Monday, February 28th, 1853

Arose as usual, very early. Brother came down for Ma to go up with him and spend the day, but she thought the morning too inclement for her to venture out so she sent me along with him. It proved to be a constant rainy day. Uncle Hardin & Doct. Lewis came with him over to dinner from court. – – I received a long letter from Tavie this morning by Jeff Hill.[1] Mr. Shook sent down a nice piece of roast beef and a turkey to Mag & brother, together with some other things. I remained all night at “Oak Dale.”

  1. [1]Jefferson (Jeff) Hill, about 33, is recorded as heading a free Black family in King William in the 1840, 1850 and 1860 US Census. In 1850 his family’s listing is next to the Lewis Littlepages at Mount Hope. He seems to have been on a trip to Richmond and has brought items from Mag’s family to Oak Dale.

Sunday, February 27th, 1853

Ma, Sister and the children all went down to Jerusalem expecting to hear Doct. Duval, but were disappointed as usual. Mag was taken quite sick in Church. She had & Brother to leave before service commenced. They came by here and spent the remainder of the day. – – Lewis Slaughter came soon after dinner and stayed until ten.[1] We spent a right agreeable evening. It rained most all the evening.

  1. [1]This may be John Lewis Slaughter, son of William F. Slaughter. He would have been about 19. Perhaps he is paying his addresses to one of the young ladies of Mount Hope.

Saturday, February 26th, 1853

I have been suffering very much all day with one of the worse colds a poor mortal ever had to encounter. Spent the day doing little or nothing. We expected Misses Lewis to spend the day with us but were disappointed. – – Sister made her black silk apron. – – Ma was busy all day burning her “hen houses” &c After she had finished she sent Washington to carry the trash away.[1] He carried it down to the stable and threw it on a large pile of straw, and it happened that there was some fire with it. In a little while one of the children ran to the house to let us {know} there was a large fire.[2] If it had not been discovered so soon, the corn houses, stables, horses and every thing down there would have been burnt up. It was so very windy. I don’t {think} there were less than two hundred buckets of water thrown on it.[3]

  1. [1]Washington is another Littlepage slave.
  2. [2]In her haste Rose seems to have simply omitted “know.”
  3. [3]Again, Rose seems to have omitted “think.” Too much excitement.

Friday, February 25th, 1853

Still finds me at Oak Dale. Ma came by very early on her way up to Uncle Hill’s. Brought me an invitation to a party to be at New Kent Ct. House next Thursday. I don’t want to go, but am afraid I will have to go to accommodate the home folks (or at least Pa & Sister). I returned with Ma this evening. – – Pa spent the night at “Woodbury.” He is very busy down there delivering his corn to Mr. Bagby. – – Ma went by Mr. Slaughter’s and purchased me a pair of white kid gloves and some cambric muslin to ruffle my shimmies.[1] – – Brother spent the day at Uncle Hill’s with Ma. Mag & myself made a couple of standing collars for him while they were gone and had them nicely starched & ironed. He tried them on and declares they fitted him better than any he ever had.

  1. [1]Slaughter’s store is at the Courthouse. – – Shimmy, archaic, an informal term for chemise. And a chemise is “a woman’s loose-fitting undergarment or nightdress, typically of silk or satin with a lace trim,” a.k.a. a slip. While some may be made of silk, chemises were more commonly made of linen or cotton. “It was the chemise and stockings that were expected to keep perspiration from soiling the outer clothing.” so they would need to be very washable.

Thursday, February 24th, 1853

One of the coldest days I ever experienced. I had promised Mag & brother to go up and spend the day with them, so rather than disappoint them I took Hannah and Pigeon and walked up.[1] The buggy harness was out of order. I do know that “Old Methuselah” himself never heard of such a walk as we had, but fortunately for us we were not attacked by any dogs. I don’t think I would take the same walk again to see Queen Victoria, but I spent a very pleasant time after I got there, amused myself a good deal reading some of Mag’s letters from Lilie, Miss Ann & John.[2] Pigeon & I slept up in the garret.

  1. [1]Hannah is a Littlepage slave. From subsequent entries she seems a bit younger than Rose. The walk is about 1½ miles, which seems a long walk on a cold day for 4 year-old Pigeo.
  2. [2]“Miss Ann” may be Ann Hallowell of Richmond, who we will meet.

Wednesday, Feb. 23rd, 1853

The children remained at home on account of the inclemency of the morning. We have had quite an April day, not less than a dozen showers and a very severe thunder storm just before dinner. – – I wrote a long letter to Willie Brown. – – Ma sent a piece of beef to Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. H. P. Lipscomb & Mrs. Cobb.[1] – – Pa returned from “Woodbury” just before day. He was very much vexed about his sheep. In fact, it was enough to vex any man. I believe the dogs have killed four in all. Pa shot at them tonight but the gun snapped three times and would not go off at all. – – The water has risen twice in brother’s dining room today. – – Sister & myself are both busy hemstitching still. – – What a beautiful sunset we had this evening! What a glorious sight to behold!

  1. [1] While we cannot be certain, it seems likely that one piece of beef went to Octavia Claiborne [Hill] Lewis, wife of Dr. John Skyrin Lewis. The second piece likely went to Sarah M, Lipscomb, widow of Hudson B. Lipscomb. That last piece probably went to Mrs. Montague Cobb (Sarah) who Rose and Caroline visited on the 11th of this month.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 1853

Pa returned to “Woodbury” very early. The children all left for school. Mr. Wilcher came by here about eleven o’clk to let us know that someone’s dogs were killing Pa’s sheep and if we would give him a gun that he would kill them. I sent the gun, powder & shot, but forgot the caps, so he didn’t kill them.[1] He said he thought they were Col. Skyrens’ dogs.[2]We sent James over there immediately to know, but the dogs got there before he did and the old gentleman had had them chained and said if they came over here again he would hang them. They were back in less than an hour. We sent over to Mr. B. Lipscomb’s for one of his sons but the old man came himself, but was not able to find them.[3] – – Sister received a letter from Lilie. I was very much disappointed in not receiving one from Tavie, but Lilie wrote that she has been quite sick with mumps. I do want to see her so much. – – I have been quite sick all day, retired before supper in Ma’s room. – – Pa will spend the night at “Woodbury.”

  1. [1]A Nathen (Nathaniel, Nat) Wiltshire, 32, is listed in the 1850 US census as a farm “Manager” and seems to live near Lanesville. Col. Skyren’s property lay between Mount Hope and Lanesville.
  2. [2]Col. John Spotswood Skyrin. He was a son of the well-known Church of England minister Rev. Henry E. Skyrin who presided at Acquinton Church for many years. This family name is variously rendered Skyring, Skyrin, Skyren and Skyron. As Rose consistently spells his name with an “e,” we will accept her version.
  3. [3]This may be Bartlett Lipscomb. He is about 54 and has three teenaged sons.

Monday, February 21st, 1853

Pa had the beef butchered this morning. He says it is decidedly the nicest one he ever had, after which he left for “Woodbury.” Carried provisions with him to remain a day or two down there, but he met with a young man (a Mr. Rouse) whose services he engaged for overseer, so he returned home just about dark.[1] He sold a quarter of the beef to Mr. Pollard.[2] – – I have had quite a bad headache all the evening but the sore throat I have is enough to produce any kind of an ache. – – Bil & the rest of the children remained at home on account of the snow. – – The dear little is fattening faster than any little thing I ever saw in my life.[3] She improves daily.

  1. [1]Mr. Rouse is from King & Queen County.
  2. [2]Likely his friend James O. Pollard.
  3. [3]“The dear little” is the infant, Helen May.

Sunday, February 20th, 1853

All remained at home. Mag and brother came down very early and spent the day with us. Pa returned from Richmond about sunset. The children have not returned home yet. – – It has been one of the most beautiful days overhead I ever spent. – – Carter, Ambrose & Andrew are confined with the mumps.[1] – – Brother’s horse has become uncommonly wild of late, owing I suppose to not being driven much lately. Mag was very much frightened this evening when they started.

  1. [1]Add Andrew to the list of Littlepage slaves. And surely to the relief of all, it seems that Carter does not have typhoid fever.

Saturday, February 19th, 1853

Pa has not returned home yet. The ground is covered in snow more than a foot deep, still snowing (ten o’clk at night). The children have not returned from Uncle Edmund’s. – – Jim carried the cotton to the gin.[1] Ma was very uneasy after he started, when she found out we were going to have such a bad day, but he returned home safe just before dark. – – Sister & myself have been hemstitching all day.

  1. [1]Jim is another Littlepage slave.