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AboutTranscribing Modern Manuscripts allows users to transcribe letters, diaries, journals, and other material from the Newberry’s Modern Manuscripts Collections, a repository of American manuscripts from the mid-18th through the 20th centuries. The materials comprise a range of items, including letters exchanged by three generations of an immigrant family, the Everetts, and the Civil War diaries of Private Ferdinand Kilbourne, of Covington, Pennsylvania.
Kilbourne Civil War shorthand diariesThe site includes two pocket diaries that belonged to Private Ferdinand Kilbourne, of Covington, Pennsylvania, who was a member of the state's famous "Bucktail Regiment." Recounting his experience in the Regiment's 1st Rifles, Company 1, the diaries cover two different years--1861 and 1864--and are composed in Pitman shorthand. After joining the Army of the Potomac, Kilbourne's unit fought in many battles, including Harrisonburg, Mechanicsville, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Gettysburg. In addition to providing accounts of action, the diaries include reading lists, fragments of poems, lists of clothing issued by the army, summaries of debts, and much else.
The Everett familyAfter emigrating from Wales to America in 1823, Robert Everett made his way to Utica, New York, where he began working for the Welsh Congregational Church. Though Everett spent most of his life in New York, his children journeyed south and west, establishing homes and participating in some of the century's major social movements. Mary Everett graduated from New York Medical College and Hospital for Women before becoming involved in women's suffrage. Sarah Colgrove Everett moved to Kansas in 1854 and devoted herself to the abolitionist movement. Cynthia Everett taught freedmen in Virginia and South Carolina following the Civil War. Scattered across the country, Robert Everett's grandchildren grew up during one of the most consequential eras in American history. Their letters provide a deeper understanding of life in the United States--and the Midwest--in the latter half of the 19th century.
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