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Raymond, Susan. Diary, 1864
Vassar College Archives and Special Collections
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Bound volume; aprox 126p; 7.25 x 4.75 inches; Iron gall ink on aged paper
Women's colleges--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie
Daily entries by Raymond from November to December of 1864, followed by literary quotations, followed by selected writings produced by Raymond and her Vassar College classmates between 1865 and their graduation in 1871. The 1864 diary entries detail Raymond’s home life before entering college. She describes her family’s search for a new house, making paper dolls, and writing letters. Raymond also mentions attending church services, seeing an opera, and watching an amateur theatrical production. Raymond reports an earthquake having occurred on December 12th. Toward the end of the section, she mentions beginning lessons at the French-speaking School of the Deacons (Dec 18-19). After a section of quotations copied from literature and poetry, Raymond begins transcribing written works produced by the Vassar College class of 1871. The longest entry, credited to [Angie L] Sanford, is a “Prophecy for Class of ‘71” that predicts the futures of her classmates. The “prophecies” use evocative language, quotations, and jests. At the same time, they appear to present Sanford’s perspectives on potential marriages and careers in academia, philanthropy, missionary work, writing, medicine, music, and politics. Several of them envision a future that overturns conventional limitations on woman’s sphere, such as the prophecy of “Hoskins” as a professor of ancient languages when “in the year 1900, Colleges will be thrown open to both sexes,” and that of [Mary E. L.] Smith (VC 1871) “advocating her candidacy for the presidency.” Raymond then records numerous poems by members of the class of 1871, on topics including sleigh rides, class meetings, candy-pulls, nature, intellectual ambition, compassion for the poor, humor, and fellow classmates. She also transcribes Angie L. Sanford (VC 1871)’s prologue to Romeo and Juliet. Raymond closes the diary with a series of addresses and songs to the class of 1870, composed by Marie O. Glover (VC 1871), [Ellen L] Folsom (VC 1871), and Angie L. Sanford (VC 1871).