Herrick Memorial Library at Alfred University


  • Archives & Special Collections
  • Herrick Memorial Library
  • Alfred University
  • 1 Saxon Drive
  • Alfred, NY 14802
  • 607-871-2385 (Phone)
  • 607-871-2299 (Fax)

Vernon Marion Babbitt's Diary

Diary Pages from Vernon Babbitt's Diary

What follows is a transcription of an 1871 pocket diary belonging to Vernon Marion Babbitt who lived in Ward, NY and attended Alfred University. He first attended in 1858 but left to participate in the Civil War as a member of the 19th Regiment of the 1st N.Y. Dragoons, Co. H. After the war, he returned to the University in 1868 and finished in 1871 with an advanced degree in the scientific course. He was a member of the Alleghanian Lyceum and in love with Sabra Rogers (which is extremely evident throughout the diary). After graduation he married Sabra and left the Western New York area to eventually became a merchant in Nebraska. Vernon died at the age of sixty-four but was 28 or 29 years old during the writing of this diary.

The end of the diary contains handwritten records of earnings and expenses, as well as few other notes. That information is found after the text of the diary, which is transcribed just as he wrote it (mis-spellings and all).

Keep in mind the time period of little technology, no electricity or cars, and restrictions at the University on interactions between men and women, especially in their own rooms. We hope you enjoy it!


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