Horace Purdy Journal May 1865 Entry

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05/01 MONDAY - The insurance runs out today and as I went to work this morning, I took the policy to get it renewed. I called at L. C. Hoyt's office and found that he died this morning at five minutes past 4 o'clock. Some say that it was the spotted fever that killed him and others that it was erysipelas, and some say that it was the plague that is prevailing in Russia, and one account is that Dr. Bennett gave him powerful medicines and poisoned him. He was well a week ago. The insurance on my house and furniture which I wished to renew was in the Aetna Company. I concluded to defer the matter until he was buried and someone began to conduct the insurance business in his stead. Burr Bradley is very sick. He has indications of a fever. After tea tonight, I went over to see him and took a pail at his house and got some ice as I went into the street. 05/02 TUESDAY - Pleasant. I worked as usual in the shop. After tea, I pulled some weeds from my strawberry bed until dark and then went over to see Burr Bradley. He is pretty sick, no better than yesterday and last night. He wished me to order through Peter Starr one dozen lesson books, 1st Series. I went to the paper office and did so. When I came home, I walked up West Street with Nathaniel Cable. L. C. Hoyt was buried this P.M. at 2 o'clock. The services were in our church. I did not go, but Gussie did by going up and getting Bell to take care of Georgie. I took the baby carriage over to McDonald's as I went for milk this noon and had it mended. 05/03 WEDNESDAY - Pleasant but rather cool. Gussie got up with a severe headache, tried to get breakfast but could not, so I cooked it myself. I ate, cleared off the table and went to the shop. I found Gussie very much better when I came home from work. After tea, I went over to see Burr Bradley and found him better. From there, I went to the Jeffersonian Office for my paper. Bought my first mess of porgies at Raymond's three large ones for 13 cents. From there, I went down to Billy Kyle's in the Pahquioque Block and bought a large shad for Father Griswold for 18 cents a lb. 05/04 THURSDAY - Pleasant and warmer than yesterday, though there was a white frost this morning. Just as I was starting for the shop, Mr. Stevens, the gardener, came to spade my garden for me. As the manure was not yet on the garden, I stayed to get it out. It was coal ashes, door yard grass and other vegetable matter. The best part of the forenoon being used in getting out the ash heap, I then concluded to spend the day in planting. Accordingly, I went into the street for some garden seeds, June potatoes, etc. I spent the P.M. in planting lima beans, potatoes, sweet corn, string peas, beets and parsnips. Miss English and her friend Miss Brown called in the P.M.; also Bell Purdy. In the evening, I mailed a Jeffersonian to George and called to see Mr. B. Bradley. He is worse than he was yesterday. 05/05 FRIDAY - Pleasant. I planted more potatoes in my garden before going to the shop this morning. On my way, I carried to Parmalee & Bradley's 5 lbs., 10 oz. of pieplant for Mother Griswold. Gussie drew Georgie up home on Deer Hill this A.M and spent the day. When I came home from work, I found the house locked. I got my supper ready to eat just as she came in accompanied by Bell. After supper, I went over to see Burr Bradley and found him more comfortable than he was last night, though I suppose he is really but little if any better. I then went to the Post Office and home. 05/06 SATURDAY - Stormy. It rained gently all day until just at night and in the evening when it rained very hard in showers. There was some lightning with it but no thunder. On my way to work in the morning, I carried my boots to Reed's Shoe Store to have some pegs drove in the soles to stop them squeaking. I came home to my dinner for the first time since last fall. After tea, I went over to see Burr Bradley. I engaged to go and watch with him tonight. Mr. Pond got some trompe De Gard Strawberry plants of Father Griswold this morning and set them out. I planted a few more potatoes in the garden this morning, also some squash. I took 6 lbs. of pieplant for Mother Griswold this morning and started for Parmalee & Bradley's store with it but sold it to Hoyt Dibble, engineer at Mr. Crofut's Forming Factory in West Street. 05/07 SUNDAY - I watched with Burr Bradley last night. I came home about half past four this morning and went to bed. I slept until 8 o'clock. Gussie went to church in the morning. She came home as soon as church was out and I went down to Sunday School and attended preaching in the P.M. Brother Hill preached upon the providences of God in our own congregation during the past week, viz. the death of L. C. Hoyt, the severe sickness of Burr Bradley, etc. His text was ____. A dispatch was received today that Sally Ames (Sally Keeler it used to be) was dead. She being pregnant miscarried, at the same time had the small pox. She died at 10 o'clock this morning. After tea, Fanny came down to take care of Georgie to let Gussie and I go to call at Burr Bradley's that I might leave the Sunday School collection - 65 cents with him as he is the treasurer. His wife took the money and brought the book so that I could put down the amount taken. I did not see him as he is too feeble to see anyone. From there we called on Mrs. Stone (our wash woman) and at Daniel Starr's. Gussie went to prayer meeting in the evening while I stayed with Georgie. As she went she mailed a Harper's Weekly to George for me. 05/08 MONDAY - Pleasant. Mrs. Stone washed and cleaned the bedroom tearing off the paper preparatory to putting on the new. She made out nearly a day's work. I paid her a dollar. I helped her shake carpets at noon after dinner. In the evening, Louisa took care of Georgie and Gussie went with me and bought some paper for the bedroom. Dr. Bennett and son and Dr. Lacey held a consultation this morning and decided that his disease was erysipelas and that there was no hope in his case. I called a little after 6 o'clock as I came home from work and found him dying. After buying paper in the evening, Gussie and I came that way home. Gussie went home soon after seeing him and I stayed a while and fanned him. I left him fading fast and got home at 10 o'clock. While in the street I left my watch with Captain S. G. Bailey for repairs. Received this noon through the Post Office a blank to be filled out with my income the past year. It was from C.H Sanford, Asst. Assessor of the U. S. Internal Revenue. Showery just at night and in the evening. 05/09 TUESDAY - Stormy all day. I started for the shop and went by way of Burr Bradley's to see what time he died and when he was to be buried as I supposed that he was certainly dead as none expected last night that he would live until morning. But to my surprise, he was still alive. There being no man present except his own family friends, I pulled off my boots and stood over him until he died which was a quarter to 12 o'clock. I gave him his last nourishment and wet his lips the last time. Soon after he was done breathing, I put his false upper teeth in his mouth, closed his eyes and mouth and helped tie a handkerchief under his chin to keep his jaw in place. I took two pennies (large ones) from my pocket and placed them on his eyelids after they were wrapped in paper to prevent them from coloring the lids. I came home to dinner and returned again soon after to assist if necessary in laying him out, but the undertaker, Mr. Holy (?) and Amos Stone had already begun the job and needed no more help. So I then took the blank sent to Burr by the Assistant assessor of the U. S. Internal Revenue and carried it to the Assessor (C. H. Sanford) to see what could be done in regard to it. He was not sure that it could be collected (the tax). I left the blank with him and he is to see if the payment of the tax by the widow can be avoided. I handed in my own receipts for 1864, which were as follows: wages for the year, $773.62, rent upstairs rooms, $36.00making the total receipt $809.62. The deducting from the sum total $66.00 interest money and insurance $4.20 and taxes $3.80, it leaves $735.62. The deducting $600.00 not liable to taxation. It leaves subject to tax $135.62 which at 3 percent tax will make it $6.78 as my taxes under the Internal Revenue law. I went to the shop about 3 o'clock and finished off a dozen hats I commenced yesterday and then quit. I came home by way of Burr's to see about watchers. I took it upon myself to procure two for the night which I did in the Street in the evening by getting George Hamilton and Captain E.E. Wildman. Gussie went over to see the corpse in the evening and I came home that way to come home with her and to tell them that watchers were engaged. 05/10 MONDAY - pleasant but a little cool. I took 12 lbs. of pieplant to Parmalee & Bradley's Store for Father Griswold as I went to the shop. We notified Mr.Crofut this forenoon that if he wished to keep his men he must advance $2 per dozen on his whole bill. He agreed to give it. We worked until noon and then all hands attended Burr Bradley's funeral, which was at 2 o'clock at the house. From there we repaired to the church where Brother Hill preached a sermon. I, in company with several other hat finishers walked up to the cemetery and witnessed the burying. After tea, I went over to Mr. Lynes' and got some lettuce plants which Robert Cocking, his gardener who lives with me promised to give me. I gave David Bradley a few of them on my way home. It took me until quite dark to set them all out. David and Hart then came along and I went with them downtown. I mailed a Jeffersonian to George. In it was the death of Burr Bradley and Uncle Stephen. While in the street, I saw Andrew Knox about papering our bedroom. It is doubtful about his being able to do it this week. I fear we will be obliged to engage someone else as the room is all ready for the paper. I bought some halibut and went with David Bradley around to call on Mrs. Bradley to see how she was bearing the loss of her husband and to get the dress that Gussie had borrowed for her of Mrs. Barnum. 05/11 THURSDAY - Rain last night and this forenoon. It partly cleared away in the P.M. and the sun shone a little. A little splatter of rain about 6 o'clock and a very hard shower with thunder and lightning and a tremendous wind about 7 o'clock. I heard in the evening that it blew over the spire of the Presbyterian Church in Bethel and unroofed one house. Andrew Knox papered our bedroom in the P.M. He finished before I returned from work and lest his l=pocket knife. He consequently went home without his pay. Mrs. Cocking came down and stayed with Gussie in the evening while I went to get my Aetna insurance policy renewed by the General Traveling Agent who is now here to adjust the business that was left by the death of L.C. Hoyt. I then went over to Widow Burr Bradley's to get the list of S.S. Advocate Subscribers to mark off the papers for distribution on Sunday. She not only gave me the list of names but gave all the books pertaining to the Secretary and Treasurer of the School which I took until the School appoints someone in Brother Bradley's place. My insurance policy I put up in an envelope to send to Aaron Mallett at West Redding, but on account of the lateness of the hour I did not mail it. 05/12 FRIDAY - Stormy last night and this morning, but it cleared off about noon, pleasant but a little cool. On my way to work this morning, I mailed my insurance policy to Aaron Mallet, West Redding. Not feeling well, I came home before night. On my way home, I engaged ton of coal of Tom Sproul which came between 5 and 6 o'clock. I also took one dozen lesson books from Starr & Hopkins (through whom we got them from New York) and carried them over to the church. Before tea, I helped Gussie put down the bedroom carpet. Brought our last ham down from Father Griswold's barn after tea and cut a slice for our breakfast tomorrow morning and cut off a piece which we feared was fly blown to boil for dinner tomorrow. I wrote to Aaron Mallett, West Redding notifying him that I had sent him my insurance policy and telling him why I delayed so long before sending it which was that the agent L. C. Hoyt was dead. I sent the letter to the office in the evening by Gussie as she went to the milliner's and to Sewing Society. I spent a part of the evening in looking over the Sunday School secretary and treasurer's books which have been temporarily been given into my hands since the death of W. B. Bradley, out old Secretary and treasurer. The Sunday School Advocates have come and I tried to find among the books and papers the list of subscribers in order that I might mark off the papers ready to distribute on Sunday but I could not make the list which I found agree in numbers with the number of papers received from New York. 05/13 SATURDAY - Pleasant and warmer today. We moved the bed back again into the bedroom from the parlor where we put it in order to clean and paper the bedroom. I helped move the bureau and such things as required my help and then went to the shop. On my way home to dinner, I took three letters out of the Post Office from George. There were two more there, one for Mother and one for Harriet. The two last are written April 21 and 24 and speak of the surrender of General Lee and army to General Grant and the assassination of Lincoln. I worked until nearly 7 o'clock in the evening to finish up the work I had out. Gussie made calls at Mrs. Daniel Starr's and Widow Burr Bradley this P.M. and went up to the cemetery. I met Andrew Knox and paid him $1.40 for papering our bedroom last Thursday. Gussie went to the milliner's in the evening while I went to market and around to Widow Burr Bradley's to see about the list of subscribers for the Sunday School Advocates. 05/14 SUNDAY - A lovely day but it clouded over again in the evening threatening a storm. I stayed with Georgie in the forenoon to let Gussie attend church. Brother Hill having a boil on his foot sat down and preached. Sunday School Prayer meeting at noon. I commenced taking names for the Sunday School Advocate at noon. Brother Bradley began it before he was taken sick but did not complete it before he died. I have taken charge of the books until another Secretary and Treasurer can be elected. On account of Brother Hill's sore foot the sacrament was not administered in the P.M., but Mr. Van Meter who is here with 11 girls and 1 boy from the Howard Mission preached or talked to the church and his girls sang some sweet music. They were arranged inside the altar. Mr. Van Meter talked and his children sang at the Baptist Church this forenoon. Mother came home to our house to tea. At 4 o'clock the three Sunday Schools, 1st and 2nd Congregational and Baptist, assembled at our church to hear Mr. Van Meter and his girls. I went to hear them again. When it was over I got George Cosier to take Mother home from my house. Bell came home from the 4 o'clock meeting and stayed until evening meeting time and went to hear them again at the 1st church with Gussie. I sent a letter and Harper's Weekly to the Post Office by Gussie as she went and mailed them to George at St. Augustine, Florida. As I was coming from the regular afternoon service this P.M. and got just at the head of our street in West Street, I saw Curtis Hoyt get run away with. He had his Grandfather Hoyt's double team and was coming for Mary Richards to take her up to Pembroke where she teaches school. There was a little girl in with him, his cousin a daughter of Frank Hoyt's. They were thrown out and the wagon turned bottom upwards and dragged as far as the corner of George Street by Mr. Pond's where the horses were stopped; neither of them were badly hurt. Rumors that Jeff Davis and cabinet are captured. 05/15 MONDAY - It has been a beautiful day, though early this morning, I feared a storm. I drew $2.50 for Burr Bradley and $.67 in checks making $3.17 his due at the shop. As I came home from work, I carried it to his widow. The papers today officially confirm the capture of Jeff Davis. The first dozen wire brim hats were weighted out today. After tea, I went to the Jeffersonian office to see about the publishing of George's last letter. From there, I went to market and to the Post Office and came home. Mr. Basset's wife died very suddenly today. Dr. Bennett says it was similar to what Clark Hoyt and Burr Bradley died with. I sat up until 12 o'clock preparing a letter for publication in the Jeffersonian for George. 05/16 TUESDAY - Pleasant and warm. I worked hard all day in the shop. Edwin Whaley and William Carlson were shopped after dinner. I sent at noon by Joseph Kyle to have Nathan Farrell send me a # barrel of ale beer which he did in the P.M. I gave Mr. Cocking a glass in the evening and then rode down to market with him. Sarah Purdy called just as I went downtown with Robert. Before retiring, I worked awhile at Cosmopolite's letter for publication. 05/17 WEDNESDAY - Very warm, the warmest of the season. It has been almost intolerable in the shop. Edwin Whaley and William Carlson worked for the first time in the shop today; the first since they were shopped which was yesterday. William Patch was buried this P.M. After tea, I went into the street and got my Jeffersonian and mailed one to George. I returned immediately for fear of being caught in a shower which threatened. As I came home, I overtook Miss English who was coming to call on us and walked home with her. She talked awhile and played with Georgie and then returned to Dr. Ryder's where she is stopping. I did not go to class on account of the threatening shower. Before retiring, I completed arranging George's letter to the Jeffersonian for publication. After tea and before going downtown, I planted some cucumbers. 05/18 THURSDAY - Cloudy with a cool East wind during the day. It began to rain a little in the evening. On my way to work this morning, I left George's letter at the Jeffersonian for publication. I also dropped a line in the Post Office to Andrew Knox for Mother Griswold this morning. 05/19 FRIDAY - Still cloudy; no hard rain but misty. I planted some evergreen corn in the garden before breakfast. After dinner the shop was called and a vote passed that we Have $2.50 extra for a scoped faced block finished on a scope band. Mr. Crofut was sent for to talk up the matter. He finally agreed to give the $2.50 extra for a scope faced block which was designed to cover the Spring Brim. I worked until nearly 7 o'clock. Received a letter this noon from Aaron Mallett acknowledging the receipt of the insurance policy. 05/20 SATURDAY - I pulled weeds from my strawberry bed before breakfast until the rain drove me off. It rained very hard for a time in the morning. I worked as usual in the shop. This is the third day I have been on the Spring Brim hats. We have just announced that style of a hat. There is a prospect of a large run on them. I came home for dinner and found Mrs. Stone cleaning house for Gussie. The bedroom upstairs and the bedroom has been her work for today. Mother Griswold was with us to dinner. I helped Mrs. Stone shake carpet before returning to work. I worked until 6 o'clock to finish off a dozen. I went to market in the evening. I waited for the mail before coming home and received a letter from George. Miss English came for some pepper plants which Robert left for her. Mr. Cocking lost his pocketbook today with about $8.00 and some papers of more or less value. He purchased an article at George Hurd & Sons and that is the last he remembers of the pocketbook. 05/21 SUNDAY - South wind and warm. A little rain in the morning. Flying clouds so that we had but little sunshine. I stayed home in the forenoon and let Gussie go to church. She came home at noon and I went down to Sunday School and to the afternoon service. I wrote to George; sent a Harper's Weekly to him also. Wrote a note to the editor of the Connecticut War record in New Haven and enclosed a copy of George's letter in the Jeffersonian for publication in the War record. It is to be printed in the Jeffersonian this week. _____ from the Five Points Mission reached for us this morning and took a collection for the mission. A collection was also taken for the Lincoln Monument. After tea, Father called to see us. I gave him a glass of ale. From here he went over to Aunt Louisa's. I stayed with Georgie in the evening and let Gussie go to Prayer Meeting. As she went, she mailed my letters and papers. Mr. T. Scofield's adopted child Charlie died this P.M. at 5 o'clock. 05/22 MONDAY - Lowery all day. A very little rain in the P.M. I worked hard until 7 o'clock in the evening and earned the largest wages ever in my life - $7.00. Dwight Rogers became father to a little daughter this forenoon. Our old nurse Miss English is nursing Mrs. Rogers. I went to market in the evening and down to Mr. Thompson's to get my truss repaired, cleaned, covered and a new pad. He charged me $2.00. Charlie Scofield was buried this P.M. at 3 o'clock. Gussie went to the funeral. While I was down to Mr. Thompson's in the evening, Sarah Purdy called. 05/23 TUESDAY - Lowery in the morning. The Masonic Order of this town went to Norwalk this morning by a special train to attend a celebration. It cleared off about noon; a little cooler. Mrs. Stone washed and cleaned the parlor today. After dinner and before returning to the shop, I helped her shake the carpet. After tea, I nailed down the carpet and Gussie put the room in order. Mr. Cocking came to bring his wife home from Mr. Lynes' and I rode downtown and back again with him. By evening mail I received a note from John W. Norris, editor of the War record acknowledging the receipt of George's letter for publication. Bell came down about 4 P.M. in a great fright about Mother who had a poor turn. After I returned from market about 49 o'clock, I went up home to see her and found her rather poorly but to all appearances at least not more so than she has been for some considerable time past. I feel rather old today on account of working hard yesterday and setting up until midnight to repair my truss. 05/24 WEDNESDAY - A beautiful day. Mrs. Stone cleaned the sitting room and sink room today. I have felt nearly sick today from a hard cold. I worked all day nevertheless. After tea, I helped Mrs. Stone put down the sitting room carpet. I went down to the Post Office and to the news Office for the Sunday School Advocate. I being very tired retired early. Father Griswold up to Mother today. He thinks her to be in a worse situation than ever before. 05/25 THURSDAY - Pleasant. I worked until 7 o'clock in the evening to finish off a dozen hats. After tea, I sharpened some Pea Bush. I broke the crystal to my watch last night while putting down the sitting room carpet and carried it in my hand as I went to the shop this morning until I got to Robinson's store where I got it repaired. Susan Hancock came on the evening train to make a visit to Father Griswold. Report from Miss Barber had a letter from ___ of the 7th regiment that they were soon coming home. 05/26 FRIDAY - Pleasant. I worked as usual in the shop but came home earlier than usual to bush my peas. After doing it, I pulled weeds from my strawberry bed until nearly dark and then, to let Gussie go to the Sewing Society at Dr. Brown's, I came in to take care of the baby. Louisa came in however, and sat by him to let me go see if Mr. Barnum on the corner wanted by yard grass for the mowing. I did not see him but while returning, met Nathaniel Gable and he came in with me to have me refer to my journal and see when it was that George Davis enlisted. We found it was about September 1st, 1864. Gussie drew Georgie up home this P.M. to see Mother. She found her quite cheerful though poorly. 05/27 SATURDAY - Cloudy during the day; rain just at night. I left the shop about 4 o'clock and came home and borrowed Mr. Pond's scythe and mowed my dooryard. Jacob Fry (one of my shop mates) came and raked it up, I having promised it to him for raking up. After tea, I went downtown and brought home a pair of patent leather boots to try them tomorrow if I concluded to keep them. A fellow from New York State named Nichols was run away with this evening in Delay Street this evening. Upon turning the corner at Liberty St., the wagon struck a tree at which time the horse broke one hid leg. The last seen of him, a fellow was leading him up West Street and was reported that he was going toward the Bogg's to kill him. The leg was so badly broken that it dangled about and he was obliged to go on three legs. 05/28 SUNDAY - Rain last night, lowery all day and some fine rain. Gussie went to church in the morning and I to Sunday School in the P.M. I acted as Secretary and Treasurer of the School and arranged with David Bradley to take my place at the library. The Superintendent (George Starr) wishes me to take Brother W. B. Bradley's place as Secretary-Treasurer. I am acting in that capacity though no appointment has yet been made since Brother Bradley's death by the Board of Officers and Teachers. I distributed the Sunday School Advocates for the first time since Brother Bradley's death. After tea, Father came down and brought a bottle to get some ale for Mother. I went up home with him to see Mother. I found Mr. and Mrs. Squires there. I went into the parlor and sang with Bell a little while she played and came home again about 7 o'clock. I mailed a Harper's Weekly to George in the evening. I sent it to the Post Office by Fanny as I did not go to meeting. I took care of baby and let Gussie go to the 2nd Congregational Church in West Street to hear Dr. Hanley deliver a discourse on the Protestant Episcopal Church. 05/30 MONDAY - Rainy this morning. The wind got around into the west after dinner and the sun shone for a while, but just at night and in the evening it was cloudy again. I drew for my last two weeks work $62.00, the largest wages I ever earned before. I worked until 7 o'clock before coming home to tea. After tea, I returned the grindstone up to Father Griswold's barn for Mr. Carlson to grind our scythes that he might mow his door yard. While we were grinding, David Bradley was putting casters on Mother Griswold's kitchen table legs. We were until dark grinding the scythes and sickles. I then went to market, at the same time taking my new patent leather boots Mr. Benedict's (where I bought them) and paid for them $6.50 and left them to have some steel nails put into the heels on the outer edges. Mr. Cocking brought me some pepper plants this morning and I set them out at noon. He brought some for Father Griswold at the same time with some eggplants. I got another package of Sunday School Advocates for Sunday School. 05/31 TUESDAY - Pleasant and warmer. I worked hard all day until 7 o'clock in the evening. When I came home to tea, I found Miss English, our old nurse, talking with wife and baby. She just called for a few minutes; she is now nursing Dwight Roger's wife. Mr. Pond has been trimming up his sidewalk today. I went to market in the evening and walked up the street with John Cosier. 05/31 WEDNESDAY - Pleasant and warm. On my way to work in the morning I left my 5 gallon can at B&N's for 5 gallons of oil. I paid him for it and he sent it up before noon. From there I went up to S.G. Bailey's Jewelry Store to get a hand on my watch which got off last night. He put it on and charged me nothing. Mr. Fowler sent up 3 lbs. of butter today. While we were drinking tea, Father came down with a bittersweet vine for Mother Griswold and wanted to borrow Father Griswold's scythe. I helped him grind it. Also Mr. Pond's which I intend to use tomorrow. I drew some ale and Father and I took a glass. I went to market in the evening. When I returned, I drew some more ale for Mr. Cocking.




Western Connecticut State University




Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal May 1865 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Feb. 2020.

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