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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Craigie Phillips Jenks (1827-1908) born in Boston, Massachusetts, to William Jenks, a noted American scholar and clergyman, and Betsey Russell Jenks. One of sixteen children, from February to August, 1851, Jenks worked as a farmhand for several different employers in the Boston area, mostly chopping wood and hoeing fields. Despite the physical nature of his job, Jenks was interested in literature and the social and political issues of the time.
By the year 1857, he was employed as a clerk in the city of Boston. During the American Civil War, Jenks served in the 7th Regiment of the Kansas Militia. He died in Cook, Illinois, on March 5, 1908.
Heslip, Philip. "William Jenks Collection, 1794-1884." http://quod.lib.umich.edu/c/clementsmss/umich-wcl-M-260jen?view=text (accessed April 23, 2014).The Boston Directory(Boston: George Adams, 1857)."Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922." Ancestry.com Library Edition. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2004. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com (accessed April 22, 2014).Additional biographical information derived from the collection.
The journal of Craigie P. Jenks documents his daily life as a farmhand near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851. Jenks described both his work and his opinions of current social and political events.
Craigie P. Jenks's journal documents his daily life, thoughts, and opinions while he lived and worked in several towns near Boston. This volume is labeled "Journal No. 3" on its title page. In the last entries, Jenks wrote that his father was buying him a new journal to use when this one became full.
Jenks described the weather, his work, the books he read, sermons he heard, his correspondence, the people around him, and his state of mind. Jenks discussed his sweetheart Emily, but also provided detailed assessments of every woman or girl he met. During the winter months at the start of the journal, Jenks appears to have had much leisure time, which he spent reading, visiting family and friends, and thinking about current events. After the entry for February 18, he wrote a short essay entitled "Slavery in the United States," in which he expressed his abolitionist views.
In April, he procured a position for seven dollars a month, a sum which he came to consider far too low, because he did not make enough yet to marry Emily. As time progressed, the recent death of his mother, his separation from Emily, and his dissatisfaction with his employment caused Jenks to become increasingly upset and depressed.
Processed and encoded by Kate Hand, September 2007. Updated by E. Evan Echols, April 2014.
- Farm Life--Massachusetts--History--19th century
- Agricultural laborers--United States--History--19th century
- Agricultural laborers--United States--Diaries
- Abolitionists--Massachusetts--History--19th century
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 April 22
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
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