- moved to a new house with my husband, 6-month-old daughter, cat, and far, far too many boxes of useless objects that I hope to donate rather than unpack
- presented a draft chapter of my dissertation to the Harvard Early America Workshop
- concluded lectures and sections for the 270-student Gen Ed course for which I am head TF
- traveled to Connecticut to celebrate Molly's first Easter
Still, I am finding a little time for my own research at night. I have (re-)begun reading Samuel Sewall's diary with a particular eye toward his many descriptions of funerals and graveyards. I don't want to miss any little mentions, so I've been reading the whole thing, not just scanning.
I'm only up to 1690 (the diary runs 1674-1729), but I am already enthralled. Sewall records so many details of daily life in 17th-century Boston — not just details of his own life, but suggestive little stories that flesh out large parts of the goings on in town. In addition, he is an attentive parent and a loving husband. His writings about his children are simultaneously sweet and horrible, particularly when he laments his inability to comfort his young children when they are particularly disturbed by Bible verses he has asked them to read.
One thing I was not really expecting to find in the diary of an eminent Puritan judge was information about breastfeeding practices. At first, I just put a little check mark next to references to nursing babies (this info is not really pertinent to my dissertation), but the little check marks have added up.
Here is what Samuel Sewall has to say about breastfeeding: