Friday, March 1, 2013

March 1, 1863

March 1, 1863

---Confederate War Department clerk John Beauchamp Jones writes in his diary about the increasing hardships in Richmond, vis a vis the cost of lodging and of food:

March 1st.—To-morrow we remove to new quarters. The lady’s husband, owning cottage, and who was confined for seven months among lunatics, has returned, and there is not room for two families. Besides, Mrs. G. thinks she can do better taking boarders, than by letting the house. What a mistake! Beef sold yesterday for $1.25 per pound; turkeys, $15. Corn-meal $6 per bushel, and all other articles at the same rates. No salaries can board families now; and soon the expense of boarding will exceed the incomes of unmarried men. Owners and tenants, unless engaged in lucrative business, must soon vacate their houses and leave the city.

But we have found a house occupied by three widows in Clay Street. They have no children. They mean to board soon among their relatives or friends, and then we get the house; in the mean time, they have fitted up two rooms for us. We should have gone yesterday, but the weather was too bad. The terms will not exceed the rent we are now paying, and the house is larger. I espied several fruit trees in the back yard, and a space beyond, large enough for a smart vegetable garden. How delighted I shall be to cultivate it myself! Always I have visions of peas, beans, radishes, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes of my own raising! God bless the widows sent for our relief in this dire necessity!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, at least some of the prices are still the same, must have been expensive for them back at in the day, and to think that lucrative business never ends, no matter the period.

    It is always good to be able to grow one's own fruit and vegetables. Makes life a bit more sustainable.