Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Henry P. Skinner Journals, 1817-1824

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, June 2012

Summary Information
Title: Henry P. Skinner journals
Creator: Skinner, Henry P.
Inclusive dates: 1817-1824
Extent: 4 volumes
Henry P. Skinner of Hudson, New York, kept these 4 journals (approximately 6.5" x 8" and 200 pages each) between 1817 and 1824. In brief daily entries, Skinner recorded aspects of his everyday life, including his social activities, church attendance, and household expenses.
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:

1972. M-1599.

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:

Henry P. Skinner Journals, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Henry P. Skinner was born in Canaan, New York, on January 13, 1786, the son of Louisa Pratt and Israel Skinner, a Revolutionary War veteran. He had at least three siblings: Israel, Erastus, and Peter. On December 27, 1807, he married Mary Henderson Burke, who died in 1822. They had several children.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Henry P. Skinner of Hudson, New York, kept these 4 journals (approximately 6.5" x 8" and 200 pages each) between 1817 and 1824. Skinner wrote daily journal entries throughout much of his adult life, documenting his everyday experiences and expenses as an artisan and as head of household. He often mentioned his children and his wife Mary, and frequently attended religious services and social events. His occasional travels to New York City via the Hudson River are also briefly documented.

Notable entries include:

  • 1818 July 6. Seeing a military salute to Major General Richard Montgomery as his remains were transported down the Hudson River by steamship (on their way from Quebec to New York City)
  • 1818 October 30. Viewing John Trumbull's painting of the Declaration of Independence and a panoramic view of Paris in New York City
  • 1822 October 13 and 1823 April 6. Hearing sermons delivered by African American preachers
  • 1823 April 7. Seeing a man who was attempting to gradually lighten his skin
  • 1824 September 16-17. Seeing Lafayette on his Grand Tour

Skinner recorded daily expenses, which often included food purchases and charitable donations, in the right margin of each page of the journal,. He compiled his total expenses annually, broken down by month. Skinner also recorded methods for preserving eggs, making a wash for plaster and stucco, and varnishing paper.

Subject Terms

    • African Americans--New York (State)
    • Finance, Personal.
    • Hudson (N.Y.)
    • New York (State)--Social life and customs.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Henry P. Skinner journals [series]
    Volume   1  
     January 1, 1817-May 26, 1818
    Volume   2  
     May 27, 1818-February 5, 1820
    Volume   3  
     February 5, 1820-February 14, 1822
    Volume   4  
     February 15, 1822-December 31, 1824
    Additional Descriptive Data

    "Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Applications." National Genealogical Society Quarterly 24.3 (September 1936), pp. 96-104.