Adeline’s War of 1812 Journal: March to April 1814
©2012 Mollie Pearce McKibbon
(a fictional account of the War of 1812 as recorded in Adeline Price’s Journal that she addresses as Janetta in memory of her friend in England)
Sunday, March 13, 1814
The icicles on the eaves are beginning to melt and I am looking forward to the day I can return to Blueberry Creek. William has promised to take me back as soon as he has finished felling the trees he needs to replenish their woodpile, but perhaps I will ask Robert. I know that I will not be settling there until after my little one is born, but I worry about our cabin and wonder if there need to be any repairs. Squirrels may have made nests in the chimney, although Arthur stops by with his wife now and then to warm the place up with a fire. Father suggested that I should rent the cabin to Arthur and stay here for the first year after my baby is born. I know it would be a practical decision, but I can’t bear to think of anyone else living in our home longer than Charles and I did together.
I have been knitting baby things with the lovely wool from my sister-in-law’s family farm. Mother has been working with her spindle and loom since January and Evvy and I have produced warm socks for Father and Henry, mittens and even vests. I have also made a pile of tiny booties, vests and even a wee coat for the baby. Mrs. Randall thinks that the baby will be born in early May. I have a sheep skin to put in the cradle for warmth over the small straw tick and a soft woolen blanket Mother made on the loom. I have talked to Elizabeth’s father about buying a ram and a ewe from him when I move back to Blueberry Creek and he has promised me two of this year’s lambs to raise for that purpose. I shall need to learn how to shear them, but it will be good to know that my baby will have warm clothes. I wonder will he or she have my coppery hair or Charles’ straw coloured curls. I spend many moments dreaming of this.
Mother’s latest letter from home mentioned that you were expecting also, Janetta. I wonder will our children ever meet one day.
Saturday, March 19, 1814
Mother’s cat, Aesop, just dropped two mice at my feet. Henry scooped them up by the tails and took them outside for the kittens. Aesop is a great mouser, but not such a thoughtful father. Aesop is our house cat and his mate “Arabelle” lives in the barn with her six kittens. I have my eye on one of the kittens, a pretty marmalade kitty, to take home with me for a house cat. Aesop was one of Mrs. Randall’s cats she sent over a couple of years ago for a pet for Victoria, but he became Mother’s cat when Victoria died. Cats are as necessary here as they are in England. We ‘d get a lot of field mice in our flour and seeds if we didn’t have them.
Pirate doesn’t chase mice, but Henry and Father have been taking him hunting with them and they say that he is learning to flush out the grouse and pheasants even though he is not a bird dog. He sleeps on the floor on my side of the bed every night and growls when the wind or the coyotes howl. He doesn’t leave my side unless Henry whistles for him. Oh how I wish he could speak. I’m sure he saw the coward who killed my husband. I wish I was a man so I could track the villain down.
I am growing larger every day. This little fellow (I am sure its a boy) is very active. Mrs Randall is fairly “flummoxed” as she put it, to see how much the baby had increased. Mother was concerned that I was gaining weight too quickly, and wondered if we should get the doctor at the fort to examine me, but Ann, she insists that I call her by her Christian name now, spluttered that doctors know nothing about birthing, only sawing off limbs and bleeding patients.
Arthur and his wife are going to have a child soon too. Ann has concerns about Kathleen’s health. Kathleen was the youngest of six children, and frankly neglected by her only living parent. Her five brothers got properly spoiled and she grew up to be a live-in servant.
Now, I must crawl into bed. The candle is guttering.
God bless you,
Sunday,April 10, 1814
Father got a letter from Constable Isaiah Breton informing him that as I am under suspicion for the murder of my husband, he is required by Magistrate Sherwood to conduct a proper investigation, beginning with my questioning and a trip back to Blueberry Creek Farm to see the lay of the land so that he may “visualize” the crime. Father got angrier with every word and Mother was crying. A nasty shiver went down my spine and I felt immediately ill. Father is wondering if we should hire a solicitor from Kingston, but we don’t have the funds for that. I know, because I am the one who does Father’s accounts. Oh, what a calamity I have visited on my family and tomorrow we bury my dear Charles.
With great sorrow,