Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Ann M. Brackett Journals, 1863-1887

Duane Norman Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Maura Seale, May 2006, and Meg Hixon, July 2013

Summary Information
Title: Ann M. Brackett journals
Creator: Brackett, Ann M. Fluent, 1819-1893
Inclusive dates: 1863-1887
Extent: 4 volumes
These 4 journals contain Ann M. Brackett's daily diary entries about her life on a farm near Lakeville, Minnesota, from August 1863-October 1887. Brackett commented on farm chores and housework, her leisure activities, and her interactions with neighbors and friends.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1981. M-1956.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Ann M. Brackett Journals, Duane Norman Diedrich Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Ann Maria Fluent was born in Maine on March 6, 1819, the daughter of Rufus Fluent and Nancy Walker. On September 6, 1840, she married Joseph J. Brackett (1814-1888), who was a farmer in Westbrook, Maine. The Bracketts moved to Minnesota in the early 1850s and settled in Lakeville, where they owned a large farm.

Collection Scope and Content Note

These journals (4 volumes, 786 pages) contain Ann M. Brackett's daily diary entries about her life on a farm near Lakeville, Minneosta, from August 28, 1863-October 11, 1887. The volumes cover August 28, 1863-October 17, 1865 (124 pages); October 18, 1865-December 4, 1867 (125 pages); July 3, 1870-January 1, 1875 (327 pages); and September 30, 1884-October 11, 1887 (210 pages).

Brackett wrote about farm life, and mentioned crops such as potatoes, wheat, and corn, and livestock such as sheep and hogs. After some of her husband's trips into town, she reported the prices of goods he sold. She also commented on her own activities, which included housework and farm duties, visits with acquaintances and neighbors, and leisure activities such as horseback riding, reading, and social events. Brackett reported rumors of Abraham Lincoln's assassination and the attempted assassination of William H. Seward in her entry of April 17, 1865. Most of her entries contain brief comments about the weather, and she sometimes mentioned the effects of snowstorms.

Subject Terms

    • Agriculture--Minnesota.
    • Farms--Minnesota.
    • Frontier and pioneer life--Minnesota.
    • Lakeville (Minn.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Ann M. Brackett journals [series]
    Volume   1  
     August 28, 1863-October 17, 1865
    Volume   2  
     October 18, 1865-December 4, 1867
    Volume   3  
     July 3, 1870-January 1, 1875
    Volume   4  
     September 30, 1884-October 11, 1887
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Neill, Edward D., and J. Fletcher Williams. History of Dakota County and the City of Hastings, Including the Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota, and Outlines of the History of Minnesota. Minneapolis: North Star Publishing Company, 1881.