Guide to the Maryland Farm Diary

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1267
Creators:
Valentino, Carmen D.
Dates:
1879-1884
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.15 Cubic feet
1 item
Repository:
A farm journal and account book for a farm located at Long Branch, Harford County, Maryland, covering the time period March 1879 to August 1884 (excepting 1880) and documenting all aspects of farm life and labor.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The diary bears numerous handwriting styles, denoting more than one author. The farm documented in this volume featured truck farming, orchards, small grain crops, dairying, and hogs. A possible German or Amish influence is indicated, probably due to its proximity to Pennsylvania, with such products as cider, sauerkraut, wheat and hay being produced, as well as by products from hogs including sausages, lard, and pudding (scrapple). Curing and preservation of meat is documented as well.
All tasks of day-to-day life on the farm, by whom they were performed and with what equipment as well as the weather were recorded. The compiler recorded other such detail as which fertilizers were used for which crops, variety names, how much was paid to each hand who worked on the farm (in the case of tenant farmers, with firewood or cow pasture), names given to animals, and such things as laborers' travel to nearby towns to purchase goods and supplies. Especially descriptive are the parts of the diary relating to livestock, with entries for births, sales, and activities such as butchering, sausage making, curing and preservation of meat.
The farm was comprised of fields, orchards, meadows and gardens, in addition to a number of outbuildings, sheds, smokehouses, a barn, a stable, and a blacksmith shop. Maintenance of these buildings is described in detail in the diary.
This volume is rich in detail about the functioning of a typical American farm during this time period. It also includes an entry for the Fallston, Maryland earthquake of March 11, 1883 (page 95).

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into one series.
Series 1, Farm diary, 1879-1884

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
This diary is a combined farm journal and account book for a farm located at or near Long Branch, Harford County, Maryland, covering the time period from March 1879 to August 1894, excepting the year 1880. This was a time when American agriculture was on the cusp of mechanization, and a time when increasing urbanization was changing the demographics of farm life. More and more youth were relocating to urban areas, challenging small family farms to continue to run with fewer people, and forcing them to bring on day laborers or other help.
Farms in the northern part of Maryland were quite distinct from those in the southern part, where tobacco dominated. The farm documented in this volume featured truck farming, orchards, small grain crops, dairying, and hogs. A possible German or Amish influence is indicated, probably due to its proximity to Pennsylvania, with such products as cider, sauerkraut, wheat and hay being produced, as well as by products from hogs including sausages, lard, and pudding (scrapple). Curing and preservation of meat is documented in the volume as well. The products (wheat, hay, cider, sauerkraut) being sold in nearby towns (as documented in the volume) indicates that the farm was not just self-sufficient but also a profitable participant in the market economy.
An interesting entry is found on page 95, for March 11, 1883, "A very perceptible earthquake was experienced here the house shook, & things on sideboard rattled. It lasted about 3 minutes." This is primary documentation of the Fallston, Maryland quake. Other entries mention the Maryland State Fair at Timonium, trips to Hanways' Mill, Ashland and other local destinations.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., archives specialist, September 2012; supervised by Vanessa Broussard-Simmons, archivist.
Author
Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was purchased at auction from Carmen D. Valentino of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2012.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Preferred Citation
Maryland Farm Diary, 1879-1884, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Robinson and Via Family Papers, 1845-2010, (AC0475)
Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records, 1986-1991, (AC0773)
John K. Parlett Collection of Agriculture Ephemera, (AC1225)

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Housewives -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rural women Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rural scenes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Farms -- Maryland Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Record books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sausages Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rural families Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and family Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Farmers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agriculture -- 1870-1940 -- Maryland Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Daybooks -- 1870-1880 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harford County, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fallston, Harford County, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardens -- Maryland Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Earthquakes -- Maryland Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gardening Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watervale, Harford County, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Weather conditions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Family farms Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Account books -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ashland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Farmers -- 19th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hanways' Mill Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Daybooks -- 1880-1910 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potspring, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agriculture Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agricultural laborers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maryland -- Family farms Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Timonium, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agricultural supplies and equipment -- 1850-1870 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fairs -- 1870-1879 -- United States Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fairs -- 1880-1889 -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agricultural Prices Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Forest Hill, Harford County, Maryland Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agricultural products Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sewell, Rose Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnstone, Samuel Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Annie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Valentino, Carmen D. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Klob, Ella Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Morgan, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
West, William Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, William Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Campbell, William Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lomax, Joseph Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whitaker, James Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pugh, Edward Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Spencer, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goodwater, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schultz, William Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Edward Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Henry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gemmill, Benjamin B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Johnston, Thomas Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bond, William Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gemmill, Ephraim Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brown, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives