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Edward Gilman

Journal of Sanford Porter, Pg. 54-55, Vershire, Orange Co, Vermont, approx. 1809

And thare was one of our neighbors came and wanted to hire some men to help him git up his hay. He had got a good deal cut and shocked up and started to have it put in the barn, for it looked as if thare was coming a storm. His hay was red clover and timothy course hay and would not shed water verry well. If thare came a heavy rain, the shocks would wet clear down to the bottom and spoil the hay. He said he had got one man engaged to come tomorrow with his team to help hall hay and he wanted to git some man to come and pitch hay, for he wanted two teams a going for he thought thare was a coming a storm and if thare should come a heavy storm on his hay, it would be nearly spoiled. He said if I would come and help him git up his hay, he would give ma hav a day and pay me the silver money. I told him I had ben to work pretty hard all summer and I had come home to take a rest awhile but you seem to need help and I will come tomorrow and help you.

“Well that’s right, come on before breakfast , the other man has agreed to come early, he will bring another man to lead and mow away and Nicholas will help you.”

The man that wanted work I was well aquainted with. I knew them to be verry nice family of people and well off, had a plenty of evry thing they needed, lived on the best that wanted be got in that country. His name was Edward Gilman. They ware verry generous and liberal family, morally good, they did not practice any religion of any sort, not stuffed up with superstition, no bigotry, willing to live and help others to live. It seemed to me by his account of the circumstances, that he had ben baptised with water like the old anntiluvions ware in Noahs flood. He told me that he once died.

     Fell into the river and was drowd and was ded for about two minutes and the doctors worked at him and brought him to life, he saw it was merely nothing to die by being drowned but oh the being brought to life was warse than to thousand deaths by being drowned. No one could tell unless they had proved it by experience then they could not, for no tongue could express he pains, the agonies of coming to life. It could not be describe by any human tongue. No not atall. He said he had wished many a time that the doctors had let him alone, for now he would have to die again and perhaps not half as easy a death as he had then.


I went to his house the next morning early and had the team and wagon prepared for haling hay and thare stood for a long time, wating and looking for this man to come with his team, but he dident come and Mister Gilman got to fretting about his not coming. We waited thare I believe until about ten oclock and Mr Gilman got entirely out of patience. The clouds looked black and heavy. He said his hay would git spoiled. Said I, “Mr Gilman, don’t fret yourself, your hay will all be in the barn before dark. If Nicholas will load it and hal it away.”

He said, “That would be an impossibility unless that man comes with his team.”

“Well,” said I, “Nicholas go with your team, we will see how it will come out.”

And we drove out into the medow. I told Nicholas that we must put on as mutch as the oxen could hall. “Make your load as big as yor oxen can hall into the barn.”

Mr Gilman looking on, he see how I was at work, he went to the house and mind a fersome liguor and when we drove into the barn, hand us some to drink. We cept at it. Evry time we came in, he would have something fixed that was good for us  to eat and drink. I had told him we should not stop to set down to any table to eat. He told his wife to keep flowing boles and the best you can make for them to eat fer Sanford is as wet as if he had came out of the river. The women would make the best that could be made to eat and drink and a plenty of it. Mr Gilman was thare and saw evry load we come in with. We put on as mutch as the oxen could possibly hall into the barn. We did not stop, only to eat a little and drink evry time we came into the barn. When we came in with the last load it looked a little darkish in the barn. I told Nicholas to git on the mow. He said he could not for he was all most tired to death. Mr Gilman plead for me to let it be on the wagon till morning or it must be off before dark. “I told you it should all be safe in the barn before dark and it wont be intirely safe unless it is on the mow. I must throw it off. If Nicholas wont move it way, it must stay whire I throw it.” And at it I went and threw off the load and it was not dark.

Mr Gilman said he had imployed a good many men to pitch hay, some big stout mean that boasted that they ware bulleys for pitching hay but he had never had one that had pitched mutch more than half as mutch as I had. That afternoon I had pitched on and off nine loads. He said he would warrant that thare was full a ton to evry load. He said he was shure thare was, by the way the oxen had to pull when they went in to the barn. He agreed to give me a dollar a day for my work but he gave me two dollars for that day. He said he would give me more if I would take it. I told him I only wanted one. He said I should take too dollars for that day anyhow. I told him I had not worked mearly for the wages but to recive the __________.

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