• New York City: 1853-54

    Submitted by scott on Wed, 10/13/2021 - 10:41

    Sam wrote his mother with a somewhat backhanded apology for shocking her at his destination. He then described an exhibit of what would later become “the wild men of Borneo,” and a brief mention of the Crystal Palace and the Marble Palace. Sam found lodging in a mechanics’ boarding house on Duane Street.

  • August 29, 1853

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    August 29 Monday – Sam got “a permanent situation…in a book and job office and went to work.” He was paid 23 cents per 1000 ems, the lowest rate. He worked in the fifth floor office of John A. Gray, 95-97 Cliff Street [MTL 1: 9; Powers, MT A Life 65]. His earnings were four dollars a week; he managed to save as much as fifty cents a week [MTB 96].

     

  • August 31, 1853

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    August 31 Wednesday – In New York, Sam wrote to his mother, Jane Clemens, of his new position, his rooming house, a derogatory description of “brats” in the city, and food. My dear Mother: New York is at present overstocked with printers; and I suppose they are from the South, driven North by the yellow fever. I got a permanent situation on Monday morning, in a book and job office, and went to work. The printers here are badly organized, and therefore have to work for various prices. These prices are 23, 25, 28, 30, 32, and 35 cents per 1,000 ems.

  • September 3, 1853

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    September 3? Saturday – In New York, Sam wrote at 2 AM to his sister, Pamela Moffett in St. Louis. After describing Crystal Palace of the World’s Fair, he wrote that the daily visitors average 6,000, double Hannibal’s population, and that the city’s water was supplied by the Croton Aqueduct from a reservoir in Westchester County, some thirty eight miles away.Such figures impressed Sam. After descriptions he wrote of family:

  • September 22, 1853

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    September 22 Thursday – Orion sold the Hannibal Journal and moved the family to Muscatine, Iowa, where he soon started another paper, the Muscatine Journal with a partner, John Mahin [MTL 1: 18n3; Powers, Dangerous 229-30].

  • September 30, 1853

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    September 30 Friday – The Muscatine Journal published its first edition. Orion sent a copy to Sam, who later submitted letters for Orion to use in the paper [Powers, Dangerous 230].

  • October 8, 1853

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    October 8 Saturday – In New York, Sam wrote to Pamela, saying he hadn’t written to any of the family for some time and gave the reason that he had “been fooling myself with the idea that I was going to leave New York, every day for the last two weeks. I have taken a liking to the abominable place…” He confessed he didn’t know where the family was, due to his receipt some days before of the final issue of the Journal. He supposed they were in St. Louis. Sam told of seeing Edwin Forrest in the role of Spartacus in the play Gladiator at the Broadway Theater.

  • March 1854

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    March, mid – Sam returned to New York. There are no letters for this period, so the reasons are unclear, but it was probable that he lost his job, given that his pay in Philadelphia was more than he’d received in New York. It’s also possible that Sam was growing restless, having been away from home nearly a year. There are unclaimed letters for Sam in Philadelphia dated Mar. 10 and also Mar. 17, indicating he had gone to New York by Mar. 10. Sam’s memory of this period was vague, and it seems likely it was one of struggle.

  • April 1854

    Submitted by scott on Sun, 10/31/2021 - 17:26

    April –Sam may have returned home as early as April, as there is no mention of him working in New York during this period in later letters or notes.