Journal of Dr GFW
- Hits: 1952 1952
Morning came and with it a more settled state of mind, as it could be of possible utility to endeavor to penetrate that which was endowed with impenetrability. My health is improving and action must be my theme; to mourn and weep, to yield up the object without a trial is ignoble and should never be permitted to enter the mind, rise with energy, "look aloof," stem the tide of the opposing current and sink or swim, let your own exertion assist either way... such thoughts and the determinations resulting therefrom, were salutary. Our Medicine Books, etc., were now divided and other affairs arranged. Horses to the carriage and Gage and myself were on the road to Hausertown (Bethania).
Morning most beautiful and if there could be any indication of the future from this it most assuredly is far from an unfavorable one. But not placing on this everyday occurrence the last reliance, my ideas were arranged and their execution was at hand and must be attended to. We now took leave of Tyler and the family with whom we had become acquainted. The scenes and reflections occasioned by them will be described hereafter. Suffice it to say we parted with Tyler with regret as well as mortification at a declaration we had never in the least anticipated. We drove slowly toward our destined place, distance thirty miles. During the day we naturally spoke of home and laid down a few rules by which we would be governed in the future in relation to our own intercourse. We arrived at our place of destination before sundown and put up at John Grab's Inn. He is a small, active man full of vivacity and attention. His wife is German but the handsomest featured woman I have yet seen in North Carolina and, if I were to guess, I think she is a very amiable, peaceable, unassuming person, calculated to be a wife and make a husband contented.
An abridgement showing the places and distances as stated to us:
|Month||Day||Date||Names of Inn||and||places||Dist.||County||State|
|April||Sun.||27||Hopeton||to||Head of Seneca Lake||28||Yates and Stuben||N.Y.|
|Mon.||28||Head of Seneca Lake||"||Newtown||26||Stuben|
|Down the Susquehannah by raft|
|Wed.||7||Warrenton Factory||"||Baltimore City||17||"|
|Baltimore City||"||Washington City||38||D.C.||D.C.|
|Fri.||9||Washington City||"||Fairfax C.H.||18||Fairfax||Virginia|
|Tues.||13||Locust Grove||"||Orange C.H.||11||Orange|
|Orange C.H.||"||Sheshler's Inn||15||"|
|Sheshler's Inn||"||Louisa C.H.||10||Louisa|
|Thurs.||15||Woodson's Inn||"||Cumberland C.H.||9||"|
|Cumberland C.H.||"||Wright's Inn||15||"|
|Fri.||16||Wright's Inn||"||King's Tavern||12||Prince Edward|
|Kind's Tavern||"||Morton's Inn||14||Charlotte|
|Morton's Inn||"||Connolly's||10||Charlotte C.H.|
|Sat.||17||Murrill's Ferry||"||Halifax C.H.||18||Halifax C.H.|
|Tues.||20||Scott's||"||Capt. H. Sanders||18||Guilford|
Having now selected this as my abiding place for a season at least and perhaps, it may be as long as I live, this may be considered a new chapter in the transactions of my fate. And I will say every man makes his own fate. Believing this, then, success depends on me alone. During the day my mind was much occupied on the gloomy prospect before me in which I was completely enveloped. Far from my native home and kindred, in the midst of those I knew not, entirely dependent on my own feeble efforts, without one single individual from whom to receive even an introduction, my resources reduced to the lowest point, capable of affording relief only a very short time in any situation either on the road or unemployment. Necessity was therefore close at my elbow declaring that employment must be speedily adopted.
Having had some conversation after our arrival with a few of the inhabitants who gave me but little satisfaction on the subject most interesting to me, and that was, what is the prospect? all appeared to be distrustful, hesitating, and indecisive in every word in relation to that which I most desired to know. All this may have been a mark of prudence in them, fearing that I might not understand what I professed, but however well they may have felt, in acting the cautious, it was far from being agreeable to me as I wanted to know at once if it could be considered a place under Professional Competence of ordinary prospect.
While engaged in these inquiries, the hour for retirement arrived and we were conducted to the chamber of repose " where mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove," and here a new scene at once arose in brilliant shades of darkness and chased away the balmy restorer. No, not one moment could I expel the ideas from the mind and the night was spent in vigilance. It was a night long to be remembered. It seemed that no sleep had been set apart for me. My soliloquy was, Even if these people should receive me and business should not immediately follow, what am I to do then? What resource is left? I have proclaimed myself to be a Physician and they are now doubtful of the fact, and will be until some practical evidence be produced. Books, medicine, and words will not do. And if I fail and resort to something else, it will be a confirmation of their suspicion. And when all my little means are exhausted and heavy demands stand unsettled, can I exist on indulgence, or ask for it when I see no chance of bettering my situation?
What avails all these fears? Why lie here and indulg on what by possibility may occur? Are you never to commence until you have a competence to sustain you for years or until some generous individual solicits you to receive him as assuming all responsibilities? If you are to wait for either you will die in despair, for from what source can you expect a competence to come? None on earth but your own exertion and energy. Do you want assistance? Then prove yourself capable of performance and willing to act in the sphere you have chosen and your prospect of obtaining will be double. Mind the proverb, "Help yourself and God will help you." Venture. This you must and if you fail in the attempt, why venture again? Some benefit will arise from energetic industry. It will and must have its reward. You will either succeed or in the attempt learn the cause of failure, and both are of consequence.
Little indeed do these people imagine the feelings of the stranger and may God in the plentitude of his unbounded mercy grant that none hereafter may feel what I have endured for several days. Having, however, concluded to try what could be done, hoping that Providence would smile once more on a destitute mortal, I concluded to use all my powers of persuasion in the morning to obtain a place of shelter and sustenance if there should be any difficulty.