The world changes in the blink of an eye. In the 21st century, we have the luxury of visiting scenes from history in books, film, and documents, with the safety and conveniences of modern life. Join me to examine the lives of our ancestors, imagine their experiences, and connect with their struggles and triumphs.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reasons for not going to church; or, Excuses given to Minister

Hartford Watchman
Hartford, Connecticut
June 9, 1838

From the Southern Churchman.

Reasons for not going to church

Overslept myself

Rural Church, unknown location, c. 1900s

Could not dress in time

Too cold

Too hot

Too windy

Too dusty

Too wet

Too damp

Too sunny

Too cloudy

Don’t feel disposed

No other time to myself

Look over my drawers

Put my papers to rights

Letters to write to my friends

Mean to take a walk

Going to take a ride

Tied to business six days in the week

No fresh air but on Sundays

Can’t breath in church, always so full

Feel a little feverish

Feel a little chilly

Feel very lazy

Expect company to dinner

Got a headache

Intend nursing myself to day

New bonnet not come home

Tore my muslin dress coming down stairs

Got a new novel, must be returned on Monday morning

Wasn’t shaved in time

Don’t like a liturgy, always praying for the same thing

Don’t like extempore prayer, don’t know what is coming

Don’t like an organ ‘tis too noisy

Don’t like singing without music, makes me nervous

Can’t sit in a draft of air, windows or doors open in summer

Stove so hot in winter always get a head-ache

Can’t hear an extempore sermon, too frothy

Dislike a written sermon, too prosing

Nobody to day but our minister can’t always listen to the same preacher

Don’t like strangers

Can’t keep awake when at church

Fell asleep last time I was there, shan’t risk it again

Mean to enquire of some sensible person about the propriety of going to so public a place as church
*Editorial note: I restructured the format of the original text for readability.


  1. Hehe.I like the Can't keep awake when at church one :D

    1. Yes! My favorite is "Got a new novel, must be returned Monday morning".