1929 UNUSUAL ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HAND WRITTEN BY A DESTITUTE, PERHAPS DELUSIONAL, STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE, LIVING ROUGH SOUTH DAKOTA MAN, HIS MOTHER AND A HORSE NAMED GOLDY

By: SAMUEL PEYTON

Price: $3,485.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a first-hand account of a man struggling at the onset of the Great Depression. His handwritten journal measures 6.25 inches by 4.5 inches on a landscape layout. It contains 70 pages. It is about 50% complete. The stiff cardboard cover and pages are secured by a ribbon tie. The journal is in good shape. The entries are made on un-numbered and undated pages, in pencil and the handwriting is legible. Samuel E. Peyton lived in the Black Hills, just east of Piedmont, SD. We do not know his age. To say that he is poor would be a huge understatement. Peyton was destitute. He lives in a cabin, above the village of Piedmont with his mother and they barely subsist. His other companions are a horse named Goldy, a cat named Dit and a dog. He has a car that is not running and that the seller is trying to repossess. The cabin seems to be inside the Black Hills National Forest. This didn't endear him to park rangers who drop by to see if he has moved on. He spends his days chopping wood and going down into Piedmont to check his mail. He has applied for an unspecified pension and is hoping for a positive answer. His mother is a painter and has sold some art and is awaiting payment. His entries contain a number of wry observations of the people he encounters - whether his friend Jim or the woman who runs the general store. He wrestles with the idea of taking a job cutting wood but fears it will impede his ambition to become an aviator! He sees Jim most days when he goes into town. Jim and presumably his wife (Mama) own a house where they rent some rooms. When they decide to move out of Piedmont, they offer it to Samuel and his mother and let them keep the rent as well. The following entries will give a flavour of this interesting journal: "...We have been broke since Christmas and have been living on spuds and onions mostly. Duhamel's were to pay us $30 for pictures the first of January but didn't. They haven't payed us yet. We are hoping to get our pension as usual. Also the Forest Service is trying to kick us off as usual. Mr. Oliver seems to be our only friend. He is a good one though." [Jan 23]; "... Went to Piedmont today. Haven't heard from pension yet or Duhamel's either. It was 21 degrees below this morning in Piedmont. Mrs. Priest wants her store bill paid. Well we have only 2 cents in cash. I owe Mrs. M. M. Couper 5 cents for a post. I owe 25 cents for box rent, so if they declare me bankrupt they will only get about 1 cent on every $10." [Jan 26]; "Cold and foggy with snow falling. There is frost all over the bushes and trees. Winter has set in again and our hope of having some nice weather is gone. I wonder when it will warm up. Spent most of day reading and sitting around but spent a couple of hours getting wood. Forest supervisor Duthie and forest ranger Hickel came over to see if we had vacated the place yet. Well we haven't and won't until we are ready." [Feb 5] "... I went to Piedmont today and brought home some groceries from mama's. I beat Jim 2 games of chess out of 3. We got a letter from the pension bureau which turned down our pension. It was turned down by Ward C. Finney the same man who has ignored our requests for a mineral examination on our claims. He is assistant secretary of inteior. He is a hand and glove in with the Forest Service trying to get us off our place. He absolutely ignored our evidence for our pension alone. I shall always remember Edward C. Finney, also Forest supervisor Duthie."[Feb 18]; "... I went to P. today and got some more flour and a can of salmon. Mrs. M. M. Couper pounced on me and demanded her two nickles for the Posts. I told her that the publishers were asking us for the $2 for it and she admitted she had gotten her money back from them. She sure must have felt like a nickle. She talked for 15 minutes to save her face. Mrs. Couper is Scotch and so she can't let any money get away from her if she can help it. Well I bet she won't be so quick to bum some one the next time." [Feb 15]; "... I don't know what to do. If I get a job from the Hornstake I will be here working all summer and if I don't we won't have anything to live on. We haven't any money to go away on or any job to go to so we are up in the air. Mother has $50 coming from Mr. Over of the State University [William H. Over was a collector and curator of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History of South Dakota] for an Indian Painting, also $30 from Duhamel's. If we get this we may go."[Feb 23]; "... I don't see what we can do for ourselves by staying here but I don't see where we can go with our any money. We can't stay here and live off the folks, however so we must go somewhere or else must get a job around here. I do not want to get a job here because it will make me give up any idea of getting into aviation which is my ambition…. " [Feb 25]; "... I went to town today. Mama said that she and Jim were going away and that she would like to have us stay in her house and look after the school teachers. She said we could have the $20 a month rent too. I don't like the idea vary well but I guess it is that or nothing..."[Mar 9]. He notes the Cristero War or Cristero Rebellion that was ravaging in Mexico at the time [Mar.18]. His last entry is in early April: "... We got our pension. The $20 a month one with $197 back."[Apr1]. We hear no more from Samuel Peyton. This is a fascinating look into the life of a very ordinary person trying to make ends meet at the outset of the worst financial crisis that America had ever faced. For a social historian, it provides a glimpse into the daily hardships of grinding poverty that confronted many ordinary Americans.

Title: 1929 UNUSUAL ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY HAND WRITTEN BY A DESTITUTE, PERHAPS DELUSIONAL, STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE, LIVING ROUGH SOUTH DAKOTA MAN, HIS MOTHER AND A HORSE NAMED GOLDY

Author Name: SAMUEL PEYTON

Illustrator: /

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

Publisher: PIEDMONT, SOUTH DAKOTA, 1929

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 32mo - over 4" - 5" tall

Seller ID: 0008137

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; 20TH CENTURY; 1920s; SAMUEL PEYTON; UNITED STATES, PIEDMONT; SD; SOUTH DAKOTA; MEADE COUNTY; BLACK HILLS; GREAT PLAINS; RAPID CITY; MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES, THE GREAT DEPRESSION, RURAL MIDWEST IN THE LATE 1920S; POVERTY IN THE 1920S UNITED STATES; BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST; FOREST RANGERS IN SOUTH DAKOTA; ; DUHAMEL; W.H.OVER; EDWARD C. FINNEY; GEORGE A. DUTHIE, SUPERVISOR OF THE BLACK HILLS FOREST; CRISTERO REBELLION; AGRICULTURAL DEPRESSION OF 1920s ON THE GREAT PLAINS, LIFE IN BLACK HILLS FOREST IN 1920s, 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