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Collection Scope and Content Notes


This diary lacks detailed biographical information about its author. It is apparent that Mrs. Hanlin was a resident of Allegheny City, Pennsylvania during the Civil War. Hanlin was a very active member of her church and her son, William, attended Westminster College before joining the Union army in 1862. Most of the entries in the diary concern church activities and Hanlin's thoughts on religion. She also writes regularly about the illnesses and deaths of family members and friends, including the unexpected death of a sister, which left Hanlin particularly distraught. The entries describing this event reveal Hanlin's intense grief as she tried to reconcile this tragedy with her faith. Hanlin's son, William, was also a recurring concern, as he had difficulty finding employment. The family eventually sent him to Westminster College, despite the strain this decision placed on their finances. In 1862, Hanlin described hearing a sermon on the topic of the Civil War. Later that year, William joined the Union army. This volume is a small bound diary with entries handwritten in pencil.


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