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A. S. Williams III Americana Manuscript Collections

Guide to the William A. Stickney diary W.0057

ASSET VIEWER
Publication:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266
205.348.0500
archives@ua.edu

August 2013

Creation:

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-11-15T16:09-0600

Language Usage:

English

Description Rules:

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Collection Title:

William A. Stickney diary

Unit ID:

W.0057

Repository:

University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Quantity:

0.1 Linear feet

Dates:

1841-1847

Location:

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama

General Physical Description note

The diary is in poor condition. The front cover has torn off the rest of the book. The lower left corner of every page has extensive insect damage.

Abstract:

Diary of Episcopal minister William A. Stickney contains entries dated from 1841-1847. The diary documents Stickney's life as a college student at LaGrange College in Franklin County, Alabama, the University of Alabama, and the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Entries provide information about Stickney's daily life, as well as descriptions of religious services he attended and led, and a description of his personal devotions.

creator

Stickney, William Augustus, 1824-1908

creator

Williams, A. S., III

Related Archival Materials note

Faunsdale Plantation Papers, Department of Archives and Manuscripts, Birmingham Public Library

St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Department of Archives and Manuscripts, Birmingham Public Library

Processing Information:

Processed by

Haley Aaron and Donnelly Walton, 2013

Biographical/Historical note

William A. Stickney was born on February 14, 1824, in Greensboro, Alabama. He attended LaGrange College (now the University of North Alabama) in Franklin County, Alabama, before entering the University of Alabama, from which he graduated in 1844. After graduation, he travelled to New York City and entered the General Theological Seminary, graduating in 1847. After his ordination by the Episcopal Church in 1847, Reverend Stickney served as the rector at St. Wilfrid's in Marion, Alabama, 1847-1863; St. Michael's, Macon Station, Alabama, 1872-1876; Holy Cross, Forkland, Alabama, 1889-1893; and St. Michael's, Faunsdale, Alabama, 1895-1899.

In 1863 Stickeny married Louisa M. Collins Harrison, the widow of Faunsdale Plantation owner Dr. Thomas Harrison. Together they managed the large plantation in Marengo County, Alabama. The Stickneys, who were slave owners, taught enslaved--and later free--children and adults to read. Rev. Stickney was involved in the Mission for Negroes in Canebreak, Alabama.

Rev. Stickney died on June 13, 1908, and was buried at St. Michael's cemetery.

Access Restrictions:

None

Acquisition Information:

Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

General note

Original title on box spine: Reverend Stickney's Diary, Greensboro, LaGrange and Faunsdale

Preferred Citation:

William A. Stickney diary, The A.S. Williams III Americana Collection, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Scope and Contents note

This diary of Episcopal minister William A. Stickney and contains entries dated from 1841-1847. Most of the 120 pages is filled with his small writing (in ink) which is usually clear and legible; the last several pages were written with a less legible pencil.

The diary begins as a retrospection on the the events in his life which led to his interest in spiritual matters and Christian ministry, describing events in the past tense until late 1844 when he began almost daily entries. Stickney described an interesting religious awakening--his family was neither religious nor spiritual. As a young man who grew up during what was later described as the Second Great Awakening, he was exposed to evangelical Christian teachings through camp meetings and other activities. He described episodes of nightly prayer that ended with his "sobbing into his pillow" to keep his family from hearing, and he mentions his conversations with slaves on matters of spirituality.

His diary provides valuable information about life as a college student attending LaGrange College in Franklin County, Alabama, and at The University of Alabama. He felt that he did not lead a Christian life in college and lamented frivolous activities, such as playing a female role in a play, that required his wearing a tight corset, which he blamed for lifelong health problems.

The diary takes a different tone in 1844 after he traveled to New York City to attend the General Theological Seminary. His travel entries are very interesting and describe every portion of his long journey. After he arrived he provided almost daily entries with descriptions of his personal devotions and information on religious services he attended and led. The diary ends with his ordination and admittance to the priesthood in Selma, Alabama, on December 17, 1848.

Source(s)

General Theological Seminary (New York, N.Y.). (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

LaGrange College (Ala.). (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

University of Alabama. (Library_of_Congress_Name_Authority_File)

Williams, A. S., III (local)

College students--United States (lcsh)

Diaries (aat)

Episcopal Church (lcsh)

Franklin County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Hale County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Marengo County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Religion and Spirituality (localbroad)

Religious awakening (lcsh)

Diary Box W0057.01