Wednesday, November 30th, 1853

I arose and found to my great astonishment that it had cleared off and was a beautiful day. We thought yesterday evening that it would continue to rain for one week at least. Mr. John Cobb (one of the carpenters) came very near cutting his leg off this morning.[1]Bil had to carry him home in the buggy. The oldMonmouth passed here this day about eleven.[2]   It came up last night quite late.

  1. [1]Farmer John Cobb, now 46, appears in the 1850 US Census with wife Lucy A., and children Octavia, Frances, and Milton.
  2. [2]The Monmouth out of Baltimore is not to be confused with much larger Monmouth which sank in the Mississippi in 1837. This Monmouth would suffer a similar fate in three years, albeit with fewer lives lost.

Tuesday, November 29th, 1853

I arose as usual. Pa left for Court Martial and Ma for Mount Hope soon after breakfast.[1] I expected to spend quite a lonesome day as they would neither be back to dinner, but about an hour after they left I discovered a carriage coming to the house. I couldn’t for my life conceive who it was, when to my great surprise who should it be but Mr. & Mrs. Trible and Eddy.[2] I don’t know any one that could have surprised me more. I hadn’t heard that they were in the county. They spent the day with me and I know would have stayed all night if Ma had been at home. Mrs. T. played a good deal for me on the piano and begged me to play for her, but I was sorry I couldn’t oblige her. She and I had a long talk over old times. She told me Angie had two children, a boy and girl, and a heap more news about my old schoolmates.[3] Ma returned home about sundown. It was raining quite hard and indeed had commenced to rain before Mr. and Mrs. T. left. Pa returned soon after, expecting to find them here. Mr. Trible is very anxious to rent Mt. Hope and open a male & female school there, but he said he would be compelled to leave tomorrow and seemed very much troubled at not meeting with Pa, but I told him that Pa had refused yesterday to rent the place. He had several applications.

  1. [1]That Rose uses the term “Court Martial” suggest something unusual is going on up at the courthouse. Perhaps it is related to Uncle Edmund, an attorney, being commanded there yesterday.
  2. [2]Rev. Peter Trible, 52, and his wife Eliz [Haig] Trible, 33, conducted P. Trible’s School for Young Gentlemen and Mrs. Trible’s Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies at Woodland near Dunnsville in Essex County. Eddy is their son John Edwin Trible, about 10. We seem to have discovered where Rose received the latter part of her education.
  3. [3]As Eliz Trible may have been a second wife, Angie may be a daughter of Peter Trible. But as Rose wrote, “more news about my old schoolmates,” Angie may have been another student at Mrs. Trible’s.

Monday, November 28th, 1853

We all arose quite early. Mr. Johnson & McCrae came down to see Pa on business and spent several hours. Pa went up to court about twelve, returned home about one. – – Mr. Ellett got two lbs. of wool of Ma today. – – The children went to school in the buggy, but soon returned. – – Uncle Edmund was commanded to the Ct. House. – – I wrote a long letter to Sister, Mollie Turner and Willie Brown today. Sent them all to the Post Office this evening.

Sunday, November 27th, 1853

Liv came for me in the buggy before breakfast. I rode to Oak Dale yesterday and didn’t wear a thing over me. I didn’t discover it till I got to the Ct. House. I had to borrow Mag’s shawl this morning to wear home. Ma & all the children but myself, Ed & Zac attended Jerusalem. Uncle Washington & Aunt Patsy spent the evening with us.[1] They were very much pleased with everything, admired my carpet wonderfully.

  1. [1]This is the first appearance of Aunt Patsy, Martha [Turner] Quarles.

Saturday, November 26th, 1853

This is Sister’s birthday, she is twenty-one years old. That seems right ageable.[1] – – Brother came down after breakfast and spent several hours. I returned home with him and spent the night. Mag and the boy are looking very well. I slept up in the garret by myself. Brother sent Uncle Billy up to Prince’s for their trunk and the stage driver had neglected to bring it down, and had taken it along with him to Tappahannock. One or the other, I never saw folks so disappointed. Mag didn’t bring any thing at all with her for Herbert or herself, so she is in a very bad fix if her trunk should be lost, which I hope will not be so.

  1. [1]Rose seems to be suggesting Sister is right old.

Friday, November 25th, 1853

I arose as usual. – – Bil carried my letter up to the Post Office and had it mailed. He went from there to Mt. Hope and was to have returned home to breakfast, but didn’t get back before ten o’clock. Pa saw a smoke rising in that direction and became very uneasy. There was no horse here, so he started to walk to see what had become of him. He met in a short while and learned that Mr. Pollard’s dwelling house was burnt down to the ground. It took fire just before breakfast, from the improper building of the chimney. I don’t know when I’ve seen Pa so distressed about anything. The house had not been built more than four years. Bil and Neander Short were the first that discovered it.[1] – – Clary & myself finished the chamber carpet today. – – Brother & Mag got down from Richmond this evening, we’ve been expecting them every day this week.

  1. [1]Neander Short about 14, is a son of Newton Short and Wife Sarah [Turner] Short.

Thursday, November 24th, 1853

I arose very early. The gentlemen left for court about eleven. Cousin Fendall was very anxious to come down tomorrow after the court adjourned and take me up to see Cousin Betsy, but I concluded I was rather too busy to leave home just now. They all declared my carpet would have taken the Premium at the State Fair, that it far excelled any home manufactured carpet they had ever seen. Pa, together with some twenty or thirty gentlemen, dined with Mr. Pollard today, he returned home to tea. – – I miss Sister so much. She has been gone only one week and it seems a whole month. I wrote a long letter to her this evening, Pa enclosed $25 in it.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 1853

I arose as usual this morning and as usual have been hard at work all day. – – Sawyer Jeffries from King and Queen, Capt. Douglas and Cousin Fendall came down with Pa from court and spent the night.[1] They all admire our new residence very much, but most of the persons seem to be impressed with the idea that it will be unhealthy, but we don’t think so. Ma was right much troubled to have supper tonight, not knowing where to go to look for anything scarcely, and she hasn’t gotten used to the stove in the dining room yet. We like the one we have very much, but Pa thinks he will change it and get a cooking stove. Mr. Pollard came down after ten and spent several hours.

  1. [1]With many Jeffries families in King and Queen County and nothing else to go on, any suggestion as to the identity of this “Sawyer Jeffries” is very speculative. But there is one Jeffries family listed in the 1850 US Census who may be more likely. That is Lewis Jeffries, about 53 this year. His son Robert, 24, is listed living with him and is a carpenter. That would suggest an interest in owning a saw mill. He is also list listed as owning $4,000 worth of real estate which would place him on approximately the same social plane as the other overnight guests. – – Capt. Douglas is Beverly Brown (B. B.) Douglass of Cownes near Aylett’s. The conspicuous lawyer, soldier, and politician will appear often in the Littlepage journals. – – Cousin Dr. Fendall Gregory needs no further introduction.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 1853

Ma layed the floor at the dining room door. I arose very early. Clary & Myself finished the carpet before dinner, we put them all down in the afternoon. – – Superior Court commenced today. Pa went up about eleven and returned about the same hour. – – I never saw prettier weather than we have now. – – The workmen I believe laid the foundation for the quarter today. – – We were right much disappointed in not receiving a letter from Sister this evening. – – Mr. McCrae, Dr. Friend & Mr. Johnson called to see Pa on business this morning and spent several hours.[1]

  1. [1]Chesterfield County’s Col. Sherwin McRae (1805-1889) was King William County attorney some years previous. While living in King William he married Sarah Johnson, daughter of William Christopher Johnson, Sr. of Old Town. Thus he retained ties with the county long after moving back to the Richmond area. McRae’s varied career included being a founder of the Virginia Historical Society and State Librarian. His obituary in the Richmond Dispatch filled almost a full column on page one. Dr. John E. Friend is married to Sarah Johnson McRae’s sister Mary. They live adjacent to McRae in Henrico County on Creighton Road. One of the two Johnson in-laws, William Christopher Johnson, Jr., or Anderson Johnson, may have rounded out this trio visiting Woodbury.