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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Journal of a Journey

Page out of 37
Tenth month, 12, [1799.]

On viewing the Lapham's
farm and things about it, (though he lives in a very
poor house) I was astonished to see the improve-
ment made in the time; he told me it was but four
years last spring since he began on it in the woods,
and now he has more than one hundred acres of land
fenced in, fields and meadows all in, either with grain
or grass, and the most of it excellent. Has built a
saw-mill and has a dairy of cows so good that not-
withstanding it hath been an unfavorable season,
they have made above two thousand lbs. of cheese;
and yet he appears with his precious wife to be well
concerned Friends, and is free to devote much of his
time in the service of truth. Truly in this far back
settlement in the Genesee county, State of New York,
the appearance of things is comfortable, and affords
an encouraging hope that if the few Friends here set-
tled improve as well and hold up so good a light in a
religious sense as they do in improving the wilder-
ness country, they may yet become as "a city set
upon a hill that cannot be hid." Stayed all this day
with these our valued and kind friends; wrote a let-
ter to Jacob Taylor, at Oneida, and walked about
viewing the improvements Lapham has made.
Lodged another night in his house. In the evening,
Caleb Maccumber and another friend came to see us,
and we spent some time in agreeable converse.

13th, and first of the week.

Rode two miles to
Nathan Comstock's, where Friends' meeting is held,
which was large this day for such a new country. It
was a favored meeting, in which the gospel was
preached, and near the close I could not feel easy
without requesting an opportunity with Friends, se-
lected from others, which was readily compiled with,
wherein I endeavored to relieve myself of a heavy
burden which I had silently borned ever since I came
into these parts, on account of such a rapid increase
of the abominable practice of distilling the precious
wheat into whiskey; and though I believe there are
a few well concerned Friends here, yet doubts ac-
companied my mind that they were too easy about
the wickedness of such a perversion of the blessings
of Divine Providence; and I endeavored to put them
upon nobly bearing a testimony against it, and set
the light upon the candlestick, believing that the des-
truction or salvation of their country very much de-
pended upon the conduct pursued in that respect.
After dinner rode seven miles to Nathan Herring-
ton
's, a kind man not in membership, but a diligent