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SKU: AM00261 Category:


Description: In his 50-page diary, John Caryl (1791-1882), who lived in Vermont, Massachusetts and Michigan, wishes “to make all the world as happy as [him]self” as he ponders thoughtfully over the current Christian teachings. His entries espouse freedom from “bigotry,” in the hope that “light begets light.” Importantly, he reflects, “Every day and every opportunity I enjoy favorable to [experience]demonstrates more clearly the falsity of human creeds which modern Christianity has labored to setup”; he surmises that the “ancient and modern usages” of the Lord differ: “His teachings, His Summons, His wise illustrations were all made to correspond to the peculiar habits then so tenuously adhered to.” He thinks that “mankind divested of the force of habit and the strength of early education and the bias of prejudice would be more likely to obey the first [and] grate [sic] command, ‘Love one another’. . .”

Of the gold rush, he astutely observes, “Thousands of young and enterprising youth are embarking for the golden regions with high raised hopes. Expecting in a few [months] to accumulate a fortune & return to their friends richly laden with gold dust.” His son, William, is among these youth. When Caryl is swayed by the comfort that money can provide, he berates himself about his earthy persuasions and disappointments, reminding himself, “We may be happy in God-and if we doat [sic] on any other substitute, any other good—we are doomed to disappointment.” In the diary, he also transcribes letters he has written to his family and acquaintances.

The diary is 6”x4” with limp pebbled leather covers and a flap closure. Caryl begins his reflections front-to-back and then records Christian principles back-to-front. The diary also includes random notations of recipes, cost of materials, rents received, net proceeds, and names of the diocese. A pocket contains four hand-written letters, a reply from his wife Elisabeth and 3 letters to his children. Item #AM00261

Condition: One page detached from the spine, the flap is torn and is missing a small piece. Otherwise in good condition with clear and legible entries.