Vol. VII, No. 4 July, 1922
Smith College Studies
JOHN SPENCER BASSETT
SIDNEY BRADSHAW FAY
RECOLLECTIONS OF JAMES RUSSELL TRUMBULL
Historian of Northampton, Massachusetts
By His Niece
ANNA ELIZABETH MILLER
Published Quarterly by the Department of History of Smith College
SMITH COLLEGE STUDIES IN HISTORY
JOHN SPENCER BASSETT
SIDNEY BRADSHAW FAY
The Smith College Studies in History is published quarterly, in October,
January, April and July, by the Department of History and Government of Smith
College. The subscription price is seventy-five cents for single numbers, two dollars
for the year. Subscriptions and requests for exchanges should be addressed to
Professor Sidney B. Fay, Northampton, Mass.
The Smith College Studies in History aims primarily to afford a medium
for the publication of studies in History and Government by investigators who have
some relation to the College, either as faculty, alumnae, students or friends. It
aims also to publish from time to time brief notes on the field of History and Gov-
ernment which may be of special interest to alumnae of Smith College and to others
interested in the higher education of women. Contributions of studies or notes which
promise to further either of these aims will be welcomed, and should be addressed to
Professor John S. Basshtt, Northampton, Mass.
SMITH COLLEGE STUDIES IN HISTORY
No. 1. "An Introduction of the History of Connecticut as a
Manufacturing State" Grace Pierpont Fuller
Nos. 2, 3. "The Operation of the Freed.men's Bureau in South
Carolina" Laura Josephine Webster
No. 4. "Women's Suffrage in New Jersey, 1790-1807" E. R. Turner
"The Cherokee Negotiations of 1822-1823" Annie Heloise Abel
"The Hohenzollern Household and Administration in the
Sixteenth Century" Sidney Bradshaw Fay
"Correspondence of George Bancroft and Jared Sparks
1823-1832" Edited by John Spencer Basset,
"The Development of the Powers of the State Executive in
New York" Margaret C. Alexander
"Trade of the Delaware District Before the
Revolution" Mary Alice HannA
No. 1. "Joseph Hawley's Criticism of the Constitution of
Massachusetts" Mary Catherine Clnne
No. 2. "Finances of Edward VI and Mary" Frederick Charles Diets
No. 3. "The Ministry of Stephen of Perche During the
Minority of William II or Sicily" John C. Hildt
No. 4. "Noktheun Opinion of Approaching Secession" L. T. Lowrey
No. 1. "The Problem of Administrativk Areas" Harold J. Laskx
No. 2. "In the Time of Sir John Eliot" M. B. Fuller
No. 3. "A Study of the Life of Hadrian Prior to His
Accession" William Dodge Gray
No. 4. "The Hayes-Conki.ing Controversy, 1877-1879" Venila L. Shores
Nos. 1, 2. "Public Opinion in Philadelphia, 1789-1801" Margaret Woodbury
No. 3. "Development of Histo-y and Government in Smith
College, 1875-1920, With a List of Publications
OF THE Faculty and Alumnae" Mary Breese Fuller
No. 4. "Influences Toward Radicalis.m in Connecticut,
1754-1775" Edith Anna Bailey
Nos. 1, 2. "Le Dernier Sejour de J.-T. Rousseau a Paris,
1770-1778" Elisabeth A. Foster
No. 3. "Letters of .^nn Gillam Stobrow to Jared
Sparks" Frances Bradshaw Blanshard
No. 4. "The Western Journal of John A.
Selden" Edited by John Spencer Bassett
Nos. 1, 2, 3. "Major Howell Tatum's Journal While Acting Topographical
Engineer (1814) to Gi-nf.ral Jackson... .Edited by John Spencer Bassett
Vol. VII, No. 4 July, 1922
Smith College Studies
JOHN SPENCER BASSETT
SIDNEY BRADSHAW FAY
RECOLLECTIONS OF JAMES RUSSELL TRUMBULL
Historian of Northampton, Massachusetts
By His Niece
ANNA ELIZABETH MILLER
Published Quarterly by the Department of History of Smith College
James Russell Trumbull
Historian of Northampton, Massachusetts.
On the 21st of December, 1825, an only son was born in
Haydenville, Massachusetts, to Guy and Clarissa (Nash) Trum-
bull. This New England boy was the eighth generation in an
unbroken line of New England ancestors, which can be traced
back on both sides to the first half of the 17th century.
William Nash, the progenitor of his race in this country, came
from England to Boston in 1637 and the following year joined a
party who sailed around to the coast of Connecticut and made a
new settlement, then called Quinipiac, now New Haven. His
son Timothy moved with his family to Hadley, Mass., the next
generation settled in Hatfield and the following one went to
WilHamsburg, where a permanent home was established on Nash
Hill. One of this line of Nashes, Thomas by name, married
Martha Smith, daughter of Canada Wait, so named because she
was born while her mother, the wife of Benjamin Wait of Hat-
field, was a captive of the Indians in Canada. The great grand-
daughter of Thomas and Martha (Smith) Nash was Clarissa,
who was born and brought up in Williamsburg and became the
wife of Guy Trumbull. She was a woman of sterling qualities,
very skillful in everything pertaining to the household, a beautiful
sewer and an indefatigable worker. But her own efficiency
caused her to be somewhat stern and exacting in the bringing up
of her children. The rules she laid down for them made small
allowance of time for rest or play. "Don't sit still !" she would
say, "If you are tired, lay down what you are doing and take up
some other work. That will rest you." Early widowed, she
made a brave fight to support her three children, and lived to see
them all grown up. She died at the age of 80 years.
Jonathan Trumbull, great great grandson of Governor Trum-
144 Smith College Studies in History
bull of Connecticut, in his biography of this illustrious ancestor,
has traced the name Trumbull back to the year 1315, when a
Scotch peasant was mentioned in an official document as "Wil-
lielmo dicto Turnebull," because he had saved the life of King
Robert, the Bruce, by turning aside an infuriated bull. The
grateful monarch rewarded his deliverer with a grant of land and
a coat of arms, bearing the device of three bulls' heads and the
motto : "Fortuna favet audaci." This peasant is without doubt
the progenitor of the once powerful Scottish Clan of Turnbulls,
which existed until about the middle of the 16th century, when
it was broken up by rival clans and English armed forces. There
is little doubt that the Trumbulls of New England were descend-
ants of this Scottish Clan, the change in the name being accounted
for by the prominence of the "r" in the Scotch pronunciation. In-
deed, "Scotchmen tell us that the name is spelled Turnbull and
pronounced Trumbull to this day."
The first of this name to cross the Atlantic was John Trum-
bull, who came over from England or Scotland in 1643 and settled
in Rowley, Massachusetts. Soon afterwards he moved to Suf-
field, Connecticut, where he and his descendants bore their full
part in the colonial, revolutionary and later history of New Eng-
land. The most famous of these descendants were the two
Jonathans, both Governors of Connecticut, the elder being, as is
supposed, the original of the term "Brother Jonathan." John
Trumbull, son of the first and brother of the second Governor
Trumbull, also added fame to the family name by his well-known
paintings in the city of Washington and elsewhere.
Guy Trumbull's ancestor was Ammi, brother of the first Gov-
ernor Trumbull's father. This Ammi moved from Suffield to
East Windsor, Connecticut, where his sons and sons' sons en-
gaged for many years in manufacturing. Here his great grand-
son Guy was born in 1786. From his earliest childhood the boy
showed a remarkable inventive genius. The following story was
frequently related in our family as an absolute fact. One day
when he was about four years old, he came into the house from
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 145
play, crying as if his heart would break. On being asked what
was the matter, he sobbed out : "I can't make my toads hop to-
gether !" His mother investigated and found that he had made
a tiny yoke and yoked two toads together with a little drag at-
tached in imitation of those drawn by oxen. The tragedy was
that the toads had so little comprehension of the scheme, that first
one hopped and then the other.
As he grew older he displayed great skill in the use of car-
penter's tools. In the attic of the Trumbull house in this city
stands a cradle of quaint design which he made for his children
and in which they were all three lulled to repose. We were
told that he could tune any instrument and that he made several
violins, though not one of them has been preserved.
His business, however, was the manufacture of machinery.
As a young man he came to Massachusetts and became a member
of the firm, Hayden, Trumbull & Company, Manufacturers of
Machinery, Looms, etc., in Haydenville. Among his papers are
still preserved letters patent, signed by James Madison, President,
granted in 1812 to Gilbert Brewster, Guy Trumbull and James
Mathes for a machine for spinning cotton wool, flax and tow;
also drawings and specifications of a loom made by Guy Trum-
bull for weaving broadcloth. There is besides a petition ad-
dressed to John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, for a patent
on Guy Trumbull's invention of the substitution of "glass instead
of metal or wood for steps and collars for spindles to run in
and uppon." Another invention of his was a liquid by which
steel rods could be rendered pliable so that they could be straight-
ened when they had become bent. At his death a little of this
liquid was left in a bottle, but the chemical analysis of those days
was unequal to the task of discovering its ingredients, and the
secret was lost.
Guy Trumbull was a man of genial, kindly nature, full of
quiet humor, which broke out in the most unexpected ways. In
a business letter now in our possession, which he wrote to his
brother-in-law under date of November 20, 1825, he concludes
as follows :
146 Smith College Studies in History
"I am writing by a very bad lamp, four like it would make a
total darkness, that is all the excuse I have for the bad spelling."
Strictly honest, generous almost to a fault, affectionate and
kind in his family, it is no wonder that he was universally liked
and respected, and that his children adored him. Julia, the oldest,
who was four years old when he died, often recounted to her
children the few incidents of her dearly loved father which she
could recall ; and James, nearly two years younger, was the prin-
cipal actor in a pretty family scene, which a sister of my grand-
mother used often to relate. Sitting in his high chair at the table
beside his father, the little fellow would lay down his spoon and
throw his arms around his father's neck, crying : "O my dear
papa ! my sweet papa ! my pretty papa ! how I love you !''
Guy Trumbull died of brain fever when he was but 42 years
old, leaving his family, to which a third child, Martha, was added
a month after his death, without financial resources. Those were
bitter days for the mother, but she bravely undertook the task of
supporting her children, learning to make men's garments, which
at that time were commonly sent out from the tailor's shop to be
finished. It was a hard life, plying the needle all day and much
of the evening and receiving but little money in return. Yet with
the strictest economy and the help of kind friends and relatives,
she was able to accomplish it.
Not long after the death of her husband, grandmother moved
with her little family to Southampton, Massachusetts. So the
first conscious years of her son's life were spent in that small
town where everyone knew everybody else and each shared the
other's burdens. In such a New England community there may be
gossip, jealousy and petty bickerings, but the sympathy and help-
fulness always manifested toward anyone in sorrow or need, can
be fully appreciated only by those who have experienced them.
Everyone was attracted to the delicate, sensitive, affectionate boy,
who soon acquired in this new home a circle of uncles and aunts,
and one of the near neighbors was always "Grandpa Chapman"
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 147
to him. This Grandpa was accustomed to regale the Httle lad
during his daily visits, with some dainty such as he seldom had
at home, where the fare was necessarily very plain. His mother,
finding this out, forbade the child to ask for anything to eat when
he went to the neighbors'. The next day as he appeared at the
door, grandpa called out: '"Good morning, my little man, and
what did you please to want to-day?" "Oh anything," was the
quick reply, "a piece of pie or a piece of cake or an apple or any-
thing you please to give me."
Just how long this little family circle remained unbroken I
have been unable to discover, but we know that James left home
while he was still a small child, and went to live in the family of
his father's sister Sarah, who was the wife of Major George
Howard, and lived in Tompkinsville, Staten Island. Between the
boy and his three cousins, daughters of the family, a strong at-
tachment was formed which is evident from letters written long
afterward, in which they always addressed him as dear brother,
and manifested great interest in his welfare. Further than this
we know little of this period of his life.
Meanwhile his younger sister, Martha, was taken by another of
the father's sisters and went in 1837 to live in Steubenville, Ohio,
where she remained six years with Uncle and Aunt Marsh, who
had no children. So for two years Julia was the only one at
home with her mother, as James did not return to Southampton
till May 8, 1839. This home-coming was very likely due to the
illness of his Aunt Howard, who died in September of that year.
Two weeks later the 13-year-old boy went to live with Luther
Edwards, father of the late Henry L. Edwards of Northampton.
With this Mr. Edwards, who was a Southampton farmer, James
lived for the next three years, working on the farm while attend-
ing Sheldon Academy. To this change in his life no reference
can be found except the record in the family Bible : "James came
home Wednesday, May 8th, went to Mr. Edwards' Thursday,
May 23, 1839."
The following letter, written a little over a year later by the
148 Smith College Studies in History
oldest of the cousins, Mary (Howard) Hitchcock, shows how
large a place he occupied in the family :
Staten Island, July 11, 1840.
Dear Brother James :
I was very glad indeed to receive your letter, news from you
will always be interesting to me, for you seem very near to me,
as near I think as a brother could. Little Dan often talks about
Uncle Jim. "Where is he, mama?" he will say. "I want to see
him." Mr. Hitchcock says: "Tell James to keep his eye to the
windward and not let the whigs get the ascendancy." Yesterday
we sent a speech of Mr. Duncan of Ohio and a "New Era." We
will for the future often send you one. I am very glad that you
are improving so much in your writing and orthography. Do
not criticise this letter for I am in great haste. When Pa and
the girls were in Windsor, they expected to visit you, but on
account of Pa's business, we were obliged to write and call him
home a week sooner than he expected, and that is the reason why
you did not see them. Tommy is well and he told me to give you
his love. Mother Hitchcock often talks about you as her beau
that used to walk to church with her. She will never forget it.
Sarah talks of visiting Priest Bartlett's family this month, if she
does she will endeavor to come and see you. Now James you
cannot tell how much it pleases us all to know that you are doing
well. You must write to me again soon. You will see some
more papers travelling up there soon .... You and mother
must write again soon. Julia and Sarah and all send much love,
and believe me James.
Your ever affectionate sister,
Grandmother's three children had each received some years
before, a small legacy, probably about $60. With this amount
and the accrued interest Julia entered Mount Holyoke Seminary
in 1840 and graduated in 1843, in the sixth year of the institution.
Those were the days when great stress was laid ui)on the writing
of compositions. A package of compositions which she wrote
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 149
during these years is still in my possession and with them also
a few, written by her brother in 1840, '41 and '42, no doubt as
part of the tasks which were required of him at the academy, but
showing evidence of her interest and oversight. To one of these
papers, which was copied by her, a word of praise was appended
by the Academy teacher, Mr. Lewis Clarke.
For a lad of 14 to 16 years these compositions show a rather
unusual command of language, a sense of humor and a vivid
though crude imagination. In one of the earliest he discovers,
after a search through his father's library, that "Composition is
derived from the Latin word Compo, writing, and the Greek
word Sition, to put together;" and that the word was invented
by an old German Demagog "who, tired of using the rod, set his
wits to work to find a substitute. How well he has succeeded,
even beyond the expectations of the most sanguine ! But for my
part I wish he had stuck to the good old proverb : 'the rod for the
That 1841 and '42 were years of uncertainty and anxiety as
to his future, is evident from a package of letters which he pre-
served and which were written to him by the Howards. One of
these, dated August 19, 1841, advises him to accept the offer of a
position in the store of his cousin, Horace Trumbull, in Hartford,
Connecticut. But this cousin writes on the 25th of that month
to say that he has made other arrangements and that James "need
not take any further trouble about the matter."
In April, 1842, Cousin Mary again writes :
"Dear James :
I suppose you are anxious by this time to hear something more
from this quarter of the globe. I have intended writing for the
last week or two, but have been prevented by one thing or an-
other .... Father sends his love to you and says he
wishes you for the present to apply yourself to your studies and
improve as much as possible, and as soon as he can find any em-
ployment for you he will send for you. So you see James you
are not forgotten if the times are hard. Everybody is com-
150 Smith College Studies in History
plaining now of hard times and no money, and of course we can-
not expect to be exempt. As for Mr. Hitchcock he has had
nothing to do since he left the custom house. . . . It is very
sickly here at present and has been all winter. I am sitting in
Sister Julia's bedroom with herself and husband. Father is here
too. I came in to sit a while with them and thought I would
write a few lines to let you know that we think and talk of you.
Father told me what to say to you from him. My youngest boy,
your namesake, is as fat as butter. You would like to see the
children, they have grown so much Goodbye, James,
I am called home by the little ones.
Your affectionate sister,
The fact that this letter, which was addressed to Southampton,
was forwarded by his mother to Northampton and a reference in
the next one to type-setting indicate that James had already begun
work in the Gazette printing office.
To the above letter his mother added the following postcript :
"Dear Son :
This letter was handed me yesterday from the mail. I shall
embrace the first opportunity to send it to you. I have consulted
Mr. White. He advises not to write yet. He is going to New
York in a few weeks and will go and see them. It strikes me
that it is altogether the best way. You know that one cannot
write what they would say. I am quite encouraged it will all
come out right yet. Write a line when you can and let me know
what you think of it. I am very lonely now Julia is gone, but
I think it will not be very long before I shall see you both.
The middle of May brought two letters in one which must
have created considerable excitement in the boy's mind.
"Dear James :
Father and Mr. Hitchcock have just purchased a farm and
are going to commence operations at once. Father wishes you to
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 151
pack up and come down without delay. We shall all of us be
very happy to see you once more, I can assure you. I suppose
you are almost six feet high by this time. The farm is about four
miles from here, beautifully situated and we are all delighted
with it. Father has lately enlarged his library and has a very
valuable and useful set of books, with which to employ leisure
hours. This will afford you an opportunity to improve your
mind and spend your leisure time usefully until some change
takes place in the business world. Father and Mr. Hitchcock have
concluded that farming is the most profitable business nowadays.
We will expect you soon, I suppose you can by this time travel
alone. At all events I think you will be able to find us out. You
have not quite forgotten the old quarters. I must wish you
goodnight and pleasant dreams. Give my love to your mother
and ask her to write by you.
Your affectionate sister,
"Dear James :
You will take the advice of your mother upon the above sub-
ject and govern yourself accordingly. I think that you can make
yourself useful to me and finish your education at same time.
My library is much increased since you left us. The Rev. Mr.
White called on us on Saturday and I was much pleased to hear
you were not idle, although type-setting does not amount to much.
You can find some merchant coming on to New York who will
take charge of you and on your arrival there — you know where
the ferry to Staten Island is at White Hall, it runs almost every
hour. The boats are the "Samson" and the "'Staten Islander."
I have no more to add but the sooner you come the better.
Yours in haste,
An entry in his journal, dated June 1, 1843 — a year later,
proves that James obeyed this summons : "One year ago to-day
and where was I ? I set my foot for the first time in three years
in New York. And ere the sun had reached his meridian I was
152 Smith College Studies in History
at my old home. I little thought then that before the earth had
performed another circle around the sun, I should be here."
We know not what circumstances led to the boy's return to
Northampton. It is possible that the farm venture on Staten
Island was not a success, or perhaps a more favorable arrange-
ment in the Gazette Printing Office was made for him. Certain
it is that early in 1843, when just 17 years old, he became an
apprentice under Mr. William A. Hawley, who was then owner
and editor of the Hampshire Gazette. The following letter, dated
December 11, 1843, shows that this change met with the approval
of his Uncle Howard, and illustrates as well the rhetorical style
of advice, upon which the youth of that day were fed.
"Dear James :
Your letter of September 4th in answer to Mr. Roff's was
the first intimation I had of the proposal, which would place you
in a subordinate situation in a grocery store in New York.
I was much gratified with your prudent and becoming answer
to his probably well-intended ofifer, and highly pleased that your
mind was fixed on business and a trade. The one you have chosen
affords an opportunity for improvement of the mental faculties —
is an honourable occupation — opens the way for advancement in
the higher pursuits of learning, and brings you to a more
immediate knowledge of your fellow-men.
Now is the time of life when you should press forward to the
attainment of those beautiful branches of science which fit a man
for the most dignified station on earth, and point him to a glorified
state of existence in the world to come. I repeat that I am
pleased with your determination, and hope your good sense will
continue to be as well expressed in all the movements appertaining
to a sojourn amidst the evanescent scenes of life.
I feel a strong solicitude that you should prosper and by your
industry rise to distinction — the more obstacles you shall over-
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 153
come in the attainment of your object, the greater will be the
victory and the richer your reward.
A strict accordance with the wishes and will of your em-
ployer — a rigid course of industry and application — and an un-
swerving determination of adherence to honest and honourable
principles will, (with God's blessing) enable you to reach the
summit of human distinction.
I have taken private quarters in my native town where I
am happily removed from the turmoil and confusion which al-
ways infect the atmosphere of New York and Staten Island. I
shall remain here till spring and perhaps longer, and if possible
will visit you at Northampton.
When you see or communicate with your mother say to her
that she still occupies a lively place in my remembrance, and
present to her my affectionate regards.
Write me at Windsor, Connecticut, and advise of all matters
which may be of consequence.
With the feelings of a father, I am
A kind fate has preserved for us the journal of the young
apprentice, covering the period from May 12 to July 14, 1843, and
giving us our first glimpse into his daily life.
To the country boy Northampton with its 4CXX) or more
inhabitants, its business life, its county court, its beautiful old
residences and its refining and gracious social life, was an educa-
tion in itself ; and many references in this journal to the events
of the day and to the buildings and various activities which he
observed in his daily walks, attest the interest with which they
inspired him. But this journal has for us by far the greatest
significance in the fact that the young man paints for us all un-
consciously a portrait of himself. At the beginning of every
entry he reports his hour of rising, which varies from a quarter
past four to five. Twice he accuses himself of lying abed until
154 Smith College Stuidies in History
half past five. He roomed in the office building and had his meals
at Mr. Hawley's, which were none too appetizing or nourishing
according to present day ideas of the needs of a growing boy.
He always refused codfish in later years, excusing himself by
saying: "I served my apprenticeship on codfish." The breakfast
hour was probably six o'clock or soon after, for regular work
in the office began at seven.
Journal for 1843
"Friday, May 12. Rose at half past four. Worked till break-
fast time. After breakfast went to laying on sheets at the press.
Commenced at 7 o'clock and got oflf at 11. Distributed till 3
o'clock and then started for home. Left N. at about half past 3.
Called at Easthampton for L. H. E. but found him at home.
Walked on slowly, saw some snow on the road. Walked on snow
the 12th of May, a thing I never did before. Arrived at home
about 10 minutes past 6. Found Julia at home and very glad to
see me. Slept at mother's that night.
Saturday, May 13. Rose at 5. Sat down to breakfast with
mother, Julia and Aunt Ann, there was one still absent, one
other sister — the table seemed lonely, but hope whispered con-
solation in the ear. The time may not be far distant when we
three shall sit together. After breakfast piled up some wood for
mother. After dinner went to Mr. Edwards', found them glad
to see me. Went out in the lot with Mr. E. and talked upon
many things. In the evening went into Catherine's room and
remained there till 9 o'clock. She appears much better and
seemed glad to see me. After 9 I had a long talk with Henry
relative to reading and study. Retired at 10.
Sunday, May 14. Rose at 6. Left Mr. E's at a quarter of
9. Went to church. Sermon by Rev. Mr. White." It seemed
good to get home again and sit in the accustomed slip, surrounded
by familiar faces and listening to my favorite preacher. At noon
the funeral of Mrs. Joel Lyman was attended from the church.
The Sabbath-school scholars walked in the procession. I could
not keep the thought from my mind, as I saw the long train of
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 155
friends and relatives that followed the deceased to her final rest-
ing-place : These will stand round the grave, shed one tear as
the cold clods fall with a deadening sound upon the coffin lid
and turn to leave the place, but ere they leave the burial ground
forget the dead, and as they mingle with the world even forget
that there is such a thing as death. This afternoon there were
two children baptized, Mr. Saul Birt's and Mr. Sam Lyman's.
After church went to mother's and staid till about half past
6, when F. H. Axtell came with Mr, E's colt and carried me
as far as Easthampton. Here I left him intending to walk the
rest of the way. But before I had gone a mile I was overtaken
by a man who invited me to ride. I of course accepted it and
rode as far as the middle of South Street, from thence I walked
in. Got the key of Mr. Hawley and retired at 9.
Monday, May 14. About half past 3 Lewis Graves came in
and told me Aunt Ann wanted to see me. I immediately went
and found her at Stodard and Lathrop's. I did several errands
for her and came back to the office. After supper I went to
the court-house and heard the pleas of Mr. Bates & Forbs on
the case of Sheldon L Strong. Verdict in favor of Strong,
damages $4. It was rather a mean business there were a great
many people from S(outhampton) in.
Tuesday, May 15. Geo. Wilson at work here. To-day Mr.
Hawley accused me of not spacing my matter well. In the even-
ing studied Latin some and heard Burnell read from an old
manuscript he found up stairs. Someones travels, perhaps Mr.
Wednesday, May 17. Went to distributing till 10 o'clock,
when I attended the ordination of Rev. Mr. Rogers as pastor
over the Edwards Church. Exercises as follows :
Rev. Theodore J. Clark, scribe ; Rev. Mr. Clapp, moderator ;
Rev. Mr. Clapp, invocation and reading the scriptures ; Rev. Dr.
Hawes, installation sermon; Rev. Dr. Osgood, installing prayer;
Rev. John Todd, charge to the pastor; Rev. Willey, [probably
Wiley] right hand of fellowship; Rev. Mr. Bement concluding
156 Smith College Studies in History
prayer. The services passed off well. The church was pretty
well filled. The music was good. The exercises commenced at
half past 10 and closed at 15m past one. Dined with Mr. and Mrs.
H. and Mr. and Mrs. Stowe and Mrs. Colton. Went to work at
2 o'clock on the paper. In the evening wrote composition part
of the evening. Retired at 10. There was an alarm of fire about
half past 9. It proved to be over on the hills and I did not go.
Thursday, May 18. In the evening went up stairs and wrote
a composition and then down below and saw John French try
to mesmerize Wm. Jones. He tried some time but did not suc-
ceed. We had a fire this morning in the office, rather cold
weather for May."
Little did he think that the above mentioned composition writ-
ten on the 18th of May, would fall into the hands of his niece
almost 80 years later. The theme, "The Offering of Isaac" is
one, which, like many others from the Bible, was a great favorite
in those days, no doubt because it afforded opportunity for prac-
tice in the description of a dramatic scene. It was this constant
and untiring practice in writing which developed the facility of
expression, so characteristic of his mature work.
"Friday, May 19. Read Latin till breakfast time. Went to
work on the press. Commenced at 7 and got off about 20m
of 12. We stopped three times to correct errors. One time in
pulling off the plattin we pulled out the staples in the top of the
blanket, these were soon mended. In the afternoon I distributed.
After supper I went to Mr. Whitmarsh's place where they are
moving his cocoonery down a steep bank almost perpendicular.
They take the building in detached parts, it must be a work of
Thus casually does the boy refer to one of the boldest and
most alluring enterprises, namely the culture of silk worms and
the manufacture and weaving of silk, that ever fired the imagi-
nation of business men of this region. Samuel Whitmarsh, the
promoter of the scheme, was a man of great enthusiasm and
absolute confidence in the success of his project, and he had the
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 157
ability to enlist the cooperation of other men of affairs, not only
in this locality, but all over New England and even in other
parts of the country. Mulberry trees scattered here and there in
this section, are most of them, witnesses to the eagerness with
which their propagation was undertaken at that time, and many
of them remnants of large orchards then planted. The amount
of money involved in the enterprise was for the time huge, and
great was the disaster when the bubble burst.
Returning to the journal entry for May 19, we read : "From
there we went to Mr. Reed's house. They have got that propped
up and are busy rebuilding the foundations. Returned to the
office and read Blair's Letures on Rhetoric. Have been trymg
to think of some method of dividing my time so that I can carry
on my studies and reading too. Writing my journal and study-
ing Latin till breakfast time, rising at 4 and ^ o'clock. Read-
ing at noon and some reading and study at night. Don't know
how well I shall be able to carry out this plan.
Sunday, May 21. Went to church at the Edwards. Mr.
Rogers preached his first discourse after installation, it was upon
the duties of the ministry — very appropriate. In the afternoon
I attended at the same place. Mr. Rogers is a very smart man.
I remember one sentence, or rather this is the substance not the
exact words. 'Quench the light of Christianity and Ignorance
with her attendant handmaids, Superstition and Crime would
howl her funeral ode.' This sentence has lost its beauty by not
having the connexion, but it is still good in itself.
Monday, May 22. Rose at half past 4. Studied Latin till
breakfast. Worked on the paper all day. In the evening read
Blair's Lectures. Retired at 10.
Tuesday, May 23. In the evening I made a curtain and fixed
it to my window. To-day I received a letter and a book from
Julia. Did an errand at noon for Aunt Ann. Sent out a bundle
to mother. Read some in Blair's Lectures.
Wednesday, May 24. Mr. Hawley and wife went to Amherst
last night and got home to-day about 2 o'clock. After tea I
158 Smith College Studies in History
went with S. D. Smith to take a walk. First we went to see a
large barn now building. It is the largest in town. From there
we went through Hawley Street to the Episcopal church which
is a neat little edifice. It is extremely small but it is done off
in very good style. Then we went to the burying ground. Here
the dead have been buried for centuries. The tombstones are
thick. Some are bronzed by the hand of time and some have
just been erected. And many rest there without even a simple
stone to tell that they once lived. Here is the tombstone of
David Brainard, that eminent missionary to the Indians. But
man has helped more to demolish than time. Persons going
there must needs have some memorial of that distinguished man
and they have carried off pieces of his tombstone. Here also
is the simple stone of Col. Seth Pomeroy who died in the Revo-
lution, and by his side lies his wife. From thence we returned
home through Market St.
Thursday. Just as I had finished my supper to-night Mr.
Hawley spoke to me and told me that there was to be a meet-
ing of the Parish at the house of Mr. Rogers and he would
like to have me go. Got there about half past 8. Were shown
into a room where we left our hats. And then for an intro-
duction to Mr. R. At first, I had an introduction to Dr. \\'alker,
but while he was introducing Burnell and Jewett. Mr. Hawley
came to me and offered me his arm. I was introduced first
to an old lady who I suppose was his mother, next to Mrs.
Rogers and finally to Mr. R. After this I escaped from the
room some how or other, and stood in the hall behind the
door some of the time, a stranger in a strange place. After
a time they brought round some cake. It was passed to me half
a dozen times at least, till I got sick of the sight of it at last.
About half past 9 they sung a hymn and Mr. R. made some
remarks and concluded by a prayer. The people then began to
disperse. I staid and heard some songs by Miss Wells, Delano
and Mr. Reed. They were beautiful. Then went home and to
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 159
bed. Retired about a quarter of 10. Saw Austin Edwards to-
day, he came into the office.
Friday, May 26. Broke the pitcher this morning. When I
came down I took up the pitcher to get some water to clean my
teeth and it sHpped out of my hand and broke in pieces. I
immediately sent for another for which I paid 25 cents. This
noon I saw Aretas Bridgman of Westhampton. He seemed very
glad to see me. Read in the evening some of the time and pasted
scrap-book some of the time.
Saturday, May 27. In the afternoon went to work on a job,
Mr. Reed's concert bills. I set up the body and Burnell the
head. It was the best concert bill that has been set up. Toward
night we took down the stove and pipe and carried them up
stairs. We also moved the imposing stone a little. In the even-
ing washed up. Stephen slept with me. In the night and toward
morning Mr. Hawley's youngest child, Joseph, had a fit. The
last time they sent for the Dr.
Sunday, May 28. Rose at half past five. Went to the Ed-
wards church. Rev. Mr. Rogers preached a discourse on the
gospel as the great leveler of all things. A fine discourse. In
the afternoon I was so sleepy I did not hear much. In the even-
ing went to the meeting at the vestry. It was pretty well filled.
Retired about half past 8.
Monday, May 29. Swept out the office. In the evening read
some in Blair's Lectures, and then went to work upon a job —
some verses to Julia by W. B. Jones. Stephen set up the body
and I the border. Burnell said it was a scientific job.
Tuesday, May 30. W. B. Jones feels very bad about those
verses, he says that by some means they have got around among
the girls. He was told of one that had been seen by the girls.
It is rather a bad business, when we set it up we had no inten-
tion of showing it to any individual out of the office. However
it is done and cannot be helped. In the evening I took a walk
with Stephen Smith over to South St. to see the building they
were moving. While coming back we saw a boy learning to
160 Smith College Studies in History
drum. Dwight Norton came in to-day and said that he had
been out to Mr. Edwards' and said they were going to try a dif-
ferent course of medicine [for Catharine]. I hope it may prove
successful. Yesterday I saw Mr. L. F, Clark and Miss Hannah
White, they brought me a bundle and note from home.
Wednesday, May 31. Rose at 5. Went to distributing till
about 8, when I went to work at the press with Stephen putting
on wrappers for the Paper-Mill. Worked at the press till 11.
In the afternoon I distributed for a little while and then went
to setting. Stephen and George went to putting on sheets till
George pulled the blanket and then he sent me to the press.
Worked there till 5 and then washed six rollers. In the even-
ing I read some in Paul Jones, intending to read it through, but
shall give up that idea.
Thursday, June 1. One year ago to-day and where was I?
I set my foot for the first time in three years in New York. And
ere the sun had reached his meridian I was at my old home. I
little thought then that before the earth had performed another
circle round the sun I should be here. How little we know what
a day may bring forth. And is it not best as it is? There is
not one man in this whole inhabited globe but will answer 'Yes'."
If man could see through the 'dim distant future.' suppose you
he would long wish to live here? This is one of the coldest
days we have had lately. Last night Burnell and myself bought
a thermometer which stood at 39 this morning. Went to work
on the paper, got up about 4 and then set out an old case till
5, loafed the rest of the afternoon. There was one piece of
poetry of about half a column in which not one error was
found. I heard Mr. Hawley say to Mr. Thayer that that was
pretty clean proof. (It was some of my setting.) The weather
was so cold that we wanted the stove back again, we kept a fire
in the fireplace. The thermometer ranged about 50 on the aver-
age during the day. Burnell went up to Hatfield to-night and
got home about 11. I set up some border for a job. Albert
Ingram and John Panton came in and sat by the fire most all
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 161
Friday, June 2. Thermometer stood at 39. Still very cold.
Pasted in my scrap-book till breakfast. After supper I read in
Blair and wrote some.
Saturday, June 3. Thermometer at 48. In the evening read
Milton. About half past 9 I heard a noise of someone talking
very loud and swearing, at first thought it was down in Eustas'
shop, but finally it turned out to be up stairs. I immediately went
up to see what the matter was. But no sooner had I got up there
than Capt. Hutchins seized me by my arm and jerked me around,
asking me if I made all the noise. At first I knew not what he
meant but Burnell went up to him and told him that it was
not me. He then swore that it was me and said that one of us
had got to die, (he having a gun in his hand all the time). Then
Burnell went up to Mr. Hawley's and I talked with him. Finally
I told him that I had not been here but two months, upon which
he begged my pardon and I went down stairs. Fie followed me
down, first having put up his gun which he said was loaded with
six buck shot. On finding no one here he went back. In a few
moments Stephen came in and then Burnell. In the course of
half an hour Capt. Hutchins came down again and began to go
at Stephen. Thi's was about 10. We talked till about 11 and
then the old man went up stairs quite sobered down. I never
saw a person more infuriated than he was when he first came
into Burnell's room. Brandishing his gun, threatening our lives
and accusing him of lying. Mr. Hawley told Burnell that he
would speak with Judge Lyman to-day and have him turned
out. The next day we learned that Mr. H. came from the house
up here about 11 and found us all in bed. Retired at 11, but
before we had been in bed 15m Burnell thought he heard the
cry of fire, most probably the effect of a disordered imagination,
as we listened some time and heard nothing more.
Sunday, June 4. Rose at 5. Went to the house and read till
church time. Went to the Edwards all day. Mr. Rogers preached
from these words : 'Offer your bodies unto God a living sacri-
fice, which is your reasonable service.' He preached from the
162 Smith College Studies in History
same text both morning and afternoon, but I was so sleepy that
I did not hear much. I expect it is owing to my business being
confined so much over the case, my senses become benumbed.
Went to the monthly concert in the evening. Air. R. preached
an excellent sermon in favor of home missionaries and foreign.
Retired at 9.
Monday, June 5. Thermometer at 60, cloudy and the appear-
ance of rain. Scjuire Wells went twice to see Capt. Hutchins
but he was not in.
Tuesday. Rose at 15m of 5. Went to breakfast at 5 and
went to work immediately, got the paper up about 10 but kept
it open for the election returns. Got to work on the press at
noon, got off about 5. In the evening went up to Knight's and
got measured for a pair of shoes, for which I am to pay $2.25.
Read some, Ab. Ingram came in. I saw to-day Mr. Osmyn
Baker and the Hon. Lewis Strong.
Wednesday, June 7. Finished setting out my case and papered
the bottom, then went to distributing. At noon Mr. Washburn
came in with two bills which we were obliged to work immedi-
ately, I set one, the Horse Bill, and Stephen Smith the other,
I rolled for both while S. S. and G. M. J. worked off some
wrappers. In the evening read Milton. Retired at 10.
Thursday, June 8. In the evening went to a temperance lec-
ture in the Town Hall from an old bald-headed sea-captain, who
proved to be nothing but a bore. Staid there about 15m and
came home. Received a letter from Julia to-night.
Friday, June 9. Burnell went home about half past 4.
Stephen Wilson and myself went in bathing about 5 o'clock,
found the water quite cold. In the evening wrote to Julia. Night
before last we were awakened about 2 o'clock by some music.
It was the Belchertown brass band, they played several tunes
most splendidly. Retired at half past 9. The ther. stood at 82.
Saturday, June 10. W. H, Day came in, he came up the
night before. We were all glad to see him. Stephen went home
at noon. Got the paper up about half past 2. Loafed the rest
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 163
of the day. About 5 went in bathing with Bill Day, John Wells
and G. M. J. Read in the evening,
Sunday, June 11. Rose at 5. Went to the Edwards in the
forenoon. Mr. R. preached from Revelations : "He that is un-
just let him be unjust still." In the afternoon he preached from
Proverbs. I do not recollect the words. In the evening I at-
tended a meeting at the vestry. Mr. R. spoke in favor of Sabbath-
schools. After meeting I wrote till 10 and then retired.
Monday, June 12. In the evening went with Burnell to the
great barn and walked around by Hawley Street, coming home
I met Bill Day and a lot more fellows who were going to try
their fireworks. Went with them down behind the school-house
and got my shoes all mud, the fireworks went off pretty well.
Tuesday, May 13. Yesterday I went with B. up in Drs.
Barret Thompson & Co.'s oflice where Dwight Norton gave a
shock from a small galvanic battery. The shock is entirely dif-
ferent from electricity. Sent a bundle to Julia by Mr. Judd, the
Post Rider. In the evening read from Milton.
Wednesday, June 14. Rose at half past 4. Ther. at 57.
About 10 Knight came in with my shoes, but I did not like them
and carried them back. I then went down to Sackets and got
measured for a pair which are to cost $3.50. Rather extravagant
Burnell says. I must be more careful in the future, if these
are not done on Friday at noon I shall not take them. In the
evening I went out with Freeman Smith, we walked up by the
Mansion House and back to the Temperance Hall. Here we
found about half a dozen reformed drunkards, devising means
to celebrate the 4th of July. In the first place they took a vote
to celebrate the 4th, and then someone moved to appoint a com-
mittee of 7 to arrange the matter. They then nominated till they
got seven and then they wanted one more, but not satisfied with
this they put on two more and then adjourned. The president
then attempted to tell a story, but he acted as if he had been
corned. Upon the whole it was a meeting that seemed as if it
was composed of reformed inebriates. I then went down to the
164 Smith College Studies in History
American Hotel and listened about half an hour to a person
playing on a violin. I then went home and read till 10 and went
Thursday, June 15. Rose at 5, went to work on the paper
got up about 4. Then went with Burnell, Stephen and Bill Day
to Burnell's pond, went in swimming then went into the saw-
mill, and from there to the grist-mill. The grist-mill is the largest
one of the kind I ever saw. It is a new building, the old one
was burnt down last year. Went all over it through the ma-
chinery. From there we went into the sash factory, then to
Bullen's blacksmith shop, then we tried to go across the river
but found the bridge gone and we could not go across. We then
came home. After supper I went to work on a job which kept
me till 10. I had a little of Burnell's help. Rec'd a letter from
mother stating that Aunt Marsh and Martha were now in New
York and expecting to come on here in a few weeks, perhaps next
week. O how I long to see my sister. It is now six years since
I have seen her. It is true I know little about her but still she
is my sister.
Friday, June 16, 1843. Rose at 5 went to work on the press.
Hayden turned, Edwards had gone off somewhere and got Hay-
den in his place. Bought me a pair of half boots for v/hich I
paid $vS.50. Rather extravagant, but I got Knight to make a
pair and they were not fit to hoe corn in. In the evening I read
and worked on my job some.
Saturday, June 17. Heard from Norton to-day that a man
had been found drowned in the Connecticut, he fell in somewhere
about Turners Falls and had been in 3 or 4 days. Mrs. Havvley
came home this afternoon from Boston.
Sunday, June 18. Went to the Edwards Church all day.
Mr. Rogers preached in the forenoon from the 2d of Peter 2d.
Mr. Wiley exchanged with him in the afternoon but I do not
recollect the text. Went to the third service at half past 6. Mr.
Oliver Warner's son preached from Luke but I do not remember
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 165
the chapter. In the evening after meeting I wrote a letter to
mother to send out by Dwight Norton to-morrow morning.
Monday, June 19. Mr. Hawley camje honije about half
past 3. Worked on the paper all day. After supper Burnell
and myself went to take a walk, in the first place we went
up to Mr. Breck's but saw no one. We then went down
to the canal and seeing a fire at some distance on the bank, we
went to it and found some people fishing. We then walked
down Summer St. to King St. and passed the place where the
house of President Edwards formerly stood. There are at pres-
ent two noble elms, the largest I ever saw. Ages they have
stood and flourished, generation after generation of man has
passed away and the brave old trees have stood in all their
height and majesty. The tired Indian has rested his weary limbs
here when the sun beat down fiercely ; when returning heated
from the chase, his beautiful daughter fanned his pallid brow
and the cool breeze invigorated him. Then we came up to the
reading-room where we stayed about an hour.
Tuesday, June 20. After supper went with Bill Day over
to Charles Smith's to look at his summer coats, thought of taking
one but have not made up my mind. Rec'd a letter from mother
by Brown. Think some of going home Saturday. I do not
know as Mr. Hawley will let me go and stay the greatest part
of a week but I hope so. In the evening read some in Temper-
ance Tales, No. 21.
Wednesday, June 21. Went to distributing till about half
past 10, then went to setting the first part of Webster's speech
in new minion, set the rest of the day. After supper went to
Charles Smith's and bought me a coat for $2.50 rather on Bur-
nell's suggestion than at my own. Went in a swimming with
Kingsley, Thomas, Stephen and Towar, a young man from
Greenfield whom I never saw before. We went down behind
the jail and some of them called out to the inmates, but it was
rather mean business so that we did not stay long. After swim-
ming we went up to the large barn there building and from there
came home. The ther. stood at 88.
166 Smith College Studies in History
Thursday, June 22. Went to setting on the paper, got up
about 4. Joy and myself then carried the roller box down cellar.
Stephen, Thomas and myself went up to Burnell's pond to
swim about half past 5. Stephen and Tom swam across, but
I only went about half way and back again. After supper
Thomas and I read Mr. Webster's speech at laying the corner
stone of Bunker Hill Monument, 18 years ago. Retired about
10. Ther. about 89.
Friday, June 23. Saw Horace Edwards down under the
horse shed, he halloed to me and I asked him to come up, but
as he did not I supposed he did not intend to. so at half past
5 I went up to the river to go in swimming with Burnell,
Stephen and Bill. I was afterwards sorry that I did not stay
for Horace came in a few minutes after we had gone, and we
did not go into the water ; when we had got almost there we
saw a canal-boat coming and nothing would suit Burnell and Bill
but that we must get onto the boat and sail back. So on we
got and sailed back to the storehouse. We went into the school-
house and saw the laboratory and library and a small case of
minerals. Then we went home to supper. After supper I came
up to the office and read till 9 and then retired. Ther. stood at
90. I was very sorry that I did not see Horace.
Saturday, June 24. Henry Edwards came in about half past
four, I was very glad to see him. After supper he came again
and v/e walked as far as the Mansion House and then went into
the Edwards church where they held a singing-school, finding
that the school had not commenced we went to Barrett Thomp-
son & Co.'s office and found Dwight. While there Frank Searle
came in and we had a meeting of Southampton folks. Pres-
ently Frank went off and we went again in a few minutes to
the church to the singing-school where we remained till it was out.
Sunday, June 25. Went to the Edwards all day. Mr. Rogers
preached in the forenoon and Mr. Hopkins in the afternoon. At
half past 6 there was a third meeting, designed for the young.
Mr. R. preached from the text: "Remember now thy creator in
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 167
the days of thy youth." He gave some account of the manner
in which he spent his early Hfe, viz. he was a reckless and way-
ward youth, visited the theatre and ball-room, etc. His con-
version too he dated at the supposed death-bed of his mother.
His sermon was very affecting and well calculated to take hold
on the young. After meeting I went with Henry and Frank to
take a walk, we went down Pleasant Street, through Hawley to
Mr. Kirkland's, where we met with two more from Southamp-
ton, Miss Clark and Miss Sheldon, we expected Dwight to make
out the number but he did not come. It was a very pleasant
meeting for us all. I left about half past 9. Henry is going to
Southampton to-morrow at 7. He promised to call before he
Monday, June 26. Mr. Graves came and brought a book and
letter from Julia. Besides a present from Cousin Esther which
I intend to get framed. After supper I came to the office and
read. The new type that Mr. Hawley bought in Boston came
to-day. Burnell and I opened it and looked them all over.
Tuesday, June 27. Mr, L. Edwards called in to see me this
afternoon, he staid a few moments, talked with Mr. H. and then
went home. Went in swimming with Burnell and Cook in
Burnell's pond. Read some and retired at 10. Ther. at 90.
Wednesday, June 28. A load of paper came this noon. I
helped Joy bring up some of it. Went to setting in the after-
noon. In the evening I came up to the office and read and sung
and carried on some.
Friday, June 30. Rose at 5 and went in a swimming with
Bill Day and Tom Burnell in the Lickingwater. In the evening
Burnell printed some cards for Julia for me. I set up some border
around the order of exercises for the Celebration on the Fourth
of July. Burnell printed some and the rest I left for Bill Day
in the morning.
Saturday, July 1. Rose at 5. Went to swim in the river
with Freeman Smith. Went to work on the paper, worked till 5.
Then having 9 columns up we quit work. After supper I went
168 Smith College Studies in History
in swimming with Burnell in the Mill Pond. There were quite
a number of boys in with us. After we came out we walked
round by his uncle's, where we stopped and got a drink of water.
We came down and saw both engines try their power on the old
church to see which could throw the highest. The deluge rather
carried off the palm.
Sunday, July 2. Rose at half past 5. Went to church at the
Edwards all day. Mr. Rogers preached in the forenoon and ad-
ministered the Sacrament in the afternoon. Attended the third
meeting at half past 6. To-day the Sabbath-school was omitted
on account of the excessive heat of the weather, the thermometer
standing at 96. In the afternoon we had a tremendous shower
and it rained most all night. In the evening Kingsley Burnell,
William Strong, Burnell and myself went up in our room and
read loud from the Cause and Cure of Infidelity. Burnell read
most of the time but I read several chapters.
Monday, July 3. Went to work on the paper. Went to
press about 2 o'clock, got off at 6. In the evening read and fixed
things for going home. Retired about 10.
Tuesday, July 4. Rose at half past 3, got ready and went
home. When I started it was quite dark. I arrived at home
about half past 5. It was the stillest morning for the Fourth
of July I recollect of having seen, hardly a gun. Saw Martha
and Aunt Marsh. Martha resembles Julia very much, she is pale
and not very well. Aunt Marsh looks the same as ever. She
brought a letter to me from Sarah and a lot of papers from the
rest. Julia and Mr. Miller came over about 11, and staid till 2.
It really seemed good to see us all together again after a separa-
tion of 6 years. In the afternoon I went up to Mr. Edwards'.
Staid to supper. Mr. Shad Clark and wife there. Left there
about 7. Stopped at Col's, had a chat with Horace and then
went down to Mr. Chapman's to accompany home Mother, Aunt
Marsh, Aunt Ann and Martha. Slept at Mr. Graves'.
Wednesday, July 5. Rose at 6. Went over home to break-
fast. Aunt Marsh went over to Springfield with Mr. Brown.
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 169
Started about 8 o'clock. I staid at home till about four in the
afternoon, and then went up to Mr. Edwards'. Found the Doc-
tors there, they had been giving Catherine some galvanic shocks.
Yesterday for the first time since last Thanksgiving, she came
out to the dinner table with help. Had a talk with Mr. E. about
matters and things in general. Had for supper a good dish of
strawberries and milk.
Thursday, July 6. Rose at 6. Started for home about 7.
Brought up some wood and chips for mother. Had an oppor-
tunity to ride with Mr. Graves. I improved the chance and got
in about 9. Worked on the paper all day.
Friday, July 7. Distributed in the afternoon till about half
past 5, then fixed my picture in a frame. In the evening I wrote
a letter to Sarah, which I intend to finish tomorrow. Had the
nose-bleed twice in the afternoon.
Saturday, July 8. Went to work on the paper. Got all up
about 5. Then copied my letter to Sarah, and wrote one home.
Sunday. Went to the Edwards Church all day. Mr. Rogers
preached all day. In the evening heard a Missionary preach at
the town hall. He told of the number of conversions in the
Sandwich Islands, it was 60,000, while a million and a half had
been made heathen at home ; rather poor encouragement for the
missionary. After meeting came up to the office and finding the
lock out of order, we could not get in, so Burnell went up to his
Uncle Breck's to stay and I went down and slept with Stephen.
Monday, July 10. Rose at 5, did not come to the office till
after breakfast and then found Joy had opened the door and got
in somehow. Stephen and I took off the lock and found it was
broken, and by fixing we made it so that it would work and put it
on, I don't think it will last long. In the evening read till half
past 9 and then retired.
Tuesday, July 11. Rose at half past 5. (Rather late). Joy
sick, had to be devil. Got to work on the press at 10, got off at
4. In the evening I read some and studied problems some.
Wednesday, July 12. In the afternoon went to setting on Dr.
170 Smith College Studies in History
Segur's address. About 4, Thomas, Bill Stephens and myself
went up to Union Hall to see the compound solar Microscope. It
has a great magnifying power so that a pin with some of the
crumbs of cheese upon it would seem a crowbar with animals as
large as small dogs running around upon it. He showed a fly's
leg, it seemed larger than a man's. Flies and ants &c he showed.
It was worth 12^/2 cts. The box containing the lenses was placed
in a small opening in a window, the rest of the room being dark-
ened, and the images are thrown on the opposite wall. While
there the room was full of school-children who made so much
noise that we could scarcely hear what the operator said. We
have the privilege of going again free. After supper we went in
swimming. Spent the rest of the evening trying to decipher a
cryptograph but did not succeed.
Thursday, July 13. Did not get the correcting done till half
past 6. In the evening commenced a letter to Julia. Went to
the town hall at 8 to the meeting of the citizens to devise means
for the relief of the sufferers at Fall River by fire. It seems to
have been an awful calamity. A million and a half of property
destroyed and about 200 families houseless and homeless wan-
derers without the necessaries of life and with barely food enough.
A collection is to be taken up a week from next Sunday. A man
from there gave an account of the fire. It seems that the prin-
cipal part of the town is swept away by the devouring element.
Friday, July 14. Went with Step. Smith to Union Hall to
see the microscope, but there being no sun, we saw nothing. In
the evening I went to the town hall to hear a lecture on Palestine,
Syria and Egypt, illustrated by splendid paintings shown by the
Hydro-Oxygen light, and magnified to about 17 feet upon the prin-
ciple of the compound Solar Microscope. Some of the pictures
were splendid, especially the pilgrims bathing in the Jordan.
Saturday, July 15. Set at the rate of two sticks full an hour
and got up a short column of Burgeois before dinner.
Sunday, July 16. At the third service Mr. Rogers preached
from the words: "Take heed how ye hear." He told several
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 171
classes of hearers and some of them shot pretty straight. In the
evening I commenced a compo entitled : "The last Plague of
Monday, July 17. After supper I wrote part of a letter to
Julia and then went to the town hall to a second lecture on Syria,
Palestine and Egypt. First he presented a map of those countries,
then a map of Palestine, then a view of the present appearance
of Palestine from an eminence near Mt. Tabor, It seemed as if
covered with bushes and rough and uneven. They have no roads
except those made by their beasts of burden who commonly go in
single file. He showed a picture of the Temple of Memnon in
Thebes and two statues, one of the vocal Memnon which always
uttered a noise at the time of the rising sun, but for some cause
it has ceased to murmur. A recent traveller found a small metallic
plate under one of the arms, which emitted a fine tone when
struck. He showed the Lord's Supper. The picture was drawn
to represent the time when Christ told his disciples : "This night
one of you shall betray me." They were all in commotion, some
bending eagerly toward him, some in earnest conversation. But
there was one — the black fiend-like visage was turned upon Christ,
and it seemed as though I could almost hear that diabolical voice
as he asked : "Is it I ?" The last painting he showed was the
ascension of Christ. He had his picture so arranged that the
figure of Christ ascended and a cloud came and covered him,
then appeared angels and then the cloud covered all. The light
went out very frequently and we were left entirely in the dark.
Wednesday, July 19. After supper finished my letter to Julia
and found that I had lost a fourpence. Went to a juvenile con-
cert under the direction of E. H. Swain. It was a first rate thing.
A contribution was taken up and I hope he was well rewarded
as he was one of the sufiferers by the fire at Fall River. One
piece, a song by a miss, was first rate, it was called for again
after it had been sung once. The singers' seats in the Old Church
were filled with the children. It lasted about an hour.
Thursday, July 20. After supper I went with Bill Day to
172 Smith College Studies in History
Deacon Hibbin's to get some cherries. We went all over the
garden, got a few raspberries and found a few sour cherries.
Then we found one tree that had a few black ones on it. We
stood on the ground and reached a limb when two women came
in and we thought one of them was crazy. Bill was standing on
a small ladder or steps. The woman came along looking as cross
as a meat axe, and said: 'T want those steps, and let me have
that limb too." We got down and she got up. We then went up
into the tree. We then went down across the aqueduct and I
went to get John Panton to cut my hair.
Sunday, July 23. In the afternoon we had an Agent of the
A. B. C. F. M. soliciting aid. He said that if all the heathen in-
habitants of the earth, 600,000,000, were brought together in one
compact mass, they would cover a spot one mile wide and 100
long. All these pass away once in 30 years and not a vestige re-
mains, and these heathen too &c &c.
Tuesday, July 25. Mr. Hawley went to New York to-day,
don't know w^hen to expect him back. Rec'd a bundle by the
Amherst Post Rider to-day. I do not know where it is from,
it is for mother. Yesterday Mr. Hawley said his four boys were
not worth four cyphers. In the evening we had a serenade by a
band of four persons that came up with the reformed drunkards.
About half past 11 were awakened by the same band perambu-
lating the streets.
Wednesday, July 26. In the evening went to a performance
called the Reformed Drunkards. It consists of a band of young
fellows and one female, who go around the country exhibiting
the different stages of the drunkard's character. It consisted of
10 scenes. In the first place a man came out below the stage,
and told the audience the object of the exhibition &c. Then came
the performance. First was the departure of boon companions
and pledging each other in the wine cup and carousing. Then the
parting of the brother and sister, and so on. I cannot recollect
the rest of the scenes, but we saw the moderate drinker, heard
the pleadings of his wife and saw them rejected. Then he passed
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 173
on from stage to stage. The sheriff came and seized his property,
his wife was taken to the Alms House. Then the jail, the pardon
and reform, all depicted in a most natural way. There were
several other characters, among them one Tom, an old drunkard,
he was quite facetious. But the pleadings of the wife and children
were most affecting. They were enough to draw tears from many
a one and I presume they did from some. That girl was the most
lovely girl I ever saw. As she clasped her hands in prayer, and
two young girls came and bent over her, it was quite affecting.
They were accompanied by a band of four musicians who played
extremely well. They played as the curtain fell while they were
shifting the scenes. This drama was claimed by one of the per-
formers as his own writing, it was very well written and the
scenery some of his first attempts at painting, all executed very
well. It was well worth the ninepence. It was first started in
Meriden N. H. at the instance of some of their friends. I can
see nothing immoral in their drama. I think it may do much
good. The house was full. They have been well received at
other places and come well recommended.
Thursday, July 27. In the afternoon we had a tussle with
Joy. Such swearing I never heard. Stephen and Bill Day put
him out of the door. When Burnell came he turned him out, but
Joy begged and pled so hard that Burnell let him back.
Friday, July 28. The boys received some "All Sorts" to-day
from Fall River. In one we found a letter from Joy. I wrote
an answer to Joy's letter which I showed to Burnell, he told me
to send it by all means.
Saturday, July 29. Copied my letter to Fall River. After
breakfast shov/ed it to Bill Day, who wrote something to the
editor under the head of private, and sent the letter.
Monday, July 31. Rose at 3. Studied Latin Grammar for
an hour and a half. In the evening went to hear a Mormon
preacher in the town hall. After he had finished he called upon
any person present to ask him questions. Dr. Graham and Dr.
Allen got up and wound him up, finally he went off amid the
174 Smith College Studies in History
hissings of the rowdies who thronged about the door. He was
very ilhterate but seemed to be candid.
Wednesday, August 2. Went home about half past 2 with
Mr. Edwin Kingsley. Staid at mother's till about dark, then
went up to Mr. Edwards'. Staid there that night.
Thursday, August 3. Rose at 4. Got the horse ready, and
started for South Hadley about 15 minutes past 7. Arrived
there at a quarter before 8. Went to the Seminary and staid
through the exercises,^ The hall was crowded but I managed
to get a seat some of the time. The recitations were pretty good
generally but I could not hear all. The compositions were first
rate. One piece of poetry by ?il. E. G. v/as excellent. After
the compositions were finished they sang several tunes accom-
panied by the pianoforte, and very good singing it was too.
From the Seminary we adjourned to the meeting house, but not
near all who were present could get in, I for one was obliged
to remain outside or stand in the door, but preferring the former,
I retired to the tavern. The address by the Rev. Dr. Beecher
was lengthy, and the whole of the exercises including the giving
of diplomas took nearly three hours. The company then ad-
journed to the Seminary and took dinner. I went to the tavern
and waited till they had had time to get through dinner, and
then went with Horace Edwards to the Seminary and looked
around. Everything is done on a large scale. They have a
windlass to raise the wood up from the woodhouses to the upper
stories. The washing apparatus is quite a curiosity, they have
a great number of copper kettles set in brick, and a great quantity
of pumps for water, and the tubs and lines are all numbered. I
then went back into the Seminary and found Julia, she intro-
duced me to Mr. Edwin Graves and Cousins Esther and Fanny
Graves, and Mrs. Graves, all of Hatfield. I then got my horse
and we started not far from six. Before I had got half a mile
I found that the tire to one of my front wheels (for 1 had Mr.
E.'s old wagon) was loose. I was very much afraid it would
* This was the day of his Sister Julia's graduation.
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 175
come off. It staid on however till I got across the river, when I
stopped at a house and drove in some nails. It did not come off
at all, those nails helped keep it in place. While coming home
I got on the wrong road, but did not go far before I found out
my mistake and retraced my steps. Arrived at home about 15m
past 8. I immediately went up to Mr. Edwards' with the horse,
before I had my supper. I do not know but they thought strange
but I did not mean any harm.
Friday, August 4. Rose at 6. Got breakfast and went down
to Mother's to get ready for a start. Did not get away till half
past 7. Arrived at Easthampton at half past 8. Went to Henry's
room and knocked but rec'd no answer. I then started on, went
into the tavern to get a drink, turned round to go out and met
Henry in the door. He was in a kind of doze when I knocked,
but supposing it to be some of the scholars, he paid no attention
to it. But soon after I had gone he recollected that it might be
me and started on and overtook me. We sat down and talked a
few minutes and then I went on and he back to the schooj-room.
I got back to N. about half past 10 instead of getting here before
breakfast as I was expected to. I told Mr. H. how it was and
he said it was well enough. I found that while I was away my
communication from Fall River in the "All Sorts" had arrived
and that Joy was as mad as he could be, and laid the blame of
writing the letter on Burnell and Bill Day, so that I got out of
that scrape. Joy swore that he would kill Burnell because he
Saturday, August 5. This evening the Torrent Engine came
out in their uniform. They looked splendid, red shirts and white
pants with fireman caps &c.
Sunday, August 6. Attended church twice at the Edwards
and once at the Old Church. In the forenoon Mr. Beecher, son
of the old Dr. preached, soliciting aid from the churches here
for those at the west. At half past 7 I went to the Old Church
expecting to hear Dr. Beecher but he did not arrive till just time
to commence his discourse and his son opened it. He followed
176 Smith College Studies in History
with some remarks, the meeting was kept up till half past 9. The
young man is the most noble looking person I ever saw, a fine
large forehead with a bald spot on the top of his head. Both he
and his father appear perfectly at home in the pulpit.
Monday, August 7. Read all the evening in a book entitled :
"An Hour's Talk between a Father and Son," Willy Strong,
Kingsley, Step, Burnell and myself, we took turns in reading.
Wednesday, August 9. We all went to setting with the pur-
pose of getting the paper up to-day and going to commencement
tomorrow. We succeeded finely and got up quicker than we
generally do Thursdays. After supper Isaac Parsons came and I
went in swimming with him at Burnell's Pond. After we came
home I went with Burnell over to Mr. Clapp's in South Street
to make arrangements about studying Latin, he advised me to
take up Cicero. I am to recite once a week at present, Wednes-
day night. I said nothing about terms but I shall next Wednes-
day. Bill Day expects to go to Oberlin next week.
Thursday, August 10. Rose at 5. Began to get ready to go
to Amherst with Burnell and Willy Strong. Started at 15m past
8, got over just as the procession entered the meeting house.
The pews were all filled so that we were obliged to stand on a
platform raised upon some of the back pews. But as some got
tired and went out I at last found a place to sit on the back of
one of the pews. The speaking was very good but I should judge
not very extra, but I never attended an exhibition of the kind
before. The salutatory address in Latin was very good, I could
not carry the translation through but I could get some snatches
of it. The rest of the pieces were very good but I could not now
particularize. They had but one colloquy but that was fine and
well acted. The exercises were too long, they would be long, of
course. It made it rather tedious for those who were obliged to
stand. After the exercises we went up to the colleges and went
through the chapel. We saw the laboratory where there were a
large number of chemical apparatus. Then into the cabinet, this
is superior to any college of the kind in Mass. and has one of
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 177
the greatest professors in that department at its head. We then
went into the library, then upon the top of the cupola, but the
weather being cloudy we could not see much. We then came
down and on the steps I met L, H. E. with whom I went into
another of the buildings, where they room. Then we went down
to the hotel, and finally after a while we came home, got home at
6. On going to the house we could not find anything but some
gingerbread. Step, and I ate some of that and he left a fine
mess on the table of crushed gingerbread.
Friday, August 11. Joy was turned off yesterday, so that I
am now youngest apprentice. Willy Strong and another fellow
came in and I pulled myself up by my hands on a bar 14 times.
Studied Latin in the evening.
Saturday, August 12. Rose at 5. Did chores. Mr. Hawley
came home in the afternoon. Studied Latin in the evening.
Wednesday. I distributed a lot of pi left by Joy. In the
evening I went over to Mr. Clapp's in South Street and recited
my Grammar lesson. James Hibbin came about half past 8 and
about 9 Kingsley Burnell. Burnell read after they went out in
the American Mechanic till half past 10.
Friday, August 18. About 4 o'clock Mr. Miller came into
the office and told me that Julia and Martha were here. I went
out to the tavern and found them there. Sat there with them
nearly an hour. They then went home and I to my work.
Monday, Aug. 21. Rose at 5. Went to work on the paper.
Mr. H. not satisfied with our work, wants us to work faster.
Says that one hand in Stowe's office sets as much as the whole
of us. Willy and King came in and staid till 10, but they came
down stairs and I had the room to myself to study in.
Tuesday, August 29. Geo. Wilson came here to work. In
the evening I went to Harvey Kirkland's to see Catherine and
Mrs. E. Rec'd a letter from Peter Roff, offering me a situation
as clerk in his store.
Wednesday, August 30. About half past 10 Mr. Miller came
in and said that Julia was at Warner's. I immediately went down
178 Smith College Studies in History
and showed her my letter from Peter Roff. She was on her way
to Hatfield. Studied in evening.
Thursday, August 31. Mariette E. and Dorcas Durant came
in this afternoon and I showed them around. In the evening ate
a watermelon and read.
Friday, Sept. 1. \\'ent to press at 7. We run off the platin
to correct and Step, tried to lift up the form after it had been
unlocked (not thinking) and pied considerable. But we all went
to work and in about an hour we were ready for operations. In
the evening I recited to Mr. Clapp of South St. but my lesson
was none of the best.
Saturday, Sept. 2. In the afternoon I went home with Mr.
Edwards. Went up to Mr. E. at about 8 and staid there that
Sunday, Sept. 3. Went to church, sat in Aunt Rosy's pew^
Mr. White preached. Sacrament was administered in the after-
noon and Lorine Frary assisted in the exercises. In the evening
wrote to N. Y. concluding not to go.
Monday, Sept. 4. Rose at half past 4. Started from home
at half past 5, walked all the way, and got back here by 8 o'clock.
Went to work on the paper. Worked on it all day. The weather
was very warm. In the evening I studied Latin.
Tuesday, Sept. 5. Wilson and I had a dispute about washing
the rollers and neither of us would do it, so they were left and
Burnell washed them about 11 that night.
Thursday, Sept. 7. Henry E. and mother came in. Saw
them at noon at Mr. K's. He came up here. In the evening
went to Mr. Clapp's but did not recite. Had a scrape pulling
sticks and knocking off hats in the evening with Wilson, Willy &c.
Saturday, Sept. 9. Mr. E. and wife carried Catharine home,
appeared to feel very bad, both in tears as I met them on my way
Monday, Sept. 11. We got the stove down this morning and
built a fire. Saw Henry as I went to dinner, who told me that
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 179
Catharine was dead. She died without a struggle about 7 o'clock
Monday morning. He appeared to feel very bad.
Tuesday, Sept. 12. In the evening attended a mnemonical
lecture in the Town Hall. He remembered 50 names as they
were read off to him, so that by giving him the name he would
give you the number or vice versa. Put my name down to join
his class, four lessons of two hours each for one dollar.
Wednesday, Sept. 13. At 11 1/2 started for Southampton
with Mr. Kirkland to attend Catharine's funeral, got out there at
25m of one, got dinner at home and went up to Mr. E's. I went
with the mourners, drove the third wagon with Mrs. Parsons. A
sermon was preached by Mr. White. The scene after the services
was very affecting, the family stood around the coffin taking the
last look. It seemed as if they could not give her up. After the
services Mr, E. wanted me to return to his house, but I had a
chance to ride with Mr. Kirkland and improved it. In the even-
ing attended the first lesson in mnemonics. We dwelt on the
value of the letters principally.
Thursday, Sept. 14. Rose at half past four. Did chores. In
the evening attended a class of mnemonics or the art of memory,
this evening we by the aid of symbols were enabled to remember
Friday, Sept. .5. Our new boy came to-day, Robert Haugh-
ton, a native of Ireland. In the evening attended another school
Saturday, Sept. 15. In the evening Step, and I had a lot of
roast corn, with King and Willy to help eat it, and a muskmellon.
Willy shaved me in the evening.
Monday, Sept. 17. In the evening went to mnemonics.
Tuesday, September 18. Mr. H. as cross as a bear all day.
The band to the distributing rollers broke and Burnell went off
to get it fixed, was gone so long that Mr. H. went after him in
a terrible huff, but met him at the foot of the stairs. Henry E.
went to Amherst. His father called to see me to-day.
Thursday. Rose at 6. Went to setting, but four columns to
180 Smith College Studies in History
set up, got up and corrected before 5. We had the best proof I
have seen. To Union Hall in the evening.
Sunday. Attended church all day at the Edwards. Rev. Dr.
Osgood from Springfield preached three times. His sermons
were excellent. Before church time in the forenoon I copied
some verses in reference to Catharine and wrote a note to Julia
in reference to them.
Thursday, Sept. 28. In the evening went over to Mr. Clapp's
and found him getting better after having been sick.
Through negligence I have not made any entry for a week.
The summary is that I have attended some lectures on Oratory
& Music by Prof. Bronson in the Town Hall. Commenced a job
of printing some lines on the death of Catharine. Set up one
night till 1 o'clock and another till 11 l)ut have not got it done yet.
Tuesday, Oct. 10. Got off about 4. Mr. Edwards came in
and brought me a few peaches which were very nice. I sent out
a bundle by him. In the evening attended Mr. Bronson's Lec-
ture and a grand one it was. Willy Strong cut my hair.
Wednesday. Rose at 15m before 6. Distributed most all
day. In the afternoon I tried to see how much long primer 1
could set in an hour. I set 3 sticks full and 6 lines. In the
evening Burnell worked my job for me. Mr. H. came in and
said it was very pretty. Retired at 11."
This chapter out of the daily life of a printer's apprentice, por-
traying incidentally scenes and activities of Northampton and its
surroundings which are for us almost ancient history, and ending,
as it does, so abruptly, always awakens my desire for more and
has occasioned many a fruitless search through the old Trumbull
house, to see if perchance some forgotten nook or cranny might
not at length yield up other records of the succeeding years.
However, these pages suffice to give us a vivid picture of the
earnest young man, who was in reality only a boy. Somewhat
shy and reserved and unused to social functions, he nevertheless
loved companionship, for he never spent his recreation hours
alone; and we have reason to believe that he himself with his
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 181
eager interest in everything about him and his keen sense of
humor, was an agreeable companion. Like his father he had a
strong family affection, which is expressed in his letters as well as
his journal. His love of music is here plainly revealed. I never
saw anyone who enjoyed so keenly a thing about which he knew
so little. He used to say with his whimsical smile : *"I know
two tunes, one is Yankee Doodle and the other isn't." Yet I
have seen him sit enthralled by really fine music, for which the
average man would have no appreciation.
Every journal entry records the hours devoted to the different
kinds of work comprising his daily tasks, though these references
have for the most part been omitted to avoid reptition. His days
were spent in almost unremitting toil. No theaters, movies nor
club meetings varied the monotony; there were no weekly half
holidays and few diversions of any kind. With a persistance
which nowadays seems incredible in a 17-year-old boy, he ad-
hered to the plan for combining work, reading and study, of which
we read in the journal entry for May 19.
Letters to His Family
This close application to work and study proved too great
a strain for one who had never had robust health. On the 6th
of May, 1846, his mother went to Baltimore to visit her cousin
and remained away all summer. To this fortunate circumstance
we owe several letters, written to her by her children, which she
preserved. From these we learn that her son's health was seri-
ously impaired. Previous to this visit grandmother had come to
Northampton to make her home with her elder daughter, Julia,
who was then living with her husband and little boy on South
The first of these letters was written from Southampton,
whither James had gone for a rest and was dated May 18, 1846.
Julia and Martha have written thus much of the sheet and the
remainder is left for me. This letter should have been sent be-
182 Smith College Studies in History
fore, but the pleasure of hearing from all your children will com-
pensate in some measure for the delay. I came to S. last Wed-
nesday with Mr. Edwards when he came back from carrying
Henry to Amherst ; and shall probably remain till next Saturday.
I cannot say that my health has improved very rapidly, but I feel
better than when I came out. Most of my time is spent in the
open air. The first day after I came out I assisted Mr. E. in
planting potatoes. The next I spent in the woods with my gun.
The morning after, Worcester and myself started at about 3
o'clock for Mt. Tom to see the sun rise. We arrived at the
summit just in time to see it come above the horizon, but the
weather was cloudy and foggy and we could see nothing at all.
We thereupon cut our names in the rock and started for home,
where we arrived at noon. We had no expectation of seeing the
sun rise, as the weather was cloudy when we started, but Wor-
cester had never been there and thought he should not have
another opportunity, so we went. In the afternoon I went up to
Mr. E's and wrote a letter to Kingsley Burnell. Yesterday I
heard two good sermons from Mr. White and attended third
service in the vestry at 5 1/2 o'clock. So much for a journal.
I am now at Mr. Edward's writing but shall go down town after
dinner to see Mr. Chapman's people off. The weather looks
somewhat rainy and if it should prove so they will postpone
moving for the present. I have spent a number of nights at Mr.
C's. Saw Mrs. Sheldon, Mrs. Clark and Mary the other day,
they all enquired particularly for you and seemed to think it a
good thing for you to go to Baltimore. On Tuesday last Henri-
etta and Lovisa Sheldon were married. The wedding took place
at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the party then rode to Col. Edwards'
and took some refreshment. From thence they went up to Mr.
Strong Clarke's and finished oflf. They had the largest wedding
party that has been in town for years. Taylor Clapp was also
married last week. So we had three brides out yesterday. Joseph
and Austin and their brides were dressed alike and made a very
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 183
pretty appearance. Mr. Samuel Pomeroy came out with his bride
a few Sunday's ago, and last week when Ingram and myself were
here Stephen Searle and wife made their first appearance. What
a place Southampton is for Marriages !
I left Julia all alone. Nancy [her sister-in-law] went home
on Monday. Her father came over on business and she thought
she had better go home with him. I am inclined to think that
Julia will be somewhat lonesome, but Henry will be some comfort.
You will find your letter considerably soiled but it could not very
well be helped. I brought it from Northampton in my pocket
and brought it up to Mr. E's in the same place. But I suppose
you will not care for that so long as you can read it. You cannot
imagine how glad I was to receive your paper, I did not get it
till Monday night. I have sent you a Gazette and a Courier.
Julia will send you the next Gazette. My vest is done and it sets
beautifully. I paid 25 cts for getting it finished. Ingram gave
it to one of the girls in the shop to do instead of doing it himself.
You have probably heard of the fire at South Hadley Canal. You
might have seen the ruins as you passed on your way to New
York, but you had other things to think of at that time. I hope
you will write soon and give a description of your journey, your
place of residence, etc. You must excuse the wandering manner
in which this letter is written, as I had but little space to tell a
long story, or a number of stories, in. Mrs. Chapman and Ed-
wards wish to be remembered.
Yours in haste,
"Northampton, June 1, 1846.
Dearest Mother :
Your letter was duly received and you cannot imagine how
glad we were to get it. It seems but yesterday since Julia and
myself saw you starting from the depot, but you have been absent
a number of weeks. My visit to Southampton I enjoyed much.
I remained nearly two weeks with Mr. Edwards. On Saturday
184 Smith College Studies in History
afternoon he brought me as far as Southampton, from whence I
intended to take the mail carriage, which leaves there in the after-
noon, but I found that their price was 25 cents. So thinking it
would be cheaper to walk I started on foot and arrived at North-
ampton about half past three. I found Julia rather lonely but
glad to see me. I took tea with her and then went to the office,
where I found the hands all glad to see me. While at South-
ampton, after I had written you, Corinth, Susan [Edwards] and
myself went one afternoon to the west part of the town. Susan
went to her Uncle Strong Clark's, while Corinth and myself went
to Mr. Theodore Parsons'. We spent the afternoon very pleas-
antly and arrived home about nine o'clock in the evening. My
health is improving, while at S. I gained just a half pound. Al-
though this does not amount to much yet it shows that there is
some improvement. Since I came back I feel considerably better,
am able to do more work, indeed I work most of the time and do
not feel as tired at night as I did before I went out of town.
Mr. Hawley commenced the publication of' a daily paper on
Wednesday last. Quite an undertaking for Northampton. His
intention of publishing was not made known till the first number
appeared. People were taken by surprise. The enterprise will,
I think, ultimately succeed well. Everybody is pleased with it,
and the papers sell well. This makes more work for us in the
office, but not so much as you would at first suppose. Mr. H. has
engaged Thomas Burnell. He came in town last Monday and
will remain permanently I suppose. You cannot imagine how
pleased I was to see him. He rooms with me at the office, so
you see I shall not have to stay alone this summer. We are going
to have our room fitted up in style. Mr. Hawley has purchased
us some new chairs. Mrs. H. will get us some curtains, and
when we get everything arranged we shall have as neat a room
as need be. I am glad to hear that your health is improving also.
You seem to be very pleasantly situated, and I hope you will not
give yourself any uneasiness about Julia and the rest of us. You
must throw all anxiety and care oif your mind and enjoy your-
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 185
self as much as possible. That is the way I did when at South-
ampton, and to that was probably owing the good effect of the
Martha I have not heard from since she went to Westfield
but hope to soon. She seemed to feel rather bad at leaving
Southampton. She will probably be homesick for a few weeks.
She said she had made up her mind to be so before she went. I
have not written to New York yet, but intend to in the course of
a few weeks. I shall write to Mrs. Hitchcock. When you v/rite
again please state what your intention- is about going there. It
will be but a few weeks now before we shall see you again.
How I long for the time to come. Yet I would not abate a par-
ticle of your pleasure by wishing you back while you are enjoy-
ing yourself there. If the weather is no pleasanter with you
than it is here, you cannot have much comfort. We have had
but one pleasant day for a week. It has been cloudy all the time
and rained some. Henry Guy has got so that he cries when I am
over there and attempt to come away. He will take his mother's
wood and scatter it all over the floor. Do all sorts of mischief,
and the more mischievous he is the louder he will laugh and
crow. I must apologize for the brevity of my letter, for we are
all three of us intending to write again, and must of necessity
be short. I write on this letter of Aunt Marsh's to save postage.
Write as soon as convenient.
From your aff. son,
Jas. R. Trumbull."
"Northampton. July 13. 1846.
Dearest Mother :
After waiting till I am inclined to believe you regard us as
having almost forgotten you, we have at length commenced an
answer to your last letter. I say we, because Julia and Nancy
are intending to write also. We have been waiting till after the
Fourth, and this is the first leisure time I have found since then.
In the first place I will give you an account of our Fourth of
July excursion. On Friday, July 3, Julia, Nancy, Henrie and
186 Smith College Studies in History
myself left in the stage for Southampton. We arrived there in
time to visit the Fair, which, for reasons best known to the ladies
of Southampton, was held on the afternoon of the day preceding
the Fourth. The fair resembled that of last year in arrangement
and quality. The only thing lacking was visitors, and as we did
not get there till late in the afternoon, most of them had probably
left. By the way, the first visit we made was to the old premises,
and they looked as natural as you please. In the evening I went
to Mr. Edwards' and spent the night. I shall confine myself to
my own movements as much as possible, to avoid repetition of
the same thing in the other letters. In the morning I took Mr.
E's horse and drove down to Mr. Sheldon's and took Julia, Nancy
and the baby to ride. We rode around the square and left Julia
and Henrie at Mr. Sheldon Bascom's, while Nancy and myself
continued our ride. In the afternoon, after seeing Martha, as
she went through town to a ride, we all went to Mr. Edwards'.
I will leave an account of the visit with Martha for Julia to
describe. We saw Worcester too, he took dinner at Mr. Bascom's,
but Nancy may tell you about that. At Mr. Edwards' we found
Henry and a Mr. Waters, an Amherst student. Julia, Hen. and
myself spent the night there. Nancy can inform you best about
her ride down the hill with Henry Edwards and her feelings after
she got to Mr, Sheldon's. Sunday I attended church all day,
preaching by Mr. Butler, agent of the Am. Bible Society. Mr.
White is unwell and has been for a number of weeks — was get-
ting better when we left. In the evening I went to Mr. E's again,
took his horse in the morning and we all went to Westfield.
Found Mat. and Mrs. Sheldon in the washtub, or rather by the
side of it. We told them Saturday that we should not visit them,
but succeeding in getting a horse, contrary to expectations, we
came upon them unexpectedly. Here we spent a pleasant day,
visited the cemetery and Miss Baldwin's school, and arrived in
Southampton about 8 o'clock in the evening. Julia and Nancy
spent the night at Mr. Gains Lyman's, while I went to Mr. Ed-
wards' again. In the morning we all came back to Northampton
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 187
with Mr. Lyman. On the whole I don't know when I have spent
a Fourth of July more pleasantly, than I did this year.
I have written to New York and received an answer. Mrs.
Hitchcock says that nothing would afford them more pleasure
than seeing you. And if you will write when you leave Balti-
more, by what route, when and where you land in New York, as
near as you can, Mr. Hitchcock will either meet you at the boat
himself or deputize someone who will see you safe to the Island.
I think perhaps you had better write to Mrs. Hitchcock yourself,
just before you start, as you can make your calculations nearer
than if you should write to me and wait till I should write to New
York. You must be particular and observe the directions con-
tained in her letter. These you can ascertain from Mr. Williams.
Mrs. Hitchcock says the only thing will be, they will quarrel
who shall have you. Mrs. H. has been unwell, suffering from
nervous headache and weak eyes. She has a son just three
months old, Mrs. Harcourt (Julia) has a daughter three weeks
younger. She wishes me to come on there and escort you home,
a thing I should like very much to do. You spoke of leaving
your baggage at the landing in New York, in case you should not
meet anyone at the boat. I should not think it safe to do so, you
had better speak to Mr. Williams about it. You might perhaps
through the influence of Mr. W. be placed in a cab in the city by
the conductor of the cars or captain of the steamboat and be taken
immediately to the Staten Island ferry, and after you land on the
Island, anyone would direct you to Mr. Hitchcock's, and your
baggage would be safe at the steamboat landing till sent for.
But I have something of more importance to myself to com-
municate to you. It is this :
Dr. Thompson has advised me to go to Saratoga Springs. He
thinks the change of life and effect of the water would have a
beneficial effect on me. I do not know as I am any worse now
than when you left. On the whole I think I feel some better, but
I feel as though the principal difficulty had not been reached, and
that is in the assimilative and digestive functions. As long as I
188 Smith College Studies in History
am confined to the office, medicine will not have as good an effect,
or to use the words of Dr. T., it does not act kindly upon me.
He says I do not need a great deal of medicine. He will not
assure me of being cured, but speaks confidently of obtaining
benefit. He thinks I had better start soon and remain there
about a month. I must go, he says, during the warm weather.
It will cost about $30. I shall draw from my fund in the Savings
Bank at Hartford $50, go to Saratoga, stay a month, go to New
York and come home feeling pretty well, I hope. That is if it
meets with your approbation. My money cannot be appropriated
to a better use. HI should recover, I can easily earn more, but
if not I do not want the money. I had rather go this summer
than wait till next, when it may be too late, and if not too late I
shall be obliged to lose time then which I shall not now. I have
not spoken to Mr. Hawley about it yet, but I will repeat what I
said to one of the hands, that if I make up my mind to go, I
shall go if he should tell me that I need not come back again. I
would like to have you write immediately on the receipt of this,
as I would like to get away by a fortnight from to-day, and I
must write to Uncle Lewis for the money. The reason I take so
much is, because I must get a few things before I go, and I wish
to have sufficient. I do not wish to have you give yourself any
uneasiness about me, for I do not feel as much pain in my breast
as I formerly did.
From your aff. son, .
Jas. R. Trumbull.
P. S. I would not have you fail of going to New York for any-
thing. You must not be in any hurry to get home, Julia is doing
well, and Nancy has promised to stay till you come back. I will
write to Maj. Howard immediately. J."
The following letter, written to his Sister Julia from Saratoga
under date of July 25, shows that he started on this journey just
one week after tlie preceding letter was written, waiting neither
for an answer from his mother nor for the money to be sent from
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 189
"Dearest Sis :
At last I have reached the far famed watering-place, and like
others who have only one coat to their back, am playing gentle-
man to my heart's content. We arrived here on Thursday after-
noon at six o'clock. Long enough coming, don't you think so?
Well, I suppose you want to know all about our journey, but to
write all about it would take more time, paper and patience than
I can well spare just at present. We left Northampton Monday
morn, at 25 minutes past 8, took dinner at Greenfield, where we
remained a number of hours and finally reached Brattleboro at
about six in the evening. Here we put up at the hotel of a Mr.
Shaw, formerly of Northampton and brother of the man who
kept the American Hotel when it was burned. Brattleboro is
situated on a steep bank of the Connecticut, which is so narrow
here that it seems as though you could jump from one bank to
another. The town is not so large as Northampton, but it has a
much more lively appearance. There are now about 300 patients
there under the treatment of the Hydropathic Dr. — some jaw-
breaking Dutch name, which can neither be written nor spoken
by anyone but a German. We passed, between Greenfield and
Brattleboro, extensive slate quarries lining the road for miles,
situated in the town of Guilford. All day we did not see a
squirrel and only a few birds. Brattleboro, you are aware, is
called the Gretna-Green of New England, and we some expected
to be called upon to act as witnesses to some runaway match but
fortunately escaped. I have nothing more of consequence to re-
late concerning our first day's ride, so I will proceed to the second.
We started about six in the morn, on our excursion across the
Green Mountains, this part of which has been denominated the
Switzerland of America. From the door of the hotel the ground
commenced rising and we went up and down and down and up
all day long. The ride was a magnificent one. At one time we
wound around some mountain side, while far off stretched moun-
tain above mountain, hill over hill all covered with a dense growth
of wood clothed in its garment of green. At another time we
190 Smith College Studies in History
would follow along the track of a mountain torrent down it
seemed into the very center of the mountain, while along its rocky
pathway a little rivulet murmured, the only remnant of the once
furious torrent. One of these streams in particular we followed
many miles and when we lost the sound of its moving waters it
seemed as though a friend had gone. Some of the way our road
led through deep defiles in the mountain, and on either side from
both sides of the road, rose the almost perpendicular mountain
steep. Then again the gorge would widen and ? few acres of
cultivated land and a neat farm-house would diversify the scene.
Then we would toil over some precipitous height and then plunge
into a deep ravine. Sometimes our road lay north, sometimes
south, sometimes east and sometimes west. We dined at Wil-
mington, spent an hour or two and then pushed on. About three
o'clock we were overtaken by a shower, but we covered up well
and did not get wet. But here we saw the most beautiful sight
in the whole route, one which I never expect to witness again.
After the shower we stopped at the top of a hill to fix our bag-
gage, which was in danger of being wet by the rain that had fallen
into the carriage. While engaged in this manner our attention
was arrested by a most beautiful rainbow, formed in the hollow
below us. It was perfect in all its parts and extended merely
across the road, and not a hundred rods from us. Oh ! it was a
beautiful sight. But I must hasten on. For the rest of the trip
over the mountain I refer you to my journal, and even that is
more imperfect than I wish it was. When we reached the bottom
of the Mt. on the other side, we found it very stony, more so than
I ever saw before or ever hope to see again, if I have got to ride
over it. The stones are so thick that I should think the inhabit-
ants would be obliged to sharpen the spears of grass, so that they
can find their way between them. It is getting dark and I must
postpone writing for the present. We spent the night in East
Bennington. But I have forgotten to tell you, when half way
across the Mt. I .saw a chip squirrel run into his hiding-place.
The next morning it rained quite hard so we remained at the hotel
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 191
till after dinner. While waiting, a gentleman came up who
wanted to send his horse over to Troy, one that he hired there,
and concluding to finish his journey by stage, wanted it sent back.
So about two in the afternoon we started, one in each carriage.
When about half way to Troy it commenced raining, but we
bundled up and drove six miles in 35 minutes, and did not get
much wet. We reached Troy about six o'clock. Stopped at Mr.
S. F. Mather's, a sister of Mr. Reed. So I have seen Troy with-
out cost. When I go to New York I shall take the boat at Albany.
The next morn, we left Troy about 10 and arrived at Saratoga
at six. We stopped at the Prospect Mansion first, but Mr, R.
not thinking the rooms large enough for himself and wife, we
drove to Montgomery Hall. Here Mr. R. engaged rooms and I
went back to Prospect Mansion. I have a room on the second
floor and board for $3.50 per week. In the morning (Friday) I
went to the Congress Springs and drank six glasses before break-
fast. Here I found Corinth and Mary and Mrs. White of
Southampton, Julius White's wife. They board at Rev. Mr.
Crawford's for $2.50 per week. The Southamptoners form quite
a company and all board at this place. My journey of four days
board and all cost $4.74, while if I had come by Rail Road, it
would have cost $6. The girls came from Westfield for $4.50
each and probably carried their dinner. I am perfectly satisfied
with the cost of my tramp. The only thing that troubles me is
not hearing anything from my money. I took but $20. from Mr.
Hawley and if I do not get more I cannot stay but two weeks. It
seems strange that Uncle Lewis has not sent some word. I told
Mr. H. if he did not hear from it to write to me, and I have
watched every mail but received nothing. I did not imagine that
my leaving Northampton was of so much consequence. For I see
the very day I started the Daily Gazette stopped. Have you
heard from mother yet? If so, send me the letter. Is Nancy
going to Ohio? I am anxious to hear from you. Did you go to
South Hadley? How's Henrie and Mr. M.? remember me to
him. I am most worried about my money. The only way I
192 Smith College Studies in History
can account for it is on the supposition that Uncle L. has left
home and no one there is competent to transact the business. I
cannot write to mother nor to New York till I ascertain whether I
am going there are not. You wish to know how my health is I
suppose. I have not been here long enough to see any great change.
Have a first rate boarding place, not far from 20 boarders and
among them a Mr. Alvord from South Hadley. I generally get
up in the morn, about six, go to the spring, drink two glasses of
water, walk around for sometime, take two more, walk again
and drink two more. We breakfast at seven, dine at one and
take tea at six. I sent you a paper last Friday. We should have
been here a day earlier but for the rain. It was our intention to
have come directly from East Bennington to Saratoga, but we
could not do it in half a day and it would cost less to stay over
night in Troy, so we went there. I have not told you half that I
would like to about our ride, but have not room for more. I will
give you a description of Saratoga in my next. I make it a point
to call on the girls once a day and sometimes twice. Do write
as soon as you receive this. We have had very unpleasant
weather taken as a whole since I left home, and it seems as if I.
had been gone a month. Love to Sister Nancy and Henrie Guy.
Does Hen. miss Uncle James any? I do not think he does. H
my departure affects everything as it does the daily paper. Woe
to Northampton till I get back. Write soon and accept a kiss
from Brother James.
Sunday, July 26. We had a fire here last night about half
past three. It burned an old barn. I did not go to it. I have
served my time as fireman in Northampton, have no idea of trying
again at Saratoga Springs. There is not as much company here
as there generally is. How glad I shall be to see you again.
Now I do not wish to have you imagine that I am homesick, for
I am not in the least. There is plenty to be seen and plenty of
amusement, but one wants more spare shillings and sixpences
than I have got now. Have you had the blues yet? If you have
time I wish you would write to Aunt Lewis about my money even
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 193
if you put off writing to me. Once more I will say write soon.
Don't feel lonely and bad but just think how soon I shall be back.
Perhaps in a fortnight and maybe not in a month. And if I go
to New York not even then. I expect Dr. Thompson here in a
few days. Give Hen. a kiss and ask him where Uncle James is.
I will write to Mat. when I hear from you."
"Saratoga Springs, Aug. 10, 1846.*
Dear Mother :
Yesterday I received a letter from Mrs. Hitchcock, informing
me of your arrival at Tompkinsville. I have been at the Springs
three weeks to-day. My health is somewhat improved, but not so
much as I had expected. I have gained some, was weighed about
two weeks ago and had gained two pounds then. Do not know
how much I weigh now. It was my intention to have written
you immediately on my arrival here, making arrangements to
meet you in New York, but not receiving my money from Uncle
Lewis as soon as it was expected, I determined to wait until that
came, so as to be sure of going. Before the money was received
your letter came, saying that we had better not write to you while
you remained in Baltimore, so I have taken the earliest oppor-
tunity of being sure of addressing you. Yesterday's mail also
brought a letter from Julia. She was well as usual. Nancy went
home last Monday. Henrie Guy is as brisk as a bee. Says
"Baltigore" to perfection. But he will not remember either his
Grandmother or uncle, when they get home, I suppose. This
Saratoga life is not just the thing for me. I am sick of it. I
■shall leave town next week Thursday, one week from to-day;
remain in Albany through the night ; and go down the river in the
morning, so as to arrive on the Island in the last boat. How I
long for the time to come when I shall see you. I little thought
when you left of meeting you in New York. It was my intention
when I left home to have staid in New York about a month, but
I am afraid they will not care about keeping us both so long.
* It is evident from the preceding letter and also from references in this one,
that the latter should have been dated August 13, which fell upon a Thursday.
194 Smith College Studies in History
And now I wish to ask your advice about seeking, while there,
for some other employment than printing. I feel as long as I re-
main at work at the case, that I shall never get well. My time is
almost out with Mr. Hawley, and if I do not follow the business
after I am twenty-one, it will be of no use to stay with him any
longer. I would like to have you advise with some of them on
the Island about it and let me know when I see you. I should
like above all things, and I believe it would do me as much good
and more than anything else, a short voyage to sea. I suppose
you would not give your consent, but I should not go as a sailor,
I would like to be a clerk on board ship or something of that kind.
But enough of this for the present. Nothing of this kind has
ever been hinted to anyone yet. I would like you to speak with
Mr. Hitchcock or Dr. Harcourt or Mr. Rofif, or some of them
about it, if you think proper,
I am boarding at a Methodist minister's. Rev. Mr. Crawford's,
with Corinth Edwards and Mary Clarke. Mrs. Chas. Frary, Mrs.
Julius White and a Mrs. Hitchcock from Southampton have been
boarding here, but they left a few days since. We have had
quite a Southampton company amongst us. In the first place I
went and for two weeks boarded at Prospect Mansion for $3.50
per week, but that being a great distance from the Iodine Spring
(and the Dr. told me to drink of that water after I had been
here for some time) I moved to Mr. Crawford's, where I pay but
$3. It saves me one dollar, you see. Last week Dr. Jas. Thomp-
son and wife, Mrs. Kirkland and Rev. Mr. Swift came out here.
The Dr. and wife and Mrs. Kirkland left on Monday for New
York. Mr. Swift is here now. Dr. T. gave me some directions
while here and I feel some better than before.
I suppose you do not know how I came out here. It was one
of the pleasantest journeys I ever had. Mr. Jas. Reed of North-
ampton, was coming with his own horse and carriage and offered
to bring me provided I would pay half the expenses. We started
from N. on Monday (three weeks ago last Monday), spent the
first night in Brattleboro, the second in East Bennington, Vt. third
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 195
in Troy, and reached Saratoga about six o'clock on the afternoon
of the fourth. The second day's ride was most delightful. You
see I had the benefit of a ride across the country, and it did not
cost so much as it would to have come by Rail Road. Mr. Haw-
ley did not make any objection to my coming. I only told him
that it would be necessary for me to stay three or four weeks. I
shall not go to work at printing again till / am well. That I de-
cided upon when I left home. And if this does not cure me or
place me in a situation to be cured, I must go onto a farm, if
nothing else can be found for me to do. Time passes slowly
enough with me. It seems as though I had been gone from home
almost a year. And yet I am in no hurry to get back again.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear that your health is
better. I do not see but Julia gets along pretty well, considering.
Nancy has been there since a week before the Fourth of July.
And Martha is there now. I was expecting to hear that she was
lonesome enough after I left, but she does not show it in her
letters. Mat. came there soon after I came away. You spoke
in your letter about getting things for my tour. I only got some
shirts and one vest. I have not had that black one on since I
left home. Julia and Nancy made my shirts and fixed me ofif.
But I will tell you all about it when I see you.
This morning Mary Clarke and myself went to Saratoga Lake,
about four miles from here in the omnibus. We started from
home about nine and got back about half past one. We crossed
the lake in a small steamboat. On the other side is a sulphur
spring. The water is the clearest I ever saw but its taste is
nauseating in the extreme. Day before yesterday a company of
four from our boarding house made arrangements to go, but they
went ofif and left us because they were full. We were determined
to go, some of us at any rate. So Mary and myself started this
morning, Corinth did not wish to go. We had a very pleasant
time. The weather for most of the time since I came here has
been very warm. It is so now, but it is not, of course, equal to
what you have experienced in Baltimore. Corinth and Mary
196 Smith College Studies ix History
leave for home on Tuesday next. They will be obliged to stay
in Albany over night. I have four or five letters to write to send
by them before that time. I hope you will look al^out the city all
you can and I am sure you will enjoy yourself much. The Major
sent me an answer to my letter saying that he should be very glad
to see you but should not leave home this summer. He would be
glad to see you on your return home. Perhaps we had better
stop in Windsor and go and see Uncle Ammi too. I am afraid
he does not receive any papers since I left. Thomas Burnell is
in the office yet. In fact, if it had not been for him, my journey
would have cost me considerably more, or rat:her I would have
been obliged to buy several things which he has lent me.
Give my love to them all and accept much for yourself from
Your aff. son,
Several letters signed R. which appeared in the Hampshire
Herald during the summer of 1846, describe graphically and with
all the enthusiasm of youth, the drive from Brattleboro over the
mountains to Saratoga, the trip from Saratoga to New York City,
as far as Albany by a miserable railroad, and from there down
the Hudson by boat. Two of these letters, dated from Staten
Island, give us the assurance that he carried out his intention of
visiting his old home, where he found his mother who was await-
ing his escort home.
He wrote twice also to Mr. Hawley at this time, giving his
impressions of the city of New York, and these letters were each
printed in the next following issue of the Gazette and signed
J. R. T. An extract or two may be of interest, as showing the
immense difference between the New York of 1846 and the
"Among the public buildings of the city the Custom House,
Merchants' Exchange. City Hall and the Astor House rank first."
"The fact that the district of nearly 30 acres, burnt about a
year ago, is now, with the exception of a few houses entirely re-
built, shows the enterprise and activity of its business men."
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 197
"The object of greatest interest near the city at present is the
encampment of the California Expedition on Governor's Island,
comprising a thousand men under Col. Stevenson. They make a
striking appearance in their uniforms of gray mixed cloth trim-
med with red. There were also 2000 troops on the same island,
whose destination was Mexico."
It seems probable that his mother did consult the Staten Island
friends in regard to her son's future, but what their advice was,
we have no means of discovering. We only know that he re-
turned to Northampton and finished the period of his apprentice-
ship, which no doubt expired upon his twenty-first birthday in
December of that year.
These years of faithful application to daily tasks, to study and
to reading, together with his constant practice in composition, had
made him a valuable member of the office force, and before the
end of his apprenticeship he had not only been made foreman of
the printing office, but had been entrusted often with the over-
sight of the editorial department during Mr. Hawley's frequent
absences. It may well be believed that Mr. Hawley was glad to
retain him as journeyman, and he remained in that capacity until
What others thought of his ability as a writer in those early
days, may be judged by a letter, written under date of Jan. 26,
1847 by Samuel Bowles of Springfield and addressed to J. Eden,
Esq., Northampton, Mass.
*'Dear Sir :
First among the published letters from Printers who were
invited to attend the late Franklin anniversary at Rochester, I
find one from James R. Trumbull, Northampton, covering a very
able and capitally written article upon "The Press." I think if
Mr. Trumbull (by the way I don't know the man) could write
such articles as that, I should have heard of him before. No ! my
198 Smith College Studies in History
mind, at once, turns to you as the writer of that article — so just
and eloquent in thought.
I suppose you have the Rochester papers, containing these
letters in reply to invitations. Just mark a coincidence in the
commencement of James Harper's letter and mine — that both of
us have worked with P. Canfield, the Chairman of the Committee.
If you intend to publish in the Gazette (as I understand you
have the editorial chair there now) any of these letters, or mine
with them, please make several corrections — Say Editor of Re-
publican instead of Gazette — spell my name Bowles, and in the
sentiment at the close of the letter, say People's rights, instead of
Printer's rights. Yours truly,
This Mr. Eden, about whom I have been able to learn nothing
more and who was so far as I can ascertain never editor of the
Gazette, very generously turned this letter over to the young
author of the article in question, w^hich appeared on the front
page of the Gazette in the issue of February 9, 1847.
But the young man's health was still precarious, and in the fall
of 1848 he was again forced to seek rest and recuperation in a
trip which he describes in the following letter to his sister Martha,
who was still living in Westfield. The Ireland, to which he re-
fers, is Ireland Parish, a part of Holyoke, where his Sister Julia
and her family were then living.
"Northampton, Nov. 12, 1848.
Dear Sis :
My promise to write immediately on my return from New
York, remains as yet unfulfilled. It has not been for want of in-
clination on my part, I can assure you, that it has not been at-
tended to before. Since my return from N. Y. I have been as
busy as possible, hardly finding time to write up my other corre-
spondence, which has been woefully behind. But now that it is
all closed up, as a last tax in the way of letter-writing, I intend
to trouble myself with at present, is this epistle to you.
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 199
At New York I found things situated altogether different from
what I anticipated. In consequence of the prevalence of the Yel-
low Fever on Staten Island, Mr. Hitchcock and family had
moved to the city. So I spent all of my time in the city. There
were no vessels going out to sea that would return within the time
I had fixed as the limit of my absence from home. As an only
means, therefore, of accomplishing the object for which I left
home, I took passage on board a Boston Packet for Boston, via
Long Island Sound. We set sail from New York on Wednesday
noon and arrived in Boston on Sunday morning. Our passage
was fine. The captain said he had not experienced so smooth a
passage during the season. So you see I did not obtain the benefit
I anticipated. The weather was not rough enough to give scarce
any motion to the boat. We had fine moonlight nights and warm
sunshiny days. In fact the sun was so hot, that it burned my
face to a blister. Off Cape Cod we had splendid weather, too
good altogether. My stay in Boston was short. I left on Mon-
day for Springfield in the first train. While in Boston I visited
Bunker Hill Monument, but it being Sunday could not get into it,
so I was obliged to remain content as one of the "outsiders."
This was the only place of interest that I had even the pleasure of
seeing the outside of. I arrived at home on Monday in the three
o'clock train from Springfield, covered with dust, and more in-
clined to take a warm bath than anything else.
My health is not much benefitted by the journey, although I
feel better now than when I went, but I am always better in
cold than in warm weather. It is my intention to remain here
through the winter, and in the spring if no better to take a trip
through the western country and catch the fever and ague, curing
one disease by contracting another. But at present I can de-
termine on nothing. The result of the election, I am inclined to
think, has had a good effect on my health. At all events Hurrah-
ing for Taylor and Fillmore at the Whig Reading Room, as the
returns were received, made me so hoarse that for a day or two
it was impossible for me to speak much above a whisper.
200 Smith College Studies in History
The election of "Old Zack" by such an overwhelming majority
has exceeded the expectations of the most sanguine. We all sup-
posed it would be a close struggle and many doubted whether he
could be elected at all when they saw the feeling of dissatisfaction
which pervaded some parts of the North. But enough of politics.
Having elected our candidate we are satisfied, and I for one am
glad the contest is so near over. To-morrow will decide the cam-
paign both in the presidential and state elections, and no one will
rejoice more than myself at its close. Julia and Nancy were both
here Cattle Show. I was down to Ireland two weeks ago to-day.
They were as well as common. I think Mother looks better than
she did. But I am somewhat afraid she will never be contented
to live where she does now. Hen. is as mischievous as ever.
While I was there he heard me say something about hurrahing
for Taylor, and afterwards he would "hurrah for Taylor" every
little while. This was the first time he had ever heard the word
used, and then only in conversation not directed to him. He will
make a good whig I rather think, if his father doesn't turn Van-
Well Martha, how are you employing your time this winter?
not, I hope, as a great many young ladies with whom I am
acquainted, reading novels and works destructive rather than im-
proving to the mind. Let the reading of your leisure hours tend
to instruct while it pleases — to elevate and ennoble the thoughts
and feelings. I wish you were here to attend the course of Insti-
tute Lectures which are now about commencing, I hope you
will write on receipt of this and tell all about what you are doing
and what you propose to busy yourself about this winter.
I have not been to Southampton to spend those few weeks as
I intended some time ago. Sydenham Parsons and myself went
out there and staid one night last week at Mr. Theodore Parsons'.
We went for the purpose of hunting and a fine time we had of it
too. The squirrels, to be sure, were not very plenty, but we
managed to waste some powder and shot against fences and guide
boards besides killing six squirrels. We wandered all over
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 201
"Breakneck" and I thought that break-leg would be a much more
appropriate appellation before we got through.
Remember me to Mr, and Mrs. Chapman, Worcester and all
the rest. I hope you will write soon. If I spend any time in
Southampton, I shall endeavor to come to Westfield and make
you a visit.
From your aflf. Bro.
Editor of the Amherst "Express''
With his health impaired and no encouraging prospect for the
future, these must have been among the darkest days of his life,
although he maintained a cheerful appearance and a brave heart.
It is always darkest just before dawn, and this phenomenon of
nature often finds illustration in human life. His health im-
proved, by what means we know not, and in the spring of the
next year, 1849, the reward of his devotion to duty and his per-
sistent effort came to him in the opportunity to purchase and to
become editor of the "Hampshire and Franklin Express," pub-
lished in Amherst. How quickly the aspect of everything had
changed ! His dreams had come true ! He was established in
his chosen profession, in a position which he filled with success
In a little less than a year after the date of the last letter, on
the 6th of November, 1849, he married Harriet Kingsley, one of
the prettiest girls in Northampton. She was the daughter of
Edwin Kingsley, whose house and blacksmith shop formerly stood
on the site of the Academy of Music. The young couple made
their new home in Amherst in one half the house on Amity
Street, which belonged to Dr. and Mrs. Stratton, who themselves
occupied the other half. With the doctor, who was a dentist, and
his wife they formed a pleasant acquaintance, which lasted as
long as they lived.
Under Mr. Trumbull's management the paper prospered, and
in May, 1852, its pages were enlarged from six to seven columns
202 Smith College Studies in History
and printed on entirely new type. A glance over its files for
these four years carries one back to a time when other interests
filled men's thoughts, to be sure, and other problems confronted
them — a time, nevertheless, which was just as all-engrossing and
perhaps just as important in the development of the country as
The fugitive slave law and the fate of fugitive slaves are
frequently discussed in these pages — a reminder that a bloody
conflict was impending. The campaign of Winfield Scott, the
whig candidate for the presidency, with references to the meet-
ings, speeches, banners, etc., and especially the admonitions to
the voters, all have a familiar sound. Robberies and other crimes,
and also accidents to life and limb, seem as frequent as to-day,
till we remember that this paper was issued but once a week in-
stead of daily.
European news came only by the slow going ships, there was
no Atlantic Cable. The question of bringing the telegraph into
the town of Amherst, or at least as near as Northampton, was
brought up in one of the papers with the encouraging suggestion,
that only energy and initiative were needed to accomplish it.
Kossuth's tour through the United States was continually re-
ferred to and a full report given of his visit to Northampton on
the 24th of April, 1852. 3000 persons were crowded into the
First Church to hear him speak and $700, was raised for the cause
of Hungarian Freedom.
Jenny Lind's wonderful singing, her concert in the First
Church, Northampton in 1851, her marriage in Boston, her three
months' honeymoon on Round Hill, Northampton during the fol-
lowing winter and spring, and numerous anecdotes of her gener-
osity and her love for America, especially for Northampton, read
like an entrancing story.
In those days some rather surprising projects were entertained
and discussed, among others the annexation of Cuba, and the
transfer of the State House from Boston to some more centrally
located town in the state.
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 203
The editorials of the "Express" bear witness to the integrity
and sound common sense of the editor, as well as his devotion to
the whig party. In his farewell editorial, March 15, 1853, he
says: "Believing the principles professed by the Whig Party
best calculated to promote the permanent welfare of the country,
they have ever found a prominent position in the paper. . . .
Advocating always the distinctive principles of the Whig Party,
it may, and undoubtedly has been his (the editor's) misfortune
to utter sentiments in the excitement of a political campaign,
which in calmer moments would have remained unwritten. If so,
you must pardon something to inexperience and something to the
heat of youthful passion."
Editor of the Hampshire "Gazette''
On the 15th of March, 1853, Mr. Hawley sold the Hampshire
Gazette to Stephen W. Hopkins, Sidney Bridgman and Henry
Childs who were booksellers and stationers and therefore needed
someone to edit their paper. Their choice fell upon the young
man, whose management of the Amherst Express for four years
had been, as J. G. Holland states in his "History of Western
Massachusetts," so "ably sustained." J. R. Trumbull was an-
nounced as editor and assumed his new duties at once. This
position he maintained till January 1, 1858, when Thomas Hale
of Windsor, Vermont, became half owner and editor. But Hale's
connection with the paper was destined to be short-lived. Though,
to quote from his own pen, "the business of the Gazette has not
been so good at any time for the past five years as now," yet,
"from considerations of a personal nature, and with a view to
other business arrangements," he agreed to the transfer of the
paper, and Mr. Trumbull bought the entire plant, assuming the
control on the first of October. Mr. Trumbull then entered into
partnership with Henry S. Gere, editor of the Northampton
Courier, and in November of the same year the Hampshire
Gazette and Northampton Courier were merged into one. For
eighteen years, until Mr. Trumbull's retirement, the firm of Trum-
204 Smith College Studies in History
bull and Gere published the Gazette and Courier, and carried on a
successful job printing establishment.
When Mr. and Mrs. Trumbull moved from Amherst to
Northampton, they first occupied a house on Green Street, from
there they moved to Maple Street, then to the Prindle House,
which stood where the park next to the Academy now is. The
last home they rented was in the Mayer house on Elm Street,
located on the lot now vacant between Chemistry Hall and the
Tenney House. While living here Mr. Trumbull built the resi-
dence at the corner of Park and Prospect Streets, completing it in
1869 and there they spent the remainder of their days.
It was during these years that Mr. and Mrs. Trumbull, having
no children of their own, took Sister Julia's 12-year-old daughter
Nancy into their family, regarding her always as their own,
though there was no legal adoption. Her home was with them
as long as they lived, and in their declining years she was able in
some measure to repay them for all their goodness to her.
Meanwhile the struggle against ill health still went on, until
in the winter of 1874-5 severe hemorrhages from the nose made
it necessary for the busy man to drop everything and abstain from
all exertion, mental as well as physical. What such enforced
idleness meant to so active a man, can scarcely be imagined except
by those who have experienced it, but no word of complaint ever
passed his lips. For nearly two years he was unable to attend to
business, and in January, 1877 he severed his connection with the
Gazette and Courier.
As he grew stronger, he spent much time in the open air, dis-
playing great taste in the arrangement of his grounds, which at
that time covered an acre and a half. He took keen delight in his
flowers, especially in his water garden in the lower part of the
grounds, where the Smith College laundry is now being built.
This was supplied from a natural spring which had been dis-
covered when the cellar for his house was dug. This water was
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 205
collected in a tub in the upper part of the garden, thus supplying
the force for a small fountain which played into the pond. At
one time there were 16 varieties of water plants in the pond ; and
the goldfish which had been put into it, flourished until there
were four or five dozen of them, which became so tame that they
would eat cracker out of our hands. A pleasant part of the daily
program was a walk down to the pond to feed the fishes.
Though Mr. Trumbull never became very strong after the ill-
ness which necessitated his retirement, yet his days of usefulness
were by no means over. In 1876 he published a Directory and
Historical Register of Northampton which contained 218 pages.
In 1884 he was elected City Treasurer and filled that office six
years, being elected year after year without opposition, till in
1889 he declined a renomination. He was a member of the Clark
Library committee for over 30 years, and in 1894 became one of
the trustees of Forbes Library, holding this office until two years
before his death. He was also one of the Board of Almoners for
the Whiting Street Fund, and for many years clerk of the First
Mr. Trumbull's intense love of nature, which has appeared in
his descriptions of the short journeys he took, led him to become
an enthusiastic member of the Northampton Natural History
Society, which was formed some time during the '80s. Among
his papers is an article on the wren family, which was undoubtedly
prepared for a meeting of this society. This and a collection of
butterflies, which he made, show not a scientific knowledge of the
subject, to be sure, but genuine interest in all living and growing
The History of Northampton
But the most important work of his life was still to be accom-
plished. For ten years before his retirement, he had been look-
ing up the early records of the town, and in 1881 he came into
possession and half ownership of the Judd Manuscripts, which
he and Deacon George Hubbard bought of the heirs of Sylvester
Judd. These remarkable manuscripts, supposed to have been
206 Smith College Studies in History
compiled in 27 years from 1831 to 1858, are of enormous extent,
comprising 54 volumes or 19,000 closely written pages.
As the Hampshire Gazette Supplement, issued in celebration
of the fifth anniversary of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, states:
"The books are a collection of facts relative to persons, families,
records, deeds, anecdotes and of town meeting doings, of towns
from Northampton to New Haven, with information about towns
in Eastern Massachusetts. The four volumes on Northampton
contain extracts from deeds and records, showing the allotment
of home lots, long lists of inventories of estates, births, marriages
and deaths. One volume relates to early families. He gave the
name and site of the original allotment of lands and traced them
nearly to 1800. There are interviews with many aged persons
relative to ancient customs. The contents form no continuous
story, and are put together just as Mr. Judd found leisure to get
This valuable material was of little practical use without an
index, and to the work of indexing Mr. Trumbull first applied
himself. This almost Herculean task occupied him for years;
but at length he completed the indexes to 16 volumes, namely:
eleven volumes entitled Connecticut, one of deeds and the four
upon Northampton. Just when he began the work of putting
the mass of material together for the History of Northampton,
it is impossible to say, but it seems probable that it was about the
My own most vivid memory of my uncle is confined to these
last 25 years of his life. The regular program for the day in-
cluded two hours or so spent in the garden, and it was a pleasing
sight to see him walking about among his flowers, nearly always
followed closely by the dog and cats, for he was a great lover of
pets, and all animals recognized him as a friend. Indeed it was
a common saying in the family, that they never paid any attention
to anybody else when he was present. After this time in the
open air, he was for the rest of the morning and a ])art of the
afternoon to be found in his study, a pleasant soutlnvest room
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 207
on the second floor. Here with the fire-proof safe containing
the precious Judd Manuscripts at his left hand, he sat at his table,
writing or pouring over the yellowed pages with their records of
the past. It was a labor in which he found the keenest pleasure,
and no effort, no expenditure of time necessary for the verifi-
cation of his statements, was ever a burden to him. I think we
scarcely realized in those days what he was accomplishing, until
in December of the year 1898 he completed the publication of the
first volume of his history. But before this the second volume
had been practically finished ; a most fortunate thing, as he w^as
able to do comparatively little work of any kind during the last
winter and spring of his life.
His last three years were marked by increasing feebleness,
and though he appeared uniformly cheerful and courageous, it
seems when we look back, as though he were trying to hide the
melancholy realization, that his days on earth were numbered.
A package of letters, written by him during this period to the
little niece of a deceased friend of the family, and lovingly pre-
served by her through all these years, has recently been sent to
me for perusal. Although these letters are bright and entertain-
ing, suited to the comprehension of a child, yet it is easy to read
between the lines the consciousness on his part of his growing
weakness and of the narrowing of his sphere of activities. A
few extracts from them will serve to illustrate Mr. Trumbull's
droll way of telling things as well as his habit of putting the best
foot forward and making light of his infirmities.
Northampton, Aug. 16, 1896.
My Dear May:
Your very nice and interesting letter was duly received and I
was very glad to know that you could write so well and so cor-
rectly. It was always a great pleasure to me to get letters from
Aunt Ida when she was away on her vacations, and 1 hope you
208 Smith College Studies in History
will find enjoyment enough in mine to enable us to keep up a
correspondence that may grow in interest to both of us.
I have often thought of you during the hot days of last week,
and wished that I could enjoy the bathing and the fun you have.
. . . . The next thing I am expecting is that you will have
a wheel of your own. Tell Mamma that will be the next thing
her little girl will be teasing for, and then she will want to go to
the post office every time and not give Paul a chance to get the
I wish you could come up here and help us feed the fishes
and pet the cat. That reminds me to inquire about the kittens
we saw at Duxbury. How is the little lame one and have the
rest all grown up to be big cats? Our fish are as tame as ever,
and always crowd to the edge of the pond when anyone goes
near it, and then they are always hungry, fairly tumbling over
one another to get a chance to nibble the cracker, and when the
cracker is gone they bite your fingers. In the pond with the
fishes are a great many bullfrogs, and a few days ago Jamie, and
Nat Faxon, a cousin of his from Stoughton, came over with
Jamie's air-gun and shot half a dozen or more of the frogs.
They were big old fellows and the boys carried off their hind
legs to have them cooked. It is said that frogs legs are equal
to the nicest chicken. I never have eaten any, but am willing to
take anybody's word for it, rather than try to eat them myself."
Under date of August 1, 1897, he writes:
"My Dear May :
Your letter of the 25tli was duly received. I was much inter-
ested in the cobweb party, and would like to know something
more about it. Were you dressed in cobwebs, and where did you
get them all? Did you stand out on the lawn till the spiders
spun their webs all over you, or did you have veils made of cob-
webs, ornamented with live spiders in the act of catching flies?
You see I never had the pleasure of attending such a party.
When I was young spiders were never industrious enough to
spin webs for parties. I suppose you must have a new kind
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 209
now, probably sea-shore spiders, that by constant bathing are
able to work faster. When you come up to Prospect Cottage
again, maybe if it is the season for spiders, we will try to get up
a genuine cobweb entertainment."
The following extract is from a letter written March 13, '98.
"We were all so sorry to hear that you have been sick, and
sincerely hope that you are better. We have all been hoping that
we should see you at the Easter vacation. Now that you cannot
come, the only way will be for us to go to Boston and visit you,
but I don't know when there will be any chance of that. I am
expecting to publish the first volume of my history of North-
ampton in June, am very much hurried in getting it out. Aunt
Nan is helping me and I hardly know how I should get along
without her. I hope you will get well soon, or at least well
enough to come up to our sanitarium where we can cure you up
with good air, green grass and lots of fun.
All of our invalids are slowly improving, and with good
weather, quiet dispositions, good consciences, I think will all be
"March 27, 1898.
My Dear May :
As I haven't heard from you for some little time, I am very
much afraid that you are worse, though I had much rather hear
that you had forgotten to write, than to know that you have been
prevented by sickness.
We are all slowly improving at Prospect Cottage, and hope to
be all of us quite well when the spring has fairly opened.
The weather has been unusually mild for March, and we have
peas planted and hotbeds made, a week or ten days earlier than
usual. Our tulip and daffy beds have already started, the daffies
are all in bud and will soon be in blossom. The fish-pond has
been uncovered, and they are all there, Sampson, Jumbo, Sieg-
fried, Prince of Orange and all the rest, large as life and fat as
butter. We have already commenced our summer work of daily
feeding them with cracker, and they all come sv/arming up to us
whenever we go near them.
210 Smith College Studies ix History
Now we all want you to pack your little gripsack, put on your
little bonnet, and get inside of your little red cloak, and come up
with Mary Frary, and make us as long a visit as Mamma is
willing to spare you. If you are sick, we have all of us our
medicine which we have to take every day. and I think we shall
be willing to spare a little if you should need it. It is a good
kind of medicine, is doing us all good, and no doubt will have the
same effect on you.
There are lots of robins, English sparrows and other birds that
I cannot name, all over the lawn, and then Bennie has found his
voice, and it seems as if he could not sing enough.
Then you and I can play ball, croquet or anything we like on
the lawn. There is no knowing what lots of good a little of the
Prospect Cottage fresh air will do you. When you get ready to
go back home, maybe we can induce one of the saucy robins to
go as chaperone. If they should all decline on account of family
duties, I will undertake the task myself, if you will only come."
The following letter, dated May 1, indicates that this urgent
invitation was accepted, and Mr. Trumbull went as far as Spring-
field with the child and put her in care of an acquaintance for
the rest of the trip home.
"My Dear May :
"Your unexpected letter of the 28th was duly received. You
need not send me the money for the fare, but keep it as a birth-
day present from your old friend and admirer.
I accomplished all my business in Springfield and reached
home in time for dinner. I suppose you had a good time on the
cars with Representative Crouch, and that he entertained you so
thoroughly that the way did not seem long.
I have decorated my room since you left, by hanging the
American flag in the front window in the shape of a curtain. It
shows that we are all patriotic at P. C, and perfectly willing
that Spain should be soundly whipped. The flag shows well from
Two letters, written in January, 1899, speak of his poor health.
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 211
In the first he says : "My health is improving but I am not well
yet. I am not doing anything. I go down town most every day
unless the weather is too unpleasant, and generally spend the
afternoon on the lounge, sleeping most of the time in company
with 'Nig,' the kitten."
January 16 he writes : "I felt so miserable yesterday, that I
could not get up courage to answer your letter. To-day I am
not feeling much better but will send you a short screed, so
that you will know that we have not entirely forgotten you. I
have not been out of the house for several days, and don't
think I shall go to-day. I spend a good deal of the time in sleep.
Most of the afternoons I am stretched on the lounge with 'Nig'
for company, and we both sleep as hard as we can. In some
respects I am improving but don't get strength as fast as I wish."
The letter for February 6 begins : "Yesterday I spent most
of the day before the open fire in the library, holding 'Nig,' and
both of us had our brains baked so hard that it was impossible
for either of us to write letters. To-day I am not much better,
but as I have not seen 'Nig' since breakfast, I suppose he is as
well as usual."
"Northampton, March, 5, 1899.
My Dear May :
Your nice letter of the 20th came duly to hand. Your two
riddles are too hard for us. The first one about the flower in
the face, Mrs. Trumbull guessed at once, she said it was tulips,
and I guess she is right. The other about the Spaniards is a
poser. No one has had the gumption to get any answer to it
as yet. It must be that our guessing caps are worn out, and we
shall have to get a new supply. But in the meantime wo should
be glad if you will send us the answer in your next letter.
To-day is rainy and no one but Johanna [the maid] has gone
to church. Aunt Nan wanted to go but the wetness overhead
as well as underfoot prevented. The rest of us — well, we had
our usual Sunday infirmity, and concluded that we had rather
212 Smith College Studies in History
sit by the fire in the library, and so we did. Aly health is some-
what improved but I havn't got entirely well yet.
We are beginning to count the days when we can again feed
the fishes. They have been housed up under the ice all winter
and no doubt are lonesome. Just as soon as the snow and ice
are gone we shall endeavor to make up lost time and delayed
cracker with them. We shall all be glad when the snow has dis-
appeared and gardening time comes again.
If you have any more conundrums, send us easy ones. You
don't know how it wrenches our intellects to try to guess such
hard ones. We had a show of Mrs. Jarley's Wax Works at
the Town Hall the other evening, and last night Miss Capen had
it repeated in her gymnasium for the benefit of her school."
"March 19, 1899.
As usual we are all at home to-day. In fact the going is so
bad that none of us dared to venture out. Everything is cov-
ered with ice, sidewalks, trees, roads and everything out of doors
that has no umbrella over it. Then we are all sick. Aunt Nan
has rheumatism, Mrs. Trumbull is too tired, Martha is afraid
of falling on the ice and I have a bad cold. Havn't been out of
the house for a week. I am improving and hope to be all right
in a few days. You can imagine Prospect Cottage turned into
a sort of hospital.
We were all so glad to hear from your mother that there
was a chance that you would make us a visit. You don't know
how rejoiced we shall be to see you once more. Perhaps you
may not think it very great fun to visit a hospital, but we will
try and get well before you come, and then we won't be selfish
either, but will give you some of our medicine, share and share
alike. Let us know in your next letter when you propose to
come, and we will make all arrangements to get well before the
time comes. Tell us all about how you are coming. Hope I
shall be well enough to meet you in Springfield, if you come that
How very sad and to us very sudden was the death of Mr.
Recollections of James Russell Trumbull 213
Henry Burt. He was here at the house a few weeks before his
death. He was a very pleasant and agreeable man and I shall
miss him very much, as we had much in common in the work
we had in hand.
We all send lots of love and kisses to you all, and long for
the time when you will be with us again.
From your loving friend,
J. R. T."
This visit was, I think, never made, probably because of his
ste)adily failing health. Yet in his next letter of May 7, he still
speaks of getting better. 'Tt is about time for me to answer
some of your nice letters. I am so glad that you do not wait
for the invalid to answer them, but do the writing and answer-
ing yourself. I am happy to say that my health is slowly im-
proving. I am still able to lie down, and manage to get down
to the pond once and sometimes twice in a day unless the weather
Many thanks to you for the nice May flowers. They were
very fresh and fragrant. It was so good of you to remember
the lazy invalid of P. C. who has not had spunk enough to write
even an apology for a letter.
Did Aunt Nan tell you how kind the neighbors have been?
They have been sending me trout and wine jelly and cider. I
suppose that is the reason that I have improved so much. I am
still weak and cannot exercise scarce at all without getting very
tired and out of breath. I wish you could be here with me this
summer to cheer me up and do some errands occasionally.
It would be so nice if you could come with your mother.
Perhaps if you coax her she will come and bring you. You could
paddle in the pond with the bullfrogs and fishes, and have just
as good a time as at Duxbury, and there would not be the least
danger of getting your mouth full of salt water."
The very last of these letters to his "little sweetheart" as
Mr. Trumbull was wont to call the child, was dated May 23,
1899. Here again he speaks of "slowly improving in health
214 Smith College Studies in History
though not yet very rugged." He mentions also the painting of
the house, the garden, the cat and kittens and the fishes in the
same cheerful tone.
From this time on it was a steady decline until the third of
July, when he passed into the higher life. Mrs. Trumbull died
in December of the same year, surviving her husband only five
Much has been said about the value of his legacy to the city
of Northampton, and many have been the expressions of esteem
and of sincere appreciation of his work. But we who knew him
in his own home, cherish above all his achievements our memory
of the genial, unassuming, thoughtful, gentle man. His ready
sympathy and kindness, his unfailing patience and courage in his
struggle against ill health, his quaint sense of humor, always con-
tagious, even though it found expression in oft repeated witti-
cisms, endeared him to his friends, while his calm good sense and
his absolute fairness and integrity filled them with the deepest
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
014 069 080 6