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Rowley Family Journals

Identifier: Midwest-MS-096

Scope and Content of the Collection

Two journals kept by Mrs. Jane Rowley about the city of Chicago and its environs.

The first journal, from 1851, describes the death of her husband, Aldric (also spelled Aldrich), who had gone to California. The second journal spans 1857-1887 and describes farming life, weather, multiple marriages and funerals, and family and social gatherings at home and at Hoards Hall, Unity Church, and camp meetings. Frequent trips to Chicago and other nearby towns including Leyden, Ridgeland, Harlem, and Maywood are described, along with an extended trip to Mrs. Rowley’s childhood home of Shelburn (now Shelburne), Vermont. As the journal progresses, Mrs. Rowley enters her 60s and 70s and begins to write repeatedly after family gatherings and holidays that the whole family may not be together for the next gathering. The entries stop in early December 1887, just months before Mrs. Rowley’s death in February 1888.


  • Creation: 1851-1887



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Rowley Family Journals are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Rowley Family Journals are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Jane Perry Rowley

Jane Perry Rowley was born in Shelburne, Vermont in 1816. She married Aldrich Rowley (1812-1850) in 1836, and by 1840 they had moved to Illinois. The Rowleys had three daughters: Martha Delphine Rowley (1837-1913), Adeline “Ada” Cornelia Rowley (1840-1931), and Marietta “Etta” Jane Rowley (1848-1903). Mrs. Rowley lived in various places including Oak Park and Cicero. She died in Cook County on Feb. 16, 1888.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder)


Two journals by Mrs. Jane Rowley of the Chicago area, including descriptions of family and farming life, and various trips to Chicago and elsewhere.


Materials arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 1 2



Processed by

Jill Waycie, 2010.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Rowley Family Journals, 1851-1887
Jill Waycie
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States