Monday, 19th March, 1866

Some change in the weather today. More moderate. Ju had his tomato plants killed Saturday night. O! it was so cold. I had my hot bed blanketed and then some of the plants were killed. Zac returned from school to dinner, no teacher today. The Col. has gone to look for Frank, who reports say has made a break on him and left. – – Bill rode to the C. H. this morning and carried five shad. Mr. Cobb carried four to Richmond, he gave one to Ju. It’s so cold the shad are all gone, only caught one tonight, making 36 in all caught. Bill sent $8 by Mr. Cobb for clover seed. Ju sent me the change for the $5 Saturday, or rather Friday. Jim sent for Dr. Ju to see his wife, who he thinks has the measles. He came after had dined.- – We heard of the death of Aunt Patsy Quarles, who died yesterday.1This Aunt Patsy Quarles is likely Martha (Patsy) Quarles, born in Louisa County in 1788, a daughter of William Quarles (1726-1796). William’s Quarles family had been in the Virginia Colony since the early seventeenth century, marrying into the West family, soon taking up land in the Pamunkey Neck area. Patsy owned a large farm in Spotsylvania County for many years before moving in the 1850s to Richmond to live with the A. R. Holladay family. I lament her death very much. Cousin Betsy and herself were only a short distance apart in their journey. Only about two weeks difference. Their earthly career is closed. May they have made the preparation for the solemn event is my prayer. – – I walked to see Clarissa about 12. Found Jim and her mother with her. He is very attentive to her, wishes to have the day on that account. I put a linen bosom in a shirt for Zac and starched it before retiring. Took a nap in the evening and slept till supper was ready. – – One of the mules is sick tonight and Bill is sitting up late on that acct. Did not retire till she got better. Planted cymling seed this evening. – – Patsy’s raking walks in the garden. Martha has not returned yet. Should have been there yesterday evening. I hope she is enjoying her freedom.- – Nannie pursues her studies. Is fond of them and I will devote the proper time to them, though we have a great deal to do that has not been in our line of business. Nevertheless, as loyal subjects we will not complain, for I think I see the hand of the Lord in it all and I would not “Fight against God.”

One thought on “Monday, 19th March, 1866”

  1. The links to the Quarles family are important and interesting. Martha Quarles (“Aunt Patsy”) was born on this date (March 19) 1788, to William and Frances Quarles. Her older half brother was Capt. Ralph Quarles (1764-1834), the son of William and his first wife, Mary Quarles.

    Ralph Quarles lived with his common-law partner, Lucy Jane Langston, who was the daughter of a black man and a Native American woman. As death approached for Ralph, he arranged for his Quaker friend William Gooch to be made guardian of his children, providing money to take his mixed-race sons to Ohio to obtain their educations as free men.

    John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) and Charles Henry Langston (1817-1892) received training at Oberlin, became lawyers in Ohio, and worked actively for abolition and integration. JML became the first President of the National Equal Rights League, before moving back to Washington, DC, in 1868. There he became the first dean of the Howard University Law School, and in 1888 he became the firstblack person elected to Congress from Virginia.

    CHL moved to Leavenworth, Kansas in 1862, organized a school for contrabands, and in 1865, with 12,000 blacks in Kansas, 1865, Langston was appointed general superintendent for refugees and freedmen for the Kansas Freedmen’s Bureau. Widowed, he returned to Oberlin 1869 to marry Mary Patterson Leary, the widow of Lewis Sheridan Leary, a mixed-race North-Carolina-born activist who had died with John Brown at Harper’s Ferry. Charles and Mary, living in Lawrence, KS, had two children, a son (named for Nat Turner) and a daughter named Caroline. Her son, Langston Hughes, became a renowned American poet during the Harlem Renaissance.

    Small world, eh? PHW

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