Julia, an ancestor of mine, lived in Brooklyn with her family in the mid-1800s. She kept a small leather diary during the year 1864, which is in some disrepair now but is still fairly legible, and has been transcribed by my aunt. This website is a project for Pratt Institute’s School of Information and Library Science, Digital Humanities (LIS 697-04), with Dr. Sula, Spring 2012, and in it I intend to present Julia’s diary to the world, complete with additional relevant information, to give an idea of what it was like to live as a middle-class white lady in Brooklyn during the Civil War.
For more on Julia, see this biographical essay written by my aunt Ann.
What did she write about?
- The weather, mostly
- Events at local institutions:
- Weddings and funerals
- Cooking and baking
- Dressmaking and shopping
- Church and sermons
She didn’t write an entry for every day, and the entries she did write were not long, as space was limited in the week-in-two-pages diary. She was fairly active, but occasionally felt a pang of loneliness.