Tuesday, December 13th, 1853

I arose quite early, bound the ruffles for my sleeve in the morning. – – Mr. Trible came while we were at dinner and spent the night with us. He thinks he will buy Mt. Hope, or at least is very anxious to do so. – – I received a long letter from Sister this evening (& one from Lilie also). She said they would certainly be down next Friday and that “we all” & the Squire would be down Saturday week.

Monday, December 12th, 1853

I arose as usual. – – The workmen have not been here today. Aunt Rose, Mary & Cousin Fes came early this morning and spent the day with us. Aunt Rose brought a dress for me to fit on Mollie, but I was too busy. She and Ma rode to Walkerton this evening. They didn’t return till dark, but Aunt Rose wouldn’t consent to stay all night. She went home about nine o’clk. Bil accompanied them. – – Pa went down to the Star to get an oyster supper, but was disappointed. He returned home about 10 o’clk.

Sunday, December 11th, 1853

I spent the day by myself again today. Ma & the children have attended church every Sabbath since we moved. Ma came by Mt. Hope and brought the portraits down, we were at dinner when they came, thinking it was so late that they had dined with some of the members. Mr. Thompkins was brought before the church for misconduct, but he repented so sincerely that they concluded to retain him.[1] Mr. Luckhard withdrew.[2] – – I spent quite a lonely evening, have been rather inclined to sadness.

I am alone! There is no breast
Doth pant in unison with mine.[3]

  1. [1]Of the two Tompkins families in King William at this time, only Christopher, 67, lives close enough to Jerusalem to be a member.
  2. [2]Scottish immigrant John Lukhard and his wife, who lived within sight of Jerusalem Church, had died by 1853. They left six sons, the eldest two, Hardin (Hard) and John, would be about 25. We do not know which Mr. “Luckhard” withdrew from the church or if it was on doctrinal grounds or a reluctance to undergo a conduct review by his neighbors. Being investigated, censured, or disfellowed by one’s church was, and is, considered a serious situation by many. Leaving on points of religious belief was often equally painful, or liberating.
  3. [3]Taken from “Thou’rt Not Alone,” Poems by Lilian May, published 1852 in Harrisburg, PA. Other than a scanned copy of this book found on Internet Archive (https://archive.org/) which contains these lines, nothing has been learned about “Lilian May” or the book.

Friday, December 9th, 1853

I was not in time for breakfast this morning. – – Brother went out ducking again by day, but it was so windy he had no luck. – – Mag & myself have been quite busy sewing on my blue dress today, and Baker quite as busy making Charles’ pants. – – Brother rode up to Oak Dale to see how everything was getting along this evening. He brought us down the mail with him. – – Mr. E. Wyatt came to sell Pa some pork.[1] – – The Star did not get up as usual yesterday evening.

  1. [1]There are three Wyatt families who could be selling Pa pork. Unfortunately none include men with a first name starting with E. (Rose’s writing here is very clear.) Of the Wyatts, 25 year-old Benj. is list as a carpenter. Alexander, 44, is a farmer who does not own his land. His brother Silas, 47, who lives with him, is described as “dealer in wood.” That leaves Peter Wyatt, 59. But his 189 acres are located 14 miles nw of the courthouse. That is a long way to move ten hogs in 1853. As Benj. seems to live near him, that leaves us with Alexander or Silas. Maybe.

Thursday, December 8th, 1853

I arose rather later than usual. – – Brother went out ducking by day and didn’t return ‘till after breakfast. He only killed one duck and went again after dinner and killed another. Bil killed two this morning and couldn’t get the boat in time to go after them, so he lost them. He took a long cry about them. – – The Star did not come up as usual this evening. – – I cut out my blue mousdelaine dress this morning. Mag made the skirt and has been helping me about the flounces. Ma cut out Uncle Billy’s coat and made Clary make it for her. – – Mag and brother have concluded to spend the night again tonight.

Wednesday, December 7th, 1853

I arose as usual, put the curtains up in the other chamber and did various other things. Ma has been quite sick all day. Brother & Mag came down directly after dinner, brought Herbert & Louisa and spent the night.[1] Brother went out ducking just before sunset and killed three of the finest ducks I ever saw at one shoot. – – Pa came very near being killed this evening in the same way Mr. James Cobb did. He has been suffering with a dreadful headache ever since. – – I wrote a long letter to Sister tonight after everyone had retired. Ma came up and sat with me an hour or more.

  1. [1]Louisa may be one of the “hired on” house servants at Oak Dale.

Tuesday, December 6th, 1853

I arose as usual, commenced hemming the ruffles for my night gowns. It is the first stitch I have sewed for myself since we moved. In the evening I made the rosettes for the curtains. – – Eusebia & William Dandridge spent the afternoon with us.[1] – – Mr. James Cobb came very near being killed this evening. Was struck on the top of his head by a heavy piece of timber falling from the roof while he was standing down on the ground.[2] – – We received three letters from Sister this evening, should have received two of them last mail, but they were miscarried. She wrote that Tave & Jim would certainly come down with her Friday week, and perhaps Judie Brown, and that the “Squire” would be down Christmas. – – Pa spent the day at Mt. Hope and the Ct. House, returned home about nine, after we had finished supper. I went down and had something for him.

  1. [1]Historically Dandridge is a very prominent family name in the region, but oddly, no likely Dandridges, William or otherwise, are found in the usual period written records. Eusebia Robins doesn’t seem to have a cousin by that name either. If anyone has a suggestion…
  2. [2]James Cobb, 38, is listed as a miller in the most recent US Census. He and the John Cobb who was injured on the job a week ago are brothers and probably related to Montague Cobb in some fashion. The 1860 US Census lists their households together. However, in that census James himself is missing; his wife Martha is head of household. James will die not from a blow to the head, but from pleurisy in 1855.

Sunday, December 4th, 1853

I don’t know when I’ve spent a more lonely day. Everybody went to church but myself, even down to Pa. They all went to Jerusalem to hear Mr. Smith.[1] Ma liked him very well, but Pa did not. They didn’t get back till four o’clock. I had to wait dinner several hours for them. I like solitude very much sometimes, when I have pleasant thoughts to occupy my mind, or an interesting novel, but today I’ve been entirely void of either. My life has been very monotonous for the last six months, leaving out the moving {?}, I mean in some respects.

  1. [1]Mr. Smith has not be identified.