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.42 linear feet (1 file box)
Volumes 1-2 of the Journals describe Sarah Ripley Stearns' life and interests of this period. She speaks of Uncle David Ripley; departure of Mr. R.B. Callender for Boston, having tended my father's store for 8 years and is now free; 1802 Reverend Ezra Ripley of Concord and his wife - to preach to the Free Masons; Mr. B. Callender brought his sister Eunice to visit from Northfield; November 1802 speaks of brother George, born October 3 (see D.A.B); visits Grandmother and Aunt Rachel in Boston; 1803 Eunice Callender visits her in March; 1804 May goes to Dorchester Ladies Academy for a few months. On September 26, 1804 speaks of being now 19 years old. (Volume 1 bears the subscription "This extract copied at Leominster, October 1823 while boarding with strangers and separated from all my children and natural relatives, except my little Charles ... still am I surrounded with proofs of the Divine Goodness")
Volume 2 (Journal number 5) 1808 in Greenfield. Brother Franklin departs for Hanover (Dartmouth) on October 7; more religious notes; also family comings and goings; September 1809 Brother Franklin leaving for New York state to practice law, October settled in Cooperstown; 1810 visits in Boston, helping Aunt Rachel who keeps house for her brother and his two sons; May, returns to Greenfield; Brother Thomas has gone into partnership with Father in the store; takes on teaching her younger brothers and sisters. 1811 more visits, speaks of Sister Harriet, Catherine Emmons and Eunice Callender. November 10, 1812 marries Charles Stearns of Shelburne.
Volume 3 (Journal January 3, 1813 - December 6, 1818) Married life. Death of Charles' brother Thomas, aged 22. September 11, 1813 birth of daughter Rachel Willard. Mary Stearns, Charles sister was to have visited but death of Mrs. Stearns leaves her caring for her brother Otis' family. 1814 Death of Cousin Susan Callender of Boston, aged 20 years. refers to the War, draft, etc. February 1815 Peace. Rachel growing. March 2 birth of son. Charles Stearns in partnership with Sarah's brother Thomas Ripley. December 24. a Female Charitable Society formed (Benevolent Institution); My two sisters E and M. profess religion. 1816, third child born. October 16th. 1817 Heathen School Association formed. New minister. 1818 Change in temporal affairs. Death of Charles Stearns, September 27, 1818, of typhus fever. Returns to her father's home, with three children and one unborn.
The three journals 1801-1818 are full of local chit-chat, family doings, visits to relatives in Boston, etc. later parts become religious in nature.
Rachel Willard Stearns, born September 11, 1813 in Shelburne, Massachusetts, daughter of Sarah Ripley and Charles Stearns.
Journals, October 3, 1834 - December 17, 1837, record "the most interesting events of my life and of the Lord's dealings with me, and of my own feelings and conduct." The journals are full of religious outpourings and self-searching, introspective in nature, a fascinating record of a New England conscience.
Volume 2 1834-1835. Speaks of Sarah (her sister) having tried her very much all day. Talked with Mr. Townsend, the minister, Camp meeting October 1834. "Louisa attending my school"; later on stage on way to Leominster to teach school. Conflict of Orthodoxy and Methodism.
Volume 3 May 1835 - December 5, 1835. Joins Methodists. Brother William has left Boston, now in hospital in Worcester. Only 10 scholars in her school when it reopened June 8th. Finished school year, discouraged, children also leaving her sewing circle (religious controversy the cause?) September 11, 1835, speaks of humble station, poor garb, rich relations; November 4 getting her sister ready to go to Boston, "glad I am going to leave too." Rejoicing that she can attend school at Wilbraham. Uncle Franklin, her mother's brother refuses to be responsible for her school fee!
Journal lacking - apparently she did not go to Wilbraham for in June 1836, Journal number 5
Volume 6 Rachel is now in Newton, teaching in a school of which Mr. Davis is Head. Very introspective entries. Goes to church in the Upper Falls (a long walk) Becomes lost in the wood on the way.
Volume 7 October 31, 1836 - December 17, 1837. (Journal number 6) Proposal! Fired from Mr. Davis school. Goes to teach in Woodville, Mississippi, The Miss Chapman's School. Sails for New Orleans, April 5, 1837. Description of storm at sea. Sister Margaret to join her.
Eunice Callender born 1785? of Boston.
139 letters to Sarah Ripley Stearns, 1802 - 1830. Comment on books, social life in Boston, theatre, current events and local gossip. Later letters become more religious in nature, full of death, illness, etc. September 30, 1813 - interesting account of Shaking Quakers at Harvard, Massachusetts. April 2, 1814 - quotes re female writers, Boston Female Asylum, etc. Makes fascinating reading in conjunction with Sarah and Rachel Stearns' letters.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Stearns, Sarah Ripley: M-59, Reel 992, No. M28
- Stearns, Rachel Willard: M-59, Reel 992, No. M27
- Callendar, Eunice: M-59, Reel 968, No. M4
- Stearns, Sarah Ripley, 1785-1871. Papers of Sarah Ripley Stearns, 1801-1837: A Finding Aid.
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