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Carrie M. Walkup Diaries
Walkup, Carrie M. Teeple, A. V.
Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
Three volumes of journals kept by Carrie M. Walkup, a student at Northwestern Female College in the 1860s. The journals provide insight into student life and rules as well as information on being a student during the Civil War, the Copperhead convention, and the Presidential election of 1864.
Carrie M. Walkup, a native of Woodstock, Illinois, attended the Northwestern Female College in Evanston, Illinois, for one term in the spring and summer of 1864. In 1867, she married Addison V. [A.V.] Teeple, her longtime beau who spent most of their early courtship with the 8th Regiment Cavalry (Illinois) during the Civil War. After their marriage, the couple resided in Rockford, Illinois, where Teeple studied law and pursued a career in real estate. Her album and diary documents Walkup’s days at college, her romance with Teeple, and life on the northern home front during the Civil War. No other personal information exists for Walkup after her marriage.
The Northwestern Female College was founded in 1855, the same year that Northwestern University opened, but was not connected with the University in any way. The College provided “Young Ladies of the Northwest” with a “thorough Collegiate Education near home, and amid such rural seclusion as will secure every possible guaranty [sic] for health, morals, and refinement.” The students took courses in the arts, literature, and the sciences. In 1871, the new Evanston College for Ladies absorbed the older school, under the direction of Frances E. Willard (an alumna of the Northwestern Female College and later a social reformer best known for her presidency of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union). Two years later Evanston College for Ladies became an affiliate of Northwestern University and took the name Woman’s College of Northwestern University, with Willard as dean.
For more information on Northwestern Female College, see also: Records of the Northwestern Female College, 1855-1976 (Series 36/2); William P. Jones (1831-1886) Papers, 1857-1932 (Series 36/1); Records of the Evanston College for Ladies, 1869-1933 (Series 39/1); Records of the Woman’s College of Northwestern University, 1872-1893 (Series 40/1)
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
North-Western Female College--Students--Biography
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources
Teeple, A. V.--Diaries
Walkup, Carrie M.--Diaries
Women college students--Illinois--Evanston--Diaries
These diaries were transferred to the University Archives by Russell Maylone, Curator of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, as Accession 05-4, on January 18, 2005.
Carole Emberton, May 2005
For more on the Northwestern Female College, see also:
Records of the Northwestern Female College, 1855-1976 (Series 36/2); William P. Jones (1831-1886) Papers, 1857-1932 (Series 36/1); Records of the Evanston College for Ladies, 1869-1933 (Series 39/1); Records of the Woman’s College of Northwestern University, 1872-1893 (Series 40/1)
Each of the three diaries is a separate bound book; these are fragile with loose or absent covers.
Volume I consists of a commercially-produced “Album of Love” that Walkup used to record inscriptions from friends and family members. There are a number of sentimental illustrations reminiscent of those found in nineteenth-century ladies’ books. On several pages throughout, Walkup drew rectangular “calling cards” wherein her friends signed their names. Walkup has made notes so as to remind herself of the signers’ identity at various points. Each entry is from a different person, but generally they are legible and easily read. The entries are not in chronological order, however, and not all are dated. One entry from 1883 is from Walkup’s ten year-old daughter, Mary. Another entry of note is a poem addressed to “Friend Carrie” from her future husband, Teeple, dated April 14, 1861. It is a farewell poem before Teeple departs for his army service. The latest dated entry is from 1922, but the majority of the inscriptions are from 1861-63. Several pages appear to have been cut out from the book.
Volume II contains the main diary itself, the bulk of which consists of copies of letters Walkup wrote to Teeple while he was away at war. The span of the diary covers her months at the Northwestern Female College, from March 1864 and ends in 1865, although the entries after November 5, 1864 are written in shorthand. The diary is also paginated. The entries take the form of letters to her sweetheart, A.V. Teeple, a Union soldier.
This volume of the diary gives a good view into the daily life at the college. Topics covered include an instance of thievery, which Walkup chalks up to the girls’ lower-class upbringing (see entry for March 27, 1864, pp. 14-15). Walkup notes with amusement how the school cook eloped with a handy man, leaving the women in want of their breakfast (June 10, 1864, pp. 79-80). She also writes of how some girls skirt the college’s strict rules about leaving campus and having gentlemen visitors (May 28, 1864, pp. 69-70). Another time girls are suspended for writing notes to gentlemen on Sunday, an activity Walkup participates in regularly but apparently to no ill end (June 21, 1864, pp. 89).
Walkup’s diary also lends insight into life on the northern home front for a woman during the Civil War. Walkup speaks of the other women at the college with beaus away at war, including one unfortunate girl who receives news of her lover’s death (May 1, 1864, pp. 43). Walkup also becomes friends with another girl whose fiancé is in the same regiment as Teeple, and although Walkup does not care for the girl’s pretensions, she maintains a close friendship with her because of their special bond (April 10, 1864, pp. 27-29). She notes how male students at Northwestern enlisted in the Union war effort (May 5, 1864, pp. 47). Walkup also provides detailed commentary on a Copperhead convention near her downstate home (September 1864, pp. 142-3), thoughts on the effects of emancipation on “lazy Southerners” (September 30, 1864, pp. 136-7), and the Presidential election that fall (November 5, 1864, pp. 156).
Volume III is the journal of A.V. Teeple documenting the major events of his life after the war, including his marriage to Walkup, his real estate businesses, some war-time reminiscences, and the birth of their first child in July 1871. The journal covers the period 1866-1871.
Carrie M. Walkup Album
Carrie M. Walkup Diary
A.V. Teeple Journal