Zadoc Long's Journal, 1835-1838
Source: Alfred Cole and Charles F. Whitman, A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine. (Buckfield, Me.: [s.n.], 1915). Notes in parentheses are Cole and Whitman's.
[p. 475]1835.Jan. 7—We sent five tons of dried apples to Portland to-day. They sold for 4½ cts. per lb.
Aug. 26—Bought what is called the old Record homestead in Buckfield Village with 9 acres of good land for $1000.
Sept. 8—Sold the situation where I have lived for 9 years to Albert D. White for $1000.
Nov. 10—The sound of the explosion at the Gorham Powder Mills, 50 miles away, was heard and the smoke seen in this town. One man killed. Never knew money so plenteous and business of every kind so good as during the last six months. There has been a high price paid for everything the farmer has had to sell. 50 cts. for wool, average quality. 20 cts. per lb. for butter, $1.00 for corn, 8 s. for wheat, 67 cts. for oats, $2 for beans, $10 for hay. Goods have been sold at advanced prices and the demand for them was never greater. The prices of labor of every kind has been very high. Fine times. Sold the orchard near the school house to John Taylor for $150.
Nov. 23—Cold snow storm. Up to this it has been one of the most delightful autumns ever known.
Nov. 29, Sunday—Preaching in the Village by Elder Starr of New Gloucester.
Dec. 2—Obtained $200 by subscription for a bell for Union Chapel.
Dec. 6, Sunday—Elder Starr preached in the village again to-day.
Dec. 19—Hay very scarce. Stock almost to be given away in consequence.1836.Jan. 6—Erysipelas prevails in this vicinity. Three out of one family have died within a few days. Have just heard of the death of Jonathan Buck's wife.
Jan. 13—Bought meadow hay of James Jewett at $10 per ton. Wood at 1¼ dollars per cord, not so plenteous as usual.
Jan. 18—Widow Jane Record the oldest person in the village is sick and not expected to live many days.
Jan. 19—Money circulates less freely. Hay sold in the vilage to-day for $15 per ton. Best flour $9 per bbl. in Portland.
Jan. 24, Sunday—Rev. Mr. Pennell preached here to a large audience.
Jan. 25—Mr. Pennell plays psalmody sweetly on a flute. With that and a violin we have been whiling away the time pleasantly during the storm.
Jan. 27—Session of the court was to have commenced at Paris yesterday but the Judge had not arrived this morning by reason of the storm.
Feb. 1—Mr. Pennell held a meeting in the evening at Squire Brown's to discourse about missionary objects according to the custom on the 1st Mon. in Feb.
Feb. 8—Another tremendous snow storm. The snow is up to the window stools on a level.[p. 476]Feb. 13—No regularity to the mails is expected. Mrs. Jenkins, aged 83, died in the village to-day.
Feb. 16—Hay $20 a ton and scarce at that. Ephraim Hathaway, a pensioner, died yesterday.
Feb. 20—Lewis Record nearly killed yesterday by the falling of a tree.
Feb. 29—Mr. Pennell left, having preached in the village 6 Sabbaths.
Mar. 2—Said to be the coldest winter ever known. It has been very sickly and the largest number of people have died that ever did in the same length of time since the town was settled.
Mar. 19—Very cold. Snow nearly 4 feet deep. The stage-driver is this moment passing by with ear locks and whiskers as white by the frost as a powdered wig.
Mar. 25—Marshall and Hiram Andrews have been on trial before me two days on complaint for passing counterfeit money. Court at the town house. Mr. Brown and Carter, counsel for the state. Mr. Emery for defendants. 500 people present. They were bound over to the Supreme Court May Term in the sum of $500. The counterfeit was on Kenduskeag Bank, Bangor.
Mar. 27, Sunday—Mr. Libby, a blind man, preaches here to-day. He never could see or read, yet knows much of the books. Repeats hymns for singing his text and the context with perfect accuracy. Uses very chaste language grammatically and is a very tolerable sermonizer.
Apr. 15—Two citizens are quarreling witin a few rods of the house about a land line. One threatens to brain the other with an ax and strikes him a slight blow upon his leg. The ax is taken from him. He then strikes with his fists. The other returns the blow and knocks him down. A sickening spectacle. The one knocked down is nearly 60 years old and is a sworn Justice of the Quorum and bound to keep the peace and maintain the laws.
Apr. 24, Sunday—Rev. Mr. Caldwell, Methodist, preaches in the village.
June 5—Sunday School commenced.
June 27—Circus here. Very warm. Corn backward.
June 29—Refreshing shower about sunrise attended by sharp lightning and thunder.
July 3—Preparations making for celebrating the anniversary of our National Independence to-morrow. V. D. Parris delivers an oration at Union Chapel.
Aug. 2—Warm, dry weather, fields parched, grass withered, corn on low grounds killed by frost. The streams almost dried up. A good crop of hay, rye, wheat and oats. Very little sound corn will be raised. Potatoes small by reason of the drouth.
Sept. 8—Every vegetable kind killed by frost. Business dull. Money scarce. Corn is sold for 8 s. 6 d. per bushel. The poor suffer, the rich groan and hug their treasures closer.
Sept. 11—Elder Houghton preached to-day.
Sept. 25—No preaching in the village. Gave 9 shillings last week for a bushel of corn. Flour $10 per bbl. Wheat 11 shillings per bushel, Butter 20 cts. per lb. and scarce at that.[p. 477]Nov. 3—Sold the Potash and appurtenances which I owned with Lucius Loring to Daniel Young and Stephen D. Hutchinson for $212.
Nov. 6, Sunday—No meeting. People in the place getting to be very indifferent about preaching.
Nov. 13—Rev. Mr. Johnson, Baptist, preached at Union Chapel.
Nov. 19—Mr. Jewett very sick. News from Penn. All is lost for the Whigs.
Dec. 13—Moved into our new house (now Hotel Long).
Dec. 21—Violent rain storm. Snow all carried away.
Dec. 23—Hard times for men in business. Money in our cities worth 23 per cent. per annum—best security—Provisions high.
Dec. 25—Christmas—snow storm—no meeting. Dull—dull out and in—neither wheeling nor sleighing.1837.Jan. 3—Storm over, one of the coldest ever known—having continued 48 hours. Snow 2½ feet on a level. Very cold. No living creature seen out. People tremble that have no wood.
Jan. 12—First arrival of the stage from Portland since the storm.
Jan. 15, Sunday—No meeting as usual.
Jan. 24—Shoveling snow between our house and Brown's. The snow is higher than our heads on each side of the path.
Jan. 25—In the evening was a wonderful appearance in the heavens—a blood red light in form of an arch extending from east to west—most brilliant directly overhead, making objects far and near as distinctly visible as by full moonlight and giving the snow a crimson hue, as if it had been showered with blood. Continued an hour or more unabated. Commenced soon after sunset. Brightest about 7 o'clock.
Jan. 29, Sunday—Rev. Mr. Jordan preached at the school house. A full meeting. A prayer meeting in the evening at Rodney Chaffins.
Feb. 1—Singing school commenced.
Mar. 22—Henry H. Hutchinson, Jr., tried before me for flogging Elbridge Bridgham and acquitted.
Apr. 25—Hard times. Merchants in our cities, failing.
May 7—Sunday. No meeting. Everybody stupid about preaching.
May 8—Cold, cold, cold. Ground froze last night. It is a time of unexampled distress among merchants and will be among farmers if such weather continues. Monstrous scarcity of money in proportion to the business throughout the country. An immense and inevitable fall in prices of merchandize, stocks, lands and labor. Thousands thrown out of employment. The general distress produced by derangement of the currency through unwise intermeddling of Government by overdoing business on a system of credit by extravagant importations as well as home manufactures by land speculation and a variety of causes. The depression has come upon us suddenly and severely and a vast many who thought themselves rich a few months ago are ruined.
May 10—Canker rash prevailing in the village. Have just heard of the death of Mr. Bean's child by this disease.[p. 478]May 14, Sunday—Pleasant. Rev. Mr. Houghton preached at Union Chapel.
May 27—Bread stuff scarce and high. Wheat, $2 rye and corn 9 shillings per bushel, potatoes 2 shillings, beans 15 shillings.
June 1—Fine growing weather. My corn and cucumbers peeping out of the ground.
June 25, Sunday—Meeting at the Poor House.
July 9, Sunday—Rev. Mr. Millner preached at the Chapel.
Aug. 2—People generally just begun haying. Wheat everywhere well grown, forward and abundant. There is an enormous extent of ground in this state. It is said that a destructive little insect called the weevil is doing great damage to the crop. Some fields nearly ruined.
Aug. 11—Clear and cold. Fears of a frost. The last few years, winter and summer, have been colder than formerly owing as is thought to spots on the sun which are seen at this time of large size.1838.Jan. 7—Pleasant and sunny weather. No snow. More agreeable weather never known at this season of the year.
Jan. 14—Mr. Chase preached at the school house.
Jan. 15—Summer weather. No snow on the ground. Such a mild, broken winter never known in this country.
Feb. 3—Paschal Barrelle, the singing master, boarding with us two days.
Mar. 8—A tremendous excitement is produced all over the country by Jonathan Cilley's death in a duel.
Mar. 14—Warm—snow running off. The winter has been short and pleasant.
Mar. 18—Mr. Stetson has appointed a meeting at Union Chapel. There seems to be a religious awakening in several places among Universalists.
Mar. 23—People in the State are excited over the northeastern boundary matter.
Mar. 28—Zadoc Long unanimously nominated (by the Whigs) as candidate for Representative in Congress to fill the vacancy, occasioned by the death of Hon. Timothy Carter.
Apr. 12—Appollos Osgood and daughter, Eliza, called on us this afternoon. Eliza is a fine singer and delighted us with several selections.
Apr. 18—Virgil D. Parris nominated for Congress by the Jackson convention to-day. 60 delegates present. Buckfield has the honor of furnishing the candidates for both parties.
May 6—Freshet. Part of upper dam undermined and the water running down the road east of the buildings on the river.
May 22—Elder Houghton, Baptist minister of Turner, died. V. D. Parris started for Congress.
May 30—Mrs. V. D. Parris supposed to have the small pox. The village somewhat alarmed.[p. 479]June 4—Some of the stores shut up on account of the small pox and several families have moved out of the village. The citizens held a meeting and adopted measures to prevent the spread of the disease. It was resolved that the selectment [sic] remove V. D. Parris' family to a house outside the village, as soon as in the opinion of a competent physician it could be done without endangering life. The family removed in the afternoon. The alarm in and out of the village is very great. Very few people dare to come here for business. The disease was brought into the place by Mr. Parris on his return from Augusta where he had been confined for a time from contact with other people.
June 30—Cut down the old apple tree which has stood near the piazza for 40 years.
July 4—Just heard of a distressing accident that happened yesterday to an old acquaintance, Andrew Cushman. He was thrown from his wagon by reason of a break in the harness and his leg broken so badly that his life is in danger.
July 6—Caravan here. Hannah, daughter of Dominicus Record, died of inflammation of the bowels.
July 8, Sunday—Fine weather. Rode to Hebron Academy. Attended meeting all day. Elder Tripp, 77 years old, preached. He said: "40 years ago to-day I preached my first sermon here as your minister." A fine band of singers from Paris Cape there.
July 12—Mr. Parris arrived from Washington amid the roar of a little swivel called "Jackson's Pocket Piece."
July 16—It has been the warmest season thus far, known for many years. Grass abundant.
July 26—Judge Samuel Parris, 83 years old, from Washington called to see us. He travelled 500 miles in 40 hours. Daniel Young we hear was robbed while crossing a bridge near Portland 2 nights ago. He was knocked on the head, rifled of $600 and thrown into the water. Many suspect he robbed himself.
July 28—Mr. Butler, a young minister of the gospel, called this afternoon, proposing to preach in this place a few Sabbaths.
July 29, Sunday—Mr. Butler preached at Union Chapel.
Aug. 3—Best of weather. Picked off ears of corn, full in the milk to-day. Politics runs high.
Aug. 5, Sunday—Mr. Seth Stetson preached 2 fine sermons at Union Chapel. Sabbath School at 5 P.M.
Aug. 11—S. F. Brown removed from the Post Office and William Bridgham appointed in his stead.
Aug. 12, Sunday—Mr. Butler preached 3 sermons.
Aug. 19, Sunday—Mr. Chase preached here to-day.
Aug. 23—People reaping wheat which is abundant. More ground sown than ever before. The bounty given by the State $2 for every 20 bushels raised has stimulated people to cultivate wheat. Corn generally out of the way of the frost. Growers receive by law $2 for every 30 bushels of ears.[p. 480]Aug. 26, Sunday—Mr. Chase preaches at Union Chapel.
Sept. 2, Sunday—Mr. Thomes, a Universalist, preached at Union Chapel.
Sept. 4—Frost last night for first time this season.
Sept. 12—Mr. Ripley's blacksmith shop and Mr. Robinson's wagon shop burned this morning about 4 o'clock. Loss about $600, no insurance. Gathering my corn. I shall have not less than 60 bushels on a little more than ½ acre of ground.
Sept. 13—Powerful rain which was much needed. The mail brings news of the defeat of the Whigs in the late election. Largest vote that was ever thrown in any state according to its population.
Sept. 14—The Jackson-Van Buren party had a celebration this afternoon of their late victory in the election. They had intended to fire 100 guns, but before they had half done the swivel became so hot that the powder took fire while it was being loaded. Mr. Washington Heald's arm was torn in a shocking manner, so that he will probably lose it. Another man's thumb was broken and the eyes of still another badly injured.
Sept. 16, Sunday—Mr. Thomes from Otisfield preaches at Union Chapel.
Sept. 18—Eclipse of the sun in the afternoon.
Sept. 19—Muster of the Regiment in Ximines Philbrick's field ¼ mile from here.
Sept. 22—The Van Buren party have elected the Governor in this State by about 2500 majority. I have received (for Representative to Congress) some over 5000 votes in this Congressional District, 1400 more than last spring. Mr. Parris is elected.
Sept. 29—Finished digging potatoes—about 300 bushels on a ¼ of an acre of ground. Benjamin Merrill and Eben Hodge have dug to-day and put into the cellar 100 bushels—a great day's work.
Oct. 1—At the 2nd ballot to-day the 4th day of trial Daniel Chase was elected Representative to the Legislature from Buckfield by one majority in 303 votes. The choice was decided by the Whigs withdrawing from their candidate and supporting Chase. This election decides that there are a majority in town in favor of appropriating the surplus only for a farm for the poor. The other candidate being supported by the party that opposed the appropriation a year ago last spring.
Oct. 2—About midnight we were waked by the report of a building on fire at my father's. It turned out to be his barn burnt together with a shed, about 20 tons of hay, his cow, and a valuable young horse. Loss not much short of $500. It is not known how the fire took.
Oct. 3—Money continues scarce. It is worth 12 per cent. with the best security. Cattle of every description very high. Oxen 6½ feet girth $100, middling milch cows $300, best lambs $2. Scarcely any beef in the country.
Oct. 9—Heavy frost.
Oct. 15—2 meetings of Debating Society at Bridgham's Hall.
Oct. 27—At 2 o'clock this beautiful starlight morning we were blest with the birth of a second son (John D. Long).[p. 481]Nov. 15—The Whigs have triumphed in the N. Y. election by 10,000 majority.
Dec. 1—Warm and most delightful weather—no sleighing. Prices at Buckfield: Beef from $6 to $8 per cwt. Mutton same. Shoats $8 to $10 per cwt. Fresh Hams 12½ cts. per bl. [sic] Salt Pork 14 cts. per lb. Hogs dressed 10 cts. per lb. Hay from $5 to $6 per ton. Wheat $1.50 per bushel. Rye 6 shillings, corn 6 shillings, beans 7 shillings 6 pence, peas 5 shillings, oats 2 shillings per bushel, potatoes 1 shilling, butter 20 cts., cheese 10 cts., dried apples 4 cts., chickens 8 to 10, board in the village 9 shillings to 12 shillings, girls' help from 4 shillings to 6 shillings, labor on a farm from $11 to $13 per mo., molasses 2 shillings 6 pence, tea 2 shillings, sheeting 9 cts., flannel 3 shillings, full cloth 6 shillings cash.
Dec. 3—3 trials before me this afternoon against persons for non-appearance at militia trainings. School commenced.
Dec. 4—A little before sunrise was startled by a cry of fire. A store near the bridge and joining Artemas Cole's store took fire in a roof by the funnel. The fire subdued by the activity of the citizens before the building was destroyed. Damages $75 perhaps. The citizens after frequent and repeated warnings are striving to procure an engine.
Dec. 8—Recd the President's message 5 days from Washington.