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Dudley Swift diary


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

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

A note at the start of this volume reads “Chicopee, Hampden Co., Mass. Dudley Swift,” but there is little other information to identify the author of this diary. Swift recorded frequent dealings with the Chapin family of Chicopee, occasionally noting when a member of the family died or moved away. In addition to performing agricultural work, Swift also surveyed the property of his neighbors, recording lot measurements in his diary. He rarely commented on historical events, but did briefly mention Shays’ Rebellion on January 25, 1787, noting that “Shases army were fir’d on in Springfield.”

University of Delaware Library. Self works : diaries, scrapbooks, and other autobiographical efforts : catalog of an exhibition, August 19, 1997-December 18, 1997 : guide to selected sources. Newark, Del.: Special Collections, Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware Library, 1997.Jendrysik, Stephen R. Chicopee. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2005.Information derived from the collection.

This diary was kept by Dudley Swift, a resident of Hampden County, Massachusetts, near the town of Chicopee, between 1784 and 1844. He recorded brief entries about the weather and agricultural patterns.

Swift made intermittent entries in his diary, mostly describing seasonal changes in the weather and patterns of rural labor. He often noted when the river froze in winter and flooded its banks in the spring. On several occasions he observed that spring flooding destroyed local bridges. Swift marked the arrival of spring by the return of various bird species, including blackbirds and ducks. In addition to planting potatoes, corn, wheat, and other crops, Swift also regularly made cider and milled lumber. Interspersed with his diary entries are several recipes and mathematical rules. Swift occasionally described events related to the Chicopee Meeting House and his borrowing of library books.

This volume has a loose string binding and a brown cover with traces of illegible writing. It contains 140 pages of unlined laid and wove paper with handwritten text in black and blue ink. The inscription at the top of the first page reads “Chicopee, Hampden Co., Mass. Dudley Swift.”

Item 0073: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, 1956

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, July 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 July 10
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Dudley Swift diary, 1784-1844.
Item 0073
Physical Description

1 volume

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