1 January 1848. The new year opens upon the Republic through mingled sunshine and clouds, which equally distinguish the physical and political horizons. The past year has been like the preceding, a year of prosperity to us; while to some other nations it has been one of calamity and mourning. Our fields have still teemed with plenty; and the gold, which human avarice or policy regards as the summum bonum of all & worldly goods, has flowed among us in exchange for our superabundance. Popular infatuation, and the madness of rulers have not been sufficient to break down the public felicity and glory, to the multitude even more precious than gold, which has been gathered in laurels that have attracted for us more respect & nation consideration - such is the judgment of man - than ever before even by the enterprise and industry, the intelligence and the lore of law and order, which were in former days regarded as our noblest characteristics.
But glory comes of war; and war, and some manifest decline in the good sense of a portion of the people which is a consequence of war, are among the clouds that now darken the future prospect. The lessons of the dead and the voices of the living fathers of the republic have not their ancient power. The farewell monitions of Washington are forgotten amid the sounds of trumpets, and fierce instigations and swelling thoughts of universal conquest and empire. Human life and human happiness, and perhaps the obligations of religion, have been held to be of less moment than national aggrandizement, and the freedom of opinion, and even conscience and patriotism, have been denounced treason when they venture opposition to the passion of the multitude or the will of those who rule.
The last month of the buried year passed away not without a shock that seemed like a commercial revulsion. On a sudden, in the midst of our prosperity, in the midst of our wealth, confidence seemed about to vanish; and a vague fear of evil began to be felt in those commercial circles which form the pulse and heart of a business people, before which the chimes of glory sound as harsh discord, and the trophies of our military triumph begin to lose their luster. No man scarcely could assign an adequate cause for the unexpected difficulty. A few hundred thousand Dollars sent to England as substitutes for bills - a few millions shipped to Mexico to pay soldiers - did not seem sufficient reason to disturb the repose of a nation whose treasures and garners are still full almost to repletion. Was not this cloud, then, the shadow of popular presentiment, the involuntary expression of an instinctive feeling that all was not well with the republic in the new path of war into which she had been seduced, and the mission of blood for which political zealots would have her dessert the nobler and purer destinies of peace. If we doubt the wisdom, we may shorten the evils of hostilities, and we begin the new year with the hope that the sober second thought of the people will yet prevail, and that peace, a just and honorable peace, will be once more permitted to gladden the land. Sure we are that amid all its glory, that is the great hidden cause of evil, that sits like a nightmare, or rather like a vampire, brooding and battering upon the bosom of the republic. With peace restored, we shall return to our prosperity, perhaps even to our ancient reason and our former virtues. The manifest changes in the popular sentiments indicate the downfall of some of the political evils from which the country suffers. There is still a Providence above us, to encourage those who, in public as in private life, sustain the right and contend against the wrong. All that is needed is to contend bravely, and sustain wisely, to stand by duty and the country, to be of good cheer and good heart. Let this be the rule of all good men, in all places and on all occasions, the rule of the citizen in his business and the statesman in the public councils; and the new year of 1848 may be yet distinguished as one of the happiest Years of the Union.
The weather of today was very damp, foggy and unpleasant. At the office the greater part of the day. After dinner Mr. E.J. Maginnis came over to the office and & we smoked a cigar together, and at about 20 m. of 5 took a stroll up Chestnut Street as far as 11th. There was rather a rowdy set on the Street. About 8 o'clock Maginnis and I went up to Mr. & Mrs. Ware's to attend our usual New Year's evening party.
2 January 1848. At St. Phillip's Church in the morning. Mr. Neville preached. After Church had a very pleasant walk home with Miss L.M. Clarke. She looked exceedingly pretty and was very agreeable this morning. After tea went into the parlor and had a little chat with Miss Mary Chambers, Miss Clarke & Miss Boker. Miss Caroline Borden was sitting there, but I had nothing to say to her as she insulted me by refusing to take a glass of wine with me yesterday, when she had accepted on another occasion.
3 January 1848. Was out from about 1/4 of 1 to 1/4 of 2 attending to some little matters. On going up Chestnut Street, I joined Miss L.M. Clarke just above 5th and walked up as far as 9th, & then returned as far as 8th Street and then down to 7th and Pine to make a call with her & her mother. Not finding the person in, went over home with them and left. Miss Louisa looked beautiful this morning & was very agreeable.
At the office through the afternoon until about 1/2 past 4, then went down to 3rd and Market on some business, & upon my return walked up Chestnut Street as far as 11th. The street was crowded with ladies, & it was a treat to walk there. Returned to the office about 5 & remained there until 6, and then went down to the Sheriff's sale at the exchange on some business. While there I saw Mr. F.A. Van Dyke,Jr. who wished me to remain and buy some properties for him, which I did. Left at about 1/2 past 8, went home, dressed & then called down to see Miss L.M. Clarke. Spent, as I usually do when in her company, a pleasant evening. Left at about 10 1/2, got some oysters & then went home.
4 January 1848. At the office until about 1/4 of 8, then went home to dress for the party given to Priscilla Nicholson this evening by Miss Crim. Lydia & Mr. Maginnis came down late having been at the lecture. The first part of the evening was rather stiff, though in the latter part I enjoyed myself very much. I danced several times with Miss Wood & Miss Mary Chambers, they both looked very pretty this evening. I also danced with Miss Caroline A. Borden, having had the affront of New Year's Day satisfactorily explained. I mentioned the insult I had received. She appeared to be entirely unconscious of having offended me in the least, as she had not been aware that the wine had been sent to her, the servant not having mentioned it. I am very glad that I broached the subject as it was satisfactorily explained. I have a very high opinion of the young lady, and felt very unpleasant in not being on good terms with her. Our music did not come until 10 1/2 after which the evening passed more pleasantly.
5 January 1848. At the office all day. In the evening about 1/2 past 7 called up at Mr. S. Bonnell's house to accompany him up to the Sociable party at 10th and Spring Garden. Went in for a short time & saw & was introduced to his parents & also to
one of his sisters(1) , quite a pretty girl. I also saw the Misses Oliver(2) from Long Island, who I was introduced to and spent a day at their house last summer. I met a number at the Sociable with whom I was acquainted among whom were Miss Kate Smith, Miss L. Snyder, Miss Belangee, Miss Gorgas, Jr., and others. I was introduced this evening to Miss Lizzie Davis of Bangor, Maine. I found her to be very agreeable & entertaining in her manners and she is quite fine looking. She was formerly at St. Mary's Hall, Burlington N.J., where I first had a knowledge of her, and flourished amongst the illustrious 9 some few years since. We had quite a chat about old times. She was also the intimate friend of Miss Mary Anderson, with whom I corresponded for two years. I waited upon her home.
A rather unpleasant occurrence took place this evening, though nothing in itself. Mr. Bonnell & I on first entering the dressing room threw our hats over the partition into the ladies apartment. Nothing was meant by it & the ladies threw them back. A certain Mr. George Jones, who had a daughter there took umbrage at it & said his daughter should not come again. I consider him a [here Erwin has drawn a picture of what I take to be an ass.-RU].
6 January 1848. At the office all through day until about 5 p.m. J.D. Bald, H.J. Felters and myself walked out to the Widow's on Thompson Street opposite Girard College. Got a whiskey punch, sat a while & returned home by 7 o'clock. After tea went into the parlor for a few minutes and had a little chat with Miss Borden & then went over to the office & wrote until 10 o'clock. H.J. Felters was with me reading. Stopped in at Peletier's going home & got a whiskey punch.
7 January 1848. At the office all day, and at night until 1 1/2 a.m. employed in writing some Sheriff's Deeds to be executed tomorrow for Mr. Van Dyke. I wrote 3 Sheriff's Deeds (Vendition Expenses) between 3 p.m. and 1 a.m. including about an hour's delay.
8 January 1848. At the office all day, and in the evening about 1/4 past 7 met Samuel Bonnell, Jr. at the Odd Fellows Oyster Saloon, and both called up to see Miss Kate Smith. Found her at home. Also Miss Lizzie Davis, of Bangor, Maine, who is now spending some time with Miss Kate. She is a very pleasant & agreeable young lady & one full of fun & merriment & withal pretty. Spent a very pleasant evening playing whist, &c., &c. Left about 1/2 past 10. We had a very wet walk home in the rain.
Mr. Henry J. Felters was robbed from his room of two dress coats & a vest this evening. I think it now time this thief should be apprehended as this is the second robbery.
9 January 1848. I was at the office writing the greater part of the time until about 3 o'clock, then went up to St. Phillip's Church, heard a good sermon by Mr. Neville. Sat in Miss Clarke's pew with her. After Church, went in remained about half an hour. I also went up to St. Phillip's Church about 12 o'clock to walk home with Miss Clarke but she was not there. In the evening at Grace Church with Ma. It was quite a cold walk. After Church went into Ma's room & sat there until about 1/4 of 11. Smoked a cigar, ate some cake & took some wine, &c.
10 January 1848. Clear and very cold all day and during the evening, the coldest weather we have had this season. At the office all day. In the evening at the Arch Street Theater to see the Naiad Queen, a capital piece & full of beautiful pageantry. A piece also entitled the 8th of January was played. It was not much.
11 January 1848. Clear and exceeding cold all day, the coldest day we have had for a long while. At daylight this morning the thermometer in an exposed situation is said to have indicated 2¡ above zero. At the Pennsylvania Hospital it stood 8¡. Throughout the day it was intensely cold, and exceeded by at least 4¡ any during last winter.
At the office all day and until 1/4 of 8 p.m. Very busy, then went home & dressed & called upon Miss Louisa M. Clarke but did not find her at home. Then called upon the Misses Carter. They were out also. Then attended to some business & returned home, sat in Ma's room until after 10 & then to bed.
12 January 1848. About 5 p.m. went down to see Mr. William Clarke on some business. Also saw Miss L.M. Clarke & Mrs. Clarke. Remained but a few minutes & then went down to 9th above Catherine Street to put a bill in a house.
13 January 1848. In the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, spent a very pleasant evening there.
14 January 1848. Cloudy, damp, foggy and very disagreeable weather. At the office all day. About 7 p.m. Mr. Harry Storms and I went up to the Mansion House at 11th and Market where we met Messrs. Carrington, Craig & Boyd, for the purpose of going out to Miss C. Kerr's in West Philadelphia to meet the "Circlet" that meets there this evening. We waited some time for an omnibus, but as it did not come, walked out to Broad & Market Street where we got a chaise and rode the rest of the way out. Arrived about 8 o'clock. Found the ladies all at tea, but we took possession of the parlor, had a song from Mr. Craig, &c. We spent a very pleasant evening dancing, chatting, &c. & had some good music and songs. We left about 11 o'clock & had a very jolly ride home in the omnibus being 16 inside with seats for 12. Left the ladies at the different residences.
16 January 1848. At Grace Church in the morning. Went down to Mr. A.S. Roberts to dine. Found Cuthbert & Sydney at home, also Mr. & Mrs. Roberts & the children. After dinner went up into the nursery & smoked cigars until about 4 o'clock, when we went down into the parlor and had some wine & cakes. At about 1/2 past 4 Sidney & I took a walk down to Walnut Street & down Walnut to 9th. Found a great number on the promenade. After tea, or about 20 minutes of 8, Sydney and I called down at Mr. Edward Roberts. Found Mr. Roberts & Anna at home. Mrs. Roberts & Ma came in shortly afterwards. Had a great deal of sport plaguing Anna about Mr. Costas. She appeared to be much provoked.
17 January 1848. In the evening about 8 o'clock called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in but I regret to say with a very severe swelled face. Also saw her mother. Spent a pleasant evening, but left early as I did not wish to detain Miss Clarke on account of her face. Went home again and into the parlor where I found Miss Mary Chambers, Miss Amanda Boker, Mr. Boker, Jr. & H.J. Felters playing whist, contrary to the orders of the house. The cards were unceremoniously put aside upon the entrance of old Mrs. Crim.
18 January 1848. In the evening about 8 o'clock called up to see Miss Kate Smith. I was obliged to leave about 10 o'clock, when in the middle of a game of whist, to go down to cousins [Roberts] in 9th Street for Ma. Found them all at home.
19 January 1848. In the evening about 1/2 past 8 went up to a company at Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Fay's in Spruce below Broad. We spent a very pleasant evening and at about 10 1/2 or 11 o'clock had a very fine supper of oysters, chicken salad, champagne, &c. The company was not very large. Spent the evening playing whist, dancing, &c.
20 January 1848. In the evening at 1/4 past 7 met Samuel Bonnell, Jr. according to engagement at the "Odd Fellows Oyster Saloon" & called up to see Miss Kate Smith, L. Snyder & Lizzie Davis. Saw the two last named and spent a pleasant evening playing whist, &c. Miss Kate was sick & we did not see her.
21 January 1848. At the office the greater part of the day until about 20 minutes past 5 when I took a walk up Chestnut Street with H.J. Felters as far as Broad. Found a number on the promenade. Upon our return I stopped in Market below 11th to see Ald Thompson on some business. In the evening about 8 o'clock called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke but much to my disappointment & regret I found her out.
22 January 1848. A large number on the promenade, it was at times so crowded it was almost impossible to get along.
23 January 1848. A clear, delightful and magnificent day. Walked up to Grace Church with Ma & Lydia, and then I went around to St. Phillip's Church by myself. Heard an excellent sermon by the Reverend Mr. Neville. After church walked home with Miss Louisa M. Clarke, and asked to accompany her to St. Phillip's Church this evening. She refused by making a poor excuse that her cousin Sam had partially made an engagement to go down to Dr. Parker's this evening with her. At the same time she remarked that she did not know whether he was in Trenton or not, and was uncertain whether she would go to Church or not; evidently showing no disposition to go with me. And to crown the insult (if so it may be called) I saw her at St. Phillip's Church this evening with her brother, so that I may consider myself, now, absolutely refused.
In the afternoon about 20 m. of 3 Mr. S. Bonnell, Jr. called. We walked up as far as 11th & Walnut Streets with Ma & at Spruce & 11th with Edward Roberts and Lydia. We then went up to St. Luke's Church, remained in the vestibule a short time & then started out to take a walk. In passing up Spruce Street saw Miss J.A. Copeland sitting at the window. Stopped and had some few words of conversation with her then walked out to, and around, Fairmount. Then over the Wire bridge to "Hardings" and returned home by 1/4 of 6 via Walnut Street where we found a large number on the promenade. In the evening went up to St. Phillip's Church with Ma. In going home we stopped in at Mr. Burr's to enquire how Sarah Ellis was, but found she was not much better. It can hardly be expected she will live more than two or three months as her disease is certainly consumption.
24 January 1848. About 20 m. past 5 p.m. Samuel Bonnell, Jr. called in for me and both went up to see Miss Kate Smith & Lizzie Davis. Left a few minutes after 6 & went down to the office. Bonnell left me at 5th & Vine.
25 January 1848. In the evening went up to the Museum with Harry Storms to see Osgood's Model Artistes a collection of men and women who exhibit themselves as paintings and statuary. In many of the scenes they have the appearance of being entirely naked, their only clothing being a buff suit of silk fitting close as the skin showing all the beauties of proportion in a finely molded woman. One or two of the girls were beautifully formed, one in particular who was perfect in all respects. Time Discovering Truth, Apollo and Daphne, The Harem's Pride and Psyche Going to Bathe were the most beautiful and interesting scenes. The representation of Powers' celebrated statue, the Greek Slave, was beautifully and well represented by one of the women who was elegantly formed.
26 January 1848. At the office the greater part of the day until about 4 1/2 p.m. when Samuel Bonnell, Jr. & I took a walk up to Vine above 11th to look at, & give some directions in regard to the execution of James C. Welch's portrait. After tea went into the parlor for a few minutes where I found Miss Borden. I have not seen her to converse with for some weeks, as she has not been in the parlor owing to the death of her sister.(3) She was sitting with Miss Whitmer (sister of Mrs. Way) who has recently come to board at our house. In course of conversation I came to the conclusion that I had met Miss Whitmer before & in reference to my journal found that I had been introduced to her on the 3rd of March 1846 at a party. After leaving the parlor went to my room to prepare to go to a company given at S. Bonnell, Jr., Vine above 3rd Street for the Misses Mary & Pauline Oliver of Fort Hamilton, Staten Island. Spent a very pleasant evening chatting, dancing &c. Had quite a tete-a-tete with both the Misses Oliver & found them as usual very agreeable and interesting.
27 January 1848. In the evening Mr. Maginnis & my sister and Miss Mary Chambers & myself called up to see Miss Kate Smith, Lizzie Davis & Louisa Snyder and spend the evening. Rode up as far as 10th and Washington Streets in the omnibus, but were so bewildered by the various turns the driver made in going there that it was impossible to tell which way to go. We could not tell which was up or down nor imagine which direction to take. Upon making enquiry,
soon got our bearings and succeeded soon in finding Miss Smith's.
28 January 1848. In the latter part of the afternoon, took a short stroll on Chestnut Street. Found a large number on the promenade. In the evening about 1/4 past 8 went up to Miss Smith's and others "Cotillion Party" at the N.W. corner of 10th and Spring Garden Streets having been invited there by S. Bonnell, Jr. I remained but a few minutes as I felt that I could not include my company upon them as I was not a subscriber. Mr. Bonnell, Miss Smith & others wished me to remain. After leaving went up to Miss Attlee's to attend our "Circlet" that met there this evening. Found all the members present except Miss Mary Carter and Miss Lizzy Houston. Spent rather a pleasant though tame evening.
29 January 1848. About 1/4 of 3 Mr. Maginnis & I went down to Walnut Street wharf and started for Burlington via Camden & Rail Road, where we arrived after numerous delays at about 1/4 of 5. Met Miss Harriet Carter on the ferry boat, and waited upon her up, then went around to Mrs. Welch's where we intend remaining until Monday.
30 January 1848. After breakfast took a walk down to the bank and along the same as far as the new College. It appears now to be in quite a prosperous state numbering about 90 students. One of the high classes have adopted the dress of the Oxford students, wearing robes & square topped caps. The Professors have the same kind of dress with the exception that they have an affair behind lined with white silk resembling wings. There have been several new buildings erected connected with the college since I was last up. Bishop Doane has also in contemplation the lighting of St. Mary's Hall, the College, chapel & his own residence with gas. The works for supplying the same are now nearly completed. We also visited Frederick Brown's new summer residence, now about half completed. It will be a large & beautiful building when finished & is built in Cottage style. After which visited the new Episcopal Church now in course of erection. It will be a beautiful & substantial affair when completed, but I cannot say I like its shape or proportions, being built in the form of a cross. It is now roofed in, and is expected to be finished by November next. Its cost will be from $25,000 to $30,000.
We also took a walk through the upper part of town where we found extensive improvements going on. A new Methodist Church has recently been erected in the place of the old one removed and has been occupied for about 6 weeks. Its cost was about $8,000. We returned to Mrs. Welch's about 1/4 of 10 & sat conversing until time to go Church. Walked as far as Broad & Market with them & then went down to St. Mary's Church. Mr. Ogilvee preached.
After Church Mr. Maginnis & I walked home with Miss Harriet Carter & her friend Miss Cox from New York, a niece of Mrs. Roberdett who she introduced me to. After which walked around in Pearl Street with the expectation of seeing the young ladies from St. Mary's Hall but were disappointed as they went down the bank. Then returned home to dinner, after which took a walk down along the bank as far as the Bishop's. Saw several very pretty girls sitting at St. Mary's Hall window. They were, as usual, fully disposed to carry on. Returned to Mrs. Welch's. Sat a short time & then went up to St. Mary's Church. Bishop Doane gave us a short address. After Church called down at Mrs. Roberdetts' to see Miss Carter & Miss Cox, & took a seat at the window with the expectation of seeing the girls pass, but were again disappointed as they went down Pearl Street, though I saw Miss Davis & others while passing the line on Wood Street.
We had quite a pleasant half hour's chat with the girls. I then went up to J. Hunter Sterling's to tea. Met a Miss Ellis there from Freehold, a sister of Elizabeth and Mary Ellis. She was very homely & had nothing to say.
31 January 1848. Got up this morning at 7 o'clock and after taking breakfast and bidding Mr. & Mrs. Welch good bye, who have been very kind and hospitable, went up to where the cars start. In the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke and spent a very pleasant evening. I had a satisfactory explanation from Miss Clarke this evening about her not going to Church with me last Sunday week.
1 February 1848. Quite spring like. A large number on the promenade. After tea or about 8 o'clock called up at Mr. Thomas Fay's in Spruce below Broad to see Miss Jane Ann Copeland of Brooklyn, N.Y.
2 February 1848. Evening at home until nearly 9 o'clock, when I went down to Mr. Louis Belrose in 5th above Pine to attend a small company given for Miss Louisa Kerr. Spent a very pleasant evening in dancing, &c. there were some 15 or 18 there.
3 February 1848. In the evening about 20 m. of 9 called up for Miss Kate Smith to wait upon her to a party given by Miss Reeves in 8th above Green Street. Miss Elizabeth Davis and Lisa Snyder went down in company with us & I had the pleasure of waiting upon three ladies. There were about 60 or 70 there. It was a bridal party given for Charles Gaunt who has recently married Miss Stryker of Mt. Holly. I spent quite a pleasant though rather tame evening. There was but little dancing on account of having no music, but singing.
5 February 1848. Snowing hard when I got up this morning. In the evening went up to see the Model Artists at "Franklin Hall" in 6th below Arch Street. They were very good in all their pieces, but more particularly so in Venus Rising from the Sea. In this piece the females represented Venus in a perfect state of nudity, showing all the beauties of her form, which was faultless. Her only covering was a silk flesh colored dress fitting tight as the skin which gave her the appearance of an entirely naked woman. The other artists or women were lying in a reclining position around her in the same naked state. She had nothing round her loins, but showed the full outline of her beautiful figure from head to foot. It was certainly one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. The audience was composed entirely of men.
6 February 1848. Went to Grace Church with Ma and sister in the morning, Mr. Suddards preached. In the afternoon walked up to St. Phillip's Church. Remained there but a few minutes and then went to St. Luke's Church, thinking perhaps I would walk home with Anna Roberts, but in going out of Church I noticed Miss Paleske with her, and I thought one or two gentlemen talking with them who I supposed intended walking home with them, so I passed on. I had got but a short distance from the Church when Eddy Roberts came up and said Anna wanted me to come back, but I declined going under the impression that one or two gentlemen were with them, and that I did not like going back. I sincerely regret it now as I think it was very ungentlemanly for me not to go when requested by a lady, & I fear they may take it as an insult. I must get out of it the best way I can as it was done on the impulse of the moment.
8 February 1848. Called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke, but much to my disappointment & regret found she was out.
9 February 1848. About 4 p.m. S. Bonnell, Jr. called for me to make a call on Miss Copeland and Miss Lizzy Davis to bid her (Miss Davis) farewell as she expects to leave tomorrow. In going up Chestnut Street, however, we overtook and joined Miss Davis, with Miss Kate Smith so that we had no occasion to see them. About 8 o'clock called on Miss Mary Carter to wait upon her to a small company given by Mr. and Mrs. Westcott, next door but one below from them. There were about 20 to 25 there. Spent a very pleasant evening in dancing, &c. Was introduced to a Miss Chubb from Baltimore, who sang & played delightfully, she was very agreeable and rather pretty.
10 February 1848. Took a walk up to Brown above 12th and I then put some [sign] boards upon a lot that I have for sale.
11 February 1848. In the evening called down to see Miss Louisa M. Clarke but could not see her on account of her being unwell & confined to her room. Saw Mrs. Clarke and sat about an hour chatting with her. Left about 9 o'clock and went around to the Circus. Saw part of the last act of The Capture of Monterey, some good riding & the Pony Races which were very amusing.
13 February 1848. A large number of ladies & gentlemen on the promenade.
14 February 1848. At the office all day, and in the evening at home playing whist with Miss Louisa Kerr (who had been spending the day with my sister), Mr. Maginnis and Lydia. Miss Kerr left about 10 o'clock & I waited upon her home. Today being St. Valentine's Day, was to many a day of excitement, as the love missives were showered around by the scurrying postman. The occasion may have been taken advantage of by some for the indulgence of unkind feelings, but the great majority of those that were sent were of a complimentary kind, or forwarded in harmless fun, and by the sensible taken as a joke. The practice of sending comic valentines is an innovation, which has been lately introduced, and which tends to lessen the pleasures which ought legitimately to hallow the festival. I was favored with several, some comic & some sentimental.
15 February 1848. Clear pleasant & spring like weather. Never do I remember having such universal fine & spring like weather during the whole winter. At about 9 o'clock went down to Mr. Edward Roberts for Lydia but found she had gone around with the family to Mrs. Ware's. I then went around there and found them all. Had quite a nice supper of roast oysters.
16 February 1848. In the evening made a call up on Miss Louisa M. Clarke, found her in and quite well. Met there Mr. Shaw from Madison, Indiana, Mr. S. Anderson & his cousin, Miss Mitchell, Mr. Theodore Blanchard and Miss Buck, Miss Westcott, daughter of Senator Westcott from Florida, afterwards came in. Spent a pleasant evening dancing, chatting &c. I found Miss Westcott to be quite agreeable this evening, much more so than when I met her in her own house.
18 February 1848. Most poetically beautiful and balmy spring like are the favors of my particular friend, the clerk of the weather just now, and the butterflies of fashion take advantage of it to bask in the sunshine of Chestnut Street. But this pretty promenading sort of weather is death to the ice business, and the capacious jaws of the ice houses which line the banks of the Schuylkill yawn for their supply, while their pathetic situation furnishes a dreary prospect for the dog days. If things keep on in this style, Boston, New York and Philadelphia will not be supplied, and some enterprising down easter will have to start for Greenland, and "make his carnal fortune" there by sending us supplies of ice. Who, in these days of advancement, will scoff at the idea?
In the evening about 1/4 past 7 called at Jones Hotel to see Miss Lizzie Davis from Bangor, Maine to bid her farewell previous to her leaving for home tomorrow. Found her in and looking very pretty this evening. Sat about half an hour and then called up for Anna Roberts to wait upon her to a small party at Miss Wilhelmina Paleske at the N.E. corner of Schuylkill 5th & Walnut. Spent quite a pleasant time. There were about 35 there. Miss Paleske looked very fascinating this evening. I was introduced to a Miss Costas, quite a pretty girl, also to the two Misses Quigley, rather pretty but like two sticks with no conversational powers. I soon left them. Miss Ellen Quigley was there and quite agreeable. Anne & I left about 1/4 of 11, much in opposition to the wishes of Miss Paleske and her mother, to go down to a party at Miss Thompson's in 4th below Walnut. There were about 70 or 80 there.
20 February 1848. In the evening went to St. Andrew's Church to hear Bishop Potter preach a sermon in the behalf of the Seamen. It was certainly a very beautiful discourse. After Church went home with Ma. Went into the parlor for a few minutes, & then up into Ma's room. Sat there about half an hour, Mr. Maginnis was there. We went out together and went down into "Peletier's" and got a whiskey punch each & some oysters.
21 February 1848. In the evening about 8 o'clock called up to see Miss Ann Maginnis in company with her brother & Mr. Joseph B. Loughead. She is stopping at Mr. Lang's in Logan Square.
22 February 1848. Washington's birthday. The recurrence of a sacred anniversary, which recalls to a whole people the memory of a great patriot, whose whole example was one ever consistent with public & private virtue, cannot but have its good effects, because it brings its lessons to all. This is a day on which twenty one million freemen well remember Washington. In remembering him, they cannot forget the immortal principles of honor, justice, and Christian magnanimity upon which he, the leader of the revolution, & the chief of the newly formed republic, conducted the war, and administered the government; nor can they forget the long years of happiness and unparalleled prosperity which a good Providence has permitted to crown the efforts of a people heretofore willing to abide by his counsels, and follow in the pathways of policy traced by him. It is upon this day we learn that offers of peace come to us from Mexico;(4) and probably while these lines are written, the President who sits in his seat, and the ministers around the council table in Washington, debate whether the offers shall be accepted or rejected. May the memory of the father of his country be present in each mind, and dispose all to imitate his wisdom & patriotism.
Rain fell all day and everything out of doors wore a gloomy aspect. The day was ushered in by a discharge of artillery and the merry peals of the church bells, and its departure was announced by the ringing of fire bells. Several militia corps braved the elements to do honor to the glorious anniversary. The prominent celebration of the day was the Taylor Whig festival at the Museum.
At the office during the greater part of the day. In the evening attended the Walnut Street Theater to see Mr. Wallock as Werner. The after piece The fair one with Golden Locks was very amusing.
23 February 1848. In the evening about 8 1/4 o'clock I made my first call on Miss Wilhelmina Paleske. We received today by telegraph the news of the death of John Q. Adams(5) , he died amid the scenes of his former greatness in the Capital, regretted & esteemed by all.
24 February 1848. In the afternoon between 4 & 5 went out to see the procession & escort in honor of the visit of Henry Clay.(6) What was predicted in regard to his reception by the Whigs of Philadelphia, or rather by the Citizens of Philadelphia, for it was not all of a mere party character, was verified by the event. The sun did not, indeed, shine, but there was a sunshine of popular joy and affection, which invested the scene with splendor. It was a glorious reception in every sense, a civic ovation which the proudest here might have envied, and been happy to exchange for a life of laurels. It was not the trappings of military pomp, the gleam of musketry, the roll of cannon, the prancing of war horses, the waving of banners and the clang of trumpets that gave it character; these were all absent. Citizens on horse and on foot, and in carriages, immense multitudes thronging the streets and crowding the windows in every quarter through which the procession passed, all in the garb of peace, were the plain and unostentatious elements in a picture to which life and grandeur were given by feeling, a profound feeling, warm, spontaneous, sincere and disinterested, such as was never yet vouchsafed by a free people to any but a nation's friend and benefactor. What need was there, on such an occasion, for sunshine or sun?
He never did behold a spectacle
More full of natural glory.
The heart of the people of Philadelphia went forth to greet the great Patriot.
After the procession was over I took a walk on Chestnut Street where my attention was attracted to two quite pretty and respectably dressed young ladies. After watching them for some time they gave me some encouragement to join them which I did & walked down as far as 4th and German Streets where the prettiest & smallest of the two left. I then had quite a long walk with the other, finally leaving her at 5th and Spruce, but could not find out where she lived. I hope to see her again.
25 February 1848. In the evening attended a Tableau party at Miss Perot's, given by our "Circlet party." My dress was that of a Greek.
The ceremony of interring the remains of the late Major Levi Twiggs,(7) U.S. Marine Corps, took place this afternoon. The obsequies of this heroic officer were imposing, and marked by every demonstration of the respect in which he was held by the Citizens of Philadelphia.
26 February 1848. At the office during the day until about 4 p.m. when J.D. Bald and myself started to take a walk out to the "Rising Sun." Went out Chestnut Street as far as Broad, and out Broad to where it intersects the Germantown Road. Found it quite muddy after passing the Monument Cemetery. Stopped at the Rising Sun for about 1/2 an hour, had some punches, &c.
Our City has, for the last few days, been in mourning on account of the death of John Quincy Adams. The flags have all been at half mast & hung with crepe. In his death the nation has lost a great man. In private life he was almost the last link, in public life the very last, connecting the present with the Revolutionary generation. We could almost say he was born in public station; for he was, from childhood, in the presence of the great spirits of the Revolution, from the age of 16 almost continually in public station. With intellectual powers far above mediocrity, though not of the highest order, and with a fine moral organization, he could scarcely fail, under such training, to become an able and good man in any walk of life, and in public station, a statesman and a patriot.
Early impressions are always the most enduring, and among distinguished men have always been most influential in directing their career. We may say that the first moral atmosphere breathed by Mr. Adams was political. His first ideas of correct events were drawn from the revolutionary fountain flowing before his eyes. The very first conversation among men at his paternal board or fireside, which he was able to comprehend, were about national interests and relations. The companions of his boyhood were Ministers of State, American & foreign; and his first moral lessons in politics were given by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and their great coadjutors in the great work of American independence. The pupil of such men while thus endowed by nature, how could he fail to be a statesman and a patriot? John Quincy Adams was emphatically the graduate of the Revolution, the pupil of its master spirits. And his career, from the commencement of the Federal constitution to the present day, is abundantly creditable to his school his teachers and himself.
Like all men distinguished in our political history, Mr. Adams has been much misunderstood and severely assailed. But this is one of the prices which patriots must pay for distinction in popular governments, whose speech is free to individual judgment. But in popular governments, at least in ours, if greatness receive injustice in life, it is always safe with posterity. Passion and prejudice are temporary; truth is eternal. During the temporary excitement of partisan conflicts, John Quincy Adams, like his father, like Jefferson, like Washington, was often misunderstood, sometimes misrepresented. But he lived long enough to see most of these clouds dissipated, and to receive what he eminently deserved, the respect of all; at least of all the liberal and enlightened. And had he died in the very midst of the partisan storms that raged around his own head, still the sun of truth and justice would have risen upon his tomb, as it has now, to shine bright and cloudless through all American history.
27 February 1848 In the afternoon I went up to St. Luke's Church. After Church started to walk home with Miss Wilhelmina Paleske, but had not gone farther than 12th and Spruce when she found she had dropped her glove. I returned and found it for her in the Church & overtook them again at 11th & Spruce Streets. Mr. E. Roberts walked home with Anna. Upon going up the steps it was proposed to take a little walk which was acceded to by the ladies. We did not walk far however, only going to Broad Street then back as far as 13th & then returned to Roberts via Walnut Street. Went in at Mr. Roberts and remained to tea, Miss Paleske also remained. I was to have accompanied her to church in the evening, but Anna persuaded her not to go, so we remained and spent the evening. I waited upon her home about 10 o'clock and had a very agreeable walk, as I found her very pleasant & talkative.
28 February 1848. About 1/2 past 7 p.m. went up to the Odd Fellows Oyster Saloon to meet Samuel Bonnell, Jr. to go up to see Miss Kate Smith. He did not come until near 8 o'clock. Found Kate at home. After leaving Sam & I went down to the Museum Building there being a very extensive Military & citizens dress Irish ball given there this evening. Sam concluded not to go in, but I, having had a ticket forced upon me some days since, concluded to go in.
Never did I see such a sight in all my life, both the upper and lower saloons were crowded to excess by all the lower class of Irish of the County of Philadelphia. It seemed that every male and female servant, cart, car, and dray man, were there and such dancing I never witnessed. It was a regular shuffle and straight forward with a continued springing & jumping. Soap locks(8) were there in the greatest profusion, and the floor was so crowded that it was almost impossible to cross the room without being exterminated in the vast press of human beings. There was the fat plump house maid, dancing with her beaux, the porter in some mercantile house; the dandy dancing with his girl, and the cook dressed in all her finery. All seemed to be highly elated with the scene, and enjoying themselves to their hearts content. It was certainly worth the full price of admission of $1 to see the rare sport. It is estimated that at least 7000 persons visited this ball.
Mr. Clay visited the ball room early in the evening. His entrance was hailed by the most enthusiastic cheering. Met a number of young men with whom I was acquainted among whom was Dave Weatherly, Jr. He accompanied me home & remained all night. I also met Miss Kate Mercer there; she was not dancing, & I was much surprised to see her. Had a chat of about 1/2 an hour.
29 February 1848. We had a severe hail storm & snow squall. On my way home stopped in at Mr. Connaroes in Vine above 11th to give some directions in regard to Mr. Welch's portrait which, by the bye, I now think very good. In the evening about 8 o'clock called down to see Miss L.M. Clarke but upon enquiry at the door I found that there was company there and I did not go in but left my card. I then called around to see Miss Lizzy Ludlow. Did not see her on account of her having removed her dress to write & not wishing to have the trouble of putting it on again. I think I shall call again. Saw her mother and sister Annie, who is a charming little girl.
****** Missing: March 1, 1848 to October 10, 1849 ******
(1) The beauty of the family was Sallie Sherred Bonnell (1829-1913), later Mrs. Henry
Howard Houston. FJD.
(2) The Misses Oliver were daughters of Captain Paul Ambrose Oliver, USN, and cousins of Samuel Bonnell, Jr. Mary Seymour Oliver, known as "Quita" married Samuel Bonnell, Jr. FJD.
(3) Louisa Borden (1836-1848) fifth child of Samuel Borden Jr and Catherine Dudly (Upjohn) Borden of Cincinnati.
(4) The peace treaty between Mexico and the United States was signed at Chapultepec, near Mexico City on 2 February 1848. Encyclopedia Britannica Eleventh Edition, New York 1911, Volume 18, pp. 347-348.
(5) John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth president of the United States 1825-1829.
(6) Henry Clay (1777-1852) of Virginia. U.S. Congressman, U.S. Senitor, Secrtary of State and Whig candidate for President 1832 and 1844. Webster's Biographical Dictionary
(7) The remains of Major Levi Twiggs, USMC (1793-1847), killed at the Battle of Chapulepec, were taken from the U.S. Navy Yard and reinterred at St. Stephen's Protestant Episcopal Church on 10th Street. The body was subsequently removed to Laurel Hill Cemetery. Scarf and Westcott, p. 688.
(8) Soap lock: a lock of hair plastered down with soap; a person wearing a soap lock. Webster's Third New International Dictionary.