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Anonymous Travel Diary from Boston to New Orleans

Identifier: MSS-4281

Scope and Contents

The fifty-two page travel diary documents an unnamed Northern man's travels from New England to the South. He used various means of transportation including stagecoach, railroads, and steamboats. His journey took him from Boston to New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and then to Florida where he spent the most amount of time. He described various Florida towns in detail: Tallahassee, Quincy, Chattahoochie, Apalachicola, Iola, and Cambridge. From Florida he traveled up to Columbus, Georgia, and then into Montgomery, Alabama,before heading south to Mobile. From Mobile, he traveled to New Orleans.

The writer comments extensively--usually unfavorably--on Southern cooking. He describes many aspects of Southern life and culture, with many observations on slavery and enslaved persons with whom he comes in contact. In Macon, Georgia, he witnessed the murder trial of a Black man, reporting that the man was acquitted. He describes the towns and cities he passes through and stays in, noting their architecture and business climate, often delivered with pithy and interesting anecdotes. His March 9 entry mentioned that a bridge over the Chattahoochee River had been designed by an enslaved person; this unnamed enslaved person was undoubtedly Horace King. The journal is especially interesting for its extensive descriptions of life and conditions in Florida.


  • 1842 - 1843

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Conditions Governing Use

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0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Travel diary recording events of an unnamed Northern man's 1842-1843 journey from Boston to New Orleans, with descriptions of many aspects of Southern life and culture, including slavery, society, and food.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections acquired the diary in 2019.

Processing Information

Processed by Donnelly Walton, 2021.
Guide to Anonymous Travel Diary from Boston to New Orleans
Donnelly Walton
March 2021
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266