Three Rivers
Hudson~Mohawk~Schoharie
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ASHER FREEMAN
Written by a Frugal Pioneer of Niagara County in 1852
Edited with an introduction by
BLAKE McKELVEY (Assistant City Historian of Rochester)

This appeared in the NY State History April 1944, Published Quarterly by NYS Historical Association. Cooperstown, NY

A quarter century has slipped by since William H. Samson printed the following autobiography of Asher Freeman in the Rochester Post Express, Aug. 4, 5, 6, 1916. Although the news accounts of the First World War were already demanding added space in our papers, editor Samson ventured to fill several columns with this human document. As his introduction implies, the spirit and precept of the aging pioneer appeared then almost as antiquated as they strike us today. Yet there is a timeless quality about this autobiography which appeals as much now as in Samson's day.

Details of the pioneer's experiences are always welcome, but we are more interested in Asher Freeman's protest against the extravagance of the younger generation of 1852. The frugality and hard labor which had enabled him to acquire several large farms and erect a comfortable home south of Middleport in Niagara County were recommended earnestly to his numerous children and grandchildren. Not only are the shifting standards of successive generations clearly apparent in this document, but the conflict between the economy of scarcity and the economy of abundance was already making an early appearance, raising issues not yet solved nine decades later.

William H. Samson, for several years president of the Rochester Historical Society, was a diligent collector of historical manuscripts, who filled many notebooks with careful copies of documents he located, but failed for some reason to acquire in the original. His numerous historical articles in the pages of the Post Express gave that daily a special reputation in western New York. The Samson reproduction of Asher Freeman's Autobiography can therefore be accepted as a reliable copy of the pioneer's longhand narrative penned in 1852, which has now, unfortunately, disappeared. The only changes made in this printing are the corrections of two obviously typographical slips, the omission of two repetitious paragraphs, and the insertion of an occasional letter or word in brackets where the meaning appeared obscure. The brief introduction of editor Samson is, of course, retained as a fit preface to the quaint narrative:

"The following narrative will be found of local interest and of extraordinary general interest to thoughtful people who would know I more about the beginnings of civilization in our part of the Empire state and realize what changed conditions a century has brought. The great grandfather of Mrs. Reed T. Chapin, of Rochester, through whose courtesy we are privileged to print it, wrote it in his quaint, old-fashioned, quill-pen handwriting in 1852 for the edification of his descendants. He was at that time closing in peace a strenuous and useful life on the broad acres near Middleport, Niagara county, which he had bought and cleared and beautified that his children bright find life less arduous than it had been for him. Not only is this history a picture of times long passed away, of which this generation knows much less than it would like, but it is a human narrative |of exceeding interest."-The Editor.

BIOGRAPHY OF ASHER FREEMAN

As for the advice I have given, or the course I have taken or advised them-my children-to take, it is what I have followed. If it is right, follow it; if not, be sure not to follow any of my bad examples. I should wish for you to do as well as I have, and to shun all my old practices and failings which I have no doubt are many, and do as much better than I have as you can and be as much advantage to the Freeman family as you can, so that when you leave the world that it shall not be said that you have done no good to anybody.

I have had the misfortune to lose two wives which left me twice with young families of children. I have no knowledge of ever leaving them by night or by day or neglecting them in sickness or in health. Their losing their mothers was a great loss to me and very great to them; greater than can be told. I have always told my children whenever they thought they could do better for themselves than I could do for them I would not object to their trying it, but they have never made any great headway by acting for themselves or stayed long away. I have never given any of my children any advice but what I thought would be for their health, wealth and their comfort to have followed it, but if it has given disagreeable feelings, time must rectify that, for I never expect to.

A short sketch of my life and the way I have managed up to this time-1852:

My ancestors came to America in 1635 and I was born in Easton, Washington county, in this state, in 1774; my parents were from Dutchess county, in this state; they settled in Washington county about 1770. My father took up 50 acres of lease land. He had to pay 1 shilling per acre for the rent, but money was so scarce and hard to get that the rent ran behind for many years before the people could pay the rent. Then the war came on and there was no rent paid till long after the war closed. My parents with their families retreated from Easton to the Nine Partners in July, 1777. As it was expected that Byrgoyne would go through the country many took their families into the older settlements and then returned to fite the enemy-the British tories and Indians. At that time the country was full of Indians and my father was drafted out for to guard the fronteers at the north for they were continually in war from the Indians and tories.

I can remember when three or four or more families would get together for safety and company. I remember when the barking of a dog, the cackling of a hen or the rustling of a leaf was enough to alarm the poor frightened inhabitants, in those days. The people generally came back soon after Burgoine was taken prisoner. . . .

RETURN TO HOMES

My parents came back in February after, poor and destitute, lost all their crops, lost what cattle and hogs they left. There was not enough in the country so but what the people suffered for victuals and clothing for some years. It took the people a number of years to recover their losses. So I think you will not wonder that I halt to see victuals lavished and wasted or used as if it was nothing worth & as if it was of very little consequence, or for to see so much spent in one night in extravagance as would have supported a family for months in those days.

People seem to have grown remarkably proud and extravagant in these days of prosperity, but I think according to all accounts that when a nation gets so proud, extravagant and wasteful the Almighty will send judgments upon them for their sins, either by wars, pestilence or famine. I think we ought to use what we are blest with for our use and comfort and what more to save for those that come after us.

After the war was over my father went to Dutchess county and got a few sheep for we were very destitute of clothing of all kinds and my grandmother sent one sheep to me with directions that my brother Jacob was to have its first lamb, so then we had each one apiece. I took great care of mine and it increased very fast. It was seldom that I ever lost a sheep or lamb. Mine soon increased so that my father could not keep them so I sold some, and some I let out to double. I sold enough for to get me a yoke of steers and a horse and I lost about 40 that I had let out by men's cunning way. Yet I got, a good many. If I could have kept them till I was of age I should have had a good flock. My brother Jacob I think never near as many as I did for he thought to spend so much time was entirely lost. So that shows that a man makes his own fortune in a great measure. I had my sheep so that I could always call them to me from the rest of the flock, and feed them. They knew their master's voice and who fed them.

I have raised a good many cattle and horses. I have had my yearlings as large as a great many of my neighbors' three-year-olds; sothey lose two years keeping their cattle is a very great loss insteadof a gain.

I went to Montreal before I was of age and got three horses. I got good horses, but I could have done a good deal better if I had known more. I got deceived in their bigness when I came to get them out of their harness.

My father moved from Washington to Saratoga county when I was 10 or 12 years of age, and he lived and died there. I lived there till I was in my 22d year of my age (1796), when I left Galloway for to see what there was in the then western wilderness world. I started in June. I traveled through Montgomery county, Herkimer county, and from there went to the Black River country. There was a great deal of wilderness in those days. I did not like the country, it was too cold to suit me. So I left the Black River country and went to the Falls on the Black river. It was a very handsome river. There were no inhabitants or settlement on this side of the river. I crossed the river on the other side. There was a small settlement of French on the intervail. I looked around the country some and I started for Utica, almost a wilderness-very few roads. Utica was a small place at that time, 1796, but has grown since. The country was very new, roads new and very bad. I took the most direct route for the west. I went into Onandoga county, went through the Oneida Indians. There were a great many Indians all through the western part of the state at that time. I went through the towns of Manlius, Pompy, and went to the salt works. There were very few inhabitants there and they were the dregs of society. There was very little salt and that very poor. There were very few roads in those parts; it was quite a wilderness. Went on to the Skaneatales Lake. Found excellent good land; went from there to to Owasco Lake where Auburn now stands. There was an old Dutchman lived there by the name of Hertenburg. He had a mill there worth but very little. There were but two or three small framed houses there at that time and very little improvement. From there I went to the Cayuga Lake at Aurora. There were large Indian improvements in Cayuga county. There were thousands of acres in that county that had been improved by the Indians. A great deal of that was entirely clear of any kind of timber, while some places were grown up to poplars, cherries, basswood, elm, apple trees, plum trees and crab apples in abundance. I have seen the ground covered with crab apples and plums. They used to gather the crab apples to make vinegar of. There were some large Indian orchards that bore well and looked as though they had been set out by the white people; they are standing to this day. There were many peach trees along by the lake. Some of them lasted for many years and bore considerable well. I have seen an apple tree that grew up with the other timber, I should think as much as sixty or seventy feet high. When they cleared away the other timber from round it, they cut off about one-half way down and it bore large fair apples. The last I knew there were thousands of acres that were fit to put the plow right into, except once in awhile a patch of thorn bushes, plum trees or crab apple trees. In some places they will to draw their rail stuff a good ways to build fences with. Seneca county had a great deal cleared by the Indians, and a large quantity of apples and peach orchards. Wayne cut down one apple orchard north of Geneva with several hundred trees in it. Cayuga and Seneca counties were the handsomest, richest and best land that ever I saw in the state of nature by all comparison and must now be the garden of the west I think. The Cayuga and the Seneca lakes are beautiful beyond description.

I got out to Cayuga lake the forepart of July, 1796. I worked it different places and looked at the country till harvest, then I went to work for Judge John Richardson through his harvest. He had one hundred and fifty or two hundred acres very good; that was the first wheat I ever saw cradled and racked and bound. I kept up with the cradler through the harvest. There was a man from Pennsylvania or Baltimore that learned me how to make a band and bind, and I did my work much easier than before.

I sold my horse, saddle and bridle and turned all my work toward a piece of land the west side of Cayuga lake, as handsome a piece as ever the sun ever shone on, and I worked till the last of November or the first of December. I went back to Galloway, and stayed till January or the first of February, when I left home and friends for the Vest. Got out to the Cayuga lake again; went to chopping by the acre. I had never chopped but very little and people would have their timber all chopped 12 feet long and no rail piles left which make a great deal of chopping to, the acre as much again as there was any need of.

In April I took a job of Judge Richardson to chop and clear about 10 acres. I got nine done in August. There were some who began the fall before and worked all winter. I was the second one that finished his job. I kept on to work till the last of the job was completed. Snow began to come before it was all done. Some lazy fellows sold out their jobs and left. I had helped log about 50 acres or rising of four hundred acres. I helped fence some and then I went to drawing ashes that were drawn into large piles till into December, till the snow feel a foot deep, then I quit. I had hurt my breast chopping that season and it grew worse, and I concluded to go to school that winter for I could not work and saw I should not get better, but I rather failed all winter. In the spring I was very feeble so that I could do nothing, so I concluded to try to teach the school where I had the winter before. I had very little learning, so I had to do all that lay in my power, to learn the scholars all I could, and I had a school that I was not ashamed to have any one visit for they did their best. In August I grew worse. I went to several doctors, but they gave me very little encouragement , and did but very little for me. In August I got a large quantity of the best roots and herbs that I could think of. I had a five pail kettle half full. I boiled them thoroughly, rinsed them off, strained them and boiled it down, skimmed it, put in 3 pounds of honey and a quart of the best rum I could get, boiled it together; put in a jug; it was almost thick; hung it down in a well and commenced taking it. It lasted me some time, and I began to gain, and by the time my school was out I got a good deal better, so that I could do a little light work. I lost the first land I took up by its being mortgaged before I bought it, and for some time I had expected to lose the whole that I had paid, but the judge made arrangements with Erastus Spalding for his lot of 116 acres at $6 per acre with 8 acres improved, which left me much in debt. That winter I went with my cousin, John Freeman to Albany and from there to Galway. And in January 13, 1800, following I was married to Bathsheba Russell, in Easton within a few miles of where I was born. I returned back with a small yoke of stags, a small mare, a cow and heifer. Before I went away I paid for grain to last me till harvest, and when I returned I could not get one bushel, and I had to sell my heifer to get grain, and oxen and mare and other cow for to pay toward my land and left me without a hoof of living animals of any, and yet a good deal in debt. In July I got a cow of the man that was to let me have my bread. She had a calf in about two months, and a man that I owed toward my land drove me for his pay and I had to let my last cow go again and I lived without a cow till the next summer. I chopped and cleared two acres of very heavy timber for $20.00 dollars to buy me a cow with, and I had to do without a team for several years before I could get so as to keep a team. I had to buy my milk, my bread and my butter, and my meat, so you need not wonder that I hated to see cattle half starved; to always live shivering and shaking with the cold, and shaped like a dumpling with four sticks stuck in it for legs, and cows giving a quart once a day, when they may just as well give 8 quarts twice a day, then they would be a blessing to the owner. But on the other hand the more a man has the worse he is for they are a curse to the owner and the owner is a curse to his cattle, and just so respecting money. For a year after I went to keeping house I had but 50 cents. So when I see any one spend their time and money as if it was worth nothing, as if it came by bidding, I can tell them that it cost me many a hard day and nights work for to get it, and I know the value of it. To see people riding on the stages, packet, railroads and steamships, like young Kings or Queens, and spend more in one year than I have spent in my life, then I say you need not wonder that l hate to see money lavished at such a rate for I know what it cost. I had rather see all my children lay up their earnings so that their sons get settled in a world & that you can help them to a team and other things, and your daughter, that you can give them a cow and a few sheep, that they need not be as poor and as put to it as their old grandfather has been. I should think it would look better to look to see what we spring from than to ape after the most extravagant fools and fops. A nation nor a man hardly ever injures himself or other people by being too low, but when he gets too high he is apt to fall. People never fall higher. I staid till I payed for my and and cleared up my farm as fast as I could. I was constable and collector for 3 years; I did as much business in the county as all the rest of the constables in the town and I saved some money by perseverance and industry. When I was elected, Esq. Cuyler asked me what I took that office for. He said I never would be worth a damn after I was constable, He said I would take to drinking and spending my time and be entirely worthless, and cited a number of instances to prove what he said to be true I think it was a good admonition and warning to me. I lived in Scipio about 18 years. I cleared up my farm what I wanted cleared; built a large barn and cowhouse, cornhouse and dwelling house in 14 years after I went to my land.

In 1811 I bought 500 acres of land. I did not expect ever to move on to it, but August 28, 1812, I lost my wife, and in 1813, I got married the second time, and in the fall came out and put in a piece of wheat. I had not been out there but two weeks, before I was taken with the bilious fever which lasted me near there months. My hired man and William went home and I was to send word if ever I got so that I could ride on horse back, and William was to bring me a horse, but instead of William coming my hired man came and in three days after I got so as to go to the door, I started for home, about the last of November. It was very cold and stormy. I was very feeble and my mind was as weak as my body. I traveled; it stormed bad; my hat and clothes froze stiff; at one time it rained so fast that I took off my boots, emptied the water out of them, put them on again and went on. I drank considerable liquor with peppermint in it, which prevented me from taking cold. My resolution was better than my judgment. My friends tried their best to not have me go, but my mind was made and I went and lived through it, which was a wonder. It was some time before I got my strength or judgment back.

After I lost my first wife and married again, I had five children, and we concluded to come onto my land. I sold in 1814, and on March 18, 1815, I got to my land. My house was home-made and the floor was split basswood hewed the upper side; the upper floor was basswood-bark peeled the length of the house and laid down when green with the smothe side down and waits laid on it till it was seasoned. It was so strong that I put several hundred bushels of grain on it. It lasted till I built my mill and sawed boards. My roof was made of bark and split shakes, I had no hearth when I moved in. I lived there in that till I built my house where I now live. All the boards there about it was the door which was made of a part of an old sled box. There was not one pound of nails about it.

In 1811 there was not a bridge from the Buffalo road till you got to the mouth of the Genesee river. I came that way with the first cattle I brought in, but in 1815 when I moved my family there was a bridge built at Rochester. I had girdled about twenty acres before I moved in. I cleared it off the third year after I moved in, The timber was dead. I girdled very small and the big stumps came out soon and the roots were all dead of the big trees so that I could plow it right off. It soon became like an old field. I sold my land for $26 an acre and I gave 26 shillings. I had paid 300 or 400 dollars towards my land before I sold so that it took but about one-half of what I sold for to pay for 500 here, and now my land here is worth as much or more than that I sold. But we must thank the projectors of the canal for more than half of the value of our lands. At this time the poor blind fools that opposed it, at first and are still opposed to it don't do it out of any principle, but they have cried out "The Pauper Canal! Clinton's Folly! Clinton's ditch! He has bankrupt the state," till the old ones are worn out. The young ones are like young parrots that have just learned a few words by heart, and so they keep repeating the old story. They know it is all false, but they have said it so long, that they can't forget it. Clinton has done more for the good of mankind than of the best loco-focos in this or any other state. His works raise him daily, and the people praise him, while there is a curse follow his enemies.

I built my mill the first fall I moved in, and my barn in 1817 in the spring, and I built my house in 1824. I have built five frame houses, I have built five frame barns, 3 cow sheds and 2 corn houses, saw mills and 13 school houses. I think I have done my part at building; I cleared my land very fast; I have in general had good crops; I have raised a good deal of wheat, corn and hay; I have made as much by raising stock of all kinds, as I have raising grain and it is much less injurious to a farm. I have 11 children living; they live within a few miles; I can go to all their homes in a day. Have about 18 hundred acres of land now in their possession, that has come through my hands, which amounts to a large sum of money, and I think that if they will work as hard as I have, and be as prudent and as saving there is nothing to hinder them from making property.

When I first came into this country the town of Royalton, Niagara county, there was not a house south till you got to the Buffalo road and on the mountain ridge, I think there was but one or two houses from here to the Falls, and to go from here to Buffalo straight I think there was not a house from here to Colonel Wolworth's place. From there till you got out to Wolcotts, near Colonel Dunham's there was not a house. When I first came here I came to bring Mr. Babcock a load; we came by Batavia, at that time; the road was almost impassable. We got on to the causeway in Tonawanda swamp, and they had got washed and rotted away so that we had to leave our load and get our team through to Wolworth's, and then go back in the morning for our load. My poor horses had to stand all night, with little or nothing to eat. The next day we got through Mr. Babcock's place, and we got Mr. Bain to go into the woods to show us the lot that I live on. We started in here by the Black Walnut tree to go cattering across the lot. It was very close and we had not gone but very little ways before I told him we were turning about, but he said he was never lost in his life, so we followed him and he came right back to where we started from at first.

We started again; we had not gone more than 80 rods before we got back to where we started from. Then some of us took the north line of the lot and followed it while others went into the woods, and so we went around the lot in that way. Then we went around the east part of the other lot. It was in the spring of the year, and I thought the south part of the east lot was so much swamp that I would not have it, so I took enough to make it 500 acres next to Mr. Babcock's and after that I had to pay $4 per acre for what was left of the lot. When I started for home, I went into Slayton settlement, and then I went on to the ridge. I went till I got opposite where Albion now stands, and there I left the ridge. At Slayton settlement I bought one bushel of oats for one dollar, It was all the grain I could find in these parts about noon for to go through to Batavia. There were but very few houses south of the ridge road, and then it was all woods till you got almost to Batavia. The road was very new and little traveled, and it got dark, and I traveled some time after dark. I expected for some time I should lie in the woods, but at last I got to a small house. I had to tie my poor tired horses to the wagon, and all I had to feed with was what few oats was left of the bushel that I bought in the morning. I went into Batavia and went to the land office. Mix was there; it was a small frame building about 12 by 14 or 16 feet. I told him what land I wanted to take up; I told him it lay south of Lyman's and west of Mr. Babcock's. He said he could do nothing about it without my coming back and getting the number of the lot, section, and range, etc. I told him I was sure he could tell just as well as if I knew the lot. I told him I had 3 or 4 hundred dollars to pay for land, and if they could not let me have it I could buy of somebody else. He began to scratch his head; he turned to it a one minute. What was taken up was all marked with yellow, so that I showed him the lot on the map. He [k]new all the time, but he thought he would make me come clear back, but I told him I would not if I did not get the land. I was very much provoked at his conduct. This was in April, 1811.

Just as I got home your Uncle Jacob came to my house from Galloway, and I told him about the country and he concluded to plant some corn and then I bought a large yoke of oxen for him and Mr. Wall and I got Ann. planting, and I came out with them and I let them have money for to take up their land. Jacob took 200, Mr. Wall took 115. They got good land; they brought provisions to last them till harvest. We came on the Ridge road; there was not a bridge from the Buffalo road to the mouth of the Genesee river, and we had to go 7 miles north of Rochester to cross in a large scow. I came out in October and Mr. Wall, now your Uncle Jacob, had not sowed one kernel of wheat nor got any ready to sow. I was heart sick. They might just as well had 5 acres apiece sowed as not. I moved his family out here in October. Provision very scarce and hard to be got. I bought some from Scipio, but it was very bad getting it is there was not a creek from here to Batavia that had a bridge over it, and from here to Rochester, but very few. Some times they would be frosted over and some times they would be open and dunned up so that the water would come into the sleighbox. In February, 1813, your Uncle Samuel moved from the Black river county. He had lived there eight years, had worked very hard, had poor land; poor crop and he was poor. He had paid for considerable land and had cleared a good deal of it and got little or nothing in return. He disposed of some of it for a little and some he left for the good of the public. He lived in the house I had built one year and then he bought where James Freeman lives. He worked very hard and fared hard, but got a fine improvement and was in a fair way of doing well when he was taken sick and died. He left a large family in low circumstances. I helped them until they got their land paid for and Franklin got big enough to manage the place and he died also.

When I first began in Scipio I sent to Galloway and got some apple seeds. I sowed them and I sold some of them and I raised a great many trees-they were scarce and I sold them. I had folks come 25 miles after trees and when I came here I sent back to Scipio and got seeds. I have sold a great many trees. A great many of the orchards that are now growing are of my trees. I have set out an orchard on the Lewiston road. I set out one on the land I let Daniel Chace have. I set out one where Isaac lives. I set out 200 trees down by the lake. John's orchard is out of my raising. They are scattered all around the country. I bought the Wall place some years since, I have raised a great deal of grain on it. I have had good crops on it generally. I bought the Chase Place I gave four thousand dollars for it. I went in debt for it all and in four years I paid for it all. Now I bought Phillip's farm and paid for it. But you will say you had something for to pay with. So can you have if you will make your own clothes and keep away from the stores and not pay away half you raise to the stores for to support a great many lazy grand storekeepers and spoil the rising generation, bringing them up in idleness or that is, of at use to themselves or anybody else.

Women may go to the store, buy 6 new dresses and make them up and by the time they are all made it is time to begin to alter the first one and by the time the last one is altered it is time to get as many more and they are of but little use. One good woolen dress is worth a dozen for women or children either for comfort or to endure or for health. I think I have helped my children to more than any farmer in this county, and I want they should add to what they begin with so as to keep just as much before them that begin with nothing. I want them to raise their own horses and cattle as good as the best and have some to sell instead of buying. You have all the means and all it wants is care and perseverance and I should hate to have any man say to me that he could raise better cattle or horses than I could I would say my father used to raise as big as any man. I could. be very sorry to think that we were depreciating in these times of knowledge or I should be very sorry to think any man could belt me in raising bigger or better cattle or horses or could raise more or better grain or get a better price for the price will depend on quality. As for raising cattle it is just like raising grain-you plow your ground and plant your corn; it comes up, looks well, but you let it go without hoeing it after it is fit to hoe 12 or 15 days & it will all grow up to grass and weeds. Then you go at it and it will take as long again to hoe it as it would if it had been done when it had ought to and the crop is spoiled; one half a crop or less is the consequence. So in raising cattle you let them go without feed one half the time and part of the time without water and lie in the cold shivering and shaking and when they are four years old they won't fetch as much as they would well kept when they were two years old. So you lose one-half of the keeping of your property. So they make their conclusion and so they spend as fast as they can get any. Did you ever hear any person say I do not know how to spend property that came into his hands that somebody else had earned? I think I have heard many a one tell how soon he got rid of a large estate without anybody to tell him how. I never knew any person but what would know how to eat if you set victuals before him, but come to earn it that is the trouble. You tell them the advantages they have, they will tell you that they work as hard as anybody. You ask them if they with their hands could not earn more than enough to support themselves, they would think it a great imposition, to offer them their victuals and clothes to work for you.

I can earn three times as much as to support myself, yet after they have worked for years they won't lay up one dollar. I have known a small family or four or five to take as much to maintain them a year as what would board 40 men the year round. Now I do not suppose that any of my children have more property than they want, or half as much. I wish for them to have eleven times as much as they have so that they can give their children that amount without interfering with what I have given them. But in order to do that you must use the means that is put into your hands, but if it should so happen that you have more than you want you can give it to those that have not got enough as is no doubt there will be. But if there should be any that have not got enough or none of their brothers and sisters have nothing to give, then there is one certain remedy, that is for everyone to help himself. It is seldom that ever fails for if a man or woman is good for anything and they are determined to use the means that are put in their hands it is a sure remedy for almost all the wants of man. If he wants to borrow let him ask his pocket for the sum wanted; if he wants to beg, go to his best friend, his pocket. If he wants to buy let him say, I am ready, my pocket is full; but he must be punctual to pay or he will soon lose his credit for his pocket won't trust him. If he neglects to return it again then his pockets will not be very plentifully supplied. If he is all the time taking it out and not returning it the pocket will not trust him at all and then he goes to friends and neighbors. He may get what he wants but they are apt to think "Help yourself and then we shall all be helped." I think you might just as well work and save your time and money as for to get it from those that do work. Be always up to your word and engagements in all cases so that your word can be taken in all places as far as you are known.

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