Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Chester H. King, who was born circa 1855, lived and went to school in Kankakee County, Illinois; for a time, King also lived in Earl Park, Benton County, Indiana, and Kansas. He was a member of the Grant Park (Kankakee County) Good Templars Lodge; and beginning in 1876, wrote for the Kankakee Gazette.
A self-described "Easterner" suffering from rheumatism and neuralgia, King sought recuperation and invigoration in the southwestern frontier. He documented his overland journey from Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail, which he began around the summer of 1881. "A distinguished journalist once said 'go West young man, go West' and poor as that advice is I sorrowfully prepare to follow it," writes King. "The Terminal of the A. & P. R.R. in Arizona is at Sanders at present and that is my destination." (Fall 1881)
This collection consists of three diaries, two of which chronicle King's overland journey to the southwestern frontier from Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail. They include observations about various towns that King passes through and important landmarks, such as Starvation Rock and the Great Salt Lake, as well as commentary on various ethnic groups, including Native Americans, Scots-Irish immigrants, Mexicans, and Mormons, and the clashes between them. The diaries also include self-described "field notes," sketches, and illustrations.
Purchase, 2015. (AM 2015-100)
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This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in June 2015. Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in June 2015.
No materials were separated during 2015 processing.
- Frontier and pioneer life -- West (U.S.) -- 19th century -- Diaries
- Travel -- Health aspects -- 19th century -- Sources
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Author
- Faith Charlton
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
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Documents a two-year period that predates King's travels to the southwest and covers various topics. King includes information about his residences in Kankakee County, Illinois and Earl Park, Indiana; some travelling that he did in the area, including a trip to Washington Island (Wisconsin); and his studies and interests. At the beginning of the diary, King explains that similar to a previous diary he kept, this one includes "a little of everything in it, Travels, History, Chronology and Poetry."
Includes an index.Physical Description
1 folderPages are very fragile.
Includes observations about various towns that King passes through and important landmarks—Starvation Rock, the Great Salt Lake—as well as observations about various ethnic groups, including Native Americans, Scots-Irish immigrants, Mexicans, and Mormons, and the clashes between them.Physical Description
Includes detailed information about people, landmarks, animals, and vegetation.Physical Description