9:33 PM


Welcome back to my blog! Finally our Salesman is headed back home to St Louis. This is the final entry he makes working as a salesman drumming up sales for pottery clay. No reason is given what happened, but the writing was on wall, this occupation wasn't profitable.This anonymous salesman is smart and by January he is setting himself up in another occupation that you will see in the next posting.

UPDATE- After I posted this blog last night, I came to the conclusion that there might be other reasons why this clay selling salesman stops abruptly. We know, he didn't lose his journal, because he continues it in Jan 1856 and although now in pen not pencil, it is his penmanship.So, what other factors could be in play here?

Unlike today, when we can have anything 24/7 (fresh strawberries in December or driving during a snowstorm), they couldn't. We think of seasons Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter, but they had seasons for which foods were available and which seasons traveling could occur. With the water level dropping in the waterways, steamboats were stuck and even if the special designed hulls like the Arabia needed only three to three and a half feet of water, it was difficult. Ice too prevented navigation and Captains looked forward to the Spring Rise when the rivers were safe to navigate again (usually in May).

Also, it more than likely this salesman's firm may be expanding to include other wares to sell or manufacturer. The smart merchant would sell what the consumer wanted or needed and not the other way around.


Heading Home- back to St Louis


Friday, November 9th - The weather was very fine.  I spent the day in getting ready to start west. As I walked to the train station, I saw the crowds on Broadway -- the gorgeous show windows -- the thousands of finely dressed ladies and children and the hundred and one interesting things that attract the attention of a stranger on Broadway, I consider my luck to have seen many things.

Later, at five o’clock p.m., I left this little world on the railroad train for Albany, New York over the Hudson River Road and reached there before 10 o’clock. Early the next morning on Saturday the 10th, the train was in Rochester, passed through Buffalo and up the shore of Lake Erie arriving in Cleveland about dark. With the modern mode of transportation today, my ancestors would not believe in a short 24 hours I could travel from New York to Cleveland.

I continued on the train and rode all night reaching Cincinnati early on Sunday morning, November 11th. I was delayed in Cincinnati where I could get no desirable conveyance down the Ohio River on a steamboat till Monday, November 12th. At noon I departed for Louisville on the splendid Packet Telegraph No. 3 [steamboat] and reached the Fall City [Portland] about midnight. Once there, I found I could not get away from Portland, which is 3 miles below Louisville until almost dark on the St. Louis Packet Fashion (I thought I could board the Steamer Fashion, but the steamboat Baltimore came first and I took a cabin and went right to bed

Galconda, Illinois- Visit to Dig

Wednesday, November 14th- We landed at Golconda in the afternoon, almost 4 o’clock, much too late to go to Kaolin that night and I needed a wash, shave and clean shirt and a hot meal to feel civilized.

Thursday, November 15th- I stayed over last night at Mr. Davis' and got a horse from him and proceeded to Kaolin where I found the folks all comfortable and able to work.

After dinner, I read sections of my journal which was immensely entertaining and showed them souvenirs cdv's and stereoviews of all the historical places I visited. I also shared my thoughts and concerns about the market for our clay and what the china ware factories were saying. I confessed that I am disappointed many manufacturers would not even take the samples I brought and further surprised that so much clay is imported from other countries to make American pottery.

I need to have a long discussion with my partners. After this trip east, my opinion now stands that we should sell clay to those no further east than East Liverpool, Ohio. Our prices are too expensive to peddle and perhaps, we ought to sell out the dig altogether. If we could just find a pocket of pure feldspar, then we would have the glass manufactures lined up for the barrels and then our fortune is made.


Continuing back to St Louis

Friday, November 16th- In the morning, I went back to Golconda making my way back to St. Louis. The regular packet did not come along and I had to wait till Saturday afternoon about 3 o’clock p.m. before I could depart on the Fashion [steamboat] about 3 o’clock p.m. I never learned if it was low water or fog that caused the delay but regardless, I am on the way home. We reached St. Louis on Sunday evening about 10 o’clock and I was able to sleep in my own bed and kiss my dear wife. I relish my time with her no matter how fleeting. Tomorrow I will leave again- oh, the life of a traveling salesman.


Leaving for another trip

Monday, November 18th- Before I left St. Louis, I called on Hanely [Hawley] and Doctor Koch. Doctor Albert C. Koch is a paleontologist and operated a museum in St. Louis during the 1830s- 1840s. At about five o’clock I had a cabin aboard the Ocean Wave [steamboat] heading for Florence, Missouri and we arrived there the next day about 2 p.m. My destination was inland at Pittsfield and after a riding a stage, I arrived there at about half past four o’clock.