Scope and Contents
Lucy P. Ruddy’s journal is a small one, only covering the period from January 1 - August 3, 1893. The faintly lined pages are unnumbered, except for a few that Lucy numbered at the beginning (pages 1 - 13). She began this journal as a young woman living in late 19th century New England, apparently in or near Lynn, Massachusetts.
On her title page, she displayed her name “Lucy P. Ruddy,” the year
“1893,” and a solemn declaration, ”This year for Christ,” followed by her initials. Her first entry after that title page, made on “Sunday, Jan. 1st, 1893,” recited that she had “again consecrated my-self to the Lords [sic] service . . . .”
The entries that follow, until August 3, 1893, show that she helped at home with household chores, worked in a store (Mr. Wheeler’s) and attended church and sabbath school regularly. During this period, when the “Panic of 1893" was depressing the American economy, she noted some slow times at the store. For one of these days, she wrote it was “very dull in the store not much trade.”
On several occasions she recorded her concern for the spiritual well-being of persons she knew. For Marcia, she states that she wishes that “[she] would start for Christ;” for Fred, she writes, “if only [he] were here, that he might give himself up to Jesus.” And, for Gracie, she reports that she had “given her heart to Jesus to- night [sic],” for which she was “so very glad for it.”
In the early part of this journal (the winter months), she remarked on fun activities in her area, like “sleighing” and “skating.” In the last journal entries (written in the summer, July 14 - August 3), she reported on a vacation trip she had taken, traveling apparently to Maine by train and boat. There she writes of helping “Aunty”
and of the outings she took with her and others. In her last entry she described a couple of uncommon occurrences for her, like having “tin-types taken for fun” and of being “weiged” [weighed].
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