Volume 3, 1829-1830

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Page 43 – Describing the distribution of whiskey, tobacco, and a hog to his enslaved workforce on Christmas.

Friday 25th Warm, with a shower or two in the course of the morning. We had Egg nog &c. before breakfast; I came home & gave the negroes Whiskey & Tobacco, I also gave them a hog from the pen & a Handkerchief a piece. I returned to the Old Field to dinner, P. McKelvey & R. Axson only dined there, with us. I saw no merry negroes, this Christmas, nor were we so, atall. H. took Physic this morning & was quite sick in the afternoon.

Page 49 – Describing repairs to his cotton gins and a new puppy for his children.

Monday 11th Clear & very cold, with much wind. As my Iron Gins, were very much out of order, I had directed Austin to put the three Fellows who used them, to be put today, to burn brush in the new ground; I went over this morning & fixed the Gins completely, but as there is much unspecked Cotton on hand, I directed Austin to keep the Fellows in the new ground, for a day or two. We returned home in the afternoon, & I had one of my Hogs killed, by J. Gaillards fellow, who happened to be here. It is now very cold. Col. McKelvey presented me, with a young Fice puppy, of a very small breed for the Children. They are very much afraid of it, being frightened, by the Old Field people, with one they have there.

Page 99 – Describing the progress of his vegetable garden, and families of overseers living near him.

Thursday 1st Cloudy & close, about 11, there was some rain, it then measurably cleared but was quite warm; it is now clear. We eat two Ears of Mutton Corn from our Garden this Evening. Tomatoes we have had for some time. The Sea Island Cotton seed, from Edward, that was planted on the 31st March, is today with two blown flowers, there are but two stalks, & one of those very inferior. My squashes, have not done very well, I however have not relished them.

I ought to have mentioned, that we have two families quite near us, this summer, but whom we do not visit. Lewis Thomas, J. Gaillard’s overseer, at the back of the yard, & in from T. Gaillard’s overseer, William Estes.

Pages 124 and 125 – Describing the death of his oldest child Anne Hasell Thomas (1827–1830).

Sunday 5th Rather cloudy, rain at night, with Thunder &c. & wind. Anne, worse than any preceding morning, no passage but a little from injections since her very exhausted state yesterday. Gave her this morning Croton oil in sugar & water, it again produced after a while sickness & vomiting. She had one small pass, four hours after, I gave her another dose of Croton oil, which immediately produced great sickness at stomack & exhaustion, by bathing with Camphor, she was kept from vomiting. As her Abdomen was tender to the touch I put on a large Blister. About ½ 1 Oclock, she was in a dying state, which continued in an undescribably degree until about 5 Oclock, when to our astonishment, she became better. Miss L. & H. Marion came here this morning, in the Eveng. Miss L. returned home; after 5, Anne laid easy for a while & even slept a little, but she soon began to toss her legs & arms about & appeared to be in great pain; as a last resort I gave her an injection, only a part of which could be given, & about 8 Oclock the Dear Creature expired; she had at 4 Oclock completed her 164th week. Throughout her dying state, she drank freely of cold water, & even could be, at her worst, heard saying water. Being so well prepared for this event, I was able to preserve an entire degree of equanimity of behavior but Harriet grieved excessively.