Zadoc Long's Journal, 1843-44
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. 489]1843.Mar. 19—A meeting was appointed at the High School house for Elder Hayes, a Free Will Baptist preacher.
Apr. 3—The snow is so deep that the top of the fence in my front yard is entirely covered. We never saw so much snow on the ground at any time nor so badly drifted.
Apr. 26—Warm and wet. The snow disappearing.
May 1—A freshet. The water is roaring sublimely over the dams. It flows in one broad sheet over the entire upper stone dam and runs a river down the road in front of Mr. Ripley's smith shop.
May 7—Funeral this forenoon at Union Chapel of H. Hathaway's daughter. Have been to see Squire Swallow who seems near his end.
May 21—Attended 2 meetings and heard 2 good sermons by Mr. Davis.
June 21—Old Mrs. Jane Record, the oldest person in the place and one of the early settlers buried to-day.
July 4—Very cold. Slight frost this morning. We have kept a fire in the sitting room two days to make us comfortable—a sudden and very great change in the weather.
July 27—Ozen Spaulding very sick.
Sept. 11—Frost this morning. Killed everything in my garden that was not ripe. Farewell squashes, cucumbers, musk melons, sweet corn, etc.1844.Jan. 1—A delightful morning. The weather has been pleasant through Dec. Money plenteous. Prices low.
Jan. 5—The proceedings of Congress are interesting now. John Quincy Adams, 76 years old, the best informed and most independent and persevering statesman in our country has triumphed in his long and arduous struggle with the Slave Power upon the Right of Petition.
Jan. 8—John C. Calhoun of S. C., Van Buren of N. Y., Buchanan of Penn., and Col. Johnson of Ky. are the men talked of as candidates of the Democratic party for our next President. Henry Clay is the man for the Whigs.
Jan. 13—It was a very blustering night and the sad news comes to us to-day that a drunken men perished in the road on his way home from[p. 490]the grog shop. He was found this morning with his extremities frozen—quite dead.
Jan. 21—The late death in this place by rum is having a good effect upon the cause of Temperance. The two retailers, who have hitherto sold ardent spirits to be drunk in their stores have promised to sell no more.
Jan. 22—I have been consulted about the propriety of apprehending a man who is suspected of passing counterfeit Mexican dollars. Five new well stamped dollars were exhibited to me, which I should without hesitation have taken for good money. The community is everywhere infested with spurious bank bills on all banks of long standing. Such bills are extensively in circulation, so well made that even the banks in some instances have been imposed upon by them. And a bold rogue, a short time ago, passed 80 Mexican dollars, all counterfeit silver, to one of the Portland banks. It was, however, soon enough discovered to secure the villain who is now in state's prison.
Jan. 28—Extremely cold. It seems as if every living thing would perish.
Jan. 31—It has been altogether the coldest January I ever experienced. It is so cold it seems that we all must perish in spite of roaring fires in 2 rooms and a red hot cook stove in the kitchen.
Feb. 8—Dull times. An old drunkard is going home sober. He can't buy a glass of rum in the village. Our rum shops have discontinued the sale of ardent spirits to drunkards.
Mar. 3—Spring weather. The snow in running off.
Mar. 10—Delightful weather. Mr. Carlton from Oxford preaches at the school house.
Apr. 1—A clear cool winter day. Rode to Lewiston in a sleigh.
Apr. 21—Luther Crocker died at Dr. Bridgham's last night.
Apr. 22—Clinton Ripley, a bit of a lad 7 years old, has brought me a trout, which he just now caught out of the river with hook and line, weighing 2 lbs. and 6 ozs.—a beauty. The largest ever caught before in this stream it is said. I paid him 20 cts. for it.
May 3—Best of weather. People sowing and planting.
May 12—Mr. Chase, 83 years old, preached at Union Chapel.
May 14—A meeting this P. M. in the village of the County Singing Society.
May 16—Apple trees in full bloom.
May 20—Mr. Ballard commences a High School in this place.
June 13—I have just walked down stream to see the preparations making for a starch factory. Atwood & Co. are erecting a dam, digging a canal and making brick for the building that is to be 75 ft. long and 3 stories high.
June 20—Prices: Hay, $6; corn, 67 cts.; rye, 67 cts.; oats, 25; flour, 4.67; butter, 9 cts.; molasses, .30. Money plenteous at 6 per cent. for good security.[p. 491]July 4—So cold that we have a fire in the sitting room to make us comfortable. The American Flag hoisted on Bridgham's store is waving in a good stiff breeze. Boys are firing the swivel. This is all Buckfield does in commendation of the birthday of our Independence.
Aug. 9—Attended a mass meeting of the Whigs at Paris and heard able speeches by Mr. Evans and Mr. Morse upon the subject of protection, tariff and the annexation of Texas.
Aug. 23—Cold rain storm. My father here 74 years old says it is the coldest summer but one that he can remember. We have had a fire in the sitting room all day which is needed for comfort as much as in winter.
Aug. 31—Mr. Morse delivers a Whig political address in the village.
Sept. 4—County Washingtonian Temperance Society met in this village and were addressed by Neal Dow of Portland.
Sept. 5—Attended the Free Will Baptist Quarterly meeting at the East meeting house.
Sept. 7—Attended Whig mass meeting at Lewiston. 2000 people assembled with banners, music and roar of guns.
Sept. 18—This is believed to be the most fruitful season that has ever been in this country. Large crops of every kind of produce. Nothing fails this year, yet it has been an unusually cold season.
Sept. 23—A change in the weat[he]r. Frost this morning. The first to injure anything this year.
Oct. 22—This is the day the Millerites looked for the coming of Christ and the end of the world.
Dec. 15—Pleasant. No meeting in this village for religious worship on the Sabbath. We are a stupid people.
Dec. 28—A man stopped in the way and wrote on a post by the spring:"A Temperance fountain, good as can be
Better far than Rum or Brandy
And if truth excite your fury,
Then let my horse be judge and jury."