Monday, 20 June 2016

Year without a summer diary entries

This year the solstice falls on Monday 20 June at 6:34 p.m. EDT. We welcome summer, and remember this is the bicentennial of 1816, the year without a summer. I've been on the lookout for any local contemporary reports.

An article from across the St Lawrence, in the Watertown Daily Times, records the following:

In St. Lawrence County, an early settler of Hopkinton, Artemus Kent, recorded the weather of the summer of 1816 in his diary. He wasn’t surprised to find nearly 3 feet of snow in his nearby woods in March.
But April snows worried him. By May 15, he recorded three hard frosts.
On May 23, he wrote, “Many people are out of provisions of nearly every kind. Though flour begins to come from the westward, money is so scarce and the prices so high that it is impossible for poor people to buy it.”
Other diary entries:
June 6: “Snowed from early morning until 1 p.m.”
June 8: “Snowed till 9 a.m. Melancholy aspect.”
June 14: “It has frozen every night since June came in.”
July 11: “All crops are backward and promise but little.”
Aug. 4: “Vines and even corn in some places are ruined.”
Sept. 1: “People have been reduced almost to a state of starvation and now have little prospects.”
Oct. 17: “Snow fell eight inches.”

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