Monday, 8th October, 1866

A lovely day. I think we have the most beautiful weather I ever experienced. Commenced sowing wheat this evening. Put in 7½ bushel. Bill had it brined in order to cleanse it perfectly for seed another year.1 I hardly know how my time passes about jobbing, employ it nearly all. Bake and the children do some little sewing. Patsy spun a little blue cotton today. I’ve had Addison about the house all day. Martha churned. Pigeo had a chill today, gave her broken doses tartar. George rode to Ju’s this evening. Borrowed quinine of Ju for her to take tomorrow. He returned to supper. Will start to Balto. tomorrow by way of Tappahannock. I wrote a long letter to Emily before retiring for him to carry. – – Bill wrote to Smith and Watkins respecting the wheat shipped them by Rowe.2

  1. Using salt water to prepare seed for planting had become standard procedure by English wheat farmers for at least 200 years. We do not know if the Littlepages understood just how this treatment reduced wheat “rust,” but they certainly knew the process worked.  (back)
  2. Probably merchants “Smith and Watkins,” 66 Exchange Place, Baltimore, MD. If any of our readers have access to a Baltimore city directory or gazetteer for this time period and can find any additional information about Smith and Watkins I will be happy to update this footnote.  (back)