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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Dec 2d 1839. Monday. Since my last date I have frequently been deeply depressed in spirits, & have as often shaken off the depression. Surrounded with dear friends & where under ordinary circumstances I should be able to remain contented & happy I have been lonely & unhappy. I say lonely for I am pro tem without business or the prospect of any for some time to come. Last week Tuesday I went to Willseyville & next morning started for Elmira. Remained there till Friday morning & returned to W & Sat to Ithaca where I found all about in their usual condition. Had a fine dinner for Thanksgiving. My trip was as pleasant as could have been expected for the season. I regretted leaving Elmira again & hope the time will soon come for me to find it necessary to return. I never was so completely disgusted with myself & situation as I have been for the last two or three weeks. And yet I cannot consider myself in the fault & would gladly put an end to such complete ennui. I am unfitted for study & find my mind one complete chaos.

Exercise & business of some kind seems the food of the mind & without it soon becomes weak & effeminate.

This evening intend to leave for i.Dryden, NY;Dryden where I think of spending a few days among old friends. In this way I intend to pass away the time until Pa & Ma return from Albany & then shall hope to decide on something to do. — Weather still pleasant & dry. Unless we have rain there must be suffering during the winter just before us.

Dec 7th [1839] Saturday. According to my intentions I took the stage for i.Dryden, NY;Dryden Monday Evening & arrived there about 12 oclk. The morning found me among old friends & in the place where my boy hood passed pleasantly & quickly away. Face after face appeared as in years gone by save the masks of Time plainly imprinted on every countenance. Many school fellows are now seen among those who have assumed the character & situation of manhood & those who were then young are now in the walks of social life & youthful sports.

The most impressive change was in the growth & beauty of the many shade trees planted by my own hand around two situations both of which were once my residence & home & where now no trace of home is left but the houses & trees. In fact I had but to look around me & witness the work of years. I spent four days among relatives & friends very pleasantly & returned yesterday afternoon. Found Julia somewhat improved in health. To-day was most agreeably entertained by the arrival of Father & Mother from Albany & have passed the day with them. I have some fears for Fathers health but hope it will improve. Subject to severe attacks of bilious cholic I fear they may yet prove fatal but hope Providence may favor him in the enjoyment of many years. —— Prospects for business very disheartening tho’ rather better than a few days since. See but little prospect of getting back to Elmira this winter. — Weather has been most charming for the season but the want of water is becoming great.

Dec 31st [1839] Tuesday. Ithaca. Three weeks ago this evening I left for Willseyville with A.F.P. where I remained until the 21st inst when Br A & myself started for Elmira. Spent Sabbath in E & heard Rev Mr Fowler all day. Was pleased with the man. Done our business & returned to Horse-Heads Wed AM. Attended ladies’ fair in PM & evening & Thurs morning were bound for home. Remained at home weather bound till this morning. Am now in Ithaca & among Ithaca friends. Prospects seem fair for our returning to Elmira in the spring but thus far business promises everything but success. Times remain close as ever but Anticipation keeps her charm of better times soon constantly before us & we gladly follow in the road to Anticipated Success.

The business of Elmira tho’ cut short materially by the pressure in money matters has done about what was anticipated under the circumstances. A small business true, but in good seasons & under favorable times could be made profitable. The seasons business counts to myself about $800. in profits. About $600. of which I have expended & I am sure I cannot tell where. Adding to this debts now owing of about $200. & I stand even with world with a little property on this last day of 1839. This eventful year of my life & one in which I have seen not only the smiles of Prosperity & enjoyed the favors of Providence bountifully but have also seen the wo begone features of Adversity cutting short the cherished hope of success.

In the affection of a dear wife I am fully rewarded for every exertion but when business proves so directly opposed to our expectations the mind will feel its effects. Time may prove all to have been for our best good & that our trust should be in the Omnipotence of Heaven.

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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