February 1992

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Diary of

Josephine Matilda deZeng

Geneva, New York

About Josephine Matilda deZeng

July 1842

Monday 25th

Came to the conclusion this day of resuming my "Journal" after neglecting it for nearly a year.

When I rose this morning I determined to be more zealous in preparing for the "Fair", and accordingly seated myself after dinner in a very diligent mood at my work—but alas! for resolution—at eleven o'clock Charlie Brown and Fanny Beardsley called, and in the midst of our chit-chat James came in and proposed mounting to the top of the Medical College.

Really Geneva & its vicinity bear examination better than I expected with all my partiality.

We promised C. to spend tomorrow evening with her.

While we were at dinner Uncle R. L. deZ. arrived to spend the week with us. In the afternoon Aunts Cutbush, Dox and Reynolds came in & Mr. Irving called. Mama and Aunt C. went to call upon Mrs. Mixner; Aunt D. & I to see Mrs. Wm. Hopkins—all out except Mrs. G. Mrs. Kidder called at the same time and told me her "Night blooming Cereus" was going to flower & invited me to come in & witness the extraordinary operation.

Mag DeL. called for me, and asked me to take herself & cousin to the Browns tomorrow, which I shall of course be happy to do. After calling upon Mrs. Bradford went down street with Mag. She told me a long rigmarolle of nonsense that Mr. Miller of Philadelphia had said about my beauty. Mag even went so far as to say I was—Magnificent!—Found company here to tea—my uncle, Messrs Beech, Hillis & Worder—to whom I endeavored to make myself agreeable. After tea Mr. Worder left & the others retired to the garden to smoke. Uncle Ed, Dr. Hale, Maria Young & Miss Amelia Fitzhugh called in the course of the evening. At the request of Mr. Hillis I sang several songs, & he did the same for me, which was all very pleasant—nevertheless I was exceedingly glad to hear them say "Goodnight."

Tuesday 26th

Received a summons from May T. E. early this morning to come and see her. She has just returned from Niagara. Made her a cap while listening to her nonsense, during which time Rachel S. came in and said neither herself nor John were going to the party. John, she said, had given up parties "unless Miss de Zeng should give one, he would go to that by all means." R. says he is quite "smit," puts his hand upon his heart at the "sound of my name," etc.

Called at "DeLancey Cottage" to see the "Coopers" & make arrangements for going to Browns. They were out but left word with Miss Martha. Wrote a note to Mag DeL. to say I would call for her at half past eight. In the afternoon Mr. Gallagher called to see if I would go up [to] the Browns in Miss Tillman's boat, which I refused, and he also invited me to a pic-nic on Thursday. I told him Mama's fears, but promised to beg very hard. He said they could not go without me. This however I doubt. Went to the party this evening, but it was nearly nine when I reached Miss De Lancey's. She laughed at my formality, saying we were invited to spend the evening not to take breakfast.

Met several strangers there; danced once with Mr. Haight, but played the rest of the evening for the others to dance. Was introduced to Mr. Bresley whom I overheard say to Janet C. "Do introduce me to your fair friend." John Whiting and Sarah Sutherland were as usual inseparable, "quite devoted" as some one said—Miss Tillman and Mr. Gallagher—"ditto."

Wednesday 27th

Sewed diligently all this morning for the Society, and after dinner wended my weary way down to Seneca St. to purchase articles to finish what I had commenced. Edward Dox, Dr. Spencer, Uncle Edward, "The Twamleys" and Aunt Dox called. In the evening my uncle called bringing the three lawyers Worder, Hillis and Beach.

We had music in abundance, the boys and myself playing in concert several pieces. The gentlemen being much amused at seeing little Ed flourish off so well on his violin.

I afterwards sang several songs and Mr. Hillis did the same. Mr. H. I think is most extravagant in his fondness for music.

Thursday 28th

Imagined I should spend another industrious day, but Mrs. Clark called to see if I would not like to go around the Lake with her this afternoon in a farm waggon to enjoy the pic-nic, and as it was only the water of which Mama was afraid I consented. At four o'clock we set off, Mr. Clark & Rachel on the front seat, Mrs. C. & Sue Cooper on the second, and May T. E. and I upon a bundle of straw covered with blanket shawls behind. This was truly delightful. We reached the ground almost as soon as the boats. The party was not too large, the guests were well chosen, and the day was charming—nothing could have been better. On our return Ed DeLancey insisted upon coming home in the waggon, and we came bumping home with him squeezed in the back part of the waggon with May & I. May was very anxious to have me stay with her all night, which I did after first informing Mama of our safety and receiving her permission.

Friday 29th

After I had been home from the Bogerts a short time E. DeL. called bringing a note from Mag, reminding me of a promise to pass the day with her at the Browns. Mag's note had been written for a servant to bring, & she accordingly desired a "written answer as the memory of the brain was rather treacherous." I understood it but to tease E. I wrote the answer and then told him what Mag said, which put him in a perfect rage, and made me the means of getting Mag a good scolding.

Upon our arrival at Charlie's we all went down to bathe, and a merry time we had— Miss Eaton, Fanny Beardsley, Charlie, Mag & myself. After splashing & dashing, and sundry attempts to swim, someone said we had been in the water an hour and a half, and it was nearly dinner time. After sliding down the railway several times by way of variety we went in to prepare for dinner.

In the afternoon the Bishop & Mrs. DeLancey with the boys came up to take tea. The Bishop made us slide down the railroad, and seemed quite to enjoy the frolic. Miss Martha DeLancey and "the Coopers" called before tea, and after they left we went out in the grove to play "Battledore" & "the Graces," the Bishop playing too. When one of us had the hoop thrown over one of our heads, he hearing the penalty of a kiss or a pair of gloves, said he would do the kissing, but the others would give the gloves. After tea Sarah L & Anna Sutherland & Emily Myroth called. Soon after they left the Bishop, etc. left, taking Mag along much against her will, and in spite of all our entreaties.

We passed the evening in the house with music first, & afterwards the highly intellectual game of "Kitchen Furniture." Edward rode home with me and we had a moralizing-philosophizing talk all the way down. My uncle & his lawyers were here as usual, and of course we had more music.

Typescript of the diary provided by the Geneva Historical Society.
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