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Diary, 1737-1743; 1753-1774.

Author: John Ballantine; Joseph D Bartlett
Edition/Format:   Book : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The original diary of John Ballantine, 1737-1743; 1753-1774, is in the possession of the Westfield Athenaeum and is now almost illegible. This typed transciption was made in 1886 by Joseph D. Bartlett ( - ) of Westfield, Mass., and is heavily annotated by Bartlett. The annotations usually appear in parentheses but are sometimes difficult to distinguish from Ballantine's original text. Not all of the material in the
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Details

Genre/Form: Diaries
Local records
Named Person: John Ballantine; Robert Breck; Aaron Burr; Jonathan Edwards; Samuel Mather
Material Type: Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: John Ballantine; Joseph D Bartlett
OCLC Number: 213868075
Reproduction Notes: Transcript. Westfield, Mass., Joseph D. Bartlett, 1886. Typewritten.
Description: 1 v. (282 leaves) ; octavo.

Abstract:

The original diary of John Ballantine, 1737-1743; 1753-1774, is in the possession of the Westfield Athenaeum and is now almost illegible. This typed transciption was made in 1886 by Joseph D. Bartlett ( - ) of Westfield, Mass., and is heavily annotated by Bartlett. The annotations usually appear in parentheses but are sometimes difficult to distinguish from Ballantine's original text. Not all of the material in the original diary was transcribed and there are freqent errors, especially in the spelling of proper names. However, the diary transcription does provide valuable information in terms of the religious and political issues that were much discussed in New England during the 18th century. The diary also concerns social customs of the era, and Ballantine listed at the end of each month and year the number of births and deaths in Westfield, grouped by sex and age.

Included are references to the Rev. Robert Breck (1713-1784), whose ordination had stirred a controversy in 1736; the outbreak and battles of the French and Indian War; the "Separatists" who broke with Ballantine's church because they opposed the partaking of communion by those who had not experienced conversion; and visits paid to Ballantine by such people as Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), President Aaron Burr (1715/16-1757) of Princeton University, and Samuel Mather (1706-1785), one of his closest friends. There are daily entries concerning his ministerial duties, visits, family activities, illnesses in town (especially a smallpox epidemic in 1760), and an annual list of donations of food and fuel given to him by his parishioners.

The diary contains information about slaves owned by various townspeople, murders committed in the region and punishments, Ballantine's attendance at local church councils and association meetings, preparation of his students for admission to Harvard, and the beginnings of trouble between the American Colonies and Great Britain during the 1770s. Ballantine also referred to a traveling show that was staged in Westfield in 1773, complete with wire-walkers.

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Linked Data


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