Diaries of Girls and Women captures and preserves the diverse lives of forty-seven girls and women who lived in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin between 1837 and 1999—young schoolgirls, adolescents coming of age, newlywed wives, mothers grieving the loss of children, teachers, nurses, elderly women, Luxembourger immigrant nuns, and women traveling abroad. A compelling work of living history, it brings together both diaries from historical society archives and diaries still in possession of the diarists or their descendents.
Editor Suzanne L. Bunkers has selected these excerpts from more than 450 diaries she examined. Some diaries were kept only briefly, others through an entire lifetime; some diaries are the intensely private record of a life, others tell the story of an entire family and were meant to be saved and appreciated by future generations. By approaching diaries as historical documents, therapeutic tools, and a form of literature, Bunkers offers readers insight into the self-images of girls and women, the dynamics of families and communities, and the kinds of contributions that girls and women have made, past and present. As a representation of the girls and women of varied historical eras, locales, races, and economic circumstances who settled and populated the Midwest, Diaries of Girls and Women adds texture and pattern to the fabric of American history.
About the Author
Suzanne L. Bunkers is professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the editor of The Diary of Caroline Seabury: 1854–1863, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press. She is the author of In Search of Susanna; the editor of All Will Yet be Well: The Diary of Sarah Gillespie 1873-1952; and the co-editor of Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women’s Diaries.
Table of ContentsContents Acknowledgments Introduction 1. American Girls Sarah Gillespie Huftalen, 1877–1879 Mary Griffith, 1880 Etta Luella Call, 1881–1882 Polly Caroline Bullard, 1897 Marjorie L. Bullard, 1897–1898 Elspeth Close, 1918 Kimberly Bunkers, 1992–1993 Kelly Lynn Bunkers, 1996–1997 Megan Kennedy, 1994–1999 Megan Kesselring, 1998–1999 Alena Johnson, 1999 Mary Madigan, 1999 Rachel Bunkers-Harmes, 1999 2. Coming of Age Sarah Jane Kimball, 1854–1862 Addie Tripp, 1864 Margaret Vedder Holdredge, 1865 Ada L. James, 1895–1902 Gertrude Cairns, 1896–1898 Dorothea Barland, 1903 Pauline C. Petersen, 1907–1908 Edythe M. Miller, 1911 Martha Furgerson Nash, 1947 3. Journeys Sarah K. Pratt, 1844 Isabella McKinnon, 1852 Emily Quiner, 1863 Jane F. Grout, 1873 Agnes Barland McDaniel, 1923 Alice Gortner Johnson, 1933 Gwendolyn Wilson Fowler, 1936–1937 Ruth Van Horn Zuckerman, 1967 4. Home, Work, Family Eliza and J. Talmai Hamilton Family, 1837–1851 Lucinda and Edward Holton Family, 1845–1904 School Sisters of Notre Dame, 1865–1894 Antoinette Porter King, 1866–1868 Jennie Blair Andrews, 1876–1877 Martha Smith Brewster, 1876–1879 Abbie T. Griffin, 1882–1885 Maria Morton Merrill, 1890–1899 Maranda J. Cline, 1906–1907 Lillian Stephens Carpenter, 1934 Ruby Butler Ahrens, 1942 Maud Hart Lovelace, 1953–1955 Sisters of St. Francis (OSF), 1962–1973 Carol Johnson, 1984 Juanita Anderson Ahrens, 1992 Sandra K. Gens, 1992 Afterword Archival Sources Bibliography
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