Raining this morning, nice seasonable weather now. If the corn was in the ground it would be very well. I transplanted another row of Early York plants this morning. Bill remained in bed, to miss his chill till 12, then rose and went to Erin where the hands are making the cow pen to have a batch of fodder hauled. Vessels are coming by now plentifully, for the purpose of carrying off grain. Its bearing a good price at this time on acct. of the scarcity in Ireland. – – Had the cows out in the Erin field this evening and Bettie milked the first time, across the creek. – – Bill rode to the C. H. and returned to supper, no letters or papers.
Found the rain still falling. Mr. Cooke left before breakfast, put a basket in his buggy for him to send for tomato plants when he sends for his, as I have no one who knows the way to Spring Pleasant. – – Uncle David sent Ellen, his little daughter, in this morning for her victuals and clothes. She is quite a sprightly little girl and learns her book very well, can read a little. I will instruct her, all spare time.1 Mr. Cooke sent George over with about 2 doz. tomato plants from Rose, which I transplanted late this evening. – – Bill has been having corn shelled. Went over to Erin with the oxcart this evening to make a pen for the cows, I believe, or to instruct them where to make it.2
- From the previous footnote about the Nelsons, Caroline is likely referring to Mary E. Nelson who would have been about 8. In the US Census three years later she is recorded as “attend school” along with older siblings Charles and Judith. (back)
- Erin first appears in CJ7 on 11 July, 1865 when, “Bill and Hardie went to Erin for apples.” However, no reference to Erin outside Caroline’s journals has been found. But on 26 December, 1856 Caroline writes in CJ1 that “The boys all walk across the river & return again for Baker before breakfast, return again & take breakfast then take a long walk down the river to a vessel anchored at Erin & go on board.” This tells us that Erin is on the Mattaponi downriver from Woodbury. This entry, and the references tomorrow, suggest the Littlepages own Erin, and that it is, “across the creek.” One might conclude then that Erin is the 37 acres adjacent to Woodbury purchased by Lewis Littlepage in September 1853 from Robert Pollard that included Pollard’s Mill. This sale is mentioned in Rose’s Journal on 10 September of that year. Today this is likely the property to the west of Horse Landing Road. The origin of the name Erin remains a mystery. (back)
A pretty day, but cool. Pigeo and Mollie remained at home with Bill, who is still quite sick. Had a chill in spite of “Shallenberger” and quite a high fever when I returned from Church. John drove Phil to the buggy. He was a very cautious driver. Carried a mince pie and some potato pudding for Rose, sent them to her by Fes and his father. Carried a bag of ground peas for Mrs. Edwards. – – After dinner, Pigeo with Mollie and Bettie to accompany them, called on Mrs. Harrison. Mr. Cooke took the former in his buggy and remained all night on acct. of rain.
Quite a pretty day. Clarissa planted corn and John, Tom, the man hired in Richmond, and Uncle David covered with three drags. – – Bill has been quite sick all day, gave him tartar. He rode to the C. H. late this evening. Bettie finished weeding potatoes. I walked to the quarters to see the little children quite in curiosity, two pairs of twins, one of the girls for her victuals and clothes. – – Dr. Phil came this morning and spent a few hours. I was busy making potato pudding and mince pies.
Quite a lovely day. Was uneasy about Lucy and sent John Owens to look for her while his horses were eating. He came in about an hour with her from the clover field. Sometime after breakfast, some hands came to plant corn and I had breakfast prepared for 5, but in consequence of being unable to run more than one drag to cover up, had to discharge two hands. Retained Jeff Hill, Howard and Clarissa, got straight at work 9 o’clk. Bettie finished the cleaning the parlor, &c and went in the garden and finished weeding the corn she commenced yesterday, and then went about weeding potatoes. I am so busy all day that I am tired all the time. I will say it for myself, I don’t believe I idle one moment. – – Pigeo’s about her 4th chemise. Her work and mine are different. Mine’s everywhere, hers confined to her room. – – I am looking for Bill this evening and anxiously expecting Mary to come with him. He arrived at dusk, quite feeble from a chill. Brought Uncle David’s family, numbering ten. Sold my little articles, eggs @ $.80, butter $.40, and asparagus $.50, but I do not think the profits will pay expenses of traveling to the city so often for labor.
Quite a pretty day, after the morning, which was rather inclement. Howland Lewis came for ½ bushel potatoes, pd. $1. Mrs. Lewis returned the salt I loaned her. – – Had the parlor and back chamber floors cleaned by Bettie before dinner, and after planted a square of field peas and transplanted a few Early York cabbage plants. – – A peck potatoes to John Owens.1 He ploughed till 12 and dragged with George and Phil the rest of the day. Bettie in trying to get the mule back in the yard by George’s leaving the gate open, let her get in the wheat and left her with the cattle to graze, but George didn’t bring her up with them and I sent John on a horse to see where he left her, but he could see nothing of her so I am right uneasy about her. Don’t know whether she got mired or in mischief.
- John Owens is the husband of Betty Owens mentioned as arriving at Woodbury from Richmond on 6 April. (back)
Everything arranged. Bill started at 3 o’clk. Came on to rain a few minutes after they started. Hope it will not give Bill a chill, poor fellow! “Its swim little duck or die now’ as the saying is. Articles sent, doz. eggs, 16 lbs. butter, 4 bunches asparagus, a bushel sweet potatoes to Liv, a bag of ground peas to Rose, a box for Nannie to be sent to Piedmont, and $140 to the order of Mr. J.W.G.1 – – Jim came this morning, but its too wet to go out to work. Put he and John to shelling seed corn till the shower is over. – – – Bill took letters to have mailed to Rich. to Bake, Emily, Nannie, Zac, Liv, and Mary. I walked to the barn when they went to shell corn. Jim left about 8. John finished shelling the corn and brought a load of wood, and after dinner I sent him to graze the cattle and to let the horses graze while they were eating. The rain continued through the day. Had the parlor carpet taken and repaired by Bettie.
- J. W. Goss is the headmaster of Piedmont Female Academy. (back)
A lovely day. Bill rode Fannie to Court, returned and went to Mr. Garrett’s for seed corn and back to supper. – – Collected $135 from Will Turner yesterday on salt bill. – – Had my strawberry square and corn, peas, snaps &c worked over by Bettie. I’ve spent the day mostly writing letters for Bill to have mailed in Rich. to the children, including Emily, one to Liv, to Mary, Bake and Nan. – – As Bill wishes to start to Rich. about 10 o’clk., I am sitting up to wake him at that time. Suddie Littlepage came about ½ past ten to go over with him.1 I was sitting alone in my chamber when he came and went out and kept the dogs away. After sitting about an hour, he retired and I finished writing in my journal and read. While waiting for the time to wake them up, had a cup of strong coffee to keep my eyes open.
- Probably Sutherland Gregory Littlepage, 21, who we have met. (back)
Another lovely morning. It seems to me that the cornfield should be having a tinge of green, but we have not planted the first grain of corn in it yet. My corn in the garden is large enough to weed almost. – – Bill went to court about ten. It’s now ten at night and he has not returned. I fixed up a box to send to Nan tomorrow if he goes to Richmond, contents biscuits, jumbles, sweet potatoes, ground peas, pickle sausage, &c &c and a bonnet. Commenced fixing the circle today, but it was so windy affected but little. Pigeo sowed for trellis and cross. – – Packed up 9 doz. eggs for market. – – Tied up some nice asparagus and will put up some fresh butter also, 16 pounds and four bunches asparagus. Bill returned between eleven and twelve.
A very lovely day. All except Bill attended Church. He remained from indisposition. Pigeo received a note from Mr. Cooke desiring her to accompany him to Church, and at the same time with a request from Miss _ to attend Jerusalem.1 They did so and came by Oak Dale to dine and returned to supper. Mr. Cooke left before ten. – – I called by to see Mrs. George this morning, who is a great sufferer. Carried her a loaf of bread. Also carried a loaf to Mrs. Tebbs and sent by George from Church. – – Two couples were married by Dr. Edwards today (Colored).2 Pigeo thinks she had a chill this evening. I was under the impression she had a slight one yesterday.
Quite a pretty day again. Jim came to work. Commenced checking the land for corn yesterday. The injured mule improves very slowly, nearly three weeks since she was hurt. – – Bill handed me a letter from Bake this morning. She is getting on finely. George is on a visit to some ½ doz. cities, has been gone a week. – – Pigeo had a chill today. Bettie finished ironing in time to get dinner. Should have ironed in half a day. Henry came for some things for Mr. Pollard.1 John churned. Pigeo and I made jumbles. – – Bill rode George to McGeorge’s to look at seed corn. – – Commenced giving George and Fannie medicine today. Think Phil improves right much by work.
- As Henry is used as both a given and surname, identifying the Henrys Caroline mentions is a challenge. One assumes that when she writes a name alone it is a given name, and, when not previously identified or referring to a family member, a person of color. However, assumptions do not make good history. Her first mention of a Henry is 29 December, 1864 when “The children received an invitation from their Uncle Hardin by Henry to spend the evening at his house.” This suggests Henry is associated with Aspen Grove. Could this be the Henry Littlepage, who appears in the 1870 US Census, 32, mulatto, living near the Courthouse? Then on 25 May, 1865, “Mrs. McGeorge sent half a sturgeon to put in the ice house. Also sent me a nice piece by Katherine Henry.” But in this case Henry is a surname. We do not hear of a Henry again until 28 February of this year when, “Had several squares ploughed in the garden by Henry with Fannie and George to a double plough.” So we now have a Henry doing work at Woodbury. This might be the Henry Nelson found in the 6 April footnote about “Old Uncle David” Nelson. But just last week Caroline wrote, “Uncle Davey said a man came to the quarters last night and had some talk with William Henry outside the door and he came in and got his clothes and left in co. with him.” However, here Henry seems to be a surname and William does not appear among records of the Nelsons. So today, “Henry came for some things for Mr. Pollard.” Whether this is a previously mentioned Henry, or Mr. Pollard is the “Mr. W. D. P.” of the entry four days ago is unknown. Unfortunately, this is the last entry we have by Caroline of a person with an assumed given name of “Henry.” And at this point we seem no closer to identifying any of them. (back)
A lovely day. Bettie starched and ironed the clothes. After dinner Pigeo and I rode to Enfield to see Mrs. Harrison, returned to supper. Bill rode away soon after we left, took supper at Oak Dale. Left Mollie to keep house.
Quite a pretty day again. George, the boy who minds the cows, returned this morning. Made a nice parcel of pretty butter now. Pigeo worked a sleeve band. Bettie hemmed a skirt for me. Put out the bed in the back chamber to sun. I sewed the fringe on my bed quilts and am all the time jobbing about something or other.
A pretty day except being windy. Bettie washing today. I cooked dinner on the stove, first asparagus. Bill commenced to lay off ground to plant corn, three ploughs. Jim came to work today, laying off corn ground, two days this week. Planted ground peas this evening, Bill assisted me. – – Larkin sent me the Church book to copy resolutions to send the children, who are absent, lest they too may become indifferent to the things taught in God’s holy book.
Found a delightful shower falling this morning. Finished a letter to Liv and wrote one to Nan this morning, enclosing a doz. stamps. The day has been showery and prevented Pigeo’s expected co. from crossing the river. Mrs. Harrison sent over this evening to borrow her jacket pattern. – – Mr. W. D. P. sent for butter, lard and plaster, by James Claiborne.1 – – Pigeo’s ruffling a band. Bettie hemmed a skirt and sewed up another. I am doing sundry things. – – Had some corn shelled today for mill.
- Likely William D. (Billy) Pollard, who has appeared here before. – – The 1880 US Census for King William shows James Claiborne, a black laborer, heading a family enumerated next to that of Junius Littlepage. James is 34 in 1880, making him around 21 when he picked up these items for W.D.P. (back)
Another pretty day. Bill attended the Vendue at Acquinton Church. Returned at supper. He got in a powerful stew this morning. Jim came to work today, drove oxcart to the Church for implements. This is the 3rd time for the same purpose. – – Clarissa and Susannah came to plant corn, but we were not ready, in consequence of hands leaving last week. I planted butter beans. Cut out two underskirts today for Bettie to make, but its next kin to nothing for her to sew. She is left handed and besides as idling as if she were a wealthy boarder. I don’t know how they are to earn the amount of money they hire themselves out for. These are awful times for poor pilgrims on this earth. How changed from its once prosperous and happy state, but it has pleased the Lord to visit us with his judgments for the wickedness and rebellion of an ungrateful people. May they humble themselves and repent in sackcloth and ashes if need be in order that the Lord may look in pity on them and retreat toward them as he did towards rebellious “Israel.”
Quite a lovely day. Pigeo and I attended Zion. Left Bill and Mollie to keep house. Gave out dinner to Bettie before starting. Drove Phil (my new purchase). Dined at Ju’s and spent the afternoon. We came home to supper, found Mr. Cooke here. I tried to be more particular _?_ _?_ were new ones, but some how or other every _?_ _?_ _?_ asleep. Mr. Cooke had to knock some time before waking _?_ _?_ .1
A delightfully pleasant day. Bill attended the vendue at Canton, returned after we had dined. Melville Walker came to buy our haul seine boat. I sold it to him, I expect for $15, though I do not know what Bill would consider it worth. – – Had 23 shad corned up by Bettie. Gave Uncle Davey a fourth. – – Scaled and made some nice mango pickles after breakfast. Have been writing a long letter to Liv today. Received one from Bake by Bill when he returned. Sowed two rows Extra Early peas and planted coriander seeds. Bill loaned John Littlepage the oxcart to carry his shad home, and he brought the sweet potatoes they had to keep last winter. I don’t suppose we saved more than a third, but they are beautiful potatoes. – – Bill has gone out floating and its now after ten o’clk. and he has not come in.
Cloudy and cool. Bill found this morning on going out that another man left. Uncle Davey said a man came to the quarters last night and had some talk with William Henry outside the door and he came in and got his clothes and left in co. with him. The other servants informed him that the Harris’ had busied themselves in persuading them to leave. They have one object in doing so. So this morning as they were passing through here, Bill went to meet them and turned them back, with instructions never to come on the land again. I have always been opposed to their passing through here, said all I could to dissuade Bill from it last year, except positively to refuse it. It was very evident that they hauled away our corn from the field as they passed through. They would frequently return in the night from Enfield and Bill could only see where large quantities had been gathered and hauled out, and that was all he could say or do in the matter. – – Have done without a fire all day, till late this evening. Couldn’t stand it any longer, moved the screen and had a good fire made. Bill and Uncle Davey to row the boat, caught 30 shad tonight before ten o’clk. The first time he has floated. We have only had three shad as yet. – – Bettie has been sewing today, the little time she has between meals. Ju sent Bettie down for 4 lbs. butter, sent me some vegetables.
Found a gentle rain falling this morning, but didn’t last long. Mollie and I went down before 5 and gave out breakfast. – – Pigeo has commenced to rise earlier, don’t know how long it will last. Bill found on going out this morning that Wilkerson had left unceremoniously. I really do not know how persons are to make a crop with such uncertainty about labor. It seems that a great many persons busy themselves about our servants and take it upon themselves to come in our field and persuade the servants to leave, and they come and tell us of it. Bill and I have been trying to discover their motive. He thinks he sees through it as regards the Harris.’ Uncle Davy says there are white men engaged in the business also and told Bill himself that we had White as well as Colored enemies around us. I do not see why it is. I am sure he doesn’t interfere with other people’s affairs. Can scarcely attend to his own. – – He drove the oxcart to Acquinton Church again this evening for some implements Mr. Houchings had to fix, but was again disappointed. It seems that everything works against him. Can’t acct. for it. – – I did some darning today. Bettie is sewing on a shirt for Bill. – – Pigeo about her chemise. – – Hope and despair alternately take possession.
Another pretty day, very much like Indian summer. Mollie and I are up this morning quite early. She likes her little bed very much. Bettie got breakfast before milking, and then did some little jobbing before dinner and churned afterwards. Cut out a shirt for Bill this evening, and Bettie did a little left hand work on it. – – Three ploughs at work again today, and Uncle Davy dragging. – – I arose after retiring and made a fire and sat up till about 12 looking over Bill’s book of hirelings.
A lovely day. Had my chamber cleaned and scalded, carpets taken up, bed sunned, &c. Fixed Mollie a little bed in one corner of my chamber, in order to know that she shall retire and rise early and try and break her of the indolent and idle habits she has contracted since the winter. Betty’s a very nice hand about the house. Mr. Cooke came this morning and spent the day, just from Baltimore, or rather from Dewberry, his Mother’s.1 No letters from Hardin as I expected. – – Bill went to Acquinton Church in the oxcart about wagons or cultivators, I don’t know which, after dinner. Sent Billy Pollard 4 lbs. butter, paid $.03 pound for it. – – Pigeo and I sent letters to be mailed to Nannie. I received report from the Lexington, and Pigeo a letter from Sadie Hopson. – – Commenced this evening to have supper 6 o’clk. in order to have milking done afterward. I always liked early suppers Spring and Summer in order to retire early and we cannot rise early, which I am in favor of. – – Mr. Cooke left between 5 and 6 and returned to go with Bill floating, but he declined going on acct. of the seine being tangled. Uncle Davy’s dragging for corn and the other three now ploughing.
- Mr. John McPhereson Cooke’s mother was Elizabeth Edmonia [Churchill] Cooke. Her husband, Rev. John McPhereson Cooke, died in 1861. The family home was Dewberry in western Hanover County, It is now on the National Register of Historic Places. (back)
Very windy and dry. Betty churned after breakfast and then employed the rest of the day fixing up the kitchen, washing windows and putting up curtains, &c. Bill put two of the men to plough and the other two hauling fodder. He rode to the C. H., returned to dinner, then went to Walkerton Mill and by the time he started the two ploughs knocked off, having finished the piece they were about and didn’t know what to do. I hesitated a long time before I would send to know what was the matter and went out and told them as they passed to go to the barn and shell off husks and bring them to the house. I think Bill should have more judgment and not lose so much time with four men. Two brought a load of wood. Emmit Quarles came this evening.1 We had finished dinner, but he went down and got some. He is trying to find out who old Mr. Roger Quarles is who lived 90 years ago, having had his attention called to an advertisement in the papers. There’s some property left in England to the heirs of the old man. Hope I shall see some if it as “Blind Jack said when he smelled the pudding.” 2 – – Wrote to Zac and Nannie today.
- Emmett Quarles is the son of uncle George Washington Quarles and his wife Elizabeth [Southerland] Quarles, Aunt Patsy. Emmet would be about 44. (back)
- Caroline is certainly referring to legendary Yorkshireman John Metcalf (1717-1810), a.k.a. Blind Jack of Knaresborough, about whom stories were numerous. (back)
A very pretty day. Our new servant, “Betty Owens,” got breakfast this morning. Pigeo and Bill attended Zion, returned to dinner. Ju spent the evening. We walked with him to look at the wheat. There was something the matter with one of the mules and Bill got Ju to look at it. – – He attended Dr. Gregory’s funeral today at Pippin Tree. I made a bottle of bitters for Bill this evening. He is looking very badly and taking Shallenbergers pills. I sent to Rich. for Cholagogue, but he omitted getting it.
Quite windy today. Notwithstanding, as the day had been appointed for fasting and prayer by the Church at Zion for the purpose of reorganizing and electing officers, I endeavored to devise some plan to go, so I had the cows kept in the barn yard and took the boy behind the buggy, drove George and let the cows remain till I returned, ½ past one o’clk. I approve of the proceedings very much, all scripturally con___. Dr. Edwards and Hardin chosen Elders or Bishops, and J. F. Edwards and Wm. Lipscomb Deacons by lot. – – Found Pigeo much better when I returned. Gave her Calomel last night after taking tartar in broken doses. – – I had become very uneasy about Bill, but to our great relief, he walked in at the entry door at nine o’clk. Had a chill the day after he went over and was quite sick from the affects. Found labor scarce, brought three men and a woman. – Lodged the woman, Betty, and her husband in the kitchen where they will reside at present. Old Uncle David and William will room with Wilkerson at the quarters. The old man will bring his family down next week, ten in number.1 – – Discharged Patsy this morning. Paid her for the week, except $.60 I owe her. Paid her in flour and money. I love my faithful Patsy.
- “Old Uncle David” is David Nelson. Caroline will provide his surname in a later post. That she refers to him as “Uncle” suggests he is well known to her. David, 55, appears in the 1870 US Census with Lucy, 39, Judith, 15, Charles H. 14, Mary E. 11, Levenia, 8, Emily 7, Rachell A., 3, and Lucy, 1. The 1867 Personal Property Tax for KW provides the names of nine Black male Nelsons listed together: Richard, Joseph, Watson, England, Edward, Abram, Nat, John, and James. Oddly, our David does not appear. Which, if any, of these men are related to “Uncle David” or are among the Nelsons who are working at Woodbury this spring is unknown. Adding to the oddness, no Black Nelsons appeared in the 1866 PP Tax Rolls and only a Henry Nelson will appear in 1868. A David Nelson, presumably “Uncle,” does appear on the 1869 Tax rolls along with Henry, James, Ralph, and “Edw. & son.” These records support Caroline’s observations of the fluid circumstances of newly freed Black families in the early years after the war. (back)
Quite an April day, showery but pleasant. Mrs. Harrison and children left after 12. Patsy finished the few potatoes she left the other day, then churned before she went to milk. I prepared dinner and Mag and Stuart left at 5 o’clk. Bettie came for them. – – 9 at night and Bill has not returned. I’ve felt uneasy about him all the time, fearing he will be sick again. – – A little boy who went to mill from Mr. Garrett’s brought the horse this evening, I purchased from the Dr. Tuesday. Should have him delivered that evening or next day according to promise.
Quite a pretty day, a little windy. We were expecting Mrs. Harrison to spend the day, agreeable to our invitation yesterday, but George from Enfield said she had gone to spend the night at Mrs. Norment’s, consequently didn’t receive our note by him. – – Mag, Stuart and Bettie came about ten to spend a couple of days. Brought the rooster to swap and a jug of vinegar. Sent him a very pretty young one and the vinegar by Bettie, who will come for Stuart tomorrow evening. – – Mrs. Harrison and the children came after dinner. Stuart tried himself to see how bad he could be at supper. Mollie and two of the little girls slept in Pigeo’s room. Mrs. Harrison and Pigeo in one bed in Mary’s room and the other little girl in another one by herself, Mag and Stuart in the back chamber and I in my chamber alone. We all retired after eleven. Had some sweet music. – – Clarissa assisted me about supper while Patsy went to milk. Mr. K. Edwards presented me a fine shad this morning. The first I’ve had. Gave him the privilege of keeping his seine in the yard. – – The horses grazed the clover and wheat pretty well, and the cows got on Larkin’s a short time. – – Patsy ironed before dinner and raked a square for ground peas after dinner.
One of the loveliest days we have had this Spring. – – Pigeo returned from Enfield about ½ past 12 and went on for the mail and for Mollie. Returned to dinner. Only a letter from Belle Boykin. Mag will spend the day tomorrow and bring her down. – – Bill started to Richmond this morning in Mr. Cooke’s tumbrel. Carried two veals and twenty-five hams, bacon, weighing 262 lbs. Hope he will not be sick before he returns. Charged him to take Shallenbergers pills tomorrow morning first thing and tonight if he gets to Richmond in time. – – I certainly have been busy today. I think I shall kill myself at work yet. It seems to me sometimes that I do the work of four days in one, and at night I am so tired I hate to move hand or foot. I went in the garden after getting breakfast and starting Bill off and helped Patsy some, then weeded my peas and employed myself till 12 o’clk. Came in and had some strong coffee and after drinking it and taking a snack, wrote in my journal and did various things, and when Pigeo returned we went and made jumbles, mince pies, &c, stewed peaches and apples, toasted ground peas, did over mince meat, had starch made and starched clothes, and had a large pot of soup making at the same time. Finished it, and after supper took the candle and went to the kitchen and assisted Patsy a little, had it dipped into the large kettle to cool. Wilkerson helped her to set it back. – – Pigeo and I then came in. She gave me a description of a fall Fannie and herself got today. Why she was not killed is unaccountable to me. I think I ought to describe it here, just as she told it to me, but I can’t do it. I shuddered while she was rehashing it. She said she couldn’t keep it to herself any longer and had to tell me. She and the horse both down together and each struggling to extricate themselves. Pigeo couldn’t get from under Fannie and she couldn’t get up. Well I can’t think about it any longer, must turn to something else. – – Sent Mrs. Harrison ½ bushel early Mercer potatoes by George. – – Dr. Phil has not sent the horse I purchased yesterday, according to promise. – – Ten o’clk. at night, all have retired. It’s about time I had too. Patsy’s snoring by my side and John’s asleep in the corner and Pigeo in my bed, and I must follow.