Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Excerpts from the Journal of C[onstant] Belcher [1776-1777]

Larry Schmidt writes: "It appears that Belcher, like many others, had fled Elizabethtown with the fall of New York to the British Crown forces in the autumn of 1776. It is not clear where he wrote his journal entries but he probably relocated somewhere in Morris County as he mentions traveling to Morristown and references several other Ogden relatives. Below are entries that cover a period from late December 1776 and early January 1777 that make note of the Battles of Trenton and Princeton."

December 21st [1776]   A few days since some of our Soljers arrivd from ye northward / a sorrier lot could not have bin thot / the poor wretches but in rags still they seem happy to be agin in Jersey an by their hearths / much activity about Morristown with many from our Army / heard news that one of our Genls taken whilst laying abed with some woman near Baskin ridg / if true it does him no repute an serves him but rite

Decr 22d                  Sabbath  Cold did not go to meeting

Decr 23d                  Great talk at tavern that Genl Washinton and Army much beleegourd an in disarray in Pennsa opposite Huntn coy / some say that unless he should retain an army for spring Campain that fight for independence over / heard said that daily many who disposd to liberty now take oath of loyalty to King G accordin to Howes proclamation / devilish times / Hendk Johnson made stir for nockin a hat of an Officer an damning him for a Rebel Traitor / a scufel followed and he was arrested an much abusd for the Tory he is

Decr 24                    arose and soon after dawn set off for Morristown with intent to find Dr C{illegible - Camfiel?] that he mite lance a boil upon my back that has grown large as an Apple an is painful puttin me in bad humor / after 2 Miles my Leg hurt but struggld on til a Wagon of the army came upon me, the Waggoner takin pity upon me for a pour Soul let me ride with him / my boil lanced and great deel of pus purged from the cut / reternd to my lodgings after pint of grog

Decr 25                    slept in as did not feel well

Decr 26                    did nothing / back still soore from ye lancing

Dec 27                      Glorious news that Washinton has taken near thousand Hissians prisoner at Trentown

Decr 28                    Saw Wm Dehart who is commissd an Officer in first Regiment of this state under command of cozen Matt. Ogden / now recruiting soljers to inlist /

Decr 29                    Sabbath  went to meeting wear herd an excellent sirmon preachd

Decr 30                    rain and snow  played at wist

Decr 31st                   Went to market to sell a cow that fetched a dolar it being old

Jany 1st 1777           New Year upon us / marked by firing of Guns /dischargd my Gun in a comly Maid Servant to cozen Uriah / a delightful romp in Venus’s garden that kept us both warm on a cold Night / tho no great beauty as the Eliza. or N:Brunswick girls remarkable for her Breasts that appeard as large as muskmelons but the Sound of her Voice, which she constantly ingagd, being from the depths of Hell it so scratched the Ears

Jany 2d                    attended horses recd 3/

Jany 3d                    lay abed ill dreadfull burning fever an painful to piss / believe the Irish doxie gave me the French pox

Jany 4th                    set out for Docter / let some blod & purged me applied a poltice to my Bishp an gave me bolus

Jany 5                      felt better / venturd to tavern for some flip / all talk of the defeat of regulars at Prince Town by our Army / said that many kilt or wounded / Genl Mercer wounded by bayonets / redcoats played game of poke-a-pig / Hessians and regulars retreated to Brunswick / have determined to inlist in Cozen Matts rigement

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