DIARY OF MARGARET ELIZABETH (DUNBAR) STUART - 1861
January, Tuesday, 1, 1861
Beautiful winter day. Skating with a gay party upon Rock Hollow Pond called by Homie "Cock Hollow." H.H.S. paid three New Year visits. Towards morning Mama & I rec'd three calls! Episcopal Church burned. Political excitement very high. The Harriet Lane ordered to Charleston Harbor. Independent for 1861. $2.00.
(Editor's note: At this time the family was apparently living in Jamaica, Queens. There was a Rock Hollow Pond in Jamaica, Queens, which was at that time a town. The town dissolved in 1898 when Queens was absorbed into New York City. The name "Jamaica" comes from the Lenape Indian word "jameco" for "beaver." The "Independent" was apparently a newspaper or magazine. The "Harriet Lane" was a ship of the U.S. Navy, named after the niece of President James Buchanan. As Buchanan was a bachelor, she acted as First Lady during his administration. "H.H.S." is Homer Hine Stuart, Margaret's husband).
January, Wednesday, 2, 1861
Went to the village in the early train. Found at the Post Office a pleasant letter from Mrs. Monell. Went on the pond skating with Mrs. Wheeler. Pleasant call from Dr. Kisson & Mrs. Gilbert Sayers. Robbie Inglis promoted from going to sleep in his cradle to the bed. He likes the change.
Katie & Homie with the rest of the school went to Mrs. Canovello's to draw from her Christmas tree & came home in high glee - dinner basket full of toys & confections. Katie wrote me her first letter to ask permission to attend.
(Editor's note: "Katie" and "Homie" are Margaret's daughter and son. Katharine was eight years and Homer six at this time. The family also had a younger child, Inglis, not quite two. Margaret would have been thirty-four, and her husband Homer fifty. It was Homer's second marriage. His first wife, Jane E. Campbell, died in 1847 after nine years of marriage. Homer and Margaret were married in 1849. The 1860 census shows a "Robert" Stuart, but no Inglis. They must be one and the same, but other than a few references in this journal, I have never seen Inglis referred to as "Robert").
January, Thursday, 3, 1861
First rainy day in a long time. Skating spoiled for the present. Wrote letters to Mrs. Monell, Mama & E.E.D. Quilted a white skirt for Katie's dancing. Robbie Inglis was laid in bed & left to fall asleep alone for the first time. Made no difficulty about it. The cradle carried into the garret. There is a baby in the house no more but a boy.
Muslin for apron & quilt $1.12. Hat (frame?) for Homie 20 cts. Benzine (sic) & Rhubarb 37 cts.
(Editor's note: "E.E.D." is in all likelihood Margaret's brother, Edward Ely Dunbar. He was an interesting character active in business in California and Arizona, owning a silver mine and coinage. He lobbied for annexation of Mexican lands by the U.S., and authored "The romance of the age, or, discovery of gold in California." New York : D. Appleton and Co., Broadway, 1867. He died in 1871 and is buried in Montevideo, Uruguay).
January, Friday, 4, 1861
First rainy day in a long time. (Editor: the preceding is crossed-out).
Public Fast for the sins of South Carolina! Mama attended church. Burr had a painful finger injured by a crooked pin. Relieved by a poultice of soda water & bread - a good thing to remember. H.H.S. went to the city to complete his Machine. The little Cananello's visited Katie.
(Editor's note: Margaret's mother was Katharine Chauncey Goodrich, who married Daniel Dunbar in 1817. She was sixty-none years of age at this time, and would die in 1873. Daniel was a Yale graduate and practiced law in Berlin, Conn. He died in 1841).
January, Saturday, 5, 1861
Inglis rather unwell. H.H.S. completed Machine No. 4.
Enjoyed a fine skate with Katie & Homie. Miss. Alice Hill, a blind girl about seventeen years old, upon the pond learning to skate. Rec'd a rather hard letter from E.E.D., a pleasant one from A.E. Coe.
(Editor's note: Margaret's aunt, Elizabeth Goodrich, married Noah Coe, but the identity of A.E. Coe is not known to me).
January, Sunday, 6, 1861
All attended church. Mr. Oakey preached as usual a tolerable sermon. Handsome day.
Sent to the druggist for medicine. Inglis still unwell, vomiting & diarrhea begins to lose some of his flesh.
Wrote letters to E.E.D. & wife & A.E.C.
January, Monday, 7, 1861
Inglis convalescent. Very soft warm day. Accompanied Mama to a shoe store to buy gaiters. We called upon Mrs. Cogswell, found her quite agreeable & lady like. Paid Willie Kirby $1.00. H.H.S. called upon C.G. Goodrich for the first time since last May.
January, Tuesday, 8, 1861
January thaw continued. Quilted a skirt upon the sewing machine. Mr. & Mrs. Oakey called. Troops sent from Governor's Island to Fort Sumpter. (Sic).
January, Wednesday 9, 1861
H.H. Stuart's Water Pressure Engine subjected to trial. - Water applied- Machine goes!
This is a fixed fact! What will come of it, we shall see. Took Katie & Homie to Dancing School. Homie looked at the Master as seriously as he does at the Preacher on Sunday. Katie took to the business very kindly. Both did remarkably well. Came home in a snow storm.
January, Thursday, 10, 1861
Mr. Canovello gave the children a charming sleigh ride. Katie rec'd a very charming little sewing machine as a present. H.H.S. in good spirits about his engine. Political news warlike.
January, Friday, 11, 1861
Curtis, the Yankee peripatetic tinker made his annual visit & soldered two saucepans & one dust pan in a scientific manner. Paid him 25 cts. Went with "Burr" to see how Mr. Brinkerhoff's house would accommodate this family in case this place should be sold. Spent one hour going from garret to cellar. When we came out stupidly shut the door with two keys inside. It locked with a snap & after trying in vain to force an entrance to the kitchen windows, I was obliged to send Burr to Mr. B- to confess & make an apology. They made light of it said a boy could go into a window.
January, Saturday, 12, 1861
Burr's last day with us for some time. Gave her a lesson upon my sewing machine. We all feel blue at the idea of her going. "Stuart's Water Pressure Engine" tried in the presence of several competent engineers & pronounced a wonderful success though they at first laughed at the idea of a machine being moved with cold water. He had painful rheumatism in his hand which was cured by binding it in flannel & ironing the hand with a flat iron as hot as he could bear it leaving the flannel bound upon it all night. Dr. Mott's recommendation.
January, Sunday, 13, 1861
Coldest day of the season. Too cold to go to church. House warm & comfortable with good fires. Read Mr. Beecher's sermon & wrote to Emily Goodrich.
(Editor's note: This may have been Margaret's cousin, Emily Louisa Goodrich, the daughter of Margaret's uncle Samuel Griswold Goodrich. Emily was three years younger than Margaret).
January, Monday, 14, 1861
Burr being left by the morning train (as usual) left at 3 PM in a great snow storm. A few moments Inglis said quite plain "Burr gone - car." The first time he ever put words together. We spent the evening talking of the machine & politics. "Star of the West" fired into by Charleston.
(Editor's note: The Star of the West was a civilian ship hired by the federal government to supply the garrison at Fort Sumter. It was fired onto the cadets of the Citadel.stationed at the Morris Island battery as it entered Charleston Harbor, on January 9, 1861).
January, Tuesday, 15, 1861
Very warm & (?). Mama & I went into the kitchen to bake apple pies & (?) doughnuts. Read Mr. Seward's speech upon "Secession" - too soothing for an honest Republican speech. The old "public functionary" seems to have a dozen minds about what is to be done.
January, Wednesday, 16, 1861
Miserable rainy day. Sent for Mr. Kirby's horse & took the children to Dancing School. Mr. Ogilvie did not come. Made arrangements with the German Music Master to give Katie lessons. Paid Mr. K 50 cents.
January, Thursday, 17, 1861
It being too wet & sloppy to go out. I wrote letters & meditated upon the feebleness of our Executive Buchanan or "Aunty" as H.H.S. calls him. Seems more like a subject for a dose of catnip than the statesman to guide a nation in peril.
January, Friday, 18, 1861
Sent letters to Aunt Goodrich, Mr. Betts & Burr. Rec'd one from Emily G. Rain continued to the disappointment of skaters.
(Editor's note: "Aunt Goodrich" would be either Elizabeth (Goodrich) Coe or Mary Ann Wolcott (Goodrich) Smith).
January, Saturday, 19, 1861
Majestic sunrise. The Eastern sky like rich wine colors reaching nearly to the zenith. Katie & Homie much impressed by it. Even the Baby shouted with admiration. Katie & Homie went to the Pond with me but the snow had spoiled the skating. Potted a box of raisins. Stuart's Water Pressure Engine attached to heavy machinery of Steam! He brought home the model intended for the Patent Office. Children much interested Baby & all.
January, Sunday, 20, 1861
All the family attended church. Read Mr. (Buchan's?) sermon in the Independent to Mama. A March day, Homie commenced saying his prayers before going to bed - but he said "the clock struck, & corrupted" him!
January, Monday, 21, 1861
Washing Day - Took care of Inglis & performed various offices about the house.
January, Tuesday, 22, 1861
Letters from Mrs. Monell & F.A. Coe. H.H.S. & I took a walk by the moonlight to the Forty Acres to inspect the new fence. Much disappointed not to go skating.
(Editor's note: F.A. "Coe" probably Frederick Augustus Coe, Margaret's cousin, ten years her senior).
January, Wednesday, 23, 1861
The dancing master foiled again. Katie took her first music lesson. H.H.S. Katie & I went skating upon Rock-Hollow-Pond. Moonlight serene - Ice firm. Pond gay. Enjoyed it immensely. Called upon Mrs. Brinkerhoff. Shopped in the village to the amount of $2.80.
January, Thursday, 24, 1861
Snow began to fall rapidly about sunrise with a driving wind from the east. (Barometer very high 30 & a half). Storm violent all day. Children at home. Cars run, but H.H.S. did not come. It changed to rain about 2 P.M. Barometer sunk below 30. Read Life of James Watt.
January, Friday, 25, 1861
H.H.S. came home at evening his hair curled looking very killing having enjoyed a fine time with friends at Fifth Avenue Hotel. He had the grace to say he "would rather have been at home with "the Phubsy"! Having conversed with a gentleman from Washington he thinks we have no idea of the extent of the conspiracy & fears Lincoln will be assassinated.
January, Saturday, 26, 1861
Went with Katie to her second music lesson. Great snow storm all day. Homie fell & cut his round red cheek on the ice. Bought at Druggists remedies to the amount of 50 cts.
January, Sunday, 27, 1861
Snow deep. No one went to church but Mama. Read The Pearl of Orr's Island to Mama & Katie also (Mexic Papers?).
January, Monday, 28, 1861
More snow. John drew Katie to school upon Homie's sled. The winter's sewing being done over I began to feel a little leisure for reading & writing. Newspapers are now so exciting they take the place of other literature. Every Republican heart beats with anxiety for our beloved Union, now endangered by treacherous traitors & violent criminals. Katie has sore throat.
January, Tuesday, 29, 1861
Snow again. Mr. Kirby brought Homie home at noon with sore throat & feverish. Put him to bed with a slice of salt pork around his neck. Anointed Katie's with Goose. Oct. Paid castor oil 25 cts.
January, Wednesday, 30, 1861
Homie's Sixth Birth Day. He & Katie at home comfortably sick with sore throats. Watched them till after two o'clock last night for fear of Diptheria (Sic). Paid Elias 37 cts. for baskets. Intended to felicitate upon dear Homie's birth day, but instead put the children upon a diet of gruel.
January, Thursday, 31, 1861
Rec'd a visit from the Rev. Pompey Ebousy inviting me to purchase & restore to him his wife & children held in bondage upon a Southern plantation. Aided him to the amount of $1.00. Wrote a political letter to A.E.C. H.H.S. full of grave concern for the country.
February, Friday, 1, 1861
Went to Dancing School with the children & had a fine time. Moma visited Dr. Stevens & Mrs. Sherbus. Bought Homie a fine saw for his birth day. Letter from Burr. I asked Katie how she liked the Polka, Redowa &c - "I think it is the ugliest thing I ever saw. When Mr. Ogilvie came to dance the Polka with me he came up so funny I thought he was going to scratch my back!!"
February, Saturday, 2, 1861
Rainy & muddy. Children confined to the house. Went no where. Nobody came, no letters. Blue evening.
February, Sunday, 3, 1861
A Lost Day.
February, Monday, 4, 1861
Homie kept from school by a slight remaining sore throat. Exercised vigorously with his Saw. A soft spring day. Inglis went out in his wagon. Great gloom prevails in view of the country. Pleasant letter from Miss Inglis promising to visit us soon.
February, Tuesday, 5, 1861
Katie sick with chill, fever & vomiting. Walked to the village to find Mrs. Betts but missed her. Came home & wrote her about "Burr."
February, Wednesday, 6, 1861
Walked with the children to Jamaica to Dancing School. Katie took her third music lesson. Weather soft & languid - Muddy. Inglis went to bed well but began to breath very badly about 10 P.M. Gave him Syrup of Ipecac.
February, Thursday, 7, 1861
Soft warm day. Thermometer at 32 above zero, began to sink towards sundown & the wind to rise. Baby breathed very croupy. Sat up with him all night in Mama's room. Mercury went to 10 below zero a change of 40 deg. & high wind still blowing a terrible night. Could not keep warm close by a hot stove. 3 persons found frozen to death in N York.
February, Friday, 8, 1861
Bitter cold morning. Bread frozen & every thing else hard as a brick. "Inglis'" croup some better.
February, Saturday, 9, 1861
Took Music lesson No. 4. Went skating upon Rock Hollow Pond with Katie & Homie.
February, Sunday, 10, 1861
Thermometer above 50. Warm & soft. Mama went to church with the Kirby's. Baby running about but breathing badly. Read one of the Beecher's sermons as usual. He seems to me almost inspired.
February, Monday, 11, 1861
Children went to school & I had a quiet day once more. Mama almost worn out with a cold. Inglis is a "Ki-gogo." He cut his upper, before his under teeth. In Central Africa such children are put to death as being "unlucky." A variation of the more prevalent superstition as to children "born with teeth." Our faired haired boy should prove the folly of such superstitions.
February, Tuesday, 12, 1861
Katie gave a select dinner party of the - a farewell to the Canovello's. Busy all day preparing for the little folks. Lincoln started for Washington. Made an admirable address at Indianapolis indicative of his policy as President. No man since the days of Washington has been called to so difficult a position & he seems to have the ability to fill it. The fate of the Federal Union is in his hands.
February, Wednesday, 13, 1861
Bade the Canovello's good bye. Took Katie & Homie to Dancing School. Mr. Ogilvie failed again. Katie took her fifth music lesson. We called upon John's wife. Lincoln enthusiastically rec'd en route. At Cincinnati drawn in an open carriage by six white horses.
February, Thursday, 14, 1861
Made a provisional agreement with Mary Morris to live with me as a cook. Wrote to C.M. Wolcott to the Church in Berlin requesting a letter for Mama and to H.L. Porter.
Valentine's Day - but none sent.
(Editor's note: Charles Mosley Wolcott was Margaret's first cousin, ten years older than her)
February, Friday, 15, 1861
Very rainy - but the children went to school. Katie begins to practice an hour & a half daily - is more patient about it than I expected. Inglis being confined to the house has spent most of this day "plauging (Sic) Grandma." Put five spools of thread in the water & one in the fire!
February, Saturday, 16, 1861
H.(??)'s $1.00. Hose .62 cts Tape 16 cts. Shoe strings .04 Crochet cotton 10 cts = $1.82
Katie & Homie attended a birth day party given to her youngest boarder by Miss Stevens. They were brought home by Mary Morris & her husband in the rain. Full of delight with the party & glee at being out after dark & in the rain too! Quite an adventure they thought.
February, Sunday, 17, 1861
A Mouse in a Glass House. This was like a March day, windy but warm. H.H.S. Katie & Homie coaxed me to walk in the garden. Found the Spinach peeping green through the straw & the frost (ought?) to allow some Parsnips for dinner. Went to see the Bees. Found them well with plenty of honey except one weak swarm that was attacked by Moths last year. Looking into the glass skip upon the top of the hive we found the little Monarchy had done what it could. Two or three small cakes of comb hung across one corner of the box but winter overtook them before they were filled with honey. In the other corner what should there be but a Mouse's Nest? In a nice bed made of the finest grass worked over & over
February, Monday, 18, 1861
Till it was softer than a hair mattress by Mr. & Mrs. Mouse taking a Sunday nap. They were so soundly asleep they did not stir till we rapped upon the glass when they ran out to ask "Who's dat knocking at the door?" Not the house mouse - nor yet the common field, but a rare variety called the long tail'd mouse that lives in the woods of a yellow brown color, white feet & belly, prominent large eyes, a most beautiful creature - did not seem greatly frightened though we set the skip upon a board & carried them into the house where we watched them long times. H.H.S. thrust a birch twig into the box. Mr. Mousy bit at it & seemed disposed to defend his "altar & his fire" but when let alone were gentler. Of course we put them back exactly as we found them. Katie suggested that by (July?) they should "hatch the young ones." & I shouldn't wonder.
February, Tuesday, 19, 1861
Mary Hicky-Morris began house cleaning, is to live with me for one year at seven dollars per month. Great (jealousy?) in the kitchen cabinet. Paid Dr. Stevens $1.50. Baker 06 cts. Lincoln arrived in New York noble & enthusiastic reception.
February, Wednesday, 20, 1861
Mr. Canovello's great auction. Walked with the children to the Dancing class. Mr. Ogilvie gave them their fourth lesson. Letter from Burr. Lincoln visits Barnum's & receives at the Astor House.
February, Thursday, 21 1861
John White washed my room. Mr. Rhodes sent the first flat fish of the season. Got the mosquito nets in readiness for the tormentors. Much overjoyed with the prospect of making Burr's brother a Policeman. Wrote to Burr to come to Mrs. Colquitt. Letter from A.E. Coe.
February, Friday, 22, 1861
Dismissed Mary Coffee & formally installed Mary Morris high priestess of the sacred (kitchen) fire. Paid for fish 18 cts. Lincoln en route for Washington, rec'd with great enthusiasm everywhere.
February, Saturday, 23 1861
Katie & Homie began to dig in their garden. Lincoln arrived in Washington last evening was obliged to leave Harrisburg in disguise by a special train on account of a plot to assassinate him in Baltimore.
February, Sunday, 24, 1861
Mama went to church with the Kirby's. H.H.S. Katie Homie & I walked to church across the fields. Walked in the garden in the afternoon. We found the mice still in the glass house as tame as kittens. Read Mr. Beecher's sermon - a dull one for him. Paid Maria 25 cts.
February, Monday, 25, 1861
Jimmy Wheeler brought me four Gold Fish which he caught in our skating pond. Inglis shouted & clapped his fat hands in delight over them. Took two large boxes of honey from the hives. John whitewashed the kitchen. Mr. Smith spent the evening with H.H.S.
February, Tuesday, 26, 1861
We walked to the village & home again. Katie & Homie took their fifth Dancing lesson. Paid 54 cts. Don Frederico called upon H.H.S. Frank Goodrich sent me his new play, very funny & witty.
(Editor's note: See reference on Frank Goodrich in April 2nd entry)
February, Wednesday, 27, 1861
Miss Inglis & Mrs. LaMonte arrived in the eleven oclock train & remained 'till three. Very much disappointed not to keep Miss Inglis. I hardly feel as if I had seen her at all. Katie & Homie took sixth dancing lesson.
February, Thursday, 28, 1861
Nothing of importance happened except I bought a string of flat fish for 12 cts. Read Bushnell's Nature & the Supernatural the chapter regarding Christ's Supernatural Nature. Who can be satisfied with anything that can be said of Jesus Christ? His character is our real Gospel.
March, Friday, 1, 1861
John planted Peas. Prof. Roschia Boschia came & gave Katie her fifth music lesson. Read Bushnell upon miracles. "A miracle is no contradiction to our experience only an event that exceeds - no suspension or violation of the laws of nature - the laws of nature are subordinate to miracles."
March, Saturday, 2, 1861
H.H.S. remained at home for the first time since Christmas. He & John made a suspension house for the bees under the cedars & boxes fir the melons. He worked hard and was very tired. Day very warm. The children came in bellowing from their garden. Homie's forehead badly cut by an accidental blow from Katie's spade. She was crying because she had hit Homie & he for fear Katie would be blamed!
March, Sunday, 3, 1861
All walked to church Communion. Mama rec'd from the church in Berlin. Very hot walk home. Thermometer at 80! Found Charles Goodrich here.
(Editor's note: This is most likely Charles Chauncey Goodrich, Margaret's cousin, three years older than she).
March, Monday, 4, 1861
A fine washing day. "Burr" came at evening on her way to Mrs. Colquitt's. All overjoyed to see her. Lincoln delivered his Inaugural to admiring crowds, an imposing scene. We have a government. His address is said to be manly - frank - temperate & conciliatory.
March, Tuesday, 5, 1861
Mercury at 32.. Katie & Homie visited the Colquitt's. Katie came home crying because Burr was sewing on Mr. Colquitt's coat. The anxiety in regard to Mr. Lincoln's first avowal of policy reached a point hitherto unknown & this morning at Eight oclock (sic) there was not a paper to be bought. Lincoln's plain sensible & honest speech has realized the expectation of his warmest friends.
March, Wednesday, 6, 1861
Mrs. Betts came in the 11 A.M. cars. Enjoyed a pleasant talk with her. Mary Hickey took the children to Dancing School. Katie took sixth music lesson. All the extreme partisan papers trying to find fault with Lincoln's Inaugural.
March, Thursday, 7, 1861
Mercury at 14. Driving wind & clouds of dust. Walked with Katie & Homie to their Eighth dancing lesson. Katie took seventh music lesson.
March, Friday, 8, 1861
March wind continued. Katie & Homie brought their teacher home with them from school - She gave a good account of them, particularly of Katie. Bessie presented us with a lively red calf!
March, Saturday, 9, 1861
Walked with Katie to take music lesson no. 9. Mrs. Wheeler picked us up & brought us home in the rain. Read Burton's journey to El Medinah with much pleasure. Children kept in by rain. H.H.S. came home at ½ past 4 P.M. instead of ½ past 6 as he has done all winter. Burr came to sleep with Katie & spend Sunday.
March, Sunday, 10, 1861
H.H.S. rather unwell - we did not go to church. Katie went with Burr to the Roman Catholic church. Katie thought the service very amusing. Much pleased with the altar boys in red caps. Said the minister sung his sermon in Latin, Greek & Irish! Said he ran back & forth a great deal as if he was an uneasy kind of a priest!
March, Monday, 11, 1861
Finished Burton's travels to El Medinah & Meccah (sic) an amusing personal narrative. He is the third Christian traveler that has penetrated into these Holy Cities & he doubts of the verifiable tomb of Mahomet is known. Says there are 139 varieties of dates. 70 well distinguished kinds. Mrs. Kisson & Dr. George called.
March, Tuesday, 12, 1861
Prettier romances transpire in humble life than are ever written. Such a one was enacted in our kitchen to day, tragic - yet comical. Mary came to me as white as paper & shaking in every limb. "Mrs. Maguire" is come to tell me there is a conspiracy to get my husband from me. Patrick Keith is going to tell William the story of Johnny's birth." I said "P- shall do no such thing" send for him. He came & protested innocence of all evil design, offering to move back to Ireland or anything to give me satisfaction. I then advised Mary to tell her husband the misfortune of her youth & trust his generosity for the consequences. If he should offer one reproach it will kill her, but I trust this is her last cross.
March, Wednesday, 13, 1861
Mary is pale this morning but her soft eye is radiant. She made a clean breast to William last night & he said "Never think of it again Mary. I took a liking to you because I saw you were a broken-hearted creature. While I have two hands to work, they are yours & if any one says anything to hurt yr feelings send them to me - I will settle them." I fear few "gentlemen" would have replied so nobly. Dancing day. Dr. Kisson ordered Bread & Milk for a sty on Katie's eye - very beneficial. Sent an article to the Independent.
March, Thursday, 14, 1861
Began Motley's Rise of the Dutch Republic. Our expression "Cod Fish" Aristocracy perhaps is derived from a party that existed in the Netherlands as far back as the (15th?) century called the "Kabbeljaws" (codfish). They represented the city or municipal faction - while the Hooks (fish hooks) that were to catch & (content?) them were the nobles - upstarts & patricians.
1440 - Lorenze Coster or Lawrence the Sexton accomplished the invention of Printing - contemporaneous with the execution of the Golden Fleece. His invention sent no thrill through Christendom - & yet - what was Phillip of Bergundy (Sic) with his Knight of the Golden Fleece & all their effulgent trumpery in the eye of civilization and humanity compared with the poor sexton & his wooden types?
March, Friday, 15, 1861
Friday. Katie at home with a weak eye. She blew soap bubbles & buil'd molasses candy. Homie came from school in a sleigh.
Mama rather unwell. Read Motley with great interest. - awful account of the Inquisition in Spain & Netherlands under Phillip. It was introduced into Netherlands by his father Charles V & it is estimated there were 100,000 victims during his reign.
Rec'd letter from Editor Independent accepting article sent-
March, Saturday, 16, 1861
Found the snow drifted half across our bed room this morning - an unpleasant change after having blue birds - robins & thermometer at 80. Homie with John's assistance made a snow woman two feet high with ample crinoline. Katie & I started for the village - but found the mud & snow so deep - wet & sticky we were glad to come back!
Baby has a way of saying "Dandy Jim" very (?). Continued "Motley." H.H.S. came home to dinner for a winder.
Mama feels better.
March, Sunday, 17, 1861
St. Patrick's Day - walking bad. Read Motley & The Independent. Write letters to Em Curtis & Mrs. Monell.
(Editor's note: "Em" Curtis most likely is Margaret's cousin Emily Chauncey (Whittelsey) Curtis, the wife of Lucius Quintius Curtis, she being about a year older than Margaret. Margaret's cousin Mary Elisabeth Smith married into the Monell family. Mary died in 1858 at the age of thirty-eight, but the "Mrs. Monell" cited here is most likely connected through this marriage).
March, Monday, 18, 1861
Carpenter put down new floor & zinc under kitchen stove to Mary's great joy.
March, Tuesday, 19, 1861
Another snow storm. Katie & Homie went to school in the Kirby's Ark. The last three days have been more uncomfortable than any this winter.
March, Wednesday, 20, 1861
Tenth Dancing lesson.
" Music "
Almost worn out wading through the bloody scenes of the Dutch Rebellion as portrayed by Motley.
March, Thursday, 21, 1861
Equinoctial Storm Snow & Wind.
Katie & Homie last eleventh Dancing lesson.
Cars did not arrive till after Eight oclock. Snow drifts over the fences.
Rec'd Independent with article signed Rodense.
March, Friday, 22, 1861
Everything buried in snow - fences - bushes & the Rail Road. As no cars could run Mr- Stuart had an involuntary holiday. With John he made a small garden gate. The rest of the day was spent in rearing a snow Giant that looks frightfully ghostly in the snow light - this for Homie.
March, Saturday, 23, 1861
Katie took Eleventh Music lesson.
She & Homie spent the day at Mrs. Wheeler's. News-papers full of the great March snow. Politics - disgusting. Persuaded Mama to take a short drive for which she feels better. Burr came at evening.
March, Sunday, 24, 1861
Mama got out to church again.
Katie very indignant that "Rodense" put her in the Independent. Inglis second birthday - Burr helped the felicitations. His Papa brought in the little Kid & Baby went into fits of delight. Dutch Republic continued. Wrote Mrs. Corning.
March, Monday, 25, 1861
Katie & Homie both at school. Baby rode in the garden.
Letter came denying a Patent for the Machine! I feel so sorry for H.H.S. To me the Engine is none the less a poem, a creation, the expression of my husband's genius - He has genius but not luck.
March, Tuesday, 26, 1861
The towering Snow Giant that was so white & majestic - is a distorted, discolored, humpy dwarf as if the wand of some Evil Enchanter had touched it.
Finished Motley's Dutch Republic yesterday. It ended with the death of the good "Father William." Homie at home with a sore thumb.
March, Wednesday, 27, 1861
Last Dancing lesson of the season. Pouring rain. We arrived at the Seminary by the aid of Mr. Kirby's white horse. Every body sorry the dancing is closed. Paid $12- for instructor in the Poetry of Motion.
March, Thursday, 28, 1861
John dressed Asparagus bed.
I bought material for children's spring sacks & Katie school dress for $4.88. Net $1.00.
March, Friday, 29, 1861
Sent Katie to bed at ½ past five P.M. This is the first time I have punished her for years & she submitted so sweetly. I punished myself more than I did her. It was not for any great fault but a series of slight misdemeanors principally impoliteness to visitors. I hope this is her last.
March, Saturday, 30, 1861
Made Pies - took Katie to her music lesson - ready for company at Eleven - no one came. Read Motley - Paid Maria $1.00.
March, Sunday, 31, 1861
Easter Sunday - cool & pleasant. All went to church. Put over shoes on the Baby & allowed him to run upon the ground. He was so delighted he ran & hugged & kissed the trees. When it was time for him to be tired & his wagon was brought he turned away in disgust & refused to be put into it.
April, Monday, 1, 1861
Sacred as the birth day of H.H.S.
Snow storm in the afternoon & hail in the evening. Katie- Homie & I made Lemon Cake with good success. Unexpected letter from Mrs. Labriskie dated German Switzerland. I still give all spare moments to "The Netherlands."
April, Tuesday, 2, 1861
Went to New York to see Em Goodrich. Lunched at (F.?) B. Goodrich's. Aunt Goodrich & Mary came home with me. Pleasant evening talking of Uncle. Cars & Stage 50 cts.
(Editor's note: Once again, she may be referring to her cousin Emily (see January 13 entry). If the unclear initial is an "F", this could then be Frank Booth Goodrich, Emily's brother (see February 26). Both were children of Samuel Griswold Goodrich, aka "Peter Parley" the noted children's book author. Frank was an author, journalist, and playwright. "Aunt Goodrich" could be Mary (Booth) Goodrich, Samuel's wife and the mother of Frank, Emily, and Mary. Frank & Emily were contemporaries of Margaret, and did have a sister Mary, some twenty years younger).
April, Wednesday, 3, 1861
Aunt & Mary bade us good bye at 9 A.M. A.E. Coe arrived at 11 A.M. Another pleasant day & evening. Letter from Mrs. Monell.
April, Thursday, 4, 1861
Mama, Annie & I dined very sociably at Mrs. Wheeler's. Agreeable time. Annie left at 3 P.M.
April, Friday, 5, 1861
"Burr" began to make children's spring sacks. Last day of Susie's school.
April, Saturday, 6, 1861
Katie took 14th Music lesson.
April, Sunday, 7, 1861
April, Monday, 8, 1861
April, Tuesday, 9, 1861
Katie Coe came with H.H.S.
(Editor's note: Most likely Katharine Hawley Coe, Margaret's twelve-year old cousin).
April, Wednesday, 10, 1861
April, Thursday, 11, 1861
April, Friday, 12, 1861
Spent the morning at Barnum's with the two Katie's & Homie. Found the Aztec children very interesting & the Aquaria very beautiful. dined (sic) the children at Taylor's & then left the two Katie's at (F A C?) office to go to Yonkers. Home very tired.
(Editor's note: Margaret may be referring to P.T. Barnum's. His establishment in New York did include America's first aquarium. The "Aztec children" were the micro cephalic siblings Maximo and Bartolo, part of the "human oddities" display at Barnum's.
"Taylor's" may refer to Taylor's Saloon, an eatery at Broadway & Franklin Streets. Taylor's and several other restaurants were the subjects of the first ever New York Times restaurant review, published January 1, 1859: "You eat off an elegant little marble table, and the terms are not, as a whole, extravagant." The reviewer had a fine meal, but "I do not like to be served by a person in dirty-white habiliments.....I naturally solace myself with the reflection that I am in strictly aristocratic quarters. Why, then, must a waiter, clad like a nightmare, come in and disturb my illusion?" It was a favorite haunt of Walt Whitman).
April, Saturday, 13, 1861
House very lonely without Katie.
Firing commenced upon Fort Sumpter (sic) at 4 in the morning. War begun!!!! Finished 5th vol Prescott's Phillip (sic) II.
April, Sunday, 14, 1861
At the church door we learned the loss of Fort Sumpter (sic) to- surrendered to (?))! When the stars & stripes went down at Sumpter (sic) it was the signal for that still honored ensign to float from a million flagstaffs from Maine to Missouri. 18,000,000 declared that not a star should be stricken out or a stripe erased from its honored folds. "All is well that ends well" & the fall of Sumpter (sic) has done more to unite the North in sustaining the Government & putting down treason than other turn of the matter could. Strangest thing of all that after 40 hours of cannonading nobody is killed!
April, Monday, 15, 1861
There are no more political parties at the North - neither Democrat - nor Republican - but only Patriots & here & there a Traitor who dare not proclaim his infamous sentiments. There is an enthusiastic sentiment & moral force in favor of Lincoln's Administration which nothing could have produced but the indignity offered by the Rebels to the Stars & Stripes. Today the Herald & Express are out in favor of the Government & War upon the South.
House desolate with no Katie.
April, Tuesday, 16, 1861
Sent "Burr" to Yonkers to dress Katie for a party & to bring her home.
Cold sour rain - one year to day since Mr. Thurbur was buried, & precisely such a day.
April, Wednesday, 17, 1861
Major Anderson arrived in New York City & was rapturously received.
1000 troops from Mass marched through the city on their way to Washington & rec'd a splendid ovation. 7th Regiment to go on Friday.
April, Thursday, 18, 1861
Mama went to ride with Mrs. Wheeler & the Thurburs.
"Katie darling" the light & life of the house came from Yonkers with "Burr" having been absent six days. Mrs. Coe writes that she has been the sweetest, happiest & best of children. She enjoyed the party & looked very pretty - Virginia seceded!!
April, Friday, 19, 1861
(?) morning - went to Flushing with Mrs Wheeler. Day green cold & sour. Came home with my teeth chattering. Burr left at 3 PM.
Massachusetts troops drew the first blood - fighting their way through Baltimore (anniversary of the battle Lexington). 7th regiment the flower of our city marched out for Washington.
1 ton kitchen coal.
April, Saturday, 20, 1861
Two Mrs Thurburs, Mrs Wheeler, Jimmy & Dora came to Lunch. Mrs. Cogswell called. Excitement in N York amounts almost to frenzy. 15000 guns belonging to the United States burned at Harper's Ferry to prevent their falling into the hands of the rebels.
April, Sunday, 21, 1861
H.H.S. bought the N Y Herald in the village & read it in church to get the news. He thinks enough troops are in Washington to hold it against the Rebels. The enthusiasm amounts to insanity. Charles Goodrich living at Fifth Avenue Hotel. Came out & spent the day for a little peace & quiet.
We had a pleasant day.
April, Monday, 22, 1861
April, Tuesday, 23, 1861
April, Wednesday, 24, 1861
Took Katie & Homie to Union Hall Seminary to begin a course of study. They entered upon it with great delight. Their new duties charm for the present but Katie is unconsciously turning her back upon the wild freedom of childhood & it was with a sigh that I packed her Dolly's clothes away in a trunk.
April, Thursday, 25, 1861
Sent Mary to school with Katie & Homie. Mr Kirby brought them home at three according to agreement. They were in gay spirits & regard the steep & stoney path to knowledge as a garden of flowers.
Baby ill - drowsy with high fever - ate nothing. Mrs Wheeler took Mama out on the Rockaway (road?).
April, Friday, 26, 1861
Went to Jamaica in the nine oclock cars taking Katie & Homie to school. walked home. Baby still feverish. Gave him castor oil to his great disgust. Letter from Em Curtis. Her theme is War - Since Washington is garrisoned I throw off anxiety.
April, Saturday, 27, 1861
April, Sunday, 28, 1861
April, Monday, 29, 1861
Homie detained from school by a dose of Castor oil.
Prof Boscher (Katie's music master) disappeared. Gone to the war! As first Lieutenant
In a German Regiment called the Turners.
April, Tuesday, 30 1861
The usual routine - Nothing new. Brewing & baking - making & mending.
May, Wednesday, 1, 1861
May, Thursday, 2, 1861
Bitter Cold. Walked home with the children at four oclock. Mr. Kirby brought a barrel of potatoes & half a Lamb from Washington Market.
May, Friday, 3, 1861
Another cheerless cold day. Cherry blossoms hang frozen - the fruit for this season all killed. Truly this Jack Frost is a malicious imp. Evening set in with cold rain. Katie took first music lesson of her new teacher.
Made 6 ½ lbs butter this week.
May, Saturday, 4, 1861
Snow Storm! Children shut up in the house like three caged animals. Katie made gingerbread. Homie sawed wood & broke my pet slop jar. The Baby plagued Grandma.
May, Sunday, 5, 1861
Went to church. Children commenced Sunday School. Too chilly to walk in the garden after dinner. Fruit blossoms all killed. No cherries this year. Read Mr. Beecher's sermon to the Volunteers to Mama.
May, Monday, 6, 1861
Pitiless rain storm. Mary in despair about drying her clothes.
Katie & Homie came from school in Mr. Kirby's ark as dry as beans.
Paid Miss Stevens for Katie's school book $1.48.
Katie began singing lessons.
May, Tuesday, 7, 1861
Made 4 lbs Butter this morning. Raked off the flower beds with John. Katie took second music lesson from new (teacher?). (?) for Butter.
May, Wednesday, 8, 1861
Katie & Homie spoke (?) for the first time at school with considerable credit. They are enchanted (?) school & improving (rest of page missing).
May, Thursday, 9, 1861
Sent an article to the Independent. Katie came from school sick with earache, tooth ache & bones ache.
Paid Mr. Kirby $3.25 Rec'd $3.00 for Butter.
May, Friday, 10, 1861
Katie not able to go to school
Made 3 ¾ lbs Butter.
May, Saturday, 11, 1861
Rec'd for Butter 50 cts.
May, Sunday, 12, 1861
A summer day spent among the buds, blossoms & birds.
May, Monday, 13, 1861
Rainy washing day. 15 Music lessons for Katie $8.05
May, Tuesday, 14, 1861
Made 3 1/3 lbs Butter. Paid up Mrs Wheeler & ¾ lb over.
Katie took 3rd music lesson of new teacher.
Paid for Katie's Bertini $1.50.
May, Wednesday, 15, 1861
Bo't at (Phraner's?) 3 prs pant's for Homie $2.25. (berbanas?) & c $1.42.
May, Thursday, 16, 1861
May, Friday, 17, 1861
May, Saturday, 18, 1861
Rec'd for Butter 45 cts. Called upon Mrs. Dr. George Kisson.
May, Sunday, 19, 1861
May, Monday, 20, 1861
Rec'd for (Hog?) $8.75. Sam Goodrich came to dinner.
(Editor's note: Probably Samuel Griswold Goodrich, Margaret's cousin, thirty-one years of age).
May, Tuesday, 21, 1861
5th Music lesson.
May, Wednesday, 22, 1861
Made 4 lbs. butter.
May, Thursday, 23, 1861
Mrs. Wheeler 22 lbs Butter at 22 cts.
Wrote article for the Independent about (Wonks?)!
May, Friday, 24, 1861
Made 3 lbs Butter. Took Katie to the Dentist. United States troops crossed the Potomac & took Alexandria.
It cost the first martyr of the War the life of Col Elmer Elsworth! (sic)
6th Music lesson.
May, Saturday, 25, 1861
Sold 2 lbs Butter 44 cts.
May, Sunday, 26, 1861
Homie in bed all day with fever & sore throat. Dr. Kisson came prescribed Chloride of potassium & Citrate of Magnesia.
Frightful thunder storm during the night.
May, Monday, 27, 1861
Moma sat with Homie while I churned & the women washed. Homie less feverish.
May, Tuesday, 28, 1861
Made 4 lbs Butter. Homie's throat better. He is a very sweet patient & I enjoy nursing him night & day. He has the most grateful & affectionate nature, is full of tender & graceful remarks. If his head is as busy as his heart & both are well balanced when he grows up, he will make a glorious man. 7th music lesson.
May, Wednesday, 29, 1861
Sent Mrs. Wheeler 2 lbs Butter at 22 cts.
Homie better & goes out. I feel lonely without my little patient.
Paid Mr Kirby $1.00
May, Thursday, 30, 1861
Dr. Kisson came to see Homie & found him gone to school. We gossiped for an hour.
May, Friday, 31, 1861
Flag missing at Union Hall. Katie helped to pull it up. H.H.S. made a good speech. The children sang - The boys hurrahed. The day was fine & all together the ceremony was a success.
8th Music lesson.
Bought shoes for Katie $1.00
June, Saturday, 1, 1861
Walked to the village ordered a barrel flour & other groceries. Letter from A.E. Coe. Death of Douglas. Bought 2 prs stockings & 2 pieces ribbon $1.00.
June, Sunday, 2, 1861
A perfect summer day. Children went to Sunday School. Wrote account of the Flag Rising for the Independent. Our country is disturbed by War & rebellion - but my own Home is so peaceful - I am so happy with my mother my husband & my children. I find such full employment for every hour that even these mid summer days are not long enough for my enjoyment.
June, Monday, 3, 1861
Made 4 ¾ lbs. Butter. Mr. Betts family came up for the summer.
June, Tuesday, 4, 1861
Sent Mrs. Wheeler 3 ¼ lbs. butter at (sic). Spent the P.M. at Mrs. Cogswell's sewing on Havelocks. Paid Maria $20.00. 9th Music lesson.
(Editor's note: "Havelocks" were a cap cover to be worn over the soldier's cap with its long tail covering the man's neck. Soldiers generally did not like to use them as they actually made them hotter).
June, Wednesday, 5, 1861
Made 6 lbs Butter & put it down in a pot. Made four Havelocks.
June, Thursday, 6, 1861
June, Friday, 7, 1861
Mama & I called at the Monice's. Paid Mr. Kirby $2.25.
10th Music lesson.
June, Saturday, 8, 1861
1 lb butter to Mrs. Wheeler.
June, Sunday, 9, 1861
Hot. Walked to church returning at high noon in high perspiration. Spent the evening at the Bett's.
June, Monday, 10, 1861
Made butter before breakfast - about 4 lbs. Sent Mrs. Wheeler 1 ¼ lbs. Burr came.
June, Tuesday, 11, 1861
Sent Mrs. Wheeler 1 ½ lbs. Spent the A M at Mrs. Betts'.
June, Wednesday, 12, 1861
Paid Mr. How. Potatoes & Eggs: $1.37.
11th Music lesson.
June, Thursday, 13, 1861
2 lbs Butter to Mrs Wheeler. Churned 2 ¾.
Paid Hoop. 75 cts. Music 60 Shoes 75. 2 cravats 30 cts.
June, Friday, 14, 1861
June, Saturday, 15, 1861
Mr. Curtis came.
June, Sunday, 16, 1861
June, Monday, 17, 1861
Rec'd a letter from Charles Goodrich with a pair of candle sticks from my father's house which he said would serve to remind me of "the light of other days."
June, Tuesday, 18, 1861
Sent Mrs Wheeler 1 ½ lbs butter at 19 cts.
Paid clams & fish 20 cts. Wrote to Mrs. Monell. Walked to the village twice with & for Katie.
Dr. George Kisson - Bride & mother paid us a visit & invited us to a party next Thursday evening. Of course I cannot go as I do not own a dress, but do not care.
June, Wednesday, 19, 1861
June, Thursday, 20, 1861
Fish 18 cts. H.H.S. came home at 1 P.M. Mrs. Monice spent the afternoon.
Felt tired & sick all day from walking to school with Katie. I must set my wits to work to buy a house.
June, Friday, 21, 1861
Mrs. Monice sent a splendid basket of strawberries. Went for Miss Inglis to the cars in a sudden thunder shower. No Miss Inglis came. Much disappointed. Striyknine (sic) Pills 75 cts.
June, Saturday, 22, 1861
Miss Inglis came at 1 P.M. Just the same sweet, womanly - dignified person. I hope she will have a pleasant visit. She bought me some beautiful & costly presents from Scotland. H.H.S. went out in Jamaica Bay fishing - with Mr. Kirby. Enjoyed a fine time.
June, Sunday, 23, 1861
Sent for Kirby's horse to take Miss Inglis. Moma & Katie to church.
June, Monday, 24, 1861
Rose very early, baked & churned before breakfast. Miss Inglis & I walked to school with Katie. We took care of Baby while the girls washed. Homie had a hard chill that shook him violently, followed by much fever & profuse perspiration.
Paid Mr. Kirby $2.50.
June, Tuesday, 25, 1861
Miss Inglis & I had a pleasant walk to school with Katie. Came home & baked cake.
Mr & Mrs Lamont came at 1 P.M. & remained till 4 P.M.
June, Wednesday, 26, 1861
Miss Inglis went to school with Katie in "the ark" & bought Miss Louisa Stevens to spend the day. Spent the morning in quiet conversation, took a plain dinner at 1 PM. Walked in the garden. "(Wonks"?) presented us with five nice kittens. took (sic) a pleasant drive out to the "one-mile-mill."
June, Thursday, 27, 1861
Rose at 5 AM. Baked & churned before breakfast. Miss Inglis & I had another charming walk to & from school. Talked read & sewed. After dinner Wm Kirby drove Miss Inglis, Mama & me to Flushing - a lovely evening & a lovely drive. Letter from Mrs Monell inviting us to Newburgh. Beets for dinner.
June, Friday, 28, 1861
Last day of Miss Inglis' visit. We were all so won by her gentle ways we (were?) loth (sic) to let her go. She walked to school with Katie & I in the morning, the rest of the day flew on wings & at 3 PM she took the cars at Jamaica. I wish her visits may be longer & more frequent hereafter, she is so true & so lovely.
June, Saturday, 29 1861
Katie & Homie went to a Pic Nic in Judd's Grove with Miss Stevens' school. They had a fine time & did not get too tired nor sick with too much eating. H.H.S. & I called upon Recorder Smith & sister last evening. I do not admire him as much as his horses.
June, Sunday, 30, 1861
We all turned out to church. Last day of this glorious month of June. A serene day - closed by a majestic sun set.
J uly, Monday, 1, 1861
Surprised at evening by a large, unmistakable comet. First string beans.
July, Tuesday, 2, 1861
Comet very brilliant & beautiful with a star as large as a moon.
July, Wednesday, 3, 1861
July, Thursday, 4, 1861
H.H.S. went fishing in Jamaica Bay. Rec'd a frigid letter from A.E.C. Replied. Mr. Betts & the Rev. Beverly called. invited us to fire works. Children went, much delighted.
July, Friday, 5, 1861
Katie invited Bevy & Annie to spend the day. They had a happy time - making a mud house. Mrs. Robinson spent the afternoon.
July, Saturday, 6, 1861
Rose early, picked currants. Made jelly & churned. Bevy & Annie Robinson spent the day with Katie & Homie. They had an exquisite time making mud pies.
July, Sunday, 7, 1861
A majestic July day. Hot, brilliant, splendid: No one went to church but Mama.
July, Monday, 8, 1861
Very hot - did not send the children to school.
July, Tuesday, 9, 1861
Churned, baked & got the week's ironing done before 1 P.M.
Went to see Miss Stevens about the children - she is of the opinion that Homie is rather lazy!
July, Wednesday, 10, 1861
Patrick brought the children two little rabbits. They are quite beside themselves.
Wrote an article for the Independent about our Kitchen Garden.
July, Thursday, 11, 1861
Sent Miss Stevens a peck of peas & 5 qts string beans.
Mrs. Monice came & brought Rasberries (sic). H.H.S. & I called at the Bett's.
Letter from Em Goodrich & A.E.Coe. Katie's Rabbit died!
July, Friday, 12, 1861
Homie's rabbit died. Sam Goodrich came to dinner. After dinner we drove to the Monice's & spent the evening.
Moony - starry - comety perfect night.
July, Saturday, 13, 1861
Sam left. Letter from Miss Inglis. She sent Mama an acceptable present. Katie & Homie went to New York with Papa. Bevy & Annie came to the funeral of the rabbits at evening. Exercises were hurried on account of rain.
July, Sunday, 14, 1861
We walked half way to church & turned back on account of the threatened rain which did not come. Garden almost dying with drouth (sic). Mr. Smith sent us fresh Salmon from Montreal for dinner. Took off a box of honey from a bee hive. Bees very indignant. Nurse sick. Wrote Miss Inglis.
July, Monday, 15, 1861
Early Cabbage for the first time.
Katie sent box Gooseberries to Miss Inglis. I sent a letter.
July, Tuesday, 16, 1861
Burr came to sew for (me?) two days.
Paid Mr. Kirby $3.00 out of my Butter money.
Sent Miss Stevens 20 Beets.
July, Wednesday, 17, 1861
Hard at work with Burr. Took the (?) off my Sunday Hat - finished two (?) shirts - a (?) jacket & a blk silk bodice. Got the material for all but the shirts out of the rag bag! Sent letter to A.E. Coe.
Potatoes dying of drouth (sic). Katie & Homie began going in the stage.
July, Thursday, 18, 1861
Drouth (sic) continued with variation of mosquitoes. Drove (?) machine hard. Mrs. Wheeler came. Katie & Homie walked from school. Mrs. Robinson & children came. Letter from Em Curtis.
July, Friday, 19, 1861
Called upon Mrs. Recorder Smith, rather agreeable. Took a drive with Mrs. Wheeler for celery plants.
July, Saturday, 20, 1861
First rain in a long time lasted about 3 hours. Katie made a call upon Frank Smith. Mrs. Smith came to see Mama & took her a drive.
Rumors of a battle at Bull's Run.
July, Sunday, 21, 1861
We walked to church. Heard one of the secretaries of the Sunday School Union - very interesting. Much anxiety about the contemplated battle at Bull's Run. The armies at last accounts only a mile apart. Red cow came from the pasture with a nice little calf by her side.
July, Monday, 22, 1861
Many sick in bed. Poor red cow found dead in the stable!! Mrs. Betts came to spend the P.M. Mrs. Monice & daughter called to take Moma to Mrs. Oakey's, they brought news that the battle was in progress & our army winning the day. In an hour they returned to say we had suffered a disgraceful defeat, the army retreated in disgraceful disorder & 4000 killed!!!
Mr. Stuart returned in the late train & confirmed it. Too dreadful for belief. We cannot go to sleep to night thinking of the bereaved & the wounded.
July, Tuesday, 23, 1861
Went to the village early for the papers. News surprisingly better. Less than a thousand killed. Out soldiers fought long & well only (?) when hopelessly outnumbered.
No one seems to know who gave the order for retreat, which was issued as we seemed on the point of victory. Sent Miss (S.?) a peck of peas.
July, Wednesday, 24, 1861
Fell so depressed by our defeat & useless loss of life at Manassas. I can hardly attend to ordinary avocation. It seems hopeless to sacrifice brave men while we have no capable General at the head of the army & few good officers.
July, Thursday, 25, 1861
Picked string beans for Miss Stevens before breakfast.
July, Friday, 26, 1861
July, Saturday, 27, 1861
July, Sunday, 28, 1861
Prepared for church but afraid to walk in the heat. Sent Homie with his Grandmama in the Kirby's Ark. Katie & Homie went to Sunday School in afternoon.
July, Monday, 29, 1861
Drouth (sic) becoming frightful. Hot muggy washing day. Miss Monice came & brought basket of harvest apples to the great satisfaction of the children. Letter from Em Curtis. Henry safe in Detroit. Picked string beans for Miss Stevens before breakfast.
July, Tuesday, 30, 1861
July, Wednesday, 31, 1861
Katie & Homie attended the closing soiree of Miss Steven's school. They remained all night & enjoyed a capital time.
August, Thursday, 1, 1861
Finished reading Hitchcock's Religion of Geology. Rec'd Independent with Rodense's Old Fashioned Garden.
August, Friday, 2, 1861
First ripe Tomato. First day of vacation. I began teaching Homie an hour & a half every morning while Katie practices & the Baby sleeps.
August, Saturday, 3, 1861
Paid Miss Steven's (sic) bill for the children, $22.77. Mrs. Betts & Mrs. Thurber came.
Mr. Stuart out fishing in Jamaica Bay. He came home with a Sheep's Head weighing 7 lbs that he bought.
August, Sunday, 4, 1861
Hot & dry. No one went to church but Mama.
August, Monday, 5, 1861
Emma Canovello arrived in the stage & announced that she would stay a week. Quite an unexpected visitor but most welcome to the children.
Shower of about thirty minutes, the first rain in some weeks, the grass is dead & the trees seem to be dying.
August, Tuesday, 6, 1861
Thermometer at 96, dry, burning & exhausting. Spent an hour at Mrs. Betts. Katie had a small dinner party, Talked with the Kirby's about sailing to the beach with the children for a bath in the surf.
August, Wednesday, 7, 1861
Children very happy with Emmaline. They went to the village to call upon Miss Stevens. Still talking about the sail in Jamaica Bay. Children advocate it very earnestly with strong opposition from the pater familliaes (sic).
August, Thursday, 8, 1861
Decided to venture upon a short sail with the children under Mr. Kirby's care.
Katie, Homie & Emmaline half beside themselves with delight. Homie got up at 1 o'clock in the morning to be ready. Rec'd Independent with Rodense's account of the old garden.
August, Friday, 9, 1861
Morning rainy - rather unpromising for sailing. Finally decided to go. At the last moment H.H.S. accompanied us. Pleasant sail. Nice pic-nic delicious bath in the surf. The children rushed into the water with their clothes on as if they were distracted. Great calm returning. Night set in while we were still in the bay occasional thunder & lightning - darkness patchy. H.H.S. not at all merry. Reached home safely at 20 minutes before midnight.
August, Saturday, 10, 1861
Children lively as grasshoppers after their yesterday's fatigue. They took no cold though they sailed & rode in wet clothes for eight hours. Mr. Canovello came in the afternoon for Emmaline & was much disappointed that I would not allow Katie to accompany her home.
August, Sunday, 11, 1861
All went to church together in our Rockaway. Fine sermon from Mr. Duryea. Met the Freeman's there.
August, Monday, 12, 1861
Mary the cook very sick with hemmorage (sic) of the stomach. She was obliged to give up & go to bed. I feel very blue about it.
Engaged another girl who proved an imposter.
August, Tuesday, 13, 1861
Walked to the village. Mrs. Wheeler picked me up & brought me home. Dr. Barker came to see Mary. Katie & I ironed considerably.
August, Wednesday, 14, 1861
Sent Maria into the kitchen. Katie took care of the Baby. Moma washed the dishes. I was chambermaid. Mary still too sick to be removed.
August, Thursday. 15, 1861
Same division of labor as yesterday. Mary some better, begins to take some food & wine to strengthen her.
Rec'd Independent with Wonks again.
August, Friday, 16, 1861
We all feel more cheerful for Mary is out of bed.
In the political horizon I can see no light except perhaps a little more vigor on the part of the Administration.
August, Saturday, 17, 1861
Mary washed some dishes & helped to get dinner. Mr. Canovello came again for Katie & I could not refuse her. She took her seat in the carriage with great joy.
Her father was much displeased to find her gone. If any thing happens to her while away he will never forgive me.
August, Sunday, 18, 1861
Mama very unwell having rec'd an afflictive letter. Charles Goodrich came & spent the day. Hot & sultry. We all miss Katie & Homie seems to have lost all life & spirits. She is the light & the life of this house.
August, Monday, 19, 1861
Woman came to wash. Mrs. Wisner Townsend arrived at ½ past eight AM from Islip to spend the day. House in a general state of upside down but we made her very welcome & enjoyed the visit.
August, Tuesday, 20, 1861
House very dreary without Katie. Wrote to hasten her home. The evening made glorious by the Harvest Moon.
August, Wednesday, 21, 1861
Mended all day. H.H.S. brought home a family supply of shoes. Baby rec'd & entered his first Boots.
August, Thursday, 22, 1861
Katie still absent. The time seems dull.
August, Friday, 23, 1861
Mrs. Colquith came.
August, Saturday, 24, 1861
Katie came home as plump as a quail. She felt very consequential. Has been out fishing - to Evergreen Cemetery - to Coney Island - to Fort Hamilton & to the (?) in New York & to hear the Wood's Minstrels!!! She will perhaps never enjoy as much in one week again.
(Editor's note: Wood's Minstrels was a traveling minstrel troupe formed about 1842. They moved from Buffalo to New York in 1846. In 1857 they opened a new building at 561-563 Broadway. Source: JRJ, December 2006, page 28).
August, Sunday, 25, 1861
Hot dog day. We walked to church.
August, Monday, 26, 1861
Mrs. Wheeler sick with Remittent Fever & other alarming symptoms.
Letter from A.E. Coe. She seems in good spirits about the country but to me it seems darker every day.
August, Tuesday, 27, 1861
Katie is circulating with great eagerness the astonishing news that Mrs. Wheeler has hatched a boy!! Homie says God gave it to her in the night.
August, Wednesday, 28 1861
Sent Rainy Saturday to the Independent. Dora spent the day. Children played to their heart's content. I had a very tidy fit & mended every thing in the house.
August, Thursday, 29, 1861
Walked to the village with Katie & Homie to do some necessary errands. (?) accompanied us & we were involved in several dog fights, one occurr'd in a milliner's shop & terrified the poor woman so she spoilt my bonnet. Got out of the town as soon as possible. I dislike that village more every time I enter it.
August, Friday, 30, 1861
"Sat up" with Mrs. Wheeler & her tiny baby to give "Burr" a night's rest.
August, Saturday, 31, 1861
My poor Diary is sadly neglected. The days glide so simply by & every moment finds so full & pleasant occupation I have little time for (?). We seem to be on the eve of a fearful battle. The country is full of anxious hearts. Our farms & gardens are (?) with frightful drouth (sic). Our basket & our store are so empty I have not the wherewithal to clothe my children the coming winter, yet I never felt so content, so happy or so hopeful.
September Sunday, 1, 1861
Mama able to attend communion. She recd last evening the Hymn Book which Uncle Charles read as long as he could read any thing. Many of the leaves turned at his favorite hymns. Sophia Ashton sent me her two last books & I read them to the children to their great enjoyment.
(Editor's note: "Uncle Charles" is Charles Augustus Goodrich, born 1790 and he would die in 1862, less than a year after this entry. He was a Congregational minister and author of many books. He also did some literary work for his brother Samuel, aka "Peter Parley" the noted children's book author. Sophia was Charles' daughter, and Margaret's cousin, born 1819 and died 1872, and the wife of John Ashton. Sophia was also an author of numerous books, including "Women of the Bible.")
September, Monday, 2, 1861
(?) (study?) "blue (Monday"?) & washing day - the children had a small dinner party & played under the trees to their heart's content. Beautiful news of the taking of Fort Hatteras. 700 Rebel prisoners coming into New York. Fremont has proclaimed Emancipation in Missouri! This is the beginning of the end!
(Editor's note: The battle is significant for several reasons: It was the first notable Union victory of the war; following the embarrassment of First Bull Run, and encouraged supporters of the Union in the gloomy early days. It represented the first application of the naval blockading strategy. It was the first amphibious operation, as well as the first combined operation, involving units of both the United States Army and Navy. Finally, a new tactic was exploited by the bombarding fleet; by keeping in motion, they did much to eliminate the traditional advantage of shore-based guns over those carried on ships - (Wikipedia.org). Fremont's proclamation was issued without knowledge or approval of President Lincoln, who eventually revoked it and removed Fremont from his command).
September, Tuesday, 3, 1861
Turned auld grey dress & made it "amoist as gude as new." Sent bonnet to the Milliner to be beautified. Had an ambitious fit about appearances. Recorder Smith called to take H.H.S. out for a drive.
September, Wednesday, 4, 1861
12 yr's ago this day I put on a green travelling (sic) dress & stood beside a spectacular gentleman in a (certain?) parlor in 4th avenue. Several ladies in black sat by while an old man in black pronounced some mystical words that transmogrified me considerably. I havent (sic) got over them yet & I think they affect my destiny more & more every year. Aye! & they will continue to bind me to the latest day of my life, nor do their momentous fruits cease with me, for 3 immortals owe their life to this.
September, Thursday, 5, 1861
Had a great cleaning up fit, turned closets inside out & emptied drawers. Got the house in first rate order. Mrs. (Barker?) called. Burr came at evening & brought a good account of her patients & baby.
H.H.S. brought Katie & me stock of shoes from Wesson & Corp.
September, Friday, 6 1861
September, Saturday, 7, 1861
Made preparation for cousin John who did not come. Superintended John in cutting down dead & discarded cherry trees.
September, Sunday, 8, 1861
All went to church. Charming day.
September, Monday, 9, 1861
Mrs. Betts & Robinson spent the afternoon. Jos Canovello came to spend a few days with the children.
September, Tuesday, 10, 1861
Called upon Mrs. Recorder Smith. Frank Smith brought me two Gold Fish at evening.
September, Wednesday, 11, 1861
A welcome rainy day, very refreshing to the garden.
September, Thursday, 12, 1861
September, Friday, 13, 1861
Walked to the village. Mrs. (Berman?) came. Found Miss Inglis & Mrs. Lamont here upon my return. Pleasant surprise. They left for the 4 P.M. cars.
Mr. Canovello came after Josie. Abner (Therbur?) spent the evening. Quite a day of excitement.
September, Saturday, 14, 1861
Mrs. Whalen took Moma (for?) a drive. Mama went there to dinner. H.H.S. came at 1 P.M. We dined at 2. Nice afternoon.
(Editor's note: Margaret did not make any entries from Sept. 15 through Nov. 9)
November, Sunday, 10 1861
All attended church but the Baby & me. We cooked dinner.
November, Monday, 11, 1861
Burr preparing to go. High pressure on all day.
November, Tuesday, 12, 1861
Mrs. Coe arrived with Leonard & the horse at 1 P.M. Very glad to see her. Spent a pleasant evening talking with Mr. (Stuart?) about the war. Burr left leaving a vast vacancy in the family.
November, Wednesday, 13, 1861
Mrs. Coe left at 8 AM for Yonkers, taking Mama with her. The house seems odd enough without Moma.
Grand news of the brilliant exploit of our fleet in taking Forts Walker & Beauregard & landing the troops at Beauford. The poor slaves are flocking to the fleet with a tiny bundle in their hands. The year of the Jubilee has come.
November, Thursday, 14, 1861
Good news of the fleet all comfirmed. It was managed splendid. Long live Dupont! "The chivalry" ran from the forts so fast they did not even stop to spike the guns. Took a ride on Kitty.
(Editor's note: On November 7, 1861, Captain Samuel F. Dupont's warships silenced Confederate guns in Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard. This victory enabled General Thomas W. Sherman's troops to occupy first Port Royal and then all the famous Sea Islands of South Carolina)
November, Friday, 15, 1861
Cleaned the cellar & old kitchen. Helen came at 1 & stayed till five.
November, Saturday, 16, 1861
More good news. Slidell & Mason who ran the blockade at Charleston on their way to Europe to secure the recognition of the Confederate states are on their way to Fort Lafayette. Long live Cap Wilkes. He seized them on board a Brittish (sic) Mail Steamer but I hope our own Gov'mt will sustain him.
(Editor's note: Known as the "Trent Affair" after the name of the British ship on which Mason & Slidell were traveling, the incident resulted in major tensions between the United States and the United Kingdom, nearly resulting in war between the two nations. Lincoln finally released the two and disavowed Captain Wilkes' actions. Slidel & Mason resumed their journey to Europe, but failed in their aim to gain diplomatic recognition of the Confederacy by England and France.
November, Sunday, 17, 1861
Superb day. Walked to church with much enjoyment. Found Charles Goodrich here when we returned. He looks thin with bad cough. He left his horse, buggy - robes - sleigh & whip for our use.
November, Monday, 18, 1861
Katie went to school with the new horse. Bridget came as cook. Marion took a tearful farewell of the Baby. I took a drive with all the children in the afternoon. Find it very pleasant to have a carriage once more. The winter is setting in with so many comforts I begin to feel some fresh misfortune.
(Editor's note: This ends the 1861 journal entries. On the bottom of this page is written: "Transcribed to this date Nov 18, 1861 the rest in '81 - mis. info." This may be a note from Margaret, or from someone else. Apparently the remainder of the dated pages for 1861 are blank. The diary does include a section of memoranda and cash accounts as follows:
Mary - came Sept 18th at $6.00 per month.
Paid her Oct 3 $1
" " 4 $1.
Feb. 22 - Paid in full 25-00 & discharged.
Maria - Nov 1st
$6 per month
" Feb 13th 10.00
May 4th 2-25
June " 20-00
Nov 16th dress 2-75
" 18 16-00
Mary Hickey Morris
Feb. 18th at $7 per month
July 10th Paid $10.37
Sept 20th " 12.50
Oct 1st " 5.00
Ellen came as cook at $7.00
Oct 28th Paid & discharged
Bridget came at 7 Nov 18th
Cash Account, January
Date Received $ Paid
1st From HHS 50.00 2.00
" EED 25.00
Cash Account, February
Date Received $ Paid cts
1st Kirby 75
13 Maria 10
" Baker &c 17
16 Phraner 2 32
" E Cotton 10
19 Dr. Stevens 1 50
22 M. Coffee ________________________25 00
25 00 39 84
Cash Account, March
Date Received Paid
12th From HH.S. $25 00
23 Dr. Shelton 6 00
" Katie shoes 88
" Pills 25
26 Fish 12
27 Dancing 12 00
" Kirby 50
28 Dress Katie 1 00
" Socks 3 88
" Net 1 00
30 Maria 1 00
Fish 4 times ____________________________50
$25 00 $27 13
Cash Account, April
Date Received Paid
2 Cravat 5.00
" Gloves 2 00
" Steak 45
3 Alcohol 35
12 Cars & Stage 95
" Museum 80
" Taylors 1 10
" Stage 30
13 (Sloons?) 3 69
18 ½ yd Silk 25
" Katie & Burr 2 00
26 Lunch 12
" Desk Covers 22
" Flag 10
27 Shad 37
29 Fish ___________________________12
$ 50 13 82
Cash Account, May
Date Received Paid
May 4th from HHS 2 00
4th Maria 2 00
Kirby 3 25
11th Butter 3 50
12th HH.S. 10 00
13 K.'s Music 8 05
15th H's Pants 2 25
" Flowers 1 42
16 HH.S. 10 00
20 Hay 8 75
21 Kirby 1 50
22 Clock 1 50
23 MDS Shoes 1 75
" Fish 51
24th Katie's Dentist 2 00
29th Druggist 50
31st Katie's shoes 1 00
14 " Bertini 1 50
29 Kirby __________________________1 00
58 25 28 23
Cash Account, June
Date Received $ Paid cts
1st Hose & ribbon 1 00
2d Baby shoes 50
4th Maria 20 00
7th Kirby 2 25
10th & 11th Fish & Clams 50
11th HH.S 5 00
12th Potatoes Eggs 3 00
" 1 37
13 4 40
20 clams & fish 40
21st Pills for Homie 75
24th Kirby 2 50
28th Red Butter 3 00
Cash Account, July
Date Received Paid
1st From HH.S. $20 00
2d Paid Mary $10 00
" " Maria 10 00
11 Kirby 3 00
18 " 3 00
Cash Account, August
Date Received Paid
19 Wash woman 75
20 Clams 20
24 HHS 3 00
Cash Account, September
Date Received Paid
10th Tailoress 2 00
(Editor's note: October & November cash accounts are blank)
Cash Account, December
Date Received Paid
1st HH.S. 50 00
Henderson's 2 00
Baby's Shoes 80
Katie's " 75
2d Hickey 17 50
2d Kirby 4 50
" Maria 20 25
(Editor's note: The following page is a Cash Account summary, with some monthly entries for "received" and "paid." The page has considerable ink splotches and miscellaneous lines)
January BILLS PAID
Date Name Amount
3d Independent 2 00
5th Phraner 1 25
" & Dry Goods 80
Cornwall & Smith 20 75
" Kerosene 2 00
Dancing Shoes Homie 1 00
14th (?) Burr 10 00
16th Tailoress 3 50
23d crochet cotton 40
" (?) Muslin (?) 2 50
26 Druggist 50
29 Castor Oil 25
30 Baskets to Elias 37
31st Buy a Woman & Baby 1 00
30 Muslin. Hat forms 1 33
" Benzine (sic) & Rhubarb 37
7th Kirby 1 00
16: Kirby __50
$ 23 cts