Zadoc Long's Journal, 1839-1840
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. 481]1839.Jan. 27—We have had one of the greatest freshets known for many years. The blowing of the wind and the beating of the gale last night were fearful. The water is roaring majestically over the dams and surrounding many of the buildings near the river. The blocks of ice have knocked away the underpinning from one store and the posts from one end of the saw mill. The ground is nearly bare.
Feb. 1—Very fine weather. No sleighing.
Feb. 20—Prospect of a war on the disputed territory. Our land agent has been taken by a British armed force, while performing his duty in arresting trespassers on our timber lands on Aroostook River.
Feb. 25—Wars and rumors of war creating a great excitement. Some are sober, some are jolly, some frightened, some going out of the country to get clear of doing military duty and all classes making anxious inquiry of the progress of affairs on the frontier.
Feb. 27—Snow storm. The village crowded with people. A part of the Regiment met here to-day for a draft.—About 1-3 of the militia ordered to be in readiness.
Mar. 1—Sunny and warm. Sleighing destroyed.
Mar. 3—A deep snow came upon us like a thief in the night. A winter day. Two-thirds of the militia lately drafted from the Regiment ordered to march next Wednesday.
Mar. 4—The militia meet here this morning for another draft.
Mar. 5—Four soldiers from Lovell staid with us last night. Drafted men coming to the village this morning on their way to Headquarters. Have sent my horse and sleigh as far as Augusta to help them on their[p. 482]way. About 300 militia on the ground and on the march. Mr. Isaac Ellis takes another's place.
Mar. 6—The General Government has advised the State authorities to disband the militia. Our border trouble the all engrossing subject of conversation. The President's message too pacific and tame to suit the excited feeling in Maine. There is some doubt whether the Government of this State will comply with the recommendations of the President.
Mar. 8—While I was posting books this morning I heard an outcry and looking out saw a shabby looking man on the bridge with a team and such a team. It was a curiosity. A sled loaded with boys drawn by a yoke of cows and a hog harnessed on forward which appeared as well broken to the business as a truck horse. The man halted on the bridge and began to preach in a loud voice, gesticulating with his goad stick in no slovenly style. Though his voice could be heard very far, I could not understand the thread of his discourse. A bull and calf followed the team. A multitude gathered round, intoxicated with the fun. He delivered a Temperance lecture for one cent a minute.
Apr. 9—The High School house raised on Dr. Comstock's land.
Apr. 22—Mr. Jewett entered into a co-partnership with Long & Loring Sat. Increase Spaulding died this morning at his father's of consumption.
Apr. 24—Beautiful weather, martins arrived to-day—a week earlier than last year. Trees beginning to leave out and grass starting finely.
May 2—Transplanted 6 young rock maples into my yard at south end of the house.
May 11—Mr. Woodman arrived to commence the high school next Monday. The new building nearly completed.
June 5—Cyrus, son of Nathaniel Shaw, died.
June 23—Went with Julia and Janet Loring to the Federal School house. Heard Mr. Hersey preach.
June 30—Mr. Woodman, and old-fashioned, fine hearted old Christian from New Gloucester preaches at Union Chapel. He is a believer in the unity of God and the final salvation of all men.
July 4—Powerful showers last night with lightning and thunder. No celebration in this place. Mr. V. D. Parris hurt by a ball while playing nine pins. Showers in the afternoon.
July 7—Bates, Universalist preacer, at Union Chapel, full house.
July 15—Cloudy, wet and muddy. The oldest man never knew so much wet. My clover field rotting. We have not had a day of hay weather yet.
July 16—Daniel Young died this afternoon of consumption.
July 17—Beautiful weather. Begun haying.
July 20—Circus here. Great numbers attend.
July 28—Mr. Pearl preaches at Union Chapel. Mr. P. is a teacher and lecturer in Gorham Institute. A man of small stature but very enterprising and energetic. He is engaged to deliver a course of 4 lectures here beginning this evening on education.[p. 483]Aug. 25—A laymen's meeting at Union Chapel.
Sept. 1, Sunday—Beautiful morning after the storm. Mr. Thomes preached at Union Chapel.
Sept. 4—The Universalists have an association meeting here to-day and to-morrow.
Sept. 20—There will be very few apples this year. I shall not have more than 50 bushels on 300 trees. Potatos small and but half a crop.
Oct. 20, Sunday—Mr. Stockman from South Paris preaches at Union Chapel. And the choir of singers are here from that place to show their skill in music. There has been preaching of some kind a majority of Sabbaths this summer.
Oct. 21—Another money pressure coming upon the country. Philadelphia, Baltimore and Providence banks suspend specie payments. Prices of all kinds of property falling.
Nov. 18—Mr. Bartlett, phrenologist, dined with us and delivered a lecture in the evening at the High School house.
Nov. 22—Charles Atwood began service at ten dollars per month.
Dec. 1—Funeral at Union Chapel of Abijah Buck, the first male child born in this town.
Dec. 3—Business of all kinds very dull. The singing school is in a fine way.
Dec. 28—A violent snow storm. Mr. Thorpe, the singing master, here. He gives my daughter, Julia Davis, lessons on piano.1840.Jan. 17—More symptoms of war on our N. E. border.
Jan. 19—Attended funeral of Mrs. Addison Cole's child at the Federal school house. The third child they have lost in infancy. They have none left.
Jan. 25—The mail has been delayed 2 days.
Feb. 6—Drafter [sic] a formal constitution for Buckfield Village choir.
Mar. 4—Warm as summer.
Mar. 5—Rain, snow and mud in abundance.
Apr. 2—Fine weather but bad travelling. The last day of Mr. Thorpe's singing school. Lewis Drew died last evening.
Apr. 9—Fast Day. Temperance meeting at Union Chapel and a lecture by Rev. Mr. Curtis of Turner.
Apr. 10—Roads nearly settled.
Apr. 20—Spring forward. The fields already green.
Apr. 21—The martins have arrived. Business dull. Prices low. Men who received from $12 to $15 last year can be hired this spring for $10 to $12. Hay plenteous at $5 and $6 per ton. Butter 9 cts., veal 3 and 4 cts. per lb., wheat 7 shillings and 6 pence, corn 5 shillings and falling.
Apr. 26—Mr. Curtis preaches at Union Chapel. A violent tempest in the afternoon. Thunder and lightning—rain and wind. It turned over and tore in pieces several sheds in the village and did considerable dam-[p. 484]age. A two-story building was moved several hundred feet from its foundation and the roofs of some others were blown off.
May 17—Mr. Thorpe commenced giving instruction to our choir in sacred music.
May 24—Mr. Curtis delivered his first lecture on the evidence of natural and revealed religion at Union Chapel.
May 27—Fruit trees never so fully blossomed.
June 2—Clear and cool. The frost killed my corn, beans and pumpkins.
June 8—Fine growing weather. The children have brought in ripe strawberries—the earliest I ever knew. Everything in the vegetable kingdom uncommonly advanced.
June 12—Meeting of the U[n]iversalists at East meeting house.
June 25—Had the honor of a unanimous nomination as a candidate for Congress.
July 26—Mr. Tripp from Hebron preached at Union Chapel. He is over 80 years old. Mr. Curtis gave his last lecture at 5 o'clock.
July 31—Warm and dry. Fields and pastures dry and yellow and abounding in grasshoppers. Cattle half starved.
Aug. 3—Fine showers last night—The earth refreshed. Wool selling at 30 and 32 cts., hay $7, flour at Portland $5 per bbl., wheat here $1.25, corn .75, butter .10. Cash can this mo. be had here at 6 per cent. upon the best security.
Sept. 30—Muster at Hebron. My son, Zadoc, and I attended. 33 years ago or one year less when I was about the age of Zadoc I attended muster for the first time on the same ground. I well remembered how much I was charmed with military sights and sounds, with red coats, cocked hats and feathers, guns and swords, with the marching of men and the prancing of horses, the music of the fifes and drums, the rattle of musketry and the many other things, so exciting to childish fancy. I had no shoes and traveled 3 miles barefoot early in the morning while the frost was on the ground with only 3 cts. in my pocket which I paid for a small cake of molasses gingerbread. I returned home at night hungry and tired.
Oct. 1—Last mo. was remarkably pleasant and the whole summer has been one of the warmest, most delightful and fruitful in my remembrance.
Oct. 2—Daniel Thompson lost an arm yesterday in a threshing machine. I gave away 200 bushels of apples this year—a surplus I can't use or sell for much.
Oct. 11—Mr. Chandler preached at Union Chapel. Mr. Thorpe led the singing. Mr. Curtis gives us a farewell lecture at 5 o'clock.
Oct. 18—Mr. Woodman of New Gloucester, a good old-fashioned man, preached at Union Chapel.
Oct. 22—Returns from Ohio State election. Harrison and Reform is the order of the day—sweeping the whole country from Maine to Arkansas.[p. 485]Oct. 30—Mr. Dumont delivered a political lecture at the town house at 3 o'clock.
Nov. 2—Vote for President. Harrison 76, Van Buren 274, one vote gain for the Locos. Both parties waiting with almost breathless anxiety, the result through the State, as it was never more doubtful.
Nov. 5—More favorable tidings for the Whigs. The State of Penn. with its 30 electors, has gone for Harrison and Reform.
Nov. 8—Loring Jewett very sick with fever.
Nov. 13—Our dear sister, Bathsheba Bearce, died at my father's last evening.
Nov. 15, Sunday—Our esteemed friend, Mr. Pearl, came here last evening and preaches her to-day in the village.
Nov. 16—We are about forming an association in the village for the purpose of furnishing ourselves for one year with such periodicals, reviews and journals as will promote our knowledge of the arts and sciences.
Nov. 26—Thanksgiving. Pleasant weather and good sleighing.
Dec. 6, Sunday—Very cold. Attended 2 meetings at Union Chapel. Mr. Bates of Turner preached.
Dec. 14—A society formed in the village denominatd Buckfield Society of Literature and Science consisting of 10 members who advanced 3 dollars each to be expended for the following periodicals to furnish a library for the first year: North American Review 5, Edinborough and London Quarterlies 6, Blackwood's Magazine 5, The American Eclectic 5, Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 3, The Cultivar 1, A Law Journal 3, and 2 others. The undersigned wishing to raise $200 for the purpose of employing Mr. Cyril Pearl to instruct the High School and to preach every other Sabbath in Buckfield Village for one year, commencing the first of April next and $50 and furnish the school with apparatus for scientific illustrations will pay sums set against their names to carry these purposes into effect.Buckfield, Dec. 19, 1840.
Samuel F. Brown
Albert D. White
Dec. 22—Snow storm the 6th—a genuine northeaster.