Anna L., age 75, Illinois

Lo had hair appt. at 12:30 as usual. After eating our eve. meal at cabin left for Elgin. Stopped at Maggie’s, then to Zella’s, not home. M. wanted to stop at the Jewel Store on way back. So she and Lo went in but Maggie didn’t get her grapes as the price too hi. As usual a bag of “nothing” came home with us.

Cornelia H., age 26, North Carolina

I have been fixing some napkins for Willie today. His bowels are still loose. We have cool mornings & evenings & I fear we will soon have frost. J. Cannon & Co. are still thrashing here, the wheat turning out badly. Aunt Patsy Jimison spent the day here. I was glad to see her. I did nothing but knit while she was here & after she left I fixed two napkins.

*(Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journals and Letters of the Henry Family, Eds. Karen L. Clinard and Richard Russell, used with permission.)

Henry S., age 26, Michigan

Today has been cold and windy, and our booth at the fair was very disagreeable.  I felt unwell last night and this forenoon I had a chill and have been sick all day.  We quit early and too our things off the grounds, each of us carrying off blue ribbons for an exhibit of our pen work in the fine art department.  We came as far as Bear Lake tonight on our way home; it was a cold ride.  I have been feeling very sick this evening.

*(R. Henry Scadin Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville)

Laura M., age 15, North Carolina

Gave Zach flowers. 🙂 Went 2 Chris’s car and asked him 4 something and he wouldn’t so I said, “Why are you so mean to me you’re not my friend I hate you!” Went 2 Ashley’s with Julie, Renee, and Amanda. Mom came at 6:00. Took care of Lucky. Did homework. Ate. Did homework. Watched “Ali McBeal.”

Abbie B., age 22, Kansas

A long time since I wrote. I hate to begin, for I know I will get tired writing and miss some things. Monday-while I baked, Philip went to see the neighbors—and get the mail. Came back at noon—and reported Mrs. L very sick. He thought I had better go down. It was 3 p. m. when I started. Took a loaf of fresh bread along for Mr. Smith, who is getting better but has no appetite. Thought it would be better than soda biscuits. Had quite a visit with him. He told me of parts of New Mexico and Arizona he had been in, and wished I could see them, par­ticularly Jacobs Well and Inspiration Rock. When I left he said, “Be very careful, dont try and do too much, and get sick.”

There had been a log acrost the branch where I used to cross, it was gone and I had to take off shoes and stockings and wade. It was a miry place, and I went in over my feat, such ugly mud, had trouble to wash it off.

Found Mrs. L in bed— Mr. L just able to crawl, and her brother getting supper.   Mush and milk, coffee and pie. The L – are one of the very few, who keep a cow. After supper fixed to bake bread next day, then commenced at the dishes, which sat around in confusion, seemed not to have been cleaned for some days.

A little room, two beds, a table and stove. The brother sleeps out in another building, where they keep barrels ct. She moved to the other bed while I made hers, then back, while I made that one also. Then I bathed her. She has what she calls “the flu.” East we call it dysentery. What with waiting on her, and the mosquitos so many, there was little sleep for me.

Next morning waited on her (wonder who did it when I was not there), washed dishes, pots and pans, I had not found the evening before, dressed a chicken, browned coffee, and what not. Had chicken and sweet potatoes for dinner. It was long after noon when the bread was baked, and house tidied up. Then they wanted me to go to the P. O. I was too blind to see, what I do now, that any one who could eat as heartily as they did, were better able to go to the office than I was. I got on Cricket their Mexican pony and rode over. It was the first time I had been to the trail since I came in April. Struck the trail as the last of a heard were crossing the river. I asked a hearder if it was safe for me to go on. He said, “no danger, the beeves are a mile or more ahead, these are young cattle and laggards.” Forded the river—rode to the post office, only to be told that one of the boys had been there, and taken it along. Coming back, a large flock of prairie chickens flew up, and fright­ened the pony. I managed to stick on. Mrs. L required wait­ing on during the night, but I got some sleep.

Wednesday. One of the boys passed, and gave me a letter from sister Mary. Set yeast to bake again. She takes medacine day and night.

When morning came baked pies and bread. From some hunters Mr. L bought a piece of buffalo eat as big as my body. He put in on the table, and I was ex­pected to cut it up, and salt it down, which I did. When dinner was ready I was too sick to eat. They talked of going to town soon. “I can go to day,” she said. I was surprised, as she had only set up while I made her bed.

The dishes were not finished when I had a chill. I said I must go home, I was feeling so badly. By the time they got Cricket—the chill was over, and fever had come on. When I passed the Hall Jake came out with a paper for us. Mr. Smith was getting supper, Mr. Philips was there.

They invited me to stay for tea, but I rode on. Their fresh buffalo and sweet potatoes did not tempt me. I was anxious to get home, and anxious about Philip.

I took the foot path across the branch between the Hall and our place because it is nearer. Cricket did not want to cross, and at a steep place whirled around and started back. I talked and coaxed and got to the bottom again, thinking he would waid acrost, but he made a big jump, and started up the bank full tilt. I grabbed his main and kept my seat. It is a mystery to me how I ever kep on, for I had a mans saddle—and was riding side ways. They say “angles take care of children, and old people,” wonder to which class I belong.

I remember nothing more of the ride home, when brother lifted me from the pony, and I could not stand. I sat on the grass until he staked Cricket, then he helped me in. I have been wondering to day how I lived to write about it. I promised brother I would never ride Cricket again. He said he was not safe for me to ride, and was angry at them for letting me come home a lone—when I had fever.

*(, Kansas State Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply) 

Samuel P., age 27, London

This morning I called up my boy, and found him a pretty, well-looked boy, and one that I think will please me.

I went this morning by land to Westminster along with Luellin, who came to my house this morning to get me to go with him to Capt. Allen to speak with him for his brother to go with him to Constantinople, but could not find him. We walked on to Fleet street, where at Mr. Standing’s in Salsbury Court we drank our morning draft and had a pickled herring. Among other discourse here he told me how the pretty woman that I always loved at the beginning of Cheapside that sells child’s coats was served by the Lady Bennett (a famous strumpet), who by counterfeiting to fall into a swoon upon the sight of her in her shop, became acquainted with her, and at last got her ends of her to lie with a gentleman that had hired her to procure this poor soul for him. To Westminster to my Lord’s, and there in the house of office vomited up all my breakfast, my stomach being ill all this day by reason of the last night’s debauch. Here I sent to Mr. Bowyer’s for my chest and put up my books and sent them home. I staid here all day in my Lord’s chamber and upon the leads gazing upon Diana, who looked out of a window upon me. At last I went out to Mr. Harper’s, and she standing over the way at the gate, I went over to her and appointed to meet to-morrow in the afternoon at my Lord’s. Here I bought a hanging jack. From thence by coach home (by the way at the New Exchange I bought a pair of short black stockings, to wear over a pair of silk ones for mourning; and here I met with The. Turner and Joyce, buying of things to go into mourning too for the Duke, which is now the mode of all the ladies in town), where I wrote some letters by the post to Hinchinbroke to let them know that this day Mr. Edw. Pickering is come from my Lord, and says that he left him well in Holland, and that he will be here within three or four days.

To-day not well of my last night’s drinking yet. I had the boy up to-night for his sisterto teach him to put me to bed, and I heard him read, which he did pretty well.

*(The Diary of Samuel Pepys M.A. F.R.S., edited by Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A., London, George Bell & Sons York St. Covent Garden, Cambridge Deighton Bell & Co., 1893.)

Cornelia H., age 25, North Carolina

Zona had a fever last night. Her face broke out with something. Albert Hawkins just left, came after some papers. Mr. Henry about somewhere. I must write some letters today without fail. Jim Parker has been working with the hands as overseer some two weeks.

*(Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journals and Letters of the Henry Family, Eds. Karen L. Clinard and Richard Russell, used with permission.)

Henry S., age 25, Michigan

Kate and I came home before breakfast this morning. I went to Dexter this forenoon. Fred went with me. He went to Ann Arbor with Dor and Nellie this afternoon. I cut corn. Fred came back this evening and we all visited. 

*(R. Henry Scadin Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville)