East New Market

Diary Entries

Diary of Emma Edmondson 1854 - 1855

April 1855 (entries for May 1855 and June 1855 have not been discovered)

July 1855

5th of July - Thursday - feel very badly, but it will not prevent me from enjoying to the reception.  Very pleasant afternoon.  Dressed myself.  Cousin Lizzie fixed me.  Cousin Gin got me some flowers in my hair.  And I put one beautiful pink rose in my breast.  I looked so well.  Everyone said I did.  Was introduced to Mr. Hopkins, the first groom.  Think, he was very pleasant.  Laomia and the Keenes all looked well.  I never saw Mr. Harding look better.  Indeed all the company seemed to enjoy themselves.  Nothing like so stiff as receptions generally are.  Again Charlie is such a nice beaux.  Never in the way, but when you need him he is right at your elbow.  I guess that is the secret of my enjoying that evening so much.  Em Woolford wished her self away at 9.  Indeed, I could have stayed till 12.  Had a very pleasant walk home.  Charlie said he would not address a lady away from home.  His idea is nee blind.  Whilst we were enjoying a late night, the watchman sprung his rattles.  The fire bells rang, and in a few minutes the heaving was in a glare.  A large fire had rose out.  We came and watched it for some time.  Charlie looking his love, when he was not speaking of it.  When cousin Mary hollered down and told him to go home, she had just waked up and thought it was midnight.  Too bad, some people forget their feelings when they were single so soon.  I used to sit up in another room and wait for her, and never once did I complain over things.  And now as they used to toll.

6th - my last day in the city.  Packed my trunk.  Took a nap.  Up!  I showed Charlie what I wrote about him.  I believe he saw more than I intended.  However, he is a nice fellow.  One I think that can be trusted.  Intend going to Mr. Dixon’s to see the girls from Wilmington.  But haven’t arrived yet.  Charlie came and he, Cousin Mary and myself were sitting very cozy on the settee when someone came up.  Asked him to walk us.  And who would it be, but Mr. Martin from Easton.  He has moved here and his brother and himself opened a store on Calvert Street.  Just heard from Mr. Leckie I was here and broke an engagement to come see me.  Said Nellie and Kate Wright had both been in Baltimore.  Too bad, I did not get to see either.  I had hoped so much.  I should, but they had left.  After a while he left in the midst of a hard shower.  Said he would be down to the boat tomorrow if it did not rain.  Charlie did not stay long.  Was angry just the least bit with Cousin Mary for behaving as she did.  Said he was coming over soon.  I do wonder if he will.  Also he was going to ask permission to commence a regular suit or would leave.  OK with me to ask now or commence and ask afterward, but I turned the conversation and did not give him an answer.  Went to my room.  Did not get to sleep til 1 in the morning.  Indeed, I can not imagine the reason unless it was I was thinking of him whom I love so much.

7th - my how it is raining.  I don’t believe I slept one hour last night.  What with Cousin Mary’s coughing and moving about, Cousin John’s rapping, Cousin Lizzie’s getting up, and my own feelings.  I passed a very bad night well.  It is too bad.  Now I have my trunk packed, and everything ready.  I will write a short note to Father.  Tell him the reason Cousin John was kind enough to take it down.  He is very kind to me and has been during my visit.  I am afraid his vanity will hold him in error.  Went to sleep.  Took only a short nap in the evening.  Henni Edmondson, a relative of the family’s called and after tea I went home with her.  We came from that and I had a race up the lane, and I came bolting in.  Saw someone laying down on the settee.  Asked who it was.  Cousin Lizzie said it was Dr. Jones.  I went into the parlor, commenced dancing a hoe-down.  When someone laughed and who should it be, Charlie.  I got a light and goodness merry, then stood Mr. Elliott.  I felt dreadfully to think I was behaving so before them, particularly the latter, who is almost a perfect stranger.  However, we commenced conversation.  He is very intelligent.  I don’t know when I spent a more agreeable evening.  Talked about everything.  He is from North Carolina.  Charlie and he were raised together, and are very intimate.  The former says they were going to have a fight about going over to the Easter show.  Both should not go at the same time on the same errand.  They could go as friends, but not as rivals.  I wonder if they did want (like me) to see the effect.  If that was their motive, I should like to know what they thought.  I have the faculty to conceal my feelings, and it would puzzle one better acquainted with me to read my countenance.  Mr. Elliott asked permission to wait on me to Church tomorrow evening, which I accepted.  Charlie intended to keep a great fuss.  Yet, I believe he knew Mr. Elliott was going to ask me.  When I went into the passage Charlie was laying on the settee.  His eye was very much inflamed and pained him.  Took my hand and said he did love me.  Wonder if there was any truth in it.  Sighed good deal.  I believe he loves me.  Yet I should not be surprised.  In a month or two, he would forget he ever saw me.  Or only as one in whose society he had passed.  Some moments which otherwise would have been dull.  I like him and my nature is such.  I never forget a favor, therefore my friends always hold a place in my esteem.  And I am afraid a slight is equal as well impressed on my mind, although I pray for strength to forgive and forget.  I am entirely too sensitive.  My feelings are of the finest texture.  May they always be thus.  To cultivate a love, find the beautiful in nature and art.  Or in other words, to educate one’s better nature & virtues, to try to overcome evil thoughts, words of bad tendency, and to eschew all things of a downward cache.  Should be the aim of ones life.  May I be successful in this great undertaking.

8th - Sunday - Gods holy day, yet I am not going to Church as I ought to do.  I can imagine them all at home in our little Village winding their way to God’s holy place of worship.  Some expect me today.  I wonder if my presence is missed, if our pew is vacant? I hope it will not be so long.  Next Sabbath day I hope to fill it.  The bells are tolling.  Ladies richly dressed are passing.  I wonder if one true heart will worship in earnest truth.  I hope so.  May mine not be the heart to judge them wrongfully.  Gene(?) Hooper called and as I was too lazy to dress, he did not get to see me.  Took a nice long nap, ate dinner and read.  And Billy Martin called.  Then what a time, dressing.  Mr. Lee called us.  I think he is improved since I last saw him.  Very complimentary.  I so really believe I am getting to think I am a passable, good looking girl.  Well I often tea.  Mr. Elliott called, and we went to Robinson’s.  This third time I have started.  Uh! I like him so much.  Indeed if I had not lost my heart before it would surely have left me.  He is so agreeable and so refined.  I do like him.  And that’s true.  Coming out of Church, I saw my cousin.  Did not speak to her.  I felt so queer.  Poor thing.  I do hope she is happy.  Well we had a most delightful conversation coming home.  So much, so long, lost our way.  I was so amused after crossing and coming about.  We got straight again, as we were both on strange ground.  I proposed to make a wish.  Mine was "May you be happy".  His was "May all your brightest hopes and anticipations be fully realized".  After we came home, he set til nearly 11 o’clock and then said he was sorry to leave.  Some ladies from the house.  He had to call for them or he would stay longer.  I hope the liking is mutual.  I never had a more pleasant walk or company in my life.  I do really believe my heart is in danger.  Have not seen Charlie today.

9th - Monday - dressed and went out with cousin Lizzie.  Went to Mrs Waters.  They have moved in a large house, the corner of Charles and Eustis Street.  I hope they will do well.  The girls seem very nice.  Not at all intelligent, rather vain, and fond of beaux, and who does not like the Callis.  Walked down to Billy Martin’s store.  Got weighed 137, but he had his foot on it all the time.  Got a laugh at Charlie.  Mr. Elliott, said his eye was much better.  I took a nap.  I believe it is my every day work.

[gap, missing July 10 through July 15.]

16th of July - Sunday - He, my heart’s treasure called and we went to Church.  Read to me the note he is going to give Father, when we come back.  Says if he says no, he is going to Russia, but I guess that is the way they all talk.  But really I was thinking of it so much in Church, I could hardly sing.  My voice seemed choking me.  Walking home, I felt so badly I could not talk.  Begged him not to give him the note, but said he must.  He wanted to know his fate.  If ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.  But he would not think so.  Says he will not come around to say goodbye, but will write to me by Tuesday’s mail whether father says yes or no.  I ran upstairs to take my bonnet off and he handed him the note!  My, I could not control my feelings.  My bosom swelled and heaved so.  I panted for breath, but from my heart went forth a prayer that Father might say favorably if it was the good Lord’s will.  And to trust myself to the Divine well knowing, he knew best what was good for me, but such mental anguish has almost unnerved me.  But thanks to God, I feel better.  The dinner bell has rung and I must down.  When I took my seat, I asked Father how he liked the sermon.  The singing, so very calmly.  After he answered me, there came a pause.  He turned and said, why have you stolen a march upon me.  I smiled and he went on.  I suppose you wish me to answer favorably.  I don’t know what I said.  Said my happiness was more to him than his own.  Then telling me, the cares and pleasures, and giving me advice, none of which I remember, I got up from the table and kissed him for his goodness.  Then ran to my room to fall on my knees to thank my heavenly Father for his mercies.  Oh my feelings were so intense.  My head throbs with pain.  The sudden transposition from almost despair was too much for me.  Indeed, I had no idea he would be so willing, but I have written to much now.  I will try and calm myself.  I don’t know when I shall see him again, but oh my head.  I have been trying to sleep, but all in vain.  I can’t help thinking of it.  Dressed myself.  Lorne was absent, so attended to tea.  Afterward, Mr. Leckie called.  In a little while Cornelia, Sallie, and then dear Mary.  I wonder if she knows.  I teased Mr. Leckie almost to death.  It is too bad.  I worried almost to death.  When Mary got up to leave, I went in with her.  Asked her what time he left.  Said few minutes after three.  Asked her why he did not come down to say goodbye.  Said he said he could not.  I believe she knows.  She laughed when she said it.

17th of July - received a note from Mary, a real dear note, telling me she knew all.  Was with him when he got the note and witnessed his extreme joy and agitation when he got.  And it was only his extreme agitation that prevented him from being at my side before he left.  Oh the happy feeling which came over me when I read it.  She did not intend telling me she knew anything about it, but she was afraid I think strangely of him.  Have been making a guess.  Went up and got some sleep.  Feel better.  Walked around.  Saw Mary.  She smiled when she kissed me.  Mrs. Jacobs laughed too.  And when Mr. Jacobs came in, he shook hands with me.  Mary and I took a seat in the door, and she told me all about it.  They were sitting at the dinner table, and he wishing there was a boy with a note for him.  She went out and took it as soon as they left the table.  He went with her to her room and he trembled so.  He could hardly open the letter.  But, as soon as he commenced reading it, his countenance undertook a change, and she never saw one so happy.  Showed her my picture.  Thinks it like me.  Says he was with his father alone some time.  I know he told him.  Oh it’s too bad.  This heart of mine, which I thought held so fast is gone, and I must abide the consequences.  Mary tried to console me.  Bless her.  She is a dear girl.  I am coming down to see Ginny tomorrow, but I must stop.  I have written three letters, one to Cousin Mary, Hellen, and Nellie.

18th - got up early.  Father got a note from Mr. Jacobs requesting him to take Mary along with us.  Father had asked her to go before.  Rode Jimmy's horse and ours.  My they move nicely together.  Wonder if they will both belong to me.  Mary stayed for dinner.  Afterward, we undressed.  Were laying down.  Someone rapped and it was Mr. Jacobs with a letter from Jimmy for Mary and I.  Said if must confide in her as a sister.  Had no idea there was so much happiness in this world for him.  Loved Father already.  Answered it, but could not write much for want of time.  Mary said her Father said he could not have pleased him better in his selection.  And mother said if he had looked the world over he could not have found one who would make him a better wife.  My how strange for me to write that word.  He said when he read those lines, he did not think anyone would love as well as he, but he believed mine was as strong as his.  He is gone and I never felt so lonely.  Never wanted to see him as bad in my life.  Just left too.  Walked home with dear Mary after tea.  Told her not to let her parents know they knew anything about it.  They said they already have learned to look upon me as a daughter.  It makes me feel so queer when I see them.  It will be worse when he is present.  Strange, they never thought there was anything existing between us til he told them.  That was a trial.  Poor fellow.  He had a worse time than I. 

19th - oh my it is so warm.  Finished my jacket.  Looks tolerably pretty.  Laid down to take a nap, but it was too warm to sleep.  After tea, Frank came over.  Then Miss Chamberlain and Anna Green.

[19th] both very pleasant, particularly the letter.  I wonder of it, but the best way is to let people alone.  She asked me to come and see her this time and I will go some time soon.  Practiced some, but thought of him more.  Bless him and may all that’s good and beautiful be his constant thoughts.

20th - very warm.  Mary, Cornelia, and myself rode out to Mr. Houston’s.  Found Mrs. Harris there from Talbot.  Looks very well.  She is such a nice woman.  I spent such a pleasant time there in March.  Clara & Virginia are both smart children.  Father came out for tea, then Charlie, Sue, and Ginnie.  Afternoon Mr. Pugh and Phlegmine, and Frank had a nice dance and enjoyed our silver very much.  Got home, retired, but could not sleep.  I have not had a good night sleep this week.  I get to thinking and my eyes come wide open, and it’s sometime before I can get calm again.

21st - been busy making cake.  Expect Mr. Houston’s family and some girls to take tea with me.  Took a short nap.  Got up and dressed.  Received the company.  Had a rite jolly time, but Lizzie had to get worried and angry because I was teasing her about Captain Fletcher.  I had no idea she was going to get mad.  One can’t understand the girls now.

22nd - got a note from Mary and nice long letter from him.  He made me feel so happy.  Continued outpouring of affection.  Loved what I wanted to read, Mary wrote.  Mr. Collins brought it up he was positively a single man.  Little different from Mr. Graham.  Walked up town.  Got some cambric.  Took it over to Mrs. Collins.  She is going to make it up for me.  Poor woman.  How I pity her.  Has to work with a needle to support herself and children.  When her good for nothing husband is living in her prosperity, and she renting a room.  Too bad, but that is the way a poor woman is trampled on.  My what a change in the weather.  It is very cool now, and it was very warm this morning.  After tea, Mary, Mr. Collins, Frank, and Hennie Cornelia was here when they came, played some for them.  Then got the cards and played "Seven Up".  Mr. Collins and I partnered.  Beat two rubbers.  Spent a real pleasant evening.  Went to my room and wrote to him.  Hope he will like it.  I can’t write a real loving letter.  I should laugh at myself, as sometimes I do at my thoughts.  They undertook to tease me about Salisbury, but they missed a figure that time.

23rd - Sunday, very cool and cloudy.  Don’t know whether I shall go to Church or not.  Last Sunday, I had a handsome bean, but what a different feeling now.  Then I was so agitated I could scarcely sing.  Today all suspense what and end and I am happy at the result.  I do wish they would stop talking about house keeping.  I am tired of it already.  If they will talk of it, don’t tell me.  There will be time enough some months hence to think about it.  Went upstairs to have a nap when Mary and Mr. Collins called.  Thought he was going home this morning.  Came down after some persuasion .  Went home with them.  Stayed all day.  Mr. Collins tried to tease me, but did not succeed.  After tea, Sallie and Cornelia, then Frank came in.  Had some fun.  Mary came home and stayed all night.  Next morning, got up late.  Mr. Collins and Frank called.  We had a game of Eucher beat all.  The one of "all forms" beat the rubber then whisk and beat the rubber.  Then Mary and Cornelia dined with us.  After we walked home with her.  Mr. Collins took a seat on the sofa beside me when Mary got up and excused herself.  Wanted to write to brother, she called Collins widower.  Wondered at it and when I asked Collins the reason, said Mary wanted to give us a chance.  Beautiful idea.  What I wanted one with that fellow for, although he will do.  Well after good deal of trouble, we succeeded cutting his mustache because he cut Mary’s hair.  Came home.  Wrote to PS to him and sent him a piece of cedar with the emblem, which is "I live for thee".

24th - Tuesday - went to the picnic.  Had a good deal of fun dining.  Billy S was there.  Really he looks badly.  He has been sick.  Frank dreamed one set with me.  Really he is amie demeure.  Never took any lessons either.  Got home at ten.

25th - Wednesday - very warm and I am so sleepy.  Got a letter.  Precious expiate from him, short though.  He had not time to write more, yet it spoke volumes.  Slept all the afternoon.  After tea, rode out to see Mr. and Mrs Haskins.  Strange how much I can empathize with her now.  Expect some time myself to leave Father home and friends for him.  I love so well, it will cause me many a pang, but I should not expect to glide through.  This world free from pain, and should feel thankful that I have found one so was thy.

26th - Thursday - oh so hot.  Wrote to him.  Mrs. Haskins spent the evening with us.  She is such a sweet woman.  I am sorry she is going to leave.  Had a thunderstorm.

27th - Friday - Mr. Jacobs did not go down in Salisbury and wasn’t too bad.  Mary gave him my letter and he put it in the post office.  Went down to see Mary.  Billy S was here, also Mary and Sarah Webster.  Mary told me of an evil report about Willie B.  I am surprised that any lady would repeat any rumor about her sex which would in any way injure woman’s precious character than by one who professes to be a friend.  Too bad.  And she belongs to the Church.  It is almost sufficient to shake one’s faith.  I have a most beautiful idea.  What woman be and how she should act.  Should be so refined from virtuous nobles exalted, never thinking evil.  Alas, so few come up to this standard.

28th - Saturday - rode up to Mr. Thomas’s in the afternoon.  Found Em had been sick.  A gust came up and we stayed all night.  Em came home with us.  Dined with me and we all took tea with Mary.  She says her father told her the other day, he loved me as well as she.  It seems as if I am drawn by some power more closely to them all.  Mr. Leckie, came there, gave Ceph and Cornelia a chance.  Am going to give Mary one, the first opportunity.  Got a good joke on her.  Told Cornelia to nose up her arm.  She would show her how Tom done pretty good.

29th - Sunday - Mr. Haskins last sermon while he lives here.  Is coming down once a month til we get a Minister.  His sweet wife is going away.

30th - Monday - been busy all morning.  Father is well once more.  He has been sick since Friday.  I am so glad he is well again, "dear kind father".  Mr. Philips, one of out estimable citizens died yesterday.  I pity the family so.  I know something about the loss of a dear parent.  I hope none will ever feel as it keenly as myself.  Tremendous storm this evening.  I never heard such loud and successive peals of thunder.  Often I thought the lightening had struck near.  I never feel afraid, like some.  I know the same God rules then, as when it is calm.  Father was sitting in the chair and I kneeling beside him.  I could not help feeling sad.  Only two of us now on earth, and two in heaven.  May we all meet one day around the throne in Heaven.  I feel very sad tonight.  I am home all alone, left entirely to my own musings, and they are a serious turn.  No one to see me would one ever think I felt thus.  Generally so full of mirth, the heart must have some time for sorrow.  Yet I am happy thinking of him, I love so well.  Father said today, my dear Mother never allowed him to kiss her til they were engaged.  I told him I could say more than that.  He looked so pleased.  Yes I love him great deal more than if he had ever attempted to take a liberty.  Oh! was it not too bad to think the only bad allusion in my whole diary, he should see.  I had not read over what I gave him.  If I had, he never should have seen it.  I was so worried over it.  It has taught me a lesson to eschew all that’s evil, or had any way that tendency.

31st - Tuesday - Father has gone to Cambridge.  Cornelia has gone too.  In the evening Cornelia and myself took a walk.  Met Mary.  Intended going to see Miss Chamberlain, but she was not at home.  Mr. Myers and Frank met us and said they were looking for us.  So they all came home with myself.  Last day of the month.  Wonder if I am any better.  There is a constant change going on, either for better or worse.  Hope mine is for the better.

August 1855