Village Life in America 1852-1872

Malia Byram Mr. Mumau APUSH 5 December 2012 Village Life In America 1852-1872 As told in the diary of a Schoolgirl This book is a diary written by a young girl named Caroline Cowles Richards. Carolina tells the reader about her life. How at a early age her and her sister Anna, lost their mother, were sent to their grandparents house in canandaigua, New York. They were brought up with simplicity, sweetness and Puritan traditions. The diary begins in 1852, and is continued until 1872. She recalls swift transitions throughout her life that the reader can recall events happening in a history book.
The majority of the diary takes place well before the civil war begins, and it is fascinating to see what the daily life of a young girl was like. It begins when she’s 10 years old, and ends when she turns 30. Much of the story revolves around her puritan grandparents and little sister who she lives with, and her school and church life. The descriptions of living through the four year war really opens your heart, and the people she meets throughout her life are often names you recognize from history books.
Additionally, she is very opened minded, has many different attitudes, her diary was rare compared to letters or other diaries of this time period. I selected this book because its unique title caught my eye, ‘Village Life in America 1852-1872, as told in the diary of a schoolgirl. ’ I knew when I was choosing my book that I wanted my book to go over the Civil War or include the topic of the Civil War. This Diary did just that but it was on a personal level.

The author continued her diary through the Civil War, and readers can see a change in the tone of Caroline’s entries as her diary documents home-front fund-raising efforts and the names of local boys who are killed in battle. The author appeals to Americans in general because of her family and her friends. The thesis of this diary is the main aspects of her life which is Church life, school life and everyday life. She expresses those three points powerfully and effectively throughout her entries. The reader is treated to a fascinating picture of rural life in the 19th century.
She was very intelligent and perceptive young lady. She talks about her experiences with many people. Her entry on December 20, 1855 “ Susan B. Anthony is in town and spoke in Bemis Hall this afternoon. She talked very plainly about our rights and how we ought to stand up for them…. She asked us all to come up sign our names… A whole lot of us went up and signed the paper. ” Susan B. Anthony was a important American civil rights leader who played a strong role in the 19th century women’s rights movement to introduce women’s suffrage. This was very interesting to read.
The reader got to picture Susan B. Antony presenting a speech as if they were there. Along with significant points in Caroline’s diary her entry on April 15, 1861 was extremely vital “The storm has broken upon us. The confederates fired on Fort Sumter… President Lincoln has issued a call for 75,000 men and many are volunteering to go all around us. How strange and awful it seems. ” She presents the reader with the beginning of the Civil War from a northerners point of view. She was seen to the reader as being very deep-hearted and loyal to the Northern states.
Caroline who grew up in Canandaigua was intensely patriotic, and from day to day she kept a record of what she saw, felt, and heard. Her diary is an honest record of impressions of the stormy time in which the nation underwent a sea of fire. Overall, This Novel was flowing with strong views of a young women. Since it was a diary the weak points of this book, were the tedious entires of her everyday life. On the other hand, if she hadn’t wrote those unexciting entries it wouldn’t create a real feel or image of her life and her perspectives. The impression I was left with after reading this diary was the realism of this book.
Carolina carried me through significant historical events that she experienced. I’ve read what she has felt, thought, and done. After finishing the diary, I felt like I had made and lost a friend. I would with out a doubt recommend this book to the right person. Meaning its was very interesting to me because she was a young women with determination, and experienced a lot of things I would have experienced if I lived in the 19th century. So I would recommend this book to a young women or a historian looking for a personal insight of events that happened through Civil war.

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