Volume 01: 30 January–18 December 1837

30 January 1837: Description of aurora borealis. 25 March 1837: Visits a bawdy house. Very shocked description. 12 June 1837: Topics of sermons heard at Bethlehem Baptist Church. 13 June 1837: Account of attempted runaway marriage between a young overseer and relative of his employer. Also comments on the administration and character of Andrew Jackson. 22 June 1837: Comments upon an address given by Hon. A.L. Pinckney to the Philanthropic and Dialectic Societies of the University of North Carolina on the subject of the relations between the two Carolinas. 29 June 1837: Opinions on Tom Jones, having just completed the novel. 25 July 1837: Commenced teaching school at Windsor. Lodging in the office of W. W. Cherry and David Outlaw. Regretted the financial situation which forced him to become a schoolteacher. 14 August 1837: Account of three young ladies being crushed by the cars of the Portsmouth and Welborn R.R. 31 August 1837: "Ignorance predominates here. Hence the reason why Bertie is for Jackson and Van Buren." 17 September 1837: Described a personal argument over a scheme concerning the Federal Treasury involving Calhoun of S.C. and President Van Buren. 6 November 1837: His study of Chitty's Pleadings.


Needs Review

[page torn] [No] N.C. Hertford Co. Oak Lawn, 30th Jan 18[illegible] I will first record a wonder of a few nights ago Aurora Borealis - of 25th Inst Our attention is at this moment & at PM (25 Jany attracted by an Aurora Borealis as Astronomers call such Northern lights. We first discovered it at about 1/2 / 2 6 o.c. when the light to the North N.E. was red as the red of sun set - Some of the family were at first alarmed. It spreads over all the Northern horizon appraching the Zenith: and makes every thing light out the door as if the moon were shining, and it is very dark nights until near 10, o.c. This is the strangest sight of the kind that any of us ever saw - I mean to so great a degree for Northern lights on a small scale are common to every person's view.

It is a wonderful phenomenon of nature, but perhaps as natural as thunder and rain, excepting that its cause is not so apparent. Indeed, philosophers have yet failed to account for it, many of this body write almost their knowledge divine differ as to its cause the cause of the Aurora Borealis. The most probably accounts yet given deduce these wonderful lights from electricity. A writer very recently has furnished much information on this wonderful law of nature. Of this night's appearance I look out for an Astronimical report (The above is a copy of what I wrote at the very time of the strange appearance it pruports.) Jan 31st, (Fr) vast quantity of rain on the earth - very cloudy. truly this dreary winter. All nature chilled in water and ice scenes sleeping the sleep of cold death outdoor business is forbiding so wet soddy and disable. Indoors however all find business most agreeable.

Sun Set feel very disinclined to study from indisposition

1st day of Feb. (Wed.) Hail short month - a pretty morn ushers thee in the sun clean the wind breezing from South, the blue birds giving their cheerful notes: [a ll?] reminding the farmer [missing text] a new years crop and the knell of time's approaching [missing text] It is time saith this morn's indications for all men to be complying with the design of their creation - to number among the heads of famililies, to be virtuously and industriously engaged in a life business, replenish the species and perpetuate their names, and leave a life spotless and exemplary and a name worth a pleasing and useful remembrance [missing text]

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Needs Review

Oak Lawn, Feb. 2nd (th) 1837 -- Where shall I throw my restrictions? let every one look to ho[missing text] says one and he will work there for reformation. It i[missing text] enough too continues this one, for every body to mind their own business! Granted. Every body's business is a duty to their God, their country and to themselves. "God and our country then shall afford a fair trial to those I may suppose no fault. As we revere God and preserve our own honor. So we should deal uprightly to the accused and guilty. It is a fundamental [?] of cilized government that service to one's country is properly his [?] duty and therefore, business. whenever we behold government, or the heads of government going wrong it is our business by the authority of civil polity to respond as things deserve and to do what we can however humble, to set things right or prevent them from going wrong. One or two bad acts unnoticed have their examples and afford precedent for future evil.

The Virginia Legislature then now in Session ought not to go unscathed--to pass without censure commensurate with its improper legislation which may have a bad effect in future in N. Carolina and througout the Union. On this potent body then severest restrictions should be brought down. Party and Spoils to the victors, men as tools vindictive for self gratification--these are the motto and go-by of this high body at present-- They strike at all social order and wise polity. For parties sake and vengeance dire, the Va. Leg. trample on all moral restraint, violate the most Sacred instruments of law and order, instruct the first men of the age to do the same and to violate their own honor--then censure these ornaments of her counsel because they refuse to comply with Such nefarious instructions and moral degradation. All these enormities this representative body has perpetuated. This is not all--By a system of causing they (this body) cause the minority to defeat the majority in choosing the highest officers in the State. A judge of the Supreme Court [missing text] instance may according to his ability and integrity [aff?] [missing text] men's lives, property and earthly honor--Such officer therefore should be the choice of the whole commonwealth. But alas! how fallen men nowadays. sacred O mores O [? [the col Jo.?] of Gocheland, why tramplest on law and justice once sacred!

The above is common place work for I am more inclined [missing text] sleep than any thing else. Algernon Sidney.

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Needs Review

Sunday 20th. I know not how to portay my feelings -- how things are best known to myself. Suffice it to say, I am not in the happiest mood. The of a few trusty and genuine friends might be of some alleviation.

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Oaklawn Friday 24th Feb. 1837 I will be - if Heaven permits & what a reverse of of feeling. How near was a novel born but for [abest?] the fragments were sclattered into unretrievable disorder where roses and flowers bloomed into perfection, grateful to look on, now reigns a horrible chaos [roashsome] to the view the lawns, rocks and streams must contain [?] in the solitude which at some little humble spot was to have been the dawn of its [no?ety] and celebrity And [?ath] county must be content with no [?] immortality. Her whited rocks, instead the

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Oak Lawn, [inserted: March] [illegible] Feb 1837

What is a name? air unbreathed after death. Has is a celebrated name to be breated no more after the person is dead ever so is a general trunk. What do we live for? to perpetuate our species and die yes we live in obedience to revive wisdom to glorefy your Maker, ???? and worship hier and leave wholesome precepts and good examples to those who are to represent us in blood and name, when we shall have left the world to realize the world eternal. Man is fo[strikeout:u]nd of that which he will know not hug, or care nothing of after death immortality, which being restricted to the duration of time must still perish. There is but one immediately of which we should be desirisious - that is eternal happiness when we have ceased on earth. How many excellent men are greated, praised, and talked of and celebrated with zeal and joy while living - the moment death arrests them their name pass away like the sounds of the bell that toll their dessalution a loud solemn annoucement, than a fading away - He is gone for ever! No more talk of!! Cannot we think of and mourn and be instruded by our departed friends? They are soon forgotten, unmourned and their examples good to us are not accredited to them. A few, very vew, the reflecting, the sentimental and elegious time of mind, alone will weap and pay a grateful tribute to the illusthious dead. Thare remarks are followed on teh everlasting absence from this world, of Meprs. Hon Jessa Wilson Geo. W. Montgomery and David E. Sumner the pr of Perquinsins the latter of this County Hertfore: All three men of figure and high in estimation - were always at our Coruts: One by one, they have passes away - were all three absent at our last Court - We had lively times - were the dead talked of? No I did remark their void and sorrowful was?? Farewell

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