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COLLECTION Identifier: A/B36582

Diary of Phebe F. Beach, 1857-1862


Diary kept by Phebe F. Beach.


  • Creation: 1857-1862

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the diary created by Phebe F. Beach as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folder

Diary includes extensive entries concerning Beach's social life, teaching, poems and her relationships with her aunt and uncle. She writes about her 20th birthday, the prospect of marriage, the death of her uncle, her depression following the birth and death of her child, and the early days of her marriage. Beach also wrote about her fears of becoming "a baby manufacturer and stocking darner," as well as her opinions regarding the happiness of married couples. Beach's last entry describes the letter she received with news of Arthur Jordan's death after the Battle of Cedar Mountain during the Civil War.


Phebe F. Beach was born on July 31, 1837. She was adopted by her aunt and uncle, Phebe Perkins Beech (the spelling of the family name varied) and Joseph Palmer Fessenden. Joseph Fessenden was a Congregationalist clergyman in Kennebunkport (1820-1829) and South Bridgton, Maine (1829-1861). In 1858, Phebe F. Beach taught school in New Gloucester, Maine. In August 1860, she married Arthur Jordan; a child was born in January 1862, and died two months later. Arthur Jordan enlisted with the 10th Maine Infantry in April 1862, and was killed at Cedar Mountain, Virginia, in August 1862.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2004-M140

The Diary of Phebe F. Beach was acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Dan Casavant Rare Books in 2004.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital Surrogates of the items in this collection are available through the Adam Matthew online database Gender: Identity and Social Change (Access restricted to subscribing institutions).

Related Material:

There is related material at the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library; see Joseph Palmer and Phebe Beech Fessenden papers, 1803-1893, undated (M060).

There is related material at the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan; see the Beach-Fessenden family Letters, 1838-1850 (M-2980.3).

Processing Information

Processed: December 2004

By: Anne Engelhart

Updated and additional description added: January 2021

By: Cat Lea Holbrook

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Zetlin Sisters Fund and the Jane Rainie Opel '50 Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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