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Guide to the Charlotte Baker Diary Collection MS 173
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Series I: Personal Diaries

Box-folder 2:1

1882 Diary, 1882 January 9–December 31

Scope and Content

At the beginning of this diary, Charlotte is not yet married but is making preparations for her wedding which takes place on March 30, 1882 (her birthday). In the months leading up to their wedding, Fred and Charlotte are separated as she goes home to Newburyport, Massachusetts to finalize wedding plans while he remains in Michigan. Immediately following the wedding, Charlotte and her new husband, Fred, move to Akron, Ohio and set-up a home and a family practice there.
Box-folder 2:2

1883 Diary, 1883 January 1–1884 January 2

Scope and Content

Spans part of their residence in Akron, Charlotte’s contraction of malaria, their ensuing move to Socorro, New Mexico, and construction of their new house. It includes the death of her sister Molly, and the birth of her first child, Mary (nickname Molly) named after her sister, on September 20, 1883.
Box-folder 2:3

1884 Diary, 1884 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Fred and Charlotte are residing in New Mexico on their own ranch outside of the town of Socorro, called Los Alegres Ranch. Includes many details about adjusting to life on the frontier: hunting, her learning how to shoot a gun, encounters with Indians, etc. Charlotte and her husband run the only medical practice within many miles and tend to patients at their home any time of day or night. They also make house calls, typically Fred, especially at night.
Box-folder 2:4

1885 Diary, 1885 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The Bakers are still residing on Los Alegres Ranch in New Mexico. Their second child, Robert, is born on January 14. Much of Charlotte’s time is taken up with caring for her two young children, although she continues with housework and tending to some patients. Of special note is a major Indian rebellion in their area that begins in late May and lasts several months. The family moves closer to town for safety and stay there several months before returning to their ranch.
Box-folder 10:1

1885 Diary, loose items, 1888 and undated

Box-folder 2:5

1886 Diary, 1886 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The family are still living in New Mexico. However, Charlotte takes her children on a long trip back East to see her family and visit friends. They are gone for about 3 months, and Fred stays at the ranch to attend to business. While in her hometown of Newburyport, Charlotte has both of her children baptized. Part of the trip includes visiting friends at Vassar, which Charlotte seems to enjoy. She develops an interest in photography and spends a lot of her time photographing around the ranch and developing plates of her photos. She takes many pictures of the children and the family.
Box-folder 10:2

1886 Diary, loose items, 1887 and undated

Box-folder 2:6

1887 Diary, 1887 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

This is the family’s last year living in New Mexico. The year is marked by many events, including the dissolution of a co-partnership (in the cattle trade) that the Bakers had entered into with the Torrey family a couple years prior. This does not work out and is terminated in March of 1887. A disturbing event is the amputation performed on Mr. Mansfield by Fred which leds to his eventual death, and seems to be a pretty traumatic experience for the entire household. Annie, her housekeeper (?) gives birth and has a dangerous labor. Charlotte falls sick later in the year with scarlet fever, although she recovers relatively quickly. Toward the end of the year, the couple socializes frequently, attending several dances held at neighbors’ homes.
Box-folder 3:1

1888 Diary, 1888 January 1–November 29

Scope and Content

The family begins the new year by moving to San Diego. It appears to be a quite sudden decision since the reasoning and planning is not discussed at all in the diary, so it is hard to know what motivates the move. The rest of the year is spent settling into their new home, making new friends, and getting involved in the local community. One of the first things Charlotte and Fred do upon arrival is join the local Medical Society. The couple quickly establish a medical practice in San Diego and seem to have many patients in a short period of time. Charlotte is also awarded an A.M. degree by Vassar in June for special work in optics and ophthalmology. This is a very difficult year for the family however, due to the deaths of several close family friends including Bessie and Millie (2 young girls), as well as the severe illness of Fred, Charlotte’s husband. Beginning August 23 through the end of the year, Charlotte devotes all of her time to caring for him, and her mother comes to support her in late September. The diary’s last entry is on November 29, but Charlotte writes very little after Fred falls sick.
Box-folder 3:2

1889 Diary, 1889 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

In the first few months of 1889, Fred recovers from the illness he suffered the previous year and is soon back to normal. Charlotte becomes even more active in community organizations like the Y.P.S.C.E. and the W.C.Y.U. She begins to take on a more prominent role in the family medical practice, attending many house calls herself, even at night. Her and her husband also assist occasionally at the County Hospital. Towards the end of the year, Charlotte falls sick for several months. Her sickness in part seems to be a response to the hot weather and Santa Anna conditions as well as the smoke from the wildfires that are raging during the month of September. However she is fully recovered by the end of the year and celebrates the holidays with her family.
Box-folder 3:3

1890 Diary, 1890 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Many entries focus on her medical cases and the delivery of babies for women in her care. Charlotte learns and implements a new medical technique called “Hypnotic Care” during this time. There are extensive “Cash Account” entries at the back of the diary.
Box-folder 10:3

1890 Diary, loose items, 1888 and undated

Box-folder 3:4

1894 Diary, 1894 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The year is marked by numerous deaths and funerals, but also many births. Charlotte and Fred go to several conferences and Charlotte presents at least two papers at professional meetings and conferences. The family is also more active outdoors, sailing and playing tennis quite frequently.
Box-folder 3:5

1895 Diary, 1895 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Inscription on front page: “Mother from Robert.” Her children are now 10 and 12 years old. Her mother comes to visit San Diego, and passes away in her sleep while staying in the Baker family home. It comes as quite a shock since she wasn’t ill, and Charlotte seems to take it very hard. All plans are put on hold so that she can travel back East to Massachusetts with the body and hold a funeral in her hometown for friends and family (especially her two sisters, Anne and Lizzie). It is unclear whether Fred and the children accompany her on this trip or not. Throughout the year, it is clear that Charlotte has a strong support network and is always surrounded by friends and family during difficult times. She clearly has a close and loving relationship with her husband Fred, and they go on dates even after over 13 years of marriage. Their son Robert continues to have some health issues, including a recurring tonsillitis and issues with his eyes.
Box-folder 10:4

1894 and 1895 Diaries, loose item, 1894

Box-folder 3:6

1896 Diary, 1896 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The family is more active outdoors this year, acquiring a new boat and going sailing with their friends quite frequently, as well as bike riding. The children are becoming more independent and Charlotte and Fred are able to go to conventions and on overnight trips more easily. Charlotte becomes more involved in the Women’s Suffrage movement this year. Robert’s eyes continue to cause him trouble, so they experiment with different treatments. It appears that he enters a new school (“The Institute”) but it is unclear how often he is able to attend due to his eyesight problems. Robert also comes down with chicken pox at the end of the year.
Box-folder 3:7

1897 Diary, 1897 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

In April, the family moves to the Roseville area of what is now Point Loma. There are very few people settled out there and they are further away from San Diego, having to ride or sail into town. After their move, they seem to be even more social and active outdoors, but tend to stay home from their office more often and not go out on quite as many house calls. Most of the family is sick during the first couple months of the year, first with chicken pox and then with “la grippe.” In August, Fred and Charlotte also go to Ensenada on a short vacation without the children.
Box-folder 10:5

1897 Diary, loose items, 1897 and undated

Box-folder 4:1

1898 Diary, 1898 January 1–1899 January 20

Scope and Content

They have already live in the Roseville area since the prior year, and they move into a new house in the same area in May 1898.
Box-folder 4:2

1899 Diary, 1899 January 1–December 31

Scope and Content

The family is very social all year, often having people over to go sailing or camping out at Point Loma. There are several complicated medical cases resulting in deaths during the year. Charlotte and Fred pick up the hobby of "Rabbitry" and continue to raise chickens. Perhaps the most noteworthy event of the year is the revolver shot that is fired in Robert’s school yard on September 12, 1899. Although he isn’t hurt, he appears to be very traumatized and stays home most of the week.
Box-folder 10:6

1899 Diary, loose items, 1898-1899 and undated

Box-folder 4:3

1900 Diary, 1900 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Robert starts high school this year. Several people close to the Bakers die, including Charlotte’s Aunt Le, and Agnes and Charles. Fred is elected President of the Southern California Medical Society, resulting in even more active involvement in the organization by both Fred and Charlotte.
Box-folder 4:4

1902 Diary, 1902 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The year is filled with family and professional activities, as in previous years. Charlotte sprains her ankle, and then falls ill for over a month in the summer. Both children suffer from minor illnesses.
Box-folder 4:5

1903 Diary, 1903 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

This year, Molly has a serious ear infection, and both her and Charlotte suffer from tonsillitis. Charlotte teaches classes at the local Nursing School throughout the year. Charlotte and Fred travel to Los Angeles for a medical convention, then Charlotte travels back East to visit family on July 2, spending most of her time in Boston and the Massachusetts area. She returns to San Diego on August 22. Shortly after her return, she falls ill with cholera, but seems to recover quickly. The family have friends over for a New Year’s Eve party.
Box-folder 4:6

1904 Diary, 1904 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Fred turns 50 this year, and Charlotte becomes more involved in the Suffrage Movement. Her frustration at the public’s lack of interest in the cause is apparent in her entries. Robert graduates high school in the spring and the whole family goes to San Francisco for a few weeks in the fall. Charlotte becomes interested in “raja yoga.”
Box-folder 4:7

1905 Diary, 1905 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte and Fred’s support of the Temperance Movement and prohibition becomes clear through their support of related organizations. Charlotte lectures frequently for local organizations regarding equal suffrage and prohibition. It also appears that one of her patients, Mrs. Cabral, is diagnosed with breast cancer because Charlotte herself performs the surgery, removing Mrs. Cabral’s breast tissue and grafting over it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t include any detailed reports about the procedure so one can only interpret the few lines included in her diary. Robert and Molly are both away at college most of the time, only coming home for holidays.
Box-folder 10:7

1904 and 1905 Diaries, loose items, 1904 and undated

Box-folder 4:8

1906 Diary, 1906 January 1–1907 January 5

Scope and Content

Fred and Charlotte travel north for a convention and stop to visit Molly at college in San Jose. They are in the San Francisco area when the earthquake of April 18th happens. Charlotte’s diary entry about the earthquake is extensive and provides many details regarding what she saw and experienced in the aftermath. They were able to find Molly and their close friends Emma and George and spend the days after the earthquake with them. They are there for 5 days until able to get a steamer heading south. Back home, Robert struggles to find steady employment.
Box-folder 10:8

1906 Diary, loose items, 1903 and undated

Box-folder 5:1

1907 Diary, 1907 January 6–December 31

Scope and Content

Following their visit to San Francisco during the earthquake in 1906, the family returns to there again in 1907. Charlotte makes a second visit during the year as Molly attends school at Stanford and it is a good opportunity to visit her. It is also the home of the Headquarters for the California Equal Suffrage Association, with which Charlotte is intimately involved. She continues to advance her medical knowledge, performing a new procedure during childbirth called “Twilight Sleep,” a mixture of drugs administered to a mother during labor. Charlotte performs this procedure twice in 1907. She herself undergoes an operation on her tongue early in the year and is out of commission recovering for several weeks following the surgery. Robert continues to struggle to find steady employment.
Box-folder 5:2

1908 Diary, 1908 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte continues to be active in local civic organizations, the Y.W.C.A. and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, including delivering regular lectures on suffrage at schools and for other organizations. Charlotte was also directly involved in the planning for and opening of the new Y.W.C.A. site in April of this year. She also continues her work as an obstetrician, delivering babies and helping with difficult deliveries, as well as enrolling in a gym class, attempting to increase her fitness level. Robert undergoes successful surgery for chronic appendicitis in July. He is in the hospital recovering for about 2 weeks. The family sails to Guadalupe and Cerros Islands in August for a short vacation and scientific study. Fred falls ill towards the end of the year and remains sick for a few months into early 1909.
Box-folder 5:3

1909 Diary, 1909 January 1–1910 January 2

Scope and Content

This is an eventful year for the family. They attend Father Horton’s funeral in January; he had been a family friend. Fred begins to recover from his illness in February. Their close relative Stella has a stillbirth, delivered by Charlotte, and is supported by the family as she recovered. Charlotte and Fred travel frequently, to Ramona, Los Angeles, Pomona, San Francisco, Seattle, and Alaska. The couple attend the 41st Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Seattle which is held in conjunction with the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in July. Charlotte is a delegate at the convention and an active participant in the programs as well as the Women’s Suffrage Day at the World’s Fair that was sponsored by the convention. Molly begins to work at the Y.W.C.A. Charlotte meets several famous suffragists at the convention including Dr. Anna Shaw and Florence Kelley. Kelley ends up visiting San Diego and stays with the Bakers later that summer.

Entries of interest:

Alaska-Yukon Pacific Expo. in Seattle:
July 1, 1909: “At the Convention all day. Fred rested in the morning. Fine shortcake for lunch sent up by Mrs. McLaughlin. Fred went out to hunt up friends in afternoon… Convention in evening. Anna Shaw’s address fine.”
July 2, 1909: “Convention all day. Fred went out to grounds. Took lunch with San Diego boys at Camp… Evening Programme very fine. Prof. Porter eloquent and magnificent English, so far the finest on the program.”
July 7, 1909: “Slept late and went to breakfast about ten – Then to Fair – Balloons, pennants, etc. with ‘Votes for Women’ everywhere. Meeting in Auditorium – Reception in Washington Bldg., at 2 in Idaho Bldg., at 4 given by Idaho and Utah women. Supper at Y.W.C.A. Bldg… speeches afterwards. Made arrangements for Mrs. Kelly to come to San Diego.”
Trip to Alaska:
August 9, 1909: “Sailed all day under sunny skies with glorious mountains snow capped in foreground, hills colored marvelously. Sunset the finest we have seen, colors subdued… We reach Metlakatla at 5 A.M…. Landed and visited settlement. Father Duncan and Mr. Mitchell at wharf… Father Duncan talked to us in Town hall. Has been here 52 yrs., 22 on this island. Learned language by acting words, learned 1500 words and 1100 sentences in month. Was appointed Justice of Peace so has kept all legion (?) away and has civilized these cannibal Indians. Beach pretty and settlement as large and prosperous. Salmon cannery and farms.”
Box-folder 10:9

1908 and 1909 Diaries, loose items, undated

Box-folder 5:4

1910 Diary, 1910 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte and Fred are both active in the community as in previous years, although Charlotte resigns from the Y.W.C.A. (the reasons for her resignation are unclear) and is appointed honorary president. She is particularly active in the W.C.J.U. and E.S.A., participating nationally in the Suffrage Movement by writing articles, etc. Robert becomes seriously involved with a local girl Anne who has been a family friend for some time. Robert has a bad accident on his motorbike in November; he brokes several ribs and it takes him a few weeks to recover.
Box-folder 5:5

1911 Diary, 1911 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Robert and Anne get engaged early in the year, to the Baker's delight. They get married in a small ceremony on March 30, 1911, Charlotte’s birthday and Charlotte and Fred’s wedding anniversary. A small shop Robert had opened in town the previous year begins to prosper also. Molly is offered a position in Japan beginning in the Fall for 5 years, which Charlotte is not very happy about. Charlotte and Fred travel to the East Coast in early April for a Y.W.C.A. Convention in Indianapolis, and Molly meets them. Fred accompanies her on some sightseeing in Washington, D.C. and Maryland and then sets sail for Barbados before Charlotte attends the convention with Molly. He does not return from the Caribbean until November. While back East, Charlotte and Molly visit her sister Lizzie in her hometown of Newburyport, Mass. for the first time in many years and meets her children Bessie and Robert. The events of the Fall of this year are one of Charlotte’s biggest and proudest accomplishments; the movement for women’s suffrage gains momentum as an amendment is submitted to the State Constitution calling for women’s suffrage. Charlotte and her peers, including Mrs. R.C. Allen, campaign tirelessly for the amendment which is to be voted on in a special election on October 10, 1911. It passes and Charlotte registers as a voter with the City Clerk on Oct. 16. The election of November 14, 1911 is the first city-wide election in which San Diego women, including Charlotte Baker, vote.

Entries of interest:

April 22, 1911: “Earnest and exciting meeting on Recommendations of Board. Lunch with Miss Taylor to talk over Molly’s affairs. Molly went to Butler College for afternoon and I went to City meeting. Letters from Laura Wylie, Harriet Taylor and Amy Bliss.”
September 4-5, 1911: “Left on 7:45 car. Met Mrs. Allen at headquarters. Decorated Auto and had picture taken… Off in good shape for Oceanside where we spoke from benches while the people ate. On to Escondido and meeting in eve. – Girls staid with friends – Mrs. Allen and I at Hotel. Rested until noon. Mrs. Allen and I distributed literature and posters – left for Fallbrook and had great time finding road. Cordially received there and a good audience.”
September 6, 1911 (San Diego): “Left early for Ramona. Fine trip around Palomar and through Temecula and Santa Ysabel to Ramona. All staid at Hotel and had good audience in Town Hall. Mrs. Lilton and Mrs. Kearney – great help.”
September 22, 1911: “Up town at 9:05 and busy getting ready for auto speaking. Called on the party at Grand Hotel – speaking at 4 P.M. Mrs. Haugh McCullock and Senator Gates. Reception at Mrs. Newman’s, Governor’s dinner at Grant and meeting in evening at Germania.”
October 10, 1911: “Up on 9:30 boat after decorating buggy and driving about on Pt. Loma. Decorated autos and drove to many polling places. Morris Allen with us. Supper at Cafeteria. Good reports. Headquarters all the eve. Many in and supper at 10 P.M. Mrs. Allen and I staid all night. Lay down about 3 and had call from reporter – no exactly in calling costume. Up between 5 and 6. Bad reports coming in from S. Francisco – made us all blue – but couldn’t give up hope.”
October 11, 1911: “Awoke at 6 and read a little. Anne in with good news so up at once and up town. Reports keep coming in better so that by time of meeting pretty sure of result. Quite an ovation given me at the meeting and Dr. Read gave us some beautiful flowers. At headquarters a little time and home at 6.”
Box-folder 10:10

1910 and 1911 Diaries, loose items, 1911 and undated

Box-folder 5:6

1912 Diary, 1912 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte continues as an active member of the E.S.A. despite having won suffrage in CA; the organization now focuses on national suffrage and supporting movements in other states, as well as on political issues and debates in California elections. Charlotte and 3 other women have been sworn in as deputies and can therefore register voters, so they are active in the community, registering as many female San Diegans as possible during this year. Fred and Charlotte decide to sell their office space in the city as they rarely use it anymore. They somehow come into possession of a monkey; they name him Jim and he spends time in the house with Charlotte and their cat. Robert is struggling with asthma in the Spring and as a result has a nose operation on April 19, 1912. Molly’s first vote is in the August 15, 1912 election, about which Charlotte is very excited. Robert’s wife Anne gives birth to their son Kenneth on September 25, 1912 after a difficult and long labor. Molly sails for Japan on November 9, 1912 and arrives there before Christmas.
Box-folder 6:1

1913 Diary, 1913 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

This is a busy year for Charlotte and Fred. They both remain politically active, traveling together to the state capitol to speak in support of passing the Red Light Bill, which passes on March 20. Charlotte is a poll captain in the city’s April elections. Robert continues to suffer from asthma in the Spring and undergoes another operation on his nose polyps and polypoid turbinate in May. In August, Robert, Anne, and baby Kenneth move into their own home which is located very near Charlotte and Fred’s house. Charlotte and Fred leave for Hawaii in October, beginning a long trip through Asia that lasts into the next year. At the end of December, the couple are just preparing to leave Hawaii for the Philippines, traveling by steamer.

Entries of interest:

October 12, 1913: “Made a little more today and now about 500 miles from Honolulu. Caught a Dolphin – the first fish caught.”
October 19, 1913: “Fred went down town and came back in time to go to church with us. Dr. Scudder preached and I met Miss Boscher – Miss Kinney’s friend and Miss Atherton, for whose factory girls I am to speak tomorrow.”
October 20, 1913: “Fred went to see Mr. H.P. Wood and he gave him a letter to Admiral Moore and he spent rest of morning with Mr. Emerson whose father furnished most of Wesley Nerocomb’s collection. Alice went with me to Y.W.C.A. and I met Miss Erickson and then talked to girls in Overall factory. Miss Kate Atherton is the patroness. Kahala Mission in same place. Went for swim at 4 at Waikiki Beach.”
October 21, 1913: “Went about 9 to Punloa where Fred got off to see Admiral Moore and I went to Pearl City and met Miss Frances Johnson and came into Honolulu with her and made plans to go to Peninsula tomorrow for a few days dredging.”
November 11, 1913: “I prepared speech for College Club and Y.W.C.A. Wednesday night… College Club at Pleasonton at 4. Miss Bosher spoke on Four Heroines and I spoke on work in San Diego… Margaret Restarick wedding in evening. Very pretty and all had good time at reception later.”
Box-folder 6:2

1914 Diary, 1914 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Fred and Charlotte continue to travel in Asia this year, visiting Molly in Japan, and going to several other countries during their trip. At the new year, they are just leaving Hawaii for the Philippines. They are gone from San Diego for 15+ months. Fred collects shells throughout their trip for his growing collection. They travel to Manila in February, different parts of Japan beginning in March, Seoul and China in October, and then back to Manila. Molly travels through parts of Japan with Fred and Charlotte, and they are with her when the Empress Dowager (Empress Shoken) dies on April 9. The couple is still traveling at the end of the year.
Included in the back of the diary are lists of people met, places visited, books read, letters received and sent, etc. Also pasted into back inside cover is a folded map of the Panama Canal (undated).

Entries of interest:

March 3, 1914: “Went to Fort Pilar where the image of Nuestra Señora del Pilar is, saw the women and girls washing themselves, their clothes and their dogs. Took some pictures, then went through Moro town and saw many interesting people.”
May 31, 1914: “Hospital with Miss West at 7. Manager led – about 40 nurses. Spoke on Value of a Nurses Life – Miss West interpreted.”
August 3, 1914: “I went to W.C.J.U. meeting – foreign auxiliary – report of Nat’l W.C.J.U. held a few weeks ago most interesting. Rested all the afternoon and got ready for evening meeting. Molly and I went, only a few out as a lot of other meetings on hand. Spoke on work of Cal. women since obtaining suffrage. Mr. Shimada Saburo, Member of Parliament and great reformer present. To meet him Thursday.”
Box-folder 6:3

1915 Diary, 1915 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The Bakers are still traveling in Asia at the beginning of the year, arriving in Malaysia in January. From there they travels to Singapore but got caught in the midst of WWI as the city has been attacked immediately prior to their arrival. As a result, their boat is not allowed to dock, and women aren’t allowed to go on land. This does not halt their trip however; Charlotte and Fred proceed to Thailand where they stay through March, returning to Japan to see Molly in April. Molly is not doing well during this period and seemed to be quite lonely and anxious. Because of their worries, the couple decide to stay on in Japan to keep Molly company until June. They finally return to the U.S. in July, arriving in San Francisco on July 13. The couple take advantage of their time there to attend the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915, staying on in the city until mid-September when they return to San Diego. During their time in San Francisco, Charlotte is honored by the W.C.J.U. for her work on women’s suffrage. They see President Taft at the Exposition, and Charlotte corresponds with Jane Addams about the Peace Movement (regarding WWI).

Entries of interest:

February 8, 1915: “Heard rumor of Holland having joined Germany. I wondered if we could get back to Singapore but hope it was only a rumor. Bank people had not heard it and said it was impossible.”
February 17, 1915: “Not far from Singapore. Here we heard rumors of uprising at Singapore but nothing definite. Reached S. about 2. When officer came on board rumors were confirmed – 50 Europeans killed the whole regiment of Indians in mutiny. All men volunteered and in arms. French Man of War returned and 200 marines landed. All women and children out on ships. Agent came aboard with more news. No ladies allowed to land but we could stay on boat until she sailed. Spent the rest of day in trying to find boat to Manila. Went in Sampan to an American boat going to Saigon and Hong Kong, shall probably go on hers. Wrote the children.”
February 18, 1915: “Soon after breakfast we went – Fred and I and Seventh Day missionaries to the mile (?) where Refugees were quartered to find Miss Radford and Harriet and Mrs. Zinn – Found they had been transferred and also were to go back to-day on shore and returned to shore and drove to Y.W.C.A. Miss Radford had not left at all but staid at her post. Attended the funeral of 24 citizens, some her own friends. Reports even worse than we had heard.”
Box-folder 6:4

1916 Diary, 1916 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

This is a much less eventful year for the family as Charlotte and Fred do not travel at all. There is a huge storm on January 28, 1916 that causes the Sweetwater Dam to break and washes away houses, flooding the entire valley. Friends of the Bakers are affected, but luckily, their home is unharmed. Charlotte begins to suffer from chronic pain and bouts of sickness, and she stays at home and rests during most of the year. She resigns from certain positions and scales back her participation in different organizations due to her health problems. Charlotte undergoes a thorough medical work-up in August, but the results are inconclusive; it seems like she potentially has heart problems. She is continually monitored by several doctors who are personal friends of the family. Molly returns home from Japan on September 26, 1916 which is a big relief for the whole family.
Box-folder 6:5

1917 Diary, 1917 January 1–December 31

Scope and Content

The majority of the entries from this year focus on the war, and Robert joining the Navy. Charlotte and Fred monitor Robert’s whereabouts via regular letters either from him or from his wife Anne who is back East with their son during part of the year. An extended family member, Frank, dies on March 29, 1917, and they mourn together. Molly travels to the East coast for a few months in the Spring as part of her work for the Y.W.C.A. She then returns to Japan later that year to continue her work there.

Entries of interest:

October 15, 1917: “I went to the Civic Center and got a glimpse of McAdoo and Admiral Grayson.”
October 16, 1917: “Lizzie and Fred went up town at 9 and heard McAdoo speak at Organ Pavilion. Fine speech and good crowd.”
Box-folder 6:6

1918 Diary, 1918 January 1–December 31

Scope and Content

Year of Spanish influenza epidemic. Charlotte and her family have many friends and acquaintances who are affected, several of whom die. Fred is a pall bearer at the funeral of Dr. Burnham. The armistice ending WWI is signed in November and celebrated with enthusiasm in San Diego. Charlotte receives the news with jubilation and the family anticipates Robert’s return from active duty, although he has yet to return by the end of the year.
Box-folder 7:1

1919 Diary, 1919 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte writes about the effects of both the war and the influenza epidemic early in the year, sending condolence cards to many local friends who lost a loved one. Robert is released from naval duty and studies and passes the exam to obtain a merchant marine master’s papers. He works on several different steamers that year, but all jobs are short-lived. He returns home for the first time since the war on March 30, but only for a brief visit, which upsets Charlotte whose health continues to be precarious. Charlotte’s heart condition does not permit her to be as mobile as before, and some days she is confined to her bed.
Box-folder 7:2

1920 Diary, 1920 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

This year marks the official end to the Spanish influenza epidemic; several cases of which appear in Charlotte’s entries. Her personal health and distress begins to be her primary focus, giving the reader a glimpse into her deteriorating health, specifically her heart problems. Charlotte and Fred’s life revolves around their grandson Kenneth and daughter-in-law Anne, who live with them indefinitely since Robert is away working as a 2nd Mate on international ships. The family seems to be struggling with money problems, exacerbated by Robert’s inability to find a long-term job. Ken undergoes surgery to remove his tonsils in July and the doctors discover that he has a weak heart. Molly returns from Japan in July and settles with her parents. She also gets her tonsils removed, in September. A good friend of Fred’s, Miss Cooke, dies in October, which comes as a shock to everyone. Miss Cooke had worked regularly with Fred on shell collecting and identification.
Box-folder 7:3

1921 Diary, 1921 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Robert is away most of the year working on ships; Anne and Ken go up to visit him in San Francisco when he is docked there briefly. Before leaving, Robert undergoes surgery on his throat (diary entry is unclear as to the specific surgery). Fred goes on a collecting trip to Baja from May to July. While he is gone, Charlotte faces family issues with Annie Brooks who has been asked to leave her accommodation and has nowhere to stay, but the Bakers cannot help her. Charlotte’s entries allude to long-term issues between Annie and her immediate family. Ken gets a painful illness in August called Erythema Nodosum which occupies all of Charlotte’s attention, but he recovers quickly. Molly returns to Japan in August. Charlotte continues to have serious symptoms related to her heart condition.
Box-folder 10:11

1920 and 1921 Diaries, loose items, 1920-1921

Box-folder 7:4

1922 Diary, 1922 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

One of Charlotte’s sisters, Anne Rogerson, dies this year in May. Her death affects Charlotte greatly and also aggravates her health. She is unable to travel back for the funeral, but keeps in close touch with her family, including her other sister Lizzie. Robert is away most of the year, and Anne and Ken stays in San Diego with Charlotte and Fred. Charlotte’s health continues to bother her, and she spends a lot of time resting in bed. Fred stays home much of the time to take care of her, and she rarely goes to town or on any other outing.
Box-folder 7:5

1923 Diary, 1923 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

The family loses two loved ones this year, Amelia (Grace’s daughter) and Anne’s grandmother. The Bakers’ close friends Marion and Belle lose their San Francisco home to a fire, but luckily make it out alive. Robert continues to work on ships, and Anne accompanies him on a short trip during the year. Charlotte’s heart condition seems to be getting worse, and she seems very frustrated and slightly depressed by her situation.

Entries of interest:

September 30, 1923: “Woke at 2 in distress and pain and kept Fred busy for sometime with peppermint and Nitro. Fought hard not to have good cry. Slept from 4 to after 8 – but woke with pain and some distress. Anne in with mail about 10. Took Oil Risinic at 9 and a light breakfast about 10:30. Fighting hard inside.”
October 2, 1923: “Awoke at 2:30 with nausea and distress wh. kept up until 5. Nap and awoke in more distress. Hypo. With some relief but distress grew more, had a nervous chill and felt very badly. Dr. Churchill came about 8 and brought med. Magnesia, etc. Found me cold and tense and ordered hot water bottles and gave Morph 1/6. After a while relaxed and slept around all night.”
Box-folder 7:6

1924 Diary, 1924 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

This year, Anne and Kenneth move to San Francisco to be closer where Robert's ship will dock when on the West coast. Prior to the move, Robert suffers from a serious case of whooping cough, but he recovers well. Molly also returns from Japan to Charlotte’s delight, living with them at their house and spending a good amount of time with her mother. Charlotte stresses about her health condition, and feels ridiculed by some people who think her illness is all in her head. The family has an emotional year full of many changes, including Molly’s search for a new job, Anne and Ken’s move, and Charlotte and Fred’s adjustment to being alone in the house again. Charlotte especially misses having Anne and Ken around.

Entries of interest:

February 18, 1924: “Fred met Grace and Walter and Geo. And they lunched at Churchill. He saw Dr. Babcock and he says ‘I can’t die if I try to’ and all my trouble is reflex and Fred has made me worse by sympathy, etc. Which may all be true but not very agreeable dose to swallow. Shall follow his directions as far as possible.”
February 26, 1924: “Fred and I talked a while, he insists I have made biggest gain this week of any time – but the gain has been mostly in the mental effect on him and on me in letting me exercise more without fear. Very little difference in pain but I have not used Nitro much of any… Up about 11 and did a little work about the house. Up town on 1:30 car, first time since July.”
Box-folder 8:1

1925 Diary, 1925 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte celebrates her 70th birthday this year with a surprise party. It is organized by the girls living at the Women and Children’s Home, a nonprofit shelter for women and children in need of which Charlotte is a big supporter. Grace struggles with issues with a member of her family, Bert, who continues to have problems with the law, as well as property issues. Charlotte and Fred also become very involved in the issue. In September, Molly receives a job offer to work in northern California, much to everyone’s delight. This is the first time in many years that the entire family is together at Christmas, which means a lot to Charlotte.

Entries of interest:

March 12, 1925: “Fred, Grace, Walter and boy Mel Chezanne came about 4. Decision pretty good. Bert sent for 1 yr. but given probation but to automatically go if he got drunk – Guardian appointed Union Trust Co. Bert says he will not live in the house. Hope he doesn’t. We all think he will be on the road to Patton before the year is up.”
May 12, 1925: “Call from Police who have Bert in jail. Fred went up and saw Judge and Dist Atty – he will be called in Court soon and sent to Patton.”
May 14, 1925: “Heard from Dist Atty. Wed. afternoon. Judge signed paper for Bert to go to Patton, so expect he went yesterday or rather this morning.”
June 6, 1925: “Walter phoned… told us Bert had escaped from Patton – I phoned Mr. English, Sheriff Byrns and Chief Patrick.”
July 30, 1925: “Grace and Walter in – ‘Hell has broken loose again at Sorrento.’ Grace has letters from Patton wh. seem to me could be used to send him back at once – Fred upset over it and very short with us all.”
July 31, 1925: “Fred went to town after lunch and saw Dr. Little about Bert and showed him letters from Dr. Reily of Patton. Fred wrote him a long letter last night. Little gave orders to Police and Sheriff to pick Bert up and take him to Hospital and he would see that he was returned to Patton.”
August 6, 1925: “Called Patrick who is just home about Bert. Girl from Union Title phoned Bert was there and I phoned Patrick and Sheriff and they went at once. Cooper called me later that he was safe in Ward 3. Phoned Grace and Fred at Dr. Kinney’s… Dr. Little phoned in evening, Bert had employed O’Keefe and he got out a habeas suit – On for next Wednesday.”
Box-folder 10:12

1925 Diary, loose item, undated

Box-folder 8:2

1926 Diary, 1926 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Both Charlotte and Fred are interviewed by Mr. Graves, the author of a book on the history of California, who wants to include their biographies. This is Molly’s first year working up north, and she visits home several times during the year. Ken begins attending the Academy in July and is quite excited. Robert continues working on the ships, and Anne is still living in San Francisco. Charlotte continues to have health issues related to her heart.

Entries of interest:

February 13, 1926: “Mr. Graves over about History of Cal. to get my biography and the rest of Fred’s. May take book but am not sure.”
February 24, 1926: “Rested expecting to go up to Sarah Utt’s birthday party about 3:30. At 2:30 Elsie Marston phoned they would come for me at 2:40 and we just stepped lively and went and called for Chester Gown and his wife on the way. Lots of old friends there and had a fine time.”
September 16, 1926: “Woke about 5 after nightmare in wh. I was dying. No pain but pulse very weak and could breathe with difficulty. Felt as if my end was near. Took Strychnia and felt a little better for a time. Finally woke Fred. Peppermint and Suppro. And finally Nitrite and Nitro. Glyc. Went to sleep at 6:40 and slept sound until 8. Felt fine but tired and rested all day. Molly slept with Allonal until 9 and after breakfast asleep again. Up to dinner but shaky and lame and some headache. Lay on my bed good share of day… Molly and I ‘in bed’ early.”
Box-folder 8:3

1927 Diary, 1927 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

There is a historic rainstorm in February of this year that floods the entire valley. Molly is offered a job as the Dean of Women at Fresno State College in June, which she happily accepts. Anne comes home sick in the Summer and must rest and undergo tests for a few months. Charles Lindbergh visits San Diego in September and the Bakers see him speak. In November, Fred is appointed Hon. Curator of Mollusks at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is a big honor.

Entries of interest:

February 16, 1927: “Worst storm since 1916. Condition at 1 P.M., all rail communication North, South and East cut off. Tel. and newspaper tel. wires down between S.D., L.A. and Imperial. Highway washed out to the North, both on cost and inland. Highways to Tijuana under several feet of water in Sweetwater and Otay Valleys. Mission Valley bank full with another flood coming down. Race track at border flooded. One life lost, Robert Peck (?) who fell off bridge.”
May 17, 1927: “Miss Sessions in yesterday and will send me a gardener – Eddie S___ here to help in watering and Rose also helped. Fred and Mr. Strong at work all day and feel quite satisfied.”
June 24, 1927: “General prompt and soon Mr. Dowell began at once to abuse us and said ‘There is a stench from this corner of City Hall, etc.’ The Gen’l forced an apology which I accepted. He made a lot of statements which were wild and of which he had no proof and the old men talked a good deal. Mrs. Rimkey was also there with complaints. Mr. McMullen also who asked a few questions but was most courteous. Staid about an hour or more and I think we got the best of it. Had our meeting afterward and not through until after 5.”
September 21, 1927: “Lindbergh Day – He arrived on time and Fred saw him as he flew over Stadium – a beautiful silvered plane. Afterwards heard him as he spoke. Great crown and enthusiasm.”
Box-folder 10:13

1926 and 1927 Diaries, loose items, 1926 and undated

Box-folder 8:4

1928 Diary, 1928 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

A close friend of Charlotte’s, Dr. Newell, is diagnosed with breast cancer, and undergoes a successful operation. Early in the year, Charlotte has serious problems with her eyesight and is unable to carry out many normal tasks for several weeks. It is a difficult time for her and Fred. The family buys a radio in June and it becomes a big source of entertainment for them. Both Charlotte and Fred follow the presidential race very closely this year. Anne suffers from an ulcer later in the year. In November, Fred participates in the founding meeting for the San Diego Historical Society with George Marston.

Entries of interest:

January 13, 1928: “We had another uncomfortable night and Fred could not stand up straight and was nauseated. Dosed himself up well and went up town at 12:30 to have ear treatment. Had letter from Mr. Newell last night about Dr. Newell’s operation – Carcinoma of left breast. Postal from her to-day. Operated Dec. 21. Arm freed (?) Dec. 27.”
January 31, 1928: “Trouble still continues with dazzle, cannot read or write. Dr. Andrews over – says it is purely functional, effect of depression from teeth and cold.”
February 5, 1928: “Dr. Andrews as usual. About the same, both eyes blur – but thanks to luminal no pain and sleep a lot. Fred read to me, dear man almost as hard for him.”
February 11, 1928: “Eyes some better possibly… Fred reached Dr. Babcock and he and Dr. Newman came over about 3:30. Dr. thinks my trouble a neurosis/nervous (?) hysterical in other words. Hope he is right but it makes me mad at myself… started to learn key board of type-writer.”
February 12, 1928: “Had a good cry over being a ‘hysterical old woman’ but Fred braced me up. Think I can read a little easier. Two weeks to-day since the severe headache.”
November 9, 1928: “Fred went to a supper with Geo. Marston and about 16 others to discuss starting a Historical Soc.”
Box-folder 8:5

1929 Diary, 1929 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Fred is very active in the San Diego Historical Society this year. He turns 75 this year. Robert’s steamer comes into San Diego so he spends several days with the family, along with the Marstons and their daughter Clover who is traveling on the same ship. Charlotte and Fred attend Homecoming at the State College where Fred used to be faculty, which is the couple’s first outing in a long time. Anne and Robert’s house is robbed in October, which upsets the family greatly.
Box-folder 8:6

1930 Diary, 1930 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Fred has a hard fall in July, cracking a rib and he is very bruised. Grace’s husband Walter dies suddenly in November which is very upsetting for her. Robert is away again, and Anne and Ken are living in Hawaii. Ken comes for a visit in August and Charlotte is impressed by how much he has grown up.
Box-folder 9:1

1931 Diary, 1931 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Robert has two more operations on his sinuses in February. Charlotte continues to serve on the city’s Civil Service Committee, but faces a lot of controversy and resistance from the rest of the city officials, causing her unnecessary stress and aggravating her health problems. Fred has eye surgery in May, and Charlotte stays with him in the hospital until he is fully recovered.

Entries of interest:

January 15, 1931: “Fred and I went up at 11 to the 11th anniversary of Prohibition - a good turnout. Mr. Aseltine, Mrs. Forshaw and Fred the speakers. Gave Fred White Ribbon Salute.”
April 22, 1931: “Mr. Austin in to see us and we had quite a conference with him. He said that the Civil Service and Police Dept. were the two complained to him about during the campaign. Chief complained we were too old and would not employ young people. He did not know that Charter obliged us to employ citizens – In fact, he showed he knew very little about Civil Service. Expect his son-in-law “Alingren” had filled him up as well as others. We shall see what will happen but we shall not resign.”
April 29, 1931: “Mr. Austin phoned me again about resigning, etc. but of course I refused again… Rob. and I went to lunch and he took me to City Hall. Austin sent in letter with copy of letter he was to send to the Council on Monday. Decided not to reply.”
May 4, 1931: “Robert went to Council Meeting and the expected happened. Council supported Austin – Russo made protest but Alexander said ‘If we are to support the Mayor lets support him’ – the crowd cheered. Mrs. Moran phoned me and I sent for the Genl and we went down to the office – Decided to each write out reply and bring down on Wednesday. I sent copies of letters to Higgins and he will advise me what best to do and may take the case, will let us know.”
May 13, 1931: “Saw in paper, Austin had appointed Col. Henry and Wayne Hood (of P.M. Dairy) as Commissioners – Civil Service.”
July 16, 1931: “Fred and I and Molly went to 162nd birthday at S.D. Historical Museum. Met many friends and had a fine time. Mr. Marston and Myrta Hoover-Barnes sang duets, lots of fun. Home after six, had supper in my room.”
Box-folder 9:2

1932 Diary, 1932 January 1-December 31

Scope and Content

Charlotte remains ill for most of the year. Fred turns 79. Fred and Charlotte celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on March 30 with family and friends, and receive many calls and gifts. Robert continues to have trouble finding work, although he is hired briefly to paint a boat in May and as a navigator on the Patria from late July to late August. There are discussions over where to send Ken to school, either San Diego High or Commercial College. Molly helps Fred care for Charlotte.

Entries of interest:

January 18, 1932: “Felt quite fine and got up and dressed just after lunch and went out in backyard and had my feet on the ground the first time since June!!”
March 30, 1932: “Our Golden Wedding. Good night – doorbell and phone began about as soon as Molly came down. Flowers, telegrams and messages began to come in and it kept up until our rooms were ___ of fruit and flowers. Byrd came down and kept busy with arrangings – Rose also came up and got the turkey dinner and stayed in afternoon. About 50 callers in all (list in guest book). Two men from Union and Rob Barclay. Carrie Bates in 50 yr. ago costume. Ken went for Helen Smith who made my dress 50 yrs ago and we had pictures taken. After that I went out and cut the cake and then lay down in chair. Had a glorious time and sat up until nearly 6 and then Molly put me to bed.”
March 31, 1932: “Good report in Union of yesterday and pictures. Phone calls all day and a few callers (see list). Robert very blue and choked up with Asthma but put a brave face on for me. He and Anne took flowers to the sick folks… Phoned Mrs. Morse, Mr. Morse died yesterday, 87 yrs old. Notice of Margaret Restarick’s death in Sun together with fine account of our happy day.”
Box-folder 9:3

1933 Diary, 1933 January 1–1934 January 2

Scope and Content

This is the last diary in the collection. Charlotte’s health continues to decline and she is bedridden much of the year. She records many family events and emphasizes time spent with her grandson Kenneth, who turns 21 this year. At the end of the year, her sister Lizzie on the East coast is still alive, but is failing.
Her final diary entry is January 2, 1934: “Jean brought us mail and letter from Bess. Lizzie failing but not suffering. Bess and nurse taking good care of her. She heard most of my letter and told nurse ‘that is my dear sister on the Coast.’ I wanted to write but just could not.”
 

Series II: Personal Papers

Box-folder 9:4

Address book: foreign places, 1913

Scope and Content

Contacts listed from around the world.
Box-folder 10:14

Address book: foreign places, loose items, 1913

Box-folder 9:5

Address book, undated

Box-folder 9:6

Address book, undated

Box-folder 9:7

Vaccination record, 1908-1909

Box-folder 10:15

Vaccination record, loose items, 1908-1909

Box-folder 10:16

Miscellanea, undated

Includes:

Poem by Browning
Newspaper clipping of Lame Ducks in Congress