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Grandfather was amused by the story of the Vermont Sufferers and was quiet for some time. His mind was busy attempting to figure out who was right and who was wrong.


Around noon Esquire Garnsey stopped his horse and dismounted. “This is the first parcel Mr. Birdsall,” stated the Esquire. He put his hand out at arm’s length and swept it in an arc indicating the land in front of them. “Some timber, some potential pasture, the Chenango River lays below.”


Grandfather quickly surveyed the trees and made a mental note; “minor amount of oak, chestnut, hemlock and a few white pines.” He then dismounted and walked his horse down the hill. He dug at the earth with the heel of his boot. Another mental note “an inch of loam, an inch of yellow dirt, and then a mixture of yellow dirt laden with a lot of small flat stone, mostly sterile earth”. Another mental note;   “Sparse cropland and poor pasture.”


The land remained sloping steeply right down to the river. The loam was thicker near the river but it really would not support crops for his large family.


Grandfather’s lack of enthusiasm must have been apparent for Esquire Garnsey stated “Forty acres, eighty dollars, bigger parcels in front of us Mr. Birdsall.”


© wtomosky