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Mary Cosby Shelby journal and commonplace book, 1845

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Mary Cosby Shelby journal and commonplace book




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Mary Cosby Shelby journal and commonplace book, 1845, 1VF62W1, AAN8712LM, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


2 volumes (258 leaves)


Thomas Hart Shelby, Mary's father, was the son of Governor Isaac Shelby. He owned a plantation called "Grasslands" near Lexington, Ky.

Scope and Content

The volumes consist of a journal and a commonplace book kept by Mary Cosby Shelby. The journal details a trip Mary made with her father to the Eastern states. They traveled through Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Their stay in New York City is described extensively. She mentions visiting Trinity Church, the Battery, Blackwell's Island, and the Academy of Design., as well as attending performances of THE BOHEMIAN GIRL and BARBER OF SEVILLE.

After leaving New York, the Shelbys spent a few days in New Haven, Connecticut with Professor Benjamin Silliman of Yale University. From there, they proceeded to Hartford and then to Massachusetts, where they visited Boston, Harvard University, the cotton mills at Lowell, the shoe factories at Lynn, and the paper mills at Springfield. After visiting several towns in New York, including Albany and Buffalo, and then briefly, Montreal and Quebec, they returned to Kentucky by way of Saratoga, West Point, New York City, and Philadelphia. A handbill from Syracuse, N.Y., dated 1845 and a journal fragment accompany the journal (1VF62W1). The commonplace book (1VF62W1), compiled in 1855, contains various poems, and religious essays.


  • Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.
  • Shelby, Mary Cosby, 1826-1856.
  • Shelby, Thomas Hart, 1789-1869.
  • Silliman, Benjamin, 1779-1864.
  • Harvard University.
  • Yale University.
  • New England--Description and travel--Early works to 1800
  • New England--Industries.
  • New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs.
  • Essays.
  • Journals.
  • Poems

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.