The Journal of Charles Rawn
June 1, 1839 to August 3, 1839 (Book 10)

Edited by Kimberly J. Longlott

Charles C. P. Rawn would have been thirty-six or thirty-seven years old at the time of these journal entries. He had been married for seven years to Frances Peacock Clendenin. She would have been about age twenty-four or twenty-five. By this time in their marriage they had lost two children: the first was stillborn in 1834, the second was Elizabeth, born 1935 and died 1938. Their third child, Charles C. Rawn Jr. was born in 1837 and would be about two years old at the time of these writings. Their fourth child was born in 1840 and only lived two years. So, in 1939 Frances Rawn had a two-year old boy and she may have been expecting Charles Jr. at this time.

He writes about being at church with Frances on Sundays. Otherwise, there are only a few references to family activities, at least in this sampling. One time he writes about a carriage ride he took for a couple of hours with wife and son. Some evenings he does mention meeting his wife and/or her mother (Mrs. C, as he refers to her) and attending parties at Peacok’s and visits to Duncan’s Island. He often had no desire to go to these parties and greatly disdained dancing- instead he would talk to the ladies or leave. It is curious that he spends every evening in his office. Only once, did I see an entry that said he went home to dinner. Otherwise, Charles Sr. didn’t seem to be around the house too much. He writes about his garden and the weather, and of course his business dealings, more than his family.

Some of the more interesting entries were made during a trip he made to Bedford Springs from July 22nd to August 3rd. His wife does not accompany him and the trip seems to be for pleasure not business. I believe his mother-in-law (Mrs.C) goes along or joins him at some point along the journey. He describes the towns they pass through; Mifflin, Lewistown, Waynesburg, Huntingdon, Hollidaysburg, among them. He comments on the scenery at times, hiking to the summit of the Allegheny Mountains, and other jaunts. There is also a record of the rules and regulations of the Springs, including costs for use of waters, and cold or hot baths. And, as always, every entry starts with a brief weather report.

He is obsessive at recording how much time he spends doing anything or what time he does it- including when he gets up in the morning and retires at night, how long and far he walks, how many hours and minutes that he spends with colleagues. He is quite the "name-dropper" as well, naming everyone he comes in contact with each day. President Van Buren passes through town on his way to New York. Rawn rubs elbows with all the VIPs and the president is no exception.

He was described as being devout, if not saintly. Yes, I would agree with that conjecture, based on the very small sample that I have researched. I think that what was written about him by one of his peers after his death is very accurate: "... Possessed of considerable ability, of great energy of character, and indefatigable in attention to his professional business. He was fluent in speech, and in controversy was the last to yield. He was about six feet high and of good address."

In the three months of the journal that I have been looking at, most is incredibly mundane, yet detailed. The way that he kept track of his financial dealings, whether it be those of his law practice, or what he spends on marketing and other services. on a daily basis, and for so many years is inexhaustible. Rawn’s journals are indeed a valuable resource for local historians.

Please note that the format of the transcriptions follows that of Rawn himself. I felt it was important to try to duplicate everything as closely as possible. The sentence breaks are his, the single or double underlining, abbreviations, and punctuation, mimic his as much as possible, and are exactly as he wrote them.

The Journal

Transcriptions for this section of the journal begin June 1, 1839 and end August 3, 1839. Click on a date to begin reading.

List of Names Mentioned

A list of names for this section of the journal has not yet been compiled.

Download in PDF Format

PDF files contain the author's original formatting for the content appearing on this page and on the journal pages. They require a PDF viewer such as the free Adobe® Reader®.

PDF Icon Book 10: 1839-06-01 to 1839-08-03