Martha Anne (Kuhn) Clarke kept a diary in 1836, while a student at the Temple School in Boston. The series of excerpts began here. In this installment she writes of her last days at school and the beginning of a trip out to the western part of Massachusetts.
Wednesday July 20th, 1836
I went out of town this morning at 9 oclock with my father and mother and youngest brother. We went to Cambridge. George went up to grandmothers but I staid at my aunt’s till eleven oclock. I then went up to my grandmother’s where I found my 2 cousins. We played in the garden and yard all the morning. In the afternoon we wandered off in pursuit of berries. We got some drooping-lillies and a yellow pond-lilly. We also got a few thimble berries, thus we spent nearly all the afternoon. When we got home I played till tea was ready. After tea we went home. I have written the journal of today in a great hurry and not very well please excuse mistakes whoever reads my journal.
Thursday July 21st, 1836
I rose not very early and played before and after breakfast till it was time to get ready. When I had prepared I came to school
I took my seat and wrote my journal. At 25 minutes after 9 Mr. [Bronson] Alcott read a story to us. When he had finished we began to receive a conversation (I forgot to say we have a conversation nearly every day as we want to receive 50 before vacation time) (we have received 14). We had two about the massacre of the children and Jesus in the Temple at 12 years of age. They were both very interesting. At about quarter of twelve we had a reces. Mr. Alcott finished a story which he began a good while ago.
Tuesday August 9th, 1836
Left Boston at about 20 minutes after seven. We had a very pleasant ride to Watertown where we had breakfast at the Spring Hotel. Whilst they were preparing it we (Father, Mother, George and myself) took a walk. I saw nothing surprising on our ride to Sudbury where we dined at the Gates Hotel. George and I took a walk down to Williams Pond. We were quite amused with a little dog which seemed to be guarding hay. He would bark if we went near it. Our ride to Worcester was quite pleasant going over hills and through vally. We did not arrive at the hotel till rather late. I was quite tired. I forgot to say we made a call in Northboro where we ran about and saw some little pigs.
Wednesday August 10th, 1836
This morning we rose and I took a walk with my father and brother to see the town. We saw several Hotels, the bank, and we could see the insane Hospital which is a beautiful building, the courthouse is a large building. We did not walk far but soon came back and had breakfast; after which we left Worcester and passed through New Worcester. This is a beautiful place. We then passed through Leicester, there we saw the France River and some factories. It was very hilly going to Spencer. There I saw some factories and sheep, 2 crows and some robbins. I also saw the Chikopee River and had a pleasant time picking berries and flowers. A lady gave us a great many blueberries. We stopped at a hotel to get some dinner. I took a walk and saw some little pigs and a turkey. After having dinner we left the place. We went through West Brookfield, Warren, Wilbraham, and Springfield (5 miles from the village) where we spent the night. We saw 2 ponds in Wilbraham, also some Rock Maples (these are the trees from which they get the maple sugar). We had a delightful ride on one side rocks and mountains on the other side a vally so the other mountains and rocks were very near us. The road led near the river some miles. We were very much pleased with the birds and squirrels. When we got to Springfield we had some tea and as we were very tired we went to bed.
The series continues here. The diary can be found in the Society’s R. Stanton Avery Special Collections.
2 thoughts on “Excerpts from Martha Anne Kuhn’s diary, 1836”
This transcription includes a possible typographic error (at August 10, 1836): “Boch Maples …” Perhaps the original should be checked to see whether, instead, it reads as “Rock Maples (these are the trees from which they get the maple sugar).” In the very next sentence the word “rocks” is spelled correctly, twice.