And so made significant . . .

around the world, and through the centuries

6 July

1758
Jeffrey Amherst,
soldier

‘I went over all the works, asked the Admiral for four 32-Pounders to joyn Br. Wolfe which he readily granted. I changed the Guards, took 600 Men and 3 Companies of Grenadiers to the Right and 300 Men to Green Hill. I put a Subaltern and 24 in each Redoute, the works on the Right were continued and perfected; cannonading continued all day. At night Br. Wolfes Battery forced the Frigate to retire. We lost some few men by the cannonading and some wounded. The Admiral sent me a letter taken out of a French mans Pocket who was found drowned. A Sloop sailed out of the Harbour with a flag of truce to Sir C. Hardy, to carry some things to their wounded officers and Prisoners.’

Canada for the British

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1846
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
writer

‘Examination in Modem Languages. The Spanish classes did very well; the Italian not so well; the German best of all, as is usually the case. A warm, weary day, made more weary by a long Faculty-meeting in the evening. So ends the college year with me, and vacation begins. Dear vacation, when alone I feel that I am free! I have a longing for Berkshire or the sea-side. Both Nahant and Stockbridge beckon; and Niagara thunders its warning and invitation. And now let me see if I cannot bring my mind into more poetic mood by the sweet influences of sun and air and open fields.’

Gabrielle, Celestine or Evangeline?

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1864
John L. Ransom,
soldier

‘Boiling hot, camp reeking with filth, and no sanitary privileges; men dying off over a hundred and forty per day. Stockade enlarged, taking in eight or ten more acres, giving us more room and stumps to dig up for wood to cook with. Mike Hoare is in good health; not so Jimmy Devers. Jimmy has now been a prisoner over a year, and poor boy, will probably die soon. Have more mementoes than I can carry, from those who have died, to be given to their friends at home. At least a dozen have given me letters, pictures &c., to take North. Hope I shan’t have to turn them over to some one else.’

See maggots squirming

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1887
Tappan Adney,
journalist and photographer

‘Mr. Chamberlain was to give a lecture before the Society and wanted some fresh birds, so I went out back of the city and found myself in wild woods. I poked about in a dense cedar swamp. The usual fog came in. I lost my bearings and walked in a circle until I remembered that the wind was probably constant. Then I took a course by the wind and got out. Thankfully, I got a crow for the lecture.’

Goose Lane Editions

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

1912
Raymond Priestley,
teacher and explorer

‘The worst of our day as messman is the infernal crick we get in our backs from never being able to stand upright. Mine is at present aching terribly, but the pain soon passes off in our bags.

Levick is too broad for our inner door, and we have just spent an amusing five minutes watching his attempts to get through with a joint of meat in one hand and a cooker in the other. Luckily, as a rule we run to slimness, and no one else has much trouble.

The atmosphere is becoming tolerable again, but we have ruined the pure white of the roof and wall until a few more smitchless days enable pure crystals to form over the dirty ones.

Browning has slight indigestion and Dickason has complained of a bad stitch in his side, but otherwise we are in excellent health.

We are running out of penguins and of bones for the fire, and shall be short of sea ice in a day or two, so I hope for fine weather, for the penguins especially make all the difference between palatable and monotonous hoosh.’

Vice-chancellor Priestley

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

1956
Bill Haley,
musician

‘Today is my birthday and it’s the first one I ever spent on a train. Arrived Chicago at 1pm. Had a three-hour layover then caught the 4pm train for home. Should be there at 6.35 tomorrow morning. Happy birthday Bill. What a life.’

The rock and roll life

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

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is the world's greatest online anthology of diary extracts. It is presented in the same way as popular books like The Assassin’s Cloak and The Faber Book of Diaries, i.e. by calendar day, but contains more, and many longer, extracts than is possible in published books. Moreover, for each quoted extract there’s a link to a Diary Review article with some or all of the following: further extracts, biographical information, contexts, a portrait, and links to online sources/etexts. Furthermore, new extracts are added on a regular basis.

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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.