Old Sturbridge Village has articles, images, and first-person accounts of life in the 1830s
For articles and links to websites on 19th-century America:
The Circus Historical Society has a great website with tons of articles on circus history, first-person accounts, and pictures.
Picturesque Hampden has a description of the Irish shanties that were built in many milltowns, and includes a picture of a shanty in “the Patch,” an early Irish settlement in Holyoke, Massachusetts (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the picture).
To see the sort of railroad construction work that Irishmen like Hugh Fogarty did in western Massachusetts during the 1830s and 1840s, check out the Keystone Arches website.
The Duffy’s Cut Project is dedicated to investigating the mysterious deaths of several Irish railroad workers in Pennsylvania – fascinating historic archeological and forensic research!
John Solomon Rarey (1827-1866), is often thought of as the “original horse whisperer.” He was one of the first American horse trainers to promote cruelty-free training methods. A short biography of Rarey and the text of one of his books are on this website.
To see a modern horse whisperer in action, check out the videos on Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling’s youTube channel . I like to imagine that Daniel would have used similar training techniques with the six dancing ponies.
If you’d like to find some of the songs Billy and Mr. Stocking would have been singing, go to the Library of Congress American Memory project website for copies of American sheet music from 1820 to 1860.