The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942 Page: 330
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
beeswax, home-made cloth, dressed deerskins" - any kind of
property, he said, that would not be a dead loss to him.
Here are glimpses of pioneer life in 1834, within thirty miles
"March, 1834. The spring opened fine, no cold weather, corn
up and growing. ... Father had two bushels of corn left.
He said if there was no cold weather at Easter he would have
it ground. We had been without bread three weeks. Mother
made a cheese every day. Father killed a deer on Saturday.
He cut up the meat and dried it over a fire, and we ate it for
bread. Mother and I had been spinning. Father needed plow
lines, and there was not any rope in the country. The men
made their ropes out of hides and the hair from the manes
and tails of horses. . . . I spun thread and mother made the
plow lines." . . .
June, 1834. "The crops were very promising. There were
plenty of roasting ears for cooking. We had been three weeks
without bread. By the last of June the corn was too hard to
cook. Uncle James said that if he had a piece of tin he could
make a grater. Mother gave him a tin bucket. He unsoldered
it, drove holes in it with a nail, fastened it on a board, and
grated meal for supper. . . . Mrs. Roark had a Mexican
utensil for grinding corn, called a metate. It was a large rock
which had a place scooped out of the center that would hold a
peck of corn. It had a stone roller. It was hard work to grind
corn on it, but the meal made good bread. Some of our neighbors
had small mills, called steel mills. . . . When the neighbors
would meet, the first word would be, 'Is your corn getting
hard? Have you had any bread? Send to my house and get
meal or corn.' "
At a barbecue on the Fourth of July: "We ate barbecued
meat, all sorts of vegetables, coffee, fowls, potatoes, honey, and
corn bread, but no cakes, as there was no flour in the country."
And the writer adds: "The whiskey gave out early in the eve-
ning, and there was no fuss or quarreling."
At a neighborhood dance: "We got there before dark. It was
only two miles in the bottom. The house was a double log cabin
with a passage between the rooms. . . . Before dark a servant
came in with a bunch of cane, each piece about twelve inches
in length. He laid the pieces of cane on a chair, got a knife,
split them, took out tallow candles, and lighted up the house."
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 45, July 1941 - April, 1942, periodical, 1942; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146053/m1/372/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.