Journal of Charles K. Landis

Founder of Vineland


Friday, April 10, 1868

Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Raining all day. Dictated letters. Received a dispatch from John G. Stevens that he would be here in a special train at 4 o'clock. Met the party at the depot. They came to make some plan of a new station and freight house for Vineland. General Sewell, Mr. Allen, the engineer, John M. Moore and Albert Markley were in the company. Various suggestions were made. Nothing decided on. On this account they desired me to accompany them to Cape May, and as it was a matter of importance, I decided to go. These railroad men are a jolly set of fellows to travel. They went in company with several flasks of whiskey and an entire box of champagne. I can say for myself that the champagne was first rate. Mr. Stevens told me that they had decided to accede to the main points of a paper I had given them relative to the first trains and encouraging manufactures in Vineland. We arrived at Cape May in due time and all stopped at the Washington House. In the evening we had a good time generally, a portion of the party played cards, (no betting) and all tnterspersed the serious occupation of railroad business by eating oysters on the shell and drinking champagne, dry Verzenay.

John M. Moore and myself retired at 11 o'clock. There was a fire in the room and they did all they could to make us com fortable. I did not sleep well. About 2 o'clock in the morning it was so excessively hot that I got up and (shut off) the draught in the stove and found a large fire. Moore called out and asked if that was a stove. I told him it was. "Well," said he, 'Tm glad to make that discovery, as I thought it was in my stomach, it was so infernal hot."

I told him that he had reason to congratulate himself upon a discovery so valuable.

John M. Moore is the proprietor of the glassworks at Clayton. He is also getting up a small settlement at Clayton.

When I started I bought 1,000 acres of land of him. He also acted as my agent for the sale of lands in New York. He sold several places, one to George M. Post, who built the first house.

Saturday, April 11, 1868

Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Walked down to the seashore in company with Moore and Mr. Townsend of Dennisville. It looked bright and glittering as ever. Cape Island City at this season looks like a city of the dead. Rode around the Island with Markley and Allen. Looked at the new excursion house with Stevens. Suggested that they should raise it or lower a walk in front of it. He decided for the present to lower the walk in front.

Returned to the hotel and dined off of blue fish. Returned at one o'clock. I expected to leave Cape May in time to arrive in Vineland by one o'clock, and was greatly disappointed, as 1 wanted to attend the poor Colonel's funeral which took place today. My father and sister attended it. My sister came in shortly after my return from Cape May, accompanied by Miss Willson. My sister and myself walked with Miss Willson as far as Main Road and returned. I went to bed at 7 1/2 o'clock, fatigued. Slept well.

Sunday, April, 12, 1868

Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Day clear. Stormed, hailed and snowed towards night.

Walked over to the new house after breakfast. Drove around the conntry for several miles. After dinner visited Dr. Mc Clintock. His son Theodore was at home. Had a long talk with Theodore upon the subject of his brick manufacture. He will certainly meet with success if he attends to it properly.

Called on William A. House, and with him called on Rev. Mr. Andrews. He was not at home. Then called on Mr. Turner. Found there Frederick Douglass and considerable company. Had a long talk with Douglass about Vineland. This was the first time that I had ever met him. I was much pleased with him. Returned home in a pelting rain and hail storm. Retired at 9 o'clock.

Monday, April 13, 1868

Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Day clear. Stormed, hailed and snowed toward night.

Continuing to move. Walked around to my factory buildings to ascertain if the engineer used as many shavings as possible as fuel. The governor of the engine was out of order. Authorized it to be sent off for repairs. Vanmeter, the miller, told me there was a prospect of selling the mills. I hope it may be true. The party is expected on in two weeks.

Read "David Copperfield" in the afternoon. Wrote letters to Dr. Charles T. Jackson of Boston and others. Find much inconvenience on account of Mr. Burk's absence. Went over to the new house to sleep, for the first night. The house is light, airy, and more beautiful than the old house. Yet I have lived in the old block for nearly six years. I will retain my office in the old place in order to be near my visitors. Mr. Andrews called in the night and informed me that the trustees of the Seminary had decided to go on at once with the building. He also wanted me to give or sell him, I don't know which, a portion of my homestead lot next to the Seminary, about seven acres. This I will not do at present. He has a lot near by there, already, which he has not improved. Retired at 9 1/2 o'clock.

Tuesday, April 14, 1868

Rose at 6 o'clock. Morning clear and cold for the seasonIce. Started with my father and drove to Mays Landing to attend the trial of West, the forger, who has been indicted for perjury. He is a pirate upon mankind and I feel that the public safety demands his conviction. When I arrived at Mays Landing I met Westcott, one of the prosecuting attorneys, who informed me that West had not made his appearance, and that a requisition would be sent for him to Pennsylvania, and that he would probably be tried at the next Court.

Returned at once and arrived home about 1 o'clock with a voracious appetite. At the house found that the old cook had got drunk, been discharged and that there could be no dinner on time on this account, and the moving.

Met Dr. McClintock who invited me to dinner. Talked with him an hour or two, and returned to the office and attended to business, seeing several visitors, and other matters until 9 o'clock, when I crossed the street to my house and retired for the night.

Friday, April 17, 1868

Rose at 5 1/2 o'clock. Weather warm. This is the first break in my journal, occasioned by being again sick and my journal left in my old office after moving. The moving has continued, tho. I sleep and eat in my new house. Have done little else than give directions about hanging pictures and arranging books and furniture. In the evening went to Philadelphia to get rid of the confusion. Passed a quiet evening and retired at 10 1/2 o'clock.

I am now engaged in fitting up my old residence for a hotel for my visitors. I will now see whether I can stem the opposition, or will have to leave Vineland to its own development.

April 18, 1868

Rose at 6 o'clock. Breakfasted at the Continental. Left in the morning train for Vineland. On the way down met Mr. Hood, of Vineland, who told me that the Editorial Association of New Jersey desired to stop at Vineland next June on their way down to Cape May. Told him that I would be happy to receive them.

Mr. Acton, of Salem, informed me that there had been a meeting of some citizens and they desired I should go to the State Senate this year. Told him that would be impossible on account of my business. He then wanted me to fix upon some good man beside Nixon. He does not think Nixon sufficiently sagacious and energetic. I confess that Nixon is slow.

Arrived in Vineland. Conversed with several visitors. Dr. Smith brought Dr. Homer Bostwick, of Staten Island, a cousin to Colonel Bostwick. The Doctor had only read of the death of the Colonel in the newspapers and was greatly affected. He had ordered him to be taken up in order to see his body. I invited him to stay with me. The Doctor is a very interesting man. The Colonel used to often speak of him. He is a man of great eminence in his profession, though he has not practiced for some years. He has a large and very interesting family. He dined with me. After dinner we walked out. Upon our return Dr. Smith called and drove us to the cemetery. We there saw the poor Colonel. He had not changed in the least. He looked as natural as though he was just fallen to sleep. His face was placid and with a beautiful smile, which had always been natural to his expression. This was the most solemn scene that I had ever witnessed.

In the afternoon called upon Marcius Willson and his family. The Willsons were very agreeable as they always are. Miss Fanny really looked pretty. She was dressed in exquisite taste and simplicity. Talked during the evening a great deal about the Colonel and did not retire until 12 o'clock. My cold to-day has been very bad. I am so hoarse that I could hardly speak. Did not sleep well on account of indisposition. Suffered a great deal during the night.