156 Years Ago

Weather once more bright and beautiful altho’ very warm. Business was not so very bad, not even as much so as I anticipated for the present season. I did not have much time to devote to my French during day. In the evening I was too tired to do any thing at it. So accepted Mr. Brown’s invitation and went to the Atheneum with him. Mrs. Wilkinson continues [as] the presiding Star of the House, her acting in the Italian Wife was very good. We did not stay for the last piece before going home however we did indulge in a ‘Julip’ at the U.S. Hotel for which I had to fork over. To bed 11. Exp 25c.

This is from a diary of a Cincinnati merchant that my wife found at the Missouri Historical Society. Apparently, the author, one Joseph J. Mersman, was just as meticulous about describing his activities when he was more interested in visits to the bawdy house than the theatre. I was intrigued how his writing sounds more like a like a blog posting. By the next year, he was in St. Louis writing longer but less frequent entries chronicling his responses to the recent events of the day. News of the New York City Opera House Riot is fed through his innuendo filter, while he tells a gripping tale of the St. Louis waterfront fire that deserves the Hollywood treatment. Weekly Exp: $1.50

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