The Journals of

Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr.



Journal No. 1, August 10, 1837-June 2, 1838

Sewall Family Papers, American Antiquarian Society [1]


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E. Q. Sewall his Journal

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Thursday August 10th 1837. Forenoon. Went to school. Afternoon. Staid at home, and went to the Post Office. After supper we all went to the Fulling brook except Ellen who went to visit her friend Sarah Cole. We got some very pretty roses and other flowers, and had a very pleasant time.

Friday [11th]. Went to school all day. Just before tea as Enoch and I were carrying some oats into the barn on the handles of two rakes, we upset twice which made me laugh very much. I forgot to say in the proper place that we had company at school this afternoon a cousin of the schoolmistress I believe.

Saturday afternoon [12th ] I went with Mr. Downes to the Fulling brook for the purpose of getting some Cadis worms who form for themselves cases of small stones sticks and other materials. I found some cases which had the worms in them besides a snail and many

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other cases which were empty.

Sunday. [13th] In the forenoon I went to church. Mr. White[2] preached from Revelations 21st Chapter 5th verse. “And he that sat on the throne said. “Behold make all things new.” In the afternoon I staid home with George.

Wednesday 16th. In the forenoon I went to school. In the afternoon I staid at home expecting to go to the beach with Mr. Downes but I was disappointed.

Thursday [17th]. In the forenoon my aunt[3] my sister and myself with Mr. D and his daughter went to the beach. On our way we called for S. Cole. Our party then consisted of six persons. George came to meet us on our return and we gave him some shells and stones which we had promised him and with which he was very much pleased. Mr D lost his glass[4] but he did not go back to look for it. He sent to father a bottle of

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salt water with animals in it on some pieces of rock-weed. The animals looked like mould and there were things that looked like hairs sticking up from the rock weed where the animals were. If they were touched with a straw the animal would bring them down flat on the rock weed. The animals died before we got home on account of the changed state of the water.

Saturday [19th]. Staid at home all day there being no school. In the forenoon George and I went to Mr. Wade’s for some butter. We brought it home in our cart with a shade of boughs over it. While we were there Thomas S. James rode up there in Mr. W’s cart and, as he was returning home he stopped at our house and ate dinner with us. In the afternoon I went to the Post Office. When I got home I went berrying. After I had been there a spell George Mother and aunt came and joined me.

Sunday 20th. Went to church all day. Mr. Prouty told the children who attend the Sunday School all

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to be present next Sunday as they might hear something which would please them. I believe this is to be a Sunday School celebration.

Monday [21st]. Went to school all day. In the forenoon I wrote all the time. After school I went to the P. Office.

Tuesday[5] 29th. I had not written for a week and I cannot remember the events that have happened. But I hope folks who read this if any-body ever does will excuse me. In the morning my aunt and my grand-mother[6] went away. I went to school all day. The next day my father and mother went in the morning to Cambridge and left Ellen George and myself at home. I went to school all day. In the afternoon I came home in a rain and was wet through.

Thursday 31st. In the forenoon I went to school and in the afternoon to the Post Office. In the evening my mother and father returned.

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Friday September 1st. I “went to school all day” in my own phrase which I am tired of myself but to say the truth I cannot think of any other which will express the same meaning. Mrs. Litchfield made us a present of some beans and when I went to carry back the basket she sent back another full of apples and pears. I think she was very kind.

Saturday [2nd ]. In the forenoon I went to school. In the afternoon there being no school I went to Mrs. Litchfield’s and huckleberrying. I climbed up some tall trees and had a very pleasant time. I went to the harbor besides.

Sunday [3d] I went to church all day and staid at noon.

Monday [4th] In the afternoon I went to the harbor. In the morning I drew George about the yard in our cart before school.

Tuesday 5th. In the morning I went with Rolla[7] to the blacksmith’s for him to be shod but he was

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not at home. After I had got home, I went with George to the store. Afternoon my mother and Father went away to take tea leaving the rest of us at home. They did not come home till late in the evening and Ellen and I had a very pleasant time.

Wednesday [6th]. In the morning I drew George about the yard in the cart. I have made a regulation to do this every morning after breakfast. But I must stop now for the present, because my pen is like a stick and also because I have nothing else to say.

Thursday evening [7th]. I have now a great deal to say and I am determined to spin it out as long as I can. Last night I went to the harbor and brought home some horse-briar leaves to trim our baskets but they were not used as we had several yards of leaves sent us all fixed to put on to the baskets. Today in the afternoon we had our Sunday School Celebration. It was in Alewin Grove. The scholars all

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went before Mr. A’s house where they were formed into a procession each under his own teacher. The children marched by two’s and in the order of their classes. I being in the 1st class was in the first part of it. The way from the road to the grove was lined on both sides with people between whom we marched up to the place where the ministers and two or three other people sat which was a raised platform with a bench on it with green pine branches driven into the ground all round. There were several hundred people present including the children who were in number above 300, and formed quite a long procession. Mr. Carter made an address. He said that kindness and obedience were the duties of children, and related this anecdote.
“A stage was entirely filled with gentlemen when a little girl wished to get in. She said “If the people in the stage will be kind to me I will be kind to them.” After the exercises were finished the procession marched to the table which was very long. When we arrived

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at it we divided and passed in single columns on each side of it. With the aid of the spectators we ate up every eatable on the table except a few apples. I had a very pleasant time, though rather tired. Mother wanted me to stay and help Ellen bring home the baskets and had told me in the forenoon that I should perhaps. I didn’t know that she wanted me particularly to and as I could not find Ellen, I came without doing it; so that when I got home I had to go to meet sister.[8]

Friday [8th]. In the forenoon I went with Enoch cranberrying. We staid all the forenoon. I got over a peck. In the afternoon sister called for myself and the two Frances’s[9] and we took a walk to Aylwin Grove for the purpose of finding a cheese tray which had been left there. We found it at Mr. Aylwin’s where it had been carried by some one. We made some oak trimming which we put around our necks. I had a very pleasant time.

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Saturday [9th]. In the morning I went to Mr. Wade’s about some money after which I went to Mr. May’s with a letter from father.[10] I met him on the road going to the harbor in a wagon with John He was carrying some apples to the packet to send them to Boston.[11] He took the letter and I got in and rode to the corner when I got out. On his return he called to see father and John and I had a nice play. In the afternoon I went to the harbor and lost my knife value 15 cents.

Sunday 10th I went to church in the forenoon. In the afternoon I staid at home with G. I entirely forgot to say in the right place that Father and mother went to Norton, Father having an exchange with Mr. Bridge a minister in that town.[12] They came home about 10 o’clock.

Monday 11th. In the evening I wound eight balls of yarn. I also went to Mrs. Turner’s to carry the paper and she sent us some beans, and

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Mary sent us some stersions. I took off my shoes for the purpose of climbing up a tree and forgot to bring them home.

Tuesday [12th]. In the afternoon I staid at home to play with George my Mother and sister having gone away to take tea. Mr, Clapp’s pigs got out and went up to our house. Mary Turner and I drove them back and had grand fun running after them.

Wednesday [13th]. In the morning I went to the harbor. On my return, I lost a letter which I had at first missed it at the “Parsonage House” and was so foolish as not to go back for it, by which I might probably have found it but thinking it was of no consequence I went on till I got clear home when I was obliged to go the whole way back to look for it. Father and mother lectured me so severely for my carelessness and foolishness that I do not think I shall ever do so again and I am sure I hope I shall not. After I got home from my search for the letter which was not success-

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ful and rested myself a while I set out for Mr. May’s. On the way I called at Mrs. Litchfield’s to give her her basket and she gave me a drink of cider and some pears. I went on to the place I was bound to and John and I had a nice time climbing up trees in their orchard. I did not get home till late in the afternoon.

Of Thursday and Friday I cannot remember anything but

“Don’t view me with a critic’s eye
But Pass my imperfections by.”

Saturday [16th] afternoon I went to the harbor and got a letter which I was lucky enough not to lose. On my way home I got some cows[13] for Frances who wanted them for the purpose of sticking legs into them and playing with them. After I got home I helped Enoch get in wood.

Sunday [17th] I went to meeting and staid at noon. Mr. Phips preached. After meeting in the afternoon at 7 oclock I went to an Anti Slavery lecture by Mr. Codding who related several anecdotes. One of these was this. A man who

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was intoxicated was approaching a tree, staggered himself and looking at the tree said, “how that tree staggers!” Another was of a boy who had been almost drowned who said, “I’ll never go into the water again till I have learned to swim.” there were several others which he related. After Mr. C. had done Mr. Garrison made some remarks the meeting was done about half past 9. I sat in the gallery. After the meeting was done there was a contribution. I put nine-pence into the hat. I forgot to say that Mr. Somebody for I forget who said it that the petition of the English women for the abolition of slavery was signed by 181,000 and required four men to carry it up to Parliament. What a large petition!

Monday [18th] Late in the evening I went to Dr. Fuller’s[14] for some things for Father’s cough.

Tuesday [19th] afternoon I asked to come home from school after I had said all my lessons. I went with mother and sister to the harbor to be measured in order to have some clothes made. I bought a

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new knife of Mr. E. Jenkins for 20 cents. The first use of it was in my Journal in scratching out.

Wednesday. [20th] In the morning I went to the office.

Thursday [21st] afternoon George and I went to the stone heap with some rubbish. After we got back we went again.

Friday [22nd]. Cousin John came a few minutes before tea.[15]

Saturday [23d]. In the afternoon I went to the harbor.

Sunday [24th]. In the forenoon I went to meeting. In the afternoon I staid at home with George.

Sunday October 1st. I have neglected to write for a week because I was engaged in writing a letter to my aunt which looked so that I was almost ashamed to send it. A few evenings ago we finished the “Youth’s Letter Writer” a book given to me by my aunt which we had been reading aloud.[16] Yesterday I did the following errands for mother. In the first place I went to Mr Jenkins’s for some

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apples with George. When I got home, I helped Enoch dig some potatoes. When he had done, he went to get some apples and we went with him. After this I went to the store for some molasses to make a pandowdy. I forgot to mention that we had pudding for dinner every day this week. In the afternoon I helped husk corn, the first part of the time. After we had done, I went to both the stores for some candles as we had used up our oil, but they had none. As I was coming back Mr. Clapp told me that perhaps his mother could sell us some. I went there and was fortunate enough to get them. We have not had candles to burn before since I can rember [sic] and for the first time in my life I went to bed with a candle.

I staid at home with G. all day.[17] When Father and I were untackling the horse I went to pull off the saddle but could not get it off his tail when he gave a spring and ran off with it hanging to his tail which looked funny

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Wednesday [4th]. We had a fire at school for the first time this summer. (I have) ^we^[18] read aloud in Fr. Downes “Fairy Book” which I borrowed of her.[19]

Thursday 5th. In the afternoon I went to the harbor. Besides going to the Post Office I went to get my clothes and to both stores. At Mr. A’s Dr. Thomas[20] asked me if I had any books to read now. I told him no, and he lent me a book called “The History of St. Dominggo” in two volumes.[21] In the morning my sister went to Dorchester to spend a week at Mr. Goddard’s. Father carried her to the boat in the chaise

Saturday [7th]. In the morning I went to get some apples which were not taken shaken off the tree as they were winter apples but were picked off by hand and put into a basket which had a pot-hook fastened onto it that they might hang it to the limb of the tree. I got up into the tree and helped pick them

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off till school time. In the afternoon we went to get apples from a great tree which bears four kinds of apples. George and I went home before they had done gathering the tree. Just before tea we or rather I went with Enoch again, but not to the same tree. I shook one tree which had not many apples on it which made me feel very great.

Sunday [8th]. The letter which I had lost was given to me by Mr. Tilden who had found it. In the afternoon I staid at home with George.

Monday [9th]. We took up Mother’s Geranium and put it in a pot. It had long ^large^ roots and was growing finely. The Hydrangia was not dead as we thought but another plant was growing up by its side, so we took it up and put it in the same pot at one side.

Tuesday [10th]. In the morning Miss Hatch gave me a new writing-book as I finished my

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old one yesterday. In the afternoon I went to Deacon Curtis’s and had a very pleasant time. He gave me some apples to carry home which I picked up under the tree. Father went to the Post Office just before we started and found a letter for me from Aunt in answer to my letter. I read it there and read it aloud again in the evening.

Wednesday 11th. In the afternoon Mother and F. went while I was gone to school to make some calls and left my supper but they came home before supper.

Wednesday. [sic] In the morning I took a walk with George in the fields. We got some nuts and pretty leaves and a last year’s bird’s nest, which he uses to put his nuts in.

Thursday [12th]. I went to the harbor. ^In the afternoon^

Friday [13th]. In the evening there was a total eclipse of the moon but we saw but little of it. I went up in Mr. Cole’s shop and had a very pleasant time shelling beans.

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Saturday [14th]. In the afternoon I went to the harbor.

Sunday [15th]. Our Sunday School left off today. Mr. Prouty reviewed us in our books. Afterwards we gave up our books.

Saturday [22d?]. In the morning George and I went to the stone heap. We threw stones at pieces of old crockery which we carried with us. We got us two sticks. In the morning I stuck up a long stick with my handkerchief tied to the end of it for a flag. In the afternoon father and sister returned. Father brought a great box of spermaceti candles. He brought George a picture book. He also gave a book apiece to three oter [sic] children. George and I carried them to their owners and got some peaches.

[Wednesday] November 1st. We moved last week to Mr. Vinals. We had been packing up for two days. It rained a little but as we had everything packed up we were obliged to go. I walked down with a basket of china with the first load of things and staid all the time.

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We found Mr. Vinal had not moved and I had to go to the harbor to get somebody to send for him. He soon came and moved immediately. I helped unload the carts. The only accidents were that a piece of carpet was drenched not in blood but in quince syrup and that some sour-milk was spilt. I slept on the floor in my bedroom. It is a very pretty room. George sleeps with me all the time now. The next day we were busy unpacking and putting things in their places. The carpenters came next day to work on the wood-house. We were almost stunned with the noise.

Sunday [5th]. Mr. More preached. It was very cold, but I had to walk to meeting. I staid at noon.

Tuesday [7th]. The carpenters went away having finished their work.

Thursday [9th]. I paid Mr. Cole a visit. Enoch was in the barn husking. They treated me to red apples and loaded me with things to carry home. I also went to Mrs. Elms to

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carry the papers. I forgot to say that a vessel was off all day sunday and was expected to go to pieces but she got into Plymouth safe.

November 8th. [sic] Mr Clapp came yesterday and brought us some apples. I have gone backwards down the kitchen stairs turning a somerset each time.

Sunday 11th. [i.e. 12th] We have been reading aloud evenings lately “Life of Schiller.”[22] Last Thursday Father went to the Association. He took me as far as the blacksmith’s shop where I got out and went to Mr. May’s to spend the day. In the morning John and I went to the saw-mill, On the way we set squirrel traps on the walls consisting of stones balanced on the wall which if he trod on them would fall roll down. When we came back we went to a little pond which was frozen over. We got a pole out on the ice accidentally [sic] and had grand fun trying to get it for the ice was not strong enough to bear us but we got it at last. In the afternoon we went to the saw-mill again. On our way we

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saw a young pine tree the top of which was tied down when it was very small and which had grown so. We untied it but it would not spring up. When we got there we amused ourselves by making the dirt and sand run down a steep place which we called making mills. Afterwards we went into the pine woods. We then went back to Mrs. Mays and ate supper soon after which Father came to take me home. They sent mother several things and John lent me some books.

Friday [17th or 24th]. Mr. Litchfield came to set our grate.

Thanksgiving Day [Thursday] November 30th Since I wrote last we have lighted a coal fire in the grate as our coal has come. Mother and father went to visit Mrs. Wade who gave us a spy glass and George and me a book apiece. George and I have made us a corn barn the frame is of staves and it is all thatched with hay. We have had a grand time today we had Mr. Whitman to dine with us the butcher brought us a turkey and a goose for dinner.

[Saturday] December 30th On saturday of Thanksgiving week

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Uncle George and Aunty arrived.[23] Uncle brought me a penknife and George a top. We spent several evenings of the week in a game which Aunt introduced. Each person wrote a question and a word which were all thrown in a bunch and each took a question and a word taking care not to get the one he wrote himself and the question must be answered so as to bring in the word. Mr. Russel[24] has been here this week delivering two lectures on elocution. I went to both. He read and recited several pieces both poetry and prose. The night he delivered the second we had several gentlemen here to take tea. Last night Ellen went to Mr. Beal’s and spent the evening. When it was time for her to come home I went to escort her back. This afternoon George and I went to Mill to get some meal, we carried the bag in our cart, but there was nobody there so we had to come home without it.

[Monday] January 1st, 1838. It is new Year’s day today. Last night Father drilled[25] me a great deal about begin-

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ning the new year with good resolutions &c. Father’s grate evidently meant to begin a new course of life as that was the only reason that could be assigned for the inexplicable course it pursued that of going entirely out last night but it is lighted again. I worked a spare hour on a house which with the aid of George I have nearly finished. Our school was visited this afternoon by one of the former teachers Celia Young.

[Thursday] 4th. We have been reading aloud that is mother Ellen and I as Father is occupied with other things generally in the evenings. I have read it through once but I find it very interesting the second time.[26] Father performed the part of a doctor last night and I anticipated that of a grave-digger this morning because one of our hens was sick something stuck in her crop which Father by repeated strokings pushed down and the hen got well in the course of the night. Georgy and I have finished our house and a kind of tent beside it for a stable and fenced in our yard.

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Sunday 14th. Poor Rolla sprained his foot the other day. He was capering in the field and it was in throwing his legs about somehow he sprained it.

Sunday 28. Rolla is very little better now. Father took him out as far as the hen-yard fence and he walked very little better. I have got a pair of skaits now but the ice is all broken up and melted now, owing to the extreme warm weather which is very remarkable at this season of the year. As for the errands George and I do it is sufficient to say they are innumerable for almost every day there is some little errand to do such as going to the Post Office, &c. There have been very high tides yesterday and today and the road about Captain Wells is covered and indeed all along that street the road is covered with sea-weed and stuff brought up by the tide. The tide also brought a boat from the edge of the creek clear up to close by the bars[27] before our house and George and I went and

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played in it a good while after the tide had gone down. Mr. Phips exchanged with father today and I went to meeting this morning and staid at home with George this afternoon.

Sunday 4th February. Our school left off yesterday, and there were a great many of the neighbors came in. There were Doctor Thomas and five others there father did not go. George and I went and played in the aforesaid boat. Today I expected to go this morning and stay at noon but Mr. Paley Allen brought a horse so that mother and Ellen went and I staid with George all day. I was going to carry him home, when Mr. Allen who had come down across the fields overtook me before I had got out of the yard.

Tuesday 6th. I ought to have mentioned that we are now reading “Carlyles History of the french Revolution” aloud evenings. We have got nearly through the second volume, and when we have finished it we have another book called “History of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella” to read in three large volumes.[28] Mary

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Turner came here this afternoon a little while with her mother and brought George and me two turnovers which mother paid off with four hearts and rounds, Rolla is very little better now and we are very much afraid we shall lose him. He bears but very little weight on it but he eats as much as ever.

Sunday, April 8th, 1838. I have not written for a great while and in the mean time many important circumstances have passed. In the first place Father and mother are in Boston at the Hospital. Father has had his head operated upon for the removal of his disease in his head. The thing was performed by Doctor Heywood.[29] “It was found that the bone was depressed inwards and that a small point of bone adhered to the membrane which covers the brain.” It was first proposed by Dr. Thomas. He brought a book which contained an account of two cases similar to his in which relief had been obtained by an operation. Father was easily convinced for he said he would have the

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most painful operation rather than be plauged [sic] by this disease. He went and has had it performed. Mother went with him as nurse. The operation took up 37 minutes. 3 doctors ran to tell mother as soon as it was over. He bore it without flinching. I knew he would. But to return to affairs at home. Mr M. Shane the tailor is dead. Mr. May performed the funeral and left Miss Coffin at our house. They staid to tea. They brought a book to lend me consisting of all the numbers of the Peoples Magazine bound up, which I like very much.[30] Our Cockerel is dead also. Mr. Wallcut preached here the first sunday Mr. Smith the second and Mr. Sibley the two last Sundays and fast day. Mr. M. Shanes room was robbed by Mr. Beals hostler and another man. Father is getting well so fast that last night [we had a letter][31] from mother stating that he walked to Aunt Eliza’s yesterday morning![32] How happy we should be if he should indeed recover and come home! How thankful we ought to be to God for this great mercy!

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Monday [9th]. In the fornoon I went to school. In the afternoon I went up to our meeting-house to a library meeting to tell Mr. Lincoln Merrit that we could not find the Library Records which he had asked sister to send up by me. I found at the meeting house that there was nobody there so I went to his house and found him there and delivered my errand.

Tuesday 10th]. Did nothing especial except going to the Post Office and got nothing for my pains then.

Wednesday [11th]. In the afternoon I staid at home to split wood but Mr. Allen came and took the job out of my hands. Had four eggs today. After Mr. Allen had done splitting wood he came in to see us. We supped upon brown bread the crusts of which resembled leather.

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Friday [13th].
I received a letter from mother last night stating that Father was staying at Aunt Eliza’s and that they intended to come home next week on Tuesday or Wednesday. He is getting well very fast and will require no more medical attention but he is restricted from meat and tea and coffee. I am very anxious for them to come home and so are all of us. Today there was no school because the mistress felt unwell. In the afternoon Miss Adeline Beal made a call upon us. We are to go to Mrs. Curtis’s for the milk next week.

Saturday [14th]. Had no school all day. In the afternoon I went to Mr. Allen’s and to Mr. Parker’s. Had a bad question whether George would go but concluded he wouldn’t. This day was also marked by George and Ellen being more than usually tyrannical. Forgot to mention that there was no school yesterday

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afternoon because the school mam didn’t feel well. Read through “The District School as it was”[33] night before last and yesterday afternoon, and also “Life in the Wilds” partly through last night.[34] The last Messenger was very dry, nothing but politics and such stuff.[35] Mr. Hodges is to preach tomorrow.

Sunday [15th]. Mr. Hodges sister and I rode to meeting in the morning. I staid at noon and they went home. I spent the chief part of the noon time up in the gallery, hearing them play on the bass viol and violin. Just as we were going from the meeting house door to the chaise as Mr. Hodges looked round for Mr. Allen (intending to speak to him) his hat blew off and he had to chase it for a little way. It was lucky that it got stopped by a wall or it might have blown a good ways. George didn’t feel quite well today. Forgot to mention that we received a letter from mother last night by Mr. H. stating that they went

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to Danvers Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday [18th]. Dear Father and mother have got home! They arrived last night in the stage. They brought George and me some sugar plums, besides a great deal of cloth of different kinds and many eatables. Aunt Ann sent us some gingerbread nuts and ginger bread.[36] Father brought home the bone that has troubled him so long for us to see.

Sunday 29th. We have a new Cockerel now a black one. I have written a letter to Uncle George by Mr. May who intends to go to New York tomorrow. I went on Friday afternoon to a school-house by Dr. Fuller’s to give the mistress (a Miss Briggs) who resides in the other parish the packet to send it to Mr. May. Father is now gone to a funeral. Mr. Hodges preached today and Mr. Brooks last Sunday.

Wednesday May 2nd. Last night a man came to our house with two letters from Mr. May with an offer of Mr. M’s horse while he is gone

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which will be about a fortnight it is expected. We are to feed him of course and in return father is to have the use of him. Father went around yesterday to take the census of the children in the district. Mrs. Whitaker came today on a visit to stay a day or two. Sister took the kitten out of her hole tonight and showed her to us. When Ellen tried to put her back into the hole she found her “guilty of loving liberty better than slavery” as the abolitionists would express it for as fast as she put her into the hole to the old cat, she liked better to stay on the hay and would run out again. I staid at home this afternoon and employed myself in carrying manure into the garden. We saw a large vessel off shore[37] tonight which fired two guns which shook the house saw also the smoke of them. Also a vessel with jury-masts (which we supposed to be a new one going to Boston to be rigged) went by this afternoon. Forgot to mention that the man[38] who came with

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the offer of Mr. May’s horse sent a man this morning with the horse.

Thursday [3d]. In the forernoon I went to school or rather to the school house for there was no school. When I arrived I found that the mistress had not got there but that the scholars had and had made a good fire. We romped about a good while till a brother of the mistress [came] who said that she could not come, probably on account of the rain though he did not say so. Upon this the scolars dropped away till there were but a few there and at last I dropped away myself. In the afternoon we took it for granted there would be no school so I staid at home.

Friday [4th]. Was tormented with itching all day. In the evening I looked at my arm which itched most then and found a large red spot there. Mrs. W. said she thought salt and water might stop the itching and it did for when I went to bed the spot had disappeared.

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Saturday [5th]. Very rainy all day but had a school. I got wet through coming home from school and had to change my clothes.

Sunday [6th]. Our Sunday School commenced today. The children were not all there on account of the weather probably.

Monday [7th]. In the forenoon I went to engage Mr. William Young to come and work in the garden. He consented to come.

Saturday 12th . Father and I were engaged in planting potatoes all the morning. We have got nearly all our vegetables planted namely Peas Beets both red and yellow Summer Squashes Cucumber’s, Parsnip, Vegetable Oysters,[39] Radishes, Lettuce, and two rows of sweet corn. I wrote to Aunt Prudence day before yesterday. Uncle Henry came in upon us Wednesday night and went away the next morning.[40] Dr. Kendall is to preach tomorrow. He came in the evening and brought Mrs. K. with him. We saw a large ship go by today.

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Sunday [13th?]. In the forenoon I went to meeting and to Sunday School too of course. In the afternoon I staid at home alone.

Saturday June 2nd (1838) I have neglected to write for a long time so that many things have given me the slip. In the first place Father has preached himself the last two Sundays. John May came to visit me some week between now and the time I wrote last. He came of a Monday and staid till Wednesday. I escorted him home as far as Mr. Henry Clapps. We taught him to play dominos while he was here. He slept with me. Last Sunday Mr. May exchanged with father in the afternoon and after meeting when he went home he carried me home with him in the chaise. I staid there all night and [he] brought me as far as H. C.’s shop. John gave me a very handsome horn[41] painted red. Mr. May lent me two volumes of a book called “Library of Entertaining Knowledge.”[42]

(Ended June 2nd, 1838)


1. The manuscript of this journal is lost. There are two surviving copies, called here Typescript and Earle (see Introduction). Formatting (date on same line as entry) is based on Typescript, because it was Edmund’s practice in the three other journals. Page number references are to Earle.

2. Possibly Rev. William Hunt White (1798-1853), at the time minister of the First Parish in Littleton, Massachusetts. William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 9 vols. (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1859-69), 8:535.

3. Prudence Ward (1795-1874). See Introduction.

4. “A hand glass” (EQS Jr. footnote).

5. “I had not wrote for a week in my Journal at this time so that this wasn’t the next day” (EQS Jr. footnote).

6. Prudence Bird Ward (1765-1844). See Introduction.

7. “Our horse” (EQS Jr. footnote).

8. There is an account of this celebration in a letter from Caroline Ward Sewall to Prudence Bird Ward, September 11, 1837, Sewall Family Papers, AAS. She wrote that the children “formed a procession with their teachers & the clergymen at their head—including all the ministers in town except the Methodist, who did not think proper to join.” She concludes the account of this event writing, “I have so filled my paper with the picnic that one would think I had taken up Edmund’s resolution which I read in his journal ‘now I have something to say, I intend to spin it out and make the most of it.’”

9. “F. Downes was boarding with Mrs. Cole at this time” (EQS Jr. footnote).

10. Rev. Samuel J. May. See introduction.

11. John Edward May (1829-1902), son of Samuel J. May.

12. Rev. Asarelah Morse Bridge, minister of the Congregational parish in Norton, Massachusetts, from 1836 to 1840. See George Faber Clark, A History of the Town of Norton, Bristol County, Massachusetts, from 1669 to 1859 (Boston: Crosby, Nichols,1859), 194-96.

13. “Things that grow on a plant the proper name of which is milk weed” (EQS Jr. footnote).

14. Milton Fuller (1799-1885) practiced medicine in Scituate, Massachusetts, until 1841. See Egbert Cleave, Cleave’s Biographical Cyclopaedia of Homeopathic Physicians and Surgeons (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing, 1873), 1:435-37. Fuller was a member of the Scituate school committee in 1838.

15. Probably John Gallison Sewall (1822-74), son of EQS Sr.’s brother Henry Devereux Sewall.

16. John Farrar, The Youth’s Letter-Writer (New York: R. Bartlett and S. Raynor, 1834).

17. “Sunday” (EQS Jr. footnote).

18. “In the evening we read…” (Typescript).

19. The Fairy-Book: Illustrated with Cuts on Wood (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1837).

20. Dr. Francis Thomas, the son of Rev. Nehemiah Thomas, Rev. Sewall’s predecessor. Old Scituate (Scituate: Chief Justice Cushing Chapter, D. A. R., 1921), 207.

21. Jonathan Brown, The History and Present Condition of St. Domingo, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1837).

22. Thomas Carlyle, The Life of Friedrich Schiller (Boston: Carter, Hendee, 1833).

23. George W. Ward (1802-55) and his sister Prudence Ward. Caroline wrote to her brother Dennis Ward from Boston, April 5, 1838, “Mother is with our children at Scituate. I asked P. to come & stay with them, but as she had been there this winter, mother liked to come.” Sewall Family Papers, AAS.

24. William Russell (1798-1873), author of several textbooks on elocution and other subjects.

25. This word was originally omitted from Earle and added later as conjectural.

26. EQS Jr. does not name the book.

27. Typescript: lane.

28. William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic, 3 vols. (Boston: American Stationers’ Company, 1838).

29. The operation was performed by Dr. George Hayward (1791-1863), who published a contemporary medical account of it. See introduction.

30. The People’s Magazine was published in Boston by Lilly, Wait, & Co. from 1833 to 1836.

31. This interpolation is in Typescript.

32. Elizabeth Quincy Sewall (1798-1848), EQS Sr.’s sister.

33. Warren Burton, The District School as It Was: By One Who Went to It (Boston: Carter, Hendee, 1833) and other editions.

34. Harriet Martineau, Life in the Wilds: A Tale (Boston: Leonard C. Bowles, 1832).

35. Probably the Boston Weekly Messenger, a newspaper.

36. Anne Henchman Sewall (1793-1848), EQS Sr.’s sister.

37. “Shore” in Typescript only.

38. “See page 20” (EQS Jr. footnote). This apparently refers to the events of the beginning of this entry.

39. Salsify.

40. Henry Devereux Sewall (1786-1845).

41. Earle: bow.

42. Probably The Monthly Repository, and Library of Entertaining Knowledge, published in New York from 1830 to 1834.

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