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Friend Mary,
Thou wouldst welcome upon
these pages, the momentoes of thy friend’s
momentoes, the perusal of which will bring to
remembrance, in after years, the pleasures of bye
gone days, and how pleasing will be the
thought, that many who have placed there
tokens of respect, upon these pages, were friends
indeed, but first pause, and consider
who are thy friends, and let none be
received as such, until they have truly
proved themselves worthy, and well deserve
the name.
To Miss Mary A. Millis

From her friend
M. A. James

Oswego, Oct 29, 1838

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Writings from a recently discovered journal

1821-1858

Friendship

Touch gently with thy taper fingers

The strings of some loved lute

The Cherished sounds will with you linger

E’en when the strings are mute

And thus I’d have thy thoughts recur,

When far away from thee,

To Him who leaves a tribute here

For Friendships Memory.


Over the azure sky above,

Clouds sweep by caravans,

But still the star we watch and love

On memory remains.

And Even through their dusty forms,

O’ershadowing earth and sea,

As fiercely driven by careless storms.

That star is bright to me.


When Starry night doth wane away,

Beneath the sun gay gleam,

do we forgit the moons pale ray,

lost in a gaudier beam,

O with the stars I’d have thee keep,

my friendships memory

and when i gaze on heaven’s blue deep,

I’ll fondly think of thee.


Miss  Mary A. Millis

Oswego, Oct 29, 1838

From Her Friend,

Morris D. James

Writings of a Poet, A. J. Thompson, 1838-1851

I will be publishing poems and writings from a book I purchased today. One a day. You will want to read these, i only wish you could see the penmanship.

The back story

I wish I could write like I thought when daydreaming. This morning having completed my first assignment for Time Magazine, I made my way to John K King Books in Detroit. I strolled through the old books section picking up one copy of the New Testament printed in 1670 to read. It was in Latin and leather bound with an asking price of 450. “I feel less intelligent being around all of these books” I told a woman who was surprised I had started a conversation. “Start Reading” she suggested.

My friend Amos and I walked into another room to find a elderly woman reading while standing. Above her a sign hung listing the various sections at the doorway of a room behind her; “-Sports (with a dash as it was listed above another section) -Occult (also with a dash on faded paper). “Were you looking for the sports that the Occult play? If so it is in that direction” she laughed.

Making my way to the counter without a book I saw a variety of classic photo albums from the early 1900s for 200-500 dollars. Nothing was in my price range. Upon leaving I saw this little book with 35 dollar price tag from the corner of my eye or I stood and stared at it for a few minutes, either way it did not meet my fancy for the 10 minutes I was by it for some time.   The case for why I picked up the red broken, tattered journal in a plastic sleeve was mainly because if it were new, I would purchase the same design, make and build to record what I felt needed recording ( I have filled out 9 journals in 6 years/28 countries and I still feel behind).

The Authors

Inside Page, “To Little Book and from each heart a tribute of affection bring  M.H.C.H.”

It appears this book was passed among friends, among lovers but lovers only in the emotional sense, among a Mary A. Millis and a Morris Z. James. There are roughly 100 pages all weather and age has seen. Contributing authors so far as I have read include CMP, B Phillips, and Bath and Kitts. It seems all lived in a tiny New York, or Oregonian, town of Oswego. The Main poet who has mostly written to the beauty of named Mary is A. J. Thompson.

Following a few poems about friends yields a dedication page, “This book is open for good advice, not (underscored) for flattery“.

I am yet to decide whether to write the poems in order or as I chose, The dated poems are not in chronological order.

From the Middle of the Book,

Beauty is never so lovely and attractive as when it is hidden beneath the veil of retiring modesty. The most beautiful flowes of the garden, that most attracts and harms the senses, never appears so lovely as when it is behold, sweetly preping from the midst of its curtain of green leaves, which serve to partially proect it, from the sun and elements, and render its charms doubly interesting and beautiful.

A. J. Thompson, July 13, 1841