Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Part 2 - Bringing Historic Homes to Life: The 1750 Home of Samuel & Anna Daggett - The Four Seasons

Don't you just love how an idea will just  *pop*  into your head,  and then something you are simply  
"okay with"  all of a sudden becomes exciting?
That is exactly how I feel about today's posting.  I've written about Samuel Daggett and his family  (and house)  numerous times before,  but not quite in this manner;  I believe this is as close as one can come to sort of meeting the man who once lived in that wonderful house with the long-slanted roof at the far-end of Greenfield Village.  It is my hope that after reading this,  visitors to the Daggett House will see it with new eyes...with an engulfing awareness,  and will look at this historic 18th century building with a more discerning and intimate mindset;  to see beyond the walls and presenters and feel the spirits - not ghosts,  mind you - of those who once lived within the walls during the time of the good old colony days.
Ahhh...if only walls could talk indeed!
And yet,  they do. 

......................

A number of years back I did a posting called Four Seasons at Firestone Farm,  where I spent over a year photographing the old farmstead from the same location as it sits inside historic Greenfield Village.  Every month I would snap a shot from the same angle in order to see the natural changes in the seasons that occur within a year's time.
Well,  I decided to do the same project again,  though with another historic house inside the Village,  the Daggett Farmhouse,  built around 1750.
Though it took me nearly two years to get them all,  seeing the seasonal changes over the course of a calendar year is,  to me,  quite interesting.  But it became so much more...for this post I did something a little different than the Firestone post:  not only did I include a bit of  historical seasonal information beneath each picture,  I also included notations taken from the actual account book of Samuel Daggett himself,  which you will see italicized beneath each photo.  
Now,  when reading the accounts of Samuel Daggett,  pay close attention,  for all the extra labor he was involved in was quite varied.  And it gives us a good idea as to some of the activities that went on in and around this home and his community during the period from about 1750 to the 1770s.  I think you'll agree after reading them that Mr.  Daggett was an amazing man.  I mean,  with all of the extra work he did,  when did he have time to farm,  much less eat and sleep?  
The spelling is mostly as it originally appears in his own write,  by the way,  lest you think I am a poor speller myself  (lol).
So first let's take a peak into the life - the background - of Samuel Daggett by looking into his background and the environment in which he lived:
The sun rises on another day in the 18th century
(this wonderful photo was taken as a favor to me
by Tom Kemper)
Daggett built this particular house in Coventry  (now Andover),  Connecticut around the year 1750,  right about the time he married his wife,  Anna Bushnell.  Samuel and Anna had three children:  daughters Asenath  (b.  1755)  and Talitha Ann,  born 1757,  and a son,  Isaiah,  who was the youngest and was born in 1759.
Daggett was a housewright by trade and built his home on a spot known as Shoddy Mill Road,  atop 80 acres of land,  half of which had been deeded to him by his father.  Samuel also framed nearly every other house and barn in the surrounding area,  as his account book at the Connecticut Historical Society attests.  In order to provide for his family,  Daggett had his hand in additional sources of income,  including making furniture such as chairs,  making coffins,  as well as making and repairing spinning wheels and even cart wheels.
Although built in the mid-18th century,  the Daggett House retains a 17th century, 
post-medieval pattern of construction and interior layout.  This style of construction continued to be popular in rural New England even after home styles changed into
a more contemporary feel,  incorporating spacious central-hall plans,  for an example.
The use of living spaces in the Daggett house represents a sort of transitional period that incorporates both earlier modes of living,  where room functions overlapped and there was little concept of personal privacy,  to a move toward greater room specialization and a growing appreciation for privacy.
Note the following photos and descriptions of functions for each room to have a better idea of the living situation inside the walls of this 270+ year old home.
The Great Hall:
This was the general gathering spot for the family,  not unlike our modern living room.  It was used for sitting,  family eating,  prayers,  sometimes for sleeping  (perhaps during the cold winters when all other rooms may have been shut off to preserve the heat),  
reading  (mostly the Bible),  sewing,  spinning,  and other textile work.
The great hall fireplace with the beehive oven

The Kitchen:
The kitchen was mainly used to prepare and preserve food,  though additional chores may have also taken place here,  including dairying,  laundry,  candle-making  (when done indoors),  and,  like the great hall,  it could also had been used for spinning,  sewing,  and other textile work as well.

The Parlor:
This was a formal space and would have been used for special occasions,  including dining,  observing social rituals,  entertaining outside guests - possibly the preacher - and it would have the most expensive and best household furnishings.

The Above Stairs Chambers:
The 2nd floor rooms were likely used for semi-private sleeping quarters,  though if 
this house was built before the 18th century,  which it was not,   these chambers 
may had been used primarily for storage space for textiles and grain rather than for sleeping.  The above photo shows one of the fireplaces in one of the rooms,  which 
helped to keep the room somewhat warmer.
Today the rooms on Daggett's second floor are,  once again,  used as storage,  though they now store items used for the house presentation programs offered 
at Greenfield Village rather than grain,  as see in the photo below.  
Here are a few of the items in storage above stairs.
By the way,  according to the folks at Colonial Williamsburg,  "above stairs"  
and  "below stairs"  were the common terms used for upstairs and downstairs.  
Was this a Virginia/southern thing,  or were these terms commonplace 
throughout the colonies?
I'm working to find out.

By the mid-18th century,  even common homes came to be filled with objects of usefulness and display,  in number,  in kind,  and in variety previously reserved only for the very well-to-do.  The typical dwelling of 1750 had three times as many furnishings of a house with owners of the same social status from 100 years before.  It is assumed the Daggetts were no different.
It also should be understood that no farm could be called self-sufficient---all,  at some time during the year,  had to call on the outside world for material goods of one sort or another.
The Daggett house would have been furnished according to room use as described in the photos above,  and included would have been Anna's  "marriage portion,"  which would have consisted of furniture,  domestic textiles,  domestic equipment  (pots,  pans,  and other cooking utensils,  among them),  and possibly tableware like ceramic and glass that Anna's parents would have given to her when she and Samuel married.  These would have been purchased by her parents or taken from their own furnishings.
Then there were the additional furnishings made by her husband Samuel.  From the account book we know that he made chairs,  chests,  bedsteads,  and spinning wheels.  Because of this we can assume that he was also handy at fashioning smaller wooden items such as storage boxes and kitchen utensils.
Other necessary commodities  (like wrought iron and perhaps leathered goods,  coopered items,  redware,  pewter,  hardware,  cast iron,  and pewter)  would have been produced by local artisans.
Besides the locally made products,  farmers might travel on horseback to the nearest market town to make small purchases as needed for themselves and perhaps for others/neighbors to bring back.  
Coventry,  Connecticut landowners
at the time of  Samuel Daggett
Occasionally,  peddlers with small-wheeled carts would exchange needed products for farm produce or even ashes that could be made into potash for soap.
So let's visit Coventry,  where the Daggett's lived,  to help give us a clearer look at Daggett's environment:  
(click the picture to the left to get a better idea of Samuel  &  Anna's community)----in laying out the town of Coventry,  the traditional Puritan plan of settlement  (with village green,  commercial center,  small home lots,  and common land)  was abandoned in favor of large,  individual farm lots scattered across the countryside  (78 in all).  But people were far from isolated.  They felt a strong sense of community,  cemented by networks of trade,  by frequent visits between neighbors,  and by the ways neighbors helped each other out.
Coventry,  like other scattered farm communities,  did not have a town center,  but it did contain artisans  (Daggett,  of course,  was one),  mills,  and probably one or more retail shops  (possibly out of a farmer's home).  Taverns,  in addition to feeding and housing travelers,  were important social centers for local men to converse about politics,  trade,  and agriculture.  In 1774,  Coventry had no less than seven taverns!  But one must remember:  taverns were the pulse of 18th century life,  and their importance to the local community cannot be overstated,  for with most communication being by word of mouth,  they were also the  main source of information for the locals. 

Aside from the house itself,  to my knowledge there are no actual
samples of  Samuel Daggett's wood work known to still exist,  so the
furnishings you see in these photos are well-researched similar examples, 
and we can assume their design would have been familiar to Samuel & Anna.

Oftentimes we hear from the presenters inside the Daggett home that he and his family were Congregationalists in their religious beliefs.  However,  what is a Congregationalist in comparison to a Presbyterian,  Methodist,  or even Catholic? 
Congregationalism in the United States consisted of Protestant churches that had a congregational form of church government and trace their origins mainly to Puritan settlers of colonial New England.  Their churches have had an important impact on the religious,  political,  and cultural history of the United States,  for their practices concerning church governance influenced the early development of democratic institutions in New England.  Congregationalists were also known for their interest in an educated clergy.  For that reason they founded Harvard College.  Later,  colleges such as Dartmouth,  Olivet,  and Oberlin were organized by their efforts.
The American Congregational community was a part of the Great Awakening,  a widespread religious revival movement that began in 1734 under the influence of Jonathan Edwards.  The Awakening,  however,  revealed the differences emerging between two wings of Congregationalism.  On one side were those who maintained the Calvinist tradition with a greater emphasis on the affective elements in religion.  On the other was a rapidly growing Unitarianism,  which paralleled a similar movement in England.  With the exception of the churches in Connecticut  (where the Daggetts lived)  where Congregationalism had taken root and remained the established church from the 18th century into the 19th century.
One thing we are told at Christmastime is that Congregationalists did not celebrate Christmas.  However,  did they celebrate Easter or any other holidays/holy days?
I see Anna,  Asenath,  and Samuel...
but where is Talitha and Isaih?
Though Congregationalists did celebrate Thanksgiving,  I have found nothing either way if the Daggetts celebrated Easter,  though from what I can gather,  most Congregationalists did not.  They viewed it much in the same manner as they viewed Christmas,  thus the Holiday being another Papist  (Catholic) Holiday,  of which they despised,  and the date not being biblically based.
The Daggetts came from strong Puritan stock,  and Puritans,  from whence Congregationalists came,  valued order over other social virtues,  reasoning that men required rules to guide them and bind them to their good behavior.  Authority dominated people's lives,  beginning with the highest authority of God,  then the authority of religious leaders,  and finally the authority of the male head of the household.  
Now,  in the 1760s,  though changes were on the horizon,  many of these attitudes would have still described rural New England families.  They still perceived themselves as deeply religious people.  They observed the hand of God in everyday occurrences.  They believed in order,  hard work,  and maintaining high moral standards. 
And this could definitely apply to the Daggetts.

So...are you ready to go back and visit with Samuel,  Anna,  and the other Daggetts?
Well,  then,  let's begin with...
Samuel Daggett:  In His Own Write~
Yes,  this is an actual page from Samuel's own account book.
Just imagine...he wrote what you see here while living in this house that now sits
 inside Greenfield Village.
Pretty cool,  eh?

January
This picture was taken soon after a mid-January snowstorm.
One can just imagine...
Even with the cold and snow,  Samuel & Anna Daggett,  with their children,  kept  
themselves busy;  Anna in the kitchen preparing and cooking a meal in the hearth 
while the children did their assigned chores as well.  
Husband,  Samuel,  possibly out doing odd jobs and making more money or 
bartering for needed goods.  
Once their son,  Isaiah,  was old enough,  he,  too,  would have his chores,  for there 
was plenty of wood to be chopped and stored for hearth and home,  and perhaps 
learning his father's wood and housewright trade.
18th century life.

January 20,  1750:  Jacob Gill,  debeter,  for looking for timber for his fraim  (frame) 

January 15,  1760:  Samuel Blackman,  Debtor,  for mending of a foot wheel
more to making of a yoak  (yoke) – trimming of it

January 18,  1760:  wid.  (widow)  Sarah Loomis,  debtor,  to mending of a wheel

January 1766:  Joseph Clark,  debtor,  a pair of fliers to a little wheel


February
And here is a bright sunny February afternoon to let us know that,  as assuredly
a
s the sun will rise in the morning,  springtime is nigh.  
Although it is still wintertime,  the planning of planting the fields come
springtime will take place by farmers.

The dried apples from last October certainly taste good!


February 6 yr.  1749:  Peres Sprague,  debtor,  for two chears 
(chairs)
more to making of a slead  (sled)
more to hanging a lithe  (sythe?  laithe?)
more to cradeling of oats / more to bail

February 23,  1750:  Peres Sprague debeter for a half a booshil  (bushel) 
of  pertators 
(potatoes)
more to a seed plow and to a whorl
more to a peck of pertators and 4 pounds of tobacco
more to creadling
  (cradling)  of two akors   (acres)  and 1/2 of an akor
more to hanging of a lithe
  (sythe?  laithe?)  and making a cain  (cane)
Capt Obediah Nucomb,  debter,  for a cart and wheels
(a worl is a flywheel or pulley,  as for a spindle)

February 9,  1761:  Abraham Blackman,  debtor,  for making of a spoll  (spool) 
and fliers 
(flyers)  to a  (spinning)  wheel.

February 24,  1764:  Ephraim Shalfer's widow,  Debtor,  for mending of a wheel
~(more than likely a spinning wheel)


March
It is now March - very early in the spring - and we can still see the last remnants
 of the winter snow 
melting.  This would be the time of year when the colonial
farmer 
might be repairing his farm tools to work his fields
for plowing 
and planting.

March 3,  1757:  Jacob Sherwine,  debtor,  for ceeping of  seven cattel  5 weeks
and three days : 1 three year old 4 two year olds 2 one year old
more to one booshil 
(bushel) of ots  (oats): allso for my oxen one day to plow
more to my oxen to plow one day and more to my oxen to plow two days
more to my oxen to dray*  apels 
(apples)  half a day

March 1,  1758:  John Sherwine,  debtor to flaxseed  half a booshil  

March 11,  1760:  Capt Obediah Newcomb debtor for mending of 8 chairs and a wheel.

March 13,  1760:  Joseph Crooker debtor for eleven booshil  of heyseed at seven pence cash pr.  booshil.


*A dray is 
a low,  strong cart without fixed sides,  for carrying heavy loads.

April
Plowing,  harrowing,  and planting may also be on Sam Daggett's mind at this time,  especially as the sun gradually warms the ground.
Caring for the pregnant farm animals was also a top priority,  for this would
ensure continued generations of cattle,  pigs,  
sheep,  and horses.

Aprail 7,  1749: Reverend Samuel Lockwood,  debeter,  for two days work hewing timber

Aprail 4,  1750:  more for fraiming of  (Jacob Gill's)  house fraim  14 days 3/4 of a day

Aprail 16,  1750:  Rebeckah Gibbs,  debeter,  to a woolen wheel

Aprail 2,  1751:  Mary Woodworth,  debeter,  to a plow
more to a spindel

April first 
(1763):  more to 3 days 2 hours fraiming  (of the school house)
more to timber for one thousand 4 hundred and seventy of shingels / more to draining of the shingels
more to 2 days of work about the school house

April 25,  1767:  Samuel Sprague,  debtor,  for 65 booshils  (bushels)  of hayseed
5 pence per booshil,  cash price

April 6,  1769:  Abraham Burnap  (father of Daniel Burnap,  clockmaker),  debtor, 
for work about a pair of wheels and axletree

April 15,  1774:  Samuel House,  debtor,  for 4 hundred  (pounds?)  of hay at 2 shillings 3 pence pr hundred cash proce

May
'Tis the month of May - mid-May to be exact - and the ground is mostly prepared
for planting,  which can commence at any time. 
This was also time for washing & shearing sheep and scouring & carding wool.

May 30,  1749:  one day work digging of stones

May 10,  1758:  Daniel Nucomb,  debtor,  for a coffain  (coffin)

May 22,  1758:  Credet to John Stedman in cash

May 6,  1765:  Benjamin Buel,  Debtor,  for one booshil  (bushel)  and two
half quarts of seed corn

May 11,  1765:  Thomas Bishop,  Debtor,  for one booshil & half of rie cash price

May 21,  1765:  more to 7 days work framing of his  (Thomas Bishop)  barn
more to 7 days woork of Thomas in framing
more to six quarts of barly and eight --?-- of flaxseed

May 5,  1770:  Mary Lutchins,  debtor,  for one bushil of wheat and one bushil of rye 
more to 2 pigs,  5 weeks old and a half of a peck of corn
~(It looks like by 1770 Samuel Daggett learned how to spell "bushil" correctly!)

June
This picture was taken on June 21st - the first day of summer,  and that means 
summer's here and the time is right for caring for the farm crop and kitchen garden. 
And still more planting to do.

June 16,  1749:  Jonathan Merait,  debeter,  for eight days work of 
hewing and framing

June 21,  1749:  Thomas Perceins debeter for a coffain  (coffin)

June 11,  1763:  Nath(el)  junior ,  Debtor,  for a pair of cartwheels
more to drawing of 2 tooth and mending a cartwheel
more to 14 pound of veal and half 1 pney hapenny pr.  pound

July
For the colonial farmer,  it was usually in July that made for haying. 
Summer produce is ready for harvesting.

One can almost feel the heat on this humid July 15th day.
This was also time for weaving wool on the loom,  which would continue for pretty much the rest of the year,  or until the weather was severely cold

July 11  ye 1749:  Thomas Wisse,  debeter,  for cradelings*
more to cradeling two acor and 3/4 of otes

July 13,  1749:  Josiah Bumpus,  debter,  for one days work of reaping

July 25,  1763:  Solomon Saveary,  debtor for a coffain  (coffin)

 *The way wheat & oats were cut years ago was by  'cradeling'  (cradling). 
That is,  using a tool known as a cradle.

August
Feel the heat:
June 21st may be the longest stretch of daylight,  but the hottest days usually take
place in July & August.

Even though it was August 16 when I took this picture,  one can see and feel the 
season begin to change ever-so-slightly. 
Farm work continues both inside and outside the house.

August 31,  1753:  Samuel House debter to a plow

August 1764:  Joseph Griswold,  debtor,  for a coffan 
(coffin)  for his child

August 27,  1765:  (added to Joseph Griswold's account) 
more to twelve pounds of leather
more to one quarter of lamb mutton
more to one calfskin tand 
(tanned)
more to two shillings worth of leather

September
I snapped this shot on September 9,  and it is easy to see the shadows of the sun grow longer.  Hints of summer past and autumn future are in the air...harvest time is nigh.

September 12,  1751:  Sam Benet,  debtor,  for two days and half of work about mill
and a pound of tobacco

September 17,  1757:  Rufus Rude,  debtor,  for 11 pounds of p-barke and for
one pound of butter
more to one pound of butter
more to my oxen to draw a load of bords

September 21,  1757:  Elisha Bill,  debtor,  for two days work about his cyder mill 



October
We are nearing the end of the month - October 22. 
The housewife's universe spiraled out from hearth and barnyard to tending a 
kitchen garden and perhaps a large vegetable garden,  both now in full harvest. 

October 25 ye 1748:  Nathaneal House,  debter,  to work about his barn fraim  (frame)

October 1756:  David Carber,  debtor,  for 17 yards of flaniel  (flannel)  at 
2 shillings pr.  yard
more to 64 pounds of cheese at 3 shillings per pound

October 1757:  Joseph Crocker,  debtor,  2 B  (bushels)  of wheat

On October 23,  1767,  Samuel Daggett noted in his account book that he had sold:
4 1/2  (pounds)  of pork
10 quartz of cyder
15 quartz of cyder
5 quartz of cyder
2 quartz of seed corn
19 gallons of cyder by the barrel

November
Picture taken November 11
The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold...
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall
(English lyrics by Johnny Mercer)
Late fall harvest keeps the farm family busy,  as does winter preparations.

November 3  ye 1748:  William Peters,  debeter,  to work about his cool house

November 16  ye 1748:  Credit to Nathanael House for making of cyder 
and toward other work

November 23,  1749:  Aaron Phelps,  debtor,  for work about his mill
more to drawing of teeth for his wife

November 25,  1749:  Thomas Lymon,  debter,  for work about his house
more to worl
more to mending his cart
(a worl is a flywheel or pulley,  as for a spindle)

November 4,  1755:  Cr debtor to forty five pounds-three fourths of butter at 
five shillings pr pound  
more to four yards of plaincloath at two pounds eight shillings pr yard

November 9,  1757:  Beriah Loomis,  debtor,  14 yards flannel cloth and half at 2 1/2 pr.  Yard

November 15,  1757:  John Stedman,  debtor for a coffain  (coffin)  for the 
making therof
more for a coffain for his child
more to drawing of a tooth

November 30,  1762:  Doc John Crocker debtor for 276 wait  (weight)  of porke at 
three pence pr pound
more to going and drawing of a tooth
more to three fourths of a days work
more to one pound and a half of tobacco

November 7,  1764:  John Crocker,  debtor,  for one hundred and 72 pounds of  poarke at 24 shillings pr hundred money price
more poarke - wait  (weight)  of it 322 pounds - price 2 pence hapenny pr pound

November 22,  1764:  Joseph Griswold had two hundred and 49 pounds of beef
and thirty five pounds of tallor  (tallow?)
more to a tap and facet and four quartz of cyder
more to one booshil  of ingain corn
more to going and draw a tooth
more to two booshils of indun corn cash price
more to half a booshil of seed corn  cash price
more to one peck of seed corn  cash price
more to half a booshil of common seed corn
more to five gallon of vinegar
more to half a days work of oxen to draw wood
more to one third part of a cord of bark

December
The harvest,  for the most part,  is ended,  and only a few very late vegetables await.  
Maybe some cabbages,  brussels  sprouts,  lettuce,  beets,  potatoes,  and possibly a few late carrots are all that's left to pick.

December 31,  1756:  Nathan Ingrham,  debter,  for  a half a peck of corn
more to 2 booshils   
(bushels)  of corn

There are a few undated notes that Daggett left in his account book where he cites various other jobs:
I suspect this is from 1770 - 
In the year 1763 I made 21 barils of Cyder
in 1764  07 barils
in 1765  16 barils
in 1766  08 barils
in 1767  10 barils
in 1768  20 barils
in 1769  19 barils

And then,  also listed with no dates,  Samuel wrote:
Jacob Lyman,  debtor,  for setting a worsted comb
more to two spindils
more to four days fraiming his house
more to two spindils

John Pain,  debtor,  work about his fulling mill*

*A fulling mill was a water operated mill with big wooden hammers that pounded the cloth as it was being washed.  Fuller's earth was used to help the cleansing process.  The finished fabric was shrunken into a tighter,  tougher cloth.  It was similar to today's boiled wool.

......................................

I don't know about you,  but to me,  seeing and reading the actual words of Samuel Daggett just...I don't know...makes him real.  Yes,  I know Samuel and his family were actual people,  but because I've heard his name and story so often - for I have visited his home so often - it almost makes him mythological...just a story to tell the story rather than a real actual human being that once lived.  But he and his family did live...and had feelings the same as we do:  they felt happiness,  sadness,  anger,  pain,  concern,  and contentment.  
The tombstone of 
Samuel Daggett:
Birth: 1723
Death:  Aug. 24,  1798
Rev. War Veteran.  Age 75
The tombstone of 
Anna Daggett:
Birth:  1734
Death:  Jan. 28,  1832
Inscription:
relict of Samuel;  age 98
They celebrated the coming of spring and of  the harvest time.  They enjoyed church picnics and weddings,  and certainly mourned when loved ones,  whether friends or family,  had passed away  - I wonder how Samuel felt making coffins for those in his community,  for those he knew?  
They spoke of their crops,  the weather,  told stories,  and studied the Bible.  One can only imagine the discussions and probably even debates they had of the news of the day - how wonderful it would be to be able to hear conversations and opinions about Paul Revere's famous ride  (for it actually did make the papers/broadsides of the time),  and the battles of Lexington & Concord that followed...and of the Revolutionary War itself,  for  research has shown that Mr. Daggett paid for someone named Jacob Fox to take his son Isaiah's place in military duty so that the young 17-year-old could stay home and tend the farm.  This was not an uncommon practice of the day.  I also see on Samuel's tombstone that it states he was a Revolutionary War veteran,  though I have found nothing stating he was in the military.  He did,  however,  play a vital citizen's role in agreeing  to a formal collective decision made by the local merchants and traders not to import or export items to Britain in 1774.
The tombstone of
Talitha Ann Daggett Carver
Birth:  Aug 5,  1757
Death:  Aug 28,  1846 
(aged 89)
The tombstone of
Asenath Daggett Kingsbury
(and her husband)
Birth:  Jan 25,  1755
Death:  Sept 26,  1823 (aged 68)
I wonder of Samuel's thoughts on the Declaration of Independence,  the forming of the new nation with its own Constitution,  and hearing of George Washington becoming our first president  as it was happening!
I mean,  if the Daggett house walls had ears,  they most certainly would have heard at least some talk about these great events. 
One more note of interest:  I have recently read that spinning wheels and the like were not used nearly as much as has been previously stated in history books.  
The tombstone of 
Isaiah Daggett
Birth:  1759
Death:  Aug 24, 1835 
(aged 75–76)
Well,  through my own research I have found just the opposite - I have seen that the omnipresence of spinning in people's lives is evidenced by the many references to spinning wheels and spinning wheel parts and repairs noted in not only Daggett's account books,  but in numerous other writings,  such as the journal of Martha Ballard.
And along those lines it was in Samuel's own will that he bequeathed  "the loom"  to his wife.  It has to be assumed this was a large item for him to mention it here specifically.  Though it is not known when this was acquired or used by the family,  but he was selling flannel cloth,  probably woven on the loom,  by 1756.
See how history  - how the past - can be brought to life through research?
I beg people to please stop passing along so-called historical information found on memes and the like as fact until it can be proven or have a strong researched-based probability.

I hope you enjoyed this seasonal excursion into the past,  and I hope the writings of Samuel Daggett,  along with my additional researched farm chores,  helped to bring the man,  his family,  his community,  and even, to an extent,  his house to life.
If these walls could talk...they kinda do...

Until next time,  see you in time.


Postscript:
~I write often about the Daggett Home.  There is simply something that pulls me to it like no other.  And it always has,  ever since I saw it for the first time back in 1983.  And now I always make sure to stop in for a visit every time I am at Greenfield Village,  even if it is just a quick walk through,  from the front door through the great hall into the kitchen and out the back door into the kitchen garden.  And while the Village is closed during the winter months,  I will drive on the road that runs alongside the Village,  just so I can see and somewhat enjoy it from my car.
The man you see to the left is about as close to seeing Samuel Daggett  (without the beard,  however)  as we may ever get:  it is a late 19th or early 20th century photograph of Samuel & Anna's great grandson,  John Kingsbury  (1817 - 1913)  (grandchild of  Asenath Daggett).  John Kingsbury was 15 years old when his great-grandma Anna Daggett died,  though it is hard to say if they ever met,  for by the time John was born,  his parents and grandparents had moved roughly about 250 miles northwest to Cazenovia, New York  (near Syracuse),  while great grandmother Anna remained in Andover,  Connecticut.
Now sitting as pristine as it did over 250 years ago inside the walls of Greenfield Village in Dearborn,  Michigan,  the Daggett house,  and those who once lived in it are,  to me,  like old friends---really old friends...and there are still stories it can tell us~


My sources for today's posting comes mainly from 
~The Collections of the Henry Ford  (Benson Ford Research Center)
~Our Own Snug Fireside by Jane C.  Nylander
~Find-A-Grave  (for the tombstone pictures and information)
~Everyday Life in Early America by David Freeman Hawke


Here is a collection of links to my blogs concerning everyday life in the colonies:
In this posting we learn more about the Daggett House itself,  including its own history and how it came to be relocated to Greenfield Village,  a more in-depth tour and study room by room,  with virtual tour videos included as well from the presenters who work there,  and even information on the kitchen garden.  Sixty photos,  most of which you may not have seen before.

Winter in the Colonial Days - A Pictorial
A modern picture album of winter life 250 years ago,  mostly taken at Colonial Williamsburg and Greenfield Village.  And,  yes,  there is history to be told as well.

To Drive the Cold Winter Away: ~ A collection of notations of surviving wintertime past - Colonial and Victorian~
Just how did our colonial,  and even Victorian,  ancestors survive in such harsh weather?  How did they stay warm in below 0 degree temperatures?  How did they entertain themselves on cold winter nights without radio,  TV,  or the internet?
This is how.

A Colonial Spring
March was the first month of the new year back in the good old colony days,  and there were plenty of chores and other work that needed to be done.  The whole family would pitch in to ensure survival for the coming year.
This is how how ancestors did it.

A Colonial Summer
Beating the heat,  hiding from bugs,  sowing and growing plants for survival,  milking,  pulling flax,  haying,  and preparing for the fall harvest.
Welcome to summer in the 1700s.

Hallowe'en Through the Ages
This posting shows a varied celebration of Hallowe'en,  and interspersed throughout are snips and bits of Hallowe'en history and lore.  The many pictures and the historical information should hopefully bring what was  (and still is)  a children's holiday up to the level of adults as well,  for,  initially,  Hallowe'en was actually meant for adults.

A Colonial Harvest
It's the fall,  and that means it's time to harvest your crops.
Let's take a step back in time to see how this was done in the age of the founding generation.

A Colonial Thanksgiving
Aside from what we call the 1st Thanksgiving in 1621,  there is much more to the story in the formation of this most beloved American holiday.

A Colonial Christmas
Read on to learn that,  contrary to popular belief,  many of our colonial ancestors - from New England to the South - truly did indeed celebrate this glorious holiday ...
...and how they celebrated
Oh!  Myths thought as truth can sometimes be so hard to change,  even with primary sources ~ ~ ~

A Colonial New Year's
In our modern era we think of the New Year's holiday as a time for celebrators to stay up extremely late,  getting stupidly drunk,  watching the ball drop,  and then gorging themselves on pizza,  chips,  and other snacks for 12 hours-plus while watching more football in one day than anyone does in an entire season.
My how times have  *somewhat*  changed...

Going into far greater detail than today's post,  this is an overview through twelve months in the life of an 18th century farmer,  giving the reader a deeper sense of a colonial farm family's seasonal life.

Travel and Taverns
The long air-conditioned  (or heated)  car ride.  Motels without a pool!  Can we stop at McDonalds? I'm hungry!
Ahhhh....modern travelers never had it so good.
I've always had a fascination of travel back in the day,  and I decided to find out as much as I could about them.
I wasn't disappointed - - - I dug through my books,  went to a historic research library,  'surfed the net'  (does anyone say that anymore?),  and asked docents who work at historic taverns questions,  looking for the tiniest bits of information to help me to understand what it was like to travel and stay at a tavern in the colonial times.
This post is the culmination of all of that research.
Our country's founding relied greatly on the tavern.

Cooking on the Hearth
No stoves or fast food restaurants.  Everything made from scratch.
What was it like for our colonial ancestors to prepare,  cook,  and eat their meals,  and what kinds of food were available to them?  How did they keep their foodstuffs from spoiling and rotting?
If you have questions such as this,  I believe you will enjoy this post.

In the Good Old Colony Days
A concise pictorial to everyday life in America's colonies.  And I do mean  "pictorial,"  for there are over 80 photos included,  covering nearly every aspect of colonial life.
I try to touch on most major topics of the period with links to read more detailed accounts.
This just may be my very favorite of all my postings.  If it isn't,  it's in the top 2!

It's the Little Things
Another post that touches on a variety of subjects,  such as Shadow Portraits, Bourdaloues, Revolutionary Mothers, and a few other interesting historical odds & ends.

A Year on a Colonial Farm
See what it was really like,  month to month,   for farm folks like Samuel Daggett and others as you spend all four seasons on an 18th century farm.

What many visitors don't realize is that inside these hallowed walls of history  (Greenfield Village)  there are three specific homesteads which are situated near each other,  and the long past inhabitants of  each of these historic 18th century houses played a role to some varying degree in the Revolutionary War.
This is their collective story.

This posting is geared toward the reader who has a basic interest in the average daily occurrences of  18th century citizens,  and thus,  will hopefully help to give an idea of more of what went on inside many colonial homes.  Thus,  as mentioned,  it is not a  "how-to"  guide,  but a "how they did it"  informational,  for it was a process every man,  woman,  and child  would be quite aware of,  even if  they didn't necessarily do it themselves.

Researching 18th Century History
Here is a collection of my favorite books in my library that I use,  seemingly,  on a daily basis,  especially when writing in this Passion for the Past blog.
Other people spend their money on sporting events and the like,  I buy books.

In the Night Time:  Living in the Age of Candles in Colonial Times
Could you survive living in the era before electric lights or even before the 19th century style oil lamps?
Do you know how many candles you would need for a year?
Do you know what it was like to make candles right from scratch,  or what it was like to visit your local chandler?
That's what this posting is about!

Buried Treasure:  Stories of the Founding Generation
Interesting true tales of  everyday folk of the later 18th century,  including an interview with a soldier who was actually at Concord on April 19,  1775,  the powder horn of James Pike,  the true death-defying,  battle-scarred story of Samuel Whittemore,  runaway slaves & servants,  smallpox inoculations,  and Nabby Adams experience having breast cancer.
Quite a history lesson here!

To learn more about the beginning of Greenfield Village,  please click HERE
To see the Four Seasons at Firestone Farm,  click HERE













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1 comment:

Constance said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. I have two old spinning wheels and one needs mending it's so interesting to read about a time and man that could have actually mended it. I love the modern conveniences that we all have but I often think that we may have lost too much with the gain of so much.