And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

29 August

1586
William Lambarde,
antiquarian

‘I sent to the gaol Thomas Cockes, late of Strood, tinker, for robbing the house of Alice Fuller, widow, and bound her, in 5 li., to give evidence, etc.’

Virtuous William Lambarde

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1690
John Stevens,
soldier

‘The enemy’s cannon played as before and enlarged the breach to above forty paces. At the bridge one shot cut both the chains of the drawbridge and did some other damage but not of much moment, because the enemy’s battery had not a full view of it, and their shot came slanting towards one end, yet the passage was very dangerous. The Grand Prior’s detachments were all relieved this afternoon except that where I commanded, which continued in the same place till night, when being relieved we only marched into the street, and having joined the rest of the regiment to the trenches on the south-west side of the town, where we continued all night expecting an attack. The night was extreme cold, dark and rainy and we almost spent for want of rest. For my own particular as appears by this relation I had had none at all for three nights before this and but very little during the whole siege, nor indeed was it possible to have much being upon duty every other day and continually alarmed when we expected to rest. Our cannon and small shot fired the whole night round the walls, and much railing was betwixt our men and the enemies, for we were so closed up on all sides that though the night was stormy we could easily hear one another.’

The sieges of Limerick

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1748
Conrad Weiser,
farmer and Indian negotiator

‘The Indians sett off in three Canoes to fetch the Goods. I expected the Goods wou’d be all at Chartier’s old Town by the time the Canoes wou’d get there, as we met about twenty Horses of George Groghan’s at the Shawonese Cabbins in order to fetch the Goods that were then lying at Franks Town.

This Day news came to Town that the Six Nations were on the point of declaring War against the French, for reason the French had Imprison’d some of the Indian Deputies. A Council was held & all the Indians acquainted with the News, and it was said the Indian Messenger was by the way to give all the Indians Notice to make ready to fight the French. This Day my Companions went to Coscosky, a large Indian Town about 30 Miles off.’

Weiser goes to Ohio

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1891
William Grant Stairs,
explorer

‘We have marched twenty kilometres in five hours and fifty minutes. We passed the place where poor [Thomas] Carter [a British army officer who had tried to introduce Indian elephants to Africa] was killed several years ago. . . Our camp is near the Lake Cheia which at the moment is simply a parched expanse without a drop of water. I sent natives on ahead to search for water. . . they report only empty wells, surrounded by decomposing buffaloes, giraffes, and antelopes, all dead from thirst. Extraordinary as it is for this region, there is also the corpse of an elephant upon whose putrid flesh the Africans feed.’

Marches without water

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1944
Henry Agard Wallace,
politician

‘. . . At lunch with the President. The President seemed to be looking quite well, in good spirits and very cordial. He complimented me on the work I had been doing in New England and said they would want me to do a lot of work of this kind during the campaign. He then started to skate over the ice at once as fast as he could, saying that I was four or six years ahead of my time, that what I stood for would inevitably come. I told him I was very happy about what had been demonstrated at the convention and following the convention because I now knew that the people were for me. [. . .] I went on to say that I knew just exactly what happened at the convention but that the reason I had come out for him was because his name was a symbol of liberalism not only in this country but in the whole world. He then hastened to say how much he appreciated that and said if everything went well on November 7 [when President Roosevelt would be elected to a fourth term] I could have anything I wanted in the government with one exception. The exception was the State Department. [. . .]

The President said he thought the election was going to be very close but in case we won, one of the first things we would do would be to sit down with me and make a list of folks we were going to get rid of, said the first on the list would be Jesus H. Jones. I said, “Well, if you are going to get rid of Jesse, why not let me have Secretary of Commerce with RFC and FEA thrown in? There would be poetic justice in that.” The President said, “Yes, that’s right.” ’

The 33rd vice president

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In general, these diary extracts are quoted as given in the published (book or online) source referred to in the reference articles. Each extract may be all, a large part of, or a small part of the complete entry for that day. I have tried to indicate where text has been removed from within a quote by the use of trailing dots in square bracket.

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The Diary Junction is one of those wonderful privately maintained public resources for which the Internet is justly celebrated: a database of information about celebrated and obscure diaries[over 500] from all historical periods, with referrals to the dates the diaries cover, where the originals are held and bibliographic information on published versions.’ Laura Miller, Salon

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