View Full Version : New York Farmer Diary
05-12-2012, 04:51 PM
I remember reading somewhere about an upstate New York farmer's diary from the Civil War period. If I'm correct, the unique/ interesting thing about the diary was that the young man did not participate in the war and makes no or little mention of the war in his diary.
My main interest in it is the potential source ofr details of everyday life from this person's unique perspective.
So, does anyone know of this book???
I've tried searching several times (variations including famer, diary, civil war, upstate NY, etc. etc.) at Amazon, Morningside books, Hopefarm, Google books to no avail.
Any information would be most appreciated.
05-12-2012, 06:28 PM
During my continuing search for the above resource I did find this at the Rice University (Houston, TX) site:
Guide to the O.M. Slosson Diary and Farm Ledger, 1858-1860 - Diary and farm ledger kept by O. M. Slosson, a farmer in upstate New York (Pompey, Onondago County), reflecting the life of a Northern farmer just before the Civil War; he describes daily chores, agricultural problems, livestock, church attendance and themes of Sunday sermons, deaths and other local events, social activities, weather, personal finances (including loans, debts, and purchases), and letters received, with reminders to himself noted in the margins. He also makes reference to his reading materials: Knickerbocker’s Magazine, and The Phrenological Journal.
The biographical note for the diary - "Nothing is known of O. M. Slosson, a farmer in up-state New York prior to the Civil War, other than what may be gleaned from his diary and ledger. He appears to have been thrifty, conscientious in repaying debts, active in church affairs, and a competent manager with broad knowledge of farm maintenance, repair, and livestock. He also seems to have had an appreciation for poetry (verse is written inside the diary’s covers), and a certain sensitivity to seasonal pleasures in the midst of farm routine, noting for example the first appearance of robins and bluebirds at the end of winter. "
And the Scope and Contents: . "M. Slosson’s diary and ledger is a bound volume of 130 pages, with entries from August 29, 1858 to June 17, 1860, depicting Northern farm life in upstate New York just before the Civil War; Slosson’s entries give a sense of the seasonal rhythms and routines of rural community life (church, social activities, local events), as well as a farmer’s daily responsibilities and financial concerns in managing a farm during this period. "
Really wish I could have access to it, even though this isn't the exact resource I'm looking for.
05-12-2012, 09:31 PM
Have you contacted the library to see if the collection is microfilmed? There's a small chance that they might interlibrary loan the film if it is. Worth a shot.
05-14-2012, 07:23 PM
The Slosson document piqued my interest, since I grew up one town over from Pompey.
If you're interested, he seems to appear in a period (-ish) local gazette listing. (I have not yet tied the lot numbers to a map yet, but may)
Also, I believe I've found his grave:
I hope this is of interest.
05-15-2012, 12:16 AM
Bob I'll have to check with the university to see of they have any way for me to access the document.
Very cool Grant. I really am more interested in learning about the everday life of people in rural NYS, mostly for non-military/pre-military "identity".
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