Charming, handwritten in old brown ink, from-the-heart Americana: titled "The Life of a Sailor", this reads like the autobiography of an experienced whaling man or navy man on the front lines. The writer evidently had considerable experience relating to what he is decrying. The poetic note, for lack of a better description, reads as such: "There is no one who is so exposed to such hardships and privations as the mariner. How often is he tossed upon the stormy Ocean from the Freezing frigid to the burning torrid and from the burning torrid to the freezing Fridgit. How often also does he suffer thirst and famine being shipwrecked on some dreary coast, it may be some desert coast, or some lonely island. If he enlisted in the navy he is liable to receive a severe whipping, which to me is one of the most degrading of punishments. This is but a momentary sketch as I have not to write any more at present." (signed) TEW This is written on paper embossed at upper left "Owen & Hurlbut/So. Lee Mass." (research on the internet shows that that partnership in paper manufacturing in the Berkshires was formed in 1822 and continued under that name through 1859). Found in New Hampshire, this is a fascinating and poignant bit of Americana. I have taken the liberty of correcting some spelling, and have left some as written and misspelled. There are pencil corrections and additions by the author as shown.
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