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Salter, George H., 1826-ca. 1906 / Papers, ca. 1896-1913, 1965
Call Number, Stevens Point SC 60 ([unpublished])

[George Salter Memoirs],   pp. [1]-34 PDF (71.5 MB)

Page [1]

George Salter started from England on the night of September the 20th, 1843
for poaching.  Walked to Salbrey for breakfast twenty-one miles from Deviges;
got to Southhampton for supper; got aboard the steamer for the Island of
Guernsey; got there for breakfast next morning.  Looked around for work;
could not find any for a week.  Got some work digging chickory for two weeks
and then a farmer by the name of Bonaney Martell came and saw me and wanted
to know if I knew how to farm.  I told him I did not and he asked me if I
wanted to learn.  I told him I would try.  He said he could not pay much
wages.  I asked him how much he was willing to pay and he said that I could
come and stay one month, and he would see how we got along.  I had been there
two weeks when he asked me how I like it.  I told him that I was satisfied.
 He told me I suited him and that he would give me one shilling per week
and board, washing and mending for one year and after the year is up he would
give me more so before my year was up he wanted to know if I wanted to stay
another year.  I told him if we could agree on wages, so he said that he
would give me two shillings per week and washing and mending.  I told him
I had been offered more.  He wanted to know by whom.  I told him Mr. Hosone,
and he wanted to know how much more.  I told him sixpence.  He said that
he would give me the same if I would stop as we knew one another.  When that
year was up he wanted to know how much more wages I wanted.  I told him that
I wanted three pounds for the next three year; if not I should leave.  He
said that is more than he could afford; but he said that he would give it
as I had been so long with him, so we got through that year alright and then
he wanted me another year but then the wages was as he wanted; I could do
as much work on the farm as any man he hired and he was paying them one shilling
per day and board.  I told him that he had to pay me the same as he was paying
them or give me five pounds another year.  "Alright", he
said "I
shall expect you to do as much work as any of the men."  "Alright",
I said.
We had a man he hired every day all the year round whose name was Peter Balley.
 We went out to mow.  It is the custom for the best man to go ahead so he
started and told me to come along and you bet I did, as he was telling at
the table he would give the Englishman enough before night in French.  He
did not know that I understood what he said so I followed him up until lunch
time and Mr. Martell came down to look at his little Englishman.  Balley
and he walked off to one side and came back again.  He said, "George,
you must take your time and do your work well."  I told him that
would have more hay cut if Mr. Balley would let me go ahead.  He said I did
not do my work good.  I got my English up about that time.  I put down my
scythe and told him to do the same; I would fight him for my year's wages.
 If he licked me I would work one year for nothing, but Mr. Martell came
up to me and said that he was my master and I had to do as he said.  I told
him that was alright as long as I did my work well I was not going to be
put upon by no damn Guernsey.

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