James Griffing, it
seemed he had known Augusta Goodrich all his life. He couldn't remember the first time he had noticed her. It must have been at a berrying party or an ice cream social. His head was filled with mental images of her but they were
faded and scattered. Though seven
years his junior, they had become good friends during his last year in Owego. He never understood why she seemed to enjoy his company for they were so
much unlike each other -- she, warm and conversational, and he, shy and
uncomfortable in crowds. But she
brought out the best in him and he liked the way he felt when he was with her.
struggle within himself continued even now.
Why couldn't he bring himself to tell her how he felt about her? Wasn't there some way to express himself without sacrificing the
customary "manly deportment?" Could
he be too forward? Too much like a
blundering, youthful schoolboy? He
thought about all of the opportunities he had wasted in Owego to let her know
his true feelings but pride had always intervened. Suppose the feelings weren't mutual, he reasoned. The rejection could be devastating.
In December 1846, however, his hope for their relationship was rekindled. Her parents  had sent her to Hartford to attend Miss Draper's Seminary  and she was living with her Aunt Mary and Uncle Elizur Goodrich  just 10 miles away. When he paid her a visit during the winter, she had given him a token of remembrance that caused his heart to soar with delight. It was a lock of her light chestnut hair, twisted and knotted with ribbon into a delicate lapel ornament. Surely, this must be a sign of more than ordinary endearment, he reasoned. In return, he promised to write to her and let her know that he held their relationship in the highest regard. Slowly, he believed, she would begin to understand that theirs was a special and sacred friendship.
Leaving her parents home and journeying to her Uncle's home in Hartford was a major excursion for a young woman of seventeen years. But it was a splendid opportunity for her to spend time with her numerous Connecticut relatives. To stay in touch, she kept an active correspondence with her friends and relatives back home. One of these correspondents was Ruth Stratton -- a cousin, the eldest daughter of William and Alice Stratton who lived in adjacent Tompkins County, New York. Not long after arriving in Hartford, Augusta received the following letter from her cousin Ruth.
My Dear Friend,
I almost fear to ask you to forgive me my negligence in not writing to you before. I received a letter from you last April, and indeed -- when I think of it -- I am ashamed. You have perhaps cast me off of your list of friends, thinking me too thoughtless to be one of the number. Indeed, I have no reason for blaming you. No. I often think of the pleasant hours I have spent in your company and anticipate the time when I shall again enjoy your society. But I will not dwell upon my negligence for I trust that 'ere you have got this far you will have pardoned me, seeing I am such a perfect penitent, and not take example from me and my procrastination which is the thief of time.
Our families since I received your letter have almost all been sick. I was taken first with a very bad cold and cough, then [my sisters] Nancy and Lucy. Lucy -- we feared -- would not get well, but is quite as well as she has ever been. Pa and [brother] Daniel were taken about the same time with the inflammation in the lungs. Ma's health is very good. We are all well now.  Mr. Denton's familee are all well. Rosey and Lucille are at home now. I saw them a few evenings since. Harriet is with Mrs. Davis. Mr. William's health has not been verry good the past summer but has quite recovered. Mrs. Williams is well. The girls often speak of their visit to Owego and day they would like again to go there. They often speak of you.
I had a letter a few days since from Hancie Abbey.  She says that Laura Kelleys has come to Owego. We have not herd from Owego for some time. I suppose you hear oftener than we do. I had intended spending a week or two their this fall but did not. I think I should enjoy a visit their much better if you were their. I don't know whether I shall go their this winter or not, but expect a visit from many of our Owego friends. Hancie [Abbey] says she has been to Pensylvainy to see her Father's familee during the past summer and enjoyed her visit much.
I suppose you are a going to school now. We have a verry good school here. Miss Thatcher is teacher. I do not go now but think I shall. We have not had much sleighing here yet, but it is pretty cold weather. Today has become a verry pleasant day for the season. I can hardly realize that it is almost New Year's. Thanksgiving here was verry stormy and the next day I had a sleigh ride to Ithaca.
I do not know as I have any news to write you, yet wish you would answer this as soon as convenient and not let our correspondence cease and I promise to answer yours sooner. Please accept my best wishes for your happiness and believe me with respects your sincere friend, -- Ruth Stratton
week before the regularly scheduled examinations were to be given at Wesleyan
University, all of the students planning to teach select schools during the
eight week winter vacation or beyond, were gathered in the Lyceum for early
examinations and dismissal. James studied hard to prepare himself for the oral
examinations and was pleased with the results. It hadn't been easy. His
mind had been preoccupied with the news that his sister Lydia was very ill in
New York City.  First term finished, he headed north to Kensington to begin what would be
the first of many brief stints as a school teacher to help defray the expenses
he would incur in the pursuit of his college degree.
Kensington, December 20, 1846. Have been in Kensington three weeks. Have formed some acquaintance with the people. I find the state of society somewhat different from what I expected. There is not so much of refinement in the habits of the people that have been so long enjoying the blessings resulting from intellectual improvement and advancement.
Sunday. December 27, 1846. The last Sabbath I shall be permitted to enjoy in 1846 is already upon me. What necessity for reflection and for self examination and inquiry. How has the time been spent? What spiritual progress have I made?  How many souls have I been instrumental in saving? How much and how thoroughly have I examined the word of truth? What victories have I gained over this selfish heart? What aims have I had in all my mental exertions? Is Christ precious? Is His kingdom established in my heart? Have I allowed the many temptations presented by the great adversary? What now is my duty and wherein have I seen failure in my life, and what is necessary on my part, to be of use to all whom I may associate.
Sabbath, February 7, 1847. Have been permitted to attend church this day and sit under the instruction of the Rev. Royal Robbins. The discourse was well written and read with usual zeal and energy.
Saturday, March 20, 1847. I find myself again ready to engage in the duties of College life. After spending four months very agreeably with the good people of Kensington and having become sincerely attached to many who were kind to me in that place, it was hard work to bid adieu. But as we inhabit a world of change, it is not expected but that parting and meeting with our friends be common occurrences.
About the first of April 1847, James received a letter from his hometown acquaintance Appleton S. Kelley  who was seven years his senior. They had become fast friends in the years just before he'd left to go to college and they had promised to write each other while he was away. The letter was full of news about the Methodist society in Owego.
James Griffing, Esq.
That correspondence which we promised each other at our last meeting has long been neglected -- particularly on my part, and I think also on yours, for I have not [heard] from you since you left only by way of your correspondents here. James, where have you kept yourself this winter? Why have you not written and let me know what you was up to? Yes, I presume you are asking the same question, "Why has he not written?" Well I have a good and vallade excuse for not writing. 1st, if I had known your whereabouts & the address &c., I would [have written]. But supposing that in vacation you was absent from Middletown (as you informed me you would be) teaching the young idea how to Shooo, I knew not where to send any token of rememberance, however small it might be. 2nd, I have been so much engaged in business that I have not found time for to do very many things which I ought to have done. Leaving Mr. Slosson early in October last, I have been doing business for William A. Ely since which has occupied my whole time and attentions.
In sending the news, however little it may be, I hardly know where to commence. But will commence with the church and the means of Grace connected with it. In that grace given to all who desire it, I must have been making some advancement. Though feeble, my desires are strong and purposes unshaken, not to falter but to pursiver untill the Crown is mine. We have had a glorious work of the Lord's among us the few past weeks. James, our meetings have been excellent and many souls have found God precious to their souls. Something like sixty have been -- we trust -- hopefully converted & others are yet anxious. The Lord has heard prayer and answered in our behalf. Among those who have found Jesus, these friends are (some of them I will name as I believe it will interest you to know who they are) Fanny Wallis, Francis Brodhead, L. J. Tefft, Charlotte Hill , Robert Cameron's wife, Martha Totten, and Mary Ann Worthington.  Charlotte had a hard time of it. [Her] proud heart and skepticism combined was a great hinderance & gave the enemy a good advantage. But through grace I trust she has gained the victory and will make a good member in the Church & useful member in society.
Never have I witnessed a work of the kind where there was so little excitement and personal solicitation that is attendent on such occasions. Br. [William H.] Pearne, when preaching, spoke with force and energy but nothing of excitement was exhibited. And when siners were invited to go forward for prayer, they went of their own accord. All, I believe I am warranted in saying, that All who have found the Lord acted for themselves. Not only siners converted, [but] back-sliders have been reclaimed, and the church greatly blessed. Our choire singing is entirely broken up. Dr. Churchill has at last got out of the way of some. Brown Donlevy, James Thurston & his mother have again joined on probation. In fact, all things are moving along admirably. A better lovefeast I never attended then the one at our last Quarterly meeting & as the Glory to God through his son Jesus Christ.
You no doubt yet remember the Sabbath School particularly. I cannot say that it is as large in number as when you left but there is a good degree of interest manifested by those who do attend. The teachers are the same as when you left except Br. Camp who is Librarian & I am trying to act as teacher. Br. Noble is Superintendent. One of our school has since you left been called away by death, Edward Gibson. He was in Emily Johnson's class. Miss Johnson has recently found it good not only to teach the way of everlasting life to others but to know it herself experimentally. Also others of the school are happy in the Lord. In my class, seven out of nine have recently been converted from the error of their ways. What a change! And the Lord be praised for it.
Charles Coates & Electa Hand were married on the 18th inst. Our Teacher's Associations are still kept up occasionally and I think the attendance of teachers is more full then they used to be. Otherwise, our schools are about the same.
[Your friend, -- Appleton S. Kelley]
the end of a very pleasant spring day, James Griffing returned to his dormitory
room and wrote in his journal:
April 11, 1847. Listened
to a sermon from the Rev. Mr. Pillsberry,
of the students. Confidence added to good judgment and presence of
mind enabled him to appear to good advantage. His sermon was very well delivered
and notwithstanding, it was not characterized by any uncommon thoughts or
expressions, yet upon the whole I guess it left a very good impression upon the
congregation. In the afternoon, listened to a sermon from Daniel Curry - A.M.
New Haven. The sermon was excellent but wanted force in the delivery. It
appeared too much repeating a lesson he had committed --
this point James paused and allowed his eyes to look back in disbelief over the
words he had just written. What was he doing! These
were sermons, not classroom orations! These
men were not youthful scholars standing sheepishly in the front of his
declamation classes in Kensington. Yet
he was evaluating and passing judgment upon their style and delivery. He wanted to strike out the words upon the page but realized the folly in
doing so. Dipping his pen and
taking up where he left off, he attempted to atone for his foolish criticisms.
-- and I am not
certain but that the great fault with me has been the observing more the form
and actions of the preacher than weighing and applying the sentiment. Oh how
much need on my part of an efficient change of heart and life. I have become too
cold, too careless, and by my example, am exerting an influence unfavorable to
the cause of holiness. College life presents almost innumerable temptations to
the Christian. Oh how much need of constant watchfulness and intercession with
God is it necessary for the Christian continually to exercise. In reading of
late the memoirs of J. B. Taylor and learning the vast amount of usefulness he
was instrumental in accomplishing by consecrating all his powers to God during
his Collegiate course, I am led to hide my face in the lowest place and cry. My
unfaithfulness! Oh my unfaithfulness!! A sinner ransomed by the blood of Christ
and not putting forth the least effort to advance my Master's Kingdom. Thus far
my collegiate course has been a mere blank as far as accomplishing any good is
concerned. Shall it be so any longer from this moment?
A few days later, James received a short letter from one of the students of the school he'd held the previous winter in Kensington.
I write this to let you know that we expect our school will begin soon but I do not know yet who will keep it but I hope we shall have a good school any way and if you come to Kensington this summer you must come and see the school. I have but a few moments to write as the sun is almost down and I -- or as some call me Neighbor Dominic -- must get ready and go to the meeting.
Yours with respect, -- George A. Hookes
spring-like weather of June made the college walls seem close and confining. Soon the summer of 1847 would be upon them and the students yearned to
get away from their classes. Concentrating
upon his reading of Greek and Latin became especially grueling for James and he
frequently found himself daydreaming. His
home and his family; they were always on his mind. How he longed to make his mother a good long visit and tell her all about
college. Mostly though, he found
himself thinking about Augusta and he remembered his promise to write:
June 16, 1847
June 16, 1847
esteemed friend Augusta,
Not having heard one word concerning you since I called at your house last winter, nor any of your friends in Hartford, I have thought that it would not be out of place to occupy a few moments in conversing with you in the only manner I am permitted at present to converse with any of my old friends. It certainly would be far more agreeable could I be in your immediate society and share in all the pleasure and profit derived from social and familiar intercourse. Especially at this hour should I rejoice in such a privilege, as it has been denied me so long. Yet as a kind Providence chooses to order that it should be otherwise, it becomes me cheerfully to submit, and not in the least murmur at his dispensations, but endeavor to improve well such favors as are conferred upon me which, I am obliged to confess, I have been altogether too negligent in doing. And now I hardly know what I can write that will in the least interest you for I suppose you are almost weekly learning all the particulars transpiring in the vicinity of home; and, as you are a stranger here, it cannot be supposed that you will take a very deep interest in affairs in this place.
school [in Kensington] continued pleasant until it closed which happened at the
expiration of four months. The last day was occupied in an examination of the
school before the board of visitors and many parents. 
passed to my satisfaction. We devoted the evening to declamation and although we
labored under some inconveniences on account of a crowded house, yet the
scholars, if anything, exceeded my expectations and every thing I guess passed
off with general satisfaction. Thus closed the most pleasant term that I have
ever passed since first I ever offered my services as a pedagogue. I could not
help becoming much attached to all the scholars on account of the respect which
they exhibited toward me as well as to the parents for their friendly feeling,
their many favors and good wishes. I have already made them a good visit and
passed the time very pleasantly. If you ever think of engaging in this
employment, I am confident you will like it much better here in Connecticut than
you did in New York.
When I returned to college, I found the class just half a term in advance of me and learned that it would be necessary for me to bring up what they had gone over in my absence and keep up with them the remainder of the term so that I might be able to pass an examination with them at its close. You may guess that I did not find much leisure time. The examination, however, was not as rigid as I expected so that no bones were broken. 
During the May vacation of two
weeks, through the solicitation of my chum, I was persuaded to accompany him to
the house of his parents in Sheffield, Massachusetts. The journey was pleasant.
In nothing was I more disappointed than in the face of the country. Previous to
my coming here, I had preconceived a very favorable opinion with regard to its
evenness, the surpassing excellency of the farms, fertility of the soil, &c.
&c. But instead of this, the country was very rough, rocky, swampy, meager,
in many places incapable of being tilled, and in scarcely any of the places that
we passed through do the people raise enough for home consumption. We could not,
as in our own state, look upon extensive fields of wheat. But scattered about in
different parts of the lot might be seen small patches of rye, potatoes, oats,
or corn, &c. In many of the small villages & scattered along the country
are extensive manufacturing establishments so that the prospect of living
appears quite favorable even if their scanty appearing crops fail them.
Sheffield is pleasantly situated in the southwest part of the state on the Housatonic Railroad. It occupies quite an elevated position and its healthiness makes it the resort of many from the cities in the warm season. There is quite an extensive quarry of marble there from which all the material for building Girard College was obtained. Also a mine of the black oxyde of manganese. I visited the mine and should have entered had not a large serpent coiled himself up in the entrance to the tunnel and presented such a forbidding aspect.
I was much pleased with the people. I think they appear much more like our own people than here in Connecticut. Their better judgment does not allow all the noblest feelings of their nature to be absorbed in striving by every possible means to grasp a few dollars and cents. No! their open hearted souls cannot be thus circumscribed. They seem to think the Almighty gave them being and endowed them with talents for some more exalted purpose, and it always does me good when I see an individual, and especially a community, realize the importance of this and act accordingly.
The present term thus far only brings about the continual round of college duties. Everything passes along as smoothly as could be expected. A oneness of feeling seems to exist in our own class as well as throughout the institution. There is only one here, I believe, from [Hartford] and that is Mr. F. G. Johnson  of the Junior class.
I received 2 or three letters from the vicinity of home last week giving information of the prevalence of a general state of health. Asher Tappan, however, is quite low [and] not expected to live long. His mother, [Anna Cook Tappan,] died several weeks ago as well as old Mrs. Brink, Santly Crator, Wood, Mr. Matthews &c. Henrietta Burdick (on account of a white swelling on her knee) was obliged to have her limb amputated. Sarah Dye has married out west -- a young gentleman named Grant [who is] said to be a young man in high standing. Her father has returned and married Widow Palmer.
has been quite an extensive revival of religion in the Methodist Episcopal
Church during the past winter. Among those added to the church, I notice the
name of Charlotte D. Hill. I hope she may prove to be as great an ornament to it
as was her mother. My mother's family are well. Sister [Permelia]
teaches the school in our own district. Brother [Henry] is building a house
near mothers for his own accommodation. I now think that I shall make a visit
home during the August  vacation which lasts about 4 weeks. I must confess
that notwithstanding all the pleasure of college life, I get a little homesick
at times. What do they propose doing there on the 4th [of July]? Nothing as I
can learn is to be done here.
I suppose your term is drawing fast to a close and with it very many agreeably occupied hours. Do you think you shall continue another year? Does your school continue as pleasant and profitable as ever? Have you learned the particulars of your Uncle _____'s death? Have you late news from home? Do you purpose to visit there soon? Have you all enjoyed good health since I called there? And many other things I should be happy to learn in an answer to this if you think it worthy of one. I ought to have no reason to murmur if you should not. You will please remember me kindly to your Uncle [Elizur] and Aunt [Mary] & [their] little [son] Frederic.  I should be highly gratified to receive a line from them in connection with yourself. Please pardon all errors and believe that I shall remain your sincere friend, -- James
After completing his letter to Augusta Goodrich, James made an entry in his journal indicating the date of his correspondence. This entry and several others which followed during the months of June, July and August of 1847 are revealed below:
 Miss Draper's Seminary, a school for young women in Hartford, Connecticut that was operated by Julia and Catherine Draper. It was located at 26 Trumbull Street. Click on images below for enlargement.
Augusta's uncle was Elizur Tryon Goodrich, born Jan. 1, 1817, in Glastonbury,
Conn. When a young man, Elizur entered the
Hartford store of John Olmstead (go to John
Olmstead to see John's gravesite. John Olmstead was the father of
Frederick Law Olmstead, the famous architect who designed Central Park in
New York City as well as other famous public works.). Elizur eventually became a junior member of the firm, Olmstead, Thatcher, & Goodrich. Their
store was at the corner of Main and Pearl streets in Hartford. In 1858,
the partnership was dissolved and he began the manufacture of
Rogers Bros. silver-plated ware at Hartford and the manufacture of paper at
Poquonock. In 1865, sold out
both businesses and opened a dry goods store in Cincinnati, OH., where he
died in 1868. Married first in
1841 to Mary C. Beech. After
her death, he married Mary E. Johnston.
 Ruth Stratton was the eldest daughter of William Stratton (1799-1872) and Alice Miller. Her siblings included David, Nancy, George, William, Henry, Edwin, Lucy, and Wilbur. Ruth's father was the nephew of Augusta's grandfather, Jeremiah Goodrich. See Goodrich Genealogy.
 Hancie Abbey (1827-1871) was the daughter of Anson Abbey (1801-1865) and Clarissa Taylor (1802-1864). Hancie's Aunt was Rachel Taylor (born 1800) who married Ralph Goodrich (1790-1845), the younger brother of Augusta's grandfather, Jeremiah Goodrich. See Goodrich Genealogy. Hancie's family moved from Portland, Connecticut, to Salem, Wayne County, Pennsylvania in the 1840's but Hancie lived with her Aunt Rachel Goodrich in Portland, Connecticut. In the early 1850's, she would marry James R. Dayton and have two sons. She died in July 20, 1871 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From a local newspaper, her obituary reads: "The funeral of Mrs. James R. Dayton will take place on Sunday at St. Marks church at 2 o'clock. In the death of Mrs. Hancy S. Dayton, our community is called to mourn the departure of a truly estimable woman whose Christian and domestic virtues adorned the station in which she moved and won the esteem and love of a large circle of friends. The past year had been to her one of great suffering but she bore it faithfully, and her Christian faith never wavered for a moment, but rather was lightened and quickened by the trial to which it was subjected. 'In the communion of the Catholic church, in the confidence of a certain faith, in the comfort of a reasonable religious and holy hope in favor with God, and in professed charity with the world' she calmly resigned things seen and temporal and sweetly fell asleep in Jesus..."
The home in which James R. Dayton lived in Portland, Connecticut is identified just above the center in the following map:
 Lydia [Griffing] Kelly, wife of John C. Kelly, a tailor in New York City. She died on November 30, 1846, at age 33.
 "Religion [in the 1840's] was not vague and remote, but of immediate and vital importance, for men felt that God watched them every second with a searching eye, rewarding and punishing, advising and interfering..." Riegel, Young Americans 1830-1840, p. 17.
 Appleton S. Kelley (1815-1851) came to Owego about 1835. His death notice in the Owego Gazette reads: "DIED, In Nichols, on Tuesday, January 31st of 1851, of consumption [tuberculosis], Appleton C. Kelley, late of the firm F. Slosson & Company, aged 36 years."
 Charlotte Hill would eventually become the second wife of John C. Kelly, who's first wife Lydia Griffing (James' older sister) had died in 1846. See footnote 6 above.
 Mary Ann Worthington, born 16 June 1828, was the daughter of Gad Worthington and Fanny Belden. On 5 October 1848, she married Wheeler H. Bristol who became state treasurer and later lived on the "Glenmary" estate near Goodrich Settlement.
Rev. Benjamin Pilsbury, born October, 1824, at Boscawen, N. H.
Graduated from Wesleyan University in 1847.
 "The great day of the school year was the final exercise, to which the parents and the school board were invited. The master examined his charges with questions carefully designed to show their progress." Riegel, Young Americans 1830-1840, p. 239.
 The examinations James is referring to in this letter are the mid-year examinations. The term that followed the May vacation ended on August 31, 1847 with an examination by a Board of Visitors that comprised the Examining Committee. It was the task of this distinguished board to test the knowledge of each of the students to determine if they were eligible to move to the next class. The following six images are the record of that examining committee, which are now housed in the Wesleyan University Special Collections & Archives.
Frank G. Johnson. Graduated
from Wesleyan University in 1849. No
 Frederic Elizur Goodrich, born Feb. 18, 1843. Son of Elizur and Mary Goodrich. Frederic eventually graduated from Hopkins Grammar School, 1860, and Yale College, 1864; became engaged in journalism with the Trenton Monitor in N. J. (1864-65), then editor of the Hartford Courant (1865-67), then with the Boston Globe (1867-78), being editor from 1875-78. He became a celebrated author of biographies... Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock and Grover Cleveland being his most noted works.