Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: The Cold Year
The Cold Year
According to the best records, the first two months were mild; March, cold and stormy. In April, a new winter set in. Sleet and snow fell on half the days of May. In June there was frost nearly every night. The snow was five inches deep for several days in succession in the interior of New York, and from ten inches to three feet in Vermont and Maine. Mr. Jonathan Perkins of Hampton had a field of corn up high enough for the first hoeing; but not a blade was in sight above the snow, when he went out the morning after the storm. July was cold and frosty, ice forming as thick as window panes in every one of the New England states. August was still worse, for ice formed nearly an inch in thickness and killed much vegetation in the United States and Europe.
In the spring of 1817, corn that had been kept over from the crop of 1815, sold for from five to ten dollars a bushel, for seed. Mr. Elisha Johnson, being a large dealer in grain, had corn on hand, but he refused to take the enormous price, preferring to share the loss with the producers. This was characteristic of the man.