From Ontario County Journal 24 January 1896
An Old Diary
Which Contained Some Entries of 100 Years Ago
Canandaigua, Jan. 20, 1896
Editors of THE JOURNAL:
The following extracts from the diary and account book of Eben
Norton, an early settler in the town of East Bloomfield, may be of
some interest to your readers. Mr. Norton's diary refers to the year
1790. His accounts cover the years 1792-3-4-5.
The latter are of value as indicating prices in the Genesee country
a hundred years ago. The book from which these matters were extracted
was in my possession some years since, but I regret to say has since
been lost or destroyed. E. H. Hamlin.
"May 29, 1790 - In the morning I went to work at planting for the
Adams', then for Mr. Rose, and in the afternoon for the Steels', and we
finished planting in town this day.
Sunday, June 6 - I arrived at home. The big flies increase and are very
troublesome to cattle and horses, and in the evening the gnats are
troublesome to people.
June 9 - The gnats and mosquitoes are almost intolerable.
June 16 - The big flies were intolerable bad, so that it seemed as if
they would kill the cattle.
June 17 - We finished hoeing our corn the first time over.
June 23 - Jesse Benton came on with our cattle, after a
journey of 23 days from Sheffield, (Conn.), having kept company with
the team. The expense of bringing in my cattle was 18s. per yoke.
July 12 - General Fellows sawmill raised.
July 25 - I went to Geneva after flour, 23 miles, and returned back to
Stephen's with half a hundred of flour, and put up there and bought my
supper, for which I gave 1-6 and for my horse keeping. I gave $2.25 for
half a hundred of flour.
July 26 - I rode home from Mr. Stephen's - 22 miles - and went to Capt.
Bacon's, about four miles. Sold Capt. Norton six bushels
of seed wheat for 10s cash per bushel.
October 29 - I pounded corn for bread and mush, which I have for half
November 6 - I went to drive my cattle to the Genesee river, to be kept
through the winter. At night I slept at Berry's.
November 7 - I crossed the river with my oxen and drove them 2
miles to Caleb Forsyth's, and sold my big oxen to Forsyth for
$47.00, and took $24 in cash. Had my little oxen kept for $8.00, and
took the remainder in a note. Then I set out for home and came to Mr.
Gomer's and slept there and got my supper for one shilling.
Sunday, Nov. 21 - In the afternoon, I went with Hickox to No. eleven to
see his farm. This journey was to humor him, which answered the end,
for at night when we returned he gave me a supper of roast racoon,
which was well cooke."
The following items are from the part of the book used for accounts:
"1792 - Apple trees, 1s.; day's work, 4s.; wheat per bushel, 6s.; corn
per bushel, 4s.; oxen to plow one day, 2s.; one yard tow cloth, 4s.;
overalls, per pair, 1s., 9d.; pork, per pound, 1s.; sugar, per pound,
1s.; mason, per day, 7s.
1793 - Check shirt, 16s.; salt, per bush., 14s.; tobacco, per pound,
2s.; potatoes, per bus., 3s.; oats, per bu., 3s.; 1 hoe 7s.; wheat, per
bus., 6s.; pears, per bus., 8s.; beans, per bus., 10s.
1794 - Salt, per bus., 16s.; flour, per 100 lbs, 32s.; potatoes, per
bus., 3s.; wood, per pound, 3s.
1795 - Rye, per bus., 5s.; Herds grass seed, per bus. 24s.; whisky, per
gal., 8s.; butter, per pound, 1s.; tobacco, 6d."
Return to Ontario County Homepage
Copyright © 2008, Ontario County
NYGenWeb and each contributor and author of materials herein. All