New York History Review Press announces our new “Learning from History” series of printed primary source materials.
Step back in time and let our first person narratives give you an accurate view of rural Upstate New York teenage life in the1860s through the 1890s. Our accounts of young peoples’ lives on the farm, or in the home, help us to understand their thoughts and experiences. Each narrative offers a unique perspective and serves as an important primary resource in the study of American history.
Our first publication is A Darned Good Time by 13-year old Lucy Potter of Taylor, New York (in Cortland County) in 1868. She writes of classes, teachers, friends, boys, a new stepmother, an invalid aunt, and complains about upstate New York weather.
Second in the series is My Centennial Diary – A Year in the Life of a Country Boy by 18-year old Earll Gurnee of Sennett, New York (near Skaneateles) in 1876. He writes of school, family life, social life, farm life, girlfriends, and hard work. His teacher gets arrested for being too brutal to children, he juggles two girlfriends, he plows, cuts hay, cleans out the horse barn....then wonders why his back hurts!
Third will be My Story – A Year in the Life of a Country Girl by 15-year old Ida Burnett of Logan, New York (in Schuyler County) in 1880. Ida churned butter, milked cows, sewed her own underwear, canned fruit, but also had time for boys and parties. She lived in the country in Upstate New York and in the whole year did not venture any farther than twenty miles from home. Not yet released – coming soon.
Fourth will be Home In These Hills by 24–year old Viola Coolbaugh of Altay, New York (in Schuyler County) in 1891.
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