Excerpts from Notes and Remarks for 1833 by Clarkson Macomber

Excerpts from Notes and Remarks for 1833 by Clarkson Macomber

Compiled by Norma Judson

Keeping school at Henry Wilcox’s for $14 a month. Students average between 17-21. William Durphy kept after school for two hours. Refused to spell the word S – T – A – I – D – E correctly. My scholars are too interested in frost fish to be interested in Temperance Tracts. I weighed 128 pounds this morning. Went to Meeting.

Four to five inches of snow. Had to warn students against persisting in snow – balling. Lorenz Underwood forgot how to count today but he recalled after I sent for a stick. I was hasty inflicting punishment on one or two today.

A vessel seen aground today on Hens and Chickens. She has capsized and the crew have left her and gone to the island in boats. Henry and Hannah Wilcox (the children of the house) spent the evening elsewhere which was too much spent or idled away in unprofitable disputes and low jests.


I whittled out some cedar counters and used them some. School was noisy and Gifford George was whipped. George Mosher came to help kill hogs. He says the viewing committee of Dartmouth reported favorable to the Division.

Twenty – two scholars today. I had the headache. School not very pleasant. We were social this evening. I was invited to see the new cellar. Disappointed our firemaker did not come before school. We were quite cold until noon.

Received an invitation to Tillinghast Sowle’s but preferred to stay home and read and write the scriptures. Hannah came to the school tonight and talked about Friends drinking more rum except for two or three drunkards. School not so agreeable as sometimes, especially toward night Had a long discourse with Ephraim regarding the use of spirituous liquors. He maintains “The Medicine” is synonymous with food and other drink when not used to excess. He says the reform ought to begin in Congress.

It appears that Iason Gifford filched an India rubber ball from the pocket of Richard Gifford. I kept him standing on the bench and the floor most of the afternoon. William Durphy was so stubborn and contrary, I sent for a stick. A nice one was brought. I ordered him to take off his jacket but he refused. I then tried to pull it. I took some red twine to tie his hands but he said “No. His hands should not be tied.” Elijah assisted and after considerable struggles, fastened his hands and by means of a line, fastened them to a spike where I kept him until he said he was ready to pull off his jacket. His hands were untied, he pulled it off, and then he received his chastisement. He then confessed he was sorry.

Pardon Cornell went off with Henry Wilcox’s horse. Stephen Butts fell down, broke his jug and spilled his rum. I read a Temperance report and discussed the subject. I stopped to warn Ben Wilcox and Daniel Gifford that the small pox was in New Bedford. Read the article on snuff taking. Pardon Cornell brought back a horse from Rhode Island.

Read a letter from my sister Lydia (at the school for the deaf in Hartford) and had sea fowl for dinner. I borrowed Henry Wilcox’s shoes again. Had an argument with Elijah. He maintains that the sun went around the earth and appealed to the Book of
Joshua to prove it.

I read that white ash leaves were very offensive to the rattlesnake and that a bandage around the wrist would keep a person from being sea sick. I felt sick today. Uncle Caleb advised me to chew Indian hemp root.

I felt an ardent longing to be freed from temptation today. Went to supper at the Wing’s and was told of the property of coal to draw out pain. Am not well.

We dug mulberry trees and parsnips the forenoon. Some mulberry trees will be carried to the Cape from Father’s nursery. My health is poor.

April 1, 1833. Town meeting today. Voted no ardent spirits be sold or handled about the town house but wine and cider were plenty. Had a cold in the evening and took some pepper tea.

Dug one hundred apple trees for a man in Boston. Loaded trees for Norwich and Providence. Went to Westport Point for corn straw. Sowed and plowed in the oats and set out mulberry trees. Mother and father went to uncle Shearman’s. His wife is
very crazy. My health is poor.

We moved the silk worms into the warehouse. Went to Uncle Caleb’s to get the mare’s shoes fastened. Coming home, I saw a thrush killing a snake more than 10″ long.

Met Uncle Caleb near the town house with a plain coat on and rode with him in the wagon to attend Yearly Meeting in Portsmouth. In the evening was at auction. Bought some shirt buttons.

April 19, 1833. We are in Newport. Saw President Andrew Jackson pass up Truro Street. After supper, I went up to the President’s quarters and was introduced to him by Gov. Collins. I saw Van Buren but chose not to speak to him. Saw the President
go onboard the steam boat.

Mother and I went to watch the silk worms that have begun to spin. I laid down and slept and dreamed of S. and E. I am unwell. Eleven Friends went from the Point to Nantucket with Capt. Gifford aboard the Charles. Went to the bridge at the Head and got some anti – bilious pills.

Assisted Father getting hay into the barn and under the Dutch cap. We tied strings to the mulberry trees. Am more unwell and weigh 106 pounds. Trimmed some mulberry trees to provide Mr. Brownell with silk worm feed. I am weak and feeble yet. Father had carried over 50 quarts of berries to New Bedford the Head of Westport.

I went to the Head of Westport and saw E. P. Hathaway at Probate Court. Now weigh 101 pounds.

Wrote a copy of the U.S. Constitution, helped plant turnips, picked blackberries, then picked beans until dark. Went out in the pasture and experienced a singular visitation. August 10, 1833. I arose at 4:00 AM and got to Providence about 11 o’clock. Bought 2 knives and have come to school. I feel pretty smart!

(Clarkson died the following year)