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Love. Early American Style.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This day in 1870.....

A few years ago, my husband Russ found a small leather bound book with a one flap folding over the front. The back has the remnants of what used to be a strip of fabric that must have been used to wrap around the book and tied into a bow to keep it secure.

This book is the Excelsior Diary for 1870 and has an interesting first few pages. There is a calendar, but it's on it's side which is very unusual to me. There are listings of "church days" for that year that include spiritual holidays that I've never heard of....Quadragesima Sunday is just one of them. There is a section of Stamp Duties which I don't quite understand. It looks almost like they are rates for which you would have to pay to become power of attorney, etc. Oh, maybe like a Notary Public? hmmm....I'll have to read that one some more.

There are pages listing the differences of times with New York City being the "current time" and then lists places as far as Mexico, and what their time would be. Distances from New York to "Important Places In North America" is another good read. For instance, from New York City to Philadelphia via train would take you 4 1/2 hours! And the longest, from New York to St. Paul, would take you 132 hours....hope they had a good book, or two, to read!

Last, but not least, is a page listing the Presidents of the United States. It lists their dates of birth, inauguration dates, how many years in office, the date they died, and their "native state". Just to put in perspective how very old this diary is, the last President listed is Ulysses S. Grant and his inauguration date was March 4, 1869, and years in office is blank. Imagine, Grant was President when this diary was printed, and my own home was already 43 years old! Amazing find!

We can't remember where we found this diary. Russ and I have attended so many auctions over the years, so maybe it came from one of the many box lots we purchased. It is in beautiful shape, and all entries are in pencil, so I hope that, somehow, it lasts for another 138 years. Unfortunately, no one's name is written inside, so we don't even know to whom it belonged. But it must have been a man, because once in a while you will see that he bought a beer at the tavern! LOL!

I'm hoping to share the entries with you on this blog, so be on the look out for "On this day in 1870" posts and I hope you enjoy reading the daily life of someone from so long ago!


Holly Tree Primitives said...

How Fun! I am looking forward to these entries, I love stuff like that.

Do you have a picture of the beautiful book? I love to look at them, they are so beautiful.


Mary Jo said...

Ask, and you shall receive my friend! LOL! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Quinquegesima sunday is 50 days before Easter. I haven't heard the term in ages....Used in Catholic churches and probably Episcopal. Is that the same spelling ???