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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 31
Location: Caintuck
Real Name: Marge Deese

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:17 am    Post subject: christmas Reply with quote

1.Peter Kalm, a Swede who visited Philadelphia in 1749. On Christmas Day he wrote:
Nowhere was Christmas Day celebrated with more solemnity than in the Roman Church. Three sermons were preached there, and that which contributed most to the splendor of the ceremony was the beautiful music heard to-day. . . . Pews and altar were decorated with branches of mountain laurel, whose leaves are green in winter time and resemble the (cherry laurel
2.Philip Fithian’s keen observation of December 18, 1773, strongly indicated a season of expectation:
When it grew to dark to dance. . . . we conversed til half after six; Nothing is now to be heard of in conversation, but the Balls, the Fox-hunts, the fine entertainments, and the good fellowship, which are to be exhibited at the approaching Christmas
3.Fithian’s diary entry of December 29, 1773: "This Morning our School begins after the Holidays. . . . At Dinner we had the Company of Dr. Franks. . . . We had a large Pye cut to Day to signify the Conclusion of the Holidays.
4.the preparation for Saint John’s Day came early as indicated by the minutes of the Williamsburg Lodge: (note the reverence for the Sabbath--Sunday after Christmas Day).

December 1, 1778

* On a motion made respecting the ensuing Saint John the Evangelist it was after mature consideration resolved that as that Feast falls on Sunday the usual Ceremonies be postponed until Monday.
* Resolved: That this Lodge meet on Monday after the ensuing Saint John and go in procession to Church and that the Reverend Brother Madison (James) be requested to preach a sermon on the occasion.
* Resolved: That this Lodge meet on Monday Afternoon to spend the Evening together and that a Ball be given to the Ladies and that Brother Charlton (Edward) be desired to provide accordingly.

5.December 27, 1774, John Harrower, a Scottish tutor, noted in his journal: "St Johns Day. This Day a Grand Lodge in Town, And the whole went to Church in their Clothing & heard Sermon."

6.Christmas Eve in 1775, Philip Fithian wrote in his diary from Staunton, Virginia:
The Evening I spent at Mr. Guy’s--I sung for an Hour, at the good Peoples Desire, Mr. Watt’s admirable Hymns--I myself was entertain’d; I felt myself improv’d; so much Love to Jesus is set forth--So much divine Exercise.
7.Reverend John Wright, a Presbyterian minister active in Cumberland County, Virginia, during the 1760s. On the Feast of the Epiphany, 1761, he wrote to several benefactors in England and described the following Christmas scene:
My landlord tells me, when he waited on the Colonel [Cary] at his country-seat two or three days [ago], they heard the Slaves at worship in their lodge, singing Psalms and Hymns, which I encourage them to hope for.
8.A Christmas hymn for metrical singing was composed by the Reverend James Marye in the early 1770s. Marye was rector of Saint George’s Parish in Fredericksburg from 1768 to 1780. The hymn, composed in the form of a poem, reads:
Assist me, Muse divine! To sing the Morn
On which the Saviour of Mankind was born
But oh! What Numbers to the Theme can rise?
Unless kind Angels aid me from the skies?
Methinks I see the tuneful Host descend
And with officious Joy the Scene attend.
Hark, by their hymns directed on the Road,
The gladsome Shepherds find the nascent God!
And view the Infant conscious of his Birth,
Smiling bespeak Salvation to the Earth!

9.In 1749, Peter Kalm noted that the Quakers completely dismissed the celebration of Christmas in Philadelphia. Kalm made another interesting observation about the Presbyterians as well. He wrote in his diary:
Christmas Day. . . .The Quakers did not regard this day any more remarkable than other days. Stores were open, and anyone might sell or purchase what he wanted. . . .There was no more baking of bread for the Christmas festival than for other days; and no Christmas porridge on Christmas Eve! One did not seem to know what it meant to wish anyone a merry Christmas. . . .first the Presbyterians did not care much for celebrating Christmas, but when they saw most of their members going to the English church on that day, they also started to have services.
10.St. A Klaus" under the OED listing for "Santa Claus." It
appeared in the _New York Gazette_ on December 26, 1773: "Last
Monday, the Anniversary of St. Nicholas, otherwise called St. A
Claus, was celebrated at Protestant-Hall."

11.Following that was an 1808
citation:_Salmagundi_ 25 Jan. 407 The noted St. Nicholas, vulgarly
called Santaclaus, of all the saints in the kalendar the most
venerated by true hollanders, and their unsophisticated descendants."
12.1775, Fithian toiled as a missionary in the western counties of Virginia among the Scotch and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. The following is part of his diary entry for December 25:
Christmas Morning--Not A Gun is heard--Not a Shout--No company or Cabal assembled--To Day is like other Days every Way calm & temperate-- People go about their daily Business with the same Readiness, & apply themselves to it with the same industry.
13.Letter from Mary Jefferson to Thomas Jefferson, January 22, 1791

Dear Papa,

I received your letter of December the 7th. about a fortnight ago, and
would have answered it directly, but my sister had to answer hers last week
and I this. We are all well at present. Jenny Randolph and myself keep
house, she one week, and I the other. I owe sister thirty-five pages in Don
Quixote, and am now paying them as fast as I can. Last Christmas I gave
sister the "Tales of the Castle," and she made me a present of the
"Observer," a little ivory box, and one of her drawings; and to Jenny she
gave "Paradise Lost," and some other things. Adieu, dear Papa, I am your
affectionate daughter.

Maria Jefferson

Note: Tales of the Castle was a translation of Les Veilless du chateau by
the Countess de Genlis. The Observer was a collection of philosophical
essays by Richard Cumberland, Bishop of Peterborough.
15. Peter Kalm's Travels, p. 233

1749 in Delaware and Pennsylvania
January the 5th

Christmas Day was celebrated today by the Swedes and English, for they
still use the old calendar. The members of the English church hardly made
any bigger preparations for Christmas than for any Sunday, and when it came
on a week-day it was not celebrated any more than a Swedish Apostle's Day.
The Quakers paid still less attention to it, for since they observe no
other holiday except Sunday they work on Christmas Day just as on any other
day, unless it comes on Sunday. Formerly the Swedes here had candles in the
church on Christmas Day and celebrated it as we do in Old Sweden, but now
no candles are used and its observance has been much curtailed.
16. Peter Kalm's Travels, pp. 675-676

To-day Christmas Day was celebrated in the city [Philadelphia], but not
with such reverence as it is in old Sweden. On the evening before, the
bells of English Church rang for a long time to announce the approaching
Yuletide. In the morning guns were fired off in various part of the town.
People went to church, much in the same manner as on ordinary Sundays, both
before and after dinner. . . .There was no more baking of bread for the
Christmas festival than for other days; and not Christmas porridge on
Christmas Eve. One did not seem to know what it is to hear to wish anyone a
merry Christmas. However, [after I had written this] I heard several
members of the English church wish one another a happy Christmas holiday.
17. Diary of Frances Baylor Hill
Monday, Xmas-day

We had fine Bowl of Egg-nog & a large Cake, no body to eat & drink with us
but George & Fanny Gwathney. I never in my life spent such a lonsome Xmas.
18. Diary of Sarah Fouace Nourse
December 25, 1781

Christmas Day - no Church Service at home - Young folks playd. at Whist in
eveng. - Mr. N. & self one pool of Commerce wth. them.
19. Letter of Miss Lewis, probably the daughter of Colonel Fielding Lewis, GW'

December, 1783

I must tell you what a charming day I spent at Mount Vernon with Mama and
Sally. The general and madame came home on Christmas Eve, and such a racket
the servants made, for they were glad of their coming! All Christmas
afternoon people came to pay their respects and duty. Among them were
stately dames and gay young women. The general seemed very happy, and
Mistress Washington was busy from daybreak making everything as agreeable
as possible for everybody. Among the most notable of the callers was Mr.
George Mason, of Gunston Hall, who was on his way home from Alexandria, and
he brought a charming granddaughter with him, about fourteen years old. He
is said to be one of the greatest statesmen and wisest men in Virginia. We
had heard much of him and were delighted to look in his face, hear him
speak, and take his hand, which he offered in a courtly manner. He is
straight in figure but not tall, and had a grand head and clear gray eyes.
He has few white hairs, through say he is about sixty years old.

>20. Cresswell made his comment about Christmas, he was in Leesburg,
> Virginia. his entries for January 6th-7th, 1775 are as follows:
> Friday, January 6th, 1775. (details of a land deal and Surveyor's Warrant,
> then...) I have just received an invitation ticket to a Ball this evening.
> Saturday, January 7th, 1775. Last night I went to the Ball. It seems this
> is one of the annual Ball supported in the following manner: A large rich
> cake is provided and cut into small pieces and handed round to the company,
> who at the same time draws a ticket out of a Hat with something merry wrote
> on it. He that draws the King has the Honor of treating the company with a
> Ball the next year, which generally costs him Six or Seven Pounds. The Lady
> that draws the Queen has the trouble of making the Cake. Her was about 37
> ladies dressed and powdered to the life, some of them very handsome and as
> much vanity as is necessary. All of them fond of dancing, but I do not think
> they perform it with the greatest elegance. Betwixt the Country dances they
> have what I call everlasting jigs. A couple gets up and begins to dance a
> jig (to some Negro tune) others comes and cuts them out, and these dances
> always last as long as the Fiddler can play. This is sociable, but I think
> it looks more like a Bacchanalian dance than one in a polite assembly. Old
> Women, Young wives with young children in the lap, widows, maids and girls
> come promiscuously to these assemblies which generally continue till morning.
> A cold supper, Punch, Wines, Coffee and Chocolate, but no Tea. This is a
> forbidden heerb. The Men chiefly Scotch and Irish. I went home about two
> o'clock, but part of the company stayed, got drunk and had a fight. Spent
> this evening with Mr. Kirk, Capt. Budecombe, Capt. Wroe, and Capt. Scott at
> the Tavern very merry.
> At the time, Leesburg was considered one of the smaller towns in VA,
> inhabited mostly by whites (only about 5-10% of pop. was black, both free and
> slave). The southern and eastern part of the county had been settled from
> Fairfax and Prince William Counties (planter types) and in the north and west
> by Scots-Irish and Germans moving south from Pennsylvania. There was also a
> large contingent of Quakers represented and Cresswell often complains about
> the large number of "canting Methodys" and Baptists in the town. I would
> guess that Leesburg at that time was a fairly diverse population. Cresswell,
> himself, attended services at all these churches and makes comment on them.
> I would think that if some unusual customs were around for Christmas, he
> would have commented on them, as he is fairly consistent in his observations
> and descriptions. i also think it interested that he mentions that women
> were "dressed and powdered to the life". We often associate powder with the
> elite at Williamsburg, assuming that small towns in the backwater didn't fuss
> with these conventions. Yet, not only did these ladies powder, they danced
> "everlasting jigs", something Cresswell seems to associate with the lower
> classes and Blacks. A democratic community perhaps?

21. translation of german christmas greeting published in 1769

Math: 1. 21.

AND she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

No name is so beautiful, as my Jesus name,
While he in German so often as Saviour called,
It is likewise this child the true Woman-seed,
Who us alone the way to everlasting life shows;
This name will I me deep in my heart engrave,
And in the last need in my mouth have.

On this holy Christmas Eve Festival 1769.
22. Christmas card
in the 1770s. Here's the whole text of one:

The LAD who carries
Wishes all his kind Customers
A Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

And presents the following :

MAY grateful omens now appear
To make the New a happy Year,
And bless th' ensuing days :
May future peace in every mind,
Like odours wafted by the wind,
Its sweetest incense raise.

May GEORGE in his extensive reign,
Subdue the price of haughty SPAIN
Submissive to his feet.
Thy princely smiles our ills appease ;
Then grant that harmony and peace
The dawning year may greet.

Kind Sirs ! you gen'rous bounty show,
Few shillings on your Lad bestow,
Which will reward his pains,
Who piercing Winter's cold endures,
And to your hands the SPY secures,
And still his task maintains.
23. Boston, January 1, 1771.
dixie christmas

When the 1st South Carolina was ordered to build a battery on
Haddrell's Island on 20 December 1775, Captain Pinckney’s march to the
position at Haddrell’s Point was done at a leisurely manner. The
Patriots were more concerned about Christmas dinner than they were about
constructing artillery positions. Pinckney himself wrote, “we marched to
attack some Chocolate and Sausages well supported by Cherry Bounce and
plan Brandy at Jonathan Scott’s.”

24. FRo Washington papers:


April 23, 1787.

Articles of Agreement made this twelveth day of April Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven, by and between George Washington Esqr. of the Parish of Truro, in the County of Fairfax, State of Virginia, on the one part, and Philip Bater, Gardner, on the other Witness, that the said Philip Bater, for and in consideration of the covenants herein, hereafter, mentioned, doth promise and agree to serve the sd. George Washington, for the term of one year, as a Gardner, and that he will, during said time, conduct himself soberly, diligently and honestly, that he will faithfully and industriously perform all, and every part of his duty as a Gardner, to the best of his knowledge and abilities, and that he will not, at
any time, suffer himself to be disguised with liquor, except on the times hereafter mentioned.

In Consideration of these things being well and truly performed on the part of the sd. Philip Bater, the said George Washington doth agree to allow him (the sd. Philip) the same kind and quantity of provisions as he has heretofore had; and likewise, annually, a decent suit of clothes befitting a man in his station; to consist of a Coat, Vest and breeches; a working Jacket and breeches, of homespun, besides; two white Shirts; three Check Do; two pair of yarn Stockings; two pair of Thread Do; two linnen Pocket handkerchiefs; two pair linnen overalls; as many pair of Shoes as are actually necessary for him; four Dollars at Christmas, with which he may be drunk 4 days and 4 nights; two Dollars at Easter to effect the same purpose; two Dollars also at Whitsontide, to be drunk two days; A Dram in the morning, and a drink of Grog at Dinner or at Noon.

For the true and faithful performance of all and each of these things the parties have hereunto set their hands this twenty third day of April Anno Domini 1787.


Mount Vernon, December 26, 1786.

. . .. . . .. . .. Altho' I lament the effect, I am pleased at the cause which has deprived us of the pleasure of your aid in the attack of Christmas pies: we had one yesterday on which all the company, tho' pretty numerous, were hardly able to make an impression. Mrs. Washington and George and his wife (Mr. Lear I had occasion to send to the Western Country) join in affectione. regards for you, and with sentiments, &c.

Diary mentions:

26.from A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution, by Johann Conrad

"[Winchester, VA -- in captivity] 30 November [1781]. It was Saint
Andrew's Day. During the evening the soldiers from Ireland conducted
their so called Irish procession to honor saint Andrew, the patron
saint of Ireland, here in the barracks courst, with beautiful music
and and jubilant shouts, 'God Save the King!"

16 December. As it was the third Sunday in Advent, Chaplain Wagner
conducted a prayer meeting for us.

17 December. Private Korn, of Major Beust's Company, died here in the

25 December. It was the holy Christmas Day, beautiful and warm."
27. From Diary of a Common Soldier in the American Revolution, 1775-1783,
Military Journal of Jeremiah Greenman-----

"Quebec, Saturday, [Dec.] 23, 1775. the small pox very breaf amung our
troops/ a very brisk cannading/ our Detach't was drawed up and form'd
a Square ware genl Mountgomery asked us if we ware willing to storm
the city & the biger part of them seam willing to storm the city/ the
enemy thoeth Shells in to Saint rox and very plenty/ kill and wound a
few/ we return as many back to them.

Wednesday [Dec.] 27. this day being snowey and very stormy the genl
thought best to storm the City at night/ we prepared/ got all in
readynes/ turn'd at 2 o'clock/ march to head Quaarter we received
orders/ marcht clost to the wals of the City/ the Genl thought it too
light / we return'd to Quarters for ye first dark night."
[I believe Greenman was a prisoner a few days later after the failed
attack on Quebec]

28. From Archibald Robertson, Lt. Genl. Royal Engineers, His Diaries and
Sketches in America, 1762- 1780----
"[NY, NY] Dec. 25, 1776 -- Went on Board the Hessian Ships lying at
Prince's Bay. Sir William din'd alone Christmas."

29. From a Private Journal Kept During a Portion of the Revolutionary War
for the Amusement of a Sister-- by Margaret Morris of Burlington,

"[Burlington, NJ] Dec. 26, 1776 — Very stormy; we fear Gen. Reed will
not meet the Count to- day. A great number of flat-bottom boats gone
up the river; we cannot learn where they are going to.

Dec.27, 1776 — A letter from Gen. Reed to his brother informing him
that Washington had had an engagement with the regulars, on the 25th,
early in the morning, taking them by surprise; killed 50 and took 900
prisoners — the loss on our side not known, or if known, not suffered
to be public. It seems this heavy loss to the regulars, was owing to
the prevailing custom among the Hessians, of getting drunk on the eve
of that great day which brought peace on earth, and good will to men —
but oh! how unlike Christians is the manner in which they celebrate
it. Can we call ourselves Christians, while we act so contrary to our
master's rules? He set the example which we profess to follow, and
here is a recent instance that we only profess it; instead of good
will, envy and hatred seem to be the ruling passions in the breasts of

30. From The American Journal of Ambrose Serle, Secretary to Lord Howe----

"[New York, New York] Wednesday, Dec. 25th, 1776— Dined with Lt. Col.
Clerk of the 43rdRegt. With Mr. Strachey &c. Nothing material occurred
in Conversation, &c. The Troops remain in statu quo in the Jersies.

Thursday, 26th December — A most tempestuous Day of Rain, Frost, Wind
& Snow, confined me wholly to my Apartment; I employed myself in
preparing materials for the Press, in reading, &c.

Friday, 27th -- Heard the very unpleasant News of a whole Brigade of
Hessians under Col. Rall, being taken Prisoners at Trenton by a large
Body of Rebels, and at nine o'clock in the morning. I was exceedingly
concerned on the public account, as it will tend to revive the
drooping Spirits of the Rebels and increase their Force, and extremely
chagrined on my own Account as it will detain me probably for a
further Space of Time from my longed-for Home, and the happy enjoyment
of my Family and Friends. Above all, I feel myself inexpressibly
concerned on the Account of my most affectionate Wife, who will
receive the Information of Delay with the more Disquietude, as I have
given her Hopes of my returning Home at no long date."

31. Jeremiah Greenman, Ibid.-----

"Saturday [Dec.] 20, 1777 to Wednesday Dec. 31, 1777 -- Continuing
near vally forg / we drawed axes to build huts for ye winter/ we began
our huts/ order'd to build them with logs 14 feet one way and 16 ye
other / Continuing building our huts/ nothing very Remarkeble & C/
mov'd in."
32. Diary of Grace Growden Galloway [a New Jersey (?) Loyalist]----

"Dec. ye 22nd [1777?] am very unwell & a Violent Cold. Nurse is still
determined to be sick tho I think little Ales her. Johnny Cummins &
John Thompson & Shebet Drank tea with Me. I abused Howe as the Author
of all our ruin & Talked against the English as they say independecy
will be established.

Dec. ye 24th am still very ill but went down in the after Noon. Had
two Chilly fitts one Just before day & ye other about 4 o'clock.. Was
very low but better at Night a Dull Christmas for me.

Dec. ye 25th -- it shnow'd & was extremely cold & this Morning I had a
flat load of wood come down there was not another flat at the warfe &
a few hours after the river was fast that it loks like an Act of
providence to Me; sat by muself the whole afternoon & slept am so
uUnwell can hardly Keep Up after supper Debby came in with her work &
I am quite sick of seeing Patching that her company this way is
disagreeable Spent a wretched Christmas indeed Nothing Deverting &
am ill."
33. From Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn, 1775-1783----

"[Connecticut] Dec 24th, 1778 we had snow Last night & very Sevear
Cold to Day.--our men are well Cloath'd & well Hutted.

Christmas Day, the weather is so very Cold we take but very little
notice of the Day.

Dec 26th we have a very Sevear Snow Storm.

Dec.30th this is Thanksgiving Day throughout the Continent--our men
have Half a Pint of Rum Each to keep it with--

Jan 1. 1779-- Old time keeps on her Coars, we find another year has
Commens'd thro the Coarse of which it is highly Probable from the
Present situation of affairs in the Different Quarters of the world
Many Important Events will turn up."

34. From Military Journal of Dr. Thacher----

"New Jersey (?) Dec.30, 1778-- Our officers have not permitted the
Christmas days to pass unnoticed, not a day without receiving
invitations to dine, nor a night without amusement and dancing. I dine
to-day with General Muhlenburg. Our soldiers are constantly employed
in cutting down trees and building log huts for our winter's
accomodation, and we are obliged to live in our uncomfortable tents
till they can be completed. This is appropriated as a day of
Thansgiving throughout the state."

35. From Jeremiah Greenman, Ibid----

"Warren, Rhode Island (?) Dec. 12 to Dec 26, 1778. Continuing in
Warrin / Nothing Remarkeble/ laying in our barracks wich is very bad
indeed, & cold snowy wether/ two or three men fros'd to death/ we hear
no sturf of the enemy/ we hear that thay have no stores of provision
only what thay bring from New York.."

36. From An Eyewitness Account of the American Revolution and New England
Life, The Journal of J.F. Wasmus, German Company Surgeon [captured
with Burgoyne's army]---

"Worcester, Dec.28 [1780] Yesterday, a number of Engl. Braunschweig
and Hesian officers passed through this city to be exchanged.

Nothing has been seen here in New England of the big comet that in the
course of this and the next year was to appear as was reported from
[St.] Petersburg on Jan. 20 and from Paris on April 9 of this year.

How long Shall anxious Thoughts my soul and Grief my Heart Oppress?
How long my Enemy's insult and I have no Redress?"

37. From Journal of Robert Kirkwood (the Delaware Regiment).

"South Carolina. Dec 23rd, 1781. March'd. Sixteen miles.
Dec.24th. March'd. Thirteen miles.
Dec.25th March'd to Pacolet. Eight miles.
Jan. 1st. March'd. Ten miles.
Jan. 16th. March'd to Cowpens. Twelve miles.
Jan.17th. Defeated Tarleton."
38. From f Greenman, Ibid----

"Bethlehem (NJ?) Dec. 20, 1781. This day continued at Quaters-- the
Evening spent in Company with Sum Gentlem of the Town -- with a fair
well Bottle --

Dec. 21. this Morning from Bethelem came about 11 Miles to Washington
where made a samll halt, oated my hors &c--then proceeded on to the
Oblongs where made a halt at Mr. Butt's--

Dec22. Continued at Mr. Butt's 'till Afternoon, when sett off for
Camp, Came two miles on My way--when returned back after my Great Coat
which I left--Concluded to stay to keep Christmas.

Dec25. Spent the day very agreable & the Evening the Same."

39. From A Hessian Diary of the American Revolution, by Johann Conrad

"[Winchester, VA -- in captivity] 30 November. It was Saint Andrew's
Day. During the evening the soldiers from Ireland conducted their so
called Irish procession to honor saint Andrew, the patron saint of
Ireland, here in the barracks courst, with beautiful music and and
jubilant shouts, 'God Save the King!"

16 December. As it was the third Sunday in Advent, Chaplain Wagner
conducted a prayer meeting for us.

17 December. Private Korn, of Major Beust's Company, died here in the

25 December. It was the holy Christmas Day, beautiful and warm."

40. From An Eyewitness Account of the American Revolution and New England
Life, The Journal of J.F. Wasmus, German Company Surgeon [captured
with Burgoyne's army]---

"Quebec, Dec 22nd, 1781 -- Due to the wind, the snow drifts are 15 fto
18 feet high in many spots; in the plains, the snow is 4 feet deep --

25th -- The cold increases and many people's hands and feet are

31st -- Astonishing snow storm. We are completely snowed in and cannot
get out of our stables and barracks. The dragoons have first to work
themslves through [the snow] in order to reach their horses. Should
it be the same in Siberia? It could surely not be worse.--"

41. From The Journal of Lieut. William Feltman of the First Penn.
Regiment, 1781-82.---

[South Carolina] 24th Dec'r '81--The troops took up the line of march
at the usual time. This day very disagreeable marching, rainy and
very sloppy, and encamped withing two miles of Camden, in the woods.
16 miles.

25th Dec'r, '81 -- This day remained on the ground, the men being much
fatigued, their clothes very dirty. Received an invitation to dine
with Mr. Le Count. Seven other gentlemen besides myself. He has a
very fine plantation. His house is built on an Indian monument, about
ten feet high. We dined very sumptuously on a very elegant dinner,
and plenty of good spirits....This being one of the most remarkable
Christmases that every I experienced, ver warm, &c, we passed the
afternoon very agreeably, without fire in the parlour."

42. Here's a snapshot of Christmas, at this time in British working-class
culture still a festival of misrule rather than a family holiday. Pvt James
McKaan, 29th Regt of Foot (unable to sign his name), deposition on 24 July
1770 before Frederick Smythe, Chief Justice of New Jersey, at Amboy:
"That being on Guard at the Neck in Boston on the Twenty fifth of
December One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine, and Sentry between the
Hours of Four and Six OClock in the After Noon A Number of People came
about him kicking A Foot ball on which to avoid them this Deponant went
into the Sentry Box and staid there A Considerable time and then came out
of the Sentry Box desireing them to keep of from him and his Post, instead
of which the Mobb increased more, and at lenth Struck the Ball against this
Deponent and hit him on the Head, and rebounded over a Wall upon which A
Young Lad jumped over the Wall after it (altho this Deponant told them that
no one should go after it) this Deponant at the same time receiving A Blow
on the Breast with A Brickbat which was thrown at him, on which this
Deponent made an offer to strike him that Jumped after the Ball but did not
reach him, whereupon he went back to the Sentry Box again, where he was
Immediately surrounded by the Mobb who sent off Directly for A Warrant to
Apprehend said Deponant, who was oblidged to Abscond himself some time from
his Duty to avoid A troublesome and Vexsatious confinement in Goal."
[Colonial Office, 5:88:459]

43, 44, 45, 46. Ashley Bowen (1728-1813), Marblehead, Mass:

christmas day 1774 - (A year early but interesting) "This day somewhat cold and Christmas.
St. Michael's Church dressed with bows. Organ played &c. Some snow and
rain. Arrived Captain Proctor from [Falmouth in the schooner Dolphin].

christmas 1775 - Pleasant for the times. This morning came in Captain Adams in Mr.
Twisden's schooner with a prize ship. ... Christmas. No church opened as Mr.
Weeks is absent.

dec 25 1776 - Cold as Christmas. I did not attend Church as there was a full
Church. Mr. Story attended with his wife to Church.

december 25 1779 - [No entries for '77 or '78] Cold as Christmas. Arrived Captain
Ambrose James from the West Indies. Wind eastward.

47,48,49,50. Willliam Pynchon (1723-1789), Salem, Mass:

1776 - Christmas. Very cold. My windows at Church broken, agreeable to
threats of Cook and comp. for assisting the countryman to get the stolen
apples from him.

december 25 1777 - Marit[ime] Court here from Tuesday last to Thursday.

1778 - Christmas. Cold continues. N.E. storm at night.

1780 - [No entry for '79] Christmas, and rainy. Dined at Mr. Wetmore's with
Mr. Goodale and family, John, and Patty. Mr. Barnard and Prince at church;
the music good, and Dr. Steward's voice above all.

51,52,53. Matthew Patten (1719-1795), Bedford, NH:

december 25 1775 - I made 4 pair of heels for ourselves and 2 pairs for my Brors famely.

december 25 1778 - [No separate entries for '76, '77 or '79] I went to Col: Moors mill
and I took 1 1/2 bushell of Rie and as much Indian corn and got it ground.

december 251780 - there fell a snow of 8 or 9 inches deep in the forenoon I writ a deed
from John McConihe to john Aiken junr ...

54, 55, 56. Rev. Ebenezer Parkman (1703-1782), Westborough, Mass:

decmeber 25 1778 - It remains exceeding cold. They [Breck - his son - and family]
breakfast here. I write by Fisk to Mr. Benj. Bradshaw, who I hear is worse.
Fisk sets out for Brookfield. ... [For what its worth - the entry for
12/24/78 begins: "Breck and his dine here on a roast Turkey of his providing.]

december 25 1779 - I rode up to Shrewsbury - to Mr. Nathan Goddard's who has persuaded me
to take this cold ride. Went to Mr. Sumner's who was gone with design to
preach tomorrow at Hubbard's Town. I lodged at Mr. Sumner's.

december 1780 - In morning Family Exercise read Luke 1, 25 to ye end & Ch 2, divers
parts, which peculiarly respect ye Nativity of our B.L. and give Thanks
therefor. Breck and his Family dind with us. O that we might uprightly and
most gratefully join with all true Christians, and with all our Souls
magnifie ye Lord, rejoicing forever in God our Savior! --

57.THE JOURNAL OF CHRISTIAN FREDERICK POST, 1758 . . .25th.-- The people in the camp prepared for a Christmas frolick; but I kept Christmas in the woods by myself.
Philip Vickers Fithian, journal and letters, 1767--1774, student at Princeton college, 1770--72, tutor at Nomini Hall in Virginia, 1773--74;
Saturday 18.

Rose by Seven, Sent for Mr Carters Barber and was drest for Breakfast--We went in to Breakfast at ten;--I confess I have been seldom more dash'd than when I entered the dining-Room, for I must of necessity be interrogated by Mr Carter before them all, about my indisposition, and if I was better;--I went through the several Ceremonies with as much resolution, and speed as possible, and soon mixed with the Company in promiscuous conversation. There were present of Grown persons Mr & Mrs Carter, Mrs Lee, & Miss Jenny Corbin; young Misses about Eleven; & Seven young Fellows, including myself;--After Breakfast, we all retired into the Dancing-Room, & after the Scholars had their Lesson singly round Mr Christian, very politely, requested me to step a Minuet: I excused myself, however, but signified my peculiar pleasure in the accuracy of their performance--There were several Minuets danced with great ease and propriety; after which the whole company joined in country-dances, and it was indeed beautiful to admiration, to see such a number of young persons, set off by dress to the best advantage, moving easily, to the sound of well performed Music, and with perfect regularity, tho' apparently in the utmost disorder--The Dance continued til two, we dined at half after three--soon after Dinner we repaired to the Dancing-Room again; I observe in the course of the lessons, that Mr Christian is punctual, and rigid in his discipline, so strict indeed that he struck two of the young Misses for a fault in the course of their performance, even in the presence of the Mother of one of them! And he rebuked one of the young Fellows so highly as to tell him he must alter his manner, which he had observed through the Course of the Dance, to be insolent, and wanton, or absent himself from the School--I thought this a sharp reproof to a young Gentleman of seventeen, before a large number of Ladies!--When it grew too dark to dance, the young Gentlemen walked over to my Room, we conversed til half after six; Nothing is now to be heard of in conversation, but the Balls, the Fox-hunts, and fine entertainments, and the good fellowship, which are to be exhibited at the approaching CHRISTMAS. --I almost think myself happy that my Horses lameness will be a sufficient Excuse for my keeping at home on these Holidays.--Mr Goodlet was barred out of his School last Monday by his Scholars, for Christmas Holidays, which are to continue til twelfth-day; But my Scholars are of a more quiet nature, and have consented to have four or five Days now, and to have their full Holiday in May next, when I propose by permission of Providence to go Home, where I hope to see the good and benevolent Laura.

Sunday 19.

Early this morning, I was awaked out of sleep by two youngsters, (for we are thronged with company, so that two slept in my Room) who were agreeing upon a Ride the Day after Christmas, (which will be Sunday) up to Fredericksburg, which lies upon the Rapahannock, fifty Miles higher up the country than where we live;--Breakfasted at nine, soon after which all our company dispersed; I had the offer of a Horse, & was strongly solicited to go to Church, but I declined it--My Horse is very lame, his Thigh, from the fore down to his knee is much swell'd!--It runs, however, and the Hostler tells me it is mending. Dined at three;
Teusday 21.

Rose by Half after Seven--the weather serene but sharp and cold--To day, before Dinner called in and stayed a short time Mr Blain and Mr Lee who were going to one Mr Lanes to a Christning, which I understand is one of the chief times for Diversion here--Miss Carter, this afternoon told me that her Mama thought of giving a small Ball at the approaching Christmas for select friends.
Fryday 24.

Ben Rode off this morning before day to Mr Fantleroys, for Christmas I dismissed the children while next Wednesday. I was introduced by Mr Carter at Dinner, to Dr Jones1 a practitioner in Richmond2 . I spent my Day in my Room alone as agreeably as I have done any since I have been in virginia coppying off my Sermon, correcting it. Retirement is as pleasing, & desirable to me here as at princeton or Cohansie! & by Gods blessing I hope to make it as profitable. In the Evening I read the two first Books of popes Homer. Dr Jones supped with us, & is to stay the Night. The conversation at supper was on Nursing Children; I find it is common here for people of Fortune to have their young Children suckled by the Negroes! Dr Jones told us his first and only Child is now with such a Nurse; & Mrs Carter said that Wenches have suckled several of hers--Mrs Carter has had thirteen Children3 She told us to night and she has nine now living; of which seven are with me. Guns are fired this Evening in the Neighborhood, and the Negroes seem to be inspired with new Life. The

[Note 1: 1 Dr. Walter Jones of Richmond County, was educated at William and Mary College, and at Edinburgh, attained reputation as a scholar and physician; during the Revolution was "Physician-General" for the hospitals of the middle department, and a member of Congress in 1797--99, and 1803--11.]

[Note 2: 2 Richmond County.]

[Note 3: 3 Subjoined is a list of the children of Councillor Carter, taken from The Carter Family Chart , prepared and recently published (1896) by R. R. Carter of Shirley, Virginia, and found to be by far the most reliable genealogy of this family extant. The names of three other daughters appear in a manuscript genealogy, the property of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, but lack confirmation.

Saturday 25.

I was waked this morning by Guns fired all round the House. The morning is stormy, the wind at South East rains hard Nelson the Boy who makes my Fire, blacks my shoes, does errands &c. was early in my Room, drest only in his shirt and Breeches! He made me a vast fire, blacked my Shoes, set my Room in order, and wished me a joyful Christmas, for which I gave him half a Bit. Soon after he left the Room, and before I was Drest, the Fellow who makes the Fire in our School Room, drest very neatly in green, but almost drunk, entered my chamber with three or four profound Bows, & made me the same salutation; I gave him a Bit, and dismissed him as soon as possible.--Soon after my Cloths and Linen were sent in with a message for a Christmas Box , as they call it; I sent the poor Slave a Bit, & my thanks.--I was obliged for want of small change, to put off for some days the Barber who shaves & dresses me.--I gave Tom the Coachman, who Doctors my Horse, for his care two Bits, & am to give more when the Horse is well.--I gave to Dennis the Boy who waits at Table half a Bit--So that the sum of my Donations to the Servants, for this Christmas appears to be five Bits, a Bit is a pisterene1 bisected; or an English sixpence, & passes here for seven pence Halfpenny. the whole is

[Note 1: 1 Pistareen, which then equalled about 19.4 of of our cents; half of it, 9.7; the English sixpence, 12.2; seven-pence-halfpenny Virginia money, 10.4--(Am. Hist. Review V. 5, No. 2, 298, n. 1.)]

* S. D.
* 3 1½

At Breakfast, when Mr Carter entered the Room, he gave us the compliments of the Season. He told me, very civily, that as my Horse was Lame, his own riding Horse is at my Service to ride when & where I Choose.

Mrs Carter was, as always, cheerful, chatty, & agreeable; She told me after Breakfast several droll, merry occurrences that happened while she was in the City Williamsburg.--

This morning came from the Post-office at Hobbes-Hole, on the Rappahannock, our News-papers. Mr Carter takes the Pennsylvania Gazette, which seems vastly agreeable to me, for it is like having something from home.--But I have yet no Answer to my Letter. We dined at four o-Clock--Mr Carter kept in his Room, because he breakfasted late, and on Oysters.--There were at Table Mrs Carter & her five Daughters that are at School with me--Miss Princilla, Nancy, Fanny, Betsy, and Harriot, five as beautiful delicate, well-instructed Children as I have ever known!--Ben is abroad; Bob & Harry are out; so there was no Man at Table but myself.--I must carve--Drink the Health--and talk if I can! Our dinner was no otherwise than common, yet as elegant a Christmas Dinner[ as I ever sat Down to--The table Discourse was Marriage; Mrs Carter observed that was she a Widow, she should scruple to marry any man alive; She gave a reason, that she did not think it probable a man could love her grown old when the world is thronged with blooming, ripening Virgins: but in fact Mrs Carter looks & would pass for a younger Woman than some unmarried Ladies of my acquaintance, who would willingly enough make us place them below twenty!--We dined at four; when we rose from table it was growing dark--The wind continues at South East & is stormy and muddy.

Mr Randolph the Clerk told me this Evening a Circumstance concerning Bob which tho it discovered stupidity, yet at the same time discovered great thoughtfulness.--It was about his sleeping with the Dog; Mr Randolph told me Bob asked him with great solemnity if he thought God Almighty knew it!--While we supped Mr Carter as he often does played on the Forte-Piano. He almost never sups. Last Night and to night I had large clear and very elegant Spermaceti Candles sent into my Room;

Thursday 30.

Dr Franks is moving. he has lived in the House adjoining our School. The morning is fine I rose by eight, breakfasted at ten. Miss Prissy & Nancy are to-Day Practising Music one on the Forte-Piano, the other on the Guitar. their Papa allows them for that purpose every Teusday, & Thursday. Ben is gone to the Quarter1 to see to the measuring the crop of Corn. On his return in the Evening, when we were sitting & chatting, among other things he told me that we must have a House-warming, seeing we have now got possession of the whole House--It is a custom here whenever any person or Family move into a House, or repair a house they have been living in before, they make a Ball & give a Supper--So we, because we have gotten possession of the whole House, are in compliance with Custom, to invite our Neighbours, and dance, and be merry--But poor me! I must hobble, or set quiet in the Corner!

saturday 8.

Catechised the Children, and dismissed them about ten. The morning pleasant--Rode before Dinner to Mr Blains Store--Was introduced to Dr Thompson; Mr Balantine, Mr Carr a young Scotch-Man Clerk, to Mr Blain; dined with Mr Blain, Parson Smith, his Wife, & her Sister were there--Colonel Washington,1 is Wife, & their Daughter Miss Jenny a young Lady of few words, a sanguine Countenance, and as to her Size, something below what Ladies call elegant; neat but not flashy in her Dress; Some of her Dress I admired

[Note 1: 1 John Augustine Washington of Bushfield. Miss Jenny subsequently married Col. William Augustine Washington, a cousin.]
because I have seen Laura in the like, y(et) it strongly shewed me that it is not Dress alone that I admire in Her. All these had been at a Widding in the country and were returning--In Dr Thomsons Room there was hanging against the Wall a Skeleton!--Balantine, either to shew himself a true full-blooded Buck, or out of mere wantonness & pastime turned the Bones (as they were fixed together with Wires) into many improper and indecent postures; but this officious industry met with such reception from the company as it Justly merited, and as I wish'd might happen; for they gave visible signs of their contempt of his Behaviour--About Six in the Evening the Chariot returned with Bob, Miss Prissy & Nancy from the Dance at Stratford --They brought News as follows: Miss Prissy told us, that they had an elegant Dance on the Whole; that Colonel Phlip Lee, where they met to Dance, was on Friday, at the Wedding of which I made mention just now; Mr Christian the Master danced several Minuets, prodigiously beautiful; that Captain Grigg (Captain of an English Ship) danced a Minuet with her; that he hobbled most dolefully, & that the whole Assembly laughed--Bob told us that there was a race between Mr--And Colonels Horses--that they run a Mile, & that Dottrell belonging to Mr won the Race;--Bob told me in private, after we were alone in my Room, that Colonel Lee took an Opportunity, & asked him in the Hearing of a large company at Supper, what sort of Fellow he is whom your Papa has provided for your Tutor--Bob told me that for answer he Informed him I was good and agreeable--That Miss Jenny Corbin, (a young Lady with whom I have had the greatest Opportunity of being acquainted, of any young Lady in Virginia) gave him so favourable an Account of my Behaviour, that he was pleased to say He should be glad to see me at his House, and of my company--But after having heard this much, I shall esteem myself pardonable, & shall always think it proper to refuse without thanks his warmest Invitations; and will plead for my excuse nothing else than mere inclination.

In the Evening about seven o'Clock it snowed exceeding fast til Eight when it ceased, it being the second Snow we had this winter here. At Supper we had much conversation about the Dance.

Mrs Carter & myself sat while ten and the Colonel read Philosophy.

Wednesday 12.

I gave Sam Mr Carters Barber, for shaving & dressing me, & for mending my Shoes, two pisterenes, which pass here for half a Crowrn--The morning is serene, pleasant, but cold yet. Miss Hariot this morning being over curious tasted some Mercury Mixture in Mr Randolph's Room, it made her very sick; I was frightened, the family was frightened! She puked, and threw it off her Stomach, & was soon relieved.

I gave Martha who makes my Bed, for a Christmas Box, a Bit, which is a pisterene cut into two equal parts--I gave to John also, who waits at Table & calls me to Supper a Bit. So that My whole Expence to-Day has been 3/9.

Mrs Carter invited me to Day to go to the Ball, I excused myself, & declined it.


59. A JOURNAL kept at
begun in
December, 1789



The interesting Journal of Mar Rosina Unger is a booklet, 4 by 6 inches, with a red cover, evidently a home made product. The writing is in English.

Maria Rosina was born in Lancaster, Apr. 27,1775, a daughter of the Rev. Frederick Unger and wife, Anna C., m.n. Rose, the latter a daughter of Peter Rose and wife, Catharine, m.n. Butmansky. The last named is the "dr. Grandmamy" referred to in the Journal.

Maria Rosina taught in the Bethlehem Seminary from 1793-1805. She married Nov. 25, 1804 at Bethlehem, John Constantine Mueller, born Sept. 24, 1762, a son of John Caspar, a merchant from Salzungen, Grand Duchy of Meiningen, and wife Anna Elizabeth, m.n. Schloder Mueller. At various times he served as overseer of the unmarried men at Bethlehem, and of the married people at Lititz. Following the death of his wife, he married Anna Sophia Christ, and served as minister of the congregations at Lancaster, and at York, where he died Sept. 30, 1821. Maria Rosina died in 1809 at Lititz.

The Journal came into the possession of her sister Anna Catharine Frederica, mentioned as Any in the Journal, who became the wife of Rev. Nathaniel Brown, pastor of the Congregation at Staten Island, N.Y. The latter's daughter, Charlotte Fredericka,, was also a teacher in the Bethlehem Seminary and later married Charles Frederick Beckel of Bethlehem,, the great grandfather of Clarence E. Beckel, the present owner* of the Journal.

Several pages in the rear of the book contain writing in the hand of Anna C.F. (Unger) Brown, sister to Maria Rosina, with extracts from the Bible and comments on her complete Trust in the Lord.

There are also several pages written in German by the mother., giving facts relating to the birth and early life of her three daughters: Anna Catharine Fredericka, born, Nov. 16 17724 Maria Rosina, born Apr. 27, 1775; and Johanna Elizabeth, born July 27,1779. The last named died Jan. 28, 1785 in Bethlehem.

The original spelling and punctuation were retained in copying the Journal.

Clarence E. Beckel

Thursday and Wednesday 2d-3d Dec.
Nothing particular happened.

Friday 4th. Dec.
We had singing school in the foreon. In the afternoon took a walk it 'it was a beautiful day.

Saturday 5th.
To day was our prayerday, the lst. meeting was kept by Br. Peter, the next by Br. Huebener, he read a journal of Newyork. In the afternoon there was a lovefeast in which we sung some verses of our Saviour's birth; afterward was prostration to which 5 children had leave to go. It snow'd middling hard to day for the 3rd time this winter. We employed ourselves with painting for christmas. In the evening was private meeting I could not attend it, on account of my having a bad toothache. Sr. Liesel Steiner and Sr. Langgaard spent the evening with us, as Sr. Sulamith was gone to meeting.

Sunday Dec. 6th. 1789.
The first meeting was kept by Br. Huebner, he read some lifes of deceased Brn. and Srs. The next was german preaching kept by Br. Grube. At 3 oClock in the afternoon Mr. Huebner read a journal from the indian country; which was in a whole hour & a quarter. The snow melted all away today. I made a vesper with Miss Beyerhoudt and Polhemus of chocolate. Sr. Mary was well enough to come downstairs and spend the afternoon with us. Our supper was milk and appe pye [apple pie] after which we went again to meeting & then to bed.

Monday 7th.
Miss Molly Barton returned home this morning, who had been here some weeks. In the first school we read the prophesies of Isaiah of our Saviour's birth. After diner I kept my music schools, & then went on writing notes.

Tuesday 8th.
The schools to day were as usual. Brother Grube kept the children's meeting. In the afternoon kept my music school.

Wednesday 9th.
This morning Br. Huebner came to teach us book keeping. Our dr. Brother Frues kept the children's meeting, he indeed spoke beautiful. In the afternoon we took a long walk to Mr. Clewels & intended to drink tea there, but they being very bury-, we drank by Mr. Colvers., where we spend the time with innocent plays. Sr. Stehlin spend the evening with us.

Thursday 10th.
As this was my day I swept the room. Our first school was Geography, the rest were as usual. After diner we went over the lehigh, to fetch moss & greens for christmas, of which we found plenty.

Friday 11th.
We finish'd ancient History & began modern. Mr. Grube kept our singing school, to learn christmas verses. After diner I had my music school.

Saturday 12th.
The day was spent very agreeable, in various occupations.

Sunday 13th.
Br. Frues kept a beautiful preaching from Matthew 11 chap. 2 verse. In the evening went to another, ,which Br. Huebner kept.

Monday 14th.
Our first school was reading in the Bible. In the writing school I composed a letter to my Parents in which I enclosed some of my paintings, In the evening Mr. Huebner was so kind as to instruct Miss Blakeley & myself in music.

Tuesday 15th.
Our first schools were Gramar & Arithmetic. It being fine weather we took an agreeable walk.

Wednesday 16th.
Our school from 8 till 9 treated of the origin and progress of the turks. It was very-disagreeable weather, which prevented us from meeting & walk.

Thursday 17th.
We read about Pensylvania it's different sects & principle towns. It being a rainy day we could not take a walk, but in the evening went to meeting.

Friday 18th.
We had a very agreeable history school. The weather being somewhat better., we took a short walk.

Saturday 19th.
I was busy in making up my Sunday petticoat. In the afternoon I drank tea with my Grandmamy accompanied by my Sister Any. After which I had the pleasure to receive a letter from my dear Parents & some money. We took a short but pleasant walk. In the evening had the grace to go to the holy comunion.

Sunday 20th.
Sister Magdalena stayed with us as Sister Suly was gone to the Lord's-supper. After which was Lord's-supper liturgy, which I attended. After diner Miss Moore & myself made a vesper of chocolate. Afterwards Mr. Huebner paid us a short visit & read my letter. In the evening we at-tended meeting.

Monday 21st.
This morning we heard, that Sr. Artmut Langley (had the last night) departed this Life. To day we had no schools, but were busy in painting & preparing for Christmas.

Tuesday 22nd.
In the evening we spoke our dialouge for Brother & Sister Huebner who were so kind as to present each of us with a christmas cake.

Wednesday 23rd.
All the representations of the birth of Christ were finished., which were all beautiful. In the afternoon the children took a walk but Miss Bull & myself stayed on account of our bad shoes. Sr. Liesel was so kind as to give me a plate full of cakes, some apples a wax candle and one Shill. as a Christmas present. In the evening Sister Huebner came to take all those children with herself & Mr. Huebner, that had not been with the rest, with whom we took a beautiful walk. In the evening we practised music in the conferenz room, but as Mr. Weis and Mr. Huebner came, it prevented us from practising.

Thursday 24th.
To day being the night watch, we employed ourselves with painting. Sr. Fisher was so kind as to present me with a small plate, some cakes & pins. It snowed middling hard to day. Before meeting we spoke our dialouge. Miss Kip was all day very sick, so that she could not attend the night watch. After we had eaten some supper we went in the meeting hall, in was very full, so that we could go without cloaks. When it was.most out we were suprized by looking on the galary as it was most beautiful illuminated. Afterwards all the brethren came on our side., which (after we had sung our pieces) made us soon go out. We all went happy to bed.

Friday 25th.
In the morning as we came from bed, we found our lb. of cakes laying on the table with a slate pencil from Sr. Langgaar by each, and some apples.. After being washed & comed we went to breakfast where we found sugar cake & coffee. The first meeting was german preaching afterwards english in both of which was beautiful music. At 1 0Clock,, in the afternoon we had our meeting, which was kneeling, kept by Mr. Huebner. In the evening, we spoke our dialouge for oar beloved Mr. Frues. After meeting we had the pleasure to go & see the Illuminate of the brethren's house, which was delightful.

Saturday 26th.
The first meeting was reading, the rest were as yesterday. We spoke our dialouge for Sister Ebert., & some more sisters, Sr. Ebert was so kind as to make us a lovefeast of wine & cake. I afterwards drank tea with my dear Grandmamy & Sister. Afterwards some of us took a walk with Sr. Magdalena in some houses to see the Illuminations.

Sunday 27th.
It was a very dull & disagreeable day we attended meeting as usual.

Monday 28th.
Sister Langgaard was so kind as to begin to teach us Chronology. In the afternoon I kept my music schools in the Sisters house. In the evening we went to practice our music in the conferenz room.

Tuesday 29th.
We went on in the a I same study. This forenoon it snowed very hard. In the evening we again went to practice our music.

Wednesday 30th.
The schools were as usual. In the evening we again went to practise but were interrupted by Mr. Huebner and Mr. Weiss who made beautiful music.

Thursday 31st.
To day we had no schools, it being Newyear's eve. After diner we were rejoyced to hear of Mr. Ettwein's arrival at Hope, but had not the pleasure to see him that evening. I drank Coffee with my dr. Sister Any. This evening we went to meeting which lasted till 121, & concluded the old year. Miss Kip could not attend it, being unwell.

Friday Jan. lst.

My dear Mamy had her birthday, I therefore breakfasted with my Grandmamy and Any. There was english and german preaching in which was beautiful music. In the afternoon drank tea & supped with my Grandm. Afterwards we went to meeting, whilst we were in Mr. Ettwein arrived at Bethm. which was a great joy to all.

Satturday 2nd.

In the morning all the children in our room recd. letters, & some also got goodies. This morning I saw Mr. Ettwein & welcomd him in Bethm. Miss Moore & myself made us chocolate & invited Sr. M.M. afterwards Mr. Ettwein paid us a visit. We took a beautiful walk.

Sunday 3rd.
The day past as usual.

Monday 4th.
The first shool was reading in the Bible of king Solomon's temple. Br. Beck kept children's meeting. In the evening we heard the sorrowful news, that our dr. Mr. Huebner would move to Lititz, & Mr. van Vleck would take his office. Br. Benzien with his wife arrived here.

Tuesday 5th.
In the afternoon Br.& Sr. Benzien came to see us.

Wednesday 6th.
Our shools fell out this forenoon, as Miss Lydia Palmer who had resided here 2 years and returned home, we lost by her going an amiable companion.

Thursday 7th.
We spend the day as usual, nothing particular happened.

Friday 8th.
In the afternoon we were honoured by a visit of Mr.& Mrs. van Vleck & several other European Brn. & Srs.

Satturday 9th.
Our dear Sister Jacobson celebrated her Birthday. The Misses received a great many bundles from their Parents. I drank tea with my dr. Grandmamy.

Sunday 10th.
We attended several meetings & at 2 a lovefeast of Coffee & cake to welcome the europeans in the evening. attended a german discourse.

Monday 11th.
Miss Patty Hammon entered the school a Miss of about 12 years of age from Boston. At 3 Miss Mary Ann Vandainy (a Lady that came to instruct in our Academy) came to see us.

Tuesday 12th.
Nothing particular happened.

Wednesday 13th.
We had very agreeable Schools & in the evening attended meeting, a pretty hard snow fell to day.

Thursday 14th.
Susel Bagin celebrated her birthday & as she lives in our room we made her a lovefeast of wine & cake.

Friday 15th.
We had a very agreeable school at I attended the funeral of a married sister.

Saturday 16th.
Mr. van Zandt & Moore arrived from New-york company visited the school.

This transcription is from the holdings of the Bethlehem Area Public Library.
The original can be found in the collection of the Moravian Museum of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership.

60. Moravian Indian Province Island Diary Moravian Indians - Province Island Diary

Diary of the Indian Gemeine on Province Island, in the Delaware River,
5 miles under Philadelphia, 1763 — January 4, 1764

December 1: Br. David Zeisberger went with the boat to Philadelphia. Peter and Nathanael helped him row and came late in the evening back home. [They] brought an Indian from Machchilusing with them, who wanted to visit his friends. We had a blessed service in the evening about the Daily Text: For our conversation is in heaven etc. (1)

December 3: Jacob came, and another strange Indian from the city. In the evening service, there was an old Swede who had heard the Brethren preach before.

December 4: We had a gathering in which many necessary things were mentioned, in particular going to the city and shopping, which we must suspend entirely for the time being because the people are angry again. Jo Peep and another Indian from the Jerseys came to visit their friends. At midday, the sermon was about the Daily Text: having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.(2) As soon as I complete my blessed election in the Side wound.(3) In the afternoon, Br. Grube had blessed Bands (4) with the communicant [Abendmahl] brothers, and his wife with the sisters. [In these meetings] the brothers and sisters emptied their hearts about how it was to leave Nain, and Nazareth, and the whole trip. A few said: It was very hard for us in the beginning to leave our nice homes, but now we are totally free of it, and we are happy that we can sleep peacefully again and eat our bread without fear. We are happy that the Savior has sustained us peacefully and blessedly up to now. Anton said: About one thing I am still perplexed, namely: that our people is not at all times obedient to the Savior and the Brethren. And thus expressed each his heart’s thoughts. We felt thereby the peace of God among our communicant brothers and sisters, and their longing for the great thing [i.e., communion, or Abendmahl]. Many young people from the neighborhood came to visit, among whom were a few Germans who had a desire to go to the sermon.

December 5: The two Jersey Indians went back to the city.

December 6: We received 13 _ cords of wood. We were busy with it nearly the whole day, carrying it from the wharf up to our house.

December 7: After the morning service, our sisters went with the boat, as they have done every morning in the past, to Jacob Weiss’s farm to milk their cows. When they arrived there, however, the cows had all been herded to Philadelphia in order to be sold. Our dear David,(5) with Peter and Anton, came with the boat back from the city and had bought all kinds of necessities for our small household. We heard also that Brother and Sister Schmick are come to Philadelphia. A separate meeting was held for the children on account of their behavior.

December 8: Our dear Brother and Sister Schmick, with their little Johanna, came here to stay. Our Indian brothers and sisters rejoiced and welcomed them all heartily. Br. Schmick held the evening service and greeted the brothers and sisters from the brothers and sisters in Bethlehem, which made they very happy.

December 10: A boat brought us ten cords of wood, [and] we were very busy bringing it to the appropriate place. In the evening, there was a blessed Singstunde.

December 11 [Symbol for Sunday]: Br. Schmick held the service at midday. A Nursing Conference [Krancken Wärter Conferenz] was created among the sisters. Seven were appointed, of which each visits on one day and reports to us who is sick. It was very important to all of them to have such an office.

December 12: Br. Grube and David went to the city to talk with Mr. Fox about provisions.

December 13: Br. Grube returned home to land [?] and brought Johannes Pepunhang and his family, as well as a pair of old men, to stay here. We put them in a single room. Towards evening, Br. David arrived here with a boat from the city, which brought us three cords wood, ten barrels salt meat, five barrels cod fish, 2,200 lbs flour, and two kegs of rice, which was very agreeable to us as our provisions were almost gone.

December 14: After the morning service that Br. Schmick held, we gathered all of the adults together because a few had expressed displeasure over the distribution of the provisions[. W]e gave them an earnest reminder.

December 15: Br. David held the morning service. In the afternoon, Br. Schmick and David went to Philadelphia for provisions and wood. Last night was unusually stormy and cold. Seven Indians from the Nanticokes came here from Philadelphia to stay.

December 16: Br. Schmick and David came back from the city, the former held the evening service over the Daily Text: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.(6)

December 17: After the evening service, which Br. Grube held, there was a conference with the Room Overseers [Stube Aufseher]. We spoke with them about a few necessary matters, in particular about the children.

December 18 [Symbol for Sunday]: Br. David preached about the Daily Text. In the afternoon, Br. Schmick held Bands with the Abendmahl brothers, and Br. Grube with the young boys.

December 19: Br. David went to Philadelphia for wood and provisions. Isaac Still and Job Chelloway came from Philadelphia to visit.

December 20: Our dear Br. David came back home and brought with him some thirty pairs of shoes for our Indians, which were given to them. Because a couple of our young males have been dis
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December 20: Our dear Br. David came back home and brought with him some thirty pairs of shoes for our Indians, which were given to them. Because a couple of our young males have been disobedient and have gone over our borders to the neighbors and drank, Br. Grube went to the entire neighborhood and asked the people not to admit any of our Indians or to give them any strong drink, which they promised to do.

December 21: After our dear David held a heart-felt Band with Johannes Pepunhang, he traveled to Bethlehem. We and the Indian brothers and sisters were very thankful to him, for his faithfully rendered help, his efforts, and work. The Indian Brethren gave him many heartfelt greetings for the Gemeine in Bethlehem; their hearts are always tender when they think of Bethlehem. Abraham, Jannetzi’s son, who has lately behaved very badly, came and begged much for forgiveness. In the evening, after the service, the Room Overseers came together. In their presence, the young Philippus was spoken to very earnestly about his disobedience.

December 22: Br. Schmick went with four Indian brothers to Philadelphia to buy a few necessary things. The young Philippus came and asked for forgiveness. A few young people swept the chimney. The sick Verona also said today: Ah, if only the Savior would soon take me to him, I am so tired of living here. In the evening, Br. Grube held the service.

December 23: Br. Schmick came home safely with the four Indian brothers.

December 24: We had a blessed << Christmas>> Eve. First, a pleasing Love Feast was held with the children, in which Br. Schmick told them with blessed feeling of the Savior’s birth. They were very glad upon hearing this and sang several pretty verses to the little Jesus child. The young Josua played the Spinet, and Elias played the Citter. Afterwards, the adults had their Agape with biscuits and tea. Br. Grube talked on the Daily Text. Finally we kneeled before our most dear little Jesus, thanked him from our hearts for his painful birth and incarnation, and recommended us all to his faithful heart.

December 25: Br. Schmick held the holiday service over the message of the angels. In the afternoon was the Children’s Hour and in the evening, Br. Grube held the service about the Daily Text: Blessed are the poor.

December 26: 25 pairs of shoes were distributed, which Mr. Fox had given to the Indians as a present. They were very happy about this, since a few of them already go barefoot.

December 28: Br. Schmick held the morning service, and Br. Grube [held the] Quarter hour service for the communicant brothers and sisters. [He] brought them the happy message that we would have Abendmahl this week.

December 29: Br. Grube held the morning service about the Text: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, etc. (7) Sisters Grube and Schmick began to speak to the widows for the Abendmahl. (8) They [the sisters] showed their great joy and thankfulness that the Savior would give them this great gift even here. They were all pleased and well in their hearts. Brother Grube went to Galloways Island, four miles from here, in order to see if wood is to be had there. A Nanticoke and two women came from Philadelphia, but, because they brought no [official] order with them, we sent them back. Br. Schmick held the evening service. At midnight two boats came here from Philadelphia with a letter from Mr. Fox indicating that we should be brought away from here quickly by water, on account of the Irish Rebels who have come down from Lancaster County in order to kill us. We woke our Indians and told them that they should make ready to leave here, which they did, though they were quite dismayed. We consoled them with today’s Daily Text: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.(9) After a couple hours, Mr. Epdy came via horse from Philadelphia with letters from Mr. Fox and Ludw. Weiss concerning our retreat.

December 30: Everyone was in motion with packing after the morning service, and each hour we expected orders to go on board. The boat people who had come to assist kept watch. Many gentlemen from the city came to see us, among whom was Colonel L_____ and two more captains, who suggested that in the case of emergency we should retreat. Br. Schmick held the evening service. Our men folk kept diligent watch this night. At midday, our dear Br. Marshall came from Bethlehem and brought us pleasing letters, along with the new Daily Texts [for 1764]. Israel Pemperton visited us and assured us that the Government would do everything that could help secure our safety.

December 31: Br. Grube held the morning service. Soon after an Express (10) came from Mr. Fox with the news that the Rebels were only 12 miles from here in great numbers, and that we should retreat immediately on the three boats which had been sent to us for that purpose. This we did, and, in a quarter hour, everyone was on board, though most of the stuff remained behind. We took flight to Leek Island, three miles from here, where we laid anchor and waited for further orders. In a few hours, some gentlemen came and brought a letter from the Honorable Governor to Brothers Schmick and Grube, the contents of which were very pleasing to us: "His Honor, the Governor, has ordered me to report to you that the alarm that we heard this morning, of the Rebels who were said to be on their way to Province Island, has been found to be false. Therefore, the Governor’s desire is, since he has heard that the Indians are already prepared to come to the city, that you will send them immediately back to the house on Province Island, to which place a certain protection will be sent as soon as possible to protect you against all attacks, etc." Jos. S[hippen]

Upon reading this we returned immediately, arrived here at 3 o’clock, and were soon back to normal. Our dear Br. Marshall pleased us with his visit at the same time and returned to Philadelphia before evening. Br. Schmick held the evening service at the close of this remarkable year. [In the service], we thanked our true heart [Jesus] on our knees and tearfully begged Him for forgiveness for everything. We also thought with love of our dear Br. Peter. Our Abendmahl, that we would like to have held today, could not happen because of the commotion. And thus we closed the year of probation that had been begun in childlike calmness and trust in our dear Lord, who will also make everything in the coming year bearable to us with his nearness.


January 1: Br. Grube preached over today’s Text: Now is the agreeable time, now is the day of the salvation and it was for us thus, as the Collecte says: Our God’s little sheep is in our midst (11) etc. In the afternoon, Br. Schmick held a blessed Children’s Service in [the] Mahican [language], and, in the evening, he held a Gemeine Service; many of our guards were present. Mr. Fox, along with two more gentlemen from the city, visited us. Our Indians greeted them cheerfully, which pleased them greatly. Mr. Fox assured us that there was no more danger, and if the governor should hear something, he would let us know immediately so that we could instantly board the three boats, which would stay here at our disposal. Job Chelloway, who was sent by Mr. Pemberton with an message for our Indians, returned to the city. The answer from our Indians was: we prefer to remain under the protection of the Government, and, [if] it can not protect us, we would prefer to suffer.

January 2: Br. Grube held the morning service. A few of our guards went to the city to procure provisions. Many gentle people, particularly Quakers, came from Philadelphia to see us. Our dear David Zeisberger came unexpectedly from Bethlehem with a message from Br. Marshall from Philadelphia; namely: the Quakers have made a proposal to transport us to a certain island where only Quakers live, who support themselves through fishing but have no wood. We declined right away, however, in the hope that our dear Father will show us another means by which we can be in security. In the evening, Br. Schmick held a blessed service over today’s Daily Text: Majesty and power are due you, magnificence, victory, and thanks, etc. Today was indeed a difficult day for us.

January 3: We had a nice quiet day. Only four Quakers to visit. We spoke to a few more brothers and sisters in preparation for the Abendmahl. The Savior was also merciful and allowed us to have the Abendmahl today. After the evening service, which Br. Schmick held, was the Love Feast of the Communicants, then the Absolution and the blessed taste of the body and blood of our Lord. O how the dear hearts, who had almost despaired of enjoying of the great thing, praised [the Lord]. We therefore thanked [Him] with tears for this great blessing, He knows best when we will have this blessed day again. The people who were sent here from Philadelphia to guard us made it nice, [they] were quiet and watchful during the service, and were amazed that the Indians have so many services here and that we take such special care of them.

January 4: Was again very uneasy. Toward evening our dear David Zeisberger came again from the city with the disturbing news that we must go away from here this night. Continuation of the travel diary.

1. Philippians 3:20. English translation taken from the King James Version.

2. Philippians 1:23. The full verse reads: "For I am in a strait betwixt the two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better." The German given in the diary reads, literally, "I have a desire to leave, ..." English translation taken from the King James Version.

3. 1763 Daily Text book citation: 903.

4. Bands, or Gesellschaften, were small group meetings held to discuss the soul’s condition.

5. David Zeisberger

6. Psalms, 21:6. English translation from the King James Version. The German in the original diary reads: "You have made me exceedingly glad with thy countenance." The Daily Text book for 1763 indicates that verse 7, not verse 6, corresponded to this verse in the version of the bible they used.

7. Philippians, 4:7. English translation taken from the King James Version.

8. Personal interviews, or "Gesprechen," with choir leaders were required preparation for taking communion within the Moravian Church.

9. Psalms, 4:8. English translation taken from the King James Version. The Daily Text book for 1763 indicates that verse 9, not verse 8, corresponded to this verse in the version of the bible they used.

10. A messenger with a special letter to deliver.

11. 1764 Daily Text book hymnal citation: 1355, 2.

61. In Rivington’s Gazetteer (December 23, 1773) reported "Last Monday, the anniversary of St. Nicholas, otherwise called Santa Claus, was celebrated at Protestant Hall, at Mr. Waldron’s; where a great number of sons of the ancient saint [the Sons of Saint Nicholas] celebrated the day with great joy and festivity."

62. Another such notice appeared in 1774: "Monday next, being the anniversary of Saint Nicholas, will be celebrated by the descends of the ancient Dutch Families."

63. Oliver Ellsworth to Abigail Ellsworth

Dear Girl, Philada. Jany. 9. 1779. Was you to see me this night, in the scituation I am, with a beard a week old, with the cape of my great Coat buttoned about my ears, & a large muffler of Baize across my nose & mouth, I am sure you would not give me a kiss; & that would be ten times worse than the pain I now feel, & have felt for (ten) days past. In short such a fare I never had before & hope never shall again. How I came by it I know not, nor do I care, so that I get rid of it again, which I think I shall in two or three days more. And you will expect I suppose that [the] moment I am able to ride I set off, post haste for home; but, my dear, I cannot come [. . .] will give you no reasons why because [you wi]ll believe none; only that I cannot come & must do without [....] I will tell you more for your amusement, & that is how I kept Christmas. I went among the papists & atended divine service in a romish chappel where I confess I was wonderfully struck with the shew of the place, the superstition of the ceremonies & devotion of the people. I did not arive in season to smell the burning of frankinsense, nor to see our saviour carryed about in a cradle under pretense of his having been born the very night before; but I saw him extended at full length upon the cross, seven golden candlesticks burning upon an Alter before him, & one in the midst with a candle as large as a man's Arm. At this alter stood their priest covered with a mantle bespangled with [. . .] & two boys, in white, to hold up the [. . .] it, & occasionally to ring a little [. . .] held in thier hands. The Alley leading [. . .] the Image of our saviour [. . .] men & women on their knees [chan]ting prayers out of lattin books [. . .] understood not a word of, & those who had no book had strings of beads in their hands, which they counted over & answered the same purpose. The priest administered the sacrement to a number, but I observed after he had put a small wafer into their mouths, he drank all the wine himself & when his Glass was out one of his boys stepd up & filled her again, & so on until the cruize gave out when the kneelers arose & that priest [. . .] & diping in their fingers & crossing themselves the service was finished, & I returned home to a dinner which gave me more substantial entertainment-thus ended Christmas & thus ends my Letter.
My dear Adieu, O Ellsworth
64. John Fell's Diary

[December 24, 1778] 24th Thursday. A motion for the Secretary to wait on Genl Washington to desire his attendance.(1) President told him a Committee would be appointed to consult with him Respecting the ensuing Campaign, he with drew, the Committee Laurens, Duane, Smith, Root, and Morris: The reminder of the day in debate about Genl Thompson, whether Judge Atleys deposition be admited, carried in the Negative. Motion whether the General is guilty of a breach of Priviledge agst. the member Honble Mr McKean, Carried in the Afirmitave, my Vote no. Then whether the Generals deffence should be allowd as a full justification, carried in the afirmitive. So ended an unhappy dispute that has given Congress a great deal of trouble between Genl Thompson & the Honble Member for the State of Delaware. To morrow being Christmas Day adjournd to Saturday.

65. James Tilton to Gunning Bedford, Jr.

Annapolis, Christmas Day, 1783.
The General came to town last Friday, and announced his arrival, by a letter to congress, requesting to know, in what manner they chused he should resign his authority; whether by private letter or public audience? The latter was preferred without hesitation. Some etiquette being settled on Saturday, a public dinner was ordered on Monday and the audience to be on Tuesday. The feast on Monday was the most extraordinary I ever attended. Between 2 and 3 hundred Gentn: dined together in the ball-room. The number of cheerful voices, with the clangor of knives and forks made a din of a very extraordinary nature and most delightful influence. Every man seemed to be in heaven or so absored in the pleasures of imagination, as to neglect the more sordid appetites, for not a soul got drunk, though there was wine in plenty and the usual number of 13 toasts drank, besides one given afterwards by the General which you ought to be acquainted with: it is as follows. 'Competent powers to congress for general purposes.'
In the evening of the same day, the Governor gave a ball at the State House.1 To light the rooms every window was illuminated. Here the company was equally numerous, and more brilliant, consisting of ladies and Gentn: Such was my villanous awkwardness, that I could not venture to dance on this occasion, you must therefore annex to it a cleverer Idea, than is to be expected from such a mortified whelp as I am. The General danced every set, that all the ladies might have the pleasure of dancing with him, or as it has since been handsomely expressed, get a touch of him.

66. J. Adams to the President of Congress.*

[Note *: * MSS. Dep. of State; 3 Sparks' Dip. Rev, Corr., 283, with verbal changes; 7 J. Adams' Works, 346.]

Amsterdam, December 25, 1780.

Sir: Affairs are still in suspense. This day being Christmas, and yesterday a Sunday, there was no public exchange held on either. But business, and especially stockjobbing, goes on without ceasing, being held at the coffee-houses on Sundays and holidays when it can not be held upon 'change.

The English mail, which had been interrupted by contrary winds for three posts, arrived on Saturday. The English gazettes of the 19th announced that Sir Joseph Yorke was recalled and a Dutch war inevitable.

67. to mary bartlet
This Day being Christmas the Congress Did not Set, So I had an oppertunity to ride about 6 or 7 miles out of town in a Sley, but yesterday and the Day before we had a Severe Cold Storm of Snow which is now about Six inches Deep. Desire Capt Calef to look me out a good faithful Steady hand & hire him for me for 9 months or a year to assist in my farming Business. I am Determined to return as Soon as I Can with propriety. Give my Kind regards to Capt Calef, Col Grely, Leut Pearson and all friends. I remain yours &c Josiah Bartlett
68. Elbridge Gerry to Samuel R. Gerry

1783. . . .. .
A merry Christmas to You all & be assured I am yours, Dear Comr, E. G.

[P.S.] The Mackrel are not wanted. The Meat that is to be sent, if an Oppertunity offers soon--1 quintal.(1)

69. John Jay to Sarah Jay

My Horses were new shod, Wheels greased, Cloaths put up and every thing ready to set off early in the Morning, when on going to Congress this Morning all my pleasing Expectations of seeing you on Christmas Day were disappointed. Dont you pity me my Dear Sally? It is however some Consolation that should the Congress not adjourn in less than ten Days, I am determined to stay with you till- and depend upon it nothing but actual Imprisonment will be able to keep me from you.

70. Richard Smith's Diary 1775

Adjorned till Tuesday, Monday being Christmas.

71. Robert Morris to Benjamin Harrison 1776

We had a Merry Christmas at Smiths in spite of the times. The absence of my Family sits grievously hard on me as I never parted with them before, but my time is too much employed to dwell much upon any Subject and I am now pleasing myself with the thoughts of bringing them back. I dine at the Hills to day & have done so every Sunday. Thus you see I continue my old practice of mixing business & pleasure and ever found them usefull to each other. I am with great affection your Friend & Servant,

Robt Morris

72. Rutledge to Jay.†

[Note †: † 2 Jay's Life, 25; 1 Corr. and Pub. Papers of John Jay, 183.]

Charleston, December 25, 1778.

My Dear Jay: It is a long time since we have had any correspondence, but I see no reason why it should be longer, when we have anything to say and leisure to say it in. Such is just my situation, for it is Christmas day, and all the world (i. e., my clients) being either at their devotions or their amusements, I have time to tell you, and I fear with some reason (as it comes north about), that a damned infamous cabal is forming against our commander-in-chief, and that whenever they shall find themselves strong enough they will strike an important blow.

73. J. Adams to the President of Congress.*

[Note *: * MSS. Dep. of State; 3 Sparks' Dip. Rev. Corr., 297, with verbal changes.]

Amsterdam, January 4, 1781.
The symptoms of popularity in this city are decisive. The Sunday before last, in the Presbyterian meeting, the parson, beginning as usual to pray for the King of England, was absolutely interrupted by a general murmur. On Christmas day he attempted to repeat his imprudence, and was interrupted by still greater confusion; so that last Sunday he had learned discretion, to leave out wholly this offensive clause. On the evening of the New Year's day, at the theatre, the public were entertained with the national tragedy, as it is called, Gysbrecht Van Amstel, after which the actors, as is customary, addressed the audience. There were many strokes in this address which sufficiently indicated the spirit of the times, particularly a solemn injunction that "they must not be slaves," and a quotation from a very popular song with which the streets have rung these ten days, which were deeply and universally applauded.
74. Henry Laurens to James Duane

. . . I have drank 16 Bottles less Madeira than I should otherwise have done & consequently have 16 times 20 or 25s the more to spare for Christmas Boxes. Adieu Dear Sir. I wish you through Life free from pain & all unhappiness, being with great respect & Esteem &ca (3)

75. Samuel Holten's Diary

[December 25, 1778]
25. Friday. Christmas day, I dined at the Presidents of this state,
Genl. Washington & his lady & suit, The presidt. of Congress, Colo.
Laurens, my Colleagues, General Whipple & Don Juane,(1) dind. with us.

76. On Thursday the 26th of decem. Mama made 6 mince pies, & 7 custards, 12 tarts, 1 chicking pye, and 4 pudings for the ball."
-- Sally Fairfax, Christmas, 1771

77. "Christmas a very large rock [fish] from Chickamony: saddle of the finest mutton I ever saw, ham of new bacon, wild ducks and roast turkey, veal's head, cabbage pudding, colliflowers, artichoakes, cheese-cakes, gooseberry tarts, jellys, creams, raisons, grapes, nuts, almonds, apples &c.
-- Martha Blodget, Christmas, 1796

78. Dec. 25th, 1779 "......It is ver much like a storm. Lord Abide with
us.....Early this morning we saw a sad sight. A two-masted ship had developed a
leak during the night so that the water entered very quickly. It approached our
ship. The captain from that ship was already along side our ship. The sailors
complained bitterly when they had to return to their ship and turn back to New
York. Heaven protect them. It will soon sink. At twelve o'clock the storm
began and by four o'clock it raged terribly. Our provisions and baggage, which
had been protected and securely tied, tore loose. Even the doors caved-in. No
one was sure of his life in the cabin. During the night it was frightful. I
would like to forget this Christmas Day."

>From the Diary of Lieutenant Carl Philipp von Feilitzsch
Ansbach-Bayreuth Jaegers

79. Joseph price diary 1796

24th. Wind S W & white frost & very Sharp & Cold over at Bens & Stoping a leak in Dam, Evening 7 or 8 of us at oyster supper at Tunis Got in avulgar Exstream of Drinking Wine till I got very Sick, which brout Great Remorse on me Spent 10s31/2 per peice I there all night S---- [illegible]

25th Wind West & rather warmer than it has been home in Morn Christopher Hussey along with Crank all day doing pennance at home all Day, Robert & Hussey Drank tea here Evening this is first day of week & what the[y] Call Christmas day

80. joseph price diary 1790
24t[h]. Wind N E thawd a good deal in sun. got Cold towards night at work at slay Evening Gibson & I to town in slay Titus Roberts & Polley Streaper in another slay, G[e]orge Wiede & Ruth Varnan Georges ant got up there slay went to town--us, got 1 Pint of Wine in town, mist finding Brother

so Returnd without him, Stopt at Weeds they Came up with us to Streapers, Drank some wine Spent in [w]hole 7s6 Got to bed after midnight-- very Cold & spit snow

25th Win[d] N E & Snowing did not gain above 1 Inch all Day, finishd Slay & painted it Streapers in Evening, this Christmas day so Calld-- I felt but so-so after my Antics

81. 1791
December 24- had a supper of fish & oisters, & wine, Enoch had my horse, went to Pauls and stayd there all night,

25th wind about S W, home soon Morning at Ben Tunis he paid me 5L. on a Note home & to Fathers With Tod & B[r]other to Buck & to John Jones [illegible] Back to Buck Spent 2s4 home about 10 OC night, this Christmust.

82. 1792
24 Wind N.E. & rain N. Evans up with me to J. Miller along & warnd Stephen Lewis & Saml. Lewis to move--I up to Curwens with sash

25th wind N W & prety fine Glassing sash at Curwens home in Evening, Christmass day so Caled, at Streap a fewminits

83. 1793
24th. at Bonds Laying floor, fine day to be shure home Evening 11d for wine Curwen all night here pd 151/4d for tub to salt meat

25 wind S. & wet Morn,-- at the Mill [blot] Millings 15s home Cuting up hogs. wt 175, 163, 155, 136, & 110, one of Evans 154 & 2 before 275 total 1165 lb at Sibleys with Jerret about a Child that is wanting to Come on township Clear & fine afternoon salted hogs-----

84. 1794
24th wind S W & Butiful day over to the turnpike & down it to forks of road pd 9 Measurd David Jones Stone & pile of stones at Wagoners Spent 51/2d Jersey troop of Horse & 20 prisoners (Whiskey boys) at Stadlemans so home, at Streapers Stayd not

December 25th 94 wind S.W & fine day Brot Edward & self up to T. Cochrons Dine'd their & Praisd his son Benjamins Effects amounted to about 450L He was a saving young man Except in dress Little Extravigant, but he was but a few years in town & had but Low salerrys home-- rain in night

85. 1795
24 Down to ferry Gave Gibson money & so home no Dinner--

25 Being Christmus day warm t[h]awing day up the pike & at Eqr Batholomews & Got Summons for Severall people Concerning a Dispute between Curwen & McClenechan at Paoli all night

86. 1797
24th Wind W & Rather appears to Mederate [moderate] a little Smokey, perhaps 20 boys Sceating on Dam Master & I at Tunis aGlass Toddy 111/4 Gave old Neddy 51/2 for a Dram

December 25th. 1797 Wind S W & overCast not so Cold over to Ben Tunis helping him to kill 4 hogs Dined their on Turky Christmasday So Call, a little hale & Sleite, at Mill it froze up very much

87. 1798
24th Wind N.W & Cleard & prety Cold tho fine out of the Wind in sun at D R & halling Slabs for fewel & at the pike afternoon,--

25th Wind W. by S & fine day thawd of[f] the house faceing the Sun but no Where Else, at John's helping to kill 9 hogs finished about 2 OC. got Dinner home & Ruld my Book to take the Rates under U S Law to tax houses & Land at pike pint Bear 51/2 then home old Tom here Gave him a bottle of Peach Brandy that Edw. Sent in from Georgia hung up Beef. thus Spent Christmus day [in margin:"Gave 3s9 towards repairs to our School"]

88. 1800
24th Wind W an[d] very fine day Davis Masoning all day John Thomas Tending to him he to work in it I up to Torrence's him & I at Wilson's to See If he Owd the Woman above Spoke of


5 or 6 Pitt teams here, took about 10 Dollars of the Great Swearers repremanded them, the[y] bore or took it Calm-- I up til[l] 12 OC then Calld up about 3 OC to put 2 youn[g] Womans to bed, to Sleep again up about 6 O'C--

25th Whind [wind] S.E. & over Cast 3 Pittmen to Breakfast, Christmas day So calld John Roberts Sent aload of hay, Davis Masoning Strong all Day Cleard off without rain not frozed the Ground at night this 3 or 4 nights at home all day

89. stellers journal 1742
by holy Christmas day, most of the men had been restored to health alone by means of fresh water and the fresh meat of the sea animals.

90. stellers journal 1742
Thus circumcized we celebrated Sundays and holy days {including Christmas} as if we were in the proper place and situation (home)

91. A Narrative of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians from Its Commencement in the Year 1740 to the Close of the Year 1808
Zinzen dorf visited the Americas in 1741 naming Bethlehem on Christmas eve.

92 A Narrative of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians from Its Commencement in the Year 1740 to the Close of the Year 1808
On 23rd we learned from newspaper that the indians also at last decided to make peace.During the Christmas holidays there was no divine service here, and I must say that I was quite angry at these lukewarm hickory christians.

93. A Narrative of the Mission of the United Brethren among the Delaware and Mohegan Indians from Its Commencement in the Year 1740 to the Close of the Year 1808
christmas services were held in log hut to which on one end a stable was attached.

94. An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and through the Western Parts of Louisiana, to the Sources of the Arkansaw, Kans, La Platte, and Pierre Jaun, Rivers
25th December Wednesday:Marched and encaped at 11:oo oclock. Gave out two extra pounds of meat, twopounds of extra flour, a gill of whiskey,and some tobacco per man; this is order to distinguish Christmas Day. distance three miles.

95. An Account of Expeditions to the Sources of the Mississippi, and through the Western Parts of Louisiana, to the Sources of the Arkansaw, Kans, La Platte, and Pierre Jaun, Rivers
we now again found ourselves gathered together for Christas eve. and appeared to gennerally be content, although the only refreshment to celebrate that day was the buffalo meat,without salt or any other thing whatsoever.

96.Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806
biddle says "we had told the indians not to visit us for it was one of our medicine days."

97.Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806
gass says:" flour, dried apples, pepper and other articles were distributed to the different messes so they could celebrate christmas in a proper and social manner"

98. Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806
Christmas 25th Decmber 1805
atr day light this morning we wer awakend by the discharge of the firearms of all our party & a selute and Shouts and a song which the whole party joined inunder our windows, after which they retired to their rooms.. . . .I recieved a present of Cap'l of a fleece hosiery, shirt, draws,and socks, a pr of moccasins of whitehouse, a sall Indian basket of Guntherich, two dozen weasel tails of the Indian woman & some black root of the inidans before they departure.

99.Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806
joseph whitehouse
. . . Then Captn Clark presented a glass of brandy to each man and we raise the Aerican flag, and the each man received another glass of brandy.. . . . .we kept it up in a jovial manner until 8 oclock at night all without the company of female sect, except for the three squaws, the interpreters wives and they took no part except to look on.

100. Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 2 September 1775 - December 1775
Thomas Lynch to Thomas Lynch, Jr.

We have no material News, but daily expect some of most important Nature.
Cold horrid Weather and a most dismal Christmas. We are
all well and desire our love to you all.
Your most affectionate Father Tho Lynch

101.From Gentleman's Magazine_The wonderful works of
God. Shewing the difference between the old Cdristmas [sic] and the
new. Which appears by the holy thorn that grows in Glastonbury field_
[London?], [1753].
The writer goes on to explain the tradition
whereby Joseph of Arimathea travelled to England on his apostolic
mission, and recounts how "On the 5th Day of January last 1753, being
old Christmas Day, the afore-mentioned Thorn was seen to bud, blossom
and fad, in the Presence of great numbers of Spectators . . .
But what is now remarkable of the White Thorne, otherwise called the
Holy Thorne, which to this Day is noted through all Europe, for its
budding on Christmas Day in the Morning, Blossoming at Noon, and
fading at Night, the reason is--It was the Staff of Joseph of
Arimathea, which he used in traveling, and fixed it in the Earth in
the in the Place where the white Thorn now grows, it grew to what it
is now; and tho' the Time of Popery in this Kingdom is now abolished,
yet do thousands of People of different Opinions, go one a Year to
see it, it being a most miraculous Curiosity, and brings many People
from beyond Sea to see it, at its usual Time of budding, it being a
Wonder supernatural, as being a matter contrary to the Course of
Nature, and may make us cry out with the Psalmist, O Lord, how
wonderful are thy Way!"
102. The Moravians in Georgia, 1735-1740 by Adelaide L. Fries
25 Dec. 1735.
Nitschmann. Dec. 25th.
As this was Christmas Day we read Matt. 8 in our prayer service. The wind had died down, everyone felt much better, and it was a beautiful day.
Wesley. Dec. 19th.

(Messrs. Wesley and I, with Mr. Oglethorpe's approbation, undertook to visit, each of us, a part of the ship, and daily to provide the sick people with water-gruel, and such other things as were necessary for them. -- Ingham's Journal.)
====== 1 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 1, 1736.
It was New Year's Day, and Mr. Oglethorpe's birthday.

(Br. Nitschmann asked us to select a number of verses, wrote them out and presented them as a birthday greeting to Mr. Oglethorpe. It was a beautiful day, warm and calm. -- Dober's Diary.)

Wesley. Dec. 21st, Sunday.
We had fifteen communicants, which was our usual number on Sundays.
(This being Mr. Oglethorpe's birthday, he gave a sheep and wine to the people, which, with the smoothness of the sea, and the serenity of the sky, so enlivened them that they perfectly recovered from their sea-sickness.

103. On Christmas Day, also, Mr. Oglethorpe gave a hog and wine to the people. -- Ingham's Journal.)

104. 5 Jan. 1736.
Nitschmann. Jan. 5th.
(To-day, according to the old style, Christmas was celebrated on our ship. Br. Nitschmann spoke on the words, "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given." -- Dober's Diary.)

105. Moulton, The Journals of Lewis and Clark Expedition, 2: 134, 140–1 . . . Clark ordered John Shields to accompany Griffith to purchase dairy items and Shields returned on Christmas Day with "a cheese and 4 lb butter"

106, Deborah Logan wrote in her diary that she carried out a vigorous hosecleaning before December 25th and made mince pies and doughnuts and shopped for her familly.

107. Harriet and Maria Trumbell, daughters of Jonathon Trumbell the governor of Connecticut spent the holiday of 1800 in the city of New York. “ We went to church (Anglican) in the morning, it was all decorated with evergreen bushes”
108. In 1745, in the journals of the Moravians at pennsylvania, “Some received scarfs, some handkerchiefs, some a hat, some a neckerchief and some a few apples”
109. In 1779, Henry M. Muhlenberg a german lutheran pastor working with German immigrants in the Philadelphia area, noted in his journal the fact that he’d received “gifts” of a turkey, soup, wheat flour and bran, suasages, two newly caned chairs, and length of rope.
110. In 1747, I n bethlehem pennsylvania in a moravian diary: several small pyramids and one large pyramid of green bush wood had been prepared, all decorated with candles and the large one with apples and pretty verses” {not exactly a Christmas tree but forerunner to what we have come to know as the tree}
111. “about Christmas time there is a great plenty of good wishes sent about the kingdom” said Alexander Pope in 1736.

112. From The fight for Christmas-Stephen Neusbaum--Yankee Doodle verses:

Two and two may go to bed,
Two and tow to gether;
And if there is not room enough,
Lie one on topther.

Christmas is a coming boys’
We’ll go to Mother Chases’
And there we’ll get a sugar dram
Sweetened with melasses.

Heigh ho for out cape cod,
Heigh ho Nantasket,
Do not let the Boston wags
Feel your oyster basket.
Comes frin a version called the Lexington March, published in London, probably in 1775 ( the only copy is owned by the Huntingont library.) For evidence that these verses were of american composition, see Lemay, “yankee Doodle,” 436-438

113. From Poor Richard’s almanac—by Ben Franklin
“If you have Guests merry with your cheer, be so syourself, or so at least appear (week of christmas 1734)
(1739) O blessed season! Lov’d by Saints and Sinners,
For long devotions, or for longer dinners.F

114. Martha Ballards diary
1801 her two unmarried children celebrated the day in the company of two members of the oppostie sex: “ephram & patty kept christmas at son lambards, his partner Pollly Farewell and hers Cyrus”
115. 1794 Dolly and Sally went to a dance at mr. Capins, were atteneded by a mr. Lambert and white (they ahd prepared for the event the day before by purchasing at the local shop a a pair of shoes and other things)

116. Dec 24 1788 “dan’l bolton and his wife dined here we made some mins pies”
117. 1791 Mathra stayed at the home of Mrs. Lithgow a young woman who was waiting to deliver her first baby (which would be born on Christmas day itself) but during her stay there on dec 23rd, the pregnant woman and martha turned to other tasks: “I helped mrs Lithgow make cake and pies. . .

118. dec 31 1802 “Made pumpkin and apple pies”

119. year later, son Jaonathon and his wife sally and six children dined at ther house with “puding and roast spare ribs”

120. 1791 martha shopped in three places and came home with ingredients for special cakes and pies
121. in 1808 husband went shopping for the same ingredients and then she “baked mins pies and “I have baked mins pies and apple pies” and then reported that sons jona ephram and wifes and supped with them with all the children

122. during the last years of her life, it is reported tht the children brought her presents “12 ½ lbs of beef” goose and wings” lion of mutton” some sugar butter and bread,” 2 pumkin pies” “baket apple and squash pies, and brown bread” a stake of fresh pork” 1796 “daniel Livermore made a present of an almanack to my son Cyrus”

123. almanacs from 1730 on dated Christ’s birth as dec 25th in almost all versions. 1760 almanac by nthaniel ames also added this verse “this is a time for joy and mirth/ when we consider our saviour’s birth”
124. Bay psalm book of 1750 included the hymn written by nahm tate beiginning with the line “while shpards watched their flocks by night,/ all seated on the ground/ the angel fo the lord came down/ and glory shone aournd” The newer version of was p[rinted in boston in 1713 and again in 1720, 1740 and forty times more in 1754 and 1775.
125. The other version which replaced the bay psalm book was written by Isaac watts and included two christmas hymns –each was called the nativity of Christ and placed the song as “today” which made the songs impossible to sing but on christmas day.[ behold the grace appears/ the promise is fullfilled/ mary the wondrous virgin bears/ and jesus is the child” It also reports that the “promised infant” is born today” the second verse begins “shepards rejoice, life up your eyes”
126. Ezra Stiles in his diary (later became the president of Yale) dec 25, 1776.) “This day the nativity of our blessed Saviour is celebrated through three quarters of Christendom. . . but the true day is unknown. On and day I can readily join with my fellow Christians in giving thanks to God for his unspeakable gift, and rejoice with them in the birth of a saviour. Tho it had been the will of Christ that the anniversary of his birth should have been celebrated, he would at least let us have known the day. . . ..”
127. Ezra stiles in 1778 speciifed the nature of his reservations “ without supperstition for the day I desire to unite with all Christians in celebrating the incarnation of thedivine Emmanuel” and he permitted the students to attend Christmas service.
128. Conservative congregationalist rev ebenezer parkman of westborough massahusetts, expressed the desire in 1755 this icary to “desire to be one with all of them that are one with Christ, and who avoid the supersittions and excesses of this day, and serve the lord in sencerity”
129. Reverand David Hall in 1749 wrote in his diary “ This day, as it is apprehennded, the savior was born, which was to be glad tidings of Great joy to all people. . .I’ll sing a Saviors love for there’s a saviour born” “ would to God more notice was taken of the day in a suitable manner”
130. In 1764 in the Boston Evening Post
The new’s boy’s Christmas and new year’s verses: The boy who weekly pads the streets, with all the freshest news he meets, his mistresses and masters greets, christmas and new year, days of joy, the harvest of your carrier boy,
He hopes you’ss not his hopes destroy. . .
His generous patrons may inspire
By filling up his Pockets higher!

131. in 1789, the Universalist community in Boston held a special Christmas day service in 1789 even before the congregation was officially organized. From “Massachusetts centinel dec 23 and 26 1789 and also Russell E. Miller, “the Larger Hope: the First Century of the Universalist chursh in America-1770-1870” (boston: Unitarian Universalist Association, 1979), 321
132. in 1772, a new york nespaper complained that the absince of “decency, temperance, and sobirity” at Chsitmas was so serious a matter that it belonged in the courts. The problem was caused by “ the assembling of negroes, servants, boy and other disorderly persons, I noisy companies in the streets, where they spend the time, in gaming, drunkennous, quareelling, swearing, etc. to the great dustrubance o the neighborhood” the behavior of these rowdies was “so highly scndalous both to religion and civil government that iti shope the Magistrates will interpose to suppress the enormity” { this item was actually printed as a broadside;”the following piece which was desired to be inseted in the New York Journal of this day, Dec 24, 1772, but omitted for want of woom will be inserted next week.”
133. In 1773 a Northernor temporairly employed in Virginia recorded such a practice (making a sound and the parallel is surely no coincidence—much like a bellhop who has just shown some guests to their hotel room) “ Nelson the slave boy who makes my fire, blacks my shoes, does errands &c. was early in my room, drest only in his shirt and breeches! He made a vast fire, blacked my shoes, set my room in order and wish’d me a joyful Christmas, for which I gav ehim half a bit (5 ½ shillings) Soon after he left the room and before I was drest, the fellow who makes the fire in our school room, drest very neatly in green, but almost drunk, entered my chamber with three or four profound bos, & made me the same salutation: I gavehim a bit and dismissed him as soon as possible-soon after, my cloths and linen were sent in with a message for a Chsitmas Box, as the call it; I sent the poor slave a Bit, & my thanks—I was obliged for want of small change, to put off for some days the Barber who shaves and dresses me.” From Fithians Journal.
134. In 1786, a newspaper that in New York: “some good people religiously observe is as a time set apart for a most sacred purpose” and some by “decently feasting with their friends and relatives” but others observe the holiday by “revelling in profusion, and paying their sincere devotion to merry Bachus.” The newpaper went on to rephrase the contrast in metaphoric terms: “In several churches divine service ws performed, while “the temples deicated to the service of merriment dissapation, and folly were much crowded where the sons of gluttony and drunkennous satiate their respective appetites.” “ The scen with these gentry generally concludes about midnight, when they sally forth with the streets and by their unmeaning, wild extravagent noise, distrub those citizens who rather sleep than get drunk.” From “the Hudson NY Weekly Gazette, Jan 4, 1786.
135. Landon Carter and his family “ventured through the rain” to share twelvth night cake on the invitation of Old Captain Beale.*1
136. In 1774, an English traveler attended a scots Irish Twelvth night ball in Alexandria Virginia. There he saw “about 37 ladies dressed and powdered to the life”. He thought it “looked like a Bacchanalian dance than one in a polite assembly” and “went home about two oclock, but part of the company stayed, got drunk and had a fight”*2
137. Reverand Exra Stiles wrote in his diary that he attended Christmas services of the pietistic German Lutheran services at the local Moravian church in 1769 and 1770*3
138. On December 25, 1772, the Baptist Church of Newport observed Christmas for the first time in history. Mr. Kelly’s sermon adapted his sermon to “celebrate the Birth and Incarnation of the blessed Savior” this was a Wednesday evening in 1771, and in 1772, the special service on a Friday evening expresly because it was Christmas.
139. According to Rev Ezra Stiles, the service at the Baptist church in 1772, was “this looked more like keeping Christmas than any thing that ever before appeared among the Baptists or Congregationalists in New England. .. It is probable that this will begin the Introduction of Christmas among the Baptist churches, about one hundred and fifty years from the first planting of New England and near one hundred and thirty years from the foundation of the first Baptist Church in New England*4
140. By 1782, Stiles felt comfortable enough with Christmas to “cordially joyn with the greatestr part of christendom this day in celebrating the nativity of a divine saviour; altho’ I well know from Ecclesiastical History that this is not the true day of his nativity. . . .*5
141. Congregationalist Thomas Robbins made no entry concerning Christmas in his diary until 1804 when he “was invited to an entertainment with a number of people, it being Christmas” the people he noted who invited him were not Episcopaleans”
142. In 1791, the crew of the Columbia kept Christmas “ in mirth and Festivity” in the wilds of the Puget sound.*7
143. In 1702, the government of Philadelphia cited one John Smith for dressing in women’s clothing and walking “openly from house to houe on or about the 26th of the 10th month [ie. The day after Christmas on the Quaker calendar] Dorothy Canterill and sarah Stoner were also charged f” for masking in men’s clothes”
144. In 1785, the state legislature of new york, reinstated the colonial law, extending it to prevent firing any arms, rockets, squibs, and other fireworks on Christmas eve or New Years.”*9
145. In 1720, Puritan Judge Samuel Sewall recorded that he had made a gift of a book to Colonel Dyer and that Mrs. Sewall received a “present of Oranges and a Shattuck”
146. Ten year old Anna Winslow wrote in her diary that she had kept Christmas at home that year (1772) and worked. However on January 1 although she had bestowed no new year’s gift as yet, received a hunadsome “History of Joseph Andrews abbreviated. In nice Guilt and flower covers”*10 * 1-10 footnoted in Christmas in America by Penne L. Restad, Oxford University Press, new york, 1995
147. In Stephen Nissenbaum's "The Battle for Christmas" he quotes Increase Mather: "The generality of Christmas-keepers observe that festival after such a manner as is highly dishonourable to the name of Christ. How few are there comparitively that spend those holidays (as they are called) after an holy manner. But they are consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in mad Mirth …"

148. And Cotton Mather: "The Feast of Christ’s Nativity is spent in Reveling, Dicing, Carding, Masking, and in all Licentious Liberty … by Mad Mirth, by long Eating, by hard Drinking, by lewd Gaming, by rude Reveling …"

149. Nissenbaum goes on..."Even an Anglican minister, a man who 'approved' of ‘keeping’ Christmas (as it was then put), acknowledged the truth of the Puritans’ charges. Writing in 1725, the Reverend Henry Bourne of Newcastle, England, called the way most people commonly behaved during the Christmas season ‘a Scandal to Religion and an encouraging of Wickedness.’ Bourne admitted that for Englishmen of the lower orders the Christmas season was merely ‘a pretense for Drunkenness, and Rioting, and Wantonness.’ … As for singing Christmas carols, that practice was a ‘disgrace,’ since it was ‘generally done, in the midst of Rioting and

And he describes Christmas time in 17th century England; "Christmas was a season of ‘misrule,’ a time when ordinary behavioral restraints could be violated with impunity. … Christmas ‘misrule’ meant that not only hunger but also anger and lust could be expressed in public. … Often people blackened their faces or disguised themselves as animals or cross-dressed, thus operating under a protective cloak of anonymity. The late-nineteenth-century historian John Ashton reports one episode from Lincolnshire in 1637, in which the man selected by a crowd of revelers as ‘Lord of Misrule’ was publicly given a ‘wife,’ in a ceremony led by a man dressed as a minister (he read the entire marriage service from the Book of Common Prayer). Thereupon, as Ashton noted in Victorian language, ‘the affair was carried to its utmost extent.’"
151. Edna Kenton gives a nice mention of the men firing the Christmas guns at Kenton's station in the 1780's in her book, Simon Kenton:
In spite of the recent grief, an early morning salute was fired at Kenton's Station on Christmas Day, and 'Kenton and his companions had a cheerful time shooting game'. (pp. 185-186)

152 Christman Day 1778 in the evening one of our men-to wit, Daniel Mungril-killed a cub Bear. We took it along to our camp. We stopt about sun set at a very Good place for wood and water and cain for the horses. We gethered a plenty of good wood before Dark to keep a big fire all night. We skined our bear and it was a very good one. We roasted a part of it for our christmas Diner and we feasted on it most bountyfully. I thought it was as good a christmas Diner as I had ever eaton We was some little afraid of Indians, and as their was snow and a crust on it no one could aproch without being heard. So we concluded that night one to keep awake at a time to listen and we Done so every night.
Daniel Trabue

153 The Baviad and Mæviad. [Followed by] Proceedings on the trial of Robert ...
By William Gifford, John Williams

154 A child’s companion


JANE, Jane, why do you not wake ? Remember, today
will be Christmas eve, nnd we shall have a whole
week's holiday," cried little Emma Hill, and ran to see
what kind of day it was. "
Oh, Emma,it is so cold, and the snow is now falling;
and I can see Miss Lizzie Jones is up already,
and standing at the door catching the snow flakes
on a sheet of paper," said Jane; "
you had better come "
gain to bed till we hear mother moving about." But
N 2

the thoughts of having a whole week's holiday made
the little girls too happy to think of going to sleep
again, and they began to form plans as to how they
should spend their time; " for you know," said Emma, "
teacher told us that if we tried, we could find some
little thing to do to make others happy every day, and
then she was sure we should be happy ourselves." "
Yes," snid Jane, " and we must not forget the
verses she gave us to learn—a verse for every day from
the second chapter of Luke—so that we may remember
why Christmas is such n holy, happy time. I shall
learn mine before breakfast, for teacher said that was
the best time."
So, with this good tesolution the little girls dressed
quickly, for they heard their mother moving about.
Before going down, however, they knelt down and
thanked God for having watched over them during the
night, and asked him to take care of them through
the day, helping them to do right. They then learned
their verse and read a little from the Bible, for the lady
who taught them on Sunday had told them that if they
really loved God, they would read his holy word every
day, because he has sent it to ua to guide us how to
do right and to help us on our way to heaven. Emma
and Jane were very happy little girls, and one reason
they were so was, because, as I have told you, they did
not forget to pray to God and read his holy word every
day, and so they felt happy because they were trying
to do right.
Now, when they went down, Emma, the eldest,
washed and dressed their little brother; Jane put
out the breakfast; then father came down, and they all
"A HAPPY cnBiSTMis." 361

had breakfast tog-ether. The little girls laughed and
talked ao merrily, the thought of their holidays making
them quite happy. When they had helped their mother
put away the breakfast things and tidy up the house,
they went off to the woods to get some of the beautiful
bright holly. They took home two large bunches of
it, and put some in the window, some in the candlesticks
on the shelf, and some on the wall; and you cannot
think how bright and cheerful it made the room
After tea their mother gave them leave to go out for
a little while with some of their school-fellows, to sing
carols at the different houses, which is the custom in
that]part of the country where they lived. So they
put on warm shawls and off they went. It was a clear
frosty evening, and far off you could hear the voices of
the village children, as they went from door to door
singing of the birth of Him who came on earth as a
little child and brought peace and good-will to all.
Although not on earth now, he still loves little children
and invites them to come to him, as he did then.
Emma and Jane lived a little way from the village,
and as they walked along they looked up at the bright
bhining stars, and wondered whether it was a star like
one of those which guided the wise men to find the
infant Saviour.
Some of the houses they sang at, they were taken
into the hall, and the ladies talked to them, and in all
the houses the walls were hung with the beautiful holly
and twining ivy. Everybody looked so bright and
happy, as though Christmas were the very happiest time
of the year.

fo look at it. The beautiful glossy leaves and bright
scarlet berries make me thiuk of the bright event of
our Saviour's coming. I have got by heart such a
pretty little hymn for to-day, which I must say to you
before you go."
Jessie then repeated to the little girls a hymn for
Christmas day, beginning, "Once in royal David's city."
After which, as ahe was getting very tired, Emma and
Jane went home, promising to come and see her every
day of their holidays.
After tea, they sat round the fire and sang some
hymns, and their father read aloud a little story for
Christmas, which he had bought the day before; and
thus ended their happy Christmas day ; and if other
little girls and boys would be as happy, they must
begin by asking God to help them to do right, as
Emma and Jane did. They must also try, as they did,
to make others happy> instead of only pleasing themselves.
Again, before going to bed, they did not forget to
kneel and thank their Father in heaven for all his
blessings ha had sent them. Those of our young
readers who wish to partake of their happiness and of
God's love and blessing, must try to act as they did.
THE biting north wind had swept across the moor for
several days. It had shaken the last leaves from the
trees, which now stood naked and dreary in the blast.
And on the wind's broad dark wings the frost had come

The wildest will that ever rose,
To scorn thy cause, and aid thy foes,
Is quell'd, my God, by thee. "
Thy will and not my will be done,
My heart he ever thine; ;
Confessing thee, the mighty Word,
I hail thee, Christ, my God, my Lord,
And make thy name my sign."
Never be ashamed of Christ and his words (Mark
viii. 38). I have heard of a young lady at a boarding-
school who suffered herself to be laughed out of a
good custom she had begun, of taking out her Bible to
read every Sunday after she had been at the house of
God, because she saw none of her companions do the
same. And I have read of three young men in
America, who were clerks, and occupied the same
rooms. On a Sunday morning, after breakfast, having'
no other employment, one of them went to his trunk
and took out his Bible. The others did the same, and
the habit was regularly formed, and by degrees it
spread further, and much good was done and evil
prevented. ." A little leaven leavencth the wholo
SATAN'S great aim is to keep you from Christ, or lead
you from Christ; the Spirit's work is to lead you to
him, and keep you near him.
If you would be happy yourself, endeavour to honour
Christ, and make others happy: this is the direct

When they went home, their father read a chapter
with them before going to bed. He chose that about
the good shepherds tending their flocks, and of the "
good news " the angels brought them; they then
read over their lessons for Sunday, which they did every
evening, and always on Saturday evening repeated
them over to each other, so that they might be quite
sure of saying them perfectly on the Sunday.
The little girls were awoke early on Christmas morning
by the merry peal of the church bells. " A happy
Christmas to you," said Jane, " a happy Christmas.
I wonder if everybody feels happy on Christmas day.
I only hope a great many feel as happy as I do." Then
she began counting up all the many things she had to
make her happy. " First," said she, " I have a comfortable
cottage, while old dame Turner has a hole in
the roof of hers, and a great crack where' the wind and
rain come in. Then, what a loving father and mother
I have, and I know poor Susan's father is often unkind
to her. Oh, how sad that must be! Besides, we have
a nice fire to warm ourselves by, and enough to eat and
drink, while BO many are cold and hungry : I am sure
we have a great deal to be thankful for." "
Yes, Jane," said Emma; "and as our teacher told
us on Sunday, we must ask God to give us his grace,
that we may always do the things that please him." "
Well, Emma, I only wish we could always do right;
how happy we should he. I mean to try very hard today,
so that it may be a really happy day to me."
The snow had fallen fast during the night, and the
ground was one soft, pure spread of white. All the
cottages looked as though they were thatched with

the thoughts of having a whole week's holiday made
the little girls too happy to think of going to sleep
again, and they began to form plans as to how they
should spend their time; " for you know," said Emma, "
teacher told us that if we tried, we could find some
little thing to do to make others happy every day, and
then she was sure we should be happy ourselves." "
Yes," snid Jane, " and we must not forget the
verses she gave us to learn—a verse for every day from
the second chapter of Luke—so that we may remember
why Christmas is such n holy, happy time. I shall
learn mine before breakfast, for teacher said that was
the best time."
So, with this good tesolution the little girls dressed
quickly, for they heard their mother moving about.
Before going down, however, they knelt down and
thanked God for having watched over them during the
night, and asked him to take care of them through
the day, helping them to do right. They then learned
their verse and read a little from the Bible, for the lady
who taught them on Sunday had told them that if they
really loved God, they would read his holy word every
day, because he has sent it to ua to guide us how to
do right and to help us on our way to heaven. Emma
and Jane were very happy little girls, and one reason
they were so was, because, as I have told you, they did
not forget to pray to God and read his holy word every
day, and so they felt happy because they were trying
to do right.
Now, when they went down, Emma, the eldest,
washed and dressed their little brother; Jane put
out the breakfast; then father came down, and they all

or sorrow, and where God will wipe away tears from
all eyes. She would learn by heart passages in thr
Bible, and hymns, so that in the dark hours it might
not seem so long. She was very fond of Emma and
Jessie. Often when school was over, and on half-holidays,
they would take their work and sit by her bedside
and hear her repeat her hymns. She would, in
return, make them tell her all they had learned at
school. Many a lesson did the little girls learn at her
bedside, which was never forgotten in after life.
Jessie's eye brightened, and a sunny smile lighted up
her pale face, as they now came running into the room
to wish her " a happy Christmas;" " and yet," said
Jane, " it hardly seems right to wish you a happy
Christmas, when you are obliged to lie here all day on
that hard bed." "
Oh, yes," said Jessie; " it has indeed been a happy
day to me, for I have tried to join at home in the
beautiful service of God's house. It would be a happy
day to every one, if they would remember why our
Saviour came to the earth, and all the numberless
blessings his coming procured for us. Oh, how kind
of you to bring me some holly: I was just wishing for
a piece to hang up beside the picture of our Saviour's
birth, which kind Miss Mary brought me yesterday,
for a Christmas present." "
I declare," said Emma, " your room never looked
so smart before;" and she called upon Jessie and Jane
to admire the way she had fastened the sprigs of holly
about the room and window. " Thank you so much,"
said Jessie, " it does indeed look pretty; but please give
me one little piece here close by
me on my bed, I love so

By Benjamin Matin 1755
ODE/ИГ CHRISTMAS DAY. VE choirs angelic, wake the lyre, To fing the joyful theme. Ye pow'rs feraphic, join the fong ; Y' attending hoits each note prolong, To laud your God fupreme. Be yours the taflc—with heav'nlyfire Hark ! the pleafinç theme begins j Hark! th'enrob'd Gair/f/ungj. Happy, happy, happy morn! Happy man, a faviour's born ; Born to crufh the pow'r of fin, And raifj his empire all benign. Now bani'h'd happinefs ag.iin takes place I Now finiles Jehovah on the race ' Of man, no more accurit. God now appears in mercy's feat, And now his godhead Ihincs complete, Complete—ai man at ßiß. Your grateful voices, rmnkind, raife, And ftrive to ling Jehovah's praife. Praife him
for us, yehcav'nly hoft,

155 Merope: A Tragedy
By Voltaire, Aaron Hill
For Nzw YEAR'S DAY—Spoken by Mr. KING. '
COME, ohedient at my hrethren's call.
From tap to hottom, to salute you all :
Warmly to wish, hefore our piece you view,
A happy year—to you—you—you—and you ! [
Box—Pit—o Gall—2 Gall,
From you the plafrs enjoy and feel it here,
The merry Christmas, and the happy Year.
There is a good old saying—pray attend it;
As you hegin the year, you 'II surely end it:
Should any one this night incline to evil,
He'll play for twelve long months the wry devil f
Should any married dame exert her tongue,
She 'll sing the Zodiac round, the same sweet song:
And should the hushand join his music too,
Why then 'tis Cat and Dog, the wholeyear through.
7> sons of Law and Physic, for your ease,
Be sure this day you never take your fees:
Can't you refuse ?—Then the disease grows strong,
You 'IIhave two itching palms—Lord knows how Jmg!
Writers of ne'uts hy
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Real Name: Marge Deese

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christmas is come, hang on the pot,
Let spits turn round, and ovens be hot;
Beef, pork, and poultry, now provide
To feast thy neighbors at this tide;
Then wash all down with good wine and beer,
And so with mirth conclude the Year.
Virginia Almanac (Royle) 1765

??? colonial Williamsburg article on Christmas
During the Christmas season of 1680, a French traveler accompanied by about 20 others, visited the Virginia home of William Fitzhugh where: "There was good wine and all kinds of beverages, so there was a great deal of carousing." Fitzhugh provided for entertainment "three fiddlers, a jester, a tight-rope walker, and an acrobat who tumbled around."

Thomas Jefferson wrote December 25, 1762, that Christmas was a "day of greatest mirth and jollity."

Nicholas Cresswell, an Englishman who spent years in Virginia and kept a journal, wrote while in Alexandria on December 25, 1774: "Christmas Day but little regarded here." Cresswell did, however, attend a ball on Twelfth Night:
There was about 37 Ladys Dressed and Powdered to the like, some of them very handsom, and as much Vanity as is necessary. All of them fond of Dancing. But I do not think they perform it with the greatest elleganse. Betwixt the Country Dances they have What I call everlasting Jiggs.

A Couple gets up, and begins to dance a Jig (to some Negro tune) others comes and cuts them out, these dances allways last as long as the Fiddler can play. This is social but I think it looks more like a Bacchanalian dance then one in a polite Assembly. Old Women, Young Wifes with young Children on the Laps, Widows, Maids, and Girls come promsciously to these Assemblys which generally continue til morning. A Cold supper, Punch, Wine, Coffee, and Chocolate, But no Tea. This is a forbidden herb. The men chiefly Scotch and Irish. I went home about Two Oclock, but part of the Company stayd got Drunk and had a fight.
The following Christmas he was in Frederick County where he noted "Christmas Day but little observed in this Country except it is amongst the Dutch."

Philip Vickers Fithian of New Jersey, tutor to the Carter family of Nomini Hall in Virginia, recorded his first Virginia Christmas experience December 18, 1773: "Nothing is now to be heard of in conversation, but the Balls, the Fox-hunts, the fine entertainments, and the good fellowship, which are to be exhibited at the approaching Christmas. I almost think myself happy that my Horses lameness will be sufficient Excuse for my keeping at home on these Holidays." On Christmas, Fithian noted that "Guns are fired this Evening in the Neighbourhood, and the Negroes seem to be inspired with new Life."
Christmas day was spent quietly, but Fithian said he "was waked this morning by Guns fired all round the House." He gave slightly more than three shillings to the servants for a "Christmas Box, as they call it." He thought the dinner was "no otherwise than common, yet as elegant a Christmas Dinner as I ever sat Down to." On December 29th Fithian reopened his school after a five-day holiday, and he recorded that they had a large pie "to signify the Conclusion of the Holidays."

William Stephens described the holidays in Savannah in 1742. He wrote:
How irregular so ever we may be in many things, very few were to be found who payd no regard to Xmas Holy days, and it was a slight which would ill please our Adversaries, had they seen what a number of hail young Fellows were got together this day, in, and about the Town, at Crickett, and such kinds of Exercise, nor did I hear of any disorders there guilty of over their Cups in the Evening.

The Virginia observation of Christmas tended towards good fellowship and good eating. The Virginia Almanac for 1772 carried these sentiments on a December page:
This Month much Meat will be roasted in rich Mens Kitchens, the Cooks sweating in making of minced Pies and other Christmas Cheer, and whole Rivers of Punch, Toddy, Wine, Beer, and Cider consumed with drinking. Cards and Dice will be greatly used, to drive away the Tediousness of the long cold Nights; and much Money will be lost at Whist Cribbage and All fours.

St. George Tucker of Williamsburg wrote "Christmas Verses for the Printer's Devil":
Now the season for mirth and good eating advances,
Plays, oysters and sheldrakes, balls, mince pies and dances;
Fat pullets, fat turkeys, and fat geese to feed on,
Fat mutton and beef; more by half than you've need on;
Fat pigs and fat hogs, fat cooks and fat venison,
Fat aldermen ready the haunch to lay hands on;
Fat wives and fat daughters, fat husbands and sons,
Fat doctors and parsons, fat lawyers and duns;
What a dancing and fiddling, and gobbling and grunting,
As if Nimrod himself had just come in from hunting!
These all are your comforts—while mine are so small,
I may truly be said to have nothing at all.
I'm a Devil you know, and can't live without fire,
From your doors I can see it, but I dare not come nigher;
Now if you refuse me some wood, or some coal,
I must e'en go and warm, in old Beelzebub's hole;
Next, tho' I'm a devil, I drink and I eat,
Therefore stand in need of some rum, wine and meat;
Some clothes too I want—for I'm blacker than soot,
And a hat, and some shoes, for my horns and my foot;
To supply all these wants, pray good people be civil
And give a few pence to a poor printer's devil.


In 1772, the Virginia Gazette published a letter from "An Old Fellow," who lived in England. He complained about the "Decay of English Customs and Manners." After describing the old English Christmas when the kitchen was "the Palace of Plenty, Jollity, and good Eating," he wrote:
Now mark the Picture of the present Time: Instead of that firm Roast Beef, that fragrant Pudding, our Tables groan with the Luxuries of France and India. Here a lean Fricassee rises in the Room of our majestick Ribs, and there a Scoundrel Syllabub occupies the Place of our well-beloved Home-brewed. The solid Meal gives Way to the slight Repast; and, forgetting that good Eating and good Porter are two great Supporters of Magna Charta and the British Constitution, we open our Hearts and our Mouths to new Fashions in Cookery, which will one Day lead us to Ruin."


A Christmas hymn for metrical singing was composed by the Reverend James Marye in the early 1770s. Marye was rector of Saint Georges Parish in Fredericksburg from 1768 to 1780. The hymn, composed in the form of a poem, reads:
Assist me, Muse divine! To sing the Morn
On which the Saviour of Mankind was born
But oh! What Numbers to the Theme can rise?
Unless kind Angels aid me from the skies?
Methinks I see the tuneful Host descend
And with officious Joy the Scene attend.
Hark, by their hymns directed on the Road,
The gladsome Shepherds find the nascent God!
And view the Infant conscious of his Birth,
Smiling bespeak Salvation to the Earth!


The appearance of "Anticks," or mummers, in Revolutionary Boston, as described in yesterday's post, was not enjoyed by all.

On 20 Dec 1793, the Massachusetts Mercury published a letter, actually dated the following day, to the "INSPECTOR of the POLICE," a recent addition to the lineup of town officials. (That timing confirms that the Anticks made their appearances at Christmas, a detail Samuel Breck did not recall in the passage I quoted yesterday.)
The time will soon arise on which the ANTICKS are wont to assemble. The disadvantages, interruptions and injuries which the inhabitants sustain from these gangs, are too many for enumeration, a few only must suffice.

When different clubs of them meet in the street, noise and fighting immediately commences. Their demands for entrance in houses, are insolent and clamorous; and should the peaceful citizen (not choosing to have the tranquillity of his family interrupted) persevere in refusing them admittance, his windows are broke, or the latches and knockers wrenched from his door as the penalty; Or should they gain admittance, the delicate ear is oftentimes offended, children affrighted, or catch the phrases of their senseless ribaldry.

As you wish no doubt to purge the town of every evil or inconvenience, I conceive this to be one of no small magnitude...
And a Merry Christmas to you, too, sir.


Madam Johnson's Present or every young women's companion and universal

Published first in 1766

An Estimate of the Necessary Charge of a Family in the middling station of life,
of a man his wife, four children and one maid servant

(ill show weekley expense but she breaks it down per each person)

Bread for seven persons per head per day 3/3

Cheese 3/3

Fish and Flesh Meat 10/2 2 farthings

Roots and herbs, salt, vinegar, mustard, pickles, spices, and grocery, except
Tea and
surgar 2/1

Tea and Sugar 4/1

Soap for the family occasions, and washing all manner of things both at home and
6/1 2 farthings

Threads, needles, pins, tapes, worsted, bindings, and all sorts of haberdashery
2/0 2

Milk, one day with another 5 pence 1 farthing

Candles, about 2 pounds and a half per week the year round 1/3

Sand, fullers earth, whiting, smallcoal and brickdust /2

Ten shillings small beer, a firkin and a quarters per week /2

Ale for Family and friends 2/6

Repairs of household good as table linen, bedding sheets and every utensil for
occasion 1/6

Weekly amounts to 2/32

Yearly amounts to 112/48/0

Cloathes for the master of the Family 16/0/0

Clothes for wife who cannot wear much nor very fine laces 16/0/0

Extraordinary expence attending every lying in 10L supposed to be once in two

Cloathes for hour children at 7L per Ann. For each child 28/0/0

Schooling for hour children at 10S per quarter for each child 8/0/0

The Maides wages may be 4/10/0

The pocket expenses for the master of the family supposed to be about 4S per the

For the mistress of the family and for the four children to buy fruit and toys
etc at 2S per
week 5/4/0

Entertainments in return for such favors from friends and relations 4/1/1

Physic for the whole family one year with another 6/0/0

A country lodging sometimes for the health and recreation of the family or
instead thereof
the extraordinary charge of nursing a child abroad 8/0/0

Shaving 7s6d per quarter and cleaning shoes 2s 6d per quarter 2/0/0

Rent and taxes something more or less then 50/0/0

Expenses of trade with customers, traveling charges, Christmas Box money,
postage of
letters etc 19/8/3

Bad Debts which may easily be more then 2L per cent on the supposed Captial of

There must be last up one year with another for 20 years in order to leave child
and a
widow, if there should be one 500L a piece 75/0/0

Therefore 1000L by this estimate should gain one years with another

Spending 390/0/0 a year

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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 31
Location: Caintuck
Real Name: Marge Deese

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would appreciate it if there is a quote which you found which I did not to please post it for I always like more information to be able to influence my opinion and interpretation..

thank you
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