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Daily Life: Before 1800

November 1772: "In making the Upper Roundabout, 3 hands made 80. yds. a day."

August 1793: "I have set George and his company to work in the canal.... Jupiter is with them and is constantly employed in blowing the rock at the upper end which it was their first business to lay bare for him." [Jupiter was using gunpowder to remove rock from the path of the canal.]

June 1795: "Cut wheat at Shadwell.  The force employed as follows....   [Jefferson named 17 cradlers, 5 reapers, 7 stackers, and 36 gatherers, a total of 65 men, women, and children from age 9 to 69.]  The proper allowance 4. gallons of whiskey, 2 quarts molasses, 1 midling [pork] besides fresh meat per day, with peas."

July 1795: "Begun to cut wheat on this side the river...
These 2. days they cradled 73 a[cre]s.  There were but 12. cradlers at work on an average, & they stopped cutting by an hour by sun the 4th. (Saturday) that all that was cut might be secured.  They cut therefore fully 3. a[cre]s a day each, & may be counted on for that. The oxcarts carry the sheaves of about 7. bushels of wheat at a load.  One of them with 3. loaders besides the driver, loads in 15 [minutes] and to go 1/4 a mile & return took 22 [minutes].  They would load, go & return 1/8 mile in 30 [minutes]."

September 1795: "Finish treading wheat at Shadwell.  No weavil yet to do injury."

October 1795: "Wheat sowed... Slatefield 35 acres. Began to gather corn, & to dig potatoes."

August 1796: "32 cords of wood burnt a kiln of 9. eyes & 42 M [i.e. 1,000] bricks."

November 1796: "Less than an acre of pumpkins have fed 9 horses at Shadwell 5. weeks."
"We finished sowing our 3d. field of wheat over the river."

December 1796: "We finish sowing our 3d. field of wheat on this side the river."

November 1799: "70. bushels of the Robinson & red Hughes [apples] (about half of each) have made 120. gallons of cyder."

Above: "Cornstalks" by Nathaniel Gibbs.

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