Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 20, Number 1, March 1998.

ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)


1998 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


What is the twenty-year gap? There are no journal volumes from fall 1870 until January 1893. After filling more than forty volumes-nearly five thousand pages detailing her life from her fifteenth through her thirty-first years, Frances E. Willard suddenly stopped keeping a journal. On her thirty-first birthday, 28 September 1870, she wrote: "[M]y Journal has this day been shaken hands with in a long adieu, and I here record my purpose to write no more wishy-washy pages of personal reminiscence." Then, just as suddenly, on New Year's Day 1893 she took up her journal again. "It is now over 20 years since I left off doing what my Mother early taught me to do-viz. keeping a journal," she wrote. "But somehow, on this Sunday morning ... I am minded to take up scribbling anew."