read it, after which I painted my upstairs until night. George came in while we were at tea. We sat awhile and then went into the street. I to get some things at the store and he to accompany me. Francis Harris died yesterday afternoon with smallpox and was buried last night at 12 o’clock to avoid exposure. He was taken sick in New York and was smuggled into the cars to be taken home to die as it happened. Mother Griswold is quite feeble. JANUARY 20 – SUNDAY – Windy and cool. Gussie, not being well, did not attend church. I went alone. Brother Pegg preached in the morning from John 1:36. Sunday School prayer meeting at noon. Sacrament in the PM. Our Sacrament will be on the third Sabbath of the month this year instead of on the second. When I came home from church in the PM, I found Gussie quite sick. She has a bad cold, which, with other causes, has prostrated her for the day. I did not attend church in the evening. Gussie feeling a little better, we went over and stayed with Mother Griswold while the others went to church. We brought home some medicine and Gussie is going to take a sweat tonight. JANUARY 21 – MONDAY – Cool, but pleasant. I have worked in the shop today. Gussie has a severe cold. I went to Sunday School Teachers’ Meeting in the evening. On account of James Maynard leaving town tomorrow, he resigned as Secretary-Treasurer of the school. I was appointed to fill the vacancy. After the meeting, he surrendered over the books and funds to me. I came home and copied over the minutes of the meeting and ordered a dozen catechisms and three cards of tickets for the infant class of E. Goodenough of New York. JANUARY 22 – TUESDAY – Mr. ___and wife called this morning to look at my rooms upstairs. On my way to the shop, I stopped at the Pahquioque Bank and drew from our Sunday School Fund, $25.00, and in the afternoon, paid Abel $24.50 for making drawers for the seats in the Sunday School room. I finished my work in the shop just after dinner. I went to the Depot when the train went out in the PM to see James Maynard in regards to the Sunday School Secretary’s book. Gussie has not been so well today. I went for Dr. Bulkley in the PM and he came in the evening and prescribed for her. I mailed a letter to E. Goodenough ordering some catechisms and tickets for the Infant Class. JANUARY 23 – WEDNESDAY – I sat up all last night to give medicine to Gussie to get her in a perspiration to drive off a severe cold and a fever. She has kept to her bed all day. I did not go to the shop. I went up home for Mother. She came down in the afternoon and did Gussie’s ironing, dressed and cooked a chicken, got tea, and washed the dishes, stayed until evening time and the went to class. Mrs. Baxter came in while we were at tea and was surprised to find Gussie sick. Mother Griswold and fanny have been in during the day and helped also. Father Griswold came in twice. JANUARY 24 – THURSDAY – It commenced snowing in the morning and snowed hard until nearly night when it turned to rain and was raining until 11 o’clock when I retired. I have not been to the shop today, but have stayed home to take care of Gussie. She is better. George called after dinner. My order of Mr. Goodenough for catechisms and Infant Class tickets came by express on the morning train. JANUARY 25 – FRIDAY – Gussie is better today. She got up and prepared breakfast while I shoveled the paths. I went to the shop and had one dozen hats, 6/. Mother baked two loaves of bread for us (Gussie not being able to make it herself) and sent it down just at night by George. He stayed until evening and went with me to drill. We took tea over to Mother Griswold’s. Our Captain, having had orders from the Government to drill his men and look to our arms and equipment and hold ourselves in readiness to march at short notice to fight for our country, the company was better represented than it has been for a long time before. Three new recruits were proposed for membership. Two of them were accepted. Viz., Fred Starr and George Brockett. When I returned from drill, I drew up the minutes of the meeting and retired. JANUARY 26 – SATURDAY – We rose rather late and consequently I was late to the shop. It was nearly noon before I got any work. I got one dozen. Gussie is about the same today. I found her over home when I came. Mother Griswold requested us to stay to tea. We did so and stayed there during the evening. It began to snow about 4 o’clock and abated about 9 o’clock. I swept paths around the house and up home before we came home to retire. JANUARY 27 – SUNDAY – Pleasant. The snow which fell yesterday afternoon and evening lay about 6 inches deep this morning. Gussie is not able to attend church yet. Brother Pegg preached in the morning from Luke 12:34. I officiated this noon in my new position of Secretary of the Sabbath School for the first time. Mr. Core preached in the PM from 1st Samuel 28:7-8. Brother Pegg exchanged with him. I stayed at home on the evening with Gussie. JANUARY 28 – MONDAY – Cold last night, a little snow in the morning. I went to the shop, but there being no work, I went up for the papers. The train did not get in until 2 o’clock on account of snow on the track. In the meantime, I had a political discussion and argument with David Pierce at the paper office at Bennett’s store. When the papers came, I went down to the shop and Burr Bradley and myself went up to the church and rented a seat together, No. 31 for 16 dollars. I went into the street in the evening for a beef steak. JANUARY 29 - TUESDAY – It snowed all the forenoon. The sun shone in the PM. I have worked in the shop all day. I attended drill in the evening. JANUARY 30 – WEDNESDAY – Pleasant in the morning, but blustering in the PM and evening. I finished one hat in the shop. I went to Brother George Starr’s shop and got a bag of shavings. I wrote a letter to Brother Goodenough in New York, ordering 38 Pictorial Catechisms for presents to Sunday School Scholars. Father Griswold’s folks had company. Brother Scofield and wife, Emily Anderson, Harriet Phillips, etc. We took tea with them, after which I went to class in company with Emily Anderson. We turned our class into a conversation meeting Subject – Faith. JANUARY 31 – THURSDAY – No work in the shop. I came home and painted upstairs. Gussie having gone up home, I went up to tea. I attended Prayer Meeting in the evening.






Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal, January 1861 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 29 Jan. 2020.

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