Journal of Charles K. Landis

Founder of Vineland


March 4, 1868-Wednesday

Weather clear and very cold. Rose at 7 1-2 o'clock.

Col. Bostwick called, consulted with him about railroad matters until the directors of the railroad called. Held a meeting of the board, made various reports, obtained the resignation of three members and elected Irick, Elmer and Maule in their places. They were here several hours. The exertion fatigued me very much, had to lie down. Got up and met the committee of the Methodist Seminary. They wanted some encouragement about soliciting subscriptions in Vineland. Told that they would have little trouble when they showed themselves in earnest and made people understand that there should be no trifling. Wrote article for "Weekly" about railroad reorganization and had copies made and dispatched Fry with them to the Bridgeton papers.

Did not attend the caucus on account of indisposition. All went harmoniously because there was a large turnout of the people. Was elected Chairman of the committee of delegates to Trenton, for the choice of Chicago delegates. Fear that I cannot go.

Have been too busy and unwell today to read anything, but in reflecting over the life of Lysander, was struck with the fact that in that early age he had secret societies formed or Brotherhoods in the different cities under Athenian domination, and succeeded by this means in overturning the power of Athens. Napoleon might have made great use of these societies in Germany, but he failed to do so.

Mr. Burk returned from the cky. He could make no sale of the Shaker hood material. Retired about nine o'clock, but passed a bad night.

March 5, 1868-Thursday

Weather clear and moderating

Telegraphed to General Irick that a meeting would be held in Bridgeton on Wednesday next.

Heard that fixtures attached to the building were being removed from the canning factory. Employed Turner to send notice to Earle, the party removing them, not to take them away, and also engaged him to take the necessary legal steps.

Read Cornelius Nepos. Felt too unwell to read. In the afternoon at 4 o'clock visited the Wilson family with my sister. Had quite a pleasant talk upon different subjects, especially about Vineland. Among other things, about visions and optical delusions. Mrs. Wilson said that when her daughter Fannie was a child, she had optical delusions in consequence of being fed too much meat. When they learned the cause and gave her very little meat, she got well. Miss Fannie said that these delusions were real in appearance as life. Remained to tea. Just before tea I became so very sick that I thought I should faint. I do not think that they noticed it, I concealed my indisposition. My sister afterwards said that she noticed it. After tea I felt better. Returned home at 8 o'clock. Mr. John Kandle and a Mr. Hand called upon me about township affairs. They merely wanted to have a talk and that was all. I get very tired of these trifling annoyances. Retired at 11 o'clock.

March 6, 1868-Thursday

Rose at 7 1/2 o'clock. Weather mild and cloudy. Wrote a number of articles for the "Vineland Weekly." Drove out with Col. Bostwick, returned, and read in the "Westminister Review" a review of the life of Robert Owen. Do not consider that the review was sufficiently intelligent to get either a favorable or unfavorable idea of Owen. It is a miserable affair. Read Cornelius Nepos. Of late years, am inclined to think that it is almost impossible to form a correct idea of ancient character from what the ancients have written. It is certain that imagination makes up the most of their biography and history.

Did not hear from General Irick. Sent a special messenger to see him. In the evening Haswell called and expressed himself very much dissatisfied with Township affairs. Said that he had nominated his brother for assessor, and that the committee would not nominate him. Alas! human nature is a very small thing. It must be the God-like part in man that saves him at all from the most grovelling meanness. His friend Cottrell is also dissatisfied because he was not renominated on the Township Committee. He has already served two years and would serve another. This convinces me that it was best to let him off. I have decided to have just as little to do with Township affairs as possible.

Retired at 9 1/2 o'clock.

March 7, 1868-Saturday

Rose at 7 A. M. Weather clear and mild. Looked at the new house, nearly done. Rode out on horseback a short distance, came back with pain in the head and much prostrated. Could not read or study. In the afternoon received a printed notice got out by John Gage, calling a meeting of the stockholders of the canning factory at "one o'clock Monday, to decide whether we should give to C. K. Landis the fixtures of said company (about $200 worth) which fixtures were sold with the other property at the recent auction sale, and Mr. Landis now forbids their removal." This is a marvelous piece of effrontry. The real idea is to get there and vent malignant abuse and slander against myself with a view of influencing the election. Earle is at the bottom of it. It is on account of indisposition that I will be absent. I will write however and take some measures to counteract their wicked purposes. The real circumstances of the case are that the company put up a number of inside partitions which it was to be understood were to be left, and that was considered in the rating of the rent. According to law they have no right to remove such fixtures. Earle had them knocked down to him for a trifle, and has already removed the most of them and put them in his barn. In short he has attempted to gobble them up. It would pay the company nothing to prevent it, and they would be available in case anyone can be found to start the canning business. I had an application from a young man who worked in the factory for this purpose, and who objected to this wrongful removal of the fixtures. Earle was one of the directors. He, together with Gage, Sweet and Cook bought up most of the canned fruit and vegetables, which they are now rapidly selling at three times the cost, making a great deal of money out of them at the expense of the stockholders. They have burnt their fingers though they do not know it. Directors have no right to buy the property of the company of which they are directors and speculate off the stockholders whose interests they should protect. After they have sold all of the goods I will file a bill in Chancery and get an order compelling them to give an account of their gains, which will be declared to belong to the stockholders. It is strange that they could find no sale for goods before they broke the company to pieces, but since that time they can find ample sale for them. It is inconceivable that men can be dishonest and that such men can be so bold.

Before going to bed had my feet soaked and took some sweet spirits of nitre. It does not do for me to be sick.

March 8, 1868-Sunday

Weather clear and mild. Ice disappeared. Rose at 7 o'clock.

Read what is called the "British Plutarch," consisting of the lives of prominent French and other Europeans. The date of the book is 1806. It is a horrible libel, represents the patriots as freebooters and the great women prominent in the cause of liberty during the French Revolution as courtesans. The object is to libel the Bonaparte family of whom the writer knows so little that he is not acquainted even with their names, calling Hortense, Fanny, etc. It is an evidence of the meanness of human nature. It is impossible to imagine that this book could have been read by any intelligent Englishmen, and yet the celebrated Murray was the publisher. There is reason to think that all this trash was believed by masses of the English people.

At seven o'clock in the evening I felt so much exhaustion that I could not keep up. So that I retired.

March 9, 1868-Monday

Rose at 7. To unwell to read. Wrote a letter to the Canning Company. Mr. House attended as my council. He returned and informed me that the meeting was small, composed of Earle, Cook, Gage and their adherents. Its object appeared to be the venting of personal malignity against myself with a view to influence the election. My letter produced a great sensation among them. In regard to the election I am totally indifferent.

In the evening Dr. James McClintock called and prescribed for me. He says that I have a slow fever. This is the celebrated Dr. McClintock of Philadelphia, who has taken up his residence in Vineland.

Retired at 10 o'clock.

March 10, 1868-Tuesday-Election Day.

Weather clear and beautiful. Took Dr. McClintock's prescription. It has made me perspire and I experience great relief. Read Muhlback's novel "Napoleon and Blucher."

March 11, 1868

Rose at 7 o'clock. Weather clear and beautiful. Continued to take my medicine. Health improved. Read Muhlbach's "Napoleon and Blucher." Poorly written book.

Sent Bostwick to Bridgeton and Greenwich to start subscriptions to Vineland Railway.