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 my food.

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."

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