December 3, 2008


My ancestors on my mother's side were mostly English Quakers (also known as the Society of friends) who settled in southeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1700's. The diary that I will be reproducing was handed down over several generations, and is well preserved.

Unfortunately I have no idea of the name of the diarist other than he had to have been a young male. He never signed his name anywhere on what is a 50 page, 3 1/2 inch by 6 inch booklet. My grandparents, who may have known the name also never recorded it, so it's sadly lost forever.

He likely lived on a farm at the time, somewhere in what is now Chester County, PA. He must have been well educated as the writing is very "Shakespearean" in style as seen from the current day. He was very religious, as the diary mainly is a record of his thoughts regarding the many Quaker Meetings (church services) he attended.

Despite being a young male who was no doubt experiencing an "adult biological awakening", to put it coyly, he never mentions an interest in young women as far as I can see, even ones with whom he must have been introduced to at various Quaker social gatherings. I have to conclude that he was so devoted to his faith that he must have turned his youthful desires inward, and directed them towards a love of Jesus, and his faith. His writings show a deep passion at times that seems "over the top" today.

I will try to upload scanned images of the pages, but it's difficult to do as the spine is old and brittle, and I don't want to damage the diary needlessly. So for anyone who loves early American History, or wonders what life may have been like then, this blog is for you.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, this was probably the most interesting thing that I have read in years.

AndyK said...

Your welcome!