McAllister, Carrie A.
Manuscript Diaries of Rutgers Female College student Carrie A. McAllister, of New York City, New York, 1866-1871

4 diaries, 756 pp. plus, 29 pp. of memoranda and cash accounts, dated 1 January 1866 to 10 October 1871, with gaps, as follows: 1866: 350 pp., plus 6 pp memoranda and cash accounts, bound in limp leather, 12mo pocket diary, one day entry per page, entries written in pencil in a legible hand, binding worn, chipped; inscribed on front flyleaf “Diary of / Carrie A. McAllister / 229 Jay St. / Brooklyn, L.I. / Student Packer Institute.” 1867: 180 pp., plus 15 pp memoranda and cash accounts, 12mo pocket diary bound in limp leather, three days entries per page, entries are written in pencil in legible hand, binding worn; inscribed on front fly leaf “Property of / Carrie A. McAllister / Rutgers College / Class of ’68.” 1868: 131 pp., plus 5 pp. memoranda and cash accounts, bound in limp leather, 12mo pocket diary, one day entry per page, entries written in pencil in legible hand, binding worn, spine chipped. 1871: 95 pp., plus 5 pp. memoranda and cash accounts, 12mo pocket diary, bound in limp leather, three days entries per page, entries written in pencil in legible hand, binding worn; inscribed on front flyleaf “Carrie.”

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Carrie A. McAllister (1850-1939)

Carrie A. McAllister was born on 2 May 1850 in Connecticut. She was the daughter of William McAllister (1822-1880) and his wife Esther Hollis (1823-). William McAllister was a clergyman for the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was born in Derry, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, his wife Esther was born in England. Carrie was one of at least five children. Her oldest sister Neoma was born in New York in 1845, then her siblings William (1847), Anna (1848) and Carrie herself (1850) were all born in Connecticut. Her younger sister Emma (1854) was born in New York, thus the family traveled after they immigrated and finally settled in New York City. The family is found in the 1860 Census living in New York City and later in Brooklyn.

Carrie attended the Packer Institute in Brooklyn, as the 1867 diary has her name and the institute’s name inscribed on the front flyleaf. The Packer Institute was founded in 1845, when a committee of landowners and merchants interested in improving the education of girls raised funds for a new school, which they called the Brooklyn Female Academy, on Joralemon Street. Although the school was successful, both financially and educationally, with steadily increasing enrollment, on January 1, 1853 the building caught fire and burned to the ground. The Academy received an offer from Harriet L. Packer, the widow of William S. Packer, to give $65,000 towards rebuilding the school if it were named after her late husband. The new building was designed by the Minard Lafever, a noted designer of Brooklyn churches, and opened in November 1854. The school is still in business.

After the Packer Institute, Carrie attended Rutgers Female College, where, graduating with an A.M. in the Class of 1868. She also appears to have received a degree of arts from Baltimore Female College of Baltimore, Maryland.  Rutgers Female Institute opened as New York City’s first institution of higher education for women in 1839. Located in a new building on Madison Street in what is now the Lower East Side, it offered a one-year course of study at the higher education level as well as classes for younger girls. In 1860 Rutgers Female Institute followed the general direction of Manhattan development and moved uptown to 487-491 Fifth Avenue, across the street from the Croton Distributing Reservoir (now the New York Public Library). The new facility was built in 1856 as the “House of Mansions,” an unsuccessful attempt at an early type of luxury apartment building. In 1867 a new charter from the state upgraded it from Rutgers Female Institute to Rutgers Female College and it began to offer a four-year BA degree recognized by the state Board of Regents. Rutgers Female College stayed on at Fifth Avenue until moving to a building at 54-58 West 55th Street in 1882. It finally closed in 1895. Carrie appears to have been active in the college alumnae association.

McAllister married Dr. G. Lane Taneyhill (1841-1916) on 20 November 1873 in New York and then moved to Baltimore permanently. Carrie’s husband, Dr. Taneyhill, was one of Baltimore’s widely known physicians. He was for years a member of the Board of Pension Examiners for the Federal Government, as well as a trustee for Dickinson College. Together with her husband, Carrie had at least three children: Dr. G. Lane Taneyhill Jr., and Ruth H. Taneyhill. Another child died as an infant.

After her husband’s death in 1916, she moved back to New York City, where she is found as president and treasurer of the Ninth Street Company, a real estate company. Carrie died on 7 July 1939 in Manhattan.

The diaries offered here start in 1866 and continue in 1867, 1868, and 1871. Carrie graduated from Rutgers Female College in 1868, thus these diaries overlap her time as a student at the college. The diaries recount her school days, activities with friends, family, traveling in New York City to school, shopping, church, various meetings of clubs she belongs to, going to the gym, lectures, etc. Much on the social history of the college age daughter of a Methodist Episcopal minister.

      Sample Quotes from Diaries:

“March Monday 9 1866

Pleasant but very windy & cold. Went to school & in the afternoon went to Gymnasium for first time this winter. Came home studied & read. In the eve sociable met at our house a great deal of business done. I was appointed secretary in lieu of Mrs. Hartt who resigned. No young people out, had a very pleasant time nevertheless. Retired half past 11.”

“March Thursday 22 1866

A beautiful day. Went to school, had fun with Bessie. Walked home with Bessie. Willie home in the afternoon. Talked to Willie and studied. Willie Spencer arrived in the eve. Mr. Goff called. After him, Fannie. Went out with Mary called on Doctor. Ma & Willie to a lecture. Retired half past 11.”

“March Saturday 24 1866

Pleasant, but windy & cold. In the morn Frankie, Mary & I went to aunt Joanne’s and then round to the ‘Art Association’ at the Academy. After dinner, red, & took Frankie & Emma to Academy. Crowded a great many I knew there. Met Mr. Beers. In the eve Willie Spencer called. Mr. & Mrs. Anderson also. Read & had a good time generally. Retired at 11.”

“June Tuesday 26 1866

Pleasant & very warm. Joyful day. Commencement day!  In the morn went to dress makers. Mrs. Anderson at the house when I returned. In the afternoon went down Fulton St & then to Millers, came home & dressed for evening. In evening Naome & Mary went with me to Commencement. Had a splendid time! Coming home met Uncle who took us for soda water, then got a pitcher & had some ice cream. Retired about 1.”

 

“Jan Monday 20 1868

A dull day. Snowed some in afternoon. Went to school. Spent the hour from 1 to 2 in Dr. Thompson’s studies. Went to church in the evening. Retired at 10 ½.”

“Jan Friday 31 1868

Clear and cold. Went to school, opening of the ‘Art’ Dept. today. Eliza called. Rec’d invitation to go to Reye, but could not go. Ma & Pa at Mary’s to tea. Eliza & I spent the eve with Mary Cooper. Willie came after us. Retired at  11 ¾.”

“Feb Sunday 16 1868

A beautiful mild day. Went to S.S. and church. Pa preached. I went in to S.S. awhile in the afternoon, then Eliza & I went up to 61st Mission where the praying band was. Called on Mary who is ill. Went to church in the evening. Mr. F- escorted me home. Retired about 12 after celebrating Miller’s birthday, big party & oyster supper. He is 21 today. A year ago today Cornelia died.”

“Feb Friday 28 1868

Just beginning to get acquainted with Mr. Reoss. Like him better. He and I spent the eve ridding and discussing poets & poetry.”

“May Saturday 2 1868

Today I’m eighteen. My birthday was celebrated yesterday by my friends. They gave me a ‘Surprise’ in the evening. A very splendid affair. My flowers were magnificent. Today I took tea with Mary Cooper. Eliza there. I do not realize my age and rather regret that I am so old.”

“June Thursday 4 1868

Commencement day, a glorious day  evening. Had a pleasant time throughout. I feel sad at parting with the girls & college days. Rec’d my diploma 1st grade. My composition was also read. Very tired after the reception. Maggie Fellritch stayed all night with me.”