Journal of Sanford Porter, Pg. 95-99, residing in Augusta, Oneida Co, New York, approx. 1814
Jesse Maltby came to my house that spring from the State of Vermont. He had lost his wife. She was my wifes sister Sally. She died in child bed. She left too little boys and Jesse felt verry lonesome and lonely in Vermont and came to see me and his wifes sister, Nancy. He left the too little boys with his mother. His mother was well off as to property. She had cept tavern in the center of Vershire for many years. She had too daughters lived with her. They ware called old maids a long time ago. Jesse had one brother, his name was George, he had been aquainted with me and my wife for years before either of us was married and come to see us and see how we got along. He found us thare on a new farm with a plenty of good heavy timber. He found I wanted to git more land cleared to in large my farm.
My improvement lay in too places, one in the east and the west end of my land and thare was a strip of heavy timber between the too fileds that I wanted to clear off so as to have my improvements in one body together. We judged thare was fourteen or fifteen acres of the timber that I wanted cleared off. Jes said he wanted to be to work. He would feel better thare to be work. I told him he might go to chopping on that piece of timber and I would pay him for all he could chop. I wanted it cut fit for loging and the brush well piled. He went to chopping, he worked a day or too then said he wanted to make a bargain with me. He said he would chop and clear off that pile of timber and fence it with a good rail fence if I would let him have the ashes that he could make on the land that he cleared off and priced.
“What did you say Jes?”
He stated it over again.
“If I will let you have the ashes.”
“Yes and board me while I am at ____”
“Are you in earnest Jes?”
“Yes, I am in earnest. I will do the job if you will let me have a team to do the haling and help pile the logs. I will git it ready for sowing and then fence it.”
“Do you think you can afford to do it for ashes?”
“Yes, I think so. I am willing to try it any how.”
Then I told him to go to work at it if he was a mind to, I was _____ to the haling of the ashes to the crib, that was enough and he wanted, I was willing to board him and find oxen to do all the halling he wanted to do or that job.
“Well,” I told him, “I must have it ready to sow to wheat by the first of October.” He said he would have it ready. He was a smart hand with an ax or any other work that farmers wanted done.
The men in that neighborhood heard what a bargain he had made with me. They said he was a fool or crazy. He dident seem to care about what peple said. He went to work on his job and by the first of October it was ready for me to sowe and I sowed about fifteen acres to wheat.
He had saved the ashes and got them in a crib whire he wanted to set up his work not more than forty rods from my house. Then he said he wanted to make another bargain with me. “Well what now?” He said if I would join in with him and be to help the expence of buying a pot ash kittle and the setting up of the bashes and be at half of the expence of making pot ash, he would let me have half that we made. I told him I did not know anything about making pot ash. Well he said he knew about it. He had made barrels of it and he knew what I could do. I told him if I should go in with him, I could be to half of the expence of buying a kittle and could furnish the lumber to make the baches but he would have to do the most of the work of making the ash and fixing of the kittle and makin baches and lye troughs for I knew nothing about it. I can help tend the kittles or furnish a hand to help tend knights and I can help furnish the barrel to put the pot ash in after it is made and I can board you while you are to work at it, but you will have to do nearly all that is done. I shall have to depend on you altogether. That is about all I can do or say about it. You can think of it and do as you please.
He told me he wanted me to join with him. He would do the most of the work. He would need some help some times but he should be thare nearly all the time. Only when he needed to sleep nights and when he was melting the pot ash, he would need some help.
Well, I told him to go ahead, “go and see if you can buy a kittle any whare. I don’t know but we will have to go to the iron works and git one cast. You can take one of the horses and go and see whire we can git one.”
Well, he said he would go and seee if could find one. He went off and was gone a fiew hours and came back. He had found one that was cracked, that he could git if for less than half price, that he had looked and searched it and he thought we could git it hooped and it would do as well as any. He thought we could git a bar of iron thare at the store close by the black smiths shop and have a hoop put on the kittle and “I think it will do as well as any we can git. It is not as long as I would like but I can find no other on eot be sold or bought and I believe it is best for us to git the one I have been looking at and git a good start hook put on it and it wont cost us more than about half as mutch as it would to get a new one.”
“Well Jess you must be the judge of that matter. Do that whitch you think is best. I will pay half the cost, what ever it is. Will you need help to git the kittle to the smith shop?”
He said he thought he could git a plenty of help thare at the store or tavern. It won’t move no ten rods, them whire the kittle was to the smiths shop. He went and bought the kittle and got it hooped and took the horse and wagon and brought the kittle home. I see it was not a long kittle. I think it was called a sixty gallon kittle. Then Jess went to manging his barkes and dye trough and filed the barks with ashes and put the ashes to soad, then nead the ash, a put the kittle in and soon went to boiling lye. He made ashed over his works and worked nearly all winter. He made a number of barrels of pot ash. I have forgotten howe many pot ash was ____ or _____ but we had to send it to Albany and have it inspected by the inspecter before we could sell it and git the money. I must be first, second or third rate or be condemd and if condemd it could not sell at all but would have to be workt over but we had very good luck and Jesse Coltby made more money than he could have made any other way considering his situation.
He found out that Mr. Molby, whose farm lay last of mine, was near a kin to him. I believe second and third cousins and they soon got aquainted with eatch other and thare was a woman lived at Mr. Malbys, I think his wifes sister. Jesse got quainted with and they got married. She appeared to be very sensible woman and had first rate learning for a woman. I thought she was in the old maid list but Mr. Mably sold his farm and him and Jesse moved off into the Shenanggo country. That’s the last I have seen of Jesse Colby but I have heard that he moved down in to the State of Illinois but he did not find me thare and I suppose he thought he would not follow me any further and stopt.