Guide to the W.B. Austen Diary, 1821 DAR.1937.21

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
W.B. Austen Diary
Creator
Austen, W. B.
Collection Number
DAR.1937.21
Date
May-September 1821
Extent
0.13 linear feet (1 oversize box)
Abstract
This diary, written by W.B. Austen, covers his four-month journey from Liverpool, England, to Mansfield, Ohio. The diary was written from May to September of 1821. Austen recorded events of his daily life, the weather, and many other details of his trip. Digital reproductions of the collection are online.

Preferred Citation

W.B. Austen Dairy, 1821, DAR.1937.21, Darlington Collection, Archives & Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh Library System

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Content Notes

W.B. Austen maintained this diary from May 21, 1821 until September 1821. Austen wrote about his four-month journey from Liverpool, England, to Mansfield, Ohio, USA. The trip began in Liverpool, where Austen took the ship, Euphrates, captained by William Stoddard, across the Atlantic to New York City. While onboard, Austen recorded the number of miles the ship covered, how many "notts" the ship was traveling, the animals he saw, and comments about other passengers. At the beginning of the trip, Austen listed a few of the families and some younger people who would be accompanying him. Austen recorded the illnesses of the other passengers, including a woman who was sick for many days in a row and the birth of a new baby boy. At one point, a man fell down some steps with pots of hot water in his hands. Once the other passengers brought him back to consciousness, they cleaned his wounds with warm vinegar and salt.

Austen also documented the different ships he saw along the way, listing their names, if he could see them, and, if he could find out, their final destination. There are descriptions of the many aquatic animals seen throughout the trip, including fish, a 70-pound turtle, and multiple sightings of whales. After suffering damage during a particularly violent storm, the captain informed the passengers the financial costs of the ship's individual parts, which Austen recorded in the diary. During the whole trip, he also kept track of lunar phases. Two interesting accounts seen by Austen while onboard include a 201-foot tall iceberg and vapors or small balls of fire, which the seaman on the ship said were the signs of the southerly winds.

Once the ship arrived in New York City, Austen traveled south to Philadelphia, where he took a wagon headed to Pittsburgh. During the trip to Pittsburgh, he passed through the city of Lancaster, where he remarks that between Philadelphia and Lancaster there were sixty-four taverns. Once in Pittsburgh, Austen was disappointed with the city and commented that it was dull. He suggests that Pittsburghers move west to find useful farmland since there were no jobs in newer trades. He decided to leave Pittsburgh and continued traveling west through Canton, Ohio, before settling in Mansfield, Ohio. Austen's travel diary draws to a close when he reaches Mansfield, Ohio.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2008

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

No copyright restrictions.

Custodial History

This collection was located in the Darlington Memorial Library in the University’s Cathedral of Learning until 2007 when it was moved to the ULS Archives Service Center for processing, storage, preservation and service. However, it remains in the custodianship of the ULS Special Collections Department.

Acquisition Information

Gift to the Darlington Memorial Library in 1937.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Nicole Mader in May 2008.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the collection are online.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Diaries

Geographic Name(s)

  • Atlantic Ocean -- Description and travel
  • Canton (Ohio) -- Description and travel
  • Lancaster (Pa.) -- Description and travel
  • Liverpool (England) -- Description and travel
  • Mansfield (Ohio) -- Description and travel
  • New York (N.Y.) -- Description and travel
  • New York (State) -- Description and travel
  • Ohio -- Description and travel
  • Pennsylvania -- Description and travel
  • Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Description and travel
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Description and travel

Occupation(s)

  • Shipmasters

Personal Name(s)

  • Austen, W. B. -- Diaries
  • Stoddard, William

Subject(s)

  • Eurphrates (Ship)
  • Immigrants
  • Ocean travel
  • Transatlantic voyages
  • Travel
  • Travelers' writings

Return to Table of Contents »


Previous Citation

W.B. Austen Dairy, 1821, DAR.1937.21, Darlington Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Pittsburgh

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

  BoxVolume
W. B. Austen Diary, 1821 11
Online

Return to Table of Contents »