This collection consists of the autobiography of Cyrus Emery of Prophetstown, Illinois.
Cyrus Emery was born in 1830 in Sanford, York County, Maine. In 1854 he and his wife travelled west from Boston, Massachusetts, to settle in Prophetstown, Illinois. Emery worked in many capacities during his lifetime, including as a farmhand, a travelling salesman, and a tinsmith. While his autobiography indicates his title of Esquire, it is unclear if Emery practiced law.
The collection is comprised of an unpublished, bound typescript of the autobiography of Cyrus Emery, titled "Reminiscences of Life." Emery wrote the autobiography from memory between 1899 and 1903 at the request of his children. It describes Emery's upbringing on a farm in Sanford, Maine; his family history; his searches for employment; and his journey by steamboat and train to settle in Illinois. It also includes recollections of significant political events and movements during Emery's lifetime, such as presidential elections, the temperance movement, abolitionism, the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln's assassination.
The Library purchased this item in 2019 with support from the Bruce C. Creamer Fund.