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.
January and February – Ebenezer continued with the school he started in his own house, also continued his arranging the Continental List of the town of Rochester. From January 28th to Feb 11th he was gone to Templeton bringing his brother Noah home with him to live. Ebenezer finished his school for the winter the last of February, also during this month he prepared a second Continental List for the Commissioner, delivering his “return as an assessor” on Feb. 28.
March 5 – “attd Town Meeting for electing Town Officers”
March 15 – “went to Mr. Joseph JEPHERSON to engage a girl to keep my house”
This is Azubah JEPHERSON. Forrest MORGAN and his family who had been living in Ebenezer’s house and share cropping moved to their own house. Azubah arrived to keep his house on the 28th. Her parents came to visit a few days later. They must have been satisfied with the situation for Azubah stayed on.
April 4 – “W. something snowy A.M. P.M. something clear A remarkable great Snow two feet deep or more”
April 25 – Fast day in Vermont
April 26 – “P.M. Esqr HODGKINS came to my house to settle Land Taxes”
May 11 – “W. something cloudy & cold workd at ploughing my orchard Snow came about an inch deep”
May 12 – “W. clear and cold attd meeting Mr. RANSOM preached from Ezekiel 16 four last verses – after meeting went to Mr. Joseph JEPHERSONS with their daughter Azubah”
May 14 – “Survey’d the Piece of Land taken from Pittsfield to Rochester”
May 15 – “attd Proprietors meeting at Mr. SHELDONS & made a draught of our third Division Lots of Land in Rochester at night rainy”
May 28 – “planting corn…sowing garden seeds this Day has compleated five times seven years of my Age”
June 1 – “sowing oats on the Hill at the Old House Place”
June 2 – “W. something cloudy & cool – att’d meeting Mr. TANSOM preached from Number 10.29 all Day – same day was published to Miss Azubah JEPHERSON – by E. EMERSON Esq. Town Clerk”
June 3 – Esq. EMERSON at my House settling Land Taxes.”
June 4 – Proprietors meeting, Training Day, also Ebenezer “set out on a Journey to Danville & Stow to see about Vendue Lands”
June 5 – “surveying the Road from Kingston through Warren to Waitsfield…” (This trip took him to Montpelier, Danville, Cabbot, Stow, Waterbury – at Danville settling Vendue Business & taking deeds.)
June 17 – “P.M. went to see about Shoes”
June 22 – “W. clear & hot went to Ava PERKINS to get my Horse shod & towards night went with Miss Azubah JEPHERSON to her Fathers left her to tarry all night”
June 23 – “W. clear & hot went in the morning to Mr. JEPHERSONS & carried Azubah to meeting – Mr. RANSOM preached after meeting I went to Mr. Joseph JEPHERSON’s and was married to Miss Azubah JEPHERSON by Revd. John RANSOM then returned home with my companion”
June 28 – “attd to reclaiming (?) land being the last day”
July 3 – “P.M. assisted Brother Henry about Raising his Barn”
July 5 – “went to Mr. WHIPPLES about SAYTHES”
July 6 – “workd at bleeding my fat cattle”
August 14 – “Esq. KEYES came to my house to bring money to me for my service in making out Continental List”
August 21 – “Began about digging a well near my house”
August 31 – Brother Noah who has lived with Ebenezer since February set out for a journey Northward for some weeks.
September 12 – “Day for Genl. Muster at Royalton”
September 23 – “Writing Deeds for Mr. Isaac WING Collector all day” (next day also)
September 26 – “P.M. assisted David WARREN about raising a house”
September 27 thru 28 – “after basket stuff” with Mr. SHAW
October 10 – “Esq. EMERSON came to my house to draw a Petition to the Assembly for Isaac WING. P.M. Eldad GARNSEY brot a pair of Oxen to pay for Land”
October 12 – “W. cloudy work’d about home A.M. – P.M. set out to assist Mr. N. CHANDLER about raising his House but was called off to go and give a Deposition to Joseph TUCKER of Connecticut”
October 21 – “set out from Rochester for Boston with fat cattle. Brother Noah set out with me for Templeton”
After selling his cattle, he returned to Templeton for a short visit and on home to Rochester on the 9th of November, and every day was filled with chores.
December 5 – “W. cloudy A.M. & P.M. being Thanksgiving Day attd meeting Mr. RANSOM preached – at evening went to Mr. JEPHERSON’s with Mrs. SPARHAWK”
December 10 – “W. cold & rainy in the morning which made a thin sharp crust on the snow – work’d about killing a Beef Creature & my Hogs all Day, at night clear & cold”
Transcribed by JMK 2003