Diary, Jeffrey T. Wilson, 1913 (Ms2011-015)
- Wilson, Jeffrey Thomas, 1843-1929 (Person)
Permission to publish material from Jeffrey T. Wilson Diaries must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.
Language of Materials
The 1913 diary written by Jeffrey T. Wilson (1843-1929). Entries for the 1913 diary were kept in a Wanamaker's Diary (produced by the department store chain) actually designed for 1911. As a result, Wilson has hand-corrected the days of the week throughout to reflect 1913. The diary includes advertisements, as well as a history of the Wanamaker stores. A map of the store locations in New York City was removed from the diary during preservation, but is included in the collection as a separate item.
In addition to the entries recorded (two to a page), throughout the year, Wilson attached additional pages to continue writing. Many of these consists of reminiscences of his life in previous years on topics from the Civil War, his service in the U. S. Navy, segregation and race issues in Portsmouth and Norfolk, and local news. He also writes of daily events: his family's health, church events, the weather, and his frequent concerns about money.
Wilson was a former slave who spent most of his life in and around Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia. He worked as a bailiff in the Norfolk courts after leaving the U. S. Navy and wrote a column, "Colored Notes," for The Portsmouth Star from 1924 until his death in 1929. He outlived four wives and had at least twelve children.
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