Jordan, Mary Diaries, 1862-1883

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Jordan, Mary, 1798-1883
Title:
Mary Jordan Diaries
Collection No.:
SC 0162
Date:
1862-1883
Extent:
2 folders, .2 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The collection is comprised of two bound diaries kept by Mary Jordan of Harrisonburg between 1862 and 1883, with short entries pertaining to the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley, the weather, local births, deaths and marriages, and daily activities such as church attendance, visits from relatives and friends, and travel.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [box #, folder #], Mary Jordan Diaries, 1862-1883, SC 0162, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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Bio/Historical Information

Mary Jordan (1798-1883) lived in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with her daughter, Julia Ann Jordan Sprinkel, and Julia's husband, Arthur St. Clair in Harrisonburg. The Sprinkel family homestead was located on the corner of Main and Rock streets. The local African-American church and school were located in this the same section of town, suggesting why Jordan mentions the deaths of several local African Americans in her 1879 diary. The 1879 diary also contains mentions of her grandaughters, "Mag" (Margaret) and Mary. Jordan is buried at Woodbine Cemetary in Harrisonburg.

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Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of two bound diaries kept by Mary Jordan of Harrisonburg.

The first diary dates from May 9, 1862 through August 22, 1864. Jordan's entries describe the death of Turner Ashby ("Col. Ashby was killed this evening. Poor Ashby poor fellow"), the Battle of New Market and other battles of note, troop and prisoner movements through Harrisonburg, death and burials of local soldiers, and Union soldiers movements. Additional entries of note include May 7, 1863: "The Yankee's advanceing great excitement in Town and Country people moveing cattle and negroes and all the commisary stores there was never so much confusion in this place before."

Names of Charles Frank Echard (1870-1941) family members are penciled in the diary and post-date Mary Jordan's entries. Echard was married to Maude Jordan Dillard, Mary Jordan's great granddaughter.

The second diary dates from January 1, 1879 until October 1879, and also includes scattered entries through 1883. The diary entries are brief and record the weather, daily activities such as church attendance, visits from relatives and friends, travel of relatives to Baltimore, and getting loads of wood and barrels of flour. Occasional items of local news are also mentioned, such as court dates, trials, births, marriages, and deaths, including the deaths of several African Americans living in Harrisonburg in 1879 ("Sunday January the 26th 1879 A coulered woman buried this evening").

On the first page is written: "Mary Jordan born in 17 hundred and 98 and this is 1879 I am still here." Family names mentioned in the diary include Sprinkel, Dillard, Bowman, Rohr, Wilton, and Dwyer, among others.

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Arrangement

The diaries remain bound and housed in two folders.

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Administrative Information

Revision Description

Converted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl.Edited by Sarah Roth-MulletEdited by Tiffany Cole 2013-11-212018-05-222018-08-28

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

The diary dated 1879-1883 was purchased from Green Valley Auctions in January 2002.

The diary dated 1862-1864 was purchased from Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates in August 2018.

Provenance

The 1862-1864 diary was part of the private collection of Maxine and E.R. Grymes Heneberger of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Grymes Heneberger found the diary in 1960 and had it transcribed. He self-published a small run of copies which he offered for sale and distributed to local libraries.

The 1879-1883 diary was part of the Harrison family estate of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Alternate Format

A transcribed copy of the 1862-1864 diary, Harrisonburg, Virginia: Diary of a Citizen from May 9, 1862-August 22, 1864, Local Events During the Civil War (1961), is cataloged and available in Special Collections.

Processing Information

While the 1862-1864 diary does not include any explicit identifying information about the creator, contextual information confirms it was written by Mary Jordan of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Both December 5 entries in the diary (1862 and 1863) record Jordan's exact birthday and year. This corresponds to the birth year recorded in the 1879-1883 diary. Additionally, the handwriting in present in both diaries matches as does the scribbling used to separate diary entries.

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 4025.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Diaries
  • Weather diaries

Geographic Name

  • Harrisonburg (Va.) -- History -- 19th century

Subject

  • Women -- Virginia -- Rockingham County -- Diaries
  • Women -- Virginia -- Harrisonburg -- Diaries
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
  • Ashby, Turner, 1828-1862
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- Genealogy
  • Confederate States of America -- History, Military
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Virginia -- History -- 19th century -- Social life and customs

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Bibliography

Wayland, John. Historic Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg, VA: C. J. Carrier Company, 1990: 282.

Find A Grave. "Mary Jordan (1798-1883)." Find a Grave Memorial no. 16632274. Accessed May 21, 2018. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/16632274.

Lathrop, J.M. and B.N. Griffing. An atlas of Rockingham County, Virginia from actual surveys by J. M. Lathrop and B. N. Griffing. Philadelphia, Pa. : D. J. Lake & Co., 1885.

Firebaugh, Marshall A. Rockingham County personals : published 1884 in Hardesty's Encyclopedia, republished 1984. Harrisonburg, Va. : Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, 1984.

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Mary Jordan Diary, 1862-1864 box 1 folder 1
Mary Jordan Diary, 1879-1883 box 1 folder 2