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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
HANDWRITTEN 1941 DIARY KEPT BY THIS NEWBURYPORT

HANDWRITTEN 1941 DIARY KEPT BY THIS NEWBURYPORT, MASSACHUSETTS CAREER WOMAN

Contains daily entries from 1 January through 12 December, 1941. Some entries are full-page, some half page or less, written in a legible hand in pencil and ink. Bound in blue leatherette over boards with cover title "Standard Daily Journal, 1941." Pocket diary, 4.75" x 2.75" In "The Shepard Families of New England," Katharine M. is recorded as born on 5 July 1875, and residing unmarried at Newburyport in 1932. In several annual reports of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Katharine is named as Secretary & Treasurer of the Society. In 1950, she became the second wife of Robert Gray Dodge (born 1872), a lawyer residing in Newburyport, and chairman of the board of trustees, Northeastern University. ~ When she wrote this diary, Katharine was an unmarried career woman. Resident at Newburyport, she made frequent trips to Boston, Brockton, Concord, Danby, etc. Katharine dined out often with female friends and associates. She went to plays and movies pageants, spent much time writing reports and speeches, attended cocktail parties, played badminton, &c. In May, she drove her car on a trip south, visiting Washington, Lexington, Richmond, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Smithfield, Alexandria, the Delaware River, Doylestown, &c. Northerly trips included Plum Island, Portsmouth, Rutland, Middlebury, etc. ~ Nearly all of the names in the diary belong to women: Caroline Farrell, Harriet Horton, Eleanor Dodge, Frances Dorcester, Alice Chauncey, Ursula Buckley, Caroline Prince, Sophia Nelson, and others. ~ In a Memoranda section at the back of the diary, Katharine records: Knitting done, Sewing done, cash expenditures, income from Guest Room, Christmas gifts received, etc. ~ Here are a few random lines from the diary: Saw "Watch on Rhine" at Martin Beck Theatre--very moving; .the girls went riding--Nancy took their tack; Went to the Pageant at Mechanics Hall--2 of our students marched; Conference at YWCA Ballard School; Saw Seniors--Worked on curriculum; Went to see Alice at Phillip House; Federation & U.S.O. dinner to start campaign.; Meeting at Cambridge Hospital--met Mrs. Osgood & Miss Colby; Graduation successful.Class out.to Hospital to see students.; Class in.Beverly Hospital.worked with H.G. on book."
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."