Daily register of Elizabeth Riggs, 1858
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Daily register of Elizabeth Riggs, 1858
Amerikan Bord Heyeti (American Board)
Moss Brothers & Co., Stewart's Diary for 1858
Details the daily affairs of Elizabeth and her family from January to late July the family lives in Philadelphia, with occasional trips to New York to visit friends and family (her father Elias is frequently in New York). Elizabeth’s regular habits include going to church and religious lectures, visiting with friends and enjoying the company of family, doing homework, and going on occasional outings, such as to art galleries the Philadelphia Masonic Hall, Fairmount Water Works, the Academy of Sciences, a synagogue, and numerous churches. The few sources of anxiety include loved ones’ illnesses, missing her mother, and the perceived lack of a “thoughtful” and “serious” approach to spiritual discussion by other young women in her Philadelphia church community. Based on the diary, Elizabeth treasures her relationship with her parents and siblings, all of whom she refers to frequently and affectionately. In early August (8-4) the family boards a ship bound for Smyrna. Aside from seasickness and occasional delays due to rough weather, the trip is seemingly uneventful. Land is first spotted on August 31st. On Sept. 2nd she writes, “We are rapidly approaching Gibraltar…Oh what joy to see again the waters of my own blue Mediterranean!” She notes sightings of Gibraltar, Sardinia, Sicily, and describes an onshore excursion to the “gardens of San Antonio and … Vecchio with its catacombs and St. Paul’s cave” on 9-28, and later the Castle of St. Angelo and the Church of St. John. On Oct. 5 she writes that, “I suppose Papa reached Constantinople today.” Between Oct. 6-9 she notes passing “the island of Cerigo [Kythira/Çuha Adası],” “the isle of Minos [Crete],” “Eubea” and Andros. On Oct. 12 they reach Smyrna [İzmir], and the following days are spent doing shopping and setting up house. On Oct. 22 her brother Jamie is diagnosed with scarlet fever, and by Nov. 6 her brother Eddie and sister Emma have also fallen ill. Elizabeth reports on their condition “with great anxiety,” and she makes her last chronological entry to the diary on Nov. 24. [She passed away of scarlet fever on Nov. 28]. The diary contains an entry for Dec. 27, seemingly a few lines of poetry obviously added at an earlier date and the impression of a pressed leaf. The space dated Dec. 31 is filled with a “farewell to my journal” entry also clearly added earlier. The back of the agenda contains details about washing and shopping, and two pencil drawings, one of the sea voyage and one of New Vernon.
As detailed in 9dc, this is a diary containing the daily affairs of Elizabeth Riggs in 1858, including her life in Philadelphia and visits to New York, and her family's month-long sea voyage to return to their mission in Smyrna/İzmir, shortly after which several children in the family contracted scarlet fever. Hardbound red book. Handwritten in pencil, generally legible, with some smudging. Several pages contain pressed flowers, and adjacent pages have residue/marks.
Issue Date
Philadelphia, New York (N.Y.), Smyrna (İzmir, Turkey)
SALT Research
Print, Handwriting
Number of Scanned Documents
Open Access
Rights Holder
United Church of Christ (UCC), American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT), SALT Research
Accrual Method
On deposit at SALT Research from UCC and ARIT


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