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Rae Lawton travel diary to California


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 native of Bloomington, Illinois, Rae Lawton (1879-1975) was twenty-five years old in 1905 when she kept this diary as she traveled through California. Many California locations are mentioned, including Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Riverside.

Biographical information derived from 2003 cataloging description and the collection.

This travel diary documents the trip Illinois-native Rae Lawton made to California as a young woman in 1905. In addition to Lawton's thoughts on religious topics, daily chores and time spent with friends and family, the diary recorded her impressions of several areas in California including Santa Rosa, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

This brief diary comprises 100 pages, sixty-one of which contain entries. The diary begins with the arrival of Rae Lawton and her travel companion Mary in Santa Rosa, California, about fifty-five miles north of San Francisco, on September 23, 1905, the pair having traveled by train from Bloomington, Illinois. Lawton planned to spend a year with family and friends in California. Lawton described visiting family and friends, sight-seeing, and day trips in the area. On November 28, after an unusual nine-day gap in the entries, Lawton wrote that the intervening days had been a "perfect nightmare" she did not wish to recall, and she was now in Riverside and happy to be there.

Lawton's diary commented on daily activities such as wash day, ironing, and the weather, and included daily entries from September 23 until November 19. Beginning in December, the entries appeared only weekly and ceased on December 17, 1905. Lawton frequently commented on her spiritual beliefs and made mention of sermons and prayer meetings she attended.

The manuscript is bound in leather and is in good condition. The entries were all written in ink in a single hand. There is a small gold "R" [Rae] at the bottom of the spine.

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 0155: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, December 1956.

Processed by Carrie L. Foley, March 2003. Encoded by Lynda Gillow, June 2007. Updated by E. Evan Echols, July 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 June 27
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

Rae Lawton travel diary to California, 1905. 1 volume.
Item 0155
Physical Description

1 volume

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