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Guide to the Margaret Wright Eadie Papers
1872-1884
  MS 1271

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Shannon Yule

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 21, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains six manuscript diaries kept by Maggie Wright during her fourteenth through nineteenth and twenty-second through twenty-sixth years, 1872-1877 and 1880-1884. In addition, her papers include three school compositions, 1871-1873, and a handmade "Herbarium of Flowers," 1871.

The content of Maggie's diaries is very strong on the every day actions of herself, her family, and their circle of acquaintances and friends. She primarily records: social calls paid and received; what trains her family members take; when her brothers go out riding or travel to Manhattan for work; trips to Manhattan, Flushing, and vicinity; what errands or chores she does; occurrences at the family farm; attendances at weekly and monthly Quaker meetings, and local news concerning the lives and activities of residents of Bayside, Flushing, and neighboring communities; including frequent references to local members of the Willets, Bell, Franklin, Cox, Lawrence, and Mackenzie families.

From December 1874 through March 1875, Maggie spends the winter in Manhattan with her family in a rented house on West 25th Street. From this period onward, her diary becomes slightly more descriptive and opinionated as her experiences broaden. For example, she records her impressions of performances she witnesses at Wallacks Theater and P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome. Later, Maggie has the opportunity to visit the Centennial Grounds in Philadelphia in 1876 and writes several entries about her time there. However, Maggie's diaries are never especially expressive of her personal feelings; rather, her diaries primarily exist as a record of her daily life--her actions and her interactions with others.

Arrangement

The diaries are arranged chronologically, followed by the school compositions and the "Herbarium of Flowers."