The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Elizabeth's Journal - Part 1 of 18

The Cooley Family © 1984

Issue: October, 1984

Read Intro About Elizabeth's Journal

October the 1st, 1843. September is gone, peaceful as the evening shade of summer. Today has been a beautiful day. This morning James [her brother] started to Jesse's and took the little wagon to bring home the bedstead; and Creas Higgins and Fannie stayed here last night. I last week handed in a piece and spun a blanket. Amanda [her sister] has been weaving Rebecca's jeans. John Smith was here today and traded for Mother's butter and perhaps we will get to send our cloth to Salem to get it colored. If so, James is to take it to him when he comes from court. All of us gang that travels togethers of Sundays went to Nathan Davises to get a large crock to put honey in. We took up our bees last week. All is busy these days, but we will soon be through with our work and then my hope is all concentrated on going to school.

October 15th. I have been weaving Julian [Julia Ann, another sister] and Mother and myself some dresses. Amanda and Julian started to Carrolton this morning. I have been at home all day reading Hydrostatics, etc. Frost has come at last, it made its appearance on the 10th. We have taken up our fall flowers.

October 22nd. Another week is passed, another Sunday passing and I am still here longing and constantly desiring something to enlighten my contracted and perplexed mind, for what can I do? My only and best chance is to hoard up learning sufficient to allow me to teach a school, and I lack so much it perplexes me to think of it, to get Grammar and Arithmetic and how to govern a school & c. Last week we put away apples for winter and I wove some and made my cotton dress. All is busy now and doing well at present, and Heaven forbid that there shall-be any brawls and contentions in this innocent family.

October 29th. For the last week we finished our dresses, dipped candles, 30 dozen. We made Ika's [Elizabeth's nephew] blue jeans coat and brown jeans pantaloons. Mama packed. I began my flax stockings. Julian wove some white lindseys. Yesterday James and Nathan put a new crib floor and gathered part of the corn. James then went to the shooting matches at William Moore's and has not returned. Today is meeting but none of us went. Perhaps some of us will go to Aunt Mary's this evening. We live tolerably still and tolerably well along now. Today is a cold day, with some clouds and some sun.

Continued Next Month