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COLLECTION Identifier: A/H634

Diary of Dema M. Higbee, 1864-1867


Diary of Dema M. Higbee, who taught school in Wisconsin in the 1860s.


  • Creation: 1864-1867


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. The diary created by Dema M. Higbee is in the public domain.

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


1 folder

The diary of Dema M. Higbee documents her experiences teaching school in Wisconsin in 1864 and 1865. The diary is an appointment book for 1864 and beginning with the pre-printed entries for August 1864, Higbee scratched out the printed dates and handwrote new dates from November 20, 1865, to December 15, 1865. An entry for April 28, 1867 is included in the memoranda pages towards the end of the diary. She notes the weather each day and comments on the tedium of her life, noting in the entry for January 10th that "It's as dull as ever here + a little more so," and the following day that "I feel blue, bluer, bluest." She notes the size of her class most days that she teaches, as well as how well the children are taking to the teaching, and her own health and that of others, including the children. Other topics include visits and other excursions with friends, and receiving and writing letters. A short section titled "Descriptive Geography by Miss Sanderson for older scholars" and some ledger entries are included towards the end of the volume. The diary has the following note on an early page: "Found by Alma Pearl Edson, daughter, at her mother's home, 1728 New Jersey Ave, N.W., Washington DC."


Mary Lodema "Dema" Higbee was born in Allentown, New York, in 1843, the daughter of Mary Jane (Franklin) and Henry Merrick Higbee. She had two siblings, Henry and Alma. She taught school in Delton, Wisconsin, before marrying Milan Chappell Edson in 1866. They had three children, Edna, Phebe, and Alma. Dema Higbee Edson died in Washington, DC, in 1901.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 80-M39

The diary of Dema M. Higbee was acquired by the Schlesinger Library from the Manuscript Company of Springfield, Virginia, in March 1980.

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).

Processing Information

Processed: June 1983

By: Jeanne-Marie Mustoe

Updated and additional description added: November 2022

By: Susan Earle

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 Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Fund, Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library, Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, Class of 1955 Manuscript Processing Fund, Eliza Taylor and George W. Ransom Memorial Fund, Robert and Elizabeth Owen Shenton Fund, and the Fleisher Acquisition 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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