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David, David, and Smith travel and real estate 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

B. B. David, E. C. David, and William W. Smith were residents of Dubuque, Iowa, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the mid 19th to early 20th centuries. Volume four mentions time spent in Washington, D.C., before traveling to Wyoming. E. C. (likely Edio Charles) David practiced law and sold agricultural equipment.

Volume one, created by W. (William W.) Smith, does not mention any members of the David family. It may be that Smith worked for the David family. Volume two, by E. C. David, mentions his father, "B.B.D." The author of volume three is anonymous, but it is likely the author is a member of the David family. Both E. C. and E. J. David are mentioned. There is also a list of “relatives who died during 1883” which includes several Melendys and B. B. David, who was born August 8, 1802, and died September 5, 1883. "Geo. (George) 0.B. Melendy" is listed as a “cousin.” Volume 4 lists the creator as B. B. David and the person to contact in case of accident as Edio C. David at the same address in Wyoming. The author’s new wife, Carrie, and baby son, Edio Charles, are mentioned, as is James B. David.

Biographical information derived from dealer's summary description and from the collection.

These diaries, contained in four volumes, highlight daily life and travel to Wyoming, social activities, and real estate business, primarily in Iowa and Wyoming between 1851 and 1906. Individuals named B. B. David, E. C. David, and William W. Smith produced three of these four volumes. The final compiler of the diaries is unknown.

Volume 1: "Subdivision of township 91 N. Range 25 West 5th principal meridian Iowa By Deputy Surveyor.” The manuscript spans from September 1851 through January 1853. A page near the end of the volume includes “January 14th 1853, Dubuque, Iowa, Wm. W. Smith, Surveyor formerly of St. Louis, Missouri." The volume contains field notes, an expense log, and “A Natural Cotangent Table."

Volume 2: This travel diary by E. C. David includes brief entries for dates between January 10 and March 22, 1854. There are also some expenses through May 30th. He journeyed by rail from Boston to Dubuque, Iowa, stayed in that area until February 20, and then he continued to Cedar Falls in a covered buggy with horses. He discussed churches attended, sight seeing, a brief description of a log cabin, life in the cabin, and his illnesses. The entry on February 8 mentioned a temperance lecture which was “a miserable bombastic affair” and on February 10 he mentioned a “telegraphic dispatch” from his father, “B. B. D.” On February 17th he wrote that it was “Very cold. 22 degrees below 0.”

Volumes 3 and 4 are both diaries created by a man (or men) who lived and worked in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Volume 3: The creator of this 1883 diary is unrecorded, although it may be by B. B. David, the creator of the similar volume 4. It contains approximately thirty pages of printed front matter before the 105 or more pages with date and page headings printed and filled with hand autograph notes. In addition to dated entries there is a list of “relatives who died in 1883” including a B.B. David and several with the last name Melendy. There are also dated names with amounts paid or received from 1878 through1883. Most calendar entries recount real estate transactions. There are more personal entries such as a note about the birthday of the creator's wife on January 10.

Volume 4: This 1904 diary includes the name B. B. David and a Wyoming address inside the front cover and on the "For identification" page. The identification page lists the person to contact “In case of accident” as Edio C. David at the same address. B. B. included identifying information about his bicycle, watch case and works, and the fact that he was six foot one inches and 137 pounds. The diary contains approximately thirty-six pages of printed front matter before about 145 pages with date and page headings printed and filled with hand autograph notes, entered by date. The “Cash Account” was filled in, by month, including entries concerning his wedding in January, 1904, and entries for November, 1906, with dates, names and money received. There is also a list of expenses for several months (year uncertain) as well as notations on both the front and back endpapers. Entries for January focus on personal concerns including several references to shopping with “Carrie” in the days preceding January 7, 1904, when he wrote he “was married today at high noon.” Later entries are much fewer in number and focus on business, including properties rented and cattle vaccinated until very late in the year. Personal entries return in December. On December tenth, Edio Charles was born at 3:55 am to B.B. and Carrie. There were many entries about gifts and visitors. There is a page of names and addresses and list of several property entries including lot number, location, and number of acres.

All four volumes are bound in leather. Volume one is hand sewn in a single signature and shows evidence of dirt on pages. Most of the volume is in pencil. Volume two was sewn of multiple signatures with hand autographed ink entries. Volumes three and four are commercially purchased with “Diary” embossed in gold on the front covers; they are filled with hand autographed notes, primarily in ink. The four volumes are all in generally good condition.

  1. Item 0019: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, 1957.

Processed and encoded by Lynda Gillow, July 2007. Updated by E. Evan Echols, July 2015.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 August 20
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

David, David, and Smith travel and real estate journals, 1851-1906. 4 volumes.
Item 0019
Physical Description

4 volumes

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