Hatchett Documents - Life of John Hatchett

There exists a small manuscript that many have known about because it was transcribed by Dr. Joseph D. Eggleston and printed by The Farmville Herald in the mid 1900's. However, since that time, there has been little word of the original document. This is because it has been sitting safely in the attic of a woman who passed away in the 1990's. She was a genealogist, and active in Virginia historical societies, although not known to be descended from the Hatchetts. When her husband passed away, the document was discovered in the attic by her grandchildren.

The document is fragile, but I have made high resolution photographs of the contents and have completely transcribed it. This web page deals with the bulk of the contents, which is the Diary of John Hatchett, great grandson of the immigrant John Hatchett (John & Elizabeth -> William & Margaret -> John & Mary -> John). It turns out that Dr. Eggleston edited the manuscript fairly heavily, converting the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization to modern norms to make it more readable. He also left out passages that were largely of a personal nature - mostly having to do with John Hatchett's lifelong spiritual journey. The transcription I have made below is a literal transcription, retaining the original spelling, puncuation, and capitalization, and including the entire text. I have made bold those parts that were omitted by Dr. Eggleston. Although there is almost no new information of genealogical value in the text missing from Eggleston's version, it makes the diary a more personal document, giving better insight into the life of this man who lived so many years ago.

Regarding the unusual spelling, punctuation and capitalization, you shoud read this web page to better understand that this was pretty common for the time. In particular, John's writing showed several fairly consistent features. He routinely abbreviated words ending in "ed" by simply using a superscript "d", sometimes with a mark under it, and sometimes not. In my transcription I have used a ".d" to denote when he used a superscript "d". So, for example, rais.d indicates the abbreviated form of raised. Sometimes he simply omitted the "e", and in those cases I transcribed it as written. He was very lax about punctuation. He often omitted periods in sentences that end at the right hand margin, and sometimes even for sentences ending mid-page. He commonly used commas where we would put a period, and vice versa. He also never used apostrophes as we are accustomed to. He also paid little attention to capitalization. He rarely capitalized the first word of new sentences. He sometimes capitalized words that needed no capitalization, and whether a letter was likely to be capitalized seems to depend of which letter it is. Spelling is often phonetic. In cases where these issues might cause confusion, I have included in square brackets my notes to help the reader or explain certain content. The square brackets and what is within them is not in the actual document. I have also literally kept the line breaks as present in the original document, and have placed single blank lines separating pages to fully convey the actual format of the original.

One last comment on something Hatchett descendants might find interesting. John Hatchett consistently spells the name as Hatchitt (with a clearly dotted i instead of an e) although his son William, who wrote in a more modern style consistently spells the name Hatchett.

This transcription and the images below are copyrighted. You should link to this page rather than copy the content. In particular, if uploaded to sites such as Ancestry.com that require paid subscriptions to view documents attached to trees, I will request their removal by that company. It is my desire that folks should be directed here so they may view this information without being coerced to pay some company for the ability to see it.

Copyright © 2012 Steve Hatchett

[a nearly blank front page simply reads "Diary"]

A short naretive of the life of John Hatchitt
I was borne in the county of Amelia V.a. near
Avereys Church the 18th day of December in the year
of our Lord 1769. My parents were both Borne in the
same county. My Fathers grandfather came from
England a little boy. he was name John Hatchitt. he
Maried a Miss Bass and settled in Chesterfield County
where they rais.d a famely, and the old people livd and
died in Chesterfield. my Fathers Father moovd to Amelia
he was by the name of Willim Hatchitt, where my Father
was borne, My Fathers name was John Hatchitt. My fathers mother
came from France when young, with her parents who
fled from the persicutions that raged there under 
Louis the  fourteenth and settled on James River at the
Manekin town. My Fathers mothers famely was of the name 
of Remay. they were all of the Protestent religion. My
Fathers mother's famely all soon died after comeing
to this countrey and left her the only one of the famely
her name was Margret Remay. She Maried a Mr.
Levenston who soon died and left her a widow with
one daughter. She was Maried agane a Mr. Jn.o [John] 
Neal. he also soon died and left a daughter 

She then maried My Granfather moved to Amelia and they raisd
several children to wit John, William, Archer
Abriham, Marthey, Anne, Jane. My gran mothers
first children was Elisabeth Levenston, Mary Neal.
My granfather liv.d a strictly honest life and his
religion was of the Church of England. My gran Mother
was a truley pious Christian of the same Church
and a constant comunican [communicant]. the old people moov.d the
latter parte of their days to Nottoway County. liv.d
to a great age & are buried in Notoway County
the old ladie livd to burey three husbands and died 
aged 92 She was a truley pious Christion [Christian]
My Mother was by the name of Mary Neal daughter 
to Roger Neal. My mothers parents came to this country
from Ireland. My mothers mother was by the name of
Catherine Malone previous to mariage. They setled on the Beaver pond creak
in Amelia County, as also my mothers granfather & grand
Mother Neal, and several uncles in the same neighborhood
all from Ireland setled on the beaver ponds. they were
honest Industress [industrious] money making people protestent religion
must be rembred [remembered] was the religion of that day and all
the old people was great church people their creads [creeds]

and catecisms were strictley attended to and learnt
to their children at an earley age
My Mothers parents livd on a rich plantation on the
Beaver pond where they had seven children, two of
them died before they were rais.d. the other five livd to
be rais.d and their names was as follows Margret, Anne, 
Mary, John Stephen. granfather Neal died before these
above named children was all grone. granmother Neal
Maried the second husband, a Mr. William Freston a tailor
by traid [trade] a native of England, that soon died and left the old
ladie a widow as she remaind during the remainder of her 
life moov.d to P. Edward and there she was buried
My Father & Mother setled near Averys church on the
head waters of west creak, wheare they had 9 children
to wit Margret, Anne, Mildred, Elisabeth Abner
Bartley, John, William & Mary that died at a few hours
old, she beeing a twin sister to Brother William
My parents was strictley Honest and verrey industrous
tho My mother died when I was so young that I rem-
=ember but little of her. They were both inclind to the
Mother Church, and had all their children baptis.d into
that church. My self among the rest of My Fathers children
was caried to Avereys Church, and receiv.d the ordenance
of Baptism By parson Brunskill at a few weeks old
he beeing the parson of that parrish. we beeing at ??? [missing corner, probably "the"]
time under the Crown of Great Britan ????? [missing corner, probably "and King"] 

George the third. The deth of my
Mother brought about a great change in the famely
My Father took up regular worship in his famely and
attended moore to the religious instruction of his famely
then he had done heretofore. as we livd so near the
Church we was not sufferd to stay awey from Church
we was learnt the Lords prayer, & the church cread
at a verrey early age as also the church catechism. I re-
=member beeing at the Church when Mr. Joseph Grey
read prayers & sung the following psalm. The Lord
himself, the mighty Lord, vouchsafes to be my guide.
etc. that it left an impression on my mind that never
has been arraste [arrested?] to this day, altho I could not have
been moore than four years old at that time,
previous to this time hearing the fameley speek
of those places calld Heaven, & Hell, the thoughts of
the latter has caus.d me maney painefull thought
before I was four years oald. About this time the
Baptist began to preach in the county, and there was
a considarable stir a mong the people. Jeremiah Walker
and one Baker was the principal preachers at this day
The above namd ministers preacht at my fathers

on Good Friday to a large congregation. I remember
to have seen some of the congregations faces bath.d in
tears. but I was so young at that day that I did
not know what these things ment. about this time
the Methodist began to preach in the neighbourhood
and maney profest to Experiance a change one of their
preaching places in the neighbourhood was at
Joseph Farlors Barn. as they were not permitted
to preach in the fine churches in that day
I remember riding behind some of the famely to
the said barn to hear a Mr. Williams the first
Methodist preacher I ever see. I was so young
at that day that I kew [knew] no moore about preach
=ing then a hog. tho I remember a part of the
Hymm that he sung to this day. and it was as 
follows "I want I know not what. I want my
Wants to see, I want alays what want I not 
When thou art not with me. My good old Father
was verrey attentive to preaching. fare [far] & near. as
also publick and private devotion. I remember to
have seene him on his knees at private devotion
many times when my self and my youngest Brother

Was little fellows and us.d to follow him about
the plantation. About these times their was a frost
in May that clad vegitation in mourning. wheat
was ear.d out, and all killd to the ground many
of the neighbours plow.d up their wheat & plant.d
the ground in Corn. those that let it stand made
tolerable good crops of wehat that put up from 
roots & grow.d again. this countrey a little after this
was involve in war with the mother Countrey
that lasted nearley eight years. these Colonies now
engag.d in prepareing to carey on the war, enlisting
troops etc. seemd to put a check to the progress of religion
in this neighbourhood. in the year 1776 these united
Colonies declard Independance & after a long struggle
shook of [off] the British yoke. this fall my Father sold
his possession in Amelia and moove to Charlotte
where he is now buried. My Father was a blacksmith
by trade and learnt several boys, and he learnt
all his sons the Business: their appeard to be but
little appearance of religion in this section of Country

At that time the Congregation at Brirey Meeting
house appeared to be compos.d of cold Christions
. Samues [Samuel] L. Smith was their
pastor at that time but was soon succeeded by
his Brother John B. Smith who remaind their pastor
a good many years. about the years 77 78 & 79 fidling
and dancing apeard to be thought moore of then
religion in this neighbourhood altho at that time the
destresses of the war was great, and wickedness seemd
to abound in this part of the world untell the close
of the war and afterwards, untill the revival of
religion in eighty seven & eighty eight.
Times appear.d in this war to be gloomey. No money
to pay the troops. paper money little or no account.
Soldiers naked & barfoot. Maney dead, parents Bereav.d
of their sones [sons], women of ther husbands. their was
a law made that all men should bear armes from
Sixteen to fifty. 1780 this year and the fall pre-
=vious produs.t that memorable hard winter that
James river and all other big watercoses [watercourses] were fros [froze]
so that waggons went over the Ice.

1780 this year war still rag.d in this country
I went to school to Mr. Wm. Booker, he
taught school in one room of Col. Thos. Flournoys
House. frequentley the soldiers would call at Col Flournoys
and give entiligince of the war. and in the year 1781
on the 15 of March was the memorable Battle at Guilford
Courthouse fought. My oldest brother was theare, he
at that time had just turn.d his sixteenth year
providence preserv.d him, and he returnd home safe
tho their was maney lives lost on both sides: this fall
under kind providance by the assistance of the French
the war was brought to a close. Lord CornWallis and
his whole armey was taken prisnors of war at York
town V.A. on the 19 of October. All plases of worship
resorted too to pray & return thanks at a proper time.
altho their appeard or was little appearance of heart
religion in this neighbourhood: Throughout this
War there was lights that would appear in the
Element north, and north east and sometimes
high as the Meredian [Meridian], red & white these lights
appeard often, through the war, and was thought to

Be an omen of something. it was thought
by some that it was a token of spilling blood.
I went to school 81 & 82 to Mr. Ulitious Rogers
along the publick road, and us.d often to see the
Soldiers passing & repassing: in the summer 81
a little after wheat harvest, Col. Tarlton and his
troop of Cavelry came in the neighbourhood of
P. Edward Courthouse pillageing & burnning as they came
Stayd all night at the Court House. went to
several places pillageing as they went. Started for
Charlotte as apeard. carreying all the men they got
hold of prisnors off With them and as they crossd
Brirey Bridg between Mr. Watsons & Mr. Allens
a brave young man that livd in the neighbour=
=hood Stept in the road before them with his
rifle well charg.d ordering them to halt: and at
the same time let fly among them, gave one his
Mortall wound and made his escape. they then
after comeing as high as the forks of the road took the
left hand leading to Moors old ordenary taking all
the prisnors they could get hold of along with them

Spent the Balance of that day at the old ordenary
and then moov.d off. went through Lunenburgh 
Brunswick and the lower Countys burning & plun=
=dering as they went to their head quarters. Soon
after this the neighbours was alarmd agane by a
rumer [rumor] that Cornwallas & his whole armey was
comeing in the neighbourhood. Fameleys was all
hurry agane as in the former case, hideing their prop-
=erty expecting to be stript of every thing. but this
report was soon contradict.d and fameleys went
peaseabley [peaceably] to their work agane: And within three
months from this time that Same old fox had
to surrender his whole armey & armes to our Great
Washington. This long and tiresom war now a
bout to close. a treaty was soon entered into and
Ameraca a free & independant people. we was now
at liberty to worship and adore our maker in that
way we thought the Bible taught us and none
dar.d to moles [molest] us. we now was left to our choice
whether we paid the old Church parsons sixteen

Thousand lb of tobacco as heretofore while under
the British Crown we was compeld so to do, no we now
had a rite to choose our preachers for our selvs for
which we have a bundance of reason to praise and
adore that kind hand that is the giver of every good
and pearfect gift.
War now being brought to a close, traid [trade] beeing
opend again, people turn.d their attencion to their
plantations. tobacco got up to forty shillings which
was thought a fine price all past tobacco let the sise [size]
or quality be what it might was worth forty shillings
people now began maney of them to live and dress difrent
from what they had done. pride began to appear in
our Congregations, and all this while religion seemd to
be the last thing thought about in my
neighbourhood. 1783 I went to school to Mr. Joseph
Price I now having entered my fourteenth year
I was like other boys my Companions while with
them. tho even then, when to my self the thou=
=ghts of death and Eternity often marrd my peace

As I was taught from my infency to say my
prayers before I got in bed. it became a habiet [habit]
So that I dar [dare] not to go to bed without first saying
my prayers as I had been taught, and after so
doeing I felt as if I had done some good dead [deed] and
went to bed as I thought safe. there was but
little preaching in this neighbourhood at that
time near anough for me to attend often. the Rev.
Mr. Smith preach.t at Brirey once or twiste [twice] a month
Was the nearest stated preaching we then had
I used to go theare some times, but the preaching
had no affect on me. at this, and a little before
this time the Rev. Wm. McRobert preach.t at an
old barn call.d Thompsons Barne. about three miles
off. I also us.d to go theare, some times, but his
preaching had no affect on me at that time.
1784 I went to school to a Mr. John Bibb this
year. a little bug call.d the chinch bug attacted
the wheat fields & destroyed the wheat, and then
went in to the fields of Corn destroying as they
went. people was alarm.d spent maney days

trying to destroy them. the same little insect
remaind among us two years after, untill people
Stopt trying to rase wheate, which they thought
the onley way to get clear of them. as wheat harvest
this year 84 approach.d, 
the Rev. Mr. Robert Foster preacht a funeral
in the Neighbourhood. this was sometime in June.
Wheat fields was nearly dried up and the bug
began to get in the Corn. this was the first time
that I had ever seen Mr. Foster and his preaching
that day, had a greater affect on me than aney
I had heretofore heard his text was in Job Four: I know
that my redeemerth liveth etc. his preaching that
day drew maney tears from my eyes. this was
about the first time I promist my self to try
and live in the servis of my maker I now be=
=gan to try to pray for a little while. but
these impressions soon wore off. 1785 this year
I went to school to Mr. Wm. Russell I now
could spend my time as trifling and as wicked
as the most of my asociates

yet my conscience often smote me when I
had done rong [wrong]. this year a young man that liv.d in
the fameley went home to his Fathers to stay a while
and return. his fathers fameley took the feavour. the
said poor young man also took the same feavour and
died. I see him intered and while standing looking on
the grave, I thought that I would again lead a new life
but these impressions like the former in a great
Measure wore off. 1786 this year Robert Marten a Metho
=dist held meetings a few times in the neighbourhood
his rough manner of expresssion together with the zeal
he had rendered him unpopular with maney. tho his
discourses in his rough manner seemd to go to the verey
deeps [depths] of my poore heart. the latter part of this summer
I went to school to Mr. John Bassette. I went also to a
singing school at Thompsons old barn, taught by a 
Mr. Wm. F. Morton. Sometime the latter part of this summer
the Rev. Mr. Thomas Grimes preach.d a funeral sermon in
the neighbourhood which sermon had such an affect
on me that I believe I shall remember through time
he was a Baptist preacher. About this time the
Rev. Archerbald McRoberts, a decenting [dissenting] Minester

that I had frequentley heard preach.  this mans
preaching seem.d to me to be difrent from what it
had been heretofore, and the first time I remember
to have felt his word to my poore heart was at
old Brirey meeting house on a sabbath. the good
old mans words seemd to be ketch.d from his lips,
and go from heart to heart, and from breast to breast,
& drew tears from maney eyes. All this while conversions
in this neighborhood, none, or nothing said about them
if they were. Some time in the latter part of this year
the work of Conviction and Conversion were going on in
other parts of the countrey as we could hear rapedley [repeatedly]
and in 1787 a blessed work broke out in Cumberland
And the lower parts of Prince Edward Countys V.a
under the minesterial labours of a Mr. Hope Hull,
a Methodist minester. the presbeterians and Baptist
caught the flame, and the latter part of this year
several of the students at Hamden Sidney Collage became
subjects of the work, and 1788 there apeared to be
a general out pouring in this and the agoining [adjoining]
neighbourhoods. no strange thing to hear of
Conversions now. this spring some time in the

latter part of April at a sacrement at old brirey
meeting house several appeard to be pearst [pierced] to the
heart and was crying out for mercy. one woman
in particular appeared to be quite Helpeless
this was something I had not seen before, and while
a young man was praying for the sd. woman, one of
his expressions when like a shot to My heart, the
Expression some how thus "Lord teach us to know
betimes that it is fare [far] better to cry hear [here] for Mercy
then to cry in Hell forever for drops of water to coole our tongues
This summer my self and
my youngest sister went to singing school, to old Mr.
Morason this good old man pray.d in his school
and instruc.d his school in the things of religion
Sometime in the early part of June this year their
was a quarterley meeting held at Magehee's barn
the first meeting of the kind ever held in this,
or near this neighbourhood.
[note in lighter ink at bottom of page apparently added
at a later date, but still in John Hatchett's hand]
Our Wm Spencer hung himself

On Sunday I went, never before having been to a
meeting of the kind. there was a large collection
of people at the place of diferent denominations. the
Lord was there, and cloth.d his word with power
Maney fell to the flore [floor] and lay prostrate, as dead
Maney moore crying & praying for Mercy, maney others
testifying that god for Christ sake had pardon.d
their Sins. A Mr. Thos. Conner was presiding Elder
at this meeting. he had a number of preachers to
assist him, and this day will be remembred by
many through Eternity no doubt.
from this time the work seem.d to spread and go on
as if the people would all soon become Christians
young ladies & gentlemen would now walk miles
to preaching. all denominations seemd to lay too
in the work. people went fare [far] & near to preaching
Night meetings was kept up by all denominations
Earley in July this summer my eldest brother

died of a verrey sudden death. that was a great
shock to the famely, he being a brother that we
all verrey much doted on, this death together with
the maney faithfull sermons then preach.d aided by
the divine hand, three of my sisters profes.d to experi=
=ance a change of heart. my dear old father was
stured [stirred] up afresh, for a long time previous to this
he had been verrey cold, and had all most quit
fameley [family] worship. he now from this time set up
fameley worship to which he attended strictley too
through life. My Father as above stated, was of the
old church persuasion previous to this, and as the
Methodist was a reformed branch of that Church
he thought proper to join that Church. he joind
the Methodist church some time this summer 88 as
also two of my sisters with him, at Magehee's old
barne. this revival continewd to spread this year
and 1789 untell the winter. there now apeard to be
a coldness getting among the professers, moore then had

been, some that had put their hand to the plow
seemd to be looking back. during the revival I us.d
to attend the word, fare [far] & near I went to preaching. I also
attented private divotion, in my way but never had
all this time a discovery of my heart as I aught, tho 
maney times wet my handkerchief with my tears.
The Methodis had form.d a large Church at Magehees
Barne & several other places. at length a society was rais.d
at a near neighbours, old neighbour George Cardwells -
Where they had circuit preaching
I us.d to attend their meetings and would often be so
caught on that I have in these days gone up to be
pray.d for. I knew all was not well with me but
my total ignorance of my self, and where my strong
lay kep me from the blessing. The life of religion
seemd to be fast declining among professers, which
set me to looking at the professers and marking
maney of them for hypocrits insted of watching my
own poor deceiteful heart. I now almost if not

quite hated the Methodists & would try to form
the most unfaivourable notions of them I could
I had taken it for granted that they hated Sinners
in their verrey heart, and I knew I was a sinner an
that of course they hated me. and these notions together
with my other curious notions I in a great measure
quit going to hear them preach. 1790 religion still seem.d
to decline maney that had made Loud professions
Seemd to be joining againe to the world. and there
was a visable declension among all denominations. 1791
and 1792 religion still seemd to decline, and about
this time a dredfull split took place in the Methodist
Episcopal Church. the Rev. James O'Kelley, Edward
Almon, John Robertson & Thos. Hardy broke off from
the old body of the methodist at a Conference held in
Baltimoore, formd a party, drew off many lay members
with them, and stiled [styled] themselves republican
Methodist. The Rev. Clemmont Read joined them
after being a presbyterian Minester, then a Methodist
Episcopal. Now one of the republican party - with the

Above, the Rev. John Chappel also broke of [off] with the
above party. Old Mr. OKelley after a while thought
fit to change the name of their partey from republican
methodist to the Christian church, which was a cause
of a split among them. John Chappel was the onley Minester
that joind with OKelley in Charlotte together with several
lay members. Almond, Robertson, Hardey & Read. Still re=
=maining republican minesters, and had a goodley numbers
of followers, & for a while seemd to prosper. at length getting
disattisfied with them selves, Hardey being now dead, Read
Hankers after a change. Joines the presbyterian Church from
whence he came where, he now stands. Robertson, getting moore
& moore dissatisfyd, got derangd and came to an unfortunate
end (by hangining himself). their lay members together with a few young from
therr mostley joind the presbyterians, except a few lay
members that went back to the Methodist Episcopal church.
I now go back to the years 1792 & 1793. as the republican
Church & their affairs has been a good maney years
since. the things of Eternity now seemes to be less
and less attended to. the world seems to be all
that was thought about. this fall '93 I thought ???

to change my state in life. I now found after having
chang.d my state, that the cares of a famely lay in
my hands, and that it seemd I had less time now
to prepare for Eternity then ever, and in great
measure Hacken.d[?] going to meeting for by this time
I cared not wheather I heard the methodist preach.
I use to go to hear the baptist & presbyterians when I could
but for two years seldom heard a methodist preach.
in about 15 months my Companion was taken from
me by death. My tryals [trials] on the occation [occasion] is better known
by me then I can express them. Notwithstanding this late
call, I could not feel under preaching as I had done
yet I could never feel easey. Still I had no heart to pray
and almost quit any pretensions to any thing like
religion, and would be govial [jovial] with the wickedest sort of people.
in the year 1794 a rebellion broke out in some of the
Northern States. government thought proper to lay
a tax on all publick destilries, and stills of every
kind, and as some of the Stillers to the north
made their calling on whiskey traid [trade], they refus.d
their paying therr tax, and set up

liberty poles with their flags a sailing at every
fork of the road. government thought propper to send
an armey against them, that soon put a stop to
their murmerings. they cut down their liberty pooles
before the armey got in sight, and their ring leaders
left the state. the armey had to return, having nothing
to doe. it fell to my tower [tour] to have gone under Cptn
Wood Boulding in this campaign, and was making arangements so to
doe when Cptn Gedion Spencer stept out as a
volenteer and soon rais.d a companey of volenteers of
unmaried men. I being at that time in a marage [marriage]
state staid at home tho with much reluctiance.
in November 1795, the latter part of this month I moov.d
my few black people & setled a little place of my own
near where I now live.
previous to these years a dreadfull revolution broke
out in the french nation. they beheaded their King
and Quean, which brought on a wretched & bloodey war
that involv.d the greater parte of Urope [Europe] in the bloody
sean [scene], that lasted above twenty years. this Uropian
war rais.d the price of produce in this countrey

Flower & tobacco got up, so that maney of the people
of this countrey became rich. 1796 I spent this year
in attending to my little plantation. the state of
religion at this time was at a low ebb I now began
to try to think what is to be will be etc. tho all this
while I felt and knod.d [knowed] that all was not well with
me; 1797 this year I would feel much alarm.d at
times and make maney promises to amend my way but
would as often come short of fulfilling them. this
Summer I went to hear the Funeral sermon of one of
my neighbours preach.d. the Rev. Drurey Lacy was the
preacher, and his text was, The Lord is good & strong
hold in the day of trouble and he knoweth them
that trust in him. this sermon had a
great effect on my poore heart, together with his
discourse while the assmbley was standing round
the open grave of the deceast [deceased], which had a great
affect on me. I went home. that night my sleep
in a great meashure departed from me. tho all this
while I knew not wherein my great stren=
=gth lay. I now began to go to the Methodist
meetings moore then I had done for some time past
and my will was good to ask them to pray for me

but shame & my poor proud heart prevented me.
1798 this year I frequented the methodist meetings
and would often stay in their class meetings for
which privilage I feel thankfull to this day,
for this year I was enabled through grace divine
to forme my resolution to be for God, and that let
others doe as they would As for me I would try
and searve my god. I now began to read the Bible
in search of trouth. I read maney good books. I frequented
the house of prayer. I was often at my private divotion
I often got the people of God to pray for me all this
while I felt my self a poor Sinner. I often thought
that my day of grace was past, and that I should 
be a castaway. I now was willing to receive instruction
from aney one, and I thought as a meens of a help to
my poore strugling soul, to joine the methodist church
as a seeker after trouth. for I now knew that
I needed help from every quarter. like a drowning
man I was ready to ketch at every straw. I accord
=ingly joind at Mount Pleasant this Summer
the Rev. Pemberton Smith being the Serquit [circuit] preacher

I Joind Society as a seeker, and I doe not repe=
=nt it to this day, for it was in Clays meeting
that some gleames of hope sprang up in my poore
disponding heart that enabled me to keep from sink=
=ing in to despare [dispair], and still hope for mercy. Yet I
was not satisfied, altho maney times I would feel
love and joy spring up in my Soul but when I
would look at others and hear them tell their
exercises, it would so fare [far] excell mine.  I dare not
receave my self and think my self one of Gods shildren
yet I was now sensible of my own unrighteousness
or merit by aney thing that I could doe, and that my
Strength was in him that stood between the Fathers
wrath and mee. altho I now beein sensable of this it
seem.d as if unbeleaf keep me from the promises
and I could not lay hold of them as I wish.d, and often
us.d to think that some vision or meraculous view was
to be presented to me before I could receave my self as
a Christian. these and simmerler [similar] doubts use to pester me
much. some times I thought that as I had been ????
a sinner that I must be struck down with the
power and be convulst [convulsed] before I could beleave. yet

at times I would feel sweetley drawn by cords of 
love, and felt a resignation to the will of my Maker
beleaving he would doe with me what was write [right].
1799 this year on the 22nd September the rod of afflic=
=tion was laid heavey on me. I was taken with a bilious
feaver. after lieing some time, my feaver chang.d from the
bilious to the nervous feaver. my physion [physician] desparied of
me & left me. after awhile it was propos.d for me to 
send to Doctor White. I was willing my Brother [(Bartly) added in another hand] should
go as he made the proposition (and was willing to go)
he went to Doctor Whites in Pitsylvania, the Doctor did
not come but sent medason [medicine], and after taking his medason
I began slowley to amend. previous to this my life was
despard of by all that came to see me. I was redust [reduced] so
low that for maney weeks I was not able to turn over
on my bed or put my hand to my mouth, and the
first of my standing alone was in the Christmass holiday
and through the next summer following could not
walk without stagering. all the time of my afflic-
=tion my good neighbours paid every kindness to me
probable [prominent?], among my kind friends was my good and
ever asteem'd and affectionate friend

Wiltshire Cardwell who spared no paines day or night
cold or what not, that friend whom I shall ever
love and asteem stuck to me and his kind Nursing
was bless.d to my beeing restord to the land of the
living a gain. May the lord reward him and bring
him to a saving knowledge of the truth. be fore his
time comes to be laid on a sick or dieing bed, may
grace enable him to mak an entire surrender of him
self Soul body and Spirit to that almighty Arme
that can create worlds and dash them to peaces [pieces] at
his will.
In my above mensiond [mentioned] afflictions I thought I felt
a calm resignation to the will of my Maker, and
felt, altho at that time so low in body that the Lord
was doing that, that was rite. and I can say this day
that I feel thankfull that he then afflicted me
I still continewed to
search after truth as well as I know how, yet I could
not feel as I wishd, nor could I feel that strong assu-
=rance that I heard others speak of I red the bible
and maney other good books again & again. I in my
poor manner try.d to pray with, and for my then

little famely at that time consisted of a few
black people, my little son & a little boy that borded [boarded]
with me to go to school, & my Self. poor Billey Spencer [probably Wm Spencer]
spard no paines in helping me all he could. he put
many good books in my hands. I often heard him
preach with much warmth and zeal. I often went
with him to his appointments, fare [far] and near, and
I then thought that he was the greatest pattern
of piety I then knew. this year Christerpher Mooring
and James Paterson rode this seirquit, and there was
a class organised at the Rev. Wm. Spencer's schoolhouse
where we had preaching once a fortnight 1800 Our
seirquit preachers this year was John Buckston,
William Douthet and Pemberton Smith, this seirquit at
that time beeing a six weeks tower [tour]. 1801 this year
if I mistake not a couple of young men traveld hear by
the names of Turner & Kendrey. besides a fine young
man by the name of Louis Garret, that soon left
this state and went to the western country. Some part
of these times David Hume from South Carolina & Risher traveled this
seirquit 1802 Samuel S. Stuart rode here. 1803
a fine little man from Granville, North Carolina, by the name of Moore
traveld hear. 1804 this spring our much esteem.d

Friend Wm Spencer sold his possessions and moovd
to the lower parts of Lunenburg County.
99, 1800, 1801-2 it may be that I have made some
mistake with respect to the particurlar dates that
some of the above named travling preachers rode and
preached hear [here]. I know that they all that I have named
traveled here in the above dates. as also a Louis Faylor [Taylor?] rode here
In consiquence of the Rev. William Spencers remooval
preaching was moovd to my Fathers where I now reside
Wm. Rite [Wright?] was our preacher, a vearey sensable srude [shrewd] man
and if I mistake not our presiding Elder was Daniel Hall.
Jesse Lacy had been our Elder before[.] 1805 Some of my neighbours
wish.d to teach a school in the neighbourhood, and made
up a large school and accordingly I under took to teach
their children as well as I knew how. Our preacher this
year was by the name of Nathaniel Walker from P. Ann
County. I still was trying as well as I knew how to
know what was the will of my maker concearning
of me, and in the early part of June as well as I now
remember, while in the woods by my self, down on my
knees praying as well as I knew how. I felt such life
light & liberty, that I realy thought that I could 
say Christ was my saviour & that the Lord was 
my God. my feelings was better felt by me then I could

Express them. I now thought that my troubles was now
over and that my sorrows was gone never to return. I
now felt for a while peace & quietude within. there
was a Quarterly Meeting at Mount Pleasant in a
short time after this. I thought I felt that Humble
boldness that I had never heretofore felt when I appro=
=cht to the Sacrament I was melted down with love I
thought the Christians look.d difrent to what they
us.d to doe. I now could begin to think surely that
I had an interest in the faivour of my Saviour and
ventur.d to tell some of my Christian friends that I hope
the Lord for Christ Sake had pardoned my Sins.
the first persons I beleave that I told was My Br. &
Sister Wm Rowlette & wife. I could till others also that I
hop.d [hoped] the Lord had taken me in to his faivour.
I also receav.d a letter from my friend Wm Spencer strength=
=thning and encourageing of me. from this time I try
[note in hand of Wm R Hatchett at bottom]
Wm. Spencer becoming involved in debt, hung himself

[no other pages in diary continue the line left in mid-sentence,
so this appears to be the end]

[The following loose fragment of a page appears to be in
John Hatchett's hand]

O how life goes! I walked, now I gallop into Eternity. the bowl of life
goes rapidly down the steep hil of time. lit us be wise: embrace we Jesus
and the resurrection: let us trim our lamps, and give our selves afresh to
him that bought us, till we can do it without reserve. J. F.
[the above is a quote from Rev. John Fletcher from a letter written
in March 1774 to Mr. Ireland]
??ve [Give] up our selves daily to the Lord as people who have no confidence in the flesh
and do not trust tomorrow. I find my weakness, unprofitableness and wretchedness
daily more and more; and the more I find them, the more help I have to sink in
???? abhorrence.
[below this, in light pencil in what looks like the hand of Wm. R. Hatchett is the
name John Hatchett]

Cover of John Hatchett diary

Cover of the John Hatchett diary.

Page 1 of John Hatchett diary

First page of the John Hatchett diary.