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[151] such circumstances was not prudent. We concluded to live as we were until we could gain a little something to live on. I would go to work on my new lot of wilderness land which I had newly bought, and she would work where it was most to her interest.

My land was a part of Cambridge farm in Ashburnham, Mass., fifty miles from my native place. Early in the spring I took my axe on my back and set out for my new country—began to chop down the timber on two or three acres—went back—worked at Medford in the summer making bricks on shares. In the fall I again went to my land —cleared off my wood—sowed two acres of rye—returned to West Cambridge—worked through the winter making shoes with Mr. John Russell; in the spring went and disposed of my bricks—went again to my land; my rye looked well, but had no barn, built one that summer —saved a little more—returned to Mr. Russell's in the winter. In the spring went to my land—made some provision for a house; and in the year 1770 hit so that on the 9th of July, my partner being as ready as I was, we were married. Having provided a team to carry her furniture, and a horse for her, and another for myself, we set out for the woods. She had never seen a foot of land within forty miles of our place, but her courage held out till we got home, and then it was better than ever.

We were now where we had long wanted to be, and hoped that we with thankful hearts and contented minds should enjoy ourselves together through life. The summer, fall and winter passed away: spring came on pleasant; and the 27th of April, 1771, we had a son [John] born — an addition to our comfort: in ‘73, another son Levi; in ‘75, a daughter Joanna; in ‘77, another son Jonas; in ‘79, another son James; in ‘81, another daughter Rebecca; in ‘83, another son Walter Russell; in ‘85, another daughter Betsey; in ‘88, another daughter Polly: all well, and in time all grew old enough and married; and my wife and myself left alone as at first. I invited one son to come and live with me: time passed on until we had been married fifty-three years. She was taken sick, and, alas, she died. And here, my dear friend, I find a period to my earthly happiness. I have kind children and friends; but my bosom friend sleeps in the grave, and earth cannot heal the wound.

I have many things in regard to your grandmother and family I want to write, but my sheet is full. Dear sir, accept this broken scroll from your sincere friend,


The Hon. James Russell, in behalf of the committee for erecting a monument over the grave of the Revolutionary heroes in the old cemetery in the town, submitted a report, which is entered at length on the town records. An account of this monument has already been given elsewhere (see p. 70).

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