Thursday 1st January
The year 1862 is numbered among the things that were. I ought to be very thankful to my Maker for his preserving care over me during the year that is gone and for his great goodness towards me in my occupation while I have seen many changes taken place during the last year. Many that commenced the year with health and strength and prospects as fair if not more so have been taken away. Others again have failed in their business while my days have still been lengthened and business prospects pretty good. We have for the last year drawn the sum of £2850. We have done a pretty fair business today.
Friday 2nd January
Business pretty quiet today there being not many in town. I have been making up a lot of stockings for the Lancashire distress.
[Note: The Lancashire Distress. This refers to the so-called ‘Cotton Famine’, a depression in the textile industry of northern England caused by overproduction in the years 1861-1865]
Saturday 3rd January
Morning very cold with showers of snow. Nothing particular to write today.
Sunday 4th January
In the forenoon Mr Geo. Graham preached a splendid sermon on the temptation of Christ 4th chapter of Matthew 1st to the 10th verse his heads of discourse were the time the place the tempter and the temptation. In the afternoon Mr McKenzie preached from Jeremiah 8th chapter & 20th verse. The harvest is past the summer is ended and we are not saved shewing the past present and future. In the evening Mr Graham in the 65th Psalm the first 4 verses from which he shewed forth the duty of praising God for all his goodness and the blessedness of the chosen of God. Afterwards I – – – –
[NOTE: The United Presbyterian (UP) Church. In January 1858 some Stornoway residents petitioned the Glasgow Presbytery for a preaching station to be revived in the town. The principal mover was Matthew Russell, who became an elder in 1860. A new church, to seat 350, was financed by subscription and opened in July 1862: it was referred to as ‘Russell’s Kirk’. The first minister, Rev. George Graham (d.1894), ‘finding after the trial of two seasons that the cause was not making headway, even under three services at the busy time’, accepted an appointment in Queensland and left in March 1863.]
Monday 5th January
A fine day with occasional showers of rain. The Clydesdale arrived at 11 A.M. Kept very busy and received lots of goods. Sent a lot of Country Sox and Stockings to Lancashire. The Prussian Barque launched this evening of the Slip. At night I saw C – – – – – and went up the hill with her. I spoke in reference to what I said to her on December 16th and after some conversation about obstacles &c in the way I had the extreme pleasure of her kind consent and may Almighty God bless us and keep us in the way we should go.
[NOTE: The Clydesdale was the Royal Mail steamer (the mail boat). It left Glasgow for Stornoway every Thursday, stopping at Oban, Tobermory, Portree and intermediary ports (by arrangement, weather permitting). It set off from Stornoway to Glasgow every Monday]
Tuesday 6th January
A most beautiful day freezing hard all day.
Wednesday 7th January
Received in the morning by post Generalship and the Adviser and I read the whole of Generalship before I went to bed that night. I also received the League Register today. Business not very brisk the day being very cold and soft like. Tonight I have been called in as Witness and signed as such Miss Margaret McDonald’s Will.
Thursday 8th January
A beautiful day freezing hard. Business brisk.
Friday 9th January
Business good. Received payment for the Lancashire stockings. Meeting in Mason Hall about the widows & orphans at Ness. Wrote a letter to J Robertson Portree. At night I saw – –
[NOTE: The Ness Tragedy (or ‘The Lewis Calamity’). Several fishing boats from Ness at the Butt of Lewis were caught up in a severe gale on 18-19 December 1862: five crews (31 men) were lost. In addition, around 40 boats beached at Ness were destroyed. The aim of the meeting in the Mason Hall on 9 January was to start a collection for the 24 widows, 36 ‘orphans’ and other dependants of the lost fishermen. Matthew Russell subscribed £2 2s to this fund; Macdonald & Morison – an alternative spelling of Charles Morrison’s name – gave 10s. (Inverness Courier 5 February 1863, 1)]
Saturday 10th January
Fine day. Last night has been the third time I have dreamt within a short time of Robert Sutherland. I have also dreamt that my father came here to see me. We were pretty busy today. Sold a large quantity of tobacco it being very scarce in town.
Sunday 11th January
Mr Graham in the morning preached from Isaiah 12th chap 3rd verse. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation beautifully shewing the blessedness of the Gospel dispensation. In the afternoon Mr McKenzie from second Corinthians 8th chapter 9th verse For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich yet for your sakes he became poor that ye through his poverty might be rich Which he divided into 4 parts 1st the fact that Christ was rich 2nd the fact that he became poor 3rd for whom he became poor for your sakes and 4th the reason that through his poverty ye might become rich but time however permitted him only to go over the first 2 heads and which he very graphically set forth. In the evening Mr Graham from Proverbs 1st Chapter 10th verse My son if sinners entice thee consent thou not. I was precenting in the morning and evening.
At night I went home with – – –