Ellen Wallace Diaries

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Ellen Wallace Diary, 1849, 1864-1865


January 17 1864 Sunday the 17 A dark rainy day, I feel that I spent my time so unprofitably, I regret and lament, that I have so little life, and energy, in doing the duties allotted to me especially the training of my children for that inheritance that [—- ]not away. 18 John W came up to turn through the snow and spent the night 19 John took Julia to school in his buggy through the snow he called on the ladies at Thomas Greens and returned home this evening 20 W Boids man hired by W Wallace set in to work today. The negroes are leaving the plantation daily. We have lost none yet but would not be surprised at their leaving at any time. A large party at Dr. Whitlocks tonight the [—— ]Moore and several ladies from town are in attendance. Our prospects or a notion are gloomy and terrible on families, and individuals but little better. My chief fear is of the negro soldiery at Clarksvile Fort Donelsen and other places along the border of the state should they beome insubordinate or beheaded by desperate [abolitionists] and over run the country our condition would be fearful. 21 I have just heard of a great stampede of negroes which took place last night. Cpt Campbell has lost forty six. they took waggons, mules and baggage I expect every day our turn will come. If I was strong in body and able to do my

Last edit about 1 month ago by Diane

own work i would regret it much less than i do. we can hardly hope to retain ours when they are leaving all around. I think they will be among the last to go but I may be mistaken. Should all our servants go, I will meet the change cheerfully & only pray for health and strength to discharge my duty to my family faithfully 22 Robert dined with us he looks rather (badly) crossed out thin. On last night there was another stampeded of negroes. A wealthy planter W Landy Cort all, his wife an aristocratic lady who had never turned a ho cake had to prepare breakfa st for the family or at least make the attempt. I cannot help laughing although it may be my turn next 23 [Sanford?] came up from WInter Hill. Jack sick & {Rett?] [excited?] The publick mind in this part of Ky is in a very unsettled & excited condition. Many large plantations will present a very desolate aspect none left to turn the plough shear or mend the fence. The people have sent a petition to Gov [Brarnlet?] of [Tennessee?] to remove the negro troops from our border but it is feared it will be useless 24 Sunday [W D ilt?] Julia Alfred & Henry attended the presbyterian Church. The day warm as spring After dinner Mr [Anabl?] rode out to see W Boid who has been sick 25 Alfred started to school to [M Cam?] [?] having been at home for some time in consequence [?] the cold weather.

Last edit 11 days ago by MMS

January 27

The day almost summer heat I rod with W Wallace to the Berry farm for the first time I think it a good investment for our children should they live & prove industrious sober men. But I fear it will be a source of great trouble and [?] to W Wallace in keeping A Overseer and hand there W James Buckner called in company with a W Russel who is and has been owing W Wallace about a thousand dollars for eight years W Wallace long since gave up the debt or [?]. But this evening W Buckner & W Russel informed him that the debt had been secured & would be paid with interest in twelve months 28 I was very much enraged at an old hired negro this evening who knew W Wallace was not at home, walked in and deliberately took a [chair] seat, pretending he had some instructions to get from me about his business. I [soon] gave him instructions of another kind. This negro insolence is the effect of Lincoln's damnable black repulican policy. I think if affairs go on as they have been doing the white woman in town and country will find it necessary to carry daggers and revolvers in their girdles in place of pin cushions & scissors

Last edit about 1 month ago by Sadie Mae

February the 6 1864

Feb the 9. Jack came up with the waggon from Winter Hill also Sanford and William (13?) Robert dined with us his health is yet delicate. Alfred threw a stick with a piece of tin attached to it and accidently hit Henry on the head causing a bad cut Dr (Jisten?) called to dress it. 14. I have been in a very bad humor all morning Jimmy has displeased me. Yankeys interference with our negroes would ruin the best servant in the world. I do not wish any harm to the negro. But I do wish the Yankeys were driven back to their granite hills to attend to their own affairs and let Key institutions alone. They out number the south one hundred to one and yet call in the negro to help in the glorious enterprise of subergating the south. They forget that the enlightened determined will of man is something like the mind hard to be chained. Or that to be a slave we must be ignorant and degraded This morning we heard that Longstreet had (?) taken east tennessee I could not but feel some joy that the iron heel of the Lincolnites had been checked 16 Mr Ben Campbell and family with Mrs Ellis and Mr Goodall dined with us we had an excellent dinner and a pleasant day

Last edit 11 days ago by Sadie Mae

February the 19. 1864

Mr Wallace did not return to Winter Hall as expected so I am alone with the children. the little boys are in bed asleep (?) unconscious of the fears and (?) that fill my heart Julia is sitting with me while I write after practicing her pieces on the piano. I would have made Jimmy sleep in my room but I did not like to betray to our servants that I felt the shadow of a fear. 20 Mr Wallace returned from the farm he told the women that when all the men left they would have to go, that he could not support thrm & their children in idleness. Sally left this morning being Sunday on a pretended visit to the country to see her two sisters at Clover Greeen. I shall be disappointed if they do not all leave to night. The negroes have become so unmanagable that it will be a relief to their owners for them to go. If we make nothing we will need nothing in comparison to what it takes to support & employ a large negro family Their idea of freedom is to have all the luxeries & comfort of the wealthy whites & no work they scorn the lot of the poor laboring white man. I suffered very much in mind all day thinking I had seen the last of Sally but she returned late in the evening 22 it is published in the late paper that Lincoln issues a general immancipation proclamation to day for the border states I do not believe he dare do such a thing If he does the white man is no longer free. For it would be trampling state law & the constitution under foot & making himself our master

Last edit about 18 hours ago by Sadie Mae

Ellen Wallace Diary, 1861-1863




I set a hen this morning with 14 egg this is the 6th of January

Last edit 3 months ago by Nineteenth Century Digital Cooperative


January 1, 1861

Humbly imploring the Grace of God to be my guide counselor, and comforter in the coming duties, trials, and perplexities of life. I now open my new book for a new year. To day Dr [Gish] called to see Alfred who has a sore throat. [???] Dr [???] called to see Alfred W Wallace is at the farm to night a very quiet day The 4, a day appointed by the President for fasting and prayer, on account of the distracted state of the country. The North and South, abolition and [Har?] South Carolina gone out of the Union, Lincoln the Republican candidate elected. W Wallace returned from the farm this evening, had a [???] killed while there, the family moderately well.

Sunday the 6. Robert [?] dined with us. [???] spent the night. Great political excitement in town to day, Union, or disunion, John Nelson dined here

The 8. The Cannon has fired a number of rounds in honor of the day. John Nelson spent the night here. W Wallace started to the farm to day. John Nelson dined here, W Wallace at the farm to night

The 9. W Wallace returned from the farm. Joe complaining of sore throat when he left. 10. A quiet day. 11. W Wallace at the farm to night

Last edit about 2 months ago by KElliott


January, the, 24, 1961

W Wallace called on [ me] [ ] this morning who was Greatly distrepid at the change in his circumstances W Wallace feels confident that he will get his money by waiting patiently. Alfred had a violent [ ] of colic and [diarhie ] this evening called in Dr first to see him , he is still suffering from it but better than he has been ,25, W Wallace at the farm. a cold day. Ritty and Joe sick .26.[ ] brought a [lood] of corn from the farm, W Brooks owes me,25,Cts on a bucket of butter he received on yesterday, Robert [ ] came up this evening,27, Robt and myself attended preaching at the babtist church, Arthur Henry and Robert dined with us W Wallace Robt and Julia at the babtist church to night 28 Robt left this morning James Moore called this morning a short time to see us before his departure for New Orleans 29. W Wallace started for the farm this morning he spends the night there. Julia and myself are sitting by the fire, she has been learning her grammar lesson and soon my little boys [Al] [ ].Howe. Are all fast asleep. [ made] a [ malt] [ ] to day, the first attempt of the kind, I am [ ] pleased with it and expect to make more

Last edit about 1 month ago by Sadie Mae


No. 23. Sept 29, 1861 Sunday Night. there is an army of secessionist marching on Hopkinsville. The town in a great state of excitement, runners have been sent in every direction for aid. Many families are leaving town. Robert dined with us. Thomas Wallace took tea with us dressed in uniform and armed. He started immediately for the scene of excitement. Monday 30 Sept, part of the southern army entered town to day. Oct. 1, 1861 The Confederate troops have been coming in all day. The Union men have disbanded and sicreted their armes, their force being to[o] small to risk an engagement. Thomas Wallace came in a short time this evening. Wallace and Alfred at the farm. October, the 6. A messenger from the Ohio River saying ____ Autta Wallace, again very ill. Mipipping troops still occupying Hopkinsville, there is a rumor that a Northern army ten thousand strong are advancing to attack the Southern forces here. Oct. the 9. The Confederate Troop is quiet _____ of the town. I cannot look upon my countrymen as enemies, I pitty the poor soldier from the depth

Last edit about 2 months ago by KElliott
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