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Collection Title: Brown (Sarah Jane Hickman) Diaries

Collection Number: M79

Dates: January 1, 1896 - August 4, 1902

Volume: .25 cu. ft.

Provenance: Donated by Miss Jessie H. Morrison in 1982.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

Sarah Jane Hickman was born on March 20, 1831, in Autauga County, Alabama. She was the second of eight children born to Jesse and Martha Temple Hickman who moved to Madison County, Mississippi, sometime between 1843 and 1846.

Sarah Jane and her sister, Nancy A., married brothers. Sarah Jane married Jesse Brown on November 28, 1850, and Nancy married James Brown in 1853. Sarah and Jesse had nine children, according to information in the diaries, but only eight are named: James P., Martha A., William Henry, Jesse H., Mary Elizabeth, Julia Caroline, Lola, and Jeff. Julia Caroline is the grandmother of the donor.

Sarah Jane Hickman Brown died in 1911 at the age of 80 and is buried in Madison County, Mississippi. Her husband Jesse had died about 1870, after 20 years of marriage.

Scope and Content:

This collection consists of the personal diaries of Sarah Jane Hickman Brown for the period January 1, 1896, through August 4, 1902. The diaries were written in the Mississippi towns of Shoccoe, Fernwood, and Canton (Madison County). Mrs. Brown made specific notations concerning the dates of births, deaths, and marriages of family members and friends; therefore, her diaries may be of special interest to genealogical researchers. There are several pages at the end of folder 2 which list Mrs. Brown's parents, her brothers and sisters, and her children and grandchildren, giving birth, marriage, and death dates of each family member as well as the county and state in which these events took place. This same type of genealogical information can be found elsewhere in the diaries for both the family members mentioned above and other family members and friends.

Mrs. Brown recorded the weather each day in general terms such as cloudy, raining, or extremely hot. She also related regularly the state of her health and the health of family members and friends. During late September 1897, Mrs. Brown referred to the yellow fever epidemic which was spreading throughout Mississippi and the outbreak of swamp fever in the Mississippi Delta which followed shortly thereafter.

The diaries are complete from January 1, 1896, to August 4, 1902, except for a few scattered dates, the largest gap being almost three months, January 25 - April 16, 1902. The dates February 1897 through December 1898, found in folder 1, are duplicated elsewhere in other folders.


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Revised: November 9, 2004