University of Delaware Library

Jenks, Craigie Phillips, 1827-1908.

Journal & memo'da

1851 February 15-August 13

Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 097, Item 043

Creator: Jenks, Craigie Phillips, 1827-1908.

Title: Journal & memo'da

Inclusive Dates: 1851 February 15-August 13

Extent: 1 v. (ca. 200 p.) ; 22 cm.

Abstract: The journal of Craigie P. Jenks documents his daily life as a farmhand near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851. Jenks described both his work and his opinions of current social and political events.

Language: Materials entirely in English.


MSS 097, Item 043, Craigie P. Jenks, Journal & memo'da, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.


Special Collections, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL:


Purchase, 1954.


Processed and encoded by Kate Hand, September 2007. Updated by E. Evan Echols, April 2014.

The collection is open for research.

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Biographical Note

Craigie Phillips Jenks (1827-1908) born in Boston, Massachusetts, to William Jenks, a noted American scholar and clergyman, and Betsey Russell Jenks. One of sixteen children, from February to August, 1851, Jenks worked as a farmhand for several different employers in the Boston area, mostly chopping wood and hoeing fields. Despite the physical nature of his job, Jenks was interested in literature and the social and political issues of the time.

By the year 1857, he was employed as a clerk in the city of Boston. During the American Civil War, Jenks served in the 7th Regiment of the Kansas Militia. He died in Cook, Illinois, on March 5, 1908.


Heslip, Philip. "William Jenks Collection, 1794-1884." (accessed April 23, 2014).

The Boston Directory (Boston: George Adams, 1857).

"Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922." Library Edition. Provo, UT: Operations, Inc., 2004. (accessed April 22, 2014).

Additional biographical information derived from the collection.

Scope and Content Note

The journal of Craigie P. Jenks documents his daily life as a farmhand near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851. Jenks described both his work and his opinions of current social and political events.

Craigie P. Jenks's journal documents his daily life, thoughts, and opinions while he lived and worked in several towns near Boston. This volume is labeled "Journal No. 3" on its title page. In the last entries, Jenks wrote that his father was buying him a new journal to use when this one became full.

Jenks described the weather, his work, the books he read, sermons he heard, his correspondence, the people around him, and his state of mind. Jenks discussed his sweetheart Emily, but also provided detailed assessments of every woman or girl he met. During the winter months at the start of the journal, Jenks appears to have had much leisure time, which he spent reading, visiting family and friends, and thinking about current events. After the entry for February 18, he wrote a short essay entitled "Slavery in the United States," in which he expressed his abolitionist views.

In April, he procured a position for seven dollars a month, a sum which he came to consider far too low, because he did not make enough yet to marry Emily. As time progressed, the recent death of his mother, his separation from Emily, and his dissatisfaction with his employment caused Jenks to become increasingly upset and depressed.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Jenks, Craigie Phillips, 1827-1908--Diaries.
Topical Terms
Farm Life--Massachusetts--History--19th century.
Agricultural laborers--United States--History--19th century--Diaries.
Abolitionists--Massachusetts--History--19th century.
Form/Genre Terms

Related Materials in other Repositories

William Jenks papers, 1673-1942, Massachusetts Historical Society.

William Jenks collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 097 Diaries, Journals, and Ships' Logs collection.

Detailed Contents List

Journal & memo'da , 1851 February 15-August 13   [Item 043]

1 v.