Friday, May 06, 2011
The Mercer Logs
Each day's entry starts and ends with the weather, "The day begins with wind N.N.E. . . . So ends this day with wind E.N.E." But in between the beginning and ending of each day, there were notations of which ships came in and out and the recording of life on Mustang Island.
Friday, February 3, 1871
This day begins with the wind N.E. good breeze, pleasant. Tom and Ned went to farming. Harnessed Lion and Lep and went to harrowing. Clubb and Roberts arrived from Rockport. All hands followed Clubb's whisky jug home. Had several drinks., took dinner at Clubb's. So played hell with our plowing business. Had to turn the oxen out. . . . So ends the day. Winds E. light.
These logs have been held in the family until recently when they were turned over to the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association (PAPHA.) The logs that have survived cover a period from 1866 to 1877. The PAPHA has had the logs treated for archival preservation and stored in a secure vault. They are now in the process of transcribing copies of the logs.
Back in 1990's I looked at microfiche copies of some of the logs in the Corpus Christi Library. Both sides of paper had been written on and the ink had bled through pages. They were very difficult to read. I was fortunate enough to find in the Library a carbon paper transcription of a period of about 18 months in the 1871-1872 time frame. I retyped the transcription because the carbon paper was difficult to read as well and I gave copies to our sons.
I love reading the logs and thinking about the lives they lived. So before we went to Port Aransas last month, I went through the logs and made notes about places and things that I wanted to look for. We had wonderful visits with some members of the PAPHA who shared more information with us as did some of the families of other early settlers. So if you haven't already figured it out, I am starting a long term project that ties in with the Mercer logs.
The image above was made in a garden in Port Aransas.