10:38 AM

Welcome back to my blog! 
My educated opinion leads me to believe my St Louis Clay Salesman is Curtis Cooliage.
Curtis Cooliage who was born in Massachusetts, seems thus far the best bet. He was 60 in 1855, and could been married for 22 years. Further, Cooliage was the agent for the Brevard Patented Shingle saw mill since he testified on behalf of Brevard in the St Louis court for a Mechanic's Lien in 1858. The journalist mentions buying the rights for the Shingle machine and so I believe Cooliage and the unknown salesman are the same man. By 1860 Cooliage is still in St. Louis as a gentleman and has two servants.
However, I am still turning over stones seeking more evidence. There is one particular sources I haven't followed up and that is the provenance- that is who sold me the journal.

This is not the first time or the last that I wore the detective’s hat. I did some research for an artist, Donna Neary in her painting, Do Your Duty Boys. The painting above portrays the 69th New York Volunteer Infantry the day before most of the company were killed or wounded in the battle in Fredricksburg, Virginia. The story she told me was the flag was missing from the flag staff and only when the dead were removed and checked for names did they find a soldier had folded the flag, stuffed it in his jacket, buttoned it up and then died. The name was never written down and being the artist she is, she asked, “Who was he?” (She had other questions too, but this would be too lengthy a story).
In a letters I found, I learned the troop would attack in a line with Company D in the middle and only the middle company would carry the flag. The Soldier’s manual Hardy’s Tactics said the sergeants were to carry the flags into battle. There were three sergeants in Co. D and two survived but one had died named, Patrick Nolan from Brooklyn. He was red headed, short and young (abt 18 when he enlisted) so he must have been the good deed doer. She used his description when painting him holding the flag.
On a side note- I understand the Xeroxes of the injured list changed history since the document showed John H Donovan as a higher rank of captain (as seen with the eye patch). Donna said, according to the paperwork, he wasn’t listed until later but I pointed out that his superior was killed at Antietam and Donovan was promoted in the field and only later until the red tape catch up in Washington City. That exercise taught me to be a great deal-

Getting back on track with my intended topic…. I have a hard enough time pronouncing the word provenance, but what is it and why is it sooooooo important for research?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Provenance, from the French provenir, "to come from", means the origin, or the source of something, or the history of the ownership or location of an object…. the primary purpose of provenance is to confirm or gather evidence as to the time, place, and -- when appropriate -- the person responsible for the creation, production, or discovery of the object. This will typically be accomplished by tracing the whole history of the object up to the present. Comparative techniques, expert opinions, and the results of various kinds of scientific tests may also be used to these ends, but establishing provenance is essentially a matter of documentation.
Fortunately I purchased this journal from EBay and unlike buying something from a trade fair, I could go into my PayPal account and found the sale (receipt) verifying I purchased this in Oct 2007. This process didn’t take long since I recalled the ball park figure the item cost. From that, I found the EBay Seller’s name, address and email address. Then I checked if she was currently selling items on EBay, but was not. That made me a little unsettled that she may have closed her email account and all my time would be wasted.
Looking back I wish I saved the emails when I corresponded about the provenance! Then again, until I researched this piece, I had no idea what questions to ask. One question I should have received clarification on was, “What was your grandfather’s name?” and “Did you have any ancestors in St. Louis?” “Did you find anything else in his possessions from St. Louis?” In the future, I should keep all emails, business cards and contact addresses (like that’ll happen!).

At this point, I am waiting for an answer to my email. It hasn’t come bounced back as undeliverable. I hope I did not overwhelm that lady….so let’s wait together, shall we? 

Dear Cathy,
Back in October 2007, I purchased from EBay an 1855 Journal Ledger Diary Salesman Machinery Equipment. You were residing in Canada and either you or your husband's father or grandfather died and while going through his papers you chose to put that on EBay rather than the trash. For that, I am truly grateful.
I am the historian for the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City Missouri. This steamboat left St Louis 1856 and sank with its hull full of freight. Your journal has contributed in a great way to the understanding what it was like being a salesman visiting Glass factories and selling saw mills.
I am writing you now because the journalist never wrote his name in the ledger. There were some clues in the journal, but I have hit several dead ends. I am wondering if this ledger might have been related to your/your husband's father.
Therefore, if I research back from him, I might be able to solve this puzzle. So I ask what was his name and when and where was he born and his last address? Do you happen to know his father's name, his wife or his mother's maiden names and where they were born?
I am following up on a theory, your family may have left St Louis during the civil war 1861 and settled in Canada, which many citizens did. Or some of your family lived in Massachusetts where my prime suspect lived prior to St Louis.
Curtis Cooliage who was born in Massachusetts, seems thus far the best bet since he was 60 in 1855, he could have been married for 22 years as he wrote in his journal. Further, he was the agent for the Brevard Patented Shingle saw mill and his journal mentions buying the rights for and Curtis represents Brevard as his agent in a Mechanic's Lien in 1858... By 1860 he is listed still in St. Louis as a gentleman and has two servants-
According to my past experience freelancing for Time-Life Books, this is enough, but I am not satisfied and hope there is a family connection. If your father was a collector then let me know so I can cross this lead off my list. Further, do any of these names- even the last name- rings a bell- 
Curtis Cooliage or Coolidge
William Brevard
William A Whiting
H. D. La Cossit
Amos Broadnax
Matthias Stiger
This journal will eventually be published and it certainly would be a shame if I could not give him a name. Whoever he was, he was an exceptional man who was involved with the cutting edge in sciences, arts, and slavery issues besides meeting some significant people who became famous. It took me a long time to transcribe his journal and add historical details.