Journal of Sanford Porter, Pg. 46, residing in Orford, Grafton Co, New Hampshire, approx. 1809
It was some time in the fore part of month when I commenced work for the old Major. The snow was then nearly a foot deep thare on the bottoms of flats on the river. Thare was a man by the name of Blogit that worked for the old Major. He worked by the year. His family lived in alittle house nearby. Him and me worked together most of the time.
They had got some big fire logs haled up to the house for fire wood. They ware three or four feet through. Blogit and me went to sawing up these logs, fit for the fire, with a crop cut saw. I was not use to sawing with a crop cut saw and I would soon git tired. It made my back ache. When we got one log off, I would set down to rest while Blogit was fixing another to saw. I was sitting thare to rest my back and thare came a woman and histed the kitchen window and struck her head out and said, “Porter, we don’t hire men to set on the logs,” then she shut down the window.
Said I, “Blogit, what woman was that?”
Said he, “That was Mys Mann.”
“What, the old Majors wife?”
“Yes,” said he.
“Is she in habit of cutting up sutch capers?”
“Hah, you will find out if you stay here long.”
“Well that is something I don’t like. The old Major is here not more than five or six rods off. If my work don’t suit him, he can just speak and tel me so.”
Well we went to sawing again. After we had sawed another, I set down to rest again. Pretty soon, up hoists the window.
“Porter, I told you we don’t hire men to sit on the logs, we want them to work.”
“Madame, I think you would do full as well to mind your own business. Shut down that window and keep in the house.”
Oh, she did rage. She out with one hand and arm with her fist doubled, she said I was a good for nothing saucy rascal dare to talk to her.
“Yes madame, I dare to talk so to you and I will talk so to you a dam site worse if you don’t shut down that window and keep in the house and mind your own business and let mens business alone.”
She raged and shouted and I cursed and swore and damd uphill and down. I could shake both fists as fast as she could one of hers. Blogit cept urging me to go back, he wanted ditch our quarriling. I belive we both got tyred and she shut down the window and I suppose went to bed for I did not see her head out at the window anymore that time. I believe she was afraid to hist the window and stick her head out for fear I could throw the (malt?) or the wedges at her for she saw that I was raving mad, for she had not been _________. I had lived in the old Suffield whire it was as easy for men and boys to sware as it was to talk about anything else and had learned the art of swearing when young.
It is hard to over come and brak ones self of cursing and swearing of he gits alittle riled and out it comes quicker than thought. It seems to me that it is no wonder that old Saint Peter cursed and swore. It is very likely he had got in the habit before he became a disciple of Jesus Christ and it was all most natural.
I don’t think that Mys Mann histed that window and stuck her head out any more to shouts at me.
Me and Blogit worked thare a cutting them big logs and slitting them up and packing the wood and covering it up in the wood house to use. We got the wood house full and it lasted all summer.
Miss Gould was very friendly to me and so was Blogit and the old Major never found any fault with me that I ever heard of. No one but that rattled brained wife of his and she was soft in the head and rotten in the heart. I got so that I would not speak to her, neither would I answer her if she spoke to me and our war seemed to about end in some measure. Once in a while it would brake out and thare would be a wind storm.
We had fifteen or twenty hands to work making the rood and Blogit was head chief of the company but the old Major owned the team and Porter must drive the team and we drove a head as fast as possible for we must git the road finished.
I know his and his wife would cheat all they could but I don’t know so well about their sons. But I know that the old Major would have a hogs head of molassis that was thick and good brought from the sea cost or Boston and when thare came a stormy day, he would set Blogit and me to making beere in the store seller and we would make three beer of one.
When we had got the turnpike road made we had to go to haying. One of his back farms was all meddow land. It was in two large fields. He had a large frame barn on it and some sort of a house. The old Major notified those that was owing him that wanted to pay in work, to come at auction time. Well he got his men together and we went on to work. We took one yok/oxen and wagon and provisions and a cag of rum, shugar and bottles to carry water and blankets and buffalow robes and forks and rakes and calculated to stay thare until we had got the hay in the meadow all secured and safe in the barn. Thare was fifteen or sixteen mean of us and he sent out word to his upper store to have some men come with his team and wagon to pitch and hall hay for he wanted two teams a going to hall hay. Thare was twelve or fifteen with their sythes and we went to work with our company. Blogit was our leader. We went to work. Thare was no disturbance, all went on well. But in a fiew days thare came a man with his team and wagon to hall hay. He came from the upper store an intire stranger to us all. He had a hand with him to load and mow away the hay that he haled. He drove his team onto the meddow whire it ware to work. He told us whire he was from and that he came to take all hay for the old Major. Blogit told him thare was ____hay and whare to put it. Blogit asked him what was his name. He said his name was Benjamin Putnam and he went to work a fetching on hay.