F Heritage History | Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis
Contents 
Front Matter At Boonesborough Beginning of the Story Boone on the Yadkin Boone Moves his Family Ready for the Journey What we Wore Driving Cattle and Sheep Camping at Nightfall The Long Halt Jimmy Boone Goes to Clinch Murder of Jimmy Boone A Time of Mourning The Faint-hearted Return A New Home Making Moccasins Tanning Leather Governor Dunmore Our Home on the Clinch Household Duties Attacked by a Wildcat Fighting the Wildcat Boone and Father Return The Wilderness Road Building the Forts Boonesborough Gathering Salt Boonesborough Precautions Our Home in the Fort Ready for Cooking Furnishing the House The Hominy Block The Supply of Water Sports Inside the Fort Wrestling and Running Religion of the Indians Indian Babies Colonel Callaway Arives News from Eastern Colonies Venturing Outside the Fort Dividing the Land Who Owned Kentucky? Ready to Build a Home Billy's Hard Lot Preparing Flax Spinning and Soap Making Broom Making More Indian Murders Indian "Signs" Woodcraft and Hunting Pelts Used as Money Petition of the Settlers Making Sugar Building Fences Capture of the Girls My Willful Thoughts Finding the Trail The Pursuit The Story Told by Jemima Elizabeth's Heroism Rescuing the Girls Alarm Among the Settlers Indians on the Warpath The First Wedding The Wedding Festivities The Brides Home The Housewarming Attacks by the Indians Besieged by the Savages In the Midst of the Fight The Assault by the Indians Failure of the Assault Watchfulness of the Indians The Sortie My Father Wounded Our Wounded

Hannah of Kentucky - James Otis




Making Sugar

All the children in the fort were ready on that day when our fathers told us the work might begin, and al-though we had neither heard nor seen anything of the Indians for many a day, four of the hunters went out to stand guard while the boys made deep wounds in the trees with axes.

Then, while the men put up a half-faced camp, we girls carried the troughs to the trees that had been tapped and watched with eager eyes as the sap oozed out drop by drop, but yet so rapidly as to give promise of a good yield.

Perhaps there are some who do not know what a "half-faced"camp is like. A big tree was cut down, and the branches trimmed off for a length of eight or ten feet from the butt. This, as it lay on the ground, served for the back side. Ten feet in front, and ten feet apart, two double sets of -stakes were stuck in the ground for the four corners. Between the double stakes were laid poles extending from one corner to an-other. At each side more poles were placed from the front to the rear, a few inches apart, after the fashion of latticework,

Across the top for a roof poles were laid, between which we girls wove branches of trees until the whole would serve fairly well as a shelter against wind and rain. The front part was left open, which, I suppose, is the reason why it is called half-faced, and here a fire was built for boiling the sap.

[Illustration] from Hannah of Kentucky by James Otis

Colonel Callaway brought with him his horse; father made of tree tops what would serve as a sled, and on it we hauled the troughs to the camp as fast as they were partly filled.

Then came the boiling down, which was continued far into the night by the men and boys, for we girls were obliged to be inside the fort before sunset; but when the sap had thickened to a sirup, we made spice-wood tea from half-opened buds, whitened it with milk, and sweetened the mixture until none but those who were half-starved for something sweet could have drunk it.

What sport we had! And how sticky we all were until the sugar making came to an end, and the fruits of our labor had been stored in one of the watch-houses that we might have molasses or sugar during the rest of the year.

When the snow had entirely melted from the ground, father went to work once more on our plantation, and Billy's portion of the labor was to maul rails until he had enough with which to fence off a pasture for the live stock.