9:20 PM


Welcome back to my blog and I surfed the Internet to find out more about my St. Louis Salesman. Here's how I did it....

Amos' bio was printed in the History of the City of Brooklyn 1893. I found it on another great site for free books, American Libraries. I love Biographic info.


and it reads on page 874,

"Amos Broadnax is a descendant from an old English family of that name having its seat in Kent, England. He was born in Hoboken, N. J., in 1827. In his boyhood and early manhood he learned the trade of machinist and mechanical engineer. In 1848 he entered the engineer corps of the United States navy, where he served until 1855. In that year he resigned and began the study of law at St. Louis, Mo., being admitted to the bar in 1858. He moved to Washington in 1861 ; practiced law there until 1862, when he entered the service of the United States government in the building of the iron clad monitors, "Tecumseh," "Manhattan " and "Mahopac," which were constructed in Jersey City. His earliest political opinions were moulded on Whig lines, and his first vote in a presidential contest was cast for John C. Fremont. Since that time he has voted with the Republican party."

I have so more googling to check out his past military experience....And his words have more impact now that I know he was a soldier during the Mexican War.

Navy Yard
            Afterwards I went to the Navy Yard, which is some 2 miles from the Patent Office. There I saw many things of interest. Specifically, I saw them making the largest size anchors that weighted when finished some eight or nine thousand pounds and also enormously heavy chains, to hold said anchors. Although I saw men making large brass cannon, all cast solid and bored out.  -- It seems, and in fact is an easy job to make one when everything is ready and rightfully fixed. It takes nearly 3 days to bore out a large cannon, but steam and steel do all the hard work. When finished they look very neat, but I sighed as I behold them, when will men learn war no more?
            In one part of the grounds an officer and some soldiers were testing some of the cannons by repeated firing. They were loaded with balls and fired them down the Potomac Bay. While there I Went on board the steam frigate they were building. It is nearly ready to be launched and is an immense mass of timber, iron, copper, &c &c. One who has not seen a large vessel of war out of the water can have but a poor idea of what it really is and such a vessel fully armed and equipped costs, I think, over ten hundred dollars (i.e.) A million dollars! 



Initially, I was unsuccessful when I googled his name and St Louis and I went online to a paid site called Ancestory.com.....Perhaps you have heard about it or seen the commerical. I've been a subscriber since it began and it is expensive ($200 a yr) for the average person, but for me, I am constantly using the site.


I needed to find Amos and anyone in his family......so I checked census records for any census records and found him in 1870 in New Jersey. He has a large family. Now I know he was born in New Jersey and was a lawyer (when I checked the census form). 


I then tried to find Amos Broadnax  in 1850 anywhere and found his name was misspelled by the census recorder as Broadnix (which was a common problem). I couldn't find his marriage to Henrietta but not everything is on Ancestory.com or the Internet.




When this bio was written in 1893, Amos has been dead almost ten years. Who knows why it wasn't mentioned that he briefly into business as a salesman. Amos may have thought selling clay for chinaware didn't enhance his background as a patent lawyer or may not have shared this with the general public or the author was limited in the space for Amos' bio.

The bio gives me the impression that Amos went to St Louis purely only for a college education. However, I found he purchased land in St Louis in 1857 and that tells me he was making St Louis his home. He also was listed in the St Louis city Directory that he was a Patent Agent in 1860. Unfortunately the Civil War broke out and he relocated to Washington in 1861 and never returned.

The bio also missed Amos moved to NYC during 1863 for several years. This form below was an IRS tax sheet showing he was working at 161 Broadway NYC with a Patent Agent, Commerical Banker.


And, he advertised...For Sale Cheap- A large tract of West Virginia lands......Amos Broadnax No 161 Broadway, New York. (also on Ancestory.com)


I am thrilled to see a photo of Amos Broadnax - it certainly gives me a better idea what kind of man he was. I envisioned him as a slender man but he was a much stouter man.