The Whiskey Merchant's Diary: An Urban Life in the Emerging Midwest
Joseph J. Mersman was a liquor merchant, a German American immigrant who aspired— with success— to become a self-made man. The diary he ... Show synopsis Joseph J. Mersman was a liquor merchant, a German American immigrant who aspired— with success— to become a self-made man. The diary he kept from 1847 to 1864 provides an intriguing account of life in Cincinnati and St. Louis— America' s emerging frontier. Outside of Gold Rush diaries and emigration journals, few narrative records of the antebellum period have been published. As a record of both the man and the time in which he lived, "The Whiskey Merchant' s Diary" is a valuable resource for social historians, providing significant details about bachelorhood, whiskey making, ballroom dancing, circus history, card games, steamboat transportation, gender roles, theater history, and Victorian etiquette. The diary is also the story of a man who confronted serious disease, and his descriptions of cholera and syphilis are exceptional.