Title: 1942 WWII American homefront diary
At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.
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12 July 1755 - 15 September 1755
Moses, Robert (fl. 1755)
Title: [Diary of Robert Moses kept during the French and Indian War]
Moses served in a New Hampshire regiment under the command of Colonel Joseph Blanchard. He describes, sometimes in graphic detail, accounts of fighting Indians and the French in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire during the early stages of the Seven Years' War. Emphasizes the Indians "very barbarous manner." Contains an extensive description of General William Johnson's victory at the Battle of Lake George on 9 September 1755. In the course of the diary he mentions visits to Fort Dummer, Fort Bellows, Charlemont Fort, Fort Massachusetts, Fort Albany, Lake George,…
8 November 1767-1785
Sylvester, Deborah (fl. 1767- 1785)
Title: [Deborah Sylvester's Journal]
Most entries are recorded in Scituate, Massachusetts. Records accounts and thoughts as well as biblical readings, sermons and family births and deaths. On 19 April 1775, states "the Regulars march out of Bouston and march to Lexington whare the massecre furst begun and Killd six men taking over peopel at [?] but thay mustered and rove thum back to Charleston thay killd...one black and sum befor thare wos 500 of the enemy wonded and Slain." On 20 April, she writes "all the towns mustered and march the 21 [?] Scituate companis march for Marshfield one turned back one kompanis the other march…
Lincoln, Rufus (1751-1838)
Title: Revolutionary War Officer's Journal
Early battles, including the battles of Brooklyn, Long Island, White Plains, The Crossing of the Delaware, Brandywine, Gerrmantown, Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga, etc. Entries from 6/28//1776 to 10/17/1777 (45 pages) with several charts at the end (33 pages), with entries from 1776 to Lincoln's Discharge in 1783. This was written by Lincoln after the war, but contains a very significant and unusually complete wartime record.
July 1776 - 9 December 1777
Tilden, Ezra (1751-1819)
Title: [Diary of Ezra Tilden]
Provides a detailed day by day account of Tilden's march through New York during the Revolutionary War. Writes extensively about daily duties, poor rations, hunger, hardships along the march, sickness and death amongst the soldiers, and the demoralized spirit of the men. Possibly writes something about the cruelty of the officers in code on p. 34 by mixing the letters of the words. Includes lists of towns he passed through (p. 12, 49, 107, 141), an item by item list of contents of his pack (p. 9), a list of the monthly wages for each military rank (p. 54), rations for each soldier (p. 55…
Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel (1746-1807)
Title: [Diary of a journey over the Alleghenies to the Ohio River]
Writes this journal while travelling from Pennsylvania to Ohio after obtaining appointment by the Assembly of Virginia to locate lands intended for Virginia officers who served in the Continental Army.
7 December 1813 - 2 May 1815
Green, Joseph W. (fl. 1812-1815)
Title: [Journal of a privateer and of prisoner of war during the War of 1812]
Diary written while aboard the privateer Alfred and as a prisoner of war in Melville Island Prison, Halifax, and Dartmoor Prison. Records many sightings and occasional capturing of ships. Entry on 22 February 1814 records the capture of Green's privateer by the British and being brought to Melville Island Prison at Halifax. Records writing to family and the arrival of new prisoners. Notable entries include mention of a prisoners' petition to General John Mason on 28 April 1814, the reduction of rations on 1 May 1814, the release of 90 prisoners on 23 July 1814. There are also…
1820/12/24 - 1821/05/28
Gilpin, Sarah Lydia (1802-1894)
The author concentrates on family life, but also mentions news items that struck her as important. The entry for January 1 1821 reads, "Rec'd the glorious news of the acquital [sic] of the Queen of England - and the [cession?] of the Floridas to the United States." She is extremely interested in literature and theatre, and attends three Shakespearean performances in which an actor named Kean took principal roles (entries of January 12, 13, and 22 1821). A grandmother in England dies about this time (entry for February 1).
Boomer, Susan B. (fl. 1848-1858)
Diary of a young woman who left Massachusetts to settle in Bristol, Illinois, with opinions on slavery, patriotism, the Compromise of 1850, and the Fugitive Slave Act. "I spent the night at Uncle James's. During the evening a fugitive slave was introduced to the family. He was entertained with more sympathy than is common for strangers. And indeed his situation demanded it. A man bearing the image of his God & equally deserving to enjoy equal freedom.â€¦ I never saw a man fleeing for his freedom before.â€¦ I am reading Sewards life of J. Q. Adams. It arouses in my soul the spirit of…
16 May 1851 - 27 July 1851
Moore, John (1826-1907)
Title: Diary of John Moore
Excerpt: Diary entries 12 June 1852: "The Tower has been so often described that it is unnecessary to enter into any description of it. There is no place in the world, perhaps where one can see so many specimens of all the varieties of arms that have been used from the earliest ages, together with coats of mail and every description of defensive armor. The cell in which Sir Walter Raleigh was so long confined is shown and a gloomy looking dungeon it is. The block on which he was beheaded is still preserved. The crown jewels and regalia are also kept in an apartment of the Tower." 13 June…
Kiger, James S. (fl. 1859-1873)
Title: 1859 Diary
Faithfully records the weather each and every day. On May 31st, someone named John steals $150 from another man. June 8th, Thompson's sister got married. Went to a democratic meeting in October and nominated a clerk. November 11th, attended a large funeral for the Hon. R.P. Thompson.
Gottshall, Samuel G. (1841-1902)
Title: [Diary of Samuel G. Gottshall]
An unbound manuscript signed. Entries run from 11 July to 31 December. Throughout the diary, Gottshall describes his march through Baltimore, Maryland, his arrival in Washington D.C. following the Second Bull Run, soldiering, camp life, and describes the battle at Drainsville, Virginia. Gottshall tells of several accidental shootings including a discharge of a soldier's gun that was thought to be from a rebel soldier, and of another Union soldier accidently blowing his arm off. Writes on 1 September 1864 of General Benjamin Butler taking two forts near North Carolina. States, General…
Booth, Thomas R. (fl. 1861-1908)
Title: [1861 Diary of Thomas Rogers Booth]
Autograph manuscript signed. Discusses his travels, the weather, and friends he visits; also keeps financial ledger pages at the back of the book. Mentions the arrival in New Castle, Delaware, of Brigadier General Lockwood on 8 October. Also declares that General Lockwood grants him a leave of absence on 19 December to go to Washington, D.C. Written partially in pencil.
Mixter, Calvin Symmes (b. 1832)
Title: [Civil War diary of Calvin S. Mixter]
Signed diary including printed almanac and eclipse calendar in the opening pages. Mixter writes from various locations. Relates the events of 1861, spending most of his time divided between his home in Hanson, Massachusetts, and his workplace in Boston. Reports political affairs, discussing the secession question with colleagues, and holding a Union meeting. Writes to various governmental officials, including Judge John J. Crittenden, but does not discuss the content of the letters. Reports moving to Boston. Records hearing of the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 13 April,…
Pitcher, Henry F.
Title: Diary of member of 33rd New York Regimental Band
Diary of musician, includes descriptions of 2 photos taken by Mathew Brady, on field near Bull Run (included as .02 and .03), as well as review by Lincoln and McClellan, Professor Lowe warning of enemy's advance from his balloon, etc.
Rome, William O. (d. 1863)
Title: [Diary of William O. Rome]
Autograph manuscript signed. Contain entries dated from 1861 to 1862. Reports on the daily activities of soldiering and camp life. The diary also contains Rome family birth and death records (2 October) and other entries in another hand, including a report on Rome's death and funeral. Evidently while Rome was in the hospital, which he appears to have been for the entire period from 2 July 1862 to 5 September 1862, he used bottom parts of pages to write in gray ink what look like commonplace book entries, for example copies of poems, notes on presidential elections, and list of names of…
Showing results 1 - 25