A Journal of Riley M. Adams
Cadet of A. L. S. & M. Academy, Norwich, Vt.
from 18th August 1824
Connected also with a Journal of daily occurrences and of an excursion to the White Mountains
I was born in Bristol, Vermont, in the year of our Lord 1808 in the month of Jan., the 19th day, on tuesday, when I was at the age of 16 after going to Middlebury to school about 1 year and a half, agreable to the arrangements of my parents, I set out for Norwich with my father, Aug. 17 1824 Saturday in the Afternoon and arrived at Norwich on Sunday in the afternoon, after looking about some time I began to be uneasy having staid all night the next day (Monday) I began to be sorry I come but still did not like to own it to my father he asked me how I liked the place. I told him well and after this he made a bargain with Capt. Partridge to send me a year to his Academy and was fixing for home. I tried to have him stay until tuesday but he could not agree to this request but started immediately for home I wished myself home but could not go for he had gone, It hen walked down the road which he went melancholly at the thought that I had got to stay a year. I traveled about a half of a mile down to the river (Con.) and returned to the village and stayed to my boarding house, next morning I awoke early in the thought that I was to home, but as soon as I was awaked enough to know where I was I had almost a mind to say that I would not stay but two or three weeks, (having staid but one night).
I remained lonesome during the day, the next morning I arose thinking of home, but was a little more pleased seeing there was but little fog as is common in this place, so three weeks passed away which seemed to be a great time, being displeased of the place so much during this I regretted much that I had made this my place of residence and that I was absent from home, everything seemed to be unpleasant, a good many rainy days hapened during this three weeks which was lonesome and very unpleasant weather.
Sunday Sept. 5th This day I felt much gratified and was more contented in mind than had been before, it was a very pleasant day, the sun shone bright and there were not but a few clouds, this was such a day as I had not witnessed before in this place. I retired to bed about half after nine and did not think much of home, but thought how well I should get along with my studies and how that I should write to my parents that I was getting along well in military duty, thus having meditated on those scenes my eyes were closed and I dropped to sleep after hearing the rain dash with impetuosity against the roof of the house. I reposed myself in rest until about 5 o'clock in the morning when I awoke from my slumber and sprang from my bed looking out my room could see nothing but a dim fog which came down the river (Con.) at this moment I began to think of home I put on my clothes and walked about a mile and back, after breakfast I attended prayers at the Seminary and after this I had the pleasure to see the mounting and relieving of guards which were turned off this day for the first time since examination our duties were commenced regular and I began to be much consolated again. I began my studies more rapidly this day than usual before studying the Latin and Arithmetick also writing and drilling twice in the afternoon once in a squadron and afterward in the battalion.
Tuesday my duties were the same and felt very much pleased by having a roommate sent to me from the Capt. he was pleased as well as myself to room out of the quarters on account of studying more.
Wednesday Sept. 8th I was not so much pleased with an unpleasant and rainy day, there was no part of the day so that a person could step out of door without getting wet. I stayed in my room the greater part of the day somewhat studious and desiring to attain some knowledge of Arithmetick. I felt well in mind during this week excepting a few hours at a time when I was on drill not being treated very well by a fellow that belonged to the squadron which I did, I was some vexed at him, and almost a mind to try my strength with him, but had he not been so large I believe that I should have fought. I did not however have anything to do with him but thought I should report him if he did not mind his own business.
Wednesday 15th I was much pleased with the performance of the day and began to appear more like a soldier I had my uniform, coat and pantaloons put on w T hich were furnished this day and went into the ranks having all my uniform except my cap, this was not done yet, and therefore I was not turned off on guard. I began to feel now as if I were at home having got acquainted with some of the inhabitants and the greater part of the Cadets. I enjoyed myself well Thursday and Friday. Saturday I felt somwhat more debilitated in mind and low until about 9 o'clock in the morning after the usual fog had disappeared, I then began to be more consoled, it seemed that time passed away very fast, it being five w r eeks since I had left home I meditated much on the time that I had expended already at this Seminary. I enjoyed myself midling well considering the weather until Wednesday Sept 22. This day seemed to be the most unpleasant one that ever I had witnessed, the clouds which hung over were black and heavy, they threatened us all the day with a hard shower, the south wind whistled in the cracks of the house like as in the wintry season. I felt very low and much dejected in thought, and more so in the afternoon. After I had taken tea I retired to my room somewhat solitary and studied till about 9 o'clock and then retired to bed. After I had heard the drops of rain beat against the roof and the whistling I fell asleep shivering almost with the cold and slept till 6 in the morning. I felt more gratified after breakfast it was a little warmer this day, (Thursday 23) than the day before which was a great consolation to me being in a room where there was no stove. I felt well in mind during the day, the next day I felt as usual.
Saturday Sept. 25th. I shall begin to keep a more accurate account of the scrapes conducted at the Acacemy as well as the regulations of the day and the officer of the day. I felt very much engaged this day in my studies I attended prayers as usual in the morning after this our guards were turned off and duties attended to. The officer of the day was Marion, our duties were well adheared to this day and there was no disorderly conduct from any of the Cadets. Examination was held in the Academy as was customary on Saturday that all the Cadets should be examined in their lessons studied in that week. I attended examination in the morning at 10 o'clock and recited in Arithmetick and again at 2. 1 recite my lessons very well considering the time I had to study them for I was detained some time in writing a letter to my parents. After examination I retired to my room and continued my studies til about 1/2 past 9 when I retired to bed.
Sunday Sept. 26. Officer of the day Wallack, I felt more enlivened in spirit I enjoyed myself very well, in the morning I attended prayers and afterward went to church and heard a good sermon and after it was ended I retired to my room, I also attended church in the afternoon and after the sermon was through retired to my room again, after remaining there for sometime I saw they had put a fellow in the guard house, after I had been to tea I went to see who it might be. I soon saw who it was and found out that he was put in because there was honey found in his room on suspicion that he stole it from a man that had just lost a hive of bees, supposed being in the scrape with others I discovered that he made some effort to strike the guard and seemed to show great resentment, as soon as the guards back was toward him he immediately jumped from the guard house window and seized his musket by the breach and pulled it from his hands and tried to stab him but the guard seizing the musket prevented it. After being a little assuaged in anger by giving the guard a few blows he went to his room peaceable. After the officer had debated awhile found that they had taken the wrong fellow that this one was innocent and that there were others in the scrape which he was accused of whom they could not find out, they however made a search warrant in the building, unlocking all the Cadets trunks and searching in them. This was done in vain, they could not find what they were expecting to find, this made the Capt. think it was not done by any of the Cadets.
TO BE CONTINUED