Marie (Mary) Ester Brandt began keeping a diary on November 29, 1849. She began her first entry with the statement "Cronicle [sp] of events, for future refference[sp]." She made daily entries until February 13, 1869. Although different dates are given for her birth, the inscription on her headstone in the Hanover Cemetery lists her birth as May 14, 1823 and her death February 28, 1915. During the time of the diaries she lived in and around Hanover, Indiana. Her parents were born in Switzerland and emigrated to this country in 1818. Her father died in 1829 and her mother appears to have supported a large family of eight children by running a boarding house. Marie never married and lived with her unmarried sister Cecilia and for many years her unmarried brother Henry. The diaries recount daily domestic activities of washing, cleaning, gardening, canning, tending animals, and caring for the ill, as well as social activities such as visiting friends, attending lectures, taking painting classes, and trips into Madison. The Sunday entries always had attendance at chapel, preaching, and Sabbath School where she was a teacher. Interposed with these entries are observations about national events--the election of President Lincoln, Civil War battles, etc. Her diary gives readers a detailed picture of ordinary life during her lifetime
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