Category Archives: Stories of Long Ago

Letter from Chantilly to Westbrook, Maine

 ***William Roberts 1843-1923 and his brother John Roberts 1837-1917 both served a nine month voluntary enlistment in the Civil War- 25th Regiment, Co E. from Sept 1862- June 1963. This letter was written by William to his mother. The family lived on Saco Street.***

Chantilly, VA Tuesday Afternoon April 28th, 1863

Dear Mother, 
      I received your letter last Wednesday and meant to have answered it before. I suppose that now will do just as well. We were reviewed, and inspected by Gen. Abercrombie this forenoon. He is quite an old man with hair and beard almost white and I heard that he was older than Gen. Casey but he does not look as old. I should think he was somewhere between fifty and sixty. He is a pleasant looking man and looks as if he would not be very hard on the men; on the whole I rather like the appearance of him. Sunday night I was out on picket. It was an uncomfortably cold night and we are not allowed to have any fire. But yesterday was a very warm day so we had quite a pleasant time of it in the day time, we came in last night. It is raining now; it commenced about eleven O’clock just before we started to come in for the review. It has rained about half of the time for the past week but we like it on one account as we don’t have to drill when it rains. It begins to look some like spring here, the grass begins to look green, and the trees are beginning to leave out, and the peach trees are blossomed out, and we have quite warm days, in fair weather. We haven’t found out whether we are going home the 10th or the 29th of June but they say that the officers seem to talk more like going home the 10th lately. It don’t make but nineteen days difference anyhow whether we go home the 10th or the 29th. You ask what I do for darning yarn, I have had enough so far and have got a little left of that, that Ann put in my needle book, or work bag, as it ought to be called. Our fare is fresh beef, salt pork, hard bread, soft bread, beans, or tea or coffee for them that wants it, besides applesauce which we have plenty often, and yesterday they had some bacon and I believe they think we shall have it pretty often now. Our soft bread has not been very good since we have been here until last night we got some as good as ever we had at Camp Casey, and a great deal better than we had at Camp Lincoln. We have got a good log tent all but the top which leaks a little when it rains hard but we can stop this by putting a rubber blanket over the top of it and so we get along very well for shelter, without we out on picket and then we don’t have much shelter. John is quite sick, has been sick about a week, so as to be off duty. I don’t know hardly what is the matter with him, the doctor says he is a little better today and he says himself that he is, he lays down most of the time, and don’t have hardly any appetite; he has not written any for over a week so Martha need not think it strange that she don’t get any letters. My health is pretty good, considerable better than it was week or two ago I hear that General Banks has been giving the rebels fits down in Louisiana, but I suppose you heard of it before we did. There was a force of three or four thousand cavalry  and a battery or so went by here yesterday while we was on picket so that I did not see them as I was most a mile from the road. I don’t know where they were going to but suppose that they are going to make a raid over into the Shenandoah Valley or somewhere in that direction. I heard that they were going to be gone four or five days. 
     Wednesday April 29th
It is morning now and John says that he feels a little better this morning but he is pretty weak, he says that he feels pretty comfortable most of the time when he is laying down, but he can’t set up long at a time, he does not have much appetite and does not eat much. It has stopped raining but it has not cleared off yet and don’t look much like it. I wrote a letter to Ann Sunday and I don’t know whether the mail has been since or not so perhaps you may get this letter by the time she does hers. This is about all I can think of now so I shall have to close for want of anything to write. We shall be on the road for home in two months from today at least if we are no before. Tell Father that I guess we shall get home enough to help him in haying if nothing happens. This is all I can think of so I must close. With much love for the whole family. 
    From your son, William Roberts

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Remembering the Day the Twin Towers Collapsed- A Telephone Operator’s Account


It started out as an ordinary work day with my daily half hour commute from Standish to Portland, Maine en-route to fulfill my duties as a 411 operator. I knew that even though I may only speak to a caller for fifteen seconds, that I had to be very alert when handling the call volume.  On the way, I always listened to a radio station to receive the news of the day. This particular day, I listened as the news unfolded and hurried along faster to see if there might be something on the television at work. I arrived to find our break room full of people, I had never seen, mostly managers whom worked upstairs. The room was silent as we all watched the story unfold. Looking back, it may have been Katie Couric who narrated exactly what was happening in Lower Manhattan. What I did notice was a lack of display of emotion from those giving us the news. No dramatic display of hysteria, like Hebert Morrison’s radio broadcast witnessing the explosion of the Hindenburg in 1937.  It was all ‘matter of fact’ and as I recollect, which seemed sterile and detached from the event. Regardless, nothing could have prepared any of us for what we witnessed happening via live satellite from NYC. As we viewed the television screen in horror, we saw ordinary people like us plunging from windows towards their deaths. Then the first tower slammed from the top floor into the next, subsequently, like a giant domino line, until the giant skyscraper was leveled into what surmounted into an “atomic” dust cloud chasing thousands of New Yorkers through the streets and across bridges running for their lives. We were in complete shock and denial, and acutely horrified. And then, the second tower collapsed. I abruptly shouted an expletive… and then I looked around the room and saw other operators scrambling to enter the directory assistance office to handle our day to day information calls. Having been a 411 operator for three years, this was a day I was unsure that I could perform my job with full concentration. I had the entire morning’s events weighing heavily of my mind, and so did my co-workers. In fact, one of my co-workers ended up unplugging and telling a manager he needed to leave. His daughter was in Lower Manhattan. He managed to reach her and instructed her to go quickly to his friend’s office at Newsweek magazine and stay there until he arrived. Managers rushed around the office with papers outlining information the callers would be looking for such as emergency info for the airlines, listings for government agencies and any other information which would be pertinent to the callers’ requests. It was complete chaos in the office for an hour or so when one of some of the managers ran around the office with clipboards asking for volunteers to go to Dover, NH to field phones calls from only NYC and surrounding boroughs. I did not hesitate and raised my hand along with six or seven others. My mind was on this disaster and doing whatever I could do to help. We grabbed our things and car pooled to Dover which was over an hour south of Portland. I called home before I left and told my family I would be home very late. I was unaware my sons had witnessed it on televisions at their school. They were twelve and fourteen and old enough to see this. Later, reflecting how I felt that my sons’ witnessed the WTC collapse on television, my reasoning was that it was historically significant.
Once in Dover, we saw many whom we used to work with in Directory Assistance. This was the Zero Operator office. The break room was full of pizzas for us and they welcomed us to help them field calls from NYC. We all sat in a room and did emergency training for about 3 hours. A Zero operator’s responsibilities were far different from a 411 operator. The keyboards had different functions which we needed to learn. None of us could have been prepared for what we were to hear when we plugged into our switchboards. In Directory, we could hand off a call to a service assistant if the customer needed more help. As a Zero Operator, the call belonged to you from beginning to end. Handing off a call was not an option.
We all went to our stations with our manuals and notes in hand. It was a day I will never forget.The phone company waived all coin phone fees that day as the urgency prevailed all day in Lower Manhattan. Hysteria met our ears all day and we had to remain calm and professional throughout our tour of duty. I recall becoming emotional a few times, when people were yelling that they just escaped from the 84th floor, the 79th floor, and after a while, I felt relieved that some people had escaped. They were in a panic, trying to reach family members. I tried to connect a few however with the steady stream of the flow of communication; often times calls were met with ALL CIRCUITS ARE BUSY. It was not like cell phones were carried by everyone as they are today, ten years later.
I remember we were taught how to break into a line to connect a person to a person. One man calling from Brooklyn to Staten Island, asked me to intercept the call. I broke into the line and informed the woman I had so & so who needed to speak with her. She agreed and I heard a short piece of the conversation. He was yelling, “The towers are gone!! Can you believe those people are all dancing in the streets in Pakistan?? ” I continued with my next call. It was a suicidal man from Queens. He was saying the world was ending and he wanted to hurt himself. I quickly tried to reassure him to hold a moment because I was going to get him some help (Samaritans). With this call, I needed assistance from a trainer. It was very stressful and this person believed this was the end of the world… he was exasperated. We connected him to an operator for Samaritans and then onto my next call. I received many calls from people who were looking for their friends and family and wanted me to dial the name of the business at the World Trade Center. They were in complete disbelief. I told them the towers were gone and I wished them well and said a prayer for them. I did not know how I was going to get through the day talking to New Yorkers all day. I felt like I had been through battle after only one day on the job. That night, I went home and cried. The following day, we did the same thing again. The second night, I went home again and I cried. The third day, we resumed our regular jobs as 411 operators, as Dover did not need us anymore.
Life changed drastically after that day. For the next year or so, I would get up in the middle of the night to check Headline News for any little bit of details related to the terrorist attack. I was consumed with news 24/7, a dramatic change from the early days of my youth when we had a B&W TV and saw the news once a day. I recalled my father waking us to watch the moon landing. It seemed such and innocent time and a time when news didn’t rule our lives. We are addicted to news and information in the moment and we are all on a fast train heading for somewhere.
For at least a year after the attack, every call into Directory Assistance was noticably different. The callers were all on high alert. They listened when the operators asked them for more information. They were kinder and polite for a long time, perhaps prioritizing the important things in life. I think it forced all of us to reevaluate our lives. Maybe we all needed a wake- up call.  I remember thinking that the effort to look for survivors and to clear the area of debris needed to be photographed. I hoped someone was brave enough to take on the task. Joel Meyerowitz, photographer was from the New York area. He started carrying his camera everyday and was questioned and sent away. He was persistent and finally received clearance to document the area. He then heard many stories as he spoke with rescue personnel nearly every day. Then the calls began coming into 411 for young men and some women looking for recruiter’s listings. This went on for a long time, as young men and women joined the armed forces to fight against those who dared attack us.
I recall seeing the haze in NYC after the collapse of the twin Towers, a haze which lasted days upon days. I saw a silhouette of a large twisted steel form similar to cathedral windows cast against a backdrop of soot and ashe whiteout. That piece of twisted steel, I later wrote to the editor of the New York Times was something which needed to be salvaged for a Memorial. Apparently, I was not the only one to think so, because I was in good company with the head of Metropolitan Museum of Art also mentioning this piece of twisted steel needed to be considered for a Memorial. I have a copy of my email sent and also the letter from the New York Times. In fact I saved many different newspapers from that day. In 1983, before my visit to the Twin Towers, I would visit the Empire State Building and photograph looking down towards Wall Street earlier that day. I also saved some artifacts from the World Trade Center and went to the Observation Deck to photograph. I took photos from all the four sides looking out over the New York skyline including a spectacular view of the Brooklyn Bridge lit up at night. I took photos looking down towards the street, which I now realize was the view people witnessed just before their plunge from the building that day. My artifacts include a green ticket to the Observation Deck which has an outline of the WTC and also a brochure which unfolds to show the NYC skyline. On the front of the color brochure is written in bold letters, “The Closest Some Will Ever Get to Heaven”


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Henry Ford

Perhaps one of the most interesting self- made American men was Mr. Henry Ford. It started with an article I read in an old magazine, The American Magazine, dated July 1928.  The title was “Wages Will Go Up and Prices Come Down says Henry Ford”, an interview by William S. Dutton. [ pg 15-17,111-113]
         Ford was sixty-five when he was interviewed by Dutton. Ford believed that a man is in training until age forty. If he quits then or retires, he is a failure. Ford did not believe he was successful, as his only success was an assembler of tools. His philosophy of money was interesting.
         Money is but only a tool and Ford believed when it becomes other than a tool in its use, then it becomes a menace. Ford’s statement, “Non productive private fortunes do not exist anymore. Once they cease to produce, they disappear.” Raw tools of the industry would include a pile of coal. A pile of money is also a raw tool of the industry.
         He was asked about charity workers. What were Ford’s thoughts about giving away large amounts of money to charity? He went on to explain how his factory, which he referred to as his “machine”, worked. Ford owned everything to make his machine work. To produce cars, he converted ore to steel, then sand to glass, then hemp to burlap, then cloth into artificial leather, then waste paper and rags into binder board and slag into cement, and he even owned the rubber plants to produce his automobile tires. Ford Motor Company was a vertical industry. Henry Ford explained that nobody could possibly know how high men’s wages eventually would climb and likewise nobody could predict just how cheaply goods could be produced. He spoke of equations and that it may be possible to double wages and to half costs or to quadruple wages and to quarter costs. We can not predict what the possibilities will be. Ford went on to say that costs are no nearer to the bottom than wages are to the top. Ford knew that the two movements, wages upward and costs downward will do more to abolish poverty than all the professional charity agencies combined. 
         On the subject of charity once again, Ford believed that Prosperity is not the product of charity, but of industry, not of receiving but of producing. Money has little to do with prosperity because it in itself does not produce. “Money represents an earned right to participate in the general production. If everyone partook and nobody produced, what good is money?”(pg 17) Ford said many people confuse money with wealth. You can use real wealth but you cannot use money because you can only accept it in exchange of uses. Real wealth gives values to money: money gives no value to wealth. Let every man produce one useful thing, or reclaim one idle acre more and wealth increases.
         Ford asked if it was efficient for business to pay high land taxes in a congested city and have people that cannot afford their rent. It was better for business to move into the country where land costs were lower with better living conditions. Ford said that money to buy his vehicles came from people, not Wall St, not the Banks and not Capitalists. 
         Until interest is earned, no profit can be made. Ford’s belief that once a person invested in one of his autos, they should be paying less for their second car they buy from Ford and it should be a better car also. He felt that the money customers invested with Ford Motor Co. also paid men’s wages and to keep his “machine” running. He did not want the customer to carry the extra expense of added interest on their own hard earned money. He felt the customer paid once so they should not be charged again. 
         Henry Ford lived rather simply. His payroll to keep his machine working was one million dollars per day. If anyone ate up his money, it would be the machine, Ford explained. Upon a recent visit to his winter home in Fort Myers , FL, I was surprised he only went there two weeks each year, a testament to hard work ethics. 
         Ford was the master of efficiency, as you will read later in this piece. I recall a story in Studs Terkel’s book, Hard Times, about an assembly worker in the Ford plant. The worker arrived to work a very long first day. He was not told to bring a lunch or a pair of gloves. Once inside the factory, the gates locked behind him, and if one arrived 5 minutes late, they were docked one hour’s pay. The worker thought there might be a lunch wagon, but instead went hungry on his first day at work which was longer than today’s eight hour day. His job was to sand fenders all day, which he did bare- handed with no gloves. 
         Ford refused to think of himself as a success. His statement, “Any man who thinks he has done something, hasn’t many more things to do. More men are failures on account of success than on account of failures” [Ford]
        Having researched the design and cost breakdown which Ford had spent much time considering, I read with great interest the manual Ford Model A/AA Truck Owner by A.G.McMillan. The manual was originally written during the years of the Great Depression, late 1920’s. Ford was intrigued with making sure his truck was versatile and he marketed it well. He designed Baker’s delivery trucks, garbage trucks ,ice trucks, taxi’s ,ambulances , police patrol vehicles ,heavy duty express road service trucks (tow trucks), Coal trucks, Hydraulic trucks, stock trucks for moving livestock, stake trucks (with wooden stakes on the sides), Long bed trucks, Panel body trucks , and Funeral coaches. He had two basic types of AA trucks which were All American (all metal) and Line Construction Bodies (telephone & telegraph trucks, light & power trucks)
        Ford claimed there were four reasons why a Ford Truck meant Efficiency and Economy. #1 Complete Line of Equipment (With a large number of Fords in operation meant a greater number of manufacturers) #2 Lower prices on Equipment (Greater production meant lower cost of Ford equipment) #3 Better repair service ( With a large amount of Fords on the road meant for more repair centers everywhere) #4 More rapid delivery ( National distributing eliminated delays)
                    The manual was full of diagrams showing weight distribution of freight as well as comparison charts showing cost efficiency of his trucks versus the use of horse teams. Comparisons included time breakdowns and cost breakdowns. It took 4 teams (8 horses) and 4 men to keep pace with a Ford truck with a total cost of $1200.00 for equipment per year however the Ford truck cost $675.00 per year. A Ford truck would work 24 hours per day with only 15 minutes of care whereas horses will not stand more than eight hours per day. It takes forty acres to feed eight horses but a Ford truck only uses gas and oil. Stormy weather does not impact a Ford however in stormy weather, men and horses stand idle. 
        There was also a diagram which showed the costs per mile. The price of eight horses and four wagons was $1200.00 per year less $675.00 for the Ford Truck. The initial savings there was $525.00 In addition to those savings, cost of operating eight horses and four wagons per year $1292.64 and the cost of operating a Ford Truck was $270.21. Those savings were $1022.43 with a total savings comparison of $1547.43 for the first year.
        The next comparison was between a Ford six-wheel 2 ½ ton unit and an existing 2½ ton truck ( name of truck was not mentioned). The Ford truck appeared more solid, less bulky and streamlined in comparison to the competitor’s truck. Maybe one of the differences in appearance was Ford’s use of load distribution. 60/40 load distribution meant that 60 % of the weight was over the front axle while 40% was over the rear axle.
        The cost of Ford’s six wheel 2 ½ ton truck was $982.00 and the truck in comparison cost $3478.00.  The running cost of gas, oil and lubrication was broken down for each vehicle. The Ford truck got 10 miles to the gallon where the comparison truck got 7 miles to the gallon. So the average truck cost per mile was calculated for the comparison truck to 0.165 and the Ford truck was 0.086 per mile. Depreciation, Maintenance and Fixed costs were all figured into calculations. Comparing costs of those two trucks, a savings of $3720.00 was what the consumer could expect the first year if they purchased a Ford Truck.
         The design of Ford’s trucks was also broken down into diagrams and lists. Each truck had 66 drop forgings for maximum strength and minimum weight. Each truck came equipped with shatterproof glass on the front windshield. The only vehicle Ford manufactured that also included a shatterproof rear windshield was the ambulance. Also to reduce rivets, there were over 611 electric welds for safety and strength. Ford trucks were designed for easy adjustment. Ford owned the world’s largest Industrial unit. His plant in Dearborn, Michigan had a casting foundry, a glass plant, pressed steel and spring buildings, rolling mill, open hearth cement plant, and also had investments in the rubber industry to produce his tires. A diagram depicted 500 Ford coal cars bringing coal to the rouge plant. The rouge glass plant had an annual capacity of 10,000,000 square feet. 500 gallons of old paint were reclaimed daily. Power plant consumed 2200 tons of coal daily. Rouge plant covered 1,096 acres.
        Coke ovens produced an average of 3,300 tons of coke, 50, 000,000 cubic feet of gas, and 40,000 gallons of refined light oil every 24 hours. 2,500 barrels of Portland cement produced daily. Approximately 95 miles of railroad sidetracks were in the Rouge plant. James Newton, author of Uncommon Friends  relayed a story told by Edison’s son about The Rouge plant losing power once. Hoping to restore power quickly, Ford was reluctant to wait for the electric company to set poles, and instructed his own men to run power lines along the telephone poles. He told his men that he would deal with the telephone company later. Newton was a close friend of Edison, Ford and Firestone. In 1932, Newton and a newspaper reporter met Ford for an interview concerning his business philosophy. Newton mentioned there were two Ford model A’s in the driveway. Ford told Newton he had driven one from Detroit while his assistant drove the other. After the reporter left, Ford mentioned to his assistant, “Should we show Newton what we have here?” They proceeded to open the hood so Jimmie Newton took a look at the first V-8 engine. It was two months later when the world would see the V-8. Ford wanted to test drive the V-8 himself and if one of the vehicles broke down, they could just tow it using the other Ford Model A, rather than have it towed to a garage and spill the beans about the V-8.
         Ford Motor Company’s assets were one billion dollars during the late 1920’s.Ford employed 269 thousand men including factory workers and dealers. Plants and equipment worth 293 million dollars with a production of 18 million cars and trucks (3 million model A’s) Ford also made sure that he had schools for mechanics to become certified to work on his vehicles. There were 22,800 trained mechanics that graduated from these schools and became employed in Ford service stations. In addition, Ford employed 17, 734 salesmen, 5,877 dealers and 1,334 fleet –owner mechanics. There were 35 branches which were Ford headquarters for that territory
         In the early 20’s, there was a recession and Ford was producing many cars. He was smart with finance and managed to keep his company from being taken over by big bank creditors. Demand was low at this time. One way he managed to save his company was to ship his cars to the dealerships with a bill of lading and sight draft attached. The dealership had to pay for the vehicles when they were delivered. Either they paid for the vehicles or they lost their dealerships. The author, Newton, explained that in those days, having a Ford dealership afforded one considerable status in a small town.   
         Model AA panel delivery trucks could be special ordered with the name of the business information lettered onto the vehicle. Ford calculated costs of carrying freight and broke the figures down into pounds weight per 100 gallons. He used milk, oil, gasoline, eggs, and calculated what the weight would be with empty racks versus full racks. Ford calculated what it would cost to carry weights per bushel of apples, potatoes, rhubarb, tomatoes, barley and also showed how to distribute loads when carrying the freight. Weights per bushel of apples (50 lbs), tomatoes (55 lbs), clover (25 lbs), limes (80 lbs) charcoal (20 lbs), as this information would be important to a delivery man. 
         Ford also considered the most efficient method of frequent delivery vehicles. He called it a Step-n-Drive Drop Frame Truck.  A driver would sit when driving using pedals. Near the 1st stop, the driver would fold his seat up instantly and stand while using a single combination clutch and brake pedal. When checking his work load, he only needed to turn around to enter from behind the seat, rather than go to the back of the vehicle, to retrieve the goods/parcel. This provides the convenience of wagons with the motorized speed, covering greater territory.
         Ford also had a three way dump body vehicle. These would work from side to side & out the back (cost 250 dollars) Coal bodies included a high lift -1 ton for 750 dollars) and a 2 ton (1000 dollars) The coal body truck’s side and bottom were made from 10 gauge steel with no seams, rivets or bolts.
         Ford had a vertical hoist on some trucks that was mounted to frame on back of cab, He also had two hydraulic hoists, on the Model A (hand operated) and Model AP (Operated by truck motor) Of interest was the Hackney CO2 refrigerated bodies. One was used strictly for non frozen, such as fish, dairy and meat deliveries. The other Hackney CO2  delivery vehicle was strictly for frozen goods such as ice cream. Having read about Ford’s reasoning behind dry ice versus ice for deliveries, it all made perfect sense. The argument was about cost. Dry ice weighed half the weight of ice. Therefore an important characteristic of dry ice would be, no moisture to soak, no repainting or replacing metal parts due to corrosion. Dry ice turns from a solid to a gas with no drip. The cost of using Dry Ice would save a delivery truck for one year approximated between 900 and 2500 dollars. 
         Ford trucks had two important efficiency accessories. One was a Governor, which once installed, was used on a vehicle to prevent strain from excessive speed. A governor cost 17.50 to install and it took 20 minutes to do so. It prevented racing in lower gears. It limited speed & expense but not power. It worked because power from gas velocity transmitted to rod and spring through gear sector and rack. The 2nd forces manifold vacuum on same rod & spring from pressure from a piston. It stops speeding and leads to longer engine life. The other was a recorder, which kept accurate records of a trucks activity per hour. Perhaps this was the beginning of the idea behind the GPS.
         Ford’s trucks had a variety of uses, including elevated towers for public utility vehicles which included ladders( primitive early crane), post hole diggers, hoist and winches(for telephone companies and contractors), engines with greater power (to pull boats , heavy cruisers or flatbed), adapted with advertising(giant milk bottle mounted on back, or giant camera-specifically for advertising purposes), demonstrating type vehicles (may show an oil burner inside, so a salesman could demonstrate door to door), folding seats( for delivery of passengers),  window bars (armored vehicles), clothes racks ( for laundry and dry cleaners), centrifugal pumps ( could be easily mounted for painters, contractors- and they also came with ladder carriers)
         Taxicabs came equipped with silk curtains. Ambulances came equipped a medicine chest, heater, fan, thermos bottles, wash basin, and a stretcher. Funeral hearses came equipped with green mohair casket stops.
         Each vehicle was listed with Operating Cost Analysis charts, which included based on an average of 85 miles per day, Cost Per Mile, Cost Per day, Cost Per Year. Ford even figured in depreciation. He listed Ford Fleet Owners of many national companies owning 200 or more of his Ford trucks. American Telegraph and Telephone Company & subs owned by far most at 8207 units. Swift company & subsidiaries came in second owning 2957 units.  
         I visited Ford’s summer home in Fort Myers and was told a great story about the man. One day a delivery driver came on the Edison/Ford property, and was stopped at the gate by none other than Henry Ford, although the delivery driver was unaware it was Mr Ford. Ford then proceeded to ask the driver all about his truck, what he liked and what he did not like. The driver shared his experiences about the vehicle with Ford and finally drove off to make the delivery. Asked what held the delivery man up, he explained a man had interrogated him at the gate. It was then he learned it was none other than Henry Ford himself.

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Okinawa Diary

                Mr Philip LaViolet, of Westbrook, was 18 at the time of the invasion of Okinawa. He passed away last year. Phil wrote “April 10th, 1945- Most of the Boys except a few moved down to our new Bivouac area where our big depot is going to be. As we passed the 96th DIV. cemetery, they were burying our soldiers and there were about 25 crosses. I’ll bet than in a few weeks we won’t be able to count all the crosses in this cemetery.”
                 This excerpt taken from Phil’s diary that he transcribed for the Westbrook Historical Society was quite revealing and poignant. That excerpt was written the first week of the invasion. I knew Phil for a few years and enjoyed talking with him often when he would come up to the historical society to work on his war veteran collection. I still miss his stories and his presence there.
 I knew about Phil’s diary but never read it while he was alive. He wrote with great humor, detail and with great historical references. I believe he was a born historian. After reading his diary, I am convinced of that.
                 He joined the army like so many young men of that generation did. Basic training was at Camp Shelby in Louisiana , with weeks of sleeping on the ground outside in the cow pastures full of manure and mud. There was a comical drawing made by one of his comrades of Bugs, known as Major Pritz. One of the fellows gave him that nickname because he had two front teeth which protruded. In Phil’s descriptions, every time Bugs would shout orders, they all began with, “Damn it!” The writing is very descriptive and it appears that the guys were entertained with Bugs’ charades. In later years, Phil had handwritten an addition to an excerpt explaining that they had the highest respect for Bugs, and the humorous anecdotes were in no way meant to be disrespectful of the man they calls Bugs. Several times in the diary, Phil credits Bugs for turning them all into men, part of a fine unit. He credits Bugs for helping to prepare them for what they were later to experience as the Invasion of Okinawa on April 1st, 1945.
                 One of his fellow friends was named Edward Sestak. I can’t help but wonder if Joe Sestak, veteran and politician, from Pennsylvania may have been a relation, because his family has military ties. It is interesting to read history and find these connections.
                 He wrote about their Sunday services and how they were lucky to have them. Interestingly, he noted that there were many more fellows attending these services than did so while in the States. He wondered if they were afraid, or cowards who wanted to repent. Phil was raised with a strong religious background in the town of Westbrook, Maine. He told me once that since there was no Catholic High School, his mother sent him to Worcester, Massachusetts to attend Assumption College High School to continue his religious education. Jokingly he told me that his mother didn’t think there would be too many girl distractions in Worcester, but Phil said that of course there were girls down there. 
                Once I started reading, I could not put the diary down. It was compelling to read as he wrote with much description. Phil wrote about the huge convoy headed for the Pacific somewhere. As far as he could see, he estimated about five thousand ships, and described destroyers, carriers, tankers, battleships and so on. At some point the convoy became smaller Phil mentioned. He thought it had split. In fact, when they finally found out that they were headed to Okinawa, he wrote about the convoy meeting again for the invasion. His description of the ships all together was most impressive. He felt that the invasion was larger than the one at Normandy.  (Battle of Okinawa was the largest amphibious invasion of the Pacific Campaign , quoted by one Okinawan as “storm of steel”) Quite often in his writing, he reveals his belief that there will be much friction between the European Theatre and the Pacific Theatre. The reasons were that their European counterparts had towns, taverns, women and were basically spoiled in comparison to those serving in the Pacific. The European Theatre also had USO shows. He wrote that this friction that would be ever present.
                 This young man thought and wrote as he journeyed across the ocean unaware of where he was headed or what was in store for him. Their only stop would be in Hawaii for a while. Before they left, Bugs spoke to the men and told them he would not be going with them but would be joining them shortly. Phil wrote how Bugs appeared a little choked up, but assured the men that they would be ok. He mentioned how Bugs probably just told them that to help prepare them all, unsure what their destination held for each of them. It had been 56 days with no mail from home. The moral was not good.
                 Kamikaze planes shot at a few of the allied ships, in all taking out about 34 ships. The Japanese aircraft loss was very significant in the Invasion of Okinawa, almost eight thousand planes.  Upon arrival, amphibious landings proved successful partly due to all the practice landings they had done.  Phil wrote how they heard Tokyo Rose broadcasting and calling men in their unit by name as they were landing. Okinawa was situated about 400 miles south of Japan, proving to be a strategic location to cut off Japanese sea lines of communication and also their supply lines of materials from the south. The Japanese on the island did not choose to fight allies at the beach, but rather waited inland. By nightfall some 60,000 landed on the beach unopposed. Immediately, roads were built, and camps set up trenches and foxholes dug to accommodate all the soldiers. Then nearly every night they were raided by Japanese, either by planes or by snipers, sometimes flying so close to the foxholes, you could light a cigarette, Phil wrote. 
                Communication of world events was significantly far different then in comparison to today. For instance, Phil wrote that they heard had heard of the death of FDR ,however it was two days later when they received the news of their Commander in Chief’s death. They had also heard of Germany’s surrender later.
                About two or three weeks later, “Bugs” Major Pritz joined his troops again. The men were happy to see him, however their experiences had been quite intense since they last saw Bugs. The first day upon Bugs’ arrival, there was an air raid and the men grabbed their helmets and ran for cover, some for the foxholes. Bugs jumped into a foxhole and LaViolet later wrote that Bugs had pissed his pants. It wasn’t long before Bugs was shouting orders and busting people. LaViolet wrote that Bugs should be careful because “over here” someone wouldn’t care and could put a bullet into Bug’s head. This was in May. 
                On June 20th, LaViolet writes about General Bruckner getting killed because he wanted to see what the infantry was up to in Naha, capital of Okinawa and was caught in battle.  Throughout his diary, he writes of the fighting, and death around him as he did in June when he wrote of six Japanese men killed. On July 5th, a dud exploded, killing twenty five Americans. His diary is full of photos of his comrades and places and events. He also attached several articles of historical interest to the campaign and also Japanese customs, though like any soldier did not think kindly of the enemy. Phil wrote of meeting a fellow Westbrook boy named Gerald Fluett in August. On August 10th Phil wrote of the excitement in the use of the A-Bomb to end this war. The following day, August 11th, there was a wild excitement and reckless celebration over the rumor that the Japanese were going to surrender. The reckless behavior continued long after the commanding officer’s shouts to stop the behavior were ignored. Phil and others dove onto the ground with helmets to avoid the gunshots by fellow soldiers. After the ordeal was over, six men had been killed from the wild behavior. Phil wrote that the guys went crazy when they heard rumor of surrender. Once the surrender did take place, Phil and some fellow soldiers went into town to look around. Evidently, they entered a building that had been shelled and they were scavenging. They heard some noises and a group of soldiers found some Japanese soldiers hiding. The Japanese were shot. They could have easily shot the Americans because the Americans were unaware they were so close. 
                 He later wrote of men having accumulated points. The men with the most points, because of being married and/or having children, would be allowed to go home first. It seems there was a lot of bureaucracy in getting the men home and frustrations mounted. At the end, LaViolet was to be part of the Occupied Army and was stationed in Korea after the war. It took some time but he finally got home. 
                I am grateful I finally read of Phil’s experiences. I have always held him in high esteem, a good humble family man whose true gift was his passion for history and his devotion to God and family and friends.

                     I sought permission from one of Phil’s daughters to post this story and she obliged graciously.

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Interviews from the Great Depression, Part two

                    This is a continuation of the the stories of people that Studs Terkel interviewed for his book Hard Times, stories of those who were witness to the Great Depression. There were several chapters by Coal mining families, who struggled, enslaved to the company store. It just wrenched my heart to read their stories as they were amongst some of the poorest and hardest worked. It was not uncommon for some of these miners in the late 1920’s early 1930’s to work until they earned 20 dollars. Then the mine might shut down for a few days until the guys spent their 20 earned dollars in the company store.” Every aspect of their lives was company food, housing, furniture etc. They paid higher prices for the convenience of having things close by. According to one miner, as far as Union Organization, the Ku Klux Klan was the only protection for the working man, both Black and White. Many young boys dropped out of school to work alongside their fathers, brothers and Uncles to help sustain the family. The miners were pretty much owned by the company.
                     Edward Sarteller told how his daddy was a coalminer in 1929. Edward chose the path of a schoolteacher and made thirty dollars per month. His early memories of his education were in a one room schoolhouse, with eight rows, one for each grade. There was a potbelly stove and there was a three- holer outhouse.  The author said that the greatest contribution of the WPA was to standardize outdoor toilets for the schools. He recalled a young girl with whom he went to school who suffered from Typhoid. She was completely bald and had no wig. Back then kids would get sick with diphtheria and other illnesses. His dad, Uncle and Grandfather, who was born in a log cabin, were all self educated men. 
                     In 1936 and 1937, the mine where his father worked saw much struggle. The widow of the mine owner was going to sell for 38,000 but she decided to sell to the workers for far less at 33,000. The men gathered together and made a decision to sell their stock and work for free to keep their jobs. In the beginning there were four hundred men. In then late 1950’s there was only eighteen of the original four hundred left to work. 
                     Sarteller thought rootless ness would destroy the country. Much like the 1920’s in Germany, there would be camps etc. The country would not survive.
                     Another interesting man interviewed was Jerome Zerbe. His family had money and he knew a lot of influential people. He began as a painter and lived in Europe on a three hundred dollar stipend, which his father afforded. When the Depression hit, his father could no longer send money so Jerome was forced to come back to the USA. He had this crazy idea to take pictures of his friends and their homes and send them all around the world to gain exposure. It landed him a job at Parade Magazine and people loved reading about the rich and elite. At one point in his career, he worked at a club. In this club, the celebrities wore their vanity when they sought him to take their portraits. 
                     Another chapter told of Joe Morrison, who proclaimed that even though ninety-two percent of the town was on relief, some people refused help. Many kids lost their teeth due to poor nutrition and no medical care and some fainted from hunger. He claimed, “There’s Apathy now.” People were talking about Revolution in the boxcars. There was such a hysteria that sometimes monitors were seeking information in these Hoovervilles to see if in fact there was a reason to worry about Revolution. It was like a police state. Today (1970’s), people are thinking but nobody’s talking.
                    Peggy Terry and her mother, Mrs. Owsley, were both interviewed. They were both considered to be Hillbilly women. Peggy tells how her father took them once to see a Hooverville. She was a kid and recalled being shocked as it was about ten miles wide by about ten miles long. People lived in orange crates, cardboard homes, rusted out cars and piano boxes. Her mother, Mrs. Owsley, told that her husband was a bonus marcher, very feisty. She said she met this family from Oklahoma once who had seven kids. They lived in a hole in the ground, like a cave. It was real nice inside she said, with chairs and table and clean too. At one time, all Peggy’s family had to eat was mustard. Her mother spoke of the Dust Bowl storms and how it ruined their clothes. Normally, one never wore anything like those clothes but they had no choice, all stained with oil. The people were “mentally ill” because they wondered if the tough times would ever end. There were many suicides during these years. Mrs. Owsley joked that her husband was a hell raiser, being gassed by the Germans in WW1 and then again by his own government because he was a bonus marcher. He came home empty handed, like all the rest of the marchers. 
                    Peggy married at fifteen and her husband was sixteen. She used to be quite prejudiced in her beliefs against the blacks until she was treated the same way. She remarked how it was odd that she never felt any common threads between her and her black workers in the field next to her. She thought they had nothing in common. Only later was she shown some kindness when she was pregnant and hitching rides with her husband, offered a place to lay her head on a wagon full of black workers who even had a chicken meal packed in a pail for her the next morning They were not allowed to eat in public restaurants, so they cooked all their own food on the wagon. She realized they were all fighting the same battle. There was one thing she had trouble understanding as a kid. She recalls observing Roosevelt’s fancy cufflinks, a childhood memory, and asking herself, “Why are we so hungry?”
                     The owner of a successful speakeasy, Tony Soma, referred to himself as a Capitalist. He came to America from Italy with nothing and quickly became a successful business owner. His circle of clients included several noteworthy people. Tony commented that to have noteworthy friends was better than any relationship you could have with a bank. He felt poverty was a result of laziness. Poverty and Depression were signs of mental illness, he claimed. In 1929, the year of the Crash, Tony boasted to have had his biggest year in American life. That was the year he sold three leases for 104,000. “Life is not to suffer”, he would say.
                     One story of interest was that the illegal activities of some people made them very prosperous, both good and bad people. There was a fine line between the good and the bad. Many made a fortune from Prohibition, gangsters and cops. 
                    Sally Rand was age six when she saw Pavlova perform and proclaimed she knew then she wanted to be a dancer. Sally worked for Cecil B. DeMille; a Hollywood Icon. She sold million dollar yachts which were sitting in marinas collecting barnacles because the rich had ceased some of their spending habits. Her clients were bootleggers who paid $10,000 for one of these yachts and she collected her 6 percent commission.
                     Another man, Caesar Chavez, missed a great deal of school as his family followed the crops to try to survive. His father had a corral which ended up getting bulldozed by the bank. The president of the bank was watching all the surrounding land and purchased all of it, near where the Chavez’ had a piece of land. Chavez recalls as a kid lots of hurtful memories such as seeing signs “White Trade Only”, when his family was refused from making purchases on the road. His father was at the mercy of people who would hire the family and later skip town, sometimes only able to feed the family on seven dollars per week. His father never gave up hope on trying to get a piece of land again.
                     One fellow who came from Cuba, Jose Yglesius, told about the cigar factories. The woman cigar factory workers made as much as the men. He realized the Depression was going on when his Aunt no longer charged them rent and there was no food in the house. Interestingly enough the illiterate cigar workers had a podium at work and the workers paid to have speakers come in and read classics like Tolstoy and Dickens. Once there was as a strike at the factory, the employer took away the podium and the readers never came again. It was a way to disempower the workers. His Cuban father despised Roosevelt. He compared Roosevelt to Mussolini.
                      One person in the book told that some of the common feelings were regarding thinking that your father was a failure. Some men who had been successful struggled with taking any old job. There was a great deal of resentment between father and son. Sometimes the sons left very early. The fathers sometimes left to go find work and would be gone for a long time. Another person told that it was good to see the father coming home on his bike smelling of sawdust. His father was a carpenter. When he came home carrying his toolbox, it meant the job was over. Some men committed suicide so their families could get money, according to one person interviewed.
                    Another woman told of the time she rode a train with her brother during World War 1 and witnessed a dying soldier on the train. She said the impact was huge. She never felt that way again until she was motoring under the Michigan Avenue Bridge and saw thousands of men rolled up in their overcoats sleeping on the pavement. She was shocked. She thought that whatever it was that brought on Nazism could now happen anywhere and she feared this.
                    Edward Ryerson, who came from a family of boilermakers and steel men, told of his attempts at getting Federal funds, particularly Chicago. He received twelve million dollars in 1932 which lasted three months in Chicago. Hoover lost the election because people wanted ‘change’. So much of this sounds familiar to what is taking place today.
Diane Morgan, a southern belle, told how her world fell apart when she realized the Depression had affected her family. She came home and there was no telephone, no cook, no maid, and dust under her bed. She had no ice for drinks to serve her visitors. She eventually landed a job with the New Deal program and she recruited people. She tried to hire people she knew who were struggling. She told of meeting her previous maid and feeling so happy to see her. She was able to help her. An early memory she had as a kid was visiting this maid and seeing her walls papered with newspapers. They had different lives but felt the maid was part of her extended family.
                    Mike Widman worked for the Ford factory. He showed up at work his first day at the factory and was in charge of sanding the fenders. He did not know the gates were locked at 8am daily and had no commissary there. He was hungry the first day as he had no lunch. He said he wished he had known he needed to bring his own gloves as his hands were all blistered that first day. If he needed to use the bathroom, he was supposed to check with a foreman first and find a replacement so the assembly line did not suffer while he was gone. There was surveillance at the factory as Ford hired ex cons for this. Once when Widman told a foreman that he had been going to school, he was told that Mr.Ford did not pay for employees to go to school and was fired. Later because he was a friend of the union leader John Lewis, he was instrumental in helping protect some of the black workers who had been afraid of losing their jobs during the big strike when Ford had shut the plant per the governor. 
                    Frank Czerwonka told how everyone was in on cheating the utilities during Prohibition. The gas and electric companies would put a meter up and the folks in the neighborhood would put a jumper on the meter to give it false readings. During the height of Prohibition booze was 40 dollars per gallon and when it was lifted, it was 5 dollars per gallon.
                    Clyde Ellis said the whole country had lost many young boys in WW2. Clyde told how he became a schoolteacher and worked hard to get power in Arkansas so folks could have electricity. He served as a Congressman and was affiliated with the National Rural Electric. Electricity finally came to Arkansas and he recalled his mother crying when she flicked the light switch. He lost his own younger brother who quit school and volunteered for money in the military as there was no work. 
                    The farmers saw great struggle, so much that many lost their farms for cents on the dollar. The price of corn was more than the price of hogs. In an effort to raise the price of hogs, many sows were slaughtered to merely raise the price and the farmers were paid to slaughter their pregnant female pigs. The farmer could not afford to feed his cattle grain. This eventually led to slaughtering cattle to raise the price of beef. Riots were not uncommon and farmers blocked the roads so their produce wouldn’t go to market. One story tells how approximately 1500 farmers came out of the woods angry, and sometimes violence erupted. There was a fleet of trucks sent to Sioux Falls to get food for market and thirteen roads were blocked. The stockyards were emptied and the farmers were not going to allow anything to get to market. It was comparable to the American Revolution. There were farm auctions where local town folk bought things for pennies on the dollar, only to return everything to the farmer in the end. Judge Bradley, who facilitated foreclosure on many farms, was nearly lynched by a group of angry farmers. It was not his fault as these were the times; however he was not quite right after that. Many people interviewed remembered the incident.
                    Farmers in Kansas had different experiences. They had the black blizzards when visibility was no more than three or four feet and they had droughts. They also had Alf Landon who appointed three men to each county to try to assist the farmers. These men called the bankers and insurance companies to beg for more time so the farmers could try to meet their mortgage payments. Landon established farm moratoriums. He even called the bankers at times also. There were no riots in Kansas he claimed.
                    One man told how FDR was hated by the people that he helped and loved by the people he harmed. When Hoover was in office, it was said there were Federal Funds to feed the animals but no Federal money to feed people. You had to rely on your neighbor for help. When cotton was four cents a pound and it cost ten cents to produce it, the fields would be plowed over to drive up the cost. The Secretary of Agriculture, Col. C.B. Baldwin, told of these troubles. He stated that tobacco went down to four cents per pound and could not be produced for that price. At this time, unemployment was sixteen million; WPA offices were set up quickly so people could get work. This only lasted about six months, as Congress would not support it. Interestingly enough, a program was established like a farmer’s cooperative. It included fifty farming families, similar to Russian Collectivism. They all did fairly well and split the profits, however…this fascinated me. Even though they did not go hungry and did fairly well… in the end they all still had a desire to own their own little piece of land, something that was not part of this original plan. The human spirit is to try to be a better person and to try to get ahead in life. It shocked those who had set up this little experiment, that the farmers still wanted a piece of their own land.
                    The stories are numerous and every one a different experience from a different piece of American Fabric. I will end with two short stories of interest. Sumio Nichi was a very prosperous farmer. He was a man of integrity I think because he paid for everything as he went. At times when inflation was bad, he struggled but he paid everything in full for his farm equipment and his mortgage. He ended up losing nearly everything because of the policy to send the Japanese to Interment camps. He had 80,000 worth of farm equipment which went up for auction and received 6,000 for it. He lost everything because of the war experience of the interment camps.
                    Another story is that of Emma Tiller. She was a black woman from Texas who recalled 1914 when the worms ate all the cotton. She claimed she could hear the crops being destroyed by the pests. Her memories of the Depression were waiting in long lines with all the other sharecroppers for food at the Relief Station. Sometimes they waited two or three days. Some people ahead of her were given rotten meat. One particular instance, she remembered a three men coming one day who were hungry. They brought their guns and one of the fellows was very angry he had received rotten meat. They said they were not leaving until everyone had been fed. They said they were not going to harm anyone. The man running the relief station was reaching for a phone when one of the gunmen grabbed him by the tie and told him he would kill the man. Emma Tiller said that day everyone got fed. Those fellows with the guns went to the penitentiary. Later it was found that the man running the relief station was storing food in his own warehouse and depriving those he was supposed to be helping. This was not uncommon. 
                    I suppose my reason for telling you about some of the people in this book was mainly to help us all realize that this indeed happened in America. If anything can be taken from these stories, I think it is that we need to be more self sufficient and rely less on the government. As you can see by these stories, the government did not do a very good job helping anyone, except themselves. Those who worked for the government did not go without the necessities. (PART 1)



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Interviews from the Great Depression

                The past month or so, I have spent reading ‘Hard Times’ by Studs Terkel written in 1970. It is a collection of oral histories from many people of various classes, various cultures, and various ages who recalled the Great Depression and its effect on their lives. I believe many people today are so far removed from those times, that they could never imagine it happening again. One fellow, a con man, named Doc Graham, thought that if there was a Depression today that people would kill themselves. He thought people quit all too easily today, looking for a way out always. Doc Graham believed that the people from those times were a different breed of people today. The people who survived were self sufficient, many living on farms outside the cities. Some of the rural areas were depressed anyhow and as one person said, it was easier when you had nothing. Many could not understand people killing themselves over money. Those who had money lost nearly everything, were also often the ones who committed suicide. Doc Graham had no love for FDR, in fact he voted against him four times. He felt FDR was a con man also who told lots of fairy tales. Many thought FDR saved the society, but Doc’s thoughts were simple. What would have saved society would be if FDR’s parents never met. The only good thing FDR did was to end Prohibition.
                 This piece is going to give you a glimpse of people and their experiences. I wanted to write about things which I felt important to learn from this generation. When I think of the views held by many today, that the government is going to be the answer to our worries, this book tells a different story. In 1929, the economic troubles of that time were different than today as the unemployment was extremely high, maybe twenty- five percent. One man named Arthur Robertson told about how the Government came to the aid of the big banks, and the Government’s attitude being ‘Holier than Thou”. Everyone could afford stock. All a person needed was 15 or 20 bucks and the broker would front the other eighty percent. This was the beginning of the problems which lead to the collapse, similar to the problems today when the banks loaned huge amounts of money to lenders with nearly no capital. One person stated that nobody had any idea that the financial market was ready to crash, not even the bankers and certainly not the government. “The Government kept telling us things would get better.”  I would recommend renting John Ford’s classic movie, “The Grapes of Wrath” I think it was an accurate depiction of life in the Midwest for many people. The story is compelling.
                 Jim Sheridan told about the Bonus Marchers, who were soldiers who had fought for Democracy in Germany. Someone got the idea that the soldiers should all march to Washington to demand their bonus money because they needed it now. Word spread fast. Some of these ‘bums’ would stay in the wooded areas near the train stations. The fellas working on the train would come out and ask how many would be boarding, without the knowledge of the authorities. Then they would load a few extra boxcars at the end of the train for those hitching a ride. Sheridan said there were 50 or 60 to a boxcar sometimes. They went from town to town on their way to DC and bummed food or whatever they might need. He said there was camaraderie then as people were all in the same situation. They were not afraid of strangers passing through town, like today. He had one very strong memory of a man traveling with his wife and baby. Everyone on the train knew the baby was crying from hunger. At the next stop, he and a friend bummed a baby bottle from a store after explaining the situation. Then they bummed some milk to put in the bottle. When they got back to the train, he offered the bottle to the wife. She looked at her husband for approval and he refused. The next journey was through some very smoky tunnels and some of the smoke backed into the boxcar. At the end of the tunnel ride, he heard screaming. It was the woman with the baby. The baby had died….from starvation. The train rides for the Bonus Marchers brought thousands to Washington DC where they were beaten with bats and had the military and American Legions turn on them. 
                     The Federal Trade Commissioner ,Everette McIntyre, told how President Hoover did not like all these bonus marchers circling the White House and camping out with their families. It was clogging up Pennsylvania Avenue. There were about 20,000 to 40,000 people who came from across the country for their bonuses. MacArthur, Patton and Eisenhower all took part in fighting the bonus marchers. Bayonettes were used on the crowd and in some cases ears were cut off. One bonus marcher man was killed. Bricks were thrown and tear gas was also used. The marchers left empty handed.
                     Martin Devries , interviewed showed no hesitancy when asked how he felt about FDR. I found his story interesting because his convictions are the same as mine and I have never seen bad times. He despised FDR. Martin said that not all the people on Wall Street are bad. He blamed Wall Street some and especially the new Securities and Exchange Commission, one founder being Joseph Kennedy. He states that ‘The New Dealers’ felt like they had some mission to perform after hearing FDR’s fireside chats. His complaint was, “We are paying taxes and NOT asking for anything. Everyone is asking for Relief and expects our money to help them out. A certain amount is ok… but when they strip you clean, it’s unfair.” Precisely these are my own sentiments.
                     Some of the common feelings stated by several interviewed were since times were bad, there were socialist and maybe communist feelings. Many people bartered to survive. One family owned a silver dollar. They had an agreement with their local market that they would sometimes pay with their silver dollar. The market proprietor waited until the family came back with a dollar and exchanged it back for their silver dollar. This process was repeated many times. If you had land and were able to keep it, you could survive. Many people would struggle to pay the mortgage and went hungry. 
                    One  woman , Phyllis Lorimer, told that her brother was attending college at Dartmouth. Her father had been a motion picture movie director, and her parents were divorced. For a time she attended a boarding school. When she could no longer get any pencils at school, because the school was not paying its bills, she was mortified. That was when she realized the Depression was real. She had no idea that the Depression was a national thing. Her family spent all their money to support the brother away at Dartmouth. She and her mother survived eating canned bully beef. Her mother made light of things and perhaps somehow protected her daughter from the harsh realities. When her brother came home from Dartmouth, he was shocked at how they were living. He was undone by the Depression. Phyllis said that she learned more about life from her brother’s reaction to the Depression. “There was a respect for those who did and no respect for those who had”
                     Another woman told how her father had 4 houses left to him and that he lost them all one by one during the depression. When he lost his job, he moved his family into a double wide garage to live rent free for seven years. She remembers how cold she was and that they all wore their clothes to bed at night. They had a coal stove and melted snow on a pan atop the stove to wash their faces.
                     Dorothea Bernstein told how she was raised in an orphan home back in 1933. She said on Fridays, all 125 of the kids at the orphanage would give the “hard luck guys” their lunch bags which consisted of mashed sardine sandwiches and mayonnaise. A friend of hers had owned a grocery store and was keeper of the books. In those times, you would never ask a customer for money, you would just write their name in the book because you did not want to take away from their family food. She thought this way you really were not giving it away and eventually you would be paid. Dorothea told of running into a girl she had once known in childhood. She went up to the woman and tried to confirm her identity, but the woman said it must be a case of mistaken identity. Dorothea had seen her several times after that and knew it was the woman she recalled as a kid. Her only explanation was there was so much stigma for many living through those bad times.
                     I particularly enjoyed Yip Harburg’s story. If you are not familiar with his claim to fame, you can hear Rudy Vallee’s rendition of the song Harburg wrote, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” on Youtube.  The Depression allowed his creativity to come alive. Perhaps it was because there were absolutely no distractions, only time to focus on your passion. “When the media heard the song, they tried to suppress it… but it was too late…the song had already done its damage.”
                         Another story told by a doctor and of a march he witnessed sometime in 1934. He said there were “hundreds of people, all silent, no enthusiasm and no banners…just desperation, ragged people.” People fainted from hunger in these times. The middle class had no medical care, while the poor had free care and of course the rich could afford medical care.
                         One man, Charles Stewart Mott, who was age 94 at the time of the interview, was the oldest member of the board of GM and a mayor three times. He claimed that FDR ruined the country. Our dime had the face of Our Great Destroyer, FDR. His thoughts were that the country could never recover from what FDR did in time of crisis.
                     Another young man interviewed was born to a wealthy family. He said his father always said he should’ve gone to college and worked harder ( So many blamed themselves when they lost their jobs or fell on bad times) The fact was a lot of people made money during the Depression, like Joe Kennedy. The little guys always get screwed
over by the big guys.
                     I was very interested in reading stories of those away at Yale and Harvard and how they were so insulated to what was happening across the Nation. One fellow wrote of the upper classmen coming back for visits and telling how great and easy a life it was on Wall Street, when later he noticed these same boys were back at school after the Crash. This same man, Gordon Baxter replied, “The World rushed in on us suddenly”
 So I suppose this is where I will end this piece. There are many more stories to put together to give you a broader view of what life was really like across the country. I will be working on part two in a short while.   (PART TWO)

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John M. Todd Portland Barber

    I bought myself a gem of a book from Ebay a few years ago. My reason for the purchase was that the book contained short stories about being a barber in Portland. The barber’s name was John Todd and he also mentioned some ancestors of mine who were barbers. The book is entitled ‘Reminiscences of John M. Todd: Sixty two years in a Barber Shop’. On the title page, “A Sketch of the Life of John M. Todd and Reminiscences of His Customers”, written by himself. Portland, William W. Roberts Co. 1906
     It is full of useful information, and ironically much of it could apply to the troubles in the United States today. My next few blogs will encompass some of the material in this book. Remember that this book was published in 1906.
 This book was written during his working hours between shaves and haircuts. Most of you who go to a hairdresser today enjoy good conversation with the stylist. I am sure that not much has changed in that arena over the years. From a chapter on Socialism, he writes the partial excerpt and gives credit to someone with initials, O.F.L.:
     “Not only have the billions paid to bondholders been filched from the earnings of labor, but also the tens of billions stolen by mortgage foreclosures, vast sums of usury and untold amounts, the result of shrinkage of values occasioned by lessening the amount of debt-paying money of the country. All these pluckings of the poor by the dangerously rich would probably aggregate more than one- half of all the present wealth of the country. This sum, vast as it is, must be, probably, doubled by the loss of earnings of the millions of laborers who have been deprived of the privilege of earning anything, and hence turned into vagabonds, tramps, and, in vast numbers of cases, criminals, by this hellish policy set on foot and forced upon the country by traitorous bankers.”
     I believe his writing is powerful and passionate. Those of us who try hard to live within our means are going to pay for those who do not. Nothing is free in life and if it is, someone else has paid for it.


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Westbrook Maine Quakers and the Canal

These are transcriptions of two separate letters I recently purchased which will be of interest to Westbrook, Maine residents. They were written in the early 19th century. My purpose for the purchases was to share the material with readers.

This 1st letter mentions the Canal (Cumberland & Oxford Canal) I was particularly interested in the following letter, though I have read publications about the Canal,  I have never seen mention of it or found records from any research I have conducted. It was written on one sheet of paper and folded into an envelope as not to waste any part of the paper. It was addressed to Mr. Lewis Warren, North Parsonsfield, Maine . In the bottom left corner it was written ‘to the care of Master Lavitt’ so it must have been hand delivered.

Saccarappa, May 5th, 1835

Dear Son,

                    It is with pleasure I inform you that we are all well and hopping you are enjoying the same blessing. I received your letter April the 25th. I should have rote but I set up with Misses Lunt that night. I was sorry when Mr. Whitten calld that it happened thus I wanted him to tarry that day it being vary rany. I feal glad to hear from you. I thought you would be discontented. I hope you will be steddy and strive to learn that which will be useful in time and pray God to teach you that which will make you happy in eternity. I believe it is our duty to be thankful for evry blessing that we receiv but how unthankful we are but I pray God to giv us hearts to love and searve him. Your father and George and William is up the river. We have a large family but we have another girl. The canal boat started up after the first load April the 25th on Fryday. Lass had a colt Sunday April the 27th.Henry Perit arived here May the 1st. I have nothing more at present but my good wishes and love to you.

Elenor Warren


The 2nd letter is also of interest because it was apparently penned by a Quaker living in Westbrook. The letter was addressed to Ezra Northey of Salem, Mass. This was a long letter also folded from a sheet of paper fashioned into an envelope, and sealed with wax.

Westbrook 11th M? 10th 1826 

My Dear Sister,

                    We received a letter from brother John about three weeks since informing us of the death of Aunt Northey. It was very unexpected to us tho’ we had heard she was very feeble indeed, yet we had thought it likely that she might live some time. You must miss her very much yet I think we none of us ought to regret that she is taken from this wilderness of woe. I was very glad brother John happened to be with you. Our dear Uncle Nathan Winslow bade adieu to this world about eight o’clock 3rd day evening, he was buried this afternoon. It was so very rainy that none of the family attended the funeral except father and John Torrey . Sister I. has been quite sick all day and Mother is quite unwell. Sarah seems to be threatened with a fever. I think she seems better this evening. Uncle Nathan has been gradually declining all the summer and fall, and for the last three weeks very fast indeed. He will be very much missed by his family and friends.
                     Sister Lydia has a fine young daughter who will be three weeks old tomorrow. They call her Martha P. Lydia was very sick indeed but now seems to be very smart. I attended Durham Quarterly Meeting accompanied Merry Davis. We went down in company with John and Mary Minott. We had a very good meeting indeed. Mary B. Allen attended. I think she is an excellent teacher.
 Thou canst not think how queer it seems to see sister L. with a babe. I tell her she is most shockingly awkward. She can not talk to it hardly a bit, but Caleb is a very good hand. I think it quite a likely looking child for its age. Sister Hannah and the little ones are all well. Cousin Henry Jones is very sick with a fever. I believe they are expecting Esther home soon. We shall be very glad to see her but, but I expect cousin Eunice will miss her very much indeed. We feel very lonesome indeed with Isaiah and John both gone. We have spun all our wool and have got about 30 yards wove, have not been very smart and have made 11 barrels of cider and got about 20 bushels of apples in the cellar. I wish brother E. had a barrel of it for it is super excellent. May we not expect you down this winter don’t say no. Thou can’t think how much I want to see little M. I suppose she can trot anywhere now and say a great many pretty things. Do give her a hundred kisses for her Aunt M.   Little Frederick is a very interesting child and he seems very well indeed now. I have not time to fill my sheet now so thou must take the will for she and the family join me in love to you Cousin Wms family.

Thy affectionate sister, Maria




Reprint permission with author’s permission @

The Diary of Martha Roberts 1863 Westbrook Maine

Transcribed by Suzan Roberts Norton©2003

Jan. 1, Thursday
 Very warm & pleasant. No snow. Flora and I went up to MR C. Roberts (her father in law) and spent the day: I received a letter from John (husband away on guard duty during Civil War ) Mr. Trickey & wife & Mrs. J called. I knit and wrote to J.

Jan. 2, Friday
 Very  pleasant. I went to the village PM. To Aunt  S. Call to Adeline H. Went to the Lyceum in the evening.  Stayed all night to Mrs. Gould’s.  Went up to the cemetery.  Mrs. JM Merchant arrived to Mrs.J.

Jan. 3, Saturday
 Very pleasant. I spent the day to Mrs. Gould’s: Quilted for Sarah. I got home at seven o’clock. Sarah and Annie came most home with me.

Jan.  4, Sunday
 Very damp and foggy. I did not go to church. I wrote to John. Mother and I spent the evening to Frank’s. Rained a little in the night.

Jan. 5, Monday
 Very pleasant. Charlie Dyer and Mary W. spent the day with me. Mary and I called to Frank’s. Mrs. Johnson taken sick. I wrote to J. Melly Hatch taken sick. I knit for Flora. (her dau.)

Jan. 6, Tuesday
 Fair AM Cloudy PM Flora and I spent the day and evening to Mrs. Gould’s. Mother came PM. She went to the circle to Mrs. G. Warren’s in the evening. Snowed a little in the night. I wrote to J. Very muddy. I knit for Flora.

Jan 7, Wednesday
 Cloudy AM Fair PM Some windy and quite cool. I called to Uncle W. The haypressers came tonight. I wrote to J. I received a letter from J.( her husband)  Col. Merrill died. I knit

Jan. 8, Thursday
 Very pleasant: quite cold: I called to Mrs. Bickford’s: to Mrs. J. Cloudman’s: to Mrs. N. Murch’s in the afternoon. I rode home with Mrs. C. Roberts (mother in law) Ann called (sister in law, I’m sure….. her friend is referred to as Annie) I received a l. from J. (letter from John). I fin. my sock.


Jan. 9, Friday
 Very pleasant. The haypressers went away PM . I went to the Lyceum in the evening. Called to Mrs. Gould’s: I received a paper from J. Mr. Merchant arrived. Mr. Fenderson died tonight.

Jan. 10, Saturday
 Cloudy. I made pound cake: and finished Flora’s balmoral stockings: Mary B. and Nellie R. called PM. Mr. C. Roberts called. Mr. Merchant and wife and M.R. spent the evening. Father went to school meeting: snowed in the eve: rainy night

Jan. 11, Sunday
 Cloudy AM. Warm & pleasant PM. Very muddy. I went to church. To the M.E. PM. (refers to Methodist, I believe) Col. M. buried today. Father went to the funeral. I wrote to J. Mother and father spent the evening to Uncle William’s. Nallie H. taken sick

Jan. 12, Monday
 Pleasant AM. Some cloudy before night. I called to Mr. Hatch’s PM. Mr. Merchant left: I wrote to J. I received a letter from J. and a ring, and Flora one. I commenced drinking water. I took up my stockings, mother cut my corsets. Flora got her new shoes. Mr. D. Trickey taken sick (Daniel Trickey was in the lumber business with her  husband’s grandfather ,Wm. Roberts)

Jan. 13, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I made apple dumplings and wrote to J. AM. I called to Mr. C.R. PM. Mother and Flora called to Mr. Trickey. Us to Mr. R. PM. Mary & Ann called. Mr. Fenderson  buried  today. I knit: Mother mended my dress. Snowed a little in the night.

Jan. 14, Wednesday
 Snowed AM. Rained PM. Charlie ( her brother in law) brought me two skeins of yarn for J. I wrote to J. I received a letter from J. Mrs. C. Roberts spent the evening. I knit the M.E. Society, had a donation this evening. Mrs. Pratt died tonight.

Jan. 15, Thursday
 Cloudy AM Rained PM Mother and I and Flora spent the day till four o’clock to Aunt Quinby’s. I wrote to J. I knit. Mr. Fales taken sick. Mother took up one of my seamed stockings. Mother finished the last one of my plain stockings. I had my first sleigh ride.

Jan. 16, Friday
 Rained hard all day. Father sold his steer. Mother took up my mittens. I took up one of John’s stockings. I knit on my seamed stockings. Mrs. Pratt buried today. Mother made apple jelly. Cleared off in the night: windy

Jan. 17, Saturday
 Pleasant: Quite cold: some windy; I made jelly tarts and cake AM  Ann called  AM. Went to the village PM to Aunt S.: I spent the eve. Called to Mrs. W. Mary E. Trickey called. I knit on John’s stocking: I heard of N. Haskell’s death. I fell on the ice.

Jan. 18, Sunday
 Pleasant- Cold. I went to church all day. Went to Aunt Sands to dinner. Mother went PM. I wrote to J. Sarah Gould and Annie sat with me to church. Father spent the eve to Uncle J. Proctor’s.
Jan. 19, Monday
 Very pleasant. I made cornstarch pudding for dinner. I knit on my seamed stockings. I wrote to J. Uncle William and Mrs. Johnson and Miss Lucy Libbey called PM. Mother made butter in the eve.

Jan. 20, Tuesday
 Fair AM. Cloudy PM.  I called to Frank’s AM and PM. Mother made me a pair of breastplates: Ann called PM. I received a letter from J. Mr. Fales died PM. Mother and I went to the L. (Lyceum?) in the evening.

Jan. 21, Wednesday
 Cloudy.  I was not well. Flora and I called to Uncle William’s PM. I knit. I wrote to J. Mother knit on my mittens.

Jan. 22, Thursday
 Cloudy AM Foggy PM. Rained in the evening. I made a pudding for dinner. I knit on my stocking. I received a letter from J. I wrote to J. Ann called PM.

Jan. 23, Friday
 Some cloudy AM Warm and pleasant PM. Very muddy. I made cornstarch pudding for dinner. I went to the village PM. Called to Mrs. Gould’s and to Mrs. W..  Took tea to A.S.  Went to the Lyceum in  the eve.  Stayed all night to A.S.

Jan. 24, Saturday
 Very pleasant. I came home in the morning from A. Sands. I made jelly tarts AM. Mary Boody called PM.  Mother and I spent the eve to Mrs. Johnson’s. Mr. C.R. gave Flora a roll of lozengers. Father went to Portland. Snowed a very little in the night.

Jan. 25, Sunday
CloudyAM Cleared of before night. Mr. Fales buried today. Father and Mother went to the funeral. I did not go to church. I wrote to J. Mary B. and Mr. C. R called. I was not well. Pauline Woodman was married.

Jan. 26, Monday
 Cloudy AM  Pleasant PM. Cloudy evening.  Snowed a few inches in the night. I helped make sponge cake. I knit on John’s stocking. Lewis Edwards opened his store.  Snowed enough for sleighing.

Jan. 27, Tuesday
 Snowed all day.  I made a pudding for dinner. I wrote to J. I received a letter from J. and his miniature. I knit on J. stocking. Mother finished my mittens. The circle appointed to our home but did not meet being stormy.

Jan. 28, Wednesday
 Cloudy.  I wrote to J. I received a letter from J. I finished one of J. stockings and I took up the other. Mother finished one of my seamed stockings. I went to the village PM- called to Aunt S.

Jan. 29, Thursday
 Snowed AM Pleasant the first of PM. Stormy in the last part.  Quite pleasant eve. I knit on J. stocking. Aunt S. and Etta (sister in law) and Louisa Babb ( may be a relative as her mom was a Babb) spent the afternoon to our house. The circle met to our house this eve-  about  50 present.  A.S. & E. & L.B. staid all night.

Jan. 30, Friday
 Pleasant. I knit on J. stocking. Aunt S ,Etta & L. Babb spent the day to our house. Uncle W. & Mrs. M. Parker called PM. Louisa made me a headdress. L & I called to Mrs. Cox’es to A. Sands to Mrs. G. Mariner’s and then went to the Lyceum in the eve. I rode home with Father.

Jan. 31, Saturday
 Very pleasant.  I covered some button. I knit on J. stocking. I received a letter from J. Ann called AM .Father & Mother, Flora and I was invited up to Mr. Trickey’s and went and spent PM and evening. Mr. W.F. family was there. Beautiful sleighing.

Feb. 1, Sunday
 Very pleasant.  Stormed in the evening.  I went to church all day.  Stopped  to A. Sands for dinner. Called to Mrs. Gould’s,   Mrs. G. Mariner sat with me AM. I sat with A. Gould PM. Went to Sabbath School. I wrote to J.

Feb. 2, Monday
 Pleasant.  Quite windy. I had a very bad headache all day. I knit on J. stocking a little in the evening. I received a letter from J. Father was 48 yrs. Today. Mr. Johnson and wife spent  the evening . Father bought  a yolk of oxen. I wrote to J.

Feb. 3, Tuesday
 Cloudy all day.  I worked hard all day doing housework. I wrote to J. Ann called PM. Father went to Portland with hay.  Cleared off in the evening .  I knit on J. stock. in the evening. Flora vomited in the night.

Feb. 4, Wednesday
 Pleasant, very cold indeed.  Some windy.  I knit for J. I wrote to J.  I.M. Merchant called PM. A.A.Trickey called in  the evening. Mr. Merchant  arrived. Father went to P. (Portland) Coldest day this winter.

Feb. 5, Thursday
 Pleasant a few hours in the morning. Cloudy the rest of the day. Snowed a little in the evening.
I received a letter from J. I finished J. stockings. I put things in my bags in order AM. A pedlar called and left 3 boxes of pills-very cold
Feb. 6, Friday
 Snowed a  little while in the morning.  Rained very hard the rest of the day.  Quite windy.  Quite moderate. I wrote to J. I received a letter from J.I knit. Flora was not well. Flora got her new shoes. Mrs. Bradbury died.

Feb. 7, Saturday
 Very pleasant very slippery: Flora and I called to Uncle W. AM. I made pound cake AM. I called to Frank’s and to Uncle W. PM.  I knit. I wrote to J. Aunt Sarah been buried 3 years  today.

Feb. 8, Sunday
 Very pleasant.  I went to church all day and to Sabbath School.  Stopped to Aunt S. for dinner.  Sat with A.S. PM.  Stopped to Mrs. Gould’s to tea and all night.  Went to concert  in the evening. Mrs. Chenery died 5 o’clock AM.

Feb. 9, Monday
 Cloudy.  Snowed a little in the evening.  I came home from Mrs. G. AM. I wrote to J. Mother and Father went to Mrs. Bradbury’s funeral PM. Mr. Brown and Sarah Gould and Annie spent the evening at our house.

Feb. 10, Tuesday
 Foggy a little while in the morning. Very pleasant the rest of AM. Windy PM. I wrote to J. I received a letter from J. with one piece of carpeting in it. Ann called  PM. I went to circle: to Dr. Jenness: stopped all night to Aunt S.

Feb. 11, Wednesday
 Very pleasant.  I came home from A. S. in the morning. Called to Mrs. Valentine’s. I wrote to Carrie W..( V ?) Took up a cotton stocking.  I spent the PM and eve to Frank’s. : they had a little company. Mrs. Chenery buried PM.

Feb. 12, Thursday
 Cloudy AM . Snowed after three o’clock PM. I spent the day with Addie Proctor. I wrote to J. and received a letter from him. I knit . Mr. Merchant and wife left. I had a bad cold. Father went to P. with hay on wheels.

Feb. 13, Friday
 Pleasant but cold and windy.  Calm towards night. Marietta spent the day with me. Frank called. I knit. I wrote to J. My cold felt bad.  Addie Proctor been sick two weeks today.

Feb. 14, Saturday
 Very pleasant. The agent of the Portland Transcript called AM.  Ann called AM. I wrote to J. and received a letter from him. I knit . Father was sick. He sold his oxen. Valentine’s day.

Feb. 15, Sunday
 Stormed a very little in the morning. Foggy the rest of AM . Cleared off in the afternoon.  Aunt Dorcas sent Flora a mug. Charlie and Frank called  PM. I did not go to church. Wrote to J. and Aunt Lizzie.

Feb. 16, Monday
 Pleasant but windy.  I went to the village PM. Called to Mrs. Gould’s to see Clara and M. Toll to the ship, to A. Sands. I got a slipper pattern .Received a letter from Carrie Valentine. I wrote to J. Sleighing very poor. Travel mostly by wagons.

Feb. 17, Tuesday
 Pleasant I wrote to J. Made some penwipes, and cut- out, my card basket: I knit in the evening. Aunt Mary spent the evening in our  house.

Feb. 18, Wednesday
 Very pleasant.  I wrote to J and received a letter from him. I made some cake AM. Mrs. G. Mariner spent the day with me. Frank and wife spent the evening. Ann called. Flora got her ring. I knit.

Feb. 19, Thursday
 Rained moderately till about three o’clock PM. Rained hard in the evening. I worked on my basket and knit some and wrote to J.

Feb. 20, Friday
 Foggy a little while in the morning.  Cleared off AM. Windy PM and evening.  I worked on my basket and wrote to J. No sleighing. Maria Bradbury came to Uncle W. to live.

Feb. 21, Saturday
 Pleasant but very windy. I went to Portland. Took dinner to Mrs. Babb’s. Called to Aunt Baker’s. Went downtown w/ L. Babb. I received  a letter from J. and a stiletto. I knit. Mrs. A. Babb called. Cold

Feb. 22, Sunday
 Pleasant in the morning: Cloudy most of the day. I went to church, all day, took dinner to Mrs. Gould’s. I wrote to J. Quite cold. I had a bad headache PM.

Feb. 23, Monday
 Pleasant  windy  AM Calm PM. I wrote to Carrie Valentine. I knit.

Feb. 24, Tuesday
 Pleasant AM  Cloudy  PM  pleasant evening.  I chochted. Mr. C. Roberts and Frank called.  Mother went to the village AM. Mother and I went to the circle to Mrs. G. Warren’s in the evening. Called to Mrs. G.M. Rec’d a letter from J. and a knife.

Feb. 25, Wednesday
Pleasant. I worked on my slippers. I wrote to J. and received a letter from Aunt Lizzie.  I had the headache PM. Charlie Roberts taken sick.

Fri. 26, Thursday
 Cloudy till about two o’clock PM. Commenced snowing at that time: Rained in the evening. I worked on my slippers and knit. Received a letter from J. Mrs. McCann son was born.

Fri. 27, Friday
 Rained AM. Pleasant PM. Very muddy. I went to the examination to the lower district. PM. Took tea to Mrs. G. Went to the Lyceum in the eve. Adjourned till  first Friday in Sep. I worked on my slippers.

Fri. 28, Saturday
 Pleasant. I worked on my slippers. Lucy Libbey and Mary E. Trickey spent the afternoon and evening and Albert- the eve to our house.

Mar. 1, Sunday
 Cloudy in the morning- commenced snowing about half past ten, snowed the rest of the day. I wrote to J. One year ago today I left home to live away. I did not go to church.

Mar. 2, Monday
 Very pleasant sleighing today.  Town meeting today. The Democrats carried the day. Mr. Jones Pennel and wife called. I finished the embroidery on my slippers and knit. I wrote to J. and received a letter from J.

Mar. 3, Tuesday
 Cloudy in the morning. Commenced snowing middle of the forenoon and snowed the rest of the day. I went to the village AM. Called to A. Sands. Worked on my card basket and wrote to J. PM.

Mar. 4, Wednesday
 Very pleasant. Windy in the evening.  Quite cold.  Sary May and Annie Gould came up to our house this morning. I worked on tatting and knit.

Mar. 5, Thursday
 Very pleasant. Cold morning. I called with the girls to Mr. C.R. and Mr. Hatch’s in the afternoon. Called in the evening with Annie to her mother’s and to Mr. Fowler. I knit and tatted.  I wrote to J.

Mar. 6, Friday
 Snowed some through the day.  Cleared off just before night.  Ann & E. & J. Hatch & Mr. Brown took tea and S. H. and Mary & Albert spent the eve to our house. The Gould girls went  home tonight. I wrote and received a  l. from J. with money in it. I chrochet.

Mar. 7, Saturday
 Cloudy AM. Snowed PM. Flora and I called to Uncle William’s PM. Uncle Samuel and Melly Hatch called. I finished my brown cotton stockings. I wrote to J. I had a bad headache in the evening. Very nice sleighing.

Mar. 8, Sunday
 Cloudy in the morning. Commenced snowing about half past ten and snowed till towards night. Some windy. Frank called PM. I wrote to J. I didn’t go to church.

Mar. 9, Monday
 Snowed AM. Cleared off about noon. Very pleasant PM. Some windy. I went to Portland PM. Stopped to Louisa Babb’s. I wrote to J. & knit. Mrs. Woodbury died.

Mar. 10, Tuesday
 Very pleasant . Cloudy evening. I went to the Post O. and called to Uncle Baker’s AM. Went from L.B. to Uncle Daniels PM. Wrote to J. and received a letter from him. I chrochet and  knit. Dance to S. (Saccarappa?) tonight. Frances been married 2 yrs. today.

Mar. 11, Wednesday
 Snowed AM. Cleared off about noon. Very pleasant PM. I took care of Allie (or Abbie) Babb PM.Went in the eve to take a walk. Heard the band play. I knit. Mrs. Woodbury buried. Genevieve R.  been married 1 yr. today. Mr. Sawyer and wife came.

Mar. 12, Thursday
 Very pleasant . I wrote to J. and knit. I called to  Uncle Baker’s and L. Babb’s PM. Met with Dr. Chickering. Mr. Sawyer and wife left AM. Abba J. called.

Mar. 13, Friday
 Very pleasant but cold. I went from Uncle D. to Uncle Baker’s AM. Called to L.B. I received a letter from J.  and wrote to him. I knit  Harriett Hatch got home.

Mar. 14, Saturday
 Pleasant AM. Snow squall PM. Cold Flora went to P. for the 1st time. I had her pictures taken. We called to U. D.( Uncle Daniels) to L. B. Took dinner to Uncle Baker’s. I received a letter from J. with his picture and a book and a set of ivory and bracelet. I went to the P.O. AM.

Mar. 15, Sunday
 Very pleasant. Cold. I went to church all day to the 1st Universalist. Mr. Bolles pastor.  A Company of the 7th  Me. Regiment were there. Cold.

Mar. 16, Monday
 Pleasant AM. Looked like a storm PM. I went downtown PM. With cousin  Nettie. Went to U.B. (Uncle Baker’s ) to L. B. ( Louisa Babb’s) PM. Received a letter from J.

Mar. 17, Tuesday
 Very pleasant AM. Cloudy and a snow squall PM. I went downtown AM .Called to U.B. to U.D. AM. Came from L.B. home PM. The colt ran away. Called to Mrs. Walker’s. I got Flora’s pictures today. Ann spent the eve with me.

Mar. 18, Wednesday
 Very pleasant. Cold and windy. Flora and I and Ann went with Charlie up to Mr. Elder’s PM. I wrote to J. and rec’d a letter from him. Ann and Charlie called. I tatted.

Mar. 19, Thursday
 Very pleasant. Cold. I made tatting

Mar. 20, Friday
 Very pleasant but cold. I made tatting. Flora and I and Ann came home with Charlie tonight. Mother went to Standish.

Mar. 21, Saturday
 Pleasant quite moderate. I made tatting. Flora, Mother and I spent the afternoon and eve to Mrs. Johnson’s. I received a letter from J.  Mrs. A. Babb called.

Mar. 22, Sunday
 Snowed in the morning. Cleared off about 9 o’clock AM. Very pleasant the rest of the day. I was not well. I didn’t go to church.. Wrote to J.

Mar. 23, Monday
 Very pleasant. I went to the village PM. Called to Mrs. Gould’s. Took tea to Aunt Sands.  Called to Sarah Haskell’s store. I called to Frank’s. Wrote to J.

Mar. 24, Tuesday
 Very pleasant AM. Cloudy PM. I went to Aunt Lizzie’s AM. Got home at 5 o’clock PM. I went to the Masonic (Levee?) in the evening, stopped to Aunt S. all night. I rec’d a letter from J. and wrote to him. Ann called. I tatted . John moved from W. (Washington) to Chantilly.

Mar. 25, Wednesday
 Showers AM.  Rained hard PM. I came from Aunt S. in the morning I finished some bags. Chrochet two mats and wrote to J. Frank called. Commenced travelling on wheels.

Mar. 26, Thursday
 Rained AM. Cleared off about two o’clock PM.Very warm and pleasant.I made some holders and tatted. I wrote to J. Charlie and Nattie H. called.  A. Partridge’s son born.

Mar. 27, Friday
 Pleasant. Mother, Flora and I spent the day to Uncle Proctor’s. Called to  Mr.L. Warren’s . I tatted. We rode in a wagon. Grandfather’s been dead 1 yr. today. Very bad travelling.

Mar. 28, Saturday
 Cloudy till about half past five then it commenced snowing. Flora and I called to Uncle William’s PM. Uncle W. called AM. Mary R. and Nellie R. called. I tatted. Received a letter from J. with money in it. Mr. C.R. and Charlie called. School meeting this eve.

Mar. 29, Sunday
 Cloudy AM. Snow squalls PM. Cleared off in the evening. I did not go to church. I wrote to J. I had a bad headache PM.

Mar. 30, Monday
 Very pleasant,. I made some pasteboard, some paper bags and tatted, and wrote to J. Received a letter from him. Mary B. and Nellie R. called. I had the headache.

Mar. 31, Tuesday
 Cloudy till four o’clock PM. Then it commenced snowing. I made some bags and worked on a box. And tatted and wrote to J. Mrs. C. Roberts called AM. Cleared off about ten o’clock.

Apr. 1, Wednesday
 Pleasant- little sleighing today. I covered some boxes and tatted and wrote to J. I had the headache. Received a letter from J.

Apr. 2, Thursday
 Snow squalls through the day till about five o’clock. I called to Frank’s AM. I worked on a needle book and tatted and wrote to J. Received a l. from him. Mr. C. R. and Aunt Mary called. Flora had a present ( if a boy?) or ( of a bag?)

Apr. 3, Friday
 Very pleasant. I worked on a needle book and on my cone basket. I went to the village AM. Called to Mrs. Gould’s. Maria B..called . Mr. Coleman slipped all night. Wrote to J. Very bad travelling.

Apr. 4, Saturday
 Pleasant AM. Cloudy PM. Mother made me a needle book. I worked on my basket

Apr. 5, Sunday
 Rained. The trees were icy. I did not go to church. Wrote to J. and read Beechcroft. Charlie and Nattie H. called. Frank spent the evening.

Apr. 6, Monday
 Snowed a little in the morning.  Cloudy till about noon.  Pleasant PM. I helped color my cruel  (crewel?) and worked on my basket .Mr. Johnson called. I received a letter from J.

Apr. 7, Tuesday
 Snowed all day. I worked on my basket and wrote to J. Had a bad headache.  Received a letter from J.

Apr. 8, Wednesday
 Snowed AM. Snow squalls PM. I worked on my basket and wrote to J. Received a letter from him. Sylvanus Hatch called. I was very tired. Sleighing today.

Apr. 9, Thursday
 Cloudy AM. Pleasant PM. Windy. I made a frame and worked on a knitting box. Wrote to J. Flora was not very well. I was very tired.

Apr. 10, Friday
 Cloudy AM. Quite pleasant PM. Rained in the evening. I spent the day to Mrs. Gould’s. Quilted for Annie. Made a pattern for tatting colar (collar?) for ( five?) leaved tatting for a B’day five. Wrote to J.

Apr. 11, Saturday
 Pleasant. I called  to Mr. Hatch’s PM and to Franks. I knit on a lampmat. School meeting this eve to get a vote for new house. Did not get the vote.

Apr. 12, Sunday
 Pleasant. I and Flora called  to Uncle Williams AM and PM. Ann called . I took a walk down to the Bridge. I did not go to church. Wrote to J. I had the headache.

Apr. 13, Monday
 Very pleasant. Mrs. C. Roberts called. I worked on a watchcase. Received a letter from J. and wrote to him. Flora had a bad cold. Went up to the bridge after cones.

Apr. 14, Tuesday
 Very pleasant. Flora and I went up to Mr. C. R. and spent the day. Ann and I went into the woods to get burr’s PM. I tatted.

Apr. 15, Wednesday
 Pleasant . I worked on a watchcase and a box and a frame, wrote to J. Called to Mrs. Johnson’s. Got some chestnuts at the bridge.

Apr. 16, Thursday
 Cloudy AM and some foggy with  a little rain. Rained steadily PM and eve. Frank called. I worked on my frame and wrote to J. Received a letter from him. Father bought a new colt.

Apr. 17, Friday
 Rained hard in the morning, windy rained moderately most of the day. Mary Boody called I worked on my frame

Apr. 18, Saturday
 Cloudy AM. Pleasant PM. Uncle William called and M.R. spent the evening  I worked on my frame.Father got his new colt.

Apr. 19, Sunday
 Pleasant . I went to church PM. Sat with Annie Gould. Called to Mrs. Gould’s. Went up to the cemetery with A. G. Ann called. Good travelling. I wrote to J. Mr. Barnard’s farewell sermon.

Apr. 20, Monday
Cloudy AM Pleasant PM. I worked on my frame: We did not wash. Mr. Ashby called. I wrote to J. and rec’d a letter from him.

Apr. 21, Tuesday
 Pleasant . I finished my frame. Wrote to J. Flora called to Uncle William’s. Adeline Patridge ( no “R” between a and t)

Apr. 22, Wednesday
 Pleasant . I worked on a comb case. Wrote to J. Called in the evening to Aunt S. and Mrs. Gould’s Rode with the colt for the 1st time.  Ann called.

Apr. 23, Thursday
 Pleasant. I worked on a comb case. Wrote to J. Rec’d a letter from him. A. Partridge ( with 1st  “R”) buried PM. I went to the funeral. Flora spent the afternoon to Frank’s.

Apr 24, Friday
 Pleasant AM Cloudy PM. Rained in the evening. I chrochet.  Wrote to J.  Mrs. S ( or L ) Babb and Mrs. Ricker called. Frank called in the evening.

Apr.25, Saturday
 Cold rainy day very windy. I chrocheted a mat, worked on a comb case and a rice frame. Had the headache. Mr. D. Trickey died a little after 12 o’clock at night.

Apr. 26, Sunday
 Cloudy very windy till towards night then it cleared off and was calm. I did not go to church. Wrote to J.  Read in Beechcroft.  Frank called.

Apr. 27, Monday
 Pleasant but windy. I made two rice frames and a mat. Mother made me a pincushion. I wrote to J. Flora hurt her finger very bad. I had a bad headache. Finished my comb case.

Apr. 28, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I worked on my tidy: a very little. Went to P. (Portland) PM. Called to Aunt Baker’s and L. B.. Went downtown,. had a very bad headache all night.

Apr. 29, Wednesday
 Pleasant . I worked on my tidy. Wrote to J.  Mrs. J. Chenery called. Frank and wife and Ann called. Ann and I went to Aunt S. to the circle. Mr. D Trickey buried PM.

Apr. 30, Thursday
 Fast Day- pleasant I went to church AM. Took dinner to A., Sands.  Spent afternoon to Mrs. Gould’s. Mr. Johnson and wife called., and Marietta got a pattern of color ( Collar?). Took a walk w/ Aunt Quinby.  Wrote to J.
May 1, Friday
 Pleasant. I made a colar and worked on a tidy. Flora and I called to Mrs. Valentine’s and Mrs. Johnson’s. The 10th  Me. Regi. arrived home. Maria Bradbury spent the evening. Flora’s carriage broke.Wrote to J.

May 2, Saturday
 Pleasant windy PM. I made a colar for Mr. Johnson and tatted. Wrote to J. Had a bad headache in the evening. Charlie brought me some hulled corn. D. Haskell’s little boy died.

May 3, Sunday
 Pleasant but chilly. I went to church PM. Sat with Ann. They reorganized the Sabbath School. I slipped. Mr. Lord superintendent wrote to J. heard he was sick. Ann called. Mr. Mure first sermon.

May 4, Monday
 Cloudy AM. Rained PM. I made tatting for Flora’s chemise. Mr. C. Roberts called. Flora took dinner to Uncle W. I called there. I received a letter from J. with money in it.

May 5, Tuesday
 Cloudy a few hours in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day. Worked on Flora’s chemise and tatted and wrote to J. Mother went to P. Aunt Mary spent the evening. I called to Franks. Frank Haskell buried.

May 6, Wednesday
 Cloudy. I finished Flora’s chemise and tatted. Mother went to the village. PM. Mrs. C. Roberts called and Maria and Lizzie Bradbury. Josephine Hatch called. Rev. Bolles married.

May 7, Thursday
 Rained. I altered Flora’s dress and sack and tatted.. Wrote to J.   Frank and wife and children spent PM and evening with us.

May 8, Friday
 Pleasant. I worked on Flora’s apron. Wrote to J. Received a letter from him. Went to the village twiceAM once with Father and once w/ L. Libby. Called to Aunt S.

May 9, Saturday
 Pleasant but windy. I worked on Flora’s apron and tatted. Went to Portland PM. Called to Uncle Daniel’s and L.B. went downtown. Mrs. J. Trickey called. I received a letter from A. Lizzie. Got J’s coat.

May 10, Sunday
 Pleasant warm. I went to church PM. Mr. Ashby’s farewell sermon. I wrote to J. Called to Frank’s. He and his wife called. I sat with Ann to church. .H. Murch married.

May 11, Monday
 Cloudy a few hours in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day but windy PM. We commenced cleaning house. I wrote to J. Sat my plants on a stand outdoors. Mr. Ashby left for Washington.

May 12, Tuesday
 Cloudy AM. Rained some PM. I worked at housecleaning and wrote to J. Uncle William called, Louisa Babb and Lydia Shackford called AM. Rec’d a letter from J.

May 13, Wednesday
 Rained a little in the morning cloudy the rest of the day. I worked at housecleaning and wrote to J Mr. C. R. called. 

May 14, Thursday
 Cloudy and cold. I worked at housecleaning and tatted. To tea to Mrs. Johnson’s in company with Malvina R. Met with Miss Anderson. Received a letter from J.

May 15, Friday
 Rained AM. Cloudy and windy PM. I scoured tins. Mary B. called. I was very tired.

May 16, Saturday
 Pleasant, windy PM. I worked at housecleaning and in the garden a very little. Malvina and Marietta and L. Libbey and Aunt Mary and C. R. called. Rec’d two letters from J. Mrs. ( T ?) sent me some roots.

May 17, Sunday
 Cloudy AM rained some PM. I didn’ t go to church. Wrote to J. and Aunt Lizzie, Hattie Brown called.

May 18, Monday
Cloudy a little while in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day. We finished cleaning house. I washed the windows outside and worked on Flora’s apron. Mrs. Temple called. I was very tired. Mr. J sold his farm. Mr. C. R. horse died
May 19, Tuesday
 Pleasant bur windy. I done baking AM. Very tired PM and laid down. Worked in the garden some. Melly Hatch gave me  a slip of a rose. I sent Josey  ( Josephine Hatch? )some plants. Aunt Mary and M. B. went to G. ( Gorham?) Wrote to J.

May 20, Wednesday
 Pleasant very warm. Mother and I worked in the garden AM. Annie Gould spent the day with me. Mrs. Johnson and Ann and H. Brown called. Rec’d a letter from J. and wrote to him.

May 21, Thursday
 Pleasant warm. I finished working in the garden. We moved our stove. Done a little sewing, very tired. I wrote to J. and rec’d a letter from him. Martha Hatch called.

May 22, Friday
 Pleasant very warm. I worked on my white apron. Wrote to J.  Mr. Johnson and wife took tea with us. Flora didn’t sleep much for all night.

May 23, Saturday
 Pleasant cooler. I finished my white apron and made me another. Altered Flora’s purple dress and my light calico. Rec’d a letter from J. Mrs. Dire called. I called to Franks. Flora was not well.

May 24, Sunday
 Cloudy till towards night then it cleared off. I did not go to church. Wrote to J. Took a walk. F. E. Elder called ( sister in law) Flora was not well. Mr. Rice died.

May 25, Monday
 Cloudy AM pleasant PM. I worked on Flora’s apron. Wrote to J .F.( Flora) not well. Marietta called. We had a stranger call in the evening.

May 26, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I finished Flora two aprons, commenced her cape bonnet. I called to Frank’s  Mr. C. R. and wife called. Mr. Allen worked for Father. Mrs. Dire called. F. not well .Mr. R. buried.

 May 27, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I worked on F. bonnet and drawers. Wrote to J. and rec’d two letters from him. Addie P. and D. Woodbury spent the day. Mr. Piercon and Mrs. G. Murch called to Mr. Johnson. Mr. Pennel broke his leg PM. F. not well. I  c. to F. I been married 3 years today.

May 28, Thursday
 Pleasant warm. I worked for Flora. Flora was much better. Mrs. C. Roberts called gave F. an apron. Mr. Johnson moved.

May 29, Friday
 Pleasant very warm not so warm as a week ago. Today I worked for Flora. Mrs. J. Trickey and Mary took tea.Mrs. J. helped draw my rug. Mrs. Valentine called.

May 30, Saturday
 Pleasant. I worked hard doing housework. Worked in the garden some. Planted my seeds .S. Hatch worked for Father. I was very tired.

May 31, Sunday
 Pleasant . I did not go to church. Took a walk PM. with F. in the pasture.  Uncle H. & Etta? or Ella? And Mr. G. Robinson & wife took tea. I called to F. and Uncle W. Wrote to J.
June 1, Monday
 Pleasant. I worked on my dresses. Maria Bradbury and Lizzie called. I was very tired. Annie Gould’s school commenced.

June 2, Tuesday
 Pleasant with a few short showers in the forenoon. Windy PM.  I washed my green dress and mended. I went to the village PM after tea. Called to Aunt Sands.  Rec’d a letter from J. and wrote to him.

June 3, Wednesday
 Pleasant. Worked on my grey dress and mended. Marietta called & Maria Bradbury. Levee to Stroudwater this evening.

June 4, Thursday
 Pleasant. I went to Portland with Father and Mother, took dinner to Uncle D. called to Uncle B. Flora spent the day to Mr. C. R’s. I had a very bad headache and was very tired.

June 5, Friday
 Pleasant. Trimmed my hat and worked for Flora. Mr. C. R. & wife & Mr. Elder & wife & baby took tea & Dr. Stone and wife called. I received a letter from J. I had a bad headache.

June 6, Saturday
 Cloudy w/ a few showers. I finished my grey dress and Flora’s hat. Malvina called. I was very tired.

June 7, Sunday
 Rained. I did not go to church. Wrote to John.  Frank called.

June 8, Monday
 Rained. I commenced my circular and done mending.

June 9, Tuesday
 Showers all day.  I done the embroidery on my circular. Uncle William called. I called to Frank’s. I received a letter from John.

June 10, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I finished my circular. Went to the village AM.  Called to Mrs. Johnson’s new home and Aunt Sand’s. Received a letter form J. Father and Uncle W. went to ride.

June 11, Thursday
 Pleasant warm Mother and I cut and made Flora’s sack.

June 12, Friday
 Some cloudy. Rained a little towards night.  I altered my dress and undersleeves.  Received a letter from Carrie Valentine and Flora called to Uncle William’s. Uncle Sam. Called.

June 13, Saturday
 Some  cloudy but quite pleasant. I worked on Flora’s skurts and Mother made me a collar. Mr. N. Johnson called. Father went to Limington and bought a yoke of oxen. I was not well.

June 14, Sunday
 Pleasant .I did not go to church. Mother went PM.  Wrote to J. I had a very bad headache. Mother and I called to Uncle W.

June 15, Monday
 Shower in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day but very windy PM. Mother went to Portland PM. and got my bonnet. I done mending. I was not well.

June 16, Tuesday
Pleasant but windy. Flora & I spent the day to Mr. C. Roberts. Went down in the pasture. Aunt Quinby spent the afternoon to our house.

June 17, Wednesday
 I worked on Flora’s apron. Ellen Partridge took tea with me. Rec’d two letters from J.

June 18, Thursday
 Pleasant. I worked hard doing housework. Finished Flora’s apron.  Isa ( Isabelle) Roberts spent the day with us. Malvina & Mrs. Jewett called.

June 19, Friday
 Some cloudy. Worked on F. blue dress. Called to Mr. Q’s. , to Mr. V’s ,to Mrs. Gould’s. Took tea to Aunt Sands. Rode home with Charlie. Rec’d a letter and paper from J.

June 20, Saturday.
Cloudy. Worked on Flora’s dress. F. and I called to Uncle Williams. I. M. Merchant daughter born

June 21, Sunday
Some cloudy but quite pleasant through the day.  Rained a little in the evening. Went to church the Methodist House. Called to Frank’s and Uncle W

June 22, Monday
 Some cloudy. Worked hard doing housework and work in the garden some. I was very tired.

June 23, Tuesday
 Some cloudy AM. Showery PM with some thunder. I picked currants AM. Embroidered the belt to Flora’s dress PM. Mrs. Jewett and M. Bradbury called. Rec’d a letter from J.

June 24, Wednesday
 Quite pleasant but a little showery through the day. I finished the embroidery on Flora’s dress. Went down in the pasture towards night.  Mrs. T. sent me some seeds.

June 25, Thursday
 Very pleasant . Father , Mother, Florence and I spent the day with Aunt Lizzie. Called to W. Westcott’s and Mr. W. W’s jr. and to Mr. Lombard’s. John Bradbury buried.

June 26, Friday
 Pleasant . I spent the day with Aunt Sands. Called to Mrs. G. to Aunt Quinby’s. Went to the examination PM. To the lecture in the evening. Knit on John’s stocking. Mrs. Babb called.

June 27, Saturday
 Pleasant. Florence and I called to Mr. Hatch’s to Frank’s, took tea to Mr. C. R’s. Rec’d a letter from J. and knit for him. Great excitement in P. (Portland.)  Ship burned by the rebels.

June 28, Sunday
 Pleasant but warm. I went to church all day. Stopped to Sabbath school.  Went up to the cemetery. Ann called.

June 29, Monday
 Pleasant very warm. I was sick all day. Did not sit up but a very little.

June 30, Tuesday
 Pleasant quite windy PM. I was not well. Done a little mending. Frank’s house and barn  and Uncle W. barn burned PM. Marietta and Frank and two children & M & L Bradbury and Malvina stopped all night. Bell married 1 yr. today.

July 1, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I had a bad headache.  Made an apron for Isa R.   Frank and family went away PM. Aunt Baker spent the day. Ann called.

July 2, Thursday
 Pleasant. Some cloudy PM. I went to the village AM. Called to Aunt S. and Ann & Mary called. I cleaned in the parlor some. Very tired. Frank took tea to our house. Commenced on Frank’s barn.

July 3, Friday
 Cloudy. Malvina called. I called to Mrs. Gould’s PM. Annie was at home. John got home about 1 o’clock at night.

July 4, Saturday
 Cloudy. Addie Stone called. I called to Uncle William’s. Had some men to dinner.

July 5, Sunday
 Rained AM. Cloudy PM. I went with John up to his Father’s and took tea.

July 6, Monday
 Pleasant. I worked hard doing housework. Wrote to Carrie V. Malvina spent the day. William R. called. John and I went to ride towards evening. Frank’s barn raised PM.

July 7, Tuesday
 Pleasant. Very warm. I done some cleaning. John and Father went to Limington after a yoke of oxen. Mr. Quincy and wife and Frank took dinner. Aunt Mary and M.B. arrived and took tea. J.& I took
A walk to  S. ( Scarborough or  Saccarappa, usually referred to as the village )

July 8, Wednesday
 Pleasant showery PM. I done some cleaning. Laid down PM. Had a bad headache. John went to the village in the evening.

July 9, Thursday
 Rained hard in the morning. Some rainy through the day. John went to P. Mother was sick. Cleaned some.

July 10, Friday
 Cloudy & foggy. Mother not well. I done housework. Aunt Mary and M. Boody took dinner. John went to Camp L. ( Camp Lincoln in Portland is where he mustered out )

July 11, Saturday
 Pleasant. I done housework. Called to Mrs. Johnson’s & to Aunt Sands. Rode home with John. Aunt Mary & Malvina & M. Boody called. John was mustered out of U. States service at Camp L.

July 12, Sunday
 Cloudy w/ a few showers PM. I did not go to church. Called w/ John to his Father’s in the evening.

July 13, Monday
 Cloudy and foggy. Aunt Mary called Uncle. Mrs. J. Trickey and Mrs. Pike called. Mr. C. R. bought him a new horse. I made me a new apron. Wrote to Annie Gould.. Comenced drafting in P.

July 14, Tuesday
 Rained & foggy. I made me an apron and another one. John went to the village PM.

July 15, Wednesday
 Cloudy quite pleasant PM.  I done some mending. Wrote to Adna Chase.  Drafted in S.  I called John to his Father’s. We rode up to Scarborough with their new horse.

July 16, Thursday
 Cloudy & foggy. I cleaned my chamber and worked in the garden some. Florence went with John up to his Father’s.

July 17, Friday
 Rained AM. Cloudy and foggy PM. John worked on my frame PM. He and I went to ride to Scarborough with Father’s horse. Frank drove his cows away from our house. Some thunder.

July 18, Saturday
 Showery with some thunder. I worked hard doing housework and knit on John’s stocking. Was not well.

July 19, Sunday
 Showery. I did not go to church. Went with John up to his Father’s PM. Took tea and Florence and I and J. took a ride to Gorham and called to R. Elder’s in the evening. Father and Mother took a ride PM.

July 20, Monday
 Cloudy. I went with John to Portland AM. and with him rasberring PM. Took tea to his Father’s. Mr. Johnson and wife and Malvina & Mary Boody called. Aunt M. finished work to our house. G. Ashby died.

July 21, Tuesday
 Rained and very foggy. I worked on my tidy. John went to the village in the evening.

July 22, Wednesday
 Pleasant . worked on my tidy. Mother went to the village PM. Called to Mrs. Allen’s. Father commenced haying. Rec’d a letter from Annie Gould. Sarah Goold married PM.

July 23, Thursday
 Pleasant. Worked on my tidy. Aunt Mary and M. Boody called. John went to the village in the evening.

July 24, Friday
 Foggy in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day. Florence and I spent the day to Aunt Sands. Called to Mrs. Valentine’s. John came after us in the evening ( 1st time Flora walked to the village) Worked on my tidy.

July 25, Saturday
 Cloudy. I knit on John’s stocking. Mary Trickey and Lizzie Bradbury called. I called to Uncle Williams. Received a letter from Adna C.

July 26, Sunday
 Rained very hard in the morning. Cleared off AM. John and I went to church PM. I went with him and called to his Father’s in the evening. L. B. called

July 27, Monday
 Pleasant AM. Some showery PM. I knit for J. I raked after with mother, one load of hay. Mr. Johnson and wife took tea.

July 28, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I mended and knit. Aunt Mary and Maria Bradbury called. John went to the village in the evening.

July 29, Wednesday
 Cloudy a while in the morning. Rained the rest of the day till towards night.  Mother and I and F. called to Uncle W’s. I mended and knit. John went to the village PM.

July 30, Thursday
 Cloudy AM. Shower PM with some thunder.  I worked on my corsets and knit. John went to the village PM and evening. Rec’d a letter from Carrie. Charlie Woodman died.

July 31, Friday
 Cloudy and foggy in the morning.  Quite pleasant PM. I knit. John went to the village in the evening. Mrs. Redman buried.

Aug. 1, Saturday
 Cloudy with a heavy thunder shower about noon.  Rained some PM.  I worked hard doing housework and knit. Mr. Mayhew called.

Aug. 2, Sunday
 Pleasant very warm. I did not go to church.  F. and I went with John to his father’s and took tea. Rode with him to G. to get some blueberries.  Mr. Jordan died.  Mother was sick.

Aug. 3, Monday
 Pleasant. I worked and worked hard doing housework. I was very tired. Mother not well.

Aug. 4, Tuesday
 Pleasant. Warm. I went to Mr. Jordan’s funeral and took tea to Aunt Sands. Called to Mrs. Goold’s and to Malvina’s. Corny Haze married.

Aug. 5, Wednesday
 Pleasant very warm. I worked on my tidy. Mr. Whittemore and wife stopped all night with us.

Aug. 6, Thursday
 Some cloudy AM.  Shower PM with some thunder and heavy wind.  Mrs. W. slipped, till after dinner. I called to Uncle W.  worked on my tidy. Very warm

Aug. 7, Friday
 Pleasant. I knit for john. Flora and I called to Mrs. Allen’s, to Mrs.Bickford’s, to Mrs. Partridge’s
To Malvina’s.

Aug. 8, Saturday
 Cloudy and rained a little. I was not well. finished John’s stocking and took up the other

Aug, 9, Sunday
 Foggy in the morning. Pleaant the rest of the day.  John and I called to Dr. Stone’s and went  into the cemetery. Went to the S.( Sabbath?) school. Concert in the eve.

Aug. 10, Monday 
 Pleasant. Father finished haying. I took a walk up to the middle field.

Aug. 11, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I worked hard doing housework, very tired . I done some mending.

Aug. 12, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I washed some windows and clean some. I knit.

Aug. 13, Thursday
 Pleasant. Picnic to the islands from Saccarappa. I knit. I rode to the village with John. Called to Aunt Sands.

Aug. 14, Friday
 Pleasant. I altered Flora’s night-dress and knit. Ann called.

Aug. 15, Saturday
 Pleasant. I knit. Mother went to Portland. Addie Stone called.

Aug. 16, Sunday
 Pleasant AM. Rained some PM. John and I went to church PM. Called to Aunt Sands.

Aug. 17, Monday
 Cloudy a while in the morning.  Pleasant the rest of the day.  I went to the village after tea. Called to Aunt Sands, to Annie Gould’s. Grandfather R. ( Benj. Roberts, father of Joseph D. Roberts- Martha’s father) been dead 6 yrs. today. Abba R. been married 4 yrs. today

Aug. 18, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I commenced J’s pants and made tatting. Eva and I took tea to Mr. C.R’s. Uncle Smith took dinner to our house.

Aug. 19, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I knit and made tatting. Flora and I took tea to Uncle Williams. Mother went to the village and made some calls. Mary called.

Aug. 20, Thursday
 Some cloudy-AM Commenced raining PM. Mr. S. Libbey and wife called. I was sick.

Aug. 21, Friday
 Damp and foggy and rained some. I worked on J’s pants and knit. Was not well.

Aug. 22, Saturday
 Damp and foggy AM. Rained a little PM. I knit. Mr. Nelson fixed our clock. Willie Slone ( or Stone) called.

Aug . 23, Sunday
 Some showery AM Cloudy PM. John  and I went to Gorham to meeting PM and took tea to S. Chase’s in Buxton. Uncle Sam took tea to our house. Flora took tea to Mr. C. R’s.  Sarah Harmon been dead 1 yr. today

Aug, 24, Monday
 Cloudy and foggy AM. Quite pleasant PM.  I worked  hard about house, very tired.

Aug. 25, Tuesday
 Quite pleasant AM. Shower about noon with much thunder and continued showery through the day. I worked hard doing housework and knit.

Aug. 26, Wednesday
 Rained very hard AM.  Dull and rainy PM. I worked on John’s pants.

Aug. 27, Thursday
 Pleasant. I finished J’s pants. Commenced a net. Mr. Trickey called. Otis Valentine died. Mr. Moore buried.

Aug. 28, Friday
 Pleasant. Sprinkled PM a little. Florence and I went up with John to his Father’s and spent the day. Father and Mother went to camp meeting. I made tatting. Ann and I went blackberrying PM. Malvina called. No one at home.

Aug. 29, Saturday
 Foggy in the morning and rained a little. Quite pleasant PM. Hattie Brown called. I went to the village PM. Called to Mrs. Gould’s and Aunt Sands. Mr. V. buried. Mary M. Marrett married.

Aug. 30, Sunday
 Pleasant. John and I went to church PM. We and Florence took a ride to the Plains after tea.  J’s grandmother sick. Uncle Samuel sick.

Aug. 31, Monday
 Pleasant. I worked hard doing housework and knit. Aunt Mary called.

Sept.1, Tuesday
 Cloudy. I called to Uncle William’s PM. Went to the village to hear Ex. Gov. Washburn and John Gilman speak. John  and I took tea to Aunt Sands. I talked to Annie G.

Sept. 2, Wednesday
 Cloudy in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day. Mrs. Akers and Abba and brother and Aunt S. and Etta spent the day and Mrs. Clemens PM. To our house . I tatted.

Sept.3, Thursday
 Foggy and dull. I called to Uncle Williams. I worked about house and done some cooking.

Sept. 4, Friday
 Pleasant. John and I went to the beach. We caught 23 fish. ( John 18, I   5 ) I had the headache. Grandmother and Mrs. Babb called.

 Sept 5, Saturday
 Pleasant. I was very tired. Uncle Baker and Aunt and cousin Nettie came out tonight. John got Flora a pair of boots.

Sept. 6, Sunday
 John and I and Flora & Nettie took a walk in the woods AM.  J & I & Nettie took  a ride PM. I called to Uncle W’s. Aunt Mary took tea. Mary and Hattie B. called.

Sept. 7, Monday 
 Pleasant. Aunt Baker went away AM and Nettie at night: Uncle in the morning. I washed some. John went  with Flora and I up to Mr. Chases and left us.

Sept. 8, Tuesday
 Foggy in the morning, pleasant in the rest of the day.  Addie C. and I took a walk after tea. Charlotte Waterhouse came to our house tonight. Mr. Turner and Mr. Gilman spoke to the village PM. I knit.

Sept. 9, Wednesday
 Pleasant. Addie Geneve and I took a long walk PM. Called to Mrs. Whitney’s I knit. Mrs. Gould spent AM to our house. Pauline H’s son born.

Sept. 10, Thursday
Pleasant. Addie and I took a walk after tea. I knit. H. Hatch called to our house. Miss. H. Lamb

Sept. 11, Friday
 Pleasant. I commenced a net. Addie & I called to Mr. Osbourne’s and took tea with Miss Olive Warren. Geneva and I went in the woods AM.

Sept. 12, Saturday
 Pleasant AM. Dull PM. I worked on my net. John came after Flora and I tonite.

Sept 13, Sunday
 Cloudy AM. Rained some PM. Charlotte W. went away at night. I called W/ John up to his father’s. Aunt Mary called. I did not go to church.

Sept 14, Monday
 Some cloudy. I done some cooking and worked about the house. Miss H. Lamb took tea. Town meeting day. I had a bad headache.

Sept. 15, Tuesday
 Foggy in the morning pleasant the rest of the day. I worked hard doing housework. Aunt Proctor spent PM. with us. The convention commenced in Portland.

Sept. 16, Wednesday
 Pleasant very warm. Mother went to the convention AM. I knit. Called to Uncle Williams PM. Had a stranger call.  Eben Chenery died.

Sept. 17, Thursday
 Pleasant warm. I knit.

Sept. 18, Friday
 Foggy AM. Very windy PM. Rained some in the evening. Mother came home PM. I finished John’s stocking. Eben Chenery buried.

Sept. 19, Saturday
 Cloudy and rained some.  I done the cooking. Called to Uncle W. and knit.

Sept. 20, Sunday
 Cloudy AM. Rained some PM. Did not go to church. Mr. Chas. Roberts called. Charles Brackett married this evening.

Sept. 21, Monday
 Cloudy. Quite pleasant PM. Rained in the evening. I commenced a net. I called to Mrs. V’s, to Malvina’s, to Aunt Sands, and took tea to Mrs. Gould’s.

Sept. 22, Tuesday
 Pleasant windy and cold. Florence and I spent the day and mother PM to Mrs. Johnson’s. I worked on my net.

Sept. 23, Wednesday
 Pleasant. Cold. I worked on my net. Malvina and her children spent PM with us.  Frank’s house raised.

Sept. 24, Thursday
 Pleasant  Cold. I knit. Called to Mr. Trickey’s. took tea to Mr. C. R’s. Abba Johnson and Mrs.Allen called and Maria Bradbury.

Sept. 25, Friday
 Dull and rained some. I knit. Maria B. left Uncle W.

Sept. 26, Saturday
 Rainy. I knit.

Sept. 27, Sunday
 Quit pleasant but cold. John & I went to church PM. Mr. Modo preached. We called to Mr. Chase’s in the evening. Addie came down with us.

Sept. 28, Monday
 Addie and I went over to Mrs. Temple’s. Called for Ann PM. Went to the village in the evening.. lost my bosom pin. Gen. Tom Thumb and wife to Portland.

Sept. 29, Tuesday
 Pleasant. Addie and I spent the day to Aunt Quinby’s. I knit.

Sept, 30, Wednesday
 Pleasant . Geneveive R. called and took dinner. Addie left for home. Mary & Ann the afternoon to our house. John went to Gorham. I knit.

Oct. 1, Thursday
 Pleasant. I knit. Called PM to Mrs. Gould’s, to see the Towle girls, to Mrs. Murch’s, to Aunt Sands. Marietta called.

Oct. 2, Friday
 Some foggy. I knit. Called to Uncle W’s with Flora.

Oct. 3, Saturday
 Rained hard. I knit. John came home tonight.

 Oct. 4, Sunday
 Not very pleasant. Rained in the evening. Flora and I went with John up to his father’s and took tea. Did not go to church.

Oct. 5, Monday
 Foggy in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day. John went to Gorham in the morning. The Thrushers came PM. Mrs. Trickey called. I worked hard doing housework and knit.

Oct. 6, Tuesday
 Pleasant . The Thrushers went away AM. Aunt Sand spent the day. Etta and Flora Pierce to tea to our house. Mrs. Wiley and Miss Pratt called .Mrs. Bab and Mrs. Pratt called. I made pickle lily and knit. J. came home.

Oct. 7, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I worked hard doing housework and knit. We had the stove moved.

Oct. 8, Thursday
 Rained hard. Commenced Flora’s dresses.

Oct. 9, Friday
 Pleasant. We all spent PM. and evening to Mrs. Trickey’s. I tatted and work on Flora’s dress AM.

Oct. 10, Saturday
 Pleasant. Mrs. Sarah Chase spent the day and Mary & Annie Gould and Clara & Hattie and Martha Towle spent PM. And evening with me. Aunt Mary called. I tatted.

Oct. 11, Sunday
 Not very pleasant. Flora & I went with John and took tea to his father’s. Did not go to church. Went out in the evening to go to the concert but there was none. Aunt Quinby and Aunt Mary called. Mary Schwartz married.

Oct. 12, Monday
 Some cloudy and showery. I worked hard about the house and knit.

Oct. 13, Tuesday
 Pleasant. I knit and worked on Flora’s dress. Mrs. Lizzie Jones called. Flora went up with John to his  father’s.

Oct. 14, Wednesday
 Pleasant AM. Some cloudy PM. I worked on a chemise . Fair commenced in Portland.

Oct. 15, Thursday
 Pleasant. I made Flora’s waists. Wrote to Carrie.

Oct. 16, Friday
 Cloudy. John & I went to Portland to the Fair.

Oct. 17, Saturday
 Rained AM. Dull PM. I knit. I had a sore eye.

Oct. 18, Sunday
 Dull. Wrote to Adna Chase.  Did not go to church.

Oct. 19, Monday
 Dull and foggy. I knit.

Oct. 20, Tuesday
 Pleasant. Flora and I took a ride with Mary to the carding mill AM. I made a pr. of shirtsleeves. Josephine & Emily Hatch spent the evening. Father commenced Ploughing.

Oct. 21, Wednesday
 Cloudy in the morning. Pleasant the rest of the day. I worked on a chemise. Mary called. John 26 yrs. old today.

Oct. 22, Thursday
 Pleasant. I made Flora an apron.

Oct. 23, Friday
 Pleasant. Worked on Father’s shirts.

Oct. 24, Saturday
 Dull. I finished the shirts. I was 21 yrs. old today.

Oct. 25, Sunday
 Pleasant but cold. Uncle Quinby and Charlie Dyer and Aunt Mary called. John and I went to the concert in the evening. Did not go to church.

Oct. 26, Monday
 Pleasant but windy. Mother went to Portland. I knit.

Oct. 27, Tuesday
 Pleasant . Mrs. Trickey called AM. Uncle Levi and Aunt Lizzie came PM. I worked on a chemise.

Oct. 28, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I spent the day w/ Aunt Lizzie to Aunt Proctor’s. I knit.

Oct. 29, Thursday
 Pleasant. Aunt Lizzie spent the day to Portland to Mr. Pennel and wife and Lizzi Jones and children took tea. Lizzie came back to tea. I knit.

Oct. 30, Friday
 Cloudy. I called W/ Aunt Lizzie to the tavern, to Mrs. Trott’s, took dinner to grandmother’s. Aunt Lizzie went home PM. I knit.

Oct. 31, Saturday
 Cloudy & foggy. Rained a little in the evening.I finished John’s stocking. Worked hard about the house.

Nov. 1, Sunday
 Pleasant. I did not go to church. Went with John up to his father’s and took tea. Willie Stone died 8 o’clock.PM windy

Nov. 2, Monday
 Pleasant. I cut Flora’s shirts.

Nov. 3, Tuesday
 Cloudy AM. Pleasant PM. John and I went to Willie S. funeral. PM. Worked a little on Flora’s shirts. Marion Elder 1 yr. old today.

Nov. 4, Wednesday
 Pleasant. Worked on Flora’s shirts. Frank’s 4th daug,. born. I colored. Flora spent the day to her grandfather’s.

Nov. 5, Thursday
 Some showery but pleasant towards night. Finished Flora’s shirts and waists and dresses.

Nov. 6, Friday
 Quite pleasant. I made Flora’s cloak and finished my stocking.

Nov. 7, Saturday
 Pleasant. I mended and worked on my chemise. Colored my stockings.

Nov. 8, Sunday
 Rained a little. Pleasant.towards night. I did not go to church. Aunt Mary called.

Nov. 9, Monday
 Unpleasant little snow on the ground in the morning. I put the lining in my cloak. I worked on my skirt. Mr N..Johnson called.

Nov 10, Tuesday
 Snowed in the morning. Pleasant PM. Worked on my skirts.

Nov. 11, Wednesday
 Unpleasant. I finished my skirts. Mother went to the village PM. John bought me a new dress & Flora a dress and apron.

Nov. 12, Thursday
 Pleasant. Worked on father’s pants.

Nov. 13, Friday
 Cloudy. I work about house. Mrs. Walker and Etta Sands called. Mended in the evening.

Nov. 14, Saturday
 Cloudy AM damp and foggy PM. Worked about house and knit in evening. Father got his new cider.

Nov. 15, Sunday
 Rained. I did not go to church. Mr. C. Roberts took tea.

Nov. 16, Monday
 Dull. Rained very hard in the night. We commenced cleaning house. Uncle William called.

Nov. 17, Tuesday
 Rained very hard all day. The bridge near Mrs. Riggs carried away. I cleaned house.

Nov. 18, Wednesday
 Cloudy AM. Pleasant PM. with the exception of a shower. Cleaned. William R. called and Mrs. Dire. Mr. Greenleaf Elder hung himself AM of Bangor.

Nov. 19, Thursday
 Very pleasant. I cleaned . Very tired. Rec’d a letter  from Aunt Lizzie.

Nov. 20, Friday
 Pleasant. I cleaned. John & I went to the Panorama in the evening.

Nov. 21, Saturday
 Cloudy AM. Rained PM. We nearly finished cleaning Lucy Libbey called to the door.

Nov. 22, Sunday
 Very pleasant. I didn’t go to church. Mr. Aaron Quinby and wife spent evening.

Nov. 23, Monday
 Pleasant. I worked hard about house. John & I went to the village in the evening. Called to Aunt Sands.

Nov. 24, Tuesday
 Dull. AM. Rained PM.I mended a comforter AM. Picked turkeys PM. I was very tired.

Nov. 25, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I worked hard about house and knit.

Nov. 26, Thursday
 Thanksgiving Day. Florence and I spent the day with John up to his father’s. I knit. I made puddings AM. Mary Pennell married.

Nov. 27, Friday
 Pleasant. I worked on my Delaine Dress. Went with John to the village. Had my foot measured. Called to Aunt Sands.

Nov. 28, Saturday
 Some cloudy AM. Rained PM. I made me an apron and mended.

Nov. 29, Sunday
 Pleasant. I did not go to church. Uncle Sam called. Aunt Maria taken sick.

Nov. 30, Monday
 Pleasant cold. I work on my Delaine dress and slipped (?) my brown dress apart.

Dec. 1, Tuesday
 Pleasant bold. I went out to Aunt Sands AM. I knit. Called to Mrs. Walker’s.

Dec. 2, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I worked on Flora’s apron. Called to Mrs. Gould’s in the evening.

Dec. 3, Thursday
 Pleasant. I worked on Flora’s apron and knit. Mr. Trickey and wife spent the evening to our house.

Dec. 4, Friday
 Pleasant. worked on Flora’s apron.

Dec. 5, Saturday
 Pleasant. I knit. I came home from Uncle Henry’s tonight. The Haypressers came today. Mother made my brown dress this week. Temple Snow married.

Dec. 6, Sunday
 Pleasant. I did not go to church. Cold.

Dec. 7, Monday
 Very pleasant cold. Trimmed my hat and knit. The Haypressers went away PM.

Dec. 8, Tuesday
 Very pleasant. I knit a binding on my blue skirt.

Dec. 9, Wednesday
 Dull AM. Snowed a very little PM. cleared off cold and windy towards night. John and I and Mother and  Father & I took dinner to Uncle Baker’s. Flora spent the day to her grandfather’s. I bought me a green Thibet (?) dress

Dec. 10, Thursday
 Very cold and windy. I made me a pair of breast plates and worked on Flora’s skirts.
Dec.11, Friday
 Pleasant. I went to Mrs. Meguire to see about my dress. took dinner to Aunt Sands, called to Mrs. Gould’s, to Aunt Mary’s. Ann called.

Dec. 12, Saturday
 Snowed . I was sick.

Dec. 13, Sunday
 Rainy. I was not well. Did not go to church.

Dec. 14, Monday
 Dull and Foggy AM. Rained some PM.  I was not well. I done some mending. Aunt Mary moved.

Dec. 15, Tuesday
 Pleasant but very windy. John went to Portland to get som Thibet to my dress. I spent PM to Aunt Sands. Called to Mrs. Meguire’s to see about my dress. Chrocheted a collar for Aunt S.

Dec. 16, Wednesday
 Pleasant. I worked on my dress AM. Frances Elder and baby and Mr. Moore called PM. I called to Uncle Williams.

Dec. 17, Thursday
 Dull AM. Snowed some PM. I done mending and worked on my dress. Frank’s family moved.

Dec. 18, Friday
 Dull and Rainy. I done mending.

Dec. 19, Saturday
 Pleasant. I went to Mrs. M’s to get my dress. took dinner to Aunt S. worked for Etta and worked on a collar for myself.

Dec. 20, Sunday
 Pleasant but cold. I did not go to church. Took tea and Flora to Mr. C. R’s.

Dec. 21, Monday
 Pleasant and cold. I worked on my dress. Florence three yrs. old today.

Dec. 22, Tuesday
 Pleasant and cold. Worked on my dress.

Dec. 23, Wednesday
 Pleasant but cold. I worked on my collar and took up John’s stocking. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson took tea and stopped all night.

Dec. 24, Thursday
 Dull and very windy. Mrs. J. spent the day and went home in the evening. I called with her to Aunt Mary’s, to Malvina’s,. to Uncle Williams. I knit and finished my collar.

Dec. 25, Friday
 Christmas Day. Pleasant. I done mending. Ann and Mary spent the evening. I knit in the evening.

Dec. 26, Saturday
 Pleasant and warmer. I made me a sontag out of my hood. Went out to slide with Flora. Mended some . John and I wen to ride. Called to Greely Robinson’s. H. Chenery died AM. 

Dec. 27, Sunday
Snowed a little in the morning.  Pleasant the rest of the day.

Dec. 28, Monday
 Dull AM. Commenced to snow about half past three PM. mother and father went to Portland. got my bonnet trimmed. I knit.

Dec. 29, Tuesday
 Dull and windy AM. quite pleasant PM I mended my calico dress. Hattie J. Chenery buried.

Dec. 30, Wednesday
 Dull in the morning pleasant the rest of the day. I called to Aunt Sands, to Annie Gould’s  AM worked on my dress and mended.

Dec. 31, Thursday 
 Pleasant . I finished my green Thibet dress and mended.

Expenses which were written at the back of Martha’s diary.

Jan. 1863 Rec’d 5.35 (2nd) 3.51 ( 1st)
Spent on post. Stamp .03/   Jan. 1
1 ½ yd. elastic .08/  Jan.2
one post. st. .03/ Jan. 6
one post. st. .03/ Jan 8
for post s. .09/ Jan. 11
Flora’s boots .42/ Jan. 17
Post stamps .09/ Jan. 20
Go to the levee .26/ Jan. 20
Post. s. .20/ Jan. 29
Cord and butter molds .10/ Jan. 30

Feb. 1863 Rec’d 5.00 ( 5th)

Flora,s boots .65/ Feb.6
2 pens .02/ Feb. 7
Fee to the circle .03/ Feb. 10
Postage on letter rec’d .06/ Feb. 11
“       “           “           “06/ Feb. 11
Pay for the Transcript 1.70/ Feb. 14
Postage s..10/ Feb. 16
Chrochet hook .10/ Feb. 21
Embroidery cord .33/ Feb.21
Trimming to apron .12/ Feb. 21
Postage s..04/ Feb.23
For thread and tissue paper .07/ Feb. 24
For postage s .09/ Feb. 25
One quire of paper .20/ Feb.27
One skein of silk .13/ Feb. 27

Mar. 1863 Rec’d 5.oo ( 5th)

For ink, tape and binding .14/Mar .2
Flora’s apron .30/ Mar.3
2 spools of thread .14/ Mar. 3
Flora’s pictures 1.50/ Mar.14
Postage s. & paper .40/ Mar. 6
For guard. pin mended .37/ Mar. 16
Thread, cord, scissors, s..17/ Mar. 16
Flora 2 pr. Of stockings .25/ Mar. 23
Elastic tape needles .10/ Mar.23
Envelopes and p.s. .13/ Mar. 30

April 1863

For coloring .40/ Apr. 3
For paper  .10/ Apr. 3
For bordering .10/ Apr. 3
Postage stamps .15/ Apr. 3
For varnish .12/ Apr. 8
For postage stamps  .21/ Apr. 10
For paper .12/ Apr. 10
For nuts .12/ Apr. 10
For p. stamps .25/ Apr. 20
For ½ yd. gingham  .13/ Apr. 28
Flora’s 2 aprons .60/ Apr. 28
3 spools thread .24/ Apr. 28
fee to the circle .03/ Apr. 29

May 1863

For braid .50/ May 5
For Flora’s sack 1.25/ May 9
For hat .65/ May 9
Spool of thread .10/ May 9
P. Stamps .06/ May 9
For pens .02/ May 11
For envelopes .10 / May 18
For p. stamps .10/ May 21
For paper .13/ May 23

June 1863

June 11 rec’d 11.25
2 pieces of braid .20/ June 2
Thread of silk .04/ June 2
Buttons .12/ June 2
Flora’s gloves .13/ June 2
Buttons and rings .06/ June 2
P. stamps .06/ June 2
Hat 1.50/ June 4
Circular 5.00/ June 4
Gloves .20/ June 4
Elastic .06/ June 6
For stamping .13/ June 9
For boots- mended .12/ June 10
Flora’s braid .20/ June 15
Flora’s apron .19/ June 15
Flora’s stocking .15/ June 15
Garter’s silk & pencils . .13/ June 19
Spool of thread ( and bonnet) 3.08/ June 20

July 1863

Flora’s garters .06/ July 1
Lead pencil .05/ July 1
Skein of silk .02/ July 1
Corset lacings .14/ July 3
Postage on letter .03/ July 14
 Who is who in the diary ( I found what I believe are answers to some of the questions in vital records)

I would like to mention that there is another Martha Roberts, who made a sampler, which is in Uncle Philip’s possession. This sampler states that she was born on May the 2, 1800. In Saccarappa Cemetery there is a Martha Roberts, Dau. Of Benj. & Rebecca Dyer Roberts, who died on Feb. 7, 1837 at the age of 37. This is the sister to Joshua D. Roberts who was father of our diarist Martha.

Eliza Roberts married John C. Baker filed marriage intentions on Sept. 4, 1831. ( She is also a sister to Joshua D. Roberts and is referred to as Aunt Baker)

Maria Babb & Henry F.  Sands were married Jan. 9, 1849 ( I believe this Maria to be a sister to Martha’s mother. This would have been Aunt Sands) Mary Roberts & Charles Quinby/ Quimby ( Maybe another sister to Joshua D. Roberts who was known as Aunt Quinby) were married on Jan. 16, 1817. Mary W. Babb & John Proctor   were married on Nov. 21, 1830 ( Aunt Proctor, who I believe was a sister to Martha’s mother. ) Lizzie  Babb & Levi Wescott  were married on Jan. 20, 1846 ( She was Eliz. Babb from Westbrook and he was from Standish, which could explain why Martha’s mom visited Standish on occasion if this was her sister, Martha called them Uncle Levi and Aunt Lizzie in her diary.)

These are only educated guesses from studying the vital records and they may or may not be valid.


Martha’s diary ends here. All my life I had heard the story of how graverobbers opened her grave and threw her body in Beaver Pond at Saccarappa Cemetery shortly after she died. It had not been confirmed and I was always curious about the incident. Recently I called the funeral home in Westbrook, Maine to ask if they had an archives but was told not that far back. They told me to check newspapers. Only recently I have discovered the diaries of her brother-in- law, William Roberts who authored 31 diaries throughout his life. He provides many family details. These excerpts were taken from his entries in 1897. August 14…”.Martha, John’s wife died suddenly.”       Oct. 5…”I went to Market in the forenoon and in the afternoon I went out to the cemetery to see if John’s wife’s body had been removed from its grave and found that it had. After that I pulled the beets.”     Oct. 6…..” I took my wife down to the station to go to Portland. Then I went by request of the sheriff  to look at John’s wife’s body which was found this morning to see if I could positively identify it but I couldn’t it had changed so much though I had no doubt it was her’s.”

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Almanac Anecdotes

Some of these anecdotes came from an almanac dated 1855.

Lightning- According to Mr. E. Merriam, of New York, a distinguished scientific writer and practical philosopher, a person struck by lightning should not be given up for dead until at least 3 hours. The first 2 hours, the person should be drenched thoroughly with cold water. If this fails in restoration, then add salt and continue for another hour of drenching. 

Here are a few interesting items about education and money.

Average income in 1855 for each person in Europe and the United States.
England-20cents per day
Ireland-eight cents per day
France-fourteen cents per day
United States-In the most industrious states about 30 cents per day-Average for whole nation is seventeen cents per day

Livestock in the United States-The census of 1850 there was about 600 million dollars worth of livestock in the United States. Their value exceeded that of all manufacturing establishments in the country, and also exceeds the capital invested in commerce, both foreign and inland. [ The Industrial Revolution was in the 1860’s and 1870’s]

Education in the United States- For the free instruction of the people,it seems there are now in the whole United States, in round numbers, 60,000 schools, which are supported at an annual expense of something less than 6 million dollars. More than half of that is expended by the two states of Massachusetts and New York.. In this survey of the common-school facts of the different states, we find little cause for boasting, though much for hope. For though every state in the Union has recognized its duty to see that no child within its borders grows up in ignorance, yet only a few of the states have taken up the subject of universal education with anything like the earnestness which its importance demands. Teachers are ill paid and hence ill qualified; and it is a startling fact that the people of the United States pay half as much every year for the support of their dogs as they do for the education of their children. A well informed man is still a rarity, and multitudes of people ’spell character with a k’ and are ready to affirm that ‘oats is cheaper than they was last year’ [Home Journal 1853-4 ]

Boston was said to be the richest city in the world in proportion to its population in 1853. Each inhabitant was worth $ 1440. if its taxable property was equally divided. By the same rule, each New Yorker was said to be worth half as much, namely $ 584.

According to’ The Boston Traveler’, Boston’s valuation was worth 3 times the State of Maine and a combined valuation of three states combined, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Here is some wisdom on building houses. Never erect a house after you are five and forty. Have five years income in hand before you touch a brick. Always calculate the expense at double the estimate.

I was most interested in the updated lists of banks with Worthless and Uncurrent Bank Notes. This list was for all of New England. Maine had several. Here is the list.

 Agricultural Bank, Brewer
 Bangor Bank, Bangor
 Bath Bank, Bangor
 Castine Bank, Castine
 Citizen’s Bank, Augusta
 Damariscotta Bank, N obleboro
 Exchange Bank, Portland
Frankfort Bank, Frankfort
Globe Bank, Bangor & Portland
Georgia Lumber Co, Portland
Hallowell & Augusta Bank, Hallowell
Kennebunk Bank, Kennebunk
Kennebec Bank, Hallowell
Lafayette Bank, Bangor
Machias Bank
Bank of Old Town, Orono
Passamaquoddy Bank, Eastport
Penobscot Bank, Bangor
People’s Bank, Bangor
Saco Bank, Saco
St. Croix Bank, Calais
Stillwater Canal Bank, Orono
Waldo Bank, Belfast
Washington Co., Calais
Waterville Bank, Waterville
Wiscasset Bank, Wiscasset
Winthrop Bank, Winthrop
Bangor Commercial Bank, Bangor
City Bank, Portland
Citizen’s Bank, Augusta
Megunticook Bank, Camden
Maine Bank, Portland

Calais Bank, Calais
Mercantile Bank, Bangor
Westbrook Bank, Westbrook

Also of interest…..
Massachusetts in Miniature- In 1851 there were 34,235 farms in cultivation and 9637 manufacturing establishments.

Snowstorms and Depth of snow for ten years past. This information came from a writer in the Boston Transcript who furnished it to the almanac.
1843-4/ number of storms was 44/depth 7 feet seven inches
1844-5/number of storms was36/depth 3 feet three inches
1845-6/number of storms was 27/depth 3 feet seven inches
1846-7/number of storms was 32/depth 2 feet eight inches
1847-8/number of storms was 27/depth 2 feet one inch
1848-9/number of storms was 27/depth 3 feet one inch
1849-50/number of storms was 38/ depth 2 feet eleven inches
1850-1/number f storms was 28/ depth 3 feet one inch
1851-2/number of storms was 38/ depth 6 feet three and ½ inches
1852-3/number of storms was 20/ depth 3 feet two inches

 There was much interesting information about the National Debt which was usually in the 75 million dollar range from 1790’s and was somewhat steady until the Civil War when it reached the 2 billion mark.  Maybe this seems like a lot of useless information but it helps to put things into perspective when we can compare to today’s numbers. And of course for any one interested in farming, there is a wealth of information on how to care for your livestock, to rid your crops of pests and how much manure you need for an acre of land…..300 lbs. of guano should suffice.




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