» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ... 156» Next»     » Slide Show

Autobiography with original spelling

Autobiography of Sanford Porter (1790-1873) original spelling
7 Mar 1790 - 9 Feb 1873, age 82

History of Sanford Porter Seignor who was the son of Nathan Porter, who was the son of Timothy Porter.
Timothy Porter was my Grandfather, my grandmothers name I do not know.  My mothers maiden name was Susanna West.  Her fathers name was Thomas West: Her mother's name was Susana Colegrove from Wales. (my grandmother Porters name I do not know on my fathers side). I was born in the state of Massachusets, in the township of Brimfield in the year of seventeen hundred and ninety; the seventh Day of March.  My father Raised seven children by his first wife, three sons and four Daughters.  The Boys names was Nathan, John and Phinehas; the girls names was Phanny, Polly and Dezire and Rebecca.  Nathan was his oldest son, and married Tabbathy Harris. She had seven or eight children.  The oldest girls Name was Betsy, then Abby, then Philura and one the youngest girl. The boys Nathan, Chauncey, and Edward and I think one younger. John Porter Fathers second son married to Hulda Witter, commonly caled Winters.  She had four girls Phila, Hulda, Clarisa, and Pheboe. Phinehas married a sister of Hulda (Johns wife) and had three boys. Their names was Phillip, Sanford and Parmer. Fanny, fathers oldest girl married Timothy Nelson, and I have understood that she raised a large family. Rebecca married a man by the name of Chapin. Polly and Desire Died when they ware young women (not married).  This is about all that I know respecting my fathers family that he had By his first Wife.  My mother was fathers second wife. She raised four children.  My Brother Joseph was the oldest, Susanna, myself, and Sally.  Our family moved to the state of Vermont when I was almost four years old, where my grandfather lived.  He had got to be old and wanted father and mother to come and take charge of his farm and take care of him.  He belonged to the Baptist society and had been a preacher in that church for more than thirty years.  But there came a younger man into that neighborhood and took charge of the church, (his name was Richardson), and relieved grandfather from that burdon.
Grandfather West had raised seven children, four boys and three girls.  Their names were Nathan, Samuel, Thomas and Joseph. . . . . (2) Uncle Johnathan married Prodence Allen and raised a large family. Allen was their oldest son, then William, Francis, etc., etc. The girls Mary and Prudence, etc., etc. The rest of their names I have forgotten.  The last I have ever heard of the family they lived in Pennsylvania. Uncle Samuel I never saw, (but once) he was then a preacher and lived in New Haven state of Connetticut and had a large family. Uncle Thomas married Hannah Tarball whare they lived in Woodstock, Vermont (wines county). She had I believe too or three children. The oldest was a boy, his name was Nathan Tanner West being named after my mothers first husband by whom she had two sons and they both Dyed and their father Dyed also. In Hoptington Rhode island near where my father was raised and his father was born on the same farm (I have seen the farm the orchard and old buildings. Uncle Joseph West went to Pencylvania and Dyed thare. He was a carpentyr by trade. After framing and raising a high Barn and was fixing on the ridgepole, stept on a loose Board and it gave away and he slid off and fell and his head struck on the sill and smashed his head and Dyed instantly (I do not think I ever saw him). My mother has told me that her Brother Joseph had said when he Dyed he wanted to dye suden and not know it (he had his wish). Abegal and Amy mothers sisters; Abigal Married, John Colby. She raised five children, four boys and one girl (the boys names: Thomas, Henry, Francis, Michael and Urdin). Thomas was the oldest, he came into the state of New York and married a widdow woman that had a family of children. She had a farm and farming tools, cattle and horses. Some of the children were almost men and women (but she would hold her third of the property). I saw him after he got married. He thought he had made his fortune. Henrey, Francis, Micheal and Urdin lived with their father and mother the last I knew of them. Amy lived with her father and mother. They lived and Dyed on the catteraugus. Aunt Amy married a man by the name of Allen Eddy. They raised too girls. That is about all I know of my Uncles and Aunts, Grandfather and grandmother on mothers side of the family. 
My father lived until he was nearly seventy years old and Dyed very suddenly. He went to the Blacksmiths shop to get some work done and started home. He got but a few rods and fell down in the road. There was some men in the shop that see him fall down and see that he did not try to get up and ran to him. He had fallen on his face. They turned him over and he just gaspt once. Then (3) the snow was nearly a foot deep.  They saw no signs of his having revived, neither hand nor foot after he fell. He had been troubled a good deale with the rhumatism ever since I can remember, both Night and Day with groans which he did not utter. 
His pain was in his Back and hips. He was pained also in one leg having (running sores). Witch craft he said was the cause of it. He said he was Driving a yoke of oxen with a heavy load of timber on a cart going down a steep hill, and the oxen took a scare at something, and he was trying to stop them. They knocked him down and one wheal ran over his leg and brused it way bad. That sore leg troubled him for many years. He was also allmost blind for many years, so much so, that he could not tell one person from another by looking them in the face. His hearing and memory was very good. If he heard a person speak a few words he would know them after that (if they spoke) by their voice. He would also rehearse mutch of the scriptures in the Bible. He would have us children read for him and he would keep it on his mind and soon get so that he could rehearse it and tell the chapter & verse whare anyone might find it. I do not think he belonged to any society of profesed    Christians. He went to the Baptist meetings often but to no others, that I know of. He told them they did not practice the apostals Doctrine or the Doctine Christ taught his Apostles: go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, he that believes and is Baptized shall be saved, he that believes not shall be Damned. These signs shall follow them that believe, they shall heal the sick, etc. He would tell them he had never seen or heard of any of the profesed christian churches, that those signs followed. Of course they had all gone out of the right way, they transgressed the laws of God and changed the ordinances and Broken the  everlasting covenant. He would sometimes chastize them in their public meetings and proved it by the scriptures. The Baptists could not fellowship him neither could he them.  My Brother Joseph was about six years older than me. He married a woman by the name of Persis Norton. She had two girls, Emily and Persis who was then taken sickly and weakly. She lived, until the oldest girl was twelve or fourteen years  old and Dyed. We heard that Joseph married another woman, sold the old homestead, bought another farm a few mile off and was taken sick and Dyed about twenty years ago:. . . . (4) Amys sister Susanna married Abner Courrier (commonly called KIRS). They lived in the township of Holland, Erie County, State of New York about thirty miles from Buffalo. She had ten children, the boys names are Hilas, Chauncey, Joseph, Nathan, and Abner and Evidin. Chauncey lives in Holland upon the old farm (Hilas and Joseph are Dead). Nathan lives between. . . and Niagra falls. Abner lives in the state of Illinois, Evdin lives in Norton, Bremer county, Iowa.  The girls names are (Lucretia Dyed) Marilla, Lusinda (Harrit Dyed) and Susanna lives in Lockport Niagara, near her brother Nathans. Marilla, Lusinda lives in Boston, state of Massachusets. . . Susa and Abner are both Dead. Susana Dyed August 9th, 1850. Abner (her husband) May 15th, 1859. This is the acount I obtained of that family about two years ago. 
Nathan T. Porter & Ezra T. Clark and Edward Stevenson was thare on a mission in the year 1870. Sister Sally married Philo Richardson. Philo is Dead and Sister Sally was then living on the same old farm where they lived 50 years ago. She has got no children, has never had any.             
My father had two brothers, John and Samuel. Uncle John I never have seen, nor any of his family. I have seen a man that said he had been acqainted with them and that thare was a large family of them. He told a number of their names. He said there was 10 or 12 of the boys and the most of them had familys. Their setlement was near the head of the North rivers in the Lake country whare the streams of Water either enter into North river or into some of the lakes, . . . I remember hearing my father tell of uncle Johns living away upon that North Country, somewhere. He had heard but did not know where that it may be that some of my sons or grandsons may go on a mishion into that part of the world and find some of their kindred. 
Uncle Samuel lived in the state of New York, Onida county, Augusta township about 6 miles south of Vernon glass works. I lived seven or eight in the same neighborhood and was well acqainted with all of uncle's sons. He had six sons, and two Daughters. His sons names was John, Reuben, Levi, Nathan, Cyrus and William. John's wife had no children. All the other wives had children, but I dont (5) know their names.  The girls names: Lucy Ann and Cloey. When I knew them they were called old maids. They were single when I saw them. Uncle Sam was blind and could not see Day light. The first time I ever saw him, his folks told him whose son I was. He got up out of his chair, and took hold of my hand and squezed and shook it and said O how glad I am to see you. Is Brother Nathan alive. Is your folks all well?
  My father lived about two hundred and fifty miles from his Uncles, away beyond the green mountain, in the state of Vermont. Uncle Samuel settled in Onida county when it was only wilderness country, and covered with heavy timber.  His legs was then small. He was a tailor by trade. He wold work hard, trying to clear up a farm in the day time and work at his trade nights.  Much of the time by fire light. He would  make and mend close for men and have them chop down trees and cut them up so that he and his wife and children could handle the logs and pile and burn them. In that way they cleared up their farm. By sewing so much nights, by fire light, hurt his eyes and he got blind. Him and his wife both Dyed on the same farm.  Father and Uncle Samuel had one sister that I knew of. Aunt Easter: she married Nathanal Lyoray and had one son whose name was Joseph and Joseph had a son whose name was Steven, and Steven had a son whose name was Willis. He was Steven's oldest son. The ballance of their children I don't remember their names.  Steven had a sister whose name was Easter. She married Enoch Chesley. These all lived in the same Settlement where I was raised and went to the same schools that I did. Old uncle Aymos was Deacon in the chruch thare many years. He was a peacable quiet man and minded his own business. That was making and mending shoes.  That was his trade. He worked at it as long as I can rember. He was an enemy to pride. He would ware his old slick apron week Days and Sundays at meeting and whare ever he went.  People ware not half as proud 50 or 60 years ago as they are here now. (thus saith the Lord, beware of Pride: Book of Covenants: (6)  I have given a scattering account of some of My kindred, and now will write something respecting my own experience.  I was raised from the time I was four years old in the township of Vershier, Orange county, state of Vermont on the same old farm where grandfather West lived and dyed.  When I was 7 or 8 years old I was in the barn where father was husking corn.  I was thare just to keep him company.  The corn had been pikt (and) piled up against the hay mow.  He would throw the husks back toward the stable and got a pile of loose husks 5 or 6 feet high and piled up against the stable. One of the big doors was open on the south side of the barn and one on the North side.  I saw Beverly Yeats come in at the south doore and go out at the North Dore. I said, thare goes Beverly Ates.  Father sort of twisted round in his chair and said he, whare goes Beverly Ates. Said I, he came in at the South dore and went out at the north dore. Said father, your rascal what you teling that lye for.  How could he get over that pile of husks and I not hear him.  I ran to the North Dore and ran round the barn but could see nothing of him.  The barn stood in open meadow and no fence within a hundred rods or more and thare was no fence within a hundred rods or more, and thare was no place he could hide in, and I went back into the barn. Well do you see anything of him.  No sir I can't see him no whare.  No you . . . haven't seen him . . . neither. I have a good will to give you a sound thrashing.  I will learn you better that to tell such lies as that.  I was pained and greived to the heart for I did not know what to think of it and I went to the house weeping and sobing. Mother wanted to know what was the matter and I told her who I had seen go through the barn and father said that I lied, and I had not lied. I had told the truth for I know him just as well as I ever did. His hair was all frizzled as it always was.  He never wore either hat or cap. He had on the same close every day and I knew that would not be mistaken. Mother told me to stop crying  and grieving as father would be in soon and she would talk to him about it.  Father came in soon and began to scold me.  Mother told him he had better stop for she believed I had told the truth.  (7) Something was going to happen to Beverly Yates soon.  She believed, it was his apperition that I had seen and we would know more about it.  The next morning as we was at our breakfast news came that Beverly Ates had got kicked by a horse and killed.  Said mother, thare now we can believe Sanford told the truth. He did see him. It was Beverly's apperition that Sanford see. Thare is no mistake.  Beverly and me was the only boys that had the opportunity of playing together that lived in the neighborhood that was near our age and size. He was larger that I was and some older, but good play mates. His appearing to me was a mystery and. . . to our folks and everyboddy that beleived that he had apeard to me, but some would flatter themselves that I was mistaken. I was to young and small and perhaps it was only imagination, they could not make father and mother think that I was mistaken for they said they was sure I would never have thought of such a thing.  If any one asked me about it I would tell them as much as to move me I could all  about it, and that I knew it was Beverly Ates, and you need not try to make me think it was not him.  I know it was or it was his spirit, that looked just like him. I know it is truth.  
They thought that only it was marvelous. Why in the would should his spirit appear to Sanford and he Beverly then alive and well. How could it be and why should it be; no one can tell. Great is the mistry of godliness.  Thare is a spirit in man and the inspiration of the allmighty givith it or them understanding (Bible). That spirit was created in the image of god, invisable and incomprehensible to mortal man, for the wisdom of man is foolishness with god (Bible). Thare is an invisable spirit of life in all the creations of God for the Grate creator is the spirit of Life which is in all things.  He is above all things and in all things and is through all things and is round about all things, and all things are by him, and of him, even god for ever and ever. And the spirit of man was created in the image of God, and is the spirit of the natural body as is written.  Dust return to dust and the spirit to god that gave it (or that created it). It appears that all things were formed of the elements, formed and made a spiritual and invisable, both the heavens and the earth and every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew (see the Book of Genesis, 2 chap). (8) for the Lord god had not caused it to rain upon the earth and thare was not a man to till the ground, but the Lord God caused it to rain and water the ground and it brought forth (not only the herbs) but man and cattle, the fowls and everything that breathed the breath of life.  The ground is a composition of the elements, earth, air, fire and water.  The earth is the Mother of all the vegetation and animal creations. After being wattered, she conceived and brought forth (at the first of the different sorts of weeds and grass and trees, etc.) and animals of various kinds, and man who was caled Adam, for it is written and the Lord God formed man of the Dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life-or spirit-of life and man became a living soul, being posest of both the male and female and the visable and invisable propensities of human nature but I think Joseph your are nautrally inclined to wade into deep waters and search to the bottom and the time may come when you will have faith, strong faith in God and his promises and yourself to walk. You will think strange, no doubt that I should write or say so much about one circumstance that took place and I will stop and go back to where I started; when eight years old, my half brother, Nathan Porter, came to see his father and pay us a visit.  He lived in the state of Connetticut about 160 miles from our house and had not seen his father for some years. He left his father when we lived in old Brimfield and went of to seek his own fortune.  He came thare and wanted father and mother to let me go and live with him for he had no boys and wanted me to go and help do light chores night and morning.  He would give me good learning. I might go to school the most of the time summer and winter and if they would let me live with him untill I was of age or 21 years old, he would give me a good horse saddle and bridle and three suits of good cloase and I think a hundred dollars in money. Father told him I was so small and slender, he didn't think I would ever be able to do any heavy work.  Nathan said he wanted me mostly for company for his wife and children for he folowed Pedling and was gone from home a good deal and I could fetch in small wood and feed the cows night and morning and said he had a paster about a half of a mile from his house and I could drive the cows to the paster mornings and fetch them up at night, etc, etc. And so he flattered father untill he said I might go.  Mother was very much against my going with him and so was the children, but he took me off with him.  I think it was the latter part of winter. We went by sleighing.  Things went on for awhile verry well, but not long I was not able (9) to do as much as they wanted to have Done and they would scold and fret and find fault and cuff and jerk me about and kick my behind and call me any mean name that happened (to) come into their mouth (I was going to say thoughts)  but I think they would be allmost always in such a fret, they would speak before they thought. He would not go of a pedling in the spring untill the ground got settled and if he wanted to go out either horseback or with the wagon I would have to gear up the horse or horses. . . If ever he wanted me and I was not strong enough to put on either the sadle or harness only as I would get up on (the horseblock and then they would shear off and get out of my reach and plowge me.  Sometimes I could not get them on and he would come raging mad and jerk or knock me off the horseblock and call me a damed little pimpin wert curse or a damed came by chance or anything that was mean where by he could vent his harsh pashion. I dont think his wife was much if any better than he was.  She was a high tempered, freytful creture.  She would knock me about in the house but would not out door for fear somebody would see her and she would nearly starve me, not let me have half as much as I needed. One of our common tin cups half full of bread and milk or mush and milk was my allowance at any time.  Sometimes she would let me eat at the table my breakfast and dinner but then she would put on to my plate what she ment I should have and not allow me to get any more, and if I went to reach to get more, she would stomp her foot and shake her head and grate her teeth, let who would be at the table no one know what she meant, but me. If Nathan and the little girls new what she meant, they did not care, it suited them well enough, the less I eat the less expense they would have. They had to buy their flower and their meat, was mostly fish, bought of the fish pedlers. It was a great   country for fish, both salt fish and fresh water fish we dident live but about        20 miles from the salt water and the fishermen had sanes and fish pots in sight of our house. Fish was plenty and cheap. The people in Suffield; that was the name of the township we lived in did not make use of but little pork or beef, for they had nothing to fatten it on. Their cattle they had to drive 40 or 50 miles away and have them pasterd or if they had more than two or three cows, they would let them out to people away in the back country on streams and those that owned the cows have a certain share of the Butter and cheese.                
(10) It was poore country for grain of any sort. They raised no wheat and but little corn.  They raised some wry, oats and barley.  Their wry and Barley was the most of their bread stuff for thare was some that weren't able to buy flower for it had to be shiped from some other country and was costly but it was a great place for fruit of all kinds, both wild and tame.  Apples, pears, peaches, plums of different sorts and large red cherries by the whole. . . Apricots, etc., etc. I can't tell the names of all the different sorts of tame fruits or of the wild fruit.  Thare was anisbarred in the river.  I think it was sour grape island. It was covered (as I may say) with the large kind of grapes.  I suppose sutch as they make raisons, huckle berries, strawberries, Due berries, rasberries, many apples, chesnuts, black walnuts, butternuts, hazle nuts, etc. It was the best country for fruit that I have ever seen in the season thare of. They had most all sorts of fowls, also both wild and tame wild geese and Ducks and sea fowls of different kinds and the hunters and sports men in the cittys and out of the cittys and on the waters, etc. They would kill a great many fowls and sell the feathers to the merchants and traders get what they wanted for feathers was. . . article.  I have said that Nathan went pedling.  The things that he pedled was feathers and indego.  Thare was other men that lived in the same settlement that followed the same buisness.  The main road on which they lived went by the name of feather street.  They would go down onto the sea shore and buy feathers of the merchants and those that had feathers to sell by the quantity. They would be in large sacks, weighing perhaps two or three hundred pounds in a sack. Get a waggon load and go away of into the country and swap of new feathers for old ones, and get two or three pounds for one. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Just as they could flatter women to trade with them, sometimes they would sell new feathers for a big price any way to get a good deal, for little or something for almost nothing. Their indigo they would make themselves at home. It was made of clay mixed hard and cut into chunks about two inches squares.  Put into strong, blue dye and kept thare until it got saturated as it would. Then take it and get as many small cracks in of as they could.  Put it into the dye tub again and let the blew color get or strike in all it would.  Then take and dry it throughly. I did not see them make it, but some one told that did know how it was made.  The pedlers would take a small sack of good indigo and some of home made (11) and deceive the women all they could by swaping feathers and selling their home made indigo or their good (then caled spanish plates) (men that followed that business got property very fast) they would take the old feathers home and put them into a tight room and let them loose and take a hand ful of brush and whip and thrash them about the room until they became lively and had the appearance of new feathers. I have had that job to do my self; strip of my cloths, and go into the room naked and fetch the old bed feathers to them. They would put them into sacks agains if they could be brought to life and call them new feathers, and take them away of into some country where they weren't known, and sell them for money or swap them for old feathers again. They would have to mix in new feathers with old sometimes, when the old ones was so much worn that they could not deceive people unless they put enough new feathers in to partly hide the apparence of the old; and thus and thus, they obtained their riches by. . . deception. Nathan went there poor. I dont think (he) had anything but the cloths that he wore. I think I have heard him say he had a little kit of shoe tools and he went to shoe making.  With old mister Chauncey Warner. This Warner lived in Enfield on the other side of the river opposite of where Nathan lived and I suppose the father of Nathan's wife, but I dont know, only by some circumstances that took place very soon after I went to Nathans. One morning after breakfast, I heard him say to his wife, there comes old Chauncy a beging again.  I looked and I saw a man coming up the road from the river and he had a sack under one arm and he came past other houses and went right to Nathans and came in.  He said how do for their how do, etc. I found out afterwards that he came there often to get flower or something to live on. I think they were a poor family; or a family of poor people. Nathan had got a good frame house and barn well finished off and thirty acres of land well fenced, and apple trees, all sorts of fruit trees set out all most all over it.  They were young and some of them beginning to bare.  Their garden was well fenced with board or picket fence and current bushes and goosbery bushes on one side and one end off from the street, and plum trees and cherry trees, etc. And he had I think 40 acres of land about three quarters of a mile from his house, the most of it was pastureage. I think thare was about 10 acres of it fenced of for meadow and plow land.  Three acres of plow land and the balance was meadow.  Timothy and red and white clover, etc. They had got so well of and such good buildings, cows and horses and good wagons and house hold furniture and if Nathan's wife had got just. . . clothing, so had her children, and beds and bedding chairs. . . and tables,. . . iron ware, etc.  All first rate or good as could be got in that country.  But Nathan's wife was almost Dead with the big head that was what made her treat me as she did. I was a poor little boy without father or mother and. . . and abused by those that had aught to have been my friends. Nathan bought another farm of seventy-five acres with in a quarter of a mile of his house, of one Williams. He gave I think 21 hundred dollars for it. (12) It had quite a long frame house on it that looked old and. . . weather beaten and had a frame building they cald a store house whare they stored their sacks of feathers both new and old, and whare they prepared the old ones for market.  Thare was a large pile of big sacks of feathers there, whene Nathan bought the farm--there was old apple trees on it, that was I suppose more than a hundred years old, many of them as much as a foot and half or two feet through, and old peach trees and plum trees. Almost all kinds of fruit trees that looked old and scaley. The fence that belonged to that farm was old and shaking.  To stand and look at it, it had the appearance of an old forsaken place. Thare was a few sides of old board fence between the house and store house that was kept up . . . next to the street was sort of fixed up, the. . . It was a very good building, a good strong door lock and key, but no windows. They wanted their works to be works of darkness--because they knew that their deeds war evil The farm was all grown up with big weeds, big thistles and bushes except where they cut their hay.  Thare was no plow land, only the garden.  We moved down onto the old farm and Nathan had his barn hadl. Down on the old farm they put long slides or runners under the barn and fastened to the sils and had a yoke of oxen hitched to catch runer and men with their forks and poles to steady the barn untill they got it whare Nathan wanted it to stand.  Thare was a large company of men thare, some to help and others to see the sport, and sport it for they would hallow who rah who rah and swing their hats and the noise they made drew all the women and children in the neighborhood out to see the fun and the men got quite funny and noisy for they had all the liquor they could drink of various sorts to please the taste and gladen the heart and pies and cakes and chese all they wanted to eat; they had a high time of it, all in good nature.  Nathan's buying that old farm made a real hard job for me for I had to take an old heavy bush sythe and cut big weeds, big thistles, bryers and bushes all over the farm only where they cut hay. Their hay ground was mostly the orchard and about the buildings. But O that old heavy bush sythe. It makes me ake to think of it.  It was so heavy that to do my best was hardly only to swing it at any time but he wanted it slick. And it must be to keep to work all the time and not stop to rest.  It makes my heart and soul. . . as much everyday as any man would that he. . . The south end of the farm land was kept for a paster for many years, and had got grown up to brush of every sorts. All over thare was but little grass that cattle would eat on. 30 or 40. . . (13) and when thare came heavy rains the water would stand on it untill it dryed up.  The ground was mostly clay and the water could not settle down. It would not be more than an inch or two deep only in one place. Thare was a little place of lower land that the water would stand a little longer than any other in the paster and thare I had to go to get drink when I was cutting brush in that pasture.  For many days the cattle had been thare for drink and had tramped all around and through it and it had holes that they had made with their feet, some of them more than a foot deep. Thare the water would stand a long time and I would have to sup water out of them holes that the cattle would not sup. It was as lye, but I must sup it or starve for drink. I had to work thare all the time that I could be spared from other work. Thare was three acres of plow land on his other farm planted to corn, beans, and potatoes, that I had to hoe over three times every summer. He would plow it out with one. . . with a shovel plow and I had to do the howing and it was hard work. The ground was clay ground and could not be made light and loose and thare was a sort of soil that was caled Dev tounge that grew all over it. That was hard to kill and thousands of other weeds mixed in and I must be careful and hoe them all up, not cover them up for if I covered them up and there came a heavy rain, they would grow as fresh as ever. There was the heaviest thunder showers in that country that I ever saw anywhere in the world, heavey thunder and sharp lightning. . . . I had two gardens to tend also and load and move away the hay and cows to get at night and turn them of in the morning about a half mile and the horses to get and gear up and hitch them to the waggon. When we were halling hay or any other time If he wanted to use them he was so fat and pusey he could not get about very lively and I had to do all the running that they wanted done whether to borow or carry home and do all the chores they wanted done out doors, Cut all the fire wood and fetch into the house at night or any time if I was thare.  Nathan was as heavy as a pussy he cat to not chop wood and if he ran a few rods pretty fast he'd puff and blow as if had run a long race. I think he weighed 250 pounds for his common weight some more at times. It was a wonder to me how he would in dure sutch hard shepgasidd and live.  The neighbors talked of taking me away from thare but they dared not do it for they feard him but by some means father and mother got to hear how I was abused and therefore. . . to endure and Mother and Brother Joseph took each of them a horse and came for me full speed. Mother rode 65 miles a day on both hind legs she had as a saddle and Joseph rode years old. . . They was anxious to get to me.  They did not show him . . . 
(14) When they got here, Nathan said I should not go. They told him they should take me if they had to wrap me up in a blanket. He had told them that he'd not let me have any cloths but they were determined to take me if they had to get the neighbors to help them.  They had seen some of the folks, they told them how I had been treated and were anxious that mother should take me away from thare.  After he had cursed and gave vent to his pashion and thought awhile, he said I might go, and that I might take my clothes.  He became quite good natured and his wife also.  They seemed to work to become friends. Mother and Joseph stayed a few days to rest themselves & horses and then started for home.  They gave us provisions to take with us to eat on the road.  After we had got away a mile or two, I was so fild with joy I did not know how to contain myself. I would hop and jump and laugh and halow who rah. Mother would talk to me not make such a fus.  She was afraid I would raise an excitment among thepeople. Oh how glad I was to get out of that hell that I had been in for nearly three years.  But they did not prosper long.  They got broke up by some means. Him and his wife parted and her children and she went of into the state of Ohio.  People had got into a high fever in old Connetticut and they wanted to get away from among them works where. . . . and are selling their posessions and moving to the state of Ohio. I remember worse that people. . . . 
We will plow and we will sow. We. .. . and we still moved and will settle on the Banks of the pleasant Ohio and we. . . I do not think Nathan gave half as much for that old farm as it would have brought some years before but their pedling busines ran out, for the people had learned by sad experience all over the country that those indigo and feather pedlers ware a gang of liars, decievers and cheats and they would not talk with them. The last time that Nathan went out pedling feathers and he came home cursing the people. . . . than was are port in. . . that people was a going to. . . he was. . . by some of geing taken. . . trying. . . and cheating. . . had pedled when and. . . a number of years before. . . men was and because them feathers. . . had bruised and what these women had. . . to go put into the. . . and they locked up what feathers they had on hand in that storehouse. I have told you that there was a large pile of sacks thare & when Nathan bought the farm. I suppose the store house and feathers. . . company concern and the man that Nathan bought of was the head. . . or the captain of the company. . . suppose he was. . .to stay thare and sold out for just what he could get. . . where he went but. . . but I am sure he left that country for I never saw him after Nathan bought the farm. . . . 
(15) I think the man took his family and fled late in the fall before we moved onto the farm for I remember the house stood empty some time before we moved into it. We moved thare in April I think for he had a man trimming up the orchard soon after the. . . had put out. I remember thare was a big pile of old dry. . . we had for fire wood that lasted all summmer. Some old dead trees that weren't worth trimming up they cut down. We hitched our horses to them and haled them with. . . to the house. We had not much plowing to do. There was only the two gardens to plow and three acres in his other feild (that I have before spoken of). Nathan could hold the plow to plow the gound very well. Have me to wride one of the hourses and he could hang onto the handles of the plow and by stopping to breathe every time we wanted to turn round he could get along tolerable well. We planted the gardens to corn, beans, and potatoes and cucumbers and squashes. Some things we could plow and hoe.  They would sack some peas and lettuce for greens. Nathan's wife would not do much in the garden (she was to big a lady). She would pik peas and string beans, etc. and gether herbs for green to boil for dinner and such as she wanted to cook. I had to tend the gardens and do all the hoing and pulling up weeds that was done either in the gardens or in the field. I do not remember of Nathan ever taking the hoe in his hand, to do any hoing anywhare.  Nathan's wife had a sister that was older than she was, that came thare. Her and her husband,  I think his name was Reaman. He talked of renting the house that we had moved out of but they had nothing to keep house with of much acount. I think she had a bundle tied up in a   blanket, perhaps a feather bed and some beding, two or three old chairs, etc.       They did not go into the house or try to keep house by themselves but lived with our family. Nathan had to furnish them with all they needed, even soap to wash their clothes. . . long idle drove only a make shift. I think they had been married a number of years but she had no children. They lived thare some months. I suppose Nathan and his wife got tired of them and they went of some where I do not know where and I went one trip with Nathan down into the state of Rhode Island to buy feathers.  The second summer that I was down there that was the time that I was the farm where father was raised and his father also.  It was a hard rocky country.  Their fare was. . . . and . . . had made a part. They would. They wanted the ground. . . with rocks. Thare was not mutch of the ground they could plow.  They had to dig it up with mattock or a grub hoe made for that purpose. . . . (16) I don't wonder the poeple wanted to get away from among those rocks. Especially the farmers. Nathan had two horses on the wagon and I rode another horse. He wanted to get one of father's then he could load onto one waggon and I had the horse that wrode packed with as many sacks as we could bind on to the saddle and I rode on the top of them. The feathers were new light and lively. The sacks was seven or eight feet long and four feet through I suppose when they was bound onto the saddle. The ends of the sacks was higher than my head. I could not look but on either side.  I had to look strait forward. It was very hot weather and I sweat and all-most smothered thare for two or three days or untill we got home, and a tedious job it was for me.  I don't know how far it was but I supose a hundred miles or more.  It was a long journey in olden times.  The buging of these fethers was the sword govenor I down thare. Thare was a strip of land on each side of the river, 5 or 6 miles wide. Some times more some times less that was not very mutch rocky. Nathan sent me out into the back country 40 or 50 miles with salt to salt his cattle, that had lined pastured out there for a few miles. . . . the river. Thare was not maney rocks but I soon came to where thare was rocks aplenty, big rocks that could not be handled.  I see some people mowing.  They had to swing their sythes in the (front of them) higher than themselves and scope the grass out from between the rocks. Rocks every whare as far as I could see. There was fruit of all sorts, very plenty. Fruit trees done well, even among the rocks. I think I have said enough about the rocks and the feathers for the present.  There is no high mountains thare. The land is rolling not flat.  It is improved I think allowing large fields and small fields mostly for paster.  The grain they raise they have to cut with sickles, but their fields of grain ware small and few.  Their. . . was stone wall, covered with vines or moss.  That country has ben settled by white people.  Some hundreds of years and they have lived there and multiplied from generation to generation  as far as it is. I have told you how glad I was to get out of that hell that I had been in for nearly three years and how speedy my mother rode when coming after me and that she rode a lame horse 65 miles a day and my brother Joseph. . . year old colt.  Their horses ware high spritited both of them.  The horse that mother wrode was not an old horse.  His hind legs got strait somehow. We went home slowly for Joseph or me had to walk.  The colt wasn't able to cary both at a time. I think we ware a week or more going home.  We came acrost some people mother had been acquainted with and we stayed a day or two at Beckeys, father's youngest daughter that he had by his first wife. Her husbands name was Chapin. They were poore and had no whare to put our horses. They had no beds for us to sleep on. We had to go to the neighbors.
(17) and there was a neighbor of theirs that was ritch and very kind to us.  Him and his wife, they cept us, and our horses night and day while we stayed in that neighborhood. The man's name was Cunninbal. He belonged to a society of people called Dorrilites. They were a singular set of people.  They would not eat nor wear anything that had ever had life and been killed. They would not eat meat of any kind, nor ware boots or shoes made of leather. He wore cloth shoes with wooden bottoms. He would not alow any thing killed on his premesis.  He had a great many stands of bees, but would not have one kiled, if he could hinder it. He would take out the honey and not distrub the bees. He took up a large quantity the day we went there. They had a long table that reached clear acroost the room loaded with honey of all sorts in the comb and out of the comb. They told us to go to the table and eat all we wanted.  They gave us bred cake and cheese to eat with our honey and they had pears and plums of different kinds.  We had a feast of good things that money and without price. The way I layed the honey in was acounted. I eat and. . . The woman said to mother, I am afraid that boy. . . himself. Mother told her it would not hurt him. She wanted me to eat until I was satisfied, but the woman saying she was afraid I would kill myself surprised me and I did not eat all I wanted, but I have not craved it and did before. When we got ready to go on with our journey, Mr. Cunnibal and his wife furnished us with provisions to last us home.  We got home safe and well, and we ware very glad to see eatch other. Father and mother did not want me to work. They wanted me to rest as long as I pleased. I did not do much work all that fall.  In the winter I went to school.  Nathan had not sent me to school as he promised to.  He told us before I started to go down home with him that I might go to school the most of the time summer and winter.  They let me go to school some in the winter but I had to cut wood for the fire and water the cattle and clean out the stable and I could not get to the school house. . . late and hurry home at night in time to do up the chores for night and I had but little time to get learning.  I don't think I went to school one day in the summer while I was  down thare.  Mother got home that winter after we got home. She got so lame she could not walk.  She had a swelling come on her right thigh, which was very painful. She was laid up with it a long time, but after awhile it came to a hede and broke and become a running sore.  The fever was very high a good dele of the time.  We thought and I think now that her riding so fast and so far in a day on a side saddle with the right leg hanging over the horn of the saddle that it was the cause of the swelling coming whare it did.  It looks. . . (18) and I also became weakly and sickly often having griping pains in my bowels and I got so weak that I could not walk. There was both of us, nearly bedfast. They got a long cradle made so that mother or me could ly strait in it and father or one of the girls would rock the cradle the most of time. I would lay in the cradle. I had sharp griping pains. It seemed that some was a pricking my inside, then would worms go throgh me both wais, but not very often. Those that came from me would be from eight to ten inches long. Father would send for a docter to docter us. Let him try his skills and when we found that he done us no good he wuld send for another. He done us no good. I think we had five, one after another. Every one of them said that I had got the quik consumption and said there was no cure. It was very discouraging to me. I lay where I could hear all they said about me and I gave up to die.  I had got very poor. I had a good appetite for victuals, but it seemed to do me but little good. My folks all thought I would die soon. They gave me herb drinks and some thing to ease the pains, that would come on once and awhile, but they would not. . . me long at a time. Mother got so that she could hoble about some, a help for poor me for she would rock the cradle and give me such food and drinks as she thought would do me good.  There was one Doctor Bawlding, a stranger in that settlement. He was passing by our house and happend to call in I believe for a drink. Father or some one in the room got him a chair.  Father told him that his wife had been sick some time. Mother  lay on the bed and father got on the side of the bed. This stranger sat facing father and mother. The cradle that I was in was partly behind his back. He had not seen me. He happend to trun partly round and saw me. What have you got another sick one here. Yes, mother told him. She had a boy that had been sick a good while and the doctors say he has got the quik consumption and there is no help for him. He looked steady at me awhile and then got up and came to me.  He took hold of my nose and rubed a little. Then turned my lips inside out, and rubed them a little. They say he has got the quick consumption, Do they, well I can cure that consumption darn soon. It is the devilish idonas that is killing him. Father said, do you think you can cure him. Yes, I know I can. Father told him to go at it as quick as possible. What the doctor said, raised my courage and I did allmost weep for joy, and I believe our family, all had strong hopes of my recovery. The doctor went out awhile and came in with a handfull of roots in one hand and steeped them in hot water. I don't know if he put other roots with them, but he fixed a dose of medicine and gave me that night. (19) He stayed with us that night. He told mother how to give the medicine that he left and went away. Mother was careful to follow his directions and with in to or three days, when the fysic got thourely to work, the worms began to leave. They came from me all cut up in to peices. There was knots of them as big as good sized apples all nit to gether and yards of them, all cut to pieces. They cept coming away for two or three days. Mother tended on me nearly all the time, untill she was satisfied the worms had all left. I was very week, hardly able to sit up and very sore inside. The worms had eat all the lining of my insided. The doctor told them when the fysick stopped working, they must give me doses of caster oil to line my guts again. Mother was a good nurse. She said she verely believed that there was as much as a half bushel of worms came from me. I don't know, what the doctor gave to cut the worms all to fragments as they were, but I had got rid of them and glad was I, and so was all of us. I gained strength very slow, along at first for it was some time before they could get my insides in good order, but in a few weeks I got so that I could walk about very well, and I felt uncomen well for me. I felt as if I wanted to run and jump about and I tryed to run but I would fall down, slap on my belly and face and was oblieged to stop trying to run but I could walk about very comfortable and gained strength very fast, and soon got as well or better than ever. I then took a start to grow and I grew like a weed in ritch ground, well culitvated. This spell of sickness was when I was a little over eleven years old. . . . was very tame. Her thigh and leg shrunk. The sore still cept running and they could not stop it. She and the doctors tried their best to dry it up, but they could not. After some months thare came along a man that was traveling through the country. He called himself a vet Doctor. He said his name was Styles. He was a big raw bone man. He was the tallest man that I have ever seen before or since. He was rising of eight feet high. Father sat there in the room. He told him he was blind. He could not see him. He said well thats bad. It is bad to be bling. A man ought to have good eyes for he cant tell anything by his ears. He was loud spoken and had a grim voice. He stood leaning aginst the fire frame and manle tree, looking at that big man. The sound of his voice was like the sound of a drum. Father told him that his wife was cripled. That she had a running sore that could not be dried up. (20) He said he didnt charge anything for doctoring, but if people had a mind to give him anything he needed, he was willing to recieve it. He said he believed he could heal up the sore, but it was likely she would be lame more or less for a long time. Thare. . . so much matter run out and her thy and leg so badly shrunk, it was doubtful if it ever would get intirely well. He concluded he would. . . see what he could do. It was in the fore part of the day when he came there and after he got rested, he took a hoe and went down into our swamp pasture and went to diging roots. The roots that he dug he caled blasing fire weed. It grew about four feet high and branched out something like a pig weed. The branches all came out within a foot or two of the top and grew strait up. Not far from the stock and . . . would be a number of pods. Some larger than a large pea pod and in those pods would be a sort of cotton. The pods would open and the wind would blow the cotton about as if it was feathers. The root has a thick bark on it or them. Theyd peel the bark off and pound them in a morter untill it became soft and had no lumps in it. They cald it a poltice and when one poultice got dry put on another and so on untill the sore dryed and healed up sound. But she was allwais a little lame. But she soon went to work at her trade that was weaving. She had that branch of buisness all most perfect, if not quite, I have never seen or known of any one that could heat her weaving by throwing the shittle with one hand and ketching it with the other hand. She never used a spring shettle. She would weave cloth of any sort of kind, that people wanted, whether single work or double work. She wove a great many coverlaids of various sorts as people would fancy. She drew her own drafts (as she caled them). She would draw a draft of any picter she pleased, whether she had ever seen the like or not. She had different names for different picters which as the time resembled. She would have them resemble anything she could make or think of and when the coverlaid was made ready to spread on the bed, picters and sprangles of exerres or trees or anything else people fancied, would all come wright. How she could do it I dont know. It is said that practice makes perfect and mother had practiced many years. Her harneness did not seem to hurt her much about weaving. She would weave eight or ten yards a day of plain cloth. When I did not have to use, but one shettle when she was sixty years old. It was quick motion and strong in the back and arms she had some. . .  (21) Mother had learned to weave when she was young and she followed that trade princaply from youth up to old age. Her brother Jonathan was older than she was and he followed the same business and he caried on farming. Also he married Prudence Allen. She was a rauur, a smart woman. They cept one loom a going night and day. The most of the time, espleachally in the fall and winter. Mother had her family afairs to see to, but for all that she was a good deal. The Wests was a working set of people. The most of them that belonged to our family, that was grandfather Wests family. Uncle Thomas West married Hannah Tarball. She had two or three children. The oldest name was Nathan Tanner West.  The other if there was any that lived I don't know their names, but uncle and his wife parted and he married another woman and raised a number of children. I have seen two or three of the boys since they were almost grown men, but was not mutch aquainted with them and have forgotten their names. The rest of the family I never saw. The last I knew of them, they lived on Tompanoosue creek, in Vershire, the same township that I was raised in, but they seemed to live by themselves and had no communication with the rest of their kindred. What was the cause I do not know, but by their actions people would think that they had no kindred in that place. Uncle had raised his family away off north in northern part of the country and came and bought and moved up thare on the creek. He had not lived there but a few years when . . . That perhaps was one reason they appeard to be such strangers. The woman and her children were strangers to all of us in that township or county. Uncle Thomas did not. . . trade. He was a farmer. He had one son by the name of John. He was as martlkin going man. He was a singing master and qurister in the meeting house in Vershire in the township I was raised in. I believe he was a brother of Nathan Tanner Wests boys that Uncle had by his first wife. (22) Thare was gang of robers and cheats in the state of Rhode Island that had bound themselves together in bonds to rob or plunder whenever they could get a chance, anybody and everybody, and if any one of them betrayed the company or any of them, he was to suffer death, and there was four or five of them that went onto Long island and thare lived an old mizer very ritch. They went one night in order to rob him and before they went to his house they jumpt into the sea with their clothes on and came out and went to the house and told him that they ware sea fairring men and the vessel they ware on had foundard and sunk and that the whole crew that was in the ship was lost but just themselves and that they had been without anything to eat for a number of days and was nearly starved and must have something to eat and they wanted a good warm super. There was only the old man and his wife and one daughter and the women went to cooking. They had an iron shovel stood there and one of the robers stuck it into the fire and left there and after they had done eating they fastened the dore and set a gard and the windows and (one) of them took that hot shovel and held it over the old man and demanded his money. He would not give it up and he burnt awhile he would (not) give it up and they cept on burning him, but he would not give up and they burnt him to death. Then they demande the old woman and the girl to give up the money or they would serve the same way, and they gave up all and the robers plundered the house, took all their silver dishes and plates and cups and tankards. They had a great quantity of silver, cups, plates and spoons and news of this robery spread around the country. The women described there cups and plates, but they could not tel who the robbers ware. Their was some of their cups and dishes, branded with the old mans name on some secret place that could not be seen unless they were close by. . . The one was silver tankerd with a handle some like a tea pot. The handl was probably open and in the inside was the two first letters of the old mans name and after awhile they found out who who the robers were. Thare was but forty that belonged to the gang but they only got three of them, Ross Coone and Church and Paul R. Coon and Church was the chaps, that cheated father out of about a thousand dollars or out of his farm, and broke father up or was the sole cause of his being broke up.  Father sold his farm to them in Kodiland and went up to old Brimfield and bought a farm. He had taken Coons notes payable at different times aged agreed with the man he bugt to wait on him and take his pay as he got pay from Coons but after awhile Coon produced receipts that he said he could prove that he had paid father up in full for all he owed him.  Father's name was signed to the receipts and witnessed by some of the gang and father could do nothing with them and the man father bught of stuck on him for his pay and he could not pay him.  Father found that he had got into the hobles and how to get out he could not tel. He could see no way only to flee from that country and he fled and went to York state to his brother Samuel and he took up a claim of land adjoining uncles and went to work on it. . . . (23) grand father West made his will before he died. He wiled his farm to brother Joseph and me with all the improvements thare on. He had a frame barn on it and 40 or 50 acres and as improvement, it was fenced in four or five fields. Some for meadow. Some for pasture and some for plow land. The bottons was timber land, hard wood timber principly bech and maple or sugar trees, very well timbered. Grandfather West wanted to leave what property he had for the good of mother and the children. He wanted the writing, all made in a legal maner or forme so that it could not be taken from Joseph and me by any lawful means what ever. After father got bankrup and fled to the state of New York and left mother in old Brimfield in the state of Massachusetts to do the best she could. She fixed up as soon as she could and fled to her fathers in Vermont state. I was then nearly four years old.  I can remember of some circumstances that took place on the road when we had got to grandfather Wests. Mother found that her father was owing some debts that he wanted to pay but could not for the want of means or money.  His old age and sickness of himself and wife before she died had got him reduced as to property and he had nothing left but his farm and his bed and beding and some house hold furniture.  Mother had by some means saved a few hundred dollars and she went and paid up, granfather's debts, and it pleased the old gentlemen very much. I have understood by some means, that mother actually bought the farm of her father and paid him the money at his own price that was not a high price.  If I remember wright, it was three hundred and fifty dollars. Land and farms was lowe them in that country. A farm that would bring two thousand dollars here now could have been bought then, for three or four hundred, but garndfather West wiled and deeded his farm to Joseph and me, for feare they would come on mother, for father's old debts. Grandfather West had the writings made out in a lawful manner, conveying his farm to Joseph and me. The writing was all done in a legal form, so it could not be disposed of by anybody untill I was twentyone years old.  The reason of his being so percautous was because father had got broke up and lost nearly all the property he had that his father let him have and he did not know but they would come on father for old debts or forged debts or accounts. Father did not pretend to have any kind of property whatever, but father's boys that lived in old Brimfield then settled up the most of the debts that father owed and they never troubled us any more and after they had settled up fathers debts, they moved to the state of New York, Oneida county where uncle Samuel lived and they took poseshion of fathers improvement that he had made and ufitit, they said to pay them for what they had payed out in old Brimfield for father's debt but how that was I do not know. Neither did father care. They were his sons and he would be glad to help them as much as he could. After John and Phinias had moved to the Ondi county and father in the state of Vermont we did not hear from them for a number of years. Thare was no direct communication from where we lived in Vershire in Vermont to whare they lived in York state, Oneida county. They could not get any news or hear from eatch other only by going away round part old Brimfield and thare was not mutch travel from old Brimfield to where we lived in Vermont. Thare was a big high mountain between whare we lived in Vershire and Oneida in York state.
(24) That runs clear through the state of Vermont caled Vermins Green Mountain. It was covered with a heavy growth of timber what is cald ever living green, sutch as pine, hemlock, spruce, balson seder. The tops of the trees are alwais green. The reason it was was caled Vervins green Mountain was because so many Wild animals lived thare, Bears, wolves, wild cats, cattemounts, elk, moose, dear, and almost all. . . wild animals lived there. The name Vermont derived from vermins mountain. Vermont, Verminsmount, Vermount, Vermont. It was thought to be dangerous for people to travel over the mountain by Night or by day unless they had plenty of company and well armed with guns, rifles butcher knives, etc. It was thick heavy timber and the road was narrow and crooked and it was almost as dark thare in the Daytime as it is some other places in the night especialy if it is a cloudy day. From the East side up to the top of the mountain it is seven miles but to go down on the west side it is only six miles. On the North east side it is very steep in many places. But on the west side it is very gradual and there is not so mutch thick timber. Thare was a company of men got a grant to make a turn pike over the mountain for that place and they straitend the road and cut it out as mutch as four rods wide and dont know but eight rods wide. At any rate, they let the daylight in so the sunshine could in some part of the day which he had never done before. There had been but little travil over the mountain in that place untill they got the turnpike road made.  But since they got the turnpike made it had become a big traveled road.  The main road from the cappital of Vermont state, to Albany, in York state, and I have no doubt but thare has been hundreds of familes moved from the east side of the Big mountain on that turnpike road in the western countrys. I think now I will say something more about my self after I got well of that spell of sickness. I took to g

Linked toPorter, Sanford

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ... 156» Next»     » Slide Show