Collins, Zaccheus. Diary

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Zaccheus Collins Diary, 1726-1769, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

The diary of this Lynn, Mass., man details a 43-year period of daily life, including agricultural concerns, notations on attendance at religious meetings, visits from his friends, and observations about the weather. The diary is contained within two bound volumes, the first comprising the years 1726-1750, and the second 1750-1769. Mr. Collins typically recorded each day of the month by number and included a short comment on the day's activities. The volumes have been extensively conserved and re-bound.

The original manuscripts in this collection are owned by our project partners, the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.


Digital Materials

Diary, 1726-1750

This first volume of Collins's diary provides day-by-day accounts of his agricultural routines, including buying, raising, and slaughtering livestock as well as growing crops of corn, barley, and rye. He notes his regular attendence at meetings in Lynn, Salem, Marblehead, and Boston, as well as domestic pursuits such as "a Goos berrying [sic]" with his wife. Collins also notes local occassions such as marriages and deaths. One entry details the unfortunate death of an acquaintance's daughter "buried with the throat of distemper".

Diary, 1750-1769

The latter half of Collins's diary continues in the style of his first, detailing yearly routines of sowing and harvesting crops and managing livestock. He also frequently details his relations with the local Selectmen and his commercial pursuits, including shipping goods out of Boston harbor. He remarks sadly on the death of Frederick, Prince of Wales in March of 1751.


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.