Bill Akins Journal


Pages 13 - 26


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life and growth to them – and when flesh dies and that body is decomposed, helps supply new forms and I believe that this world will never be destroyed as some would have it – as I believe matter was eternal I believe it will ever remain so – there is certain immutable by which every thing in nature is governed – but some would have it that it is governed by a superior intelegence by an Orthodox God.  If earth & its natural laws were created by a superior intelegence, it would not be inconsistant to believe that a still infinitly higher intelegence must have existed prior to our supposed partial God, for if things had a beginning and sprung from intelegance it is inconceivable how infinit the gods were and their beginning.  It was a mere assirtion in Moses to commence his Genesis – that in the beginning was the word and the word was God and God created the world – he was perfectly safe however in saying so but he knew no more about it than others at the present day.


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                          August 29th __1855

             In the afternoon yesterday called on neighbor Hanchet – had a good time talking over old affairs – played on the accordion & flute some then borowed H Clinton’s rifle and went hunting and had my usual good luck saw some Deer Pheasants Pigeons & Squirels, but killed nothing – awoke to late this morning to eat breakfast with the gang, and took breakfast with Davis at the next door and after – played the violin – Hubb Titus came in and danced to the tune of Fishers Hornpipe – very heavy rain this morning – the mill will start tomorrow according to Hatch.  Which doth please one much I had rather do that than anything though it is harder work – O’ I must bluster around some and then lie down a while – it is mostly in ones favor to enjoy life or not – no letters from home yet – haying & harvesting must be most over with.  Amen                        Bill A


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Polkton August 30th __1855

             Very cold & wet this morning – awoke in tolerable good health this morning, eat with the crew – and went over to neighbor D’s played the violin for the woman awhile – went down to the mile and stayed till things became stale & uninteristing came back – built a fire set down by it and read till noon three hours in all – after dinner took the gun went in to the woods for to hunt – shot a pigeon otherwise poor luck except being nearly devoured by musquitos – am now seated at Gewitts old board stand – and just now Mr. Twogood is come with a young Deer which the firm has bought – then venison stake for supper –but – read most of L Byron’s vision of pridement this forenoon & Antony and Cleopatra in Shakespeare – and also the surrender of Nepolian’s remains by the British from St Helena, in Harpers Magazine.  To much for to day.  From Bill


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Sunday morning  Sep 2 1855

             Awoke at twenty minits to eight this morning by the sound of the dinner horn – for breakfast pork potatoes fried onions Coffee Cookeys – Cloudy and misty now but warm.  I have worked in the mill two days last week – and I find that I feel better when I work.

             Some apparent signs of derangment in the fireman and (____  suibritt ) – God give them peace very soon – today Elden Wood preaches again but I shant go and hear him – I have one sore eye this morning.  Bill

             September 8th       One year ago today I landed in Polkton and it has been the first of any effort on my part towards my properity.  May success attend me in the future – Agane I get no better, by the male God bless my friends their hold back –n in good health today – good day to my journal now.       Bill


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September 18, 1855

             Today lowury & cool, rained all last night.  I just got up from the dinner table – dined on tomatoe soup – milk & water for wet.   been to work cuting logs with Robert M. Hale for the past week by the thousand feet – fifty cents for 1000 feet, earned over $8 this week besides paying $2.25 for board –- Last Sunday _______ I went up to Herbert Titus and eat Water milons – a good time.  Brandy Creek full of water and the mill will run tomorrow no doubt – friend Jewitt has not returned yet –- expect him every day – and then a good time –- (the suitor me) stands aloof, or I rather from her.  Quite a fight last Sunday between neighbor Woolever and his son-in-law.  No credit to the neighborhood though no blood shed nor hands broken.  Received two papers last week – one from my Father & one from my brother George but no letters.                    Bill A


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Nov 14, 1855

             No business today except hunting, Fiddling, lounging and at times feeling _______ surprise but amusing myself at present adding to my journal, as the silence of my correspondences makes me impatient wearisome.  I have some notion of never returning to old Birkshire.  I like the wilderness to abstraction.  New things in simplissity turn up every day to amuse one in solitude, the black and white --- pluggy & corpolant --- ______d disagreeable disposition of the sex femenine to one of my disposition is pleasant.  Going hunting at the close of this page with Rob. H ---snaped my gun at a deer last Sunday and d- - d my gun --- read in Byron this morning nearly an hour.  Got a paper from Father last week.  Hateh has gotten a new engineer – one Mr. Hyatt and was not a little pleased with his conversation, in bed it falls to my lot to sleep with


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that lot or sort ot men.  I congratulate myself on not having cows to milk or hogs to feed on my leisure days, as I used to have to do while I lived on the old homestead.  Now I have nothing to do but to follow my own inclination & fancies and when the mill runs and I am well enough to work I get my $2.50 per day.  I have worked a year on Irish rations & long enough.  I had rather be at the head of the heap getting the biggest wages –- so gait boots I am done.   Amen   Bill


                          Nov 15, 1855                 Another idle day rained all last night & continues the same yet raining take torrents at present.   Mind nearly knee deep most all over Roseville --- the Engineer has got the engine all tore down and it will take another day to set the thing up again.  Killed three black squirrels yesterday went out with R. Hale & H. Parks –- went down to Fiwitts this morning and played the fiddle some


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found them all right there came back & minded my mitins now writing & in good health.  I find by looking over my journal some bad spelling but don’t as I know better.  Went to the Rapids 2 or 3 weeks ago rode up Grand river on the Sliam Boat Empire and came back on the Oliver Branck.  Nothing singular about Grand Rapids except that it has cocked up on the side of a sandy sorrel bill decending to the west and seems to be the paradise of criples I never see so many in any four towns in my life.

             I have had an offer of 14 shillings a day to run the Fiding Mill at Eastmanvile as soon as the mill starts.  11 o’clock and I will be down in split of able opposition so here goes with all vingenu.


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Friday 16th 55                Rained last night and snowed awhile this morning –- worked today – supped on slapjacks last night and also stewed venson, pleasant dreams all night.  Sallied out yesterday for a hunt – saw one deer – got in to the drink up to my collar on the cordoroy.  Got lost & arrived little after dark feeling very much down in the mouth and wishing to sell my gun.  In good health today and that’s enough.

No response from letters to friends and relatives.  Very laingua winded Long Jack is singing in the kitchen horrible music.  Nothing more worth writing except wretched weather and dreary in the extreme, the winds blowing through the tall trees standing tall & bare.  Wailing mournful singing requems to a melancholy disposition like my own.  But the gale & old woman that looks as though she had swallowed pumpkins whole are with the boys making a oversized noise


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in the kitchen and I am going to bed.


             Sunday morning Nov 18, 55   missed writing yesterday – but nothing transpired excepting that it rained, hailed & snowed alternatly but  sowica the great is part of the day.  Expect some mail today and my NY Tribune.  The weather is fine today with about two inches of snow.  Awoke between 7 & 8 o’clock, feeling very fine.  Some are going hunting today some are keeping their account sicking on the bid others are smoking below while I am writing up above near the stove pipe with a board layed across a barrel, therefore scribbling while the (Fuibrett) or waiter is making up the beds --- worked 4 days last week and earned $6.  This is a hard looking country now but it is one that possess most able commercial advantages located on the north and west of


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Grand River on which six of the Grand Rapids & Grand Haven Hanicrsply & bounded on the west by Lake Michigan & the great Bayou siting up north flow Grand River and the Lake ten miles.  I will ship my clothes and then to some other business.  Sold my gun

this morning to Long Jack for ten dollars which I bought three weeks ago for eight dollars.  Made two $ on the artietr.  The Irishman, Kiren Fallin, says I am a money making rascal.

             Nov 26, 1855                 Last week very cold  & unpleasant.  Rained, snowed & hailed every day.  Worked 6 days Damon Hatch D2 $9.  Subscribe 25 cents for preaching last week.  Very sorry, but tis the first time.   Went to meeting yesterday, heard language mangled awfully cano hiom had a regular Rosville brinale, fiddel damaged & some other things not worth mentioning.  This morning made some repairs


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on my siding mill while the fire man was cleaning the boilers & the Engineer fixing the arch, wrote letter to Sister Mary yesterday, sent it to office by Tom McCarthy.  Shot at Woodcock this morning twice.  Have got to help fill boilers pretty soon then to sawing, don’t feel first rate this day.  Mrs. Chidwick making beds and shakes the floor so that I can’t write -- pretty much.  Hatch minus of any amount of pocket change, thinks I should have plenty.  I had what money I have lent out -- $5.25 to Samuel Barker, $5.00 to Thomas Davis, $13 to Henry Clinton, Charles Chadwick $4 which he will pay in washing, & D Hatch $75.00 which I shall not probably get till next spring.  then he will with my good luck owe me $200.  Must now go to work.


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             December 2, 1855

Enjoying the best health today.  Rained and the wind blew last night to the tune of Devils dream which made the trees wave & wail mournfully their tall trunks bend over the house like engines.  For more ________ and now snows and rains like distress.  R. Hale is writing on the same board with me.  Continues to snow very hard.  Worked 5 hr last week.

             Dec 9, 1855                   Snows like the Devil this morning, rained all last night.  Arose this morning 20 minutes to 8 & breakfast of Fresh Pork & Potatoes, Doughnuts & Coffee and then played the Violin some.  Received two letters last night one from Brother Steve the other from brother Geo.  A slip from R.M.G. and also from another source a paper, the Christian Messenger.  Going to read the Hebrews Melodies & the Prophyces of Dante today.  Good health today except sore eyes.                        Bill


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             The same day in the afternoon.  The wind has shifted in to the north and the wind blows requiems the descant aspect of affairs out doors is gloomy beyond degree, mud is intolerable.  It makes me think of days gone by when I used to take delight in these such days, but then I used to take delight in dreary weather and liked to stand on some of old Burkshire Hills at such times.  But now I am away from such things and from the pleasant scenes in my boyhood.  But success has attended me thus far and it is my ernist wish that the future may be adequate to the present without prayers.  Amen    Bill


             Roseville Ottawa Co Mich

F. R. C. Hale  Hale

             gastina D. Fickles Esq

                          Roseville  Ottawa Co Mich