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George Washington Jonson
-Buffalo Diarist

George Washington Jonson was a Buffalonian who lived in our fair city from 1830 to 1870 and during that time kept a painstakingly detailed diary account of every single day of his life here, so that his name would not parish utterly from this earth. Now over 120 years after his death we are reprinting selected entries of this extraordinary mans life in each edition. A wealthy gentleman, abolitionist, free thinker, temperance advocate, and lawyer Jonson gives us first hand accounts of life in the America of the 19th Century. In this first entry Jonson talks of President John Quincy Adams' visit to Buffalo:

July 25,1843...A steamer is to go down to the Falls for Mr. Adams, and Mr. Fillmore is to welcome him in an address in the Park.

July 26, 1843...Mr. Adams entered the Park at 4 P.M., followed by a mixed multitude of all conditions. Mr. Fillmore welcomed him in a brief written address, and very happily, Mr. Adams replied extempore, but in the opinion of Mr. Mosely and Mrs. Coe, very unhappily, as in compliment to Mr. F he expressed a wish to see him back in Congress, Mr. Mosely the present member naturally desiring to be his own successor.

Mr. A's voice is shrill and his gestures angular, and his head and hands shake with age. His reception was a hearty one. Only Whigs and Abolitionist's feel cordial towards Mr. Adams; but the democrats behave well, though they have no particular reason to like him. Mr.Tracy is attentive to him. He purposes, I understand, to remain in the city some days.

An invitation from Mrs. Burt to a general party, which will be large, as Mr. Adams is expected to be present. Shall I accept? Accepted.

Evening. After tea at my boardinghouse, the American Hotel, I had occasion to go upstairs to see a friend, with no intimation a levee was going forward there; indeed there was as yet but a few persons there, but I had no sooner reached the landing, than someone, Mosely I think, bawled out my name and profession. I was taken completely by surprise; but seeing Mr. Adams in the parlor, and being under the impression that it was an informal introduction only, I passed on to Mr. Adams, and he gave me his hand, with the usual formal greeting on his part and mine; as I turned to go back, he said pass on, and I did so; there were but two or three behind and none near. My gaucherie and bewilderment mortified me extremely. Will it be said, 'Jonson is an idiot, or was drunk or mad?'Then on to my rooms, and dressed and started for Gen. Burt's party, but as the rain poured, I gave it up; and after the rain was...

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hen R. Powell or buffalonian.com

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George Washington Jonson Of Buffalo

Article:

TALKING ABOLITION. . .IN 1843: FREDERICK DOUGLAS SPEAKS IN BUFFALO'S FRONT PARK

EXCERPTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF GEORGE WASHINGTON JONSON

By Elwin H. Powell -2001


Article:

Creating the Democratic Heritage: DIALECTICS IN THE STREET; DISPUTATION AND ASSEMBLY IN BUFFALO IN 1848

AS SEEN THROUGH THE JOURNAL OF GEORGE WASHINGTON JONSON

By Elwin H. Powell -Feb. 2001

 


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This text is Copyright 2001 all rights reserved by Stephen Powell and buffalonian.com. This electronic text may not be duplicated or used in any manner without written consent of Stephen R. Powell or buffalonian.com