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On offer is a fascinating and unusual diary written by Salon C. Currier of Banton, Vermont, written towards the end of the Civil War. Currier is an American, who travels from Vermont to Argentina to become a cowboy of sorts. Instead of cattle in the United States, he herds sheep in Argentina. He documents his entire experience, from his first experiences aboard the steamship heading to the new country, to his days of work in Argentina. All is documented in great detail. There is also a very strong sense from portions of his diary that Currier did not leave the United States fully voluntarily, that he is most probably fleeing something from his past, though he never states what that is. The inside cover of the diary reads, “Book Bought of Miron Joslyn Nov. 30th, 1864. The last night in Boston. Bound for Buenos Aires, South America.” The diary begins The diary begins Dec 3, 1864. These entries are located in the “Memoranda” section of the diary, after the main diary entries and are short and concise. They begin with Currier getting onboard the steamboat: “Dec. 3, 1864. Went onboard the ship tonight at 4 O’Clock. Eat supper at 5 O’Clock.” The steamboat is called the "Saint Dominique," and is commanded by Capt. D Gerrior. It takes him almost two months to reach Argentina. “Sunday, January 1, 1865. We were within 8 degrees of the Equator it would be impossible to count the number of showers we had through the day besides a gail and a hard one to.I think that this is a beginning a new year under difficulties. We could not stay on deck nor in the cabin it was a lonesome day at 4 ‘o'clock a norther calm I guess we shall have to spend the winter here. And quite different from Vermont you may tell rested very well The Chinese say ‘Bad Beginning makes a good ending’ they say.” He has some sort of run in with the Capt., and holds him in contempt for the entire journey. He states. “I will have words with the Capt. as soon as we land in South America.”; “January 10, 1865. There was a heavy swell today the old ship rolled so I did not sleep one night. This is the hottest day we have seen. There was a great excitement onboard. We had a pie for supper it made me dream of home. I wish some of the folks of Banton were here to experience the living we have. I found only four hairs in my pie.It was splendid I never hated a man quite so bad as I do the Capt. I think he will get some of my mind when we land.” Currier spends much of the time on the boat very wistful about Vermont and his abrupt departure from Banton. At the end of January, he arrives in Buenos Aires. “Jan 25, 1865. I stayed at Miss Brodley’s Boarding House in the city of Buenos Aires South America and rested the best i’ll have since I left Boston. I have been traveling over the city some have been up to the depot and seen the cars.They look odd and strange to me I have run over the city until I am tired all out. It is hot enough to roast eggs in the sun. Today I have seen all of the city I want at present I want a change now. They are about 100 years behind the times in my notion. How I wish I could speak Spanish I should be perfectly happy.” When he arrives in Buenos Aires he is met by a gentleman (Mr. Mellion) who is some sort of middleman, or fixer for a Sheep herding operation. “Jan 30, 1865. Well this is my birthday & I wish I could spend it in my native state. We road out a little ways & it has made me awful lone you may bet it was a hard horse to ride. I wish I was 10 years younger than I am but that cannot be. I hope that when the day comes ? gain I shall feel better comfort than I am today. If I live to see it & I hope I shall not have to see more than two of them in this country. It is not very warm today rather pleasant of the two. Mr. Mellion came today & he looked comical & rough. One can hardly keep from laughing in his face.” After preparing and resting in the city he is prepared for his profession and the adventure continues. He sets out with other North Americans by horseback and they ride to a fairly remote part of Argentina. Along the way he buys his own horse with gold and they ride many miles, camp in old battle fields filled with cannon balls. “Feb, 3,1865. I bought a horse this morning for 12 dollars in gold the first one I ever owned. he is a good one to ride him out to the camp we are going to is a rather pretty place. I had a nice ride and made the acquaintance of Mr. Frank Danver he is a smart looking fellow I like him very well what I have seen of him. My horse has got a very easy gallop for me I hope he will be a good one.” His first few months in Argentina are very difficult for Currier. A typical entry reads something like this: “Feb 24, 1865. I got up as soon as there was any day light & started with the sheep without any breakfast & my jaw was lame I could not eat much all day. So I started not in the best of spirits that I ever was. We got the sheep down to the river at sunrise & then we had trouble getting them across the river. We worked hard until noon before we got across with all the help we could get. We stopped at a native’s house at 1 o’clock to get some meat to eat it was strong and tough. I drank water that the folks at home would not wash their hands in it was so nasty. This was the longest day in my life I have ever seen.”; “March 6, 1865. We work on the well today and putting on the finishing touch it is awful hot today. I carried my dirty clothes to the wash woman today for the first time since I left home and they were dirty to. I am so sick and through with this life that is so...I wish i was in tiger places about now and going home. Money is of no merit.” At one point, he and his companions even have their horses stolen: “March 19, 1865. Well we can’t find the horses that ain’t the worst of it for I guess they are gone for good. But such is life that is one of the customs of the county to have horses stolen from you. It is clouding up and its going to rain. The bricks have arrived for the house & I am glad. We had some potatoes for the first time in camp and they were good.You may bet after living so long without them. I wish I was in Benton so i could go to church for that is a privilege i have not had since I left home.” He often writes about loneliness and missing a young lady. He also gets word of some major events of the civil war and comments on the death of President Lincoln: “There has been two English gentleman here today and they were warmly received. They brought us news that Charleston S.C. was taken by the North. Our feelings can hardly be imagined than described. We gave three loud cheers for the Union. Such news as this set me to thinking about going home rather than looking after sheep.” He fills the page with his thoughts on Argentina his inability to speak Spanish cultural misunderstandings and much more. Eventually, he settles into a rhythm and life becomes easier for him it seems. “June 14, 1865. This is another fine day in So. America. The flock has been very quiet all day and I am very thankful for it. I comment a letter for home today. It does not seem as if I could wait another week before I can have a letter. I was over to Mr. Melliion’s place today he has comment on his after so long a time. We had a great time tonight trying to catch the cow. I thought we never should ge her but we did after a long time and got some milk for supper and it paid us well for our trouble. Such is life.”; Nov 10, 1865. This is a little cooler morning than usual. Olsen is a looking after the flock, and horses today and he says he shall have a man as soon as possible. I thought one day would bring him to getting someone soon For I am not going to look after sheep for a living out here for I can do better.” Finally, near the end of the year, Currier prepares to go back home. “Dec 20,1865. Well I called on the American Consul this morning Mr.Helper - and found him to be a very pleasant man to meet with. I had a good visit with him and met two gentlemen just out from the States and they are very pleasant to meet and asked me to their rooms to give a good description of camp life, but they do not seem to like it much and seem to be anxious to get home. I am the happiest mortal on earth they have seen.” Finally he leaves back for America on December 31st. “We commence sailing at 4 o’clock this morning homeward bound and at the same time bidding good bye to the old year. What changes have been made in this world to many a mortal’s life and soul during that short space of time. It seems like a dream to look back upon ones life. How I wish I could be home tomorrow to wish them all a Happy New Year but I hope to be soon at least. I have been reading all day on deck we have been sailing 6- 8 knots an hour and it makes us all pleasant to say the least.” There are over 350 pages of writing in the diary. Currier writes in pencil and often in small script, but the book is often very legible. There are frequent spelling mistakes on most pages, but they are not hard to look past. The cover is black and worn and has a large tear.; Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS:HISTORY OF, SALON C. CURRIER, BANTON, VERMONT, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, AMERICAN GAUCHO, COWBOY, AMERICAN IN SOUTH AMERICA, ON THE LAMB, LAYING LOW, STEAMBOAT SAINT DOMINIQUE, CAPTAIN D. GERRIOR, CIVIL WAR ERA, 19TH CENTURY EXPATRIATE, SHEEP HERDING, AMERICAN ABROAD, RURAL ARGENTINA, 1865 IN ARGENTINA, POST-COLONIAL SOUTH AMERICA, 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, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL



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


Book Condition: Good

Seller ID: 0009032

Keywords: Keywords:history Of Salon C. Currier BANTON VERMONT BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS Buenos Aires ARGENTINA American Gaucho