The Butler Clarkson journal (approximately 45 pages) contains an account of the author's 1855 voyage from the Bass Strait in Australia to Holyhead, Wales, as well as financial accounts for numerous expenses after Clarkson's immigration to Lansingburgh, New York.
Clarkson began his travel journal on March 23, 1855, in the Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania, and recorded brief daily entries until sighting Holyhead, Wales, on June 8, 1855. His entries report weather and wave conditions and often take note of the scenery, with frequent remarks on the ship's location and places passed, such as New Zealand, Cape Horn, and Trinidad. He occasionally mentioned marine life, including turtles, porpoises, and whales, and on one occasion he saw a whale attacked by a swordfish (May 8, 1855).
The volume also has accounts that Clarkson kept between 1857 and 1866. These related to a variety of services and goods, including expenses for keeping horses and accounts with the Rensselaer County Bank. Some accounts are dated at Lansingburgh, New York. Financial agreements between Butler Clarkson and George Clayton are also present. Other entries are a list of addresses, a drawing of a person, and a birth record for Clarkson's children. The journal is one of "Henry Penny's Patent Improved Metallic Books" and includes a metal stylus for use on its special paper.