Diary and Commonplace Book Belonging to India Allen, an educated woman in mid 19th Century New York
by India Allen
New York, 1841-1848. Edge wear, particularly heavy on the back strip. Binding is loose but intact. Minor water stains on the back cover. The ink blotting paper used by the owner is included in the back of the journal. Penciling on some interior pages. Missing bottom of one page. . A diary/common place book from New York in the 1840s. It belonged to a young woman named India Allen. Not much biographical information is known about India, beyond the fact that she lived at 6 Washington Square, New City. Based on her writing it is clear that she and her family comes from some means, and moved within some very high social circles. The first half of this journal is mostly quotes from a variety of well-known authors, such as Longfellow, De Ponte, Wilde and Pitt Palmer. The majority of these quote entries are dated between 1841 -1846. At the start of the New Year in 1846, India begins to record almost daily entries until June of the same year. These short entries detail her daily life, what she did each day (read, sew, who she called on) and the events or dinners she went to. While they are short, they are sometimes quite humorous. On January 3, she writes, Went to a party, enjoyed myself tolerably. In 1848 India goes into great detail about a wedding she attended in May of 1848, listing other guests and gifts that were received. Additionally around this time are some of Indias most emotional entries as she describes the death of her very close friend, Fidelia Marshall (1826-1848). In two entries, which she titled A Brief Sketch on the Last Hours of my Departed Friend, and Obituary Written upon the Death of My Friend. These two entries in particular showcase Indias intelligent and reflective disposition. The rest of the journal is again filled with quotes from literature, as well as a few recipes, such as Cayenne Pepper Tea (meant for sore throats). Measures 7 3/4" x 6 1/2".
(Inventory #: 28003112)
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