The Diary of Nicholas W. Schenck
Reminiscences and family record


Words transcribed and maps drawn
 as interpreted by LuAnn Mims
Spring 2000


Nicholas W. Schenck (1830-1916) was the son of  Eliza Ann Fanning and William Schenck.  He was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 8, 1830. The family moved to Wilmington NC in May 1836 after the death of his father and lived with an uncle, Phineas Fanning.  Schenck lived in Wilmington until 1865 and visited often until his death in 1916. The diary was written around 1905 and recalls Wilmington before and after  the civil war.

The Schenck Diary has been part of the Special Collections of the Randall Library at UNCW for several years. The photocopied holograph is frequently requested by students researching local history. Unfortunately they are usually deterred from utilizing the journal due to the "hard to read" handwriting. As a graduate research assistant in Special Collections LuAnn Mims transcribed the diary into a typed text with an index to give the document a more user friendly effect. The diary was also partially transcribed in 1988 by a group connected with the North Carolina Room at the New Hanover County Public Library. In 2004 the diary was marked up by Eli Naeher and made available on the Web. The index is not included in the web version of the diary since full text searching is possible.

The spelling has been kept to the original diary form as written by Mr. Schenck. Many of the names of local residents were crossed referenced with Dr. James Sprunt's Chronicles of the Cape Fear River. Some of the genealogical names of families were compared to those in Crockett Hewlett's Between the Creeks. To correctly spell the names of early Schenck ancestors Kevin Stayton's Dutch by Design was used. The reader will note the particular spelling of Poughkeepsie throughout.

The maps were redrawn from the pages that contained both maps and narratives. There was no scale involved in the original maps but the proportions were kept as close to the original as possible without compromising clarity. If there is any doubt as to the text corresponding to the maps, check with the original source. The maps are numbered to match Mr. Schenck's numbering, as a result there are two blocks numbered six. Each of the redrawn maps provides the corresponding page to the diary. The map of downtown Wilmington was drawn by LuAnn Mims. The area shaded blue represent the primary area in the diary. Click on the map, or the numbers below the map to go see the individual blocks.

The transcription process was supervised by Jerry Parnell, Manager of Special Collections at Randall Library. The final editing was completed by Dr. Chris Fonvielle from the UNCW Department of History. Michael Jarrell contributed to clarification of some words and phrases. 

                                                                                                                                        LuAnn Mims
                                                                                                                                        Jerry Parnell 
                                                                                                                                        Eli Naeher
                                                                                                                                        Spring 2000, 2004

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