19 September 1860 - 18 November 1860
September 19 Wednesday – Sam piloted the Alonzo Child (493 tons), co-pilots Horace Bixby, Will Bowen, Sam Brown; Captains David DeHaven and James O’Neal. This was the last steamboat that Sam would pilot. The Alonzo Child left on this date for New Orleans.
September 28 Friday – The Alonzo Child arrived in New Orleans
September 29 Saturday – The Alonzo Child left for St. Louis. Before leaving, Sam wrote a short note from New Orleans to his brother Orion. October 6 Saturday – The Alonzo Child arrived in St. Louis.
October 9 Tuesday – The Alonzo Child left for New Orleans.
October 20 Saturday – The Alonzo Child arrived in New Orleans
October 21 Sunday – The Alonzo Child left for St. Louis
October 28 Sunday – The Alonzo Child arrived in St. Louis.
October 31 Wednesday – The Alonzo Child left for New Orleans.
November 5 Monday – Samuel Erasmus Moffett was born to Pamela and William Moffett. Sam was an uncle for the third time [MTL 1: 383].
November 9 Friday – The Alonzo Child arrived in New Orleans
November 10 Saturday – The Alonzo Child left for St. Louis.
November 11 Sunday – Sam ran the Alonzo Child aground, about seventy-three miles above New Orleans at the Houmas Plantation. It remained stuck for 28 hours [MTL 1: 105 n2].
November 12 Monday – A rising tide freed the Alonzo Child [MTL 1: 105n2].
November 18 Sunday – The Alonzo Child arrived in St. Louis.
November 21 Wednesday – Sam wrote from St. Louis to his brother Orion and family about running the Alonzo Child aground, about prices of poultry, eggs, and apples in New Orleans. Sam, ever the speculator, wrote:
My Dear Brother: At last, I have succeeded in scraping together moments enough to write you. And it’s all owing to my own enterprise, too—for, running in the fog, on the coast, in order to beat another boat, I grounded the “Child” on the bank, at nearly flood-tide, where we had to stay until the “great” tide ebbed and flowed again (24 hours,) before she floated off. And that dry-bank spell so warped and twisted the packet, and caused her to leak at such a rate, that she had to enter protest and go on the dock, here, which delays us until Friday morning. We had intended to leave today. As soon as we arrived here last Sunday morning, I jumped aboard the “McDowell” and went down to look at the river—grounded 100 miles below here—25 miles this side of the “crossing” which I started down to look at—stayed aground 24 hours—and by that time I grew tired and returned here to be ready for to-day. I am sorry now that I did not hail a down-stream boat and go on—I would have had plenty of time. The New Orleans market fluctuates. If any man doubts this proposition, let him try it once. Trip before last, chickens sold rapidly on the levee at $700 per doz—last trip they were not worth $300. Trip before last, eggs were worth $35 @ 40cper doz—last trip they were selling at 12½— which was rather discouraging, considering that we were in the market with 3,600 dozen, which we paid 15 cents for—together with 18 barrels of apples, which were not worth a d—m— We expected to get $6 or 7 per bbl. for them. We stored the infernal produce, and shall wait for the market to fluctuate again. But in the meantime, Nil desperandum—I am deep in another egg purchase, now.
Day By Day reports Sam still aboard the Alonzo Child from November 23 to January 7
November 23 Friday – The Alonzo Child left for New Orleans.
November 30 Friday – Sam’s 25th birthday.
December 1 Saturday – The Alonzo Child arrived in New Orleans.
December 4 Tuesday – The Alonzo Child left for St. Louis.
December 11 Tuesday – The Alonzo Child arrived in Cairo, Illinois, where it laid up until Jan. 8 1861 due to ice in the river.
January 7 Monday – Brother Orion wrote Sam from Memphis. His letter of introduction to Samuel Taylor Glover (1813-1884) was intended to obtain a letter of introduction to Edward Bates (1793-1869), Lincoln’s attorney general. Orion hoped to get a government position to provide his family with a stable income and to pay debts We had a had a hearty laugh, as well as some of our acquaintances of the feminine gender (in my absence) heads of families, over your last letter. … I am greatly obliged to you for the Tri-weekly Republican till 1st next April. You could hardly have made me a more acceptable present. Jennie is equally delighted with her books. I have read them all through [MTL 1: 114n9].