Percy J. Burnes papers 1918
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Montgomery (N.Y.) Young commonplace book contains 52 pages of 19th-century poems and prose pieces on topics such as friendship, nature, and religion. The volume's poems are primarily concentrated on pages 1-54 and 64-66, with prose works appearing on pages 27, 55-63, and 174-175. Additional poems may be found on 10 newspaper clippings and 1 manuscript fragment laid into the volume. Some of the poems are attributed to members of the Young family and other writers, who usually gave their location as Montgomery, New York, and H. Houston wrote several poems at "Hunting-grove" in August 1821 (pages 18-21). The poetry pertains to subjects such as friendship, affection, and love; winter, snowstorms, flowers, and other natural phenomena; and religion. One playful poem is entitled "Inscribe'd to a Miss Little" (page 8); one acrostic spells "Eliza Young" (page 43); and one is dedicated "To Eliza" (page 65). Female members of the Young family wrote several of the poems, such as "On Female Excellence," which is attributed to E. Young (page 45). Other entries of interest are "Lines written to a friend about to marry a second time" (page 51); "The Happy End," a musing on the afterlife; and a newspaper poem about Mary, Queen of Scots (laid in).

Short prose pieces concern friendship (page 28, pages 174-175) and the properties of various fruits, trees, and plants; the latter are copied from William Prince's A Short Treatise on Horticulture, The New York Mirror, and other sources (pages 55-63). Poetic lines and quotations on page 47 are attributed to "Tompson" [Scottish poet James Thomson] and, mistakenly, to William Shakespeare.

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