Charles Amory Miller
Bob writes that Charles Amory Miller was born in Troy, Rensselaer County, NY in 1847, the second son of Charles Henry Miller, a blacksmith and carriage maker, and Lucinda Felton Miller. Except for a few years as a child, when his family tried life in Alton, Illinois, Charles Amory Miller lived his entire life in Troy. He worked 35 years for the Fuller & Warren Co. This diary begins when he was 19 years old and, besides giving an idea of the day-to-day life in Troy at the time, tells of his first trip to New York City. In 1872, Charles married Mary Buckley, and they had four children, including Katherine Felton Miller, who might have been the first female professional journalist in Troy.
Tues. Jan. 1 - Stayed at office until 3:30 P.M. and then went to Trojan Div. Sons of T[emperance] Fair. After supper went to Fair again, and about 10 o'clock went to Sons of T. Ball in Rands large Hall accompanying Miss Clara Gary. Danced until 4:30 a.m.
Thurs. Jan. 3 - Went to Civil Meeting Co. G. 24th Regt. From there I went to Temperance meeting in Masonic Temple with Ed. Boutelle. Accompanied Clara Gary home. Attended Militia court martial 10 o'clock A.M., charged with being absent from one parade. Got excused by Maj. Steenberg Pres. of Court.
Sun. Jan. 6 - Went to Unitarian Church morning and evening.
Weds. Jan. 9 - Went to Manuels [?] dance Appollo Hall with Mother and two Miss Bunnels. 
Thurs. Jan. 10 - Went to Hon. Thos. Coleman's to party with Mother. Came home about 11 o'clock. 
Sat. Jan. 12 - Attended Y.M.A. Debate at Association Hall. Subject Should the city grant a charter to the Troy City R.R. Co. Decided in the affirmative.
Sun. Jan. 13 - Went to Unitarian Church in morning and evening.
Tues. Jan. 15 - Attended S.S. Cox's Lecture before the Y.M.A. at Rands Hall. Full house. Subject New England Transcendentalism.
Thurs. Jan. 17 - Owe Billy Shannahan $2.00. Paid [ in pencil: "for pair of skates" ] Drill Co. G. 24th Regt. Attended Drill from there E.W. Boutelle and I went to Trojan Lodge Sons of Temperance.
Sat. Jan. 19 - Attended Y.M.A. Debate. Subject: Should Andrew Johnson be impeached. Decided in the negative. Went home with the two Miss Garys.
Sun. Jan. 20 - Billy Felton called at house this evening. 
Tues. Jan. 22 - Attended Willets lecture before Y.M.A. at Rands large Hall with Mother and Mrs. File. Subject Off Soundings [?].
Weds. Jan. 23 - Went to Manuels Assembly with Mat. Watson had a first rate time. John Morrissey's wife and sister-in-law accompanied by Frank Mayo came in in the latter part of the evening.
Thurs. Jan. 24 - Went to Sons of Temperance meeting accompanied Miss Clara Gary home.
Fri. Jan. 25 - Went on a sleigh ride with E.W. Wood, Jo. Knight, Edgar Everett and several others to A.E. Powers [in] Lansingburgh. Had a very nice dance. Came home about 1:30 A.M.
Sat. Jan. 26 - Went to Y.M.A. Debate. Subject: Are the church fairs conducted on correct principles of Christianity. Decided in affirmative. After coming out heard that Joel Thompson had shot Thomas Bailey, engineer of Fire Steamer Hugh Rankin. Great excitement in the city. Bailey died in about 20 minutes.
Sun. Jan. 27 - Attended Unitarian Church.
Thurs. Jan. 31 - Went to Sons of Temperance meeting. Accompanied Miss Kate Bigelow home. Mallary went home with Miss Briggs, came home with Mallary.
Sat. Feb. 2 - Went to Y.M.A. Debate. Subject: Should the United States interfere in behalf of the Cretans in their rebellion against Turkish rule. Decided in the affirmative. Went home with Kate Bigelow. Mallary went home with Belle Briggs.
Sun. Feb. 3 - Attended Unitarian Church. We had no sermon, Mr. Buckingham being indisposed.
Tues. Feb. 5 - Went [to] Lecture before Y.M.A. at Rands large Hall. Lecture by Rev. J. L. Corning of Poughkeepsie. Subject: America's Representative Men. Saw the steamer Chas. Eddy tied on dock foot of Washington St. Steamer Jas. Duffy from West Troy came over to play with her. The Eddy beat.
Weds. Feb. 6 - Went to Manuels Assembly with Mat. Watson; saw Lindsay & Mallory there.
Thurs. Feb. 7 - Civil meeting Co. G. 24th Regt. at Fulton Market Armory at 8 o'clock P.M. from there I went to Sons of Temperance meeting accompanying Miss Louisa Gary home.
Sat. Feb. 9 - Attended Y.M.A. Debate. Subject: Should the N.Y. Excise liquor law be made a general law. Decided in the affirmative.
Sun. Feb. 10 - Went to Unitarian Church in morning.
Mon. Feb. 11 - Stackpole & Wotkyns both went to N.Y. on the 9:30 A.M. Harlem train to attend Pittston Coal sale to be held Wednesday next.
Tues. Feb. 12 - [in pencil] P. S. Mallery House 1/2 Ton Lorberry Stove.
Thurs. Feb. 14 - Ice broke up in the River this afternoon. [This was Charles's 20th birthday.]
Fri. Feb. 15 - Went to Mr. John Flaggs's house to a party; had a very nice dance and a fine time generally.
Sat. Feb. 16 - Went to Y.M.A. Debate.
Sun. Feb. 17 - Went to Unitarian Church morning & evening. Saw Ed. Boutelle in the evening at church and after service we went to Volunteer Steamer House.
Tues. Feb. 19 - Went Officers drill at State Armory.
Thurs. Feb. 21 - Drill Co. G. 24th Regt. N.G.S.N.Y. at Fulton Market Armory. Fitted myself to an overcoat.
Fri. Feb. 22 - Paraded with 24th Regt. in honor of Washington's birthday. The Artillery Co. had a new battery of Parrot guns. The Regt. turned out in full ranks and were received by Maj. Gen. [Joseph B.] Carr at Washington Square and then dismissed. Got home about 4 o'clock P.M. Went down to Billy Felton's in evening.
Sat. Feb. 23 - Attended Young Men's Association Debate. Accompanied Miss Clara Gary home.
Sun. Feb. 24 - Attended Unitarian Church morning & evening.
Weds. Feb. 27 - Went to Manuels Assembly with Mat. Watson. Had a nice time.
Thurs. Feb. 28 - Went to the Arion Society's Masqued Ball at Harmony Hall with Lindsay and Mallery.
Sat. Mar. 2 - Went to Y.M.A. Debate.
Sun. Mar. 3 - Attended Unitarian Church morning and evening.
Tues. Mar. 5 - Attended the private theatrical entertainment given by Unitarian Society. Very fine.
Weds. Mar. 6 - Went to Stackpole's Farm to collect his rent of Clark Lake, when I arrived there Lake had gone to Troy; started from the farm for Bath and took the steam cars for Troy. [in pencil: Travelled on foot about 15 miles all-together.]
Thurs. Mar. 7 - Civil Meeting Co. G. 24th Regt. at Fulton Market Armory at 7:30 P.M.
Fri. Mar. 8 - Called at Wm. Felton's house in the evening; found Em. Faxon and the Baby at home; Billy and his wife were at church.
Sat. Mar. 9 - Went to Y.M.A. Debate.
Sun. Mar. 10 - Attended Unitarian Church in forenoon.
Thurs. Mar. 14 - Called at Wm. Felton's house.
Fri. Mar. 15 - Bill Faxon called at office this afternoon about 3 o'clock. I left the office and took a walk with him after supper. We went to Sharpley's Minstrells which were first rate. Bill went to Hoosick on the 10 P.M. train. Accompanied him to Depot.
Sat. Mar. 16 - Went to Y.M.A. Debate. Last debate of season.
Sun. Mar. 17 - Attended Unitarian Church morning and evening.
Thurs. Mar. 21 - Officers' Drill of Left Wing 24th Regt. at Regimental Armory in evening.
Fri. Mar. 22 - Hiram Coon the Murderer of Mrs. Laker at Petersburgh was hung in the county jail today at 12:30; turned out with Co. G. Capt. Cusack to guard jail during the execution, with Co. D. Capt. Scott and 40 policemen under command of Capt. Squires.
Tues. Apr. 2 - Load of Del. & Hudson Grate Coal arrived at our dock last night. First coal of the season in Troy.
Thurs. Apr. 4 - Civil meeting Co. G. 24th Regt. at Fulton Market Armory.
Sun. Apr. 7 - Attended Unitarian church morning and evening. Sermons by Rev. Mr. Buckingham.
Mon. Apr. 15 - Commenced at Stackpole and Wotkyns again.
Fri. Apr. 26 - Called at Billy Felton's house in the evening.
Sun. Apr. 28 - Billy Felton called at our house and took tea, after which I went to church with him to Vincents and then we went down to his house and saw his wife and Em. Faxon.
Weds. May 1 - Paid Wm. Lindsey $15 on a/c.
Thurs. May 2 - Civil Meeting at Fulton Market Armory Co. G. 24th Regt.
Fri. May 3 - Paid J. W. Cipperly $10.00 for Policy in Phoenix Ins. Company of Brooklyn for $1000.00.
Sat. May 4 - Paid Jos. Stackpole Int. on Mortgage to May 1: $70.00 Paid Rouleau for footing Boots: $7.50
Weds. May 8 - Went down to Billy Felton's house in the evening. Saw his Mother and Emma Felton there.
Sun. May 12 - Attended Unitarian Church in morning. Went down to Billy Felton's house & took him to Unitarian Church in evening.
Mon. May 13 - Stackpole & Wotkyns dissolved this morning. G. D. Wotkyns buying out J. Stackpole's share.
Thurs. May 16 - Drilled in First St. this evening about an hour and a half. Nice moonlight night.
Fri. May 17 - Em. Faxon to tea this evening.
Thurs. May 23 - Paid Lindsey $15.00.
Sun. May 26 - Attended Unitarian Church in forenoon.
Thurs. May 30 - Loaned Henry Sauches $2.00 this afternoon. Paid Saturday June 1st.
Sat. June 1 - Henry Sanches paid $2.00 borrowed money.
Sun. June 2 - Attended Unitarian Church in forenoon. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Silisbee, Mr. Buckingham being in Boston. Letter of resignation from Mr. Buckingham was read to congregation by Mr. Silisbee after services.
Sun. June 9 - Attended Unitarian Church in forenoon. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Sillisbee of Chicago. Mr. Buckingham's resignation accepted by a very close vote.
Tues. June 11 - Called at Billy Felton's house in the evening; all the folks out but Em Faxon. Stayed a few minutes and then came home.
Sun. June 16 - Attended Unitarian Church: Sermon by Rev. Mr. Buckingham.
Weds. June 19 - Attend Unitarian Picnic at Powers Grove near Cohoes. Escorted Miss Barnis home.
Sun. June 30 - Attended Unitarian Church. We had a first rate Sermon by Rev. Mr. May.
Thurs. July 4 - Tenth Brigade turned out. I turned out with the 24th Regt. Awful hot. In the evening went to Griswold Opera House with Jim Godson to see Charley White's Combination Troupe and enjoyed myself first rate.
Mon. July 8 - Met Bill Faxon at Empire Foundry and loaned him a dollar. Paid Aug. 8.
Fri. July 19 - Called at Billy Felton's home. Accompanied Sarah Jane Faxon from there to her residence.
Sat. July 20 - Started for New York with Billy Felton; met him at the Steamboat Dock at Troy. Took Str [Steamer] Carter for Albany; got aboard Str. Drew about 7 o'clock P.M. and immediately left the dock for New York. Stopped at Athens about 3/4 of an hour and walked through the immense Depot at that place. About 11:30 P.M.
Sun. July 21 - Arrived at Pier 41 New York about 6:30 A.M. Waited until 8 o'clock for Herbert Felton; he not coming, started for Crooks Hotel, engaged our room and met Herb. going by in front of the Hotel. Stopped him and started down town. Saw an immense number of ships in the East River. After looking at the shipping a spell, we took the steamboat Sylvan Stream for Harlem. On the way we had a very fine view of the public buildings on Blackwells Island, which are very fine indeed; saw the new Harlem Bridge; stayed at Harlem a short time and then we got aboard the boat and returned to New York. We then went with Herb to his boarding house and took dinner there; after dinner we started for the Central Park. Arrived there about 2:30 P.M. Walked through the park as long as we could stand it, visiting the lake, reservoirs, and armory among other places. I was highly pleased with the park. We left the park about 5 o'clock and started for Hoboken. Went to the Elysian Fields; stayed there about an hour and then returned to N.Y. After supper we took a walk up Fifth Avenue, stopped at the Fifth Avenue Hotel and examined it a spell and then started uptown again. We went as far as A. T. Stewart's new residence which is "huge," I must say. And then we went to the Atlantic Gardens and had some soda after which we separated for the night, Herb going to his boarding place and Billy and I to our Hotel.
Mon. July 22 - Got out of bed early, had breakfast, and then we started for the Novelty Iron Works. Herb showed us through the works which are very extensive, their work being mostly steamship machinery. We then started for the Brooklyn Navy Yard and went aboard the Wanipanoag, a U.S. vessel, being the first ship I was ever on. After looking through the yard we went and saw the mammoth pump with a capacity of 35,000 gallons a minute. Herb and I went on top of the pump. We next started for New York and took our dinner at Crooks. While [we were] eating our dinner, William Boynton came in. We agreed to meet him at his store after making a visit to Uncle Harry. [There is a pencil insert here: "also saw monitors Onondaga and Puritan."] We called on Uncle Harry and found him looking first rate - he seemed very glad to see us. We made him quite a visit and he promised before we left to come up to Troy some time in September. We then started for Wall St. Coming up Wall Street we saw a very excited crowd coming out of a building on Nassau St. Going over there we found that they were stock operators buying and selling stock. It was one of the greatest sights I saw while in New York. We then called for William Boynton when we all started up Broadway, stopping at the St. Nicholas a little while. We proceeded as far as Niblo's Garden and purchased our tickets for "The Black Crook." We then kept on up Broadway until it commenced raining quite hard. Herb's boarding place being near, we went there until it cleared off, which it did in a few minutes. We walked uptown some ways further and then started downtown again. Went through Washington Market on our way, and then we got our supper at an eating house, after which we reached the St. Nicholas Hotel where we stopped until it was [al]most time to go to the theater. We started for the theater about 7 o'clock. Sat in the Metropolitan Hotel until it was time to go in, the theater being inside the Hotel. The scenery was magnificent, the last or transformation scene being especially so. The ballet was "high," there being about sixty girls in it mostly dressed in tights. The play was over about 11 o'clock. When we got out it was raining hard. We took a streetcar and went to the Atlantic Gardens again and had some more soda. Herb then left us for his boarding place. Wm. Boynton, Billy Felton & I went to Crook's Hotel and went to bed about 1 o'clock in the morning.
Tues. July 23 - Arose about 7 o'clock A.M. Billy and I started for Brooklyn to see Annie Stiles. Found the house without any difficulty. Saw Annie and made quite a call. She was looking pretty good, although a little pale. Left for N.Y. and then we took the Staten Island Ferryboat for Staten Island. On the way we had a fine view of Governor's Island. Also saw Fort Richmond in the distance. Came back by the Brooklyn side. After we came back to New York we went to Trinity Church. Going up the steeple we had a very fine view of the city. We went from there to Crook's for dinner. After dinner we walked up Broadway, Fifth Avenue and several others [in pencil: "sts."] and then went to the Hudson River R.R. Depot and took the 3:45 train for Troy, arriving in the Union Depot about 9:45 P.M. This ended my first visit to New York.
Thurs. Aug. 8 - Election to fill vacancy caused by promotion of Capt. J. W. Cusack to Major of 24th Regt. N.G.S.N.Y. 1st Lieut. G. G. Wolfe to Capt. 2nd Lieut. J. M. Carey to 1st Lieut. Sargt. A. W. Scribner to 2nd Lieut. After election we adjourned to Charley Waldheim's.
Fri. Aug. 9 - School of instruction at State Armory for non-commissioned officers of 24th Regt.
Sat. Aug. 10 - Met Billy Felton on River St. and went down to his house with him.
Mon. Aug. 12 - Turned out with 24th Regt. N.G.S.N.Y. for drill this afternoon. Pretty warm work. Drilled on one of Gary's lots back of 10th St.
Thurs. Aug. 15 - Deposited $75 in National State Bank of Troy and received a certificate for the same. Notified to attend court martial to be held at the Mansion House, Troy, on the 19th of August at 7 P.M.
Thurs. Sept. 5 - Attend Civil Meeting of G Co., 24th Regt. at Fulton Market Armory. Elected A. W. Park 2nd Sargt. ---[?]--- Scribner promoted. Also had a company drill. Capt. G. G. Wolfe commanding.
Sun. Sept. 8 - Attended Unitarian Church morning and evening. Services by Rev. Mr. [blank] of Washington D.C.
Mon. Sept. 9 - Went Lansingburgh and Waterford to notify parties of the arrival of Mt. Carbon coal. Walked from Waterford over to Cohoes and came back by Troy & Cohoes R.R.
Mon. Sept. 16 - Turned out with 24th Regt. for Review and Inspection. Left field at 5 o'clock and had dress parade on the Fair Grounds by Gen. Alden. Came down to the city and dismissed.
Tues. Sept. 17 - Left Stackpole & Wotkyns this morning.
Sun. Sept. 22 - Went to Unitarian Church in forenoon. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Calvin.
Sat. Sept. 28 - Had boots tapped. $1.50 out.
Sun. Sept 29 - Attended Unitarian Church morning and evening. Services by Rev. Mr. Galvin.
Thurs. Oct. 3 - Commenced work for N. Joyce. Attend civil meeting and drill of Co. G 24th Regt. Election of officers. Run against W.T. Perkins for 4th Sargt. Vote stood: Perkins 4, Miller 15. Paid company dues $1.00. Paid for gloves .25.
Thurs. Oct. 17 - Attended drill Co. G 24th Regt. Practiced the new tactics Uptons [?].
Fri. Oct. 18 - Non-commissioned officers drill at State Armory, Lt. Col. Steenberg commanding.
Sun. Oct. 20 - Went to Cohoes with K.
Mon. Oct. 21 - Handed my resignation as 4th Sargt. Co. G 24th Regt. N.G.S.N.Y. to Capt. G. G. Wolfe.
Tues. Nov. 5 - Election Day. Democrats carried everything in State, County, and City.
Thurs. Nov. 7 - Civil meeting Co. G. 24th Regt. My resignation as 4th Sergt. accepted. 1st Lieut. J. M. Cary in command.
Fri. Nov. 8 - Weston the Pedestrian passed through Troy. Geo. Dykeman called on us from Philadelphia this afternoon. In the evening we all went to the theater to see Marrietta Ravel in the play of The Dumb Boy from Athens. George and I left at the conclusion of the 1st part of the performance and took a walk about town.
Sat. Nov. 9 - George Dykeman left for Saratoga this afternoon, taking Father with him.
Sun. Nov. 10 - Attended Unitarian Church forenoon and evening sermons by the Rev. Mr. [blank]. Best sermons we have had in a great while.
Fri. Nov. 15 - Get terms for 1 car a week for line to Nathan Corners of E. S. Morgan H.R.R.R. for John L. Messer. E. S. Morgan refer me to Mr. Green of East Albany. Paid City Taxes.
Sun. Nov. 17 - Attended Unitarian church in forenoon.
Weds. Nov. 20 - Went Griswold Opera House with E. W. Church to see Chas. Barron in the play of [blank]. After the play took a walk.
Thurs. Nov. 21 - Attend Drill Co. G. 24th Regt. N.G.S.N.Y.
Thurs. Dec. 5 - Went to Civil Meeting Co. G. 24th Regt. Election to fill vacancy left by my resignation. A. G. Patten elected. Left before drill.
Sun. Dec. 8 - Attended Unitarian Church morning & evening.
Thurs. Dec. 12 - Attended Drill Co. G. 24th Regt. Capt. Wolfe in command.
Sun. Dec. 15 - Attended Unitarian Church in evening.
Thurs. Dec. 19 - Attended Drill Co. G. 24th Regt. at Fulton Market Armory. Capt. G. G. Wolfe in command.
Weds. Dec. 25 - Left office about 10 o'clock and went home after dinner. Changed my clothes and went to the matinee of Uncle Tom's Cabin at Griswold Opera House. In evening went to see Nobody's Daughter at Griswold Opera House by Miss Kate Reighnolds.
[Here the diary ends.]
 "Mother" was Lucinda Felton Miller, daughter of Skelton Felton and Lucinda Adams.
 Thomas Coleman was a police commissioner. Charles's brother, Felton, was a policeman in 1867 and 1868.
 The Y.M.A. was the Young Men's Association.
 Billy Felton was Charles's cousin, the son of Amory Felton, Lucinda Felton Miller's brother.
 John Morrissey was a flashy politician, noted for wearing diamonds. He ended up in prison.
 By now, the careful reader may have discerned a much-overlooked sociological phenomenon: A temperance meeting was a great place to meet girls.
 Steamboat races were a popular, and dangerous, diversion. In one such race, in 1852, the Steamer Henry Clay caught fire. Seventy-two people drowned or were burned to death.
 George Dana Wotkyns and Joseph Stackpole were partners in the wholesale and retail coal business. See note to May 13.
 A different version of this entry was recorded on the 16th then crossed out. The other version reads: "Went to Unitarian Church morning & evening. Met Ed. Boutelle in the evening at church and after services took a walk with him around the city and then we both went to the Washington Volunteer Engine House and sat there a spell."
 National Guard of the State of New York
 William Felton and Mary Ann Faxon were married Oct. 24, 1859. Emma Faxon was undoubtedly Mary Ann's sister. The baby, Annie, was about a year old at this time, and died three years later. An earlier daughter, Minnie, died when an infant.
 Billy Felton's mother was Nancy Boynton.
 Stackpole & Wotkyns was Charles's employer. The company continued to operate under that name. See entries dated Sept. 17 and Oct. 3.
 Billy Felton's father, Amory, owned the Empire Stove Works in 1851, but sold it the next year. Billy Felton worked at the foundry for more than 40 years, and was manager of the works in 1897.
 Herbert Felton was Billy Felton's brother, and thus Charles's cousin. He was 20 years old at this time. A graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy a year earlier, he had already begun his career as a civil engineer. From 1873 until 1917, he was superintendant of a company which operated ferries between Camden, NJ and Philadelphia, PA. He was vice president and director of Camden National Bank and died in Camden in 1926.
 Crooks Hotel was on Park Row, near the later site of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Elysian Fields was a park and picnic ground. One of the earlier recorded baseball games was played here.
 Fifth Avenue Hotel was on the northwest corner of Broadway and 23rd St.
 Stewart's mansion was on the northwest corner of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.
 Novelty Iron Works was at the foot of 12th St. on the East River. In 1850 - 17 years before this visit - it employed more than 1,000 men who averaged $1.50 per day salary for an 11 hour day.
 Brooklyn was a separate and rival city until 1898.
 This is Henry Felton, Lucinda's youngest brother. He was born in Brookfield, Mass., went with the family to Troy, and later moved to New York City. He married Sarah Stiles. His second son lived through infancy and was 22 when this visit was made.
 The St. Nicholas Hotel was on the west side of Broadway between Broome and Spring Streets. It opened in 1853 with 1,000 beds. Its front was white marble.
 Niblo's Garden, on the northwest corner of Broadway and Prince St., had a theater, gardens, and a hall for fairs, exhibits, and manufacturer's displays.
 Washington Market was described as "a collection of low, straggling sheds, divided into irregular lanes and stalls, where order is impossible and cleanliness nearly so." Located on West St. between Vesey and Fulton Sts., it was the chief market for New York, Brooklyn, and Jersey City.
 "The Black Crook" was the "Oh! Calcutta!" of its day. It "drew bitter denunciations from the pulpit - and large and enthusiastic audiences."
 This was probably a relative of Henry Felton's wife, Sarah Stiles, who died in 1863 - only ten years after their marriage.
 The Hudson River Railroad Depot was at the corner of Chambers St. and West Broadway.
 Edward Paycon Weston (c1827-c1917) was an advocate of walking to improve health and a leader of a 19th-century movement called "Pedestrianism". He once walked from Boston to Washington, DC in 10 days. At the time Charles saw him, he was on a trek from Portland, Maine to Chicago - more than 1,300 miles. Forty years later, when he was 80 years old, Weston walked from New York City to San Francisco and back. He died when he was 90.
 It may seem odd that Charles went to work on Christmas Day. Although he was a Unitarian, his mother, a powerful influence in his life, came from a family# with deep roots in New England Puritanism. In fact, the celebration of Christmas was suppressed in New England until well into the 19th century; it was considered too Catholic.