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Arad Thomas.

Pioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations online

. (page 9 of 32)
Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 9 of 32)
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fall of 182.0 to abandon my pioneer life, return to the
east, obtain an education and study a j^rofession.
Accordiiiiily October 2d, l^^n, I left my ax and hand
spike and wt^nt to Lockpoit, uot on board the canal
boat 'DeWitt Clinton" and .sailed foi- the east.
8topj)ing in Albion for the boat to take* on loading I
took an excursion through that low. muddy, and as
I thought unsightly young village. 1 little thought
then that 'Newport,' as it Avas called was destined
to be my future home. 1 tlieii ])ronounced Xewport
a. (pieer place (m which to build a town.

I returned to the boat and passed on tlu'ough Hob
ley. Brockport. .\ dams' and Spencer's Basins, all
little straggling hamlets, as I thought them, ar-
riving in Rochester in the night. Mt^v^ I expected io
meet a gentleman from Tompkins county by appoint-
ment, with whom T was intending to travel to visit my
relatives in this vicinity and tlien ^i.) by boat with
some relatives to Albany. But the gentleman did
not couK^ as I expected. My little stock of mon«'y
was exhausted on Tuesday- night in paying for my
supper. I was noAv a stranger in a. strange land. I
knew not what to do or how I shouhl be provided
for. 1 wandei'ed al)out Rochester until Saturday
morning, eating nothing except a few apples which I
picked up in an or«'hard in the town of Brighton. : I
slept nights on the piaz/a of tlx^ Exchange Hotel, on
the corner at the intersecti(m of the canal with the
basin, where the ])a('ket boats used to lay u]). Every
morning when a lire was made u]) in the old bakery
at the west end of the atpieduct. 1 went into the front
room and warmed myself, tantalized by the smell of
the T)read which was piled u]) on the counter, stearii
ing hot, and for which 1 was starving. 1 was too
])roud to beg. and 1 thank (iod Cor it, too hoiK^st to
steal.



Tlni8 the week passed until Saturdjiy iiioruiiig when
I had a j)ressing- invitation to join a circus company
then performing tliere. I was then young, ac^tive and
strong, but my good (juaker training, and above all
the hand of Providence shaping my ways, kept my
3'^outhful feet from tliat imih.

On Saturday morning 1 met a man who asked me
if I would work, and I gladly hired t(j him for a part
of the day. He led the way to the barn back of
the *'anal, between Fitzhugh and S(jphia streets,
where the ground was literally strewn M'ith heav}'
raiinon. and I worked until the middle of tlie after-
noon assisting to put them on a scow boat for
distribution along the canal, to be used in firing a
grand salute at the meeting of tli



Online LibraryArad ThomasPioneer history of Orleans county, New York. Containing some account of the civil divisions of western New York, with brief biographical notices of early settlers, and of the hardships and privations → online text (page 9 of 32)