Friday, 30th November, 1866

A considerable change in the weather since the rain last night. Sent Addison on a mule for quinine. Ju sent some. Nan and I, with Bill to accompany us, attended night meeting at Zion. Two more additions. Not one of our members there except Hardin and myself and Cornelia. Had quite a cold ride, left Pigeo complaining. Think she must have had a chill. Mollie remained with her. We returned about ten. Nan drove tonight. It was not quite as dark as the night I drove from the C. H. – – I have been anxiously desiring that Bill should become a Christian by obeying the Lord, but he deems himself unworthy of eternal life and puts it off for a more convenient opportunity. It may never be afforded him. – – Patsy washed today. Finished hauling in corn today.

Thursday, 29th November, 1866

Still very warm. Had my sausage seasoned with salt and pepper. Have been trying to get sage, and find there is none to be had in the neighborhood. Sent to Richmond for some by George Tebbs today. Made some excellent liver sausage today, and broke a large dish accidentally myself by letting the cylinder fall off the handle. Bill went to Court. I believe he has attended every day for _?_ _?_ . Returned a few minutes before Mr. Abell came from the baptizing. He promised to spend the evening, when I saw him at Ju’s. They left in company together after supper for the night meeting at C. H. Will have meeting tomorrow night at Zion by Hardin’s invitation. I am pleased to hear it. – – Pigeo had a chill.

Wednesday, 28th November, 1866

The weather almost disagreeably warm. Bill salted the pork this morning. Washington assisted him. I packed the lard away and got ready as soon as I could to attend Colosse. Took Nan in the buggy and Martha behind. We found on getting to Canton that I should be too late, so I turned back from there and spent the rest of the day with Mrs. Tebbs, very pleasantly, and came up to the C. H. to the night meeting. Left my buggy and horse at Ju’s and all of us walked over together. We returned again in company with Mr. Abell, who has been staying at Ju’s several days. Started home about ten o’clk. Had an addition of ten members, small boys not more than twelve years old, but the Savior says suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not. – – I think Mr. Abell preached the Gospel, therefore, I love to hear him. None of the members of our Church have been out to hear him, excepting Hardie and myself. I give them no credit for it it all. We are taught to hear all and hold fast to that which is good. I am not afraid to hear. – – The Harris’ pulled corn again today.

Tuesday, 27th November, 1866

The weather still good. Bill with Washington to assist, cut out the pork. Finished too late to salt, as he wished to attend baptizing and preaching. I found it impossible for me to leave and concluded for him to take the children to the baptizing, and he was soon ready and had the buggy hitched, but they were not ready in time, so he gave it out and went on horseback to the C. H. I was very sorry they were disappointed, but it was their own fault. As to myself, disappointments would always be mine were I to make calculations about anything in these uncertain times. Thank the Lord! I have learned to take things as they come, not being too careful for anything, do all I can to avoid evils and the best I know how for the promotion of good and then what follows make the best of it. Tis all that I can do, trust in God at all times for health and strength to perform the part I have to act, feeling confident of one thing, that the day is not very distant when the Lord will come and require an acct. of our stewardship. It is then we shall feel disappointments, bitter remorse and sad regrets if we neglect the “great salvation.”

Monday, 26th November, 1866

The weather was fine. Bill did not retire last night, but about 10 o’clk. had preparations made for killing hogs and about breakfast time had 21 hogs nicely cleaned and hung. – – 22 with the one killed first. The 21 weighed 1500 pounds. I attended to the business in the kitchen, had Patsy, Clarissa, Martha, and I assisted. I was mortified not being able to attend meeting at the C. H. tonight, but hope to get through time enough tomorrow to attend baptism at 3 o’clk. at the W. O. and preaching at night at C. H. Only one load of corn made today. Bill left in company with Mr. Timberlake for Court about eleven o’clk. and returned at 3 and took Pigeo and Nan up to the meeting. They drove the buggy. Jim, Sandy and Tom went about corn and Washington waited on Dandridge, who attended to the hogs. The children returned at eleven. Got letters and photographs from Ju’s, brought down by Dr. Hopson ever since last Wednesday, a letter from Mary and Liv to me and one to Pigeo, enclosing ½ doz. photographs.

Sunday, 25th November, 1866

Quite a lovely day. Mollie and I went in the buggy to Zion. Bill and Mr. Cooke accompanied me as far as that place on their way to Jerusalem. The children, Pigeo and Nan, were indifferent about going. It seems that they favor the other Churches more than their own, but I suppose also owing more to operation than any thing else, as most of their friends and acquaintances belong to the Churches. Mr. Harry Timberlake accompanied Bill back to dinner. We had eaten sometime when they returned, but soon had some fixed for them, and they ate heartily. Nearly sunset when they finished. Mr. Abell preached a very long sermon at Jerusalem and had several deliveries, which detained them so late. – – Bill and Pigeo in the buggy and Mr. Timberlake attended the night meeting. Had ten additions, baptizing at the W. O. Tuesday evening 3 o’clk. – – They returned at eleven. Kept supper hot in the stove for them.

Saturday, 24th November, 1866

Quite cold today. Notwithstanding, the children wished to go to Acquinton, and though Washington was complaining of being sick, thought he would be able to drive the carriage and accordingly got it ready and they started, Bill along with them, but had not gone over half an hour before Washington was back with the horses to hitch the mules to the wagon. George had broken the singletree to the carriage.1 They went though in the wagon and got there before the conclusion of the sermon. They returned to dinner about 4 o’clk, Brumley Martin with them. They all left in the wagon at dark for the night meeting at the C. H. I fixed up a basket of things and sent Mrs. Hill by them to be transferred to her wagon at the C. H., a few oysters in the shell, a pad of butter, loaf bread, ginger cakes, jumbles, ½ doz. big apples and a radish for Hal as large as a child’s head. – – Dear old lady. I know she will enjoy what I’ve sent her. She appreciates anything of the kind so much. Jim hauled 7 loads of corn today. Little Mollie is becoming so useful to me and I love the child so much.

  1. If you have recently broken your singletree, you can purchase one here. Financing Available.  (back)

Friday, 23rd November, 1866

The weather good. Bill and I arose early. I wrote to Hardie, and he took a candle and went down and opened some oysters. Rode to the C. H. before breakfast and had my letter mailed, and one from him to Smith and Watkins. Mine to Hardie is in the same envelope. – – Mr. Cooke came by on his way from the wedding. Borrowed the wheat fan, and enquired about a bridle I thought he had taken home.1 – – Bill’s letter introduced Mr. Cooke to the notice of Messrs. Smith and Watkins. He has busied himself today reinstating the front gate post and railing, broken by wild oxen the night dear old Zac returned with a load of flour and meal from Robin’s mill. Washington had to take the oxcart and assist him in getting it home from the mill, where the mules stalled. – – Prepared breakfast for the Harris’, not apprising of their intentions of getting their own corn. – – We hauled loads with the wagon today. Jim hauled wood to kill hogs Monday morning. – – Made some excellent ginger cakes and jumbles today. – – Bill and Nan went up in the carriage to meeting tonight. Took some strong coffee before they left. I kept supper waiting for them. Pigeo returned with them, and Hal also to spend several days. They all enjoyed the stewed oysters for supper. I cut off a skirt for Mollie while we were waiting for the children.

  1. Caroline has written many times about fanning wheat or oats. This is the process by which the chaff, which Caroline sometimes calls “fan,” is separated from the grain. Often called winnowing, traditionally the kernels are thrown into the air. The lighter loose chaff is blown away while the heavier core kernels falls back to the ground. But this is the first time she mentions a mechanical wheat fan. This likely used mesh screens and an artificial air moving device (fan) to “separate the wheat from the chaff.”  (back)

Thursday, 22nd November, 1866

Rather gloomy most of the day. After the morning, Pigeo and I with little Mollie went in the carriage to Jerusalem to hear Dr. Hopson preach a large audience.1 Had been speaking ½ an hour when we arrived. What I heard of the sermon was most excellent. Pigeo was delighted to meet Sadie, but it was not in her power to visit her as she and her Mother will leave for Richmond tomorrow. After the ceremony of marriage at Mrs. Jno. Pemberton’s tonight, by her father (Joe Edwards and Felicia Pemberton, the happy couple),2 we dined at Mrs. Hill’s by invitation, in company with several other families. Left Pigeo with Hal, who will, with some other members of the family, attend meeting at the C. H. tonight. Mr. Abell will preach.3 We had some trouble with the horses today. Washington drove Fannie and George. Bill and Nan remained at home. Made 14 loads corn today, making in all 41 loads. The Harris’ will not work tomorrow. Have done 3 days work. – – Mrs. Garrett had some fresh meat put in the carriage as we passed there coming home.

  1. Dr. Winthrop Hartly Hopson. Click on his name above for a short bio written about 1870.  (back)
  2. Joseph Lemuel Edwards is the third son of Dr. Lemuel Edwards of Lanesville, who appears often in this journal, and his wife, the former Mary Amanda Fitzallen Atkinson. Felicia Alexander Pemberton is the youngest of the four daughters of the late John Pemberton, Sr. and Margaret Winslow Chapman.  (back)
  3. George Washington Abell. Click on his name above for a short bio. In Peter Ainslie’s Life and Writings of George W. Abell (1875) his frequent visits, including this one, to King William County are mentioned.  (back)

Wednesday, 21st November, 1866

Lovely weather. Hauled 10 loads of corn today, making 21 in all. I am feeling much better today than I expected to. Faced Pigeo’s maroon dress today and plaited it at night after taking a nap. – – Enjoyed some oysters very much. Pigeo and Nan participated. They are much disappointed not going to meeting tonight. Bill was so much engaged getting up some wild hogs, made it too late to go. – – Patsy threw corn in the house today.

Tuesday, 20th November, 1866

The weather still fine. Had a slight shower about 12 last night, not enough to wet the corn I hope, as we are housing it in the shucks in order to expedite the gathering, as the thieves have commenced their work of stealing. Bill has been trying to catch them. Thinks he shot a man night or two ago while in the act, but not to hurt him much I imagine, as he has seen nothing from him since. – – The Harris’ came this morning to work, five in number. – – Bill and I discovered yesterday that all the potato’s we had packed away are nearly ruined from heat. They are literally cooked. Martha assisted me in picking them over and getting the best of them out. Don’t know when I had anything to mortify me so much, nor when I have been as much fatigued as I am tonight. I have had such a disagreeable day’s work. – – Patsy has been helping to store the corn in the house. Made eleven loads today.

Monday, 19th November, 1866

The weather still good. Hauled four loads corn today in the oxcart and wagon. Engaged Jno. Harris and Co., numbering five, to pull corn tomorrow and several more days. The work to be returned with the oxcart. – – Pigeo is busy about her wine colored marine dress. – – Nannie altering her muslin and I stirring about as usual, ever finding something to occupy my time, which has become very precious to me and greatly desire that it should be more profitably occupied, but I don’t know what to do with the things or time better, than to discharge the duties to the best of my strength and ability, trusting in God that he will ere long remove the many evils we have fallen heir to and bring us out of all our distress. – – The children took a walk late this evening to the new bridge. Mr. Cooke came about the time they returned and sat till eleven.

Sunday, 18th November, 1866

Another good day. We made an early start to Church in the carriage, Pigeo, Nan, Mollie and myself. After getting there, Jimmie and Hal drove up and took Pigeo in with them to Acquinton, returned by Ju’s, where we were waiting for her. All took dinner there and returned home about sunset. Found Bill all alone.

Saturday, 17th November, 1866

Quite a pretty morning, but a light freeze last night. Bill went about grading the hill on either side of the bridge in order to commence hauling corn. Made the first two loads this evening. Mollie and I went with the wagon when Washington started, and saw it safely across the bridge. Finished trimming my cloak this evening. – – Pigeo, Nan and Mollie picked over the ground peas on the front porch. Had the buggy harness greased by Addison. I’m sick today. – – I parched coffee this evening and got in a perspiration, and input my bad feelings to that tonight.

Friday, 16th November, 1866

Quite a blustering, disagreeable day. Pigeo finished her flounced dress, a new style, fits her beautifully. Nan’s jobbing about something, I hardly know what. Little Mollie grieves for Mother occasionally. She is a tenderhearted, affectionate little thing. – – I am trimming at black cloth for myself. Think I will let Nan take the one I got of Bake for $20. Bill finished the bridge across the mill creek this evening. He has been a much longer time than he thought it would take him. One week of pretty weather has gone since he came from Richmond and no corn pulled. Tom paid a visit somewhere today after taking breakfast, returned to supper.

Thursday, 15th November, 1866

A much better morning than I expected to see. Came on to rain about 10 o’clk. Sent Addison with a letter to mail for Bake, and taking letter and papers, also an order to the store for Shallenbergers pills, stamps, envelopes, cambric, &c. He returned with price current and no letter or paper. We were much disappointed knowing there were several letters and two or more photographs somewhere either miscarried or taken out, as well as a draft from Smith and Watkins for several hundred dollars. – – This has been the shortest day I ever spent in my life. None of us thought it was more than 2 o’clk. at sunset. Was very near having to put a candle on the table before we finished dinner. – – Bill has been about the bridges across the mill creek. – – I hope something will put him in the notion to haul corn soon for we have not commenced yet, except just a little to feed hogs on. I sat up quite late tonight to make up a whole day. Knit a stocking foot and put on another, and fixed the front of Nan’s dress. I will now get ready to retire. – – Patsy washed today. – – Sent instructions in Bake’s letter today for George to forward the barrel of oranges they intend sending us to George Smith in Rich. via Balt.1 – – Pigeo paid $1.50 for a pair of shoes for Mollie, money given her by Mary for the purpose.

  1. This is more evidence that George Smith is a commission merchant. Perhaps there is a connection with Baltimore’s Smith and Watkins.  (back)

Wednesday, 14th November, 1866

The day very likely for rain, atmosphere damp, but it held off. Finished packing my lay potatoes this evening. Tom assisted Patsy and Addison. After packing up the two potato rooms in the pantry closet, I commenced packing away the cut ones under the shelf in the same closet. Addison’s a right good hand packing. We made by far the largest crop we ever made. Have all the smaller sweet potatoes put away now. – – Assisted Pigeo about the flounce of her calico dress. She thinks she had a chill about 12. Had quite a high fever all the evening. – – Went in the garden with Nan and Mollie and helped them to pick ground peas. All Mollie can find are for Sulie and herself. Nan and Rose’s are together.1

  1. A reminder that Caroline, Nan, and Mollie’s ground peas are peanuts.  (back)

Tuesday, 13th November, 1866

The weather quite cool. Had the square of strawberries finished off very nicely, and in the evening had the sweet potatoes assorted and one room of them put away in Chaff. Bill attended to the packing and I to the assorting. Tom, Washington and Addison are employed with the addition of Patsy’s help. – – I cut out a calico dress by Sadie’s patterns for Pigeo this evening. – – Nan took Shallenbergers pill today. Mr. Cooke sent her 14 pills by Addison yesterday, and a basket of nice apples to Pigeo and Nan.

Monday, 12th November, 1866

A tolerably good day, after a rainy night. Much cooler than it has been. Had a square laid off by Patsy and Martha for transplanting strawberry vines. Commenced setting them. I’m sad today. In the garden most of the time to drive away sad thoughts, which I cannot quite overcome. – – Pigeo brought her purchases down for me to look at. I am very well pleased with them. A good deal of taste displayed. – – Little Mollie’s a sweet child. I love the frankness and candor she evinces in her disposition. Commenced her studies this morning. Allowed Nan and her to go in the garden the warm part of the day to pick ground peas and have all they could find, Mollie for herself and Sulie.1 Bill employed himself at the barn today after riding round the field and finding where a good deal of our corn has been stolen, shucked in the field and carried off, and he is unable to trace it. A shoat has been stolen also, as well as ten chickens or pullets to disappear from the hen house within the last week.

  1. Caroline’s Capital Js and Ss were often undistinguishable. “Sulie” could be Julie.  (back)

Sunday, 11th November, 1866

Quite a pretty morning, but the day wound up with rather an inclement evening. Came on to rain just before Bill and Pigeo, with little Mollie Garland, drove up. Mr. Cooke came soon after and spent the night. From their detention in Richmond, I feared some accident had happened. One of the mules was sick and Washington was detained on the road. I couldn’t help being a little uneasy. Sent Addison to Ju’s with a note and a letter to have mailed to Zac. He brought papers and letters that came Friday, one to Pigeo from Zac, 1 from Bake to me, and several to Bill from George. I am unavoidably prevented going to Church today, the 2nd Sunday at home. Pigeo was much pleased with her trip and purchases made in Rich. Spent a day with Sadie and visited Kitten several times. – – I was sorry they should have forgotten some little things I sent for such as quinine, Shallenbergers pills, stamps, envelopes &c, all very important articles. Bought a sack of salt $3.50, 5 gallons lamp oil, besides Pigeo’s things and a pair of shoes for Nan.

Saturday, 10th November, 1866

I never saw such weather hardly, it is lovely, how thankful I feel. – – Jim made 5 loads corn and then went to Walkerton mill. Sandy went for a load of wood. – – Tom pulls corn occasionally. Had a chill again last night. – – I am looking for Bill and Pigeo now, just about sunset. – – It’s now ½ past nine o’clk. and they have not come yet. – – Nan has gone to bed and I am sitting up alone. Gave out meat to Jim and Sandy, the former for 2 weeks, the latter 1 week.

Friday, 9th November, 1866

A most beautiful day. Pigeo and Bill have beautiful weather in Richmond. I was up and sent Addison for Washington, time enough to be ready to start to Richmond by day. Went down and had the things put in the tumbrel. Wrote to Bill before retiring last night. – – Jim made 6 loads corn today and Addison threw it in the corn house. – – Patsy pulled up ground pea vines and he laid them to dry for Martha and Addison to pick off today. She finished drying them and they nearly finished picking them off. A very fine turn out. – – Nan has evening fevers, don’t know whether she has chills or not. Jim only made two loads corn and went to pulling.

Thursday, 8th November, 1866

The loveliest day we have had this fall. Bill and Pigeo started quite late to Richmond. Gave the latter $20 in addition to what she had, $5.30. Bill had the bacon gotten down and weighed (306) lbs., three hundred and six pounds. Washington will take it over in the morning if he succeeds in getting a tumbrel. – – Returned about sunset from Martha Ann’s with an excellent one and drove it to the dining room door ready to put the things in. Nan and I went down and fixed the lard. Filled a 4 gallon jar and the barrel about 4/5th full. Got a two gallon carboy for vinegar, a 5 gallon tin out of the fish house for lamp oil, and tonight I want to write to Bill and retire early in order to start Washington by day. – – Sent Patsy to ask Mrs. Lipscomb to send George over to go to mill tomorrow. She will send if he comes home tonight. I walked to the barn and had the door locked.

Wednesday, 7th November, 1866

Another white frost and a beautiful day. Bill had a wagon load of potatoes carried round to Mrs. Littlepage, his aunt Martha Ann, to take care of for us during the winter. Measuring thirty hampers full of eating roots. He went with the wagon, i.e. started soon after it and overtook it before getting there. I expected him back to dinner. Had the wild goose cooked, but he came sometime after supper, don’t know what detained him. Came by the C. H., brought a report from Gen. Smith (says Zac has too many demands) and a circular from Gen. Roper in Balto., who has turned his attention to the Commission business. – – Bill expects to go to Richmond in the morning. Will take Pigeo over. I fixed up some things to send Liv. Made and done up 4 collars, a velvet vest, two pair socks, two under shirts and a $5 bill. I am so bothered. I’ve written the same I did on yesterday, as regards the Richmond trip. I walked to the barn and circumambulated the premises. I do not remember the last time I was there. Made Addison pick up several horses chips.

Tuesday, 6th November, 1866

A very white frost this morning. Bill went about the potatoes and finished digging them. He supposes we make about one hundred and fifty bushels. Bill thinks of going to Richmond Thursday or Friday and will take Pigeo over with him in the buggy. She wants a bonnet and other things. – – She’s busy knitting a pair of socks to carry Liv. I will send him a pair also and some collars, a velvet vest and a $5 bill. – – Nan’s still about her maroon dress.

Monday, 5th November, 1866

The rain is coming down in good earnest this morning. Bad on the potatoes and ground peas, I am afraid. The former we could finish digging in one day. I think the moles are taking care of the latter and will get the larger share of them if I do not interfere soon. – – I was up quite early this morning and parched coffee and had a cup before writing in my journal.1 – – Cleared up about 9 and turned quite cold. Batted more cotton for comforts after attending the lard. – – Addison cleaned out the hen house and carried the guano in the garden. – – Fixed a latch on the garden gate. Jim hauled wood. Sandy’s sick today. – – Bill making up the old fence. Pigeo cut out two chemise and a body for her gown. Nan’s making her maroon dress.

  1. During the southern war years coffee beans became very expensive, if available at all. Soldiers as well as civilians took to preparing substitutes. For example of the extent to which this substitution took place, click here. Many of these recipes involved roasting, sometimes called parching, grains. However the war has now been over for about a year and a half. Caroline may simply be roasting her own “green” coffee beans.  (back)

Sunday, 4th November, 1866

A drizzling, rainy, dull day. Nothing kept me at home but the inclemency of going out in an open vehicle, having been accustomed to going in a closed warm carriage for so many years, and now I am subject to rather more infirmities than in earlier years. I would like so much to have a pair of horses or mules strong enough to pull the carriage, or even if the buggy had a top to it I would not be afraid to venture out. – – Sent Addison up for the letters come by last mail. They had not arrived when Pigeo went for them Friday evening. He brought me a letter from Bake and one from Emily, and Bill one. Bill had the misfortune to have one of his fattening hogs nearly killed by the rest in the pen. Had to have it butchered to save it. – – Pigeo thinks she has been having a chill all day. Ju has no quinine. Nan and herself sat upstairs most of the day.

Saturday, 3rd November, 1866

A very beautiful day. Continue digging potatoes again today, and have them spread on the floor up the kitchen stairs. If anything they are better than they were yesterday. Clarissa and Patsy are digging today. John Lewis came by on his way home and very kindly offered to take care of 30 or 40 bushels potatoes if we would send them to him. Gave him some large ones to carry home. – – Sold Sandy a pair of blk. cloth pants for $3.50 this evening and a starched bosom shirt for $1. They were all quite late finishing the potatoes today, i.e. I mean housing them. I’ve been busy as usual today. Turned round some things in the dining room and oiled the floor. – – Pigeo and Nan will sleep upstairs tonight for the first time and I in the chamber alone. I love solitude sometimes and enjoy my own reflections, love to meditate.