April 26 1812: Martha's Last Delivery

On April 26, 1812, Martha Ballard assists in the last delivery of  before her death which is now about a month away. She is paid 12 shillings for the birth.  The legal currency at the time is American dollars and cents but Martha, like many of her contemporaries,  still keeps track of her payments using pounds, shillings and pence.  She writes twelve shillings as 12/. Pence is written /12.  Martha's diary entry for April 26, 1812 reads as follows:
[Josiah Heath Birth, dagt, first Born].
Clear & very Cold for the Season. mrs Heaths illness increast after mid night and Shee was Deld at 4h 30m am of a Dagt, her first Born. I left her before noone, her marm Came. her illness has been very Severe. I have felt very feeble this day. 
[Mrith 15th. receivd 12/S. left patienls Comfortable]  

The transcription of the diary entry above is taken form the indispensable website dohistory. The transcription of the diary is the work of Robert R. McCausland and Cynthia MacAlman McCausland. The information in this post is also based on  Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diary, 1785–1812. (Vintage Books, Random House Publishers, 1991). The picture above is from a post card from 1905 of the town of Howell showing the town from London Hill looking down on the Kennebec River and can be found here

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