Margaret Russell’s Diary, October 1916
Today, we return to the line-a-day diary of Margaret Russell. You can read previous installments here:
October begins balmy, “really warm,” with lovely days on which to walk and drive. Margaret Russell takes several short motoring tours through Massachusetts, Vermont, and upstate New York, and also begins the relocation back to town for the winter. Columbus Day would not become a federal holiday until 1937, but was already celebrated in Boston for Margaret notes the day on October 12th. “Called at Endicotts & Appletons & Miss Rogers,” she observes. With the return to the city comes a more intense schedule of cultural events -- in the last ten days of the month, following the family’s return to town, Margaret attends five concerts which she notes in her diary.
While domestic and social events continue to dominate the chronicle, two political items of note appear in the October entries. On October 9th she writes that a “German submarine off Nantucket sinks nine ships,” one of the first direct mentions of the war now raging in Europe. It was an event that made national news although the Sacramento Union’s account puts the number of ships at six rather than nine. On the 25th of the month, Margaret attends an anti-suffrage (“Anti-S”) meeting -- a reminder that in the early decades of the twentieth century women as well as men were deeply invested on both sides of the fight over the “woman suffrage” question. Massachusetts was home to one of the most active anti-suffrage organizations, the Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women, founded in 1895. While Margaret does not indicate what specific anti-suffrage meeting she attends it is likely that the meeting was an event organized by this group; their records have been recently digitized by the MHS and can be read online at the link above.
Without further ado, here is Margaret.
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1 Oct. Walked to church & home on State road. Family to dine. Lovely weather.
2 Oct. To town, errands, [illegible], lunch with Marian, to see aunt Emma at Cambridge.
3 Oct. Started at 9.30 for Jaffrey arrived 1.10. The H.G. C’s not till 2. Started for Walpole at 3. Arrived at 4.45. Went to Cottage tea room. Walpole [illegible] full with people.
4 Oct. Started for Woodstock at 9.30. Got there 12.30. Lovely views. Took a short walk. Started at 2.15 via Rutland wonderful views. Arrived at 5.30 at Equinox.
5 Oct. Thursday - Took a walk with Miss A-- to a lake [illegible] of dead [illegible] & 7 live ones. Really warm. Lovely drive to Cambridge N.Y. in P.M. 2 1/2 hours.
6 Oct. Started at 9. Stopped at Williamstown for lunch & walk. On at 1.30 over Mohawk to Greenfield & to Deerfield. Weldon hotel at 4.30. Lovely day.
7 Oct. Saturday. Started at 9.30. Lovely day. Got to Groton at 12.30 and lunched & home by Harvard & Concord. Home at 4.30. Perfect trip, no tire troubles & fine weather.
8 Oct. Sunday - Walked to church & back. Family to dine.
9 Oct. Monday - To town for errands, Mary & lunch with Marian. To see aunt Emma. German submarine off Nantucket sinks nine ships.
10 Oct. Tuesday - Walked over Nahant beach. [illegible] cold & windy. To town for an errand in the P.M.
11 Oct. Wednesday - Went to Rowley in the P.M. to get things at Fairview.
12 Oct. Columbus Day - Walked in A.M. Called at Endicotts & Appletons & Miss Rogers.
13 Oct. Friday - First concert. Perfectly delightful to hear the orchestra. Miss A-- went. Lunched at Somerset with Edith.
14 Oct. Saturday - Met H.G.C. & A. at N. Andover. Cold but lovely.
15 Oct. [no entry made]
16 Oct. Monday - Took Miss A-- to town & said good-by. Back early.
17 Oct. Tuesday - Packing. Bad gale so did not go out in motor.
18 Oct. Wednesday - Lovely clear & cold. Packing.
19 Oct. Thursday - Packing. To Nahant to see F. P. who had gone to town. Drove to Beverly in P.M.
20 Oct. Friday - Unpacking. Had Edith & Eleanor [illegible] & Mrs. Sears to lunch at Chilton & go to concert. Went to see F. Prince to hear about Norman’s death.
21 Oct. Saturday - Passed the day at Norfolk. E. Walcott & Susy B. - also there for lunch. Lovely weather. Concert in the evening.
22 Oct. Sunday - Went to Cathedral. Lunched at Walcotts’s & went to see Sara Jordan on the way home.
23 Oct. Monday - Dentist, Mary, lunch with Marian. Out to Gray Herbarium with specimens.
24 Oct. Tuesday - Walked all the morning for errands. Went to Milton to pay calls & found everybody in.
25 Oct. Wednesday - Anti S- meeting, lunched at Mayflower, dentist, & then to Swampscott to see Edith & the baby.
26 Oct. Thursday - to hospital & then to lunch at Parkman’s with Mrs. James Parker. Lovely warm day.
27 Oct. Friday. Mrs. Ruelkes lunched & went to concert with [sic]. Edith prevented by changes of [illegible].
28 Oct. Lovely warm day. Met the H.G.C’s at Groton for lunch. Home by Harvard. Splendid concert with Gadeski.
29 Oct. Errands & Mary. Lunched at Mrs. Bell’s with an attractive Mrs. Reed from Charleston. To see aunt Emma & the Greenoughs.
30 Oct. Monday - Lunched at Mrs. Bell’s with Mrs. F. Dexter & Mrs. Reed from the South.
31 Oct. Tuesday - Went to [illegible] concert with Mrs. Reed.
* * *
If you are interested in viewing the diary in person in our library or have other questions about the collection, please visit the library or contact a member of the library staff for further assistance.
*Please note that the diary transcription is a rough-and-ready version, not an authoritative transcript. Researchers wishing to use the diary in the course of their own work should verify the version found here with the manuscript original.
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