BROOKLINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 18, 1911
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY
[Compiled and read before the Society by Edward W. Baker.]
Benjamin Goddard was known in the days of his strength as one of the most influential and active members of the community ..... to whose good offices and pure example, to whose steadfast perseverance in every known duty and loyal fidelity to every worthy cause and work, this town, then united in a single parish, owed much of its character and prosperity. Intellectually, Mr. Goddard was distinguished by strong native sense and clear judgment, discerning at once the practical bearing of every question, and not easily imposed upon by novelty or pretense.. Of his moral character truth was the prominent and prevailing trait. A man of strict justice and incorruptible integrity. True to every social obligation, and thoroughly conscientious to all the minutiae of life, he was also a wise and faithful steward of the goods
House of Benjamin Goddard. Now Removed to Clinton Road.
His father was John Goddard who responded to the Lexington alarm and was later Wagon Master General to the army of General Washington until after the siege of Boston. His mother was Hannah Goddard (born Sever), whose name honors one of the Brookline chapters of the D. A. R.
A sketch of John and Hannah Goddard by Rev. Wm. H. Lyon at one time read before the Brookline Historical Society and since printed is well worth reading more than once.
"Summer street," where Benjamin and Mrs. G. dined, was the house of his brother Nathaniel, and it was where he visited most frequently. The relation between the brothers was affectionate and intimate, and the families were together as often as possible. The house stood at the southwest comer of Summer and Kingston streets on land purchased in 1802. The house was built in 1807, and Nathaniel lived in it for nearly forty years. It was three stories in height, of light-colored Philadelphia brick, and stood on a high bank about 12 to 15 feet back from Summer street and with a grass plot in front.
1815, Monday, March 13.
Commenced with snow from the So. East and continued all the forenoon, but little continued on the ground as it was wet and the weather moderate. Myself and man at home:-- he assorting potatoes, myself transcribing a genealogical account of the Goddard Family in my Fathers Bible from the first that came from England down to the present day.
Afternoon reading "Nelson's Life" - finished it,
The loss of him to his country is inestimable: his plans and the execution of them almost always insured success. It seemed that the Battle of the Nile could not be outdone till the one at Copenhagen, but that at Trafalgar, where he died, ended in the brightest blaze of glory.
The Goddard family originated in America in 1666, when William, a merchant of the Grocer's company, came to Boston, the year of the great plague. Later, Joseph, the second son of William, settled in Watertown and then in Brookline on what is now Goddard avenue. That property descended from father to son until John and Hannah Goddard lived there and reared their family. In 1785 or thereabouts, John transferred that homestead to his son Joseph and removed to the Deacon Gardner estate, which he purchased, and on a part of which his son Benjamin built his house in 1810-1811.
House of Deacon Thomas Goddard. 1715.
The old Gardner house, purchased by John Goddard, stood on the curve of the old Sherborn road where it came down from the meeting house to skirt the meadow which later became the site of the present Boylston street reservoir in 1845.
When the Worcester Turnpike was built in 1806 it followed a straight line from the house and store of Thomas White opposite Punch Bowl Tavern, (now Guild's Comer), directly over Walley's Hill till it struck the old road in front of John Goddard's estate. From there to Acker's Comer the old road was absorbed into the Turnpike, but at the last named point the new and the old roads parted company, the Turnpike continuing by compass over the hill to Richard's Tavern and beyond to Newton and other towns to Worcester, and thence to New York. Living on the Turnpike, with all the stage travel passing to and fro between Boston and Worcester and beyond --- a member of a large family, prominent in the church and personally popular in the community, fond of young company, with no children in his own family but making a home for those of others, his household was seldom without guests or visitors, regular or transient, and the neighbors and friends passing by usually stopped for a few minutes' chat. All such, however, were given a place in the journal if their call gave the least warrant for mentioning the fact.
It would be interesting to quote from this diary at length, but extracts only must suffice at this time and these extracts will be from the diary for the years 1812 to 1820.
What shall be the extracts from this journal of one hundred years ago written here in Brookline with the old-fashioned goose-quill, before the days of steel pens, of automobiles, steam trains and trolley cars; when the telephone and telegraph were undreamed of and the communication by mail was by stage coach or courier; when there were no electric lights, no gas lights, no kerosene lamps even, and the candle gave brilliant illumination for all functions; when the wood lot was the source of fuel supply for the great fireplaces, the brick ovens, or the Rumford heater in those days before steam heat and janitor service, before the furnace and the chore-man? It was not until 1818 that the journalist got up the subscription to pay for the stoves in the meeting house, and it was a year later when Mr. Stone, the handy mechanic, made a fireboard for his mother's chamber. The next year a sheet iron stop was fitted in room of the chimney board previously put in. Those were the days when the farmer in Brookline carried his grain to the mill, and when the saw-mill, which was at the outlet of Saw Mill Brook Valley, furnished timber and lumber for local consumption.
Shall the journalist tell you when he reads "Locke on Christianity," or shall I quote his comments on "Scottish Chiefs," "Paul and Virginia," "Boswell's Johnson," "Elizabeth the Exile of Siberia," "History of the Egyptians," or "Walter Scott's Waterloo"?
Do you want to know his criticisms of the President's Messages, the mysteries of sausage making, how the young singers performed for the first time in the meeting house, or all about that cold Tuesday when the vinegar froze in the parlor closet, and the bay was frozen to Long Island?
It might interest you to know that his nieces rode out from Boston "gallanted" by their equestrian teacher, that Brother Nathaniel came in his chaise usually, but sometimes in the stage, and that it was no uncommon thing for the young people to walk, or perhaps "take the Old Mare."
Would you go to the dentist's with Mrs. G. a visit she bore with bravery and fortitude? Would you call at Brother Joseph's the day when he fell from a tree and broke a rib, for which he was let blood? Would you recommend blistering Johnson for the rheumatism, or would you prefer to sit with Benjamin himself for a number of days when he had a lame foot and read many chapters in the Book of Job for consolation?
Would you like to read the full and explicit directions to his hired man about the care of cattle and horses, so that they should be well fed but not wastefully, remembering that this hired man had been engaged for $13 per month, he to attend meeting and furnish his own spirit, or would you rather spend an evening in an easy social way that always affords the most enjoyment?
Do you want to know the value of his real estate in Boston, of how much it cost to cut, cure and house salt hay from the marsh, of the shipment of five hundred barrels of flour by the "Ariadne" to Southern Europe, or are you more interested to know when the first asparagus went to market?
Some might be interested to attend the inauguration of the venerable and excellent Governor Strong. Others would prefer to attend the political conventions at Faneuil Hall. A few would accompany him to the cellar where he bottled porter and caught cold, while the young ladies would do now as they did then, go to the commencement exercises at Cambridge on purpose to be gallanted home by the young men.
You would perhaps like to hear about various wedding festivities and you would all sympathize when "self and Mrs. G." go here and there "a girl hunting" after having discharged Betsy Wilkins and there was no kitchen help for several weeks.
You would enjoy the evening when the schoolmaster called or that other evening when they talked politics and sang, accompanied by the piano (1812).
You would perhaps notice the coincidence that company was not wanted in hay time, and that the bedrooms were not offered to undesirable visitors, and it would certainly amuse you. to learn that in 1813 a newly married couple, according to a recent custom, went on a journey to avoid the speech of people.
In those days he paid his taxes to Constable Bradley, and after a town election the Selectmen, some of the principal other officers, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Heath and the journalist, usually had supper or took tea at the home of some one of the parties mentioned.
On November 29, 1814, there was an earthquake, and on February 7, 1815, which was Shrove Tuesday, they ate pancakes and baked beans.
Shall he tell you about the evening when they had no company but their own family, "who were tranquil and apparently happy," or that other evening when they had a ball and the company left before eleven o'clock "all tolerable well"?
You might like to know when Louisa made her debut at the singing school or about that other occasion when the young singers in the choir were promoted to seats in the meeting house.
On September 3, 1818, "Joseph Goddard came at nine o'clock. He walked from Boston. Stayed the night. He brought the information that the famous Sea Serpent was caught."
The diarist went to the Brighton Cattle Show and was a judge at the ploughing contest, he attended the Ecclesiastical Council at Dedham, and took preserved roses to Mr. Woodward's to be distilled.
One stormy night "Old Borealis roared most horrible"; another night "Old Borealis played briskly on his harp."
On January 20, 1818, he tells about the subscription for the shares of the Roxbury Mill Corporation for the building of the mill dam from Beacon street to Sewall's point with branch road to Punch Bowl Village, and two years later (July 14, 1820) he "rode over the new road from Brighton and visited the works of the Mill Dam Corporation." He read the "Vicar of Wakefield" in February, 1819, and his comment is, "Poor fellow, he had a life of trial." The girls had a company of their friends in Brookline and they all danced a little with homespun musick."
On January 23, 1819, "Read trial of the pirates for Murder of Capt, Mate & Supercargo of Schooner Platsburg."
On February 18, 1819, "William gone to see the Pirates (Williams, Peterson, Rog and Frederick) hanged - their execution was upon Boston Neck back of the burying ground. Mr. Heath, one of the spectators informed that the concourse of people was immense, he should think nearly or quite forty thousand persons."
In March, 1820, he notes that "Missouri is admitted as a State without restricting slavery." In December he notes, "Mrs. G. with George Goddard to Boston to pass a few days in search of happiness. Self at home enjoying it."
In 1818 (March 31) he prepared the things at the "Old House" for an auction, which took place the day following and then he attended to the delivering of the things sold at the auction.
He inscribes a very touching obituary in memory of the Old Mare. On the same day he goes to Sherborn and "buys apple trees to be transplanted for the benefit of the next generation."
On November 30, 1820, he dined at Captain Holland's, "where attended the distinguished guest President Adams at 85 years of age," and on March 20, 1821, he says: "This day completes the fifty-fifth anniversary of my pilgrimage. This memo. is made in order to keep pace with time."
At a time of sorrow, and when many visitors are mentioned, he says, "on the whole much more company than was desirable, but their visits were friendly intended. To reflect requires retirement."
Everything of any importance is noted, from the number of bushels of barley per acre to the disproving of the superstition that the pork of swine slaughtered on the decrease of the moon is not so good as if otherwise. Fruit trees were "washed with brine to kill insects" and the doctor prescribed "moderate medicine" in a case of illness. A "Nahant party" was postponed on account of bad weather, but on a certain Sabbath "the attendance at the meeting house was small, many having gone to the marsh to save hay from expected high tides, it being a work of necessity and mercy." He served on the grand jury, subscribed to the Peace Society and Cambridge Theological Institute, was glad that election came but twice a year, and in all ways was a most satisfactory journalist.
A considerable portion of his journal for the early months of the year 1812 is devoted to the very decided opinions he held in regard to the non-advisability of hostilities with England. He had been and continued to be interested with his Brother Nathaniel in commercial ventures and the merchants of Boston did not want war.
It would be interesting to read all of his chronicles on this topic, but a few will very well illustrate the manner in which he expresses to his confidential friend - his journal- his very positive convictions.
1812, Saturday, January 11.
Read the Newspaper - the Governor's speech to the Legislature. The old man seems to attribute all our evils to the conduct of the British nation and the individuals of that nation. - Charges the King, the Prince Regent and the people with crimes horrible, - attributes the divisions among the American people to the British, - thinks nothing of the effect of his own conduct after having, since the last session, removed all those who were of the party politically opposed to him that were within his power and appointed sixteen out of twenty-one of the Jacobin Senators to office; all this, and too much more now to name, has no tendency to keep alive party, - No! the British! the British! not a word about Bonaparte's injustice, only that a part of the difficulties with him are settled, and the remainder in a train but not a word of indemnity for the Millions he has plundered.
On the whole this speech is a miserable production of a miserable old man.
1812, Sabbath, January 12.
Cold - moderates a little in the afternoon and begins to snow. Family principally attended meeting. Mr. Pierce preached from 2d Corinthians 5th Chapter 7th Verse - "For we walk by faith, not by sight." - Both sermons from this text.
Visited in the evening by General Gardner, his brother, and Mr. Heath, Mr. Brooks and Mr. Prentice.
Conversed on Politics and sundries. Sang a few tunes. The time passed socially and pleasant."
1812, January 21.
Tuesday, cold without abatement - Windy and tedious, but a clear sun. Townsend to the woods twice. Self at home reading some - visiting at the old house - played battledore - read newspaper - the answer to Gov. Gerry's speech, etc. - The answer to the speech is in some degree an echo to it, representing the atrocious conduct of the British in capturing the American Property and retaining her sailors, etc. to the most exaggerated extreme and far beyond the truth, not even mentioning the conduct of the French although they know their depredations exceed the former without proportion. All this evidently for the purpose of raising and continuing a prejudice against the British nation, not because this nation is more unfriendly than France, but for the purpose of continuing the prejudices of the People against England. Why is this the conduct of our Rulers? The answer is because this prejudice against England has a tendency to support the party in power more than any other expedient, as the truth, if known and understood by the people would oust from office and power and profit all those who have plundered the People of those men who have done and would continue to act for the good of the country.
1812, January 29.
Evening had a visit from Bro. Joseph and his two daughters. Talked politics, canvassed the conduct of our present rulers, but the time was spent unprofitably while on that subject, for, unfortunately, we could not agree in the main, so we neither of us were convinced nor converted.
1812, March 4.
Wednesday. Fine clear weather. Townsend and self at home. Forenoon made a long visit at the other house, - met there Bro. Joseph, - talked politics, time spent unprofitably. - Afternoon came Miss Warrens with Miss Burroughsmade a short stay and drank Tea. Evening at home, played cards, talked about matrimony - went to bed.
1812, January 30.
Thursday - Moderate - Wind N. E. Rained in the morning - froze upon the trees. Townsend at home preparing wood for the fire. Self at home - made a visit of two hours at our Parents. Read to them the newspaper, - particularly the Secretary of the Treasury of the U. S. statement of the ways and means to provide funds for a war establishment which afforded convinsive proof of the folly of the government in pursuing measures tending to such a state of things - But President Madison having said the Berlin and Milan Decrees were revoked and the other branches of Government thinking it the best policy to lie it out, have got the affairs of the nation in such a scrape as will require the enlightened wisdom of the Federalists to get them out. So much for electing Jackanapes to rule over us. These very same Jackanapes and their dupes were the very men under the Federal Administration who clamored aloud against the Taxes on lands, on domestic spirits, carriages and stamp duty, but now nearly twice as great a tax of the same denomination can be laid but it is believed not without opening the eyes of their dupes. Such men must be removed or the country ruined.
1812, June 13.
Read newspaper which breathes much of war.
1812, June 15.
Self to Boston, attended Town Meeting where they passed resolutions expressive of their disapprobation of the measures of government tending to war, etc. Considerable debate upon the situation of our public affairs was had.
1812, June 23.
A Declaration of War arrived in Boston which has filled every one with astonishment at this madness of our Mis-Rulers. This calamity to our country is not yet to be conceived of, time only will unfold what is to be the results.
1812, June 25.
Read the Chronicle - the Manifesto, or Report of the Committee of Foreign Relations to the House recommending War, in which our Country is now involved, but have received no conviction, after reading this which has made the most of every wrong that language could describe (allowing even the whole to be true) that it is expedient or in any wise prudent at the present time to go to war with Great Britain. It is madness which has produced this alternative which will be ruinous to many of our fellow Citizens.
1812, June 30.
Self to Boston via Cambridgeport. Found the People sober and dull by the prospect before them.
1812, July 4.
Saturday. This is the anniversary of the Independence of the United States, but, disgraced as we are by a Corrupt Administration, it is doubtful in the minds of many, whether it will long prove a blessing. - If we are to be under a foreign yoke the British ought to have the preference but we yet hold up a right for our Independence.
1812, July 15.
Self to Boston. Attended a meeting of the inhabitants animated and spirited. Debate was had by Messrs. Sargent, Quincy, Whitman & Otis. Resolves passed showing the determined Spirit of the people, etc.
1812, Thursday, July 23.
Fast Day appointed by our Excellent Governor Strong, that the People may atone for their sins in electing over them rulers without Honesty or knowledge, men neither fearing God or who have any love for their country.-
1812, Thursday, August 20.
This day was appointed by the President to be observed in fasting and prayer. If the People have duly observed it, and their Prayers are heard and answered, we need not doubt; for they will be guided to place Rulers in their Councils, who fear God and love their Country. If this can be our happy lot, we may again be restored to peace; and if this day has been suitably observed we hesitate not in saying that among the many Wicked and destructive deeds of the President he has done one that may be of some benefit to the Nation.
Our family (excepting necessary Domestics at home) attended meeting all day. Mr. Gray in the morning, Mr. Pierce afternoon; meeting rather thin, owing to considerable number of the inhabitants being necessarily engaged on the Marsh securing their hay from expected high tides. After meeting in the evening myself and Mrs. G. to Boston made a short visit and drank Tea at Bro. Nathaniels, found all well and in good spirits. On our way we passed a company of Madison's soldiers (Commanded by one Tuttle) which were taken from the garrison of Fort Warren (this fort is one of the Principle places calculated to defend the town of Boston) and were on their March to join Gen'l Dearborn's army at the Northwest, destined against Canada; So that one of the principal Maritime Seaports, the only vulnerable places for the enemy, is deprived of its defence, and for what? Why, surely, to fight against our poor harmless Neighbors, insulated (?) from the ocean, and who had no more to do with the pretended or real causes of the War than the inhabitants of the interior of China (Oh Madison and the Devil! ! !)
1812, Sabbath, August 30.
Joseph Goddard called in after meeting; brought us an account of the capture and destruction of the British Frigate Guerriere by Capt. Decres, by the American Frigate the Constitution, Capt. Hull, after 25 minutes hard fighting.
1812, Monday, August 31.
Myself to Boston, did but little business, found the People' much elated at the success of the American Navy, - and that Commander Rodgers with his squadron had returned in Boston Harbor without being injured, after a cruise of two months. This squadron has done but little. - Capt. Hull has done honor to his country.
1812, Tuesday, September 1.
Heard of the arrival of Mr. Smith's ship "Packet" from Liverpool with goods, and Gallatin's orders to have them seized with all that may arrive.
1812, Wednesday, September 2.
Accounts of the Capture of General Hull and Army at Detroit. No tears on this occasion as no blood was spilt.
1812, Thursday, October 22.
Myself to Dedham to meet in Caucus to agree on a candidate to Congress in place of that disgusting Seaver. - Nath'l Ruggles, Esq. of Roxbury having been agreed upon by a part of those persons of the Republican Party styling themselves friends of Peace and Commerce and a Navy, - and the Federalists seeing no prospect of electing one of their own number and confiding in the integrity of Mr. Ruggles and believing he will support principles coincident generally with theirs, have agreed to support him, in conjunction with those who have nominated him.
1812, November 3.
Evg Called Mr. Heath a few minutes Mr. Barry & Doct'r Stebbins - congratulated each other on the result of the Election, - it being in favor of the Federal or Peace candidate.
1812, November 4.
To Boston - Waited on Richard Sullivan on Business of the Town relating to moving the School house.* Found many pleasant faces occasioned by the results of the Federal Elections for Representatives in Congress in several districts etc.
* NOTE:: This was the old brick school house which stood in the triangle, corner Walnut and Warren streets.
1812, November 5.
Splendid accounts of the elections in different parts of the state - Democracy is flat on her back at present - may she sleep quietly till Doomsday.
1812, Monday, November 2.
Myself engaged at the election poll - The result in this Town not so good as was expected, yet it exhibited a favorable change. Votes for federal Representative as follows - Mr. Ruggles 64 - Seaver 59 - Howe 4 - favorable accounts from Roxbury - we hope for success.
1812, Sabbath, November 8.
Read the Presidents message to Congress - it recommends a continuance of war and upon the whole it is calculated to deceive those who have heretofore believed in his measures, yet sufficiently shows his cloven foot to others who have always been on the watch believing him to be in the French interest. Nothing but a removal of this man from office will save this country; if the People support his measures it will be principally done by those who inhabit the Southern States, and will eventually (though under other circumstances much to be deprecated) cause a division of the States - The speech shows a pertinacity in measures and demands that cannot be conceded by the British Government, and will not is well known, although they have in all the points that materially affect the interests of America shown a sufficient disposition to conciliate and settle the differences, but for want of a correspondent disposition on the part of our Administration particularly the President, we are suffering in the Horrors of War.
1812, Thursday, November 12.
Afternoon entirely at Election of Electors for President and Vice President. Votes in this town for the Peace Ticket 65. for the War Ticket 52.
1812, Wednesday, December 2.
This day the Electors in the several States have met and given in their Votes for President and Vice President. In Massachusetts there are twenty two Electors. All of them have voted for Mr. Clinton for President. Two for Mr. Gerry and Twenty for Jared Ingersol of Pennsylvania for Vice President.
1812, Monday, December 7.
In the evening read the debates in Congress upon a bill before them to encourage the Recruiting Service, which provided that it should be lawful for Apprentices and Minors to enlist at the age of eighteen notwithstanding any obligation they were under to their Parents Masters or Guardians. The Bill in this form was advocated by those corrupt men who compose the majority of Congress that made the War and it was there carried without amendment by a large majority but afterward underwent an amendment in the Senate.
1813, Thursday, February 18.
Myself with Mehitable to Boston were present at the parade in honor of Commodore Bainbridge on his arrival from a cruize in which he fought took and destroyed the British Frigate Java of 49 guns but rated a 38 full manned with 400 men. We are pleased with the heroic Conduct of our Naval Officers and men, and them only would we honor on these occasions detesting the authors of such unnecessary carnage our War making administration.
1813, Monday, March 8.
Afternoon attended the election of Town Officers, which was the first March meeting I have attended since I have been an inhabitant here. - The object of the Federalists on this occasion was to conciliate, with a view to bring the minds of their opponents to a state susceptible of reason, to effect which it was determined that they would vote for the same town officers who had served the last year, all of whom were then voted for and chosen by said opponents.
They expected their intentions for uniting would be met in some measure with correspondent views and feelings and that there would be a united vote on this occasion, but at the close of the poll, to the astonishment of those who had a right to expect better things, it came out for the first time that a secret plan had been laid for a considerable time and pursued, to innovate upon the Board of Selectmen, and instead of Joseph Goddard Esq. to place Capt. Joshua Clark, merely because the former had dared with some degree of Independence to avow his disapprobation of the conduct of our National Administration in declaring a ruinous War.
The Federalists, though they were pretty generally in the way of their duty, being ignorant of any design, were many of them absent - notwithstanding which, the Election resulted in a discomfiture of their opponents by the election of Mr. Goddard by a majority of one: this will be a good lesson for the future not to trust to the goodness of their cause, and it will teach us that we are not to expect any magnanimity from Jacobins.
1813, Wednesday, June 2.
This day we have the account of the capture of the U. S. Ship the Chesapeake by the British Ship Shannon. The action was at about six o'clock last evening in presence of many spectators who went down for the purpose. The scene was about 9 leagues from the light-house - Action lasted about 20 minutes from the firing of the first gun.
1813, August 21.
Bro. William arrived with his wife and family and household furniture excepting the chief of it which was taken on its way by a British privateer.
1814, January 1.
This year commences with pleasant weather - but the Political horizon is as blackness and darkness. The Nation at war; the inhabitants on the frontiers both on the American and the British lines suffering by the greatest cruelty, devestation of their dwellings and property by fire, driven from their homes and scattered in the Wilderness, among the Savages, White and Yellow. The commerce of the Whole country anihilated, burthensome taxes on all classes of citizens and a sure prospect of an increase of this evil. Public credit sinking; an enormous public debt accumulating Morals of the people sinking by disrespect to the laws: Smuggling encouraged by a Bounty in enormous prices & enormous duties on Merchandise. All these and many others are sacrifices without any advantages gained, or the least prospect of any - but these are National punishments justly inflicted so long as the People will elect base men to rule over them. It is to be hoped that the end of this year will present a different Aspect.
1814, January 6.
Spent the evening at Brother Nathaniels in company with family connections - found great agitation in the Commercial world caused by-some appearances favorable to Peace, - goods much fallen and speculators greatly affrighted.
1814, September 3.
Myself to Boston. Attended Town Meeting the object to see if the Town would do anything towards fortifying the Town. The business was finally left with the Governor & Council with assurances of assistance if wanted.
1814, September 8.
MYSE'lf to Boston - found the Town in considerable alarm for its safety the British being actively engaged in capturing sea posts.
1814, September 9.
In the afternoon Bro. Joseph Goddard and Wm. Aspinwall called to notify me as one of the exempts from Military duty to meet and form a company in this town to Volunteer our services in case of an attack from the enemy.
1814, September 13.
Agreeable to request of a number of the inhabitants a meeting of those persons who are exempted from Military duty was had in the afternoon consisting of about thirty persons who agreed to form themselves into a company choose their officers and to equip themselves for any emergency that may require their services. Officers elected were
Gen'l Isaac S.Gardner Captain
Maj'r John Robinson Lieutenant
Capt. Jos. Goddard 2d Lieutenant
to whom was committed the appointment of the subordinate officers --After a short time they nominated
who were appointed. The Company then agreed to meet with arms and accoutrements next Friday precisely at 4 o'clock P. M.
After having made the Military arrangements the members present fired with Patriotism agreed also to offer their services in Labor or Money in aid of building the Fort on Noddles Island for the defense of Boston.
Chozen a Committee Viz Mr. Laughton - AspinwallWhite at the Lower part of the Town, Messrs. Murdoch, Heath, Hammond and Craft for the upper part of the Town, to solicit subscriptions for the object and present the service to the Superintendent - Great unanimity prevailed throughout the whole.
1814, September 15.
Myself with Ann Goddard to Boston. Found the Town filled with Troops some of which (the Militia men to be sure) made rather a ludicrous appearance others looked like Soldiers; they all had legs, which they will find useful on the approach of the enemy. No great dependence can be put on so rude a mass of Creatures. Was it not for some companies of fine well disciplined troops, added to the many Independent Companies in Boston who have spared no pains nor expense to qualify themselves for service, we might despair of defending our Country.
1814, January 14.
Read Gov. Strongs speech to both houses of the Legislature delivered yesterday. In it the same steady well digested opinions of the injustice of the war are strongly marked as heretofore. Had we him at the head of our National Government we might be soon restored to Peace and Happiness, but we must wait, when the iniquities of the people are sufficiently punished then we may hope a restoration of good men in our National Councils.
1814, March 14.
Election of Town Officers - The Federal Ticket prevailed by a majority never known in the Town
60 Votes for Federal Selectmen.
30 Votes for Democratic Selectmen.
1814, December 7.
In the afternoon to Town Meeting where a proposition was made for the Town to raise money to pay the Soldiers in addition to their Government pay. On examination it appeared a tax of that kind by the Town would be illegal, the question was therefore abandoned by the Town and the citizens present agreed to raise $320 to be apportioned among them, the soldiers 26 in number, their services having been about 2 1/2 months for which they received $8 per mo. of the U. S. - the same to be assessed on the Real & Personal estate of the Town leaving it optional with the owners. The result, if all is collected, will amount to $12.30 to each man, which will when added to the Gov't pay amount to $12.92 per mo.
1815, Sabbath, January 1.
This year begins with awful prospects to our Country. The Nation continuing in war with the same base administration that produced it, who have continued their perfidious course till the Treasury is entirely drained and the Nation Bankrupt, and totally destitute of credit - payment refused to all Creditors except in a species of Treasury Notes called Exchequer Bills which are at this time 27% discount and depreciating: Taxes increasing and Multiplying on the Necessaries of life, Commerce entirely destroyed, Manufactures depressed by loading taxes, Laboring people without employ begging for subsistence - the prospect before us is dark indeed. Whoever lives to see the end of this war will for many years, if life is spared, be reminded of the Perfidy of the Rulers who reigned at the time it was brought on this Country.
1815, Monday, February 13.
This is a day of Jubilee.
Tidings of peace have reached our shores. On Saturday an English dispatch vessel arrived at New York with the Glorious News which was by express conveyed to Boston in thirty hours, and arrived at 8 o'clock this morning. Let all the People shout aloud for Joy. God is our King, Amen.
1815, Wednesday, February 22.
Myself with Lucretia Goddard and Mehitable to Boston being a day of great parade there. A procession passed through the several streets of Mechanics of the different Crafts with their badges of professions - they made a motley show, but perhaps suited to the occasion. They looked like impoverished men, as no doubt they really were, by the Cruel outrageous war in which they were plunged by the Barbarous administration, but their countenances were enlivened and cheerful at the return of peace, although they are in poverty. - We dined at Bro. Nathaniel's and returned home to tea - there were many illuminations in Boston, - more perhaps, and more elegant, than on any former occasion.
Mr. Goddard was not a man of war, nor was he skilled in the arts and architecture. Rather he was a man of peace, experienced in trade and versed in the secrets and mysteries of agriculture. He was fond of literature and was a lover of nature in all her moods and seasons. He was one who found enjoyment in the tilling of the soil and contentment in the fruits thereof, whose desire was to deserve the respect and esteem of his neighbors and whose greatest pleasures were found in the loving family circle of his own home.
1812, February 13.
Clear sun - weather a little moderated. Townsend at home assisting Capt. Steams in shoeing sled in the forenoon. Afternoon to Newton for load of pine wood. Went myself and helped cut and load it - travelling bad - brought but part of a load and determined not to go again till more snow.
Evening at home. Gen'l Gardner and Mr. Heath called and invited us to go to Singing school with them, but having just unbooted, and not having been shaved for many days, and being a little fatigued from my jaunt in the woods, I declined going this evening but sat by the fire with wife, like Darby & Joan - smoked a segar, then read a number of Cowpers letters, which was a pleasing employment about an hour, then finished the evening by writing this memoir.
Some evenings the family entertained company or in tum visited the neighbors or friends. Other evenings the family were by themselves. No matter what the entertainment, it was duly chronicled in some such way as the following examples:-
1812, January 19. Evening sang, talked, and as usual the evening passed agreeably, and it is hoped not altogether uselessly.
1812, February 2.
No company at home but our own family who were tranquil and apparently happy.
1812, February 7.
Sang and danced for amusement of parents and children.
1812, February 29.
Evening at Capt. Jos. Williams-the time was occupied in conversation and cards and ended with a supper of Roast Turkey and Beefsteak - our reception was cordial returned home with speed at 10 o'clock by the light of the moon.
1812, March 8.
Talked politics and sang, accompanied by the piano.
1812, January 3.
The Evg. till eight visiting at the old house, conversation principally upon Agriculture, of its usefulness and importance to the country, not lessening the necessity and usefulness of commerce, - agreeing to the necessity of supporting both that neither should suffer. Read Boswells Life of Johnson about an hour, - the company and myself being rather dull and sleepy laid it aside - so ended this day.
1812, January 5.
Sang Psalmody in the evening conversed upon various topics such as Politics, Singing, Agriculture, etc.
1812, January 7.
The diary this day gives a complete description of the construction of the new Craigie Bridge and concludes with this observation: -
The reader will pardon me for this digression it is hoped when he or she is told that I have not much of great importance to relate of this day and this may be of some use to those who may be so unfortunate as to be concerned in bridges.
1812, March 26.
Company at Tea - played cards and had speculative conversation.
1813, January 21.
Evg. to Mr. Walleys - forty or fifty were there, principally Brookliners; - a fiddler was provided and the company principally danced to a late hour. Generous and handsome provision was made, - the entertainment and amusement was well suited to the company and gave much pleasure.
1812, February 14.
Heard the rain beat plentifully against the windows - are glad we are at home.
1813, Sabbath, March 28.
No company from Boston - none to dine and for a rarity none in the evening - it being very rainy and the travelling very bad.
1813, September 5.
We sang and spent the evening rationally.
1813, January 3.
Spent the evening reading good books.
1813, January 29.
Stormy - dined in Boston - came home in snow squall but arrived in short time safe by the fireside at home, - there enjoyed the evening in tranquility and happiness.
1815, March 29.
To Mr. Crafts in Roxbury to a splendid ball composed from that town & Brookline who some from Boston & Cambridgeport. About 60 the whole number - Stayed quite too late having but one hack for this neighborhood. Brought the last home about 5 o'clock! ! ! ! !
1814, December 28.
Evg - a young company who were much disposed to dance.
1815, February 21.
This day being the anniversary of the birth of Washington the Great, and having also received Intelligence of the Ratification of the Treaty of Peace by the President, we celebrate it by Music and dancing.
1821, December 19.
Evg. who Mrs. G. and Louisa to Mr. Heaths. Met there a company mostly of the younger class. The gathering was to compliment Miss Abbott who is in town. Such meetings are useful occasionally, but too many of them would be a waste of time. Relaxation from business and study to cultivate social feelings and an interest in society are necessary and proper, if under suitable restraint.
Benjamin Goddard lived his boyhood on the homestead farm on Goddard avenue. His brother Nathaniel, who was a year younger, and in later life became one of the leading merchants of Boston, wrote a narrative of his early life for the benefit of his grandchildren, and a short extract from that narrative gives much of interest.
The family increased to twelve sons and three daughters with but little of this world's goods, located on a farm naturally bare and hard to cultivate, requiring much labor to produce even the necessaries of life, for of luxuries they were contented with very few even when they sought for any. On this little farm, naturally rough and hard to till, the income from which was of course small, every man woman and child was obliged to work and to fare hard; by the time they were six years old there was found work enough for them to do both summer and winter....
In those days they baked their own bread, brewed their own beer, made their own soap, did all their own sewing, except making some new garments, knit their own stockings, if they had any, and often spun the yam, made the cloth for their shirts and sheets and even pocket handkerchiefs, excepting in all cases the weaving and sometimes taking a spinster into the house.
At about four years of age I was sent in the summer to a school kept by a female about a mile to the westward of our dwelling. - we had such books as were generally used in the country schools of that day, to wit: a primer, Dilworth's spelling book, a Bible, or in lieu of it a Psalter and the New Testament. The latter books were not used until we had made some proficiency in learning, for he who could read in the Bible with "a good tone" was much of a Scholar.
As we got older we went to a school where there was a male teacher.
Sometimes we had masters from Cambridge and sometimes we were taught by a Brookline farmer named Stephen Sharp, a good honest old fashioned man who could read in the Bible and write "joining hand."
Our father allowed us another privilege - to wit - one holiday in the year, which was Election Day - but if we would work half that day he would give us for it a whole day after harvesting was over.
We were also allowed a small piece of land for a garden where we might, by stealing time enough, cultivate a few things to sell such as sage, wormwood, roots, cives, balm, etc.
Our father kept fowls and each ODe who wished had a hen for himself, or rather a part of the produce of one.-We to see they were fed, the eggs collected, the chickens taken care of. - When the hen set once a year - we to have half the brood of chickens when fit for market - father having the other half and the feathers.
Another perquisite Benjamin and I had alternately was that of taking care of and fattening the hogs, as a remuneration for which we had the bladders when the hogs were killed.
Benjamin had left Brookline 1887, having broken loose from the farming business and gone to Boston to the store of Messrs. William and Josiah Brown, gentlemen of honor and high standing, and lived with the junior partner, Josiah Brown, until he was of age.
A little after Daniel Shays rebellion (1788) Brother Benjamin had commenced business by the assistance of our father and Mr. John Lucas. Mr. John Lucas had assisted a former assistant to a store but partly through incapability or negligence and perhaps more from the dreadful distress of the times, it was not successful so that Mr. Lucas finally attached all the property and finally came into possession of it - the stock consisted mostly of remnants, and of spirits and other West India goods, etc.
What sum my father furnished him I never knew but I believe a hundred pounds.
To those interested in the manners and customs, the life, the thoughts and the activities of a prominent Brookline family in the first quarter of the last century, the diary of Benjamin Goddard is a treasure house of information. He does not limit his observations to local events, but he reads the papers, he is identified with the business interests of Boston, he comments on politics, religion and the domestic arts. It is to be hoped that this diary may some time be edited and printed in full, but for the present a few extracts will show the range of his observations and the care with which he records them.
1812, January 14 & 15.
Assisted in killing a hog - a noble fellow - wg 402 lbs.
Cut up the said hog - separated the parts - for salting, for sausages, for bacon, for lard, for souce, for steaks, for roasting, etc., and for lard, besides the rind for sore feet and refining coffee.
1812, January 16.
Evg. Mr. Heath called and made short visit on his way for his daughters at Singing School.
1812, January 17.
At home the forenoon salting pork. In the house sausage making going on systematically - Aunt [White?], her Journey woman, and three apprentices all engaged with the axe, the large knife, chopping knives and Mortar & Pestle. - Many hands make light work and it was soon done in the neatest manner, etc.
1812, February 14.
Dined at Capt. Hollands in company with (names given) a sumptuous dinner was provided. The plum pudding was of the first cast. Excellent boiled turkey and oyster sauce; Roast Turkey: Loin Veal, Ham, etc. after the Meats pastry of various kinds and excellent; then dessert of fruits foreign and domestic and good wine - All partook apparently with good appetites and did credit to the dinner. Rose from the table about 4 o'clock.
1812, Sabbath, February 23.
Evg. were visited by Mr. Heath, Sam'l Goddard and Jos. Goddard. The evening being stormy the two latter passed the night, - talked much of the times, of the difficulties young men have to encounter, but it was agreed that generally young men will get along happily if they will be industrious, economical and reasonable in their wishes for property and will set out determined their income shall always be greater than their expenditures, and in order to keep this within their power not to be married until they have acquired a handsome property and are permanently established in some business which it is their determination to pursue - Yet with all the most prudent calculations reverses of fortune, losses and vexations will occur from unforeseen causes, such as exist at the present time owing to the wickedness of the people in placing over them Rulers that prefer darkness to light because their deeds have been evil, this being a general calamity under which all must suffer it is to be believed that after severe chastisement the People will be led to a right understanding of the cause and attend to the choice of men who are honest and capable. And, as under our Present constitution changes in our Rulers may often be effected, it may be expected that such men may be elected who will remove the present impediments which are fraught with so much evil not only to the Interest but the Morals of the young men, and that our country may be restored to its former happy state, - this however cannot be expected without a steady adherence to honest principles, - if we will be happy we may be happy, and a steady course of conduct, guided by wisdom and a strict adherence to honest intentions will surely be attended with pleasures and be a guide to increasing happiness.
1812, March 25.
Agreed with Grovesnor Daniels to labor eight months at 113. per month, he to attend meeting on the Sabbath and to find his own spirit, holding the right to discharge him at any time.
1812, September 16.
This day --- Johnson commenced his services whom I have agreed to hire till the first day of April next at 112 per month and on condition that if this price is too low in my opinion I am to give him half a dollar a month in addition thereto.
1813, May 18.
Agreed with Job - to labor by the day at 50c per day.
1812, October 8.
Discharged Betsy Wilkins after ten months service and paid her in full.
1812, October 23.
Mrs. G. having no kitchen woman for these ten or twelve days past has with the help of the young ladies done all the domestic labor.
1812, October 27.
Myself to Boston to see the apples safe on the coasters. Engaged help for our weary way worn travellers in doors to come tomorrow.
1814, October 24.
Myself with Mrs.G. to Lincoln, Sudbury etc. a girl hunting & did not succeed. Dined at a Mr. Stones Tavern just over Sudbury causway.
1814, October 27.
Myself with Mrs. G. to Dorchester, seeking help, without success - the remainder of the day attended to many small cares.
1814, October 28.
Myself making soap and many other important jobs. In the evening no company.
1814, October 29.
Hannah Bent commenced her services this day.
1812, January 11.
Read in the History of First Church. This book is entertaining and discovers many events of past times which may afford instruction to the present and future generations. The Intolerance of the People on Religious subjects was the means of great troubles in those times. Some were banished the Commonwealth for expressing sentiments different from others when it required more than human wisdom to discriminate the difference. It seems too, that the principle men and their teachers came from Old to New England to get rid of persecution and that they might enjoy Religious liberty, but like the sticklers for Liberty and equality in modern days they were the greatest Tyrants.
1812, Monday, November 23.
Females all engaged making pies and puddings in preparation for Thanksgiving.
1812, Tuesday, November 24.
Myself to Boston for Poultry etc. for Thanksgiving.
1812, Wednesday, November 25.
Self at home doing many notions in preparation for Thanksgiving in which business the whole household, help & Furniture are put in requisition from Monday to this day, including every evening - some making puddings, others pies, a third cleaning Poultry, fourth pounding the Mortar, another making punch, filling decanters, etc., others cleaning windows, scouring brasses etc., so that everything relating to the occasion will most assuredly be in the most complete order as will be seen tomorrow.
1812, Thursday, November 26.
Thanksgiving - Family attended meeting with a part of our company. We had for company to dine 16 visitants (see names) own family 4 - total 20.
To supper 18 visitants, own family 4 - total 22.
1812, September 25.
Went to Boston - News of the Day - Lord Wellington making great progress against the French in Spain, having with the combined armies killed and taken 18,000. Prospect good for clearing the country of the robbers.
1813, January 25.
At 12 o'clock in came Mr. Pierce, - brought us pleasant tidings of the rapid retreat of Bonaparte in Russia, - same time called Mr. Heath, - gave us an extra Gazette giving particulars of the successes of the Russians, read them with avidity. This check upon the Usurper is a forerunner of his downfall, etc. The accounts state that he entered Russia with 300,000 men and these accounts leave his number that are not taken, killed or wounded at about 60,000 and they in a most perilous situation, etc.
1813, Thursday, March 25.
Myself and Mrs. G. to Boston attended at the Chapel Oratorio, were much pleased with the performances - Musical with all the other - dined with a large collection at the Exchange Coffee house - this day being devoted to the Celebration of the Russian victories over the tyrant of France. Returned home in good season having enjoyed the day very much.
1814, January 5.
Read newspapers. Great news from Europe. The Tyrant of the Earth.fleeing before his enemies the Allies.
1814, January 19.
In afternoon down to the village, paid sundry little debts. In evening read newspapers which are uncommonly interesting - lengthy details of the successes of the allied Armies against Bonaparte.
1814, June 13.
News arrived this day of the dethronement of Bonaparte.
1814, June 15.
Myself and Mrs. G. to Boston to the celebration of the downfall of Bonaparte the Tyrant and thereby the deliverance of the world from Slavery. Performances at the Stone Chapel by Rev. I. Huntington, Doctor Osgood, Mr. Channing and Doctor Lathrop, - all appropriate and particularly the address of Mr. Channing which was excellent.
1815, February 27.
Mr. Frothingham in evening brought accounts of Bonaparte having returned to Paris and being reinstated Emperor of France.
1815, February 28.
Confirmation of the report that Bonaparte is in possession of the government of France - Trouble is ahead.
1815, May 1.
News by an arrival from Halifax that all the combined Allies in Europe have declared war against Bonaparte the Tyrant.
1813, September 5.
Mr. Pierce called in the forenoon just from Doctor Aspinwalls where he had been to tie together Mr. Lewis Tappan & Miss Susan Aspinwall who immediately set out on a journey according to late fashion to avoid the speech of people.
1814, February 14.
Myself with Mehitable to Boston to Mrs. Sminks to settle an account of long standing, intricate in its nature, concerning a straw bonnet, left there to be cleaned and colored. For want of mercantile education in the early part of life Mrs. Smink's accounts were rather in a confused state, but the business was settled by the parties without a law suit.
Returned home to dine after attending to other business of less importance.
1815, December 11.
Miss Murdock commenced making gowns, - this business to be continued.
1815, December 12.
Miss Murdock continues renting ginghams, calicoes and bumbazettes.
1815, December 13.
Miss Murdock pursues gown making, - seven gowns, two pelisses, two spencers and a waist already are made and altered.
1815, December 15.
Myself with Mrs. G. to Boston to procure a bonnet and other necessaries for family stores.
1818, September 30.
Wednesday. Remarkable pleasant & eminently suited to the interesting scenes assigned for the improvement of it. An assemblage of company from 7 till half past 8 - for the purpose of witnessing the marriage ceremony was the first business of the day. At about half past 8 o'clock the solemnity was performed which by the mutual consent of the parties (Mr. Samuel Goddard & Miss Mehitable M. Dawes) bound each of them to the other with such ties during their lives, that without a breach of the most solemn engagements cannot be broken. The witnesses consisted of Mr. & Mrs. Pierce, Bro. Jno. Goddard & wife from Portsmouth, Mr. Walter Newcomb, Miss Lucretia Dawes, Mr. Jos. Goddard Louisa and Eliza his sisters; Susan, Ann & Hannah Heath, Warren Goddard, J no. H. Goddard, wife & son; Misses Hannah & Marian Hammond, & our own family. At 9 o'clock the company took breakfast and at 10 o'clock the newly married pair departed in a private carriage for New York, from whence they are soon to depart the country for England to commence their career in life in pursuit of happiness, for the acquirement of which they have the best wishes of many friends.
1818, October 19.
Evg. read letters from Mehitable to Lucretia D. Goddard written at New York a number of days prior to sailing; ended the evening before going on board the ship "Amity" Capt. Maxwell for Liverpool. The letters describe (the journey) and the scenes, she passed through at New York, & the most prominent buildings, paintings and pictures she viewed. They sailed on Saturday the 10th.
1818, Sabbath, March 29.
Family to meeting in sleigh all day. (Texts given). The trees, shrubs, and bushes have been elegantly ornamented with a transparent tinsel made of air and water which they have exhibited through the day with a shining lustre which no art of man can equal, and which we seldom see but for a very short time. It seems as if they were decorated in honor of some great occasion, but of this we know but little; The life of man would not be a sufficient time to form the least particle of this dress which was spread over we know not how extensive a region in a few hours - Elegant beyond description.
1821, Thursday, March 1.
Cloudy, rained gently at intervals, with north wind. Froze a little upon the trees in the morning. Kept house the most of the day it being wet and uncomfortable abroad. Read a good portion of the time the newspaper and Silliman's Travels in Europe. Part of the time upstairs by the side of a quilting frame which was an encouragement to the industry of the ladies. It might have been better applied perhaps to others if it is necessary as a stimulus only. The bed quilt was put in frame about 10 o'clock A. M. and taken out sometime before night.
Nothing remarkable has transpired during the month; good health generally prevails and a good share of happiness is allotted to ourselves and neighbors.
1812, April 30.
Two men at home in the forenoon jobbing. In the afternoon they went a-training. Self with Abbott to Boston for grain Ploughed Bro. Nathaniel's garden. -loaded the wagon with com from board of vessel. This day was the first meeting of the Washington Benevolent Society. An oration was delivered them at the Old South Meeting House by Wm. Sullivan Esq.
1813, April 30.
This is the anniversary of the formation of the Washington Benevolent Society. A very great procession was formed. An oration delivered by Mr. Quincy at the Old South.
To Boston - after doing many errands & seeing the Procession of the Washington Benevolent Society returned home to dine.
1821, January 31.
Boston market has been filled with an abundance of the best at low prices. Pork at 4 to 5 1/2c. per lb. Poultry has ranged from 5 to 9 cents.
1821, March 3.
Viewed with Dr. Wild the farm of Mrs. Croft to assist in the selection of a building spot.
1821, April 17.
Females ironing and quilting, all industriously engaged.
1821, July 2.
The new avenue to Boston was opened this day and it is said many have passed over it. [Note
. This refers to Milldam road, now Beacon street, with the "Punch Bowl Road," now Brookline avenue, connecting.]
He was a lover of nature and all her works, and each seed time and harvest he confides to his journal his comments and observations similar to the following:-
The birds of the air begin to be musical.
First tune from the bobolincoms.
The frogs begin to peep.
The grass tinges the southern aspects with green.
The buds of the trees begin to swell.
Had first mess of dandelions.
Sent first asparagus to market.
The air is now perfumed with the blossoms - the bloom affords a good prospect for plenty.
Everything in nature promises a luxuriance of the good things of this life.
Gathered supply of shagbarks.
House tribe much engaged in boiling cider and preparing apples for apple-sauce.
1817, October 24.
The autumn thus far has been remarkable favorable for the ingathering of the harvest. The ground very dry and springs low - most people are forward in their work - we finished digging potatoes 16 inst, and have now gathered nearly all the apples, - have barrelled 100 bbls, some more gathered but for want of bbls are in heaps, have already made 34 bbls cider - mostly for vinegar. - Gathered the garden vegetables excepting Turnips, Cabbages - Parsnips and Cellery, - all these will yet improve. Have concluded to let the com stand a while longer, the stalk not being sufficiently dry, - the quality of the com is extraordinary fine and the quantity more abundant than usual. On the whole the harvest is great and good in quality.
1817, November 8.
Took in Cabbages, Cauliflowers Cale & Celery: these finish the harvesting for this season excepting three cheeses of cider to make, - the com all husked and housed - the Potatoes in the cellar and sold, Apples in barrels and at least half sold and delivered - so we are nearly ready for winter - Soap and apple sauce made for the season - good luck attended both excepting the first kettle which was drove with so much zeal as to get a little burned at the bottom, but like other misfortunes it produced good, for the next was managed with caution and care and it proved good.
1815, Tuesday, December 12.
Very good weather for business - Myself taking care of home an employment very pleasant at this season as it requires but little manual labor and is fraught with many delights. The Barn, the Granary and the Cellar being stored with the productions of the Farm by the labor of Man and beast, the most delightful part of the whole is dealing out daily portions as their necessities require, - at the same time seeing them fatten upon the proceeds of their own industry.
1818, January 1.
The year begins with remarkable weather. May it prove a good omen for the year ensuing. Family all were risen before the sun excepting my mother.
We frequently form good resolutions, but how long do they last? A vigilant watchfulness for ourselves and each other is always necessary; in this respect let us do our duty.
1821, May 18.
Business presses, it is hard to keep up with time - it requires early rising and diligence with speed.
1817, December 31.
Attended Lecture - Mr. Porter Preached - "My times are in thy hand." 31st Psalm-15 verse.
Thus ends this year which has been from the beginning filled with Blessings to mankind - the products of the earth have been remarkably good and abundant throughout the world as far as our knowledge extends or we have had information. Peace has been continued, a free intercourse with all nations is enjoyed. - No uncommon contagious sickness has been prevalent in our neighborhood or Country.
To what degree of gratitude ought these blessings to excite us?
What have we done in return? This last question will naturally lead to a review of the year that has passed, - Let us not shrink from the task for fear of a discovery of our deficiencies, but let us do it with a sincere and honest desire to detect error, and with a firm determination to begin tomorrow to make amends and to improve the ensuing year more acceptably to the giver of all blessings. Amen!