Price: $14,355.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good+

On offer is a most unusual and utterly unique, original 1910 manuscript diary detailing the adventures, escapades and lifestyle of Fred Alexander and Roy Pinegar, two young American men, likely in their 20s who live as hobos travelling across the United States. Researchers and historians will find a trove of many first-hand accounts of unique experiences of a group of people, unarguably a cultural phenomenon, who existed on the fringes and in the shadows of normal life. To the Romantic this is a classic example of the 'quest theme' in literature referencing the cities and towns they wander too and through. And it is a thoroughly American experience, part of the fabric of American life. Today, it is a way of life that has for all intents and purposes vanished. Contrary to common opinion, hobos were not simply aimless drifters. There was a hierarchy - hobos were men who travelled to find work, essentially migrant workers; tramps worked if they were forced to and, at the bottom of the scale, were 'bums' who simply refused to work. The term originated in the western United States around 1890. The origins of the term itself are uncertain. By 1911, it was estimated that there were more than 700,000 hobos travelling the railways and roads of America. The United States was experiencing a depression in 1910-11 which forced many men to travel seeking work. The life of a hobo was far from the romantic image presented in early silent movies or books. Hobos were exposed to serious risks of injury and ill-health, often hungry, poorly clothed and exposed to the elements. They faced violence from railway workers and distrust and hostility in many towns. This is the world that these two young men entered as they leave Denver CO heading to New York City. It is a trip full of adventures and escapades. Fred seems to be the recorder of their experiences. The ledger style journal is inscribed as found this book in Lamar Hotel, Quincy (IL) the book had some pages both at the front and back torn out, the remaining ledger pages repurposed as a journal. The pages are numbered and entry dates are noted: Left Denver on 9/19 - 10 On Cushions (passenger train). Had a good time on train and arrived at Kansas City, Missouri. Got a room at McGee St., ate in World Restaurant & went to Kansas City, Kansas on 9/21. Staid all morning. Went to show at Empress Theatre and left K.C. on 9/22, arrived in Moberly, Illinois at 1:30 P.M. Played pool and hung around the park all afternoon. Left Moberly at 8:30 P.M. on cushions [ ]. Arrived at Quincy at 12:30 P.M.on the morning of 9/23. [p 21] In Quincy, they seek out and find work. Fred is not happy with his 10 hour daily shifts in the steel foundry where he is working so he quits. However, he can't find another job. Roy has changed jobs and as luck would have it, is working in the freight yards. In nearby Fowler, they have friends and family Spare time is spent hanging around with other people, especially girls in local parks or downtown. They are back and forth between Fowler and Quincy where they work odd jobs. Eventually, they decide to keep on moving towards family in Schenectady NY. They send their bags ahead to St. Louis and, on Oct 3rd, they are on their way again: Hate to leave Fowler, had a good time there; the girls. Visited Uncle Fred's store in Fowler. Arrived in Quincy and it is raining like H...Got a room at 3rd and Vermont, 2nd floor and took it for a week. Left our grips in the room and walked to the Post Office. Only 1 letter from the folks and from Dutch ... [pp 27-8] St. Louis is not as promising as it seemed and work is scarce. The work they do find is hard, physical labour. In short order, they are looking to move on: ... came up to room. Played mouth harp and sang & talked then retired. Think we will ship our suit cases to Brooklyn Sat. afternoon, unless we hear from Schenectady, NY, and then we will ship them to Albany. We intend to leave Saturday night. ... Pin quit his job but he can't get his money til 5:00 tomorrow aft. Will keep us going some to get money and make 6:00 train ...I walked over to { } & Palm sts to get my overalls and someone stole them. We walked back to the depot and went into yards to see how we would make the 24 hour New Yorker out of here. Think it will be easy to make, but hard to get up to Engine as they don't watch it, but there are so many ark lights it is awful bright. ... Then took suit cases to Express Co and shipped them to Brooklyn ... [pp 37-9] He also notes: This book along with them (his suitcases) Can't write any more until we reach Brooklyn & get our suit cases out. [p 39] Page 40 opens with them in Brooklyn. What Fred does is he then records his experiences from memory of the trip. And what a trip!. They hopped an east-bound train and hid in the space between the engine and baggage car - called a 'blind'. Out of town, they climbed to the roof of the car and rode for 100 miles to a town called Effingham. In the yards, they were caught by railroad police or 'bulls': ... a railroad bull saw us and told us to come down off of there and as we would rather walk or climb down than be shot down we climbed down ... [p40] Over the next few hours they played a cat and mouse game with the bull including a chase through town. Eventually they eluded him and caught a night train leaving town: Ran quite a risk as it was going pretty good. ... [p 41] Eventually, they reached Indianapolis and the train stopped with them right in front of the depot building. Eventually, they were discovered: Just then a car inspector came up with a torch & saw us. I frowned at him and shook my head in a plea to not give us away. And he sure was a good fellow as he not only didn't give us away but closed the trap door and told us to close the top door. We did & were then pretty safe as the only way anyone could get in was thru the coach end. And it wasn't very likely that anyone would come thru there. Well we rode all night and ½ the next day and rode that same train a distance of 400 miles, making a total of 500 miles in one night. Not so bad eh!... [p 44] On another occasion, he was nearly yanked off a moving train by a pursuing 'bull' but managed to hang on and escape. Coming in to Altoona, his luck changed: as the train stopped we jumped right into the arms of a Rail Road Bull. He had an awful big pistol that he stuck in our faces and said "don't you run - halt." And as we didn't want the top of our heads blew off we didn't run. Guess we could have knocked the Devil out of him if he would only put away that big smoke-wagon gun, but he didn't put it away until he had us handcuffed. He took us up 2 or 3 blocks to the City jail & there he locked us up. There was a bunch of fellows in there for the same thing as we were, and we sure raised the dickens. We sang & hollered all night & almost all of the next day. Until the Detective came and got us and took us up to the Alderman for a hearing. The Alderman, he wanted to know where we came from and then said being as we were a long way from home he would be lenient and give us 20 days apiece in the Hollidaysberg jail or a fine of $10.00 & costs. Wasn't he kind. Well we paid the fine and the handcuffs were taken off and we were free ... [pp48-9] And so it goes - one adventure after another until they arrive in Brooklyn. In November of 1910, Fred and Roy both started working at General Electric. Measuring 7.5 inches by 4.5 inches, this journal has 146 pages and is approximately 90% complete. The cover is intact. The first 20 pages have been torn out as well as 43 pages at the back. The remaining 146 are complete. A few of these pages have separated from the binding and are loose. All however are in good condition. The handwriting is legible.; Manuscript; 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, HOBO; HOBO'S IN AMERICA; AMERICAN RAILROADS; FRED ALEXANDER, ROY PINEGAR, VAGRANTS, VAGRANCY, RIDING THE RAILS, HOPPING TRAINS, BULLS, MIGRANT WORKERS, TRAMPS, ECONOMIC TRAVELERS, BUMS, HOMELESS, DRIFTERS, DEPRESSION OF 1910, DENVER, COLORADO, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, 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



Illustrator: Illustrated by /

Categories: 20th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, All, 20th Century Manuscript,


Book Condition: Good+

Seller ID: 0002591

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Hobo; Hobo's In America; American Railroads; Fred Alexander Roy Pinegar VAGRANTS VAGRANCY Riding The Rails Hopping Trains BULLS Migrant Workers