"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Catherine's Journal

One of the essays in Discovering North Carolina (see more here) contains excerpts from the journal of Catherine Ann Devereaux Edmondston.   There are entries from Election Day 1860 when she was sure Lincoln wouldn't be elected.  Then there is the grievous disappointment expressed nearly three weeks later.  The diary entries give glimpses of the home front from the perspective of a lady from the planter class in Halifax County.  

After Robert E. Lee surrendered in April 1865, Mrs. Edmondston writes that she had "reduced [her]self, to an utterly paperless condition."  Except for her journal which she must have hidden pretty well.

She writes:
"Every letter I possessed, letters which I had cherished as my heart's blood, mementos of those I had loved & lost years ago, literary memoranda, excerpts, abstracts, records of my own private self examinations, poetry - all, all destroyed..."


"...the thought of seeing them in Yankee hands, of hearing them read in vile Yankee drawl amidst peals of vulgar Yankee laughter, or worse still, of knowing them heralded abroad in Yankee sensational newspapers, restrained me!" [She had thought of snatching out one letter from the packet that contained letters to and from her husband.]

"This has been the fate of thousands of my fellow countrywomen, for the Northern journals teem with private papers stolen from Southern Households & published to a vulgar curious world as specimens of Southern thought, Southern feeling, & Southern composition."   (pg. 50)

1 comment:

Niki said...

Interesting. I don't think I've heard of northern newspapers publishing southern letters and journals.