As stated in my genealogy, I was born September 19, 1811, in Hartford, Washington County, New York. When I was about three or four years old, my parents removed from Hartford to New Lebanon, Columbia County, where I was sent to school for several months each year, until the spring of 1822. During this interval I often had many serious impressions in regard to God and a future state. And being very young, my parents instructed me to read the Bible, which I often did, with much interest, asking a great variety of questions concerning what I found written. It was seldom that I attended any religious meetings, as my parents had not much faith in them, and were never so unfortunate as to unite themselves with any of the religious sects.
In the spring of 1822, being in my eleventh year, I went to live with a farmer whose name was Justin Jones; this was in the neighborhood of my parents. I continued at this place until the autumn of 1823. The preceding winter, I also went to school. I next engaged to labor at farming for Mr. Church at Canaan, Four Corners, Columbia County, New York, and continued with him about seventeen or eighteen months; three or four of which I went to school, and became quite familiar with all the rules in Daball's arithmetic. In the spring of 1825, I accompanied my oldest brother to Hurlgate, Long Island, about six miles from New York City. Here I engaged myself for one year to Mr. Greenock, a farmer; three months of which I went to school, and studied arithmetic and bookkeeping. In the spring of 1826, I was recommended by Mr. Greenock to a large cabinetmaking establishment in New York City, where I intended to remain until of age; but after tarrying a few months, I was taken violently sick and brought very low, so that my recovery, for some time, was considered doubtful. When my strength permitted, I went into the country, to Hurlgate, and tarried with my brother Anson, until the spring of 1827, when I returned to Canaan, about 150 miles north of New York City, and engaged myself to labor for seven months, on a farm for Mr. Noise; at the expiration of which, I accompanied my brothers Parley and Nelson Pratt to Lorain County, Ohio. We performed the journey by canal and boat from Albany to Buffalo, and thence by schooner up Lake Erie. I boarded with Mr. Redington during the winter and went to school.
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