This diary (approximately 300 pages) chronicles the daily activities of Archibald Rhind, a Scottish immigrant, from March 17, 1834-July 31, 1839.
The first 11 pages are manuscript copies of 4 letters that Archibald Rhind wrote in early September 1833, shortly after his arrival in Warren County, Pennsylvania. Rhind described his journey from Scotland to New York, his route from New York City to Northern Pennsylvania, and his first few weeks in North America. He also shared his impressions of the Erie Canal, American farms and laborers, and American notions of freedom (page 11).
Rhind began his diary (pp. 12-306) as he left Warren, Pennsylvania, for Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania. After establishing his farm, he frequently wrote about the weather and the progress of his crops and livestock, which included barley, wheat, potatoes, and sheep. He also remarked on tapping trees and refining the sap, distilling alcohol, and employing laborers, who included at least one Scottish immigrant and one African American. Though he focused on his farm work, Rhind occasionally described his travels, local events, and social activities. On January 29, 1839, for example, he remarked on hostilities between the local Congregationalists and Presbyterians. From February 15, 1837, to April 18, 1838, he recorded the birth, illness, death, and burial of his daughter Margaret.
The volume concludes with 8 pages of financial accounts (pp. 307-314) concerning Archibald Rhind's crops and payments to hired hands.