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Marie Ferree - Spring 1713
diaryspringforest
  Spring 1713. It has been a long, cold, and harsh winter. Food was scarce, our small huts were not warm and although it was a struggle we managed to survive. Thank you Lord. Finally Spring is now upon us. The snow has melted, the sun is warmer and the days are getting longer. The trees are full of buds and I can hear the songs of the birds in the forest that surrounds us.

C'es une belle journee! We have a lot of work ahead of us. We will be clearing the land to ready for planting our crops. God willing, we will have plentiful crops this summer to help us now and get through the next winter. The trees the men are cutting down to clear the land will be used to build our new log homes, meager as they may be, they will be better than the huts that were our homes when we arrived in Paradise.

 
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Our new log homes will provide more room and privacy for us. I am hoping that some day bigger and better homes will be built. Philip and his bride, Leah Corlea Dubois, will be joining us after their marriage in June. Their marriage ceremony will take place in the lovely church in New Paltz. I will not be able to be there for this joyous occasion as it would be a long and tedious journey for me. In my heart as well as my thoughts and prayers will be with them that day.

The Dubois family will surely miss her. We will welcome her lovingly into our family. Getting settled in this new territory, as it was for us, will be difficult. More families area coming into the territory, some of which are also Huguenots. Until now, except for our Indian friends, I felt isolated. Together a community will be built for our children, their children, and their children. I am looking forward to a church being built where we can not only worship but to gather in fellowship social gatherings. These gatherings will give us more unity. Until then we will continue to worship in our humble homes.

What will our first summer and future in Paradise be like for us? Only time will tell. How wonderful it is to be free to live our lives in peace and freedom and to be able to worship as we please in this glorious land. The "boys" have gone hunting for our dinner. If they are successful we will be having rabbit or squirrel and our usual corn much and hardtack bread. It is too early for the wild berries, but I was able to find some nuts in the woods which are a treat for us and provides additional nourishment. I must close my diary for today and get on with my chores. La paix soit avec nous.

 
diarymanhunting
Article contributed by Shirley Ferree Stilgenbauer.