The Jonson Diaries

VOLUME II (1838-1843):

VOLUME I (1833-1837)
VOLUME II (1838-1865)


(07.22.01)September 22, 1838: ...Discussed theology with Dr. Swan till midnight. He is, strange to say, a swednborgian! How can his otherwise clear head be imposed upon by the impostures and blasphemies of that old ma[d]man! It mortifies poor dear L.

(07.22.01) September 24, 1838: Up betimes. Breakfasted and out practiced pistol firing. Dr. Swan lectured on 'the conversion of dead into living matte


(03.17.02) Sept 24, 1839. "Up at 10. Got shaved, breakfasted, read newspaper and then with W. to Hoboken. Home and wrote up diary and memorandum of travelling expenses. Then withMr. W. to Tammany Hall, & c.

Have some headache, price of late hours. At 3 1/2 P.M. paid tavern bill, $2.75, and was taken with baggage to boat, which starts not till 5, but I like to be in season. Spent the spare hour and a half in walking the deck with W. and conversing. In the crowd, saw old Ebenezer Mix, of Batavia, but did not speak to him.

Off at 5 and reaching catskill, 34 miles below Albany, our destination, the boat lay there till morning.

Provoked to learn that the steamer would proceed no higher up than Coeymans, that we must travel thence by land, and arrive in Albany too late for the morning train west. More ill luck. Nobody aboard that I knew. Had a good berth and early to it. Fare $6.


(07.15.01)Aug 29, 1843: The tent is here and up in the Park. No church to be had[talk ] with Salmon Chase, a lawyer and delegate from Ohio. . . Letter from the mayor, Joseph Masten says we will not be permitted to use the Park in front of the Court House.. This is pure cussedness. The Convention will be held in the Park, notwithstanding. There are two powerful political parties and the churches arrayed against us; but they fear us for we have both speech and ballots, and have God on our side who with us is a majority Most of the delegates have arrived and been assigned quarters

(07.08.01)Aug 26, 1843: Usual routine. . .Into the jail and saw former client Haskell who is there for keeping a house of prostitution a man of weak understanding. Hired and horse and buggy and set off with Mr, James Jackson to our appointed meetings in Williamsville. . .There gave up the wagon to Mr. J. and returned to B Buffalo in a peddlers wagon. Another three dollars gone. What a tax is this anti-slavery labor on time, nerves, pocket and patience!

(06.25.01)Aug 19, 1843: All morning in the interesting Colored Convention, held here during the last two days. This convention has given the people here a higher idea of the ability and worth of the colored people than they entertained before. Indeed it has changed contempt for them into admiration.

(06.15.01)Aug 15, 1843: Usual routine Letter from J. W. Alden , Boston, to ask me to provide quarters for him and Rev. Joshua Leavitt during the great convention. They will probably be accompanied by their wives.

Aug. l3, 1843:. . . Forenoon to Hopkins Ch; afternoon Hosmer's ch; and at evening heard Douglass and Remond speak from a stand in the Park, the use of which my influence with the mayor procured for them. A fair audience in point of numbers. I confess Remond's style of speaking is more to my taste than Douglass's but it should seem that in this I am singular, as I heard two slaveholder stopping at the American Hotel express their admiration of Douglass, but not of Remond, saying of the former, The fellow is eloquent." They quietly listened to both. To rooms and in good time to bed.

August 12, 1843 heard Douglass and Remond speak from a stand in the Park, the use of which my influence with the mayor procured for them. A fair audience in point of numbers. I confess Remonds style of speaking is more to my taste than Douglas's butin this I am singular, as I heard two slave holders stopping at the American Hotel express their admiration for Douglass, saying, The fellow is eloquent. They quietly listened to both."


(05.20.02) December 24, 1860. Mr. Haven is Dead? Have I not lost my only Buffalo freind. Always so genial and kind to me I. I never thought he would die before me. I never thought his death possbile. From Bflo Courier Express: Haven appointe D. A. in 1844-- elected Mayor 1846. In 1850 elected to House , re-elected 52-54--in politics a conservative whig--opposed Rep. party in last Pres election GWJ goes to funeral then meeting ofg Erie County Bar. Numerous speeches Fillmore sent an eloquent letter. GWJ say s,"If H. had been a self-sacrificing philanthropist, he could not have been more eulogized.. GWJ tells of funeral procession. Then to beer at saloon. Rogers there. and the world agan. Half insane. Writes eulogy for paper and 'better to overdo than under do:"There poor S.G.H. , yoku are burried as deep under eulogy as under earth. Afterall , you was not a Howard or a Wilberforce, though as the wolrd ways, a good fellow. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.02.02) December 3, 1860. Lincoln message shilly sallies on slavery or rather is pro-slavery, suggesting colonizing with consent.--and Congress goes along ... .appropriate $100,000 to colonize freedmen of DC, some of whom were sent to Cow Island on the coast of Haiti to suffer. --Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.02.02) December 4, 1860. Seward, Sec. War instructs McClellan to stop abuse of Negroes who escape from Rebel Masters--That such abuse should ever have been allowed. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(05.26.02) October 19, 1860 At 5 pm weather logged and disheartened, I sallied forth I cared not whiter, with a cigar in mouth, desperate at the damned news and a ruined land misgoverned and betrayed. ON getting to Main Street I overhaluled C. 0. Pool on his self-nomination for May, ... falls in with Philip Dorsheimer, State Treasuerer ...all upset at the news... Fremonts recall. Lincoln's wife an intermeddling ass. The war news cursed. We were all unhappy togather till finally CC Bristol set us all in a roar by a broad story. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(05.13.02) August 22. 1860 The turning year in my affairs--the crisis. Could have sold considerable portion of my estate. And like Bonapart I have neglected retreat too long. What can I do? Even for a livelihood. I cannot live by my profession, which I do not understand. By what else? I cannot live in the country. I must live in Buffalo or New York City. Can I live in Buffalo a bankrupt? But for this Civil War I could be selling off my real estate to Oregon?


VOLUME I (1833-1837)
VOLUME II (1838-1865)

This text is Copyright 2001 all rights reserved by Stephen Powelnd This electronic text may not be dupicated or used in any manner without written consent of Stephen R. Powell or™






August 20, 1865 The story of Irish Lisa... "In returning old Capt Chas Garner hitched on to me, and we walked in to the Park, to the fine fountain, with its sparkling water and fresh flowers; where Issac Wheeler coming up, I walked away with him down Batavia street, each telling anecdotes. . Capt Garner told of "Old Cuff" Issac R. Harringont sleeping with "Irish Lisa" while he was mayor and her boasting of it to him. Irish Lisa, a notorious mother of strumpets here, for many years, and still pursuing her vocation by which she has acquired wealth. BHW says L. G. Haven was her atty, and kept her tin-box in his safe, Mr. Fillmore's by its side. An old dumpy brazen face bitch, who struts along the streets almost daily--which this community tolerates and supports, while it lets many a poor virtuous female starve.


January 1,1864 Jan 1 New Yrs calls. Then at 7 1/2 to St. James Hall where heard all of Frederick Douglss's speech, which was able and witty. Then I wnet to be anteroom filled with colored ladies to speak to Mr. Douglass, who lcame toward me, grasped my hand, spoke my name, and said Gerrit Smith once introduced me to him. He said he recognized me as soon as I sat down. I complimented his speech, asked him to call, and wondered if we had never met in Buffalo, and he wondered too.. I told hilm I had more than once tried to waylay him through colored friends. Everywhere I have been recieved cordially... Why should I not love my fellow creatuares. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973


Review of Dec 1863--Continued exertions to raise a colored regiment but failed though others fault (p602)--the great event of the ear and of all time is the emenciaption of 4 million slaves.. .this could be review for 1862.

January 27, 1863 Heard Ralph Waldo Emerson Lecture

January 23, 1863 Geo Hinson in town--dismissed from army for conduct unbecoming a gentlemen and officer. A lousy coward and bully. There is a god in Israel yet!

January 24, 1863 Albert Sawin dead at 49... I remember hims as active bright eyed boy of 15 . . and he is gone before me! How singular! How strange!

January 27, 1863 GWJ prints eulogy of Sawin in Mornig Express

Feb 2, 1863 The glorious Tribune! It is in itself an army with banners.Arpil 6 Weather horrid. Snow and splosh.

April 1863 -Review ...Got my photo taken .. . . Lost all my babin bees in Royalton.. .Kept National Fast the 30th .... on the whole not so bad a monthày 1 . Whisky... before bed. Plays chess

Arpil 30, 1863 Evning delightful.Full moon. Warm. Mellow glow in Wes and claro-obscuro down the streets. Music by band in Arcade. All quiet. Reflected what worms we all were: I weakest of all. What is all this mystery? Shall we ever know more of it. That infamous old gut-tube Charles Norton at Am. Ho. from country where his nephew Ed Norton supports him. He assumes to be somebody. GWJ speaks of being dunned by Morrills in N.E. for debt(a kinsman, Senator Morrill creator of land grant coleges).. .GWJ feels foresaken like Christ.

May 3, 1863 Reflecitons on my dperession: amuse myself by mingling with Republicans

May 7, 1863 -From P.O. to Hawks's : in front a crowd of Copperheads gloating over news. H.K. Rice there who would not admit we were ever repulsed. I owned up and inwardly cursed God and came off home at 3 pm ...dreadful army news. Defeat comes of the army being demoralized by McClelands defeats and delays--enoucraged the enemy immeasurably ...more>>


(06.10.02) January 1, 1862 Calls at Dr. Wrn Scott, on Mrs Selstedt, etc. ...Mrs. Haven thinks my notice of MT. H. death the best that had been written. Quite cordial. . .have a new frockcoat -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.10.02) Febuary 7, 1862 Dreamed last nite for the first time since his death of poor Haven with whom I was walking up main Street. . .also dream of seing and entertaining Col. Blossom, family and friends at old land office. Both he and Mr. Haven seemed quite gratified and complacent. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.17.02) Febuary 18, 1862 Old Mother Lincoln in bad odor the country over, for silliness and disloyalty. A traitress and a fool, besides being underwitted. It is charged that she betrays cabinet and army plans and secrets. Has she not a brother among the Rebs? -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.17.02) Febuary 27, 1862 Liberal press down on Stantons outrageous order striking down the liberty of the entire press. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.24.02) March 6, 1862 Maj. Gen Buèll -excludes .excludes slaves from camp. . . Can a cause so treated ever triumph. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(06.24.02) March 26, 1862 Even Gen. Hooker allows slave-holders to enter his camp to remove their fugitive slave. But our soldiers are becoming antislavery and are opposed to such removals. Ought a cause so prostituted to succeed? -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.01.02) April 6, 1862 Gen Abner Doubleday... decides that under no circumstances are fugitives to be surrendered... They prove excellent guides and give important information. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.01.02) April 15, 1862 A desolate feeling- weight 155, gain 6 lb in 2 months. Took Kenilworth back to the library because it is a tragedy; tragedy I cannot endure. The cabinet seems going to pieces. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.01.02) Arpil 18, 1862 Mr. Millard Fillmore gave me a rather cordial recognition. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.08.02) May 3, 1862 Bradford Manchest, printer and note shaver , is dead. He literally wore out his brain in money getting. Not a bad fellow. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.08.02) May 7, 1862 Col. Alanson Palmer came to my door... to borrow a quarter... story of Millard Fillmore with whore in NYC. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.14.02) May 16 1862 Judge Stevens reads GWJ NYEve Post article praising abolitionists. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.14.02) May 17, 1862. Everybody nowadays kind and complimentary. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.14.02) May 19, 1862 Major Gen. David Hunter issues order abolition slavery in Georgia, Fla,and South Carolina--and the President has today annulled the order. Is there to be no end to this stupid presidential folly? -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.22.02) Sept 11, 1862 Stroll in little park by fountain, band of music played. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(07.22.02) Sept 14, 1862 ,New York Times has now, too late, turned to censuring the imbecile traitor McClelland. All powers committed to this one scoundrel. -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(09.23.02) Sept 15, 1862 GWJ stands well with all now in Buffalo. "I know not that I have a foe to whom I am not on nodding terms." -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(09.23.02) Setp 22, 1862. Proclamation of Emancipation at last! All slaves of all Rebels to be free next Jan. We are saved. The union is restored! -Transcription Ed Powell -1973

(09.23.02) Sept 24, 1862 weight 145 -1/2

(09.23.02) October 9, 1862 Spoke with Lewis F. Allen and am reminded of his speech at Farmers Hotel in 1832. He looks as young as then... -Transcription Ed Powell -1973






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