Summary of Ebenezer SPARHAWK’s diary Year 1800

Summary of Ebenezer SPARHAWK’s diary

Year 1800

Summarized by Dorothy Mitchell McClure

Note: On the diaries. Ebenezer Sparhawk Jr. (28 May 1764 to 31 Oct 1836) of Rochester VT (here’s how he works into the family tree) kept a diary for 30 years. How Dorothy Mitchell McClure came into possession of the diaries is unknown, other than Ebenezer being gggrandfather of her husband, Albert, but they were quite delicate so she made a summary of them. The diaries were kept in a safe deposit box and I was never privileged to view them but received a copy of the summary. The style of her summarizing changes several times as it progresses, and shortly moves to being primarily direct abbreviated quotes. The transcriptions I’ve made of the summaries aren’t religiously exact as the style of summarizing was confusing at points where it was difficult to distinguish between direct quotes and what were her notations, but the transcriptions are close.

Though summaries, there are numerous accounts of transactions of various types with neighbors and others, accounts of illnesses and deaths, trading and selling of goods, mentions of town meetings, who was preaching, record of his surveying work for the towns and individuals, mixed in with notes on weather (and whether it was exceptional) and general and unusual chores.

Go to year index of the diaries.

January – Many errands and chores but a number of visits with friends started this new year.

January 27 – “set out for Templeton & Boston my Brother Samuel with me” (this time Ebenezer went for money owed him – February – received some money, then went to Westmister after salt).

February 5 – Back in Templeton. “Workd about wood for my Father a few people were sledding”

February 12 – Back in Rochester

February 12 – W. clear & pleasant went to the Blacksmith to get work done – Being a Day much observed throughout a great part of North America in commemoration of the Birth of illustrious Gen. George Washington also in lamentation for the Death of such an extraordinary Man”

February 26 – “went over the Mountain to Salisbury to get Iron for my Cart Wheels”

February 28 – “James RICHARDSON & wife came to my house moving to Warren” (Many friends came to the Sparhawk home to visit from time to time)

March 20 – “about making Cubbard in Cellar & moving my Cellar Stairs”

March 26 – “this day sent by F. CROWN a horse, letters and money to Walpole”

April 1 – “went to Mr. Enos MORGAN’s to make a Bed rope”

April 7 – “prepare for making my Cart Wheels”

April 9 – “to Asa PERKINS (blacksmith) to get Cart Hoops made”

April 19 – “to Stockbridge after a Horse that ran away”

April 23 – “Fast Day Mr. RANSOM preached”

May 1 – “It may be remembered that this is very Forward grass so much grown that cattle live very well”

May 7 – “P.M. went to Meeting house to pay the Continental Land Tax”

May 10 – “had my garden seeds sowed”

May 12 – “at Evening attd to collecting help for my wife who was sick most of the night”

May 13 – “W. very clear & warm workd about near the House A.M. – and about two o’clock afternoon our first Child was born” (George)

May 19 – “set out with Esqr. HODGKINS to find an old Corner between Stockbridge & Killington”

May 21 – “found Corner – came home”

May 28 – “W. clear & warm work’d at sowing Oats in my sugar place This Day the number of My Days amount to 36 years – how swift is time on the wing

June 5 – “some frost”

June 8 – “Mr. CONE of the Baptist order preached”

June 10 – “brought Fanny SHELDON to my House to work” (Help for Azubah and their new baby)

June 16 – “night cold & frosty”

June 20 – “survey’d a piece of Land for my Brother Henry which he sold to Phineas AUSTIN”

June 22 – P.M. from Isaiah 57.20,21 a very great number of People attd on account of the funeral of a young man by the name of EDGELL who was killed by the fall of a Tree & his Corpse brought into the meeting house & buryed at noon”

June 24 thru 28 – “on a Journey to Stow & Williston ” (to do business for Esqr. HODKIN in Williston, Settled taxed on Land (Stow). “attd the Redemption of Lands in Mansfield.”

July 3 – “workd at framing the School House”

July 19 – “It has been a very dry time in this part of the Country”

August 8 – “W. clear work’d for my Brother Henry A.M. to pay him for helping Mr. MASON (?) who is home with a (?) of a Seythe. P.M. very showery attd a Town meeting”

August 10 – “W. something clear being Sunday did not attd meeting by reason of having a very sore Eye which came in the morning”

August 13 – “went my Broth. Henry to look about a Saw Mill place”

August 15 – “set out from home to find a workman to build a Saw Mill” August 19 – “went to Bethel to hire a Mr. WILSON to build a Saw Mill” August 22- “set out to go over the Mountain to get Mill Irons”

August 29 – “killing a Beef Creature”

August 30 – “work’d at cutting a Road from the Mill place towards my house”

September 11 – “set out to run the South line of Stockbridge went to N. East Corner of Killington & began run about half a mile then campd in the Woods all night”

September 13 – “finished running sd (?) Line – came home”

Septmber 15 – “W. clear & cool workd at ye Mill A.M. – & P.M. went to Mr. SHELDONS to reckon with those who bot pews in ye Meeting house – at night very cold & frosty on the Hills but none in ye vallies by reason of Fogg”

September 28 – “W. rainy most of the day did not attd meeting. There has been little rain for several Months, much the dryest season that has been since this Town was settled – tho’ by very small showers the top of the ground has been wet so that our Crops in general are good.”

October 7 – “sold my fatted Cattle to Mr. MIRIAM (?) of Concord, Massachusetts”

October 9 – “Mr. WILSON who is framing our Saw Mill”

October 17 – “carted Braces for our Mill”

October 22 – “W. something cloudy work’d at Raising our Saw Mill in this Evening set out to go to Middlebury as an Evidence for the Proprietors of Pittsfield about Land Matters”

October 24 – “att’d the General Assembly”

October 25 – “finished the Business I went upon A.M. and P.M. set out for home”

October 29 – “my Brother Henry to go over the Mountain after Mill Irons”

November 15 – Much snow and rain this month and “workd at ye Mill”, journey to Walpole to do Errands & making settlement with a number of People, arrived home on the 26th

December 2 – “attd Town meeting to choose a Representative to Congress”

December 4 – “Thanksgiving Day attd meeting no preaching at evening went to Mr. J. JEPHERSON with Mrs. SPARHAWK”

December 5 – “W. cloudy work’d at getting wood and went to Mr. SHELDONs at evening to see about Library matters night very snowy”

December 18 – “W. something cloudy attd a Library meeting at Mr. SHELDONs to ratify a Constitution & choose Officers for sd. (?) society”

December 28 – “meeting at Esq. EMERSONs House Revd Mr Campbell preached a sermon from James 4.14 – at the Funeral of Henry LAIN who was killed by the fall of a Tree – at night some snow came”

December 31 – The Mill must have been finished for on the 31st Ebenezer “workd at the Mill about sawing”

Transcribed by JMK 2003

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