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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    Wednesday June 16th Heat almost insupportable. We all spent the day in sewing. Mr Murphy took tea with us and afterwards in company with his dear intended and Starr and Annie went off a walking I spent the evening at home in reading. Thursday. Temperature the same. Sewing again occupied most of the day. Annie finished a sweet little bridal hat for Harriet on which she has been employed since Tuesday. We all pronounced it the prettiest one we have seen this season. There seems to be no limit to Annie's task and ingenuitty. She can make almost everything necessary for a lady's attire and that in the best style. Certainly no milliner could out do her in the production of so pretty a hat. Mr Murphy was perfectly delighted with it, he likes elegant and expensive things as much as anyone, perhaps more so than a minister should but Hattie's agrees with him perfectly and says she shall dress just as she pleases if she is a minister's wife and in this respect she differs some from the lady of "The Sunny Side" yet there is no doubt but that Harriet will well perform her part and going hand in hand with her dear Douglas willcome as a heaven-sent blessing whereever she shall be called Starr bade us Good Bye in the morning. Annie spent the day with us and returned home late in the afternoon when it began to growcool. Mr Murphy, Harriet, Carrie and I took tea and spent the evening delightfully with the Culberts. Josiah accompanied Carrie and I home about eleven o'clock.

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    Friday. June 18th Heat somewhat lessened. Aunt Graves, cousin Mary Jane and Louisa spent the day with us. They returned about five in the afternoon. I then went out on several errands. Received a long letter from Sarah Gonsalves. Mother received a letter from Father Evening in reading retired early. Saturday.. Very warm. Did not feel very active __ this warm weather weakens me. Harriet went to Brooklyn in the afternoon. In the evening received a letter from Mrs Kent who is now in the N. Y. Soon after tea George Hudson called, being on another visit to our city. He says Kate's health is very poor and urged us to visit her as soon as possible; this we promised to do if circumstanceswould permit. He staid awhile and on leaving as we all stood in the hall who should walk up but Mr T. W. Jr. Poor fellow he felt caught! __ He was dressed in the most outlandish style and his manners corresponded. Fortunately he did not stay long but went off with George. Wrote in my journal. Sunday.. Very pleasant. Attended our church in the morning. Father preached. I. Wilde accompanied me home Afternoon at home. In the evening Natty and I attended Mr Beecher's church. I. W. andMary R. were there and walked home with us.

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    Monday.. June 21st Bright and warm. Wrote a note to Mrs Kent. George Hudson A. M. He talked very good __ I liked him better than I have since his return for he seemed more natural __ more as he used to be. Carrie sent a note to Kate by him Mary Reeve called in the afternoon. Leigh Dickinson spent the wevening here. Tuesday.. Carrie and I sewed busily all day on some new curtains for the parlors. Carrie called on Mary Willet in the evening. Ellen Dickinson called. Wednesday.. Moderate.. Morning in sewing. Mrs Griswold called in the afternoon. Elisabeth, Margaret, Annie and ^ Alexander Culbert, andMr Murphy took tea with us and a very pleasant time we had. Douglas and Hattie were as loving and frolicksome ascould be expected of two lovers with only one more week before them of single felicity. We begin to realize that the 20th of June is drawing nigh and I almost dread to have it come We shall miss her so much! __ What will we do without her? __ The Culberts feel very badly about it, as they have been Harriet's most intimate friends in these all farewell tea-parties, but none of us seem to realize it. __ her farewell tea-parties as Miss Jocelyn I meant. Mrs Murphy will always be welcome __ Douglas too! Josiah spent the evening here _ an engagement prevented his coming to tea. Father received a letter from Uncle Nathaniel saying that [Dr?] was to be married to [Dr?] Cleaveland very soon.

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    Thursday.. June 24th. Cloudy and cool. Was not very well and after a busy morning found myself unfit for anything in the afternoon. Mary Reeve called. also Kate Skinner and her sister Maggie. __ Evening in reading.

    Friday.. Pleasant. Sewed all day and went to bed very early with a headache. Nothing very important occurred Called on Mrs Dickinson [Dr?] M. and borrowed a directory for Harriet, and in the evening she made out a list for her wedding cards. Saturday.. Warm. Was not well. Carrie and I polished the parlor furniture in the morning. Sewed all the afternoon. Mr Murphy came over and brought the wedding cards and also a beautiful Spanish fan for Harriette from Mrs Brinckerhoff. __ The cards looked very pretty. I never fancied Harriet's intended name before, but on the cards I liked it very much. Looking at them I began to realize that she was soon to leave us for the heart and home of another, but however unwill -ing we may be to part with her it is much consolation to reflect that if there be faith and trust on earth she has assuredly fallen into good hands. D. and He spent the afternoon in the study directing their cards

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    Sunday. June 27th Bright and warm. Attended our church in the morning with Harriet. Father preached. Spent the afternoon and evening at home mostly in reading Mr Murphy took tea with us and spent the evening with H.

    Monday.. Delightful weather. We of course all spent it very busily. Harriet's industry seems untiring but she is now nearly through. Every thing will be ready just in time there is no fear of that for who ever found her unprepared on any important expected occasion. It will all go off slick as a whistle you may be sure she says to Carrie and I as we wonder at her perfect composure and collectedness while she all eye, all ear, all attention attends to everything, disposes of everything forgetting nothing not even the most minute and unimportant, and withal is gay, as cheerful and as unaffectedly happy as if she had not a care. What a charm there is in a sunny disposition. At this busy anxious period, when the expectant bride might almost be expected to be a little abstracted, nervous and impatient. Harriet's calm bright smile seems indeed like a ray of light in our household. I was much pleased this afternoon to receive a call from my old friend Henry Hudson. This is the first time he has visited Williamsburgh since left. He came this morning with his Father, mother and Hannah Harriet received a sweet letter from Cousin Kate saying that she would be unable to come [Dr?] in time for the wedding for want of an escort, but hoped to come in a few weeks.

    Last edit over 1 year ago by keenyas
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