Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: July 1815 (part 3)

Tuesday, July 18. 1815



silohuette of Ada Mae

Dear Janetta,

I went to Charles’ grave in the orchard today and told him that I plan to send our boys to England to protect them.  It will be an arduous journey and I am anxious whether I am risking their lives more by the voyage or if I were to keep them here with me.  When I told Evvy my decision she was horrified and begged me to reconsider, but Mr. O’Meara’s visit has reinforced my decision though it breaks my heart.  I have told my parents and they too, tried to dissuade me, but I am certain Charlie and Andrew must be protected from harm. 

Father has sent word to all our neighbours north of Johnstown to be alert for any sign of a stranger.  The Randalls and the Branch family have promised to come to our defence, but everyone is haying now.  This is the beginning of our busiest time and none can be spared to watch over us. I keep as busy as I can making meals for the men and watching my two little ones.  I am storing up memories and Evvy has not stopped her attempts to change my mind.  I plan to send word to Persephone as soon as possible …

Thursday, July 20, 1815medicine bottles

Adeline is very ill.  She felt ill  early yesterday and took to her bed with a raging fever.  Mrs. Randall was summoned and has been at her side all night.  I have been looking after Charlie and Andrew, but they are constantly calling for their Mamma.  I don’t dare let them see her for fear they might get sick also and they need to be in good health for their trip to England. 

I know my sister is afraid they are 
in grave danger here, but I fear the ocean voyage might be much more of a trial. They need their mother.  Robert drove his mother here and stayed to keep the boys amused while I tend to the meals.  I think he is more concerned about my sister’s health.  It is very plain to see how much regard he has for Addie.  Father and William carried Addie over to the cabin so that the rest of us will remain healthy.  I know that Mother is anxious because she is humming hymns while she works. 

Hector stopped by today, but understood immediately I had no thought in my head but of Addie.  He is the most considerate of men.  He promised to take a message to Everett and his sister if I wished, but although I know Addie wants to tell Persephone that she has decided to give the children up to her, I am praying it shan’t be required. 

Now, I must take some broth over to Mrs. Randall and Adeline.  I do hope there has been some change in her health.

Later: Father has sent William to Fort Wellington for the army doctor.  Adeline is delirious and Mrs. Randall is very worried.

So am I.


Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: November 1814

silohuette of Ada MaeAdeline’s War of 1812 Journal: November 1814

© 2012 Mollie Pearce McKibbon

A fictional journal of the War of 1812 as it might have been experienced by a young woman in Upper Canada near Ft.Wellington.  

Saturday, November 14, 1814

Dear Janetta,

Robert and his mother visited us to bring us our mail and so that Regina could see how my two sons are progressing.  Charlie and Andrew are making attempts to sit up now and are reaching out for anything within their view.  They both smile and coo at us and are good natured most of the time.  Charlie tends to be more adventuresome, but Andrew who is quite a mimic, seems to be watching whatever we say and trying to repeat it.  They both enjoy our walks and are growing so fast they will soon need new beds.  Father was thinking of constructing a trundle bed  with a bit of a railing and has begun to look for some nice maple from which to construct it. 

There was a rather unpleasant surprise in our mail.  Charles’ father had written another letter to me personally.  It acknowledged my exoneration in the death of my husband, but offered no apology.  This is the rest of what he wrote:

“My son, Charles’ brother, Everett, informed me that you have two children whom you claim to be Charles’ progeny.  If they are indeed his, I would naturally wish to see them and feel an obligation to provide them with a proper upbringing here in England.  Please be advised that this is not an opportunity for you to make any claim of inheritance for them, or a pension for yourself.  I would simply give them a home, healthy food and a good education so that they might find employment in the army or in the clergy and acquit themselves as any honourable Houghton sons would.  You may think on this subject until the spring, at which time my daughter Persephone will travel to Canada to fetch them.”

Well, you might guess my reply.  No one will take my sons from me.  No one. 

With passionate determination,


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.



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’s Journal

Adeline’s Journal  : August 15, 1813regency lady

copyright by Mollie Pearce McKibbon

A fictional account of a young woman’s life during the War of 1812.

The story up to this point:

Adeline’s Uncle Andrew was awarded land in Upper  Canada after serving in the His Majesty’s army during the American Revolution.  When her uncle died his much younger brother, James Price, Adeline’s father inherited the land and moved his family from their home in England to Canada.  Adeline has an older brother, William, a younger brother, Henry and a sister, Eveline.  Their youngest sister, Virginia, died when she was three years old.  William recently married Elizabeth whom he was courting just before the war began.  James and William joined the local militia and reported for duty to Fort Wellington in Prescott.  While William and James were away, Henry and Adeline were checking on their brother’s property and Adeline happened on a rendezvous of an American spy and two of their neighbours.  Adeline was kidnapped by these three men and taken across the frozen St. Lawrence to Ogdensburgh.  She was rescued when the English army attacked the town.  After recovering from her adventure, Adeline has received and accepted a proposal from Sgt. Charles Houghton, an English soldier stationed at Ft. Wellington.

Thistledown Farm

Sunday, August 15, 1813


Oh how I wish I could truly talk to you face to face, Janetta.  Mother’s  last letter from  Grandmother Price said that you were married to a magistrate and living in Bath.  How grand!  Now you are addressed as Mrs. Janetta Poole-Hasham and travel about in style visiting friends.  How things have changed for both of us.  I am so happy for you.  I wonder if you will learn about my marriage.  As the day grows closer, I can think of nothing else, although I must admit that the harvesting and sewing have me quite exhausted.  I tried on my wedding outfit yesterday and it is quite handsome.  Mother and Evvy are so clever with their sewing.  All I can manae are some passable darns and servicable knitted stockings. Ah well, we are not to covet the talents of others.

Today has been a strange day, beginning with an early morning visit from Arthur  and his new bride.  Yes, I did say bride.  Arthur eloped with Kathleen O’Meara, much to his parent’s chagrin, though I think their dismay wasn’t so much about Kathleen’s Irish catholic background as it was about her two brother’s treasonous actions with the enemy.  Mind you, they haven’t been heard of since I was rescued from Ogdensburgh.

Arthur and Kathleen are living with old Mr. O’Meara at the moment as he is a widower.  Kathleen is just as shy as ever, ducking her head as Arthur introduced her as Mrs. Arthur Randall.  Then, just as they were leaving, Arthur turned to me and hissed,” Now, see Adeline, you haven’t hurt or broken my heart at all.  Not like you’ve hurt my brother.!”

Honestly, I think Arthur is delusional.  I am furious.  How dare he insinuate that I gave his brother, Robert, any affection other that of an honest friend!  I am convinced that ther is no feeling on Robert’s part, other than brotherly affection so I will give no credence to Arthur’s malevolence.  I am truly relieved to know that Arthur will be occupied with things at the fort.  Kathleen will be living at home until they find a place closer to Prescott.

The afternoon passed pleasantly enough until the supper hour with it was my chance to put a whole meal upon the table.  The pork roast was thoroughly cooked, the vegetables were crisp but, I left the biscuits on the heat too long and they burned on the bottom and didn’t cook on the top.  Oh, I despair of ever producing an edible bread for my husband.  He will be wishing he’d waited to marry a good English girl with a generous dowry or at least a talent for cookery.

Dejectedly, Adeline.                                                                                                                                                        

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