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Joseph Hoare Beale journals


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Joseph Hoare Beale (d. 1848) may have hailed from Ireland, where many of his journal entries were recorded. In 1796 he served as secretary to Thomas Pitt, 2nd Lord Camelford, in Ceylon. He later moved to the United States, residing first in New York City, then Harrison, New York, where he died in 1848.

In 1796 Beale witnessed the takeover of Colombo, Ceylon (later Sri Lanka), by British forces while in the employ of Thomas Pitt, 2nd Lord Camelford, as a secretary. In his journal he describes the inhabitants, flora, and fauna of the island. He also documents his trip from Ceylon to England during which he sailed to Suez on a ship of the British East India Company, traveled overland across Egypt to the Mediterranean, and sailed back to the British Isles stopping in various ports along the way.

From 1799 to his death in 1848, Beale recorded his observations of the weather in a series of diaries. He measured wind direction, temperature, and gave brief comments on the conditions of the day. His observations began in Cork, Ireland, in 1799. From 1811 to 1816 the observations were taken from Limerick, Ireland, where it is assumed he was residing. In 1816 Beale left for the United States and recorded weather conditions during his trip. His observations were taken in New York City from 1816-1830. In 1835 Beale moved to Harrison, New York, where he lived until his death in 1848.

Biographical information derived from the collection.

The Joseph Hoare Beale journals, 1796-1848, consist of nine volumes kept by a world traveler of the late eighteenth to late nineteenth centuries. Beale, who may have been of Irish origin and served as secretary to Lord Thomas Pitt in Ceylon before traveling to America, recorded weather observations, activities, and expenses in the five "daily weather diaries." In several cases, Beale also recorded when he wrote letters or received correspondence. The volumes also include two recipe books and a holograph of Sir Thomas Moore's "Sacred Melodies."

This small collection includes two recipe books, the first regarding the construction of a galvanic trough (which was used in early experiments with electricity) and observations of chemical experiments, as well as recipes for soap, ink, milk powder, and medicinal remedies. The second book contains recipes for cakes, jams, syrups, breads, and cordials. There is one journal documenting his travels from Ceylon, through Egypt, returning to England through the Mediterranean. The first volume of the journals includes an account dated October 2, 1804, of the sickness and death of "Brother Joshua," as well as brief accounts of "personal expences" and "house expences."

One notebook contains an undated holograph of Sir Thomas Moore's "Sacred Melodies" from an unidentified printed source. The volume is inscribed to Ruth Nicholson.

University of Delaware. Library.

Self works : diaries, scrapbooks, and other autobiographical efforts : catalog of an exhibition, August 19, 1997-December 18, 1997 : guide to selected sources. Newark, Del. : Special Collections, Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware Library, 1997.

  1. Item 0002: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, 1957.

Processed and encoded by Evan Echols, January 2007.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 January 9
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Diary of the Weather, circa 1799 January 1.
Volume 1
Scope and Contents

Includes house expenses, personal expenses, and some recipes. Includes the card and seal of Joseph Nicholson and a note to his niece.

Construction of the galvanic through [sic], undated.
Volume 2
Journal of travels from Celyon, in company with Lord Camelford, to Suez, and by land through Egypt, returning to England through the Mediterranean with various island stops, 1796.
Volume 3
Scope and Contents

This journal documents the suicide of Capt. Drummond of the 19th Dragoons. It also includes a reed from New Zealand dated 1844.

Recipes for cakes, jams, syrups, breads, cordials, etc., undated.
Volume 4
Diary of the Weather, 1811 September 23-1830 December 31.
Volume 5
Diary of the Weather, 1832 January 1-1838 December 31.
Volume 6
Diary of the Weather, 1839 January 1-1847 April 30.
Volume 7
Diary of the Weather, 1847 May 1-1848 December 13.
Volume 8
Joseph Hoare Beale holograph notebook of Sir Thomas Moore's "Sacred Melodies", undated.
Volume 9

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