Ann Clinch was born in 1804 in England, and came to this province, when one year old, with her parents. Her father soon died of yellow fever in New York City. Her mother went to Jersey Shore,1 married one Mr. Blackwell. She was brought up on the Delaware River, Town of New Hope, by one Peter Blackwell.2 She stayed there until she was eighteen years of age. By the suggestion of her mother Joseph Campbell went to her place and she came with him to Beecher's Island, the home of her mother; stayed there until the spring of 1822. They married, went to housekeeping on the farm that Joseph, Jr. now owns and lived there until she died in 1872, aged sixty-eight years.
She was very efficient in helping clear and pay for the farm; reared a family of eleven children. Our garments were all made by her industrious hands for both summer and winter wear. She spun flax and tow and had the yarn wove into cloth for their first bedtick. Her mother gave her a pair of pillows. She raised geese and made a feather bed so they had one good bed at this time. She also made quilts and comfortables.3 She would get her children in bed and go out with her husband and chunk up and burn the heaps4 until midnight. The flats were covered with pine trees. They girdled them that they might die, then burned them down to get rid of them. The clearing was very heavy.
The ruin of the old house still remains to remind us of the many happy days spent there and the long winter evenings when we studied our lessons or played games; father reading the newspaper or Bible, while mother was always busy with the needle. The girls did the knitting. Six of us would be knitting at once. We would try stents5 to see which was the fastest knitter. Eleanor wore the belt. Our light was a pitch pine torch in the fire place. We had our time for play. I remember the grape vine swings that Uncle Richard Ellison's children and ourselves would fix up on the butternut trees. If we didn't provide ourselves with strings we would tear our aprons into strings to tie the vines together. The grape vines grew along the river on the North side of the farm.
1. Lycoming Co., PA. She had known widower Enoch Blackwell in Avening, in England, and they crossed on the same ship.
2. Jane remembered Ann's foster father as Enoch's brother, Peter. But as explained in Ann's mini-bio, the late Stella MAUGERI Blackwell and I believe Ann was more likely to have been raised by a different brother, Joshua. Sarah would have known both Joshua and Peter, probably in England, and certainly from the ship. Joshua lived for a while in Bucks Co., PA. But most of Ann's growing up seems likely to have been across the river, in or near Lambertville, NJ. Joshua was a farmer, so it may have been in what is now Hunterdon Co.'s Delaware Twp. or West Amwell Twp.
4. I.e. the piles of brush and tree trimmings from clearing the land.
5. Contests. From 'stint', as in a period of time.
Note: No date appears on the above Memoir,
but Aunt Jane probably wrote it in the '90's.
6. Farmers had little cash back then. Teachers' pay was low, but meals, or often room and board was part of their compensation.
7. Proverbs 31:28.
8. Proverbs 31:15, 31:23 & 31:13.
10. Isaiah 63:3.
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