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  M & S Library Number: 20325
 

    (NEW YORK). ROBINSON, HENRY. Spiritual & Political Journal of a New York State Farmer, 1846-48. 8vo. Ca. 120 pp. Old marbled boards, worn, but intact. $950.00

     

    This is the manuscript journal of Henry Robinson, an inhabitant of upstate New York, evidently in the vicinity of Buffalo. It begins with "I have long been of the opinion that my spirituality would be increased by keeping a journal." While Robinson is active in religious affairs as a lay officer of his church, attending a Temperance convention in Buffalo and visiting with local clergy of several denominations, almost all of the entries are involved with worldly concerns. His wife and other relatives also contribute occasional entries.

    Along with entries on quotidian affairs, especially the deaths of neighbors and the weather, Robinson is keenly interested in national affairs, especially the conflict with the British over the Oregon Territory, and the Mexican War. Robinson seems intrigued by Oregon but deplores conflict with Mexico and Britain alike, commenting that "I hope the calamity of war can be averted." In his preference for peace over expansion, Robinson may not mirror the sentiment of the nation at large, but it is interesting to see what a deep and sustained interest these far-off happenings are to an obscure farmer in rural New York State.

         One other curiosity in this item is the inky footprints of a newborn Henry Robinson, the first son of Henry and Helen, with his name scrawled alongside, evidently by one of his parents holding the pen in his hand.

 

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