This pocket diary contains 54 pages of daily entries that Edmund Davis wrote while attending Edge Hill School in Princeton, New Jersey, from March 6, 1865, to June 12, 1865. He noted daily events at the school, such as classes, sporting matches, illnesses, and religious services, and also reported local responses to recent news, including a "horn spree" celebrating the capture of Richmond, Virginia (April 3 and April 4) and the reaction to Lincoln's assassination. He correctly identified John Wilkes Booth as the assassin who leapt from the presidential box shouting "sic semper tyrannis," but incorrectly stated that Booth had been "torn to pieces by the mob" and that William Henry Seward had been stabbed to death (April 15). On April 19, Edge Hill was draped in black to mourn the president, and on April 28, the students were informed of Booth's capture.
Davis mentioned many aspects of school life, such as expulsions (March 20 and May 24), April Fool's tricks (April 1), and the prevalence of "the itch" in early May. On May 12, he mentioned his decision to wait an additional year before attending college. He and his classmates enjoyed sports, and Davis took note of rugby matches (April 25) and baseball games (May 13, May 23, June 3, June 5, and June 7); Davis participated in his first game on June 5. A picture of Edmund Davis is pasted onto the diary's first page. The volume also contains 3 newspaper clippings: a copy of "Auld Lang Syne," a remedy for bruises, and an article detailing the "Fates of the Apostles."