The journal of Adeline Baker has been transcribed and is now available under our Journals tab.
Adeline Baker (1829-1856) grew up in the Crooked Lane neighborhood in North Duxbury, near the Marshfield line. As a neighbor of Daniel Webster, the great statesman’s death shook her community. She picked the day of Webster’s funeral to begin her diary:
October 29th 1852
A more beautiful morn than this could not be desired even by the most fastidious. And a great event has this day taken place in our own quiet county of Plymouth in our own sister town, Marshfield. And event which will not only be pondered upon in its minutest details by our whole Nation, but the World will hear of it.
This day, this twenty-ninth of October Eighteen Hundred & Fifty-two, the mortal remains of Daniel Webster have been committed to the silent tomb…”
After such a lofty start, Adeline’s diary settles in to a more simplified tone. She records her visits, chores and family events. Perhaps the most significant event in her own life came on January 6, 1853, the day she married William N. Jameson. Weddings were not the extravagant affairs they are today. Adeline’s entry of that day is rather matter of fact, “This day has been rather a hurrying time. Jameson came over this afternoon. Daniel and Edward came home tonight. Father and Mother, Daniel, his wife, Edward, Levi, Wallace and Amanda all went to Mrs. Alden’s to see me married.” The couple moved to Plymouth where Jameson owned a store and Adeline kept up her journal until April, 1854.
Unfortunately, any happiness she had as the wife of a young merchant was short-lived. Jameson died of consumption in 1855 and Adeline returned to her parent’s house. She died the following year at the age of 27.
Adeline Baker’s journal is part of the Capt. Edward Baker Collection (you can read Edward’s Civil War diary on his Facebook page ). Her journal spans almost two years and is wonderful glimpse into the day-to-day life of a young, 19th century woman.