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Sampson, George G.  Manuscript on paper, in English: Collection of 26 diaries. Maine, Worcester, New York City: , 1886–1912. 32mo to 16mo (4" x 2.5" to 6" x 2.75"). 26 vols.

George Sampson was an ordinary New England farm boy by birth, whose diaries here reflect his personal experience of two decades-plus of sometimes sweeping change in ordinary American life as well as his own transformation from a rural schoolboy into a professional man whose life is urban. As his 26 years of record-keeping begin in 1886, George is in Franklin County, ME, with extended family all around and many named neighbors; the diaries for many years show us a large, hardworking household whose members, all of them, commit themselves day after day (and year after year) to the unending, relentless, and remarkably various array of chores required by the propagation, planting, cultivation, reaping, and sale of market crops along with what seems to be extensive mixed animal husbandry — not to mention what was required simply to maintain and improve an array of farm properties including home gardens, orchards, woodlots, hayfields, and an additional acreage nearby used primarily for large-animal care. => The meticulously recorded, sometimes "how-to" detail on these activities can be surprisingly exhausting even to read, even as it is fascinating, informative, and impressive.
        Yet when George is young he also records => plentiful times of fun and play; and as he gets older he records enjoyment of a full array of social, community, and church occasions — including, once, a circus, and eventually incorporating concerts, picnics, "sociables," an occasional lecture, and attendance at a great many "lodge meetings."
        By 1893, our diarist has become serious about his studies, leaving home for the first time to attend school; by 1898, he is also teaching; and 1901 finds him at Bates College, where he works as hard intellectually as at home he had done bodily, and where he works in the dining hall to pay for his board. But, again, he records a full, fully enjoyed, and => fully detailed palette of recreations — e.g., glee club activities and attendance at football games; lectures and concerts; suppers and card parties with friends; lawn parties, dances, and candy pulls; and theater and concert trips. (Oh, and dating.)
        George graduates from Bates in 1905 and, by the final diary in 1912, he is an accomplished secondary-school physics teacher in Worcester, MA, with a master’s degree from Clark University, and he is taking additional (presumably doctoral) courses at Columbia University during a teaching sabbatical.
        Each volume here opens with a printed section offering calendars, postal rates, almanac facts, etc.; usually, George has used the back pages for personal accounting, addresses of friends, and other memoranda. For space reasons, his entries must be laconic, but he has filled most space there is. Only the final few diaries have significant unused sections. => A long descriptive analysis is available on request.

Virtually all diaries are bound in leather or leatherette, a few with the lower third of the rear covers removed neatly, and the "set" lacking only the volume for 1906. Some volumes are written in pencil, later ones mostly in ink, in a legible hand. => Very good.  (39290)   Please RESHELVE This.

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