WOMANS 1865 MANUSCRIPT DEATH DIARY LISTING DEATHS OF CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS, AND HUNDREDS OF TOWNSPEOPLE, FORMER US PRESIDENTS, ETC. INCLUDING DEATHS BY WAR, DROWNING, LIGHTING STRIKES, ACCIDENTS, FIRES, SUICIDE, DISEASE, ETC. 2 MANUSCRIPT WOMANS DIARIES, c.The 2 diaries are in diced black leather wallet-style bindings, stamped in gilt ("Diary 1865"), measuring 7 x 3 inches. From what I can tell from a letter laid in, and skimming some entries, these diaries were compiled by Sarah, from Holden, MA (or the surrounding area). She was a seamstress, and part of a family of farmers. Her diary spans January 1, 1866 through December 31, 1868. There are probably close to 1000 daily entries-- brief, but detailed-- noting the weather, visitors, travel Worcester, Roxbury, New York & New England, etc.
, family news, copious amounts of disease and death, fires, farming, weaving, mending clothes, attending a temperance meeting, a lecture by suffragist Lucy Stone, concerts, and Lyceums, she briefly, but enthusiastically mentions the Fenians and their revolt in Canada at least twice, a hanging, many references to going to the Jail, births, deaths, at least one murder, drownings, camp meetings, tornadoes, sewing circles, farming and harvests, butchering pigs, attending sermons, etc. Her 1865 death diary is entirely dedicated to listing peoples deaths, variously listing the names, ages, dates, locations, causes of death, etc. She notes the deaths of at least 15 Civil War soldiers, plus the deaths of newborn children and people in their 90s, from causes both mundane and macabre, including fires, lightning strikes, war, disease, drowning, suicide, hanging, etc.
She numbers the first 300 deaths, but the remaining are unnumbered. She includes mentions of the deaths of former Presidents Lincoln, Buchanan, and Pierce, but most I assume are family, friends, and townspeople. Laid into the back pocket of the diary is a brief letter to, Sarah, from Anna, of Worcester, MA. Both diaries are in good condition, showing their age, with moderate wear, soiling, staining, etc. Ive only skimmed the diary and death diary, so who knows who, or what else, she talks about.A fascinating look at at least 3 years of this womans life, in all its brutality and quotidian detail. People lived with death on a daily basis, especially during and just after the Civil War; she mentions the rare death that happens at a hospital. People usually died at home or work, and families had wakes and funerals in their parlors, but Sarahs meticulous listing of what must be thousands of deaths is still a little puzzling. Maybe it was a coping mechanism, or maybe she was just understandably obsessed with documenting the death that surrounded her. The item "WOMANS 1865 MANUSCRIPT DEATH DIARY CIVIL WAR SOLDIER NAMES Jail Murder HOLDEN MA" is in sale since Monday, April 26, 2021. This item is in the category "Antiques\Manuscripts". The seller is "mainstreetbooks" and is located in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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