Manuscript diary written during his stay in Newport, Kentucky, and through the return to his hometown of Medfield, Massachusetts.

Dunlap.jpg

Creator

Johnson Mason Jr. (1796–1882).

Title

Manuscript diary written during his stay in Newport, Kentucky, and through the return to his hometown of Medfield, Massachusetts.

Date

December 1831–May 1832.

Description

This diary, kept by my great-great-great-grandfather, details many specifics of the hemp factory he was building, his religious thoughts and activities, and the ever-important weather, but it is disappointingly silent about his feelings about being so far from home, separated from his wife and five young children. He describes a house he was building for them, but I have never found evidence that he brought them to Newport as planned.

Other researchers with whom I have shared the diary at the American Antiquarian Society, on the other hand, have found it a goldmine of information on topics ranging from the fear of cholera to the naming of days of the week. Also found are mentions of the making of straw bonnets (his trade back at home), the catastrophic ice flows on the Licking and Ohio Rivers (that inundated the new factory), a cannon-fire celebration of Washington's birthday, and the perils of shipping one's bass viol to the frontier (his cracked). The lines of verse that end each entry are from hymns, not surprising since Johnson's older brother, Lowell Mason, was a leading hymn writer and music educator in his day.

Source

Ellen S. Dunlap

Tags

Citation

Johnson Mason Jr. (1796–1882)., “Manuscript diary written during his stay in Newport, Kentucky, and through the return to his hometown of Medfield, Massachusetts.,” Grolier Club Exhibitions, accessed June 25, 2018, http://grolierclub.omeka.net/items/show/307.