December 1868

of the George William Washington Diary

1st, 32°, Tuesday: Hired Roy for one month at $(blank) per month. Set them all at the corn in the island, after finishing it go at the sheds for my sheep. George took the horses to Springfield to get shod. Gave Mrs. Washington $1.60 cts. Will Stump came to see us before starting to Missouri. Letter from Bet, they are in Indiana, expect to be home next week.

2nd, 30°, Wednesday: Cloudy & spitting snow. Gave Mrs. Washington $10. George took two of the horses back to get shod. Set all hands at the sheep sheds. After dinner make them get in some wood.

3rd, 32°, Thursday: A lovely day. Work at the sheds again. Rebecca & her two children came home with Robert, they having come to Romney in the stage. Dan got 21/2 B of corn. Clouded up & looks like snow.

4th, 36°, Friday: Quite cloudy, commenced snowing. Set the boys to inclosing the sheep sheds. A day of snow. George & Jno. Inskeep make arrangements for a still hunt tomorrow.

5th, 38°, Saturday: A night of snow, The snow 6 or 8 inches deep. Jno. & George go hunting. Send Beck to Romney to take the stage. She leaves Lucy. Letter from the girls, they expect to be home next week.

6th, 42°, Sunday: Still cloudy, the snow melting. The darkies all go to their big meeting in Springfield. George rode to the ridge to see how the sheep are getting on. The after part of the day like a May day, the thermometer 52°.

7th, 36°, Monday: Pouring snow. Too bad for the children to go to school. Jo's sick; Dan & the little boys getting in some wood from the island.

8th, 34°, Tuesday: All hands go to the ridge to get wood. Make them cut so as to get a start and bring home a load at night with each team. Heard from James Porter. Sue has another fine daughter.

9th, 26°, Wednesday: A cold morning. Returned to the ridge. Start Dan to hauling over the river. I went up to see the sheep. They are looking badly. Must bring them home or they will all die. Rich Young got one peck of salt and 13 lbs. of nice bacon. Bro. Butt came home.

10th, 20°, Thursday: A stinging cold morning. A real winter one. All hands go to the ridge again. Send Jno. to Parker's Mill with a grist of corn. He returned, not being able to get it until tomorrow. We looked for the girls today, but they did not come, nor did we hear from them.

11th, 18°, Friday: Still clear and cold, haul wood from the ridge with the horse team, and from the river with the ox team. Freezing all day, decidedly the coldest day we have had. Brother Butt went to Springfield in his sleigh. Robert in Romney on his sleigh, broke down and had to leave the rig at the Inskeep's.

12th, 12°, Saturday: Take the wagon and go to the ridge for the sheep. Had to haul 50 to home, being too weak to walk. Think they will die. On my return found the girls at home. They look well and have had a nice visit. Jno. Inskeep called and sat till bedtime. Letter from Richard Hoffman asking me to send his money.

13th, 08°, Sunday: The coldest morning we have had. The young folks go to Springfield to hear Brother Butt. Snow moderated about the middle of the day.

14th, 12°, Monday: Cloudy and threatening snow. Fix to kill the balance of my hogs. Young came to help. Also Roy returned to work having lost all last week, worked 4 days week before last. I wrote to R.D. Johnson and Richard Hoffman.

15th, 18°, Tuesday: Quite a high wind during the night. Shell 12 bushels of corn and send to the mill. Send Mr. Dinwiddie three hogs, weighing 120, 130, and 142. The one weighing 130 belongs to Sallie. Send Jo to the ridge to help Young kill his hogs. I am quite unwell. Have Vertigo lately. {Roy helping} Frank Carter came.

16th, 30°, Wednesday: Storming, raining, hailing and snowing. An exceedingly disagreeable day. Frank and Beck fully intended starting home this morning but for this inclemency of the weather. The boys cut up and salt away the pork. Let Jo have a shoat weighing 61 lbs.; Margaret one weighing 110 lbs. at $9 per hundred each.

17th, 34°, Thursday: Like Wednesday, windy, otherwise a lovely morning. Set the hands to shucking corn in the Bottom. {Roy made half-day} being sick. After dinner set them to hauling in corn. Brother Butt and Bettie gone to Romney. Mrs. Lizzie Inskeep and Jno. sat an hour or two with the ladies. Letter from Mr. R.D. Johnson offering me $1 for my corn.

18th, 30°, Friday: Clear and high wind. {Roy still sick} Send the boys to the ridge for hauling wood. George goes to Cumberland, Frank and Beck leave us for home. Gave George $5. Roy leaving sick, settled with him and he goes home. Paid him $1.50 in full of work, he owing me for the bacon he got which was settled in this settlement, squaring us. The river raising.

19th, 28°, Saturday: The river too full to haul from the ridge. Make the boys haul other wood from the riverside. George returned from Cumberland bringing me $131, leaving too late to get in bank. Mr. Johnson promised to express to R.H. Hoffman $239, the amount of his claim against me for reaper and 1600 lbs. of bone dust as reckoned by himself sometime since, which account I have in my possession. Jno. Inskeep spent the night with George.

20th, 28°, Sunday: Still cloudy, rained some during the night. Sleeted. Family all at home. The day damp and disagreeable. Think we will have more failing weather. George rode away with Jno. Inskeep.

21st, 32°, Monday: Clear and windy. Make the boys, after they feed, shuck corn, so as to have fresh fodder for the sheep. The day quite pleasant.

22nd, 34°, Tuesday: Another pretty morning Keep the boys shucking. George went to New Creek for his sister. I rode to Springfield. Met Brother Fitz, who spent the day with me. Charley came for his corn. Paid him in full 6 bushels for his work. Gave George $5 before he left. Paid Capt. Earsome in full of ferriage to this date $2.40. He allowed me 75 cents for some planks I let him have for his boat. Settled with R. L. Inskeep; he still holds my note for $5. He gave it to me last fall when we had a partial settlement.

23rd, 20°, Wednesday: An exceedingly disagreeable day. High wind and spitting snow. Make the boys cut wood at woodpile and pack it under the shed for the holidays. Such weather still hard on the flock. Robert took a horse up for Sallie. Their school closes till after New Year.

24th, 18°, Thursday: Another stinging morning. Still cloudy and spitting snow. Too cold to snow. If Beck comes home today, she will have a cold time of it. Let Dan get himself some wood today. Jo and the little boys helping him. George got home. Jim and family came with him.

25th, 18°, Friday: A cold keen air. Settled with Dan and paid him in full $55. Met with quite a serious accident, as scared as I am of fire, in smoking at the shed of one set of my sheep threw the fire from my pipe which communicated to a large haystack, burning it, and the shed up. Jno. Inskeep spent the day with us. Jim and George went home with him and spent the night. George returned the $5 I gave him.

26th, 20°, Saturday: The wind calmed down. Fixing for another snow. Let Daniel have a horse to go to Romney. Wrote to Jno. Parker of Jacob informing him his money was ready. Sent it to the letter box. Let Jo have $1. Jim and George did not return.

27th, 26°, Sunday: Quite cloudy and spitting snow. James, George and Eph Herriott returned to dinner.

28th, 30°, Monday: A lovely morning, almost like spring. Jim and family, Mrs. Washington, and myself spend the day with Mrs. Herriott. Brother Butt came home. A lovely day, thawed considerably.

29th, 32°, Tuesday: Sleeting, prospect of a disagreeable day. Expect some company from Romney: Jake Inskeep, Mr. Dinwiddie and family, Mrs. Inskeep and Miss Lizzie, Mr. Hunter, Mrs. James Inskeep and Bev Fitzpatrick spent the day with us. I found Mr. Dinwiddie a very pleasant gentleman.

30th, 34°, Wednesday: Cloudy, snowed lightly during the night. The young gentlemen go to take a skate. Young Hammer spent the day with the young folks. He and Mr. Hunter left late in the evening. Negroes all taking their holiday.

31st, 32°, Thursday: Sleeting some. R.H. Patterson and Jno. Daily come out to take a deer hunt. Daily spent the day with me. We had several games of chess. Dan Parsons and Ben Daily spent the evening and night with us. James and George went to Mr. Pancake's. Will stay till Saturday.


This ends a year of Mr. George W. Washington's Diary and an unusually candid look into the life of a Gentleman Farmer in 1868. At present we are transcribing the diary for the year 1869 and are looking for diaries for other years.

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