The diary of Minerva Hutchinson- 1838-1842

Middle Island

Minerva Hutchinson was the daughter of Benjamin Hutchinson and Betsey (Tuthill) Hutchinson. She was born on Feb. 18, 1798. The family homestead was across from where the Longwood Public Library is located. This diary was copied and edited by Richard M. Bayles. This abstract comes from the collection of Mr. Donald Bayles.

Sunday July 8, 1838 A great number were taken into the church, of the young both male and female. But our family remain in a state of unbelief and doubts. Yet I would believe if I knew what was truth or the right way.
William Homan was drowned in July 1838.

Cousin Samuel Hutchinson and wife visits for a day.

July, 1838. Long Spell of dry weather prevails. Cisterns are low, cattle have to be driven away to water and water has to be carted for family use.
Ironed and mended the clothes & swept & rubbed candlesticks and andirons

July 26, Father planted a few hills of potatoes. Mother picked some pole beans for the first time. At night our rolls were brought home from the machine (carding mill down the river) I began to spin them. Very good rolls. I spun 28 knots.

Aug. 19, 1838 - Sunday Mr. King did not come. I heard he was ill. Mr. Smith read a sermon in the A.M. & Ulysses Ritch in the P.M.

Monday 20th Henry & E. Cherry & Mitchell Petty went to mow on the meadow at south. I washed. We had green corn (suckertash) for dinner.

Tuesday, I ironed and spun the other part of the time.

Mrs. Martha Swezey and her sister Abigail Stevens called. Also Mrs. Sarah Swezey.

Aug. 7, Mrs. Dunns childs funeral at the meeting house.

We all got up early (Aug 14) in the morning. Father & Harry killed a young hog. I got to spinning about sunrise having had breakfast by candlelight

Aug. 16. Sunday. No preacher. Heard that Mr. King had got hurt by falling out of his wagon

Carded mixed wool for stocking yarn.

In the morning I carded again and spun in the P.M.

Aug. 18, 1838- The sun was eclipsed. I smoked a piece of glass to look at it.

Benjamin H. (Hutchinson appears to have the Post Office in 1838.

Mrs Elizabeth Jones died about Sept. 29, 1838

Store goods were brought here by way of vessel to Drowned Meadow. Daniel Petty Sr. died Feb. 9, 1839

Miss Ruth Overton and Wm. Overton were married Mar. 2, 1839
Joseph Davis & Eliza Hallock married March 14, 1839
Wednesday 24th 1839 - I commenced carding cotton bats for a red quilt for mother.

Mrs. Polly Howell died about April 28, 1839.
Mrs. Sophia Swezey died May 16th 1839, after an illness of about 15 years.

Mrs. Susan Petty died May 25, 1839
Sunday P.M.26th- Father, Henry and myself went up in our common wagon to carry the remains of Mrs. Petty to the meeting house. I rode to meeting with her corpse & went in the burying place where may shortly lie.
July 29, 1839. I picked some wool for stockings and in the P.M. father went down to the machine & got our mixed & white wool for stockings carded & brought it home, but our sheared wool was not carded although it was sent to the machine several days before.

Miss C. Bonney died about Aug. 23, 1839, at Wm. Sidney Smiths. She was buried at sunset of that day (Friday) in the M. I. Church burying ground and the funeral was conducted on the Sunday following, at the church. She was 21 years of age. Her sister and the Smith family were mourners.

Mrs. Sarah and Martha Swezey were frequent callers
Sylvanus Overton died suddenly Sept. 21, 1839, buried on the 23rd. at Coram without any sermon.

A great deal of time was spent pealing apples and peaches to dry, and neighbors came in to help for a few hours.

On the night of the 13th of January, 1840 the steamboat Lexington was burned in the sound.
On Wednesday Eve, 15th Jan. 1840 David Crowley 2nd mate of the steam boat Lexington arrived at Uncle Matthias Hutchinson's after having been 48 hours on a bale of cotton in the sound- hands and feet frozen.
Uncle Jeffrey Hutchinson called at the home.

Feb. 2. Snow storm. People went to church in sleighs. Not any neighbor came in to see us.
Feb. 4. Very cold, Brother H. P. froze the ends of his fingers getting wood out of snow.
Jonathan Still died Feb. 12, 1840

Mr. Andrews, Patrick Carroll, John Carroll and C. Davis were peddlers who called occasionally and dined or lodged.

Jeremy Randall died Mar. 20, 1840
I doubled and twisted swingle tow.
Mother made Tansy cake for supper, the first she has made this spring. (April 16, 1840

April 17, planted early peas
Joshua Swezey Sr. married to a widow from Patchogue
Maria Edwards deranged, had watchers

April 18, Nathaniel Hudson had a lawsuit with Smith Roe of Patchogue, at Benjamin Hutchinson's
April 28, Planted Corn

April 30th In the P.M. the stage came along with Mr. David Crowley and he spoke with father and Henry

Sunday May 3, a number baptized in the P.M. Benjamin Hutchinson came along after the stage had gone and rode to the baptism.

Benjamin T. Hutchinson married to Minerva Overton Sunday May 17, 1840
Same afternoon Mr. And Mrs., Overton (Isaac) and daughter called with B.T.H. and bride and had cake.
Same day stage came with G. Solomon driver.

June 4th- Aunt Polly Hutchinson called.
June 6th Samuel Bailey removed tombstones, H.P.H. helping him. (probably the old burial plot of the Brewsters)

June 25, Had peas for dinner
July 4th Cousin Oscar and cousin Matthias Hutchinson visit.
July 11. Blackberries ripe. Green beans for dinner
July 30. Cousin Sam Hutchinson and lady friend visited also Nicholas.

Peggy and Margaret Hulse frequently called.
James Dayton died Aug. 11, 1840

Mr. Backley and B. Terry peddlers also J. Bates, peddlers were numerous and they generally put up at this house.

Mrs. Jershua Hulse died at the home of Mrs. Ellison at south. Sept. 7, 1840 buried at Middle Island on the 9th.
Sept. 22, H.P. left all business to go to Patchogue to a great Whig meeting.

Sept. 23, Father, H.P & B.H. forsook all again to go to Patchogue to a Democratic meeting, did not get home till the evening.

Daniel Brown died of southern fever in Sept.
Cousin Mary and Nicholas Hutchinson call on their way to visit their sister Julia up to her father Hammonds.

Dr. Samuel Norton died Nov. 17, 1840
Jan. 17, 1841 Uncle Rufus Tuthill is 94 years of age today.
Jan. 23 A traveling man Eleazer Overton by name came in and eat dinner.

Mother was afraid of my burning too much wood to scald the geese and we had some controversy first before the water was hot to scald the geese- O that we could enjoy all our blessings with love and peace to season them instead of disputings and contention for the future.

Feb.2nd A vendue (auction) at Messrs. Dayton's
Feb. 5 To disturb our peace Mr. John Buckingham came in somewhat intoxicated and had some strong in a little jug in his jacket and took up a drink more and staid till nearly midnight. Father went along with him for fear he would not get home safe.

Enos Cherry put out one of his own eyes with an awl.
Feb.19, 1841 Elbert Hutchinson born.

Feb. 28, Sunday, our peace was not disturbed by visitors
March 31, 1841 planted peas

Monday April 12th Cold and snow began to fall increasing rapidly. It became more that a foot deep. Snowed Tuesday morning. Mail carrier drove through on horseback on Wednesday, and in the afternoon some sleighs broke the road.

May 1, father went to the funeral of Mr. Jerry King
May 20th, Austin Randall and Mary Ritch married.
May 25th Joshua Swezey's daughter Eliza Ann and a child of Mrs. Owens died of scarlet fever on May 29th.

Amaziah Davis with his musick box called.
June 14, 1841 Mrs sarah swezey hung herself with a rope
June 25, Had peas for dinner

Aug. 8, My mind was disturbed by the appearance of John Buckingham in our house with a jug of rum. Mr. Japheth Smith came to visit father with his strong drink.

Aug. 22, First watermelons of the season.
Philip Homan had a daughter Eliza.
Hiriam Overton son of Davis Overton and brother of Mrs. Samuel Edwards married the widow of Albert Davis (Clarissa) March 1840.

John Swezey is deranged, and his wife had another child May 1840. Aunt Sarah is quite low in spirits at the same time.
Mrs. Higgins was a nurse to women in childbirth
Nov. 25, 1841 Jeffrey Hutchinson (Uncle) went to Smithtown to carry samples of his homemade sewing silk and stockings to exhibit at the fair. Returned next day, in company with Abel Corwin. Left some floss silk with Minerva H. to spin

Dec. 15 Zophar petty died.
Methodist meeting house Middle Island was dedicated Dec. 22, 1841 and a series of meetings was continued in daytime and evenings until the new year.
Jan. 7, 1842 Benjamin Hutchinson worked at the business of making shoes.

Miss Sally Overton died Feb. 26, 1842
Whitehead Hulse came to visit us with his jug of rum.
B.T. had our horse to go to Drowned Meadow after his rum again.

April 1842, Mrs. Isaac Hudson, being sick was carried in a bed on a wagon to her father's house. She died about May 22.

May 1st. Justus Overton died.
Mr. Van Brunt died, Mr. Willis died Whitney Overton died August 12, 1842 Herman Buckingham died Aug. 20, or about

Alfred Ackerly & Angelina Dayton married Sept. 7, 1842

Nov. 11, 1842 A stranger came and took dinner here, who is supposed to have murdered Mr. And Mrs. Smith at Huntington the evening before- 13th inst. On Friday P.M. 18th he was carried to riverhead jail.

Amariah Davis married Nov. 30
Dec. 20th Methodists commenced holding meetings day and evenings continuing nearly five weeks. Mrs. Daniel petty, Sam Overton and daughter, Mr. E Gildersleeve, R.W. Smith and wife, Noah Overton, Japhet Smith, Albert Terrill were hopefully converted

John Gildersleeve and Sarepta Dayton married Dec. 28, 1842
Joshua Swezey Sr. died Feb. 9, 1843. Funeral conducted by Rev Ezra King on Sunday the 12th.

Monday 13th (Feb) and every day through the week & evenings Mr. Hall & Mr. King continued their meetings, although it was some days stormy & quite tedious freezing weather & snow & icy but a great many sleighs & loaded with people went days & nights too. During the week beginning Sunday Feb. 19 they continued their meetings.
A little daughter of Daniel Hulse died, funeral at the Pres. Church, April 2, 1843

Sally Swezey died April 3, 1843
Tuthill Swezey died April 13, 1843
Daniel Dayton (Sr.)died April 24, 1843
Mrs. Han Horn's first son born April 28, or 29, 1843
B.T.H. daughter born June 2nd 1843
Aug. 12, 1843 Wife of Simeon Ritch died, leaving two children.

More of this diary to come- last updated Jan. 8, 2001
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