2 January 1853. At Church of Atonement in the morning and evening with Carrie. In the afternoon Carrie and I went down to see Mr. Lewis E. Ware. He has now been confined to the house for 4 weeks from hemorrhage of the lungs. He is very weak and debilitated and looks very badly. I fear he never will recover.
4 January 1853. In the evening at home putting fastenings in the back windows of the house.
6 January 1853. At the office through the day and in the evening at home. Miss Mary Ann Belangee spent day and evening with us, and Mr. & Mrs. Dr. Parson (late Miss Sally Ann Crim), Mrs. Crim and Mr. & Mrs. Frank Taylor and Miss Priscilla Nicholson took tea and spent the evening.
7 January 1853. I never remember a more mild winter, there has been little or no ice up to the present time and not snow sufficient to cover the pavements.
9 January 1853. At Church of Atonement in the morning.
10 January 1853. About 4 p.m. J. Dorsey Bald called out at the house for me with his pair of horses to take a ride, drove out on the plank road(1) as far as the Bell tavern.
12 January 1853. Commenced hailing about 12 N, which continued, covering the ground to the depth of a couple of inches.
13 January 1853. The ground was covered this morning with snow to a depth of two or three inches, which brought forth in the morning some few sleighs, but it soon began to thaw, which made sad havoc with both sleighing and walking.
16 January 1853. At Church of Atonement in morning and afternoon. Mr. Goddard preached in the morning and a blind missionary from Coast of Africa in the afternoon.
17 January 1853. At the office during the morning and in the afternoon went out with J. Dorsey Bald with his horses and carriage as far as the Wissahickon Hotel, to try the skating on the creek. Huston Fassit also went out with us in his carriage, but when we got out found that the ice had not yet been tried, and with every appearance of being too weak to bear. However, Fassit was determined to put on his skates and try it, at the risk of his life we all thought. Not one of the rest of us would venture. He did gradually until he reached the other shore when he broke in, but grasped a tree in time to save him a ducking. We took two or three whiskey punches around.
18 January 1853. Quite cold all day. About 2 p.m. J.D. Bald called for me at the house with his pair of horses, and drove out to Wissahickon Hall, where we met Fassit and some others, and we had a delightful skate upon the creek. I never saw the ice more beautiful and seldom found a day more suitable, as there was no wind, and it was not too cold to keep warm by the exercise of skating.
19 January 1853. In the evening at a meeting of the Logan Building Association until about 9 p.m. It was the general election night.
20 January 1853. The Schuylkill River has been frozen for several days, and there is now fine skating both above and below the dam. At the office all day, took tea & spent the evening at Mr. A.C. Cattell's. Carrie, Ma, Lydia and Mr. Maginnis were also there. Lydia had spent the day there with Ida.
23 January 1853. Cloudy, rainy, disagreeable and unpleasant all day. Did not go out of the house.
24 January 1853. At 1/2 past 8 a.m. started from Broad 4 & Prune Streets in the cars for Chester where I arrived at about 9 o'clock. Took a horse and rode over upon him to Media over one of the worst roads I ever traveled on, distance about 6 miles. Spent the whole day in the Recorders Office examining title. Got a poor dinner at the hotel, and left at about 1/2 past 4. Went home by way of Judge Engle's, stopped in to see him a few minutes to enquire something related to the title I had been examining. Got into Chester about 1/2 past 6. Went to an oyster cellar & got a dozen & a half of oysters & some ale for supper. Sat napping there until 1/2 past 10, then went up to the depot.
25 January 1853. In the afternoon snowed quite hard. At 8 a.m. started for West Chester, Pa. in the cars where I arrived after a trip of about 2 hours. Went immediately to the Court house where I was employed all day until 1/2 past 4 p.m. making out Brief of Title for Brooks Mills. After leaving the Court house went over to the hotel & entered my name, & then called up to see my old school master Joshua Hoops.(2) I have not seen him since I left his school some 18 years ago, and I have not been in West Chester since that time. Mr. Hoops seems to be quite active & much as usual, though quite an old man. I see a great change in West Chester. It has increased to near double the size, and the Court house & Bank are very handsome buildings.
26 January 1853. At 1/4 of 8 started for the City.
30 January 1853. At Church of Atonement in the morning with Carrie. Afternoon called down to see Mr. Lewis E. Ware with Carrie. He has been ill for some 6 weeks with hemorrhage of the lungs, and I fear will never get out again. Did not see him. The girl told us to wait until the Doctor left, but becoming tired after waiting 20 m. or half an hour called down to see Cousins [Roberts] in 9th Street. Found them at home and met Mr. & Mrs. Clapp and their little daughter there. Mr. A.E. Laing of New York called upon us this afternoon, and Miss Sally Anne Hedges took dinner with us.
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There are no entries from the end of January until the middle of June.
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14 June 1853. Clear but quite warm all day. After breakfast took my horse and had him saddled, and rode down town upon some business, returned home at about 9.
At about 10 a.m. Lydia was married to Mr. Edward J. Maginnis. She had the parlor windows closed, and the gas lit. They were married by the Reverend Kingston Goddard and in the presence of the principal part of the Roberts family, Mr. & Mrs. Cattell, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Chambers, Aunt Eliza Erwin and some few others. She received her calls from 11 to 1, and at about 2 had dinner, including Mrs. Rieford, Miss Lizzie Roberts, Mr. Samuel Bonnell, Jr. They started in the afternoon train, accompanied by Ma for New York, Boston, &c.
2 July 1853. Carrie, Ida and I started in our horse and carriage this morning at about 1/2 past 6, for West Chester. We had a delightful ride, through a beautiful country, and arrived there at about 1/2 past 10 a.m.. Stopped at the principal Hotel and got dinner, but rather a poor one, did not walk much through the town as it was so very warm. At about 4 p.m started for the Yellow Springs,(3) distant about 12 or 14 miles, over a very hilly road but through a very pretty country. Arrived at the Springs about 7 p.m and were very much pleased with their appearance. Found the land lady very pleasant. She gave us nice rooms and a good supper. Spent a half an hour after tea very pleasantly strolling around the place with the landlady, after which went into the hall rooms where many were enjoying the dance. Met Miss Jacobs there, to whom I introduced Carrie.
3 July 1853. After breakfast smoked a cigar and at about 9 o'clock had our horse put to the carriage and took a ride of some 2 or 3 miles to Prospect Hill from which we had one of the most beautiful views I ever beheld. The country is very picturesque in this vicinity, and from the top of the hill we had an unobstructed view on all sides for many miles, repaying us fully for our labor in finding it, of which we had considerable. We, however, succeeded in finding our way back with much less difficulty.
In the course of the day, I took two cold plunge baths in the almost icy cold water of the spring for which the place is celebrated. The mode of taking the bath is to plunge in head foremost and come out the opposite side of the bath. Two plunges of this kind are sufficient. When you come out and are rubbed down with a coarse towel the sensation is that of having been bathed with spirits.
In the evening had a very severe thunder shower, during which time there was a religious service at which Reverend Mr. Derberough officiated.
4 July 1853. Spent half of the morning in the bowling saloon with the ladies after which took another cold bath, at about 2 had a very fine dinner and at 1/2 past 3 started for home in our carriage. Had quite a number of the ladies and gentlemen out to see us off with many good wishes for a safe ride. We found the first part of the road very rough and hilly but after we got onto the Pike about 1/2 mile above the Paoli the road was very good.
Just below Paoli is a road across to the West Chester Plank Road we found very good. Arrived home at about 1/2 past 9 p.m., accomplishing the distance about 35 miles including stoppages in about 6 hours.
It was with great difficulty that we could get to our door on account of the great concourse of people that crowded the streets, they having been out to witness the City exhibition of fire works at Schuylkill 3rd and Arch Streets.
6 July 1853. About 4 p.m I went over to Camden to attend to some little business for Mr. Fisher. In returning in the Ferry Boat, found Ma, Mr. Maginnis & Lydia on board, just returning from their trip North. I expected them today, but was uncertain what line they would come in on. Went up home with
them where I found Carrie, and Ida in waiting and took the first supper in the new house.(4)
4 August 1853. Left Philadelphia at 7 1/2 a.m. with Carrie and Ida for Cincinnati. Morning raining and showering through the day; had a Miss Harriet E. Jones of Cincinnati put under my charge by a Mr. Mitchell of American Ins. Co. of Philadelphia, quite an interesting girl. Mary Harrison and Mr. Oliver of Cincinnati accompanied us. Arrived at Hollidaysburg about 7; miserable supper. Poured rain during the night, very gloomy in going over the mountains. Country beautiful & scenery magnificent. Quite amused at a loving couple on the cars tonight.
5 August 1853. Arrived at Pittsburgh about 5 1/2 a.m. Took a miserable two horse omnibus with 22 passengers for Allegheny City, most miserable breakfast, cursing and swearing at the table. Through the negligence of the Rail Road agent lost a valise containing all of Ida's clothes, and are obliged to leave in 6 a.m. train without it.
Passed through a beautiful country, arrived at Crestline about 11 1/2 p.m. and got another miserable dinner. Ida quite unwell, bowels much disordered and no change of clothes. Changed cars and were thrust into those already crowded. Great difficulty to get seats. Arrived at Columbus at 5, and again changed cars, and fared rather better. Cars stopped at Xenia for supper, did not partake. Arrived in Cincinnati at about 1/4 of 12, about 2 hours late though a quick trip. Went to the Burnet House, and got a miserable poor supper. This house has gone down considerably. Mary Harrison and Mr. Oliver went over to Covington to night, and I put Miss Jones in an omnibus which took her home.
6 August 1853. Went over to Aunt Harrisons at Covington to get Ida some clothes, returned about 10, wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania R.R. Co. about valise, then up to Mrs. Spader's, then to the offices about valise. Got Mr. Borden's carriage and took Carrie and Ida up to Mrs. Spader's. Took dinner there. Mr. Spader is in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Borden came in a few minutes, spent the afternoon at Mrs. Spader's, and at about 5 started for Longwood.
7 August 1853. Harry Borden returned having been at a temperance convention at New Boston; feasted on peaches, peas and plums which are now ripe and plenty. Mr. Borden has two peach orchards. The Country is looking beautiful particularly the view of Mill Creek valley from the South side of the house.
8 August 1853. After breakfast rode over to College Hill with Sammy to the post office & got the horse shod. Afternoon took a nap not feeling very well.
9 August 1853. Went to Cincinnati this morning with Mr. Borden, saw the large steam fire engine, called at Mrs. Spader's, saw her and Aunt Eliza, went after valise with no success. Over to Aunt Harrisons to dinner. Mr. Moore there. Also saw John (behaving like a boor as usual), Mary & Lydia, and Mr. & Mrs. Rice. Clint Kirby and a Mr. Johnson spent the evening. Mr. Johnson is quite a humorous fellow. He sang a good song, and told a first rate story.
10 August 1853. Clear and very hot all day and evening. Remained about the farm all day, reading &c.
11 August 1853. I never remember more oppressive weather. After breakfast rode over with Mary on horseback to College Hill to the Post Office, got no letter.
12 August 1853. About 6 p.m. it clouded over and we had a violent thunder shower. Carrie, Mary and I went to the City this morning. I was running the whole day about the valise which we expected but was unsuccessful. Expect it again tomorrow. I was nearly exhausted with the heat today. Took a bath about 4 at Mrs. West's and felt much better. Started out home about 1/2 past 5 to go by way of College Hill. Got caught in the storm and did not get home until 1/2 past 8. Had to turn the carriage and wait some time on the hill, horse became frightened with the thunder.
13 August 1853. About the house until about 11 a.m. when Sammy and I went down through the woods to Mill Creek to fish. Met with poor luck, and looking like rain started for home. Got lost in the woods and had to walk for an hour and a half in a drenching rain. We were as wet as if we had jumped in the river. Upon arrival changed our clothes, took a bath, rubbed down with whiskey, and did not take cold.
14 August 1853. In the morning went over to College Hill to attend Church. Very few there, good sermon from Reverend Mr. Carey. Clint & Harry went to Camp meeting.
15 August 1853. Went out in search of the valise, went to Fulton Depot, to telegraph office, &c. but could get no tidings. Went to Aunt Harrisons to dinner. John, as usual, was very courteous. Just as I was returning home I stopped in at Livingston & Fargo express by accident where to my surprise I found the valise. It had come from Cleveland instead of Pittsburgh, and been here since the 12th inst.
16 August 1853. Over at the P.O. to see Dr. Brooks in the morning with Ida who has the chicken pox. About the farm the rest of the day, reading, picking plums, &c.
17 August 1853. Ida is quite unwell from disorder of the bowels, and breaking out of her face, and has been so for some days.
18 August 1853. After dinner took a ride with Mr. & Mrs. Rice. Beautiful scenery on the Licking River & valley.
19 August 1853. In the afternoon took a walk with Sammy Borden, stopped in at the Museum, &c.
20 August 1853. Went around to Mrs. West's to spend the day. Met her a few feet from the door, very much agitated and apparently very angry because we had not come sooner. She said she was going out to spend the day. I let Carrie & Ida go in & I left and walked around town. Went to the Burnet House, read the papers, stopped in Police Court, Cathedral, &c. and called upon Miss Harriet E. Jones, the lady I brought out. Returned to Mrs. West's about 1, when an apology was made.
21 August 1853. In the morning Carrie, Mary and Mr. Borden and I went over to College Hill to Church.
22 August 1853. Went over to College Hill this morning with Carrie to take Ida to see Dr. Brooks on account of the eruption on her face. Did not find him at home. Spent the morning picking peaches, reading, &c. Carrie went to town this afternoon. About 4 p.m. went down to Harry's school house. The boys and girls were entirely unmanageable, so that Harry dismissed school in self-defense.
23 August 1853. Over at College Hill this morning for medicine for Ida. Afternoon and evening at home. Aunt Eliza and Mrs. Spader with a Mrs. Foley and Mr. Pratt came out this afternoon, the first time Aunt Eliza was out since our marriage. In the evening had some friends out to tea. Mr. & Mrs. Rice were out, and we had some fine singing by Madame Rene and her sister. Miss Glancy, quite a pretty girl, was there, also Mr. & Mrs. Harbeson, Col. Churchill and two daughters, Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Ganno & son and daughter Fanny. Had a very pleasant evening, dancing, singing and music.
24 August 1853. About 4 p.m. I drove over in the buggy with Ida to see Dr. Brooks & also to the Post Office. He seems to think she is much better and will soon be well. In the evening all, with the exception of Mrs. Borden, went down to Mrs. Kirby's by invitation. Expected to meet some company, but as usual, humbugged. Met no one but Mr. & Miss Glancy and Mrs. Holland who are staying here. Mrs. Kirby made her appearance finally, with many excuses for the non-appearance of her family, who all necessarily had to be absent. A faltering excuse certainly, however, I was not much disappointed. Miss. Glancy is quite a fine looking and agreeable young lady, the widow Mrs. Holland is also agreeable and good looking. Did not get home until about 1 a.m. and rather put out at our visit.
25 August 1853. About 8 a.m. Mr. & Mrs. Borden & family, Carrie & I met Mr. Harbeson and his family at Colonel Churchill's and all drove down to North Bend. Had a very pleasant ride and arrived there about 11 a.m. passing through Cleaves and Chiveat. Passed the day by a pond or lake a la picnic. Col. Taylor, son in law of Gen. Harrison, came in the afternoon to meet us, and we visited the tomb of Harrison, Sims, and others. Also visited the old Homestead. Did not see Mrs. Harrison as she was sick. Scenery magnificent. Sammy brought a sheep up with him in the buggy much to the inconvenience of Harry.
26 August 1853. Spent the greater part of the day packing up and preparing to start tomorrow for home. Was over at College Hill in the morning to see Dr. Brooks with Ida. Also at the Post Office. Mr. Borden, Carrie, Mary, Ida & I started for Cincinnati about 1/2 past 4 and got in at 6, and to Mrs. West's. Went down and got my tickets.
27 August 1853. Left in the 6 a.m. train for Cleveland where we arrived at 1/2 past 3. Arrived at Columbus at 10 a.m., took passage at Cleveland on board of the Queen of the West for Buffalo. Lake very rough, quite cold and blowing hard. Left [for] Buffalo about 8 p.m., very rough on lake. Mary & Carrie could not eat their supper, but Ida & I took ours.
28 August 1853. Arrived at Buffalo at 8 a.m. Took the cars for Niagara at 1/4 past 9, arrived there at 10 1/4 a.m. Stopped at Cataract House, very full. Visited the American Falls in the morning, ferry house &c. After dinner put Ida to sleep, left her alone in the room and visited Iris Island.
There was quite a disturbance this afternoon by the arrest of one of the colored waiters for a murder said to be committed by him some 4 years since in one of the Southern states. The waiters all turned out to aid in his escape, and there was a regular riot between them and the Irish Rail Road hands working in this vicinity. He was finally arrested after some broken heads and bloody noses. It was feared that the waiters would be attacked in the hotel, but the disturbance gradually subsided.
29 August 1853. Mary and I got up at about 5 1/4 a.m. and went over to Horse Shoe Falls, Iris Island, &c. and returned to breakfast. After breakfast hired a carriage & drove to Devils Hole, Whirlpool, Suspension bridge, and across the same to Canada. Then to Table Rock, Burning Spring, Lundy's Lane, &c. Dined at 3, after which Mary and I went down to the Ferry for the purpose of crossing to Canada. But the spray was so great, concluded not to go, as we would have gotten very wet. Returned to the Hotel, remained a short time, when Mary and I went on a last visit to Bath Island, Iris & Prospect Islands to the Tower &c.
30 August 1853. Arrived at Albany about 1/4 of 7 p.m., put up at the Delevan House, had a very good supper.
31 August 1853. Left Albany at 7 a.m. in Steamer Francis Skiddy for New York. Arrived in New York at 1/2 past 3, Took the St. Nicholas House coach, but were unable to get in the house, then to the Prescott House with the same success, and finally got a room for Carrie, Mary and Ida at the Collimar House. I took one under the roof with a stranger, who blew out the gas and like to have smothered me.
1 September 1853. Spent the greater part of the day with Carrie, Mary and Ida at the Crystal Palace and was much pleased. In the evening went to Niblos garden with Mary to see the Ravels. Carrie remained at the hotel with Ida.
2 September 1853. Mary and I went out to take a look at New York this morning, visited Trinity Church, the Exchange, Custom House, Battery, &c., also Brooklyn, and 2 p.m. left for Philadelphia via Amboy and Camden. Arrived home about 1/2 past 6 p.m., highly delighted to get home once more, and very tired of traveling. Found Ma had everything in order, and a good supper awaiting us which was very acceptable.
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There are no entries from 2 September until November.
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4 November 1853. David Weatherly and I started with my horse and wagon at 1/4 of 8 a.m for the Delaware Water Gap. Arrived at Doylestown at 1/4 past 12 N, dined, and drove to Buckville. Stopped at Bucks tavern, good supper, clean house and obliging and attentive. Land lord named Mr. Buck, has lived at same house 60 years.
5 November 1853. Left Bucks at 7 a.m. Drove to Easton, 15 miles, beautiful country. Stopped at Easton for an hour and walked through the town. Dined 5 miles from Easton at Eagle Hotel on the banks of the Delaware, fair dinner and obliging landlord. Got into the Water Gap just at dusk. It was a dangerous road, arrived at Brodhead Hotel at 6 1/2 p.m. Had the horse well rubbed down and taken care of, and then a good venison supper and coffee.
6 November 1853. A clear cool and beautiful morning, frost and ice. Excellent breakfast of venison, coffee and hot cakes. After breakfast visited Sunset Hill and Table Rock. Also walked down through the Gap to Peifer's Hotel. The scenery beautiful, in fact magnificent. The mountains at the Gap are 1740 feet high. Had a good dinner and left Broadheads at 1/2 past 1 p.m. Drove through a very romantic country down the Cherry Valley and through the Wind Gap to Nazareth, 24 miles by 6 p.m. The greater part of the road is very good but some parts exceedingly hilly. Stopped at a regular Dutch tavern, you might have thought you were in Holland. Tolerable supper and a miserable poor room. Put us both to bed in a single bedstead, and much too short at that.
7 November 1853. Clear and magnificent day, never do I remember a more magnificent morning. Up at 6 a.m. Got a pretty good breakfast and left at 7 a.m and drove to Bethlehem, ten miles, by 1/2 past 8, remained an hour and a half. Pretty town, saw schools, &c. Crossed the Lehigh River and drove to Hellertown, 5 miles distant, where we dined, and had a very nice clean dinner. Left at about 1, and drove to a half mile below Lexington, being 24 1/2 miles from Hellertown, where we stopped for the night at Tommy Sellers Tavern. Good supper and nice beds and room. Sellers is 24 miles from Philadelphia. Spent the evening in the bar room with the waggoners, &c.
8 November 1853. Left Sellers at 1/4 of 8. Stopped at Spring House Tavern and Chestnut Hill, and arrived at Wissahickon Hall, 19 miles, at about 12 N. Had our horse fed, got a good dinner of chicken, coffee, waffles &c.
(1) The Darby Plank Road also called Kings Road is the present Woodland Avenue. Scarf and Westcott, p. 712. and Viera, M. Laffeitte, West Philadelphia Illustrated, Philadelphia, 1903, pp. 24 and 174.
"`Plank' roads were constructed of timbers two-and-a-half inches thick laid on wooden stringers two to three feet apart. The roadway of wood was elevated above the ground to keep the wood from decaying. It provided a very comfortable ride." Alotta, Robert I. Philadelphia Street Names, Ibid., p. 221-222.
(2) Joshua Hoops or Hoopes, (1788-1874), conducted "The Downingtown School for Boys" from 1817-1834 when he opened, in West Chester, "The Hoops Boarding School for Boys" which he successfully conducted until 1862. The Hoopes Family Record, Hoops Family Organization, 1997 Campbell Road, Houston, TX 77080, 1979., Vol. I, p. 99.
"Joshua Hoops, a noted Friend of considerable ability and a proficient teacher," was the first teacher at the Lower Merion Academy the first free school in Montgomery County and one of the first in the nation, established 1812. Betty McMannus, The Main Line Times, Ardmore, PA January 1, 1988, p. 11. Original by Penny L. Anderson of Pencoyd, February 17, 1888 at the Lower Merion Historical Society, Ashbridge, Bryn Mawr, PA.
(3) Yellow Springs, known for the healing powers of its yellow (sulfur) water, had been known since early colonial days, and before that used by the Lenni Lenape Indians. It was a Health Spa during in the 18th century, a Continental Army Hospital during the Revolutionary War and a "Fashionable Spa Resort" in the 19th century when Warner Erwin visited it. Brochure of Historic Yellow Springs, Inc. Art School Road, Post Box 627, Chester Springs, PA 19425, 1993.
(4) McElroy's Philadelphia lists J. Warner's home address at South East Schuylkill 4th and Cherry Streets in 1853 and at South East 19th and Cherry Streets in 1855, the same address but with the new street naming adopted in the mid 19th century.