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The Bidwell Diaries: Volume 2, Annie K. Bidwell
Transcription of Annie K. Bidwell's diaries from 1888-1896, 1899-1911. Stored on a searchable CD-ROM.

Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell’s Diaries

Mrs. Bidwell’s diaries, which survive, cover but ten years of her nearly 34 years of marriage to General John Bidwell. Some of the years included are fragmentary. After her husband’s death in 1900, Annie Bidwell kept a fairly complete diary for each year, 1902-1911. She also completed the entries in his diary for 1900.

The diaries are now a part of the archival collection of the California State Library, History Section. The diaries were photocopied from the originals in 1970-1971 as a contribution of the Chico Women’s Club and a number of other Chico history lovers for use by the interpretative staff at the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park.

Mrs. George (Vonnie) Eastham spearheaded this effort. The content of the Bidwell diaries was typed over a five year period, 1992-1996, by park Green Thumb worker, Shirley Connolly. Beginning in 1998, Lois H. McDonald, Association board member and volunteer, began editing the typed copy, adding a number of pages omitted by the photocopier, and checking the originals in the state library to add both these pages and other words lost in margins or at the bottom of pages. She tried to rectify changes in spelling and punctuation modified from the originals by Connolly, and to retain the original format as closely as practical.

Mrs. Bidwell’s handwriting was at its best, excellent, but as she tried to squeeze material onto the limited page given for each day, her handwriting became almost illegible at times. Thus some material has inevitably been lost or incorrectly copied.

There are references in correspondence to earlier years in the Bidwell marriage in which Mrs. Bidwell started to keep a diary. In one instance the diary was lost in luggage stolen during a journey from Chico to Washington, D.C. When she did adhere to a schedule of daily entry, her entries are much longer and in greater detail of activity and personal feelings regarding events and persons.

General John Bidwell’s diaries, 1864-1900, were published by the Bidwell Mansion Association in 2001 as Volume I of the Bidwell Diaries

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The Bidwell Diaries are stored on CD-ROMS for viewing, searching and printing from your computer in PDF (portable document file) format. A free copy of Acrobat Reader is included with the CD, which enables you to use the files on the CD in either Windows or Macintosh platforms.

The Bidwell Mansion Association also has available The Bidwell Diaries: Vol. 1, John Bidwell, and the book Annie Kennedy Bidwell: An Intimate History by Lois McDonald.

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Purchase The Bidwell Diaries, Vol. 2, Annie K. Bidwell

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