This volume contains diary entries intermittently composed by Thomas G. Spear, a printer and dry goods merchant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between June 15, 1843, and December 30, 1848. He commented on his business affairs, current events, his personal life, and family matters.
The diary is made up of three loose folios of 44, 8, and 14 pages, which comprise a single running account. Spear often wrote groups of daily entries, though some are separated by a month or more. The diary primarily concerns Spear's finances and his printing and dry goods businesses; he often mentioned his apprentices and other laborers. He sometimes mentioned current events such as anti-Catholic riots (May 9, 1844), the publication of the Book of Mormon and the spread of Mormonism (March 11, 1845), and the California gold rush (December 2, 1848). Spear also described some of his social activities, which included attendance at lectures, attendance at a horse race (May 28, 1845), and membership in the Sons of Temperance. A newspaper clipping about Spear's business affiliation with Reuben Hanse is pasted into the first folio (August 2, 1844).