DANIEL SPENCER GILMAN COLLECTION
WRITTEN BY DANIEL SPENCER
Lowell July 28 "/42
Dear Parents Brothers & Sisters
By this you will be informed that I am again a watchman, where I formerly was, but how long I shall be one is uncertain, at any rate I think I shall leave next fall if not before. I have had serious thoughts of passing the winter in a more Southern Latitude. Of what I determine upon you shall be duly informed. My health is quite good, although I have had rather an ill turn for a few days past, which with the present hot weather has made me quite poor in flesh. Am almost entirely rid of my lameness.
Had a pleasant ride to Concord in this State the other day. Crops looked finely. Had not time to visit the battle grounds, went into grave yard. Some of the Stones bore date 1693. Also in front of the Court House, saw a venerable elm tree to which, as I was informed, Criminals were formerly tied to be whipped. Intend visiting Boston, Bunker Hill, Mount Auburn &c the next month. I hardly know what to write you for news excepting the hue & cry of hard times, Tariff and Anti Tariff. The manufacturing Companies have large quantities of goods on hand which they are unable to dispose of; their Store Houses are filled with their Goods. Some of which were manufactured 6 or 8 months ago. The Lowell Co. with but one mill Have goods to the value of three hundred thousand dollars on hand. It is said there has been a great revival of religion in this place the past Spring, of the truth of this I cannot say; as I am no judge of such matters. Yet can safely say the waters have been sadly troubled in sight of where I now am. Every Sabbath for a long time I have seen 100 immerse in a day.
(...) Last Saturday Eve attended a Lecture on Mesmerism or Animal Magnetism. 24 I shall not give my opinion in regard to it, but merely state some things which I witnessed allowing you to judge for yourselves. First a Lady Stranger was put to sleep in the space of three or four minutes. A Sceptic in regard to clairvoyance, viz Mr Bartlett of this City was put in communication with her, he willed her to go to his house not in person but merely by seeing a distance of a quarter of a mile or more, he acknowledged she described the rooms correctly the manner in which he had arranged the chairs, Tables, Sofa’s, mirror &c, previous to leaving home. Also the pictures in the room, how attired whether male or female. All of this she could not possibly have any previous knowledge of. A Lady very much out of health was then placed in Communication with her. She described her complaint very accurately, entering into all the particulars which I shall not relate. The different Faculties of the Mind were then excited as laid down by Phrenologists, Such as Mirth when she instantly broke forth into a hearty Laugh.
Combativeness was next excited when she instantly rose & drew up her Chair for fight, and so of the other faculties. (...)
I did think of giving you a piece of romance from real life in which I have been one of the principal actors did time & space permit. Not for the old folks but for the young who like to laugh is it suited, [...] you have got more now than I think you will ever be able to decipher. Miss ___ wishes to have you understand that her eyes are not grey by any means & is quite anxious to see you [to] convince you to the contrary. (...)
Yours in haste