1870s ARCHIVE OF SIX [6] ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN JOURNALS FROM A YOUNG WELL-TO-DO MAN, EDWIN STETSON, WHO WOULD BECOME A WELL REGARDED AND BELOVED FAMILY DOCTOR AND MARY, WHO WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME HIS WIFE MANY YEARS LATER

By: EDWIN AND MARY STETSON

Price: $3,055.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer are six [6] original handwritten diaries belonging to Edwin and Mary Stetson, a family doctor and his wife. Four of the diaries belonged to the Dr. Edwin Flye Stetson of Damariscotta, Maine and two of them belonged to Mary P. Chapman of Newcastle, Maine. Mary and Edwin would get married and live together for their whole lives, but the diaries here were written while both were single. They would four children together; Helen (1884), Rufus Edwin (1886), Grace Lunt (1891) and Mary Elvira (1894). Edwin’s diaries are dated 1873, 1874, 1875, 1877. Mary’s are dated 1880, and 1882. Edwin was a doctor and attended Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Maine and then attended Harvard Medical School and Bowdoin College. Edwin Flye Stetson, son of Abner and Betsey (Riggs) Stetson was born on December 21st, 1853 and would die in 1924. Mary was born in 1855. Edwin’s 1873 diary is about 3/4 full of entries but the 1874, 1875 and 1877 diaries are completely full of handwritten entries, of an easily comprehensible and clear script. For Mary’s diaries, the 1880 diary has entries everyday until May 3rd, and then there are blank pages until early June. After June 7th, Mary is faithful to the diary and there are full entries until the end of the year. She comments on why: “May 2nd, 1886. Something did happen. I was taken sick that very eve that the last page was written and have had a long drag of six weeks, been very sick with fever and been badly poisoned and salirated by Dr. Rob. No one knows what I have suffered but myself. I will pass over the next six weeks in silence since I only lay in bed. Everybody was as good as possible.” Her 1882 diary has steady entries up to February 20th then blank until May 4th and then after that there are about just blank pages. Most of the diaries have other papers and ephemera either stuck in between pages or in the little pouches in the front and back of the diary. These are mostly receipts for medical supplies and medicines, as well as some short letters. In 1873, Edwin is a 20-year old student. “February 12th, Cut wood a little while today. Go over to the hall in the afternoon and helped fix it up a little for the great ball Friday night. Everite has gone to Augusta and I have got to stop in the store tonight.” In June he takes a trip to St. John’s on a ship and spends a few months camping and relaxing for the summer. “June 23rd and 24th, Start for St. Johns this morning. I am tired of riding. Wish I was there…..Arrive in St. Johns 7 o’clock this morning. Go up to the Victoria Hotel to breakfast. Stay in the ship all day with Wilder. Like it. Think I shall run across to L. with them. Go up where the folks are tonight. Turn in at 10 o’clock happy.” “July 2nd, Father called me at 4 o’clock this morning. Devil of a hurry as usual. Boat starts from B. at 6 o’clock. Arrive in Rockland at 12 m. Get home 3 o’clock...Have a gay time. I tell ye fine bedfellow.” Most of Edwin’s entries are written in this matter-of-fact, short sentence way. He returns to school in September. “Finish sawing pine wood this forenoon. Get some in. Sent ma the note tonight. Dance in the hall. Don’t go. Sobered down quite an old man now. Things that I once loved I now hate and things that I once hated I now love. Whiskey &c.” 1873 is written almost entirey in pencil, and there has been some serious smudging on some day’s entries. This is not too common, but for the couple days smudged over, they cannot be comprehended fully. 1874 is much the same as the previous diary, recordings of his day-to-day tasks and life experiences, often dealing with girls, drinking, school, and friends. “February 12th, Our annual ball tonight. The best time I ever had. Home at 5 o’clock. We go over and sit and smoke with Jones until ½ after 6. Home, do my work and turn in.” In 1875, Edwin starts classes at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. “January 9th, Started for school today in a snow storm. Got here all night but am everlastingly lonesome, homesick for anything you please.”; “January 12th, I have studied like the very-D. today and taken a dead for it. If it wasn’t for the corks of the thing I’d pack my books, send them home and strike for parts unknown to man or east. I’m fairly discouraged. If I had a ‘drop of the old creature’ I believe I’d indulge a little.” In college, Edwin is struggling, homesick, lonely and ‘dead broke’. He writes once that one “Can’t say that I have had a very good time outside of home” In the summer, his parents and his brother Abner visit him. This doesn’t help too much though. “July 27th & 28th Ab came down this afternoon but wouldn’t stay. He has been at home now over a week and I am unable to read him. I fear he has changed mightily or else he is acting it….Picnic today. Don’t care much about it but must go. Wish I hadn’t gone. Never had a much poorer time. Wish I had gone when I had a good mind to Oh! Dear! Things are not just as I would have them but when will they ever be different?” Edwin’s last diary is in 1877, written in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is attending Harvard Medical School. He is doing better at Harvard, obviously studying very hard, but seeming to enjoy the struggle. “January 21, 1877. In the last 84 hours I have slept 6, tried to sleep today but could not.” “March 1, Worked in the lab until (?) 11. After lecture in anatomy went down to the store and got my collars, came home and studied on anatomy until supper time. Down to dissecting room this eve then Rob & I went down to Miller’s.” He attends classes on Chemistry, Physiology, Anatomy and others. He is incredibly studious during this time. “Studied till 11 - a very pleasant day - down to Chemistry - studied till after 2...” The entries thin out a bit by the end of the year, probably due to end of year exams. There is one entry from another time and it is about Edwin’s father’s death. “November 4th, 1878. Monday. Father died at 1.45 P.M. today. I arrived on the 4 P.M. train.” There is nothing more on the subject. Mary’s diaries begin in 1880. She spends much of the year in school and in the summer takes a trip out to Iselboro, Maine. “February 17th, Pleasant. School all day. Got real tired and am fairly sick this eve. I stretched out on the sofa and was thankful that Uncle Billie did not come. Mamma is not very well either. But we are very happy at being all together in our bright little home. Saw Addie.”; “April 28th, Pleasant and warm. We began school at 8 this morning and let out at ten as to attend Mr. French’s funeral. The remains were placed in the Hall. He looked very natural. The Mason’s buried him. They looked very nice and there were a great many. Papa was among them. Luda came home to dinner with me. Went to school this P.M. Mr. Thurlow tried experiments. Went over town, got my dress. Had quite a time.” As noted before, she also get deathly ill during the middle of the year. By the time she begins writing again, she is back to her old self. “July 31st, Seaside House. Quite pleasant. Got up early. Had to hurry to get to the boat at 8. All came to Isleboro where we were to stop a week. We enjoyed the sail down the river. This is a pretty place, about thirty regular boarders. A very good hotel, cottages and tents look pretty. We spent the P.M. tramping up on the hill. Sat on the beach this eve with Joe and Nellie. I think we will have a pleasant time here.” “November 1st, Pleasant. Examination at school. I got very indignant at Mr. Kelley for adjourning school to go to Waterville to vote and refused to close the school for him. I could not help it. He went off in such a mean way. I am sorry tho that I did not accommodate him but I was as right as he was.”; “November 3rd, Pleasant. I opened school at half past nine and when Mr. Kelley came we had a strong discussion. I was provoked and so was he. I wish I had not meddled with him at all, since he is little he cannot take an explanation or talk without arguing. Home this eve. The Republicans have got their 329. Garfield. I am sorry for the country.” Mary’s 1882 diary is similar. She continues with her studies, is very active in church and school politics, and seems to be a generally pleasant young woman. Though this is the oldest diary in the archive, it does not yet mention her meeting Edwin, and it is uncertain when and how they would meet. Mary’s diaries are considerably smaller than Edwin’s and her handwriting can be occasionally quite small and cramped, but this does not inhibit comprehension too often.

Title: 1870s ARCHIVE OF SIX [6] ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN JOURNALS FROM A YOUNG WELL-TO-DO MAN, EDWIN STETSON, WHO WOULD BECOME A WELL REGARDED AND BELOVED FAMILY DOCTOR AND MARY, WHO WOULD EVENTUALLY BECOME HIS WIFE MANY YEARS LATER

Author Name: EDWIN AND MARY STETSON

Categories: 19th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 19th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: BOSTON MA DAMARISCOTTA NEWCASTLE BRUNSWICK MAINE, 1873

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0009011

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