Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
E. Barker Diaries, 1854-1880

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: E. Barker diaries
Creator: Barker, E.
Inclusive dates: 1854-1880
Extent: 3 volumes
The three E. Barker diaries record the Congregationalist missionary's work in New Brunswick and Ontario, Canada, in the mid- to late-19th century.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1977. M-1789.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

E. Barker Diaries, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


E. Barker, a Congregational missionary, was assigned to Simonds, New Brunswick, in the fall of 1853, and continued his missionary career throughout northeast Canada, including later assignments in Eramosa and Fergus, Ontario.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The three E. Barker diaries record the Congregational missionary's work in New Brunswick and Ontario, Canada, in the mid- to late-19th century. The first volume, containing diary entries and logs of family visits, is entitled "Sketches of Pastoral Work &c.," and covers the years 1853-1877. Much of the first part of the book consists of a diary kept by Barker between October 20, 1854, and April 21, 1855, while employed by the Home Missionary Society in Simonds, New Brunswick. He preached in local churches, talked about theology with residents, and attempted to win converts to his denomination. Much of the journal recounts theological debates with local residents, with baptism a frequent topic of discussion. Barker also recorded his personal struggles and frustration with his lack of success. The second portion of this volume consists of "Visiting Accounts" around Eramosa, Ontario, showing the dates on which he visited specific families, and an accompanying "Visiting Journal" with related remarks; both cover the time period of July 10, 1855-April 2, 1856; March 23, 1857; and April 18, 1858-December 26, 1859. The diary dated 1859-1866 is in shorthand. The final sections of the volume are devoted to a visiting log for Fergus, Ontario, 1874-1876, and a list of families to visit, with remarks in shorthand. Two additional diaries written in shorthand cover Barker's activities from 1861-1869 and 1870-1880, respectively.

Subject Terms

    • Carleton (N.B. : County)
    • Congregational churches--Missions--History--19th century.
    • Congregationalists.
    • Eramosa (Ont. : Township)
    • Fergus (Ont.)
    • Missions--Canada.
    • Proselytizing.
    • Visitations (Church work)
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    E. Barker diaries [series]
    Volume   1  
    Sketches of Pastoral Work &c.,  1859-1877
    Volume   2  
    Diary,  1861-1869
    Volume   3  
    Diary,  1870-1880