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Details about  1863 Handwritten Civil War Era Diary Haskell Family Cortland New York Depressed

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1863 Handwritten Civil War Era Diary Haskell Family Cortland New York Depressed
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Item condition:
--not specified
Jul 15, 2012
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US $239.49
17 bids ]
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Oregon, United States


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Item specifics

Binding: Softcover, Wraps Special Attributes: 1st Edition
Subject: Biography & Autobiography Origin: American
Year Printed: 1863

     I first want to start off by saying that on a weekly basis I get questions from bidders asking if I split up family lots of diaries and sell them separately. So I thought I’d post something to ease everyone’s mind before they buy. I am very passionate about diary collecting and history and I can’t even imagine buying a diary lot from one particular family and then splitting them up and selling each separately. Its heart wrenching when I see this happening and you have my promise that if I have more then one diary, no matter how many I have, I will always sell family lots together in one auction. But I think it’s a good question you should always ask your sellers just in case you want to try and keep a lot together. And with that said…..

     This is such an interesting diary. As I was reading it I had in my mind that it was written by an elderly woman towards the end of her life as she was constantly mentioning how sad and “blue” she is and is always thinking about death. She would say things like “Is there a home for the homeless” or “Wish my prayers could be answered” or “I’m as blue as can be” etc. And this isn’t just a few times but over and over again. She also has a very sore throat and because of it she seems to think possibly that her life might be over because she often writes “Wonder if this is the last time I shall write in this book.” Then to my great surprise I found out she is only 20 years old!!! I think because it’s an 1863 diary and the civil war is raging on and because of it the hearts of many is so down trodden.

     Now she doesn’t write her name in the diary but she belongs to the Haskell family of Onondaga County New York. At least I think it’s New York as she mentions the towns of Fayetteville, Hudson City and South Cortland. She talks about her grandfather Haskell and then in the back of the diary I found a handwritten family genealogy for the Haskell family written in light pencil but still readable. The diary however is written in ink pen and very readable. Some of the members in her genealogy are; Seth Haskell born June of 1789, Lydia Haskell born April of 1798, Pricilla Haskell born October of 1815 and more. I found most of the family on the web but haven’t done enough research to find her yet.

     She is rather illiterate but to me that only adds to the charm of this diary. She has written an entry for every day of the year and I’ve taken a few of those entries to give you a better idea of what you’ll find between the pages of this diary. Please note; I’m quoting her entries exactly like she writes them; bad spelling and all. The very first entry is very interesting because I think at the end of it she writes “Joy to the Nig-ar”, only she spells it out. I’ve scanned a close-up so you can decide if that is what you think it says also…..





“Them 9. Beautiful day and splendid evening. Washed dishes pans and pails. Finished my dress. Knit some, got a snotty cold. Bleve that’s all for now. Joy to the Nig-ar….Splendid weather. Warm. Worked some as usual. Howard here. My nose is same. Wish I was at Pompey Hill to night or Skaneateles….Rather warm. Snow some. Wind west. Hope it wont blow hard. Got breakfast. Read, set round. Rather blue. Is there a balm for a bleeding heart…..Them 25. Rain, fog. Worked as usual. Knit some. Quilted some. Washington Irvin went by. Is there rest on the other side of Jordan. I am kinder blue…..Cloudy. Cleared off. Went to church. Lib Prison captured. Peleg Card buried….”



“Them 6. Blow hard. Snows. Washed as usual. Knit sum little. Saw Freeman last night in my dreams. I would like to know his fate….Very good day. Spun, carded and spun. Sewed. My throat feels very bad. Wish I could see Elder Wm. Case. Wonder if this is the last time I shall write. Hope not. Hope my throat will get well anyhow…”



“Snow. Sun a little. H. got breakfast. Washed dishes. Messed round. Read some. When the long dark night of life is past and the morn of eternity dawns at last…..Clear, frosty. Spun 9 knots. Knit some. Went down to Grandfather Haskell’s. Granny mad as blazes. I am blue…Guess snow blow some. Washed dishes. Picked out rotten apples. Spun two knots. Knit some. Mended my dress. My throat feels quite bad. Hope it will get well. Hope this aint the last time I shall write in this book….It cleared off. Cleaned butter. Washed dishes pans and pails. A very handsome scrumptious looking feller brought the mop along and he thought all ladies like to wash always…..”



Rain little. Got to card. I washed dishes and pans. We let the hawk fly. Wonder how things will be March 16th, 1864….Wind. Rain. Hail. H. got victuals. Washed dishes. Wound quite. Knit. Sewed. I dreamed of shaking hands with Uncle Norman last night and of Uncle Freeman. Wonder if this is the last time I shall write…..”



“Cloudy. Sprinkled some. Got breakfast and super. Went to church. There is cannon firing in my direction. Most hope tis good news…..Hail and rain. Work as usual. The world is as well without me. Don’t see what I live for. I am sad….”



Clouded up. Sprinkled. Got breakfast as usual. Washed dishes and pails. Slept some. Aunt Jane here. I am blue as Indigo….Hot. Cloudy some. Got breakfast. Went to church. Washed dishes pans and pails. Jane here. Michael here. I have got a very sore throat. Wonder if this is the last time I shall write. Hope not….”



“Wind. Clouds. Cleared. Worked as usual. Spread hay. Throat feels very bad. I am blue as blue can be. Hope this arnt the last time I shall write….Hot. Rain. Cleared. Got breakfast. Washed dishes, pans and pails. Knit. Picked wool. Jane here. I am awful blue. There fighting like dogs. Hope well have the victory at last….”



“Them. 81. Cloudy. Cleared off. Smoke. Wind NW. Worked as usual. Insurance man here. He is smart. Intelligent looking. Martha Case here a few minutes. Preble Center….Them 66. Wind SW. Rain. Sun. Moonshine. Washed as usual. Sewed some. Uncle Lucas here and to dinner. James died and was buried. Buried at sea….”



“Them above 70. Wind S.W. Cloudy. It thunders. Worked as usual. Rueben here. Uncle Lucas to. He gave me a dollar and bade us goodbye. Hope my prayers will be answered….Worked as usual. Got a sore throat. Wonder if I shall write again. Hope so….”



“Them 68. Wind S. Blowed hard. Cloudy. Washed dishes pans pails. Skimmed milk. Churned. Knit. Read. John Burnham here. Wonder where I shall be a year from now….Cloudy. Cleared off. Washed dishes pans pails. Went to church. Fletcher and some others received into the church. Gave away the dollar….”



“Cloudy. Clear. Killed our beef. I am blue. We licked the Rebs at election…..My twentieth birth day. Worked as usual. Went to church. 20 years I have been in existence. What good have I done. Text was Matt. 1:21….”



“Clear. Read. Eat apples. Sat round. I am rather blue. I want to fill up this space and guess I will if I keep writing. There I did….Not a cloud in the sky. In all day. Worked as usual. Knit. Sewed. Wonder what I shall have to write before I get this space filled…..Washed. Got victuals. Knit. Wm Shearer here and an Irish peddler….”


     She mentions several names too, some of which are; Elder Case, Joseph Case, Ackerman, Lorenzo Keen, E. Boynton, Phelps, John Andres, Erin Waldo, O. Dennell, Aurora Huntington, Lord, Elder Graves, Smith, Bookman, Moses Norcut, George Dunbar, Henry Huntley and more.

     As far as the condition of the diary, it’s poor. The cover is torn with some pieces missing from the outside spine. The cover is also pulling away from the binding. Most of the pages are attached to the binding but in the back a few pages are starting to come loose. All accounted for however. It measures about 3” x 5”. Please keep the condition in mind when purchasing.


CONDITIONS: eBay has changed as of the first of June and now in order to receive a discount on seller fees you must have a return policy. I don’t usually have one because in the past I’ve had on a few occasions had people purchase diaries from me, copy them and then return them. Plus the pieces that I sell are a one of a kind item which makes them even more valuable. It is for this reason I don’t like to take returns. But, because of eBay I will. In order for you to be completely happy with your purchase and avoid returns I usually take several hours to read, study, research and then write up each auction for each diary so there is no misleading anyone. So please read my descriptions thoroughly and ask question before the auction ends.

      Handwritten items such as diaries and letters are never usually in mint condition. I try and describe my items the best way I can and post as many photos as I can. If a diary is tough to read for me I always say so in the description. If it is in bad condition I also say so and I usually describe the condition at the end of my descriptions. I had a person just purchase a diary from me and they were upset that it was written in pencil instead of pen. The photo in the auction clearly showed that it was in pencil and also clearly showed that it was very easy to read. They never contacted me about a return but decided to leave neutral feedback for me instead. I just think that some people expect these wonderful pieces of handwritten history to be in mint condition and when they find that they aren’t, they get upset. I have never, or I should say rarely, had a handwritten piece be in mint condition and there is a very good reason for that; they are made of paper, they’ve been carried around sometimes for 100’s of years and have been opened and shut thousands of times. So, please keep all of this in mind when purchasing diaries and letters from me. Sorry I have to be so picky about all of this.



MY BLOG: I’ve decided, finally, to start a blog site using the diaries in my personal collection. Over the years I’ve got so many amazing people emailing me asking me to share from my own personal collection of antique diaries. I’ve been trying to develop a web site but that is taking time so I thought I’d do this first and also facebook. There is also a page on the blog where I’ve written about why I collect. You can search for the blog by putting into one of the search engines (such as Google) the name; sallysdiaries (no apostrophe and all one word). 


     I’ve also started a facebook page and that is listed under Sally’s Diaries.     The first diary I’ve been blogging about is from 1912 and is written by a woman who spends a romantic summer in England with her lover Henri. She also takes photos along the way. It’s one of the first that I’ve blogged about and have finished it but you can still find it by going back to the beginning of the blog. On another blog page I’ve started to quote from a 1927 diary from a man who just lost his wife to death. She was giving birth to their daughter who also died. I call it “John’s Grief Diary” and a link to that is on my main blog page. His entries are as deep and heartfelt as I’ve ever read. THIS IS ALSO UNDER SALLYSDIARIES2. (Note the “2” after Sallysdiaries) 

     Thirdly I have just started another one on my first blog site that was written by none other then EDITH VANDERBILT SHEPARD FABBRI. It’s her travel diary from the East to West Coast in 1887.

     And finally on my facebook page, also located under Sallys Diaries, I started with another diary I have from 1937. This is an amazing diary belonging to the girlfriend of a New York Gangster. Crazy entries to say the least.

     Thanks to all of you who have helped me through the years with such positive words of encouragement.

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