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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Nov 2d 1839 — There seems nothing else thought or talked about but the politics of the day. The Van Buren or Loco-foco party have assailed by every weapon that their genius all combined can produce to break down the Whig candidate once their own man, & the Whigs as strongly opposing them. Mr. A. B. Dickinson senator now nominated by the Whigs seems to bring out all the malice & corruption of the Loco-foco in every respect but especially they attack his private character & business affairs in which he is as innocent as any driving & industrious money making man can be.

Wrote to Julia last evening in answer to hers of Oct 31st & now hope to go to Ithaca on Monday or Tuesday. I go now in preference to Thurs as contemplated in order if possible to do some good in i.Dryden, NY;Dryden on Wed the last day of Election. I feel that great interests are at stake & will do all I can to further my own party thinking them right.

Nov 8th [1839] Friday. Ithaca. This week on Monday I left Elmira for Ithaca via of Owego. After giving in my vote I stepped into the stage & reached Owego in the evening & started about 12 oclk for this place. Came in about 6 oclk Tuesday morning. I found Julia not so well as I had expected. Her health seems delicate & her spirits low. I wish I could remove all her depression of feelings & create a lively & cheerful state of mind for the effect upon her health would be highly beneficial. —— I find that the Election thus far seems to have gone favorably & shall wish the Whigs all the success their cause deserves. The weather since Monday has been stormy & unpleasant. Some snow & rain with cold & unpleasant winds. Real Nov weather.

Nov 16th [1839] Saturday Still at Ithaca doing nothing & nothing to do. Making a virtue of necessity I try to enjoy myself tolerably well but often wish myself back to Elmira. My time is however as pleasantly occupied as the times admit. If I was in Elmira I should be entirely idle & here I am surrounded with friends & in the society of old acquaintances. — Never since the memorable days of the last war has there been such times as the business community now see. In fact every individual in the whole community feels the pressure & knows not how to turn or what to do. Business seems entirely stopped & all gaze around them expecting the crash, the destruction of hard earned fortunes. When these days will end no one pretends to know. As yet very few have failed but all would if forced to meet their demands. I am occasionally very much depressed in spirits but derive comfort from the knowledge that thousands are in similar & worse condition.

Weather fine for the season with but very little rain.

Nov 19th 1839 Tuesday. Yesterday PM Julia & myself went to Willseyville & remained untill this PM 4 oclk & then returned to Ithaca. The weather for a few days past has been the very beau ideal of November. Snow & rain with sunshine & heavy threatening clouds, high winds & mud being the usual accompaniment of such weather.

We found Br AFP & family in fine spirits & enjoyed the visit much.

Times about as usual & no very promising appearances of a change. I am getting impatient & want to be at something. I cannot sit still too long for time drags heavily & the consciousness of being without business is enough to make any one feel unpleasant.

A few days after coming to Ithaca I thought it would be advisable for Julia to go South for the winter & after consulting with her physicians wrote to Father & Br H.W.S. for advice. Pa answers that it would be impossible to assist me & Henry that he thought it not necessary unless positively demanded. For the willingness Pa manifested I was heartily grateful & doubt not had the time been favorable he would have said not a word to our going & readily assisted us if needful. This shows the effect of the pressure for when health comes in competition with money & if money is ours to command it is freely given. In good times we could command hundreds where we cannot ten now.

Nov 21st ‘39. Thursday. Weather severely cold with snow & high winds. Roads all frozen & everything like winter.

Yesterday I saw the celebrated paintings of Dunlaps — Christ rejected & Calvary. I thought they were fine but did not answer my expectations. I should not dare to attempt a criticism for I scarcely could detect a fault so great as to deserve notice but the general design I did not like, especially Calvary.

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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