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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Sept 2d [1839] Monday. To me this day has been one continued series of news. News from all quarters has poured in upon me most abundantly for which I must fast for weeks doubtless before I shall have another return. A letter from Br AFP & Caroline came in yesterday or this morning & this afternoon a letter from AOHyde from Marshall Mich & one from Julia completed the scene. I have been greatly diverted by so much correspondence & have just been blowing off a part of my flow of spirits in nonsense to Caroline. I have finished her letter & to-morrow morning by the leave of Providence I shall start for Ithaca & hope by 4 or 5 oclk PM to receive to my arms once again the fond Julia. Then or before my return I hope to arrange my affairs for the wedding.

Sept 9th [1839] Monday. It will be well perhaps to give a general description of my jaunt & then find myself at the close in Elmira & alone. On the morning of Tuesday Sept 3d I was fearful of having been left by the stage but 9 oclk was successful & I was on my way to Ithaca. My society was very pleasant having Miss M. Seely. Nothing worthy of note happening on the way save a little trouble with a fractious horse we at last reached our port. Never have I seen grasshoppers more abundant than this season. Last summer the little yellow butterfly was unusually plenty & this season very rare—this I noticed on my whole route. — The evening I spent with Julia & of course we were happy. Wednesday [Sept 4th] morning 8 oclk we started for Willseyville & found AFP & family well. Julia not feeling well the time seemed not so pleasant but passed smoothly away & we returned to tea. At tea saw Miss Susan Linn the anticipated wife of my anticipated wife’s brother. The evening was pleasantly spent. I remained with Julia till after 11 oclk & then retired & at 1/2 past 5 A.M. [Sept 5th] was up & on my way to the stage office. I took the steamboat & found on board Miss Seely bound with me to the beautiful village of Aurora. We landed there at 11 oclk of Thurs. & I was soon in the stage & on my way to Franklins. I found him at home & what with eating apples & plums with regular meals, rambling on the lake shore & talking over our affairs & of old times our hours were soon spent. [Sept 6th] Morning came & at 11 oclk I was again on my return to Ithaca. I enjoyed my visit with F— in the highest & felt perfectly at home with him. My visits with him have always delightful to me. About 4 PM we found ourselves in Ithaca & the rest of the day was passed with Julia. In fact all my time that is not occupied wholly with business while at Ithaca is generally spent in her company. [Sept 7th] Saturday A.M. I was with her till about 11 oclk & then sought out Brother A.F.P. I found him & done my business. About 5 PM Julia & myself spent an hour in riding & then spent the evening together. The weather was extremely warm & sultry. Our spirits were rather low. [Sept 8th] Sabbath AM I heard Rev. Mr. Mann & then remained with J— thro’ the rest of the day & evening. [Sept 9th] Monday 8 oclk I was on the road to Elmira where bed time now finds me expecting in a few days to be a married man. I can scarcely think it possible or imagine it is possible but it is no less true. One week from Wed week 8 oclk PM will likely fix upon the bonds of matrimony.

Sept 10th [1839] Tuesday. This has been a very fine & pleasant day. Should the weather remain as it has been for a few days longer corn & buckwheat must be free from danger making good crops of nearly everything in this part of the world. I wrote to Caroline to-day but felt very little like writing to any one.

Sept 12th [1839] Thursday. Yesterday & to-day have been two cold days especially to-day. I think however that next week will see a change to pleasant weather.

I wrote yesterday to Julia & have regretted that I sent it all day. It was exactly calculated to depress her spirits & I could have desired a contrary effect. I hope to hear from her by the morrows mail & shall anticipate nothing very flattering with respect to her health. In some respects time passes very slowly away in others quite rapidly. When I think of next week & of all I now think I gain then time moves lazily but when I think of all the importance & responsibility which will probably be attached to its seven suns then time seems to have bro’t me even to the spot which I most dread — the many heartless forms connected with the ceremony. I dread the idea of becoming too conspicuous a character as bridegroom & that I shall seem to be the director of so much performance. I dread all appertaining to the marriage ceremony till we get fairly settled & at home.

Sept 14th [1839] Saturday. Not having for good reasons been able to attend to my journal I will say as to weather that Friday as yesterday was a cold windy day & in the evening cold still & clear producing of course a heavy frost. Vines were nearly all killed & everything affected more or less. I was most happy in getting a letter from Julia & of all her letters none displays so good a spirit under the circumstances as does her last. Tho’ only one page in length yet it was worth several perusals. In it came Mr. Brooks & Miss Luce’s notes. I have been making some preparations to-day & fear I shall not be half prepared now for the occasion. Have this evening been to hear the first effort of the Presbyterian organ & like it very well. I most earnestly hope that the church will be able to get a pastor for at present there is a most deplorable state of affairs to say nothing of the tone of religious feeling.

Sept 15th [1839] Sabbath. This has been an autumnal day there being a cool damp air heavy south wind & prospects of rain.

The day has passed rather smoothly away & the hour for retiring at hand. I have heard Rev. Mr. Hastings thro’ the day but was not extremely well pleased with his discourses. The new organ was well played & that most pleasing part of the religious services seemed much more pleasant than usual. — Another Sabbath should Providence favor our designs I shall have the company & happiness of spending the evening with my wife now my Julia. I have anticipated great pleasure for the winter evenings & should life & health be ours I hope & think that this may not be the only winter that will pass pleasantly away for if domestic peace & comfort be ours our days will ever be peaceful tho’ much be adverse in life & contrary to our wishes. But Oh what a momentous step when properly looked upon & in all its bearings. May Heaven be merciful & may we live not alone for each other but to be useful & for the world. That there is great comfort in doing good I doubt not and that I would gladly live so as to accomplish great good I sincerely trust. In what way or whether in any peculiar & direct way I care not so long as good is done.

Sept. 16th [1839] Monday. All is now ready for a start in the morning for Ithaca & with the favors of Providence forty seven or eight hours will end my celibacy & will bring upon me the cares of a family & home. It would seem that this would be the time for many reflections but I could not say anything this evening that could be intelligible to anyone or even myself upon a second reading. My mind is in a complete state of confusion & I am at one time here at another in Ithaca, then thinking over the dreaded hour — again I find myself with my Julia at Elmira enjoying what we have long wished, each others society — in fact I hardly know where I am. Enough is it for me, that the years of childhood are gone, that boy hood is gone, that the sports & favorite amusements of youth are gone, that years have flown on the wings of time, & that I am upon the point where all that is important & responsible is joined. Upon that spot where for reasons to me unknown I have never expected to stand. I have often thought this a point in life upon which hangs every one’s strongest hopes & deepest disappointments. ‘Tis here that the tenderest affections are called into play & that the prospects of the future present only one bright unfading scene. Around this union must ever cluster the fond memories of youth when age shall have opened the vanities of earth & found the transitory & unsubstantial affairs of the world. In truth every association is one uninterrupted source of pleasure. Grateful should be my heart that I am indeed blessed with so much that seems like the bounties of heaven. A few weeks past & I was expecting to watch her spirit wing her way home, sooner than share life with one to me so dear the joys of matrimony. That sorrow & trouble with the blasting effects of adversity may or will never come would be the extreme of folly to expect but that we may by the blessing of God live usefully to the world & to each other we may better desire. That our hearts be governed by right principles & feelings seems the most important cause of all in our success in life & in our hopes of accomplishing our object in living to do good.

Sept 19th [1839] Thursday. Have just come in from Ithaca this PM but am too much fatigued to give a full description of my absence in which all that is important in the life of a man has taken place. I will defer all this till a time more at leisure & when I feel a little more easy than I now do. Wm S.F. & Miss Harriet Putnam are with us but think of leaving in the morning for home. I hope I may feel refreshed by the bracing powers of sleep & feel like myself when morning shall come.

Sept 20th [1839] Friday. Another day has flown & we have commenced life thus far under most auspicious circumstances. —— But to review a little I will go back to Tuesday morning. About 1/2 after 8 oclk Mrs & Miss Luce & Mr. Brooks with myself were on our way to Ithaca. We arrived after a pleasant ride in that place about 5 PM. I was soon as convenience would allow with Julia. The time wore on & Wed PM came. While in my room I saw WmSF alight from the coach & in a few moments I was with him & Miss Putnam. Then came the cousins from i.Dryden, NY;Dryden — after a Brother or rather the brothers & while preparations were making time was not idle & the hour came. In a heavy shower I came to the door but it soon gave way & the guests all being assembled with some little trepidation & with my own Julia upon my arm, we descended to the door & only to return with my own dear wife. I was somewhat disconcerted but all passed easily off & the evening passed pleasantly away. Notwithstanding all I had dreaded yet I was with my wife in the morning & now for the moment I leave to seek her where then I left her reposing.

Sept. 22 [1839] Sabbath. This has been one of Autumns finest loveliest days. The evening during the fore part, the most charming imaginable. The moon lit scene as one looked abroad was truly enchanting. Clouds soon overcast the sky & rain closed the evening.

This has been our first Sabbath & tho’ not spent in every respect as we would have wished it has passed pleasantly & we hope not unprofitably away. The AM we attended the Pres ch & heard Rev Mr Fowler & was much pleased with the discourse. This PM heard Mr Winslow. With reading, conversation &c the day has passed quickly away. Julia seems in good spirits tho’ I fear somewhat weary. — Heaven seems to smile upon me & mine at this time & O may gratitude fill our hearts. I have been blessed beyond my expectations & gladly would I make a return. Not that I could expect to merit or repay them but thro’ the gratefulness of my heart. Long may we live as we have now begun, both happily & pleasantly.

Sept 23d [1839] Monday. This has been a most delightsome day, indeed it has been the very model of pleasant weather in my opinion. I like not warm sultry & damp weather or cold rainy & chilly, but a medium.

The day has passed pleasantly. With me just now business & money matters are in a most unpleasant situation. On the whole however I should do wrong did I not enjoy myself. In fact there could be but a very few additions that would change my condition for the better. I would too, very gladly learn to be content with what I have. In my domestic relations I can ask no more. Julia & myself wrote a short letter to her home.

Sept. 25th [1839] Wednesday. This has been a most lonely & unpleasant day. It has rained almost continually since last night. — One week of our married life has passed pleasantly away & the prospects brighten for other & happy days yet to come.

We had anticipated a letter from Ithaca & from Caroline but have rec’d neither. Think they are rather silent. Have spent the whole day together in looking over & arranging old letters reading &c.

Sept 26th [1839] Thurs. To-day has been a cold & rather unpleasant day. In most respects I have felt very well.

Yesterday was a dull day & business affairs seemed all so different from what could be wished that I felt almost disheartened but to-day every thing has assumed the contrary appearance. With Julia I have spent a part of the time very pleasantly indeed. Went out this PM riding not so much for the pleasure as the benefit. Called this evening on Miss Hart. A week has passed & it has seemed in many respects as only a moment since we came to Elmira. When I look at all that has transpired & the changes of circumstances within the last few days with us both then time seems to have passed slowly. The events have been those of the most deeply interesting & momentous of any in life but Heaven grant they may be followed by success.

Sept. 28th [1839] Saturday. Yesterday & to-day have been two very cold & unpleasant days with chilling winds & rain. Last night we had some snow & this morning it was frozen hard.

Rec’d a letter from HWSage last evening which was quite a treat for us both. Thus far we have enjoyed ourselves very well, that is, judging from myself

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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