Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Diaries & Letters of Tri-Counties
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
1837 - 1840 Albert M. Potter  of Elmira NY
Diary of Albert M. Potter
Elmira, Chemung County NY
Year: 1837-1840
Transcribed by Diane Bender
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July 1st 1839. If before we have had cool weather, we now have warm, for this has been an extremely warm day & tho’ it is, now, nearly 10 PM yet it remains warm & sultry. Prospects seemed to favor a shower but it now bids fair for another summer’s day before a change.

I have spent this evening with Mr. Hill’s Esq playing chess & have enjoyed it very much. In fact chess is the only game that seems worthy of being played —— O how beautiful is music when wafted to one’s ear upon the gentle zephyrs of the evening when the din & noise of the day is hushed to silence & the air is soft & clear, when one’s mind if ever is at rest & the fatigues of the day are in part lost by the invigorating powers of the balmy air, then how welcome is some distant music. We have been favored with a few airs from a band of music from some source probably the Chemung Band & they played very well. At least it sounds well at a distance.

July 3d [1839] Wednesday Evening. Should Providence permit to-morrow at this time I shall again be in Ithaca & shall have heard all about the 10 days of my absence from my dear J— This is like many other sudden & unexpected starts that I take & cannot therefore deserve very particular attention. I confess that under existing circumstances I should rather have remained in E— but business calls & I must go. — Nothing very fine going off for the evening of the 3d but suppose they will make up to-morrow.

This has been a fine day tho’ rather warm. Good weather for farmers.

July 8th [1839] — Monday Eve. July 3d I found it necessary for me to leave for Ithaca & left on Thurs July 4th. One passenger & myself had quite a celebration in singing talking reading &c with lemonade till we arrived at Ithaca. For the first time saw farmers haying & think it rather early. Saw some fine fire works in the evening. I found Julia gaining rapidly & was pleased to see so favorable a change in so short a time. Met there Ithaca Brother Aaron & Cranston, two cousins Hart & Betsy with his wife & her beau, making quite a meeting for an accidental one. The time passed very pleasantly along till the present date in the morning when circumstances ordered me home & I reluctantly the family & one on whom I have bestowed the strong & lasting affections of my heart. The day has been one of the finest I ever saw for travelling. This PM about 4 or 5 we had a very heavy shower with hail & great rain, with near & sharp lightning. Found Mrs. Luce at work on my carpet & we succeeded in getting it down in my room to its comfort & good looks. —— Saw cherries ripe & raspberries to-day for the first time this year. Everything is very flattering save the corn-crop which is rather backward.

July 9th [1839] Tuesday. This day has been very warm & sultry. A very little rain. Have had for the first time this season new potatoes as a meal.

Have written to WmSF to-day & would have copied it but for the length. The hail of yesterday done considerable damage but the vein was quite narrow & the general damage but little. This eve I have been enjoying the benefit of some music with Miss Cleeves. I like much to play when I can find some one that I can play with.

July 13th [1839] Saturday. The weather for a few days has been very pleasant but for a variety an occasional shower. To-day business has been very lively altho’ it bids fair to bring a change in a few days. Strange that every few months there must come such a general cessation of business or account of money affairs.

July 14th [1839] Sunday. To-day I have heard Mr. Norton a new comer as a stated supply [preacher] for a time & perhaps he will be settled. Nothing new. Liked him very much thus far.

July 17th [1839] Wednesday. Brother AFP came to Elmira Monday Eve from Willseyville & to-morrow morning I intend to return with him. Shall expect to see Pa & Ma besides the Ithacanians.

Have been highly gratified this Eve in hearing that Julia still continues to gain in health. Hope I may see her in a few days at least. —— The weather has been very singular for a week of two. Warm sultry air & showers constantly to be seen (in the PM in particular) in some direction. Bad weather for wheat. Business rather dull & hard times for getting money—prospects gloomy.

July 24th [1839] Wed. Eve. Nine oclk. — This PM about 4 oclk I reached Elmira after having visited at Willseyville & Ithaca. The weather has been extremely warm & has in some measure destroyed the pleasure of travelling.

The day we left was excessively warm but we reached home about 8 P.M. & found my Mother, Sister & all our family in excellent health & Spirits. Especially Mother — she has not looked better in several years to my knowledge. Attended church in Canelon Sabbath & heard Mr. Riggs as usual. Monday about 1 AM I was expecting the car at the millwith the anticipation of seeing Ithaca early but had the exquisite pleasure of waiting its coming till after 4 oclk. The time was passed quickly by wrapping around me a cloak & with a board pile for bed & valise for pillow I slept & watched for the car. It came & I was in Ithaca at 6 A.M. —— After breakfast & a few hours rest I rapped at the door of Mrs. Sages’ & found my convalescent Julia even better than I had expected. The day tho’ rainy passed rapidly & pleasantly away. Tuesday morning for the first time (this season) I had cucumbers at the Tompkins House. A fine day & we improved it well in riding visiting &c. For the first this season have seen several farmers harvesting to-day (Wed) on my return. This evening I have been very much pleased & annoyed by a little child spoiled by the effect of bad training. Tho’ extremely quick & with the politeness of a city lady yet pettish & turbulent when crossed. The admiration of all & disturbance too, as she knows no bounds or government. The most passionate creature I ever saw. Wish I knew her name but do not.

July 28th [1839] Sabbath. This day tho’ very warm has not been so excessively so, as has been the few first days. The day has been occupied in hearing Mr. Spaulding in the A.M. soliciting funds for the Auburn Theo. Seminary. P.M. in hearing Rev. Mr. Brown Epis. I hope the Pres ch will be able to get in some able & good man for they have been long enough without steady preaching to feel its need. A church without a pastor like a home without an inhabitant to ruin runs. — For myself I wish there was a Dutch Ref ch here, or perhaps I might rather say, I wish I had life enough to enjoy the privileges already at hand, for then I should live better than I now do. I should however feel differently if I had those of my own opinion to meet with, for I find myself fast declining from the Pres ch & as it now stands cannot see how so many divisions & parties can be united or harmonious. There is fault somewhere. — That I may have little to do with such affairs Heaven grant & that I may live to do good & to glorify my Redeemer I most sincerely pray. That the world has at the present a strong hold on my mind & feelings I am well aware & that I would break the spell I feel certain, that I will I truly hope.

July 30th [1839] Tuesday. — This probably has been in most respects the warmest day we have this season. The air being light & heated almost to suffocation rendered it the most depressing of any day I have seen this season.

I had expected to have heard from Julia this P.M. but have not & shall certainly hear to-morrow P.M. I fear the effects of this weather on her health.

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1837 Feb 1839 March 1839 April 1839 May 1839 June 1839
July 1839 Aug. 1839 Sept. 1839 Oct. 1839 Nov. 1839 Dec. 1839
Jan. 1840 Feb. 1840 March 1840 April 1840 May 1840 June 1840
July 1840 Aug. 1840 Sept. 1840 Oct. 1840 Nov. 1840 Dec. 1840

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 7/27/99
By Joyce M. Tice