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REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER'S JOURNAL/DIARY IN THE LONGFELLOW HOUSE COLLECTIONS

DIARY TRANSCRIPTION

Never before published, this is a transcription by Francis Dickinson Ackerly, of a small, pocket-sized journal/diary kept by a Revolutionary War Soldier. The diarist, now identified as Moses Sleeper of Newburyport, wrote the entries written in pencil from June 10, 1775 to September 7, 1776. It begins with the Siege of Boston and ends with the Battle of Long Island and Washington's retreat from New York City.

Pictures

The journal/diary in the Longfellow House archives and a closeup of the soldier's entry for July 3, 1775.

Introduction: Who Wrote the Soldier's Diary? (pdf) by Frances Dickinson Ackerly.

Francis Ackerly, a member of the Friends, transcribed the journal/diary. The manuscript was missing the first page on which its owner had presumably written his name. Following clues in the diary, she was able to determine the anonymous diary's author.

Journal (Diary) Sharing Among Revolutionary War Soldiers (pdf) by Robert Cameron Mitchell.

Note: Research on journal sharing is ongoing and the essay is currently unavailable. Significant portions of Moses Sleeper's journal overlap word for word with daily entries in two other contemporary soldier's journals. The phenomenon of diary sharing was a not unusual practice at that time. Although much is common across the journals kept by Moses Sleeper, Caleb Haskell and Paul Lunt; the material that is not common typically reflects the journalist's personal experience of an event.

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