Journal About Colonial America

For this short project in humanities, we read and worked through many different worksheets, and activities, that talked about what life was like, living in the American colonies. We learned about the differences and similarities in weather, food, economy, and lifestyles between the Northern, Middle, and Southern areas. We then each took all of the information we gathered and wrote a journal as if we were a journalist who had come to visit america. We included many different aspects of what colonial life was like, by creating events that incorporated these facts.

First Draft

Anthony Arcaro

Journal About Colonial America

9-19-10

September 1743

This past week, my merchant friend had me stay with a family farther to the South. They live on a plantation and right now it’s harvesting time. There are many blacks tending to the fields, and they are producing a very nice supply of cotton and tobacco. The tobacco and cotton is traded to the middle colonies, through my merchant friend, for food. For the past few days our meals have been relatively the same, relying on smoked meat, dried fruits, corn and milk. The slaves prepare each meal, as food was plentiful but difficult to make. One of the nights I observed a servant cook in a long handled pot so as not to burn himself. There are not very many near by houses as the plantation is very self-contained. School for the children has been held in an empty one room shack in an unused field about three miles down the road from the main house. These children are lucky for getting an education out here in the South as the buildings are scattered over great distances. Their neighborhoods are as big as fifty miles but with few buildings.

October 1743

As, I travel father down South, the number of black slaves and indentured servants is overwhelming. Many white people that I have talked to, including myself, are growing anxious as the black population increases. There has been talk about making stricter rules for the black so as not to give them a chance to revolt or riot. From talking to people in the South, I have learned that many slaves have tried to resist by avoiding chores, escaping, or killing whites. Therefore, some rules have already been put in place to limit the rights of the blacks. They cannot marry or sue, they cannot carry weapons, nor be out after their curfew. From reading in a paper, a black was severely punished for hitting a white man in South Carolina, after the white man was yelling at the black for being out past his curfew. Slaves are property.

Final Draft

 

Anthony Arcaro

Journal About Colonial America

9-19-10

Life in the Colonies – 1743

January 1743

I am just beginning my yearlong stay in the colonies. It is freezing cold and I think that I should have started my trip in the South, where there is not very much freezing snow. I had a very hard time walking as my boots were constantly sinking deep down into the freshly fallen snow. I decided to stay in the Northern colonies where I was able to find an inn. While there, I met a merchant who sailed up and down the coast to trade goods to all of the colonies. He was from the same part of the Northern colonies where I landed from my voyage across the Atlantic. His family was big on fishing because the land up here, in the North, is not good for farming. He offered to let me stay with his family so that I was not giving all of the money I had brought to the inns keeper, who was making a large profit just for providing me with dinner and a bed. The merchant told me about what he does and I really found out how much of a difference a merchant makes to all of the colonies. A merchant can help break down barriers between colonies, or communities where only one group of people lived, who all shared the same religion, background, or heritage. Ships and traders carried news throughout the many different towns along with the gods that they received, in all of the different colonies. In the South they would get cotton and tobacco, while in the middle colonies, they would get a lot more food. Once we got to the merchant’s house by the dock, he introduced me to his family. His kids stayed with his wife while he went out on the boat and traded, or transported, goods for people. I found out that his kids, along with many of the other neighborhood kids, like to go outdoors during the winter and sleigh down steep slopes, sled or skate over frozen lakes. When it was too dark to be outside, they would dance or play cards by the fireplace. The merchant told me that once the oceans calmed down and the snow started to thaw, he would transport me South towards the middle colonies.

May 1743

We arrived in the middle colonies a few weeks ago and are traveling inland towards the frontier, where the merchant has to visit a sick friend and supply his friend’s family with some fresh necessities. I am starting to worry about my safety as we are traveling by horseback towards the merchant’s friend carrying, a fortune in supplies. The merchant said that a gun is the most important tool out here for protection and survival, and while we do have one large rifle, I do not have a gun, and therefore feel helpless as we continue down this never-ending dirt road.

We are staying in a small log cabin where I recently talked to the merchant about what life is like out here. I have never really been in a place like this, so far away from a busy city, surrounded by forest. He said that life out here is very hard and that many of the people out here are thought of as savages because they are not accepted into a town’s society, for they are criminals and murderers. This did not lighten my mood and I am currently wondering why this friend of the merchant is willing to stay way out here.

We have finally reached the friend of the merchant’s cabin, and they are ecstatic that we were able to make it here with all of their supplies. They really did not need much as they had learned from the Native Americans, how to cultivate and cook corn, find wild greens, make canoes and turn shoes into snowshoes. I learned that many colonists who had encountered the Natives preferred their lifestyle to life in the colonies. However, these colonists were considered lower class or savages because they lived like the Native Americans, and therefore were no different than criminals. The merchant’s friends were not murderers; they merely preferred the lifestyle of the natives. I am currently looking forward to getting back to a busy town however, as I do not feel very safe, surrounded by other possibly criminals or murderers in nearby houses, or cabins.

July 1743

The merchant and I are still in the middle colonies where I have been introduced to many families running small farms. They are all very dependent on their land for producing things to eat, wear, or make. There crops range from corn, to wheat, tobacco, or barley, and what the family did not eat or use, was traded or sold in town. The other day a fair began here in the town where we are staying and we went with a family who traded their farm goods for things they wanted or needed. They also competed in eating contests or physical contests, such as races. Many people talked about crops, weather, gossip and other news that they had come across. A ball was to be held next week for the wealthy, and I was invited at the fair, by a nicely dressed couple, however the merchant and I will be leaving the middle colonies tomorrow.

September 1743

This past week, my merchant friend had me stay with a family farther to the South while he went looking for more goods. They live on a plantation and right now, it is harvesting time. There are many blacks tending to the fields, and they are producing a very nice supply of cotton and tobacco. The tobacco and cotton is traded to the middle colonies, through my merchant friend, for food. For the past few days our meals have been relatively the same, relying on smoked meat, dried fruits, corn and milk. The slaves prepare each meal, as food is plentiful but difficult to make. One of the nights I observed a servant cook using a long handled pot so as not to burn himself. There are not very many nearby houses as the plantation is very self-contained. School for the children has been held in an empty one-room shack in an unused field about three miles down the road from the main house. These children are lucky to get an education out here in the South as the buildings are scattered over great distances. Their neighborhoods are as big as fifty miles but with few buildings.

November 1743

As, I travel farther down South; the number of black slaves and indentured servants is overwhelming. Many white people that I have talked to, including myself, are growing anxious as the black population increases. There has been talk about making rules stricter for the black so as not to give them a chance to revolt or riot. From talking to people in the South, I have learned that many slaves have tried to resist by avoiding chores, escaping or killing whites. Therefore, some rules have already been put in place to limit the rights of the blacks. They cannot marry or sue, carry weapons, nor be out after their curfew. From reading in a paper, a black was severely punished for hitting a white man in South Carolina, after the white man was yelling at the black for being out past his curfew. Slaves are definitely property here in the South.

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