Item of the Day: The Farmer’s Almanack 1817

Full Title: The Farmer’s Almanack, calculated on a new and improved Plan, for the Year of our Lord 1817. Being the first after bissextile or Leap-Year, and Forty-First of the Independence of America. Fitted to the Town of Boston, but will serve for any of the adjoining states, Containing, besides the large number of Astronomical Calculations, and the Farmer’s Calendar for every month in the year, as great a variety as any other Almanack, of New, Useful, and Entertaining Matter. By Robert B. Thomas.

DECEMBER, twelfth Month. 1817

Thus man, endow’d with reason’s pow’r,
Shall, like the leaf, which Autumn’s show’r
Now scatters o’er the ground,
To him who gave, resign his breath,
And, sinking in the arms of death,
Receive his mortal wound (Selected from Ladies’ Mon. Mur.)


“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time, and all our yesterdays have lighted fool the way to dusky death!” So, my friend, another year of this restless life is gone beyond the flood. Look back upon the past, and see how you have been employed. Have you cultivated your mind, as well as your farm? Have you done your best endeavours to promote temperance, prudence, gratitude, modesty, humility, justice, sincerity, diligence, benevolence, mercy, peace, religion, and Charity. Here, my friend, if you have been a faithful farmer, you will have stores laid up in the granary of heaven; a supply sufficient for a life everlasting where no moth shall corrupt, or thief break through and steal. Let your children be kept at school with as little interruption as possible; draw off, our accounts, and settle peaceably with your neighbours, and live happy — “Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”



When I see a young man possess no more honor than to be dunned, I guess he will never make a man of respectability. When I see a man quit work because he has three or four hired men to oversee, I guess he will have to go to jail to pay them. When I see a man suffer a simple wife to run in debt at the stores for whatsoever she fancies, I guess he will soon wish he had never been married.

When I pass a house and see the yard covered with stumps, old hoops, and broken earthern, I guess the man is a horse-jockey, and the woman a spinner of street yarn. When I pass a house and see the windows broken, a bundle of rags in one, and a hat in another, I guess the mistress is a slut and the master loves RUM. When I see a country merchant hire two clerks to tend his store while he sets by the stove, drinking wine, I guess he will soon have to take the benefit of the Insolvent Act, or take a tour to Vermont.


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Filed under 1810's, Posted by Rebecca Dresser

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