Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Woman's Work - December, 1859 Diary of Sarah Young Bovard, 31-year-old mother of 8 in Scott County, Indiana


About the writer: Sarah Waldsmith Young was born on February 21, 1828 in Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Abner Young, born 1799 in Maine, and Jane Waldsmith, born 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her husband James W. Bovard had been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1828. They married February 29, 1844 in the small crossroads town of Alpha in Scott County, Indiana, which was nestled in southern Indiana.

By the time she began her diary in 1859 at age 31, she had eight children: Oliver William, February 9, 1845
Marion McKinley, January 11, 1847
Maria Jane, February 4, 1849
Freeman Daily, January 9, 1851
Melville Young; December 6, 1852
Abner Sinclair, October 13, 1854
George Finley, August 8, 1856
James Carvossa, July 20, 1858.

One of her children had died before she began writing her diary. Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. By 1866, Sarah would have four more children, two would go on to become college presidents.


Diary of December, 1859

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 1859 Still raining. High water-rains all day-commenced sleeting in the evening. No school--the children come home at noon. I spooled Ruth's jeans. The notorious Mr. Brown was hanged to day in Virginia St


Notes:
Sarah's "notorius Mr. Brown" was Connecticut-born John Brown, 59, who led a raid on Harper's Ferry, and was executed on December 2, 1859 in Charles Town, Virginia. Unlike most Northerners, who advocated reasoned resistance to pro-slavery forces, Brown was compelled to violent action to end slave-holding. Fed up with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement, he reportedly said "These men are all talk. What we need is action - action!"


Brown's final "action" was the 1859 raid he led on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. He seized the federal arsenal; killing 7 (including a free black); & injuring 10. He intended to arm slaves with weapons liberated from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown's men had fled or been killed or captured by livid local farmers, incensed militiamen, and still armed U.S. Marines led by the soon to be famous Robert E. Lee.


"Had I interceded...in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, either father, mother, sister, wife or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been right. Every man in the court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment," John Brown declared in court after his conviction.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1859 I stay home with the children--keep Catherines (sister) babe and she goes to meeting. James, Maria Jane (daughter born 1849) all went to Chapel to meeting. Slippery walking--sleet and snow frozen mist rain-thaws. I write some at night. I went to help feed the sheep.


Note:
Sarah was taking care of baby Sarah, the daughter of her sister, Catherine Young Sampson (born 1832) who married Scott County farmer Isaac Sampson (born 1827) in 1851. By 1859, Catherine had 4 children: Martha Jane, age 6; Edward Mathias, age 4: John Luther, age 2, and Sarah, age 1.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1859 We was cold last night. The coldest time I ever seen, do not get much work done. I sew all day and tell scripture stories to the children-hear them say lessons. James cuts wood and does the feeding. Oh how my tooth aches. Sad company. All well.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1859 Some moderate this morning. I commence weaving this morning. But have to quit and wash the clothes. I fry some crills. Sew and nurse the babe. Hurry--try to get some work done--too much to do to get along with our troubles. James went to mill with some buckwheat in the sled-hauled wood.


Notes:
I think crills or cruls (probably a corruption of the word 'curls') were like today's curly fries. One reasercher found a recipe for Potato Crulls in a Chicago publication of 1883: Pare good, smooth potatoes raw. Cut them into thick slices. Cut out the centers with an apple corer, making rings. Take a small penknife and begin inside and cut the slice all around into a coil or string as thin as may be without breaking through till the knife comes out at the outer edge. Fry the crulls in hot lard, light colored. Drain, and sprinkle with fine salt. Another researcher thought they might have been twisted sweet cakes.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1859 James helps pap kill hogs to day. I weave. James comes home at noon then goes to Maria Byfield's (wife of her brother Christian Young) to saw timber. The children goes to school. Little Jimmy (son 18 months old) is beginning to walk around. Frozen some--snow on the ground. Plenty to eat-not much work-these days are so short.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 1859 Up early-James off to town. Mary Foster (neice) comes home with Maria Jane (daughter b.1849) from school to stay all night with us. Marion (son b. 1847) goes to husking of corn to Christian Young’s (Sarah's brother b. 1824). I wove to day. Catherine (sister) come to day. I sew at night. Little James Carvossa (son 18 months old) walk all over the place now.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 1859 James cuts wood yesterday. I went to hunt him in the evening--thought a tree had fallen on him-found him still cutting wood. I waded through the snow. I weave till noon then wash. Mr. Belch comes, takes dinner with us. Takes till dark to wash the clothes. Very tired. William went by from mother’s.


Note:
Nicholas Belch was a neighbor.


Sarah's sister Ethe had married as a young teenager and unexpectedly became a widow within a few short years, suddenly alone with 2 young children. Ethelina Young (born 1842) was just 15 when she married Francis Peacock (born 1831) in 1857. Apparently, Francis died sometime after 1863. Ethelina was a widow living with her two children, Emma, age 11, and William, age 7, in 1870. In 1876, Ethelina married Nicholas Belch. In 1880, Nicholas and Ethelina Belch still were living in Scott County with two of his children, Willie (born 1869) and Emma (born 1870) and her two children Emma, now 21, and William, now 17, plus a new daughter, Carrie, age 2.


William is probably William Foster, the oldest son of Robert C. Foster and Catherine Waldsmith. Catherine was Sarah's aunt. Sarah's cousin William Foster was born in 1834.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23, 1859 Now I have a cold time. A hard day’s work to render. Up late, done all my work to day. Plenty of meat and lard this year. Pretty good sleighing now--but I have no time to spare.


Note:
Apparently Sarah's husband had recently slaughtered an animal. Sarah was rendering whole animal fatty tissue into purified fats like tallow and lard usually for making soap and candles. Sarah would chop the fatty tissue into fine pieces and then cook it in a kettle of water slowly at a low temperature (less than the boiling point of water). Then she would let the mixture cool and separate the lumpy water and fat mixture from the solids.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25, 1859 Here it Christmas morning. We looked for visitors last night but did not come. Begins to thaw, the snow is melting fast. James took me to the meeting in the sled then to Mr. Thompsons--then home in the evening. Mother is here, She had company to day. We are all well. We have crulls and corn bread and sausage and sause to eat.


Notes:
David Thompson, 41, and his wife Mary A., 38, lived nearby with their 5 children.


Souse refers to various parts of a pig or other animal, especially the feet and ears, prepared or preserved for food by means of pickling.


You might enjoy reading Sarah Bovard's Diary from its beginning in January of 1859. Free websites containing all diary entries include: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inscott/BovardDiary.html


Woman's Work - November, 1859 Diary of Sarah Young Bovard, 31-year-old mother of 8 in Scott County, Indiana


About the writer: Sarah Waldsmith Young was born on February 21, 1828 in Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Abner Young, born 1799 in Maine, and Jane Waldsmith, born 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her husband James W. Bovard had been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1828. They married February 29, 1844 in the small crossroads town of Alpha in Scott County, Indiana, which was nestled in southern Indiana.

By the time she began her diary in 1859 at age 31, she had eight children: Oliver William, February 9, 1845
Marion McKinley, January 11, 1847
Maria Jane, February 4, 1849
Freeman Daily, January 9, 1851
Melville Young; December 6, 1852
Abner Sinclair, October 13, 1854
George Finley, August 8, 1856
James Carvossa, July 20, 1858.

One of her children had died before she began writing her diary. Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. By 1866, Sarah would have four more children, two would go on to become college presidents.


Diary of November, 1859


NOVEMBER 3, 1859: I commence early to boil syrup, boil all day. Catherine and children comes-stays all day--warm and pleasant. Go in the afternoon to grind cane. Mother comes in the evening.

Note:
Sarah was boiling cane juice to make cane syrup. Syrup-making is a cold-weather task. The cane is cut close to the first heavy frost. Cold weather increases the sweetness of the juice, a delay would cause it to sour or ferment. As soon as the cane is cut, the grinding and pressing begins to extract the cane juice. Sarah talked of going to grind cane in the afternoon. Apparently there was someone nearby who had a mill or animal-driven crushing device. Cane syrup, molasses, and brown sugar all start with the juice squeezed from sugar cane stalks. The cane juice itself is only faintly sweet, and the original color is an unappetizing murky gray. To make cane syrup, the raw cane juice is boiled to evaporate the liquids and stabilize the sugars; the result is sweeter than molasses, with a rich caramel flavor. Sarah would boil her cane juice for hours in a kettle regularly skimming it to remove impurites. As it boils and thickens, dirt, leaves, bits of stalk, wax, and bark roll to the suface. Sarah might use a coarse collander attached to a long wooden pole as a skimmer. After each skim, she would probably lift the syrup and let it spill back into the kettle to hasten the evaporation. The boiling juice slowly thickens to syrup over the course of several hours. It's nearly finished when a spoonful of it runs down a sloping pan at a slow speed. The syrup is now a rich golden color. Probably Sarah would filter her syrup one last time, blazing hot, through a bed sheet into another kettle. After it cooled a bit, she finally would pour it into waiting mason jars or crocks.

NOVEMBER 4, 1859: Pleasant morning. I boil syrup cane juice till noon, then wash and warp my jeans at night. James helps me. Pap and mother went to Paris to day. Mother bought a fine shawl---$6.30. Clear day but very windy and smoky. Dry time--we wish it would rain.

Note:
Paris, Indiana is about 15 miles northeast of Jennings Township.

NOVEMBER 6, 1859: Very smoky. Sleep late. My throat is sore--bad cold. Brother Moses and family goes home to day. James goes with me to Gilead to meeting. Mr. Potts preaches--his text was "Enoch walking with God 300 years and then was not for God took him." Come home late. All well, we left little Jimmy home with the rest of the children. I write at night. The children reads their books and make noise enough.

Note:
After visiting for 11 days, Sarah's brother, his pregnant wife, and his 4 children faced a long carriage ride back home. On December 26, Moses' wife Martha would give birth to their 5th child, George Buchanan Young.

NOVEMBER 9, 1859: Pleasant and warm. We beam our 40 yards of jeans--takes us one hour to beam it--put it through the gears and reed. Mother comes with some filling. James still works at fixing our house-the doors and windows. We begin to want rain very bad--the corn is turning yellow for want of rain.

Note:
Here are some weaving terms Sarah uses:
Warp are the threads running the length of the loom across which threads are woven.
Weft or filling are the threads which are woven crosswise to the warp to form the web.
A reed is a comb with both sides closed which fits into the beater. It spaces the warp threads evenly and beats the weft into place.
Beaming is winding the warp, which is spaced out to its weaving width, onto the warp beam.

NOVEMBER 14, 1859: Up early this morning--commence washing with frozen water. The children goes to school. I wash hard. Get done against 2 o'clock. Norwood Tobias is here for dinner. Mother goes by to Catherines. James goes to mill with corn to Mayfields then hauls wood. I weave at my jeans. We are all well.

Notes:
Norwood Tobias was the 21 year old son of neighbors William H. Tobias from Ohio and Sarah Sally Kashow from New Jersey who had married in Jennings County, Indiana, in 1835.

Catherine was Sarah's sister. Issa Mayfield, 46, was a nearby widower who lived on a farm with his 4 children aged 12 to 6.

NOVEMBER 18, 1859: Rained all day--commenced before daylight. James commenced his sled--went to paps for an auger--took their salt home. I wove all day. James quilted some. We are glad to see it rain. Jimmy went barefooted. He is a good boy--I do not get to nurse him much. I do not get to read my Bible enough--too much work to do.

Note:
Surprised to see her husband quilting. Her baby James Carvossa had been born on July 20, 1858. Baby James would die after Sarah stopped her diary, on July 20, 1864.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 1859: Cloudy, make a kettle of pumpkin butter--very good. I weave some. Mother comes out awhile. I fill quilts. Maria Jane irons, James finishes his sled. Marion went to the [post] office. Freeman and Melville and Aby and George all disobedient children. I hope they will get better.

Notes:
Pumpkin butter is thicker than apple butter and usually eaten as a spread on breads. The taste depends on what spices you have on hand; the recipe is very easy. The mixture is so thick, that it is splattery when cooking and must be stirred constantly. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 30 minutes.3 1/2 cups of pumpkin, pureed 3/4 cup apple juice 1 - 2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Not sure how Sarah stored her pumpkin butter. With so much family living nearby and her own family of ten, perhaps it disappeared quickly. If she did store it, I hope she used a boiling water bath to can it, because in the 19th century, the govenment did not tell you what to worry about. Today the USDA recommends not canning pureed pumpkin, because the density and pH vary too much-- which can lead to botulism. The 21st century advice seems to be to freeze or refrigerate pumpkin butters. No freezers in Sarah's day.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1859 ; Blessed Sabbath morning. We are all well as common. Up late this morning. James and I went to Gilead to meeting. Brother Potts preached. His text was, "Ye are my friends as long as you do whatsoever I command you."--5 chapter and 14th verse of St. John.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 1859: Up early this morning. James goes to husk corn for Mrs. Miller, then hauls corn in the afternoon. I weave hard afternoon and mind the children, cook dinner, sweep, wash in the forenoon, sew at night thinking how much work I have to do and how to get it done.

Note:
Mary Miller was an 80 year old widow who was born in Virginia and lived with a 35 year old William Miller and a young housekeeper in Jennings Township, Scott County, Indiana.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 1859 This is Thanksgiving Day. I feel thankful that all is as well with us as what it is. Pap and mother have gone to Deborah's to day. Cool, and cloudy. James hauls rails for his fence--then is very sick at night. I weave all day--almost out of heart. So much to do here. Here comes Mary Ann Tobias with Ruth's jeans. My thoughts don't get much rest.

Notes:
Mary Ann Tobias, 23, was Mary Ann Whitsett who married John J. Tobias, 26, in Scott County, Indiana in 1854. They lived nearby in Alpha and had one child at this time, Edward who was nearly 2.

Ruth was probably Ruth Ann Kashow, 34, who married William Jefferson Young, 30, Sarah's brother. They lived in Jennings Township, Scott County, with their 4 children: Maurice Pierce, 7; Eleanora, 5; Viola Jane, 3; and William Arthur, 1.

No Thanksgiving celebration on this day.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 29, 1859: Up early and off to town. Beautiful day, warm sun--some streaked white clouds-cool air-white frost. The children goes to stay with Catherine (her sister.) Isaac goes to town. We get to town before sun down. James stays at the tavern and I stay at Mrs. Byrds. I seen and heard many things, but with very little satisfaction amid poor encouragement. This is a very wicked world, but I do not see much of it. I did not sleep much. The boats made such a noise and I was uneasy about home and children.

Notes:
James and Sarah traveled to Madison, Indiana, on the Ohio River. They dropped 7 of their 8 childern off to spend the night with her sister, Catherine Sampson, who had 2 of her own.

Isaac Sampson, Catherine's husband, traveled with them.

James and Isaac spent the night at a tavern/inn. Sarah and her nursing baby boarded at a local home.

Madison was about 25 miles from home. Madison is located on the north bank of the Ohio River 46 miles upstream from Louisville Ky, and 88 miles downstream from Cincinnati Ohio. It prospered in the 1st half of the 19th century, when river travel conveyed goods and people into the midwest. It began to decline in the 1850s as railroads began to criss cross the land.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1859: Leave town (Madison) at half past 9--sick and tired. Not enough money to buy what I need. James (husband) buys 5c worth of cake and l0c worth of cheese. We get home just dusk-the roads very good. We stopped at Julia Roseberry's a few minutes. A beautiful warn day--begins to look like rain in the evening. The children all well--done well. Marion (son, 12) and Maria Jane (daughter, 10) goes to a spelling to night. I slept very sound last night was very tired. Little Jimmy (son, 1) was such a good babe at town--never cried to trouble me any. I bought Maria Jane a shawl for $l.25. Caroline McLain come home with Maria Jane from spelling.

Notes:
Julia Roseberry was Sarah's aunt. Sarah's mother Jane Waldsmith's sister Julia Ann Waldsmith (b 1819) married Samuel Roseberry (b 1817) in 1841. They lived about 14 miles away in Jefferson County, Indiana.

You might enjoy reading Sarah Bovard's Diary from its beginning in January of 1859. Free websites containing all diary entries include: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inscott/BovardDiary.html.


Woman's Work - October, 1859 Diary of Sarah Young Bovard, 31-year-old mother of 8 in Scott County, Indiana


About the writer: Sarah Waldsmith Young was born on February 21, 1828 in Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Abner Young, born 1799 in Maine, and Jane Waldsmith, born 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her husband James W. Bovard had been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1828. They married February 29, 1844 in the small crossroads town of Alpha in Scott County, Indiana, which was nestled in southern Indiana.

By the time she began her diary in 1859 at age 31, she had eight children: Oliver William, February 9, 1845
Marion McKinley, January 11, 1847
Maria Jane, February 4, 1849
Freeman Daily, January 9, 1851
Melville Young; December 6, 1852
Abner Sinclair, October 13, 1854
George Finley, August 8, 1856
James Carvossa, July 20, 1858.

One of her children had died before she began writing her diary. Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. By 1866, Sarah would have four more children, two would go on to become college presidents.

Diary of October, 1859


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2 , 1859: Lovely morning. Feel thankful that all is as well with us as what it is. Children better. I stay at home all day. James goes to Gilead (their church) to meeting. Catherine (sister, 27) comes awhile and I send for Pap (father, 60) to come out and eat dinner. Mother has gone to Margy Peacocks. Such a pretty clear cool pleasant day.

Notes:
Margy Peacock was Sarah's sister Margaret who had been born in 1836. She married John Peacock, 21, on January 14, 1858, and had a new baby at home, Rosetta J. Peacock. By 1870, Margaret was raising 6 children. Rosetta had been joined by Agnes, age 9; Joseph, age 8; Alice, age 5; Margaret, age 2; and Marvin, 8 months old.

Sarah's sister Catherine Young (born 1832) married Scott County farmer Isaac Sampson (born 1827) in 1851. By 1859, Catherine had 4 children: Martha Jane, age 6; Edward Mathias, age 4: John Luther, age 2, and Sarah, age 1. Catherine would have a son, Abner, in 1864.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1859: Clear and cool till noon then cloudy. I went to mothers in the forenoon. We have a notion to go to the fair to Vernon tomorrow. James commences cutting corn this morning. I spin, starch and iron and bake some pumpkin pies. Mother and George (George Washington Young, brother, 12) comes out to stay all night, ready for the fair. Melville (son, 7) is sick. James goes to Gilead at night.

Note: Vernon was about 25 miles from Sarah's, a fairly long carriage ride.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1859: Cold--very cold. Melville better. Now we start for the fair before daylight. Leave the children in bed. We get very cold. Heavy frost. Arrived at the fair--safe. Saw a many nice things but thinking of the children at home I did not see much pleasure. My head ached and I felt sick and wanted home. The roads are good. The moon shone bright. We arrived home at half past eight at night, found the children in bed. All well, then I wished I had took my time easier. Mother and George went on home, tired and hungry.

SUNDAY OCTOBER 9, 1859: Some clouds then clears away. We have a good mess of beans and corn for dinner. I feel well but the rest are all sick with sore throats. Maria Jane goes to Mr. Foster's. Very cool.


Notes:
Robert Foster, 61, was a widowed farmer with a large family living nearby. Robert Foster became Uncle Robert when he married Aunt Catherine Waldsmith, born 1811, sister of Jane Waldsmith Young. Aunt Catherine had just died in the spring of 1859. In 1860, Sarah's brother, John Wesley Young, born 1838, was living on the farm as a laborer.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1859: Pleasant morning. I commence spinning. My tooth aches. I finish spinning--spun my dozen. Oh how I suffer with tooth ache. The Roseberry girls are here. James cuts corn. Clear all day. Heavy frost.

Notes:
The Roseberry girls are Sarah's cousins. Sarah's mother Jane Waldsmith's sister Julia Ann Waldsmith (b 1819) married Samuel Roseberry (b 1817) in 1841. They lived about 14 miles away in Jefferson County, Indiana. The girls who came to visit were Harriet Florence, age 15, and Electa Jane, age 13.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1859: Cool--some clouds. Margaret B. (sister Peacock) comes to color. I colored to day and finished twisting stocking yarn. Mother and Tilda Foster (neice 13, Matilda dau of Uncle Robert Foster) is here. I scoured out some yarn to day.

Notes:
Sarah's dyes seem to be mostly homemade. Indigo was used for blue; madder for red; butternut husks or sumach blossoms for brown; onion skins, waxwood or goldenrod for yellow; and beech tree bark for drab. Green was made by first steeping in yellow dye and then in blue. By experimenting with similar combinations, the home dyer could obtain a variety of shades, but she would find it very hard to duplicate them. To variegate or cloud her yarn light and dark, she might wind tight bands of cotton about her skeins at equal distance from each other, before dipping them into the dye tub. A pair of stockings knit from such yarn could serve as a bit of finery in a little farm girl's wardrobe.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1859: I start to the pedlar but do not go all the way--he did not have no cotton yarn. Marget come to day and colored her yarn. Cloudy, looks like rain. I go with Margy to mother's. We fill some jugs with tomatoes. I still have the tooth ache. Abner Sinclairs birthday (son turns 5.)

SUNDAY OCTOBER 16, 1859: Nice pleasant morning. I went to mother's awhile--left the children with James. Maria J., Delilah B., Ann Stevens went by to mothers this morning. Very cloudy.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 1859: Sleeves rolled up. All in a hurry--now the coloring is to be done. Here goes Christian Young (brother, 34 who lives nearby) and Isaac S. I color red and green--dip the blue for Margy P. (sister) Mother and Catherine (sister) comes. I boil the cotton for the jeans. James cuts and hauls wood. Isaac goes by--he is going to town tomorrow. James is sick. Cloudy this morning.


Notes:
Sarah's older brother Christian Young (born 1824) married Mariah Byfield (born 1828.) Mariah would have 11 children between 1847 and 1870, six would die before they were even 4 years old. At the time of this entry in Sarah's diary, Christian had only 2 children living, Lewis (born 1848) and Deborah (born 1858.)

Isaac S. is her brother-in-law. Sarah's sister Catherine Young (born 1832) married Scott County farmer Isaac Sampson (born 1827) in 1851.

It is not clear what Sarah was referring to as jeans. She might have been referring to the rough cotton canvas used for tents and wagon covers in the 19th century or to some sort of twilled cotton cloth originally made of wool and silk from France called "serge de Nimes." The 100% cotton form of that fabric later became known as denim and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans. In 1873, Levi Strauss & Company began using the pocket stitch design. Levi Strauss and Nevada tailor David Jacobs co-patented the process of putting rivets in pants for strength. On May 20, 1873, they received U.S. Patent No. 139,121. This date is now considered the official birthday of "blue jeans."

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 1859: I go to mother's to warp my blankets. Spooled them last night. The rest in bed. K. come for the kettle to make preserves. James digs potatoes and I color blue, work at my weaving, pick beans and a thousand other things. My hands are so chafed I cannot work with ease. Mother comes a minute or two. James writes notes for the meeting house. Babe cries.

Notes:
K was Sarah's brother Abner Knight Young, born 1844, who still lived at home with his parents. Apparently Sarah and her mother shared the big kettle.

OCTOBER 23, 1859: Blessed Sabbath morning. Debby (sister, born 1834) and Ethe (sister, born 1842) goes by to the post office, taking a ride for their health. James and myself goes to Gilead to meeting to hear Mr. Potts (F. S. Potts, Methodist Episcopal preacher, 35 from Jennings) preach.

Notes:
Like so many 19th century women, Sarah's sister Debby wrestled with heartbreak as she watched 6 of her children die before they reached age 5. Deborah Young (born in 1834) lived nearby in Scott County. She married a physician from New York Dexter McClure (born in 1819) in 1853. By October of 1859, Deborah had 4 children and was pregnant with a fifth. Her first baby Julian, born 1854, lived to have 6 children of his own. Son Victor, born in 1855, died in 1856. Her next baby Clement was born and died in 1857. Little Alice Jane, born 1858, would only live 5 years. The baby that Deborah was carrying when she visited Sarah, Lemira Orilla, would have 10 children. After Lemira was born, Deborah had 7 more children and 3 of those babies would die in the first year of their lives. In 1875, Deborah Young McClure passed away at 41 years, 5 months, and 15 days.

Sarah's sister Ethe married as a young teenager; and then, she unexpectedly became a widow within a few short years, suddenly alone with 2 young children. Ethelina Young (born 1842) was just 15 when she married Francis Peacock (born 1831) in 1857. Francis was the brother of sister Margaret's husband, John Peacock. Francis, like his brother, was a farmer. His widowed mother Nancy Agnes (born 1792) was living with them and their new daughter Emma J. in 1859. Apparently, Francis died sometime after 1863. Ethelina was a widow living with her two children, Emma, age 11, and William, age 7, in 1870. In 1876, Ethelina married Nicholas Belch. In 1880, Nicholas and Ethelina Belch still were living in Scott County with two of his children, Willie (born 1869) and Emma (born 1870) and her two children Emma, now 21, and William, now 17, plus a new daughter, Carrie, age 2. Ethelina would live until 1917.

Today, Sarah and her husband, stop all work and go to church. The Bovards were members of the Mount Gilead Methodist Church.

OCTOBER 27, 1859: I finished weaving my blankets to day, spool some at my carpet chain. Cold and cloudy--looks like rain. Moses (brother, 33) and family comes to paps to night. Mother has the tooth ache. I am not very well.

Notes: Sarah's older brother Moses Jackson Young, born in 1826, lived about 38 miles away from Sarah and her parents. Moses family included his wife Martha May Hoard and their 4 children in Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana. Martha was nearly 8 months pregnant with her 5th child. To make the 38 mile trip to his parents' house, Moses attached his horse to his buggy or wagon; packed enough food and blankets for a 4-6 hour journey; and then loaded it with his pregnant wife and his four young children: Orville, age 10; Ernest, age 7; Alice, age 5; and Mary, age 2.

A horse can travel about 8-10 miles per hour depending on the weight of the buggy or wagon and the condition of the horse, but it would need a long rest after about 25 miles depending on it's health and stamina. It would take a while to cart those children to grandma's house.

The carpet chain that Sarah probably refers to could be a ball of strips of rags and material that she is preparing to weave into sections of rag rug. Most cabins and farm houses in southern Indiana in 1859 were functional rather than decorative with lots of cracks and crevices where the cold air could seep into the home. To help keep her family as warm as possible, a housewife would often make rag rugs. Sarah had a loom which often occupied several hours of her day. Sarah apparently could weave rag carpet strips on her loom. They usually were woven approximately 36 inches wide which would require a loom which was 40-45 inches in width. These woven carpet strips could be sewn together to cover an entire floor surface. Home weavers wove table linens, coverlets, yardage for clothing, and bedding on their looms. Some four-harness looms were converted to two-harness for the purpose of weaving rag rugs. Women often helped each other with the warping and held "rag-sewing bees" outside in the summer. Pieces of fabric from old clothes, bedspreads, curtains, blankets, sheets, etc, were cut or torn, sewn together into strips and wound into balls. Most of these fabrics had served out their usefulness in other capacities long before they were woven into rugs.

OCTOBER 28, 1859: Now I hurry my flannel to see how it will look. I scald some too, boil bark to color jeans chain, but here comes brother Moses and wife and children and pap and mother and Catherine, and children comes. Not well.

Notes:
Winter was coming. Sarah was bustling around trying to care for her 8 children; make warm flannel material on her loom; and boil a large kettle of dye (which she had made from the bark of nearby trees) to color jeans; when unexpected company arrived. Moses with his pregnant wife and 4 children; her sister Catherine plus her 4 children; and her mother and father exploded into Sarah's day. No phones to call ahead.

SATURDAY OCTOBER. 29, 1859: Cloudy and cold. Abby (son, 4) is sick. I commence weaving my flannel. Oh how beautiful it is. Mother goes by to Catherines. We bury our cabbage, beets, squashes and color jeans cotton and carpet rags, render tallow, make some candles, and sew on my blankets.

Notes: Sarah is taking care of her children, one of them sick; dyeing cotton; rendering tallow for candles; sewing blankets for the coming winter; storing vegetables; and creating beauty on her loom!!

No refriderators, of course. Country women often stored potatoes, turnips, carrots, cabbage, beets, and squash for the winter by burying them in a deep soil pit with a thin straw flooring, covering them with soil to just below the frost line, and then adding additional straw mulch on top. The earth provided a controlled atmosphere, because soil temperatures do not fluctuate. Of course, there were some problems associated storing vegetables underground, but most realized that pits needed to be well-drained and vigilantly protected from hungry rodent raiders.

Without electricity, candles and oil lamps were a necessity. Sarah rendered tallow, animal fat from cows or sheep, by cooking and straining it to remove impurities such as leftover meat or gristle. One steer could produce up to 100 pounds of fat to process. Some heated the tallow in a large kettle of boiling water instead of directly over a fire to protect against the tallow itself from catching fire. Since the candles would be burning indoors, they tried to make the tallow as pure as possible to minimize smoke and noxious odors. Women soaked cotton wicks in the tallow and hung them up to dry with a tallow coating. When dry, they might lay the coated wicks in a prepared mold and pour on additional tallow. When dried and solid, the candles could be used immediately. Others chose a more time-consuming process of hanging the wicks from a frame the size of the cauldren and dipping them into the melted tallow just enough to coat the wicks with a new coat of tallow being mindful not to melt the tallow already on the wicks. Once that coat was dry, the process would be repeated again and again to build up the candles to the desired size.

You might enjoy reading Sarah Bovard's Diary from its beginning in January of 1859. For all diary entries see: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inscott/BovardDiary.html.


Woman's Work - February, 1859 Diary of Sarah Young Bovard, 31-year-old mother of 8 in Scott County, Indiana


About the writer: Sarah Waldsmith Young was born on February 21, 1828 in Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Abner Young, born 1799 in Maine, and Jane Waldsmith, born 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her husband James W. Bovard had been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1828. They married February 29, 1844 in the small crossroads town of Alpha in Scott County, Indiana, which was nestled in southern Indiana.

By the time she began her diary in 1859 at age 31, she had eight children: Oliver William, February 9, 1845
Marion McKinley, January 11, 1847
Maria Jane, February 4, 1849
Freeman Daily, January 9, 1851
Melville Young; December 6, 1852
Abner Sinclair, October 13, 1854
George Finley, August 8, 1856
James Carvossa, July 20, 1858.

One of her children had died before she began writing her diary. Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. By 1866, Sarah would have four more children, two would go on to become college presidents.


Diary of February, 1859


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1859 Not very cold, looks like for snow. Catherine (sister, 27) comes to help me sew on Marions (son, 12) coat. The reformers have their meeting to night--at Mr. Redmans. Three joins are to be baptised tomorrow at the Mayfield Mill at three o’clock. James did not go to their meeting-he has such a cold and does not feel well. I read and knit some, then go to bed with the head ache.

Notes:
The reformers, Disciples of Christ, believed in baptism by full immersion, which must have been chilly on the 1st of February.


Charles Tilden Redman, 65, and his wife Susan Hoover, 52, who lived nearby in Jennings Township of Scott County

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1859 I do not feel very ’well, my throat is sore--my neck and head aches. The clock strikes 10 and I am writing. The children are gone to school. James is hunting his sheep. The baby is asleep. The clouds are dark, now it rains. We feel thankful that we have a shelter from the storm and more thankful that God is our refuge and in time of trouble and shelter from all storms. James goes to the baptism, gets home late in the day. Baby is so sick-he does not go to the meeting. I wrote Nancy Petro a letter to-day.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1859 Cool and cloudy, looks like for snow. I sew all day, don’t feel very well. Aby is better, the rest of the family is well. James, Marion and K. (brother Abner Knight Young, 15,)goes to meeting to the school house. Three more joined, all to be emersed tomorrow. I cut Freeman (son 8) a coat at night. Sewed some then cold and tired went to bed for that night.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1859 Snowing and blowing-very cold. I am thinking of going to the baptism but sewed all day and went to meeting at night. James and Maria Jane (daughter, 10) went to baptism and Marion (son, 12)too. The evening was quite cool, there was quite a stir. Some seemed well pleased. Ten confessed the Savior then they are ready for emersion on the morrow at the mills.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 1859 Cold--very cold. James and I goes to the reformers meeting at 11 o’clock then go with the company to the baptism, had a cold rough walk, got home late in the evening,-tired and hungry. Supper over--James and Marion (son, 12) goes to Gilead to the Methodist meeting. I set up late.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1859 Clear and cool. Commence washing. James cleans wheat. I hear of Elizabeth Watson’s baptism. She is sick. I quit washing and go to see her. Brother Miller baptized her. It was a solemn time to some. Then I come home, quite tired. Supper over then James, Marion and John went to meeting to Gilead to hear Brother Miller preach. I went to bed.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 1859 James starts for town. Sells his wheat to Mr. Landon then he comes home in the evening. The rain falling fast. I finished my washing that was commenced--then supper over. I knit some then, the baby is very cross. The children are noisy. Mother comes awhile in the morning. Says pap is sick. He looks feeble and he works too hard.

Note:
Mr. Landon was probably well to-do-farmer William Landon, 52, who lived in Graham Township, Jefferson County, Indiana, with his wife Salinda, 54, and son.


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1859 Cool and cloudy, ground frozen. Mother comes and I go with her to see Elizabeth Watson. James goes to meeting-comes and helps me home in the evening, then goes back to meeting. I stay at home and bake blackberry pies. Marion is at Catherines. Maria J. (daughter, 10) has gone to the meeting to night. We are all in tolerable good health. We took dinner with sister Maria Young. They are all well. Christian was not at home. He was gone to Frankfort.

Notes:
Sarah's older brother Christian Young (born 1824) married Mariah Byfield (born 1828.) Mariah would have 11 children between 1847 and 1870, six would die before they were even 4 years old. At the time of this entry in Sarah's diary, Christian had only 2 children living, Lewis (born 1848) and Deborah (born 1858.)


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1859 James and I went to meeting to Gilead, cold and cloudy. We took dinner at David Thompson’s, then went to night meeting. Snowed some in the evening. Left the children at home. We came home and found them all asleep and we was glad.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1859 Quite cool-still looks like snow. I try to clean the house and bake some more blackberry pies. James hauls wood, Marion (son, 12), Maria J. (daughter, 10), and Freeman (son 8) goes to meeting, then at night. Mother and I goes to meeting. Come home quite late. Tired--we are all.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1859 A beautiful morning. The sun shines bright. It makes me feel happy to see and feel the Goodness of God to such ungrateful people as we are. His love warms my soul as the sun does the earth. James, Marion, and Maria Jane went to Gilead to meeting. I stayed with the children.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1859 Warm and looks like for rain. James goes to Ira Day’s. Marion goes to help K. (brother Abner Knight Young, 15,) and George (Sarah's brother, 12) cut stocks. Commences raining. I sew some and knit and nurse the baby. We are tolerable well. James gets to Jonathan Everharts in the evening.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 1859 Still warm and raining. We are all tolerable well. James makes halters. I patch and mend clothes and work at my carpet rags. Very cloudy.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1859 Very rainy. I make some hominy. James is right sick with bad cold. Still works at his bridles. I am patching and mending. We are thankful for the blessings we receive, this world has troubles.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1859 Still cloudy and rainy and warm. I wash all day--am quite tired this evening. Marion goes with George and K. to the school house to meeting. James is better. I knit some and dry and starch some clothes by the fire.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 1859 A beautiful morning. I am 31 years old to day. We have roasted goose and blackberry pies for dinner. Mother is here. James comes in time for dinner. Isaac raised his stable to day. The sun shines bright.

Note:
Sarah's sister, Catherine Young (born 1832), married Scott County farmer Isaac Sampson (born 1827) in 1851.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1859 Another beautiful morning. I go to mother's with the children to take dinner on goose. George's (brother, 12) birthday. James stays at home and husks corn. We are all well. The sun shines bright. The Methodists and Reformers are holding meetings at Frankfort. John goes to Lexington. When anyone looks at my writing and it does not please them please pass it on without remarks as I expect to tell the truth always and reader, you will find some course writing on this page for my pen is bad, the paper thin. When you find mistakes, please correct them if you can.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 1859 A beautiful day. Mrs. Thompson comes and we had roasted chicken for dinner. James finishes hauling. I sewed some at night. We had a house full of little folks at night.

Note:
David Thompson, 41, and his wife Mary A., 38, lived nearby


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1859 Cloudy, looks like rain. James finishes cleaning his wheat. Our "Julia" mare is very sick, comes nigh dying. Mother comes by. Mr. Everhart stops awhile. I sew and knit some.


You might enjoy reading Sarah Bovard's Diary from its beginning in January of 1859. Free websites containing all diary entries include: .http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inscott/BovardDiary.html


Woman's Work - January, 1859 Diary of Sarah Young Bovard, 31-year-old mother of 8 in Scott County, Indiana


This diary follows a few years in the life of Sarah Bovard who lived on a farm in the countryside in Scott County, Indiana. Her life was fairly typical of the lives of most ordinary housewives in the middle of the 19C. But Sarah's diary also gives us a look at the specific and unpredictable nature of daily life. It allows us to abandon the fantasy for the immediate.

Life of a Typical Farm Wife


In general, the records of the 19th century tell us that whether a wife was of middling or more modest means, she spent her days managing the home and family. Her life was exhausting and not much different than her 18th century mothers.When her husband was at home, the wife was responsible for all household chores with or without help from others. She rose before sunrise and before most members of the family. If she had no help, she rekindled the fire, drew water, a put the kettle on to heat. She fed the chickens and milked the cow if the family had them. She kneaded dough for bread for breakfast and probably stirred a hominy pot that had slowly cooked overnight. She served breakfast to the family and then washed the pots and dishes. Then she began preparing the largest meal of the day, dinner which would be served about 1 or 2 pm.

When she was not cooking and serving meals, she made candles; did the laundry; mended, and sewed; made soap and starch. Most wives hatched, combed, and spun flax and cotton for thread. For woolen yarn, they separated, cleaned, oiled, carded, combed, and rolled the fleeces from usually filthy sheep in preparation for spinning with country-made or imported wheels. They bleached their yarns in the sun and dyed them by immersion in homemade broths, usually a concoction of herbs, local berries, or tree bark. The housewife knit her yarn into coarse stockings and warm mittens or more elaborate bonnets and hose. If she had a loom, she made her own fabrics for bedding and clothing and often made fabrics for neighbors.

She taught her daughters these skills, so that they could grow into acceptable wives. If a family could afford to buy yarn already carded, spun and dyed, the women of the house might spend their extra time sewing for themselves and perhaps others.

The wife tended the garden; dried apples and cherries; picked berries and beans; made sausage, preserves, and pies; pressed cider; buried fruits and vegetables to keep them over winter; drew water; and split kindling. She would need to carry about 30 pieces of wood each day to keep the fire going and haul countless buckets of water to the house. Wooden buckets weighed about 20 pounds when full. She also produced and tended the children and taught them as they grew. As the day came to an end, she prepared and served a light supper, cleaned up the tableware, mixed dough for the next day, and prepared a kettle for breakfast.

Throughout the night, she nursed hungry babies and banked the fading fire. When called, she also served as midwife and nurse for neighbors. She tended the elderly in her own extended family. She supervised household help, when the family could afford extra hands. Wives traded goods with other women. They might exchange excess produce, swap yarn for finished clothes, or butter for seeds. When husbands were away from home, wives oversaw any crop production or livestock and any family business obligations in addition to their regular chores.


About Sarah Waldsmith Young, Mrs. James W. Bovard


About the writer: Sarah Waldsmith Young was born on February 21, 1828 in Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Abner Young, born 1799 in Maine, and Jane Waldsmith, born 1806 in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her husband James W. Bovard had been born in Steubenville, Ohio in 1828. They married February 29, 1844 in the small crossroads town of Alpha in Scott County, Indiana, which was nestled in southern Indiana.

By the time she began her diary in 1859 at age 31, she had eight children: Oliver William, February 9, 1845
Marion McKinley, January 11, 1847
Maria Jane, February 4, 1849
Freeman Daily, January 9, 1851
Melville Young; December 6, 1852
Abner Sinclair, October 13, 1854
George Finley, August 8, 1856
James Carvossa, July 20, 1858.

One of her children had died before she began writing her diary. Oliver William Bovard died Nov. 11, 1857 at 12 years, 8 months and 6 days old. By 1866, Sarah would have four more children, two would go on to become college presidents.


Diary of January, 1859

SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 1859: John give me a turkey for dinner pap and Mother Catherine John George and K eat dinner with us a beautiful pleasant day received a letter from---Palmers

Notes:
Sarah was having her family of 10 plus her relatives for New Year's Day dinner.

John Young, 21, was Sarah's brother. He was not yet married and working nearby as a farm hand on his Uncle Robert Foster's farm.

Sarah's father was Abner Young, born 1799, in Maine.

Sarah's mother was Jane Waldsmith Young, born 1806, in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Catherine Young Sampson was Sarah's sister. Catherine Young (born 1832) married Scott County farmer Isaac Sampson (born 1827) in 1851. By 1859, Catherine had 4 children: Martha Jane, age 6; Edward Mathias, age 4: John Luther, age 2, and Sarah, age 1. Catherine would have a son, Abner, in 1864.

George was Sarah's brother who was living with his parents. George Washington Young was born in 1847.

K was Sarah's brother Abner Knight Young, born 1844, who still lived at home with his parents.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 1859: Quite pleasant. James (husband) went to see William Foster. Marion (son, 12) and Maria Jane (daughter, 10) went to meeting James went to meeting all this afternoon I am quite lonesome, getting tired staying home alone

Notes:
William Foster was the oldest son of Robert C. Foster and Catherine Waldsmith. Catherine was Sarah's aunt. Sarah's cousin William Foster was born in 1834.

Marion was Sarah's son, Marion McKinley Bovard born in 1847.

Maria Jane Bovard was Sarah's daughter born in 1849.

MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 1859: Still pleasant, sun shines--beautiful day. I sit by the fire knitting and rocking the cradle, thinking of many things and wonder if I will be here this time next year or not.

Note:
Sarah's baby in the cradle was James Carvossa Bovard who was only 6 months old, born July 20, 1858.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 1859: Another beautiful morning. Caravosso quit sick the rest are tolerby well. My teeth aching now and I wrote a letter to cousins Semantha and Milton Roseberry. James is building him a grainery the children is at school.

Notes:
Milton Stap Roseberry (1822-1894) married Sementha (variously spelled Samantha and Cemantha) Buckingham in 1846, in Jefferson County, Indiana. Sarah's mother Jane Waldsmith's sister Julia Ann Waldsmith (b 1819) married Samuel Roseberry (b 1817) in 1841. Milton Roseberry and his brother Samuel Roseberry (1817-1891) were the children of Thomas Roseberry, born in Ireland in 1752, and Catherine Earhart.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 1859: Cold and cloudy, looks like for snow. The baby's throat is bad, swelled, and quite sick, James has gone to Mr. Hoards to stable raising. Catherine (sister, 27) comes in the evening. Mother comes out to see the baby and George (son 3), found them some better. At night, James went to a debate, come home with new ideas.

Notes:
The stable was being raised nearby at Ambrose Hoard's farm.

Sarah's uncle Moses Jackson Young, b 1826, married Martha May Hoard born in 1828, in 1847, in Scott County, Indiana. Martha Hoard was the daughter of Ambrose Hoard, born in 1797, and Catherine Landon, born 1808, who married in 1823, in Boone County, Kentucky.

George Finley Bovard is Sarah's son who was born in 1856.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1859: Up late, the rain falling fast. The children off to school. I find myself still at the knitting and rocking and nursing. No time for play. James is cutting out his harness while it rains, George Finley (son 3) and James Carvossa (son under 1) is better. Here comes the children from school. Wesley Spear is with them. Supper over now, then they have fun. Now we have prayers and all to bed.

Note:
Wesley Spear was Charles Wesley Spear, born in 1844, son of widow Mary "Polly" Mathew Spear who lived nearby. Her husband Ephraim died of typhoid in 1857, leaving her to raise 10 children plus the neice of her sister. Charles Wesley served Company G of the 24th Regiment during Civil war. He fought in Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. He returned home in good health, but in a few weeks he became sick and died October 2 1865, at the age of 21.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 1859: Turning quite cold, my tooth aches very bad, we are all tolerable well this morning. Trying to get some work done, but cannot. The children home allmost (sic) froze very cold and getting colder we suffer cold tonight don't sleep much my bones ache with cold. I wish I had a warm house and room to work in.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 1859: Clear and cold. Not very well. We are trying to get warm. Marion (son 3) and K. goes to John Peacocks to stay all night. I do not get much work done--the baby cries so much. I finished my new stockings. Not quite so cold. Say our prayers and go to bed.

Note:
John Peacock was the husband of Sarah's sister Margaret "Margy," born in 1836. She married John Peacock, 21, on January 14, 1858, was just about to give birth to her first baby Rosetta J. Peacock. By 1870, Margaret was raising 6 children. Rosetta had been joined by Agnes, age 9; Joseph, age 8; Alice, age 5; Margaret, age 2; and Marion, 8 months old.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 1859: Up late this morning, the old clock won't go. Some snow, looks like for more. James goes to meeting. I stay at home at my old post rocking the cradle. Mother has gone to see Ira Day’s wife who is very sick. Marion (son 3) has come home. James gone back to meeting. I am still at home, don’t got to meetings once in six months on an average.

Note:
Ira Day was Stephen Ira Day, born 1805 in New Jersey, who farmed nearby. His wife was Catherine LeFeber, born 1806 in Pennsylvania. They married in 1827 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her 81 year old mother was living with them in 1860.

TUESDAY JANUARY 11, 1859: Some clouds, looks like for snow. James goes to Mr. Morrisons for corn. I wash hard all day. Am quite tired in the evening. Carvossa (son under 1) is very sick with swelled throat, set up till bed time, and rocked the baby.

Note:
Farmer Andrew H. Morrison, age 38, born in Ohio, lived nearby with his wife Mary, age 35, and their 5 children.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 1859: This morning is raining. Isaac comes for James to haul his corn from Mr. Jones--gets home at three oclock and still raining. I sew all day at James fine shirt, have the toothache, felt bad all day, quite ill natured.

Note: James Jones married Matilda Bovard, probably James's sister, in 1845 in Scott County, Indiana. They lived nearby with their 3 children: Thomas, Irvin, and Elizabeth. Matilda would soon have their 4th child, a boy named James.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 1859: Very cloudy and still raining. James goes to mill, stays all day to get his grinding. Comes home late in the evening. William Foster is worse--not expected to live until morning. The wind commences to blow in the evening-getting quite cold. We are all tolerable well. I set up quite late to sew. James is in bed.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 1859: Quite cool this morning. James goes to see William Foster. Finds him very sick, thinks he wont live long. Comes home--does up his work and goes back and stays all night with him. He does not talk much but says he is willing to die. He suffers a great deal. The ground freezing.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 1859: A beautiful day and cold. James comes home--says William Foster is dying. I go to see him, find him dying. The house crowded. I stay till one o’clock and he died at two o’clock--after I left. Quite cloudy--looks like for snow. We are all well as usual.

MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 1859: Cold and cloudy. We go to the burying and leave the children at home. I did not go to the grave but hurried home, all most tired down and get supper aginst James and Marion (son, 12) gets home. Poor cousin William done with the troubles of this world.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 18, 1859: Not raining cold clear Sun Shine. James hauls foder I am sewing Maria Jane (daughter, 10) goes to William’s to stay all night, and gets dog bit. Catherine (sister, 27) goes by to mother’s to celebrate her birthday. Her and mother comes to stay till bed time with me. James has gone to the Chapel meeting. The moon shines bright. We smell coal burning.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 19, 1859: Clear and not verry cold. Sunshine. James is gon[e] to work for Cris to day. I am busy sewing. Maria Jane (daughter, 10) comes home. Charls, Harriet [and] Eliza Rosebery comes to mothers to day. They bring the word that cousin Semantha is ded. She died cristmas [sic] day. I went to mothers to see them. They all go to meeting at night. They are coming to see me to morrow. James stays late to the debate tonight. We are all well.

Note:
Charles, 16; Harriet, 15; and Electra, 13 are the children of Sarah's aunt Julia and her husband, Samuel Roseberry who live in Graham Township, Jefferson County, Indiana.

Cousin Semantha Buckingham was the wife of Milton Stap Roseberry (1822-1894) who lived in Jefferson County, Indiana.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 1859: Here they come and not all the morning work done. Looks quite much like for rain. Elizabeth Redman comes and Catherine, and mother, Harriet and Eliza Roseberry are here. Here comes Miller Morrison for a coat pattern. Now it rains some. Dinner over with, we had biled beef and turnips. The girls now goes to Aunt Caty Fosters. Maria Jane goes with them. James goes to Jonathan Everharts for my shoes, but does not get them.

Notes:
Elizabeth Redman was the 25 year old daughter of Charles Tilden Redman, 65, and his wife Susan Hoover, 52, who also live in Jennings Township of Scott County. They were the parents of 13 children and married in 1828 in Jessamine County, Kentucky.

Miller Morrison appears to refer to Andrew Morrison. Catherine "Caty" Waldsmith Foster was the wife of Robert Foster and Sarah's aunt.

Jonathan Everhart, born in Ohio about 1830, was a shoemaker who lived in Johnson Township of Scott County, Indiana, with is wife Ellen and 2 children.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 1859: Still cloudy, not very cold. Have a notion to wash, but didn’t. The baby is so cross and broke out with the chicken pox. Some cooler this evening. James is gone to the meeting to the Chapel. I sewed and knit some today--do not feel very well. I am writing by candle light tonight. Some of the children are in bed, but the baby is crying no more.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 1859: This morning clear and very cold. I am mending clothes and knitting and rocking and trying to keep warm. James is hauling wood. Marion (son, 12) has gone to the post office. We are all well as common and feel very thankful for the blessings we receive, and love God with all our hearts.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 23, 1859: Very cold--the sky looks like bright diamonds. I go to the Chapel to meetings. James goes with me to the foot log then I go alone the rest of the way. (Five or six miles) Get there In time for preaching, hear a good sermon from Bro. Miller. Felt paid for my walk. The text was "Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

Note:
A "foot log" is usually a tree felled across a creek bank. In cold weather, the log likely would be covered with ice.

MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 1859: Not quit so cold looks some like for snow. I wash hard all day have beef and turnips for dinner. Mother goes by going to Catherines (sister, 27) with her butter in the evening. James and Marion (son, 12) goes to meeting to the Chapple. I sit up late and sew the rest in bed.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 1859: Very cloudy--the ground froze hard. I start for Ira Day’s to see his sick wife. I undertake to walk but James feels sorry for me--comes after me with the wagon, then I take a rough ride over the frozen ground. We find Mr. Day washing and Mrs. Day very sick. She wont live long. I comforted her all that I could.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 1859: Beautiful day. Looks like summer. I go to see Sister Catherine Sampson. Have quite a pleasant visit. She baked black berry pies. We had a good dinner. The dog run the sheep. James come and helped me home. I gave him his supper and a KISS--then he went to meeting again to the chapel. I was quite lonesome at home.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 1859: Very disagreeable, raining hard and quite muddy. I do not work much-it is so dark. James take the hide off the old cow. Isaac comes to grind the axe. I get dinner and bake some vinegar pies for variety. The children are gone to school. Mother has been gone a few days to see some of her girls. We are all well as common.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 1859: This is a beautifull morning. The rain has ceased. Looks like making sugar. We are well the children at school. James hunts his sheep then goes to mothers for milk. I get dinner then sew and knit untill evening then we took a viset [sic] over to Dr. David Thompsons to stay till bed time found them well. Had a pleasant viset. The Thompsons come home just at supper time.

Note:
David Thompson, 41, and his wife Mary A., 38, lived nearby with their 5 children.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 29, 1859: Here is Saturday and we are here. Now we scrub and clean, bake loaves for the Sabbath. The Camelit meeting commences tonight. James and Marion (son, 12) have gone to meeting tonight. James went to Paris today, and bought him a coat. I received a letter from Nancy Petro. They are all well and I feel glad that we can say we are all well this evening. I have a tooth ache yet for company--sad company.

Notes:
The Camilites were the Disciples of Christ. The founders were Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander Campbell, former Irish Presbyterian ministers. Their followers became known popularly as Campbellites, although the reformers preferred to be known as Disciples of Christ. In 1809, Thomas Campbell founded the Christian Association of Washington County, Pennsylvania, which he based on a return to early Christian ideals. In 1811, Alexander joined his father in forming a congregation at Brush Run, Pennsylvania, and from there the movement spread westward. The Methodists did not baptize by immersion, the Campbellites did.

Nancy Bovard, 21 (perhaps a sister of Sarah's husband) and Phillip Switzer Petro married July 23, 1857, in Bartholomew County and lived in Brown County, Indiana, in 1860. Apparently, when he married, Phillip Petro, 29, was a widower with children Susan, 7; Sabra, 6; Sandy M., a boy age 3. At age 19, Nancy Bovard stepped into an instant family.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, 1859: Another beautiful Sabbath. Clear and cool. James and the baby and me goes to the reformers meeting at the school house. The house was crowded with hearers. We had some good singing, a sermon preached, part of it I liked very well. When he spoke of the death of our Savior and his sufferings, then the meeting was dismissed. We started for home. Stopped at Catherines (sister, 27). Stayed for dinner. We started for home. Mother stopped a few minutes to read the paper, then went home. James and Maria Jane (daughter, 10) have gone to meeting to night.

MONDAY JANUARY 31, 1859: We are all well. I went to mother’s for a coat pattern, come home and cut Marion (son, 12) a coat and sewed some, then made preparations for going to meeting. I went and left the rest of my family at home. Heard a good sermon preached from "What shall we do to be saved." Part of which I liked and part I did not. The singing was very good, then I come home quite late. Found James nursing the baby by the fire.

You might enjoy reading Sarah Bovard's Diary from its beginning in January of 1859. Free websites containing all diary entries include: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~inscott/BovardDiary.html.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

President Madison returns to Washington, a city of blackened and burnt ruins - August 27 1814


1814 White House on Fire. William Strickland, engraver. Library of Congress.

I know not where we are in the first instance to hide our heads.  James Madison, prepares to return to Washington, August 27, 1814. 

President Madison writes to Dolley Madison asking her to join him in Washington. August 27, 1814. 

The dragoons are ordered in readiness to guard the President to Washington. August 27, 1814 

President Madison receives a message from Monroe advising him to return to Washington to reestablish the government. August 27, 1814 


Monday, July 21, 2014

New York painter James Henry Cafferty (1819–1869)



  James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Preparing to Fish

James Cafferty, one of the 7 children of an Albany tailor, was in New York by 1839, working as a sign painter. In 1841, he began 2 years of study in New York's National Academy school's antique class. His work was shown in a National Academy annual exhibition in 1843. That same year he was elected vice-president of the newly founded New-York Sketch Club.  During the 1840s and 1850s, Cafferty worked as a portrait, landscape, & genre painter. He also did book illustrations. For a period during these years he supplemented his income by selling artists' supplies. The American Art-Union purchased many of his landscapes for its annual lotteries, & he was a consistent exhibitor in Academy annuals, showing portraits & an occasional landscape through the 1850s. During the last decade of his life, still lifes - especially fish & game subjects - dominated his work.




 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) A Young Girl



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Midday Rest



James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) The Sidewalks of New York



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) News of the Day 1860



 James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Newsboy selling the New York Herald 1857



James Henry Cafferty (American artist, 1819–1869) Portrait of Robert Fulton, 1852


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Abby Kelley Foster 1811-1887


“Go where least wanted, for there you are most needed.”  A major figure in the national anti-slavery and women’s rights movements, she spent more than twenty years traveling the country as a tireless crusader for social justice and equality for all.



Foster was born into a Quaker family in Pelham, Massachusetts in 1811, and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts at a time when society demanded that women be silent, submissive and obedient.  After attending boarding school, she held teaching positions in Worcester, Millbury and Lynn, Massachusetts.

In Lynn, she joined the Female Anti-Slavery Society, where she became corresponding secretary and later, a national delegate to the first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in 1837.  The following year, Foster made her first public speech against slavery, and was so well received that she abandoned her teaching career and returned to Millbury.  There, she founded the Millbury Anti-Slavery Society and began lecturing for the American Anti-Slavery Society.

During the next two decades, Foster served as a lecturer, fundraiser, recruiter and organizer in the fight for abolition and suffrage.  In 1850, she helped develop plans for the National Women’s Rights Convention in Massachusetts.  There, she gave one of her most well-known speeches, in which she challenged women to demand the responsibilities as well as the privileges of equality, noting “Bloody feet, sisters, have worn smooth the path by which you come hither.”

In 1854, Foster became the chief fundraiser for the American Anti-Slavery Society, and by 1857, she was its general agent.  Through the American Anti-Slavery Society, Foster continued to work for the ratification of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments.

In her later years, once slavery was abolished and the rights of freedmen were guaranteed, Foster focused her activism primarily on women’s rights.  She held meetings, arranged lectures, and called for ‘severe language’ in any resolutions that were adopted.  In 1868, she was among the organizers of the founding convention of the New England Woman Suffrage Association, the first regional association advocating woman suffrage.  Foster’s efforts were among those that helped lay the groundwork for the nineteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Sarah Grimke 1792-1873 & Angelina Grimke Weld 1805-1879


The Grimke Sisters


wood cut of Sarah Grimke (1792-1873) date of image is unknown.
Library of Congress

Two early and prominent activists for abolition and women’s rights, Sarah Grimke (1792-1873) and Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879) were raised in the cradle of slavery on a plantation in South Carolina. The Grimke sisters, as they were known, grew to despise slavery after witnessing its cruel effects at a young age. Sarah later recalled that her father, the wealthy Judge John Fauchereaud Grimke, held his 14 children to the highest standards of discipline and sometimes required them to work in the field shelling corn or picking cotton. She observed, “Perhaps I am indebted partially to this for my life-long detestation of slavery, as it brought me in close contact with these unpaid toilers.” 

At the age of 12 Sarah became godmother to her baby sister Angelina, promising “to guide and direct [this] precious child.” This commitment foreshadowed the lifelong bond the sisters had with one another and strengthened Sarah’s determination to fight for social justice. In 1819 Sarah accompanied her father to Philadelphia so he could receive medical treatment. There she encountered members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who helped her care for her dying father. After her father’s death she returned to Charleston, where her feelings of fierce opposition to slavery were quickly renewed: “…after being for many months in Pennsylvania when I went back it seemed as if the sight of [the slaves’] condition was insupportable…can compare my feeling only with a canker incessantly gnawing…. I was as one in bonds looking on their sufferings I could not soothe or lessen….” Much to the chagrin of her family, Sarah converted to Quakerism and moved to Philadelphia in 1821; by 1829 Angelina had also become a Quaker and decided to move north to be with her sister.


Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879) date of image is unknown.
Library of Congress

The sisters’ conversion to Quakerism and subsequent move to Philadelphia made them virtual outcasts in the South, but they also found themselves at odds with many northerners after William Lloyd Garrison published a personal letter Angelina wrote to him in The Liberator. In her letter Angelina encouraged Garrison to stand his ground even in the face of mob violence: “If persecution is the means which God has ordained for the accomplishment of this great end, emancipation, then…I feel as if I could say, let it come; for it is my deep, solemn deliberate conviction, that this is a cause worth dying for….” Angelina chose not to recall the letter despite the outrage it caused among fellow Quakers who believed she was a radical abolitionist. Despite the disapproval they faced from fellow Quakers and from a society that did not accept women as public speakers on such controversial topics as slavery, the Grimke sisters found themselves caught up in the antislavery movement.

In 1836 Angelina wrote her Appeal to the Christian Women of the South imploring white southern women to embrace the antislavery cause. She wrote, “I know you do not make the laws, but I also know that you are the wives and mothers, the sisters and daughters of those who do; and if you really suppose you can do nothing to overthrow slavery, you are greatly mistaken.” Her writing drew the ire of southerners who opposed its abolitionist message and northerners who felt that women had no business writing or speaking about something as controversial as slavery. This outcry over women abolitionists prompted Sarah to write Letters on the Equality of the Sexes. By the late 1830s the Grimke sisters were known not only as abolitionists but also as proponents of women’s rights.

Although Sarah and Angelina did not attend the First Woman’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls in 1848, Sarah received an invitation to the event from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, as evidenced by this letter to Elizabeth M’Clintock:

Grassmere [Seneca Falls] Friday morning [14? July 1848]
Dear Lizzie,
Rain or shine I intend to spend Sunday with you that we may all together concoct a declaration I have drawn up one but you may suggest any alterations & improvements for I know it is not as perfect a declaration as should go forth from the first woman’s rights convention that has ever assembled. I shall take the ten o’clock train in the morning & return at five in the evening, provided we can accomplish all our business in that time. I have written to Lydia Maria Child Maria Chapman & Sarah Grimke, as we hope for some good letters to read at the convention. Your friend
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Stantons were good friends of the Grimkes: Elizabeth’s husband Henry served as best man at the wedding of Angelina Grimke and Theodore Weld, sent their oldest sons to the Grimke-Weld boarding school, and, in honor of Angelina’s husband, named their fourth son Theodore Weld Stanton.

National Park Service