The journal of William Bell, a British army officer, contains his notes on Barbados and Gibraltar, observations on slavery in the West Indies, Spanish language exercises, and extracts from Alain-René Le Sage's Historia de Gil Blas de Santillana and Henri Jean Baptiste de Bousmard's Essai général de fortification et d'attaque et défense des places.
The first 51 pages of the journal date from January 1 to September 26, 1830, while Bell resided in Barbados. His descriptions of Barbados include thoughts on religion and religious officials, schools and education, agriculture and plant life, and various aspects of slaves' lives. He comments on the rights and privileges of slaves, interactions between the black (free and enslaved) and white populations, slavery and Christianity, and the sale of slaves. Pages 53-54 contain a brief description of Gibraltar, dated May 1831. Pages 55-56, June 1833, contain a quotation from the second volume of Henri Jean Baptiste de Bousmard's Essai général de fortification et d'attaque et défense des places. Pages 57-128 and 171-172 consist of Spanish language exercises, and pages 129 to 171 are excerpts from Alain-René Le Sage's Historia de Gil Blas de Santillana.