Thoreau's Journal: 08-Sep-1859

The 7th, 8th, and 9th, the State muster is held here. The only observation I have to make is that [Concord] is fuller of dust and more uninhabitable than I ever knew it to be before. Not only the walls, fences, and houses are thickly covered with dust, but the fields and meadows and bushes; and the pads in the river for half a mile from the village are white with it. From a mile or two distant you see a cloud of dust over the town and extending thence to the muster-field. I went to the store the other day to buy a bolt for our front door, for, as I told the storekeeper, the Governor was coming here. “Aye,” said he, “and the Legislature too.” “Then I will take two bolts,” said I. He said that there had been a steady demand for bolts and locks of late, for our protectors were coming. The surface of the roads for three to six inches in depth is a light and dry powder like ashes.


Anonymous said...

Can someone explain the connection between the dust and the "muster"? Is it literal?

Linda said...

A muster would be a gathering of the state militia and I would think there would be a lot of marching going on, kicking up a bunch of dust. Anybody who's suffered through a summer of band camp knows how dirty you get just marching around.