Artifacts & Documents: Manuscripts

Dexter Marsh's Daily Expense Journal 1849-1851

zoomable artifact image here

Dig Deeper

In amongst Dexter Marsh's entries for daily expenses, note that on November 10, 1849 (at the bottom of page 7), "bird tracks arrived from St. Petersburg." This refers to fossils he had sent over two years previously to an American businessman in Russia, asking him to convey them as a gift to Czar Nicholas. Giving a gift to a czar was no easy matter, however, and Marsh had to pay freight charges to have them returned after delivery attempts proved futile.

Interestingly, on the same day, he sent butter to Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey. He paid freight on specimens from Constantinople on December 6, and on April 5, sent maple sugar. It is likely that these items were for the use of American missionaries, as several couples from the towns in the hills and valleys of the Connecticut River region were in Turkey, hoping to convert people to their particular brand of Protestantism.

Dexter Marsh
Courtesy of:
Dexter Marsh Papers, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library