Oneida Castle, New York: 1868. A pocket diary belonging to E. M. Cole, an unidentified woman living in Oneida Castle, NY. The diary starts of with several printed pages of general information, such as the calendar for the year, including phases of the moon, church holidays, postal money orders, and US stamp duties. Cole starts actually writing in the diary on February 8, 1868, the date she purchased it herself. There are daily entries in the diary until August 23 where it abruptly stops for a month and inexplicably resumes finally concluding on November 1. Each entry is a record of what Cole did that day as well as a note on the weather. Additionally, after a new servant girl, Louise H. Ellington, arrives on April 4, there are numerous notes on what work she does in the house as well. It is unclear throughout the diary, whether Cole is a fellow servant or the mistress of the house, different entries throughout the year support either hypothesis. There are references to "Mother and Father" and "Mother and Father Cole" so it is almost certain that Cole is her married name. Additionally, there are numerous references to an Elmer, who may or may not be her husband. At the end of the diary there are several pages set aside for 'Memoranda', 'Cash Accounts', and 'Bills Payable' most of which has been filed out. There are notes about money she borrowed from her father to pay for medicine and a few notes about local deaths. The 'Cash Accounts' and 'Bills Payable' is a record of her purchase or sales made. Purchases general include her groceries or other items, such as fabric for dress. During the the summer months, she harvested and made jams from a variety of berries and keeps track of who she sold them to, as well as the amount purchased by each individual. Below are some of the daily entries in the journal.
"Baked pies, cake & c, worked and packed about twenty lbs. of butter. Elmer has gone to Vienna and it seems lonely here tonight." - March 28, 1868
"O dear, how tired I am, have been papering the dining room, idi not get it quite finished. Warm & cloudy, has been showers around but none just here." - May 29, 1868
"Baked bread, pickled berries & did some house work & some serving. Louise washed & ironed. Some 6 Dutch women at work." - July 9, 1868
"Swept, did house work, cut cucumbers & sewed some AM. [In] PM DW has drawn 4 loads of sand to Oneida & 1 of cheese. We had a shower this PM." - August 19, 1868
"My poor diary has bee neglected these four weeks for pop picking [sp?] & c. Today blacked stove pipe, baked bread, colored and ironed dress & c. Rainy." - September 25, 1868
"Louise cleaned Father's rooms today and I of course did the work which takes nearly all my time fro my family of 10 persons. Michael came at noon." - October 29, 1868
The journal itself has black leather covers, with a flap to seal. There is a gilt stamp on the front cover which states "Diary 1868". There is a slot for a small pen or pencil and a pocket folder in the back. Interior pages are gilt edge. Measures 4 3/4" x 4 1/4" General wear.