John Jay Johns Journal/1860-1865

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John Jay Johns Journal by John Jay Johns
1860-1865
Source: Location of handwritten original unknown. Excerption by Anne Durfee Gauss before 1932. Transcription by Florence Johns in 1960s. Transcribed to softcopy by Susan D. Chambless, 1999.

RECIPE FOR PICKLING HAMS

100 Lbs Hams, 9 lbs salt, 20z saltpetre, 2 lbs white sugar,
1 at syrup, 4 oz saleratus. Boil and skim - 10 gals water.
Put in hams for 3 weeks. Take out 24 hrs and put back for
3 weeks and then smoke.

Sept. 28, 1860. Visited the St. Louis Fair yesterday – at least 100,000 people present. A grand affair. Saw the Prince of Wales, an unassuming modest-looking youth, very plain, nothing striking or commanding in his appearance.

Nov. 22, 1860. Great excitement in the South about the election of Lincoln to the Presidency. Strong threats of secession by the cotton states. It has had the effect to produce a money panic and at present the indications are alarming.

Dec. 13, 1860. Great pecuniary distress in the country owing to the political discussions which have arisen out of the election of Lincoln for President. Several of the Southern States threaten secession, and will in all probability go. It is a dark time for our country. The North has agitated the subject of slavery until the South is maddened to desperation and unless she retraces her steps, the Union can not stand. The Lord is our only help.

Dec. 30, 1861. Sabbath evening. I feel constrained to say now as the year is about closing "hitherto has the Lord helped me". I have record that the Lord has greatly blessed us as a family during the past year. What a rich experience of his abounding goodness have we enjoyed’. Health and plenty, domestic and social joys, and precious religious privileges. We have now nine children. What a precious charge to train and educate for time and eternity. Who is sufficient for these things? O Lord, I commit them to thee evermore, Amen. The weather is quite cold. Two days ago had a heavy rain. Our little son Glover has been quite sick with pneumonia for two days. Our land is now suffering great distress, pecuniarily and politically. The North and South are arrayed against each other in bitter hostility on the slavery question. South Carolina has seceded. Other Southern states are preparing to do so soon. Disunion and civil war threaten us. Men's hearts fail them from fear of terrible calamities. Human wisdom it utterly at fault to settle the difficulty. God alone can deliver us. The President has appointed a day of fasting and prayer for the nation. May the Lord save this people and make us a praise in the earth.

Jan. 31, 1861. Our country is still in a gloomy and distracted condition. Six states have seceded from the Union. Congress still refuses to settle the difficulty by adopting the Crittenden or any other compromise. But there are hopeful indications that the border slave and free states may yet effect a settlement of the matter. God grant that the Union may be preserved.

July 2, 1861. Very cool last night and this morning, clear, a large comet in view towards the north.

Dec. 6, 1861. The oldest inhabitant doesn't remember such warm weather as we are having now. We are sitting in the house tonight with doors and windows open and without fire. We had a good rain a few days ago and the wheat looks fine.

Dec. 18, 1861. The weather continues charming, almost tropical, Indian Summer. Occasional white frosts.

Dec. 20, 1861. Weather changed today. Wind northwest, cold and cloudy.

Dec. 25, 1861. Civil War is still raging with all its fury in this land. Missouri is suffering terribly, owing to its border situation and the division among her own people. War brewing with England on account of the capture of Mason and Slidell, Southern Commissioners by Captain Wilkes on board the English vessel "Trent".

May 30, 1862. The Virginia Hotel burned down yesterday. The town was in great danger for awhile.

October 20, 1862. This day we buried our negro woman Ally. She died yesterday at two o'clock in the afternoon of disease of the bowels after two weeks illness. She was 66 years old.

Jan. 1, 1863. The old year goes. The terrible civil War still rages in the land. Hired Henry (negro) to Borgmeyer at $20.00 per month for the year. How wonderfully has a kind providence protected us as a family while so many friends (families) have been visited by desolation and ruin.

Sept. 14, 1863. My negro man Henry ran off yesterday. Many negroes are leaving every week.

Oct. 5, 1863. Chester Johns has been with us several days. Left this morning. Louisa (daughter by first wife) left this morning for Mrs. Dorsett’s to teach.

Oct. 20, 1863. Hired of Dick Overall negro woman, with man and child, at $50 per year – he to clothe and pay doctor's bills.

Dec. 21, 1863. Lindsay and I have today brought a good many of our cattle home from Dardenne.

April 8, 1864. Raining hard this morning. Mag and Mr. Borden left this morning for Philadelphia.

Mag and Mr. Borden would be Margaret Lindsay Durfee and her husband Edmund Payson Borden. Margaret was Jane Amanda Durfee’s sister. SDC 1/26/1999

July 23, 1864. Today our little son George fell from a tree and broke both arms. The left arm was broken near the elbow joint and is a compound fracture, which makes it very serious. The right arm is broken just above the writs.

Oct. 10, 1864. Last night we had a terrible storm of wind and rain. Several valuable houses were damaged, Mr. Eugene Gauss, the Methodist Church, Gibbs Factory and several others.

Jan. 1, 1865. I am to pay Jack, my old negro man, per year $60.00 and clothe him and pay all expenses.

Jan. 5, 1865. Mild. Today my daughter Louisa was married to William Morgan of Paris, Illinois, was originally from Kentucky.

Jan. 17, 1865. Our negro Cely left us today. The poor negroes are emancipated but they are now and will suffer a great deal.

March 20, 1865. I went to St. Louis today to attend a meeting of Board of Directors of Lindenwood Female College. William Granger, colored man, moved his family into the old Kitchen at the farm. Is to pay $2.50 per month rent.

April 6, 1865. At six o'clock this evening my daughter Mary (first wife) was married to Mr. Thomas J. Pearce.

April 13, 1865. Colored man, Anthony, moved into my servant's house today at $5.00 per month.

April 15, 1865. This is a dark and gloomy day for the nation. President Lincoln was assassinated in the theater in Washington last night, and Secretary Seward murdered in his sick bed.

July 24, 1865. Fred, my son, cut his foot very badly with an axe.

Aug. 12, 1865. Moved Aunt Katy (colored) into my house from farm.

Aug. 14, 1865. Today, Monday, Mrs. Durfee and Arthur and George left for Philadelphia to visit Mag. (Mrs. Borden).

Mrs. Durfee would be Ann Glenday Durfee, mother of Jane Amanda Durfee. SDC 1/26/1999

Aug. 16, 1865. Annie fell from fence at Mr. Pourie's on the pavement and cut her forehead.

Sept. 5, 1865. Baltimore (negro) is about finishing the plastering of the kitchen.

Oct. 19, 1865. Eclipse of the sun Today.

Nov. 11, 1865. Our little child, Maggie, died last night at seven o'clock of the croup, nearly 3 yrs old.

Nov. 12, 1865. Today, Sabbath, a lovely autumn day, we buried our dear little Maggie in the graveyard at Lindenwood.

Nov. 25, 1865. We have had Indian summer now for nearly one Month, with hardly any variation of temperature. The days are clear and beautiful and mild and the nights a little frosty.