[To "Voices from 19th-Century America"]

Recollections of a Lifetime, by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1856)

Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860) was a pivotal figure in early 19th-century American publishing. His Recollections is a look at over 50 years of American culture, and at a busy, productive life. Early American religion, passenger pigeons, the solar eclipse of 1806, the meteor of 1807, the Hartford Convention, the Revolution of 1848 -- Goodrich experienced it all. Filled with anecdotes and heavily footnoted, this 1100-page work is a rich source of information on early American publishing and New England life.

Goodrich's epic work is presented here with its monumental footnotes in files separate from the main text. I'm (very) slowly annotating the book.

VOLUME 1:

LETTER I.

Introductory and Explanatory ... 9

LETTER II.

Geography and Chronology--The Old Brown House--Grandfathers--Ridgefield--The Meeting-House--Parson Mead--Keeler's Tavern--Lieutenant Smith--The Cannon-Ball ... 15

LETTER III.

The first Remembered Event--High Ridge--The Spy-glass--Sea and Mountain--The Peel--The Black Patch in the road ... 24

LETTER IV.

Education in New England--The Burial Ground of the Suicide--West Lane--Old Chichester--The School-House--The First Day at School--Aunt Delight--Lewis Olmstead--A Return after Twenty Years--Peter Parley and Mother Goose ... 30

LETTER V.

The Joyous Nature of Childhood--Drawbacks--The Small-Pox--The Pest-House--Our House a Hospital--Inoculation--The Force of Early Impressions--Rogers' Pleasures of Memory--My First Whistle--My Sister's Recollections of a Sunday Afternoon--The Song of Kalewala-- Poetic Character of Early Life--Obligations to make Childhood Happy--Beautiful Instinct of Mothers--Improvements in the Training of Children Suggested--Example of our Saviour--The Family a Divine Institution--Christian Marriage ... 41

LETTER VI.

The Inner Life of Towns--Physical Aspect and Character of Ridgefield--Effects of Cultivation upon Climate--Energetic Character of the First Settlers of Ridgefield--Classes of the People as to Descent--Their Occupations--Newspapers--Position of my Father's Family--Management of the Farm--Domestic Economy--Mechanical Professions--Beef and Pork--The Thanksgiving Turkey--Bread--Fuel--Flint and Steel--Friction Matches--Prof. Silliman--Pyroligneous Acid--Maple Sugar--Rum--Dram-drinking--Tansey Bitters--Brandy-- Whisky--The First "Still"--Wine--Dr. G.'s Sacramental Wine--Domestic Products--Bread and Butter--Linen and Woolen Cloth--Cotton-- Flax and Wool--The Little Spinning-wheel--Sally St. John and the Rat-trap-- Manufacture of Wool--Molly Gregory and Fuging Tunes--The Tanner and Hatter--The Revolving Shoemaker--Whipping the Cat--Carpets--Coverlids and Quiltings--Village Bees and Raisings--The Meetlng-House that was destroyed by Lightning--Deaconing a Hymn ... 56

LETTER VII.

Domestic Habits of the People--Meals--Servants and Masters--Dress--Amusements--Festivals--Marriages--Funerals--Dancing--Winter Sports--Up and Down--My Two Grandmothers ... 83

LETTER VIII.

Interest in Mechanical Devices--Agriculture--My Parents Design me for a Carpenter--The Dawn of the Age of Invention--Fulton, &c.--Perpetual Motion--Whittling--Gentlemen--St. Paul, King Alfred, Daniel Webster, &c.--Desire of Improvement, a New England Characteristic--Hunting--The Bow and Arrow--The Fowling-piece--Pigeons-- Anecdote of Parson M....--Audubon, and Wilson--The Passenger Pigeon--Sporting Rambles--The Blacksnake and Screech-owl--Fishing--Advantages of Country Life and Country Training ... 90

LETTER IX.

Death of Washington--Jefferson and Democracy--Ridgefield on the Great Thoroughfare between New York and Boston--Jerome Bonaparte and his Young Wife--Oliver Wolcott, Governor Treadwell, and Deacon Olmstead--Inauguration of Jefferson--Jerry Mead and Ensign Keeler--Democracy and Federalism--Charter of Charles II.--Elizur Goodrich, Deacon Bishop, and President Jefferson--Abraham Bishop and "About Enough Democracy" ... 106

LETTER X.

How People traveled Fifty Years ago--Timothy Pickering--Manners along the Road--Jefferson and Shoe-strings--Mr. Priest and Mr. Democrat--Barbers at Washington--James Madison and the Queue--Winter and Sleighing--Comfortable Meeting-house--The Stove Party and the Anti-Stove Party--The first Chaise built in Ridgefield--The Beginning of the Carriage Manufacture there ... 126

LETTER XI.

Up-town and Downtown--East End and West End--Master Stebbins--A Model Schoolmaster--The School-house--Administration of the School--Zeek Sanford--Schoolrooms--Arithmetic--History--Grammar--Anecdote of G.... H......--Country Schools of New England in these Days--Master Stebbins's Scholars ... 138

LETTER XII.

Horsemanship--Bige's Adventures--A Dead Shot--A Race--Academical Honors-- Charles Chatterbox--My Father's School--My Exercises in Latin--Tityre tu patulæ, etc.--Rambles--Literary Aspirations--My Mother--Family Worship--Standing and Kneeling at Prayer--Anecdotes--Our Philistine Temple ... 147

LETTER XIII.

My Father's Library--Children's Books--The New England, Primer and Westminster Catechism--Toy Books--Nursery Books--Moral Effect of these--Hannah More's Moral Repository--The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain--Visit to Barley-wood--First Idea of the Parley Books--Impressions of Big Books and Little Books--A Comparison of the Old Book and the New Books for Children and Youth--A Modern Juvenile Bookstore in Broadway ... 164

LETTER XIV.

The Clergymen of Fairfield County--The Minister's House a Minister's Tavern--Dr. Ripley, of Green's-farms--Dr. Lewis, of Horseneck--Dr. Burnett, of Norwalk--Mr. Swan--Mr. Noyes--Mr. Elliott, of Fairfield--Mr. Mitchell, of New Canaan--A Poet-Deacon--Dr. Blatchford, the Clairvoyant--Mr. Bartlett, of Reading--Mr. Camp, of Ridgebury--Mr. Smith, of Stamford--Mr. Waterman, of Bridgeport, &c.--Manners of the Clergy of Fairfield County--Their Character--Anecdote of the Laughing D. D.--The Coming Storm ... 175

LETTER XV.

Ideas of the Pilgrm Fathers--Progress of Toleration--Episcopacy--Bishop Seabury--Dr. Duché--Methodism in America,--In Connecticut--Anecdotes--Lorenzo Dow--The Wolf in my Father's Fold ... 186

LETTER XVI.

The Three Deacons ... 218

LETTER XVII.

The Federalist and the Democrat--Colonel Bradley and General King--Comparison of New England with European Villages ... 229

LETTER XVIII.

The Ingersolls--Rev. Jonathan Ingersoll--Lieutenant-governor Ingersoll--New Haven Belles--A chivalrous Virginian among the Connecticut D. D.'s--Grace Ingersoll--A New Haven Girl at Napoleon's Court--Real Romance--A Puritan in a Convent ... 248

LETTER XIX.

Mat Olmstead, the Town Wit--The Salamander Hat--The Great Eclipse--Sharp Logic--Lieutenant Smith, the Town Philosopher--The Purchase of Louisiana--Lewis and Clarke's Exploring Expedition--The Great Meteor--Hamilton and Burr--The Leopard and the Chesapeake--Fulton's Steamboats--Granther Baldwin, the Village Miser--Sarah Bishop, the Hermitess ... 265

LETTER XX.

A Long Farewell--A Return--Ridgefield as it is--The Past and Present Compared ... 299

LETTER XXI.

Farewell to Ridgefield--Farewell to Home--Danbury--My new Vocation--A Revolutionary Patriarch--Life in a Country Store--My Brother-in-law--Lawyer Hatch ... 323

LETTER XXII.

Visit to New Haven--The City--Yale College--My Uncle's House--John Allen--First view of the Ocean--The Court-house--Dr. Dwight--Professor Silliman--Chemistry, Mineralogy, Geology--Anecdote of Colonel Gibbs--Eli Whitney--The Cotton-gin--The Gun-factory ... 3[38]

LETTER XXIII.

Durham--History of Connecticut--Distinguished Families of Durham--The Chaunceys, Wadsworths, Lymans, Goodriches, Austins, &c.--Woodbury--How Romance becomes History--Rev. Noah Benedict--Judge Smith ... 368

LETTER XXIV.

The Cold Winter and a Sharp Side--Description of Danbury--The Hat Manufactory--The Sandimanians--Gen. Wooster's Monument--Death of my Brother-in-law--Master White--Mathematics--Farewell to Danbury ... 393

LETTER XXV.

Farewell to Danbury--Hartford--My first Master and His Family--Merino Sheep--A Wind-up--Another Change--My new Employer--A new Era in Life--George Sheldon--Franklin's Biography ... 403

LETTER XXVI.

My Situation under my new Master--Discontent--Humiliating Discoveries--Desire to quit Trade and go to College--Undertake to Reeducate myself--A Long Struggle--Partial Success--Infidelity--The World without a God--Existence, Nature, Life, all contradictions, without Revealed Religion--Return after long Wanderings ... 417

LETTER XXVII.

Hartford forty years ago--The Hartford Wits--Hartford at the present time--The Declaration of War in 1812--Baltimore Riots--Fading in New England--Embargo--Non-intercourse, &c.--Democratic Doctrine that Opposition is Treason ... 435

LETTER XXVIII.

Specks of War in the Atmosphere--The First Year--Operations on the Land and on the Sea--The Wickedness of the Federalists--The Second Year--The Connecticut Militia--Decatur driven into the Thames--Connecticut in trouble--I become a Soldier--My First and Last Campaign ... 451

LETTER XXIX.

Description of New London--Fort Trumbull--Fort Griswold--The British Fleet--Decatur and his Ships in the Thames--Commodore Hardy--Letters from Home--Performances of the Hartford Company--Fishing--A few British Broadsides--Apprehensions of an Attack--Great Preparations--Sober Second Thoughts--On Guard--A Suspicious Customer--Alarm, alarm!--Company called out--Expectations of instant Battle--Corporal T.'s Nightmare--Consequences--Influence of Camp Life--Return to Hartford--Land Warrants--Blue Lights--Decatur, Biddle, and Jones ... 466

LETTER XXX.

Continuation of the War--The Creeks subdued--Battles of Chippewa and Bridgewater--Capture of Washington--Bladensburg Races-- Humiliation of the President--Defense of Baltimore--The Star-spangled Banner--Ravages of the Coast by the British Fleet--Downfall of Napoleon--Scarcity of Money--Rag Money--Bankruptcy of the National Treasury--The Specie Bank-note, or Mr. Sharp and Mr. Sharper--Scarcity and exorbitant Prices of British Goods--Depression of all Kinds of Business--My Pocket-book Factory--Naval and Land Battle at Plattsburg--Universal Gloom--State of New England--Anxiety of the Administration--Their Instructions to the Peace Commissioners--Battle of New Orleans--Peace--Illuminations and Rejoicings ... 488

APPENDIX. ... 515


VOLUME 2:

LETTER XXXI.

The Hartford Convention--Its Origin--Testimony of Noah Webster--Oath of Roger M. Sherman--Gathering of the Convention--Doings of Democracy thereupon--Physiognomy of the Convention--Sketches of some of the Members--Colonel Jessup--Democracy in the Streets--Report of the Convention--Reception of the Doings of the Convention by Madison and his Party--Its Effect and Example--Comparison of the Hartford Convention, with the Nullifiers--The Union, forever ... 9

LETTER XXXII.

The Count Value--Lessons in French, and a Translation of René--Severe Retribution for Imprudence--The End of the Pocket-book Factory--Napoleon returns to Paris and upsets my Affairs--Divers Experiences and Selections upon Danciny--Visit to New York--Oliver Wolcott and Archibald Gracie--Ballston and Saratoga--Dr. Payson and the three Rowdies--Illness and Death of my Uncle--Partnership with George Sheldon--His Illness and Death ... 61

LETTER XXXIII.

The Famine of 1816 and 1817--Panic in New England--Migrations to Ohio--T'other Side of Ohio--Toleration--Downfall of Federalism--Oliver Wolcott and the Democracy--Connecticut upset--The new Constitution--Gov. Smith and Gov. Wolcott--Litchfield--Uriah Tracy--Frederick Wolcott--Tapping Reeve--Col. Talmadge--James Gould--J. W. Huntington--The Litchfield Centennial Celebration ... 78

LETTER XXXIV.

Stephen R. Bradley--My Pursuit of the Vocation of Bookseller and Publisher--Scott's Poems--General Enthusiasm--Byron's Poems--Their Reception--The Waverley Novels--Their amazing Popularity--I publish an Edition of them--Literary Club at Hartford--J. M. Wainwright, Isaac Toucey, William L. Stone, &c.--The Round Table--Original American Works--State of Opinion as to American Literature--Publication of Trumbull's Poems--Books for Education--Rev. C. A. Goodrich--Dr. Comstock--Woodbridge's Geography ... 90

LETTER XXXV.

Sketches of the "Hartford Wits"--Dr. Hopkins--Trumbull, author of McFingal--David Humphries--Dr. Strong--Theodore Dwight--Thomas H. Gallaudet--Daniel Wadsworth--Dr. Coggswell--Mrs. Sigourney ... 114

LETTER XXXVI.

Dr. Percival--His early Life--His Father's attempt to cure his Shyness--College Life--His First Love--His Medical Experience--His Poetical Career--An awkward Position--The Saddle on his own Back--Cooper and Percival at the City Hotel--Publication of his Poems at New York--The Edition in England-- Other Literary Avocations--His Station at West Point--His great Learning--Assistance of Dr. Webster in his Dictionary--State Geologist in Connecticut--In Wisconsin--His Death--Estimate of his Character ... 121

LETTER XXXVII.

A few Wayside Notes--The Poet Brainard---His first Introduction--Ripley's Tavern--Aunt Lucy--The little back-parlor--Brainard's Office--Anecdote--The Devil's Dun--The Lines on Niagara--Other Poems--One that is on the Sea--The Sea-bird's Song--Publication of Brainard's Poems--General Remarks--His Death ... 141

LETTER XXXVIII.

My first Voyage across the Atlantic--England--London--My Tour on the Continent--Return to England--Visit to Barley Wood--Hannah More--Inquiries as to Books for Education--Ireland--Dublin--The Giant's Causeway--Scotland--Scenery of the Lady of the Lake--Glasgow--Edinburgh ... 161

LETTER XXXIX.

Edinburgh--The Court of Sessions--Cranstoun, Cockburn, Moncrief-- Lockhart--Jeffrey--Sir Walter Scott ... 170

LETTER XL.

Preparations for a Ride--Mr. Jeffrey in a Rough-and-tumble--A Glance at Edinburgh from the Braid Hills--A Shower--The Maids of the Mist--Durable Impressions ... 177

LETTER XLI.

William Blackwood--The Magazine--A Dinner at Blackwood's--James Ballantyne--Lord Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb--The General Assembly of Scotland--Dr. Chalmers ... 184

LETTER XLII.

A Dinner at Lockhart's--Conversation about Byron--Mrs. Lockhart--Irving--Professor Ticknor--Music--The Pibroch and Miss Edgeworth--Anecdotes of the Indians--Southey and Second Sight--Cooper's Pioneers--The Pilot--Paul Janes--Brockden Brown--Burns--Tricks of the Press--Charles Scott--The Welsh Parson--The Italian Base-viol Player--Personal Appearance of Sir Walter--Departure for London--Again in Edinburgh in 1832--Last Moments of Sir Walter--The Sympathy of Nature ... 195

LETTER XLIII.

Journey to London--Remarks on, England, as it appears to the American Traveler--The Climate--The Landscape---Jealousies between the English and Americans--Plan for securing Peace ... 210

LETTER XLIV.

London Thirty Years Ago--Its Great Increase--George IV.--Ascot Races-- The Duke of Wellington--Jacob Perkins and the Steam-gun--The Duke of Sussex--Duke of York--Hounslow Heath--Parliament--Canning--Mackintosh--Brougham--Palmerston--House of Lords--Lord Eldon--Rhio Rhio--Catalani--Signorina Garcia--Edward Irving--Byron's Coffin ... 222

LETTER XLV.

Return to America--Removed to Boston--Literary position of Boston--Prominent literary characters--The Press--The Pulpit--the Bar--New York now the literary metropolis--My publication of various works--The Legendary--N. P. Willis--The era of Annuals--The Token--The artists engaged in it--The authors--Its termination ... 252

LETTER XLVI.

The Contributors to the Token--N. P. Willis--N. Hawthorne-- Miss Francis--Mr. Greenwood--Mr. Pierpont--Charles Sprague--Mrs. Sigourney--Miss Sedgwick--Mrs. Osgood, and others--Quarrels between Authors and Publishers--Anecdotes--The Publishers' Festival ... 264

LETTER XLVII.

The First of the Parley Books--Its Reception--Various Publications--Threatening Attack of Illness--Voyage to Europe--Consultation of Physicians at Paris--Sir Benj. Brodie, of London--Abercrombie, of Edinburgh--Return to America--Residence in the Country--Prosecution of my Literary Labors--Footing up the Account--Annoyances of Authorship--Letter to the New York Daily Times ... 279

LETTER XLVIII.

Republication of Parley's Tales in London--Mr. Tegg's operations--Imitated by other publishers--Peter Parley Martin--Letter to Mr. Darton--An edition of the false Parleys in America--The consequences ... 292

LETTER XLIX.

Objections to the Parley Books--My theory as to books for children--Attempt in England to revive the old nursery books--Mr. Felix Summerly--Hallowell's Nursery Rhymes of England--Dialogue between Timothy and his mother--Mother Goose--The Toad's Story--Books of instruction ... 308

LETTER L.

Journey to the South--Anecdotes--Reception at New Orleans ... 322

LETTER LI.

Retrospection--Confessions--The mice among my papers--A reckoning with the past ... 333

LETTER LII.

Speech at St. Albans--Lecture upon Ireland, and the Irish--The Broad-street Riot--Burning the Charlestown Convent--My Political Career--A. H. Everett--The Fifteen Gallon Jug--The Harrison Campaign of 1840--Hard Cider and Log Cabins--Universal Bankruptcy--Election of Harrison--His Death--Consequences--Anecdotes--The Small Tail Movement--A Model Candidate--William, Cpp, or Shingling a Barn ... 339

LETTER LIII.

International copyright--Mr. Dickens' s Mission--His failure and his revenge--The Boston Convention--Inquiry into the basis of copyright--Founded in absolute justice--What is property?--Grounds upon which government protects property--History of copyright--Present state of copyright law--Policy the oasis of local copyright law--International Copyright demanded by justice--Scheme for International Copyright with Great Britain--Reasons for it . .. 355

LETTER LIV.

Statistics of the Book Trade--Its Extension--The Relative Increase of American literature, as compared with British Ltierature ... 379

LETTER LV.

Recollections of Washington--The House of Representatives--Missouri Compromise--Clay, Randolph, and Lowndes--The Senate--Rufus King--William Pinkney--Mr. Macon--Judge Marshall--Election of J. Q. Adams--President Monroe--Meeting of Adams and Jackson--Jackson's Administration--Clay--Calhoun--Webster--Anecdotes ... 393

LETTER LVI.

London and Paris compared--Paris thirty years ago--Louis XVIII.--The Parisians--Garden of the Tuileries--Washington Irving--Mr. Warden, the American Consul--Société Philomatique--Baron Larrey--Geoffroy St. Hilaire--The Institute--Arago--Lamarck--Gay-Lussac--Cuvier--Lacroix--Laplace--Laennec--Dupuytren--Talma--Mademoiselle Mars ... 437

LETTER LVII.

Death of Louis XVIII.--Charles X.--The "Three Glorious Days"--Louis Philippe--The Revolution of February, 1848 ... 449

LETTER LVIII.

Events which immediately followed the Revolution--Scenes in the streets of Paris--Anxiety of Strangers--Proceedings of the Americans--Address to the Provisional Government--Reply of M. Arago--Procession in the streets--Inauguration of the Republic--Funeral of the Victims--Presentation of Flags--Conspiracy of the 15th of May--Insurrection of June --Adoption of the Constitution--Louis Napoleon President ... 471

LETTER LIX.

The Duties of a Consul--Pursuit of a missing Family--Paying for Experience ... 480

LETTER LX.

Character of the French Republic--Its Contrast with the American, Republic--Aspect of the Government in France--Louis Napoleon's ambitious Designs--He Flatters the Army--Spreads Humors of Socialist Plots-- Divisions in the National Assembly--A Levee at the Elysée--The Coup d'Etat--Character of this Act--Napoleon's Government--Feelings of the People ... 489

LETTER LXI.

Meeting in Paris to commemorate the Death of Clay and Webster--Termination of my Consular Duties--Character of the French Nation--The Black-coat Circular ... 504

LETTER LXII.

Visit to Italy--Florence--Rome--Naples ... 521

LETTER LXIII.

Leave-taking--Improvement everywhere--In Science--Geology, Chemistry, Agriculture, Manufactures, Astronomy, navigation,, the Domestic Arts--Anthracite Coal--Traveling--Painting--Daguerreotypes--The Electric Telegraph--Moral Progress--In Foreign Countries: in the United States ... 530

APPENDIX ... 537

INDEX ... 554


Copyright 1999-2006, Pat Pflieger