Posted by: Karlee A. Turner | January 1, 2014

January 1 [1849 and 1860]

Mary Brewster, MONDAY JANUARY FIRST 1849: “How manifold and various are the thoughts and feelings which crowd in upon us, standing as we now are on the threshold of a New Year. How full the heart is with its memories, its regrets, its hopes & fears. The past is behind us, the future stretches before us into the infinite and unknown. We look with eager straining gaze if we can discern whither our path leads, but with utmost effort we can scarcely trace it a hand’s breadth before it passes out of sight.”

“How fast the New Year comes round! And we are startled when we stop and think how far we have swept down the River of life and we know of no better time than the present with the knell of the departed Years still trembling on the air while we stand at the portals of the New — Yes, another year has gone with its hopes and joys, its trials and pleasures, it faults and follies, its loves and hates, its good and its evil. The New Year has come with new plans and enterprises, new schemes and hopes, which spring from the ashes of their predecessors, and before us are new duties, new pleasures and trials, the measure of which we know not, and shall not know, till they come and find us perhaps prepared, perhaps unprepared.”

“It is well then at this point we should review the past, and make ready, so far as possible, for the future. Wherein we have erred in purpose, in thought or act, in the year which has gone, let us resolve that the present year shall witness nothing against us in the day when its accounts are summed up — Let us resolve to live in obedience to those principles which we know are right, with a firm trust in God, persuaded that only in this way shall we come to the close of the year in peace or, if called from our places before it ends, be able to leave our house in order and with a cheerful and resigned heart walk down in the valley of shadows.     LAT. 38.18   LONG.158.54.”

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Mary Lawrence, [Tues.] JANUARY [1860]: “A new year has opened again upon us, but one with whom I hoped once more to take sweet counsel is no more [Her father passed away during 1859]. A sad new year is this for my mother, but how little I can realize the loss yet. This New Year’s Day we spent at Aitutaki, one of the Hervey, or Cook Islands, in the family of Mr. Royle, the English missionary, the only white family on the island. They appeared delighted to see us and did everything for our comfort that it was in their power. They have six daughters; the two eldest  have been in England for the last three years. The youngest is six years old, a very pleasant playmate for Minnie. They have been residents on the island and engaged in their benevolent work for twenty-one years, and the natives are all under their influence. They seem much better than any that I have before met with. I visited their schoolhouse and chapel, which were both neat and commodious….”

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Eliza Williams, her husband and their two children, aboard the Florida anchored safely in San Francisco Bay on the afternoon of October 26, 1861; ending a three-year whaling voyage.


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