The Historical Society of Cheshire County, in cooperation with Peter E. Randall Publisher, is proud to sponsor the publication of the complete (extant) daily journal of Abner Sanger, transcribed from the original manuscript now in the Library of Congress. Extensive footnotes, glossary, biographical notes, maps and index aid the twentieth century reader in understanding Abner Sanger and his eighteenth century world. The book is illustrated by Arthur Tremblay.
This hardcover 682-page book is essential reading for those interested in: Regional History--New England and the Connecticut River Valley, and especially the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont. Migration, settlement and genealogy (over 1,000 people are listed in the journal). The American Revolution--winds of war, the homefront, problems of a new nation.
Life on the frontier farm Life in town
Crops and livestockPatriots and Tories
Weather and expectations Role of church, court and town meeting
Interdependency of work Courtship, families and recreation
Land speculation Merchants and trade
Daily journal entries provide information on clothing and food, education and literature, illness and medicine, and houses and tools.
Abner Sanger was not a great Revolutionary War leader, He played no significant role in the settlement of his community, He did not "make it"--he died cared for, but penniless. During his lifetime he was described as "being very poor and of a lo make" Much of his life he spent laboring for others, but that is one reason the Journal of Abner Sanger is unique. Early records of ordinary people, in their own words, are rare.
Although a common man, Abner Sanger was an uncommon individual. He marched to Lexington and Concord with the rebels but later became a Tory. (His brother fought with the British, his brother-in-law with the patriots.) He was a bachelor until he was forty-five but he was involved in the care and education of eleven children (his brother's, his stepchildren and his own). He was interested in learning many skills but mastered none. He had a sharp eye and a keen nose for life and gossip around him. He was literate, well-read and well-informed about current affairs. He was opinionated, sarcastic and funny. Faithfully in his journal he described the dullness, frustrations and excitement of his world.
Please send me__________ copy/copies of Very Poor and of a Lo Make, The Journal of Abner Sanger, at the price of $32.50 ppd.
Make checks payable and send to Historical Society of Cheshire County Box 803, Keene, NH 03431
Above information taken from material provided by The Historical Society of Cheshire County
(In stock as of page update)
This page was last updated on: November 16, 2009
Broom-squire note: This is one of the best New England journals I have found. Abner mentions making a birch broom and also "pounded a broom" Black ash was pounded with a hammer or a stone (this crushed the spongy layer between the annual growth rings). These growth rings; pulled free of the stick were then reduced to thin strips and left attached. The shape of the broom is the same as the peeled yellow birch broom. (This is the same process used to obtain material for the historic ash baskets) There was an ash swamp in Keene. Abner lived for a time on the road to ash swamp. The black ash or "basket ash" unlike the common white ash; preferred wet ground and stream banks. The Iroquois were "pounding" these ash brooms at least by the first contact.
Black ash had been cut heavily throughout New England and is becoming hard to find. Additionally it does not appear to compete well with the red or "swamp" maples and other species that are becoming more dominate in our forested wetlands. A seasoned State Forester once told me "if it's ash and it has it's feet in the water; it's black ash" Also called "brown ash" in parts of northern New England.
The Historical Society of Cheshire County NH receives ALL proceeds from the sale of this book.