Pages 142 and 143 of Jeremiah Head's diary

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Diary of Jeremiah Head, railway engineer for Robert Stephenson and Co, part founder of Fox, Head and Co
Head, Jeremiah

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[Page 142]

& then I went to Henry to tell him I could not go to Alfred Steads’ [sic] to dine.

Then I went to the G[rea]t Northern to dress, and found I had a bad headache & was altogether unwell. However I got ready & half dead half alive drove off to Stephenson[’]s.

I had made up my mind to ask to be excused, going in to dinner, as I had no appetite, but as he was in deep conversation with Fowler, I was let alone

Down we went to dinner I could not eat a bit; I just pulled about some smelts on my plate, & then let the waiter take it away.

I did the same with the other courses, & so man-

[Page 143]

aged to get thro’ dinner without devouring more than an ounce of anything

By that time, some wine had set me all right - & I was able to give an account of my doings.

Stephenson is a most original thinker, on every topic he is pro-slavery! [41]

He told Fowler, I had been recommended to him by Mr Weallens; he himself knew by what he had seen at Darlington, I was a good mechanic; I was young & wanted experience but would he thought be a very good mechanic some day _

He would do what he could in supervision, but would leave details to me.

Fowler he said was the fore-

[41] This is surely tongue-in-cheek on the part of Jeremiah. Had Stephenson actually been pro-slavery it is unlikely that his relationship with Edward Pease would have endured as it did. In his diary Pease described Stephenson as “a man of most highly gifted and talented power of mind, of benevolent, liberal, kindly, just, generous dispositions, in company most interesting”. Alfred E Pease, The Diaries of Edward Pease (London 1907), p.321.

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