Fine weather. Patsy left after taking her breakfast. Let her have 4½ lbs. bacon. – – Ju came down this morning and staid till after dinner, wishes to get 8 bushels of our wheat. Will carry 5 bushels to Mill for me when he carries his. Had several squares ploughed in the garden by Henry with Fannie and George to a double plough. – – Bill walked out with Ju when he left and returned at dark. – – Tom came to the door to inform us the fowls were making a great noise in the hen house. We all went out immediately and found one killed and another crippled, one killed last night. I have had bad luck with my fowls this winter. Expected to sell about 50 and have only sold 16, and lost all my turkeys. Better luck next time I hope.
Quite a pretty morning. Bill walked with Pigeo to the C. H. Spent the day at Ju’s. By a previous engagement, she expects Lu Lipscomb to be there and return with her home and spend several days. They returned at dark, Bill and herself. Lu met her and informed her at the same time that it would be out of her power to comply on acct. of company. They received letters from Bake and Mr. Goss. I see by Mr. Goss’ letter that Nan has not reached school yet. He will meet her at Cobham on Saturday next, 28th day of Feb. She is now with Mary. Received a note from Liv informing me that Nan had supplied herself with what she wanted in Richmond and was ready for school. I shall not expect a letter from her till she leaves Richmond. Mollie and I have had a lonely day all to ourselves. Went in the front parlor and made an improvement in the room, doubled for dipping candles and did various little things. – – Patsy came to do our washing, and commenced washing for our hired men after finishing mine. Mollie and I made nests in the office as it’s unoccupied at present and the hens are fond of laying in there.
The weather still inclement, but cleared up about ten o’clk. Mr. Cooke came to see Bill on some business. All left for the C. H. about eleven o’clk. Gave Will a bag of cakes and ground peas for his little son “John Thomas.” 1 Tom finished the operation for dripping lye and carried the leached ash into the garden and put it on the manure pile. – – A butcher came to buy cattle. Offered $50 for a large ox and a cow. I begged to be excused, consenting would be too great a sacrifice. – – Mr. Cooke came this evening. Staid till 10 o’clk. Bill returned from the C. H. at nine. Purchasing a horse of Mr. Slaughter for $125. Too much I think for an old horse. I’ll think about it. – – Hauled two stacks fodder today, too wet to plough.
- Nephew John Thomas Ellett was likely named for minister Dr. John Thomas, spiritual head of the religious group at Zion who will become known as Christadelphians. John is about 9. (back)
Arose early this morning and finished a long letter to Zac. Bill took it up when he went to Court. – – Pigeo wrote a P.S. – – Planted white onions today, though it was sprinkling rain. Only ploughed part of the day on acct. of rain. Tom staid his mothers last night and didn’t return till evening. Told him to get forks and fix ashes to drip lye for soap. Commenced about it and that was all. – – Weighed the tallow to ascertain the quantity for candles. Only 18 lbs. Got the sticks out to put on wicks. – – Very unexpectedly, Will returned with Bill from Court to spend the night. Were much gratified to see him. Our conversation soon led to the subject of religion and we became very much interested and was closely occupied reading the Bible, and endeavoring to disabuse the mind of Will of some erroneous views he had commenced to entertain with regard to certain portion of Scripture. When about 8 o’clk. we were intruded upon by Mr. J. B. H. to spend the night. Can’t see how he found the way in his vehicle, for it was as dark as pitch and raining fast. I would greatly have preferred his company some other time.1
- Mr. J.B.H. has yet to be identified. Suggestions welcome. Caroline does not mention him when he leaves the next day. (back)
Rather an inclement morning. As we have had so many bad Sundays, I determined to run the risk of getting a sprinkle, and Pigeo and I got in the buggy. In the meantime, Pigeo received from Mr. Cooke a note expressing a wish to take her to Church in his buggy. She returned him an answer consenting to accompany him, so I took Mollie in the buggy with me & Alfred on a mule. All returned to dinner. Bill remained in charge of the house, having received a severe cut on his hand yesterday with the cutting knife, which is doing very well with his own treatment. Merely closed it up & pressed it together till it adhered, otherwise would have had a physician. Tom cooked dinner today. Mr. Cooke remained till 8 o’clk. – – Dr. Edwards proposed to have a reorganization of our Church next Sun.
Quite a pretty day. The ploughmen seem to be getting on finely. Walked to the wood pile where Mason was cutting wood in the absence of Bill, who had walked to Mrs. McGeorge’s to look for my turkeys. Instructed Mason where to commence the next piece of grubbing. Bill returned to breakfast. No tidings from my turkeys, except that they had been there during the week, but they could give no farther account of them. I then wrote a note and sent Tom to the two Mr. Garretts, but heard nothing from them. I reckon I may as well give them up. – – Commenced a letter to Zac this morning.
Quite a pretty day. The ploughs are at work today. Lost 2 days, had Tom in the garden raking ground for onions, planted potato onions and sowed onion seed. – – Bill stripped the old barns out and set two mole traps, soon caught a mole. Missed my two beautiful turkeys this evening. – – Pigeo and little Mollie walked to see Mrs. Lipscomb. – – Sent Tom to the C. H. this evening to mail a letter to Hardie. – – Bill walked to the C. H. this evening. I sent to ask Ju to let me have the tallow he has for sale. He said we could have it, but asked 1 Q. pr. lb. for it, market price $.11-12. Decided against taking it. Sent Tom for light wood and had it cut up fine for kindling. I feel indespairable in my new arrangement of things.1
- Could be” indispairable.” Either way, Caroline seems to be coining a new word. I think we can intuit what she means. (back)
Another such a day as yesterday. The hands are shucking corn again today. Tom cleaned up chaff in the pantry, cut out ½ doz. towels and Pigeo and I hemmed them tonight. Hemmed three a few days ago, making nine new ones. Tom went away last night and staid till eight o’clk. this morning. Says he went to this Mother’s, something rather suspicious about it. There are some temptations for the darkies here. It would be a miracle for him to resist them all.
Found it quietly raining this morning. Arose at 4 o’clk. and went down and soon had breakfast ready, i.e., after cutting the wings of all my fowl. Tom so long about it, I did not allow him to get breakfast. Sat the first hen today. Have only about 50 or 60 fowls. They have stolen some two dozen or more this winter. – – Mr. Cooke came by and brought letters and gave me two papers, a long letter from Zac, a Valentine for Pigeo “Coquette”, one for Bill “Old Bachelor.” – – Had the broom corn cleaned and office cleaned up by Tom. The four men on shucking corn. Bill’s after ducks.
A beautiful day for gardening. Had some rows chopped by Tom for peas and onions. Had it manured with ashes and hen house manure mixed. Sowed two rows peas this evening. – – Bill went to Walkerton Mill before dinner, has returned to dinner. Killed four ducks. Tom picked them after he came out of the garden. – – John’s been more infirm for several weeks than usual, very little help to himself. His existence is almost miraculous. He is such a cripple, though he is quiet most of the time, unless he is suffering severely with pains in his limbs, as he frequently does. I think there ought to be something appropriated for the support and comfort by the good and philanthropic Yankees, who have gone to such lengths for the race, or in other words, have pretended to do so much. – – Pigeo assisted me in baking some 1, 2, 3, 4 cakes this evening, toasting ground peas, &c.1 – – John shelled the peas for me to sow (Tom Thumb). They grow very low and in bunches, will not need sticking, which makes them very desirable in these difficult times to procure labor. – – Commenced a letter to Hardie this morning. Miss Cary, in company with Mr. Cooke, spent the evening.
- The classic. (back)
Another lovely day. Bill was apprehensive of rain, but it kept off and the day ended beautifully. This is the fourth day of his ploughing, without interruption, except to take Nan to the stage on Saturday. I arose quite early this morning and did some repairs to some of Bill’s nether garments.1 I got breakfast this morning, as Tom did not return from his Mothers in time, where he went yesterday evening. – – Pigeo has been working on her band today. We bear Nan’s and Hardie’s absence right well. She had the blues a short time this evening. – – Miss Attilla George spent the afternoon. I loaned my coarse slaie, No. 20.2 – – Had a hen house cleaned out by Tom, after he had gotten dinner. The weather is fine for gardening, but its too soon to commence. Don’t think I shall begin till about the first of March. Bill and I had some talk tonight about his services. I left it pretty much for him to say what would be a fair equivalent. I wish to do what is right for all. This day 12 years ago, I commenced keeping a journal. – – The day Rose left home to spend some time with Mary at Locust Hill, the first week she paid her after they went to housekeeping, before the birth of Rosa Haynes, their first child, who is now eleven year old, will be 12.3
- Underwear. (back)
- An archaic term for a weavers reed, sometimes written slay. (back)
- Locust Hill was the first home of Mary and her husband Garland Hanes, Jr. It overlooked the James River in the Deep Bottom portion of Henrico County, south-east of Richmond. This is the only reference to Rose made by Caroline in the Journal. Daughter Rose died five months later. (back)
A lovely day. Am sorry I cannot attend Church. Pigeo would be less lonely to remain at home without me the first Sunday after Nan’s departure, so I concluded to remain and let her and Mollie go with Bill. They all went to Jerusalem and dined at Mt. Hope. I didn’t think it right that Pigeo should pass Zion, but young people think differently from old. I spent the day pleasantly reading and walking about and thinking all the while of the many changes that have taken place just in the few years of my short period of existence. Tom cooked dinner. I looked for the children to dinner, but still I told them if they wished to spend the day out to do so. It was sometime after twilight when they returned. I had been walking all about by moonlight and enjoying having calm serenity of the hour and just coming in and found Mr. Cooke in the front porch. Said he had been knocking some time. There was not a living human in the house. Said it was the first time he had ever seen Woodbury entirely deserted. He remained till the children came and left at eleven. Mollie and I went down and fixed supper on the waiter and called to Bill to take it in the parlor. All passed off pleasantly. I am alone in my chamber at night since Nan left. Sleep quietly. Am unwilling that anyone should take her place till she returns. Pigeo and Mollie sleep upstairs. I love solitude, love to be alone at times and think on bygone days and live over the past, and almost imagine I am realizing many of the halcyon days, even from my earliest childhood when surrounded by brothers and sisters and the kindest of parents, so indulgent to my every wish.
“Sweet solitude to thy dear shades I fly,
And seek that calm, the world can never bestow,
And on the breeze which softly murmurs by,
My soul ascends and leaves the world below,
Heart soothing solitude, reflectious friend,
In thy lone wilds, O! may I spend my days,
And when the vexing cares of life shall end,
May some more skillful notary sing thy praise.”
A very inclement morning. Notwithstanding, I went to the kitchen before light and sent Tom to Ju’s for Nannie’s “Album, ”telling him at the same time I would get breakfast. Mag had written a very pretty piece in it. Bill started with Nan in the buggy. “George and Fannie” to take the stage at nine o’clk. The day is very inclement, but moderate. Gave Nan fourteen dollars. – – Hardie started for Baltimore at ten to take the vessel at the W. Oak, Capt. Tolly.1 – – Pigeo and I made the best we could of the day and in spite of all, the blues would come occasionally. We busied ourselves all the time too in order to drive them away. Put the scattered things away both left and are trying to reconcile ourselves to our lot. The greatest pleasure we shall have now will be to hold sweet converse with all the absent ones and live in anticipation of meeting, if not again in this world, may we reunite in everlasting bliss and never be separated more. Cut out and hemmed three towels. Pigeo helped. I sewed little Mollie’s shoes she had ripped. – – Bill returned to dinner after placing Nan as comfortably as possible in a go cart. The stage could not travel on account of the roads. Trust the dear little heart will get safely to her destination. This is the third day three ploughs have been at work, with the exception of one less today. – – My fowls have commenced laying the last few days, 6 eggs yesterday and 7 today. – – Have had some two doz. fowls stolen from me, about the breaking up of the former residents here. Have only left me 50 hens and some ½ doz. roosters. Had ninety-seven in all first of the winter and have only parted with some 18 or 20. Pigeo and I swapped a white for a blk. pullet. Think she will amuse herself with that for a while. Have had my canaries in the porch 3 or 4 days. Hardie brought them up from the dining room.
- Probably this same Capt. Tolly appears in Caroline’s first volume on 12 March, 1855 delivering a load of lime. – – The 1860 US Census for KW show three adjacent households headed by men with maritime occupations at the Ayletts Post Office. All were born in Maryland. L. A. Bedwell, 32 is listed as a “Sea Captain.” R?. Shelly, 26, is a “Bay Captain” with $500 of personal property. Jno. Tolly, 36, is a “Sailor” and is the only one of the three listed as owning property, real estate worth $1,500 worth and $2,000 in personal property. He also has a four year-old daughter born in Virginia. Living with the Bedwells and Shellys are nine adult men with surnames different from their household heads. They are all described as “Sailors.” Besides obvious wives and children there is one more individual, Tho. Tolly, 45, just “Captain.” He is living with the Bedwells. Thomas and John seem to be sons of Thomas (1766-1825) and Mary Elizabeth [Bell] Tolley of Dorchester, Maryland. We seem to have identified our “Capt. Tolly.” In ten years the Census will show Thomas and John again living next to each other, this time in Lancaster County. (back)
I arose as usual, quite early. Called the boys on rising, they per _?_ the vessel Hardie intends going to Baltimore, so he soon made ready. I fixed him up loaf bread, butter, a shoulder of bacon, vegetables, chickens &c, and Bill took him down the river in the boat to ascertain whether he was on his way. Was informed they would leave tomorrow, so they both returned to dinner. I cooked in the dining room. After dinner they walked to the Mill to see the Captain again. I’ve tried to have Bake’s box put up, but it seems to be a thing impossible. Gave Nan another molasses stew today, as I gave Hardie hers.
A beautiful day. Went in the garden and had the strawberry square manured by Tom, with hen house manure and ashes mixed. Then had peasticks pulled up in order to have the garden ploughed Saturday. – – Bill started three double ploughs this morning. George and Fannie to one and two mules a piece to the other two. The land is in fine order. Hardie has been repairing some broken chairs today. Makes himself useful in any way, very obliging and obedient. Bill assisted him about the chairs after he got his ploughs well to work. – – I engaged Tom today at (thirty dollars pr. year) $30 pr. year. He cooked breakfast and dinner today, and I cooked supper. – – Hardie’s writing to his sweetheart tonight in the front parlor. I took my seat on the sofa knitting on Mollie’s stocking till eleven o’clk. Came out and wrote in my journal, read the Bible and retired after 12. Left him sitting up writing. Requested him to give my love to her, he affirmed.
Quite a pretty day, but rather windy. Bill rode to the C. H. and carried some letters for the stage. I wrote a long letter to Mary and one to Liv, Pigeo and Nan wrote to Liv also and Pigeo to Mary. – – Nan and I spent the day at Ju’s, called on Mrs. Edwards in the evening, and returned home to supper. Pigeo, Mollie and the boys remained at home. Carried Mollie’s skirt to make. – – Found Hardie writing a letter for one of the servants. I went down and got supper.
Arose early as usual and called Hardie, agreeably to promise. Had a cup of strong coffee ready for him and he went to writing. I did likewise. Nan heard him sipping coffee and soon got up too and after participating a little, fixed her corset for school. Before that I wrote in journal. Hardie has busied himself about something, I hardly know what, today. He has been hunting part of the day. Killed an old hare and some partridges. Returned home to supper. Has heard nothing from the vessel he expects to go to Balto. Mr. Cooke sent him word yesterday if he would wait a week longer he would take him to Tappahannock in his double buggy to take the Steamer there for Balto. I would prefer his doing so. – – Nan got breakfast today. This morning Tom cooked dinner. – – Starched two skirts for myself today and frill for Mollie. – – Bill and I looked through the desk for the plot of the Mill land and there is some dispute about the boundary, but could not find it. I don’t know where it can be, have no recollection of seeing it.
Clear and bright, but very cold. I took Rose and went down and had an early breakfast. Partially engaged her at $50 pr. year. She went home to fix her things to return again this week. – – Bill rode to the C. H. to carry Mr. Slaughter some money. – – Bob Pollard came to inform Hardie something about a vessel leaving for Balto. Had his things starched and ironed thinking perhaps to take passage in her as she passed. Rode to Walkerton to ascertain, but saw no one. – – Returned and took Pigeo and Nan and Mollie to call on Jennie Henley. They had a nice time on the river. Heard men singing some after they left their landing. Got in just at twilight. Finished ironing while they were gone. – – Pigeo went down and had supper, I was too tired. All retired early. Hardie made me promise to call him when I got up in the morning, as he has writing to do. – – Had the canaries’s cage cleaned out this morning. I neglect them sometimes through the multiplenty of duty.
Windy and cold, a severe change since yesterday, every thing freezing. Hardie and Nan went in the buggy to Zion, returned to Ju’s to dinner. Bill went to Jerusalem and all returned to supper. He took dinner at Mount Hope. Pigeo and I remained at home, both a little indisposed, she from cold and I with headache. She commenced reading “Popular Christianity, or The Christianity of the Bible” by Dr. Edwards, and while I took a nap she answered Sadie’s letter received yesterday by Mr. Cooke.1- – Bill gave the four new allowance this morning and they moved out of the kitchen to Patsy’s house.
- While there seems to be no known copy of this work, my understanding of Dr. Edwards suggests the title poses a choice for the reader, not the inference that popular Christianity reflects the Bible. (back)
Another rainy day, but stopped a few hours about 12 o’clk., and Mr. Cooke and Mrs. Harrison and her three little girls came and spent several hours. He took Edmonia up in the buggy to see the Dr. to get his advice about shaving her head on acct. of tetter.1 Had a nice snack for them and insisted on them remaining to dinner, but they left after 3 o’clk. At the same time, Mr. Williams, Johny and Lucie Garrett drove up to spend the evening.2 It rained too hard for the latter to return, so she spent the night with Mollie. Nan has been busy about fixing for school. Ironed some things I starched yesterday. – – Bill furnished Jim and Herman Hill pork for cutting wood.3 This gloomy weather makes me feel melancholy. – – After taking a nap last night at twilight several hours, I arose and wrote several letters, one to Mr. Goss and one to Mary. – – Rose cooked breakfast this morning and dinner yesterday and today. She started away with Patsy, but turned back on acct. of rain. She is a good natured creature and but for her distorted features from a burn would do right well, i.e., I mean to say would be better than nobody. Tom is about the same, no worse _?_ he was.4
- A noun used principally in the South, tetter is any of various vesicular skin diseases (as ringworm, eczema, and herpes). It is from Middle English, teter. Gold Bond Medicated Powder has been sold with the promise that it relieves tetter. (back)
- Johny and Lucie are children of Camm Garrett. Robert L. Williams, 32, is listed in the 1870 US Census as living in an Acquinton District, occupation: teacher. He may be boarding with fellow teacher Camm. (back)
- Herman finally has a last name. However, attempts to place him in historical records have not bee successful. (back)
- Water damage has made Caroline’s words here difficult to render. (back)
Found it raining this morning. Patsy cooked breakfast. Paid her $.50 for two days washing and she left after getting her breakfast. Those men will eat from the table the rest of the week and hereafter draw their allowance. Patsy took in some clothes out of the rain and put them in a tub of water. – – Hardie has been trying for several days to catch the fowls that roost at the barn. Some two or three doz. left the house during the snow. – – I finished off the pair fine socks I’ve had on the needles so long. It has rained incessantly all day.
Another lovely day. Patsy came to wash and Rose to clean the passage and dining room floors. Agreed to give her $.25. I had Fannie ordered to be saddled for Pigeo to ride to see her Aunt Martha, who has been sick several days. Finding it impracticable for her to leave. Mr. Cooke came in with his buggy just at the time to bring her some letters and offered to take her around in his buggy. Sent her some loaf bread. They returned ½ past 10 o’clk., found her better. Hardie and Mr. Cooke made an agreement to shoot geese tonight, and came over while we were at supper. They went after an hour or so, but killed nothing. Mr. Cooke went home 10 o’clk. Bill returned from Richmond while they were out. Had some coffee kept hot for them and sent another supper in the parlor. They all remained there together several hours. Bill brought 4 Negro men from Richmond, “laborers,” brought pair shoes for the children from Liv, paid him $7 for them. Gave Nan two pair and Pigeo one. Will try and sell the pair or change them. Received a letter from Mary and one from Rose, and some things for Mollie and Pigeo, one from Liv, and a lamp purchased by her for $.50. Sold my ten chickens for $.75 a pair. Paid Dr. Power $20 in full of all demands, $1 for a pair of scissors and $.20 for thimbles, shoes for himself and Tom $2.50 each. Other things not enumerated. – – The four men slept in the kitchen, so Patsy and Rose slept in my chamber. It was after 10 o’clk. when I retired. Pigeo and Nan retired early. I left the boys sitting in the parlor with Mr. Cooke.
Another pretty day. Hardie brought the little wagon loaded with husks before breakfast. Nan cooked breakfast. John churned very nicely. Had fruit stewed in the chamber. – – Nan rode Fannie to Ju’s and returned to dinner. Ju tied a thread on a wart on her cheekbone to cut it off. – – Pigeo suffering very much with a hoarse cold. – – Tom hauled wood today, made three loads. Had large piece roasting beef parboiled in the kitchen and roasted on the stove. My first attempt to roast as large a piece, did it very nicely and quickly done. Made the first smoke in the house.
Quite a pretty day. Bill started as early as he could get off, carried 15 or 16 bushels corn, six chickens for Pigeo and ten for myself, and Nannie’s trunk to remain till she goes over in the stage next week on her way to Piedmont. Gave Bill $34 to make some purchases and pay Dr. Power $20 on acct. of Pigeo, professor. – – This is the 38th anniversary of our wedding day, many have been the changes. Hardie has been at the barn most of the day about the little wagon. I walked up there after grinding three pairs of scissors and the dinner knives. Pigeo turned the grindstone. Found Tom shucking corn. Returned and had some molasses put on to stew for Nan to carry with her to school. She and Pigeo picked out walnuts to put in it. It was very nice indeed.
We decided this morning that Bill should take Nannie’s trunk to Richmond in the wagon and she go over in the stage after he returns from Richmond. He went to Enfield this morning before breakfast and returned with Mr. Cooke’s wagon, he was kind enough to lend him. It is a much lighter one than ours and the roads are so very heavy. He returned to breakfast and engaged Jim to assist him in getting out some corn after he came from Mill. Loaned him our boat to carry his corn over to have ground. He brought a couple of bags of meal for us, sent there before Xmas. Gave him some dinner as soon as Tom brought it in and he left. Bill rode to Ju’s, dined there. Hardie has been about my little wagon today. I have felt so sad today at the idea of a separation from my darling little Nannie. I shall miss her so much. She has always been so constantly with me. But for her good, I will try and bear it the best I can. She will leave for “Piedmont Female Academy” in a few days. Then I shall be parted from my youngest boy and youngest girl. – – Hardie expects to leave also in a few days. Then Pigeo and I will be so lonely. Bill, I imagine, will be in the field most of the time. Little Mollie will be the only thing to break the monotony. Nan has been busy all day arranging her clothes and packing her trunk. Pigeo and I are assisting her and I feel so sad. I took a nap at twilight and she and I sat up quite late after the rest, Bill, Pigeo and Hardie, retired. Wrote to Bake this morning.
A beautiful spring day. The roads are as good as we could expect them after being frozen so long. Hardie remained with Nan, who is quite unwell with diphtheria. Has been complaining several days. – – Pigeo and I went in the buggy to Zion, Bill along on horseback to Jerusalem. Mr. Henley preached there, consequently was detained longer than usual and we left Zion before he arrived there. Mr. Cooke became our escort home, but declined remaining to dinner. Mollie and I went down and soon had it prepared. We found Nannie much better. – – Hardie has been writing letter today. I recommended to him the reading of “Acts of the Apostles” while I was at church. They are so much interesting, that I neglected putting the lamp out till nearly sunrise. Pigeo cooked breakfast this morning. Hardie hitched George to the buggy for us. Bill should have required Tom to do it. He is rather remiss in things of that kind. – – He consulted me in relation to employing James Harrison as a laborer the rest of the year. He is now sick at the C. H. – – Found on going to the stables this morning that one of the mules was sick. She had received a wound similar to the one she had last fall. Both unaccountable, had her feet in the yard.
A fine spring day, very little snow in sight. Bill, Hardie and Tom are hanging the rest of the pork up. They hung 50 hams the other day. Made a fire place for chip, and Hardie with Tom to help him, made the little wagon he promised to make me. Came on to rain where they were only and they got wet. Loaned Mrs. George our oxcart for Jim to bring her a load of shuck from Enfield. – – Gave Herman and him dinner. They have cut a little wood this evening. I washed a balmoral this morning and knit the toe of a stocking for Nan, then went about repairing some chemise for the children. Bill had a little corn gotten out this evening. Intends carrying some to Richmond Tuesday if nothing prevents. Had a nice parcel of vegetables gotten out of the ground by Tom. We got dinner in the kitchen. We all retired early tonight.
Well the snow has nearly all disappeared today and the face of the earth is partially, once again, in sight. The wheat looks well from a distance. The walking and traveling is shocking. Bill rode to the C. H. on some business. Court adjourned yesterday. He went from there to Mr. Cooke’s and took supper, returned at eleven. Brought letters from Bake to Nan and myself. – – Nan and Pigeo finished their Balmorals today. The former has nearly completed the two pair of drawers I cut out for her yesterday, though she is suffering very much with sore throat. Her great anxiety to go to school would make her endure most anything. – – I was busy in the dining room till 12 o’clk. doing various little things in the way of cleaning up. Feel the want of a servant very much, having been accustomed to them all my life, but when the snow is all gone and I can have the house nicely cleaned, I shall feel better. I do love neatness so much. Washed a lot of handkerchiefs while in the dining room. – – Hardie has been promising to make a little wagon to pull stove wood in. Went in the woods with Tom to help him saw the wheels. Met with the processioneers and Camm persuaded him to go take dinner with him, as it was Johnny’s birthday and they had an invited company, so my little wagon was knocked in the head.1 Tom came back and cut wood. I would like the boy right well if he were not so miserably slow and stupid.
- Beginning in 1662 Church vestry’s were required to “process” property boundaries. By land owners and neighbors regularly walking property lines, “in procession,” markers could be renewed and disputes resolved without the need for legal proceedings. After colonial days this responsibility settled upon county government. Obviously this is still going on in 1867 King William. For further information see Land Processioning in Colonial Virginia, William H. Seiler, The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Jul., 1949), pp. 416-436. Another source about the early days of land boundaries in Virginia, see Sarah S. Hughes’ Surveyor and Statesmen – Land Measuring in Colonial Virginia, The Virginia Surveyors Foundation, Ltd. and The Virginia Association of Surveyors, Inc., 1979. (back)