11:00 PM

Welcome back to my blog. Above-An earlier photograph of  Amos Broadnax, his wife Henrietta and their son most likely William (date of birth 1853-54) or Frank (date of birth 1862-63). 
This image seems to capture the character I found in Amos's journal. He loved his wife and son William dearly. 


NOTE- for those new to my blog- Amos Broadnax's Journal begins with this link (April 10, 2010). The authors name was never written in the book so I have spent months blogging his journal in a revised historical narrative and the research to determine who was this St Louis Salesman.

Salesmans Journal: Glassware, Chinaware, Queenware and Pottery 01




My fly in the ointment
The entry made September 25, 1855 while  aboard the steamboat Clifton slowly paddling up the Ohio River headed east for two months perplexed me for months. Throughout the journal, his writing is fragmented  and confusing so I had to rewrite the knots out of the sentences to make sense out of it.


I know we all have off days and this may have been one for Amos Broadnax.  The day was humid and "unpleasantly warm" resulting in a cold drizzling rain the next morning and the steamboat was moving unusually slow. 


He was writing in his small 5 3/4" X 3 3/4" journal at the bottom of the page and continued on the next page. His pencil rests and he may have lost his train of thought. It all looks like clear writing on the surface, but the day of his marriage was months earlier April 10, 1848 in NYC under the name Broadrix, another variation of his last name.  I can only think he squeezed in two thoughts.
First,  this might be the anniversary when Henrietta G. Hall said yes or.....the marriage was performed in two places and ancestory.com doesn't have all the entries or the person entering the info misread the line (wish I could see the actual ledger)- all of these are possible. The entry continues to confuse me with the words  22 years and I think he meant 22 months when his son William was born. I believe that especially after seeing the uncommon pose where he is holding the child and not the Henrietta.


This is the anniversary of my marriage.  This day twenty two  years [months]
[next line] ago. I was made as happy as I could desire, so far as 
[next page] one of the loveliest and  
[next line] sweetest girls in the world 
[next line] could make me so [dash 
][next line ]Blessed day – 
[next line] I ever hail thy return 
 I stand by my decision the Journal was written by Amos Broadnax
I stand by my educated decision that the previous blogs provide ample supporting documentation that this can only be Amos Broadnax. Further, just to appease myself this afternoon, I pulled out the copies from the NARA RG patent office and found a letter signed by Amos Broadnax and the penmanship is similar enough to the journal to match...... If you wish to refresh yourself, search "Seeking a name for my Salesman." If you have been reading my blog, you'd know I'd be the first to say I made a mistake.

Back to the Photograph above
I found this photograph on Google books - Images of America Montclair (New Jersey) page 13. Of course, I bought a copy for my documentation and then looked at the credits where I can obtain a copy for my book.


I emailed the Montclair Public Library with a request and hopefully I will get a reply back during the week. 

Taken in St Louis????
I am interested to find out if there is a photographer name stamped on the mat. Broadnax was listed as a Patent Agent in the 1860 St. Louis City Directory, so perhaps this image was taken in St Louis. I will ask my clothing expert Joan if she can date Henrietta's dress. Any guesses from my reenactor bloggers? My guess is based on two clues.
1. The son William looks like he's over five, so that would make it 1858. 
2. Also, Henrietta's dress has a tier on her skirt. When I was reenacting in Harper's Ferry, I wore a plaid dress with the skirt raised which revealed a black taffetta skirt under. My friend raised the hem higher saying it was a late 1850s style. Further, if the child was the second born, Frank, then Henrietta's dress would be more pulled behind her.