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Manuscripts of Colonial and Revolutionary America
Diaries and Journals

What follows is a list of Colonial and Revolutionary diaries and journals from the North American manuscript holdings in the Department of Special Collections, University Libraries of Notre Dame. Diaries and journals included here date wholly or primarily from the years before 1788.

  • JOHN CURTICE DIARY. c1765-1785. 1 vol., 17 cm., 131 leaves, with 96 pages of manuscript entries in Curtice's hand; 4 additional pages of manuscript tipped in. John Curtice or Curtis (1709/10-1800) was a resident of Dudley, Worcester County, Massachusetts who served in the Massachusetts militia in the 1745 campaign against Louisbourg, and again during the French and Indian War. The manuscript is titled, on 2v, "Diarie of the Transactions for the expedition against the French in the yeare 1745—from April the 6th till January 1746 by me. / John Curtice / Captn 8th Co Mass R. / of Worcester New Engld". The manuscript is a copy diary, almost certainly in Curtice's hand. While the text gives every indication of having been written during the campaign, this particular copy cannot predate the 1760s, since the entries appear in the margins of a printed book— Francis Gentleman's The History of the Robinhood Society— published in London in 1764. The diary records the author's experiences during the Louisbourg siege and the subsequent occupation, as captain of the 8th Company of Col. Samuel Willard's 4th Massachusetts Regiment. The volume opens with a return of 34 members of Curtice's company, and concludes with a list of 19 dead from Willard's regiment. The body of the diary contains entries for all but a few days from 22 April to 6 September 1745, and from 14 November 1745 to 2 February 1745/6. Some entries consist of no more than a few words; others contain more than 100, especially during the siege itself (Louisbourg fell to the colonials on 17 June 1745). Content is primarily military, and treats both Curtice's experiences and broader aspects of the campaign. The entries were copied neatly and systematically in the marginal spaces on the rectos of the book's leaves, perpendicular to the printed text. MSN/COL 9101-1-B. [Finding Aid]

  • SAMUEL HARRIS JOURNAL. 1774. 1 vol., 19 cm., 12 leaves, with 21 pages of manuscript in Harris's hand; 1 additional document. A journal of the surveyor Samuel Harris (1733-1825), written as a member of a surveying party working along the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in what is now Bradford County, Pennsylvania. The journal commences on 14 October 1774, when Harris was below Wyalusing on the Susquehanna, and runs through 1 December, and the conclusion of the party's work. Entries appear for most days during that span. Much of the content consists of Harris's field notes, but entries also include descriptions of the party's movements, observations on the land and weather, and one extended account (on 8 November) of a council with an unidentified Indian "King or Chief." The surveys were made on lands lying along, and to the east of, the Susquehanna, immediately south of the "42 degree" (i.e., the New York line). This was land sold by the Iroquois in 1768. The specific purpose of the survey is not immediately apparent from the manuscript. Harris notes that the work was done for Robert Lettis Hooper, Jr. (c1730-1797), probably the chief surveyor in the party and a man who had contracted to perform many surveys for Pennsylvania proprietors. Accompanying the journal is an undated, unsigned document titled "List of Proprietarey Property of Sundry favorite grants," which appears to include grants ranging from the Susquehanna to the area around Fort Pitt. The relation of this document to the journal is unclear. MSN/COL 9100-1 to MSN/COL 9100-2-F1. [Finding Aid]

  Related Collections:   Colonial & Revolutionary America Early National & Antebellum America American Civil War Modern America Sports

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