John Stewart & John Jones

Journal of Sanford Porter, Pg. 67-68, residing at Genesee Flats, Genesse, Wyoming Co, New York, approx. 1814

 

   I followed this road but could find no one that wanted to hire help in the winter until got to the Genesee river. Thare I found a man that said he would hire and would give me ten dollars a month. He said he had some thrashing to do and had about 40 acres of hemp he wanted broke and (switched?) fit for market. But his hemp was not quite rotten enough yet but he had other work that I could do. He had one hired man to work for him then by the name of John Stewart. The man that would hire me, his name was John Jones. He was called Judge Jones. He was or had ben judge of the court. This judge Jones had a brother that lived near by him by the name of Horas. He was older than John. They ware takin by the Sennica Indians when small boys and had ben raised with the Indians and Horas had a squaw for his wife. The Indians had given them a large tract of land on the Geness river. I think they said it was twenty miles long and three miles wide. It was a handsome tract of land. It was called Genesse Flats. Horas had four boys that ware smart young men but would not work.

   I worked for the old judge a little over three months. I had bad luck that winter. Stewart and me slept together in the chamber over the kitchen and we would pull off our clothes and leave them in the kitchen. All but our shirts and pantaloons and by some means that kitchen flore got a fire and burnt up the partition between the kitchen and buttery and nearly half of the kitchen flore and nearly smothered us in the chamber. We sprung out of the bed and got  whire we could git our breath and ran down in our shirt flaps and put out the fire by drawing water from the well and packing in snow. It was extremely cold. I bring up my cloaths on the partition walls and they all got burnt and my hat and boots and big coat was left with my shirt and pantaloons. But I borrowed some cloaths of Stewart and got an old hat and some old boots and got the old judge to git me a hat and have of bootz. I believe Stewart lost his hat and boots and his every day coat. Stewart could git cloath by going to his mothers but I had to buy mine.

   Thare was a couple of young women lived with Mizs Jones that was nearly wild cats and was cutting up capers with Stewart and me every chance they could git. Sometimes a cup full of water would come in our faces and some times a buckit full would come dash apon us. Sometime something and sometimes another, just as they took a notion and had a chance, we did not know whether thare was chuncks roled out of the fire place or them girls sat the place a fire. We could not tell. It cost me a number of dollars to rig up again.

   Mizs Jones had no children and some body had given Mizs Jones one of these girls when she was small. Mizs Jones was wild and rude herself and it pleased her to see the girls cut up their capers.

   I worked for the old judge until some time in March. He took his hemp off to market but he said he could not sell if for money and he could not pay me down for my work and wanted me to wait for my pay until he could sell his hemp for he said he would let me have a cow at cash price if I would take one. Well I concluded to take a cow if he would let me have one cheap enough. We went out into the cow lot and he set his prices on a number of cows. I was not aquainted with the price of cows in that country. I expected cows high in that new country. His price was from 18 to 30 dollars. The one that the price was eighteen was a young five year old cow and of good size. I told him I would take that cow at his price. He would rather I would take an old cow with a long flappy bags but I did not want an old cow. I wanted one that was young and thriving. I told him I would take that young cow if he should let me have a rope to lead her with for I should have to lead her home. I was shure that I could not drive her loose. He said he would let me have a rope. I settled up with him and I started. The cow was bad to lead for two or three miles but soon became tired and let very well. In our settlement I think he paid me a fiew dollars in money. I would need some to git an article for my land that I had taken up.