Mary Emma Bird (born Feb. 02, 1838-death date unknown) was a school teacher in rural New York State during the period of this diary. Miss Bird details her life as a school teacher, her everyday life and hardships, and various national news events that interest her. She lives away from her family and many of her entries reflect her concerns about them. She is a religious women and there are many entries are about church related events.
The Mary Emma Bird Journal is a 138 page handwritten, unbound diary with pages numbered 469-607. The diary begins Oct. 11,1860 and ends about June 12,1863. There is a seven month gap from Oct. 10, 1862 to May 15,1863. Due to the page numbering sequence the diary appears to be one volume from a set.
Aside from general comments about the Civil War the following specific events were mentioned by her: the election of 1860 (she is for Lincoln and is pleased when he wins); the secession of the first group of Southern States; President Lincoln's Inauguration and the Baltimore assassination attempt; the Ft. Sumner relief attempt and the firing on Ft. Sumner; the beginning of the Civil War and the secession of Virginia; and the Baltimore Riots between Secessionists and Massachuset Volunteers. It is not clear if she mentions these events because they interest her, or if it is the only news she has heard.
She also writes about a vacation in the fall of 1862 to New York City and New Haven Connecticut, and provides interesting descriptions of war- time New York City.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material from the Diary of Mary Emma Bird must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.
Initial Citation: Diary of Mary Emma Bird USU_COLL MSS 151, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.
Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 151, USUSCA.
Describes the election of President Abraham Lincoln, education in New York state, women in education and religion.
|1860 October 11 - 1863|