[Cleveland, Ohio: 1879]. A brief manuscript essay, a little more than 3 pp., approx. 800 words, on lined paper, in a neat hand. The anonymous author records his birth in New Haven, Connecticut on Dec. 31, 1810. He mentions that his father was in the West India business as a shipping merchant until the outbreak of the War of 1812 and the Embargo which followed ruined his business. The family returned to Cheshire where his grandfather was a clergyman. The author also mentions that his father was in public life and was elected Governor of the State in 1834. The hints he gives aid in identifying him as Augustus Edwin Foot, son of the Governor of Connecticut, Samuel Augustus Foot (1780-1846).
In this brief essay, A.E. Foot gives his earliest recollections of the small town of Cheshire, "the pleasant little country village where my boyhood was spent." In particular he reflects on the "District School" he attended under a 60 year old school master who was "by no means deficient in energy and discipline." He describes the school techniques of drilling and stern discipline including "the use of the rod [which] made our old School Master emphatically 'a terror to evil doers.'" His own encounter with the teacher's methods came when he was called up to be punished for laughing in class, and instead grabbed his hat and ran out the door. He easily escaped his teacher "who fortunately for me was a cripple" but not the reminder when he reached home that insubordination on his part would not be tolerated there either. By the age of twelve, he was promoted to "the Academy," where he discovered the need for more application to his studies. He concludes his reminiscences with a recognition that "[d]efective as had been my education I have no one to blame but myself - considering the brief period I devoted to books...." Item #66818
Augustus Edwin Foot moved to Ohio where census records note he was a bookkeeper and banker. He died in Cleveland in 1882. His obituary in the Summit County Beacon (Akron) on Oct. 11, 1882, mentions that his father the Governor was responsible for drafting the resolutions in the U.S. Senate "over which Webster and Hayne had their great debate." One of his brothers, Andrew Hull Foot (1806-1863) was a Union Naval officer in the Civil War. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1862, and then commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1863 but died before assuming command.