Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 883, Louisa Halsey Canfield (1839 - 1863)
Diary, 1861 - 1862, 0.1 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 883
Kept from January 1, 1861 to May 2, 1862 by a young woman living around Succasunna in Morris County, New Jersey. Religious in tone, the journal covers the period just prior to Canfield's death of consumption on February 14, 1863.
Louisa Halsey Canfield, the eldest child of Julia Ann Halsey (1817-1901) and Frederick Canfield (1810-1867), was born on August 5, 1839. Louisa and her brothers Augustus Cass (1842-1891), Edmund (1844-1884), and Frederick Alexander (1849-1926), grew up in Ferromonte, New Jersey where their father managed the estate and iron mine of their great-uncle, Mahlon Dickerson (1770-1853). As a teenager, Louisa contracted tuberculosis, which her parents tried to alleviate by taking her for "water treatment" at Round Hill in Massachusetts in the fall of 1861. Louisa H. Canfield died in Ferromonte on February 14, 1863 at the age of 23.
The source of this diary is unknown.
The diary of Louisa Halsey Canfield dates from January 1, 1861 to May 2, 1862, covering the time period just before her death in February of 1863. Louisa Canfield generally wrote in her diary about her daily activities, describing letter writing, visits with family and friends, and chores such as sewing. She records family news such as marriages and deaths, and details the movements and daily life of her immediate family members. While Canfield occasionally writes that she does not feel well or she cannot attend church, she rarely mentions her illness. The diary does however, cover the time period she spent undergoing the "water cure" in the fall of 1861 at Round Hill. These entries briefly describe her daily treatments consisting of baths, sheets, and packs. Numerous entries are written in a religious tone.
Processed by Kim Charlton, June 2000
The New Jersey Historical Society