O. M. Slosson’s diary and ledger is a bound volume of 130 pages, with entries from August 29, 1858 to June 17, 1860, depicting Northern farm life in upstate New York just before the Civil War; Slosson’s entries give a sense of the seasonal rhythms and routines of rural community life (church, social activities, local events), as well as a farmer’s daily responsibilities and financial concerns in managing a farm during this period.
Permission to publish from the O. M. Slosson Diary and Farm Ledger, MS 223, must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Biographical / Historical
Nothing is known of O. M. Slosson, a farmer in up-state New York prior to the Civil War, other than what may be gleaned from his diary and ledger. He appears to have been thrifty, conscientious in repaying debts, active in church affairs, and a competent manager with broad knowledge of farm maintenance, repair, and livestock. He also seems to have had an appreciation for poetry (verse is written inside the diary’s covers), and a certain sensitivity to seasonal pleasures in the midst of farm routine, noting for example the first appearance of robins and bluebirds at the end of winter.
Diary and farm ledger kept by O. M. Slosson, a farmer in upstate New York (Pompey, Onondago County), reflecting the life of a Northern farmer just before the Civil War; he describes daily chores, agricultural problems, livestock, church attendance and themes of Sunday sermons, deaths and other local events, social activities, weather, personal finances (including loans, debts, and purchases), and letters received, with reminders to himself noted in the margins. He also makes reference to his reading materials: "Knickerbocker’s Magazine," and "The Phrenological Journal."
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The O. M. Slosson Diary and Farm Ledger, 1858-1860, was purchased in 1956.
See additional Civil War collections in the Woodson Research Center.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
O. M. Slosson, Diary and Farm Ledger, 1858-1860, MS 223, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University. https://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/181 Accessed December 09, 2023.