Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne.

Letters and Diary of Laura M. Towne.

June 18, 2015

Letters and diary of Laura M. Towne

June 18, 1865.

My bell is safe at the school, and the carpenter has begun the belfry, which will be of the simplest description, as I shall pay for it myself. It will not cost over twenty-five dollars, all done and the bell hung. Mr. Tomlinson did offer to have the work charged to the Committee, but all their work was done and closed up, and I do not care about having this charged separately, as they might think it a useless appendage. We want to petition for a fence to our playground. We have proposed it once and been refused, as the estimate was too high, but we will strike for a cheaper fence this time. Our school does splendidly, though I say it. The children have read through a history of the United States and an easy physiology, and they know all the parts of speech, and can make sentences, being told to use a predicate, verb, and adverb, for instance. Ellen’s class is writing compositions. We are going to have a grand school exhibition before we close, with dialogues, exercises in mathematics, in grammar, geography, spelling, reading, etc., etc. We are cramming for it. Young Gabriel Capus has come back to his place, which was one reserved for the people. He warns them to buy no more of his land, as he shall soon have possession of it again! He went to his people, told them he had no money and nothing to eat, and begged them to let him stay with them. Old Rina took him in, and he lives in her house, but he begins already to show airs. Hastings and Rina are greatly exercised upon this question of the return of the old masters. Rina says that nothing could tempt her to go to “The Oaks” for a single day. There is no prospect of her going. She is very ill, scarcely able to walk across the floor, and I think there is little doubt about her having a cancer and that pretty far gone. But she still keeps up. We have to get our washing and ironing done by two women who come to the house, and we have for housework a nice little girl who seems very honest and capable. Did I tell you that little Katie, Hastings’ daughter, stole ever so many of my pretty precious stones? Took them to play with and lost them! She took also so many other things that we soon got rid of her, though we hated to do it, for the grief it would be to good faithful Hastings. He boards her now near our school so that she can come daily, and she promises to worry us well. We also have Harry’s daughters. Our school is the high school already, and we mean to make it more so.

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