1868 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A YOUNG, ASPIRING LAWYER WORKING FOR A NOTED JUDGE AND MAINTAINING AN ACTIVE PRESENCE IN POLITICS AND VARIOUS FRATERNAL SOCIETIES

By: JOSEPH E. SAWYER

Price: $2,455.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a unique and thoroughly interesting diary, written by a young, but rather successful lawyer in the mid-19th century. The young man’s name is Joseph E. Sawyer, born in 1847 in Piermont, New Hampshire. Sawyer and his mother later moved to Cambridge City, Indiana, where Sawyer visits periodically. After many years of schooling, Sawyer leaves Cambridge City to go to Boscobel, Wisconsin, where he enters the law office of George C. Hazelton. In 1867 he formed a co-partnership with Benjamin Shearer and commenced business for himself at the age of twenty. They continued about one year, but Sawyer left at the end of the year. There is a slip of paper in the back pocket of the diary with a handwritten date, “December 11th, 1867. Boscobel Wisconsin.” On the other side of this paper are two newspaper clippings that give a little more information on Sawyer’s situation right before the diary begins. The first clipping is for his law firm: "SHEARER & SAWYER, Attorneys and counselors, notaries, public, U.S Claim Agents. Prompt attention paid to all business entrusted to their care. Office first door north of Kieren's clothing store." The second one, right below it, is a brief note of goodbye from the firm: "Personal. Mr. J. E. Sawyer, having withdrawn from the co-partnership in the practice of law with Ben. Shearer, Esq., leaves us this morning for Indiana, where he goes to spend the holidays with ‘The old folks at home.’ Many friends will miss him, and many warm wishes for his future prosperity follow him from Boscobel." The diary commences on January 1st, 1868, the day Sawyer turns 21: “January 1: “At home in Cambridge City, twenty first birthday. Went with Lizzie, Kate, and Ella to Dublin to the dedication of the new school building and in the morning attended the reading society at Molin McKee's." On the 17th, Sawyer writes: “Cold morning. The coldest day of the winter so far. I intended going to Germantown but thought it too cold. Received a letter from Uncle Ed, Mr. Bush and Judge Crofoot offering me a position in Judge Crofoots office as clerk. I decided to accept and commence at once to make preparations for leaving. Bought a trunk at the star grocery for $11.00." Judge M.E. Crofoot’s office is in Pontiac, Michigan, and Sawyer enters the law office as a clerk. Much of this diary is about his work with Judge Crofoot in Pontiac. “March 25. Went to the 9 train to meet the judge but he did not come....Before I got to the depot the train came in advance of time. He bought some tracing muslin for me to make some maps of the Holly Depot grounds for the Van Steinburg case. Mrs. Green and Mrs. Adams at tea. Received a line from Bullenger today, photograph inc., declines my invitation for the vacation."; “April 28. Called at half past four. Rose, went to office then to depot. Waited a few moments. Took 5:40 train. Went to Russell House. Met Judge. After breakfast went to Manard's office thence to court room. Several cases were disposed of and Van Steinburgh case. Occupied reading case P.M. in Maynard's office. Evening in bar library till after eleven then went to hotel, wrote home to Bell then retired."; “October 30. I have been alone in office much of the time since Judge went to Lapeer and have been recording deeds most of the time and there is a little law business being done now till after election. I work late till after midnight as I was going home between 11 & 12 o’clock. The judge over took me and I rode home with him. He has driven 104 miles and made speeches in the last four days.” Times in Michigan are not always easy for Sawyer and he often struggles with money: “June 19: Dead broke. I've been in Pontiac five months. Have spent $1.47 and made $6.25. Total cash on hand 11 cents. Have been scratching my head for two days and for my life I don't know where I can get any money. What can I do? I am about $5.50 in debt now. I won't borrow anymore...The heat is oppressive and I've no thin coat.” Sawyer also writes often of matters that don’t deal with just his law firm. He is an active member in the local politics and seems to be fairly liberal as well. He is also a member of a number of fraternal societies such as the Masons and the Knights of Pythias: “January 8. Commenced studying Insurance....A drunken man come in to our yard and being too weak to stand, lay in the storm and as it was quite cold I helped him to a hotel. Started for the society but on account of prayer meeting there was no society meeting so I spent the evening calling around on friends &c."; “April 6. Crofoot and I busy as could be in office. Call day on brief in Van Steinburg's case. Democrats elected city officers and torches illuminate the nites repose. They are very jubilant over a small matter. I worked late in the office and care nothing of the show of what I saw as I went out to printing office. Was disgusted."; June 5: “Circus in town. Terrible hail storm. All the windows and sky light on the west side of every house in town broken in while we were at dinner. Exciting scene on the street. Horses broke away, women fainted &c.”; “August 21: “The Light Guards of Detroit came out this morning to go in to camp at Orchard Lake for a few days. Met by the Pontiac Knight Templers &c. Applied for the agency of the Continental Insurance Co.”; “November 3. ELECTION I spent the day at the polls, very quiet and orderly. A very pleasant day. Great bustle confusion and noise this evening. Democrats very jubilant over their victory in our city &c. But as further returns come in showing large Rep. gain everywhere they change their tune. I went home about one o’clock all the Co. officers are safe except Register which is doubtful. Great crowd and confusion.” The diary has a total of 232 pages of writing. Sawyer’s handwriting is easily legible and a delight to read. The book is bound in black cloth, and in general is in good shape. (Background: For the rest of his life, Sawyer was a lawyer, a real estate developer, prominent member of the Michigan Republican party, and an active member in a number of societies. He married Lizzie V. Satterlee in 1877, and they had 3 daughters. He died in 1916. The personal papers of Sawyer are held at the Detroit Public Library Special Collections. Further information about Sawyer can be found in the Cyclopedia of Michigan: Historical and Biographical, pages 187-188.; M.E. Crofoot was a prominent businessman, attorney, and the judge of the Oakland County Probate Court from 1849 to 1856. He was involved in Oakland County, state, and national affairs. He was a delegate to the 1856 Democratic National Convention. After the Civil War, he was selected in 1865, to represent Oakland County in raising subscriptions for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Downtown Detroit.He was on the State Building Commission for the Michigan State Asylum in 1874, which was completed in Pontiac in 1878. He represented a defendant in 1882 before the US Supreme Court.)

Title: 1868 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF A YOUNG, ASPIRING LAWYER WORKING FOR A NOTED JUDGE AND MAINTAINING AN ACTIVE PRESENCE IN POLITICS AND VARIOUS FRATERNAL SOCIETIES

Author Name: JOSEPH E. SAWYER

Categories: 19th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: BOSCOBEL WISCONSIN WI, PONTIAC MICHIGAN MI, 1868

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall

Seller ID: 0009066

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, JOSEPH E. SAWYER, POST CIVIL WAR ERA AMERICA, BOSCOBEL, WISCONSIN, PONTIAC, MICHIGAN, CAMBRIDGE CITY, INDIANA, PIERMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE, SHEARER & SAWYER, BENJAMIN SHEARER, ESQUIRE, JUDGE M. E. CROFOOT, JURISPRUDENCE, 1868 REPUBLICAN PARTY, 1868 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, LAW IN AMERICA, KNIGHTS OF PYTHIAS, FREEMASONS, LIFE OF A STUDENT, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL