Summary of Ebenezer SPARHAWK’s diary Year 1814

Summary of Ebenezer SPARHAWK’s diary

Year 1814

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 1 – “Being Saturday Weather something cloudy attd the funeral of Ichabod JEPHERSON’s wife & at evening me with Mr. BABBET & finished the settlement about building the meeting house & gave up his Bond”

January 4 – “W. cold & clear went to Woodstock with the Widow SPARHAWK & Dr. WARREN to take letters of guardianship for my Brothers Children – lodged at TAYLORS Tavern.”

January 11 – “Went to Grandon with Silas TUPPER to take care of property belonging to my Brother H’s Estate lodged at the Revd. Mr. HIBBARDS.”

January 12 – “business…all Day…came home”

January 17 – “to Hancock to attend a meeting of W. B. Society.”

January 27 – “monthly conference”

February 8 – “to the Widow SPARHAWK to set off her part of the personal property recording to the Direction of the Judge”

February 14 – “attd the funeral of Joseph JEPHERSONS youngest child”

February 15 – “Mrs. SPARHAWK unwell went after Dct HUNTINGTON about break of Day our eighth Child & fourth Daughter born at 8 o’clock” (Martha)

February 24 – “Monthly conference”

February 25 – “att’d a Court Ephm FAIRBANK vs. Asaph SMITH”

March 1 – “Town meeting”

March 5 – “Court Obidiah DELAN vs. SILAS MCDAIN(?)”

March 9 – “made writings for James TOWL & others”

March 10 – “P.M. att’d an Exhibition at our Meeting house – the larger Scholars from two or three districts in Rochester & some from Hancock performed on the stage.”

March 16 – “P.M. went about some meeting house matter”

March 17 – “attd a Church meeting P.M. about James WING’S voting not to pay Revd Mr. BLODGETs salary”

March 18 thru 21 – “writing Bills of sale for PEWS”

March 22 – “bought two heifers of John JONES”

March 30 – “to James TOWLS to get Sap Pails”

April 5 – “went to get Robert AUSTIN (?) to live on the Widow SPARHAWK’s farm”

April 6 thru 7 – “to the Doctor for our Babe … very sick”

April 11 – “about sugaring…stormy snow & rain went with Jonathan JEWETT to do a little surveying of near R. CLARKS also to write a Deed & Notes with Elisha COOPER.”

April 14 – “assisted about ploughing on the Widow SPARHAWK’s farm”

April 21 – “wrote Deed for J. JEWETT to Wm. Mr. COLLAM”

April 23 – “Brother Saml came to my House”

Fencing, ploughing, sowing wheat, rye and flax.

May 2 – “Showers of Snow & Hail & Rain & cold”

May 5 – “attd Courts”

May 6 – “made something of a Bargain with Willard JEPHERSON about Sawmill & some land that was my Brother’s”

May 7 – “To Pittsfield to survey for Capt FAIRBANK”

May 8 – “had the child baptized by the name of Martha”

May 9 – “assisted Ezra WASHBURN about raising a House”

May 11 – “made writin (?) go with Willard JEPHERSON and Simion PARKER about the Saw Mill & part of the Farm that was my Brother’s”

Ploughing, furrowing, planting corn, carting dung, graden work, planting potatoes

May 25 – “wrote a letter to my Mother

May 28 – “This day fifty years of my life are numbered & finished – Half a Century of time with me is past and Oh the poor improve I have made”

May 31 – “attd some Courts at E. D. BRIGGS. P.M. FREEMAN’s meeting to choose Representative to attend State Convention attd a Court all night between H. HOWE & Reuben LAMB”

JUne 6 – “P.M. went to assist J. JEWETT about raising a house”

June 7 – “P.M. went to the Meeting House – it being Training Day”

June 13 – “assisted about beginning to build a new Bridge across White River near N. AUSTIN’s House”

June 14 – “Revd Mr. HOBERT of Berlin preached – The Association of Ministers being convened in Rochester”

June 15 thru 16 – “Work’d at the Bridge”

June 23 – “P.M. assisted R. HOWE (?) about raising a House”
June 25 – “drawing the String pieces for our Bridge”

Through June and July, hoeing corn, surveying, waggon wheels repaired, beginning about his haying and pulling flax.

August 9 – “went to pay my Direct Tax at E. D. BRIGGS house”

August 15 – “P.M. went out to make some preparation to go & attend Commencement at Middlebury”

August 16 – “W. clear & very warm most of the Day set out with three of my Children to attd Commencement – went to Cornwall – lodged at Mr. ANDERSON’s house”

August 17 – “attd Com. all day”

August 26 – “P.M. went with Mr. GARNSEY to survey some land belonging to Mr. J. JEPHERSON’s Estate.”

August 31 – “P.M. went to Hancock to see Esq. ROBBINS about what was due on my Brothers Estate”

September 3 – “workd for Esq. EMERSON surveying Joseph JEPHERSON Land”

September 10 “W. clear most of the Day work’d in my field A.M. About noon an alarm came on to have men voluntarily turn out to go to Plattsburg & meet the British Army – P.M. the Inhabitants collected and about 60 offered their Service & set out early the next morning — At evening Brother Joshua RICHARDSON from Templeton came to my House”

September 13 – “to E. D. BRIGGS to assist in making out the Grand List”

September 17 – “attd to calling some Courts at my House”

Mending fence, laying stones under cider mill house, sold cattle to J. RICHARDSON, surveying, making out Grand List, gathered corn.

October 1 – “P.M. went & attended about taking in property for Pews in the meeting house”

October 4 – Training Day

Gathering apples, corn, digging potatoes, attd court, taking up flax, butchering beef, hooping cider barrels.

October 18 – “P.M. att’d a Court or rather as’st was at last agreed upon an Arbitration between Doct FRANK & John POWERS Jr.”

October 21 – “hooping Barrels & Boarding my Cider Mill House”

November 2 – “finished making my own Cider”

November 16 – “banking my House”

November 17 – “attd Library meeting to divide the Books & dissolve the Library Society in Rochester”

November 24 – “fixed my well”

November 25 – “went with D. WARREN & Nathnl WINER and began to frame a horseshed at the Meeting house”

December 1 – “Thanksgiving Day”

December 5 – “getting wood to the School House”

December 9 – “P.M. visited our school with the Committee”

December 13 – “attd a Society meeting to raise money to pay Mr. BLODGETS Salary”

December 14 – “assisted in setting off the thirds to the Widow of Jacob JEPHPERSON”

December 20 – “at E. Bakers Shop about putting on Irons to my Sleigh”

December 23 – “drawed a load of Wood to Mr. BLODGET…& the greatest part of the People in the Hollow came & brought Wood & the Young Men chopped it at the Doon”
Thrashing of rye, hooping meat barrels, butchering hogs, drawing boards from mill.

Transcribed by JMK 2003

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