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Adeline & Julia

Adeline & Julia: Growing Up in Michigan and on the Kansas Frontier: Diaries from 19th-Century America

Janet L. Coryell
Robert C. Myers
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 265
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  • Book Info
    Adeline & Julia
    Book Description:

    The keeping of journals and diaries became an almost everyday pastime for many Americans in the nineteenth century. Adeline and Julia Graham, two young women from Berrien Springs, Michigan, were both drawn to this activity, writing about the daily events in their lives, as well as their 'grand adventures.' These are fascinating, deeply personal accounts that provide an insight into the thoughts and motivation of two sisters who lived more than a century ago. Adeline began keeping a diary when she was sixteen, from mid-1880 through mid-1884; through it we see a young woman coming of age in this small community in western Michigan. Paired with Adeline's account is her sister Julia's diary, which begins in 1885 when she sets out with three other young women to homestead in Greeley County, Kansas, just east of the Colorado border. It is a vivid and colorful narrative of a young woman's journey into America's western landscape.

    eISBN: 978-0-87013-904-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Janet L. Coryell and Robert C. Myers
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)
    Susan Armitage

    You are about to meet two engaging young nineteenth-century women and share important experiences with them. Adeline and Julia Graham, daughters of a prosperous Michigan farm family, kept diaries during key moments in their young lives. Addie, the younger sibling, consciously kept a very personal and literary record of her adolescence (ages 15–19) during the years 1880–84. The next year, older sister Julia penned a less personal but equally interesting account of her great “adventure” homesteading in western Kansas. Taken together, these two diaries tell us many things about the opportunities and challenges facing white, middle-class women in...

  5. Part 1 Growing Up in Michigan:: The Diary of Adeline Graham

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 7-8)

      Adeline Eliza Graham was born at her family’s farm just outside Berrien Springs, Michigan, on August 26, 1864, the youngest child of George and Mary Graham. Her parents named her for her mother’s sister, Adeline Eliza Murdock.

      Adeline’s father, George, the eldest of seven children, was born in Stoystown, Pennsylvania, January 31, 1826. He came to Berrien County, Michigan, in 1843 and was joined three years later by his widowed mother, two brothers (John, who settled in Buchanan and James, who settled in Berrien Springs), and two sisters. George married Mary Bacon Garrow on December 19, 1849, and the couple...

    • Volume 1: May 10, 1880–June 6, 1881
      (pp. 9-40)

      I just spilt my ink to commence with. Well I’ve made up my mind to keep a journal at last. I’ve been making up my mind for about two years now; so to night I went down town and got this little book and commenced in dead earnest.

      I just got back from Niles this evening and feel rather blue after bidding my dear cousin Martha a good bye.¹ I will miss her so much after being with her all winter. I took her up to Niles Saturday with the carriage and Charlie and Pa took Daisy, Aunt Ella, and...

    • Volume 2: December 21, 1881–May 28, 1882
      (pp. 41-92)

      We have such comical and funny times I am going to keep an account of them as well as I can, although they will sound silly written down. Jude advised me to and I always take her advice; when she advises me to do something I intend to do.

      Cousin Bob got up a dancing school this winter. He likes to dance. I don’t unless I can have the whole floor to myself. It’s lots of fun to go though, and I wouldn’t miss it for a good deal. George generally takes Jude and I and Et has to go...

    • Volume 3: June 14, 1882–June 2, 1884
      (pp. 93-138)

      The graduation is over and the first three days of vacation are gone. Our graduation passed off splendidly. Our essays surprised everybody, they were so much better than they expected. We all received quantities of flowers. Et and I each received a lovely hot-house bouquet from Cousin Kitty.¹ I received ten or twelve in all and a basket and a house [illeg.]. Jule Brown gave me a lovely bouquet almost as handsome as Kitty’s. Such weepings and wailings as we had over our examinations. Nevertheless I passed splendidly in every thing but Geometry and I don’t know what I stood...

    • [Illustrations]
      (pp. None)
  6. Part 2 Julia Graham’s Kansas Adventure:: The Diary of Julia Graham

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 141-144)

      In September 1885, Julia Graham, Adeline’s elder sister, embarked on the greatest adventure in her life: homesteading on the Great Plains. During the next year, this young woman of a proper Victorian family endured blizzards, prairie fires, floods and droughts while she proved up her claim to land on the Kansas prairie.

      Julia was born at the Graham family farm in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on June 20, 1862. She was named for an aunt, Julia (Graham) Higby, her father’s sister. She attended St. Mary’s Academy at South Bend, Indiana, and Albion College in Albion, Michigan. On September 7, 1885, she...

    • Volume 4: September 11, 1885–December 31, 1885
      (pp. 145-170)

      I have just come from dinner at the Colwell House—and expect to have this afternoon to devote to my Journal and letter writeing we have been so busy since we came that our correspondents have been neglected. We arrived here on Friday eve 6.30 were met at the deapot by Mrs Crawford + Mr Harris took tea at Hotel. Mr + Mrs Spencer called in the eve and invited us to tea 6.0 o’clock dinner next day. Take all our meals at the Hotel. I have met a great many pleasant people Belle has a great many friends here...

    • Volume 5: January 1, 1886–August 3, 1886
      (pp. 171-214)

      This is N. Y. day. it is quite snowy + cold. we were awakened about 8 o-clock by Rob comming after the gun. antelope were in sight + great was the excitement. Myers was soon also on their track, so we ate our breakfast of corn-cakes + molasses with out his exhilerating presence. Mr Campbell + Jessie had sent us by the Harper boys 2 chickens, appels, cranberries + a can of fruit. the chickens we have had in the satchel on the signal stick on top of the dug-out. the wind had blown them down several times but we...

  7. Appendix 1: Who Addie Knew
    (pp. 215-220)
  8. Appendix 2: What Addie Read
    (pp. 221-226)
  9. Index of Names and Places
    (pp. 227-237)