June 26, 1849 (Tuesday)

Very pleasant day.  My Birthday. Quite a gloom has suddenly been thrown over some of us on account of the Tilden family all going to leave the city in a day or two for the country.  Mr. T. going to California being afraid to leave them in the city while the cholera is about.

Happy Birthday, Nathan (just a bit late)!  Hope it was a great day.  While we know the day of Nathan’s birth, so far we don’t know the year, but it was likely 1826 or 1827.  Civil War draft registration records show his age as of 1 July 1863 as 37, supporting the year 1826.  The 1870 federal census supports 1827.  Each of these sources has reliability issues.  The draft records were clearly copied from other sources. Errors can be introduced during transcription (in fact, they mis-read Nathan’s middle initial as “L” instead of “S”).

Nathan's entry in the Civil War Draft Registration book for Pennsylvania

Ages reported on the census should always be taken with a pound of salt.  Nathan’s entry on the 1860 US census is a bit of a mess. For the 1870 census, we don’t know who talked to the census taker.  It could have been one of Nathan’s children. Further we don’t know precisely when the census taker came calling. The list in Nathan’s area of Philadelphia was enumerated at the end of June, therefore the census takers had to have their work done before that. Depending on precisely when the taker came to the Beekley household and how the “age” question was asked, Nathan’s age could vary by a year at least.

Nathan's entry on the 1870 federal census.

Nathan has been spending considerable time with the Tilden’s (see, for example, the entry for June 10) and is clearly upset they are leaving.  Cholera is still being widely reported in the papers. On June 25, there were thirty stories or advertisements in the Philadelphia papers concerning the disease.

Philadelphia Inquirier, June 25, 1849, page 2, col. 1.

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