Saturday, November 28, 2009

Exerpts from the Journal of Horace Purdy, Danbury, December 29-31, 1860

Saturday December 29th 1860 Danbury

“ The news from the revolutionists in South Carolina and the traitors at the seat of government in Washington are more alarming every day.”

Sunday December 30th 1860 Danbury

“A proclamation was read from our Governor ([William] Buckingham) in perseverance of one from the President ([James] Buchanan) (traitor as he is showing himself to be to the country) for Friday the 4th of January 1861 to be set apart for fasting and prayer. Our Governor has made some suitable amendments to it and out of respect for him it will undoubtedly be observed.”

Monday December 31st 1860 Danbury

“I rose and went to the shop rather earlier than usual. I finished two hats which I had left over from Saturday and then had to wait until after 2 o’clock pm before I could get anymore. I went to teachers meeting in the eve. ------ news reach us again today. It is reported that the President has consented to surrender the forts in Charleston Harbor to the Carolinians (Traitors and Revolutionists) and recall Major Anderson from Fort Sumter. General [Winfield] Scott has written to Anderson and tells him that he did right and to hold his position and he will bear him out in it by heading the Northern Army and putting down treason and rebellion. At least this is the report.

It is reported here this eve that a telegraphic dispatch states that Buchanan has resigned his office as President of the United States. I hope it is true for it may prevent a collision between the South Carolina and Federal troops.”


  1. I haven’t read enough about the period just before the American Civil War began, so I didn’t know that a crisis point had already been reached by Dec. 1860, before Lincoln took office! Thank you for this blog. It’s interesting that President Buchanan set the 4th of January 1861 apart for fasting and prayer, since Thomas Jefferson had told a pastor that it’s inappropriate for the federal government to meddle in religion in this way.

  2. Thanks, I'm glad you are enjoying the posts and hope you keep following along.