Log of Earl W Baker, July 1918

July 2018

The 3rd German drive started 7/14/18 & was speedily halted. Foch has finally struck using 200,000 Americans. The Crown Prince’s army is finding hard work to extricate itself intact from the Marne to the Aisne. Loissons is on the verge of capture & Rheims is still held. Chateau Thearry on the Marne was taken by our troops on the 21st. The steadily growing depression of the Allies in the face of the previously successful attacks has now been swept away. The first French drive of the year & developed from a counter-attack. This 2nd battle of the Marne may mark the high water mark of Prussian success (ie penetration) & at the same time the turning point of the balance of power.

Spend a week’s vacation at Aunt Teens. Geo. B canot (sic) get farm labor – a universal condition – & consequently has difficulty in harvesting any crops. Uncle Harry’s farm – now the Gun Clubs – the chestnut timber (which had mostly died off) was being sawed up at Springside. Mitchell was killed during my stay – our first great loss in the War. He was only 39 years old & was N.Y. City’s youngest mayor. Col. Roosevelt’s son Quentin was killed the other day – in aviation in France.

In the office  – nightingale – our cost expert has entered the Ordnance Dept. Rowe goes in a few days – as will Wacker & Masten. Some 25 in all from the office. Doughty left to for a position in exporting Co. in N. Y. City. Spent the 4th at Mt. Beacon with Miss Duryea.

U Boat sank the San Diego (7/20th) & also a tow off Boston after some hr & ½ poor shooting & 3 torpedoes (3 barques were empty, one filled with stone).

Log of Earl W Baker, June 1918

June 10th, 1918

The 2nd drive is now approaching the close – apparently. About ten miles more loss for the allies. The Browning gun and the aereoplane (sic) situation are beginning to loom up as encouraging possibilities.

Some 15 coastwise vessels have been sunk this first ten days of June by subs. So far no transports on this side.

The film “Gerard’s 4 Years in Germany”* is an accurate & powerful indictment of the Teutors or more properly the Prussian ideals – Cruelty rapacity & greed. Took Agnes Clark.

Arthur Brisbane in the June American calls attention to the 3 motivating influences in life

1 Instinct for self preservation

2 Instinct for reproduction

3 Instinct for power, betterment – ambition.

& dwells on the 3rd as the highest and most potent dynamic for the future man.

*”My Four Years In Germany”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Four_Years_in_Germany

June 1918

Am taking a fresh start.

Having just finished “An American in the Making” by Ravage – a Roumanian jew who writes a strong account of his growth & final acceptance of the American plan. The startling part is the keenness & devotion of his people in the sweatshops to knowledge – classical, modern & more particularly radical theories of all sorts – which they are first to welcome. Nazinova – before she spoke Eng. etc. Ibsen – Shaw – are first read there – payed there & discussed. They remain exampled however thru sheer narrowness of their life & consequent outlook. Either socialists or anarchists – irreligious & therefore continually groping for the mirage of truth.

Am beginning Lord Morley’s “Recollections”

Saw Wm. Faversham – Maxine Elliot – Macklyn Arbuckle & Irene Fenwick in “Lord & Lady Algy” a week or so ago. Faversham especially is immense – perfect poise – strength – voiced – control insight – depth & virility.

Dad has found employment at DeLaval.

The aeroplane situation in U.S. is sustaining severe criticism as the results are nill.

Railroads are still congested (now in hands of U.S.) & motor trucks are being suggested to east the situation.

U-boats have appeared off Atlantic coast & sunk some 15 coastwise vessells (sic).

The Hun forte lately has been shelling Red Cross Hospitals & Hospital boats. Unfortunately (?) they mistook a prison camp for a camp recently & killed several of their countrymen – our prisoners.

Situation on Western front is tense but very quiet – unexpectedly so.

Log of Earl W Baker, May 1918

May 5th, 1918

Third Liberty Loan greatly oversubscribed & not all returns in.

Have been for the last week off the books – checking all bills & acting as ass’i to the office head. Believe I am getting along fairly well.

Sunday morning I attended the class of Prof. Shear whose talks are remarkably strong and helpful. Re. the war, he asserted that regardless of seeming defeat and disappointment, he never had any fear or the slightest doubt as to the outcome for the reason that “the truth will always eventually prevail.” If we are without this belief, we are without any religious convictions whatsoever.

Regarding the wealth of which we are all so covetous, he assured us that whatever ephemeral possession & money might buy, it could purchase not one of the eternal values, which are character, honor, love, truth and integrity. And without these eternal values how may we find happiness.

Last Friday I saw the film Materlink’s “Blue Bird” and it was beautifully presented. Took miss HIll and enjoyed her company.

The German drive has been renewed for the third time. Ireland is bitterly resenting threatened conscription of manpower.

E Hunt, on furlough, tanned & rugged, after 4 weeks training dropped in this P.M.

May 1918

The last Sunday in May “Bab” Hill” Alice Duryea, Paul Weiss and myself went to Mohonk by trolley to New Paltz & carriage to Mt. Rest. We had a delightful day tho’ a dry one.  Sometime ago I had spoken to A. D re. reading Hugh Walpole & I was pleased to hear her enthuse over his “Fortitude”. Am beginning to approve of Alice.

The Huns are finally stopped after a 12 mile lunge into France.

Log of Earl W Baker, March 2018

March 4th, 1918

Was raised to 3rd° of Masonry Wed. last. Booth’s comments on the chief role is interesting & true. The Boys of the Naval Militia are having a great time. Eng. France, the Mediterranean – some experience for a young chap.

Have no boy friends and keep my girl friends from 2 to 5 weeks. Cut Frances – jealous.

Went out some with Virginia Duncan – cut her – she broke a date. (Sore head!)

Balanced 2 out of 3 ledgers today.

Been reading Conrad – Young – End of the Tether. Immense good psychology, and character analysis.

Tues. March 5th 1918

Received the official examination returns.

Class A – 1. Rather glad of it – oddly enough! Have all ledgers in balance  – 2 posted up. Rec’d raise from 18.00 to 20.50 plus 10% bonus. (decidedly less than I at first expected – PAB three a crimp in the G Ex.)

Am preparing for a drive on the Coml Cas. for the sake of the $25 return for completion. Attended lecture on Japan.

Log of Earl W Baker, February 1918

February 1918

The facts and dates of the important events of this war are a matter of record. I will not attempt to duplicate them.

My impressions however, I will record. The men in our cantonements (sic) reaped the harvest of a hand to mouth-inert and little visioned govt. Policy. In its defense it has been said, with some accuracy, that the most radical of the war-preparationist advocates could not have made in the two years before our entrance to the war, a by any means suitable conception of our actual needs. We lacked the imagination. Our soldiers passed a severe fall and winter in the cantonements. Thousands died of pneumonia. Clothing as well as weapons were inadequate. Sect. of War Baker has thus far successfully maintained a position of confidence despite much adverse criticism.  He presents the strides taken – in glowing vein, and is far more clever than his critics and investigations leave him unruffled. He and the Pres. however are making some changes.

Pres. Wilson is making his position stronger than ever and has an immense hold on the people and even after some fighting (Overman Bill) on Congress. It is felt that Austria is under his influence and Count Czernin’s speach (sic) give some assurance to the view.*

The coal situation has been sever. For three successive Mondays, businesses have closed down – with one 5 day period.

The Gas & Elec have bad 2 to 5 men out – to keep track of, and trace coal shipments.

*Minister of Foreign Affairs, Austria-Hungary. Resigned April 1918 due to his “disclosure of peace activities of the monarch”. Oops.

Feb 17, 1918

Coal situation is now somewhat relieved. It was caused entirely to RR congestion – aided by snow storms and blizzards.

Sugar shortage is not over yet. Price is ten or tess, canada getting plenty for 15 c.

Took draft examination. Found I had a hernia. Within last month have kept work up at office and expect a considerable increase.

Met Francis Griffin. V. Hos. and have taken her to dances at Rutherfords and D of I. She is very lively, a flirtatious person and we quarrel constantly. I’ve found myself to be jealous, exacting, and sulky. We’re a bad match.

Have been going to choir practice and hope to improve my voice. Miss Harlow is good to me in playing whenever I ask her. We disagree in everything else. Dad is fine – but out of work. Sold two of my bonds for $214. And applied them on my bond acc’t.

Am trying to goad myself into writing a short story – conceited about my untried capabilities.

Was raised as a Mason in Jan. and have been initiated as Apprentice and Fellowcraft. Am working on my 2nd degree.

Sunday mornings before church, I go over to Trinity to hear Prof. Shear, an unusual and clever speaker of conviction. Wed evenings I go to YMCA for the supper & Dr. Lloyd’s bible class.

Thursdays I go to Rutherfords and Tuesdays to Vassar Institute.

But I am not preparing myself in a business or social way, whatever.

Mrs. M.J. Manier, artist of Red Hook

Among the documents, photos, and books I inherited from my grandmother, Clara Losee, were a handful of Victorian miniature paintings created by a woman called “Mrs. M. J. Manier”.

The paper is only 2″ wide. “Above, below, where e’er I gaze, Thy guiding finger Lord I trace” from a hymn “…Lord I view traced in the midnight planets’ blaze”

On the reverse of her carte-de-visite, Clara’s mother-in-law Rosalie Fraleigh Losee had written: “Mrs. M.J. Manier who was an adept at painting flowers in water colors & who decorated the wedding cake for Lucy Irene Curtis when she married John A. Fraleigh June 14, 1871 & who decorated he cake for their daughter M. Rosalie when she married Harvey Losee, Sept. 5, 1906.” Included in the collection are a calling card, her photograph, a larger painting in the pages of a Victorian friendship album, a tiny framed painting, a little packet that unfolds to reveal a Christian verse, and a painting backed with ribbon (perhaps a bookmark) with a Christian verse.

Her work is beautiful but until recently, I didn’t really know who she was. Fortunately, in 1900, she was living in Red Hook with her sister, so the data started to link up to pull her story out of the past and into the light.

More Christian quotes inside…

Mary Jane Moul was born in June 1832 to Philip Moul and Christina Shook of Red Hook. Her parents married 1 Feb 1816 at the Reformed Church in Upper Red Hook–the same that Rosalie Fraleigh Losee and her family attended. The Curtis and Fraleigh families, however, we Methodists.

Mary Jane married William Manier born in 1817–a man 15 years her senior. They had two children, John born c. 1851 and William C. born c. 1854. They were both clerks throughout their lives. John married Sophie Smith and removed to Binghamton, NY. They did not have any children. John died in 1926 in Binghamton. William married Jessie H Lord and had one child, a daughter whose tombstone simply reads “Baby Lu”, died 1 Jan 1885. They are all buried in the Cemetery of the Evergreens in New Lebanon, Columbia County NY.

In 1850, Mary Jane and her husband lived with her parents and sister Hannah (20 Oct 1820-9 Jan 1904, then the widow Shook) and her son Lorin Shook in Red Hook. In 1860, Philip and William had both died and Hannah and Lorin moved out. Lorin was old enough to be on his own (he married after 1860 Harriet Hermance) and Hannah remarried, possibly Isaac Cookingham. This was the same household situation in 1870. According to the New York State census of 1875, Mary Jane and her sons who were in their early 20s moved to Binghamton, they had a domestic servant in the home as well. Also residing there was Alexander Manier and his family, who appears to have been a brother to her late husband William. He, his wife and children, and Mary Jane’s son John and his wife are buried in the Spring Forest cemetery in Binghamton.  

Mr. J. Manier calling card – probably her son, John.

In 1897 Robert W Manier of Binghampton made a request to the people of Rhinebeck in the local paper looking for info on John Manier from Dutchess County who served in the Revolution and his son John Manier of Rhinebeck who was a member of “Captain Obadiah Titus’ company, Delamater’s Regiment of New York Militia” in the war of 1812. He was doing family history research. Robert’s father was James W, son of Alexander, son of John Manier. It is likely that the John Manier in the War of 1812 he was interested in was his great-grandfather (and William Manier’s father).

Rose painted on a page in a Victorian autograph album, probably belonging to Lucy Curtis.

Initials R.C. – label on reverse reads “nee Canfield” or Lucy Curtis’ mother, Rachel Canfield Curtis.

In 1880, Mary Jane and her family were still in the same location, but then with John’s new wife Sophia Smith and her mother Jane W Smith. Son William had moved out. I couldn’t find her or son William in 1892, but in 1900 Mary Jane is back with her older sister Hannah (also listed as a widow) in Red Hook. Hannah died in 1904 so in 1910 Mary Jane got shuffled around again, going to live with her son William and his wife Jessie in Brooklyn. William died 7 Dec 1912 and Jessie died 30 Jan 1919.

Mary Jane Moul Manier died 13 Mar 1917 in Binghamton (probably having had to move yet again to be with her son John after son William’s death) and is buried in the Lutheran cemetery in Red Hook with her husband, sister, and parents.

BURIED AT RED HOOK The remains of Mrs. Mary J. Manier who formerly resided in Red Hook, and who died in Binghamton, March 13 were brought to Red Hook on Thursday afternoon and buried in her plot in the Lutheran cemetery. She was 85-years of age, She leaves one son, John Manier, of Binghamton.

– Hudson Evening Register 14 May 1917

Log of Earl W Baker 10/14/1917

October 14th, 1917

Mater died Oct. 11th at 4 A.M.

On the 10th she had 2 severe hemorrhages which left her very weak. Father was called over at three that night. At five, Inez phoned for me to come over at once. I stayed til father came went home for supper and returned. Miss I Clark, Mss Bush, and Annie Odell were there in the early evening. She was too weak to talk or to open her eyes except in their coming and going. At eight her strength returned for two or three fleeting minutes. She asked me the news and I told her briefly of the reported German peace proposals. She was so very tired. I spoke to her of the psalms and read a few verses She said “I could not read them, David was so harsh and unforgiving.” She dropped off once more into half unconscious sleep. At three oclock father & I were called upon again. Mother did not regain consciousness and had no perceptible pulse. At four her breathing was hushed.

Annie E. Read, wife of Charles Vassar Baker (daughter of Daniel Reid and Helen Elmdia Wheaton) died October 11, 1917 at the General Hospital, this city, after an extended illness. Born in North Gage, Oneida County, in (11 November) 1856. the last 50 years of her life were spent in Dutchess County. For many years she was organist and an active member of the Christian Church, Clove Valley. Her latter years were spent in Poughkeepsie, where she attended the First Baptist Church. Her life and character were rarely beautiful; full of charm, of kindliness, and true discernment. She was a fond mother, a devoted wife, and the true friend of the many who paid their last tributes to her memory, Saturday, October 13.

The funeral took place Saturday a bright sunny windy day. The Rev. F D Elmer had charge. Aunt Mary & Uncle Charles came on. The Uhls and Davises and Aunt Jean from Cloves. Harry sent a telegram from Bridgeport that Aunt Effie was very ill. The Acct. Dept., the Storms, Albros, Lanes, Christies and many others sent flowers.

Very frail and white she lay there. So thin and worn, so resigned and patient. A sweet face and yet so strong and sincere.

The cemetry (sic), the burial plot, its outlook, and the fine October day, just before the leaves had commenced to fall; it was very beautiful. Dad & I visited it the next Sunday.

If this is not the start of a fresh chapter in my life then have I proved unworthy of my heritage.

Hitherto I have lived for the most part, for the happiness of the present and fleeting moment. From now on, I must build for the future. I am now almost 24 years old.

I lack self control.

I lack vision, purpose, and a goal.

I lack diligence punctuality, discipline.

I lack tact, kindness, patience, and consideration.

I lack a good general knowledge of my work.

I lack personality, poise – good health, ambition.

I lack a philosophy of life, humility – strength.

And I might add character and manliness.

Remember, he’s only 24! The poor guy, the only thing he lacked was self-confidence. It seems to me that he put his mom on such a pedestal that he constantly compared himself to her. Though he never complains of it, I wonder if he wasn’t passive-aggressively nagged by her to do better, though it could all be projected, of course.

Log of Earl W Baker 6/27-8/25/1917

Earl’s posts start to thin out… If you thought he was hard on himself when he started it, strap yourselves in…

June 27th, 2017

Since last writing, the Liberty Loan has been successfully floated, the U.S. & State drafts have been held & Gen. Pershing has arrived in France as well as over a thousand ambulance corp. & surgeons. The cry now is for air mastery – as the U.S. part of the war. Sunday last, a 2nd inspection was given me and Mon. I received notice that my eyes were not up to requirements. I am to receive an honorable dismissal and one month’s pay July 1st. Mother is very glad.

The office is beginning to employ girls as clerks. Miss Harlow has been there for 2 weeks thru my connivance. Miss Robinson, also. The NY-NM drilled in their new white suits this P.M. How lonely I am. Work at the office has gotten behind. I must collect the loose ends and forge ahead.

My chief needs are – as ever – self control and diligence.

August 25th, 2017

Russia is probably neglible (sic) from now on. She has been ever since the Revolution. Only once – under impetus of their seeming world figure – Keresnky – has she made any vigorous and successful campaign. The western front – optimistic reports notwithstanding, appears to be marking time. A new goal loan is to be floated shortly. The draft secured E Hunt and J Ryan. W Hannon exempted. W Sullivan & P Weiss not qualified. For the last 3 Fridays I have attended the dance at Clinton Corners – Wings – with Miss Robinson & J Weed. Have taken Sarah to Mt. Beacon as well as “The girl who smiles” and Neil & Brien’s Minstrels. S is intelligent, quick-witted and a jolly companion. Was in charge of office during H A Rowe’s vacation. Fairly successful. Have been lax lately and too distracted. Am also extravagant. Paid $100.00 on hospital bill on the 21st. Bad tempered and worse. Need more exercise – work-energy and enthusiasm – more ambition – more self control.

Mother is weaker and requires stimulants and sleeping powders. Was pleased to see Uncle Harry, but cried. Mrs. Fleming was in, also.

Log of Earl W Baker 5/16-5/30/1917

May 16th, 1917

The first US destroyer flotilla has arrived at England. J.R. may accept Whitman’s offer of Maj. gen. In NY volunteer army. Hunt bal “I”. Danced with Miss Duryea.

May 21st, 1917

Mother was operated on this A.M. Dr. Lane was shocked at her condition, and she canot (sic) live many months more. Mother had foreseen it all and hoped this would be the last. Only she realized the hopelessness of it all. Dad passed thru his ‘Valley of the Shadow of Despair’ this day and now waits the end dry-eyed. I canot realize it yet, at all.

What a mother she has been–unselfish, untiring, unstinting, pouring out her love–and so sensitive so wise and keen in her judgements, when others were concerned. How long it has taken me to appreciate her wisdom, her practicality, though, always, I have appreciated her character. Never would she turn anyone from her door hungry; always sympathetic, always kind. And her mind was so broad, so clear-visioned; without the resources of a liberal education, her mind was never bounded by petty and local affairs. In my reading, studies, and planning, she has always help me company, praised my little accomplishments and insisted on progress. As I have broadened, the more clearly I have relished her keen insight, her appreciations, her criticisms, her humour. What a true sense of values she has; wealth and position mean nothing to her; love, affection, friendship mean everything. She has lived her life in service–happiness has been ever so fleeting, and now she is suffering to the end.

The cabinet card on left is labeled “Mother”, the one on right is not, but it seems this might also be her.

She wrote the following before the operation to Aunt Frank. “–And oh! Frank if only I don’t wake up. That is the best that can come to me! The best too, for Charley and Earl.– And what is life that we should moan. Why make we such ado. You all know how dead you have been, but now, God’s will be done. Good Bye.”

And yet how patient she has been. And how little there is left for us to do; to show our love. Oh, if only realization of all this had come before. Our trips, our plans, our little world – all is shattered.

May 30th, 1917

Memorial Day dawned bright and sunny after weeks of rain. Naval M. marched in parade without uniforms which are expected within week.

We are mobolized (sic) locally and our pay begins today. Saw the “Assassin” at theatre last night. Walter Sherwin starred – morbin production. The mater rests fairly and seems very bright & cheerful. Mamie (who came Sat. eve) left Wed. AM. Will be in NY in two weeks time.

*E.H.

Log of Earl W Baker 4/29 – 5/15/1917

April 29th, 1917

The French & British commissions are being entertained in Washington. Viviani, Joffri (sic) & Balfour. Their purpose is to stimulate and to determine the extent of our cooperation in the war. America’s plans call for bridging the atlantic with a thousand wooden vessels and the raising 4 or more drafts of ½ million men each. American participation in extensive & immediate acro work is being urged. Wilson’s conscription program has passed Congress tho the age limits have not been agreed on.

Slabsides, date unknown, photo from Earl Baker’s collection

 

This P.M. rode on wheel* with Ed Maar to Slabsides (at right). Mater** told me tonight that a 2nd operation is needed. She is very discouraged & I must do my all for her.

Work – all billed & posted, save Fairview. I sales off.

Am Reading the “Harbor” a find – written by E Poole.

Refused to sign H.A.R.’s extra time pledge. Not needed yet & don’t see the connection.

*I assume he means bicycle as they used to be referred to as “a wheel”. According to Google, this is about a 10 mile bike ride one way. Go, Earl! Also, Burroughs, owner of Slabsides, was still alive when this was written. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slabsides

**This is what he calls his mother. Spoiler Alert – she’s not doing so well…

May 15th, 1917

Have enlisted with NY Naval Militia. Porter & Rogers left Mon. for Ft. Slocum. The Mater takes it very hard – I would not have gone if I had known. She feels so despondent and blue. The Hon. Peter – even – talked with me about it. The office force is pretty well shattered. The Russian cause seems lost & the state is anarchy. The Germans hence gather fresh strength on the western front. America is now even – barely comprehensive of the task. The home too, is to be broken up – but that had to come – the work & rent was too much. How I’ve enjoyed it all & how slow appreciation has dawned on me now that it is to be lost. But if I make this step – the beginning of a new epoch – manhood – it has been for the best. Pater is a brick. Work lagging a little. “I” not off – effects – minor – of the war movement. Pok’s quotia, I hear, is 1600 available men.

(Earl is only 24 years old in 1917)