• Diary, Letter: Andrew Johnson Tried, Acquitted; Grant Wins Northern States; Fighting Parson Quits Parson Position

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    WHITING WETHERELL was a lieutenant in Co. H, 35th Iowa Infantry. He served from August 1862 through August 1865, taking part in many battles including those of the Vicksburg Campaign.

     

    Offering his post-Civil War diary along with his pre-Civil War teaching certificate, his marriage certificate, his wife’s church membership certificate and a 12 pp, 4 ¾ x 7 ¾, Canaan, CT, September 16, 1860, ALS from Wetherell’s father, A.R. Wetherell, with substantial discussion about REV. HIRAM EDDY, known as “the fighting Parson” because of his boldness in the Civil War.

     

    The diary, approximately 3 x 5, from January 1, 1868 through December 31, in pencil, has writing on every page.  Wetherell wrote the diary at ages 31-32 in a terse style. He sold goods, delivering them in his wagon, pulled by a team of horses, spoke of child deaths from measles and other illnesses and funerals. But his diary also includes a number of historic activities, such as the lecturing of abolitionist, women’s rights advocate, Anna Dickinson, the beginning of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson and his acquittal and the election of Ulysses S. Grant as President. 

     

    Highlights include “…[1/30/1868] Miss Anna Dickinson [abolitionist, women’s rights advocate] lectured in evening at Mt. Vernon…[2/12] heard that Mr. Mils was waylaid & robbed of over $200, last Friday p.m. between here & Shell Rock. Two men came out of the woods & one took his horse & the other tried to kill him when he gave up his money…[3/27] Trial of N.V. Brown of C Rapids for seduction…[3/30] Impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson begins today after adjournment of one week…[4/2] Saw 9 Baptized in creek, 5 men & 4 women…[4/6] Election for state officers today…[4/15] Heard that Mr. Taylor’s son in law near Jamesville, who had just sold farm was robbed of $22,000 last night. Money taken between beds while man & wife were asleep…[5/2] 5 yrs & day since 15th started from Milliken on expedition against Vicksburg…[5/16]Telegram arriving that Johnson had bee acquitted on the 11th article of Impeachment which acquitted him of the other 10 articles…[5/21] Colfax nominated for Vice President on the 1st ballot…[9/3] Vote in Vermont gone strongly Republican [Republican Presidential candidate Ulysses S. Grant would go on to win that election.] [9/5]…Heard Senator [James] Doolittle of Wisconsin speak…[11/3] Election day voting state tickets & Presidential ticket. Grant & Colfax Republican against Seymour & Blair, Democrats…[11/4] Telegram in effect that all northern states have gone for Grant…”

     

    Regarding the letter: Hiram Eddy had several pastorates in New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.  He was preaching in Winsted when he heard about the firing on Fort Sumter. He soon joined the 2nd Regiment as chaplain. He was captured by the rebels at Bull Run, VA, with a gun in his hand. That’s when he was given the nickname “the fighting Parson.” He spent a year in prisons in the South and was the first prisoner in Libby Prison.

     

    The senior Wetherell writes, in small part, “…I have to write to you of the death of Henry Day…He belonged to a fine company in Norwich…He is buried in a metallic coffin that added much to the solemnity of the occasion…Mr. Eddy preached the funeral sermon and a very good one it was.  Mr. Eddy has resigned his pastoral service here…He preached his farewell discourse to this parish. They were taken by surprise…His wife’s…father and mother were astonished, the latter overcome by the sudden intelligence.  His excuse was the people here manifested too much individuality—had not been punctual in paying him his dues. He had to borrow money from the bank…”

     

    Documents are in very good condition.  The letter has toning, folds.  The diary, in pencil, is dis-bound with the binding present, toning to the pages and staining continuing through the diary down the center, not affecting readability.  A nice archive.

     

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