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Deborah Logan's Diaries



Deborah Logan’s diaries encompass her life at Stenton from 1808 to her death in 1839. This 17 volume collection is archived at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Library Company of Philadelphia.


Excerpts from the 1824 diary describe her at her window with her parrot:

“The weather increased greatly in warmth, being quite oppressive, with alternate showers and sunshine, and extremely muddy. The vegetation is truly luxuriant. I am not going to say much, but have some little difficulty at restraining myself from a description of what is so vividly pictured before my eyes, for I am setting before the South window in the Library with the little oval table before me on which my Poll, is perched. The window is nearly covered with a network of wild Ivy and the Glycine, the latter of which greatly predominates, and lays forth its purple clusters of flowers and gently Green luxuriant! Between its lattice I see the Garden: the Broom with its strings of golden blooms, and the beautiful Horse-Chestnut with its thick covering of leaves – but I stop my writing pen, tho’ I am never weary of such scenes myself."



"After writing the above and still continuing upstairs employed on a letter to Sarah, when shower after shower of tremendous rain came on, threatning to deluge every beauty I had been describing, and now have spoiled Flora’s favorites that were out in shew, for the present season most completely, especially the Fringe tree. A wet evening, and rain also in the night."


"In the evening I read a little in Hayley’s life. I don’t repent me . . ."


"I was employed in working Butter, and making Cheesecake, and Gooseberry pie in the morning, and in the afternoon up in the Library with no interruption but Poll. Who would sit out far on the Glycene whence I was afraid she would fall. I finished a long letter to Sarah, and by the time it was done, received for my Guests George Fisher and little Bolivar, a manly fine little fellow, I brought them up into the Library, talked to them of Books, shewd them things that I thought would interest them, and endeavoured to impart some idea of the true pleasure which is received by the Mind from the love of elegant literature, and the consciousness that we are advancing in knowledge.- I would rather be instrumental, tho in a small degree, in forming such a taste in an ingenious youth than receive the most flattering applause from the display of talents (if I had them to display). They drank tea with me, and had some of my Cheesecake, and I hope won’t think I am a Blue Stocking.”

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