The Journal of Charles Rawn
October 23 to December 18, 1865 (Book 29)

Edited by Angela L. Eifert Key

My master’s thesis concentrates on Charles Rawn’s last days. In the opening entry of his new journal Rawn, who is now 63 years of age, admitted that this might be his last volume. While his tone is hopeful, he said, "Any career of journalizing would be closed by my ill health." Just as he regularly reported the weather, he was almost as diligent in this journal in reporting his daily status health status. Rarely did these reports hint at any kind of recovery. Rawn described his health as being "very unwell," or "feeling extremely bad." On October 26 he wrote, "Think I am going home." However, he still had several weeks until that time would come.

Rawn spent most of his days at home, but there were a few occasions where he was able to go out.1 The week from November 12-18 was the most active week of this journal. Although he did not attend church that Sunday, on November 14 he attended a "Parade of Colored Men" to honor African-Americans who served in the late war. He mentioned that there were 200 to 300 people in attendance, which was less than expected, but still a respectable appearance. On Thursday, November 16, Rawn and his wife took a 13-mile ride from Market Square to Highspire. The purpose of that trip was to buy rye whiskey as a medicine. The salesman at Mum’s store told Rawn that the whiskey was seven or eight years old. In response Rawn later wrote "I don’t believe it." Such skepticism appeared out of the ordinary for Rawn, who usually reported objectively. Finally, on November 20, Rawn attended court as a spectator, most likely for entertainment.2

A typical day at home for Rawn usually began in the late morning. Occasionally he would ride horses at Calder’s livery.3 He enjoyed the fresh air, and this also allowed him to spend time with his wife and daughter Fanny.4 When he was younger, Rawn took walks along the river. There is no mention of walks any more. At one point, he tried to take a walk, but he was too weak to continue. He spent substantially more time in bed than in the past. In previous journals he recorded staying up until 10 or 11p.m. and waking up around 4 or 5 a.m. Now, however, he sometimes slept until the afternoon, waking up only so his bed could be made. When his health allowed, he maintained a business of correspondence with former colleagues and family members. Additionally, he kept meticulous notes on his wife’s expenditures at market, as well as his own money spent and received. On November 29, after he made his usual list of money spent that day, he expressed an unusual fit of emotion. His wife had bought a colored frock for Fanny and a knit smoking cap for Calvin. Rawn’s anger was evident when he wrote about "the silly careless things of weak-minded people who commit all such follies at other people’s expense."

Rawn was highly concerned with making sure his wife and those he left behind did not have to deal with any of his unfinished business. (Such conscientiousness is even evident in his obituary, which mentions that he "set his house in order.") He wanted to move into his family’s other, smaller house on State Street, which he calls the "Mitchell House." He had lived in his current house at 7 Market Square since 1838, but was willing to pull up stakes to save money. Rawn also wanted to hire Edward Robinson, "a young colored boy," to help around the house. His wife opposed this idea because they would also board him. (Robinson would have had to pay $3.50 per week to board somewhere else, so that would have meant Rawn would have had to pay him $12-16 a month to cover his living expenses. With Robinson as a boarder, Rawn would only have to pay him $4 to $5 a month.) Whether or not Frances and Rawn argued is uncertain. Regardless, Rawn did hire Robinson.

As time passed, Rawn’s health continued to fail. He called his "chief difficulties" shortness of breath, weakness, and oppression in the chest. With the input from doctors and friends, he tried a variety of medicines such as "Schenk’s medicine," Rye Whiskey, bottles of Schenk’s pumonic syrup, bottles of Schenk’s seaweed tonic, Schenk’s mandrake pills, bottles of citrate magnesia, and a homeopathic charcoal remedy. ("Schenk" may or may not have been a brand. The Rawns had a tenant named Morena Schenk, and it is uncertain if she was connected with these medicines.)

On Thursday, December 7, 1865, the United States celebrated "Public National Thanksgiving Day." The Rawns were supposed to have dinner at Mary Beatty’s house (Frances’s sister), but Rawn’s poor condition kept him home. From this day forward, Rawn wrote of his consistently failing health. Optimism pervaded his December 13 entry, however, when he wrote, "Am feeling considerably better all day—causes not explainable, but can discern no signs of permanent mending." This was the last mention of his health. December 14, 1865 was Rawn’s last entry, which, true to form, included the weather and a business transaction.

Charles Coatesworth Rawn died of consumption on December 18, 1865. His grave is located in the Harrisburg cemetery, along with those of his wife, Frances; his daughters, Elizabeth, and Mary; his sons, John Calvin, and Joseph; and his sister, Julianna.

This journal measures 7 ½ inches by 10 ¼ inches and is ruled with margins. The hard cover is marbleized brown and green with a raspberry-colored, leather spine. Rawn used black ink and wrote in cursive.5 The date and weather were written in the same form described above in the war journal. Whether or not he wrote one entry per day, or several entries at one time is uncertain. Regardless, Rawn accounted for every single day in Journal 29.


1 - Rawn resided at 7 Market Square, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. James Gopsill, Harrisburg Directory (Jersey City: John H. Lyon, 1863) 71.

2 - See Appendix 7 in original thesis for sketch of the Dauphin County Courthouse. Taken from Everts and Stewart’s New Historical Atlas of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: Hunter, 1875) 45.

3 - Rawn gave frequent business to Calder’s (or Colder’s) livery. See Appendices 9 and 10. Appendix 9 was taken from William Boyd’s Harrisburg Directory (Philadelphia: Collins, 1860) 14. Appendix 10 was taken from Richard H. Steinmetz and Robert D. Hoffsommer’s This Was Harrisburg (Harrisburg: Stackpole, 1976) 57. Calder’s livery was located close to Rawn’s home at 16-18 North Market Square.

4 - An extended chart of Rawn’s family tree can be seen in Appendix 1.

5 - See Appendix 6 for sample page of Journal 29.

The Journal

Transcriptions for this section of the journal begin October 23, 1865 and end December 14, 1865. One final entry, dated December 18, 1865, was not written by Rawn. Click on a date to begin reading.

Summary of Expenses

The following lists the expenses of Charles and Frances Rawn between October 23 and December 14, 1865. Mrs. Rawn did the grocery shopping two to four times per week. Along with groceries, this particular journal included relatively expensive purchases of medicine to combat Rawn’s illnesses. An occasional legal fee was accounted, as were several services. The Rawns employed two cleaning women, a house-hand, a tailor, a milkman, and a shoemaker. There was no mention of a mortgage, but Rawn did record his pew rent at church.

Monday, October 23

Paid for sugar 10, Box Blasking 12, ½ Peck apples 35 =0.57
Pint molasses and cinnamon…0.20
5 ¾ yards Flannel of Petticoats for Fannie$3.75

Tuesday, October 24

Blank book at Pollacks Book Store$1.20
Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter 45, ½ lb beef steak 50, ½ Peck S. Pork liver 20$1.15
1 ½ lbs smoked meat 30, celery 10, bread 50.45
1 pair chickens of our tenant Golden0.65
1 rack lamb 35, 3 lb hamburger 51

Friday, October 27

Henrietta Young colored woman for cleaning home…3/4 day to day.75

Saturday, October 28

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter.50
6 ½ lb beef$1.13
sweet potatoes.20
17 heads of cabbage.50 = $1.83
Paid at Grays ½ paper and set $.20, charcoal and sugar milk mixed $.10

Monday, October 30

Paid Richard McCulla for milk from 24 Aug. to this date both dashes mclurine 68 qts at 8 cts.$5.44
Paid stamps for article of agreement with Fahnestock$3.00
Paid citrate of magnesia….35

Wednesday, November 1

Paid John Fraelich [?] for making and trimming coat and pants and slightly altering new black shirt of mine for John Calvin (pd and rec)$16.75
Paid Sickel and Friede shoemakers in my neighbour Pollack’s Room for two pairs of new Balmoral or short ankle boots got for John Calvin (rec’d on Nov. 8 for this entry with pair for Mrs. Rawn)$7.00
Paid at Brownold’s [?] in my front Room per Mrs. Rawn for John Calvin for pair of Pants$9.00
Paid freight on said clothes. Boots and a flute contained in a champagne basket to Adam’s Express to convey issue to Calvin at Princeton.0.75
Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter0.45
2 ¾ lb beefsteak0.55
a large chicken0.50
to Evy for oysters in full0.50$1.55
nearly 2 lb lard0.38
S. potatoes and horse radish0.370.75
Corn husk mat0.25
Bread0. 5
2 lbs white sugar0.400.40
1 pair gloves for Fannie0.35

Friday, November 3

Paid Jos. Broniger [?] (31 net) for that day cleaning my cellar furnace in full 0.75

Paid 1 lb rice0.15
¼ lb Culabria legumes0.19
Paid for Juliana Rawn at Rileys drug store for
1 bottle Schenk’s pumonic syrup1.25
1 bottle Schenk’s sea weed tonic1.25
1 box Schenk’s Mandrake pills0.25
Paid office fee (bill in Equity) to F.R. Strunk$22.50

Saturday, November 4

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .50, 5 ¼ lb beef .90$1.40
1 pair chickens .50, apples, sweet potatoes, radishes .33.83
3 qts. Cornmeal .25, bread .05, ginger and cloves .01.41
1 pint molasses .15, 3 lbs brown sugar .51.66
clothes pins .05, 3 qt. Jar .18, 2 boxes matches .05 =.28

Wednesday, November 8

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter0.45
6 ½ lbs Beef $1.05, Rabbit .25, Rambo [?] apples ¼ peck .201.60
sweet potatoes 13, persimmons .04, Bread .05, Herring .20.42
to Henry for copy or note Book.10

Saturday, November 11

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter.45
7 lbs. Beef $1.23, 1 pair chickens .50, Bread .051.78
sweet potatoes .15, parsnips, smear care .10.25
2 lbs white sugar .40, 2 lbs syrup .24, ¼ peck apples .20.84
ground nuts .10, nat. ham .20, Bird seed .20 .50
turnips .15, citrate magnesia .35.50

Tuesday, November 14

I paid Bergner 10 weeks per this ledger to 11 inst.$1.25
Paid Bottle citrate Magnesia .35 at Kunkles, apples and candies .20.55

Wednesday, November 15

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .45, 3 ¼ Beefsteak .65, 1 chicken .50, a corn broom 1.45$2.05
apples .20, herring .20, Bread .05, 2 pint soup .15, 3 lbs. Sugar .51$1.11
Buttons for Fannies dress silk .40, and making dress$1.40
Paid an hired woman Mrs. Sophia Brown in full of her wages to date$4.50

November 16 - 5

Two gallons old Rye Whiskey from Mum’s (Highspire)$10.00
Sent John Calvin, Princeton$2.50

November 17 - 6

Paid at Riley Drug Store for sister Juliana Rawn
1 Bottle Schenk’s Pulmonic Syrup$1.25
1 Bottle Schenk’s Sea Weed tonic$1.25
2 Bottles and a box of Schenk’s Mandrake Pills$0.25
Paid Momal Worely for putting in 2 axe halves and grinding the axes.75

Saturday, November 18

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .50, Pair chickens 1.00$1.50
Pudding .20, Parsnips .20, apples .20, Bread .05, 1 lb. Rice .150.70
Beef 2 ½ lbs .50, mending Mrs. Rawn’s shoes .601.10
Citrate magnesia (1 bottle) ordered by V. Charlton for Fanny0.35
5 lbs coffee1.50
macaronies by Mrs. R.0.15
Paid Edward Robinson our colored young man on account wages at $4 or $5 a mo. From 7 inst.1.50
Paid William Stephen, milk and cream$6.44

Monday, November 20

Paid Miles Woelper in full for paving$14.61

Wednesday, November 22

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .50, 7 lbs beef 1.18, 1 lb sausage .25, ½ peck apples .35$2.28
Bread .05, Smear care .05, 2 lbs white sugar .400.50
Paid 3 ½ yds cotton flannel for Fannie, 60 cts/yd2.10

Thursday, November 23

Paid per Mrs. Rawn
3 lbs sugar .51, ¼ lb tea .38.89
gallon milk .28, bread .04.32
self Bottle citrate magnesia.35

Saturday, November 25

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .45, 1 ½ lbs steak .25.70
3 chickens $1.40, calf Pluck [?] .40, Bread .05$1.85
1 lb shoulder .25, for hired woman, smear care .050.30

Monday, November 27

Samburg Wine from Johnson, Halloway and Cowden, Phila. 1 dozen10.00
Paid freight at 45 cts per hundred0.35
Paid 1 quart oysters, stamps .300.75

Wednesday, November 29

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter0.50
3 ¼ lbs beef .65, 1 lb. Sausage .25, fish .25, ½ doz. Eggs .221.37
1 turkey $1.00, 2 qts cornmeal .10, Smear care .05, Bread .05, 1.20
Mrs. Rawn paid for colouring frock for Fanny2.00
Mrs. Rawn paid for worker to knit smoking cap for Calvin0.90

Saturday, December 2

Paid Richard McCulla for milk for 1 mo. To 1 inst.$3.00
Paid Edward Robison our coloured boy on account wages (witness J. Rawn)$2.00
Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
¼ lb tea .37, silk soft soap .11, ground nuts .100.58
1 lb butter .54, Beef sausage and meat .84, 1 lb lard .281.02
Hard soap .20, ½ peck apples .30, smear care and Bread .150.65
Buckwheat meal 1 quart .10, Bread .04, cinnamon .050.19
3 lbs brown sugar .51, 2 lbs white sugar .40 0.91
Bottle citrate magnesia .35, Brown [?] .35, Hair Pins .100.80
Corn Beef (5 lbs) .75, coal oil (1 qt) .281.03

Sunday, December 3

Contribution to monthly concert (for wife).20

Monday, December 4

One year’s pew rent for pew 34$22.50
Paid Vickel [or Sickel?] and Freide shoes for Fanny$3.00
Paid Mr. S.E. Dickson, tutor
Whole quarter $14, sickness $4 Bal. Pd.

Wednesday, December 6

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .50, 1 chicken .50, 1 turkey .90, calf pluck [?] .40$2.30
5 qts conrmeal .27, salt meat for Sophia .23, cranberries .100.60
smear care, head, onions .18, 2 lbs starch .250.43
1 qt syrup of sarsparilla .40, tobacco .100.50

Thursday, December 7

Handed Edward Robinson.20

Friday, December 8

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
3 lbs hamburger .54, 2 lbs white sugar .40, ½ lb pepper .30, 3 qts salt .16$1.42

Saturday, December 9

Mrs. Rawn at market and paid
1 lb butter .50, 2 ¼ lbs beefsteak .45, 1 pair chickens .701.65
½ peck apples .35, pair pigeons .25, pickles, bread, smear care .15.75
Paid Jn. J. Golden for chickens and meat got some time since.80
2 spools black thread .20, 1 skin silk .05.25
7 inch ammonia (Harts horn) .20, charcoal .10.30

Monday, December 11

Paid "Harrisburg Gar. Co"$4.90

Tuesday, December 12

Paid Writing paper0.35
Handed our boy Edward Robinson on account wages1.00
Paid Samuel Rank for plastering at the Fanny Fyatt’s house on North alley$13.50

Thursday, December 13

Paid cigars.10
Paid Sophia M. Brown, hired woman, in full of wages$6.00

Income and Monies Received

The following lists the income and monies received for the Rawns between October 23 and December 14, 1865. The bulk of their income came from tenants. There were 12 tenants who paid rent ranging from $8.00 to $25.00 per month. Additional income came from residual legal fees, though Rawn was not practicing law any longer. Rawn considered selling some of his belongings to make less work for his wife when he died, but the only items recorded in these months were a stove and a mare.

Wednesday, October 25

Received of Fred Krauss for counsel and liveries$25.00

Friday, October 27

Received of Joseph Berrizer for a stove$5.00

Monday, October 30

William Gray and Levi L. Gray first months rent for stove room$50.00
Also ½ cost of stamp for said lease$1.50

Wednesday, November 1

Received from John Laban for court caseFEE $5.00
Received of Morena Schenk, 1 month rent$12.50
Received of William Ogleton, 1 month rent $12.50

November 3 – 6

Received of John Wolf, 1 month rent $12.50
Received of Gottleib Kreider, 1 month rent$15.00

Saturday, November 4

Received of Chas Looker, 1 month rent$12.50
Received of B. Geiser, 1 month rent $20.00
Replaced in Dauphin Deposit Bank$100.00

Monday, November 6

Received of Fanny and Yatts and Solomon, 1 month rent$8.00
Received of John Golden, 1 month rent$25.00

Wednesday, November 8

Received of Mrs. Mary Ann Howe, 1 month rent$15.00

Tuesday, November 14

Received of M. Jarretter [?], 1 month rent$20.00

Saturday, November 18

Mare sold by me to Jacob Millisen$5.00

Saturday, November 25

Received of James Donahue, 1 month rent$12.50

Friday, December 1

Sold in VBR [?]$40.00
Received of Mrs. Merena Schenk (or Schwenk)$12.50
Received of William H. Ogleton, 1 month rent$12.50

Monday, December 4

Received of Gottleib Kreider, 1 month rent$15.00
Received of Fanny Fyatts, 1 month rent$8.00

Friday, December 8

Received of John Wolf per his wife, 1 month rent$12.50

Saturday, December 9

Received of John J. Golden, 1 month rent$25.00

December 11 – 2

Received of Mrs. Mary Ann Howe, 1 month rent$15.00

List of Names Mentioned

  • Barnhart, Reverend Mr. - Preacher from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
  • Beatty, Mrs. Mary S. - Sister-in-law of Charles Rawn
  • Bergner [George?]
  • Berrizer [or Broniger], Jos. - Bought stove from Rawns and repaired it
  • Black, Honorable J. R. - Counsel
  • Blust, Dr.
  • Blust, Mr. John - Son of Dr. Blust
  • Brown, Sophia - Hired woman
  • Bombaugh, Aaron
  • Byers, Mr. - Family friend
  • Calder [or Colder], Mr. William - Livery owner
  • Chronister, Solomon - Merchant from Adams County, Pennsylvania, potential tenant
  • Charlton, Dr.
  • Clark
  • Coleman, Mrs.
  • Cowden, James - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dickson [or Dixon], Mrs. Sarah E. - Fanny’s French and English tutor
  • Donahue, James - Tenant
  • Duncan, Lottie - Friend of Fanny
  • Fahnestock - Business man who runs a hardware store near Buehler’s Hotel
  • Forster, Douglass
  • Fraelich, John - Tailor
  • Freeland, James - Millersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Fyatts [?], Fanny - Tenant
  • Gardner, Mr. John Orpheus - York Springs, Pennsylvania, tenant
  • Golden, Mr. John J. - Tenant
  • Gray, Mr. Levi L., and son William Gray - Tenants
  • Graydon, Henry Murray
  • Greenberg, H. - Jewish merchant from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Haldeman, Susan - Wife of Dr. O’Connor
  • Harris, Jef. - Owner of Harris’ Red Ware House
  • Howe, Mrs. Mary Ann - Tenant
  • Jarabowski, Jacob
  • Jarabowski, Leopold
  • Jarabowski, Louis
  • Jarretter, M. - Tenant
  • Johns, Reverend Mr. - Preacher from Danville, Pennsylvania
  • Kemp, Mrs. Agnes - Family friend
  • Krauss, Fred - Client
  • Kreider, Gottleib - Tenant
  • Laban, John - Client [?]
  • Looker, Chas. - Tenant
  • Maglan [?] - Attorney [?]; and Maglan’s sister-in-law Florence
  • Mahon, Mr.
  • McCulla, Richard - Milk man
  • Millisen, Jacob - Sold mare to Rawn
  • Mitchell, Reverend Samuel S. and Mrs.
  • Muhlenberger, V.
  • Murray, Mrs.
  • Mervin, Nallknecht and Hall - Counselors at law
  • Newherker [or Newbeker], Geo. - Halifax, Virginia [?]
  • O’Connor, Dr.
  • Ogleton, William H. - Tenant
  • Omit, Henry
  • O’Reilly
  • Peacock, Mrs. James [Louisa V. Sims] - Family friend
  • Porter, Governor David R.
  • Rank, Samuel - Plasterer
  • Rawn, Mr. John Calvin - Princeton, son of Charles Rawn
  • Rawn, Miss Fanny - Daughter of Charles Rawn
  • Rawn, Mrs. Frances - Wife of Charles Rawn
  • Rawn, Juliana - Sister of Charles Rawn, Thornbury, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  • Roberts, Dr. Edmund W., M.D.
  • Robinson, Edward - "Colored" man, house-hand and boarder
  • Schlalter, Mrs. Fanny
  • Schlalter, Mary - 6-year old daughter of Mrs. Fanny Schlalter
  • Schwenk [or Schenk], Mrs. Morena - Tenant
  • Shunk, Francis R. - Studied law with Rawn and later became Pennsylvania’s Governor
  • Shunk, James Findlay - Son of F. R. Shunk
  • Sickel and Friede - Shoemakers
  • Smartz [or Swartz], W. R. - Duncannon, Perry County, Pennsylvania
  • Stephen, William - Milkman
  • Stoufer, H. M. - Shiremanstown, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
  • Woelper, Miles - Repairman
  • Wolf, John - Tenant
  • Worley, Momal - Axe grinder
  • Young, Henrietta - "Colored" cleaning woman

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PDF Icon Book 29: 1865-10-23 to 1865-12-18