Emily French


Diary of a Hard-worked Woman


January, Wednesday 1, 1890 -- Ollie got breakfast, then we went to cleaning up the house. I have not felt like it since I moved into Mrs. Fricks house. We cleaned the window, put up little white curtains. The carpet & chairs make it look home--like Mr Sloans, the family living in the other part. He fixed a light of glass in my window.

January, Friday 3, 1890 -- I got up determined to go to Mrs Oaks' to wash. I made me some tea, eat a bite, left Ollie frying some potatoes for her breakfast & Annis, she knitting on my blue stockings. She tried to get them done for a Newyears present. I took my little pail to get milk. I went to work at 8, had my white clothes on the line before dinner. Mrs Maxon came in as we set down, she so gossipy, nothing weighty to her, she talked for 1 hour, I went on working. Got done at 3, cleaned the kitchen, Laura helped me. Ollie came in time to hang up some of the colored clothes. Sewed some on the machine for Mrs. Oaks. I cleaned the water closet, it so bad.

January, Wednesday 8, 1890 -- Who is a God like unto thee pardoning all
I up at the Fricks at 6, came home--made a fire, got my breakfast. Mrs Sloan not so well. I went to Baltzells to wash. it is cold. She had the water on, so I shall be allowed to wash. Oh such work, and such a lot of dirty & old clothes not scarcely fit to wash, she not able to buy others. I got them ready for the line, the wind so hard, yet I managed to hang all out. The tub frozen full of water, I worked at 2 hours before I could get enough of it out so I could put the clothes in. I washed an Old coat, then cleaned up so to Iron. She had roast pork with dressing, homminy, buiscuits & butter, coffee. I was tired but enjoyed my supper much. Went at the Ironing. The girls broke a plate fooling. I done all the clothes, was dry. She paid me, gave me some food to carry home. I wore an old coat, cold.

January, Sunday 19, 1890 -- Shall I & my dear children be of his chosen
How I do long to be near my children. God only knows the real desire of my heart. How unhappy I realy [sic] am, will he bring me a home? he can. I trust him in all things.

January, Monday 20, 1890 -- Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud
I feel so homesick this morning--hearing Mrs. Sloan singing it just makes me think of the home away in Iowa, where if I ever had any happy days, I tried to be happy.

February, Saturday 15, 1890 -- I drove on thinking oh such hard thoughts--why is this life for me, a home lover? I do so crave a home, will I ever have a home?

February, Thursday 20, 1890 -- It does make me feel so bad when I think of how hard I have tried to make a good home. Now I will only seem to be what I am not, contented.

April, Wednesday 9, 1890 -- We all talking lots & a home, how will I succeed.

April, Thursday, 10, 1890 -- We still talking about a home, the one thing to bee [sic].

April, Saturday 19, 1890 -- Will I get my home, god help me--Mr. Longfellow came to take me & close the bargain. We went to see Judge Liddel, he always my friend. He not in favor of my doing this, thinks the risk too great. I must venture or lose all.

April, Monday 21, 1890 -- How I hope something will turn so we can have a home.

May, Sunday 4, 1890 -- We had a piece of mutton she gave us, we are so poor, can we ever get a house, we must all suffer & do the best we can.

May, Friday 16, 1890 -- We all feel so much at home, now the hamering [sic] is done, the roof all on.

May, Saturday 17, 1890 -- We must all earn some, by care I hope now to save a house, if it be poor then I will have only my taxes to pay--I have all these years tried so hard for one.

June, Sunday 8, 1890 -- We have been so moved around, now we are in our own home if we can pay the amount. God grant we may.

June, Saturday 14, 1890 -- Commenced to clean my own house before time to go to work. I must have a clean house anyway, it is a part of my life.

July, Friday 11, 1890 -- Cleaned our house, fixed the border of the cealing [sic], it looks nice.