Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Serendipity #2

When I did research in college, I was forever getting distracted in the stacks.  I'd come across an intriguing book, completely unrelated to my research topic, and next thing I'd know I would be immersed in the book. So, it's no surprise that the same thing can happen to me in genealogical research.  As I follow through a Google search result, it's not uncommon for me to spot something that has nothing to do with my research, but has everything to do with amusing or intriguing me.  So, occasionally I will be sharing these unexpected discoveries here.

Because the census I was using is not indexed, I've been searching page-by-page.  While it is a slower process, it has its upside--the things that would have otherwise been missed.

From the 1865 NY State Census, Auburn, NY, Enumerator, William Boynton:


What other changes in the social condition of the people have (you) observed since 1860?

The effects of the war upon people have been various, it has opened the Hearts and (?) while on the other hand it has seemed to beget an almost unnatural desire for Gain or (?).  It has also been a fruitful cause of Prostitution and other Vice; in other words it has had a tendency to Unmask Human Nature, to bring out the Good and also the Evil.  

And from the same census in another Auburn, NY ward from Enumerator Daniel Hewson:

I think there has been an Increase of Intemperance.  Likewise of Licentiousness.

All this in a town known at the time for it's state-of-art prison (visited by Alexis de Toqueville in 1831), as a key point on the Underground Railroad, and home to Harriet Tubman.

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