Diary of Helen Burden Steele
After 130 years a diary of Helen B.
Steele returned to Epsom. Written starting January
1, 1881, the year she turned 21, it contains her
day by day experiences while living in the McClary
house with her family. She was the daughter of Michael
McClary Steele and Catherine Burden. Four years
later she would marry Dr. Benjamin Barstow.
Saturday, January 1, 1881
Today begins another year. It has been a very sad
day to me. Papa has been drinking and was like an
insane person. Mamma is sick and worn out. I felt
about sick and Aunt M has been very trying. I did
not feel badly to bid the old year our long farewell
for it was a perplexing year to me. Although there
has been many pleasant things there has been things
I wish never had happened. The last of the year
was the pleasanter to me. I pray God for help to
make this new year a pleasanter and more forgetta+ble
one and that I may be able to help my parents who
have done as much for me.
Sunday, January 2. 1881
Philley and I attended church and listened to rather
a dull sermon from Paul's epistle to the Romans
3 chap 9 verse "Have to win Christ." To
win Him we should follow in his footsteps, profit
by his example and overcome our faults as far as
we can, show charity to all, forgive our enemies
and trust Him faithfully. I have been tired and
gloomy all day and the day has not been pleasant.
In the evening wrote to Augusta , Helen and Palmer.
I would give anything to see and have a good talk
with him. I always feel better if I can talk with
Monday, January 3, 1881
Was sick and in my room all day, suffered not only
from pain but depression of spirits. Papa was crazy
from drinking cider. Momma was not well and it made
me feel dreadfully to see her working and be able
to do nothing for her. I long to hear from the office
for I think I shall hear from my dear one tonight.
Tuesday, January 4, 1881
Nothing out of the common occurred. I went down
stairs about noon, and helped pass the time for
Mr. B~ by playing checkers with him. Read some and
tried to sew but could not. Sent two papers to Grandma.
Did not hear from P~. I fear he is ill for he has
always been prompt unless he had some good excuse.
Wednesday, January 5, 1881
Was a dismal stormy day. I can not write at all.
Nothing unusual occurred and I do not feel like
writing. P~ does not write yet. I wonder what is
Thursday, January 6, 1881
Went to ride, did the errands. Saw Walter Burnham
and he told me Aunt Eunice was quite sick, so I
drove up to see her and found her quite ill and
feeling badly. Mamma and I drove up toward evening
and carried her some medicine. It was a beautiful
evening the moon was very bright and the snow glistened
like diamonds, the sleighing was good and we had
a lovely ride. I hope Aunt E~ will be better soon.
Mr. Cilley brought a cow for us to keep until June.
Friday, January 7, 1881
Helped about the work as usual. In the afternoon,
went to the office with Mr. Brown. Was a beautiful
Saturday, January 8, 1881
Was pleasant but cold. Aunt M~ and I worked all
the morning. I sewed in the p.m. and called to see
F~ Wallace. I was surprised to find him so much
changed. I hardly think I should have recognized
him had I met him on the street. Went to the office
with Mr. B. in the evening. Mr. B. tried to convince
me that Venus was Sirius but failed to do so much
to his disgust. Papa is drunk as usual.
Sunday, January 9, 1881
Went to church and heard Mr. Avery, found him quite
interesting. Walter Burnham came to me after services
and said Uncle Henry was ill with lung fever and
they wanted Mamma and me to come up as soon as we
could. We went immediately up and found him quite
sick. Spent the evening with Mr. C~. Ben Freeze
came to the lane with me for he thought I would
be afraid but poor soul I should be more afraid
of him than anything if I did not know him. But
it was very kind of him. Mr. Cilley was here and
Papa was drunk.
Monday, January 10, 1881
The most severe storm we have had came last night.
Today I was very busy and did not mind the inclemency
of the weather. Fixed my brown dress which once
belonged to Hattie but the dear girl has gone where
she cares not for her earthly possessions and I
almost wish I were with her. Life looks pretty hard
to me now but the sun may shine before I know it
and I have dear Palmer to look to for love and comfort.
I wonder if there is a letter for me at the office
he must have written before this. The storm has
ceased and the moon and stars shine brightly Oh
that I could do something to lighten Mamma burden
and make the remainder of her life happy.
Tuesday, January 11, 1881
Every thing is covered with snow the sun shines
brightly on the snow-covered trees and makes a beautiful
picture, how lovely the winter is in the country
and how pure the snow is compared with the city's
covered with dust and dirt and ground up into meal.
If home were what it should be I could not be happier
but this dreadful contagonism is terrible and to
spend one's life surrounded by uncongenial people
can not be better than the place call(ed) hell.
About ten they brokeout the roads when I see the
earth ploughing through the snow it reminds me of
the picture in Snow Bound. They had nine jokes this
morning. Hid ___t l__r from the hill.
[unreadable in margin].
Wednesday, January 12, 1881
Was a beautiful day. Aunt M~ and I went up to see
Uncle H~ she thought him very ill and looked like
a consumptive but we must (make) allowance for her
over anxious feelings and hope for brighter things.
It would be a dreadful loss should he be taken,
Another prep would be give(n). Went to the depot
for Aunt M~. Mr. Avery gave me a Sunday School paper
to have the lessons and attend Sun. Sch. It proved
to be colder than we thought when we started and
Aunt M~ was dreadfully afraid she would take cold.
Have not heard from P~ yet. I know he must be sick
for he has never waited so long before. Papa was
Thursday, January 13, 1881
I wanted to go on the hill but Mamma thought it
best to wait until tomorrow. I spent the p.m. with
Mrs. Chesley and had a very pleasant time. I learned
the cause of P's silence. The poor boy has sore
eyes and can neither read nor write and has been
obliged to suspend his school. I hope he will be
careful not to use his eyes too soon for they are
not very strong any way. Walter brought me home.
I have not seen him since he went away. I sewed
in the evening and read "Henry James"
Bundle of Letters.
Friday, January 14, 1881
Was a stormy day; it rained then snowed and this
evening has come off cold. I had one of my miserable
headaches and had to spend my p.m. on the sofa.
I felt provoked for I intended to fit my sack but
we all have to submit to circumstances and we might
as well do it pleasantly and without grumbling.
As it stormed we could not go on the hill. It is
a very bad night. Nathan is here and I fear there
will be more drinking than will be agreeable for
Saturday, January 15, 1881
It has been a beautiful day. Mr. Brown started off
before any of us were down save Papa. He went before
sunrise and with no breakfast. It seems very hard
that such an old man should be so homeless and alone
with a daughter and son living. I went to the store
and the office. Mr. B. had been to the office but
had gone. Abbott L~ came over and did the chores
as Papa was ill with a dreadful cold: and from drinking
last night. Mr. B. came back about half past nine.
Sunday, January 16, 1881
Did not go to church as Papa was not well and Mr.
B~ was not up in time to harness. Mama and I went
on the hill and found Uncle H~ much improved. After
supper I went down to see Mrs. Chesley found her
alone in the twilight - it was quiet and peaceful
there. Walter Cofran brought me home. It was a beautiful
moon light evening. We all sat in Aunt M's room
in the evening. Wrote to Palmer.
Monday, January 17, 1881
Mr. Brown and I went to Pittsfield made a call on
Mrs. Johnson on the way. She seemed almost very
pleasant until quite personal her daughter was not
home. Called to see Aunt Ann found them in better
condition than I expected. Got home about eight
o'clock. No letter yet.
Tuesday, January 18, 1881
Got up to help Mama get breakfast. Have felt about
sick all day in fact I have not felt well for several
days. I lay down in the p.m. I discovered toward
evening that my old toe was in a bad condition;
I dread to have it trouble me again. I suffered
so much with it last winter. Played checkers with
Mr. B~ in the evening. Papa was sick with 'rash'.
What a queer set of people we have here this winter.
Wednesday, January 19, 1881
Had the washing round all day. Went to the office
and store. Mr. B~ would stop at the office to have
a talk with Mr. Avery. And all I could say would
not move him. Mr. C~ gave me a card from Mr. _______
(Cremlier?) about the house in B~. Mr. Brown had
to carry himself home. Papa was cross. No letter
yet - what can be the trouble, it is three weeks
since I have heard. Aunt M~ is not well and Mamma
looks sick enough to be in bed. What are we going
to do. I must (get) back my health and ______ up
_______ (scholars?) in ____ _____.
Thursday, January 20, 1881
It was a beautiful morning. Got up
early and went to the office before mail time to
take out a letter. Aunt Eunice came down to spend
the day. She looks better but still bears traces
of her illness. Uncle H~ seems like himself again.
Made some cake for supper and did all I felt I could
to help poor dear Mama. I hope before long we may
have some peace and rest. Played w~ Mama this evening.
My toe seems better and I am thankful for I found
I should be suffer free from it. Mamma read me what
she has written for the G.R. It is lovely and I
hope she will finish it soon.
Friday, January 21, 1881
It has been a dismal day indoors and
out this evening - it storms hard. Mama is still
sick and Aunt M~ is not well and as usual at such
a time is very uncomfortable. How dark everything
looks. This p.m. I cut and partly made me a waist.
Mama wants to go away but if Aunt M~ insists on
packing up and leaving she says she will not go.
She ought to go for she needs rest and I think Aunt
M~ is very mean that she says so much to push it.
I can tell it anything and I feel sure it will not
be repeated. I may say things in anger as in sober
minutes but nobody but my diary knows it.
Saturday, January 22, 1881
The storm ceased this morning and about eleven the
sun began to shine off in the hills - first in one
place then in another and crept slowly along till
it reached us here. The sun will shine through our
life but clouded and thank you for it. I finished
my waist by sewing all the p.m. and evening. Papa
was cross as a bear and ended by drawing cider.
Everything is quiet now and I must lay me down to
rest. No letter since Dec. 28. What is the reason
- some good excuse I know and I must wait patiently.
Sunday, January 23, 1881
Could not attend church on account of the drifts.
I had learned the S. S. (Sunday School) lesson and
would have liked to have gone. Wrote to Nettie Binet
and Carroll. In the p.m. put on my snow shoes and
went to her. L's for the mail. Most of the evening
I spent in Aunt M's room. Felt sick all day and
this evening I cannot get warm. It is so cold I
am to sleep in Aunt M's room.
Monday, January 24, 1881
Made bread etc . in the morning. In the p.m. mended
my dress and went with Mr. B~ to the store. All
went well going up and coming home until we reached
the drift in the lane: at that point Charlie started
went into the drift and sent Mr. B~ and me rolling
down the bank; while he ran to the barn, the sleigh
up-side down leaving us (and) the groceries we had
purchased. There was no damage save the spraining
of Mr. B's finger and the loss of four bells. Made
some candy in the evening. I expect Palmer's letter
tomorrow. Have not heard from the office.
Tuesday, January 25, 1881
Worked all the a.m. Went to see Maude in the p.m.
Found her quite ill. John with his wife and her
sister came while I was there and they came up to
invest in a little furniture. Mrs. C~ had not heard
from Wakefield. So I wrote to Annie to learn the
cause of their silence.
Wednesday, January 26, 1881
The long looked for letter has come and would to
God it had never reached me. I have waited, trusted
in Palmer's love and this is my reward. I would
rather he had died then lived to destroy my confidence
in one whom I thought could never change. God help
and strengthen me to bear this burden. I have had
many trials but none like this. My faith in man
from this day can never be what it has been and
Palmer, can it be; has destroyed it. Can I forgive
him? Yes, for I love him and always shall though
he has forsaken me. Papa has been drunk all day.
Thursday, January 27, 1881
It has been a dismal day. My interest in all things
has left me and I long to be at rest with those
I love. But this will not do, I must rise above
this burden and trust in God knowing he doeth all
for our good - others have lived through the same
thing and I must bear up for Mamma's sake, but it
is hard, yes, very hard. To night the wind back
round the house and the vines rattling against the
windows reminds me of one night in Dec. when I was
so happy and all the world seemed so bright, but
that is of the past and I must "brace up"
fight life's battle alone, and looked back to those
days as if they were a dream. Forgetting what the
future promised and will, must fulfill.
Friday, January 28, 1881
A terrible windy day has closed around us and the
sun sank to his rest as peaceful as if we favor
him and beings had no troubles or cares. Even the
sun shine seems mockery to me and this New Year
from which I expected so much has so soon been blighted
and my life entirely changed in twenty days. Every
thing in my life which makes me happy or that I
love is torn from me and I (am) left to suffer.
It is the way with some lives and I seem to be one
of the unfortunate ones. The last light of day has
faded and I am alone.
Saturday, January 29, 1881
I have been sick today and could not eat last night
- I could not sleep: this burden is to(o) heavy
for me, but I hope I shall prove strong enough to
bear it. Dear Mamma, were it not for her, I should
be crazy but he(r) lively common sense talks do
me so much good and show me how weak I am to give
up under such a thing. Every day it seems harder
for me and the loss greater. It is said that time
heals the deepest wounds and I hope it will this
one but it will be a long time. This has been a
dreadful winter day and the snow is piling "drift
on drift" tonight it has grown calmer.
Sunday, January 30, 1881
All the old scenes and places and times Palmer and
I have had toget(her) have rushed into my mind one
after another all day. What wouldn't I give to see
him. I wrote a letter today which frees him from
his promise, it was the hardest task I ever had
to do but it had to be done. How can I send it?
How many times I have sat on this spot and written
him knowing he loved me and would be disappointed
if he did not hear, knew that he loved me above
all others and tonight I feel that I am nothing
to him. Will he ever come back: God alone knows
and he guards well his secrets.
Monday, January 31, 1881
Went down to see Mrs. C~ and on her inquiring for
Palmer, how he was, what he was doing, etc. I had
to tell her of the letter I received last; she was
quite as much surprised as I had been and seemed
to feel very badly. Everything reminds me of the
one so dear to me, but who has forsaken me for the
charms of another. I cannot realize that it is so.
Although that hasn't changed toward me "I will
love thee still my dear while the sounds of life
shall run". Nobody can ever take his place
to me, he is the only one I ever loved. I have been
fascinated and mistook it for love but I found it
was not. I wish it were summer and I could go into
the woods and fields.
Tuesday, February 1, 1881
Did my usual work in the morning. Went down to Abbies
in the p.m. and got her to fit my sack. She walked
home with me so I went to the store with her, rather
started, but I was so tired that I stopped at the
Chesley's. I had a nice talk with Mrs. C~, she could
not be more kind to me were she my own mother, her
kindness to and her interest in me I can never forget.
Talk-tired and sick at heart tonight, but time must
lighten my burden, and I have my dear good kind
Mama to talk with. I wish I were like her, she is
good and kind and loves us much.
Wednesday, February 2, 1881
This day has been the coldest in many years - the
mercury eleven below, at Mr. Wallace thirty 
at the city. Abbie was in the p.m. Mama has been
reading from her bed to me. I wish I could express
my thoughts as she can, but my relief (is) in the
dear old piano in joy or in sorrow, it is my comfort.
I hope I shall be able to study as I want to before
I get too old. Since my life is to be one alone,
I shall give my attention to music and try to be
cheerful, knowing that the happiness I have looked
forward to will always be a pleasant dream, the
reality belongs to another.
Thursday, February 3, 1881
"Be still sad heart and ease refining"
knowing that thy loss is some one's gain and it
may be some one who deserves it more than thou.
I can not feel that is true some has more than filled
my place to Palmer. I went to Mr. L's for the oil
and afterward took a walk in the drifts in the fields.
Wherever I go, Palmer is before me and every walk,
path, and drive brings his image before me - For
ten years we were together and walked in the woods
and all over the farm, talked over the beauty of
the pines and watched many a lovely sunset behind
old Kearsarge. I alway(s) think of _____ when I
look at that ___, but _____ is gone but only in
a different way and one burden to bear. Life's short
and I may meet her before I think so. A letter from
Annie this (day).
Friday, February 4, 1881
Oh dear: everything has been in confusion today
and I am thankful that the sun has set and it is
night at last. I have had to make a great effort
to keep up at all and I wish I were through. What
have I to live for? My life is nothing to anyone
but Mamma and it would not be many years for her.
How true it is that our nearest and dearest friends
are always taken from us when we feel perfectly
happy with them and our life be spent with people
who are uncongenial to us. I suppose it is for discipline
to prepare us for the happiness to come if we prove
ourselves worthy of such.
Saturday, February 5, 1881
Another week is past and gone and we are so much
nearer our heavenly home; so much nearer through
this life of toil and sorrow. How the days drag
by and how hard it is to be firm in ones good resolutions
and bear our little trials with patience. Hattie
S. and her father called Mr. Brown and I went to
the store, but as the drifts were so bad in our
lane, I walked from Mrs. C~. Mrs. C~ seemed better
today: how good she is to me. I shall always remember
her kindness. I have had some pleasant talks with
her in the twilight; and they will always be pleasant
to look back upon though our acquaintance ends here.
I shall always remember how pleasant and peaceful
the old seems recent to me.
Sunday, February 6, 1881
How strange it seems to have no letter to write
tonight and none to look forward to tomorrow night.
Spent the p.m. with Palmer's mother, his Uncle John
and Walter were there. Walter was as jolly as ever,
he brought me home and I walked down to Abbies to
meet Mamma. It has seemed a strange day to me everything
seems so changed. Papa has been and is drinking.
It is a beautiful moonlight evening. I wonder what
Palmer is doing and where he is; how I would like
to look in upon him.
Monday, February 7, 1881
Oh dear: what a dreadful day this has been. Papa
has been drunk and tonight is crazy and ugly. Oh
that I had Palmer to turn to as in days gone by;
it has always been such a comfort to me, it is so
hard to bear and feel that he who loved tenderly
a short time ago care nothing now. I swept and cleaned
my room. After dinner went coasting with Phil; as
the twilight faded away, the moon shine bright and
clear showing me all the places where I have been
and enjoyed so much. I wondered if he were not coasting
too on the lovely night and what young lady would
take me(my) place that so short a time ago nobody
could free. Mr. Cilley took our cow away this morning
and Papa is excited over it.
Tuesday, February 8, 1881
Another day has passed with no change. This a.m.
I received a letter from Carroll telling me of her
return to Boston, etc. I went to ride alone and
afterward I walked to Mr. Wiggin for milk and to
the store for crackers. I consequently feel very
tired tonight. Poor little Phil seems quite sick
tonight and I fear will have a fever; she seems
to have no strength and it would be very hard for
her. Oh dear: how desolate and dark everything looks
to me and how hard it is to always wear a mask;
how little people know the effort I have to make
to appear cheerful, and I hope they never will.
"It is always darker just before day light".
Wednesday, February 9, 1881
Another warm day is gone and numbers with the past.
The days are so much alike, I can scarcely tell
one from another: every morning there is the same
work to be done and the same things to bear in mind
and every evening the same thoughts crowd into my
mind, do what I will to forget them. Papa has been
very pleasant all day. I hoped Nathan would stay
away but he has made his appearance and that will
start Papa to drinking. Wrote to Fred today and
am going to finish a letter to Carroll tonight.
Went to the sand-hill with Martha on the way home
met Frank W~ who asked me to ride, but I politely
refused for I wish nothing to do with him.
Thursday, February 10, 1881
It has been a rainy dismal day, but the snow is
fast disappearing. The few past shiny-like days
have been a relief after such terrible cold. Although
I know winter must come again, a few warm days are
better than none. I wish spring were here, I so
long to walk in the fields and woods again. The
rain pattering on the roof reminds me of the summer
showers and the times which were about are not and
never can be. I am very tired tonight and this must
Friday, February 11, 1881
This morning the sun was bright and the rain has
ceased leaving several bare spots in the field.
I have been busy all day; I could not live if I
had nothing to do, my thoughts would craze me. At
morning I long for night and at night I wish it
were morning; still I know not what a day will bring
forth. Mamma and I tried to have a little talk but
were interrupted, later in the evening I tried to
play to her but met with the same result. Oh for
some place where we could be at rest and alone.
Frank Wallace brought the clothes and the mail.
Saturday, February 12, 1881
Felt very well in the morning and I thought to call
on Mrs. C~ but before I could get ready, it came
on rainy and poured. I fixed Mamma's bonnet for
her and remodeled my own hat for spring. Aunt M
seems real sick and poor old Mr. Brown is not well.
I wish I could help them both, but it is more than
I can do to help myself. Mamma seems some better
and does not look so tired. It has been a very dreary
day but it is over and another week is gone with
the past. I have had a very pleasant talk with Papa.
Sunday, February 13, 1881
Did up the work, dressed and went down to see Mrs.
Chesley. The day was fine but the walking was not
good. Everything was pleasant there. Mr. Cofran
was there. Mrs. C~ gave me two qts. of milk. Mamma
and I walked home with Abbie; it was a beautiful
moonlight evening. Aunt Martha seemed out of sorts.
Took some letters Mr. Wallaces and a paper to Grandma.
Was so cold I could not sit in my room. Had a letter
from Helen B.
Monday, February 14, 1881
Today was St. V's day but I should not have thought
about it had I not seen something about it in the
paper. My head ached this morning and I did not
get up to breakfast. Swept and cleaned Papa's room.
Went down to Mr. L's meadow was fit to skate on
and found it would be nice by tomorrow. The evening
was so delightful I did not want to come in so I
went coasting all alone. I never got such a shaking
as I did going over some of the drifts. They expect
Palmer home this week. I never dreaded to have him
come home as I do now and yet I long to see him.
I wonder if he will come up?
Tuesday, February 15, 1881
Henrietta came down to spend two or three days and
she brought us some provisions as usual - how kind
they are to us. Abbie and I went to the store. Philley
wanted me to go skating so I went with her and I
went to Mrs. C~'s. Palmer is not coming home this
vacation. I am glad in some accounts and sorry in
others. Mamma and I went to the store to get some
milk of terrek (?). I have been experiencing so
much. I am very tired. I fell through some of the
ice and cut my foot. I am afraid I shall suffer
again. Mr. B~. spent the day on the hill and Uncle
H. brought him home. Jennie showed me a lovely birthday.
Jennie showed me a lovely birthday presents from
Palmer: ____ Child Life.
Wednesday, February 16, 1881
How glad I am that night is here and I can come
to my diary and tell my thoughts. This has been
a day like all the rest. Henrietta had a talk with
Papa and she is willing to do anything but would
like to stay her till she dies. How I wish I could
help him. My shoulder is very lame and my face aches
dreadfully. I have been playing all the evening.
I wonder if P~ ever thinks of "his darling"
now and wonders what she is doing? It has snow(ed)
today but has cleared off this evening.
Thursday, February 17, 1881
This has been a day like all the rest. A letter
from Fred this morning. Uncle H~ came for Henrietta
this evening. Have not been well.
Friday, February 18, 1881
I have been real sick all day and tonight I feel
miserably. Papa & Mr. B~ went to Northunion
for a cow today but Papa was disappointed in her
and did not get her. We all feel badly about it
- Mr. Coggswell asked more than they thought it
worth and she was not full-blooded Jersey either.
It has been sunny most all day.
Saturday, February 19, 1881
Another week is past and gone with no changes of
any kind. I have felt sick for several days and
tonight I feel no better. Aunt M~ has been very
pleasant all day. My legs ache, my head aches and
I ache all over. I wish I could be well and strong.
I wanted to write but did not feel able. I wish
summer were here. It blows tonight and the air is
full of snow. I must write Augusta that Mr. Thorpe
was at Mrs. Fiskers. She would like to know it.
Played checkers with Mr. B~ and and beat him far
Sunday, February 20, 1881
As I was not able to make my usual call I looked
over my old letters and (tore) up most of them.
It seems like bidding farewell to all my past-life,
but it seems foolish to keep so many old letters.
Wrote to Fred and Augusta. Have felt some better
today. Mamma and I had a nice long talk in the old
dining room in the twilight. Papa drank last night
and is at it again tonight. It has been a beautiful
day. The stillness tonight is really oppressive.
Monday, February 21, 1881
Toothache all day and last night.
Tuesday, February 22, 1881
Toothache all day. Mr. B~ went to the Dr's. and
got some oil of clove for me and I feel better this
evening. Made gingerbread and for a wonder it baked
well. Had a letter from Mrs. Bennett. Aunt M~ has
been very pleasant. Wrote to Helen Barys last evening.
Shall go to Pittsfield soon and have my tooth filled.
Wednesday, February 23, 1881
Thursday, February 24, 1881
I could not write last night for it was cold everywhere
and it was all I could do to nurse my face it ached
so badly. I have made up my mind to go to C~ to
have it filled. Tonight is it more comfortable and
I hope I shall rest. I can not help Mamma now and
seems very hard for her to have everything to do.
Aunt M~ has been very kind to me. I wish she would
always be as pleasant as she has been the past two
or three days. It has been a whole week since I
have been out. Expect Hattie tomorrow. Papa was
drunk again last night.
Friday, February 25, 1881
Saturday, February 26, 1881
My tooth ached so terribly I could not rest any
and I got up before seven and dressed me. Aunt M~
called Mr. B~ and asked him to go for the Dr. but
Papa drove up and got the Dr. he came about 1/2
after ten and gave me eather (sp?) and extracted
the old thing. When I was coming out from the ether
I turned and saw the doctor and said who is that?
I thought it looked like that horrid Dr. French,
how I do hate that man etc.and then I went on to
tell why I hated him so because he said 'old steel'
was the best thing for my tooth. I am glad the old
thing is gone - suffered so I could not write yesterday
and still have to leave another blank page - but
nothing happened worth writing down. It was a sunny
day so Hattie did not come until today. She took
the softer and grey summer suit.
Sunday, February 27, 1881
Got up about noon; it seemed so good to be able
to rest - I stayed in bed and enjoyed it. Two weeks
I had no rest with that old tooth but now it is
gone and I am glad. Aunt M~ and Papa have gone on
the hill. I guess he misses me when he has to go
and do the errands. Last night "Winter in the
Backwoods" was in the G. ____(Beck?) - I was
Monday, February 28, 1881
Tuesday, March 1, 1881
Wednesday, March 2, 1881
Thursday, March 3, 1881
Three pages I shall have to leave unwritten. Sunday
evening I had the return of that dreadful face ache.
No one knows what I suffered. Morphine quieted me
during the night and Monday. Mr. B~ went for the
Dr. He did not get (here) until Tuesday noon - then
he lanced my jaw and since then I have suffered
little, some from weakness and headache. Monday
Papa was drunk all day and last night he was at
it again. He has been very kind to me since I have
been sick. I wish I could get well and keep well;
it is so hard to be sick. It has stormed since Mon.
morn. Mrs. Chesley came out and where Mr. B~ (has)
been, I was yesterday. I expect she is worried about
me. I long so to get out doors again. How I long
for a letter as a look of the one I love but I must
give him up and forget him.
Friday, March 4, 1881
Another stormy dismal day is past. Will the sun
ever shine again? I have been reading most all day
and this evening looked over some old letters and
among them were some from "Crew" which
I saved. I wish he would write again, he writes
such nice letters, but I would rather have one from
somewhere else. I feel some better tonight but still
weak. I wrote a letter to Mr. Huntington tonight
but I don't know as I shall send it. I would like
to be in Washington today and all the display; but
my time will come.
Saturday, March 5, 1881
The sun came out for a while this morning but went
back in disgust or else it has forgotten how to
shine. Mr. B~ has been away all day. Abbie was in
this evening. I spent the p.m. in reading history
and I intend to try and learn more for I feel so
ignorant in everything. Mamma taught me an old song
which her mother used to sing and it is lovely,
all the old songs seem prettier than these modern
"flipi gigi". I can't bear them.
Sunday, March 6, 1881
Another Sunday is past but it has not seemed like
much of anything to me for we have no order and
no system; everything is done just as one feels.
I have been in my room most all day reading.
The sunset tonight was beautiful and for a long
time I saw the last rays through the woods on the
hill. The light grew dim and dimmer until the last
bright tint faded into the gray of twilight; the
days begin to seem like spring. I think I shall
be able to hope again tomorrow. I do want to get
out so much and go to see Mrs. C and learn if there
is anything new in W~.
Monday, March 7, 1881
It is cold in my room and I cannot write much indeed
there is nothing to write. Papa was drunk and kept
us all awake last night. Uncle Henry was down this
morning. Read some and practiced an hour and a half
toward evening. I must begin and practice or I shall
lose what little I know. Mamma wrote the words to
an old scotch song for me. Have not heard from the
office but of course there will be no letter for
Tuesday, March 8, 1881
Went out for the first time in three weeks. While
Papa was at town meeting, I staid with Mrs. Chesley.
Palmer thinks he will not take the school another
year but go away to study medicine. I hope he will
for I want to see him succeed well not withstanding
he has broken with me. Read some and practiced.
Mama seems better than she has for some time. My
jaw is still aching. I don't know as it will ever
Wednesday, March 9, 1881
Helped some about the work. Mama went to the Drs.
with me but we did not find him home. Practiced
and read some, but Mr. B~ was talking and I could
not tell what I was reading, I do wish I could have
a place or one room by myself where I could read.
Have felt as if I would give anything to see Palmer
even for only a few minutes. It storms tonight but
the moon is bright and does not seem as dismal.
Thursday, March 10, 1881
Oh: dear: what a dreadful day this has been. Papa
has been so drunk that he could hardly walk and
talked so terribly to Mama that she has gone to
Uncle Henry's to stay tonight. It is terribly desolate
to have her away. I hope some time we may be together
and live in peace. Papa is still drinking and Nathan
is still here. Had a letter from Helen B~ and Agnes
Spencer. Aunt M~ is dreadfully worried and I feel
very nervous; but I must brace up for Mama's sake.
Friday, March 11, 1881
Mama did not come home today. I hope she will tomorrow
for it is terrible here with her away; but I am
glad she can have a little rest. Papa got up at
two and ate his breakfast. Aunt M~ was not well
and I had all the work to do and because I was tired
she wondered what I had to do to tire me, where
she does a part of the work she thinks it inconsiderable,
but when anyone else does it, it is nothing. I had
a rest after dinner in the dining room in the twilight.
It seemed so good to be quiet and alone. I read
most of the p.m. but could not practice it was so
cold in the sitting room and I was so tired last
night. I dreamed of Palmer and he has been in my
mind all day. I wish a part of my dream might come
true but I know it will not.
Saturday, March 12, 1881
Mama did not come home today. I am glad that she
can have a rest, but it does seem as if I could
not stay another day without her. I wouldn't live
with Aunt M~ for fifty dollars a week and have her
have the control of everything. She thinks people
must be insane if they like to be alone, but I can
understand that better than I can how any one can
enjoy spending two-thirds of their time talking
about nothing. Went for milk with Papa today. It
was lovely out, but nothing seems pleasant with
Mama away. I do wish we could live in harmony. Papa
is very pleasant and I think feels very badly. I
wonder what Palmer is doing tonight and if he ever
thinks of his Epsom friends now-a-days. Read some
Sunday, March 13, 1881
Another day is passed and Mama is still away. I
do wish she would come home. I wonder what will
turn up next? Things grow worse and worse and the
worst is yet to come. I went down to Abbie's after
supper, and she came home with me. Papa has been
very good and helped about the work. I am dreadfully
tired tonight and my legs tremble so I can hardly
walk. I slept most all the afternoon so I neither
read or wrote.
Monday, March 14, 1881
Mama came home this morning; it seemed so good to
see her. Uncle Henry thinks the only way to do is
to put Papa under guardianship and it does seem
the best way. Went down to the Chesley's. Mr. Wallace
was going up so I rode with him and came home with
him. They had a letter I guess from Wakefield, I
would like to know if they have heard. I am dreadfully
tired and although it is but little past eight -
I am going to bed.
Tuesday, March 15, 1881
It has been a beautiful day. Aunt M~ and I went
to the store. Mrs. Wells came up and washed. Practiced
but did not read for I did not get through my work
until late and then I had to rest. Mama seems very
Wednesday, March 16, 1881
Another stormy and pleasant day; it has been a regular
spring day. Belle Chesley came in this p.m. I read
most all the afternoon and practiced my usual time.
I am very tired tonight. This evening we received
the new of the assassination of Czar of Russia,
Alexander II; he was killed by the Mielise throwing
a shell which exploded under the body of his carriage
and another thrown after he got out - he died about
three p.m. and was surprised about eleven a.m. It
seems a sad death. Aunt M~ seems to take no interest
in the event if it had only been a Baptist minister
she would have cried over it.
Thursday, March 17, 1881
Nothing unusual happened. Cleaned and cooked. Read
some and practiced. Went over to see how Sophila
was doing and found her quite ill. Mr. Brown went
away this morning, but has got back.
Friday, March 18, 1881 (Crossed out Friday and wrote
Owing to my blunder last evening I shall have to
write on this page for Saturday instead of Friday.
I am dreadfully tired tonight. Had a letter from
Augusta and it made me feel very blue; how I wish
things could be as they used to be. Mama and I took
a little walk in the fields. Practiced but was too
tired to read. Nathan is here tonight, the first
time for over a week. I wish he would stay away.
I am afraid Papa will drink again.
Saturday, March 19, 1881 (Crossed out Saturday and
Washed dishes, cooked and so forth as usual. Received
a letter from Uncle John with his picture. I was
so glad to get it. Went to Mr. Cilley's and the
Chesley's; they heard from Annie Monday but she
said nothing about Palmer. I am dreadfully tired
tonight. Practiced but did not read.
Sunday, March 20, 1881
Have felt too tired to read or write and have loafed
around all day. Read a little to Philley and played
to Mama for a while this evening. It had been a
very dreary day and everybody is as blue as a "whet-stone".
This weather is terrible. I hope it will soon be
over. I am almost afraid to wish for summer for
I can't tell what it may bring with it. Mama looks
sick. I wish she were well and strong.
Monday, March 21, 1881
Was not an unpleasant day. I worked, etc. Brought
the old bureau down into the kitchen that has been
outside for so many years; it was my great-great-grandmother's.
Went to the Wallace's with Abbie. Practiced two
hours but read none.
Tuesday, March 22, 1881
Aunt Eunice came down and spent the day. Abbie sewed
for Aunt M~ and when she took her basque to have
it fixed she found (it) eaten with moths so that
it was spoiled, also her best shawl, the little
one Hattie sent her and the little dolman, her dress
was all right. I took Aunt Eunice up to the office
and met Uncle Henry there. I am to spend the night
with Abbie. It seems very quiet and lovely here.
Wednesday, March 23, 1881
When we came home this morning, Mama met us at the
front door because Papa was drunk in the kitchen;
he was raving round all last night and is still
drunk tonight - and Nathan here to finish all. I
went down to the Chesley's with Mr. Wallace and
Jennie told me she saw a young gentleman in Concord
and asked for us and spoke of dear little Hil; also
said that her roommate was dying in consumption.
I am so afraid that Hati is going just as Hil did.
How everyone is keeping us. I am really afraid to
get a letter for fear it will ____(find?) some death.
Thursday, March 24, 1881
Mrs. Wells came up to work. I cooked all the forenoon
and ironed my dress which I am going to make over.
Read some in the p.m. and practiced in the evening.
Papa did not get up until three o'clock. Went out
and coasted awhile with Phil and Hattie Wells.
Friday, March 25, 1881
Have been lazy all day. Have done nothing scarcely:
but cut over my gray dress and fit the waist; I
left out the piece under the arm and made both sleeves
for one arm but we had lots of fun over it and I
didn't mind. Abbie ran for a minute. Practiced this
evening but have been too lazy and stupid to read.
Mrs. Wells is coming tomorrow to clean, I am glad
to say. Went over for the milk and had a pleasant
call. Papa bought 1 gal. spread of Mr. Fogg.
Saturday, March 26, 1881
Papa was as cross as a bear this morning but seemed
more amiable this p.m. Did very little housework
but I sewed all the p.m. on my dress and finished
the waist besides basting the overskirt together.
Did not read any but practiced this evening but
I have such a fearful headache I could do nothing
well. Phil has been real sick all day and this p.m.
she sat up more; she is better tonight and I guess
will be all right in the morning.
Sunday, March 27, 1881
It has been a cold, windy blustering day, the most
dismal day of all the year. I have lounged round
all day. After supper I went to Mr. Cilley's for
meat but got none. I stopped at the Chesley's but
did not see Mrs. C~ for John and his wife were there.
I am very sleepy. Have been trying to write to Uncle
John but did feel in the mood and made sorry work
Monday, March 28, 1881
Was lazy all day. Read some in the p.m. but felt
sick all the afternoon and tonight I begin to suffer
some. Papa was cross all day, he did not get up
'til noon. Uncle Henry came down this morning but
I did not see him for I did not get up very early.
Practiced two hours but read nothing. Mama walked
over to the Tarlton place but I could not go for
I was sick.
Tuesday, March 29, 1881
I have been sick all day and Papa was as cross as
a bear. I guess Uncle Henry must have said something
to stir him up. I hope he did, Papa has gone down
in the woods and I expect he will come home drunk
for Nathan is down there. Papa was drunk all last
night. Mrs. Wells has been here to wash. This is
written at four o'clock and I shall write other
incidents this evening if there are any to write.
Papa came home "straight" and was very
pleasant. I practiced, tried to read but felt too
sick. Mr. Brown has not got back.
Wednesday, March 30, 1881
Mr. Brown did not come back last night and has not
returned this morning. I felt quite sick this morning
but am well tonight. Practiced and read a very little.
Sewed on my dress all the p.m. Mama went out and
found some Mayflower buds. Papa walked up to the
store, he has been very pleasant today. It has been
a dreadful blurry day. I hope we shall have some
pleasant weather soon.
Thursday, March 31, 1881
This has been another dismal day and I have been
living in the past. Papa has been drunk but is sober
tonight; he did not go to bed last night and that
means drunkenness. I went over to Mr. Wallace's
through the drifts and got very wet, but I felt
better for going out. Practiced as usual, sewed
all the p.m. so I had no time to read. Mr. Brown
has not made his appearance yet. I really feel anxious
about him. I would like to hear from the office
tonight for I feel as if I should get a letter.
I had a funny dream about Palmer last night.
Friday, April 1, 1881
Was a beautiful day. Have been sewing all the p.m.
Abbie has been sewing for Aunt M~ and I came home
with her to spend the night; we played letters in
the evening. Nathan went into our house. I hope
Nathan and Papa still not drunk. Went over to Mr.
Wallace's to take some letters. I wrote one to Sarah
Wallace about some scholars in Loudon. I hope I
shall get some. Practiced before I came away.
Saturday, April 2, 1881
When I came home from Abbie's, found Papa half drunk.
Abbie has been sewing for Aunt M~ and I have finished
my grey dress. Next I shall go to work on my red
sack. I could not practice it was so cold and Papa
was not willing I should have a fire. I went through
part of my exercises and part of my scales and stopped.
Went over to Mr. W's for the mail. The moon was
beautiful and never seemed large enough to be a
small moon and very bright. Am very tired.
Sunday, April 3, 1881
Feel very tired. I have been down to see Mrs. Chesley
and went to Mr. Cilley's to see about some meat.
Mrs. C~ had not heard from Wakefield for two weeks
or more. Mama has gone down to Abbies. Although
it is not seven o'clock, I am going to bed to see
if I cannot feel rested in the morning. Wrote to
Monday, April 4, 1881
Has been a terribly windy day. I have not felt very
well and Papa has been drunk all day. I bored a
hole in the cider barrel and I hope the old stuff
will all run out. Walked up to Mr. Halls to cash
some cheques for Aunt M~. Went to be about half-past
nine. It was so cold I could not practice.
Tuesday, April 5, 1881
Made bread, etc. - Went for the milk - lay down
in the p.m. and after dinner went up to Uncle Charles's
to see about getting Michael and Barry for scholars.
Mrs. Steele said she would be glad to have them
come. I shall begin as soon as possible. I turned
all the cider outdoors that was in the barrel. Am
very tired. Too cold to practice.
Wednesday, April 6, 1881
Abbie has been in sewing for Aunt M~ today and Mrs.
Wells has been washing. Abbie and I went to the
depot to get Aunt M~'s bundle which came by express
instead of mail and causes her so much trouble.
Papa seems very cross tonight but I guess will be
better in the morning. Mr. B~ has not come back.
Saw Uncle H~ at the store. I feel dreadfully lonely
tonight and long for the sympathy and love I card
to have. Practiced. Mrs. Wells will send her children
to me to school and I am to begin Tuesday.
Thursday, April 7, 1881
It has seemed a little warmer today. Poor little
Phil has a terrible cough and they all think it
is whooping cough, if so, my plan of having a school
will amount to nothing. I wish she would bet well
for I hate to hear her cough so. Mr. Brown and I
went to the office and I got some alcohol at the
Drs. Mrs. French was very agreeable. I feel very
much discouraged tonight for everything looks so
dark and every opening seemed closed. I had a letter
from Carrie Hammond and a note from Sarah Wallace.
Friday, April 8, 1881
Has been much warmer today and I hope warm weather
has come. Philly has the whooping cough and that
puts an end to my school, it seems as if everything
was against my earning or doing anything. Venus
is very bright and the shadow of the whole tree
is cast on the snow from the moon, rather remarkable
for the eighth day of April. Nathan is in tonight
and I expect they will drink again. Oh! dear, I
feel so discouraged and sick. I wish I were through.
Mr. Brussels gave away to Mr. Sanders.
Saturday, April 9, 1881
Has been a beautiful day. Got up a little past six,
the birds were singing and the sun was shining bright
and warm. Papa has been drawing wood. Aunt M~ has
gone on the hill. Abbie has been in the p.m. Mrs.
Wells has been cleaning. I fixed over my blue cambric
dress and mended my flannel. I don't feel one bit
like writing tonight; this morning I could have
written lots for the lovely morning gave me inspiration.
Wrote to Louden about music scholars.
Sunday, April 10, 1881
After I did the work, Mama, Phil and I went down
into the woods to get Mayflowers and I went from
there up to Mrs. Chesley's where I stayed most all
day. Belle went with me up to Uncle Charles'. Mrs.
Heath came to see me about teaching her daughter
and I told her I would do so and I expect she will
be up Tuesday or Wed. I have felt very blue all
day. Oh, that Palmer were to me what he has been.
The measles are in his school and nearly half his
scholars are sick with them. I wonder if he will
be home this summer. I have got a dreadful cold
and feel about sick. It seems so still at times
that I don't know what to do with myself.
Monday, April 11, 1881
I have been dreadfully blue all day and if I don't
get away from here soon I shall be as sour as vinegar.
Mr. Brown and I went up to Silver and Robinsons
and made a call on Mrs. Cotrell; met Belle and Jenny
C~. I wonder what Palmer is doing tonight, does
he ever think of me? I would like to know. I am
afraid this year has been an injury rather than
a benefit to him. I could not sew today, I felt
too sick. It seems as if we had all come to a sudden
stop, the house is so still. Poor Mr. Brown seems
real sick tonight and he is groaning terribly now.
Tuesday, April 12, 1881
Haven't done much of anything but practice today
for I have been about sick with a cold. Mr. Brown
and Papa have been receiving and chopping wood.
Papa is very nervous and I am afraid he will drink
for Nathan is here.
Wednesday, April 13, 1881
Has been snowing all day, but has cleared now; everything
is laden with snow, the pines look beautifully.
Uncle Henry was down this p.m. and said he had a
letter from Uncle John saying he would take this
place, the S. place or both if it would help us
along. Uncle H~ also said that Mr. Greecy had sued
for the bill he has sent to Papa so many times.
I hope "crazy" G~ won't get it and Papa
says he can't. It seems so quiet and peaceful to
have Mr. B~ and Aunt M~ away. Papa was drunk last
night and was "blowing" brew up half the
night so kept me awake and I did not get up until
Thursday, April 14, 1881
Mr. Ham came and white-washed the kitchens and they
seems so white. I feel lost. Now I want to get some
pretty paper and have them find in decent order.
Fixed my brown and light cambric skirt so that it
looks very well. I am very tired. Mama gave Nathan
a talking to and told him to stop coming here to
drink. Poor man, I really pity him, for I know he
must suffer; it must be terrible to be a slave to
such an appetite. It has be neither pleasant nor
unpleasant today, a real April day.
Friday, April 15, 1881
It has been a cold snowy day. Uncle Henry came down
to see Papa about the property in Brooklyn and got
him to sign a paper so Uncle John can save some
money if there is any in the house in B~. Have been
dreadfully tired all day, had a nap in the p.m.
Papa had to go up to the city today to hand in his
paper. It is so cold Mama had to build a fire in
the west - seems last year at this time the Mayflowers
were in bloom.
Saturday, April 16, 1881
Made brown bread and baked some buns for the first
time in my life. Abbie came in on her way home from
Chesley's, she said she told them their sister Helen
was coming down. I guess Jenny and her mother had
a good laugh. Papa went up to the depot to see Uncle
Henry and get back the paper he signed yesterday.
Mama and I went out for a little walk. Poor Mr.
Brown has been real sick today. I feel so sorry
for him. I wish he could be with his daughter, he
seems so lonely.
Sunday, April 17, 1881
Papa was drunk this morning and has been drinking
all day. Tonight he as ugly as the devil. I went
to church but how different it seemed from Easter
Sunday at my own church. I do long to go once more.
Mama and Phil went to the Tarlton Place and I was
to go over in the p.m. Mr. B~ stayed to S.S.(Sunday
School) to "gab" with somebody and made
me so late home that I could not get to the ____(S.D.?)_
till about four and I found nobody there. I was
so tired, it seemed as if I could not take another
step but I had to come home tonight my legs ache
terribly. Papa was so hateful and ugly I brought
my supper to my own room to eat it.
Monday, April 18, 1881
Aunt M~ came back today. What a breeze she does
make. Mr. Brown came back also. Papa is quite pleasant
as he always is after a drink. He and Phil went
to Northwood to see some cows. I wanted to go to
the Coggswells but felt too tired. Have been very
tired all day. I wonder why I don't hear from Louden.
Tuesday, April 19, 1881
Hid the work and went over to Short Falls to get
some rubbers mended. Took Abbie to Mr. Cilley's
and Belle Chesley went to S.F. with me. Mr. Tennant
showed us over the O.F. Hall. I got very tired.
I was so tired I could not practice. Mrs. Wells
has been washing.
Wednesday, April 20, 1881
Felt very tired this morning. Mama got up and got
breakfast for me. Papa went to an auction and bought
a hen and some chickens; he also went to Mr. Coggswells
and bought his cow. Abbie has been in this p.m.
and cut me a sacque pattern and cut off my black
basque. I went over to Mr. Lawrence's to have some
"chicken pie made out of veal" which was
very nice. Swept over a part of the door yard and
Mama and Aunt M~ raked some. I feel very blue tonight
and long for the love that is good but such piety
must be done and the more cheerfully it is done,
the better - twill end I suppose.
Thursday, April 21, 1881
Uncle Henry came down for Aunt M~ and he brought
her back this evening. also Aunt Ann. It seemed
very pleasant to see Aunt Ann; she is so quiet and
pleasant. Papa and Phil went to Mr. Coggswells to
get the cow he bought yesterday. I swept and cleaned
my room. Basted my cashmere dress together. I think
it will be very pretty, they all like it. Practiced
a short time
(be-)for(e) Aunt Ann came. I am very tired tonight.
Mr. Brown came down with Uncle Henry but went back
to Mr. Sanders.
Friday, April 22, 1881
Made some cake and did the work. Mama ironed and
Aunt Ann helped her some then she put the cord on
my basque for me. I sewed my dress together and
got it so I could finish it tomorrow. Mama went
with me to carry Aunt Ann to the cars and we got
caught in a shower, it was a real April shower,
the first of the season. I had to borrow an umbrella
at the store. Aunt Ann seemed very pleasant but
much worn and depressed.
Saturday, April 23, 1881
Papa was cross this morning and twitting about our
doing nothing. I hope some time he will get somebody
who will work enough to please him but I doubt such
a person exists. Mama and I went to Uncle Henrie's
and up to the farther store. We had a lovely drive,
but I was very tired when we got home. I had so
many errands to do. Mr. Knowles was round with some
paper and Papa got some for the front kitchen and
dining rooms. Kattie was home and looked much better
than I expected to see her.
Sunday, April 24, 1881
Went to church with Belle and she came home with
me to spend the p.m. Papa was drinking last night
and all day today and too he was so drunk Nathan
had to lead him from Mr. Jacob Griffin's where he
spent the day; he bought a cow and gave thirty-five
($35) dollars for it. Belle and I went down to Uncle
Charles' woods to get some flowers and we stopped
and talked when we got near the old cow gate. The
frogs were croaking and the air was soft and reminded
me of happy days gone by. This doesn't seem like
the same old place where Augusta, Kit and I used
to have such jolly times in _____ seems like a different
Monday, April 25, 1881
Took Aunt Martha and Abbie to the depot to go to
Manchester. Called on Mrs. Swain on my way home
but she had gone, also Sadie. Belle came up in the
p.m. and I stitched up a dress for her. I made her
stay to tea. I found I was sick when I got home
from the depot and I lay down at eleven and slept
till two. Papa took down the partition and stove
in the dining room; it looks like home there now.
Mr. Griffin took the cow back and gave Papa the
money for it. I was so glad for I did not much want
the cow and he could not afford to buy it. I could
not practice. Went to bed about seven.
Tuesday, April 26, 1881
Had to lie down most all day. Went to the office
to meet Aunt Martha. She was very tired and so was
I. She got me some pretty gloves for sixty-seven
cents. I made a call on Mrs. Cotrell. Mr. Philbrick
was there and he said Addie Veasy is to have his
school this summer. I am so glad for I think she
will take music lessons. Aunt M~ saw Mr. G~ and
inquired for me. She stayed all night at the Pearsons.
Wednesday, April 27, 1881
Have been very tired all day. Worked some, sewed
some and practiced. Uncle Henry and Etta came down
toward evening. Aunt M~ has been talking about the
affairs and to hear her one would think Mrs. Dermitt
had told all she ever knew, but her talk makes little
impression on me. Papa has been working hard all
day and tomorrow is going up to help Walter.
Thursday, April 28, 1881
Papa has been to Walter's at work and it has been
very quiet all day. I sewed some and read some besides
practicing, these days seem very sad to me and I
long for May to go for I dread the meeting that
must come. How different it will be from the one
I looked forward to. Phil and I went for Mayflowers
and I took a long nap. Aunt M~ has had one of her
ugly days and she has been twitting me about being
rude to Mr. G~ which I never was and I guess she
didn't feel any better for saying what she did.
I only wish she knew what he said about her.
Friday, April 29, 1881
It has been a lovely rainy day and the birds seemed
in their happiest moods and sang as if their little
throats would burst. Mrs. Wells has been cleaning
the dining room and it looks so much better. This
p.m. was quite pleasant and Mama and I went to Uncle
Henrie's and the store. We called to see Jeffrey
Brown and he said he would help me plant some trees
in the cemetery tomorrow, so I went down in the
pasture tonight to get a little pine tree.
Saturday, April 30, 1881
This morning I baked and did the work then went
out and dug three trees and took them to the cemetery
where Mr. Jef~ Brown set them out for me. I took
up the white rose bush and I sowed some sweet clover.
Papa has been helping Walter today and has come
home very tired. This evening Mama and I took up
the white, blue and ____ fleur-de-lis and put them
in the hot bed.
I am too tired to practice - this closes the last
day of April and a beautiful evening it is but a
Sunday, May 1, 1881
It was quite late when I got up this morning and
it threatened a cool day but grew warmer this p.m.
and Mama, Phil and I went in the woods for flowers.
Abbie came in this evening but Aunt M~ gabbled so
nobody could say anything. I don't know what ails
me for the last few days. I feel so sad and lonely
it seems that I cannot live. I had such strange
dreams last night and night before. I dreamed about
Hattie Sanborne, last night it was about Palmer
but he seemed to Fred Steele. I do wish Aunt M~
would go to Brooklyn so we could have some rest.
She does tire me so and she is so disagreeable for
(most) of the times.
Monday, May 2, 1881
Intended to go to Mrs. C~ today but Walter came
to work and I had to get dinner - then Sophila L.
came for me to go for Mayflowers. I am very tired
tonight. Papa is drunk and ugly. George Ham has
been here. I did not practice. Papa was so cross
I came up to my room and have been here all the
Tuesday, May 3, 1881
Papa was not wholly over his drinking this morning
but is sober and pleasant tonight. I went down to
the Chesley's after supper. Read a letter from Anna
Hammond. Mama had one from Mrs. O~ and Grandma.
Grandma's was very sad and Mrs. O's was about the
house in C~ which is to be sold tomorrow at auction.
I suppose the curtains and everything will go now.
I hate to have it sold but it can not be helped.
Everyone is in bed and I must go too. Ellen Chesley
and Ella Cilley called on me. I went down to Mrs.
C~ toward evening.
Wednesday, May 4, 1881
My arms are very badly poisoned and this morning
I had to go to the Drs. to get something for them.
Mrs. Wells came up and Mama helped her clean the
garret and such a dirty place as it was. I worked
round until noon and then I lay down for I have
not slept much for two nights. I sewed a little
Thursday, May 5, 1881
This morning Mama and I got ready to go to Concord,
but Papa would not let us have the horse, Mama tried
to get one somewhere else but there was none to
be had, so the whole forenoon was wasted. I spent
the p.m. at the Chesley's and felt better when I
got home for I was provoked with Aunt M~ when I
went away. My arms are so sore I could not practice.
Mama had a letter from Kate Cole tonight. Papa seemed
very much disturbed and I don't wonder. I pity him
very much and wish things to be different.
Friday, May 6, 1881
It rained and Manson Griffin came to paper the dining
room. I helped him and have not had time even to
comb my hair. I had to "tool" up to the
store in the rain to get bordering. The room looks
very nice now and is clean. Tomorrow we shall paper
the front kitchen.
Saturday, May 7, 1881
I got up early and went to work about the papering,
cut the paper and had half the old paper off when
M~ got here. Papa moved the stove and I got M~ and
he to take the old sofa out and tonight the room
looks quite like a dining room. I have hung up pictures
and made a change generally, but I am so tired I
have not rested for five minutes since I got up.
The bordering I had would not do so I had to go
to the store for some.
Sunday, May 8, 1881
It was late when I got up and I have lounged round
all day. It was lovely this morning but this evening
the wind is out east and it has grown cold. Mr.
Brown took Aunt M~ on the hill and she will be back
tomorrow morning. Papa has gone down to Nathan's
but I guess will come home all right.
Monday, May 9, 1881
Papa sat up late and drank last night but he was
sober this a.m. about ten he went down to Mr. Ambrose's
and got cider somewhere. When he got back I went
on the hill and found Grandpa dead. He died this
morning at half past nine; he was ninety-one and
six months. Aunt M~ came home with me to get some
of her things and we went over to Mrs. J~ Wallace's.
Tonight they have all gone on the hill and I am
alone. I have been reading a letter from Palmer
which he wrote just after his vacation and sends
"much love to my darling". It seems as
if it would kill me to think I must see him next
week and only as a friend. I have got the silver
in the dining room and the old chair that was at
Mr. Casses. When I get the screen up it will be
very pleasant there.
Tuesday, May 10, 1881
Mrs. Wells came up and washed and things went as
usual. How little we realize how unimportant we
are and how little change our dying would make.
Poor Grandpa, he is gone but everything else is
unchanged; so it will be with us all. Mama and I
went up to the Halls and carried some vinegar Jeffrey
Brown. I took off the muslin on my shade hat, worked
it and put it on again. Mama fixed her bonnet to
wear tomorrow to the funeral. Ed Yeaton came down
this evening for Aunt M~'s big chair.
Wednesday, May 11, 1881
I had to hurry in order to get through the work
to go to Grandpa's funeral. Abbie came in and went
with us. I did not see Grandpa for I would rather
remember him as I knew him. The sermon was one which
he would have liked and everything seemed like him.
Abbie came to tea with us. I went down to the Chesley's
and up to the office with Mr. Wallace. Mrs. C~ got
a letter from Annie, but I have not seen her yet.
Aunt Ann wants Aunt Martha to make her a visit before
going to B~. I guess she said (she) will go. I am
Thursday, May 12, 1881
Papa was half drunk this morning but is sober and
pleasant tonight. Mrs. Wells has been cleaning and
the west room and sitting room are now in order.
I worked until one and then I had to lye down. I
was so tired. Mama, Phil and I went over to Mrs.
Cofrin's and to the office: after I got home, I
had bread to make and several little things to do.
It was very warm this morning but is cool tonight.
Friday, May 13, 1881
Mrs. Wells was here cleaning and Papa had Manson
Griffin to help him so I had to get dinner at noon.
I hadn't flour enough to make the bread so I had
to go over and borrow some of Mrs. Wallace and I
met Aunt M~ and Aunt E~ coming to our home. I got
Mr. W~'s horse to carry Aunt M~ to the cars to go
to Pittsfield, we came near missing the train. I
tried to rest in the p.m. but I could not: it is
so near time for Palmer to come home I can not rest
or sleep. Papa has been dreadfully cross all day
and part drunk.
Saturday, May 14, 1881
I was so tired I could hardly keep about. Mama has
been about sick. I lay down all the p.m. and had
a good nap. I was too tired to go to Abbie's. Toward
evening I walked down to Walters: it was lovely
out and I hated to come in, the air is filled with
sweetness from the trees and flowers and everything
looks beautifully. One ought to be happy when all
around is beautiful but we human beings have so
much to trouble us we cannot always throw off our
cares and sorrows.
Sunday, May 15, 1881
It has been a rainy dismal day and yet the rain
makes everything beautiful, but I would rather it
would be some other day when I would have to stay
in doors if it were best to have it so. I am just
about tired out and Mama is real sick; she has one
of (her) feverish times and I hope will be better
tomorrow. I have been playing some today and it
seems good to have time to touch the piano. I must
begin my practicing again. I have been so busy I
could get time. Papa was drinking last night and
this morning was cross as bedlam.
Monday, May 16, 1881
This has been a dismal stormy cold day. I do wish
it would clear and we could see the sun. I have
tried to keep busy and not mind it, but I could
hear the howling of the wind above all other noises.
I was glad when Phil came home from school, for
she is a jolly little thing. Trimmed a hat for Mrs.
Wells. Phil and I went up to the office with Mr.
Wallace's horse and Mr. Jeffrey Brown rode home
with us. I am glad the day is end but it brings
me one day nearer the dreaded time. Mama is better
Tuesday, May 17, 1881
It has been another rainy day. Mama and Papa were
both lying down and I went down to Walter's and
came home with Phil. Three days it has stormed and
there is no appearance of it clearing now. I taught
Phil something about euchre this evening.
Wednesday, May 18, 1881
I got an old frame in the hog house and made a screen
for the dining room: in the p.m. went up to the
store and got some patch to cover it and put on
half of it. This evening it still rains. Papa was
dreadfully cross and he and Mama had a "blow-up".
I am very tired of this rainy weather. I suppose
Palmer will be home tomorrow. I wonder what Aunt
M~ thinks of this storm. Tonight Palmer has his
exhibition. I wish it were a pleasant evening.
Thursday, May 19, 1881
This morning I found the screen I had fixed would
not do and as Papa would not let me cut the cloth's
horse I got some slats and took them to Mr. Cass
to joint and put feet on. I took Annie's plant home
thinking they would be home today but Mrs. C~ has
heard nothing from them. I think it is very strange.
Papa is half drunk tonight. I took the patch I got
for a screen and covered the ragged rocking chair
in the dining room and felt paid for my work it
looks so much better.
Friday, May 20, 1881
I felt so tired and sick this morning I could hardly
keep up and just as soon as I got through my work
I went to bed and slept until nearly one, then I
dressed and went to school to hear Phil declaim.
I liked Miss Veasy very much and I think she is
a good teacher. I am very tried tonight; Mama had
a postal from Aunt M~ saying she would be home the
first pleasant morning which we thought to be tomorrow
but tonight it is cloudy and looks like more rain.
Saturday, May 21, 1881
This morning was again rainy and is still at it
tonight. I do wish we could have pleasant weather,
but then Palmer will be home and I don't know which
is worse. I went up to Mr. Cassie for the screen
but he had not finished it of course. Abbie was
in tonight and wanted to know if I knew when P~
was coming home, it is too ridiculous to have everyone
asking me about him, it makes me terrible all over.
I played cards with Papa. Mrs. Wells came to wash
in spite of the rain. I finished my blue cambric
Sunday, May 22, 1881
"The storm is past, the green hillside is streaked
with evening gleams, Let out through rents you dark
clouds, Day's last and loveliest beams". Mama,
Papa, Abbie and Phil went over to the Tarlton
Place. I stayed home alone and read, "Pilgrim's
of the Rhino", and ran way over in the pasture
for the cow. Abbie came to tea after which I went
up to Walter's and had a pleasant talk with Mrs.
C~ and Jenny but how lonely I feel tonight and how
I wish Palmer were coming home to me. I do hope
Aunt M~ will get away before he comes home. How
full of sorrow this life is. Mama does seem well
and I fear for (her) health this summer.
Monday, May 23, 1881
Went to the depot for Aunt M~. She is talking of
leaving for N.Y. in the morning and I think it is
a good plan. "They who have loved know that
there is a diary of the affections, which we might
keep for years without even having occasion to touch
upon the exterior surface of life our busy occupations,
the mechanical progress of our existence; yet by
the last are we judged; the first is never known.
History reveals men's dark, men's outward characters
but not themselves. There are two lives for each
of us gliding on at the same time, the life of our
actions, the life of our minds. The griefs of youth
may make the fame of maturity. If grief's help me
along in this world certainly I ought to be something
for I have more than it seems possible for me to
bear. I am glad it is such a lovely night for Palmer
has his exhibition tonight. He has been waiting
for a pleasant evening.
Tuesday, May 24, 1881
This morning I took Aunt M~ to the depot to start
for N.Y. -- she gave me fifty cents, poor soul,
she is so good to me; it really seems lonesome to
have her gone. I was sick and went onto the bed
as soon as I got home. Palmer and Annie were to
come tonight. How I dread to have him home and yet
how I long to see him. The wide world seems so desolate
to me and everywhere I go I feel the lack of some
presence which none other can fill. Papa has been
half drunk and ugly all day. I have not seen him
Wednesday, May 25, 1881
This morning went to the store and got the screen
that Mr. Heart made. When I got home I found it
was short and after I got through my work, I went
up to his house and asked him to come down and fix
it. As I came home I caught a glimpse of some one
I thought was Palmer, but it was at a distance and
I was not sure. How strange it seems to have him
home and not come down. I wish he would come for
I want to see him very much. Papa was drunk all
night and cross as a bear this morning. Augustus
Chesley came to buy the Tarlton Place but I guess
could not trade with him. Mrs. Wells has been here
cleaning. It is a dismal cloudy night and the wind
Thursday, May 26, 1881
Nothing particular happened. Palmer has not been
up. Augustus C~ is here this evening trying to trade
with Papa. I guess he finds him a hard customer.
Phil and I went to the store and I got the screen.
I did not get as much as a glimpse of Palmer. I
wonder where he keeps himself.
Friday, May 27, 1881
Abbie has been her sewing for Phil all day; it seems
like old times to have her here. This morning I
made cake and finished that old screen: in the p.m.
sewed on my jacket. Miss Veasy came and stayed to
tea after which I played to her, and we took a short
walk. Then her sister came for her. Phil and I went
to the office for her dresses and we met Palmer
on the Langley hill in the very spot I met him last
May. He looked very handsome. I wish he would come
up for I want to see him. It is too funny to hear
Abbie talk about him, she has no idea of what has
Saturday, May 28, 1881
Another day and Palmer has not been near. My dear
old book, what a comfort it is to come to you and
tell all my thoughts which I can tell no person.
No one could guess what I have suffered the past
few days and although P~ has been unkind to me I
can but love him. Mama doesn't realize what he is
to me or she would not say such hard things about
him. It seems impossible to me that Palmer should
give me occasion for such suffering, he always seemed
to try so hard to help me bear all trouble.
Sunday, May 29, 1881
Well, I did think Palmer would be down today but
he has not come, I wonder if he thinks he hurts
me any, he only injures himself. I hate to have
him do so, for I feel just the same towards him;
one dislikes to have a friend do anything to make
people dislike them or lose respect for them. Mama
can never overlook this in him but I hope she will
not talk about him to me for I can't bear to have
him talked against. I used to look forward to Decoration
Day, but tomorrow will be like all other days.
Monday, May 30, 1881
I forgot to write on Monday and I full this up later.
Nothing happened that I remember except that Palmer
did not come down. Phil and I went to the office
in the evening and saw him driving home the cow
but he was out of sight when we got to the barn.
Papa has been drunk all day but not very ugly. He
has gone to bed and I guess will be all right in
the morning. Abbie has been sewing. I commenced
my practicing today and got two hours and a half
in early. I hope to get three if I can manage it.
Tuesday, May 31, 1881
Abbie has been sewing for Phil. Phil told me since
supper that she saw Palmer driving away with his
trunk so he has gone and not even made a ceremonious
call. I don't know what to think of him. I suppose
it is all for the best, but I think he might at
least have called. I thought, of course, he would.
He has gone to Concord to study with Dr. Shad Morrill.
I am glad he is to study with him. I told Abbie
all about our writing tonight and she was as puzzled
as all the rest. My practicing was interrupted today
and I only practiced one hour and a half. Mr. Brown
was down to see us this p.m.
Wednesday, June 1, 1881
Abbie has been here this p.m. I cleaned up the sitting
room and dining room , then I practiced and took
a nap. Philly and I went to call on Miss Veasy,
I think she is lovely. Annie C~ came out when I
took the mail up, and her mother came to the window
and asked why I was not more neighborly; she knows
why. Papa is quite indignant with Palmer because
he did not come down and I don't wonder. Well, he
will learn better when he has been out more.
Thursday, June 2, 1881
Nothing happened and I don't feel in the mood for
writing. Philly and I went down to call on Annie
but she had gone to Concord to election, and came
home just as I was starting to leave, she was very
pleasant and urged me to come down often.
Friday, June 3, 1881
It has been sort of a dreary dismal day. I spent
the p.m. on the hill and had a very pleasant time.
Mama seems some better today. I hope it will be
pleasant tomorrow for I want to go to C~.
Saturday, June 4, 1881
It was a dreary rainy morning and I gave up going
to C~ and slept very late; about noon the sun came
out and I went for Charley in the pasture and started
off to C~ about one. It was past three when reached
C~ and I did all my errands before going to call
on the Binets. I had a pleasant time and Phil enjoy
it. I saw nothing of Palmer; I saw lots of nice
looking men but none that looked so good to me as
the ones I did not see. I could not have believed
I would think so much of any one, it is so hard
to give him up. The Binets seemed very glad to see
me. Saw Francis Adams and Ed Pearson on the street.
Spent B. (about) $70, but part was for Mama and
future cash for Aunt M~. It was nine o'clock when
we got home.
Sunday, June 5, 1881
I was so tired I did nothing scarcely all day. Annie
C~ called in the afternoon. Philly and I went to
the office toward evening and there came a tremendous
shower; we called at Jeffrey Brown's and waited
till the rain ceased. Annie says nothing about Palmer.
Monday, June 6, 1881
I was so tired I had to come up stairs and take
a nap just as soon as I got the work done. Papa
has been working on the road and had to have an
extra lunch and I made bread. Abbie has been sewing
this p.m. and I partly trimmed her hat. Mr. Knowles
came for her and she had to go. We had quite a talk
about Palmer, how queer the old boy acts, I would
think he would send for his letters any way. I wish
we could have some nice summer weather, these days
are so cold.
Tuesday, June 7, 1881
Mrs. Wells was here washing and everything was confusion.
I filled the wood box full of wood. Mr. Brown came
to see us and Mama proposed going to Tarlton Place,
but I was so tired I went to bed and slept all the
afternoon. Mama, Phil and I went to the office in
Wednesday, June 8, 1881
Churned, starched my clothes and baked, then I was
ready to enjoy the day although it has been cloudy
and misty the air has been soft and beautiful, more
like summer than any day we have had for a long
time. Mama and I drove to the depot to get her "magic
conf". I forgot to take Abbie's card so I started
to go to Mr. Hall's with it but met Dr. French and
asked him to mail it. Then I ran into the Chesley's
for a few minutes but heard not a word of Palmer.
Had a letter from H.B.B. and Mama heard from Aunt
Thursday, June 9, 1881
Did the work in the morning. Mama and I went to
try and sell the magic conf. We went to all the
store(s) around here and to Short Falls. We left
a box at every store. Papa was half drunk when we
got home and is now quite drunk. He told me Mr.
Green had attached the property here.
Friday, June 10, 1881
Washed all the morning; cleaned the silver, etc.
It was so rainy I thought nobody would come in but
just as I got ready for a good long nap, Phil came
running up and said that Mr. Brown had come. I told
her to tell him we were lying down and would be
down by and bye. I thought it was John Brown but
I heard him speak and I knew it was Jeffrey so I
dressed and went down, we played back gammon and
euchre all the p.m. I had a very pleasant time.
Saturday, June 11, 1881
I haven't had a minute to rest today. Got Papa's
room and the spare room in order today and washed
out some things in the morning. Phil and I went
to the office and I called to see if Mrs. Brown
would like to ride up and while there who should
I see but Palmer coming up the hill. I was so surprised
to see him yet I had a feeling he was coming.
Sunday, June 12, 1881
Slept quite late and then finished the work early
to have a good long day for rest. I wrote two letters
and after supper Mama and I went over the hill and
up to the office. Papa, Abbie and I went to Mrs.
Wells to get her to come and clean tomorrow for
Lucy Ann is going away. Saw or heard nothing of
Palmer. I wonder why he does not call. Perhaps he
thinks I don't want him to.
Monday, June 13, 1881
Mama and I washed some clothes this morning and
I washed the dining room floor. I rest a while to
be fresh when Mrs. Wells came and we cleaned the
two front entries, put the parlor carpet down, and
got things in some kind of shape. Tomorrow she is
coming to wash and clean. Abbie has been in but
was very tired and she is not good company when
in that mood. I am very tired tonight. Have not
had a moment to practice.
Tuesday, June 14, 1881
Mrs. Wells came up to wash and clean; she washed
the bedding and cleaned up stairs. I put up the
curtains in the parlor and arranged the room, partly
fixed the curtains for the sitting room, and sewed
on my waist with Abbie. I am awfully tired tonight.
Mama says I am dreadfully cross. If she knew how
hard I had tried to be pleasant and realized how
provoking she has been, she would not have said
such a thing.
Wednesday, June 15, 1881
Got up quite early and made butter. Finished the
curtains for the sitting room and put them up -
the rooms seem to be in pretty good order now. I
have not had one minute to practice. Finished my
blouse waist this p.m. and like it ever so much.
Phil and I went to the office and Annie C~ went
with us. Papa has been drunk all day but very pleasant.
He went away this forenoon and the cow got out and
went off. Walter finally got her and kept her. I
expect Miss Veasy tomorrow evening to spend the
night with me.
Thursday, June 16, 1881
Worked hard all the morning and hurried in order
to get through in time to take a nap. Annie Chesley
came down in the morning and got some slips. I was
at work and could not see much of her. I went for
Miss Veasy and Phil, we had to go to that "show"
which proved to be a miserable affair and is now
eleven o'clock when we got home and we are both,
all so tried and for nothing
Friday, June 17, 1881
I was so tired this morning it seemed as if I could
not get up but I did and took Philly and Miss Veasy
to school. I promised to go in to school with Annie
this p.m. and started but met Hattie and Eta just
beyond the hill; rode and came back with them; we
had a pleasant little visit from them. Miss Veasy
called and got her things. Papa has been very cross.
I rode to the office with Hattie and walked home
from the lower turn.
Saturday, June 18, 1881
Papa has been very drunk all day and as cross as
he could live until supper time then he was silly;
he was storming around all last night and knocked
Mama's vase off and broke it. He has thrown away
or put away all of his money $225 and nobody knows
where it is. I went to carry some medicine to Mrs.
S~ but they had company and I went with Mr. Wallace
to the P.O. His horse goes so slowly he was gone
over two hours, and it was after nine when we got
home. Mr. Ambrose was here to tell me his daughter
would begin music lessons next Tuesday. I am so
Sunday, June 19, 1881
Have been real sick all day; did not get up till
late and could not sit up then. This evening I feel
some better. Mama and Abbie have gone to gather
some wild flowers for Mrs. Olmsted. I am to carry
them to the depot in the morning. It has been a
beautiful day, if I felt well I believe I should
go to church this evening but I don't feel able.
Oh! my dear little puss where are you today and
do you know how _____ misses you, oh! for one look
at dear sweet face which has gone about lands we
knew not, how long and how strange the days seem
without you. If you could only come back.
Monday, June 20, 1881
Mama and I went to the depot to start a box to Mrs.
Olmsted. We found some freight there but brought
only a small part of it home. I had to lye down
when I got home I felt so sick and it was afternoon
when I got up. I sewed on my old cambric dress and
finished the skirt. Helped Mama a little about the
dishes. I feel about sick tonight. Tomorrow I go
to give my first music lesson to Miss Ambrose. Mrs.
Bickford came down to get a bottle of magic conf.
Tuesday, June 21, 1881
Felt some better today. Philly was to bring some
of her friends home with her from school so I baked
some this morning. This p.m. we had a heavy shower
and the water was full of sulpher. Gave Miss Ambrose
her first lesson in music today. I want her to get
along fast. I like her very much. I got some fancy
seeds of Mrs. A~. This evening I put out all the
Wednesday, June 22, 1881
This morning after breakfast I made bread, churned,
washed, and washed the floor. I was so tired I slept
two hours, then I blackened the stove and got dinner.
The two Batchelder girls were here to dine: when
we got the dishes about half done, Hattie and Mrs.
Prescott called and I played to them. Mrs. P~ is
just lovely, she looks very tired and much worn.
Went to the office and Annie C~ went with me, brought
Abbie home. She knows to whom Palmer is engaged
but she won't tell me for they made her promise
not to tell me. I didn't urge her.
Thursday, June 23, 1881
Abbie has been here sewing for Phil today and I
commenced my light dress. I had no idea of making
it this summer, but I shall be glad to have it.
Mr. Wells has been helping Papa and of course (he?)
had to drink but he is not very drunk. Mama and
Phil have gone for strawberries but I wanted to
sew and felt too tired to go. I had a nice letter
from Mrs. Dermitt tonight. I am very tired tonight
and have dreadful pains in my head. I had such a
beautiful dream last night. I was walking with some
one and came across the most lovely lake I ever
Friday, June 24, 1881
I cooked and helped Mrs. Wells about the washing,
sewed all the p.m. and started at half past four
to give my music lesson. After that, went to the
office and the store. I got my dress nicely started.
I have got a dreadful headache.
Saturday, June 25, 1881
My head ached so badly I could not get up this morning
and I asked Mama to get breakfast. I got about half
an hour to sew before dinner. This afternoon we
had settled down to have a nice long time to sew
when Abbie saw a smoke from the hog house. I went
out and found the ash tub on fire, we pryed up the
floor and found the sleeper burned half off. Papa
was away drunk and we had to do all ourselves. Annie
Chesley went to the office with me and we met Palmer
coming home. I am so tired tonight and seeing Palmer
has entirely upset me.
Sunday, June 26, 1881
What a strange monotonous life we lead, no excitement,
no change, the same round of work and rest every
day. Mr. Brown came to see us today and is going
to spend the night. Palmer did not come down, I
guess he never will. Last night just as I was most
asleep, Papa called us to see a comet. It was lovely
but not so brilliant as the one I saw five years
ago I think it was. Wrote to Helen today and asked
her to get me some things. I must begin work again.
Monday, June 27, 1881
Mama and I washed some clothes, at least Mama washed
and I rinsed some of them. Went to the office to
mail a letter to Helen. Pressed my dress and several
other things. Had a nap and put the trimming on
to my light dress. Phil and I went to the depot
and got the things that came from Cambridge. Annie
C~ was round to get money for a picnic on the fourth.
A letter from Helen tonight saying she is coming
Friday evening. I am so glad I saw nothing of Palmer
Tuesday, June 28, 1881
This morning churned, ironed, etc. Mr. Hall was
here and he said Mr. C~ had his sheep in the S.
pasture, so I went over to see him and he said he
would take them out just as soon as the berries
begin to ripen. Gave my music lesson and sewed when
I got home. Papa is half drunk and cross. Today
I was twenty one and although I have been very busy
have been pretty happy.
Wednesday, June 29, 1881
Last night we had a tremendous shower and wind.
The rain and hail beat against my window and I could
feel the wind blow way on my bed. The lightening
was terrible. I stood it as long as I could then
I got up and went into Mama's room. Hattie came
this evening and she said they had terrible showers
north, homes were blown down, windows broken, and
crops spoiled. Papa has been awfully drunk all day
he was tearing round all night. I have got my dress
along nicely and can do considerably on it tomorrow.
It seems so pleasant to have Hattie here. She is
just lovely but of course has her faults.
Thursday, June 30, 1881
This morning we sewed as hard as we could and after
dinner we went to the Tarlton Place on a picnic.
Hattie seemed to have such a nice time. She and
I went over to the brook and I went all over the
ledges to see if the berries were ripe. I think
I shall go by Monday for there are a great many
ripe. I am so tired tonight.
Friday, July 1, 1881
I could not sew much today. I had to give a music
lesson then take Hattie home then go to the depot
to meet Helen. I was sorry to have Hattie go home;
she is such good company. It seems good to see Helen,
she is the same sweet girl of old. Palmer came home
tonight and came and talked with me at the office,
he was just the same as ever; my heart leapt so
I could hardly talk. Oh I love him still. I wish
I never had to see him for it made me feel that
I can not give him up. He seemed just as kind as
ever. He is going away and Annie, too.
Saturday, July 2, 1881
Slept quite late this morning for Papa called me
last night to see the comet and I did not sleep
till late. Papa has been so drunk and ugly we could
not stay in the house. Helen and I went down to
Mrs. Slaters and stayed to tea from there we went
to the office and heard of the assassination of
President Garfield, he was shot by a Frenchman but
they think he will recover.
Sunday, July 3, 1881
Helen and I went to church; Hattie, Uncle Henry,
and Etta were there. Walter C~ went with us and
came home and unharnessed Charley. In the evening,
we went over to call on the Mosher's. Poor Grace
seems very homesick and she feels obliged to go
to the picnic tomorrow. The news came that Garfield
is dead -- how sad it is; and Arthur will be President
of the United States, how horrid.
Monday, July 4, 1881
Went berrying at ten o'clock and came home at half
past three. I got three qts. and a half; poor Helen
spilt hers and could not sell them. I carried mine
up and only got twelve cents a qt. for them but
that is better than nothing. Garfield is still living
but not out of danger. I hope he will live. I am
so tired tonight every bone in my body aches.
Tuesday, July 5, 1881
Went berrying all alone; walked across and onto
the ledges. It was so still there, I could not hear
a sound save the sounds of nature, the wind soughing
through the trees and the various songs of the birds,
some high some low some sweet some soft. I saw the
most peculiar bird, it was grey with a white streak
across its wings, a head like a mouse and a mouth
like a frog. I got two and a half qts. of berries.
Went to give my lesson. H~ went with me.
Wednesday, July 6, 1881
Went berrying and am awfully tired, got six qts.
The Moshers came over and they say they are going
on the ledges tomorrow. Garfield is gaining, good
news for the world.
Thursday, July 7, 1881
Helen, Belle and I went berrying and we picked almost
every one we could find, we did not find the Moshers,
but Mama said they were there. I am so sorry. I
got four qts. lacking a gill we had a great deal
of fun over it but I was too tired to even pick
that. Papa was up to Michaels and was half drunk
this morning. I have not seen him tonight.
Friday, July 8, 1881
This morning stayed home and cooked. H~ helped me.
In the afternoon, H~ and I went to school, met Floss
there and she came home from school to tea; after
that we went to the office and over with Floss.
She came home with us so to be here in the morning
to go berrying. We have had a jolly time; it seems
so good to see some one who is something. We played
and sang together.
Saturday, July 9, 1881
Floss, Helen and I went on the ledges berrying.
I got three qts. and made up two dollars and a little
more. Miss Ambrose was waiting for me when I got
home, but had not time to take her lesson until
after she went to the depot. The Moshers went to
the office for Papa as I could not go and Papa cursed
me because they all went; he is half drunk and ugly
as he can live. I am very tired tonight and am glad
tomorrow is Sunday.
Sunday, July 10, 1881
I planned to rest all day today and got nicely fixed
in the hammock but Papa was so drunk and ugly I
found it was no use, so Helen and I went over to
the Griffins and stayed with the Moshers all the
p.m. Mama went out in the pines. It has been a very
hot day and my room today is like an oven. I hope
it will rain tomorrow so I can sew instead of berrying.
Monday, July 11, 1881
I was so tired this morning. It was so hot last
night none of us could sleep. I sewed on my dress
and went to Abbie's this afternoon to finish it;
she says she will cut me a plaited waist. I made
the plaiting for the sleeves. In the evening the
Moshers came over and we had some lovely music,
it seemed so pleasant. Aunt L~ sent my feather,
it is lovely and cost only $2.75. I paid Helen and
have $1.55 remaining. Shall go berrying tomorrow
Tuesday, July 12, 1881
Went down to Walter's pasture berrying; got four
qts. Miss Kate Paul is visiting there, that of course
means she is engaged to P~. Came home at four to
give my lesson. Miss Ambrose is not going to take
any more lessons for two or three weeks. I am very
sorry for she is getting along so nicely. I am dreadfully
Wednesday, July 13, 1881
This morning it rained and I gave up berrying; about
ten I took my budgets and started for Miss Abbie's.
She cut my waist and I made some sleeves. I hope
to finish my dress this week. Poor little Phil seems
real sick today; she is feverish and has slept most
of the p.m. About half past three I went down in
Mr. Wallace's berrying but got only a qt. That was
all I could find. Went to Mr. Halls with Lewis Wells
and made a call on Mrs. Brown, stopped at the C~'s,
met P~ and Miss Paul on my way home.
Thursday, July 14, 1881
Went down for Annie; Miss Paul was in the kitchen
so of course they introduced me. She seems very
sweet but I could hardly say pretty: quite tall
and slight and two years older than Palmer. Annie
and I came home about three. I got seven qts. and
a half. This evening I found I was sick and had
to write a note to Belle telling her I could not
go tomorrow. I am sorry for I thought I could a
good many tomorrow and next day.
Friday, July 15, 1881
Paid J.D. Langley twenty dollars to settle all accounts
except the contract Paid also on contract for getting
the fifty five dollars. Have been sick all day;
did not get up till noon and then I could hardly
sit up. This p.m. felt some better and sewed on
my dress. Belle came in this evening and I showed
her my dress; she thought it lovely. Maud came over
but the other girls did not. Mama and Abbie went
berrying and has not got back yet although it is
most nine o'clock.
Saturday, July 16, 1881
Felt very well this morning. About ten Papa came
to me to know if I would go to Concord. Helen and
I fixed up and went and such a time as we had. About
six o'clock I was so sick I could not stand up.
We went into a store and I sat down and when I felt
able went up to Miss Edmunds and she was perfectly
lovely, also was Mrs. Morrill and Dr. I tried to
come away before the Dr. came in but Miss E~ detained
me and I was obliged to see him. He was very pleasant
and I was glad to see but it seemed very sad.
Sunday, July 17, 1881
I did not get up till late this morning for I felt
some of the sickness of yesterday. Helen and I were
on the bed most all day. Flossie called on her way
to church, we were too tired to go. The Moshers
came over in the evening and Grace and I went to
the office. I feel very tired and sick: and it is
Monday, July 18, 1881
Was too tired to go berrying so slept very late.
Trimmed my bonnet, fixed my hat, helped a little
down stairs, swept my room and the passage ways,
and went to sleep. Maud came over and we walked
to Mr. Hall's to get the mail. Had a postal from
Hattie asking us to come up for tea on Wed. Papa
is drunk and ugly as he can be. Saw Palmer and Miss
Paul this evening, she did not look a bit pretty.
Tuesday, July 19, 1881
Slept late, but felt rested when I did get up. We
all went berrying. I got ten qts. Grace and I went
to the store after Mr. Wells got home from Concord.
Am very tired. Hattie came down this afternoon to
ask us up.
Wednesday, July 20, 1881
Helen and I walked up to Uncle Henries through the
woods, we had a lovely walk. Mr. Towle and his wife
were there; she is really charming. I was very pleasantly
surprised with her. M T~ is still the same good-hearted
blunt fellow. We had a lovely time. Mrs. Swain will
fix my waist Friday which I found so narrow across
the chest I could not wear it. Am pretty tired for
I baked this morning and we walked both ways.
Thursday, July 21, 1881
We had tremendous showers last night and I thought
today would be rainy, but this morning the sun shone
forth in all its glory, and we started for the berry
pasture about half past ten. Mamma came over toward
evening about seven; we gathered together our several
bundles and started for home, leaving our berries
in the Tarlton house. I had thirteen qts., Helen
seven qts., Phil one pint. We found Papa drunk,
he had been ugly to Mama and she went away. He took
the dinner off the stove before it was half done.
He said young Mr. Sanderson called and he tool him
all through the house. He must have been charmed,
my bed was not made, and Helen's room was in disorder.
Friday, July 22, 1881
Maud made her appearance this morning before we
had finished breakfast. Helen was not able to go
over to see her so she stayed all day. Swept the
sitting room. This afternoon went up to Mrs. Swain's
and she fitted my waist over. Went to tea at Mrs.
Cottrell's. I had a very pleasant time. Mrs. C~
brought me home. The people we saw in a buggy at
the Grant Place proved to be Otis Swain and his
family. They are boarding in Chichester.
Saturday, July 23, 1881
As it rained, could not go berrying. The Moshers
have been here all day. Grace read to me while I
sewed; finished my light dress. Flossie and I went
to the office; I had a real nice time with her;
she is so jolly. I got caught in stepping from wagon
tonight and was thrown on to the stone step in front
of the store, fortunately I was not hurt. Am very
sleepy as usual.
Sunday, July 24, 1881
We loafed round all the day. I did manage to write
to Fred and Cora then went to sleep in the hammock.
Papa was drinking and ugly. This evening he would
not let me have Charley to call on the Towles, so
I got Mr. W~'s horse and Helen and I went over.
We had a lovely call. I wish I could invite them
here to tea, but that is impossible. Mr. W~ only
asked a quarter and did not want to take that.
Monday, July 25, 1881
Annie C~ and I went berrying all day. Belle carried
us over and Walter came for us; he brought the berries
part way for us. They were so heavy, it seemed as
if we never could get them from the ledges. Annie
had about twelve qts. and I nearly fourteen. I don't
know exactly how much I shall have for Annie took
them up for me. I am awfully tired. It commenced
to rain just after I got home and if Walter had
not come for us early we would have got very wet.
Tuesday, July 26, 1881
Maud and Grace came over this morning. Grace did
not stop but Maud waited for Helen to go over with
her and spend the night. Papa has been drunk and
ugly all day. I started off after dinner to stay
until bedtime, stopped at Mrs. Wallace's and then
went down to the Chesley's. I hadn't been there
long when Grace and Floss came driving old Charley,
and asked me to go to the office. When we got to
the Hall's we met Walter Pearson and Kate Eatin
coming to our house and they are here to spend the
night. Papa was quite pleasant tonight and would
not let the girls walk home, he got Wilbur Wells
to drive them over.
Wednesday, July 27, 1881
Annie and I went berrying most all day, at least
Annie went out but was sick and had to come in so
Erma Kelly went with me and Belle came out after
dinner. I got eleven qts. The girls came over and
walked to the office but Grace stayed and read to
me I was so tired. As Mama is going away, Grace
stayed with me tonight. I am so glad she could stay
for she is just lovely.
Thursday, July 28, 1881
Mama went this morning and we had the house all
to ourselves. I washed the dishes and swept, made
the beds, etc. Then started Helen and Maud out to
pick some beans and peas while I ironed and Grace
read to me. About luncheon time Mr. Brown made his
appearance and I was so tired. I got him luncheon
and then came up stairs for a rest; Grace read to
me then I had a nap. After dinner we were going
for Mama but there came a dreadful shower and we
let her stay all night. Persuaded Grace to stay
with me. We went to bed about eight o'clock but
Papa and Mr. B~ talked for a long time. Grace told
me scary stories until I fell asleep.
Friday, July 29, 1881
This morning Papa was half drunk but pleasant until
I asked him for the horse to go for Mama then he
said something about having Mama's boarders over
here all the time. Carried Grace home then Helen
and I went up for Mama, we had a lovely time. After
we got home I had a nap then Helen, Maud, Gertie
Towles, Phil and myself walked to the office. We
had a jolly time.
Saturday, July 30, 1881
Worked all the morning, cooked and then I rested,
after that, dinner and then I started for the Griffins
tonight. We played tenis (tennis) till we could
not see then we came in and talked with the G~'s
until Maud and Flos came in with the mail. They
brought me a letter from Fred and one from Carroll.
It seems so quiet here and Papa is drinking tonight.
Sunday, July 31, 1881
This morning we all went to the pond after walking
to Ben Yeaton's we found the boat had gone so Willie
W~ , Silas and Ada went to Mr. Bakers to get that
boat and rowed down the river for us. We had a delightful
time. Mama sent for me to come home about four.
I came only to find Mrs. Steele here and Papa so
drunk he could hardly walk straight. I came up to
my own room to write to Fred but was interrupted
by a call from Mr. & Mrs. Towle and Papa in
such a condition. I was mortified.
Monday, August 1, 1881
Today Mama went to Concord. I went berrying and
met Mrs. C~ and Mrs. Swain on the ledges however,
I am going with Mr. and Mrs. Cottrell. Picked eleven
qts. today but only got six qts. The Moshers have
been over and I am dreadfully tired.
Tuesday, August 2, 1881
Mr. and Mrs. Cottrell did not come to go berrying
so I went to C~'s and got about eleven qts. by Sumner's
measure but only ten by his wife's. Wrote to Carroll
to come next Monday. Am dreadfully tired and lame.
Wednesday, August 3, 1881
Just as we were going to sleep last night we heard
the Dorister's hollering at a great rate and on
looking out saw there (their) buildings on fire.
It frightened dreadfully; and the poor things lost
their cow. Today I went berrying all alone and I
was sure I heard someone in the L. hum and tonight
I am fully convinced for Mr. Ben Hall's buildings
have been set on fire. I shall never dare go again.
I was afraid to go over to the S~ place for my berries
so I left them there and took six qts. and a half
to the store.
Thursday, August 4, 1881
I was so tired and it was too hot to go berrying.
Maud has been here most all day. Tonight we went
up to Walter's and Frank took H~ and W~ to the office.
It was so late when we got home Flossie had gone
and Maud is to stay all night. Papa has been drinking
all day. A letter from C~.
Friday, August 5, 1881
We loafed around all the morning. Mama and I went
on the hill to tea; Emily was lovely. Maud stayed
with Helen. We rode home with Frank, he was very
pleasant; and is going to take us to the depot in
the morning. Papa has been drinking some all day
but is not very drunk now.
Saturday, August 6, 1881
Mama was not able to go to C~ so I wrote a note
and went it to Hall's to mail it. After the work
was done went to Miss Abbie's with Florence and
Maud and stayed all day. Had a real pleasant time.
Maud and I went to the office with Frank. The stage
was more than an hour late, one of the horses had
"blind staggers" and had to hire a horse
to go to L~. Papa has been drinking all day and
is rather silly tonight.
Sunday, August 7, 1881
Helen, Phil and myself went over to the Griffins
with Willis Wells as escort in a pouring rain: we
were so wet when we got there we had to borrow shoes
and stockings. Grace gave me an old dress, a sack,
two pairs of stockings, a neck tie and a skirt.
I was very glad to have them. Grace and Maud came
over and stayed until nearly eight. I have a dreadful
headache and a stomach ache. I intended to write
to Mrs. Dermitt today but have had no time.
Monday, August 8, 1881
Helen and I helped about the work, I made some cake
but it was dreadful. H~ and I got some beans for
dinner. Flossie came over about three. I took Charley
and we went to the store. Grace and Maud came over
and we all walked to the office. Papa has been drunk
all day. We had a nice dance this evening and I
am awfully tired.
Tuesday, August 9, 1881
I was dreadfully sick all last night and I had to
take my last two powders. They did not wholly relieve
me and Hattie called Mama and she applied Laudanum.
Got up about noon. Helen and I got supper and Mama
cleared it away. The three girls were here to dinner.
We had a dance tonight but neither Grace nor I could
dance. We both felt sick. Papa has been drunk all
day but very pleasant; he was extremely kind to
Wednesday, August 10, 1881
This morning we all started for concord. Papa was
raving when he found Mama and I were going. We had
a lovely time going up. Franceis A. met Flos at
the depot and we walked up (the) street together.
Phil and I went to Mrs. Dermitt's to dinner. Went
to the Drs. he is perfectly lovely and so kind.
Came home in the cars. Annie C~ met me at Suncook,
saw Palmer at the Drs. and met a Miss Bradley there
from the west, she was lovely. Mama met Papa just
going to Concord when she got home. It seems so
lonesome to have the girls all gone, especially
Helen, dear girl, she is so pleasant.
Thursday, August 11, 1881
I was going to rest all day today but Papa told
me expected company so Mama and I cleaned up and
cooked a little and so forth, it was two o'clock
when we got through and I was awfully tired. After
resting, I cut some flowers and arranged the table
for tea and after all, the gentlemen did not come.
Mr. B~ was down today and told us Walter S~ was
in and tonight he and Emily came down. It did seem
good to see the dear fellow; he is so jolly and
pleasant. Papa seems disappointed because his friend
did not come and I am sorry, too. Went over to Wallace's
for the mail and Frank kindly escorted me home.
Friday, August 12, 1881
As soon as I could get ready, marched down to Abbie's
with my light dress to be fixed. She was sewing
on her duster to wear tomorrow to a funeral. Spent
the whole p.m. with her and (had) a very pleasant
time. After dinner, went to the office and didn't
get a single thing. Am awfully tired tonight. Nathan
is here and I suppose he and Papa will have to drink.
Saturday, August 13, 1881
This morning as I expected, Papa was raving. Nathan
was telling him all sorts of thing and got him to
drinking. I could not stay at home and went to Uncle
Henrie's, found Walter and Emily away but had a
delightful time. Walter B~ brought me down. Papa
has been twitting all day about Frank W~. Mrs. W~
is very indignant with him. I am tired and out of
Sunday, August 14, 1881
I was quite surprised to find I was sick this morning.
I did not get (up) till five p.m. and then I had
to lye down. Mama was away till six and as I was
too ill to get supper, Papa got it; he was just
as pleasant as could be and we had a nice little
dinner, only, I could eat nothing. I wanted to write
today but have not been able.
Monday, August 15, 1881
Have been real sick all day. This p.m. I had to
put Laudanum on my stomach, it pained me so badly.
Then I went to sleep and slept so soundly that I
didn't know where I was when I woke. Walter and
Uncle Henry came down this evening. Had a letter
from Helen and Mama (had) one from Mrs. O~. Helen
is to be married in Oct. to Mr. Swain. I am so glad.
Tuesday, August 16, 1881
Felt a great deal better today, helped Mama some.
Mrs. W~ came to wash and I starched all my clothes
and hung out part of the others. This evening I
went over to Wallace's to go to the office with
Frank, but Emily and Hattie came down and I came
home but they did not stop and I went back. The
President is worse and they fear can not live: stocks
went down and everything was confused. I do hope
he will recover.
Wednesday, August 17, 1881
Feel quite like myself today, but not quite as strong
as usual. Papa has been just as pleasant as could
be all day, he and Phil went to the store and got
all we needed. He sold some apples. I backed and
helped about the work generally.
Thursday, August 18, 1881
It was so stormy we could not have our picnic as
we intended. After we finished our work, we all
(excepting Papa, he would not go) went on the hill
and spent the p.m. Walter had gone or was just going
fishing. We had a lovely time. Got home about half-past
seven and found Papa gone so I unharnessed Charley
as much as I could and put him in the barn.
Friday, August 19, 1881
This morning was stormy so we had to give up the
picnic again. Mama went down to Abbie's and I stayed
home alone. About three, Phil, Hattie, and Willie
came up. I played and sang to them. Then I amused
Willie by playing cards with him. He brought lots
of water and did several little chores for me, he
seems like a very nice boy. Phil and I went to the
office and Frank came over with us and played cards.
He was very pleasant. Papa wouldn't play. He went
off to Nathan's, Well's, or somewhere. He is very
pleasant, but has been drinking.
Saturday, August 20, 1881
Phil and I drove Frank to the depot. Gertie Forbes
came home with her and stayed with Phil till three
then Phil went home with her and stayed until I
came home from the depot. I started to mail. (Met)
Frank about quarter past five, had to mail for fifteen
minutes. He had a lady friend, Miss Marden, with
him. She was very pleasant and I invited Frank to
call with her. Papa was not home when I got back.
Called to see how Mr. L~ was getting along.
Sunday, August 21, 1881
It was cloudy again this morning. It seems as if
we should never have pleasant weather. I went to
Mr. W~'s and carried the paper Frank let me take
last evening, then went to Abbie's. On my way home
met Mr. Cilley with some creatures and I frightened
them so they ran up the lane and way over in the
field. He was very much provoked. Met Mr. Albert
Eastman at Abbie's. He is a fine looking man. Feel
dreadfully stupid tonight. Papa has gone to Mr.
Cilley's tonight. He is away every night now.
Monday, August 22, 1881
I slept very late this morning. I was so tired.
About half past twelve there was a great racket
at my door and Papa hollered to me to open the door.
I was so frightened. I unlocked the door and he
walked in, wanted to know what I locked the door
for, and ordered me to leave them open, which I
did not do, and told me I had better find some other
place to sleep. I came down to Abbie's at one to
get her to fix my dress, at half past four I went
home; Abbie (came) with me. We found Papa asleep
under the trees with the house all closed save the
back door. We went in and found a note from Mama
saying she was on the hill and I could stay where
I wished. We then went over to Mr. Wallace's and
found they had had quite a scene there. I stayed
there till dark then Frank and Miss Marden brought
me to Abbie's. Papa came over to W~'s while I was
there and I heard the whole conversation which was
evidently not meant for my ears.
Tuesday, August 23, 1881
I kept waiting and waiting and to hear whether Mama
was home or not. About three o'clock Arthur Griffin
said she had come and afterward, Mrs. Wells came
over and said she was home so I came home and found
her here and Papa was pleasant. Mama and I went
to the office and met Phil on the Chase hill, she
went (with) us and this ends this day. Garfield
is just alive, what a change it will make if he
Wednesday, August 24, 1881
It has been a kind of a dismal day. Mama and I went
berrying at the Tarlton Place. First I drove to
the Walter's to take them some apples. Walter went
over with us to look for his cattle and he helped
me get the plumbs; we found a basket and a stick
under the plumb tree. We had a feast on the plumbs.
Papa has been down to get cider I am sorry to say.
Philly went to the office with Willie Wells and
they didn't hear a word about the President.
Thursday, August 25, 1881
Last night about one o'clock I was awakened by the
strangest noise, it sounded like a man trying (to)
bark. Mama and I came downstairs and light wakened
Papa, he was half-drunk, but they went down stairs
and found everything all right. Papa was rather
wired this morning. He got up about four o'clock
and we did not see him except running down the field
until noon when he came in for his lunch. He had
Mama's revolver and he wanted the cartridges as
he had fired it off in the field.
Friday, August 26, 1881
Didn't do very much work for I had planned to call
on Miss Veasy. Phil and I started about half past
one, we walked the horse all the way and I read
to Philly from "_red". We called on Carrie
Griffin first and then came back the V~'s and stayed
to tea. We had a very nice time. After I got home,
went to Wallace's for the mail and Frank walked
home with me. I expected Papa would be angry but
he said nothing. The President is just alive.
Saturday, August 27, 1881
I swept, dusted, etc. Phil and I had promised to
go out on the pond with Frank at one, but it was
so warm we deferred it till three. We went to Mr.
Veasy's for a boat and Mrs. Veasy spoke to me and
insisted on my going into the house to play. I had
a very pleasant time. Then we went onto the pond
and stayed till six. Frank invited me to go to the
office but I was too tired. Phil has gone with him.
It is time for them to be back. Papa has been drinking
and is very cross.
Sunday, August 28, 1881
Papa has been drunk all day. Mama and Phil went
out in the pines and I went to Abbie's, then we
went out there and stayed until three. When we came
home, we found Mr. Brown here. We were so glad,
we could not have stayed had he not come for Papa
was all ready for a row. I went over this morning
and told Frank I could not go to church as I promised.
I am going to sleep in the attic; I rather lie there
for I knew I shall not rest any.
Monday, August 29, 1881
This morning all was calm. Mama and I did the usual
amount of work and got dinner at noon. I think it
is much easier. Mr. Brown is going to stay with
us tonight. I wanted to go to the office, but Philly
and Willie Wells went up and Papa wouldn't let me
go. They brought news of the President's improving.
Tuesday, August 30, 1881
Nothing in particular happened and I don't feel
in the mood for writing. Papa has been to Nathan's
this afternoon and has been drinking a little when
he came home but I guess he will be all right. Mr.
Brown and I went to the office, then I went to Abbie's.
Papa had just called there for Nathan but he was
Wednesday, August 31, 1881
Mama was not at all well and I had all the work
to do; she looks dreadfully. I must wake up in the
morning and get breakfast. Phil and I went over
to the Griffin's to get her to cut a skirt. Coming
home, poor little Phil said she felt sick and after
we had been home a while she had an attack of nausea,
but she's better now. Frank came over and asked
me to go to the office and I had a lovely ride;
it is very warm now at nine o'clock.
Thursday, September 1, 1881
This has been a strange day. Papa has been as cross
as a bear. About ten o'clock he went off with Charley
to have him shod, where he went afterwards we don't
know, but he came home to dinner at three, bathed,
harnessed Charley and was off again. He went some
where and got cider and came home as ugly as the
old fellow himself about half past seven. Walter
and Hattie had just got here and he came and discussed
secrecy with them. After that he and Mr. Brown ate
Friday, September 2, 1881
This morning the rain came down and it was a welcome
sight after the hot weather. Papa has been ugly
all day and tonight there was a "row".
He wouldn't treat Mr. B~ decently because Mama told
him he was going to stay or somebody else must come.
He twitted about Mama's vice and all the other stuff
the generally sprouts off. Nathan is here tonight
and I expect they will have a talk about all their
family troubles. Mr. Brown stayed in spite of Papa's
trying to get him off.
Saturday, September 3, 1881
Mr. Brown left us this morning. Uncle Henry came
down this afternoon and he had a long talk with
Papa. I know some things he told Uncle H~; one was
that he had not been up a night after nine o'clock
for two months. How many more lies he told, I don't
know. He is drinking tonight. Nathan must have brought
him cider for he has none and Phil saw Nathan coming
from the sink room with two bottles. It can not
be long now. I hope it will soon be over. I have
got so I tremble when I see the man coming.
Sunday, September 4, 1881
This morning just before breakfast I heard a know
at the door, and wondered who could be there. When
I opened the door, lo and behold, Frank was there,
and came over to ask me to accompany him to church,
but that was out of the question. So he asked me
to ride in the p.m.
Papa came through just as he asked me. This p.m.
about four we started and F~ drove to Pine ground,
I haven't been there since I was a little girl.
We had a very pleasant drive, but it commence to
rain before we got home and we had a good laugh.
Monday, September 5, 1881
Mrs. Wells came this morning to wash but it was
so rainy we could not put out the clothes. Papa
came home from some where this noon half drunk.
This afternoon he went off and came home at quarter
past eight with Willie Wells with him. He said he
had to protect him because he is afraid of females.
He was ugly but did not say very much to us, kept
saying she has got Croven(?) off and I'm glad he
would not have the doors shut so we could sleep
and we took our things and came to Abbie's where
we are going to stay tonight.
Tuesday, September 6, 1881
Came home about nine o'clock this morning. Papa
was pretty cross but got quite pleasant before dinner
time. This has been a very strange day, dark and
everything has a yellow hue. About noon I was really
frightened, it grew so dark and so very yellow,
it might be called the yellow day. This evening
I came up to Mrs. Cottrell's with Mr. Wallace and
shall stay a day or two. It is beautiful here and
as I sit by the window, I can hear the rushing of
the river and all else is silent. I would like always
to stay here. Mrs. C~ is so pleasant, too, and Mr.
Wednesday, September 7, 1881
Another day has past and I am still at Mrs. Cottrell's
and having a delightful time. Tonight about tea
time, Papa drove by Bertha and I went for the cow
and he went home while we were gone. He asked Mr.
C~ if I was here and he told him I was and asked
him if he would like to see me, he said no, he didn't
care any thing about it and went off. Uncle Henry
was here but had not been home since morning and
didn't know if Mama was on the hill or not. Mr.
C~ and I went to the Drs. and spent the evening
with Mrs. French, she has a very good piano and
I really enjoyed myself. The Pres. is at L.B. so
the paper says. A letter from Flossie tonight telling
all about the Jefferson's fun. I can't think who
sent me the paper.
Thursday, September 8, 1881
This morning helped Mrs. C~ with her work and at
half past nine went up stairs to make my bed. I
was so sleepy, I lay down and slept soundly until
half past eleven. Then I ran up to Mrs. L~ to try
on my dress and on the way, met Mr. Lawrence and
Mary and they said Papa drank some yesterday and
had a quarrel with Nathan. Mr. Wallace called at
the office about noon and opened the letter which
was for Mamma. I read it and sent it to her by Mr.
Sanders. Just as Bertha and I started for the cows,
Hattie and Walter drove up. She was on her way to
Gilmanton to teach and told me to come on the hill,
that Mama was here. So when Walter came back, I
rode up with him and I am wanted here for a day
Friday, September 9, 1881
I really got up to breakfast this morning and have
had no nap today. Have finished Mr. B~'s shirt and
would like to begin another but can't tell whether
it will fit or not. It is perfectly lovely up here
and everything is so pleasant. Aunt Eunice is just
lovely. It is lonely to have Hattie away. Mama told
me last evening that the papers for a divorce had
been served and Papa was raving, I do dread the
thing so. I hope he won't make a great fuss. Grandma
is coming next week. I am afraid she won't come
when she knows. I wonder what Papa is doing now
and if he feels badly or angry, but I suppose I
shall never know. He thinks I am "so hostile"
to him, he treats his best friends the worst.
Saturday, September 10, 1881
This morning was chilly and rainy, neither Mama
nor I woke up in time for breakfast. I finished
Mama's sack for her. She and Phil went home about
half past four, but I stayed here on the hill. I
dreaded to have her go home alone, but she thought
it better for me to stay a day or two longer. Uncle
Henry did not come, but Aunt E~ got a letter from
him saying to send Walter to Buck Street, and he
is on his way now. Walter said Papa came to the
door, spoke to Phil, and went back singing so I
suppose he is cross.
Sunday, September 11, 1881
This morning I as up to breakfast at six. I didn't
feel well so after the work was done I went to my
room and slept till noon, and felt much better.
Uncle Henry reached home between ten and eleven.
This p.m. I felt miserable and tonight I feel very
nervous. I can not go home tomorrow night. I hope
Mama will not feel badly. I have been reading Ora
and enjoy it very much although some of the characters
are far above any being I ever met or heard of and
too good to live in this world.
Monday, September 12, 1881
I was up to breakfast this morning but did not feel
able to hold my head up. After the dishes were done
and the beds made, I came to my room and went to
bed where I stayed until they called me to dinner.
This p.m. I felt some better and wrote a letter
to Mr. Huntington telling him something of our situation.
At the supper table Walter said Albert Sander's
and his brother were coming down tonight, so we
got ready for them. Albert came alone and we had
a nice little musical and said they would come down
and see me sometime and have a play.
Tuesday, September 13, 1881
This morning I felt miserably and did not get up
until after eight. Aunt Eunice called me but I did
not hear her. I have had a sick headache all day
and feel about sick tonight. Walter brought me down
and went for Abbie. We had a card from Aunt M~ saying
she was coming tomorrow night and one from Grandma
saying she is coming Thursday. So we sent word for
them to meet her on the hill and take her home.
When I got home I found Papa had gone away; he has
just got home and is half drunk. He came and knocked
on my door and was very cross when he saw me. Oh
how I long for rest. I tremble so I can hardly write.
Wednesday, September 14, 1881
Mrs. Wells came to wash today and such a muss as
she does make everything in the house seem turned
upside down. Willie W~ was here to help Papa, and
so he went to the depot to meet Aunt Martha but
came back without her but brought a card saying
she will be here Friday noon if pleasant. Grandma
is coming tomorrow, how glad I am. This p.m. I took
a note to school to Alice S~ to take on the hill
saying we would meet Aunt M~, and called on Ella
Cilley, Mrs. C~, Mrs. S~ and Wallace. Am very tired
tonight. Today Kit would have been nineteen, but
I am glad she is out of the trouble.
Thursday, September 15, 1881
This morning I got up quite early and went to the
store with Papa and walked home, he went on to Concord
to meet Grandma. I have been busy all day and have
got things in very good order. Although it is nearly
ten, Papa has not come and I fear Grandma is not
coming. I can't imagine what makes him so late.
I am afraid he is drunk but I hope not. Phil is
sick with a cold and has been home all day. I made
her some candy this morning and she was delighted.
Friday, September 16, 1881
Last night Papa came home at eleven and was so drunk
he didn't know enough to open the door but stood
rapping at the door. I went to the window and told
him the door was open. When I asked if Grandma came
he didn't seem to comprehend my meaning. I had to
ask him three times. Aunt M~ came this noon and
Aunt Eunice, Aunt Ann and Mrs. Dolerce came this
p.m. A Mr. Pickain came today to serve papers on
Mama for divorce. I met him on the hill and he asked
for Mr. Lawrence. He was a horrid looking man. I
do dread the affair so, I do wish it was over.
Saturday, September 17, 1881
Tonight I am in one of my lazy moods and feel like
sitting alone and perfectly quiet. I did not want
to talk so came up to my own room and have been
answering Fred's letter of the 15th. Aunt M~ and
I went on the hill this a.m. and to the office to
get her trunk. We have no word from Grandma as yet
and I am afraid she will not come. I am glad tomorrow
is Sunday so I can rest for I have been about sick
all this week. Aunt M~ talks, talks, talks, with
no "let-up", I do get so tired.
Sunday, September 18, 1881
This morning everything went wrong and did not get
straightened until this p.m. I went down to see
Abbie and this p.m. Aunt M~, Mama, and myself went
to the cemetery. I never was in such a dismal place
in my life. It is too bad they don't keep it in
better order, it is such a pretty location. It is
really hard to get round, the weeds are so thick.
This evening I wrote to Fred and Flossie Converse
and asked her to help me about getting scholars.
Monday, September 19, 1881
This morning I washed the skirt Grace gave me and
it loos beautifully. I also washed a shawl Aunt
M~ gave me for doing so. This p.m. I was very tried
and to rest. Papa went to meet Grandma and brought
her home. It seems so good to see her again.
Tuesday, September 20, 1881
I really feel so lost with so little to do for Grandma
takes my work right away from me. I think I shall
try to practice a little. I have decided to go to
C~ next week. Shall once be on Dana St. but it will
be so different. I shall be glad to be there and
if I can get scholars would rather be there than
anywhere. Things begin to look a little brighter
and I hope will come out right in the end. I have
a lovely letter from Mr. Huntinton tonight. Mama
seems quite well and brighter than she has for some
Wednesday, September 21, 1881
Mama nor I, either of us, got up very early this
morning for we were both about sick with colds.
Mr. Garfield's death seems very sad and I feel so
sad for his family. Grandma has been talking about
our affairs and she rather sides with Papa with
all his deviltry and lying, she believes every word
he says but I think she may find him out one of
these days. We did not get the mail tonight and
don't know whether there is any or not.
Thursday, September 22, 1881
A letter from C~ this morning saying Mr. C~ is in
Cincinnati will be home the 27 - so that prevents
my going to Con. on Wed. Will try to go the last
of the week. This afternoon went to Abbie's to have
dress looped for Annie C~ as she is away. There
is an account of the President's death and sickness
paper. Everything is in mourning and the stores
are draped. All Europe sympathizes and bells in
London were tolled when he died. There never has
been anything know(n) to equal the universal sorrowing.
His poor family, how dreadfully they must suffer
to loose such a son, husband, and father. God pity
them and help them.
Friday, September 23, 1881
Nothing worth noting took place today. Aunt Eunice
and Etta called down. Have been mending this p.m.
Although it is but eight o'clock I have come upstairs
to retire and I can hear Aunt M~, Grandma and Papa
talking very earnestly about something.
Saturday, September 24, 1881
A rainy dreary dismal day. Papa took Aunt M~ on
the hill and it really seems lonely without her,
poor woman, can find no where to go. Have been very
busy all day picking up my things. These days seem
eternal. I am so nervous and restless, shall be
glad when I get off although I may jump from the
frying pan into the fire. This evening Phil and
I had a few games of checkers. Then Papa and I played
cards. Poor Papa, he has a dreadful toothache. I
wish I could do something to ease it. I am so sleepy
I can hardly tell what I am writing.
Sunday, September 25, 1881
Everything begins to look brighter, the sun begins
to shine and I long to get away and begin work.
Mr. Brown came down today and joined us at Mr. Wallace's
on our way to the Tarlton Place. Grandma and Papa
are having a conflab, he is very nervous tonight
and feels cross but he has to keep it back. Tomorrow
I must begin work and get ready to go away. Mama
is real sick and can hardly sit up.
Monday, September 26, 1881
I guess I shall remember this day until the end
of my life. This morning I washed out my clothes
and was very tired. This evening Papa and Phil went
to the office and brought a letter from Helen. I
have run until I can hardly tell if I have any legs
left or not. Papa is real cross and this morning
was ugly as he could be, was hinting about some
one's getting into the window last night. Thank
God I shall soon be out of it.
Tuesday, September 27, 1881
Wednesday, September 28, 1881
I was so tired last night I could not write. I ironed
all the morning, and helped Mrs. Wells about the
washing and Grandma helped me color some things
in the p.m. Went to pack a box and when I was through
found Miss Veasy was waiting to see me. I was very
glad to see her. Today I packed my trunk and went
to Uncle Henrie's. Aunt Eunice gave me a pari of
"slips" and Etta a glass of jelly. They
rather discouraged my going but I must push ahead
or I shall never get started in my thing. I am very
tired tonight. Met Palmer on the hill tonight and
I had his mail. I would have rather burned it than
given it to him, but I had to give it.
Thursday, September 29, 1881
Today we had to cook for we were all out of everything.
I made some gingerbread to take with me and Grandma
made me a loaf of cake. I am going to make some
bread. A letter from C~ tonight so we shall go to
C~ on Saturday, also one from Dr. C~. Will stop
there on my way. I do not feel so tired tonight
for I had a good nap this p.m.
Friday, September 30, 1881
Today Mr. Brown and Papa went to C~ and tomorrow
Mama and I shall have to go. We have been very busy
today and I am very tired. Papa came home "straight"
for the first time I can remember in a long time.
Abbie spent a part of the p.m. with us. I am so
tired I can not think and my... I will stop writing
Saturday, October 1, 1881
To my great surprise this morning Papa (met) met
at the foot of the stairs said he wanted me to go
to Concord with him to see a lawyer about Green's
bill. I made up my mind that the lawyers would get
nothing else from me if they tried. It happened
that we all went over together. Mr. Muggright was
not in and Papa wanted me to go over early Mon.
morn. and take the train from there. I don't want
to go but if it is necessary, I will do it. I do
detest going over there to be "jumped".
Saw Mr. Albion today for the first time. He seems
a very nice man and very kind.
Sunday, October 2, 1881
Can it be that this is the last day that I shall
look on all these lovely old familiar scenes? Shall
I never wander in the woods for wild flowers and
more? I hate to go and feel that I shall never come
back again and see Mama's welcome face again at
the door but I must banish these thoughts and take
courage remembering I am going out to face the world
and fight it. Poor Papa seems very down-hearted;
how strange that he should have brought all this
sorrow on himself. How I shall turn back to these
grand old hills and beautiful fields. I can not
wish to stay, my life here has been too unhappy
and I am glad to go away and care for myself and
Mama. It will be lovely for her, but it will not
be lonely. I hope before (long) she will be with
me. I have said good-bye to the neighbors and take
a farewell look through all the old familiar places.
Monday, October 3, 1881
Tuesday, October 4, 1881
Was so sick last night, I could not write. I reached
___ about noon, walked to the Drs., but had to hire
a little boy to carry my bundle. I found there was
a four o'clock train and Dr. drove me to the depot
after showing me some of the town; and I waited
an hour for the train and as it was late, and would
be after dark before I reached B~, I went back and
stayed. I was dreadfully sick and the Dr. had to
give me medicine. This morning I started on the
noon train, saw Mrs. Dermitt at L~ for a few minutes,
met Florence in the (horse) car and went to dinner
with her; then came to Dana St. They were all surprised
to see me. Am very tired tonight.
Wednesday, October 5, 1881
The days are so full now I can not write all about
them. I have been just as busy as busy could be
since I came. Went down in the Port this morning
and started a letter off to Mama. It was so cold
I fairly shivered. Called on the O~'s this p.m.
They seemed very glad to see me and urged me to
stay for tea, but I could not. Helen was about sick.
Mr. S~ was there; he is a fine looking man. I am
awfully tired tonight.
Thursday, October 6, 1881
Have put my room in order as well as I can. Aunt
L~ and I went to the Port and got the stove. I have
been sitting in my room by the window and looking
out over the fields and to Memorial Hall where I
used to look six long years ago. Charlie has been
fixing my shelf for me this evening. I am tired
about to death. My stove came this evening, but
could not be put up for want of funnel. How I would
like to see Mama.
Friday, October 7, 1881
This afternoon I went in town and up to Mrs. Brownes
but her daughter will not take lessons this winter.
They were very kind and offered every assistance
they could. Mama came in to tea and George Rolfe
came in and spent the evening. He did not look natural;
he has grown up so much. We had a nice time but
I am very tired.
Saturday, October 8, 1881
This morning I felt very tired and not well, but
I went in town to the recital and enjoyed it very
much. When I got home I was so sick I had to lie
down and thought I could not possibly go (to) Mrs.
B~'s, but Aunt L~ said I had better go so I "spunked"
up and went and had a lovely time. Amy Bullard and
The Hoover were there - they were very pleasant
and I had a lovely time. It is near midnight now
and I feel about sick.
Sunday, October 9, 1881
I did not get up until nearly noon; I was so tired
and sick. Loafed round all day, went down to see
Mrs. O~'s. They seemed glad to see me. Mary was
there and seemed as natural as ever. I am very sleepy
and must go to bed. Wrote to Mama, how I wish she
were here. I long to see her so much.
Monday, October 10, 1881
This morning I commenced work, practiced a little
over an hour, helped Aunt Lizzie and then went to
sewing. This p.m. Aunt L~ and I called on Mrs. Bradford
and Miss Page. We had a very nice time. This evening
we got supper, then I practiced duets with Helen.
I am tired tonight and miss Mama so much. I do wish
she were here. Aunt L~ is kind and good to me but
she can not be Mama. I answered an advertisement
today but I don't know as it will amount to anything.
Tuesday, October 11, 1881
Mrs. Hughes has been here to spend the day and she
is lovely. I went downtown for Aunt L~ and got back
just in time for dinner. Charley and Helen have
been to call on Mama and say good-bye. Today Helen
Olmstead became Mrs. Swain and a lovely day they
had for the wedding. I do hope she will be happy
for she is a lovely girl. It seems so strange to
have H~ ( ) it gone. I miss her more here than anywhere.
I would give anything if I were with her. I have
not heard from Mama and I don't understand it.
Wednesday, October 12, 1881
Today I have been all over Boston to find employment
and the only thing I can find is to make macramé
lace and I am strongly inclined to do it although
it is poor pay, but everything is, and I must do
something. I came from B~. I went straight to Mrs.
M~'s to bid Maud good-bye and there I saw Mr. Breed
and Miss Lowhead. Then I ran down to see Augusta
and met Lizzie Walling and Helen Reed there. I had
bread to make and a sick headache tonight. Aunt
L~ has come to the T~. ________(Laudelle?) has just
Thursday, October 13, 1881
I expected Grace this morning but she did not come.
Helped about the bread, practiced, etc. This p.m.
made grape jelly and stained my hands all over.
Had swe(e)t letter from Mama this morning. How I
wish the dear woman was here. I miss her so much.
Aunt L~ has gone to Mrs. Bigelows this evening and
I have the supper to look after. Have not been out
today. I have been so busy there seemed no time.
Friday, October 14, 1881
What a busy day this has been, not one minute to
spare. The bread had to be baked, some ironing done,
the jelly made and everything else to do. The men
came to remove Mr. James' furniture and my room
had to be turned upside down. Charlie and I went
to Mr. Bigelows for pears. Then he hung some pictures
for me and tonight I am literally tired out. It
is nearly eleven o'clock.
Saturday, October 15, 1881
This morning I woke up with a sick headache and
I did not get up till late. I fussed around just
as lazy as I could then I took some medicine and
lay down for a while - after that I felt better
and cooked a little. Aunt Lizzie and I went downtown
and did some errands. I bathed and am going to bed
for I feel very tired. I got Aunt L~ _______ for
which I expect I shall have to spend twenty five
Sunday, October 16, 1881
Willie and I went to church this morning - it really
seemed good to go again, it is so long since I have
been to my church. This afternoon Charlie and I
went to walk and had a very nice one - in the evening
Charlie Rolfe came in and stayed until eleven o'clock.
Nearly he is a very bright boy, he has run off with
my knife and wanted my little boat. Am very tired.
Saw Sophie Rindge today and had a lovely talk with
Monday, October 17, 1881
I am so sleepy I can write nothing. This morning
I sewed all the morning and practiced. This p.m.
I went to the Sq. and got Aunt M~'s clock fixed.
Sophie R~ called and I was glad to see her. She
is the first of my old friends that has called.
Saw Augusta, Mary and children go by on their way
to the west. I thought she was going this morning
so I did not go down. I am sorry she has gone. Had
a nice long letter from Mama and wrote to her this
Tuesday, October 18, 1881
Today has been a busy one. This morning I sewed
and made cake for the evening as it is Charlie's
birthday and we are to have a little surprise for
him. This p.m. I went in town and ordered some cards
printed and went to Jordan & Marsh but found
nothing there. Got Charlie a tie for he has been
very kind to me and I can do nothing for him. I
took the cake out before it (was) done and spoiled
the looks of the loaf and I got some cakes. When
I got home L~ went to carry invitations to Warlings
and C. Whittemore and when I got back from there,
I had to go fast off to the Sq. for fruit, and got
home just in time to eat.
Wednesday, October 19, 1881
Today has been more quiet. I sewed and practiced
then helped Aunt L~ clear away the dinner. Just
as I was getting a fire ready to light Flossie Penderse
called. I was glad to see her, dear old girl. I
wonder what they are doing at E~ tonight. I rather
wish I were there. I would like to see Mama and
Phil so much. but they must come soon, how glad
I shall be. This p.m. I had a little rest instead
of going out, but am very sleepy now and must go
to bed. It was so late when I went last night. I
ought to write to Mama but cannot tonight.
Thursday, October 20, 1881
Sewed this morning and went in town this p.m. and
walked all over Boston to get work. Answered several
advertisements but to no avail. Came home about
half past five and found Aunt out to tea and Helen
going out so I had Charlie's supper to get and the
bread to make. Just as we finished tea the bell
rang and someone inquired for Miss Steele. I had
to have the bread and it was after ten when I got
it made. George Converse called and was very pleasant
and much improved.
Friday, October 21, 1881
This morning I did the work and practiced. Aunt
L~ rested so to be fresh for this evening as she
has gone to the theatre. This p.m. Helen and I started
to call on Florence and met her just as we opened
the door. Then I went to a Mrs. Billings to see
about her daughter taking music, but she was taking
of some one else: will do what she can to get me
scholars. Charlie and I had a little frolic and
I helped Lillie Fossenden with her music.
Saturday, October 22, 1881
We did not get up until pretty late, but we cleaned
the two rooms then went to Mrs. Bigelows for pears.
This p.m. I called on Florence Converse and ran
down to see Mrs. O~ as Aunt L~ and H~ have gone
to Mrs. Wallings. I wish Mama would come, I want
to see her so much. I wonder what they are doing
at E~ tonight. I would like to run in and spend
Sunday but I don't want to stay there.
Sunday, October 23, 1881
Willie and I went to church this morning and heard
a beautiful sermon. Helen and I took a little walk
and I wrote to Mama -- dear soul, how I wish she
were with me. This evening we all had a little music
and talk in the parlor. Aunt L~ came home in the
midst of it.
Monday, October 24, 1881
Have been through the same routine today. It has
been rainy and dismal all day, so I could not go
out. Saw an advertisement in the paper tonight for
girls at Jordan's and Marsh's, I shall try for a
situation there for the holidays. Aunt L~ said she
would pay my rent this week, but she did not do
it and I must do something for I have no money left
and I can not send to Mama. Hope I shall hear from
Tuesday, October 25, 1881
This morning I started in Boston to answer an advertisement
for Jordan & Marsh and reached there only to
find (a) hundred waiting situations. So I posted
around the city in pursuit of labor and finely went
in to a store and offered my services as clerk and
to my surprise got the situation as cashier. Mr.
Bigelow was very kind and was going to see if it
is a suitable place for me. I really think that
man is as near perfection as any mortal can be.
I am so glad I have found something to do for I
am out of money and I can not send to Mama. I shall
get six $6 dollars a week. No letter from Mama.
I wonder why she did not write.
Wednesday, October 26, 1881
Mr. Bigelow said he would write me if there was
any reason I should not accept the position at Raymond's
and as I have heard nothing I consider it all right
to go. I shall be glad to be earning something.
Called on Sophie Rindge, she thought I was doing
just the (right) thing to go in to a store. I am
tired and stupid tonight. Helen and I have been
teaching Charlie to waltz.
Thursday, October 27, 1881
Aunt L~ and I swept the parlor. The bread did not
rise and everything has been in confusion generally.
I was so tired I had to lie down. Mr. Bigelow came
when I was sound asleep and wanted to see me about
Raymond's. He thinks I can go and try it and I am
so glad. When I get fairly started I shall write
Mama to come down. I shall be so glad to see her.
Aunt L~ went to H___car. Mr. Riddle read and has
not yet got home. Charlie went into the Rolfe's
and the Fessenden's went out. So, Helen and I were
Friday, October 28, 1881
Today is my last of freedom and I realize(d) it
this evening when I think I have to start off early
in the morning. This p.m. Mr. Jones brought Aunt
Lizzie four tickets to an entertainment where he
was to read. We all went and enjoyed it very much.
After we got home they all came up stairs and we
had chocolate and cake and a good time generally.
I am very tired and it is late.
Saturday, October 29, 1881
This morning I started off at half past seven. A
part of the time and a very small part I was in
the desk and the rest behind the counter. I got
so tired at half past eight that I could not stay
and Mr. Raymond said I could come home. I had to
take a Main St. car and I literally ran from there
home. Found a letter from Mama saying Aunt M` was
coming to see me Sunday or Wed. I am so tired, I
ache all over.
Sunday, October 30, 1881
This morning I gave up and stayed in bed until eleven.
Loafed all day to feel fresh in the morning. Charlie
went off this p.m. Wrote five letters and a postal.
Tomorrow I start off again in my new work. I dread
it very much but it will help Mama from working
and relieve her of the anxiety of the experience.
I wrote Aunt M~ to come Wed.
Monday, October 31, 1881
Went in to the store at eight. It has been a dull
day and I did not get so tired. Went to dinner with
Charlie, came home at six. Tomorrow (I) shall have
to stay until nine. Sam Winslow came into the store
today but I did not let him see me. I didn't want
to see him. Tomorrow begins another month and it
is Papa's birthday. I want to send him a handkerchief
but I haven't a cent to spend. I will try to send
it next week.
Tuesday, November 1, 1881
Wednesday, November 2, 1881
Thursday, November 3, 1881
Have been so tired the last two days I could not
write. Tonight I came home early (and) unexpectedly
found a letter from Mama saying she was not coming
for two or three weeks. I wish she would come. I
can not stand it to work so hard (and) long; I think
she might hurry and come. I would write her tonight
had I not got to fix my dress. Aunt L~ thinks I
can wipe her dishes for her when I come home so
tired I can hardly sit up and Helen will sit and
Friday, November 4, 1881
Saturday, November 5, 1881
Sunday, November 6, 1881
I am so tired nights I can not write. Last night
I had to ask Mr. R~ to let me off early. Today I
have been about sick all day and have done nothing
but rest. Helen and I took short walk and I wrote
to Mama. I do want to see her so much. When will
she come? Last Friday I was so sick I had to come
Monday, November 7, 1881
Tuesday, November 8, 1881
Wednesday, November 9, 1881
Thursday, November 10, 1881
Friday, November 11, 1881
Saturday, November 12, 1881
Sunday, November 13, 1881
Another week is gone and I have neglected my good
old diary. I must brace up and write now -- the
days are very much alike one continual struggle
to keep soul and body together. Mr. R~ took my place
away as cashier and I am simply a clerk now. It
is not as hard but I don't like it so well. I had
a long talk with him and came to an understanding.
Did not write Mama. I was tired and did not feel
like writing and I know she will not care under
the circumstances. Went to see Florence M~ and I
had a lovely time. She was very kind and pleasant.
(George Conor?) and Anna Rogers called this afternoon.
Monday, November 14, 1881
Started off to the store feeling rather blue but
went to work and forgot all about it. This p.m.
Aunt L~ came into the store, also Mrs. Kendall and
Miss Eastman. Aunt L~ brought me a letter from Mama
which I was glad to get. Came out in the cars with
Miss Livingston. She is very pleasant. Nothing happen(s)
from day to day. It is work, work, work, but when
Saturday night comes and I get my six dollars I
feel that it is not all for nothing. Mama's letter
made me rather homesick. I long for the open fires
and my pleasant little west room where so many pleasant
days have been slept and dear little Phil, how I
would like to see her.
Tuesday, November 15, 1881
Wednesday, November 16, 1881
Thursday, November 17, 1881
I am so tired I cannot write after my days work.
Tonight I am more tired than usual and I had to
go to call at the Wallings. Charlie went with me.
I had a very pleasant call. Last evening Helen had
four boys to call on her and I went down. They were
very pleasant but too young for H~. Mr. Rogers is
coming over some night next week to learn to play
whist. Oh! Why doesn't Mama come? I am so lonely
without her. I am afraid I can not stand it to work
so hard very long. I begin to feel ill so soon.
Friday, November 18, 1881
Went to work as usual. Nothing unusual happened
until this evening when Mr. Raymond came down with
a lot of stockings and wanted me to help fix them,
so I had to stay until quarter past seven. He was
very pleasant. Came home at quarter before eight,
ate my supper, got dressed and went to the musicale
at half past which met at Miss Bullards. Had a very
pleasant time and was not out late. Mr. Strong escorted
me home, but I shouldn't know him if I should see
Saturday, November 19, 1881
I felt rather tired this morning and it rained hard.
I left my umbrella at the store so I had none. It
has been a dull day for business. Mr. R~ kept us
arranging and rearranging our goods all day and
got me to check the bill of goods that came in.
Miss L~ could not pay me tonight. I am sorry for
I owe Aunt L~ and Mrs. F~. Mr. Raymond told me to
come home at half past nine so I came early.
Sunday, November 20, 1881
It was very late when I got up this morning. Aunt
L~ did not go to Concord St. to dinner and surprised
me by coming home about one. She and I spent the
evening at the B~'s and I enjoyed it very much.
Wrote to Mama and straightened out my room. It is
very late and I must go to bed so to be fresh in
the morning for work again.
Monday, November 21, 1881
Another day of work is past and I am very tired.
Things went all right at the store, but Mr. R~ was
cross as could be, but very pleasant to me. Miss
L~ payed me today and I have settled with Miss F~
and shall do what I can for Aunt L~. Aunt L~ and
Charley had a fuss tonight. Charley was to blame
but Aunt L~ thinks she does more work than any one
else on earth. I wish she would try what I have
to do and see if I about have to use my brains.
I don't think she uses hers, only so much, she thinks
altogether too much of herself.
Tuesday, November 22, 1881
Everything has been just as usual.
Wednesday, November 23, 1881
Work and no play all the time. This p.m. it began
to snow and is still snowing. When I got home I
found them all seated in my room round the fire.
It looked very pleasant and was a great surprise
also found Aunt L~ had received two bbls. of apples
and a tub of butter from Epsom and that Ned Hooker
had called. I was so surprised to see him. Well,
tomorrow is Thanksgiving, three years ago we were
all at home and it was the last time we can all
be together. There will always be one dear one missing
which mars all. Three years ago -- Oh how many sad
changes have come in those short three years.
Thursday, November 24, 1881
Another Thanksgiving is past but I can never enjoy
them as I used to when Kit was with us. I always
think of the last one we spent at home, how little
we thought that before the year was gone she would
go to sleep to wake in a better clime. Oh, how I
long to see her and tell her all my heartaches and
troubles, nobody on earth has the same interest
in me. Dear little Phil and Mama, I would like to
have been with them today. Papa, I believe has no
feeling, if he has he keeps it well to himself.
Well, tomorrow I being drudgery again to keep soul
and body together. We had a delightful time today
at the Bryants. They are such lovely people and
so beautiful to each other.
Friday, November 25, 1881
This morning work seemed harder than ever and I
don't care how soon I leave for a better land. Had
a letter from Mama saying she will come next week
if able. I shall die if she doesn't come soon. A
letter from Abbie. I am very tired and there is
Saturday, November 26, 1881
Just as I was going to take the car, Ned Hooker
came along and I had no time to speak to him. Tonight
it was half past ten when I came home. There was
no trade and I asked them if I could come. There
were no letters. Paid Aunt L~ and Mrs. Fessenden.
I hope to get my debts paid before long. I shall
not feel right until I get settled.
Sunday, November 27, 1881
This morning I rose a little earlier than I generally
do on Sundays. This p.m. Helen had company to dinner.
She wanted Arthur to come but he could not. George
came and we had a very pleasant time. I went down
to see Mrs. Ulmsted and found her gone to the west,
but I found Mrs. Pearson and Miss Sarah there
Monday, November 28, 1881
It does seem so hard to get up and start off on
Monday morning but I must work or die. George Converse
went in in the car with me but I was pretty cool
to him and I guess he noticed it for he left me
at the Sq., but if what Miss Fessenden says is true,
I don't want to have anything to do with him. Charlie
went down and got the cornices tonight. Aunt L~
is in one of her complaining moods tonight and Helen
went on to the sofa until I did the dishes. I wish
she had to work as I do for one week and see which
has the hardest time.
Tuesday, November 29, 1881
I thought I should surely have a letter from Mama
today, but there is none. I wonder why she did not
write. Nothing to mention. It has been a dull day
as far as business is concerned but a beautiful
day for this season. Charley Rolfe is here but I
am too tired to go down stairs.
Wednesday, November 30, 1881
I really feel too tired to write tonight but as
it is the last day of the month, I must make an
effort. Aunt L~ has had her cornices put up this
evening and they look very prettyish. I don't know
how much they will be, but I will let her settle
with Mama. I did not hear today and I don't know
when Mama will come. I wish she would hurry. I feel
miserably tonight and I am afraid I will be sick
tomorrow. One month more and this year of '81 will
be over. The one in which I expected so much happiness
and it has been full of sorrow and disappointment.
Thursday, December 1, 1881
This month has fairly commenced and it is a dismal
day. Tonight I found a letter from Mama to Aunt
L~ saying she is not coming this week. I don't believe
she ever will come. I am just discouraged about
Friday, December 2, 1881
Although today has been pleasant it has been very
quiet. I came home early and dressed for the musicale.
We had a very pleasant time but the nicest time
was after they had all gone and we had chocolate
& apples. George Rolfe stayed until late --
I have left them in the parlor talking but I have
to go off to work so I came to bed.
Saturday, December 3, 1881
Oh! Dear, I am home at last with a splitting headache,
this day has been dreadful. Saturdays always are.
I expected to be sick last night but as yet I am
all right. It is so unusual that I don't understand
it. The man came out and put up my cornice but the
curtains were not fit to go up.
Sunday, December 4, 1881
Have been sick all day and felt very badly. Charley
Rolfe spent the p.m. here and he made it very jolly
as he always does. I feel too sick to write much.
Monday, December 5, 1881
Tuesday, December 6, 1881
Was so tired last night I did not write. I went
strait to bed. Am very tired tonight and can write
but little. Called on Flossie and Lily, but they
were both out. A letter from Mama saying she will
come this week but I am afraid she won't. She has
been coming so many times but I do hope she will.
Wednesday, December 7, 1881
Thursday, December 8, 1881
Yesterday was a rainy dismal day and well for me
it was for the store closed early. This morning
I walked in(to) town and was very tired when I got
there, but I had no money for tickets, and none
to get dinner with. I fear Mama is not coming this
week, in fact I know she is not.
Friday, December 9, 1881
Saturday, December 10, 1881\
Sunday, December 11, 1881
Today I have been sick all day. I got up and worked
round a little but had to give up and go to bed.
I have a fearful cold which has settled on my lungs
and makes me sick. Last night it was half past eleven
when I got home and I had to stand in the cold wind
all evening. I feared it would make me sick and
my fears were realized today. Mama did not come.
I have given her up. I think she has forgotten me
altogether. The Fessendens have been very kind to
me today and so have they all.
Monday, December 12, 1881
Tuesday, December 13, 1881
Wednesday, December 14, 1881
Thursday, December 15, 1881
Friday, December 16, 1881
Saturday, December 17, 1881
Sunday, December 18, 1881
Since last Sunday so many things have happened I
have no place to write them. Monday I came home
from the store sick and did not go again till Friday.
Mama came Tues. and no one knows how glad I was
to see her. I was home three days but was too sick
to enjoy anything. Friday I went back and had hard
work to stay through the day, but did, then I found
I had to stay until nine but told them I could not,
so they let me off. Last night I got home at half
past eleven. Today George Converse came for me to
go to ride and Mama told me to go. He took me round
through Bedford Malden and Charlestown. We had a
lovely ride, but I found Mama tired when I got home
and felt that I ought to have helped her. Another
week and Christmas will be here but I have no money
to make any presents.
Monday, December 19, 1881
Tuesday, December 20, 1881
Wednesday, December 21, 1881
Thursday, December 22, 1881
I have not written for a long time in my diary but
the year is nearly gone and I must write every day.
This year has been full of strange events and I
know when I am older I shall be glad to look back
and know what happened. Tonight Nellie had a candy
pull and we had lots of fun. Johnny How and Mr.
Strong and lots of people were here. I am awfully
tired (to)night and have to be up early in the morning.
Friday, December 23, 1881
This morning I was awfully tired and sleepy but
had to go to work as usual. About four thirty p.m.
I felt as if I could not keep awake, so gave up
the musicale and did not ask to come home. When
I got home I found they were quite anxious I should
go and Charley waited for me to dress. I'm so glad
I went for we had a very nice time. George Rolfe
came home with me. He is such a nice fellow and
so kind in his feelings, and always a gentleman.
I am tired again but tomorrow is my late morning.
Saturday, December 24, 1881(changed date to December
Got through today very well. At half past ten Mr.
R~ told me I could come home and so the old year
goes out and tomorrow begins another. I wonder if
it will be as strange as this has been. I am so
tired tonight I could drop down and stay until morning.
John Rolfe has not called and I don't see why for
he has always called before. I wonder what Papa
is doing all this time, poor man. I pity him, but
he is not decent to me and I don't know why I should.
Poor Mama is tired out being up waiting for me.
Well this is the last time I shall write in this
diary, so good-bye.
Sunday, December 25, 1881
Monday, December 26, 1881
Tuesday, December 27, 1881
Wednesday, December 28, 1881
Thursday December 29, 1881
Friday, December 30, 1881
Saturday, December 31, 1881