Journal of Charles K. Landis
Founder of Vineland
Tuesday, June 9, 1868
Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Weather cloudy. No rain. Attended to business in the office. Showed a Mr. Mesmer, from Buffalo, some lots, think he will buy. Mr. Owen left in the afternoon.
Mr. Cummings called upon me, and informed me that he had brought up a number of pickers from Millville to pick strawberries. It is a good thing that I went to the Agricultural Society on Saturday night, as I fear that this thing would not have been done.
To-day I had all my clerks and nearly all the agents to attend the train, to receive visitors. I got them all. Mrs. Zell came down in the cars, on a visit. Directed Beachem to take a couple of the people to Mr. MacGargle's at the end of Landis Avenue, and on his return the horses took fright and ran away, throwing him out and bruising him severely. I had directed Beachem to sell these horses for fear of a runaway, but he has not done so. He said that he was not afraid of them. He is the first one run away with. I do not think that he was hurt. He is a valuable and good man; I must be sure that he gets good treatment.
In the evening went to the ball for the benefit of the Historical Society. Took my sister and Mrs. Zell. It was not large, but a fine affair. I was entirely too much fatigued to enjoy myself. Came away at IOY2 o'clock. Retired as soon as I reached home.
Wednesday, June 10, 1868
Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Had a meeting of the Directors of the Vineland R. R. Directors ordered that advertisements be issued to receive proposals for the grading of the Road between Vineland and Winslow, and to call in installments preparatory to the commencement of the work. Good feeling prevailed. General Irick and David P. Elmer dined with me. Drove them around town after dinner. They were astonished to see the strawberry loading. To them, it was a remarkable sight. They left in the afternoon.
Gave Mr. Burk $2,000 worth of my reserve U. S. bonds to sell, in order to meet bills and a payment. This is a bad sign. I must force a lot of people to pay up. The weather has been very dry, and I have written articles for the paper, explaining the necessity of stirring the soil as the only preventive of bad effects from the drouth. Also explaining the action of the sun drawing moisture from below by capillary attraction, and not acting when the soil is allowed to bake. Also the beneficial effects of drouth in supplying the surface soil with mineral constituents from below.
Heard that a runner had been in my hotel. Took immediate precautions. Retired at 9 o'clock much fatigued, but to pass a restless night.
Thursday, June 11, 1868
Was awakened up at 2 o'clock in the morning by hearing it rain. This was music to my ears, as I could not but think of the benefit it would be to the crops. Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Attended to business in the office. Saw several strangers. Arranged with Cummings to go off on Monday and get the right of way. Received present of a book from Robert Dale Owen. Remained home all evening from indisposition and retired at 9 o'clock. Rainy to-day.
Monday, June 14, 1868
Rose at 6 o'clock. Weather clear and fine. Neglected this journal for several days. Been sticking close to business. On Saturday P. M., went over to Winslow in company with Haines, the engineer of the Vineland Railway in order to see And. K. Hay, for the purpose of getting him to use his influence to collect the subscription to the Vineland R. R. Explained to him our action and he agreed to see the people of his section, and to get them to pay up. Met there Mr. Coleman and Bondinat of Philadelphia, and his daughters. Used to know them when they were young girls. Mrs. Coleman is lively as ever.
Returned to Vineland Sunday morning. Arrived at 1 o'clock after a hot drive. I have remained constantly in Vineland during the strawberry season, to be on hand to set matter, right with the railroad, in the event of things going wrong. On Saturday they refused to receive berries for New York and Boston after 2 o'clock. I telegraphed at once to General Sewells and no doubt it will be corrected, This was a move of the station agent, who had not help enough to bill the goods. Extra help might cost $2- loss to the community $500. I learn that the goods arrived in bad condition in Boston. Will see Wright, the freight agent, to see what he has done in the matter, and take some action myself. Read Plutarch's Life of Aegis. Poor Aegis! Retired on Sunday at 9% and slept well.
The first thing I did in the morning was to write up this Journal. Attended to business all day in the office. This day 41,000 quarts of strawberries were shipped from this station. Rode out in the evening with Mrs. Zell on horseback. Retired at 10 o'clock.
Tuesday, June 15, 1868
Rose at 7 o'clock. Had my special police to order several people out of my hotel who had no business there- I have resolved to have no idlers around the place.
Took dinner at the Vineland House with Dr. McCHntock. The house was full. Mrs. Franklin sets a good table. The house is doing very well. My enemies, however, resort to desperate expedients to get my visitors from the station, but they do not succeed.
In the afternoon, drove down to Dr. McClintock's brickyard with the Doctor. He is getting up a steam engine. He is now making some veo^ handsome bricks. Saw quite a number of strangers to-day. Retired at 10 o'clock.
Wednesday, June 17, 1868
Rose at 6 o'clock. Have made several sales in the past few days. Work begins to tell. All my agents work excepting one who always talked the most, but now shows the white feather! I will discharge him. I have done a great deal to help this man along.
Marcius Willson called and stated that the ladies of the Floral Society would attend to part of the business of preparing to receive the Editorial convention. I suppose that the most of it will devolve upon me. I will act decidedly in the matter tomorrow.
Walked out in the evening with Mrs. Zell and my sister. I have never before pushed my business so hard as at the present time. I have felt greatly stimulated by the opposition and think that I rather like it. It is more exciting. Retired at 10 o'clock.
Thursday, June 18, 1868
Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Weather warm. Sold another lot in the vineyard to John W. Day for a store. Since I have opened my hotel and adopted a vigorous policy, I have been selling everyday. George W. Pryor and Co., make desperate efforts to take my visitors from the station, but they do not succeed. I turn out my entire staff of agents and clerks and all my servants to drum for the Vineland House.
Saw Marcius Willson about the Editorial Convention. Also about collecting the taxes for the Township. It is very important to have the taxes collected promptly. Dined at the Avenue House with Mr. Burk. Mrs. Zell left in the afternoon train in consequence of her neice dying. Saw a number of visitors during the day. Retired at 10 o'clock. The crops are growing finely and people are greatly encouraged.