Price: $1,655.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Fair

On offer is a charming 1891-83 diary authored by Katherine Duncan Davis (1875-1929), a young woman who belonged to a family of noted Pennsylvania businessmen and earliest settlers in Allegheny county. The diary gives an excellent insight into the life, thoughts and aspirations of upper middle class young women at the end of the nineteenth century. This is a daily diary for the year of 1890, but includes entries for 1890 to 1893, it measures 6-1/2" by 8-1/4", about 40% of pages are filled. The entries vary in length, few are only one or two lines, while other take a whole page, and when it was not enough an additional page was pinned. There are also concert programs, 3 pencil drawings, an envelope with 4 darkened photos, a hair lock in an envelope, pressed leaves and flowers, letter drafts and notes. The spine is partially detached, the diary itself is in good condition, but edges of some inserted papers are chipping off, few pages are yellowed. This diary gives a glimpse into 4 years of life of a young woman in the late 19th century, as she is growing up and turns from a fifteen year old carefree girl to a young beautiful woman - the diary contains photos and pencil drawings of her made by William Lord Reed, a poet from Pennsylvania who authored several books. Katherine Duncan Davis, born in 1875, was the eldest daughter of Morrison Swift Davis and Abbie White Davis. The Davis family members were involved in real estate, the Presbyterian ministry, banking, the steel industry, women's clubs, and charitable organizations - the information can be found at the Historic Pittsburgh website. Until 1891 the family lived in Philadelphia where her father worked for the Atlantic refining company, but after the death of Katherine's mother, the family returned to Western Pennsylvania and lived with Swift's mother, Elizabeth Cochrane Davis. The entries are not consecutive: the first entry is dated January 1, 1891, the next is for January 1st, 1893, followed by June 19th, and for some time it goes this way: on verso pages are January entries, on recto - June entries. It seems that she made few pencil records in 1890, then filled empty pages in 1891, 1892, and 1893. In one or two places new entries made over the old ones, sometimes she changed the date, sometimes not. The first entry is made when Katherine was 15: "I tried to commence the new year by being good...to help mama all I can and to think more of others than of my self and I am going to try and study real hard and practice real hard." One of the earliest entries is probably the one made on March 3rd, 1890: "Mama always says she wants me to have a profession, so if any thing happens I will have something to fall back upon - but I don't want to, I don't like anything, I would hate to be a doctor and go driving around at night. I don't have any character..." Her mother died a year later. On April 2, 1892 she records: "This is the most awful day. Aunt [Jane Davis Miller] was taken sick on Tuesday and she is just about dying....I am sure this will make Grandma sick and poor Jane she wanted so much to have a happy marriage...seems so much like this time last year when Mama died. Oh why does everyone have to be unhappy". In 1893 she seems to attend Bishopthorpe School for girls in South Bethlehem - some entries mention miss Buchan who worked there. There are also some letters written on the paper with a letterhead of St. Luke's Hospital, Nursing Training School, but it is not clear what connection she had to it. She writes about school, her fellow students, and describes some teachers: "Mrs [] is perfectly fascinating... She is very pretty and has a lovely sweet voice"; "He is rather good looking, tall with very light hair and mustache....but the best thing about him are his lovely dark eyes and lovely white teeth". In some entries she writes about nature, describing walks in a lake park and mountain views, but most of all she loves ocean. Here is an excerpt for July 5, 1892..."I was so delighted Papa decided I could stay a week...Oh, but the first smell of the ocean was good...I don't see how anyone can care to go to the country or mountains when they can go to the sea shore." In one of her entries she writes about her experience with an electric car - the first electric car from Allentown to Bethlehem that started operating in 1891. She also writes about going to picnics, dances, going out with friends, visits, and mentions many boys. She and Jas Knox Cain seem to be in love, they exchanged their hair locks, and there is a hair lock in an envelope with a note: "A lock of Knox's hair. I gave him one of mine for it". However Katherine married another man in 1901 or 1902 - Charles Frederick Holdship, a son of Henry Holdship, the Western Pennsylvania oil pioneer, patron of arts in Pittsburgh and a founder of the Pittsburgh orchestra. Charles himself was a founder of Equittable Meter Co. in Pittsburgh and its president. The diary contains many names of Allegheny county residents, her relatives, fellow students and teachers, and contains many charming details characteristic to those days.; Manuscript; 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, UNITED STATES, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, SEWICKLEY, ALLEGHENY COUNTY, COCHRAN FAMILY, DAVIS FAMILY, SOUTH BETHLEHEM, BISHOPTHORPE SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, WOMEN EDUCATION IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY, 1890s, GILDED AGE, GAY NINETIES, PROGRESSIVE ERA, WOMEN'S STUDIES, DATING PATTERNS IN THE LATE 19TH CENTURY AMERICA, WILLIAM LORD REED, JAS. KNOX CAIN, KATHERINE DUNCAN DAVIS, KATHERINE DAVIS HOLDSHIP, WOMEN SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION, WOMEN SCHOOL STUDENTS, ELIZA COCHRAN DAVIS, CULTURAL LIFE IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY IN 1890S, SOCIAL LIFE IN PENNSYLVANIA IN 1890S, ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL, NURSING TRAINING SCHOOL, COURTSHIP IN LATE 19TH CENTURY AMERICA, 19TH CENTURY PARTY GAMES, PENNSYLVANIA UPPER MIDDLE CLASS, YOUNG WOMEN IN 19TH CENTURY AMERICA, GROWING UP IN 1890S., FIRST ELECTRIC TROLLEY CAR IN BETHLEHEM, PA, HISTORIC PITTSBURGH, ALLEGHENY COUNTY GENEALOGY, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL



Illustrator: Illustrated by /

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


Book Condition: Fair

Seller ID: 0008125

Keywords: Keywords: History Of United States PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA SEWICKLEY Allegheny County Cochran Family Davis Family South Bethlehem