HARRY VAN ZANT
Title: 1877 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A NEW YORK MAN WHO TRAVELS BETWEEN CITIES TO SELL HIS GOODS AND TRAVELS BETWEEN MORAL COMPASS POINTS CHAMPIONING HIS FIDELITY TO HIS GIRLFRIEND WHILE HE MAKES THE ODD DRUNKEN VISIT TO A HOUSE OF ILL REPUTE
Book Condition: Good
Size: 48mo - over 3" - 4" tall
Publisher: NEW YORK CITY NEW YORK NYC NY  1877
Seller ID: 0002176
On offer is the original, interesting manuscript diary of a young traveling salesman living in New York City whose writings span January 1st, 1877 through August 8th, 1877 (though leaves blank the space between Feb 6-May 15). While at first glance this diary is a look at how a young man, whose name we believe is Harry Van Zant as per what appears to be an ownership signature on the rear endpaper, made his way as a salesman by day, factory worker, carouser and bit of a hell raiser by night, in New York City in the late 19th century, on further reading it is actually a love story. Our author is madly in love with Nell but he is also a bit of a wild one when he goes out with the boys. It seems they are engaged to be married, or are at least promised to one another via promise ring. Amidst his many sales trips from New York City to Harlem, Jersey City, Hoboken, Elizabeth, Newark, Brunswick, Hartford and even Iowa and Indiana, he always comes back to Nell. More specifically, they meet up through Emma, who is either a mutual friend or Nell’s sister. The author and Nell have a tumultuous relationship full of lover’s quarrels and dramatic reconciliations. After one such reconciliation on January 7th, the author writes that “we said we would not quarrel anymore”. However, by February 7th they have another quarrel wherein, he writes, Nell “handed me the ring”. But, as is the nature of young love, they made up by the end of their date. Our author is fiercely loyal to Nell, rebuking other girls, such as Jenny Martin, who wishes for him to call her and stating that he only wants Nell. Our author is a very social gentleman who engages in card games and brings his friends along on many of his sales trips as well as spending many nights socializing. Specifically, he frequently mentions his close friend Jim, Frank Nelson and Leo Bastedo. He does not write much about what products he sells, aside from a mention of selling for the California Distilling Co. Here are some snippets: ‘Jim and I went selling goods through New York and Harlem. Had a very good day. Took dinner at 22nd St and 6th Ave. We had two stakes and a stew a piece. Smoked some segars. Got home at ten oclock. Jim and I went downtown with the wagon. Had smash up. Call on Nell in the evening. Came home about eleven oclock. Found Nelson Van Loan & Louis all drunk! I put Van Loan to bed, Nelson was very sick in the night. Throw up Jona... on the floor. Was sick for two days after it.....arrived in Philadephia. Got a boarding at 255 39th st. Met some boys. Went out and had a nice time. Nell and Emma staid to the house all day and evening. Nell and I had a quarrel in the afternoon and made up again. Snowed all day and evening. Nell and I started for home at 11 oclock. The snow was about one foot deep..........Sold goods in Jersey City all day. Went up to and called on Nell but found her out, was quite angry. Smoked six segars. Went to bed at half past twelve...rained all the evening. Took Nell home from the store at eleven. Had a quarrel which came very near parting us. I was thinking about leaving New York City for good. Call on Nell at seven. Found her in bed, made her get up. I was quite angry. Had a talk with her. We said we would not quarrell any more. Remained until eight oclock, then went home. Call on Nell in evening, had a quarrell. She handed me the ring. We made up again before I left. Jenny Martin call to the house. I went (?) with her as far as Mrs. Nelson. She wanted me to call and spend the evening with her and take her home. I said no. I said I would not have anything to do with any one but Nell. Went to Camden NJ. Did not sell any goods. In evening went out with Hilldagard to a house of ill fame. Had a good time.’ This diary some loosening of the interior spine, the pages are all intact but the bottom of the spine has come loose and diary must be read with care. Overall G.
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