Diary kept by a single upstate New York farm woman who was also caring for her mother and another invalided elderly relative. Probably Mary Johnson.
Diary kept by a single upstate New York farm woman who was also caring for her mother and another invalided elderly relative
Diary kept by a single upstate New York farm woman who was also caring for her mother and another invalided elderly relative

Diary kept by a single upstate New York farm woman who was also caring for her mother and another invalided elderly relative

La Ray, New York: 1887. Notebook. This notebook measures 6” x 7.5” and contains and itemized settling of the estate of Josiah Johnson following his death in 1881 and a weekly journal kept by (most likely) his daughter, Mary for the year of 1887. In nice shape. The journal entries are written in the same hand as the estate ledger. A transcript of the journal entries will be included. Very good. Item #009231

Although never morose or complaining, Mary’s journal entries do reflect not just her daily life but also the assistance she received from friends and neighbors to keep her farm up and running. Her father, Josiah Johnson, was a house-builder who owned a farm in the LeRay township (See “Mansions and Houses of the North Country” in The Watertown Daily Times, 17 Jun2 1944.) After he died in 1881, his wife, Jerusha, and daughter, Mary, apparently remained on the homestead along with an elderly in-law, Phebe Johnson. (See late 19th Century census reports for probable family connections.) Entries include: “Yesterday morning they said the thermometer was from 25 to 30 degrees below Zero in different places. . . . Yesterday Mr. William Green brought us in a piece of beef. . . . The roads are badly drifted especially our road. On Thursday was the first that I had to help shovel on the road this winter. . . . On Thursday I went up to Adams Center and took along Eighteen eggs for which I got at the rate of twenty five cts. Per Doz. . . . Phebe has been sick with a cold for several days and today has be the worst day she has had; I am in hopes that she will begin to get better soon. . . . Yesterday Mr. Glass sent me down a small load of coal. . . . Last Monday Miss Alta Green took our clothes home with her to wash them. . . . Phebe continues about the same The Dr. has been here to see her twice this week. . . . During the week I got some manure on the garden and repaired the fence around my pasture where the wind had blown it down during the Winter and Spring. . . . week I commenced laying over the chimney that the wind blew over. . . . Phebe has been having a poor time of it yesterday and today Dr. Fred Bailey and Dr. Pierce were both here to see her today. . . . Yesterday Mrs. Babcock baked some pies for us. . . . I had some plowing done of a piece of ground for buckwheat. . . . I went down to the sawmill and got a load of wood. . . . mowed and raked up hay and on Friday morning I with Mr. Spicer’s help, go in two more loads. . . . Our cow was taken off to the butcher I had previously sold her to Mr. Hose. . . . I did out the washing. . . . Lenche was here and helped about brushing up a little. . . . I commensed cutting up my field corn and I finished it yesterday. . . . Denkin came here Tuesday Afternoon and assisted me in fixing the pump and cleaning out the well. . . . Jane Main worked here on Wednesday in taking up the sitting room carpet and putting down another. I have been digging my field potatoes this week. . . . I finished husking my corn for this year. Yesterday I spent most of my time in cleaning up the pantry. . . . I got Mr. Spicer to assist me and I finished geting in my corn. I have now got my corn nearly half husked. . . . I have been husking corn what spare time I could get aside from doing housework and chores. Clearly it was a hard life, and Mary had little free-time after house chores, farm work, and arranging doctor care, however she writes that during the year she did have time to attend an Uncle Tom Show, Barnum’s circus in Waterville, the Lexington and a celebration at Lexington and Concord.

Price: $300.00

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