David Astra

I hired Bina Fairbanks to cut down and trim out all the standing trees and I would pile the brush and pick up the chips and other small truck and throw on to the brush heap. We worked at it until we had got it nearly done and I had piled and burnt the brush, all except a fiew heaps that was with in a fiew rods from my log barn and thare seemed to be not mutch wind and we set fire to them heaps and they called to diner and while we was eating, some one looked out at the barn and said the straw was all a fire and the flames was a going over the barn.

Bina and I run as fast as possible. We run into the barn and got the ____ mill out and the forks and rakes, flails and the fire and smoke all most smothered us. This accident happened on Saturday, about 1 oclock in the afternoon. Then I had no barn but we got out alive.

Now what to do I did not know what I had to do. Thare is my wheat all most ready to harvest. Some spots a turning yellow now and in a week or ten days it will be fit for harvesting. I had no barn to put it in and as for stacking wheat out dore, that was out of the question. It would not do to stack wheat in that country. Then some of the out side of the stack would be apt to sprout and that would spoil the sale of the hole. I stewed about it that afternoon and knight and concluded I would have a barn if I could git men enough to work for me. I got up in the morning, eat my breakfast, I told my wife what I was intending to do and she had better git bread baked for six or seven men to eat, if I got them. They would be thare tomorrow morning to breakfast. I had got it in my mind that I could git Mr. Sharp to hew and lay of the frame and boss the work. I new him to be a smart go a head man and I thought I could git Nathan and Bill Porter and Rodney Lewis and David Astra and Bina Fairbanks to chop and skore and I got onto my horse and away I went full speed to see the men that I had picked out in my mind.

Journal of Sanford Porter, Pg. 102, residing in Augusta, Oneida Co, New York, approx. 1814