J. Meeker Townsend Diary,January-December 1865.
Collection Number: 6042
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library
J. Meeker Townsend diary, January-December 1865.
J. Meeker, Townsend 1852-1927.
1 reel microfilm.
Forms of Material:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Diary kept by a 13 year old boy from Townsendville, Seneca County. Includes accounts of everyday life including school, church, visitors, weather, and chores, which consisted of threshing flax and caring for his own sheep. Much of December is used for itemized lists of goods with prices and there are five poems or notes written to him by friends and family in the memoranda section.
Collection material in English
Meeker Townsend was a 13-year-old boy at the time he wrote his diary and resided in Townsendville, Seneca County, N.Y. His father was John Townsend (b. May 18, 1810) and his mother was Emeline Meeker. He was the eighth of nine children and apparently became a medical doctor. (See History of Seneca County, N.Y. 1786-1876. Philadelphia, 1876.)
The diary contains brief daily accounts (3 to a page) of the boy's daily activities consisting mostly of school, church meetings, chores, purchasing food and supplies, and visiting friends as well as what visitors his family received. It covers January to December of 1865 with some months apparently torn out. The condition of the diary is poor and since much is written in pencil, whole sections are illegible. Since Meeker was quite young when these accounts were written there are no real insights of depth, but only simple accounts such as, "Attended school today." Much of December is used for itemized lists of goods with prices and there are five poems or notes written to him by friends and family in the "Memoranda" section.
Townsend, J. Meeker,1852-1927.
Family--New York (State)--Townsendsville.
Townsendsville (N.Y.)--Social life and customs.
Townsendsville (N.Y.)--Study and teaching.
Townsendsville (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.
Seneca County (N.Y.)--Social life and customs.
Seneca County (N.Y.)--Study and teaching.
Seneca County (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.
Form and Genre Terms:
J. Meeker Townsend diary, #6042. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Pocket Diary for 1865
Contents: The diary starts out on Sunday, January 1st and there is mention of a Rev. Hitchcock preaching. Most of the winter he attended school where he did well, saw his best friends, the Colemans, bought "dride appals and got 12 cents and 1/2 per pound there was 477 pounds $59.62" with his "Pa" in Trumansburg and wrote about heavy snow and other weather. He mentioned his mother and brothers and sisters, Helen, Robert, Ida, and Lewis. His chores consisted mainly of thrashing flax which he often stayed home from school and church to do. He often missed Sunday meetings because of visitors who were frequently in his home. He mentions his own sheep who gave birth a few times during the early spring, his grandpa's death on March l4th, and building fires at the schoolhouse.