1793 - 1847
Transcribed from the original by: W. C. Frost circa
Scanned and Converted January 1999 by John Culp
Elijah Hatch was born in Granville, Washington County, New York abt 1767, and in May of 1800, at about the age of 33, he removed with his family to the Township of Belpre in the Ohio River Valley. In June of 1802, Elijah moved again to nearby Hochhocking Township. Both townships were located in an area that became Athens County, Ohio in 1805. Entries for his journal cover the time from 1793 to 1847. During that period Elijah writes of travel, the Hatch Family, births and deaths, major events and the principles by which he lived his life. Most of the journal covers time spent in Ohio, struggling to support himself and his family. He served as a representative to the Ohio legislature and a judge for many years. He often writes bitterly of partisan politics and the nature of his fellow man.
The original journal is in the possession of Mrs. Lou Spurrier of North Carolina who is a gg granddaughter of Elijah. Deciphering of the original copy took many months of tedious work and was done in the 1930's by Mr. W. C. Frost, great grandson of Elijah Hatch. A copy was made from the work of Mr. Frost in 1958 for another descendent Mrs. Walter Dow (Loah Frost) gg granddaughter of Elijah. A copy of the this document was provided to Faith Ludwick several years ago and in January of 1999, the Ludwick copy was scanned and converted to text. Every effort was made to replicate the original structure, spelling and grammar, with occasional exceptions made for obvious typographical errors such as "teh" ("the") and the substitution of "s" when an "f" is shown in words such as "pofession" ("posession") and "afsembly" ("assembly"), which was done to make the journal easier to read.
This journal may be freely copied and distributed. It is the result of many hours of work done in the spirit of sharing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
The first flyleaf of Great Grandfather
Diary contains the following memoranda.
On the second day of October in the year 1791, I was married to Clarinda Hunt.
Our first Daughter Betsey was born ye 3rd July 1792.
Lydia our second daughter was born ye 1st April, 1794.
Kezia, our third daughter was born ye 26th March 1796.
James our oldest son was born ye 22nd June 1798.
Our fourth daughter, Harriet, was born ye 9th October 1800.
Our second son, William Hatch was born ye 3rd December 1802.
Our fifth daughter Bulah was born Wednesday ye 4th December 1806.
Our third son, Harry clark Hatch was born on Wednesday ye 3rd day of February 1808.
Our fourth son, Horace V. Hatch was born on Friday ye 1 June 1810
Our fifth son, George Clinton Hatch, was born on Monday morning 3 o'clock, ye 22nd March, 1813.
Our seventh daughter, Laura Ann Hatch, was born on the night between the Second and third days of September 1816, near the hour of 12 at night, the moon two hours past South - it was on Monday night.
Then follows a fly leaf with no inscription, the diary beginning with page 1, number at the right hand top corner of the page, and without title or preamble, starts
On the first of March 1793 I sold my fulling mill with a determination to explore the western part of the country which was then much talked of. Accordingly on the 12th of March I left home in company with Abner Graver and others. We crossed the Hudson river at Catskill Point, went the State's road to Chenago river at Huvey's Settlement, from thence down the river to its junction with the Susquehannah thence down the Susqueuhannah to the Oswago, from thence threw the woods to the Cayuga lake. Here I was much captivated with that part of the country and was determined to buy some land, but was disappointed. We returned home on a different road from that which went and on our way home on the 27th day of March waided a crick called Chineganist; it was four feet deep and very rappid; the weather was cold for that season of the year and not being able to find any inhabitants, we incamped in the woods where we slept under the hooting of owls and the houlling of wolves and Painters. On the next day we found some inhabitants on the Chenango river. After this nothin worth notice happened till we got home, which was on the 2nd day of April.
But not being satisfied with my journey, and being determined (to) settle in this part of the country on the Second of may following I sot out again in company with Oliver Wilison and Benj. Tremain.
We crossed the river at Hudson and had some difficulty with a Doctor Alling at Loomingburgh. Stayed all night at Schuyneman. From thence persued our journey without anything remarkable happening till we arrived at the Cayuga lake, which was on the 8th of May.
Here I explored Uliseus, Milton and Cipio. Here I bought by verbal contract 640 Acres of land. I have heard say "that there is one chance in every man's life for him to make his fortune and this was my chance which I missed. by sending my business by a friend which I ought to have done myself. Many people in my opinion have lost a fortune in the same way, and it is a saying worthy of notice that if you want your business well done, do it yourself. I hope that my children whos hands this may fall into, will shun the rock that I have split upon.----- But to return to my subject -- After buying the above mentioned land I engaged with John Richardson to go in his imploy in a boat from the lake Schenectade. On the llth of May we left Cipio with five hands on board boat. This was new business to me and I did not much like it; rowing continually made my hands sore and my companions was a rough ignorant set of fellows. The water being low and our boat being larger than usual for them waters made our progress very slow. On the l5th of May we arrived at the mouth of Wood creek. After six days more of hard ferteague we arrived at Schenactade on the 24th of May. Traveled on foot from Schenactade home, it being the greatest day's travel that I ever performed on foot; it is fifty four miles and three fourths.
The remaining parts of this year I stayed at home and followed farming and sowed a large field of wheat. In November I had 2 oxen and a cow killed by the fall of a tree. In the year 1794 the spring was very forward So that the fields of grain was more forward than I had ever seen them till the 17th of May at whitch time there was a frost that almost ruined all the wheat and rye in this part of the country. This was a heavy stroke to me. From 25 bushels sowing I rept but little more than my seed. Such was my adverse fortune, that nothing seemed to prosper with me. I was however prompted by hope and flattered myself with seeing better times. In the year 1795 I stayed at home and no extraordinary events took place. I forgot to say that in the year 1794 and 95 I did the duty of constable and collected the town's tax. This was a great dammage to me, my being of (and unable) to make or care for my own good, I suffered in many ways and fortune yet seemed to set her face against me. About this time I sold a pair of oxen to Silas Beckwith and never got my pay.
In the Spring of the year 1796 I bought the fulling mill again and was determined to follow that business for life, but the season proved bad by reason of a drought, and we was not able to do any business. This discouraged me and I Sold again: which was another mils in my life. In the year 1797 on the 8th day of March there was a very remarkable storm of snow wind and thunder; there seemed to be such convultions in the air as I had never seen. The cloud was so low that the lightning set many trees on fire so that it lighted the neighbourhood in the evening following.
At this time there was much said of a tract of land lying on the Willewoonock Crick. On the 16th of March I left in company with John Hatch and Alex'r Leach to explore said land. After a disagreeable journey of three days we arrived at said crick and was much disappointed. The land was mountainous: snowey and barren so we returned home, not well satisfied with our journey. In June following I stayed at home followed no business, but farming. Was not well. The 29th day there was a most remarkable hail storm. The cloud (came) up about three o'clock in the afternoon, and began to thunder but riz very slow; was very black; the hail began to fall before the sun clouded in. This was the most shocking sight I ever beheld-the rearing of the hail in the cloud, the tremendous flasshes of lightning, the loud peles of thunder was sofiseant to frighten the most hardened spectator.
It continued 45 minutes. My horses was tackled to a wagin. Being frightened they ran and tore the wagin in pieces and almost ruined one of the horses. It likewise spoiled a fine field of grain for me. This corressponded with my other losses and it seemed to that I was born for an outcast in providence - but says mister Pope, Whatever is is right. ---At this time things all went bad with me: I had sometime traded in horses and cattle which had borne a fine price. In this year they fell all at once and I had a large stock on hand; of consequence my loss was very considerable. In the spring of the year 1798 I was bound with a friend for a large sum of money; this was my ruin for as soon as the notes was due I was sued for the money. I rode far and near to try to get help from for whoom I was bound, all to no purpose, and I was oblidged to pay the money myself with large sums of cost. This completed my misfortune for it stripped me of everything I had. The man for whoom I was bound was a hard harted, dishonest, overbearing wretch whoose heart was callis to the distresses of mankind and he was a stranger to all the sotial virtues that is worth living for.------- On the first day of September, Asa Crippen a boy whoo lived with me was taken with a fever which confined him to his bed for thirty days. At this time there was many in neighborhood sick of the same fever, but all survived but William Gano, a young man from Kentucky; he died on the fifth day of September 1798. My daughter Betsey had the same fever and was sick a long time. As soon as the sickness abated I went a journey to the north into Vermont to Lake Champlain and saw my friends at Skeensborough and Granville. I was much unwell and the weather was cold and unpleasant, but I was kindly received by my sister who seemed to be much concerned for my welfare. After exploring several towns in Vermont and in the north part of the state of New York I returned home and soon after engaged to keep a school in the community where I lived, for three months. At the expiration of which time I went to Seretogue Springs and found it very beneficial to my health, but was disappointed of a sum of money that was due me at that place.
Returned home better in health than I had been in four years. At this time I was determined to go to the Ohio in the surveying business but meeting with repeated disappointments which I had been always lyab!e to, I was prevented from going and I spent the summer at home trying to retrieve my affairs, as well as I could. Thus I dragged on from one misfortune to another threw this year.
In the year of 1800 on the night of the 20th February, Uncle Stephen had his sorrel mare stole. He employed me to pursue the thief, which I did and made many miles to no purpose. In this journey was at hartford in the state of Conneticut and put up at E. Steel's; then went on up Conuticut river as far as Springfield. Here I rode threw the meadows on the river. This is the best land I ever beheld which is inhabited by a wealthy set of farmers. I returned home threw Blanford and Lowden.
About this time I agreed to move to the Ohio and made all possable readiness, for our journey, and settling my affairs I found out some real and some pretended friends. Here I had an opportunity of detecting those that had been my flatterers when I was in better circumstances and found some real friends that is worth possessing and that is more valuable in the hour of disstress than anything a man can possess, and since I am about to move from this part of thc country I will here insert the names of those that has distinguished themselves as my friends(viz) Wm Tanner, Nathan R. Crippon and Daniel Woodin.
I here insert those names that I may have the satisfaction of feeling that gratitude whenear I see their name that the dependent heart ought ever to feel at thc recolection of the uninterested friendship of those nobol souls that have befriended me without the least hope of reward.
By the assistance of these and other friends I got ready to set out on my journey the second day of May in the year 1800. At this time the thoughts of journey occupied my mind; to leave the place of one's nativity and journey threw a distant land with the thoughts of settling in an unknown wilderness is a trial to the human heart that no one knows but them that has experienced it. Under this trial I was supported by the thoughts of finding a better country and meeting with a change of fortune which I thought would one day turn in my favour.
Being ready I set out with my family, in company with Asa Andrews; thc weather was very wet and of consequence the roads very bad. We put up at Palmer's Inn at Oblong. May 3d we drove as far as Fishkill Ferry put up at Bogardus Inn; May 4th we crossed the Hudson river; travelled threw Newburgh and Goshen and put up at Dr. Foster's at Floraday. 5th travelled as far as newtown put up at Phillip's inn; 6th crossed the Dileware river at a little town called Belvideer, put up at Wagner's inn at Mount Nettle; 7th travelled threw a neet little town called Nazareth on the west side of the Dilloway (Delaware) put up at Allingtown; traveled threw Kootstown, put up eight milds from Reading; 9th travelled but 2 milds by reason of our wagin not being wide enuff for the roads in this country. Put up at one Awit's and put new exiltrees to our waggin -10th Went threw Reading crossed the Schoolkill stayed at a dutch tavern. 11th traveled threw Middletown called in dutch Woombelterf, and threw a little town called Lebinon and put up at Deamon's inn; 12 left my great coat at Mr. Demon's, traveled threw Harrisburgh, crossed thc Susouchanna, Put up at Bell's tavern. 13th travelled threw a town called Carlisle; this is a very nice inland town: Stayed all night at an infamous hut called the Cat tavern; from there 14th travelled threw Sheppardtown here we repaired our waggin, drove some milds and put up at Carter's inn; 15th travelled threw Stewburgh and Fannelsburgh crossed the mountains known by the name of the three mountains and stayed at a tavern but did not learn the landlords name. 16th crossed thc Juncatta and stayed at a private house.
18th; traveled over Laurel Hill and Chestnut ridge; put up at Kooser's inn.
19th; Traveled threw this mountainous part of the world; put up at Davises inn.
20th; Crossed thc Yohogani (Youghiogheny) river at Konnells town, stayed all night at a private house in the woods between Kennelstown and Redstone.
21st; Arrived at Redstone old fort about 3 o'clock p.m. put up at Mr. Nathan Guyses. -- I went immediately in pursuit of a boat which I was very lucky in obtaining.
On the 25th day of May we arrived at Pittsburgh: This is a flourishing town situate in the forks of the Alliganer and Monnongehaley rivers; it is here that these two rivers takes the name of the Ohio. Here for the first time I saw this river that I had been so long talking of ------
28; In the morning we onload our things from the boat and threw mistake left a chain in the boat which went down to Kentucky. After unloading our things I sot out on foot up the Hocking river and at night arrived at George Barrows at Federal creek. Here I was very kindly received by my friend George and his family.
30th. Got canoes and went after my family. When I arrived at the mouth of Hocking, myself and three others bought a keal bottomed boat and put my things on board.
31; Arrived at the Federal
fork with my family. As recovering from the feteague of my journey, I began
seriously to reflect on my circumstances. Here I am with a large family
in a strange land and have no money nor much other property. Not a house
wherein to put my head, no way to get bread for my children but by my labour
and no cow to give them milk. This was a trial that I had never had. I
had bin always used to have the support of my family come easy-almost without
any care-having the use of an old farm to support my family and a kind
father to assist me.
provision for my wife and little ones and bring home a nice supper and see my family come round the table with me and feast on my earnings I refIect that this is the honest fruit of industry and that I am in duty bound to provide for whoom God has given me the care of. I soon found means to get a cow and soon after another one. When I first came on I planted some corn, but being obliged to leave home the vermin destroyed the seed. On the 8th day of June we procured a load (for) our boat and went to the falls of the Hocking river. This journey brought me some money which I stood in great need of. Soon after I returned home I bought a possesion on school lot No. 16 in township No. 6 on which erected a cabbin and went to work. My family was all well threw the summer but my little son James; he was strangely afflicted with biles.
On the 9th of October 1800 we had a daughter born and we called her name Harriet. She was the first child that ever was born in this township and is a lusty promising child. On the 23d of November killed a fine buck, it being the first one that I ever shot at; soon after myself and others killed another buck and several bares that afforded me mete for my family. Now the season for winter began to approach but the weather was warm and pleasant; there was very little snow threw the whole winter and good weather for business. The snow was never over shoes threw the winter.
On the 26th of February 1801 Richard M. Gano Esq. came to my house in persuit of a negro that had escaped from him. George Barrows went with him to Mariatta and assisted him to take his negro. The inhabitants was much afended and took George Barrows and put him to gaol. Threw the influence of Mr. Feren, an attorney they kept him in gaol two weeks and fined him 20 dollars for the crime of assisting an old friend to get his property. About this time I was unwell and not able to work: I felt interested in George Barrows missfortunes but rejoiced that I had escaped the same myself.
It seems to me that I have always had an evil genus to attend me and hurry me into all misfortunes. Mr. Gano insisted on me going with him to take his negro, which I agreed to do but just as we was going to set off I was taken unwell with a fainting, that I was not able to walk so far. This proved in my favour and proved a providence in my favour. Whoo knows but fortune whoo so long set her face against me may at last turn in my favour? It is an old saying that she is very fickle. About this time there was a negro shot and badly wounded by a man who had taken him for running away from his master.
On the first day of May in the year 1801 there was a young man by the name of Abraham Good drouned in The Hocking river near Polk's settlement. He was not found till the 12th day. It was now as it commonly happens - one such accident is followed by another - On the l4th of June 1801 Nathaniel Sawyer was drouned in the Ohio near Dr. Jewet's: He was supposed to have a fit and fell out of a canoe; soon after this there was a boy by the name of Applegate died by the bite of a rattle snake.
Now in compliance with my father's request I made ready for my journey back to the state of New York, to assist my father to moove. The thoughts of seeing my old friends was very agreeable, but the thoughts of leaving my family in the woods so long a time without seeing them is very disagreeable, but my duty to my father whoom I always respected surmounted all difficulties and now I am writing I intend to set out on the morrow to persue my journey.
July 26th; traveled to Muriatta~ put up at Lemon's Inn.
July 27th; travelled up the Ohio River, put up at McBride' s.
28; crossed the Ohio at Fishing crick; travelled up as far as Grave crick, put up at Perdey's Inn.
29; travelled threw the woods to Washington.
30; crossed the Monongehale and Youghani rivers put up at a tavern near the latter.
31; travelled as far ss Laurel Hill.
August 1st; travilled over the Alligani mountains, stayed at Dover's Inn.
2; travilled threw bedford to the crossing of the Juniatt
3; travilled dry ridge and sideling hill, put up between the three mountains.
4; threw shipingsburgh, out up four milds from Carlisle.
5; crossed the Susquehannah at Harrisburgh, stayed at Deamon's; got my great coat which I left when I was moveing.
6; traveled in comany with a Mr. Porter, a clergyman stayed at the Sinking Springs.
7; traveled threw Reading threw Allengton put up at Mr. (?)
8; Stayed and went to meeting and heared Mr. Porter preach.
9th; travelled threw nazareth, crossed the dellewer river put up near the log goal (gaol) in Sussex county state of New Jersey.
10; Travelled as far as Soward Inn.
11; went threw floroda and goshen; crossed the Hudson river at Fishkill
12; traveled threw Eswago, stayed at Bongall - from thence
13; arrived at green river: Here I was much surprised to see what alterations so short a time makes when one is absent; there had a great many deaths happened and many removals sence I left that place.- but I found my father and my other friends all well. After a very short visit in my old native place hereing of the death of my brother Crippen I sot out for Granville. I arrived at that place on the 21st of August and met with a very cordeel receptance from my friends, especially my sister Crippen and her family whoo appeared to be overjoyed at my arrival. After a stay of five days in that place I returned to Hillsdale in company with Samuel Hatch, whoo was in a low state of health at that time. When I arrived at green river, my father was ready to begin his journey to the Ohio. On Saturday the fifth of September we left our old home and the sean was really affecting, to see so many of our old neighbours assembled to take their leave of us. Prompted by hope I flattered myself that I should see many of them again, but my aged parents could neaver think of seeing them any more this side the eternal world. This was subject of meditation for one - and I could but admire at the cheerfulness of the old people at their parting with so many friends, neaver, neaver to meet again. It seemed to me like going the last journey which we all must perform.
After taking leave of our friends we persued our journey. There was nothing remarkable happened on our journey. We had fine weather, but the journey was disagreeable and fateagueing having both old people and little children on board. In 28 days we arrived at Charlestown in Virginia on the Ohio river. There we bought a small boat and floated down the river very slow by reason of the water being low. On the tenth of October 1801. I got home at my habitation of Federal Creek and found my family sick in a deplorable situation, and my crops all destroyed by Hoggs and cattle, such was my fortune my wife was sick a long time after I got home and I had both the doctor and the butcher to pay this year. But fortune proved favourable and I changed my horses for some cows and began the next season with six cows and calves, two mares, one ox and pretty well on it for farming utensils. On the third day of June I bought 340 acres of land of Ebenezer and William Barrows. On the 28th of June 1802 I cut the first stick and began to make improvements on my land with vary good courage. The land appears to be good and well calculated to make pleasant and easy faarm and I have a good teem and my crops look prosperous and I begin to think I have sometimes found too much fault with fortun and I am determined for the future to flatter her for I find she is a lady that is not won by frowns, and she is not frighted by the wry faces of the wicked; If she had bin I think she would bin much terified at the expression of mine at certain times. On the 16th of July 1802 Seth Drigs dyed of a short illness. His friends was not inconsolable at the loss but bore it with fortitude.
This year produced a great change in the political system of this territory. The people seemed to be awakened to a sense of liberty. They chose a convention whoo formed a constitution on true Republican principles and gave birth to the seventeenth United State which they called the State of Ohio.
On the fourth of November 1802 Capt. Hopson Beebe arrived here with his family from Granville in the state of New York. On the 23d of December 1802 Barrow's saw mill sawed timber for the first time.
In the forepart of the year 1803 there was nothing worthy of notive happened. There was much said about pollitiks. I espoused the republican Caus by which means I gained some enemies, but requited a clear conscienc. But my affairs would not admit of my devoting much of my time to state matters nor reading as much as I could wish, but I red a little and amongst other books I red the life of the illustrious Dr. Franklin, and was pleased with the resolution which he formed when he first conmenced business which was to be strictly honest threw life. This is minited in his journal that he might not forget. Reading this passage produced the following resolution in my mind (viz) Whether honesty consisted wholly in the determination of those that possessed it, or whither it was in every man's power to be Honnest that was a mind to be - after some reflection I was led to believe that this valuable quallity may be acquired by any that wifed it, and was of the opinion that it was the most sure road to procure wealth, and the only thing that can give a quite and tranquil mind. Being of this opinion I am determined in whatever situation of life I may be placed, to be strictly HONEST.
On the 23d of April 1803 there was a storm of rain that raised the waters much higher than they was ever known before. On the seventh of May there was a snow storm. It began about nine o'clock in the morning and continued threw the remainder of the day. Many branches of the trees that was covered with verdure, was so loaded with snow that they broke. On the 23d April 1803 Noah Hoyt died very suddenly; he was sick but three days.
On the 10th of May 1803, we was incorporated into a township conterary to our wishes by the deception of certain characters. We met on the 21st of June following to choose our justices and other town officers; at this election I discovered more depravity in mankind than I had ever seen before I found characters whom I befriended to the last degree (and supposed our friendship to be ______) trying to destroy my reputation that they may supersede me in office. Here I was guilty of an erer, which I mention here that I may never do the like again. The erer was this: Before our election I wrote a confidential letter to a man with whoom I had but little acquaintance; this I was induced to do by the recommendation of others - this man represented the letter in false colours and made a tool of it to hurt me - This was a sufficient punishment for my credulity and a soficient proof of his rascality. Thus much for our election.
This summer I worked on my farm, made some improvements and did something in the lumber business: but in the fall was not well, being troubled with pain in my brest. The winter following was very cold and snowey. The snow fell 20 inches deep in the state of Ohio and continued to be good sleding five or six weeks.
On the 26th of April 1804 a child of Henry Barrows died. It was the first death that happened in this township. On the 30th April 1804 we received letters from York State that told us of the death (of) manny. Hunt Edming's wife; John Cadmon and family, spoke of the severity of the winter, likewise of the death of Dr. Z. Standish and Calvin Eaton.
This spring I had some of my old luck; I had a quantity of boards in company with James Crippen. We rafted them down the HockHocking. Not being used to the business we broke our raft and met with great loss. This summer I made what improvements I could on my new farm; nothing worthy of remark happened. In October 1804 I was elected to represent the county in the general assembly of the state. Now a new Sean of Life presented to my view which I had neaver contemplated. Here it happined to me as it commonly does where party (feeling) runs high.- I had some violent oposers who was much disappointed and exasperated at my success.
Amongst these was a certain Mr. G---- who followed me to the seat of government and there made use of all the mean artifices & Low Cunning .ho is possessed of (And that was no small share) to bring me into contempt with the members; this added to my natural dissidence subjected me to some embarrassment but at the same time it roused my indignation and caused me to put on a face of Steele & determine to cultivate the friendship of the members and gave the strictest attention to the business of legislation & I am confident that at the end of the session I was much more respected in consequence of Wm. G----'s opposition. The session was lengthy; I was gone from home three months. Soon after I returned home I was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. This hurt the feelings of the great Mr. G.
This summer the feast (meaning Federalist) & quid party whole Spit their vennom at me and Layed all plans in their power to prevent my re-election but in this they failed. This summer nothing remarkable happened. There was considerable addition to our settlement and there was great increase of population in this State.
This year produced a third political party which joined the minor party & Set on like come out with great power their time being short, but the true Republican Americans still prevailed and carried their points in spite of the intreags of those designing men, thus at the October election I was again elected to the Assembly and on the first Monday of December I arrived at the seat of government. This session the business of legislation was much more agreeable than the last. I was very well in health and became acquainted with the business; the time past smoothly on.
Soon after I returned home I took a tower up the Ohio into the upper part of Virginia & Pennsylvania and returned home the first of March.
The first of April 1806 I was appointed Justice of the Peace. In this office I was to consider the true diffinition of the word Justice of the Peace and I conceived that the duties of thc office did not consist in only keeping the peace or surpressing breaches of the law - but in studiously indevering to cultivate peace and friendship among my neighbours & in trying to prevent Littigation as much as possabel. In this way I hope to meet the friendship of my neighbours and discharge a clear conscience which is the only reward of virtue. This summer, nothing remarkable happened.
The season was very dry. The dearth was so severe that there was but very little corn or other summer crops raised. The dearth by information was very general over the United States. The weather very hot & of course very sickly in Southern climets. My family was visited with the Billeous fever. My Father lay a number of weeks that we did not expect his life but he recovered; my eldest son had a most severe turn of the fever but survived; myself, my wife and several others of the family had the fever but nor hard. This fall a heavy stroke of mortallity deprived me of my sister Lydia. She died on the Seventh of October 1806 in childbed and left six small Children. She was much lamented by all her acquaintances. When I reflect on the various circumstance of her life and the situation of her death (it) puts me in mind of the question put to Jesus Christ respecting the blind man. His answer was that neither he nor his parents had sinned, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. She had the misfortin to lose her mother when she was but five years old. She was brought up by a stepmother who was very severe with her & neaver took any pains to form her young and tender mind but nature seemed to supply the want of a teacher and gave her a mind far superior to her education. She acquired a good school education; she was very fond of readin; her temper uncommonly sweet. She was never much elevated with prosperity nor cast down with adversity but had more vertue and Philosophy in her composition than is common in her sex. She was married very young; had a numerous family; had the misfortin to be poor; moved from place to place fifteen years but was always respected by her neighbours, even those that lived in a higher sphere than she was able to do. She was snatched from life to death in the prime of life. Her conduct was always vertuous; her dealings just. Her whole life was a sean of misfortune, disappointment and perplexity. She was taken away just at the time when she was beginning to form the mind of her promising young daughters. Short sited mortals as we are cannot see the wisdom and Justice of an over ruling Providence in ordaining such a character to so much misfortin and to take her away at a time when she could be most useful and most neccessary to instruct a rising family.
All we can say is that
the judge of all the earth does right and that the works of God is made
manifest in her. God grant that her young daughters may pattern her virtue
& that in
this way she may live to survive her only brother.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here a croud of business and a multiplicity of thought has prevent my writing in this journal for several years so I must in this place recolect as many of the most important events as I can & indeaver in future to write more frequent.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I forgot to mention in it's proper place that in the spring of the year 1805 a man by the name of Timothy Joanes came to this place and ingaged to keep school. He is a man of near fifty years of age, a man of Science; appeared to be very steady, a strict morilest, and bid fair to be a blessing to our infent settlement, but how liable we are to be disappointed. I shall mention this man again in the course of my journal.
In the fall of the year 1906 I was nomiated for a Senator in the State Legislature; my election was sure of success but I was prevailed on by a friend to decline being a candidate and give my interest to him: This was a great mistake in me. The winter following I had a commission to lay out and superintend a state road. This also is vanity and vexation.
In the fall of the year 1807 I built a bridge over Federal creek. I lost money by it but learnt some wisdom in the depravity of the human heart.
This winter I was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas which Office I held several years and altho it is not lucretive it is instructing and gave me an opportunity of learning human nature. "The greatest study of mankind is man" Pope.
In the years 1807 and 8 there was a dispute arose between the Legislative and Judicial parts of the government of this state - the judiciary had declared some laws unconstitutional and of course not valid. The Legislature was muh exasperated and impeached the judges but was not able to remove them hence arose the Sweeping Resolution which will be remembered as long as the Blue Laws of Connecticut or the sedition laws of the United States -- but we cannot expect that an infant state like this should possess the wisdom of old and experience governments
Time, I hope, will learn us wisdom and enable us to stear clear of those internal disputes.
December ye 24th 1808 there was a fresh, long to be remembered. There was a heavy wet snow on the ground, about five or six inches deep; it went off in a few hours with a warm rain and raised the water about four feet higher than it was known ever to be before. It swept mills, bridges, stacks of hay and grain and large quantities of corn off the fields drowned many cattle and hogs and did much other damage.
On the 28th May 1809 there was a tornado that went in rains almost all over the state of Ohio and the west part of the state of Pena. It swept all before it where it went and killed many cattle and horses and some people shard the same fate. Nothing remarkable happened the remainder of this season. I worked some on my farm, grew uneasy with my situation, tried to sell my farm but could not find a purchaser. On the fourth day of December 1809 my father died. He was in his eightyeth year. He was born in the town of Rochester, Plimonth County, state of Massachusetts on the 27th April O. S. 1730. I had long been expecting his death. When it came it gave me feelings which none can know but those who have lost a tender parent.
I often enquired of him concerning the family from which he sprang. As I hope this may outlive its author and may be red by my posterity who may wish to know something of their ancestors, I will here give a sketch of the Hatch family, as I have had it from my father and other branches of the family. Early in the settlement of New England, three brothers by the name of Hatch come from England, and landed at Plimouth. They parted, one settled at Boston, one at New Londod and the other remained at Cape Cod. From these three stocks sprung all the Hatches in America. Father sprang from the stock at Boston. My father's grandfather was a farmer, lived in the town of Scituate about 25 miles from Boston. (He married a Scots woman by the name of Marther McFarland.) He had five sons of the following names (viz) Ezekiel, Samuel, Elisha, Josiah and Isaac. The old man was wealthy, he set up his sons in good fashin; purchased each one a good farm, but Elisha, my father's father was born to be poor.
He was honest and very religious, but did not know how to get property or to keep what his father gave him. He married a woman by the name of Patience Cane of Irish extract. She was worthy woman from a good family. My father's uncle Isaac was very rich. He owned a number of good farms and several vessels at sea. His brothers was all wealthy but my grandfather. I will here write an anecdote of my Grandfather's brother Josiah. He was wealthy, followed his trade made property fast. He built him an elligant house and kept a tavern in the town of Rochester. Soon after he finished his house be died very sudden. Soon after his death his widow reported that the house was haunted. The report soon spread threw the town; many went to prove the truth of the assertion; they all got frightened and confirmed the truth of the report. The widow soon left the house declaring that there were such pranks played by evil spirits that she dare not live in it. Many other families at different times lived in it but soon got frightened away till no one dare attempt to stay a single night in it & the house stood empty until it mouldered to the ground. Such was the spirit of the times and such the superstition of the people that they sacrifised their property to their imagination and really believed that some supernatural cause produced those imaginary evils. My grandfather had five sons and four daughters, his sons names were Samuel, Elisha, Elijah, Matthew and Thomas. His wife died when his children were young. He married again and lived to old age. He died in Columbia county, state of New York. Elijah, my father imbarked in the war between England and France. He was five years in his Britanick majesty's service. His brother Sam'l followed the seas. His brothers Elisha, Matthew and Thomas were farmers and soldiers.
My father was married to my mother when he was 27 years old. Her name was Kezin Barrows. She died when I was so young that I remember but little about her, but I have been told that she was a women of fine ability and good disposition. She had five sons and five daughters, she died in childbed with the tenth child. Her sons names wore James, John, Elijah, Abeezer & Obed. Her daughters were Comfort, Martha, Olive, Lydia & Kezin. Abeezer, Kezin & Obed did not survive their mother. Olive died soon after her mother. John was crazy from three years old till he died. He lived about 28 years, and was the most troublesome and expensive person to take care of that I ever see.
My brother James was a soldier in the war that separated the United States from the kingdom of Great Britain. He was young when he entered the service. He suffered such hardships that it broke his constitution and he neaver enjoyed his health afterward. He lived till he was 36 years old and died suddenly. He had been married about three months; his wives name was Esther Pope. She was a fine accomplished woman; she had a daughter about eight months after my brother's death. Thus I lost my only brother in the prime of life. He was a merchant. He lived beloved and died lamented by all his acquaintance. His property fcll into the hands of dishonest men who cheated the widow and heirs out of it.
My sister, Comfort married to Hosea Crispen. She had six sons and three daughters. He died by accident. After his death she sold her property, moved with her family to the Ohio. She married A. Steadman Esquire. She was taken sick with a lingering complaint and died on the 13th January 1806. This sister was a woman of uncommon piety, of a steady mind, a great reader, of a sweet temper. She was loved by all her acquaintance. She was to me both mother and sister. She took the care of me after the death of my mother which made her seem nearer to me than the rest of my sisters. The death of my sister Lydia I have mentioned in this journal at the time she died. - - - - -
My father buried two wives and eight children and only myself and Martha survived him. He was a soldier threw two wars, raised a large family, had a son crazy who lived many years - was very troublesome and expensive. All troubles he bore with fortitude. He was a man of great strength, a man of strict honor and honesty. He held his mental faculties remarkable well till about four years before his death at which time a severe fever broke him and he become a child the second time and was very peavish.
My uncle Elisha and his only son fell martyrs to the liberty of their country, in the war that separated us from the British bondage. My Uncle Sam'l had but one son, his name was John; he married had a numerous family. My Uncle Matthew had five sons; their names are William, Henry, Samuel, Elisha and Matthew. William is dead, the rest are living are all respectable men in Society. My uncle Thomas had 2 sons. Their names are Ebenezer and Isaac. Isaac is wealthy Ebenezer is Religious Isaac Anti religious. Thus I have given a sketch of the family from which I sprang.
Having ended the history of my family from the best information in my posession I shall again asume my journal. In the year 1810 nothing worthy of remark happened I did something in the lumber business the forepart of this year. A company formed in this neighbourhood and contracted to build a vessel. We imployed a workman and commenced the business and progressed as fast as we could reasonably expect. In the month of August I went to Kenhawway Salt works with a boat. Here I was at the famous buring springs which is a great curiosity. I returned home, went up the Ohio as far as Marietta and soon after went another trip to Kenhaway after more salt. Had bad luck; stove my boat and made a broken voije. Returned home in October. Stayed at home the remainder of the fall and winter, in the spring of l811 there was a division of Troy and the new town was called Rome. This division caused much contention.
When we come to elect our township officers there were many candidates for Justice of the Peace. At the approach of this election I was determined to depart from an erer which I was convinced had been an injury to me and many others of my acquaintance, which was this: We are too apt to bestow our Suffrages on unworthy characters out of some little party prejudices; this is pernifsious in its consequences and should be avoided by all Republicans, for he that is a slave to party is a slave indeed. This same spirit of party in the United States if cherished as it has been bids fair to sap the foundation of our government. - - - - - - - Instead of enquiring for the man oof best abilities both natural and acquired, possessing the most honesty and virtue - I say instead of this we enquire "What party does he belong to, what administration does he support, has he ever helped me or my friends into office; is he a methodist; is he a presbyterian, is he baptist or is he a deist?"
Oh fools that we are when shall we be wise?
Long experience has convinced me of the folly of bartering away that heaven rite, the rite of sufferage for such trash. I am determined to be free: I am determined to throw off these shackles of party and prejudice and enjoy the inestimable privilege guaranteed by our glorious form of government - - - - - - - but to return to the subject of our election: In the neighbourhood where I live there were a great majority very friendly to me and had supported me for many important offices; amongst this number there were several candidates. They expected my support on the score of friendship, but I being determined on the principles which I have stated looked around me for the man that is best quallified for the duties of the office & when I had fixed on the man I gave him my vote. This so offended my old friends that they was determined not to support any man for any office in town that voted with me. The consequence was they got the town officered with men totally unqualified for their respective offices who unable to perform the duties. Of course our new township was not organized at all. I then applied to the commissioners and got our town altered, and a new election appointed. This so displeased my friends that they would not attend the election, but there was sufficient to do the business, and all seemed to have a sense of the importance of the business and I am confident that there was no other wish than to elect the men that ware best quallified for the duties of their office, but in the opposite party we had a specimen of malice and ignorance combined. They come to the place of the election - handed in a paper they called a remonstrance forbidding us to persead in our election. This produced no other effect than a titter for their ignorance. Their mallise was so strong that they still refuse to neighbour with me, still they acknowledge that I have always used them well in every respect. What then is my Crime? It is this: I have differed with them in opinion; I have dared to vote conterary wishes. They call themselves Republicans, but still they wish to deprive me of the rites of sufferage. This may seem strange, but I will indeaver to find the cause of it and take some of the blame myself. I have always gratified their wishes even in opposition to my own opinion.
This they had ben so long used to that they begin to think that I was absolutely their property & that I was bound to give my vote for whom they Please. My refusing to bear the Yoke and acting myself was such a disappointment to them that they could not bear it and thought that no punnishment was too bad for me--but I will quit the subject hoping that time will convince them of their erer and bring them to a sense of their duty-
This spring 1811 I sold my farm on Federal Creek on the 18th March and on the 19th I bought of Abel Steadman on Hockhocking. I cleared some, built an house and was well pleased with my bargen. Nothing worthy of remark happened this year until the 16th of Dec'r. At this time there was the shock of an earthquake which was followed by a number of shocks in the course of the winter. They came from the south and was much more severe on the Mississippi then here. I forgot to mention that this fall a comet or blazing star appeared; was seen for a number of weeks, was much talked of- (On this page (8 4) there is an insertion in the margin which reads "-I forgot to mention a commit which appeared from September to November this year."
In the spring of 1812 we made every exertion to send off vessel, but was unable to get it ready. War was declared and the prospect of our vessel destroyed. I had always intended, in case of war, to become a soldier.
In the month of July a compeny volunteered from this country. I did all in my power to induce to turn out. They marched from Athens on the seventh of August. I accompanied them to Chillicthe, from thence to Urbana. Here we heard of the surrender of Detroit. I intended to gone with the army to Canady, but hearing that my wife was sick I returned home. This season our army was unsuccessful. Nothing was done to any purpose. Our commanders proved either cowards or traitors. As the events of the war will be recorded in many books I shall omit going into detail in this little journal.
I will only mention some of the most extrordenary events as they may occur. My wife continued sick a long time which prevented me from taking any active part in the war this year, but was much surprised to find so many in the United States that are friendly to the British and enemies to their own country and government.
It is common in Public companies to hear men declare that this war is unnecessary, unjust and impolitic; that England has given us no just cause of war and that our Government are under French influence. My God, is it posabel that any of the Sons of Liberty, blest with the best form of government that any country could ever boast of, that they should be so lost to a sense of Virtue, gratitude & love of country as to wish to destroy our government - to introduce the corrupt British form of government and to bury in oblivean the only remaining vestages of liberty on earth? What can be their motives? - - - -
It is on of the strange things that happens that I cant acount for. In times of peace in a republican government like ours it is not strange that honest men should differ about rulers, but in times like these when one nation is injured and insulted beyond forbearance nothing but the greatest depravity can induce a man to weaken the bonds of Union and give aid to the enemies of our liberty. They call themselves the friends of order and supporters of religion, but their real motives can be no other than to destroy our form of government and build up King Craft and Priest Craft on the ruins of it. They cannot bear that the poor shall participate with the rich in the rites of sufferage. They want to see a nobility established. - - - -
The situation of the world at this time is such as the annals of time have never produced before. The whole world is in a state of war - not a nation exempt. The United States have long tried to steer clear of the calamity, but in vain. A war for to defend the rites of man and to guarantee our independence to our posterity, and secure the rites of commerce unshackled by British impressment. The dastardly wretch that will not join hart & hand in such a war ought neaver to injoy liberty and the traitor that asists the enemy against his country should pay the forfeit with his head and his seed have no part in the Columbean Israel.
The present is a critical moment; I cannot tell what this year will bring forth. It is now the 3d of January 1813 Congress is now in Session. Our armies at the northward and westward have done nothing and are returned to winter quarters. Much is depending upon the wisdom of the present Congress. I hope in the course of the year to have more pleasant facts to record,. - - -
On Sunday ye 25th January it began to rane after a long spell of cold and dry weather. It raned about 30 hours which raised the water to a prodigious height. The Ohio and all streams that fall into it was mich higher than they was known to be before. It swept off houses, barns and other buildings; corn cribs and stacks of grane were swept off, bridges carried away, roads filled up with driftwood. Many cattle were drowned. A. Stewart lost 16 head. P. Boyles lost ten. The fence swept off of all the plantations on the rivers. In fact it is much the greatest desolation that I ever saw of the kind. The water was about four feet higher than it was on the 25th December 1808.
This winter I kept school for two months in our neighborhood. We procured freight for our vessel when time brings (it) forth. I will record the event which I fear will not be favourable to our interest. ------
The winter is long and tedious; frequent and heavy rains, much high water and Spring backward. On the first of April I was taken sick at Athens. Was very suddenly and violently seized, but in a few days I got so much better as to be able to get home, but still continue much unwell, with pain in the breast, head ack, faintness and dizziness.
In May and June we heard the glad tidings of the capture of little York and fort George, by our Army under the command of Gen'l Dearborn. This news elevated the spirts of every true American, but it is calculated to fill the minds of tories with sorrow. This year the disafected party in the United Stares began to hang their heads. They find it hard to kick against the pricks. It is hoped they will be made sensibel of their erer and become good sitizens, and throw off their eleginace to their mother England and not be any longer bribed by the gold of John Bull nor listen to his deceitful agents.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This summer I continued to much unwell - not able to labour; my family still growing larger and more expensive & think it likely that I shall neaver be able to labour much more, which induses me to think of some other way of getting a living. What it will be I cant tell.
In August this year I went to the Salt Works in hope of making something, but in this I was disappointed and returned as poor as I went. Soon after I returned I resigned my office as Judge and was elected to the Assembly. It may seem strange to my children whoose hands this may fall into after the hand that writes this is returned to its native dust, I say it may seem strange that I should shift from one office to another. I can only say if they could have ben on the stage of action at this time and in this part, their wonder would sease. It appears to me the world is changing and everything in it. The seasons change; the health and constitution of mankind changes; the political situation of our dear country changes; in short everything is changing except rogues do not change to honest men.
I was much disappointed this year in the business of legislation. When I was a member before I thought the members was striving to frain laws to do equal justice to the rich and poor, all wishing for the same object. This was truth and justice. How plain are the paths of truth! But I find that the representatives of a free people has changed and intreag and deseption is now common in that house, and the rites of the people are bartered for gold and the moneyed interest is bearing down justice, what may we not fear from so early a departure from the paths of rectitude? But we must hope for the best, and if liberty is drove from my country I will follow her if she finds an asylum on this earth. But why do I talk of her being drove from Columbia, her native land and her last place of resort on earth? All that we can do is support her principles, inculcate her precepts and wait the event. I hope the sons of Columbia will return to their first principles and spurn the * * * * * of * * * * * . - - - - - - - - - - - Our liberties can only last while we remain virtuous for when vice takes possession of the people Libertty is sure to leave their borders, but to return to my journal:- On the sixth day of Dec'r 1813 I took my seat in the Legislature and after what has been said on the preceading pages it will be supposed that I was not well pleased. A spirit of rivalship seemed to exist between the two branches that destroyed the harmony of the session and prevented many saletary laws from passing.
This winter an epidemic of tiphus fever prevailed all over the country and proved very mortal. In the town of Athens there was a greater mortality for the number of inhabitants than was ever known in the United States. I can not asertain the number that fell victims to it, but it was great. The grave ground appeared like a plowed field. How long it will continue, God only knows. It is now Spring and it abates but little yet. This year the political world is in great comotion. The minor party are trying all scemes to arive at the port of power. It seems they care not what the means are so they gain the object. They are now making use of the sacred name of Washington to carry them into power, hence the famous Washingtonian Society in the United States. "When the Mountain Travailed it brought fourth a mouse."
Nothing extrordinary happened in my famely this year. Severel of us was sick with this new disorder but all survived. There were severel deaths in our township: -Timothy Jones died ye 15th Jan'y 1814. Mrs. Wickham died the 11th January 1814. On the first day of the year 1814 my daughter Kezia was married to Worthy Frost. Thus I have lived to see one of my children married and settled in the world, how it will turn out I cannot tell. The prospects at presand are favourable as can be expected.
This year, 1814, produced the greatest political changes in the world that modern times ever witnessed. The great Bonaparte dethroned, the Borbons restored to the throne of France a general peace takes place in Europe. The war with America begins to assume a serious aspect. The British are ending their fleets and armies to America, the Americans increasing their armies and preparing to receive them. Party feeling runs high in the United States. The Federals formed a political society, gave themselves the name of Washingtonian Benevolent. This is a fine name but to call a crow white will not change his colour nor make him sing like a nitingail.
In the fall of this year the British took the caitel of the United States and wantonly destroyed the capitol and all public property.
They soon left the place and atacted Baltimore and was repulsed with the loss of their head general, and many more killed and wounded. After this the British atacted N. Orleans and was defeated with great slaughter. This battle was the last that was fought in this war. A peace was concluded Honorable to the United States, much to the sorrow of the tories of our Country. It disapointed them in their predictions and deranged their plans. Their harps are now on the willows.
This war is a high feather in the American cap. It has raised our national character, gave a spring to our domestic manufactories & layed a foundation for us to be truly independent.
In the (year) 1815 the great Bonaparte returned to France from his place of exile, and took possession of the French Government without sheding blood, but, by a combination of Legitimate princes and British gold he was seen obliged to serender himself a prisoner to the British government and was again exiled to the island of St. Heleny, and the French nation reduced to the most desperate situation. What will be their fate I cannot tell - time will bring fourth. --- At this time there seems to be a great struggle between crowned heads and the rites of mankind but I hope the Genus of Liberty will prevail against all legitimates. Bonaparte abdicated the throne of France the second time, in the spring of 1815 and in that and the succeeding year the Borbons and combined armies commit the most savage outrages on the republicans in France, but I hope the Genus of liberty will not allways sleep. ---
In the month of April 1816 a remarkable spot appeared on the sun that was the cause of many observations. This season is the coldest that ever was seen by the oldest inhabitents. There is snow in many places in the northern states from the sixth to the tenth of June and frequent frosts all summer. This caused a great migration from the northern states to this part of the country. By the accounts there is great danger of a famine. What little corn that growed is cut off by the frost. While in the state of Ohio we are blessed with plenty and have prospects of a continuance of those blessings - how thankful we ought to be that we are so comfortable fed, while thousands in America and tens of thousands in Europe are in want of the nessesaries of life.
The fall of this year was rather dry. no great rains. Winter set in without the water rising. The fall was cool but fine weather for business continued till the 10th of January 1817 and has been steady cold for eight weeks; good sleighing, good passing rivers on ice, &c. &c. &c. In February this year I undertook to build a boat and progressed as fast as the weather would permit.
This winter my wife was sick all winter, and my fortune seemed bad, but I have long been striving to obtain a Philosophic mind so that I could smile at adversity and sence I cannot be rich I will strive to be happy without it. I am of opinion that it is our greatest wisdom to sercumscribe our wants within the bound of proberbility of their being gratified. Our real wants are not many and our imaginary wants had best not be gratified.
Then turn fond youth, your cares forego,
For earth born cares are rong
Man wants but little here below
Nor wants that little long
This winter produced a revival of religion and many rough places was made smoothe. Seeing and hearing those converse that confessed to obtain the great prize caused a crowd of thought to occupy my mind and I strove to become experimentally acquaint with revealed religion, but after all my researches and earnest prayers I am oblidged to content myself with the simple path of Nature. ----------
"Threw worlds un-numbered though the Gods be known
Tis our to trace him only in our own." Pope.
There is undoubtedly a duty assigned for man by the author of our existence. What that duty is, is an Inquiry worthy our greatest core and attention. God is a being worthy out greatest adoration, but to supose that we can add anything to his glory is saying he is not completely happy, and if he needs the service of such worms, as we are he is no God.----- What then can be the duty of Man? The answer is plain. It is to render himself & his fellow men as happy as he can; to exercise those powers the author of nature has given him in the most rational way. Our duty to God, to our neighbour & to ourselves all center in the same thing.
The only true road to happiness is the path of Virtue. Oh how boundless is infinite wisdom to form a sisturn so sublime, so happyfying, so just and beautiful.------- And how is possible that we should be so blind to our best interest?
The Spring of the year 1817 was cold and backward but the summer was productive. Crops in the state of Ohio was good, but in the northern states was frosty. The frost continued all summer, which makes the people think of moving to the Ohio.
This year I became acquainted with sorrow such as I had never felt before, which has proved a schoolmaster to me and has learnt me in some measure to know myself.-- "All our knowledge is, ourselves to know" says Pope. I am certain that God sometimes afflicts us for our good. I was blind enough to think that I was free from pride - but I am now convinced that I am full off it. I am fully of the opinion that the most nessessary party of human knowledge is to know ourselves. This we can never learn in prosperity. While things goes well with us and we experience no adversity, we are apt to grow proud and form to good an opinion of ourselves. It is only in adversity that we learn ourselves. This being the case it is for our good that we are afflicted. for it is required that we set a true value on ourselves, hence that scripture "Whom he loveth he chasteneth." Whatever be the cause I find my disposition changed; the things I once loved, I hate and what I hated I now love. This year I followed boating. I traded some in salt and had as good luck as I could expect. This winter commenced cold and dry 1818. Very little snow or rain till the third of February when there fell a snow two feet deep and was very cold.----- I was at this time on a trading voige to Kenhawo Saline. I returned home by land, the roads tedious by reason of rain, high water and mud. The first day of March it rained so it raised the river out of the banks. It cleared off cold but pleasant. While in Virginia I purchased a volume of the writings of Seneca, the famous Spanish Philosipher. This book I was well pleased with. His ideas of morallity, religion, friendship and all the social virtues are impresd with so much force of argument, supported with so much good sense that I wish his book in the hands of every person.
What a pity it is that mankind will take so much pains to adorn and fead their earthly part and compas sea & land to obtain superfluities for the body while they have not a dollar to spare to purchase a volume to enlarge or adorn the mind that noble part. If mankind would spend one fourth part of what they pay for luxuries and superfluities for the body, in acquiring useful knowledge, what improvement would soon be made. How much the condition of mankind would be improved.
The justice of the foregoing observations, every person of common understanding will agree to but still go on in the old way and prefer our bodies to the soul, that immortal part, that noble part that has eminated from the author of our existance and is formed in the likeness of our creator. My God, when will the time come when the family of man will press forward in the ways of virtue and strive to render his fellow men happy. It seems hard for us to learn that sacred truth that virtue alone can make us happy and that all our vain joys are attended with pain.
This spring I am much afflicted with the reumatism. Am exercised with the most tormenting pains, but my mind is steady and I am able to exercise patience. I divide my time between my bed, my books and my friends. I hope that my affliction will be for my good. The soldier that is placed in the most dangerous place does not think hard of his General but thinks it a mark of respect. So it is with the Great Commander of the Universe - He alots us no difficulties but such as we are able to bear and I think. He places his best soldiers on the most dangerous posts. But let this idea be just or not I am certain that it is a duty to exercise patience in all our afflictions and adore the hand of Providence that can do us no rong. ---------
"Man who here seems principal - alone
Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown
Touches some spring or verges to some goal
Tis but a part we see & not the whole"
It is certain that all the events that take place are calculated for the good of the whole. It is but a small part of the Great Connecting Chain of Nature that we are able to discover and it is folly to find fault with What we do not comprehend. This is one of the common erers of mankind.
This year my mind continues absorbed in thought; I am striving to gain a living for my numerous family, meet with many disappointments. Commit some erers, spend much time reading and studying, sometimes almost crazy--------but I am confident all will be right in a short time.----
"Whatever rong we call
May, must be right as relative to all." Pope.
This year in the month
of August my daughter Lydia went to the state of New York. She had the
consent of her parents. The prospect seemed fair for a safe journey and
a speedy return, but in this we was disappointed. She has not returned,
but the tongue of slander is busy in defaiming her character and gives
me much trouble though I'm certain of her innocence - but for this trouble
I blame myself - I ought not to let her gone & I hope this erer of
mine will be a warning to my posterity, never to trust a female to travel
a long journey without a father, a brother or husband to protect them --------
Should I live I am sure I shall never commit the same again.--- God will
protect my child and punish her slanderers ----- Since it is my desire
that this book may be read by my children & my infirmities are increasing
I feel that the time is not far distant when I shall be past writing, and
feeling a strong parental affection for my children who I expect to leave
poor in an unfriendly world - I shall attempt to write a few pages by way
of advice and try to fortify their minds against adversity and point out
the way that will be most likely to lead them to the port of happiness,
for if we are happy, we are rich without the goods of this world, and have
that the thief cannot steal nor the tyrant take from us.
The first and greatest principal of happiness is a clear conscience. Having this the foul winds of slander may blow against us without moving us, and the storms of adversity may beset us without shaking our happiness. True happiness consists of being conscious of doing no rong and of doing all the good we can to our fellow men ------ The study of philosophy enlarges our understanding and a man of knowledge increases his happiness as a large vessel holds more than a small one. We should keep our desires within the bounds of proberbility of their being gratified, and if our meens are not as large as our desires we should lessen our desires till they meet, but the most important of all things in a youth is the choice of friends. An erer in this may prove fatal through life ------
Never betray a friend but let his secrets remain safe in your breast as in his own.-------
Believe no man to be your friend till you have proved him - you can never know a real friend but in the hour of trouble. Thousands will be your friends in prosperity that desert you at the first appearance of trouble.
Above all crimes shun that of ingratitude for of all crimes that is the blackest and most resembles the infernals.
Next to Ingratitude shun slander. This is a great destroyer of the happiness of mankind and yet allmost all men are more or less guilty of it.---
By a false education and rong impression we get an idea that when we are destroying our neighbor's character we shall build ourselves on his ruins in proportion as we lessen him. This is so far from being true that we commonly lessen ourselves more than those we slender and leaves a sting that destroyes our own happiness.
True religion is certainly calculated for the happiness of mankind in this life and should be embraced by every friend to man but above all things avoid superstition end inthuseism for they are the great destroyers of the phelisity of man. ----
Never trust a man because he makes a profession, nor place confidence in his long prayers but esteem a man for what he is, not what he professes to be.
Be careful of forming hasty opinions. Never form an opinion of a man till you have wintered and somered him.
Never judge till you have heard the testimony. Avoid Libertinism for this is a crime pernicious in society and is sure to be punished; though you escape threw youth, depend it will overtake you at lest, and if e'er you become a parent you will look back on such conduct with sorrow and shame. And perhaps your crime may be punished in the conduct of your family. Should that be the case the follies that are scaree deserved with your youthful eyes will appear like mountains.---
Strive to learn the connection that exists between causes and effects, for every act becomes a cause that produces some efect. If we act right the efect will increase our happiness. If your actions are rong the efect will bring misery and in either case it increases in geomatrical proportion for all actions become causes that produce effects these efects become causes that produce other effects and so on ad-infinitum, this I think every thinking man will grant to be correct.----- If so it is all important to act right in the first place for if after our rong actions has produced their efects & those efects increased as above stated, if then we turn and act right still there will remain the efect of these wrong actions to mar our happiness.
The study of causes and effects is too much neglected by all classes of people. Whenever you determine on an action, study what the effect may be and if the efect is like to be good, proceed, if not desist.
Every cause must have sufficient power to produce it and be rightly calculated to produce it. In that case nothing can prevent the efect but a stronger case acting opposition to the first. In this case the intended efect must give way to the more powerful cause. Instant: The tree that leans, by the power of gravitation will fall the way it leans but a wind strong enough to oppose the gravitation will throw the tree the conterary way. So when we are planning anything important we should be sure that our power is sufficient to produce the efect desired and should guard against all adverse wind that may blow and should be prepared for the worst in cases of failure. To know in all cases what efect any cause will produce requires good abilities and much study & perhaps it is beyond the capacity of man to know in all cases what effect every cause will produce, but certain it is that men may inform themselves very much in these respects and is well worth striving to obtain.
There is nothing represents our travel threw life so much as game of drafts. In this game a rong move in the beginning is apt to prove fatal; so it is in your first outset in life; one missmove may affect us threw life. In drafts if you lay great plans of sweeping the board and neglect to keep men compact you will be sure to loose all. So it is in getting property; if we grasp for great things, too large for us we are apt to loose that which we have. In our travel threw life we should keep the past, the present and to come all in view; the past to show us what efect the past causes has produced, the present to provide for the future, and the future as the anchor of our hope.
Cheerfulness is calculated to increase our happiness. When the chearful man comes into company, his very countenance imparts a ray of happiness threw the whole and no one present can help participating in his chearfulness, but this like all other virtues, when carried to extreams becomes a vice. I do not recommend loud laughing, mimicking nor buffoonery for of all things I abhor, to see a man transform himself into a monkey is the worst. If the proposition layed down in the forepart of these essays that the great duty of man is to be happy and impart his happiness to his fellow man is true it is a duty to be chearful.
But I find my thoughts so crowded and the subject lengthening before me to too great a length to be wrote in this little cram't book so I must quit it for the present and resume my journal.
This year commences very pleasant. The latter part of January and all of February is warm fine weather. The Spring flowers began to appear on the Seventh of February but March commenced cold and continued to be a cold backward Spring. On the 9th of March I sold my farm and soon after bought another in Elk in this county. I think I have advanced my prosperity by these trades.
On the 28th of April, near ten oclock A.M. there was a most remarkable noise in the air. It resembled a loud peal of thunder. There was not a cloud to be seen above the horrizon. I expect to hear more from it.
At the annual election in the fall of 1812 [Must be 1819] I was again elected a representative in the state legislature and took my seat in the State House on the first Monday in December. The business went on as usual, and think that some Salutary laws was passed & some of the depravity of the human heart to be discovered. Such a deliberate body as this composed of such materials, forms a fine school for the philosophic mind. Here you see the virtuous mind labour for the good of mankind and the designing knave dressing his deceptions in the garb of honesty and with a fare surface conseal the most pernicious plans for robbing the people of their rights: In my observations I proved the truth of the poet where he says
"You will ever find this maxim true,
Fools are the game that Naves persue."
I have always found that the first business for designing member is to list under his banner all the weak minds, and in this he too commonly succeeds. In this way we may account for the host of Banks that are ruining our country, but in this age of depravity we must not expect to find men as they should be but take them as they are.----
I am now at home, hold no office & I really feel it a great relief to retire to private life, but the public is entitled to our services and we should always be ready to obey her call.------------
Being impressed with a sence of duty and at the earnest solicitation of my friends I again was elected to the Asembly and took my seat in the State house at Columbus. This session is an unpleasant one; very little good is being done. We returned home after a session of ten weeks and I am again determined to retire to private life. If my friends will consent to it I will never hold an office & try to glide down to the grave in peace. -- In peace did I say? How deceitful are our hopes! I flattered myself that retired from the bustle of the metropolis, that in the bosom of my family I should enjoy that domestic happiness that is not found at Courts ---- but I find that as domestic connections can give the greatest happiness, so on the other hand family misfortune gives the greatest pain.---
Farewell to happiness; I am certain that the evening of my life must be over cast with the clouds of sorrow --------- Oh that youthful follies should lay the foundation for the destroying our peace in old age -------- Causes produces efects - our actions are free but the consequencee of our actions are governed by fate. Oh for a Locke, a Vended, a Pope or a Franklin to direct me. I will quite writing and enquire of them for some healing medium for my wounded spirit. Yes ye sages, the words ye have left are landmarks for an enquiring mind. "Peace and virtue, peace is all thy own," says Pope Yes Mr. Pope; never was words truer; peace is the offspring of virtue and is nowhere found but in the paths of virtue. And as I am wishing for happiness I will endeavor to look where she is to be found.
As I have several times stated my intention it may seem strange that I should so often depart from it and still continue in Public business, but strange as it is, it is the case - I am again elected to the asembly and in a few days must leave my family and go to the sete of government.--------
This year business went with me much in the usual way. I find myself progressing in the journey of life far past the meridian, but still I am striving to increase my little stock of knowledge, and do think I am still learning human nature & am still getting more acquainted with the depravity of the human heart. Oh that mankind would not destroy the happiness more.
Nothing remarkable happened this year past. My family very large; I am striving to lay up something for my declining years. I have done something in the land speculation. I cannot tell how it will terminate but hope for the best.----------
I find that age is not free from error. I can discover that I have commit great erers in fealing more anxiety for the interest of the County than I did for my own private concerns. I have early come into this wilderness, I have got the County set off & have for many years represented it, and have become so attached to it that it became with me paramount to any other object. - I am now experiencing the efect of that partiality. Surely one thanks me and many become my enemy for no other cause than my being a favourite with the people but ingratitude is the fault of republics.------
I am now (1825) enjoying a retired life at home with my family; this I have often wished to enjoy, but man is neaver satisfied. I find that every Sweet has its bitter. But of this I am certain - I am far advanced on the journey of life and shall soon be out of reach of my enemies and I hope I shall leave better men to manage the affairs of the county. But man is his own worst enemy and as long as hell holds her empire in the human brest So long shall men be blind to their own best interest.----------
Pain is the common lot of man, I am at this moment (November 3rd, 1825) so much afflicted with rheumatic pains that I can scarcely hold my pen.----But Seneca says that "pain is as certain in a long life as dust is in a long road." and it is a duty to bear it with fortitude. It will have an end or put an end to us; in either case it cannot last long. This year produced a great struggle in this County. The Federal party made a violent effort to seize the helm of power and many Republicans who conceive that they have missed their share of the loaves and fishes joined the feds and had a new song put into their mouths. The new song was not Glory to God, but it was "Give us power, Give us power over the people".
In the spring of the year 1826 I was visited with sickness that made me think much of my final disalution. In this trying hour reason says death is the lot of all! You have lived a great while; your life was only lent at first and you should give it up chearfully when called for.-------But parental affection says, look on your small children how well they fair when 1eft in an unfriendly world without the protection of a father. I think I could obey the voice of reason and go without a murmer wear it not for the fondness I have for my family.
But it is wisdom to acquies in the will of Providence and be patient & submit without repining! The coward is dying all his lifetime while the brave man only dies once. But still it is no small thing to disolve the ties between soul and body and return to our mother earth. We are capable of knowing the component parts that compose our bodies and know that it must desolve and each return to its original, but when we think of the soul we are at once lost in thought; here reason quits us and we are sailing on the sea of uncertainty but I think that we have some grounds to believe that we have an immortal part that will exist after the dissolution of the body. Glorious thought (if true) how transporting the idea that we shall forever exist somewhere in the immensity of space with our capacities enlarged; our being on a larger scale of existence, and thus travel on through the endless ages of eternity from one stage to another, still improving and progressing towards perfection till all is compleated. Heaven grant that this way be the case with all the sons and daughters of men.
Presuming as I do that my present illness will carry me off the stage and not being able to labour but still being able to write some I think it may not be amiss to take a retrospective view of my past life and point out some errors that they may be landmarks that my posterity may shun them.-----------In my youth, my parents being poor, the means of acquiring information was out of my reach, but I cannot remember the time when I did not strive to acquire knowledge. It was allways, with me, the prize of great value.
I was allways much adicted to reading and think that I have profited by it, but beginning the world poor I was not able to procure as many books as I could wish, but some valuable vollums among which is Lake, Seneca, Pope, Volney, Franklin &c. I pretty early commenced public Business and was so weak as to be pleased with it. I devoted much time to the studdy of pollitics and endeavered to become a statesman. I was nine sessions a member of the legislature and about fourteen years judge of the court. I have often taken a reprospenctive view of my official acts both capacities and can now say as a dying man that I never commit an intentional error in either capacity.
I have undoubtedly ered but it was a eror of the head, not of the heart. This is a Pleasing reflection and sweetens the down road of life. If I am treated with ingratitude by those whom I have served it matters not so long as my conscience approves my conduct. In my transactions with my fellow man through a long life I can see many things to regret. I can look back on many youthful follies with sorrow & regret. I was always a friend to mankind, but in youth I formed quite too good an opnion of my fellow men. I thought all to be honest, all to be too common in youth - this is so far from being correct that we ought to think no one virtuous till they prove themselves to be so. As to acquiring property in youth I formed an idea that riches were easily acquired and that I should soon be rich. Having this idea prevented my saving small sums. They seemed quite beneath my notice, but still I thought that I should climb the hill of affluence in a short time, but in this I was mistaken; I have found the ascent too steep for me. I find that the human mind will not admit of dividing. A man cannot study philosophy and studdy the way to wealth at the same time. A public servant who serves the publick as he ought cannot attend to his own private concerns at the same time. This has been the case with me. I am certain that I felt more concern for the good of the county which I represented than I ever felt for my own private property. This has prevented my laying up wealth to support me in my old age, but it has done that which is far more valuable; it has enabled me to look back upon my official conduct with an approving conscience.
In the winter of 1826-27 I was again appointed an associate judge, and am still so foolish as to accept and quallify. This I have again voluntarily become a slave to the publick. This tour in all probibility will close my publick life. If I should live seven years I am certain I shall be sufficiently old to retire from serving the publick.
I find that time is making rappid strides and as we progress in life time passes swifter away. I am now certain that in the imagination of the man of 60 time passes twice as it does with the man of 28. This tells us that we have but little time to stay here; That we shall Soon return to our original; each component part mingle with it's kind of attoms! This is a fact that we are capable of knowing. We can comprehend it. But we are told that we profess two natures and shall exist after the corporal part has returned to its original. Is this the case? Shall we eternally exist? If so, where or what kind of existence will it be? These are the questions that we cannot answer. Human reason fails us. All our knowledges come through the chanel of our senses. Our language can go no farther than to convey our ideas, and our ideas comes through the chanel of our senses, consequently, anything beyond time and sense if we ever had it so clear (an) idea of it we could not communicate it to others, our language being only adapted to our senses, will fail us when we go beyond the things of sense.
"A mighty maze, but not without a plan."' (Pope)
The winter of 1827-28 I received the appointment of Postmaster and opened an office. This is a new business to me. It is not lucretive but is an agreeable source of information--Knowledge is of more worth than money.
I have for many years constantly observed the progress of our republican institutions; I have fondly hoped that our free government would long continue to bless the sons and daughters of Columbia, but I fear that the genus of liberty will leave us to suffer the consequences of our folly at this time (1828) There is such an excitement, so much warmth and spirit among the people of this republic respecting the choice of president that it bids fair to sap the foundation of our liberty.
The same cause will produce the same efect. In reading the same history of all the republicks that have gone before ours we find that aspiring demagogues have uniformly, divided the people into parties until they become the destroyers of each other, and the most fortunate chieftain usurps the power and the farewell to liberty.
The present excitement is quite alarming, but we hope for the best and wait for time to bring fourth the result. But why should an old man like me trouble himself about the future prospect of our country knowing that he soon must quit the stage? But it (is) interwoven in our nature to cast a thought beyond the vail and feal a desire that our descendants may enjoy that greatest of blessings LIBERTY.
But if we would perpetuate the blessings of liberty we must strive to have the rising generation well informed. We must teach them the worth of liberty for as they know it's value they will be sure to defend it at the risk of every consideration.
"But a' manking are unco weak,
And rarely to be trusted.
When Self the wavering ballanco shakes
It's seldom right adjusted" (Burns)
"The greatest study of mankind is man" (Pope)
Man is a misterious being; past finding out; How strange his conduct; how habbit (for I will not say Nature) has taught him to strive to destroy the happiness of his follow men; how he follows a phantom and works himself up into a perfect madness in search of imaginary happiness at the expense of his fellow men.
Witness the conduct of many misguided people in the state of N. York & it's vicinity in consequence of the Morgan outrage as they term it. In the conduct of those people we have a sample of vice and folly. But human nature is falable and subject to err.
When this excitement has had its efect it will react and confound its authors; time will show them their folly.
The year 1828 was a to me.
Wicked men and Demons seemed to unite against me.
I had several Sutes in court. Several false oaths and false depositions were produced in court. The causes went against me with large bills of cost. The old Tory factions are determined to ruin me; my family sick, my wife confined to her bed; everything seems to unite to destroy me by the God of nature has given me an independent spirit that can not be put down or destroyed all the spite of mallice of my enemies.
In looking over some of the last pages I have wrote I find that I have recorded some of the frowns of Providence which at the time it seemed to me that I had drank the cup of misfortune to the dregs, but Alas! How mistaken I was! Providence had in reserve for my devoted head misfortunesthat sinks all my other misfortunes allmost; into oblivion & has made me truly wretched. In all my former misfortunes I had a comforter that divided my sorrows and doubled my joys. But Alas! That time has past away, never, never to return. Yes the wife of my youth, my bosom friend, is taken from me. She dies on the l2th October 1830, after short but severe sickness of nine days. She had been a firm believer in that heart healing doctering "the Universal restoration of all things". She met death with fortitude, firmly believing in the merits of a saviour, but she has left me the most disconsolate man in the world. I am left alone in the world; all seems a wilderness. I am absent in company; I am old; My late sickness has destroyed my constitution; a rheumatism has destroyed my activity. Those that gave me birth have long since paid the debt of Nature. A numerous family of brothers and sisters are gone. The companions of youth are gone. Alas! Where are they? When I look to the land of my nativity, behold it is inhabited by strangers. I shall soon follow them and the place that now knows me shall know me no more forever & the time will come when it will not be known that I ever did exist. But what of that? Tho author of Nature had some wise purpose in bringing me into existence and the only question for me to ask myself is, have I acted my part well, have I shun the oaths of vice and followed virtue; Have I relieved the distresses of my fellow men when in my power; have I enlightened their understanding; have I acted partially in all my public stations; have I set a good example before my family and the rising generation; have I done all I could to promote the happiness of mankind?
These questions naturally present themselves to my mind on taking a retrospective view of a long life in publick service.
Prosterity will judge how far they may be answered in the affirmative.
This year seems to pass with me as usual. My old political enemies spiting their spite at me, but I still live or rather, drag out a life of misfortune. This year nothing strange happened. The season very unfavourable. In the spring a late frost destroyed all our fruit. Our crops looked promising till July. On the night of the 5th July 1831 the rain fell in such Quantity that it raised the water in all the creeks so that it flowed all the bottom land and the crops of every kind. The winter following was very cold it set in the last of November and continued till the first of February. It then grew moderate and commenced raining; the water commenced rising till the. 12th. At this time the rain fell in torrents for twelve hours. The Ohio, very high, backed the small streams that falls into it, together with the immense quantity of rain caused a great fresh. The water was higher than it was ever known except the great fresh in January 1813. The Ohio river was five feet higher than it was ever known before. It swept off bridges & destroyed much property on its banks.
This year, priest craft raised its head; It came out with great power. The priest are compassing sea and land giting up excitements among the people striving to unite church and state, but I hope and trust the people are too much enlitened to change their liberties for a religious autocracy.----------------
In the month of May 1832 I went down the Ohio river as far as Louisville. I was surprised to see the improvement that is made on the bank of this beautiful river and to see the intensive business that is carried on at the flourishing towns and villages on its fertile borders.
I looked back the time I was first acquainted in this mighty valley and behold! It was a wilderness - scarcely a village commenced, on the bannks of the river whose majestic waves rolled unbroken to the ocean, all that was seen on its surface was driftwood; scarcely a craft that was bigger than a canoe had parted its smooth current. What a contrast has so few years produced. Now, in descending the river, we are scarcely out of sight of a village and the busy hum of business is heard for hundreds of miles in length. The lofty steam boat is seen ridin8 triumphant.on the river, parting its current with a rapidity unknown to former generations The march of intelects and mechanism has been greater for half a century past than was ever known at any former period and young America is not behind the rest of the world in improvement. She is assuming a proud rank among the nations of the earth. I hope she will long continue to progress in the arts and sciences that her government may remain pure and unfefiled. But judging from the nations thats gone before us and from all we see about us we may calculate with certainty that this great republic will fall to pieces, will come to an end. Yes everything we are capable of comprehending is doomed to come to an end, from the greatest empire to the smallest insect, all, all will come to an end.
I have sojourned a long time on this teraqueous globe; I have been a constant observer of passing events; I have seen the works of Providence; I have admired the wisdom and goodness of the Great Ruler of the Universe and I have felt thankful that he eloted it to me to act my part at the time and place he did; I only regret that I have not acted my part better. ----- But I cannot recall my time; I can only close the sean of life with propriety; this I know must soon take place. The candle of life is but glimmering in the socket & must soon, very soon, become extinct. I eat my bread with my staff in my hand (as the Israelites did the passover), ready to take my Journey to that unknown land or land of promise where the weary are at rest and the wicked cease to trouble, but the thoughts of taking that leap in the dark, of changing a known existence for an unknown - this is hard to acquiess in.
I must go & I may as
well go soon as to tarry long on the verge of life. My dear wife has gone
before me; allmost all the companions of my youth are gone; nothing left
to make life desirable but my children; it is hard for me to think of leaving
them. Providence has been so kind as to spare me till they have arrived
at an age to be able to provide for themselves but still it is hard to
desolve the ties of nature. The attachment of parents to their children
is greater than can be imagined by those who are not parents. If I should
be spared longer I can do nothing for them or for the good of mankind.
I can only leave my shattered ideas in this little book for them to see
after their father has paid the debt of nature and mingled with his native
dust. And I cannot tell if that will be of any service to them; It may
be an amusement to pass an hour; it will depend much on themselves whether
it is of any benefit to them or not. I have the vanity to believe if they
pay atention to the precepts and ideas sugested in this little heterogeneous
mass it may be of some benefit to them. They may learn to shun their father's
errors and they may know what kind of a man their father was. This book
being wrote at the different periods of life from youth to old age, and
being the spontaneous production of the mind (without disguise) you may
learn from it the variation of the mind at the different periods of life.
If my children thinks this book is worth preserving, as there is but one
coppy of it & so many of them, advise each one of them to make them
a book and coppy it. Make your book so large that at the end of this you
can record the events of your own lives & your own thoughts on various
subjects. In this way you may hand down a family record to posterity and
each son can judge how much his father has improved on what his grandfather
left. I shall continue writing as long as I am able, but expect it will
be but a few pages more. My health is fast declining, my hand trembles,
my mind is fluctuating, the whole system is decaying.
August 31st, 1832.
I again spend some time writing in my journal.
My mind seems bewildered. I hardly know what to write. There is plenty of political strife but I have done interesting myself in political matters.
There is a scourge traveling over the earth at this time sweeping off many of the inhabitants. It first made its appearance in Asia, thence into Europe and now it is raging in America. It is said that it has swept off more than thirteen million people since it commenced. It baffles the skill of Physicians. It is quick in its Action. Those atacted die in a few hours.
January 10th 1833.
On this day my son Harry died. He fell a victim to the cholera. In him I lost all that a father could loose in loosing a son. His virtues will long be remembered by all his acquaintances. He died far from home; not a friend to surround his bed nor comfort his dying hours. He died at Sharontown, Indiany, but from the best information be was kindly treated and decently buried. His death was the first of eleven children. This was the first time I was called to mourn for a child. I will not pretend to describe my feallings on hearing the news of his death. Those only can know who has lost the best of sons. He had with him $400. which was robbed from him on a steamboat. My surviving children who reads this will long remember the loss of this brother. But fortune had not yet done with me: I had four sons left. Two younger than Harry; they were just ripening into manhood. They were my hope and stay but they were both taken from me. Clinton M. died on the first day of June 1834 and Horace died on the 22nd of the June following. They both died between the ages of 21 and 25.
Here by reason of old age and misfortune I quit writing in this book for many years. It is now the 31st of March 1847. The last I wrote was in the year 1834. I will now look back on a period of 13 years and recollect what I can of the most unfortunate winter of my life through that long period; and surely it has been wn eventful period to me.------
Soon after the death of my son Meigs [Circled with a question mark] I married my second wife. Our acquaintance was but short before our marriage, but she is well calculated to make me happy.
For several years our time past very agreeable, but our joys were too great for us. My wife whose health had not been good for several years was violently attacked with sickness that brought her to the brink of the grave. Her phisicians gave her over but she has survived. It is 8 years since the atact and she has enjoyed no health but has suffered beyond my power to describe. I give up all hopes of her ever being well, but if she could be comfortable I should be happy. In this period of 13 years I have lost two daughters, two son-in-laws and a number of grandchildren. My daughters both left large families of children to shift for themselves in this unfriendly world. My son-in-laws left large families.-----Thus my large family are dropping off before I am called to my long home. Why I am spared so long God only knows, and it is my duty to acquiess in the will of my God. I find by looking back on the pages of this journal that many years ago, several times, I viewed myself on the brink of the grave, but I am yet spared for some wise purpose (Wise I say, for the dispensations of Providence are founded in wisdom) but his ways are pat finding out; it is our duty to submit without repining.
When I look on a life spun out to allmost four score years it seems to me like a long confused dream & I feal in myself the truth of Dr. Watts where he says
"And if to eighty we arive
We rather sigh and groan than live"
I have no reason to complain; I enjoy better health than people generally at my time of life and what is better, I enjoy a contented mind; being taught in the school of adversity I have learned to be contented with my lot, let it be what it may.
The last 13 years it seems to me that wick(ed) men & devils have been combined against me. I dont mean that old imaginary devil that exists nowhere but in overheated imagination, but a devilish disposition in man which in my old age have robbed me of my property and made (me) poor in everything but spirit which is out of their power to affect.
Having met so much misfortune in this book, the reader will think that I am a very unhappy man. But I tell you, No! I believe that I enjoy more happiness than falls to the lot of men in general. Happiness consists in the mind. Mr. Pope says
"Health consists in temperance alone,
Peace & virtue. Peace is all thine own."
I presume that my posterity
who may read this book after the writer is no more, will be convinced that
I am a firm believer in the final holyness & consequent happiness of
the whole human family. I have nowhere stated the reasons for hope in the
final restitution (restoration) of all things. If life is spared and my
health will admit, I intend stating the reasons which has confirmed me
in that faith and belief.--- That there is a God is so self evident that
I shall not spend time to prove it. The great First Cause or Cause of all
Causes has allways existed and there must been a time when nothing else
did exist. What that power is or what the attributes of that Being are,
we must learn from the book of nature and from revelation. That Being we
learn from the proofs above mentioned, prossesses all wisdom; all power,
all justice, all mercy & goodness; Love is his lasting attribute. Such
is the character of our Heavenly Father, the Author of our existence. What
kind of system can we expect from such an author? It must be right in all
it's parts. If there is anything wrong it impeaches either his good ness
or his wisdom. I cannot think it possible for such a being to create and
force into existence a sensitive being and leave it in the power of that
being to make his existence an endless curse to him.--------- If any being
is eternally miserable, God must have intended it or had not power to prevent
it, nor had power to left him in his original nothingness, for that would
have been far better than to exist with the awful liability of endless
misery hanging over him. God never did nor never will punish any of his
children from any other motive than the good of the individual punished.
And thus ends the consecutive writings of the Journal. On the last eight leaves of the old book the following memoranda occur. We transcribe it as it appears on the pages in consecutive order as written, as it is evidently not arranged in chronological order beginning with the first writing. This however does not interfere with the value of the items as dates are clearly stated in most instances.
On the 9th of October 1800 Harriet Hatch was born; she was the first child born in this township:-
On the 27th of December 1800 Susanna Barrows was born.
In December 1800 Seth Driggs settled here but moved away the spring following.
In the year 1801 William Barows and brothers began to erect their mill.
In the year 1802 Henry Barrows settled here.
William Barrows settled here in May 1802.
On the 3rd of November 1802 William I Hatch was born.
The fifteenth of December 1802 Maria Barrows was born.
On the 19th of November Ransom Barrows was born.
On the first day of the year 1803 Daniel Stewart and his brother Arthelous settled here.
In March with 1803 Eben Culver settled here.
Hopson Beebe settled here the first June 1803.
Olive Culver born July 28th 1803.
Arthelous Stewart had a son born in August 1803.
November 1803 Joel Spencer and Joel Byron settled here.
March 1804 Roswell Culver settled here.
Ransom Barrows died on the 26th of April 1804.
In October 1804 the widow Comfort Crippen and her family arrived here and settled in this town and on the 21st of May following she was married to Alexander Stedman Esquire.
On the 8th of September 1805, Martha Hatch died, aged about 76.
May 1805 Joseph Wickham settled in this township.
December 1805 Joseph Longear settled here.
On the 13th February 1806 Sifter Stedman died.
In May 1806 Dr. Leonard
Jewet settled at the mouth of Federal Creek.
MEMORANDUM of the settlement of the township No. 6 in the 12th range of townships in the Ohio Company's purchase.
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The first settler was David Daley Esquire; settled near the mouth of Federal Creek on the 17th of March 1800.
George Barrows settled near the mouth of Federal creek in May 1800.
John Roebuck settled in this town but soon left it.
On the first day of June 1800 Elijah Hatch settled.
Roswell Culver settled on the 12th of August but left it the November following. Daley moved away in November likewise.
This seems to be all the memoranda of settlement but we find on a page entirely disconnected with any other writing the following record of marriages of three daughters of Great grandfather Hatch.
Worthy Frost and Deziah Hatch was married January the first 1814.
Thaddeus Crippen and Betsey M Hatch was married Dec 21 1816
Sam Hill and Harriet Hatch was married Sept the 1st 1821
And on the page next to the last one of the memorandum of settlement and immediately preceding it, the following:-
This will doubtless be seen after the hand that writes it is returned to its native elements.