Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Connection to Julia Hardy Lovejoy


"Portrait of Julia Louisa Hardy Lovejoy. Lovejoy and her husband, Charles Haseltine Lovejoy, came to the Kansas Territory in 1855, where Rev. Lovejoy was the second traveling Methodist preacher in the territory. They built the first house on the Manhattan Town Company site, but moved to a farm near Baldwin, Kansas Territory, in 1857."
Source: Kansas Memory Project of the Kansas Historical Society

Julia Louisa Hardy Lovejoy was born 200 years ago yesterday, March 9, 1812 in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The Kansas Historical Society posted her picture on Facebook yesterday, with this accompanying statement: "Writer Julia Louisa Lovejoy was born on this day in 1812. She was among the antislavery members of the New England Emigrant Aid Company who came to Kansas to fight for freedom. Her letters and diary provide a window to the times." 

I knew that I have a 5th great grandmother named Deborah Lovejoy so I was intrigued by this posting and wanted to see if I might be related to Julia through her husband Charles H. Lovejoy. My genealogy database computed our relationship for me: we are 4th cousins 4 times removed, but related through three different family lines. 

The Kansas Historical Society site tells us that Julia kept a diary and entries from December 10, 1854 through January 5, 1860 are available as digitized images and are also transcribed at their site here: http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/7660. "Julia Louisa Hardy Lovejoy and her husband, Charles Lovejoy, came to the Kansas Territory in March, 1855. Lovejoy described the trip and their first months in Kansas Territory in her diary. The diary entries were fairly sporadic, however, so there were significant gaps in her account of life in the Kansas Territory. Lovejoy's writing was very emotional when describing the illness and death of their daughter Edith, when referring to the conflict in the territory, and when writing about her religious beliefs. The diary also contained some descriptions of Lovejoy's daily life. The Lovejoys had two older children (Charles J. and Juliette) and a five year old daughter, Edith, when they came to Kansas Territory. Their son Charles may have come to Kansas before the rest of the family. Edith died in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, on May 3, 1855. Julia was pregnant at the time and a son Irving was born September 17, 1855. Juliette married Dr. Samuel Whitehorn from Hudson, Michigan, on March 9, 1856, in Manhattan, Kansas Territory. Juliette died November 20, 1860, at Manhattan, Kansas, at the age of 21."

I read the transcription of these pages last night. You can find it here: http://www.kansasmemory.org/item/7660/text  My heart was deeply touched by her description of her difficulties, sorrows and heartaches as her family traveled to Kansas from New Hampshire. Her deep Christian faith bouyed her during these trying times. She's truly an inspiration and a strong woman of note. I'm proud to learn of my ancestral connection to Julia.   

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