Sunday, July 31st, 1853

I arose very early and gave out breakfast. Ma, Bil, Bake, Piggie and myself attended a Baptist meeting at the Acquinton Church. Ma intended returning home to dinner, but Mrs. Lewis would make her stay and take dinner with her.[1] But she was so much afraid of a cloud that she wouldn’t stay to the evening meeting. I met with Mollie T. there, and she would make me stay and go home with her. I went in the Rockaway with Cousin Tom, had a very nice ride. We had a mighty nice time eating dinner, went around to about a half dozen tables. Mrs. Fontaine became right much offended because I didn’t dine with her. We arrived at the Grove about four o’clock. I never spent a more agreeable evening. Cousin Tom, Cousin Fendall, Messrs. Braxton, Nelson, Chapman, W. Edwards, T. Edwards & Quarles came with us and remained ‘till ten o’clock.[2] Mollie played and sang some sacred music, and a little that wasn’t sacred. Capt. Braxton and myself had rare fun with “When other friends are around thee.”[3] We all took a long walk. Capt. B. and myself walked together.

  1. [1]This is certainly Mrs. Dr. John L. Lewis (Barbara Joanna [Winston] Lewis) of Auburn, which is within sight of Acquinton Church.
  2. [2]The names of most of these young men should be familiar by now. W. Edwards, certainly William, appears with “T. Edwards,” likely his cousin Thomas Edwards mentioned in a footnote back on 5 January. Mr. Quarles may be cousin Emmitt Quarles mentioned on 26 March. Mr. Chapman is new and appears only once in Rose’s journal. No KW Chapmans appear in period records. However there are plenty of Chapman families in adjacent counties to account for his presence in at The Grove. Perhaps he is related to one of the other Messrs. in attendance.
  3. [3]“When Other Friends Are Around Thee,” in The Deserted Bride and Other Poems (1843) by George P. Morris, 1846. Morris’ poems were often set to music, including this one.

Saturday, July 30th, 1853

Lilie arose quite early and gave out breakfast. – – Hardin came up in the buggy for me directly after. I was quite glad, altho’ I didn’t expect him until the evening, not that I wish to leave them all up here, but I’ve gotten homesick. I found Sister busy making a cake, it turned out the be one of the nicest I ever saw. – – Pa and Bil left very early for Woodbury. They returned to supper. The wheat was so very damp that Pa was afraid to begin machining ‘till twelve o’clk. They brought up some very fine peaches with them. – – I have not taken a needle in my hand today, as much work as I’ve got to do.

Friday, July 29th, 1853

I arose very early and gave out breakfast; was never more astonished than when I beheld the rain pouring down in torrents as though it hadn’t rained for a siege. – – Mag and the baby are both very well. – – Pa is rather more reconciled to something than he was at first. – – I sent my letter to Tave this morning that I didn’t send by the last mail. – – I don’t know why, but I have had the blues about as bad this evening as I ever did before in my life.

“Like some lone bird without a mate
My weary heart is desolate.”[1]

Lilie and I went up in the garret to take a nap, which I believe she did, but I only tried in vain.

“Tired nature’s sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
He like the world, his ready visit pays
Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes
Swift on his down pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.”[2]

I scarcely know what to hope or wish for, things are always turning out so differently from what I expect, but my greatest wish on earth is that I was better prepared to meet that grim monster, death. Oh! it makes me so perfectly miserable just to reflect for one minute on my situation. I see nothing in this world I should wish to live for, when I feel as I do this evening. I am almost tempted to wish myself out of existence, but then the thought of my awful situation rushes like a madman oe’r my brain. Then why do I not prepare for death, now that I am blessed with youth & health. It really seems that there is some evil spirit working within me, to put down every good resolution I form. Indeed I must change this subject, I cannot permit myself to dwell any longer on it now.

  1. [1] From Stanzas to a Lady on Leaving England, George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. Rose substitutes “Like” for “As” at the beginning. Years later the Carter Family would make that same substitution in I Never Loved But One.
  2. [2]Edward Young again. And again from Night-Thoughts

Thursday, July 28th, 1853

two little white dresses for the boy, but didn’t sew much on them. He was so very restless. – – Hannah brought Addison up. Pa commenced machining his wheat down at Woodbury.

 

{Note: Due to a page being torn from the journal, this is all that is left of Rose’s entries from Monday morning, 25 July, when she pens the last of her previous entry dated Saturday, July 23, to today.}

Saturday, July 23rd, 1853

Brother came down directly after breakfast for me to go up to Oak Dale, which I did. Ma came up to dinner and brought Bake & Piggie with her. Mag complained a good deal all day. Ma and brother thought she must have the cholic, but soon after dinner they had to send over to the Ct. House for Aunt Clary.[1]About eight o’clock, little Johnnie made his appearance. He was so very large that Brother sent over to Mr. Powel’s for the balances to weigh him. He weighed nearly nine pounds and a half. Ma and the children returned home about twelve. Lilie and myself retired to our room up in the garret shortly after. We were in a fine glee. Took a watermelon up with us and thought we would have fine times eating, but just as we cut it open Brother called us down to the baby. Oh! shall I ever forget the next two hours. It is useless for me to write what transpired, for it is impossible for it ever to be erased from my memory. We had to send over to the Ct. House for that old lady again. Ah! we know not what we may not be brought to do. We retired to our room again after it was all over, but neither of us had an appetite for the melon. I was so very nervous I couldn’t get to sleep for several hours, but that is not to be wondered. I haven’t entirely recovered from my shock yet (Monday morning). We did not blow the candle out all night.

{Note: At this point, a page has been torn from the journal, no doubt in response to what Rose wrote about the days following the birth of her nephew, not Johnny, but Herbert H. Littlepage. Posts will return on the 28th.}

  1. [1]colic. noun: severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies. Colic as a medical term has fallen somewhat out of favor as traditional intestinal explanations for the physical cause of bouts of crying by babies remain problematic.

Friday, July 22nd, 1853

Another rainy day, the children remained at home again. It seems the rain will never cease falling. I never saw anything like it before at this season of the year. – – Bartlett went up to Prince’s in Pa’s buggy to bring down Lilie’s baggage. She came down in the stage today, brother went up for her in his buggy. I received a long letter from Tave. – – James carried five lambs down to Walkerton this morning for the steamboat to take down to Norfolk. He came back by Woodbury and brought up a large load of watermelons &c, the greater part of which were left at Mr. Slaughter’s store to be sold. – – I don’t think I ever witnessed such a sight in my life as was here today. Ma attempted to take a beehive and one of the servants jostled it so that the bees came out and stung every one that came in their reach. They even came in the house. I don’t think Baker and Ed were stung not less than fifty times. Well, everyone became so much afraid of them that they wouldn’t go near the hive, so I mustered up all the courage I possessed and went out and got the honey. It was the first time I ever did such a thing in my life and what is very remarkable, didn’t get one single sting. – – A strange gentleman rode up just in the midst of the children’s “hollering.” His wish was to conduct the washer from the house to the spring by means of a telegraph wire.[1]

  1. [1]Any suggestions as to what the “strange gentleman’s” proposal might have been are anxiously accepted.

Thursday, July 21st, 1853

I arose very early and gave out breakfast. The children are unable to attend school again today, it has rained constantly all day. – – I finished hemstitching my band by ten o’clock. The remainder of the day I spent very foolishly. I lost my keys yesterday afternoon in the garden as I thought, so I dressed up in a suit of Pa’s clothes and went to look for them, not wishing to get mine wet. Ma and Sister were highly amused at me. I kept them on ‘till after dinner. – – Brother rode down in the afternoon to see Frederick, found him much better. – – Bil went down to Woodbury and gathered a great quantity of watermelons, thinking the steamboat would take them, but was disappointed. He rode from there to Walkerton to see Old Capt. Fatherly and hear from Pa.[1] Ma & myself slept in the room over the chamber by ourselves, we sat I suppose ‘till twelve o’clk talking. Sister slept in the chamber with Pigie & Nannie.

  1. [1]Well-known and respected “Old” Captain John Smith Fatherly of Norfolk was all of 45. He and his wife would perish two years later there in the 1855 Yellow Fever epidemic.

Wednesday, July 20th, 1853

A rainy day, the children all remained at home in consequence. – – Ma and Bil rode down to Woodbury in the afternoon and brought up a load of watermelons & muskmelons; they were caught in quite a hard rain but didn’t get wet much. Liv & Hardin spent the night at brother’s. – – I commenced hemstitching me a band this morning. Sister is hemstitching a beautiful pair of sleeves for herself. Ma hasn’t been able to wear her thimble, I don’t believe for nearly two months, ‘till today. She and I have been busy cutting coats and pants for the servants next winter.

Tuesday, July 19th, 1853

Quite an inclement morning. – – Pa left for Balto. (he will take the “Star” at Walkerton) about sunrise. Bil went down with him in the buggy. Ma became very uneasy, we had the appearance of a very bad storm about nine o’clk., but it all blew off after a while. – – We dined about eleven. We’ve no time piece and we forgot how early we breakfasted and I do know that the evening appeared at least two days.[1] – – Ma, Sister, Bil, Bake and all of the smaller children took a nap of four or five hours. – – I finished those little gowns for Mag this evening. – – Brother rode down about 6 o’clk. to see Frederick, took supper with us. We sup much sooner this Summer than we’ve ever down before. Always before candlelight. – – Sister has been hemstitching all day. – – The sick folks are all convalescent.

  1. [1]No, I don’t know what Rose meant by what she wrote either. She may have left out a word, or two.

Monday, July 18th, 1853

We all arose quite early. Liv, Hardin & Eddy went to school, Pa, Bil & Zac down to Woodbury. – – Pa pulled 60 watermelons and two or three dozen cantaloupes. Sold the greater part of them to the Capt. of the steamboat and some to the gentleman he met with down at the river. He made $9.00 off them. They all returned home to supper. Mag and brother rode down just as supper bell rung, but said they had taken tea so they took their seats at table but we couldn’t prevail on them to eat. – – Brother doesn’t think Frederick any better. Bake has been up and walking about a little today. – – I’ve been reading “Rose Somerville” to Ma most all day. She is very much pleased with it. – – Uncle Edmund came to bring Pa some cards to take with him to Balto. Sister has declined accompanying him. Ma & Pa are now busy downstairs packing his trunk, drawing off his memorandum &c. (10 p.m.) – – We are threatened with a very bad cloud tonight and indeed have been all the evening. I’m almost afraid to retire. Sister and myself are going to sleep in the room over the chamber tonight.