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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Folk Artist & the Farmer-Maid

Copyright © 2012 by the author. All rights reserved.
She wasn’t famous then, and she’s not famous now, which can be said about many women’s lives even today. That’s the way it was at the dawn of the 19th century regarding Mary Ann Willson and her companion, Miss Brundage, whose first name has also disappeared into the mists of history along with the scant facts about her life. What is known about both women could fill a thimble: for example, that Willson and Brundage were probably born in England and migrated to Connecticut, as did many others, after the American Revolution. They lived at a time when women’s lives were even more “anonymous” than our own.

Both women were old enough to embark on the mass migration from Connecticut to the mountainous region of upstate New York following the War of the Revolution. It was an unsettled but also exciting time. People were poor and uncertain, but they were free. Free to move from one end of this vast, then untamed continent to another and to make what they would of their new Edenic lives; free to be who and what they wanted to be…at least for a little while. It was in this atmosphere that many a Connecticut Yankee, Willson and Brundage among them, made the difficult journey to sweet forest solitude and their new-found home.

If you live in Greene County, New York, chances are you’ve never heard of Mary Anne Willson unless you are interest in early American primitives. Art historians have long regarded Willson as one of the earliest, most original American folk painters discovered to date. Her discovery can be credited to the Harry Stone Gallery of New York, which in 1941 came across a portfolio of 20 primitive watercolors by Willsion and subsequently offered them for sale. Simple and direct, her folk drawings were painted with colors derived from berry juice, brick dust, vegetable dyes, and, occasionally, some “boughten” paint.

Who were Willson and Brundage?

Like pieces of an old treasure map, hints of their lives are hidden throughout Greene County’s history. The detective-reader may find the first clues in Lionel De Lisser’s Picturesque Catskills, written in 1893 while the author was exploding the now comfortably settled Catskills. Rambling through Greenville, De Lisser probably learned of Willson’s story from Theodore Prevost, grandson of Augustine Prevost, original patentee of the western-most part of what is now the Town of Greenville. Or the author may have heard from Theodore Cole of the primitive painter who, together with her faithful farmer-maid companion, had struck out on her own to live a life of uncompromised originality. [Theodore was artist Thomas Cole’s son and owner of the two Willson watercolors used by De Lisser in his book.]

De Lisser tells the story as he first heard it:

About two miles below Greenville, on the road to Freehold, there lived, early in the present century [19th] two old maids. They owned a little log hut there, and a small piece of property surrounding it, in common. They were supposed to be sisters, but in fact they were not related by the ties of blood in any way. They had both of them in their younger days, experienced a roman that had drawn the two close to each other in womanly sympathy. Together they had come from the old country to Connecticut and from there to this place seeking peace and forgetfulness in the wilderness. They never told their story, or anything in fact, relating to themselves that could serve as a clue to their identity or past life. They spent their time in the necessary work about the log-house and garden that was filled with wild flowers and terns, and in painting watercolor pictures which they sold among the neighboring settlers, for small sums, the highest price being asked was twenty-five cents. These paintings, two of which we reproduce, are unique in the extreme, showing a great originality in conception, drawing and color, as well as in the medium employed for their production. The subjects were generally selected from the Bible or profane history, in which they seem to have been well versed.

De Lisser was wrong about their way of life. Not unlike the Laides of Langolyn, Willson and Brundage were more than just friends: they were life companions who had a “romantic attachment” for each other and who made no excuses for their way of life. Miss Brundage farmed their few wilderness acres as best she could, often with the help of neighbors and friends, while her beloved Mary Ann made pictures which he sold to these same neighbors as ‘rare and unique works of art.” All we know of the life story of these two brave and bold women is contained in the following letter from an “Admirer of Art,” written ca. 1850, fifty years after the letter writer’s acquaintance with them. More than a century-and-a-half later, this secret “admirer” remains a secret although he is believed by art historian Jean Lippman to be either Augustine Prevost of Greenville or Theodore Cole. It is possible that the ardent “admirer” of Willson’s art may be Augustine Prevost; it is not possible, however, that is was Theodore Cole, who was born in 1838, more than a decade after Willson is believed to have left Greene County for “parts unknown.”

The letter read:

The artist, Miss Willson and her friend, Miss Brundage, came from one of the eastern States and made their home in the town of Greenville, Greene County, New York. They bought a few acres and built, or found their house, made of logs, on the land. Where they resided many years. One was the farmer (Miss Brundage) and cultivated the land by the aid of neighbors, occasionally doing some ploughing for them. This one planted, gathered in, and reaped, while the other (Mary Ann Willson) made pictures which she sold to the farmers and others as rare and unique ‘works of art.’ Their paints, or colours, were of the simplest kind, berries, bricks, and occasional “store paint’ made up their wants for these elegant designs.

These two maids left their home in the East with a romantic attachment for each other and which continued until the death of the ‘farmer maid.’ The artist was inconsolable, and after a brief time, removed to parts unknown.

The writer of this often visited them, and takes great pleasure in testifying to their great simplicity and originality of characters-their unqualified belief that these ‘picters’ were very beautiful…(they certainly were), boasting how greatly they were in demand. “Why! They go way to Canada and clear to Mobile!”

The reader of this will bear in mind that nearly fifty years have passed since these rare exhibits were produced…and now, asking no favors for my friends, (as friends they were), let all imperfections be buried in their graves and sheld these and them from other than kindly criticism.

Who was Augustine Prevost and how likely is it that he is the one who played Boswell to Willson’s Johnson?

Prevost was a professional solider and an early settler of the wilderness territory west of the Hudson. The first wave of emigration from Connecticut to what is today known as the Town of Greenville brought with it a rugged group of frontiersmen and their families. They were tough men who cleared the land, erected primitive log houses, and who tried to eke out a meager living from the stubborn clay soil. Major Prevost, whose land they’d settled on, was a British officer, much hated by the settlers of his own ill-gotten acreage, which had been bestowed on him as part of the Royal patents. Although his Tory stigma plagued him throughout his life, Prevost settled down in 1897 to marry Anna Bogardus, his second wife, the daughter of a Catskill merchant, and to develop his Greenville lands.

Willson and Brundage are believed to have settled in Greenville around 1800. It’s probable that they were acquainted with Augustine Prevost through business, as he had developed a local sawmill, gristmill, and tanning bark mill in the area by that time. Here the “facts” of Willson’s life end, and anything we might know about her must be learned through her art.

It is known that from 1800 to 1824 Willson produced approximately 20 watercolors, many of which are now part of the M. & M. Karolik Collection of American Water Colors & Drawings 1800-1875 at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. A few others are in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Marimaid, a 13”x15 ½” watercolor, is owned by the New York State Historical Association in Cooperstown, NY; another watercolor, Pelican, is owned by the Rhode Island School of Design. These works are now believed to be among the earliest primitives of their kind to have been produced in America. Willson’s main theme is “Prodigal” as evidenced by their titles, e.g. The Leaving Taking and Prodigal Son Reclaimed.

Like her paintings, Willson was bold, original and powerful. Her artistic style was totally “na├»ve” [intuitive]. In her era, the only way a woman could “learn” to be an artist was to receive instruction from a male relative. Willson, like other women artists, was forbidden to attend the all-male art schools or to strike out on her own; nevertheless, she chose the latter. She captured her distorted images, an unintentional foreshadowing of Fauvist and Cubist art, on bits of paper with her crude paints made from materials close at hand.

Marimaid is one of Willson’s most interesting artworks. Like Willson and Brundage, the mermaid is an outsider-neither woman nor fish, she is almost always made to feel as if she were “other.” The opposite side of this axiom is that because she is branded as “other,” she is sometimes endowed with special powers, powers that she herself is somewhat at a loss to comprehend. According to Bronson Alcott, teacher and transcendentalist father of writer Louisa May Alcott, Woman is an allegory; a myth sleeping in a myth; a sheathed goddess and a blazonry; a Sphinx’s riddle devouring and devoured; an ambush and retirement’ a nimbleness, a curiosity, a veil behind a veil, and a peeping forth from behind veils; a crypt of coyness, a goal of surprises, and a ambuscade. I wonder if this is how Willson felt as the created one colorful “picter” after another?

Was Willson, like many artists before and after her, trying to tell us something about her life though the imagery of her art, and yet to tell it “slant” so as to avoid “condemnation,” much like another of her 19th century artistic sisters, the poet Emily Dickinson? Like Dickinson, did Willson feel as if she were an outsider in 18th-and-19th century America? Had she, like her Prodigal, been banished from her English home (assuming she was born in England) and did the young folk artist yet dream, then, of a possible homecoming through the medium of her art?

In 1969, Willson’s life was the subject of the novel Patience and Sarah written by Alma Rautsong under the pseudonym Isabel Miller. In it, Willson’s life in Greene County ends happily. The real story ended a little less happily when, ca. 1824, Miss Brundage died, leaving Willson bereft and without anchor. That year, Willson left Greenville for parts unknown and was not heard of since.

Author’s note: My own research leads me to believe that the ardent “admirer” of Willson’s art may have been Sarah Cole, sister of artist Thomas Cole. Born in England in 1805, Sarah eventually lived and died in Catskill, New York in 1857. She was also an artist, who frequently accompanied her famous brother on sketching trips. A comparison of Sarah’s handwriting with that of the “admirer” shows many similarities. Sarah Cole and Mary Ann Willson were nearly neighbors, within a half-hour carriage ride from one another. Also, the Bartows, Thomas Cole’s in-laws, and the Bogarduses had family both in Catskill and Greenville during Willson’s lifetime.

Carolyn Bennett is the Director/Curator of the Zadock Pratt Museum and Prattsville Town Historian.

The Susan B. Anthony Window In The Home Of Matilda Joslyn Gage

Copyright © 2012 Sally Roesch Wagner, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
please visit The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation

For seventeen years I visited, learned from and organized the papers of Matilda Jewell Gage, the granddaughter and namesake of Matilda Joslyn Gage, whose home at 520 South Kline Street in my hometown of Aberdeen, South Dakota contained a treasure trove of her grandmother’s history. Matilda Jewell Gage’s father, Thomas Clarkson (named for the famous English abolitionist) was the elder Matilda’s only son and her confidante. An only child, Matilda Jewell inherited her grandmother’s furniture, paintings, photographs, scrapbooks, manuscripts – published and unpublished, family documents and the wealth of letters her grandmother wrote to her father over the years – all of which he kept. When Matilda’s cousin Leslie, an only child who never married, passed on, Matilda received all of Leslie’s papers and family items as well. Beyond the family memorabilia, Matilda Jewell Gage inherited a deep and pressing family responsibility, to save these pieces of history that proved her grandmother’s historic importance, and her unjust removal from the memory of the woman’s rights movement.

Signature in the library window 
of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Home.
Although she received no formal training in historiography during her Northwestern University years, Matilda intuitively gravitated toward the highest standards of social science integrity. Michael Patrick Hearn, the biographer of L. Frank Baum who also visited Matilda over the years and I often marveled that she was what would be described as a perfect informant – one whose integrity of reporting is so high that you don’t require the needed minimum of three verifications of a fact. Matilda Jewell always refused to answer a question unless she was certain of the answer. Having not caught her in a factual error in the 17 years we worked together, I came to trust her implicitly, as did Michael.

When I received a research grant in 1976 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I was working on my doctoral dissertation on Gage, to visit research libraries around the country that housed suffrage collections, the Onondaga Historical Society in Syracuse was on my agenda. “Be sure to visit the Gage Home and see the Susan B. Anthony window,” Matilda instructed me.

Author Sally Roesch Wagner and Matilda 
Jewell Gage on steps of Matilda Gage's 
Aberdeen, South Dakota home. Circa
1975. Photo from personal collection of
Matilda mentioned the window several times, including in this portion of one of my many taped interviews with her, when she said:

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage were working on the History of Woman Suffrage, they often came to the Gage home to work on this immense project.

As my father has mentioned, Grandmother’s library was on the second floor. Probably here some of the writing and organizing of the material to be put in the first two volumes of the History was accomplished.

The windows in this room faced west and the setting sun surveyed from here probably prompted Grandmother to name the home Sunset View. Perhaps Susan B. Anthony was contemplating this scene when she used her diamond ring to scratch her name on the upper pane of one of the windows. I have seen this signature at various times when I have been privileged to make a tour of the Gage home.

In that time of autograph hounds, getting the signature of an historic personage was a highly-coveted prize.  Famous people sometimes even scratched their names in window glass. The Edmond Wilson home in Talcottville is one example of the window-scratchings of historically significant people, preserved for posterity at the request of the home owner.

Matilda Jewell Gage, granddaughter 
and namesake of suffragist Matilda 
Joslyn Gage.  Circa 1970. Photo from 
personal collection of author.
When Matilda Joslyn Gage died in 1898, all of her children had moved West to Dakota; her youngest daughter Maud with her husband L. Frank Baum (who would author the Wonderful Wizard of Oz two years later) had moved on to  Chicago, where Matilda died. The family rented the Gage Home briefly, then sold it, sending all the contents to be divided among the children. The succession of owners carried on the tradition of the Susan B. Anthony window. When Michael Patrick Hearn visited the Gage Home in the 1960’s, the owner invited him to view the Susan B. Anthony window. Various newspaper stories about the Gage Home over the years refer to the Anthony window.

Matilda Joslyn Gage’s grandson, Frank Joslyn, who lived in the house during the summer of 1887 when he was a child, wrote in To Please a Child, the biography of his father he co-authored with Russell P. McFall, which was published by Reilly and Lee in 1961:

Miss Anthony was such a frequent visitor that one of the bedrooms was reserved for her use. In the course of her visit, she scratched her signature, with a diamond ring, in one window of the room. This is still preserved. (p. 45).

Frank Joslyn visited Fayetteville and Syracuse and brought some family items to be preserved at the Onondaga Historical Society. This is presumably when he visited the Gage Home and saw the Susan B. Anthony window still intact.

Three granddaughters of Matilda Joslyn 
Gage: (from left:) Magdalena Carpenter; 
Leslie Gage and Matilda Jewell Gage. Photo 
from Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. 
I dutifully visited the home during my research trip in the summer of 1976 (on my desk in the Gage Center today I have a photo of a young graduate student standing on the steps taken by Fayetteville/Manlius historian Barbara Rivette) and viewed the window. Etching your name in glass certainly cannot be an easy process, Barbara tried it, she said, and it’s very difficult to tell what you’ve written.  Nevertheless, I recognized Anthony’s distinctive “S” and “A” from the dozens of her letters that I had studied and transcribed in the course of writing my dissertation.

Confusing to me was a word that looked something like “Quincy” in the middle of the name. For years I have investigated whether Anthony may have had a pet name or nickname, known only to her intimates like Gage, but I have found nothing. This does not mean she didn’t have one; it simply means it’s unlikely, if there is no record of it. Brownell was her middle name, which she did not use in her signature or autographs. I have never figured it out.  Others have speculated over the years that it might be the signature of S. Quincy Wilkinson, who might have been related to Samuel J. May, or S. Quincy Williams, who worked in a tavern in Syracuse at one point. Certainly there were a number of folks with “Quincy” in their name living in the region during the 1854-1898 period that Gage lived in the home.  How likely is it that any of them would have been upstairs in the intimacy of her library and been asked to scratch their name in the window, starting a rumor that someone who we know spent time in the home, and worked with Matilda in the library, came to be credited with the window scratching?

Do we know absolutely that it is the signature of Susan B. Anthony? No. It is a theory, like gravity and evolution. The preponderance of evidence points toward it, but we cannot definitively prove it. We have the word of Gage’s son, passed down to his daughter and on to the biographers of Baum and Gage. Matilda Jewell Gage never questioned the Anthony window story of her father, who grew up in the house and never exhibited a penchant for fabricating truth any more than did his daughter.  We have the writing of Gage’s grandson, who lived in the home as a child and knew to look for the Susan B. Anthony window when he visited the house as an adult. And we have the circumstantial evidence, which is:

1. The first and most obvious criteria in determining the signature is establishing that the person was actually in the Gage Home.  Anthony was in the Gage Home – not once but repeatedly, as evidenced in her diary and the correspondence of both Anthony and Gage. Matilda Jewell Gage was correct; both Anthony and Stanton stayed in the Gage Home at various times during the time (1876-1886) that the three of them were working on the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage. Anthony, a single woman, visited more often than Stanton as she traveled between the homes of the two married mothers who had family responsibilities, to work with Gage and Stanton on their co-edited History.

2. There is no documented evidence that either S. Quincy Wilkinson or S. Quincy Williams or any other Quincies were ever in the Gage Home. There is an abundance of evidence of other people visiting the home: friends, family, neighbors in the over 500 family letters and notes I’ve transcribed. If someone was a frequent visitor to the home, it is highly likely that there would be documented evidence of it.

3. We need to place the person in the library. The library was Gage’s personal domain. In a family with four children this writer, my research indicates, kept her library as a sanctuary where she could concentrate on her work. One day, for example, Thomas Clarkson stood at the door of the library, hesitating to disturb his mother as she was working, Matilda Jewell Gage told me. He had come to receive a punishment or reprimand for something he had done. Busy at work, she sent him away. Her solitude to write was more important than reminding her son of his wrong-doing. Further, the library was on the second floor of the home, where the bedrooms were. Gage would not have entertained guests in the library; that would have been done in the front parlor.  Work with acquaintances would have been done in the back parlor. The library was intimate space and presence there would have been limited only to intimates with whom she was working, like Stanton and Anthony. The only documented evidence that we have of a person actually being in the library working with Gage is Susan B. Anthony.

4. The person would almost certainly have been a woman. For a woman to entertain a gentleman in the upper chambers, the intimate, private space of the house, even someone with whom she was close and familiar and had business to conduct, like her attorney Nathan Chapman, would have crossed a social boundary so deep and unconscious, that even a political iconoclast like Gage, would not have been likely to cross it.

5. She would have needed to have been involved in some joint project or work with this intimate female friend, some reason for the person to be in the library.

6. There would need to be a motive for asking the person to place their name as a permanent document in the window. If this person did not have historic importance, it is unlikely that Gage would have asked them to etch their name permanently in her private, intimate space. If visitors to the home were generally invited to scratch their names, there would be windows full of names, which there aren’t. This was a one-time, unique occurrence. For a purposeful woman like Gage, there would have had to be a reason for it.

Using these standards, the preponderance of evidence points to the accuracy of the family story of the Susan B. Anthony window.

Earlier this year I unsuccessfully requested that History Detectives investigate the window and establish its authenticity. Someday, perhaps, we could bring in a handwriting analyst to give us an opinion. Until then, the historic Matilda Joslyn Gage Home in Fayetteville, New York, boasts the only window in existence where Susan B. Anthony scratched her name. The Gage Home, owned and restored by the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, is now a museum and center for dialogue on the work toward which Gage dedicated her life:  social justice for women, African and Native Americans and all. Gage’s library, where Anthony scratched her name, is being created as the Matilda Joslyn Gage research library.

Sally Roesch Wagner is the Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation ( and Adjunct Faculty in the Honors Program at Syracuse University.  One of the first women to receive a doctorate for work in women’s studies, she is a founder of the third program established in the country.

excerpts from Plank Road Explorer by Henry Marvin, 1873 Webbs Mills, New York

plank road explorer
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Copyright © 2012 New York History Review. All rights reserved.

November, Saturday 1, 1873
I went to town with Father. I went to Ed’s and to Lyme’s. I got me a new suit of close [clothes].

November, Sunday 2, 1873
I went a-hunting in the forenoon and in the afternoon I went up to George’s with Lyme. I come down as far as the Tanner’s and then I went back to [the] meeting up to the schoolhouse.

November, Monday 3, 1873
I stayed at home all day and husked oats. Father went to town. At nite I went to the store.

November, Tuesday 4, 1873
I stayed at home all day and drawed pumpkins and at nite I went up to John’s and took him home. Father went to Election.

November, Wednesday 5, 1873
I stayed at home all day and picked stone. Father went to town. I went to the Burg at nite.

November, Thursday 6, 1873
I stayed at home all day and drawed manure. Father went down to Aunt Julia’s.

November, Friday 7, 1873
I stayed at home all day and drawed manure and plowed and picked stone. Father went up to Wells’ to work on the dam.

November, Saturday 8, 1873
I stayed at home all day and drawed stone and at nite I went to the store. I went to the store. Father worked on the dam.

November, Sunday 9, 1873
I stayed at home all day. Ed was here.

November, Monday 10, 1873
I stayed at home all day and drawed manure and corn stalks. Petey was here to work.

November, Tuesday 11, 1873
I stayed at home all day and drawed manure and corn stalks. At nite I went to John’s to work.

November, Wednesday 12, 1873
I stayed here all day and cut logs. Mr. Robbins helped me.

November, Thursday 13, 1873
I stayed here and sawed logs. Mr. Robbins helped me.

November, Friday 14, 1873
I stayed here and sawed logs all day. John helped me.

November, Saturday 15, 1873
I worked half a day and in the afternoon I went home and got the gun. John went to Waverly.

November, Sunday 16, 1873
I went a-hunting. I killed nothing.

November, Monday 17, 1873
I stayed here and made a r--d and drawed out wood.

November, Tuesday 18, 1873
I stayed here all day and cut wood and husked corn in the forenoon and in the afternoon I went a-hunting. John come to nite.

November, Wednesday 19, 1873
I come home to day and this afternoon I cut logs and wood.

November, Thursday 20, 1873
I stayed at home all day and cut logs and wood.

November, Friday 21, 1873
I stayed at home all day and cut wood and logs.

November, Saturday 22, 1873
I stayed at home all day and cut wood and at nite I went to the store and and up to Elake’s. Ed come up home and stayed all nite. His wife has gone up home. Susie and Jim went with her.

November, Sunday 23, 1873
I stayed at home all day. I went a-hunting a little while at nite. I went down home with Ed.

November, Monday 24, 1873
School commenced today. Our teacher’s name is Pild. I went to the store at nite and Ed come home with me. He stayed all nite.

November, Tuesday 25, 1873
I went to school. Ed worked here today. Father went to town.

November, Wednesday 26, 1873
I went to school. Peter drawed logs.

November, Thursday 27, 1873
I stayed at home all day and cut logs.

November, Friday 28, 1873
I went to school. At nite I went to the Burg. Later went up to John’s.

November, Saturday 29, 1873
I stayed at home all day and cut logs in the forenoon. I went a-hunting. I killed a partridge. Jessie & Bill Criss come here and helped kill a bull.

November, Sunday 30, 1873
I went a-hunting with Peter and Father. Father killed a partridge.

December, Monday 1, 1873
I went to school. It snowed all day.

December, Tuesday 2, 1873
I went to school. I took a load of wood to Aunt Julia’s. Lyme was here and stayed all nite.

December, Wednesday 3, 1873
I went to school. Lyme was here and worked a half day. I went a-hunting a little while at nite.

December, Thursday 4, 1873
I went to school. Peter drawed wood and stone.

December, Friday 5, 1873
I went to school. Lyme was here got a load of stone. I went to the Burg at nite.

December, Saturday 6, 1873
I stayed at home all day and cut wood. Father and Mother went to town. I went to the Burg at nite.

December, Sunday 7, 1873
I went a-hunting a little while. We got a rabbit. Tim was here. I went a-skating a little while.

December, Monday 8, 1873
I went to school. Father went to town.

December, Tuesday 9, 1873
I went to school. Father went to town.

December, Wednesday 10, 1873
I went to school and at nite I went up to the schoolhouse to a spelling school. Lyme and Charlie Pierce was here and stayed all nite.

December, Thursday 11, 1873
I went to school. Lyme and Charlie worked here all day.

December, Friday 12, 1873
I went to school all day and at nite I went to the Burg. Father went to town. Peter quit work here today.

December, Saturday 13, 1873
I drawed lumber all day. I drawed three loads home from the mill and two up to U.B Dann.

December, Sunday 14, 1873
I stayed at home all day and at nite I went to Ed’s and stayed a little while.

December, Monday 15, 1873
I went to school all day. The teacher offered a present to the [student] who would have the most credits.

December, Tuesday 16, 1873
I went to school all day and then at nite I went up to spelling school.

December, Wednesday 17, 1873
I went to school all day. Miss Hill and Miss Huntley was here today.

December, Thursday 18, 1873
I went to school all day.

December, Friday 19, 1873
I went to school all day.

December, Saturday 20, 1873
In the forenoon I drawed wood and in the afternoon I cut wood. Father went to town. He took Covel’s horse home.

December, Sunday 21, 1873
I went a-hunting. I got a rabbit. In the afternoon I went to the store ------- a fine time alone.

December, Monday 22, 1873
I went to school all day.

December, Tuesday 23, 1873
I went to school all day and at nite I went up to the schoolhouse to spelling school. Lafe Bailey come here to work to nite.

December, Wednesday 24, 1873
I went to school all day and at nite I went to the Burg.

December, Thursday 25, 1873
In the forenoon I went a-hunting and in the afternoon I cut logs. John and Lib and Sam & Early & Aunt Julia & Libbie was here. At nite I went up to John’s to a dance.

December, Friday 26, 1873
I went to school all day. Lafe drawed out headin for M.B. Dann or [U.B.?]

December, Saturday 27, 1873
I and Lafe went over to John’s --- and took Frank Hall’s cow[?] home. We went a-horse back.

December, Sunday 28, 1873
I stayed at home all day and at nite Lafe and I went a-riding. Lyme and Jane was here and stayed all nite.

December, Monday 29, 1873
I went to school all day. Lafe drawed logs. Father went to town. Lyme and Charley was here and stayed all nite. I went to the store at nite.

December, Tuesday 30, 1873
I went to school all day. I went up to Criss’s and got a big kettle for to kill hogs. I went down to Dave’s and helped kill turkeys.

December, Wednesday 31, 1873
I stayed at home all day and killed hogs. Lyme and Charley and Bill Teneyck helped us. I went to the store at nite.

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Publisher: New York History Review Press