Edward Ross: diarist
LE3 .A278 1999
Bachelor of Arts
History & Classics
Diary writing may be approached for what it reveals about the diarist and his or her diary. The diaries of Edward Ross for the period 1835-1841 reveal the life of a young man who held many responsibilities. The obligations that Ross acquired as Justice of the Peace, militia officer, merchant, lay minister and farmer in the community of Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, helped to establish Ross as a leader within his community. As a Justice of the Peace and as a merchant Ross was ·sought by residents to resolve disputes, write deeds or to maintain records of mill operations; In addition, Ross traveled frequently as such occupations demanded which meant that Ross was in the position to obtain valuable knowledge about the outside world, through personal observations and discussions with others. This information he could share with and dispense to the residents of Sherbrooke, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to travel. Ross' diaries are diverse in style and motive which makes it difficult to place Ross in any particular category of diary writing. Like other diarists, his motives and styles shift depending on the environment and circumstances in which he was immersed. Primarily a task-focused diarist, particularly with regard to agricultural, Ross also maintained his diaries to sort out his dilemmas, confess his shortcomings and seek out ways he might improve himself. In this regard he was not unlike many other diarists. Censorship was also a concern for Ross and his diaries reveal that he employed his own unique style of censoring. With regard to personal matters, some of which he wanted kept secret, he sometimes employed his knowledge of literature to express such desires. Only through the investigation of his diaries was such rich material discovered.
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