Georgiana P. Miller Johnson diary
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
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Overview and metadata sections
Georgiana P. Miller Johnson was born to Louisa (1818-1893) and Erasmus D. Miller, M.D. (1813-1881). She lived in Dorchester, Massachusetts with her elder sister Louisa D. (1841-1867) and two younger brothers Erasmus D. (b. 1845) and Winthrop (b. 1850). Georgiana married Edward Johnson (1840-1906), who was a director and financier for two railroad companies, executor for estates, and president of the Belfast Savings Bank in Maine. Georgiana and Edward Johnson lived in Belfast, Maine and had four children: Alfred (1871-1933), Ralph Miller (1872-1940), Edward Jr. (1876-1914), and Louise Miller (1876-1863).
This ruled volume with a marbled cover contains the diary of Georgiana P. Miller Johnson along with six copied poems. The journal spans the years 1861 to 1870. On the first leaf of the volume is written "dedicated to journalism June 30, 1861 N. B. Private!" The second leaf repeats this sentiment and further states, "by G. P. Miller, finished, containing a deal of nonsense and little [int.] composed of passing events of interest of the writer." Following the first two leaves are six copied poems on eleven leaves. The poems are by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Edgar Allen Poe, Felicia Dorothea Hemans, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Thomas Gray. On the first leaf of the diary Georgiana explains the book was originally dedicated to poetry for school, and now it will be her journal. Entries in the diary are sporadic. Georgiana wrote weekly, monthly, yearly, and in one instance there was a four-year gap . Commencing when she is nineteen on July 26, 1861 Georgiana discusses her trip to Belfast, Maine. Georgiana had many friends and writes her activities with them including playing billiards, staying at their homes, and exchanging photographs. Entries record her social engagements, horseback riding, home life, her family and neighborhood news. Her sister Louise is married. Georgiana visits her often and Louise also visits the family home. Georgiana talks of her friends, parlor games, and flirtations. She attends drawing classes. Georgiana recorded the news of the Civil War and battles and relays her observations of returning soldiers, their attitudes, and injuries. One soldier in particular, William Milton, who she knit a pair of stockings, seems of great concern. She wrote of her brother Winthrop's--known as Winnie--slingshot accident and his long recovery. Summers are active for Georgiana and her family. She traveled to coastal towns in Rhode Island and Maine. Georgiana writes of her bouts of sadness and questions why she keeps the journal. After a four-year silence from 1865 to 1869 Georgiana writes excitedly of her marriage to Edward Johnson on September 15, 1870. This is the last entry in the diary, and it has been torn out and laid in the volume. The remaining eighteen leaves are blank. Curiously, Georgiana never mentions the death of her sister Louise in 1867. There is one leaf laid in the volume titled "An acrostic on the death of Maria Spicer; or, the late Mrs. Lee." The pages in the volume, following the six poems, are numbered with numerous corrections.
Sold by Ian Brabner Rare Americana (Wilimington, Delaware), 2015.
- American diaries -- Women authors -- 19th century
- American diaries -- 19th century
- Manners and customs
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Donna Brandolisio
- Finding Aid Date
- November 2015
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.