Early Michigan Diaries and Autobiographies

Early Michigan Diaries and Autobiographies

Below is a selection of materials available at the Library of Michigan. To generate a more comprehensive list, use our online ANSWER catalog.  Also, check with your local library for other holdings

The following first-person accounts tell us about a wide range of experiences, from pioneer to schoolmaster, schooner captain to soldier, railroad employee to surveyor. All but one are nineteenth century accounts. Together they offer a rich picture of life in early Michigan.

General

Baraga, Frederic.
The diary of Bishop Frederic Baraga: first bishop of Marquette. 1990.
MICH. BX4705.B18 A3 1990

Croghan, George.
George Croghan's journal of his trip to Detroit in 1767... 1939.
MICH. F483.C76 1939

Doty, William A.
Excerpts from the diaries of William A. Doty of Raisin Township, Lenawee County, Michigan. 1867-1894. 1949.
MICH. F574.R35 D67 1949

Douglass, David Bates.
American voyageur; the journal of David Bates Douglass. 1969.
Douglass was a member of the 1820 Lewis Cass expedition.
MICH. F484.3.D67 1969

Estep, Charles.
Diary of Charles Estep. n.d.
Pioneer life in Sebewa Township, Ionia County beginning in 1883.
MICH. F566.E87 A3z

Gerish, Jacob.
Journal of Jacob Gerish, Jan. 1, 1837-Sept. 12, 1850. 196?
Pioneer life as related by a New Buffalo blacksmith.
MFM. F574.N485 G4 1960a

Hobart, Henry.
Copper country journal: the diary of schoolmaster Henry Hobart, 1863-1864. 1991.
MICH. F572.K4 H6 1991

Baraga, Frederic.
The diary of Bishop Frederic Baraga: first bishop of Marquette. 1990.
MICH. BX4705.B18 A3 1990

Croghan, George.
George Croghan's journal of his trip to Detroit in 1767... 1939.
MICH. F483.C76 1939

Doty, William A.
Excerpts from the diaries of William A. Doty of Raisin Township, Lenawee County, Michigan. 1867-1894. 1949.
MICH. F574.R35 D67 1949

Douglass, David Bates.
American voyageur; the journal of David Bates Douglass. 1969.
Douglass was a member of the 1820 Lewis Cass expedition.
MICH. F484.3.D67 1969

Estep, Charles.
Diary of Charles Estep. n.d.
Pioneer life in Sebewa Township, Ionia County beginning in 1883.
MICH. F566.E87 A3z

Gerish, Jacob.
Journal of Jacob Gerish, Jan. 1, 1837-Sept. 12, 1850. 196?
Pioneer life as related by a New Buffalo blacksmith.
MFM. F574.N485 G4 1960a

Hobart, Henry.
Copper country journal: the diary of schoolmaster Henry Hobart, 1863-1864. 1991.
MICH. F572.K4 H6 1991

Kirkland, Caroline Matilda Stansbury.
A new home - who'll follow? 1965.
First published in 1839, these loosely fictionalized sketches attest to the observation skills of this pioneer author.  
MICH. F566.K5z 1965

Kristiansen, Soren.
Diary of Captain Soren Kristiansen, Lake Michigan schooner captain, 1891-1893 -- Iron Mountain. 1981
MICH. CT275.K745 A3

Mann, William Arthur.
Wm. Mann's diary. n.d. 1 reel.
Most of the entries in the 1894-1901 diary detail the author's career as a carpenter foreman for the Michigan Central Railroad.
MFM. HF5391.B6z

Martinson, Martin H.
Hendrik's diary. 1969.
Lumbering in Alpena.
MICH. CT275.M4596 A3 1969.

Perry, Oliver Hazard.
Hunting expeditions of Oliver Hazard Perry of Cleveland, verbatim from his diaries... 1980.
Recounts expeditions in northern Michigan and in Monroe, Lenawee, Sanilac, Tuscola and Hillsdale counties in the 1830s and 1840s.
MICH. F566.P472z.

Power, Nathan.
Nathan Powers <sic> book of record. 1965.
Set in Farmington in the mid-19th century.  
MICH. F566.P88 A3 1965

Rogers, Samuel Reed.
Diaries of Samuel Reed Rogers of Raisin Township, Lenawee County. n.d.
MICH. F566.R65z

Schlatter, William.
The diary of William Schlatter, June 1851 thru December 1852. 1969.
Surveyor in Michigan's Copper Country.  
MICH. F566.S34 A3 1969

Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.
Narrative journal of travels through the northwestern regions of the United States, extending from Detroit through the great chain of American lakes to the sources of the Mississippi River, in the year 1820. 1953.
MICH. F484.3.S37 1953

Stewart, Daniel J.
Diary of an American farmer, 1868-1885. Wyoming County, New York and Branch County, Michigan. n.d.
MICH. S521.5.A2 S75

Stockwell, Madelon Louisa.
A Michigan childhood. 1988.
Life of an Albion girl, aged 10-14 (1856-1860).
MICH. F574.A525 S7 1988

Wallace, Mary Austin.
Mary Austin Wallace: her diary, 1862; a Michigan soldier's wife runs their farm. 1963.
MICH. DOC. CIW 2M39

Whitehead, Lewis Young.
Diary of Lewis Young Whitehead, father of the Menominee Range, 1833-1908. 1976.
MICH. F572.N8 W47z

Young, Ed.
Diary and daybook of Rev. E.D. Young, Isabella Mission 1861-1862; Centerville, Michigan, 1859. 1859, 1861-62.
MICH. BR1725.Y68 A3z

 

Civil War
 

Bailey, George W.
The Civil War diary and biography of George W. Bailey. 1990.
MICH. E514.B3 1990

Benson, Charles E.
The Civil War diaries of Charles E. Benson: corporal, Company I, Seventh Regiment Michigan Infantry Volunteers. 1991.
MICH. E 514.5 7th B46 1991

Coe, Hamlin Alexander.
Mine eyes have seen the glory: combat diaries of Union Sergeant Hamlin Alexander Coe. 1975.
MICH. E601.C67

The diary of John B. Kay: Company G. Sixth Michigan Cavalry, Libby, Belle Isle, Andersonville. n.d.
MICH. E611.D53

Ely, Ralph.
The diary of Captain Ralph Ely of the Eighth Michigan Infantry: with the wandering regiment. 1965.
MICH. E514.5 8th .E46 1965

Gillaspie, Ira Myron Bailey.
The diary of Ira Gillaspie of the Eleventh Michigan Infantry. 1965.
MICH. E601.G544 1965

Henderson, Zoraida.
Diary of Zoraida Henderson: and diary of a Portland soldier. 1938.
MICH. F566.H3 A3z

 

Michigan legislative and state government employees may obtain copies of any of these materials as well as additional research by calling the Library of Michigan reference desk at 517-373-1300 or emailing librarian@michigan.gov. Learn more about the Library of Michigan on our website,  You  can also find us on Facebook!

 

Updated 06/28/2016



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