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The Life of John W. Johnson
Chapter 14
More Travel - 1858 to 1859

Transcribed - June 1998 - by Ne-Do-Ba

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We next went to Hingham, Mass., where we found some Indians of the Penobscot tribe. My wife practiced medicine, which with our making and selling baskets, brought us in considerable money. We shortly went to Alton Bays N.H., but not doing very well here, we remained but a few days, and then hired a team and had our things carried to Wolfsboro', while we walked, and as it was raining hard, we got completely drenched with water.

I had some trouble with my wife's folks, and packing up my things, I had them sent to Limington, whilst I started off afoot and alone, and walked to Limerick, and was from there carried by a friend to my sister's in Limington. I traveled around the country a short time, visiting my friends, and then went to Saco, where I commenced to practice. I did very well while here, but had been here but a short time before I received a letter from my wife, who said she wished me to send her some money, or to come and get her, as she had to raise money by pawning many things that she had, and was now in poor circumstances. I went up soon after, and redeeming the things, we went to Biddeford, and boarded with Mr. Mason, upon Pool St., but we had been here but a short time before my wife's folks came to visit us, and as I did not wish to pay their board, I hired a tenement and moved to Factory Island, Saco.

One of my wife's brothers went with me, and as he wished for a place where he could make bows and arrows, I hired a small shop, and fitted it up, putting in hair oils and medicines, and let him tend it. I found after a short time that my things began to disappear, and I went over one day with the intention of taking them out of the shop, but I arrived there too late, for my things were nearly all gone, and the young man had cleared out. I had paid the rent for the shop in advance, and as I did not like where I then lived, I moved into this shop. Whilst living here I commenced to build me a tent upon Factory Island hills but just before I moved into it, I was taken sick, but recovering somewhat, I moved in. It was damp weather, and taking a cold, I was confined to my bed for some time. After recovering, I collected some of the money that was due me, and then we went to the Pool that I might regain my health.

We had been at the Pool but a few days before the "Floating Palace," a steamboat carrying a circus Company, came into the harbor, and I hired out with the proprietor to travel with it. I left with the company, leaving my wife at the Pool, and went as far east as Bangor, where, finding that I was not able to endure the fatigue, I settled up and left the company. I went back to Cape Elizabeth, where I found my wife. We went out to Saco, and from there down to the Pool in the steamer Halifax, the captain giving us a free passage, and otherwise treating us kindly.

I had some furniture at the Pools and I waited for the boat three days, but the weather was so bad that it did not come, and being impatient to get away, I walked with my wife to Saco, leaving word for part of my things to be sent up as soon as the boat commenced to run. After getting my things we went to Nantasket, Mass., where we camped out; my wife practiced here, and with making and selling baskets, we did well. We next went to Cohasset and camped near the depot. Some of my wife's folks came along while we were here, and we commenced to give exhibitions. See Page I. After traveling with the company a number of weeks, we left and went to East Braintree, where we stopped a short time, and then moved to Quincy. At this place I was troubled exceedingly by the Irish, who came to my camping grounds in great numbers. One day while I was sitting outside of my tent, Father Sullivan, an Irish priest, hearing that I was against the Catholics, came up where I was sitting to give me a talking to. He was a thin, spare man, and rather ignorant, but thought that the importance of his situation would make him known, and that great respect and deference should be shown his worship. "Where do you belong?" he asked me rather sharply. "I belong to the Penobscot tribe, at Oldtown."

"I know you don't; you don't belong to any such a tribe," he said. "If you know better than I do, you may tell my story." I said. Finding that I was not afraid of him, he asked me how long ago I was there. "I travel," I replied, "most of the time." "I know it, I know it, you are not good enough to stop there, you are not good enough to go there -- don't you go there, for you will spoil them," and then he asked what my name was. I told him that I was called John Glossian, and sometimes John Lawshian, and that I belonged to the Penobscot tribe. "I know you don't," he said, "for I know all about you, for you are not an Indian," he replied. I had subdued as much as possible my temper, but I began now to be angry at the rude manner in which he addressed me, and I ordered him to leave the ground. This made him very excited, and he jumped around, pronouncing execrations against me, and told me to shut up. I told him that there was no Catholic priest that could stop me from talking, and ordered him to leave, but as he did not feel disposed to do so, I jumped up, and seizing him by the shoulders, I turned him around, and kicked him into the street, and as it was descending ground, he want there in a hurry. This was the last I ever saw of Father Sullivan, but the Irish were greatly enraged at the manner I treated their priest, and they took every occasion to annoy me. We next went to Bangor, and from there to Oldtown, where we stopped about six weeks. Whilst I was at Oldtown, the City Marshal of Bangor and another officer came there to look after John Newell, and as the officers did not know Newell, they mistook me for him. Newell had eloped with a young white girl from South Boston, and the father had sent an officer to find them. The Indians at Oldtown imagined that it was some great crime that the young man was guilty of, and they asked me to go to Boston and hunt up Newell. I went to Bangor, and there I went into a saloon to got something to eat, before going on board the boat for Boston. Whilst I was in the saloon an officer came in and asked me what I had done with the girl that I ran away with. I told him that the girl was not a great distance off. The officer said that I must go to Boston with him, but finding that I was so willing to go, he suspected that I was not the one he was after, and he asked me if my name was Newell. I told him that it was not, and he soon found upon inquiry that he had been mistaken. I went to Boston, and to the camping grounds of the Indians, where in a few days after I arrived, Newell came. After finding that the affair in which he was concerned was settled up, I went back to Oldtown. I then went with my wife to Portland, as it was about the time the "Great Eastern" was expected, and built me a camp upon the head of the Wharf that she was expected to stop at. I made up a great many baskets, as I supposed that I could sell all that I could make, after the steamer arrived, as it was expected there would be a great number of people in the city. After stopping until the middle of November waiting for the appearance of the steamer, I found that it was a great humbug, and that I had made all my preparations for nothing, for the steamer did not come, but I consoled myself with the thought that I was not the only one that had been disappointed. I left my things at Portland, and went with my wife to Sabattisville, where some of my wife's folks were. I had considerable trouble with my wife's brothers while here, as they endeavored to impose upon me every opportunity that they had, and after a short time I left and walked to Greene, where an uncle of mine lived, where I stopped a few days. I went with my wife out to Biddeford, and down to the Pool to see to some of my things that were left there, calling upon the way upon some of my folks. A short time after I went back to Greene, I bought an ambrotype saloon at Buckfield, and moved into it, where we stopped a few months. We moved our saloon to Paris hill, where we engaged a situation in front of the house where Hon. Hannibal Hamlin was born, but was then occupied by Mr. Chase Of Portland, as a summer residence; a fine man, to whom, with his family, I am indebted for many acts of kindness shown me. The place was in a beautiful situation, commanding a fine view of the surrounding scenery, and in a very healthy and desirable location, as it was the center of a rich and fruitful country. I moved from this place to South Paris, placing my saloon opposite the depot. Whilst here, my wife was in poor health so that she could not practice, and shutting up my saloon and procuring me necessary things, I prepared for a journey to the lakes in Oxford County, the particulars of which we will reserve for another, and the last chapter of the series.

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