Thursday, March 31st, 1853

Rather a lonesome day. The company all left quite early. Sister slept all day. I amused myself thinking of the absent, the present, past and future. – – Pa left very early for Dr. Braxton’s. Went from there to Woodbury, where he spent the night. – – The “Star” has commenced to run up to Walkerton again.[1] Pa thinks of going as far as Norfolk the next trip she makes, on his way to Baltimore. – – Sixteen shad.

  1. [1]The steamer Star has been a regular in the Tidewater basin trade for over a decade. She is out of Norfolk, plying waters from Suffolk to Baltimore. When she will be sold in four years the advertisement describes her as “120 feet long, 15 feet beam, and draws 4 feet water.” Her engine is described as 50 horse power and “first rate.”

Wednesday, March 30th, 1853

I am happy to find we have such a pretty day. The company met about sundown, we danced until 3 o’clk. I never spent a more agreeable evening in my life. May Hill played the violin for us. Dr. Minor & Mr. Chandler were not here, they were compelled to return yesterday. [1]Cousin Fendall, Cousin Tom, Messrs. Hawes, Hanes, Corr, Skyren, King, Slaughter & brother I believe were the only gentlemen. The Misses Lewis, Ginnie, Ada, Nannie Boykin & Mag the only ladies. We expected Mollie Turner, but she was unable to come on account of the sickness of Mrs. Gray, her Aunt.[2] She wrote to me by Cousin Fendall. Mr. King, the Misses Lewis, Mag & brother spent the night. – – Only two shad.

  1. [1] Unless they left to go home in two opposite directions, Dr. Minor and Mr. Chandler seem to be traveling together.
  2. [2] Mollie Turner’s aunt is Emily Anderson [Dabney] Grey, born 1794. Her husband Gabriel Gray of Culpeper County had recently died. Mrs. Gray may have been staying with her sister’s family.

Tuesday, March 29th, 1853

Pa caught sixty four shad. – – Nothing particular occurs today. We’ve been busy all day making cake &c. I had the parlor carpet taken up & the floor waxed so that I can scarcely stand up on it myself. Ma & myself made some of the nicest cake today I ever saw in my life. – – Pa stopped at the Ct. House to mail a letter on his way from Woodbury. Some gentleman, he thinks it was Mr. T. Hanes, sent the children on home in the buggy and told them Pa said he would remain all night at the tavern, but he since walked home, he didn’t relish the joke very well.

Monday, March 28th, 1853

A very beautiful morning. Messrs. Hanes and Dabney left between eleven and twelve. Messrs. Corr & Lipscomb called this morning and spent an hour or two, brother & Mag left quite early for Oak Dale.[1] – – Sister and myself spent quite a lonesome day after they all left. We walked over to the Machine House to see poor Clifford; he died last night owing they all think to Bil’s straining him so hard last evening and his manner of riding him to the academy generally.[2] – – Ma has been busy all day cutting out bed quilt pieces. – – Uncle Billy came by very early from court and spent the evening with us.[3] – – Pa returned with him about an hour or two after dark and was very much surprised to find us at home. He said we were certainly expected at Mrs. Hill’s, that Maj. Hill had carried down several young gentlemen so we might have a dance.[4] Well we thought we would be very fashionable and go around after supper which we did, and had a very agreeable little party. About eight or ten gentlemen, Dr. Minor from Essex, Mr. Chandler from Carolina, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Corr, Mr. King, Mr. T. Hanes, and others.[5] We returned home about one o’clk. Pa invited them all here next Wednesday evening. – – Easter Monday. – – Pa caught sixty shad.

  1. [1]Perhaps this is the Misters George Corr and Sterling Lipscomb mentioned back on 2 January.
  2. [2]The rough usage of Littlepage horses by the Littlepage boys will continue.
  3. [3]Uncle Billy is Caroline Littlepage’s brother William M. Ellett, Jr. He also answers to Will.
  4. [4]Ah, springtime. Assuming the dance will be at Forkland at the home of Harriett Hill, the Maj. Hill is probably her son, William Claiborne Hill.
  5. [5]Dr. Minor is surely Jefferson Minor of Essex County. He operates Midway Female Academy. “Mr. Chandler from Carolina” remains unknown. There are many possible Mr. Kings. However Mr. T. Hanes is likely Thomas Whitt Haynes, b. 1827, of King & Queen County. If this is correct then Mr. Hawes may be Richard Hawes of King William, about 24. Rose will note that Tom Haynes marries Richard’s sister Molly on 20 September. “T. Hanes” will reappear in Rose’s journal from time to time.

Sunday, March 27th, 1853

Ma and myself attended Church, brother & Mag came by and brought Sister on their way down. Old Dr. Duval preached. I believe they settled some of the Church difficulties. After preaching was over, they decided that Mr. Short should not preach any more ‘till he brought them a letter from the church in Richmond, and if he doesn’t do that he must be turned out of church.[1] Brother and Mag returned with us to dinner. We all rode around to Mrs. Hill’s and spent the evening with Ada and Nannie Boykin.[2] As soon as we returned, Mr. Garland Hanes and Mr. Dabney from Richmond called and spent the night, brother & Mag did the same.[3]

  1. [1] The church in Richmond is the previously mentioned “old” Sycamore Church, Richmond’s ‘mother’ church for the “Campbellite” Disciples of Christ.
  2. [2]We met Nannie Boykin back on 12 February. Ada is Ada Minor, 18, of Essex County, daughter of Dr Jefferson Minor, who we will meet tomorrow.
  3. [3]While Mr. Dabney is likely never to be identified, Mr. Garland Hanes will return.

Saturday, March 26th, 1853

I have been afraid several times today that the wind would blow the house over. I have never known any thing to equal it in my life. – – I have been busy all the morning making a pair of oriental sleeves to Ma’s drab mouslaine. Spent the evening in reading old newspapers &c. – – It rained so hard just about night that Pa and the children were compelled to remain all night at Woodbury. Uncle Edmund and his children did the same. – – They all had fine luck fishing. Caught one shad between them. – – They had quite a company there to dinner. Mr. Pollard, Uncle Hardin, Uncle Washington, Cousin Emmet and several others.[1] Sister is still at Oak Dale. We intended sending for her, but the wind prevented us. Ma made Bartlet wash the carriage.[2]

  1. [1]Uncle Washington is George Washington Quarles. He is the son of Major Isaac Qu Likely James O. Pollard – – Uncle Washington is George Washington Quarles. He is one of the many, many children of Major Isaac Quarles (1754-1817) and his wife Elizabeth [Sutherland] Quarles (1752-1810). He was born at the Quarles family home, Woodbury in 1798. We will eventually meet his wife Martha [Turner] Quarles, “Aunt Patsy.” Emmet Quarles, 27, like his father, is a farm “manager.” In 1850 he is recorded as residing with physician William G. Pollard at Zoar, near Aylett’s. Uncle Washington and Aunt Patsy seem to be living closer to the Littlepages.
  2. [2] “Ma made Bartlet wash the carriage.” is written along the margin.

Friday, March 25th, 1853

Nothing particular occurs today. – – Brother came down for some more strawberry plants this morning, and Sister returned with him. Pa, Brother & Cousin Fes spent the night at Woodbury. I believe they were out in the river until three or four o’clk trying to shoot “muskrats,” but I don’t believe they had much luck. – – Aunt Maria was taken much worse about ten o’clk in the night, and we had to send down there for brother. – – Pa caught twenty-five shad. – – I received a letter from Lilie and one from Tavie also.

Thursday, March 24th, 1853

I spent the day mostly in writing. Wrote three letters, one to Willie, Tavie and Mollie Turner. – – Brother came down this afternoon and performed an operation on Sister’s hand (that of burning the nails off with caustick).[1] I have no doubt she will suffer a great deal with them. – – Ambrose and Aunt Maria are still sick. I am afraid the latter will never recover, she has been sick so long.[2] – – Ma has a dozen of the sweetest little ducks I ever saw hatched today. – – Pa only caught fourteen shad today, owing to it’s being so very windy. He commenced plowing at Woodbury this morning. – – Jim made a short stay out.

  1. [1]Chemically burning nails using a caustic is still a common procedure in nail surgery. But, perhaps, it is now a little less painful. Dr. Ju was probably using sodium hydroxide, a.k.a. lye.
  2. [2]That Maria is described as Aunt suggest she is an older slave, perhaps one who has been with the Littlepages for some time.

Wednesday, March 23rd, 1853

Rather an unlikely day. Mr. Coleman preached at Jerusalem.[1] There is a very bad state of affairs existing in that church at this time between old Dr. Duval and the Smyrna & Sycamore church in Richmond about immersion in relation to baptism. In all probability I think there will very apt be a split in the Reform church. – – Mag & Brother came by this morning on their way down to church and took Sister in the buggy with them. The carriage horses are plowing and Pa drove Frank to the buggy down to “Woodbury” so Ma and myself were disappointed in going. We had to wait dinner for them ‘till past four o’clk, and then nothing was settled. – – Pa returned from Woodbury rather earlier than usual, it being too windy to float. He only caught twenty-five shad. Pa sent up four shad to Mr. Pitts this morning by Bil.[2] – – Jim ran away from the overseer today. I hope he will find Amanda before he comes back.[3] – – Brother was sent for to see Ambrose.

  1. [1]Likely Reuben Lindsay Coleman (1807-1880), featured, among others, in The Plea and the Pioneers in Virginia: A History of the Rise and Early Progress of the disciples of Christ in Virginia, with Biographical Sketches of the Pioneer Preachers, Frederick Arthur Hodge, 1905.
  2. [2]Mr. John H. Pitts, about 30, is headmaster of Rumford Academy.
  3. [3] Remember Rose reported that Amanda, the hired “servant” “ran away” 8 March. This may be a case of Rose exhibiting “dry” humor as does her mother occasionally. Or it could mean Jim left looking for Amanda.

Tuesday, March 22nd, 1853

Nothing of importance takes place today. I received a very sweet letter from Willie, expected one from Lilie but was disappointed. – – Ma has been busy all day making mince pies, cakes &c. – – Mrs. Sale sent her a grevel rose.[1] – – I commenced teaching Eddy & Zac this morning. I couldn’t have possibly believed that they could have forgotten so much since last November. – – Pa had very good luck fishing today. Caught forty two shad.

  1. [1]Mrs. Wade Hampton Sale, about 31, was the former Susan S. Miller. She and her husband, originally from Caroline County, seem to be living in the Ayletts / Rumford vicinity. – – The prized Greville (Seven Sisters) Rose (Rosa multiflora ‘Grevillei’) is a climber with flowers that change in color through every shade from crimson-purple to white. It seems to have originated in China, but the circumstances of its introduction into Europe and the U.S. are cloudy. Its Latin name is in honor of an Englishman, the Hon. Charles Francis Greville. It became very popular in the nineteenth-century U.S. South.