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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    to my terrified imagination as my future lord and master it would be considered only as a very proper and natural reward for my presumption. But I am wandering __ Mr Murphy, you have set me on the wrong track, what do you mean & There! I did'nt mean to say that your coming in, was alone the completion of my happiness, I meant to have mentioned, immediately after, another event equally important which helped materially to fill up the grand sum total of pleasure so gratefully enjoyed in this one evening, when with the very mention of your name, your great, all important self was presented so forcibly to my mind that I could not, out of common politeness, forbear to give you a passing notice; so now stand aside, just for a moment if you please and see who comes next. __ Now I have it! You have thrown yourself back in the rocking-chair in a very-much-at-home manner and I am standing with my arms around your neck, and Harriet, Mary Emma and Elisabeth Culbert are laughing and chatting away directly in front of us, when the door opens and admits a blue-eyed, fair-haired little darling, looking as though she had but just recovered from recent illness but her colour rises and her eyes sparkle as she returns atus fond greetings ~ How much she laughs like her old self Father's "bird"! how good in him to bring her home to - day and he looks as pleased to see her here again as can be.

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    Needs Review

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    He is naturally fond of music and probally expects that she will begin to warble very soon, but he must be disappointed this time for she has had a throat complaint and the Doctor has forbidden any singing at present Well, Miss Carrie, was kissed to her hearts content, comfortably seated in Mr Murphy's lap, and I took off her things and carried them away. Then came tea. After that we all spent a social, pleasant evening together Carrie and I slept together that night, how natural and how good it seemed. __ She is yet weak, and looks pale and delicate but will soon be well I hope. Wednesday. April 28th Pleasant. Commenced reading [Dr?] Pompilius by Florian a French writer of the last century. I found it very interesting and instructive. Was busy most of the day, but caught up my book at every chance opportunity. Carrie and I found it very pleasant to be together again. Made some ginger-bread for her, she being very fond of it. Mr Hutchingson spent the evening very pleasantly with us. In the course of conversation "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was mentioned and elicited a very warm discussion on the subject of Slavery. It was argued principally by Mr Hutching Mary E. and Harriet: the first two being pro-slavery the latter anti-slavery. Harriet's part was the best sustained. Doubtless from the fact that she was in the right; and they most obviously wrong.

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    Wednesday June 9th. Lovely day. Sewed in the morning. In the afternoon shopped in Grand st and Fourth st and called on Mary Reeve

    Thursday. Weather the same. We all rose unusually early this morning and were through breakfast and prayers before seven o'clock. for a month past I have uniformly risen at a very early hour and find the practice an excellent one I find however that I am sleepy in the evening and am obliged to retire earlier than formerly to make amends. Well, I suppose this is a good practice also. "Early to bed, and early to rise," has been preached into my ears by my anxious Mamma from time immemorial, doubtless from observing a very strong tendency to an opposite course at least to the first clause. Quite early this morning we were agreably [agreeably] surprised with a call from George Hudson His farming life has added a shade of brown to his hitherto almost too fair complexion but becomes him much, I never saw him look so well. He says Kate's health is not good and wants Carrie and I to make her a visit, adding that she would be a great better if she had company. We accordingly promised to come by and bye should circumstances permit. No word from Harry, for I was so neglectful as not even to mention his name! What will he think? Mary R. called P. M. Father left [Dr?] today on a trip to Canada. Heaven bless and protect him! [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] [Dr?] that I had much more to say than I could possibly find time [Dr?] [Dr?]

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    Friday June 11th Pleasant. Sewed very busily all day.. Mrs [Hiams?], Helen and Milton called soon after tea. Miss Helen is the most complete piece of affectation I ever met with. Underneath all she appears to be a smart, intelligent, and good-hearted girl but is sadly deficient in common sense. Mr William Tyler spent the evening here. Saturday. Bright and windy. Was not very well. Mary Reeve called in the afternoon. Retired early Ellen Dickinson called A.M. Sunday. Fine day. Attended our church in the morning The minister who was to supply Father's place was ill so Mr Wilde conducted the services. Afternoon at home Starr was with us till near tea-time. He with Annie came over to spend the Sabbath with Kate, and so like a good boy he (runs?) up home awhile. Mr Murphy took tea with us. In the evening Joseph and Mary, Natty and I met by agreement and together attended Mr [McHane's?] church. The pastor preached a fine sermon -- his subject was Peter, his life and character. Monday. Rather warm. Busy day. Our mattrasses were exchanged for feather beds today - vice versa, what an odd mistake! Elisabeth Culbert called in the afternoon

    Last edit over 1 year ago by chrisb
    p. 155
    Needs Review

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    Tuesday. To-day we began to realize that it is summer it was excessively warm and the heat increased as the day passed on. Before dinner sister Annie came over to assist Harriet, and we all seated ourselves in the front chamber with our needle-work and passed a very pleasant afternoon. Starr came over at tea time Harriet and Annie, Natty and I promenaded before our house a short time about dusk, then Starr, Annie and Harriet went off to pass the evening with Kate Skinner. I employed the remainder of the evening in reading. Became very much interested in a piece by Edgar A. Poe on the Philsophy of Composition, and quite unable to read any thing else I retired soon after ten in a very excited state of mind. How this roused my imagination from its usually quiet dreams ! ambition too awake. and in their train came high resolves, intense longings and trembling hopes. That [Dr?] - [Dr?] that has so long danced before my dazzled inner-sight, appearing and disappearing sometimes almost forgotten but reappearing again with renewed brilliancy and drawing nearer till casting its flood of light and beauty overmy soul, it chases away the shadows and darkness that enshroud it and reveals to me what perhaps I might do! What, perhaps, I might become! Light of my soul! wilt thou thus elude me forever? May I never grasp thee and keep thee, to gladden my heart and to send forth thy bright rays into many others, known and unknown[Dr?]

    Last edit over 1 year ago by keenyas
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