DR. LEROY DWIGHT FARNHAM 1869 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF AN INTERESTING 19 YEAR OLD DOCTOR AND SCHOLAR
OWEGO TIOGA BINGHAMPTON CANDOR NEW YORK 1869 Good Manuscript
On offer is a remarkable, original 1869 manuscript diary of Dr. Leroy Dwight Farnham dated Owego New York. This is handwritten by Dr. Farnham, 19 years old at the time of writing. The young Dr. Farnham, originally from Tioga New York, is teaching in Candor and living in Owego. While in Candor for the week he stays with various families then back home to Owego for the weekend social events. Dr. Farnham writes a lot about the Owego Academy closing and his schooling under Professor Prindle. [Ephemera included is a receipt from the Academy from the 1860s. The academy closed in 1869.] Historians and collectors of post Civil War era, Reconstruction period will note his entries of an extended river voyage in the spring: Leroy and his father take their boat on the Susquehanna River into Pennsylvania. The trip starts on April 24th leaving Owego and they end up in Marietta Pennsylvania on May 25th, selling their goods along the way. He writes about the sites along the way as they stop in the different towns and villages during the one month voyage. At the top of every page in the diary he writes where he's at: Canawana, Towanda, Pittston, Port Blanchard (where they spend 6 days), Forty Fort, Wilkes Barre, Nanticoke, Opposite Beach Haven, Bloomsburg, Danville, Northumberland, Sunbury, Port Trevorton, Liverpool, Greens Dam, Harrisburg, Middletown, Bainbridge, Marietta and home. Other then the 6 days spent at Port Blanchard, they also spend between 2-4 days at some of the other villages. Here are some snippets: 1869 "January 1st, Owego N.Y. New years commenced with one of the hardest storms I ever saw. Snowed so hard all day that it was almost impossible to live away from a cheerful fire. Went to Owego about 3 P.M. through the terrible storm. Attended a new Years party given by May Bell Armstrong. Home at 4 A.M. the 2nd." "January 4th, Candor N.Y. Left home this morning to commence my labors as a teacher. Had a very hard day, the scholars considerably taken from their studies by the vacations. Stayed all night with Sanford Robinson." "January 21st, & 22nd, Candor N.Y. A very pleasant day. The sun shone brightly today the last day of school this week on account of the teacher's association. Olive and May Bell came after me and spent a few hours in the ___. Speaking in the afternoon. Owego, N.Y. Olive, May Bell and I left home this morning for Berkshire. Very cold riding. Stopped to Newark going up. Got there at 12:20. Took dinner at the hotel. Went to the Assoc. in the afternoon. Went to Mr. Millers (Bostwick and I) to supper and all night." "February 5th & 6th, Candor N.Y. Much colder in the fore part of the day and more stormy. 21 scholars. Jack came up after me. Went to Smithboro to party at Orin Farnham's, 8 of us. Got very cold going. A pleasant time….Owego N.Y. Left Smithboro this morning at 3 A.M. Arrived at Owego 6 A.M. Home at 7 had a splendid time. Slept in my chair from 9 until 10. Went to Owego in the afternoon. Retired quite early 8 ½ P.M." "March 8th & 9th, Owego N.Y. Mr. Crispell, Father and I went up to the church and built the stage in the afternoon. Drilled our scholars in the evening. Home late. Rode home with Uncle George's folks, &c. Home at 12.…Owego N.Y., Went to Owego in the morning, Mary and I. Mr. Crispell went to Church at 2 P.M. to finish the dressing the stage. Commenced at 7 P.M. House soon filled up so that we could do but little work, very hard until 10 then closed. Almost a failure. Home at 12 P.M." "March 22nd, Owego N.Y. Spent part of the forenoon drawing our logs for a boat at Jones Mill. Father and I went to Owego at 2 P.M. Spent the afternoon in town. Attended Barkley Minstrel Troupe in eve. A good time. Home at 12." "March 28th, Owego N.Y. The first part of the day quite pleasant, colder about 4 ½ P.M. Spent the first part of the day at home. Father and I started at 2 P.M. for Owego to hear Mrs. Norton & Susan B. Anthony's lecture. Eve quietly at home." "April 9th, Owego N.Y. Helped Uncle George turn his boat in the morning. Subpoenaed to Owego at one P.M. as a witness against the rioters of Wednesday but the affair was settled. Went to a surprise party to William ____. Took with me seven young ladies. A good time. Home at 2 P.M." "April 18th, Owing to sudden rise of water we find it necessary to run the boats out of the creek. We run two out at 11 A.M. with 30 men in them, the 2nd 2. At three with 40 ladies and gentlemen. I took the horses to the landing. Walked home. Evening at home." "April 24th, Owego N.Y. Stayed on the boats until 5 P.M. then started home to get ready for starting as the water having fell so that we could go. Stayed at home but 3 hours. Stayed on the boats at night. Retired at 12." "April 25th, Owego N.Y. The wind detained us several hours in Cananana (?). We started at 9 A.M. and run to Towanda through a hard wind. Landed at 6 P.M. After supper we strolled about town. A beautiful moonlight night. Met with Mr. Gene. Retired at 10 ½." "April 26th, Towanda PA Left here this morning at 4:40. Run the short nicely, had a nice days ride. The scenery beautiful on either shore. About sundown the wind down. We were running by the horseshoe. We landed at 5 P.M. at a place called Messhoppen. 1 hour run until 1 A.M. Tuesday." "April 27th, Pittston, PA Am landed this morning at Litchfield's Island above Pittston. Stayed until 6 A.M. then run down to the city. Spent the morning visiting the city and coal mines in the vicinity. Left here at 3 P.M. a run down 2 miles below and landed at Port Blanchard. Visited Wyoming monument at 4 P." "April 28th, Port Blanchard, We spent the day here in sight of the place where was fought the battle of Wyoming and the remaining few massacred. One of the most beautiful spots on earth yet how sad the history. Eve in the hotel." "April 29th, Port Blanchard, Remained here today. The sales slow. Quite rainy. Roland B. F. and Mr. P. L. Crispell went to Wilkes Barre preparatory to going home. Spent the eve at the hotel at a sociable. Had pleasant time dancing etc. Home at 10 P.M. Met with G. W. Prestin, Lewis, Miss Blanchard and others." "May 5th, Wilkes Barre PA Arrived here this morning at 6 A.M. Wilkes Barre is a nice city on the left hand of the river. It contains many fine residences. The streets are regular. We had a fine morning ride from Forty Fort about sunrise. Went downtown in eve." "May 6th, Plymouth PA Landed here this morning from Wilkes Barre at 6 A.M. The new railroad bridge spanning the river in the distance was the most beautiful sight this morning. Remained here during the day. Plymouth on the left is a small town." "May 10th, Bloomsburg PA Started opposite Beech Grove. Passed Berwick, sailed through the bridge and falls nicely. Passed Miffin on the left. Stopped at Lime Ridge a short time and then run down to Espy. Stayed there but a short time. Run to Bloomsburg and stayed all night." "May 18th, Port Trevorton The steamboat towed us across the river and we run Shomakin start and run down to Scikney's Grove on the right and below there run down to Port Treverton where we spent the night. Port Treverton is on the right 7 miles below Scikney's." "May 22nd, Harrisburg PA Spent the visiting the city, the State House and grounds where there was many relics of old and present times. Visited the market at 5 A.M. There was a dance on the island opposite where we lay this beautiful night." "May 24th, Bainbridge PA We left Middletown at 5 P.M. and over Conewago Falls before dark. The falls are 2 miles long which we run in seven minutes and landed here at 8 P.M. Retired at 10." "June 20th, Owego N.Y. Attended church in the morning. Sunday school at 4 P.M. After Sunday school quite a large party went to Turner's Falls then some came to our house and we spent the eve at Mr. Beebe's. Retired at 11." "July 18th, Owego N.Y. A pleasant day. Attended S.S. at 2 ½ P.M. but few there on account of funeral of a murdered constable in Owego. After S.S. I took my sisters and May Bell over to Mr. Warrington's to eat cherries. 10 P.M." "August 31st, Owego N.Y. Went to Owego to see the school boys. Prof. Prindle having disappointed us but we came to no decision in regard to a future course. Frank and Fred Germany went home with me and spent the afternoon and eve. Boat ride, music, etc. took up the time. Took them home at 8 P.M." "September 11th, Owego N.Y. Mr. Sherwood and I spent the morning in arranging our room. Had a bath in Lake Ontario in the afternoon. Went downtown in the evening. Came back and talked late. Retired late." "October 2nd, Spent the day in writing notes on different subjects. Attended a sociable at the Welland House in the evening. Rained. All dream without all smiles within. Retired 12." "November 21st, Owego N.Y. Attended the Presbyterian church this morning. The minister was old yet gave us a good sermon of today's. Evening at room in study." "December 18th, Owego N.Y. Worked at home during the day. Read some. In boxing with my friend Sherwood, a blow from my hand in the mouth which took off the pleasure of the gum. Studied in the eve some." "December 22nd, Owego N.Y. Attended school during the day. Did not study much during the evening. At 11 P.M. Sherwood and I went down to the shore of Lake Ontario to see the waves roll by moonlight. "Rolled very high". Retired at 12." "December 31st, Owego N.Y. Today, the last of the year 1869. The morning I spent at Uncle George's. The afternoon until 4 ½ P.M. to Grandfather's and Aunt _____. At home then and found Hattie P. and may Belle there. They remained there during the remainder of afternoon and evening. We had a pleasant visit. Took them home at 10 P.M. and then visited with my father and mother until nearly new years. This the last page of the diary of 1869. Must now be finished for already the commencement of the New Year is about to break upon us. Who of us can tell whether we can write the last page of 1870, Good bye old year!" Many names mentioned, some of which are; Armstrong, Sanford Robinson, Beebe, Irving Champlin, Vose, Rev. Floyd, Elias Gardner, A.J. Lang, Jackson Whitman, Joel Seaman, Miller Bostwick, Brown, David Andrews, Henry Cole, Ada and William Hubbard, John Kelsey, Sheppardson, Packett, Prof. Prindle and more. The diary measures about 3" x 5", the cover is very worn and torn but the binding are securely attached. Overall G.