Horace Purdy Journal, December 1861 Entry

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DECEMBER 01 – SUNDAY – Cloudy. A little snow in the morning. I attended church in the forenoon. Brother Pegg preached from John 6:12. After the Sabbath School, I came home and Gussie went in the PM. We intended to go up home for tea and I got the baby in his carriage already to start when it commenced storming and were obliged to give it up. In the evening we wrote letters. Gussie wrote one to her cousin, Eliza, in California and I wrote to Phebe Palmer in Stamford. DECEMBER 02 – MONDAY – Cool but pleasant. I have had work in the shop. Gussie did her washing today for the first time since the birth of our baby, a little more than three months. Sarah Keeler, one of our good Sunday School teachers, was married to day to Harris Eames this morning at 10 o’clock in the church. While we were at tea, Mrs. Warren came down in our room to enquire of me if I had said that she had stolen from me, she having been told by some meddlesome person that I had said so. I assured her that it was all false and she appeared satisfied. I walked downtown in the evening to hear the news but there was nothing of importance. DECEMBER 03 – TUESDAY – My fourth wedding anniversary. The coldest morning of the season. I went to the shop, but there being no work ready for me, it being all taken by others who were first at the shop, and the prospect that there would be nine ready today, I came home. I went to work and dug a new cellar for our private outbuilding. I stoned it and moved the building upon it. I went to market in the evening. It was very cold. DECEMBER 04 – WEDNESDAY – It was very cold last night. I worked in the shop until noon. I waited for a while after dinner, when there being no more work, I came home. Gussie having gone up home with the baby, I went up to and stayed to tea. I went to market in the evening and to class. DECEMBER 05 – THURSDAY – Pleasant and not so cold as yesterday. I had part of a day’s work in the shop. Mrs. Vintz died this morning. Gussie and Harriet went down in the evening to see her corpse and to go to Prayer Meeting. I stayed at home to take care of Eddie. DECEMBER 06 – FRIDAY – Cloudy all day, but no storm. I waited for work at the shop until 2 PM. Mrs. Vintz was buried this afternoon at 2 o’clock. I went up home in the evening to carry a hat to Father and found Bell sick with a fever. I returned home immediately and secured some Aconite and Belladonna and prepared it for her to try, if possible, to break up her fever. I borrowed the medicine of Mother Griswold. After I came home, I went to market. I learned while in the street that Jack Rolfe, Captain Skinner’s cook, with his assistant Charles Duffy, a Negro, and Charles Allen, the Captain’s waiter, had just arrived in town from Port Royal, South Carolina. Also, that Lieutenant Daniels of Captain Stone’s company, Colonel Ferry, 5th Regiment from Edward’s Ferry on the Potomac in Maryland, had returned. DECEMBER 07 – SATURDAY – Pleasant and warm. My work in the shop lasted until about 2 ½ o’clock. I went up home early this morning before breakfast to see how Bell was. She appeared a little better, although they did not succeed in getting her into a sweat. I went up again before tea. In the evening, we went to market and to Dr. Bulkley’s to get some medicine for Bell and then we went up with it and stayed all the evening. Fanny took care of Eddie while we were gone. DECEMBER 08 – SUNDAY – Pleasant and warm again today. I walked up home this morning just before church. She is real smart (?) this morning. I went to church in the morning and came home after Sunday School to let Gussie go. Our Sunday School Prayer Meeting was one of the best I have ever attended. The room was full and the exercises were uncommon good and interesting. Sacrament in the afternoon. Brother Pegg preached in the AM from Matthew 7:20. After tea, we took Eddie out to ride. Gussie stayed at home with him in the evening and I attended church. Brother Pegg preached from Genesis 47:8. He preached rather better than he has done of late, too. The day has been more like summer than it has been like December. DECEMBER 09 – MONDAY – Pleasant and very warm for the time of the year. I went to the shop, but the work not being ready for us, I came home again and worked around home, removing my old fence west of the garden between my lot and Father Griswold’s, etc. Father butchered his hog today. He sent word to me to come up in the evening and get a spare rib. I did so and brought down one for Aunt Louisa and one for Father Griswold. DECEMBER 10 – TUESDAY – Warm. Cloudy and foggy all day. Misty but no rain. I have worked all day in the shop. I came home rather late from my work. I broke a pickle pot from Mrs. Warren yesterday afternoon and brought her a new one. this morning she brought it downstairs saying that she would not take it saying that the one which I broke was a damaged one and in fact of little worth. She said that it was of no account whatever. DECEMBER 11 – WEDNESDAY – Cloudy still with some rain in the PM. It cleared off cold in the PM. I went to the shop and finished off my work which took me until just after dinner. There being no more work, I came home and finished pulling my down my west fence next to the garden. I then bottled up a gallon of currant wine. I attended class in the evening. At its close, we got into conversation about the faith and piety of the church. Brother Peter, the leader, claimed that it was just as eminent now as it was in the early days of Methodism. I took the ground that it was not. DECEMBER 12 – THURSDAY – Pleasant and cold. I went to the shop and waited until nearly night and got in time to earn one shilling. Gussie went up home to spend the day and I went up to tea. Aunt Louisa was there with Gussie. DECEMBER 13 – FRIDAY – Cool and pleasant. I have worked all day in the shop. When I came home from my work, I found Gussie and the baby over to Abel’s. I stayed with them to tea an d spent the evening. Mrs. Gibbs was there to tea, after which she went home. DECEMBER 14 – SATURDAY – I was rather late in getting away to work this morning. I had all I could do in the shop. I had bad luck in my work through carelessness. I so damaged a hat by burning that it will be what we call a “knock down”, in other words, I shall have to pay for it. As I had no occasion to go into the street in the evening. I stayed at home and read. DECEMBER 15 – SUNDAY – A horrible murder was committed last night at the old Saddle Factory as it is called, an old tenement building occupied by the Irish. There was an Irish dance at the place. The party was drunk or had imbibed too freely of liquor and while raffling for a watch, a quarrel ensued and Miles Doran was stabbed so that he died immediately. His brother, John, was stabbed also and it is feared that it will prove fatal. I have been told today that last night’s paper gives an account of a slave insurrection in Charleston, South Carolina and that the city is in flames. I attended church this morning. Brother Pegg preached from Matthew 25:25. The children in Sunday School recited passages from Scripture which they had selected in which there appeared the word “love”. After Sunday School, I came home to take care of Eddie and Gussie went in the PM and evening. DECEMBER 16 – MONDAY – Clear, windy and not very cold. The murder has been the topic of conversation today. England is pretty strongly threatening us with war unless we make satisfactory acknowledgement and amends for the seizure of the rebel ministers Mason and Slidell from the on board the British “Trent”. That too is creating a considerable excitement. I have worked all day in the shop. I have spent the evening at home. DECEMBER 17 – TUESDAY – Pleasant. I have worked all day in the shop. I came home with a severe headache. DECEMBER 18 – WEDNESDAY – Pleasant. I went to the shop and finished off a dozen of hats that I had out There being no more to do, I came home. I worked around the house in the PM. I went up to Norris’ in the evening to engage some pork. It was rather late and I did not go to class. DECEMBER 19 – THURSDAY – I have had no work in the shop. I gave Disbrow & Crosier my note for $28.00 to balance our book account. In the afternoon, George helped me take up Father Griswold’s rain water hogshead and put in the place of mine which is rotted out. After we had finished, we took hold and helped Abel stone a new cellar for his privy and move it over it. George took dinner and teas with me. I went into the street with him in the evening to get some groceries. He went to meeting and I went home. Gussie spent the afternoon over to Aunt Louisa’s. DECEMBER – 20 - FRIDAY – I worked in the shop in the forenoon. There being no more to do, I came home. George came in the evening to get some stovepipe. He bought 2 lengths of Mrs. White. Afterwards, Gussie and I went into the street and called at Brother Pegg’s to get the baby chair that Mrs. Pegg promised her. Mary Purdy stayed with Eddie while we were gone. DECEMBER 21 – SATURDAY - Very cold last night. It has not thawed any today. No work in the shop. Bell came down and took care of the baby for Gussie to do her work in the forenoon. Mother came down in the afternoon. I bought a pork cast of Moses Baxter for $1.50. I had the headache in the PM and evening. DECEMBER 22 – SUNDAY – Cold We lay in bed so late this morning that I did not get to church. I went down in time for Sunday School and attended in the PM. Brother Pegg preached a Christmas sermon from Luke 2:10. The singing was better than usual, a larger number of singers and a new player (a clerk at Clark & Ford’s). Children at the Sunday School who had not an opportunity last Sunday to recite their passage of scripture recited them today. Gussie attended church in the evening while I stayed at home to take care of Eddie. DECEMBER 23 – MONDAY – Raining and freezing as fast as it comes. I have had work until noon at the shop. It commenced snowing at 5 o’clock and continued all evening. DECEMBER 24 – TUESDAY – Pleasant and cold with quite a body of snow on the ground. No work in the shop. I got some paint of Andrew Knox and painted my pork cask. Aunt Louisa came over and stayed with Eddie for us to go down to the stores and to visit the toy shop, etc. The papers today state that Prince Albert of England is dead (the husband of Queen Victoria). DECEMBER 25 – WEDNESDAY – Christmas Day. Very cold. Theodore Fowler, our foreman, brought two bushels of oysters in the shop and we had an oyster roast. I took out one dozen hats and finished three of them. We spent the evening over to Father Griswold’s He sold his place today to Mr. Valentine. DECEMBER 26 - THURSDAY – Very cold in the morning, but it grew warmer during the day. It was quite comfortable but cloudy with a fair prospect of another storm in the evening. George came in while we were drinking tea. He wrote a letter while I was getting ready for meeting and then we went together. DECEMBER 27 – FRIDAY – Rainy in the morning. It cleared off before noon and grew cold and very windy. It was frozen very hard when I went home from work. DECEMBER 28 – SATURDAY – Cold. The soft snow and rain of yesterday morning having frozen, the roads and walks are very rough. I went to work on black hats this afternoon as there will be no more drab work until the last of next week. I was particularly favored in having black work given me while the other fancy finishers will have to wait until there is more drab work. Mother came down and spent the evening and George came from Singing School and went home with her. DECEMBER 29 –SUNDAY – Cold in the morning. I attended church in the morning. Brother Coe preached from 1st Chronicles 11:17-19. A Sabbath School Missionary Meeting with a collection taken up for the Sunday School Union. Passages of Scripture were recited by the children in which were the words “Give, Giveth, Giveth or Giving.” After school, I came home to let Gussie attend in the PM. Mother Griswold came over in the evening and stayed with Eddie so that Gussie and I could attend Prayer Meeting. DECEMBER 30 – MONDAY – I have worked in the shop as usual excepting that I have been on black hats, the same as on Saturday, instead of drab hats as heretofore. After tea, I went up to Mr. McDonald’s and paid my milk bill which was $1.50. I then went down to Benedict & Nichols and made arrangements to have my pork come tomorrow. DECEMBER 31 – TUESDAY – I have worked in the shop. My pork came in the afternoon and we spent the evening in putting it into the barrel, cutting up lard and getting out sausage meat. There was a watch meeting at the church, but on account of our pork, we could not attend.






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

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