Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 123, Jemima Condict (1754-1779)
Diary, 1772-1779, 0.25 linear feet / 2 folders
Call Number: MG 123
Kept by a young girl who lived in the village of Pleasantdale (now part of West Orange), Essex County, New Jersey, and was married to Aaron Harrison. Published as Jemima Condict Her Book, Being a Transcript of the Diary of and Essex County Maid during the Revolutionary War (Newark, 1930) (call# R.B. Car 13); also in Elizabeth Evans, Weathering the Storm: Women of the American Revolution (New York, ca. 1975) (call# 973.315 Ev15), pgs. 33-51.
Gift of Samuel W. Baldwin, 1922.
Daniel Condit, the eldest son of Samuel Condit and his wife Ruth Harrison, produced eight children, one of whom was Jemima Condict. Although her name by birth was Condit, she added a "c" to her name against her parents behest.
Jemima was born on August 24, 1754 and lived in the town of Pleasantdale, a section of West Orange. In 1779, at the age of 25 she married her first cousin Aaron Harrison, who would later become mayor. Both were grandchildren of Samuel Harrison, one of the first settlers in that area.
Jemima Condict Harrison died on November 14, 1779 after bearing one child, Ira, who died before his twelfth birthday.
The diary was a gift of Samuel Baldwin, a great-great-grandchild of Jemima's husband's second wife, in October of 1922.
The Jemima Condict Diary contains entries detailing her own and her family life, along with notes pertaining to local townspeople and events. The diary begins in 1772 and contains entries midway through the year 1779.
Condict's diary illustrates incidents of the time, methods of household life, enjoyments and fears of the day, and religious piety. Jemima relates local events such as deaths, diseases, and relates both public and personal opinions during the Revolutionary War. She reflects on her personal experiences and aspirations, which reflect upon the consciousness of a young adult in revolutionary America.
Throughout her diary she keeps track of those who succumb to death in various ways, and this, combined with her less morbid entries, allows the development of her family tree. This diary also provides an excellent example of the effects of religion on a youth and community during the late 18th century.
This diary has been published under two separate titles: Jemima Condict Her Book, Being a Transcript of the Diary of an Essex County Maid During the Revolutionary War (Newark, 1930) (call# R.B. Car 13); and by Elizabeth Evans in Weathering the Storm: Women of the American Revolution (New York, ca. 1975) (call# 973.315 Ev15), pgs. 33-51.
There is also an index of people, place, and event names which has been attached to this finding aid for easy reference.
The original diary is fragile and requires special handling. It is recommended that researchers take advantage of the published versions in order to preserve the original diary for future generations.
Processed by Stephen Sullivan, November 1999 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society