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Marie Ferree Diary - The Journey

It is now three years since we arrived here in this peaceful and beautiful Pequea Valley. Today I am evoquer ses souvenirs about our journey to get here, it was a long le voyage with many hardships and struggles. Several years through different countries where we found peace and where we were safe. The people there sympathized to our plight and they made us feel welcome. Their customs and languages became ours while there. I think about the many friends that we made some of which we hope to see again one day.

Had it not been for a gentleman named William Penn that we met in England, we would not be here today. We are so grateful to have met him; he made it possible for us to achieve our hopes and dreams for a life of freedom and contentment. I learned English cooking while there and I was able to bring with me some of their favorite recettes.

In the middle of October we began our journey to the New World on the sailing ship The Globe; life on the ship was very difficult and distressing. Our living quarters were crowded; food and water were scarce and rationed. Our meals consisted of salted horse meat, lamb, pork, fish and hardtack, dried peas, beans and cheese until it became bad. Nothing like what we were accustomed to in our homeland but thankful that we had; however meager it was. The days seemed long and the nights even longer. During the day the women would knit, and do needle work; the men kept busy trying to be sailors and carve figures out of any wood they could find on the ship. Our evenings were spent in singing, prayers and telling interesting tales.

We endured rugged dangerous seas; it seemed sometimes unbearable. The weather was quickly changing as winter was approaching. It was hard to keep warm, but we made the most of the situation as we were determined to survive to reach our destination.

Our two and a half months on The Globe finally ended when we arrived in New York on New Year's Day. Another good reason to celebrate! I remember the special time we spent there enjoying delicious food in the finest eateries and shopping for new finery, some of which I still have and wear on special occasions, as we were limited on how many personal belongings we could bring with us on The Globe. The clothing we did have were ruined by the sea water seeping into the ship causing dampness and mold.

Happily, we traveled up the beautiful Hudson River to Esopus where we joined family and friends and where we made our home for several years. It was a different way of life, and again we were able to adjust and endure. I remember so well the day we received word that we could claim our land, the land we had waited for so long. What a jour joyeux it was for us and how excited we were. Our situation was almost over, although the last leg of our journey was long and rugged. There were mountains, rivers and streams to overcome, but our faith and determination kept us strong, and our mission and dreams were finally fulfilled.

Thinking back on all of this I sometimes wonder if I would go thru all the hardships and struggles again to get here; in many respects a better life. I know the good Lord brought us here for a reason and I would endure it again to be here in this beautiful and peaceful place where we can live without fear and degradation. Merci, Merci Dieu. Fermeture pour l'instant.

Article written by Shirley Ferree Stilgenbauer. It is not taken from any diary or journal Madame Marie may have had nor is is to be taken an historically accurate or factual. It serves merely to give an idea of what may have been in her thoughts about events in her life and what she may have written about them.