a convergence of tea time thoughts for ladies

A lady’s diary from 1860

Look what I read in just 30 minutes-   23 yr old Anita Dwyer Withers  diary from San Antonio Texas in 1860  .    Some of the words I should have looked up, but I just kept reading while having some dinner at the same time ( fish sticks, potato slices, *homemade tarter sauce).   You just keep scrolling down the page and read her 3 sentences journal entries.  What an easy enjoyable read it was, just to see some of daily life back then.  Can’t find her photo on line so here are some of the era-  

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They were always taking tea with someone every day.  I like the entry when she is disappointed that Abe Lincoln won the election.  What will become of us? she says.  My thoughts on the civil war: the North and South were made to hate each other in this awful war.

A devout Roman Catholic, Anita Dwyer Withers, wife of a United States and Confederate army officer, lived at her home in San Antonio, Texas, and briefly in Washington, D.C., before the Civil War, and in Richmond, Virginia, during the war, before returning to Texas in 1865. The diary, 4 May 1860-18 June 1865, mainly records her life in the Confederate capital, her concerns for her husband, John (d. 1892) and children, social visits, the Catholic Church, news from battles, rumors and threats of approaching federal troops, and temporary visits away from the city. This is a write up of her short diary from DocSouth.unc.edu

*homemade tarter sauce- in a chopper: mayo, my canned pickles, sweet onion. (I forgot the lemon juice).

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2 responses

  1. quilt32

    The book sounds so interesting and one that I would like. I’m interested in anything that people wrote of their own experiences in the Civil War – on either side.

    Nobody’s tartar sauce will taste like yours unless they can get some of your homemade pickles.


    June 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

  2. Lillian, I recently put some books on hold similar to this short read online of Anita Dwyer’s and I came across one on Amazon that I don’t think our library system has. The book is “Behind the scenes in the Lincoln White house” written by Mary Lincoln’s seamstress who was Black, yet looks white too; her name is Elizabeth Kleck. It’s a short book. I just read the reviews on it.

    June 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

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