Sorry for the long while without an update, I had to go without internet for a while there... Anyways, I hope you like this chapter!
24th May 1796
The press gangs were prowling tonight. I am so glad I was able to avoid them. I was recognised by the officer as making good uniforms. I was so glad that they let me go. My son had, thankfully stayed home that night, so he was not in danger either. I can't help but think on days like today, what would happen to my darling daughter, if I were to be taken by the press.
I'm still not sure if my lads could take care of her. I really should make provisions for her. Unfortunately, I have no family for her to live with. I was an only child, my wife only had one sister, who has never cared much for me. My parents passed away not long after little Anna was born, and Maria's only a few years after that. I dread to think where she will be sent if anything were to happen to me.
Maria would say I worry too much. She never did worry. She said that I worried enough for everyone. I sit now, in the room overlooking her little rose garden. It may only be a tiny little patch of colour, but oh, how she loved those roses. I have done my best to keep them going. But my gardening skills are far below hers. I am a tailor, and that is what I intend to remain.
Oh! We had a nice visit from Anna's friend today. Her family live just around the corner and her father is one of my best customers. He is a secretary at the Admiralty, so he has plenty of money to spend on nice clothes. His youngest, who is particularly close to my Anna, is called Rose. She is such a nice little girl, and her older sisters have practically adopted Anna. It is such a blessing to know that her female side is being looked after.
Rose's father, Jonathan, tries to encourage my sons into becoming a secretary, as both are literate, but I will have none of it! Schyler already has a profession, and Kenrick has decided to follow in my footsteps. I am already teaching him the art of being a tailor. However, Jonathan and I get along quite well, as did my Maria and his wife Elizabeth, when Maria was still with us. His son Albert, who is fifteen, gets along quite well with both of my boys, but particularly Schyler. Albert hopes to start working at the local bakery soon. He has spoken to Mr. Schmitt about being hired, and has approval. But his father doesn't know about this yet. I'm not surprised, either. I would be hesitant to tell my father about something like that, too, if my father were like Jonathan.
Not that he isn't a good father. He is just firm, and expects things of his children, that I personally, don't think he should expect. They are still young, and do not always understand all the things that being a secretary will entail. Of course the girls will never get that chance, although one of them, Emily, fancies herself an author. If only such opportunities were available for young girls. Such an opportunity would be wonderful for my Anna, but at this time, women are needed in the home, and not out in other occupations.
Maria was an excellent artist. Her drawings rivalled those of any male artist. But she could do nothing with that talent, because she was a women. Not that I do not agree with the way things are, but I believe that women are just as talented as men, and should be acknowledged for that.
Today, Kenrick and I broke our record. We made a full naval uniform, in just under ten hours. It usually takes us a good fourteen hours to do that. But not this time. However, it may be because this was a regular customer, so we always have material cut for him. His name is Samuel Whitmarsh, and he serves in the army. A portly gentleman, kind, but firm, and even harsh when harshness is called for. But I don't care what he's like. All I really care about is that he's a regular customer, because he keeps putting shots and things through his uniform in various places, and he pays well. I often think it's a wonder he isn't dead yet.
That Albert boy often takes Kenrick, and when he has a day off, Schyler, to see the army practising. I sincerely hope that they don't participate. But, knowing boys, and my boys in particular, I hope in vain. Unless, of course, Whitmarsh doesn't let them use the muskets. But he does know them well, so I really do hope in vain. As long as they don't get hurt, I will allow them to go.
Schyler has found a nice young girl, who is the same age as him. Her name is Louise. She seems nice, but I have only had one chance to meet her. If he thinks for a second that I shall allow him to marry a girl that I do not know, he can think again. Although, I do believe they will at least wait a while before marrying, if they marry at all.
I had better go, I need to sew some buttons onto a jacket before I go to bed, and it's already late.