Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
European Travel Journal, 1863-1865

Finding aid created by
Richard C. Bates and Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: European Travel journal
Creator: Anonymous
Inclusive dates: 1863-1865
Extent: 1 volume
This journal recounts the author's travels in Europe between December 1863 and September 1865. He visited England, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, though he spent most of his time in Paris, France; Rome and Elba, Italy; and Heidelberg, Germany. The journal records the author's impressions of local people and customs, his efforts to learn various European languages, and the friends he met while abroad.
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:

1939. M-391.

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:

European Travel Journal, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The author of this journal embarked for Europe from New York City on November 27, 1863, and arrived in Liverpool, England, on December 11, 1863. He spent much of the next two years living in and traveling around Europe, accompanied by various acquaintances he met while abroad. He spent most of his time in Paris, France; Rome and Elba, Italy; and Heidelberg, Germany. He remained in Europe until at least September 1865. [Note: This may be the journal of E. M. Greenly, based on an inscription on the flyleaf. E. M. Greenly may be Edward M. Greenly (b. 1841), a New York (state) lawyer, who completed his U.S. passport application on November 25, 1863.]

Collection Scope and Content Note

This journal recounts the author's travels in Europe between December 1863 and September 1865. His first entry, in December 1863, documents his recent transatlantic voyage from New York to Liverpool, including rough weather while on the Atlantic Ocean. He composed entries sporadically through September 1865, recording his impressions of cities and people he encountered while traveling. After spending a few days sightseeing in London, he left for Paris, where he remained until March 1864. While in Paris, he attempted to learn French, saw numerous famous buildings and other sights, attended balls, and befriended local students.

He stayed in Italy from March to April, during which time he climbed Mount Vesuvius, visited Pompeii, and became acquainted with a pastor, with whom he traveled to Elba for a visit of about a month. He remained in the country after leaving Elba and provided descriptions of prominent Italian cities he encountered on his way to Geneva, Switzerland, such as Leghorn and Florence. After his stay in Geneva, he left his journal and most of his possessions behind as he traveled throughout Switzerland and northern Italy with only a knapsack, an experience he wrote about after his arrival in Heidelberg, Germany, which he reached before August 14. Once in Heidelberg, he recorded his thoughts about the local culture, the influence of university students, and visits to a local castle. Though his entries became more sporadic after August 1864, the journal reflects his subsequent travels to Bavaria and throughout Germany, northern Italy, and Austria, with detailed descriptions of scenery and of his experiences. While in Germany, he occasionally commented on Gothic architecture, and one late entry relates his experiences on a recent deer hunting trip. The final entry was composed around mid-September 1865.

Subject Terms

    • Alps--Description and travel.
    • Americans--France.
    • Americans--Germany.
    • Americans--Italy.
    • Austria--Description and travel.
    • Elba (Italy)--Description and travel.
    • Germany--Description and travel.
    • Heidelberg (Germany)--Description and travel.
    • Hiking.
    • Italy--Description and travel.
    • London (England)--Description and travel.
    • Paris (France)--Description and travel.
    • Pompeii (Extinct city)
    • Switzerland--Description and travel.
    • Transatlantic voyages.
    • Vesuvius (Italy)
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Floor plans.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    European travel journal,  1863-1865 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Alternate Locations

    The European Travel journal was donated to the Clements Library with five unattributed manuscript sermons, 1798-1829. The sermons do not appear to be related to the journal.