Bill Akins Journal


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Writing of Bill Akins who worked in Dennison (Roseville) saw mill 1855 – 1857.


Found in Morrie Parish home in Coopersville where Akins son lived at one time.


Polkton –  4, 1855

August 4th 9 oclock, two thirds or three quarters of another day gon forever and glad of it, for so it is.  Been too work all day with the Enginner, SRM Hale putting up a bullwheel, worked not very heard and a jovial time, the Suibrette (or water) mad as the Devil and I am not sorry, asked me a question today & I told her none of her business, have not seen the effects yet, the rest of the fraternaty at burian 1 ct no matter.  Expect to hear an intelectual feast tomorrow Elder Wood preaches at Fred Martshall a known thing in his efforts to maintain the Doctrin of Hell & Damnnation.  The Irish are going to bed and God bless em or they never will be.  I have been very bawdy the forepart of this evening  ___  ____to the annoyance of the women _____ I like to vex.  Jewitt going ___ ___ vacinity of my childhood, ___ ___ ___ news to send to relations or ___ ___ but to bed, now tomorrow I ___ ___


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Polkton – August 4, 1855  B

For mine is the lay that lightly floats

And mine are the murmering dying notes

That fall as soft as snow in the sea

And melt in the heart a insantly!

And the passionate strain that deeply going

Refines the bosom it trimbled through

As the musk wind over the water blowing

Ruffles the wave, but sweetens it too


             Moores Lalla Rvokh ‘

As a fool thinketh         riddle me see

So the bell tinketh


To bellow through the vast and bound

Less deep Like a thing of life

Let gorgeous Tragedy

In scoptered pall come sweeping by.

August 4th

The time is out of joint I cursed spite

That ever I was born to set them right.


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August 5th 1855

             This morning much cooler, it being very hot & sultry for the past week arose rather late this morning but tolerable good natured.  D___n the women, their disposition and intents they are loathsome to me.  Played the violin some before Breakfast and read seven pages in Taylor’s Diegesit.

             Much nonsence among the men and women in the kitchen, all very foolish.  My beard quite long but refused to shave when a razor was ofered me my razor being lost and very mistteriously.

             Tomey the Irishman gone hunting this morning, hope he will have good luck it being Sunday, a very good day.  Thought of home this morning and wished I could there a little time to rasce over the old homestead to see those old hills which I think are blessed and to eat apples, drink milk, & but the second thought reconciles me to any lot.  But little regard for the past                                                         B


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August 5th 1855

             Suped on boiled venison & pork and Lot sweet cake, raw onions – not very pearty.  Heard a sermon in the forenoon, very poor, and there got accquanted with a lady of whom I was formerly partially accquainted , one Miss Mary Ann Durphy that appeared well.

             Came home from meeting – dined on bread & milk and cookes – Played on the Flute a while – and read in Jefferes Chepp edition – much amused with Crabb’s Poems I went to bed – read the life of Washington by Weems, fell asleep the weather being very warm I had a tolerable sweat but received no injury.

             The sun has gone down and all looks sad and gloomy but it looks _____to me and it would be more so if it were not for the musquitoes.  Amen

Ridiculous indeed


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                          Polkton August 7th

The home of the wanderer is lonely and gloomy at present but little do I care as I used to for old accquaintences and relations.  I have no sympathy with human flesh nor do I congratulate them in their prosperity and But little consolation for myself in my future prospects in a word there is no permanent peace for the wicked the way of the transgresser is heardin a word I am very selfish.

                                       After going out and paceing down the State Road thirty rods & back, among logs, lumber, pine stumps, & hearing the dingle of cow bells, the screach of hoot owls on coming in, find that the man servent & the maid servant had just returned from a visit to neighbour Twogoods, had by the man servent brought in a Deer, the maid a pail of onions & tomatioes.               Bill        7th


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Polkton August 7th,1855

             Tonight rather debilitated, but in good spirits lived on raw onions, boiled potatoes—this & yesterday morning saw for the first time in my life some Turkey Buzzards – flying around hunting for an old sow which was shot by Hatch and which did vex him to madness she diving in to his swill barrel and robing the oxen of their meal being a hog owned by an Irishman – A rare marksman shooting her with shot – Counted or measured off 909 feet of lumber Mr. McCuin a fine old Scotchman, & honored by his neighbors for his integrity and social qualites – read some of Crabbs Poems tonight – quite cool but the mosqutos very thick – I will play on my Fiddle or flute while and then to bed.                          Bill


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12th       Another Sunday morning and misty but pleasant & still.  Yesterday and today rather cholica and growing poor fast.  Went down to Eastman’s yesterday and found no letters in the office from home, friends, relatives or accquaintences but as good as I expected though I hate such languid & procrastinating corispondanus – and now they need not expect any letters from me this year for I shant write.  Did not eat much breakfast this morning choosing rather to lessen my general allowence than to eat to much for the sake of keeping poor company – they consisting mostly of Irish, Hatch and the Luibrette (or waiter).

             After sounding and probing the Eastmans to find out the chance I expected for to get of runing their siding mill but found out nothing for certain and after drink two glasses of Detroit Ale came home and was surprised to see the


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August 15, 1855

             Today took in the forenoon a walk around the western part of the town every thing looked rude and lonesome to me and it seems like exile to me and if it were not for one thing I should return to my old native town – that is in one particular the extreme fickleness if professed friends there, and secondly I have been unfortunate in hearing some hard language used against me, which I never shall forgive. And for some other reasons and the dislike I have to many the inhabitants in Berkshire with all will induce me to stay a long time from friends and acquaintences that were once dear to me some however I know not so much about or against at least all have come short of the integrity they should have bore.  If ever I do return it will be to see the changes that have been wrought in my absence and of short duration still I have some few friends whom


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I wish to see before I die, and yet they may be enemys, but I have not the right disposition to renew friends nor dissemble grievances yet enough will know me if I ever do go.

             Time will accumulate in my absence, many new things, and material changes which will be interesting to one a long time away.

             Though this is a bilious country, yet I have found more apparently true friends than in Berkshire.  This country however is not entirely free from trouble, far from it, but is one that a person can live in with out the presence of relatives. – – – Had some blackberres with a piece of cake over to neighbor Davis’s, the first time this year – – my head ache’s some now.  A little stiring around will cure it.  I must go and measure of some choping that Giwitt wished me to do for Norman Richards and his cousin.  The male brings no letters for me good by to all promises hereafter.                    Bill


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Polkton August 16th  1855


Today I feel particularly mean – had the teeth ache last night but no one knows it – and a partial cold to day.  I shall take some Epesum Salts this afternoon and then hope to regenerate. – this morning went up to neighbor Richards had a long complain  – agreed to go Blackbering with him tomorrow. – The woman at varience with me yet and it is a source of consolation to my mind that they can mind their own business.  It is not because I have formaly loved one or more of the sex with extreme passion for I never liked them more than the masculine, I allways held a partial dislike to women in general.  And these are extremely sensitive sort of bipeds and have an affinity to most all other’s.  – I never cursed the day that I was born by lawful wedlock, but I pray God, if there is a God, that I may not be so unfortunet as to make more misery by the same prossess.

                                                                                                                                  Bill Akins


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Polkton August 19th __1855

After omiting two days I again renew my diary – Very much out of health today – some headache and fever; evidence sufficient that I am to have a poor spell & perhaps the Ague & Fever, Pretty cool to day but pleasant, for supper to day eat warm wheat flapjacks & Blackberry’s.  Went to the river yesterday and found a good member, salow with the ague.  No letters by male or otherways – perhaps eastern corispondence’s will allege the reason for not writing.  Their haying & harvisting – but most they go to meeting to worship – something they know nothing about nor perhaps never will, my haying will come all fall and winter.  I am thinking – but time will I hope roar away these prejudices, if not why should I worry.  I fret, I feel very bad and absolutely wicked, hope another day bring forth something brightor, and pleasanter feelings.  The women are as fussy as ever and glad of it – some ague in my jaws today but no pain.  _____ ____ have two past paid invelops and my bottle of bitters ¾ Amen.  Bill


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Polkton August 28th __1855

             Again to my log book – very pleasant this morning & I feel well or better than I expected to last night – Don’t work to day the Engineer gone home and I am having a leisure time – Sunday wrote a letter to Gewitt in answer to one I got from him the night before and as good letter as I ever had – last night felt very miserable could not get to sleep in two hours after going to bed and I fell in to a reflective tran of thought which ran nearly as follows.  I tried to think of some evidence why God should have existed before the world was; without even a foot hold – it looks to me very inconsistant – I don’t believe in only one god and that the God of nature, and that all the elaments & matter that the world is composed of existed eternally and I believe that in the nucleus of the earth there is a body of matter composed of all the elaments of which flesh vegatation foul fish and minerals of all kinds are are composed of that is continually throwing off particals to things of each nature which gives