GORDON PEETE GLEASON 1917 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY - JOURNAL OF A KEEN EYED ALL-AMERICAN NEWSPAPER REPORTER COMMENTING ON THE POLITICS OF ALBANY NEW YORK, THE BUILDING OF THE BARGE CANAL, CONSCRIPTION, LYNCHINGS, BEATING GERMANY AND HIS WIFE 'HIS LITTLE MOUSE'
ALBANY NEW YORK MANHATTAN NYC NY 1917 Very Good Manuscript
On offer is a super early New York State Americana being a home-front World War I 1917 handwritten manuscript daily diary and journal of Gordon Peete Gleason. Mr. Gleason was for a time a journalist based in Albany New York [the war important Barge Canal of New York was the major issue of the day and Gordon's beat] and his writings in this diary attest to his talents as a writer. From the very first page we note Gordon is a talented, emotive observer and a very good diarist especially in that he touches all bases: he writes of every day things such as movies he went to see, his family, his work duties and the issues of the day and especially current events. The war weighs very heavily on his sharp mind from a global perspective and from his personal point of view and then there's politics; local, national, international all occupy his thoughts which he gladly shares in the diary. He is earnest but not naïve. He is very likable and an admirable individual. It is beautifully touching the way he describes his wife as 'his little mouse'. Research provides that our diarist was born 28 Apr 1890 in Albany, NY, and was a press representative for the State Engineer and Surveyor and was caring for an invalid wife and mother. His father was a Manhattan lawyer. In 1910 he is listed as a newspaper reporter in Manhattan, then Albany; in 1920, as a newspaper agent in Albany, and in 1930, he is a widower, and he is a magazine editor in Lumberland, Sullivan County, NY. Here are snippets: January 1st, "1917 ushered in and it starts out splendid for me. Buddy and I went down to see Governor Whitman inaugurated and he had a splendid military display. Went home full of liquid that cheers, and going to bed was dead to the world, and did not recover till 10:30 at night. March 16: Revolution in Russia. Czar overthrown and troops with the people. An allied move, the Czar and his followers being inclined to a separate peace and some in the pay of the German Government. British win a victory in France and in Mesopotamia. Capturing Bagdad and about 20 miles of German trenches. April 17: American torpedo boat destroyer Smith fired on by German U-Boat. French started offensive yesterday 100,000 German reported killed, wounded, or captured within 24 hours. We are still preparing for the fray. Congress is still haggling over the conscription bill. May 23 A horrid lynching at Memphis, Tenn. A negro burned to the stake for murdering a white girl. Perhaps he deserved it, yet, the law should take its course and the South should give the negro a chance to improve himself. Just about every day has an entry. Often, just a sentence or two. But there are quite a few entries where he goes on for several pages. He talks about the Draft, and how married men are put in a "peculiar" position. Appears to feel somewhat guilty about not enlisting: I fear only for my dear ones and not for myself and was I independent, I would have enlisted long ago. Still I owe Frances a duty and a great one and perhaps my duty means that I follow my present course...Also: As I ponder over the future and consider the past I feel I have been a failure. I can see no advancement ahead but I do see a position in the army. I feel certain I will be called to the colors and for myself I care not, but for my dearest Mouse, I pass many hours in worry...His draft number is 430 and it is reported missing(?). The last two pages contain a list of events and the days they occurred (i.e. June 12: King of Greece abdicated the throne; July 1: Russia strikes in new offensive; July 20: Draft numbers drawn at Washington; etc.) This is a very large 10 x 7.5 inch page a day. Some days a line and many days the page cannot contain Gordon. Overall VG.