• IdentificationMidwest MS 96
  • TitleInventory of the Rowley Family Journals, 1851-1887 Midwest.MS.096
  • PublisherThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • RepositoryThe Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts
  • Physical Description0.1 linear feet (1 folder)
  • Date1851-1887
  • Location1 1 2
  • AbstractTwo journals by Mrs. Rowley of the Chicago area, including descriptions of family and farming life, and various trips to Chicago and elsewhere.
  • OriginationRowley, Mrs.

The Rowley Family Journals are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

The Rowley Family Journals are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Rowley Family Journals, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Jill Waycie, 2010.

This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

As Mrs. Rowley does not give her full name in the journals, little information can be found about this family. She had at least two children, Etta and Ada, and possibly two other daughters named Martha and Rena (who may have been servants working in the home). Mrs. Rowley does not refer to her husband, though the first journal mentions the death of a man named Aldric who had gone to California, who could have been her husband. At least part of the time Mrs. Rowley lived in Oak Park, but as she moved often, her complete residence history is unknown.

Two journals kept by Mrs. Rowley about the city of Chicago and its environs.

The first journal, from 1851, describes the death of a family member, Aldric, who had gone to California (possibly Mrs. Rowley’s husband). The second journal spans 1857-1887 and describes farming life, weather, multiple marriages and funerals, and family and social gatherings at home and at Hoards Hall, Unity Church, and camp meetings. Frequent trips to Chicago and other nearby towns including Leyden, Ridgeland, Harlem, and Maywood are described, along with an extended trip to Mrs. Rowley’s childhood home of Shelburn (now Shelburne), Vermont. As the journal progresses, Mrs. Rowley enters her 60s and 70s and begins to write repeatedly after family gatherings and holidays that the whole family may not be together for the next gathering.

Materials arranged alphabetically.

  • Names
    • Rowley, Mrs. -- Diaries
    • Rowley, Mrs. -- Family
  • Subject
    • Chicago
    • Family Papers
    • Farm life -- Illinois
    • Manuscripts, American -- Illinois -- Chicago
    • Women
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Chicago (Ill.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
    • Oak Park (Ill.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
    • Shelburne (Vt.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources