Journal of Charles K. Landis

Founder of Vineland


Tuesday, June 30, 1868

Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Weather cool and pleasant. Crops looking very well. Have neglected this journal. A daily record I find to be unpleasant. It revives too constantly the wear and tear of business occupation.

The event since the last is the visit of the Editorial Association to Vineland. It was a grand success. I managed this business through Mr. Ring, whom I employed, Mr. Ellis and wife. Mrs. Ellis brought in the Floral Society after some difficulty. They arrived last Thursday about 2.30 P. M. in number, gentlemen and ladies, and were driven over a route ten and a half miles long. Then taken to the Plum Street Hall and treated to a collation gotten up by the ladies of Vineland. It was truly magnificent. Several complimentary speeches were made, and I was called on to speak myself. After the collation they left in the train, and I accompanied them. They appeared to be much pleased to have me. They elected me a permanent guest of the Association. During the entire time they were enthusiastic about Vineland, it so far excelled their expectations. At Cape May there was a grand dinner. Vineland came in for a full share of praise. I spoke at the dinner, in reply to a toast to Vineland, but confined my remarks to affairs of the Island. The speeches will all be published. This I believe will do a great deal for the success of Vineland, and cause it to be better understood. The editor of the "New York World," who accompanied the party, has written me a letter that he has published an article, and in his paper and in his letter, is highly complimentary. My going to Cape Island was a fortunate occurrence. I made many friends, and had a good time.

Upon my return, I found that my opposition, G. W. Pryor, has been trying to get into my house. The efforts of such creatures are sadly interfering with the success of Vineland, but we must bear it patiently and work against it. Also several slurs against my business in the atrocious sheet called the "Vineland Democrat."

I yesterday drove over to Bridgeton to find out whether I could keep my signs up and forbid certain parties the house. I find that I cannot do it legally. I will wait, however, until they force the question upon me, and then if necessary take them down. Upon my return, I bethought of forming a cooperative Home Society which will take up the unused lands of Vineland. I will organize a plan, I think, and put it in force at once.

Wednesday, July 1, 1868

Rose at 6 1/2 o'clock. Weather cool and pleasant. Went to the office and attended to business. Marcius Willson in company with his father and Dr. McClintock called upon me with his carriage and invited me to accompany him to the American Brick Factory. The Doctor is going ahead. He is fitting up with steam power. This is a beautiful brick, and I am anxious to see it introduced for the architectural beauty of Vineland.

I now begin to receive papers containing accounts of Vineland. The enemy is out with a new device. They are now distributing libelous cards to the people as they come from the cars. Webb's name, the keeper of the Avenue House, is signed to them. They have no doubt been gotten up by G. W. Pryor and Webb. Tonight they were distributed in the cars. I will soon stop this off, as I will have Webb arrested for Libel. It shows how desperate they are. This G. W. Pryor is a man whom I have done a great deal for. I have advanced him at different times over $3,000 in cash, and assisted him in business. He had very aged parents, and excited my sympathy. In return for this kindness he is now doing me all the injury possible. I have had many such cases. A. G. Warner's an example.

Sold several places today. In the afternoon, Capt. Wilson came in to learn whether I had any objection or not, to his selling a place. He said he had a customer. I told him to sell if possible. In the evening, called on Dr. McClintock. A Mr. Durgin was there talking about buying bricks.

Retired at 10 o'clock. Could not sleep on account oi thinking of my business. Wakened up at 3 o'clock and got no sleep afterward. Must not let my business annoyances trouble me. Concluded to send advertisements to 150 papers, and offer lots for them. This may bring matters up, especially in connection with co-operative plan which I will soon put in force.

July 2, 1868

Last evening I came up to the city for a change. Spent the evening at the Continental Hotel. Met Mr. Seth B. Stitt. He informed me that his wife had gone to Newport for the season. Went to bed at 10 o'clock, and slept well. Came down in the morning train. After I arrived I was informed that the libelous cards have been distributed all over the place. Decided to have the prosecution commenced next evening, but before doing so, to give all the parties a chance to desist. I therefore called upon Capt. HolbroOk, Marcius Willson and Rev. J. E. Tyler, and asked them to call on Mr. Webb, the hotel keeper, and G. W. Pryor and to inform them that unless they would surrender all the cards and give their word of honor to do so no more, that they would be prosecuted for Libel. They saw them and had a conversation with them of some length, when they gave their word of honor to desist, and that they would get all the cards together in the course of the next morning, and hand them to Mr. Willson. Thus it is with such cowards. They deserve punishment, but I felt they were too small game for me to pursue unless it was absolutely necessary. 1 dined at Marcius Willson's and met Mr. Calder from Salt Lake City. He said that Vineland resembled Salt Lake City more than any place that he had ever seen.

July 3, 1868

Went to Bridgeton in company with Mr. Burk, Campbell and Parsons, and had my testimony taken in the Calkins case. Scovel, his attorney, was there. I have no fears of this case. The day was very warm. When I returned at night I learned that the day had passed quietly.

A ladder to the stars. I have recently been thinking about some matters in astronomy. Nothing could have been thought more wild in its time than the invention of Galileo, that with pieces of glass, distance could be shortened to the sight by several hundred times. Why may not science multiply this. By the reflection of light to secure the plate or map of the moon through the art of photography, and then magnify it by microscopic glass, and then remagnify these results. It is impossible to conceive a limit to the discoveries of science in the natural world.

Went to the office and attended to business.

Saturday, July 11, 1868

Rose at 7 o'clock. Rather indisposed during the night. Have neglected this journal for several days. Been attending constantly to business.

Last Wednesday received complaints from some of our shippers that their fruit was handled so roughly upon the road that it arrived in market in a damaged condition. Sent a letter to J. G. Stevens and W. J. Sewell, the superintendent, upon the subject.

Left in the afternoon in the capacity of delegate for the Republican Convention which was to assemble at Trenton. There iwas considerable wirepulling' upon the part of the friends of Mr. Blair. By sheer brag and bluff they drove their antagonist, Cornelius Walsh, from the field, and they withdrew. It was proposed that I should run as Senatorial Elector. I assented, and being a new name in the field, it was wonderful to see the excitement that it created. The little lawyer politicians determined to kill me off. I did not expect to be elected, not being in the "ring," but opposed by them, I obtained 216 votes in the convention. There would have been good policy in electing.

In the evening returned to Philadelphia and gave the delegation from Landis Township a supper at the Continental. I have been much pleased that I did not get the nomination. I do not wish to come out in politics. I have neither time nor disposition for the associations connected with it. As it is, I am free from the trouble of writing in the campaign, or bleeding for expenses.

Overslept myself yesterday. Read Shakespeare's Henry IV. I have read it often, but always find new beauties. Returned home in the afternoon. Found that business had been dull, but found that some arrangements had been made to start a large button factory. This will be a grand thing for Vineland.

This morning I received a letter from General Sewell to the effect that he had made inquiry and found no complaint upon the part of the shippers, and that the complaint appeared to come from myself. I sent the letter back to him. I will now have the matter taken up in the Agricultural Society, and send all the letters to John G. Stevens. Sewell is an employee who evidently shirks trouble and wants to bluff it off. He will have a happy time so far as I am concerned. I shall allow no such conduct to stand in the way. He will only hurt himself. This kind of thing was what built the Vineland Railway. Such conduct was a blessing in disguise.