Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Dr. Pliny Hayes II
Hayes - 34
Scope and Content
The journal of Dr. Pliny Hayes II was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center by Dorene Hayes Scriven in 2007. Prior to her donation, Ms. Scriven transcribed, edited, and published the journal and an addenda under the title My Father’s Journal and My Father’s Journal Addenda. Ms. Scriven donated copies of her published work to the Hayes Presidential Center Library.
Dr. Pliny Hayes II was born at
In 1812, Hayes enlisted at
Scope and Content
Dating from October 19, 1809 to February 1818, the journal kept
by Dr. Pliny Hayes II provides a record of his life and activities from the
time he left Canandaigua in 1809 to work as a journeyman printer in
Hayes divided his journal into 21 volumes. According to his
great-granddaughter, Dorene Hayes Scriven, the volumes were later bound into
three books (1809 – 1815; 1815 – 1816; 1816 – 1818) by Pliny Hayes’ son,
Charles Wells Hayes, author of George Hayes
of Windsor, the definitive genealogy of this Hayes line in
In preparing the published version of the journal, Dorene Hayes Scriven highlighted topics appearing in each volume of the three books that make up the journal. These have been reproduced as an inventory for easier use of the three books..
Stage journey to Utica and ship to Schenectady; stages & steamboat via Newburg to Albany; past West Point to Jersey to New York; work as printer; music & theater; sights of New York & Brooklyn; change of employment; journey to Philadelphia via Trenton & Lamberton.
Arrival in Philadelphia; job as pressman; FIRE!; joins Philadelphia Typographical Society; Celebration of July 4th; excursions with fellow pressmen around Philadelphia; description of a ship launching; beginnings of a union to fix labor prices; subsequent loss of job as a journeyman; more excursions and descriptions of various factories; account of earnings; another FIRE; by boat and stage to Washington & new job prospect, via Elkton – Havre de Grace – Baltimore.
Description of Washington and Capitol; description of House proceedings and Representatives “All hurry & confusion”: “America – blush for thy rulers” excursions near Washington; cultural activities; job ending – travel to Annapolis – Baltimore – Boston & New York; visit to Granby; description of underground Newgate prison in Granby; visit to Grandmother after 13+ years; childhood memories; visiting other Jewett and Hayes clan; return via Hartford.
Hartford to Boston; old job; studying French; working at press daytime and studying for medicine in evenings; tutored by Wm Gamage, M.D.; anatomy dissections; August 1812 engaged as surgeon’s mate on U.S. Hornet, but supplanted by Hawks and named Captain’s clerk; description of officers; sailing and meeting other U.S. ships, then Spanish ships; crossing Tropic of Cancer.
Crossing the Equinoctial Line; hoisting English colors & going ashore as Englishmen on Island of Fernando de Norouba; description of island & inhabitants; constant sickness on board; San Salvador; meeting with Constitution; description of San Salvador (Bahia); December 30: hoisting English colors and then American when English captain of ship doesn’t obey, firing and capturing brig Ellen; meeting Constitution several times; escape from The Montague.
Cape St. Augustine; Hoisting English colors upon sighting
English brig The Resolution, while
pretending to be The Bonne Citoyenne; captured British brig, took contents and set
her afire; several encounters sailing past Guiana; more engagements; exchanging
broadsides with English The Peacock; Peacock submits in 15 minutes, with
Captain & much of crew killed; attempt to save from sinking, but lost some
prisoners & Hornet officer who
had boarded Peacock. Hayes below deck entire
time, passing powder. Many injuries of crew of both ships; amputations; heading home past
Hornet returns to New York Naval Yard; captured British officers paroled; discharge; journey to New Brunswick by steamboat & stagecoach through Trenton – Lamberton to Philadelphia; sights & sounds of Philadelphia; attending medical lectures; return to New York through Jersey; packet to Hartford, then Granby to visit Jewett & Hayes relatives; return to Boston for more medical study & practice with Drs. Gamage, T.C. Warren, Channing; joins Harvard’s Boyleston Medical Society; rumor of British attack on Boston; appointment as Surgeon on a privateer cancelled: peace declared; big celebrations.
Peace celebration in Boston; revival of commerce; death of Dr. John Warren of Harvard; sailing to Ellsworth for possible position as physician; description of inhabitants & countryside; attending sick; collecting plants; return sail to Boston.
On board schooner to Boston; weather forces landing near Portland; Cape Elizabeth’s fort and fortifications; description of Portland; mail stage to Boston; stop in Sacco to collect debts; Kennebunk – York – Kittering –Portsmouth – Newburyport – Salem – Ipswich – Boston; public exams for M.D. candidates; assistant to Dr. Warren (cheap as possible); expenses requested by Dr. Warren.
Stage journey Westward to
Attempt to get chaise & horse to Bristol & father’s house; arrival home; trip to sister Lucretia’s in Prattsburg; trip to Warsaw to see sister Lurinda; sister’s illness, unsuccessful attempt to treat; Guinilda comes to help; viewing 80-foot falls nearby; additional attempts to treat sister; necessary return to Bolston; last farewell to ill sister.
Having to leave
VOLUME 13 1815-1816
News of Lurinda’s death, Guinilda ill but recovered; medical meetings in Boston; joining Handel & Hayden society; Grand (Masonic) Lodge meetings; increasing dislike of Dr. Warren; trip to Medford April 1816; conflicts; trip to Brighton; return to Boston; disappointment concerning Medford; apology to the future reader.
Trip to Plymouth by stage for possible position; visiting with inhabitants; description of town, return to Boston; details of bad conduct of Dr. Warren; decision to practice in Boston; visiting Miss “J”.
Relations with Miss J continued; again; letters back and forth; tarrying with Miss “L”; social activities; other ladies; inability to marry (sans money).
Summary of expenses, debt Oct ‘15 – Oct ‘16; appointment as
Dispensing physician; officer in Mass. Lodge & its activities; medical
lectures; Handel & Hayden society; public hanging; getting deeper in debt,
More consideration of N.W. Fur Co. surgeon; change in pay offer & rules against leave fort for botanical excursions; decision against; conversations with Dr. Channing; President Monroe’s visit to Boston; more dalliance with Miss L.; description of glass-blowing factory; attending sick child overnight with Miss L.
Guilty conscience re: Miss L; slight increase in practice; Masonic Lodge activities; summation of last year’s expenses; trip by packet re: possible position in Yarmouth, Cape Cod; description of Cape & trip to Barnstable; unable to return by ship – hiring chaise.
Description of Yarmouth & people of Cape, and return trip by chaise & stage in rainstorm: Plymouth – Quincy – Boston; decision to go to Yarmouth but inclined toward Canandaigua opportunity for second physician; getting affairs in order for departure; getting letters of introduction; guilty conscience re: leaving Miss L; taking her to Lodge installation of officers, description.
Settling affairs, changing money from Eastern States bills to New York money; saying good-bye to Miss L; stage to Canandaigua (“2nd Journey to Westard”) – Framingham – Worcester – Brookfield; stage passengers; North Hampton – Pittsfield – shaker village – Greenbush: delivering letters; stage to Schenectady – Manlius.
Continuing stage journey – Marcellus – Waterloo – Geneva; reminiscing & thoughts about going to Yarmouth instead; arrival in Canandaigua; delivering letters, talking to other doctors & Judge Atwater, Judge Gorham, meeting others; trip to Bristol to see father, losing way; arrival home; seeing family; return to Canandaigua; business & social calls; partnership proposal with Atwater; trip home to reflect & back to Canandaigua; acceptance of partnership & posted agreement Jan 1818.
Borrowing father’s horse & cutter for trip to Prattsburg via Bristol – Naples; arriving Prattsburg & treating Guinilda’s child; returning with Guinilda & proceeding to Canandaigua; meeting more people, women & old acquaintances; slow beginning-situation dreary; address to future descendants, great, great, great grandchildren.