Ethel G. Carothers diary

Biographical and Historical Notes

Ethel Ginevra Carothers was born to James and Ginevra Carothers in Poughkeepsie, New York, around 1877. As of 1892, the Carothers family was living in Brooklyn, New York, where James was working as a merchant. Ethel, her mother, her sister Enid, and perhaps other younger sisters traveled to Dresden, Germany, around 1895. It appears that her father remained in the United States; Ethel noted that she received several letters from “Papa.” The family resided on Buchenbach Strasse and Sedan Strasse between 1895 and 1897, during which time Ethel took piano lessons and studied German language and literature. It is unclear when the Carothers family returned to the United States, but Ethel married Robert Skinner Moore in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1909. By 1930 she was widowed and living with her mother in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.


University of Delaware Library. Self works : diaries, scrapbooks, and other autobiographical efforts : catalog of an exhibition, August 19, 1997-December 18, 1997 : guide to selected sources. Newark, Del.: Special Collections, Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware Library, 1997.

Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, IN, Feb. 18, 1909, p. 6

Tippecanoe County, Indiana 1850 - 1920 Inclusive; Index to Marriage Record Volume I Letters A - Eber, W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk's O; Book: C-28; Page 328 (accessed via on April 12, 2017)

1880 Federal Census (accessed via on April 12, 2017)

1910 Federal Census (accessed via on April 12, 2017)

1930 Federal Census (accessed via on April 12, 2017)

1892 New York State Census (accessed via on April 12, 2017)

Information derived from the collection.

Scope and Contents

American student Ethel G. Carothers wrote this diary while she was studying music and German in Dresden, Germany, between March 1895 and January 1897.

Carothers wrote about both her studies and her social life in her diary. She studied with a German piano teacher and took regular lessons in German language and literature. Carothers frequently went to the opera and amused herself by going into town, attending parades, playing euchre, and skating on a nearby pond in winter. She and her family often entertained guests in their home, including a large group of young people around her age. Carothers recorded frequent bouts of illness, including trouble with neuralgia. She and her family traveled to the seaside town of Binz in September 1895, which Carothers suggested was for her mother’s health as much as for pleasure.

Carothers had an active social life and frequently recorded her flirtations with eligible young men. She found most of the men in her circle agreeable, apart from one named Thurie, whom she described as “horrid and stupid.” She showed some interest in a Mr. Kilburn Moore of Galveston, Texas early in her diary. She described Moore as “very ugly, but a good talker and dancer. Also a good flirt.” Moore wrote a note to her at the back of the first volume of her diary prior to his departure from Dresden, and Carothers recorded his address in Texas.

Carothers also copied several poems in her diary, as well as the addresses of friends in Germany. She used the cash accounts section of Volume 2 to record various recipes for candy and a poem about what to wear on one’s wedding day. Several items have been laid into the diary, including a drawing of a family crest and a letter to Carothers’ mother concerning a bill.

Volume 1 of the diary is bound with marbled paper over boards, a cloth spine, and cloth-covered corners. The page edges are also marbled. On the front cover there is a label with beveled edges and a red border that reads “Ether G. Carothers Dresden 1895” in black ink. The name “Enid Carothers” is also written on the edge of the label. On the inside of the cover there is a blue, circular stationer’s ticker with scalloped edges which reads “M. Preissler Papierhandlung Bismarkplatz 16.” There is also a circular white sticker that reads “36 Bg.” The front flyleaf reads “Ethel Ginevra Carothers/Dresden A[?]/Germany/March eighteen hundred and ninety-five/Buchenbach Strasse 13 pt rechts./Sedan Strasse 20 pt rechts” in black ink. The volume contains 144 leaves of lined wove paper with handwritten text in black ink and pencil. Volume 2 of the diary is bound with black cloth over boards and a black leather spine. The words “Standard Diary 1896” are gilt-stamped on the front cover. The page edges of the volume are marbled. On the inside of the cover is a printed counting-house calendar. On the flyleaf is the inscription “Ethel G. Carothers/Sedan Strasse 20 pt./ Dresden A[?]/Germany.” The volume has a printed title page that reads “The Standard Diary Published Annually for the Trade 1896.” It contains printed lists with rates of postage, interest laws, and legal holidays. Following the diary entries there is a memorandum page and pages for cash accounts. The volume contains 198 leaves of lined wove paper with handwritten text in black ink.