Josephine Jordan was my great, great, grandmother. She lived the life of a common farm wife in northern Maine. She kept a line a-day diary. I have her complete diaries from 1892 to 1898. You can learn more about Josephine, her diaries, and some historical perspective by going back to the first installment of this series.

Your questions, insights, or comments about this month's diary entries are welcomed.


--Tues, Nov. 1
Snow on the ground. It makes me feel sad.

--Wed, Nov. 2
Clear and cold. Butchered a cow. Mrs Varnum here.

--Thurs, Nov. 3
Went down town. All well, thank the good Lord.

--Fri, Nov. 4
Got the bottom of a hogshead. Lots of molasses.

--Sat, Nov. 5
Lovely & fine, but very busy. Wrote what i could.

--Sund, Nov. 6
All went to church but Laurie. He and Frank went in the evening.

--Mond, Nov. 7
Laurie commenced to go to school. Very fine.

--Tues, Nov. 8
Election day. Husband went and voted. Did not stay.

[Note: Josephine did not vote because women could not vote in 1892. Her husband probably voted for the incumbent Benjamin Harrison in the Presidential election. Aroostook county and the whole state of Maine went for Harrison. Nevertheless, he lost to Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland. 44 states voted in the election that year.

Another interesting bit of information regarding the election that year was the rise of the Populist party. One thing the Populist party advocated was inflation of the money supply by putting more silver coinage in circulation. Cleveland was a hard money advocate and not in favor of inflating the money. This information is from Wikipedia]

--Wed, Nov. 9
Made soup. Went over to Mrs. Shaw's in the evening.

--Thurs, Nov. 10
Cold & freezing. Got ready to go to the village. Found it too cold.

--Frid, Nov 11
Hubby went to look for a cow. I went part of the way.

--Sat, Nov. 12
Nice & fine. Men are hauling out rails. Am baking.

--Sund, Nov. 13
All went to church but Laurie. He and Frank went in the evening.

--Mond, Nov. 14
Lovely & mild. Went down to Mrs. Wallace. Sold a lot of land to Grimes.

--Tues, Nov. 15
Men stumping & ploughing. Still mild & lovely.

--Wed, Nov. 16
Raining. Hope it will fill the wells. Brother Arch came to see us today. Dr. Luce died this afternoon.

--Thurs, Nov. 17
Men are ploughing. Are nearly done.

--Frid, Nov. 18
Men are ploughing. I am making mince pies.

--Sat, Nov. 19
Raining. Butchered our hog today.

--Sund, Nov. 20
Mild & muddy. All went to church today but Blanche & Laurie.

--Mond, Nov. 21
Husband & Arch gone to the woods.

--Tues, Nov. 22
Frozen real hard. Hubby & Arch gone down town.

--Wed, Nov. 23
Snowing. Hubby & Arch gone to look at a farm.

--Thurs, Nov. 24
Frank's going after dinner. Hubby and I went for a ride in the sleigh.

--Frid, Nov. 25
Men in the woods cutting & sawing wood.

--Sat, Nov. 26
Went to auction at Mrs. F. Got some things.

--Sund, Nov. 27
Lovely & fine. Husband and I staid at home.

--Mond, Nov. 28
Lovely & fine. Did the washing all myself.

--Tues, Nov. 29
John Spaulding married today. Should like to have gone to dedication at Mapleton.

--Wed, Nov. 30
Men are busy in the woods. Quite dull.


Patti said...

Tues, Nov. 1
Snow on the ground. It makes me feel sad.
I wonder if it made her sad because it was much harder to keep house int eh winter bck then adn also when people got sick it was worse because of the cold? She refered to writting a few times this month..wonder what she was writing?

Anonymous said...

way up in northern Maine,i think wineer can start a little bit earlier,and springtime comes a little bit later.The first snowfall sometimes feels a little sad here in New Hampshire,too.

Lisa J said...

Likely the sadness means that the end of their harvest is near. these people made their lives by hard work and farming. There is no cropping and planting that can be done for about 5 months in Maine as the ground is frozen through April. They also not only come to the end of their harvest, but near the end of their income for about the same time and know they will have to live on reserve from their profit both in crop and finance.

ND said...

Here is Dr. Luce's grave memorial. Buried down state.