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.

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    Mr. Murphy arrived at seven, sent for a carriage and at eight we started. Over head all was pitchy darkness, under foot was mud and water sufficient to appall the heart of the stoutest pedestrian. The ride however was pleasant and so was the weding. The brides looked quite pretty in their brocade dresses and white veils The grooms also looked very well indeed. Then there was the smiling bridesmaids neither of them so pretty as Carrie, by the way the proud papa and mamma and hosts of congradulatingfriends ; with a good supper, brilliant lights, and a spirit of universal good humour made it bright within in spite of the gloom without. We staid about an hour. The ceremony was performed at seven o'clock. Father united Lydia and the elder Mr Ward, and Mr Beecher performed the same service for the other couple.

    Friday. Pleasant. Mother spent the day in Brooklyn with Carrie Harriet also went over in the afternoon. Mary R. & Harriet Strong made a long call and then with Natty and I made an equally long one on the Hudsons. We had a very pleas-ant time. [Dr?]. Daniel came in before we left which made it pleasanter still. Spent the evening in reading.

    Saturday. Pleasant, remarkably so. Sarah and Hannah Wilde called in the afternoon. I was also agreeably surprised to receive a call from Mrs Amelia Haight and Sarah Gonsalves Sarah is now staying in the city with Mrs Haight. Mary &

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    [Morty] are with her. They have all been in the city more than a week. Before they left at [Sarah's] urgent request we called on the [Hendersons] but found none of them at home. I then accomplanied them part of the way to the ferry. ------- [Mrs Gonsalves] and the other children are in [Pawtucket]. The whole familyintend removing to [Hamilton, Madison County]. [N.Y.] in the course of a few weeks. In the evening received two notes from [Sarah]. About ten o'clock [Mr Gonoahes?] arrived to spend the Sabbath with us bringing with him little [Mary], a very

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    Last edit over 2 years ago by sheebe
    p. 143
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    am a firm friend and would make a devoted wife. Also that I am open in my disposition, but am cautious and particular, am sufficiently lively . not quite so orderly as I should be, am anxious to please, and can suit myself to any society into which I am thrown, firm where I have once decided, very conscientious, but more benevolent than religious.

    This was the substanceof it: how far it is true I leave it for time and my friends to decide.

    George left about half-past-ten, promising to call in the morning Tuesday. Rose early. George H. called while we were at break-fast and made a very pleasant call. I spent the morning in assisting Mother. Hannah Hudson spent the afternoon book tea with us and remained all night. Mrs Beecher and Mary Reeve called. Sarah and I called on the Hudsons but they were again about. We thencalled on the Wilde's Mary R. came in also while we were there, and we accompanied her home, went in awhile, and after leaving we met Kate Hudson. Stopped to talk, and while thus employed Mr G.H. with his most intimate friend E.D. walked up and stopped also. We soon separated [Dr?] the young men went one way and we another. Kate took Sarah home with her but I was obliged to hasten to my own abode. I set the tea-table, and cleared it away, and thentook my seat in the rocking - chair in the back-parlor with little Hannah in my lap, while Sarah and Natty strolled off into the other room. In a few moments Mr Samuel W. was announced. He staid till eleven o'clock and his tongue went like a mill-[Dr?] every minute of the time. He however afforded Sarah and I considerable amusement which made some amends

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    Phinias Hudson called for Hannah in the evening but I would not let her go. She slept with me. I forgot to state that in the morning Mr Gonsalves brought Mary from the Hudson's where she has been since Sunday to our house. She staid a short time and then accompanied her father to the city. I wrote a note to Mrs Gonsalves. Father left us to-day for Boston. He will return this week. Wednesday .. April 14th Very pleasant. Rose early and after finishing my own toilet, assisted Hannah to dress. Soon after breakfast she complained of not being well and went home. Mother was not well and of course I had a great deal to do all day, and Sarah found sufficient to occupy her in taking care Morty, who, notwithstanding his sweet appearance, is that plaque of every one else but his family [Dr?] a spoiled child. Near noon Kate Hudson run over to bid us good bye The family intend to leave to-morrow morning early. Kate was very urgent in her request that Carrie and I should visit her this summer. and indeed they have all had much to say about it ever since the plan of their removal was decided upon. I shall accept their invitation with pleasure sometime. How pleasant it will be [Dr?] I am so fond of the country. Carrie too will enjoy it, and it will do her good. Perhaps we both might include society there in our anticipations That will certainly be a very important item but not to flatter them too highly I will say no more. Mary Emma came over in the afternoon to take up her abode with us till the first of May. Sarah and I spent the evening with her in her room while she unpacked and arranged her things.

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    Sarah and I spent the evening in reading and laughing over some very flat specimens of modern literature in four [Dr?], which we found in the Waverly Magazine of Boston. Thursday. April 15th. Unpleasant. George Hudson made a morning call. I met Albert at the breakfast table He did not arrive last night till after we had retired He is the same as ever, restless, ambitious and constantly occupied with business. but we can see that he is beginning to sober down a little and is anxious to do well. Mary Emma has grown thin and her health is poor, she has however a great idea of making herself useful and took hold in good earnest to help Mother. Certainly we were glad of it for Mother is almost sick, Cornelius feeble, and with a house full of company how could we but be grateful for even a little assistance. Sarah and I were very lively to-day : we [Dr?] laughing and George Hudson's call contributed somewhat to our hilarity. Continuing our sport in our room after dinner we received quite a [Dr?] and Sarah leaving Her dressing went off to assist Mary Emma's toilet while I after putting our disordered room to rights quietly finished my own, and then went down to the dining room to see Amelia [Dr?], who had been waiting for me there a long time She staid nearly all the afternoon chatting pleasantly with me as she was want to do when she lived with us. She has a situation in the country whither she is going next week. She seems as much devoted to me as ever, and is anxious to have me get married that she may come and live with me Amelia thinks she has discovered the [Dr?] whom the [Dr?] have intended for me and is enraptured with the prospect. What encouragement could I give the poor girl but to laugh at the idea, though I let her talk just to see what she would say. Somebody might think himself very cruelly betrayedhad he heard it all

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