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HANDWRITTEN DIARY OF 1899

HANDWRITTEN DIARY OF 1899, WRITTEN MOSTLY IN A WOMAN’S HAND, FROM HOME IN PENOBSCOT, MAINE TO A WINTER AT ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, SEMINOLE COUNTY, FLORIDA

Condon, Samuel Brainard & Family Leather-bound, pocket diary with neat and readable entries in ink throughout, preceded by the usual almanac-style data. A section at the rear records some family expenses, birth dates, etc. At the front of the diary are some notes penned by son Guy in 1903, listing his weight as 75 pounds and his proud ownership of a Columbia bicycle. The Condons own a dry goods store in Penobscot, Maine, selling mostly fabrics, buttons, yarns, hats, &c. Samuel (1876-1965) is married to Grace Allen Condon (1875-1979), apparently the main keeper of this diary. Her branch of the family are farmers who work the land on several "lots" as well as keeping poultry, a few cows, pigs, and a horse named Prince. The diary opens in January. with the female writer traveling with "Carl" to Boston, then to Washington, before finally arriving at Altamonte [Springs] in Seminole County, Florida, where a "car met us and took us to the cottage. Built fire in fireplace.We settle down for the winter." Carl fishes and swims, visits Lake Jessup, Orlando and Palm Springs, goes to a "cakewalk dance", etc. Our diarist goes for walks, receives and answers letters from the "folks in Penobscot", including "B. and Grace" and Guy, works on various baking and sewing projects, and at one point goes for a ride to Palm Beach and Sulphur Springs with Mrs. Nolan. In late January, she notes that "fires are set in all the groves. Change from 81 [degrees] to 28 in a few hours.trees all frozen, flowers all gone." // On March 7, she takes a month-long trip home to Maine, stopping to visit friends in Washington, NY and the Boston area. She arrives at Buckport on April 1, and next day "the girls called in at night to see me Mary, Grace and Sue C." The store is immediately a focus of everyone's time, with Brament (?) and Grace helping with "opening and marking goods", "the boys around the store working in the mills", etc. Other workers at the store and on the farm include Brainard (SBC) himself, Carl, Blanchard, Nod, and Blanche, the latter doing everything from washing floors to setting hens to planting the crops and vegetable garden. Crops include potatoes, beans, squash, corn and strawberries, while the garden supplies cucumbers, celery, asparagus and tomatoes and peas as well as flowers. There is much haying work to do in the fall, and temporary day laborers are periodically hired for the farm work. The menfolk also do a lot of fishing (or "trouting"), and in the fall, go "gunning", at one point shooting 40 rabbits in one afternoon. One day in December they "got about 35 loads of firewood chopped-[and]want 20 more." The family's entertainment includes the woman writer's trip to visit friends in Boston and Quincy and Plymouth in Oct., her trip with Guy to Brookline in July, a trip to "the fair" in September a town "Field Day" in August, "the young folks getting up a play", "a visit to Charles Perkins's house to hear Mr. LaMarsh", and attendance at a December "Graphaphone entertainment up at the Hall.-proceeds $9.25." They also go to church fairly regularly, noting who did the preaching. The diary notes local events such as an outbreak of German measles, accidents and deaths, and in November, the famously fierce heavyweight battle between boxers Jim Jeffries and Tom Sharkey.
  • $224
GROUP OF NINE (9) HANDWRITTEN DIARIES

GROUP OF NINE (9) HANDWRITTEN DIARIES, 1876-1913. SHOWING HOW A WIDOW MANAGES ON HER OWN BY SEWING, RUNNING BOARDING HOUSES, RAISING POULTRY, &C. FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND ON TO POMONA AND PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Fall, Annie M (Hayes, 1845-1919 These 9 diaries, written by Annie M. Hayes Fall, document how a widow manages on her own with her son and daughter, moving from a farm in Farmington, NH to homes in Pomona and then Pasadena CA.Her sources of income include renting rooms to boarders, raising and selling poultry, and at one point selling 700 pounds of prunes, but sewing is also a constant force in the diaries, as she details the work she does either for herself and her family or for neighbors. Her son lives with her throughout the diaries and as a teacher, he must also contribute to the household expenses. She is also careful in recording the many afternoon, evening, and even longer visits or calls made to her and her own frequent calls on friends. In addition to personal details, the diaries offer a window onto daily life in early 20th-century California, mentioning major sand storms and flooding problems, which in 1912 are severe enough for her to take her chickens into the house several times in March and April. The diaries also document such events as the Tournament of Roses Parade, sightings of Halley's Comet, a trip to see the 1280-pound "big cheese", and a 1910 trip to Long Beach to "see the Flying Machines." There are also details on three cross-country (California to Boston and back) train trips. National events are also mentioned, including a vist to L.A. by Pres. McKinley, a local speech given by (presumably Robert) LaFollette, and Annie and Henry casting votes for Roosevelt in 1912. // Annie was educated at Wolfboro Academy in the 1850s, about 20 miles from her home in Farmington, NH. Her older sister Phebe Fall (later Cate), 1837-1917, also plays a role in the diaries, and an article about the two Hayes sisters' dressmaking skills examines the surviving examples of it, which are currently in the Riverside Metropolitan Museum at University of CA, Riverside. (See "Clothes Make the Woman; Women Make the Clothes" by Nicole DeSilva and Molly McGarry, UCR Undergraduate Research Journal, June, 2014.) // Phebe married John Cate, a Union soldier, in the early 1860s, moved to Wakefield, MA, near Boston, and there her husband opened a fabric store in 1870. Annie, meanwhile, remained in Farmington, married local resident Orrin Tenny Fall, and had two children, Henry Clinton Fall and Kate Fall (later Mrs. Carl Richmond). Henry (1862-1939) was a high school teacher of physics and math in Chicago, then later in Pomona and Pasadena, CA. His passion, however, was beetles, and he became the first California resident to make a significant study of the state's unique insects. As a coleopterist, his collection was one of the world's largest in private hands, numbering abut 250,000 specimens and inspirng generations of other scientists. There are relatively frequent diary entries noting Henry's trips to entomological conferences and reporting on the visitors who came to the houses where he lived with Annie to view his collection. // The diaries vary in size from 5" x 3" to 4" x 2 1/2", and all are bound wallet-stye. The first 30-50 pages are printed almanac-type material, followed by dated pages with spaces for two or three entries/page. The bindings are flexible leather or cloth in various colors, and all are written in Annie's legible hand in pencil. Some are only about a third full, others are almost completely used. The volumes have pages at the rear for accounts, addresses, etc., and many of them do list addresses of Annie's friends and some have a few financial notes. Some have gilt or marbled edges. If you require more detail, we can furnish diary-by-diary summaries of content.
  • $952
FIVE (5) YEARS OF HANDWRITTEN

FIVE (5) YEARS OF HANDWRITTEN, DEPRESSION-ERA DIARIES (1928-1932) IN ONE VOLUME, KEPT BY THIS WOMAN OF NORTH ANDOVER, MASSACHUSETTS

The 1,732 entries in this group are clearly and neatly written in pencil within a five-year diary bound in flexible red leather. Entries begin on 22 March, 1928, and end on 31 December 1932. Mrs. Whittier [1887-1970] lives in a large 19th-century farmhouse with barn at 933 Great Pond Road, Essex County, North Andover, Massachusetts), with her husband Fred and daughter Ruth, who turns 2 in July, 1928. Edith is one of at least 9 children parented by British-born William and Charlotte Knowles. This five-year diary documents her very active community life and family life during the years just preceding the Great Depression and during the first years of that economic calamity. National and local events both play roles in her entries throughout the diaries. Edith's life, ironically, does not seem to be much affected by her times although she is aware of events. She is often engaged in projects including quilt-making, hooking rugs, general sewing, and even embroidery, sometimes in company of other women. The family regularly attends Grange meetings, and Edith notes when Fred performs "haying" chores. Fred, Edith and other family members are able to go on frequent overnight, three-night, and even week-long vacation trips. Husband Fred owns both a car and a truck. The family grows plentiful vegetables and berries (enough to keep Edith and other family women canning and preserving strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, beans, corn, and tomatoes for days on end), They also raise turkeys and chickens. Edith notes poultry hatchings, 12 hen deaths caused by a mink, etc. ~ Her days are very full with details of local life, including weddings, funerals, illnesses (including a flu epidemic in 1929 and another dangerous period in June, 1930), car accidents, a local suicide, widespread fires (spring, 1930), a local boy being held up and shot at by a passing motorist (April, 1929), and even the murder of a woman by a high school boy (March, 1931). Included are special local events such as: the June, 1929, opening of the Aviation Field, complete with parachute drops; the 1930 flight of 87 Army planes over the city of Lawrence; various Fairs (particularly the annual Topsfield one), the Boston Flower Show, and parades; a sighting of the "LA dirigible overhead" (1929); &c. Edith went to Springfield in March, 1929 and "saw the talking movies for the first time." After that, she mentions seeing "Rio Rita," "Gold Diggers." etc. and goes to the movies fairly often. Depression-related topics include a "run on banks today. L[awrence] Trust Co. closed" (Dec. 15, 1931), and Edith's May, 1932 "memoranda" entry: "Cost of living very cheap in these days of Depression. Can buy a dress for 50 cts or $1. Lard 5 cts.butter and eggs quite cheap." ~ On the national scene, Edith notes elections and their run-ups, starting in November, 1929 when "everyone [is] anxious about Election." and November 6th is "quite an exciting day. Folk went to the Grange.listened in for returns.Hoover elected." October, 1930, she notes, was "a great time for political rallies, etc. Country stirred over the 18th Amendment." In November, 1932, she writes: "Election Day. Everybody anxious for the outcome.Roosevelt has highest votes." She also writes several entries in March, 1932, concerning the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. ~ Edith's own life is occupied with running her household, visiting friends and siblings, and mothering Ruth. She also gives regular piano lessons-sometimes as many as 5 a day-to local children, and presents periodic recitals by students. She plays the organ and piano at church and at Grange functions, including full-scale "operettas" (though for one of these productions she "sings behind the stage"). In November, 1932, she becomes the official organist for the North Church. Card-playing is another integral part of Edith's life. She and Fred and her various friends and siblings often meet for an evening of bridge, whist, "Russian Bank", "63". They are members of a Bridge Club that takes day trips as well as playing the game. Other nearby Granges -Bedford, Pomona, Bradford, West Newbury, as well as the local one-are sources of entertainment, presenting shows, dinners, and concerts along with regular meetings. The Whittiers are also members of the Junior Order (Fred), the Charitable Society and its sewing circle (Edith), various "Degrees (1st, 2nd, etc.-Grange-related), the Men's Club, etc. They spend a lot of time going for "rides" and to various beaches, including Plum Island, where they rent a cottage for a week, as well as Marblehead, Salisbury, etc. Edith also "goes shopping" regularly in Boston, Springfield, Lawrence, and other towns. The Great Depression does not seem to have stopped the purchase of silk underwear, dresses-and a new car for Fred in October, 1931. ~ The Whittiers seem to live a communal life, spending almost every day and night with friends or family members, even vacationing in packs of up to 10. Relatives include Dad, mother (not mentioned often-Edith's mother-in-law?), Aunt Mattie and Aunt Angie (who dies in 1932), brothers George (Sadie), John (Blanch), sisters Clara and Annie Bell (Roy), and more. Angie and Harlow are the couple they're closest to, while Sid and Adah are frequent bridge partners, and several other people (including three named Grace) are also regularly mentioned. Towns they frequent for shopping, meetings, church gatherings, Grange events, etc., include Lawrence, Andover, West Bedford, Boxford, Lowell, Springfield, Salem, Haverhill, and Bradford. Their family vacations often involve cabins in the mountains (mostly New Hampshire) as well as the seashore. ~ By mid-1932, Edith's chipper mood seems to flag, perhaps as the Depression wears on. Despite several short vacations taken that summer, she finds herself "unhappy all day.Just misunderstood" (August 28). The next day, she has "terrible heart-ache and tired mentally and physically." While she mentions fam
  • $300
LARGE PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT

LARGE PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINT, CAPTIONED “COLONEL ROSCOE COLKINS SIMMONS / AMERICA’S FOREMOST ORATOR.”

Simmons, Roscoe Colkins Sepiatone print on old stock, a 3/4-length studio portrait of Colonel Simmons wearing a dark suit and vest, high white collar with silk bowtie, watch chain with pendant, large ring on his left hand, holding his spectacles. Image size, 13" x 10"; overall, 17" x 14". Margins toned; dust soiling on verso. Creases seen here were exaggerated by lighting, and are barely discernible on the original. "Roscoe Conkling Simmons (born 1878 or 1881, died 1951) was an African-American orator, civic leader, journalist and politician. He was graduated from Tuskegee Institute in 1899. He served as head of the Colored Division of the Speakers' Bureau of the Republican National Committee in 1920, 1924, and 1928. He was an advisor to three American presidents. He worked for the Chicago Defender from 1916 through the mid-1930s, and for the Chicago Tribune from the late 1940's until his death in 1951.The date of his birth is uncertain. Obituaries state his age in 1951 as anywhere between Simmons' own assertion that he was sixty-three and his oldest friends' statements that place his age nearer to seventy-five. A birth date of June 20,1878 in Greenview, Mississippi is listed in the earliest inventories of his papers produced by the Harvard University Archives. A passport appliction holds a 1918 certification of birth signed by his parents that state the year and place of his birth as 1881 in Macon, Mississippi." [Harvard Archives, dating this print as 1930."
  • $125