Sarah Ann Jackson
1835 part 1
Submitted by Jan
Source: Original Diary
Click here for part 3
Notes from transcriber: The diary is written in a faded brown ink, with pages toward the back in faded pencil. At times it was difficult to make out, and at those points I place a question mark. Also you will notice that punctuation is often missing. I am not sure why, as the lady seems quite articulate, and wonder if maybe small periods have simply faded away. I have taken pains to try to transcribe exactly what I see as I see it. It is not filled with exciting accounts from history, but simply with the daily life of Sarah Ann Jackson. I am able to gather that she must be single (but unable to tell whether as spinster or widow), either a school teacher or student or both, and seems to be living in a boarding house. The diary was found between the walls of an old house in Laurel County, Kentucky, but there is nothing that tells us if it was written in that place or how it came to be there. It was the only item found there. She does mention names that perhaps some of you will recognize as being of the times and/or area. When I have transcribed the diary I will try to run some checks on the property it was found in and see if I can't learn something about the history of the place that could explain this.
Sarah Ann Jackson
My Journal for 1835
After disengaging myself from morpheus and contemplating on what had passed never to return, I was suddenly aroused from my reverie by a faint tap at the door. I ran with all speed to see whom it might be that wished to pay me a visit at such an unusual hour fearing I might have enjoyed my repose too long and was to meet with a hasty summons to breakfast. I have no doubt but some considerable agitation was visible on my countenance but to return to my guest nothing of the kind was perceptable but where accosted rather abruptly from me he very modestly replied I have intruded for the purpose of wishing you a happy New Year ? met with the salutation from several but from none that appeared to originate so much from friendship as the first I considered them nothing more than masks of civility.
New Year passed of without much improvement. Although a great part of the day was spent in reading and writing but unfortunately for me I was destined to sit in the front part of the house where I was constantly annoyed by the jingling of bells. The variety of sounds exhibited attracted considerable of my attention as the evil eye of curiosity is always on the glare. To behold the poor animals so unnecessarily loaded, and their unfeeling drivers excited, no very pleasant occupation. The hour of 9 oclock arrived. We were ? by the bells to school onct our old associates in fine spirits some of them having ? New Years so hard school was not to be taken in as usual spent the time till the commencement in sharing with each other the gifts of St. Niklas but the bitter and sweet is always mingled. About the middle of the forenoon entered my friend Miss ?H rather dejected. I required an explanation immediately. To see one of my associates look so unhappy made me ? ?, to produce unpleasant feelings.
Arose with nothing of much importance has occurred through day. Had a morning call from Mrs. G spent the forepart of the day in reading the after part in visiting the evening in chatting with a few friends one of which had just returned from a wedding party. The time for retiring is fast approaching another week is past one nears our departure from this world of ease and sorrow, but will our exchange be for the better? I fear not. I ? different course is not persued from the present.
The thermometer stood this morning 20 degrees below zero. Attended church in the morning had an excellent sermon from the 39th Psalms 5?th v their was no meeting this evening in consequence of its being so extremely cold. Spent the evening in reading some of Mrs. Sherwood's writings. She gives us some of the peculiarities of the people that reside in Geneva.
Excessively cold. Thermometer 32 degrees below zero!!! The bells ringing at nine announces our departure for school. Left home with some reluctance but found their had been great pains taken to make the room comfortable. Spent the forpart of the day in solving a few problems in ch aa The afternoon in Abracombes treatise on the wind. For this evening we have a lesson in astronomy. But one of our boarders just returning the natural consequence insued (long tongues) And I am sorry to say astronomy was quite forgotten number of compositions to correct before retiring dreaded task.
Not as cold as yesterday go get comforted so. Miss Price left school lives some distance from here uncertain as to even meeting again. Poured over Geometry all the afternoon. The evening was spent in talking writing composition and in studying geography. Before retiring must endeavour to shake a few ideas out of my brain for my friend M R on memory.
D?caded wheras day is past. The compositions are read an criticised. Calisthenics are taken. Some of the school class feel unpleasant towards me As I was chosen as one of the committee being sorry would much rather have my composition criticised than to criticise others. I shall content myself thinking everything is for the best. Mary C is quite steady this evening. Mary L is very much engaged, preposing to exhibit next whensday Cousin Julia in the right mood Think more of Louis Ann Ward than ever
Every day alike nothing new or strange met a very sociable old lady in the street she thought we were a going to have warmer weather hope her prognostication may be realized. Been moping over Geometry all the evening Except a minutes that were spent writing to Cousin E.
On returning from school found Miss Lewis sitting in our room agreeably surprized Expecting every moment to be called for going to visit the scenes of any childhood happy thought Hope the anticipated hurry be fully realized, The lady borders are also anticipating a ride to the cedar swamp.
Last returned from Cheste? Never enjoyed myself better than wile a chasten Every thing transacted during our stay appeared to be designed solely to contribute to our happenings Attended a small party Saturday evening company very agreeable much pleasantes than if it had been longer Miss H visiting here very pleasant Had a call from Mr. B. Miss L. a poor lesson in consequence Attended church on sabbath very much pleased For this evening intellectual philosophy has taken my attention The weather will not permit us to look out the constellations the appearance of snow again improved the sl?ying but very little
A very poor lesson in Astronomy this morning in consequence of the Heavens being overcast Miss H went with us to school spent the day with Mrs W. The forepart of the day was spent in solving a few difficult equations in Algebra. The afternoon in Geometry. Feel quite dissatisfied with myself don't improve my time as I ought Yet I indulge a home I shall do better in future. At twilight I was arroused from my revery by a knock at the door hastened their found a friend waiting to hand me a letter. This evening has been spent in correcting compositions much rather write let the production be ever so poor Mr. C quite wild this evening. Julia Anne gone to visit a cousin M. L. absorbed, in a deap revery. As to myself rather sad
Awoke this morning and found the sleighing was a going very fast. Despare of riding any more in the sleigh this winter. The weather is very mild The day has not passed very pleasantly. No very good lessons to read through the day Feel provoked at myself for being so slack.
The rain has rendered the walking very bad. Had the good company of Miss Hasbroucke to school this morning remained their all day spent the intermission in conversing with Miss W the most affectionate girl that I knew the afternoon in reading. Their has been several interuptions this eveing by calls but their friendly conversation has been of as much proffit as if our studies were persued diligently Feel quite disposed this eveing to complain of not feeling well. Thought quite painful. Must try to write to my deal mother this evening and try and compensate in some measure for the very affectionate one I received from her a few days since. Oh that I may contribute to my poor mother happenings as much as in my faver while deprived of each others society. Expect every moment to see my brother come in from dancing school Hope he may see the folly of his way and substitute the perusal of some good book.
Just rose in time to see the king of day send forth a few rays and then become obscured by the misty collerman? residing between their and here then all was dark and gloomy. ? would have thought in a fit season for reflection It was not for me instead of that I was obliged to be conversant with my books or entter the school room with a poor lesson which I dislike very much all this was in consequence of fatal delay. ? here of ten endeavors to do everything in its season. Mary Cs parents called and took her home M. L. and myself intende to stay here. Julia at home.
Been very busy all day doing nothing feel inclined to spend to little better advantage if possible nothing new or strange has occurred the day has pased like all other Saturdays the mind occupied in trivial affares had some calls as usual through the day. Brother James gone to visit the county house. Cousin gone to visit her sister expecting her to return soon the slaying has gone ? we shall not be anoyed with bells until more snow falls M.L. myself alone enjoying ourselves much
Attended church had an excellent sermon. Went the afternoon to Sabbath school Had one little girl to instruct felt quite encouraged with her sorry it is not in my power to attend steady went in the evening to church. Heard a sermon preached in the evening from Hebrews 10th Ch. 10 v.
Their has to be a ball in the village this week. It is the principle topic of conversation have not had a ticket of ? quite as well as if I had. Don't feel slighted in the least. Nothing new today spent The day rather pleasantly succeeded in algebra very well.
? poor old man has left this world of care & sorrow and one more to the number of departed spirits. Now many occurances there are daily to warn as of the uncertainty of life Now little do we heed Men
Took the Calisthenics before breakfast with my companions felt quite at home when taking them feel in hopes I shall at last throw aside those perplexing obstacles that have long stood in ? with respect to algebra
Had a challenge sent by some young ladies in a remote corner of the room to another in which I was myself seated It was like an elapse of thunder in a clear day. Mails has just started ans? This time it is to ? hope it will continue have no doubt we shall find it a great convenience spent the afternoon in treatise on ? on sensation. Met with some new ideas
Heard the tidings of Mrs Hortons death feel quite sad no very pleasant occurences though the day. Here that ?y Evans is no better think he will not live long Mr. Welch ver pleasant as usual Algebra
Note from transcriber: This page is difficult, for the author has written down the page as one might expect, then written ACROSS the page opposite.
Friday the 23rd
Spent ? ?day with my two friends Miss H. and D. Our hobby was algebra We spent the day at that and conversing in various topics returned home had taken my rest in a separate part of the house thinking to enjoy my repose for some length of time had not more than got seated when my Aunt ? was announced The next moment I was in her embrace
Thursday and Friday passed off with good speed. Saturday was busy all day as a bee Had a call in the afternoon rom Miss Stoll? and Denton There was a lecture delivered by M? I? Had such multiplicity of buisness and ? that I could not attend ? the evening rather unproffit yet agreeable had the good company of Miss Amy?
Click Here for part 2. February 1835
Return to Laurel County Homepage