Monday the 1st October, 1860
Was cloudy but warm enough to be comfortable. I commenced plowing the 10 acre field. Dick making his molasses. John helped him some &c. It cleared off this eve. We all went to the Elocution School. It was good for awhile but was bothered towards the last by Al Forbes’ & a gang of fools to help him.
Tuesday the 2nd
Foggy in the morning. Cloudy day. I plowed. John helped Dick & dug potatoes.
Wednesday the 3rd
I plowed all the time. John tinkered at making molasses &c.
Thursday the 4th
Plowed slowly along all day. John & the girls finished making molasses today.
Friday the 5th
John & Dick went to town to mill &c. I plowed the day all right.
Saturday the 6th
Cloudy & cool. I plowed till noon, then tinkered around a little. Rangers met & trained from 4 o’clock till night. It sprinkled some.
Sunday the 7th
Clear & warm. I got on a horse & rode out on the prairie to Steward’s. Stayed there for dinner, then went to Talley’s, found some girls & did not get home that night.
Monday the 8th
Early in the morn I come home. the wind was high & it was cold & cloudy but soon cleared off. I plowed, John gathered some corn, &c. We went to our school tonight & had a good time.
Tuesday the 9th
I went to town to the mill early. Had to wait till about 2 for my grinding. We all went to Noah’s tonight to a oyster supper. & had a good time.
October the 10th, 1860
We had been expecting a good time today & was all out early, met at the chapel about 10 o’clock & only 6 ladies on hand. The others had all been persuaded to desert us for this time by their friends. Those 6 ladies went on to town & the Rangers formed company — about 40 of them. I read to them the constitution & some bylaws I had prepared & some resolutions which was adopted with loud cheers. We then went on to town. Another company of about 30 from Oakland Mills met us in the edge of the city. We stopped & drilled with them a short time, then went on in town, numbering about 80. The kind friends gave us our dinners but the speaker failed to come. We heard John B. Lash speak in the Court House. Got home about dark. ‘Twas cold & chilly riding all day.
Thursday the 11th
Froze hard last night & is cloudy & cold. We hauled in the rest of the beans. I went to town in afternoon. Heard M. B. Bennett make the best little speech in the Court House I ever heard. Come across Joe Stansbury just from Kansas & A. Miller got home yesterday. I went from town down there, stayed for supper, then come home. A big party at Squire Wit____’s.
Saturday the 13th
A big frost & froze hard last night. I thrashed the beans. John helped Jenkins thrash. Rock Creek folks come this eve. Wilson T. Abraham [returned] from Ohio.
Sunday the 4th October 1860
Another big frost last night but the day was a fine one. I got up in good time, fed &c., wrote all this up to here, fixed up, & went to the school house. Got there just before meeting broke. After meeting, Joe Stansbury of Kansas coming home with me. Stayed till singing, then we all went there. Miss Jennie Shields was there from Ohio. Just got out last eve. Samuel & 2 others in company. We had a very good singing. Then came home.
Monday the 15th
Clear & frosty. Uncle & Aunt [Abraham] & their boys started home this morn leaving Wilson [Abraham] & Grandmother. I plowed. John helped Jenkins’ thrash.
Tuesday the 16th
Clear & frosty. I plowed till noon, then come in & found the Ohio folks all here. After dinner I took the wagon & took them all to town & to the [Iowa Lunatic] Asylum. Then back to the pint to singing. Stayed there till recess, then took them over to Shield’ & come home.
Wednesday the 17th
Frosty morning but pleasant day. I plowed. John dug potatoes &c.
Thursday the 18th
Do. Do. I plowed slowly &c.
Friday the 19th
Weather as usual. We killed a mutton this morn, then gathered 2 loads of corn & fixed to thrash. John helped Heater’s thrash. We took the wagon & went up to Shields.’ There had quite a party. Got home about 1 o’clock.
Saturday the 20th
Cold & frosty. We found a dead colt at the gate this morn — one that followed us home from L. D. Horsey’s. All day had bad luck.
Sunday, October 21st 1860
Cloudy & cool. We took an early start this morning with mules & wagon. Got a load of 9. Samuel Shields & Mr. Wilkins was with us & we went to Tightbark. Found no meeting & we all went to Noah’s. They was away from home. We took peaceable possession. The girls got dinner & we enjoyed ourselves fine. Noah & Sal came just before we started to singing — 11 of us come to singing in the wagon. Had a good little singing. Our load all left us there but 2 that we brought from Tightbark & we took them back, put the mules in the stable, went to meeting, &c. &c.
Clear & frosty. Grandmother & Wilson started home this morn & the Ohio folks too. I plowed. John took 2 loads for Dick to Beery’s [Mill]. He is moving there. Rented his mill. We had a tolerable good school tonight.
Tuesday the 23rd
Clear & frosty. I plowed. John hauled one load for Dick & some wood for us. We went to Johnson’s to candy tonight.
Wednesday the 24th
Do. do. do. I plowed. John hauled a load for Dick, the some pumpkins & dug potatoes. Works the mules all the time. I plow my horses. The ground is dry & hard.
Thursday the 25th
Weather frosty & pleasant. Plowed up potatoes for John all that was to dig & he finished. Then after dinner I took my plow to the shop & got it sharpened, then plowed till after dark.
Friday the 26th
Cloudy. I harnessed & started to plow. It sprinkled & I went back, put the horses up, & went to work carrying potatoes & worked hard till about 10. Then it rained hard. I plowed afternoon.
Saturday the 27th October 1860
Weather cloudy & rained hard last night. We husked a load of corn & then fixed up to go to Lowell & have a big time. Went to the school house & there waited & waited & only 10 come. We dismissed dissatisfied. Some went home. Some went down there. I started to town, met some friends up by D. Tatshaw’s & they prevailed on me to turn. We went to Lowell & there saw several companies perform & they had a big supper & a good Democratic one. Table 2 hundred feet long & loaded down. All partook with a hearty good will and seemingly a good appetite. We then rode home.
Sunday the 28th
Cloudy & cold. The morning passed about as usual. I wrote some here, then went over to Heater’s, talked till about noon, then came home & soon the folks come from meeting. I sat around the fire till singing time, then went. Only a few there. Went to prayer meeting at the school house at night. Then come home & took my rest. John is out on a bust over the river.
Monday the 29th
Frosty. I plowed all day. Went to Elocution School at night.
Tuesday the 30th
Cloudy & wind from the south. I plowed barefooted all day. Got done just after dark. John husked some white corn & we tried to shell tonight but broke the sheller & quit.
Wednesday the last of October 1860
Cloudy & cold. I mended the sheller & John shelled 20 bushels corn. I tinkered around fixed the straw pile, the corncrib &c. John started at 4 with the corn to Dick’s to get it ground. Took mules. I plowed where the sorghum was till after dark. Cloudy & cold & windy.
November the 1st 1860
Got up at 4 this morn intending to plow but found it cold, raining, & windy. Could hardly stay out long enough to feed. After daylight, found the hogs had killed a fine shoat during the night. I skinned it & cut up & rendered it (or put it on) then went over to Forbes’ & stayed till after dinner. Strapped razors &c. John come home about 3 o’clock & we made another hog pen shed &c. Got the hogs up. They had got out. Worked till after dark. Raining & cold all the time.
Friday the 2nd
The day was cloudy & cold. We tinkered around, fixed fence &c. John went & got the meal & brought it up home in the eve.
Saturday the 3d
Cloudy & cold. We started to town early. Took 18 bushels of meal. Sold for 25 cts. per bushel. Bought shoes &c. Got home about an hour before night. Met Ben F. Jenkins & he told me that Jennie Cornwell was married. He had been to the wedding. After I got the feeding done, Ben come down & we went to see the bride & groom. Stayed with them till about 9 o’clock. They had a singing at the school house.
Sunday the 4th
The sun rose with his usual splendor casting bright rays o’er the frosty surface of our land & bid the day welcome as the last Sunday until the long looked for Election Day shall be over & the result made known all o’er our broad land. Many times during the morning did I think of this & then think of our friend Douglas — what a pity. We went through with the regular morning exercises, feeding, &c. Then John & I mounted our horses & road to Bebb’s Mill [and] looked around a little. The boiler is bursted & the mill stands idle. We then went out on the ridge & down to the [Skunk] River in search of some cattle. Found one near Henshaw’s Mill but thought it would be too much trouble to bring it home then so we rode on over the hills & through the woods to the creek, then up to Wurth’s. I stopped. John come home. I heard of 2 more cattle there. Then came on around to the school house to meeting. The house was full & Elias W. Shortridge preached a long sermon in regard to the kingdom &c. & taught us that Sunday was not the last day but was the first day of the week & that Saturday — being the seventh day — was Sabbath day & on that day we should rest & not on Sunday. That the day of rest (or Sabbath Day) had been changed by the Pope of Rome. Now we have a chance to study over this matter as well as that of the state of the dead. More anon. We had singing at the school house in the eve as usual & then went back & heard E. W. S. at night again. It was interesting but my mind was so completely filled with politics that I can’t study over it. The day was cold & chilly but clear.
Monday the 5th
Weather cloudy & cold. Enough to do. We hauled 2 loads of corn before noon & piled by the hog pen. Then a big load of white corn to shell. Put it in the house down by the barn. John commenced shelling. I went to Elocution School. There wasn’t many out but we had a good one. Was bothered some by boys. Cloudy, cold & windy.
November the 6th 1860
The day has come ! The day on which American Citizens are called upon to exercise the most sacred right known to them — as a duty — by which they will shape the destiny of the proudest & best government on earth. I found myself awake long before daylight with many thoughts coming into my mind, such as what will be the changes 4 years hence. How well I can recollect my thoughts & feelings before I got up on November 4th 1856 — the day James Buchanan was elected President U. S. & then to think of the changes since then. I thought of these things, waked John up & we talked till daylight crept in through the window of the old log house for there we had slept all night — & there I sleep every night since Dick’s moved way. We got up before the sun, fed, come up & breakfast was ready. I could hardly decide how to go to town but finally concluded to walk & started in a hurry. They had been voting some time before I arrived. I went to work immediately to defeat our neighbor Wilson, Esq., by running Lorenzo D. Housel against him. We all labored to that end which seemed to dissatisfy our worthy opponent very much & he labored against us with zeal asking men to vote for him, made several attacks on me, & talked pretty savage but I kept on & done all I could. Everything passed off very quiet all day for Election Day.
Old Harvey Ray had a Bottle of Republican Whiskey & treated every wooly he could get to drink with him. He soon got so drunk that he couldn’t stand & caved over. There was a few other wooly’s drunk but no Democrat. Some interesting wrestling went off there. I took no time to notice such but kept on. About 3 o’clock I took time to walk up to the polls & vote this ticket which is all right & sound down to Daniel F. Miller. He is a wooly but not on the ticket & I was fooled with him. Then A. B. Conaway was on the ticket for County Clerk. I scratched him off & put on [John P.] Grantham thinking he was the best of the 2 woolies. These other little offices I didn’t care anything about except Wilson & Housel. There I was interested & labored hard for Housel. Nearly every man I asked to vote for Housel done so & every man down here in this Neck voted for him. I started home about sundown, rode with Cornelius F. Spearman to the chapel, then walked home after dark. the day was clear & cold. Froze hard this morn. John & Dick went up in a buggy about 10 o’clock. Dick come up this morn. Beck was here at night.
For President: Stephen A. Douglas
For Vice President: Herschel V. Johnson
For Presidential Electors: Henry Clay Dean, Lincoln, Clark, LeGrand, Byington, M. B. Bennett
For Secretary of State: John M. Corse
For Auditor of State: G. W. Manfield
For Treasurer of State: John W. Ellis
For Register of State Land Office: Patrick — Robb
For Attorney General: William McClintock
For Judge of Supreme Court: Daniel F. Miller (a wooly)
For Congress 1st District: C. C. Cole
For Clerk of the District Court: John P. Grantham (a wooly)
For members of Board of Supervisors: J. M. Kibben, Joseph — Rodgers
For Justice of Peace: John S. Bartruff, L. D. Housel
For Constables: H. J. Penny, John Clymer (a wooly)
For Assessor: William F. Spearman
For Trustees: None
For Township Clerk: None
Wednesday the 7th November 1860
Weather cloudy & cold. John went & took Dick’s home & took 12 bushels corn to mill. I fixed around awhile, then went to plowing & plowed till noon. The ground was froze so as to hinder some. John came at noon & we hushed corn till night.
Thursday the 8th
Cloudy & snowed a little. We husked corn slowly all day. In the eve I got on a horse & went to town to hear the news & heard some that beat me. Everything is going Lincoln & Wooly Niggers in advance of everything else. It beats hell & Esq. Wilson come out ahead by considerable. They had a convention in town October the 26th & nominated him & had his name on the wooly ticket & it was more than we could all do to get so many scratched. I only stayed in town a short time, then mounted & started home. Saw a light in the chapel & went to the window & there heard sights — two brethren trying to settle a difficulty but could not. I came on home. John shelled corn.
Friday the 9th
Cloudy & cold or tolerable cold. Husked till noon, then went & helped Samuel Heater raise his barn. Took till night. The Esq. [Wilson] was there & seemed friendly enough. All went off fine. His race wasn’t named. The boys husked till nearly night, then took 8 bushels of corn & went to Dick’s to mill. John Shortridge has been with us since election.
Saturday the 10th
It is about clear today. Cleared off this morn. I got up my horses & plowed till the boys come. Then hitched them to the wagon & went to town with the meal. 20 bushels. Started at 10 o’clock. Sold to Hills for 25 cts. per bushel. They took the whole load & I bought groceries &c. & some cloth for trousers. Got a letter from cousin Angeline McCue which gave me much satisfaction — especially about Dan. Says he is coming out here soon. And then I heard that Old Abe Lincoln was elected President for certain. S. R. Curtis was elected for certain & the Honorable C. C. Cole was defeated. Any man on the Wooly Ticket was elected but Penny. He was defeated badly because he refused to vote for Lincoln. The only men of the elect that I voted for was Grantham & Clymer. They put him (Clymer) in Penny’s place. I got the Gazette. It just come today without any news except Lincoln’s election & one good piece on it. I got a good Democrat Chicago paper that done me much good. Got home late in the eve. John was mad because I stayed so long & he got up horse & buggy. Him & Mag went out the prairie to Exhibition. I went to the field, picked up a load of corn, & hauled it in. It was late in the night before I got feeding done &c. Weather clear, warm & pleasant.
Sunday the 11th
The day was a fine one. Wind blowing soft autumn breezes. The sky clear & the bright sun casting his warm rays on all the earth making glad the hearts of mankind. I tinkered around in the morning considerable, the read some and wrote some, & passed the day off pleasantly. Went to singing in the evening as usual. A few sociable good-hearted girls & boys was gathered together there & James Chandler took the lead in singing & all passed off well. While singing I had many thoughts come into my mind & made a firm determination to carry out a plan that I fixed up lately — [will] make a start anyhow. Come home, fed &c. The rest went to meeting. I am here writing.
Monday the 12th November 1860
Weather clear & pleasant. We husked a load of white corn first & John went to shelling. Jak & I husked on & made about 2 loads. John shelled 20 bushels & took it to the mill. In the evening, after dark, we went to Elocution School. The house was nearly full of spectators but we pitched in & done our best & had a good school. Many of the scholars backed out. Esq. took issue at a piece I spoke to the boys class & said it was immoral in its nature &c. I read a piece in the Review on debt & Merchants &c. & at the class spoke Spartacus to gladiators.
Tuesday the 13th
We pitched into the husking. Strove all day & after night. All 3 took the team & went down to Dick’s. Took a hog to him &c. Had to haul him some wood, then wait for our grinding. It was 12 o’clock when we got home & to bed.
Wednesday the 14th
Clear & pleasant. John went to town with meal. Sold for 25 cts. Bought hat & many other small things & knife &c. Jack & I husked all day but slowly though. John got home about 3 & we left husking. Weather warm.
Thursday the 15th
We husked corn all day & got nearly 4 loads. the day was warm & a little cloudy & was the wedding day of Capt. Cornelius F. Spearman. Today he entered the state of matrimony — took the hand of Miss Julia Coiner for life. Anon we went to Cornwell’s tonight & stayed till about 9 o’clock a visiting.
Friday the 16th November 1860
Weather clear & warm. We husked all day. John & Jack entered into co-partnership & established a firm in opposition to myself & swore by — to stand united in —- for they knew united they stood & fearing to divide for fear they would fall in —-. So I was opposing the firm & well did I do it. They was beat bad but wouldn’t own it. We compromised in the eve. Finished the east 20 & husked part of a load of white corn. Went to school house & heard a Mr. McConnell preach a discourse. Very warm.
Saturday the 17th
A sudden change in the atmosphere last night. Cloudy & cold this morn. Jack went home this morning. John & I husked corn — 2 loads. Hauled a load of wood. Killed a hog &c. All at home tonight. Louis Horsey here all night. Done some big talking.
Sunday the 18th
Weather cloudy & cold. After breakfast John & I got on our horses, went over on the [Skunk] River to hunt cattle. After a long & tedious hunt, found a heifer, caught & chained her, & started for home. Got along well. Got home about 1 o’clock. Done the feeding, fixed up & went to singing at 3. John went off on a spree. We had a very good singing. I come home & fed. Then a team come to go to town. E. Roberst & Ben Jenkins. I went with them, heard Mr. Hull deliver a curious lecture. Got home about 10. I wrote for about an hour then to the annoyance of the couple by the fire.
Monday the 19th November 1860
Weather cloudy & cold & trying to snow occasionally. John got home this morn at 4 o’clock precisely. I got up at 5. John started early. Went to Jim Forbes’ to try to trade wagons for Dick but couldn’t. I went & found some young pigs this morning. Hauled a load of wood. After John came back, we husked a load of corn, then hauled load of wood. Then tinkered with some hogs awhile. Went to Elocution. Had a tolerable good one. Spectators & bad members bothered some. We made a law to keep them away.
Tuesday the 20th
Frosty & cold. We tinkered around awhile with the hogs &c., then hauled the fodder that was in the big field, then husked a load of corn. Then John & mother went to Dick’s to [grind] 6 bushels wheat & 2 corn. I read Home Journal this eve about the Murder a Burges & Election News &c. Every Northern State but New Jersey went for Lincoln. Missouri for Douglas, Tennesee for Bell & all the other Southern States for Breckinridge. I wrote a letter to cousin Kate Blacker tonight.
Wednesday the 21st
Clear & cold. We made a pen & put 4 of the smallest hogs in it. Then husked corn — got nearly 2 loads. It was warm & pleasant. Afternoon, we all went to Jack Spearman’s in the wagon. Clear moonlight & cold south wind.
Thursday the 22nd
We got out early to husking & soon the snow began to descend. We soon quit & went got the young pigs in under shelter & I went to fixing the fence around my stable & made a sheep shed east of stable. The snow continued slowly all day & by nightfall the whole landscape was covered some 4 inches.
Friday the 23rd
I got up as soon as daylight began to approach the wind was whistling around the house & everything had the appearance of mid-winter. It seemed natural to have a kind of hankering around the fire. Breakfast was over sometime before I ventured to my feeding but went down & fed, then hurried back to the fire & went to writing & reading. Wrote a letter to Bob Blacker. Read the late papers over. Went down & fed in the evening. Re-wrote the constitution of Elocution School tonight. Popped corn &c. I believe it has been as cold a day as ever blowed. Clear & cold. Snow drifted all day. Stock takes it hard enough & so do we. Mother went over to Noah’s yesterday. I haven’t saw a single individual today — only John Shortridge. He stayed here last night & left this morn hunting pony.
Saturday the 24th
The morning presents a dreary appearance. The sun shines out bright on the snow-covered fields & surrounding groves with their leafless branches with a few dry & withered leaves yet remaining in place of the green, thick foliage that so lately covered them o’er so nicely where only a short time ago could be heard the singing of birds as they hopped through these same branches where now can be heard the keen, whistling wind and nothing else save now & then the squeaking of a ravenous porker that may chance to get a few paces from his unquiet & boisterous resting place, or the lowing of some had-frozen cow brute as driven about from place to place by the driving storms. It’s the poor dumb brutes that I most pity. We got them all fed in good time & again took our places by the fire. I straightened up my library & took my pen, wrote a few lines here, then read some &c. Went over to Samuel Heater’s & stayed about 2 hours, then come & tinkered fixing up the old stable door & mangers. the mules had got out & was annoying the sheep & cattle very much by bring to kill them as seemed to me. I went down to do my feeding & when I got back found John & the girls had gone off sleigh riding. Don’t know where they are gone to & don’t care much. However, I think their childishness must overwhelm their reason & better judgement must be gone or they’d be by the fire.
Sunday the 25th November 1860
The day dawned upon us about as such days are won’t to after storms like the last few days has furnished have all subsided. The sun takes his usual course through the firmament & shines on us with the same splendor that he has on former occasions making glad the hearts of all living creatures but still a cold, chilly air lingers around us & the snow melts slowly & so the day wore slowly away. I went down & fixed my stable a little. Done feeding &c, which took me till after noon. Went to singing at 3 o’clock & we had a good one– almost one of the old kind. I come home as usual, done my work feeding &c.
Monday the 26th
Snowy day. Fixed up another sheller & John went to shelling corn. I rigged up the old sled & hauled some fodder. Went to Elocution School at night. Had a good one. I read the law forbidding spectators.
Tuesday the 27th
Clear & pleasant. Commenced melting the snow early. We hauled wood all day. Took a load to the School House. There was 5 loads brought in & chopped for Elocution & Singing Schools.
Wednesday the 28th
Clear & melting. I hauled fodder. John shelled till he got 26 bushels, then took it to the mill. I done feeding &c.
Thursday, 29th November 1860
Weather a little cloudy but pleasant & thawing. We hauled fodder till about 2, then went & gathered a load of corn & John took it to town to Shortridges. Dan’l McCue came this evening. It rained a little.
Friday the last.
This day closes the autumnal season of 1860. the weather is cloudy & cold. Little George Clouse came out to husk corn & we went at it. Husked nearly 4 loads. I went over to Forbes’ awhile after night. Wurth’s was there & Town’s girls & so the beautiful autumn of 1860 closed.
Saturday the first of the dreary winter season was a clear day. I took the little Blacks, went to Dick’s, thought to get his wagon to take meal to town. Hitched & hauled one load of wood. Went & loaded the 2nd of green wood & stalled coming out of creek. Had to unload & behold, on taking off a wheel to grease it, had no bow. I then got Uncle B. D. to haul my meal up home. By that time ’twas too late to go to town so I helped the boys husk corn till night. Went to School House to meeting. Heard Elias W. Shortridge preach his first sermon on the Sunday or Sabbath question. He now teaches that the Sabbath Day is Saturday. It was clear when we come home.
Sunday the 2nd December 1860
Noah called to me with a loud voice early this morn to get up, that it was snowing. I went & covered my load of meal. The ground was white with snow again & falling fast. We got our feeding done and I went over to Heater’s awhile. Then we all went and heard another sermon on the same subject. E. W. come down with me for dinner and done up some big talking for us in the evening. Ben Jenkins and John was starting off with the sleigh. I got in with them and drove for them awhile but they soon turned me off. I went in School House & we had some singing before meeting time. While singing they filled the house to overflowing. I had to stand up on the ladies’ side of the house & oh! how tired before they got through. They had a tedious time of it. The snow has been falling slowly all day & there is good sleighing now. Meeting ended.
Monday the 3rd
I went to town with the meal this morning. Sold to Hills for 25 cts. per bushel. Took a sack to Shortridge’s. Was in town a long time. Got home about dark. Went to Elocution in the sleigh. Had a good one. The day was cloudy & snowy.
Tuesday the 4th
Weather clear & cold. John shelled corn. I took it easy.
Wednesday the 5th December 1860
Weather clear & cold. John shelled corn most of the day. I cut wood & fed. Afternoon I went over to Heater’s awhile, then went & hitched to the sleigh. Went to Dickey’s but the girls was sick. Come back & Dan, Kate, Al & I went to Horace Farr’s. There was a crowd come in & we had quite a party. I got along well. Got home about 11.
Thursday the 6th
Clear & warm. John took the mules & took 28 bushels of corn to mill. I hauled fodder. At home tonight. I wrote 3 pages. Dan has been to town everyday since he come but Saturday.
Friday the 7th
Weather clear & thawing. Snow leaving fast. John went and got the meal and I hauled wood out of the grove on sled. John got home in time to help me some.
Saturday the 8th
Clear and frosty. Commenced thawing early. We took our meal to town in the morn and to our surprise found the town full of meal and several cadaverous sputtering pieces of humanity could be seen running about hunting up groceries and begging their keepers to trade for a few bushels of the corn meal. The town was filling up fast with teams loaded wit the common staple — wood and corn — & now & then could be seen a load of wheat drive in and the owner beg for somebody to buy the same at 60 cts. per bushel. Wood could be traded for about one dollar’s worth of trade per load but dull. It was a hard task to undertake to trade corn for anything, but 12½ to 15 cts per bushel was talked of in trade. After trying every grocery in town, we sold to Hills at 20 cts. Had 29½ bushels. Got a pair of boots apiece at $3.50 a pair, boots for little John ($1.50) and shoes for Liss (70 cts). Got home in good time to feed. ‘Tis muddy.
Sunday the 9th
By daylight the fleecy snow began to descend upon terra firm once more in flakes that can scarcely ever be surpassed for size 7 weight in this country. I went and done my feeding before breakfast, went over to Fornes’ and stayed till about 11, then came home and took some medicine for sore throat. Nearly all in the Neck have got it now. Mary has been sick with it for 3 or 4 days. It ceased to snow about 1 o’clock & we put the mules to the sleigh & run them awhile & it commenced snowing harder. We come home & put cart in stable, mules & all, and soon the snowing turned to raining & it rained hard for awhile. E. R. & M. E. S. come in apparently nearly drowned. About 3 o’clock, L. Horsey & Al Forbes’ was here & all seated around the fire talking of the stormy weather, sore throat, &c. while the storm was raging, the wind whistling, & rain falling rapidly on downward while —
O’er all the broad landscapes
Lays the white fleecy snow
And the heavens above us
Are dark — dreary — and low
The rain is descending rapidly down
And the lily white snow is leaving the ground
We that was sleighing so merrily
Already begin to look sad
For we see that our fine sleighing
Will soon be intolerable bad.
Again it turned to snowing
And the howling wind ceased blowing
Just before nightfall & our guests departed except Billy Hyer who come today with gun & traps to stay awhile with us and hunt. I took up my pen to write my first epistle to my friend, J. S. F. since his departure from this locality. Got about 2 pages done & had to quit for the night on account of headache. And after eating some popcorn nicely prepared, retired for the night.
Monday the 10th
Weather cloudy, snowy, & disagreeable. After the morning feeding was done, John & Billy went hunting & set 10 steel traps for furs. Was gone all day. I put up my little stove in the room. Wrote some &c. We went to Elocution School tonight. Most of the speakers were hoarse & the school was anything else but interesting. My voice was nearly gone when we got done. Edward J. Bebb puked some of his pent up eloquence in a violent passion on my official proceedings.
Tuesday the 11th
Weather clear & cold. Very little done except some tinkering at the old shed for cow stable. I went to the pint tonight with Jehoida Wurth & John in a sleigh. The mules for a team. Come away at recess. My hoarseness grows worse.
Wednesday the 12th
Clear & cold. John cut & hauled a few forks for a shed. I went to Forbes’ & helped slaughter a been but come home about 2 o’clock with a burning fever & went to bed where I suffered till about 9 o’clock & then was relieved by a sound nap. John & the girls went to Dickey’s.
Thursday the 13th
I awoke early this morn. The headache & fever both had left & the hoarseness was gone to some extent. The day was clear & very cold. I stayed in the house all day, read the last annual message of James Buchanan & the last Journal all on the Constitution of the United States, Declaration of Independence, & some history. John & Billy fed &c.
Friday the 14th
Weather clear & very cold. I found myself much better today. Helped do the feeding. Took the sheep down to the other house, put them in around the stable. John set some forks for cow shed. We put the mules to sleigh & started about 4½ but unfortunately on the Chandler Hill, John drove over a stone in the road that snatched the hind bench & knees out of the good old family sleigh. We then got on the foremost benches & went ahead. The snow was minus in many places & road rough. We arrived at the quiet residence of Mr. Edger just before dark and took a good warm before proceeding to the place of our destination. We then went to the school house and listened with marked attention to the eloquence of the members of their Elocution School and some others — also 4 of our members. Pronounced it all good and home we came with our broken sleigh.
Saturday the 15th
Weather somewhat moderated. We done the usual feeding & hauled 2 loads of fodder, then rigged up an old sled, put the sleigh bed on it, & had a sleigh ready for tonight. Al labored manfully the most of the afternoon on a certain immoveable before he got it moved and if he had failed, we all would have had to stay at home, but as it was we got started about sundown for Bushwhack. John, Al & I in our good sleigh drove Julia & Henry and drove fast all the way. Found the snow good and what was best, just before we got there, overtook the generally admired. Stopped, took her in, and of course Al and I had to take the hay and fodder for our seats. Found only some boys at the school house and they was standing shivering over the stove so we drove on to a neighboring farm house but kept our prize with us. There we found good fire to warm at & two more of ’em. We stayed near an hour, then went back to school house taking them with us. There we had a wonderful singing lasting an hour or more. Then what followed is more than language could describe. Suffice to say we got home at midnight. Al worsted.
Sunday the 16th
Weather cloudy & foggy. Late when we got up. Done feeding. Then commenced writing. Finished my letter to Joe [and] wrote opposite page. Folks come from meeting then & I quit. We went to singing at 3. Got home at dark. All at home reciting lessons, &c.
Monday the 17th
Cloudy & foggy. We hauled fodder till about 3 o’clock. then I took my team & sleigh & went to town. Found the road naked in many places & the remaining snow leaving fast. I brought a couple of ladies down to Elocution School. the house was corded two overflowing — about as many as could be jammed in. All corners will filled. We commenced about the usual time & all went off about as well as could be expected in this community. I recited the Lay of the Madman. ‘Twas poorly done though we had some well done after our scholars got through. A good many lessons was recited by spectators. About 9½ adjourned. Then I got Ben F. Jenkins to go to town with me & we started with the ladies. Often the wind would come back on us in great flakes from the hoofs of the noble steeds. Went the timber road going up the hill by the Cemetery. Run on a stump, heard a noise, got out to see & behold, the tongue was broke off. What a fix that was. Took off Henry’s halter, tied it on, got my hands muddy, then went Kihooting. Took the ladies home & got home safe about 10 o’clock.
Tuesday the 18th
Weather cloudy & foggy. We commenced hauling the cane stalks & covered the cowshed. By that time it was raining hard and we quit. It rained slowly & steady till I went to bed.
Wednesday the 19th
Cloudy and drizzly. Done the feeding and chopped all the wood that was up here. Read awhile. Afternoon, we got on the horses, took Billy’s traps, went and set mine in the drifts just below Hill’s old mill. Killed a chicken to bait with. ‘Tis snowing hard tonight.
Thursday the 20th
a light skift of snow. After feeding we went to the traps. Got cold & that was all. Hauled 3 loads of wood. Snowed all afternoon. Went to Singing tonight. Mr. Huffman tried to get a Singing School. Failed. Snowy & cold.
Friday the 21st
Snowing, drifting, & very cold. Cleared off about noon. Nothing done save feeding.
Saturday the 22nd
Clear & very cold. John went to town. I hauled some fodder — 3 loads. We started to Bushwhack about dark but couldn’t cross the creek on account of ice. Come back, got the girls, went to Mr. Miller’s sleigh riding & visiting &c. Stayed till 11 o’clock.
Sunday the 23rd
Clear & cold. Dick come up this morn & Noah brought Beck & children. I was here all day — only singing time. The singing was diminutive.
Monday the 24th
It commenced snowing about 8 o’clock & snowed hard all day. I worked on the sleigh most of the day fixing it. Made it about 3 feet shorter. Quit snowing about dark with nearly a foot on the ground. John & I waded up to Elocution School. There was a few there. All done their best & had a good school.
Christmas Day 1860
Cleared off in the morning & was pleasant. I couldn’t see any difference from other days until dinner time & not very much then. But all said it was Christmas. Noah & Sally come over. We was all together & that was about all. Dick & I put iron soles on the sleigh. John & Dick Shipman hauled some fodder. Immediately after dinner a remarkable woller took place in the snow before the door. We finished the sleigh after dark. Put mules to it & went to chapel singing. It didn’t amount to much. We then went to Wurth’s to a party & had all kinds of fun. Stayed till midnight. Frosty.
Wednesday the 26th
Cloudy, cold & frosty. I took Dick’s home, then hauled wood, fodder, &c. We got in the sleigh again & drove to Wurth’s again. Another party was on hands. House full all kinds of a time till about 10 [when] we come home. The sleighing is getting right.
Thursday the 27th
Partly cloudy & pleasant. I fixed up a tongue in my little room this morn, then put my horses to the sleigh, went up to Dickey’s & stayed a long time. Borrowed Kidd’s Elocution, come home hauled 2 loads of wood & tinkered around a little. Spelling school. I stayed at home tonight.
Friday the 28th December 1860
Cloudy and sprinkling. We went to Wurth’s and traded for William’s sleigh. Traded a yearling heifer even for it. Brough home a load of wood. Snowing fast. I put the mules to the sleigh, went to town a whirling, got iron for the new sleigh. Tried to sell pork. It has raised to $4.50 & still raising. Come home quick facing the howling storm. Daniel came back tonight. It cleared off about 9 o’clock.
Saturday the 29th
Weather clear & cold. We took the sleigh to Acker’s this morn. I stayed & helped him all day & we didn’t get done ironing it. There was two loads of sleigh riders here to spend the evening. We had a good tie.
Sunday the 30th
Clear & very cold. Kate & I went to Bushwhack to meeting, then went to Mr. Nickelson’s & stayed till evening. Then went sleigh riding awhile, then to meeting at night, after which we come home. Had a long ride of it. John & some others was over there heard that on Christmas Day, Mr. John Kerr & Miss Philena Alden had the awful knot tied.
Monday the last of 1860
This day closes the ever memorable year of 1860. I went to the shop and we finished the sleigh. I brought it home, rigged it up & night was here. We then out out. John took the new sleigh & I the old one. Both upset & broke the tongues out but tied them up. After Elocution School we went to the pint. Saw the year close.