New York Woman's travel journal  1888-1889
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Williamson family collection is made up of 9 bound volumes pertaining to Clara Gurley Williamson, her daughters Ruth and Mary, and other members of the Williamson family.

The D. Abeel Williamson Diary , composed in a pre-printed pocket diary, contains David Abeel Williamson's daily entries about his life in New Brunswick, New Jersey, from January 1, 1862-May 25, 1862, and about his experiences with the 7th New York Militia Regiment from May 26, 1862-August 27, 1862. His early entries mainly record the weather and his social activities; he mentioned his admission to the bar in his entries of May 21, 1862, and May 22, 1862. A newspaper clipping about the surrender of Fort Donelson is pasted into the entries for February 16, 1862, and February 17, 1862. During his time in the army, Williamson noted the hot weather near Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, and mentioned other aspects of military service, such as guard duty, marching, and reviews. A commuter's ticket for the "New Jersey Rail Road" is laid into the volume's pocket.

The Hattie S. Williamson Memorandum Book contains financial records of collections that the Second Reformed Dutch Church Sunday School of New Brunswick, New Jersey, received from November 26, 1865-June 16, 1867. The amount of each donation is recorded next to the donor's name. Other records pertain to the Sunday school's accounts with the Novelty Rubber Company and the church's efforts to raise money for an organ.

The Clara Gurley Account Book , kept from July 9, [1875]-April 16, 1880, contains accounts for Gurley's purchases of items such as books, ribbon, fabrics, and buttons. A piece of fabric is pinned onto the book's final page.

The first Clara Gurley Williamson Diary , written in a pre-printed Excelsior volume, covers the year 1905. Williamson began writing in Dresden, Germany, where she had lived with her children since late 1903, and recounted her daily activities and news of acquaintances. In April, she and her children took an extended tour of Europe, including Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Holland, where Williamson remarked on visits to museums and other points of interest. The entries from August concern the family's return to the United States on the Holland-American Line steamer Ryndam and their first months back in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Indianapolis, Indiana. Williamson kept a record of letters written and received and acquaintances' addresses in the volume's memoranda section. She laid newspaper clippings, a letter, calling cards, small photographs, stamps, and other items in the volume. The final page of the diary contains a newspaper clipping about the Williamsons' return to the United States and intention to relocate to Indianapolis.

The Mary Williamson Diary recounts the author's travels through Europe from April 10, 1905-August 11, 1905. Williamson described her daily activities and sightseeing in cities such as Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, and Paris, as she visited museums and places of historical importance with her mother and sister. The diary includes a list of books Williamson read from 1907-1908 and a list of addresses of European hotels.

The Ruth A. Williamson Diary pertains to the author's experiences and travels in England from June 7, 1909-September 3, 1909. She spent most of her time in London; some later entries mention travels around southern England and to Edinburgh, Scotland. Williamson most frequently wrote about sightseeing and visiting famous landmarks, but also commented on other activities, such as shopping. Ruth A. Williamson's calling card is laid into the volume.

The second Clara Gurley Williamson Diary , also in a pre-printed Excelsior volume, contains daily entries about Williamson's life in Indianapolis, Indiana, from January 1, 1918-April 2, 1918. Williamson commented on her social activities, her health, and news of her friends and family members, especially her children. She occasionally mentioned news of the war, such as the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 22, 1918). Financial records and instructions for knitting a "Kitchener sock" are written in the back of the volume. Items laid in include a calling card for Charles G. Williamson containing his military address, a cloth United States flag mounted on a small wooden dowel, and clippings about the deaths of Henry Janeway Hardenburgh and Douw D. Williamson. A postcard with a painting of Waikite Geyser in New Zealand, addressed to A. Parsons in London, England, is also laid into the diary.

The Scrapbook (1860s-1880s) is comprised of newspaper clippings about numerous topics, including biographies of William Gurley and biographical notices about other members of the Gurley family, such as Clara Gurley Williamson and Esther Gurley Cook. Some clippings feature prominent individuals such as Ulysses S. Grant, Charles Dickens, and Louisa May Alcott. Items report national news, news from Troy, New York, and stories about Emma Willard and the Troy Female Seminary. Additional topics include poetry, international travel, and stamp collecting.

A Photograph Album contains 42 carte-de-visite photographs, 2 lithographs, and 1 tintype print. Most of the photographs are studio portraits of men, women, and children, including many members of the Gurley family and related families. Most of the pictures are dated 1866-1880, though the album includes a 1902 photograph of Charles G. Williamson in a military uniform.

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