Volume III, No. 2, Winter 1975
Excerpts from the diary of Elizabeth Cummings which might have been written in 1834.
August 1 - What can I say to tell how hapy these last few weeks has been? My life has bin filld with a odd fealing thats hard to discribe. I do no the reason tho. Its Daniel.
I still remember the day he come riding into the brush arbor. Id never seen a circut rider afore and didn't no what to expekt from him. But thru his preaching and his visits with Poppa I new he had something speshul. The charm as he talked was speshul. Even his walk.
Id kina got the idee that Daniel had always bin the rychus man that he is. That was afore he told me about himself as we rode a long the trail headed for home from the brush arbor meeting.
Daniel didnt have no Ma or Pa. Leest ways they died when he was jus a youngun. He growed up in Kentuky with his unkel who was a little man that done lots of carpentry work. Daniel lerned lots of things from him even tho he didnt lern much else. Daniel said he had bin awful meen to his unkel and he was now sory about that. But there aint to much he can do to change the past.
It shore is wonderful how he tells others about the Lord. Jus like tonite after we finished eating and was siting round the fare. Daniel started telling Bobby and Sarah a Bible story. He told them his favorite one about how hapy Adam was in Eden and that all the animals was his frinds. There eyes got as big as frying pans as they sat and lisened as long as they could. I supoze they both imagined jus what ltd be like to live in Eden. I no I did.
But finely there eyes started git-ting hevyer and harder to keep open. And there heads began to bob as they fot the sleep that was coming on. Afore he could tell it all thru both the younguns had droped off to sleep.
Daniel smiled and shook his head kinda hapy like. They jus couldnt hold there eyes open he said as he piked up Bobby and karryed him to his sleeping place beside the wagon. And Poppa piked up little Sarah and karryed her into the wagon smiling jus a little to.
Daniel was so loveing as he karryed Bobby in his arms. Hes so stong but hes gentle not only with the chilren but will all peple. Its cause of the love of the Lord in him Im shore. I kina think thats why I have took to him so.
Daniels young but hes a rytchus God fearing man with the love of the Lord in his hart so powerful that you can feel it when he talks and even when he sings. Thats how I felt when I layed down for the nite.
Everthing was so quiet until I herda soft almost forgotten tune coming from outside. I lookd out the back flap and seen Daniel awalking amungst the trees a-piking up little branches and twigs for the fare as he sang. The words drifted up to Heaven I supoze cause I felt the Spirit there. He touched my hart in a way Id never felt afore. And the Spirit was rite there lisening to Daniels praises.
He sang so softly as for only the three of us to here. The Spirit Daniel and me. I layed back down and closed my eyes jus lisening silently to the songs sweet words.
What wondrous love is this,
0 my soul 0 my soul
What wondrous love is this, 0 my soul
What wondrous love is this
That caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my
soul for my soul
To bear the dreadful curse for my
August 4 - We arived here round noon and I didnt no jus how much Id missed home. Momma shore was hapy to get bak into her own kitchun. The only thing mising is our chikuns and ole Daisy, she said smiling at Poppa.
He new Momma was ankshus to have the animals bak home with us so Poppa took Daniel and Jake and went over to nabor Samuel Daviss and brot them bak. We herd ole Daisy mooing when they come bak up to the barn. Daniels face was all lit up with joy. Seems that when Poppa told Samuel that Daniel was a preacherman, Samuel asked if he would preach this coming Lords day.
August 10 - The Lords day finely come. Poppa and brother Jake spent all week cleening the brush and tall grass away from round the house and barn. Even little Bobby got in and hept.
Daniel stayed round all week and did a lot of work on some benches for us to set on. Ever famly has there own benches but Daniels rill good at making things and wanted to make some speshul for the Lords day.
Everbody jus seemed to be bisy all week. Momma and me and Sarah got all our washing done the day after we got back. That was a long hard job cause everthing we had was dirty from our trip to the arbor.
Then the rest of the week went purty much like ever other week. It shore was difernt planing for today tho. We aint rilly had no Sunday meetings here since we come from Tennessee. I remember back there and at the arbor, but thats difernt than having a meeting rite here on our farm. I was so excited.
We all got up erly this morning and got everthing redy for when all the nabors would start coming up. We got brekfust eat and the dishes put away while the menfolk moved the benchs out of the barn. The wether wasnt bad jus a little hot. Thats why they moved the benchs to the upper part of the farm where all the shade trees is.
Momma made Bobby and Sarah get cleaned up agin this morning. Seems like a bath never does eether of them no good. When water done all it could she set them down in the kitchun rill hard like so they wouldnt get dirty afore meeting time.
Momma put on her Sunday dress and she shore looked purty. Poppa got dressed in his Sunday sute to but it didnt keep him from laying the strap down on Bobbys back side when he sneeked out and got mud on his pants and shirt down to the crik. O you should have herd him repent!
Wasnt to long after that when the Samuel Daviss, Harvy Everts and William Joness come riding in. Daniel was out there to meet them when they come up. I didnt mind one bit about Daniel being frindly with Samuels yungest doter Ida when they first come cause Daniel is just nachruly a kind frinly person. But I watched rill close most of the time and pade clost atenchun when Ida started gitting rill frindly with him. Once she seen me watching her and give me one of her Looky Who I Got looks. Daniel didnt even seem to mind it! She made me so mad I could have scratched her eyes out.
Soon enuff he got up to preach. He paused as he did so many times at the arbor. I think he dos that to git a control over us afore he starts preaching.
He looked at all the menfolk first but didnt say a word. Neether when he looked at the rest of us. But when he looked at me I turned my head. I couldnt look at him all the time he preached. I just set and lisened and tryed to think about what he said.
Brothers and sisters I have bin astanding up here and looking at all of you. I have bin atrying to figure out what has brot us all together here today and you no frinds its very simple. The Lord brot us all together to have fellowship one with another.
And when I think of this I think about my favorite BIBLE story. Creashun. I love to imagine the glorius time when God created Heaven and earth. Afore God created earth He had eternaty all to Himself and I guess He got kina lonesome at times. I supoze the Lord was asitting round Heaven one day with nothing to do. He must have thot for ages about why He was so lonely and what He could do bout it.
First off He come up with an idee of creating the earth with all its buty. But even then there was still someting missing. He created the land and the waters. The birds and the fish. And ever animal that there ever was. But God was still lonely.
The Lord wanted someone He could talk to and show things to. So what idee do you think He thot up then? Someone much like Himself. Someone that could think and could talk and could love Him in return for all the love He had. And that brothers and sisters was Adam. The first of the human race. And God brot Adam forth from the dust of the earth and give him life.
Things must have bin purty hapy for the Lord and Adam. Adam named all the animals and was frinds with ever one of them. It went along fairly well until the Lord rilized Adam was giting lonely to. It was a sertin kind of lonlyness that God couldnt fill.
So God one day created a woman. She was taken from man and the dust. She was much like man but God created Eve as a weeker vessel and gave Adam the responsibility of watching over Eve and providing a home for her.
God saw that this was all very good and He was well pleased. God now had Adam and Eve to watch over and love. He had fellowship with His creashuns and they had fellowship with Him. God was well pleased.
But you ask me what hapened? It seems like a purfect plan Brother Truelove. What hapened?
Well, I'll tell you what hapened.Adam and Eve sined. Gods plan was broken by the wikedness in the harts of peple. I supoze God even cryed a tear or two when his creashus turned away from Him and dis-obayed His commands. But God still loved them and wanted fellowship with them.But that chance never came until the time that the Son of God came to earth in hu\-man form. Jesus Christ took the sins of all the world upon Himself. In that way thru Himself Jesus created a path from man to God. He bridged the gap that seperated sinful humans and the all purfect God. The path that had bin broken by the wickedness of Adam and Eve.
So you see fellowship with God was put in us from the very begining. It is within us to long to have fellowship with God and for us to have fellowship with one another.
Come the day of Judgement we will all stand afore the mity throne of the all-powerful God. We will all ansur for what our lives have bin. Will you stand afore God sinful with your soul condemed to the Lake of Fire? Or will you stand afore God cleansed of your sins by the blood of Jesus Christ?
Our sins have all redy bin forgive cause Jesus paid the price years ago. All we have to do is beleeve and eksept that. But to go on and on sining is disobaying Gods word. You see God wants us to be like Jesus cause Jesus pleased His Father well. But Jesus was purfect and didnt sin one bit. So for us to go on sining and sining is a sin in itself. You have got to stand up for the Cross.
Dont hate each other and be jelus cause we all are created by the same Holy Father that loves each of us and expects the same from all of us. Love Him and one another.
Love God but hate the Devil. Love one another but hate that which may cause you to fall from the grasp of God if only for a minute. Love God with a pure hart and that means not to have any bad feal-ings for anyone hanging in your hart.
With those last few words Daniel looked at me and our eyes met. I had tryed only to sneek glances at him without him noing it but he cot me. I was froze.
I felt like crying but held back all but one tear that run down my cheek and off my chin. The Spirit was talking to me and I knew I had been rong all this time to hate Ida. I was rilly fealing bad about it. I just sat there and wondered what hed say next.
So brothers and sisters you need to have fellowship with God and one another. But how can you have fellowship with someone you have hard fealings for? You cant. So git rite with your famly and frinds and espeshuly your enimees. And when you git rite with them and stay rite with them then youll have a clear uncluttered hart as you come afore the Lord.
Daniels eyes was kina solum but he seemed to feal a great bit of akomplish-ment. We all set back and wondered about the strange glowing in his eyes as he again looked at each of us. He bowed his head and prayed.
August 11 - I cryed lots last nite but even harder this morning when Daniel said goodby. Jus after brekfust he got his horse saddled and got his bundle loaded and was redy to leave. Bobby and Sarah was excited about giving him a flower for his coat. It was only a dandylion but he smiled and put it on. Its lovely he said and pated them both on the head.
Momma brot him out some cold biscuts rapped in a old cloth that she give him for his trip. Maybe itll last you thru the day she said. He thanked her and put it in his saddle bag.
Poppa told him thanks for all the hep round the farm, espeshuly with the benchs. He shook hands with Poppa and Jake both. Then he turned and seen me. I held back my tears and made myself smile.
He got on his horse and waved as he rode off. We all watched him till he was only a speck in the distance. Everone else went on about there bisness but I watched til he rode over the far hill and was out of site. But I had stayed there watching Daniel leave me. Never more to see him again!
I couldnt take it any longer. Something inside of me wanted to cry out. I couldnt stay there and cry the tears I new would not stop once they got started. I did the only thing I new to do. I ran down to the crik where Iust to spend so much of my time talking to God when something trubled me. There I felt close to God and felt far enuff away from the world that I could say what I liked without anyone to bother me. Why had Daniel left? I jus couldnt figure it out.
I stood there for quite some time jus thinking and praying. Then a strong hand grasped my sholder and I turned to see Jake standing beside me. Some how he new what I felt and put his arms round me and let me cry my tears all out. Have faith Beth he said. Have faith in the Lord that He will work things out for the best. Jus have faith
September 23 - I guess I aint bin myself these last few weeks. Poppa said I needed to git out and meet some nice YOung men and git my mind off my trubles. So he introdused me to the new boy that come into our little settlement. Hes a neffew of Harry Evert and seems to be nice enuff but I jus cant seem to Like him. But maybe Poppas rite. Maybe I should try to git my mind off Daniel cause hes gone. Gone forever.
October 7 - Praise the Lord for heavenly days. Praise the Lord!
I had no idee this morning when I went down to the barn to milk ole Daisy that today would be such a glorius day.
The morning sunrise was brite and lovely but I still couldnt real quite hapy cause last nite I dreamed about Daniel. I thot Id forgot about him. But I hadnt.
I was fealing low and the words from a old song jus seemed to come to mind. I felt sad but something told me the day would git better. And so I sang.
When I was sinking down, sinking
down sinking down
When I was sinking down sinking down
When I was sinking down
Beneath Gods rytshus frown
Christ laid aside His crown for my
soul, for my soul
Christ laid aside His crown for my
Part way to the barn I herd the soft clomping of a horses hoofs. I looked up but was blinded at first by the sun in my eyes. The closer the horse come the better I could see as the sun was blocked out by the tall handsome figure coming tord me.
It was Daniel!
I was so hapy I droped my milk pail and yelled all the way as I run up to the side of his horse. Daniel saw me and he smiled the britest smile I ever seen in my life. Howdy do he said as I come up beside him and held his leg not wanting to let him leave agin.
By then everbody had come out of the house to see what was going on. I didnt pay no mind to them cause Daniel was back and thats all that mattered
October 8 - Daniel stayed here yesterdy and last nite. After we ate we all set down round the fare. Daniel set in a cheer beside the fareplace and his face glowed as I watched him. I aint shore whether it was from the fare so much or from the inner fare that was warm and genrus.
Sarah set on his lap and Bobby on the floor beside him aholding titely to his nee. They lisened as he told of his travels and the sites he saw.
It was over a week of riding all day along the scarsly traveled trails afore he come to St. Louis town. He dis-cribed as best he could the wide streets that was more than common there. Houses was so close you couldnt spit without hitting someone in the eye. Can you imagine the peple in all those houses? Its jus to hard for me to beleeve.
Then Daniel told about the preacher-man hed met and stayed with. And his famly. Daniel said they have a huge house on a nice street of the town where theres trees and flowers and white piket rinses. But the most wonderful thing he talked about was the church of Brother Stuarts rite across the street. They have church sevices there ever week! Can you imagine?
Daniel seemed to think far off ashe told of the things he had lerned about the Word from Brother Stuart. But he told us the most important thing he lerned was that the Lord had a sertin purpose in life for him and he was like he was cause thats the way God wanted him. And praise the Lord for that.
This morning I fixed brekfust of biscuts and gravy. Ham and eggs and lots of hot corec. Daniel come in to the table and smiled when I set the plate of food afore him. I felt kina hapy that he seemed to prisheate it. He ate rill harty like and drank lots of cofee. Then he went on down to the field with Poppa and Jake and Bobby during the morning. When noon come Sarah and I took them all there meal. They was all hot and thirsty and was almost everjoyed to see us.
October 10 - I never did say nothing to Daniel when he come back about the party over to Sanuel Daviss farm tonite. But he overherd Jake and me talking about it and asked me if I had anyone to take me. I told him no even tho Harvy Everts neffew Matthew said hed like to take me. But I never told Matthew I would and so I wasnt even going to tell Daniel about it.
I did feal kina sory for Matthew when he come over later while all the men-folk was down in the fields. I told him Daniel had come back from one of his trips and that hed said hed like to go so I was going with Daniel. Matthew seemed kind of dispanted but smiled and said goodby.
Daniel drove me and Jake over to Kathern Mastersons house to pick her up and take her to the party with us. Jake set in the back of the wagon with her. Daniel and I both kina noticed they shore got along together.
The lamps of the barn shore shownas we drove up. Peple was all round. There was a lot of them that I didn't think Daniel had ever rilly met so I took him round and introdused him.
The hole nite was rilly wonderful until Daniel and me went over to the refreshment table to git a bite to eat. Both Matthew and Ida was astanding there talking. I guess when I told MatthewI was going to the party with Daniel it made him a little sad so he must have disided to spend his time with Ida. Daniel was his own kind self and talked rill nice with Matthew for a while. But then Ida must have thot she wasnt gitting enuff atenchun from eether of them cause she started flashing her eyes at Daniel.
I dont think Daniel rilized what she was doing. But Matthew did and I guess he got mity angry. Finely things broke loose. Or maybe I should say Matthew broke loose. He grabbed hold of Idas sholder and pulled her back out of the way. His eyes got rill farery red and he rolled up his sleeves. All rite preacher-man he said. Jus cause your older and more sperienced don't meen you can come someplace and git any girl you want. You can have old Lizabeth ifn you like but this time you aint going to git Ida here without fiteing for her first. Rite then he hit Daniel in the stomik as hard as he could.
Poor Daniel was dubled over trying to katch his breth when Matthew hit him up side the head and noked him to the floor. I remember screeming for someone to hep Daniel but everone jus stood back in a sirkul and watched. Aint you going to fite me preacherman? Whats wrong? You sceered? Matthew asked standing across the floor from him.
Daniel said no. He would not fite him but Matthew lit into him anvways. Finely Jake come pushing threw the crowd and grabbed hold of Matthew and pulled him off. He struggled a little but new it was no use aginst Jake.
Daniel got to his feet and was breething mity hard. He jus stood there with the blood runing down the corner of his mouth and looked strait at Matthew. Some how Matthew couldnt understand it. Whats wrong with you? Are you so sceered to fite anyone that you have to have someone save you?
My dear Matthew Daniel said. I am a man of God. I have no reason to fite you or any other man. I cannot harm my fellow man and must be kind to all peple. Besides I thot everbody could tell I never had a eye for anyone sept Miss Beth here.
Matthew didnt rilly no what to do or say. Jake let go of him and he jus stood there. Ida come running over to Matthew and he looked down at her and then at me as I walked over to Daniels side. Forgive me Brother Truelove he said. I guess I done you wrong.
Samuel Davis come out bout then and took the two of them into the house. Ida didnt seem to pleesed with that idee but went along anyways.
I looked up at him and saw the blood smeered round his mouth and on his forehead. I took him over and set him down in a cheer while I went to get a rag and water to clean his face off with. When I come back Jake was siting there talking with Daniel. Jake left but Daniel told me some of the things theyd talked about as I wet the rag. Its nothing to fuss over he said as I cleaned his face.
The blood had dryed some by now andI had to give it a little extry rubbing. He tryed to keep talking so he could pretend to hide the pain. I had cleaned cuts afore but I got a strange fealing this time. I didnt want to hurt him none and so when I rubbed jus a little to hard and he jumped I had to make myself go on.
Daniel set there tho and took it.But I felt a pain in my hart for him ever time he twinged. When I got his face all cleaned up I put cool water over my cloth and wiped all of his face. That seemed to hep him most cause he looked up at me smiling. His blu eyes sparkled and he said thank you Miss Beth from the botom of my hart.
October 12 - We had our meeting over to Harvy Everts house today. It was cool but not to cool to set outside in the sunshine by the trees. Theyve started changing colors and beleeve me its the most butiful site I ever seen. Such putty yellers and reds that jus stand out agin the blu sky. My hart jus seemed to sing as the day went thru.
Daniel give his preaching on how to love one another and to forgive and for-git. Cause thats the way the Lord is with us.
The afternoon was so much fun. Ever one brot a basket meal and et there. The boys had foot races and sack races and us girls watched them.
Matthew and Daniel are now gitting to be good frinds. I think they come to a settling with each other. And I think Idas poppa come to a settling with her about the way shes bin akting. If you no what I meen
October 13 - Daniel left agin this morning. He said he has to go some more places to preach afore it gits to cold. He did say something about being back for the Haloween party over to William Joness house.
October 31 - Daniel come back the middle of the week and of course we was all hapy to see him. Instead of staying here all the time some of the nabors asked him to come stay with them. So he went over to Daviss and spent the week there. But tonite he come riding up and we all went together to git Kathern and then on to the party.
The party was kina like most partys but we played all kinds of games. The boys bobed for apples in a great big tub and they all got so wet youd think theyd bin swiming in the tub.
The best part was the pumkin cuting contest. All of us pared off and we was give a fair sized pumkin to cut into a jaka lantirn. The best jaka lantirm got a pumkin pie baked by Mrs. Davis.
Well Daniel was all excited about it. More than I was I think. We worked together rill hard cleaning his insides out. I didnt care for that much but he loved it. He cut the pumkin some eyes and a nose and a mouth that jus grined at you so funny like you couldnt hep from laffing.
Mrs. Davis looked at all the pumkins and tryed to diside which one she liked best. She had a hard time but finely looked at ours and laffed saying it was the funnyest one of the bunch.
She give the pie to me and we went out in the yard and set down. Daniel karryed Spooky as he named the jaka lantirn outside with us and sat him down beside us and we ate the pie.
Daniel looked at Spooky one time and said you no we made that little feller together. Aint it wonderful what two peple can do together? He touched my hand and smiled. Yes. I guess it is
November 10 - The leaves is all practicly gone and its giting mity cool. Daniel left last week and he said he would be back round Christmas time. I shore hope the wether holds out.
December 24 - Blessed be the name of the Lord cause Hes give me ever thing in the world I ever wanted. How can I thank Him for ansering my ever prayer?
When the evening began I didnt have no idee that it would turn out to be the most glorius Christmas Eve I ever had. Some nabors had come over for a Christmas Eve dinner with lots of wild turky and baked ham. All kinds of food that would make your mouth water jus awaiting to taste one morsal of food.
I was in with the women folk prepare-ing the meal while the menfolk set outside wondering if we was going to have snow for Christmas. Daniel come back Monday after a month and a haff of traveling. He was outside with the men and had lots of katching up to do.
Most of the meal was close to being redy but there wasnt much more I could do when Daniel come in. He come over to Momma and asked if itd be all rite for me to take a little walk down to the crik afore dinner. Momma shore likes Daniel so she couldnt or wouldnt turn him down.
I rapped up rill warm and we walked together along the path to the crik. His eyes serched the gray sky and said I shore wish the Lord would send us some snow. Christmas jus aint the same without snow shining on the ground to make you feel the warmth of Gods love as He provides for his animals of the forests.
We stood on the bank of the crikand lisened to the water flow over the roks then keep going along its way. It was then that a silence filled us both and we stood not saying a word.
Across the crik we saw a tiny rabit hoping round in serch of food. Then came another rabit out of a bush and they went off together thru the forest.
I herd Danile si and he began to talk in a tone Id never herd afore. I think them rabits he began is some of the Lords most blessed creachurs. Iust to wish I was a animal in Eden or maybe even Adam. I love to imagine Eden better than anything. The animals were so hapy together and Adam was so blessed. Spechuly after the Lord give him Eve to love and protect.
I talk to God lots of times and tell Him my trubles and hopes. One time He said to me son I love you the way you are. I created you that way and not one other is like you. Even tho you would like to be like Adam and be with Eve I created you the way you are and you dont even need to ask for anything else than the prayer of your hart. You love a sertin someone and I think if you asked her she mite even marry you.
My hart jumped clean up to my throte. He turned and looked at me and his eyes were so gentle as he went on. Jus as Adam and Eve become one I would like to become one with you so that what God joineth together no man can part.So my dearest Elizabeth with the blessings of your father will you marry me?
My hart overflowed with hapyness and the tears filled my eyes as I told him yes.
His hand reached out for mine and I give it to him. Cold flakes began to fall on our faces and then turned to water. Daniel looked up and said in a almost silent voice Praise God! Its snowing.
Hand in hand we walked together in the litely falling snow up to the house where the lites seemed to call us to a warm place to share our love with our frinds and famly.
February 24 - The day finely come. Momma cryed all morning but it was a hapy cry. All our frinds come to see the preacher-man take a wife.
The memry is so strong in my mind of Sunday afternoon but it was so speshul that I cant even discribe it. Daniels preacher frind from St. Louis town come and married us. Jake stood up with Daniel and Poppa give me away.
The house was filled as full as could be. Frinds and famly was on each side of the fareplace as I walked into the room in the wedding dress Momma had sewed so careful for me. Up to the front I saw Brother Stuart and Jake out of the corner of my eye as I watched Daniel pashuntly waiting for me.
The words filled my ever thot as Brother Stuart talked about the bond of love sealed thru marrage. When it was all most over I felt as tho someone touched us both and filled our harts with compashun. Then I new that the Spirit was in that room with us and give us His finest blessing as Brother Stuart pronounced us man and wife.
As the new Mrs. Daniel Truelove I sat close to my husband as we rode along the trail freshly covered by a new fallen snow. Daniel held me close to him as the cold wind blowed so strong in our faces.
The trail was unfamilure to me then but I new Id never forgit it cause it was the rode leading to our new home. Daniel sang a song Id herd some six months afore.
What wondrous love is this, 0 my soul, 0 my soul! I hummed along and remembered just how much I cherished those words.
It was then that I saw our house. The lite from the moon made it seem almost unreal. A butiful log house that Daniel had made with his own two hands! As we walked hand in hand to the door we new no words needed to be said.
And when I looked into Daniels blu eyes I rilized jus how the Lord had blessed me with Daniel and a home for the two of us
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