November 1868

of the George William Washington Diary

1st, 38°, Sunday: Squalls and rain or snow. Jno. Inskeep and George rode out to see if they could hear anything of Gus who left yesterday about the middle of the day. He returned this evening having gone to Mrs. Inskeep's last night, and scared them all badly by trying to get in the window.

2nd, 34°, Monday: Still cloudy and windy. Start the boys in the Island corn, cutting and shucking. Brother Butt came, also Old Mr. Pugh. He will set into work tomorrow fixing Dan's house the first thing.

3rd, 26°, Tuesday: Quite a freeze. {Mr. Pugh} goes to work at Dan's house. Let Dan help him. George goes to the election. I being a foreigner stay at home. Mrs. James Henry Inskeep & Mrs. Reinhart spend the day with us. Jo shucking corn. Kate Stump & Dan Parker come home with George.

4th, 28°, Wednesday: Another frost & freeze. George & Dan go to Cumberland. Dan helping {Mr. Pugh}. The others shucking corn. I rode over to see old Jake, found him quite sick with nothing to eat. Take him some flour, meal & meat. The day close & sultry, think we will have rain. Received a letter from Wm. H. Davis relative to some books he sold in this neighborhood.

5th, 39°, Thursday: Fine shower during the night. George helping {Mr. Pugh}. The hands shucking corn. I rode to the ridge to salt the stock, brought the cattle home. Found a {Ram} among my ewes. Wrote to William H. Davis. The day showery.

6th, 40°, Friday: Cloudy & windy. George went to Springfield for some nails for {Mr. Pugh}, brought home 20 or 30 lbs. of a keg he bought from Shanholtzer. He then helped Mr. Pugh put the roof on Dan's house. Make the boys fix the road below the house & then go to hauling in corn. Prof. Daily came home with Robert. After dark we were surprised by the arrival of Rebecca Carter & Ellen Wright. They came up in the Winchester stage, & Mr. Keller sent them down. Young Keller stayed all night.

7th, 26°, Saturday: Another heavy frost. Paid young Keller for Mrs. Carter $2. Jno. Inskeep and James Blue came for his bushels, let him have three. {James Parsons} came for his colt, got it.

8th, 42°, Sunday: A lovely morning, like June weather. The mountains on fire. Family all at home.

9th, 56°, Monday: Close and sultry. Let Dan work at his house. Jo shucking. I rode to Springfield. R.W. dined and spent the evening with us. Late in the evening Young sent me word the fire was approaching the ridge rapidly. Sent all hands to fight it. They returned about 11 o'clock. Jno. Inskeep sat till bedtime.

10th, 60°, Tuesday: Another summer morning. Patterson came out with his dogs to take a horse. Let Dan work at his house. In the evening Sprig Lynn came, spent the evening and night with us. The day warm and calm. Late in the evening clouded up and commenced raining, attended with considerable rain.

11th, 46°, Wednesday: High NW wind. Dan still at work at his house. Jo & the small boys cutting & shucking. The young folks went to watch the river- no deer came. Quite cool, think we will have a cold spell.

12th, 30°, Thursday: Still windy & cold. The ground froze quite hard. Dan still at work at his house. Make Jo & the little boys haul in the corn & then go to hauling wood. Jno. Inskeep came down & watched the river with the young folks, no deer. Bro. Butt, Dan Parker & Lizzy came. George & Julian went home with Jno. Mr. Lynn goes home, finished Dan's house.

13th, 24°, Friday: The hardest freeze we have had. Set the boys to shucking corn. {Mr. Pugh} at work in the shop. Mrs. W., Mrs. Carter, George go to Romney, give Mrs. W, $5.

14th, 26°, Saturday: Another heavy frost. Start the dogs - no deer. The boys cutting & shucking. Settled with old Mr. Pugh, gave him $18 leaving a balance of $1., not being able either of us to make the change.

15th, 34°, Sunday: A lovely morning. Family go to Springfield to Church. Bro. Beale preached. Let Margaret have my dory to go to see her son, Monro entered schooling last night.

16th, 32°, Monday: Another heavy frost and fog. Separate the ewes from the lot, returned 41 and put the bucks with them. Sent Mr. Alkire by Young, Martin 2 bushels of wheat. Sent Dan to the mill with some corn. Dan Parker came to take a hunt with the boys.

17th, 40°, Tuesday: Cloudy and damp. Think we will have rain. Make the boys put the cabbage away. Clean out some laurel from the lot where the sheep are to stay. Think of bringing a part of the sheep from the ridge. Brought also the last year's ewes home and left the last lot I got of Brown on the ridge, 180. A day of rain.

18th, 42°, Wednesday: A lovely morning after the rain. Put the bucks with the ewes. I rode over to Jno. Reason's to borrow a buck, said I could get one. Met with E. R. Grace, who told me to give him credit for 10 b. of wheat he having got 5 b. from the Reasons that I loaned them. Letters from the girls, well.

19th, 30°, Thursday: Froze some. The boys cutting and shucking corn. The young folks go to spend the day with Cousin Bob and family. I ride to the ridge to salt the sheep. Promised Young the ox team to haul some corn to Frankford. The day warm and pleasant. Clouded up in the evening. Think we will have rain.

20th, 36°, Friday: To my surprise find the ground covered with snow and still at it, and every appearance of a day of snow. Finish raking up the laurel in the feeding lot. Set the boys to making brooms, etc., after they finish the laurel as it is too bad to be out. Let Young have my ox team.

21st, 34°, Saturday: Still cloudy and spitting snow. Set the boys to shucking. Lillian Baker left for home. Let Jo have $6 in cash.

22nd, 32°, Sunday: Still disagreeable. Spitting snow. The family all at home. Edward came, left all well at home. Made the boys write to Mr. Lincoln of the House of Refuge.

The following is copied from the House of Refuge 1869 Annual Report

  • (S. is Samuel McJilton, A. is August Lefner
      S. and A. are still with me in good health and spirits, and appear to be perfectly happy. I sent them to school one quarter last winter and spring, but have not sent them this fall, and am undecided which will be best for them; to keep them at home and make them learn of nights, and then before they become of age send them six or nine months, or if they continue good boys--twelve months consecutively. It strikes me that they then would be of an age to appreciate an education, and would apply themselves more closely. It is a matter of indifference to me, except for their good. I feel interested in their welfare and want to do that which will be best for them.

      They have attended Sabbath school and church, though not regularly, our church is at this time undergoing repairs, and so soon as these are completed, I hope we will be able to attend on the means of grace more regularly than we have done since the close of the war, during which most of our church edifices were injured or entirely destroyed.

      The moral disposition and habits of S. are good, or as much as could be expected from one raised as he has been. A. not so good. S. is apt at both his books and employments. A. rather dull. I think they have improved in every respect. Their general character for industry, obedience and truthfulness, are better than most boys with like antecedents. At first I was under the painful necessity of occasionally correcting them. They found I would not be trifled with, and they soon became obedient, good boys. I endeavored to impress upon them that I had only their good in view, and I hope I have succeeded. I will, in all things, try to do a good part by them.

G. W. W.

Continued from the House of Refuge Annual Report , 1869

This is a letter that Samuel McJilton wrote to the House of Refuge in Baltimore he was about 14 years old at the time of this letter.

      I feel that it is my duty to write to you, to let you know how I am getting along. I have a good place, and Mr. and Mrs. W. treat me very kindly, and are trying to make me a good man, and I am trying to do the best I can. Mr. W. told me if I would be a good boy while I lived with him, he would do his part by me; and he promised that if we behaved right, and stay with him till we are of age, he would not only give us our hundred dollars, but would give us a horse, saddle, and bridle, worth as much more. I have not been sick enough to be laid up since I have been here. At first I did not like the place at all, but now I like it first rate. I have learned to drive oxen and horses, and have been plowing this summer, and tried to do it the best I could. We have great many sheep, and cattle, and hogs. We had good luck with our sheep last winter; we had one hundred and forty-three ewes with lambs, and only lost seven out of them all. Mr. W. gave us patches last summer, and I raised a little money out of it; and he gave A. a patch this summer, and he raised money enough to buy three sheep, and he thinks to take care of them and profit something by it. Please to send me an Oriola; it cannot be got here. I went to school last winter and spring, and study grammar, history, geography, arithmetic, &. S.A.MCJ.

Continued from the same Report

Letter from August Leftner to the House of Refuge

      I am well, and hope these few lines will find you in good health. I have a good home and Mr. W. and his family are kind to me,--more than I deserve. I have not been a good boy, as I ought to have been. Mr. W. has not whipped me but once, and I will try hard to do better, --the best I can. He gave me a patch, on which I made right smart of money, and bought three sheep with part of it, and have some left. Mr. W. lets me keep them with his. Please send me a hymn book.

A. L.

This ends the quotations from the House of Refuge Report

23rd, 28°, Monday: After the frost passed off a lovely day. Young and Jake came to shuck. After dinner killed 15 hogs.

24th, 32°, Tuesday: Another heavy frost and freeze. Charley came to shuck corn for me. Young and Jake are also helping. Cut up and salt the pork. Let Dan have his hog back. Jno. and Will Earsome brought my windmill home. Brought me a buck that I borrowed from them. Sold them my old windmill, they paid me $4 for it.

25th, 28°, Wednesday: James home helping shuck. George went to Parker's mill. Jo and Sam hauled in corn. Letter from the girls on their way home. Will stop a few days at Lafayette, Ind.

26th, 40°, Thursday: Rained quite hard during the night. Same hands helping shuck. Dan got 1/2 b. meal. I rode to Springfield. Letter for Bro. Butt. George out on a still hunt. Returned, no luck. Letter from Et, all well.

27th, 30°, Friday: Quite a freeze. Clear and calm, same hands helping shuck. Hope to finish the Island tomorrow. Ella Wright takes her leave of us this morning for Winchester by way of B.O.R.R. I wrote to the girls at Lafayette, Indiana. George and Kate go to Cousin Boll's.

28th, 28°, Saturday: Air unusually heavy frost. Let Old Jake have a horse and 2 B's corn to go to the mill. Young and Charley helping shuck, do not finish the Island. George and Dan Parker came. After dinner they went to call on the ladies at Mrs. Parsons.

29th, 36°, Sunday: High wind. Family all at home except George, who did not return last evening. George and Dan returned to dinner. Edward came over, left all well.

30th, 40°, Monday: High NW wind. The darkies all want to go to the burying, old Jake died at Cousin Bob's. Roy wants to hire with me to work. They all lose the day at the burying. I rode to the ridge to salt, fear the sheep are not doing well. Edward rode to Romney. Brother Butt came home, had a good meeting, 8 or 10 conversions.

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