It may seem strange by today’s standards that a 15-year-old girl was attending the University of Minnesota. You tend to think that children or teens are very advanced if they are attending University classes. Gusta may have been brilliant, but it was not unusual for high school age kids to go to U of … Continue reading Gusta and the University
I came across an entry in the diary in which Gusta uses a derogatory term for the African American woman who works for the family that was common parlance of the day. What do you think as a reader of history – should I use the language of the day? I can definitely get the … Continue reading Lived Experiences or Phenomenology
The U.S. Census is not the only historical document that can provide insight. Locating and gaining access to archival and historical documents can be a little bit tricky, but a bit of practiced and deliberate searching can reveal interesting and unexpected tidbits. I found Augusta listed on the 1874-1875 University of Minnesota student roster as … Continue reading Insight into Daily Routines
I had found my diary writer on the 1870 U.S. Census: Augusta Mansfield, 11 years old, daughter of William and Theresa Mansfield, living in the 4th Ward, St. Anthony, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Historical documents like the U.S. Census hold a wealth of information that inform the researcher. For example, I learned that Augusta had … Continue reading Augusta and the 1870 U.S. Census.
The 1874 diary had been curated with an 1881 diary that was signed “Sadie Hilgedick” on the inside front cover. There is also a notation (in different handwriting) that reads “Birthday: April 1” which I assume was added later, perhaps by the person selling the diary. This notation is also supported by Sadie’s own entry … Continue reading Solving the Mystery.