Mary Emma Jocelyn diary, 1851-1852.

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  • UPenn Ms. Codex 1770
  • Born in New Haven, Connecticut to antebellum abolistionist, clergyman, and engraver Simeon Smith Jocelyn (1799-1879) and Harriet Starr (d. 1877). The Jocelyn family moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 1844 where Simeon Smith Jocelyn was installed as the pastor of the First Congregational Church. Mary Emma was the fifth of eight children born to the Jocelyns. Her siblings are Harriette Luceannah (1823-), Simeon Starr (1825-), Albert Higley (1827-), Caroline Eliza (1830-1868), Nathaniel (1835-1852), Cornelius Buell (1838-1864), and Frederick Henry (1841-).
  • This volume contains the diary of Mary Emma Jocelyn spanning ten months from November 1851 to September 1852. The first entry in the diary was recorded on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1851. At the top of the page is written "Journal continued." Jocelyn made daily entries in her diary and recorded her life with her family and friends while living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. A brief note on the weather begins each entry. Jocelyn described her daily activities including sewing, reading, seeing family and friends, and distributing tracts. She attended church on Sundays chiefly at her father's church, the First Congregational Church, and singing class with her sisters Carrie (Caroline) and Harriet. She was often visiting or receiving friends including Mary Reeve and Hannah Hudson among others. Jocelyn attended lectures and events at the Lyceum in Brooklyn. She also visited her sister in Brooklyn and mentions ferrying over. The Jocelyn family and the Hudson family appeared to be close friends and the Jocelyn siblings spent much time with brothers George and Henry and their sister Hannah. Jocelyn wrote often of Henry Hudson and worried about his crisis of faith. Major events in the family are described throughout the ten-month period, including the joyous wedding of her sister Harriet to Douglas Murphy on June 30, 1852 and the death of her brother Nathaniel (Natty) in August 1852. Thirty pages in the diary were dedicated to Natty's illness and death. This lengthy entry is dated September 27, 1852 and describes the family's anguish and grief over Natty's passing. Other notable entries include her father Simeon's travels, her lengthy description of a dream, helping a young Irish immigrant, her interest in an essay by Edgar Allen Poe, and the celebration of the founding of Williamsburg in January 1852. The diary is in chronological order from November 27, 1851 through April 1, 1852. After April 1 the diary is arranged as follows: July 8 to August 8, 1852; 23 pages dated September 27, 1852; April 29 to June 8, 1852; April 3 to April 28, 1852; June 9 to July 5, 1852. Bound in at the end are seven pages continuing the September 27th entry. Laid in the volume is a printed flier for an exhibition and sale at Montague Hall, Brooklyn for "articles offered for sale at the Anti Slavery Fair" November 30, 1851 with notes on the verso by Mary Emma Jocelyn.

    Pages

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    Friday May 21st Lovely day. Our visitors were obliged to leave us soon after breakfast, on account of an engagement at home. We girls spent the day in sewing on the carpet which we finished before tea. Prayer meeting at our house in the evening. Joseph & Hannah WIlde staid more than an hour after the class. I tried to appeas as usual though I felt tired and sick, and was relieved when they at last left. Caroline retired before meeting commenced.

    Saturday. Warm and pleasant. A cessation of cleaning operations today. Was busy in the kitchen most of the morning. Sewed in the afternoon, and also finished a large [t]idy which I intend as a present to Mr Murphy's mother. Harriet will take it with her on her wedding trip. She was much pleased with it. Not being well I retired soon after tea.

    Sunday. Damp. Attended our church in the morning. A stranger preached; I do not recollect his name. Did not again go out; being quite unwell and slept most of the afternoon. Read the relious papers in the evening, and derived much pleasure and I trust benefit in the perusal of the American Messenger, a paper published monthly by the Tract Society. Also spent some time in reading the Book of books and retired about ten/ Father preached in the morning for Mr McGann, over church Bell, and in Bushwick in the evening

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    Monday 24th May, 1852. Damp and showery. To-day the carpets were taken up in the parlors, and the operations of scrubbing, white-washing, and paiting commenced therin. Sewed in mother's room most of the day. Mary Reeve called in the afternoon. In the evening occupied myself with reading and writing in Father's study while Natty sat beside me planning a house. Albert intends building soon, and has set Natty to work to plan a suitable house, accordingly he spends most of his everings with his pencil and the yardstick. His drawings exhibit a good deal of ingenuity & calculation

    Tuesday. Very warm. Sewed steadily all day, and tired of sitting still, I took a pleasant stroll with Natty in the evening. Miss Howland called in the afternoon but observing the status of the factors did not come in.

    Wednesday ,, Pleasant. We received a visit from cousin Thomas King who is one of the Delegates from the State of Florida to attend the Democratic Convention at Baltimore which meets for the purpose of selecting a candidate for the coming Presidential election. He took dinner with us and left for N.Y. soon after. Copied a specification for Mr Murrow in the afteroon also sewed. Our new carpet was just put down this afternoon and looed very pretty; the furniture was also rearranged in the parlors and things began to look quite natural again.

    Mr Murphy came over soon after tea. Evening in reading retired early.

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    Thursday May 27th.. Rainy. Sewed about all day for myself and Harriet. Wrote in the evening. -- Cornelius cut his finger badly while at play

    Friday.. Pleasant. Sewed most of the morning and afternoon Mother attended Mrs Smillie?'s funeral in N.Y. Made a long pleasant call on Mary Reeve before tea. It is some time since and have had a good long chat together and we fully enjoyed it. Mary gave me a book-mark -- a cross wreathed with flowers. The word Truth above it and Love below. A very appropriate keepsake! for truly love and truth are teh bonds that unite our souls. Sweet Mary, she is very dear to me! Mr Murphy took tea with us.

    Saturday.. Pleasant. Quite busy in sewing [He?]. Copied some letters for Father. We expected sousin Thomas over to pass the Sabbath with us but were disappointed.

    Sunday.. Very fine day.. Attended our church all day and S. [Singing] School in the afternoon. Father preached

    A new superintendent was installed in the Sabbath School His name is Mr Reed a young theological student, and a man well [wited?] to us. A very fine young man indeed energetic, thorough, pious and pleasing. The children were all delighted with him, and readily promised that nothing should be wanting on their part to aid in prospering and filling up the school. They went away eager to bring in

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    all the young companions they could get to come. So now our part is to get teachers for this new supply of pupils. Joseph Wilde, when walking home with me in the morning, voluntarily offered his services, as a teacher, should he be needed.

    I hope he will, and may his efforts be blessed to his own soul as well as to his scholars. Mary and I are very anxious that he should come out more decidedly on the Lord's side, yet as it is we have good reason to think that he is not far from the Kingdom of God.

    His morality is of the highest stamp; he is very regular in his attendance on religious worship, and confesses that he feels deeply interested in the subject.

    In the evening Harriet and Mr Murphy, Natty and I attended Mr Beecher's church.

    Monday.. Quite warm. Spent most of the day in trimming a hat. Harriet received a note from Cousin Thomas stating that illness had prevented his visiting us, and that it was necessary for him now to go directly to Baltimore. We shall not therefore see him before he leaves. Margaret Culbert called. -- Joseph and Mary called in the evening and persuaded Natty and I to join them in a moonlight ramble. It was a lovely evening and we enjoyed the walk highly. Nat and Mary tripped gayly on before while Joseph and I more sedately followed them chatting pleasantly the while. Joseph would be very good company

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    were he not quite so sober, still I like him much, and so I fancy does our bright, gay little Mary, notwithstanding he is so different from herself. Love is a strange little God, but he did well in this case. Every body agrees that it is a firstrate match and also I believe they agree in giving me the credit of it. I hope they won't take me for a thorough going match - maker I only thought I would give them a start seeing it seemed very agreeable to both parties. and a start was all they wanted for they followed it up in short order Now they are engaged - then comes a wedding by and by, and then my best wishes accompany them as they progress hand in hand through the uncertain future. Well, to return, we walked through South 9th st[street] so First strolled along by the waterstill we were quite a distance out [illegible] Brooklyn side, then went up to Bedford avenue, through which we prominaded some time, and then returned. As we passed through this pleasant streets we saw that we were not the only [underlined] moonlight ramblers, and it was also quite evident [illegible] all the lovers in Wesburough did not belong to our party. Being much fatigued I retired immediately on reaching home

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