Horace Purdy Journals

Purdy and wife Gussie lived in Danbury, CT where they owned a house with tenants and were active members of the church. In 1860, Purdy began keeping a diary. His political leanings appear to have been Republican but there was much political activity among both parties in the run-up to the local elections of 1860. Purdy reports on the activities of the Wide Awakes and it appears likely that he belonged to the group but he did not explicitly state that he was a member. He was in the Wooster Light Guards militia company and appeared to have been the secretary. Gussie and Horace socialize frequently with Gussie's parents, Mrs. and Father Griswold who was prominent in the regional church [Methodist?]. Purdy works in a hat shop and is busiest in the Winter and frequently suffers from headaches. He also works in his vegetable garden in the spring growing strawberries, lima beans, etc. In 1860, his father-in-law who travels to Ohio for the "General Conference."

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Purdy joined the 1st Connecticut which was a 3-month enlistment regiment and was organized at Hartford in 1861. It served in the defenses of Washington, D.C. until it was used in an advance on Vienna and Falls Church, VA from June until July 1861. It saw action in the Battle of Bull Run on July 21 and was mustered out of service on July 31, 1861.

After his term of service, Purdy returns to Danbury where he eventually transitions from being a hat finisher to selling insurance. Purdy reports on the minutia of his day, the weather and reports on political machinations with occasional editorial embellishments.

The original journal resides at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Horace Purdy Journal December 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal November 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal October 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal September 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal August 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal July 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal June 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal May 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal April 1869 Entry
Horace Purdy Journal March 1869 Entry

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