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Historic Diaries


The Wisconsin Historical Society possesses thousands of historic diaries in manuscript or printed form. Here we offer a selection of these day-by-day with brief explanatory notes, light editing, images of the original pages, and links leading to more information.

We started with the handwritten journal of the only member of the Lewis and Clark expedition to die en route, Sgt. Charles Floyd, which he kept from May 14 to August 18, 1804. We then added the journal and other documents from Marquette and Joliet's 1673 voyage across Wisconsin and down the Mississippi. Recently we presented excerpts from the 1834 Diary of Presbyterian missionary Cutting Marsh (1800-1873), kept during his tour across Wisconsin and into Iowa and the 1863 diary of Emily Quiner, a young Madison woman who decided in June 1863 to go to the South and work in a Civil War hospital for wounded soldiers.

Read excerpts from Emily Quiner's Civil War diary

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