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Upton, William Henry
Manuscript Diaries of William Henry Upton, for the years 1872, 1874, 1876, 1877

Four volumes, small quarto, 756 pages plus blanks, and several pages of accounts, bound in either original ¼ leather and marbled boards, or ¼ leather and cloth, entries written in a neat legible hand in either pencil or ink. 

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Four diaries kept by Upton as a young man, the first dates from when he was an 18 year old in Portland, Oregon, to 1877 when he graduated from Yale. Upton's diaries contain a frank account of his activities, attending school, preparing for college, and descriptions of life in Portland and later college life at Yale, and his interior life, his religious faith, which was often in conflict with other aspects of his personality, his literary efforts - poetry writing, and constant self-examination - Upton concludes that he suffers from Depression or "hypochondria" as it was then sometimes called. He is by turns self-confident, jealous, and insecure, he was also equipped with a powerful and obsessive attraction for members of the opposite sex, Upton is extremely frank and revealing about his desires and his actions upon them for a person writing at this time.

Upton also reveals himself as the perpetrator of an infamous episode in 19th century Yale history  - the break in, on the night of September 29, 1876, of Skull and Bones. Upton along with two of his associates were the self-styled "Order of the File and Claw," which accomplished this feat. Upton also reveals himself to be the author of a pamphlet describing the event which appeared anonymously later that year, entitled: The Fall of Skull and Bones. Compiled from the Minutes of the 38th Regular Meeting of the Order of the File and Claw..."

William Henry Upton was the son of William W. Upton (1817-1896) jurist and public servant. William Henry Upton was born in California July 19, 1854, he graduated from Yale in 1877, worked for a time after his graduation as a clerk in the Navy Department in Washington, practiced law with his brother Charles Backus Upton, and served as a member of the territorial legislature of Washington and for two terms as superior judge of the state of Washington.

William W. Upton, was born in Victor, Ontario County, New York, July 11, 1817. His father, James Upton, a substantial farmer and a man of considerable prominence in the county, was fifth in descent from one John Upton, who settled in Massachusetts in 1637. Judge Upton's mother Olive Broughton was of Connecticut descent.

Upton received the scanty educational advantages which Western New York then afforded, including a course at Lima Academy, he managed to acquire a knowledge of Latin, Mathematics as well as French.

After a preliminary settlement in Michigan in 1838 he taught school, worked as a surveyor, studied law in his native state and was admitted to the bar. In 1840 he married, and began the practice of his profession at Victor, Michigan. He was supervisor of Victor during 1840-1845, surveyor of Clinton County during 1841-1845, county treasurer 1845-1847 and a member of the legislature which made Lansing the state capitol. He was appointed district attorney for Ingham County in 1848 and was elected to the same office in 1849 and 1851. He had removed to DeWitt in 1845 and later to Lansing, in which city he built the first house that was not made of logs in 1847. In March 1852, he resigned his office, and with his wife and three children crossed the plains to California. There he practiced his profession first at Weaverville, and from 1855 at Sacramento. He was a member of the legislature in 1856 and prosecuting attorney of Sacramento County during 1861-1864. His wife and several of his children died he married in 1860 his second wife, Marietta Bryan. He removed to Portland, Oregon in the spring of 1865 and assumed a place in the front rank of the Oregon bar. He was elected to the legislature in 1866, and was appointed a justice of the Supreme Court for the fifth circuit in 1867 and was elected to the same position for a term of six years in 1868, becoming the Tenth Chief Justice in 1872. He returned to the practice of law in 1874, but in 1877 was appointed second comptroller of the treasury of the United States by President Hayes, and moved to Washington D.C. with his family. He held this position through three successive administrations. He resigned the office June 1, 1885, and continued the practice of law there until his death on January 23, 1896. His "Digest of Decisions of the Second Comptroller, 1869-84," was published by the government in 1885.

Judge Upton was originally a democrat, voting for Douglas in 1860; but from the latter date was a republican. He was a Freemason having been initiated in Michigan in 1849; received all the degrees of the so-called York and Scottish Rites and succeeded General Albert Pike as president of the Masonic Veteran Association of the District of Columbia.

Sample Quotations:


Tuesday, January 9, 1872

"In evening proposed to go to prayer meeting and told the folks I was going down town, whereupon Geo. said he would go with me; on my objecting Geo. hinted pretty strongly that I wanted to go to some place to which the folks would object. At which I told him he was an "infernal liar," whereupon Etta gave me a lecture and there being three of us angry at once we did not get along very smoothly. Finally seeing that I had made an ass of myself I went to bed very much ashamed of myself."

Thursday, January 11, 1872

"This evening attended prayer meeting at M. E. Church and escorted Maggie home. Had determined to give her a fairwell kiss this evening and then to stop going with her. At least for this month. Came to this determination partly to prevent my falling in love with her and partly that she might see that I am not wholly dependent on her whims for my happiness. But on account of the presence of others I did not kiss her at the gate but postponed my farewell till next Sunday night. However I told her a story of an imaginary person who wonders if he had better quit the side of her with whom he is afraid of falling in love. Was unusually awkward but think she understood me."

Friday, January 26, 1872

"Attended Prof. G. G. Rogers lecture before debating society. Subject Chemistry Proceeds $ 10 ¼.

This evening father gave a party to some of the military who had been kind to Etta on her trip over to Victoria last Summer. There were only a couple of dozen of the aristocracy present which caused considerable hard feelings among those not invited. After seeing Belle home, went to bed with Charlie at 2 o'clock tomorrow morning!"

Friday, February 9, 1872

"Went to school in fine spirits but the boys conspired to bring up the "Judge Upton's son" joke & bothered me considerable. How foolish it appears for a man of McEwan's age to stick himself into other people's business! Mem. "Gentleman One who minds his own business."

This afternoon Etta asked me if I take the Stitzels home from church. I said "occasionally." At which she objected strongly and told me if I would attended to her wishes she would have me forbidden. I maintained that if I chose to take girls home it is no one else's business. No conclusion.

Spent the evening at Stitzel's. Mary is going to have a party one week from to-night and wishes us to take part in some charades. I respectfully declined. Only the Theilson's, Jesse Mitchell and Edith Carter were there. Martha and I spent the first part of the evening looking over some poets. Afterwards we danced. At 12 o'clock took Jesse home."

Friday, February 23, 1872

"Went to school. Latin did not recite owing to the absence of Prof. Jones. Wrote, or rather finished, a piece of verse which I began some six weeks ago, which I call "A Pacific Coast Pastoral" - being an imitation of Virgil's Eclogues, about 150 lines long..."

Tuesday, February 27, 1872

"This evening father and I went to hear the fifth lecture of the Society's course by Ex-Gov. Geo. G. Curry. Subject "Pioneers." Father says it was a very good lecture. Proceeds, = $ 7.50

Escorted Katie Wilson and Miss Cook home from the lecture and then went over to dancing school. Before I arrived some of the boys came near being arrested for breaking the windows of a china wash-house, across the street."

Saturday, March 16, 1872

"Today I bound in two small volumes all the rhymes & verse I have written, with the exception of the "Pacific Pastoral" and the "Tolling of the Bell." The first vol. contains about 1100 lines including some "fragments" and the greater part of it is very inferior rhyme without verse. The second vol. contains about 1000 lines including 37 six line stanzas of a poem destined, probably, never to be finished; and both volumes are full of unchaste lines and obscene sentiments besides miserable verse. There are a few lines which I like very much. These lines are the result of the idle moments of eleven months beginning - fitting day - April 1st, 1871.

In evening danced with the girls, see last Saturday night."

Sunday, March 24, 1872

"One year ago today some one stole a letter I had written Emma from her pocket which troubled her so much that she told me she would correspond no longer. Attended usual services.

At 3 P.M. went down to the M. E. church to the china school. The Supt. Mr. Jones offered to make me Assistant Supt. if I would join, but I declined on account of inability to attend regularly. He gave me two china men to teach. At 3.30 o'clock went to the first S. S. concert given by the "North Portland charge", at the "north school house." Mattie, Maggie and Emily S. were there. Emily for some reason did not "recognize" me - though she had no good opportunity to do so. ..."

Sunday, March 31, 1872

"One year ago to day for the first time I met Cora in the P. A. & F. S. music room and spent the afternoon, from 2 ½ to 6 o'c holding her in my arms and giving and receiving kisses ..."

Monday, April 22, 1872

"Studied well at school to-day. Studied from 3.30 p.m. to 5 and about an hour after dinner... At 9 o'clock went to the school meeting at central school house .005% tax on $ 6,000000 property was levied, and the legislature was petitioned for permission to issue $ 100000. bonds at 8 or 9 %. On motion of Mr. J. D. Holman the colored school was abolished and all children placed on the same level by a unanimous vote. The meeting was in favor of High Schools, Graded Schools and the teaching of music in every department. ..."

Monday, June 3, 1872

"Election day. At noon Emmet Williams and I made the round of the polls. Lapeus, Hollock & Co police commissioners have flooded the city with Democratic policemen, and Sheriff James has appointed a hundred or so republican Deputy Sheriffs. It is the quietest election ever held here. At 2.30 got excused from school and spent the day at the polls. In evening went up on top Odd Fellows Temple. The county has gone Rep. by probably 800 odd majority and Joe Wilson is elected..."

Saturday, June 8, 1872

"Spent the day copying for father, on the "Oregon Reports" which he and others are preparing to publish. He introduced me to Judge Kelsay of Corvallis & Rufus Mallory of Salem.

It is two weeks ago today since I wrote to Daisy and I have heard nothing from her. It is a curious fact that though I made out a long written statement of the arguments pro & con writing to her, it never once came into my mind that she might not answer my letter. Today father gave me a letter from Yale advising me to apply for admission. Father had opened it accidentally. Query: Did he ever open any from Emma and feel it his duty to destroy them?

In evening attended a grand ratification meeting in the square 1500 probably present. Speeches by Williams, Mitchell, Mallory, Kelsay, Hare and Caples. Miss Jeannie Dyar went east on the steamer this evening."

Tuesday, June 18, 1872

"... Well, with tonight ends my 18th year. Ah! If I could but live these years over again! I am about 5 ft 3 ½ inches in my stockings and weigh a little over 125 pounds. Am rather awkward, healthy but at the same time short winded and with little physical strength. My disposition is not good. I am the victim of impulse; Usually loving to be alone but occasionally feeling a resistless desire for girl's company. My temper is very quick and violent and I am disposed to contradict and argue. I have not yet got out of the bad habits, which I fell into during the past three years, of lieing and swearing. All these bad habits I wish to correct. With today I propose as far as I am able to put off the boy and put on the man. Etta gave me today for a birthday present, the first photograph album I ever owned."

Sunday, June 23, 1872

"Attended the usual church services. Rev. Huntington preached fine sermon at Presb. Ch. in morning. He is from Olympia.

This afternoon while reading the N.Y. Tribune of June 5th I read that on Saturday June 1 the General Conference of the M. E. Church amended our Discipline, by a vote of 179 to 75, so as to make using of liquor, playing games of chance, attending theater &c, Dancing &c &c &c "contrary to the order and discipline of the church." Words cannot describe my astonishment sorrow and chagrin. If this is so I must either give up these things or withdraw from the M.E. Church. I hold and have always held that no church is superior in authority to the conscience. I can not conscienciously [sic] give up practices which I know are not wrong. Time will tell..."

Tuesday, July 16, 1872

"Emma's sweet face which I saw in my dream last night haunts me to-day. I am agreed with the determination I formed last night concerning Mattie & Martha. This melancholy which has obtained such fearful control over me I am determined to kill by starvation. Instead of indulging it I will apply my mind to other subjects. Wrote in office. Attended noon meeting.

Have recently been reading in Wharton & Stille's Medical Jurisprudence and have come to the opinion that I am afflicted with a mild form of insanity called "Depression", or else with "Hypochondria." My condition agrees exactly with a description in Dr. Johnson's "Rasselas" and one in the "Medecine Legale de M. Orfila." I can say with Burns who had this disease. "I have been for some time pining under secret wretchedness. The pangs of disappointment, the stings of pride and some wandering stabs of remorse, settle on my life like vultures, when my attention is not called away by the claims of society or the vagaries of the muse. My constitution was blasted ab origine, with a deep incurable taint of melancholy that poisoned my existence."

Monday, July 22, 1872

"Made a list of the Cases Reported in the 3d Oregon Reports, today at the office. ... There is little more to be done at the office until some "proof" arrives from Bancroft & Co of San Francisco. Have determined to go to studying soon."

Thursday, July 25, 1872

"Spent the day copying the syllabus of McArthur's cases and listening to the trial of Gilfoy for the murder of W. R. Wales. The evidence is strong against him. The killing is not denied. Mr. Effenger, a new lawyer here, made a splendid speech in his defence. The best I ever heard I think...."

Thursday, August 8, 1872

"Did not do much work to day although I was at the office most of the time. Came across a book of father's marked "Records" in which he has written occasionally for many years. It also contains many extracts concerning him &c from news papers; and also a record of the family from his grandfather down. I was wrong in reading it but am glad I did for I there read the only account I have ever received of the death of my mother. It is written by father "for the sake of her dear children." And, more, the book shows on almost every page that father is a true God-fearing and God-trusting Christian. The account of "beloved Maria's" death breaths in every line the spirit of "Thy will, not mine, be done, oh God." How unworthy and mean I feel with all my professions and church membership, when I compare myself with him. The text at her funeral, as near as I can remember the words of the book, was Now may they rest from their toil; and their good works shall follow them. ..."

Friday, August 9, 1872

"Two years ago today, - August 9th, 1870, James first boy Charles Samuel Upton was born in the little house behind the court house, I was then at Astoria.

Today James, his wife, her mother, his children and myself started on a pleasure trip. We got on the "west side" cars at 8 A.M., arrived at Cornelius at 9.40 ... spent the afternoon in an unsuccessful attempt to kill some squirrels with Chas. breach loading Ballard rifle. Was introduced to Mrs. Nellie Loftus Shaw, Sam's wife and to Rob. Emeric."

Thursday, August 15, 1872

"Spent most of the day at father's office where I read his journal of political and family affairs kept from the time they left Mich. about '52, I think, to the present day. How much the thought should strengthen me in dark hours, that father was at times subject to similar spells of despondency, and how I should persevere if at first unsuccessful when I remember that he, after years of toil and struggling with misfortunes and death, at the age of 35 found himself a stranger in a strange land with a large family on his hands his whole earthly possessions consisting of the clothing they wore, a cow and $ 12.50 in cash; and yet worked on trusting in God until now he is what he is..."

Friday, August 23, 1872

"After being unwell for a month or so Pansy succumbed to her disease a year ago today and when I called in the evening I found that they even despaired of saving her life. She did not get entirely well before she went east.

Spent most of the day at Deady's Court listening to the testimony in the Mail robbery case. In evening went down and bade Fred. R. Strong good-by. He is going "East" to attend law school and expects to be gone about a year and a half. Spent the evening at the library and walked up from his store with Charlie Holder.

Have been thinking some this evening of the pleasure I should take in some dear one's company. The desire has rather taken the form of a longing for a reconciliation with Daisy. These musings come to me but with them comes not that dreadful darkness that so blighted my life five or six weeks ago. The knowledge of my disease is, I trust, its antidote. God grant it may be eternal."

Sunday, September 1, 1872

"Got up early and helped father with his trunk down to the Cars. He goes to Salem for the Supreme Court of which, according to the rotating system, he will be Chief Justice, to-morrow..."

Saturday, September 21, 1872

"... Going down street in evening met James near the Court House. Today about noon while he & R. E. Bybee were chasing a bear near Cornelius, one of their hounds sprang upon James playfully, and discharged his rifle. A Henry rifle-ball passed through his left hand, cutting off a piece of the bone and tearing away most of the flesh between the thumb and first finger; He came home on the 6 P.M. train and proposes to stay at our house.

Took J. A. Simmons and Chas. Holder to society and made members of them. Had a big wordy fight with W. S. Chapman: I decided that a motion to "suspend the rules and take up new business" does more than simply suspend the order of business; Win appealed. We fought from 9.30 to 11.30, he making constant motions which were regularly voted down, and speaking his allotted 10 minutes on every motion, to tire the society out and compel us to adjourn. But when the final vote was taken the chair was sustained by an all-most unanimous vote. Win. used some strong language and said "that Upton is a most unscrupulous fellow - he will be terrible if he ever goes into politics!" ..."

Saturday, October 5, 1872

"... Father and mother came down from Salem in time for dinner bringing Judge Prim of the Supreme Court. Was introduced to him. In evening tried in vain to get together a quorum at the society but could not owing to Senator Mitchell's reception. The court room was packed, Mattie, Maggie and Mary Combs were there - the two latter bowed to me clear across the room. Harvey Scott made the congratulatory speech. Mitchell was followed by Gov. Bennett of Idaho, J. F. Caples, Mrs. A. J. Dunniway and others. Mrs. D. was very sharp on Caples and Mitchell for "going back" on the ladies in their efforts to get a women's rights bill through the legislature, but never the less congratulated Mitchell."

Monday, October 21, 1872

"Got up at 7 A.M. went to school as usual. Did not know my Greek... In evening went down to Court House and heard Geo. P. Reiley the negro-barber-orator make a Grant-Wilson speech..."

Saturday, November 2, 1872

"... Today the Chinese feast of the Lesser Dragon begins. They celebrate it with preasts [sic] brought from ‘Frisco. Sunday they are to throw the devil which they are now engaged in catching, into the river."

Monday, November 4, 1872

"Today father took Geo and me to the office to work on the Index where I left off Oct. 26th '72. We worked all day till 9.30 P.M.

This evening at the court house some fine speaking was done. There was a torch procession of most of the negroes of the city wearing white rubber capes marked "Grant Invincibles". After the meeting was over they went up and, with the E. Port. Band, serenaded Gen. Canby, Caples, and Gibbs. On the street I stood near the Connell's Girls but did not speak. Perhaps I carried my "don't caredness" too far this evening; Gibbs on the other hand joined them and walked up the street with them."

Sunday, December 8, 1872

"Thirty-two years ago today, i.e. Dec. 8th, 1840, my father William W. Upton, was married to Maria Amanda Hollister, my mother, at Victor, N.Y.

Attended class. Stated I am resolved to devote my whole life, body and soul, to God. Attended other services as usual. In morning Geo. Was well enough to go with me. A German S. S. begins to meet in the Presbt. Basement Sunday morning to day. After dinner went down to M.E. S. S. and stayed to China school. Martha cut me, though her sisters are very pleasant, Maggie did not speak.

In evening went to M. E. Ch. & Prayer meeting. In ch. I took a seat on the side where I could not avoid looking Maggie, Mattie &c in the face. The latter smiled very pleasantly.

There is a very pretty looking young English woman about 20 years old, who is said to be engaged to Stephen Prideau, who on various accounts seems inclined to catch my attention. Coming home from church, where she had been smiling during services &c, we met and she coughed coquettishly &c &c."

Tuesday, December 17, 1872

"At school to-day Goodenough talking of Spiritualism spoke of Llewellens of Milwaukie who for 7 years from commands of the spirits have not tasted animal food, nor salt &c. Emmet Williams' mother has been stopping there a long time to be cured. They claim he is a spiritualist and that the sprits helped him study &c. Does this explain Emmet's queer theology and the fact of his avoiding all food but graham crackers? Surely this is worth examining ..."                                                                                      

Sunday, December 22, 1872

"This morning Jacob Stitzel and Gen. "Gish" Applegate started East as Oregon's first Immigration Committee. James is Stitzel's agent while he is gone. At half past 9 A.M. while I was in class meeting alarm bells rang and Bro. Cullens little boy rushed in with news of a fire at his shop.  Fire, the largest ever in State, burned E. side Front St. down to Washington from Morrison. Also E. half of block in front of Odd Fellows Temple. Loss 3 to 5 hundred thousand. James' things were about all saved. For further particulars see newspapers. Izer worked like (and was as wet as) a rat. I carried two express loads of books &c to our house and a wagon load of letters and papers of Mitchell's to Dolphs &c &c &c. From library walked up to her uncle's with Edith Carter. ..."


Friday, January 9, 1874

"Flunked dead a geometry lesson which I knew well as Johny knew his daddy."

Wednesday, January 14, 1874

"Father writes that Sen. Mitchell writes that every thing is going much better with him than he expected. Both he and Atty. Genl. Williams will to their utmost to get George an appointment to West Point from the President."

Wednesday, January 28, 1874

"To-day Prof. Wright stoped me on the Campus and told me he wanted to congratulate me on the way I am reciting in Latin. Said perhaps I was surprised he called me up so often but it was because a Prof. like to hear one recite whom he was sure would recite well. He said "You are going for a 2d division stand at least, are you not? I advise you to go for the 1st Went through the Art School with some of the boys."

Saturday, February 12, 1874

"Was elected Vice President at Gamma Nu. The Banger rush took place to night. I did not go. Our boys kept their banger."

Tuesday, April 7, 1874

"Rye. Read Oliver Twist. Rode through Port Chester &c. We took supper at Thealls. Later Frank lay with his head in Maria's lap until George & I ousted him and then I lay on Georgiana's breast, while she stroked my hair & kissed my forehead, and held Mira on mine. Departed at 10 o'c. Purdy a little before. Georgie & I stood at the gate and there I clasped her to my breast and imprinted such kisses as none but Pansy ever received from me. But I care nothing for George nor she for me unless she is so foolish as to think she can marry me, an opinion which Frank firmly believes. She reminds me in her cheek, dimples, laugh, but most of all in her beautiful eyes of Martha S. One might imagine a resemblance between Mira & Amanda. But the X's are more refined and modest girls."

Thursday, April 23, 1874

"In answer to my question, Father writes that Blackstone is the best book to begin with reading law but Kent is preferable to one who has other studies. Read my first 20 pages of Kent. Hooker has given us 2 ¼ pages advance greek and I, like the rest of the class, have been compelled to have recourse to a pony."

Sunday, May 3, 1874

"I have got into a terrible habit of swearing, punning and telling objectionable stories and have been trying in vain lately to get rid of it ..."

Saturday, May 23, 1874

"This P. M. went sailing for the first time in N. H. with Purdy, Tyler, Wakeman & Kelsey. The latter is a good sailor. Visited the Yale Boat House for the first time, saw the crews row and for the first time saw "shells" & "Barges."

My "Bachelors Story" was in to-days Courant, My first piece of verse in print."

Wednesday, June 3, 1874

"Last recitation of Freshman year this noon. I fizzled the next to last and flunked the last recitation. Have only been up twice this term in Algebra and flunked both times. Have almost a certainty of holding the 2d Division.

A letter from Carrie Caples says that Mary Combs says Pansy borrowed her photo of me and is painting a copy. After a row with Prof. Coe I drew room 97 North College."

Thursday, June 18, 1874

"This morning at nine '77 went into her last freshman annual - Geometry of first two terms. I got 7 out of the 8 propositions and at 12 M came out of the door an unconditioned Sophomore. It was rather better than I expected to escape a condition. At 2 ½ we gathered on the fence and at 3.40 left N.H. for the Pequot House New London. The literary part of the class supper was fine. Mathews spoke of me as a poet, in his history, and quoted the last 4 lines of "To Pansy". The supper was a failure, poorly served and not enough to go round. A number of fellows got Elliot & T. Barnes drunk - As the 19th, my birthday was ushered in we were just starting for N.H. On the cars a Towny came near getting in trouble for resenting an insult drunken Eliott paid him. Got to bed at 3 ½ o'clock."

Tuesday, August 25, 1874

"Today walked to her dress maker's with Eda. She became displeased and almost ready to cry at the too great familiarity of some of my caresses. I kissed her and begged her pardon promising never more to offend her. Then she played piano and it was curious to see how hard each tried to restore cheerfulness. I am sure we love and respect each other more. ..."

Thursday, September 10, 1874

"College Year begins. We have Sophocles Electra, Prof. Packard; Analitical Geometry (or Conic Sections), Prof. Newton; Horace, Tutor Wilson; Triginometry, Tutor Morrow and Compositions, Prof. Northrup. Was called up in Analitics, and made a rush. Moved to 97 North, board at Commons, remained in 2d Division, wrote a note to Rush Giltner yesterday who I think has been rejected at examinations."

Tuesday, November 3, 1874

"Today for the first time in 15 years the Democracy, has won a great victory. Nearly 20 states have gone democratic to half a dozen for the administration. The lower house of congress changes from 100 Rep. to 50 Dem. Majority."

Saturday, December 12, 1874

"Handed in to Prof. Northrup our first prize-compositions. My subject is meditative poetry. I think I have very little chance for a prize."

Tuesday, December 15, 1874

"Was examined in Horace's Odes. I guess I have none done remarkably well in anything this examination. My money order due on the 12th has not come and I am afraid I am not going to get off Thursday. Went to another mesmerism show, - only a partial success."

Friday, December 25, 1874

"Spent the P.M. at a Turkey shoot. Held Eda in my arms & lap a great deal and read Moore to her. In eve as she lay in rocking chair with her eyes closed I opened the front of her dress and toyed with her breasts which are well developed for a girls under 15.  She covered her face with her handkerchief and a beautiful rose color covered her face. At first I th'ot she was displeased but it was only a maidenly modesty which confiding love over came. Is there any wrong in this? No! even if she were not fully armed with virtue as she is, I would not harm her."


Friday, January 7, 1876

"McDonald is back and is compelled to go into '78. This eve. Gager & I went to here Gough on "Circumstances." We had a fine flirtation with two girls, perhaps "pick-ups" aged about 17 & 15 & good looking. Each gave the eldest a note going out & she looked as though she wished us to follow but we did not - restrained by fear of each other! He wrote about leap year &c. I wrote "Corner Chapel & Church Sts. Tomorrow eve. 7 o'clock" and hope to keep the appointment; which looks as though I had fallen from the stand I took two years ago. But I will be virtuous & happy, which is what Gager thinks I wrote to the girl."

Saturday, January 29, 1876

"Just before the winter vacation Marvin '76 asked me to write a poem for the Jan. Lit. I did not want to but he insisted and a week ago I offered him his choice of two not extra but fair pieces. The Modern Magdalen & At Ft. Stanwix. To-days Lit comes out without either of them. I do not think I will write any more, except a piece of prose on E. D. Baker which I have in hand, until '77 is editing the papers."

Thursday, February 24, 1876

"Today I received a letter from Mr. F. A. Gibons, Atty at Law Princeton, Ill. He says Anna is stopping at his house and has been confined to her room for some weeks by "a severe attack of nervous prostration" which I fear was caused by the letter I wrote her just after Thanksgiving. In answer to my request to exchange some of our letters she is willing he writes but it is my duty to send mine first. My letters he says have caused her "considerable uneasiness" and appear to have had a depressing effect upon her constitution." Of course my conscience smites me to think that I may have broken the girl's heart and I have just written her a long affectionate letter promising to be all I have been in the past, (no more) complaining of her want of confidence about the letters and offering to show my trust in her by sending her's anytime. I also wrote to Mr. Gibons I am very anxious to have a few letters which I have written her destroyed."

Monday, March 20, 1876

"Was "made" a voter. Swore to age and birth-place. That my residence had been in New Haven more than two years. That I lived here and incidentally attended college. That my bonds-man was a N H man ... That I supported myself. That I drew my money from NH That I had borrowed $ 25. of my father since I was of age... That I made money by tutoring... That I had no definite plane of going to Oregon to live when I graduated."

Wednesday, March 22, 1876

"Attended 1st Rep. political meeting of the campaign. Northrup presided Ex- M.C. Kellogg & Gen. Stewart Woodford spoke, the latter well. The meeting was not very enthusiastic."

Thursday, March 23, 1876

"Attended 1st Dem. Political meeting of the year. Senator Kernan and Col. Fellowes of N.Y. made good speeches. The meeting was very enthusiastic. Once when he mentioned Bristow's name a few of us applauded with our canes, the micks took it up and a prolonged applause ensued."

Thursday, June 1, 1876

"This eve. Shelton took me to call on two sisters on High St. but they were not in, so we called on a Miss Chamberlain, alias Chamber pot, who has the reputation of allowing a good deal of hugging. She asked me to call again. We then called on Miss Mattie Hills."

Wednesday, June 7, 1876

"Went in to Calculus Annual. Did pretty well. In eve took C. Shelton out to Bethany Thence at 8 we went to call on Anna & Marie (Mary) Bristol and stayed two hours. Marie & I talked together the whole time and I made an engagement to take her rowing Saturday at 3 P.M. Although Shelton claims I am engaged for a picnic with Miss Reynolds et al that day."

Thursday, July 6, 1876

"This P.M. Mac & I were discussing Bones Hall and went around to take a look at it. Stepping up I rang the bell when to our surprise the door opened and Elmer P. Howe '76 (our Socrates) stuck his nose out. We beat a retreat around the hall where to our surprise we found one of the iron shutters of a back window open. Getting on each others back we looked into a room which extended 2/3 the way toward the back of the hall and was about 2 or 3 feet higher than the top of the window I was plainly frescoed, some good looking furniture was pushed back near the walls, the floor was bare and dirty and littered; between the two windows and a little from the wall stood a common table covered with papers apparently legal cap &c folded up and in cases like those used by bill collectors. On the opposite side of the room was a green baze door or a door covered by a green curtain. Howe came and shut the inner blinds which were of imitation walnut. The wood of the window was painted white. The wind presently partially opened the blind again..."

Saturday, August 12, 1876

"McD. Has purchased iron saws & files, blow pipe, crow-bar, key hole saw, dark lantern, alarm bell cold chisel, monkey-wrench and c and we have made a rope ladder and propose to try to cut through the roof into Bones Hall within a week or so. To night we are to go up and see how much of a job it is I suspect it is prison if we get caught. We found it impossible to get up on our ladder which was a single 3/8 inch rope with sticks tied in every 4 ft. Got back at midnight."

Monday, August 14, 1876

"McD & I made a rope ladder 38 feet long putting in 25 iron rods and with this we easily got on top of Bones hall this evening and took all our tools up but it is so heavily plated with iron that there was no chance of getting in without alarming the numerous "peelers". Returned at 1 o'clock."

Friday, August 18, 1876

"This evening McDonald and I were examining the cellar windows of Bones Hall when we perceived a light in the cellar. Throwing in a light from our Bullseye we got a good view of the cellar. The light appeared to come from a Joe. It is rather discouraging to find the windows guarded by double rows of inch iron bars."

Wednesday, August 23, 1876

"... Then McD sawed half through one of the iron bars of Bones cellar but found somebody had captured our crow-bar so we had to postpone till tomorrow night."

Wednesday, August 30, 1876

"Went to the Centennial. In the evening went to a Can Can variety show. It was the first real can can I have attended. The preludes were darn dull.

Saw the race between Yale and the great London Rowing club in which Yale astonished every body by coming in only five feet behind though her course was 100 ft longer than her adversaries."

Thursday, August 31, 1876

"At the Centennial Tyler '77 run across me and took dinner with his mother and sister Carrie. In the eve Tyler, Ed & I went to see Jules Verne "Around the World in 80 Days" as a spectacular at the Alhambra. On the way home who should enter the street car but Stanley Royal. We had a cordial talk and agreed to meet at the Oregon show tomorrow at eleven."

Monday, September 11, 1876

"McDonald & I filed a little more on the bar of Bones Window but we have not yet got in"

Tuesday, September 12, 1876

"This evening Mc & I set out to finish the job and get into Bones cellar but while at work a lot of Bones men entered the hall and we had to desist."

Friday, September 22, 1876

"This evening McD & I again worked at the cellar window of Bones and finished cutting through one of the out side iron bars which is about an inch thick. Owing to the numerous lights we were unable to work longer so we fastened the bar in its place with putty."

Friday, September 29, 1876

"... This evening we finished the job at Bones... "X" & I agreed that another man was necessary so we settled on "Y." who expressed himself delighted with the idea. There was a bright moon but we were partially shaded. We got to work about 8 p.m. Y & I watched while X finished removing the grating. Then with great difficulty he got out the wooden frame to which it had been fastened and I carried the pieces to the back yard. Then "X" crawled in to file away the 1 ½ inch iron bar but found that it was fastened in a wooden beam above and in an interior brick "damp wall" below. He removed a few brick and then I took his place. This "damp wall" was about two inches from the main stone wall and was one brick (8 inches) thick so by means of blows of a hatchet and prying away mortar with a nail claw I rapidly dug away the wall about two feet to where the bars ran through iron plate imbedded in the brick wall. To facilitate matters I had thrown down a wooden shutter and frame which covered the window from the inside....About an hours work dug away all the brick wall around the bar which I then pulled out and the bars all fell out of their own weight. I then enlarged the opening by throwing down the large stone which capped the brick wall and sloped up from the outer toward the inner row of bars ... and then the way was clear to enter. Some of the bricks I had thrown in, the others we neatly piled up beside the building. What we saw inside is essentially as given in the pamphlet to be published early in 1877, except that we did not get into the two rooms marked "storeroom" owing to our haste to get away. We then went out to West River and sunk our tools, rope ladder &c and hid our spoils temporarily in a stone fense."  [sic]

Friday, October 20, 1876

"Tonight about 300 students joined in a great Hayes & Wheeler procession and marched from 7 to 10:30. It was some miles long and them dems. had one nearly as large."

Saturday, October 21, 1876

"Tonight Tyler I attended Matt Morgan's combination show where various classical pictures were represented en tableaux by draped female figures. Howard & Whitney were there with pick ups and we tracked them via Lockwood's to where they left the girls. We then knocked but could not get up much conversation with the snab."             

Sunday, October 22, 1876

"This P.M. about dusk Tyler and I went down to the house which we discovered yesterday evening and soon started a conversation with two girls on the second floor who soon came down to the front door. One of them, I think the one Whitney had last night was introduced as Lula or Lotta Bradley. Soon started a conversation and agreed to meet them at Calvery Baptist Ch. & take them home. Then dug out as Tyler has vowed not to pick up after dark in N.H. I suppose the house is a professional, perhaps amateur whorehouse. We then went and called on Miss Hills and her Mich. Cousin Miss Butler..."

Wednesday, October 25, 1876

"This evening about 400 students in caps, capes and torches escorted ex-Pres. Woolsey to the Music Hall and he made the first political speech he has ever made. About 80 students turned out for Tilden; the most important Tildenites are Chapin, Percy, Atwater, Kimball, Dillingham, Keeler. Most of them call themselves Ind. Reps."

Tuesday, October 31, 1876

"Tonight we - about 500 Hayes &Wheeler students took part in an immense parade at Hartford. Got there about 8 o'clock. Procession, 1 ½ hours passing one point, marched till about 1.30 o'c. when they got collation. About 12, Ed. Wilson '79 & I dropped out and went up to Chas. Groves room where we found a spread and boundless lager. Left there about 3 and got to N.H. at 5 a.m. A red letter day."

Thursday, November 2, 1876

"Oct. Lit. contains two of my pieces :Leila Adair" and A Reminiscence of Col. Baker, one about as much a work of the imagination as the other. Last night Billy Sumner delivered about the finest political speech I ever heard, in Linonia Hall at the request of the Tildonites. Tonight Prof. Northrup set all over him. ... Earlier Tyler and I went and got our Bones plunder which had been buried in a stone fence. He takes it to Rome to-morrow I am writing a pamphlet about it which we intend to have printed in Cal. We begin the study of Chemistry to-day under Wright."


Monday, January 1, 1877


The new year found me visiting at Sen. Mitchell's in Washington. Mr. M. invited me to go calling with him & Mr. Dolph but I declined because dress suits are necessary. Mrs. M. assisted by Etta & several others received 180 callers. While in Washington I did the city pretty thoroughly. I crammed to books on Moral Philosophy to forestall Pres's study. I took notes on four volumes of Port Royal books for my essay. I met a large number of Oregonian's, Dolph, Steele, Watts & Odell the electors, Ben Simpson, Capt. Crandall, Dr. Thompson et al. ..."

Thursday, January 18, 1877

"Two or three days ago I asked Prof. Northrup if I could study law in his office. He said he was not practicing but sent me to Judge H. E. Pardee, who after consideration said he should be too busy and turned me over to one Chas. T. Morse who promises me an affidavit-certificate six months from now for which I am to pay him $ 2. per hour as often as I recite. He lends me a Blackstone. Bot my first law book, Robinson's Elementary Law. ..."

Friday, January 26, 1877

"Today a pamphlet was sent to students through the mail giving an account of the breaking into Bones Hall Sept. 29, 1876. There appear to be no clues by which its author can be discovered but it is generally regarded as genuine. ..."

Saturday, February 24, 1877

"This morning I read a composition on Keats to Northrup after which he asked me to stay a few moments. He asked how my stand had changed since Junior year. I told him not materially one way or the other. He then said "I invite you to write for Commencement, as a token of my respect for your ability as a writer and a speaker." I of course very gratefully accepted a privilege that I do not know to have been before accorded to a low stand man. The other fellows have their pieces written for the most part but I must hand in when they do, March 19..."

Thursday, April 5, 1877

"Term begins to day. Studies, "History of Philosophy," Prex; Hallam's Eng., Wheeler; Lieber Civil Liberty, Sumner; and (optional) Eng. Literature, Beers.

To day my money (two weeks behind had) came. I neglected to state that a day or two ago I called on Prof. Thacher to see if he could get me $ 100 at the end of the year and he says he can not owing to hard times. I had counted on it. Wrote a composition for Goodier a day or two ago but he has not paid. Am to write two more for Howard & Whitney. Ed brought me the jobs. They are worth about $ 4.00 each. Spent eve with Mamie."

Tuesday, May 15, 1877

"Today received a letter from Etta announcing that Father has through Mitchell's influence been appointed by Pres. Hayes 2nd Comptroller of the Treasury at a salary of 5000 to begin in Oct. and has accepted. My pleasure cannot be expressed. It will probably materially alter my plans."

Sunday, May 20, 1877

"Called on Mamie but she was so ill with some kind of a skin disease that I could not see her more than half an hour. Finished the piece on "La Fayette's Career in France" which I hand in for the Townsend prize tomorrow. Shall not be much surprised if it takes a prize or does not."

Saturday, May 26, 1877

"Am amused at a dream I had last night: that a lot of Bones men attacked me in bed and had a great advantage on account of my nakedness until I put on my pants when I easily put them to flight. Now the joke is that when I awoke this morning I had my pants on! This P.M. occurred the first B. B. game of the series with Harvard. 2000 persons saw us beat them 5 to 0. They did not make a base hit. Betting in N.Y. has been 100 to 30 against us. College is wild and justly so."

Friday, June 29, 1877

"Ed & I hired a double team & took Ed's sister & Miss Hatty Andross to Springfield to see the races which being postponed on acct of rough water we put up at the Pyncheon House. In eve the girls were addressed by Harvard men as pic ups, & after Ed & I had gone to bed in room 3 a lot of whores in the adjoining parlor when not carrying on with Harvard men tried to break into our room."

Sunday, July 15, 1877

"Are anchored in Holmes Hole at Vineyard Haven, Tisburytown, Martha's Vineyard. A beautiful village. Walked to Oak Bluff, the great Camp Meeting three miles east of here. There are many large hotels and I should think over 2000 cottages. Sailed around in the yawl and wrote letters. My & Hull's five days cooking begins today."

Saturday, September 27, 1877

"This eve called on Miss Wood. After Miss Felt went out began caressing her below the waist. The first few times she was quite angry but at last nearly yielded to it though claiming to be virtuous. She talks smut the worst I ever heard. Report says Chas. L. Brown has screwed her. Probably she objected to my caress because of the horrible stench which arose from her pudenda, possibly because she had been walking all day at the fair. Stayed till midnight."

Tuesday, October 2, 1877

"Spent much of the day and the eve at Torrances Hawkins & I were beaten at whist because of too much talk, I defending Hayes' peace policy. Geo. defends hazing & W.P. treatment of Nigger Flipper which so disgusted me that I used pretty strong language going home. It begins to dawn on me that his tastes and mind are so different that we must drift apart. W. P. is hell to a man morally and nearly as bad mentally & esthetically."

Monday, November 26, 1877

"A certain clerk in father's office gave me a certain book containing the questions used in cvil service examinations at the Treasury. So much for Civil Service. Was introduced today to Asst. Sect. of Treasury McCormick but nothing came of it..."

Monday, December 17, 1877

"Went to work in Navy Dept. under Chf. Clerk John Hogg at $ 1200. Am copying today. As Ralph has one sold the Crusoe I bot in N.H. for $ 2. And bot for 4.50 Bryant's Lib. of P & S for Mamie Xmas."