Main content

Henry W. Marston daily journal for 1875


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

Henry Ward Marston (born March 6, 1859) was the son of John and Anna Randall Marston of Overbrook, Pennsylvania. He had one older brother, John, and three sisters, Mary, Katherine L., and Anna R.

The family moved to Philadelphia in 1866. John Marston, Jr., was very active with his children’s Sunday School. He also took frequent trips, especially to Baltimore, Maryland. The Marstons had close ties with extended family living in the Philadelphia area. When John Sr. died, he left his wife an estate valued at $125,000.

In the spring of 1875, Henry completed his schooling at West Penn Square Academy while his brother John attended college. That September, John took a job as a roadman for the Pennsylvania Railroad earning fifty dollars a month while Henry began work as a junior scribe, earning thirty cents a day. Later, the two brothers became partners in a New England Life Insurance Company agency, Marston & Wakelin.

Henry W. Marston married Alice Sellers Rhoads, daughter of John R. Rhoads, on June 19, 1890. They had at least five children: Henry Ward, Jr., Mathew, Alice, Joseph, and James. A record of their family life can be found in Alice Marston’s scrapbook, which is also available in Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library.

"A Pretty Bala Wedding," Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 1890, America’s Historical Newspapers, (accessed November 1, 2007)."90-Year-Old Woman Says Sons Trick Her," Philadelphia Inquirer, October 11, 1922, America’s Historical Newspapers, (accessed November 1, 2007).Finding Aid for Alice Marston Scrapbook, University of Delaware Special Collections, 2003, (accessed November 1, 2007)."John Marston." Library Edition. Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2004. (accessed May 20, 2014).

The journal of Henry W. Marston chronicles his daily activities for 1875 as a student and a junior scribe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The entries include observations of the weather, schoolwork, travel, conversations, family events, and Marston's attendance of the Centennial Exhibition.

Henry W. Marston’s diary contains entries of ten lines for almost every day in 1875, which he wrote in a book entitled "A Daily Journal for 1875" and bearing the publication information, "Philadelphia: Published Annually for the Trade 1875." The "Memoranda" section at the back of the volume contains a contract in which Henry’s father John, Jr., agreed to pay him ten cents for every entry, providing that Henry would owe John one cent for each misspelled word. Throughout the diary, misspellings are underlined in pencil and total in each entry is written in the margin.

Marston wrote about daily activities and observations including the weather, schoolwork, Sunday school teachings, amusements such as card games ("Auction" and euchre), cricket, chess, and checkers, and the books he read. Henry Marston also described major occurrences in the lives of his family members, both immediate and extended, including travels and illnesses.

At the beginning of 1875, Henry Marston was a student of the middle class at West Penn Square Academy in Philadelphia. He finished his schooling in June, took a vacation to the New Jersey shore with his uncle, Frank Dupont Marston, from July 21 to 31, and then began work as a junior scribe that September. In October, he wrote about attending the opening of the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, also with his uncle Frank Marston.

Two papers are laid in at the back of the journal. The first is a report card from West Penn Square Academy for the term ending June 9, 1875. It lists Henry’s examination scores as well as both the class average and his average for the year. The second is a sheet of ruled paper on which Henry has kept the "diary account" of the money received from his father per their arrangement.

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.

  1. Item 0113: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Gift of the Moyerman Family.

Processed by Kate Hand, November 2007. Encoded by E. Evan Echols, May 2014.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2014 May 20
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

Henry W. Marston daily journal for 1875, 1875. 1 volume.
Item 0113
Physical Description

1 volume

Print, Suggest