Fred Dudley Swindell diary, 1897-1904.
Creator: Swindell, Fred Dudley.
Collection number: 4797-z
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Abstract: Fred Dudley Swindell was born 2 March 1882 in Kingston, N.C., to Frederick Dallas (b. 1846) and Sue Decater Swindell. His brother, Charles LeRoy Swindell, was born on 1 December 1884, in Wadesboro, N.C. Charles attended the University of North Carolina in the early 1900s and became a physician in Wilson, N.C. In the early 1900s, Fred appears to have moved to Washington, D.C., or Baltimore. It is unclear where he went to college. Diary of Fred Dudley Swindell’s 15th year, begun on 2 March 1897, his 15th birthday, with almost daily entries until 2 March 1898. Swindell’s exact location is not always clear; he seems to have lived in Goldsboro, Beaufort, and perhaps, Wilmington during this time. The diary gives a detailed picture of an active adolescent’s family, education, social, and religious activities. Entries document Swindell’s chores (chiefly cutting wood); schooling (he was a good student who occasionally “slips home at second recess”); social life and leisure-time activities (games and sports played with his “crowd,” parties attended, lectures heard at the opera house, books read for pleasure); and attendance at church and church-related activities (some sermons heard, participation in entertainments put on at church).Swindell also freely discussed his opinions of neighbors and friends; in the entry of 21 March 1898, Swindell stated that the diary would have to remain secret because it reveals his true feelings about people, especially about certain adolescent girls. The diary also includes a list of books Swindell read; notes on his immediate family history; questions from a history examination, 14 May 1897; a few pages of “Poetry by Me”; some school work; a brief summary entry for March-November 1898; and entries on 29 March 1903 and 1 January 1898 that offer little information about what Swindell had been doing since he wrote the original diary.
Repository: Southern Historical Collection