"We commenced housekeeping at Kennedy Farm sometime in
July. I cannot now remember the date,
although I remember the day well. Father
and my brothers went to The Ferry to purchase a stove and necessary articles,
Martha and I went to the house and tried to surprise them with a dinner which
we tried to cook in an old fireplace. We
had been boarding for a few days at a neighbors who lived nearby. We succeeded after making several attempts in
getting a poor fire to burn, and boiled some potatoes and onions which tipped
nearly over several times, spilling out a few each time. We was trying to make
some kind of bread when the boys arrived bringing bread and rusks from the
bakery, relieving us of that source of worriment to older housekeepers than
We ate our dinner camp fashion and began housekeeping in
real earnest. Our family at that time
consisted of six persons, Father, J G Anderson, Owen, Oliver, Martha and
I. Kagi had gone to Chambersburg
and they had not found Cook yet. He had done to Harpers
Ferry the year before and was teaching school there. He had married the daughter of the woman he
boarded with about the time we went down there.
The first addition to our family was my brother Watson, and
William and Dauphin Thompson who came on a few weeks after Oliver, Martha and I
did. Then followed the rest over, two,
three and four at a time. These last arrivals all came secretly by way of Chambersburg. Father and some of the rest going there
with a light covered wagon, in which they rode or else walked a part of the
way. They would hide in the woods and come in to the house before daylight in
the morning or else after dark at night.
They all lived up stairs over the dining room, coming down
to their meals, and at any time that there was no strangers or visitors about. It
was my special business to keep watch on the porch and signal to them with my
hand, if any one approached when they would disappear quietly up the stairway
closing the door after them, while I remained and entertained the company
directly under them, as if nothing unusual had happened.
We had one neighbor, our nearest one, a very little woman,
but she often caused us a good deal of trouble, by coming at such unreasonable
hours to call, bringing her four children.
I attended to the dining room, waiting on the men. I used to
call them my "invisibles." If any on approached while they were at
their meals I would let them know, when they would each take articles of food
and dishes, clearing the table and disappear as usual, while I kept the person
or persons on the porch as long as I could.
The men used to sing, play games and read to pass away the
time. Kagi who was stationed at Chambersburg
always sent them a bundle of papers and magazines whenever the wagons made a
trip. It was very tiresome for them to be shut-in the house without exercise so
long. They would go out in evenings and
walk to rest themselves"