Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Archibald Rhind Diary, 1833-1839

Finding aid created by
Richard C. Bates, July 2006, and Meg Hixon, August 2012

Summary Information
Title: Archibald Rhind diary
Creator: Rhind, Archibald, b. ca. 1785
Inclusive dates: 1833-1839
Extent: 1 volume
This diary chronicles the daily activities of Archibald Rhind, a Scottish immigrant, from March 17, 1834-July 31, 1839. Rhind owned and operated a farm in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, throughout most of the 1830s, and produced goods such as barley, potatoes, syrup, and alcohol.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1998. M-3483.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Archibald Rhind Diary, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Archibald Rhind was born in Scotland around 1785 and emigrated to the United States in July 1833. He settled in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania, where he owned a farm that produced barley, potatoes, and maple syrup, as well as other crops. On October 18, 1835, he married Margaret Anderson (1802-1897), a fellow Scottish immigrant. They had at least one daughter, Margaret, who lived from February 15, 1837, to April 18, 1838. The Rhinds moved from Sugar Grove to nearby Conewango Township, Pennsylvania, between 1840 and 1850. Archibald Rhind died after 1870.

Collection Scope and Content Note

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.

Subject Terms

    • African American agricultural laborers.
    • Agricultural laborers.
    • Agriculture--Pennsylvania.
    • Congregationalists--Pennsylvania.
    • Erie Canal (N.Y.)
    • Falconer family.
    • Farmers--Pennsylvania.
    • Immigrants--United States.
    • Infants--Death.
    • New York (State)--Description and travel.
    • Presbyterians--Pennsylvania.
    • Rhind, Margaret, 1837-1838.
    • Rhind, Margaret Anderson, 1802-1897.
    • Scottish Americans.
    • Sugar Grove (Pa.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Accounts.
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Archibald Rhind diary,  September 3, 1833-July 31, 1839 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Additional descriptive information about the diary and its contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.