Central Virginia Farmer’s Diary, 1899

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Summary Information

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Central Virginia Farmer's Diary
Collection No.:
SC 0284
2 folders, .12 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
The Central Virginia Farmer's Diary, 1899, documents the activities of an unidentified farmer in central Virginia.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Central Virginia Farmer's Diary, 1899, SC 0284, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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Bio/Historical Note

While the specific identity of the diary's creator is unknown, it is speculated that the diarist owned land near or around Gordonsville in Orange County, Virginia during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century. Names mentioned in the diary include Miller, E. P. Cason, George, Thomas Cason (1873-1936), Cora Miller Cason (1877-1943), Richard "Dick" Crittenden Booton (1866-1911), and John Robertson Coons (1866-1929). It is assumed that Miller, E. P. Cason, Thomas Cason, George, Booton, and Coons were employed by the diarist.

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Scope and Content

The Central Virginia Farmer's Diary, 1899, is a mass-produced diary consisting of three sections. The first section reads like a basic Farmer's Almanac, with a calendar, dates of the phases of the moon, interesting laws of different states, tide tables, currency exchange rates, and other general information. The second section comprises the bulk of the diary, with daily entries written by the farmer on affairs such as plowing fields, weather reports, who worked that day, and church matters. The last section consists of blank pages for names and addresses and an account book. Loose items include business cards and what is assumed to be a map documenting where different families lived in the area.

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The materials are housed in two folders.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open to 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 Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

The diary was acquired at Jeffrey S. Evans and Associates' Winter Americana and Variety Auction on February 16, 2019.

Processing Information

Loose documents in the back pocket of the diary were removed and housed in a separate folder.


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


  • Farmers -- Virginia -- Diaries
  • Agriculture -- Virginia -- History
  • Virginia -- History

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Central Virginia Farmer's Diary, 1899 box 1 folder 1
Loose Documents, undated box 1 folder 2