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Collection Number: 03470

Collection Title: Rebecca S. C. Pilsbury Diary, 1848-1851

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 1 volume (1 reel of microfilm)
Abstract Wife of Timothy Pilsbury (1780-1858), U.S. Congressman from Texas. Diary, November 1848-May 1851, of Rebecca Pilsbury at Brazoria, Tex., recording her activities managing her husband's farm while he was away serving in Congress and elsewhere. In addition to her social and domestic activities, she recorded her feelings about her first experiences managing slaves, and her loneliness during her husband's absences.
Creator Pilsbury, Rebecca S. C., fl. 1848-1851.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Rebecca S. C. Pilsbury Diary #3470, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Lent for filming from Mrs. Ervin E. Putnam of Wilmington, Del., in March 1960.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Wife of Timothy Pilsbury (1780-1858), U.S. Congressman from Texas.

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Rebecca S. C. Pilsbury's husband, Timothy Pilsbury (1780-1858), was a native of Massachusetts who settled successively in Maine, Ohio, New Orleans, and Texas. He served in the House and the Senate of the Republic of Texas and was a member of the United States Congress from March 1846 to March 1849. Rebecca Pilsbury noted in the front of her diary that she had landed at Galveston on 5 October and arrived in Brazoria 10 October 1848.

The diary begins on 14 November 1848, the day that Timothy Pilsbury left Brazoria for Washington, and continues until 2 May 1849 when he returned. Rebecca recorded daily activities such as domestic chores, her callers and calls, activities of slaves, and the work that was done. The entries contain expressions of how much she missed her husband and comments on her new responsibilities, especially the management of slaves and her feelings of inadequacy. She gives details of her sewing, her care of pigeons, poultry, pigs, and her vegetable garden; she mentions going to church in town, her silkworms, arrivals and departures of the Galveston steamboat, and news from her husband. She also discusses the neighbors by name, tells about visits to and from them, with comments on their ways.

From 28 May to 23 July 1849 and in 1850 and 1851, Rebecca wrote in the diary whenever Timothy left on trips or when she felt the need to record special events. These entries are briefer than Rebecca's early ones and chiefly tell of her poultry, planting, calls, callers, and the misery caused by her husband's absence.

Also included is a biographical directory of the Republic of Texas's Congress and convention members, which gives a brief sketch of Timothy Pilsbury (misspelled Pillsbury).

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, August 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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