Two weeks after my return home an uncle of my mother's, Mr. Purdy, who had retired from New York business life to his farm two miles North of Middletown, sent for me. When I called in response to his request he informed me that his brothers-in-law in New York, who were in the importing wood business had written him that a firm in their line of business, next door to them, were seeking a bookkeeper and they suggested that Mr. Purdy send his son down and that with their introduction he could no doubt secure the position.
Mr. Purdy said that his son was not at all fitted for such a position, but "you are, and I am going to give you a letter of introduction to my brothers-in-law, and you had better go down to New York at once", and added: "No doubt you can secure that place". The position in the great City had been my strongest desire from the time I conceived the idea of going to Eastman's, and the second day after receiving the letter of introduction I started for New York.
The morning train for New York left at seven o'clock, and at that time of year, December 31st, it meant early rising. I recall that my father had not risen, and when he found that I was already off to New York he expressed anxiety as to whether I had sufficient money for the trip.
I now had two letters of introduction with me — Mr. Purdy's and one given me by Mr. Eastman's brother to Lord & Taylor on Grand Street, New York, an important department store even in those days. The day before leaving Middletown I had secured a map to the City, this being my first trip alone, and with this map as a guide I decided that as Lord & Taylor would be on my route to Mr. Purdy's friends, I would call at the department store first. Upon arrival there I presented my letter of introduction directly to the Manger, Mr. Freeman, whose face I remember perfectly, of short stature, dark complexion, and very piercing eyes. He took a quick survey of me and asked what salary I wanted. I replied $500.00 a year. I was asked to call the following Tuesday, and then took my departure, proceeding on my way to the office of Mr. Purdy's friends, Constantine & Company, located corner of 7th & Lewis Streets on the East River.
I was very much disappointed with my first sight of their premises. The office was a frame structure, one story, with a peaked roof, and adjoining this structure was a one-story flat roof, frame office, a hallway serving as an extrance to the two buildings. I had fancied large and imposing offices, and the
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