The Journal of Charles Rawn
January 1, 1865 to January 31, 1865 (Book 28)

Edited by Zach Langley

During the month of January, 1865, Rawn records the details of his law practice, his family life, and most notably his financial transactions. Rawn's ritual recordings open the door to more than just the facts of own life; they allow us to understand life in Harrisburg during that era.

In this month, Rawn deals with several different cases for his practice. He also writes several letters for people such Sarah Jenkins, who needs to post bail for her husband. Jenkins also shows how the simple recording of a case can lead to understanding of life in Harrisburg. For instance, through her need for Rawn to visit her home, we learn that Jenkins lives on a Canal boat, an interesting bit of information.

Rawn makes several notes on his own family life. He talks about several letters he wrote in an effort to get his son, Jon Calvin, into a prep school prior to entering Princeton College. He also records several instances of sickness in his family. It is interesting to read how Rawn attributes problems with his bowels to his liver, and takes "liver pills" from the local drug store as a remedy.

Finally, Rawn fills most of the pages with financial transactions. He records court and counsel fees, market prices, and rents. These notes are useful in understanding several things, such as what was the life of a lawyer, what types cases were drawn, and what were legal fees. The prices recorded for his wife's market trips reveal the cost of food, and also what types of common foods the households of Harrisburg were able to obtain. Such comparisons can show war time inflation or seasonal changes in local foodways.

The Journal

Transcriptions for this section of the journal begin January 1, 1865 and end January 31, 1865. Click on a date to begin reading.

List of Names Mentioned

  • Bailey, Geo.
  • Bennington, Mr.
  • Blening, F. W.
  • Bronnold, M.
  • Brooke, F. M., Esq.
  • Colsheit, Mrs. H.
  • Fannepeck, A. K.
  • Goldsen, Mr. J.
  • Hennings, D.
  • Henson, Jeremiah
  • Homer, Charls.
  • Hershey, Isaac
  • Hetzel, Revere
  • Jenkins, Isaac
  • Jenkins, Sara
  • Kunkel, Mr. C., Esq.
  • Landis, George
  • Lodge, Wm.
  • Macavry, Julia (July?)
  • Maclean, Rev. John
  • Mahon, Mrs. Jane
  • Miller, Saml.
  • Montgomery, M. B.
  • Omit, Henry
  • Obris, Geo.
  • Olt, Geo.
  • Omit, Henry
  • Perry, Capt.
  • Price, Thos., Esq.
  • Rice, Saml.
  • Seger, Herman
  • Sautter, Jno.
  • Sooker, Charles
  • Wolf, Jno.
  • Wolf, Mo
  • York, Char. A.

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PDF Icon Book 28: 1865-01-01 to 1865-01-31