Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
George M. Barnard Travel Journal, 1823-1833

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: George M. Barnard travel journal
Creator: Barnard, George M.
Inclusive dates: 1823-1833
Extent: 1 volume
This journal recounts Boston native George M. Barnard's trips to the Atlantic seaboard and to London, England, in the 1820s and 1830s.
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:

1983. M-2050.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Preferred Citation:

George M. Barnard Travel Journal, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


George M. Barnard lived in Boston, Massachusetts, in the early 1800s, where he was a merchant. He traveled throughout the eastern United States and to England and the Caribbean.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This journal recounts Boston native George M. Barnard's trips to the Atlantic seaboard and to London, England, in the 1820s and 1830s. The first page contains a list of places that Barnard visited, including England, New England, several Mid-Atlantic states, and three Caribbean islands.

Barnard first traveled from Boston to London, where he met with several acquaintances and toured the Tower of London, London Bridge, and Westminster Abbey. A man fell overboard during his return voyage to the United States (February 22, 1824). Barnard later briefly visited Tiverton, Rhode Island, where he spent much of his time on the beach and saw "some figures of men cut in rocks supposed to have been made by Indians" (June 10, 1824).

Between April 20 and May 31, 1825, Barnard took an extensive trip as far south as Murfreesboro, North Carolina, passing through and commenting on New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Norfolk. He traveled both by steamboat and by carriage, and frequently mentioned routes as well as people he encountered. While in the South, Barnard observed the conditions of slaves, and in Murfreesboro he witnessed "a great many slaves at work on the plantation, they live in wretched little log houses that appear to be but little bigger than a dog's kennel & furnished about the same" (April 29, 1824). He also noticed slave children dressed only in rags (May 1, 1824). He also visited Washington, D. C., and Mount Vernon, where he commented on the state of Washington's tomb (May 8, 1824). He continued to New York City, where he toured a factory, and returned to Boston on May 31.

After discussing a short trip to Goshen, New Hampshire, Barnard detailed a pedestrian trip from Boston to Francistown, New Hampshire, where he was accompanied by George Bond. They passed through Lowell, Massachusetts. After spending around 10 days in Worcester, Massachusetts, Barnard traveled through the wilderness of Maine to St. Andrews, New Brunswick. In Eastport, Maine, he observed a Native American in a birch canoe (August 3, 1830).

On a longer journey from December 1830-July 1831, Barnard voyaged around the West Indies, spending much time in the present-day Virgin Islands, particularly Saint Croix. He described scenery, a funeral, and a foot injury. While traveling home, he visited Puerto Rico and noted several of the island's products. On his final trip in 1832, Barnard went to Norfolk, Virginia, traveling through swamp land. In northern Virginia, he observed local commerce, particularly the cotton trade.

A German-language ticket for passage form Hamburg, Germany, to Boston, Massachusetts, is laid into the volume (1833).

Subject Terms

    • London (England)--Description and travel.
    • Middle Atlantic States.
    • New England--Description and travel.
    • Saint Croix (V.I.)
    • United States--Description and travel.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    George M. Barnard travel journal [series]
    Pages   1-43  
    London,  November 9, 1823-March 1, 1824
    Pages   44-46  
    Tiverton, Rhode Island,   June 5, 1824-June 14, 1824
    Pages   47-79  
    Murfreesboro, North Carolina,  April 20, 1825-May 31, 1825
    Pages   79-82  
    Goshen, New Hampshire, [ August 30, 1827-September 4, 1827]
    Pages   83-87  
    Francestown, New Hampshire,  June 11, 1828-June 16, 1828
    Pages   88-89  
    Worcester, Massachusetts,  July 14, 1828-July 20, 1828
    Pages   90-98  
    St. Andrews, New Brunswick,  July 31, 1830-August 13, 1830
    Pages   99-123  
    St. Croix and the Caribbean,  December 27, 1830-July 17, 1831
    Pages   124-136  
    Norfolk, Virginia,  February 19, 1832-March 17, 1832