1848 11 19 Friends
 
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BROME, CANADA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
DANIEL SPENCER GILMAN COLLECTION

WRITTEN BY DANIEL SPENCER
TO HIS FRIENDS

Lowell 19th Novr 1848

Dear Friends

You have doubtless observed that after a storm succeeds a calm. This is just the case we are at present in. Anxious Office Seeking politicians have for the past few months raised quite a breeze & thrown great quantities of dust in the eyes of the great Mass of the people for the purpose of blinding them & then lead them by the nose just as they pleased. The Whig Party it seems have kicked up the biggest dust & made the greatest pretensions of love & regard for the "Dear People" & thus have succeeded in electing Taylor & Fillmore to the two highest offices in the gift of the People. Now the elections are over we are enjoying a calm & people begin to look around in vain for the cause of the impending ruin with which they were threatened.

I said we were enjoying a calm but in saying so I did not mean the good people of Lowell for they are far from calm. In the first place the Manufacturing Companies have seen fit in their wisdom to reduce the wages of their female Operatives about twenty five per cent: this has made them extremely wrathy & they have been holding indignation meetings passing resolves & pledging themselves not to work on reduced pay. Tomorrow the reduction is to commence & I think the amount of it will be that the best help will leave for their respective homes, such as have money enough to carry them there & such as have no homes & no money (& they are many) will stay here from necessity & work on reduced pay. I notice in this week’s paper an unusual number of marriage publishments. This I account for on the ground of the reduction of wages.

Another cause of excitement here is the death of a young man a few days ago from Hydraphobia. Since which time several dogs have run mad & now a general slaughter of cats & dogs has commenced. If poor Tray happens to show his teeth, or trot faster than common, or carry his tail in an unusual manner ‘tis enough he is a doomed victim & Death is his portion. Poor Pussy she fares no better. I was somewhat amused yesterday when going to my dinner I met a lot of boys marching up street as large as life armed with Clubs. One had a wheelbarrow with a lot of dead cats in it. Another had a tin horn which he was blowing quite lustily. In explanation I will say that our Fish Pedlers carry a horn which they blow occasionally to attract purchasers. (...)

You have doubtless heard ere this of the result of our Small Pox. None of us had it, although some of us had the symptoms rather severely including myself. Cousin Titcomb wants I should go to Manchester this winter & engage with him in the purchase of a wood Lot for the purpose of cutting wood for market. He thinks it a profitable business if rightly managed & wishes me to take hold & superintend the cutting of it. Could I get what money T.C. is now owing me I would look into the matter a little, but as the case now stands I think it does not look very promising in regard to my receiving a speedy Paymt. (...)

I am still at work on the large mill & my employer thinks he shall have work for me most of the winter. Since I commenced work for him I have recd $80 & at least $120 is now due which I can have by asking for it. T.C. is about engaging in a churn Speculation, it is a novel invention in Butter making & if it does half as well as it has the name of doing it will prove a grand article to the dairy woman. But I have doubts in regard to the practical part of the story. I shall probably see one in operation ere long & if it eclipses Friend Sweet’s Horse rake I will let you know. The Book I intended sending I thought I could obtain easily, but come to look round there was none to be had. It was the life of General Taylor including the late Mexican War. (...)

Yours D.S.G.
 
 

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