Friday, September 18, 2009

John Hamilton Morgan, Journal 1891, Nov. 20-23.

John Morgan’s chair.
Thank you, John Morgan descendant, Karen for sharing this picture of John Morgan's chair. Be certain to click on the picture so you can see the fine detailed craftsmanship.

In the following entries from John Morgan' Journal, he appears to be traveling from Salt Lake City to Nephi, Utah to visit Mary Ann Linton Morgan, and their son, Linton, born September 21, 1890.

November 20
Went to Nephi on 4 p.m. train. Found all well.

November 21
Quiet in the house all day.

November 22
Reading Stanley’s “Darkest Africa.” Several called in during the day. Some stacks of hay caught fire and burned belonging to brother [probably George] Teasdale.

November 23
Left for the city on the 5:30 a.m train and read Stanley’s return from Africa on the way. At work on my accounts all day.

In 1993 when we closed up Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier’s home in Salt Lake, there emerged a box of miscellanea. There were two of eight old books in this box of “stuff” my father and mother must have brought back from Randolph years earlier. They didn’t mean anything to me then, and these two seemed to me unlikely books from Randolph. My eyes only looked for evidences of Bessie’s life, or so I thought. I would deal with these books later. I put the other six in zip-lock-bags because they were disintegrating, and stood these two on my bookshelf. After a time these books just became “something my husband must have picked up from somewhere.”

I began reading and studying John Morgan’s journal in April of this year. I had to read these 1891 entries on a couple of different occasions before wondering about the book, In Darkest Africa. What is it about? Why would John Morgan be reading it? I did a Google search. About the same time I was also re-organizing the shelf these books were stored on to free up some space. I considered getting rid of them, and handled them a couple of different times.

Then it hit, these are the same books John Morgan talked about reading. I pulled them off the shelf, looked through them carefully, and looked at the title page. In Darkest Africa, or the Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin Governor of Equatoria, by Henry M. Stanley, with two steel engravings, and one hundred and fifty illustrations and maps in two volumes, published 1890, by Charles Schribner’s Sons. These books came from Randolph because Bessie inherited them from her father, John Morgan.

I softened up the dried up old leather on them with some saddle soap the other day. And I am amazed I have a set of books on my bookshelf my great grandfather, John Morgan, was reading in 1891. Without my interest in his journal, I’m not sure where they’d be now.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it a blessing your father was a collector and a saver. The books look wonderful.