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Historic Diaries: Marsh, 1834

13-Foot Corn

Editor's Note:

Last war: Marsh refers to the War of 1812.


"1.25 by the acre": The U.S. General Land Office sold frontier land to its first purchasers for $1.25 per acre. Given the fertility of the soil such as Marsh describes here, many of those purchasers were speculators who bought up the best acreage as well as likely mill sites and town plots, and resold them to settlers who came along later.




23rd July


Early this morn. sent an Indian -- Che-Moak-a-Pin or Big Potatoe, to the Rapids on Miss.[issippi] for a bundle of things which I had left there. Felt more unwell than usual, still my appetite tolerably good, & had only slight pain in my head.


In the A.M. rode up about 2 1/2 miles to visit a Mr. Bedels, who removed from Kentucky to this state. Mr. B. was out in the last war with the British.


His family large, the children very pretty and sprightly, but neither himself nor wife Christians: but, on the other hand [i.e., "rather"], himself far from it, profane and occasionally intemperate. Was treated with great kindness and hospitality by himself and family.


Went out into his corn field and measured one of the highest stalks and found it to be about 13 feet to the top of the tassell, and yet he [stated] it had not arrived as yet to its full height. And he concluded that there would be about 50 bushels to the acre. All kinds of produce flourish well here, and the bottom very fertile, covered with good timber. Govt. land 1.25 by the acre, and Mr. B. said that he had been offered 6 dollars per acre for the whole of his improvements. Snow falls from one foot to one and half deep, and generally remains about 2 months, Jan. & Feb.


Conversed with Mr. B., his wife, and children respecting personal religion etc. which was well received. O Lord, have mercy upon that family, bless my visit to it for they Son's sake.



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