Early Years: 1867– 1880
Arthur Philemon Coleman was a clear-eyed witness of his times.
The young boy kept a diary. It begins on January 1, 1867 with the inscription on the fly leaf, “He that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” Arthur was 14 years old and living in Cobourg, Ontario.
Short journal entries reflect life in the country: skating on Lake Ontario with brother Lucius in January; hoeing turnips and fanning grain for Mr. Ashton in August; walking in the woods in April and finding a beautiful piece of birch bark to sew into the journal,
January 1st, 1867
I have now commenced to write a diary. Last night some persons commenced firing off guns and kept us awake for some time. I spent New years day very pleasantly skating etc. At night we boiled some molasses down to make taffy and we had great fun over it.
Today Lucius & Adams went to school but Albert & I skated to Belleville while Pa & Ma went with the cutter.
Diary 1, 1867 - 1870, page 1