The Journal of Sarah Haynsworth Gayle, 1827-1835
A Substitute for Social Intercourse
Publication Year: 2013
The poor condition of the journal and its transcripts, sometimes disintegrated or reassembled in the wrong order, has led historians to misinterpret Gayle’s words. Gayle’s descendants, Alabama’s famed Gorgases, deliberately obscured or defaced many passages. Using archival techniques to recover the text and restore the correct order, Sarah Wiggins and Ruth Truss reveal the unknown story of Sarah’s economic hardships, the question of her husband’s “temperance,” and her opium use.
The only reliable and unexpurgated edition of Sarah Gayle’s journal, now enhanced with a fascinating introduction and inset notes, The Journal of Sarah Haynsworth Gayle, 1827–1835, is a robust and gripping account and will be of inestimable value to our understanding of antebellum society, religion, intellectual culture, and slavery.
Published in cooperation with the University Libraries, The University of Alabama, with further financial support from the Library Leadership Board, the University Libraries, The University of Alabama.
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Without the encouragement of descendants of sarah haynsworth and John Gayle, her journal could not have been readied for publication. The late George Denègre of new orleans, Louisiana, a descendent of the Gayles’ youngest child, maria, pro-posed this project to me when i was editing Josiah Gorgas’s journals. mr. Denègre then telephoned Gayle relatives across the country in search of material for that ...
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The origi nal journal of sarah Gayle at the University of Alabama is in fragile condi-tion and is difficult to read. some pages are loose and misplaced in the journal, while others are taped into the journal in random locations. some pages have two sets of page numbers. sarah Gayle used both sides of each page, and ink has bled through the paper’s fiber. The top, bottom, and side edges of many pages, loose or bound, ...
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...sarah haynsworth Gayle’s Alabama in 1810 was frontier country in the old south-west. The haynsworth family was part of the westward migration of farmers from the Piedmont of south Carolina who became the pioneer planters of Alabama. They left the exhausted fields of the seaboard Piedmont for the fertile Black Belt of the mississippi Territory, seeing the southwest as a land of opportunity....
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There is indeed, in a woman’s affection, a singleness, a fervor, a purity, that man’s 27 July 1827 i am pleased with mr. [Thomas] Clinton’s simple, earnest, frank and unaffected way of preaching. one at once perceives, he is a man regardless of self, having the honor of his master, and the good of his auditors alone at heart. his lan-guage is free, at times almost polished; and i never heard any one use comparisons ...
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...it [my journal] offers itself to me now in my solitude, like some unassuming quiet but amusing friend, who steals the tediousness from Time, as he flies by, 12 Janu ary 1828 “The rule of the Gospel, is most conformable to the dictates of a sound reason, that the guards of virtue ought to be put upon the heart and the thoughts. it is of the utmost importance to preserve the imagination and the fancy ...
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...i find myself alone more than half my time. . . . i sit from morning to night, not living in the present, but in that dear past, which is surrounded by a halo of whatever is precious to memory. The flower has faded, but i strive to keep its Saturday night Janu ary 3 1829 The new year has set in amidst the most de-lightful weather i ever saw—mild, clear and sunny. many good resolutions have ...
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...i cannot conquer, by reason the solitariness that settles over me, now & then. By a strange perverseness, i incline to cling to the good i lost, rather than grate-Friday Jan[uary] 1830 for the last four months, time has flown by almost un-heeded. The addition to my family and my cares, has been also one to my pleasures; and in the midst of fear and apprehension, i raise my heart in thank- fulness to God, ...
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...my whole soul is at home with my children, my beloved, my joys, my earthly 2 Janu ary 1831 Does not time fly? Without observing how the last year passed, i find myself beginning a new one. Another, and another, and another may be added to my life, alas! how unprofitably. But let it not be so—let me resolve, that another new year’s day shall find me at least desiring to be wiser or better, if i am not so, in ...
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.... . . i humbly and earnestly pray to be spared; that i may train them as well as i Greensborough 8 April 1832 once more i sit down to my neglected Jour-nal, to note down the birth of our seventh child, and third son, now six weeks old. Whilst ready to shrink from the additional responsibility it imposes, i thank and bless my Creator, who mercifully took me from the midst of danger, and placed me ...
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.... . . [ John Gayle] little dreams of the curb i am obliged to keep upon myself, to Janu ary 2 1833 my house has been greatly thronged with company for the last two or three months—scarcely a day, and frequently all night. miss young & miss reed are here tonight and margaret Coleman is with them. They have made me sing ’till i am hoarse, for them to dance. Louisiana startles me by her conduct. she ...
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...fancy has taken her farewell, & it seems to me, all the bright influences that Tuskaloosa 20 Janu ary 1834 i have been greatly pleased and affected by an act of matt’s, or rather; the manner of performing it. The children were around me, as usual, he in particular, sat in a small chair, with his head on my knee. i remarked to them, that my 30th birthday would soon come ’round, and conversed with them ...
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...4 Janu ary 1835 A hasty letter from Levin mentions that Ann was in labor at the time he wrote. i am extremely anxious to hear how it has eventuated.one from maria also relates the death of yellow John, the faithful friend & ser-vant of mr. Gayle’s family, thro’ his whole life. We were all much affected, and many tears flowed to his memory. maria says her own health is bad, but every one who ...
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...sarah Gayle’s journal ends abruptly with the entry dated Tuesday July 1835, prob-ably July 21, ten days before her death with lockjaw on July 31.1 A few days earlier she had described with a shudder the primitive work of the antebellum dentist filing her teeth, and for years she had repeatedly expressed in her journal an ominous fore-boding about dental work. John Gayle was absent when she fell ill, now involved in ...
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Page Count: 383
Illustrations: 15 illustrations
Publication Year: 2013
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth