Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Pratt Family Papers, 1854-1935

Finding aid created by
M.A.J., September 1990

Summary Information
Title: Pratt family papers
Creator: Pratt family
Inclusive dates: 1854-1935
Bulk dates: 1865-1895
Extent: 3.75 linear feet
Abstract:
The Pratt family papers present a chronicle of middle-class women's lives between the 1850's and 1890's.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1984. M-2134.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Pratt Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

Emma Louise Pratt (b. 1864) was the daughter of William J. and Emeline (Proctor) Pratt of Revere, Mass. Throughout her life, she maintained a series of close, even intense, relationships with the members of her family and with female friends. In many ways, Emma became the stable center of a far-flung orbit of family and friends that took in every corner of the nation.

Although her immediate family was small, consisting only of her parents and one brother, Willie, Emma was tightly integrated into an extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins that retained an integrity even across continental distances. As solid members of the white middle class, her relatives were anxious to take advantage of what they felt America had to offer, and used geographic mobility as a means to their ends. Emma saw several of her relatives and friends leave Revere for better prospects during the years following the Civil War. Her cousins, the Proctors, moved onto a farm in Wisconsin, and later a few of them immigrated even further, to Montana and Washington territories. Her aunt and uncle Homans, Olive and William, settled in Missouri, where they farmed and kept school, and other cousins, the Rentons, ran a lodging house in East Gloucester, Mass. For her childhood friends, too, Emma became an important center of stability as they grew older, married, and dispersed.

As a result, separation became a minor theme in Emma's life. Her family, for example, took in a young cousin, Emma Proctor, after her mother's death, only to see her return to Wisconsin when her father, Alfred, remarried. As an adult, in a pattern typical of the family, Emma Proctor herself traveled widely across the west, eventually ending up settling in Montana with a brother who had moved there previously. Similarly, Emma Pratt's close girlhood friends, Lola Jefferds and Claribel Tilton, moved away from Revere, though less far afield than the Proctors. Most traumatically, Emma lost her beloved brother in a drowning accident in 1888, and two years later lost one of her favorite aunts, Augusta Renton. It may be significant that after allowing herself a vacation in 1891 to visit Lola, Emma was beset with worries about being away from home and was troubled with feelings of guilt for taking a holiday at all.

Emma continued to live in Revere until at least the late 1890s, living with her parents. As a teenager, she struggled with complex feelings of dependency on her parents and a sense that she was a financial burden for not holding regular employment. At one point, she hoped to become a dressmaker, but apparently never received the necessary training, and she resisted the idea of marrying, preferring female friendships, instead. In the late 1890s, when she was well into her thirties, Emma may have been courted by a young man, Oscar W. Grover, but there is no definite record of their marriage.

Laura W. Stebbins, originally from Springfield, Mass., bears an uncertain relationship to the Pratt and Proctor families. She seems to have been a rare individual who received the admiration of many of those who knew her through her sincerity and devotion to helping others through her career in education. As early as 1852, Stebbins may have had an affiliation with the well-known Maplewood Female Seminary in Pittsfield, Mass., as either a teacher or student, and by the mid-1850s, she was accepting pupils of her own in Springfield. Throughout the decade, she maintained a correspondence with friends and former pupils teaching in various parts of the country, sharing information on education and their teaching experiences. One of Stebbins' colleagues, identified only as Jennie, taught at Jessamine Hills Seminary in Mississippi in 1855, where Stebbins herself may have taught briefly.

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Stebbins responded to the pressing need for experienced educators to assist in the task of teaching freedmen. Between 1865 and 1869, at least, she worked as a teacher and volunteer worker in Virginia and the District of Columbia, joined in her efforts by Eugene Stebbins, probably a brother, who worked for the shipyard in Norfolk, Va., and, after August, 1865, for the Freedman's Bureau.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Pratt family papers present a chronicle of middle-class women's lives between the 1850's and 1890's. The writers are uniformly literate and attentive, and the majority of the letters are of a strongly personal nature. While some letters stand on their own, the collection should be seen as one large, continuous document presenting a nineteenth century "woman's" life in many of its aspects, from cleaning and cooking to marriage, childbirth, child rearing, sewing, gardening, travel, music, reading, teaching, religion, death, and friendships. The composite portrait that emerges is stronger than the portraits of any single woman, though the personalities of several of the correspondents are very strongly expressed. As a result, the Pratt Papers is a valuable resource for the study of women's work, as teachers, employees, and home makers, as well as their emotional and personal lives.

The primary focus of the Pratt papers is Emma Louise Pratt (b. 1864 April 8) of Revere, Mass. The collection includes several hundred letters addressed to her, as well as some of her diaries, the diaries of her only brother, Willie (d. 1888), 1881, 1883, and 1886, and notes between Emma and her mother, Emeline. Most of the letters were written by Emma's intimate friends and family members, including several of her aunts and cousins, and these provide the main dialogue of the collection and construct a fascinating image of the development of one young woman's personal relationships during the post-Civil War period. There are four women with whom Emma most consistently corresponded: Claribel M. Tilton Crane, Emma Lois Proctor, Mabel H. Drew Croudis, and Lola V. Jefferds.

Claribel (or Clara) M. Tilton Crane was a school chum of Emma's who moved from Revere to Malden, Mass., in 1873, and a few years later to Quincy. Their correspondence began when the girls were still teenagers, with Claribel describing her new home, her school, friends, pets, clothes, and fancy work, and she and Emma occasionally exchanged riddles and conundrums. The two developed a private code, words that had special meaning to each other, and Claribel often included words at the top of her letters that have no obvious relationship to the text. Over the Christmas holidays, which coincided with her birthday, Claribel always described her presents for that year, a practice that continued even after she and Emma became adults. The subject matter of Claribel's letters changed as she grew and began working in a dry goods store in Quincy owned by her brother, Charlie. Her letters include descriptions of her work, sewing, clothes, and her married life with a man named Crane. Claribel's health was never very good and a great many of the later letters describe her various convalescences. In some of these, Claribel includes floor plans of her home as well as written descriptions.

Emma's cousin, Emma Lois Proctor, moved to LaCrosse, Wisc., when very young to live with her father, Alfred, and new stepmother. The collection includes a few letters from Mary Ann Proctor dating from the 1860's, which refer to Emma Proctor and other family members, and it appears that when Mary Ann Proctor's mother died, Emma returned east to live with the Pratt's until she grew up. Emma Proctor's early letters describe her trip to Wisconsin, her father's farm and family, her work there, her sewing and fancy work, and her efforts to become a teacher. Other members of the Proctor family had also gone west to live, some in Wisconsin, others in Chicago, or as far west as Montana and Washington Territory, and Emma Proctor kept in close contact with all. She eventually became a teacher, and considered moving to Kallispell, Mont., to join a brother and his wife and teach school. The letters she wrote during an 1890 trip to Kallispell include some fine descriptions of the state and of the Flathead Indians. She decided that she would return to Wisconsin, though five years later she returned to Montana.

Mabel H. (Drew) Croudis from Medford, Mass., was another of Emma Pratt's cousins, though from which side of the family she is related is not clear. Mabel and Emma began corresponding in 1881 and their letters continue throughout the entire collection. The two women were exceptionally close and wrote to each other with great regularity, almost every week, and visited each other often. Mabel usually addressed Emma as "Susan" and signed her letters "Betsy". Her letters are filled with family news, discussions of her work as a bookkeeper in her brother's store, and with inside jokes and stories that she and Emma shared. Because of their closeness and the regularity with which they wrote and visited, Mabel's letters tend not to provide a very complete picture of their relationship, though their intimacy comes through very clearly. It appears that neither Emma nor Mabel planned on getting married, even when they reached their early twenties, and Mabel often commented on their plans to grow old together and live in their own "snuggery." Mabel eventually married George Croudis, and this event appears to have put a strain on the friendship. Soon after Mabel's marriage, Mabel complained to Emma about never hearing from her anymore, and implored her to understand that their friendship need not change simply because she has gotten married.

Lola V. Jefferds was another friend of Emma Pratt's who, like Claribel, moved from Revere to Livermore Falls, Me. She and Emma corresponded regularly, though not quite as frequently as Claribel or Mabel. Lola was a spirited person who wrote interesting, usually very descriptive letters. Like Emma, she did not plan on marrying, occasionally expressing a disdain for the men she met, stating that she would prefer to remain single if these men were her only options. Lola's father owned a furniture store in Livermore Falls where Lola worked along with her parents. The family took charge of the local post office at some point, probably through political patronage, and Lola soon began to work there.

Emma Pratt spent a month's holiday with Lola in August, 1891. During this time, she wrote an average of two letters per day to her parents, representing some of the few extant letters written by Emma. These include descriptions of her vacation, the landscape, Lola and her family, and, above all, her homesickness and feelings of guilt at being away from her home and mother. Emma worried constantly that she should not be on vacation, but nevertheless appeared to have a good time. It is unfortunate that Emma's letters to her friends and cousins are not present, for these would be particularly helpful in rounding out the picture. From the letters written to Emma it is known that she was a very descriptive and lively letter writer. Her friends often comment on the pleasure, comfort and amusement they derive from Emma's letters. The collection includes one letter, or rather story, that Emma sent to her cousin Mabel (Betsy) describing a lawn-party at Lola's, that offers a good glimpse into the wit and powers of observation that made Emma such a popular correspondent.

Emma Pratt corresponded regularly with several other women, including her cousins Nettie Maria Fellows (47), Edith Dann (43), Georgie Renton (23), Anna Linn Renton (15), and her aunt, C. Augusta Renton (27). The collection also includes other correspondence of Augusta's, mostly with her sisters, Emeline Pratt and Olive M. Homans (29). The letters from Nettie and Edith are not very illuminating, consisting primarily of brief discussions of family and the weather. The letters from Augusta and her daughters, Georgie and Anna Linn, however, are interesting when placed together. The Rentons owned a boarding house in East Gloucester, Mass., in which all three women worked, and Augusta's letters include interesting discussions of her life as a mother, boarding house keeper, and friend. Augusta also described the health problems of her son, Freddie, who suffered from a diseased leg. Georgie and Anna Linn began to write to Emma when they were very, through the period in which Georgie entered Wellesley College as a student in the late 1880s. Augusta Renton died in 1890, leaving Georgie, Anna Linn, and a cousin(?) Edith Dann, grief stricken and doing their best to cope with Augusta's death.

The 29 letters from Emeline Pratt's sister, Olive M. Homans, are especially interesting. Olive was a lively writer with a good sense of humor and a strong sense of what she felt was right and wrong. Her correspondence with Emeline began in 1867 after she has moved to Hannibal, Mo., with her husband, Willie Homans. She describes her new home in Missouri, her friends, and vacations to Minnesota, Ohio and Michigan. Olive taught Sunday school to freedmen in Missouri.

Emma's diaries, written in 1883-1887 and 1889-1892, consist only of one page entries, and are not particularly introspective. However, there are a few instances in which Emma manages to express her feelings within this space. It is in here that Emma's relationship with her father and mother becomes clearer, as well as Emma's frustration at feeling that she is a financial burden to her father because, at the age of 19 and unmarried, she still lives at home and is not contributing to the family's income. This frustration influenced her feelings toward both her parents, though in very different ways. Emma grew very protective of her mother, and assumed the role of the dutiful daughter trying to ease her mother's burden. At the same time, she seemed to grow angrier and angrier with her father, though her basic love for him always remained. Emma expressed an interest in becoming a dressmaker, but complained that she never had the time to learn, as she was so busy with housework, church activities, and (apparently) letter writing. At the end of each entry in her diary, she kept track of the Bible verse she had read for the day.

In August, 1888, Emma's brother, Willie, died in a drowning accident. Her diary from this year is absent, however in 1889, almost every entry mentions Willie, Willie's death, and Emma's grief and disbelief that her brother was taken from her. The collection includes a substantial number of letters of condolence as well. At about this time, both Emma and Emeline began a correspondence with a woman, Emma Aldrich, whose daughter had recently died. The daughter and Willie were buried in the same cemetery, and the letters from Emma Aldrich deal mainly with the cemetery plots and the death of her daughter and Willie.

Parallel to the letters of the Pratt and Proctor family is a very significant series of correspondence relating to the Stebbins family. This series forms a self-contained body of approximately 75 letters dating between 1854 and 1869, which may have been collected by Emma or written by relatives, but connections to either the Pratt or Proctor families is unclear. The focus of these letters is a woman, Laura Stebbins, from Springfield, Mass., whose teaching career took her into positions in the Deep South in the 1850s, and to Washington, D.C., to teach freedmen in the 1860s, and also includes a number of letters from a man, Eugene, probably her brother. Laura appears to have suffered from poor health, experiencing a great deal of trouble with her eyes. It is also apparent that her family and friends admired her greatly. She was considered to be an unselfish friend and teacher, selfless, and always thinking of others. From their perspective, Stebbins was the "perfect" woman who represented the "angel in the house," so to speak.

The Stebbins correspondence includes some excellent descriptions of the life of a woman teacher during the late ante-bellum period, her attitudes toward teaching, her students, and the south, and there are several letters that concern the education of freedmen and the end of the war and early Reconstruction period in Virginia. Like Laura, Eugene worked with freedmen in Norfolk, Va., both for an unidentified employer and the Freedmen's Bureau, and his letters are packed with interesting description and thoughts about his work, his home, Laura's teaching and health, and the aftermath of the Civil War. The collection also includes several letters written to Laura from family members and friends, including two women teachers with whom Laura seems to have been particularly close, Martha E. Swan and "Jennie."

Among other items, the Stebbins letters include two particularly interesting letters from a woman, Marcia A. Gleaner, that describe her experiences as an employee in a wholesale cloak store on Broadway in New York City in 1862. In the first letter, Marcia expressed her disgust with New York City and with her working and living conditions. In the second, she described an accident at work in which a women fell down the stairs while she and the other 150 others were leaving for the day.

Finally, there is a sequence of letters that is difficult to trace to the Pratt, Proctor or Stebbins families. These are a group of letters from the French, West, and Richardson families in Oberlin and Pittsfield, Ohio, Potsdam, N.Y., Jaffrey and Rindge, N.H., Cornish, Me., and Fitchburg, Mass.. There are several interesting letters from Abijah French from California where he has gone to see his brother Levi. Levi has "gone mad" and was unable to recognize Abijah as his brother, though he was able to remember all of his brothers and sisters' names -- Abijah, Alvira, Augusta, and Maria -- as well as his parents', Richard and Percilia. Abijah also describes California and his trip westward. It is possible that these families are related to the Pratts and Proctors; there is a letter from Carrie L. Richardson from Cornish, Me. (1893 January 26) to Emma which makes a reference to Grandma Pratt and to Emma's mother's health. An expense account book and miscellaneous receipts and notes belonging to Oscar W. Grover may represent items relating to Emma Pratt's would-be, or actual, husband.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Convalescence.
    • Dressmaking.
    • Education.
    • Family.
    • Fancy work.
    • Farming.
    • Freedmen.
    • Friendship in children.
    • Gardens--Massachusetts.
    • Gifts.
    • Homesickness.
    • Livermore Falls (Me.)
    • Maine.
    • Marriage.
    • Massachusetts.
    • Mothers and daughters.
    • Postal service--Employees.
    • Revere (Mass.)
    • Teachers.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Vacations.
    • Wisconsin.
    • Women.
    • Women--Employment.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
     
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1  
     1850-1869
    Box   2  
     1869-1876
    Box   3  
     1876-1879
    Box   4  
     1880-1883
    Box   5  
     1883-1885
    Box   6  
     1885-1888
    Box   7  
     1888-1889
    Box   8  
     1890-1891
    Box   9  
     1891-1892
    Box   10  
     1892-1893
    Box   11  
     1893-1935
    Box   12  
     Undated
    Box   13  
     Undated
     
    Diaries [series]
    Box   14  
     1880,  1883,  1884,  1885,  1886
    Box   15  
     1886,  1887,  1889,  1891,  1892,  1925
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Additional letters of Laura W. Stebbins are located in the papers of Emily Howland, Dept. of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cornell University Libraries.

    Partial Subject Index
    Abscesses
    • 1877 January 15
    • 1881 February 13
    African Americans--Virginia
    • 1865 April 2, 3
    American Party
    • 1854 September 24
    Arson--Massachusetts
    • 1856 January 16
    Art--Study and teaching
    • 1852 September 1
    Balls (Parties)
    • 1892 February 14
    Bangs, Johnathon
    • 1855 June 26, 29
    Baptism
    • 1895 December 13
    Baptists--Missions--Montana
    • 1895 November 13
    • 1895 December 13
    Bean, Clarence
    • 1874 December 28
    Bear Canyon (Calif.)--Description and travel
    • 1885 September 10
    Beecher, Henry Ward, 1813-1887
    • 1875 April 12
    Beecher, Lyman, 1775-1863
    • 1865 December 4
    Beekeeping
    • 1885 September 10
    Bereavement
    • 1885 October 4
    • 1889 July 21
    • 1889 July 27
    • 1889 September 3
    • 1890 November 23
    • 1891 January 18
    • 1892 July 7
    Bereavement--Religious aspects
    • 1889 March 10
    • 1889 June 27
    • 1889 August 25
    • 1891 January 1
    Betrothal
    • 1889 March 16
    Birthday
    • 1876 July 31
    • 1878 July 31
    • 1879 July 1
    Blodgett, Atwill
    • 1868 June 28
    Blodgett, George
    • 1889 September 29
    Boise, Jessie
    • 1890 July 30
    Boise, Mamie
    • 1890 July 30
    Bookkeeping
    • 1886 February 7
    • 1888 January 23
    Books
    • 1855
    Boston (Mass.)--Description and travel
    • 1884 October 14
    • n.d.
    Boys--Conduct of life
    • January 24
    Boys--Diaries
    • Pratt, Willie W.
    Bright's disease
    • 1892 April 8
    Brooks, Eva Hall
    • April 16
    Bullock, A. H.
    • 1865 November 7
    Burglary--Massachusetts
    • 1893 April 2
    Butter
    • 1865 April 27
    Cactus
    • 1890 August 24
    California--Description and travel
    • 1881 May 18
    • 1885 July 29
    • 1885 September 10
    • 1888 March 21
    • 1888 November 14
    • 1890 March 13
    • 1890 August 24
    Cambridgeport (Mass.)--Description and travel
    • 1883 October 24
    Camping--California
    • 1890 August 24
    Canning and preserving
    • 1876 August 6
    • 1888 September 10
    • 1890 July 30
    Cellars
    • 1897 March 22
    Cemeteries--Massachusetts
    • 1889 May 17
    • 1889 July 27
    • 1889 September 23
    • 1890 April 2
    • 1890 April 20
    • 1890 September 11
    • 1891 January 12
    • 1891 August 10
    • 1893 April 2
    • 1898 January 1
    • August 2
    Centennial
    • 1876 April 16
    Cerebrovascular disease
    • 1892 December 30
    Chicago (Ill.)--Description and travel
    • 1884 November 18
    • 1890 July 17
    • 1890 August 25
    Child care workers
    • 1885 December
    Childbirth
    • 1855 November 5
    • 1887 November 22
    • 1889 August 25
    Childhood friendship
    • 1873 November 16
    • [1873] February 13
    • 1875 June 20
    • 1875 July 10
    • 1886 February 7
    • 1894 December 22
    Children's plays
    • 1892 February 24
    Children--Diseases
    • 1873 November 18
    Children--Institutional care
    • 1885 October
    • 1885 December
    Cholera
    • 1855 July 30, August 3
    Christmas
    • 1874 December 28
    • 1875 December 19
    • 1876 January 10
    • 1876 February 6
    • 1876 February 6
    • 1877 January 12
    • 1877 December 26
    • 1878 February 10
    • 1878 March 8
    • 1879 January 17
    • 1880 December 5
    • 1881 January 1
    • 1881 January 22
    • 1881 February 13
    • 1881 February 13
    • 1881 December 27
    • 1882 January 8
    • 1882 January 13
    • 1882 December 26
    • 1883 January 4
    • 1884 January 6
    • 1885 December 29
    • [1886?] January 5
    • 1888 January 23
    • 1888 December 30
    • 1889 January 15
    • 1890 January 15
    • 1890 December 29
    • 1890 December
    • 1892 December 27
    • 1892 December 28
    • 1892 December 30
    • 1893 December 29
    • 1894 February 17
    • 1894 December 30
    • 1895 January 16
    • 1895 December 26
    • January 24
    • December 18 [1870s?]
    • December 27
    • n.d.
    Church committees
    • 1888 October 28
    Church entertainments
    • 1888 October 28
    • 1888 December 15
    Church societies
    • 1880 March 24
    Churches, Baptist--Virginia
    • 1865 August 14
    Churches--Virginia--Hampton
    • 1865 August 20
    Circular letters
    • 1894 July 27
    • 1894 September 26
    City of Richmond (Vessel)
    • 1865 October 8
    Clapp, Theodore, 1792-1866
    • 1855 December 16
    Cleveland (Ohio)--Description and travel
    • 1875 August 30
    Clothing and dress
    • n.d.
    College environment
    • 1888 September 25
    College students
    • January 25
    Compositions
    • [1873] February 13
    Conduct of life
    • 1860 July 26
    Coney Island (N.Y.)--Description and travel
    • 1882 August 2
    Congress (Vessel)
    • 1865 August 14
    Consumption
    • 1873 April 14
    Contracts for work and labor--Massachusetts
    • 1897 June 28
    Convalescence
    • 1890 April 8
    • 1893 April 3
    • 1893 April 12
    • 1893 July 14
    • 1894 February 17
    • 1894 March 13
    • 1894 August 13, 14
    • 1894 September 8
    • 1895 June
    • 1895 December 12
    • 1895 December 18
    • February 9
    • n.d.
    • March 11
    Conversions
    • 1878 February 10
    Cotton growing--Massachusetts
    • 1854 September 24
    Courtship
    • 1886 March 20
    Crane, Friend
    • 1888 July 13
    • n.d.
    Crane, Ralph
    • 1889 October 4
    Crosby, Joshua
    • 1855 June 26, 29
    Crocheting
    • 1884 May 1
    Croudis, George
    • 1894 July 6
    Cumberland (Vessel)
    • 1865 August 14
    Dairy farms--Michigan
    • September 22
    Dartmouth College
    • January 25
    De Gros, Charlotte
    • 1855
    De Soto (Mo.)--Description and travel
    • 1863 December 12
    Dead
    • 1852 March 15
    Death
    • 1852 March 15
    • 1852 April 6
    • 1854 November 5
    • 1855 August 19
    • 1855 September 9
    • 1855 September 14
    • 1857 August 19
    • 1863 January 22
    • 1865 September 24
    • 1873 April 14
    • 1874 June 28
    • 1877 January 15
    • 1877 February 18
    • 1877 April 1
    • 1880 December 5
    • 1881 March 12
    • 1881 August 6
    • 1882 October 29
    • 1883 March 23
    • 1884 June
    • 1884 October 1
    • 1885 January 24
    • 1885 December 23
    • 1886 April 17
    • 1888 September 4
    • 1888 September 10
    • 1888 September 21
    • 1888 September 25
    • 1888 September 25
    • 1888 September 30
    • 1888 October 1
    • 1888 October 11
    • 1888 November 14
    • 1888 December 15
    • 1889 July 21
    • 1889 September 3
    • 188? February
    • 1890 November 23
    • 1891 January 1
    • 1891 January 18
    • 1892 March 17
    • 1892 July 7
    • 1892 November 26
    • 1893 December 29
    • 1906 April 6
    • 1911 October 5
    • 1914 May 5
    • 1915 April 28
    • 1922 June 28
    • n.d.
    • August 2
    • January 15
    • September 15
    Deeds--Massachusetts
    • 1875 July 28
    Deffenbach, Robbie
    • 188? February
    Dentistry, Operative
    • 1892 December 14
    Denver (Colo.)--Description and travel
    • 1890 May 31
    Depression
    • 1891 January 6
    • 1891 January 16
    Detroit (Mich.)--Description and travel
    • September 22
    Diphtheria
    • 1877 January 15
    Divorce
    • 1887 November 22
    Dogs
    • April
    Dramatic clubs
    • 1880 March 24
    Dreams
    • 1899 February 15
    • March 24
    Dressmaking
    • 1871 June 4
    • 1890 April 8
    Dwellings--Massachusetts
    • 1856 February 2, 4
    Dwellings--Missouri
    • 1863 December 12
    Dysentery
    • 1855 August 19
    East Madison (N.H.)--Description and travel
    • 1882 September 12
    Easter--Massachusetts
    • April 16
    Education
    • See also headings for Teachers or Teaching
    • 1885 May 10
    Education, Secondary--Massachusetts
    • n.d.
    Elections--Massachusetts--1865
    • 1865 November 7
    Ely, Mary S.
    • 1883 May 5
    Engagement
    • 1889 February 20
    Epidemics
    • 1877 February 18
    Erskine, May
    • 1888 July 13
    Erysipelas
    • 1884 July 21
    Evacuation of civilians--Virginia--Richmond
    • 1865 April 2, 3
    Evangelicalism--Michigan
    • September 22
    Evangelistic work
    • 1889 April 2
    Examinations--Massachusetts
    • March [1870s?]
    Factories--Missouri
    • 1873 June 12
    Family--Massachusetts
    • passim
    Fancy work
    • 1875 September 13
    • 1875 November 26
    • 1882 February 17
    • 1882 November 7
    • 1883 October 14
    • 1887 January 31
    • 1890 April 2
    • 1890 November 2
    • 1892 February 2
    • April 16
    Fancy work--Embroidery
    • 1877 March 23
    Fancy work--Quilting
    • 1877 March 23
    Farmers' wives--Wisconsin
    • June 12
    • n.d.
    • [1861-1865]
    Farming--Massachusetts
    • 1862 August 24
    Farming--Michigan
    • 1857 March 17
    Farming--Missouri
    • 1867 October 27
    Farming--Washington--Walla Walla
    • 1883 September 8
    Farming--Wisconsin
    • 1881 January 22
    • 1888 August 1
    • 1890 October 20
    • 1892 April 5
    • June 12
    • [1861-1865]
    Farms--Maine
    • 1891 August 6
    • 1891 August 10
    Fathers--Death
    • 1886 February 7
    Fillmore, Millard, 1800-1874
    • 1851 October 15,19
    Fires--California
    • 1890 November 2
    Fires--Massachusetts
    • 1892 March 17
    Fishes
    • n.d.
    Flathead Indians--Montana
    • 1890 August 16
    Flint (Mich.)--Description and travel
    • September 22
    Floods--California
    • 1891 May 29
    Florida--Description and travel
    • 1883 December 12
    • 1884 February 18
    Flower arrangement
    • 1889 May 17
    • 1889 July 27
    Flowers--California
    • 1890 August 24
    Forest fires--California
    • 1890 November 2
    Fourth of July celebrations--Massachusetts
    • 1855 July 2
    Freedmen
    • 1867 January 6
    Freedmen--District of Columbia
    • 1865 December 4
    Freedmen--Education
    • 1865 October 8
    • 1865 December 4
    • 1866 January 1
    • 1873 June 12
    • 1873 July 5
    Freedmen--Virginia
    • 1865 April 2,3
    • 1865 August 20
    • 1865 October 8
    • 1866 January 1
    French, Belle, d. 1882
    • 1882 October 29
    French, Levi
    • 1881 May 18
    • 1885 July 26
    Friendship
    • 1894 April 11
    • 1894 May 7
    Friendship quilts--Wisconsin
    • 1889 November 21
    Friendship--Massachusetts
    • 1894 December 22
    Fruit--Connecticut
    • 1886 September 4
    Games--Croquet
    • 1888 July 14
    Games--Lawn tennis
    • 1888 July 14
    Games--Ring toss
    • 1876 April 22
    Games--Tiddly Winks
    • 1891 August 13
    Gardens
    • 1876 September 19
    • 1886 June 24
    Gardens--Illinois--Chicago
    • 1890 August 25
    Gardens--Massachusetts
    • 1889 May 17
    • 1890 April 2
    • 1890 May 31
    • 1891 August 2
    • 1891 August 10
    • 1891 August 11
    • 1891 August 12
    • 1891 August 14
    • 1891 August 17
    Garfield, James Abram, 1831-1881--Death
    • 1881 October 3
    Gerald, Melissa
    • 1855
    Gifts
    • 1874 December 28
    • 1876 January 10
    • 1876 February 6
    • 1876 April 22
    • 1877 January 12
    • 1877 December 26
    • 1878 February 10
    • 1878 March 8
    • 1879 January 17
    • 1880 August 23
    • 1881 January 1
    • 1881 January 22
    • 1881 February 13
    • 1882 January 8
    • 1882 January 13
    • 1882 December 26
    • 1883 January 4
    • 1884 January 6
    • 1885 December 29
    • 1888 January 23
    • 1888 December 30
    • 1890 December 29
    • 1890 December
    • 1892 December 27
    • 1895 December 26
    • 1898 Christmas
    • December 27
    • n.d.
    • [1886?] January 5
    • n.d.
    Girls--Societies and clubs--Massachusetts
    • March [1870s?]
    Glover, Elmira
    • 1889 September 3
    Good and evil
    • 1855 July 30, August 3
    Grand Junction Rail Road Celebration (Boston, Mass.), 1851
    • 1851 October 4
    • 1851 October 15,19
    Grove Hill (La.)--Description and travel
    • 1855 November 14
    Hampton (Va.)--Description and travel
    • 1865 August 20
    Hannibal (Mo.)--Description and travel
    • 1867 September 9
    • 1867 December 2
    Herbs
    • 1877 February 18
    Homans, Olive M.
    • 1890 July 30
    • 1893 July 3
    Homans, William
    • 1893 July 3
    Home economics
    • n.d.
    Homesickness
    • 1886 August 17
    • 1891 August 3
    • 1891 August 6
    • 1891 August 7
    • 1891 August 11
    • 1891 August 14
    • 1891 August 16
    • [1891 August]
    Honeymoons
    • 1897 January 28
    House cleaning
    • 1875 May 22
    • May 2
    Husbands--Death
    • 1886 June 4
    Idaho--Description and travel
    • 188?
    Illinois--Description and travel
    • 1859 April 24
    • 1859 May 1
    Indians of North America--Education
    • 188?
    Indians of North America--Idaho
    • 188? February
    Indians of North America--Reservations
    • 188?
    • 1890 August 16
    Indians of North American--Montana
    • 1890 August 16
    Infant baptism
    • 188? February
    Influenza
    • 1890 January 25
    • 1890 February 10
    Injuries
    • 1861 November
    Jefferds, Lola V.
    • 1891 August 7
    Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826--Monuments
    • 1865 October 8
    Jenny Lind (Vessel)
    • 1865 August 20
    Jessamine Hills Seminary
    • 1855
    Kimball, Rollin
    • 1885 August 10
    La Crosse (Wisc.)--Description and travel
    • 1864 November 10
    Ladies Aid Society (Quincy, Mass.)
    • 1880 March 24
    Larrabee, R. J.
    • 1883 December 12
    Law
    • 1859 April 24
    Law firms--Ohio--Oberlin
    • 1871 January 29
    Leath, Peter
    • 1854 November 19
    Letter-writing
    • 1876 September 19
    • 1891 August 14
    Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Death
    • 1865 April 19
    • 1865 April 24
    Livermore Falls (Me.)--Description and travel
    • 1891 August 16
    Living room furniture--Massachusetts
    • 1894 February 17
    Living rooms--Massachusetts
    • 1894 February 17
    Lodging houses--Massachusetts
    • 1873 October 12
    • 1881 May 26
    • 1888 July 14
    • 1890 July 27
    Lodging houses--Missouri
    • 1873 June 12
    Lung fever
    • 1863 January 22
    Maine--Description and travel
    • 1880 August 23
    • 1891 August 4
    • 1891 August 6
    • 1891 August 7
    • 1891 August 8
    • 1891 August 10
    • [1891 August]
    Malaria
    • 1897 March 22
    Marriage
    • 1854 November 1
    • 1861 November
    • 1871 June 4
    • 1876 February 6
    • 1882 June 12
    • 1882 December 26
    • 1883 November 27
    • 1886 June 24
    • 1888 July 13
    • 1889 January 15
    • 1892 April 29
    • 1893 March 14
    • 1894 April 11
    • 1894 May 7
    • 1895 June 23
    • 1895 November 13
    Married life
    • 1861 December 22
    Married people
    • 1895 December 5
    Measles
    • 1861 February 18
    • 1875 March 28
    • 1883 March 11
    • 1883 April 12
    Medical colleges--Europe
    • 1869 May 25
    Memorial Day
    • 1889 May 17
    Menstruation
    • 1894 July 12
    Merrimac (Vessel)
    • 1865 August 14
    • 1865 August 20
    Mexico--Description and travel
    • 1885 September 10
    Midwifery
    • 1864 June 5
    Millinery--Massachusetts
    • 1886 [May] April 29
    • July 23
    Minnehaha Falls (Minn.)--Description and travel
    • 1867 September 9
    Missions--Societies, etc.--Massachusetts
    • 1894 July 27
    Montana--Description and travel
    • 1890 August 16
    • 1895 November 13
    • 1895 December 13
    Mothers and daughters
    • 1884 February 20
    • 1884 July 16
    • 1891 January 18
    • 1891 August 1
    • 1891 August 3
    • 1891 August 4
    • 1891 August 5
    • 1891 August 6
    • 1891 August 7
    • 1891 August 9
    • 1891 August 14
    Mourning
    • 1863 January 22
    Mumps
    • 1883 April 12
    Music lessons
    • 1880 December 8
    • 1882 March 6
    Nantucket Island (Mass.)--Description and travel
    • 1884 October 14
    New York (City)--Description and travel
    • 1862 October 27
    • 1862 November 9
    Nez Perce Indians
    • 188?
    Nez Perce Indians--Missions
    • 188? February
    Nez Perce language
    • 188? February
    Norfolk (Va.)--Description and travel
    • 1865 April 2,3
    • 1865 April 8,9
    • 1865 April 19
    • 1865 August 14
    • 1865 October 8
    North Weymouth (Mass.)--Description and travel
    • 1873 November 16
    Old age
    • 1881 May 18
    Ornamental gardens
    • 1890 August 25
    Painting
    • 1852 September 1
    Palmer, Phoebe, 1807-1874
    • 1856 January 16
    Parents--Death
    • 1861 February 2
    • 1884 February 28
    Parker, Reverend O.
    • September 22
    Picnicking
    • 1886 July 31
    • 1889 August 26
    Plaster (Pharmacy)
    • November 28
    Plumbing
    • 1897 June 28
    Politics--Maine
    • 1892 June 27
    • 1892 December 5, 7
    • 1893 September 14
    Politics--Massachusetts
    • 1893 November 7
    Portland (Me.)--Description and travel
    • 1890 June 30
    Postal service--Employees--Maine
    • 1889 October 16
    • 1890 January 6
    • 1890 March 31
    • 1890 December 16
    • 1892 June 27
    • 1892 July 7
    • 1892 August 4
    • 1892 October 15
    • 1892 December 5, 7
    • 1893 February 28
    • 1893 September 14
    • 1895 December 2
    Postal service--Massachusetts
    • 1855 June 26, 29
    Pratt, Emma L.
    • 1882 December 26
    Pratt, William J.
    • n.d.
    Premature birth
    • 1880 December 30
    Presidents--Election
    • 1892 December 5, 7
    Presidents--United States--Election--1854
    • 1854 September 24
    Proctor, Alfred Henry
    • 1863 December 12
    Proctor, Emma Lois
    • 1890 July 30
    Proctor, Jimmie
    • 1890 July 30
    • 1895 November 13
    Proctor, Mary Ann
    • 1862 October 27
    Putnam, George P.
    • 1869 May 25
    Quilting
    • 1882 September 12
    • 1883 April 12
    • 1890 January 15
    • 1890 July 30
    • October 9 [1870s?]
    Quilts
    • 1890 April 8
    Quilts--Album
    • 1885 February 25
    Quilts--Friendship
    • 1883 May 5
    Quilts--Log cabin
    • 1883 September 8
    Quilts--Patchwork
    • 1884 May 1
    Quincy (Ill.)--Description and travel
    • 1859 April 24
    • 1859 May 1
    Railroad travel--Missouri
    • 1875 August 30
    Railroads--Accidents
    • 1892 April 5
    Rain and rainfall
    • 1891 August 12
    Real estate--Massachusetts
    • 1856 February 2, 4
    Reconstruction--Virginia
    • 1865 August 20
    • 1865 October 8
    Red Mound (Wisc.)--Description and travel
    • 1874 April 7
    • 1874 April 24
    Religious life
    • 1885 May 10
    Renton, Freddie
    • 1874 March 30
    • 1875 March 28
    • 1881 May 26
    Renton, Thomas
    • 1881 May 26
    • 1894 April 30, May 2
    Revere (Mass.)
    • 1874 March 30
    Revivals
    • 1878 February 10
    Revivals--Missouri
    • March 24
    Rheumatism
    • March 6
    • n.d.
    Rheumatism--Childhood
    • 1874 March 30
    Richmond (Va.)--Capture, 1865
    • 1865 April 2, 3
    Richmond (Va.)--Description and travel
    • 1865 October 8
    Riddles
    • 1873 November 16
    • 1875 September 13
    • 1876 August 16
    • 1877 April 17
    • February 24 [1870s?]
    • August 18 [1870s?]
    • July 23
    Roller-skating
    • 1883 January 4
    • 1883 May 5
    • 1885 December 29
    Roller-skating rinks
    • 1883 May 5
    Rugs, Hooked--Wisconsin
    • 1889 September 3
    Sadness
    • 1891 January 6
    Saint Anthony Falls (Minn.)--Description and travel
    • 1867 September 9
    Saint Paul (Minn.)--Description and travel
    • 1867 September 9
    Salvation Army--Massachusetts
    • 1895 November 11
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Description and travel
    • 1881 May 18
    Santa Claus
    • January 24
    Saxton, Gordon B.
    • 1852 July 2
    Scarlet fever
    • 1874 February
    School
    • 1873 November 16
    • 1875 September 13
    • 1876 July 31
    • 1881 February 13
    School buildings--Massachusetts
    • 1874 March 16
    School work
    • 1876 February 6
    Schools
    • 1874 March 16
    Schools--Massachusetts
    • 1854 June 2
    • [1873] February 13
    Schools--Mississippi
    • n.d.
    Schumann, Robert
    • 1891 August 9
    Separation (Law)--Wisconsin
    • 1889 September 3
    Sermons--Baptist
    • 1865 August 14
    Sermons--Louisiana
    • 1855 December 16
    Severance, Angie M.
    • 1881 August 6
    Sewing
    • 1878 December 7
    • 1890 April 8
    Ships--Maintenance and repair
    • 1865 August 14
    Sickness
    • 1874 October 11
    • 1875 July 25
    • 1876 May 23
    • 1877 January 23
    • 1879 January 17
    • 1881 January 22
    Single women
    • 1889 August 25
    • 1890 November 2
    • 1893 March 14
    Smallpox
    • 1861 February 18
    • 1882 January 11
    Snow
    • 1855 February 10
    Snow storms
    • 1853 December 29, 1854 January 1
    Southern hospitality
    • 1854 November 19
    Spirituality
    • 1860 July 26
    • 1861 February 18
    Springfield (Mass.)--Description and travel
    • 1855 June 26, 29
    • 1855 November-December 6
    Squirrel Island (Me.)--Description and travel
    • 1880 August 23
    Steamboat travel--Virginia
    • [1865] April 8, 9
    Stebbins, John C.
    • 1855 June 26, 29
    Stebbins, Laura W.
    • 1869 May 25
    Stepmothers
    • 1874 April 7
    Storms
    • 1886 March 20
    Students--Mississippi
    • 1854 November 19
    Sunday schools
    • [1871/2?] March
    • May 7
    • June 30
    Tableaux
    • 1884 March 14
    • 1890 March 13
    • May 2
    Tailoring (Women's)
    • 1871 June 4
    Tea
    • 1883 April 12
    Teachers
    • 1873 November 16
    Teachers--Books and reading
    • 1855 December 16
    Teachers--Louisiana
    • 1855 November 14
    • 1856 January 17
    Teachers--Massachusetts
    • 1854 June 2
    • 1855 August 24
    • 1862 November 25
    • 1875 March 11
    Teachers--Mississippi
    • 1854 November 19
    • 1854 December 10
    Teachers--New Jersey
    • 1862 October 27
    Teachers--Wisconsin
    • 1876 April 16
    Teaching
    • 1855
    • 1874 April 24
    • 1874 December 28
    • 1878 June 20
    • 1880 May 9
    • 1880 October 3
    • 1881 May 22
    • n.d.
    Teaching--Connecticut
    • 1855 March 30
    Temperance
    • 1883 August 10
    Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863
    • 1855 November 19¬December 6
    Thank-you notes
    • 1898 Christmas
    Thanksgiving day
    • 1878 December 7
    Third molars
    • 1892 December 14
    Thomas Collyer (Vessel)
    • 1865 October 8
    Thomas, Clarence
    • 1889 February 20
    Thornton (Vessel)
    • [1865] April 8, 9
    Tilton, Charlie, b. 1858
    • 1879 April 26-May 23
    Tilton, Maria A.
    • 1883 May 5
    Troy Female Seminary (Troy, N.Y.)
    • 1850 March 8
    Truth, Sojourner, d. 1883
    • 1854 November 5
    Typhoid fever
    • 1893 September 10
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
    • 1862 August 24
    • 1862 October 27
    • 1863 December 12
    • June 12
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Afro-Americans
    • [1865?]
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Draft
    • [1861-1865]
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Naval operations
    • 1865 August 14
    United States. Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands
    • 1865 August 14
    Vacations
    • 1879 September 2
    • 1880 August 23
    • 1886 August 18-1887 August 13 [scattered entries]
    • 1892 July 7
    Vacations--Maine--Livermore Falls
    • 1891 August 1 (2)
    • 1891 August 3
    • 1891 August 4 (2)
    • 1891 August 6 (2)
    • 1891 August 7
    • 1891 August 8 (2)
    • 1891 August 10 (3)
    • 1891 August 11 (3)
    • 1891 August 12 (2)
    • 1891 August 13 (2)
    • 1891 August 14 (4)
    • 1891 August 15
    • 1891 August 16 (2)
    • 1891 August 17
    • 1891 August 18 (3)
    • 1891 August 19
    Vaccination of children--Massachusetts
    • 1889 November 24
    Vaccinations
    • 1882 January 11
    Vermont--Description and travel
    • August 15
    Virginia--Description and travel
    • [1865] April 8, 9
    • 1865 August 20
    • 1865 October 8
    • 1883 October 23
    Warts
    • 1890 March 18
    Washington (D.C.)--Description and travel
    • 1869 May 25
    Washington--Description and travel
    • 1881 January 22
    Wedding anniversaries
    • 1875 March 28
    • 1880 December 5
    Weddings
    • 1892 June 22
    Weddings--Farce
    • 1873 June 12
    Weddings--Massachusetts
    • 1911 February 1
    Wellesley College--Students
    • 1888 September 25
    • 1889 March 16
    • 1889 April 19
    • 1889 May 12
    Wheatland (Wisc.)--Description and travel
    • 1862 May 27
    Whitney, Ira
    • August 1/September 16
    Williams, Ephraim
    • 1855 June 26, 29
    Winter Park (Fla.)--Description and travel
    • 1883 December 12
    Wisconsin
    • 1874 November 26
    Women authors
    • 1855 August 24
    Women music teachers
    • 1884 February 7
    Women teachers--Massachusetts
    • 1852 September 1
    Women teachers--New York (State)
    • 1850 March 8
    Women--Diaries
    • Pratt, Emma L., b. 1864
    Women--Employment
    • 1862 October 27
    • 1862 November 9
    • 1879 April 26-May 23
    • 1879 June [3?]
    • 1880 August 23
    • 1881 January 1
    • 1882 November 7
    • 1885 December 29
    • 1886 April 17
    • 1888 January 23
    • 1890 August 7
    • 1891 August 18
    • 1892 February 14
    Women--Massachusetts
    • passim
    Women--Societies and clubs
    • 1880 March 24
    Work environment--New York (City)
    • 1862 October 27
    • 1862 November 9
    Work-related accidents
    • 1888 July 10
    Wounds and injuries--Treatment
    • n.d.
    Wreaths--Religious aspects
    • 1890 May 31
    Yazoo (Vessel)
    • 1865 August 20
    Yellow fever
    • 1855 August 24
    • 1855 November 14
    • 1854 September 24
    • 1855 July 30, August 3