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Elizabeth C. Chaplin Diary, 1862, 1896

Elizabeth C. Chaplin Diary, 1862, 1896
Mss. Acc. 2009.037
0.02 Cubic Feet
Scope and Contents

Diary of Elizabeth C. Chaplin of Ipswich, Massachusetts, 1862, that reflects strong political opinions and abolitionist conviction. The following is excerpted for the description of the seller:  "She was an active Republican and supporter of President Abraham Lincoln and went to plays and meeting with strong Abolitionists messages. In the very first entry she says, “she took the cars to Boston. My niece Mary Story met with me to see the play called the Octagon, preformed. It represented life in Louisiana & illustrated the Horrors of Slavery.”  She receives letters from Ma. Senator Charles Sumner and comments on political events such as the resignation of Secretary of War Simon Cameron, the death of former President John Tyler, and the issuance of the first of two executive orders comprising the Emancipation Proclamation. Many entries are "accounts of won and lost battles and about local soldiers. There is an entry about the Monitor and the Merrimac plus other more famous battles." Her entries focus mainly on Union victories, such as those achieved at Somerset Ky. and Ft. Donelson Tn.  She also references Federal successes in Arkansas, Manassas Va., New Bern Nc., and Pittsburg Tn.  Her entries track the progress of Gen. McClellan's 1862 Peninsular Campaign through Yorktown Va., Norfolk Va., and Richmond Va.  Later entries reference Gen. Jackson's successful Valley campaign, specifically mentioning engagements at Gordonsville Va. and Culpeper Va, and its implications for the larger Peninsular campaign.  She also comments on the "excitement" caused in Boston by the repulse of Federal forces under Gen. Pope in the 2d Bull Run campaign.  Gen. Lee had now successfully confronted McClellan's threat from the south and Pope's threat from the north.

"She did not follow the printed dates, but dated each entry in order as she wrote them. There are 46 pages hand written on both sides with the dates being January 1, 1862 to November 6, 1862.


"Following the diary, the last 4 pages were used for the recording of  birth and death dates usually found in family bible records, ranging in date from 1855-1887.


"Also included are 2 business cards and a receipt for payment for private lesson, signed by Anna  L. Kendall in 1896."

Chaplin, Elizabeth C.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Diaries
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources
Women--United States--History--19th century
Women abolitionists--Massachusetts

Administrative Information

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Acquisition Note
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Preferred Citation
Elizabeth C. Chaplin Diary, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
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