Horace Purdy Journal December 1869 Entry

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DECEMBER 01 WEDNESDAY - I hired Mr. Stanton's horse again to get beds from the depot and go to Noank. Received a letter this evening from Gussie. DECEMBER 02 THURSDAY - I put in two beds for Mrs. I. D. Gates this morning. I mailed a check to T. E. Twitchell for $44.78. I wrote to Gussie and enclosed $5.00. It snowed a little in the evening. DECEMBER 03 FRIDAY - Finished up my bed business for the present in Mystic. Took in part pay from H. D.Chesbro two undershirts and two pair of drawers for $3.60. Took sample of grape pickers from Dennison & Packer. I left Mystic on the 4:15 train and arrived in New London about 5 o'clock. I took board at the old place for a few days at Moore's, 28 ## State Street. As I left Mystic, I received a letter from William Hayes saying that Henry Day had closed up in New York and had gone to New Jersey. DECEMBER 04 SATURDAY - New London. The coldest morning we have yet had. I have been around today to see some of my customers. I took an order for two more beds from William C. Crump, the lawyer, making now the third from him. Received a letter from Mr. Twitchell with the receipted bill enclosed for the last lot. I wrote to him ordering three more for here. I had my boots mended by A. Stanley Smith. Bought of him a pair of Arctic Rubber shoes for $2.50. DECEMBER 05 SUNDAY - At Mr. Moore's in New London. Rain and snow together most of the time during the day. I attended M. E. Sunday School n Federal Street in the morning. Before tea, I went with Mr. Smith (a boarder) to visit Fort Trumbull. After tea, I called on Mr. Simpson in Blinman Street. I wrote Gussie and to William Hayes. I attended Methodist prayer meeting in the evening. Five were forward for prayers. DECEMBER 06 MONDAY - In the morning, I got from Starr & Farnum another 1,000 circulars, packed my things and took the 10:40 train for Norwich in a hard snow storm. I found Mr. Ellis in his office at 134 Main Street. The P.M., I spent arranging for a headquarters which I did at George W. Kee's, 168 Main Street, a boot and shoe dealer. I then arranged for board by eating at the Breed Hall Dining Rooms kept by Bruce & Harris and sleeping with Mr. Ellis in his office. DECEMBER 07 TUESDAY - Pleasant and good sleighing, the first of the season. Commenced canvassing for my springs. While canvassing, I got into Mr. Linnell's insurance office, agent for New York Life. He wants to hire me on a salary to be agent for that company. I like the New Jersey Mutual better. He kept me over an hour; he seemed determined to have me. DECEMBER 08 WEDNESDAY - Cold this morning; sleighing excellent. H. L. Butts of the Chelsea File Works while looking at my model accidentally broke a slat. He made another for me. Received by the 4 P.M. mail, a letter from home. Also one from Twitchell with a bill for three beds for New London. I answered Gussie and enclosed $10.00. DECEMBER 09 THURSDAY - Mercury 3 above zero; pleasant but cold. I took my first order here this morning from P. S. Thrasher. At 12:30, I took the train to New London to put in three beds, two for Crump and one for Conkey; this I accomplished. I took an order for W. B. Tate before I could get out of town. I talked with J. D. Hoxie from New London about life insurance. DECEMBER 10 FRIDAY - Pleasant. I spent a part of the day canvassing for my beds. A Mr. Stewart, a life insurance agent, called on Mr. Ellis in his office today. I being in the office at the time was very much interested in the conversation which was on life insurance in general. I lent Mr. Ellis in the morning $1.00 to buy his breakfast with $5.00 again at noon to go to Mystic with where his family is boarding. Before going, he and I talked religion for a long time. I wrote to Mr. Twitchell and enclosed George W. Kee's check for $12.00 for three beds sent to New London. DECEMBER 11 SATURDAY - Pleasant and a little warmer. Measured a single bed for Mr. Kees and a double one for Mr. Engler, a banker at the Wauregan Hotel. Received a letter from Gussie acknowledging the receipt of $10.00. I wrote to Mr. Twitchell ordering 4 beds for here and one to New London. I slept alone on Mr. Ellis' office last night. He returned this evening. After he returned, I took my old dirty thin underclothes, shoes, stock of New Jersey Mutual Life Insurance Company, documents) , Mr. Barnes (Ellis assistant in Life Insurance) etc. and made up a package and took them to the Adams Express Office to send them home. I paid 35 cents to send them. DECEMBER 12 SUNDAY - Warm and a little rain. Mr. Ellis and I had to wait until about 11 o'clock for our breakfast at Bruce & Harris' Dining Rooms. One of the proprietors was waiting for the other and vice versa and the result was that neither came until we sent for them. William Gardner (the artist in Mr. Ellis' office and a Mr. Cook with Ellis and I went for a sleigh ride down to Mohegan (the Indian Reserve) to Sunday School and evening meeting. Mr. Ellis is superintendent of the school. There are about in all 80 of the Mohegan tribe remaining, only 4 or 5 of them full bloods; the others are all half-breeds. Many of them ae good Christian people. They have a church and preacher (Mr. Muzzy) in part supported by the government. A school house also. There are between 2,000 and 3,000 acres in the reserve. To attend church and Sunday School among the Indians was very interesting to me. I talked to the school a little in the P.M. This was my first attempt at talking to a school. How well I made out I will leave to them to judge. About 40 rods from the church is the favorite spring where the old Indian Chief, Uncas, used to drink. Mr. Ellis and I took dinner with a half-breed whose wife and one daughter were good consistent members of the church. The sleighing grew beautifully less all day so that after the evening meeting, we went on bare ground a part of the way back to Norwich. DECEMBER 13 MONDAY - Warm with rain and sometimes sunshine during the day. The snow is fast disappearing. The choice between sleighs and wagons is now but slight. I this morning received a letter from T. E. Twitchell with a receipted bill enclosed for the last lot of beds. He is tomorrow or the next day coming on to see me. DECEMBER 14 TUESDAY - Pleasant. I took 4 bed orders today. Mr. Ellis went to Hartford this morning. I have had a hard headache. DECEMBER 15 WEDNESDAY - Mr. Twitchell arrived here on the 11:15 train. I met him at the Norwich & Worcester depot. He brought a few samples of door springs and 9 bill holders. I took them from him to sell. We put a spring on one door in the depot and one at the Police Headquarters. He took the 9:38 P.M. steamboat train to New York. DECEMBER 16 THURSDAY - I had 4 beds come on the freight train at 11 o'clock. I employed Mr. Sparks, an expressman to deliver them. After dinner, I put them in; these are my first in Norwich. I put a door spring on Col. McCord's Segar Store 103 Main Street. I worked a part of the P.M. in the rain. I lent Mr. Ellis $2.00 at tea time at Bruce & Harris' Dining Rooms to pay his bill for several meals there. DECEMBER 17 FRIDAY - Pleasant and warm. I have been to New London to put in William B. Tate's bed. He is a grocer on Bank Street. I lent Mr. Ellis $2.00 again. I bought ## ton of coal for him also, he being out of coal and money. I received a letter from D. R. French from Bridgeport, offering me a chance at Life Insurance in the Homeopathic Mutual Company of New York. Received a letter from Gussie. I answered it after tea and enclosed to her $5.00. While in New London, I put a door spring on for Mr. Moore for 28 ## State Street, my old boarding place. DECEMBER 18 SATURDAY - Mr. Ellis being in Mystic with his family, I stayed alone last night in his office. Raining this P.M. This evening, I mailed an order for 6 beds, enclosing last bill of $19.05 to be receipted and a check for $9.05 to balance the same. The check I bought of George Kees. DECEMBER 19 SUNDAY - Pleasant and cooler than yesterday. I retired alone last night but about 4 o'clock this morning, Mr. Ellis woke me by shaking the office door. He had just arrived from Mystic by the steamboat train from New London. I walked down to Mohegan today to attend Sunday School and evening prayer meeting. We took dinner with Mr. Aaron Rogers, a white man living near and a member of the Mohegan Church. He is a fine man and has an interesting family. His residence is located where one can overlook the city of New London about 8 miles distant. Midway between his house and the church is an old Indian fort of the Mohegan tribe. We walked from Mohegan to the city of Norwich in the evening in about an hour. Mr. Barnes (one of Ellis' agents) and I out walked Mr. Ellis coming home and left him on the road. DECEMBER 20 MONDAY - Pleasant. After breakfast George Barnes went with me up to Norwich Falls and showed me the chasm 30 feet across and 60 feet deep where the old Mohegan chief Uncas jumped across while pursuing Miantonomo, chief of the Narragansett. While jumping, Miantonomo broke his leg and was captured, so says tradition. I also visited Norwich cemetery. From there, I visited the enclosure on Sachem Street where is the Uncas monument, 17 feet high with simply the name 'Uncas' inscribed thereon. In the same enclosure are a number of stones representing the dead of Mohegan blood dating back as far as 1740. One singular epitaph reads as follows: 'Here lies Samuel Uncas, the second and beloved son of his father, John Uncas, who was the grandson of Uncas, Grand Sachem of the Mohegan, the darling of his mother being daughter of said Uncas, Grand Sachem. He died July 1st, 1741 in the 28th year of his age.' Another reads as follows on the opposite side of the enclosure: 'Pompeii Uncas, son of Benjamin and Ann Uncas of Mohegan Blood. Died May 1st, 174 - 0 21 years old. 'The above are verbatim as inscribed on the stones, some of them nearly obliterated but yet intelligible if carefully read. DECEMBER 21 TUESDAY - I spent the day selling door springs. I wrote to Gussie that I will be home on Christmas. I wrote also to D. R. French answering me a chance at life insurance by saying that I have taken an agency for the New Jersey Mutual. I sold a door spring at the American Hotel; also one to Mr. Bruce of the Breed hall Dining Rooms. The spring was for his residence. DECEMBER 22 WEDNESDAY - Stormy all day. I collected for 3 door springs. I wrote to Mr. Twitchell that I expect to be in New Haven on my way home on Friday, P.M. on the Shoreline Express to New York and requested him to meet me at the train as I could not stop over. I arranged with George Kees for selling beds for me in my absence from Norwich perhaps until Spring. DECEMBER 23 THURSDAY - Pleasant. Mr. Ellis being in Mystic, I stayed alone last night in his office. I took the train about 9 A.M. for New London to put in two springs (which I expected were there for Charles Bell who lives below Fort Trumbull on the harbor road) and then returned to Norwich and put in six which I expected to be in Norwich by the morning freight train. I was disappointed to find that the springs had not yet arrived in New London. I stayed during the day to see if they would come by freight from New Haven due at 5 P.M. They arrived. I spent the evening in getting them away from the train, which was a special favor granted by the freight agent, and putting in the two of Mr. Bell. I intercepted the from new London, took them from the freight and gave them to the Merchant's Union Express Company to take to Norwich early tomorrow morning, by which I saved about 2 ## hours though they cost me $3.00 expressage from New London to Norwich when 60 or 75 cents would have been all by freight. I succeeded by hard work and the assistance of Mr. Howard, a clerk at Mr. Kees, in getting them all put in before dinner, which enabled me to get away from Norwich by the 1:40 train to go home. The day was splendid and the trip home delightful. I sat in the seat with an agreeable Boston lady from New London to Norwalk. I expected to see Mr. Twitchell at the New Haven depot, but did not. I arrived home at 7:30 P.M. Gussie met me at the depot. Lucius Wildman carried me and my baggage from Concert Hall to the corner of West and William Street. I returned to the church where the Sunday School was holding a festival after which we came home, it being rather late. (Ed. Note: no entry for December 24th) DECEMBER 25 SATURDAY - Christmas Day. I took a walk into the street before dinner. I called on Horace Cable at his home. Called also at Ambrose Hill's to see if he was home from Brooklyn. He was not. DECEMBER 26 SUNDAY - Stormy all day; did not go out. DECEMBER 27 MONDAY - Pleasant awhile in the morning, but it finally commenced raining. I called at Crofut's Shop. I mailed a letter to Twitchell informing him of my arrangement with George Kees for selling the spring beds in my absence. I enclosed a check in the Danbury Bank for $35.65 for the last beds received at New London and Norwich. I deposited the amount to meet it. George Purdy and Ambrose Hill came from Brooklyn, arriving on the 3:15 train. DECEMBER 28 TUESDAY - I bought a key for Father Griswold's barn and gave them. I spent a part of the A. M. talking life insurance. In the afternoon, I went over to Ambrose Hill's who came yesterday with George. DECEMBER 29 WEDNESDAY - I called at Crofut's shop again and talked with several on life insurance. The Sunday School officers and teachers and some of the older scholars made me a surprise party in the evening. They presented me with a splendid portable writing desk as a token of appreciation for services rendered in the Sunday School for a succession of years as Secretary and Treasurer. I served then about 10 years. The surprise was complete and we had a good time. DECEMBER 30 THURSDAY - More pleasant today. Headache, doubtless caused by being up late last night. Father Griswold lent me $32.44 for which I gave my note to pay the premium on Henry Day's life insurance policy, which I hold as security for $600.00. He owes me for the store and goods I sold him at 68 Carmine Street. He failing to pay it, I had to pay it in order to keep my security good. I called this evening to see Anna Hinman, who is not expected to live. She has typhoid fever. DECEMBER 31 FRIDAY - Pleasant. I made in the forenoon a clock shelf for George to take with him to Brooklyn. I also mended by putting in a new axle a small toy cart for Georgie. Ambrose Hill and I met D. R. French at the train at 10:15 A.M. He came from Bridgeport to see Ambrose and me about balance due him on old spring bed business. Ambrose paid him his amount due - $40.31. I can't pay mine yet. He also came to see me on life insurance. He wants me to take the agency on Homeopathic Mutual of New York. George took the noon train for New York. Charles Hayes and Theo Bradley took the 4:15 train for New York. Charles goes to keep New Year's and takes Theo with him. We ate New Year's dinner at Father Griswold. They have it today on account of him going away tomorrow. Mother and Bell, Hattie Mills and Emily Anderson were there. After dinner, I went over to Ambrose to see him and French. In the evening, he and French came over to see me and by arrangement, French will stop with me tonight.






Purdy, Horace, 1835-1909. “Horace Purdy Journal December 1869 Entry.” Horace Purdy Journals, MS 044. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Feb. 2020.

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