Summary of Ebenezer SPARHAWK’s diary
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.
Feb. 6th “W. something clear … P. M. attended to settling Road affair with the other Committee Men.” 29th – “W. very clear & plt. being Thanksgiving Day appointed by the President of ye United States on account of the Preservation from Wars & which have prevailed among the Nations in Europe – attd meeting Revd Mr. RUSSEL preached from Psalm 107.22.”
March 24 “W. Do snow melts very fast begun about Sugaring. P. M. attd funeral of Eben MORSE’S child. Mr. RUSSEL preached.”
April 16 “W. something clear. A.M. work’d at picking rocks. P.M. the rain descended with unusual power and raised up Rivers exceedingly, carried off the Mill Dam.”
May 28th. “W. clear & hot work’d with Mr. Dan’l SHAW a looking out & falling Timber for my Barn. On this Day ends the thirty first year of my Age. Oh the swiftness of time!”
June 7 “…might cold & something of a hard frost.” Raised his barn.
July 7. “W. something cloudy. A.M. surveyed a road up White River in Stockbridge to Barnard Road. P.M. came home & attd Training to choose a Captain.”
July 23 – “W. clear went in ye morning to Mr. RUSSELS he was not to be seen – same Day he fled from Rochester for bad conduct – work’d at haying.”
August 9 – “w. clear attended meeting no preaching. “Very hot weather all last week.” August 31. “It may be observed that ye weather has been uncommonly hot ye month of August.”
Sept. 2 – “W. something clear…P.M. went to Training.” During September he bought and traded cattle and surveyed.
Sept. 24 – “w. plt attended Muster at Royalton at Even’g returned to Bethel, lodged at HUNTINGDONS, same day my Father & sisters Nabby & Naomi arrived at Rochester from Templeton.” (His father preached in Rochester two Sundays. He and his father went to several towns on the Onion River after visits to Kingston and Waitsfield “to view that part of ye Country then to Barre…” His father returned home taking his sister’s Namoi and Prissa. Priscilla had been in Rochester with him for some time evidently to keep house for him, and left Nabby to take her place.)
October 26 – “Weather clear & plt. Set out from Rochester for Boston with a drove of cattle…”
November 4 – In Boston he lodged at Dana’s (?) Tavern, Cambridge, also at Mrs. SPARHAWK’S, a relative. Arrived home in Rochester 19th. On the 26th, “W. clear & cold…visited Mr. SHELDON, raised his house.”
December 3 – “W. cloudy some snow being Thanksgiving day in this State att’d meeting Rev’d Elisha HUTCHINSON preached from 138 Psalm 1st verse at Evnig visited at Brother Henry’s.” This month he worked diligently on his floor for his barn and shingles for covering.
Transcribed by JMK 2003