This 72-page diary is an account of the five-month trip Sophia Cumming McCormick took with her uncle, aunt, and cousin from Savannah, Georgia, to New York City and along the East Coast in 1811. A second, shorter portion of the diary consists of nine entries from 1818, in which McCormick reflected on her spiritual state.
The first 65 pages of the diary (May 22, 1811-November 4, 1811) contain daily entries chronicling McCormick's travel experiences. She recorded details about the geographic, physical, and historical features of the cities and towns she and her family visited or passed through. Her accounts of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond are the most extensive, and include details about specific streets, buildings, and bridges. McCormick's descriptions of Charles Wilson Peale's natural history museum in Philadelphia (located in what is now the basement of Independence Hall) and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., are particularly colorful.
McCormick's entries from July to September 1811, written while she attended Miss Scribner's School in Morristown, New Jersey, are often brief, though she commented more extensively about Fourth of July celebrations and recorded her thoughts about leaving the school. She also mentioned a Morristown funeral custom, a solar eclipse seen from Trenton, a visit to Thomas Jefferson's birthplace, public water supplies, a Gaelic-language sermon near Fayetteville, North Carolina. Throughout her travels, McCormick recorded the names of churches she attended, along with the ministers' names and sermon topics.
The second part of the diary (7 pages) consists of 9 entries dated between July 11, 1818, and November 1 [1818?]. In these entries, McCormick primarily reflected on her spiritual well-being. She appears to have been traveling during this span of time as well, staying with cousins near Augusta, Georgia.