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Re: Sophia Chafey Diary, 1864
Posted by: Sandra Stephens (ID *****5030) Date: January 14, 2013 at 11:20:09
In Reply to: Sophia Chafey Diary, 1864 by Kathleen Chafey of 25810

I found the following by Googling Sophia Chafey diary:

Sold Date: 05/27/2007
Channel: Online Auction
Source: eBay
Category: Books, Paper & Magazines
It's been awhile since I've come across a diary such as this one. It's everything you could want in a handwritten diary and more. This diary was written by Sophia Williams Fuller Chafey. The year this diary represents is 1864 and Sophia has just turned 76 years old. She was born in New York on November 12 th , 1788 . She and her family lived in Wisconsin near the "Brothertown Indian Tribe" and she even mentions a story from that time in her childhood in this diary.

She was a widow when she became the second wife of Col. Charles Chafey who is said to have been a pioneer of Western New York . He however died only 7 months before she started this diary. She is living on her 2 nd husband's estate at the time and is such an invalid she doesn't leave her room and sometimes doesn't even leave her bed.

Now t are several children she mentions in the diary and I'm not quite sure which marriage they came out of but I believe Merritt was from her second husband and Alonzo was from her first husband. She also mentions other children; Sarah (her step-daughter) Mary, Albert, Chris, and Louisa. Sarah is married to Alonzo and they both live in this house with Sophia. Louisa is also t living with them and with the way she talks about Louisa, I believe she is also physically or mentally handicapped.

T are other children that come into the picture, but they are her step children and were from Charles's first marriage. In fact one of her step sons, "C.C." as she calls him, plays a very important part in her life, especially during the time of this diary.

I don't know if I've ever read a diary w so much has happened to one woman, especially the years surrounding the civil war. Her son Merritt enlisted in the war on Sept. 12 th , 1861 . He was in Company F, 5 th N.Y. He was promoted to Sgt. in 1862, promoted to 1 st Lt. in 1864 and mustered out July 19 th , 1865 .

As stated above, Charles her husband died on May 13 th , 1863 and because of this her step son "C.C." has sold his father's estate, which is around Attica New York and in May of 1864, Sophia and her remaining children and grand children have to move out of the house. They end up selling off many of t belongings and packing up the rest and boarding a steamer and sailing to Wisconsin on the Great Lakes . The steamer however gets into an accident and they end up being picked up by another ship. They finally make it to Wisconsin , set up their homestead and when they finally get their boxes of belongings; their things are wet, molded and mostly in ruins. By this time it's towards the end of summer and the draft is upon them. Alonzo, another son, is then drafted and heads to serve in the civil war in Co. G. 64 th NY Infantry Regiment. I found out that he was later discharged in May of 1865. And while all of this is going on, Sophia is still an invalid. She is one incredible woman who has great faith in God and you can sure tell by reading her entries. The diary is packed full too. Out of the 365 days, Sophia only has 14 blank pages and when she writes she fills each page; actually overfills each page with her most tender and deepest thoughts.

This description, of course will be long. I found so many fantastic entries to quote from but please note that much of what I'm quoting is only part of what is on some of the pages and out of the 350 days worth of entries, I've only quoted 49 days, so you can see how much information is in this diary. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and read an amazing account of what life was like for Sophia Williams Fuller Chafey and her children, during the year 1864........

Found written on the first page;

"CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM A.W.FULLER TO HIS MOTHER L. CHAFEY, DEC. 25 TH , 1863 . WITH YOU OWN HAND THIS BOOK YOU'LL FILL, RETURN IT THEN TO ME; AND I SHALL ALWAYS PRIZE IT WELL, BECAUSE A GIFT FROM THEE."

1864

"January 2 nd ,

Yes, eighteen hundred sixty three passed into eternity with all its joys and sorrows. The past year has had its share of conflicting...

Sandra


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