Overview of the Collection
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Hattie M. French Diaries
Bulk Dates: 1874, 1878
French, Hattie M., 1859-1923
Physical Description: 0.20 linear ft
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Hattie French was born in Buffalo, Erie County, New York in 1859, and died 28 December 1923. Her parents were Edward French
and Abigail Furman, and she had one sister, Abbie. Her sister married Frank Crowell and relocated near Lakeside, California,
and Hattie and her mother followed soon after. Hattie and Abbie adopted the orphaned children of a relative. The family was
active in the formation of the Lakeside Presbyterian Church, and were members of the church for many years.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)--Description and travel -- Sources
Minnesota--Description and travel -- Sources
New York (State)--Description and travel--Sources
March 2010; separated from previous "Rarities" collection
Conditions Governing Use:
These materials are in the public domain. However, the nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that
copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained
in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections,
San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections
as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must
also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and
private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement
of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research.
Identification of item, folder title, box number, Hattie M. French Diaries, Special Collections and University Archives, Library
and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of two diaries kept by Hattie French on two separate family summer vacations.
The first volume dates from July 9-August 13, 1874, and chronicles a beachside holiday on the Atlantic coast when Hattie is
15 years old. Her vacation is spent with her mother, father, sister and extended family, and filled with swimming, clam bakes,
boating, ice cream, and dancing at Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and New Bedford. The family journeys from their home in Buffalo,
NY with a stop in New York City, where Hattie briefly describes Central Park. She details her friendship with Jessie Taylor,
who she met on the beach. The two exchange autograph albums and have minor adventures together.
The second diary details Hattie's summer trip from July to September in 1878. This journey was undertaken "for her health"
and shared with companions Grace Milles, Emma Hitchcock, cousin Fannie French, and sister Abbie (Daisy) French. They sailed
from Buffalo to Minnesota on a northern route on Lake Superior and the River St. Marie to Duluth. Their final destination
was Faribault, MN, to stay with extended family. In this volume, Hattie writes about a variety of travel adventures, including
getting stranded briefly on a sandbank in the low Mississippi River, dancing with other passengers on the boat while entertained
by African-American musicians, and seeing a number of attractions, such as the chapel at the Shattuck-St.Mary's School, and
the local asylum for the deaf and dumb. Hattie and her friends pass the time by looking at stereoscope pictures, "tramping"
around on local bluffs to admire scenery, archery, writing letters home, and sending and receiving postals (or postcards).
Hattie's uncle in Faribault seems to be a photographer, as he runs a "Gallery" at which the girls often "sit" to have their
pictures taken; there is also mention made of her uncle taking "parody pictures," entering his pictures in the (presumably
county) fair, and photographing the famous horse "Rarus."
The 1878 is significantly age-toned around the fore-edges of the notebook, and the writing in these margins is frequently