Tuesday, January 25, 2011

William Lambie and Burns' Birthday

Ypsilanti poet-farmer William Lambie noted Robert Burns' birthday every year in his journal, which he faithfully kept from 1874 until his death in 1900. Some excerpts:

1876, January 25: Frank and Jones killed the two pigs. Burns Birthday. Frank thought the buckwheat too damp to thrash, the soft corn about fed out.
Read the Hamilton papers that Sir William Wallace's mother was a Strathaven woman. Why did I leave the friendly early days to live far away-toiling and saving, receiving little wealth on the misty marsh at Ypsilanti?

1877, January 25: Robert Burns Birthday-born 1759.

1879, January 25: Burns born 120 years ago. Wife and I went to hear Andrew Campbell lecture on Burns' in the evening-good lecture to a small audience.

1881, January 25: Took a load of Scholars, Teachers and Chickens to Town. Mr. Chidester paid $2.45 for 11 Roosters-Mr. Fletcher's man left $35 for the cow, Star. (Lambie didn't ALWAYS mention Burns' birthday each year).

1887, January 25: Burn's Birthday-the time for Scotchmen to make speeches, sing and eat Haggis-Frank came at night from Detroit and brought good news that Mother on the edge of 90 was in good health and spirits.

1888, January 20: Just above zero and dreary-few eggs and little milk. Had account of hundreds being frozen to death in Dakota. Mr. Fairfield called and invited me to read a poem for Burns' Anniversary at the Congregational Social next Tuesday.

1889, January 25: 25. Robert and I walked in the old woods. Burn's Birthday. Light frost and sunshine. Paid Mr. Woodruff one dollar for the Sentinel. Belle went to Ann Arbor.

1890, January 25: Burn's Anniversary. Robert and his man sawed and split LaFurge's wood and I helped.

1891, January 25: A day for Scotchmen to celebrate-Burn's Anniversary. The cow Robert bo't from Knapp had a calf.

1893, January 22: Not very cold but did not go to Church on account of the snow. Wrote about Burns Natal Day. (January 26: "We hear of fifty thousand voted to build a new Church when I think the old one good enough.")

1895, January 25: Burn's Birthday-Drifting snow. Frank sold hay and went round by Bells to take Mary to his house. Brother Robert called in the cold and bro't papers.

1896, January 25: Burn's Anniversary-Belle came here and Mary went to Town then Mary went home with Willie-Mild and muddy.

1897, January 25: The thermometer about at the bottom, 10 below here and 16 at Frank's farm-Burn's Birthday-sunshine-below zero all day.

The final time Lambie mentioned Burns in his journal was in January of 1899. He died the following spring.

1899, January 25: Burns Day-Mr. Hunter, his wife & daughter came to see us. Robert brot Oats & corn to feed the hungry hens.

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