ELLEN PARKER'S JOURNAL
Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society
Edited by Otis Grant Hammond, M.A.
Superintendent of the Society
Concord N.H., New Hampshire Historical Society 1915
Sixteen years after their coming to the West, when she was nineteen and her father was fifty-two, and approaching his end, Ellen Augusta Parker began a journal, in a marbled-green, board-covered book about eight by ten inches. In the sober, old-fashioned writing on its faded pages may be found much to illuminate the life of Luther Parker, and pioneer life in general. It was on her birthday that she began the record.
A TRIP TO MILWAUKEE Muskego, March 16th, 1852. Today is my birthday. It is a beautiful day. We went up to Mr. Post's. Mrs. Hawkins went with us. They were all feeling very bad, as this morning Michael started for California. I hope he will meet with success, and soon return to his friends and parents.
March 17th. Persis, Charles, and myself went down to my uncle Hariph's-saw Mary, and Hannah Sullivan, also Mary Blott. Louisa came home with us. We called at Mr. Sexton's, and saw our old schoolmate, Sanford Grant. Did not know him.
Thursday, 18th. This morning we went to Milwaukee. The wind blows very cold. We were quite cold when we reached the city. Persis and myself went into Boyd's store and staid till ready to start out. I bought a neck ribbon, comb, etc. About four o'clock we started for Mr. Vallier's. The country through which we passed was very pleasant; the road ran along the bank of the lake. We reached our journey's end a little after dark. Found Mrs. Vallier and family well, and glad to see us.
Friday, 19th. We arose early, Mrs. Vallier got breakfast, after which a walk was proposed. We walked down the beach of the lake, quite a distance, amusing ourselves by watching the broken pieces of ice as they washed against the shore. We were at last stopped by discovering a dead body under a large piece of ice. He was supposed to be a Norwegian sailor, who was probably drowned last fall. We came from the lake, and called at Sexton's and told him about the body under the ice. He and others went to see it. We went back to Vallier's and took dinner, and then started for home. We had a very cold ride; stopped at Hale's tavern and warmed us. It was nine o'clock when we got home. Found our aunt Prudence here.
Saturday, 20th. Today it is very cold and unpleasant. I have been ironing all day. Charles has gone to take my aunt home. About five o'clock it commenced snowing, and continued till nine. Charles has not returned. I have finished my apron, which I began after ironing. Father found his way home through the snow. He has been to Mr. Finley's.
A TEACHERS' INSTITUTE
Monday, 22nd. This forenoon Louisa went home, and I was preparing to go to Genesee to attend the Teachers' Institute. Charles and father and myself started in the afternoon. Charles and father had to stop at Mr. Peck's and attend a lawsuit, which took them two hours. I stopt and waited for them_at Muckey's. We stopped at Mukwonago and warmed, then went on. We reached Genesee just after dark, and found Misses Root, Selleck, Bowe, Hollister, and Mr. Selleck at Price's tavern. They had also come for the purpose of attending the Institute. We took tea, then went to the school-house. Heard a very good lecture, delivered by the Rev. Mr. Camp, on the subject of teachers' institutes.
Tuesday, 23rd. This morning father went home. We all went to the school room where the Institute was to be held. Mr. Enos has not arrived from Madison yet, Mr. Camp takes charge of his affairs; is quite a good teacher.
Tuesday evening. Mr. Enos came with the cars this evening, but was too much fatigued to take any part in the debate of the evening session.
Wednesday, 24th. Mr. Enos is in school today. Things did not go off very lively today. We attended an evening session, and from there went to a party at Mr. Remington's. Had quite a pleasant time of it. Danced till two or three o'clock. It was dark and very muddy, and going home we ran against a stump and broke our wagon, so we sat there till they went after another. We did not get to our boarding house till daylight.
Thursday, 25th. Arose quite late this morning. Had rather a dull, sleepy school of it. After dinner Nettie and I went up to OUT room and went to sleep. We felt better in the afternoon. Our Institute did not meet this evening.
Friday, 26th. Today I attended the Institute as usual. Nothing of importance occurred. In the evening Mr. Price sent for a fiddler, and we danced till twelve o'clock.
Saturday, 27. Mr. Enos wished the Institute to close today, as there were so few members in attendance. Some were very anxious it should continue longer. He concluded he would stay till next Wednesday.
Sunday, 28th. This morning to meeting; heard a very good sermon, delivered by the Rev. Mr. Camp. This afternoon did not go to church. Went to a prayer-meeting in the evening. Monday, 29th. Nothing new transpires at school. We closed about half past three, and all went for a walk. We went over the hills to the railroad depot, and saw the cars come in. Staid at the depot an hour, then came back by a different route. Mr. Sprague showed us some very large springs which were on his father's farm. Monday evening. After tea we attended a lecture on physiology, given by a Mr. Boothe. Mr. Gove and Crockett are here tonight; they are on their way to California.
Wednesday, 31st. Today our Institute closes. Did not go this forenoon; staid at home with Nettie. This afternoon our school closed about three. Some went to Waukesha on the cars. The rest of us staid at the tavern. This evening Mr. Price had a party. We danced till three in the morning, then broke up.
April 1st. About noon today Mr. Selleck and sister, Miss Bowe, and Miss Hollister bade us goodbye, and started for home. Father came for us at two o'clock. We arrived at home quite late in the evening, without any difficulty. Mr. William Post was married today to Miss Esther Johnson. They did not make much of a wedding. The bride was dressed very pretty in a new silk dress brought from England.
APRIL AND MAY
April 10th. This morning we were preparing to go to Mr. Cl ark's a-visiting, when Mr. Selleck and sister and Miss Bowe all came to sec us. We got dinner, then all went to Clark's. Mary Bagley was there. It commenced raining a short time after we got there. We took tea at five o'clock. They then went after Mr. Elliot and his fiddle, so we had a dance. It continued raining during the whole evening.
Sunday morning, 11th. The rain has ceased, but the roads are quite muddy. Selleck and company went from here at ten o'clock. Persis, Miss Reynolds, and myself took a walk down to the lake. When we went back we found our folks had sent for us. We had a pleasant ride home, although rather muddy. Pachal called this evening-is going to start for California with the Doyles tomorrow morning. Mike McShane goes with them. W. Cobb is here. He will stay over night.
Tuesday, May 4th, 1852. This morning we did our work and went to make cousin Louisa a visit. Aunt is not at home. We took tea early, then went and called on Mrs. Sexton and family. Mary was at her sister's, Jared in Milwaukee. We sat and chatted a few minutes, then came home.
Wednesday 5th. This morning I received a letter from my old friend and schoolmate, Augusta Colburn of Illinois. This afternoon Persis and I went up to Mr. H. Peck's. Had a very pleasant visit. H. is in fine spirits-has considerable to say about M. P. We got home about dark. It has been very warm today-some appearance of rain this evening.
Thursday morning, 6th. Persis is ironing this morning. Father is not as well as he has been; he is going to Mr. Sexton's with his wife this afternoon. The weather is warm and pleasant, but there are numerous signs of rain-wind in the south. The wind howls without dismally. It always makes me sad to hear the wind howl. The Indian says it is the wailing of discontented spirits. I shall go to Mrs. Sexton's this afternoon with mother, as father is too unwell to drive the team.*
Friday, seventh. This afternoon Persis and myself took sister up to Uncle Giles's. Staid till five o'clock. We had but just got home when the large black clouds began to roll up in the west, and the thunders were heard in the distance, and ere long the rain began to fall. We had a beautiful shower, which makes the grass appear more green than ever.
Saturday, 8th. I was quite unwell this morning. Our folks went up to Mr. Post's a-visiting. About noon our cousin, Baxter Parker, came from the East. He will probably spend the summer with us. Just before tea Louisa came; she will stay all night.
Sunday, 9th. We went to the Catholic church this morning; came back by Sexton's. Saw Mary and Robert walking in the garden. They appeared to be enjoying themselves well. *
When we got home we found Mr. William and Nathan Cobb here. We got tea early, then went and took a walk down to the lake, Stopt at Mr. Smith's, and they gave us some maple sugar. We had a very pleasant walk; got back home about sundown. The Messrs. Cobb have gone home; also Cousin Louisa, and we are here alone once more.
Tuesday, 11th. This morning Mr. -W. Cobb came here. He is going to plowing on his farm. He will board here a week.
Wednesday, 12th. I received some letters from Ann and Caroline Southworth. In the afternoon Uncle Asa and family came. After tea, Mary Sexton. Staid over night.
Thursday. Our folks have gone to Mr. Hiram Hale's. Mary is here with us.
Friday. This morning Mr. N. Cobb came to help his brother. Mary went home about ten o'clock.
Saturday, 15th. We went to the lake today to carry the Mr. Cobbs their dinner. Took a ride in a canoe. Coming home, we called to see Mr. Smith. Mr. Cobb got his work done, and went home tonight.
Sunday. The day has been very unpleasant; rained part of the time. Mr. Sexton and Ives called here this evening. I was presented with a philipena present, a book, the title of which is The Golden Gift.
Monday, 17th. Quite cold today. We did a very large washing- did not get done till three o'clock. Father has gone up to Uncle Asa's. George Green came to see us tonight.
Tuesday, 18th. Last night was cold; there was a slight frost. This morning we took up our carpet, moved our cupboard, etc. William Cobb and father called here when returning from W.'s farm. Father and Cousin Baxter have gone to Waterford to mill. About five it commenced raining; rained considerable during the night.
Wednesday, 19th. This morning we arose quite late. Clouds hide the sun's bright face from us. We ironed some this forenoon. I fixed my mull dress. Margaret Fuller and Mary Myers called on us. Father and cousin have returned from Waterford. Father has been sick all the time he was there. I hope a journey east may improve his health.
Thursday, 20th. This morning we washed our carpets. In the afternoon went to the graveyard. Stopped and took tea with Mrs. McCleary. We came and staid at Sexton's till sundown. Jared came home with us. Friday we cleaned the cellar. Saturday, did our baking.
Sunday, May 23rd. It is a beautiful day-also one of the warnest we have had this spring. After doing our work in the morning, Persis and myself took sister Mary out riding. We had just returned when Mr. and Mrs. Law came. They staid till after tea. Dr. Bigelow also took tea here. Just night, F. Smith and H. Shields called.
Monday. We have been washing today. It is a very warm day. Our folks have begun planting corn.
Tuesday, 25th. The day is very pleasant. I went to Milwaukee with father and mother. Went to Edwin Skinner's-saw Caroline Fowler there. I staid with her during the night. Father and mother staid with Mrs. Hill.
Wednesday. I staid at Mr. S.'s and took care of Mary while mother went and did her trading. She bought Persis and me some white dresses, also some pink ones. We got home just sundown. Wednesday I received two letters, one from J. N., the other from E.S.
SUMMER IN MUSKEGO
June 28th, 1852. This morning my father started for New Hampshire- in hopes to recover his health by visiting his native state. Mother, Charles, and Persis accompanied him to Milwaukee. It is a long time for him to be absent. He intends staying till the first of October. Cousin Baxter became homesick, and went back before father could get ready to accompany him.
Sunday, July 4th. Persis, William and myself went to the Catholic church. After returning, we went to the lake. Took a ride in the boat. Saw Mrs. T. Sexton, Mary S. and J. S. and Robert Ives. We staid at the lake till night; then R. and J. came home with us.
July 5th. Today is quite pleasant, yet it looks like rain. This afternoon we are going to a ball at Martin's new tavern. William has gone after Cousin Louisa. It is now two o'clock. Mr. Sexton and Ives have arrived, also W. and Lida, on their way to the ball. Mr. Cobb came about three, and, being ready, we set out for Martin's. Had a fine ride, and fine company. Our ball passed off very pleasantly; all seemed bound to enjoy themselves. We got home about seven in the morning. I went to bed and slept till two o'clock. Wednesday we received a letter from father. He is now in Massachusetts. His health is no better as yet.
July 25th. Today is Sunday. My uncle Asa's family are here, also Cousin Louisa. About two, Mr. W. and N. Cobb came, and staid till after tea. Miss Bowe caled on us just at night. We went to Mr. Clark's with her. Charles went to Vernon after Angeline. He did not get back till ten o'clock. while returning to the tavern we had quite a heavy thunder shower. Miss Bowe came home with us and spent two days.
Monday. The Messrs. Cobb came to board with us and cut their- oats at the lake. We got done washing in the forenoon. After tea we all went to the lake.
Tuesday, 27. Today Persis, Angeline, Augusta Bowe, and myself put on bloomers, and went a-visiting to Edward McKowan's. There were six bloomers there. We got lost in the woods coming home, and Persis was under the necessity of getting Dr. Bigelow to show us the way out. We then reached home without further trouble.
Sunday, August first. This morning we went to church; in the afternoon to Hale's schoolhouse to meeting. After tea Persis, Angeline, and myself called on Mrs. Smith.
Monday, 2nd. Charles has gone to take Mary and mother to Milwaukee on their way to Ohio. He brought Cally Fowler out with him to stay two weeks.
Sunday, August 8th. This afternoon Charles and Persis went and took Angeline home. Mr. W. and N. Cobb called and took tea with Cally and myself. The Cobbs will board here again this week.
Tuesday, 10th. Cally and I went down to Sexton's this afternoon. After we got there we went a-fishing; did not get back till late, so staid all night. When we got home we found Julia Ellsworth here. She staid till Friday night.
Saturday, 14th. All the forenoon there has been a slow, misting rain. This afternoon we went to the city to take Cally home. Got home about eight in the evening; found Persis enjoying herself with Steel.
Monday, August 16th. We are now alone for the first time since mother went away. We have been washing. Charles is at Uncle Asa's. W. and N. called and took tea with us. They are going to bring their sister with them tomorrow.
Wednesday, 18th. Emma Cobb is now with us. We received a letter from father. He is getting much better. We also heard from mother. She arrived at her home in Ohio safely.
Sunday, 22nd. We went to a camp-meeting today, up near Babcock's. Saw Angeline, N. C., L. H., and a great many other friends.
Thursday, 26. This morning we were surprised at receiving a call from our friend Minerva, whom we supposed to be in Racine. It is pleasant to meet with friends unexpectedly.
Friday, Aug. 27, 1852. Persis went up to Mr. Green's with Minerva this afternoon. Mr. N. C. came to bid us farewell, as he is going to start for California tomorrow. He staid and took tea with us, perhaps for the last time, though I hope he may be one of the fortunate ones, and soon return.
Sunday 29. Charles went to Mr. Sexton's. L. Hale and Mr. True, from the city, called here; also Robert Ives and Jared Sexton. Monday. We attended a funeral today. Mr. Goff's (?) oldest boy was killed by the kick of a horse.
Wednesday, Sept. 8th. Today Persis and myself went to Vernon to attend Miss Southworth's school examination. There were a number of people present. She closed her school at three o'clock, and we all went to a swing; had fine times swinging, then went and took tea with Mrs. Hammond, after which we came home. Miss S. came with us to spend three weeks.
Wednesday. Mr. Shields is here threshing. We received a letter from father, Charles one from N. Cobb.
Saturday, 11th. This afternoon we went to make Mrs. Green a visit. After we had been there a while Julia Clark came with her father. About four Charles came after us, as Mrs. Vallier had come from Lake Town to see us; also Miss Sexton.
Sunday. We went to see Julia Ellsworth today-came around by Sexton's. This evening the Old Gent came.
Monday. Vallier's folks went home. I went to Mr. Ives's in the afternoon.
Thursday, September 23, 1852. This morning about eight o'clock Mr. W. Cobb took passage on the Arctic (bound for New York) on his way to California. His brother has now been gone three weeks. When he left here Tuesday morning we did not think it would be so long ere we should have the pleasure of again seeing him. It may be we shall never again see him or Nathan. Yet we will hope for the best, and anticipate spending many happy hours with them.
September 27. Mary Sexton is with us. In the evening Jared and Ben came. Dr. Bigelow was here.
Tuesday. We whitewashed the chambers. I received a letter from E. S. of Genesee.
Thursday. This morning Persis went to help cousin Louisa pre pare for a small party. We went down just after dark. It was eight o'clock when we got there. We staid till twelve. It was some muddy, also rainy, coming home.
Sunday morning, Sept. 30th. It was quite late this morning when we arose. It is a very unpleasant morning=rainy and muddy. After breakfast William went and took Hannah Sullivan home on horseback. When we had completed our work Ann and myself got our bonnets and were going to take a walk. Just as we were on the point of starting I looked up the road and saw our folks coming. They have just returned from the East-they have been gone a long time-Pa about three months, and Susan two. Mary is about eight months old-she can walk by holding on to one's fingers. Pa's health is some better, though not so he is able to labor much. After they had been here a while Dr. Bigelow and Mr. Hawkins came to see Pa.
Weeks have flown-yes, even months-since I have written a line, or even a word, in my journal. I hope it may not be so long in future.
January 8th, 1853. My father's health is no better, but rather poorer than when he got back from the East.
A SCHOOLMISTRESS OF 1853
January 8, 1853. I have been teaching in Mr. W. D. Peck's district four weeks. Have had thirty-four pupils. I am boarding at Mr. Ellarson's-a very good boarding-place. I attended a ball at Mr. Dewey's, Christmas; went with sister and Billy. Last week I closed my school for the week on Thursday. Robert Ives came up after me. It commenced snowing that evening and snowed all night. The next day (Friday) we went to Waterford to attend a New Year's ball. There we saw Mr. Selleck. Had a grand time. Charles came from his school in Hartland and went with us; also Angeline, and Mary from Milwaukee. We got back to Clark's about ten o'clock. Mrs. Clark desired us to stay that evening, as she was going to give a small party. We staid, and Charles and Mr. Johnson, our teacher, came up in the evening. We had an excellent supper and fine dance; got home about one o'clock. Went to bed and slept till nine next morning. That night Robert came and brought me up to my school, and here I am. But it is almost nine, so I must start to school.
February 11th, Friday evening. Oh dear! Everything has gone wrong today; the young ones have not half got their lessons, and such a racket and confusion as there has been all day cannot be equalled. And what a lonely, dismal day we have had. The sun has not showed its bright face since early this morning. The wind has been blowing bleak and cold. Oh for the bright, lovely days of summer, when all is gay and happy, and we can go forth in the dewy eve, and listen to many feathered songsters as they pour forth their sweet note as if in praise of the Creator of all!
I should be happy to spend this evening at home. Last week I was there but a few minutes. I staid at Mr. Clark's Saturday night, and Sunday we had such a pleasant walk. The same company will never all meet again together. One of them is now gone, another is going ere long, perhaps never to return. Oh, why must friends so soon leave each other's society, where they have enjoyed many happy moments, and wander among strangers who look upon them coldly, and seem to care not what may be their fate? Yet such is the lot of man.
Saturday. This has been a lovely day. Ida went home with me Saturday night. We walked as far as Mr. Clark's, then Mr. Steele took his horse and buggy and carried us home. We found Mr. C. there. I received a letter from my schoolmate J. B. N.
Sunday was a long, lonely day to me. The sun arose bright and pleasant, but soon the fair heavens were overspread with dark clouds, and before ten o'clock the snow began to fly, and continued, stopping only at short intervals, all day. Sunday evening was very cold. Mr. Johnson came and brought Ida and myself up to Mr. Morous's. We stopped at Mr. C.'s and saw Sally.
Monday, Feb. 14th. This is a clear, cold day, but very pleasant. I came to school this morning quite early. There were only two pupils here. I was obliged to wait till twenty minutes past nine for them.
Tuesday night. Last night we had quite a snow storm. This morning Henry yoked his oxen, and brought me to school. It has been rather a long day to me. I feel rather unwell, so everything goes wrong, of course. The sun has shone so brightly all day that our snow is almost gone. Mr. Mills is going to preach here this evening. It is rather doubtful about my attending.
Wednesday noon. It is a beautiful day; the sun shines very warm and pleasant. The children are running around and making a great racket. Some are sweeping, and some out of doors enjoying the warm sunshine. I did not attend meeting last evening, as the road was very muddy. I think I shall this evening. I must sweep my dusty schoolroom. I went to meeting this evening. Mr. Mills preached Going home we met Maria Van She invited me also Mr C to attend a party at their house Friday evening.
Thursday it snowed all day In the evening I came to meeting Mr M did not attend as he was quite unwell.
Friday, 18th. This morning Mr. Morous brought me to school. The walking is very bad. This afternoon Sally Ann and Amy called to see me. A few minutes after they came Mr. W. H. Wise made his appearance. He came from Waukesha, where he is attending school. Friday evening after school I went to Mr. Ellarson's and took tea, then took a sleighride down to Mr. Clark's. When we got there we found the young people from the Corners there on their way to the party. Mrs. Clark's folks were almost ready. We got there a little while after dark, then went to Martin's and had a dance. Came back to Mr. Van's and took supper, then came to Clark's and staid till morning.
Saturday Clark's folks went to Milwaukee. Mr. C. and Steele and our schoolmaster, Persis, and myself went down to Sally's school. When we got there we found she was not teaching. So we all went to Bale's school, then came to Mr. Clark's. Mr. I. and Persis went home after spending the evening, but I staid, so as to come to Mr. Morous's Sunday. Sally and I went to bed about twelve o'clock. Mr. and Mrs. C. did not return from the city Saturday night.
Sunday morning. Sally and myself arose quite late. It was snowing very hard, and continued till ten o'clock. We took a walk to the lake, came back and read awhile, then helped Mr. C. write a letter. Sunday evening we retired at ten.
Monday morning. Mr. Steele came and brought me up to school. Monday evening I came to meeting. Mr. C. and his family were here. They are going to have a small party tomorrow evening.
Tuesday evening. After school I went to Ellarson's, and prepared to go to the party. I had not been there but a few minutes when a family from Racine came. I dressed, then helped Mrs. E. get tea. After tea Mr. Steele came after me. When we got to Clark's Persis was there. We had a good time. I came back next morning in time to commence my school.
Wednesday evening. I came to meeting. There were not a great many present. Mr. C. came, and brought me two letters from brother. He called at Mr. Morous's, and staid a WHILE. Thursday afternoon. Sallie Johnson called and staid with me in the afternoon. After school I went up to Mr. Reynolds's with her. We went and spent the evening with Miss Smith.
Friday. About ten o'clock my friend F. B. came to spend the day with me. He is rather lonely; he is going to leave us Saturday or Sunday and go to his home. We shall miss his society very much. In the afternoon Sallie and Miss Smith came. We all went to Mrs. Smith's after school and took tea, then came to meeting. From there I went home with Sallie.
Saturday morning. It is very pleasant-also muddy. Sallie and myself were going to Mr. Johnson's school, but did not feel very well. Frank went, and I. and P. came and brought him home. While he was gone his brother came after him.
Saturday evening. We felt as though it might be the last evening we should spend with Mr. C. We sat up till quite late. I shall not say how late it was when some of us retired.
Sunday morning. How lonely it appears without; everything corresponds with our feelings. The sky is overcast with dark clouds, and all nature seems hushed in dread repose. After breakfast our friend prepared to take his leave. Why do all look so sad? It is because a dear friend is going. They went about nine o'clock. May happiness be ever his, and dear and kind friends minister to his wants, and console him in trouble and affliction, and when he is called to leave this world of trials may angels conduct him to that celestial world where all is peace and happiness, and partings are never known!
Oh, what a long day this has been! Some have been reading, some writing, and some singing. They are very kind to me, trying to make the time pass pleasantly. And all because F. B. C. is gone, they say. Our folks went home about four. Then the rest of us came to meeting. Mills took his text from the fifth chapter of Galatians, seventh and eighth verses. I rode back to Morous's with Clark. I found them all well and enjoying life.
Monday. Mr. M. brought me to school this morning. The mud is nearly over our shoes. I went to meeting in the evening, and thus passed the first day of the week in the sober routine of school duties.
Tuesday night. This is the first day of spring. I hope it is not an emblem of the rest of the spring. If it is, I can but say: "Oh, for pleasant summer!"
March 3rd. Oh, what a lovely evening! It would be pleasant to take a walk. I have been sweeping, and now my schoolroom looks very neat-neater than it will after meeting, I imagine. I went to my dinner today noon, and left the young ones alone. It is the first time I have been home after my dinner since I came here. How happy would I be could I but see the one that I saw one week ago tonight! But no, it is impossible. He is far away. This has been a lovely day. I saw Ida at noon at Mr. Babcock's.
Thursday. This afternoon, just after school commenced, someone came to the door and knocked. I opened it, and whom should I see but Persis! I was surprised to see her, as I had not the least idea she would come at all. Steele came with her. After school I went with Steele to take P. home, then came back and staid at Morous's all night. Steele spent the evening there.
Friday evening. This is the pleasantest evening we have had this spring. It is a lovely evening! One week ago this evening I was with Sallie and Mr. Cram in this very room, but now they are both gone, and I am here alone. I should be very happy to see them a few moments this evening.
A SPRING VACATION
Saturday. I must close school early tonight, for I am going home.
Saturday night. I walked home; stopped at the P. O. and put a letter in for A. H. Colburn. When I got home I found father very sick. The rest were well. Persis and Mr. Johnson had a great deal to say about the Saturday night that we were all up to Clark's, Mr. Cram's last night in Muskego, also about galvanizing watches.
Sunday. Sallie Johnson and Robert called and staid with us an hour or two. Pa had a fainting fit, which frightened us very much. About two o'clock Persis and Johnson came to bring me home. I staid at Morous's all night, and it is now Monday noon and here I am in my schoolroom.
Tuesday forenoon. I arose at half past six o'clock this morning. There was every appearance of its being a pleasant day. The sun soon hid behind a dark cloud, and there it has been ever since. About four o'clock the wind began blowing at a, furious rate, and the snow came with it. Thus it continued all the evening.
Wednesday. The morning is pleasant, but cold. I have not a very large number of pupils in attendance. The snow of last night is now all, or nearly all, gone. I must close school as early as possible and go to Mr. Morous's and do some washing. I expect my friend Johnson up to see me this evening.
Thursday noon. I went home last night and went to washing. I received a letter from a very dear friend. I was very happy to receive it. I hope I may have the pleasure of seeing the writer ere long. Mr. J. went home about nine o'clock.
Thursday afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Burritt called and staid with me an hour or two. Thursday evening after school I staid and swept my schoolroom. Going home I met Mr. Sexton and Mary E. Taylor. They were going to Cole's. After tea Ida called to see me. When she went home Morous went a part of the way with her. After she went I did my ironing.
Friday noon. This morning I arose late-did not get to school till a few minutes before nine. Tomorrow I am going to Hartland with Persis and Johnson.
Tuesday. Last Friday night I staid at Mr. Babcock's. Saturday morning arose quite early and went to Mr. Ellarson's to prepare for going to Hartland. I dressed, then helped Fynette get her work out of the way. Mrs. E. went down to the Drought neighborhood to quarterly meeting. I had got the work all done and sat down to sewing, when Mr. Johnson and sister came. We got to Waukesh^ about noon. We had not been there long when I looked out and saw Charles coming. We were glad to be saved the journey of going to Hartland in the mud. After dinner I went to the bookstore and purchased some books and tickets for my scholars. About two o'clock we started for Saylesville. Charles and Mr. Wicks went with us. We had a pleasant ride, though a very muddy one. It was nearly four when we got to Mr. Bartholomew's. We came by the way of Mr. Cram's to have F. go with us, but he was gone. I like Mrs. B. very much. She is very lively-looks much like her brother Smith. Sunday we went out and took a walk on the hills that bound Saylesville on the south; had a very pleasant time. We went back and took dinner, then started for Muskego. When shall we have the pleasure of again seeing Mr. Johnson? His school is now out, and he has left us. We came as far as Mukwonago, and stopped and warmed, then came as far as Martin's, where we met Sallie. Charles and Persis staid the evening, then went home. I staid all night. In the morning S. went to her school. I wrote a letter to F. in answer to his of last week. Then Steele brought me to Ellarson's. I changed my dress and called on Ida, came back, and staid at Mr. Babcock's all night.
SCHOOL AGAIN, AND TWENTY
Tuesday. I am in school once more-have only nineteen pupils today. Tuesday evening I washed some. After I had got done Ida, Betsy, and Miss Weir called and spent the evening with me.
Wednesday, March 16th. This is my birthday. I am now twenty. How differently am I situated from what I was one year ago today. Michael Post started for the gold region. Where shall I be one year from this day? None but the great Ruler of all can tell. In the afternoon Ida came to see me. After school I swept, then we sat down and chatted till sundown, and then went to Mr. Morous's and spent the evening.
Thursday. Mrs. Babcock has gone to see her daughter. I must go and get tea for Mr. B. this evening.
Thursday. Oh dear! What a long day this has been! I wish school was out. This has been the warmest day of spring so far. Miss Clara Cole just came and called at the door a moment. I wish I could see Jimmy and his sister. Oh dear, I feel like a, fool!
Thursday evening. About three o'clock the heavens became overcast with clouds, and everything had the appearance of an approaching storm. I was obliged to stay with one of my pupils after school till nearly five. By that time the rain was falling in large drops. I imagine she had a pleasant walk home. I went to Mr. B.'s and got tea for him, and then washed the dishes and went to knitting. He went to prayer meeting, and left me alone. I had a lonely time of it. All I could hear was the monotonous sound of the rain falling on the roof. I was obliged to sing " They have given her to another " to keep from being too lonely. If Jimmy had only stopped in just then we would have had a social time.
Friday eve. This morning I arose quite early and prepared breakfast. Just after sunrise Mr. Virgil Cobb and Miss Julia Ellsworth passed by on their way home from Martin's sugar party. I washed the dishes, made the beds, swept, and attended to numerous other household duties, then combed my hair, and prepared to come to school. Mr. Mills called when I was washing dishes.
Thursday evening. School would close now for tonight, but the geography class have not their lessons. There sits a girl, cramming her mouth full of small stones. I shall be rather lonely when I leave my scholars, which will be in a week, and a few days. I have passed many pleasant hours with them. My children have now got their lessons. I will close school for today, then sweep and go to Mr. Babcock's and do my ironing, and see if She has returned; if not I will be obliged to get tea again.
Saturday morning. I almost imagined when I arose this morning that summer was once more with us, with her warm, sunshiny days and bright, beautiful flowers. I came to school at eight o'clock this morning, and wrote a letter to Mrs. Bartholomew. I am going home tonight after school. Last night I staid here at the schoolhouse till sundown. When I got to Mr. B.'s I had to make a fire and go to getting tea. When it was partly ready, She came. After tea I ironed, and then retired. I have a very small number of pupils today. It seems rather lonesome. The mud keeps them at home. No wonder!
Monday morning. This is a pleasant morning. I arose early and came to my school again. Found everything as I left them. Saturday night I went home, Sunday, came back, stopped at Mr. Clark's and took tea, got to Mr. Babcock's after dark, read a story, then went to bed.
Tuesday evening. Last night I staid at Mr. Muckey's. Was much amused to hear Mr. M. tell his stories. Mr. Clark called to see me this morning. Tuesday evening I called on Ida; found she had a beau, so I went up to see Sarah Smith; found Maria Vander-walker with her. We had a very good visit. Sat up till eleven o'clock.
Wednesday evening. This morning I arose and pulled Sarah and Maria out of bed about a dozen times, then left them to their own destruction, and went and combed my hair. Lucien fastened S. into the bedroom, so it made her breakfast late. It was five minutes to nine when I started for school. When I got here a number of my pupils were assembled around the door. I unlocked the door and came in. The room was very cold. I sent after some fire, then went out and picked up some chips, and had a good fire in a short time. When I commenced school it was half past nine. I shall keep them half an hour this noon. This morning I saw Mr. Hibbard from Troy. He was passing, and something was said in sport about calling him in, when Lucien stuck his head out of the door and told him the girls wanted to see him. He came in. We ran into the other room, but he came in and sat down, and we were obliged to come out and see him. He sat a few minutes and took his leave. I became acquainted with him at a Christmas ball at Dewey's.
Thursday morning. Last evening Mr. Steele came after me to go to Mr. Clark's and spend the night. Mr. Reymert's folks came, also Mr. Martin's, and Reynolds's. There I was, with the married people! I enjoyed myself well, however. We had supper about ten o'clock, then cleared the table and danced awhile. They sent John Clarke after Ida, but she would not come. The Captain was very much disappointed.
Friday. Last evening when I had got nearly done sweeping, Ida and Betsy Cole called on me and staid about an hour, then B. went home, and Ida and myself staid here till sundown. I then went part way with her, came back, and went to stay with Mrs. Ellarson all night. We had some warm sugar, which was very nice.
Friday afternoon. Persis and Sallie and Mrs. Reynolds have just left me. They were going to the river, and are going to call for me when they come back. Shall I go? I hardly know what to say about it. If I do, I will not teach tomorrow.
Monday. Friday night I went to Clark's with P. and Sally, and staid there till today. P. went home Saturday morning. I helped Mrs. C. mend in the forenoon. In the afternoon we went to the Bend. Stopped at Dr. Putnam's and ate some warm sugar as we were returning. We got home about seven o'clock-found Mr. Graves there. I finished Mrs. C.'s sacque, then retired. Sunday Sallie and myself arose and took a walk down to the lake before breakfast, which gave us a good appetite. Sunday afternoon, Sallie and myself got Dr. Bigelow to let us take his horse. He went and harnessed and brought him to the door, and away we went down the road toward Reymert's. Sallie held the reins, and I the whip, which I had to use frequently; so much that my arm is lame today. We went just below Elliott's, and then concluded to go and see my folks. We turned off of the plank, and away we went through the mud. The Old Doctor was determined not to hurt himself by going fast, so he moped along at the alarming rate of a mile in ten hours. We got through the mud without any serious injury, and arrived at home about four o'clock. Persis was at Uncle Asa's, so we went up there, taking Charles with us. We took tea there, then came back. Our horse came back good. We walked down to John McKowan's in the evening, came back, and went to bed.
Monday night. This morning Steele came and brought me up. There was no fire, but I soon made one. Monday evening. I took tea with Mrs. Burritt, then went and spent the night at Mr. Morous's. Tuesday morning, March 30th. This morning when I awoke my throat was so sore I could hardly speak. It is some better now, although quite bad. This is the last day of school for this winter.
Sunday, April 10th. It has been a long, long time since I have written a word in my journal. The day after my school closed I was taken sick, and have been so ever since. My ear began to pain me in the moring, and continued till night, when it began to discharge matter. When I got home they steamed my ear, which made it feel some better. Saturday Mr. Johnson came to see us. I could not enjoy myself any-was obliged to keep my bed a part of the time. Sunday Persis went down to Ives's to commence here school on Monday morning, which she has taken for the term of three months. Friday evening, April 8th, Sarah Reynolds came just after dark to make a visit. Saturday General Strut came from Waukesha. As soon as he came we sent him after Persis. She seems much pleased with her school. We were all seated on the floor in the kitchen Saturday evening when some one came and rapped at the door. We hustled about and got up-opened the door, and there was our dear friend Frank and Mr. Steele. If I had been well I should have had a fine time. Sunday, about noon, Sarah bid us farewell, perhaps forever. This week she is going to Ohio with Clarke. I hope we may meet again. We have passed many pleasant hours together during the past winter. How often shall I recall to memory the happy hours we have spent together. At two o'clock F. went home. When shall we see him again? Perhaps never. Life is one continual scene of -but I cannot write any more now; my ear pains me so much.
Monday. I did the housework while S. washed. It commenced raining in the evening-rained all day Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thursday. This morning when I arose everything without was covered with snow. It looked dreary enough. About noon the sun began to shine rather warm, which soon sent the cold snow from the face of the earth. How lonely it seems here to have Persis absent. I wish I could see her tonight.
Friday evening 6 o'clock. Another long day has passed into eternity. How slowly time passes to me. I am here all alone with our folks, and not a soul has been here this week. Father's health has been miserable, which renders it more unpleasant. My school has been out almost three weeks; it seems more like three months. Persis has now been teaching two weeks. I wonder if she will come home tomorrow. It has been clouded up, and has every appearance of a storm. I hope it may not rain again so soon. i should like to be placed in California for a few minutes this evening, and have a chat with our friend Michael post. It is very likely he would like to see someone from the town of Muskego again. I wil not write anymore tonight. My head pains me some- on account of my ear, no doubt. Will it ever get well?
Sunday, April 17th. I have been out to Vernon today to see Angeline. It was about noon when we got there-found Mr. Webster's folks pretty well. We took a walk up to the schoolhouse where Ann is going to teach this summer. Tea was ready when we returned, so we sat down and drank it, then prepared to come home. Charles would not come home without Ann, so she came with us. We arrived at home just dark.
Monday, 18. Today I helped wash-the first washing I have done in a long time. I was very tired when we got through. I went to bed and had a nap, which rested me some. After tea Mr. Cobb called to see father.
Tuesday, 19. My ear pains me a considerable yet. I don't know as it is ever going to get well. S. is cleaning and whitewashing her bedroom this forenoon. This afternoon Angeline and I went up to see Aunt Hannah. Charles came about three o'clock to take A. home. I staid till after tea, then called to see Aunt Nancy. She was well, and glad to see me. After I had been home a while Charles brought me a sweet little book from the Center P. O. which my friend Frank had the kindness to send me. It is very pretty.
Wednesday evening, April 20th. This is a beautiful evening, though there are some appearances of rain. We have been cleaning house today. I am very weary. My head feels very bad, also. I received another letter from Mr. C. today. I did not expect it. I should be happy to see him this evening, and Persis, too. She has not been at home in a long time. Pa is no better. I fear he never will be more. We must trust in Providence.
A BUSY SEASON
Thursday, 21st. We have got our kitchen cleaned today-got through about three o'clock. Robert called after his papers. I sent a line to Persis by him. How dreary everything without appears ! I think we are going to get a shower. The rumbling thunder may be heard at short intervals in the west, and ever and anon a flash of lightning crosses our sight. There, the rain begins to patter against my window thick and fast!
Friday. This forenoon I ironed; in the afternoon trimmed my bonnet. After tea I went up to Mr. Morous's to see about taking that school, but found it engaged. I got home about eight. I then wrote a letter to my friend B. F. C.
Saturday. This is a cold, windy morning. C. D. has gone to Hartland. I washed the dishes, churned, and attended to numerous other household duties, then went to see Persis. I expected to find her in her school, but did not. She was up to Sexton's. Robert went up after her. It commenced raining just before dark.
Sunday 24th. When I awoke the first thing I did was to pull the curtain aside to see if it had done storming. The ground was covered with snow, and it was storming for certain, and continued to storm all day Sunday till four o'clock.
Monday, April 25th. The sun was shining brightly when we got up. Persis and myself got breakfast. Mrs. Ives was sick. We washed the dishes, then Robert took us down to Drought's to see if I could get their school. The clerk was gone-his father said he would come up to Ives's and see me when he got back, but he did not. I visited P.'s school. After school was out we went to Mr. Ives's and took tea. Then Robert harnessed his horses and brought me home.
Tuesday. We washed.
Wednesday. Charles and I went to a funeral at our schoolhouse. Mr. Smith's brother was buried. It is supposed he starved himself to death. He said, "Christ fasted forty days, and he would do the same." He has been sick all the spring; he said he wanted to die, when someone was persuading him to eat. Poor fellow is now at rest in the peaceful grave. When we got home I found a letter from my Aunt Helen. Also one from Angeline. I was very happy to hear from Aunt.
Thursday. What a day this has been-rain, rain, rain, every five minutes all day! I have been cleaning the chambers, filling straw ticks, cording bedsteads, etc. Pa has not been as well today.
Friday, 29th. Charles and I went to Milwaukee today-found it very cold going in, but warmer coming home. I bought me a dress, silk apron, etc., etc.
Saturday. I arose early, and mopped the chambers, the dining-room floor, and got my work out of the way, then went after Miss Bowe, our teacher. I stopped at Mr. Vandeworkers, and Maria went the rest of the way with me. We arrived at the Prairie about one, staid till Miss B. got ready, then took our homeward road- arrived at Mr. Whitcome's at three, when Miss B. was obliged to stop and get inspected. We took tea there, and did not get started home till sundown. It was dark when we got to our journey's end.
Sunday, May first. This has been a very cold, windy day. Persis and Robert came about noon. We all went down to Dr. Ellsworth's for a ride in the afternoon. Monday. We did a large washing, I made my silk apron, etc.
Tuesday, May 3rd. This morning after washing dishes I did some whitewashing, and Susan cleaned the woodshed. After dinner I went to sewing on my dress. Aunt Nancy called to see us, and staid about an hour. Father is now quite sick, worse than he has been before. Charles is also quite unwell-has a sore throat and a severe headache. I trust it is caused by a cold and he will feel better in the morning.
Wednesday. It has rained all day without cessation, and is now raining hard. I received a letter from Nancy Finch today, which informs me that she is now in Iowa.
Thursday, and Friday. Rain, rain, rain-that is all I can say about these two days. May 18th. It has been almost three weeks since I have written in my journal. A week ago last Sunday Charles and I went to see Persis. We found her quite unwell, so the next day, after washing, Pa said I had better go and take her place a week.
Monday evening I went down, and she came home.
Tuesday I went into her school-there were but six pupils there. Wednesday, Thomas T., Robert, Henry Drought, and John Hay called and spent a part of the afternoon with me. Friday, Mary Sexton came to see me, and staid the night. Saturday, Mr. Hill was at school, also Miss Sexton and Hay. We took tea at Mr. Roe's, after which we went to the lake. Came back to Sexton's, and Robert wished me to stay there, so he could go a-fishing. He went, and was caught out on the lake in a thunder-shower-got wet as possible, and came home. Sunday morning I went back to Ives's-found Mrs. I. quite unwell. Sunday eve R. and myself took a walk up to the graveyard.
Monday morning I got up and got breakfast. Mrs. I. not being able, I did the work, then went to school. There were eighteen little brats around the door when I got there. Monday eve P. came back to her school. She brought me a couple of letters- one from Sallie, and one from R. A. Campbell.
Tuesday we washed.
Wednesday. Susan is very unwell today. I have been to work hard all day. She has taken some pills tonight. I hope she may feel better tomorrow.
Friday. Mrs. Hale and her daughter called and spent the afternoon with us. Robert brought Persis home just before dark.
Saturday, 21st. Persis and myself, also Miss Bowe, went to Milwaukee; took our one-horse wagon and drove for ourselves. We got there safe about noon. We went out and did our trading, then came back to the Tremont house after our horse. They would not let us have him till we had given them a dollar-for four quarts of oats, and a pie.
Monday. I went and took P. down to her school. We called at Sexton's, and the first person we saw was Jared. I was very glad to see him; I have not seen him before since last fall.
Wednesday. Mrs. Green spent the afternoon with us. I went home with her and staid all night. I received a letter from Mr. Johnson. John B. Nicholson is teaching our school. Frank C.. has been teaching at Hartland, but has now gone home. Chas. S. Canright called here yesterday. He has been up north for the past four years. Robert Ives has been here today-he brought a letter from Mary Sexton.
Sunday, 29th May, 1853. Charles and I went down to Ives's and from there to the Drought schoolhouse to meeting. We came back to I's and took dinner, then came up to Sexton's and stopped to see J. and Ben. We came home just in time to avoid a heavy thunder-shower.
Monday. C. and Susan went to the city, and did not get home till late.
Tuesday, May 31st. I have just returned from the lake. I went and had a boat-ride with Persis, and Mary S., J. and B., and R.I.B. accompanied me home. He is going to start for Michigan again Thursday.
A DEATH, AND TWO MARRIAGES
Sunday, Feb. 12th, 1854. A very long time has elapsed since I wrote on these pages, and under very different circumstances do I now write. My father has gone to his last resting-place. He died the 17th of June last. My brother and sister were married the 9th of November. I have lived with Persis the most of the time this winter. I kept house for her the week before last. She had gone to Fond du Lac on a visit. when she came back Mr. Van Deren came with her. The second time I saw him he asked me to sit up with him, and also wanted me to consent to go to Eden with him; but I told him I would rather not. We have had good sleighing for about a month and a half-something very uncommon for Wisconsin.
Everything seems to say we shall soon lose all the snow which now covers the ground. It is quite warm, and puddles of water are to be seen standing in the road and elsewhere. I have been writing to my friend Augusta H. Colburn today. I also wrote a few lines to Obed Russell in John's letter. I must go down stairs and eat supper, then wash the dishes, read some, and go to bed. I have been rather lonely today.
Monday. Today is washing day. After noon, went upstairs and read in "Prairie Bird" till dark. This is an excellent book describing the manners and customs of the Indians. We also listened to some of it read by J.B. Nicholson in the evening.
Tuesday. This has been a very stormy day-wind int he northeast, and snow flying like fury. When the mail came it brought me a letter from my friend Sallie. She was in find spirits. I answered her that same evening.
Wednesday. Charles went to Milwaukee with a load of hay. I started to go with him, but it was so cold I made Hattie and Laura a visit instead. Got home about eight that night.
Thursday. Persis came about noon, and soon Mrs. Webster came, staid till night, then took Ann home with her. Persis went and made Aunt Hannah a visit. When she came back I went a part of the way home with her, and had a pleasant walk back.
Friday. This has been an extremely cold day, but in spite of the cold, Susan, myself, and Persis went and made Mrs. Law a visit. While we were gone Henry Peck's folks came to see us. We got home about dark. Got C. and J. their supper, then I began to read in "Prairie Bird," in which I was interrupted by Robert, who had come after me to go to a party at Mr. Veeder's. We had a fine time, of course, dancing and playing. Got home about daylight, and went to bed and slept till ten o'clock, got up and swept and mopped, then combed my hair and changed my dress. Mr. and Mrs. Ives are below, so I must go, too. After tea I went up to the schoolhouse with C., who went to draw a load of wood. After coming home, I finished reading "Prairie Bird."
Sunday morning. This is a bright, beautiful morning. The sun shines so brightly that destruction seems inevitable to the pure and inoffensive snow. Before night the weather may change, and a storm ensue, and good sleighing will of course be the consequence. I wanted to go and see Persis this afternoon, but Charles wanted to see Ann so badly that he fixed up and started on short notice. I have been looking for Sallie some this morning, but of course she won't come if I want to see her. I have been melting snow to wash with tomorrow, and I must go and get more.
A SOCIAL SEASON
Monday evening. I have left them downstairs, and come for the purpose of spending a few minutes in writing. I am very tired, as is usual after washing. This has been a lovely day-appeared very much like spring; in fact, it is almost spring. We will not be likely to get much more cold weather. Charles was getting wood today, and by accident cut one of the horses in the hind foot. It bled very much, but he succeeded at last in stopping it. Last evening after Charels and Ann came, John and I went to see Persis. We found her well. She brought us some nuts, which we cracked and ate. While we were there Mr. Van Deren called. He had been to see Mrs. Kirkendall, and got the-(here the outline of a mitten) - too, I should judge by his looks. He looked very melancholy. Poor fellow! I hope he may succeed in getting someone to accompany him back to Eden. If he does not I am sure it will not be any fault of his. Next Wednesday night the ball is to come off at Martin's. I presume there are a great many anticipating good times. They will not be disappointed for Martin always gets up good dances. Another thing-he has quite a large hall, which is very nice.
Tuesday evening. This afternoon I ironed. About two o'clock, Jary and Persis, Robert and Uncle Frank from Hartland came. Monday my old man started for Eden. Oh dear! I feel very lonely now.
Wednesday. This has the appearance of being a very pleasant day-no cloud to be seen, and when the sun appears with his broad rays it will be quite warm and springlike.
Thursday evening. The dance came off as anticipated. There were a great many present. We had a good supper, good dance, etc. When we got home it was seven o'clock. Ann and I went to bed and slept till twelve, then got up and bathed and combed our hair. George Green came and staid till after tea.
Friday. Ann and I went up to Mr. Green's, and while we were there Mrs. Hawkins and Post came.
Saturday. Today John has gone to Hartland. Mr. Peck's folks came and spent the afternoon with us.
Monday. After washing we sat down to our sewing, in which we were interrupted by the arrival of friend Sallie. She had come after me, and go I must. While she was still teasing, Robert came and gave us an invite to a party he was going to have the following night, so of course I could not possibly go to Clark's. After Sallie had gone John and myself went down to see Persis. We had a very pleasant time.
Tuesday. Charles and Susan went to Milwaukee, and did not get back till seven. We got supper for him, and then dressed for the party. Charles fussed around so we did not get started till almost nine. Pretty time of night to go to a party. The roads were quite bad, and we ran smash up against a stump and broke the wagon, so, take things all round, we didn't get to the party till nearly ten. But after we did get there we had a good old time. Dan Warner played for us. The young people from Jennings's were all there; they invited us to go and see them the following Friday night, which we agreed to do.
Friday. About five o'clock we started for Jennings's. What roads we did have! Mud, mud, mud! We got through it slowly, and at last reached the edge of Howard's prairie, when we met Robert coming back. He said the water was so high across the road he was afraid to go on. We had quite a confab over it, in which the worthies that were present gave their different opinions. Some were for going back home, and others for going ahead. Charles was for the latter, so we started with the determination of going through the water at any rate. When we arrived at the awful place, we found the water up to the hubs of our wagon, but got along without any trouble, and in the course of fifteen minutes were safely seated in the home of Dr. Jennings. They seemed glad to see us; had given up hopes of our coming that night. We sat and got warm, and then commenced the doings of the evening, or rather night. The first thing was dancing, and then were passed around refreshments. I think the next operation was rolling the platter; then a game of euchre; then followed another dance, and some more kissing plays came next in order, in which there was a great participation. I can safely say I kissed the boys all I wished to. I don't remember what came next, but there is one thing I do remember, it was daylight when we kissed and parted; and another thing-it was nine when we got home. We all enjoyed ourselves very much, which I am sure no one could fail to do when in the company of such agreeable, polite, and friendly people as are the Jenningses. I think very much of the young gents-Wallace and Isaac.
Saturday evening, March 4th. Surely it is now March. How swiftly time flies! It hardly seems half the length of a year since last March, when I was engaged with young ones in school district no. 6. Yet it is even so-another year has passed into eternity. I hardly know whether to call this a pleasant evening or not. The wind blows rather cold, but still it looks rather pleasant to see the last red rays of Old Sol as they are taking leave of us for another night. Wm. Wise came to see us this forenoon, and is coming to spend the night with us. He went down to see Persis this afternoon. The sun has entirely disappeared in the west, which renders it rather dark in my room-and another thing, my eyes feel as though some one had been putting sand in them. I have slept but little today, after last night's spree. Tomorrow is Sunday, and what shall I do to busy myself with? Oh, I suppose it will be, arise very late, make the beds, help wash dishes, comb my hair, read some, and maybe write a letter; then go down stairs, help get supper, wash the dishes, talk a while, read a while, and go to bed-and sleep awhile.
Sunday evening, 4 o'clock. As I expected last night, I arose late this morning, and after doing up the work read newspapers till after dinner. William has just left for Oak Creek, where he is teaching. This morning it was so very pleasant one would have supposed it could not so soon become cloudy, but now it looks very much like rain. Changeable weather we have in Wisconsin. When Charles was in Milwaukee he heard of the death of Mrs. Vallier. I did not think it was for the last time that I saw her last spring. It is even so; she has gone, and left four children to mourn her loss. That she may enjoy pure happiness in a future state is the wish of her friend.
Sunday evening, 8 o'clock, March 5th. John B. Nicholson and myself have been upstairs for the past hour talking over old times, and have been wondering where we should be one year from this day. We have agreed to write to each other wherever we may be just a year from today. . I presume he will forget it, however, as he is a VERY FORGETFUL gent, and seldom keeps ANT promises he happens to make.
Monday, 6th. We washed as usual-had company also. Persis and Harriet Sexton came up with Jary when he went to mill.
Tuesday evening. It has been growing cold all day, and now the wind is blowing hard from the northeast.
Thursday evt. I have just come from Uncle Asa's. It is some muddy, I reckon. We have been making soap today. How much it looks like rain tonight! It has been cloudy all day. How happy I should be to see our friends the Jenningses this evening! 1 have not seen so pleasant a family in a long time. If it is so I can, I will go and spend a few days with them this spring or summer.
Friday morning. Ann and myself went down to see Persis. We had only just taken our things off when Wallace came. I was very happy to see him. He staid till four o'clock, promising to come again next -----. William Sexton came from the north while we there-brought me a philipena from Mr. Van Deren.
Saturday I went up to Mr. Morous's, and Sunday went to meeting. it really seemed like old times to get up and comb my hair and start for that schoolhouse where I have spent many an hour. After coming home Sunday evening John and I took a walk and talked of bygone days.
THE SPRING OF 1854
Monday evening. This morning I put on a quilt, and have just finished it. We boiled some sap today, and made some warm sugar, which we all enjoyed very much. Mr. and Mrs. Law have been here today to make us a visit. The rain may now be heard pattering against my window pane. How softly it falls, and stands in large glistening drops upon every bush and blade of grass, as if conscious of the need of its refreshing warmth to bring back to life each inanimate shrub!
Wednesday evening. Today I received a letter from Cousin Louisa, also one from Miss Colburn. I have just written five pages to L. I guess she will be interested while perusing them. Last Saturday James Bovial left his earthly home to seek one above. The disease was one that originated from that fell destroyer, intemperance. How could one so young and intelligent be made the slave of intoxicating drink! For the past two years he was frequently seen putting the fatal cup to his lips, and draining the poison from it. Now, alas! he has gone to answer for all misdeeds committed here below. This ought to be a fearful warning for those that are in the habit of indulging in the glass of whiskey, brandy, or any other spirituous liquor. Those that attended his funeral said his father and uncle were both under the influence of strong drink. What a sight, to see a father staggering over the grave of his child! How seared and hardened must have become that heart which once yearned toward that son with a father's love! Yet such is thy influence, thou demon rum!
Friday noon. Yesterday I went down to see Persis; found her quite well. In the afternoon we went over to Welch's. I came home about dark. I was very tired. Today C. went to Milwaukee. Ann and I went down to see Mrs. Smith.
Saturday we went to the city to see Uncle Tom played. It was grand.
Sunday we went down to Jerry's-Wallace came to see me. Monday eve I went to the Ives schoolhouse to meeting. E. Guile accompanied me home.
Tuesday, March 28, 1854. I have just returned from Uncle Asa's, and read a letter from friend Sarah. This morning John went home. His school closed Saturday and Sunday we went to Dr. Jennings's and had a very pleasant time. Got home about noon Monday. Mrs. Thomas Taylor was buried today. One by one the creatures of earth are passing away.
NOTE: For nearly three years, the journal is silent. On October 28, 1854, its writer was married to Mr. Nathan Cobb, whose name appears often in 1852 and 1853. Death separated them after less than two years, and before the birth of Euclid Nathan Cobb.
A MARRIAGE, AND A DEATH
December 25th, 1856. Another Christmas morning has dawned upon us, and "merry" will it be for some, but not for me. I cannot forget the ear one that made merry the past Christmas, and who is now gone, never, never to return. Why was it so? How could it be? One so young! What pleasure is there in the world? One moment happiness may smile upon us, and the next, Oh, how dark and shadowed will be our path; not one bright spot in the future!
Thursday, January 1st, 1857. Another year is with those that were. One year ago I had a pleasant home and a dear companion; but he has gone, and Oh, how dreary does seem the future! Would that I were with him! I am weary, weary of living alone in this cold, selfish world.
Note: following is a page and a half of poetry. The verses are sad. It is unknown who the author is.
THE YEAR 1857
The life of the months following is filled with sober and matronly duties and diversions. The writer of the journal washes, irons, dresses her brother's children, mops, bakes "pieplant pies, a cream pie, and rice pudding," has "pudding and milk for dinner" after a hard forenoon's work, and "biscuit toast" for supper, or has "codfish and rice for dinner, and bread and butter and apple sauce for supper," or dines out on the way home from the city on "green peas and a first rate apple pie." She works in the yard, cleans the kitchen, sews carpet rags, puts carpets down, knits, "combs her hair," "helps Charles clean up his wheat," or rakes hay upon occasion, with the aid of friendly passers-by, who make the work over into mere sociability. She tells of electioneering by Charles, and of his "settling up town business" in his capacity of chairman. On March 19 she gets her "likeness" taken in the city. She loses her California pin, which she values very much, not for itself, but "only on the giver's account,"
In April she is at a neighbor's, and is "treated to some lager beer," evidently a novelty. On the fifteenth of the same month, she hears "the report of cannon as we were coming, and learned from Charles that it was for the first train passing over the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railway." She goes to sewing society, reads "Dred," and learns to play two or three tunes on the melodeon. She reads the "Life of Josephine," and "Retribution," and "The Wanderer," and "Hidden Path," and Godey's Lady Book, and the Ledger.
She doesn't like "The Wanderer." "It isn't very interesting to me," she says, "as its characters have all the trouble imaginable, and no sunshine."
She sees the comet. "It is said the approaching comet has a great effect upon the weather. Some astronomers say it is going to come into collision with the earth the 13th of June. Maybe it will." But it didn't: "it passed on its way, and left the world and us to pursue ours." She wasn't much frightened by the astronomers; four days before the predicted calamity she and Ann "rigged up some hoops" after they finished washing.
This is the last day recorded in the journal. On Wednesday, September 2nd, 1857, the sober, old fashioned writing ceases.
On August 19, 1857, thirteen days before the last date which appears on it, the writer records that when she got home it was nine, and that Mr. Tew was there. Nine days afterward, on the 28th, "Mr Tew came last evening"; and on the 29th he came again.
Mr. Tew was an old friend of Hiram Showerman, who was then station agent for the Milwaukee and Mississippi Railway at Brookfield, sixteen miles north of Muskego. It was through Mr. Tew, at some time during the following twelve month, that Mr. Showerman and Ellen Parker Cobb first met. They were married on March 13, 1859, and resided in Brookfield, where the former died on July 26, 1884. Ellen Parker Showerman died in Madison, Wisconsin, August 26, 1910. Both are at rest in Prairie Home Cemetery in Waukesha.