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Marian Bugbee Patterson Collection

Identifier: RH-A-3712

Scope and Contents

These diaries were written by Marian Bugbee. She was between 21 and 22. Her father was a doctor and she was employed as a teacher. She was unmarried but lived outside of her family’s house, boarding in various places.
Marian latter married Robert Patterson who was a doctor. They moved around between Jackson and Cass County. Marian was born in 1840 and died in 1895. Her husband died in 1908 and was born in 1838.
The diaries include some information about education in the 19th century. Detailed descriptions of her lessons are not included, but the schedule and her thoughts on being a teacher. The second diary contains a lot more information about school in the back. Spelling, math problems, geometry and more wrote down. Whether these were lessons for her students or notes for herself is not clear. The diaries occasionally discuss the American Civil War, from the home front perspective.
The diaries also contain information about the lives of young and unmarried women in the mid-19th century in Michigan. Another aspect to the diaries are Marian’s thoughts on faith and death. She mourns a friend of hers who had died and also writes about how unfair death can be. Holidays such as the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are described.
The end of the diaries contain various extra information. She writes down what letters she received and what letters she replied to. Quotes, bible verses, and food recipes, and more found at the end of both diaries.
The second diary starts with Marian recovering from an accident or illness. She is just getting back into teaching when the diary starts. Her second diary is less complete than the first and there are a number of gaps in it.


  • Creation: 1862-1863



2 Volumes ; 3" x 6"

Language of Materials



This collection is composed of two diaries from Marian Bugbee, written in 1862 and 1863.

Physical Description

This collection contains two leather bound diaries. One diary is purple/black and the other is blue/black. The two diaries are approximately 3” x 6” in size. The collection is contained in one folder.
The diaries are in good condition. The writing is clear and the pages are not torn, faded, or brittle. The leather is still intact, but the leather cover has some fading, stains, and holes. In the second diary one page appeared to be ripped out, and a couple parts of pages have been cut out.


This collection was acquired through the Starring Endowment.

Marian Bugbee Patterson Collection Finding Aid
Dylan Tilbury
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490