Monday, December 29, 2008

Brunswick history: a new online resource!

Thanks to the diligence and painstaking work of Jackie Young of Pejepscot Historical Society we now have a readable transcription of John Furbish’s Facts About Brunswick, Maine. These were Furbish’s observations and commentary of events in Civil War era Brunswick. Previously, this work existed as a facsimile edition in Furbish’s handwriting. It is a fascinating read that now has grown wings thanks to Ms. Young.

Furbish included local and national politics as well as reports on the weather and hay crop. The latter two items were of great importance to a community largely dependent on land travel by horse and carriage.

He wasn't shy in his opinions. He noted on the death of a prominent Brunswick banker that he was “last of several brothers, and probably the least loved” and that he was “very excentric man, giving or not as he saw fit or was in a mood to do, dressing in a style peculiarly his own: pants always six inches too short, with a white hatte.”

Elsewhere Furbish wrote of the profound effect in Brunswick to the news of Lincoln’s assassination. “The feeling here was the most intense imaginable: people only looked and thought for hours, feelings were too deep for utterance.”

Of great interest was a parenthetical notation that Lieutenant General. U.S. Grant and Major General O. O. Howard were guests of Brevet Major General J. L. Chamberlain at Bowdoin’s 1865 commencement exercises held in the First Parish Church.

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