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 Item — Box: W0057.01

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: This diary of Episcopal minister William A. Stickney 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 events in his life that 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.


  • 1841-1847

Conditions Governing Access



From the Collection: 0.1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266