Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: July 1815 Part 2


silohuette of Ada Mae

Saturday, July 15, 1815

Dear Janetta,

Lady Persephone Norris has informed her brother, Captain Houghton, that she intends to sail for England by August 1.  She did not feel it necessary to return to Thistledown Farm, but wishes to give me time to make my decision without any undue influence on her part.  I appreciate her delicacy of feeling, however it worries me that my children won’t have met her before sailing away in her company.

All this was conveyed to us when Capt.  Houghton came to visit Evvy on Friday last.  It was obvious the true intention of his visit was to woo my sweet sister.  Unfortunately for him, Hector had come earlier and had taken Evvy and Henry to the Randalls in his carthorse and cartregency_dance_bw. 

Evvy will need to make her preference known shortly or the two men in question may come to blows.  Everett stayed for tea with mother only as long as polite society requires and left us quite out of sorts.

We had another visitor today.  Mr. O’Meara, Arthur’s father-in-law, drove into our yard in his ramshackle wagon, almost overturning my laundry tub and crashing into our garden fence.  Of course, he was not in a clear state of mind.  He was drunk and slurring his speech.  He practically fell out of his wagon and immediately had to be helped up by Father and William. 

“Where’s my grandson?” he demanded.

“Where has my good for nothin’ son-in-law taken him? Why ain’t I seen the lad in weeks?”

In consideration of the poor treatment his daughter Kathleen received at the hands of her father and brothers, I was not shocked to hear that Arthur was limiting the familiarity of his infant son with his O’Meara relatives.  Had I not been acquainted with other more amiable people of their fair land, I might have formed a very jaundiced opinion of their kind.  Today, Mr. O’Meara was not the best representation of their considerable charms.  He wore his shabbiest breeches and his homespun shirt was in filthy tatters.  I felt some compassion for his situation, but knew his only sorrow at the passing of his daughter was for the many services she had rendered. 

Needless to say, we were not able to answer O’Meara’s questions other than to remind him that Adam was in his father’s care and would come to no harm. This reassurance did not placate him at all. 

“I know me rights,” he slurred, “ and I want to see me grandson, afore I quit this place.”

“Now O’Meara, when and where are you planning to go?” asked William. “Surely you won’t abandon your home and property.”

“Weesht,and I’ll do what I like, I will.  Me son Darnell will give me a home.  There’s nothin’ here for me now, no wife nor daughter to give me comfort. Little Adam should be with his kin, not a gormless, limbless pa.”

“Now O’Meara, you are in your cups and making no sense at all,”said my Father.  “Go home and sleep this off.  We will tell Arthur you wish to speak to him, but I warn you, he shan’t see you if you are three sheets to the wind.” 

William and Father put O’Meara back in his wagon, William took the reins and put them in his hand.  O’Meara looked down from the wagon blearily, and said , “Hold yer horses, Price.  I ain’t done all I came to do.”

O’ Meara scratched his head and then added, “Liam and Seamus have quit this side, but ye best beware of Jake Bourke.”

I just froze! With that warning he drove his horses out of sight. 

Adeline

Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal – January 1815

Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal

A Fictional Account ©2012 Mollie Pearce McKibbon  silohuette of Adeline

The Story thus far:

Adeline Price, daughter of James and Martha Price, and her siblings, William, Eveline and Henry, settled on land bequeathed to them by a relative who fought on the side of the British during the American Revolution.  Their land lay north of Johnstown and Prescott in what is now Edwardsburg township.  Adeline’s older brother, and her father became involved in the militia during the outbreak of the War of 1812.  Adeline was captured by an American spy, named Bourke, and taken to Ogdensburg, where she managed to escape after wounding him.  A neighbour Robert Randall and Sgt. Charles Houghton, a British soldier brought her to safety.  Adeline married Sgt. Houghton, who was mysteriously murdered after the Battle of Crysler’s Farm.  After being burned out of her home, Adeline and her twin sons are living with her parents at their farm, Thistledown, but her English father-in-law wants to raise her sons in England and has told his other son, Lt. Houghton, to persuade her.

Thistledown Farm

Sunday, January 15, 1815

Dear Janetta,

We have all been ill with sniffles and the babies have been quite miserable, poor wee ones but thankfully, they seem to be getting better.  Mother thinks we all need a good tonic and she is hoping that the Fort physician will be able to give Father something we can add to our porridge or take with our tea. I prefer to ask Robert’s mother as her herbal remedies are more effective in my opinion. 

Father and Henry are cleaning out the old log cabin that our family lived in before this stone house was built.  I plan to move into it with my boys in the spring.  Father wants to patch up the gaps in the chinking before we live there. My babies are getting bigger and will soon be crawling around, so we need more space.  As well, although no one has made a complaint, I know the babes must wake everyone up with their crying at night.  It will be pleasant to set our own schedule and be cosy in a home of our own. 

The old cabin has been used to store implements and seed, so Father plans to build a lean-to on the barn for those things.  I will be glad to be able to clean the mouse droppings and cobwebs out of there.  It has a very smooth wooden floor and a flat stone hearth.  Of course, I shall need a bed and the boys will need beds too.  Henry has plans to make some beds with sides on them to prevent them from falling out.  Henry dotes on his little nephews and is eager to make them some wooden blocks when they are old enough to play with them.  Robert made them each a most ingenious rattle which he filled with tiny pebbles but I have to watch that they don’t accidentally hit each other with them.  Both babes are sitting now and they gurgle and giggle together happily most of the day when they aren’t napping. 

         Contented Mother,

         Adeline

Saturday, January 28,1815

Dear Janetta,

I hardly find a moment to write in my journal these days.  My two lads are growing quickly and now Andrew is trying to take a step holding onto the furniture. Charlie, on the other hand, seems to be content to creep on his knees.  He rocks back and forth, appears almost to fall forward on his nose and then crawls forward.  Watching my sons and keeping them out of imminent danger of being tread upon takes up a great deal of my time, but it is very amusing indeed. 

The rest of my hours are spent mending or making little outfits for the boys to wear, knitting mittens and hats, and working on my father’s and William’s bookkeeping.  They are both paying me a stipend for the task and so I want to do my very best to keep them up to date.

Robert has also asked me to help him with his father’s accounts also, now that he and his father are doing the hauling business together as the war is all but officially over.  We are simply awaiting the ratification by the American government of the treaty signed in Europe. They seem to be dragging their heels.

Sadly, we have heard nothing from Arthur Randall who is still engaged in combat with the Americans.  His son, Adam, is back home with his grandparents now that he is weaned to a cup.

It was necessary to wean him early as his wet nurse is expecting another child and has her hands full with three small children of her late sister’s family.   

Our family had one unfortunate and annoying visit from Charles’ brother, Lt. Houghton.  He stopped by with Robert, Thursday last, just as I was putting the boys down for their afternoon nap.  Robert looked very uncomfortable.  It seems that when Lt. Houghton learned that he delivered our mail and parcels, he “suggested” that he should accompany him “in order to learn more about the area”. 

Naturally, Mother welcomed him politely and offered him some warming beverage and a slice of her wonderful bread hot from the hearth.  He accepted the offer and sat down to talk with Father and Robert.  Father was only hospitable.

We all know the real motive for the visit was to see in what circumstances his nephews are living.  I expect he shall report his impressions of our modest home back to his father.  I ignored him by keeping busy with the children upstairs.  Mother made my excuses and eventually he and Robert left to continue Robert’s postal rounds.  I do wish he would just go back to Mother England and forget we exist!

Adeline   
Brit Army officers

Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: December 1813 Continued

Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: A Fictional Account of a Young Woman’s Experience During the War of 1812silohuette of Adeline

Thistledown Farm

December 5, 1813

Dear Janetta,

These last days have been very hard.  I am so jittery and yet heavy at heart.  It is difficult for me to make up my mind about anything and now my health seems to be suffering as well.  I would be just as pleased to lay abed as get up and when I am up I feel so ill I could crawl back under the covers.  A weariness comes over me at the oddest times and mother has noted it.  I do not wish to be a worry to her or Father and yet here I sit, unable to finish the simplest task without tearing up.  Perhaps things will be better in the spring, when the ground has thawed enough for us to bury my husband properly.  

Mother and Evvy have been urging me to go to see the doctor in Johnstown, or at least consult dear Mrs. Randall.  They are convinced that I need a tonic of some sort.  Perhaps it would be prudent. In that case, I would much prefer Mrs. Randall’s advice.  She is our nurse/midwife, after all and knows many remedies that doctors do not, things she learned in her old Scottish home and things that she has learned from the elder women of White Wolf’s lodge.I shall ask William to take me over to see Mrs. Randall and that will put Mother’s mind to rest.

Hopefully, Adeline

 

 

Thistledown Farm,

Friday, December 10, 1813

Dear Janetta,

Wonderful news!  I am an aunt now.  Elizabeth was delivered of a lovely little girl baby.  William has decided to name her Victoria Elizabeth” after our dear departed sister.  Victoria and Elizabeth are staying here a week or so until Elizabeth gains her strength back.  Her labour lasted more than a day and she is exhausted, but “Vicky” as we call her, is a strong little baby who makes her demands known in no uncertain terms.  Mother is laughing again, as she used to and I find her cuddling our new resident very often though Elizabeth protests that Vicky will be spoiled beyond all hope of redemption.  

Mrs. Randall attended Vicky’s birth, but was so busy with Elizabeth, she had only time to ask me a few questions, look me over quickly and sigh.  She said that she would take time to talk to me in a day or so when things were a bit more settled around here.  Her serious demeanor somewhat alarmed me, but I don’t have time to think about much more than helping Elizabeth with the baby and preparing meals with Mother.

Hurriedly, Adeline

 

Thistledown Farm

Sunday, December 12, 1813

Dear Janetta,

If my writing is barely legible it will be no wonder.  I am still shaking from my visit with Mrs. Randall.  Robert brought her back today to look in on our newest family member and her mother.  She is very pleased with Elizabeth and Vicky.  William is beaming ear to ear, although none of us got much sleep last night with the baby waking every three hours for her feeding.  Once she was satisfied with the progress of her charges, Mrs. Randall sat me down with my parents for a serious discussion.

To say I was concerned would be stating it verymildly.  First of all, Mrs. Randall asked me how I was feeling generally, aside from my obvious grief.  I told her that I was extremely tired and that sometimes, although I have a good appetite, I can’t always keep my food down, but that seemed to be happening less and less.  I asked her if there was a tonic I could take and she patted my hand.  Then she asked me in a very low voice, if I had missed my monthly and I looked at her in shock.  

“Oh, it can’t be that, can it?” I’m sure I turned paper white.

Mrs. Randall smiled and patted my hand  again.  “Yes, my dear, it can be.  I believe you are expecting a little one, probably this spring.”

You can imagine my astonishment.  Mother and Father came immediately to my side.  Robert left the room.  

“Oh Adeline, we will have another little one. How wonderful!” My mother’s eyes were filled with tears as she embraced me.  My father looked very serious.  He assured me that they would be helping as much as they could.  I could only think of my dear Charles and that his child would never know him.  I felt numbed and I must say, I still do.

Sadly,

Adeline

 

 

 

 

 

Adeline’s 1812 Journal for November 1813

The following excerpt is from the diary of Eveline Price (Adeline’s sister).

Thistledown Farm

Wednesday, November 17silohuette of Ada Mae

Dear Diary,

This has been a very somber day for our family.  We had the unhappy duty of burying my brother-in-law, Charles, who was murdered by persons as yet unknown, while tending to his animals on Monday last.  Addie is beside herself with grief and none of us can understand how someone so well-liked could come through a major battle unscathed only to be cut down yards away from his cabin door.  William, Robert Randall and White Wolf are scouring the forest for whatever coward saw fit to shoot my dear brother-in-law in the back.

Addie was writing in her journal when it occurred and the shot startled her.  She immediately ran out to the lean-to in time to see Charles attempting to crawl to the cabin.  She told us that he managed to say,” Sorry, Addie” and then died in her arms.  At first, she didn’t completely take in what had happened.  Then, she , in a daze, saddled her horse, Goldie, and rode all the way to the O’Meara’s where she found Arthur.  Arthur said she was hysterical, but he and his wife, made her tea and heard the story. Then he went to get Robert and Mr. Randall, who drove the wagon to Blueberry Creek for the body.

I was setting the table for supper when Father, as pale as the snow, came rushing in to tell us that Mr. Randall had arrived with Charles’ body.  He said that Robert and Arthur were not far behind with Adeline.  Mother immediately sent Henry to fetch William.

Adeline is inconsolable, but Mother says that it is best that she cry now.  I know that she is trying not to upset us, but she cried herself to sleep beside me last night and when I woke up her cheeks were wet.  My heart aches for her.  She didn’t want anything to eat, but I pressed her to at least have some toast and tea.  She ate it and then immediately fled to the outhouse. I suppose that is to be expected under the circumstances.

Sadly,

Evvy.

Thistledown Farm

November 24, 1813

Dearest Janetta,

I have been Mrs. Charles Houghton for such a short time and now….now I am a widow.  I can hardly write this, but mother thinks it might help me.  I must apologize for all the smudges.  The tears come on me unbidden.  I am trying to keep busy, but I break down so often, I’m of little use.  The funeral was very brief – it is winter.  In the spring we will bury Charles in the orchard beside Uncle Andrew and  dear little Virginia.  Mr. Randall built a good coffin and we lined it with my wedding dress , I could never wear it again.  Father is preparing a fine field stone memorial with  his initials and the date.  I have tried to write his parents, but how do I write such awful news to people I’ve never met, people who have never even acknowledged our marriage? 

Everyone has been very kind, although I did have to answer a lot of questions from the  Lt. Colonel because Charles was murdered.  I am so fortunate that my family is known and respected, because I have no witnesses and Charles….was shot in the back.  Such a cowardly act!  I keep thinking, that if only I had gone to look after the animals as usual, Charles might still be alive.

Last night, after Evvy fell asleep, Mother came upstairs and sat beside me on the bed.  She held me in her arms and whispered that she had hoped that I would never have to suffer such a terrible loss so young.  Then we both cried.  

From now on I shall take my tears outside.  I don’t wish to add my grief to what Mother bears already.  Somehow, I must gather myself together and carry on.  I have a farm to manage and animals for which to care.  Father wants me to stay here for the winter…I’m not sure.  Robert and Arthur have vowed to find the villain, but all I can remember of that terrible day is the sound of the musket and Pirate barking.   

Your heartbroken friend,

Adeline

Adeline’s 1812 Journal: Part 4

Adeline’s 1812 Journal: October 1813 -Married Life

This is a fictional journal written as it might have been  by a young woman in 1812-1814.  Adeline Price is the daughter of a farmer/volunteer soldier James Price and his wife, Clara Parsons.  Adeline is the second oldest of four children (fifth child Victoria deceased).  Her oldest brother, William is married to Elizabeth.  Her sister, Evaline is 14 and her brother Henry is 10.  Adeline has married Sgt. Charles Houghton, one of the soldiers stationed at Fort Wellington, at the age of 17 and they have settled on a piece of land north of Johnstown (Augusta Township) given to them by her father.  Charles is the youngest son of a gentleman farmer (member of English parliament) from Buckinghamshire, England.

Adeline addresses her journal to Janetta, a dear childhood friend back in England.

Blueberry Creek Farm                                                                                                                                                     Sunday, October 10, 1813

Dear Janetta,

Charles just returned to Fort Wellington.  It is a beautiful autumn day and the maples are all scarlet among the golden birches.  As you can see, we have called our farm,”Blueberry Creek Farm” and next year I am sure to have harvested many.  Mother and I did pick some this year which I have dried and use for puddings.  I am becoming very domestic now, Janetta, and you would laugh to see me up to my armpits in hot water when I do the laundry.  Charles says that I am the very picture of a perfect pioneer wife and her teases me that he will call me “Mrs. Scrubs” from now on.  I do like to keep the cabin clean , Janetta, which is difficult when the floor is partly stone and partly wood.  

Sometimes, like today, Charles and I eat out of doors on a table he made.  It is pleasant to be out of the smokey cabin in the bright sunlight.  We have two good-sized windows in the cabin, but they are covered with an oiled cloth, which doesn’t allow a lot of light in, so I have had to use the tallow candles unless I can leave the door open.  Unfortunately, field mice will scurry inside looking for a warm winter abode, if I do.  Charles has promised to replace the windows with real glass as soon as we can afford it.  It will be dim inside with the shutters closed to keep out the weather, but I have made lots of candles.  

I don’t have much time to pine after Charles, there is so much for me to do before winter, but I do enjoy it when he manages to get home.  We have such good conversations about the books he has read and wants to share with me.  Often we go walking, Pirate, our puppy, bounding ahead, around the property, planning what we will do when the war is over.

Charles hope to raise horses like his grandfather does on his farms back in England.  He brought me a beautiful bay mare, that he bought from John Thompson’s brother and so now I can ride up to visit my parents or Mr. and Mrs. Randall.  I have named the mare, “Goldie” and have already ridden her around the property several times.  She’s a good, gentle horse of sturdy breeding, about six years old.  John says his mother used to ride her, but now she sadly suffers from gout and can no longer ride.

I must check on the animals and bank the fire, before I turn into bed for the night.  I love to lie there, Pirate at my feet, and listen to the owls until I fall asleep.  

Your loving friend, Adeline

Blueberry Creek Farm                                                                                                                                                   Sunday, October 17,  1813

Dear Janetta,

Yesterday, Charles and I had our first true disagreement.  He wants me to go back to Thistledown Farm until winter is over, but I much prefer to stay here and take care of our animals and the farm.  In this manner I will closer to Fort Wellington and I will see more of Charles.  Charles persisted until he could tell that I am as stubborn as he.  He stamped out of the cabin and attacked the wood pile.  I tried to make it up to him with a fresh apple pie for supper.  At least I can make good pastry.

I do dislike disagreeing with my husband and I know that wives are supposed to obey, but going back to live with my family seems like taking a step backwards.  This is our home and being a married couple back at Thistledown is awkward.  We can’t have our silly tiffs and foolishness when others are about and I can’t indulge in my moments of anxious worry without distressing my parents.  I do get lonely here without Charles, but I have Pirate and the animals.  I am not so isolated now that I have Goldie to ride.

Charles rode back to the fort after breakfast this morning.  He said not to expect him back for a week or so.  The Americans have been making more trouble on the river.  Charles, William and White Wolf are going to be patrolling the riverbank.  I feel an ice-cold shiver each time he leaves, looking so noble in his red-coated uniform.  How I wish I could ride along with him.

After a long hug and kiss, he left, but I didn’t watch him out of sight.  Mrs. Randall always says that is bad luck, so I immediately go to work clearing up our breakfast dishes, and feeding our animals.  Work gets my mind off the war.  However, this time, as I lifted the hay with the pitchfork, I had the strangest feeling that I was being watched.  I turned around expecting to see Charles coming back for something he’d forgotten, but I could see no one.  Pirate was growling his little puppy growl though no one appeared.  The feeling persisted however.  I am getting more skittish as time goes on, it seems.  At one point I thought I heard a horse whinny in the distance, but it must have been someone passing down the road to Johnstown.

Nervously, Adeline

musket-american-gun-hi