In honor of Elizabeth Edwards’ return for the village of Highland Ghost walk, I am sharing portions of Elizabeth’s 1864 diary. Elizabeth was then 62 and her husband Robert was 61.
The Edwardses’ four children, who traveled to Highland County in a covered wagon and the four children born in the log cabin near Highland, were adults – Susanne 31, C.B. 30, Lydia 29, John 27, William (also known as Willie) 26, Maria 25, Abbie 21, and Jesse 19. Elizabeth’s nephew gave her the new diary on March 8, 1863.
The Edwards family education was self-taught, according to the family history. The following are entries from Elizabeth’s diary as she wrote it, misspellings and all. I omitted the customary quotation mark for easier reading.
June 1 (1864) – Warm and clear turned cool in the eve. I worked in the garden, am so tired I wish my time had come to leave this world. R. has been in Lex all the afternoon is just eating his supper.
June 2 – Cloudy but no rain. Sis and me cleaned the sitting room Abbie went to Carey Popes. Robert came home, eat his dinner at 3 from Lex. L. Horsman and children came here this evening in the cars. I am too tired to talk.
June 3 – I made a cheese and churned. Went to see Susan in the afternoon. clear and warm. Lydia went with me to Macs. R. was at Lex. in the morning, hunting potatoes in the afternoon.
June 4 – Clear and warm. Maria, Lydia, Jesse and Swaine was at Hillsborough. I baked. Susan was here. R. spent the afternoon at Lex. has got home. They are just got home from Hillsborough.
June 5 – Another fine day. Lydia Horsman and myself have been to Brother Ws and C.B.E. got home about sunset. Found the family at home all but Robert. They had been to Dunker Meeting, had a babtisum.
June 6 – A pleasant day. I took Lydia Horsman to Lex. got a new dress. Susane, her children and Adaline took supper here. The mason commenced work here.
June 7 – Cool this morning Lydia Horsman and the 3 children set out for Wilmington. Abbie ironed. I baked and churned feal very tired, not able to walk strait. R. has gone to Lex. this eve.
June 8 – Warm, very warm today. commenced raining about 7 oclock this eve. I got a letter from Willie. R. has just got home from Lex. Abbie has gone to Macs.
June 9 – I worked in the garden all day it rained a little in the morning. Maria got home from Wilmington about 10. a hard rain just after dinner.
June 10 – I churned and made a cheese. The men thrashed. Maria washed. Abbie went to Lex. cool and clear.
The full diary can be read in my book Time Travels: 200 Years of Highland County History. The diary was originally published with permission from the Edwards’ ancestor Janet Larkin of Hillsboro. More June entries will be published in the next Time Travels column.
Charlotte Pack is a local author and historian. She calls her column Time Travels.