Handwritten Diary for the period January 1, 1863 through March 11, 1871 [Civil War, Farming, Weather, Politics, Economics and Prices; Abolition of Slavery, Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation and Assassination, and more]

Handwritten Diary for the period January 1, 1863 through March 11, 1871 [Civil War, Farming, Weather, Politics, Economics and Prices; Abolition of Slavery, Abraham Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation and Assassination, and more]

Coffin, Alexander H. [1805 -1890]

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Place Published: Poughkeepsie, NY
Publisher: Alexander H. Coffin
Date Published: 1863-1871
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
Book Id: 78

Description

The original, handwritten, Diary of Alexander H. Coffin for the period beginning on January 1, 1863 and continuing through and including March 11, 1871, noted by him to be the his "Diary No. 3." Coffin served as Postmaster General of Mansfield in Dutchess County, New York, did work as a Tax Assessor, and owned and operated Hemlock Farm in Dutchess County, New York. Other installments in his mult-volume Diary are held by the Dutchess County Historical Society, Poughkeepsie, NY (written during the period 1851 & 1859) and by The New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division (written during the period 1888-1890). Coffin begins this installment of his Diary stating "this Book is the third one I have used in keeping diary of [Many?] events, farming, weather...much of it of but little interest to any one but myself,..., it has aftertimes been of much use by way of reference, and much Satisfaction [underscored] to know what [underscored], and when [underscored]...." Contrary to his protestations, we find the Diary to be rather interesting, especially as it overlapped with America's Civil War. The Diary [which is in Good or better condition -- the spine is perished and the boards and a few pages at the front and back have come loose, but the body of the pages is largely intact] contains the title page [Signed by Coffin], plus approximately 215 pages of text, together with various items tipped in, and focuses on Coffin's life as a farmer, the effects of the Civil War on his life and on prices and wages, major events of the Civil War, marriages, deaths Celebrations, Politics -- both local and national -- weather, daily life, travels, and more. The items attached or loosely laid in include: an early newspaper clipping of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, a newspaper clipping of Horace Greeley's 'MY NOTIONS OF A WOMAN'S RIGHTS', a newspaper clipping of a Poem by George W. Bungay on the completion of the National Railroad, newspaper clipping on the Strength of the Rebels in the field - Muster Rolls of the Confederate Army for 1862, 1863, and 1864. Also, we have prepared a 7 to 8 page (single space) of many of the Diary's most interesting entries. They include, but are not limited to: 1863: victory of Rosencrans at Murfreesboro -- a highly important 1863 battle; movements of the Army of the Potomac and the taking of Fredericksburg; Rumors of the taking of Richmond by the Union Army which turned out to be inaccurate; hopes for an early end to the Rebellion; Lincoln's calls for additional soldiers for the Union Army; General Robert E. Lee's movements and battles; the relieving and replacement of various Union Generals; that "our War for Independence from Slavery in the South does not progress very rapidly"; the death of Rebel Generals Longstreet and Hill; refusal of permission to Rebel Vice President to go to Washington to deliver a letter to Lincoln from Jefferson Davis; riots in New York; the effect of War on wages and on the prices of goods; the death of John B. Floyd "Buchanan's thief"; rumors of Rebel soldiers rebelling against their commanders; North Caroling Papers calling for Peace; 1864: General Sherman's marching South; Union and Rebel battle casualties; nomination of General McClellan and Mr. Pendleton by Democrats for President and Vice President; Coffin's opinion of the Copperhead party; Copperhead party voter fraud; Lincoln's reelection; Sherman's burning of Atlanta and Rome, Georgia, release of Union Soldiers captured, imprisoned, and abused by the Rebels; Meeting of Lincoln and Seward with Rebel Peace Commissioners who used the meeting to demand acknowledgement of the Confederacy's Independence; Rebel evacuation of Charleston, SC; Lincoln's call for 300,000 more men; 1865: Congressional vote to Amend the Constitution to Abolish Slavery; "Glorious War News! - Prest Lincoln dated a dispatch to his wife from Jeff Davis's Mansion in Richmond, lately evacuated; Burkeville, Va. battle results; Lee's surrender to Grant; thoughts by many that Grant's terms were too lenient; an address by H. Ward Beecher; News of Lincoln's Assassination at Ford's Theatre and Assassination of Seward in his bed [the latter of which proved to be in error as Seward survived the attack]; less leniency for the Rebels presumed likely after Lincoln's Assassination; Presidential offer of $100,000 reward for capture of Jefferson Davis, $25,000 each for several others; "All the Rebels are giving up, Armies Surrendering &c..."; Jefferson Davis and Wife coming to Washington, Sherman's Army coming home; "I fear our President is showing too much lenity to Rebels, pardoning &c they are having things pretty much their own way". 1866: President Johnson's veto of the Freedmen's Bill and it Congress's subsequent override; 1867: rumor that General Grant and H. Ward Beecher had both gone over to the Johnson party; opposition to letting Rebels take front seats in Congress without some penance; threats of more War at Baltimore and New Orleans; Coffin's meeting General Serrel who planted the "Swamp Angel" that fired 4 miles into Charleston, SC during its resistance; Coffin's visit to Nantucket Island where his Ancestors lived; Negro Suffrage; Tristan Coffin going to hear Charles Dickens read in Brooklyn; 1868: Great excitement over Impeachment of President Johnson and high chance of conviction; the Chicago Convention; Nomination of Grant and Colfax for President and Vice President; "Great Negro Celebration of Emancipation ....Genl Grant to be inaugurated. Now, all friends to the Country hope that Secession & Copperheadism, having no head will be ended, and that we may not be cursed with another Andy Johnson for all time to come."; Great Celebration Meeting at the Academy of Music for Colored People on the Ratification of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, giving then the right to vote, etc.. US Senator Mr. Revels of Mississippi is to make a speech. The Diary contains much more information than that which is described above and presents a FASCINATING ACCOUNT OF THE CIVIL WAR FROM A UNION FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE AS WELL AS OF ORDINARY LIFE IN THE CIVIL WAR ERA AND AFTER, AND SHOWS HOW ORDINARY LIFE CONTINUED DURING THE CIVIL WAR AND SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF THE CIVIL WAR THEREON. WE SELDOM SEE SUCH WONDERFUL ACCOUNTS FROM NONCOMBATANTS.


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By This Publisher: Alexander H. Coffin

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