And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

5 July

1787
Thomas Clarkson,
anti-slavery campaigner

‘rode to Mr Bonvilles in Company with John Lury & Robert Lawson - The Downs were beautiful & .... ... went on board the Prince. The People were then busy - The Mate conducted us into their Cabin and invited us to dine: having dined we declined it - but drank some Grogg - The People on board were poor, palefaced, meagre looking Wretches - we were told that the Ship was not half manned - We left her, and went on board the Africa - The Crew of this Vessel, which was fully manned, consisted of as fine Seamen, as could possibly be collected - We drank some Grogg on board this Vessel -. Mr Sheriff, a very humane, good sort of man, was one of the Mates of the Ship, but, though he had been to Sea all his Life, had never yet been a voyage to the Coast - This Mr Sheriff, on account of some misrepresentation of him to Captain Wright was then preparing to leave the Ship. - He sent his Chest to Bristol by the Africa’s Boat, but took his Passage with Us in ours - This man was so beloved by the Seamen on board, that they all came to the Ship’s Side, when he left it, pulled off their Hats, and wished him his Health - We then proceeded again to the Prince, where we drank Tea, after which, we sailed with a fine Wind into the River - I had some Conversation with Mr Sheriff - He informed me that the Men on board the Africa had signed their Articles, but that they had never seen what they signed - He says that he himself also had signed without seeing them, though he did not like it, but as an Officer, did not object, thinking it might be a bad Example in him to set.’

Campaigning against slavery

**************************************************************************************

1852
George Templeton Strong,
lawyer

‘Have been at home all day writing. Tonight went on the roof awhile. It’s a beautiful sight the city presents. In every direction one incessant sparkle of fire balls, rockets, roman candles, and stars of all colors shooting thick into the air and disappearing for miles around, with now and then a glare of coloured light coming out in some neighbourhood where fireworks on a large scale are going off. A foreigner would put it in his book of travels as one of the marvels of New York, and compare it to a swarm of tropical fireflies gleaming in and out through a Brazilian forest.’

Wall Street palpitating

**************************************************************************************

1898
Anna Klumpke,
artist

‘I worked on the head today. After the sitting Rosa Bonheur looked at the canvas and said: ‘Let the paint dry. When I’ve got an important piece at this stage, sometimes I just let it sit for a whole year long.’

‘In that case, dear great artist, I’ve got time for a trip back to Boston.’

‘Ah! that’s not what I meant,’ she said. ‘While the head is drying, you can paint the hands, the dress, and any background details you want.’ ’

Let the paint dry

**************************************************************************************

1902
Victor Trump,
sportsman

‘Hurras. Won match. Glorious. All drunk . . . Left for Birmingham. Arrived 12pm.’

Ran about all day

**************************************************************************************

1976
Jimmy Boyle,
prisoner and sculptor

‘There is no doubt about it, these bastards are trying to destroy me mentally. Blows come in psychological form, ripping through my defences, tearing me apart internally. In the face of this new, but very effective game of destruction I cry like a child. Shattered! No injuries are apparent. What is going on, why?

Retaliation is called for. This violent typewriter shouts bloody anger. Punching holes in the fucking enemy with each tap of the key. Fingers filled with fire and vengeance as they press each lettered key - hatehatehatehatehate. Fuckers causing mental anguish. I HATE YOU.

They would like to see it. Oh God, they would like to see it. If I were to strike out and hit one of them. ‘See!’ they would shout. ‘Look, the bastard is an animal.’ All would turn to me and point. ‘Animal, Animal,’ they would cry.

What the fucking hell am I doing sitting suppressing all this natural anger and keeping it under the surface? Does this make me any more civilised? I’m supposed to sit here like some vegetable with a mandarin smile accepting it all.’

This violent typewriter

**************************************************************************************

1992
Christopher McCandless,
hiker

‘Disaster . . . Rained in. River look impossible. Lonely, scared.’

Beautiful blueberries

**************************************************************************************

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Notes and Cautions
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.

For any other use of these diary extracts other than browsing please refer to the original sources.

Any author, publisher or other copyright holder who takes the view that I am unacceptably breaching their copyright please let me know. I have tried to remain sensitive to copyright rules (using far fewer quotes, for example, when a book, by an author still alive, remains in print and popular), but it is not practical for me to seek authorisation for every quote and article, since I maintain these websites without any funding or advertis-ing. I take the view that publicity for the source books is a quid pro quo for my use of the extracts, but I am more than happy to remove the extracts if asked.

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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

The Diary Review, hosted by Blogger, publishes magazine-style articles on diaries and diarists, usually several every week. The blog has been publishing for over five years, and is the secondary source for the diary extracts in this online anthology.