Day 3’s prompt for the #30DayFHWChallenge is: Imagine your ancestor getting the keys to his first house or car. Write a journal entry from his point of view that describes the car/place and his feelings about it.
Because I love my Woodhull connections and have learned so much about the Orange County Woodhulls that lived here near me, I wanted to write about Captain Ebenezer Woodhull (again) and what his home must have been like compared to that of his brother Colonel Jesse Woodhull. Jesse’s home was vividly described in a 1920 article as being a “mansion”, which would match his prominence in the county post-Revolutionary War. From my research, Ebenezer seemed to be the opposite of his outspoken and more politically active brother. He was likely religious – his will is a testament to God giving him everything and blessing him throughout his life. A traveling preacher even recorded a brief stay there on the captain’s farm during his travels through the county. While he did have some fortune when he died, it paled in comparison to his brother’s wealth. He seems most content with being just a simple farmer and raising his nine children with his wife in the countryside of Blooming Grove/Oxford. Ebenezer, his wife and many of their children are buried on the same land they lived on in a small family cemetery plot on a back country road.
Journal Entry for May 1766
I have built a small comfortable house in the countryside of Oxford where I will bring my bride soon and I hope Abigail will be happy here. It’s quite meager, unlike Jesse’s large estate nearby or even that of my ancestral home on Long Island… what need does a farmer have of such an extravagant home? I think it will be a fine place to raise our children in the future. The house is surrounded by ample pastures for the horses and cattle to roam and there are trees as far as the eye can see, extending all the way to the mountains in the distance. Farming will be good here in the rich, fertile flat lands and I’m quite sure Abigail will tend a vegetable garden near the house. Murderer’s Creek is nearby where I can fish or even hunt the deer who come from the forest to drink there. It’s practically perfect here in this part of the country and I pray to the Almighty that we might reside here in peace forever.