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
|Transcribed by Diane Bender
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
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.
Joyce's Search Tip - December 2010
||Do You Know that you can search just the
355 pages of our
Diaries and Letters on this site by using the Diaries
button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current
What's New Page? But diaries and letters are wonderful sources
to understand the culture of time and place. Read them and enjoy them slowly.
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  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  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.
Published On Tri-Counties Site On 7/27/99
By Joyce M. Tice