June 6th, 1838


From the diary of Emily Ellsworth Jackson (June 6, 1838)

June 6th, 1838

To day, while standing in the south window of the south parlor with J, I acknowledged the attachment which I feel for him. It has been of gradual growth; but my heart beats thick and full when I think what an important step I have taken! The most important in a woman’s life, after the consecration of her soul to God. I cannot think of this step without fear, and prayer to my heavenly Father for guidance and protection. 

J does deserve my love and he prized it quite enough. He grasped my hand very tightly in his hand, which felt rather weak and slick like one of the trout fishes Papa brings back from the creek. But J’s strength does not matter to me in the least, and I know that as soon as we can, we shall bind our lives together and these poorly hidden initials will no longer be needed to hide my affection.


March 29th, 1840

March 29th, 1840

Nearly two years have passed since I wrote anything in my journal. Let me, in the solitude of my chamber during the sacred hour of Saturday evening, review the past…Little Elizabeth has joined the church; Peackney has settled as a physician partner of Dr. Brigham; Jackson, dear as my very soul, resides at the college and visits me every day. His health has been so long in a distressing state, but he is now beginning to recover…Thanks to God. 

September 26th, 1840

September 26th, 1840

Tomorrow I shall be 24 years old! Can this be so? Probably my next birthday will find me removed from my father’s house, finally a wife. Yet I find myself wishing I could stop the progress of time… I shrink from the new cares and responsibilities it brings. The Future! I am not afraid, for in Him shall I find support in changes, trials, and even in Death itself…

December 15th, 1841

To my Father on December 15th, 1841



From the diary of Emily Ellsworth Jackson (December 15, 1841)

Oh for some power to break the spell

That fetters my full heart, & tell

One half the thoughts that in it dwell

                                    Of thee, my Father.

Sad it did seem, that offered there

With greater favor God would hear

A daughter’s faintly uttered prayer

                                    For thee Father.


These lines express with some truthfulness the feelings of love and reverence with which I regard my father. He always seeks a retired spot for prayer, and when earnestly engaged in this daily duty, I cannot go about the house without hearing his supplicating tones asking for my safety and happiness.

Many times after he has left the room from prayer, I have often been attracted to the spot in which he stood, and have tried to pray there as well, feeling as if my prayer would be more acceptable in its hallowed air.

I have become more reflective over this of late. I feel a change is coming.