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Benjamin Webb weather diary


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

The author of this weather diary, who identified himself several times as “B. Webb,” was probably Benjamin Webb, a farmer and shipper from Suffolk County, New York. Benjamin Webb was born in New York in 1787; in a diary entry from September 15, 1857, the author noted that he was “70 years old this day,” lending weight to this attribution. Webb died on May 23, 1863, just a few days after his final diary entry.

Federal Census for 1850 (accessed via on March 23, 2017)Federal Census for 1860 (accessed via on March 23, 2017)Information derived from the collection.

This weather diary was kept by Benjamin Webb of Suffolk County, New York, between 1855 and 1863.

The diary primarily consists of observations on the weather, including the strength and direction of the wind and amounts of precipitation. Webb also included brief descriptions of his agricultural work and shipping activities. He recorded planting in the spring, haying fields in the summer, and digging potatoes in the autumn. Webb frequently traveled aboard the Sloop

William Penn, which he may have owned, to transport lumber and various agricultural products around the New York and Connecticut coasts. Even when he was not aboard the William Penn, he recorded its entrance and departure from its home port. On April 29, 1859, Webb noted that he “Bot the sloop J.P. Evans & came to Oster [Oyster] Bay with her from Pine Island.” Several entries also suggest that Webb owned or operated a store.

Volume 1 contains diary entries from January 1, 1855 to December 30, 1859. This volume is bound with a paper cover and contains 88 loosely sewn leaves of wove and laid paper. The text is handwritten in black ink and pencil. An inscription at the top of the first page reads “Remarks of Wind & Weather.” Volume 2 contains diary entries from January 1, 1860 to May 18, 1863. The volume is bound with brown marbled paper over boards and has a brown leather spine with traces of gilding. An inscription on the inside of the front cover reads “Memorandum of Winds, Weather &c &c kept by B. Webb commenced Jany 1st 1860.” The volume contains 53 leaves of faintly lined wove paper with handwritten text in black ink and 63 blank leaves. A small booklet of accounts dated 1865-1867 has been laid in this volume between the front cover and the first page.

Item 0082: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

Purchase, 1957

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, July 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 July 10
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

Benjamin Webb weather diary, Vol. 1, 1855 January 1-1859 December 30.
Item 0082
Physical Description

1 volume

Benjamin Webb weather diary, Vol. 2, 1860 January 1-1863 May 18.
Item 0082
Physical Description

1 volume

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