Journal notes 'have learned but just enough to know that I know very little'.
The following is from the 1797 journal of Simon Davis, a businessman and father who lived in a part of Boylston that is now West Boylston.
While in Boston, Simon Davis notes that there is an abundance of evil in the world. Simon thinks that riding horseback is more fatiguing than riding on his cart to Vermont. He has a birthday, and turns 32. Even though as we have seen, he had many accomplishments, not the least of which was helping to establish the 2nd precinct of Boylston, he wrote he has nothing to be proud of. The people of Sterling complain about a lack of money. Simon dines with the Gov. of Massachusetts. Tax delinquents upset -
Boston August 31st 1797 Thursday - Warm - some showery - made a purchase of some oil and blubber - S. Whitcomb in town with my cart - Axletree failed - paid 2 dollars for a new one and made out of Town between 9 and 10 at evening - went on with Whitcomb to Waltham - put up at Bird's - Abundance of evil in ye world -
September 1797 Friday 1st day - At Waltham and from there to home - More fatigue with journey on horse back than I was with than to Vermont in my cart - fair Day - rode slow - home late at evening - very warm -
Saturday 2nd - Fair and very warm - did little work - some business with customers and regulating accounts - am 32 years old this day and yet have learned but just enough to know that I know very little - I know that I have nothing to be proud of and that a humble submissive temper becomes me - at evening rode to A. Parker's and back -
Sunday September 3 1797 - Pleasant agreeable day - though light shower toward night - At meeting - heard Mr. Nash from Esther 5 and 13th and from 1st Kings 13 and 14 - never more gratified with his preaching than this day - full meeting - numbers who have stood aloof - several circumstances combined to render the prospect pleasing -
Monday 4th - Fair Day - busy - At evening rode to Sterling city and back - a scarcity of specie generally complained to render the prospect generally complained - Town Meeting there -
Wednesday 6th - Fair Day - full of business -
Friday 8th - Fair and warm - Much dissatisfaction between Capt. Bond and his Company -
Saturday 9th - Pleasant but cool - rode with Amasa Holt to Princeton and back dined at Gov. Gills farm house - Governor and his connections not the most likely set of People on earth - At Esquire Beaman's - White makes a stir among delinquents for taxes -
To be continued.
Fred Brown is the curator and past president of the Boylston Historical Society and Museum, at 7 Central St.